Lyra trotted gently along the dirt road. She had her small saddle bag filled to the brim with books and food. It wasn't the most comfortable way to travel, but she had never gone on an adventure before. Where does she go from Ponyville? Shouldn't she consult Twilight first? No. Twilight would simply try to dissuade her. Going after fictional monsters seemed insane to Lyra herself. Especially since it was human and not pony fiction. Lyra had continued to trot north, towards Canterlot. Her thoughts had continued to flow, what would a vampire pony look like? Would it still be called a vampire? Would it walk on two legs? What about werewolves? Would they be called different? Would they continue to turn into wolves? Surprisingly human fiction had included a lot of creatures Lyra already knew about, Minotaurs, Hydras and Gryphons are just a few examples. What Lyra could not grasp is that in the human world ponies couldn't talk. They were considered to be creatures of entertainment and travel. Would that throw off the vampires? They wouldn't be vampires, would they? Vampires drink human blood. Not pony blood. "What kind of a stupid vampire would drink animal blood?!" Lyra exclaimed aloud. Her voice startled some crows nearby which had quickly reacted flying overhead and partially covering up the sun. Lyra laughed. She was enjoying her adventure. Who wouldn't.
She could now clearly see the gates of Canterlot. It was tempting to go and see what there's to offer. She has only been in Canterlot a few times. "Nope," she once pronounced Big Mac's second to favourite word, "My quest is going uninterrupted!"
As the sun began to dim Lyra had realised she knew nothing about camping. Canterlot was long behind her and she did not recognise the landscape. It seemed as though some of the rocks were moving. She remembered a human "graphic novel" entitled "Doctor Who" which had shown pictures of strange pegasus humans engraved in stone who could move whenever your gaze had wandered off. Realizing it was now getting really dark Lyra had decided to lie underneath a tree. In her human stories the main character, or the "Protagonist" as Twilight insisted, would always sleep under trees if it was a good night. She used her magic to quickly take off the saddle bag and quickly rested her head on the many books stored within.
Lyra had awoken to find herself in pain. Her hooves throbbing and with a terrible headache. She took a small portion of hay and quickly digested. What surprised her was the lack of noise. There was utter silence. AS though her hearing was missing. There were no birds calling, no trotting along the road of another fellow pony. Just utter quiet. She had decided it was time to leave. Rather than trotting as usual Lyra wanted to try something new. She stood upon her rear hooves and began marching with some difficulty. Her saddle bags seemed to gently slip off but now using her front two hooves she could quickly adjust the leather fittings while walking. "Why don't all ponies do this?" she thought with delight. If she comes back and shows everyone the new way to "trot" she'll be the talk of the town. Maybe Bonbon will forgive her for the things she had said. No. She was going off topic. Her quest was to find a human monster. Twilight had assured her that it is possible but insisted on trying to keep Lyra at home. Of course Lyra ignored her. She was now past the lands she knew. Her true adventure had began.
She had continued to walk on her rear hooves for quite some time and soon she began smelling most peculiar scents. It was a very distinct odour, yet she could not remember where she smelt it before. She turned towards the location from which it seemed to come from. Placing her front two hooves down she moved off the road and into the woods. The trees seemed quite evenly spread out and were all green leafed. The bark was a healthy brown and sunlight could clearly pass through. Lyra was confident that there was nothing to fear. As she delved deeper into the woods the image began changing. The trees' bark was now a rotting brown and the leaves a boggy green. The trees seemed to be pressing closer and closer together letting less and less sunlight through. Lyra pushed past the lower branches and bushes and suddenly she came into a clearing with an old oak tree right in the centre. The oak tree was surrounded by burnt up grass and looked no better to the trees around it. What Lyra found peculiar was the small chimney like branch pointing upwards. The whole tree reminded her of a house. She continued approaching the oak and she began noticing more details. Door fittings, a small wooden handle, and a window. There was no doubt that someone had lived here. She knew where the odour was coming from. She knew that the Zebra had been creating a similar stench in her "tree house". Lyra became more cautious. The house seemed different to what a pony would live in. A more.... Human design. She continued approaching when the door snapped open. Lyra squeaked and jumped back. Her heart was racing. She began taking deep breaths trying to calm down. She had decided to remain in a position ready to run away. A shadow seemed to be approaching from the door. A shadow of a creature unlike any other. Lyra tensed up as she saw the hideous creature now standing in the doorway.
It had reminded her of a human. It stood upon it's rear hooves, or whatever they were called, but seemed to lean over a staff made of wood. The creatures face was covered in warts and the eyes seemed to be rid of colour. The mouth looked as though it was sewn shut. The nose was unrecognisable among the warts. There were no hooves around the staff. They were instead... Fingers? With long nails on each tip. Lyra had hoped to meet a human fiction creature but instead she got a human! Perhaps not the greatest example, but it was a human nonetheless. She approached the hobbled human, "Hello?"
"What do you want with Baba?" the creature asked in a croaky old voice which had reminded Lyra Granny Smith... There was something evil about this voice though. "Baba doesn't want visitors, you go away creature..." the hobbled human now turned and was about to leave,
"Wait!" Lyra exclaimed. "Could you answer some of my questions?" The human cackled,
"You want Baba Yaga to answer your questions? Just like that?" The human croaked, "Baba wants something for something. You give something I answer questions," the human leant over and from the sleeve of the robe it was wearing took a small shinning knife. The blade seemed sharp enough to cut through rocks. Lyra became uneasy,
"What would you wish for?" The human creature turned and looked at Lyra with what had seemed the eye of Lust mixed with delight,
"Baba just wants your precious blood." Lyra took a step back in shock, "Baba wants your blood to be young again. Blood of a unicorn is needed. Blood and pain are both needed. Yes.... Baba will be young again!" She cackled as though it had been a brilliant joke.
"Will it hurt?" Lyra asked panicked beyond all thought.
"Baba doesn't like stupid unicorns. Baba said, pain is also needed. Yes it will hurt, but I will answer your question and you can go on." Lyra couldn't miss an opportunity, she could ask a question about pony werewolves, or vampires! She decided to be brave and let Baba Yaga perform her evil deed.
"Come along then let's have this done." Baba cackled once again and invited Lyra inside. Lyra took slow incertain steps and soon found herself indoors.
The house was furnished in the same fashion as the outside. All was wooden, carved. It wasn't real furniture. Many skulls of different creatures and potions of all colours were scattered across the desks. Lyra had taken a seat in one of the wall "chairs" and found herself quite sickened at the contents of the room. Baba took the knife and impaled Lyra directly upon the front of her hoof. No warning or pause. Lyra's scream pierced the air and she soon lost her conscience.
Lyra had awoken feeling quite dizzy and very disorientated. Her right front hoof ached. She looked upon it. There was a small bandage around where the wound must have been. The bandage was grey and old, most definitely not the best of healthcare. She looked around. She was lying on her stomach next to a dirt road. There were no birds singing and there was utter quiet. She Bend her rear hooves in an attempt to get up. As soon as she began distributing weight towards her front hoof the pain shot up. How did she get hurt? She couldn't remember anything. She tried to rise once more. This time applying her weight to the rear of the body. It was quite a crude way to try and get up and once again she fell. The dirt in her nose had made it itch and she had no choice but to sneeze. A loud echo followed on, but there was nothing else. "Strange" whispered Lyra, "Wouldn't the sneeze scare away some kind of a creature?" She took no more time thinking and again she tried getting up. This time the attempt ended with a success. She raised her saddle bags using the healthy hoof and began trying to fit the strap round her chest. Her adventure then continued further north. She took a small detour around the mountains and continued onwards. She felt as though she passed this place before. The forest and the road all seemed too familiar. Shaking off the uneasy feeling she maintained the pace. "Right hoof, left hoof, right, left, right, left" She was now beginning to repeat the routine in her head.
The sun was now high in the sky signifying noon. Lyra made a short stop and looked at the mountains ahead. Either she'd have to climb over or follow the track to the side. There was no real reason Lyra decided to head north. According to Twilight, south was a sea known as "Eternity's Crossing," west was the land of Buffaloes and east there were "Tramplevanian Alps." She simply picked what seemed to be the easiest route. Even if it meant getting to the Griffin kingdoms. She decided to spend the rest of her noon sitting in the shade of trees.
When the time came to set off Lyra starting packing up. She began by collecting the books she had been reading. Forgetting her hoof was hurt she winced in pain and dropped the saddle bag. Out of it came a small note ripped up.
- Lyra, I can guess you will attempt to go and search for your fantasies. I understand that there is nothing to stop you. Hopefully you are reading this while still near Ponyville. Even if you do meet a human or a human fant....
Rest of the letter was ripped of. The writing reminded her of Twilight. It must have been Twilight. Who else would know about Lyra's human obsession... Apart from Bonbon. "Bonbon would never write something like that. She knows nothing and is still probably mad at me." Lyra thought to herself. She quickly put the note back into her back along with the books and decided to forget about it in the meantime. Her plan was to head North East towards what was known as Forsaken Forest.
She looked up to the thickly growing trees. the trees were so close together no light seemed to enter the forest. Lyra felt some sort of a strange force seemed to drag her into the forest. She suddenly forgot how hungry and tired she was. She continued onward towards the forest. Now engulfed by the greenery and darkness she maintained the pace. Every now and again tripping over a tree root, but quickly regaining her balance. Her walking still needed some work, but in the few hours she managed to gain quite the experience. The calling seemed to come from deeper the forest. Her heart was racing, her mind was confused. She didn't know what was going on.
Soon she had come to a clearing. Here the sun shone brightly with its afternoon rays. There were a few smaller rocks around in a circle and a single flower in the middle of the plain. Lyra as though suddenly realising what had happened fell to her front hooves. She winced in pain at the hurt hoof and collapsed completely. She looked up. There was a tall figure in the shadow on the edge of the clearing. It was much to tall to be a pony, but its posture and hooves said otherwise,
"Heartstrings, you have destroyed the sanctity of this place. The wound of the witch spoils you, and yet you dare enter this place." The powerful male voice rang out. Lyra was shocked at hearing her completion pronounced by the stranger. Her completion... All ponies were given two names. The public name, and a completion. The completion was meant to be either given by a partner of their choice, or received at birth. To then be told only to those the pony was attached to. It was a way to tell. Whether a relationship was serious or not. Only Bonbon knew Lyra's name. Lyra gazed at the tall figure. It began approaching her. "My kind cannot tolerate your taint. You will be punished." Lyra's fear crept up, who was this. Was it another pony? Like Princess Celestia? He (as Lyra assumed) had no wings. No horn. He wasn't an alicorn then. Could it be that he was a horse? Horses are not that popular around Equestria. After the alicorns first came to Equestria; the horses ran to plains or forests. Rumours exist that some of these horses had knowledge of humans, that they took some of the teachings found in human books and lived their lives alike.
"Are you a horse?" The question sounded funny in Lyra's mouth. It seemed like such a stupid question. The figure remained still, as though set in stone. Lyra remembered something from her books. A creature called Druid. Supposedly it was a human that could shape-shift into different things, and lived in the forests. Honouring nature and creatures. Was this horse a druid in fact.
"Heartstrings. I will allow you to live. Know that you will not remember our encounter, but as a fit punishment for tainting this forest, from this day on; you will be unable to set so much as a single hoof in any forest. You will be unable to harm any creatures or plants, and finally. You are cursed to forever feel rejected, the way we do." Lyra once again shocked at the horse's words. It was all utter madness. Lyra didn't understand what just happened. "Begone!" the horse yelled and Lyra once again compelled by some strange force began to march out of the forest. As she reached the outskirts, she burst into tears and collapsed losing her conscience almost immediately.
Lyra had awakened to find herself lying alongside the road. She noted the ground beneath her head was wet. Was she crying? She couldn't remember a thing. She looked up. Before her spread a huge mountain range. She assumed that this must have been part of the Griffin kingdoms. There were small grey points, jotted all around the peaks. Those must have been the towers. Lyra couldn't stop any longer. She set for what seemed the biggest and closest point on the mountain range. The road slowly began turning to a hard rocky ground. The journey was beginning to get tough and small rocks began to get stuck in between of her hooves. After couple hours of march it was getting quite cold and the hooves were aching with unbearable pain. Lyra sat where she stood in her usual manner. She looked around the rocky mountain side. It wasn't steep and there were a lot of sharp rocks lying on the sides of the road. Further up the road became steep and snow slowly began crusting over. Even further up there was a the tower. Covered in snow and frozen over. The wind beating against it relentlessly. Lyra stood up once again and set off towards the keep. After travelling for what seemed like hours she finally arrived at the tower. The snow was coming down and Lyra was cold and beat up by the journey. She looked to the keep once again. It was much bigger than she originally thought and upon closer inspection the whole keep seemed to emit an aura of darkness. The tall tower seemed to be partially falling apart and yet it was the only place to hide. Directly in front of her a big wooden door was placed. The wood was slightly rotting away but remained firm in its hinges. Lyra gently pushed at the door which had easily opened and stepped inside. As she did so the door smashed shut and a torch set alight.
Lyra took a quick look around in fear and brushed the snow off her head. She turned back at the door and tried tugging at the door handle. It did not budge at all. She was stuck here and the only thing she could do is explore.
It wasn't a huge entry hall. Rocks around her formed a perfect circle with a diameter of about 10 metres. She looked up to notice stone stairs spiralling alongside the wall. The tower seemed to grow larger the higher it went. She was determined to get to the top of the long staircase. Minutes passed and Lyra began losing her new-found determination. In her books the protagonist could go on for hours without getting tired or scared. Lyra felt both. Some steps were missing and the tower was in near complete darkness. There were two points of light, near the top and bottom. Lyra assumed that by now the original diameter must have doubled if not tripled in length. She continued onwards. As she got to the top she had used her magic for the first time during the trip. She wasn't the most talented, she couldn't heal, or teleport and her telekinesis was still clumsy. Like all unicorns she had an expertise and that was playing her harp. It relied on bending the air around the strings in various ways rather than actually pluck them with her hoof or telekinesis. She did the same in order to get the rocks out of her hooves. She took a look around. There was a small window peering out to the road by which she came. The rest of the room was in darkness. She approached the window on her fours, attempting to keep the noise down; with no success. She continued to gaze around while approaching the window. Once there she peered out. The wind blew against her face, violently and as though trying to cut her. She felt a small breeze down her neck. Getting the chills and a bad feeling she turned around. Facing her, were two red eyes. It was an another pony. Only something was different about this one. It had lacked a mane and was of a black colour. It continued to stare at her. Slowly the form of the pony distorted and as though turned into mist. Lyra in fear began approaching the stairs. As she did so a swarm of bats lurched towards her. Biting at her legs and blinding her with the leather wings beating on her eyes. An evil laughter filled the air. Another silhouette appeared in front of her. This time a timber wolf like. Again it was black with the red eyes. It had bared its fangs at Lyra and jumped. Lyra shut her eyes in panic but again all she felt was wind passing through her, as though a mist. She opened her eyes and noticed the way she came was gone. Evil laughter once again filled the air. Lyra was panicked and began retreating. She hit something with the back of her hoof. She turned and made out a shape. A coffin. She was panicked and terrified. She stood on her rear hooves when the same black pony gripped her and bared its fangs. It had leant to her neck and Lyra screamed. She tried to fight back, some kind of force held her back though. The pony licked her neck and seemed to be toying with her. Lyra shuddered. She was terrified at what was happening. The black pony looked back at her and leaned in close to her face. Licking it once again and stroking with his hoof. The pony bared his fangs once again and leant in for the neck. Lyra screamed once again. Suddenly the pony halted. He looked out of the window and then back into Lyra's terrified eyes. He threw her against the wall and Lyra heard a bone in her body crack. She felt her outer tissue skin rip and let the blood flow. The pony hungrily looked at her blood, instead of leaning to drink it, the pony dispersed into a thick mist and soon disappeared. Lyra was left there. On the cold stone floor. Slowly bleeding out. She realized that what she had just encountered must have been a vampire. Her eyes dimmed, and soon she was deeply unconscious.