TEXT   78    23426   130.17 KB

Ancient Rite

By Cliffordwriter
Created: 4th March 2021 04:11:40 AM
Modified: 4th March 2021 04:13:07 AM

  1. Luna, Diarch of Equistria, Princess of the Night Sky, Sovereign of the Moon and Stars, Priestess of the Dreamscape, once worshiped as a Goddess of Fertility, awakens from her daily rest, just before her evening shared meal with her co-regent, Celestia, Princess of the Daytime Sky, Sovereign of the Sun; in the unusual position of being somewhat troubled by her own dreams.  It's not that they've been unpleasant, in fact her dreams had been quite pleasant and her sleep restful; it's just that this day's dream was, like the dreams of several days so far this week, marked by the presence of the same particular pony, one who neither has needed her help to any extent that she can note, nor one that should have any claim upon her, so far as she can tell.  Admittedly, he's certainly a physically impressive stallion, one who's as skilled at tasks of wit, grace, or skill as he is at tasks that take advantage of his outsized strength and power.  The day she learned this is one of the events that she keeps reliving, an end of summer fair in Ponyville, the Summer Wrap-up Hoedown, where she had voluntold Macintosh to be her partner for a series of team games which they had gone on to dominate handily.  But confoundingly, it's not just memory lane where she comes upon this stallion; she's had dreams of him dancing with her at Galas and giving her council at court and of scenes more romantic than the one kiss on the cheek she'd given him on the ferris wheel at the hoedown.  
  2.  
  3. Her mundane inquiries into his past weren't perfectly fruitful, but weren't fruitless, she could say she knew his basic history.  He was born to a family that had received a royal landgrant when his grandmother was just a little filly, he is thus a noble, even if he wouldn't blend well with the Canterlot uppercrust that most ponies thought of when they thought of nobles, and as far as she could determine, his house had deferred many of it's powers and duties when Macintosh's parents died before his Grandparents could vest them as the head of the household, and whether Granny Smith had ever told her grandchildren that their farm wasn't just a farm, but only a portion of a fief, was unclear.  His parents died tragic deaths when he was but a stripling, his paternal grandfather's health failing thereafter, his paternal Grandmother of infirm mind and body, his maternal grandparents estranged from their daughter and her get, the stripling chose to take the mantle of stallion and give up childish things to ensure the success of the farm and health of his family, and he grew into the outsized burdens he sought.
  4.  
  5. Drastic, invasive, and unfair as it would be, she feels that perhaps she should investigate this Stallion's dreams, to try and see why she cannot shake his presence in her own.  Her distraction is a concern of state, afterall.  Once her night court duties are fulfilled, Luna casts her nightly dream walking spell, and after determining that the land of Equestria sleeps quietly, she courses the dreamscape looking for the mental impression of her target.  She finds his mind quiescent, and with a spark of magic and a whisper of inspiration, induces a dream, “Show me how you saved your family.”
  6.  
  7. Macintosh dreams of a dreary cold winter, a family, reduced by tragedy, sharing one bed with everypony's blankets at the dark kitchen hearth because there's no bits for lamp oil and not enough firewood to heat the house properly.  The gaunt youth toils long into the day without breakfast, cutting wood, foraging the edge of a dangerous forest for food, herding the livestock in the snow because there's not enough fodder put up in the barn.  He hauls water from a chopped a hole in the pond ice to provide for pony, cow, and sheep alike, because there's no bits to buy the parts or time for him to make the parts to fix the well pump.  Between bucket hauling trips, Mac tends a fish trap woven from twigs and desperately eats what little he catches raw, because he can't imagine bearing the shame of bringing meat home to eat in an earth pony farming family, and every little sunfish he eats is an apple he can give up for his grandmother and sisters.  Meals are what he can gather, stretched with the apples they held back despite a desperate need for bits because there were no bits to buy food and the apples would fill bellies fuller than the wholesale price of such  meager fruit returned to retail price in flour or oats, every bit from the good apples went into paying the crown and the bank note, and the cider apples are worth more to the stricken family as food than they would bring in bits as cider.  The hungry cows barely make enough milk for the infant.  The broken matriarch is barely able to take care the filly and the infant, they need constant supervision.  Hearth'sWarming gifts this year were possibly useful things brought out of storage where they'd moldered since before any of the three children had been born.  A call of alarm from the sheep, a predator has strayed from the woods.  An axe armed colt faces down a supernatural hunger made manifest that's easily twice his weight, but magical beings don't much like iron in their hearts, and he drags the wooden corpse back to the house to use as fuel for the hearth.
  8.  
  9. The next scene is midwinter dark, Granny Smith consoling a sobbing Macintosh out in the cold, “Yer doin' th' work of 4 grown ponies, Mackie, an' yah ain't half grown yet, yah barely got yer cutie mark.  Nopony can fault ya for it, th' farm's jes too big and so are our f'duciary liab'lities.  There's only one thang Ah can do that can help yah succeed, least 'till yer sister Jacklyn's old enough t' send away for a spell, an' that's a ritual t' invest th' pow'r of th' field an' forest in yah, so yah can have the strength t' work like yah could if'n yah had 'nough to eat and time to sleep proper.”
  10.  
  11. “Granny, Ah'll do anything, there's nothin' more 'portant than keepin' mah sisters fed an' keepin' th' farm.  Mah folks is buried here, an anypony that wants t' take this place from me best figure on diggin' mah grave too, 'cause they'll hafta kill me or Ah'll take it back with iron.”
  12.  
  13. “Y'all ain' even heard what yet boy! Yah best be less free with oaths, yer oaths gotta mean something if'n yah wanna live up t' yer patrimony.  But it ain' gonna be so bad, yer jes' gonna hafta get married t' the Princess.”
  14.  
  15. Macintosh gulps nervously as his grandmother cackles like a witch, but he doesn't back down.
  16.  
  17. The next night,  Granny Smith and Mac are standing at a fire and a 13 stone altar at the boundary between the orchard and the fields, Granny dressed in a dusty and venerable robe in deep crimson, a headdress antlered with apple twigs, and a collar made from the lower jaw of the timber wolf Mac had killed, while Mac is dressed as an almost traditional earth pony groom in white trimmed with apple motif s in red and green, his father's blanket on his back, but he wears the face of the timber wolf  like a masquerade mask and the traditional suitcollar is replaced with a necklace of its claws.  Next to him is a wheat straw ponyquin bride, clad in deep blue with silver trim, wearing his mother's blanket and a wreath of paper faux wildflowers.
  18.  
  19. High priestress Granny pronounces the marriage between the Lord of the Orchard and the Princess of the Grain, and Mac picks the straw dummy up and leaps over the fire 4 times as Granny blesses the marriage, first with fecundity and strength, second with prosperity and industriousness, third with forbearance and happiness, and finally with health and longevity, burning a food offering with each blessing, and finally Mac eats a whole apple pie.  
  20.  
  21. Macintosh's efforts to gather winter foods improve greatly, there's now enough to eat.  His strength increases substantially, hauling water takes less time when the colt carries two buckets on a yoke with greater ease than he carried one bucket before, every other task is similarly easier, and with more firewood collected, the house can be warmer, and with more foraged foods found than the ponies can eat, the fodder for the cows and the sheep can be stretched and they don't have to be herded through the unfenced fields to eat stubble and waste any longer, which gives Mac enough time to read for an hour each night, books on business and accounting from the local library.
  22.  
  23. When spring comes, the apple trees bloom in a shocking profusion, come summer and Mac is hitting the growth spurt that took him from big for his age to just big overall and eventually led to the capitalization of the descriptor Big when applied to his name, come fall the harvest is abundant to challenge the colt's new strength in the gathering, and when winter returns, the farm is a brighter, happier place with bits for lamp fuel, bits for Hearth'sWarming presents, new blankets, plenty of wood for the hearth, and plenty to eat for the orphan siblings and their granddam, and livestock.
  24.  
  25. It was the ancient rite of Brudkaupsveilsa Bil.  The Princess of the Plain and goddess of fertility is staggered to find that anypony remembers this rite, it was, to her knowledge  a dead practice on the eve of her banishment just over a thousand years ago.  Moreover, she's astounded that a dead rite like this could have such an effect on the Apple family farm, even in her absence 10 years before her return.   Luna leaves Mac's dreamspace and seeks out the Element of Honesty's, but she can augur no knowledge of this rite in Applejack's dreamscape.  Moving on to Granny, she finds that Granny never expanded the rite beyond the household and into the community, and she knew the baudy nature of the rite made it inappropriate for Mac's sisters to join him in the dedication of it.
  26.  
  27. Luna resolves to participate in this year's blessing and broaden the awareness of the rite in the earth ponies of Ponyville.  She uses her dream walking to enlist the Element of Laughter to ensure that Applejack prepares a feast of a more appropriate size considering a newly expanded guest list consisting of a few dozen of the local earth pony farmers and make sure make they know to come to the Hoedown at the orchard.
  28.  
  29. 2 nights before the coming party, Luna visits the dreams of Big Mac again, but makes her presence known this time, “Lord of the Forest, We hath espied the rite thou hast faithfully performed since thy first winter as the head of thy household, and We wish to speak with thee about thy devotion, Brudkaupsveilsa Bil was a rite of the Sellenic cult, that is worship of the Goddess of the Moon.  Depending on era,  We served as chief priestess or were regarded as the object of such worship, and We had found no evidence that this cult survived our banishment, until yestereve.  We pray that thou willt agree to let us participate in this rite."
  30.  
  31. "Ahhh, Princess Luna, Ah take it that this isn't merely a dream then?  Ah'm guessing from context that this Brudcopsvealsa thang is the marriage of orchard an' field that Granny an' Ah do in a couple days?"
  32.  
  33. "Forsooth."
  34.  
  35. "If'n Granny agrees, Ah'd be much obliged if'n yah graced us such, but Ah don't rightly know if'n Granny would wanna give up being th' priestess, so yah'd need her permission, s'not mah place to make that choice for her"
  36.  
  37. "Thou misapprehends Our intention, Forest Lord, We would not take thy Siredam's place, but rather, We would assume our ancient and disused title as Princess of the Plain."
  38.  
  39. "Princess of the Plain? Yer Grace, would that be rightful?  The wedding might jes be ritual, but it's still a wedding!  Would that be proper for yah t' lower yerself like that?"
  40.  
  41. "Thou wouldst be Lord of the Forest, not beneath my station at all!  Do not denigrate thyself or such an ancient and solemn position in this manner!  We have been Princess of the Plain to Lords of the Forest since before the invention of the written word or even agriculture!  We care not for the social mores of this modern age and thou mayst count thyself the equal or the superior pony to any neighsayers in every measure of import.  You are a stallion of considerable stature and ability, and need not defer to any other."
  42.  
  43. "Then Ah look forward t' th' blessing of yer presence on our farm."
  44.  
  45. "Tis a date then! Also, this rite is a blessing not just for a household, but for a clan or community, so We will engage the Element of Laughter to find and invite suitable additional guests and help to set a more properly bawdy and exuberant tone for the wedding feast and frolic portion of the rite."
  46.  
  47. "B-bawdy, yer Grace?"
  48.  
  49. "Thou did not expect to be wed without consummation, did you?  Doth this trouble you?"
  50.  
  51. "Ah do find yah attractive, Luna, Ah still fantasize about th' kiss on th' ferris wheel, but Ah'm not th' kinda stallion t' fool aroun' w'thout commitment.  Ah'm not a virgin, but mah past lovers broke mah heart, or Ah'd have a wife already, an' Ah ain't sure it's right to leap in t' such a thing without even courting yah proper, leave aside how the ponies yah gotta deal with at court would take it or how it'd interfere with the duties we both have."
  52.  
  53. "Take not the council of thy fears, Macintosh, this wedding would be ritual, and only as actualized as we both should choose it to be.  We would not insist on you holding yourself exclusive to me, whilst We would greatly appreciate it if you can come to love Us, We know We are unable to devote enough of Our time to any consort for Us to truly fulfill the duties of a proper wife, nor are We likely to bear thou a foal to continue thy household, so even in the happy event that our ritual marriage should blossom into a true union, thou should take a junior wife to make up this lack."
  54.  
  55.  Even in his dreams, Big Mac can only gawp voicelessly at Luna's audacious statements.
  56.  
  57. The Princess of the Night giggles musically at Macintosh's discombobulation, "Do understand, We are practiced in love beyond the lifespan of mortal ponies and familiar with the secret hearts of ponies, and Our own secret heart as well.  If you wish to romance me to convince yourself before you assent to an official relationship, that is acceptable, but We do not need to get to know you better to convince Ourselves or to know thou art worth knowing, compatible with Our heart and mind, and worthy beyond all peers."
  58.  
  59. Luna closes her speech by kissing Mac full on the lips, "Pleasant Dreams, good sir."
  60.  
  61. Luna sleeps the following day, dreaming of pre-unification and pre-agricultural revelries amongst the nomadic gatherer Earth Ponies of pre-civilized Equestria, but every carnal remembrance replaces her partner with Big Mac.  She savors this fresh experience before the realization that she is struggling to recall her lovers of old grips her with panic and her dream bacchanal turns dark as Macintosh takes the place of an earth pony war priest she loved in unification war battles, shattering cliffside Unicorn cities with earth magic conjured quakes, throttling entire armies in brambles that are proof against magic fire and the cut of steel, and blasting Pegasus storm-fortress-cities to flinders with apocalyptic volcanos summoned forth from within ordinary hills .  Her dream ends with Macintosh filling the role of her former lover dying at her hoof as she deceives and betrays him to bring an end to the destruction.
  62.  
  63. A distraught Luna confesses her plans, wishes, hopes, and fears to her royal sister at their Sunset meal.  “I knew he was a worthy stallion to have caught my mind so, but his family preserved Brudkaupsveilsa Bil!  Why your library barely acknowledges the earth pony magics, never mind their magic rites!  I had thought them lost!”
  64.  
  65. “Moving the capitol permanently to the Unicorn Citadel of Canterlot after we abandoned the Castle of the Two Sisters was not the choice of an even-handed and fair minded princess fully committed to equality. It was a the choice of a hurting princess who needed the comfort of the familiar.  Many things that were lost should not have been, but I confess I was not mourning the loss of that heathen rite of yours, the things that were done with that power I will never forget.”
  66.  
  67. “One war criminal, amongst thousands of farmers who fought to keep our people fed despite outside depredations and internal strife that too often jumped straight to the burning of fields and storehouses.  I try not to let his crimes poison my remembrances, he was one stallion.”
  68.  
  69. “One stallion that broke Armies!  One stallion who shattered kingdoms!  One stallion you had to assassinate in your marriage bed in order to stop!”
  70.  
  71. “One stallion dead for more than a millennia, and borne of an era of strife, radicalized by the murder of his family by your beloved.  I am only glad that you had the forbearance to separate yourself from the mad king before he received his comeuppance.  Anyways, I do not worry about that, this is a different era and while Macintosh Apple has suffered hardships, they are not the kind of hardships that lead you to mass violence, nor is he a practitioner of the war magics except for command life, and even that, he uses merely to grow and harvest apples.”
  72.  
  73. “Macintosh Apple?  It would be a sage of his power that retains use of a rite like that.  A mortal who made me strain to restrain his arm in the test of strength! Why would you seek his increase?  Even I would be challenged to beard him on his own ground if he were to take up the war magics, I would have devastate a huge portion of the realm to burn out his defenses if he were to call the bones of Equis to shield himself.”
  74.  
  75. “Whyever would you need to beard him on his own ground?  Is he not your vassal?  Is he not the brother of one of the Elements of Harmony?  Is he not the Peaceful Rock of Ponyville, the steadiest stallion in the mad town that holds back the Everfree?”  
  76.  
  77. “He hasn't adopted the mantle of his inheritance, so he's not yet our vassal, and I can only imagine what it takes to stay steady in a place like Ponyville.  His family has been under incredible stress for most of his life, and one might argue that his sister's relationship with my protege is due to my manipulation of the events related to your return, and this relationship puts her in consistent peril due her mantle as the bearer of the Element of Honesty, and the duty the bearers feel to use the power for the good of Equestria, which is a sense of duty I've cultivated and encouraged.  There are many possible grievances  for Macintosh to choose as a justification for such actions if he takes that path.  I can see in your eyes that you know how much destruction he could cause.”
  78.  
  79. “I had a dream where he took the places of other stallions in my memories, including Him.  It wouldn't happen though! Not unless we fail to connect to him and those like and around him.  How is the Crown's relationship to the Earth Pony Adel or Pegasi Archons?  Why do I almost never see any nobles before the court except the Unicorn Frataraka?  This Rite is a link to Our past, a way to engage the provincial nobles, and a place for Us to find grounding in the modern era, that is not just when We're trying to put on a happy face or indulging Our competitiveness!  Please 'Tia!  Support me in this.”
  80.  
  81. “I cannot support vesting so much power in one young sage.  Reach out to Macintosh Apple if you will, take him as a consort if you can convince him to assume the mantle of his patrimony and be invested as Margrave, but do not carry out this rite with him.  I would forbid it.  Now, please excuse me, I must be off to a cabinet meeting if I'm to be abed at a reasonable hour, and you must make your way to the night court.”
  82.  
  83. Resolve hardened by her sister's forbiddance, Luna dismisses the council of her fears.
  84.  
  85. After Luna assumes her duties in the night court, Celestia retires to her chambers and takes a nightcap with her privy councilors, where she discusses what she fears, but not why she fears it.  This discussion is overheard by an assistant to a courtly toadie who had run afoul of Applejack and the Elements of Harmony and was as ignorant of the fact that Sweet Apple Acres was a manor instead of just a farm as 3 of the 4 residents.  This Grande Damme of the court is scandalized by the notion of a member of the Diarchy consorting with a peasant and worse yet a mud pony stallion instead of an eligible Unicorn Duke like her son or her nephew, and so arranges to have allies of hers "discourage" the plebian filth.
  86.  
  87. The night before the rite, Big Mac sleeps fitfully, aching from the labor of the day, erecting a stage and altar of stone suitable for holding the massive bonfire Luna has shown him in dreams of the rite the night before, and so while Luna does visit his dream to flirt with him and show him the scenes of carnality and feasting from ages past, she finds his dreamscape foggy and difficult to direct, and she finds herself showing him things she doesn't intend,  namely earth pony war priest combat magic.   The fog of his muddled dreamstate means that the context, hatred, fear and dread, Luna feels for the scenes are lost,  but she panics despite this and pours on her power,  crying out for him to return to the threads of dream she intends.   Her cry clears the fog and draws him to her and out of the dreams she was providing.  Alone in the starfield, seated on a nebula,  Macintosh holds Luna as she weeps in joy at his touch and fear for what might befall him and Equestria, should he come into his latent power when filled with rage.
  88.  
  89. Before she can give voice to her feelings, the dream connection is lost as Macintosh is jolted awake by outside stimulus.
  90.  
  91. Big Mac awakens to cries of fear coming from the sheep and cattle in the stable,  his room lit with an orange flicker that screams at his subconcious.  As the confusion of waking subsides,  he finds he's lost his dream,  but some knowledge persists.   Mac leaps from bed,  crying for Applejack, “JACKIE, GO GET DASH AND THE FIREPONIES!” and then he bolts out into the yard.   He's intercepted by a gang of pegasi he's not seen before, before he can reach the gate to release his charges.   One grabs each of his legs and together they attempt to wrench him from the earth and separate him from his power,  but he reaches out with his connection to the soil and lifting him is as impossible as lifting the Canterhorn itself.
  92.  
  93. Mac reaches out with his power to the dormant roots of the dead grass under the snow.  It springs to life and coils around his assailants and crushes them to the ground, binding their wings and constricting them like pythons with flesh made from straps of iron.  A fifth pegasus streaks towards Mac like a bolt of grim purpose, wing blades glinting in the glow of the fire.  Mac asks the bones of Equis to guard him from the blow, and the stooping pegasus attacker is intercepted by a granitic upthrust, and falls, skull broken, to the snow covering the yard.  Mac strides swiftly and inexorably towards his goal of rescuing his livestock, and the three ringleaders back towards their arsonous provocation in cold horror at the power manifest before them. Mac is upon them before they can bring themselves to flee, and they are borne into the fire on the wave of soil and rock that shatters the gates and releases the trapped erstwhile victims of the fire to stampede over them and into the yard.  Scant seconds in the fire and the arsonists lose the struggle to remain conscious, which preserves their lives, as once their struggles to escape cease, they are entombed alive in the soil being used to smother the fires.
  94.  
  95. The fire crew arrives shortly thereafter,  lead by Rainbow Dash at the head of a feral stormcloud.  The fire is swiftly extinguished and the Pegasus troupe is bound and transported under guard to the hospital.  Atop a nearby hill, a unicorn watches the Apple family clean up the aftermath of the fight and the fire with consternation and disbelief. Her arrogance doesn't allow her to be daunted by the display of strength, but it does cause her to acknowledge the inadequacy of any plan she can throw together on short notice, and she teleports home to scheme.
  96.  
  97. Above her, on a cloud, the Princess of the Night Sky and of Secrets watched both dramas with conflicting and unclear emotions.  The thrill of catching an intriguer as skilled and as seasoned as the Dowager Duchess essentially red handed battled with the concern she feels for the dutchess's target and towards the schemes sure to come in the future; the pride and joy Luna feels watching the way that Macintosh crushed the attempt to to see him off, inflamed by the display of restraint and control put on by her intended with his new skills, and tempered by the creeping fear conveyed by the knowledge of what his newfound skills can do with the power he possesses, should he lose the sense of duty, gentleness, love, and humility that define him.  Beyond the warm feelings of nascent passion and love that Luna is cherishing and carefully husbanding for the massive young sage, the cold logical head of state in Luna resolves to weld Macintosh to the Diarchy alongside the Elements of Harmony,  his power is simply too great and too dangerous to for the Crown to not court.
  98.  
  99. After returning to her chambers, Luna returns to the realm of dreams, and reaches out to the self proclaimed high priestess Granny Smith Apple, wrestling her way through a surrealistic and bawdy dreamscape full of mostly harmless monsters and bizarre leaps of logic to find and interrogate the Apple clan matriarch.  Luna finds answers and reassurance in Granny,  “Applejack ain't been invited b'fore 'cause the only stallion there's her brother, and that ain't right, and she ain't priestess material, it'll be Bloom that takes that mantle from me if Ah live long enough to pass it to her.  The Boy needs a proper Princess of the Field though, the rite makes the blood flow pow'rful hot an' ain't much use fer all that hot blood when he weds a straw dummie! I think it'd be a fine how do if Ah could get yah t' come an' stand that role!”
  100.  
  101. “Why hasn't he assumed the mantle of his patrimony as the Margrave, Margavine Smith?   We see that he holds power of attorney for the estate, why not the title?”
  102.  
  103. “That title of mah father's is jes high falutin' nonsense for a boy like he was when he sued for power of attorney t' pass t' him instead of his uncle when mah health took a bad turn an he was technically mah ward, not quite a legal adult.  It woulda been just another fence between him and them such as he needed t' make relation t' in order t' make th' farm prosper, and that wouldn't have aided him none.  Guess I just ne'er thought it important enough t' remember since.”
  104.  
  105. “Politics are upon thou and thine, Lady Smith, We believe that it would behoove Macintosh and Jacquelyn to know where they stand.  Jacquelyn has been slowly entering these waters, but Mac's actions tonight have plunged him into them.  Thy grandson should be made aware of his inheritance so he can choose to accept or reject it, before that choice is made for him.”
  106.  
  107. “Ah reckon yer right, Yer Princessness, Ah'll let the boy know come mornin'.”
  108.  
  109. At the sunrise meal,  Luna pronounces her intention to not bend to her sister's will, “Tia, this eve the Apples were attacked by a squad of former guard pegasus mercenaries associated with your Lady Chancellor for Education, Dowager Dutchess Canterhorn.  I will not make it public that I observed her watching to see the result of this attack under glamour from a nearby hill; so long as thou can keep your own council on this matter, even in front of your cabinet.  8 armed and barded pegasi lit fire to the livestock stable on Sweet Apple Acres, and attempted to attack Macintosh when he left the family home to fight the fire.”
  110.  
  111. “What!  This is a serious accusation!  Why would you hold that back?  How is Big Mac?  How long will he be recovering, who can we send to aide the Apples?”
  112.  
  113. “The Apples do not require aide.  Macintosh subdued them without injury to himself, and was smothering the fire with soil when Rainbow Dash and the local weather team corralled wild weather they caught in the Everfree to smother it with snow.  The mercenaries, on the other hoof, are all currently in Ponyville hospital, four with broken wings and ribs, one with a significant skull fracture, and three looking like they were loaded into barrels of gravel and pitched down the side of a mountain.  He dispatched half in much the same way I'd expect Maud Pie to, calling rocks from the ground and enveloping them with the soil he was using to fight the fire, after pitching them into the fire to avoid wasting effort, and crushed the others in new shoots summoned from dormant grass roots.”
  114.  
  115. “oh”
  116.  
  117. “We were not going to obey thy forbiddence from our last meal time because it was foalish and hurtful to Ourself and thy subjects in Ponyville, but now if We had intended to honor that command of thine, We would be changing Our mind, because now it is clear that in the aftermath of an attack by ex-crown assets directed by a member of the Privy Council, that the Apples need to be welded to the Crown before thy foalishness causes that which you fear: Macintosh doesn't wield Hardstone's power, he already o'erweans it.”
  118.  
  119. “My Foalishness?  Sister, I had nothing...”
  120.  
  121. “Thy unicorn-centric noble government is Thou in every way that matters in this situation, Dear Tia, and Dowager Dutchess Canterhorn is that government in every way that matters.  The best thing We can do right now is to get Macintosh to accept the mantle of Margrave and then have him take this to the court of high justice so you can break the house of Canterhorn over this.”
  122.  
  123. “Break the house Canterhorn?  For a failed attack?”
  124.  
  125. “Nay, for Arson, Hostage Taking, Perverting the influence of the Crown, Instigating Disharmony between Noble Houses, assault, and property destruction.  'Twould be more harmonious if Macintosh sues for the right to choose the punishment and is then merciful, but the Crown needs the peace and allegiance of Lord Everfree more than it needs House Canterhorn, especially if Lady Canterhorn is so blind and foalish. The Apple clan holds basically all of our frontier, and they are a growing economic power all along Our agricultural heartland with many powerful Sages whereas House Canterhorn is in the decline, both economically and in number and potency of their Magi, relying only on their claim to the crown of Princess Platinum for their influence, a crown they can never inherit so long as thou shalt live.  But as We said, the situation is in flux and we must wait for Macintosh's decision before doing anything, so let us speak to other things.”
  126.  
  127. “I would have my protege observe this ritual for the benefit of the Hippologists.”
  128.  
  129. “Granny Smith is the high Priestess, thy protege needs her permission, not Ours.  Do make her promise not to disrupt the rite, please.”
  130.  
  131. Back in Ponyville, Granny Smith disrupts the Apple family breakfast in a manner befitting Discord, “Listen here Macky, Ah've got somthin' important that Yer Pa should have been th' one to tell ya.  Th' farm ain't all ya inherited when ya sued fer Power of Attorney fer yer 'Pappy's estate.  Yer a Margrave, Macky, Great Granpappy Smith wasn't jes given the land here by the Princess, he was granted title t' it, an' it ain't jes the farm neither, The title he's granted was t' th' Everfree March, which runs from th' edge of the Ghastly Gorge to th' foothills of Ramblin' Rock Ridge, an' from th' Carterlot-ward bank of th' river t' the plains between Dodge City and Appleloosa.  If'n ya take the mantle of yer patrimony, yer name'd properly be 'Margrave Macintosh Apple von Everfree'”
  132.  
  133. “What in tarnation, Granny!  Why didn't Ah ever hear about this before!” bellows Mac.
  134.  
  135. “'Cause ya didn't need t'! 'Cause it weren't gonna do nothin' t' keep this farm solvent or t' help ya keep yer sisters fed!  Being a Margrave is nuthin' but a whole heap a more respons'bilities an' obl'gations an' more barriers between th' our family an' th' folks that helped us survive when it was sink or swim.”
  136.  
  137. Applejack won't let that one stand, “Y'say folks was helping us when all 4 of us slept in one bed in the kitchen! I know yah were missing meals Granny, an' I know thet Mac weren't eatin' right either!  What kinda help were we getting?”
  138.  
  139. “Mac got pow'r of attorney f'r the farm 2 years before his majority, Jacky, and he needed t' if'n we were gonna be able t' keep it.  Th' lawyerin' that took bits we didn't have.  The seeds we planted took bits we didn't have.  Ah was proud, an' so was yer brother, so we didn't press it past that, but we had years of bad harvests b'fore we got to them times, an' the price we got for what we did get t' market was more than what it was worth.  There's a reason why we still give the Richs pref'rential price on th' Zap Apple Jam.”
  140.  
  141. “What's a Margrave any-hay, Granny?” asks Applebloom.
  142.  
  143. “A Margrave is th' Lord of a County that's considered a March on account of it bein' a dangerous wild or a border.  They're ranked higher than a Baron or a Count, but lower than a Duke, though they've more independence an' rights than most Dukes.”
  144.  
  145. “So what do we do 'bout all this?”
  146.  
  147. “Mac'll need to decide if he takes on th' mantle, or if th' Crown takes over th' March an' we jes keep th' farm.”
  148.  
  149. “Ah need t' think on it, t' be sure.  Might be important f'r the future, givin' recent events an' what'll happen tonight an' goin' forward.”
  150.  
  151. “Ah shoulda told ya this a ways back, but Ah put it outta mah mind long 'nough Ah never knew how t' tell yah.”
  152.  
  153. “All's well, Granny.”
  154.  
  155. “There's another thing Ah need t' mention, th' order that Miss Pie gave yah, Jackie, is fer a feast Princess Luna is gonna hold here...”
  156.  
  157. “WHAAAAAT!” Applejack exclaims as Applebloom simultainiously yells, “The Princess is coming here?”
  158.  
  159. “Why is she coming here? An' how did this sneak up on us?”
  160.  
  161. “Every year since we lost yer grandfather, Mac and Ah have been performing a ritual every winter at this time, an' when Luna learned of it, she asked t' participate.  Fer th' Ritual, th' Lord of the Orchard, which is Mac, “Marries” th' Princess of th' Grain, which is a straw dummy, t' bless th' farm with success an' th' participants of the ritual with strength an' power.  Th' Princess visited mah dreams t' ask t' be allowed t' participate in th' ritual, which she sez is older than th' invention of farmin' by ponies, so Princess Luna wants more ponies to come an' she wants t' play th' part of th' Princess of the Grain.”
  162.  
  163.  “So Cool!  I can't wait t' feast an' party with th' Princess on our farm!” AppleBloom cheers.
  164.  
  165. “Now Bloom, th' proper rite like Princess Luna expects is meant for young couples and herds starting families an' founding farms.  It's not th' kind of thing that's 'propriate fer young ponies or ponies that don't have or ain' ready fer a special somepony.”
  166.  
  167. “Nuh uh, it ain't fair fer ya'll t' do something so important that th' Princess asks you for permission t' participate an' then jes' tell me Ah'm too little.  What if th' princess never chooses t' participate again?”
  168.  
  169. “Y' can't stay past th' opening blessing,” Macintosh stands firm, “An' Ah don' know that any of th' ponies tha' come will be willin' t' take yah away after that part.  What happens after th' fire jump is only fer ponies old 'nough t' marry.  It ain't right or healthy fer ponies younger than that t' be exposed t' th' full pow'r of th' magic.  Don' mistake me.  Th' magic is pow'rful 'nough in th' form that yer granny an' Ah have used before, but what Ah've felt in th' rite is a pale shadow of what Miss Luna has shown me in mah dreams.  It ain't yer time fer all that, Bloomy.  If we cain't find someone t' take yah away from th' farm at th' 'propriate hour, we'll find someone t' watch yah away from th' farm th' whole night, an' Ah'm serious as a timberwolf about this.”
  170.  
  171. “But Mac!”
  172.  
  173. “Ah said no.  Ah know it ain't fair, but it ain't about fair, it's about what's right, and what's right is y' not bein' here fer it after th' fire jump, even if it means not bein' here 't all.”
  174.  
  175. Applejack mediates, “Tell yah what, sugarcube, Ah'll see if Rares is willing t' come an then take yah back t' town after th' fire jump, an maybe yah can have a Crusader sleepover at the Boutique, an they can be here with ya until th' firejump.  Does that sound fair, hon'?”
  176.  
  177. Bloom accepts that, “Yeah, Ah would be happy with that.”
  178.  
  179. As the family finishes breaking their fasts, they each take to their usual chores, needing to have the usual farm chores done with enough spare time to handle the extra work for the ritual.  Farm chores done, lunch behind them, and the first set of pies in the ovens for the next, Applejack and Applebloon run into town to speak with Rarity. “Afternoon Rares!” Applejack greets her friend.
  180.  
  181. “Good day Jacklyn!  To what do I owe the pleasure of a mid day visit?”
  182.  
  183. “Ah need, um, Ah need t' ask ya a favor, sugarcube.”
  184.  
  185. “What kind of favor? Is everything all right?”
  186.  
  187. “Ah'm not sure, mah world jest seems like Ah'm looking at it through a kaleidoscope this mornin', but could Ah ask ya t' have the Crusaders over for a sleepover tonight?  We've got some big how do happenin' an Ah can't let Bloom stay at th' farm tonight.”
  188.  
  189. “What sort of event are you hosting that you can't let Applebloom go?”
  190.  
  191. “ehh, Ah can't say Ah've ever participated b'fore, but it's some kinda magic ritual that Granny an' Mac are doin' an' it ain't 'propriate fer little fillies t' participate.  Ah figure if she can get someone t' be there fer the beginnin', an' take her away after the fire jump, then she an' th' girls can be there fer the beginnin' at least, but ifn yah don't wanna stay up t' th' witchin' hour, then Ah can jes leave her with yah after dinner. With yer permission of course!”
  192.  
  193. Bloom interupts, “Please say you'll come, Rarity! Ah just gotta see th' beginnin', even if Mac , Jackie, and Granny all say Ah can't be there for the end of it!”
  194.  
  195. “Darling, I'd be delighted to help you with this, but I have to ask, what kind of ritual would you tolerate at your farm that you don't want your sister to even stay at the house while it happens?”
  196.  
  197. Applejack considers a bit before speaking, “Bloom, take Sweetie Belle t' Sugarcube Corner for a cupcake,” and then hands her sister 4 bits.
  198.  
  199. Sweetie goes to question this, but Applebloom grabs her hand and pulls her out of the building, stomping down the sidewalk.  When her footsteps fade into the distance, Applejack turns from watching and listening through the door, back to her friend, “How much of what happened t' mah family b'fore Ah got mah cutie-mark d' ya'll know?”
  200.  
  201. “Well, I know that your parents passed away shortly after Applebloom was born, and that your mother had been estranged from her family, so it was up to Granny Smith and Pawpaw Apple and Mac to take care of you, but PawPaw died after about a year and then Mac grew up seemingly overnight.  I think there were some lean years in there, but once Mac had his growth spurt, at least no one went hungry.”
  202.  
  203. “Mah Pa was named Mac too, an' he died b'fore Bloom was born, Ah don't know if it was somethin' out of th' Everfree or if it was a machinery accident, but what killed mah daddy hurt mah momma bad.  She lived t' name Bloom, but not much longer.  Mac an' Granny say it was a bad harvest th' year the accident happened, an' th' bits that would'a paid fer th' food we needed we had t' spend on tryin' t' save mah momma, so PawPaw didn't eat as much as he needed t', and by th' time th' next harvest was in, which was poorer still, he had broken his health.  PawPaw died jes before the ground froze, an Mac buried him cause we didn't have th' bits to pay for a stone or an undertaker; with PawPaw dead and Granny “legally indisposed”, Mac had t' mortage everthing we had t' get th' bits t' fight t' get recognized as an adult by the government so he could take power of attorney and keep th' farm instead of lettin' it pass t' an uncle.  We lived on th' leftovers from th' funeral fer weeks.  Mac was shorter than Ah am now and malnourished, he couldn't keep everythin' goin' hisself, th' well broke, so he had t' carry water with buckets from th' pond, we didn't have 'nough firewood t' heat th' house proper, so we put the big mattress on th' kitchen table an' all slept in th' same bed, by th' cook fire.  Ah know Mac was eatin' fish so he could leave apples and veggies for me an' Granny, an' Ah know he weren't cookin' em neither, cause he didn't wanna admit th' shame of being a farmer and havin' t' eat flesh.  But we kept fed.  Th' cows an th' sheep stuck by us even though Mac had t' lead them into th' everfree t' browse 'cause we couldn't put up 'nough hay, an' they made enough milk t' keep Bloom fed, even if there wasn't enough fer cream or butter.  Ah know Mac kilt at least one Timber Wolf, because he brought it home t' burn t' cook on, and Granny took th' head and th' claws fer somethin'.  Ah didn't know it at th' time, but that winter, Granny and Mac did a magic ritual t' grant Mac th' strength t' keep us all fed an' t' make th' next year better.  It worked.  Th' next spring was th' best spring th' farm had had fer as long as anyone who wasn't granny could remember.  Mac grew like a weed and put on muscle like you wouldn't believe, but he worked until he dropped every night an' with his emacipation, th' school finally gave up on sendin' truancy notices.  The next fall was mah first year of school, Ah wanted t' drop out an' help, but Mac an' Granny wouldn't let me, said ah was too little, and Mac said Ah 'shouldn't follow *his* foalish example'. Heh, Granny said she'd switch me till her forelegs quit workin if Ah did, and Mac said he'd lay off the chores long enough t' spell her at switching me fer 10 minutes per hour to make her forelegs last longer.”
  204.  
  205. “Nopony helped you?” Rarity sobs at her friend.
  206.  
  207. “Times were tough fer everypony in Ponyville those years, an' they did help, but it ain' easy t' see that we're havin' trouble out on th' acres 'less ya come visit, so not everypony knew, an' prolly nopony knew how bad it really was.  But that's all ancient history, th' point is that Granny an' Mac have been using some kinda secret earth pony magic ritual t' make sure that harvests are good at th' Acres an' t' give Mac th' strength he needs t' work th' acres himself.  An' this year Princess Luna noticed Big Mac dreaming of th' ritual an' recognized it.  She says it's older than th' invention of agriculture an' that she wants t' participate.  The ritual's like a wedding, y'see, somepony 's declared Lord of th' Forest, and that's Mac, an' then somepony's declared Princess of th' Plain, and then there's a 'wedding', a blessing with a fire jump, and then a feast, and everypony gets a blessing nearly as good as the blessing that Mac'll get as Lord of the Forest, so Luna's inviting a bunch of ponies an' Mac will have a mare at his side instead of a straw dummy this time.”
  208.  
  209. “That's absolutely fascinating, darling, but why can't Applebloom be there for a mock wedding and a feast?”
  210.  
  211. “Ahh, ahh, It ain't jes a feast, th' Lord of th' Forest ruts the Princess of th' Plain up on stage as part of th' blessing! an' then... an' then all th' wedding guests have a rut too, t' receive blessings that help them grow crops an' get in th' family way!”
  212.  
  213. Naturally Applebloom and Sweetie Belle aren't getting a cupcake, they're sitting underneath the Boutique window, eavesdropping.  Sweetie whispers to Bloom “Oh My Celestia!  The Princess is going to be at your house and watch ponies rut?  This is just like one of those novels that Rarity keeps under her mattress!”
  214.  
  215. Applebloom is frozen in shock, and doesn't respond.
  216.  
  217. “Oh Bloom, I'm sorry you had to hear something so gross as your brother bucking somepony up on stage.”
  218.  
  219. “That ain't it, Sweetie, Ah know who's gonna be th' Princess of th' Plain!”
  220.  
  221. “You gotta tell me who Bloom!  Is it Cheerilee?  Is it Roseluck?  Is it Carrot Top?”
  222.  
  223. “It's worse then that!  Princess Luna ain't jes gonna be watchin' Mac rut somepony, She's th' princess of th' Plain, m-m-mah brother's gonna rut Princess Luna up in front of everypony!”
  224.  
  225. “But Bloomie!  She's a Princess, an' he's just a farmer!  Princesses don't do that, they have to save themselves for a prince or at least a noble!”
  226.  
  227. “Mac ain't 'Just a farmer'!  At th' ritual, he's Lord of th' Forest!  An' accordin t' Granny, when he ain't at th' ritual, he's a Noble too!  Granny's daddy wasn't just given a farm by Celestia, he was given th' title t' a fief!  Big Mac isn't just Big Mac, he's Margrave Macintosh Apple Von Everfree!  Even on days when he's too tired from working t' read me a bedtime story.”
  228.  
  229. “No way, you're joking, right?  Big Mac is a noble?  Then why does he work his own farm?  Wait, does this make you a princess?  I'm so confused!”
  230.  
  231. “Don't worry, Ah'm confused too, Granny only told us this morning.”
  232.  
  233. “What?  Bloom, I think we're getting distracted from the important part!  Princess Luna is coming to the farm tonight!  We gotta go get Scootaloo!”
  234.  
  235. Sweetie Belle drags Applebloom away from the window to go look for the third crusader, and shortly Applejack finishes making arrangements with Rarity and departs to find her younger sister and finish her errands.
  236.  
  237. After she finishes her own lunch, Twilight heads out the Acres to try and speak with the clan's venerable and eccentric matriarch.  As she approaches the homestead, she notes the homestead appears to have had a great deal of work put into the farm yard between the house, machinery barn, orchard, and wellhouse, including an impressive looking stone stage and cleared banquet area.  While Twilight distracts herself examining everything that Mac has wrought, she is snuck up on by the ancient mare “So, yah lookin' t' start a farm an' get in th' family way?”
  238.  
  239. “Guyeaaagh!~” cries Twilight as she leaps and spins to face the laughing Apple Clan matriach,  “Why, why! would you ever say something like that!”
  240.  
  241. “Why else wouldja be interested in what's gonna happen on that stage?  Yah do have a coltfriend, or at least yer eye on somepony, right?  If'n y'were plannin' on askin after mah Grandson, he's out cuttin' timber fer the bonfire.”
  242.  
  243. “What's gonna happen on that stage?  Princess Celestia told me that you and Luna were going to perform an ancient ritual of powerful magic, but she didn't give me much detail to work with.”
  244.  
  245. “Ain't th' same t' tell as t' have yah watch or participate, but th' ritual is t' bless th' earth of Equus an' extend th' blessin's of th' earth t' th' ponies that lend themselves t' th' ritual.  It's ancient an' pow'rful magic, suitable fer herds wantin' t' start a new family, ponies lookin' t' form up a herd, or  ponies lookin' t' bless a farm, old 'r new.  If'n y' got a special somepony, yah should bring'm, th' magic makes yer blood run powerful hot an' sharin' that heat increases th' gifts of th' blessin's an' pow'r of th' magic.”
  246.  
  247. “But Princess Celestia just wants me to watch!”
  248.  
  249. “This isn't somethin' yah can jes' watch, if yer there, th' magic don't care if yah think yer watching, it'll grab hold of yah, and it's best t' have somethin' t' do with it instead of just waiting t' see what it'll make yah do.  None of th' things yah will do are proper fer a young miss like yerself t' do if yer' not involved with the fella.  Yah don't owe me answers, but yah need t' get yer head settled so yah can choose yerself instead of letting it all happen.”
  250.  
  251. Twilight leaves the farm in a haze of stress induced confusion, nearly tripping over Rainbow Dash as she goes. “Twilight!” Dash calls after her friend, “Didja see if Big Mac was around when you were up there?”
  252.  
  253. Twilight arrests her forward progress, clears her head, and returns to her friend, “No, but Granny said he was out cutting trees, why?”
  254.  
  255. “Ahh, No reason in particular, I was just kinda wondering what he was doing, because, well, I dunno?”
  256.  
  257. “Are you OK Dash?  You look kinda tired.”  
  258.  
  259. “I might be.  Applejack woke me up in the middle of the night, and I didn't fall asleep after, every time I closed my … eyes...”
  260.  
  261. “Applejack woke you up?  She normally sleeps pretty soundly through the night, are you sure it was the middle of the night and not just the very early morning?”
  262.  
  263. “Oh, didn't anyone tell you?  The Acres had a fire last night,  Applejack woke me up to get me to herd a snowstorm in from over the everfree and help out the fireponies.  Not that the Apples were the ones that needed help...”
  264.  
  265. “A fire?  What building? How?”
  266.  
  267. “8 Pegasi dressed like guard auxilliaries lit their livestock barn on fire...”
  268.  
  269. “Is Millie OK?  Did you have to chase them off?”
  270.  
  271. “Everyone's fine except for the Pegasi, I thought for a while that Mac had killed them.  Brrrr” Dash shivers.
  272.  
  273. “Mac took out 8 armed pegasi himself? How?”
  274.  
  275. “It was scary, or maybe scary cool.  By the time I had a snow-storm over the farm, there was a pegasus lying next to a rock spire looking like he had hit a mountain at full speed, and not a normal mountain, but a very hard mountain like Canterhorn.  Four more had been crushed to the ground by fresh growth that had ripped through the snowpack, and the other three were buried in the gravel and dirt Mac was putting the fire out with.  Twilight, the pegasi all had guard armor and wingblades, and he hit them so hard their armor was all broken.  Mac crushed 8 of them before they could touch him.  I haven't been able to get him out of my mind.”
  276.  
  277. “What are pegasi guards doing trying to start a fire at the Acres? I just don't understand!  I know that they have the favor of the Princesses, who would order such a thing?”
  278.  
  279. “I wanna talk to him, but I'm nervous Twi.  I knew he was strong, and I knew he was fast for how big he was, but to do what he did, that takes power, the kind of power that doesn't just come from muscles, and I don't know what to say or how to say it!”
  280.  
  281. “Geeze Dash, you think you're nervous, Princess Celestia asked me to observe a ritual that Big Mac and Granny Smith are going to perform tonight for the Canterlot University Hippology department, but Princess Luna is gonna be there and Granny said I shouldn't come unless I had a stallion I knew I wanted that was going to be there and the rite has something to do with farming, but also fertility, and it's an ancient secret rite that's so secret that both princesses thought that ponies quit performing the ritual back before Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon, and so ancient that it's older than the invention of writing!I just don't know what to think!”
  282.  
  283. Before the girls can resolve their concerns, they are interrupted by Scootaloo,  “DASH DASH DASH!!! BLOOMIETOLDSWETIETHATTHEYAREHAVINGAPARTYANTHPRINCESSSGONBETHEREANDTHATTHETHEHTAKETHAMACISGONNABETHEROYALCONSORTANDTHENSHESGONNABEAPRINCESSTOOANDMACOWNSTHEWHOLETOWNBECAUSEHESAPRINCESSANDHES....  EEEEAAAHH” she gasps for breath as she chokes on her massive run-on sentence.
  284.  
  285. “Slow down and breathe Scoots.  Start just a bit at a time.” Rainbow chides her little fanfilly, “Now what's this about Big Mac?”
  286.  
  287. “I just ran into Sweetie Belle, she says that Applebloom told her that Big Mac is gonna buck Princess Luna at a party tonight, and that then all the grownups are gonna buck too and that Applebloom also says that Big Mac's a noble, a Mar-somethin, and that he owns the forest and a bunch of the land the town's built on.”  She pauses to think, without being interrupted, because her audience is dumbstruck by the revelation.  “But why would all the grownups fight each other if Big Mac fights Princess Luna?  I know that Big Mac is the strongest stallion ever, but surely he isn't stronger than Luna and all the grownups together, why wouldn't they try and fight him for hitting the Princess?”
  288.  
  289. At her declaration,  Dash's wings flare in shock or maybe something else and Twilight's mane poofs out like she's been struck by lightning before she teleports away in a surge of power that grabs the surrounding air too, resulting in a noise like a thunderclap as air rushes to fill the vacuum created by her spell.  
  290.  
  291. Back in town, the windows of the library burst open with a roar due to overpressure created by Twilight's spell dragging the missing air along with her,  blowing loose papers from every cluttered surface out the now opened windows.  “SPIKE!  I need you to pen a letter for Celestia!” Twilight cries.  “Wait!  No, I need to write this one myself, it's personal and Wait! No, I need you to take this for me, I'm not going to be able to hold a quill steady right now!”
  292.  
  293. “Calm your cantering, Twilight, I've gotta go get more good parchment from the market either way,” Spike declares as he debouches the library to let her cool down, “Close up the windows and try to gather all the broadsheets and scrolls that blew out when you brought in all that extra air!”
  294.  
  295. When he returns, Twilight dictates a letter, “Dear Princess Celestia,  Today I learned that my friend Macintosh Apple might actually be a Margrave.  So far as I can tell, the Crown is still collecting tax in what would be his March, and I'm unsure what the tax money the Crown is collecting is being used for in the March, or indeed if it is being reserved for the improvement and defence of the March as is proper.  Is this rumor correct?  If it is, how are the taxes of the March being utilized?  Today was very much a day for learning about Applejack's laconic brother, I also learned that he is allegedly a sage of intense power.  He was attacked by a squad of 8 armed Pegasi in armored in the custom of the Crown Guards in the middle of the night, last night, and he defeated them soundly, managing not just to defeat them without receiving a scratch, but to do so without having to take any lives.  They are currently being held in Ponyville hospital, so far as I'm aware.  Have you learned anything about who may have directed them to attack the home of one of the Elements of Harmony with arson and girded for war?
  296.  
  297. “With reverent love, your faithful student always,
  298. “Twilight Sparkle.”
  299.  
  300. “Oh, Spike, add a PS saying I'll contact her on the other matter latter today in my own horn-writing.  That letter is too personal for me to dictate, I'll seal it before I ask you to send it.”
  301.  
  302. Spike lights the letter with his dragon fire, teleporting Twilight's missive to Princess Celestia.
  303.  
  304. Before Twilight discards the third draft of her second letter, she receives a short response to the first.
  305.  
  306. “Dear Twilight,
  307.  
  308. Macintosh “Big Mac” Apple Jr is the legal heir to the Everfree March, but as of yet he has not accepted the mantle of his patrimony.  The Crown currently manages the March per an agreement his Grandmother made with Us when her heir, Macintosh “Bright Mac” Apple passed away before his time.  The Crown is holding and maintaining Everfree March in trust for Big Mac for a period of 25 years or until he steps forward to accept the mantle of Margrave, and there are 15 years left on that term before the March would revert to the Crown permanently or until we deign to grant it to another.  As to Big Mac's prowess as a Sage, he has been an Earth Pony possessed of great power since well before he came of age.  He was well above average even before he grew to the size he now possesses.  As to the Pegasi under guard at the Hospital, The Crown has uncovered several important facts that are quite politically sensitive, and how these facts apply to the case will largely depend on whether Big Mac is willing to assume the mantle of his patrimony.  I understand that his Grandmother is putting that question to him at the direction of my sister, this morning.
  309.  
  310. With love, as always,
  311. Princess Celestia”
  312.  
  313. It takes Twilight another 25 rewrites for her to be satisfied with her second letter to Celestia, and it's barely sent by sunset.
  314.  
  315. Celestia's response to the second letter is almost immediate, "Earth Pony Magic is relational, not not a suicide pact, go with someone if you like them or go alone if you think that any of the stallions that will be there are fine fellows.  Luna says to tell you, "Expect a wild party, even by the standards of Pinkemenia.'  I trust you to make good judgments and don't expect anyone to get hurt whatever happens."
  316.  
  317. As the evening twilight fades and the true dark of winter night encroaches, the Apple Family barn is filled with the happy chatter and warm merriment of a Pinkie Pie pre-fete soireé.  Canapés, mignardises, and small glasses of sparkling fermented cider encourage good cheer and social mixing and large mugs of mocha, tea, and mulled fresh cider warm those still chilled from the journey and fortify them for the coming outdoor ceremony.  
  318.  
  319. Luna has outdone herself painting the night sky, the light of a waxing crescent moon (a perfect portent for new beginnings) lights up the snow enough for safe walking, but doesn't overpower the other celestial lights, and the milky way, the nebulas, and the galaxies of the local cluster all shine with unusual brilliance, as the revelers make their way to the newly expanded altar in the heart of the orchard.  There a small fire waits to be stoked with a large bonfire's worth of logs and brush from the Everfree and portions of the orchard that needed thinning.  Granny Smith piles on the brush in her guise of Priestess, and the Bridegroom Mac in his King of the Forest role and raiment lays on the logs at her direction.  In minutes, the small fire transforms into a towering inferno which burns down perfectly as midnight approaches.
  320.  
  321. Granny Smith opens the ceremony in prayer, “Dear Friends and Stewards of th' Bounty of Equis, Ah'm honored that Ya'll've come here t' our farm t' help bless an' t' be blessed with the magic of our ancestors.  May ya'll find strength and fulfillment in the pow'r an' use of these blessin's, Amen!”
  322.  
  323. With that, the Princess of the Night steps forward from the crowd, where she had been mingling unnoticed under glamour.  Her vestments are in a style ancient, august, and alluring, the very image of an abundant and amazonian femininity, a perfect foil to Macintosh's towering masculinity and the feral mien of his ceremonial array.  The laconic giant is stuck dumb by her regal beauty contrasted against the lecherous promise of her finery and the smouldering expression she favors him with as she approaches.  
  324.  
  325. He hears not Granny declaring him the lord of the forest or Bridegroom for the sacred mingling of the Forest and the Plain, remembering his own line in the ceremony, greeting his bride, only when Granny discretely swats his lower leg and snaps him out of it. “Fairest, yah honor me with yer presence at this nuptial feast.  Ah offer yah shelter an' warmth, so long as ya'll have me.”  
  326.  
  327. Luna responds, “Strongest, Thou honors Us with Thine invitation to this feast. We offer you abundance and increase so long as thou wilt have us.”
  328.  
  329. The three ponies on the dais before the altar and the fire make their prayers, offer blessings, and recite their vows to the land, pouring out earth pony magics with each statement, and with the last vow, High Priestess Smith accept the offers of the abundance of the Plains to the Forest and the shelter of the Forest to the Plains, and Macintosh lifts high Luna in preparation  for the first fire leap, nearly stumbling when Luna blindfolds him with her tail, channeling her scent to his nostrils and forcing him to reach out with his earth pony magic not just to carry out the ritual but also to sense the flames and stone.  The world is alight with power as he opens his senses to it, and that power flows to answer his wordless call to guide, bless, and nourish him and those present as he makes the first leap.  The fire itself orients him on landing to prepare for the second leap, flaring to consume the offered dishes in a supernatural instant, and the magic pulses in response to Granny's call to bless the couple and those gathered with fecundity and strength.  Again on the second leap for the blessing of prosperity and industriousness, the third for forbearance and happiness, and finally for health and longevity.  At the final landing, Luna dismounts Macintosh's back to face Priestess Smith, and after the final call for blessings on the growing year to come, Luna turns Mac's somewhat chaste kiss of ritual consumation into a wild thing of passion as hot as the bonfire behind them.
  330.  
  331. The magic of the ritual courses in the blood of all those present, bringing strength and vitality to each, while fanning the flames of passion in those present from midwinter candles to a blowtorch roar.  Rarity tries to disengage to remove the children from the scene, but the heat of the moment grips her as strong as any, and the Crusaders as well, and she's unable to clear them out of the field before the second portion of the ritual begins.
  332.  
  333. Big Mac's cock drops from its sheath, dripping, pulsing, frightfully large, and as hard as he's ever felt it strain, as Luna turns to flag him with her tail, winking so fiercely that the moisture of her arousal spritzes out at his nose with each contraction.  Mad with lust, the only thought in his mind that survives his loin's demand that he rut her is a mad desire to taste what he smells.  He huffs, nostrils flared, and at the touch of his hot breath, Luna angles her croup instinctively to help facilitate initial penetration, but her need screams rage at want denied as her pleasure sings ecstasy at his unexpected consideration, and the cry that rips free from her throat is somewhere between the trumpeting of an enraged elephant matriarch and the rock shattering scream of a hunting Roc, as loud as a lightning strike and echoes off the surrounding hills in a cacophony of passion and power.
  334.  
  335. Rarity finally manages to corral the Crusaders, too caught up in the need and vitality coursing through her veins like liquid fire to be able to feel concern for what they've seen, felt, and heard in the scant minutes they've over stayed their welcome; the same images burned into her mind are now burned into theirs.  As the group makes their way past the farmstead and onto the road into town, Big Mac's oral minstrations drive Luna's aural exhaultations from clarion screams to a crescendo of piercing delight that rivals her initial outburst for volume, tone shifted up a couple registers and lacking the notes of rage.  
  336.  
  337. The Princess of the Plains' first peak doesn't come from the efforts of his tongue, however, as he releases her clitoral hood from the grip of his lips before she can find release, and swiftly he mounts her, silencing her rage at being left in need by hilting his Priapic blessing in a single mighty thrust which drives to the depths of her treasure and stretches her further, knocking her down on bended forlegs and ripping a cry from her lungs better described as a magical shockwave than as a noise as she spasms around his cock with such heat and muscle power that the fog of need in his mind is fleetingly penetrated by a concern that she might cook or tear off his member.  Before her cry subsides, his instinct to breed sets aside his fear and drives him to resume rutting her in a measured seeming and inexorable pace, one dictated solely by the gross power required to move his penis in the face of the crushing grip of her powerful spasming velvet heat.  As her grip decreases to mortal levels as her orgasm draws down from her minute long continent shattering earthquake, Mac's pace accelerates until he's pounding her like the beating wings of a falcon in hot pursuit, if a falcon's wings were 220 kilos of demigod level beefcake rutting a goddess into oblivion with a bacchal lance bigger than a normal stallion's leg.  
  338.  
  339. Thundering minutes and 3 drawn out but less apocalyptic orgasms and regained footing for Luna later, Mac's need receded far enough to return his facilities of speech, "I'm, RRRRGGHH, getting c-close my Beloved!"
  340.  
  341.  "Give me your all!  Fill me to the utmost my King!"
  342.  
  343. "Here it comes!   GRRRAAAAHAAAAGH!"
  344.  
  345. "AAAHHHH OOOOOOO-H!  So much!"
  346.  
  347. The wed sovereigns of Field and Orchard disentangle, expecting to have to deal with post-coital weakness, but the restorative magic coursing through the gathering strengthens them despite the anesthetic rush of euphoria pouring through the spines of the two lovers.  The selfsame magic temporarily drives away winter in the glen, making the night feel as warm as a late spring eve and giving the trees and plants the seeming appearance of profuse growth and riotous blooming.  Priestess Smith calls the wedding guests to cheer the couple of the hour,  and after the clamor of hollering subsides, Luna and Macintosh declare the feast to be opened.
  348.  
  349. Some ponies move to the buffets of rich food and the casks of wine, cider, applejack, whisky, mead, and beer, while others couple vigorously in the spirit of their hosts, and all feel the weight of years and toil and fears recede at least a little.
  350.  
  351. Luna and Macintosh take seats at the head table, with plates heaped with food and enormous flagons of the more thirst quenching brews.  Luna and Granny trade bawdy tales, the truths of which are unverifiable because either are the last living witnesses, but this matters not in the telling or the enjoyment of the hearing, while Macintosh eats like he needs to rebuild himself, although, Luna reflects, this isn't that far from the truth, the physical and magical exertion of the opening rut reduced Mac's reserves from bulky and slightly vascular to shredded lean with nothing to spare.  Mac's meal goes straight to his balls and other male glands, until he has eaten them back full, and from there it restores his reserves and expands his musculature until he has sated his mystic hunger and can actually put some food away to satisfy his natural physical hunger.  A truly staggering quantity of food disappears before him by the time Luna sates her own gustatory desires and meets his glances again.
  352.  
  353. Luna and Mac couple again, this time far less frantically, giving Mac the opportunity to make love to the Diarch and not just rut her senseless.  Luna reels in the gentle touch of the giant stallion, adrift in the care of the first lover to ever possess the stature, equipment, or power to cover her without need of consideration or assistance, and fill her to what she thought was the limit and then push further into a delicious new fullness that allows her to feel mastered instead of mastery.  That he can treat her like a callow filly in need of gentleness and not allow her to object, even after rutting her so hard that the stone dias shows the mark of it, drives her desire wild, but the same desire bottles itself up like a Prince Rupert Drop since it won't let her demand he stop showering her with slow gentle affection as he works to heat up and slick down a mare that's already a furnace of molten silver splashing on the ground
  354.  
  355. When he enters her for the second time, it's in a loving embrace accompanied with sweet nothings whispered into her ear, and Luna's heart melts in the big stallion's hooves.  As he fills her again and again, his whispers turn to nuzzles and his nuzzles turn to nibbles, and her cries of pleasure are joined with ticklish giggles, and all the while the heat of her need grows and grows, but deliciously so, not unbearably so.  Macintosh can feel the growth of her culmination in the rhythm of her contractions, and at the approach of his own eruption, he turns his nibbling into a hard bite at the back of her neck and a sharp tug of her flesh.  All at once her world explodes, the glass bomb of her swelling orgasm shattering instantaneously and the crystalline shards of her perception of the world blowing away like dust in the wind.  In the blind and silent depths of her mind, two things remain, the reassuring weight of her lover on her back, and the blossoming heat of his ejaculation flowing from her womb to wrap around her heart.  Unreasoning bliss persists for a moment, or a century, with nothing to provide a frame of reference or point of discernment.  After interminal moments, her senses slowly return, hearing recovering to reveal the noise of a powerful voice screaming the wordless praise of its lover, her own voice, she realizes after feeling returns to her lungs and throat.  Sight returns to reveal a transfixed audience staring back at her and Mac as he suspends her body from his forelegs as he balances reared up on his hind legs to keep her from falling when her legs gave out.  Luna quashes a momentary bashful feeling at having her pleasure and the place of their joining being displayed so brazenly by her conqueror, but decides to revel in the attention,  "How blest art meself that a millenia without physical affection should be lifted by one who can fuck me blind and insensate?  Hark!  Your Princess declares that this night is for blessing through your pleasure, not your audience!  Go forth in the name of the Forest and Plain, bless and make fruitful that which you tend!"
  356.  
  357. As Mac and Luna decouple and retire to one of the cushions, passing each other small gestures of affection, Luna focuses her magic to stop herself from drooling their mingled emissions, and a few of the braver unattached mares, led by Pinkie Pie, follow the royal pair to seek their king's blessing.  Twilight also steps forward seeking an interview with the queen, but too flustered to speak.  Luna tells Macintosh to go forth and spread his magic gently and carefully.
  358.  
  359. Mac leads the mares towards the buffet, needing again to refuel, and Luna draws her sister's student in with her wings, bopping her nose to break her distraction, "Thou hast questions, mine Sister's Faithful?"
  360.  
  361. Twilight immediately falls to the ground in supplication, "Your Magesty!  I-I was hoping to ask, where does all this power come from?  The air is alive with it, and I can feel it course into and through me, but I can't touch it with my horn."
  362.  
  363. "Rise, you silly little filly,  We have no need or want for your obeisance, lady Sparkle...  The power comes from Lord Macintosh's loins,  rather the Psoas muscles, his are extraordinarily well developed, even compared to the rest of him."
  364.  
  365. Twilight sputters before Luna continues with a ringing laugh, "Teasing aside, Earth Pony magic is powered by the relationship that the pony has with the earth and the living things upon it.  Macintosh has such power primarily because the very soil knows his love and devotion and has also felt his sacrifices.  He is also of of a potent bloodline and Our Sister granted this land to his ancestors because she needed someone to claim the ley-line junction lest the Everfree grow larger and even more dangerous. So this place was a place of power before Mac's parents sacrificed themselves to protect their family or Grandfather Apple sacrificed his health and then life to keep three growing children fed when only one was large enough to help with chores at all and his wife's body was already failing, or a half grown colt gave up schooling and friendships to devote himself to the care of his farm and his sisters, or his crippled grandmother revived an ancient magic rite to give her grandson a chance to succeed at a task that was a better fit for 4 grown ponies than one gangly colt who'd only just earned his cutie mark.  Generations of devotion, despair, blood, and will have been poured into this place, by this family, and Macintosh is the inheritor of it all, his will and his drive to support Applejack and Applebloom moved the heart of the very land itself here.  Applejack had to leave to learn that this is where she belonged, but Macintosh knew it from the start."
  366.  
  367. "I've never heard the whole story before.  Applejack doesn't like to talk about it."
  368.  
  369. "Neither does Macintosh,  Granny Smith related the tale to me."
  370.  
  371. "How old were they, do you know?"
  372.  
  373. "When they lost their parents to the forest,  Macintosh was Applebloom's age, he earned his mark at his father's deathbed, Buttercup was dead when Macintosh and his Grandfather found her. Applejack wasn't yet in school, and Applebloom was an infant.  Their grandfather's health collapsed about a year and a half later, and he passed 2 years to the day after his son."
  374.  
  375. "I can't even imagine..."
  376.  
  377. "Quite so, but let's discuss something else,  this is no time to dwell on tragedy or mourn the past, this ceremony is about the future of the land, the ponies, and the clans attending."
  378.  
  379. Twilight's next question is interrupted by Pinkie Pie screaming triumph to the world as Big Mac's medial ring slips past her clitoral hood as he slowly saws another 25 mm further into her.  Slow as the motion is, it's clear to all that watch that it is no more gentle than the way a glacier carves a valley into the face of a mountain.  Pinkie's torso stretches in a manner that should be impossible for a living endoskeletal creature, her organs visibly rearranging in time to Mac's thrusting, and she twists and stretches her neck bonelessly to kiss Mac on the lips with a questing tongue.  Mac grabs her lips with her own as her convulsions signal the beginnings of her orgasm.  Mac maintains the seal over her muzzle as she screams into his maw, and they trade the same breath back and forth through her muffled screaming and his mighty huffs until Mac is visibly light headed and Pinkie loses consciousness after minutes of breath play and frenetic half thrusts.  Mac releases her mouth from his own and lowers her gently to the ground as he gasps for breath, before he steps back from her gently snoring form, his half soft cock uncorking a mighty flood of their collected fluids as it pulls free from her mareness.
  380.  
  381. As Mac heads back to the hogsheads to draw another mighty tankard of cider, a blushing Twilight turns back to attempt to question Luna again, but Luna makes commentary on the scene before them before she can start, "What a silly thing for her to do with such improbable powers, and who would have thought she'd be into being suffocated?"
  382.  
  383. Twilight chokes on her words for for a moment, before carrying on her interrupted line of inquiry, uncomfortable exploring such revelations, "How old is this rite?"  
  384.  
  385. "I am unsure about that, when I was young in corporeal form, I thought it started almost 2800 years ago with my own wedding to the Percheron War Chief Black Forest, and that the rite was created to celebrate our joining and spread the blessings that I felt enacted when we made our vows to each other, but by the time I'd been alone again for a century, I was no longer certain that my own wedding wasn't just another iteration of a rite that predated our wedding and that my contribution to the rite was to personify the Groom as the Lord of the Forest and the Bride as the Princess of the Plain.  Nopony had invented writing yet, so it is a bit hard to be certain."
  386.  
  387. "You said it was a lost rite?  How did you mean that?"
  388.  
  389. "The Rite was most popular with the nomadic clans of the Earth Ponies, and only a few clans continued to celebrate it after they became settled peoples, and many of those abandoned it after the unification wars, because it was most commonly associated with the most recaltrant clans.  The last time I participated in it was the 4th and last time I played the bride, it was about 15 years before the unification wars went truly hot, but it was after decades of consistent tribute raids on the earth pony clans by the Pegasus Empire and the unicorn city-states.  My husband in that time was Hardstone Outcropping, a priest for a very prosperous grain farming community and important granite farming quarry on the very edge of the fertile soil and the stony foothills around the important unicorn metropolis of Xanadu."
  390.  
  391. "Xanadu?  It actually existed?  Scholars have debated for centuries if it was real or if it was just an allegory. Consensus is currently that it's just actually myth because no one has ever found any hard archeological evidence for its location."
  392.  
  393. "Qublet, the King of Xanadu,  grew jealous of the prosperity of his neighbors and decided his father had negotiated poorly with the earth pony clan that held the town that Hardstone lived in, and so he broke the trading compact.  Struggling to feed his people while boycotted by their neighbors, Qublet led a raid on all the nearby earth pony settlements, killing 300 ponies including Hardstone's brother and sister.  Hardstone's heart chilled such that even I couldn't make him smile, and on the anniversary of Qublet's raid, Hardstone caused the mountain that Xanadu was built on to transform from a granitic upthrust into a titanic stratovolcano and then he erased the mountain, Qublet's citadel, 14,000 unicorns and the largest city on the continent in a moment."
  394.  
  395. "How?"
  396. "Earth Pony magic is relational, he asked the mountain to change it's nature, and it did.  Then he asked the mountain to obey its new nature, but to do it with far more power than natural law would predict, and it did.  In a place where they have rapport with the soil, rocks, and hills, an earth pony can wield far more power than they themselves possess, because they can call on the world and the world listens.  When an earth pony is powerful besides and skilled at the use of power, they are an irresistible force.  This is why the earth ponies could negotiate as equals and wage war against the mage kings and storm lords.  Hardstone went on to wage a great campaign against both, breaking 3 more unicorn citadels with earthquakes and landslides and shattering two Pegasus war-hurricanes with volcanos before I betrayed and killed him.  None of the killing ever returned my husband and his love to me.  I won't say that his actions were unjustifiable, but he was treading a dark path and I couldn't allow him to attack his next target, which was not a warstorm, but rather a cloud city."
  397.  
  398. "And that was the end of the rite?"
  399.  
  400. "It was the end of the social acceptance of the rite.  It became tainted by association with Hardstone's war crimes.  The few remaining nomads continued to practice it for a while, and so did many smaller farming hamlets, but by my banishment I hadn't heard of anyone practicing the rite in 20 or 30 years.  Ponyville is probably the largest town to host this rite in over 1100 years."
  401.  
  402. "How does Mac compare to Hardstone in power?"
  403.  
  404. "Hardstone was comparable to Applejack, Pinkemania, or Maud Pie in power, but he had control and experience beyond any earth pony sage I've met in the modern era.  It would be interesting in seeing how Macintosh would compare to him in power if neither had the blessings of rites, but Macintosh is now the most powerful earth pony sage I've ever met by some margin.  However he lacks the experience with the warmagics that Hardstone and his peers possessed."
  405.  
  406. "More powerful?  Surely you aren't giving the sages of the past their due, Hardstone evaporated a mage king, his citadel, and the city surrounding it!"
  407.  
  408. "Ponies in the modern era are generally more powerful than they were in the past.  Your raw power compares favorably with Clover the Clever or Starswirl the Bearded, and you aren't even 20 yet.  They call you a generational talent, and those are names known after more than a millennia.  You wouldn't win in a duel, but they had decades of experience and campaigns in multiple wars by the time they made their names.  The only earth pony sage I know that could rival Macintosh in power would be Rockhoof, and even then, I have my doubts.  Rockhoof was one of my sister's creatures, like Starswirl, and I don't know enough to categorically say that Macintosh surpasses him, but all the evidence speaks to the likelyhood that he does.  The world's magic is growing more and more potent,  it's why all of the measures that Celestia and I took to lock away Equestria's foes have been failing and why I managed to escape my imprisonment  in the guise of Nightmare Moon"
  409.  
  410. "You speak of me and my friends in the same breath you defame the legends I've worshipped since I could first follow along with the Hearth'sWarming tales, can you not understand the pressure that puts me under?"
  411.  
  412. "You are the Element of Magic, and one of my saviors.  You are already a legend.  You will need to learn to forget this pressure soon enough or it will consume you.  Enough rememberancing, I see my husband doing something intruiging, with the tea mare that was stalking him at the Summer Wrap-up festival, which I wish to try it myself next, and also I'm not nearly inebriated enough considering the hour of the fete."
  413.  
  414. Twilight's attention snaps from her budding attempt to convince Luna to continue speaking to where Luna is staring with unconcealed fascination, Big Mac is reclined against an overturned table and seated on one of the cushions, the visibly inebriated vision of a barbarian warlord, guzzling what appears to be mead from a tankard the size of a sixtel as a cumstained and well fucked looking Roseluck feeds him canapes and a vaugly familiar green coated and blue maned mare straddles his groin, standing on just her hind legs as she spears herself again and again on just the first third or so of his oversized cock, simply by flexing her knees and rolling her hips.  
  415.  
  416. Twilight stares in disbelief at the sheer hedonism of the scene before freezing in shock at just how desperately she wants to join in the fun.  Truly the magic of the evening is heady and intense.  
  417.  
  418. Snapping herself out of her shock, she finds herself watching Luna sashay through the crowd towards Mac, draining a whole quart jar of white whiskey before reaching the vicinity of Macintosh.  "Sorry Girls," she taunts, "that looks like enough fun that I'm going to cut in line."
  419.  
  420. After another minute or so of acrobatic and innovative lovemaking, Tealove's orgasm robs her of the strength in her knees required to maintain her depth control, and her legs buckle, driving her down Macintosh's cock past the medial ring, her fall being arrested by Macintosh's flare smashing her cervix with the full force of the weight of her body.  This unexpected extra penetration, hard impact at the end of the stroke, and the full power of her pain induced abdominal spasm are enough to drive Mac past his limit, and when the retching Tealove regains her hooves and springs off of Mac to go hurl in a corner, she leaves Mac's half spent orgasming cock to spurt unattended in her hurry to escape.  Roseluck springs to action, catching the portion of his flare that contains his cumslit in an open mouthed kiss that she maintains until he stops delivering the savory payload into her mouth.  
  421.  
  422. As Roseluck releases Mac's spent cock from her kiss, and starts to swallow portions of her chipmunk-esque stuffed cheek mouthful of foal-batter, Luna leans in and steals the snowball in a devastatingly sensual full tongue kiss that leaves Roseluck cross-eyed as it ends.  
  423.  
  424. "Delicious, isn't it." Luna declares with a saucy wink.
  425.  
  426. Luna turns to face Mac and the Lord and Princess join in a sloppy and aggressive battle for dominance between their tongues, with Luna succeeding in trapping his tongue in her mouth, and sucking on it with enough force he couldn't withdraw it, and she doesn't release it until she feels his recuperating pride stand tall enough to poke her in the mammaries.  Luna shuffles around until her tail is flagging at Macintosh's chest and she can feel the crown of his maleness dragging at her inner thighs.  Luna rears back and guides her lover's lance to align with her entrance before lowering herself from full extension down almost to the seated position, drawing a deep belly groan from a mystically sobering Macintosh.  Half a minute spent filled to the brim, making small adjustments in her position to try and find her best angle before she starts moving, Luna is startled into opening her eyes and looking down to where she and Mac are joined, where she is surprised and delighted to find Marble Pie prostrate before them, favoring the base of Macintosh's phallus and the hood of Luna's clitorus with lavish kisses.
  427.  
  428. As Luna begins to slowly lift herself up and plunge herself back down, Marble briefly tries to follow Luna's motion, but Luna lifts too high and starts and stops with a rhythm that Marble finds difficult to predict, so she stops kissing Luna's clit and instead begins to kiss and suckle on Mac's heavy stones.  
  429.  
  430. As the demands of the magic burn off Mac's buzz faster than he can drink to replenish it, his call for a refilled tankard is interrupted by his growing awareness of the other mare he can't see ministering to his scrotum as Luna twists and twitches and lances her heat on his cock.  Whoever she is, she's worshiping his testes with uncanny skill, and appears to know just when a lick or a kiss or  nibble inflames his arousal best.  As his breath hitches and Luna's motions and breathing become ragged as well, he feels gentle but increasing suction preventing his scrotum from retracting and unleashing his orgasm.  The mare worshiping his stones takes it further, extending her tongue to prod his taint. Luna's cries can no longer be stifled by the Goddess of Dreams, and Mac is desperate to cum, tensing his loins and bouncing his hips to try and find the motion needed to break his balls from the prison that's preventing his own release, but all this does is steal enough control of depth from Luna to completely blow away her composure.  
  431.  
  432. As Luna creams her brains out again, Mac roars with need, "Let Me Cum!  Tartarus Take You, Let Me Cum!"
  433.  
  434. At this, Marble releases his rocks from her mouth and shifts south, vigorously tonguing his asshole and prodding his prostate as his his orgasm explodes up his shaft.  The unexpected and taboo pleasure pushes his bellow of completion into an animal roar and the shock of intrusion lifts him off of his seat to bridge himself between his hind hooves and his shoulders on his backrest.  This powers him into Luna with a wet and mighty smack, driving his flare to seal against the mouth of her hungry womb as his essence floods her.  She tips forward as she locks her legs around his hips, and this levers him up off his shoulders and onto his rear hooves as she slumps onto her bended forlegs and her squeals of delight blend with his animal roar.  Head swimming, Mac stumbles as he continues to erupt, wheelbarrowing Luna forward until her face grinds into the ground and snaps her out of her blissful distraction.  She unhooks her hind legs from Mac as she finds the ground with her hooves and his hooves find her barrel, and as his belly meets her spine, he growls into her ear, "I'm gonna stuff you every day until you're heavy with my foal" still hilted and pouring seed into her.
  435.  
  436. His words stoke the fires of her passions and she purrs back, "You'd better, and then you'd better keep stuffing me until I'm about to drop it."  With that declaration, she dispels the charm that seals her from experiencing estrus and heat, the decision to share a foal eventually with her bridegroom made with ease, something she's done only twice before in nearly 3 millennia.
  437.  
  438. The demands of the magic they spread as they couple depletes them both, but especially the mortal stallion, and they return to the buffet after Mac dismounts. There they meet Applejack, Pinkie, and Caramel as they all gather plates of hearty fare.  Applejack breaks the ice, "Y'know, when Ah saw how many folks actually done come compared to how many Pinkie tol' Granny, an' me t' cook for, Ah was fit to be tied at the amount of food Ah figured was gonna get wasted,  but ya'll're eating fer 30 it seems.  I've never even seen Celestia pack away cake like ya'll've been shredding them fritters an' such like, Mac."
  439.  
  440. "Eeyup, th' magic of the ritual burns it offa me like a torch, can't even stay drunk, specially if Luna's after me."
  441.  
  442. Caramel interjects next,  "I was a little worried, when the party proper started, every mare who didn't come with a stallion and a fair number that did seemed intent on getting your blessing personally, and the rest of us were nothing but chopped silage,  but your cock is more like something that belongs to a monster and you fuck like a freight train, the attention spread out attention lot more evenly after what happened to Tealove."
  443.  
  444. Pinkie barges in, "Wowie Zowie you're a good lay though, when you sucked the breath from my lungs, I've never come so hard in my life!  I'm gonna have to buy Cheese Sandwich a garrote!"
  445.  
  446. Luna interjects, "I could tell that you liked that.  Lord Macintosh is indeed blessed beyond all other stallions I've ever had carnal knowlege of.  I've never had a lover able to reach the door to my womb with enough length to spare to test the limits of my ability to stretch to accommodate him, it made me feel like a maiden when he first drove into me unto the hilt.  Imagine, the millenia old Princess of fertility and passion feeling like a maiden!"  Her laughter rings like a Hearth'sWarming bell carol.
  447.  
  448. Pinkie Pie declares, "Everypony's a virgin where that thing goes!  Speaking of virgins,  Marble really wants to go next and she's never had anything back there except a hymen key when Luna asked me to organize this.   I was shocked at how freaky what she did when Luna was riding you was,  it was awesome!"
  449.  
  450. "Mmmhmmm!"
  451.  
  452. Applejack jumps at Marble's sudden appearance, "Whoa, girl, where'd you come from?"
  453.  
  454. Pinkie Pie answers for her younger twin, "Why, the Pie Family rock farm, same as me, silly!  You know that, you've been there."
  455.  
  456. Before Applejack can put words to her frustrated rebuttal,  Luna steps forward and draws Marble into a hungry, dominating kiss.  Marble melts under her onslaught, moaning with delight.  The other ponies, apart from Pinkie, can scarce credit this course of action.  Caramel puts words to thought first, "Princess!  You know damn well where that mouth's been!"
  457.  
  458. The Princess releases Marble's supine form, "Thinkest thou that shouldst stop me tendering mine appreciation?  Nay!  Mine tongue shall grace the same path before the morrow!  My Lord's reaction was most gratifying, and I should like to cause it, not just observe it."
  459.  
  460. A suddenly blushing Big Mac joins the fray, "Shocking as it was, Ah won't lie and say Ah didn't 'njoy th' feelin' or 'preciate th' thought, an' it'd be an injustice not to reciprocate. 'Sides, Caramel, do ya mean to tell me ya never fantasized 'bout a mare's plot afore?  What'dja think you're gonna do? Dribble little lube on 'er an' go t' town 'thout a'least warming her up first?"
  461.  
  462. A blushing Applejack decides discretion is the better part of valor, and quits the melee.  A blushing Caramel follows her with an expression of new consideration writ on his visage and laser-focus on the space just beneath her flagging dock.
  463.  
  464. "Mmmmmmh!"
  465.  
  466. "Come on, we'll find a good dry spot for you an' me t' wreck, an' don' worry none, Ah know how t' be plen'y gentle."
  467.  
  468. Mac, Marble, Pinkie, and Luna make their way to a clear area with some unsoiled cushions and Mac lays down, motioning for Marble to lay next to him.  She does, but not so tight to his side as he'd hoped, so he hooked a forelimb over her barrel and snugged her up tight to him, drawing her muzzle to his for a kiss.  He kisses her gently at first, but then more and more insistently.  Marble melts into him, bashfully as the center of his attention, passively delighting in Big Mac's touch, so after a bit, Big Mac starts to tease the cute little gray mare, threatening or initiating an aggressive and erotic move, but then backing off to just the lightest touch.  
  469.  
  470. When Marble's frustration builds enough for her to to chase his hoof with her teats after a light tease, and to initiate a kiss after one to many whispered breaths across her lips, then Mac takes the next step, nibbling down her neck from her jaw until he's looped his neck around hers and he's nibbling her chest, and one of his hooves is tracing orbits from her belly to her inner thighs, and lightly touching her vulva near her clitorus, teasing her teats as he passes them.  He releases her neck and stops nibbling her chest, and it moments her mouth is seeking his.  
  471.  
  472. Her kiss, this time, is far bolder, hot with need and hungry.  He lets her pin his tongue with hers as she invades his mouth, before he seals his lips around her invading organ and sucks on it, Marble stiffens a bit, but then redoubles her invasion of his mouth.  This is Mac's cue to start kissing her properly.  Her spirit inflamed, her bashfulness retreating, now she kisses back properly.
  473.  
  474. Their tongues battle for some time, as Mac tests her with his questing hooves to determine where her preferred sensitive spots are.  He breaks the kiss with her, restraining her shoulders so she cannot pursue his retreating mouth, and moves his attention to the rest of her.   He licks and nibbles his way from the base of her neck, to the inside of her shoulder joint, and tickles her ribs on the way down to her navel. After tracing her navel with his tongue, Big Mac grips her barrel and rolls,  twisting her around to bring her nethers within reach.  His tongue traces from her navel to her teats,  as he feels her breath warming his sheath.
  475.  
  476. Marble stares with glaze-eyed fascination at Mac's sheath, remembering the treasure within and steeling herself to act.  Acting was easy when she wasn't subject to such direct and guileless scrutiny from the red charger, but now, without Luna between them  she feels suddenly far less inebriated,  his gaze and his perception flaying the outer layer of her soul, laying bare the vulnerable core of her being to his inscrutable discernment.  He's been nothing but gentle and loving, but his soul now appears as though it's behind a curtain of void to her scrutiny, and her fantasies of him have never involved a crowd of observers, or being held in subordination to another mare in the relationship, especially not a literal goddess.  Still, his closeness, his teasing, and his touch is filling her mind and displacing her concern about all of that.  
  477.  
  478. Fears alayed, or at least deferred, Marble wills herself to bold action, and reaches forward to kiss and gently tongue the slit of his sheath,  the scent and taste helping to build her lustful inner fires higher,  returning the lightheaded dissasociation that had left her free to act when Luna had been riding Mac earlier.   Her motions grow bolder, her breath hitching,  but her worship of his sheath not stopping when Mac switches from licking her teats to suckling and nibbling her delicate breasts.  Warmth overtakes the nervous butterflies nestled in her belly and when her mareness begins to twitch and wink,  Mac moves from her teats to her labia,  though the teasing continues, he refuses to touch her clitorus, lifting his tongue just before it makes contact, favoring it with a hot puff of breath, and then returning his touch to her labia so close to her joy buzzer that she could feel the heat coming off of him through it,  but his grip on her flanks is granitic, and she can't force him to touch it.
  479.  
  480. Marble is about to whinge with her need,  but as if he can read her mind,  Mac chooses that instant to plunge his broad and powerful tongue past her labia and lick up to her clitorus,  giving her pearl a slow and firm press as she spasms and tries to clamp down on his slippery muscle to no avail.  Her victory cry is muted by the sudden emergence of Mac's hardening phallus from his sheath, and directly into her open mouth.  Marble moans in delight,  hungrily stuffing as much of Mac's cock into her mouth as she can, even getting the gland end past her gag reflex and just a bit into her throat,  but there's a problem with this, her minstrations are rapidly bringing Mac to full hardness and his cock is expanding in both length and girth, trapped in her mouth and throat.  His cock seals her airway as it slowly grows down her throat and spreads her jaw and throat to its limit as it swells in girth.   Mac changes lanes as he feels her come down from her orgasm, tracing his tongue down her labia and then around her cute little ponut, before rimming her with enthusiasm.  
  481.  
  482. Mac interprets her squirming attempt to drag herself backwards off his cock as an attempt to press home onto his muzzle as he toys her tail-hole, and so he penetrates her with his tongue as ramps up his assault on her asshole, his hips giving little involuntary jerks, that saw his cock into her mouth past the medial ring, from the pleasure of being deepthroated.
  483.  
  484. Marble is desperate for breath but unable to panic, surges of feeling in time to the spasms of her diaphragm don't inflate her panic,  but lift her ecstatic dissociation higher.  Every sensation of contact with her lover is a point and source of shocking pleasure,  as Marble's vision tunnels,  she's unsure if she's about to cream her brains out from having her salad tossed or from having her throat used as a cock sleeve.   No longer seeking a breath before oblivion,  Marble twists her head about the axis of the axle that spreads her jaw so deliciously painfully and locks her neck in line with her mouth, as she presses forward to fill more and more of her throat with Mac's bitchbreaker, as tears carry streaks of mascara from the corners of her eyes up her forehead and into the fluff of her inner ears.
  485.  
  486. Her advance makes Mac's head swim,  and his small involuntary hip movements become long deliberate stokes as he fucks her cute little face.   His medial ring passes from the front of her tongue to a good way down her throat and back again as Mac works to pump her throat in time to his analingus.  Marble has a mind shattering orgasm as her vision starts to grey out, and as the world fades, the last sensation she feels is Mac's throbbing member erupting into her throat.  Her mind explodes in orgasm, again,  but her body goes entirely limp.   'This is it, ' she thinks,  'I've cum so hard I've died.'
  487.  
  488. Mac rolls to the side to get out from under Marble's limp form as he continues to pour into her belly, a small bulge forming on her flat tummy from the shear volume of his orgasm.  As he pulls out of her mouth,  with an incredible wet noise,  Marble gasps for breath and coughs lightly.   A couple of gasping breaths later,  Marble's eyes flutter lightly open to the look of Mac's lightly concerned face,  as they cuddle on the cushion.  "So this is Elysium," Marble sighs, "Mmmmm, a truly beautiful death."
  489.  
  490. "Sorry 'bout that, I didn't realize that your airway was blocked before Ah started to fuck yer throat good an' proper."
  491.  
  492. Pinkie and Luna look upon the pair with nigh identical looks of conflicted concern and jealousy.  "Woah." they declare in stereo harmony.
  493.  
  494. Marble strikes while the iron is hot, "mmm, You know, Big Mac, I've still got two more holes for you to ruin, I think I remember you telling Caramel something about needing to eat ass to warm a girl up?  I think you've done that par excellence, so why don't we start with my plot?"
  495.  
  496. "Ya sure that's what ya'll want?  I'd hate to hurt yah."
  497.  
  498. "Mmmm, I think tonight I found that I like it to hurt, and it's never gonna work if it can't work now, the power here tonight will give me the best chance I'll ever have, or at least help me heal."
  499.  
  500. "Yshure?"
  501.  
  502. "Mmm, You should shut up and fuck my plot, you big stud."
  503.  
  504. "Eeyup.  Pinkie, could you go get me some lube?"
  505.  
  506. Pinky produces a hoof pump lube dispenser from behind her ear, "Here, let me help you with that!" and then ducks under Big Mac's barrel and slicks him up, as Mac graces her little sister with a loving and lustful kiss.
  507.  
  508. Released from the kiss,  Marble turns and flags her tail at Macintosh and looks to Luna, "Could you help him aim for me?". The Bride of the Forest Lord knods her assent.
  509.  
  510. Slicked up and rock hard at the chance to experience something he's known he'd never get to do from the moment he realized just how thick he was compared to a regular stallion, Mac snorts with excitement as he lines up to mount Marble.  A light heave, and he's got his hooves around her barrel, and he realizes that if he was just a hair taller, he wouldn't have to put his weight on her at all, he can just barely touch a hoof to ground while resting on her back.  Her tail tickles his barrel as he clenches his abdominal floor to lift his maleness up to touch his belly and he slowly drives forward until it's lightly rubbing on her dock.  He feels Luna's magic grasp his tip and he uncoils the muscles in his loins and steps forward until until, with her assistance, he feels his gland end find his target.  
  511.  
  512. "Prepare thine anus," Luna growls into Marble's ear.  At these whispered words, Mac thrusts forward without haste, but also without hesitation or mercy. She gasps at the discomfort of intrusion and then moans in appreciation of his domination of her body as he buries his cock almost to the medial ring before her hooves start to drag on the floor. He reaches down to nibble her ear and nuzzle her nose, while Pinkie applies more lube around the circumference of Marble's stretched sphincter , and when he feels her finish applying the fresh lube,  he bites the base of her mane for traction, drawing a breathless and shocked moaning from his overwhelmed lover, before starting to saw in and out of her with short but powerful stokes which drive yelps from her lungs.   He manages to work past his medial ring, and Marble wickers in slightly distressed satisfaction as he does.  His strokes get a bit longer as he works into her, and the ultimate limit of penetration comes when he's about the span of his hoof from being hilted,  when he runs her intestine into her diaphragm,  inducing a case of the hiccups in the masochistic mare.  Slow prodding reveals that the way deeper lies around a fairly sharp curve, but Mac is far too hard for his penis to conform to her insides instead of the other way round, and so Mac chooses a depth where he's barely grazing her diaphragm,  able to feel the motion as she breathes and hiccups, to use as a his forward limit, as he draws back and starts to fuck her ass like he really means it.  The floating euphoria of her stallion using her body like an inanimate masturbatory aide returns to Marble's mind, but this time with a greater clarity, if lesser intensity, due to the better supply of oxygen to her brain.
  513.  
  514. Her quim gushes in arousal at her fulfilled submissive fantasy, and as she cums, she cries, "Mmmmh! Harder Mac Daddy!"  Mac groans in pleasure as he races towards his own orgasm, spurred by the way she clamps around him as he demolishes her third hole.  He thrusts with greater force and less precision as his pleasure overtakes him, and, neighing in pleasure, he floods Marble's bowels with seed as she collapses, coughing, at the blows to her diaphragm.
  515.  
  516. Mac steps back, groaning at the overstimulation, as he pulls out of Marble's abused backside.  Marble returns to her feet, as unsteady on her hooves as a little foal, and pivots her fluid leaking gape away from Mac as she reaches under his barrel to clean him up.  As she debases herself in this manner, Luna steps in to join her, "We've not seen a spectacle like that in many an age, perhaps ever, Lady Pie," she purrs. "Your bravery and resilience is worthy of the champions of old."  
  517.  
  518. Marble can only bashfully mumble in response
  519.  
  520. As Luna and Marble finish cleaning off Mac's cock, it retreats into his sheath.  Macintosh and Luna share a look, and pin Marble to the cleanest portion of the now soiled cushions, and return the favor, Luna cleaning the cream out of Marble Pie's plot as Mac decontaminates the flower of her marehood, and when they finish their tasks, they join their tongues in soothing the battered walls of her angry looking tulip.  The magic of the night, the pleasure of two tongues entwined in her tail-hole, and a minor cantrip from Luna for soothing aches and bruises restores Marble's ruined ponut, and it closes gently around the intruders.
  521.  
  522. Ceasing their minstrations, Luna and Macintosh work together to spin Marble around, and once she's facing them, they draw her head and neck to full extension as the two far taller ponies include her in a three sided kiss.  The kiss robs Marble of her returning leg strength, and she sits, still having to stretch to reach them, before she fall entirely prostrate, exhausted by the effort and rendered utterly and painfully sober by the consumptive power of the magic of the ritual's blessings.  Pinkie appears with heavily laden serving trays, and Mac, Marble, and to a lesser extent, Luna, all eat ravenously and drink with terrible thirst.  
  523.  
  524. So replenished, and seeing her restored as well, Mac nuzzles her cheek, and the licks her up to her ear, which he nibbles.  He nuzzles and nibbles his way through her mane, down her neck, and then down her spine across the top of her barrel.  By the time he gets midway down her back, she's flagging her tail unconsciously as her clitoral hood starts to wink.  Just before Mac works his way across the top of her croupe to her dock, he pulls his head back before darting forward to bite her hard, right on the cutie-mark. Marble yelps at the bite, but her nethers start to drip dew in time to her winking as she steadies her hooves from the startle.  Mac reaches under her flagged dock to taste her nectar, but before she can react to his touch, except for with the unconscious re-angling of her croupe, Big Mac has reared up and mounted her.  Two pokes and he's found the angle, three thrusts and he's spread her insides to the depth of his medial ring.  Marble is hot and willing, and enjoys being used without consideration, but her liquid courage hasn't kicked back in, nor is she still coming down from the body high of erotic asphyxiation any longer, so this is almost like trying to birth a foal. The only thing that had ever trespassed upon her maidenhead was a maidenkey that barely was longer than her hymen was deep and wasn't even half his girth.  And half the girth is a quarter the cross section, never mind that he was so, so far past where that maiden key could reach.
  525.  
  526. "Tartarus Marble, you're so bucking tight!" Mac groans.
  527.  
  528. It's just all almost too much and threatens to overwhelm the floating sensation that makes her love being used so, but then Mac's medial ring reaches her clitorus, grinding it's way across it on the way in and flicking it as her lips pop past his ring on the way out, and his thrusts stop claiming more depth with each stroke.  Her climbing physical pleasure helps her to relax her violated marehood, which eases the pain and the floaty sensation of heart filling mental pleasure redoubles, changing the enormous feeling of internal stretching from something that conjures a fear that she might tear to something that conjures a delicious feeling of being marked,  claimed,  and remade in the image of her lover.  "Ruin me for any other stallion Mac!" she cries with a voice of ecstacy as she begins to roll her hips and return Mac's thrusts.  Soon, they are rutting with wild abandon and she's taking him deep enough for him to start to graze her cervix, as he strokes from just the tip to over 2/3rds of his wrecking bar sheathed in her eager cunt.
  529.  
  530. Mac does his level best to keep from losing control of the depth of penetration,  not wanting a repeat for what happened to Tealove when she smashed her cervix on his tree trunk, and it would have worked,  if Marble didn't keep pressing back into him, seeking to feel his sack clap her clit as he bottoms out.  But he's too big and she's to little, and as Marble and Macintosh race each other to completion, she steps into his stroke as he releases her barrel to readjust his grip.  Big Mac plows his battering ram into Marble's foal-home and stretches her inches further as he hilts her with an audible slap; the pain ripping a scream from Marble's throat and causing her to clamp down on Mac's invading member.  But this pain doesn't break through Marble's floating ecstacy, it rockets her higher.  Her scream transitions from pain to pleasure and then to victory as the spasms in her marehood change from a reflex to an orgasm, and she frantically tries to milk Macintosh.  But Macintosh's building climax was torn down in the moment he felt himself smash into Marble's furthest depths, his concern for the little gray mare distracting him from his own pleasure, and when Marble comes down from her own climax,  she realizes that Mac is just about starting over fresh.  
  531.  
  532. This time,  Mac isn't about to give her enthusiasm a chance to break his control.   He sweeps the littlest Pie sister off her hooves,  spins her 90 degrees on his cock, and sets her down to rest on her side, as he lays down on top of her, pinning her in place with his bulk, whispering into her ears, "Listen here,  girly, Ah'm gunna rut you stupid and there's nothing you can do 'bout it.  Yer jest a slave t' be used fer my pleasure, and Ah aim t' get my bits worth outa yer body.  This can hurt or it can feel good, that's up to ya'll.  Do yerself a favor and don't struggle any more."
  533.  
  534. "Mmmmmmmhhh!" Marble has lost her words in the aftermath of the way those  words light her on fire.  Her quim suckles hungrily on Big Mac's cock, and when he kisses her, her mouth is just a passive receptacle for his lusts, her tongue falling out of her lips when he releases his kiss. Big Mac tugs on her the tongue  as he starts to thrust again, before releasing it and taking a gripping bite at the root of her mane, half way down her neck.  In total control of her body, he's free to fuck her the way he wants, and that's Marble's biggest fantasy.  Her dream stallion rutting her with his monster cock exactly the way he pleases, holding her immobile against her reflexes and taking what belongs to him without worry or consideration.  She knows it's a fantasy, if he didn't care, he wouldn't bother to pin her like this, he'd just use his weapon to pound her guts to oblivion without caring that it hurts her, but being held down and fucked like this provides an illusion that takes away her breath as it melts her, mind, heart, and pussy alike.
  535.  
  536. Her fantasy and the reality of her already sensitive post-orgasm minge being demolished by a cock bigger around than her hoof, drives her to the heights or orgasm with a speed that Big Mac has no hope of matching, even though he was close when they changed positions.  Her orgasm claims her silence, her voice calling raggedly her pleasure.  As he plows her with a steady rhythm, another approaches.  As she quakes again, his pace suddenly changes dramatically, as if he struggles to contain his own reaction, and the new irregular and slower pace doesn't start building her next orgasm, but instead keeps her from coming down from the one she's just had.
  537.  
  538. Macintosh is struck dumb, here he is, balls deep in the tightest and freakiest mare he's had, one that gets off to being used like she doesn't matter, and while Marble creams herself all over his dick, his first partner of the evening, the Immortal Majesty Luna Selena Diarch of Equestria and Princess of the Night Sky, just started rimming him like her tongue in his ass is what keeps her alive.  Big Mac has an epiphany as his baby-baster flares and erupts against Marble's thirsty hysteria, <i>This ritual corrodes inhibitions, Ah'm a stiff necked stallion that doesn't cotton t' the expectation of deference from mah 'social betters', in the nobility, but Ah always respected the princesses.  Now that Ah'm in the Hoc Adel mahself,  that objection to the expectation of deference hasn't upgraded itself to target the princesses, but instead extends to all mah friends an' former peers.  So why else would Ah be comfortable or titilated by the Princess debasing herself by doing such as this.  An' Marble, she couldn't go from unable to talk t' me to this, without powerful magic either </i>, but it's just an intellectual curiosity, the ritual, plus the promises that Luna has given him, plus the wild pleasure of an experienced Alicorn tongue seeking the sensitive spots in Mac's ass mean that Mac prays for this moment to stretch on as long as possible, instead of objecting at all to how Luna is treating him.  But  Luna's actions are designed to help bring his orgasm to boil as fast as possible, not help him stretch a moment of pleasure into infinity, and before he can give speech and voice to his pleasure, Mac bellows again like a wild animal as his orgasm erupts into Marble.  
  539.  
  540. Marble's extended orgasm redoubles as she feels him flare and the seal himself to the entrance of her womb, and she climbs higher still as she feels him pump her full of a truly astounding amount of nut butter.   As his orgasm ends, and he stands to get off of her, Big Mac hears her begin to softly snore.
  541.  
  542. Luna kisses him as he withdraws from Marble's quim, before whispering in his ear, "Can we keep her?"
  543.  
  544. "Ah'm sure she'd like nothin' better, sugarcube."
  545.  
  546. Luna levitates Marble up off the spoiled cushion, sticks a bandage enchantment over her loins to stop her slow leak of Big Mac's fluids, levitates a clean blanket onto Mac's back, and then sets Marble on the blanket.  He carries her back to the tables and then they bundle her in the blanket and set her gently on a bench.  The party is winding down, the guests exhausted from the late hour and the exertions of the night, but a hooffull of revelers appear to be prepared to hang on until dawn.  Twilight snoozes on a pile of notebooks, her hooves wandering in her sleep such that it's clear she couldn't find the courage to bring herself to seek a partner. The mountain of food and ocean of drink is greatly diminished, but enough remains for Mac to heap a platter high with apple fritters, zucchini bread with butter, and smoked whitefish canapes with cream cheese, roe, and dill, and enough drink remains for him to refill his monstrous tankard with hard cider.
  547.  
  548. Luna and Macintosh feed each other, while they plan the remainder of the evening.
  549.  
  550. "In less than an hour, I'll be setting the moon and my sister will raise the sun and the rite will come to a close.  Hast thou the fortitude to proclaim the final blessing and close the ceremony mid coitus?"
  551.  
  552. "Eeyup, seems Ah can accomplish jus' 'bout any carnal feat tonight, so long as as Ah feed enough, and Ah reckon there's still 'nough tucker 'round for me."
  553.  
  554. "Wouldst thou treat me with tenderness and care?  Wouldst thou love me tenderly and slow?  It has been so very long, before this evening, that my
  555.   memories of times before may as well be stories from another's life.  I find meself longing for thou to take me for thy bride, as though I had no more responsibility except to bear and raise thy foals and manage thy household."
  556.  
  557. "Y'all deserve these things denied by yer station, an' while there are things Ah cain't provide yah, Ah promise t' keep a place for yah to stay in mah home an' eat at mah table so long as Ah shall live.  Ah will treat yah with all possible care an' gentleness as yah need an' deserve an' are due as mah beloved."
  558.  
  559. "Forsooth, my heart sings to hear this, Dear Macintosh, but though I will not spurn thine oath nor thy love, I beseech thee and pray that thou whilst keep space in thy heart and thy home and before thy hearth for others or at least another.  For though I will cherish and honor the place you make for me in thy home, at thy hearth, and in thy heart, I cannot offer thou the devotion in return which is thy due, my responsibilities deny me the ability to do as I wouldst, and I cannot abandon them for very long at a time."
  560.  
  561. "That's the wonderful thing about love, th' more generous yah are with it, th' more of it there is for yah to share.  I reckon that Marble, at minimim, would be happy to share the place at mah hearth with yah, amongst other things.  What will be, will be.  We'll do what we can t' accomplish what we must an' Ah have faith it'll be plenty.  Ah don't let family down, and ya're a member of mah family now, never mind any foals we have."
  562.  
  563. "Eat, Husband, the hour approaches for thou to fulfill thy promise, and thou will need reserves to withstand the demands of the magic thou shalt surely compose."
  564.  
  565. The time for words behind them, Luna and Mac eat and drink as avatars of the hunger and thirst of the land they bless, aided by magic to consume what magic demands, two beings already of larger than life appetites eat and drink such that they would stagger their normal selves, before moving back to the dias for the closing of the ceremony.  
  566.  
  567. Upon the dais, as the sky begins to lighten in the east, Macintosh envelops Luna in a tender kiss, caressing the side of his lover's barrel with a nigh worshipful care.  Luna returns his kiss, embracing his neck with her wings as she delights in his gentle touch.  He releases her from the kiss, to peck and nuzzle and nibble his way down the side of her face, and up the curve of her jaw to her neck, and down the arc of her neck to the joint of her wings and her shoulders.  
  568.  
  569. Pinkie Pie gathers the remaining revelers, and rouses Twilight and Marble.  "You silly filly, Twilight, you need to find somepony to help you participate in this blessing or all the power that's been running through you tonight will go to waste!"
  570.  
  571. "It's not that easy Pinkie!  I'm not the kind of mare to be that forward, and the only stallion here I've ever thought about like that is too scary!"
  572.  
  573. "Oh, you like Macky-Wacky?"
  574.  
  575. "I don't know that I like him like him, but everyone says he's nice, he takes such good care of his family, and it doesn't hurt that he's certainly a good looking stallion."
  576.  
  577. "That's what every mare thinks, Twilight,  and then they got to see just why they call him Big Mac, and suddenly the other stallions didn't look so plain, did they?" Caramel interjects as he approaches with Applejack, Lily Valley, and Nurse Redheart.
  578.  
  579. "I didn't say that!  I barely ever thought like that about Big Mac, never mind anypony else! I spent basically the whole time after Granny Smith explained the rite to me to when the festivities started trying to psych myself up and barely worked up the courage to participate and then boom!  Turns out he's so hung that a freaking Alicorn Princess says he makes her feel like a maiden!"
  580.  
  581. Time Turner does his best to soothe her, "Twilight, you're worrying about this all too much.  If you don't participate, you'll just receive the blessings of the rite in lesser measure than you would otherwise.  Either way, time is short, so choose or relax and enjoy the show."
  582.  
  583. "c-c-could i see yours?  I've always enjoyed talking to you about how modern timekeeping equipment affects our lives.  The way that they first accurate spring drive clocks allowed the Earth Ponies to solve the Longitude Problem was a fascinating bit of history, especiallythewayitchangedthefaceoftheearthpony/pegasustradeeconomyasthechronometersandotherhighprecisionmanufacturedgoodschallengedthepegasinationstofindotherthingstoexchangeinreturnbeyondjusthiringtheirservicesoutforweather-"
  584.  
  585. Time Turner silences Twilight with a hoof to the mouth to prevent her accelerating monologue from racing out of control.  "Twilight, I'm flattered, but you need to relax.  Now, just so we're on the same page, this is a religious ceremony and a magic ritual, I think you're an adorable young mare, and I find you attractive, but what happens here is confined to this place and time.  I won't cotton to traditional unicorn notions of what constitutes obligation between two ponies who've had non-procreative, non-marital, sex." With that, the slightly weedy stallion allows his completely proportional phallus to drop.  Twilight feels the warmth in her nethers intensify as the magic of the ritual finally finds fertile soil in her mind space, and all she can do is nod nervous approval as her tail flags.  "Take a good look at it Miss Sparkle," Turner continues, smelling Twilight's arousal, "and let me know what you think."
  586.  
  587. "I think that I want it and I'm ready, it's not scary at all," Twilight responds, as she turns, flicking her tail at Time Turner's nose.  Turner gives her marehood a lick, and then rises up to mount her.  Twilight guides Turner's cock to its target with her magic, and Twilight makes one more request, "Please be gentle."
  588.  
  589. "Of course,"  responds Turner, as he eases forward and slowly deflowers her. "Damn filly, you're tight!"
  590.  
  591. "Aaaahnmmm!  Oh! Mmmm! So warm! Nnng!"
  592.  
  593. Twilight muffles her cries as Time Turner slowly saws into her, each slow stroke driving just a little further, he holds position for her to adjust to him for a bit at the zenith of each thrust.  Sensation overwhelms Twilight, mild discomfort giving way to enormous pleasure, as Time Turner slowly works his way into her pussy, and Twilight whinnies in ecstacy as he hilts her and she has her first orgasm.  As her orgasm draws to  close, Time Turner finally recognises what happened, and takes it as a cue in the absence of verbal commands to stop spending so much time waiting, and he begins to rut her properly.   The way he's spurred to action manages to extend Twilight's orgasm, but eventually she comes down from it and her pleasure begins to build again.  Every stroke buzzes her pleasure centers 5 times, first when his glans rubs past her g-spot, when his medial ring stokes into and past her clit, when his medial ring rubs past her g-spot,  when he hilts her and his weighty sack slaps her clitoral hood, and finally when her lips stretch past his medial ring and her clit pops into it on the back stroke. Twilight concentrates on these sensations and begins to twist and roll her hips to intensify and prolong the simulation to of her sweet spots.
  594.  
  595. This motion encourages Turner to thrust into her with abandon and intensifies his pleasure.  His orgasm races abruptly to the fore, he barely has time to warn her "Here it comes!"
  596.  
  597. Twilight is momentarily disappointed that her own building pleasure doesn't appear to have a second chance to reach culmination, but then, as she feels his flare swell and liquid heat pour into her and engulf the mouth of her womb, her world is rocked by the way her pleasure explodes through her mind and body into ecstacy, her orgasm seemingly teleporting past many intermediate levels of pleasure to appear with the suddenness and intensity of a lightning strike.  Her legs buckle, but she catches herself before she can fall.  She moans in loss and reluctance as Turner withdraws from her and dismounts, but before she can speak to him, the scene on the dais enraptures the crowd.
  598.  
  599. On the dias, Macintosh is preening Luna's wings with gentle touches and loving nibbles, as she quakes with pleasure and wordlessly mumbles her devotion.  Power visibly flows from the sacred couple, in waves the green of Macintosh's eyes, the blue of Luna's,  the red of Mac's coat, and the midnight purple of the Princess'.  The ground absorbs this magic like the whole planet is a mana crystal battery of unparalleled purity, as magic flows back into the couple on the dais with an intensity that is almost difficult to look at.  Twilight breaks her eyes away from this scene and notices that power also flows from the couple into the other participants, from the revelers to the couple, and from the revelers into and from Equestria.  Her eyes snap back to Mac and Luna as a flare of lightless color presages the knot of the ley-line intersection rising from the soil to wrap Luna and Mac in the embrace of its power, the pulsing knot of the serpentine rivers of magical power intersecting in Mac's oversized body, before settling back into the soil,  leaving Macintosh and Luna's eyes pupil-less, sclera-less, and aglow with power that shines from within with an intensity that leaves their gaze lit like a beacon from the lighthouses that warn ships about shoals on Equestria's eastern coast.  After a moment staring in shock at this vulgar display of power, Twilight realizes that Mac and Luna aren't only glowing from their eyes, lost in the beam-like intensity of those orbs is the fact that they now light the dais in the overlapping glow of power radiating from their whole bodies, and Mac's short mane and tail are now billowing in the same etheral wind as his Alicorn mate's.
  600.  
  601. Macintosh and Luna gaze into each other's eyes as they kiss again,  hooves roaming each other's body, power reinforcing power, both lovers subtly growing in stature.   Mac breaks Luna's gaze to nibble and groom her from the tip of her ear down her spine to her dock, and then he begins to kiss his way up and down her inner thighs, favoring her winking vulva and her clitoral hood with hot breaths and butterfly-light grazing touches.   Luna groans with need as she tries without success to press her nethers firmly into his touch, and bites him firmly on the cutie-mark when she fails.  Mac guides Luna down until they are laying next to each other,  and shifts his muzzle from behind her legs to between them,  as he gives her vulva and clitorus firm kisses and then teases her by shifting his attention to her teats.  
  602.  
  603. Luna swallows her cries of frustration and does her best to return the favor, kissing her way around his sheath and his scrotum.   When he drops, she ignores his penis, except to pass a hot breath over it on occasion, and he rumbles desire and appreciation of her efforts.    As Mac reaches full hardness, he abandons his teasing and plunges his snout into the wet heat of her marehood, suckling on her clit, breathing her scent straight from the source as his nostrils rest along the folds of her labia.  Her cries start to crescendo,  and as she approaches her peak, he shifts, leaving his lower lip on her clit as he seeks her G-spot with his tongue.  Luna floods his mouth as she screams his name, her deafening voice further enhanced by the torrent of magical power flowing through her, shocking just about everypony in Ponyville out of their pre-dawn slumber.  Macintosh stands up, repositioning himself so they lay belly to belly and facing the same direction.   He rolls her on her back, and follows her over, kissing her neck and massaging her wings as he lays himself astride her barrel, his stallionhood heating her belly and teats, as they embrace.  Luna flexes and reaches, but cannot move high enough to reach the glans of his penis with her marehood.  Luna whines, "Please Macintosh,  I need it so bad, my Lord."
  604.  
  605. "As you wish, my Lady," he growls in lustful heat, as he lifts his barrel up and back until he feels his precum leaking cock drag its way down her barrel and across her tender teats to her hot, wet, entrance.  Luna's magic stops it there, in perfect alignment with the entrance to her canal, and Mac nuzzles her nose as he peers lovingly into her eyes slowly lancing into her heat.
  606.  
  607. They both gasp in the pleasure and shared sensation of this penetration as he enters her as slow as warm honey drips off the dauber.  Luna coos as her heart bursts with love and Mac's tears drip down to mingle with her own as he weeps, overcome with love he feels for and from his princess.  As he reaches the depths of her marehood and she reaches the root of his staff they kiss for endless moments,  legs entagled, her wings wrapped around and pressed into his back, they strain to touch each other with as much of their bodies as possible, a physical union to match the union of their hearts.  Luna breaks the kiss to gasp for breath and they begin to rock their hips against each other as Mac nips at her throat.  She bites his ear and grips his flanks with her wings as he starts to increase the amplitude of his slow strokes, stoking her fires higher and higher.  Mac is staggered by the sense of heat pouring pouring off of and out of his lover, it far surpasses the heat of initial penetration that had so startled him earlier that night.  A slow and desperate fervor grips the two sacred lovers, awash in their mutual devotion to each other and to the ritual, senses enflamed by lust and magic, the world around Luna and Macintosh dissolves to a soup of light, as they pour their feelings into each other and their senses blend, Luna feeling what Macintosh feels and vice versa.  In communion with the magic of the ritual, Equis, the Spirits of the Forest, the Sprites of the Plains, and each other, the wedded couple receive as an epiphany a new blessing to declare, as they perceive the moment is at hand for the ritual to be completed
  608.  
  609. The sky continues to lighten in the east as the crescent moon starts to kiss the western horizon,  seeming to grow in size,  but incongrutitously also in brightness, and this brightness sparkles off of the gravity defying beads of moisture that splash away from where Luna and Mac are coupled,  dolphin style, on the stone altar of the dias.  These shining motes of light drift outward from the lovers in every direction not occluded by their writhing bodies, refracting the unusual moonlight into an enchanting rainbow diffraction pattern, as Luna and Mac strain to perform the final blessing while they thunder towards completion.
  610.  
  611. *Recited in Harmony by Luna and Macintosh*
  612. "Beloved friends and rela-a-a-tions, go forth to ble-ess this land and this community with the fruits of your minds, the labors of yo-o-ur loves, the produce of your souls, and the children your relationships husba-a-and.  May your labors not exhaust you, may love returned blossom profusely-y, may your health ne'er forsake you, may your stri-i-ving find fertile ground, and may your families grow strong and numerous.  New love shalt grow to be as firm as the oak, old love shalt put forth fresh growth, children born of those who participated tonight shalt be doubly blest.  Raise new homes, they shalt stand long centuries, build new walls, they shalt ne'er be breached, found new households, they shalt prosper!"
  613.  
  614. As Luna and Macintosh finish their blessing, their delayed pleasure overtakes them, and with mutual cry, they lay spent.  The bonfire in front of the altar flares from coals to a wall of flames as large as the door to the barn, and Granny Smith, abed for hours, steps out as if it were a portal, garbed in her priestly rainment, "Ah call on th' Spirits of Orchard an' Field an' th' Spirit of th' Magic of this Rite an' th' bones of Equis itself to Bless this union an' these two an' these folk an' their unions with fertility and power, with wealth and productiveness, with good grace and good will, and with hale bodies and venerability, Aaa-men!"
  615.  
  616. The gathered cry, "Amen!"
  617.  
  618.  Mac and Luna, limbs tangled as they lay on the altar, whisper their response, "Amen."
  619.  
  620. Granny Smith then opens the flame like a door and steps back through, Pinkie alone catching a glimpse of her bedroom in the farm house before the flames slam back shut and gutter out, back to coals.
  621.  
  622. Luna lights her horn, and the moon sets.  East of the Altar, the sun rises, and with it, the supernatural warmth and the phantasmal spring dissipate, allowing the chill of midwinter to reassert itself upon the yard.  The townsfolk mostly head off back to their homes, those too drowsy to make the trip back home are welcomed by the Apples to rest in the warm hay loft of the livestock barn. Animals are fed and watered, but no other chores are done today, work can wait until tomorrow.  Luna and Mac lead Marble up to Macintosh's bed, and the three share the restful sleep of the purehearted.  
  623.  
  624. From underneath the snow bank that piled against the stone fence that marks the edge of the farm yard ceremony grounds, two little fillies exfiltrate their snow and blanket fort, blushing faces communicating with glances that neither shall ever mention this night again, as Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon try to straighten their disheveled winter gear as they work to escape back home without being spotted.
  625.  
  626. In town, 3 more fillies struggle to keep from nodding off at breakfast, after a sleepless night of their own, bodies warm and sensitive in new and embarrassing places and unusual new thoughts coursing though their minds.  One wonders if she's royalty, the other wonders why she can't get the image of her friend's older brother's flank and colt parts out of her mind, and the third wonders why she's suddenly so interested in touching the girl bits between her own legs.
  627.  
  628. The mare that is feeding those fillies their morning meal sighs wistfully, remembering the power that coursed through her and the heat of her loins at the sight of Mac's penis, and the duty that forced her to abstain from participating.
Luna Big Mac Marble Pie Group sex food play feasting ritual

The tale of Starswirl (1)

by Cliffordwriter

Ancient Rite

by Cliffordwriter

RGRE Anonpone+Applejack

by Cliffordwriter

RGRE Anonpone+Applejack prologue

by Cliffordwriter