The Great War was a decades-long militarized conflict between two global superpowers, the pony nation of Equestria and an unnamed zebra nation with whom it shared a border. This war lasted multiple years and forced Equestria into a rushed industrial revolution as the two superpowers raced to outdo each other in the fields of arcane science, industry, and wartime technology.
The most significant cause of the Great War was the rising number of trade sanctions involving natural resources between the two belligerent superpowers-- Equestria, which had a monopoly on magical gemstones, and the unnamed zebra nation, which had a monopoly on the coal needed to power Equestrian industry. As relations strained, minor conflicts broke out between the two nations. Eventually, the accidental massacre of civilians at Littlehorn Valley drove both superpowers into an all-out war.
Course of the War
In an attempt to end the war, the Ministry of Peace led a project along with the Ministry of Arcane Sciences in order to create the megaspell, a spell framework that exponentially amplified the power of any given spell, whether it be healing or devastating. The schematics for the megaspell framework were then clandestinely supplied to the zebra nation. This was done in hopes that the frameworks would be used to build immensely powerful healing spells that would, by preventing the deaths of anybody, guarantee a no-win scenario for either belligerent, and force everyone to stop fighting and come to the table -- the concept of Communally Assured Reciprocal Existence (CARE).
Equestria eventually gained a significant technological lead over the zebras to the point where the milestones it needed to assure victory -- primarily bypass spells and alicorn mutations--had been reached, and mass deployment was mere weeks away. Seeing this, the zebras recognized that the war would not end in their favor and that defeat would be inevitable. Certain events and misunderstandings led the zebras to believe that Equestria was "under the influence of the stars" and would commit mass genocide and kill all the zebras should they win; with nothing left to lose, the zebras launched an all-out megaspell strike against Equestria.
The Last Day
- Main article: Last Day
The megaspell onslaught lasted mere hours. The first city to fall was Cloudsdayle, which immediately resulted in the pegasi's abandonment of the war effort and their subsequent secession from Equestria. The next targets to be struck directly were Splendid Valley, Manehattan, Canterlot, and Fillydelphia. After this point, the pegasi raised a near-permanent cloud curtain over all of Equestria, blinding the zebras for the remainder of the megaspell assault and preventing them from acquiring targets with precision.
As expected, the megaspell onslaught devastated both Equestria and the zebra nation, ending the war almost immediately. In the wake of the war, the Equestrian government was completely annihilated, its civilian population largely decimated and the territorities it controlled reduced to swaths of irradiated wasteland. Equestria descended into a state of complete anarchy, and no organized civilizations rose from the ashes for many years to come. The majority of the surviving Equestrian population went into hiding in the hundreds of underground Stables that were constructed throughout the course of the war, and would only emerge sporadically throughout the centuries that followed.
The ultimate fate of the zebra nation is unknown, though it can be assumed that it suffered a similar, if not worse fate, as Equestria had far more megaspells, which where far more advanced than the zebras, of their own and ample time to counter-strike. The only known fact mentioned in the book is that the zebra empire's coastal regions and islands, where the ministry of magic believed that most of the zebra megaspell silos where located, were utterly decimated "to the point where nothing will be able to live there for thousands of years" by the Celestia One experimental solar megaspell.
Timeline of Major Events
- The Wonderbolts illegally rescue seventeen ponies from zebra pirates within the territory of the zebra homelands. Several Wonderbolts died in the mission, and trading sanctions were issued, causing tension between the two superpowers. Minor hostilities and trading problems continued for years.
- Rainbow Dash joins the Equestrian Skyguard.
- The firearm is invented in Equestria.
- At some point, an adult Scootaloo founds Red Racer.
- Apple Bloom, a famous architect and President of Stable-Tec, unveils the designs for Luna's Academy for Young Unicorns to the princess on her birthday alongside Princess Celestia and Apple Bloom's Uncle Orange. Celestia chose Littlehorn Valley in Crescent Moon Canyon as a friendly joke. The cruel irony would go on to haunt her in the years to come.
- Luna's school opens a short time after the princess' birthday.
- The Massacre at Littlehorn - A convoy of zebras pass by the school but due to miscommunications, the school's defensive systems slaughter the zebras. A surviving zebra infiltrates the school and gets revenge by unleashing the Pink Cloud upon it, killing everyone inside.
- Princess Celestia abdicates in shame, and Princess Luna becomes ruler of Equestria. Horrified that "Nightmare Moon" is in charge (based on the zebras belief that she is a demonic star entity), the zebras declare war.
- The "Mane Six" and wielders of the Elements of Harmony are asked by Luna to be part of her wartime government - The Ministries are founded and Equestria changes forever.
- Twilight Sparkle directs the Ministry of Arcane Sciences, designed to research and created new magic for wartime purposes. Spike works as her assistant.
- Applejack directs the Ministry of Wartime Technology, which as a whole acts a funding hub for countless wartime businesses, and designs new technology and weaponry for the war. Stable-Tec is affiliated directly with the MoWT.
- Rarity directs the Ministry of Image, which deals with the nationwide media, propaganda and image of the Ministries and the war.
- Fluttershy directs the Ministry of Peace, which runs all the hospitals and researches new medical breakthroughs, as well find ways to end the war peacefully.
- Pinkie Pie directs the Ministry of Morale, initially a mass institute dedicated to keeping up morality amongst Equestria, but quickly became a "Big Brother"-like organization designed to monitor the citizens to find any zebra sympathsiers, naysayers and potential threats to morale. Also controlled the police.
- Rainbow Dash directs the Ministry of Awesome, which comes across as being utterly useless and is allegedly shut down by Luna. Actually used as a special projects division, and involved black ops and development of new technologies.
- Rainbow Dash forms the Shadowbolts, who become a lead force in battle.
- Many ponies sign up to the army and aerial forces.
- At some point, Pinkie becomes addicted to Party Time Mint-Als, which boosts her "Pinkie Sense" but makes her unstable.
- C.A.R.E. is formed by Fluttershy - the Megaspell is invented.
- The first test of a megaspell is performed during a bloody battle in Stalliongrad by Fluttershy. It is a success but the battle begins all over again.
- The Battle of Shattered Hoof Ridge - an attempt at peace talks between Princess Celestia and zebra diplomats goes wrong, leading to an assassination attempt on Celestia. Big Macintosh takes a bullet and becomes a war hero.
- Rarity comes into the possession of the Black Book and suggests the creation of soul-empowered armour, but is shot down by Applejack.
- Rarity apprehends a zebra assassin and thus stealth buck technology is developed.
- Twilight conceptualises the I.M.P. (Impelled Metamorphosis Potion), to transform ponies into alicorns.
- The Diamond Dogs of Splendid Valley are annexed from their home so the Maripony facility can be built to create the I.M.P.
- The construction of the Stables begins by Stable-Tec. In the end, one-hundred and one Stables are built.
- Luna's astronomer, Midnight Shower, is sent to Zebratown to research the local folklore. Applesnack works there as a police officer. Midnight is there for a month, finding a piece of Nightmare Moon's armour, but when she plans to return it to Luna, she is lynched and hung by the townsfolk.
- At some point after Big Macintosh's death, the Gardens of Equestria are created by Twilight within Spike's Cave, powered by the Elements of Harmony.
- A year after her brother's death, Applejack unveils the Steel Rangers to the staff of the MoWT, along with the Power Armor. Steelhooves is the first.
- Stable #2 is built under Sweet Apple Acres.
- Ironshod Firearms creates anti-machine rifle that can pierce Steel Ranger armour.
- As plotted by certain executives in the MoWT, Applejack is wounded in an attempted assassination involving a faulty elevator.
- On the same day as Applejack's near-assassination, Fluttershy smuggles megaspell technology to the zebras in an attempt to make peace. Rainbow Dash damns her as a "traitor".
- With her friends falling apart, Rarity decides to go ahead with her secret project to create soul jars using the Black Book's magic.
- Zecora becomes a double agent to help weed out any zebra sympathisers. Only Rainbow Dash and Pinkie know the truth.
- A battle occurs over Hoofington that involves a dragon.
- Rainbow Dash and Apple Bloom propose the Single Pegasus Project to Luna.
- The pegasi community begin showing disdain towards the war effort - the seeds of the Enclave are laid.
- The Single Pegasus Project is built in Old Olneigh, accompanied by many towers across Equestria, which remain a mystery to many.
- The creation of the I.M.P. is a lenghty, difficult process, with many batches of the formula being chucked out and dumped in the caverns beneath Splendid Valley. However, the unstable formula eats through the barrels they are placed in and prove to be lethal to anyone who touches it. Peachy Pie, a MoAS worker, falls victim to the formula and becomes a mutant abomination that has to be dissected alive by her best friend Sunny Days in hospital.
- Rarity creates the pegasus power armour. It is unveiled to the other Ministry Mares and Spike, in their last meeting together. Secretly present is a special fabric that was imprinted with the feelings and bonds the Mane Six had as part of Rarity's soul jar project.
- Scootaloo activates the Manehattan-based Stables early as an experiment.
- Pinkie's Last Party - Twilight falls out with Pinkie over her addiction.
- Pinkie, high on Mint-Als, encounters Rarity's magic mirror and speaks not only to her happier self but to Littlepip (who is watching via a memory orb), telling the future Stable Dweller that the world will be saved through "sunshine and rainbows".
- Rarity goes ahead with her soul jar project, ripping apart her own soul using black magic into forty-three pieces. Forty-two are placed in the Statuettes, and the last remains with Rarity.
- The solar-powered megaspell Celestia One is built in Tenpony Tower.
- Spike falls asleep in his cave after a falling out with Twilight.
- Zecora is murdered by Steelhooves.
- Twilight perfects the I.M.P. formula.
- Trixie creates a successful invisibility spell and is invited by Twilight to be subject zero in the testing of the I.M.P. at Maripony.
- Pinkie learns the Four Stars transport company are traitors and plot to bomb Manehattan.
- The Last Day - The zebras turn the megaspells given to them by Fluttershy into balefire bomb and unleash a nuclear holocaust upon Equestria. Cloudsdale, Manehattan, Fillydelphia, Splendid Valley and other locations are destroyed by the bombs. Canterlot is consumed by the Pink Cloud unleashed within. The pegasi abandon Equestria and cover it with an immense cloud cover. The Grand Pegasus Enclave is founded in the following years.
- Ditzy Doo is transformed into a Ghoul during the destruction of Cloudsdale.
- The first I.M.P. test is interrupted by the bombing of Splendid Valley. Trixie tumbles into a vat of the formula and becomes the Goddess. Twilight is trapped in the control room.
- Pinkie Pie is killed in the bombing of Manehattan, planning to undertake rehabilitation from her drug addiction after raiding the Four Stars headquarters.
- Celestia and Luna create a forcefield around Canterlot to protect it from a barrage of bombs. However, the dragon that guards the royal treasury is infected with the Pink Cloud and spreads it across the city.
- Rarity teleports Fluttershy and Angel Bunny to the Everfree Forest and is killed by the Pink Cloud.
- Fluttershy is attacked by Killing Joke and transformed into a willow tree.
- Apple Bloom dies from radiation poisoning after Fillydelphia is struck by a balefire bomb.
- Applejack and Sweetie Belle survive in Stable #2.
- Celestia One is fired within Tenpony Tower, said to have melted islands in the zebra homelands and boiled the ocean.
- Princess Luna eventually succumbs to the Pink Cloud and dies in Celestia's arms. In her grief, Celestia destroys the Canterlot shield and destroys the remaining balefire bombs. However, her actions poison Equestria's main reservoir and Whitetail Woods, killing the soil itself.
- Steelhooves is turned into a ghoul by the Pink Cloud.
- Celestia enters the Single Pegasus Project to take control of the weather, but due to Rainbow Dash's tampering, she is unable to and is left trapped in the system with little control.
- Diamond Tiara commits suicide whilst trapped in the Shattered Hoof Rehabilitation Facility.
- Three days after the Last Day, Twilight is assimiliated into the foundations of the Goddess' Unity. The Goddess takes many years to re-create the I.M.P. and creates her alicorn army.
- Rainbow Dash betrays the Enclave to help Equestria's survivors, and is declared a traitor by the pegasi. She fulfils Pinkie's last request - to leave six vital memory orbs within the Canterlot MoA hub for Littlepip to find.
- Rainbow Dash is targeted by her old friend Gilda on behalf of the Enclave. Rainbow visits Spike, who still sleeps in his cave, before having a final battle with Gilda. Rainbow Dash's fate is left unknown, though side stories (aka Project Horizons) detailed the events after her battle with Gilda.
- Scootaloo opts to go after Rainbow Dash. Considered a traitor, she is branded a "Dashite" by the Enclave, which happens to any pegasus who goes to the surface without permission. Scootaloo tries to find Rainbow Dash, but dies from radiation poisoning outside her idol's shack.
- Stable #29's Crusader Maneframe eliminates all of the occupants systematically after the water talisman breaks down. The Stable lasted three months.
- Twenty-five years after the Apocalypse, Applejack dies of old age.
- Stable #3 remains active for "over a century before the [Pink] Cloud" infiltrated it. "Within a generation more", survivors were forced to unseal the door and attempt fleeing.
- Two-hundred years after the Great War, Littlepip leaves Stable #2 to change Equestria's fate.