• 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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15. Fight For Your Loved Ones

Exhausted, Sombra quickly landed his smoke form on the found not too far away from Fluttershy's cottage. Sweat began to drip from his forehead as he made his way to her front door. He was about to knock when a small whiff of the Changeling scent began to come to him. He didn't have the time or luxury to be a gentle colt. Using his magic, he unlocked the door from the inside and he made his way in.

Not wasting time, we walked around looking for the mare's bedroom. The cottage was relatively small, so that took little time, which was good as the changeling scent was getting stronger.As he reached for the door, a sudden sense of intrusiveness be fell him. Just bursting into a mares bedroom was definitely not something he was used to doing, and even earlier with Pinkie he stood outside her window until she had asked him to come in. his was a rather awkward situation he was in. But as his hesitation grew, so did the strength of the scent.

"To Tartarus with it..." Sombra said as he slammed the door open. "Fluttershy?! You in here?"

In a loud, rather cute sounding scream, Fluttershy, who had been peacefully asleep jolt up as she raised her blankets over her face in reflex. Instantly the stallion felt horrible about what he had done, but time was running out.

"My apologies, but there is something I require of you."

"S-Sombra?..." Fluttershy asked as she peeked over the cover. As they made eye contact, a bright blush spread across Fluttershy's face. "Something you need from....me? Oh no! I-I-I-I-I'm not ready for that."

"What?" Sombra asked as he tried to process her argument. "No! Why does every mare tonight think that?!"

"O-Oh..." She said as she tried to calm her heart that felt like it was ready to explode.

"I need you to come with me." Sombra said, regaining his composure and looking out of her window.

"Where to?" She said as she got out of bed, hesitant to get close to him.

"Evidently...not very far."

"King Sombra! Come out and play, or have you degraded to running and hiding?" Chrysalis taunted from outside the cottage.

"Is that Chrysalis?"


"What is she doing here?..." Fluttershy asked as she began to tremble from the Changeling's sudden appearance.

"Looking for revenge on behalf of her husband." Sombra responded as his red irises sparked, his eyes igniting from what could be called a breath of fresh air for him. He was right in coming here, the mare as beginning to provide the energy he needed. As he glanced down at her, he still could not comprehend how this was happening. She was clearly afraid of Chrysalis, not him. Could it be that he can drain fear from anyone no matter who or what they are afraid of?


"Lookie what I found!" Shinning shouted joyfully as he brought out a large portrait of Sombra. It was in rather good condition, but considering the Crystal Empire was at a stand still for a thousand years, perhaps it didn't mean too much.

The alicorns turned to the stallion who brought in the unusually large painting. Their reactions were mixed as they saw just a...docile portrait of the old king.

"Where did you find that?" Twilight asked as she looked it over.

"Behind some shelves, it's almost like it was hidden away."

"That's because it was." Agatha interrupted as she walked over to the old painting. "Goodness, I had forgot I put it back there. He is rather dashing isn't he?"

Ignoring the question, Twilight stepped in to ask a question of her own. "Why did you hide it? Did you plan on selling it or something?"

"No, Sombra had gone in a strange frenzy one night, ripping apart portraits of his out of some sort of nightmare rage."

"Is that right?" Cadence said as she too come close to inspect it. "Look, Sombra's horn is spiral, like ours. Howcome its red and spiky now?"

"Oh, that's because this was painted early in his years as a soldier. He had not been out to the field and had not used his magic."

"His horn mutated with the use of his magic?" Twilight asked alarmed as she reached up to grab her own horn. Had she known dark magic had that effect, she probably wouldn't have had her little experiment the previous day.

"No, dark magic doesn't mutate your horn silly." Agatha said with a smile. "When I asked Sombra about it he said it was a scar."

"A scar? How exactly?"

"Well, let me ask you something. When you fire spells from your horn rapidly, doesn't it even start to burn or heat up?"

Twilight thought back at all the times she had indeed gone over her limit and felt her horn burn. "Yes, a few times."

"Well as Sombra once told me, unicorns are suppose to stop once the burning begins or it can have bad results, but in the battle field one doesn't have the luxury to give their horn a break. So after many battles, his horn was stained red, and since he continued to fire spells from his horn when hot, it was bent backwards into what you see today. I must say though, it added to his scare factor when fighting the changelings, so it was more of a benefit in the long run for him."

Agatha finished her small lesson and quickly got back to work, this time it was putting up all the files and books the royalty had finished going though. As the crystal pony left, Twilight glanced over at her older brother who was still admiring the portrait and Cadence who was heading back to the table.

"Sombra has been through a lot huh?" She quietly admitted as Cadence passed her.

"It seems so, and by the stack of files and books, we haven't seen the half of it. I suppose that all in all, he could have turned out a whole lot worse don't you think?"

"Yeah. This mare, Diane. I wonder if it's just a coincidence that she has the same name as Pinkie's full name, and that she's the one in charge of reforming him."

"Dunno, but what I do know, is that he is one brave stallion." Cadence said as she read over the battles he led alone. Often outnumbered in the hundreds and still coming out victorious, though severely injured in the process.


With Fluttershy upon his back, Sombra galloped out of the window as the cottage was bombarded by Crysalis's magic bolts. A scream was heard as the mare witness the destruction of her home, her critters running out to get to safety. Landing a little lopsided, Sombra continues to run out into the forest as more screams are heard, Fluttershy scared out of her mind, which was exactly what Sombra wanted. His eyes erupted with purple flames as he continued to drain his magic from her.

"I could get used to this." He said to himself as he continued to exploit this loophole in his magic.

"I could not!" Fluttershy said as she tightly wrapped her arms around his neck to try to keep from falling off.

As expected, Chrysalis was on the chase, her ability to both fly and attack with magic was a big disadvantage, but having fought changelings almost on a regular basis, this was something Sombra knew how to deal with. Keeping as out of sight as he could, he continued to gallop through the forest, jumping over obstacles as necessary, sometimes even when not needed if only to scare Fluttershy and increase his magic. He couldn't do much more than that. He was not strong enough to engage the queen, all he needed was to buy some time.

As the fight crept further and further away, Angel Bunny crawled out from the rubble of the cottage. Already in a bad mood from being woken up, he was even more angry from having his home collapse on him. He stumped around a bit before digging through the debris and finding the note Fluttershy had given him. He was to deliver it to Pinkie as soon as he could, and had it been any other day, he would have ignored the request, but right now, he was angry. And an angry Angel Bunny is not a bunny to mess with. That bug was going to get her's, and she was going to get it soon.

"Get back here and fight!" Chrysalis shouted as she searched for the odd duo from the sky, hiding in the shade of the trees was the only reason they hadn't been blown to pieces. "Well if you won't come out of hiding, I'll just leave nothing for you to hide behind!" She shouted as she charged up a large energy bolt to destroy the trees. As she paused to power her attack, Sombra quickly propelled himself up with a crystal pillar, physically attacking her before she could launch her blast. Knocking her off balance, Sombra twisted in mid air to land on a newly created pillar to stand meters in the air, facing off against Chrysalis.

"Sorry, but Fluttershy says the forest is important for the animals. I can't have you destroying it."

"Ha, you make jokes as you stare into your own death."

"Am I?" He asked as he powered a blast of his own, a move mimicked by the changeling and as the beams of energy clashed, Fluttershy curled up near the base of a tree, left behind for safe keeping.


"Say Agatha?" Twilight asked as she lifted her gaze from the file she was reading. "What's this about the confirmed death of the leader of the Changelings?"

"Oh that? That was the final nail on the coffin for the Changeling War. Sombra killed their leader and the changelings had no choice but to retreat into the abyss of the blizzard lands, never to come back to the Empire since."

"That can't be right." Cadence said as she stood up to read Twilight's file. "Their leader interrupted our wedding a few months back, maybe Sombra didn't kill her after all."

"I believe you're talking about Queen Chrysalis, correct?"


"The Changeling Sombra killed to end the war was the Changeling King, Dycus."

Suddenly interested in the topic, Shining jumped in to read the file as well, the married couple basically crushing Twilight as they read. After a moment of being pushed down, the younger alicorn teleported away, leaving Cadence and Shinning to fall.

"So the Changelings had a king?" Twilight asked as she dusted her shoulder off. "Don't you think Chrysalis would want revenge on the empire? Do you think perhaps that is why they are attacking again?"

"I doubt it Twily." Shinning said as she helped his wife get up. The empire has been back for a while now, they would have attacked us long ago if revenge was their motive. Not to mention that it doesn't make sense to attack ponies in Canterlot to get back at us all the way out here."

"Yeah, there isn't anything that might have provoked them to attack now of all times." Cadence added.

"No...nothing except..." Twilight said as she began to ponder on the matter and how she had an itching suspicion it all correlated some how. "Shinning quick! Did any pony know of Sombra's return?"

"No, I told you, Celestia wanted it to remain on low key."

"Except that it wasn't kept in low key for very long! The very next day that Sombra came to Ponyville he ended up rescuing the town from an Ursa Major, it was big news all over Equestria!"

"What are you getting at, that the changelings found out about Sombra and wanted to take revenge on him specifically?"

"Doesn't it make sense? He was the one that killed their king, and they only attacked when he suddenly made the news about his big return."

"Okay." Shinning said as he tried to understand Twilight's point of view. "So why did they attack Canterlot instead of Ponyille where he is staying?"

"Because they knew that we didn't know anything about them, they knew that we'd want to get help from the Crystal Empire who had a history with changelings, and they knew they'd send me since Canterlot was the changeling hotspot so neither Luna nor Celestia could go... leaving Ponyville unprotected!" Twilight said as she began to realize their plan. "I've got to go!" She shouted as she ran off, heading straight to the train station while praying that she was wrong. Unfortunately, she wasn't.


Sombra jumped off his crystal pillar to avoid a bolt of magic. Though he managed to escape getting damaged, the pillar broke apart, small pieces began to fall down towards where Fluttershy was hiding. In a quick attempt to save her, he launched a bolt of dark energy at the crystals, dissipating them while simultaneously erecting another crystal pillar for him to land on.

"I must say, you are quite the agile fighter." Chrysalis said, causing them to pause their combat.

"I didn't win the war with just standing around."

"That is correct, but you also didn't win the war by running in circles. It is obvious that you are back at some percentage of power, how'd you do it? Does it have to do with the mare you kidnapped? Did you scare her so badly that she gave you the power you needed?"

"Please, I am a gentlecolt, I would never lay a hoof on a mare like that, unlike some other king i know of!" Sombra shouted as he launched himself forward from the pillar. Taking the bait, Chrysalis sennt a blast of energy towards him, but Sombra quickly changes form into a smoke cloud to pass right through her attack. The black tar like air continued forward until passing the changeling as well; once behind her, Sombra changed back and sent a blast of his own her way.

The attack made contact, sending her spiraling down. Though it seemed like a good move at first, he had not accounted that Chrysalis was right over Fluttershy.

"Horse apples..." He said before pulling up a pillar and then jumping down to where the pegasus was.

Chrysalis hit the ground hard, but it wasn't enough to keep her off her hooves for long. As she stood, what laid before her was a very terrified Fluttershy. "So that's where you went off to."

Without allowing for her to get much closer, Sombra landed between the two as the ground beneath him cracked. "That's far enough." Having the changeling queen so close only frightened Fluttershy further causing Sombra's flames to combust further.

"So she's your power source? That explains a lot." Chrysalis said as she flew up and sent an energy bolt from her rigged horn at Fluttershy. In response, Sombra brought up a crystal wall to shield her, but he knew that they were in a very bad situation.


Pinkie was sound asleep in her fluffy bed. Her peaceful sleep only interrupted by small mumbles to herself every now and again. "Oh Sombrie, I can't eat any more cupcakes..."

Angel Bunny had just climbed in through her window and panted slightly as he tried to recover his energy.

"Noo~" Pinkie continued to dream. "I'm too full to go swimming, I'll get a tummy ache silly!"

As he heard her mumbles an annoyed expression spread across his face followed by thumping with his foot while his arms crossed. The sound did nothing to wake her up, but he wasn't going to wait around until she did. Angel quickly jumped onto her bed and ran up to her pillow where he nudged at her head. That, unfortunately, did not wake her either.

"Oh Sombrie!" She giggled in her sleep as she spoke. "I thought you said you didn't like hugs."

Angel become even more annoyed with the pink mare, and without second thinking his next action, he kicked the lamp next to the bed, knocking it over and breaking it. That sharp noise did wake Pinkie as she sat up straight in a small scream.

"Ah! Who's there?" She asked as she looked around her room, but the sound of thumping caught her attention. "Oh hi Angel, what are you doing here?" At once the rabbit gave her the note had been carrying around and she quickly read it to herself.

"'Look for Spike, send help. Sombra and Fluttershy.' Oh no! What happened?!" She asked Angel. The rabbit began to gesture the events that took place as he remembered them, and though it was a little exaggerated, Pinkie somehow managed to understand him. "But what was Sombra doing at Fluttershy's cottage?" To this Angel simply shrugged. Though she wanted to know, there wasn't any time. She quickly jumped out of bed and ran to the library.


Fluttershy flew up past the tree tops to escape the volley of attack Chrysalis was sending her way. Had Sombra not summon out crystal pillars to protect her, she would not have been unharmed. As the barrage come to a halt, Fluttershy looked down as she tried to make out what was going on. A sudden tumble of a tree only made her mind make the worst of assumptions. Her fears came true as Sombra launched himself from the broken tree slightly hurt from the impact. Once in the air he raised a pillar to stand on.

"Plan B, stay close to me and I'll keep you safe."

"O-Okay..but why don't I just go get help?"

"Because I need you." Sombra responded quickly. This made Fluttershy freeze on the spot.

"Need me?"

"Yes, it is thanks to you that I can fight right now. I know it might seem a little selfish of me, but I need you present so I may have the strength to combat her, at least until Pinkamena arrives with help."

"Okay, I'll do my best!" Fluttershy said as she looked over at the stallion that was basically telling her that he'd keep her safe against her attacker. It was as if was cut from a romance novel, but the romanticized scene soon disappeared as Chrysalis flew up at high speeds shooting bolts from her horn at them. Sombra reacted quickly, expanding the top of the pillar into a platform, the blasts of magic were easily blocked, but it also meant they lost sight of their opponent.

"Over here!" Chrysalis screamed as she emerged from behind them. Sombra's eyes widened as he saw the surprised attack directed at Fluttershy. The platform exploded from the impact of the attack. From the very top, a figure was sent flying downward.

Pinkie, who had just made it to the library to find a giant hole on the side heard a huge explosion in the distance. "Sombrie?" She asked out before taking a step towards where the sound came from.

A hard landing was an understatement for Sombra who had jumped between the attack and Fluttershy. He had grabbed a hold of her, pulling her with him down with him. The mare slowly opened her eyes to see she was in Sombra's arms, a stallion who seemed very badly hurt.

"Oh my goodness! Are you okay?!"

In reaction to her worry, Sombra's eyes erupted in flames, waking him up. "Y-Yes..." He managed to say as he slowly stood up. This was it...though it took far too long, he was finally back at one-hundred percent of his magic power. "In fact, I think I am doing great. Stay here." He said as his eyes turned sickly green as he began to access his full potential, hopefully his body could handle it.

Using a crystal pillar to throw himself up into the air, he raised more in strategic places so he could jump from one to another until he came back face to face to Chrysalis.

"I'm surprised you can still stand." She taunted as she looked over at his battered gear. His armor cracked in several place and his cape ripped, he did not look all that well.

"I am much more sturdy than you take me for." He said as he raised dozens more pillars around the area. An act that did not sit well with the changeling.

In an attempt to stop what he was planning, she rushed at him while firing bolts at him. Sombra raised a crystal wall in front of him, blocking her way, as she stopped to keep form crashing, Sombra had changed into his cloud of smoke to sneak around and reappeared behind her and blast her with a large blast of dark matter. A shout was heard from Chrysalis as she turned to face Sombra and in a counter attack, sent a bolt of energy of her own, but once again he shifted forms and her attack passed right through him. The black cloud maneuvered behind a crystal pillar as Chrysalis timed her attack for when he changed back, but it almost seemed like he had vanish.

Down below the tree tops Sombra changed back into his physical form. Having used the pillar as cover for him to retreat down without her notice, he quickly raised yet another pillar beneath him, propelling him up directly at Chrysalis, knocking her off balance and as she struggled in the air, he blasted her with his dark magic at point black range. The changeling queen slammed down into the ground, breaking the terrain and causing a huge hole.

Sombra used another blast to push himself back onto a pillar which he then lowered gently as he stepped close to Chrysalis to finished the fight. Coughing was heard as the dust began to clear at the center of the crater. But as he came close, he froze as he saw something from his past.

"Please...Sombra, don't hurt me." Diane pleaded from the center of the crater. Sombra knew it was a disguise. He knew Diane wasn't really in front of him, but he couldn't move. He commanded his limbs to move, to do anything at all, but it didn't listen to him.

"Sombra..." Diane said as she slowly made her way to him. He grit his teeth as he tried to force himself to react, but it was useless. Seeing Diane in front of him brought him to a state of disarray.

"Oh Sombra..." Diane said as her expression of pain became one of disturbed pleasure. "How lucky I am that you loved her so much." Chrysalis said as she shifted back into her true changeling form and hitting him with a blast of green energy that she had been charging up, but since Diane didn't have a horn, it did not show in her disguise.

Sombra was blow away by the blast. It was so strong that it leveled a large part of the forest with Sombra taking a beating with every tree he was blasted though. Fluttershy heard the loud sounds of destruction and quickly perked up. She hesitated slightly, but took flight in the direction it came from. Pinkie, who had already made her way into the forest heard the blast go off and she imminently became very worried as well.

"Well well well, looks like my husband was lacking in skill when he fought you. I must admit, you did put up a good fight, but you've grown soft. Seeing some pony from your past must have really done a number on you huh? The true tyrant of the Crystal Empire would not have fallen for such a rouse." Chrysalis shouted as she indulged herself in her assured victory over Sombra.

"He's not a tyrant anymore!" Pinkie cried out as she ran towards Sombra who remained unconscious.

"She's right! Sombra is kind and protects those that can't protect themselves!" Fluttershy joined in as she flew down next to Sombra as Pinkie reached his side. She shook him gently to try to wake him, but he didn't budge.

"How sentimental of you, but that is exactly why he is weak. That love and care drove him to his own demise!" Chrysalis said as she pointed her hoof at Sombra whom Pinkie was leaning up. As his body sat up, his crown broke in half as some blood began to drip down from his forehead. The changeling only laughed as she finally accomplished her revenge, her one thousand year task, she was in glee.

Sombra, began to come to, but only visually. He saw Pinkie and Fluttershy hold him as Chrysalis began to charge up another blast. The mare's words were muffled, as he tried to look around and find some clarity.

Don't give up just yet Sombra A voice in his head whispered.

W-Who are you? He tried to ask. A soft caring laugh from his past was all he managed to make out before his hearing began to come back.

"Please don't die!" Pinkie shouted as her tears began to trickle down on him. Fluttershy was no better off as she sat on the opposite side of Pinkie grasping his hoof.

"Please, I don't want to lose you!"

They are afraid that you're going to die Sombra. Are you really going to make them go through what you went through? The voice asked. They care about you, don't let them down Sombra.

"No..." Sombra managed to say in what seemed like a whisper. Chrysalis was just about done charging her final attack.

"Not yet..." Sombra said, now much louder, loud enough for the mare to hear him. They both stopped their crying as Sombra struggled to his hooves. His eyes erupted in large bursts of purple flames as his irises began to fade into the green of his eyes. Pinkie and Fluttershy's fear of his imminent death began to power him past his physical limit. Chrysalis fired her attack just as Sombra managed to stand up. "I won't die just yet!"

Another large cloud of smoke erupted from the ground as the attack made contact. Chrysalis laughed as she looked at what seemed like her absolute victory. But her laughed died down as she saw what seemed like red crystal. The strange wall disintegrated revealing the trio virtually unscathed.

"What? How is that possible!?" The changeling shouted out as she sent out a barrage of bolts at them. Sombra raised more red crystals to block, but once they retracted into the ground, he was gone, leaving behind Pinkie and Fluttershy who held a smile on their face at seeing Sombra be alright. "Where did he go?!"

"Over here." Sombra said as he appeared behind her. He had caught a ride with his pillars underground and bursted out from the rock and dirt below. As he raised red crystal spears to impale her with, Chrysalis quickly changed her appearance to that of Diane, stopping Sombra from continuing his assault.

That isn't me Sombra! Snap out of it! The voice in his head shouted, quickly bringing him back to reality just as Chrysalis sent her blast out. Sombra raised a series of red crystal walls positioned in a way for the blast to reflect off of them, and after circling around him, sent back at Chrysalis who did not get the chance to react.

The changeling was pushed back several meters as she landed on the ground in a loud crash. Sombra began to pant as he walked close to her who seemed immobile. They stared at one another as Sombra's irises faded back into sight.

"So what now? You kill me off too?!" Chrysalis asked aggressively. He truly wanted to just end it. Chrysalis had not hesitated to finish him off, so he was about to show her the same treatment.

Every living thing deserves to live... The voice rang in his head once again, causing Sombra to pause as his stoic expression leered down at his foe. Silence fell for several minutes as they locked eyes.

"No...I cannot condemn you for trying to take revenge on me. But know that I killed Dycus because he killed Diane and Fetch! I too deserved my revenge for their deaths."

"So why did you kill him!" She cried out. "If you wanted to make him feel the same way you felt you should have taken my life, not his!" She said as her voice began to crack. Her emotion starting to bleed out from her sudden outburst."

"Yes...I could have killed you to get my revenge..." Sombra said as he stepped close to offer a hoof to Chrysalis. "But why would I involve some pony who had nothing to do with it? Revenge would not have solved anything. What I needed was to end the war with our races..." Hesitantly, she took his hoof and staggered to her feet. "Besides, I cannot hate you for how you survive, you were born needing to feed on ponies like us. Diane taught me that even changelings deserve to live. We can't take that right away from you, but that doesn't mean we'll just stand around waiting to die."

"So why not just kill me now?"

"The changelings won't survive without their queen. Everyone deserves a change to live."

"You might regret this later..."

"I already am. But this once, in memory of Diane I'll do as she would have."

The two 'royals' stared off at each other once more before Chrysalis finally took flight and left the scene, leaving a very distraught unicorn. He let himself fall to the ground in a loud grunt as his vision blurred. His eyes fixed to the dirt beneath him, he saw his own tears fall and damping the ground. "I'm sorry..." He said to himself. "I am so sorry..."

Pinkie and Fluttershy slowly made their way to the crying stallion as she shook from the wave of emotion he was feeling. They didn't say anything, They didn't need to. All they did was sit next to him as for the first time since his arrival, he allowed his emotions to flow. The stoic facade had finally been torn all the way down, now naked for all to see. They too began to weep with him.

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