-The stealthy handbook
Roughly 1323 years before episode 1
The dragonequus known as Discord was slumped in his throne, a normal day of chaos with nothing to stop him afterall, the ponies had no way to beat him, his power was great enough to get rid of the ponies last hope, the 'elements of harmony', in fact he had them protected by over 300 different traps that not even a master of thievery could get past.
Though he didn't take into account who the princesses would employ to protect their beloved ponies, The Shadow, not only did he not even know who or what the shadow was, but it had the audacity to steal from him, it started off small, his glass of chocolate milk for example, but then there were times when even houses were stolen, right in front of him no less.
Naturally when confronted by the two Alicorns he thought their threats were veiled, until he was turned to stone. Though he could still hear and one of the voices stuck out for him.
"Sooo, about our deal?" A young mare's voice said from behind Discord's throne, the Alicorns simply looked in the direction with their usual poker faces.
"You are pardoned of your crimes, young shadow." The elder Alicorn, Celestia stated.
"Aaaand, I mean don't get me wrong, that's great but I did almost get blown up...by a talking squirrel." The voice rang out again and the mare hopped onto Discord's stone head, she was covered in light grey fur and seemed to be a simple earth pony. "And I'm older than you y'know Tia."
Celestia sighed and looked pointedly at the mare "Very well, your powers will be restored."
The mare looked up from Discord's prison "No jokes?" She asked before looking down again. "And isn't turning him to stone pretty harsh, I mean I don't like his method of ruling that much but still..."
"Ask less questions like that and thou will worry less." The younger Alicorn, Luna, spoke up.
"Whoa easy there Lulu." She smirked at the barely held rage. "I won't question it but you've gotta admit, he's got it rough in there...and I did like his chocolate rain, it was awesome." Both Alicorns were now looking angry at her, she grinned wider than a chesire cat. "Come on, it was delicious...all right I'll shut it now, so long as you hold up the deal."
"We shall, and we trust you shalt not return unless we call upon thee?"
"Yeah, yeah, so no rush y'know but him being alive in there is making me very uncomfortable." The Alicorns looked at each other then nodded, and smashed an orb filled with an inky black substance which immediatly snaked towards the mare and became her shadow. "Thanks, now then, I'll be in the badlands for a few months, then I should be back in Trottingham, so send a letter if you need me." Without anoher word the mare disappeared from sight.
"Are thou sure we should let her roam free, dear sister?" Luna asked, looking fearfull at the shadows
"We will see." Celestia answered, turning away.
The night of nightmares - 1000 years before episode 1
A grey earth pony was walking through the castle hidden in the everfree forest, a smile on her face, her mane and tail were covered by a black substance, she was walking away from the room that held three of the elements of harmony, upon leaving the dark castle she was greeted by the sun goddess, and laughed a bit.
"Laughing at a time like this shadow?" Celestia asked an eyebrow raised.
"It'd just, that was way easier than Discord." She smiled remembering. "I miss the almost never ending supply of chocolate y'know."
"Yes, you've said before, now give me the elements." Celestia groaned.
"Manners cost ya nothing Tia." The mare smirked before three orbs appeared from the shadows. "But seriously, can you go through with the chance they'll do the same thing to Lulu?"
"It's a chance we must take for Equestria, but...it is hard." Celestia admitted.
"Well, again, you need anything, send a letter, I'm going to help back in Canterlot for a few days, then I should be back in Birminghoof, but I will drop everything for you." She smiled warmly at Celestia before once again disappearing.
"Goodybye, mysterious shadow." Celestia said before preparing to confront Nightmare moon.
"Call me Shade." The voice called back after a moment.
422 years before episode 1
"Well, that's all my socks paired...why do I eve own socks?" Shade asked the pile of socks sitting in her small room, her mane and tail were completely shown, and were a dark green mixed with black, she smiled as she remembered. "Oh yeah, they're for throwing at Blueblood." 1 year ago Shade was introduced to Lord Blueblood II, and she hated him so much that she instantly threw him from the top of Canterlot, Celestia wasn't too happy. As she recounted the days of anger towards Blueblood a knock souded at the door. "It's open."
"Still believe you're better than me?" A high-class accent sounded from the door.
"Blueblood." Shade looked away and started to load the pairs of socks into a machine that looked oddly like a cannon. "Is there a reason you're here, or did you just want to lovingly say hello?"
"I'm still waiting for that apology you wanted to give me." He stated, fairly angrily.
"Are you still going on about that, I mean come on, you survived, I survived, Celestia made us spend a month together." She shuddered. "How did you even manage to get that much hate mail?"
For a few seconds Blueblood was silent then he slumped and sat on one of Shade's conviently placed chairs. "I don't know, ponies just don't seem to like me."
"I wonder why." Shade muttered then looked at Blueblood's sad face and frowned. "Now listen here my blue blooded enemy, I don't like you, many ponies seem to share my opinion, but you can't let the other's push you around, you're Lord Blueblood, unicorn of some royalty, at least burn the hate mail."
"Why are you being nice to me, you wanted to, as I remember 'pull my horn off and use it to-" Shade cut him off before he could continue.
"Yes, yes, I was there for that, but y'see, you are MY enemy, nopony else is allowed to hate you, and despite how I act I don't like seeing you suffer." She smiled "Unless I'm the one making you suffer." She added.
"You could of left that out." He snorted looking away, she loaded the last two socks into the cannon.
"Yeah, but then it would sound like I actually liked you...why? Upset I don't fawn over you like those other mares?" She grinned widely as he sputtered out a response.
After a few seconds he took note of what she was doing. "Why did you put those your socks in a cannon." She grinned wider.
"Step one: Load cannon, Step two: Fire cannon, Step three: ???, Step four: Profit." She listed, on step four the socks shot out of the cannon and surrounded Blueblood, three landed in his mouth and Shade started rolling on the floor laughing.
"Very funny Shadow, as ever your pranks are always great at lifting the spirits." He deadpanned, spitting the socks out of his mouth, he sat there for a minute before slowly going to the door, it opened and he was about to step out.
"Wait a minute blue boy." Shade shouted to him, he looked up questionly, she sighed. "If I give you my cannon will you agree to both cheer up and to never tell anypony about me saying nice things to you?" She blurted out, pushing a button on the cannon that turned it into a suitcase. "Please."
"Hmmm, a cannon that fire socks, or blackmail against my enemy...I wonder." He said deviously.
"Fine, don't take something you can use to look cool and make mares swoon over you." She started to pull the case away.
"Does that include you...enemy?"
"Sorry hun, but you gotta work hard for a mare like me, y'know chocolate is a good start though." She stopped for a second then looked up again. "And besides, you have a wife...want me to tell her about the donut shop incedent?"
"I accept the deal." He practically yelled as he walked out and left Shade there with a massive pile of socks to clean up.
She'd picked up two of them before a voice called out. "Getting along with Blueblood, you must be ill." The voice of Celestia resonated in the room.
"Hey, I'm not 'getting along' with him, he was just too depressed for my liking." Shade sat down. "Mind getting rid of these socks, I don't need them anymore."
Celestia appeared and Shade did the first logical thing she could think of, which included socks and Celestia's head, there was a tense silence as a sock slid down Celestia's face and Shade tried to stealth away from the room.
"SHADE!!!" The voice sounded throughout the castle as Shade ran away from the room, running past Blueblood whilst cackling madly, Blueblood only saw Celestia for a second but couldn't help laugh as he saw her head covered in socks. Shade then appeared next to Blueblood panting.
"Hate to...ask you this...but can you tell me where...Tia is?" Blueblood pointed behind Shade, who gulped loudly and smiled. "Glad to see you smiling blue boy...if I don't make it back, you get my lunch."
"What would your lunch be today?" Blueblood managed to say in between laughs at Shade dodging blinding white bolts of magic.
"Chocolate ice cream and a massive strawberry." She said jumping away from Celestia and running towards the exit, but was stopped by a wall of golden energy."Help" She squeeked before being pulled towards Celestia.
6 weeks before episode 1
Shade was helping teach the newly titled prince Blueblood, the sixteenth in their line, manners in a massive room, her fur was slightly lighter and hair looked more green, and both were due to a mishap with a certain lavender mare.
"Now then, let's go over this again, when the waiter brings you the food, what do you say?"
"That's easy, off with you." Blueblood smirked whilst Shade just groaned loudly.
"I swear Blueblood 2 wasn't this bad." She mumbled before glaring at the newest Blueblood. "Y'know what, I give up, you are an arrogant, selfish, canniving, egotistical, aggressive son of a-" She was cut off as Celestia and her student, Twilight Sparkle, appeared in a flash. "Alright Blueblood, you're perfectly well mannered, go home, eat some fancy food and fire three of your servants, you've earned it." She rushed Blueblood out of the door. "And tell your dad that he should use the sock cannon soon." She smiled slamming the door in Blueblood's face.
"That was...different." Celestia commented. Shade only smiled and walked away from the door.
"It's like each generation of Blueblood gets stupider and snarkier...and uglier." Shade walked towards the bookshelf and started picking books out for Twilight.
"I thought it was agreed most mares thought Blueblood to be handsome." Celestia smirked.
"He's got nothing on Blueblood 2, who by comparison is not only a saint but also much cooler...then again that might be down to the cannon...and the chocolate he gave me, I kid you not it was delicious" Shade said quietly, but Celestia's smirk grew even larger.
"Did you have a crush on him?" Twilight asked, in complete innocence, Shade could see Celestia holding back laughter as she blushed slightly and sighed.
"No, he was just a very good friend...once we got on some common ground." She put a massive stack of books down next to Twilight and smirked. "More light reading?" Twilight nodded beffore picking up the first book with magic and flipping through it. "Well I'll see you two when I get back from my trip, gotta see what's in the Everfree." Shade smiled before looking down slightly.
"You don't have to go, you can stay here." Celestia offered. "I'll even make sure to keep Blueblood away from you."
"Sorry Tia, but someone's gotta deal with the...problem there." Shade was looking scared for the first time in years.
"Did I forget to tell you, It's gone."
"Seriously?" Shade lifted her head in excitement and saw Celestia nodding.
"A platoon of the day guard managed to take it back and delivered it a couple of hours ago."
"Phew, I was kinda scared y'know." She tried to look confident as her shadow face-hoofed.
"Do you have any more on this?" Twilight lifted up her book on the History of Equestria volume 1.
"Probably." She jumped onto the top of the bookcase nearby and started searching whilst upside-down. "Volumes 2, 3 and 9."
"What happened to the other six?" Shade looked up, a gleam in her eye.
"Well they weren't used to pelt Blueblood 9, 'cause I wouldn't do that." Both Celestia and Twilight had deadpanned looks on their faces. "What?" She asked, still upside down as she threw the books towards Twilight
"Why do you hate that family?" Celestia asked, picking the remaining books up.
"I don't hate them." Shade tried to look innocent for a few seconds. "Well, alright they're not my favorite ponies but I am occasionally nice to them...remember how nice I was to 6, then the rest." She shuddered before hopping down to them. "Are the books and good news all you wanted me for, 'cause I don't like being interrogated on my choice of enemy."
Celestia sighed and then levitated a letter over to Shade, who grabbed it eagerly and started reading whilst Celestia and Twilight left. The letter itself was brief: 'Go to Ponyville in 6 weeks.' Was all that was written on the paper.
"As clear and concise as ever Tia." Another letter appeared in front of her, it was even shorter saying: 'Good' Shade threw the papers against the wall and slumped around to the door, only for Blueblood to still be there. "I said go home, got that blue boy?" Blueblood twisted his head up so his muzzle was in the air and walked away.
3 days before episode 1
Shade was sat opposite Discord's prison, a strange look on her face as she looked at him. "Okay, listen Discord, I don't like you, you don't like me, I've suffered through the Blueblood lineage, you've sat for 1323 years there...yeah that sucks as an apology, I mean, I'd break you out, but then Tia would take away my powers...again, and I'm still under oath." She looked at the statue's eyes and smirked for a second before sighing. "Since you can't break out I'll tell you something." She took a deep breath. "That freakin' flying squirrel has been giving me nightmares for years, so please don't you dare make another one, I mean seriously, first he offers chocolate, then he blows up." She flailed her forelegs about then sighed again. "Y'know if you don't contribute to this conversation it really gets quite boring."
"Shade, what are you doing out here?" Celestia appeared next to her before looking at Discord's statue.
"Sorry Tia, just reminiscing with Discord...I miss the chocolate rain...and the buffalo ballerinas...and the-" Celestia cut her off.
"Don't tell me you were thinking of releasing him."
"We've all thought about it...but I know I can't, only the elements of harmony can keep him imprisoned blah, blah, blah." Shade got up and smiled. "I may miss the perks of his rule and all but at the same time, I love not having to steal from anypony."
"You should be preparing for your journey,it is almost time to go to Ponyville." Celestia stated looking at Shade."
"Geeze Tia, you get really grim around this statue don't you." Shade was grinning again as she pulled a glass out of the shadows and put it next to Discords statue. "Done, I'll start headed to Ponyville now, should be there in a few days."
"Glad to hear it, now go before Blueblood demands to see you again."
"Wait, why would he demand to see me? is this because of the thing that happened at last weeks breakfast?" Shade looked scared for a few seconds.
"I don't know, but he wasn't too happy...why are you scared of him?" Celestia mocked
"No, no, not at all, I mean I didn't know he was actually good at magic...or he was allergic to apples." Shade started looking around before calming down. "Well I'm gonna go, give Blueblood an apple from me." Instead of the usual disappearing act she ran straight out of Canterlot towards Ponyville.
Well, that's the prologue down, and chapter 1 is in the works...read, review, have a cookie blah, blah, blah.