• Published 7th Jan 2016
  • 896 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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Hats Off!

"Ammalf amina," the wicker creature spoke to the yellow filly its moth-like form knelt before, a wooden claw held to the young earth pony's face. They were both standing in the center of town in the dead of night, the storm raging around them like a cyclone, but neither appeared perturbed by in the slightest by the frigid night air about them.

With his words, a white flame appeared over his palm and simply floated there, doing nothing but illuminating the terrified pony's face. A minute soon went by, and the creature slowly closed its fingers with an eerie creaking noise, enveloping and smothering the flare.

"Return home. You too do not have what I am looking for," it spoke again in its distorted voice, standing back up before reciting another incantation. "Mutider."

The fearful visage on the filly's face mollified into a blank expression, and as if in a trance, she turned and calmly walked to her house through the snow-sodden street, readying to enter it by hopping up and squeezing her small shape through the open, circular window that rested by her room. When she tried jumping a few times and couldn't reach it, her shape was suddenly covered by a magical, white aura, and was gently pushed through by a telekinetic force, the window shutting behind her.

Having done the feat himself, the wooden creature turned its gaze to the rest of the snow-covered town, then to the lamppost it stood beside. Looking into the bright light it gave off, the glow reflecting off of its blank, white eyes, he entered deep thought and stood there for the next several minutes, his long antenna blowing too-and-fro in the passing wind before finally moving once more.

"My beloved Thysania... where are you?" he wondered aloud as he closed his bright, blank eyes, his voice impoverished with peppered traces of frustration and distress. "You promised me you would return in thirteen-hundred years time, and I've waited patiently all that while... I've sensed you somewhere in this this area, even... but where are you? If I linger further, Luna will discover me... and if she overcomes me, I may lose you forever..."

The creature opened its eyes and let out a groaning sigh, before turned its back to the town, clenching its fists with a hollow cracking sound echoing from it. "It's been so long since the day you left me... so agonizingly long since I last held you in my arms... since I last felt the comforting warmth of your very presence... I won't give up until you're mine once again. The ruler of the night will locate me any day now, but if I can just stay under her prying nose for a few days longer... just a few days longer..."

And with those final words, the being walked away from Ponyville, vanishing back into the darkness of the blizzard.

The blizzard had lightened up by a significant margin when morning struck upon Serendipity's household. Granted, it was still going on, but the fierceness it had possessed had been reduced from a hurricane of ice, to a meager snowstorm.

Just outside her house, Serendipity was playing with her cousin. A pair of snow forts had been erected by the two, each shaped into the likeness of a knight's castle, and now... it was an all-out war! Charybdis, chuckling maliciously, threw a snowball at the albino half-changeling, hitting her directly in the head from where she tried to hide.

"Gotcha!" she cried out with a smug grin planted on her nose, before ducking behind her fort's walls to make another.

Wiping the snow from her face and laughing evilly, Serendipity quickly rolled a up a snowball of her own in her hooves and tossed it back at Charybdis, missing by a mile thanks to her disability. She had not a single care about it though, for she was having a fun time.

"Over here!" Charybdis taunted again, just before throwing another sphere of compact snow. The half-changeling was quick enough to move her head this time, and avoided the projectile. Just before she could return again, their fight was interrupted by the sound of flapping wings and a loud squawk. Looking up with her golden eyes, Charybdis spotted a bird made of blue-tinted ice gliding above them.

"Despereaux?" she inquired. "What're you doing here?"

The cryophoenix chirped and landed on the ground near her. Lifting his leg, Charybdis noticed that he had a rolled-up note wrapped around his foot that he was motioning to. Using her magic, she quickly undid the string that was fastened to it, and unrolled the paper as she brought it to her face.

"Hey, Seren! He has a note!" she shouted to her cousin, whilst reading from it. Serendipty had just started trotting up to the filly by the time she finished scanning its words. "It's from your dad. He said that they couldn't come here last night because of the storm, and that they all took refuge at Zecora's hut. He also wants to see if we want to spend Hearth's Warming with them. Neat!"

"He wants us all to spend Hearth's Warming with Zecora and Zak?" Serendipity questioned. "I must admit, that sounds like a wonderful idea."

"I bet you I can get there first!" Charybdis challenged, placing the note in her coat pocket. "I bet you!"

"Now, hold on a minute Chary, I don't think a race is necessary..." Serendipity began. Charybdis only curled a brow in her typical, mischievous manner, and let out a quick shout.

"Ready, set, go!"

With those words, she dodged by Serendipity and fled into the forest, kicking up snow in her wake. Despereaux, upon seeing her speed off, took to the air and followed swiftly behind. Serendipity let out a groan and followed as well, yelling out her cousin's name in the process.

"Chary, wait for me!"

She used her sight spell to avoid the oncoming trees, and then again just a moment later.

"Chary! Hold up!" Serendipity yelled again. No response. She continued to run, passing by dozens of trees, every second used to power her sight spell, which became progressively weaker due to the amount of snow falling in front of her and the fact that the running was making her tired. "Chary? Chary! I said hol-"


She had hit something, and whatever it was let out a gasp of surprised pain. Both shapes blundered into the snow below like spiraling rocks getting tossed into a lake, scattering flakes across the surrounding area. Lifting her body up from the frozen sea of white, Serendipity shook her muzzle and rubbed her sore head.

"Ow... owowow..." she mumbled in a pained tone. "Charybdis? Are you alright?"

"A thousand pardons, but I'm not Charybdis," a familiar, male voice replied, followed by the sound of someone rummaging through the snow.

"Oh... Mr. Phobetor. I'm so sorry..." Serendipity apologized. "I was chasing my cousin around. Y-you're not hurt, are you?"

"Just had my hat knocked off," he responded. "Blast! Where is that darn thing?"

"Let me help! The rush from when we collided got me excited, and if I can't think straight I can't use my sight spell, but I'll feel around for it. Ah! I think I found it."

"That's my cape."

"Oh. Maybe it's over here, then... Ha! Here it is!"

"That's my cape again."

"Heh. Sorry..."

As the two searched for the object, Charybdis's voice suddenly shouted from a few dozen feet away.

"Serendipity! Where'd you go?"

"Over here, Chary!" Serendipity shouted back. Judging from how the sound of snow getting dug up on Striga's side had picked up upon hearing the words, he had doubled in his effort to find his concealing piece of headwear.

"Where... is... it?" he muttered in a frantic tone. When Charybdis's hoofsteps through the snow were but meters away, he shouted a strange word in a manner akin to someone having run out of time at something.


The moment he said that, Serendipity felt as something made of cloth suddenly fly from the snow behind her with an incredibly fast force, brushing past her back, and headed in the unicorn's direction. Mere moments afterword, the two were greeted by the filly.

"There you are!" Charybdis said. "Hey, what're you doing sitting in the snow next to Mr. Phobetor for?"

"We bumped into each other, my hat fell off, and she helped me find it," Striga responded first, the factor now apparent that he had located his missing piece of gear. "...But I have it back now, so we're all good. Everything is fine here. Yep... How are you?"

"I'm... well," she replied, before a sight caused her to look up. "Your moth looks amused."

Striga looked upward as well and spied Augur, who simply looked down on them from the branch of a nearby tree, flapping his wings slowly while his antenna swung back-and-forth, making a small, rapid squeaking noise that resembled laughter. Striga gave him a glare before standing up and brushing himself off.

"Come on, Seren!" the filly said again. "I don't want to miss all the things they're probably doing together!"

"Don't worry, I'm coming..." she sighed, as she struggled to get herself out of the snow she had dug herself into. A hoof suddenly went around one of her own and started to pull, helping her up. Noticing the feel of it was rough, dry, and course, unlike what Charybdis's felt like, she came to the realization that it was Striga.

"Thanks," Serendipity said in a grateful tone, upon regaining her footing. "And sorry about running into you. We're both in a hurry to see our parents. They wrote to us asking if we wanted to spend Hearth's Warming with some friends of mine."

"May I come along?" he asked. "I have no place to stay at the moment."

"Of course," the half-changeling replied. "Just follow my cousin. She can lead us to her place."

"I can indeed!" Charybdis replied. "Follow me!"

She turned about and began to proudly march off with a cocky swagger in her booted steps. Shrugging, Serendipity started behind her, followed by Striga, who pulled his hat down a far bit over his head, making sure it wouldn't come off this time. After a few minutes had passed, the thought of the previous event continued to gnaw at the back of Serendipity's mind, and she finally spoke, turning to Striga.

"You, uh... really wanted to get your hat back before somepony saw your face, didn't you?" she inquired. Striga looked back at her, a melancholy glint in his blank eyes that she was unable to see.

"My face is... badly scarred," he started. "I got it from an accident a few years ago involving... fire. And acid. And sharp things. It's very embarrassing to let others behold it..."

"What was that word you used?" the half-changeling asked once more.

"What word?" he spoke back in a confused fashion.

"The one you used just before you oh-so conveniently found your hat," she replied. "That word."

"I don't recall using a word," Striga shrugged. "Perhaps you mistook the wind for my voice. It can deceive one like that, you know..."

"I may be blind, but I'm not deaf," she chuckled. "Come on, we both know you said something. It sounded like "moor-lag." Ringing any bells now?"

"No," he denied. "I have no recollection of using such a word."

"Yesterday, you said something about black witches reciting incantations to perform spells," she spoke again, before letting out a hum. "I wonder..."

"My business is my own!" Striga suddenly exclaimed, walking in a much more hurriedly manner forward. As she tried to process what had just happened, Serendipity suddenly felt something land on the tip of her curved horn, and came to the realization that it was Augur.

"Your master's a little off, isn't he?" she spoke to the insect. He replied by fluffing the snow from his wings and fur. Chuckling slightly, she brushed her mane back and continued forward. "Charybdis said she thought he was a weird. I'm beginning to think there's a lot more to him as well..."

Unbeknownst to her, the moth nodded in agreement.

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