All in One Night
2022 Spring Equinox.
Asani brought instructions for a night celebrating every holiday.
Radiance decided to hand the planning over to Sonnet.
Sonnet really wishes he wasn't planning the epitome of chaos, with Resplendence as help.
Sonnet, Resplendence, Psychomyth, Radiance, Minuet, Xenon.
Also featuring Asani and Snake Eyes.
Sonnet watched as Linaeve disappeared into the distance, trotting after Xenon. Along with the younger filly, the faint prickle in his mind also faded away. He let his thoughts free again, the exhaustion from shielding his mind setting in. Linaeve was gifted with telepathy, and her near constant barrage of magic against his mind left him no choice, but to silently shield his thoughts against hers, using his own telepathy he could never reveal.
“She’s completely smitten with you!” Resplendence snickered from beside him, pointedly referring to the way Linaeve latched onto Sonnet, whenever the younger filly came by Candentia.
Sonnet rolled his eyes, and muttered a reply under his breath, “She is not.”
“Whatever you say,” Resplendence answered, sticking her tongue out at him.
“Just because she finds the rest of you too annoying, doesn’t mean she has a crush on me,” he retorted, settling into the familiar, lighthearted back and forth with Resplendence, mild amusement sprinkled into his words.
“We’re not annoying,” Resplendence shot back, “I’m simply–”
“Simply inferior to my superior charms?” Sonnet said, offering her a teasing smirk, fighting back what he assumed to be magical exhaustion.
She swatted at him with her tail. He dodged.
The playful argument between the two of them continued, as they trotted down the cobblestone streets, hooves scrabbling against stone as they dodged each other’s swipes.
The sun rose towards the middle of the sky, as the last of the bonfires warming the street were extinguished with splashes of cold water. Sonnet paused for a moment, noting the position of the sun, in comparison to the chiming clock in the distance.
“The days really have been getting longer,” he commented, “Spring is here among us.”
“The Equinox is almost here,” Resplendence replied, stabbing at him with her horn.
Sonnet barely dodged her horn. He could feel his cousin’s magic ebbing, and his own magic flickering and sparking in turn, almost begging for a chance to be let loose. The oncoming Equinox certainly wasn’t helping matters.
He quickly decided that turning tail and running would be the smarter option. So he did exactly that.
He could hear Resplendence shouting his name, as he managed to swerve around a large wagon, chock full with various colorful fruits. Judging by quickly fading shouts, Resplendence was caught on the other side of the wagon, while he was able to gallop onwards through the Candentia streets.
Around him, he heard snippets of conversations, more hushed than they were last Equinox. He didn’t quite catch all the words, given how most of his attention was still focused on avoiding a certain glowy Quirlicorn, but he could figure out the conversations were generally floating around fire, probably around the slowly dwindling number of bonfires lining the city streets, and the coming season it heralded.
Sonnet ducked into a hidden alleyway, hoping that Resplendence wouldn’t follow him —that Resplendence wouldn’t find him, before he got away from the wooden carts that lined the streets.
Several more turns later, and Sonnet found himself standing in front of Psychomyth, with the older stallion giving him a judgemental look. Sonnet took a moment to catch his breath, before finally acknowledging Psychomyth.
“Sonnet,” Psychomyth said, his gaze scanning over Sonnet, “Did Linaeve leave Candentia safely? And what happened this time?”
Sonnet nodded, “Linaeve just left with Xenon. And Resplendence happened.”
Psychomyth rolled his eyes. “Should I have asked what you did this time?”
“I didn’t do anything!” Sonnet protested. “She–”
“Either way, your grandmother wants to see you,” Psychomyth stated, cutting off the rest of Sonnet’s words, “She’s about to send two of the guards out to find you. Please do get to Regent Radiance before she sends one of those guards out on a goose chase.”
“Understood,” Sonnet answered, “Do you know what she wants me for?”
“Nothing out of the ordinary.”
Standing in front of his grandmother, with Resplendence next to him, Sonnet wanted to go back and argue with Psychomyth, that what Radiance wanted was very much ‘out of the ordinary’. At least, it wasn’t something Sonnet had been expecting. (He shouldn’t have expected the summoning to have been for something normal. Radiance never summoned only him and Resplendence for good reason.)
Especially with a tiny, black and white Quirlicorn standing in front of them. Sonnet could feel the power radiating off of the Quirlicorn, not unlike how the magic of the Deity’s felt. But so much more chaotic.
However, Sonnet couldn’t remember there being an eighth Deity. He knew there were the Lesser Deities, namely the Quirlicorns that made up his ancestry, but the magic of this tiny Quirlicorn was much stronger than the magic his grandmother had. Closer to the Greater Deities, but he only knew of Haukea, Frysil, Keir, Anevay, Jagmeet, and Aberfa. (And Zahavah, but from what Sonnet heard, he would definitely know it, if he ever met Zahavah.)
“So,” Radiance said, beaming at her grandfoal. “The Equinox.”
Said grandfoal looked up, met her eyes, noted the smile on her face, and decided against asking her plans for the Equinox.
“I’m certain you’re wondering what we’re planning for the Equinox…” Radiance continued. “Especially given the absolute success that the Winter Solstice was….”
Sonnet really truly did not want to know what his grandmother was planning. No plans that involved only him and Resplendence could go well.
“... I’ve decided that you, Sonnet, can plan this Spring Equinox yourself!” Radiance finished her sentence. “Oh, but don’t worry, Martine, Psychomyth, and Resplendence will all be helping you! And Minuet! And your other little friends! But mostly you and Resplendence!”
Sonnet stared at Radiance. There was absolutely no way….
“You’ll make it amazing,” his granddam grinned. “Asani was even kind enough to bring us advance notice of Frysil’s desires for this Equinox!”
Sonnet peeled his eyes away from his grandmother, deciding to look at Resplendence instead. He instantly regretted choosing to do so, as soon as he saw his grandmother’s grin mirrored on Resplendence’s face as well.
This was going to be a disaster. There was no way it was going to go anywhere close to ‘well’, much less being ‘amazing’.
Sonnet plucked his griffin off the pile of blankets, and dragged the protesting ball of feathers out of the room. If he was going to spend an entire day with Resplendence, especially after what had just transpired, he really wanted some buffer between them.
Mostly so she wouldn’t be tempted to stab at him with her horn. Or trap him in a shield for the fun of it. And maybe, with his miniature griffin present, Resplendence would rethink her plans to cause as much chaos as possible.
He didn’t have much hope. But Resplendence liked his griffin. So Sonnet was bringing his griffin.
“So, where to?” Resplendence chirped, grinning at him.
“Where to?” Sonnet echoed, “We need to figure out what we’re doing first!”
Sonnet really did not know how his grandmother dealt with the giant checklist Psychomyth had presented with him, to ‘help’ him out. Either that, or Radiance ignored the checklists Psychomtyh wrote up. Or perhaps Psychomyth didn’t give his grandmother giant checklists, and simply didn’t trust him to plan out the Equinox. Either way, Sonnet was certain the Equinox was a test, to see if he was capable of organizing the large-scale festivities of Candentia.
Sonnet really needed this to work out.
“First thing we should do is figure out what we’ll wear!” Resplendence suggested.
“No, the first thing we need to do is meet with Asani and Snake Eyes, for better instructions on how to proceed!” Sonnet argued, staring at the first line of instructions on the long, paper scroll.
“But if we’re going to plan an Equinox celebration that–”
“Asani and Snake Eyes first,” Sonnet cut Resplendence off. “I’m planning this, you’re helping. So we’re meeting with those two first.”
Resplendence stuck her tongue out. “Fine. But only because Psychomyth said so.”
He, Resplendence, and his griffin quickly found their way to the meeting room, with the tall pillars and large windows.
Inside, the black and white Quirlicorn from earlier, along with a green coated stallion were standing there, waiting for him to arrive.
“Sonnet!” the black and white Quirlicorn exclaimed, their unattached head bobbing slightly.
How had Sonnet not noticed the floating head earlier?
“Greetings,” Sonnet bowed down, “Who do I have the blessing of meeting today?”
“I’m Asani, Deity of the Entropy Realm!” the tiny Quirlicorn replied.
Sonnet continued to watch the tiny Quirlicorn. He had never heard of any ‘Entropy’ Realm before, but it made sense for Asani to be a Deity of an obscure, unknown Realm.
On closer inspection, Asani’s head wasn’t completely unattached —there were a few strands of something connecting their head to the rest of their body. What that something was, Sonnet didn’t want to know. He hoped it was just some strange physical manifestation of whatever magic Asani wielded.
“And this is Snake Eyes,” Asani waved a hoof in the direction of the green stallion. “He’s one of Jagmeets followers, and he kindly agreed to come help me spread the word about the Equinox!”
Sonnet could feel the waves of magic rolling off of Asani, as the Entropy Deity turned back towards him. More powerful than him, than Radiance. Perhaps on par with the other Greater Deities, or perhaps even more than Haukea, Frysil, and the others.
“Blessed to meet you,” Sonnet said in reply, with Resplendence echoing his words.
Sonnet looked over at Asani, and asked, “What exactly is this ‘entropy’ place? I don’t recall hearing about an Entropy Realm, much less a Deity.”
“It’s been a looong time since we’ve had visitors to Entropy! And even longer since I last came to this realm,” Asani explained. “But you two should come visit sometime! Perhaps even now?”
Resplendence opened her mouth to reply, “Ye-”
“No,” Sonnet cut her off. He really did not like the sound of Entropy, especially if that realm reflected its name, and the tiny deity that ruled over it. “As much as we’d love to visit, planning out the Equinox celebrations in Candentia must take priority.”
“Fair, fair,” Asani answered, “But you must come by some day! The Entropy Region needs more visitors!”
“Perhaps later? We can always ask G-ma for help getting there! She knows so much about the other lands!” Resplendence said. “Sonnet, we must figure out how to visit the Entropy Region!”
“After the Equinox.”
Sonnet knew that he was going to regret ever agreeing to visit the Entropy Region.
Resplendence looked way too happy to be planning an Equinox that was likely to end up being the epitome of ‘chaos’. Sonnet should have known better than to expect a reasonably normal Equinox, especially with a long lost Entropy Deity running around and passing on Frysil’s wishes as to how the Equinox should go.
“So, an Equinox that celebrates every holiday,” Sonnet muttered. “This’ll go well.”
His griffin made a purring sound in reply.
Resplendence nodded, “It’ll be so much fun! Now, festive garments?”
“We can do that next. First is figuring out what holidays we want.”
“I want to celebrate every holiday though! We can dedicate a stand to every holiday that exists!”
“There is no way we can celebrate every holiday,” Sonnet said, “What if we pick a few different holidays?”
“Fine,” Resplendence answered, “But we need to have at least one from every region! And we’re starting with your outfit.”
Six regions, visits to too many Quirlicorns later, and many regrets later, Sonnet was thoroughly exhausted. Resplendence had bounded off to some other location, saying that she wanted to give some other Quirlicorns a tour of the festivities the two of them had planned.
He placed the pointed hat on his head, carefully smoothing out the feathers that stuck out the back of the hat, representing All Hallow’s Eve and the celebrations of the dead. And then rearrange the ribbons and the translucent, shimmering crystals collected from all six regions. The pale flowers on his back sparkled as he turned, something Resplendence said came from a holiday around the Winter Solstice.
“Resplendence did great with your cloak,” Minuet commented. “All six regions represented.”
Sonnet nodded stiffly. Resplendence certainly had done a good job with the outfits she designed and made. But that was still only a small part of the planning that had been done, and a small fraction of the festivities.
Minuet nuzzled him, as if she understood every worry that was plaguing him. She whispered softly, in his ear. “We’re all excited to see what you’ve planned. I know you’ve done amazing.”
He offered her a small smile in return. “I still have a bit before I need to join Grandmother. Want me to show you all of the highlights?”
“Of course I’d love that, Sonnet.”
His smile brightened, excitedly turning away to lead his sister through the streets of Candentia. The dark purple cloak Resplendence had given him fluttered behind him, reflecting the lanterns lining the street. The light from the lanterns had been gradually growing stronger, as the sun set and the sky rapidly darkened.
“Resplendence and I first stopped by the Windy Region,” Sonnet explained, “We were able to get some crystal lanterns from Caerulus. I forgot what holiday they represent, but Resplendence can probably tell you more.”
Minuet nodded, as the fireworks in the sky caught her eye. “Fireworks? Was that Resplendence’s idea?”
“She bargained for the fireworks, in exchange for not adding in a haunted house,” Sonnet muttered.
“Figures,” Minuet said, amusement in her voice. “The fireworks are certainly beautiful though.”
“Fireworks for New Years. Although, we were able to get the fireworks to display with different color schemes, so they represent other holidays as well,” Sonnet explained. “Oh! There’s also some food and drinks that you can try over there! Barricades insisted on giving us a recipe for mushroom soup. It’s surprisingly good.”
Minuet nodded, following behind him, as he pointed out some more decorations from different regions and different holidays. There were pumpkins lined up beside ghost caricatures, and evergreen trees from the mountains, decorated with sparkling gems Radiance had brought back from the Astral Realm.
In the middle of one of the open squares, there was a large bonfire, one that Sonnet had lit earlier in the day. It flickered brightly, magic crackling around the edges of the flames. Numerous Quirlicorns were gathered around, chatting as the moon rose in the sky.
Sonnet finished off his tour by the bonfire, telling Minuet to go and learn more about the holidays represented, and the history behind the decorations scattered around the city.
Xenon finished with the story he was telling through the stars in the heavens above, writing out the history of the holidays through the moving stars and constellations in the night sky. Oohs and aahs had echoed across the gathered Quirlicorns, as the shimmering stars danced next to the full moon.
Sonnet held his breath as Xenon ended the display of magic, the gentle but powerful magic Sonnet knew was Xenon’s fading away. He still didn’t believe the Lesser Deity had agreed to help with the Equinox, even with how much Xenon helped out in Candentia. But he was beyond grateful for the white stallion’s help.
He exhaled, allowing himself a brief moment to relax. The Quirlicorns of Candentia would continue to mingle in the streets, but Xenon’s performance was the last exhibition Sonnet and Resplendence had planned. Everything else had also gone reasonably well.
Perhaps, he could call the Equinox a success. Sonnet certainly hoped Psychomyth agreed, even if he and Resplendence didn’t follow the older stallion’s instructions exactly.