Past the yellow and purple checkered skies and beyond the land of floating, spinning houses and flying blue frogs there sat an ominous castle sitting atop a mountain. Everypony knew that it was tantamount to suicide to even look in its direction, lest that they wish to incur the wrath of their lord and master. Piranha-headed beasts with the bodies of bears and the pincers of crabs guarded the castle's entrances and exits, the "pirbearcrabs" gnashing their teeth and snapping their claws at even the most innocuous of disturbances, from delivery ponies to butterflies. The few ponies that were allowed access to the Chaos Master's domain spoke of gravity-defying staircases and passageways that lead, hopefully, to nowhere, or worse, to realms of unspeakable horrors. There were many that were never heard from again and perhaps it was for the best. All of Equestria-or "Discordtopia"-already feared the draconequus enough as it is.
Discord, the Master of Mayhem, lounged in a Tilt-A-Whirl throne atop a staircase sandwiched between piles of baby pony dolls. Garbed in a purple pinstripe suit, he glumly rested his chin upon his lion's paw, his bird talons wrapped tightly around an upside down glass of chocolate milk. Below him, a pink earth pony mare was bouncing on top of a giant rubber ball, a jester's hat clamped down on her head. Normally, Pinkie Pie was a bundle of unbridled joy but the heavy collar and chain leash, coupled with her drooping gray mane and downcast eyes were heavy indicators of her depressed state. Despite this, she bent over backwards (sometimes literally) to please her master, juggling, leaping and cartwheeling around the throne room, sometimes for hours on end.
Pinkie Pie stopped in midair, allowing the ball to roll out from underneath her before she collided face-first with the black licorice floor. Discord shook his head. He'd still have yet to figure out how she managed to defy physics like that and it bothered him to no end. It could be some sort of rudimentary chaos magic that the earth pony had somehow gained access to. Perhaps that was why he felt the need to make her his personal slave. He HATED the idea of someone else having chaos magic. That was his power and his alone! This clown would be exactly that: a clown. His clown.
The crowd of Discord-clones all gasped and chattered amongst themselves but Discord simply ignored them. Pinkie Pie picked herself off of the floor and rubbed at her chafing flesh beneath the collar. "Master? Why did you make me stop?"
"Because you fail to amuse me, you idiot!"
Pinkie Pie flinched from his tone. "B-b-but I do everything you like! I contort my body into all kinds of shapes, I smashed watermelons with a hammer, I tell stand-up and knock-knock jokes. What am I doing wrong?"
The glass in his paw shattering, sending chocolate milk dripping down his curled fingers. Discord rose from his throne, his chest heaving with anger as fire literally burned in his eyes. "You're being mopey! You're supposed to be this super party-pony and annoying ball of sunshine but you can't even manage a polite smile for me! Me, your master!" The staircase steps cracked with each step until he towered over the whimpering mare. "You should be grateful! I was going to banish you to the Puppet Dimension but instead, I gave you honor of being my personal entertainer. But you can't even do that right!"
Tears poured down Pinkie Pie's cheeks. "P-please, I'm sorry..."
"'Sorry' isn't going to butter the parsnip!"
SNAP! Where Pinkie Pie once stood, there was instead a floating pink marble, which zoomed into Discord's waiting paw. "Ahhh, much better!" Discord smirked, peering into the marble, watching with glee at the tiny mare pounding at her glass prison. "Oh Pinkie...this isn't the time to lose your marbles at this moment! HA HA HA HA HE HE!" With another snap of his fingers, Discord summoned a bag of marbles and plopped it inside, catching the glares from the other mares trapped inside their respective marbles. He sighed, "Everypony's a critic."
After dismissing his "court", Discord teleported himself to the highest room in the tallest tower and sighed as he threw himself into his chaise lounge on the ceiling. He had to face facts: despite being the closest thing to a god as well as the devilishly-handsome ruler of his own little slice of disharmonic paradise, he was hopelessly and irrefutably boreeeeed. You would think creating endless chaos and subjugating wimpy little ponies to terror for an entire year would alleviate the tedium. And it did...but only for so long.
His eyes literally rolled in their sockets before tumbling to the floor and rolling over to sit in front of a wall-mounted mirror, which was bordered by a wooden, tribal mask-shaped frame. The eyeballs blinked before a gray face formed around them. The magic mirror? Hmm, I guess I could check up on the rest of my kingdom. Reattaching his head to his neck, Discord waved his mismatched hands in front of the mirror, feeling the power humming inside of it.
"Mirror, mirror in my room, who is the undisputed master of chaotic doom?"
The glass vibrated, creating a water-like ripple effect as a zebra head appeared, blinking her eyes before narrowing them at the draconequus. She sighed, "With the same response that I've come to rue, that undisputed master is always you."
"Ha! I knew it!"
Zecora rolled her eyes. "I do not see the point of this quiz when you are the only chaos bringer there is."
"Don't roll your eyes at me, Missy! You're lucky that you're just trapped in a mirror!"
"Oh yes, how fortunate am I? To be in a state where I wished that I had died!"
Discord pounded both hands on either side of the mirror so that he could meet Zecora's gaze. When the meddlesome zebra came to Discord to beg for the lives of Ponyville's foals, he decided on a whim to take her instead, having found her rhyming mildly amusing. After the novelty wore off, he turned her into a magic mirror so that he could spy on his subjects without having to ever leave his lair. Although he'd never admit to it, Discord liked having Zecora to talk to, even with her back-biting sass. As charming as I am, it was about time I had someone else to talk to besides myself.
"You could have it so much worse! I could smash you into a million pieces!"
Zecora's gaze never wavered. "You could do this, you could do that. Then who else would you bother for a chat?"
This gave Discord pause. "I don't need you to talk to. I'm not lonely."
"Mmm-hmm. For one who depends on lies, it is funny that you are unable to see through your own disguise."
"And I thought I was the one that wasn't supposed to make sense," Discord grumbled.
"Be that as it may, what makes you so ornery today?"
Discord withdrew himself from the mirror and stood with his arms behind his back, tail swishing back and forth like that of an agitated cat. "I'm bored! I thought that having my own chaotic world to rule over would be amusing but it's...it's....dull!" He admitted with a gag at the end. "I remember when I took down the Elements of Harmony as well as the princesses and the Pillars of Harmony. Now that was fun! The thrill of combat, the pleasure of seeing my enemies squirm before I destroyed them! I felt so ALIVE!"
He sighed and literally sank into a recliner made of cottage cheese. "I have no enemies left to conquer. Oh sure, there's the occasional wannabe resistance fighter but that's not a challenge!" A lightbulb dinged above Discord's head. "Wait a minute...that's it!" Dashing over to the mirror, he grinned, "Magic mirror full of insight, show me a worthy foe to fight!"
Zecora frowned but did as she was told. In place of the zebra's face, the glass depicted a lone figure traveling past the Cliffs of Insanity, his green eyes ablaze with a clear purpose. "Just as we speak, I have found the enemy that you seek. He is already making his move to strike; for your new foe is the dragon Spike."
"Wait, what?" Discord leaned forward. "Ah yes, the young drake. I honestly forgot about him. Are you sure he's a worthy challenge for the likes of moi?"
"Although you are not one to feel fear, be warned that not all is as it appears," Zecora replied almost smugly. "Spike is young, this is true but he is more than a match for the likes of you. With an iron will and a stout heart, he shall prove to be quite difficult to take apart."
Discord crossed his arms indignantly. "Pfft! So the kid has a little courage? Big deal!"
"More than courage he has in stock. If you knew what I know, you wouldn't be so quick to mock."
"And what, pray tell, does this 'great hero' have that's so dangerous?"
Zecora's grin grew wider. "Sit still and listen closely to me and I shall tell you of Spike's weapons three. The first was created by your own mistake for nothing is more destructive than heartache. I think that it is universally agreed, that vengeance is a dangerous force indeed. The second burns hotter than hatred or fire, it nourishes the soul and leaves the bearer inspired. It is far reaching beyond your scope, for this weapon's name is simply 'Hope.'"
"And the third?" Whether he liked it or not, Discord was now intrigued.
"To defeat your evil, he possesses the key. A powerful relic known as the Staff of Harmony."
Discord's eyes widened. "'Staff of Harmony,' you say?" Then to himself: "The light show...that weird stick he was carrying. He must've somehow gained the powers of the Elements themselves!" If Spike truly had the only weapon in existence that could stop him, then that meant he could no longer sit idly by while that overgrown salamander walked free.
"Very well then, Zecora. Let's see if your...champion stands a chance against the Lord of Chaos!" Discord declared mockingly, rubbing his hands together as he plotted out his next scheme.
He stands more than just a mere chance. Zecora thought deridingly. It is towards your doom he makes his advance!