"Ah... Wha...? Where...?" I started... "Dripping cock king benders...." I mumbled... Last I remember I fell asleep in the Battle Tower after trying Maxos' last spell, right...? White light...? Makes sense that I'm here in the snow...
Snow?! I sat up and saw knee high snow as far as the eye could see... And for me, that's pretty damned far! I got up and looked around, I tried my Dragon Stone to get back... Nothing, my Stone just flashed a few times before returning to it's normal red hue.
'Well, that's not good...' I thought. There was a blizzard going on... I had to get indoors or I'd freeze, even with my well Conditioned Body...I felt strange... Oh shit! I had long golden hair, a clean shaven face and no scars... Strange... I looked like I was when I was 19...
I started to trudge through the snow, moving slow. Up ahead I saw someone! Or something...
"Hey! Hey! Where are am I!?" I yelled, the person turned and approached... Oh shitnuggets... Black Ring! I was about to draw my sword until I saw he wasn't attacking...
"Come on brother! We must go! The Damned One has found a way out of here! You must have been hiding, you need some of our armor, or they may attack on sight, I'll take you to camp!" Exclaimed the Black Ring, his armor was old, rusted, but he didn't seem like a General, it looked like it had been passed down... His spikes were few so he was a low rank... That is how you tell Black Ring ranks apart.
"What happened?" I asked, playing along.
"Don't you remember? The damned Divine sent the best of us here with Damien as punishment for our rebellion! But we have a way out, the Damned One just needs time. Come, to camp. What rank are you? We obviously don't have access to any forges or the like here so we have pass on our armor from father to son, rank to rank, so unless you are already a certain rank you cannot be promoted until a member of that rank dies and you take his armor. So we use the spare sets for anyone we encounter who previously held certain ranks." He said.
"Ah, I was a General, I fought the Divine's paladins head on!" I exclaimed, bluffing my way through.
"Really?! Awesome! I inherited this from my father, so the others don't think I deserve the rank of Sergeant because I haven't fought a battle yet." He said.
"I see." I nodded. We were approaching a fire, a campfire I imagine.
"Ho there! Who goes?" Asked the voice as they saw us approaching.
"I do! It's me guys." Said the guy next to me.
"Ah, OK, who goes with you?!" He asked, pointing his bow.
"Err... Who are you?" He asked.
"General... Visceral." I answered.
"I found one! A General, name's Visceral!" He called.
"Sounds good!" Called the guy and lowered his bow, walking back to the fire.
We approached and I was astounded. I'd never been so close to Black Ring before without them trying to kill me... Except once when two Black Ring didn't notice me enter a room until I'd listened to their entire conversation... And the two that surrendered to me in the Orobas Fjords, but never so many...
I sat down with them and saw them roasting a pig.
"Want some?" He asked, I nodded, he cut me a slice and I devoured it, I ate as sloppily as they did, with a ravenous hunger. Forgoing simple table etiquette to act like them.
"So, who's on watch tonight?" Asked the one that escorted me.
"I will. I'm the new guy, I should take watch to prove I can be trusted." I said.
"I agree, we all need our sleep tonight." Agreed another, he was a Captain. I geared up in my Scorpion suit, telling them I forgot I had a spare armor set, the reason I told them I was a General was my Scorpion Armor had a General's spikes and insignia on it.
Suddenly I looked up and saw weird things... Horses that were transparent, made out of some kind of light, they seemed to be causing the blizzard...
"What the-" I started.
"Windigos. The Damned One is using them to mask our presence to anyone who comes looking. Most who look freeze before they make it too far. Above the thick blizzard clouds, the Windigos roam, protecting and keeping hidden our Flying Fortresses, they love hatred and malice and feed off of it which is why the agreement with them was struck. They feed off our malice, create a blizzard and turn the inhabitants of the land against each other, leading to them being fed more until they encase every inhabitant in ice. Forever feeding from their permanent anger. It's a good arrangement. The Damned One is working on a plan on the other side, where it is not blizzarding. We use the camps of the inhabitants as they move around because we don't have the resources to make our own fires or tents, we use the stuff they leave behind." Explained the leader.
I just sat quietly the rest of the night, letting each of them, one by one go to their tents...
When they were all in their tents, I waited until they were all asleep... When they were I used magic and set fire to the tents. All of them except the kid that helped me, burned. He ran out and saw me standing there, aiming a bow at him...
"Wait, I surrender..." He said, holding up his hands.
"..." I sighed and lowered my bow, he backed up. "Wait... What's your name?" I asked.
"Stone." He said and ran.
"S- Stone?! Damn it!" I exclaimed, shooting the bow but because of the blizzard the arrow blew past him despite me firing a perfect shot... "How?! I killed him!" I exclaimed. No point running after him, he'd freeze. Plus, these Windigos were a threat... I had to figure out how to defeat them...
I started walking away from the fires and set off... I walked and walked through the snow for days, barely eating to conserve food, although I had plenty, I didn't want to run out prematurely because of carelessness, my Scorpion Armor was beginning to freeze in the joints...
I was aching and cold until I came across a village. I was beginning to shiver and if I spent much longer in the cold I might get Pneumonia. I saw all the-
Go to hell.
Ok... I just saw, what looked like Ponies enter a building. And some were talking. Talking. Shitmonkeys.
I headed to where they were going. They shut the door and I waited a second. So I opened the door, breathing heavily, snow following me inside and some frost was on my armor, I removed my mask, I still had my hand on the door as it hit the wall, I ducked to get inside.
"I-is there warmth here?" I stuttered, my voice deep from having a sore throat because of the cold, three Ponies at the table in the center of the room backed off and the door was shut, it was warmer, so that’s something... I shared some food with them as thanks.
"As a member of a tribe of your own, would you join our discussion? We need a mediator. Since you have no personal stake in this you seem suitable.." Said a... Unicorn? Yeah, let's go with that. She looked to be the leader, in fact the three ponies at this table seemed to be the leaders of each tribe. The winged one was black with grey hair slicked back like flame, on his ass was a tornado. The normal pony was light pink with a chocolate muffin on her ass and orange/red hair. The Unicorn was white, with a pink mane and had a silver crown on her ass. And head.
I agreed and knelt down at the table, placing my mask on the table with their hats/helmets. I saw three flags behind each leader and above the flags in podiums, their people, or in this case, ponies.
They all took a breath and began bickering...
"Silence! One at a time." I said, they agreed. The... Pegasus? Let's just agree yes, we can sort out proper names later. Anyway, he started.
"All I want to know is why the Earth Ponies are hogging all the food!" He said, his people agreed.
OK, no horn/wings= Earth Pony, got it! He had a gruff voice, commanding. But mine was better.
"Order! Earth Ponies, how do you answer these accusations?" I asked.
"US? We're not hogging all the food! You are!" She accused. She had a slight craze in her voice, as if she was high on sugar.
"Pegasi, how do-" I started.
"No, wait, you're right, it's us!" Exclaimed the Earth Pony leader.
"Ok, this-" I started again.
"Well, it's only cause you mean old pegasususus are making it snow like crazy!" She accused, her ponies also agreed.
"Order! Order! Pegasi, how do you answer-" I cut off... Did these ponies not know about the Windigos? Maybe I best not say anything... They might think I'm crazy... When I cut off, the Pegasi leader seemed to think that was all I was going to say.
"For the hundredth time, it's not us!" He argued, slamming his hoof down.
"I see..." I said.
"We're not making it snow! It must be the Unicorns! They're doing it with their freaky magic." Accused the Pegasi leader causing the Unicorn leader to gasp.
"Now, Unicorns, what is your defense to this?" I asked.
"How dare you! Unlike you Pegasi ruffians, we Unicorns would never stoop to such a thing! Hmm!" Argued the Unicorn leader she had an incredibly posh voice. Her ponies followed her example, looking down their noses at us.
"Well if you non-earths aren't going to use your weird powers to stop freezing us all, then I'm plum out of ideas!" Exclaimed the Earth Pony leader, putting her head in her hooves.
"What a shocker! An Earth Pony with no ideas!" Exclaimed the Pegasi leader.
"Oi! Stop with the racial slurs or I'll knock all your heads together!" The other ponies in the stands began shouting. "Order! I shall have order!" I exclaimed, they all stopped and I nodded for the leaders to carry on.
"Commander Hurricane!" Ok, got a name, and that thing on his ass is a hurricane, got it. "He is right! Please cease with the insults!" Exclaimed the Unicorn leader.
"Agreed... Ah!" I exclaimed putting a hand on Commander Hurricane's chest, stopping him from rushing the Unicorn leader. "No violence! Understood!?" I asked.
"Yes sir..." He reluctantly agreed. "But I don't take orders from a prissy Princess!" He exclaimed.
"I beg your pardon?! I am a Princess! I will not be spoken to that way!" Hmmph'd the Princess, putting her crown on and beginning to leave.
"Well I'm leaving first!" Exclaimed Hurricane.
"No I'm first!" Exclaimed the Earth Pony leader, they all tried to leave at once, opening the door, letting the cold in and trapping themselves. They all pushed forward and got out, running back to their respective land. I looked up and saw the Windigos. Not many things unnerve me, but those... things do...
"I hope Damien doesn't come any time soon..." I said. I caught up with Commander Hurricane. "Commander!" I exclaimed, he landed when he saw it was me.
"What?" He asked.
"May I stay with you? I have no shelter..." I said.
"Hmm... Sure, but you don't have wings." He pointed out.
"I do, I just hide them." I said.
"Then sure." He nodded. He flew up into the lower clouds, the upper clouds were too dense and cold to live in I guess. I turned into a Dragon and headed up, I saw a small cloud village, I landed on the clouds and I turned back Human before anyone saw me as a Dragon...
I approached the village. And was met by an orange Pegasus with two spears crossed on her ass. She also had a deep red/orange mane like the Earth Pony leader.
"Welcome to our humble village, my name is Private Pansy." She said. Ok, unexpected name considering her tattoo...
"Pansy huh...? Boo!" I said, the Pegasus stumbled, pulled out a spear and pointed it in all directions, shaking like hell, even though the sound clearly came from me.
"Oh sorry, I get scared sometimes..." She said, she had a strongish voice that seemed macho, but was hiding fear.
"It's Ok. Commander Hurricane said I could stay?" I asked.
"Huh? Oh yeah, the mediator, right? This way." She said, leading me to a cloudy hut. "It's not much but it's warm and will keep you dry." She smiled.
"Thank you Private. Dismissed." I said. She saluted and marched away. I spent a few hours using an ice pick I found to clear all my gear of frost and ice, I also made myself some soup with some food I had. Then I decided 'fuck it!' and made a huge pot, I was giving out bowls of soup for free to the Pegasi, they were happy to have some food and they all thanked me incessantly.
I saw Hurricane fly over, his gear looked clean as well, that must have been where he was after the summit or whatever it was. He was cleaning his gear to look presentable for his troops.
"Attention!" He yelled, Private Pansy stumbled a bit leaving the table and her unfinished soup but eventually stood before her Commander. "Well? Aren’t you curious as to how it went?" Asked Hurricane to Pansy.
"Oh! Commander Hurricane, sir! How did it go, sir?" Asked Pansy.
"It went horribly! Those other tribe leaders are so disrespectful! Don't they realise that we are a mighty tribe of warriors and are not to be crossed?! I've got to break bread with those weak foals!" Exclaimed Hurricane, accidentally sending Pansy down the steps.
"Break bread with the enemy, but no matter how many of them I break bread with, I'll break who they're sending to me." I said.
"Huh?" Asked Hurricane. I went to respond when suddenly I saw a black Unicorn about to strike Hurricane from behind with a knife... But they had a Black Ring mask on! I jumped at Hurricane, pushing him out of the way, I jammed my combat knife into the assassins stomach, he died.
I saw another was about to kill Private Pansy, but when he saw me kill his friend he leapt at me. He was an Earth Pony! The Black Ring member and I rolled down the steps, I was stopping the knife he had from hurting me with little effort but when we reached the bottom of the stairs we fell through the clouds.
I went into freefall and turned into a Dragon, flying downwards, I turned back Human and landed without injury. I looked over and saw the Black Ring Unicorn go splat on the ground, his armor would have absorbed about 10% of the damage... I ran over and saw him coughing blood. His spine, forearms and hind legs were broken...
"Hah... Maxos, you're too late... We're already moving on your precious Clover and Princess Platinum... 6 of us disguised, 4 completing their objectives will be enough..." He choked his final words, dying. He was blind from falling into shards of ice as they pierced his eyes but he must have saw me turn into a Dragon and assumed...
"Well, that was a convenient last breath to tell me his plan so I can thwart him." I chuckled. I looked around and lo and behold, Princess Platinum was walking in the cold with an assassin behind her-
ASSASSIN?! I rushed over to her and she saw me coming, she shut her eyes and charged a spell. But I didn't even go within a metre of her, I tackled the other black Pony trailing her, he was an Earth Pony... I thrust my knife into his neck.
"Maxos...? How-? No wait... You're..." He died, Maxos? He could see fine, he got me confused for a wizard that hasn't been seen for years, until his last moment...
"Hmm? Mediator? What are you doing here?" Shivered the Princess with chattering teeth. I realised this 'Clover' was in danger. I stepped away from the body.
"An assassin for you." I said. She looked at the body.
"The Earth Ponies are now trying to kill me?!" She exclaimed.
"No, it is-" She cut me off.
"Come, we must head inside, away from the cold." She concluded, she was too stubborn to listen... I followed her to her Castle and we went inside.
"Clover the Clever! I need you!" Exclaimed Platinum. I saw a dark green Pony adorned in brown cloth robes and short blue hair approach as Platinum collapsed.
"Yes Your Majesty? Did the other Pony tribes see reason as I predicted?" She asked. She had a clear voice and was clearly versed in magic, although not as powerful as me... But I saw some Maxos spells in there... Maybe she was more than she appeared.
"Predicted? What are you, a fortune teller?" I chuckled.
"And who is this?" Asked Clover.
"This may be the 'anomaly' you predicted, he tried to help... To no avail!" Said Platinum.
"I see. Greetings. I am Clover the Clever and for your information I am actually the royal advisor and apprentice to Star Swirl the Bearded!" Exclaimed Clover, Star Swirl?
"Hah... Sure." I said as the Princess lay on a cushion and Clover pulled up a basin of water.
"What you didn't predict was those lowly creatures tried to assassinate me! Assassinate! Me! We will no longer consort with these peasants." She said, splashing Clover and myself as she stomped her two front hooves into the basin.
"Oh! Let me help you dry off! Let's give the Princess some privacy!" Exclaimed Clover, I followed her to an empty corridor,
"Wow Clover, we should get to know each other first..." I laughed.
"Quiet! I'm certainly not adverse to a joke, but this is a serious matter! Is this true? Assassination!?" Asked Clover.
"Yes, but not by any tribe you know of, by the Black Ring, trying to disturb peace. One is after you." I informed.
"What?! OK... Star Swirl will want to know about this, I've seen him write the word 'Black Ring' in his journal before. He might know more." Said Clover, leading me through the Castle. We entered a dark place and ascended many stairs. We approached the door. Clover knocked three times in rapid succession.
"Enter, Clover." Came a voice. We entered the room and I saw potions bubbling, it was a brightly lit room, it looked similar to the Maxos Temple in many ways. "So, what brin-" He stopped when he saw me, he dropped a luckily empty vial from his magic when he laid eyes on me.
"...Zandalor?" I asked as he picked the glass up.
"No, this is my Master, Star Swirl. Master, this is... I didn't catch your name..." Said Clover. I decided to use code.
"Ego... Draconis." I said as we shook hands/hooves. Suddenly his eyes went wide.
"Clover... leave us. Wait outside." He said.
"Bu-" She started.
"Now!" Exclaimed Star Swirl and Clover instantly ran out, shutting the door. "I am not who you think I am. You may call me... Maxos." Said the Wizard.
"What? Impossible!" I exclaimed.
"Not quite. Zandalor and myself had a bet. I lost. I have to wear his clothes and match his identity as much as possible in this strange world, and give myself the name Star Swirl. It's demeaning really. But I lost and I honour my bets." He smiled.
"Wow." I chuckled.
"Indeed. Now then... 'Ego Draconis'... that is two things. An alias for you if you are in trouble to let other Dragon-Knights know that you are, and a callsign for other Dragon-Knights to recognise you as one of us. What's the trouble? And how did you get here?" He asked, we took a seat.
"Black Ring assassins. They are trying to disturb the peace. One is after your apprentice. I used your last spell, got dizzy, went to sleep and woke up here." I informed.
"Ah... I see.that spell, is a spell thats use is unknown. I got two words wrong and it brought me here by myself. While you must have..." He started.
"Made a single mistake." I nodded.
"Well, I cannot send you back. There is little I can do in this blizzard, something powerful is behind it that even I cannot combat..." He said.
"Windigos. Powered by Damien. They are ethereal and therefore are beyond our power. We need something else to defeat them. But I do not know what that is yet." I said.
"I see. I will investigate. So, you are from Rivellon? And you know Zandalor?" Asked Maxos.
"Yeah. He's doing fine last I checked. At the Divine's side as usual. Guiding me to defeat Damien." I told him.
"Divine? I'm afraid I know nothing about that. I've been gone for a few years and all this happens?" He chuckled.
"You've been gone for over 1000 years..." I said...
What?! Impossible... I cannot have been gone for that long! Sure time moves slightly faster here than in Rivellon but that's impossible...!
I scanned over the Dragon-Knight before me with magic... He was a jack of all trades! From sorcery, to summoning, to sword combat, to hand to hand, to archery... He was everything rolled into one... And he had been in the Battle Tower! He had the aura of the Stone about him...
Now for an explanation, It seems he was sent here from the future. By someone else from the looks of it, his memory was fragmented... In pieces, he only remembered Rivellon, but he has been here before, in the future, he just cannot remember!
I looked over him again, his Indomitable Will was incredibly strong, he's a Wizards worst nightmare! He must be the one... The one to defeat Damien! If he was a Pony he would be an Alicorn... Legends told of a Human turned Alicorn that would defeat Damien! This must be him! But he's far too early...
Stop the assassinations! Yes! Fate intervenes again!
An enemy sent him here, thinking it would finish him off, when in actual fact it was meant to happen! I didn't know about the assassinations until he told me, so without him this place would be plunged into war and chaos! Damien would be able to use this reality as a Home Base for his Black Ring! I must not be able to stop Damien in my lifetime, but this Dragon-Knight can! I will still do what I can to help in the future...
He is also on the second stage of his training! But... He cannot know he is from the future or is in the past, he must find out himself, and piece his memory back together...
"I see." I said. "You must defeat the Damned One my friend! If you do not... I shudder for this world and ours. Take this book. It was given to me by the Dragons. It's part of what made me so powerful. DO NOT READ IT yet! You will know when you must!" I exclaimed.
"Very well... What now?" I asked.
"You must leave and find these assassins! When you have helped Clover I will send you to the Earth Pony base to stop the assassins there." He said. Suddenly, Clover burst in, running from a Pegasus assassin and screaming.
"You're up." Said Maxos. I held my sword out, not even sparing the assassin a glance and he ran into the sword blade, decapitating him, killing him instantly. Lucky bastard.
"Thank you oh thank you!" Said Clover.
"Well, that was easy." I said.
"Indeed. I will see you later my friend. Keep in touch." He smiled and sent me away...
I was underneath snow... I was going to asphyxiate! I burst upwards into the blizzard...
"Fucking... Tele...portation!" I coughed, getting up from the foxhole I dug my way out of. I saw buildings all around us, I looked up and saw Puddinghead go down a chimney... I knocked on the door to the building.
"Yeah?" Asked a Pony, opening up the door. She was cream coloured, with dark and light green hair beneath a straw hat... He had a slight country tinge to her voice.
"Hey. Mediator, need somewhere to stay." I shortened my story.
"Sure, why not?" She said and let me in.
I entered and brushed the snow off me.
"Cheers." I said.
"No problem. Names Smart Cookie" She smiled.
"Tyrath. Tyrath Kyelinth." I said, shaking her hoof.
Suddenly Puddinghat came down the chimney...
"Wouldn't it've been easier to use the door Chancellor? Like Tyrath the Mediator here?" Asked Cookie.
"Maybe you for you and him Smart Cookie! But I am a Chancellor! I was elected because I know how to think outside the box! Which means..." Exclaimed Puddinghat putting her head back inside the chimney. "I can also think inside the chimney!" She exclaimed.
"Logic that’s unbeatable." I chuckled.
"I know! Can you think inside a chimney?!" She asked.
"Only because I'm 'smokin' hot!' hah!" I exclaimed with a laugh.
"Nice one! I'll write that down!" Exclaimed Puddinghat.
"Err..." Started Cookie.
"I didn't think so!" Exclaimed Puddinghat. Cookie groaned.
"So, got a plan?" I asked.
"No- Wait a second...! Hold on to your hooves! I am just about to be brilliant!" She exclaimed.
"That'd be a first..." Mumbled Cookie and I chuckled.
"I have decided that the Earth Ponies are going to go it alone!" Exclaimed Puddinghat.
"So you mean the other tribes didn't come around?" Asked Cookie.
"Unfortunately not." I said.
"Darn! I really hoped we could get through to them if w-" She was cut off.
"Don't worry about them! We're the ones with all the food right?" Asked Puddinghat.
"Err, to be honest, we're all out." Informed Cookie.
"Fine! Then we'll have to go somewhere new we we can grow more food! And with me as our fearless leader, nothing can go wrong." Exclaimed Puddinghat, opening the door and a wall of snow fell on her.
"Where should I start?" Asked Cookie, leading me to chuckle again.
"The point is... We need to find new land!" She resolved... She told us her plan of going to a new land to farm for food, away from the blizzard and by extension, unbeknownst to them, the Windigos. Suddenly a Black Ring Pegasus and Unicorn popped up in windows opposite each other in between me, the Chancellor and Cookie, aiming at us.
"Duck!" I said and me and Cookie got down.
"Swan! Ah!" Exclaimed Puddinghead before Cookie pulled her down, two arrows flew above us. I stood up and looked... Their own arrows had hit each other....
"Both of you go. Be careful." I warned.
I left the building, headed to my new hut that Puddinghat gave me until we were leaving and I contacted Maxos by magic.
"Yes Dragon-Knight? What have you to report?" He asked, writing in multiple books at once with his magic, glancing at me from the corner of his eyes in his communication magic.
"The assassins are dead, they killed each other by accident. The Earth Ponies are going to move land, is that a wise decision?" I asked.
"Ha! That's always a plus when your enemies do the work for you! To answer: No and yes, but the Unicorns, and from what I understand, the Pegasi, have the same idea." He said, I also saw him packing his things.
"Right... These Windigos will follow wherever conflict arises." I informed him.
"Indeed, the Black Ring will also attempt to disrupt the peace. It is up to you and me to stop them." He said, severing the connection.
"Count on me Maxos." I said even though he couldn't hear me...