• Published 1st Dec 2015
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Equestrian Origins - FaultyScrewdriver

In the country of Equestria, 1000 years before the unity of the Elements of Harmony, a young hero stallion attempts to survive in the Equestrian Wilds.

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Chapter 1: Kikiya

Author's Note:

I'm sure a lot of these words are weird. So, here's a pronunciation list, so you don't stutter.
Kikiya (kee-kee-yah)
Devinia (deh-vee-nee-ah)
Zethi (Zee-theh)
Yekata (Yeh-kah-tah)
Hitizika (Heh-teh-zeh-kuh)

My second story. It's somewhat unedited, so tell me if you find any grammatical mistakes. What was edited was edited by Ernest Wood.

The Village of Thorn

Ashy Mane set the mug down on the bar counter.

"Another." he said in his thick, foreign accent.

He looked at his reflection in the shiny metal mug. His green eyes reflected vibrantly. His smoky grey hair was spiky, and a bit longer than most stallion’s hair. His coat was a dark grey which transitioned into a lighter grey at the end of his muzzle. His black leather armor ended with a red trim. It covered most of his body and ended at the base of his neck while it kept his legs open so he could move them freely. After all, an earth pony needed to be able to move in battle, especially since they had the biggest disadvantage compared to the other races. His cutie mark, when it wasn't covered by the leather armor, was two longswords that lay vertical to each other.

He gave a huff. "Nevermind, take it back" He set one of the gold bits he got on jobs he worked on the counter, and walked out of the pub, making sure to grab his kitana-like sword as he walked out.

The main reason Ashy left the pub, was because of their incredibly strict "No Weapons Allowed" rule. Whenever Ashy Mane was far from his weapon he became restless.

Ashy smiled."This town is very lively. It is always lively like this, yes?" He looked to his side, and his smile turned into a frown. "Oh yes, that is right. They are gone."

Ashy had left his comrades in arms, Yekata and Delto, back in Devinia. They were the ones that told him of the riches to be found in Equestria. But Equestria was exactly the same as Devinia, full of helpless ponies fearful of the monsters abound. The only real difference Ashy could find between Equestria and Devinia were their spoken tongues.

Ashy spent nearly seven moons just to learn the equine tongue. Now, he was fluent, and could freely talk to the people of Equestria, not that he wanted to. Ashy was strictly business. Unless bits were involved, he could care less if you had a problem.

Ashy stopped in front of the job board. There were the usual jobs from the town guard, as well as regular people who simply needed help. But there was one job, a single job, that caught his eye.

Ashy squinted at the hoof-written paper. Speaking and listening to equine was easy, but actually reading it? That was a bit harder for him.

"Twenty bits to the pony that can took... take out a band of th... thieves... in Red... Redrock Hills. Twenty bits. That is a lot."

Ashy tore the page from the stand, and tucked it into his saddlebag. "I will take this job. It is an easy job. The way it is going, I will quickly be able to afford a trip back to Devinia."

Ashy walked along the busy street, before seeing something peculiar and stopping. A black and white striped mare was juggling daggers while dancing in a circle.

He scooched closer and molded into the crowd forming around the juggler. No, that wasn't a mare. Well, yes, it was, but it wasn't a pony. That was for sure.

The black and white striped mare was more solidly built than regular ponies, yet she also seemed light. She was quick on her feet, and quickly corrected her mistake when she nearly dropped a dagger. Her mane was cut short into a mohawk, and she had three gold loops in her right ear, and one in her left. Her tail was short as well, and resembled her mane. And her cutie mark was peculiar too. It looked like a pair of daggers, but none of the lines connected, so Ashy wasn't entirely sure.

Ashy stood in place, completely mesmerized by the sight of the athletic mare juggling sharp weapons with her bare hooves. After a few seconds, she began to throw the blades in higher arcs, and even started using her head as a tool to juggle them. And she ended her spectacular show by catching each blade, one by one, between her teeth. She sheathed each blade in unison on several sheaths located all around her body. She neatly caught another after each blade was put away.

The crowd dispersed after that, seeming mostly unimpressed. But Ashy immediately opened up his saddle bag, pulled out three golden bits, and pushed them toward the striped mare.

The mare looked at him quizzically, then sheathed the last dagger left in her mouth. "You are giving me gold coins? Why?" Strange. Her accent wasn't equine, and it made her voice seem deep.

Ashy cleared his throat. "You're a street performer, yes? People like you live off of the gifts people give you.”

The mare only looked at Ashy. "I was not performing. I was simply training for battle." The mare swiftly snatched the bits away before Ashy could pull them back. "But, if you are willing to share your wealth, then I am too, Devinian."

Ashy put on a face of surprise. "How did you know?"

"I have been to Devinia before, and I can speak your tongue. Your voice is heavy with that of the Devinian, so I only assumed. But, it looks like I assumed correctly." The mare placed a hoof on Ashy's shoulder. "I care not for your Equine name, Devinian. Let me hear your true name."

Ashy sat in place for a bit, his jaw hanging open. He blinked, and shook his head to snap himself back into reality. "It's Kikiya."

“Mane of Ash in Equine. Correct?"

Ashy nodded.

"Yes, I thought so. Very well, Kikiya. I promised I would share my wealth, so let us go spend the coins on a meal to share. That is good?"

Ashy was still confused. He was having trouble figuring out exactly who and what this mare was.

"I'm sorry. I never asked for your name."

"Ah yes, my name. I am Zethi of the Hitizika tribe."

"H-Hitizika tribe? But Equestria isn't separated into tribes."

"You are correct, Kikiya." The striped mare started to walk away. Ashy sat in place, still looking completely dumbfounded. "Are you not coming? I am willing to pay for our meal using the coins you gave me, so worry not."

"Are you inviting me to share a meal?"

"You can decline, if you wish. I will not force you."

Ashy broke from his dumbfounded state, and caught up with the strange striped mare. They walked in awkward silence for a long while. Then Ashy broke the silence with a question.

"You're not a normal mare, are you?"

She let out a light chuckle. "Of course I am a normal mare. I believe the question you are looking for is: You're not a normal pony. are you? No, Kikiya. I am not a pony at all."

Ashy looked at her in confusion. "But..."

"I am a zebra. Similar to a pony, indeed, but very different in reality. I am from a tribe of zebras far to the west of here."

"A zebra?" Ashy had never even heard of a zebra before. This was an entirely new experience for him.

Another awkward silence.

"How was juggling daggers a way to train for battle?"

"I was using ten blades. The only way that I've found one can use that many weapons for battle is to have them flying around your opponent. So yes, I juggle my blades around my opponent while skirting around them to look for weak points."

She pointed toward the sword strapped to Ashy’s side. “And what about you? How do you fight with that longblade?”

“I usually hold it defensively, and I wait for my opponent to strike first.”

“What if us two were to do battle? Who do you think would win?”

Ashy knew the answer to that already. “You. You're faster, and your strategy makes mine look sloppy.”

Zethi raised an eyebrow. “Ponies are always doubting themselves. Find your confidence. I believe your answer may be wrong.”

Ashy and Zethi both stopped at the same time.

“But-” Ashy began, but he was interrupted when the zebra put her hoof over his muzzle.

She pointed at the single golden hoop in her left ear. “In my tribe, the number of rings in your left ear represent your status as a warrior. The more, the better. In comparison to the others of my tribe, I am fairly weak. I have battled many zebra, but I have only battled one pony before. I found defeat in that battle.”

Ashy pushed her hoof off of his muzzle. “How did you end up losing?”

“For one, I often make the mistake of training like my target will not move. In real battle, both parties are moving. Secondly, I lost against a stallion in full armor. My blades are made to fight other zebras, not armored ponies.”

“You believe I would defeat you in battle?”

“The chances are in your favor, yes. If you are willing to fight me, I will certainly be grateful. Training against your kind would be helpful.”

Ashy was willing to battle this mare, just to help her train, but he thought of something even better. Ashy sat down, and pulled the sheet of paper out of his saddlebag.

“Thieves in Redrock. If you help me take them out, and survive, I will give you half of the bits.”

Zethi smiled. “Throughout the entire time I spent in Divinia, I only encountered selfish ponies. You are much different, Kikiya. Very well. I accept your offer.” She chuckled lightly. “That will be thirteen coins I will have taken from you.”

“You do not have to worry about it. The life of a mercenary pays well.”

“How many coins do you have left?”
Ashy looked into his bag. “Three.”

“Apparently, it does not pay as well as you think it does.”

Ashy looked down sheepishly. “I suppose I underestimated my wealth. I believed I had more than that.”

“I will take five coins from the job. That will leave you with most of the wealth. You will likely do more work than I will.”


Zethi once again covered his muzzle with her hoof. “I will not take no for an answer.”

The two warriors stood in place, eyes locked in a glaring contest. Ashy pushed her hoof off of his muzzle for what he hoped was the last time.

“Very well. I will only give you five bits, since I have already given you three.”

Zethi smiled. “There you go. That was not so hard, was it?”

Ashy scowled deeper, and then broke his gaze from her. He started to walk off.

“I still expect you to buy food, zebra. And I hope you do not disappoint.”

Zethi quickly caught up with him.

“There you go, Kikiya. That is getting into the spirit.”


Redrock Hills

Ashy walked between two rocky hills. Redrock Hills were aptly named, as they were a large group of hills made up of red rocks.

“This is a perfect place for an ambush.” Zethi appeared from seemingly nowhere.

Ashy jumped slightly. He hoped she hadn't noticed. The mare was as silent as she was fast.

“I am aware,” Ashy began explaining. “They will fill in from both sides of the canyon, and probably come down from the top of the hills.”

“So you want them to come in from all sides, and have us completely surrounded?”

“Yes. If they do that, and I hope they will, then your job will to do your juggling.”

“This is a really bad plan…” Zethi looked up toward the top of one of the hills. “They will put archers and unicorn magi at the top of the hills. They will have those armed with blades come from ahead and behind, and any pegasi in the group will be coming at us from above. In reality, you have doomed us both.”

“What if I were to say I have a backup plan?”

“And what would that be?”

Ashy looked toward the top of one of the hills “Agree with you, and run away. I suggest you do the same.”
Ashy turned around and started running back toward the entrance of the canyon. An arrow hit just where he was standing a few seconds ago.
Zethi turned in place, and followed Ashy. “How many are there? Do you know?

“Four atop the left mountain. Two on the right. Only one mage. And we have…” Ashy squinted his eyes. “A lot running straight at us. Maybe around twelve. What about behind us?”

Zethi turned around and started running backwards, still keeping up pace with Ashy.
“Less. Around five. I think they were hoping to sneak up behind us.”

“We are still hugely outnumbered. We have to rely on the fact that they are simply street bandits, and not well trained.”

Ashy heard a clang of metal behind him.

“They are indeed well trained. That arrow would have hit home if it were not for my sheathed blade being in the way.”

Ashy gave a huff. “Damn.”

“I have an idea. They have us surrounded. Why not turn it around and have them all crash into each other?”

“What do you mean?”

“How strong are your legs?”

“Pretty strong. Why?”

Zethi ran ahead of Ashy. “I want you to run up my back, and jump over the bandits running at us. Do not worry, I will be close behind.”

It was a damn crazy idea. But it was also the only one they had.

“Fine. Let us do it.”

The bandits that tried to flank them were closing in fast. 30 yards… 20 yards…

At 10 yards, Ashy jumped atop Zethi’s back. She immediately jumped with Ashy on her back, which sent him flying.

Ashy tumbled through the air. He managed to maneuver himself to see Zethi. She was sailing through the air, right behind him. In a swift and graceful movement, she pulled a dagger from its sheath, and threw it downward. It went down fast, and pierced right through the top of a unicorn’s skull.

One down, twenty two to go.

Ashy landed in a heap on the ground. Pain spread throughout his body from the ungrateful landing. Zethi landed on all four hooves. Naturally. She was much better at stunts like this.

While the group was still distracted by the fact that two ponies had just jumped over them, Zethi drew her dagger and began juggling them, and Ashy stood up and drew his blade.

They both ran toward the group in unison, nine blades flying through the air, juggled by a zebra, and one more held between the teeth of a mercenary.

Without a break from her juggling, Zethi turned and bucked a blade in midair. The blade flew straight into the group, pierced one of their chests, and hit their heart, killing them instantly.

Ashy ran ahead of Zethi, and charged right past a unicorn stallion, slicing his throat with his blade as he passed.

The loss of three of their allies finally spurred the ragtag group of bandits into action. They turned, now formulating into one group, and charged at Ashy and Zethi, the majority going after Ashy.

“Good.” Ashy though. He could likely handle a larger group better than Zethi would be able to.

Ashy began backing up to avoid being surrounded. He held his sword to protect him as best he could.

An earth pony with a war hammer charged forward. And the bandit was much bigger Ashy.

He swung the hammer in a war arc, with surprising speed. Ashy was barely able to dodge the attack.

Fortunately, the heavy hammer threw the one wielding it off balance, and Ashy took advantage of that. With a quick action, Ashy stabbed the stallion through the chest.
Ashy pulled the blade out. The sword, now cloaked in blood, gleamed dark red.

So far, things had been playing in their favor. But the bandits were beginning to regroup and recover from their temporary confusion.

Ashy quickly found himself in a four-on-one swordfight. He was unable to counter anything, since as soon as he deflected deflected an attack, he had another one coming his way. He received just a little bit of relief whenever one of Zethi’s daggers found a home in the back of one of the bandits necks. Then, the missing spot was immediately filled by another bandit.

Ashy took a second and looked over toward Zethi. She was handling herself, barely. She was keeping the bandits going after her at a favorable distance away using her daggers, but she was also losing them. Every time she stabbed a bandit, she was forced to leave a dagger behind with the body. She was down to only three blades already.

But, if Ashy could get closer to her, they would be able to fight back to back, which could give them an advantage.

Ashy took the chance, and threw a swing at one of the bandits. He caught the bandit off guard, and cut her right foreleg off at the knee. That gave him an opening in the enemy lines, and he dove through that opening, once again reuniting with Zethi.

She was panting and already exhausted from the fight. “How many are left? I don’t think I can fight for much longer.”

“Too many are still left.”

Zethi stabbed a bandit in the neck, and lost another dagger as she was forced to back away from the advancing bandits.

“We’re going to die here, aren’t we, Kikiya?”

Ashy kept silent, and continued exchanging blows with the bandits.

“Yes, I thought so. I just wanted to let you know that I had an enjoyable time, Kikiya.” Zethi kicked a dagger out of the air, hitting a bandit in the eye. She was down to one last dagger, which she caught in her mouth, and held between her teeth.

“Just know that I will not go down a coward. I will go down fighting like a warrior.” She said through the blade.

That set Ashy off. He was not going to let a mare he put in danger in the first place die. “You will not die! I will not let you!” Ashy felt adrenaline rush through his body. With a sudden burst of strength he charged straight through the bandits, cutting through each one. He felt an arrow hit home in his side. He ignored it. He felt a knife get caught in his thigh. He ignored that too. He just kept cutting through bandits, ignoring the pain of every attack they threw at him. Blood spattered his gray mane, and covered nearly his entire body.

Ashy stopped, and looked around. Pony’s bodies and blood were spread everywhere. Everypony that wasn’t dead was horribly injured, and moaning in pain. Ashy himself had three arrows in his left side, two in his right, and one more in his back. The knife that stuck him a moment ago was still in his thigh. The blood of the bandits was mixing with his own blood, which was coming from every cut in his body.

Zethi stared at Ashy, half in wonder, and half in horror. “So, that is the strength of an earth pony.” Zethi looked toward the cliffs where the archers were standing. They were already retreating. “I don't know how, but we survived.”

Ashy fell on his haunches, and stared at Zethi. Then he started laughing. Zethi soon joined his laughter.

“We’re alive! We’re alive!” yelled Ashy out loud. “I don't know where that strength came from, but we survived!”

Zethi’s laughter died down, and she started recovering her missing daggers.

“Thank you Kikiya.”

“I never did anything.”

“Yes you did. If it were not for you, I would be dead. By doing what you did, you saved my life.”

Ashy suddenly became aware of how much pain he was in. And how much blood he was losing. The world started spinning in his vision.

Zethi turned toward him. Her face was blurred in his vision. “Kikiya? Are you well? Kikiya!?”

Ashy fell over. The arrows in his right side broke off halfway, which sent another surge of pain through his body. The last word he heard before blacking out, was Zethi yelling “Kikiya!” one more time.


The Village of Thorn

Ashy opened his eyes. Despite his best efforts to open them both, he found that his right eye adamantly stayed shut. It felt like he was lying on his back on some kind of bed. Above him was a simple wooden roof.

“Wh...where am I?” Ashy had a pain in his right jaw. It made it hurt to talk.

“Finally awake, hmm?” said an unfamiliar voice. It sounded like a stallion. “Well, Ashy Mane. You took quite the beating. Luckily for you, a striped mare dropped you off at the Village of Thorn Healing House, and I was able to patch you up using some healing spells and bandages. There is no deadly damage, now. I was able to pull out the assorted arrows and weapons that were stuck in you.”

Ashy turned his head, and put the stallion that had healed him in his vision. He was a cream colored stallion, with a short dark red mane. His cutie mark looked like a white star.

“Why can’t I open my right eye?”

The stallion waved a hoof like he was disregarding the question. “Don’t worry about that. It's only covered in bandages. Now, on the other hoof-” the stallion pointed at his own ear. “You are missing a pretty big chunk out of your right ear. Looks like somepony cut it off with a sword or knife or something. Other than a lot of scars all over your body, there really is no other damage to you. In fact, I’d say you’re safe to go ahead and remove the bandages.”

Ashy sat up. His body ached all over from the now healed wounds. He reached up and pulled the bandages down from over his head. Now that it wasn't covered, he could open his eye freely. Ashy held the slightly blood stained bandages between his hooves.

“Thank you… umm”

“Lifebloom. My name is Lifebloom.” said the stallion.

“Thank you, Lifebloom. How much do I owe you?”

“No need. That striped mare that carried you in here came back later, with twenty gold bits. She gave me five of them, said that should cover your expenses, and left the other fifteen for you.”

Ashy shook his head, and a slight smile crept up on his face. “Where is she now?”

“I have absolutely no idea. She said something about going back to her tribe to get something. For her ear. I think? She also said to give you her love.”

Ashy looked at Lifeblood in shock. “Are you certain she didn’t say to give me her regards?”

Lifeblood stroked his chin. “No, no. She certainly said love.”

Ashy blushed slightly. “Maybe it's some kind of zebra thing. And they just give their love instead of their regards.”

Lifebloom snickered at Ashy. “Did somepony make a mare friend today without realizing it?”

Ashy scowled at Lifebloom, but couldn’t help but smiling. “Maybe I did.”

Ashy climbed off of the bed he had been sitting on, and let his eyes wander around the room. “Something is missing. Where is my blade, my saddlebags, and my armor?”

Lifebloom pointed under the bed. “Your sword and bags are under the bed. Your armor was so damaged that I just tossed it out. You could probably get it replaced at one of the stores in the Thorn. You know, that sword of yours is really amazing.”

“What makes you think that?” asked Ashy as he pulled his sheathed blade out from under the bed.

“How much did you use that blade in your last battle? I imagine you used it a lot, based off of your condition. And yet, it's completely undamaged. I took a look at the blade. It's still sharp. Where did you get it?”

Ashy pulled the blade out of the sheath just to make sure it was still his blade, then put it back in its sheath and strapped it to his side. Then he pulled out his bags, and strapped them down on his back.

“I got it from an underground market in the Devinian capitol. The pony that sold it to me said something about it being a sword made from the metal of the stars. I do not know what that means, but this blade has served me endlessly for several years now.”

“Well alright then.” Lifebloom tossed a small bag at Ashy’s hooves. “There are your bits. What are you you gonna do now?”

Ashy grabbed the small bag, and put it in his bigger bags.

“That’s a simple question. With a simple answer.” said Ashy as he walked out of the healing house. “I'm going to wait for my first real comrade in this country to get back.”

Lifebloom snicker returned as the door shut behind Ashy. “Good luck with your mare friend!”

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