• Published 6th May 2015
  • 5,629 Views, 427 Comments

Never Broken - Torgaddon



A shattered and broken soul, Spike has spent the better part of the last two thousand years in never ending battle in the dead world of Ginun. Now, he must return to Equestria to protect what is most precious to him, but also face his shame again.

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Decision

Shagga Vesha'alad stepped through the charred earth of the quarry completely ignoring the incandescent heat of the gigantic pyre just to the left of the camp.

She had been summoned by the Darraor. It was only common courtesy that she would not keep Spike waiting, and she also prided herself on her punctuality. A rapier-thin female Draka, Shagga stood eleven and a half feet tall, somewhat petite for a Draka, yet anyone who enjoyed a working jaw would not dare bring up her size. After all, she was second in command to the Darraor Spike and in Draka society, only those who deserved got positions.
There was none of the useless, pathetic politics and bureaucracy of the other races. It was a simple "If you deserve the position, you get it".

Even as she walked she stole a glance to the castle-sized pyre. Shagga could not help but smirk. Oh, how the massive armies of the once proud Ganbataar Khan now burned, their corpses good for kindling at least. Yet, as always, even with such a gigantic pyre, light somehow seemed to barely come off it. The fire was there but there was almost none of the light it should have provided.

It was one of the many oddities of Ginungagap, light always seemed to fade away almost instantly in this hellish world. Then again, at this point she should not be surprised. Ginungagap, the Gaping Maw, was the very edge of creation, a plane of existence created only as a backlash to the constant warring of the elemental forces of existence and non-existence. What lay beyond Ginungagap was the Endless Night, the Abyss which preceded creation itself. In a world such as this, a world with no sun, moon or stars, a world where the Abyss itself become sentient in the form of the Gods of the Abyss, perverse parodies of life, the fact that light died off quicker was the least disconcerting problem.
It was nothing when compared to the fact that the entire plane of Ginun was nothing more than a tapestry of death. Entire forests of rotten trees would line the horizon and starved half rotten beasts and other more horrific dead things shambling for the amusement of the Abyssal Gods, their only purpose being to mimic and end life.
It was nothing when compared to the fact that time itself was in constant ebb and flow within the world of Ginun, where a thousand years could mean a moment in the real world, or a day could mark the passing of a hundred generations back home. One could walk through the portal at the Mouth of Madness and take a passing glance within Ginun only to return to the real world and find that entire civilizations had flourished and ended in the time he had been gone. Time was subject to the whims of Creation and the Abyss in the world of Ginun, nothing more than a prize in the constant tug of war between the two elemental forces.
It was nothing when compared to the daemons that stalked Ginun, corporeal manifestations of the will of the Abyssal Gods, anathema to life itself, made with the sole purpose of bringing oblivion and sheperding the dead things of Ginun against all that was living. Nothing more than pieces in a sadistic game of chess the Abyssal Gods played with Creation.

Shagga shook her head. She had slowed her stride and was becoming contemplative again. It was a fault of her character. In Ginun one must act not waste time on questions of existential pursuits. That was the job of scholars and warriors in the real world, she was one of the Damned. She was here only to fight and die.
Shagga brushed one of the many strands of "hair" out of her eyes. Damn it, she would have to crop it again soon. It was one of the first the first things a Draka of the Legion learned. Because there was no sun in Ginun a Draka's crest of spikes would fall off and instead of it, numerous thin, long spikes would cover their scalps. It made the Draka able to catch the much lower light spectrums and heat their own blood. Draka or no, they were still reptiles and the bodies of Draka were the most adaptable. Now every Draka of the Legion had a full head of "hair", but to Shagga it still looked weird. She had preferred her crest not this long wavy reddish mane.

As she closed on the edge of the camp she entered the training grounds. Quickly dug pits that served as makeshift arenas for one-on-one duels peppered the area to the left and rows of warriors trained and practiced techniques they had mastered long ago to her right. Setting up the tents had been a formality and nothing more, it was not in the nature of a Draka to waste time resting while training could be done.

She had reached the edge and the sentries posted immediately turned to her.

"Strength and wisdom Vesha'alad, all is silent here" a brawny, stocky warrior she knew as Goromandy gave the report.

"At ease brother" Shagga said "And I have told you to call me by my name, we are all brothers and sisters in the Legion."

"Apologies Shagga, but we are all proud that one of our own has been found deserving of the title Vesha'alad, now there are two with titles in the Legion" the warrior said as he smiled through his helm.

"Living vicariously through myself and the Darraor, Goromandy?" Shagga said smirking.

"As always sister" chuckled the warrior

This felt right, the camaraderie, the good-natured jests, the feeling of belonging. It was not shame that bound the Legion together, as it had been before Spike had become Darraor. It had taken Spike over a thousand years but he had created a Legion bound by trust, loyalty, camaraderie and the knowledge that when a Draka of the Legion died there would be his brothers and sisters to mourn and remember him. It had become a family, more than just the shame, more than just finding death.

Shagga, still grinning, looked to her forearm. In clear Dragonscript the tattoo read "Vesha'alad", the Mountain Taker. She had been honored with this title over a century ago, declaring her the greatest artificer of the Draka. She was the best when it came to the creation of arquebuses, dragon-flame cannons and magical Draken Runes and she wore the title with pride. Draconic clans did not give titles easily and only one individual may have a title. Until her death, or one better took the title, she would be the only Vesha'alad.

She reached the tent outside of the camp. As Darraor of Legion, Spike had the same privilege as any leader of the Draka, to be at the forefront of his warriors, the first to be attacked and the first to attack the enemy.
Shagga did not enter it, instead she circled around it. A Draka through and through, Spike shared the same instinct of not wasting time resting when he could train his body or his mind. As she had expected she found the Darraor behind the tent training. Spike had taken one of the one ton dragon-flame cannons and was using the grapple at it's end to swing it in a one handed overhead chop, always stopping it just inches from hitting the ground. It was a simple, basic exercise that Draka would do to meditate and perfect the accuracy and strength of the slashing motion, though most had to use both hands on the cannon.
Shagga was sure Spike had been doing this for most of the day, even though the Legion's healer had told him to let the wounds he had gotten from his battle with Ganbataar Khan heal. Spike said nothing, an unusually taciturn individual, even for a Draka, Spike would speak with her when he was ready to speak his mind.

She looked at Spike, a fifteen foot tall behemoth of a Draka, his body, a mass of purple scales, steel-chord like muscle and scar tissue. Arms the size of elder tree trunks with biceps like boulders were covered in runescript tattoos telling tales of deeds and oaths left unspoken. His wide shoulders and back, deformed by strands of knotted muscle, a testament to millennia of never-ending training and battle. Almost every visible part of Spike's body was covered in a plethora of scars, and she knew the stories each scar told.
There, right under the nape of his neck was the now circle shaped mass of scar tissue where the horn of Vindal Gor, bull-headed champion of the Abyssal Gods, had run Spike through. There covering his chest and upper abdomen were the numberless scars made by the spears, arrows and swords of the ten thousand Cultists of the Bleeding Eye, as they had broken against Spike at the battle of Helbrass Pass. There on his lower abdomen was the long horizontal scar where Spike had sliced through his own stomach so that he could overcome the song of Maldivha Halla, Siren of the Depths. There, from under his chin down to his belly button lay the monstrously wide and long scar where C'thall, Avatar of the Abyss, had almost bisected Spike, even as he had stood defiant, alone against the abomination. Every scar was a grave marking to an enemy that Spike had faced and vanquished. Undead, daemons, champions and the very Avatar of the Abyss, they had all met their ends at the Darraor's hands.
Only his back was clean, free of scars, proof that in over two thousand years, Spike had never once retreated. The only thing thing that covered his back was a large runescript tattoo, from the nape of his neck to his lower back that read "Veshanesh", the Mountain Father.
A title only two other Draka had had since the very birth of the world. A title that was given only to the most unyielding of Draka, the Draka that would face the most insurmountable of odds, but always emerged victorious. "Veshanesh" marked the strongest and Spike had proven worthy of the title time and time again.

Shagga chuckled to herself again. Here he was, this young Draka, one hundred years younger than herself, who had become the strongest and most complete warrior of all, not by some quirk of fate, not by some incredible super-power or some blessing of an unknown god, but by sheer bull headed stubbornness and an outright refusal to ever fall and accept anything other than victory. This once weak, short, pudgy runt that all of the Legion had thought would die in his first fight was now the massive warlord of steel muscle, hard-won experience and unwavering iron will.

Spike stopped swinging the cannon, and put his hand through the mane of wild dark green "hair" that covered his scalp.

"Leering is impolite, you told me that"

Shagga awoke from her day-dream, realizing that she had been staring at Spike for almost a full minute.

"Apologies elder brother" Shagga said, suddenly feeling somewhat awkward and warm around the cheeks. "You are right of course".

Spike turned and Shagga's eye instinctively jumped to the one scar that she knew so well, but did not know the story of. The Darraor's upper lip was gone and his lower jaw was a steel brace with metal fangs. Spike's had had this disfigurement since the day he had joined the Legion but no one knew how he had got it. No one had bothered to ask out of disdain and now no one wanted to pry out of respect.
However, it only lasted a second, as she was drawn to the part she wanted to see, his eyes. Behind the steely, uncompromising gaze of a veteran, there was the small, almost invisible light of kindness and gentleness that he always had whenever he looked at any warrior of the Legion of the Damned. As fearsome as he was in battle, Spike had always treated the Legion like a family. He would care for them, he would bleed for them, he would die for them.
If his strength was why he led them, his kindness was why they wanted him to always lead. It was the reason, they all called him "elder brother". It was why she loved him.

"And yet, you are still doing it" Spike said slightly raising an eyebrow.

"Apologies, again" Shagga stuttered trying to quickly change the subject "Why have you summoned me, lord Darraor?"

"I need your council Shagga" Spike said as he nodded to the large boulder serving as a table to her left. Between the many swords and pieces of armor was a lone letter.
Shagga took and read it. It made almost no sense, she knew Canterlot was the capital of Equestria but who was this Twilight, who was this Cadence? One sentence however, gnawed at her mind. "The Abyss rots within Equestria". It sounded as if the monsters of Ginun had reached Equestria. But that was not possible, they would have had to overcome the draconic forces at the Mouth of Madness. Te most defensible fortress ever created, the Bastion, manned by almost two thousand Draka and over twenty thousand Dragons, Drakes and Wyverns, blocked the way of any force from the Mouth of Madness. It was unbreakable.

"My lord, how recent is this?" Shagga asked

"You know as well as I that it makes no difference. It came this morning but knowing how time is in Ginun, by the time we've read this, a millennia or a second could have passed in the real world. Do you share my suspicions?"

"That the forces of Ginun may have found a way to enter the real world? But that would be impossible."

"We have seen things in Ginun that many would classify as "impossible", sister. At this point, the word has lost it's meaning" said Spike stroking the metal brace that was his chin.

Shagga was getting anxious. She had known Spike for over two millennia and the Darraor had always been taciturn and reserved. This was the most she had ever seen him talk in a single conversation.

"Elder brother, I do not wish to pry but..., does this letter hold some special significance to you?"

"..."

"My lord Spike?"

"My home may be in danger" said Spike.

Information like a cannonball hit Shagga. Equestria was Spike's home? The entire Legion knew he had not been raised by the Draka.
Spike had had all the instincts and mentality of a Draka but no knowledge of dragonscript, Draken runes or Draka fighting style when he had first joined them. The Legion itself had taught Spike what it meant to be Draka, but no one had bothered to ask where he had come from. Personal matters that were left unshared were unshared for a reason.

Shagga drew a deep breath.
"Whatever you must do my lord, we will be by your side"

Spike looked to Shagga for a few seconds.
"I will not ask of the Legion to follo..."

"I am afraid you have no say in this matter lord Darraor, you may punish our insubordination after we have solved the issue" a gruff voice from their left said.
Goromandy and two other sentries stood to the far left.

"We did not mean to overhear, but we came to announce that a fairly large pack of Rot-Wolves are heading towards the camp. Our Spymaster thinks it may be the advance force of a larger army"

Spike looked to Shagga and the three sentires.
"Do all of you feel this way?"

Goromandy grinned"There is not not a single warrior in the Legion that would not follow you to the depths of the Abyss itself Darraor. And whether we die in Ginun or not, as long as we fight and die against the forces of the Abyss, our shame will be forgiven."

"Plus, there's no chance we are going to let you go alone to hog all the glory again" a sentry added with a bark of laughter.

A second-long look of gratitude took over Spike's eyes
"Thank you, all of you".
It immediately faded away to be replaced be the stern, unforgiving steel gaze of a veteran warlord
"Drink and eat while you can, for tonight we crush through the fools that dare attack us and we do not stop marching until we reach the Mouth of Madness"

"Strength and Wisdom, Blood and Doom" bellowed the three sentries and Shagga in unison, grinning like lunatics at the prospect of battle.

Yes, thought Shagga, this all felt right. It felt like family.




Author's note:
Here is a quick look at how Spike's face would look for reference. Note that the original image is not mine i just edited the original to look like what i needed

This how Shagga looks

Author's Note:

Curse your human decency and support of my attempts at storytelling:twilightsheepish:
Because of you people I want to write more and more.

All jokes aside, thank you so much for your support, I've never met a kinder and more supportive community and the fact that you've so willingly accepted this grimdark loving metalhead in your community truly humbles me.

I somehow managed to finish the animation project I had and cram a couple of hours of writing.

As always, constructive criticism is encouraged, feel free to follow and leave a comment if you can.
Truly appreciate all of you.

See ya next chapter (some brutality is about to go down soon).

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