Flames of Disharmony

by Sandstorm94


Chaos will rise

Time…

For an immortal being like the Lord of Chaos, time is but a mere plaything. Seconds flow into minutes, minutes then flow into hours, etc. However, one who thrives on causing chaos and disharmony can use it to their advantage. Discord may have saw himself as reformed, just like his friends did, but that did not mean that he had completely given up on his old trickster ways.

I wonder what kind of prank I should pull...” He thought to himself in his own dimension, which really was not as bad as everypony made it out to be, who would not want to turn down bubble gum ice cream? Then again, a side effect was making you as light as Helium. “Perhaps swap Rainbow's and Pinkie’s species? Nah, that would really mess up the weather patrol and I don't need Fluttershy mad with me. Or perhaps I should make Shining Armor a mare in heat? No no no… not even I would want to go through the trouble them poor mares go through with that.

Thinking of the kind, butterball colored mare made him have an epiphany, for she was the sole and ONLY reason that he attempted to keep himself in check. Chaos was a master of irony, because since he befriended the Element of Kindness, she had been making his life chaotic. Every prank he thought about pulling he now thought of how she would react, and choosing to avoid her infamous Stare made his life easier. More than once he thought about turning her into a draconequus to show her his way of thoughts, but each time he couldn’t bring himself to it.

However, before he could think of another minor prank idea he froze. A cold icy chill that originated in his tail quickly spread through his whole body, making him feel like he had a nasty case of the flu, but he knew what it actually was. It was in these moments that he regretted being the Lord of Chaos, even moreso since he had actually started caring for his former enemies-turned-friends.

Everypony, and every being for that matter, knows that the universe is run on three simple rules:

So despite Discord being a “good guy”, the fundamental universal laws ensured that he was not “fully” converted to the ways of Harmony. Normally when one of his old instincts hit, the prank was rather minor and completely harmless (unless you count that time he accidentally used permanent coat dye on Rarity, that was a hassle to fix), but once in awhile a major urge hit him to the point he normally did something he would later regret.

Oh no… not one of these again!” Discord was mentally panicking as the surge intensified, trying everything he could think of to avoid succumbing to those dark and evil thoughts that plagued him. As was the way of things, and despite putting up a good fight, he eventually caved into the warm and fuzzy feeling that pure chaos gave him.

“Oh this time shall be my grandest scheme yet!” The chaos-driven draconequus pulled a simple pocket mirror from out of noone-knows-whereville, then his paw started glowing. Using dark, ancient magics that not even Starswirl the Bearded could wrap his mind around, Discord viewed into the distant past looking for one thing in particular.

Unraveling the flow of space-time was an easy task for the Chaos Lord, and he loved to do it just to see what kind of timeline would be born. In a twist of irony, the current Equestria was born from the last time he attempted this, so he was more cautious with his approach ever since. Making the years in the mirror go by like dust in the wind, he paused it when he saw what he seeked.

———————————
For many eons ago, before the three tribes of ponies even knew the others existed, there was a young bard that played for the mighty griffin king known as King Gale. He was a mighty king, and rumors had floated around that he had slayed five dragons in one fight during the First Scalchan War that the dragons had won after several decades of hard fighting. After the war ended in defeat, King Gale became bitter, and resorted to listening to his bard’s tunes.

“Screw Loose!” King Gale said summoning the bard, who was always at the ready for her king’s call. “Play me a tune if you would be so kind.”

The smaller griffin bowed as she pulled out her lute. “Of course my king, anything in particular?”

“Hmm…” Gale scratched his chin as he pondered. “How about something different for a change, have you practiced anything in private?”

“Actually I have,” Screw Loose said as she pulled away on the strings, doing random chords as a way to tune and warm up. “although I must warn you… it is kinda dark due to the fact I came up with this while thinking about how those devilish heathens defeated us.”

King Gale flinched just at the mention of his personal mortal enemies, their brutish tactics of crashing down a fiery death still plagued his dreams. “That is noted… but please play it anyway Screw Loose…”

And play she did. it started out as a fast tempo that no griffin had heard before, her wings strumming at such a rate that the poor king had no idea how Screw Loose’s feathers did not ignite. Then Screw Loose started the words…

On a hot summer’s eve,
Just as the moon turns bright...
On to a battle none can believe
As we take flight tonight…

When the flames came crashing down,
And made everyone hide in fright...
The ghastly roars shook the town,
as ashes overtook the sight…

Everything suddenly seemed off, as if the natural balance of the universe had just been knocked on its rear. The very atmosphere stirred and became heavier, more unsettling, and gave the premise of an impending doom. The sun outside had been dimmed as thick, angry clouds manifested themselves from seemingly nowhere. As Screw Loose continued to play the sensation only grew stronger, and as she hit the halfway point of her song a near-deafening explosion rocked the castle and surrounding landscape.

Getting to the window as quick as he could, King Gale looked out to see what had caused the booming, and what he saw caused the once-fearless leader’s blood to run cold. Off in the distance, a peak known to everygriff as the Misty Mountain had blown its top off. Rivers of molten distruction flowed down the sides of the mountain igniting everything in its path as a think blanket of ash and the stench of sulfur filled the air.

And Screw Loose continued to play.

As she played deeper into the song, a low rumble was heard, growing in intensity as the bard hit the next riff. The palace shook asunder, the southwestern part of the castle crumbling into dust, luckily no griffin was in that wing but there was still the issue of the tsunami of lava that was heading for the village. Acting quickly, he gathered what guards he could and had them lead a full scale evacuation to ensure his subjects’ safety.

Did we do something to make the Great Talon angry?...” King Gale thought to himself as he tried to find the cause of the sudden apocalypse. Then it hit him, everything was fine until Screw Loose started playing her song. Since she had no magic, which was a concept he only had heard of from a band of passing ponies called unicorns, he knew it was the song itself. Instinct kicked in, and since he knew Screw Loose was wrapped up in the song and showed no sign of stopping, he did the only logical thing. In a swift motion, he grabbed the lute and crushed it in his talons, which seemed to snap the young female out of the trace.

“Ugh…” Screw Loose grunted as she put a wing up to her forehead due to an onset headache. “what happened? Also, why is my lute smashed into bits? I was going to play that song for you.”

Gale blinked. Not only was his bard dealing with memory loss but the impending doom had ceased, the Equesquake had stopped and the volcano was once again sleeping peacefully. “Nevermind that, do you have the sheet music and words written down somewhere Screw Loose? If you do then I want to see them please.”

Obeying her king, the young bard swiftly departed to gather the sheets, leaving her alone to her thoughts. “I wonder why he wants them… I hope that he doesn't execute me for what I have written, or even worse EXILE ME! M-maybe I am overreacting and he just wants to look over them to make sure that it is good enough to play… hopefully...

Despite her best efforts, pure panic set in as she made her way back towards the throne room. The graceful king, her king, looked down upon her with worry and concern in his eyes. The look was gentle but stern, and even with the comforting air he presented himself with Screw Loose was still terrified, trembling to the point she shook a few of her feathers loose.

“Are these the sheets you composed for your… piece?” Gale asked, his voice calm and as comforting as he could get it to be.

“Yes my king,” Screw Loose said as she threw herself at his talons. “I am begging for mercy. You may give me any punishment that you deem fit, I just beg that you do not exile me to the farthest reaches of our territory.”

“Now why would I do a thing like that?” King Gale asked baffled, a hint of hurt seeping into his tone. “You have done nothing to warrant such repercussions to that extent. It seems that this song is evil, because not only do you have no memory of playing the potion you did, it was bringing about the apocalypse.”

“I-it… what…” Screw Loose asked, her eyes now the size of dinner plates as she quivered in fear.

Gale nodded. “Fire from the sky, brimstone, equesquake… everything mentioned in the ancient texts was coming to pass as you played. Since it seems that this song put you in a sort of trance, I am not going to directly punish you. However, I am going to take this and have it put somewhere nogriff can get to. As far as your lute goes, go have a new one made, I will personally pay for it.”

Screw Loose tightly hugged Gale before taking off to go get her new lute. After she had left, King Gale turned to his two personal guards and handed the leader the music sheets.

“Commander Glyson, I need you and Grif to go and bury this. In the storage room there should be a few empty chests normally used by me for hosting diplomatic relations. Take one and put this inside it, lock it, then one of you take the key and toss it into the bog that is in the depths of the forest. I want the one who takes the chest to go put it in the deepest chamber of the far off mountains to the southwest. By being separated, and in difficult locations, it ensures the world never has to deal with this ever again.”

Both guards bowed, but Grif raised a wing. “May I ask a question my lord?”

“You may,” Gale said nodding. “what is on your mind?”

Grif bowed in recognition. “Thank you my lord. The question is have is simple but it also carries a lot of weight, how are you going to explain what just took place to your subjects?”

King Gale’s mind crashed and rebooted several times, for he was actually stumped. It took several minutes for him to formulate a plan that would be satisfactory enough to suit the populous. “I got a solution, it was a dormant strategy from our war with the dragons that finally went off. Considering the war is over and we have not seen the dragons since, there is no need to panic and instead focus on rebuilding.”

Nodding, both guards took off to go do the tasks their king had given them while Gale went to see about preparing his public address. It was also at this moment that Discord paused the screen on his mirror, a devilish smile on his face that had his snaggletooth on full display.

—————————

“That is it!” Discord crackled cross his plane. “That will be how I finally end them once and for all! Since there is no pony record of those events, and since most griffon texts from that time are incomplete or destroyed they will not know what hit them.”

The draconequus then snapped his lion paw and teleported into the depths of the chest’s home. It was dark and gloomy, just as he liked it, and the whole crevice was coated in spider webs. Using is chaos magic, he scanned the walls for any sort of booby trap and what he found surprised him.

Not a single trap to be found…” Discord thought as he continued to look around. “Gale was awfully sure of himself that no being would dare come here. Then again, he never crossed paths with me, but his son sure was fun to mess with.

Discord smiled at the fond memories of him “playing games” with Gale’s son, King Geros, and how must he enjoyed the griffin’s descent into pure madness. So caught up was he in reminiscing, he failed to notice his surroundings, which led to him to bumping into a solid object. When he saw what it was a mischievous gleam shone in his eyes.

There, on the stone construct he bumped into, was the object that he had been searching for. The chest that held the song of the apocalypse stared back at him like a leprechaun eyeing its gold. Age had not done the chest any favors, however, for the wood was badly decayed from the humidity. In addition, the once lavish precious metals were now tarnished beyond recognition, lost to the toll of time.

All it took was him lightly touching the ancient artifact for it to crumble, revealing its treasured contents. The pages had miraculously aged quite well, for they were yellowed but not yet brittle and were able to be easily handled. Scooping them up and summoning his guitar, he plucked the first few bars to get warmed up and get the proper tuning.

As he played, he could feel the strong pulses of chaos magic radiate out with every chord, and as tempting as it was for him to continue he stopped just a few lines in. Grinning, he teleported himself to Canterlot Castle and right into the throne room, where the Royal Sisters were enjoying a bit of small talk but they stopped when they saw the sudden intruder.

“Oh hello there Discord,” Luna said with a small smile. She had been the most skeptical, or stubborn as viewed by some, that Discord was reformed but she finally accepted it after he helped defeat Chrysalis. It was a choice that she regretted not making earlier, especially with all of the pranks the two of them pulled on Celestia. “how may we help you today?”

“Oh nothing too big Lulu,” Discord replied with a soft chuckle, but its tone caused a chill to run up both alicorns’ spines. It was clear that he was up to something, nothing good, but they couldn’t figure out what.“I am just in the mood for a bit of… fun.”

Both sisters gulped, Luna from reading the archives and Celestia from first hoof experience. It had been centuries since Discord had used that particular phrasing, and last time it did not turn out well. 450 years ago, Discord had approached Celestia with that very same line…

What resulted was a bad hangover, a legal marriage, and eleven months later Cadance being born. To make the whole mess worse, the marriage agreement was airtight, to the point that divorce would mean Celestia losing her throne and title as Princess and exiled to the Badlands.

She got lucky with turning him into stone, because when he had betrayed her the first time, it invoked a special clause to the marriage agreement. That clause stated if he did anything that would threaten her well being, she could levy punishment that fit the crime.

Due to the circumstances surrounding the whole situation, it was deemed best by those involved that only Celestia and Discord would know, and the full details of the events that took place be kept in the most secured area of the archives. The only reason Luna found out was when Celestia gave her permission to catch up on everything that had happened during her banishment, and made her triple swear Pinkie Promise not to say anything to Cadance about the discovery of the classified document.

With it being a Pinkie Promise, Pinkie instantly knew of the subject, but she herself made the same promise to not say a word. However, that is when things got a little freaky to the point even Discord had backed off. According to Pinkie, Equestria was ruled by strange beings she called the “keyboard ponies”, and in the end all events were dictated by them. Before the sisters could get an explanation the party mare had left, leaving them to decide she was plain crazy.

“So… what kind of “fun” do you have in mind Discord?” Celestia asked when she quit thinking about the past and turned her attention back to the floating creature in front of her, who had made himself shaped like a triangle for some reason. “Give my sister the same “game” that you gave me those centuries ago?”

“Not at all my dear Celly,” Discord said, his tone soft as he looked into his wife’s eyes and put a paw under her muzzle, his gentle touch making the Solar Diarch hum. “I recently came across a song from time long forgotten and I want to play it for the two of you.”

Both sisters looked at each other, then at Discord, then back to each other in a silent conversation. They looked at each other in steadfast silence, but their eyes told the tale. Both were torn between caution and curiosity, but as was universal pull, the latter beat the former and both sisters nodded in agreement.

i is “I like that kind of fun,” Luna said with a wary smile, keeping her guard up but also giving Discord a short leash. “How about me and Tia grab our instruments and we can all take turns playing?”

“Sounds like a wonderful idea Luna,” Discord replied with a grin as he summoned recording equipment. “you both summon your instruments and I will patiently wait for you to get in tune.”

Less than a second later both alicorns had their instruments, Celestia her flute and Luna her trumpet, and spends the next few minutes getting warmed up. As always, they put up a soundproofing spell around the room to ensure that any “noise” created when they got competitive did not disturb the other members of the castle staff.

Celestia started on her flute, the light and soothing melody echoing through the room, making Discord feel as if he was floating on a cloud in a gentle breeze. That state of mind was flipped, however, when Luna began playing on her trumpet.

The harsh, bellowing notes coming from the endpiece told the tale of two warrior brothers in the heat of battle, one good and one evil and engaged in a fight to the death. Short, quick notes told the tale of the good brother, his motives being pure and innocent. The good brother wanted to redeem the other, to once again make his family whole and restore honor to the fallen house.

Longer, deeper notes told the story of the evil one, who became corrupted and bitter due to feeling disrespected. Every few metres, Luna switch back and forth between the two paces, signaling the parts where they were trading blows. Luna had wrote this piece herself shortly after her return, and it was very close to her due to it being a tale of her own redemption.

As always, Celestia got impatient when she felt that Luna had played long enough, leading to her flute cutting into the battle like a final weapon being unleashed to aide the hero. Back and forth the two sisters went, both of them playing harder and harder until they hit the climax of the battle.

Discord, who had been watching with amusement, chose to start strumming. Instead of playing his desired song, which he decided would follow, he stunned to the beat the sisters were providing him. Both were surprised, by themselves they sounded horrible but with Discord’s guitar providing a bridge it sounded quite good. They played until their lungs couldn’t take no more, and stopped to take a breather.

“Wow,” Celestia said as she sipped on her Camomile tea, with was her favorite brew. “that actually sounded pleasant for once. I think perhaps we need to set more time aside for the three of us to play more.”

“Indeed it did.” Luna, who was drinking coffee that was strong enough to appear as a bottomless void, nodded in agreement while turning to face their guest. “Seems all it took was something to fill in the gap between our two tones to make it seamlessly flow together into a true composition. I am glad that I took your offer Discord, this was quite enjoyable.”

Discord, to his credit, was playing his ruse quite well. He had them right were he wanted them, and although apart of him protested betraying his wife again, it was quickly bridled and silenced into submission.Snapping his talon, a tuxedo and top hat appeared on him, and he gave a small bow after removing the hat from his head and placing it over his chest.

“The pleasure was all mine my fair princesses,” Discord said as the tux and hat went away, sent back to his ethereal plane and neatly folded and pressed into his closet. He then cracked his fingers before placing them in the starting position for his master plan. “and I enjoyed it just as much as you both did. That little ballad has loosened me up, and now I am ready to play the song I originally wanted to do, that is if you both still feel like listening that is. I can understand if you don’t, for playing such glorious must have wore you both out.”

“Nonsense!” Celestia proclaimed with a small chuckle, for the first time in eons seeing Discord not as the mismatched being he appeared, but as the husband he was to her. “How about you play as me and Lulu relax to your tunes? I am sure that whatever piece it was will surprise us.”

“Oh I am sure it will Celly, after all it was me who got you to like music based on the guitar.” Discord smirked at the blush that formed on Celestia’s muzzle, but chose to continue. “Besides, I know how much you love things from the past you had no idea existed.”

“That is true,” Celestia said with a smile, surprised that Discord remembered that little fact not many knew. “you may play when you are ready.”

Giving a small nod, Discord began to rapidly strum, and as he did the room seemed to darken. Fire seemed to dance around him as he got to the middle of the introductory riff, but that is not what alarmed the sisters the most. Taking a look outside, they noticed the sun had gone dark, the moon had moved on its own accord and was perfectly outlining the Celestial disk.

The townsponies’ screams echoed through the castle and surrounding landscape, the different pitches blending into a wonderful melody for Discord’s ears as he stopped strumming right before the first verse was to be sung.

“So,” Discord asked with a sly grin as he looked at what he had caused. “did you enjoy the introduction?”

“Did I enjoy it…” It was clearly evident that Celestia was trying to contain her rage as she spoke, to the point Luna was more focused on keeping her sister under control than to beat up the draconequus. “it certainly was, um, different. I would have enjoyed it more if you didn’t cause MY PONIES TO PANIC!

The Royal Canterlot Voice made Luna flinch, but Discord seemed unfazed by it. “No need to yell Celly, I’m floating right before you. Also, I am glad you liked it because now I am going to spread this wonderful song all over Equestria.Ta-ta for now.”

With that Discord vanished, but before he did he looked into Celestia’s eyes. Her heat-filled glare melted when she saw the brief look of regret in the chaos being’s eyes. It was quick enough that she thought she imagined it, but deep down she knew that this was not just a battle for the safety of her ponies.

No, it was much more than that, and way more personal. She knew everypony’s lives hung in the balance, she knew her’s and Luna’s did as well. However, there was something else she knew, she knew she was fighting for Discord’s life… the life of her husband...