• Published 7th Jan 2016
  • 893 Views, 66 Comments

Witchers Weed - Orcus



Just a few days before Hearth's Warming, an unnatural blizzard lays siege on Ponyville, bringing a strange character into town with it. Serendipity, Thoraxis and Petra's blind daughter, and her visiting friend, Charybdis, decide to investigate.

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Prologue

Thoraxis the changeling, a look of both worry and pent-up excitement covering his face, had been pacing outside of the cave on his hole-filled legs for nearly three hours now, the shape of the full moon shining down on him from the star-covered sky. He was shooed out after his wife, the albino wyvern Petra, told him that the eggs were about to start hatching, and now he was waiting. Waiting patiently. Waiting to hear the words...

"Thoraxis... Thoraxis, come quick!" he suddenly, and finally heard Petra's distant, echoing voice come from within. The changeling hurriedly ran into the cavern without a second to lose, hundreds of thoughts running through his head like a stampede of angry buffalo.

Nearly three months after she had announced that she was pregnant, Petra had laid almost two hundred eggs inside of this cave near Ponyville, and once she had placed the last of them in the nest, her instincts took over, and she became very, very broody over them for the next eleven months. Despite the changeling's best efforts to get an expert or a doctor to see if the eggs and his wife were truly fine and healthy, Petra would only allow Thoraxis to get more than remotely close enough to observe their incubating children, and herself.

With every passing month, Thoraxis noticed with glee that the eggs had grown bigger, but by a small margin. What were once no more than just slightly larger than his hoof, almost grew to twice the size by the time he last saw them a few days ago.

As Thoraxis finally got to the end of the cave, he heard a loud sniffle, followed by a small sob. Instantly sensing something was dreadfully amiss, he quickly dashed forward, until the sight of his wife and the nest of stones, hay, and gems she rested next to was in sight, the hundreds of eggs sitting inside of the ovular aerie, still as death, and unhatched.

Petra was lying on an area of rock next to the egg pile, and where her head was positioned, pointed to a single egg in front of her and the nest. It was broken open, revealing the upper torso of a small, white, equine-shaped creature with a tiny, curved horn and pink, web-like mane. It was plain to see that this hatchling apparently had tried to get out of it, and had half-succeeded, but now lied motionless on the ground, its eyes closed.

"She's... dead..." Petra mourned out loud in a despairing wail when she saw her husband approach, before motioning to the rest of the eggs with her snout. "She was the only one that hatched, too. The others... the others didn't."

"No... no..." Thoraxis spoke, his face curling into one of sorrow and loss. Petra slowly turned her head away from the sight and cushioned it against a nearby rock, several tears falling from her red eyes.

Thoraxis and herself had both counted the possibility that at least a few of the eggs would be infertile due to how different either of their species were, but they had both also expected at least a few would hatch. At the thought of how unfair this travesty was, considering how far she and Thoraxis had gone in taking care of the eggs, the wyvern curled her claw into a ball, and let more tears freely fall.

As she had her moment, Thoraxis walked closer to the unmoving figure, and gently nudged the poor, limp creature's pure white, chitinous, damp, horned head with his muzzle. When nothing happened, he sighed despondently, his face dropping in utter sadness. The two had put their blood, sweat, and tears into making sure the eggs were safe and secure. Not a single one had broken under their heedful watch, and the only time they were ever moved, was when each was turned onto its side to make sure they could get incubated properly.

A sudden glimmer of movement caused Thoraxis to lift his head again, and his eyes, at first half-closed from sheer anguish, widened in surprise at what he then saw. As if restored to life once more while he wasn't looking, the little creature before him began to stir, her legs twitching and moving as the rest of her body followed suit.

"P-Petra... Petra, sh-she's alive!" he shouted in a whisper, as the hatchling used her front, hole-filled legs to lift herself up and move some more, immediately attempting to finish the previous job of freeing her lower half from the egg.

"Wh-what?" the wyvern inquired, lifting her head. Thoraxis used his hoof to excitedly motion for her to approach, which she instantly did. When Petra witnessed what he spoke of, she gasped in startled relief, planting her claws on her mouth.

"She's got a will to keep going, huh?" Thoraxis chuckled in undiluted happiness, as the two watched their only surviving child finish leaving her egg, before letting her thin, equine body come to a solid rest on the stone ground from the effort given, taking in multiple, deep breaths and panting loudly.

"Thoraxis... we have a child!" Petra spoke in an overjoyed voice, tears of ecstasy replacing the ones of loss. "We have a child, Thoraxis! A beautiful, little daughter! We did it!"

"Mmm... mmm?" the small creature mewed as the sound of her mother's cheering hit her long ears, her head lifting and moving around, eyes opening for the first time in her life. Thoraxis, struggling to hold back his own emotions, entered a sitting position and lowered his head to his new daughter.

"H-hello, little one," He greeted the unusual hatchling. "I'm your... I'm your daddy!"

The whelp looked around when she heard the noise, as if trying to spot its location in a pitch-black room, despite the cave's natural lighting from the rays of the near-full moon that shot through a small hole in the ceiling. Thoraxis, curious about her behavior, lifted his hoof in front of the hatchling's face, and waved it. She didn't respond, or even seem to notice it.

Taking a closer look, he noticed that, while having bright red eyes like her mother's, the hatchling's were clouded and dull. Thoraxis came to a grim realization as he watched the small being crawl toward his direction, intrigued by the sound he previously made.

"Petra, she's... blind," he spoke, looking up to his spouse bleakly, while the creature wriggled into his lap, as if on instinct. Petra returned with an unsure expression, placing a claw on her mouth as she heard the news.

"What? Blind?" she asked, worry coming into her tone. "Oh dear... what does this mean for her?"

"I don't care if she's blind," he said back in a higher tone, watching with a fascination only a parent could show as their daughter, her eyes closing again, began to suck on the tip of his hoof, revealing the multiple, tiny, needle-like teeth that lined her jaws. "I'm just glad we have a child."

Petra put a claw out, and ever so gently caressed the chitinous skin on the tiny being. Despite freshly knowing about this disability they knew they had to work around, neither of them could help but smile at their onerously fought-for accomplishment.

"What should we call her?" Thoraxis inquired, as the exhausted creature let out a mighty, but small yawn, and began to fall asleep in his lap. "The only names I can ever think of are all changeling names, but I don't want her to have a name like "Antilles," or "Insecti" or "Thoraxis jr.," or something like that. I want her to have one that the ponies around here will understand. I want her to have a pretty one."

"I wanted to name at least one of our children "Serendipity,"" Petra spoke softly, as to not spoil this tender moment. "Because of how it was a bit of a "happy surprise" for me when I found out we were having kids."

"I like it," he agreed right off, before tittering slightly. "Though I must say, that "happy surprise" left me fainting in broad daylight, in the middle of Ponyville's square when I heard it. That was a good day."

And so, under the roof of the cave and shine of the moon, they named her, their small, delicate, precious daughter.

Serendipity.

Author's Note:

This story, since it takes place in the half-distant future, is where I start to "leave the canon," so to speak. Everything, from the characters, to the shapes of the surroundings from here on out, is entirely predicted to the best of my abilities by me. Some of the Mane Six are married and have started families. Some of the local townsponies are living the same, but slightly altered lives. Discord is still Discord because he's immortal and can taunt ponies for their puny mortality... you get it.

I just wanted to get that off of my chest.

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