Date: June 2019 A.D (After Discord)
Current Events: Blood Moon
Description: When the Sisters are cut off from the Moon and the Realm of Dreams, a dark presence makes itself known in Equstria as children everywhere fall into a magically-induced slumber, plagued by terrible nightmares!
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The Lunar Eclipse; a once in a lifetime occurrence for the average creature. When the earth itself stands directly in between the Sun and Moon, the Moon itself turns a deep red color, which earned this phenomenon the second name of the "Blood Moon".
Unbeknownst to but a very select few, Princess Luna's powers are at their weakest during the Lunar Eclipse, if only for a few hours or so. In the few times that it has happened to her, this was always so, but on this day, her powers did not return, and the Blood Moon hung in the sky, as a premonition of further tragedy to come...
Luna, however, lived much longer than the "average creature", and being the pony who controlled the rise and fall of the moon as well as its cycles, the mare was more than prepared for what was to happen for these few short hours. She would lose her strength, the moon would turn a dark red for a few hours, then the light would return to it as her magic came back. Ponies from all of Equestria would be watching the event.
As for her sister - where was she? Luna stood up from the throne, trotting down the steps as she looked about at the stained glass panes, many of which illustrated the heroes of Equestria. A wave of uneasiness washed over her, but she brushed it off; she was about to completely lose her powers for a few hours, before retaining them until the next eclipse, of course some uneasiness was to be expected.
Back when they had been younger, and their rule not yet established, they had been times of great fear. Fear of a few dissonant assassins coming to slay their -- still vulnerable -- bodies, fear of usurper unicorns stealing away the sun and moon while their magic was weak, fear of something harming their little ponies when they could do nothing to defend them.
Eclipses, Solar or Luna, had never been calm times for the sisters.
For 1000 years, Celestia had never had to worry about them. Hold sway over both the sun and moon meant that she would always have the power to hold off threats when they came. Now that her sister was back and she had relinquished her claim (and the power that came with it), the old fears were returning in full-force.
Visions happened, it was a fact of alicorn magic, and they were no stranger to premonitions either. Though no nightmares kept her from sleeping this night, she restlessly paced about in her chambers. There was a half-formed thought niggling in her brain, something that left her worried for her dear sister and all their little ponies.
Something bad was going to happen, she just knew it.
Her facial features locked into a frown, the mare too pacing in the hall, her horn glowing as she stared at the ground, the dreamworld cut off from her. She knew when she had begun that she didn't have a lot of time left before the eclipse was to begin, but even as her conscious darted through the dreams of the ponies who were sleeping tonight, Luna could sense that Celestia was not among them - and knowing how fearful the eclipses had made both of them a thousand years ago, she doubted that her older sister was in REM-sleep.
Would she be active? Would Celestia mind if she were to intrude? In the back of her mind Luna knew both these answers; the old days of screaming and running to tell mom about petty little things were far gone for both of them, and with the moon a dark red, the outline ominous and barely visible in the night sky... Luna shook her head, her gaze softening. It was just like every other day. Nothing bad was going to happen, she wanted to tell herself, but goddess or not, one didn't live as long as the princesses without having some faith in what their gut instinct was screaming at them.
"Sister?" Luna asked, having opted to make the climb up to Celestia's spire. "Can I come in?"
The door's glowed with solar magic (significant weaker now that the sun was down) and opened to Luna. Celestia, for her part, hadn't stopped pacing as she looked at the floor. Her expression was clouded with worry and her eyes were unfocused as she walked.
"You sense it as well; don't you, Luna?" Though she was phrasing it as a question, she knew the answer already. Why else would she have come here after all? "Do you have a clearer idea of what it may be? Or is it little more than a feeling for you as well?"
Luna nodded. "Only the faintest of premonitions, though." she replied, lowering her gaze. "The dreamscape is how I learn of things that happen throughout Equestria, as well as help to play a role in the lives of our subjects. Losing control of something so important, even for a moment, is akin to losing one's sense of sight or hearing." she answered, biting her lip. "I fear something may be happening right under our noses; I've never felt so apprehensive about an eclipse.
Celestia scowled at her sister's news. She wasn't truly angry at her younger sibling (mother wouldn't have been happy if she were), but she was rather annoyed at her powerlessness right now.
Never mind the threats to themselves, their little ponies -- so fragile compared to them -- were going to suffer far more than them. She had walked the realms of dreams for 1000 years before her sister had returned, it seemed she would have to once more.
"My magic remains strong, Sister," Celestia's horn started to glow as she closed her eyes. "I will check the dreamworld." Using this type of magic was never easy for her, dreams were the domain of night and she had always struggled with them. But her ponies were counting on her, and she would never disappoint her little ponies.
Her mind ebbed away from her physical form as she felt around for the ethereal world that connected all dreams, gently caressing the nebulous reality with her magic until it opened for her. She slid smoothy inside of the cloud...
And was suddenly and violently seized by magic.
Even in her semi-spiritual form, Celestia found herself choked by the smokey magic. The cloud slithered around her, smokey tendrils squeezing her midsection and held her fast when she tried to pull out.
Quiet laughter echoed around her as she was dragged deeper into the dream world. She suddenly slammed into the 'ground' of a foal's dream, the unicorn filly playing with an older unicorn mare that apparently meant a lot to her. The filly turned to Celestia, the princess's entrance having interrupted her little game.
"Run!" Celestia gasped out the word without even thinking, but it didn't matter. The black cloud was back, it's choking grasp strangling the older pony before snatching the child up and dragging her into it's mass. Celestia flared her magic, readying a blast of pure solar energy, but her light was snuffed out as the cloud grasped her yet again.
Images flashed before her ethereal eyes.
Pinkie Pie, the element of Laughter, sobbing uncontrollably with a straight mane as she tried desperately to wake two young foals. The balloon shaped gem that had been her element appeared for the briefest of moments, and then shattered into powder.
Rarity and Applejack, both screaming to wake their younger siblings, appeared next. The fashionista was disheveled as she shook her sister, unable to get even the slightest rise out of her. Tears flowed freely from Applejack's eyes as she cried out for the younger Apple to awake, her hat cast aside. Their element crystals appeared, then crumbled before Celestia's eyes.
Fluttershy, curled up in a ball, hooves over her ears and eyes shut tight, tried to block out the screams that she heard even this far from Ponyville. Parents and siblings desperate for their children to return to them, and she powerless to do even a single thing about it. The crystalline butterfly appeared to dissolve into sand as Celestia watched in horror.
Rainbow Dash zoomed about at breakneck speeds. Coming dangerously close to hitting several things several times without even a glance. She burst into a house she had been in many times lately, grabbing the stallion inside with desperate eyes, only for him to solemnly shake his head and for her to speed up the stairs in a multi-colored blur and start screaming for orange filly who lived there to wake up. The ruby lightning bolt exploded, the shards cutting into her dream flesh.
Finally, Twilight Sparkle, her precious student, appeared before Celestia. The young alicorn wasn't in some desperate situation, she was staring up at her with sorrowful eyes. A tear slid down one of her cheeks, and she spoke directly to Celestia.
"I'm sorry, I failed." The jewel that had once adorned her crown appeared above her head, then fell and shattered at Celestia's hooves
And that damnable laughter just got louder!
Celestia was suddenly flung backwards, crashing out of the dream and actually being physically hurled against her chamber walls.
"Luna!" she gasped out. "Alert the guard, all of them! It is everything we feared, and worse!" And she collapsed on the floor, a sudden tiredness sapping away the last of her energy.
"Indeed it is, my dear Celestia. It is far worse than you or anypony else could possibly imagine." laughed the ethereal form of the deceased King Sombra. "Alas, it is not I that you should be worrying yourself over. Oh no... not me AT ALL..."
Slowly, the invisible, smoky form of the dead tyrant turned to Luna, somewhat grateful for the fact the two of them could not hear or see him in this damnable state.
"And you, my dearest Luna... I have such plans for you, oh yes; such plans indeed... Yours and your sister's powerlessness over the moon, and your inability to access the dream realm is only the beginning; a prelude to even greater suffering..."
Another bone chilling laugh escaped Sombra's lips as he rose up, and flew through the walls of Celestia's chambers, and out into the skies above Canterlot. He'd done his part, now all that was left to do was to wait and see what would happen next...