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Sombra, mighty leader of the imprisoned Umbrum (shadow ponies), has been freed to restore his rule of the Crystal Empire (later to be known as the Imperium Crystale), and avenge himself against those who once tormented him. Having been locked away by Luna and Celestia of Equestria, and then 1000 years later locked away again by her protege Twilight Sparkle, baby dragon Spike, and the Mi Amore family, Sombra will not allow himself to fail again.

The Crystal Empire must be made his and Equestria must be conquered.

Lore[]

Please see Crystal Empire#Lore

Returning Sombra[]

The Return of Sombra event chain is long.

It will typically begin after about 3 months in the Harmonic Crystal Empire - for the impatient player progressing through the Grand Festival focus will cause it to trigger instantly.

This will begin a minor choose your own adventure, as you play a normal Crystal pony recruited by Sombra Supporters to join their club. Different outcomes for your club in the post Sombra world can be reached via the adventure.

Note that Equestria can complete a focus that prevents the return of Sombra. However, it is not possible for them to finish the focus before you bring about Sombra's return.

The player may

  1. Join the Club - and personally participate in the adventure to bring Sombra back,
  2. Support the Club - agree to support the club materially, which will skip all of the story content and eventually bring about Sombra's return.
  3. Report the Club - Join the club, and report it to the police after the first meeting, which will reduce the Sombra supporters malus.
  4. Decline the Invitation - the player will have multiple opportunities to decline.
Spoilers below, we recommend these are best experienced in game before reading

Supremacy Support Method[]

If Supremacy reaches 50%, the Sombra supporters will successfully bring about the return of Sombra without any player action whatsoever, This can happen if the player visits the Sombra supporters meeting, then never returns nor reports it.

Support the Club Method[]

The material support method will take about 260 days to complete, though this may vary greatly. After it is completed, a civil war will be triggered. The player will not receive the bonuses that are given by taking the extra time to charge crystals for Sombra's return. Once this is finished Equestria will be notified of suspicious activities, if they have increased presence in the Crystal Empire through their focus tree.

Join the Club Method[]

Tea Parties (21 days) - Accepting the invitation will allow the Tea Parties decision. This will start the club meeting. After visiting the club the player is offered a final opportunity to decline or to report to the authorities. Walking away and doing nothing this final time will cause the Sombra Threat to increase fascist support, which can eventually lead to Sombra's return at 50% fascism support.

The player will meet the various ponies in the group - Dust Snowfall, an old stallion with fond memories of Sombra; Sakira Bluebell, a young, true believer in the cause and group leader; Lake Frost, a talented caster, and Red Peyote a tough pony providing the security. All of these ponies will be recruitable under a Sombran government and will be affected by this adventure.

Getting to Work (35d) - The player will have the opportunity to hit the books for 35 days, and perform a raid on the Forbidden Section of the library. This will reveal the group's next action - getting their hands on umbrum crystals for the Dark Heart.

Charge the Crystals (Optional, 70d) - At this point the player will have the opportunity to further charge the crystals that will power Sombra's resurrection. This will improve Sombra's position in the civil war and the early bonuses given.

The Dark Heart (42d) - The player must find crystals for the Dark Heart. The player can visit the Umbrum Cage, an abandoned crystal mine, OR the Crystal Mountain caves near Snowbury.

Umbrum Cave - In the Umbrum cave, the player will be spooked by a group of foals. Successfully reassuring them will please Sakira. The group will have to break down a barrier to retrieve the crystals, which will injure Lake Frost.

Crystal Mountains - there is a problem - it will require a dive into icy waters. Whoever dives will get quite sick afterwards - the player, Sakira, Dust, or the player + Sakira. These choices affect the player's friendship with Sakira.

The Dark Heart Grows (70d) - The Dark Heart will begin to grow. Once this is finished Equestria will be notified of suspicious activities, if they have increased presence in the Crystal Empire.

Starting the Revolution[]

The Final Act (42d) - Both the Support the Club and Join the Club methods will now unlock the Final Act decision. The player can choose the final summoning incantation

  • Spiritis - The Empire will receive 5 divisions of 4k Infantry, They will also receive 25k ponypower (crystal uncharged) or 55k ponypower (crystal charged). They will get +15% buff to attack, defense and max planning for 128 days (crystal uncharged) or 188 days (crystal charged).
  • Vis - The Empire will receive 20% War Support, 20% Attack, 20% Defense, and -10% Training Time for 180 days (crystal uncharged) or 300 days (crystal charged)
  • Imperium - The Empire will receive 5% Defense, +30% PP, +20% Resource Efficiency, Recruitable Population 4% for 180 days (crystal uncharged) or 250 days (crystal charged)

If the player has made the right choices, some time after Sombra’s return Sakira will invite him to a restaurant and propose to him. A wedding event will happen afterwards, which is a happy ending for the event chain. However, if the player made the wrong choices, then Sakira will tell the player’s character that they they are just friends, nothing more.


Spoiler end.

The civil war will generally be in the player's favor, though this will vary depending on luck. Equestrian troops will deploy throughout Crystal Empire lands, however they are not actually participating in the war. The player should advance ASAP and ignore Equestrian troops.

Starting Situation and Strategy[]

Sombra's first priority is to win the civil war to be ready for Equestria. Once Equestria reaches 15% War Support, it will receive a 70 day decision to take on Sombra. This decision will either provide a puppet wargoal, or powerful defensive and war support bonuses. For this reason, Sombra civil war should be performed as soon as possible - realistically, Sombra cannot defeat Equestria if is already at 15% war support.

Sombra's best strategy is to find support in neighboring powers as soon as possible against Equestria. The available options - the Lunar Empire, Chrysalis, and Stalliongrad (under Sinister Serov) are discussed further under National Focus.

National Focus[]

Sombran Crystal Empire Focus Tree

Hail mighty King Sombra! Your focus tree is short, but powerful, giving you an extremely rapid ramp-up from your small revolution. Other countries may have 10-year trees full of long term reforms that lead to an eventual growth as a power. BAH! The major powers could have conquered half of the world in that time, rendering it moot, and so shall you!

Your first priority after regaining your rightful rulership over the Crystal Empire is to deal with your arch-nemesis, Equestria, who have banished you from your rule before. You must also deal with the other upstart empires on the continent - or perhaps a shrewd king could understand that an enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Restore the Glory gives the Crystal Empire cores over many states in northern Equestria, most of Stalliongrad and one state in Olenia.

If the King decides not to simply crush every other nation on the continent, he'll see that very few nations want to ally with Equestria. Thus, due to their shared goals, Changeling Lands are a natural ally for Sombra, given their shared goal of Equestrian subjugation. However, Nightmare Moon and Stalliongrad under the opportunistic Sinister Serov are also valid options.

With an alliance formalized with one of the nations on the continent, King Sombra can introduce his Grey Pact to strengthen the cooperation. Fiendship gives the Crystal Empire cores across the entire Equestria and parts of Yakyakistan, also renaming the country to Imperium Crystale.

Finally, every King needs a Queen and Sombra can pick between strengthening his alliance with the Changelings or the Lunar Empire; or he can marry his childhood friend, Radiant Hope, who has given everything to help restore Sombra to the throne.

From Feudalism into the New Age brings about an extremely rapid industrial expansion, with the first focus taking only 42 days. Continuing down this path will reward factories, infrastructure, companies, and research slot with The Institute, whilst continuing further will enhance Sombra's dark magic, giving bonuses to magical research and massive boosts to recruitable population via mind control. With these focuses recruitment is unlikely to be a problem for Sombra. Notably also the Dark Crystals will provide a one year bonus, including a reduction in supply consumption and halving of all heat/winter attritions. Given the Dark Crystals path is not necessary to proceed, a prudent player may wish for the right time to use this focus, especially for fighting in the mountainous, wintery terrain of central /northern/western Equestria, and against the large heat attrition of Daybreaker's Solar Empire

Devoted Army, like the Feudalism into the New Age focus, kickstarts Sombra's society, with a 35 day completion time and generous bonuses to army performance, war support and output for the next year, along with two free land doctrines. Following this path further will grant lots of military factories and military techs.

Crystal Strength - This path leads to a traditional industrial segment, with civilian factories, research and a valuable research slot.

Military Expansion - A standard military path, though lacking in focus research (found elsewhere).

Technology[]

Technology is inherited from the original Crystal Empire.

For details on starting tech see Crystal Empire#Technology

Politics[]

National spirits[]

The Sombran spirits are inherited from the original Crystal Empire. Sombra will receive a set of military national spirits to compensate for the lack of war footing and relative weakness of the starting forces.

Leaders[]

Leader Party Description Traits

KingSombraPic.png
King Sombra

Supremacy

Sombra's Rule

Born: Time Immemorial

Biography: Sombra's origins are as mysterious as the mere mention of his name is unsettling. What is known, however, comes from the testimony of crystal ponies who were willing enough to speak. He is one of the umbrum — shadow ponies rumoured to be buried under the frozen wastelands of the Crystal Empire, waiting to be released. Some say it was loneliness and dejection that turned him bitter and jaded, striking out against Princess Amore, while others say that it was his only friend and companion, Radiant Hope, who turned Sombra to darkness.

What followed is known to everypony: the tyrannical King Sombra used dark magic of the umbrum to enslave the crystal ponies, using many for his personal experiments. His reign of terror only came to an end once the Princesses of Equestria banished him beneath the ice, only for Sombra to curse his land to disappear along with him. After a thousand years, his shadowy form made an attempt to take over again, only to be thwarted by the combined efforts of Princess Cadance and the bearers of the Elements of Harmony.

It is uncertain whether the most recent reincarnation of King Sombra is the same pony from the myths, but one thing is sure: The King is back.

Portrait By: Scroup

Warmonger
  • AI Modifier: Focus on Offence: +50%











The Shadow King

  • Justify War Goal Time: -30%
  • Daily Political Power Gain: +0.10
  • AI Modifier: Focus on Offence: +30%

Cadence.png
Princess Mi Amore Cadenza

Harmony

Royal Family

Born: 14th of February 972, near Vanhoover

Biography: Princess Cadance's humble origins belie her future as one of the royal alicorns of Equestria. The pegasus foal, who would later become known as Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, was found in a forest close to Vanhoover by her earth pony adopted parents. Taken to a nearby village, it was a peaceful, calm life until one day, a jealous sorceress named Prismia stole the love of the villagers using a malevolent magical necklace. The young Cadance confronted Prismia and turned her own magic against her, causing her to change her horrible ways. Afterward, Princess Celestia recognised her power, adopted her as her niece and elevated Cadance as the alicorn Princess of Love.

Thereafter, Cadance became a foalsitter for Princess Celestia's newest personal student, Twilight Sparkle. She would meet and fall in love with Twilight's older brother, Shining Armour. Their wedding day was going to be perfect, but unfortunately, the scheming Chrysalis, Queen of the Changelings used the opportunity to impersonate Cadance and seize control of Equestria by guile. Despite the presence of a large changeling host and their empowered Queen, Princess Cadance and Shining Armour used the power of their love to cast the changelings out of the country.

When the Crystal Empire reappeared, Celestia sent Cadance to rule over it, knowing her to be a descendant of Princes Amore, its last ruler before Sombra's reign. Cadance made her stand there, defeating the nascent shadow of King Sombra that lingered after his banishment by using a mythical artefact called the Crystal Heart. With their success, she and Shining Armour have safekept the land ever since, siring a foal named Flurry Heart along the way.

Portrait By: Scroup

ArcticLily.png
Arctic Lily
Communism

Red Crystal Workers' Party

RadiantHope-0.png
Radiant Hope
Supremacy

National Spirit Party

Alternative Leaders[]

Please see Crystal Empire#Alternative Leaders

Staff and Designers[]

Please see Crystal Empire#Staff and Designers

Economy, Industry and Resources[]

Please see Crystal Empire#Economy

Military[]

Sombra's empire starts with fraction of the existing Crystal military forces, plus 5 divisions of Sombran volunteers, each composed of 6 infantry brigades at 80% Equipment. If the appropriate forces are selected Sombra will later receive an additional 5 divisions of veteran regular infantry, each with 6 brigades and a support company of mages.

Military Staff[]

Please see Crystal Empire#Military Staff


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