Era of Unicorn.
Canterlot remained restless for many years after the passing of Ulae, but finally it could not bear the stress any longer. The stress threatened to tear the very kingdom apart. Matia tried to placate everyone but it could not be done. Adiana had grown jealous of her brother but did not wish to fight for the thrown. With her House behind her they flew further north, higher into the mountains. Her high regard for physical prowess was shared with her house and it was passed down through the generations. As time went by the ponies in the north began to neglect their magic altogether. Their wings grew strong and their horns slowly grew smaller until they didn't exist at all but they could not escape their magical heritage. Their affinity for flight made them keenly aware of the weather and it wasn't long before they found that they could manipulate and shape it to their will. The first generation to call themselves Pegasus were lead by Soren Dash and Aisling Dancer. Soren Dash strove to push his limits, he and his family turned the sky into a labyrinth of hurricanes and tornadoes. Aisling Dancer and her family saw the beauty in the fluffy wisps and molded them into a shining city they called Cloudsdale.
The second to leave was a lower pony of no title or house by the name of Thalcon. He had been a voice of change to the Family-less ponies and called for another migration. He spoke against many things. The use of magic and living in Canterlot were his main subjects. He saw the use of magic as unnatural and something that bordered on evil. He claimed the ponies should lead natural lives, free of the bonds of nobility and tyranny. His voice became stronger after the murder of Queen Airin and many more began to listen. After Adiana and her family left, Thalcon took himself and any of the family-less ponies away. They flew South West and built a life out of the soil. Together they worked the land and from the land they harvested their spoils. As generations went by their wings and horns grew smaller until neither could be found. They never took family names nor did they call themselves anything aside from ponies. Their settlement simply became known as Ponyville.
Matia and Ira took new surnames to show they, and their families, positions. Airin's brother was now known as King Matia Sol and Ulae's protege became known as Ira Moon. The Sol family remained the single ruling class while Ira kept the academy alive and strong. As the families grew, it was soon apparent that the Moon family could not remain within Canterlot comfortably. Lead by Ira's great-great-great granddaughter, Luthien Moon, and her husband she took her family and made the trip down the mountainside. Close to Canterlot they built Dream Castle to house their growing numbers. After Dream Castle had been built Luthien returned to Canterlot to continue her work at the main academy. Dream Castle was left in the charge of Daisy Sky. Daisy was a mage at a level that rivaled the Moon family. With the blessing of Luthien she turned Dream Castle into a second mage academy. She and her family pushed to advance their field of magic. From this push the mage's forsook their wings and slowly they could not be found on any ponies. All that was left was their horn from which they drew their power, they embraced their changed and called themselves the Unicorns.
From the far southern jungles a new creature emerged. They walked upright and had very little fur. Upon their frames they hung plants and cloth as coverings. Like the Grundels they worked the earth for art but also for war. Like the Unicorn they had an affinity for magic. A group had left the safety of their home to travel Equestria. Rainard was the name of their leader, a powerful warrior he sought to make contact with the other races to form alliances to protect their small village. The race they met were the Grundels. They came upon each other by chance and Rainard eased the timid creatures nerves with gifts of food. They band talked with them and the Grundels wearily agreed to align themselves with this race that called themselves Human.
As they traveled around the base of a mountain their eyes were met with the gleam of a beautiful city that sat higher on the mountain. Carefully they climbed and made their way to the city gates. They met with guards and were lead to the throne room and met with the reigning warrior king Arminas Sol. Together they talked of peace between the races. Rainard and the king had much in common and talked at length. They became fast friends and Arminas granted them land near Canterlot that stretched out into the Great Scorched Plains. They were told that there they would find the Tatonka Tribe. Rainard was pleased and sent word to his village that they had acquired land that they could live upon.
Rainard took his men and traveled the way they had been pointed and settled in a small clearing on the edge of the Great Scorched Plains. They waited for more of their people to arrive and there they began to build their second village with the blessing of the Alacorn. The name Westerpine Hollow was agreed upon but Rainard only waited long enough for the people to arrive and to ensure that they were safe and settled before he began his search for the Tatonka Tribe. He traveled further into the plains and soon came upon them. Rainard hailed for the attention of one and was met with hostility. The Tatonka Tribe did not fully trust outsiders, so they remained cautious. He was lead to their tribal chief, Kawacatoose. Kawacatoose towered over Rainard and eyed him warily. Rainard waited in silence for the chief to address him. Kawacatoose finally spoke, he felt uneasy with Rainard and his people. He said that he saw within them an unfamiliar darkness. Rainard felt the sting of his words but asked the chief to give them a chance. He reasoned that maybe they simply needed the guidance of the Tatonka to destroy this “inner darkness” the chief spoke about. Again the chief was silent. After many agonizing moments he agreed. He told them even though they were at peace, the humans would still be watched with a wary eye. Rainard agreed and he returned to his village with the good news.
Years progressed and the peace of the land lasted. The neighboring Unicorns were amazed to find another race that had the same magical affinity as they. Happily the humans were accepted into the Dream Castle academy to study alongside the unicorns. Quickly did they progress in the magical ways. One mage, by the name of Salendar worked closely with potions and alchemical materials. His work was dangerous and he found it difficult to watch his mixture and safely pour things while checking his notes. From excess hair and dust he created the Bushwoolies. He made them of an agreeable temperament and they were the perfect assistants. Through experimentation and with the help of the Bushwoolies Salendar, by accident, created a living liquid. He called it Smooze and though he didn't have a purpose for it he kept it in his presence at all times.
There was also a female mage by the name of Alexis whose ability with the magical art of manipulation was almost unmatched. She amazed the entire academy when she managed to lift the entire roof off the tops of 2 nearby houses. The ease at which she could conjure and control her powers was beautiful to behold.
This was not their only talent though, it was soon found that they could work the metals of the land with a great precision and imagination. From their minds their came many wonder inventions. Though they tried to be strong the humans found traveling between Westerpine Hollow, Dream Castle and the Tatonka Tribe lands to be far too dangerous for them. With both the Unicorn and the Buffalo they sat and told of their greatest creation. A large metal steed that would carry the humans and any that wished to ride across Equestria. The Tatonka voiced concern for a magical metal steed being loosed upon the world but the humans explained it wouldn't be loose, quite the opposite in fact. This machine, as they called it, would only be able to travel where a special road was to be built. Bringing a map to the table they plotted the trail that their invention would travel. Again the Tatonka were wary but they accepted and it wasn't long before they began building the special road that would keep tame a metal steed.
The work was hard but after years it was finally time for the humans machine to be unveiled. It was called a Locomotive and all marveled at the humans creation. Both Catahecassa, the Tatonka chief and Melody, the academy head, were brought on for its first trip around the land. It worked splendidly and it became the humans first choice in travel between cities. But this triumph of creation slowly began to turn the humans thoughts dark and before long they saw the world in a new way.
The humans looked at what they had accomplished but it was not enough. Their mages began to push themselves harder in their magical workings. The smiths began planning bigger projects, buildings that would rival mountains in size. They looked upon the land they had changed for their locomotive and saw that there was little that could hamper their works. Their thoughts of the unicorns began to turn to disgust as they felt they were wasting their talents. They began to resent the Tatonka, the creatures that had almost refused their alliance because of one stubborn chief. They grew angry.
At first the unicorns did not notice the gradual withdraw of the Humans into their own city but soon they began to worry as no word from the village had been sent in months. Messengers were sent but when they tried to board the locomotive they were turned away. The ponies sadly returned to Dream Castle to tell what had happened. Melody sent word to Canterlot reporting the shift in the demeanor of the humans. From Canterlot were sent some of their fastest Pegasus messengers to try and get word from the humans. Weeks passed and they never returned.
The locomotive stopped running. Dream Castle was void of humans. Even Salendar had vacated his laboratory in the depths of Dream Castle to live in Westerpine Hollow. A wave of unease washed over the land and it was felt by both the unicorns and the Tatonka tribe. After weeks of silence from the Westerpine Hollow Melody took two of her top students Moonbeam, a gifted and loyal Conjurer, and Wondermint, a quiet and loving Nature Mage. Together the three attempted to visit the human settlement but when they arrived no one could be found. They walked through the empty streets, stopping at various buildings to check for signs of life but none could be found.
It was then that a great rumble began to shake the valley. From the nearby mountain range came the sound of rocks smashing themselves together, a large cloud of dust erupted and when it had cleared a large stone castle towered over the abandoned city. Melody told Moonbeam to return to Dreamcastle and send word to Canterlot immediately for help. Together Melody and Wondermint made their way to the newly created castle. As they made their way up the sound of rushing water was heard by the two. From where they were they could see a giant lavender waterfall making it's way to the valley. It churned the stomachs of the two ponies to see that viscous liquid run down the mountain, they could swear it was almost alive. In seconds the human settlement had been completely engulfed in the sludge. The horror of the implications slowly became apparent to Melody and Wondermint. Without a second thought they rushed to the castle, crashing through the front gates they were met by Salendar. Standing in the giant stone hall his maniacal laughter echoed as he turned and pointed at the intruders.
“ Your life, O foals, hangs by a thread. Short is your day!” His eyes flashed with glee as he pointed to the intruding ponies. From his fingers sparked light that rushed toward them. Wondermint jumped, pushing Melody out of the way. They both crashed to the floor and rolled into one of the stone walls. Again Salendar attacked, flames jumped from his hands but Wondermint countered. From her horn a jet of water cut through the fire and hit Salendar square in his chest. He was sent whirling across the hall. He landed with a loud and sickening crack against a pillar and his body tumbled to the floor lifelessly. His body convulsed as Wondermint walked closely and carefully toward him. Her body began to shiver and her eyes filled with tears. She had worked with Salendar on many projects when he had been at the academy and now his body lay before her, still, lifeless, quiet, never again would he work with the earth to distill colorful and potent potions.
Melody limped to Wondermint and spoke soothing words to her. She praised her quick thinking and told her there was no other options. Wondermint leaned against her mentor but Melody reminded her that they couldn't stop now. They turned away from Salendar's body and continued deeper into the castle. It wasn't long before they came into a dinning hall that had a long table in the center. The flickering of the candles was the only source of light. Every chair had someone sitting in it, but they did not move. Wondermint stayed away from the table but Melody had to check. She gagged her eyes adjusted and she saw that every persons chest had been cut open, ribs broken, and their hearts sat on plates in front of them. They hurried to the stairs through the opposite door and further down they went further into the castle. The deeper they descended the more ghastly the scene became. In every room were the mangled bodies of the people from Westerpine Hollow. Their bodies cut and used for some kind of ritual. Melody pushed on acting strong for Wondermint who could barely keep herself from turning and running. Finally they came to the bottom of the stairs, the very basement of the castle and from the cracks in the door that was ajar came light. Melody went first, pushing the door further open she stepped in but nothing could prepare for the horror that met her eyes.
Alexis sat in the center of a circular room. Her arms sat crossed in her lap as she rested in her high back chair. She sat, up to her knees, in the bodies of the remaining villagers and behind her were the Pegasus messengers from Canterlot. They were strapped to tables and their wings had been dissected but they still lived. Melody could no longer control herself, her anger took over and she attacked. From her horn burst a brilliant multicolored light comprised of all the elements. Harmlessly they hit the chair were Alexis had been sitting. Mockingly her voice came from the shadows. She told stories of the living darkness that Salendar had created purely by accident. She found the Smooze to be a flawed experiment in harnessing one of natures strongest elements. Wondermint cowered in a corner barely able to contain the utter hopelessness that filled her every thought. Melody stood her ground and waited, listening as again Alexis began to taunt her with the stories of the experiments she performed on her own people and then finally on the Pegasus that had showed up uninvited. She wish to take the darkness Salendar had harnessed and give it a solid form. She told them how close she was. The blood of her people had brought her close but they weren't enough.
Melody's voice rang out, piercing the darkness. Greed for power and insanity is all Alexis would find here. The depths to which she fell could not be forgiven and even her power could not stand on its own now. She had relied on the darkness and not herself for strength. Alexis laughed but did not respond. A shadow stretched toward Melody but it had been noticed. The fight between the two had begun for real and now darkness and light clashed as they both throw their all into their magic. The shadows became the limbs of Alexis which reached out to ensnare Melody. Melody's horn shone and she was clad in armor of light. Together the two clashed but their magics were almost equal. Melody could see only one option and as she dodged more of Alexis’ shadow hands she rushed forward. Taking Alexis by surprise she got in close and with one jump lunged at the witch. Her horn met flesh and pierced Alexis’ abdomen. Alexis screeched and clawed at Melody who drove her back into the wall pinning her. Alexis struggled for a few moments before her life spilled out of her completely.
Melodies work was not yet done. She turned to the injured Pegasus and looked at the state of their bodies. She saw that Alexis and disconnected the wings at the joint and had been trying to infuse the wings with pure darkness. Melody worked quickly but she found that she couldn't heal them. The darkness had begun to spread into their bodies. She didn't know what to do and so she turned to Wondermint who still sat shaking in a corner of the room. She told her how she needed help, she knew that Wondermint had seen more than she should have but they needed to work together to save who they could. She needed her knowledge of the natural magics to fix these ponies. It took Wondermint many minutes before she could finally regain herself. Melody told her what she saw and Wondermint numbly looked upon the mangled wings of the messengers. Quietly she studied the seeping darkness that threatened to infect them completely until finally she spoke. The darkness could not be removed, they would have to infuse them with the power of light and hope that they would be strong enough to use it to purify the darkness. Together the two worked quickly, with Wondermint leading their ritual they called upon light to battle dark. Their work paid off and as they passed out they caught just a glimpse of new wings growing from the severed joints. Wings of light erupted and the messengers awoke, they picked the unconscious unicorns up and up they sped through the castle, the very darkness fled from their new wings.
Into the sunlight they burst, their wings glittering in the sun. They surveyed the land and found it covered in Smooze. The light inside them drove them downward, almost head on with the muck. From them the light was amplified and it struck at the Smooze causing it to flee almost as if in pain. Each pass from them caused it to shriek and shrink. Soon not a trace of the viscous slime could be seen, their work done the new Pegasus sat Melody and Wondermint down safely where they could be easily spotted and away they flew. As they left the reinforcements caught sight of them and all they could agree on was how gracefully they fluttered in the sun.
The castle was searched and after all was found and cataloged it was cleaned. It seemed that they all met to discuss the building of more creations, more powerful and complex then the locomotive but Alexis and Salendar burst into the meeting. They told of their plan to overtake Equestria and become the rightful rulers of this world. The other humans did not agree and so Salendar and Alexis murdered them. Not all the humans from Westerpine Hollow were accounted for but they could not be found. Alexis' dark research had destroyed the human kingdom. The locomotive and other human creations still stood but nopony knew how to work them. Silently they sat alone for many years reminding the ponies of the allies that had been lost to madness. The ponies would not go near her castle for it was said that some darkness still remained in that castle of nightmares.