“The Everfree Forest?” Princess Celestia repeated, looking over to meet Twilight Sparkle’s curious gaze. Her faithful student had been mostly silent for the past couple of hours as she pored through some of the tomes from Celestia’s private collection; the nature of the books was such that the Princess couldn’t let them leave her sight, not even in Twilight’s trusted hooves.
The silent company had been pleasant, however, as it reminded both teacher and student of study times long past.
“Yes, I thought I might find a reference to it in your collection, but there’s nothing here that I haven’t read before.” Twilight gestured to the books piled on Celestia’s desk dismissively. “Everything is about how it is now, a wild, untamable no-pony’s-land, but there’s nothing about how it got to be that way.” The scholarly unicorn sighed deeply, and then fixed Celestia with a determined gaze. “Princess, I need to use this year’s question for this.”
Celestia nodded slowly. The issue with her taking on a personal student was that, for a wide array of subjects, the best source of information was going to be her. That would not encourage the development of good study skills or deductive reasoning, so Celestia had implemented a simple rule: her student was allowed one question per year which the Princess would answer truthfully and fully. “Are you certain? You do recall how much you regretted not having your question available when you were studying the Mare in the Moon, right?”
“I’m certain. I want to know this,” Twilight replied with conviction.
“Very well.” Celestia settled back down onto the large cushion that dominated the centre of her study, and gestured for Twilight to take one of the smaller cushions nearby. When her student had made herself comfortable, Celestia glanced up at the ceiling, bringing forth memories that were ancient even to her.
“It all started when I was very young, just a bit past my first eon. Luna wasn’t even an eon old yet herself, and I had been told to watch her while our parents were away negotiating with another galaxy. She’d challenged me to a game of hide-or-seek – see how young she was? – and it was my turn to find her.
“I have to admit, she chose a pretty good spot; I searched all the usual places, solar systems and nebulae, but she found this barren rock out in the middle of dark space to hide behind. In fact, it took me so long to find her that by the time I did, she’d lost interest and started digging into the rock she had found. I became curious myself and joined in, and we soon learned the sad truth: the rock was a planet, one inhabited by a race of intelligent ape creatures, that had been flung from its solar system when its star had collapsed.” Celestia smirked, shaking her head. “We never did get around to removing the traces of that old civilization; conspiracy theories abound to this day.
“Anyway, I was ready to move on from that sad grave of a world, but Luna didn’t want to let what she saw as a terrible injustice to stand. ‘This planet deserves life!’ she told me; I tried to be adamant in my refusal, but when Luna starts to pout…
“We started with the sun and the moon. It was necessary, but it was also a good thing because, like I said, we were still young, still not used to crafting the cosmos. My first attempt at a sun would have boiled everything on the surface had there been anything, and there’s still great fissures from where the gravity of Luna’s prototype moon cracked the surface. I swear, she made that thing out of lead! We eventually got things right, and started on the surface.
“Now, our parents would have taken the time to plan out the whole ecosystem, figuring out every plant, animal and fungus, their roles, their relationships with each other, everything. We were young, and we were not that patient. It was my brilliant plan – and by brilliant I now mean stupid – to set up a few basic plants and animals, an advanced primordial soup, around a chaotic singularity. This allowed life in the forest to evolve at an extraordinary rate, and then Luna and I simply picked and chose from the life that developed what we would tweak further.
“Eventually, a race of quadrupeds evolved that Luna found to be adorable, and we chose them to be our primary sentient species. After evolving them in a few key fashions and settling them each in their own land – and yes, separating the different sub-species was a mistake, but again, young – we decided that our evolutionary forest had served its purpose and tried to remove the chaotic singularity.
“Unfortunately for us, when a chaotic singularity decides it doesn’t want to move, it doesn’t move.
“We tried everything we could think of to try and remove the singularity, but the only way would be to destroy the planet we had worked so hard to restore, and that was unacceptable. We even tried draining its power away, and not only did that not work, it resulted in another major problem, one you’ve dealt with yourself.” Celestia shook her head. “And to think that he started out as our friend.”
“Eventually, we realized that all we could hope to do is contain what we created. In a fit of humour, I named it the Everfree Forest, for it was ever free of our influence.”
Finishing her narrative, Celestia looked down at her student, not surprised to see Twilight’s mouth hanging open. “Does that answer your question to your satisfaction, my faithful student?”
Twilight’s mouth worked for a few moments in silence before she finally found her voice. “P-P-Princess, you just told me the story of how Equestria was made! You’ve never told anypony that!”
“No student of mine has ever asked the right question,” Celestia responded with a proud smile. “You truly are my brightest, Twilight.” Her horn glowed with a golden light as she floated over the novel she had been reading. “By the way, I would appreciate it if you kept that story to yourself. I’d rather not deal with a religious war this century.”
“I don’t think anybody would believe me anyway,” Twilight muttered, before she stared at her mentor anew. “Princess Celestia… what are you?”
“Sorry, Twilight Sparkle, but that will have to wait for next year’s question.”
This is a really cool creation myth for their world. I like the idea of their world starting as a rogue planet (heh, and our planet, it sounds like), and that Celestia and Luna used the Everfree Forest as a way to make life. This ties together a lot of the things we know about the world in a really interesting way, and the ending is perfect and funny. Wonderful work!