• 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.

  • ...

Let it Begin

Discord and Obsidian were lazing around, sitting near the edge of the Crystal Empire's capitol city. The grey crystal pony was taking a break, and not working. For once.

Discord had, naturally, taken the opportunity to try and break through the pony's tough exterior. He was using every method he could think of to produce a laugh from the stallion, including, but not limited to: flipping his head upside down, twisting into insane body contortions, making toys and food appear from random parts of his body, and lots of candy.

It had been a week since Discord's grove was attacked, and little had truly happened since returning to the Crystal Empire. He had formed something of an unofficial challenge with Obsidian, the spirit trying to produce any kind of emotional response, the stallion simply holding his usual poker face. The two rarely spoke or interacted, as Obsidian was usually quite busy, but today, they were simply lounging around and being lazy. And goofy, in Discord's case.

After several unsuccessful minutes of trying to get a smile from the stoic pony, Discord admitted defeat with all of the grace and dignity one would expect from the Spirit of Chaos: turning away with a pout, and a rather whiny, "Well, you're no fun." If he had kept his eyes on the target of his ire, he might have noticed Obsidian's lips turning up into a small grin.

The moment of contentment was broken by Storm Feather, suddenly crashing into the ground nearby, flying much faster than was possibly safe. "I saw... *huff* ... I was on patrol and... *huff* ... and I saw..." After unsuccessfully trying to get out whatever he meant to say, the pegasus began to hyperventilate, obviously exhausted.

"Easy there, Stormy. Breathe a little bit first. Then, maybe, you won't suffocate half-way through your message." Discord's tone may have been teasing, but he still had an uneasy edge in his voice, already suspecting what the message was.

"They're coming."

Obsidian was running off the instant the words left Storm's mouth, already shouting orders and warning of the impending attack. Discord didn't waste time with things like running, simply teleporting to the other side of the city to alert the soldiers there. He then went to his own followers, making sure all were accounted for and safe, and sharing a last moment with Screwball, before heading back to Storm Feather, so that he could learn more about the approaching enemy.

"Where? How many? Did you see anything else? Were the princesses with them?" Discord's stream of questions was met with a patience that was mostly born from exhaustion, as Storm Feather continued to rest, and catch his breath.

"From the south, obviously. I... I don't know how many, though, or if the sisters were there. I only caught a glimpse, but I couldn't see their army's end." While Storm Feather was no longer out of breath, he showed no signs of improving his somber attitude; he knew that the battle ahead was going to be long and hard, and that not everypony was going to make it back out alive.

He had served as a soldier before the princesses' rise to power, so he knew what being in a war was like, and was not looking forward to taking part in another. But there was too much on the line to give up, or let others fight while he stood back.

The crystal pony soldiers began to get into their positions, and make last minute preparations. The civilians locked themselves into their homes, sticking to the center of the city, and its north side, seeking to stay as far from the battleground as possible.

The soldiers began to gather around Obsidian, waiting for commands, or simply wishing to remain near the experienced fighter. After looking over the final preparations, he simply stood at the perimeter, watching the south, and waiting for his enemies to show themselves.

Every one of the defenders waited with him, but not for the battle to begin. All of them were wishing for one thing: the return of the King of Shadows.


The invading force arrived within the next hour, giving the well prepared defenders ample time to get ready for the attack.

Despite how much time and effort had gone into their plans, Discord was not certain as to where he fit into the defenses. And he was perfectly fine with that, preferring to go where he was needed, when he was needed, so as to best aid his allies.

Looking out from a short distance behind the lines, he could clearly see the oncoming forces: a seemingly endless mass of bodies, covering much of the horizon.

While a good number were ponies from all three of the southern races, a large portion was far more sickening: slaves. They were from all kinds of species, chained and carefully watched, meant to act as fodder for their enemies. There were griffons in the sky, with pegasi boxing them in from behind. On the ground were all manner of creatures, from hulking minotaurs, to exotic zebras, and some truly massive monsters held farther back, including several dragons, and even a hydra. Some, but not many, were ponies, no doubt those that had displeased the princesses in some way.

It was obvious that they did not want to fight, and Discord didn't want to fight them. But he had to help his allies and friends now, or else there would be no saving anyone later; no freeing those slaves for good, no protecting the innocents that would fall under the tyrants rule, and no making sure that such atrocities were never committed again.

The invaders came to a halt, far enough away from the city to be safe from any counter attacks. The two sides held their ground, each seemingly intent on staring the other into submission. Neither moved for several minutes, no one advancing into the ground between them. From far in the back of the attacking army, a single blast of magic could be seen rising into the air, shot from a unicorn's horn, acting as the last signal.

And then it began.

While the crystal ponies held their ground, preparing to defend their homes to the last, the force from the south charged forward like a tidal wave. Once they met with the defenders, everything began to descend into madness, as battle cries were drowned out by screams and calls for help.

Discord was uncertain of what to do, having never been in a battle of this magnitude before. Then, looking up, he was able to spot Storm Feather; the pegasus was darting around the battlefield, keeping low to the ground, and using his speed to surprise the enemy in areas where the defenses weren't holding as well. He would also occasionally climb into the air, getting into dogfights with the opponents above, and using their own numbers to confuse them, making them get in each others' way.

But their enemies weren't stupid, and began to catch onto his tactics, forcing him to flee to ground level more and more often. Eventually, a pegasus guard wearing golden armor began to catch up to him, stubbornly keeping on his tail and forcing him further into the sky. That guard's expression changed from determined to surprised as he flew backwards, knocked out of the sky. He stared at the spear that was now impaled through his chest, and unable to believe that anypony could actually have thrown the hefty weapon several hundred feet into the air, let alone hit their target with such deadly accuracy.

After hurling the spear to protect Storm's back, Obsidian went back to fighting those attackers that were stuck the ground, using his hooves as much as the double-bladed sword in his mouth. The weapon really did appear to have blades made from some kind of glass, as they broke frequently during the frenzied combat. But Sombra's second in command possessed no common weapon, and the blades regrew every time they were broken, only seeming to grow sharper each time.

As Discord watched, Obsidian grabbed one unfortunate enemy soldier, lifted the stallion over his head with his front hooves, and threw him into the enemy ranks, knocking several more attackers over. Shortly afterwards, a minotaur joined the fray, punching the grey pony with a massive fist, straight into Obsidian's face. The stallion responded with one of his own, hitting hard enough to knock his opponent off his feet, and clear into the air.

The other crystal soldiers rallied around their captain, inspired by his strength and courage. With Obsidian leading them, they were able to hold the right flank with ease, never giving an inch of ground.

Unfortunately, the left side was not faring as well, the defensive line beginning to fall apart under the endless assault. It was there that Discord finally decided to make a stand.

The sky quickly began to darken, filling with black clouds that rained lightning on the invading army. Chunks of rock began to suddenly tear out of the ground, usually carrying confused and terrified soldiers. Others invaders simply found themselves flying through the air, propelled by an unseen force.

Some of the attackers immediately began to panic, and attempted to run away from the spirit. They had all too vivid memories of the Discord's wrath, fresh in their minds from the last time the princesses had attacked him. Judging from their surprise, the sisters had either not known that Sombra and Discord had allied with each other, or had simply not told their soldiers. Either way, the defenders had gained a noticeable advantage as a result.

While Discord wasn't inflicting many casualties, he was creating massive amounts of confusion in the enemy ranks; they soon began having trouble advancing in any kind of organized fashion, giving the crystal ponies a chance to regroup. Upon spotting the Spirit of Chaos joining the fray, Storm Feather jumped down beside him, making sure that no one was able to get within striking range, and giving him room to work unimpeded. The defenders soon began to pull back together, and Obsidian had his soldiers retreat to line up with Discord's group, forming a single, unbreakable wall.

But the waves of enemies did not stop, and everyone present knew that the crystal ponies would eventually succumb to exhaustion, and the armies from the south controlled the skies, with little to get in their way.

In one tense moment, the defending line broke enough for the attackers to rush forward, piling onto Obsidian. He disappeared for several seconds, only to burst forth again, sending many of his assailants flying, and quickly knocking off the rest with his powerful hooves. But he no longer wore his helmet, and a trail of blood was clearly visible, running from his mouth. This only spurred on the attackers more; Obsidian likely would have met his end there, had the defenders not responded with equal ferocity.

Storm Feather moved as quick as lightning, knocking away any that tried to attack Discord; but he was tiring, and slowing down. Soon, some began to slip through, forcing the spirit to divert his attention, and waste valuable seconds dealing with his attackers. The enemy would make a swift charge then, trying to break through the defenders while Discord was distracted.

Their situation only got worse as time passed, and even Discord believed that it might have been the end when the dragons, previously held in reserve, were allowed to join the fray. The fire breathing reptiles tore through the exhausted defenders, and most of the crystal ponies were forced to retreat into the city to escape.

Discord tried his best to get rid of the beasts, but they were naturally as tough as steel, and filled with a terrible fury. Even when one received a serious injury, it simply redirected its rage at the attacker, blinded by a violent desire for revenge.

Nearly everyone, including the Spirit of Chaos, had to pause for a moment and stare when Obsidian, after climbing onto one such monster's back, used his hooves to slam its head into the ground with enough force to cause a concussion, knocking it out nearly instantly.

But there were still more, and the defenders were becoming thin. With all hope lost, Discord watched as the princesses' army continued to appear, beginning to wonder if they had brought the whole world to attack the Crystal Empire. Then, he noticed something strangely familiar about a nearby enemy soldier. Looking closer, he realized that he was looking at one of the ponies he had been protecting, that had stayed in his grove before the princesses had burned it down. As the two made eye contact, the soldier simply nodded once, before turning back onto the invaders.

The crystal ponies could hardly believe their eyes as the front ranks of the opposing army turned around and began fighting for them, rather than against them. But they still welcomed the unexpected reinforcements with open arms, and with Discord's help, were able to get them to relative safety among the crystal soldiers.

Their morale had been boosted by the sudden appearance of Discord's followers, but they were still losing the battle. The new soldiers only mattered so much, and the city was still falling more and more each minute, the defenders having already retreated nearly the entire way to Sombra's tower.

Then, even more unexpectedly, a booming sound was heard, echoing throughout the city; every combatant stopped to look, wide-eyed, towards the crystalline structure at its center. Beneath, a pair of monumental gates were opening, and above all other sounds, an earth-shattering roar erupted from beneath the ground, shaking every living creature within earshot to their very cores. Some were filled with renewed hope, while others felt a sense of dread they had never experienced in their life.

Equestria itself seemed to quake at that which was emerging from those gates. All light seemed to disappear for a moment, darkness spreading across the entire city, and beyond. The air grew tense, as the one that would soon end the conflict appeared from the dark pits below.

The king had come.

Author's Note:

Next chapter: the final battle.

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