Rarity found that she was lacking jewels for the "Most spectacular and glorious dress of all time". She knew Spike quite well, and, since the diamond dog incident, the white unicorn had scoured the lands for a viable area full of jewels. Well, scoured is alot to say, as she didn't want to dirty herself with so much "nasty dust". She asked Twilight about the places full of the richest jewels and who were close to Ponyville. It took two days, but the answer was given. It was a little patch of the hills that weilded that most amount of the precious stone, and the fashionista enlisted the aid of Spike to dig them out.
That lush green patch of hills was beautiful, too. The sun shone off them at the perfect angle to give a beautiful sight of blue and green. The winds that weren't too powerful also made the grass blow lightly in the wind like professional dancers. Even the air was perfect. It was a little chilly, but the good kind of chilly. However, the paintings of nature's artists was not why the duo had come to the hills. It had been a little over two hours, and two of the carts that were brought were full. Rarity patted herself on the shoulder for such a finely done job.
"This is magnificent! Who could have thought that such a vast wonderland held so many gems!" the fashionista spoke with a high-pitched cheer while Spike balanced a blue jewel on his claw.
"Yeah. This place is awesome! I don't know why we never came here before. I think it has more jewels than the other place."
"Spike, let's not talk about that." Rarity looked disgusted at remembering what those uncouth beasts did to her.
"That put aside, how about we take a quick breather here? I am simply parched." Rarity proposed as she took a bottle of water from her bag.
"Okay. Well, I'm going to go over there and look for some jewels for myself."
"Oh! If you find anything particularly extravagant, could you bring it to me?"
"Of course!" Spike said in a rather sputtering tone.
The little dragon hopped and skipped at the thought that he was all alone with Rarity. Finding a quaint spot, the little dragon cracked his fingers and began digging. He dug deeper and deeper until he found a small piece of red gem.
"Mmm. I'll just...hnngh! Pull it..out! Pwah!" Spike fell on his rear as he tried to pull the genstone out. "Huh. Must be much bigger than I thought. I'll have to dig it up more."
As Rarity began to eat some particularly flavorable sandwhiches, Spike come running, a panicked look on his face.
"Spike, what are you-YAH!"
The purple dragon grabbed Rarity by the hoof and forced her to gallop quickly as Spike was running incredibly fast, only to finally stop in front of the massive crater he made.
"What is it, Spike? I was eating a lovely-GYAAAH!"
Lying in the crater was a gigantic red crystal holding a monster. The monster was bipedal and wearing a rather thick armor, although the colors were indistinguishable. It seemed to be in a position where it was begging for something. But what exactly was it begging for?
"What do you think it is?" Spike said as he slid back down the sides of the crater.
"I don't know, but don't touch it! It could be dangerous."
"But it's just a stone. It might be a shape inside it."
But it was too late. The little dragon slightly touched the rock, and the being inside it seemed to react and twist, before finally roaring, and causing both Spike and Rarity to be engulfed inside a bright white light that quickly disappeared, leaving the once trapped monster in a spiky crimson armor to unsheath its battle axe and begin walking now that it was free of its prison.
The duo were screaming like mad. They had every to too. They were hugging eachother very tightly as the place they were in was just an area of swirling red, black, purple, and blue, from which evil spirits erupted forth to scare the life out of the two freefalling living beings. After what seemed like a year, the two finally halted after slamming painfully on the floor.
"Ah! This hurts so much!"
"Owwww. I'm so orry Rarity! I thought that...Where are we?"
"Ewww! All this dust everywhere! It's putrid! How did we fall in such a horrid place."
Evidently, where they landed was extremely dark and old, yet, for some reason, the duo could still see in the darkness. There was something there. Where they landed, nopony knew, but it was apparent that this looked like an ancient tunnel made from old grey stones. A few pillars were standing here and there, with cobwebs and rubble everywhere. The ceiling was also made from the rubble, and the only exit was a doorway straight in front of the landing spot.
"Where are we?" Spike wondered.
"I don't know, but I do know that this place is horrible and is very dirty! A bit of cleaning once in awhile. So many cobwebs and-AH! Ewww! spiders and beetles! Grossgrossgrossgross!"
Spike rolled his eyes.
"Come, milady. I shall escort you through these horrid beasts!"
"Thank you, Spike. That's quite gentlecoltish of you, even though this is pretty much your fault."
Spike shrunk a bit. "I know. I'm sorry. Let's just get out of this placein one piece."
Being expertly cautious, the duo walked through the series of hallways they came across. Everything was the same, save for some old black iron frames and destroyed cages strewn about the place. Rarity was horrified by the appearance of this place, and the smell of rotting corpses and stale, rust-filled air wasn't helping. Sometimes, there would be stairs, but, even if they led up or down, they were destroyed, and the thought of going even lower than they actually were scared the two more than anything. Unfortunately, another turn brought them into a giant room that was littered with rubble and debris, along with what looked like nests and little huts. There were elongated skulls placed on long wooden poles that were planted in the crevices of the floor. There was a second floor easily viewable from the ground, and there were rails of stone protecting its occupants, even if it was very broken and the "porch" was badly damaged with holes in them.
"Uhhh...Rarity?" Spike's voice cracked.
"What is this?"
"I don't know. But I think we should leave."
The second the two took one step backwards, the sounds of gittering and squeaking echoed right behind them.
"Wh-wh-what-?" Rarity stuttered.
"Ooo. Fresh meat. We need fresh meat. Meat good. Pony meat rare."
There were strange rats wearing fur costumes and tribal uniforms, as well as having paint all over their faces. They were standing on their hindlegs, but hunched quite alot. There were dozens coming in and creeping up on the duo while licking their lips in delight while their future meals started to back away.
"You don't want to eat me! I have a perfect physique, so I barely have any meat on me!"
"Y-yeah! Plus, I'm a dragon, so I'm mostly scales and bones."
"We don't care. We love to eat the bones."
"They are best part of body. Cleans teeth and develops jaw muscles."
"You know quite alot on hygiene."
Rarity and Spike held eachother tightly, but quickly opened their eyes to see that the rats started to back away, fear etched on their faces. It was like they were awaiting death. Their eyes all converged to Rarity's flank. When she figured it out, she got mad.
"How dare you stare at my flank! I know I am beautioful, but I'm not THAT kind of mare!"
"IT'S THE INHERITOR OF CARNIFEX! FLEE! FLEE!"
"BRING THE WEAPONS! THEY KILL IT! KILL IT!"
"Come on Rarity. Let's go before they come back."
Rarity nodded and fleed with Spike to a door underneath the destroyed balcony, only to finally slam against a door that seemed to have a rotating seal on it. Several strange runes were etched on the circle.
"Oh no!" Spike punched the door a few times, but it didn't do anything. He finally slouched down in defeat. "We're finished."
"I...what are these?" Rarity walked towards the walls where the same weird runes were on. "I...I can read them."
"W-what? What do they say?"
" 'If you can read this, read the circle'...That seems direct. Okay then. What does the circle read...hmmmm...'The nothing is the land of the creator and the destroyer. It is a world where neither the mortal nor immortal can see. It is the land of no colors or shape. Carnifex is the nothing, and you shall obey what it is not. I am the inheritor of Carnifex, given shape and color. Send the golem to my command and have it obey me."
Rarity's voice began to highten in volume and her eyes began to glow a bright white, along with the door, that erupted in a bright pure flash, only to disappear and reveal a room with a gigantic head on the floor. Both ran in, but there were no exits. They were trapped.
"Oh no. Rarity, we're trapped!"
"Found you! We no let the inheritor live. You dangerous. We sent here by destroyer. Guard beast. You not waken it."
"What you wa-"
Every single rat beast that held a sword, a mace, or any weapon, immediately dropped it as they stared at the golem behind the duo. When both were confused they turned around to see gigantic blue eyes staring at them.
"What in Equestria?"
The golem growled in delight, and the room started to shake viciously. Suddenly, a gigantic hand plowed through the walls and swept brick and rat away with it to the black depths below. Slowly but surely, the hand went back towards Rarity and Spike, and grabbed them. Both began to scream wildly, but the golem did not heed, and somehow jumped through whatever catacombs the two had fallen into.
The surface world was a black, soiled land. Only the husks of trees remained, and they seemed possesed. The skies bled through what looked like scabs in the skies, and destroyed cities dotted the landscapes. In the middle of this rocky zone, two armies were fighting. One wore a spiky, crimson colored armor, while the other wore black, leathery-esque armor. Both armies had giants that fought with them as well, and most were bipedal, save for the tri-pods and other bizarreties. In the skies flew ugly winged beasts, and apparently, they were demons. Explosions, roaring, the encounter between metal, and many other trades of battle were coloring the black lands in blots of red. However, all of them halted their actions when the ground began to rumble. It quickly stopped, but they all began to look around, until it shook so violently that even those in the skies could feel the vibrations. And, out of the dead ground, erupted an enormous beast of rock and earth. Its sudden arrival tossed hundreds of the soldiers into the air, and those already in the air were punched aside as the golem stretched its arms and punched the unholy beasts down to planet so hard that they created small craters.
Whatever was going on, the view from the golem's hands wasn't helping anything out.
Spike and Rarity were literally towering over the lands. The white mare put her two forehooves to her mouth as she observed the destroyed environnment. The lush green hills, the beautiful white skies. there was nothing left, and several black buildings of great sizes dotted the lands. Yet, she muffled her screams at the sight of the horrid beasts below who were staring, not at her, but the sizable golem that was holding both her and Spike. Even the flying demons to floated in the air, staring in confusion at the monstrosity before them.
"I think we are dead."
"Yes. Yes we are. AH!"
An explosive arrow had lodged itself in the hand of the golem a few centimeters away from Rarity, and the explosion caught her off-guard. As the towering titan saw the events unveiling themselves, it got mad, and set the pair onto its shoulder, upon which a type of cage formed itself to protect said passengers. As the monsters from both sides began to attack the uknown assailant, the golem roared, and from its mouth came a wide assortment of massive boulders that were shot at the tiny, insignificant creatures. Being crushed outright is kind of an understatement, despite the fact that many were killed by the massive rocks. Three of some strange tripod demons with clawed hands charged into the golem, tackling its legs. They were huge, but they only reached the knees of the golem, who was pushed back a bit, before regaining its foothold punching one of the demons into dust, allowing it to stomp the other two with relative ease.
Before long, the technology of demons was put to use. Giant cannons with the faces of dragons belched out massive balls of fire that managed to encrust themselves within the body of the golem, that moaned in pain. It did not faulter, and its wounds regrew, but not before it punched its fist through the ground, causing more rumbling, only to finally appear where every single cannon was, toss the enemies and weapons into the air, and chop them up in a saw-disc tornado. Now it was the flying demons turn. They were quick, and they were agile, but the golem sucked in all the air around it, asphyxiating the beasts who fell, allowing the giant to assist their decent by smacking them so hard, a shock wave was seen with each strike, followed by a very deep hole appearing at the impact point.
Eventually, the demonic forces began to fall back. This creature was far too powerful for even their forces combined, but that was all about to change as a gigantic crackling sword of a purple, waving energy cut through the giant, that roared in agony. In front of it flew a quadrupedal demon in crimson armor. It seemed to have a bright white horn, albet tainted with shades of black. Its wings looked like grand extensions of silvery bones that intertwined and mingled together with no effort. From these bones had formed a type of solid but flexible purple slime. The eyes of this creature are what scared Rarity and Spike more than anything. Some say that the eyes are a gateway to the soul. But if that was the case, then this creature had no soul, and those purple eys looked like a cross that was extended upwards, but shortened on the side. With a blazing inferno, the golem was engulfed by flames that had the shapes of screaming souls in them.
Even though the golem was "dying", it grabbed the pair and hugged them, then rolled a small portion of itself around them into a type of boulder, and threw them far away before exploding with such strength that the attacking demon was blasted far away, as were the others. Things inside the or of rock were less comfortable however. Spike and Rarity ended up tumbling like crazy with no control over how or where they fell. After many painful encounters with the solid sides of the boulder, they came to a stop, and the rock cracked open like a walnut, allowing the former occupants to hold their heads, moan, and tumble several times.
"That was the worst thing to happen to me since being chased by dragons."
"I don't even know what happened."
"Rarity, I can't see straight, but are those spears being pointed at us?"
"What are you..."
Rarity managed to get a brief moment of lucidity as she spotted the shinyness of sharp metal lances being pointed at her by two black ponies in purple armor that seemed vaguely familiar.
"Get up, demon spawn." one of them bellowed.
"Demon spawn? How DARE you! I am Rarity, thank you very much."
The two guards guards gasped and pulled back.
"But...that's impossible. She died at the claws of-"
The other gestured him to keep quiet.
"Now then, we will be taking you and your comp-A DRAGON?!"
"Huh? Y-yeah! I'm a dragon. So what? You looking for a fight?" Spike stepped forward and imitated a boxer rolling up his sleeves, but the brief moment of fear was met by laughter."What's so funny?"
"Pahahaha! You are just an infant. You're barely up tom my own chest."
"S-so? I have claws!"
"You mean those dainty little fish hooks?" the other, more raspy voiced guard said with a smirk.
"I can still tear through you if you hurt Rarity."
"Haha!" The guard chuckled while banging his black armor. "Not through this. Pure Stagnarian beetle carapace. Not even the claws of a demon can get through this."
"Oh yeah? We'll see about that!"
The little dragon took a swipe at the pony with his eyes closed, but opened them back up to see that the guard was several feet away, lying against the thick black walls of whatever area they belonged to. Thealls elevated to extreme heights, and there seemed to be a shield that was blocking everything from the air as well. Both the white unicorn and the purple turned to see that the giant titan was now much smaller but, in comparison of height, equalled four Celestias tall and one and a half Celestias wide.
The golem had a slightly flattened head with two blue, glowing eyes. It also had a mouth, but no teeth. Its body looked like a very sturdy and well built, brown stone, and the arms were massive, ending in very big hands with four digits that could be adjusted to whatever position the giant asked for. On its chest glew the circle from within the tunnels, and, as the guard was about to charge, he saw the rune and stopped completely, only to run back to the walls and demand that the gate kepper only the huge, black iron doors.
"This way! Come! I must present you to our leader."
"Why this sudden change of attitude?" Rarity questioned the pony as the golem came stomping to her side.
"You don't know, do you?"
"Our leader, Broken Heart, will tell you. Come at once, and bring the golem with you. HEY! You two!, one of ours is knocked out against the wall outside. Get him and take him to the infirmary."
Rarity and Spike, once they entered the "dome", were horrified at what they saw. There were buildings of various colors, shapes, sizes, design, and so forth. The ground was slightly murky, although it didn't stick to the hooves, reassuring Rarity, who was still picked up by the golem and cleaned her off as best it could.
"Quite a gentlecolt this thing."
The golem held Rarity in an open palm that balanced out in the open. Despite the murkiness of the ground, the lumbering beast still shook the ground with its toeless feet, and attracting all manner of attention to it. There were ponies, of course, but also griffins, minotaurs, a few buffalo, and, surprisingly, the occasional changeling that buzzed around the air. This place was humongous, but it was messy, and crops were needed to feed so many. Many of the minotaurs wore rags and other eye-gouging clothing for Rarity. Even some of the ponies wore torn clothing patches up with anything they could find. The fashionista wondered just what horrors had occured for these poor folk to end up in such a massive, but poverty stricken place.
"Um, excuse me." Spike asked the guard. "Where do you get the food and water for all of these beings?"
"Like I told you, our leader will say everything. We're here now. Feel free to enter, I'll present myself."
"B-but, this is a pink tent with...hearts broken in two on it."
"Broken Heart prefers to let the people live in comfort rather than in poverty. Broken is modest like that. Keep your golem outside. It is too big to enter."
"Okay. Now, listen here. I don't know what you are or who you are, but you listen to me, right?" The beast nodded in response. "Good. Then do what the Stallion said and wait for me here." The golem nodded once more and lowered Rarity, before "freezing" into place, scaring a few nearby guards.
"Heart Broken, we have brought in a few specimens you will certainly be interested in."
"Really? Wait for a moment as I gather my thoughts."
The interior really was modest. A big wooden table for counciling and discussions, a sleeping bag a bit further away, and a bit of food that needed to be turned into compost. However, much to the surprise of Rarity and Spike, the voice seemed vaguely familiar. Broken Heart passed through some pink curtains in front of the table and, with a hoof slamming on the table, opened discussion:
"So, who are these neophytes?"
Spike stuttered as he pointed weakly towards the leader, causing confusion and waryness to arise in the nearby guards.
"Y-you're-" Rarity stuttered.
Standing in front of the bedazzled couple was a familiar pegacorn of pink. There were, however, several painful differences between the two. One, Cadence's right eye was gone, and this left a black hole in her cranium. Her right eye, on the other hoof, looked like that modified cross-eye that the demon from before had. Her wings were now what one could call "stilts". They were hot pink, and looked more like bone extensions that bent and twisted several times over. There was no sign that she would be able to fly with them, however. As Spike looked down at her feet, he noticed that she had claws sticking out, but they looked like hollow ice-skate blades. Two on each hoof. Her tail looked like intertwined brands of a silvery metal, and her cutie mark was no longer a full heart bursting with emotion and love. No. It was a black, shriveled up heart of a fruit that brought pity upon the poor creature in front of oneself. As she smiled, Rarity saw that her mouth had nothing but jagged teeth instead of the molars ponies usually have.The last thing, was her horn. It looked like a short sword with a massive hole in it now.
"And who might you be?"
The princess was taken aback.
"Nopony has called me that since the incident...You seem vaguely familiar...that dragon too."
"I'm Rarity and that's Spike!"
Heart Broken's eye widened as it started to fill with tears.
"Blasted demons. They trick my mind with magic and hope to destabilize me here. I will not have it!"
She charged at Rarity and Spike with her bladed horn. The guard didn't have time to react to the sudden actions of his leader. A scream came from Rarity, which was followed by a massively angry roar. The golem punched through the tent and crushed Cadence unser its fist, but the fist was thrown away, tossing the golem onto its back. Cadence had her wings spread out. The "fleshy bits" looked like a dripping purple ooze, making one wonder how she could fly with it.
"Wait! Stop it!" Rarity cried out, but the rage filled Cadence would not have it.
"A beast has entered my domain? I will slay you like the other demons that have taken everything away from."
The princesse's blade-horn erupted with a black aura and struck the golem, blasting a hole straight through it. One moment of pause and quiet, despite the noise of everybody in the camp getting around the fight scene, and the golem grabbed Heart Broken before engufing her entirely and slamming its other hand into its fist. The golem growled before it began to do something in its fist that made it sound like rumbling rocks and screams. Rarity ran up to it and started to hit te golem's legs. Its eyes had gone from a fiery red to a calm cold blue. Looking at Rarity, it let go of Cadence, allowing her to flop to the ground. The sight was not pretty. Looking at her, Spike and Rarity covered their mouths, yet, noone around seemed to care.
"Oh dear Celestia...that's disgusting." Spike spewed.
"That is a powerful beast. It almost killed me. It doesn't, however, have the scent of demons, and, you have the scent of both Rarity and Spike."
"GAH!" the duo screamed as they saw the princess no longer in a horrid and mangled state.
One of the griffins stepped forward.
"What do you mean, Broken Heart? Rarity died and Spike became a slave to the Pumpkin Lord."
"They...I do not know, but I think I recognize the circle..." Cadence spoke as she leaned closer to the circle on the golem to inspect the runes. She suddenly gasped. "Not possible. This world may yet have a chance. You three, fix this tent while I go to the makeshift hive of the solar changelings.
"Solar?" Spike asked.
"Yes, little Spike. The changelings had to morph themselves to give off sunlight and allow us to grow our crops in the lower floors. They feed us, and we feed them."
"Interesting. Is their hive...icky?" Cadence stopped at this comment and stared at Rarity with a gaping jaw.
"You are not our Rarity come back to life. You also aren't Spike, long since a fully grown dragon. Let us continue into the hive. Your golem should fit.
The entrance to the hive was near a long since destroyed fountain, it's stone structure almost nothing but rubble. In front stood a massive muddy hole which glew a sickly green. Cadence motioned to the three to wait as she knocked on the ground. Three changelings that were lined with neon green colors came up from the hole and stared at Cadence for a lengthened moment. The green on them shone brightly, and it seemed to line along every one of their muscles, making them almost tribal-like, similar to the rat beasts.
They started to hiss and gitter, before nodding and widening the hole to accomodate the golem. The princess gestured to the three to enter. While Spike walked on the smushy ground withot any problems, Rarity was disgusted.
"Ew. It's like saliva mixed with dirt."
"It is saliva mixed with dirt." Cadence mocked. Rarity's mouth stayed open.
"Golem, could you carry me?" The creature nodded and picked her up. "Oh! And he's gentle too."
"Grmblmbl...if I was bigger...mumblegrmbl." Spike complained under his breath.
The interior of the tunnels were just as grotesque as the ground. Long strands of slime dripped from the black walls, and strange mushrooms grew here and there. Changelings were everywhere, but there seemed to be no newborns. The group finally stopped in a room that was quickly sealed off by the changelings outside. This one was clean and bright, and the ground looked like golden clay. Cadence just sat down casually, demonstrating a smile, while scaring Spike with those blade things that had apparently torn themselves out and replaced her hooves.
"So...Rarity...what do you need to know?"
"I-" the unicorn was immediately cut-off by Spike.
"Where's Twilight Sparkle? What happened to you? What did you mean by "Rarity is dead"? What happened to me? What happened to Equestria? Why are there changelings here? Where's Chrysalis? What were those monsters? What's with this golem? WHat-"
"That's enough questions I think." Cadence motioned with her bladed skates.
"Apparently, you are not from our world, as I can easily surmise, as for your golem, I will explin later. First things first, those who you knew.
Twilight Sparkle. She was killed during a battle against the Crimson Pioneer in order to secure a route with other refugees. She...overloaded herself with magic, creating a massive explosion as well as a permanent barrier on the route."
"Wh-what about Sweetie Belle?" Rarity was about to cry. Her sniffling was proof enough.
"Y-you know? My sistyer! Annoying, but sweet nonetheless."
"You ever had a sister here. In fact, you were more stallionesque than any other stallion. You were a fighter who loved to jump in the mud."
"Ewww. How atrocious."
"Not really. You were a veteran, and every battle you went to made others complain that you were taking all the kills."
"Anyways, Pinkie Pie is in charge of taking care of food reserves. I don't know how yours is, but our Pinkie Pie is a ruthless and deadly serious commander. I wouldn't mess with her for too long."
"It is engraved within my cranium."Spike remarked as he hit his poked his head.
"Good. Rainbow Dash only has one wing left, but a bit of magic has given her a fully viable metal wing in replacement. She isn't too serious though, but she knows how to kick butt."
"Atleast somepony hasn't changed." Rarity whispered to Spike.
"Next, there's Fluttershy. She trains the beasts of war. If there are animals or beasts to tame or kill, she's the first there."
"I-is she shy?" Rarity gave a false glimmer of hope."
"What? Of course not. She's always the most direct in her decisions and is always the first to open up a conversation."
"Wow. This place is weird."
"Probably for your world."
"And what about Applejack? Surely, she hasn't changed her rustic lifestyle."
"Nope. HE is the lead agricultural expert, along with Big Alison."
"Well...yes. Applejack is a stallion who is very big, mind you, and her sister, Big Allison, is a bit more sized than the average mare, but she is quite adorable when she shies away."
Spike's brain was about to short-circuit.
"As for Queen Chrysalis, she died while trying to protect her hive. The survivors fled here, surprisingly."
"So there will be no more changelings?"
"We learned that, before the death of the queen, even if it isn't natural, she lays a single egg. The changelings brought it here? We called her Cocoon."
"What is she like?"
"Hey? What are you doing in my hive?!"
"She's like that."
A tiny little black changeling with green eyes and a tiny black body had dug through the ground to get into the room. Her hair, unlike Chrysalis', looked like several sharp scales that overlapped eachother. They each pointed straight for awhile, until the next set underneath pointed a bit lower. In the end, her hair was pointing forward and gave the impression the the little filly had mandibles. She also had the green runes all over her body, but this was apparently natural for her.
"This is MY hive. I didn't say you could come in. Get out!"
Her little voice made Rarity cringe.
"Awww. She looks adorable. Hey there! You are so CUTE! Oh! I can design you a magnificent dress that-"
"Ewww. Not a dress!"
"What? But I-"
Cocoon ran off crying through her hole, leaving Rarity baffled.
"Don't mind her. She's overly sensitive. It turns out that the hive isn't as cruel as many used to think, so without the previous queen, the queen now won't learn how to be cruel to her subjects."
"But what about you, Princess Cadence. Why do you look so SCARY?!" Spike suddenly yelled.
"Ah yes. This is what happens when you drink more than five liters of demon's blood."
The two stuck their tongues out and were about to vomit, but Cadence's laughing confused them.
"Oh no. It's not REAL blood. It is, in fact, a very powerful alcohol that the demons brew for themselves and call ' Nya'ar Viv'a'gck '. We stole the recipe, although the effects of non-demonic entities drinking it leads to what you see here. NOW HOLD ON! Before you panic. The effects are usually temporary, so we make fun of our newly acquired gifts until they disappear."
"Then how come yours hasn't, darling? They look absolutely gruesome."
"That's what happens when you get the powers of a warrior demon. Whenever you drink some demon's blood, you have to hold your head, otherwise you are flung backwards, and it feels like you were punched by a thick, steel wall. When you drink more than five, they become permanent."
"But why did you drink five?"
"I was young and stupid, and Shining armor was being attacked by alcohol demons. They were scary and were carrying plenty of that stuff. I saw what demons did to other ponies when they forced some down their throats, so I drank as much as I could. In the end, I lost an eye to one of their knives, and Shining armor sacrificed himself to save me when I wanted to save him. I took another pouch of the drink and ran for this place. When I became older, and the previous leader died, everypony here elected me to become their new leader. I had good relations with the changelings who took a liking for my new, scarier appearance, and my blood, that has now become demonic, was incredibly powerful.
The barrier around the city? That's me. I barely need to make an effort now. However, the day I became leader, I got this cutie mark." Cadence pointed to the black, broken heart on her flank, then slouched down and seemed to cry silently. "I knew that the day Shining died, I would never find another. I was too weak, and I couldn't protect him from the demons who attacked..."
Rarity put a hoof to Cadence's shoulder.
"It's okay. These sort of things happen. If you want to feel better, in our world, you live happily with Shining armor, and Twilight is your sister-in-law."
Broken Heart wiped a tear and smiled at Rarity.
"Atleast she is happy. Not having to deal with...with these demonic gifts."
"Hey. I'm a dragon. Even if you weren't born with those, you learn to get used to them. They're a part of you now, so rejecting your new appearance is rejecting yourself and everything that you stand for."
Both ponies stared at the little dragon.
"That's surprisingly weel said, Spike."
"As for the what is going on, where THIS world's Spike is, and what that golem means and why it is only obeying you, Rarity, there is much to say, so get comfortable. You good? Okay. Well then. Those-"
Cadence was interrupted by two changelings coming into the room and communicating to her via hissing and growling. The golem didn't seem too happy to see them, and placed itself in front of Rarity and Spike while demonstrating its obvious signs of disapproval. Cadence began to "talk" to them as well, giving off more high pitched siren noises than the changelings. The facial expression demonstrated by the pegacorn was not one of joy, but one of anger mixed with fear.
"What's wrong?" Spike asked.
"Eclipse Damora is coming for diplomatic negotiations."
"Who?" Rarity asked.
"Oh. Right. She is the misstress of the Crimson Pioneer. If we ever have time, than I'll tell you more about the story of this world, but if Eclipse is coming, then so is Epoch Moon, the misstress of the Pumpkin Lord."
Spike burst into laughter with the last one.
"Spike, this is no laughing matter. We are in a strange world that is attacked by demons, and that is just terrible to my eyes. The colors are rotting!"
"Um, golem, darling. Could you-oh!"
Rarity was already picked up by the giant of mud and stone, keeping her clean of the atrocities outside the dry room, while Spike, with a grunt, hitched a ride on its shoulder. The same two changelings followed Cadence while the others got out of the way of the giant while holding Cocoon back and covering her mouth. The little filly kept fighting against her captors, but they refused to yield. Once atop, the golem and the three beings walked towards the entrance of the camp. The thick doors were just closing. In front of it, stood a familiar figure clad in red, and sided by four demon warriors weilding spears. Broken Heart walked half-heartedly towards Eclipse, and bitterly said:
"It is good to see you again."
"I would also be glad to see me again. Direct me to the counceling chambers." Eclipse spoke with a deep and dark voice, putting her authority in light, or rather, in this case, in darkness.
Rarity and Spike were told to hide behind a building and make sure that nobody but the folk at the refugee camp saw them. The two were peeking around the corner, and Rarity spoke first.
"Spike, that demon seems familiar...Isn't that the one that attacked us outside?"
"You know what, I think you're right. Let's get it!"
"No!" Rarity motioned a hoof in front of Spike to block him.
"Did you see what it had done to the golem when it was a giant? I think it's best we stay here. These civil characters know more about fighting them than we do."
"*sigh*Fine. You know best."
Spike crossed his arms but quickly used them to hang onto the corner of the building the duo were hiding behind after hearing gasps. As it turned out, Cocoon had managed to escape the changelings, and tried to headbutt the four legged demon. Said demon laughed whole-heartedly at the attempt and her frightening eyes continued to stare at the little filly, whose eyes started to water up, but she held fast.
"Get out! This is my town. It's the town of the changelings. These are my subjects, and I won't let you hurt them." she cried out. It would have been adorable if not for the fear-inspiring prescence of the demon.
"How precious. A new changeling queen. I thought that you were all about to due out after your previous was killed by my soldiers. Hmhmhm."
The nearby changelings gave the impression of shock. Cocoon had been the most suscetible and most fragile minded of the changeling queens to date, and she made up for it by trying to be as mean and cruel as possible. The little filly started to sniffle as tears started to trickle down her little black cheeks. She began to attack the foot of Eclipse, who continued to mock the attempts of the little changeling, that is, until said changeling managed to channel her magic through the armor of Eclipse, burning her a bit, and making her hoof retract as she yelped in pain. The hoof lifted into the air suddenly smashed down, uplifting dirt and cracking the muddy ground through some impossible manneurism. Cocoon tumbled backwards, and saw the yes of the demon staring at her through the helmet. They were glowing with the intensity of the abyss itself.
"I have no time to deal with stupid little creatures such as yourself. Your time on this plane will have been short."
Cocoon closed her eyes as the hoof jet towards her head....but...what is going on? There are no crunching noises, no splatching, not even the sound of a hoof missing and hitting the floor. As the filly opened her eyes to see what was going on, she jumped back a few centimeters to see that the golem had smacked the demon into the fall, encrusting Eclipse into the black brick.
Everybody in the camp just stared at what just happened. Even the demonic warriors couldn't believe it. Their spiked armors and hellish colors shone brightly in the light given off by the changelings, and the faces of these demons, hidden behind metal, seemed to be so as the metal had been forged onto their facial skin. The sounds of rocks falling, followed by the flopping of Eclipse on the floor was met with the four guards charging at the golem with spears in hand. They pierced the beast and chuckled in success, only to see that it hadn't been affected. The giant cast them all aside with an arm swipe, and absorbed the spears, only to enhance them with solidified stone as they slid out of its right hand.
With a schlink, the demons had all been impaled into a stone wall a bit further away. The strength of the golem's throw was still enough to have them pass through three buildings. Eclipse was dizzy, but she recognized the golem.
"You?! I thought I destroyed you."
The golem made the sound of rumbling rocks as it blocked Eclipse's way to Cocoon.
"Get out of the way you absurd pile of gravel.OOMF!"
Eclipse was punched away by a giant fist that erupted from the ground. Now she was mad. She formed several magical spears around her, and charged towards the golem. It tried to block the spears, but they passed right through its arms, making it roar in fury. The circle on its chest glowed for anout a nanosecon, but nobody noticed. Nobody, except Rarity. As another spear flew by, the golem grabbed it and whacked Eclipse over the head wit the blade, allowing the magic to dissipate. and throwing the demon hard onto the floor. The titan of the earth pummeled Eclipse into submission, then lift her up by the neck. She seemed stunned, but it was a ruse, although bits and pieces of her armor started to fall off, revealing tainted, white fur. The demon rammed its horn into the head of the golem, pumped magic into its head, and caused a massive portion of the creature to explode and fall back. Its legs stayed up for a few moments, but soon fell to the ground. The armored demon huffed and walked back towards cocoon, fury filling every portion of her body. Here, she said nothing, but as she was about to finally crush the little creature, the ground shook for a moment, and, instead of the brown arm of the golem, a metallic gray one came out, grabbed Eclipse, and started to crush her the same way it did Cadence.
It would seem that, judging by a massive hole behind Rarity and Spike, a substance came out and strengthened the golem. No matter what spell the demon would use, she just couldn't get out.
"Golem, no! You'll kill her!" Rarity's sympathy took the best of her.
The beasts looked at her, sopmewhat estranged, and finally let go of Eclipse, making her grunt with an exhale of air upon impact, and making the last bits of armor clink and splotch n the ground. The hidden duo walked up, staring at the demon who was readjusting its bone structure. Their jaws were gaping open. When Eclipse finally opened her eyes, she noticed the two staring at her, and she snapped at them.
"WHAT?! What do you want, frail mortals?"
"P...Princess Celestiaaaaa?!" Rarity stammered as she pointed towards the alicorn.
"Who?" Celestia roared.
The once white princess now had an almost grayish coat that reflected black when presented to light. Her horn was still the same, unlike Cadance's. Her hooves were replaced by four boney stems that stuck downward. Her wings were each made up of two segments of some type of burning shadow. On her eyes, there seemed to be extensions going outwards that started from the top and bottom of her eyes. On these black extensions, it looked like a lavenderish flame flickered and sparked with strength and fury. Her mane and tail were no longer the flowing pastel of yonder tmes. No. They were now of a burning crimson that seemed to end in a black smog that could choke anything around it to death.
"You!. What happened to you?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Princess Celestia, don't you remember?"
Eclipse's head started to split in two by sheer pain. There was some memory that was trying to liberate itself, but she didn't want it to. Even if it ever did liberate itself, she was still the misstress of the Crimson Pioneer.
"Having trouble dealing with simple golems, Eclipse?"
"Epoch?" Celestia growled.
Epoch Moon had arrived with only two of her guards, but these two were giants clad in a smoothed out black armor with silvery skulls. Epoch herself was wearing the black armor, but she revealed more of herself than the others. Her face was showing. Unlike Celestia, her mouth had morphed into some form of hollow mandibles. The sharp teeth could be easily seen, yet there seemed to be gums and whatnot. While Epoch had a transparent mouth, Eclipse did not, and she had jagged teeth, like a hook. Epoch's blue eyes still had that same cross shape, but her mane and tail were not the smokey extension like her counterpart's. No. They were a flowing mass of a metallic extension of her body, and her hooves were replaced by similar little metallic extensions, but these ones stretched forward and back as to imitate the feet of a bird. Her horn had a solid beginning, but the rest of it extended into some strange starry extension made of mist.
"Princess Luna?" Spike stammered.
"Hm? These are the ones giving you a bad time? How pitiful. You tried to stomp the new changeling queen? I'll show how it's done."
With a cackle, the misstress of the Pumpkin Lord approached Cocoon, who quickly hid behind the golem, who had not moved since Rarity told it to let go of Eclipse. Epoch was having fun trying to corner the little creature who was hiding behind the legs of the giant of the ground.
"Heehee. Haha! I'll get you yet, and then I'll tear off your legs, slowly, then I'll pull out your entrails with my teeth." she said as she clacked her sharp maw.
Using her magic, Epoch caught the little changeling queen by a hindleg and lift her up in the air and laughed as the little thing started to cry whil trying to liberate herself. Some of the changelings tried to save their queen, but the two giants took out their claymores and sliced the poor things in two. The golem still wouldn't move, that is, until Rarity and Spike began to throw nearby stones at the demon misstress.
"I dare! Let go of her. She's just a filly! She doesn't know any better."
"Neither do you. I'll deal with you two quickly."
The plan of Rarity backfired, as the demon did not let go of Cocoon. However, she did stop once she saw Spike.
"What? But you are my pet? How did you escape and revert?"
"Huh?" Spike wondered.
"You will pay for this betrayal! First, I must kill this white one in the most gruesome manner possible."
"A word of caution, I wouldn't touch her if I were you." Eclipse snickered.
"Hmph. I am more powerful than you by far."
Eclipse's smile gave way for an angry growl and frown. The second that "Luna" raised her "hoof", she felt a massive prescence behind her. The now grey golem was standing behind her and towering as well.
"What? I'll get to you after. I'm just going to-hngh! Let go of my leg! Let go! Let's see how a bit of magic works."
Whatever Luna tried to do, th egolem would not yield, that is, until the two giants tackled it, makng the thing fall back.
"THAT IS ENOUGH!" Cadence roared. "You came here for diplomatic negotiations, not some battles against this golem. Now follow me, or I will throw you both out."
Luna readjusted herself, while Celestia did the same.
"Quite. Leave this creature here while we discuss important matters with you."
The three deonic creatures left for another part of the city, seeing as the original had already been damaged by the golem. Rarity and Spike stayed behind, staring at the horrid scene that had unfolded itself in front of them.
"Ah suggest ya keep quiet 'till Broken Heart takes care o' that business." spoke a voice with a male, country accent.
The reunion was over, and the two demon princesses left in fury while Cadence called for Rarity and Spike, with the golem following behind. Applejack didn't get to talk more with Rarity and the little dragon when Broken Heart called the duo. The golem, surprisingly, managed to enter the gigantic building being used for the make-shift meetings. It was a building have burrowed into the ground. It was the stock building. All the ressources were placed within, and the entrance was still pretty huge. The three non-golems sat around a large wooden table while the golem stayed behind Rarity.
"Okay. Now that that's out of the way-"
"Wait! Why didn't you help Cocoon when she was in trouble?" Rarity cried.
"Yeah. Those two could have killed her!"
"Your golem had the situation well in hoof." Cadance said as her eyes seemed to faintly radiate with a demonic beauty.
"But what if it couldn't?!" Rarity gestured towards teh golem who bent backwards and grunted, as if insulted.
"You saw that it could."
"You want to hear about that golem or not?"
"Fine." Rarity pouted.
"Well, we did meet some rat things where we found this golem." Spike scratched the back of his head.
"The rat beasts. They were created by the Destroyer to keep it from coming back up."
"Don't you know about the Creator and the Destroyer? The Everlight and the Abyss? The beginning of everything?"
"Hmm." Cadance said as she scraped the bottom of her chin. "I'll make it simple. There exists the Creator, who has made everything as it is and will be, and who has created the Everlight for the good souls in the afterlife. Then there is the Destroyer. The one who damages and annihilates existence, and who controls the Abyss, the place where demons and evil souls go in the afterlife. While both hate eachother tremendously, and their armies reflect this, both fear one thing: The Nothing."
"The what?" both Rarity and Spike asked.
"The Nothing. I don't know much about it, but it is apparently what existed before the Creator and the Destroyer. Or, rather, didn't exist. I don't know. Your golem, somehow, comes from it. It's too much to understand. All I know is that the Nothing is a place 'Where mortals and immortals cannot access, and dare not tread upon'."
"So what does that have to do with me?"
"You had an uncle, Shining Delusion, I believe?"
"Yes, but he's a farmer." Rarity was semi-disgusted.
"Well, here, he was a magical researcher that existed long before the two tyrants came, so that would make him a several-times-uncle for you."
"He was a researcher that discovered how to harness the Nothing. He managed to forge this golem from it. He named it 'The golem of Carnifex', in honor of a long-lost emperor of the Empire of Blood."
"And what about that thing the golem took from the ground? It's immune to magic now!" Spike yelled.
"Yes. Well, it is an artifact scattered across the lands around here. We had found this one, and stocked it here, hoping that the demons would never take it. We thought that these artifacts would join together to form the golem, but it seems that golem already exists, and these strengthen it."
"But why was it so huge before? How come it shrunk?"
"As you can tell, it is very weak against the demons as it is now. That form must be how it was before the Tyrants came. Luckily for you, I've got a list of where the other artifacts are. We found this map with the metal. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy will accompany you."
"Fluttershy...didn't you say that she was vicious?" Spike wondered with a talon on his chin looking upwards in a pensive manner.
"Oh no. I don't think I'll be able to deal with our dear Fluttershy in the form of some brute."
"Well, then. Get used to it." Cadence leaned forward with an angry grin."You're stuck in this dimension, and for a long time. That, and Fluttershy never leaves without her Chitterglitch."
"A gigantic beast that looks like a centipede. It can modify its body to look like a giagantic, four armed monster. Every strike it does fills the enemy with corroding poison, so I suggest you don't annoy it, and less Fluttershy."
"Duly noted." Spike stuttered.
"Good. Now then, let us go get those two-"
"HEY! What are you doing in here?! Get out before I rip out your spinal cords and dance in the blood." a familiar voice yelled at the entrance.
It was PInkie Pie. A large portion of her left mouth segment was torn off, and the right side of her face was green, along with a bit of her still poofy mane. She looked like bloodlust flowed in her veins and eyes, and she was holding a type of double headed scythe made from sharpened bones.
"Easy, Pinkie Pie. We're here because the tent was destroyed."
"Hm. Yeah. Whatever. Just get out. I have to check something."
Rarity and Spike walked nervously next to the angry Pinkie Pie. Said mare, yelled at them, causing the duo to jump back. When the golem saw this, it stopped and lowered itself to be able to face the pony head on. It showed no emotion.
"And what does this oversized clay pot want?"
The golem suddenly unleashed an incredibly loud roar that deafened everybody nearby and caused the building to shake, only to finally slap Pinkie Pie into the nearby crates, tossing them around into an unrecognizable pile. The golem chuckled and stood back up as if nothing happened.
"That was fun. Let's leave before she gets into her blood-drinking mood." Cadence laughed with a smile. RArity and Spike looked at eachother and bolted out of the building as fast as they could.
The castle of the Crimson Pioneer stood proudly in the tainted lands. I resembled the ancient eastern civilization castles, but below this castle seemed to flow a river of boiling blood. The river stretched everywhere and disappeared on the horizon. This marvel of architecture may have floated slightly above the river, but it stretched to incredible heights, far above the corrupted clouds, and where the flying demons fought eachother to death, causing the losers of these fights to plummet from the incredible heights onto the welcoming ground below.
Many thousands of demons of various appearances and size strutted upon the burnt, dead lands around the castle, while others fell into the river and were devoured by it. However, upon the distance, Eclipse flew, devoid of her armor. One would think that demons would jump at their general for such an occasion to get an easy kill and still her spot, but not only was she immensely powerful and fused with pure powers from the Abyss, but the Crimson Pioneer watched over her, as she was his misstress. Any harm coming to her meant a fate worse than death, and for a demon, that is a very bad omen.
Eclipse landed on the wooden bridge of the castle, hearing the wailing screams of punished demons sealed within it with every step she made. The interior of the castle was just as grand as the exterior. Ancient paintings, statues, and other artifacts no longer found in the known world were placed beautifully everywhere. As per the tyrant's tastes, the windows and other glass objects were tinted in red, while the rest of the castle was made of a black marble. The castle was red and black, save for the decorations that gave a wide variety of colors. It was, despite the aura it emitted, very welcoming to any mortals who entered. The demon misstress growled as she saw a petty servant demon cleaning the floors. It whimpered and ran out of her way. The entrance was small, but high enough for any to enter. There was a simple red carpet with gold linings on the floor, along with some things that could be plants, standing within pots around the room. A painting that had been torn by claws showed two figures that seemed faintly familiar to Eclipse, but she couldn't put her claws on it. The two doors leading to the throne room had beautiful carvings of a battle won by demons on it, but the misstress didn't care. She kicked them open and waltzed right in.
This was the throne room. A beautiful red carpet with little decorations within it spanned widely across the floor and stretched all across the room. The golden extensions ebbed like tentacles when they reached a pillar. The black ceiling was covered with the golden threads. Lining the carpet even more were several massive demonic guards holding equally large claymores and a strange new weapon that the misstress had never seen before. They looked like small portable wooden frames with openings at their endings. The face of a demon was placed on the end. What were they for? They were too small to club anyone, and they had no blades. Eclipse threw her head back and put a strange look on her face as she stared at the questionable devices. The windows, placed high up on the walls, were tainted with the appearance of Eclipse, while the one behind the throne itself was showing a fellow in red armor standing up while holding a frightening sword in both hands.
Upon the throne itself sat a bipedal creature lthat surpassed Eclipse by quite a few heads. He was slouched and was reading a book made from skin and bone.The throne itself was accessed by passing three simple steps, and then you were there. The seat of the tyrant was made of black marble of the purest quality, while the red color seemed to be made of a red marble as well. The red color followed the Crimson Pioneer whenever he moved, making one question if the color is magical, or if it comes from the tyrant himself.
"Crimson." Eclipse asked calmly.
The tyrant dropped his book, then stood up with open arms. His red armor covered his body, although the pieces at the joints stretched unnecessarily. The Pioneer wore black mail armor underneath his red plate armor. The plate armor itself only had a few golden linings around the parts bending out to give a sense of "decorativeness". The helmet was the real problem. It seemed to be...his face. The helmet stretched slightly back from the top, but the face itself was questionable. It was obviously metal, but the tyrant's black eyes came out as if they were in their sockets, and the mouth, although jagged in appearance to imitate teeth, it really seemed to be his teeth. He walked down the three steps to his misstress and kissed her on the mouth, only to notice something amiss.
"Your armor. What happened to it? I thought you loved your gift forged from the souls of the cursed."
"I did, but...something destroyed it."
"What something?" he continued to ask with a caring tone.
"The golem of Carnifex."
There was silence, and the guards backed away slowly to hide behind the pillars. Seen from the outside, a loud roar of anger caused the lands to tremble, the skies to shake, and the river of blood to erupt from its bed and devour the demons that the splash marks touched. Things weren't going well for the Crimson Pioneer, but what about the Pumpkin Lord?
Carved within a huge swath of the mountains floated a tower of black and jolting blue bolts of demonic magic. Several other small pieces of the tower accompanied the main building, and they were all interconnected by blue tunnels that waved as the towers levitated upwards and downwards. There were very bright windows everywhere on these buildings, and several winged giants with almost decaying faces roared upon their perch on the top of the mountain. They were standing guard and, judging by the insane amount of corpses littering the bumpy lands, including their own kind, the Crimson Pioneer was very eager to finish with his rival. However, this dark world was not completely deserted of all non-demonic life. Nearby the towers stood a few villages that looked utterly devastated. There were several demons nearby each town that formed patrols and watched over these ponies. Such a thing would be considered weird if one knew the Pumpkin Lord. He did not like mortals. In fact, he hated them, and loved to torture them, but even the demon realm has a form of currency that is not always a highly esteemed soul in the eyes of a higher demon. The gold that these ponies, griffons, and other creatures mined were very valuable to the demonic kind. Since they cannot touch silver, gold is the next best thing to refract the light of the Creator and its soldiers.
As the night rolled, the screaming of ponies could be heard emanating from the floating towers. Within these buildings, one's mind could be lost. Everything twisted and bent. It was not straight and organized like the castle of the Pioneer, no. It was creative and had several decorative objects that could remind one of Nightmare Night, only, with a much different setting. There were even heads and arms in the walls that lashed out at the tied up ponies being dragged by armored demons. The walls and everything of these buildings were a very dark blue that shined within the bit of light that strange travelling orbs gave upon the surface. Ponies and a few gryphons were being dragged upon the rugged ground, as noted earlier, and were taken to a hole in the wall. It seemed to be drooling and looked alot like a htroat.
"In you go." said a demon wit a scrawny voice as it tossed its protesting package into the hole.
All the others followed, and flew down the paths until finally, they arrived in the "throne" room. Only, their arrival wass ill-met, especially as they flew in from the ceiling and desroyed a number of objects used for fun, such as torture machines and an axe throwing game platform. The demons in this dark room looked at these intruders with anger. Some of the tied up characters seemed to be moaning in agony, as it seemed that their legs were completely broken. This "throne room" was full to the with games and other things. It was extremely tall, and looked alot like a dark blue cave with sparkling water reflecting on the walls and floors. Stalagtites, stalagmites, dank windows with images of some sort of skeletal horse with a headless, armored being riding on it, and a HUGE amount of smiling jack-o-lanterns used as decorative ornements and even used in the construction of pillars, walls, and other things. The huge tapistry leading to the two thrones at the end of the room looked like a following of yet more pumpkin faces. As the trail blazed through the crowd of demons and the food on the floor, it ended at said thrones with a drop. The thrones were made in a "hole", so one would always lower themselves in front of the Pumpkin Lord.
The thrones themselves were tall and spiked, and around their rocky masses moved turquoise flames. They weren't dangerous flames. These turquoise fires were mostly used for decoration around the floating towers. And even then, they are rarely ever seen, being reserved exclusively for the "royal" portions of the castle. Despite all of these frightening yet somewhat imaginative appearances, the prisoners were only afraid of one thing: what was directly in front of them. It was a tall bipedal creature, just like the Crimson Pioneer, only, its armor was a very dark hue of blue and had several faces of jack-o-lanterns on the joints, such as the elbow and the knees. The armor had little thorns here and there, but the weirdest part of the armor was the eyes of said pumpkins. They glowed a bright orange and followed every movement aropund them. This was the Pumpkin Lord, and, if one took into account the excess obsession with the carved pumpkin, the appearance of this tyrant was abvious. His face was a flaming jack-o-lantern and, as a weapon, he used some sort of chain-saw on his back that burned just like the lord's head.
His smile literally illuminated the room as he walked towards the shaking prisoners on the ground that began to huddle up as they saw the flaming monster approach them, the surrounding laughing as they cleared the path of this ruler.
"What do we have here?" he said with a semi-silent voice, almost snake-like with the sound of ash falling.
"These are some who tried to protest your grandeur, master." an armored demon said as he get out of the crowd.
"Really?" The Pumpkin Lord leaned further towards a griffon who was about to get a heart-attack.
"P-please don't hurt me." he stuttered.
"Hmhmhahaha! Into the conversion tower with you!"
Two giant demons pulled the griffon away from the huddled group and placed him in front of the Pumpkin Lord who revved up his weapon. As the griffon closed his eyes, the entire floor around him was torn to shreds, and he fell into an almost bottomless pit that closed back up in an instant.
"Hmmm. Now what should I do with the rest of you. Ahhh. You would make perfect skin peels." the lord said as he pushed a mare's tearing face upwards by the chin.
Suddenly, the doors to the throne room burst open with its and pieces of demonic guards splattering everywhere. The party guests all cheered as they saw who caused it. Epoch Moon had returned, but a few of the guards were missing.
"Epoch! My love. Where have your guards gone?"
"They were swept away by Crimson Pioneer's soldiers. Nothing important."
"Indeed. So I trust that everything went fine during the diplomatic conversing?"
"Yes." she said with pride in her voice as she went to a table to get some demon's blood to drink.
"Then explain to me why you have an unknown energy clinging to you."
The mug fell to the ground, and the demons started to have a little ruckus.
"What did you see over there?"
"I...The Golem of Carnifex has awakened." Epoch lowered her head in shame.
"WHAT?! AND YOU DIDN'T DESTROY IT?!" his yelling caused a pony and a griffon to explode, literally. The demons found this funny, but the others were terrified.
"I couldn't. That damnable refugee camp collected one of the pieces that give it immunity to magic. The 'Plate of Arfore' I think it's called."
"DAMN! If they find the other four-"
"Right. Thank you. Three, then it'll return to its gigantic form and lay waste to all our hard work. But how is it awake? I killed the only descendant of Shining Illusion."
"Well...it seems that she's alive and well, although she appeared to be rather..." Epoch looked down as she thought, making the Pumpkin Lord walk up to her in concern and the need to understand.
"Yes. Unlike the one we knew, this one looked like she was horrified of dirt and such. She even had a tiny dragon that looks exactly like our pet."
"Spike? How is that even possible? I tore him from the cold hooves of that stupid purple pony and grew him into a fierce predator. No two dragons look the same!"
"While you look into that, I need some...time alone with one of your prisoners." she looked...seductively at the prisoners as she licked her poisonous lips.
Pumpkin Lord tossed his arm to the side, gesturing for her to go away. "Fine. Do whatever you want. I need to look into this. I just hope they don't know where the other pieces are."
"Perfect." she walked towards the prisoners, and finally stopped at a rather bulky looking brown stallion missing an eye."You'll do great."
"Stay back, harpy! I know what you do to your chosen prisoners. I've heard the rumors."
"Then you must know what I do when one refuses."
The stallion's eyes shrunk.
"Better a quick death than a long and painful one."
"That's a good slave." she said quietly into his ear as she dragged him into the air with her evil magic, slowly disappearing through a portal created in the ceiling.
A demon walked towards Pumpkin Lord, worried about Epoch: "Master, why do you let her do these things? I know she tortures them, but to take them to her private quarters..."
"No. She doesn't do THAT with them...atleast, not that I know or that I care. Ever since I plucked her from that pathetic spell on the moon to even the odds with my enemy, she has been...rather needy. It seems that she was stuck in there a long time, and while her form was quite evil, it wasn't demonic enough. So I spruced it up."
"I see. What about this golem? Why do you fear it? We can destroy it."
"No. You can't. Unless you weild the pure power of existence, then it shall simply reform itself. It uses the beginning and the end. The start and the finish. It uses the Nothing."
The noise in the roopm suddenly went silent as they looked at their lord who looked horrified at what he had said. One could hear screams and the sound of a very deep voice coming from the eye sockets of the jack-o-lantern as Pumpkin Lord remembered a terrible happening.
"But enough about that. If we can prevent it from reaching the other three pieces, then we are free to do as we please. Begin the search!"
"Yes, Pumpkin Lord!" the demons yelled.
Two scrawny looking imps were busy flipping some coins on the side of what used to be a road. They were lying down on some big rocks. These tiny red, horned creatures seemed bored out of their wits.
"You know, things aren't the same ever since we ransacked this world." the one lying down on the rock said.
"I know. It was so vibrant and colorful and full of life. I feel like vomiting just thinking about it. Good times." the one sitting on the floor and flipping a coin replied.
"Oh! Remember when I skewered that pony and dragged her intestines all over the town."
"Haha! Yeah. I remember that. That others were scared to death. Hold on. I hear something." the demon leaned forward to make sure he wasn't imagining things.
"Yes! Come on. Some more prey."
The two imps jumped out from their hiding spot, full of joy at something they weren't allowed to do in so long.
"Ha! Stop right now. The Crimson Pioneer will be taking you as prisoners now."
"Or, we can kill you now and save you the trouble of having to become the play meals of the other demons." the coin looked at his partner with a malicious smile, then they both started to nod.
"Yes. I prefer that method. We'll-"
They were instantly flattened by a familiar fist.
"So like I was saying, it's kinda hard to fly with added weight, and something that isn't really your bodypart, but atleast it lets me fly. Besides, you get used to it, and you can use this wing to pummel everything to smithereens!" Rainbow shouted with joy. Rarity cringed after looking at the color of her metal wing.
"I-is that why it's red? That's just paint, right?"
Rainbow gave Rarity a side smirk and a small 'Ehee'.
Meanwhile, behind the golem, the violent Fluttershy was pouting. She couldn't bring her beast along with her. Spike was fumbling with his claws while trying to stay far away from this pegasus. She was much scarier then the one he knew, and far less quiet. It was quite unnerving, especially when it looked like she was going to chew your face off and scoop up whatever was behind it.
"Are you alright, Flutter-"
"NO! I didn't get to take my beast."
"But Cad-Heart Broken said that it would attract too much attention."
"I don't care. You best hope that you don't become my next beast to train." she glared at Spike with a frightening face.
The little dragon retracted his head and ran towards the golem in order to find refuge on its shoulder. Looking forward, Rainbow was holding the map that Cadance had given the group using a special mechanism installed into her metal wing. Both she and Rarity were having some trouble figuring out where to go.
"I don't know where were supposed to go. Maybe through here and near the blood jewel forest?" Rainbow pointed at a atch of the map covered with red crystals.
"While I do like the sound of jewels, blood jewels?"
"That's where one of the pieces are. Don't forget that it's the easiest place to go. The other is in the boiling blood river that the Crimson Pioneer's castle is next to, and the other is within...well...its stomach." the mare gestured towards Spike, who was still staring at Fluttershy.
"I see. We're lucky that you came along with us. I can't read this map."
"Yeahhhhhhhh. Seeing what she told us, I wouldn't be surprised. Anyways, it should be a few minutes of walking left."
The landscape they were crossing was completely devoid of life, and besides the occasional outburst of combat further away caused by the two demon armies, not much happened. Of course, every now and then, a little imp would pop up, but would eventually become flattened. After an even lengthier amount of walking, the group finally reached the small patch in the land covered in extremely tall and uneven crystal formations. There was no form of entry whatsoever.
"Hey, how do we get in here?" The metal winged pegasus thought as she tried to get around this thing.
"I dunno...smash it down?!" Fluttershy yelled.
"Oh yeah, like that's gonna work."
"So you're looking for trouble?"
"I'm sorry, I couldn't understand you through your obnoxiousness."
Rarity ignored the two fighters and walked towards the golem who looked down at her with no expression on its face.
"Golem, deary, could you open up a path for us?" Rarity asked with an eyelash flutter.
The beast grumbled one moment, and put Spike back down on the floor, then it walked towards the immense wall of red, and looked up and down. Before the two started to fight, Rainbow noticed this and pushed the other pegasi away.
"Like it's gonna manage to break this down."
With a powerful forward thrust, the golem's fist turned the crystals into a nice assortment of raining jewel shards. It stayed in position, showing that its strength was much more than one would think. Rarity scooped up as many shards as she could, only to realize she had nowhere to put them. She started lo look about frantically, hoping to find some material to build a makeshift bag, with style, of course. However, the golem moved from its immobile position and took the shards, only to place them within its body.
"Well, that's conveniant." Rarity was a bit surprised, but happy at the same time.
"Whatever. Let's go." Fluttershy walked over the shards, ignoring any that might have lodged themselves with the crevices.
This place looked like a normal forest, although everything was made of the blood jewels instead. Spike eyed one of the objects closely, and could see a real tree in there. He suddenly screamed and ran behind the white unicorn, making her panic as well.
"What's wrong, Spike?"
"He saw a blood victim."
"A what?" Rarity asked, shaking her head.
"Before the red river was made by the Pioneer, that bizarrety created from accumulated demonic magics was born. It would assault anything and everything, and incase in this jewely substance." Rainbow added as she hit the crystal with a foreleg. "The substance itself would bring the victims and created this tiny place. That's all we know."
"B-but there's a pony in there!"
"Only one?" Fluttershy gave a sinister smile.
After widening their view range, Spike and Rarity saw that all over the place, there were traumatized and frightened animals, ponies, and any living creature imaginable, all placed in a "lively" fashion.
"Just keep moving forward." Rainbow finished.
The yellow pegasi spun around and continued walking forward with anger and fury. Rainbow shrugged and went forward as well. A few seconds had passed, and nopony had yet noticed that there was some sort of creature following them. It crawled on the crystals and quickly disappeared. The only one paying attention was the golem, but it wasn't reacting in order to keep the creature from noticing and suddenly striking. Finally, one of the jeweled trees had some type of half-decayed demon with its hand out of the jewels slightly high above the ground. There was something blue glowing in its clutch.
"Finally!" Fluttershy yelled with an eye roll."I'll go tear that hand off and bring whatever is inside."
The golem gave a very low growl, prompting Rarity to call the pegasus back.
But it was too late. Whatever the creature was, it was multi-segmented, and looked like the jewels around it. It seemed to be like a centipede, although it had two very long arms with three massive claws, and two similar legs at the last segment. Whatever was in-between just looked like segments of the jewels themselves. It grabbed the pegasus and wrapped itself around the tree. Its face showed three beady yellow eyes along with a mouth that, whenever it opened, showed many jagged teeth, along with a random expulsing of bones.
"What is that?" Rainbow shouted.
"I don't know!" Rarity began to panic.
"Golem. Go save Fluttershy, please!" Spike urged as he hit its leg.
The towering giant looked at the tiny dragon for a moment, and nodded. The screams coming from a pony who was being crushed can help with pretty much anything. However, Rainbow was the first to go. She jumped in the air and used her wings to stay on the walls of jewel. As the creature noticed, it gave an echoing roar, and lashed the free segments at her, only making the pony dodge in the air, and fall down on the segments with her metallic wing, smashing two of them to pieces.
While the creature screamed in pain, and seemed to be separated from the other segments, these pieces crept up on the mare and whacked her against the othe side of the room, just before blasting her with the pieces of the broken segments. The ones still intact, however, reconnected with the main body It chuckled, but only until it felt itself being torn off of the tree and smashed onto the ground with such strength that it let go of Fluttershy. The two giants began to clash, but it was apparent that the golem was losing. Every strike it made had no effect on the creature, and the golem itself kept losing pieces of its body as it was struck. Even a back-stabbing Rainbow Dash couldn't harm the centipede creature.
"Spike, go grab that hand and open it, then throw it at the golem." Rarity insisted as she tended to Fluttershy.
"Wh-are you mad?!"
"Either you do it, or we all perish."
Spike started to stress. He clearly showed it by fumbling with his fingers as he looked at the hand and everything going on around him. Finally, after much deducing, he ran towards the broken, armored hand and grabbed it right before he was crushed by a falling golem, and ran back to Rarity, while panting and gasping.
"Good. Now try and open it." Try all he might, the hand would not open. "It won't open?!"
"There's a puzzle on here. Can you read it?"
"I...I think so. Let's see...I am a powerful material that existed at the beginning of every world. I can come in both liquid and solid shapes, and I was once used as a weapon and a tool at the beginning of intelligent life. What am I?"
The two started to spew out nonsensical answers when the true answer was obvious.
"I don't know, Rarity. Stone would be too simple, no?"
Suddenly, the hand opened itself to show block of granite. A simple block. Both were stumped and outraged.
"Seriously? Stone? Ugh. I'll just toss it to the golem. Hnnngh! Wow. It's heavy. Could you help me, Rarity?"
"I suppose I must."
However, as the mare's horn began to glow, she found that the block of granite glew with the same color, and slammed itself into the golem, who froze in place right before punching the centipede creature. The monster was stunned, but quickly recovered and tried to throw itself through the giant's body, like before. This time, though, things were different. It bounced off the belly and landed on the floor. Blue linings formed all over the golem, followed by its hands starting to look like a sturdy mineral and growing slightly in size. Rainbow Dash saw that something was changing, abolted off towards the main group.
The golem of Carnifex grabbed the beast with its new found sturdiness, along with its new hands, and literally crushed the creature with its palms. Then, it grabbed the separated segments and did the same. The beast was only three segmens left, and that was nothing compared to the new golem, who punched it so powerfully that a new hole was blown through the enclosed "jungle" with the remaining segment. It let out an exhale and returned to Rarity, still as emotionless as ever. Rainbow and Spike were amazed.
"Wow! Did you see that? It just punched that thing and it exploded!"
"I know! Wasn't that the coolest thing ever? Well, besides my sonic ranbooms? I've gotta hand it to ya, I wasn't expecting this thing to actually be the thing that would save us. I'm actually glad that you came. Now, about Fluttershy..."