Demonic guards barked out orders as they chased a figure through the depths of Tartarus. The figure in question was none other than Tirek. His breath came in heavy burst as he continued to run from the demonic guards of Tartarus. He could see the gates that lead out of this hell off in the distance. He began grinning as he saw himself drawing closer and closer to freedom.
However, his hopes of escaping were quickly crushed as he saw a large squad of guards form ranks in front of the gates. “Damn it!” Tirek shouted as he ground to a halt on the bridge leading toward the gate. He began to turn back to perhaps find another route, but guards had already blocked him off.
He let out a frustrated growl as he looked around, trying to find another way off the bridge.
“Best to stay right where you are prisoner!” one of the guards yelled as they all began to march closer and closer.
“You won’t put me back in that cage!” Tirek yelled back as he continued to look for a way around the guards, finally realizing the one way out. He quickly turned and jumped off the side of the bridge. He let out a loud yell as he fell deeper into Tartarus, its shadowy depths swallowing him up within their darkness.
Tirek continued to fall deeper and deeper. His hopes and dreams of making it out of this place had fallen apart. I guess its better to fall into darkness then spend the rest of eternity locked in a cage, he thought to himself as he closed his eyes and continued to fall.
Shortly after that, he felt himself stop as if some invisible force had caught him. He opened his eyes to find himself hovering in the darkness before he was gently placed on cold, hard stone. He looked around the darkness, confused as to why he had stopped falling.
Tirek shivered as a cold wind blew past him. “It would seem after all these years, I finally have a visitor,” a deep, distorted voice whispered.
Tirek jumped and began to search the darkness for the source of the voice. “Who’s there!” he shouted as he continued to search the darkness. “Show yourself coward!” Tirek demanded.
“Why would I hide?” the dark voice replied. Suddenly, the sound of many chains being dragged across stone echoed in the darkness. Tirek quickly turned toward the sound and stood, ready to fight whatever was lurking in the darkness.
“Where are you?” Terik growled.
“I’m right here,” the voice responded, much closer this time. Tirek could feel its breath as the unknown creature exhaled. He quickly jabbed at the darkness, but his fist struck nothing but air.
A faint chuckle echoed throughout the darkness. “That was rude,” the voice said as an unknown force pushed him down. He grunted slightly as he slammed into hard stone. “Now tell me, why is a weak little thing like you way down here?” the voice asked in a calm tone.
“I was trying to escape,” Tirek growled as he struggled to get up, but the unknown force still held him down. The voice laughed. It seemed amused by Tirek’s words.
“Well, either your sense of direction must be terrible, or you’re just a foolish idiot,” the voice replied. “You see the gateway out is up there, so why did you decide to jump down here?”
“The guards cut me off. It was either jump, or get locked in chains and thrown back in the cage,” Tirek replied.
The voice laughed again. “So you couldn’t take on a few guards, but you thought you could slip past cerberus?”
“Cerberus isn’t guarding the gate,” Tirek replied as he continued to struggle against what ever was holding him down. There was silence after the words had left his lips, but Tirek could still sense the presence of the unknown creature standing in the darkness.
After a few minutes, the voice finally responded. “What did you plan on doing if you had managed to escape?” it asked.
“I planned to take over and rule Equestria,” Tirek replied. Suddenly, the force that held him down vanished, allowing him to stand once more.
“That is a very big thing to claim,” the voice said as he felt it move closer, “and why would a little weakling like you think you could ever hope to rule Equestria?” the voice mocked.
“I am no weakling!” Terik yelled in anger, “I am the mighty Lord Tirek!” The voice gave another amused laugh.
“Alright lord Tirek, how would you like to make deal?” the voice replied.
“What could you possibly offer me?” Terik asked.
“If you could supply me with the means of breaking my chains, then I will get us both out of this wretched place.”
“And how would you do that?” Tirek replied as he rolled his eyes, “The last time I checked, the gate was up there and we are down here.”
“You leave that up to me. All you have to do is break my chains, and I shall get you out of here.”
“What would you ask I give in return?” asked Tirek.
“One day I will come to you and ask you for something and no matter what I request of you, you must do as I ask. Now, free me.”
Tirek looked around in the darkness, his eyes now adjusted to it, but he saw no sign of any chains. “How am I supposed to break a chain when I can’t even see them?”
“I actually need something from you to break them,” the voice replied
“What is it you nee-” Tirek was cut off as he felt something grip his throat. It felt like a hand, but instead of fingers, it had long sharp talons, each one cutting into his flesh.
“You may feel a bit of pain,” the voice said, its tone calm and collected. Suddenly, pain shot through Tirek’s body. He felt the feeling of his life being drained out of him. A faint blue light could be seen in the darkness, revealing the rib cage of whatever had been speaking to him. After a few more seconds, the light vanished and the creature released him. Tirek fell to the hard stone, gasping for breath as the pain he had felt faded away.
“This will have to do,” the voice said. Suddenly, the sound of chains being strained and broken could be heard echoing throughout the darkness. The unknown creature grunted as it broke chain after chain. Tirek looked curiously into the darkness when something grabbed him and lifted him up
“What are you doing?” Tirek yelled.
“There’s not enough time to climb up,” the voice replied. “Cerberus would surely return before we reached the top.”
“But that doesn’t explain why you-” Tirek froze mid-sentence when he realized what was about to happen. Before he could say another word, the creature flung him high into the air, sending him rocketing toward the bridge he had jumped from. Tirek soared a few feet above the structure before falling onto the bridge. He grunted as he started to stand up.
“How dare that thing toss me around like i’m some kind of toy,” said Tirek, a low growl escaping his lips. He looked around only to find that the demonic guards had already gathered and marched toward him, but before they could even get close to him, a dark, shadowy mist appeared from nowhere and washed over the bridge.
The Demonic guards began to scream as an unknown creature began to pick them up and toss them off the bridge, sending them falling into the darkness below.
“It would be best if we didn’t linger,” the voice said to Tirek as it lifted up the Centaur and burst open the gates of Tartarus.
There was a bright flash of light before Tirek found himself on the edge of the Everfree Forest. He stood up and took a deep breath, enjoying the fresh air. “We made it,” Tirek chuckled. “I’m finally out!” he yelled. As he turned to look at Canterlot way off in the distance, a sinister grin formed on his face. “And this time, I shall bring Equestria to its knees.”
“I wish you luck on your endeavours,” the dark voice said.
Tirek flinched slightly. He had completely forgotten that the strange creature had also made it out. He turned around, only to find a thick dark cloud of mist that slowly seeped deeper into the forest.
“Come with me,” Tirek said as he took a few steps toward the mist, “When I regain my strength, there would be no force in Equestria that would dare defy us with our powers combined. We could both easily conquer this land!”
The dark mist seemed to shift as if something was moving within its depths. “No,” the voice replied.
“Why not?” Tirek asked.
“Because I’m finally free from my chains, and as great as your plan sounds, I predict that your freedom will not last long,” said the voice as it once again started to move deeper into the Everfree.
Tirek growled slightly at the creature’s last comment.
“But don’t worry,” the voice said, “If you manage to succeed in your plans and become ruler of these lands, I will not fight you for control as long as you do not disturb me.”
Tirek turned away from the mist and began to head towards Canterlot. “Then let us hope our paths never cross again,” Terik growled and continued walking toward the city off in the distance.
“Do not forget that one day I will come to collect my part of the deal,” the voice said.
The dark mist continued to move deeper and deeper into the Everfree Forest. Animals and creatures of the Everfree would hide and go silent as the mist passed them by. It continued moving deeper and deeper into the forest before coming to a stop at the edge of a cliff that lead down to a large cavern. A faint, glowing light could be seen revealing the Tree of Harmony. The mist flowed off the cliff like a waterfall, ignoring the stairs nearby as it began to swarm around the tree.
“You will do nicely,” the voice said as energy began to flow from the tree, only to be swallowed up by the dark mist. The dark mist began to expand, and within its depths, a shadowy figure began to take shape, its body somewhere between mist and a solid mass.
The figure turned to leave, but stopped after noticing what seemed like a chest with six key holes. “What do we have here?” it said as it dragged a sharp talon across its surface. The dark mist gathered around the chest and began to seep into the key holes. A faint chuckle could be heard as the last of the mist seeped into the chest.