• Published 29th Jan 2014
  • 521 Views, 32 Comments

Through Adversity - Dynasty-Kaine

The council of five that collectively rule the pegesi cities is falling apart, and only one stallion's destiny has any chance of helping them. When Celestia calls on him, will he answer that call or turn and walk away?

  • ...

Chapter 1: Against the Grain

Author's Note:

First Fan Fiction I started. This IS a re-write as a result of getting a brilliant editor Merne23. Expect more major improvements from her on out.

The sun shone brightly upon Canterlot, the surrounding rugged hills that sparsely surrounded the city as well as its keep. The birds were chirping and the insects crawling along the ground. Everything was in its place as it slowly became midday. However, upon one hill there would soon be an abnormality. Soon couldn't come fast enough as a large pony cloaked in a brown cape and hood strode his way up to the top of this particular hill overlooking the city of Canterlot.

The pony grunted and let out a discontented sigh. The pony reached into their saddle bag, and pulled out a simple scroll. Along the edge, a broken seal displayed Celestia's royal crest. Rereading the note, to be sure they had come at the aforementioned time, as well as to be sure of the location of the meeting.

"Well," the pony said in a baritone voice. "I wonder what Tia could possibly want from me this time. It's probably the same thing she wanted a century ago, and the century before that too."

The pony removed his hood. He was grey, with a long, unkempt purple mane streaked with the occasional silver. From afar, the streaks appeared blonde. His eyes, deeply thoughtful with what lie before him, were a fresh and lively sparkling jade. He was as big as Celestia herself in height, but his posture made him shorter. He looked down the hill towards the city; a questioning look slowly edged its way onto his face.

"Why do I always humor her and return,” the pony said aloud to himself. “Well, she is a good friend, but this has to be the umpteenth time she has done this since I left on my journey. Though... I guess it will still be nice to see her again after all this time."

Though he had his doubts, he strode onward.

There was a lot on the stallion's mind, but he left the rest to float about in his mind. It took longer than he had anticipated to reach the road, but as the sun waned in the western skies, he arrived at the gates to the city. The guards looked at the stallion incredulously, full of suspicion, for he was rather tall. After checking him, to make sure he wasn't carrying something that could cause devastation to the city, they allowed him entry unto the city.

Canterlot was divided into differing sections based roughly on what caste you filled in society. There were lower, middle, and upper classes. The place the stallion wanted was a club in the middle class district, called The Hot Trotter. Every time the stallion thought of the name of the club, he groaned. How pitifully corny can you get? He thought.

It took him the better part of an hour to finally find the place, with the middle class district being haphazardly organized. He looked up in the sky, to see the sun that was barely visible above. The gas lanterns on the streets slowly flickered to life among the groups of ponies moving about. The club was a simple red brick establishment, worn and weathered from age. From the sounds of it, the DJ was already rolling the show out, bass tones reverberating through the walls easily.

He put his hood on before heading inside, looking like a dangerous, foreboding pony. He mainly did this to see how many ponies he could mess with. As he walked in he was greeted by loud music, and bright neon lights flashing everywhere. He proceeded to cross the dance floor as noticeably as possible. The DJ dropped the volume of the music, everypony got quiet and stared as he walked over to the bar. He turned about quickly pulling his hood off again, with a wicked grin on his face, and announced, "Come on DJ, what're you doin'?” His voice echoed around the room. “Crank up that bass to max, and get this party started!"

The DJ stared back, dumbfounded for a moment, before obliging the newcomer. Within seconds the club erupted into vibrant life once again, as the stallion turned back to the bar, snickering, to get a drink. The bartender stared at him with a smirk while drying a mug she had just washed out. Her coat seemed to blend in perfectly with the night life scene of the club.

"Now that wasn't very subtle of you,” She said as the stallion arrived at the bar. “Was it now?"

The stallion chuckled. "I can't help myself sometimes,” He replied casually with a smile. “The reaction is so priceless! Everypony looks so different with how they react!"

"Well if that's what'cha like, I won't bother further,” she said with a shrug. “What'll ya be having tonight sir?" She asked with a smile, setting the mug down leaning closer over the counter.

"Hmm, that's a good question,” he said, raising an eyebrow inquiringly. “What would you recommend?"

She walked over and began mixing a drink before sliding it down the bar to him. "The house specialty, Zap Apple Bomb. Zap apple flavoring liquor, some light tinges of cranberry juice, one shot whiskey, one shot rum. 30 bits."

The stallion laughed and placed the money upon the counter, tip included. He took a tentative drink. As he swallowed, a heat quickly overtook him. The drink was extremely potent, but smooth as silk flowing down his throat, with an after taste of fizzy apples. He raised his glass to the bartender before taking another drink, this time much deeper.

Setting his drink down, he reached into his saddlebags and pulled out a memento that had come with the letter from Celestia. It was a simple rubber duck. He set it upon the bar in front of the bartender and said, "I'm sure you're aware of what this odd memento signifies, correct?"

The mare looked at the duck, first confused. Then her expression changed to one of understanding as she nodded. "She has always been a fan of cute whimsy I guess. Follow me to the VIP box, sir."

As with every other time he met with Celestia, he heard his father's parting words to him before he left home.

"Avalon, greatness is not always something we choose, it sometimes is forced upon us. All we can do is make the best with the responsibilities that are cast upon us. You cannot run from this fact forever. It is your destiny."

Avalon's only reply that day was cast over his shoulder as he walked out that door. "Yeah, sure dad, goodbye..."

He still regretted those final words to this day, but if he knew anything about his father, he knew he wouldn't want him lamenting. He pushed it into the back of his mind. The bartender led him upstairs then, and left him at the door to Celestia's private box. It had been a hundred years since last they spoke.

He put his hoof to the door and entered casually. Celestia was standing on the far side of the VIP box, staring through the window down at all the ponies partying below, on the ground floor. There was a pleasant air about her, calm and harmonious. Avalon closed the door behind him. He walked over to the coat rack and removed his cloak and saddlebags, so as to let his wings be free of that which held them at his sides. He stretched his wings out, since he had a bit of space. "Ah, it feels so much better to no longer have to travel in anonymity!" he said visibly relieved.

"Well, I'm glad that you are doing well,” Celestia said in a gentle tone from behind the stallion. “Avalon, my old friend."

Avalon retracted his wings and turned to face the princess slowly. Her gaze was warm and welcoming as it always was. Even though Avalon knew this was a trap, he willingly walked into it every time. She came forward and embraced him in a friendly hug, her long shining mane tickling his nose. The princess let go, sauntered over to the couch, took a seat, and invited Avalon to sit with her. He ignored the invitation.

"So, Tia,” Avalon began, “it's been another hundred years. We both know at least one of the reasons you called me here. One question, why a rubber duck as the symbol?" Avalon inquired.

The princess laughed, and produced one with her magic, saying "Oh come now, this is absolutely adorable,” she made it quack, “or very evil. If we just added horns right... here."

This is overkill, even for her. Avalon thought. Maybe she's just going through one of those phases. “Celestia, lets get to the point of you calling me here for the,” he thought for a moment, “twentieth time in my lifetime? You must be aware of my lifespan running out." The stallion finished his statement with a touch of dread.

She turned to look at him seriously before speaking. "You are right, Avalon. After two thousand and one hundred years of life, the clock is running short for you.” She said this with mist in her eyes. “Which is why I'm imploring you to take up the task, only you can, as your birth right. Your silmarillion blood will only keep you going so long without the rituals surrounding the coronation of a prin--"

"Okay,” the stallion interrupted, “you see, that's where I'm going to stop you, princess. I've explained this time after time; I will decide my own fate. I chose to leave the academy for gifted leaders on my own. I left home on my own. I went on my journey on my own.” He took a breath. “I learned to stand on my own, and enjoy the world for the many facets it has, that are constantly changing. I want control of my destiny, and I alone took that road.” He sighed. “In truth, Tia, these are my last 7 years of life. I have feared my death from birth, for I knew when it would come, but yet I face it on my terms." Avalon stopped, to gauge Celestia's reaction, but it remained calm and unflinching. On the outside, Avalon thought.

"Avalon, are you aware that the harmony between the Council of Five is rapidly diminishing?" Celestia's tone gained a harsh edge. "Are you aware that the actions that are taking place, at this very moment, are slowly inching the pegasi, your people, into a five way civil war?"

Avalon stared Celestia down, stoic at the information provided to him.

Celestia looked taken aback. "Avalon, how can you not so much as flinch at this information? Avalon, you must take up your right, and claim the title Prince of Cloudsdale, you are the only one who can help to unite the pegesi before darkness envelops them all!" She looked at the stallion, to see that he was still holding a neutral expression. "Are you really going to walk away from this again? When there is a need for you to rise up? I may be a princess, but Avalon,” she took a quavering breath; “I'm not above begging you to do this. Not only for yourself, but for the well-being of the countless innocents that will be dragged into this conflict."

Avalon gave the sun princess a perplexed look. Celestia was begging him? Maybe he should think seriously about this. No, this was just another way fate was trying to take control of him. He wasn't about to let that happen. Celestia was his friend, and he cared dearly for her, even if he didn't show it, but what she was asking of him was just not something he could do. It went against who he was. He felt regretful, but held his gaze with Celestia.

"Avalon please, don't run away from this destiny." Celestia's head dropped in a sullen defeat, and she sighed. "Who am I kidding. You never were one to follow.” She motioned to the door. “Your favorite hotel has a reservation in your name, paid for compliments of me. Marking our two-thousandth year of hard wrought friendship. Go out have some fun, then continue on your way, Avalon..."

"Celestia, I'm sorry, but you know I can't do this..."

"It's of little importance now, my friend.” She turned back to the window, “I ask that you leave me to my thoughts," She said somberly.

"But, Tia--" Avalon pleaded.

She turned on him, anger on her face, bright as the sun, "YOU SHALL LEAVE ME, NOW!"