Returning to the immediate problems at hand in my Equestria/ MLP dreamscape. What to do about the Lord of Shadows. Also how to deal with a problem that is starting to simmer within the palace of Canterlot itself.
After Luna's unexpected, and unwanted, visitor in her chambers [link]
and the delivering of a request for discussions between the two realms by the Shadow Stallions [link]
there has been much debate concerning how to deal with the situation.
One thing that the Princesses and Twilight have been trying to get a grasp on is exactly how the magic from the Kingdom of Shadows works. In theory since the story was originally created by a unicorn pony it should function very similar to unicorn magic. In theory. In practice both Celestia, Luna, and Twilight are discovering subtle and possibly troublesome differences between the two types of magic that may make it harder to deal with. Worse is that Paynes has not been able to help as much as they would have preferred because he himself has forgotten certain key parts of the book by now. A thousands years in Limbo does things like that to you. And even so he really hadn't consciously delved deeply into the entire magic system of the Shadow Kingdom, just the parts he needed for the story. Even more bothersome is fact that the only complete copy of book was taken by the Lord of Shadows himself over a thousand years ago. Twilight has practically locked herself in the palace library in the hopes that there might be mentioned in some scroll or some tome of obscure magic a hint of what they are up against.
While this is happening Petina and I have been going over old maps of Equestria seeing if there is any physical location within Equestria's borders that the Lord of Shadows could be using as a base of operation. Of course Everfree is high on the list but other areas are being explored.
At the same time there is a annoying problem that is mundane in origin but is starting to grow in the palace that Celestia is making an concerted effort to stamp out before it picks up too much momentum.
Luna and Celestia have not tried to hide the fact that Luna had a visit from the Lord of Shadows. At same time they have not advertised the fact. However now there are whispers, rumors, and speculations amongst the palace staff and courtiers about why he appeared in Luna's chamber and not Celestia's. Some believe the Lord of Shadows assertion that Princess of the Night and him have certain common interests, goals. This is causing some ponies to wonder whether Luna is really doing everything she can to help Celestia? Is she truly purged of Nightmare Moon? Is she secretly making arrangements with him to take over Equestria? Of course its all nonsense but it is one more thing that Celestia is having to divide her precious time to deal with.
One particular memorable scene occurred late one afternoon when myself, Petina, and Twilight were summoned to Celestia's private quarters. Celestia had been working practically non-stop for three days consulting with ministers and Luna. Poring over musty documents and tomes, and reading reports along with meeting officials from outlying communities to find whether anything unusual had happened in there areas. All the while trying not to cause any unnecessary alarm. Fortunately there have been no further reports of abductions or disappearances.
When we entered her private quarters we found Celestia standing by a window looking out at the world beyond. The thing that immediate struck me was the fact Celestia was not wearing her usual trappings of her office. In fact she was wearing nothing except an expression I had never seen on her in the short time I have known her.
Gone was the usual soft glowing expression that reminded you of a pleasant summer day. In its place there was fire in her eyes and pose. A fire that could burn all in its presence if it was allowed to get out of control. Her mane still flowed and shifted although there was no breeze in the room, but instead of flowing like water over smooth stones in a stream it now flickered like a flame. When she spoke she was still polite and courteous but there was a tone to her voice that hinted of vast unseen powers. Like the rumble of a thunderstorm over the horizon.
Here was the Princess of Sun. Here was royalty. Here was a princess challenged but undefeated. Ready to battle all who would threaten that she held precious. Celestia would not go down without a fight.