Ask Roseate Grimsbane, the Witch

by Robipony

Chapter 11 - Down the Rabbit Hole

“Bearded one; allow me to tell you of a tale, if your mind can comprehend it. Once there was an ancient mind that sought companionship in your world. After looking long and hard, Jengreth found a stallion that she loved very dearly. Even when she revealed her true form to him, his love for her never wavered.

After being united by eldritch rite and sacred ring, the two attempted to copulate. However, despite their best efforts, Jengreth was unable to bear a waking child. Filled with the desire to be a mother, Jengreth attempted to create an artifact that would ensure that her children would awake, but before she could use it her husband perished in an accident.

Heart broken, Jengreth left this world never to return, however it is believed that her legacy remains.”

A vague translation of a passage from; The Book of Salacious Tongues.

Roseate stood in front of the mirror, psyching herself up for what was about to happen. A night black dress adorned her form, with two round sapphire earrings adorning her ears.

"I just need to lure him back to the house. No big deal."

She had eaten plenty of ginger and a few potions, hoping it would allow her insides to settle, long enough to achieve what she needed to do.

'I'm not very happy about this.' Arsthotua said inside Roseate's head.

"I know, but it needs to be done," Roseate replied out loud. She’d normally use her telepathy, but hearing herself talk about necessity made everything just a little easier.

Using her magic, Roseate applied some red lipstick to her lips. Arsthotua growled in the back of her brain.

"Don't worry, I will make up for this later. I promise."

Arsthotua's rumbling grew silent. As Roseate finished applying her makeup, she saw Mittenz enter the bathroom.

"Have you learned of Lucky Lemon's whereabouts?"

"Yes, he has been hanging out a lot in a tavern at the edge of town called the Blue Dolphin.

"Thank you."

Once she was all set, Roseate left the house and wandered into town as the sun began to set and the moon rose into the darkened sky. The mare in the moon watching Roseate's movements from afar.

Entering the Blue Dolphin, Roseate's nostrils were assailed by smoke, booze and the scent of decaying fish. Inside the tavern were some rough looking stallions, a few voluptuous mares and even a couple diamond dogs. A couple stallions whistled lewdly upon noticing Roseate's arrival.

Looking around the bar, Roseate spied Lucky Lemon sitting in the corner talking to a grumpy looking mare. Taking a deep breath, Roseate walked over to him.

"Come on baby, just hear me out," Lucky groaned.

"No, I'm done! I'm not doing this anymore!" The mare barked, as soon as Roseate heard her voice, she recognized the mare as her boss, Maple Syrup.

Not wanting to be caught by her employer in this place, Roseate ducked into a shadowy area and hid.

"Are you sure you want to do that?" Lucky asked, "If your husband were to find out that those extra bits you have acquired recently, he might lose it. How long has he been abstaining from drinking?"

Maple Syrup stood up from the table, a glass toppling over in the process. "Piss off!"

Roseate watched as an angry Maple Syrup stormed off.

Annoyed by Maple's departure, Lucky Lemon looked down to his class. Seeing her opportunity, Roseate approached the table and sat down across from the stallion.

Looking up from his drink, Lucky Lemon gave Roseate a sour look. "Oh, it's you. What do you want? Trying to get me kicked out of here too?"

"I wanted to apologize."

"Apologize?" Lucky echoed, looking skeptical.

"For spurning you," Roseate answered. "I wasn't feeling well and your advances caught me by surprise. So I might have overreacted. As much as I wanted to give into your approach, I wasn't ready. But I am now."

Her words made Roseate sick, but she stood firm. To build upon the act, Roseate placed her hoof on Lucky's. The stallion gave her a suspicious look.

"What about your husband?" Lucky asked. "You seemed awfully concerned about him in the diner."

"My husband is off on a business trip and won't be back for a week," Roseate answered, "and it would be such a shame if his side of the bed were to go cold."

Lucky Lemon seemed to ponder Roseate's proposition, before a lewd smile graced his lips. "Oh, who would I be to pass down on a good time?"

As Lucky prepared to stand up, Roseate placed a hoof seductively on his snout, her stomach contorted from the contact.

"Patience," Roseate instructed. "We wouldn't want some witnesses seeing us leave at the same time."

Roseate picked up a napkin and with a spark of magic, wrote on it her address.

"Wait ten to fifteen minutes before following these instructions. Once you reach my house, knock three times."

Lucky Lemon gave Roseate a wink. "I think I can do that."

Wearing a smile as a mask, Roseate left the bar, a few whistles following her.

Once she arrived at home, Roseate proceeded to the kitchen. She took a moment to spit some of her disgust into the sink, then got on with the preparations. Hidden behind the breadbox was a vial of poisonous venom that Viper Pit had gifted her.

"Pesusteon ngi caursi jha mur stamech tos mur vion'tiph."

Normally, when taken orally, venom would be broken down by a pony's digestive system before it could even be absorbed by the body. However, with a quick little spell, that could be remedied, making the concoction more potent.

Opening a cabinet, Roseate picked out two glasses as well as a bottle of wine.

'Are you sure, you want to do this?' Arsthotua asked.

'Yes,' Roseate answered, 'I need that Balorite if I am to create the sigil.'

'That isn't what I meant. Are you sure you want to go about it this way? Harming yourself just to lure this insect into your trap.'

Roseate nodded. 'As much as this will hurt me, this route will be the most poetic.'

Arsthotua grumbled in the recesses of Roseate's mind, clearly displeased.

It was then that the sound of somepony knocking could be heard. One, two, three knocks.

'And so the ignorant fly lands. Little does it know that it will soon be trapped stuck and imobile, it would soon perish.'

The thought didn’t make her any less ill.

Placing the bottle of venom out of sight, Roseate walked to the front door. After taking a deep breath, she masked her discomfort and opened the door. Standing on the doorstep was Lucky Lemon.

"Hello," Roseate said softly, "please come in."

"Thank you," Lucky responded with a leer.

As the door closed, Roseate reached out and kissed Lucky on the lips, both shocking Lucky and selling the act. Even as she did, Roseate could feel her intestines quiver within her.

'I think I'm going to be sick.'

'You are the one that wanted to do this.'

Pulling away, Roseate put on a fake smile and chuckled. "Let's have a drink in the kitchen, then we’ll see where it goes from there."

"I suppose a drink wouldn't be so bad," Lucky Lemon said, "after all they say that the kitchen is one of the most romantic rooms in the house."

Entering the kitchen, Lucky sat down at the table, while Roseate prepared the wine.

'I'll have to remember to burn that chair, but at least the fly is now on the web.'

"This is a nice place you have here," Lucky said, eyes roaming around the room.

"Thank you."

Roseate finished pouring wine into both glasses.

"What motivated you and your husband to move out here?"


Silently, Roseate added the magically altered venom to Lucky's drink. Not enough to kill him. Just enough to fulfill her task.

"It must be lonely here, when your husband's away."

"Oh, not always." With a little giggle, Roseate brought over the glasses of wine, magically levitating Lucky's cup to him. "So, to what shall we toast?"

"I don't know." Lucky chuckled as he took the glass. "Maybe that we both can endure through the night."

'Such an ignorant fool.'

Roseate smiled. "To a long evening."

The glasses clinked as both Roseate and Lucky Lemon toasted and drank from their cups.

"So you have business with Maple?" Roseate asked.

"Yeah," Lucky grumbled in reply, "or I did, I suppose. I might have to deal with that later."

"I hope you don't mind if I ask what kind of relationship you and Maple have?" Roseate said, giving him a seductive look. As much as she hated it, Roseate wanted to know what Lucky Lemon's connection with Maple Syrup was. While she could speculate, Roseate wanted to hear the words from his own muzzle.

After taking another swig of his wine, Lucky seemed to consider what Roseate was asking, before shooting her another smile.

"Well, her husband's diner hasn't been doing so well as of late," Lucky answered. "When I heard of it, I told her that I could acquire some funds for her, in exchange for some favors."

"Favors you say?" Roseate reached out with her right hind hoof and stroked the side of Lucky's leg, her insides squirming. "Were they special favors?"

Lucky gave a slight blush. "Oh, indeed they were. Although it would seem that such favors are coming to an end. I’m more and more certain I’m going to have to do something about it."

"I wouldn't worry about her." Roseate poured more wine into Lucky's glass. "You have me now, and as long as you keep our time together a secret, you can have all the... special favors you want."  

"Yeah, I suppose you're right."

Roseate's prey gulped down some more of his drink.

"This is pretty good," Lucky said, staring at the glass. "What kind of wine is this?"

"Oh, this wine has a rather poetic name," Roseate answered, "It's called the Councilor's Blade. Have you heard of it?"

"No, can't say I have." Lucky drank some more of the wine. No doubt, trying to finish so that they could proceed to the "main event."

"It is named after a story where a councilor betrayed the princess he served. First he poisoned her drink..."

Lucky Lemon's complexion became pale as he started to lose his balance. As his glass fell, Lucky toppled out of his seat onto the floor.

"Then he plunged a dagger between her ribs."

Roseate let out a slight chuckle as her victim slipped into unconsciousness.

Roseate stood in the room examining her prey. Lucky Lemon was unconscious, seemingly bound with chains to the concrete wall, suspended by the shackles binding his forelegs.

The sound of something dripping could be heard in the distance.

Standing there, Roseate wore a black corset and black stockings. The garb exaggerating her feminine features.

'Might as well give the perv something nice to look at before his demise.' Roseate thought to herself with a grimace.

It was a bit of a cruel idea Roseate had conceived, after her body purged itself hours ago, from contact with the stallion's flesh. However it wasn't like he hadn't been asking for something like this.

Eventually Lucky's form stirred and his droopy eyes opened.

"Wh-where am I?" Lucky asked upon noticing his chains. Panic shot through his eyes as he tugged on them.

"Really? That's a rather cliche thing for you to say." Roseate said, stepping into view.

Seeing Roseate and the seductive garb she was wearing, Lucky Lemon's fearful expression changed from fear to a calm leer. "Oh, it's you. I didn't expect you to be that kind of mare. Not that I'm complaining."

“I do have a knack for punishment,” Roseate answered, “probably something rooted in my past.”

Lucky Lemon licked his lips. “Oh, I’m fine with that. In fact, I look forward to learning more.” 

Looking down, Roseate saw that something within the depraved stallion was stirring. As difficult as this whole matter was, this made it easier for Roseate to step into the mindset that she was going to need to fulfill her task. 

"I have a confession to make." Roseate said with a small, practiced sigh.

"What is it?"

"I have a terrible habit..." Roseate answered, almost sorrowfully. Looking down at the concrete floor.

"Oh, I don't mind. Bad habits can be quite... enticing."

Roseate looked back up, a sultry smile on her face. "I have a bad habit... of lying."

“That’s fine dear,” Lucky snickered, “I’ll keep your little secret, your husband doesn’t need to find out.”

“It wasn’t my husband, I was talking about.” Roseate continued to look at the floor. 

“Then who?” 

Roseate glanced up, her eyes peering into Lucky’s. 


A flash of energy erupted from Roseate's horn, dropping the illusion. When Lucky Lemon opened his eyes, he realized that he wasn't in some dank basement. His limbs were bound by tendrils against a wall of slimy flesh. The light bulb that had been hanging from the ceiling was gone, replaced by a floating green eye.

Glancing around the room, Lucky saw that there were only two light sources in the fleshy room was the single eye and the glow of Roseate's lime green irises.

"What is this place?" Lemon's panic had returned.

A tentacle emerged from the floor, forming a seat for Roseate to rest on.

"It's a special organ," Roseate answered, "one of many spaces within my husband's body. Some designed to bring pleasure to his lover, others pain to those who would harm her. This one... is both."

There was no reason for Roseate to share Arsthotua's name with Lucky Lemon, after all he wasn't going to live long enough to remember it.

More tentacles appeared, some reaching out to caress Roseate's body, but there were two large ones that loomed from the slimy roof above, both ominously pointing toward Lucky.

"What are you going to do with me?"

"It's actually quite simple," Roseate answered, "my husband is going to take pleasure in taking you apart, piece by piece."

The tendrils continued to crawl over Roseate's skin, a blush and a moan escaping her lips as one found its way to a sensitive place.

"Then he'll punish me for... the bad lit... tle filly that I am." Roseate huffed.

Like two budding flowers, the tentacles angled toward Lemon, unfolded with more glowing tentacles emerging. From one grew forth tendrils resembling thorny vines or barbed wire. The other tentacles, their ends resembling the mouths of a venus flytrap. Slowly the cruel appendages drew closer toward Lucky Lemon.

"P-please! Stop this! I'll do anything!"

A few more tentacles massaged Roseate's body.

"I'm sorry my poor little... Lemon," Roseate answered, "but somepony has to die and... you've angered my husband. So there will be no salvation for you."

Even as Roseate gasped at her husband's touch, the appendages meant to bring about Lucky Lemon's bitter end, grasped for his flesh. Needles piercing his flesh.

"No! Please!"

Roseate knew that his death would be a long and painful one and while she wasn't too fond of what was happening, she knew it had to be done. Somepony had to die in order for Roseate to gain that Balorite from the society, at least this way, somepony who had been causing her problems would be the one to pay. Even as the moment of vengeance drew near, the thought of it made her feel so empty. 

Fortunately, Roseate would have her husband to distract her, as another tentacle embraced her. 

'I wonder which will break first,' Roseate pondered with a hint of sorrow, 'his mind or his body.'

That was the last coherent thought, Roseate had as all Arsthotua's tentacles went about doing their tasks.

Roseate lay on a bed of tentacles, her body covered in a slick coat of green slime. Her chest rose and fell with her panting.

Three green eyes appeared above looking down at her. "How do you feel?"

"Soooo much better," Roseate moaned in response.

A tentacle moved toward Roseate's chest, which she hugged gently.

"So what happens now?"

"Now I prepare to journey into the depths."

"You don't have to do this," Arsthotua said, "maybe there is another way."

"If there is, I can't find it," Roseate replied, "and we're running out of time."

Aside from the sound of dripping slime and squirming tendrils, the room was quiet. Arsthotua's eyes gazed into hers and Roseate gazed back.

"You know I would do everything in my power to protect you."

Roseate beamed weakly. "I know."

Another moment of silence filled the chamber as the two lovers watched one another.

"Well, there is no guarantee we will be doing this again, so..." Roseate licked the side of the tentacle she was embracing. "Ready for another round?"  

The next day in the diner, while Roseate was tending to the customers in a waitress outfit more her size, she heard the recent rumors circling the town.

"Did you hear what happened to Lucky Lemon?" One would ask. "Apparently, he died last night."

"How did it happen?"

"Nopony is sure. I heard that when they found him, his body was a husk, his insides completely liquefied."

"I heard that every orifice on his body was sealed shut, even his... well... you know."

"Somepony told me that he had been skinned alive."

"Another pony said that his eyes and tongue were missing and it was like some creature ate him from the inside out."

Numerous hushed whispers echoed around the diner, their stories never fully aligning but some drawing slightly close to the truth. A truth that only Roseate, Arsthotua and Lucky Lemon's grotesque remains knew.

As Roseate went about her work she thought she could feel the eyes of others on her. Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she could see the customers silently stare at her, yet when she turned to face them, they would appear to be minding their own business.

Maybe it was just paranoia brought about by the guilt for taking the life of another. Maybe it was the cult. Perhaps they were concerned about what she might do next, and had decided to keep an eye on the witch in her territory.

If that was the case, then hopefully they were considering Lucky an example of what could happen to those who messed with Arsthotua's beloved.

While Roseate considered this, she noticed one of her students sitting at a table: Quillian Inkheart.

"Hello Quillian," Roseate greeted, "what would you like to eat today?"

"I'll just have some orange juice," Quillian answered.

"Alright, one glass of orange juice, coming right up!"

Going to the kitchen, Roseate went to fetch a glass from one of the cabinets. As she picked up the glass, her magic momentarily faltered, causing the cup to fumble before shattering on the floor.

For a brief moment the room was silent.

"Roseate are you okay?" Sugar Zap asked, looking over from the meal he was cooking on the fryer.

"Yes, I'm fine."

As Roseate found a broom and dustpan, she couldn't help but feel upset with herself. While she hurriedly swept up the shards of broken glass, Maple Syrup hurried to Roseate's side.

"Are you alright?" Maple asked with a worried expression. "You aren't hurt are you?"

"No, I'm fine, I just dropped a cup is all." Roseate mumbled, as she swept up the mess.

"Maybe you should take a break." Maple Syrup suggested.


Maple Syrup gave Roseate a slight smile. "I know you're trying to be mature about this. A couple days ago a stallion tried to force himself upon you, only to show up dead this morning."

'Oh, dear. Does she know? How?' Roseate panicked internally. 'Had she spotted me in the tavern after all?'

"I'm sure you're feeling a little confused. A part of you is probably happy that he's dead. At the same time, another part of you is probably upset for thinking of such thoughts, and it's totally reasonable to feel that way. Lucky Lemon was a bad stallion, a manipulator that took what he wanted without a second thought. There are many mares in Muleport that are glad to know that he is no longer going to be an issue they have to deal with on a daily basis."

Hearing Maple Syrup say this, Roseate remembered seeing her in the Blue Dolphin with Lucky. No doubt she was speaking from experience with the vile stallion. The sad guilty look Maple gave her husband who was cooking, completely oblivious to the matter, confirmed Roseate's theory.

Maple took a deep breath. "I'm just trying to say that you shouldn't push yourself is all."

"Okay, I’ll keep that in mind, Maple."

Roseate gave a hard, inward sigh. There was no indication that Maple Syrup had suspected Roseate's involvement in Lucky's death.

"Why don't you finish your current order and take a break, okay?" The older mare said with a kind look.

"Yeah, I can do that." Roseate nodded, returning the look in kind.

Once the shattered remains of the cup were cleaned up, Roseate was able to secure a new glass and brought Quillian his orange juice.

"Here you go."

Roseate set down the beverage, however Quillian still had a worried expression.

"Miss Roseate, can I ask you something?" Quillian asked, staring at his glass instead of her.

Hearing Quillian's request, Roseate sat down across from him. Remembering that Quillian's body had some shape shifting properties, Roseate felt some concern for her former student.

"Is everything alright?" Roseate asked, "You're not having problems maintaining your... shape, right?"

"No, I can still control it."

"Good," Roseate said, "then what is the matter?"

Quillian breathed deeply. "Miss Roseate, are you okay?"

Well, this was a strange case of deja vu. First, Maple Syrup and now Quillian.

"Why do you ask?"

"I've just noticed recently, after you stopped teaching us that you've been more distant."

Roseate pondered what Quillian was saying and realized that to an extent he was right. After losing her job, Roseate had to be more aloft out of professionalism. Furthermore the threat of that which lurked beneath the Swanling House, her focus had been elsewhere.

"I suppose that is true," Roseate answered with a small chuckle. "I've had a lot to think about lately."

"Can I help?"

Roseate examined her concerned student, a small smile gracing her face. Quillian's selfless concern for her felt genuine and sweet. A part of her wished she could just take Quillian to be her own child. To watch the colt grow up and harness the full potential of his abilities. Yet Roseate knew that it couldn't be.

Even if Roseate could adopt Quillian, she didn't have her husband's permission and it would be cruel to separate Quillian from his sister. On top of all of that, there were other matters that would make such an adoption difficult. Like a potentially hostile cult or an eldritch being threatening the planet's existence.

"Thank you,' Roseate replied with a shake of her head, "but you've already done more than enough for me simply by showing your concern."

Quillian smiled, seemingly uplifted by Roseate's appreciation.

"A few of the other students and I have started a club."

"Really? What kind of club?"

For a brief moment, it looked as if Quillian was actually going to tell her, before pausing.

"I actually can't say," Quillian answered, looking back down. "It's sort of a secret club."

"Oh, well in that case I understand completely," Roseate said in a hushed tone, leaning in and narrowing her eyes secretively. "A secret club that ponies talk about isn’t much of a secret club, now would it."

Both Roseate and Quillian giggled at the statement.

Unfortunately, the heartwarming moment had to come to an end as a certain solar guard walked up.

"Hello," Frost Brook said, "kiddo, do you mind if I talk with Mrs Grimsbane for a moment?"

Quillian looked at Roseate worriedly, and she gave him a brief nod.

"It's fine, take your drink with you."

After Quillian left the booth, Frost Brook sat down in front of Roseate in Quillian’s seat. An angry knot formed in Roseate’s stomach at him, not only for obvious reasons, but also for interrupting such a wonderful moment.

"So Mrs. Grimsbane, I'm sure you've heard of Mr. Lemon's death."

"I have, so what?"

The detective pulled out a folder and examined its contents.

"It's an odd case," Frost said, "the coroner described it as if every cell in his body was unzipped. Personally I would say it looked like each organ was popped like an overly inflated balloon, and apparently there are others who would describe it differently. Don't you find that a bit strange how numerous ponies can see a corpse and describe it so differently?"

"I don't know. You could speculate it being the result of trauma or alternate perspectives. Personally, I haven't seen the body, so there is no way for me to describe it." Roseate lied glibly.

"I suppose so," Frost replied, "but the one thing that doesn't change is the fact that he assaulted you, two days ago, and then last night somepony spotted you both at the Blue Dolphin."

"Sir, are you trying to indicate that I had something to do with his death?"

"No," Frost answered, "as suspicious as your presence at that seedy bar is, there is currently no evidence incriminating you in Lucky Lemon's death."

"Then why do you wish to speak with me?"

"Because I want to know why you were there that night. Why were you at the Blue Dolphin with the deceased, the evening he died?"

Roseate thought about what to say, a little white lie forming in her mind. Just a little taste to hopefully push the inspector off her back.

"I must confess that I was there to... talk with Lucky Lemon."

"Really?" Frost Brook pulled out a notepad and began to jot down notes. "What about?"

"I am not at liberty to say. I was there to intercede on the behalf of a friend."

Roseate looked down at the table sorrowfully. It wasn't quite crocodile tears, but it would work.

"And who is this friend?" Frost asked.

"I can't say. I will not betray her trust. Now if you will excuse me, I best be returning to my work."

Standing up from the booth, Roseate was making her way back to the kitchen when the detective spoke up.

"Just one more thing, Mrs. Grimsbane," Frost said, "please don't leave Muleport. Understood?"

In the end it wouldn't matter. If Roseate didn't fulfill her task, there would be no Muleport to stay in.


Returning home from work, Roseate walked up the stairs to the mirror room. The deed was done, now it was time for the Lavender Princess to pay up.

After some quick preparations, Roseate setup the ritual to create another door to the Hellion Society.

With a violet flash, a metal door with the contorted forms of mares and stallions writhing in anguish and pleasure, appeared in the center of the room. As the door opened a gray haze drifted out along with the shape of a pony.

The demon mare entered the room carrying a black suitcase on her back.

"The deed is done." Roseate said aloud to the demon and whoever else might be listening.

The demoness nodded and set the suitcase on the floor. Long black legs appeared from the sides of the container and walked over to Roseate. Once it was in front of Roseate, the case opened revealing a small green sphere inside. Pulling the stone from the case, Roseate examined it.

It contained facets like thousands of green eyes, all staring back at her with immense power. This was indeed, Balorite.

"Is this satisfactory, ma'am?" The demoness asked.

Roseate nodded, "Yes, this will suffice."

The demoness bowed and the suitcase crawled back to her. Walking backwards the demon mare returned from where she came and in a flash the door was gone. Only a few wisps of fumes floating in the air.

Now that she had the Balorite, it was time for Roseate to make the sigil. Pulling out her cauldron and the other components needed, Roseate began to ritual.

Sitting in front of the cauldron, the ingredients in hoof. As the cauldron boiled, Roseate dropped in the ruby root, three summer moth wings, black sulfur, the moonstone shard and the Balorite. The boiling mass within wriggled and writhed, changing into a glowing blue sludge. Slowly the sludge began to congeal into a dark metallic sphere, the symbol of the mare in the moon forming in the metal.

At least the Sigil of the Mare in the Moon had been formed.

Now fully constructed, the sigil hovered in the air over the cauldron, a deep hum resonating from the sphere. Reaching out a hoof, Roseate picked up the sigil and attached it to her athame. The edge of the dagger's blade glowing with a faint blue tint.

"The sigil is complete," Roseate said, "now I just need to finish up my preparations."  

There was a knock at the front door, causing Roseate to pause. Who could it be? What did they want?

Carefully Roseate walked to the front door and looked through the peephole. Standing on the other side was Moonlight Raven, a black satchel resting over her shoulder.

"I wonder what she wants?" Roseate grumbled.

Suspiciously Raven cocked her head almost as if she had heard what Roseate had said. As Roseate opened the door, the faint hint of a smile graced Moonlight Raven's lips.

"Hello, miss Grimsbane."


"I would like to speak with you," Raven said, "Can I come in?"

Roseate was unsure how to answer. While she didn't trust Moonlight Raven, Roseate also knew that in-hospitality would seem very suspicious.

Putting on a smile, Roseate stepped to the side. "Come in."

Moonlight Raven walked in and Roseate closed the door. Roseate escorted her most recent visitor to the living room.

"Please take a seat," Roseate said, "would you like something to drink?"

"No, I'm fine, thank you." Raven said as she sat down on the coach.

Roseate sat down in her chair. "So, what is it you would like to talk to me about?"

Raven looked Roseate in the eye, "I know that you're a witch."

For a moment, Roseate's heart stopped. Regaining her mental composure she let out a hearty laugh. "Oh, Raven you are so funny!"

Raven didn't laugh. She merely let out a sigh. "Look I just need your help with something."

This wasn't good. If Moonlight Raven knew that Roseate Grimsbane was a witch there was so much at stake. One way or another, Raven might need to be silenced.

Roseate's smile faded. "If you genuinely believe that I am a witch, then you should know that I can't have you going around talking about it. That if you were to betray me, that there would be disastrous consequences."

"I know," Raven answered, "I am also taking a risk, if word went out that I had communed with a witch, my career could potentially come to an end as well."

Roseate could recall hearing somepony mention that Moonlight Raven was an author of sorts.

"Still, if we are going to be discussing anything further, then I will need something to serve as collateral."


"Yes, something of yours that I can hold onto to insure your loyalty."

"I don't think I have anything a witch would want, however..." Moonlight Raven blushed. "I suppose I could give you my body."

"What?" Roseate raised an eyebrow.

"Well, I just thought that you might be able to cast a spell on me that would insure my cooperation, like a curse or mutation."

Roseate pondered the idea. While she didn't necessarily need to curse Moonlight Raven, she might be able to make use of her.

"I will consider your offer, depending upon what it is you desire."

"Technically it's a who?"


Was this another mare trying to make some rich, handsome stallion fall in love with her? Roseate really didn't have time for this.

Raven nodded. "Several years ago, my half sister ran away from home and I have been looking for her since."

From her satchel, Moonlight Raven brandished a photograph and showed it to Roseate. In the image there were three fillies. One a younger Moonlight Raven, the second a unicorn filly with a pink coat and golden mane. Then last was a smaller filly with a pale blue coat, black mane and a pair of glasses, however what really grabbed Roseate's attention was that unlike the other two fillies, she was a pegasus.

"Mixed race marriage?" Roseate asked.

"Yes," Raven answered, "after our mother passed away, our father married a pegasus and our sister, Sky Blazer was born."

Looking at the picture, Roseate could see that while all three were smiling, that there was an air of animosity around them.

"And I'm guessing the three of you didn't get along."

"Sunny Smiles and I were often teased for our father marrying a pegasus. When Sky Blazer was born, it added fuel to the fire. Even though it wasn't her fault, we resented her for that. The night before her disappearance, I had said some things to her that I wish I hadn't. The next day, she was gone."

"Did she run away?" Roseate asked.

"It is possible," Raven answered. "According to the teachers she had done to class that day, but after that there was no sign of her."

"And you've been searching for her all this time."

"Not entirely. Numerous times the trail went cold and I had to move on with my life. So I became a writer."

"So what brought you here to Muleport?"

"Well, on a few occasions I would hear a rumor of somepony matching my sister's description living here in Muleport. So I would visit occasionally, however I could never find her. The townsfolk wouldn't talk to me about it at all. Then recently I had heard that one of Sky Blazer's classmates was now working as a teacher here, however when I came to meet her, I learned that she had disappeared as well."

So Ginger Fizzle had been one of Sky Blazer's fellow students.

"At first I thought that the trail had gone cold once more," Raven continued, "but once I knew you were a witch, I knew I had to try speaking with you."

"I see; and what made you think I was a witch?"

"Oh, it's my special talent," Moonlight Raven explained. "I possess the ability to sort of feel any residual supernatural energy around others. It has been very useful in my writing."

Roseate crossed her legs, trying to create the appearance that in spite of Raven's abilities, it was Roseate who was in charge here. She was the one in control and if Raven really wanted her help, she would realize that. 

"So you're wanting me to use my abilities and resources to find your half sister. Is that it?"

"I would truly appreciate it, if you could."

Sitting back in her chair, Roseate thought about Moonlight Raven's offer. On one hoof she didn't have time; on the other Raven could be a valuable ally. A smile grew upon her face as an idea popped into her head.

"Very well," Roseate said, "I will accept your offer and take your body as collateral."

"Thank you." Raven closed her eyes.

"What are you doing?"

"Just patiently waiting for you to do whatever it is you desire to do to me."

Roseate stood up with a chuckle. She probably should have phrased that better. Not wasting any time, she walked over to Raven and lifted the mare's chin with her right hoof.

"I'm not going to do anything to your body," Roseate said, "but I do have a task for you to perform. If you fail to commit, then I won't grant you your wish."

Leaning forward, Roseate put her mouth next to Moonlight Raven's ear and whispered her instructions.

Roseate sat down in front of the mirror, the lights slowly beginning to fill in the black void beyond. Depending on what happened later, this might be the last time, Roseate would be able to talk with those on the other side of the Scryial.

"Hello, everypony." Roseate smiled, covering up a deeper grief. "Let's answer some questions, shall we?"

Sentinel053 asked: "Dear roseate have you ever met the DoomSlayer?"

"No, I can't say I have."

RageRammer asks: "Trixie's fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat!..."

As the absurd questions was being asked, images of a rotund, blue unicorn with a purple magician's outfit appeared on the glass. Judging from the way the images were drawn, Roseate would have said that they were created by somepony with the art skill of a two year old.


Avendrial asks: "How does the Scryial work? Of course we're listening! As always, thank you."

"The Scryial is a magical communication device that allows for inter-dimensional communication. While I don't know fully how it works, it’s been explained to me as functioning similar to a magnet and a telephone. I didn't design the Scryial, I merely uncovered it during my adventures."

Bad Dragon asks: "Can you use magic to masturbate?"

"While I certainly can use my magic to... please myself, the real question you really should be asking is..." A green tentacle emerged from the darkness and rubbed Roseate's cheek. "Do I need to?"

RageRammer asks: "Trixie's fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat!..."

"Could you please stop," Rosate asked, "this is really annoying."

Quillian Inkheart asks: "Is this Hellion Society a trans-dimensional society, or one within your plane of existence exclusively? If it's the former, would it be possible to encounter alternate versions of yourself? Of others you know?"

"The simple answer to your question would be, yes. From what I've gathered almost every version of Equestria has a Tartarus and every single Tartarus is in some way linked to the realm of Infernis. It is in that place that the society meets."

Roseate scratched her chin.

"As for meeting an alternate version of yourself it is possible, but unlikely. In order to become a member of the society you have to be invited and the demon ponies go through a lot of paperwork to ensure that the pony being invited is truly qualified to join."

Ri2 asks: "Also, this Hellion Society is pretty creepy. How does one become a member? And how does one become a slave?"

"Since I partially answered this question through Quillian's inquiry, I will address the areas that I didn't," Roseate replied, "Infernis is a realm of pain and torment, a world where the souls of evil ponies reside for all eternity. Well, sort of. It is said that from the flames, the society will pluck those they find interesting."

Roseate gave a slight smile.

"Think of it like one of those games with the metal claw that you use to fish for plushies. You simply find the pony you want, spend as much time and resources as you can to pull them in. Then they become a slave for the society to torment for as long as they please. Of course, I have also heard of ponies willingly becoming slaves, but I'm not sure I understand why."


"While I can certainly make a potion to remedy that ailment..." Roseate answered, "I'm not sure when I'll be able to get around to making it, under the current circumstances."

RageRammer asks: "Trixie's fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat!..."

"..." Roseate growled at the question’s presence.

Airy Words asks: "Is it true that your husband cannot join you in the realms you travel to in your dreams?"

"While there are certain circumstances where my husband can mingle with my dreams, the realm of dreams is outside of his control."

Ri2 asks: "And what happened to this version of Twilight Sparkle to make her turn out this way?"

Roseate shrugged. "Who can say? As far as I know she is the only one who knows for certain."

RageRammer asks: "Trixie's fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat! Trixie's Fat!..."

As Roseate gazed into the Scryial, a single, cruel curse came to her mind. Before she knew it, her lips were muttering that fateful chant.

"Bennon't gos an’sr tisti't shrovil ngi an’sr awn ‘fhelme cansumi't an’sr intreol't fu chapstock'tesh."

The mirror flickered as the curse was spoken.

"Bennon't gos an’sr tisti't shrovil ngi an’sr awn ‘fhelme cansumi't an’sr intreol't fu chapstock'tesh."

As the glass flickered, the images that had been bombarding the Scryial slowly began to change. The drawn unicorn's eyes became black and began to drip inky fluid.

"Bennon't gos an’sr tisti't shrovil ngi an’sr awn ‘fhelme cansumi't an’sr intreol't fu chapstock'tesh."

The fat mare's illustrated mouth opened revealing a dark chasm filled with shards of glass, metal and bone. The drawn monstrosity looked hungry.

"Bennon't gos an’sr tisti't shrovil ngi an’sr awn ‘fhelme cansumi't an’sr intreol't fu chapstock'tesh."

The glass changed to pure black, before returning to normal.

"Oops." Roseate gave a mischievous chuckle. "My bad."

Airy Words asks: "How is it that the Lavender Princess knew so much about you, your students, the cult in Muleport, your encounter with Lucky Lemon, etc.?  The breadth and extent of her knowledge are beyond suspicious, though perhaps my perceptions are clouded by analogs among mortal beings."

"It is concerning, though since my status is still that of a member of the Hellion Society, it wouldn't be shocking for her to have the means to research my background when learning of my desire to speak with her. After all, one only seeks out the Lavender Princess if they want a favor... or to be a living pillow."

Olden Bronie asks: "Are your powers more on a unicorn level or an alicorn level? Or are they more of a combination of unicorn and earth pony?"

"Without my husband's magic, I wouldn't even be on par with an earth pony. The magic that Arsthotua has given me, while alien, would be equivalent to that of a unicorn. Now while I am not sure if they hold up to alicorn standards, I do know some powerful rituals."

As the questions died down, Roseate knew that it was time to prepare for the ominous task ahead. From her closet, Roseate pulled forth a bottomless saddlebag, a magical trinket that she had uncovered along her journeys. It was made with black leather and purple velvet. On each side was a golden clasp with a white gem in the center.

It was a special carrying case that could store up to twenty times a saddlebag's normal carrying capacity, preserving its contents in a small pocket dimension.

However using such an item had a cost.

Setting the saddlebag down, Roseate sat down and held out her left forehoof to it.

"Well, come on now," Roseate said, "we don't have all night."

From out of the saddlebag came forth a creature resembling a black slug with a long, slender neck, with no eyes and ears like that of a bat. Drawing close to Roseate's outstretched hoof, the creature seemed to sniff her flesh, before a thin mouth opened revealing two white fangs.

Roseate winced as the teeth pierced her flesh. Then slowly the saddlebag began to suck, drawing forth Roseate's blood into itself. Looking at the clasp, Roseate watched as the pale white crystal slowly turned red.

Once the gem pulsed a deep crimson, the fangs withdrew from her flesh, a pair of circular marks remaining where the creature had bitten her. Now having it's fill, the satchel's slimy head returned to the interior of the container.

With her bottomless saddlebag's hunger satisfied, Roseate placed within a large glass jar filled with a clear, bluish liquid.

Now that she finished that, Roseate could prepare the rest of her supplies. In addition to her newly crafted sigil, Roseate placed next to her bag, a cloak for protection along with the gas mask she had been given as a gift.

As Roseate gathered these objects, Mittenz walked in.

"You're going to fight that thing, aren't you?" Mittenz asked.

"Yes, I am."

"Let me come with you." Mittenz urged.

"No," Roseate answered, "No, I need you here."

Roseate considered bringing her Isidria with her, however it then occurred to her that if the witch was there, that they might try claiming the tomb for themselves. No, the world would be much safer with the Isidria here.

With the last of her supplies in her satchel, Roseate proceeded to the door.

"Goodbye, my master." Mittenz said as Roseate began to leave.

Hearing her familiar's farewell, Roseate turned and looked at the cat, a tear running down her cheek.

"Look after the children while I am gone, alright."

And with that said, Roseate departed.

Standing outside the Swanling House, Roseate examined the building's decaying architecture. The structure looked like a sickly maw, drawing her into its gullet. After putting on the gas mask and donning her hood, Roseate stepped inside and made her way back to the hole she had seen in her previous exploration.

Those ancient marble statues seemed to be watching Roseate as she wandered through the halls.

Reaching the hole, Roseate peered inside. It was like looking down the throat of a giant beast, eager to swallow her whole.

"Well, that could be helpful." Roseate said, her voice muffled slightly by the gas mask.

Along the side of the hole was a small path that spiraled downwards the grooves created by a large screw in a piece of wood. Cautiously, Roseate stepped onto the path and began her descent into the darkness below. On the sides of the wall were more of Fog Tail's suggestive artwork of Mistmane, carved into stonework.

As Roseate descended deeper into the depths, the carved form of Mistmane's salacious body continued downward, their shape gradually shifting into that of worms. Their sides indented with numerous mouths and thousands upon thousands of stone eggs, bearing the carved young of something resembling infant ponies and flies. Eventually the pit bottomed out into a tunnel.

Roseate continued to follow the tunnel with only the light of her horn illuminating the path. Soon she found herself in another wide chamber with another large pit in the center. Walking over to the side, Roseate gazed down into the gaping hole. Down below was a faint orange glow and up from the depths came the sound of a heartbeat.

"So you're finally here." Came a feminine voice from behind her.

Turning around, Roseate found herself facing a mare wearing black robes, however upon further examination, Roseate knew who hid beneath the hood.

"Snow Berry."

The mare chuckled as her hood came off, a slight smile on her face. "Yes, here I am."

"So you're the witch responsible for summoning this beast."

Snow Berry's horn glowed orange as she pulled forth a thick tome, with thousands of spider-like legs covering its gray cover.

"You'd be correct," Snow Berry answered, "I have taken what I needed from the cult and with my Drihpihs, I have summoned a great Piihs to grant my wish."

Roseate knew that no good could come of this. While the Piihs might grant Snow Berry her wish, it would be at the cost of all life on this planet as the Piihs fed and nourished its offspring with Equestria's inhabitants.

"You're a fool," Roseate growled. "It will grant your wish and leave you in a dying world."

"Maybe so, but I'll have my brother again."

The way, Snow Berry talked about this matter, disgusted Roseate.

"What makes you think you are worthy to contest me, you incestuous brat?" Roseate challenged, "I have been a witch since before your mother conceived thee!"

Snow Berry smiled. "Because I know your weakness."

There was a static charge in the air as something shimmered into existence around them. A massive monstrous shape materialized, filling the room. Seeing those dreaded coils, fear gripped Roseate's heart.


Snow Berry chuckled gleefully at Roseate's response. "The Piihs wasn't the only being that answered my call. Your Tantabus heeded it also, and with it the perfect sacrifice."

Finally Roseate understood why she had felt an urge to come to Muleport, why her dreams had compelled her here. The Tantabus, that astral parasite bound to her soul had lured her here under the influence of this witch. Somehow she had brought HIM here.

"Sacrifice?" Roseate whispered.

"Yes, you see the Tantabus and I have a deal," Snow Berry explained, "He will nourish the Piihs and in exchange he will have your mind all for himself."

"Do you have any idea what that entails?" Roseate growled.

"I don't know and I don't care. Because in the end, he gets what he wants and I get what I want."

"I'll make you pay for this!"

Roseate shot forth a beam of magic toward Snow Berry, only for HIS body to move in the way. Snow Berry let out a hideous laugh.

"Now if you will excuse me," Snow Berry said, "I have a reunion to prepare for. As for you, your time is up!"

A part of the massive worm-like body reached out and slammed into Roseate, pushing her over the edge into the pit. Snow Berry's laugh echoed throughout the chasm as Roseate fell.

As Roseate plummeted into the depths, she couldn't help but curse herself for her foolishness. Surely she should have seen this coming.

"So stupid!"

Soon Roseate felt herself impacting a wall of flesh. She slid down the slimy surface before tumbling and landing on a squishy mound, covered with what felt like sharp rocks. A sharp pain radiated through her left hind leg.


Reaching down Roseate felt something jagged piercing her flesh, like a broken bone.

After taking a series of deep breaths, Roseate fueled her horn with magic, illuminating her surroundings. As her horn glowed, she realized that the left lens of her gas mask was cracked, potentially damaged by the fall. Looking down at her wound, Roseate realized that the bone sticking out of her leg wasn't hers.

Glancing around, Roseate discovered that she was at the edge of a chamber filled with bones; some belonging to the local wildlife, while others clearly belonging to ponies, and all covered in a thick green slime.

With her magic, Roseate pulled out the bone shard lodged in her leg. Pain radiated from the wound as the bone fragment was pulled free.

"Gah!" Roseate gritted her teeth.

As Roseate tried to lift herself up, she noticed that her horn wasn't the only source of light in this chamber. Hanging from the ceiling was a fleshy cocoon, the shape of something massive within, pulsing with an orangish light. At the base of the cocoon was a mouth filled with razor sharp teeth. Reaching from the bottom of the pulsating sack were numerous tendrils, their undersides covered with teeth, each searching the bone pile for sustenance. One loomed closer to Roseate.

"Alenag farth yj haly ethemiav!"

Summoning forth her athame, Roseate slashing at the tentacle, the cut glowing blue from the effects of the sigil.

A violent screech echoed through the chamber, shaking everything inside as well as the confines of her mind. Despite this she held fast.

The Piihs's tendrils recoiled, encircling the cocoon, protecting its fragile interior. Roseate smiled at the weak gesture. With her attack, she had marked the beast with her sigil. With her magic, Roseate brandished the sigil.

"Be gone, by the sigil of the mare in the moon, I uproot thee from this world. Zabrieth an’sr lest yog fob’th warld''t eiresh!"

Yet as she spoke those words, nothing happened. Confused Roseate looked at her sigil, its blue light fading to black. Even as she examined the Piihs's injury, she could see the blue glow fading away.

The sigil had failed and now she was trapped in the depths. As Roseate pondered what to do next, a sound caught her attention.

There was a cacophony of roars and screams coming from all around her. Examining her surroundings and observing the numerous holes honeycombed through the chamber, Roseate realized there was more than one way in.

Then like a swarm the beasts began to pour forth, oversized rabbits with jagged claws, horns and teeth. She had harmed their queen, their mother and now they were going to rip her to shreds and add her to the bone pile.

Seeing the encroaching horde, Roseate fired off a few beams of energy into the swarm, hitting some of the beasts. Despite her attacks they continued to charge toward her.

Pumping as much magic as she could into her horn, Roseate began to create a sphere of black and purple energy above her. The orb swelling until it was the size of a full grown manticore. Even then, Roseate tried to fuel the spell with as much magic as she could.

As one of the creature's claws gashed her shoulder, Roseate let out a pained cry before releasing the spell.

The sphere dropped and once it made contact with Roseate, a tidal wave of purple energy rippled out from her, throwing the horde back with deadly force. Even as the shock wave ended, many of the beasts screeched as their bodies were singed by otherworldly fire.

Roseate breathed heavily as she surveyed the massacre. As another roar echoed through the chamber, it became very clear that despite the amount of damage her spell had wrought, it wasn't enough.

One of the beasts lumbered toward her and even as she slashed at it with her sacred instrument, Roseate felt the claws of another as it pushed her to the ground. In a matter of seconds, the creatures surrounded Roseate, the Piihs's children swarming her. Enraged the beasts used their claws and fangs to tear into her flesh. Peering through the spaces between them, she could see the shape of a worm-like creature filling the room, the sound of something chittering filled her ears. As Roseate lay there bleeding on the floor a realization came over her.

She was dying and soon so would the world around her.

'I'm sorry, my children...' Roseate breathed her last. 'I failed.'

'No. No. I won't let this happen. Not again. Never again.'