• Published 6th Jun 2013
  • 1,639 Views, 75 Comments

Through a Glass Mirror - suijin

A thousand years ago, the ponies of Equestria are in a state of fear and despair. Ruled by a pair of tyrants, they turn to the only being in the known world that can help them. A Spirit of Chaos named Discord. Really Alternate Universe. First story.

  • ...

The King of the North

The Crystal Empire was preparing for war.

The crystal ponies, while closely related to earth ponies, were very different from their southern cousins. They were not as strong or tough, and not many among them were skilled as warriors. But they were busy using what skills they did have to their advantage.

They were craftsponies by heart, and possessed an incredible gift for enchantment, despite having no active magical abilities. They were using their skills to make wondrous weapons and armor, as well as fortify their capitol city. These items were inherently beautiful, but not works of art, meant to be effective and efficient. The many soldiers who were preparing to defend their homes were primarily equipped with bright, shining armor that could deflect magical attacks as well as blades, while those of higher ranks were denoted by heavier black armor, clearly inspired by their king.

They also built defenses and barricades, overseen by the darkly clad officers. While such fortifications might have looked frail to a casual observer, they were made so as to be nearly indestructible, reinforced with crystal, and resistant to magical attacks. Anyone seeking to enter the city would be forced to go around or over them, and right where the defenders wanted them.

As the ring of metal and clang of hammers echoed through the city, the sounds climbed up the tower at its center, and reached the ears of the sole unicorn in the empire.

Sombra smiled, looking over his subjects toil. The work was hard, and the hours long, but the citizens of the Crytal Empire worked tirelessly. They all knew what was to come, and what was at stake. Many prepared for what they believed would be their end, simply being defiant to the last. Sombra had no such plans, intending to salvage what he could and try again if he failed.

Or, at least, those were his intentions. Now, he could not stand any thought of retreat or failure. He would succeed, and he would free all of Equestria in the process. No matter what it took.

As he continued to look on, he heard a sudden popping sound behind him. Before the intruder even had a chance to take in their surroundings, Sombra had turned and unleashed a magical blast powerful enough to blow a ten foot wide hole in the crystal walls.

Discord could only stare, wide eyed and dumbfounded, as the air practically sizzled with magical energy, just inches from his head. By the time he regained his composure and laughed off the event, the black unicorn in front of him was sitting with a patient and expectant look on his face, as if this was a completely normal way to greet somepony. There was no indication that he had just released a massive amount of magical energy, and indeed, there was hardly any magic in his horn at all.

"Almost hit me there, unicorn," Discord joked.

"Please don't underestimate me. I didn't try to hit you." Sombra's face suggested that he was being completely serious. In fact, his face betrayed no emotions at all, simply holding a calm and thoughtful look.

Discord still couldn't help but make a jab, and try to break the calm facade. "Oh, really? Are you sure you didn't just miss?"

Sombra said nothing, choosing instead to fire a single, thin beam of magic at a nearby vase. When nothing seemed to happen, Discord once again began to make another joke. Then he noticed water leaking from the vase, coming from a hole that seemed to have suddenly appeared right in its center.

Discord was torn between two feelings. On one hand, he was pleased to see that his trip would likely be worth it, and that his potential ally was just as powerful and skilled as Storm Feather had said. But on the other hand, he found himself experiencing something he was not used to at all: fear.

Part of him said that he was being completely irrational, and that he had no reason to be afraid; no unicorn, not even Sombra, could harm him. Yet an even larger part told him that the creature before him deserved fear and respect from every species. Pony, griffon, dragon... and even draconequi.

Rather than letting his unease show, Discord opened his mouth to try to start a conversation with the unusual looking pony, but he got beaten to the punch.

"You want some way to counter the Elements of Harmony," the king said curtly.

"Right to the point, I see. A little boring if you ask me. It's always more fun to add a little bit of chaos." Grinning, Discord rolled his eyes at his counterpart's uptight manner, and began to play with a nearby ornament. By flipping it inside out and attaching it to the wall.

"I don't know how much time you have to waste, but I have none. Now, tell me, do you want my help, or not?" Sombra's tone left no room for jokes, telling the Spirit of Chaos in no uncertain terms that he was not going to let him waste any of that time, no matter how powerful he was.

"Alright, alright. Sheesh. Yes, I need something to stop the Elements. There, are you happy?" Discord was quickly becoming stifled by the king's stuffy attitude.

"Yes." And with that, Sombra began to head for the stairs. "I have analyzed your power while you've been standing..." one quick look back, "floating there. And I believe that I can make something for you with it."

Discord was rather impressed. A spell that lets one analyze another's abilities was extremely difficult and draining to perform. Yet the King of Shadows was holding next to no power in his horn at all. No, that wasn't right. He just wasn't holding anywhere near what he could. His horn was barely reacting at all, and Discord hadn't been paying enough attention to notice the strong sense of magical energy permeating the room.

"Why don't I help you get down quicker?" With a snap of his fingers, Discord made the staircase turn into a slide. A yell from just below indicated that it already had an unfortunate rider. "... oops."

"... really?" Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, a much more malevolent King of Shadows had a sudden hit of inspiration, to use stairs as part of the traps protecting the Crystal Heart. For some reason, though, he felt as though he was doing it to spite somepony...

"Chaos creates uncertainty, and is unpredictable. That means that you can't work with it consistently. Order is far superior. THAT you can plan around, and use." With an annoyed grumble and a quick shake of his head, Sombra instead headed for a nearby window. Before Discord could say anything, the king had jumped out. Teleporting over, Discord looked out to see Sombra jumping on and riding a set of dark crystal pillars, reaching the ground with a heavy thud a few seconds later.

"See, chaos IS better! You DID get down quicker!"

As the Spirit of Chaos teleported away again, apparently satisfied, Sombra took his turn to roll his eyes, and went into the base of the tower. Heading under ground, he filled his horn with as much magical power as he could. He held enough to trump that of even an alicorn, to topple the tower above three times over. He was going to need every bit of it, but not to destroy. He went down, into his own personal forge, to create something new. If he failed, there would not be enough of him left to bury. But if he succeeded...

He strode forward without hesitation, confident that he would succeed. And, with a last, mighty boom from the closing gates, he locked himself away from the rest of the world to work. He would emerge with a force to end the Princesses' reign, or he would not emerge at all.

He would succeed.

Author's Note:

Apparently there is no official plural form of draconequus. Well, ain't that annoying?

I hope I got the pacing better this time. My main weakness is usually dialogue, but I'm actually quite happy with this chapter. This is exactly how I would imagine these two first meeting.

Next chapter will (hopefully) be more exciting.

Edit: should I continue the chapters as they are, each in clearly seperate parts, or should I have the next chapter(s) be longer, with multiple sections in one?