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[Lore] Hope Hollow


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Hope Hollow - At the End of the Rainbow




At first glance, nothing seems all that remarkable about the tiny town of Hope Hollow. Nestled not far from the source of the Galloping River, Hope Hollow’s only apparent distinguishing feature is a giant rainbow billboard at the town's edge. Yet if one was to dig into the town’s recent history, they would find a fascinating case study on the power of Hope and Hopelessness as potent magical forces in Equestria.

In a sense, Hope Hollow was “discovered” half a century ago by a Manehattan travel writer scouting for weekend getaways away from the big city. With numerous locales nearby such as the Galloping River headwaters, Whitetail Wood, Roundbottom Hills, and the southern terminus of the Solstice Heights, Hope Hollow was strategically placed as a hub from where sightseers could potentially visit all destinations in one vacation. But just as vitally, this town represented the complete opposite of big city life; a small-knit community where everypony knew everypony’s name and looked out for one another.

As for how the Rainbow became Hope Hollow’s official symbol? Being situated on the windward side of a mountain range means far more unscheduled rain showers caused by condensing moisture, and with those comes far more opportunities for rainbow-sighting. Many creatures throughout the world dismiss rainbows as nothing more than simple natural phenomenon, or even as simply the mass produced products of weather factories. In reality, each rainbow — no matter how it forms — is actually infused with a deep elemental magic; exposure to its color kindles the fires of Hope, Vitality, and Wonder within the hearts of ponies (along with triggering the natural evolution of rainbow trout). In turn, ponies infused with Hope can passively saturate a region with even more vivid colors!

Perhaps it was no wonder then why Hope Hollow — constantly exposed to impromptu rainbows — became legendary for a hospitable town spirit unrivaled in Equestria.

Few understood the power of rainbows better than Clear Skies, a transplant inventor from Canterlot who lived in Hope Hollow at the time of its “discovery”. Inspired by then-mythological tales of the fabled Crystal Heart (now proven to be ever so real), Mr. Skies created a magitek device that painted the sky with a prismatic aurora. This Rainbow Generator earned the stallion mayorship of the town, and the Mayor used his gizmo as the hallmark attraction of another legend-inspired initiative of his; the annual Rainbow Festival, where townsponies gathered together to renew the spirit of unity and hope.

Hope Hollow’s economy boomed for several decades thereafter, allowing the town to host such amenities as the luxury Rainbow Resort and Spa. A number of big city tourists even permanently moved to the small, cozy town. However, Hope Hollow’s economic prosperity depended upon remaining an attractive vacation destination for ponies living in Equestrian’s metropolitan centers. Overtime, the town lost its trendiness as more train-friendly (and thus accessible) locales like Ponyville and Rainbow Falls became the new fashionable destinations for holiday excursions. By the time Mayor Skies’s grandson assumed the burden of municipal leadership, the tourism trade had all but whittled away to a trickle. Hard times followed as townponies struggled harder to make ends meet, sacrificing bonding with their fellow neighbors in the process.

In an effort to revive community spirit, Mayor Sunny Skies attempted to upgrade the Rainbow Generator to enhance its prismatic output. But nopony cared anymore; fancier rainbows weren’t going to pay the bills, don’t you know? In that decisive moment; Hope for a better friendlier tomorrow was seemingly displaced entirely by cynicism and selfishness. Coupled with a coincidental malfunction of the Generator, this unfortunate event caused almost all color to vanish from Hope Hollow! Aside from the giant Rainbow Billboard and a few choice photos, everything and everyone within the town radius existed only in shades of black and white.

What happened to Hope Hollow was what may be the most extreme instance ever recorded of ponies succumbing to Despair. Just as hope-filled ponies shine with color, those filled with Hopelessness are known to have their coats lose there vibrancy. In Hope Hollow’s case, the barrier of despair was so great that not even a Sonic Rainboom could restore color back to the town!

As fate would have it, Sunny Skies — who blamed himself for the disaster —years later triggered the chain of events that led to restoring color to his community by conning the famous flier Rainbow Dash into being the guest of honor at a phony Rainbow Festival. Thanks to the efforts of Dash and her friends though, it turned out that rebuilding the severed relationships between townsponies was the trick needed to bring color back to Hope Hollow. Although other pressing issues still need to be addressed, for the first time in many years, the locals see there is light at the End of the Tunnel... or Rainbow, rather.

~Hitchhiker's Guide to Equestria (Revised Edition)

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