• Published 4th Jan 2014
  • 5,674 Views, 673 Comments

A Dragon's Might. - Madness Brony



With no warning, the might of the Griffon kingdom descends upon Equestria. Twilight, in her desperation, teleports Spike as far away from the conflict as she can in the hope of saving his life.

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Returning Home

It seemed that Spike's concept of time had warped at some point during his training with Paraxxus. The young dragon had lost complete track of time and even date many times as he toiled for countless hours on varies tomes and scrolls, a far cry from the exhaustion which used to overcome him every night when he had first started his training. Two decades was not long in dragon years, but Spike was nowhere near the same dragon whom Paraxxus had found in his lair. He was now close to eight feet in height sporting a sleek, muscular build from the years spent honing his skills, and while he was barely more than a child as far as a dragon's lifetime was concerned, his mastery over the arcane arts was unheard of for one his age.

Mastery of such advanced magical arts, however, was a double-edged sword. Spike was capable of casting ninth order spells, but using just one could bring him to the verge of collapse. While this greatly concerned his master, Spike relished his abilities, the young dragon almost routinely overexerting himself to demonstrate his magic prowess and perhaps stroke his ego. His physical abilities were nothing to scoff at either. Knowing that Spike would need more stamina to fuel his confidence and firmly believing that battle knowledge should be balanced, Paraxxus had sent a letter to a close friend requesting assistance in training his pupil. The battle dragon Tavrinth the Fury turned out to be an even more grueling taskmaster than Paraxxus ever was.

Battle dragons, unlike most other species, prided themselves in their physical prowess. They did not bother themselves with any study of the arcane arts; perhaps one battle dragon in one hundred was capable of spellcraft. There was no physical fighter more lethal in all the world, however, than a master at arms battle dragon. Their race had perfected the art of physical combat down to each minute flick of the tail or twitch of the claws, and they knew exactly how to utilize every single ounce of their raw strength and size to utterly dominate an opponent.

Tavrinth woke Spike every morning with a swift lash of his tail, a taste of what was to come during the rest of the day. Spike's years under Tavrinth's tutelage were brutal, the young dragon enduring merciless punishment from dawn until dusk. Every failed block resulted in a thrashing. Each missed tail sweep earned another pummeling. The elder dragon would accept nothing less than perfection, and Spike spent many years learning close-quarters combat to give him just that. Of the twenty years since Spike had been taken in by Paraxxus, about one fourth the time was spent with Tavrinth mastering every aspect of dragon physical combat. While no true master in the ways of fighting, Spike was more than capable of dealing with the majority of the creatures he encountered.

Even with this extensive training in physical combat, Spike still preferred to rely heavily on spells to augment his fighting. He would always cast the burning hands spell before engaging in close combat, causing each of his powerful punches to inflict a nasty burn. He also seemed to favor a rather brutal physical opener in nearly every situation. A fiery one-two punch combo to the chest followed by a right elbow to the chin, then a quick uppercut into a fire burst spell began nearly any fight Spike had ever been involved in.

As Spike's knowledge of both magical and physical combat had grown, the young dragon had become ever more hot headed and brash. He would dive head long into any situation he deemed worth championing without a second thought, often severely overexerting himself in the process. Paraxxus had found him unconscious in the middle of some fight he had started and had to clean up on more than one occasion. Spike had quickly and comfortably learned all the lessons his master had to teach except when it came to his spell casting in comparison to his physical fortitude. Spike was indeed gifted in the art of spellcraft, able to cast spells far beyond what he should be capable of, but this was more of a curse than a blessing with his reckless attitude. A single ninth order spell could sap away nearly all of the young dragons stamina and place him on the brink of collapse, yet knowing this did not stop Spike from constantly abusing his proficiency in high level magic.

Paraxxus's vigilance had kept Spike quite safe from himself, but it seemed like no amount of time or training could mend the hole in the young dragon's heart. Spike would still sometimes lie awake at night, no matter how deliriously exhausted he was, thinking about home. As much as it pained him to admit it, his visions of Ponyville had blurred a little more with each passing year. The only place he still had a solid recollection of was the library he had lived in with Twilight. Spike took some solace in still remembering each of his friends in vivid detail. He could summon up the face of any of the six immediately, their appearances and personalities still as fresh in his mind as they had been the last time he saw them.

The most unfortunate side effect of his deep, lasting connection to his friends was that, at times, Spike would fly into uncontrollable bouts of rage when reminded of them. The emptiness in his heart would consume him so much that only aggression and violence could stop the pain. These episodes would always lead end the same, with the very outcome Spike found himself in tonight. He was in one of the many chambers of his master's lair, one designed specifically for training. Numerous training dummies adorned the large chamber, and Spike was currently laying into one of them with all his might.

A razor sharp claw raked across the straw filled neck, then a bone-crushing elbow drove deep into the chest. The young dragon unleashed a flurry of blows into the straw target, each one of increasing power and ferocity. A vicious roundhouse kick took the head off followed by an equally brutal tail swipe removing the lower legs.

"WHY?" Spike screamed, clutching his head in his hands.

"WHY CAN'T I MAKE IT STOP?!" the young dragon roared as he drove his claws through the dummy's chest.

"GODS BE DAMNED!" With a final intake of breath, Spike unleashed a blast of dragon fire on the straw doll, reducing it to a pile of ash. Spike fell against the nearest wall and slid down, burying his face in his knees as the tears came. He had thought the hurt would lessen over time, but every image of Twilight which surfaced in his head caused his emotions to fly completely out of control. Spike clutched his chest as the tears fell. How could twenty years pass without his master gaining even a single shred of information about Equestria?

Paraxxus could hear the fervent beating coming from the training room not far from his sleeping chamber. The only explanation for such a disturbance was his pupil having another troubled night. When he heard his student roar, the elder Crystal dragon rose off of his hoard and proceeded down the cavernous hall toward the source of the commotion. He turned the corner into the training hall and was met with a sight he had never seen before: his young pupil was hunched over in a corner, his shoulders shaking as he sobbed. The sight alone was enough to pull at the ancient dragon's heartstrings, and Spike's anguished cries were enough to tear at any heart.

Paraxxus entered the chamber and approached his young ward. Seeing the boy so devastated invoked an emotion in him he had never experienced before. The great wyrm knew there was only one thing that could possibly put the young dragon in such a state, the thing being something Paraxxus had hoped to avoid for a few more years. Paraxxus sat down next to his apprentice and laid a clawed hand on Spike's back.

"Do not fear, my boy. You will see them again in time," Paraxxus said, trying his best to reassure the young dragon.

"How can you know, master? I was forced to leave because my home was in some kind of danger. How can you tell me that after twenty years have passed I'll be able to return to Ponyville and find everything the way I left it?" Spike's words started quiet but his voice raised quickly to a shout as he shot his master a wild stare full of confusion and frustration.

Paraxxus let out a heavy sigh. He knew this day was going to come. A lie could only sit festering for so long before it needed to be cleansed by the truth. With a heavy heart the great wyrm sighed and met his young pupil's eyes. "I never said anything about things remaining the way you left them." He looked away, staying at the far wall as he collected his thoughts. "While it pains me to reveal this to you, I believe it is finally time you knew."

The emotions in Spike's eyes amplified into doubt and anger. "Master, you can't be…" Paraxxus held up a hand to stop him.

"Ponyville is nothing like you remember it to be, Spike. The reason your Twilight Sparkle cast you out into the wilderness was because the Griffon kingdom was invading Equestria. For the last twenty years, your homeland has been under the control of the Griffon King, Ozarian Bright Talon." Paraxxus braced himself for the furious response this news was sure to bring.

The look Spike shot up at his master was one of such rage and pain, the emotions were practically palpable in the air. The young dragon recoiled from his master as he jumped to his feet, betrayed beyond belief. Emerald fire poured out of the corners of his mouth, his fangs bared for all the world to see.

"HOW DARE YOU KEEP THIS FROM ME?" Spike roared, raw arcane energy crackling around his claws.

The elder dragon stood his ground, his face as indomitable as always. Inside, however, was a different story. The crystal dragon could feel the primal magic pooling in Spike's twitching claws and he had no intention of having the spell thrown at him. Paraxxus knew exactly how dangerous his pupil could be with the right motivation, and his guilt was not about to supersede his self-preservation. In an attempt to defuse the situation, Paraxxus spoke up.

"And what would you have done, my boy, if I presented this information to you when I received it? You were still a pony hatched whelp as green as summer grass when my vassal brought me the news of Equestria's fate." Far removed from his normal manner of speaking to his student, Paraxxus found himself using a harsh, overpowering tone with the Amethyst dragon. He could see the fire burning in his apprentice's eyes.

"I would've tried to do something! I wouldn't have spent two decades reading books and sitting in a cave if I knew my friends and my home were being ruled by a bunch of mangy war-mongering birds!" The arcane energy was starting to wrap closer around Spike's claws.

Paraxxus shook his head. It would appear his history lessons had not be as clear as he thought. "Do you pay attention to nothing, boy? I know I have explained to you the history of the Griffon Empire and its dealings with Equestria. I'm surprised it took the Griffons this long to finally stand up and stop being shoved around. Celestia would have seen the Griffons starve to death in the mountains' winter if they continued to refuse being assimilated into the Equestrian diarchy." The great wyrm huffed a great deal of sulfurous smoke at his student.

"And regardless of the situation or reasons behind it, what would you have done? You would have rushed back home in some impossible act of blind heroism to save your friends, and the Griffons would have gutted you on the spot. The Griffons have no love for our kind, Spike. You couldn't have helped your friends back then. You've always had such potential in you, and I could not bear to see you throw it all away on some impetuous, bullheaded decision."

Spike seemed to waver for a moment, the rage in his eyes dimming slightly. The more he thought over his master's words, the more his impulse to attack left him. The energy slowly seeped from his claws. What could he have done back then to help anyone? Spike had spent his entire life playing the gopher. He searched for this and brought that, and when the real action started he was always shielded from it. Now, though, things were different. Now he had the power to change things, to make a difference, to fight to retake his homeland. Spike clenched his fist hard, his blood and scales humming with potent magical energy.

"I won't lie, master. I would have most likely tried to rush blindly back to Ponyville as quickly as I could, but you could have stopped me! I just…I wish you had at least told me what was going on." Spike eyes dropped to the ground, and he gritted his teeth.

"What good would that have done, boy? That knowledge would have simply twisted and polluted your heart even more than it already is. You would have wasted countless hours anguishing over things you couldn't change, wasted precious time you could have used training. I told you once, Spike, many years ago, that if you learned what I had to teach you, nothing would be able to stop you from going back to see your friends. I meant it, so I couldn't let you get yourself killed or drown in your own darkness."

Paraxxus cast Spike a smoldering glare. "If you truly wish to go back, to retake your home and free your friends, you must stay and continue your training. You are not yet prepared for the battle you will start." With his piece said, the elder dragon sat back in silence.

Spike's mind was a hellish landscape filled with all the possible atrocities his friends might have been subjected to in his two decades of absence. Every thought made the young dragon clench his jaw harder. A drop of blood slid down from the right side of his mouth where he had apparently broken skin. No, he thought to himself, there's no more time to train now. He needed to get back. He needed to go home. With a shake of his head to try to clear his mind, Spike looked up at his mentor, his eyes still glassy with a subtle sadness.

"I'm sorry, master." Those were the last words Spike uttered before he dashed out of the room and into the hallway, his destination the town in which he was raised. To any other creature, the labyrinth belonging to Paraxxus the Wise would be almost impossible to navigate. Spike had spent a good portion of his life in these tunnels, however, and he made quick work of finding the exit of the cave.

Spike had never been much of a flier, but once his wings grew in his master had, of course, instructed him in the art of flight. Although he was no Wonderbolt, Spike had taken to flying without much trouble. The young dragon felt adrenaline coursing through his veins as he opened his wings in the night air. As he was about to take off into the dark sky, he could feel the earth rumble beneath him. He turned toward the entrance of the cave as Paraxxus stepped into view. The great wyrm and the young dragon locked eyes for a spell, neither one moving, neither one even breathing. In that moment Spike felt compelled to stay, the gaze of the older dragon locking him in a trance. Paraxxus was the closest thing Spike had ever had to a father, and as a teacher he had never provided poor instruction, but every fiber of Spike's being told him to take off for Ponyville. With a final shake of his head, Spike shot his master and mentor an apologetic look. A few strong flaps of his mighty scaled wings launched Spike into the air. He was strongly tempted to look back, but forbid himself from doing so, knowing that even the briefest of glances might cause him to change his mind.

Spike rose higher and higher, and once he broke through the light clouds, he set his sights on the stars, looking for the one guiding star that would direct his journey. Once he found the waypoint he was searching for, Spike thrashed his wings with all his might, trying to coax as much speed out of them as he could. He was already twenty years late. He wouldn't allow himself to waste any time in his return.


A pale purple Unicorn stood on shaky legs, all of her energy focused into moving ore and gems into a mine cart.

The years had not been kind to Twilight. Her body had withered over the past twenty years inside the work camp, every ounce of her vibrance and youth spent in the mine shafts hollowing out the mountain. She was barely skin and bones now, a mere slip of a pony with mere slips of her former life. She had long since lost what little contact she had with her friends back in Ponyville; the only vestige of her old life which remained was a Pegasus mare completely stripped of will. While Rainbow's feathers had grown back some years ago, the emotional damage dealt to her seemed to have left permanent scars. She had shown no signs of mental recovery over the long years they had spent toiling in the mines.

Twilight could at least take some solace in the fact that she had kept both of them alive for this long, especially with the nation in Bloodwing's unyielding grasp. She had learned that he was the one who had personally seen to Rainbow's punishment on that fateful night, and as he sunk his talons deeper and deeper into Equestria, the conditions for ponies in the work camps had gotten worse and worse. At this point, simply stopping for a few harried breaths while there was a mine cart to pull or rocks to move could result in a whipping under the General's orders. Even in the face of such brutal oppression, though, Twilight had managed to keep both herself and Rainbow Dash out of harms way.

It was as if her fleeting sense of relief was due to be broken.

As the two ponies dragged their loads to the sorting and collections area, Rainbow Dash suddenly collapsed to the ground, the weight of the cart behind her too much for her aged and malnourished body to bear. Mere moments after the mare's collapse, a Griffon guard was unraveling his whip. A swift crack sounded as the whip cut through the air and bit into Rainbow's flank, a crimson line forming in its wake. While the Pegasus made not a sound as the leather cord cut into her flesh, her facial expressions told all there was to tell. Strike after strike landed upon the cyan-coated mare, leaving her flank torn and bloodied as the guard continued to whip her mercilessly.

Twilight watched in horror, flinching at each grimace on Rainbow's face until she could no longer stand it. The same emotion that she had felt two decades ago ignited within her. She could not ignore such a brutal punishment being dealt to one of her closest friends, especially when Rainbow was the only one she even had at her side. The Unicorn steeled herself and kicked off her mine cart, the fruits of her forced labor clattering across the ground, then dove between the guard and Rainbow Dash. She stood adamantly even in her frail state, the look in her eyes almost daring the Griffon to strike her. His eyes betrayed surprise for but a moment before they blazed with fury at her insolence.

"Any prisoner foolish enough to interfere in the punishment of another is deemed fit to earn a place beside them," he spat out at her.

A powerful crack of the whip sliced a bright crimson gash into Twilight's chest. His lashes resounded through the yard, coming one after another, the guard showing no intention of stopping. Twilight bit her lip to stifle her screams. She would not fall. She would endure all the pain he could deliver to keep her friend safe. Blows rained down endlessly onto her chest and forelegs as Twilight fought to stay standing, each strike making the world around her a little darker, a little fuzzier. She could feel rivulets of blood dripping down her legs. As she teetered on the edge darkness, Twilight swore she heard a familiar voice rain down from above. She tried to make out the words, but her dimmed senses and failing consciousness made it impossible.

The guard's whip suddenly cracked across her face, throwing her to the dirt as pain exploded behind her eyes and she choked out a gasp. She felt the ground beneath her quake as if a massive object had collided with it. Hot… was all that she could process. Twilight barely cracked open one eye to see a blurred purple figure standing behind the guard before darkness overwhelmed her.

"TIR TI XTIRL JACIONIV!"

Valtrath paused mid swing as he heard the thunderous cry above him. The roar he heard echoing from the heavens was in a voice so forceful it seemed to impact his very being, and the language was like nothing he had ever heard before. The seasoned guard scanned the skies for the cause of the disturbance but found nothing, so he turned back to his current task. This Unicorn had been trouble year after year, but she had never misstepped far enough to earn serious corporal punishment. This time, however, she had crossed a line he would make sure she never crossed again. The fact that she still stood antagonized him further, and he cracked his whip across her face, unmoved by her pained gasp when she fell.

As he raised his talon to deliver a final lash to the lavender Unicorn, the ground beneath him seemed to tremble, a layer of dust lifting around his paws. The Griffon suddenly felt an intense heat radiating from behind him, far too hot to ignore. He slowly turned around and was met with a paralyzing emerald glare. He felt his stomach drop. There, towering over him, stood an Amethyst dragon, its mouth hung open to reveal rows of glistening razor-sharp fangs. With every heavy exhale it breathed brilliant emerald flames from its gaping maw, the heat enough to raise the temperature all around them. Valtrath's voice seemed to have been stolen from him as he cowered in the shadow of the dragon, its slitted eyes mad with a rage that could stop the most foul beasts of Tartarus dead in their tracks.

The Griffon tried to open his beak to cry out for help, but the only response his body could muster was to lose total control of its bladder.

Author's Note:

With this, we begin our decent into mindless action. Headfirst. Chapter 6 wound up being over 6k words of almost exclusively pure dragon rampage. Prepare to go full rage mode.

Editor's Note: I know how frustrating cliffhangers can be, so I promise Chapter 6 won't take this long to reach you all! Thank you SO MUCH for all of your patience!