• Published 28th Jul 2013
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Equestrian Doom - tankmanbrony

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Chapter One: The Path to War.

The message had arrived in the normal fashion, hiccuped out by Spike; but judging by the look on Twilight’s face, it was far from normal.

“Twi, what is in that letter?” Spike asked, after seeing the look of horror on her face.

She responded, “Some type of monster has appeared...” she paused for a minute and then continued, “Celestia attempted to stop it. It intercepted her charge and then disappeared. This all happened in a larger battle between the royal guard and these demons, they defeated them but Princess Luna has a feeling they will be back.”

She finished the letter and slumped into her chair, staring at Spike. “My brother has been charged with the task of preparing an army to drive these demons back into hell and we are to play a part in this.” She sighed, “We're going to Canterlot...”

Spike stared and said, “So we are going to war?”

“Yes, Spike, we are,” she replied quietly.

She saw a recruiting drive as the train passed by a smaller town, around fifty stallions and mares marched forward headed by five royal guards; each destined for the newly formed Equestrian Army. As the train neared the column it halted and the soldiers boarded. They sat rank and file in the cars until there was little space left for any pony.

Twilight sighed and Spike asked, “Twi, what will we be doing there?”

“I have no idea,” she said, “but it will have something to do with those soldiers."

As they arrived they watched the recruits disembark and march into the castle, which now swarmed with these fresh new recruits training for war. She saw several companies training with the spear and some with the sword. On a different line they saw several rows of archers, firing at targets with completely unrecognizable shapes; each one having either five limbs and a grotesque appearance, or taller with the normal four limbs. Both were strange in appearance and she assumed that these were the demons Princess Luna’s letter had spoken of.

Spike suddenly remarked, “Twilight what exactly are those things? They don't look like anything I’ve even heard of.”

She replied, “Princess Luna is having us gather information on these creatures from the survivors of the skirmishes.”

“Survivors?” Spike asked.

“Yes Spike, about twenty of the sixty ponies who fought died, and five went insane from the shock of seeing and fighting their leader, some sort of monstrosity known Gorrog,” she finished with an involuntary shudder. “He was the one that stole Celestia from the castle and neither have been seen since the battle.”

Together they entered a large room resembling barracks where the still sane survivors had been stationed. The survivors eyed the pair warily. She approached the first guard and began her questioning. "What did they look like? What were their capabilities? How strong were they? And finally what was the big one like?" That got the attention of all the ponies in the barracks immediately, especially the ranking officer, judging by his helmet and armor.

“He tore the spine out of my predecessor, with his bare hands alone and his roars shook the room. When we started to turn the tide on those monsters, he tore through our ranks. Whenever we thought we could win we would look at him and see horrors, he personally killed five of the twenty ponies who died that day. By comparison, when we captured him, he was playing with us. When Celestia charged him, we knew he was finished, or we thought he was. He caught her horn, but not before she stabbed his side; I saw the horn go in, and saw the steam coming out as if his insides were boiling.” He finished with a barely contained shudder “If that’s what we’re fighting than many of those green foals will never see their mothers again.”

Spike and Twilight stared with looks of shock and horror on their faces.

“His soldiers just appeared behind him, as if on cue,” continued another pony, “We had more ponies but the fact that they just appeared mean that they could be anywhere right now.”

Spike looked at Twilight as they left the barracks and said, “How big does something have to be to tear a pony's head and spine out?” he asked, obviously shaken by the events that had been described.

“Very big...” was all Twilight said, feeling for the first time that this war was going to a long and extraordinary bloody one. When they would face the demons that would require this army that the Princess had gathered she did not want to think about.

“Hey, Twi, do you think the Elements of Harmony would be able to stop this Gorrog?”

She thought for a split second and immediately responded, “Excellent idea Spike but we would need to strike at him and him alone, as trying to defeat all of his army with that alone would be impossible. Also, we would need to be sure that they would work on him. We would need to fight them with this army my brother is raising.” Now I will need to report my findings to Luna.”

“I’ll go and watch the army,” he replied.

It was late when Spike turned in to go to bed. As he turned the handle to go into his room he felt a hand on his shoulder… a very large hand. Before he could turn around, he felt extremely tired and slumped to the floor. Before him stood Gorrog and behind him was a large hole which seemed to breathe out fire. The demon spoke surprisingly soft for a large terrible creature

“Hello, Spike, I see you have joined us tonight. We have something to offer you… a glimpse of what is to come."

His vision changed abruptly, he was now looking over a battlefield; what caught his attention immediately was a very large creature with mace like fists, a long body and a crocodilian head, with two massive horns on either side. It stood at head of a vast demon army. He saw several kinds of beasts that not even the ponies who had fought the demons had seen. They were facing an army of ponies and it was clear who would win, the demons had them far outnumbered. Then his vision focused on one pony in particular, he saw Rarity at the head of the army of ponies, she was saying something but was cut off by a roar from the gigantic demon, who thrust a massive fist towards them. This was the signal the demons had been waiting for and they charged. This was answered by Rarity brandishing her mace, and ordering them to charge. A four legged type of demon lead the charge, all of them howling as they ran towards the ponies, they were followed by the slower maggots and Hell Knights, who roared battle cries and launched their fire balls. His vision focused back to Rarity as she swung her mace into one the four legged demons. It fell on the ground then started to get back up when a pony next to her speared it through the midsection; most likely hitting its heart as it stoped moving, slumped down and burned away. Then a Hell knight jumped right where it was standing and roared. A large glob of saliva hit her in the nose guard of her helmet. She at first focused on the saliva, but the hell knight’s fist hitting her immediately afterwards shifted her attention back to the main threat as the armies crashed together around them. A flight of arrows from the archers feathered the demons and many dissolved back into the fires that they had come from, but not the Hell Knight, he had five arrows sticking out of his upper chest and arms, but still he fought on. Rarity swung the mace into his leg just as he was getting ready to swing again with his fists, and the beast fell to the ground. As she readied the mace for the final blow, his hand came up and grabbing the mace, ripping it from her hoof as he stood up in spite of his damaged leg, he grabbed Rarity and, to Spike’s horror, crushed her skull in his free hand. The vision faded along with the sounds of war and he returned to the pit.

Spike stared at Gorrog who said, “Spike, when the time comes you can prevent that from happening, simply join us of your free will and Hell will grant you the power to protect her from harm. On my honor as a Hell Knight.”

Before he could say anything the vision faded and he looked around, it was still dark, nothing looked changed. “That was odd,” he said scratching his head. Then the part about Rarity jumped to the forefront of his mind, of her fight with the hell knight. He resolved to tell Twilight immediately. He walked into her room saying, “Twilight I just had the strangest dre...” stopping when he saw her sitting on her bed eyes closed, her mouth moving silently, saying something unknown. He stared at her, noticing her eyes were moving beneath her lids.

“She must be seeing something from these demons as well.” He thought. She suddenly shook awake from the vision in a similar manner he had.

“I just saw Celestia die… he killed her,” she sobbed, collapsing into Spike’s arms. “I couldn’t do anything about it! I just felt so helpless!” She wailed.

Spike tried to comfort her by saying, “Twilight, you see that army out there, preparing for war. That army is going to avenge her death.”

He then reflected on the scene he had seen in his head of that giant monstrosity that had signaled the demonic charge. They went to bed that night both shaken by the things shown to them that night.


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The next day Spike and Twilight were summoned to the throne room along with the rest of the Bearers of the Elements.

When they halted in front of the throne Princess Luna spoke, “We have been given the location of the place where the demons have been massing for an unknown purpose. We do know that given sufficient time they will sally forth from their fortress, and when do they will wreck terrors not seen in this land in millennia.”

The ponies stared at the princess in silence until Twilight spoke up saying, “Every day we wait to strike, is another day, they pull more demons out of their hell hole and into Equestria.”

The surprised ponies looked at her while Rainbow Dash asked, “How do you know that Twilight?”

“The demon Gorrog showed it to me, last night after he showed me how he defeated and then killed Celestia. His soldiers are, as we speak, crawling out of his portal to Hell.”

“Yeah, so we need to stop them instead of sitting and talking!” shot back Rainbow.

“If only it was that simple, then we wouldn’t need this army I’ve been raising, would we?” a voice form the back of the room returned.

The surprised ponies turned to see Shining Armor in full battle armor. He was flanked by an honor guard of six of the most experienced members of the royal guard. All of whom had fought the demons on both occasions between the now warring factions.

“Princesses,” he began, “the First Army has been formed and awaits a leader. Its strength numbers twenty-five thousand and will be ready to march on morning.”

“These soldiers, how much training have they received?” asked Twilight.

“About two weeks now. Because we know so little about what we will be fighting only the basics that they’ll need to survive in combat, along with the two types we’ve encountered so far, have been covered.”

Before he could say anything else a soldier entered the hall and quickly said, “There was another attack.” Breathing heavily he said, “A new type of demon," he paused for breath, “it had blade like arms and could teleport.”

He motioned to a long gash on his flank. “I came to warn you after we had finished fighting the creatures, though I’m afraid two escaped us,” he gasped.

A medic came into the room and helped up the soldier. As the pair made their way out of the throne room he gave a discrete nod to Shining Armor.

“Even in Canterlot, your soldiers die and we haven’t made a move to silence the demons,” Shining spat at Luna,

“Never, presume such arrogance with us again!” The wrath in Luna’s voice palatable.

The tension was broken when Applejack spoke up saying, “Why don’t we find what ‘ere up against.”

Shining Armor spoke again, “We have a basic plan for how to fight these demons,” he pulled out a map gesturing to a dark spot labeled “Hell Hole” this is where you will converge, each leading an army group behind you. With obvious assistance for some of you he followed, eying Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie.”

After pausing he continued saying, “If we can divide their forces we can defeat them in the field, but they are currently concentrated around their fortress. We have every reason to suspect that they will be extremely powerful and will have some sort of aerial support. I have gathered an entire army of Pegasi, lead by Rainbow Dash, to keep the skies clear of any of their flyers and to run reconnaissance flights for the other five armies. This will be in order to ensure that they won’t be able to make the most of their numerical strength.”

“This plan of yours has several setbacks, for example, where are the other army groups and does any pony here know many demons all there in this “Hell Hole,” or their capabilities? As we saw today, a new kind has surfaced to terrorize our citizens,” Princess Luna said softly.

“I am raising new battalions daily from all over Equestria and have all but finished the second division of the airborne army,” he replied.

A soft voice that could only be Fluttershy's spoke, “What if there are other creatures like their leader Gorrog? I mean, everything has some sort of family. Right?”

The others seemed taken aback by the thought of other creatures of his nature. Spike though of his vision of the creatures who had called themselves Hell Knights. How they seemed unstoppable even when struck with weapons like maces and spears.

“There are others of his kind, they call themselves Hell Knights.” Spike murmured to the group of ponies.

As they turned to him Twilight asked, “Spike, how could you know that?”

“I had a similar dream happen to me as happened to you, " he shot back a little harsher then he meant but he didn’t want too many questions coming his way.

The gaze of the group shifted to Twilight who responded, “Mine didn’t have details like that, it only showed Celestia’s final moments in her battle with Gorrog and a voice saying how much more awaited us. Not any names or intelligence. How much else did you see?”

“Only a battle that we lost, I saw an entire demon army close with ours and it was slaughter on a scale I’ve never heard of before,” he spoke hurriedly.

Shining Armor quickly asked, “Were there any notable types we haven’t seen before?”

“Yes," Spike said, glad the topic has shifted from him to the demons. “They charged with a type that resembled a dog a little, but much bigger with a metal rear section and a large mouth framed by two large horns. Along with them I saw creatures fitting Gorrog’s description but grey, not black and red, and without the markings." He purposely left out the part where one had killed Rarity or the offer Gorrog made him.

“This is most worrisome, but why did only you get those visions?” asked Rarity. “I mean no offense, darlings, but why just you, not any other pony?”

“Yeah I was wondering that as well...” said Shining Armor. “Why show a pony and a dragon who would tell the commander of the army? They are fighting themselves and revealing their strengths.”

“This will have to wait for the morrow,” said Luna, “for the night court is taxing on our strength and patience."


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Spike and Twilight walked back to their room in silence when screeching like the monsters of a foal’s nightmare came from nowhere. The two remaining blade demons the messenger spoke of appeared in a flash of orange light. They charged, using their blade arms as legs, until they entered striking distance. One leaped at Spike to close the distance while Spike spat a puff of flame at it. It leaped back, startled by the fire, but its fellow had leaped on top of Twilight and was getting ready to stab her with its blades. He tackled it off her and they landed in heap. He started to punch the demon, aiming for its face, when the lower part of its face opened up, revealing its split jaw and rows of sharp needle like teeth. He responded with a punch to the throat shutting its mouth as it attempted to impale him on its blades, he bit down feeling its hot blood in his mouth as he tried to crush its neck. Then it started to dissolve around and under him, until he was on the floor. He turned to see Twilight had her's trapped in large purple sphere.

“You captured one alive!” he exclaimed, “That hasn't happened before!”

“I know, let’s see if we can get some information out of you,” she snapped at the demon. “Now we need to find my brother and give him this scum.”

The anger in her voice was sharp compared to the fear she felt earlier. They presented the demon to Shining Armor with Twilight saying, “This monster tried to kill me and Spike, along with another of its filthy brothers.”

She was fuming at this point, the failure of the guards and the demon attack giving her no reason to be calm. Shining Armor was stunned that she managed to capture one alive.

“How in Equestria did you take one prisoner?” he asked.

“It was startled by Spike's fire and started circling me. I then took the opportunity to encase it in a protection spell and levitate it into the air. It was surprisingly difficult though, to make the spells stick, so I doubt they will be overcome by magic.”

“Chain up its arms and legs,” Shining Armor ordered. “Make sure he can’t break them. I saw the last time one was chained… it wasn’t pretty.”

Spike stared puzzled for a moment before saying, “What do mean, 'I saw what happened last time'?”

“I was there when Gorrog broke his chains and fought my soldiers, it was a slaughter. I attempted to stop him but one my Lieutenants got in the way. He paid for that mistake with his life.”

Twilight stared, insulted that hadn’t told her about that earlier. “Why didn’t you tell me” she said shocked at this revelation.

“Have you ever seen a pony’s head ripped from his shoulders? Knowing full well that if he hadn’t taken your place you’d be dead?” he asked, his voice shaking with each word. "I’m sending foals and green ponies against these monsters as Spike confirmed yesterday.”

Spike did his best to slip from the room as quietly as possible; he still had the offer that Gorrog had given him to think over. It meant betraying his friends but it also meant that no harm would come to Rarity. He sighed knowing that the choice would tear him apart either way. The deal was tempting and didn’t seem to any further drawbacks other than betrayal of his friends and if he refused, Rarity’s potential death at the hands of a Hell Knight. He knew the vision would cause him to wake in a sweat some nights. He needed to clear his head and think about this. He knew that by the very thought of accepting of the offer was treason, which would result in execution. If he was caught, that is.