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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Group: Admins Posts: 198 Member No.: 1 Joined: 23-March 13
In the Crystal Empire, as with most, if not all of Equestria, children are falling asleep with no provocation, beset by nightmares and visions, while their parents are unable to discern the cause. Princess Cadance and Prince Shining Armor of the Crystal Empire attempt to alleviate the concerns of their people, despite being just as in the dark as their citizens...
"Citizens of the Crystal Empire, I understand you are all distressed, and concerned for your children, as am I. Believe me when I say that I am doing all I can to discover the cause of your childrens' distress. Whatever the cause is, we will find out what it is, and it will be dealt with accordingly. For now, I ask that you return to your homes. Even if you don't know what you can do for your children, they still need the support of their family and friends. Though I cannot be there with all of you at once, know that my heart is with you, my little ponies."
Princess Cadance stood out upon the Balcony of her palace, her eyes sweeping over the ponies gathered before her. Concerned parents, grandparents, elder siblings, and all manner of friend were gathered before the castle, one concern on their minds.
'Why are all these Children falling asleep? Why aren't they waking up? What will the princesses do about this?'
Even if she could read minds, Cadance didn't know the answer; she wasn't as wise as Celestia or Luna, nor was she as brilliant as her Sister-in-Law, Twilight. All she could do was smile, and give her ponies promises she wasn't entirely sure she could fulfill. She looked to her husband, a tired expression upon her usually radiant face.
"Oh Shiny..." she breathed. "I'm so scared... The moon's stuck in the sky and we haven't heard anything from Canterlot... I hope that Celestia, Luna, and Twilight are doing okay..."
Shining Armor had six squads of guards before him, and was giving out orders to each one. "Each squad will report to one of the points of the Empire's star. Topaz squad, you will set up base in the north point. Sapphire squad, you will go to the northwest. Emerald squad will go to the northeast, and Opal squad will report to the southeast. Ruby squad will report to the southwest, and Diamond squad, you head to the south point. The Crystal Empire is depending on its guards to comfort these foals and their families, and I would like you to investigate and see if you can find any clues about these nightmares and if this eclipse has anything to do with it. If anything is found by a squad or if any problems arise, one member from the corresponding squad will report back to me. Report to your stations."
The guards saluted their Prince and marched out of the palace. Shining Armor watched them leave, and then found that Cadance was approaching him. He hadn't seen her looking this tired since King Sombra returned and she had worn out her magic protecting the Empire from the evil king.
"Listen," a reassuring smile appeared on Shining Armor's similarly tired face. "I'm sure the other Princesses are trying to get to the bottom of this, too. They have to be as busy as we are, especially Princess Luna considering that her moon's not behaving like it should." Shining Armor levitated a pen and a scroll to himself with his magic. "If you can send a letter to your aunts, I'll send one to our little sis."
"Alright." she said, nodding. "If anypony might have an idea of what's going on, it's them. I just hope we can figure out what's going on soon; this business of foals falling asleep for no reason and then having these nightmares is more than a bit worrying."
She looked at her husband, and rested her head on his, trying to find some sort of comfort in being so close to her beloved.
"Thanks, Shiny. I mean it." she said, smiling. "Just... try not to mess up the spell that sends scrolls to Spike like last time, okay? Twilight practically had a conniption fit when that happened..."
Shining Armor put a front leg around Cadance, pulling her a bit closer to him as he wrote on the scroll using his magic to grip the pen. Some unicorns had trouble doing manual things with their hooves and using their magic to do something else at the same time, but Shining Armor had always been particularly gifted with his brand of magic, especially coming from the family he came from. He looked over his letter once he had finished writing, just to make sure it didn't have any mistakes.
I'm just sending you a letter to make sure you're safe, as well as to let you know that Cadance and I have not been harmed by what has been going on with the moon. Lots of foals in the Crystal Empire have been falling into a deep sleep filled with nightmares that they can't seem to get out of, and neither Cadance nor I know why this is happening. Are foals in Ponyville experiencing the same thing? If so, have you found any clues as to why it's happening?
If there is any threat to your safety in Ponyville or if you need any backup for investigations, just let me know and I shall contact the Royal Guard in Canterlot.
Love, Your BBBFF
Shining Armor's horn glowed as he answered his wife. "No problem. And I'll try not to this time, sweetie...We all know we don't want that to happen again." With a final flash of magic, the letter was sent to the purple baby dragon. Hopefully, it would come from his breath and not from his bowels this time...
Princess Cadence tried to relax as Shining pulled her closer to him. All she could think about were the parents, watching their foals with worry in their eyes... The foals, suffering through untold horrors within their minds without a hope of waking up... Cadence held on tighter to her husband, and looked over the letter with him. It almost made her want to write her own note to Twily... But there were more important things to concern herself with. Twilight got the message. Adding her own comments would just delay everything. The Princess' horn lit up, and the quill set to work on a new page.
Dear Celestia and Luna,
The Crystal Empire's foals have fallen into a wakeless slumber, and the moon...
I'm worried. I do not wish for you to worry as well, but please send word of how things are outside of the Empire. Is this happening across the world? How is Luna faring with the moon doing what it is? Do either of you know what's going on, or how to handle it? Love can only do so much for these families... I can only do so much. Please, make haste in sending word back.
She glanced over the words. There was none of the confidence that she had developed since becoming the ruler of the Empire in this letter. This situation was just too strange. It was completely unknown to her, and she just wanted answers. Her horn radiated brightly, and the letter poofed away. Cadence got closer to Shining. "How many times have you apologized for that?"
Oh... She hugged him tighter. He beat himself up over it way too much. She knew Spike, and knew that he was a pretty easy going dragon. If he knew how much Shining Armor worried about it... She didn't rightly know. The dragon was easy going like she said. He'd probably try to get Shining to stop worrying, unsuccessfully... Where was this train of thought going?
"Listen, Shiny, it's alright. He's already forgiven you for it. At this point, you're your own worst enemy." She nuzzled his shoulder. "Besides, I think we have bigger things to worry about than a letter in a dragon's rear end."
"I guess you're right," said Shining Armor. "It's true, we do have far more pressing matters to deal with than something that happened a few years ago, and we need to get to the bottom of what's causing these foals to have nightmares."
He had sent guards to each corner of the Empire, but he still felt deep down that it wouldn't be enough. It usually never was, no matter how good he was at his job or how many guards he could send. It was always a routine of getting his flank handed to him until his sister saved the day yet again. He wasn't jealous of it, as Twilight deserved all of what she had earned. Shining Armor had mostly just come to accept that his sister would always be the one to defeat evil in the end.
Shining Armor leaned in and kissed Cadance, before rising to his hooves and offering a hoof to help her up. "Well, our letters are all sent, you made your announcement, and I've sent patrols out. I guess unless we get any questions from the crystal ponies we'll just have to wait for responses to the letters."
Cadence felt a slight bit of irony at Shining's choice of words, but she wouldn't mention it to him... however funny it would be. She took her husband's hoof, and rose to her own hooves. She thought more about those foals, and... "I don't know if I can just sit idly by and wait for Twilight and my aunts... Can't we do anything? Maybe there's something in the library about this. If this has happened before, maybe it also says how to fix it." Princess Cadence couldn't just wait. She needed to be useful. She needed to do something other than smile and wave, and hope that ponies miles away could solve their problems right here!
Shining Armor thought for a few moments before speaking once again. "Actually, going to the library sounds like a better idea. If there are any problems or if we get responses to the letters, I'll just have Topaz and the remaining guards be there for that."
As if on cue, the old butler and advisor Topaz Glow was standing before the Prince and Princess. "Yes, your highnesses, I shall keep watch over the castle while the two of you are doing research at the library. If anything goes wrong or if I have any other reason to notify you, I'll be sure to send a messenger to the both of you."
Shining Armor nodded, then turned to Cadance. "Things should be all set. Let's go."
Some time later...
Shining Armor held the door open for his wife as they headed into the library. He was as much of a book nerd as his sister, so he knew the library like the back of his hoof. "OK, if we're going to find anything about these nightmares, we'll have to look through the 'History' and 'Medical' sections."
If something like this had happened in the past, it would surely be something that would be included in a history book. Some information on these nightmares would likely be present in a medical glossary as well, if they had been documented. Shining Armor pulled a book from the History shelf and got to reading it.
Princess Cadence thanked her husband, and stepped into the rather large library. Cadence liked books, but she probably wasn't as experienced with them as Shining or his family was. She certainly didn't know that much about medical terms, other than the little bit she had learned for foalsitting, in case something happened. But the Empire was counting on her and Shining Armor. Cadence split from her husband, and went over to the appropriately labeled medical section. Although she could've gone in without a second glance, she took a moment to look over the titles. She didn't want to find remedies for a stomach ache. If something like this had happened before, it definitely wouldn't be listed with the sniffles.
It had to be a strange title... "Medical Remedies" "First Aid" "Diseases and You" "Strange Ailments of-" Bingo. Sadly, it was a gigantic book. Cadence levitated it over to a table, and looked for the index. None. Glossary? ... None. Great. Princess Cadence flipped through the ancient medical book... searching...
Shining Armor took out a history book titled Conflicts of the Age of Shadow and skimmed through it, just not finding anything. In fact, no books in either sections Shining Armor or Princess Cadance had gone to would turn up with any valuable information pertaining to the nightmares. Even in the book Cadance was so sure had something in it, there would be absolutely nothing related to the dreadful sleep the foals of the Crystal Empire were having.
After skimming through every book he could find, Shining Armor sighed and got up to look for Cadance. He walked into the medical section of the library, a frown on his face. "I've spent all this time in the history section, and it's turned up absolutely nothing," he sighed.
After Shining Armor said that, a pony wrapped in a dark cloak approached the royal couple. He was breathing raspy and heavily, and from the tip of his nose that was visible from the hood, covered in crystal acne and had some serious bucked teeth, too. He looked very much like one of Shining Armor's role-playing friends from back in the day.
"*snort* Heh...You guyth need help finding *huff* anything?" the cloaked pony lisped.
Princess Cadence levitated the book back onto the shelf with a sigh. This was pointless. They could read every book in this library and never come across a single bit of information that could help them...
She looked towards the rather nerdy looking pony. He looked like he spent quite a bit of time here... Was that a bad inference to make? She kinda felt bad for thinking it, especially since she used to think like-minded things of her husband. But, he actually was a nerd, so, maybe it wasn't entirely bad. Perhaps she should stop hesitating. "Do you happen to know of any books talking about an eclipse that led to foals having nightmares and being unable to wake up?
The cloaked stranger nodded. "Yeah! There'th a forbidden wing of bookth about dark magic and ancient hithtory right over there! I'll show you!"
Shining Armor winced. He was on guard, this guy was actually really creepy. How would a pony know about a hidden section of the library that had books about dark magic? The pony was a crystal pony, there was a chance he had some knowledge of the library related to a forbidden wing that Shining Armor wouldn't have known about.
"So...How exactly do you know about the forbidden wing?" Shining Armor asked the pony.
"Oh," the pony replied nonchalantly. "I wath King Thombra'th bookkeeper back in the day. I wath alwayth polishing that thcary guy'th bookth about creepy magic and thtuff." The pony pulled out an ID, to verify his position. It read Turquoise Tome, Keeper of the Forbidden Wing. "Yeah, I wath the only pony who knew how to care for thothe needy bookths, tho I got to keep my job after Thombra wath defeated."
Shining Armor shrugged. This guy was legit, he had an ID. Turquoise Tome trotted to one of the bookshelves and pulled out a book. With a distinct rumbling noise, the shelf slid to the right and revealed an entrance to some kind of hallway. Once Shining Armor and Princess Cadance entered the passage, they would find themselves in a circular room, lined with bookshelves. One of the books was bright gold in its binding and stood out from the rest. It was labeled Nightmares of Ancient Times: Lord Grogar and the City of Tambelon.