The time left to the black foals’ birthday quickly passed after Starfall had told her story. All too quickly, the Sun rose on the morning marking that the black foals had been living for a year. Darkblaze looked up at the Hundred Year Star, suddenly apprehensive and nervous as to what his destiny really was.
His mother, Rainstone, walked over to her son. He had grown a lot in the past year, and when he raised his head to look around he was taller than his dapple gray mother. Now, she slid her lavender wing over his back to comfort him.
“No matter what happens,” she said softly, “I will always be on your side.”
Darkblaze smiled at his mother, leaning in toward her to accept her comforting words. “You always know what to say, Mom,” he said fondly. “Thank you.” He then walked over to Nightpearl, who was standing alone, also looking at the Hundred Year Star with some concern.
“We’ll be in this together,” he said reassuringly.
The black filly looked at him with wide eyes. Now that the day had come, she was not nearly as bold as she had been a month or so previously. “How do you know?” she said. “What if we don’t have the same starfire? What if I’m a Destroyer and you’re a Healer? Or the other way around?”
“What if the Hundred Year Star explodes and lights all of Anok on fire?” Darkblaze asked. “Worrying probably won’t help, so let’s just wait. And for me, waiting means eating.” He began to graze, and Nightpearl, somewhat mollified, grazed with him to calm her nerves.
That night, they were ready. They stood on the council outcrop looking at the huge crowd of faces belonging to the other Sun Herd pegasi. The Hundred Year Star flared, signifying midnight, and the two black foals lifted off together, toward their destiny.
The two pegasi flapped their wings in unison, propelling themselves through the night sky. They looked magnificent, two coal-black yearlings, one with a narrow blaze and the other with a perfect small round star on her forehead.
Darkblaze opened his mouth as a beam of light hit him. He could feel the energy coursing through his body, giving him new strength. To his left, Nightpearl was doing the same thing.
Her shyness was gone. She felt superb with the warm glow of the star coursing through her. When she didn’t think the star had any more to give, she closed her mouth and turned back towards the meadow. Darkblaze saw that Nightpearl was flying back towards Sun Herd and followed her. The landed on the rock outcrop together, and all of the spectators could see their hooves and eyes glowing golden.
Several of the steeds in the crowd visibly relaxed at the sign that they had two Healers in their herd. Darkblaze called out in a noticeably deeper voice, the voice of a proud yearling stallion, “Sun Herd, have faith! The two black foals born early are healers!”
This set up a huge roar of cheering. Darkblaze raised his wings and said, “I will demonstrate! Smokesky, please come up to the outcrop.”
The steel gray steed was surprised but he followed the black foal’s instructions. His silver-tipped cadet blue feathers bounced on his crippled wings as he trotted energetically up to the two black foals.
“Smokesky, would you like to fly again?” Darkblaze asked. The gray stallion nodded his head vigorously.
All of a sudden, he found himself blinded as he was drenched in vivid gold light. Miraculously, the persisting pain that had been between his shoulder blades for almost fifteen years melted away. He could move his wings freely and without pain now, and the other aches that had come to his body with age were drastically reduced as well.
Darkblaze’s beam of starfire had lifted Smokesky clear off the ground. The black foal could see Smokesky, jubilant, inside the beam of his light, so he started to lower the elderly gray steed back down onto the ground.
As soon as the black foal had retracted his power and placed Smokesky down, the gray launched himself back up. He flew circles around the crowd, whinnying happily. He would not stop smiling. “Thank you, Darkblaze!” he trumpeted. Darkblaze nodded, smiling in return.
Then Smokesky’s newly restored eyesight saw something in the sky on the northwestern horizon. A dark shape. After a minute or two, it took form as a pegasus. He trumpeted an alarm to the Sun Herd steeds below.
The pegasi were concerned at this change in Smokesky’s manner. They soon saw what was troubling the gray stallion. It was a jet-black stallion flying straight toward them, and as he got closer they could see his that his wings were trimmed in silver. His eyes were silver as well and his rear legs had small socks that were almost silver because of the glow from his hooves. The stallion landed next to the two other black foals on the outcrop. Darkblaze instantly knew who it was.
“Blackstorm,” he said.
The black stallion looked confused, however. "Blackstorm?" he asked. "No, my name is Eclipse." With that said, he roared silver starfire toward the two other black foals.