• Published 10th Dec 2013
  • 1,007 Views, 56 Comments

Skyclad & Honor Bound: A Millennia Past - Mr Anomalous



Rainbow Dash, the Bearer of Loyalty, is a brave, capable mare. But her loyalty & bravery will be put to the test as she becomes thrust in a time that is not hers, and the fate of a world rests in her hooves.

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Prologue II: Legend & Prophecy

The throne room was long and sturdily built with heavy marble pillars and granite blocks. It was dark, damp even, lit by only a hoof-full of torches that cast a pale, wan light over the creeping shadows. Not a single stray ray of sunlight could penetrate the cold, resilient masonry.

At the end, atop an ornate throne of carved ebony with gold inlay depicting great deeds and conquests, itself perched atop a simple pedestal of marble engraved with the names of past Pegasus warlords, sat a muscular stallion clad in dark, gold-inlaid plate armor, which rested on a bed of chainmail. The armor was formed in such a manner as to give off the impression of a musculature that would ripple with power at every step, were it not for the fortitude of wrought skysteel.

His coat was blacker than his ink-colored armor, seeming to suck what little joy that could be found from the air around him. His head was turned downwards, denying all in the room any view of his face. His front hooves grasped a heavy straight bladed sword, bearing a hemispherical oaken hoof-guard, eighty centimeters in length, it’s blade and pommel once more inlaid with images of past conquests. But this inlay was jet black, signifying the scores of enemies who had met their end by the blade. The sword was open and unsheathed, its tip finding purchase in the confines of a deep gouge in the marble. The groove had been worn wide and deep with use, as the pegasus stallion’s blade oft found itself at rest in the smooth cleft in the stone.

On either side of this dark lord stood two guards, their faces as seemingly set in the same stone as their surroundings, their armor similar to that of the Commander’s, but perhaps a less ornate, utilitarian version, sparing the gold inlay only to show the rank of the stallions- Commander Hurricane was not one for frivolities. The guards bore similar swords to their commander’s, but once more sparing any embellishment save for a near blinding polish. They did not move, they barely breathed, indeed, from a distance they seemed little more than lifelike statues. The air in the Commander’s throne room was chilled to below freezing, the constant blizzard never permitting the air to rise above it’s frigid temperature, but only the misting breath of the Commander and his guards gave that away.

The Commander reflected on the recent events of the past few weeks, and came up with surprisingly little that required his attention. There had been no attacks from those damned Rogue Pegasi, no attacks from the Gryphons, and the Dragons were strangely quiet for once. Now that he thought about things, there had been absolutely no attacks or rebellions in the previous weeks whatsoever, which might have been a blessing for the pegasi, had they not been left to rue their lives in the omnipresent cold. Owing to the ruthless efficiency of the pegasi legions, any previous advances on pegasus territory by any of those barbarians had been swiftly and brutally extinguished, and so Commander Hurricane was left alone during this rare lull in the constant war with naught but his silent guards and his thoughts.

Despite the recent unspoken armistice, the situation the pegasi had found themselves in only worsened by the day. The blizzards were getting worse. The Pegasus capital of SkyClad had always been far in the peaks of the mountains, and the cold was always raging, but, indeed, the blizzards were getting worse, despite the monumental attempts of his best weather workers. Relations between the Pegasus race and the other two were only worsening, and Hurricane couldn't help but notice that the food coming from the earth ponies far below in the warm valleys and fields were beginning to get smaller. Only a hair, but still noticeably so. The Commander had opted to ignore this, but if the shipments decreased much more, he would have to take action...

A sudden noise broke the Commander from his musings; he could hear the worn and battered oaken doors grate on their rusty hinges as they swung open. The Commander of the Pegasus race looked up to reveal a hardened face that bore the expression of a stallion who was out of his element, but would not let anypony know. A long, jagged scar had been carved into his face during some long past battle, leaving nothing but dead flesh, a brutalized eye that would never see again, and a long painful history that was best left forgotten. The Commander lived in the present, and right now there was something that most certainly demanded his attention before him.

Through the grand doorway, the eternal blizzard could be seen and felt clearly, as it tried once more to invade the sanctity of the throne room. Everypony present in the room, save the Commander, flinched at the blinding sleet and gale force hail that barraged the room’s occupants. The torches sputtered desperately, their sickly light waning further as they lost yet more energy in their battle to stay alight. The torches nearest the doors hissed in a final act of defiance before finally relinquishing their feeble grasp on life, their death marking an ominous demonstration of the ultimate fate of the different races if the weather failed to change.

One of his soldiers stood in the doorway, his body wracked with shivers, his armor and uniform decrepit and ragged. He wearily wiped his brow with a hoof caked in grime and what seemed to be blood. Hastily snapping to attention, he saluted the Commander and promptly stepped to the side. The Commander frowned inquisitively, looking with interest towards the door. From behind the position the legionary had until recently occupied trudged a vaguely equine figure, but it was impossible to tell for sure under the myriad of oily cloaks and other garments that it wore.

As the lumbering figure stepped over the threshold of the doorway, and into the mildly warmer confines of the throne room, the legionnaire hurried inside as well, snapping to attention once more.

“Report,” The Commander growled, his gravelly rasp like the voice one might expect a monstrous beast to possess. Indeed, many did believe the Commander to be a demon in disguise, such was his demeanor. The guard on the right side of his throne flinched visibly; the Commander spoke so little it was a common occurrence for his guards to forget the primal fear their leader’s voice could instill. The Commander snorted derisively at the guard’s antics, returning his calculating glare to the two figures before him.

“Aye, Commander. I have judged it wise to hide nothing from you, sir; these are matters of great urgency, and now would be a bad time for misinformation.” The Commander nodded appreciatively, an almost imperceptible inclining of his head. “With respect, sir-- our visitor is a, uh, unicorn,” The legionnaire finished his sentence, barely restraining himself from looking to the walls to avert her eyes from the Commander’s piercing gaze.

The Commander felt a searing jolt of red-hot fury lance through him, and the primal urge to flay alive both of the ponies that stood before him coursed through his veins, only just kept in check. Those infernal snobbish unicorns! Decades of training and experience, however, had taught Hurricane to hide his fury without the slightest of traces, save perhaps a slight lowering of his voice. “The first half of your judgment was sound, though I question the latter. Continue.”

“She’s a messenger, Commander. An oracle of sorts, apparently.”

The Pegasus lord chuckled darkly. “Oh? And why is she here?" he asked, despite the direct presence of the unicorn. "We are are but one step away from an all-out war with those holier-than-thous...”

“Sir, the typical unicorn may be snobby, but they have honor; she is here to warn us.”

Commander Hurricane, who had returned his attention to the ground after he gauged the covered-up visitor to be no threat, darted his face upward and glared with red eyes at his subordinate.

“Do not patronize me, boy.” His voice had become dangerously low. It did not take an educated being of any sort to realize the dangerous terrain that the soldier was now standing upon.

“No, sir. Absolutely not, I swear it.”

The hulking Pegasus growled, his sword-hooves twitching. “Name and rank, soldier.”

“Iron Clad, Private.”

“Hm. Now out of my site,” Iron Clad saluted and marched toward the doors, sighing inwardly.

“You. Pompous hag. Come here.” The bundled mare, who had waited patiently thus far, trundled closer. “Speak," came Hurricane's command.

“I come with grave warnings sir; the Unicorns have fallen,” she said in an old, creaky voice.

Hurricane smiled. “Have they,” he chuckled, “Continue.”

“I do not know the specifics, but a rift has been opened. Our queen managed to contain it for a few hours, but . . . she has fallen.”

Hurricane frowned. He often belittled the horned creatures, but he did not underestimate them. They were indeed powerful, especially their rulers. What exactly did the rift loose?

Hurricane voiced his question and the mare chuckled.

“Every demon in Tartarus.”

Commander Hurricane froze, the shard of resentment that had recently cooled to a stone of travesty was suddenly replaced by a long icicle, straight from the deepest reaches of the north. He had fought Gryphons, Dragons, many weaker ponies, Boars, Elk, Zebra, and yes, demons...

But every demon in Tartarus?

The mare cackled, launching a few, sickly blots of spittle onto the floor. Hurricane grimaced. “What is the source of your mirth?”

“I sense your fear, Commander.”

Hurricane ground his teeth. “How to I know that you speak the truth, nag?”

“When demons march against your gate, Commander, and overtake your armies faster than you can run away, your tail tucked between your legs while your bladder empties down its frazzled hairs.”

“Silence!” Hurricane roared. He leaned forward, looking past his blade and directly into the oracle’s eyes. “Know your place, wench, or your blood will stain these walls.”

The mare gave an amused snort.

“Do not worry yourself, Commander; there is hope.”

“We Pegasi are strong, but no-one, perhaps not even the Almighty Aezer, can stand against the hordes of Tartarus itself.”

The wrinkled unicorn smiled. “You are wrong.”

Commander Hurricane sat up straight, releasing his sword, and leaned against the back of his throne. “Tell me.”

“I am an oracle, and I am here to tell you of a prophecy. You will be glad to know that you and your Pegasi will not require the assistance of a separate race to weather this storm.” Hurricane smiled. He was indeed glad to learn of that.

“A Pegasus, a blue goddess, with a mane and tail of rainbow will rise. Her soul, her personality, her very being will be bound with Honor and Loyalty. She will fight alongside you, and she will prevail.”

Hurricane ran his tongue against his teeth in thought.

“Very well,” he eventually stated, “What is her name?”

“That, I do not know, Commander. Regardless, my work here is done.”

As much as Hurricane detested the unicorns, he was indeed grateful to this oracle, though he would never show it.

Begrudgingly, he asked, “Do you need lodging? I can provide-”

“No, no, not my work here; my work overall.”

Commander Hurricane regarded his guest with suspicion. “I know not what you mean.”

“Goodbye, Commander.”

“Wha-?”

The bundle of old cloth exploded in a burst of light and Hurricane raised his sword, bracing himself for impact. Only his helmet’s crest was harmed, however and the assault of light eventually waned.

Nothing remained. Hurricane smirked.

“This should be interesting."

Author's Note:

Wow...I wrote this, threw it to my editors, and went though it again...

They practically wrote the thing for me, and it has been MASSIVELY improved.

Anyway, a big 'ole thank-you TO those editors and/or proofreaders:
Azhanzhang,
Monochromatic Rainbow,
Dumbgamer99, and
TheHumanDortch.

So whaddaya guys think? Feature Box material? Perhaps, maybe even EQD?
One can only dream....

But if you think so, don't forget to upvote, tell your friends about it, ect, ect.

Thank you to my readers - love ya! - and considering I don't die or become possesed anytime soon, the next chapter'll be out relatively quickly, I hope.

See you then, my pretties...

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