• Published 20th Feb 2014
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Twilight of the Colossus - CyborgSamurai



Twilight must slay sixteen giants in order to revive her fallen friends. MLP/Shadow of the Colossus crossover.

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Prologue

Twilight of the Colossus

by CyborgSamurai

Prologue

That place does exist, you are not incorrect...

It begins at the place where two points intersect.

Memories long lost now etched into stone...

A kingdom long gone, though the reason’s unknown.

Blood, young sprouts, sky—a lonely land bright...

Wherein dwells a one commanding beings of light.

Do not believe it a shred, but in that world it is said—

that one can wish back the souls of the dead.

A loved one retrieved, or a dear friend reclaimed?

‘Tis nothing more but a mean-spirited claim!

Twilight, my friend, you are stricken with grief.

Do not give in to such false belief.

Even if such an absurdity was true...

To enter that place is most strictly taboo.

I mean not to be crass, but this pain will pass.

So please, I beg you...

Do not do anything rash.

Once upon a time, a purple pony flew high above an ancient mountain range in the farthest reaches of the world. She was tall and slender for her kind, with thin, graceful legs and large, broad wings that allowed her to soar for miles on end. Her long, fluted horn cut through the air as she flew, and her sparkling mane and tail fluttered softly in the wind. Most noticeable of all, though, a golden necklace set with a jewel in the shape of six-pointed star glittered brightly around her neck.

The pony paused a moment to land on a cloud, resting her aching wings for the first time in several hours. She rolled her shoulders, paying no attention to the clinks that resonated from within the bulging saddlebags at her sides.

“Almost there,” she muttered to herself. “Come on, Twilight…”

The wild, untamed clouds above dotted the night sky like an endless patchwork quilt. The moon was weak tonight; shy, almost if it were afraid to shed its light down upon that desolate place. Perhaps it was, but even so, its half-hearted efforts still allowed Twilight to see the mountains below. She continued on at a steady clip, paying little attention to the land below and staying lost in her own thoughts. Such complacency might’ve seemed foolhardy, but unless the hawk she’d seen earlier somehow meant her ill will, there was little need for wariness.

Twilight made her way out of the mountains as the night gave way to dawn. She saw that there was a shadowy, deciduous forest nestled in a narrow valley, and she rested there for a time before continuing on. By mid-morning she’d come to a stretch of hilly plains, and it was there she descended so she could locate a specific landmark.

It didn’t take her long to find it. Ruins of ancient buildings, scattered about without thought, cause, or discernible purpose were easily visible across the lonely plains. Twilight went lower to investigate, and she found that strange symbols were etched all over the masonry. Perhaps they mere decoration, perhaps they were the remnants of a long-dead language, and under different circumstances Twilight might’ve stopped to learn more about the runes. But now wasn’t the time to indulge in linguistics, so she left the buildings behind and found an ancient road leading north through the tall grass, which she followed from above.

It took Twilight two days to cross the plains. She kept the road in sight for the most part, which she noted was in shockingly good condition for its age. Maybe nature was loath to reclaim it, or maybe there was some lingering magic that kept it from decaying. She didn’t question it either way. She kept going for as long as she could each day, landing only to graze and rest a few hours...

...but even though she rested, never once did she sleep.

The road at last led into a sparse woodland. There Twilight found a narrow opening flanked by tall, menacing structures in a sheer cliffside. The ruined buildings were more plentiful here, and she could see that several stone pillars had been built between the trees. The late afternoon sun was in her eyes, and she was unable to see what lay just beyond.

Twilight landed once more to catch her breath. She stood before the forgotten structures in awe, stretching her sore wings and allowing her eyes to adjust.

“Wow…”

Twilight voice was raspy from lack of use. She pulled out her canteen and took a few swigs, grateful for the rainstorm she’d run into two days past. She briefly considered resting again, but decided against it as she was right before the last stretch. She put her canteen back and flew fearlessly into the bright sliver of light.

A blast of wind greeted her upon exiting the cleft. The path opened into a cliffside platform several hundred feet in the air, and Twilight could see that she’d entered a vast, lonely land filled with windswept grasslands, sheer cliffs, lush forests, pristine lakes, twisting canyons, and intimidating mountains. It went on for as far as she could see, but if she squinted, she could just barely make out a thin line of blue on the horizon in all directions. The path she’d had been following was now a narrow stone bridge leading on for several miles, and it ended at a giant stone shrine the likes of which she’d never seen before. It was colossal in size, practically a mountain in and of itself, and even though Twilight was already several hundred feet in the air, she wasn’t even at its halfway point.

Twilight gulped. “Hoo boy…”

A strong gust of wind suddenly blasted her to the side. She yelped and managed to right herself in time, but now she was only a foot away from the edge. She used the wind’s momentum to jump off and sail smoothly away, but then a crosswind hit her and caused her to fall into a nosedive. She began to plummet to the ground, but suddenly, there was a snapping sound like static electricity. Twilight disappeared in a magenta flash of light and re-appeared back on the cliffside platform, safe and sound and whole... and not at all happy.

“I don’t think so,” she muttered. Her face twisted into a snarl and her horn glowed ominously with magical power. A white light crept into her eyes, and the wind howled and screamed seemingly in response, picking up in intensity and trying push Twilight every which way. She remained sturdy and firm. The air around her rippled and thickened with magical energy, and with a mighty shout, she delivered her eloquent rebuttal.

“BE STILL!”

There was a crack like a gunshot. A blinding pulse of magenta light shot out from Twilight’s horn that spread out into the valley at the speed of sound. The deafening gales rose up once more, but upon hitting the shockwave, they spluttered and died out. The howling slowly faded out of Twilight’s ears, and a few seconds later the wind was nothing more than a gentle breeze.

The ghost of a smile played on Twilight’s lips. “Much better.”

Twilight decided to give her wings a rest and traversed the narrow bridge on hoof. The plains below waved about like a verdant sea, but the only other thing that moved was the occasional bird roosting in the bridge’s architecture. Twilight didn’t pay much heed to the land’s emptiness due to concentrating on her footing, but even if she had, it wouldn’t have bothered her much.

Emptiness was something she’d gotten used to as of late.

Twilight reached the end of the bridge and stood before the shrine. In front of her was a large stone door built that had no obvious way of being opened, but as soon as she approached, the necklace around her neck began to glow. The outline of the door shone in response, and with a terrible grating sound, the door slid upward and disappeared into the ceiling.

Beyond was a set of stairs that led into a cavernous darkness. A damp, musty smell hit Twilight’s nostrils, and as she stared into the unknown abyss, she was struck with a sudden urge to book it back across the bridge. She stood there frozen while her willpower and instincts duked it out, but eventually she set her jaw and descended the stairs, not even turning around when the grating sound returned and the light behind her disappeared.

The stairway led down quite a ways before opening up into a circular atrium with a winding spiral ramp. Twilight carefully made her way down, the only sound being the loud clip-clop of her own hoofsteps. At the bottom she found a shallow stone pool in the center of the atrium with a narrow beam of sunlight shining down on it through a hole in the ceiling. She looked to see if there was anything within the pool. After finding nothing, she continued on to the large hall just beyond.

Along the walls of this hall were a series of stone statues the likes of which Twilight had never seen. Tall and menacing, each depicted a strange, monstrous creature of one type or another. Some looked to be bipedal, others were clearly serpentine, and a few of them even looked to be avian. There were eight on each side, and as Twilight passed them by, she was filled with an eerie sense of foreboding that sent a chill down her spine. Nevertheless, she continued on past them and made a beeline for what she sought: a stone altar at the far end of the hall.

Twilight climbed up a small set of stairs and approached the altar. There was no wall beyond it, just a few foundational pillars spread out to the left and right. Sunlight streamed in from the outside just beyond, and she could now see details of the plains a few dozen feet below.

Twilight stopped at the altar. Her legs were shaking, but not from fatigue. She closed her eyes and grit her teeth, steadying herself for what was to come. With a deep breath, she slowly reached into her saddlebags and pulled out a small, pink urn sealed carefully with wax.

Twilight smiled weakly. “Well, we made it.”

She set the urn carefully on the altar, rotating it so she could see the trio of balloons etched upon it.

“Sorry if it was a bumpy ride. I tried to be as gentle as I could.”

Twilight reached back into her saddlebags again and produced a second jar, this one yellow with a trio of butterflies.

“I didn’t mean to take so long. This place was a LOT harder to find than I thought.”

She looked the new urn over with a critical eye before setting it next to the first. She then reached back into her bags and pulled out two more: one orange with a trio of apples, the other white with a trio of diamonds. She blushed a little upon seeing the latter.

“You’d probably flip if you could see me now. I know there’s probably a lot I could do with how I look, but I haven’t cared much for appearances since, well… you know.”

Twilight set them down and pulled out one final urn, cyan in color with a stylized lightning bolt. Her expression hardened as she set it down beside the others.

“It’s ironic. This would’ve been so much easier if I’d had all of you with me, but then that would have defeated the purpose, wouldn’t it?”

All five urns now stood side by side on the altar. Twilight stared at them for a time, trying to keep the keep the inevitable at bay, but it always was a fruitless measure. She hung her head and struggled to speak through the lump in her throat.

“It’s my f-fault… I should’ve been s-stronger, sh-should’ve anticipated what coming and c-countered it. You all t-trusted me, and I—”

A sudden, strange oozing sound reached her ears. Twilight whirled around with a growl, and saw that five shadowy figures had now risen up out of the floor. They emanated a sense of wrongness that made her hair stand on end, and they slowly lurched towards her with their hands outstretched.

A sense of dread washed over Twilight. She began to ready a spell, but then, a familiar, accursed voice floated through her mind.

Just give in…

Let them take you…

You’ll be with your friends again…

That’s what you want, right?

Twilight moaned and clutched her head. “Sh-shut up… shutupshutupShutUpSHUTUPSHUTUP!”

She focused on her necklace which began to glow with the same light as before. However, this time it spread out to encompass her entire body, building up in intensity until it pulsed out in a bright flash. The shadowy figures recoiled and dissipated without sound or protest, and just as quickly as they’d appeared, Twilight was alone once again with the ashes of her friends.

Or at least, she thought she was.

The temple suddenly began to rumble. Small pebbles and pieces of debris to began to dance on the floor as a sound like distant thunder came from above. Twilight jumped and looked around in alarm. She saw that there was another, larger hole in the ceiling similar to the one in the atrium, but aside from some sunlight shining down through it, she didn’t see anything of note.

And that was when a booming pair of voices speaking in unison echoed throughout the hall.

“Hmm? You possess an Element of Harmony?”

Twilight froze. She looked all about, but there was nopony she could see. There was just that strange pillar of light up in the ceiling.

The voices sounded again. “You are an alicorn… we were not aware that another Goddess had come into the world. Are you in league with the Heavenly Sisters?”

“No!” Twilight all but shouted. She squinted and looked up into the light. It was hard to tell, but she guessed that the voices were coming from up there. “I-I mean… I was, yes, but not anymore. I’m done with those lying, manipulative, backstabbing murderers.”

“Lying, manipulative, backstabbing murderers,” the voices repeated slowly. “Interesting...”

“Are you Dormin?” Twilight’s heart was pounding. “Oh please, please, pleeeeeeeeaaase say that you are. I’ve read about this place—the Forbidden Peninsula—it’s said that there’s a being here who can control the souls of the dead.”

“You are correct,” the voices said. “We are the one known as Dormin…”

“Finally,” Twilight muttered to herself. She tilted her head back at the urns. “I need your help. They were taken from me. All of them, quicker than I could even blink. We were trying to stop a tyrant from taking over our country when...”

“...that is precisely what I wish.”

“The game is over, little ponies! The power… is MINE!”

“BEHOLD THE POWER OF DARKNESS!”

Twilight’s throat went tight. She shook her head and turned back to the five little jars with haunted eyes.

“Please... I need them. They mean everything to me. I’ll do whatever you want in exchange.”

Dormin’s dissonant laughter echoed all around her. “Five fallen mortals brought here by a distraught, desperate Goddess… with an Element of Harmony, no less... ‘tis not hard to see the connection...”

“I don’t care about the bucking Elements of Harmony!” Twilight spat. The ground shook again, but this time from her. “They can go and rot for all I care! The only reason I’m wearing mine is because I need it! As soon as I get my friends back, I’m going to break it into pieces, then throw the shards in Celestia’s smug face!”

“Ah, but souls that are once lost cannot be reclaimed... is that not the law of mortals?”

“SCREW THE LAWS!” Twilight screamed. Her watery eyes glowed as the air thickened once more. “SCREW DESTINY, SCREW THE HARMONIC BALANCE, AND SCREW HARMONY ALTOGETHER! SHE SACRIFICED THEM! SHE TRIED TO SACRIFICE ME! SHE USED ME LIKE A TOOL FOR YEARS, AND I’VE COME TOO FAR TO—”

“Peace, young one,” Dormin said gently. “We did not say we would not help. The resurrection of your friends is no small request, but with an Element of Harmony, it may not be impossible.”

Twilight gasped. Her appearance returned to normal as her magic abruptly died.

“Really?!”

“That is, of course,” Dormin added quickly, “if you manage to accomplish what we ask.”

“Yes, yes!” Twilight nodded fervently. “Anything! I’m at your disposal!”

Dormin’s beam of light shifted to shine farther into the hall. “Behold the idols that stand along the wall… you are to destroy all of them.”

“Pfft! That’s easy!” Twilight turned to the nearest one and lowered her head. Pebbles rose from the ground and hovered in the air in response to the sudden flux of energy, and there was a high-pitched whining sound as a tiny white dot appeared on the tip of Twilight’s horn.

“One pile of rubble, coming up!”

“Wait—”

VWOMMMMMM

The deafening blast drowned out everything else as an immense beam of light erupted from Twilight’s horn. It streaked towards the hapless idol and hit with a sound like screeching metal, but instead of obliterating the statue, the beam glanced off of it like it was a mirror. It then flew to the other side of the room and struck another idol, but it bounced off that one too. The deadly ray ricocheted around the room at faster and faster speeds…

...until it headed straight back at Twilight.

“AHHH!” She dove for the ground just in time. The beam shot over head and past the altar, where it travelled out some ways out of the shrine before finally dissipating.

Silence followed. Twilight lay there on the ground as the shock wore off, but then her eyes widened as she remembered the urns. She got up and looked up at the altar fearing the worst, but fortunately, her beam had gone wide. The ashes of her friends were still safe and sound.

“Um…” Twilight laughed nervously as she got to her hooves. “Oops?”

“As we were about to say…” Dormin said with a hint of irritation. “Formidable as you are,those idols cannot be destroyed through mere brute force.”

“Oh,” Twilight said. She clicked her teeth and thought for a moment. “Well then, what should I do?”

Dormin paused a moment before continuing. “In this land, there exist colossi that are the incarnations of those idols. If you defeat those colossi, the idols shall fall.”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Define ‘defeat.’”

“Slain,” Dormin said. “Killed. Eliminated. Snuffed out.”

It was a testament to many things that Twilight didn’t panic or show any discomfort upon hearing that. All she did was chew on her lip a moment, then looked back up at the light with steely eyes.

“And if I do this you’ll bring back my friends? Body, mind, and soul?”

“We will.”

“Do you Pinkie Promise?”

Dormin hesitated. “Pinkie… Promise?”

“The most solemn and sacred of vows,” Twilight said. She raised her right hoof up to the light. “Repeat after me: ‘Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.’”

There was a silence. She stared up expectantly into the light, not even bothering to blink. The light shifted and flickered a few times, then Dormin spoke again in a tired voice.

“Very well. Cross our heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in our… eye.”

"Then you’ve got yourself a deal,” Twilight said. She brushed herself off and inspected her clothes for any rips or tears. They still seemed to be in good in condition, so she left them be. “Consider these idols broken.”

“Your resolve is admirable…” Dormin’s light now moved to shine down on Twilight. “But heed this, Bearer, even in victory, there will be a price for what you desire. And depending on your actions, that price may be heavy, indeed.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Twilight said. She turned and looked back at the jars that held the ashes of her friends. Her mouth twisted, but she grit her teeth and pried her gaze away.

“I can’t live without them.”

The temple rumbled with Dormin’s approval. “Very well, then… the magic of this land will aid you in this. When in the sun’s light, focus on your Element. Then, head to the place where the light gathers. There you shall find the colossi you are to defeat.”

Twilight looked curiously down at her Element. She was currently bathed in the sunlight pouring in from beyond the altar, so she did as Dormin said. Almost immediately the necklace felt warm, and a thin ray of sunlight shot out to point to the south.

“Got it,” Twilight said.

The light from above dimmed as Dormin’s voice faded out. “Now, be on thy way.”

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