• Published 15th Mar 2014
  • 8,939 Views, 288 Comments

My Life As My Ironically Bad OC - Lord Of Dorkness

Yes, a LoHAV fic and yes, that is a black and red alicorn OC. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

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Bonus Chapter One - Chapter Two Failed Try One

So a lot of you have been wondering... just what took so long?

Well, I just couldn't get the darn tone right. That might sound minor, but I'd thought I'd share the two first failed versions of chapter two for your amusement.

Do however keep in mind, this stuff got cut for a reason. I might reuse some of it, but for now this is either already used in chapter two, or totally scrapped.

Oh, and this is also unedited. It's 'just' a glimpse at why chapter two took so long plus my writing process, so adjust expectations accordingly.

Death Darkness was just finalizing her pack for the small excursion with Daring, when the doorbell rang. This made the alicorn perk her ears and tense. Ruddy Dawn was decently known, but hardly the type of mare anypony would show up unannounced for. The few friends she had that know her under that name were the types to call ahead… so just who was outside her door?

Shadows gathered and Death Darkness’ horn lit up, as the mare shifted to her main guise with practiced ease. Her body shrank and became stocky and bulky, instead of tall and slender. The shadows fled from her pelt, tail and mane—swirling away to the spot where her cutie mark should have been like water down a drain— raveling a more mundane black interlaced with white for just a few moments, before color seemed to bleed into them. Her pelt turned the azure of a summer’s sky with tips a stark red that seemed to almost pool into spots, while her mane and tail turned mainly orange that faded into pale gold at the ends. The feathers of her wings —as well as her horn— seemed to melt into her body only for the primaries to then lengthen and the skin in-between to thin and stretch into membranes. With a single blink and a bit of power, her eyes became a feral looking yellow instead of their normal blood red. As a last couple of touches, her mane shortened into a tomboyish looking cut, her fetlocks got a shaved look to them to show her blood red hooves and her ears turned pointed.

In just a few moments in fact, Ruddy Dawn the testral writer had replaced Death Darkness the alicorn of Darkness. She patted herself down to check things had gone well and nodded to herself; quite pleased with the result. She darted for the door, stopping for a moment to check her reflection in the hall mirror. Ruddy gave herself a pointy smile with her red muzzle as the almost blood stained looking pelt she’d ‘gotten’ her name for had come in just right.

Ruddy turned her head towards it as the bell rang out again but this time accompanied by an insistent knocking, and shouted: “I’m coming soon, please calm down! There is no need to drum my door hard enough to wake the town!” in a thick Zebravian accent.

There was a sudden shocked silence on the other side of the door.

“I thought she was supposed to be a testral…?” a young sounding male voice whispered urgently, “I’m fairly certain only zebras rhyme like that.”

Another gruff but more authoritative sounding voice hushed the first talker. “Silent, Private… and that’s specist.”

Ruddy paused just on the other side of the door, listening intently. She did not care the slightest for the mention of rank. Had the Royal twits and their goon-squad finally found her? For a moment an orange face with a blond braid and cute little dimples flashed through Ruddy’s mind and made her heart flutter, but with a bit back sigh she fought it down.

A clinking of armor as her ‘guest’ shuffled around sent shivers down Ruddy’s spine. Had it been a mistake to manipulate such a mass of shadows from her own apartment? But how? Not even the royal twits should have been able to tell!

“…Seriously, I’ve never heard anypony but zebra traditionalists talk like that,” the rather dull private insisted, “I think we’re at the wrong house or something.”

The ranking officer let out a deep sigh. “Private, if you’d actually read the bucking file you’d know she immigrated.”

Having had enough of the demonstration of just how ‘bright’ Equestria’s best and brightest could be, Ruddy unbolted the door and let it glide up on the carefully rusted hinges she spent several hours monthly getting just right. The battered bits of metal let out a nails on a chalkboard sound that would have made the two military stallions manes stand slightly on end even if the pitch black doorway had not contained two sickly yellow eyes that caught the light like those of a cat and a huge grin that seemed to be as if it would have been more at home in the mouth of a manticore than a mare. “Good Sir, you are slightly misinformed…” Both stallions tensed as a mare almost a head taller than them and seemingly covered in blood stepped out of the dark, still grinning wide. “Zebrave is still the place I call home, although I will freely admit ‘tis rather far I have roamed.”

The Private nearly soiled himself and bolted, but the Sergeant sucked in a deep breath and steeled himself for long enough to notice the mare ‘just’ had a rather unfortunate splattering of the color red in her pelt, not blood.

Ruddy took the moment to study the stallion and the overgrown colt. The Private was a bit thinner and younger looking, but the pair were both testrals and the enchanted armor of the Night Guard had turned them both near indistinguishable from each other. Both had the grey pelt, the purple manes and the yellow eyes that marked them as Luna’s personal squad of pretty boy-toys meant to be dramatically swept aside by any real threat.

The disguised alicorn just barely fought down a sneer of disgust. The gothic idiot herself was a big enough waste of potential, but her secondary goon-squad for any task to demeaning to sack the Elements on was just insufferable. Instead, she put on a carefully neutral mask and spoke in a cold voice. “Oh. Sorry, if I’d known you two were Nightmare Moon’s incompetent minions I wouldn’t have bothered being polite. What do you and your idiot mistress want with me?”

The two guards reared back slightly with their eyes widened in shock. The private near snarled, but the Sergeant kept it to a professional fuming as he reached into his armor and pulled forth a scroll. “Her Highness Luna,” the Sergeant stiffly said with just a bit extra emphasis on his liege’s name as he handed over the scroll to Ruddy who reluctantly accepted it, “is quite impressed with your writing so far and wishes to see you.”

With a disinterested flick of her thumb-claw, Ruddy sent the small bit of dark blue wax bearing Luna’s cutie mark sailing away.

“Really?” the Sergeant said with cold eyes and a neutral voice with a small tone of contempt that could still be heard at the edges off it. “That pelt is bad enough, but you sharpen your claws as well?”

Ruddy gave the stallion a smile that didn’t reach her eyes but showed quite a lot of her sharp teeth, including her long fangs that gleamed in the light. “All the better to disembowel tiny woodland creatures with, my dear.” Her voice turned dry enough to resemble a very dry thing. “We can’t all be lapdogs to that blue moron. Some of us need to actually hunt for our daily flesh and blood.”

The hint of contempt in the Sergeant’s posture turned into an outright look of loathing. “You are a disgrace to all thestrals, Ma’am.”

Ruddy ignored him and the Private that had started to grind his teeth, and instead started reading the scroll.

To Lady Ruddy Dawn, may this message find you in good health.

We recently had the mixed blessing of a rather slow night of court, and feeling in a mood for finding out how the depictions of the macabre have changed during Our absence, We stumbled across you’re The World Below series.

To be honest, We initially began reading because the concept of an entire sub-terran world that somehow have eluded our best researchers made Us laugh Ourselves silly, but We were pleasantly surprised when We spotted the disclaimer… and utterly delighted when We found out such quality literature had been written by one of Our own bat-ponies!

As Rudy read the last bit, every shadow within a hundred meters sharply deepened and lengthened, and enough moisture gathered on her hooves that it almost ruined the parchment. The two now wide-eyed testrals carefully took a step back each as the mare forced herself to continue reading, utterly oblivious to the shocked stares she was now receiving.

As the mistress of Dreams We of course delight in all creativity, but seeing the fruits of one of Our own chosen always brings a special delight with it. We are not certain if you are aware of it, but I have on occasion acted as patron for artist We have found worthy of such a gesture.

We would be delighted if you would care to meet Us in Canterlot and discus this, as well as your wonderful books. If you wish and have the time the members of my guard delivering this will escort you, but if not this letter will act as introduction at the castle proper.

We hope to see you at your earliest convenience.

Her Highness, Luna.

With hooves steadier than Ruddy felt they had any right to be thanks to the boiling sensation in her stomach, the mare gently rolled up the scroll and raised her head to lock eyes with the now nervous Sergeant. “This is a royal invitation, not a royal summon?”

“…Yes, Ma’am,” the ranking guard said in a flat voice.

Ruddy handed over the scroll, ignoring the moisture dripping from her hoof and the end of the parchment. “Then I decline. If that unrepentant mass murderer wish to contact me again, I advice she does so through the Zebravian embassy. I have nothing to say to that overgrown filly that is fit for polite company.”

The Sergeant stared at the wet scroll. “Ma’am, please reconsider. Her Highness thinks highly of your books, and if we return with the invitation we will need to report why… and thus repeat your reasons for declining.”

Ruddy let the scroll fall. It hit the floor with a small splat before the mare started speaking in a cold voice. “Well, if Celestia’s assistant throws another temper-tantrum that kills millions I guess I will feel rather bad.” The mare put a hoof on the door to slam it. “Good-day to you both.”

A clang rang out and the Sergeant winced as the door hit his armored hoof. He looked Ruddy straight in the eyes while talking in an even voice. “Please reconsider.” For a moment Ruddy did consider... just slamming the door again a couple of times until the stallion got the hint, but the way the guard chewed on his lip with a pleading look on his face made her fold her arms instead and wait. “Her Highness thinks very highly of your books. Not only would such a cold reply almost certain sadden her, but she does not offer patronage often or lightly.”

Ruddy balked. “You think you can bribe me?!” The mare narrowed her eyes into a glare and squared her shoulders. “I want no part in anything those bloodstained hooves have touched. I find tolerating the existence of the royal sisters the unpleasant necessity of my stay in this otherwise pleasant country. Is that clear enough, Mr.?”

The guard clearly didn’t like it, but the stallion gave a slow nod. “I will commend you on sticking to your principles even if it cost you, if nothing else.” With exaggerated care and slowness, he removed his hoof from the doorway and gave Ruddy a stiff nod. “Sorry to have bothered you, Ma’am.”

Ruddy paused for a moment, before giving the stallion a tiny bow of her head. “Please forgive the rudeness you did not deserve, Sir. My blood simply boils at the mention of the cur. To shoot the messenger was quite below me normal standards, and I do hope you may find it in you to forgive my breach in manners? ”

It was tiny, more a ghost of it than a real one, but the Sergeant gave her a smile before bending down to pick up the scroll. “No worries, Ma’am. I don’t like it, but I understand.”

Ruddy gave the stallions a nod each, and then gently closed the door.

She barely had time to slide the deadbolt in place and take a single step away before the Private near snarled at his commander. “You understand?!”

Ruddy perked her ears, but for several moments only silence followed. “Wow, you’re really fresh out of the caverns, aren’t you?” Metal clinked against metal. “Listen here boy, because it’s going to save you a lot of sleepless nights. Luna is a darn fine ruler… but Nightmare Moon happened. Some ponies don’t even believe she was really purified. Deal with it.”

The Private sucked in a angry sounding breath. “And that gives that mare the right to stand there and insult her like that?!”

“No,” the older stallion said in a kind voice, “the freedom of speech and how she only used it to say her own opinion and the truth does that.”

“The truth?! How the heck does being stuck in the moon for a thousand years kill millions?! The fighting barely lasted hours!”

The Sergeant sighed and muttered out: “Darn crap history books… Just what do they teach the kids these days?” His armor clinked as he presumably raised his head, then he spoke in a kind but firm voice. “On this end of the world, we got the moon in the sky for long enough that the night lasted what should have been a day. No big deal, right?”

The conversation paused, as the private presumably nodded to his superior.

The Sergeant continued in a stern voice. “Well, in Zebrave, they got an extra day of sun during what should have been the beginning of wet season. It never came that year.”

A stunned silence filled the corridor. Ruddy’s hoof scrunched her hallway mat hard enough that it nearly took a bit out of it.

“The figure I heard?” The Sergeant continued. “One in ten survived. The whole continent turned into a ball of dust because of, as they see it, ‘an overgrown spoiled foal’s argument with her equally worthless sister.’ It took them nearly a century to put their society back into anything resembling more than scattered villages with a well each.” Something hard splashed a bit of water. “It also the reason we almost had the moisture torn out of our eyeballs just now. They have everypony learn at least water magic. Just so that the history they also make sure everypony learns won’t repeat.” Metal clinked against metal again. “And that is the darn reason you are always polite to anypony from that darn country. It makes most of the Everfree look like a petting zoo and the zebras have still made it their nag.” Metal rustled against metal, as if the owner of one of the suits of armor had shivered. “Not even most of the dragons —no matter how lost to their greed they are— will mess with the zebras.”

Ruddy barely kept herself from snickering as the Private muttered something about being able to take her.

The Sergeant instead just let out another sigh. “You don’t get it, do you? We give unicorns a few extra lessons on the side because it’s considered too expensive and time intensive to even test the aptitude of anypony else. In Zebrave, you don’t graduate at all until you can at least fill a glass with conjured water.” The Sergeant's voice turned stern. “And extra credit is usually if the student figures out how to stab something with it without using the container. Those one in ten a thousand years ago? They were the tough sons and daughters of nags and they gave their foals those very same lessons they learned… including exactly who to blame. Remember that if nothing else, boy.”

It sounded sullen, but the Private let out a half-hearted: “Sir. Yes, Sir.”

“Let’s go, we have bad news to bring and our liege’s heart to break,” The Sergeant muttered darkly, before trotting off. The Private quickly followed behind.

Ruddy waited until not even her ears could hear them anymore, before letting out a sigh and getting up. She headed for her study with a dark cloud all but shadowing her.

The small room had once been a walk-in closet, but aside from laughing herself silly at the concept of a pony walk-in closet Death Darkness hadn’t found much use for it and thus stuck a writing desk in there instead. She just stood in the doorway and stared at the desk for quite a while.

In particular, a binder with a name on it in careful hoofwritting. ‘Beneath the Mountains of Madness - Ruddy Dawn - Book five of The World Below’

The mare in question let out a sad sigh and muttered to herself. “Dammit all, and I really wanted to see the ponies reactions to the concept of shoggoths…”

Trying not to mutter darkly all the way or destroy her own floor, Ruddy Dawn stomped out of her apartment and headed up a floor.

After only a few moments after knocking on the right door, her upstairs neighbor Yearling stuck her disheveled face out. Ruddy tried not to have her jaw drop since it looked as if the normally tidy looking mare had all but screamed her hat on. Her grey hair was sticking out from under it in all directions, and she blinked her purple eyes for several moments before speaking. “...Hi, Ruddy. What brings you to my door?”

Ruddy tilted her head and thought it over. “I just got word from our mutual friend’s friend that she had last minute things pop up…” The testral writer's ears hung lower. “...and truth be told, I got news myself only moments later I can’t say I liked.”

Yearling throw her head back fast enough her big red glasses nearly flew off and clearly fought down a swear. “Ngh…” She quickly smoothed out her grimace. “I’m sorry to hear that…” then she muttered, seemingly mostly to herself, “...I’m certain Daring won’t like that.”

Ruddy cringed a bit. Yearling was nowhere as good a friend to her as Daring was, but she still cared for the mare. Perhaps it was professional pride clouding her eyes, but knowing that the ‘highly successful author’ was just Daring’s ghost writer just made her lower quite a bit in Ruddy’s eyes. Still, Ruddy forced a smile. “Hey, sound like we both had things ruined by acting as messengers again. How about we go, you know, do something? Just for fun?”

Yearling hesitated. In truth, Ruddy Dawn gave her the creeps… and then she felty guilty about that, since the testral —aside from being a few spikes short of a pit-trap and far too noisy at night for her taste— was usually quite the polite and friendly neighbor.

Then she started to feel silly about it. Daring freakin’ Doo, who’d raided more tombs than most have had warm breakfasts, freaked out by a testral with a pelt condition? Never!

And that was draft one.

I really liked the idea that Death Darkness is simply too proud of her skills, so that even while Ruddy is this 'humbler' mask she wears for the sake of a normal life, she is STILL larger-than-life enough to draw attention.

The big, big problem of this try, though, was just how mean-spirited it was.

It just wasn't funny for Ruddy to spit a messenger in the face. (And a bit ironic in hindsight with Wapanzi, but he didn't exist at the time of writing this.)

Now, I'm still not sure if I count her as a main-character for this story or not, but I did even back here plan on at least a few confrontations between Death Darkness and Luna. The lazy bastard that controls darkness but has (aside from Sombra) never hurt anybody, versus the Mistress of the Night that tried to shake the foundations of the heavens themselves?

That's just too much juicy drama to ignore, but the above chapter just felt like far too petty a start. Now, Luna calling Ruddy's son an 'abomination' in near the same breath as revealing herself AND clearly expect Ruddy to still find this an honor? Not to toot my own horn, but I think we can agree that THAT is a much better reason for a cat-fight than 'but she rudely declined my invitation!'

I did like the back-forth between the private and the sergeant, though. The dynamic 'I agree with you, but please be a bit politer about it' just doesn't show in fiction very often, and it was a rather fun challenge to write.

The transformation in this draft was just bad, though. Far too boring and rushed, with none of the thrill and shock factor I managed in the final version.

Oh, and I was still getting a grasp on Daring's character. That's why the chapter 'ends' on such a out of character moment as her being slightly freaked-out by (to her knowledge) totally normal bat-pony. To 'old-me's' defense, though, I think I was going for it being her 'Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?' thingamajig.

Hope you enjoyed this! Tune in tomorrow for draft 2.0 and why that failed!