• Published 16th Feb 2012
  • 2,436 Views, 47 Comments

Harrowed Crown - DawnFade

There is a dark tale behind the 'Love Poison' that very few know.

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The Researcher

Chapter 5


If it wasn’t for my actions, Chirpy and Dippy and North would have lived together and been happy.

I did this. I take all responsibility and blame. Curse my name and spit on my grave, should I end up in one. Better yet, mount my skull in the centre of a city as a monument to stupidity! I am scum! I am less than the dirt, less than the things that dwell in wet caves! Curse my name!

Curse me, but build statues of these ponies. They are the light shining through my evil cloud.

This is the journal of a scholar who was researching dragons. He was not in the city, but he explains the final events that led to the current, desolate state it is in.


The Research Journal of Four Scales

Thirty-nine days until the summer solstice

Original theory may not be incorrect after all. To reiterate for those who refuse to flip back a few pages, I claimed after a week of study that different smoke has no effect on dragons. I said that it was just another smell in the air.

Not true. The unexplained fires in the city below have provided a far better means of testing this theory. Such perfect conditions are a blessing, if you listened to South.

Further concerning South, I don’t know why I ever requested him as my assistant. All he does is praise the Equestrian Princess Selestia or however it is spelt. When I contacted that silly kingdom about getting one of their scholars to be my assistant on this expedition, I expected a pony as capable and focused as I am. Instead, South spends most of his time whining about missing his family or writing letters to his brother (who, I have been told a thousand times, apparently lives in the burning city beneath us).

I don’t know if he wants sympathy or my commiserations, but I do know that I paid a great deal of bits to bring him here with me and he is not earning a single one of them!

When my work here is complete and things have settled down, I intend to march straight into the so-called city of glass and flowers and demand that they support me in reprimanding the Equestrian scholarly institutes for this transgression!

And now he is ruining my good practices too! Here I am, writing about daily irritations in a scientific journal!

After taking a few minutes to calm myself, I will continue with my new theory.

-The smoke from the city is having a visible effect on the dragon. It seems to irritate him and disturb his slumber. Even though he is not currently in the Long Sleep, he still spends most of his time resting, and the smoke is preventing that.

-During last year’s study, we found that sleeping dragons that emitted large amounts of smoke were avoided by other, more active dragons.

Therefore, I hypothesise that smoke is used as a sort of territorial marker, in roughly the same way dogs mark their territory with the scent of urine. The smoke from the city could be interpreted as a challenge to his domain.

Further study is needed.


The Research Journal of Four Scales

Thirty-five days until the summer solstice

I want to apologise in advance for putting personal business in this journal, but I find if I cannot get these thoughts out in some form, they will build up and explode in a most uncivilised manner.

South is completely unfocused in the task at hand. I reeled off notes and observations for almost an hour today, only to turn back and see he had spent most of it looking blankly downwards at the city. Yes, fire can certainly be an entrancing sight, but we have work to do!

Honestly, we are spending our days only steps away from a dragon and he wants to look at a city?! This research expedition is in shambles. I have never worked with such an amateur before.

On the research side of things, I have been vigilant. Over the past four days, I have monitored the amount of smoke from the city as well as how irritated the dragon got. As expected, I found a direct correlation: more smoke, angrier dragon. I hate to reduce it to such simple terms, but I don’t want to spend too much time writing in this thing. Thanks to South being an incompetent fool, I must do twice the work around here.

I must keep my mind on the task. Knowledge will not simply present itself.


The Research Journal of Four Scales

Thirty-three days until the summer solstice

He’s gone! South is gone!

If I thought him unprofessional before, he’s downright rude now!

It was in the afternoon that we were visited by another stallion carrying a small foal. Upon spotting them, South immediately dropped the extremely fragile equipment he was supposed to be looking after and galloped over to greet them. They whispered for a bit before the new stallion handed the foal over to South and went back the way he came.

I shouted at South, demanding to know what he thought he was doing. He ignored me! Of all the ungrateful, insubordinate, rude assistants I’ve had, he is by far the absolute worst!

All he did was take a portion of our rations (without asking, no less!) and start trotting towards the mountain pass. If he thinks he can hide from his shockingly immature behaviour by returning to Equestria, he has another thing coming!

Tomorrow will be the last day of my study. I’ll go back down to the city and tell the Princess herself about South’s transgression. If I remember correctly, she was always a very bright mare, so she’ll no doubt share in my outrage.


The Research Journal of Four Scales

Thirty-two days until the summer solstice

I’m not waiting here for the whole day. My studies must be put on hold.

The dragon has become rather active this morning. I think the smoke is really irritating him now, perhaps triggering his fight-or-flight response by interfering with the scent of his territory.

By ‘rather active’ I mean he has been raging in his cave and blasting fire at everything. His flames were bolstered by rage, I think, and when they hit the ground it actually turned some dirt into glass! Needless to say, I have been unable (and unwilling) to approach him while he is in this state.

The smoke from the city has shown no signs of ceasing, but I’m quite sure it’s too late for that anyway. Perhaps South was wise to leave for Equestria.

I would do the same, but these notes must be part of the royal archive down in the palace. I didn’t work this hard just to have my research displayed in some tyrannical museum run by that sun-Princess.

No, I will take this journal down to the archives and then come back to cross through the mountain pass. Maybe I can hire a carriage or something.

In any case, the city of glass and flowers may soon become a very accurate description instead of a whimsical poet’s ramblings.

Four Scales

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