• Published 6th May 2015
  • 5,632 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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To Butcher

I see him. I see him and I feel his horror.

Poor child.

Poor Spike.

My heart fills with warmth as I see him accepted and loved by the ponies of Ponyville
My soul fills with pride as I see him grow and mature into a strong and gentle-hearted Draka
My mind fills with laughter as I see the happy children swarm the gentle giant that will accompany them into the Everfree Forest
My eyes fill with joy as I see his kindness with the children and the smile on Cheerilee’s face.

My heart fills with horror as I see spears and swords pierce him as Spike sets himself between the children and the changelings that attack them.
My souls fills with dread as I see Spike lose himself in the insanity of battle, as he tears and rips through the changelings.
My mind fills with screams as I see him ripping through Sweetie Belle’s throat, lost in madness.
My eyes fill with tears as I see him run for days on end, as I see him rip through his own face in despair, as I hear his cries and feel his sorrow.

Poor child.

Poor Spike.

Celestia startled awake trying her best to draw breath. Every gasp felt like a knife in her lungs, as if she had been submerged under water and had just managed to break through.

Why the memory?
The only time she had had that vision had been the days following Spike’s self imposed exile and his fleeing from Equestria. Why did she have the vision again at such a time and place?

Before trying to deduce a reason, Celestia’s heart skipped a beat. Wait, she only had visions when she was asleep, that’s how it had always been. She must have fainted due to the strain of holding the protective enchantments.
Celestia snapped upwards hoping to find Luna still holding the enchantments. Instead, she found herself stopped short of drawing to her full height by a series of shackles and interlocking chains, tied to her neck, hands and feet.

“Too little too late, my dear” a rumbling, phlegmy voice said filled with malicious amusement.

Celestia looked to the, all too familiar, obese form of Nerg’Cathal.
Forced to stoop slightly due to the shackles, Celestia put as much defiance in her gaze and voice as she could. She would not offer the putrescent abomination the satisfaction of seeing her frightened.


“Where is Luna?”

“Such sibling love” Nerg’Cathal chuckled.
“Calm yourself beloved, she is behind you”

Celestia looked behind her and exhaled in relief. Luna was on the stone floor, unconscious and restrained by shackles identical to the ones she had found herself in. But she was unharmed, that was all that mattered.

“I have to admit she was impressive, your little sister. She actually managed to hold the protective barrier for an entire two hours by herself after you had fainted, but in the end, it was nothing more than an exercise in futility”. Nerg’Cathal said lifting his massive bulk from his grisly throne.

“At the very least we can now speak without that meddlesome barrier in the way”.

Celestia snapped her eyes back to Nerg’Cathal and began a mental incantation to draw the magical wind of creation, Kashala, within her body. If the fat bastard thought he would put his rotten hands on her or her sister, he was sorely mistake…

The Princess of the Sun screamed as she was shocked to her knees by a surge of dark energy. Her neck, hands and feet felt as though they were circled by bands of molten metal and her entire body convulsed from the shock.

“My, My, such passion and determination” Nerg’Cathal said walking towards Celestia and Luna.

“Yes, Yes, you will do nicely indeed, you truly are deserving of becoming one of my wives. Yet I would greatly advise against attempting to use magic again my dear. The shackles you and your sister are wearing are Void Stone and will corrupt any magic you try to draw within yourself and tear you apart with your own power”.
“That is something I doubt either of us would want to happen”.

Celestia stood up and resigned herself to glare at the monster with as much vitriol as she could muster.

“I would sooner die than let you touch me or my sister”.

Nerg’Cathal’s grin fell and his eyes narrowed dangerously.

“Be careful what you wish for Princess, that will happen by itself when I tire of you”.
Immediately his grin reappeared.
“Bah but let us not fight again my dear, you see, I have decided to offer you and your sister a gift before I make you mine”.

“Nothing you have interests me, monster” Celestia said defiantly.

“Oh but I believe this will, my beloved, for you see, what I offer you is the gift of attendance. To see your precious Ponyville and Canterlot burn”.

As Celestia’s eyes widened with horror, Nerg’Cathal’s smile grew to a fanged manic grin.

“Oh yes Celestia, I will force you and your sister to watch as I slaughter your subjects and drown your home in blood. Then, I shall make you mine”.


The corrupted ogre screamed as his two ton bulk collapsed in on itself and his prodigious belly burst in a welter of blood and intestines.The massive curved blade that had bisected him had barely ended it’s upward trajectory only to reverse it’s edge and fall in a savage downward chop, splitting the iron tower shield of another. The shield ogre died, his head and chest split, before the bisected one had hit the floor.

Fewer than a dozen corrupted and mutated ogres of Ginun stood in shock, staring at the blood soaked, corpse littered expanse that had once been the one thousand strong Steel Skull Ogre Battalion. In the middle of the carnage stood a single purple scaled and green maned behemoth that had carved almost a thousand veteran Abyss Ogres into grime and bloody pulp.

One of the last remaining ogres let loose a bellow of frustration, lifted his crude granite headed cudgel for a massive two handed overhead blow, and charged ignoring the warnings of his companions. His defiant bellow turned to a terrified squeal as the warrior let loose a vicious punch that tore the six hundred pound granite head of the cudgel off it’s iron haft. Before the ogre could do anything more, the edge of the curved blade sliced through it’s throat like a hot knife through butter.

Before the dead ogre had even hit the ground, the warrior simply returned his blade into it’s sheath and remained in a relaxed stance as if daring the last few ogres to attack him.

Burtus Steel-Skull, warchief of the Steel Skull Battalion, felt his one good eye begin to twitch. How could one single warrior kill almost a thousand veteran ogres. It was ludicrous. The warrior was unscathed, hell, he wasn’t even breathing hard.

Burtus’s eyes rose to regard the line of almost four hundred warriors of the Legion of the Damned that stood one mile behind the lone warrior. Damn it all, his master, Jalaman Hun, would have his skull for a chamber pot for this.

“You must be the leader of the Legion of the Damned” bellowed Burtus trying to sound as threatening as possible, a nigh impossible task as his voice was racked by fear and shudders.

”Yes, all of Ginun has heard of you, Spoke or Spark or something right? I’m not sure, all Draka names sound the same to me” he yelled, bursting in a bout of laughter.
None of the other ogres joined in.

Ignoring the others he yelled again
“Why don’t you attack me little Draka, or are you afraid to test the might of Burtus Steel-Skull?”

Spike gave no answer he simply stood silent.

“Bahaha, look at you little Draka, all of Ginun whispers your name in fear but all you do is stand there” continued to goad Burtus hoping that his stalling for time would give him a plan to escape. “Do you know of me? I am Burtus Steel-Skull, warchief to the Steel Skull Battalion, killer of the Dead Duke of Vilkat Hall, slayer of the Ten Wolf Lords of the Decayed Woods, I spit on you and yours you cowardly little shi…”

ENOUGH

Burtus Steel-Skull lost control, he lost control of everything from his composure to his bowels. For a second everything had changed. For a second what he had seen before him had not been a single warrior with a sheathed sword, but a force of nature as ancient and unavoidable as death itself. Burtus had seen in Spike’s eyes and heard in that one word the weight of two millennia of unending battle and the sheer weight of Spike’s determination. There had been no magic in the word, just a sheer command that spoke on an instinctual level. Burtus knew that to disobey was to invite oblivion.

The clank of metal and stink of feces from all around him told Burtus that the rest of his warriors were as petrified as himself. He did not dare move a muscle.

“Do not be conceited, runt” came Spike’s deep voice “I am merely trying my best to extend this farce of a battle you offer me”.

“Y…Yo…You…d-dare” tried Burtus, unable to articulate due to his trembling mouth. The rest of what he had wanted to say was muted by the deep boom of a warhorn.

Spike turned his head towards his warriors and the sounding horn

“The time for myself to indulge has passed” he said and, with a fatalistic turn of the head, regarded Burtus and his terrified ogres.

“Burn”.

A massive gout of white and pale green flame reduced six ogres to ashes. Before the flame had barely begun dispersing, two more ogres died, their skulls shattering in Spike’s gauntleted hands.

“A…Attack” Burtus yelled.

Three ogres started lifting their weapons only for two to be sliced in separate halves by a single stroke from Spike’s blade, before they even had time to scream. The third had his head cracked to bony splinters by a savage headbutt.

Burtus bellowed and charged Spike, his enormous bardische great ax sketching deadly windmills in the air and lifting dust with their force. Spike caught the edge of the ax in his outstretched fingers in a frightening display of precision and strength. The ogre's attempts to pull it were futile, the ax caught as if in a vice, then it ended. A single punch caved in Burtus’s chest plate and solar plexus turning his heart and lungs into mush.

Spike turned and started walking towards his warriors as the ogre’s massive body fell to the ground. There was no more time to waste. He had indulged himself with battle, but now the horn had sounded signaling Shagga’s success.
As he reached his warrior’s he was greeted by cheers. The Legion stood in a perfect disciplined line but their faces beamed with pride.

“Was that a good appetizer Darraor?” said one.

“Aye, elder brother, are you ready for the main course?” laughed another.

A sense of gratitude filled Spike. The Legion had allowed Spike to have this fight all to himself without interfering and he appreciated it. A Draka sought battle instinctively and the stronger a Draka became the more battle became a “need” rather than a “want”. Spike was strong, as strong as his entire Legion put together and they all knew that.
For Spike, battle had become the only way to truly feel alive and his beloved Legion cared for him enough that they were willing to sometimes postpone a chance for glorious death if only to see Spike content.

There was no room for overt displays of sentimentalisms in the Legion, so Spike merely put is massive hand on the shoulder of one of his Legionnaires.

“Aye brothers and sisters, thank you for allowing me to satiate myself”.

“Ahaha” Goromandy laughed “You should thank the fools who actually thought they could attack the Legion, elder brother, on my pride I swear ogres seem to get stupider every time we face them”.

Raucous laughter echoed behind Spike as he walked towards the massive portal looming before him, where Shagga awaited. The great portal, the connecting point between Ginun and the Mouth of Madness, an anomaly of existence, where the wild and unstable winds of magic, the aethyr tore and stretched time itself.
Two grand pillars carved with leering daemonic faces that seemed to move when the eye did not look directly on them, provided boundaries to what looked like a coruscating vortex of every color imaginable.

Shagga, looking completely exhausted, rose from her cross legged position and presented Spike with a square slab of granite upon which she had inscribed and chanted an entirely new Draken Rune. Pinned to the rune with an iron bolt was the letter from Princess Celestia, the catalyst that completed the Draken Rune.
“My apologies, Darraor, I did not wish to make you wait so long but this new Rune was incredibly complica…”

Her words were cut off as Spike shook his head.

“No apologies, Shagga, you have done exceptional as always”

Shagga felt her face warm at the sudden and rare praise and fought to regain her calm.

“Th-thank you Darraor”.

They both started walking towards the swirling vortex as Spike began unbuckling the leather straps of his gauntlets and chest armor.

“This rune will allow you to better focus the winds of magic within the portal towards the link that binds you to the pony Princess. Once that happens, the portal will, for a brief time at the very least, stop dilating time and will provide a window of opportunity where it will be connected to a time area near to that when the Princess had sent you the letter”.

Spike regarded Shagga

“You have outdone yourself Shagga, you truly are deserving of the title of Vesha’alad”

Two praises in one day? Shagga was sure her face was as red as her hair

“Y-You honor me, Darraor, but the problem still remains, the window of opportunity will be too small for any of us to clear the length of the portal”

Spike finished taking of his gauntlets and breastplate and showed Shagga the palms of his hands. Her eyes widened as she recognized the runes Spike had painted on his palms. “Shela” and “Rudra” were inscribed and she recognized them instantly. These runes allowed one to physically grab hold of the winds of magic and bend them to his will. These were runes that rune crafters used to empower the runes they created but Spike obviously had a different idea, an insane idea.

“You don’t mean to actually force the winds of magic open once the link is created, do you?”

“Yes”.

“Elder brother, that is insanity, the winds of magic will tear your body to ribbons”.

Spike put one hand on her red maned head while he took the rune inscribed slab of granite with the other.

“Ready the Legion, Shagga, I will hold the portal open as they pass through”.

With that, he started towards the portal again.

Shagga began the walk back towards the assembled warriors, her mind racing. She was worried. No one had ever been able to tame the wild magic of the portal and she worried that Spike would be obliterated by those same powers.
Then again, she thought, begging to relax, this was not just someone, this was Spike. The man who had defeated the Avatar of the Abyss by himself, the man who had killed Ganbataar Ghiula and his ten elite, the man who had done the impossible time and time again.
Her worry soon turned to purpose and calm. No, Spike would succeed, as he always had. Once Spike said something, it was as sure as stone that it would happen.

Spike stood before the vortex and chanted the Litany of Release. With every syllable the powers within the rune inscribed granite and the letter pinned to it were unsealed and soon they burned with a strong ivory aura of power. Spike threw it into the vortex and smashed his palms together, filling the runes on his palms with energy.

The moment the granite slab hit the vortex, it was disintegrated by the wild magic, leaving only a swirling mist of power that was absorbed into the multi colored portal. With a twinge of nostalgia, Spike felt the familiarity.
The feel, the scent, the sound. It all felt like “home”. The link had been made.

Spike drew both arms back and rammed his hands into the vortex, even as the first wave of pain hit him.


Bal'Valar the Stormfang, Archdrake of DrakenHall, sighed as he set another funeral pyre aflame with a snap of his claws. He was an ancient dragon and he had seen many a horrific sights but his heart broke at the sight of so many of his race dead.

He looked towards the charred and cracked remains of the Bastion fortress and Mouth of Madness that stood a mile beyond it.

Over twenty thousand of the strongest Dragons, Drakes and Draka had guarded this fortress, always ready to repel the forces of Ginun, and now they were all gone. His eyes rose to see dragons and wyverns flying above and stomping the ground, searching through debris, changeling, daemon and undead carcasses, for more dead draconians to bring to the funeral pyres. Hey had died protecting the world. It was the least he could do to offer them a proper funeral.

Under the orders of his consort, the venerable Dragon Matriarch, he had come with an army of ten thousand draconians to assess the damage and try to organize a proper defense in case of further invasions from the Mouth of Madness. He knew he was woefully unprepared, even with his own exceptional magical prowess added to the defense, but they had to do it. Armies of Ginun had already invaded, they could not allow more to come.

The unmistakable sound of steps behind him awoke Bel’Valar from his introspection. The scent told him enough. He turned slowly and lowered his gigantic dragon body into a bow.

“As always, you are too kind to this old soul, young Bel” a voice spoke directly in his mind.

Bel’Valar rose back on all four limbs.

“Mother Renrin, I have not been “young Bel” in over ten thousand years” he said, his long snout splitting into a smile.

“Bah, I have been your wet nurse since you were born young Bel, and to me, you will always be that playful little geko, setting his own tail aflame”.

Bel’Valar laughed, the sound booming from his massive frame and regarded the Kirin that had taken care of him when he had been just a fledgeling.

Like all Kirin she was as big as a wyvern, her draconic scaled body closer to that of a horse rather than a dragon. Kirin had always been more spiritual than physical in form, and all draconians knew to heed their wisdom. And wisest of all was standing before him, Renrin, Honored Mother of the Kirin, as ancient as the world and progenitor of the entire Kirin clan.

“Young Bel, I have foreseen another coming” she said, looking towards the portal.

Bel’Valar’s mood went from nostalgic to wary in an instant.

“Another?”

“Yes, young pup, another premonition”.

Bel’Valar snapped his head toward the vortex of the Mouth of Madness. He had learned long ago to trust the premonitions of his wet nurse.

“I will ready the troops”.

“Bah, You have always been too hasty young one”.

“But…”.

A flick of her long tail snapped lightly across his snout, a habit she had carried since she had raised him.

“I merely saw that another comes from Ginun, but I do not remember telling you it was enemy”.

“Only daemons come from Ginun, honored Mother”

“This one is the Bane of daemons, young Bel. He comes seeking absolution, yet I fear he will only find pain”.

“What do yo…”

His words stopped as a large fissure appeared in the vortex, followed by a sound like a collapsing titan.

Bel’Valar’s eyes widened as he saw the fissure grow and expand and a succession of rank and file massive warriors march from within the portal.
Seeing what was happening, every draconian in the vicinity headed towards the portal.

“Stop, all of you, I command it” his already booming voice, magnified further by magic echoed across the field.

The mighty elder dragon landed on all four limbs before the army amassing from within Ginun. With a snap the fissure closed, and without it’s blinding light he was able to truly see them.
Shoulder to shoulder, each of them standing at least twelve feet tall, donning Nippon style heavy plate, he recognized the battle regalia and scaled faces of the Legion of the Damned.

“Wha-What is the Legion doing here? Why have you left Ginun?”

No one answered.

Bel’Valar felt himself become enraged, unused to being denied a response.

“I am Bel’Valar the Stormfang, Archdrake of DrakenHall and I DEMAND answers”.

“Be silent”.

The words had not been yelled, merely spoken, but had carried with them a sense of command that permitted no questioning. Bel’Valar looked towards the speaker. A massive purple scaled warrior that towered head and shoulders over the rest of the Legion walked towards the elder dragon. He looked as if he had just been through a grindhouse, his bare arms, chest and neck covered in blood, cuts and gashes, yet he walked as if nothing was wrong. Although Bel’Valar was far larger and the warrior only came up to the dragon’s lower neck, he suddenly felt somewhat small compared to the presence of this Draka.

“Who are you?”

“Spike, Veshanesh of the Draka, Darraor of the Legion of the Damned”

Immediately Bel’Valar fell into a short bow. He understood now why this warrior commanded such a presence and instinctive fear.
A Veshanesh was never to be disrespected and if this was the Spike he knew of, his successes in Ginun had earned him the respect of all Draconic Clans.

“Then, I apologize for my outburst Darraor Spike, but no one was expecting that the Legion would ever return from Ginun. How long have you been in there and why have you returned?”

“I have been Darraor for over two millennia” Spike said, signaling one of his warrior’s to bring him a large chest. Spike took the massive chest and opened it, revealing seven seemingly random items.

“These are seven of the ten draconic artifacts. They are in your care now”.

Bel’Valar almost screamed in surprise. No one had ever managed to return even one artifact, yet this young Draka had returned seven.

“You are a bringer of good tidings Darraor. Not only have you returned seven artifacts but fortune has made you come to our world when you are most needed”.

Spike looked around and lifted his hands. His palms looked as if they had been grated by saws, no more scales remaining, only red bleeding flesh.

“No fortune was involved Archdrake, I have been warned of a threat within my homeland and I have forced my way through the portal to return to this time”.

Bel’Valar’s jaw fell agape. His knowledge of magic had allowed him to understand what the Darraor had meant by “force his way”. This mad Draka had actually bent the wild and untamed magic of the portal to his will. It was a notion so ridiculous it could not be false.

“More importantly , what has happened here” Spike added looking at the myriad of corpses and the funeral pyres.

The elder dragon sighed. “I am sorry to say that the garrison at the Bastion has been utterly decimated by the invading force of Ginun. We have information that they had been the targets of a two pronged attack from both Ginun and a vast host of Queen Chrysalis’s changelings”.
“What you see before you is merely a provisory defense force in case of more attacks, but I fear we will be unable to hold in such a case”.

Spike’s head snapped to regard Bel’Valar.

“Have you intercepted the invading army?”

“N-No” stuttered Bel’Valarm taken aback by the warriors brusque question “It’s as if after the attack, they all vanished”.

Shagga interjected, speaking to Spike

“Elder brother, they must have gone to Equestria, that is what the letter had meant by the Abyss rots within Equestria”.

“Then there is no more time to waste”.

Spike’s head turned back to the elder dragon.

“Archdrake, the armies of Ginun are within Equestria as we speak, we are going”.

“Wh-WHAT? You cannot Darraor” screamed Bel’Valar jumping his twenty ton mass in front of Spike.

Spike’s features darkened dangerously.

“Move”

“Y-You must stay… help us secure the fortress, then after that is done … we can convene a meeting of the Draconic clans, decide if Equestria is even worth savin…”.

His last word was cut short as Spike’s bare knuckles smashed into the side of Bel’Valar’s jaw, knocking the twenty ton dragon on his side and sending massive fangs flying.

A simultaneous gasp came from every draconian in the area. The Legion merely watched unfazed, their weapons at the ready.

Bel’Valar coughed and trembling, started lifting himself up, feeling his broken jaw.

“Y-You dare…?”

“Enough young Bel” a voice spoke directly in the minds of all present.
“It was your folly to insult his home and attempt to stop the Legion. No one has that right young geko”.

Renrin trotted towards the two draconians. She stopped mere inches from Spike, lifting her head to look at him.

“B-But my honor” Bel’Valar tried to object

“You would die before unleashing even one of your spells young Bel” she said, again for all to hear. “Forgive him Veshanesh, you are of course, well within your rights to defend your home”.

Spike regarded her for a few seconds and then made a short bow. The Legion gasped. Spike had NEVER bowed to anyone.

“I know of you Mother Renrin. You honor me with your wisdom”.

He turned to the Legion.

“Two hundred of the Legion will remain here to help with the defense. May you die well, brothers and sisters.”

Like clockwork, two hundred of the four hundred Legionnaires began marching towards the Bastion fortress. There were no tearful farewells or hesitation nor were there any protests. Although no one wanted to leave the Darraor’s side, Spike’s orders were absolute and they all trusted the wisdom of his decisions.

“Such chivalry and kindness” Renrin said. “You truly are the Veshanesh”.

“We ready to march” Spike ordered.

“Elder brother” came Shagga’s voice. “Please let our medicae look at you before we leave. Forcing the portal open has wounded you”.

Spike looked at his chest and arms as if just now noticing the wounds. He closed his eyes and lifted his right hand. The Draken Rune on the back of his right hand glowed white hot and it quickly spread to the rest of his hand. Without hesitation, he began cauterizing every cut and gash on his body.

Bel’Valar looked dumbfounded at this insane Draka who was burning his wounds shut without a sound, while Shagga simply shrugged and smiled.

“There is no arguing with you is there, elder brother? I will go and ready the troops”.

As Shagga left, Renrin approached Spike again. This time her voice spoke only in his mind.

“You would leave half your forces here? You would do this for us?”

“I have a duty, both to my home and to the dragon clans”.

“You truly are a kind soul Veshanesh Spike. Allow me to grant you a boon for your kindness. Allow me and two hundred of my clan to take you to your home. We can ride as fast as the wind, and I would repay your kindness as best I can”.

Spike bowed again

“You humble me with your offer Honored Mother. I am in your debt”.

“A debt that has already been paid in full. Allow me this however, would you entertain this old soul with a question?”

“Ask” .

“I am both blessed and cursed to see the fates of those I look upon, young Spike. I have seen yours. If you go to Equestria you shall die. You shall die in a blaze of glory unlike anything the world has ever experienced before”.

“Then my sin will have been erased and I shall attain redemption”.

“But there is more, child. There is always more. All you know and love shall perish, all you hold dear will rot and the pain you will suffer before finding your death is something even I cannot begin to comprehend. Know that your glorious death will be witnessed by no one. You shall die alone in the depths of madness and despair, a death most glorious but infinitely painful”.
“Knowing this, young Spike, will you still go?”

Without a moment’s hesitation Spike simply said.

“Always”.



Rarity looked from the edge of the Carousel Boutique. Everywhere she looked, all she saw were burning buildings and the smoking husks that had once been homes to the ponies of Ponyville. Even worse were the creatures that roared, flied and shambled all around the desolate place that had once been Ponyville.

Because of the darkness caused by the dark cloud that had been hovering over Ponyville since the attack three days ago, Rarity noticed in the flickering firelight daemonic faces, hollow-eyed changelings and rotting corpses that shambled mindlessly. With a silent scream she closed her eyes so that she would not have to look at the faces she had once known. Among the shambling cadavers were a number of ponies, shambling in tandem with other, more horrific decayed things. Their broken and carved hands lolling uselessly at their sides, their sliced legs collapsing in on their own weight, only to lift themselves up again and resume the grisly dance of the dead.

What was the worst of it all was not that.
It was the sadistic pleasure the daemons took in toying with the last surviving ponies. A high pitched scream made her look and see that another house had been raided. The daemons had been playing this macabre game for the last few days. After the carnage of the first attack, fifteen houses , the Carousel Boutique among them, had been left untouched and anypony that had taken refuge in one of those houses had been left alone. The game had begun.

Every few hours, chanting and laughing daemons would raid and burn one of the standing houses and take everypony within it alive. They would then make make the stallions, mares and foals scream. They would make them scream for hours, they would make sure that the ponies in the houses left standing would hear them. They would make sure that they watched the tortures and other more horrific and sickening things.
Then they would finally kill half of them, only to raise them as mindless dead to devour the remaining ones. Then they would move on to the next house.

Now, the last house that had stood before them had been raided. The Carousel Boutique would be next.

Rarity stooped down from the window and looked at the ponies around her.

Rainbow Dash sat scowling in a corner, a shamble of piecemeal bandages of cloth and dress fabric, covering her right wing, which had been pierced by three changeling spears, the rest of her body, a mass of cuts and bruises.

Scotaloo slept trembling in Dash’s embrace, the poor dear having been in a state of complete shock the last three days, having finally passed out of exhaustion a few hours ago.

Fluttershy stood near a small table, a paper and pencil in her hands, obviously trying to keep herself busy and not think about what had happened. The normally shy and quiet pony had been surprisingly level headed during the ordeal. While trembling and obviously scared out of her wits she had been the first to use the dandelion alcohol in Rarity’s cupboards to disinfect the wounds the group had sustained. Now she was busy making notes of how many makeshift bandages they had left, how much food and water and how much medicine. Rarity didn’t have the heart to remind her they would most likely not need any of them in the next few hours.

Applebloom sat on the same chair she had been sitting on since they had taken refuge in the Boutique, sniffing and constantly repeading “Big Sis’”,”Big Mac”,”Granny”, with Sweetie Belle comforting her and trying to snap her out of it.

In Rarity’s bed lay the slowly breathing body of Octavia, knocked into a coma by the cudgel of a daemon, with Vinyl asleep on a chair having refused to leave Octavia’s side for more than a few minutes at a time.

On the sofa stood the last three, Derpy completely silent, her cross-eyed look filled with sadness and her, usually bubbly, self reduced to a morose state.
Lyra and BonBon, grasping hands, refusing to let one another go, the closeness of each other being the only thing that had stopped them from going into complete mental breakdown.

Rarity herself sat on a cushion, her left arm bandaged from shoulder to fingers, where a rotten thing’s rusted sword had sliced across her arm. She should consider herself lucky, Fluttershy’s quick thinking to clean the wound with alcohol having most likely been the only thing that had stopped the rust from infecting the wound.

She opened her mouth, but immediately closed it. There was nothing she could say. No encouraging speech, no way to lift their spirits. The only thing she could do is pray. Pray that it would be quick and painless, at least for the little ones.

Even though she knew it would not knew it would not be so.



The assembled two hundred Legionnaires stood in silence at the edge of the Everfree Forest, awaiting the return of Mika’il, the Legion’s Spymaster.

The two hundred Kirin and Mother Renrin had brought them to their destination with a speed that had defied reason. A non-stop march that would have taken a week at the very least on foot, had been covered by the Kirin steeds in little under half a day. Now that they had arrived, the Kirin had taken their leave.

Now, here they stood, between the trees of this eerily calm forest awaiting information from their Spymaster. It was bad, they all knew it. Since the moment they had entered Equestria the sky had become darker and darker, and now they were at the source.Instead of the Sun shining it's midday rays, a dark, sickly green cloud hovered above Ponyville and Canterlot and blocked all light.

Shagga was concerned. She looked at the Darraor. Spike stood tall looking towards the aura of red and orange coming from Ponyville. He had pulled out both his sword and sheath and held the sheathed blade in his left hand, his clawed thumb constantly scratching the surface of the black lacquered wood and steel sheath.

Shagga had known Spike for over two thousand years and she knew that whenever Spike did that, it was a clear sign that he was getting anxious and furious.

A rustle of leaves from their left made a few warriors half draw their curved swords and level their spears, but they all relaxed when a very slim, very lanky, fourteen foot tall Draka, dressed in black studded leather armor appeared.

Mika’il moved towards Spike without making a single noise or disturbing a single leaf. He held an object bound in burlap to his chest.

“Elder Brother Spike, I have done as you asked”.

Without moving his eyes from the direction of Ponyville, Spike responded in his laconic way.

“Report brother”.

“The main area of Ponyville is in flames and completely overrun, Darraor, at least twenty thousand daemons, undead and changelings and…”

Spike turned his head to Mika’il urging him to speak.

“There is a number of ponies that have been killed and turned into walking dead”

None of the Legion spoke, looking only at Spike whose features had begun darkening more and more dangerously. His face was as stoic as always, but the pulsating veins beginning to appear at his forehead betrayed his growing anger.

Mika’il, against his better judgement, started speaking again.
“I have also checked the residences you have requested me to.
The crystal castle is burned and shattered but there are no bodies within it.
The cottage at the other end of the Forest is similarly burned but the only bodies I have found within are the charred remains of a few woodland critters.
The farm outside Ponyville is burned but there are no bodies within, except farm animals.
The house on the white cloud no longer exists, as such I apologize but I can give no accurate report on it.
The building you have described to me as the Carousel Boutique still stands, and I am certain that there are still ponies within it”.

For a moment Spike stopped scratching the sheath and his features become slightly less threatening.

“How many?”

“I caught the scent of at least eleven ponies, all females”

Spike’s eyes grew sadder. He had hoped for more to be safe there.

“D…Darraor” Mika’il stuttered as he put the burlap covered object on the ground and began uncovering it
“In the place you named Sugarcube Corner I found a few bodies”.

Cradled in the burlap cloth were two carbonized ponies, one female and one male grasping each other as they had in the moment of their death. Between their bodies lay two more tiny carbonized shapes. Mr. and Mrs. Cake had been burned alive trying to protect their children Poundcake and Pumpkincake.

For a moment, all stood still.

The small sound of the black lacquered wooden and steel sheath snapping was like a thunderclap in the silence of Forest.
Not one Legionnaire, not even Shagga, dared move, breathe or even blink.
Shagga was frightened, no, she was terrified down to her very soul. In over two thousand years she had NEVER seen Spike loose his composure. NOT ONCE. Except for this time. And it was as if staring at a gathering storm.

Even the wind had seemed to stop blowing through the leaves, and sheer killing intent radiated from Spike with such intensity it was almost palpable.

Every fiber of her being, every instinct of self preservation screaming for her to stop, Shagga slowly raised her eyes to look at Spike’s face.

What she saw made her want to scream and run in fear. It was not his face, not the bursts of flame expelling from his disfigured, lipless mouth. It was his eyes.
Spike’s green eyes were glacial, as cold as the surety of death. For a moment, she saw it in those eyes. The flesh searing fury of the most primordial beast clashing with the cultured anger of the most learned mind, both coalescing into a vortex of pure hatred, as palpable as a force of nature.

For a moment, in those glacial, hatred filled eyes, she saw the encroaching scythe of death itself.

Spike turned, and a collective exhale of breath came from all two hundred Legionnaires. These warriors who had faced the most horrific daemons without an iota of fear, had now found themselves paralyzed with terror, and were struggling to draw trembling breaths.

Spike’s deep voice came with the finality of a headsman’s ax.

“My orders … kill them all, slaughter them, until the Abyssal Gods themselves plead for mercy”.

“Butcher each and every one of them”.

Author's Note:

Phew,

Here we go, my longest chapter yet.
Finished this wile binging on Megadeth and Black Sabbath.
Told you it was about to get real brutal, real fast. :pinkiecrazy:
Grimdark brutality is about to go down in full glory.
Spike's home baby.

P.S. For any wondering how a Kirin looks like, here ya go

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