• Published 1st Nov 2011
  • 11,628 Views, 905 Comments

Stories in Stone, Luna's Royal Guard. - TDR



The Gardens of Canterlot contain more than their fair share of stories. And more creatures than just Discord.

  • ...
47
 905
 11,628

PreviousChapters Next
Summit Erosion

Stories in Stone
Luna's Royal Guard
By TDR


Summit Erosion

“Ugh, what is it about being part of Applejack's family that means I am gonna get a tummy ache?”

“ I got a barrel, I got a barrel, hehehhehe”

Twilight all but drags herself in as the happy pegasus flutters around in the air aroundher carrying a small barrel of cider.

“Don't tell me your going to drink all of that Rainbow?”

“I miss out on the cider nearly every year. Your darn right I’m gonna drink all of it. Happily, I might add.”

“Ugh, I feel ill just from two mugs, its good, but strong.”

“Your just a light weight.”

“You know if you keep missing it every year why didn't you ask me or Pinkie to pick up a mug for you?”

“Errrr.....”

“Probably cause she never thought of it.”

“Hey now... its not that Spike, I just didn't want to be rude, yah know.....”

“Uh huh. Don't drink to much your on book duty tonight, I know that's why she came home early.”

“What!.....aw. Well at least I have my barrel. I guess I can look over the book a bit and see if there's any new tricks worth learning.”

“I think you might find something interesting this time, it does seem the action is picking up a little. There's some paper and pencils over on the desk if you need them Dash.”

“Alright you go do your thing and I'll do mine.”

“OK, what are you planning to do Spike?”

“Bed. Keep in mind I've been up all day waiting in line too. “

“Well good night Spike. You set Rainbow?”

“Yup, oh before I forget, I'm not sure if that was Gilda or not you guys saw. I've seen her around, a few times, but she usually hides from me when she notices I'm looking. That's not really Gilda's style.”

“Well we first saw her on top of Sugar Cube Corner, so maybe she doesn't want you to know shes here till after whatever she has planned. Pinkie didn't seem very worried about it.”

“That makes sense. I bet Pinkie can dish out double any prank Gilda tries to play on her.”

“OK here we go.”

Twilight slips into the spell feeling perhaps a bit too good, despite her tummy ache. As the sea of stars forms around her she realizes her head has cleared and her stomach no longer hurts.

“Add another benefit to the spell. Alright lets check on Jer'rahd. He usually seems to be a good place to start. At least when he doesn't have a mare friend.”

She dives into the blade's window pulled towards the gray unicorn.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“GET EVERY PONY INTO THE SHELTERS, I WANT THESE STREETS CLEAR.”

Jer'rahd stood atop a wagon shouting orders to the soldiers around him. Most of them were busy setting up the last barricades, the others were hard at work moving the remaining citizens, by force if need be, from their homes into one of the more secure bunkers of the city, either under the city hall or the Guard Base. Both bunkers had started as little more than basements, but when Manehatten tried its hoof at a alcohol prohibition the basements under the city were expanded drasticly to allow for smuggling. There were once tunnels under ever part of the city, though most had been filled in, or converted to shelters after the War of the North threatened to spread here. The tunnels under the Guard base had been turned to storage for food and supplies, and the bunker of tunnels under the City hall was kept more for historical purposes. Most likely as some tribute to the War of the North. The mountain range across the river was the start of the griffon lands to the east and to the west where Luna and the others were likely headed in search of the wendigo.

Now with the Second Dragon war beginning these shelters were again seeing use. A great many of the city's occupants had evacuated, but there were still close to two thousand ponies who stayed. Most of them were in the Guard post shelter, but quite a few went to the one under the multi storied city hall. A contingent of Guards was posted there to keep order and protect the civilians if the outer wall fell.

Jer'rahd's force had barely made it to the city before the orcs had. The Guard Captain had taken over the city when the mayor fled and prepared as best he could. When Jer'rahd arrived he ordered half the troops that came with him to aid in setting up defenses and ordered the other half to rest. He managed to get the Guard Captain to do the same and got a few hours of sleep himself before the orcs arrived in force.

Manehatten was a large city, perhaps one of the biggest in all Equestria outside of Canterlot itself. It was built along side the Cape Foal river that ran from the northern mountains through the heart of Equestria before reaching the sea and the port town of Wilmingtrot. The river ran along side off the city forming a wide natural barrier from that side, but the hilly terrain around the rest of it left all other angles exposed. Given a choice Jer'rahd would not have wanted to defend this place, but he had his orders and there were far to many ponies here to try and evacuate now. The walls on the outskirts of the city were the last to be built and were put up hastily enough that they were not likely to hold for long, but it would be long enough for traps and snipers to be placed at various points inside Manehatten. A few hundred civilians volunteered to help with the traps and barricades. Most of them also offered to help fight, but he refused. Most of the Guard here were green, and this fight would test their moral enough as it was without having untrained citizens adding to the panic. He did accept their help in setting up and the help of a few retirees however who had combat experience.

Jer'rahd turned his gaze to the scant bit of land between the orc camp and \ the edge of the cities defenses. The orcs had taken out a messenger that he tried to send to General Three Bear, though he expected the buffalo to be prompt unless something else happened. He knew the camp he could see was far too small for what the recon teams reported. It had to be only part of the force, he was sure the city had already been surrounded by the orcs, and the fighting would begin soon enough. He turned hid head back as the Guard Captain brought over a bowl of soup for him. He nodded his thanks floating the bowl from the other unicorn and taking a sip of the hot tomato broth.

“Thank you Captain.”

“Not a problem Sir..... what do you have our chances at?”

“Depends. I've never fought orcs before, I am told they enjoy war and prefer close hoof to hoof fighting. Their leaders tend to be the largest and strongest of the lot, orcs do not respect anything but strength.”

“I have heard that as well. Do you think the barriers will hold?”

“Not for long, what worries me is I am not sure where the second attack will come from. We gave them a enticing target by leaving the river side lightly guarded, but they would have to cross the water way to attack from that side. Not very feasible, but possible. The rumors claim the orc leaders and casters are not as stupid as their grunt troops are.”

“Think we can win?”

“Yes.”

“Really? Why are you so sure?”

“Because we do not have a choice otherwise.”


============================================================

“You know Princess even if we could speak their language and convince them to help us, do we really want troops that faint at the first sign of violence?”

Rhede stands over one of the guards who had passed out the moment he was charged by the group. Velkorn checks him out before nodding sure the snow pony had just fainted. Starfall wanders around the room looking over the displays before breaking open the one with the cutie marks that had been stripped from the corpse they found.

“Still needs a decent burial, all of him.”

“Once we are out we can worry about that. What is this plan you have Velkorn?”

“These ponies are not bad, it is just their life that seems very sad. Though there is a plan I have made, to see it through I will need your aid.”

“Why not. We have not done anything completely crazy in about a week Velk.”

====================================

“So we know who the leader is now?”

“Yes sir, couple of the Guards speak orc and understood that little tirade from the mountaintop. Usual orcish crap about divine right of arms, and turning all our mares into breeding stock for meat and flaying every one else and leaving our bodies to hang on the walls of the town as a warning blah blah blah.”

“Think they will ever figure out that most ponies don't speak orc, and that rant is pretty much useless as a way to scare us?”

“Not likely, the one doing the shouting claimed the Warlords name was Jef'frey. “

“Rather weak name for a warlord.”

“It supposedly translates to bringer of rage.”

“Still lame. Any sign of siege weapons?”

“Some battering rams and a couple of their hedge mages nothing serious. Its the numbers that have me worried sir. There's easily ten to twelve of them for every one of us.”

“How many can your Guard handle?”

“Trained as we are sir maybe five each.”

“My group can handle eight or so apiece. Still leaves a couple hundred extra. “

“I know sir it does not look good.”

“Oh no, nothing like that, I was worried for a moment I was not going to get a chance to kill anything this battle.”

“Sir..... do you know your eye is starting to glow red?”

A roar went up from the horde around the walls and Jer'rahd could not help to smile. No mind tricks, no magic, no fear, no cloak and dagger crap. Nothing but odds stacked heavily against them and the promise of violence while protecting an entire city for as long as it took for the reinforcements to get here. This was his calm.

“Here they come Sergeant, give the signal to fire at will.”

“Yes sir.”

=================================================================

“That is the plan? No offense ,but that's crazier than anything the boss has come up with. And he has come up with some dumb ones.”

“I do not see how this expenditure of power will aid us Velkorn.”

“Sometimes you have to freely offer others aid, only then will you see the difference you have made.”

“Actually, I take that back, if it works it would bring a great deal of joy to this place. And these snow ponies could use that, did you see their expressions when they were watching us, then when they had to leave? It was like some one gave them a puppy then kicked it in front of them. There cannot be much here other than depression and monochromatic landscapes. I am for it, even if it doesn't work it will bring a few smiles for a little while.”

Luna looks over curiously at the once again blue hued dragonling and dips her head considering.

“What about you Rhede, Starfall?”

“I don't have any part in the plan Princess, You and Starfall have the big parts. I'd just like to get out of here before whatever hit us before does so again. I don't like being out of control of my own self. Particularly emotionally.”

“I agree with Rhede on that,we still don't know why that happened. Aside from feeling miserable I was willing to attack you both I haven't felt anything else in a while. I'm good with the plan, it would be nice if I can finally use my skills for something other than a weapon.”

Velkorn smiles softly as she checks on the wound in Bleu's tail, she was healing up quite well. Aside from this wound and what Rhede had put himself through she had been feeling rather useless in helping any one this trip. She had been forced to take lives, and even though she regarded them as fish the screams still weighed heavily. Her inability to do anything for Jer'rahd was some thing she was upset over as well. Here was the opportunity to try and help some ponies for no reason other than they seemed to need it. After the disaster of their trip so far, she was not going to pass up a chance to actually do some good. Bleu seemed to understand that even if the others did not.

“It would be much simpler to to teleport us home, if I do this Velkorn I will not have the power to do so. Not to mention the effect would only happen at dawn or dusk when the moon first rises or sets and there is still light from the sun to power it.”

“So long as it is something other than gray, such a limited time will be okay.”

“As for getting out of here, leave that to me Princess. I found out a few things while you were playing in the woods with Rhede.”

“I was not play......... never mind, I agree. We will try this at sunset.”

====================================================

The orc still roared even as its legs were separated from its body. One of the blades jutting from its armor glanced harmlessly off Jer'rahd's shoulder guard as the pig crashed into the ground behind him, The small force of ponies running with him ending the pigs life as he moved on to the next target.

The barrier had been breached along the west side of the Guard compound. Jer'rahd had gathered soldiers from the 42d and had them follow him to plug up the holes in the wall and deal with anything that got through. Pegasus flew low over the barricades dropping off snipers and other Guard's who had been caught outside the walls after the initial rush. He raises a shield over the hole the orcs made, embedding the Waning Moon into a pig before lifting his head and watching his small force mop up the others inside as the orcs pound against his shield.

They had done fairly close to what he had predicted. The city was hit from both sides, and as a bit of surprise, they also tried to come across the river in makeshift boats. The balista crews hidden there sank their crude ships before any even reached the docks and archers picked off the ones who still attempted to swim to shore. He was quite thankful that the river was easily hidden by the towering buildings and that the Guard post he was defending was no where near the water way. He might have mostly gotten over rain, but the river was still beyond his ability to look at or even think about long. He let the Guard Captain handle anything on that side of the city.

The other attacks had slammed relentlessly into the makeshift outer walls, overwhelming the defenders in only a few hours of time. He ordered a full retreat bringing all the ponies that survived back into the inner defenses. He was surprised to find more Guard had survived than either he or the Captain had predicted, the orc's losses after the failed river crossing had proven greater that expected as well. The odds had evened a bit ,but they were still outnumbered close to ten to one, of course the Guard still had some tricks left to use.

Choke points,magic, mines,and snipers wielding crossbows or spells, racked up impressive kill counts on their own. Every other pony was on the walls or in the yard of the Guard post defending the last refuge from the invaders. Civilian medical ponies ignored his orders galloping out to recover the wounded bringing them back inside the bunkers for treatment as others ran about the yard delivering food and water to the defenders. More than a few of the green troops were clearly shaken by the events as was any civilian that helped despite his orders, but no pony panicked, and no pony broke down.

The roar of another collapsing building signaled the end of a unknown number of orcs. They had trapped as many of the important looking structures around the city as they could. With luck if enough came down the orcs would not bother with the town hall and focus on the heavily defended base.
The collapse of a few buildings and the fires would likely drive the mayor nuts when she returned, but if she was so worried about what would happen to her city she would not have fled it. On the plus side, with the nobles and the civilian leaders gone it made taking control of the situation much easier for him. The Guard Captain was a bit reluctant to turn over full control of the situation to the 42d, and Jer'rahd made sure he did not have to, splitting his own troops into the local Guard ranks made it easier for all of them to learn the cities lay out while they went about their tasks.

“ROOK TO QUEEN THREE, NOW!”

That and the Guard Captain liked chess, which made this all the more interesting. Jer'rahd's bellow echoed over the sounds of battle and was repeated by a string of Guards to make sure it was heard in the watch tower in the center of the base. The unicorn mages at the top of the building activated the spell that was secured in the cities post office at the order. The massive explosion of fire brought the structure down, collapsing the mail office across the street before the breached wall, crushing attackers and reenforcing the defensive wall with a burning pile of jagged rubble.

The ground rumbles and a wave of heat, dust, and bloody mist washes over the ponies defending the wall and his assault team, blotting out all light for a tense few moments save a bright red glow from the General. A grin crossed his features at the screams of the orcs on the other side of the new barricade, the pungent scent of mortar, wood smoke, and cooking bacon filling the air.

Another shout for aid spurs the small force in another direction to intercept more orcs who managed to get over the wall. The problem was dealt with by the time they got there, however a pegasus lands before Jer'rahd and salutes.

“General, we have confirmation that the town hall shelter has been breached. Sir.”

“How many are still there?”

“Last report had about to two hundred civilians and twenty or thirty Guards posted inside the entrance. Sir.”

Jer'rahd looks at the pegasus and the arrows sticking out of his armor and the large shield he had attached to his hooves to carry under him as he flew..

“You alright lieutenant?”

“Still flying Sir.”

“That's not much.”

“It's enough Sir.”

Jer'rahd glances back at the assault force as another building crumbles falling across the street and crushing the orcs along another side of the base, Unicorns were already adjusting the burning rubble of the first building to serve as a better blockade.

“Gather any pegasus still fit to fly and carry troops go now, CAPTAIN!!”

The pegasus flies off with a nod as the Guard Captain darts down the ramp from the watch tower shaking his gold mane free of the dust and debris from the fallen building.

“SIR?”

“Can you handle things here?”

“Should not be a problem Sir, we can hold here for at least another few hours easy.”

“Not an option. You hold as long as it takes. This is the last defensive formation we have.”

“What happened to our reinforcements sir?”

“No bucking clue, they should have been here already. There's a good chance they might have hit something on the way here. In any case we hold until they are all dead got it? You protect the civilians in this bunker. I have something I need to take care of and I might not make it back any time soon.”

“Where are you going Sir?”

“A little rescue operation Commander, The City Hall bunkers fallen.”

“You cannot save everyone General we still need you here, sir.”

“I can damn well try Captain, ANY OF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?!”

He looks over the dozen shock troops that had been following him around for the battle, he had started with twenty and these were all that was left. Glancing up just as many pegasus flew low over the guard post hovering above the group.

“NO SIR!”

“GOOD LETS GO!”

The Waning Moon whips through the air at the beck of his magic flicking free blood and sliding into its sheath. The pegasus drop down picking up the mixture of earth ponies and unicorns with the one that gathered them all picking up the General. He picks up the ponies shield holding it under him as the other troops do the same.

“Whats your name Soldier?”

“ Lieutenant Wash sir.”

“Well Wash, you up for flying back into all that?”

“No pony lives forever Sir.”

======================================

Velkorn smiles again as she looks down off the large orange and green dragon's back at the gathered snow ponies below. Bleu had been circling for a good ten minutes now and it looked like nearly all the snow ponies had come out. They stared at the massive shape circling their town and the bright coloration it had.

“Ready Starfall?”

“As I will get.”

“Every pony is now ready, Bleu please keep steady.”

Starfall leaps off the back of the flying dragon soaring skyward and shuddering hard as she leaves the warmth of the area the Princess had set up around Bleu. She continues to climb vanishing into the clouds.

“Sundown is approaching, I still hope this will be worth it Velkorn.”

“Consider it a good deed, perhaps this will be what they truly need.”

Bleu turns her head back and opens her maw prompting Rhede to toss in a hoof full of diamonds from the barrel they had grabbed while securing the town hall. The dragonling had mentioned how hungry she got while holding this form and it would be better to keep that in check and her energy up with what they could find.

“Here she comes, brace yourself Bleu, every pony else hold on.”

===========================================

The armored skull of the pig crunches under his hoof, the creatures eyes bursting from their sockets and mixing with the gore already gathered on the ground. Jer'rahd whips his head up blocking a pole arm swung by another pig, twisting the blade in his mouth and yanking his head back pulling the pole arm from the pigs grip. He spins about and kicking with his hind legs and caving in the surprised pigs face.

The group had arrived at the town hall to find the orcs already in the building. Some of the civilians and guards had fled up into the upper floors of the building while others had gone down into the shelter. Jer'rahd directed Wash to smash through the windows in the building's middle so they could move to help both those trapped in the basement and the ones above. He sent Wash and the pegasus force up to help the ones on the roof while he went down with his force.

Charging through the lower levels they came across the bodies of orcs and more than a few of the Guards. He left four of his squad to barricade the door the orcs had broken thru and took the rest down into the shelter. So far only a small group had gone into the building though a larger force waited outside still. The group galloped along the corridors following the trail of civilian, Guard and Orc bodies. They rounded a corner and were greeted by the site of a lone pony with a Guard sword standing in front of a door with half a dozen orcs standing circled around him. The young unicorn barely seemed past colt hood and his white coat was soaked in enough blood to hide the blank spot where his cutie mark should have been. He shook softly the blade gripped tight in his teeth, bright blue mane hiding his eyes as he shifted his gaze over the orcs advancing on him. Two of their number already lay dead at the pony's hooves and the ones still alive seemed hesitant to approach the young unicorn. His team did not give them a chance to do so.

One of the orcs charged the unicorn thinking to at least kill a the pony that had stopped them before dieing himself. The unicorn flinched but held his ground deflecting the first blow from the orc though his blade was knocked from his grip by the force of the orcs attack. Jer'rahd's hooves connected to the side of the pig sending it crashing to the ground for the rest of his team to finish off before its second attack came.

A glance back showed the other orcs were dead but one of his team had taken a injury that would keep him out of any more fighting until a healer was found.

“You alright colt?”

“I'm not a colt....”

“Yeah well your younger than me ,so I can call you what I want. How many are behind you?”

“About ninety are in the cave there, I think we are all that’s left. “

“Get them together we need to take them to the roof. Nice work with the blade colt, a little more training and you might be worthy of the Guard. “

The white unicorn said nothing though his blue eyes stared at Jer'rahd sparkling a bit at the compliment. He swallows a bit not liking the unnerving glow of fear and awe in this colts eyes that he had seen from more than a few foals that for some reason had taken a idealistic view of him after Dullahan.

“MOVE TROOPS, GATHER THE WOUNDED AND GET THE CIVIES UP THE STAIRS. I WANT YOU FIVE TO HELP SECURE THE FRONT DOOR. I'M GOING UP TO PLOW THE ROAD OF ANYTHING WASH'S GROUP MISSED. THE REST OF YOU ON ME.”

Jer'rahd moves up the stairs, gutting an orc that had come in from another room to see what the yelling was about. The five he singled out moved to reinforce the ones he left before and the rest of the group gallops up the stairs passing dozens of dead orcs ,and a bodies of civilians before reaching the upper area. Two of the pegasus had been killed leaving only eleven and Wash left. A few of the civilians were pegasus as well so that wound up being fortunate. Only about thirty civilians had been killed though all the guard here had been wiped out defending them. Jer'rahd sighs at the losses, a good portion of those still alive owed that to the colt that had been running along at his flank the whole way up the building.

“Alright here's the plan every pony that can fly is going to gather up some pony that can't and take them back to the guard post. Its not that far.”

“What about the archers sir?”

“Let me worry about them.”

“Sir, we have another problem now.”

“Whats that ?”

“The Orc HQ and their boss is outside the building.”

“Does he know we are here?”

“MY LITTLE PONY COME OUT AND PLAY!!!!”

“I would say that's a yes, sir.”

Jer'rahd moves to a window glancing out at the large gathering of troops and the truly massive swine standing in the middle of them. It was like if Three Bear had been surrounded by foals.

“That is a big pig.”

“Indeed, sir so what now?”

“Wash … this might have just made things a great deal easier for us. “

“Huh?”

==============================================


Starfall rips through the cloud cover a booming echo bouncing off the mountains as she rockets towards the ground. The strain on her is clearly evident as is the ice starting to form on her hooves from the cold. Bleu swings lower planning to catch her if she cannot pull up. The loud whining draws everyone’s attention up towards the hole made in the clouds. Gaunt equine forms stare down the hole blinking in surprise that something had torn past them. They look rather angry as some lept from the clouds galloping down the sky after Starfall. The sudden explosion of color that burst from the pegasus knocked the ones chasing her back, some of them dissolve like they were ice shattered by a hammer, the falling bits fading into nothing.

“Wendigo.”

“Cast the spell soon, Goddess of the Moon.”

Luna glances back watching the Rain booms aura expand and started to fad as it got further away from the falling pegasus, her horn glows brightly a great lavender light surrounding her as her magic flares up, exploding outward chasing and overtaking the Rain Booms ring freezing the glowing rainbow into place just under the clouds. The magic warps the lights causing them to seem to dance vividly in the sunset casting the rainbow colors brightly onto the snow only to have it reflected back up into the sky.

Velkorn looks over the side at the snow ponies the bright light show reflecting in their eyes as they stare sky ward. The wendigo above the could scream out, a few more disapateing into mist as the others seem to charge away from the hole in the clouds the oppressive snowfall lessening and fading as the night sky dances with the lights created from Starfall's Sonic Rain Boom. Starfall pulls up in time to not crash into the town, but she struggles to pull herself aloft again before Bleu snatches her up and takes off back into the air climbing past the Rain Booms effect. Luna winces her hair whipping behind her as she struggles to hang on slipping from Bleu's spine and nearly falling from the dragons back, Rhede grabs her front leg pulling her back onto the dragon as she levels out. Velkorn did not even seem to have moved as she looks down over the side at the city, flashes of light dance among the gathered snow ponies,cutie marks flaring as if they were just gained by foals the brilliant colors showing against the still white coats of the gathered ponies As each mark gained the coloration it had been missing.

Velkorn closed her eyes, she was right the ponies below, were just that, ponies. They were only different as they did not know color or hope here in this land. Likely that was the true wendigo's doing as well, now with this they could be the same as all other ponies having seen the light of a rainbow, and proof that there was more to their world than black and white.




Jer'rahd looks down off the roof at the giant pig staring up at him. They had reached some sort of agreement. Granted he did not expect the warlord to keep it when all was said and done, though thankfully one of the civilians spoke enough orc to make sure every swine in range heard the challenge. The whole army around the city hall had stopped and kept their attention on their leader. If he declined a challenge like this from a pony, the other orcs would see it as weakness and begin challenging him for leadership. That would spell and end to the invasion force as the infighting would tear them apart. If he accepted,well Jer'rahd was reasonably sure he could beat the pig and the leader had said the others would retreat.

“You have your orders Wash, I expect all of you to follow them. Get the civies out then get yourselves gone.”

“Sir, are you sure you want to do this there are other options. Ones that won't get you killed.”

“This is a stalling action, it will give time for Three Bear to get here and it will give you the chance to escape. Besides this is the best chance to kill this Jef'fray. Cut off the head of the snake and all that.”

“Keep in mind sir, you are the head of our snake.”

“Yeah well tails don't bite.”

“That makes no sense sir.”

“I'm not one for speeches.”

Jer'rahd glances over at the colt that had been following him around.

“Get upstairs and get ready to leave.”

“I'm not going to leave any one to die here.”

Jer'rahd smiles at that.

“ I have no plans to die today colt. You want to be in the Guard. you follow orders, get up stairs and get ready to leave. You want to stay and make sure the others get out first, fine. But when the last of the civilians is taken out of here you will be going to you got it?”

“Yes..”

“What was that?”

“Yes, Sir!”

“Good, whats your name?”

“Cyan Sparkle, but every pony calls me Spark.”

“Alright Spark, let me give you a little tip for making the most of your basic training. The Drill sergeant will likely offer a challenge of some sort at the beginning of training, win this challenge and you will receive some special training.”

“Yes, sir thank you sir.”

The colt darts off with a smile and Jer'rahd smirks as Wash glares at him.

“I take back anything nice I ever said about you Sir, you are a cruel bastard.”

“Aw I bet you say that to all your superiors. Now go get ready.”

“CHANGED YOUR MIND PONY, YOU SHOULD BE SCARED OF THE GREAT WARLORD.”

“STUFF IT UP YOUR PLOT YOU GUMFA'TAIT.”

The roar at that from out side made Jer'rahd smile wider.

“What did you just say?”

“No idea, but Bleu told me it was a orcish curse so I learned it, figured out how to swear in Zebra as well.”

“You are a testament to the skill of ambassadors every where sir.”

“I've heard that from Rhede before. Well lets get this going then, lock the door when I leave troops and don't forget to turn out the lights before you head home.”

“SIR YES SIR!”

The colt darts upstairs to another window as Jer'rahd heads down stairs stepping out the door waiting till it was barricaded behind him before stepping forward. The sea of armored pigs move aside leaving a clear path to a massive hog in the middle of the town square. He smirks, trotting down the clear path eyes focused on the warlord who seems to get bigger the closer Jer'rahd gets.

He stops a few paces from the pig looking up at him. The head of the creature larger than his whole body. The leader was armored with a hodge podge collection of silver and gold etched armor, long blond grease soaked hair hung from the joints of the armor and spilled down his back. His cloven hooves struck the paving stones, the armor covering them kicking up sparks. Four large tusks capped in gold jutted from the massive maw of the orc, beady red eyes stared down the length of the muzzle at the smaller pony.

“SO YOU ARE THE PUNY THING THAT SEEKS TO CHALLENGE US!? PATHETIC. YOU ARE NO FOE WORTHY OF OUR SKILLS, IF NOT FOR YOUR INSULTS WE WOULD SIMPLY THROW YOU TO OUR ARMY. BUT YOU WILL BE MADE AN EXAMPLE OF NO ONE CALLS US A GUMFA'TAIT AND DIES QUICKLY.”

“Would you prefer I simply call you a parasprite dropping?”

“BAH, YOU ALREADY MARVEL AT OUR GREATNESS PONY, WE SEE THE FEAR IN YOUR EYES!”

“Actually I am just trying to figure out which direction you will fall when I kill you, I'd hate to be trapped under a mound of fat and stink.”

“RAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”

Jer'rahd blinked leaping back quickly as the ground where he stood exploded, a giant ax was left embedded in the paving stones, the weapon swung in an eye blink by the giant pig. His eyes narrow, looking up at the hog as the pig grins, a tendril of greasy hair yanking the ax out of the ground as another few lengths of the hair brandish a huge sword as well.

“Buck, your a pig god aren’t you. That screaming is your stupid version of Canterlot Royal.”

“SCARED NOW PONY? HAHAHA. WE WILL CUT OFF YOUR LEGS AND MAKE YOU WATCH AS WE DESTROY EVERYTHING HERE. WE ARE WARLORD JEF'FRAY OF THE HELL BOARS, RULER OF ALL WE SURVEY, AND CHOSEN GOD OF THE DRAGON EMPIRE. WE ARE THE END OF PONIES!!”

Jer'rahd shivers slightly his head dipping some as the pig rants, a faint smile starts to cross his face creeping rapidly into a crazed grin. He lifts his head rapidly red eye flaring and nearly casting its own light in the darkening streets.

“Finally, I've played with gods for years now, Bone Hound gods, Alicorn clones, Seapony gods ,and what ever the buck Discord is. All of them have done what they wanted and left me feeling useless.”

The Waning Moon rips free of the scabbard sending scraps of leather flying across the street as he levels the blade before him, the hogs eyes widening as he recognizes the metal.

“This is the first chance I have to actually take one of you down myself. And I am going to relish that.”

“WHO ARE YOU PONY, WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BLADE!?”

“Scared now piggy, still wanna play the who's got the better titles game? Fine. I AM GENERAL JER'RAHD KAISUR OF THE 42D LEGION,LUNA'S HOOF, I AM ONE OF HER ROYAL MAJESTIES PERSONAL GUARD,I WAS NAMED BEARER OF LOYALTY BY PRINCESS CELESTIA, I AM THE DEMON OF DULLAHAN. TO YOU ORC, I WILL BE KNOWN AS YOUR DEATH!”

A massive roar echos across the sky from the mountains across the river, a arch of rainbow colored fire lights up the clouds over the mountains the sound of a thunderous boom from leagues away rolls down from the snow capped peaks. The massive hog glances from the effect in the sky back to the grinning pony and takes a step back.

Jer'rahd roars not even noticing the effect behind him surging forward with a cry towards the flinching warlord the Waning Moon screaming over his head.

==============================================

Bleu soars along for a few hours after a brief stop to bury the rest of the pony they had recovered, enjoying the clear skies and occasionally having the skilled markspony of the group fling a few diamonds into her maw. It was not like it was a hard target however, as she currently was she could have swallowed a pony whole. She finally felt the effects of fatigue as they crossed over the mountains edge and flew down to land letting the others off, she set the unconscious Starfall on the ground shrinking down and curling up neck to the recovering mare drifting off to sleep herself leaving the others to set up the watches without her. Luna did not look like she was doing much better after her spell lit the northern sky with lights. Velkorn and Rhede let her rest as they set up the camp.

[“So did you know the wendigo were the ones who caused our anger Velkorn?”]

[“I only found out about them from Mrs. Pelt's Hearths warming party. I only had that legend to go on, but it looked like the same effect as was in the story.”]

[“How did you know about the snow ponies though?”]

[“I did not Princess. They simply reminded me of albino zebras that I have met, the condition is rare, but the signs of it are clear. That is when I noticed their cutie marks try to take on colors in that museum, there simply was not enough there for their marks to fully appear. The rest was guessing.”]

[“Why did you have me try and make the effect permanent then? Would not just the Sonic Rain Boom itself have been enough?”]

[“There were foals in the village, to young for their cutie mark to have appeared. It would not feel right to give all the others the color they wanted but denied it to the future generations. Our driving off of the wendigo seemed to aid in that as well. Perhaps it was not friend ship that drove them off in the past , but hope that there would be a future.”]

[“It does seem Princess Celestia may have remembered something wrong about the story she was told.”]

A loud whinny from the sky drew the attention of those still awake skyward to a slowly descending gaunt figure of a massive stallion A group of others spiraled around the camp as a light snow fall began..

“Aw crap.”

==========================================

Jer'rahd blocks the blow digging in with all four hooves as hes shoved back a good thirty paces away from the pig. His jaw aches with trying to hold onto the blade after deflecting that sword strike. The hog was big, he was strong, and he was far faster than he had any right to be. Jer'rahd was covered in cuts and bruises already and he had not even been hit yet. The impact of Jef'fray's weapons on the stone caused them to all but explode, sending shards of rock shrapnel into the air hitting anything nearby, which so far had only been Jer'rahd. He had moved the battle around enough that the large hogs back was to the city hall, he could glance up occasionally to see the pegasus carrying the civilians out and returning. He had planned to stall at least till he stopped seeing the pegasus ferry ponies out of the building. What he did not expect was that the pig would be enough of a problem that he had no need to stall, the fight was likely going to take this long.

Of course he was not the only one getting hurt, he had dodged and moved enough that quite a few of the warlord's blows had cut through his own troops. The orcs had gotten smart enough to back up further, but Jer'rahd kept leading the massive hog closer to them with every feint and strike. The Waning Moon had taken great chunks out of the orc's armor as well, though the wounds he inflicted to the flesh underneath did not even seem to draw blood. He could not block, he could not attack, he could not get close or the pigs hair attacked him, he could not fall back or the orc horde attacked him. Of course he was also limiting himself a bit as well, he had not used his shield spell yet, he had also spent the battle holding the blade in his mouth, he hoped the pig knew enough about him to know he was limited in magic, but not enough to know what those limits were.

“MEGA CRUSH!!”

“Do the what now!?”

Jer'rahd's eyes widen as the orc warlord launches himself into the air, higher than even the City hall. The pigs hair juts out making him into a massive spiked ball of death that hurtles down at the surprised pony. Jer'rahd charges forward spotting something as the pig fell and grins. Rhede was going to hate him for this,Bleu would find it hilarious. His charge stops suddenly just past where the spiked ball of a hog crashed to earth nearly destroying what was left of the courtyard. He throws up a shield deflecting the debris and kicks back hard with both his hooves dropping the shield and connecting with a unarmored portion of the pig that seems to pop under the harsh blow. The boar whips his head skyward letting out a high pitched squeal that shattered the glass left in all the buildings around the square. Every other orc in view of the attack winces, a few of them fainting. The ax comes down again and Jer'rahd manages to roll out of the way as the pig whimpers slowly turning around growling like a piglet at him.

“You will pay for that pony.....”

Jer'rahd simply grins having scored the first proper hit of the fight.

“Like crushing watermelons.”


===========================================================

Rhede and Velkorn take up positions between the wendigo and the Princess, Luna moves herself before the sleeping Starfall and Bleu. A few other wendigo circle above the group though they keep their distance as the one that lands trots a little closer, the gaunt white horse towering over even Rhede.

>”Why did you come to our land Princess of the Ponies?”<

The wendigo's mouth did not move though the words clearly came from the beast, booming and hollow as it stared at the group unmoving.

“WE CAME SEEKING AID, AND WE WERE IMPRISONED FOR THAT.”

>”We wished to be left alone, that was part of the deal we made with your kind, and yet now you return asking for more? Does your race's greed know an end?”<

“WE ARE AT WAR WENDIGO. WE CAME SEEKING ALLIES AND FOUND A VILLAGE OF PONIES YOU SEEM TO HAVE KEPT UNDER A SHROUD SINCE YOU WERE GRANTED THOSE LANDS.”

>” War, it is always the same with your kind, were it not for what you did we would not even come to speak with you. Those ponies you claim we have been keeping are our children, goddess, we kept the world away from them. All your conflict, all your death, all your war. We have seen what you face, we have seen the challenges you have over come and the threats you have dealt with in all your years. We have seen how you have dealt with those threats,we have seen how you dealt with the things that were not even truly threats. We are not as blind to what affects the world as you are Ruler of Ponies. The winds tell us what happens in the summer lands.”<

“YOUR CHILDREN?!? YOU KEEP YOUR CHILDREN IN SUCH A BLEAK AND DESOLATE PLACE THAT THEY CANNOT EVEN PROPERLY GROW?!”

>”There are only limited ways we can protect them, this way was the best. No dragon or griffon has ever harmed any of them, and aside from you, no pony has ever made it all the way to the village. Our abilities turn them away and the cold often kills them.”<

“IF YOU WISH NOTHING TO DO WITH US WHY HAVE YOU COME BEFORE US?”

>You were correct that our children were stunted, there is only so much we can do. We are here to thank the one who chose to help our children for no reason other than she wished to.“<

The wendigo turns its head towards Velkorn nodding lightly in her direction.

We will not help you in your war Zebra Queen,we know that you do not seek it either, but it comes none the less. We would be of little use anyway against the dragons any way, they are unaffected by our powers. But if there is anything you wish that we may grant you for what you have done, name it.”<

Velkorn blinks as the other half dozen wendigos land the herd all sinking down bowing to her.

“There is nothing you have that I need, it was not an act I did for greed.”

>”This simply makes you more worthy of a boon. You need not decide now however.”<

The wendigo exhales, a small crystal snow flake forming in the air and floating towards Velkorn, it touches the metal fragment on her necklace, flickers of frost form on the blade piece, though it grows no colder.

>”If you have need of us and we can help, simply call to us and we will come.”<

“I an sorry for the ones that died, I did not know in the clouds you did hide.”

>” You need not worry Zebra Queen. We are harder to kill than that, when the snows come again those we lost will return to us. You have given our children something we could not, a light that brings them cheer and hope. Farewell Zebra Queen, Ruler of Ponies, perhaps if we meet again it will be under less dire circumstances for you.”<

The wendigo all rise, leaping into the air and galloping back up into the sky with echoing calls as they vanish into the cloud cover. Velkorn watches them go as the other two still awake stare at her a moment.

“I suppose now truth be told, I no longer feel the biting cold.”

=========================================

The wall explodes inward as Jer'rahd crashed through it rolling across the floor ,the giant boar barrels down on him as he regains his hooves, the Waning Moon screams as his magic whips it up slicing through the hair holding the ax sending the weapon flying through another wall to crash into some orcs outside. The hog's roar goes silent as the floor under him creaks loudly. Jer'rahd and the warlord both look down as its starts to give way and drop them into the bars basement.”

“Oh you fat buckingAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Those outside watch as the the wood and stone building slowly folds into on itself crashing down atop the pair before the whole structure falls into the basement.

The gathered orcs peer curiously into the smoke and dust that slowly settles around the fallen building. They all leap back with a squeal of terror as the warlord bursts out of the rubble roaring and whipping his head around franticly trying to dislodge the pony holding the sword stuck in his snout. Jer'rahd swings from the handle of the Waning Moon, half the sword shoved into the pigs nose as his hooves lash out slamming into teeth and playing amateur dentist with the boars ivory tusks. A last hard flip of his head sends the unicorn skyward, the pigs sword whips up to cut him in half as he falls only for the pony not to fall. Looking up, the unicorn grins around the bloodied blade in his mouth, leaping down off the green panel that kept him aloft and lands hard on the beasts muzzle lashing out with the weapon and managing to strike the warlords eye.

The pig squeals again flinging his head about in pain sending Jer'rahd flying again to crash into a pile of orcs. He rights himself quickly, growling as the Waning Moon remains embedded in the pigs head. He lashes out kicking an orc aside and grabbing the spear in his teeth, he looks up as the warlord charges him his head whipping back and forth goring his own orcs as he chases the pony. Jer'rahd grins again and runs darting along the backs of the armored orcs flinging shields up to land on before galloping over the pigs heads as their leader rips through them chasing the offending pony. Jer glances back seeing the pegasus carrying off a couple of soldiers and one very annoyed looking white unicorn. His eye widen as he feels something wrap around his back leg, the pig having gotten close enough to lash out with his hair while Jer'rahd was distracted. Hes suddenly yanked backwards and sent air born again the hair still around his hoof,The tendril whips him about in the air a bit before bringing him down hard towards the ground. He slashes through the hair with the or spear tossing up a shield at an angle, bouncing off it as he drops the force enough to shatter the shield and send him rolling across the ground to land hard against the wall of a building.

Pushing himself back to his hooves again he yanks the shattered helm from his head, bits of the metal sticking out of his skin, likely embedded in the bone beneath. He faces the pig, both of them panting hard and glaring at each other. He turns his head spiting out a gob of blood as the pig spits out another tooth growling.

“I suppose playtime is over now since I stalled long enough?!”

“WE WILL HEAL, YOU WILL NOT.”

“You would be in awe of what I have healed from, round two porky.”

The pair tear across the cobblestones again both roaring at each other as they attack.

========================================================

“I missed meeting the real wendigo? Buck it. I sleep through all the cool stuff. Get it cool wendigo...... OK it wasn't that bad.”

The others only groan lightly at the dragonling's pun, the small campfire crackled and popped softly as they all sat around it starring into the flames. Velkorn had treated Starfall for minor frost bite that she would have no trouble recovering from within a day or so, before she went to check on the Dragonlings tail again. Rhede had been out gathering food and had come back with a small bucket of semi precious gemstones as well for Bleu.

“How long till we get back to Canterlot?”

“Likely another few days Starfall, Bleu can only go so fast. Why something wrong?”

“Its been about two months since I’ve seen Cloud Dancer so yeah there's a little bit wrong. Plus I would like to sleep in an actual bed instead of a mat, a pile of rotted straw, the ground, or a bed that bounces around with the waves. Just a nice comfy, stationary, bed.”

“I believe we all are in need of some time off. Though depending on how things are going we might not be allowed that.”

“Wonder if the boss has recovered yet?”

“I can certainly hope so. It is past time for General Three Bear to have returned to Canterlot. The shaman did say he would return under his own power. “

“Heh if he has, he's likely in a bar some where trying to drink his IQ lower. I hate to think I know Jer well enough to call that.”

=============================================

“IS THAT ALL YOU HAVE LEFT PIG!? I'M BARELY BLEEDING!!!”

“RAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!”

Jer'rahd s front hooves slam down on the pigs head, his body held fast by strands of the orcs hair wrapped around his throat and torso. Each strike of his fore hooves driving the Waning Moon deeper into the pigs skull. Each inch the blade sunk in was another notch of his hooves that was cut free by the doubled edged weapon. His armor was all but shredded off of him by the mad pigs charge through countless buildings using the unicorn like a battering ram. Half of the town had been destroyed by this rampage and most of the orcs had fled to higher ground or the outskirts of the city to avoid the battle as it raged into the night. His sword glowed bright blue in the moon light, the fire searing the pigs head as Jer'rahd strikes the weapon maiming himself further trying to force the blade though the orc's thick skull. His back was flayed from all the mortar, brick and wood he had smashed through,bits of jagged metal dug into his sides as the little armor he had left on him had been peeled open like a tin can.

With a last roar he slams both his bloodied and mutilated hooves into the blade forcing it hard with his magic as Jef'fray smashed into the city hall. The weapon sank into the thick skull of the pig all the way to the grip. The hogs remaining eye widening as his legs gave out sending the beast crashing to the floor of the city hall and through the weakened wood into the shelter below. The resounding crash brought down part of the structure on top of them both of them. A few moments of silence follow as a group of orcs slowly approach the structure looking it over curiously. The group cries out and scurries off a chunk of wall is shoved out and off to the ground, a path of green energy paved the way for a bloodied and dust covered pony to make his way back to the street. He winced with every step onto his front hooves the green panel became tracked with bloodied hoof prints.

He exhales sharply as the remaining orcs slowly gather back around him their eyes wide weapons pointed at the pony. The Waning Moon dripped blood as he gripped the hilt, the flaming blue moonlight dancing along the blade searing the weapon clean of the pigs blood, but it seemed to simply be content to be covered in its masters. His gaze levels at the orcs scanning over them all before spitting out the blade letting it float at his side.

“Who's next?”

There may have been an answer if a trio of piercing roars did not drown out any sound there might have been. Jer'rahd turns his gaze towards the sound his magic faltering, the blade falling to the ground at the sight. A pair of Ursa majors lope over a hill charging the city, their massive forms flanking a nearly full grown Ursa minor. The trio of roars sounds again, the ores squeal in terror and start scrambling over them selves to run away. Jer'rahd might have joined them if a large form had not impacted the ground before him.

The massive figure was covered in pitch black armor highlighted with purple and silver, its two front legs had what looked like tree trunks carved with varied demonic visages attached to them like over sized leg splints. He raised one sweeping the tree across the courtyard crushing dozens of orcs in one swing. The Ursa's plowed into the lines, falling upon the gathered ores, devouring them as they ripped through their ranks. The huge figure swept again with his other leg knocking several ores flying into the air to crash to the ground in broken, half armored heaps. The figure turns his way, a demonic face greeted the unicorn, one decked out in faintly glowing paint and runes. He takes a step back raising his sword again as the figure smiles.

“I apologize for my tardiness General Kaisur, my forces ran into a bit of a dragon problem that needed to be dealt with. I am glad to see you yet live.”

“Three Bear?”

“Of course. Seems you have had a bit of fun yourself. What have you gotten up to?”

His answer was cut off by a roar, Jef'fray erupts from the rubble, lashing out with everything his hair could grab to swing at the pair. Three Bear steps back at the sudden eruption though Jer'rahd screams back at the pig flinging the Waning Moon at the hog the blade slamming into the rearing pigs unarmored chest ripping through the ribcage and the vitals underneath, the hogs cry stops as it vomits a great gout of blood before crashing to the ground the body twitching.

“AND STAY DEAD THIS TIME YOU BUCKING GUMFA'TAIT!!”

Jer'rahd strains a bit as Three Bear looks between the body and the pony before him. The Waning Moon rips out a fairly undamaged section of the pigs body leaving a gaping hole. He pants softly flicking the blood from this sword, before looking up at the Buffalo General.

“Nothing of any real importance, Sir.”

------------------------------------------------------

Twilight pulls herself away from the spell her eyes closing as she winces, dropping back into a still sore and strangely damp body. She pauses looking back to see Rainbow Dash passed out on her couch, snoring loudly. Twilight glances down at her flank, a bit of anger rising in her as she looks at her cutie mark covered in paper spitballs from the drunken pegasus. It seems the target of choice was the six pointed star.

Twilight moves over to Rainbow glaring down at her blinking bit as the cyan pegasus mutters something in her sleep . Twilight's eyes widen.

“zzzzz ah no AJ hehehe not there ahhhhhzzzzzzzzz.”

Twilight flushes a bit, moving off before hearing the rest of that dream. Her mind had gone to more than a few dirty places with just that little line. She whips her head glancing at the empty barrel of cider and sighs moving all the books away from her friends sleeping form and putting them up, before heading to the bathroom to clean up, dragging the barrel along with her. After removing most of the spitballs, Twilight heads back out to the couch where Rainbow lay twitching and lifts the cold water barrel over the rainbow maned pony's sleeping form.

“Wakey Wakey Dashy Washy”

Sploosh.

“GAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

PreviousChapters Next