The guards surrounded Princess Luna. The earth ponies lowered steel-tipped spears and drew blades of iron. The unicorns hiding behind the front line prepared spell glyphs as they swiftly muttered incantations. Pegusai circled the winged unicorn, drawing back their bowstrings while they hovered in the sky.
Princess Luna stood still. Her wings were exposed rather than hidden in her purple armor. Her eyes scanned the ranks of ponies before her. Some of them were quivering behind their shields and enchanted caps. The older pegusai whispered orders to their squadron. They weren’t ready to fight —or defend— royalty.
They face me with fear? Sister has coddled them.
The hoof of a pegasus slipped on their bowstring, launching the arrow at Luna.
Luna jumped to the side, prompting the earth ponies to charge at her recklessly. Many of them let out fervent roars as they directed their weapons at the winged unicorn.
Predictable. Princess Luna thought. She pointed her horn skyward and thrust her head towards the ground. Her hair and horn shimmered with the same malevolent glow.
A sudden burst of wind slammed the ground. Princess Luna heard the metal armor clank and snap in response to the sudden force. Most of the earth ponies tripped and stumbled on their own greaves. They dropped their weapons and maladroitly crawled on the ground to reach them.
The column of wind sent many pegusai crashing down to the floor, colliding with the earth ponies and distracting the unicorns’ spellcasting. The pegusai cursed as the unicorns backed away from the Princess. Defenseless, the unicorns could not afford to cast an immobilization spell.
The ponies able to fight were disorganized. Unicorns haphazardly cast spells of ice and fire, rose barriers for the earth ponies and promptly dispelled them. Their magic was no longer one uniform chant of the same spell. Spells were hears before they were even cast, allowing Princess Luna to cast a Redirection Spell and reflect the spell back to its owner.
Has sister stolen your minds? Perhaps she has bewitched them, rendered them unable to think without instinct.
Earth ponies blindly struck at Princess Luna one at a time, rather than overpowering her with sheer numbers. They were taught chivalry, rather than basic tactics. Many of the iron-wielding ponies found their weapons flicked away by telekinetic spells. The ones smart enough to use steel, a metal that repelled the effects of magic, resorted to using their own hooves. They were taught to disable— rather than defeat.
Sister has replaced your hooves with her will. You do nothing but serve her. I will have to correct this error.
Pegusai howled at the ground. Their attacks were constant and swift. Their arrows, however, were inaccurate. Arrows struck at the ground, creating a fence that prevented the earth ponies from launching an effective attack. Squadron leaders lashed out at their allies instead of pointing their sharp tongues at the Princess. The arrows that were aimed at the Princess were deflected by a magical barrier. The unicorns— or a steel spear, should have nullified the orb of armor.
Pegusai cried for more steel arrows. They exhausted their reserves at the beginning of the battle.
Do you know why Sister requests your loyalty? So that you bend to her will. What she provides as suggestion you take as law. Do you not see Sister’s faults?
Princess Luna waltzed across the battlefield, dodging a myriad of sword slashes, orbs of fire, and a barrage of arrows. The guards succumbed to exhaustion and frustration. They surrendered.
Princess Luna removed her helmet. She glared at the guards as they sheathed their weapons and dusted off their armor.
“Tell me why you were unable to defeat a single pony.” she demanded.
“We’re not properly trained.”
“We underestimated the strength of one pony.”
“We didn’t have a leader.”
Princess Luna nodded at the answers. She repeated the guards’ explanation and pointed out their tactic’s flaws. She called out groups of ponies and lectured about their poor planning in the middle of a battle. Princess Luna found herself repeating the same criticisms.
“Princess Luna,” a guard asked while the Princess explained the importance of steel in magical battles. “why do we have to know all of this? Aren’t we at peacetimes?”
“What happens when that peace gives way to immediate war? Who do you rely upon?”
The guard bit her lip.
“Do you rely on my sister? Do you place your faith solely on my magic and my wings? I’m but one pony.”
“But you beat two squads of ponies and a squadron of pegusai. There aren’t many that can fight against such numbers.” The guard said.
“Then what happens if I become your adversary? What if I gain more power than my sister? Who will you rely upon? Sure not my sister, as she is the weaker. She requires the strength of many, rather than the strength of one.”
The guard was silent.
Princess Luna snorted and walked away from the training grounds.
“Spar amongst yourselves for an hour, then you may leave.”
Norse Pony’s comments: I enjoyed your thoughts about how pony warfare would work, particularly about the interactions between magic and physical force. I’m a fan of the badass-Luna fanon, so seeing her completely rock the guards in the name of training was quite fun. Good stuff.