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~501 C.S.R.~ "When darkness falls it takes but one light to bring hope...."
As we headed into the fifth century of Equestrian rule Celestia and Luna have gained such a favor among the ponies that most consider the two goddesses themselves. I laughed at the irony when Dark told me of this and he gave me a look of understanding. For the most part while I still haven't seen them in 400 years I have still kept helping them even though they don't see it.
From taking care of various bandit uprisings or nests of monsters popping up near villages I've been keeping busy. My recent job however has been keeping me on edge ever since reports began drifting in through taverns. A recent cult gathering had begun collecting members saying "That by joining us shall grant you the powers sealed by the gods". This worried me as they wouldn't be drawing from a god but trying to unseal something even the gods themselves thought should stay locked up.
The went by the name of the "Phoenixes" and the leader was named Kyrie Rebirth. He was a unicorn that was sure but he held inside him a hate and anger that fueled a power inside him unknown even to me. As though he were being not from this existence. I could tell that if such a creature was offering a premise such as this he either can provide it or it will go awry and release a hell spawn, both it would be better if I tried to prevent it before hoof.
And so that is how I got here, running though the middle of the woods tracking the cult's travel patterns to see where they end up next and if I'm lucky learn what their true plans are. From what I could tell they were heading far east towards old Equ lands. Most of this land had been left alone as a remembrance to the dead and fallen so I could think of any reason for them heading this way. That was what I thought before the pain hit me.
From deep inside of my chest I felt something connected to me in pain and that was when I heard the screams through the earth of the Gaian tree being attacked. I put this down to the cult as the Gaian tree was the only thing on the planet with a direct tie to the gods and if you were to harness its power you would turn into a god as strong as Gaia herself. I took flight towards the tree to find a terrifying sight.
I came upon the sight of a gaping maw torn into the side of the tree near the base. When I touched down and touched my hooves to the base of the tree I could feel that the tree while wounded was still very much alive but its power was gone. As far as any cosmic figure would care this was but an overly large tree now.
Not only was I angered at the idea of somepony doing an act of such evil to this holy site, I was also saddened at seeing my childhood home desecrated like this. Burning now with a godly anger I took to the sky to see if I could track the spirit of the tree and found while faint the trail was there. I flew off where the faint signal came from and began to head into the Everfree forest.
By the time I had caught up with the cult they were in the middle of a ceremony for I could only guess would be unsealing this "great power" as I could see the spirit of the tree they managed to seal in an hourglass. One of the lackees brought the spirit into the center of the circle while their leader Kyrie began to chant in a foreign language.
in in prsence eius magnitudine
stetit per omnes dissident"
The circle began to glow a ghastly red light and power seeped out of the lines around each of the members. Kyrie's eyes had a look a accomplishment in them.
The circle, now bright as the shining moon, gave off red lightning striking anything outside of the cult circle. A smell of burning corpses and sulfur was collecting in the center and a cracking noise could be heard.
"Oculum pro oculo
Per deos sunt exsules
et per deos te revixit!"
The sky had turned blood red as the moon itself turned black in the red background. Trees began to die around the circle as the life energy began to be sucked into the center of the circle. The cracking noise from earlier became a loud ripping noise I heard only once before.
"Ad mortem sacrificium anima
Rex nostras retribuit nobis
Ad te dare anima olim
In reditum in tantibus iterum errant!"
High in the sky the black moon open to reveal a flaming eye of a devil. The ripping noise stopped as a loud crack was heard and as all looked up a black crack had appeared in the sky. As more cracks appeared the spacial fault stretched so far it touched the horizons. With its final stretch the sound of dimensional ripping occurred as the fissure opened to reveal the firey hells of the underworld.
That very same eye from so long ago looked down upon us searching for it's offering. Down came the very same skeletal arm as it snatched up the soul of the Gaian tree and took it away into the underworld. However unlike last time the arm returned once more through the rift. And with it came and old friend.
In the center of the circle where the Gaian soul once was the skeletal arm dropped off its part of the exchange. With it's trade complete the arm pulled back into the underworld and the rift sealed shut behind sky and moon returning back to it's original colors. In the circle stood a black stallion figure.
In the circle stood the Nightmare.
A/N I'm sorry for putting in another short chapter but this was the best spot for me to cut off without making another 3,000+ chapter. Last chapter I made an oopsie daisy and forgot to save the last 300 words so i published in unfinieshed so if you haven't read go do so. Congrats to Deli for figuring out what "Swedish hip bouncing" was. I'm still sore but i can get up and dance if i put my mind to it so yay fun times for me!.