Every day, everywhere, ponies earn their cutie marks. It’s a momentous occasion, followed, typically, by a celebration, and the pony thereon out focusing his or her energy on honing said talent for the rest of their lives, possibly dabbling in other fields as well.
This is during their waking hours. At night, the ponies are unaware, as they slumber, of how closely they are being watched. Unaware of the creatures that study and judge their talents, and not just their special ones.
Foals, in particular, get special attention, as well as older ponies who’ve earned their cutie marks late, and… special ponies, with extra
special talents. These ponies are important to a certain somepony. Or at least, they can be…
Headmistress Moon’s Academy for All Gifted Ponies
The academy has amazing food, the most comfortable bedrooms, the biggest libraries, the most amazing feats of architecture (even some that shouldn’t be possible in any sense)… basically anything anypony could ask for.
Because it’s all a dream. And anything is possible in a dream.
But it is not
all fun and games; it is still a school, after all, and the few, carefully hoof-picked students are here for a reason: Nightmare Moon, the Queen of the Moon, Stars, and Heavens Beyond sees potential in them. Potential to be Equestria’s greatest defender, greatest baker, best clothes designer, greatest architect, or what-have-you. She wants to help them hone their talents to their maximum potential. And, while Nightmare Moon’s patience is finite, she will not
give up on her hoof-picked students easily.
Princess Celestia only accepts one student at a time; Nightmare Moon will accept as many as she can handle, and give each one as much time and attention as they need.