, formally the Principality of Equestria
, is the largest equine nation in the world. 9,500,000 creatures, are living in a 800,670 square km area that is made up by 63 counties, states and shires (plus the odd external territory found beyond its borders), spanning countless woods, sand deserts, plains, mountains, savannahs, tundras and polar deserts.
It reaches from the Western Ocean to the Eastern Sea, and borders on the Crystal Empire, the Gryphon Republic and the Queendom Of Changelings in its north and the Sultanate of Saddle Arabia, the Zebra Chiefdom, the Buffalo Confederacy to its south.
It is an Absolute Monarchy, and its Heads of State are the two regent sisters, Her Royal Highnesses Princess Celestia of the Sun and Princess Luna of the Moon.
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Entries for the Crystal Empire go here as well.
Important Territories in Equestria
Crown Dependency of Appleloosa
A young desert colony on the south-western outskirts of Equestria.
The town of Appleloosa is the most populous settlement, local government resides at the eastern railway nodal point Dodge Junction.
Has, until recently, been a disputed territory which the Buffalo Confederacy laid claim on, culminating in the infamous 2009 clash
Protectorate Of The Badlands
The Badlands are a remote, quarantined countryside in the south.
Mainly known for its untamed and diverse, but extremely malevolent environment.
Largely populated by hostile creatures such as dragons and diamond dogs dwelling among the ruins of previous failed Equine colonies.
Actually a territory of a fairly dubious legal status (Canterlot likes to call it a "reserve
"), but nevertheless claimed by the Equestrian Crown as well as some of its more feral inhabitants.
Kingdom of Canterlot
Lies in the geographical centre of Equestria in the Foal Mountains, being the second-largest municipal area and the biggest income per pony.
Is the capital district of Equestria, being the seat of the Princesses’ Royal Court and the Royal City of Residence.
Part of the historical heartland, being the place where its foundation was once laid by the Three Tribes.
Free City of Cloudsdale
An enormous Pegasus city floating in the skies near Ponyville.
The biggest (and presumably oldest) city of its kind, it has received the Free Royal City status from Canterlot, making it a largely self-governing body due to its remote location.
Part of the historical heartland, speculated to be the ancient metropolis of the Pegasi tribes.
The Crystal Empire
Formerly an independent city state enclave in the Crystal Mountains in Northern Equestria.
Was lost for 1000 years due to a magical spell of its last regent, King Sombra.
Is merely de facto
a part of Equestria; upon Princess Mi Amore Cadenza's accession
to the imperial throne in 2013, it aligned to Equestria as a protectorate, keeping its former title of 'Empire'.
Home to the Crystal Ponies, and famously has the greatest life expectancy in the country, as most of its inhabitants has passed the 1000 year mark. This claim has come under some debate, as some contend that the time it was lost due to the spell does not count toward a Crystal pony's lifespan.
A rural area south of Canterlot. The regional capital is Ponyville.
Part of the historical heartland, having been traditionally the Earth Pony civilisation's capital as well as the location of the Alicorn Princesses' former seat of power.
Mostly made up of the Everfree Forest, a largely abandoned and savaged region not unlike the Badlands.
Holds the questionable honour of being "the place ravaged by catastrophes most frequently
", but is otherwise quite idyllic.
Commonwealth Of Fillydelphia
A town and region on the East Coast with long history as a bustling harbour city and Equestria's biggest trading port and third-biggest municipal centre.
Has a deeply-rooted rivalry with fellow East Coast Port Manehattan.
Has been in an economic downward spiral since it was struck by a disastrous parasprite infestation
A group of miniscule islands situated in the Crystal Strait (the body of water that separates Equestria from the Gryphon Republic) east of the Frozen North and the Crystal Mountains.
The archipelago is split into two parts, the Equestrian South and the Gryphon North (controlled by the Gryphon Republic; the Gryphons formally call it the Gryphon Republic of the Falcon
Islands); the Equestrian part's capital and largest municipality is the Island of Horsey.
Has been the subject of an ancient border dispute between the two mainland nations, who both claim the archipelago as theirsnote
; this has even led to a brief Equestrian military intervention after the Gryphon Republic tried to place all of the Foallands under occupation by force - there still is a large military presence in the strait.
the islands are nowadays mostly populated by sheep, who have outnumbered both ponies and gryphon natives almost ten-to-one.
Duchy of Hoofington
A town and region north of Canterlot.
Famed as the 'city of bright minds', due to its varied historic institutions of learning and extreme dedication to science and culture.
Home of Equestria's two great broadsheet papers, the Hoofington Post
and Equestria Daily
Part of the historical heartland, being the place of origin of the pre-Discordian Unicorn Kingdom and the birthplace of Equestria's greatest thinker, Starswirl the Bearded.
Free City Of Manehattan
A merchant city state located on an island by the East Coast.
A large port that subsequently became a cultural centre and social melting pot.
Has a deeply-rooted rivalry with fellow East Coast Port Fillydeplhia.
Currently the country's largest municipal centre with not only the highest population density, but also the tallest architecture next to Canterlot.
Mustangian Free State
Mustangia is an agricultural state in the north west, in an area traditionally populated by Mustang ponies.
Its capital is its largest municipality, Kiger.
One of the only Free States in Equestria that holds elections for all local public offices and uses an own, localised version of the Equestian constitution.
Often joked to be not really a part of Equestria, but still decided to hang around for the Tartarus of it.
A mountaneous region conjoining the Foal and the Crystal Mountain ranges.
The provincial capital is Neighgara Falls.
Marks the border between the Frozen North and Equestria 'proper'.
Significant as the home to natural wonders (such as the legendary Winsome Falls
); almost as significant as it being the punchline to every single other political joke.
Territories of Northern Equestria
The northern colonies of Equestria, better known under the nickname The Frozen North.
The Western Oceanic port town Vanhoover is the Governor's residence and its largest municipality.
It is, according to legend, the last refuge of the Windigos from Equestria's creation legend.
Currently a highly disputed territory that is claimed by both the northern Changeling Tribes and, to a lesser extent, the Gryphon Republic.
Free City of Rostrum
A rocky fortress town by the northern Eastern Sea coast - an Equestrian exclave to the Gryphon Republic, lying on the Gryphon peninsula's side of the Crystal Strait, but is still connected with Equestrian territorial waters.
90% of its population are Gryphons, many of whom hold Equestrian citizenship note
, making it the home of almost 70% of Equestria's gryphon population.
Enjoys a special status as a buffer zone
between the two countries, which gives it semi-autonomy from the Equestrian motherland - for one, it's effectively demilitarised, and is defended by the independent Equestrian Gryphons' Armed Battalion
Has a long and glorious history as a popular smuggler's den and tax haven.
San Palomino County
A borderline-arid province in the west.
The regional capital is the desert city Las Pegasus.
Notable for being a thriving and living province despite the Appleloosa-like environment, thanks to the social influence of Las Pegasus' entertainment industry and the county's excellent orange and lemon exports.
A Brief History
Pre-Discordian Times (AKA The Three Tribes)
Equestria as a united, stable country is fairly young, counting less than a thousand years.
At the very beginning, before the distant pre-Discordian times, the Equestrian region was split up between various equine tribal groupings. The three most prominent among them were the Unicorn Kingdom, a society of intellectuals, philosophers and powerful magicians that had achieved dominance over the stellar movements (modern-day Hoofington), the Pegasus Empire (modern-day Cloudsdale), a Warrior tribe and the dominant military power of the region that ruled the skies, and the Earth Pony Confederation (modern-day Everfree), an economical powerhouse that had unparalleled produce capabilities that fed the other two.
These three clans had been long been engaged in a loose cooperation of using their talents for mutual gain, but they were still both ignorant and constantly wary of each other – there was no demand for any sort of national unity. This changed in the early 200s bdnote
, when a devastating winter struck the lands, destroying crops and sending its inhabitants plummeting into starvation.
Advocates of the cooperation on all sides – such as the renowned Earth Pony councilmare Smart Cookie and the Unicorn philosopher Clover the Clever – proposed that the nations should renew their faith and trust in each other in form of The Grand Summit of the Three Tribes, which was held in 250 bd and was attended by Chancellor Puddinghead of the Earth ponies, Commander Hurricane of the Pegasi and Princess Platinum of the Unicorns.
However, the talks failed spectacularly and drove the wedge between the tribes even further. Knowing that they would not be able to expect help from their neighbours, all three leaders set out to claim the only remaining countrysides unimpeded by the winter storms, a fertile and summery enclave in the Foal Mountains (modern-day Kingdom of Canterlot), for themselves.
According to legend, they drew the destructive storms, which had in fact been fueled by the hate and distrust they felt for each other all along, after them, and even ended up seeking refuge from the weather in the same cave, out of sheer desperation. It is said that it was there that the tribesbeasts learned that accepting each other for who they were was the only way to fight the coldness that was wearing them all down.
After defeating the magical creatures that were responsible for the climate change, the hate-consuming Windigoes, the three leaders stepped out to claim the land not only for themselves but for each other, naming the land Equestria in honour of the thing that they all shared.
Thus began the story of the Commonwealth of Earth, Pegasopolis and Unicornia, as this confederation was originally called. The coalition was however, despite the name, anything but democratic and the three tribes‘ leaders retained absolute power over the young nation’s politics. This soon turned out to be weakening the frail country rather than benefiting it, and even though the cameraderie between the pony races was certainly strengthened, Equestria was left weak and unasserted against outside influences.
The pathetic state Equestria found itself in made it easy prey for Discord, a roaming spirit and an embodiment of chaos of unknown origin. His tremendous magical powers made short of work of all the structures the Equestrians had worked so hard to develop in the last few decades. He dominated the land as a tyrant and turned it into his own personal playing field. The once proud and renowned equine tribes had been reduced to vassals and slaves of an anarchic and maddened creature.
It is unknown how long exactly his rule lasted, but it is certain that he completely reshaped Equestria, leaving it in a state almost unidentifiable from when he first arrived.
His dominance was only ended by the arrival of two other magical creatures, two alicorns, self-admitted spirits of harmony, that were able to rival the tremendous magical influence of Discord, thanks to the powers that were granted by them by a set of extremely powerful magical gems in their possession, that had ever since been known as the Elements Of Harmony. They challenged Discord in a fight that said to have taken several days, and Discord ended up defeated and petrified in stone,
The victorious creatures were Celestia and Luna, later who were later crowned Princesses of the country they helped to liberate and restore to its former glory. The Elements of Harmony, which were later fitted as medallions, remained a crucial tool of the Alicorns' power, and became a permanent addition to the Crown Jewels.
The Princedom Of Equestria
The secret to the Princesses' popularity turned out to be their passion for harmony, or as they saw it, the natural balance of order and freedom. The policies following in this ideology's wake almost eradicated the ideas of racial supremacy and prejudice between the pony races, likely creating the first true egalitarian equine society in the world.
After the ascension to power in 1 adnote
, the Alicorn Princesses settled down in Everfree, and pulled the reins around radically, turning the wishy-washy, old-minded coalition of mutual interests into an modern, active political and economical powerhouse with full dependence on itself.
This process, named by modern historians the "salt and sugar" restoration, saw the Princesses eliminating (and at times, outright conquering) rivaling tribeslands at the slightest provocation, then turning by 180 degrees and offering the defeated and humiliated chieftains the choice between living in the shadow of their powerful neighbour, or very a generous position in the Princesses' court and showering its populace with new rights they may not have had under their own despotic rulers.
It was undebatably a recipe for success, and soon, Equestria had swollen from its original four counties to over thirty-nine states in only 1007 years of Alicorn rule. They population diversified, and regions which until then had only been known for their one pony race's dominance received accrual from the other two. Unicorns took over political posts and supplied knowledge and schooling systems, Pegasi swarmed the skies to form controlled optimal weather patterns and organise armed militias, and earth ponies plucked entire infrastructures and economies virtually out of thin air.
The two Princesses took turns ruling the land, with Celestia ruling during the day and Luna taking the throne during nighttime. Likewise it was each sister's task to raise her celestial orb by herself.
Equestrian Civil War
True to the ancient saying, the country's two young rulers soon began to crumble under the new wealth and splendour of their empire. As the elder sister, Celestia had always been at the forefront of the dynasty, and enjoyed her subjects devotion as the Princess of Daylight - something that her younger sister, who hadn't worked or cared any less for Equestria, but did not receive nearly as much in return for, became bitter and jealous of.
It is still unclear whether it was her impulsive nature boiling over, her sanity giving leeway to madness, or an unfortunate magic spell she happened to fall under, but Luna decided to contest her sister for her throne in Equestria. In 1007, she declared Celestia's reign wrongful and called for her overthrow. The ensuing conflict became known as the Equestrian Civil War, and would be waged in two intense years, and end with the defeat of Luna, and Luna's banishment to the moon, the only place she still had any power over, in 1009. According to legend, Celestia only managed to achieve this by deploying the ever-powerful Elements Of Harmony, which had once granted power to both of them, against her.
It was then when the famous absolute rule of Celestia began, which most ponies still associate with Equestria out of habit. In her sister's absence, she took over all governmental business, authority and responsibility as Princess of the Night, additionally to her own tasks.
Bitter, and now on her own as the only alicorn left in Equestria, Celestia had the old Royal Castle in Everfree County (just west of modern-day Ponyville) taken down and moved the capital of the nation into the Foal Mountains, into the small mountain fortress of Canterlot.
From there, she worked further to bring her harmony even into the furthest corners of the equine world. Indeed, in her time as sole Princess, she not only managed to raise an entire royal family that moved across the world to spread her word, but increased Equestria's size to 60 counties, which covered almost the entire area of what had originally been the 'pony world', meeting its limits only at the borders of the Changeling, Gryphon, Zebra and Horse lands north and south of her.
Despite her best efforts, Celestia could not continue the once successful politics that had once made Equestria great on her own. From a modern view, Equestria's golden age had ended with the Civil War. In vain attempts to gain territory and up its already unique position in the world, the country wound up in several wars with its neighbours, particularly the Changeling Tribes in the Frozen North, an intense rivalry, the legacy of which continues to this day.
Knowing that the burdern of carrying the Elements of Harmony, which she had disregarded as a symbol for Equestrian harmony ever since the fall of Luna, would be too much even for a creature as powerful as her, she decided that they would be split and distributed to six hoof-picked ponies from the Everfree Region, who would assume a wholly independent role in protecting Equestria from its foes.
These Royal Element Bearers, as they are officially called, would later prove to save Equestria from several dangers, including invasions and attempted coups.
The New Era
In 2009, Princess Luna managed to escape her banishment, and, after a short and fruitless struggle for power, found reconciliation with her elder sister. It was clear that not long after, she would be officially pardoned by her sister, who was more than glad to grant her her old title of Princess Of The Night and bring her back aboard after 1000 years of relative decline.
The most recent times would ironically prove to be one of the most tumultuous in Equestria since the Civil War. Following Princess Luna's sudden (and very polarising) reconciliation, Equestria experienced at least one attempted coup, the Princesses' old foe, Discord, and a short-lived invasion of Canterlot by Changelings from the Frozen North, which could both be warded off by the Element Bearers and the Royal Family.
The Absolute Question
Equestria is a many things to many creatures. Officially, it is a monarchy - technically a diarchy, as power is evenly split between the two royal sisters. There are no national parties and elections are not held for state-spanning positions; staffing them is a prerogative of the Royal Court in Canterlot.
But while it may be an absolute monarchy in nature, Princess Celestia has stated that she is not utterly opposed to democracy; she doesn't see Democracy as bad
, but simply as flawed
, and as a rather theoretical affair. She cites the historical Earth Pony Confederation and the Gryphon Republic (which itself has often been accused of widespread corruption
and obstructive bureaucracy
) as examples of how democracies can go wrong as easily as they can go right. This hasn't stopped multiple Equestrian states (think of Everfree, Mustangia and San Palomino) from conducting own, limited democracy with regional parties and free public elections (one assumes with the Princesses' blessings), with fairly positive results.
In any case, a large majority of Equestria's denizens share their Princesses' sentiments. In fact, the monarchy is very
popular in the country, as it has always guaranteed the Equestrians civil freedoms that even most other democracies
of the world wouldn't (everything from an unnegotiable policy of egalitarianism to free welfare services to tax exemption on cider products
) and has repeatedly proven itself to be very enlightened, accepting and progressive. Most notably however, it's more than just idle wish-talk and propaganda - they themselves have stated that they wish to ensure the ponies a lifestyle that they themselves would have elected in a democracy, and they have a long track record of leaving the majority of ponies content and happy to back it up.
Even the freedom of speech and of the press are largely unhindered, though any statements that are openly critical of the beloved royal family are considered a very own level of rudeness and would probably result in a hefty backlash from everypony else
(this unwritten rule is popularly known as the 'Hay Code
'). To the Equestrians, the alicorn royal family is more than just a government institution - it is a national treasure and the epitome of everything Equestrian. Some have gone as far as to claim that to many, they are deities and their rule is a full-out religion.
See Ponies With Pikes
For one, every major municpilaity in Equestria has an own, privately owned cab service, such as Ponyville Taxi for Everfree, though they usually work during daytime and don't bother to take you too far away.
Some areas feature private blimp and hot air balloon services for long distance travelling or bird-view tours, though those are usually reserved for those who can actually afford them.
If you ever happen to be in Manehattan, you also have the option of the more traditional sort of ship, which tours Manehattan's harbour and also supplies a fairly direct route to Fillydelphia.
In the south around Appleloosa, ponies trekking through the desert can rent cheap stagecoaches to get from A to B more comfortably, or simply employ pullers to get there quickly.
The most handy and readily available option, however, still is the Friendship Express, up until now the only national transportation corporation, which links Equestria since 1829 from ear to flank. It can railroad anypony from Appleloosa over Canterlot to the Crystal Empire in less than two weeks. However, in some more rural areas, the tracks are restricted, so changing onto more local transportation should generally be taken into account. Additionally, the Crystal Empire supplies trains from an own national railroad company, Imperial Lines
, which is perhaps best known for putting Equestria's Coolest Train
on the tracks; the Crystal Aerotram G4-4-11
Pegasus chariots however are, contrary to popular belief, reserved for members of the Royal Court or of the Royal Family, as well as diplomats and envoys. Organizing private chariot transports are actually illegal since they're officially a prerogative of the Crown. Princess Cadence additionally also has her own private train, which is mentioned above.
Famous Sons and Daughters of Equestria
- Celestia, Princess of Sun - Co-founder of the modern Equestrian State after the fall of Discord, ruling (either as the Princess of the Sun or absolutely) permanently since 1 ad.
- Luna, Princess of the Moon - Co-founder of Equestria, and ruler of the Night from 1 ad to 1009, and from 2009 again.
- A. K. Yearling, Author (alias)
- Auric, King of Unicornia (d)
- Applejack, Businessmare and Element Bearer of Honesty
- Blueblood, Prince in Equestria, Prince Regent of Canterlot
- Cherry Jubilee, Businessmare
- Clover the Clever, Philosopher and Statesmare (d)
- Discord, Spirit of Chaos
- Easy Glider, Commander in the EUP Guard, Aeronautical Physician (d)
- Fair Weather, Admiral in the Royal Guard (d)
- Fancy Pants, Businesscolt and Socialite
- F. Rich, Businesscolt
- Ferry Flight, Admiral in the Royal Guard, Commanding Officer of the 7th Squadron (d)
- Firefly, General in the EUP Guard, Commanding Officer of the Wonderbolts Platoon (d)
- Flair de Mare, Designer (d)
- Flash, General in the EUP Guard (d)
- Fluttershy, Element Bearer of Kindness
- Hoity Toity, Designer
- Hurricane, Commander of the Pegasus Army, Generalissimo of Pegasopolis (d)
- Mi Amore Cadenza, Princess in Equestria, Empress of the Crystal Empire
- M. Harshwhinny, President of the Equestria Games Committee
- Pansy, Private in the Pegasus Army, Statesmare (d)
- Photo Finish, Designer and Photographer
- Pinkamena Diane Pie, Element Bearer of Laughter
- Platinum, Princess of Unicornia (d)
- Prim Hemline, Fashion Designer
- Puddinghead, Chancellor of Earth (d)
- Purple Dart, Colonel in the EUP Guard (d)
- Rainbow Dash, Sportspony and Element Bearer of Loyalty
- Rarity, Designer, Socialite and Element Bearer of Generosity
- Sapphire Shores, Singer and Socialite
- Shining Armor, Captain n the Royal Guard, Prince of the Crystal Empire
- Smart Cookie, Statesmare (d)
- Soarin, Wing Leader in the Royal Guard, Sportscolt
- Sombra, King in Equestria, Emperor of the Crystal Empire (d)
- Spike, Patron of the Crystal Empire
- Spitfire, Group Captain in the Royal Guard, Commadng Officer of the Wonderbolts Platoon, Sportsmare
- Starswirl The Bearded, Philosopher and Statescolt (d)
- Stinking Rich, Businesscolt (d)
- Sunny Days Pike, founder of the Manehattan institute of knowledge
- Tirek, Lord In Equestria, Felon
- Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Friendship, Scientist and Element Bearer of Magic
- Waffle, Colonel in the EUP Guard (d)
Tropes traditionally associated with Equestria:
- The Empire: What it is to its enemies, such as the Changelings and the Gryphons and, until recently at least, the Buffaloes.
- Equestria Is Always Doomed: In recent times, this trope can apply to Equestria unnervingly well, since not a single one of the last five years has passed by without at least one state-shattering incident endangering the fate of the country in one way or another.
- The Federation: What Equestria was, or perhaps even still is this, seeing how it is composed of a variety of nations, including duchies, an empire, a republic, free cities and shires. None of them is entirely independent, of course - while many do have own heads of government and have an unchallenged say concerning their own constituencies, all of them acknowledge the alicorn monarchy as their heads of state, obey the foreign policy and pan-national decisions made by Canterlot, and can be overruled by the Princesses at any given time.
- The Kingdom: What it is to (most) of the Ponies and their allies. Certainly was the Princesses' intention at the beginning; see also Utopia Justifies the Means.
- Micro Monarchy: The Crystal Empire encompasses, despite the pompous name, a five kilometre radius around the Imperial Palace.
- The historical Unicornia was something like this as well, having been smaller than modern-day Hoofington.
- The Kingdom of Canterlot retains its name more due to legacy than anything.
- The Neutral Zone: Rostrum fits the bill quite nicely. The 1963 Treaty of Rostrum made it an autonomous region that could conduct business independently from both Equestria and its Gryphon neighbours. It has its own standing army (albeit a small one), is largely exempt from tax regulations, and allows nationals from both countries to dwell, work and roam freely within its walls. This was last but not least the reason why it became such a magnet for smugglers, gamblers and spies alike.
- Ponies' Republic of Tyranny: According to some historical accounts, the Earth Pony Federation was hardly more democratic that that. In theory, it was one of the first modern democracies, but in practice, the democracy was not taken care of very well, and the Chancellor usually ended up being a replacement monarch. Occasionally, they even abused the power mercilessly.
- Princesses Rule: A justified Real Life example in this case, seeing how Equestria is officially a principality.
- Truce Zone: See The Neutral Zone.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Princesses Celestia and Luna resorted to rather imperialistic means to unite the Equine tribes and create a united Equestria. Though seeing how modern Equestria is perhaps the most peaceful and stable region in the world, it might have just been worth it.
The Equestrian flagnote
The Equestrian Flag is made up of the blue sky as a backdrop, and the Royal Alicorn Sisters (Luna on the left, Celestia on the right) orbiting around the moon and the sun, symbolising their traditional roles as "Celestial" Princesses. The dissonance in colour between them symbolises the harmony that they strive to pursue together. The 39 stars around them represent the 39 'original' (AKA pre-Civil War) counties of Equestria, with the star in the bottom middle standing for Canterlot, Equestria's birthplace.