Embers Fall

by CrimsonWave

Prologue - Dawnfall

“That Sun Beamer pony just doesn’t get it. He’s blended himself perfectly into the sea of silly looking hoof fluffs, mane extensions, and glowsticks that is the Summer Sun Celebration in Las Pegasus. Not even I, Obscurus Noctis, the 14697th best DJ in the world as determined by that meaningless fan vote Barrelboard always does, have located him. I have one more night, dusk till dawn, to show him what happens when you mess with the wrong mare. I still cannot believe he managed to corroborate the Aeternum Obscurum project from just song titles and lyrics alone. My master plan was to combat the scourge you call 'EDM fanponies', by trapping all of them in a mystical realm where the party never ends, but I'm the only DJ on the entire schedule!"

"I don’t just sign anyone on Clausula Records. You have to have a special talent, just like everypony else in this world. Mine, if you’re not aware, is a form of mind control and hypnosis; it transports victims into a 'projection' of a different world, which I call a "mental reality". They can only escape if they fulfill a specific goal. It's like those funky 'VR' things that are all the rage nowadays, except with no wires, expensive computers, or bulky headsets. This is a particular form of unicorn magic which requires me to be exposed to special tones and rhythms. I can 'encode' different projections into any old track that affects where the victims are taken. If I listen on my headphones, I can do it to just one person. If I crank it up on a festival-grade speaker rigs, I can do this to an entire crowd! However, I’ve found that external stimuli and 'contrasting' music can have a negative impact on the quality and stability of the projections, which might be a potential issue at an event where every single stage is playing something different."

"I'm done with backstories for now, let's get back to the meat and potatoes. Before I go ahead with Project Aeternum Obscurum when I hijack the main stage tonight, I have to find my test subject. Someone has already, ahem, "volunteered" to potentially become my permanent roadie. It’s less fun than it sounds. Two can play at the game of stalking online postings to figure out where somepony is going to be: under his typical screen name of Chaotic Kisol, he announced to the world that he cannot wait for Swedish Horse Mafia and Dream Fractal’s sets tonight. Upon further review, I discovered that they’re on right after each other, at 11pm and Midnight respectively, but on different stages. Said stages happen to be just a short trot away."

“He clearly optimized his schedule to reduce travel times through the crowds while still letting him see his favorites, which gives us a good ambush point in between. I have accounts of the legendary tyrants that plagued our history - the princess of nightmares, the queen of the Changelings, and the boastful magician, among others - encoded in my somewhat-patented mental reality format. There is absolutely no way he’ll be able to escape it: it is as immersive as you’re gonna get from my magic. He’ll have to face challenges that were meant to be faced by a raid party of six, good friends, and it will conclude with the ultimate 1-on-1 battle against one of my favorite historical figures, the lord of Tartarus! The festival may be ending, but your time here won’t. I hope you hate it.”

“When the new day begins, your time is up. Before the dawn, you shall fall.”

"...wait. Did that final line have the flavor of 'cheese' at all?"