• Published 1st Apr 2014
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Puppets of Tragedy - Iridescence T Wind

We all know the story, human from earth goes to Equestria from buying a mystical prop from a mysterious unnamed salesman to attend Comicon. But what you didn't expect was the prop to be a puppeteers crafting kit.

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Trees and Statues

Braving the Everfree forest was possibly both the stupidest and at the same time, wisest course of action for me to take. Something I had to remind myself constantly as these damned wooden mutts kept reforming and attacking me. It was getting more and more frustrating as wooden puppets wrestled masses of non unified twigs, that were acting similarly to that of a wooden tornado as they raked and clawed their ways into my puppets, pinning each one I made with two or three of their own. I was in the deeper woods and foolishly, I had tried going alone.

Yet another set of howls, the third set signifying yet another incoming pack of wooden mongrels that was driving me to my last nerve, the temptations just to set the forest aflame was growing every second, but I withheld the urge. It was too cluttered, and the last thing I needed was a forest fire burning out of control to draw attention to myself.

That, however, didn't mean I was left with no options. I grit my teeth as I scrambled away from yet another set of hungry fangs and claws, my long coat already torn in several places, and it was only pure luck that I hadn't suffered worse, I threw a card between me and the wolf, expanding it and running up it. It was clear to me that there was no hope in defeating every single timber wolf to cross my path. I'd be here all day and make no progress!

I flicked out cards left and right, cutting wooden heads cleanly in two, however whatever magic drove these beasts refused to let them die as the line failed to be anything but that on their bodies. It was truly wondrous to be able to use tools and magic of characters I've only ever got to watch as a kid growing up, that said however, these timber wolves were making hard to not force me to burn down part of the forest. That and they were surrounding me. Cursing, I set out several cards ahead of me, leaping from one to the other as I ran to get myself airborne.

There was a clash of wood under me as the wolves collided with each other and I couldn't help but grin like a smug jerk as I slowed down and peered between cards that I was on. Yep, they were still down there, and circling by the looks of it. I trudged onwards, towards the distant ruins. Each card costed some effort on my part, but it was sustainable as long as I moved one card at a time and kept walking. While moving the card with me on it would be preferable, my track record for skate boarding was terrible.

My mind still had mental scarring from my lack of balance on those damned wheeled contraptions.

the growling and howling below realerted me to my current situation, but it was for naught, I couldn't get rid of these wooden wolves without risk to setting the forest itself ablaze, if I recalled correctly, they were clever creatures who could rebuild themselves from the trees around them, which made fighting them in a forest rather daunting task for someone who had to build their own powers like myself. I'd have to hope that the ruined castle of the two sisters would be sparse of wood that they could use to rebuild. Though at least from the air, I had a lot less to worry about.

Or so I thought.

I barely regained my footing as a log rammed my card from underneath, toppling me over to the point where I had to fall onto another card and roll onto another a few feet down. Looking down I saw that the timberwolves were far from done messing with me, they had combined into a much much larger wolf and were spitting logs out of its mouth like ammunition. I sent a card into its mouth, slicing through some of the other incoming chunks of wood and into its throat. Causing it to cough and gag as wood started to jam itself against the obstruction. Sure I lost a card in the process, but it was worth it to see the large beast cough itself to pieces.

Though as I kept moving it didn't stay like that for long. The normal sized timberwolves were reconstructing themselves out of the pieces of the larger, and already they were resuming chase. It was half an hour of cat and mouse before I reached the large chasm separating the dark crumbling spires of the sisters castle. But luckily for me it seemed, the bridge was out again. meaning while I could cross, the timberwolves had no such luck with a gap far too wide for them to jump.

The castle itself was massive, even in its ruined state. While Canterlot's castle might of been impressive in its stature and as radiant as Celestia, the castle of two sisters must of been much much bigger at some point, and its darker stones made me suspect that it was once designed after princess Luna, or nightmare moon instead. Though in its crumbling state, Its sheer size probably had been reduced to its most basic flooring, and probably, as I was here, its basement.

The smell of mold and fungus welcomed me as I entered the castle, rugs and tapestries worn down by both the sun and sporadic weather of the everfree forest. I was surprised by the lack of actual wildlife within its halls. I would of expected at least some sort of monster or beast to have taken up residence within the crumbling ruins, but it was just that, ruins. No biological economy to keep such a thing within a dead stone hall fortress that composed the castle of the two sisters. Though the sheer size of what remained of the castle was still nothing to be overlooked. If anything I could probably spend days if not weeks within the castle and still not of explored every room.

But it wasn't every room that I needed to explore, just the basement, which meant finding a way down there. Down meant either finding a staircase, or the more likely collasped portion of flooring that lead to below. But it wasn't just there I should explore, that I took note of as I passed by the castles library, full of growing mold and dusty old books. I'd try to spend some time finding something of use later, considering the sheer quantity of tomes and ancient knowledge that would be there if any of it was still readable. But first things first.

The Ork had said that there was something in the basement, but my mind wandered to that point. Whatever had happened, I had met an Ork from the warhammer 40k universe, and was dwelling in a universe made originally for little girls as an alternate reality. The scope of the concept was shocking, really, I had to wonder what the others would think of this situation, if my friends were worried about my disappearance or what they would think about it. But if things like my little pony resulted in a universe like this, wouldn't that mean that all fictional universes were real to some extent? My brain hurt at that.

It took an hour to find the stairway down, and half an hour to clear away the rubble that had collected on it after a probable thousand years of careless abandon. From my base I had to light the way up with portal technology in order to traverse the otherwise pitch black dungeon with aperture brand work lights as I continued downward. The most immediately noticable thing was that a large number of statues, similar to those that decorated the gardens of Canterlot, dwelled here, though if they had been created by hoof, petrified by a cockatrice, or the elements of harmony doing this, I did not know. All I did know was that they all had various expressions of sheer horror and anguish plastered onto their faces. A chill was crawling up my spine, and with it, my paranoia. Cards that earlier allowed me to traverse the sky became barriers, circling around me as I trodded through puddles of rain water that had leaked in from above.

I had entered a chamber, one large enough to carry the largest of blimps back home if it had been above ground. But it wasn't, and instead of a blimp, several layers of platforms decorated either side of the large Colosseum, filled with countless statues. In the center dwelled a large pile of molted skin and the stench of decay. Something had died here recently, and from the looks of it, a giant snake. Across the room I could see a faint doorway, barely visible in the ever present gloom, and it took two shots to convene a portal across the distance. It lead to a study, to my surprise, a small room with merely a desk and rotted leather chair. Only two shelves worth of books decorated above the ancient table, and with this, a single statue of a bearded stallion lay, frozen in mid sentence as yet another stone statue. I gently pulled the book away from the statue, and flipped back a few pages to find that the incomplete chapter was on petrification. Quietly I leaned forward and read into its entries.

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