Celestia opened her eyes and stood up. she couldn't see anything. She was in complete and utter darkness, she couldn't even see her own hoof as she raised it to her face. It was unnaturally dark. She heard a rumble behind her and turned to see that she was now at the entrance of a cave, a massive cave. The cave entrance was big enough to easily house a fully grown dragon. Looking outside she could see her the evening sun over Equestria, the everfree forest, ponyville, Cloudsdale and even canterlot in the distance. Celestia smiled at the sight.
She heard another rumble and turned towards the inside of the cave again. A giant shadow began advancing towards her. She tried to walk away but was frozen in place, not by fear but by the feeling of a magical presence. It was massive. Greater than any presence she had ever been near before.
Hearing a sudden growl from above, Celestia looked up. She almost fainted at the sight. It was a enormous black dragon. Easily the biggest dragon she had ever seen. It had plating like armor around it's body and many scars in between them. Between its scales were a molten liquid flowing around, it looked like lava. The dragon also had two gigantic wings furled on it's back. Celestia turned around to see the head of the reptile. It's jaw had been replaced with a metal one. Six horns sprouting from the back of it's head, one of them cracked in half. But it's eyes were the worst. They were as fiery and glowing as the liquid flowing in its body but they screamed of rage and death. How in Equestria could she have missed a beast this size and appearance just above her? She was about to drift into her thoughts when she heard a voice so loud and downright evil, and metallic that made her want to hide under the nearest rock and stay there till the end of time.
Celestia felt the earth beneath her shake from the power and malice of the voice. She looked around trying to identify the source but couldn't find it. She spotted a molten liquid dropping on the ground beside her, but dismissed it.
the voice came again she looked around the cave entrance "where is it coming from?" she thought, as she was starting to panic. "The only ones here are me and the dra..." her eyes widened at her conclusion. She looked to the dragon, only to see it gone.
"My hatred burns through the cavernous deeps..."
Celestia saw fire erupting from the inside of the cave. She felt the ground shake beneath her. Looking out onto Equestria Celestia watched in horror as an earthquake erupted through her kingdom tearing cities and landscapes apart, even lava erupting from the ground in some regions.
"Your world heaves with my torment..."
Celestia watched with tears in her eyes as her home, her world was being torn apart by this voice and it's magic.
"Your wretched kingdoms quake, beneath my rage..."
Celestia felt her eyes drawn towards Cloudsdale. In the distance, she could see Cloudsdale, erupting in flames. She could almost hear the screams of her precious subjects. She caught a terrifying thought from what the voice said. Turning her head towards Canterlot, Celestia saw a shadow standing standing on Canterlot mountain. It was the dragon from before. An ear shattering roar filled the sky coming from the dragon, as it leaped from Canterlot mountain, spreading it's massive wings.
"And at last your precious world will break..."
The dragon flew towards Celestia with frightening speed, leaving a trail of ever growing fire from it's wings leaving the sky, Canterlot, Everfree forest, Ponyville and everything in between in flames. "NO!" Celestia screamed at the sight of her world burning, tears now streaming down her face.
"And all will burn, beneath the shadows OF MY WINGS!"
The dragon landed in front of the cave Celestia stood in. It was staring into her eyes, it's own full of rage. Celestia's ears were splayed back. She felt herself visibly shrink beneath the reptile as she trying to replace her fear with anger but to no avail.
"W-what a-are you?" She said trembling with fear. She gained a little more courage and stood up at her full height. "Who are you?" she turned from looking like a terrified puppy to a defiant and angry look that a certain princess of the moon would have been terrified of.
The dragon, amused by her question and sudden change of posture, huffed and grinned menacingly before answering without opening it's mouth. It's words would haunt Celestia for the rest of her life.
"I am Death Incarnate, I am The Destroyer, The Unmaker of Worlds. I. AM. DEATHWING!"
The dragon roared and it erupted a shockwave destroying everything for miles around the cave. Celestia could feel cave starting to collapse, but before she could move, the dragon leaped towards her mouth agape, intent on devouring her. She could only watch as her fear kept her in place as the maw of fire and death made contact with the ground she was standing on.
Celestia woke up screaming like a little filly, covered in her own sweat and tears. She could feel herself shaking. She knew this wasn't a normal dream or nightmare. It was a vision. A vision of things to come if she didn't change it somehow. At times, she and her sister got visions when bad things were about to happen, but normally she would only see the start of the bad, like when Tirek came back, her and Luna's vision consisted of a few pictures of Tirek draining a pony's magic and not the end of Equestria.
"Your highness!" three guards burst into her room with raised spears. "Are you alright?"
Celestia composed herself. She needed to seem calm and collected in the presence of her subjects. She knew that if she panicked, Equestria would panic with her. Celestia cleared her throat "Yes captain Steel Aegis i'm alright. You may leave," Celestia smiled at the guards. They saluted and reluctantly walked out the door and closed it behind them.
Turning her head, Celestia's eyes fixed on the nightstand next to her. On it was a picture of Celestia, Luna, Twilight, Cadence smiling and in the background hovering above them was Discord making a silly face. She hadn't invited Discord into the picture, but the draconequus had a tendency to photobomb most of her photos. Celestia didn't mind, since she had grown quite fond of the draconequus and his silly antics.
She shifted her eyes to the alarm clock on the nightstand beside the picture to check the time. "4.30 A.M" she muttered before she jumped out of her queen sized bed, put on her regalia and bolted out the door to find her sister, and send a letter to her former student. Celestia was going to need them if she were to prevent her vision from becoming reality
Neltharion woke up in a desert, his back up against a mountain. He broke the rest of the mental chains that bound his will and body. Now being able to control his form for the first time in thousands of years, he tried to get up but winced in pain as he couldn't use his left foreleg. There were long fresh wounds on it. He used his hind legs to press himself up against the mountain and looked down his body to inspect it for damage. Much of his elementium plating across his legs and chest had protected him from harm, but were cracked. His plating was not there to protect him, instead it was there to keep his body from falling apart. He had many physical and now also mental scars that would never heal, but all he could do now was move forward. First he had to find out how all of this had happened to him. Why did his body look like this? Last time he had looked at himself, he was a great black and purple dragon with white horns but now... He looked down at his body and his face darkened. His scales were black as the deepest grave. Strangely he also felt...Bigger and stronger than he remembered which he found odd but shrugged off.
Lying down and closing his eyes Neltharion, looked throughout his mind, looking for his lost memories. He laid there for hours trying to find them as he roamed through his ancient mind. He came across them gradually. At first they came in a small but steady stream of pictures and that stream turned into a waterfall, overwhelming Neltharion.
"Neltharion what have you done?" Ysera's voice rang.
"Brother stop this madness. we can fix this!" Malygos' said in a distressed voice.
"No brother, It is far too late for that.. I WILL MAKE THESE MORTALS TREMBLE BEFORE MY MIGHT. I WILL MAKE THEM FEAR MY POWER AND MY NAME!"
"But you already have power and a family! please don't do this Neltharion!" Alexstrasza pleaded.
"Neltharion the earth-warder is dead.. I AM ALL THAT IS LEFT, I AM THE RAGE THAT NEVER SLEEPS, I AM THE DESTROYER. I. AM. DEATHWING!"
The great dragon opened his eyes in shock only to close them again. He had just witnessed the moment he was consumed by his corruption and madness. Pictures kept flowing until there was nothing more to show. His anger towards the mortal races recklessness and stupidity had blinded him from his own corruption, and made him the very thing he and his brothers and sisters were given the power to fight against. Now here he was in an unknown world, with his family gone, and him stuck in this...abomination of a body that was only a shadow of what he once was.
No...No he was not going to succumb to his own emotions once again. He would find a way home to his family, and he would beg for their forgiveness. It sickened him to his core even thinking of doing something so pathetic and downright mortal as to beg, but he would gladly take the blow to his pride if he could just see his old companions again, even though he knew deep in his mind that they would never forgive him for all he had done.
He made a plan. First he was going to conjure some elementium from the earth, a perk of being the aspect of the earth was being able to manipulate the earth and it's materials into any material and shape he wanted, and rebuild his armor. Next he was going to search for intelligent life and see if they had any magic. If there was intelligent life, he would make them help him get back. And last he was going to try and return his body to it's previous state, which would be difficult to say the least. Neltharion wasn't very experienced in healing magic. Healing wounds and regrowing flesh and bone, that was more Alexstrazsa's talent.
Neltharion smiled at the thought of him returning home to his brothers and sisters. No matter what is takes I will return to them, and I will redeem myself he thought to himself. He turned to the mountain and started to use his magic to manipulate the mountain stone into metal, unaware of the dark presence laughing deep in his mind.
"Princess Celestia! We came as fast as we could, what was it that was so urgent?" Princess Twilight shouted as she ran through the throne room door with five mares and a panting baby dragon following. They stopped a few feet from the princess's throne. When Twilight saw Celestia, her eyes widened. Celestia had bags under her eyes and her left hoof was shaking uncontrollably. She'd never seen Celestia like this before.
Celestia was sitting on her throne with Luna beside her, she had a worried look on her face. Smiling at the sight of her former student and friends, Celestia spoke. "Thank you all for coming." She said, trying to keep a calm voice, even though she couldn't forget her vision and the fear it instilled in her. "I have asked you to come here for a matter of great importance" she walked over to her student and friends followed by Luna. "Last night I had a vision of a creature coming to Equestria..." Celestia looked away trying to compose herself to tell the mares what she had seen happening to Equestria.
"Is that it? just another Tirek-like guy coming?" Rainbow dash asked. She started flying out of habit in the air for no reason. "Pfft.. big deal. We'll just swoop in and kick his flank before he even gets here!" Rainbow dash said with a smirk while punching the air.
"Yeah! were gonna kick this meanie and then were gonna HAVE A PARTY!!" Pinkie pie yelled while pulling her trusty party cannon out of nowhere.
"My little ponies, calm down and listen. You do not understand the gravity of this situation" Celestia said in a loud voice, successfully silencing Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie.
"Princess, What do you mean?" Twilight sparkle asked, confused at her former mentors reaction to her friends normal behaviour.
Celestia steeled herself for the question bombardement and panic that would come from the ponies when she told them the rest. "In my vision, I saw a dragon..." Spike's ears perked at this. Celestia started over trying to say this the mildest possible way. "I saw a dragon the size of a city b-burning Equestria to the ground leaving nothing but ashes in it's wake..."
There was complete silence. Everypony and dragon stood mouth agape trying to comprehend what Celestia had just said about what would happen to Equestria.
Luna was the first one to speak. "S-sister, are you sure? A-are you sure this was a vision and not just a nightmare?"
Celestia was caught off guard by this question as it was the last question she would expect her sister to ask. Not even once, since her return, had Luna questioned her judgement. She took a second to answer. "Im certain, Luna. Although I am puzzled by where this dragon could have come from. Not even the queen of the dragons we met last time we were in Draconia were close to this beast's size".
That was troubling news in Luna's mind as she had been terrified of the dragon queen when they had visited. The dragon queen of Draconia was known as the oldest and biggest dragon to ever live on their world. To imagine something even bigger was hard enough. "Then we must make a search for this beast! Gather our alliances in and outside of Equestria! Dragons, gryphons, diamond dogs, trolls, ALL OF THEM!" Luna yelled pacing back and forth, a panicked expression on her face.
"Luna, calm down!" Celestia yelled at her sister, successfully calming her sister if just a little. She was about to continue when Twilight spoke up.
"But princess... Luna's right, we have to do something." She said looking pleadingly into her mentor's eyes. "If anything we need to find it and try and find a peaceful solution before what you saw comes true!" Twilight couldn't believe what she was hearing from the princess, trying to be calm at a moment like this? with a dragon like that coming to Equestria?
"You're right, Twilight. We need to find it, before it finds us," Celestia began, keeping a straight face. "But we need to be careful, and we need to be subtle about this information, or there will be mass panic in Equestria."
"Don't worry princess my friends and I-"
"I will not allow you to go, Twilight" Celestia interrupted her. She started pacing back and forth thinking about how to approach this. She stopped as she came to a conclusion. "I will send Discord to find the dragon."
"U-um princess?" Celestia turned to the butter colored pegasus. "Won't it be dangerous even for Discord to wander around outside of Equestria looking for a gigantic-firebreathing-destructive-menacing dragon?" Fluttershy asked the princess.
"Yeah! And besides, can we trust him to not go joining the dragon in destroying Equestria? Rainbow dash said before Celestia could reply.
"RAINBOW!" Fluttershy yelled at rainbow dash, who flinched at the sudden yelling from her usually shy and quiet friend.
"What?" Rainbow retaliated "Everyone was thinking it." She said as she crossed her hoofs and looking away from Fluttershy's angry gaze.
"Discord is our best option at locating the dragon because of his magic" Celestia paused looking at Fluttershy with a gentle smile and put a hoof on her shoulder. "And he's probably the only one powerful enough to escape from it without major injuries if it attacks" Celestia assured her. This didn't make Fluttershy feel any better, if anything it made her more worried.
Celestia turned to Twilight and gestured for Luna to come closer. "I will need your help with the summoning spell. For all we know he could be in the Griffin nations right now".
"Wait, he isn't here?" Twilight asked confused. "I thought he lived here, in the castle," she said slightly worried about her friendly antagonist for a moment. Twilight hadn't seen Discord in over three months, since the Tirek incident.
"He does," Luna replied. "But we sent him on a timeout two weeks ago after he turned me into a cow, and left me to run from the guards that were trying to milk me on Discord's request for four hours straight..." Luna's blood began to boil at the memory of her running through the castle as a cow desperately mooing for help, while being chased by four guards with Discord cackling maniacally in the background.
Celestia snickered at the memory, sure she had found it cruel at first but she later started to see the funny part of it. Luna even got a new nickname by Discord. "Let us begin," Celestia almost commanded Luna and Twilight.
Their horn began glowing and they each shot a beam that connected with each others. There were a bright flash and all in the room had to cover their eyes from it. when it subsided the mares could hear music. They opened their eyes and saw a weird sight. Discord was standing in front of them, eyes closed in a sort of white suit and a black wig with him holding a microphone in his eagle claw. He was singing.
"Your kisses lift me higher~!" Discord started floating, still singing.
"Like the sweet song of a choir~!"
"You light my morning skyy~!" Discord lifted his lion paw and the sun began shining brighter, even though he didn't notice.
"Burning love!" a giant flaming heart appeared around him, again without him noticing.
Discord stood in a pose expecting applause, but instead he heard snickering and laughing. He opened his eyes and the music stopped as he did. He recognised the six mares snickering at his display. Beside them were the celestial princesses one rolling on the floor trying to keep keep herself from laughing, failing miserably. The other staring in wide eyed shock, her face as red as a tomato. Discord found this kind of awkward.