• Published 3rd Sep 2013
  • 1,362 Views, 46 Comments

Shadows and Lies - Witchery

Damon Flame was just trying to escape his past when he ended up in Equestria. Things were finally looking up for him but life decided to take away everything he had worked so hard for and make it all for naught.

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Chapter 4: Origins


"A....Dweller of the Twilight?" I ask, holding my hand over my mouth to keep myself from laughing at the ridiculousness of the name.

"Yes" Luna nods gravely while glaring at me clearly seeing I was holding back laughter "two hundred thousand years ago many new kinds of magic were being discovered and you could say it was a golden age for magic. A group of ponies were experimenting with a form of light magic that could only be cast safely by individuals with pure intentions in their hearts and were performing an experiment on a volunteer griffin. We are unsure as to what happened but what we assume happened is that one of the unicorns casting the spell must have been having impure intentions when casting the spell. This caused magical feedback when it came into contact with the pure intentions of the other unicorns resulting in an explosion that destroyed most of the lab but nopony was injured thankfully."

Her word choice struck me as odd. "Luna, what do you mean by nopony?"

She paused and took a deep breath. Her eyes got a far off look in them before a brief look of pain crossed her features. "I mean exactly that. Everypony made it out fine but the griffin did not. His wings and talons were covered in a black substance that we could not identify. He was unconscious for several weeks afterwards and every day his condition worsened. Just as we were sure he was going to die, he made a miraculous recovery and the black substance disappeared."

"So what happened to the griffin and how does any of this relate to me and the Dweller's of the Twilight?" I asked with sarcastic emphasis on the last words.

"Let me finish and I'll tell you!" She snarled at me. I looked at her with shock on my face at the sudden change in her demeanor.

"We let him go after several more days of observation and for several months everything was fine. But we began to get reports of ponies disappearing in the middle of the night and never being heard from again. It was at this time that we also began to get reports of a strange group of people amassing in the mountains between Tartarus and the griffin city Schlafplatz which was their capitol at that time. By the next week the other races started to report they were having citizens disappear too."

She closed her eyes and looked down while a single tear rolled down her cheek. I let out a nervous laugh "Luna...Luna what's wrong. You're scaring me."

She took a deep breath before continuing "Little did we know that by that time next month, every nation would be at war with the group that had taken to calling themselves the Dwellers of the Twilight."

"Every nation in the world against a single group? That's incredible! Back on my world you could barely get two nations to ally against a common threat."

"Is your world truly in such disharmony that not even when the same enemy threatens countries that they cannot work together to stop them?"

"Yeah it's not really that bad though" I said with a dismissive wave of my hand "Lets get back to your story though"

"Very well then. For several months every nation in the world was in open conflict with the Dwellers. Nothing we could do could even come close to stopping them though. Out of four hundred thousand soldiers that we sent out during the course of the war only forty thousand returned."

My jaw dropped "Only forty...THOUSAND!? That's an incredibly high rate of mortality"

"Yes it was. But that isn't even the worst part of it. All the people that had been stolen? They were turned into the army of the Dwellers using shadow magic. So each soldier had the possibility of fighting their own family. The fighting continued for several years and the Dwellers were winning. The nations had come together one day to form a special task group to capture the leader of the Dwellers."

"Did it work?"

"Yes....it did. But at a disturbing revelation. The task group found him and captured him but when he was brought before us we realized that this was the same griffin from several years ago that was involved in that magical accident."

"But what happened to him that he would do something like this or even have the power to do so?" I asked.

"We later found out that the black substance that was on him was liquid shadows. Formed whe--"

"Liquid...shadows?" I asked with a hint of disbelief in my voice.

"Yes liquid shadows. Now can we continue or are you going to interrupt us once more?" Luna asked with anger in her voice.


"As I was saying, Liquid shadows are formed when the amount of magic being cast on something is so great, that the normally intangible forces of magic cast off a shadow, that is normally harmless, is itself exposed to even greater amounts of magic than what created it. We are not sure as to how but this gives the shadow mass and a tangible form. What was created when the spell that the group of ponies were casting all those years ago was even worse than that though. They had created a spirit of pure evil that would come to be known as Nightmare Moon millenia later."

"This spirit possessed the griffin and influenced his thoughts turning him evil when the griffin was in a weakened mental state from the explosion. When the Nightmare took over his body though it absorbed the liquid shadows that were covering his body and used them to form the basis for what is known today as shadow magic."

Luna took a deep breath before continuing "Shadow magic is the most dangerous kind of magic there is and is therefore prohibited without direct supervision from either Celestia or myself. If you do not believe that the shadow magic will work then it will not and can have dangerous backlash for the caster. If you cast it while unsure the spell can either go awry and do something completely random or it can cause the caster to experience a magical backlash."

"Why can you only cast it when you have complete certainty what you want it to do?"

"That requires a brief explanation of how magic itself works. Magic at its core works by the caster willing something to happen. Each kind of magic can only perform certain types of actions no matter what the intention. Only four kinds of magic can perform any intention and those are Solar, Lunar, Light, and Shadow magic. What makes shadow magic especially dangerous is that it is so sensitive to the intent of a person that it detects what kind of person you are and your strength of character and the spell changes accordingly. If you have conviction in what you want the magic to do then it will always go as you intend. If you are unsure in what you want the magic to do however yourself then the magic will always end up twisting the original intent into something wicked. A persons soul is what defines them. It is the essence of who they are and it is what their character is. Therefore, if you are very strong of character and have conviction in the intent of the spell, then it will cast correctly"

"Shadow magic is also the magic with the most potential." Luna stated simply.

I cocked my head quizzically "Potential? I don't quite understand."

"Each of the four types of willful magics, that is what Solar, Lunar, light and shadow are called, have a base strength to any spell cast with them and then a potential for power based on the strength of intent, how much your soul resonates with the type of magic, experience with the type, and physical ability of the caster. Solar and Lunar magic are made from the combination of both shadow and light magic. Solar magic has the capacity to create shadow magic but mostly creates light magic. The opposite is true of Lunar magic. Solar and Lunar magic has an incredibly high base power but not nearly the same potential for power as light or shadow magic. Lunar and Solar magic also have a higher base power than light and shadow magic but light and shadow magic have even higher potential than Lunar or Solar. This is because they are more sensitive to the strength of intent of the caster and the strength of character the caster has."

"Shadow magic has the weakest base of all the types of magic but has the highest potential. If someone were to have complete utter conviction in who they were and in the intent of the spell I do believe that they could change the very fabric of reality."

"Huh...well that was....in depth." I said after having my brain overloaded from all the new knowledge. "So what ever happened to the griffin?"

"The leader of the Dwellers eventually gave my sister an ultimatum to either let him go free and continue slaughtering innocent people, or to kill him and in the process kill everyone that he had captured so far with shadow magic." She said with a regretful tone in her voice.

"So what happened? What did your sister decide?"

She sighed "My sister decided that even at the incredible cost of innocent lives, that even more would be lost if he was allowed to continue the war. Even with that at stake she could not just go and kill someone so she instead banished him to Tartarus, which is an interdimensional prison for the worst criminals from every dimension. As soon as he disappeared the captured people were set free and everything was good for a time."

"What do you mean for a time?"

"Well many of the citizens of what was known as Caballio Terram at the time, were upset that Celestia said that she killed the leader, she didn't want the common ponies to think he was still alive, and they rose against her and seceded from Caballio Terram. The few ponies that stayed a part of our country were not enough to constitute a nation so we disbanded. Eventually the three races went their separate ways but came back together to form a new nation called Equestria and asked us to be their rulers again."

"Wait so they left your country just because you said you killed an evil dude? That's a bit unfair to you guys considering you saved em and that if you didn't kill him the loss of life would have been even worse."

Luna sighed "Ponies were different then. Their intellects weren't developed as much and they were far more sensitive to death than they are today."

"Well I guess that explains what a Dweller of the Twilight is, and a bit more, but it leaves me with a few questions."

"Yes Damon?"

"You said that your sister and you were actually THERE two hundred thousand years ago but that's not possible. No mortal being can live for that long."

"You are correct Damon in saying that no mortal being can live that long. You are incorrect however in assuming that we are mortals. I was born seven million years ago and my sister has been alive for even longer."

I sat there in disbelief "Did I hear that right? seven....MILLION...years?"

"Yes you did." Luna said with a flat stare.

"That's.....unthinkable.I mean, I would probably go insane from watching everything and everyone around me crumble and die. And trust me, I should know insanity better than anyone..."

Luna gazed at me with a curious look "What do you mea-- nevermind. I will ask you about this more later. The fact remains. You are a shadow magic user and thus are a Dweller of the Twilight."

"Wait what? That makes no sense. Just because I can use something doesn't mean I'm a part of a militant group."

"We have no reason to believe that. Only the Dwellers could ever use shadow magic and all the Dwellers of the Twilight were either evildoers, or people under the control of that griffin and were a major threat to our kingdom. Please come with me peacefully so we can ascertain whether you have good or bad intentions."

"Sorry but that just isn't going to happen. I DESPISE being captive and will not tolerate it for any amount of time no matter the intention behind it."

Luna gave me a wary look "Well then I shall have to restrain you by force"

"Fuck that noise!" I said as I leaped out of bed with a gasp as pain exploded in my chest. "Damn that hurts" I said but at the risk of being captured I kept moving.

Luna flared her wings and charged her horn "Guards seize him! Do not use physical force however! Stun him with magic or lightning!" she commanded.

"Oh shit!" I said as I leaped over a guard that tried to grab my legs. 'Shit, shit, shit. Luna has the doors blocked and I'm surrounded.' I looked around my quickly, turning my head from side to side, before noticing the same window that I had tried to escape from before. 'Well here's hoping that I can somehow figure out how to fly' I thought with slight dread as I charged towards the window. I jumped through the window with my arms crossed over my head as Luna tried to grasp me in her magic but failed. "Ha ha! Yeah! I ain't no ones prisoner!" I screamed at the top of my lungs before I looked down and realized just how far up I was. 'THIS ROOM WAS ON A A FUCKING MOUNTAIN?!' I flailed my arms and legs and shut my eyes tight against the wind as I picked up speed. The wind was deafening in my ears 'Damn it I wish I knew how to fly!' I screamed in my head. Several pegasi gave chase but soon lost me at the speeds I was going.

Suddenly I felt myself slow down and I felt a strange sensation on my back and....to my sides? I opened my eyes and saw that I was gliding down the mountain towards a dark forest. 'How the hell am I flying? How the hell do I actually know how to fly?!' I thought about flying and realized that I had basic knowledge of it and wing positions. 'Hmmmm...what if I think about wanting to learn weather manipulation?' I thought about it but nothing happened 'Well damn. Was worth a shot though'

As I drew closer to the forest I realized just how badly I had messed up back there. 'Oh man I ran away from the cops and the ruler of this country. Am I a criminal now? Great. First day in a new world and not even a few hours here and I'm already a criminal.' As I thought about Luna I was struck with another realization with even worse implications. 'I'm all alone again...it's even worse this time though because I'm the only one of my entire species here too.....no friends.....no one to help me....' Depression grew in my chest and I was struck with a feeling of dread. I reached the entrance to the forest but as I was about to enter it I was blinded and it felt as if there were hot railroad spikes being driven into my eyes.

I gasped and tried to scream out but the pain was too much. After a few minutes it faded though. "Dear....fucking....god..... what the hell" I ground my palm into my forehead "was THAT?" I rubbed my eyes and opened them. I was confused at first because everything was blurry and brighter. 'The hell is going on here?' I took off my glasses and cleaned them but before I put them back on I realized that I could see perfectly fine. "Whoa....." I put my glasses in my pocket and looked around. Even though my glasses were off I could see perfectly fine but the sunlight was hurting my eyes. "Damn that's bright" I raised my hand to shield my eyes from the sun. "It hasn't gotten any brighter so wh--"

"And just what the hay are you?" Said a voice from behind me.

My body went rigid and I began sweating bullets. I slowly turned around laying eyes on the owner of the voice. It was the same rainbow maned pegasus, Rainbow Dash, that Luna said helped me in the castle. 'Huh. fitting name.'

"Hey wait a minute, I know you! You're that thing that I carried to the hospital!" She yelled and pointed at me with a hoof. "Didn't you get an organ transplant? Why aren't you in the hospital right now? Where the hay did you get those wings?" She glared at me with suspicion.

Almost every fiber of my being was telling me not to trust her but I chose to listen to the small part saying different. 'What have I got to lose?' I thought to myself.

"Hey! Are you gonna tell me what you're doing here or do I have to kick your flank to get some answers!" She lowered her front legs and got into a fighting stance.

I rubbed the back of my neck "Well you see, that's a bit of a long story."



Luna was pacing with worry. "How could I have let this happen? It was his first day in Equestria and already his life is in jeopardy because of my inability to keep him restrained and explain everything, She continued to think out loud "I hope that we can find him before he figures out how to use magic. Otherwise there may be no saving him..."

Author's Note:

Things start getting really interesting from here on out. And yeah I know. The end there was pretty weak.