• Published 26th Sep 2015
  • 9,574 Views, 165 Comments

Can You Find it in Your Heart? - Ravenmane

As broken as he is. As unforgivable as he acted. Could anyone find it in their heart to care for a tyrant such as King Sombra?

  • ...

1 - The Broken Lord

Broken. Beaten. They are naught but words. Words to describe what has happened. Dead would be better, though I had the misfortune to survive what transpired once more. One could say that I was indeed broken as I was shattered into countless pieces and left for dead for the second time in the lands known as the “Frozen North”. Perhaps they did not expect me to survive. Perhaps they knew less of history than I would give them credit. Perhaps they never knew the truth.

There was no doubt in my mind that the kaleidoscopic tale had been forgotten by all but those who were triumphant. These victors were sisters who would spin a lie that became the history of the Empire. Perhaps it was out of shame that the lies were woven. What I had done to spark their ire and my downfall seems so trivial that my true sins, while still unforgivable, were minor by compare. What they had done was a greater sin. They struck at one who dared to hope his life could be bettered. A monster that they created had become the result of that dashed hope.

My name is Sombra and once upon a time I found myself on the wrong side of the fury and magical prowess of two sisters. This tale is not what you are here to know; nor are you here to hear what sealed the fate of my subjects at that time. I know my past will surface, but it is not the reason for this story. You are here to understand the unicorn I once hoped to be and learn of my fate, my shame, and my future.

Like the phoenix I rose from the ashes. Unlike the phoenix, I returned to a corporeal existence in a frozen tundra devoid of life from a fractured shadowy existence. From where I rose, I once more saw the Empire I once ruled upon the horizon. The haze of ages and madness of confinement had yet to muddle my mind so I knew it was not more than a decade which had passed, I prayed for less. My mind was still my own as I turned my back on my homeland, one I failed to protect once before. I knew I became a monster when the crown rested upon my head and I was named king. More importantly, I knew my home had turned its back on me already.

Was I angry because of this?

No, the scorn was deserved. My sins were not something I could wash away with pleas before the new rulers, while an army at my back to lay siege to my homeland would only prove myself a monster deserving of my fate. I may need to travel to the very ends of Equestria for penance. Perhaps further still would suffice. Anything to find peace for what transpired more than one thousand years ago.

Testing my magic, I crafted a cloak from the shadows that were cast near the place of my rebirth. I no longer considered the crown an icon of my right to rule, merely a grave reminder of the beast that I had become. I cast the vile thing aside and proceeded south towards the mountains that once separated the Empire from Equestria.

For nearly half a day the former tyrant traveled with nothing driving him other than a desire to escape the cold that threatened to end his life for good. As his vision began to fade in the harsh weather, a small wooden platform with a lantern and two benches came into view. Slowly, he made his way onto the platform and fixed a crudely summoned hood onto his cloak, desperate to close more of the wind from his face. A screeching sound caused him to lose focus from fiddling with his protection. Much to his bewilderment, a train had stopped at the station he was only remotely aware of.

“Well, what are you waiting for,” said the conductor as he ushered Sombra over. “Better not dawdle or you’ll freeze out here!”

With a quick, silent adjustment to hide his features, Sombra did as the conductor said.

The old pony had seen many strange things in his life, but the lone pony that was concealed beneath a fur-trimmed cloak at an abandoned station was something that was still strange to him. “What were you doing out in the cold?”

“Where is this going,” Sombra replied, his voice clung to the air just as the cold chilled his bones.

“We’re going into Equestria. Strange though, never seen anypony at it since the station in the Crystal Empire was put in. Thought it was decommissioned already so I never really paid it much thought but there you were when the train stopped. Do you have a ticket son?”

Sombra shook his head. “I’m not exactly from around here.”

“Ah, nomad then? Well, doesn’t matter to me. Not going to throw you off the train and back out into that weather. Once we’re in a warmer region I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Saving you from hypothermia’s one thing, giving you a free ride’s something else. There’s a stop near Trottingham that should be fine. Won’t be more than a few hours till we get there. Think you’ll find your way from there?”

Sombra nodded. “Can you tell me much about Trottingham?”

“Knew a mare from there once who told me a lot, quaint little village in the forest. If you plan to take the train anymore then you might need something to trade, forgive me for saying it but working for bits doesn’t seem to be up your alley.”

The former king sighed and got comfortable as the conductor left for another compartment. I’ll have to find a more suitable place than some little village in the woods to find peace, he thought. These trains though seem to be my best opportunity to find such a location. I could perform some magic and barter passage then. This detour will aid in knowing the news regarding Equestria proper. Perhaps an understanding of my most recent lapse of awareness. Deep down, Sombra knew he would never know of the lapse in time that nearly erased him from history. He stared out the window at the tundra.

“Never again…”