Pillars of Old Equestria
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The Pillars of Old Equestria, also known as the Pillars of Equestria or simply the Pillars, are a group of legendary Pony heroes who served as predecessors to the Mane Six. Each of them represents a "pillar" or principal similar to the Elements of Harmony.
Formation and Exile
After accomplishing various feats of heroism separately, the Pillars were brought together by Stygian to face the threat of the Dazzlings. They succeeded in banishing the wicked trio to another world, but their victory yielded bitter results. Despite having brought the Pillars together and helped formulate the strategy for their confrontation with the three Sirens, Stygian was not recognized as a member of the Pillars. Hoping to join them as a hero, he stole Flash Magnus' shield Netitus, Mage Meadowbrook's mask, Mistmane's flower, Rockhoof's shovel, Somnambula's blindfold, and Starswirl's journal and took them to Ponhenge.
Stygian's intent was to create copies of the Pillars' artifacts that would enable him to join them in battle; unfortunately, the Pillars believed him to be acting out of jealousy. Fearing that he intended to steal their power for himself and not considering other possibilities, they reclaimed their artifacts and expelled Stygian from their company. Unfortunately, their hopes that he might eventually return repentant were dashed when, now merged with the Darkness from the Well of Shade, Stygian returned as the Pony of Shadows. He attacked his former allies at the Castle of Two Sisters, and proved too great an adversary for the Pillars to defeat, though he also failed to destroy them despite being active for some time.
Fearing that their former ally would destroy all light in Equestria, the Pillars resorted to a desperate strategy to contain his evil. After infusing their magic into a Crystal Seed which would eventually grow into the Tree of Harmony, the six gathered at Ponhenge and used a spell to summon the Pony of Shadows there. Though the Pony of Shadows' power was increased by this action, the Pillars were able to cast a spell that would trap him and them within Limbo, where they hoped he would be forever thwarted. The spell was successful, and all that remained in Equestria of the seven combatants were the Pillars' artifacts.
Over a thousand years later, Starswirl's journal came into the possession of Sunburst, who discovered from its pages what the Pillars' final mission had been. At the behest of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, he joined the Mane Six, Starlight Glimmer, and Spike in seeking out what had become of the Pillars. After finding Ponhenge and activating a magical recording of the Pillars' confrontation with the Pony of Shadow there, Twilight Sparkle hit upon a means of bringing the Pillars back to Equestria. Once the other Pillars' artifacts had been found with help from the Cutie Map, Twilight enacted her plan, only to bring the Pony of Shadows back to Equestria as well.
After a brief confrontation and the destruction of the journal and Ponhenge, the Pony of Shadows fled, and the Pillars accompanied their rescuers back to Twilight's Castle of Friendship despite Starswirl's reservations. They soon discovered that it and the Tree of Harmony had been born of the Crystal Seed they had long ago planted, and Starswirl determined to use the Tree's magic to return the Pillars and the Pony of Shadows to limbo. While he prepared for this, the other Pillars and Twilight's friends set about exploring locations where the Pony of Shadows might be gathering strength. However, Starswirl's outdated knowledge failed to yield results, and Twilight hit upon a means of banishing the Pony of Shadows without sending the Pillars back to Limbo, though the Elements of Harmony would be sacrificed in the process.
The Cutie Map revealed that the Pony of Shadows had made his way to the Hollow Shades, and the Pillars and their new allies prepared to confront him. However, Starlight Glimmer was unconvinced of the Pony of Shadows' supposed irredeemable nature, and questioned the Pillars regarding their history. Her pleas went unheeded, and after collecting the Elements the groups went to the Hollow Shades and confronted the Pony of Shadows. During their attempts to banish him, however, the truth about his past actions came out, and the heroes worked instead to separate Stygian from the Darkness. They succeeded, sending the Darkness to Limbo without losing Stygian or the Elements, and the reconciled friends made their way to Canterlot to meet with the princesses.
Life in a New Age
Despite the welcome of Celestia and Luna, Starswirl and his comrades chose not to remain together in Canterlot, but set out to explore their changed world and find new places in it. Flash Magnus would join the Royal Guards of Equestria in Canterlot, while Mage Meadowbrook returned to her old home in Hayseed Swamp. Mistmane was appointed royal landscape artist for the Crystal Empire, while Somnambula became a motivational speaker in her namesake village. Starswirl would remain a traveler, striving to learn more about friendship and also dealing with various magical crises or artifacts he encountered.
Rockhoof struggled to find a place in modern Equestria, but ultimately found purpose in being appointed as Keeper of Tales by Twilight. Later, when she became aware of the Legion of Doom's imminent attack on Canterlot, Twilight summoned the Pillars to help guard the city. Sadly, the group proved to be no match for Tirek, who drained them of their magic; they were later imprisoned beneath Canterlot Castle. However, Discord and Starlight were able to free them and the other prisoners, and the Pillars helped occupy Tirek, Queen Chrysalis, and Cozy Glow while the Mane Six (minus an absent Twilight) and Spike made their escape.
The Pillars were soon imprisoned yet again, but later freed by the Magic of Friendship during the final battle against the Legion. Together with the Young Six and the soon to be Council of Friendship, they stood against the three villains, and their combined Magic of Friendship robbed the trio of the magic of Grogar that they had obtained from the Bewitching Bell. Afterwards, the Pillars-together with Stygian-were in attendance when Twilight was crowned as Queen of Equestria. Years later, the Pillars would be remembered among the many friends of the Council of Friendship as they imparted its importance to Luster Dawn.
- Flash Magnus, the Element of Bravery
- Mage Meadowbrook, the Element of Healing
- Mistmane, the Element of Beauty
- Rockhoof, the Element of Strength
- Somnambula, the Element of Hope
- Starswirl the Bearded, the Element of Sorcery
In other media
The Pillars of Equestria are a collection in Gameloft's mobile game. Completing the collection allows players to obtain Lord Goldstone, unless they have obtained him by other means.
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