• Published 26th Mar 2014
  • 1,134 Views, 58 Comments

Rise of the Phoenix Empire - kudzuhaiku

Set after the events of 'The Alicorn Academy' this story tells the tale of the rebirth of Equestria, Out of the flames and ashes comes new life.

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Chapter 1

A large fierce creature prowled the Everfree. Long, serpentine, it moved from tree to tree effortlessly, swinging between branches, sometimes gliding through wide open spaces, never touching the ground. It moved swiftly, carefully, an arboreal creature. After some time, it stopped, high in the trees, hanging from a long serpentine tail many many times the length of its body. It paused, looking down at a village nestled in a small clearing found within the woods.

The creature’s name was Climbing Ivy, this was her wood, and she was the master of all things found within. The wood was given to her, by Princess Celestia herself, so that Ivy might heal it. The wood had become Ivy’s demesne. Her domain. The Everfree was now a fiefdom found within the Phoenix Empire. Ivy had healed many of the trees, drawing out the magical poison that had tainted them, and earth ponies worked to restore the ground. Like those earth ponies that Ivy was now watching, counting, carefully pointing to each with one wicked looking claw. Earth pony hooves had magic in much the same way unicorn horns did, and the earth ponies were Ivy’s greatest resource, her greatest treasure, her most valuable asset in her entire domain.

Save one thing, which Ivy hoarded entirely to herself and did not share.

At the edge of the village, lying along the treeline, was an immense green dragon. Ivy watched it for some time, and then ran down the broad tree trunk without ever once slipping.

Ivy dropped from her tree and landed gently upon the dragon’s back. She carefully made her way up the immense creature’s spine, gently avoided a scarred over stub that had once been a wing, and continued to tiptoe up the sprawled out creature’s neck.

“Hello Jadefire.” Ivy said, gently roosting upon the dragon’s broad head, looking down at the eyeless blind dragon with a withered mutilated face. “Are you in much pain dear friend?” Ivy said, her voice full of concern. Ivy’s tail coiled lovingly around one of the dragon’s pitted horns.

“The pain isn’t so bad.” Jadefire said in a smoky grumble, through cracked and split lips, his mouth one gaping slash in a faceful of scars.

“You are a terrible liar friend.” Ivy said, gently patting the dragon’s head. “One dragon.” She counted.

“Bad enough I’m crippled, but to be counted as part of your hoard?” Jadefire groaned.

“Cheer up Jadefire. Zecora will be by soon with something to help you feel better and to dull the pain. And the foals need you.” Ivy carefully checked over the dragon, examining his face, checking for scale growth as she spoke.

“And now I am a playground for foals.” The dragon muttered.

“You love those foals. If something was to harm one hair in their manes…”

“I would rip them limb from limb!” The dragon interrupted with sudden violence, remaining wing fluttering, three remaining legs now twitching.

“Be calm Jadefire. Please, keep my ponies and foals safe.” Ivy said, her voice somewhat musical.

“Till the end of my days, and long after you are gone Ivy.” The dragon said, settling down somewhat. “I have a special lesson planned today for school.” Jadefire said, smoke pouring from his maw.

“Do you now?” Ivy asked, looking curious.

“Today I plan to teach the foals why we are now called the Phoenix Empire. In detail.” Jadefire said. “And all those who made sacrifices so Equestria could rise again from the ashes.”

Ivy looked sad, her emotions flooding her features suddenly, her always fickle and sometimes chaotic emotions that shifted so quickly from one mood to the next.

“Like you, dear friend. They will see. And know.” Ivy said, once again gently patting the dragon upon its head. “I must go. The count must continue. I must make sure that all are safe and accounted for within my wood. And today is a special day.” Ivy said, smiling broadly, multiple rows of teeth visible.

A zebra stood nearby, watching the two dragons, one immense, and one not so immense. As she watched, Ivy leapt from the dragon’s head, spread her mismatched wings, and soared to a nearby trunk, colliding with a loud thump. She scurried up the trunk and was gone in seconds, vanishing from view.

Elsewhere, at the edge of the wood, a tall graceful figure stood on the edge of a path. She appeared to be made out of crystal, a unicorn, with an odd horn. A crystal horn, triangle shaped instead of round, long, slightly curving, with a strange split at the end that formed into two tips. She stood, paused, waiting, as the wood around her moved and things crashed through the underbrush.

Four large timberwolves came into view, two on each side of the path, watching her. They were immense, frightful looking creatures, big enough to gobble a pony in just a bite or two. Wolves made from wood and leaves.

Minerva Silvermane watched the wolves, feeling slightly irritated. Ivy’s hounds unnerved her. Sure, they watched the wood and obeyed her every command, and were completely harmless to ponies, but they were still rather scary. Much like Hoodwink’s statues.

“Shoo!” Minerva said to the wolves, hoping they would go away.

One wolf approached her, the sound of wood creaking as it walked, leaves rustling, large paws thudding against the earth. When it stood in front of her, it flopped over and presented its belly, looking up at her hopefully, waiting.

Minerva Silvermane snorted in irritation as she had to scratch the wolf’s belly. It was the price of admission it seemed.

Deep within the wood, Ivy moved along the treetops, along the edge of a water filled crater. It was vast. The trees here had been especially sick, many weeping blood. Ivy had restored them. The land, once a blister upon the wood, filled with bad magic, was peaceful. Calm. Serene. Ducks filled the lake. And it had been stocked with fish.

There was another dragon she had to deal with, and she was mildly irritated.

Eventually, she came to a clump of rocks not to far from the lake, scanning the ground below, looking for an annoying troublemaker. It didn’t take long, she saw her target, close by, sunning himself on a long fallen log.

She leapt from the tree and landed on the ground, her tail slashing, frowning. She hurried over to the sunning dragon to give him a much needed piece of her mind.

“Snaggle!” Ivy shouted.

The dragon was more than three times Ivy’s size. It rose from the log in a genuine panic, cringing, falling from the log, crashing down into the ground, where it cowered. Snaggle was red and yellow, the colour of a bed of coals.

“Snaggle! You shame your shell! You spooked my ponies! What were you thinking?” Ivy scolded.

Snaggle rolled over on his back, supine, showing his throat, tilting his head back. He cowered. His claws trembled and his lip quivered. He closed his eyes and curled his long tail up over his broad chest.

“I’m sorry.” Snaggle pleaded. “I didn’t mean to spook anypony. I just wanted to be a chicken.”

“What?” Ivy said, suddenly more confused than angry.

“I wanted to be a chicken.” Snaggle repeated. “I saw the chickens in the village and it looked like they were having fun. So I thought I’d join them, running around, clucking, and flapping my wings. And bobbing my head. Like the chickens do.”

Ivy scowled. “A chicken?” She said incredulously.

“Being a chicken looks like more fun than being a dragon.” Snaggle said in a very low voice.

“Snaggle,” Ivy began, “I don’t know what goes through your mind, but you have to think before you act. I can’t even imagine what a dragon your size running around and acting like a chicken might look like, but it scared the villagers something awful. And your wings! You did damage.”

The dragon began to sob pitifully and Ivy’s demeanour softened slightly.

“I’m so sorry, please don’t banish me.” Snaggle begged. “I don’t belong anywhere else. Other dragons hate me.”

Ivy sat up, balanced on her haunches, feeling a twinge of pity for the juvenile dragon. “Jadefire doesn’t hate you.” Ivy said, her tone now one of comfort.

“Yes he does.” Snaggle retorted.

“No. He does not. Jadefire becomes irritated with you when you do stupid things. Like pretending you are a chicken.” Ivy reached up and scratched an antler. “You have one dragon that tries to be patient with you and accept you for what you are. Do not continue to try his patience.”

The large juvenile dragon sniffled, snorting smoke. “Thank you for taking me in. I’ll try to not be so stupid.” The dragon promised, still sobbing softly.

Ivy moved forward, reached out, and patted the dragon lightly on its exposed throat. “Two dragons.” Ivy counted.

“I’m still your trinket?” Snaggle asked, his voice hopeful.

“I never throw out my valuables.” Ivy said. “The count must remain the same or go up. But never down. Not allowed.” Ivy said.

“Thanks Ivy.” Snaggle said. “I’ll go and apologise in a few days, when the ponies aren’t so angry with me.”

Minerva walked the familiar path along the wood, feeling the breeze, watching the sunlight filter through the branches. She saw faces occasionally in the in the brush, along the trees, earth ponies working industriously, planting new growth, tending old growth, and reconditioning the soil with each hoofstep. Along the path, some of the trees had been shaped, with inviting open hollows just big enough for a pony to crawl inside and rest, to take shelter from storms, or to simply crawl in for a nap. The trees obeyed Ivy’s whims, grew under the touch of her guiding claws, and the nooks and hollows added to the warm sense of invitation the Everfree now had. Ivy could shape wood in much the same way that her father, Discord, could shape clay, Minerva mused. Ivy had tamed much of the Everfree, and each day, she reclaimed a little more, obeying Celestia’s wishes, as well as fulfilling her own whims.

Minerva saw foals in the distance, darting through the trees and underbrush, giggling, playing, safe. She thought of her own time as a foal, those tumultuous times, the times she had found her friends, and, more importantly, found her self. Ivy’s wood was full of orphans. It was the price of living here, in this wood, this shelter, this place of safety and abundant food, and all a pony had to do was look after Ivy’s growing hoard of little tiny ponies. One ran out on to the road in front of her, a little filly foal, looking up at her, the foal’s face full of curiousity.”

“Hi.” The foal said shyly. “I’m Thicket. You’re pretty.”

“Thank you Thicket.” Minerva said warmly. “You are very beautiful as well.”

“You’re the librarian of Ponyville I think.” Thicket said.

Minerva nodded.

“You took over for Twilight Sparkle.” Thicket added.

There were cries from the treeline.

“I gotta go!” Thicket said. “I can read now. Maybe I’ll come and check out some books.”

“That would be nice Thicket.” Minerva said as the foal ran off.

Minerva continued forward, watching the darting foals, wishing that she could join them in their game, whatever it was they were playing. But she was expected, so she continued onward, through the winding wood, into the heart of Ivy’s domain.

It wasn’t long until she picked up on a familiar smell. Rotten eggs. She inhaled deeply, treasuring the rancid stink, feeling sentimental. Sure, she had only been gone for a few weeks, but she still missed her friend and loved him dearly. And she knew he was nearby. She hurried forward, towards the smell.

Minerva froze in awe, as she always did, upon seeing Ivy’s home. A dozen trees had been woven together, braided, entwined with one another in a fond embrace, Ivy’s magic melding them together, shaping them like clay, creating rooms, nooks, hollows, walkways, stairs, balconies, everything that a house was, all shaped from the intertwined trees.

A tall dingy yellow unicorn with a pea soup coloured mane walked towards her, a broad smile upon his face.

“Brimstone!” Minerva said, smiling, her heart filling with joy. She trotted forward with almost a fillyish sense of glee, a faint giggle escaping her mouth.

Brimstone kissed her warmly on the cheek and then stood, looking at her.

“So glad you made it Minerva. Welcome. I’m so glad to see you.” Brimstone said, his crimson eyes glittering.

Minerva couldn’t help but notice that the anger that Brimstone always had as a colt was gone. He had grown up and matured, and was now a happy well adjusted unicorn. Well, as well adjusted as any of them could be after everything that had happened, but Brimstone was happy. And for good reason…

“Where is Ivy?” Minerva asked.

“Off counting.” Brimstone said.

“Oh.” Minerva said with disappointment.

Elsewhere in the wood, Ivy swung through the trees, leaping from branch to branch, moving with graceful speed, in a hurry home. Time had slipped out of her claws again. She moved with purpose, never missing a step, never slipping, never falling.

These were her woods. She knew them well.

She stopped when her home became visible. She saw two figures down below, way down below, both of them ponies that Ivy loved. Ivy began to run down the tree, silently, claws not making a single sound as ran down the trunk. She eased her body out on to a branch, careful to not make a sound, as silent as could be while hunting her prey. She dangled down by one hind leg, her claws wrapping around the branch, and stifled a giggle as her tail shot downward…

Brimstone smiled at Minerva, his smile more of a smirk. He said nothing, and kept eye contact.

Minerva shrieked as something snaked around her barrel, writhed around her body, coiling all around her, and then snatched her violently upwards. She was a large solid adult unicorn mare, and she was lifted and carried away quite suddenly, much like dandelion fluff in the breeze. Her cry echoed through the woods.

“One crystal unicorn!” Ivy counted, pulling Minerva up and clutching her close to her body, squeezing.

Minerva struggled to breathe, feeling Ivy constrict all around her in a very predatory hug. It intensified, feeling like at any moment Minerva’s bones would become jelly. Just when she thought she couldn’t take a second more, Ivy’s coils relaxed. Minerva sucked in some much needed air. “Ivy!” She gasped.

Brimstone stood chuckling down below, his chuckles ceasing suddenly when Ivy’s tail snatched him as well.

Ivy clutched them both in her grasp, squeezing them, rubbing her cheek against them, feeling them against her skin. She loved them both dearly. She hung by one clawed foot still, not struggling in the slightest to hold up her weight and the weight of two full grown unicorns.

“One delicious smelling unicorn.” Ivy counted.

As the three hung in the tree together, Minerva remembered another time that they had huddled together, clinging to one another for comfort and strength.

Chapter 3

Minerva could not believe what she had just heard. She sat there, clinging to Ivy for support, her mind reeling, tears stinging her eyes. Ivy hugged her as tight as she dared, both of them clutching wildly at one another. After a moment, there was another pair of forelegs in the hug, and then another.

The four foals huddled together, none of them believing what they had heard.

Celestia and Luna stood close by, stunned looks still upon their faces.

“What about Sparky?” Ivy begged, reverting to the private nickname for her teacher in her inconsolable state.

Celestia choked, unable to reply.

Luna cleared her throat. “We must assume that Twilight is lost to us, as is the Crystal Empire. Twilight is in a fragile state. I doubt the changelings would allow her to live, given all that has happened.”

Ivy let out a shriek that shattered every window in the chamber, causing her companions to fall away from her, clutching their ears. She fell to the floor and lay limply, sobbing, consumed with grief.

Luna stumbled forward, lacking her usual grace, and collapsed onto the ground next to Ivy, pulling her close. She felt three other foals crawling over and clinging to her for comfort. Luna lay, there, in shock, unable to say or do much else. Ivy squirmed within her grasp, reaching out, and pulling Brimstone close to her. She lay on the floor with the foals, blinking, feeling their grief.

Celestia raised her head. “I am sorry sister, but we have work to do. We must marshal our forces and reclaim what is ours. Time is of the essence. Perhaps things are not as bad as we feared.” Celestia’s voice wavered, she was stricken, filled with rage and sorrow at everything that was transpiring. Strange magic swirled along her horn, not the usual golden glow, and a faint green haze began to drift from her eyes.

“Yes.” Luna said. “Yes, there still may be time. Shining Armor is resourceful.” Luna said, more for the foal’s benefit rather than her own. She fostered no hope in her breast, fearing the worst. She rose, unsteady.

“The guard are assembled your Majesties.” A pegasus said, his feathered wings fluttering. “We are ready. We have a contingent of unicorns ready with wing spells as well. Canterlot will be left well defended, we go forward with two thousand troops, one thousand of which are lunar pegasi.”

Luna looked up at Savage, Nightfisher’s mother. “Guard my students.” Luna said.

“Of course, my Mistress.” Savage said in a throaty rumble. “My life for them.”

Luna nodded. She looked down at Brimstone. “I love you Brimstone.” Luna said. “And you as well Ivy. Keep each other safe. I love each and every one of you, and I am proud to have you as my students.”

Celestia could spare no such platitudes and remained silent. She strode from the chamber, leaving her throne room, saying nothing at all, trailing wisps of purple green smoke from her eyes.

“Celestia is hurt beyond measure.” Luna explained. “When we return, I will have her apologise to all of you. I know that she loves you. Please forgive her.”

And with that, Luna turned and left, leaving the foals clutching to one another, trembling, full of fear and anguish.

“Stay safe mother.” Brimstone said, his voice faltering, as Luna departed.

“That was dark magic.” Minerva said, her voice faint, and full of fear.

The companions sat in silence, still huddled, a breeze flowing through the chamber now that the windows were gone.

After quite some time, they had recovered a bit, still close, now in their room. The room had changed slightly. There were now four beds. Brimstone’s cubby had been emptied. The Twilight stuffy paced the table, watching the foals, seeming concerned.

Brimstone kissed Ivy lightly on the cheek and tried to console her. She lay limp his in forelegs, her head against the table, her tail coiled tightly around his body.

“What if they come here? While Celestia and Luna are gone?” Minerva said, saying what everypony was thinking.

“The guard will protect the city.” Brimstone said.

“I will protect the city.” Hoodwink said, her voice cracking with sudden anger. “I will find a way. I will do something.” She spat and sputtered as she spoke.

“Anger won't help us now.” Minerva said gently. “Look what it did to Celestia.”

Hoodwink hung her head, looking ashamed. Minerva hugged her.

“I want my mama.” Ivy said. “And my daddy.”

“I think we all do.” Minerva said in a comforting tone.

“I don’t know where my mother is.” Hoodwink said. “I hope she is safe.”

Minerva rose, needing fresh air. She went towards the balcony. She peered through the window, looking down. She gasped.

Brimstone winced.

“Ponyville is burning. I can see it from here.” Minerva said, her voice small and scared. She looked down at town, far below Canterlot. A lurid orange glow rose into the night.

“No!” Ivy begged. “The other Elements. Celestia and Luna are gone. Where are the guard?”

“I dunno, I can’t see anything like that. Just the orange glow.” Minerva said, her voice almost a sob.

Ivy squealed in panic and frustration, writhing in Brimstone’s forelegs.

“Enough of this.” Hoodwink said, her voice oddly calm and collected. She rose to her feet. She cleared her throat, closed her eyes for a moment, composed herself, and then reopened her eyes. “Minerva. Can you get us to Ponyville through a door?”

“I don’t know.” Minerva said.

“Yes or no.” Hoodwink said, asserting control.

“Yes.” Minerva said, finding her confidence.

“Then we are going. On your hooves. Make ready. Ivy, Brimstone, no holding back. We’re going to do something.” Hoodwink said, her voice authoritative, and sounding very much like her mentor.

Minerva gathered her magic, concentrating.

“We are going to be in so much trouble. But I don’t care. I can’t sit here and do nothing.” Brimstone said, squeezing Ivy one last time before letting go.

“I don’t know where we’ll be popping out, but somewhere down in Ponyville.” Minerva said. “I’ve touched a door that I think is down there. Or in that direction.”

Ivy was on her claws, flexing, making ready, her face still stricken with sorrow. She opened her mouth, flexing her jaw, revealing her teeth.

“I don’t know how much use I’ll be. I don’t want to gas ponies.” Brimstone said, worried. “I can try to summon up sneeze gas or sleeping gas. I really hope I don’t have an accident.”

“You won’t.” Hoodwink said, her voice confident. “You will do as I instruct. And I am instructing you to remain calm and in control of your senses Brimstone.”

Brimstone nodded.

“Are we really going to do this?” Minerva said, her horn glowing with a bright silver light.

Her companions nodded.

“Then let’s go.” Minerva said, touching her horn to the doorframe of the balcony door.

Ivy stepped through the door first, being the most suited for dealing with any surprises. She stepped through the glowing doorframe, feeling her skin tingle, an odd feeling in her claws and teeth.

And found herself in a place oddly familiar. She heard shouting. Angry shouts. She smelled smoke. There was a dull roar and crackle coming from somewhere. She looked around, feeling Hoodwink shove her forward, Ivy struggled to get her bearings.

She had stepped out of Canterlot and into the Apple family home.

And it was burning.

Ivy rushed forward, heaving voices, shouts outside. The room was filled with smoke. She had just stepped out of a closet. More smoke trailed into the room from under the door. Her companions emerged behind her.

“Apple farm.” Ivy said. “Trouble. My aunt is in trouble. Let’s go.”

Ivy dared not open the door. She looked at the window. She scurried over and lifted it with a claw. The angry shouting grew louder. She heard familiar voices. She crawled out the window and out on to the roof. She heard hooves clattering on the roof behind her. She looked around, peering into the darkness, and saw figures over by the barn. A group of unicorns stood in a half circle around a strange shape blocking the barn door.

“You come to my home.” A familiar voice said, but somehow very strange and different. “You threaten my family. My friends. You threaten everything I hold dear.” The voice was full of malice and rage. Ivy looked down into the yard and saw several dead unicorns.

No, not unicorns. Before her eyes, one changed. Winking with a green light, becoming insectoid.

“Last warning…” The familiar but strange voice said.

A massive gout of fire filled the night, the flames burning pink and white. The air filled with cries. Flames crackled.

“HOW DARE YOU!” A voice bellowed over the flames.

Ivy knew that voice. She lept from the roof, gliding to the ground, coming down in a rough landing. Half of the group was engulfed in flames, the other half surged forward, pressing their advantage. Ivy moved, quickly, her claws tearing at the ground.

She lept at one of figures, catching it off guard. She landed on its back, sinking in her talons, and kicking and shredding with her hind legs. Her claws tore through a chitinous shell with ease, the illusion vanishing. It collapsed under her.

Ivy stood there, standing over her kill, her chest heaving. She saw her father staring at her. Nothing moved around them.

“Sprout?” Discord said, his voice suddenly more familiar. He was slightly bloodied in a few spots, but seemed mostly okay. “How?” He said, unable to say anything else out of surprise. His claws were covered in green goo.

Ivy hugged her father, coiling around him, both of them entwining in a way that only draconic entities could. She squeezed, tears falling, her claws still covered in green ichor. The barn door opened. Faces peered out. Ivy felt herself being tackled roughly by a yellow blur. The family clung to one another for a long time.

Eventually, she pulled away from them. “I can’t stay.” She said.

“I know.” Fluttershy said. Discord nodded. “I want you to stay so bad. I don’t want to let you go. But you are here, somehow, and if you made it here, you clearly have work to do. Please stay safe Ivy. I can’t lose you.” Fluttershy begged.

Ivy nodded. All around her fearful faces loomed, faces she knew. Friends. Family. Her hoard. Applejack was in the barn, squirming, looking at her, Applejack’s face full of pride and fear.

Ivy’s companions stood by, having made it off of the roof.

“We’ll tell ponies to come here. Keep them safe father.” Ivy said.

“Oh, I plan to.” Discord said. “I’m without magic, but I am far from helpless. Sprout, if you don’t stay safe, you and I will have words. Lots of words. Of the unpleasant variety. Now go on, go out there, wreak havoc, cause chaos, show them what you are made of.

A round of tearful goodbyes were said and the four companions headed off to Ponyville, nopony actually wanting to let them go. Many of the Apples wanted to hold them back, keep them safe.

A brief while later…

As they approached the town, the companions could only gasp in horror. Behind them, Sweet Apple Acres burned, the farmhouse now completely engulfed, and before them, much of Ponyville was burning. Overhead were furious aerial battles between guards and changelings.

Minerva raised her spell mirror, suddenly covered in a shimmering soap bubble. Brimstone stood near Ivy. Hoodwink moved ahead slightly. “We stay together this time.” Hoodwink commanded. The companions nodded.

Ahead of them was a mint green unicorn having it out with a few changelings.

“Lyra!” Ivy cried, moving forward. She whipped her body around, pointing her backside at the bugs. Her tail coiled at the tip, becoming a handy targeting reticle. Ivy took careful aim…

And blasted the bugs with a purple blue inferno that shot forth from her backside. Flames crackled. There was an odd hissing screech. A loud “SKREE!” sound. The blazing changelings ran around in a circle, dying, writhing in agony.

Minerva surged forward, her horn glowing…

Chapter 4

“Minerva?” Ivy said, worried.

Minerva shook her head slightly. “Sorry Ivy. I don’t know what came over me.”

Ivy carefully lowered Minerva to the ground, and then Brimstone.

“You seemed troubled.” Ivy said.

“I think we all are sometimes.” Minerva said. “Given everything that has happened.”

“I know something that will make you feel better.” Ivy said. “Come on. I’ll show you.”

Ivy dropped to the ground, her long sinuous body arched, a proud look on her face. She strode forward, towards her home, climbing up the living treehouse, urging Minerva onward with her tail.

Minerva had to take time to climb the steps. She hurried upward, watching a fitful Ivy, whose body writhed impatiently. Her hooves clopping on the wooden steps. She finally reached a door, and Ivy urged her inwards.

Minerva stepped into Ivy’s home, the central chambers, Ivy slithering past her slinkily and calling her forward. Minerva stepped into Ivy and Brimstone’s bedroom.

In the corner was a wrought iron brazier. In the dish there was a pillow. On the pillow, three eggs sat. Ivy touched each one gently with a claw. “One, two, three. Three eggs.” Ivy counted, clinging to the wall, her long body draped around the items in the room.

Minerva gasped. She turned to Brimstone. “You are the bravest stallion I know.” She said.

“What?” Brimstone asked, caught off guard.

“You… You and Ivy have been busy. Very busy. And you have to be brave or crazy or just crazy brave to have done what you did to make those eggs.” Minerva smiled. “Fire comes out of that end.”

Brimstone blushed furiously. Ivy turned and giggled. “I laid the last one three nights ago. Every two nights, one came. This is why I’ve asked everypony to come here.”

Minerva sat down in a chair, looking at the eggs, her eyes wide with wonder. “Brimstone, you are going to be a father.”

Brimstone’s blush intensified. “It was a lot of fun making those eggs.” Brimstone said in a hushed whisper.

“I could imagine.” Minerva said with a wink.

Ivy tittered, still clinging to the wall.

“Ivy and I have been dancing around the issue for a long time. She had a cycle not too long ago. We talked. And decided that it was the right time. Ivy has been caring for all of those other foals, and providing for them, and she really wanted something of her own to cuddle. Not that it matters. Ivy cuddles anything.” Brimstone said with a sly grin.

“Brimstone and I spent a lot of time practicing so when my cycle came, we knew just what to do.” Ivy giggled. “All that practice paid off. Those eggs are live. They’re warm. Almost hot enough to burn you.”

Minerva felt herself blushing. “I am so happy for both of you.” She said.

The eggs were metallic. Smooth. Perfect. Flecks of glittering gems encrusted the shells. On a shelf were several false eggs, all sitting on a pillow, guarded by two dolls. A yellow flannel pegasus and a stuffed draconequus.

Author's Note:

Well, there it is. First chapter. I hope I didn't leave behind too many mistakes.

Some feedback might be nice. Or helpful corrections. Whatever.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy it. A lot of work has gone into this.

Be kind.