• Published 6th May 2013
  • 8,170 Views, 413 Comments

The Sword Coast - AdrianVesper



With a price on Twilight Sparkle’s head and the shadow of death on her heels, her only hope for salvation is the Magic of Friendship. (Baldur’s Gate Crossover)

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Grave

Grave

Cadance stood on the stage beside Shining Armor in the grand meeting hall. “I never wanted any of this,” she said, her voice strong. “I don’t want a war. I don’t want to be a Queen. There’s nothing to be gained by antagonizing the Empire but death and suffering.”

Twilight sat in a chair in the front row with her friends. She leaned over to whisper in Applejack’s ear. “I told you to protect her.”

“And how do you explain this about face? Changelings, right? What proof do you have?” one of the Duchesses asked Shining Armor.

“She chased after you, and the guards let her pass,” Applejack replied. “We had to fight our way through without hurting them too bad. Wasn’t easy.”

“I have none,” Cadance admitted, “but I ask that you believe what I am saying now.”

“I was expecting Changelings,” Twilight whispered in the brief pause after Cadance finished speaking.

Another Duchess shouted,“If she doesn’t want the throne, what good is it to recognize her? The Empire’s emissaries have been understanding, and the trade crisis has been resolved. There is no need for war. Duke Shining Armor, the Chair asks: do you rescind your call for a vote?”

Shining Armor nodded. “I do, Duchess Silvershield.”

Rarity, seated beside Twilight opposite Applejack, whispered,“If there are Changelings here, all revealing themselves would do is confirm our claims.”

“Then the Chair proposes we move on to other matters. Foremost, I believe, your pardon of Twilight Sparkle,” Duchess Silvershield lifted a sheet of paper. “It states here that you recently pardoned Twilight Sparkle and those with her of all charges, including murdering a noble, and today you just pardoned her of additional charges, including murdering Commander Lightning Dust of the Flaming Wing and setting fire to the Iron Circle headquarters. Less than an hour ago, you accused her of being an assassin. Care to explain?”

Twilight perked her ears and refocused on the stages. She anxiously tapped her hoof against her chair. I hope they don’t challenge the pardon, she thought.

“She’s guilty of no crimes,” Shining Armor said. “I stand by the pardon.”

“She murdered a noble! I call for her pardon to be voted on!” the other Duke shouted.

Duchess Silvershield sighed. “Very well. Twilight Sparkle, please rise.”

Twilight took a deep breath and climbed to her feet. Rarity passed her the bag of holding with a wink. “They might want evidence,” she said.

Twilight shot Rarity a small smile and ambled forward on three legs, clutching her side. Fluttershy hadn’t been able to fully heal the injury yet. Though her body was largely whole, her ribs ached. She took the floor beneath the six stages and looked up at the stage right of center, where Duchess Silvershield sat.

“Twilight Sparkle, if you have anything to say in your defense, speak now before we vote,” the Chair said, peering down at her.

Twilight nodded. She turned to face the crowd behind her. Representatives from the six merchant houses of Manehattan filled the seats. “We, my friends and I, never fought a pony named Lord Ruby,” Twilight addressed them, trying to fill the hall with her voice. “We fought a Dragon leading the gang of bandits in Cloakwood that stopped the flow of trade on the Coast Road.”

Confused murmurs rippled through the crowd.

“I’ve about had my fill of alleged imposters for one day, Twilight Sparkle,” one of the Duchesses said.

“Is there any evidence that we killed Lord Ruby then?” Twilight Sparkle asked. She opened the Bag of Holding and pictured Pyros’s the Everburning’s head as she reached inside. She sidestepped as the bag vomited Pyros’s dessicated head out onto the floor beside her. “Because the only evidence I’m aware of says we killed a Dragon.”

The crowd gasped.

“I have no defense for killing Lightning Dust, other than she attacked me without warning or request that I comply, and I reacted. It was not murder,” Twilight said. She turned back to the Dukes and Duchesses. “That’s all I have to say.”

“The Chair calls the vote to order,” Duchess Silvershield said. “To pardoning Twilight Sparkle and her associates of all charges, I say aye. What say you?”

“Nay! She should stand trial properly,” the other Duke said. “No commoner should be above the law!”

“Aye,” Shining Armor said.

“I stand by Duke Shining Armor’s right of pardon, and trust his judgement,” one of the Duchesses said. “Aye.”

The rest of the Duchesses followed suit.

When the votes were cast, Twilight smiled with satisfaction and took a step toward her seat.

“Before you leave the floor, there is one more matter; the Barony of Ponyville,” Duchess Silvershield said. “You killed a Dragon and protected the lands and inhabitants of a lordless holding. Tradition dictates that we offer you the title.”

Twilight stopped and shook her head. “Ponyville has always been a lordless holding, and it should remain one, but if anypony should be Baroness, it should be Applejack, of the Apple Clan. She dealt the final blow to the Dragon.”

“Applejack, of the Apple Clan, would you please rise?” Duchess Silvershield called.

Applejack stood up out of her seat and walked over to stand beside Twilight. “One of us has to do it,” she whispered. “It’s only a matter of time before they try and stick us with a Landlady.”

“Applejack, do you accept the title?” Duchess Silvershield asked.

“It should be you,” Twilight whispered.

Applejack grinned at Twilight. “Hell naw.” She turned and addressed the Duchesses. “I cannot accept. Twilight Sparkle deserves the title. As a representative of the Granny Smith and the town proper, I request that you grant it to her.”

“Then it’s settled. If there are no further objections, I name the lowborn Twilight Sparkle Baroness of Ponyville,” the Chair said. “The town and the surrounding lands, including the fortress known as the Helping Hoof Inn, will be beholden to her under the law.”

Twilight sucked in a breath to object, but before she could, Applejack looped a foreleg around her shoulders. “Relax, Twi, you’ll make a great Baroness,” Applejack said.

Twilight let out the breath in a sigh. “Fine. I’ll do it.”


Twilight trotted down a cobblestone street toward a dilapidated building on a corner near Ponyville’s market square. Rain drizzled from grey clouds overhead, splashing in shallow puddles and running into the gutters beside the street.

“This the place?” Spike asked, huffing. He wiped water off of his brow. “I’m freezing and my legs are killing me.”

Twilight pulled her warm cloak tighter. Water dripped off her hood. She eyed the building in front of them. A sign dangled above the door on two chains, displaying a picture of a cupcake with bright pink icing.

“Should be,” Twilight said. She glanced at Spike. “You should walk more,” she added with a chuckle.

“You should carry me,” Spike grumbled.

“You’ve been growing.” Twilight prodded Spike’s belly with a hoof. “And not just up. You’re getting chubby. Too many gems.”

Spike flexed, striking a pose. “Chubby? It’s all muscle!”

Twilight skeptically raised an eyebrow at Spike. “Really? I guess all that napping really adds muscle tone.”

“Yep!” Spike said, thrusting out his chest proudly.

“Pinkie! It would work better to fix the shingles on the roof!” Applejack shouted from inside the building.

“But the leak is in here!” Pinkie yelled.

“Just get a bucket!” Applejack shouted. “You can fix it after the rain stops.”

Twilight smiled and took a step toward the door. “Definitely the right place.”

A cloaked pony whipped around the corner and rammed into Twilight’s side. She stumbled, her hoof dropping into the filthy gutter alongside the street. The pony bounced back and fell onto her haunches, the water on the street soaking her pink tail. “Hey!” Twilight said.

“Oh, Twilight, I’m so sorry!” Fluttershy cried, pulling back her hood. “I thought I was late! Rainbow and I just finished thinning out the storm coming out of the Everfree.”

“Where’s Rainbow?” Twilight asked, looking around. “She’s going to be late.”

Rainbow dropped out of the sky like a rock, breaking at the last instant. She landed lightly between Twilight and the door. “Just got done kicking some cloud-flank.” She laughed, flicking water off her wings, and opened the rickety door. “And I still beat you here.” As Rainbow stepped inside, Twilight glimpsed Applejack and Rarity sitting at a table.

Twilight glanced up at the sky, glad that it was a calm rain instead of the angry black thunderheads that the Everfree usually spawned. “You did a good job, too.” She turned back to Fluttershy. “I hope you don’t mind the land I was able to get you. I didn’t want to confiscate someplace where somepony was living.” Her first act as Baroness had been hiring Fluttershy as Ponyville’s town druid and granting her some land with an abandoned cottage near the Everfree Forest.

“It’s perfect,” Fluttershy said. “I don’t mind being near the Everfree.”

Rainbow stood in the doorway, holding it open. “You slowpokes coming, or what?”

“Thanks, Dash,” Twilight said, stepping past her and into the building. She wiped her hooves on a warm mat laid out inside the door and headed for the table. The floorboards creaked beneath her hooves.

Twilight spotted Pinkie on the ceiling, standing with one of her forehooves hoof firmly planted on a spot between two boards. “What’re you doing, Pinkie?”

Pinkie lifted her hoof and waved at Twilight. “Oh hey, Twilight! I’m stopping the leak.” A droplet of water fell from the damp spot her hoof had been covering and spattered onto the table beneath. Pinkie planted her hoof back on the leak. “Whoops!”

Twilight draped her cloak over the back of a chair and took a seat at the table. Fluttershy, Rainbow, and Spike followed a few steps behind her. “So, what is this place?” She looked around the interior of the old establishment. It’s weird, she thought, all of us in one place, and not a weapon in sight. She felt naked without her swords.

Pinkie grinned down at Twilight. “It’s gonna be a bakery called Sugarcube Corner. It’s what I’m using my share of the Dragon hoard for, but I’ve got a lot left over that I’m not going to need. Does that Candlekeep relief fund you set up still need donations?”

“You could just get a bucket,” Spike said.

“That’s what I told her,” Applejack muttered.

That had been Twilight’s second act as Baroness; she’d invested a sizeable chunk of her share of the Dragon hoard into a relief fund for the refugees from Candlekeep to help them get established in Ponyville. Ground was already being broken for new houses.

“Pinkie has been very generous,” Mr. Cake said from behind a counter in the back of the room. “My wife and I always wanted to run a bakery. Can I get you anything, Twilight?”

“Just a mug of hot cider,” Twilight said, looking up at Mr. Cake with a smile. “For old times sake.” She turned back to Pinkie. “If you gave me the money, I’m not sure if I’d be able to spend it on the ponies from Candlekeep. But, I’ve been thinking about having a library and a schoolhouse built. The Chroniclers from Candlekeep will need something to do, and this town is extremely illiterate. Some of the ones I’ve spoken to say they can reproduce books from Candlekeep that they memorized.”

“Two more ciders for me and Fluttershy please,” Rainbow called as Mr. Cake disappeared into a back room.

“Thanks, Rainbow,” Fluttershy murmured.

“Sounds like a good cause,” Applejack mused, sinking back into her seat so far that she was practically lying on her back. “I reckon I’ll be giving you a bit too. Farm’s got a nice deep rainy day fund now, enough to cover a half-dozen bad years, and Granny says she won’t take money we can’t use.”

“Speaking of bad years,” Twilight said, “I’ve been thinking about an insurance system for lost crops.”

Applejack tilted back her hat to eye Twilight. “What do you mean?”

Mr. Cake set a tray with three steaming mugs on the table in front of Twilight. “Here you go, fresh from the Apple Family farm,” he said with a cheerful smile. “Never thought I’d serve a Baroness cider.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “It’s not a big deal.” She levitated her mug to her lips and took a sip of the warm liquid. She turned back to Applejack. “Well, the idea is that farmers who choose to participate pay a portion of their profits toward the insurance. In return, when they get hit by a bad year, they get a payment out of the treasury, and maybe an interest free loan if they need more help.”

“Wouldn’t farmers with more profits be payin’ more?” Applejack asked. “I mean, I’m not saying that it’s a bad idea. In farming, you can prepare for the worst and still hit rock bottom, but it seems like the farmers that do prepare would be carrying the weight for the ones that don’t.”

Twilight shrugged. “You’re saying you never bailed out a family in need? I just think it might be better to have a formalized system. The problem with individuals helping individuals is one farm often has the same problem that their neighbor’s having, but if everypony pitches in in the good years, everypony benefits in the bad ones.”

“I’m sure you’ll figure something out that’s fair,” Applejack grinned. “See why I insisted they made you Baroness?”

Twilight hid behind her mug, her cheeks burning.

“Hey, um, Twilight. I had an idea,” Rainbow said.

Twilight took a sip of cider and turned to Rainbow. “Lets hear it.”

Rainbow took a swig of cider before saying, “It’s probably dumb, but I was thinking that we could start an official weather team. Today two of the pegasi in town helped Fluttershy and I deal with the storm. There aren’t many in pegasi in Ponyville, but there are a few that got kicked out of Cloudsdale or just left. I have a bunch of bits that I don’t know what to do with that I could contribute.”

Twilight smiled. “That’s an excellent idea.”

“Sure would help stop crops getting lost to bad storms, or lack of rain,” Applejack said. “And it could be cheaper than sending Cloudsdale some of our crops.”

“What about you, Rarity?” Pinkie asked. “What are you going to do with your bits?”

Rarity jerked slightly in her seat and looked up at Pinkie. “Humm? Sorry. My mind was elsewhere.”

“What are you gonna do with your share?” Pinkie repeated.

“Well, I don’t have to make payments on my shop anymore,” Rarity said, running the edge of her hoof along the grain of the table. “I’ve been thinking about starting a foundation.”

“A what?” Rainbow asked after swallowing a mouthful of cider. She licked at the inside of her mouth. “This stuff is delicious, Applejack. I want to drink it all the time.”

“A foundation is an investment fund that engages in charitable activities. There haven’t been many, but a few big-time Manehattan merchants did create foundations in their later years, mostly to patronize their favorite artists after their deaths,” Rarity explained. “So, I’ve been lucky enough to come across a lot of money in my younger years. Why not get started now?”

Spike belched a scroll onto the table. With a glance at Rarity, he dipped his head and said, “Excuse me.”

Twilight snached up the scroll and unfurled it.

“Ooh! What’s it say!” Pinkie said.

Twilight scanned the page. “Celestia wants to meet us tomorrow, a long day’s travel from here.”

“Three days after we got back,” Applejack sighed. “Just when I thought I’d have a chance to spend time at the farm again.”

Twilight shook her head. “Just me and Pinkie.”

“Ah, Shadowspawn business, I take it,” Rarity said.

Twilight nodded.


Water dripped into a bucket on the table. With a sigh, Twilight tilted her mug back and sucked down the last few drops. She set it next to a collection of empty mugs on the table. “Well, it’s getting late,” she said. The hours had worn by, and now it was just her, Spike, and Pinkie, the others filtering out for their own reasons.

“Yeah,” Pinkie murmured, staring at the table.

Twilight stood up from the table. “We’d better get going.” She turned toward the door.

Pinkie looked up at Twilight. “Hey, Twilight?”

Stopping, Twilight looked over her shoulder. “Yes?”

“Does it feel any different?” Pinkie asked.

Twilight paused and glanced down at her hooves. “No.”

“But he said he killed six, and it got worse each time,” Pinkie said. “Shouldn’t you feel—”

“I don’t know,” Twilight said, cutting Pinkie off sharply. “It feels like whatever I took from Shining Armor hardly changed me.” She glanced at Spike as she trotted for the door. “Are you coming, Spike?”

“I’ll catch up,” Spike said from his seat.

As Twilight opened the door, Pinkie called, “See you tomorrow morning, Twilight!”

Twilight abruptly stopped in the doorway. “Pinkie?” she asked. “Do you want me to take yours? I can carry it. If Shining Armor’s didn’t make a difference—”

Pinkie shook her head. “I’ll be fine, Twilight.”


With Solstice, Twilight slashed away underbrush blocking her path. The thorny stems fell away, revealing the moonlit clearing beyond. In the center of three stone rings, an Alicorn sat beside a red and white checkered blanket. With the golden aura of her magic, she levitated a teacup. Though her mane was pink, folded wings covered her back. Her features matched both Celestia and Sunny Skies perfectly.

Twilight stepped into the clearing and sheathed Solstice. Her heart raced at the familiar surroundings. Behind her, a twig snapped beneath Pinkie’s hooves. Celestia looked up and smiled. “Just on time, Twilight and Pinkie. Would you like some tea?” She lifted a ceramic teapot off of the blanket. “Though, I only expected one of you.”

Celestia’s voice calmed Twilight’s nerves. Her smile pulled away her tension. She walked closer and sat on the far side of the blanket. “I know the letter said it should just be me, but she’s like me.”

Celestia closed her eyes briefly. “I had hoped she wasn’t.” She poured them both a steaming cup of tea, even though there was no fire in sight. She gave Pinkie a warm smile. “It’s nice to see you again.”

“You too,” Pinkie said as she took a seat.

Past Celestia, on the side of the clearing, beneath a tree, a humble gravestone caught Twilight’s eye. It marked a mound of loose earth covered by young vegetation. “Is that...?” she asked.

Celestia nodded. “I buried him when I found him.”

Tea forgotten, Twilight rose. She approached the gavestone. Letters carved on its face resolved through the dim light, lit by a soft golden glow.

Here lies Star Swirl the Bearded, Lichbane and Archmage
Let him be remembered for his legacy, for the way he fought for life.
Let him be remembered as he lived: Teacher to all, Father to one,
and Friend to me.

-C

Twilight fell back onto her haunches. “I did it,” she whispered, even though she knew Star Swirl wouldn’t hear her. “I made it to the Helping Hoof. I lived. I found the truth.” Her chest burned.

Warmth fell around her shoulders. Celestia pulled her close with a wing. A sob caught in her throat. She turned toward Celestia, buried her face into the soft white fur, listened to the heartbeat in her ears, and let go. Tears streamed out from under her eyelids.

“Did I do it right?” Twilight sobbed.

Celestia’s chest hummed in Twilight’s ear as she said, “You achieved more than we could have ever asked.” She pulled back, lifting Twilight’s chin with a hoof. Through her tears, Twilight met Celestia’s gaze. “You overcame the shadows within you, you chose the right path, and you showed mercy. Star Swirl was right about you.”

Sniffling, Twilight settled against Celestia’s side. She focused on the grave. I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough then. I’m sorry you died to save me, she thought.

Pinkie walked past them and rested her hoof on the gravestone. “Thank you for saving her,” she whispered. “I don’t want to be alone.”

For a moment, they sat together in silence, gathered around the grave.

“Hello,” a voice called from behind Twilight; she recognized it as Cadance.

Twilight turned away from the grave. She spotted Cadance standing on the far side of the clearing. Shining Armor stepped up beside her, his platemail polished to a shine, and a silver shield strapped on his back.

“What’s he doing here?” Twilight grumbled.

“We have a lot to talk about, all of us,” Celestia said. She pulled away from Twilight and walked back to the center of the stone rings. “Would you two like some tea?”

Twilight stayed on the edge of the clearing by the grave. She watched Shining Armor as he crossed to the center and took a cup of tea from Celestia. “Sorry if we’re late. It was a long way to get here,” Cadance said.

Celestia smiled. “You arrived earlier than I expected.”

Pinkie walked to the blanket and picked up the cup of tea that Celestia had poured her earlier. She settled back onto her haunches and poked Cadance with her free hoof. “You’re still the real one, aren’t you?”

“I haven’t let her out of my sight,” Shining Armor said.

Celestia glanced over her shoulder at Twilight. “Come on, Twilight. It’s time I told you all the whole story.”

Twilight hesitated a moment, then walked to the center of the clearing. “I suppose you still have no idea where Crysalis went,” she said, focusing on Shining Armor.

Shining Armor looked down at his hooves as he sat. “None. All I remember is she left when you exposed the Changelings in our staff, and she wouldn’t tell me where she was going.”

“Of course,” Twilight muttered while she took a seat and picked up her cup of tea.

“I’m sorry, Twilight,” Shining Armor said.

Twilight glared at him. “For what?”

Shining Armor glanced at the gravestone. “Everything.”

Twilight grunted and took a sip of tea.

Celestia cleared her throat. “I’m glad you all could make it. I’m sure you have questions, but I would like to start at the beginning, and finish at the end. You’re the first ponies to hear this story in a very long time.”

Celestia took a deep breath and glanced up at the stars before continuing. “Ages ago, Luna and I discovered a way to fight Azrael using the power of Harmony, and stop him from consuming the souls of the dead. From five virtues, Honesty, Kindness, Laughter, Generosity, and Loyalty, we forged the tools to set things right.”

Twilight settled, lying with her front half on the blanket beside Pinkie. She looked up at Celestia, her ears perked. Celestia wet her lips with a sip of tea. “With these tools, the Elements of Harmony, we fought our way into the Abyss and faced Azrael. We were ill-prepared for what happened next. As we unleashed the Elements on Azrael, Discord changed the rules and made it so that gods like us would find death in defeat. I suspect that he was trying to destroy Azrael for good.”

Celestia sighed and looked up at the stars above. “But Azrael was strong. Azrael found a way. He targeted the more vulnerable of us, Luna. My Sister suffered from wounds I could not see. Though she was bright, the light shining in the darkness, she was always overlooked in the daylight at my side. Through her, he escaped, dividing his essence into hundreds of pieces. Harmony grew from life, and he followed it back to its source, the Font of Souls. There, he found victims to carry his essence.”

She looked at Pinkie, Shining Armor, and Twilight in turn. “You are, or were, the bearers of that legacy, and I could have stopped it. I could have ended it there. The stories say that I killed my Sister when the Shadow fell over her, but that isn’t the truth. I didn’t have the strength to stop Azrael, and for that, I’m sorry.”

Celestia turned back to the sky, finding the crescent Moon above. “Instead, with the piece of her essence that remained pure, I used the Elements on her. Alone, I didn’t have the power to save her, so the Elements banished her. The Moon was once a full circle, shining bright, but now it is diminished to a crescent. I had to anchor her essence with most of it. Only a sliver remains in the sky, but she’s still with us, lighting our path through the night.”

Celestia focused on Twilight. “I could feel her, these past few weeks. She did her best to save you from your nightmares.” She paused a moment, collecting herself. “The Elements were shattered. Luna was lost. Discord won, though I don’t believe even he predicted that Azrael would escape. He pressed his advantage, opening Tartarus, and a terrible war followed.”

Celestia closed her eyes briefly and took another sip of tea. “We lost so much. When Tartarus met the sky, the Material Plane was rent in between. Gods died. Life suffered. But, there is hope. The Crystal Queen was dead, her people forced into a slumber, and now, she’s back with us, in a way. The other Cadance seemed to believe that I had chosen her and brought back the Demigod through her, and I never corrected her, but in truth, it shouldn’t have been possible.”

Celestia sighed. “Even the essence of gods flows down into the Abyss, and it never comes back.” She looked meaningfully at Cadance. “It troubles me that Chrysalis, one of Azrael’s favored allies, chose this moment to step out of the shadows. I believe she was hoping to use Shining Armor, and later Twilight, to collect Azrael’s essence, but the fact that she chose to become you makes me think she was after the power of the Crystal Heart, one of the few remaining vessels of Harmony.”

She turned to Shining Armor. “And you tell me she told you where to find and kill Shadowspawn, claiming she was speaking for me. Chrysalis knows more about the Shadowspawn and Azrael than I do. She might be trying to temper his essence in some way and use it, or worse, bring about his return. My Celestial servants hunt for her now, and she must be found.”

Celestia looked at Twilight. “She’ll be after you. She knows that you’ve gained whatever Shining Armor lost. Be careful.” She stopped speaking and drank the last of her tea.

“Twilight won’t be alone,” Pinkie said.

Twilight nodded. “And I’ll be careful.” She set the teacup she’d emptied while listening to Celestia’s story on a tray on the blanket. “But, if you find her, will you tell me where she is?”

“Of course,” Celestia said. “You and your friends are the ones that can stop her.”


Twilight sat beside Star Swirl’s grave. Shining Armor’s horn glowed from across the clearing, where he was working on pitching a tent. With reverence, Twilight leaned a fragment of Star Swirl’s shattered staff against the gravestone. She’d found it obscured in the grass.

Celestia sat beside her. She looked toward Shining Armor. “All he wants is to be forgiven.”

Twilight followed Celestia’s gaze. While she watched, Shining Armor dropped a tent pole, and the fabric collapsed. He stamped his hoof in frustration. Pausing, he looked back at her for a moment. She turned away.

“He doesn’t deserve it. Maybe Chrysalis manipulated him, but he still did it,” Twilight said.

Celestia smiled gently at her. “Forgiveness isn’t for him, it’s for you.”

“I’ll think about it,” Twilight murmured. He is my brother, after all, she thought. She looked up at Celestia. “You’re hoping I’ll collect Azrael’s essence, aren’t you?”

Celestia nodded. “I am.”

“What then?” Twilight asked.

“I don’t know,” Celestia said. “You were able to remove it from Shining Armor, maybe it can be removed from you. But, I believe there is more to your destiny than that. You asked me once if the souls in the Abyss could be saved. If anypony can do it, it’s you, Twilight.”

“What if I can’t? What if I fall?” Twilight said. “The only destiny I can see is filled with shadows.”

Celestia shook her head. “You won’t fall, Twilight. You’re not a shadow, or a monster. You’re a beacon. You’ve shown that we can overcome. If you, a Shadowspawn, can fight death, we all can.” She placed a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder and smiled again. “I have faith in a brighter future because I have faith in you.”

End Book One

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