Author's Note: Okay, just a bit of a warning here, things are gonna become a bit darker and more disturbing from here on out. Not Cupcakes dark or disturbing, but darker and more violent than anything else I've really done. Also, thanks goes to Star Light for all of the battle music I plan to use throughout this arc. Now, on with the story.
Down in the very depths of Taurtarus
A group of ponies well known for their necromancy, a group feared by millions of beings, and the rulers over Taurtarus, the Grave Ponies, watch over the current happenings in Taurtarus. Their leader, the devilish Grim Blade, sits in his throne, looking bored. In his boredom, he looks over at Razor Graze, the suited pegasus looking beat up and his limbs chained the wall. Graze struggles to free himself in vein, but to no avail.
Grim chuckles. "Poor fool. You're never escaping from here. Never!"
Graze snarls. "You coward! How about you fight me yourself?!"
Grim laughs again. "Don't make me laugh. You could never defeat me. Nopony can except for those damned princesses, but they're not here right now."
During all of Grim's taunting, a random minion of his runs to him with urgent news to give. "Sir! Sir!"
Grim looks over to him. "What is it, Tombstone?"
The pony stops, huffing from all of the running. "We have recieved news that the gates have been opened!"
Grim puts his hooves together. "Excellent."
"No, not excellent!"
"These ponies aren't being banished! Celestia personally escorted them in!"
"She what?!" curious and upset by this news, Grim chants a spell, causing a transparent window to appear infront of him, showing us descending down the hole. He carefully examines us. "I sense a great power from these ponies. What is Celestia up to? Does she still believe Graze has a chance of escaping?"
Graze smiles from seeing us. "Ha! I knew I could get out of here! Just you wait, bonehead!"
Grim glares at him. "Bite your tongue, fool! We shall see what these eight are capable of soon enough." Grim looks closer at the window, taking a good look at all of us. "We shall see indeed."
Back over to us
All of us soar down the gaping hole, heading down towards the first real area of Taurtarus. As we fly, I can feel tears in my eyes from all of the heat. I look at the others to see they are also having a bit of trouble, and even looking a bit worried.
"Just hang in there, guys!" I shout. "We should be down there pretty soon! Remember, be strong and watch each other's backs down there!"
"Right!" they all shout.
We all continue freefalling down, once in a while some embers passing us by. After falling for a bit, we touchdown on solid ground and look around.
For anyone who doesn't know, Taurtarus is structured like a cone with nine seperate floors, minus the top floor. The worse a crime the pony has done, the lower down they go. Right now we're not quite at the first real floor, we're only at the floor where ponies board Charon, the giant talking boat that guides the condemned ponies to the floors they belong on.
I know this is all sounding really dark, but it's the truth. Not everywhere in Equestria is as nice as Ponyville.
As we look around, we can see lines of condemned ponies. They look like zombies. No manes, no teeth, rotting flesh, black eyes, and looking extremely thin. They're in line to board Charon. The scenery around here is basically the same as before, only there's a gigantic river where Charon rocks back in forth as he waits.
He all look at each. "So, you guys ready to climb aboard?" I ask. They all nod. "*sigh* Okay, let's get going."
We all get on Charon's back, ready to go. But instead, Charon just sits there. He turns his head and looks at us angrily.
"What do you all think you're doing?" he asks in a booming voice.
Dark steps forward. "Hey, think you can get a move on? This place isn't exactly where I wanted to spend my vacation."
"What are you mortal ponies doing here?" he asks again.
I push Dark aside. "We've been sent by Celestia to confront the Grave Ponies and save Razor Graze."
"Confront the Grave Ponies? You fools do not stand a chance. You shall all die before you coud even make it that far, and I shant guide you either."
Dark steps forward agan, this time with anger. "Just get a move on, jerk! I want to get to kicking this Grim Blade guy's flank!"
"Puny mortals! You shall all pay for your insolence towards Lord Grim Blade! Harpies, attack!"
Dang it, Dark! Does he always have to go and cause us trouble?
From the air descends a bunch of creatures that look like winged monkeys. I've heard of harpies, but never actually seen any in real life.
The winged beasts growl, revealing their sharp fangs as they flare their wings.
Well, guess we have no choice but to fight our way out of here.
(Commence battle music)
The first harpy lunges at me, fangs showing. It takes a bite towards my neck, but misses, only catching the air. With the harpy wide open, I wind back a charged up hoof and send it flying into a wall, leaving an imprint.
The next two go for Zephyr. He takes off at a breakneck speed, the harpies following right behind him. He flies around for a bit, always ahead of them. As they near, they open their mouths, ready to grab his tail. He quickly stops though, the harpies continuing forward. They look back at him, him giving a wave with a smirk on his face. Looking back ahead, the harpies slam face first into a wall.
The next one goes after Rhino. Rhino is very passive when not in his rage mode, so seeing how he fights should be interesting. The harpy runs at him, but slips as Rhino uses Res to make it trip up. It continues slipping around as if the floor were covered in oil. Now getting mad, the harpy takes to the sky. The harpy divebombs at Rhino, smiling. But right before it hits, Rhino jumps out of the way and uses his Res to make the harpy slam down into the floor, knocking it unconcious.
Looks like he doesn't need to be raging to kick flank.
Next up is Ice. He starts off firing ice shards, giving the beasts small cuts as they attempt to dodge. As they approach, Ice creates an ice pillar that shoots him up. After gaining some height over them, he jumps down and drops his front hooves into their faces, puttig them down.
And who says earth ponies aren't awesome?
A group of five harpies surround Drax, ready to take down the large stallion. The first one jumps up, but is put back down by a punch. Two more jump at him, but are both grabbed and slammed together. The remaining two each leap for him, but are grabbed and spun around until they're eventually let flying into a wall.
Job well done.
Next is Orion. He takes off, the harpy following after him. After gaining a good lead, as well as distracting the harpy with his star streak, he turns around and rams into its gut, knocking it down and out, similar to how he once took down an ursa.
I just hope I'm never at the receiving end of one of those.
And now it's Dark's turn. This won't even be a contest. As the harpy he's faced with nears him, he takes an electrically charged hoof and touches it to the harpy, zapping it into unconsciousness.
Yeah, like I said, not even a chance for the harpy.
And last up is Vine. Oddly enough, she decides to fly up for this one. As she gets next to a wall with a harpy chasing after her, she releases several thorned vines that shoot out and stab the harpy through its wings. The harpy now unable to fly, Vine grabs it in a bear hug and starts falling with it in a downward spiral. Right before they reach the ground, Vine throws it down and angles herself to fly back up, taking out th harpy and saving herself.
Apparently she doesn't even need to be on the ground to be tough. Another reason I'm glad she's on our side.
(End battle music)
With all of the harpies defeated, we all gather around and give each other highhoofs.
"That was awesome!" I say.
Charon yells out in anger. "Fools! Do you even know the forces you are messing with?! You shall all pay for this!"
Dark steps up, a scowl on his face. "And you're gonna pay for making me mad!" he takes his hooves and charges some lightning grenades in each of them. The balls fully charged, he throws them directly at Charon's head. The massive boat beast shouts in pain from the explosions before falling unconscious.
Dark smirks. "That'll teach him to mess with me."
I tap him on his sholder. "Yeah, only now we're forced to go all the way down ourselves."
He shrugs. "Oh well. Better get a move on then."
Now with Charon out, we're stuck going down on our own, through all nine circles. Meh, I kinda figured this would happen.
Back in the throne room
Grim watches the window he had summoned very closely, taking in what he had just watched. "These ponies are very formidable. They are much stronger than I thought."
Graze laughs a bit. "I told you! They're coming to save me and I'm finally giving out of here!"
Grim gives a slight chuckle. "We shall see. They have yet to even make it down to the first circle. There the fun shall really begin."