Duels of Dark Descent

by FelixTheBrony

Plans Initiated (Applebloom vs. Stranger)

Plans Initiated

Applebloom was walking home after getting her grandmother’s medication from Doctor Stable in the hospital. Back cream, painkillers and the like all carefully filled her saddle bags.

The Apple matriarch was coming along in years, being a good 119 years old. It was a miracle she’s lasted this long but she had said she wanted to be around for at least one of her grand-children to have foals so she could see them. All in all, it’s so far so good.

Ah wonder if she’d live forever if none of us had foals? Applebloom wondered to herself, chuckling a little. It’d be unlikely but, then again, this was her grandmother. So anything’s possible.

She continued along her path out of Ponyville, not noticing someone watching her.

Target acquired, The pony thought to herself as she spotted the yellow filly, following her from a distance. Best use the Identity spell!

She allowed a blue glow to cover her horn, sending a transparent energy towards the filly. It hit her, but it didn’t faze Applebloom in the slightest, allowing her to continue on her way.

The spell did work, however, as the stranger suddenly felt all of Applebloom’s memories suddenly appear in her mind. The spell allowing her to read the pony as if she were reading a book.

Name: Ambrosia Bloom Apple “Applebloom”
Gender: Female
Age: 13 and 11 months
Born: 18th August, 992 ANM (After Nightmare Moon)
Birth-place: Ponyville General
Family/Guardians: Granny Smith, Macintosh Apple, Jacqueline Apple “Applejack”
Grades: Averages at A’s and B’s
Deck: Mostly Warrior, Beast and Beast-Warrior monsters, with luck based spell and trap cards.
Ace Monster: The strongest monster she has is Gilford the Lightning
Energy: High

Luck based huh? The mare thought to herself. Then I should be able to take her out and get that energy without too much of a problem. She then teleported out of hiding spot towards the orchard.

Applebloom turned a corner into her homestead, but felt a strange tickle in the back of her neck. In alarm, she turned, but found nothing but the trees and the dirt path behind her.

Huh? That’s weird, She thought to herself, turning back to continue her way back home. I coulda sworn Ah was bein’ followed.

Once she turned back, however, she was face-to-face with a grey mare with a pale blue mane and eyes. Her tail and mane cut short and a pile of rusted metal for a cutie mark.

Applebloom, not expecting this, jumped back and crouched down, as if ready to fight. “Who are you?! Don’t come any closer! Ah know karate!”

The mare’s eyes widened and she waved a hoof in front of her. “Oh no, I’m not here to hurt you,” She said, convincing Applebloom enough to rise up to her hooves again, but not enough to lower her guard.

“Okay? Then why were ya followin’ me?” She asked, curiously. The mare let out a little sigh and explained.

“Well, I couldn’t help but notice that you had a duel plank. I was wondering if you’d like a game?” She asked, using her magic to levitate her own out from her saddlebags.

Applebloom sighed with relief and shook her head. “Ah’m sorry miss, but Ah’m a little busy right now. Maybe some other time?”

She was about to get back to walking home, but the mare blocked her path. “Oh please? Just a quick duel. I promise it’ll take no time at all!”

Applebloom grumbled and shook her head again. “Ah have somethin’ else ta do right now. Ah can’t, Ah’m sorry,” She answered, ducking out from under her hoof, and continued on her way.

“Okay Ambrosia maybe some other time,” The mare replied, causing Applebloom to stop in her tracks, turning to face the mare with a fury in her eyes that the mare hadn’t ever seen before.

“What did you just call me?!” She screamed, dragging her hoof into the ground as if she were going to start charging. The mare blinked, before she found her bargaining chip.

“Well that’s your name, isn’t it?”

“No! Mah name’s Applebloom!” The mare grinned and laid down her duel plank.

“Well it seems Ambrosia is your birth name, is it not?” Applebloom growled in response, causing the mare to giggle. “And I must insist that you duel me. Or we could wait and I could ask a few of the ponies around town about you?”

“You wouldn’t dare!” Applebloom shouted, getting her own duel plank out, placing her saddlebags a good distance away from her.

“Do you want to risk it?” She asked, causing Applebloom to let out an annoyed sigh and unfold her plank, her deck auto-shuffling for her. “There’s the spirit!”

“Oh bite me!” Applebloom replied. “So what do I call you, anyway? You know, other than pushy?”

“Oh you can just call me Stranger. It doesn’t matter too much,” Applebloom rose an eyebrow at this, but decided not to question her. Just win and win quickly.

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 5 deck: 35)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand: 5 deck: 35)

“I set one monster in defence mode and one card face-down. Your move Ambrosia,” Stranger called, causing Applebloom to growl and draw a card.

“Quit calling me that!”

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 6 deck: 34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand: 3 deck: 35)

“Or better yet, let me get Axe Raider to shut you up for me!” Applebloom announced as a muscle human warrior with red and gold armouring and purple rags appeared, brandishing a large, golden axe. (Axe Raider lv.4 ATK: 1700 DEF: 1150)

“And now he’ll cleave your monster in half! Go battle axe smash!” The warrior gave out a war cry and charged at the face-down monster, axe high in the air.

“Unfortunately for your warrior, I have a trap card out,” Stranger replied, her face-down popping up. “I activate Gravity Bind! This trap card stops all monsters level 4 and above from attacking!”

“What?!” Applebloom cried out as a large barrier appeared, stopping Axe Raider’s axe in its place. “Fine, I’ll end mah turn with a face-down.”

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 4 deck: 34)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand: 4 deck: 34)

“Now first, I’m a little bored of this hand,” Stranger stated before she flipped her monster up.

“I flip summon Morphing Jar!” The face-down monster flipped over and a blue jar with a purple, one eyed slime like monster appeared. (Morphing Jar lv.2 ATK: 700 DEF: 600)

“Now, when this guy is flipped up, we both have to discard our whole hand and draw five cards,” She continued as the purple monster shot forward and snatched Applebloom’s cards out of her hand and spat them into her discard pile. Applebloom flinched and drew her new cards.

Once Stranger had done the same, she put three of them down. “I think I’ll end by playing one monster in defence mode and two cards face-down.”

“Mah move then!” Applebloom declared, drawing her card and laying it out in front of her, grinning.

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 6 deck: 28)
(Stranger lp.8000 hand: 2 deck: 29)

“An’ now Ah summon mah Marauding Captain!” As she said this, a battle scarred, silver armoured human appeared, brandishing two swords. (Marauding Captain lv.3 ATK: 1200 DEF: 400) And beside him, a cartoonish looking swordsman with brown leather armour and a shield appeared. “And when he’s summoned, I can summon another level 4 or lower monster, like mah Swordsman of Landstar!” (Swordsman of Landstar lv.3 ATK: 500 DEF: 1200)

“Now, since Marauding Captain is level 3, he can pass through your Gravity Bind and take out ya Morphing Jar!” She declared as the Captain did just that, rushing right through the barrier…

…and smack bang into another one.

“What?” Applebloom asked, before she looked at stranger’s field and noticed another revealed face-down.

“Oh that!” Stranger said almost as if she had only just noticed. “That’s the Wall of Revealing Light. And, by paying 2000 life points, monsters on your field with 2000 or less attack points can’t attack.”

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 4 deck: 28)
(Stranger lp.8000-6000 hand: 2 deck: 28)

“Oh you’ve gotta be kiddin’ me!” Applebloom screamed out in frustration. “Ah thought ya said this’d be quick! What kind of stall decks are quick?!”

The kind that draw out as much of your energy as possible, Stranger thought to herself, drawing her next card.

(Applebloom lp.8000 hand: 4 deck: 28)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand: 3 deck: 28)

“Now I flip summon my Needle Worm!” A familiar, purple caterpillar like monster appeared, firing needles at Applebloom’s deck, send 5 of them to the graveyard. (Needle Worm lv.2 ATK: 750 DEF:600) “And he takes out 5 of your cards.”

“Ah know what Needle Worm does,” Applebloom replied, narrowing her eyes. “Don’t ya have anything other than flip effect monsters?”

“Well, now that you mention it, I do have this,” She replied as both her monsters turning into multi-hued vortexes. “By tributing my Needle Worm and Morphing Jar, I can advance summon Emes the Infinity!”

Then, before Applebloom, stood a massive, golden armoured monster with several arms holding a sword, shield and staff appeared, glaring down at her. (Emes the Infinity lv.7 ATK: 2500 DEF: 2000)

“Well he’s strong an’ all,” Applebloom grinned, pointing at Gravity Bind. “But with that in play, he’s a little stuck!”

“Which is why I’ll use the spell card Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy it,” Stranger replied, calmly, a storm of wind blowing away the trap and the barrier, allowing Emes to charge through and swipe at Marauding Captain.

(Applebloom lp.8000-6700 hand: 4 deck: 23)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand: 1 deck: 28)

“Huh? I was aiming for the Swordsman,” Stranger replied as Applebloom shook off a strange feeling of dread.

“Well Marauding Captain is the only warrior yer allowed ta attack,” Applebloom replied. Stranger nodded.

“Very well. However, when Emes destroys a monster in battle, he gains 700 attack points,” she grinned as Emes picked up one of the Captain’s swords. (Emes the Infinity lv.7 atk: 2500-3200 def: 2000)

Applebloom cursed in her head. That makes him stronger than any monster in mah whole deck!

“I’ll end my turn there,” Stranger replied, nodding over to her.

“Alright then. Ah go!” Applebloom replied, drawing her card.

(Applebloom lp.6700 hand: 5 deck: 22)
(Stranger lp.6000 hand: 1 deck: 28)

Applebloom grinned, deviously. “Alright Ah got a Question fer ya!”

Stranger blinked. “Um…Okay, go ahead.”

Applebloom laughed at that and played the card. “Alright here it is! Ah activate, Question!” She declared, pointing over to her. “An’ tha question is, what’s tha bottom monster in mah graveyard?”

“Huh?” Stranger asked, confused.

“Guess Ah better explain,” Applebloom replied. “Ya see, Question forces ya to call tha name of tha first monster found at tha bottom of mah graveyard. If ya guess right, tha monster is banished. But if ya guess wrong, it’s summoned to the field!”

Well this is a no brainer, Stranger thought to herself. It’s obviously Marauding Cap…

Her eyes then widened with realization. Wait! Morphing Jar sent 4 cards to her graveyard before that! And Needle Worm sent another 5 after that! I didn’t check those ones! I have no idea what her bottom monster is!

Applebloom grinned at her. “Ya seem ta be struggling, so Ah’ll give ya a hint. Ya sent him there with ya Morphing Jar!”

“Pass…” Stranger replied as a blue armoured, petite monster with little wings on his back appeared.

“Sorry, but pass was not tha answer we were lookin’ for,” She grinned, motioning to her monster. “Meet Little Wing-Guard!” (Little Wing-Guard lv.4 ATK: 1400 DEF: 1800)

Well that’s not very threatening, Stranger thought before all three of her monsters turned into multihued vortexes and her eyes widened in panic. “Uh oh.”

“Uh oh is right! Cause, by tributing all three of mah monsters, Ah can summon Gilford the Lightning!” As she said this, a crash of thunder struck the centre of the field and up, stood a muscle bound human in silver and orange armour with orange clothing covering him. (Gilford the Lightning lv.8 ATK: 2800 DEF: 1400)

“An’ before ya say anything about mah monster being weaker, he has a really nifty special effect!” She declared as he charged his blade with electricity. “He takes out all of ya monsters if Ah summoned him with three sacrifices!”

“What?!” The mare replied, shocked by the revelation as Gilford swiped his blade across Emes and caused the large monster to explode.

“An’ tha best thing about that is, since that was his special effect, he can still hit you with his regular attack! Go Gilford! Lightning blade!” Gilford bellowed a war cry and charged forward to swipe at Stranger’s life points.

“I activate Burst Rebirth!” Stranger declared once she regained her cool. “This lets me get rid of 2000 life points to summon back my Morphing Jar!” She declared as it returned, only to get cleaved in half by Gilford. The slime monster, however, still swiped up Applebloom’s cards and spat them into the graveyard.

(Applebloom lp.6700 hand: 5 deck: 17)
(Stranger lp.6000-4000 hand: 5 deck: 23)

“Fine, Ah end mah turn with that!” Applebloom replied, getting very aggravated by all of the stall cards and flip effects.

Stranger grinned and drew her card.

(Applebloom lp.6700 hand: 5 deck: 17)
(Stranger lp.4000 hand: 6 deck: 22)

“I now activate Messenger of Peace,” Stranger said, smiling smugly. “Now monsters with 1500 or more points can’t attack.”

“Oh c’mon!” Applebloom cried out, about ready to start tearing her mane out. “Are you just too scared to attack or something?! I’ve never seen anypony play so cowardly before!”

That got Stranger’s attention. “What do you mean cowardly? This is a perfectly legitimate duelling strategy. One that, I guess, parted your mane as it sailed right over your head.”

“Legitimate? Yeah. Brave? No! Yer sittin’ behind a bunch o’ spells an’ traps ta mill out mah deck! A real duellist goes fer tha life points and doesn’t duel like a big baby!”

“Oh you want an attack!” Stranger growled, accidently letting out a small bit of dark magic into her next card. “I summon Leghul!” Then, out of the ground, came a purple and brown worm with two large, purple pincers. (Leghul lv.1 ATK: 300 DEF: 350)

“And this slippery little guy can slip right by Gilford and into your life points!” She declared as Leghul rushed right under Gilford and buried it’s pincers right into Applebloom’s foreleg.

(Applebloom lp.6700-6400 hand: 5 deck: 17)
(Stranger lp.4000 hand: 4 deck: 22)

“Yeowch!” She screamed as the monster felt…a little too real. “W-what?! Ah…Ah felt that!”

Stranger’s eyes widened as she tried to play it off. “What? You’re crazy, that’s not possible.”

Leghul let go and, to Applebloom’s horror, she felt a small amount of blood rush down her hoof.

“Well how do ya explain that?!” Applebloom yelled, untying her bow to wrap around her foreleg as a makeshift bandage.

“You must have…tripped,” Stranger replied, motioning to her after she placed a face-down card. “It’s your move.”

Tripped mah flank! Something’s wrong here! She thought to herself as she picked up her card.

(Applebloom lp.6400 hand: 6 deck: 16)
(Stranger lp.4000 hand: 3 deck: 22)

“I tribute Gilford to summon Jinzo!” Applebloom declared as Gilford became a multihued portal and was replaced by a green, cyborg like monster with his brain revealed. (Jinzo lv.6 ATK: 2400 DEF: 1500) “An’ while he’s in play, trap cards like yer Wall are useless!”

Where did this kid get a Jinzo?! Stranger thought to herself, shocked at the appearance of such a rare card.

“An’ Ah’ll just end here,” She replied, looking over her hand. Monster Reborn may help later, but Baby Dragon, Battle Warrior, Shield and Sword and Salamandra are kinda useless right now.

(Applebloom lp.6400 hand: 5 deck: 16)
(Stranger lp.4000-3900 hand: 4 deck: 21)

“I pay 100 life points to keep Messenger of Peace in play and summon Raging Flame Sprite!” A small, pixie like monster in a brown hat and a fire torch appeared on the field. (Raging Flame Sprite lv. 3 ATK: 100 DEF: 200)

“And now I’ll have both monsters hit you directly!”

Once again, Leghul bit Applebloom, but this time on her left hind leg, it leaving a cut on the base of her flank and causing a small amount of blood to ooze out. However, the Raging Flame Sprite did no lasting damage as he bathed her in fire.

(Applebloom lp.6400-6100-6000 hand: 5 deck: 16)
(Stranger lp.3900 hand: 3 deck: 21)

“And Raging Flame Sprite gains 1000 attack points whenever he deals damage to a player,” She explained as Applebloom held onto the wound on her butt. (Raging Flame Sprite lv. 3 ATK: 100-1100 DEF: 200)

“Good-bye dignity, Ah knew thee well,” Applebloom muttered to herself as she glared, hatefully at Leghul.

“I now activate Magic Planter,” Stranger said, Wall of Revealing Light disappearing. “This allows me to send a continuous trap card to the graveyard and draw two cards.”

She drew her cards. “Now first I’ll activate Toll! This spell forces you to pay 500 life points to attack. Then Vengeful Bog Spirit, now a monster has to wait a turn after being summoned to attack. And finally Chain Energy! This card forces each of us to pay 500 life points to play a card from our hands!”

“What?! So Ah gotta pay life points to do anything!” Applebloom replied, shocked at the existence of such a card.

“Yup, so I hope you didn’t have any plans unless you wanted to surrender?”

“To tha likes of you? Fat chance!” She replied, drawing.

(Applebloom lp.6000 hand: 6 deck: 15)
(Stranger lp.3900 hand: 1 deck: 21)

She looked at the card and started smiling widely. “Yes!”


“Ah just drew tha one card Ah needed ta beat you!” Applebloom grinned, playing down the card. “Go Giant Trunade! Sure, it’ll cost me some life points due to Chain Energy, but now all of our spell and trap cards go back to our hands!”

Stranger looked in horror as a massive storm picked up her cards, as well as the one on Applebloom’s field, and sent them to her hand. “No…”

(Applebloom lp.6000-5500 hand: 6 deck: 15)
(Stranger lp.3900 hand: 6 deck: 21)

“What’s wrong? Did ya whole duelling strategy just go down tha drain?” Applebloom grinned, slapping another card down. “Don’t ya threat, you can kiss tha Baby!”

As she said this a small, yellow and pink, wide-eyed dragon appeared. “Baby Dragon that is!” (Baby Dragon lv.3 ATK: 1200 DEF: 700)

“Now Ah’ll activate Monster Reborn! As tha name suggests, Ah can now bring a monster back from tha graveyard! Like Gilford the Lightning!” As she said this, Gilford rose out of the ground and brandished his blade one more time. (Gilford the Lightning lv.8 ATK: 2800 DEF: 1400)

“Now Ah’ll have Gilford wreck your Leghul!” She declared as Leghul was sliced in half.

(Applebloom lp.5500 hand: 4 deck: 15)
(Stranger lp.3900-1400 hand: 6 deck: 21)

“And now Jinzo will take out your Raging Flame Sprite!” She said as Jinzo shot pink beams of energy at the pixie from his eyes, who shattered on impact.

(Applebloom lp.5500 hand: 4 deck: 15)
(Stranger lp.1400-100 hand: 6 deck: 21)

“Now Baby Dragon will finish you off with burst breath!” Applebloom declared as Baby Dragon giggled and hit Stranger directly.

(Applebloom lp.5500 hand: 4 deck: 15)WIN
(Stranger lp.100-0 hand: 6 deck: 21)LOSE

“Ah win…” Applebloom announced, before she wobbled and clutched her wound, hissing.
As if it suddenly got a lot more painful.

Stranger nodded, taking a card out of her saddlebag and giving it to Applebloom, much to her shock. “That you did, congratulations. I’m sorry about everything, though, please take this as an apology.”

Applebloom rose an eyebrow and looked down at the, she assumed, useless card before hers eyes widened in shock. Red Eyes Black Dragon?!

Lying there in front of her was a legendary card that some say was one of the first cards Discord ever created, but never reproduced. It was a nightmare to get a hold of, nevermind just give away, so to say Applebloom was suspicious was like saying a Mouse was suspicious of a cheese tasting party being hosted by a hungry cat.

“Yer…Just giving me this?” She asked, confused and above all else, tired. Stranger nodded.

“I shouldn’t have threatened to spread around your personal information and something must have gone wrong with my duel plank to get you hurt. It’s the least I can do,” Stranger replied, smiling sincerely.

And it was sincere. Her job was to drain her of her energy, not to physically harm the poor filly. The end goal, she kept telling herself, will justify the means. But that doesn’t mean she has to just let the means go.

Applebloom shook the weirdness from her head and took a closer look at the card. She seemed genuine and the card itself was accepted by the duel plank, meaning the card was the real deal.

“Um…Thanks uh…” Applebloom paused, looking up again, this time though her eyelids were threatening to shut heavily. “Ah’m sorry, Ah never really got yer name.”

Stranger shuffled in place, not really sure how to go about this. She was here to collect energy, not make a friend. But…she also needed to make sure to not seem suspicious.

“My name…It’s Poverty,” She replied, nodding to her saddlebags. “Now weren’t you taking some groceries home?”

“Groceries?” The filly asked, turning to her saddlebags. Then her eyes shot open in realization. “Granny’s medicine!” She cried out, scooping up her duel plank and saddlebags, clumsily, and shooting off towards the farm house at a break neck pace, leaving a concerned and horrified mare behind.


“There ya are Applebloom!” Applejack said as the filly burst in and dropped her saddelbags, carefully, on the table. “Where in tarnation…were…you…?”

Her words soon died in her throat when she got a good look at the yellow filly…or usually yellow. She was so drained of colour you could almost swear she was Sweetie Belle were it not for her red mane.

But it was her eyes that seem the most haunting as they could barely stay open, sweat pouring heavily all around her and she was taking huge breaths of air as if she had run a marathon…despite being a two minute jog at most.

Applebloom smiled at her sister and she could sweat she heard the orange mare scream as she passed out.