Sky Guard You, Kuhnviid

by Shadow Lord Malice

Chapter 3

The descent down the seven thousand steps of the throat of the world was, to Celestia, the most exhausting thing she had done in a long time. Being a princess was not exactly the most active lifestyle, and without magic, she could not teleport or fly to save on energy. She had thus been resigned to walk down the mountain behind Tibus, a blizzard howling around them. Celestia was completely unused to the freezing temperatures, the coldest winters of Equestria could not compare to this soul chilling blizzard, yet to her complete amazement, Tibus wasn't the slightest bit affected or uncomfortable.

"H-how are you s-s-stand-d-ding this c-cold?" She stuttered out, her form wracked over by shivers.

"Because I'm a nord. I'm built for the cold." Was the gruff reply.

"I th-thought you were a man. W-what's a n-nord, then?" At this Tibus couldn't help but laugh.

"A nord is a man, Celestia, just a different breed of man. There are four different kinds of men, or humans as my kind are better known; Breton, Nord, Redguard, and Imperial." Tibus then went on to explain the differences of each race of man, Celestia paying rapt attention so as to gain information about the world she was in, and to keep her mind off the freezing cold. Soon after Tibus had finished his explanation, the two left the blizzard and were now much closer to the base of the mountain. Silence reigned between the two as they wound their way down the mountain. Occasionally, Celestia would try to start a conversation, but Tibus would just either ignore her, or respond to her questions with grunts. Eventually Celestia gave up, and the two at last reached the base of the mountain. Tibus then led Celestia to a small secluded spot on the shores of lake Geir.

"Alrght Celestia, stay here until I get back. I'm going into Ivarstead there to figure out which road is the safer to take." He said.

"And why can't I come with you?" She asked.

"Three reasons. One, we'll draw a lot less unwanted attention. Two, everyone here has never seen an alicorn before, so they'll probably expect you to be like a domestic horse. And three, people are high strung enough by the return of the dragons, adding you to the mix might make people lash out." At this Celestia could only sigh. Tibus had made some good points that she really couldn't argue against. With a final sigh of resignation, Celestia laid down on the ground.

"Fine, but please don't be long." Nodding, Tibus walked into town, leaving Celestia to herself. While she waited, she once again tried using her magic. Over and over she pulled for it, but nothing happened. Closing her eyes, she entered a meditative state to feel her magic reserves, only to find herself completely devoid of magic, nor could she feel herself recharging. Opening her eyes, she glanced at her mane, What was once an illustrious flowing mane, was now just a light pink mess, making her wish she had a brush to at least straighten herself out. Getting onto her hooves, she walked over to the lake's edge, and stared down at her reflection, a tired and frightened alicorn staring back. She was broken out of her silent gazing by the sound of heavy footfalls, and upon turning her gaze to the source, saw it was Tibus.

I had a word with the innkeeper, and he said that the south road was our best bet." Nodding, Celestia once again followed behind Tibus, as the two made their way down the south road.

"How long until we reach this Whiterun place?" Asked Celestia.

"At the pace we're going, I'd say tomorrow afternoon." That was not what Celestia had been hoping to hear. The two made their way down the road, the rugged mountain slopes soon being covered by a kind of tree Celestia had never seen before. Instead of leaves, this tree had thousands of green needles upon it's branches. The tree was also conical, instead of flaring out at the top like the trees she was familiar with. Tibus effortlessly made his way through the strange forest, Celestia following behind him tiredly, as the lighting began to darken. Soon, Tibus stopped, much to Celestia's confusion.

"Why have we stopped?" She asked.

"It's getting late and you're exhausted. We need to set up camp." With that, Tibus hunted down a place to set up camp, Celestia doing what she could to help. A little while later, she spotted something.

"Tibus, there's a small clearing over there. Would that suffice?" She asked, indicating the aforementioned clearing with a hoof. Tibus walked into it, and began to inspect the area, Celestia watched as he crouched down to the ground every so often to inspect the ground, the action bringing much confusion to the alicorn. Finally, Tibus nodded to himself and began to set up camp. The nord soon had a fire going, and two bedrolls spread out. once that was done, he set up a cooking spit, hanging a cast iron pot over the fire. Tibus then pulled off one of his packs, and opened it, a cloud of chill air billowing out as he did so. Celestia laid herself down on one of the bedrolls, and watched as Tibus reached into the bag. She was absolutely shocked when Tibus was able to fit his whole arm inside the seemingly small bag. Tibus then began pulling out foodstuffs from the pack, and began to cook a stew. As it cooked, Tibus once again reached into his pack, and pulled out, to Celestia's shock and mild revulsion, a large chunk of meat, which he impaled on the spit. The two sat in silence as the food cooked, Celestia once again trying to channel magic, and Tibus inspecting the contents of his food pack. Soon, Tibus' rummaging became more urgent, and after a while, let out a huff of exasperation and closed the pack.

"Well that's the last of my meat on the fire. Celestia, wait here, I'll be back in time for the food to be ready." With that, Tibus got up and walked into the forest, leaving Celestia to herself. Looking around, the forest had become cloaked in complete shadow, while the sky above burned orange with the setting sun, a sun not under her control. That was another thing about this place that frightened her, nothing about this world was under anyone's control. It was like a giant, worldwide Everfree Forest. The weather did as it pleased, the plants and animals all cared for themselves, and the sun, and obviously the moon as well, moved upon their own volition. Soon the burnt orange color of the sky began to give way to violet as night drew ever closer, and Celestia's forlorn sky gazing was interrupted as she heard the bushes heavily rustling. just as the panic started to urn her blood ice cold, Tibus emerged from the bush, having been the source of the rustling. Celestia was happy to see him, but that soon turned to horror when she saw the large deer slung across his shoulder, an arrow stuck through it's eye. Tibus set the carcass down, and tended to the now cooked meat and soup. Producing a wooden bowl and plate from another of his packs, he ladled the bowl full of soup to Celestia.

"Don't I get a spoon?" She asked.

"Can you even hold one?" He replied. Celestia tried to grip a stone to prove she could, but that simple act failed as no matter how hard she tried, the stone would not adhere to her hoof.

"No." She answered resignedly, and Tibus left her with her soup, and served himself the cooked meat. Celestia was forced to eat her soup like an animal, lapping it up out of the bowl, and while it was filling, and Tibus gave her as much as she desired, it was quite bland compared to the food she was used to. When she had finally eaten her fill of the soup, Tibus took the pot off the cooking spit, and set it on the ground near the fire. When that was done, he began skinning and cleaning the dead deer, much to Celestia's disgust. She didn't say anything though, as she had worked with griffons in the past, and they as well ate meat. Seeing an animal getting butchered though, was a completely new experience, one that was making her stomach churn.. Much to her relief though, Tibus was quick with his task, and soon the butchered meat was stored in his cold pack, and the hide and bones were set aside. Soon the two were lying atop their bedrolls, something Celestia found did little better than the bare ground. looking up one last time at the night sky, Celestia could not stop the tears from flowing as the reality of the situation she was in crashed into her, as she beheld the two moons in the sky. Hearing Tibus' snoring, she allowed herself to fully release her pent up emotions, and cried herself to sleep.