• Published 19th Nov 2015
  • 5,403 Views, 173 Comments

The Guardian of the Elements - Whateverdudezb

Many ages after the original adventures of the Elements of Harmony, a certain dragon has his own role to play in the world.

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Titans Set in Motion

Tell me, do you not find my children so magnificent? What is it about them that impresses upon you so much? Is it their massive stature that can so easily overshadow all of your tiny, little villages? Their scales so notorious for denting your beautifully crafted lances? Or is it perhaps their bellyful of flames that can lay waste to entire fields that has you so entranced?


...I see. You're not so easily cowed into giving such obsequious praise are you? Good, I like that. My little drakes are already big-headed enough, they don't need a pony as ...influential as you bloating up their egos even more. Arrogant, little burnt-nosed brats: the lot of them. I've been thinking of going on another horde tithe just to smolder their over-blown self-images of themselves. That'd bring them down to size—literally! Heh heh heh—STOP YOUR QUIVERING UP THERE! I'M ONLY HALF-JOKING! I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE YOUR PRECIOUS TREASURES FROM YOU ...YET! HA HA HA HA! NOW ALL OF YOU BUGGER OFF! I HAVE A PRINCESS TO ENTERTAIN!


Hmm? I'm sorry, but could you repeat your question? I didn't quite hear you the first time.


...What do I admire most about my dragons? Well now, isn't that a rare question I hardly ever hear.

Their wings of course, so as to better flee from danger.

Surprised? I don't blame you. After all, with my children being such a magnificently terrifying species, how can I look so fondly on such a cowardly trait?

Well, when you've been around as long as I have and seen the workings of this world: quite easily.

For as massive and as terrifying as my dragons are, they are in no way invincible and cannot hope to face every foe with sheer strength and fury alone. The magical beasts that roam this world prey upon them just as easily as they prey upon your kind and all other kinds. Even more so, as I'm sure they find my sizable children a much more tantalizing morsel.

I've seen careless young blood suddenly pulled under the ground and suffocate on the dirt by vicious tatzelwurms. I've watched scar-earned warriors get nipped by a single head of a hydra and die from the poison. I've found long lost kin turned stone and hollowed out for sustenance by foul cockatrices. I've even once seen a dragon so ancient as to be called my peer suddenly and with no warning get swallowed up entirely by the ocean due to a mysterious monster of teeth that chomped him whole, all because he drifted too close to the clear water.

I ask you, what good is our impressive stature when all it takes but a single poisonous strike to lay us low? How useful can our armored scales really be when only a simple glance is needed to turn them into stone? What danger can our flames truly pose when they can be so quickly drowned out by dirt and water?

The titles of prey and predator are not so easily defined in nature as many would like to believe. All of us, even the mightiest of beings, can soon find ourselves learning what it truly means to be prey when put under the correct circumstances.

And for prey to survive, it must learn the value of fleeing.

My dragons do not have the build for speed or stealth; their bodies are too bulky and thick armored to be quick on their feet, and their scales too proud and vibrant to merge with the shadows properly. Their flames, claws, and teeth are those of a predator and will not help them as prey when they are cornered like animals and outnumbered thirty to a measly one.

But their wings... their wings can take them far—far from danger and far from death—far away until they are safe, or at the very least, far enough away to easily return a dragon's fiery wrath.

This is why it is the wings of my dragons that I admire most, because without them my children would only be fat, temper-breathed salamanders to be hunted and felled for the prestige and the award of the kill. The beasts of the wild would chase them down for their tender muscle and fat, but by a dragon's wings they will only ever taste shadow. While the demons that seek to murder my children for their bone and flesh will wish that they had never slithered out of the cracks of Tartarus when dragonfire rains down upon them from an unreachable height. Even the titans, the unstoppable forces of nature that they are, would be hard-pressed to so easily destroy a dragon that has already taken air.

It is through these wings that has allowed my children to not only survive in this world, but to also thrive in it. And any dragon crippled in their wings is soon to learn this.

But, of course, then there's him.

Your biggest exception to this rule...

Like an enormous arrowhead piercing out from the crust of the land, a singular, rocky mountain jutted out of the long stretches of forested fields that surrounded it. Isolated in the middle of this green ocean of bark and leaves, the lone mountain towered over everything for miles. Snow-capped white at its tip from its impressive height, the mountain was also gray from its bare stone that no plant or tree from the forest below dared to take root on.

For as long as this centuries-old mountain has stood, a foreboding sense of anxiety enshrouded and deterred all those who approached its slopes. A paranoia justified by those who knew that 'centuries-old' wasn't actually something that's supposed to be applicable to a mountain.

After all, there's no such thing as a centuries-old mountain.

So it was no surprise that when the ground started shaking and the trees of the encircled forest began to tremble in fear, that the little critters whom made their homes in the surrounding forest knew to turn their gazes to the lonesome mountain.

With a literal earth-shattering explosion that tore apart and jettisoned rocks afar, a side of the mountain suddenly burst open like a spear thrust forward through a body, causing surmountable amounts of dirt and dust to lay claim to the surrounding air and obscure the causation of this destruction. From this shattering event, the entire mountain fell unto cataclysm as its snow-tipped peak and rocky slopes slowly crumbled into pieces before finally collapsing inward into itself as though the mountain was no more than a hollow shell come undone.

The collapse of an entire mountain was nothing short of devastating to the surrounding land as each crumbled chunk of the mountain that fell to the earth shook the ground so powerfully that each was an earthquake that tore the land with cracked fissures; as if the very tectonic plate had shattered from its collapse. The encompassing sea of bark and leaves that surrounded the once mountain, a once vibrant green of flourishing life, was now flooded brown by the displaced dirt and dust of the mountain's corpse. Trees that hadn't been uprooted and defeated by the flood of dirt now suffocated from the dust that covered their leaves from the sun, while grass and the many little critters that were the denizens of this forest now lay buried under massive mounds of dirt, hopefully already dead from the impact of the flood.

What had once been a peaceful, if albeit an underlying foreboding scene of landscape, had now become one of destruction and ruin.

And now the causation of this destruction was soon to be revealed.

From the dead mountain's massive cloud of displaced dirt and dust that stormed out with a mile-wide girth, out came the Mountain Bull.

A titanic being of epic scale and proportion a quarter the height of the mountain it had burst from, the Mountain Bull stepped forward with hooves each the size able to wholly crush a fully grown oak tree; proven by the fact that with every step that the immense beast took tore and shattered everything in its wake and left a trail of fallen timber and scattered dirt behind it. Skin like rock and crust, the Mountain Bull was more mountain than bull and every movement of its form relayed this as fissures opened and closed upon its rocky coat as it moved forward away from the dust storm of the mountain corpse. Between stone horns the size of galleons, the enormous beast's shadowed ruby eyes surveyed its surroundings before locking ahead at what was before it:

A forested landscape that stretched for miles, a small collection of steep mountains clumped together, a wide valley that followed after, and then even more ranges of mountains that currently sat under a raging storm.

At the sight of it all, large clouds of dust escaped the Bull's stone nostrils in a display of contempt determination as it began its slow march forward, undeterred by the distant obstacles as it left a trail of crushed forestry under its massive hooves.

For far, far beyond those mountains, in distant parts unknown, was the Mountain Bull's destination; its next place of slumber that called the massive bovine.

It did not matter where or how far it had to go. Nor did it matter what was between it and its destination. It was all irrelevant.

The Mountain Bull was a Titan. A creation of Order that has been around since before the Tree of Harmony first spouted, back when the Old World needed Flattening and the New World needed Structuring at the hooves of the Titans. The Chaos of Life and Nature did not interfere with its kind. It Woke, Moved, Slumbered, and then Woke again in a never-ending cycle. Though when it Woke and where it Slumbered was of a random nature, the fact remained that the cycle never decayed into something different like so many other things susceptible to Chaos were want to do.

The Mountain Bull always Woke. It always Moved Straight in the direction of its next Slumber.

And it always reached its place of Slumber, regardless of what was in its way.

All across the chamber's stone flooring, fluorescent glyphs of blue color glowed brightly through the abyssal shadows that cloaked the room in darkness. Filled with flowing arcane energy, these stone-etched grooves were like a radial maze of curved lines and jagged symbols that together encircled the room's center object like a net.

Floating there, with no assistance from any kind of physical support, was a large, spherical orb of glass that silently thundered from the entrapped storm clouds raging within it. Slowly rotating one way, while its glass prison rotated another, the contained collection of storm clouds repeatedly discharged bolts of lighting uselessly against the orb's thick, glassy surface.

Over the fluorescent glyphs, a set of hooves stepped through the arcane glow that rose up from the floor, and a pair of deep eyes gazed upon the glass orb of thunderclouds.

A spark of magical light from above those eyes and suddenly the glass of the orb was drifted apart into several large, bulbous pieces that swirled around the cacophony of trapped storm clouds like a tornado encasing a hurricane. Streaks of lightning that were once contained now arched through the gaps in the glass and across the chamber, striking the three metallic pylons that hung from the ceiling.

Studious eyes watched on, pupils twitching in their concentrated search for any sort of disturbance.

Storm generators were always a danger to fix. The fact that they were essentially a collection of condensed thunderclouds super-juiced to dangerous levels through pegasi magic with the intention of increasing the outage of their magical energy tenfold, all of which was contained behind a thick surface of glass, only drives home the point of how volatile the things were...

Behind the spinning pieces of glass, like the sudden sight of a shark skimming just below the ocean's surface, a section of the contained storm formed into that of a ghastly face that swirled about with the thunderous clouds it took shape from. Equine in design, the face's expression seemed to be locked into that of a state of torment and anger as its eyes and mouth gaped open painfully wide; its formed orifices filled with the bright, glowing light of magic, thunder, and soul as it let out a horrifying wail that shared all of its hellish pain and hate with the ears of those nearby. As if on queue with its wail, the storm generator thundered over-violently as bolts of lightning shot out across the chamber.

...Of course, a possessed storm generator was even more dangerous...

A particularly nasty thunderbolt of such volume lashed out at the pony in the chamber with seemingly violent intention, only to collide uselessly with the barrier of magic that immediately appeared around her.

...Which was why she was here.

From within the chamber's darkness, eyes flashed white with power and the fluorescent glyphs that covered the stone flooring glowed even more brightly from the arcane energy that flared within their grooves and symbols. Then, with a resounding slam of a hoof upon these glyphs, a magical beam of fluorescent color shot out of the darkness and pierced the thunderous storm generator, wrapping around the ghastly face of the specter that haunted it like chains upon a prisoner. The phantom wailed and thrashed violently in this magical grip as it was slowly torn away from the generator, its painful emotion spurring out the storm generator's lightning bolts hatefully across the chamber as its spectral form was brought closer to those white eyes that were bright with power.

Finally, the wailing phantom, its form now intermixed with the remaining black clouds of the storm generator and the spectral details of a once pegasus, was met with a chest covered in a soft coat just under those bright eyes that now seemed so much warmer when brought up closer. Wings colored similar to the met coat wrapped around the phantom's form like an enveloping blanket, their warm presence replacing the vanishing magical aura that had ensnared the phantom, whose wild thrashings and terrifying wails slowly stilled as comforting words were whispered into its spectral ears.

As soft comforts filled the chamber, as gentle promises of safety and of a better journey ahead were whispered in the darkness, the angry thunder and violent bolts of lightning that had dominated the storm generator's behavior slowly began to lessen.

But whatever resolution of peace that was to be attained right now was unfortunately destroyed by the disturbance of a large, nearby impact that quaked the chamber, followed by a bellowing, reptilian roar.

The phantom wailed fearfully at this sudden disturbance and pushed away from the warm wings, before diving back into the storm generator with a screech. It's maddened, terrified behavior now causing the generator to act much more thunderously than it had before, as the wild thrashing of its lightning bolts increased exponentially. Before the generator had the chance to destroy everything in its vicinity, the swirling pieces of glass that surrounded the clout of violent storms were quickly condensed back into the singular orb from before to better encase the destructive weather.

As the glass orb of the possessed storm generator was held together against the phantom's ministrations, white eyes of power angled away from the generator and further into the chamber's darkness with an irritated look that had a clear meaning to anyone familiar with the expression.

'Deal with it,' they seemed to say, before returning back to focus on the haunted generator.

Just hidden within the chamber's shadows, thick scales glimmered from the violent storm's light as sharp claws traversed across the stone floor, towards the chamber's steel door exit.

Author's Note:

This story is part of the Tutelary Spirit universe.

Reading the other stories in this universe is not required to enjoy this one, but if you do happen to enjoy reading this story, then just remember that there are more stories like it that you can read.

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