Discord of History
Disclaimer: I do NOT own MLP
All across Equestria and beyond, creatures suddenly found strange boxes in their homes. These boxes possessed a glass mirror on what they could only assume was the front. Sticking out of the top of it were several oddly shaped crystals that even a dragon would find impossible to eat and unappealing in taste anyway.
"Is this thing on?" Discord asked as he tapped the screen.
"The fire is on and green, so, yeah?" Spike pointed out dryly.
"Keep up the sass, Spikick, we'll get wonderful ratings," Discord encouraged with a laugh. "Now to set the mood," he commented, snapping his finger as he floated back to sit in a freshly created chair next to a cozy fireplace, staring directly at the viewers. "Hellllllo, everyone! I am Discord the Draconequus: Former villain and everyone's favorite Lord of Chaos. The pleasure is yours, I'm sure. Here as a guest is fellow reformed villain and potential Alicorn of Time, Starlight Glimmer," he introduced, waving to the purple unicorn mare.
"Greetings everypo- wait, is this just to Equestria?" Starlight asked curiously. In response, Discord held out his arms far apart, the limbs stretching out comically. "Greetings everyone! Sorry, Discord doesn't like to fill in the specifics of any plan he makes."
"You assume I have a plan beyond the idea," Discord refuted casually. "Also with us to confirm that I'm not making anything up is a fellow Legend of Old. You know him as the Pot-Master himself, give it up for the stallion of a hundred bells, Starswirl the Bearded!" Discord declared, waving his hand as the unicorn appeared in a poof of smoke.
"I'm suppose to believe that strange device of crystals and plundervines is projecting us across all of Equestria and beyond?" the elderly wizard asked skeptically.
"Can you believe Discord can make it do that?" Starlight reminded with a raised eyebrow.
"Fair point," Starswirl acknowledge with an eye roll.
"And last but not least, we have my fellow gamer, Spike the Dragon," Discord introduced before smirking. "Not to be confused with Spike the Dog."
"Haha, very funny," Spike responded sarcastically before he looked to the camera with a smile. "I'm here because, apparently, years of using my fire breath as a means to teleport letters makes this entire thing work easier if I'm present."
"Oh, don't be like that Spike: You're also here to be the ignorant youngling," Discord informed with a smug look.
"Gee, thanks," Spike deadpanned.
"No, that's actually good here: You'll get to soak up the real truth while ones like Starlight have to unlearn and relearn history with the rest of the audience," Discord explained before looking directly at the viewers. "Which brings us to the reason for this little program. I have created and magically distributed these devices across the lands in order to share a few words with you. This is primarily for the ponies of Equestria, but it should prove informative for the denizens of the world in general. The reason being-"
"The reason being that Discord has discovered how much history we messed up and is very disappointed in us all," Starlight explained with an amused look.
"A sentiment I share, as do the rest of the Pillars of Old Equestria share, albeit not that harshly. How my stu-er, the Princess allowed such negligence in the record keeping, I can't imagine," Starswirl remarked.
"Don't worry, I'll get them on here one day," Discord promised with a scheming look and a sly wink at his audience.
"Yeah, but that doesn't explain why you care?" Spike pointed out, scowling at the furniture. "Or why you have the only chair."
"It's simple, my dear scalemego!" Discord stated as he held up his lion paw, a piece of paper floating in it. "It's true, I can't deny, at what I do I am the best, for my talents are renowned far and wide," Discord remarked proudly as the paper folded into an origami bird, flapping its wings and emitting a shuffling-tweet sound. "For Chaos is change. But change doesn't mean squat if no one knows the original, if they don't have anything to compare it to," he finished grimly as the bird flew into the fire.
"Okay, deep. Dark, but deep," Spike remarked with wide eyes.
"So, that would make you not only the Lord of Chaos, but...?" Starlight realized with eyes of excited interest, not unlike her teacher's.
"The Keeper of History, if only by proxy," Discord answered with a nod as he looked at the screen with a dead serious expression. "Which is why you should know that everything I say on the subject is the truth as I know it."
"Which brings me to this rather infuriating issue," Starswirl mused as he turned to the viewer with a solemn but reassuring look. "Creatures of Equestria and beyond, take heed. While what you have learned is not implicitly wrong, I have found that in Equestria, there IS missing much from it. Even side trotting how knowledge of entities such as Discord, Nightmare Moon, and my allies has practically fallen into the realm of myth, there is a very large gap of time that no pony seems to recall in any manner."
"About five hundred years," Discord stated as he plucked out a hair from his tail, made it float and enlarged it. He pointed to a small section at the right most(to the viewers') end of thread, turning it a dark purple. "This is the current era, the last few years basically. Then you have Celestia's Solo Reign," he continued as well over half of the line turned light green. "Then you have the Era of Two Sisters," A blue band, larger than the purple, but dwarfed by the green. "And, finally, what I'm calling the Lost Quincentenary," he finished, motioning to the a sizable chunk, uncolored and covered in question marks.
"Discord, use real words," Spike mock-scolded. In response, a dictionary appeared in front of him. "'Of or relating to five-hundred years'...Oh," Spike realized with a blank look, refusing to meet Discord's cheeky grin.
"We missed that much? How many years of that was before the union of the three tribes?" Starlight asked in amazement.
"Depends on how you look at it," Discord answered with a shrug.
"He's referring to the fact that the events covered in the tale of Hearth's Warming is actually a condensed and bare bones account of something that took decades to happen," Starswirl explained.
"So...do we have to rewrite the plays?" Spike asked curiously as Starlight just gaped for a second.
"Oh, no, it's true enough for a reenactment," Starswirl waved off in assurance.
"Yeah, I may want the textbooks to get this right, but I'm alllll for creative liberties when you're making entertainment," Discord said encouragingly. "Curious creatures will come looking for the truth, I just want it to be there to be found."
"And why haven't you brought this up before?" Spike asked curiously.
"I didn't think anyone would believe me without someone to vouch for me," Discord stated with a knowing look.
"...Yeah, fair point," Spike relented. "So, what's so special about this age though? I mean, Celestia had a thousand years of peace. Was this just hundreds of years of ponies getting their acts together?"
Discord and Starswirl shared a look. "We'll let history do the telling," Starswirl stated ominously.
"Now, let's begin," Discord mused as he made a series of numbers and words appear overhead
[456-398 BF: Winter of Strife]
"For now, we'll start at the beginning: The Winter of Strife, essentially the true account of Hearth's Warming," Discord explained as Starlight raised a hoof.
"Question. What does BF stand for?" she asked in interest, taking mental notes
"Before Founding, of the Kingdom of Equestria, that is," Discord supplied. "But to mosy back a bit further, there is one interesting bit of information to bring up before this point," he added as the floating date changed.
Starswirl sighed as he read the words:
[489 BF: First known appearance of Starswirl the Bearded.]
"Wait, wouldn't that make you...hundreds of years old even before getting stuck in Limbo?" Spike remarked with wide eyes towards the mage.
"He is rather spry for an old timer," Discord mused as he snapped his talons, the room being replaced by the scenery of rocky hill tops. The sky was clear and blue, with only bits of moss and grass throughout the lands.
"Okay, we know when we are, but...where?" Starlight asked curiously.
"The Hills of Apollocorn," Starswirl remarked, looking down over the slope next to them
In the valley below, they could see a large red snake as large as any stallion with spikes along its spine. It hissed and leered at a grey coated, but beardless and bell-less unicorn who was throwing spells and levitating rocks to keep the creature at bay.
"This is where I fought Asclepent, a giant snake with great resistance to magical attacks," Starswirl remarked heavily.
"Why? I mean, this seems to be the middle of nowhere," Spike remarked.
"Different era, Spike," Discord remarked casually as he sipped a chocolate milk of glass. "This was the tail-end of what we'll simply call the Dark Ages, when all manner of monstrous creatures lurked between every town and village."
"This event made me famous, but for all the wrong reasons," Starswirl remarked, shaking his head.
"Huh? Wasn't it ransacking a settlement? Or did it just stumble upon you?" Starlight questioned, concerned for his mood.
"Oh, I sought the creature out, and I was led to believe it was a threat to ponies," Starswirl answered with a humorless smile.
"I get the feeling we won't like where this is going," Spike commented as Discord cleared his throat.
"Yes, well, while Asclepent was a monster in a sense, it only ever attacked in defense of this earth pony settlement of Delponi that had developed an alliance with the creature, for protection. It also had healing venom, believe it or not. The nearby unicorns of Poncia had issues with Delponi, so they used Bells here to neutralize their advantage in the form of a giant "Buck off" cobra," Discord explained wryly.
"Wow...," Spike said with wide eyes.
"That's horrible!" Starlight remarked.
"By modern standards. That was almost expected at the time," Discord mused apathetically as the scenery faded away in a slow spin of colors.
"Whatever happened to them?" Starswirl questioned with morbid curiosity.
"Cold war, nearly wiped out by Windigos, and the survivors moved into other city-states," Discord answered with a dismissive wave. "If it helps, that heal-biter would have died in the Great Winter anyway."
"It doesn't," Starswirl admitted with a sigh. "Still, it does help give context for this era. Back when the power of Friendship was still an unrealized force of magic."
"Yes, well, not to be too grim, but you are right," Discord remarked, showing several still images of ill-events: Pegasi legions preparing to hold the line against a swarm of Rocs, Dragons and Ursa Majors fighting in the background of a small village, shamanistic zebras combating packs of timberwolves. "What you call a villain today, we called par for the course."
"Epic. Scary, but epic," Spike remarked as he soaked in the image of ancient conflicts.
"I'm starting to see why our ancestors might have wanted to forget this," Starlight remarked with wide eyes. "Not that I agree of course!"
"Good save, I was about to take offense," Discord remarked with a smirk.
"Wait, so...wait, if it was that bad here, it had to be that bad everywhere, right?" Spike realized in confusion. "How come no one else remembers this?"
"The older Dragons do, they just don't care. Yakistan wasn't a thing yet. The Griffons probably have some records, but they've been dealing with a lot of political infighting. Everyone else? Who knows, maybe we'll ask them later," Discord answered with a shrug as he snapped away the images, replacing them with a new date.
[456 BF: The Winter of Strife Begins]
"Now, lets set the scene," Discord mused as the background shifted for them to appear as if on a lower-bearing cloud, looking out onto plains. On the left, one could see a town, almost a small city in its own right, surrounded by large wooded walls and fields of crops. Across the large open landscape to the right of it was a castle on top of a cliff side, overlooking the fields. Above and between the two settlements was a third city, one made entirely of clouds. "Now, let's just set one thing absolutely straight here: The three tribes in the story are NOT the only pony tribes," Discord informed.
"I really don't understand where that misconception came from," Starswirl commented with a scowl. "To be frank, the Realms of Pegazeus, Haydes and Ponsiden were not that well known or powerful."
"In reverse order, that's Unicorns, Earth Ponies, and Pegasi if you weren't keeping up," Discord informed quietly, as if whispering to the viewers.
"Wait, didn't the unicorns raise the sun and moon back then?" Starlight recalled, scratching her chin.
"Wasn't that your job?" Spike commented, pointing toward Starswirl.
"Well, if you take into account Ponsiden is being represented in most stories as the home of all of unicorns, it's not exactly wrong," Discord mused with idle amusement.
Starswirl rolled his eyes. "While this piece of history is correct, they have it backwards: The ponies that aided me in moving the celestial orbs-"
"Bells, keep it PG, and you know Celestia is trying to lose weight," Discord joked with a wicked grin.
"Really?" Starlight and Spike deadpanned.
"Are you done?" Starswirl questioned drolly.
"For now," Discord answered with a shrug.
"As I was trying to say, the unicorns I worked with were from all manner of unicorn settlements and even hermits, brought together by our willingness to ensure that the cycle of day and night would continue," Starswirl finished.
"Then...the whole thing about there being an alliance of equal trading between the three tribes was made up?" Starlight asked with a scowl.
"Oh no, it's better," Discord answered, before chuckling. "The horn-heads on the cliff were the ones making all the equipment for the feathered-flanks and the farmers. Telekinesis is surprisingly very helpful with blacksmithing and crafting."
"That...actually makes more sense than the story," Spike remarked in surprise.
"The trading agreement, to my memory, was actually a lot more complicated, but is more or less irrelevant for this topic," Starswirl added in.
"What is important is to know why it took five years for the trio-tribes to realize something was amiss in their winter wonderland," Discord remarked as the setting was suddenly covered in snow...except for where they were standing and sitting, of course. "You see, in this place and time, having a winter that spanned multiple years was rare, but not unheard of."
"How'd they make it through those other times?" Spike asked curiously.
"Winter crops helped, and earth ponies had developed a habit of stocking up for long winters, and using any excess for celebration come spring," Starswirl explained.
"But worst came to worst, there was also a lot of trading goods with other tribes elsewhere in the world," Discord added in with a chuckle. "You ponies have an interesting habit of forgetting just how big the world is outside your homes."
"Admitted drawback of being order-based creatures," Starlight admitted with a sigh.
Discord blinked before clapping in praise. "You actually admit order and harmony has a downside! I'm so proud, Twilight would nevvvver say such a thing," Discord stated with a playful grin as Starlight rolled her eyes.
"Moving on, so, you said five years?" Spike reminded, wanting to continue hearing this tale.
"It took five years for them to start getting worried as they never had one that long before," Discord clarified, his tail tip spinning as the snow piled over the landscape grew thick and deep. "Then the sixth year came."
"I'm guessing it got worse?" Starlight deduced with a wince.
"Very," Discord summarized as the sky turned dark grey with clouds, the snow grew even thicker while ice covered large chunks of the cliff, trees and the walls of Haydes.
"Up until now, the Windigos had been...spread thin over the many realms," Starswirl started grimly. "This is when many of them converged on these three tribes."
"Because of the disharmony between the tribes, right?" Spike guessed, wondering if that was wrong or not.
"Okay, stop the kettle right there," Discord demanded with a scowl. "That piece of propaganda I take personal offense with. Despite what ancient ponies liked to think, I am NOT the source of all problems in the world and am not associated with the frosty herds," he corrected with a huff, arms crossed in indignation.
"In fairness, we thought you were more Dark Lord than Chaos Lord at first," Starswirl reminded.
"Wait, what does he mean about being the source of all problems? Er, not being, I guess?" Spike questioned in confusion.
"Best not to bring it up right now," Starswirl forewarned cautiously before looking up with a thoughtful look. With a zap from his horn, he formed a series of backwards letters and numbers.
"Wrong way, Bells," Discord commented, reaching up to spin the text around rapidly before it landed in the correct position:
[450-444 BF: Winter of Strife Worsens]
"Anyway, this is when the Winter of Strife became so terrible that it could be considered a miniature, what do you all call them now? An Ice Age?" Starswirl asked, stroking his beard.
"What did you used to call them?" Spike asked jokingly.
"Bucking cold," draconequus and unicorn answered in sync.
"Do you even get cold?" Starlight questioned to Discord.
"I notice temperature by how much magic I need to burn to keep myself comfortable," Discord answered offclawedly. "Now, with this sudden influx of 'even more freezing,' the ponies here were in a pickle. Even their winter-crops were starting to freeze and die while traveling outward was becoming increasing difficult for all tribes."
"In fairness, even with tension rising, they manage to stay more or less at peace for another six years," Starswirl remarked.
"That number comes up a lot with ponies," Spike commented with a knowing look as Discord rolled his eyes.
"Still, with how hard keeping food in supply was becoming, things started to look grimmer and grimmer," Discord remarked. "As you might remember with the play, the three tribes got together to try and solve the problem. Things were...civil for a while. Compromises were made, scouting missions for food were made, and a few miracles happened."
"Miracles? Like what?" Spike asked curiously.
"The Imperial Timberwolf," Starswirl remembered with a bowed head.
"The what?" Spike asked with a scowl of confusion as a large, vaguely canine formation of wood and plants appeared in the fields before being covered in snow.
"A rare and powerful sub-race of Timberwolves," Starswirl explained, pausing in consideration. "They are essentially sentient Forests, more or less the timberwolf equivalent of an Alicorn."
"Fascinating. I didn't even know they were sapient," Starlight remarked in surprise.
"Yes, well, this was a young, lost one that got caught in the Windigo trap around 440 BF. Knowing it was going to die, it channeled its magic to make its corpse produce a great deal of fruits, berries and other edibles for the tribes. Enough to last them well over a year before the nature magic ran out," Discord explained with a bittersweet smile. "Had that winter just been a whim of nature, that wolf would be hailed in your legends to this day. Unfortunately, it was largely forgotten in the wake of what happened next."
"This is where negotiations break down, isn't?" Starlight guessed in dread.
"Completely," Discord remarked as the overhead text changed again.
[435-431 BF: War of Rations]
The scene shifted once more, the timbercorpse shrunken and covered by snow. But more importantly, there were now many ponies in the field.
All of them with armor and weapons.
"By Celestia," Starlight murmured in horror at the implication.
"On the contrary, Celestia never had much stomach for war," Starswirl commented with a sigh. "I suppose I shouldn't blame her for letting those slip into obscurity."
"Thus dawns the War of Rations, during the height of the Winter of Strife. Pony killing pony for less and less food. Four years of fighting for table scraps," Discord remarked, head in his hand. "Even I don't want to make this sound funny."
"Four years?! How did they survive that long?" Spike questioned in disbelief.
"As I said, I'm keeping this mostly PG. The horrors of that war of desperation is not something I'll touch upon live on the air," Discord stated plainly.
"Thank you," Starswirl said with a relieved look. "That is a topic for a history book, not an or-"
"Holy buck, they ate each other, didn't they?!" Spike realized with wide, numb eyes.
Discord facepalmed as Starswirl groaned, inciting Starlight to turn green with nausea. "Well, thanks Spike, now that's out in the open," the chaos lord remarked dryly.
"I'm sorry, it slipped out!" Spike apologized as Discord poofed up a bucket for Starlight.
"Take it off stage," Discord ordered with a sigh as she ran off.
"Well, to take out minds off that, there is ONE good thing to cover in that war," Starswirl remarked with a small smile.
"Like what? Ponies inventing Barbeq-" Spike stopped, wincing as Starlight started retching in the background. "Sorry, sorry, I can't stop thinking about it!" he groaned, burying his face into his claws.
"Okay, I'm just going to show it," Discord remarked, snapping his claw as the image went black before fading to another scene.
Scene as in a moving image.
It was a close up, first-pony perspective of a battlefield. Harsh winds blew under a dark sky of impenetrable clouds, over a plain of snow littered with pony bodies, flags, and weapons.
And then, all at once, the winds died down as a soft glow covered the injured soldiers. The frame of view pulled back to reveal a stunning sight.
Two Alicorns: two blank-flanked, non-flowy-maned but still very familiar Alicorns walking through the battlefield, their magic healing all that they passed indiscriminately.
"I may egg on you ponies for how much you worship those two, but I get why," Discord remarked with a fond look.
"Celestia and Luna?" Starlight remarked in surprise, wiping the last of her sick from her mouth as she returned.
"Before they had cutie marks!" Spike pointed out in surprise.
"Yes, this was the first time we knew of their existence," Starswirl explained with a smile. "They've been watching after all of ponykind long before they became princesses."
"Are they younger, as in physically, or I am just imagining them seeming a bit shorter?" Starlight questioned with squinted eyes.
"Luna's about the same size, but this is before Celestia got all her inches," Discord answered in amusement.
"Luna's biggest pet peeve about her millennial absence is that she has no idea if she would be bigger now otherwise," Starswirl mused with what almost sounded like teasing.
"Their arrival marked the end of the Ration Wars, thankfully," Discord continued. "After that, the Winter finally began to lessen."
"Why?" Spike asked curiously. "What changed?"
"Windigos actually feed on fear, not disharmony," Starswirl revealed grimly. "After that war, the survivors didn't fear much anymore. Nothing the Windigos could do at least."
"With some Divine Intervention from the future princesses, the ponies finally managed to break out to the outside world again," Discord explained. "But the ponies no longer wanted to stay and risk another winter like this. So each of the three nations started to send out scouts to find a new place to live. A new place for each of them, obviously. This leads up to our cliffhanger," he mused as the texts shifted again...only, this one didn't have a date.
[The Great Migrations]
"And that is where we'll leave it until next time," Discord finished as their surroundings faded back into a cozy home with a fireplace. "So, what'd you all think of my first history chaoscast?"
"Very entertaining, I believe, so it should keep the audience's attention while learning," Starswirl praised lightly.
"But why stop here?" Spike questioned.
"Because this is about the half-way point of this tale and the rest is still...complicated," Discord explained before chuckling. "Also, no offense to our current horned duo, but I have different guests in mind for this next part."
"Fair enough," Starlight accepted with a shrug, glancing at the viewers. "So, are we done? Cause that thing is still on, I think."
"Oh yes, I just got some last minute things to do," Discord answered as he focused on the audience. "Denizens of all over, I welcome all of you to send in questions for myself, Spike, and future guests to read off and answer. Preferably ones related to what we are or have already showed you, but I'll welcome random questions, of course. Merely write them out a letter and insert them into the thin slot on your TC."
"TC? Does the C stand for Chaos?" Spike asked with a raised eyebrow.
"No, actually: Telecrystals," Discord answered with a chuckle. "Anyway, that's all folks! Say goodbye everyone!"
"Thanks for watching!" Starlight waved.
"Farewell. Always happy to impart knowledge," Starswirl said, nodding to the viewers.
"See you next time, everyone!" Spike called with a wide smile.
End of Chapter
And there we go, first chapter, or episode rather. I made up this entire timeline myself, if that wasn't clear, and filled it with interesting events. Some tied to canon events, others just part of a lost epic era of history.
Now, everyone, you are invited to post any question in your reviews or in a PM to me. They will be read off next chapter at the end by Discord and company- sign the question with whatever name you want to make up.
PS For those of you not aware of my RL woes, I now have a pat-reon account, same name as my username. If any of you are filling generous, I'd appreciate the patronage, but I hold no fic hostage with this. However, you will get a new preview of a random fic's new chapter every one to two weeks. If you don't or can't donate, I appreciate your time nonetheless and hope you enjoyed this newest fic.