The Rejuvenationverse 33 members · 21 stories
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“Politician, Knight, Strategist, Swordsmaster, Archer, Alchemist, Judge, Physician, Architect, Engineer, Diplomat, Poet, Philosopher, Painter, Musician, Dancer, Athlete, Linguist, Chef, Explorer, Martial Artist, Detective, Astronomer, Horticulturalist...It would honestly be easier to list the things he wasn’t good at.”– Aurora.

“You, Vorpal Blade, are a social climber, a know-it-all, an idealist, a radical, but most of all an overcommitted, unashamed show-off...I knew there was something I liked about you.”– Archmage Star-Swirl the Bearded.

“What a guy!”– Almost Everypony Else.

Vorpal Blade is one of the most celebrated scholars Equestria has ever seen, arguably second only to Star-Swirl the Bearded.

Vorpal Blade was born in the Earth Pony City of Dunholm to two of the city’s Hunter Guild Leaders, Dreamless Sleep of the Oculus Guild and Morning Star of the Maul Guild. Growing up in Dunholm, he learned many important crafts, the most prominent of which was swordwork. Yet, in contrast to his famously reckless brother, Dusken Blade (Who would become the Sentinel of Dunholm), Vorpal seemed very averse to killing, at least not without knowing why anypony wanted something dead and whether that was a good reason.
In Dunholm, however, that wasn’t done. A slayer was hired and paid to kill, not to question.
Dunholm had little natural resources. When the Masonic Church had put it to siege in the early days of the Earth Pony Republic, they mined and scoured its surrounding fields and quarries dry. Dunholm had since become a trade city and its greatest trade was death. Ponies and even other beasts of hoof paid the ponies of Dunholm well for their famous skill in hunting and killing, monsters or ponies, it made little difference.

He did take some contracts but only those that guaranteed honour and some semblance of goodness would be done. One such exploit was saving the fabled kirin princess, Kikuno, from the Changeling Warlord O-Suzume Bachi. Vorpal Blade tracked O-Suzume Bachi to his island over the Ai’Iro Atolls far west of Equestria and not only rescued Kikuno, but every captive and slave in Bachi’s Empire and slew the Warlord, single-hoofed, by posing as a slave, smuggling in weapons, diverting Bachi’s fleet into an Imperial Neighponese warhost, and mounting a slave uprising in the chaos. In thanks, the Kirin Empress, Tsutsuji the Beloved, gifted Vorpal Blade not only with the promised payment but the prized katana, Sakura Shikkoku (Jet-Black Cherry Blossom) and a free year of swordsmastery training under the legendary Changeling swordsmaster, Tonbo Oniyanma and joined him in the great Battle of Nayakahara on Mistmane’s side. It’s not known how much action he saw there. It is likely he was mostly a spectator.

Choosing to stay in Neighpon for another year, Vorpal Blade and Tonbo Oniyanma saw the climactic Siege of Nomaka at the end of the War of the Fifth Ring, when Shogun Kimono felt threatened by the Mistmane Clan and made her decision to complete her unification of Neighpon by removing the Mistmanes from their seat of power. The siege lasted almost two years but eventually, Mistmane’s armies were defeated and she made the decision to surrender. Vorpal Blade crossed swords and banners with many great warriors of the age including facing the deadly ninja, Kuroni Hanzo; the one-eyed daimyo, Tatsu Hitotsome; and Hakuba Akuyusha who’d fought in every major battle Neighpon had seen thus far and finally saw his last battle there at Nomaka, Vorpal Blade himself presiding over his ritual suicide. Defeated, Mistmane ceded rulership over Neighpon to Kimono provided the Empress ruled as Mistmane had (Rights for Changelings among the several key terms dictated by Mistmane) before Vorpal Blade accompanied Mistmane on her ship to Equestria.

However, when returning to Dunholm, Vorpal Blade was censured by the Guild Leaders as he’d joined, fought and surrendered a losing battle, something Dunholm Hunters are explicitly forbidden from doing.
His own father is quoted as having said.
“No Dunholm Hunter has ever fought for the losing side or fled from the winning side. If a Dunholm Hunter defects, it means that side isn’t winning and they didn’t pay their Hunter enough to die with them. Not that they could.”

It was a matter of principle that he chose not to have anything to do with Dunholm society.
The Hunters would take contracts, they and their Guilds would grow rich, the Castellan of the city taxed the Guilds and the city grew rich. The Castellan used the taxes to renovate the unique architecture of the city with its high walls of tektite, slate and silver and walkways of marble and lead where refugees, tourists or visiting figureheads would speak with the rulers of the city. But below the walls and walkways, the Guilds spent their earnings on their own pleasures and those of their Hunters.
In the words of Midnight Blade, “If a Dunholm Hunter is prepared to face death earning his daily wages, it’s because he has nothing worth keeping alive for in the first place. So it doesn’t take long for one to realise how a Dunholm Hunter spends their earnings.”
Similarly, Star-Swirl was quoted as saying “What a killer spends his gold on is best not witnessing and what a whole city of killers spends its gold on is best not imagining.”
Once the ‘Hunting Trade’ was established in the dangerous plane that was the Dun Valley, where it’s said there was always something to hunt and somepony who wanted it hunted, it didn’t take long for the Guilds to find ways to add a little extra to Dunholm’s economy to both boost the tourist trade and make their Hunter’s lives that much more pleasurable.
The once-quiet streets of Dunholm become flooded with armadas of taverns, smokehouses, fighting pits and brothels of every taste, however peculiar.
The lower city had no official law. Criminals weren't caught and arrested by guards, they were only ever pursued by hunters paid by the victims of the crime. There was no justice but that which coin could buy. The Castellans and figures at the top allowed this as it gave them less to worry about, focussing on making their city taller, grander and stronger, bringing in more and more interest from a steadily-settling Equestria fresh off the Founding and witnessing the beginning of the Second Age of Magic.

Vorpal writes in his memoirs that he could not stand the city and distanced himself from his family and its trade, confining himself to the city library most of the day, practically living there for a time.
He writes that he could not imagine how long it had been since he went outside when he first met Equestrian diplomats visiting Dunholm to speak of the ascension of Laurelore the Firsticorn.
And so he met with Canterlot’s Grand Ambassador and renowned explorer, Lord Atlas of Summersnow, the grandfather of the future Bearer of the Element of Magic, Aurora. Vorpal Blade became fascinated by Canterlot, the alicorn civilisation and the ‘Greater Magic’ of Friendship and Harmony.
Deciding there and then to travel to Canterlot with Atlas, Vorpal Blade’s true life began.

Officially the first Dun pony to set hoof in Canterlot, he was regarded as something of an oddity by members of the Canterlot circle. In the closely-knit court of Laurelore, there were still significantly few earth ponies and even they regarded him as a stranger to their kind. In the wake of the construction of the Grand Academy, the Arch of Unity and many other great architectural wonders of Canterlot, a new age was dawning, one that would become known as the Equestrian Renaissance or the Harmonious Enlightenment. An avid learner of as many crafts as possible, Vorpal Blade soon met with the most prestigious mind in Equestria at the time, Archmage Star-Swirl, who offered to serve as his mentor in Canterlot.

He could easily have taken up primary tutelage under Star-Swirl. Had he done so, he would have been made one of the most important ponies in Canterlot at a stroke. Yet he politely but firmly refused, wishing only to consult Star-Swirl on matters on magic and its history. Vorpal Blade evidently did not wish to overspecialise. For other arts, he consulted other masters, inviting some to Canterlot from half the way across the world. It was thanks to him that the great Bitalian Inventor, Artist and Philosopher, Marvelo Da Pingi, famously set hoof in Canterlot (Arriving via an airship and parachute of his own design, no less) and first gifted the Equestrians with knowledge of airship construction, which he’d smuggled out of Bitaly during the Antivanitas Purges. Airship construction was perfected in Equestria thereafter and again much later on by the Society of Exus in Susitania in Southern Stirrope (Hence the distinct differences in design between airships of Equestrian and Stirropean make). Months later, he earned the honour of being the first Equestrian-born citizen to enter Saraj, modern-day Saddle Arabia. His guide was Rastaban al’ Rafiq, the young nephew of the Vizier of Muzul who would become the unifier of much of the Aswan regions. The two became great friends and Vorpal Blade soon became a great enthusiast of Sarajian, Haissanic, Khayalan, Lilachian and Yuntic culture, bringing many invaluable inventions and ideas back to Equestria.

In time, Vorpal Blade studied and excelled in countless arts and crafts and was given a senior position at the Grand Academy of Canterlot as Archdean of Liberal Arts at just eighteen years of age. It was during this time that the era known as the ‘Equestrian Renaissance’ or the ‘Harmonious Movement’ was on the rise and Vorpal Blade is credited with being one of its foremost pioneers. Unlike most prominent politicians who were set up to limit and monitor the power the alicorn Laurelore had on pony society, still very early after her ascension, Vorpal Blade was an ardent supporter of Laurelore and her faction believing she was already as familiar as necessary with pony society and would change it for the better.

There were some in Canterlot who claimed that his excellence in art and knowledge rivalled that of Star-Swirl. Star-Swirl took this not so much as an insult but as a challenge.
At this point in history, there was still a slight stigma against the Earth Ponies among the Unicorn communities and there is slight evidence that Star-Swirl shared the stigma. However, for Vorpal Blade, Star-Swirl had nothing but utmost respect and the two enjoyed a friendly rivalry, each seeing if they could outdo the other. In his anecdotes, Vorpal admits that in most occasions, Star-Swirl was the victor and yet Star-Swirl says the opposite in his own memoirs. The two often clashed on political or philosophical matters and when they debated on any matters of importance, thousands flocked the courts to witness it. One particular incident where they worked together in an effort to outdo each other was during the Great Violet Plague outbreak two years into his career as Academy Archdean.

The Violet Plague ravaged the mid-city in the mid-reign of Laurelore, killing hundreds in days. Due to the high number of refugees coming to Canterlot from elsewhere in the Known World, there was little way to identify how the disease had come into the city but it spread like wildfire.
[Note: Violet Plague, scientifically known as Vasculonecrosis Porphyrius, is a disease of highly harmful bacteria which breaks down the cells in blood capillaries. Oxygen is cut off from the blood supply and the victim’s face, pupils, tongue, gums and other orifices flush violet as they incessantly sweat purple-tinged blood. Death can come in an hour or a week depending on how much the victim exerts him/herself.]
The Pegasi ensured order was kept in the city, isolating and quarantining infected zones of the city from a safe distance with long-range weaponry and defences impregnable from the ground. Meanwhile Star-Swirl and his most gifted mages set about trying to cure those infected with powerful healing spells. However, Vorpal Blade spoke up against this, having discovered a dangerous side-effect. Anti-infection healing magic speeds up the heart-rate and metabolism to ensure the body’s defences work harder and faster to repel the disease. But since the disease attacked the heart and lungs, only one in four would survive the procedure without life-threatening debilitations. What’s more, it was later discovered that the disease was only dormant in a lot of the cured specimens and could resurge more dangerous than ever after a season or so. Impatient, Star-Swirl retorted that there were no other available cures.

In a controversial move, Vorpal Blade reinstituted the Apothecary Societies who’d been previously disbanded and outlawed in Canterlot after the Body-Snatching Crisis during the Founding. They went straight to work. Deceased victims of the plague were autopsied and there was even a rumour they investigated the effects on live specimens by deliberately infecting a group of rapists they took from the dungeons, though the latter is highly unlikely.
Whatever his methods, Vorpal Blade discovered the root of the disease, a blight upon the common woad that was used in dyes. Consulting every document available on the subject of medicine and alchemy, he proscribed the cure. An oil extracted from the Burdock Thistle, by good fortune flourishing in abundance that year, thickened with papyrus-ash, strengthened with garlic and cranberry juice and emulsified with duck-egg, creating a blood-fortifying elixir. Many of his colleagues believed he’d finally cracked under the pressure but to the court’s shock, the cure was effective. With but a few words to local farmers, ‘Syrup of Burr’ as it came to be known, was produced in vast amounts and the Violet Plague was swiftly cleansed from Canterlot.
Star-Swirl admitted to being utterly flummoxed and the court was set to cover Vorpal Blade with honours but he claimed his work was not yet done. His Apothecaries were put to work investigating every major disease to find possible cures from mundane sources. Meanwhile, Syrup of Burr was traded across the world, halting dangerous epidemics all over Stirrope, Zebrica, Aswa and Uma.

He was even able to pinpoint where the blight had started by exposing the disease to different synthetic temperatures and environments and recording the reactions. He supposed that the particular strain originated from Erivara between Hippomorphia and Haissan. Vorpal Blade journeyed there and investigated the blight himself. Deducing that the burdock thistle wouldn’t grow as easily in such conditions and such plants would be likely to cause havoc if introduced endemically. So he extracted fluid from the common dandelions growing in the fields and suggested dousing the woad crop with a diluted spray of dandelion juice mixed with copper-sulphate as a sea-green fungicide.
His suggestion worked. The Erivarans thanked him profusely, he having saved them from the blight, the plague and the economic and environmental disasters that could have followed. Fascinated by the country, he chose to spend a year and a half in Erivara, living among the royal family as an honoured guest.
It is believed it is here that he became smitten with Emperor Ognurin’s daughter, Lusaira, a great beauty of her time.
A whole book exists in the Grand Library of Canterlot compiled from his poetry he wrote for her.
There’s even a story that purports that the Erivaran coast was subject to attack by a great sea monster known as the Nhang. When the corrupt high priest demanded Lusaira be sacrificed to the beast to appease the beast, Vorpal Blade volunteered in her stead. When the beast emerged to devour him, Lusaira and her hoof-maidens overpowered and killed it.

When he was twenty-six, he became the youngest ever appointed member of the Royal Council and the second earth pony to hold a status as a Royal Councillor after Smart Cookie. This was seen as controversial by many. The inauguration of Smart Cookie was mostly seen as a public gesture of unity on the Founder’s part and the unicorn elite and even some pegasus regarded the idea of an Earth Pony politician in Canterlot as highly unseemly given their perceived notoriety as anti-intellectual raiders and slavers. Nonetheless, if there was any earth pony that had defied that stigma, it was Vorpal Blade. His renovations and philosophies helped shape modern Canterlot and as soon as he was appointed, he began regularly meeting with Laurelore and doing what few other ponies had done in the time she’d been in Equestria, talking to her as a pony. They were soon so comfortable around one another they called each other by their first names and Laurelore learned a lot more about not just Equestria but the ponies within it from Vorpal Blade than any other.
[Note: It is however confirmed that despite what certain scandals (And fanfictions) may claim, they were never in a romantic relationship]

One of his most famous enemies was the ardent ultranationalist, Nodd Flagrante Delicto, a foul-tempered High Representative who sought to undermine Laurelore and her supporters in every political motion and declared Vorpal Blade an outsider and a lover-of-savages, pertaining that foreign influences had no place in Equestria and nor did any false deities like the alicorns. N. Flagrante Delicto’s rigid ideals and spiteful antics were the terror of the Canterlot Royal Court and Vorpal Blade describes him as ‘A bullying elitist who behaved as if giving another pony a kind word would shorten his life by decades, a mad dragon on the speaker’s podium, spitting fire at all things that displeased him’

Despite the stigma they held against him, Vorpal Blade had great respect for the unicorns and while arguing firmly against any notion of their supremacy he was famously quoted as saying ‘Among the Earth Ponies, the kindest word anypony often says about the unicorns is that they are ‘proud’. But having lived among them, I can honestly say they have every right to be’
In court, he acted firmly as an advocate for Laurelore’s reforms. Star-Swirl did much the same but he was noticeably more cautious, encouraging that the reforms would be slow and consider every angle (Perhaps due to how Rememberly’s reign was ended by such controversies in his lifetime) Vorpal Blade on the other hand encouraged taking firm and evident action to make necessary changes. He was not aggressive in his ideals but he was definitely sure. He argued that the union of the Three Tribes and the power of the Alicorn meant that the ruling figure and the common pony no longer had to fear the duplicity of the power-hungry as much as they used to provided they coupled their trust with the necessary vigil.

Vorpal Blade was quoted as saying "Cruelty does not lie in what power and weapons one possesses but whether one uses them." and it is said he was fond of the Zebrican phrase ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’, referring to fair and peaceful negotiation with any opposition backed by the unspoken potential for severe retribution in the worst-case scenario.

On the subject of Zebrica, it is during this time that the first Zebra set hoof on Equestria.
In chains.
Vorpal Blade encouraged open trade after his work in medicine, believing it would revitalise the economy after the long winter and allow Canterlot to rebuild the rest of Equestria as it had to itself. Ports were opened below Canterlot’s great mountain and to the sea. Beanstown (Modern-day Bostot in Maresachusetts) was one of the most prosperous of the free ports. However, on one particular voyage to Beanstown, Vorpal Blade beheld a ship known as the Dorney Swosebregg (‘Thorny Sweet-Briar’ in the New Ivorium tongue), with a design and construction nopony had ever seen before. As the denizens emerged, they were baffled still.
It was an Ivorium Trade Freighter from Phiomia. The traders were proboscids; squat elephant-like creatures in rich dress, who presented themselves cordially enough and brought out their cargo.
To the shock of Equestrians, the ‘cargo’ were Zebras. The traders were even quoted as advertising ‘None of that cheap desert scrapings. Top-quality merchandise from the Cape Mountains, with a few freshly caught for those who enjoy a little fight left in them.’ It didn’t take long for the ponies of Beanstown to realise what these newcomers traded in...
Slaves.

Few had ever seen Vorpal Blade angry. Even those who willingly tried his patience only succeeded in making him mildly annoyed. But the act of slaving and trading fellow beasts of hoof on Equestria’s very soil incensed Vorpal Blade so fiercely that he ordered the ship turned out and scuppered and the traders flogged, imprisoned and sent back to Phiomia in a prison boat bearing a message forbidding all trading of slaves on Equestrian territory and decrying their practices in the act.
The traders protested that they’d already been welcomed many times to trade their ‘cargo’ in Twirlestown, South Cowrolina with the local Governor’s permission. In response, Vorpal Blade declared ‘If the good folk of Twirlestown are buying slaves, they must not have enough workers.’ and in a highly controversial move, ordered a crack troop of Equestrian Royal Guard to strip the Governor and his retinue of their titles and holdings and forcibly place them as Rangers in the perilous wetlands of Cape Scare north of Twirlestown where all but the Governor died to the heat, bogs, flies and swamp monsters.
[Note: The Governor was the staunch reactionary, ‘Deadeye’ Frogboil, who was able to survive the Cape Scare Ranging, retire as a Lieutenant Colonel of the Cowrolina Watch, re-enter politics and would thereafter firmly oppose Vorpal Blade’s every decision, regarding him as a traitor to his race and a threat to pony society, running for Chairstallion after Blade’s death but losing to Knickerbocker. Among rural, closely-knit Earth Pony communities, Vorpal Blade is a controversial figure, vilified in some histories as a reckless sellout who betrayed the principles of the old Earth Pony ways for his own gain. There's even one dubious work that portrays him as a mad scientist who seeks to use foreign technology as a means to hypnotise all earth ponies into slavery under the unicorn kingdom]

Vorpal Blade’s open stance against slavery was a risky move. While slavery was illegal, it had never until now been enforced and his abolition and harsh punishments for the act would make him many enemies in the shadows. But Vorpal Blade accepted this as the risk of his career, much to Star-Swirl's disapproval. It was during this time he befriended one of the Mountain Zebra from the slave ship named Harambee. After being asked by fellow courtiers if a zebra was honestly on par in terms of knowledge and sociability as the average pony, Vorpal Blade socialised with Harambee and the two became great friends, perhaps as close as brothers, as Vorpal Blade taught him the Equestrian languages, customs and philosophies and Harambee did the same with Zebrican culture. Vorpal noticed that, while unfamiliar with a great deal of the more ‘modern’ Equestrian concepts, the philosophy of harmony, friendship, trust and responsibility were as clear to Harambee as they were to any other pony, perhaps even more so, seen not so much as philosophies than as vehement guidance from the heavens themselves. It was theorised by Vorpal Blade that some of the oldest and dearest words and lessons of ponykind originated in Zebrica and where the basis of society itself first began among hoofed animals (The most likely place of origin, he supposed was The Great Abyss in present-day Grevyssinia) which he documented in his book, The Grand Equine Cradle: The Wonders of Zebrican Civilisation. Over his time learning with him, Vorpal Blade was also the first pony to master the fabled Zebra magic of ‘Spell-Singing’, the mysterious rhyming practice that zebras utilise to grant them great focus and understanding of the world around them, very popular among Zebrican shamans and scholars. Vorpal wrote books on Spell-Singing and Dust-Dancing that modern Zebricologists consult keenly in their studies.
Harambee was seen a curiosity of Equestria as Vorpal Blade once was but he soon grew on his friend’s colleagues and went on to become the liberator and first King of Malizia and Lord of the Great Lakes, a highly-regarded figure in the Zebrican New Age.

When Vorpal Blade was thirty, Equestria received word that Tirek had begun his first great conquest of the East. The first of the refugees fleeing the Horde’s brutality were from respected Erivara, chiefly led by Princess Lusaira. Her parents had been killed in Tirek’s attack and she alone had led her kind over the sea to Equestria, pleading for their aid.
Vorpal Blade sounded the idea and after careful consultation, Laurelore agreed to aid the rulers of the East against Tirek and his horde. Vorpal Blade’s previous voyages in Neighpon and his interactions with the finest minds across the continent proved invaluable as Equestria joined a great alliance of the mighty nations of the Great East.
Upon the slopes of Erivara, Equestria struck and drove the centaurs back again and again. Elsewhere, Vorpal Blade gathered allies, meeting with his old friend Rastaban al’ Rafiq, now Sultan Sahib al’ Wahda of Dahbiya and unofficial figurehead of the League of Ali-Saraj (High Saddle) marshalling the noble princes, princesses and emirs from each of the great cities of Ashdad, Nahsran, Hijiraz, Kunkurdiniyye (Modern-day Istaybul) and the twin holy cities of Madiya and Nariya.

So with an Aswan Warhost conjoining their flank and consistent reinforcements of Neiphonese Samurai strike teams, the equine forces held out against Tirek. The Centaur shamans sought to overwhelm their foes by summoning a tide of foul magical spawn, the Dead Sea Apes, that had long been prophesised to swarm Aswan and devour all life upon it. Vorpal Blade, in person, spied on the summoning, deduced what was magic they were using and found a way to counter it through catapulting caskets of myrrh into the summoning circle which negated their magic while the priests of the Unspoken Faith of Aswa called upon their guardians, the Buraqi, giant six-winged pegasi that cast mighty storms upon Tirek’s horde in their wrath. Laurelore struck out with her allies and through both the Western and Eastern powers of the equine, Tirek was defeated and imprisoned, his first invasion of Aswa ending in failure.

Soon after, Vorpal Blade met with Lusaira and proposed to her. The two were married in Canterlot and the celebration lasted whole weeks. Their first foals, twin brother and sisters, Sylvar and Subtle, were born within the year and, unlike his father, promised as squires for Star-Swirl.

Adding to the reasons to celebrate, Vorpal Blade found himself nominated for election as the Steward of Canterlot, winning in a landslide victory and soundly defeating his bitter rival, N. Flagrante Delicto.
This, however, would be the start of a new series of bitter tribulations Equestria would suffer.
Enraged, N. Flagrante Delicto threatened to resign his position in court if Vorpal Blade remained in Canterlot. To his shock and horror, the court applauded such a threat and replaced him with the aging but ever-wise healer, Meadowbrook. At this, N Flagrante Delicto swore revenge and dealt it most cruelly.
Tirek was taken to Equestria for trial but N. Flagrante Delicto hired a mercenary force to overwhelm the escort guard and released the warlord from his prison. This would spell the beginning of Tirek’s second invasion in Western Equestria which brought about the destruction of Vorpal’s home city, Dunholm as well as the fracturing of the Eldergrove. Tirek escaped Equestria with the aid of his advisor, Grogar the Treacherous where he would cultivate his power in the Chimera Hills in Hunemica, west of Erivara, until his Invasion of Stirrope in the time of Celestia and Luna.

Delicto and his co-conspirators began a small campaign of insurgency around the mountains near Canterlot until the rebellion was put down by Vorpal Blade who personally executed his bitter rival.
Dunholm’s destruction culminated in him having to take an apprentice and ward, though barely older than a foal.
His nephew, Midnight Blade.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

6528138
Someone Midnight can be proud of. I'm sure Vorpal would be proud of him too.

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