• Published 8th Apr 2014
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Shadow's Enigma - Note Sketch

With his dark past heavy on his mind, Sombra is put to the test as he begins a reformation process. Though his mind is no longer crowded with the influence of dark magic, his heart is none the lighter. Let the test begin.

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14. A Cursed Tome

If there is one upside to being an incarnate of darkness, it is the quick regeneration of cells in the body. Sombra had an quick healing factor in his system which seemed to have been established some time early in his mastery of the dark arts. It wasn't perfect, but definitely there. As such, Sombra can heal from most injuries as long as he had enough dark energy at his disposal. It was because of this that he was able to survive the rather painful blast during the events of his return when Twilight and her friends aided in the retrieval of the crystal heart.

That being said, the healing factor in his body had taken affect and was now 'cleansing' his system from the alcohol he had ingested only moments prior. Good thing about this: no headaches and he can't drink himself to death. Bad things: he can't get drunk for very long, and when he does, it is only after an enormous amounts of alcohol.

Once more Sombra found himself sighing as he walked down the dark streets of Ponyville. The last few hours, though blurred, were still fresh in his memory and he soon began to regret some f the things he said. Not that they weren't true, but rather because now he couldn't deny them without seeming like a liar. He sighed again as he opened the front door to the library, but as he did his nostrils were filled with the same dreadful scent from before.

"It's about time you got home!" Spike said as he jumped out. By the looks of it he had been doing some late night work at a desk lit by a single candle as he waited for him to return.

"My apologies." Sombra responded as he walked in, the scent lingering and even intensifying still.

"Yeah yeah, I was beginning to think you ran away, lucky I didn't call Twilight to get here and look for you."

"Such a pity." Sombra said as he now came to recognize the familiar horrid smell. Slowly, he walked over to the armor and cape that he had neatly folded at the very beginning of the morning when Rarity had given him his new outfit. He undress and began to put it back on.

"Why are you putting your old outfit back on?"

"I feel more comfortable in it, say, do you still want to know what it was I did during the Changeling War?"

"Of course! We need that information to combat the changelings attacking ponies in Canterlot!"

Taking his time, Sombra began to tell a story as his dressed himself in his old king's attire. "I was not welcomed as a citizen when I first arrived at the Crystal Empire, in fact, I was looked at as an enemy by most ponies because I could have been a changeling spy trying to infiltrate the empire."

"I see, so how'd you gain their trust and end up becoming king?"

"Uh uh uh, you're getting ahead of yourself Spike."


"I can help! You've got to believe me!" Sombra shouted at the council of crystal ponies. He was currently interrupting a private meeting where they discussed the plans for their fight against the changelings.

"Silence! First you endanger the secrets of the council then you propose impossible ideas. Have you gone mad?!"

"I'm a unicorn, I can use magic, I can find a spell that can allow me help fight them off, but I need access to your royal library, I am sure you have something that can help me help you."

"Our royal library?!" A crystal mare form the council shouted. "You really have gone mad. You are barely in our good graces so we allowed you to stay, but what makes you think we'll allow a foreigner to read our ancient documents?! Perhaps you are a spy after all. Guards, take him away!"

"No! You've got to believe me!"

Sombra was cast out and pushed into streets where he landed rather ungracefully at the hooves of a crystal mare.

"Told you not to go in there." She said before helping him up.

"I had to try Diane, they are fighting a losing war. I don't want the empire to fall, I want to play my part and help. I am sure that with the right spell I can turn this around."

Diane sighed as she looked at the stallion up and down. He was certainly roughed up, but that didn't seem to bother him at all. He always did have quite the head strong personality, one of his best qualities, but also one of the qualities that got him into trouble the most...and often, her too.

"So you need access to the royal library? Are you sure you can find what you're looking for in there?"

"Given a few hours, yes." Sombra said as he noticed a rather sly smile upon his friend's face. "Why?..."

"I'll give you one hour, take it or leave it."


"So she sneaked you into the library?" Spike asked, the candle that was currently the only thing lighting the room flickers as the open window sent a small gust of wind in.

"She did."

"So did you find the spell you were looking for?"

"I didn't, unfortunately."


A soft grunt was heard as Diane helped hold Sombra up as he reached into a castle window. Once inside, Sombra used his magic to levitate her in. They waited behind the spacious curtains until the guard made his rounds. Once he passed, they moved quickly. Diane was quick to work her way around the castle. Being a librarian who often helped her sister in the royal library, she was all too familiar with the layout and rounds the guards took.

It did not take long until the reached the locked doors of the library. As agile as she was, Diane still had a hard time trying to get the lock open. The key was under high protection and in constant watch, so she had very little time to duplicate one, it was up to the good old picks to help unlock the door. Finally, after some the conflict with the small piece of iron, the lock opened and they quickly went into the library. Sombra was left in awe as he glanced around the enormous amounts of books shelved stories high.

Diane knocked on his skull a few times to bring him back to reality. "Hello? Just an hour remember? The old tomes are kept in the top shelf three hallways to the right. I'm guess you can find something there."

"Right, I'll get right on it."

"Good, I'll stay here and watch for trouble."

Sombra quickly made his way to his destination. It wasn't until he saw the huge shelf that he thoughts that perhaps he bit off more than he could chew, but this wasn't the time for second thoughts. It was now or never, and the latter was a rather scary thought. He quickly got to reading every tome he could get his hooves on. Wile he found everything fascinating, he had to fight the urge to read on when he knew that it did not contain the answers he needed. Thirty minutes past and soon he was beginning to lose hope that he would find something that could help him. Until a peculiar tome caught his eye.

He used his magic to levitate the odd book. The writing was in the old forgotten language that Diane had taught him. The same language that his name came from. He opened it, and though confused by what some of the words meant, he found it rather intriguing. It spoke a magic so powerful that it could bring out the strength from witin, but at the cost of one's physical form. It was a sort of binding contract that would grant one the ability to drain energy from those around him, making the pony stronger with each individual that opposed him.

His reading was disrupted by the sound of Diane's voice. "I am so so sorry sir..." Sombra peeked out and looked over to see a guard approaching Diane.

"Drat, we were found out." Sombra whispered to himself as he brought the tome close to him.

"Oh I know you're sorry alright, but not as sorry asyou'll be when I feast upon you." The guard laughed as he approached her. With a gasp, she soon realized what was going on.

"Don't tell me...you're a changeling?!"

"Bingo." The guard changed shape into it's insectoid form, quickly pouncing onto Diane. In a quick reaction, Sombra ran out, charging at it as he shot out small bolts of energy. Though they hit the changeling, it was mostly unfazed by the impact. It reacted with a green bolt of his own, one strong enough to propel Sombra all the way back onto a bookcase, causing it to fall over.

"Oh don't you worry, you're next." The changeling said as he began to creep close to Diane again who seemed helpless, her fear completely freezing her in place. Sombra heard her shout out in pain as her life was beginning to be drained out of her, his vision blurry form the impact, he looked around to find the tome from before.

"Heh...It's now or never..." Sombra whispered to himself as he used what magic he still possessed to open the tome and chant out the words of the contract, binding his body and mind to the forces he was yet to understand, but right now, he didn't care. He just wanted to have the strength to save Diane.

The changeling paused in his feeding as a bright green and purple light began to flood his vision. Sombra screamed out as he felt his body be torn apart and recreated with the dark matter materializing around him. Not wanting to stay around, the bug like creature began to retreat, but was quickly denied that luxury as Sombra raised his hoof, creating a wall of black crystal to block the door way. Finally, the contract had been sealed and Sombra now stood tall as purple flames burned from his eyes, his red irises complimented by the sickly green glow of his eyes.


"So that's how you got your power...So used that to turn the War around and beat the changelings?" Spike asked as he saw Sombra finish putting on his outfit, ending with the once proud crown he wore in the past.

"Not quite, sure the tome gave me the strength to defeat the changelings, but all the power in the world means nothing if you can't hit your target." Sombra said as he walked closer to the dragon, the wind finally blew hard enough to blow out the candle. The only lighting was that of the moon through the window that softly illuminated Sombra's face.

"Oh ok...so what did you do to win?"

"I threw myself into the nest, I fought them for days on end until I managed to do it."

"Do what? Beat them all?!"

"No...engrave their smell into my memory. I was sent on the task to infiltrate their base with a squad to find a way to expose them. Once done, Code 1-F would be successful." Sombra said before firing a dark energy bolt at the small dragon. The blast sent the small reptile flying back and breaking down a wall as smoke and debris flew everywhere. "All creatures have a scent to them, and those that live in a hive tend to share a scent. Changelings have a rather dreadful scent to them, you were easy to find once you isolated yourself to me."

From the smoke that now covered a small portion of the library, a tall changeling emerged. "I see, so that's how you did it. You were literally able to sniff us out. It's a pity though, I planned to stay hidden for much longer than this. I'm surprised you managed to find me out so fast, but I suppose I should expect nothing less than Sombra, the king of the Crystal Empire."

"Ex King, and by the looks of it, you're Chrysalis, the Changeling Queen that attacked Canterlot a few months back. Boy does Sparkle know how to get herself involved with the worst of ponies." Sombra joked as he stared off to opponent.

"Don't bluff, I know that you've been weak lately, you've no dark magic to drain from these ponies. You've made the mistake to get on their good side and now no pony fears you, you must have wasted a great deal of energy with that one blast alone."

"That maybe so, so what do you intend to do Chrysalis?"

"What any good wife should do, take revenge for the death of their husband!" She said as she flew forward. Sombra mimicked her, but before they clashed, he transformed into a smoke cloud, passing right through her and flying out of the now huge gaping hole in the wall.

Chrysalis was right, he did not have the energy to fight, he needed to escape and get some power, any little bit would help, and he knew exactly where to go. Sombra's smoke changed course as he gambled on the thought of whether a pony would be home right now...a rather easily startled mare that could perhaps change the tide of the fight.

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