• Published 7th Sep 2013
  • 16,573 Views, 1,249 Comments

Courage - scion

Evil has come to the Everfree and Ponyville. The Elements must stand against it... but they will not be alone. The mysterious blue-eyed wolf will aid-or hamper- their efforts to bring harmony back to Equestria.

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The wolf padded quietly along through the jungle, ears cocked and alert. He had indeed found the lair of the next piece of Fused Shadow, but had been unable to gain full entry into the lair. Unable to bypass the obstacle, the wolf had decided to explore, hoping to find something that could help him in his endeavors.

It was night now, but that did not bother the wolf. He had other senses to see for him, his nose following the trail he had used to get. The moon was particularly bright tonight as well, casting silvery rays onto the land below; while not particularly bright, it did allow the wolf a decent amount of sight as he jogged through the forest.

A growl caused the wolf’s ears to prick up. Facing the source, the wolf bared his teeth as three creatures rushed at him from the undergrowth, growling and snarling at him as they surrounded him.

They looked like wolves. About as large as he was, they were nevertheless quite different. These wolves appeared to be made from gnarled and blackened tree branches, sporting moss and leaves for hair and crackling like dead wood with every step they took. Soulless red eyes stared at the wolf as he crouched, ears pricked to listen as the wolves circled.

The wolf to his left rushed in, hard wooden fangs bared to bite into soft flesh. The wolf heard.

The wolf charged back, surprising the wooden wolf. In that crucial moment, the wolf leapt, teeth bared, paws extended. The wolf hit the wooden wolf with the force of a runaway carriage. There was a sickening *crack*, and the wooden wolf simply collapsed. The red eyes faded, and in the next moment, there was nothing but a pile of wooden twigs and branches on the ground.

The wolf turned sharply and darted away as the second wolf, attempting to use the attack as a distraction, closed its wooden jaws mere inches from his tail. The wolf ignored it and headed for the third, who was now closing as well. He growled and snarled at his target, managing to cause it to pause for a fraction of a second from the sheer ferocity it contained. It was enough. Another pile of blackened twigs and branches joined the first.

The third was hot on his tail. The wolf dodged, just missing the snapping wooden fangs. The wolf turned on his own tail and went for the throat, closing his own fangs in the wooden neck.

The wooden wolf yelped and attempted to struggle flee, scratching with wooden claws, but the wolf held fast and pushed forward, keeping the wooden wolf off balance. Twigs and branches splintered as the wolf bit down. With a jerk, the wolf tore out the wooden throat. The wooden wolf fell to twigs in front of him.

The wolf spit the twigs and branches out from his mouth and continued at a light jog down the path, ears perked for any other dangers this forest could throw at him.

The wind picked up, and a faint whistling sound reached the wolf’s ears. The wolf perked up immediately, head swiveling as he attempted to find the source. Another small gust caused an ear to swivel, and the wolf set out towards the sound.

He came upon a small clearing in the forest. In the center, the wolf found a stone, standing slightly taller than he. Through the center of the upper part was a hole, clear through the stone. Around it were markings, triangles facing outwards on top, a raised section around the hole, and a single prominence pointing downwards. It looked like a radiant eye, shedding a single tear. From the hole, a tune came, a whistling from the wind that rose and fell in pitch, almost like a song. A lullaby.

The wolf sat, eyes closed and ears perked, listening to the tune.

Then, he began to howl.


Applejack shot awake in her bed, her ears twitching.

Her window was open to the cool spring air, and through the opening a chilling sound came. A wolf howl. A-


-single, solitary wolf howl. It rang through the night, loud and clear, as Fluttershy stuck her head out of her window. It was coming from the forest, and it may have been far away, but she could nevertheless hear it-


-clearly. Rarity, her mane in curls and a sleeping cover hiked just over her horn, listened to the haunting sound.

The howl changed pitch. Then it did again. And again. A tune formed. Rarity frowned, her mind attempting to puzzle why a wolf would howl a-


-lullaby. Twilight listened out her window, Spike beside her. The tones of the howl were familiar; it was the same basic tune that Celestia had sung to her a few times when she was younger, an ancient tune said to rival the age of the Princesses themselves.

As haunting as the sound was, Twilight nevertheless found herself listening intently. It should have been a fearful omen, but instead, it was just… beautiful.


High above the world, on a stone pillar that extended out of nothing, the black and white wolf finished the song.

Set against a starry backdrop with a large, silvery moon, the wolf found himself high above a forest- the one he was in, he supposed. To the south, a desert sprawled out. To the east and west were oceans, with woods a plentiful in between and hints of buildings in the distance. To the north was a solitary peak, a marble-white city built precariously into it, waterfalls flowing down and glittering in the moonlight, with a city that appeared to be made of clouds just off to the side. Below was a town, small and simple, with a homey feel to it.

Across from him, on a mossy stone just like his own, a golden spirit wolf let the last notes of the duet fade away. The only sound, high above the world, was the panting of the ethereal wolf, echoing through the night.

Excited, the flesh and blood wolf circled once before he managed to force himself to calm down, standing expectantly on all fours. The golden wolf regarded him with an implacable stare from a single red eye.

“Let teachings of old pass to you… gather your courage and find me.”

The golden wolf sprang forward, vaulting off the ledge and disappearing down onto the world. Around the wolf, the world faded away as though blown by an invisible wind. In the end, he found himself in the clearing once again.

The wolf was still, gathering his thoughts. Then he set off at a light pace, a new destination in mind.

He headed towards the small village at the edge of the forest, the one he had vanquished a number of Shadow Insects from.


On the side of the path towards the town, no more than twenty feet from the abrupt edge of the forest, an ethereal golden wolf sat, waiting.

The black and white wolf padded slowly out of the forest, eyeing the town to see if there were any witnesses. There were none. It was late into the night right now, most of the inhabitants of the village were asleep. Those who weren’t were not outside, the recent howling having spooked them- one did not live close to a forest such as the Everfree without being cautious.

The wolf padded slowly towards his golden counterpart, wary. He knew what was going to happen, and just because it was necessary did not mean he had to like it.

A few steps closer, and the golden wolf growled. It got to its paws, ready to attack as it continued to growl threateningly. The black and white wolf growled back but did not approach further, front legs splayed and low to the ground, ready for anything.

The golden wolf darted forward and leapt at his flesh and blood counterpart. The black wolf entertained the thought of attempting to dodge, but decided against it. Not that it would have mattered. Before the wolf could move a muscle, the golden wolf was upon him… passing through him…

His vision swirled as the wolf lost consciousness.


The wolf awoke on a white plain. Fog surrounded a single clear area, allowing only glimpses of what lay beyond- one could see the tops of a castle, occasionally, or houses. Shaking his head to clear his senses, the wolf got to his paws.

Sitting in front of him was the golden wolf, the single red eye watching as the wolf got to his feet. Satisfied, the golden wolf threw back his head and let out a howl. Engulfed in blinding white light, the golden wolf disappeared- in its place was something new.

Standing tall on two legs was a creature never before seen in Equestria. Covered in battle-worn golden armor that appeared to have vines growing on it in places, carrying a hand-and-a-half sword in his left hand and a large metal circular shield in his right, the figure before the wolf could not be mistaken for anything but a warrior. His helm, one of the three horns broken off, covered a ghostly face from which a single red eye silently watched.

The Hero’s Spirit seemed satisfied with what he saw.

“We meet again,” the Spirit’s voice boomed. “You have become stronger since last we met. You are on the path to becoming the hero that is needed. But your progress has been halted. You need a new skill to continue forward.”

The wolf nodded. Then he looked himself over, as though he did not expect to look like this. The Spirit noticed.

“The skill I will teach you now is not a sword technique, and is indeed most potent when one is a beast. It is not an attack, and will cause no lasting damage to any opponent. Yet of all the skills I have taught so far, this may be the most important.”

“’A sword has no strength unless the hand that holds it has courage.’ No matter your skill with a blade, you cannot damage a foe if you do not attack it. For that reason, your mind is just as important as the sword that you wield in a battle. You must treat it as such, as both a weapon to be honed... and as a vital resource to be guarded. You armor your body to defend against physical attacks; so too must you armor your mind, to defend against mental attacks. This is the next skill you need: the Warrior's Spirit.”

“The most common attack against a warrior’s mind is fear. Some of your opponents will attempt to manipulate your emotions, creating a fear so great that the warrior flees the field in defeat. To combat this, you must focus your courage and steel your will against such attacks.”

The Spirit sheathed his sword in a single fluid motion. In his now empty hand, a green glow began to form.

“I will attempt to generate fear within your mind. Use your skills to force it out.”

With no warning, the green ball flew from his hand and struck the wolf. The wolf collapsed to his belly, fighting against nausea. When he opened his eyes again, the Spirit was… distorted. It was growing taller, larger, by the second. The mouth doubled, then tripled in size, razor sharp fangs replacing normal teeth. The armor grew sharp, as much a weapon now as protection. Through it all, the red eye glared, unceasingly, watching its prey writhe on the phantom ground…

The wolf closed his eyes, forcing the image out of his head. It was not true. And there was nothing that could force him to believe otherwise. He repeated this mantra in his head, his eyes closed, as he got to his paws. His lips pulled back into a growl, and he opened his eyes once more to find the Spirit, completely normal, standing before him.

“Well done. It certainly appears you are capable of learning my lost art,” the Spirit nodded, satisfied. “This technique is also useful in shrugging off magical attacks that affect your body. By taking your conviction and forcing it through the rest of your body, any foreign magics will be forced out as well. Indeed, it is even possible to affect the magic a short distance away from your body using this skill. We shall try it now. I will lift you using magic. You must escape.”

The Spirit’s hand cupped, as though holding a bowl, then raised it into the air. The wolf was momentarily startled when he rose along with it. Concentrating, the wolf gathered his courage and will and forced them through the rest of his body. A slight blue sphere formed around him as the telekinetic field dissipated, dropping the wolf a foot to the ground. He stumbled slightly, but recovered into an attack position.

The Spirit nodded. “Very good. The next hidden skill, Warrior's Spirit, has been passed on!”

“Do not relax your vigil. There are still more skills for you to learn, and you shall need them all in order to save the land from darkness. We will meet again, hero.”

The white around them faded, and the wolf suddenly found he could no longer keep his eyes open. The wolf passed blissfully into unconsciousness.


The wolf awoke at the edge of the Everfree to a pounding headache. As much as he enjoyed and needed the guidance of the Hero’s Spirit, it was not pleasant to wake up from it. Staggering to his paws, the wolf shook his head violently in a vain attempt to clear it. It would not go away.

Tired and with headache, the wolf decided that he needed rest before he went back to the dungeon. Combing through his mind, the wolf decided that the best place would be the farmhouse he had cleared one of the bugs from. The spirits there had seemed like good, honest folk, much like most of the friends he knew from his home.

He could sleep in the barn without raising concern, he was sure.

Author's Note:

Well, here's a short little chapter. To be honest, I was so excited I just powered through it, and, well, here it is now.

I've always enjoyed the Hero's Spirit, for his character, and the howling sections, just for its haunting beauty. I tried my best to describe the scenery when the two howled together... nothing can really do it justice, though.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words... so here's a few pictures and some sounds to go with them.

For those who want to know the song I had in mind for them to howl, I figured Lullaby for a Princess would be a good pick. Here's the instrumental version.

For all the songs they howl in Twilight Princess, here's a nice video of all the songs. Consider this a spoiler if you haven't played through the game.

And for training with the Hero's Spirit, here's a good video of all the training sessions. This is a spoiler one too if you haven't played through the game.

EDIT: Updated the name of the skill from 'Mentality of the Warrior' to 'Warrior's Spirit'. Rolls off the tongue a little better.