19w, 17hMy status as a writer... 0 comments · 25 views
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83w, 2mPossibly Leaving FiMFiction 0 comments · 29 views
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The sun sank beneath the clouds, ending the dreary day. Celestia lay sprawled out on a bed in the infirmary with Nyx and Luna standing at her side. She was barely awake, still battered and bruised from her battle with Nightmare Moon. She could barely speak; her voice hoarse.
“I can’t recall a time I was this badly wounded.” She wheezed to her comrades beside her.
“Don’t speak, Sister,” Luna cautioned. “You need to rest.”
“What did they do with Nightmare Moon?” she asked again, still wheezing.
“She’s also here in the infirmary. She’s out cold, but they’re tending to her as well.” Nyx responded. “Grimveil declared another match, but we didn't stick around to watch the fight between Pestilence and Famine."
"Pestilence?... Famine?" Celestia echoed.
Luna nodded. "Yes, sister. Grimveil introduced them and the other two alicorns we didn't recognize. He called them the Apocalypse Ponies. The other two are called War and Death."
"Where did they come from?" Celestia followed up.
“Grimveil didn't say. All he said was that they are ancient creatures and that their presence heralds the end of Equestria. He also mentioned that he diminished their power to 'make things fair’.” Nyx finished explaining.
“Grimveil must be horrifically strong if he’s able to diminish the power of somepony who can destroy the world,” Luna said.
Celestia dropped her heavy head back onto the bed. “This is far too much for me to handle right now. I need sleep…”
“We know. Get your rest; we’ll talk more once you’ve healed,” Nyx said softly as she and Luna turned to leave the infirmary.
“I must be honest; the thought of having to face one of those Apocalypse Ponies frightens me.” Luna said on the walk back to their room.
“I agree,” Nyx replied. “But I think I fear facing you or Celestia even more. I can harm an enemy if I must, but I could never do it to either of you. We must find a way to escape!”
"Do not worry, Nyx, while we cannot escape we managed to get a letter through. Twilight and her friends are on the outside, and I'm sure they will find a way to reach us.” Luna explained.
"Tw... Twilight Sparkle? She's... still alive?"
Luna nodded, "But of course. Why would she not?"
"I... I just assumed the timelines of our Equestria's were closer together than that. I... I didn't even think she could be. "
The very thought of Twilight filled Nyx with sadness. In her Equestria, Twilight had long since passed away, as she was just a regular unicorn pony. Nyx was an alicorn, and therefore lived far longer, the only childhood relative still alive being Spike.
“Come on Twilight…I know you can do it…” Nyx said softly to herself.
In the Infirmary, Grimveil and Shank Spear had entered in the darkness and loomed several feet off the foot of Celestias cot. They both looked over her, examining her rate of recovery.
“How well is she healing?” Grimveil asked his Captain.
“The medics say she’s recovering at a standard rate. Tomorrow morning we’ll administer stronger healing magic, and she should be back on her hooves sometime tomorrow,” The Captain replied.
“Good. She put on a marvelous display. I can’t wait to send her into the arena again” Grimveil put on a small smile.
“My Lord,” the Captain questioned. “Are you sure things are going the way you want them to? We didn’t plan for Celestia to get so brutal.”
“No worries, my dear Captain Shank Spear. I think everything’s going exactly the way we want them too,” Grimveil put out a small grin before the two of them exited the Infirmary.
“You’re dismissed for tonight Captain. Report to me tomorrow morning as soon as the soldiers are awake and ready. With no army to face, I think our soldiers deserve a little entertainment.”
The Captain bowed low and retreated to his quarters, while Grimveil strolled to a nearby window looking out over Equestria.
“To think it’s been two thousand years since I’ve been here. Time sure does fly. But how long I’ve been gone matters not. Soon I will spread darkness all across Equestria, just as I did so many years ago…” Grimveil gave out a light, barely audible laugh.
The morning sun was just barely beginning to rise, a red and orange veil forming across the horizon. Twilight and her friends had been searching all night long through the ruins of the old castle. All six of them were on the verge of collapse as sleep had been withheld from them for nearly two days. With the scarce bit of energy she had left, Twilight rallied her friends together to get a report.
“Well girls? Anything?” she asked with tired desperation.
“I'm sorry Twilight, but I couldn’t find anything in this rubbish.” Rarity reported.
“Me neither,” said Applejack. “Nothin here but a buncha old rocks.”
Twilight turned her attention to Pinkie, hoping Pinkie had another mishap-finding.
“Well Pinkie? You didn’t accidentally stumble across it like you do everything else?”
“Sorry Twilight.” Pinkie replied with her head drooping.
Twilight groaned. She had absolutely no energy left to keep looking, and neither did the others.
“We can’t keep working like this. Let’s all just lie down and get some of our energy back,” said Twilight. They all nodded in agreement and found a soft spot of ground to fall fast asleep.
Twilight began to dream. She found herself in the middle of some very brightly lit structure. As she walked through it, she noticed many different ponies running about. At first she couldn’t see why, but she soon noticed that the structure was crumbling around her and revealing an endless black void beyond its walls. Not knowing which way to go, she ran straight ahead through two large doors, ending up in a long grand hall. The walls were still dissolving away, but she stopped in her tracks, noticing Princess Celestia standing directly in front of her, but facing away from her to what appeared to be a large and ornate doorway of light. Twilight moved closer to see what she was doing, but before she could get close enough, the doorway of light collapsed, and Celestia turned to exit. Twilight attempted to stop her, but Celestia phased right through her as if she was a ghost.
As the walls finished dissolving away, she noticed the large hallway she was in change form. It no longer resembled the grand hall she was in before, but instead resembled old abandoned ruins. She looked around for a second, and then suddenly realized, she recognized this place…
Twilight quickly awoke and jumped up, frantically awakening her companions.
“Come on girls! Get up! I know where the library is!” she shouted. The other ponies got up, but they were barely rested. Judging by the position of the sun, they guessed they had slept for maybe three hours.
“Hold on Twilight,” Applejack yawned. “Whatya mean you know where the library is?”
“I just had a dream! In it I saw Princess Celestia looking through some doorway. After she left, the room she was in changed, and then I recognized it! It’s the old throne room of this castle!” she explained as she started leading them through the ruins. They soon found themselves in the old throne room, standing in front of where the throne itself used to sit.
“There must be some way to make it appear.” Twilight said to herself as she charged her horn with magic. She couldn’t even begin to guess at a spell to make it appear, but perhaps forcing magic in the area would trigger it somehow.
After a few minutes of surging magic, a small spark flickered in the air. Realizing she had found the right magic to trigger it, she surged even more. More and more small sparks and flickers began to appear at an increasing rate. Eventually, the sparks formed a straight horizontal line of light roughly three feet wide. The line then extended upwards and downwards forming a large rectangular doorway. The doorway was not made of any material item, but was entirely composed of pure light.
“Come on! This has to be the library!” Twilight yelled as she ran through the massive doors. The other five hesitated for a second, but soon followed her through. The six friends found themselves outside an old tower, which was strangely in what appeared to be an underground cavern, the only light coming from numerous torches.
“Why is there a tower underground?” Rainbow asked.
“I guess when Celestia moved to the new capital, she didn’t want the old library to decay, so she must have transported it into here. Knowing her, it was probably easier to put an anti-degradation spell around it in a cave rather than in the middle of the Everfree Forest.” Twilight explained.
They entered the tower, and beheld the most magnificent sight. Bookshelves ran up every side of the tower for sixty feet, and were filled to the brim with books. Numerous fountains and statues of ponies decorated the floor, and gold decorated every surface.
“Ok let’s get to it!” Twilight ordered. “We got a lot of books to read!” The rest of them reluctantly began grabbing books, not sharing in Twilight's enthusiasm.
Grimveil was up in his balcony with Shank Spear as all of his alicorn soldiers began to cheer. Grimveil waved his hoof to silence them and cleared his throat.
“My faithful soldiers, as a reward for your victory against the Equestrian Army, I welcome you to today's first match!” he announced loudly. The audience erupted cheers and applause.
“The next match shall be Discord… versus Famine,” Shank Spear announced from the balcony. The pale, skin-and-bones alicorn stumbled into the arena, where Discord, who had already teleported in and was waiting, couldn’t help but laugh.
“Oh my, you really do look awful,” he joked.
Famine just stood there in silence, unaffected by Discord’s words.
“Ugh really? No banter or anything? How dull…” Discord said in disgust. “Fine, if you want to be such a drag then I guess I’ll just end this quickly.”
As soon as the bell was sounded, Discord snapped his fingers, causing an explosion right beneath Famine. The fire enveloped Famine, and when the explosion dispersed she was nowhere to be seen. Discord snorted in laughter, landed on the ground, and huffed in disappointment.
"Well, that was boring." He turned to look at the other combatants. "I hope the rest of you will put a better challenge, otherwise this tournament isn't going to be any-"
Discord was suddenly stopped by a familiar pale alicorn, standing right in front of him. He paused for a second, absorbing the situation.
“Teleportation. How original,” Discord mused. He snapped his fingers again, removing the gravity around Famine, causing her to float helplessly in the air.
"There, now let's try that again," he said snapping his fingers again, causing yet another explosion. Like before, Famine was engulfed in the fire, and again when the smoke cleared, she had disappeared. Discord, however, didn't celebrate so quickly. He turned, and saw that Famine was standing just a few feet away, unscathed.
“Ok…this is getting annoying,” Discord retorted, materializing an arcane sword in his hand. The sword was just as chaotic as he was. It was a large broadsword with many smaller blades protruding from the main blade in random directions. It curved like a scimitar and had the hilt of a rapier. “Let’s see how fast you really are.”
Discord flash teleported behind Famine and smiled evilly as he swung his blade straight at her neck. Famine responded by turning into a white mist and whisked across the arena.
“Well, aren't you just a little ball of chaos. You look like you're about to collapse, yet you're able to pull of that little trick. It's just the kind of misdirection I can appreciate." Discord smiled and gave his sword a toss. "I think I may actually have a little fun with you."
The two began moving all across the arena, Discord attempting to slash Famines mist-form while Famine herself did nothing but dodge. He would approach from every angle, testing all of her openings for a weak spot, but despite his strategic moves, Famine was able to easily evade every blow. It was practically impossible for anyone watching to keep up with the two of them. In a matter of just a second or two, they each could have changed locations five or six times.
As the battle went on, things only got fiercer. Discord became much more violent with his attacks, aiming less and blindly swinging more. Famine was still able to avoid all of his strikes with seemingly relative ease. Despite being unsuccessful so far, Discord had a good feeling. He felt he was slowly catching up to her speed and able to compensate for her movements. As soon as he did, one hit from his sword would be enough to knock her out, even if she was in mist form.
“You really are quite the worthy opponent, Famine.” Discord said, continuing his assault. “Although, it’d be a lot more fun if you’d actually do something rather than avoid me. All you seem to do is let your horn glow and whisk around. Why not spice it up a little?”
Discord couldn't believe that Famine was doing nothing but avoiding him, and that the glow from her horn was merely the magic she used to transform. However, Discord had no real idea as to what the sickly alicorn was doing.
The two continued their battle, returning to their extremely fast paced duel. Discord had just about matched her speed, when suddenly a massive hunger struck him, causing him to double over as he held his stomach. Still, Discord smiled up at Famine.
"Oh... oh, bravo. You really are just full of surprises. Famine, I should have guessed your game the moment I heard your name. You make creatures weak with hunger, so you've been dragging the battle out while slowly weakening me. Oh yes, very clever, but I've caught onto your game and-"
Discord cringed, collapsing onto the arena floor. He cursed weakly as the last of his strength was drawn out of his body.
“I’ll think of a witty comment later…” he muttered before blacking out.
Famine took on her regular form again and stood at the edge of the arena. As soon as Grimveil declared her the winner, she turned and stumbled down to meet with her comrades.
“So that’s what an Apocalypse Pony can do…” Nyx quietly said to herself. “If that’s what Famine is capable of, then I don’t think I even want to know what the ones named War and Death can do…”
As they looked over at the Apocalypse Ponies, Famine slowly turned her head around to look at them. As Famine stared them in the eye, Nyx and Luna were instantly filled with fear. This ‘Battle Royal’ had become a living hell.
Back in the Old Castle Library, Twilight and her friends continued their search. Despite the daunting number of books, they were able to disregard most since they weren't in any way related to the topic they were searching for. That, however, still left many books for them to read through.
Twilight herself was half way through a book titled "Royal Figures of Ancient Equestria" and was about to disregard it as another dead end when she turned the page, where a familiar black alicorn was staring back at her.
“Girls come and look at this!” She yelled to her friends. They trotted over as Twilight read a passage aloud.
“Of the many royal leaders of Equestria, few were evil or cruel. However, there was one alicorn in particular; whose existence is a bloody stain on Equestrian history. His name was Malicious Shadow. A very powerful alicorn, Malicious swayed the hearts of many Equestrian citizens into following him, and then used his great magic to take the throne and turn Equestria into a horrible land of nightmares. He ruled over the land with a merciless iron hoof and severely punished any pony that didn’t abide by his harsh laws. His most notable form of punishment was the forced combat of life and death in his great coliseum. He forced large groups of ponies to fight each other, either in a brutal free-for-all or an arranged tournament, until only one stood alive. His leadership over Equestria only lasted a number of years, however, as a group of alicorns had lead a rebellion against him and overthrew him. Although his fate was never confirmed, he was believed to be killed, though some believe he was banished to some faraway place for all eternity.”
As Twilight finished reading the passage, they each looked over at the next page, where a portrait of Malicious Shadow was placed. Their eyes widened as they recognized the figure. This ‘Malicious Shadow’ was exactly identical to Grimveil.