• Published 10th Mar 2014
  • 5,779 Views, 346 Comments

Hopes and Follies - Phaoray



Things haven’t exactly gone well for Trixie. Now Twilight is an Alicorn and Trixie feels left behind. But Trixie has a plan; one Discord is all too willing to aid her in. For a price.

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The Curtain Rises

Fluttershy quickly closed the bedroom door behind Discord's eye and herself. Seconds later, the polite rapping sounds of a dozen raven beaks started beating on the door. Fluttershy didn’t want to be impolite, but she knew that a little rudeness was probably worth it to save Discord the view of a bird’s digestive system. She quickly trotted over to the bedroom window and, after checking for anymore ravens, silently opened it.

“Okay Discord, it’s been really wonderful seeing you...umm…some of you anyways, but if you don’t mind I think you would be safer with the rest of...well...you. I’ll talk to the ravens and see you again in a few days, if you want to I mean. Okay?” Fluttershy gave Discord's eye a gentle pat and helped it onto the windowsill. The eye spread its lashes wide and started flapping them, taking off into the sky about as majestically as a headless turkey. When Discord’s eye was almost out of sight, Fluttershy turned around and made her way to the door, thinking about what else she could offer the hungry ravens.


“Alicorn problems when ruling the world, pigeon problems as a statue, raven problems now, does every creature with wings have it in for me?”

“What was that, Discord?”

“hmm? Oh, nothing to worry your tattered little head about."

“Trixie’s head is not tattered! It may be a little…less maintained then normal, but only a unicorn of Trixie’s caliber could pull off looking this good despite her not exactly…ideal living conditions.”

“Sure, whatever. Now then, shall we get down to plotting?” Disord started to pace back and forth in front of Trixie, his upper half moving to her right as his lower went left, combining in the middle for just a few seconds as they passed one another.

“Now, for some ponies this would be a bit easier, fortunately for me, you’re not one of them. So you’ll have to do this the fun way!” Discord’s body reattached as he stopped pacing and looked over to Trixie.

Trixie raised an eyebrow at him. “And what does the ‘fun way’ entail? And why would Trixie not have what these other ponies have? She is the most magical unicorn in Equestria….with Twilight being an Alicorn now….”

Discord waved a dismissive paw at her “You don’t have it, let’s just leave it at that. And the fun way involves trials, traps, tribulations, and a very ticked off lunar Princess.”

“Trixie is not sure about your definition of fun anymore…”

Discord shrugged at her “Eh, it can be an acquired taste. But let me explain your part in all this.”

Discord then wrapped around Trixie’s body again, his head moving from one of her ears to the other as he spoke into them in an eerie tone “To be graced with the power of an Alicorn upon your cheek, Nightmare’s final fall you must seek. Upon the walls and upon the floors, a hole can be found that time bores. Through the twists and through the turns, find the essence that sparks blue and burns. Should you live and find this great seed, swallow it before Luna gets a bead. For if by Luna you’re found, she will beat your flank into the...ummm…Trixie? You listening? This is kind of important.”

Trixie’s shook the glazed look from her eyes and peered at Discord confusedly “Sorry, Trixie thought you were just rambling to yourself again. Could you stop making up nonsense now and explain the plan to her?”

Discord sighed and put a paw over his face “Right, so riddles aren’t your thing. Yet something else the love of your life Twilight has over you.”

She growled at him threateningly. “For the last time, this isn’t about love! It’s about Trixie getting the recognition from Twilight that she so deserves! Unlike Twilight, who wasted most of her time in school in her own private little book club, Trixie went and lived her school days. Trixie had a life! Don’t blame Trixie for not sitting under a tree most of the day reading when she had better things to do. Trixie will have you know she became an exceptional player at the sport of cider pong.” Trixie flicked her mane in the air and put her nose up in pride.

“….Cider pong…”

“It’s like ping pong, but better, and with a couple different rules and variants that Trixie easily mastered. One of the most played forms in school was strip cider pong where-”

She’s actually lecturing me on cider pong…I guess her and Twilight have one thing in common, No wait, Trixie’s lectures are just as dull. Two things then.

Discord shook both paws in Trixie’s direction to interrupt her “Nevermind! Fine, no riddles! Just stop talking about this!” Discord took a map and small box from behind of one of his wings and placed it in Trixie’s hooves. He then brought out a tourist-looking straw hat and placed it over her magician’s hat. “Now look, just go to the ruins in the Everfree forest, go into the lobby before the throne room, take a left, take the next right, and go down about three flights of stairs. There’ll be a hole in the wall by some giant glowing doors. Use that opening, trying the door will most likely kill you. Then, if you survive the traps and old enchantments Luna set up to protect that area, you'll find a dull looking square room with a star in the middle of it, put the box in the center and step back. Past there, unless you really want to make this fun and take some risks, don't touch anything until you get to her old bedroom. It'll be a little messy, it's the maid's century off. In there you’ll find a small glowing blue ball of energy among everything else. Swallow it and run. If you survive what happens next I’ll meet you outside of Ponyville. If not then, well…at least we had a few interesting hours together, right?”

Trixie swallowed hard at his nonchalant statement, and at where her next destination laid. “R-right, Trixie assumes you mean not to travel with her to this destination then?”

Discord looked a little startled at the thought, though Trixie was pretty sure he was faking it “While I would just love to take a stroll through the forest and reminisce about old times with you, I already have plans that day. And besides, I have to get sooo much else ready for when you succeed. Which I’m positive such a talented mare like yourself will.”

Trixie glared defiantly at Discord and turned her back to him, discarding her now unimportant book to the ground. “Of course she will succeed. And once Trixie beats Luna’s little traps and returns to Ponyville, she will finally capture Twilight’s attention, not to mention the minds and hearts of all who witness her new and improved shows! Now,-“ Trixie stood up on her hind legs and pointed a hoof towards Discord “As it has taking you so long to finally explain to Trixie what must be done, she has lost her chance today to garner the affections of the lesser ponies. Due to this she finds herself a little...short on bits. But no worries! Trixie will not only forgive this loss, but also honor you with the chance to bestow on her an offering.”

Discord’s one eye rolled at the showmare’s display, not to mention the way her stomach growled half-way through her speech, causing her bravado to lose a little of its effect. “Fine, let no one say that the God of Chaos is heartless.” Discord peeled away the fur, skin, and muscle along his ribs and looked to the beating organ. “Well, at least not today apparently”. Letting his skin snap back into place he pulled a pouch of bits out from behind his back and tossed it in front of the showmare. “Those will last for the next day or so, after that I wouldn’t recommend having any on you.” He grinned at Trixie before making a mocking bow and disappearing in a cloud of what looked to be powdered cheese.

Trixie grabbed the bits in her mouth and quickly backed away from the cheese cloud. No park for Trixie tonight! Trixie jingled the bag in her mouth a few times and then placed it underneath her cape. She started to walk off but went into a gallop as she heard hoofsteps and the clinking of metal approaching.


How can I be so exhausted? All I did was sit, smile and talk as little as possible all day. Twilight collapsed onto her bed after her first day of meetings. At least Celestia had the foresight to assign a diplomat to me. That helped keep things less awkward with the cues he kept giving. I didn’t even know half the things I was urged to laugh at were jokes. I’ll never understand Gryphon humor.

Twilight groaned and stretched, rolling onto her side and getting comfortable. I wonder what that book was? Celestia was surprised it existed, but took it away before I even had a chance to look at it. And what was Discord doing with it in the garden? Probably another prank I’ll find out about soon enough. I just hope he keeps his word and waits to do it till after all these ambassadors finally leave me alone!


It should be Trixie up there, being fawned over by diplomats from foreign lands. Twilight would be next to her of course. It’d be wonderful for her to get flustered over a question so Trixie could leap in and help her...

Trixie shook the pleasing but intrusive thoughts out of her head as she reined her glance away from distant Canterlot castle and back to the Everfree forest. She popped the last pieces of bit-shaped popcorn into her mouth. Though Discord had told her not to, she couldn’t resist seeing what would happen to the bits he gave her after the day's time.

I’m really going in there, aren’t I? Well, Trixie left Canterlot early, so there should still be plenty of daylight.

Stepping into the woods, Trixie did her best to stay to a quick, quiet pace. Her horn lit up as she placed several minor spells upon her body. The soft pads of her hooves became hard, preventing damage from rocks or thorns. Her body became lighter; allowing her steps to be quieter than a mare her size would normally be. Her final enchantment caused her to look like a timber wolf to everything but herself.

So useful, and yet if those idiots at the Institute had their way Trixie would have only bothered to learn to look like a timber wolf.

As Trixie continued deeper into the forest, she let her mind wander back to her time at Celestia’s school and the comments her instructors and classmates sent her way.

Trixie, it’s not your talent, you’ll never learn the cloud walking spell, why learn what you can’t use?

Imbeciles, all of them! Sure Trixie can’t cloud walk, but that spell helped her learn how to make herself weigh less than her already amazingly lithe body does! Trixie’s glad she left that place and all those close-minded fools!

The sounds of twigs snapping nearby took Trixie out of her reminiscing and helped remind her of how stupid it was not to pay attention in this particular forest. She passed within ten feet of several wolves who eyed her warily, but otherwise ignored her. The scent of blood was on the air several times during Trixie’s journey, as well as the sounds of large creatures chewing, or the occasional screams of prey being felled.

Trixie took note of one particular oddity that made her entire trip all the more eerie. Several times during her travel she ran across old piles of rubble that looked to have been foundations at one point in the past.

The battle between Nightmare and Celestia tore the castle to pieces, but also ended the lives of so many caught in the crossfire. It was so bad that this place was abandoned as monsters started to emerge from the forests at a rate no one at the time understood. And I’m going against that kind of power? Discord better be right about this…

After several hours Trixie was at the end of her nerves when she finally saw a clearing up ahead the map had indicated.

She carefully made her way over a wooden bridge that Trixie felt had no right to still be standing, then moved her eyes upwards to finally look over the old castle ruins.

No part of the ruins had survived unscathed from the claws of time, and many sections of it looked to have been ripped apart from a siege or battle ages ago. The giant doors depicting the two sisters were slightly ajar at the front of the derelict ruin, being the only part not covered in moss of some color. Most of the ceiling looked to have caved in or just rotted away at some point, though a few of the stone sections held on stubbornly. She slowly made her way to the double doors as she let her illusion drop. Peering inside, Trixie noted that the stonework on the floor was in surprisingly good shape for being left to the elements for so long. She could practically feel the hum of old magic that was still doing its best to preserve what was left of the castle. Several tattered banners hung along the walls, with the odd few missing here and there. Trixie’s hooves made small noises as she picked along the rubble cautiously and proceeded to follow Discord’s instructions to the doorway she needed.

“Well, Trixie supposes this is it…” She eyed the giant door with trepidation. The door Discord’s advice led her to was large enough that a minotaur was probably needed to open it. A giant steel bar held it closed from this side, and looked heavy enough to be impossible for most creatures to move. The door was made from a strange blue metal that glowed an ominous green and depicted a silhouette of Luna’s head. Trixie was quite sure she’d be dead several times over if she even tried to touch it. Among all the ruins, this door and its bar looked to be as pristine as the day it was placed.

Trixie’s glance went to the small hole to the right of the door. It was maybe a dozen hooves in length away and was just big enough for Trixie to squeeze through. The hole itself looked to have been made from a large blast some time ago; as the black scars on the floor and wall around it showed. Age hadn't helped either as just touching the wall around it caused some of it to fall into her hoof. “Trixie guesses she should be thankful that Luna only thought to protect the door and forgot how much easier it’d be to go through the wall...” Trixie made her light spell a bit brighter, and entered into the hole, emerging into a ruined hallway.

The banners in the hallway seemed less tattered, though dust was everywhere. Thankfully, except for around the hole, no debris was present to hinder Trixie. The banners themselves were all star covered and clearly showed this to be Luna’s dominion. Even the torches in the walls glowed a soft bluish white like the moon, and gave off no heat. Trixie grabbed one of them from the wall and put out her horn to save her magic for what was to come. Strangely, except for the door and torches, nothing else revealed itself as magic to Trixie’s scan.

Trixie slowly walked down the hallway, expecting some giant ball of magic to pop out of the walls and consume her at any moment. She was constantly scanning the area near her for magic but oddly enough besides herself and the torch nothing was coming up. Did Luna hide it somehow? Can you even hide magic from magic? You can hide magic inside another magic but then I’d still be detecting something.

Trixie’s thoughts abruptly came to an end as a sword popped out of the wall above to impale itself on her with a loud crash.

Klonk!

Trixie gave a pain filled whinny as the sword struck her neck but was incredibly surprised when she realized she wasn’t staring up at her headless body. Shivering and looking at what was left of the sword, she saw how incredibly rust covered and pitted the weapon was. The device that the sword looked to have been attached to was still popping out of the wall, too broken to continue its rotation back into its hiding place. Trixie could only guess that the sword had mostly broken apart from age as she had triggered it, what was left must have hit her neck. Thankfully, what little edge remained had warped and curved too badly to pierce.

T-too close, that was too close. The next one might work like it’s supposed to.

After calming herself down Trixie looked around and noticed several other spots that would be just perfect to hide traps like this. A slight curve in the hallway to conceal something as the victim came around it; a few thin pillars on opposite sides of the walkway that could easily conceal the slot a sword or arrow could emerge from. Her mind rattled on for a minute on all the potential ways she could die down here from this hallway alone.

Ok, so a bunch of traps that may or may not malfunction are in my way, that’s why I didn’t detect any magic traps, there are none. No big deal, this’ll be easy for somepony as great as me, right?

Once her confidence was back and her ego stroked a little, Trixie cast a barrier spell around herself. Ok, so it’ll be worthless against spells, but it should be good enough against an arrow or two. Not that Trixie’s ever tested it quite like this, or wanted to.

Trixie’s prepared her next spell and got into a running stance. Trixie can’t teleport over this, but she can boost her speed. If the traps are that old, then maybe she can move past them before they react. Considering who she is, Trixie should be able to get past them all before the spell ends, hopefully.

She shook her head at that last thought.

No being hopeful about it, Trixie will succeed! There is no other option for a pony as great as her. Great enough to make Twilight turn her head!

"Trixie is great, Trixie is powerful. Trixie is great, Trixie is powerful!" she muttered to herself for the next minute, working herself up and trying to ignore the clawing fear of what might happen to her in the coming minutes. Finally, she lowered herself into a racing position.

NOW!

With a small burst of magic from her horn, Trixie sped down the hallway. Her eyes were barely open so she wouldn’t see her possible end. She heard the sounds of clangs, bangs and even a few small explosions coming from behind, and at times, right next to her. Trixie felt the breeze of sword traps as they just missed her, and the thump of shrapnel from malfunctioning traps hitting against her barrier as they fell apart and sent their gears flying everywhere. Trixie saw the end of the hallway approaching and put a desperate burst of magic into her speed spell. The barrier took one last hit from a sword clanking off of it and shattered as Trixie made her way through the hallway.

Trixie made it! She-

Her celebration was sadly cut short as Trixie realized the next room’s floor abruptly cut off ten feet in.

Son of a-

She tried to stop her forward momentum but was unable to halt herself from going over the ledge.

Author's Note:

Huzzah for the next chapter! Now with any luck comments will be about the story and not what story they wish someone would make. : D

revised on 11/1/2017

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