Letters from the Gryphon War

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A collection of letters exchanged between Captain Silent Knight the Black Dragoon and his wife back home in Equestria during the war against Sudramoar between 875 and 876 CE.

11 Snow Moon 875 CE

My Beloved Crystal Wishes

Once more I find myself in Margull and filled with trepidation. I had intended to write you a bland letter promising you that I was far from the front and safe but that seems like a waste of time.

We are setting up camp, I am currently safe, and in a position where I will likely remain so.

My grandfather is here. Stratus Knight’s father, I mean. I see so much of Stratus in him that I get irrationally angry every time he walks by. Before we arrived I even yelled at him. Tonight he came to me while I was trying to write this letter and asked about the funeral.

He was concerned about whether or not we’d treated Stratus appropriately. I assured him we had. Then he asked me if I would be the one to treat him the same way when he passes. I agreed to do so.

There seemed little point in denying a pony his final wishes out of spite. Not that I anticipate his death anytime soon. He looks as fit as ever.

The encounter made me miss you all the more. Clement Knight is not family. You are. Winterspear is. I’ve taken that for granted to some extent and now that I am surrounded by nothing but the job your absence is unnerving.

Tonight I will go home to a dorm room with three other junior officers in it. They do not know me, they will not cuddle with me, and they will certainly not do any of the other things you do for me when we’re alone.

I miss your warmth, I miss your voice, and I miss you.

May we see each other soon

Your husband
Silent Knight


20 Snow Moon 875 CE

My Dearest Silent Knight,

No written words can begin to tell you how happy I am to receive your letter. I know that there is no place for you there where your safety is guaranteed, but if you tell me that you are safe, then that puts my mind at ease.

Your grandfather? I suppose it speaks volumes to his character that I would have believed you if you had ever said he passed some time ago. Fences broken for so long are hard to mend; I more than understand that. My whole life, I had never met my mother’s parents. They had no kind words to share about either of my parents when I finally did, and yet they came to the wedding, where they shook hooves and hugged as if it had only been a few months of animosity.

Of course, with that said, I could never tell you to seek a relationship with your grandfather. Given the one I have with my own mother, that would make me an awful hypocrite, don’t you think?

At this moment, I am lying on our bed, where I miss you the most. It’s hard to sleep without you. This house is lonely without you. But I will manage. I will soldier on. Because I know you’ll come home to me. And when you do, I will love you in every way, as much as it takes until neither of us can remember these days we’re apart.

On nights when the distance between us seems too far, if you are able, look at the stars. Before I go to bed, I will send my love to each and every one so that when you look at the night sky, you can see how the stars dance with my love for you, and perhaps you might feel a little less lonely.

Yours, always and forever,
Crystal Wishes


7 Maple Moon 875 CE

To the Rose Princess

The smell of your letter has reminded me more of what I’ve left behind and what I now fight to return to. Each day will be easier now, however, knowing that when I get through it I will be rewarded. I can look up at the stars and share a moment alone with you.

It will be our moment. Our peace and harmony. With you at my side I know I can persevere.

I am lonely this evening. Princess Luna paid us a surprise visit on the eve of what is going to be an experience I’m certain I’ll never forget. We are to follow the gryphons to battle and observe from a distance. That is not why I am lonely, however.

My former guards rallied around me and for a mere few hours it was as if I was back home in the role I never should have left. I spoke quietly with the Princess and she offered me the chance to leave the general’s command but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I am safe enough here and making a difference.

We head south tomorrow. Toward the battle I romanticised as a foal. How foolish. Soon countless lives will be lost while we sit upon our airships watching.

Fear not for me though. I’ll be aboard the general’s flagship surrounded by the Army’s best archers… and of course you are aware I’m pretty good in a fight still. Not that I’m expecting a fight.

I’ve dispatched Iridescence and Winterspear to your side. I don’t know if they’ll arrive before this letter but I wanted you to have them nearby.

Tomorrow my love, it all begins tomorrow. Look to the heavens and know that I will be looking back because I will get through tomorrow. For you.

Your Knight


19 Maple Moon 875 CE

My Knight,

The delay in our letters is not something I appreciated until this moment. When your hoof touched the paper I received, the word ‘tomorrow’ meant exactly that. Yet, when it reached me, ‘tomorrow’ is in the past. One of the days that have gone by, you were watching a battle while I… I may have been grocery shopping. I may have been having lunch.

It turns my stomach to think that at such an important moment, I was unaware. How I wish I could hear from you instantly, that I could know when to worry and when to not. Should I worry all hours of my day? No, you would never want that for me, and I know that. And yet…

You are always in my thoughts, my love, but sometimes, those thoughts share space with others. Thoughts of everyday life that I do my best to maintain for the sake of my sanity—thoughts of writing, friends, family… I am sure, however, that I was thinking of you. I am sure that I was with you on that airship, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

I eagerly await your next letter to know that you are safe. Winterspear and Iridescence are a great comfort to me, but your words are what bring me hope. Hope that you are still there, and hope that, someday, you will be back here.

With you always,
Your Wishes


13 Maple Moon 875 CE

Crystal

I do not have long to spend on this missive and I apologize for it. It is a miracle that the messengers are even getting these out now. I will not lie to you will flowery words and half-truths. It is your right to know the truth.

By now I cannot imagine you haven’t heard about the Harmony. I survived it. Since that time we have been in fighting retreat. The Sudramoar army harasses us endlessly and I fear there are far more casualties to be reported soon. I will keep my promise though. I will return safe regardless of the cost.

You may worry for me but do not let it consume you. There is no future in that. Hope that this ends soon and that I will be home in your hooves. Until then know that I fight for you and those we’ve lost. Know that I struggle against aggression. Believe that I will overcome it.

Silent


2 Pink Moon 875 CE

My Silent,

The entire kingdom has simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief and wept with despair today. Ponies in my support group did not receive letters. In an instant, I was torn between inexpressible joy and unrelenting guilt.

I am so relieved to hear from you, my love, but I could not rejoice because I have friends who are stricken with grief when the courier brought no letters for them. However, in this moment as I write to you, I am filled with selfish gratitude that the courier had one for me.

There is no need to use your time to write to me more than to say you are still safe. Keep the rest of your energy for staying vigilant against the Sudramoar. Hearing from you is all I need.

My heart is with you, always.

Your Crystal


27 Pink Moon 875 CE

My Dearest

It breaks my heart to know that those close to you did not receive word from their loved ones. It pains me to say but by the time this letter reaches you I imagine many others will not. We have been routed. We made our stand at a place called Drayri River and failed. Many ponies were slain, far more than the tragedy of the Harmony. It was a day that will haunt me forever and it is best left there.

We are now far from where the war began and growing ever closer to the seat of Nordanver’s power. It seems, by some small miracle, the enemy is running out of momentum. We may have at least found enough footing the stop them but moving forward seems to be unfathomable. My role will be changing. Due to my experience and abilities I’m being tasked with a particular mission outside of the normal day to day of war. I cannot give any further details other than to say my letters may now be further delayed.

Know that I am safer in this endeavor though and keep hope alive. I love you Crystal. I will see you again.

Silent


13 Corn Moon 875 CE

My Beloved Crystal

I realize this letter has been delayed in reaching you but I can now say that I am safe and alive. The mission I was sent to complete is behind me and I have returned to the front in Nordanver. That may bring you some relief but what follows will likely not.

It was my hope to return to join Brigadier Hammer’s headquarters unit but it seems that is not to be my fate. I’ve been given command of an elite winged infantry company. On the positive side, I will be surrounded by some of Nordanver and Equestria’s best. That will reduce the risk significantly but, as always, I cannot promise complete safety. This was never what I wanted, Crystal. It was not what I volunteered for. I am so sorry. Please forgive me.

That doesn’t change what must be done, however. I will not wallow in my misgivings and I beg you not to fear for me. Be strong my love. I will come home to you. I will do whatever is necessary to reach you. I promise that. I will come home.

All of my love

Silent


8 Harvest Moon 875 CE

My Dearest Silent,

I’m so relieved to hear that you are, at present, safe and sound. With that said, I cannot forgive you, for there is nothing to forgive. You do what you must. I will always support you through every decision you make, as well as every decision that is made for you.

All I ask is that you do not spare a thought for us here in Equestria that could be better spent toward coming home. We are fine. We will be fine. I will ensure that, my love. Your mother, your sister, Iridescence, Dot, Runic, Miley—I will do everything within my power to guarantee that when you come home, we will all be waiting with open hooves for you. We stand with you, so save your thoughts for yourself.

Yet, selfishly, allow me to also ask that when you rest—when it is safe to rest—you think of me, for I am forever thinking of you. The thought of you carries me forward through my days. My love for you brings me comfort through my nights. Whatever is left of me in the moments between is sent to the stars to watch over you.

Always with you,
Crystal


20 Frost Moon 875 CE

My Love Crystal,

As I write you I am still of sound body. Though I’ve been injured off and on, no sword, spear, or arrow has yet to do me any serious or permanent harm. The enemy has learned to fear me and I am concerned that a dark legend is being born. My soldiers and I have made a pact that we will come home to our loved ones. We will do what is necessary to make it through. Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of many of our enemy’s lives and it leaves a great deal of blood on my hooves.

I think of you every night as I look up at the stars. You are my motivation and what keeps me moving forwards. I wonder what you’d think of me if you knew what I did each and every day. Am I the stallion you married? The one you want to be with? Did you know I was capable of what I now do? It is my life’s goal to keep this world from you and everypony else. This was not meant for us.

It pains me to say it but this letter shall likely arrive near our anniversary… our first one. There is no chance that I will be there to hold you in my hooves. For that I am deeply sorry. I know that this was not the world you wanted to marry into. It was not mine either, truly. I wish I could be there at your side. We’d have a small party with our friends and then I’d whisk you away for a romantic week in Colton Head Island. It would just be me, you, and the beach.

Remember that small lagoon that wasn’t far down from our room? We’d have a picnic there and play in the water. And the evenings… well, those are best left up to your imagination.

Happy anniversary Crystal. May this be the only one we ever spend apart.

All of my love,

Silent Knight


15 Dark Moon 875 CE

My Husband,

I will never forget our first anniversary. Not with the sadness that I anticipated as it approached, but with a deep relief and joy that I was able to spend it, in some capacity, with you. Your touch is fresh in my mind, so much so that simply writing to you is filling my heart with such warmth. I fear, of course, that my longing for your return has only grown tenfold, but I am content—for now—to have gotten to see you again. To feel you again. To be felt by you again.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that, ever still, life in Equestria continues on. The newspapers tell the stories of the victories and casualties in Varrheim. Every letter from you brings me peace that you are not among the nameless numbers that are so coldly reported, as if those numbers do not equate to lives, to husbands, to wives, to sisters, to brothers… to ponies. I cannot fathom how you cope, my love. While they are given to us as numbers, some of them—perhaps more than I can understand—are faces to you.

For every loss you endure, I am with you in mourning. Let me share the burden and pain of their deaths so that you do not suffer alone. While I may not know these ponies and gryphons as you do, I know you. I know you are there, able to recall every face and name of your fallen comrades. I know how your soul is weighed heavy with these thoughts.

I am with you, always, heart of my heart. Your pain is my pain. When you return—for I have utmost faith that you will—we will let go of all the pain we have held onto during this war… together. Together, we can overcome anything, even something as horrible as this.

Waiting for you in the stars,

Crystal


3 Fresh Moon 876 CE

My beloved Crystal

In dark times, it is amazing to me how even the smallest of light shines brightly enough to renew the spirit. Princess Luna’s gift to us did just that for me as the sight, smell, and touch of my wife reminded me all the more of why I fight so hard.

I am not shocked by what you say. We often have civilian administrators visit us and they’re horrified by what they discover. They do not understand the callousness that we present as we execute our duty. It is unfathomable to them that we go out, kill, and return without losing our minds.

The truth is we do. Little by little, death by death, a tiny piece of us is pulled free. The first few take the biggest toll but then it becomes more subtle. Still, little by little I can feel myself being pulled away. And then I saw you.

Crystal, I would gladly let this war pull me apart piece by piece as long as I get to return to your side. I no longer fight for Equestria. I conduct my duty with one goal in mind: to return to my wife. Little by little, death by death, I will prosecute this war to the bitter end so that I will hold your hoof as I did on our anniversary.

Know that you are always on my mind and in my heart.

Silent Knight


11 Snow Moon 876 CE

My Dearest Knight

Let me not delay in the topic that I am sure is dominating your days. The Remembrance of the Harmony shall have passed by the time this letter reaches you.

Not much of the war affects Equestria as a whole. It is, some days, as though there is not one at all. For most ponies, I doubt they give it a second thought.

That is not so as the Remembrance Day approaches. Nopony forgets. Wreaths of yellow ribbons hang from every door. At first, I was upset. Angry, even. I’m sure that must seem to be a confusing reaction, so let me explain.

When news of the Harmony reached us, the tragedy was felt in the heart of everypony in Equestria. We mourned as a kingdom. In some ways, it brought us all together—we, the military-minded civilians, and they, the non-military civilians, were no longer separated. For a time.

Days went on, and slowly, life returned to normal for most. Now, as the Remembrance Day grows near, they’ve suddenly remembered the tragedy? The loss? Now they choose to remember that my love and his comrades are across the sea? It made me so terribly bitter that I stayed indoors the whole day after seeing the yellow ribbons that felt like a mockery of your sacrifices.

But I’ve come to terms with it. It is not a mockery, but respect. They are stepping out of the comfort of their daily lives to acknowledge the thing which nopony wants to think about.

I don’t know what telling you all of this will do. I suppose, really, that I hope it will help you to know that we have not forgotten. The losses will be mourned and honored, and though after some time these ponies will return to what they know as normal, they do remember.

Just as they are taking the time to remember the war, it similarly helps me to remember that here, life does continue. Do you recall High Horse, my foalhood friend? Last year, she had a foal? It was some time before you left that Claire de Lune was born. She is a year old now. Can you believe it? She has grown so much. She is absolutely beautiful.

And on the topic of Horsey, her pregnancy is coming along just fine. She is due in a few months. They are thinking of having a third after this one is born. Three foals…

When you finally come home, I want foals of our own. A hundred foals, even! I think that is only fair, don’t you?

I jest, of course. I would be happy just to have you by my side again. That is more than enough for me, so please, my love, continue to do as you have and stay safe. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts.

Yours, Always,

Crystal Wishes


11 Snow Moon 876 CE

Celestial Wife Mine

We have arrived once more at Dreyri River and I am frightened. The core of my being insists that I turn north and fly away from this madness. We lost more ponies here than we did with the Harmony.

It was our greatest defeat. Our time to stand proudly against the aggressors and they swept us aside as if we were nothing. They used those awful weapons that they had before… well… they don’t have them anymore. That well has gone dry.

I fear losing myself again. I can still hear the screams of the dying and feel the burning in my breast and shoulder. Our leaders call it the small victory in our defeat but I call it surrendering who I want to be. I’m not sure how much longer I can play this horrible role. I’ve grown sick of killing and yet I know I will kill many, many more.

I’ll kill them all though if that is what it takes to come home to you. That is what I swore before and what I will swear again. I will come home Crystal. I don’t know when but I will. I just hope that when I get to the other side of this river of blood you’ll still know me and love me.

Your presence is sorely missed. Your scent, warmth, and soft touch seem like the finest reward a pony could ever receive but not deserve for this business.

Tomorrow it is likely I will march to battle as I can’t imagine we’ll linger here long and allow the enemy to prepare. Think of me and look to the stars.

I won’t say goodbye. I shall simply say see you on the other side.

Silent Knight


28 Flower Moon 876 CE

My Brave Knight,

If you’re reading this, then my heart can rest at ease. I wish you could have received this letter before the battle, so that my words could have given you strength when you needed it most. I am unfortunately sure, however, that there is still a void to fill after such a dreadful occasion, so I hope they can bring you some peace in the aftermath.

You are strong, Silent Knight, even though you carry a horrible burden. I can feel its weight across the ocean in your letters. I wish I could reach through this parchment and take some of it from you, but I am helpless to do anything but say that I still see you. Past the battles, past the fear, past the killing, I can still see you.

Perhaps I will not recognize all of you when we are finally reunited, but I will love all of you because I know you. I will always know you. You are my Silent Knight, my brave Knight who has endured so much for so little reward, and asks for none. You are no monster, no creature of nightmares that kills mercilessly—you are a protector who does what he must for those he loves. You are my protector. My Knight.

I hope with all of my heart and soul that the dawn after the battle came for you. I hope that each dawn and dusk that separates us continues to come for you so that you may come home. I hope the light of each sunrise is a reminder for you that you are another day closer to me.

My love is waiting for you in the stars, where it always has been and always will be.

Your Crystal Wishes


7 Corn Moon 876 CE

Queen of my heart

I write to you fearfully. I did, in fact, endure the battle as you knew I would but it was not without a price. Once more I did my duty and woke to find myself in a hospital bed, grateful to be alive, but fearful of the consequence. In this case, the wound may be too much to handle. My wing was shattered and I was told I would likely not fly again.

It was as if I was being attacked at the core of my being. What is a pegasus without her wings? What is a pegasus without her ability to fly? Isn’t that what defines us and makes us special? What will I be when I get home if I can’t fly?

That just wasn’t how I wanted to be. They said no and I said yes. Once I was well enough, I started to work on it. The wing is weak, I can tell that easily. It doesn’t move right. Still, with determination and some degree of plan, I can make do. I can still be a pegasus. If I keep it up, perhaps I’ll get strong and, more or less, fly well enough with the brace on.

I am saddened to say I may not be able to carry you anymore, my love. It is my largest fear when it comes to this. What will you think of your handsome knight that cannot fly you into the night’s embrace?

Of course it all remains to be seen, however, as they told me I’d never fly again without the brace and I have proven them wrong. They do not know or understand the determination of the Knight bloodline.

Don’t worry about me. This is just a moment of weakness and hurt. I’ll be my old self soon enough. The stallion you fell in love with. The stallion you still love. The stallion that yearns to return to your warmth and never leave it again.

Your Silent Knight


20 Maple Moon 876 CE

My Knight,

I do not delude myself to believe that when you return, you’ll be the same stallion as when you left. Just as you should not delude yourself to believe that I am the same mare you once knew. Much has changed for the both of us this past year. So much has changed for those around me, and I presume the same for those around you. None of us are the same, and that is simply the nature of the situation we are all in.

What will I say? What will I say, indeed. What to me is as core to my being as flying is to yours? The few times I have been flown is enough to tell me I cannot understand the loss. However, if no longer being carried by you through the skies is the price I must pay for you to come home, then I would gladly remain on the ground with you at my side the rest of my years. I just hope that the war has been sated in what it is taking from you and from me; I grow weary of the sacrifices it demands to its monstrous appetite.

My dearest love, you have survived many things before and during this war, so I’ll hold onto the hope that you overcome this. You’ve overcome so much already. Who is to say the doctors were not mistaken? They are taxed from the wounded. They are only ponies and gryphons, not infallible ministers of science and health.

Simply promise me you will not do more harm than good by trying to prove them wrong. If you cannot fly, then you cannot fly. I mourn the loss for you, but not for me. I did not fall in love with you because you are a pegasus. As I once told my parents… I would love you even if you were a mule, and they certainly don’t have any wings at all.

Regardless of whether we fly, walk, run, swim, dance…
Always Your Crystal Wishes