• Published 5th Feb 2016
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Thunderstorm and the Four Winds - Carabas


Once upon a time, one brave pegasus stole command over the weather itself from the heavens.

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Thunderstorm and the Four Winds

Let me tell you a story, Scoots.

Nah, nothing like that, no ghost stories or nothing new. I’m talking about something my grandpa told me when I was a filly. Real old stuff. Bit of our folklore, in fact, so you pay attention now, squirt. Reckon you might appreciate it more than most.

Sitting comfortably? Alright. Get your marshmallow out the campfire as well. You don’t want it going up in smoke. Again.

The Tale of Thunderstorm and the Four Winds.

What? That’s the title. I’m storytelling, I’m allowed to say it all dramatic.

Squirt, if you keep interrupting with questions about how I tell it, then this is going to be a very long or very short storytelling session, alright?

Alright.

Long, long ago, before we had the princesses, before Equestria was founded, before the tribes ever united and before the windigos came down from the north, we pegasi lived in our flocks around the eastern mountains. All of us living together in our own flocks, hunting and scavenging and living as best we could.

And living was tough, ‘cause back then we couldn’t control the weather. All we could do was try and fly around it and avoid it as best we could, huddling in caves and under trees when the storms thundered all around us. The unicorns had the sun and moon under their control back then, so they were doing all right, and the earth ponies were farming and tilling and coaxing green stuff from the earth, so they were doing all right as well. But we were squeezed in the middle, unable to make our voices heard without the weather on our side. So we mostly starved, and we endured whatever movements of the sun and moon best suited the unicorns rather than ourselves, and all we could do was hang on and try to survive on what little we could find or steal.

Yeah, okay, I know we shouldn’t have wanted to steal things from the other tribes in the first place, but come on. Different times and all. Also, you’re interrupting.

Anyway, all we could do was survive, and in that part of the world … well, good luck with even that. Apart from all the evil magical beasts and rival tribes and the pony-eating corvids to the south and wild magic and suchlike, that was where all the four winds of the world blew to meet as one, battering the whole land with storms and gales and lightning. The earth ponies had their tough little cottages, and the unicorns could hide away in their castles. But we couldn’t make homes out of the clouds, and so we either hid away in the caves and waited for the storms to blow over when they came, or we got smashed off the mountains mid-flight.

Grim stuff. We had a Commander back then, ruling all the flocks like Hurricane did, but remember, this was thousands of years before her day, and the Commander then was a bit of a wimp. He didn’t pay much mind to the flocks, and they didn’t pay much mind to him in return, and each flock relied on their own chieftains and warriors and heroes to keep them protected.

And out of every tribe’s heroes back in those days, none were swifter and none were braver and none were smarter than Thunderstorm! She was the mare who’d flown to the Utmost North to find the Flowers of Youth to heal her flock’s chieftain. She was the mare who’d fought and driven off the corvid Cormaer single-hoovedly. And she’d … aw heck, all kinds of other stuff. You’ve heard those stories, right?

What? Aw, man, you’ve been missing out. Ask Twilight the next time you get a chance, and she’ll have a book with all the Thunderstorm legends. Bet you bits on that.

Heh. Or maybe I could just tell them to you myself, the next time we’re out camping. That might be better.

Anyway, Thunderstorm saw all the suffering going on around her. Pegasi getting broken by the storms or having to flee from them, unable to carve out a place in the world for themselves. And she was only noticing the whole problem now. Some problems you live your life with, and it never really seems like a problem unless you realise it all of a sudden, or you notice it for the first time or somepony else points it out to you.

Or something like that.

Jeez, I’m interrupting myself now. And I gotta find a better word to get back into the story with than ‘anyway’. Anyhow, Thunderstorm was famous across all the flocks by this time in her life. All of her great adventures were behind her, she was a sure-fire shoe-in to be her flock’s next chieftain, and she was as tough and fast as anypony was ever going to get. But the world was still a pretty nasty place and she wasn’t getting any younger, not after she’d found the last Flowers of Youth in all the north. She wanted a last great quest, one that would set the world to rights and keep all the pegasi flocks protected. And she decided she’d take the weather’s reins from the world and place it into the hooves of the pegasi. She knew we’d have to command the sky itself if we were ever to have a happily ever-after.

So she flew up and sat on top of their home mountain to think to herself. Who might already command the skies? Where did power over the weather rest? She didn’t know the answer, but she knew who might know. And she decided she’d have to ask the Winds themselves.

There were four different Winds blowing from their own distant parts of the world, North, South, West, and East. Each of them might know something, and Thunderstorm decided to meet them all. So she sprung off the mountain and set off. She flew over mile after mile of mountains and snow-covered plains and great white glaciers, she flew for day after day, she flew until the spit froze in her mouth and even her magical weightless barding shivered, until she met the North Wind.

The North Wind was among the grimmest and surliest of the winds out there. It blew down constantly and relentlessly, mixing its power with the other winds to flood the world in storms, and it cared nothing for the pegasi or the other pony tribes caught in its work. Thunderstorm saw its huge shape from across an ice field, preparing for its next onslaught. She flew closer, and it growled at her approach like an angry wolf.

“Prithee, O Wind of the North,” Thunderstorm, um, declaimed. “I do beseech thee for thine most … something-or-other aid, on behalf of … wait, should that have been ‘thy’? I can never remember the —”

...Y’know, maybe making it all Shakelancy doesn’t add that much to the experience.

“Yo, North Wind,” said Thunderstorm. “I want to know how the pegasi can master the weather, so that we don’t have to suffer under it any longer.”

“WANT ALL YOU WISH,” growled the North Wind, its voice echoing across the ice plains. “I CARE NOTHING FOR ANY EARTH-DWELLER’S PLIGHT. ALL THAT MATTERS ARE THE STORMS I MUST SEND FORTH. LEAVE BEFORE I BREAK YOU.”

Thunderstorm was no fool, and knew it would tell her nothing. So she sighed, turned around, and flew back the way she came. Towards the South Wind.

She flew back over the icefields and glaciers until she passed the mountain she’d started from, and she kept flying. She flew over mile after mile of wide glens and river-valleys snaking between the mountains, over tangled forests and heather-covered moorland. The corvids that lived here knew better than to tussle with her after she’d punched their Cormaer’s beak off in another of her adventures, and so she kept flying until she reached the coastline. Out there, from across the deep, dark waters, the South Wind came blowing, swift and grey like the tips of the waves.

But the South Wind wasn’t keen on talking either. It was tired and busy, ‘cause it was the Wind that had to blow the furthest across the world before it met its brothers, and it always spent its effort on the islands across the southern sea or on the corvid lands, becoming weak by the time it reached the pegasi flocks.

“Yo, South Wind,” said Thunderstorm as it approached. But it didn’t stop, and flew right by her. “Hey! Hey, bozo, I’m talking to you. Stop flying away!” It kept on flying, ignoring every word and curse Thunderstorm threw at its back, and she flew after it. “I want to know how to - oh, for pete’s sake, are you even listening?”

The South Wind just wanted to get the job done and get back home to its bed before the next day’s work, and though it was tired, it was still faster than Thunderstorm. Finally, as it flew past the horizon, Thunderstorm had to give it up as a lost cause.

So she groaned, muttered the worst curse she knew — no, I’m not telling you what, your folks will have my hide as a carpet — and flew west. That’s where she’d find the West Wind. Bit of a clue in the name there.

She flew for miles and miles and days and days, until the glens and moors and mountains began to flatten into orderly fields. These fields ran all the way to the horizon, kicking up dirt and dust from the labour of a million sweating slaves, and it all blew up into Thunderstorm’s eyes as she flew. Cities loomed over the fields as they ran up and over the mountains, and crowned their peaks with palaces. A mighty and cruel empire ruled in these parts, ruled by a spoiled Imperator, and Thunderstorm suspected she’d find the wind here. So she waited until nightfall and snuck into the greatest of the palaces. And there she found the West Wind.

But the West Wind had been seduced by the empire, bribed and pampered until it lived a life of luxury in one of their palaces, throwing its power out from a distance to keep the empire’s fields and skies clear. Its winds had become cold, dusty things, flung out randomly and thoughtlessly to catch the pegasi off guard each time. And when Thunderstorm entered its chambers, it sneered and turned its gaze away from her.

“Yo, West Wind. I want to know how the pegasi can gain mastery over the weather, so our flocks don’t have to suffer under the storms any more. How can that be done?” said Thunderstorm.

“Guards, why is this vagabond allowed to breathe on the premises?” hissed the West Wind, barely stirring from its chair. “Shoo her off, to either the outside or the Hereafter. I’m not fussy.”

Thunderstorm outflew the arrows and javelins the guards slung after her and escaped out the window, simmering like her namesake as she headed home.

The farms and mountain-cities passed under her and soon fell behind as Thunderstorm flew home. Familiar miles swept by, and she circled once around her starting mountain before making for her final point of call. If none of the other winds would so much as speak to her, maybe the East Wind would be a little more helpful.

Story aside, pattern-recognition, Scoots. It’s a handy skill. Legends can get by without it, we can’t.

Thunderstorm flew east, over the mountains of the other pegasi flocks and over the unicorn castles and over the fortified earth pony farmsteads. She flew until the dark mountains rose before her, their black peaks clawing up past the clouds. She flew over them, her wings creaking with the effort, until she finally cleared their summits and saw what waited on the other side.

The vast eastern ocean, black and pitiless as the night sky, spanning as far as the eye could see under a sky heavy with storm-clouds. For all her travels, Thunderstorm had never flown out here before, and had only ever heard stories of the terrors that waited beyond. She was brave, but she wasn’t stupid, and she’d stayed clear. But now she had no other choice, and so she took a deep breath and flew off the edge of the world.

For a month and a day she flew into the blackness, never ceasing or slowing down, even when she felt her wings would fall off and her eyelids demanded to fall shut. Half-seen things swam in the water beneath her hooves, and she knew if she fell into the depths, she’d never fly back out.

So she flew and flew and flew, and finally, as she drew near a small, rocky island jutting out of the waters, she saw the East Wind sitting and waiting.

The East Wind was old and powerful, and the pegasi had known and feared it since the dawn of time. It never tired, and the storms it threw westwards were even greater than those sent by its brother, the North Wind. But in its long life, it had always watched the pegasi and other pony tribes struggling to survive, and had come to see them as kin of the world they all shared. It had cajoled the earth into rising up and shielding the land’s eastern edge - y’know, back in the days when the earth still did that sort of thing — and most of the storms it sent battered harmlessly off the great dark mountains. It sat, and it waited, and it greeted Thunderstorm with a knowing smile.

“Yo, East Wind,” said Thunderstorm. “The pegasi are really suffering under the constant storms. I’ve flown a long way to find out how to master the weather. Any idea how?”

“Hmm,” said the East Wind. “Tricky. I think I might know how you can gain that power — or at least, who you could get it from. But it won’t be easy.”

“That doesn’t matter. Tell me,” said Thunderstorm.

“We Four Winds are great and powerful,” said the East Wind. “But there is one who is yet more powerful, for he holds mastery over us and all the skies. The High King. He is terrible, and wrathful, and jealous of his own power, and dwells past the highest clouds beyond the reach of all flight — even yours. He commands us winds with his own mastery, and orders us to blow unceasingly so that the world will always tremble under him. Stealing his power from him won’t be easy. But it could be done.”

“How, if he lives beyond even my flight?” said Thunderstorm

“You must bait him out. Sting him in his pride, and he will come forth to fight you,” said the East Wind. “And to sting his pride, you must defeat his servants below the clouds, we Four Winds, and see us fleeing back up to his stronghold. Then he will descend to have revenge. Then you will be able to steal his power and free us. Or die horribly. Whichever suits.”

Thunderstorm nodded. “Any tips for how I defeat you Winds?” she said.

“We shall each have our weaknesses you can exploit, and I leave finding those up to you,” said the East Wind. “I suggest leaving me until the end, though. I shall be compliant, and you’ll need your energy.”

Thunderstorm nodded once more, and after a moment’s stretching to breath life back into her tired wings, she set off back home across the black ocean, determined to finish this new task and to bring down the High King.

She arrived back home in only a week’s flight, flying as she did with the East Wind at her back. She circled around her home mountain once, twice, thrice, thinking as she did so, and then set off once more, intending to repeat her previous order. From North to South, from West to East, she’d conquer the Winds.

She flew north, then, following her old path over the familiar mountains and glaciers and ice-fields until she heard the great echoing growl of the North Wind. “YOU DARE RETURN TO ME IN DEFIANCE?” it boomed. “YOU WISH TO DIE THAT BADLY?”

Thunderstorm flew forth at the huge North Wind. Fear hammered in her heart, but she flew onwards regardless, because she was the bravest pegasus that ever lived, and that meant she fought in spite of her fear rather than not feeling it at all or giving into it. The North Wind descended on her just as she awesomely snapped out an upperhoof at —

...What do you mean, ‘inauthentic lingo’? Where did you hear ‘inauthentic’ from, anyway? Has Rarity been teaching you bad language again?

Anyhow, she slammed her hoof right up into its face, and Thunderstorm and the North Wind battled across the ice! She flitted around him, outstripping him for speed, and dove upon him, pounded him with her enchanted shoes, the same ones she’d stolen from a unicorn prince in another legend — I’ll tell you that one later — and dived out of the way of every lumbering swipe he sent her way. Past his bluster, he was nowhere as hard as he looked, and all she’d needed was to be brave enough to charge in. Before long, she was tired but victorious, and the North Wind was limping up into the sky. “OW!” he said. “HELP! I WANT MY MOMMY! NO-ONE TOLD ME THINGS ON THE SURFACE WOULD TRY TO PUNCH YOU!”

Thunderstorm smirked, caught her breath, and turned herself around and flew straight south. Ice and glaciers swept by, turned into the mountains of the pegasi, and these soon turned to glens and heathery moorland. She perched herself back on the southern coastline, where she’d met the South Wind the last time. And sure enough, there he came from the grey southern skies, as swift as any of his sea-gales.

Thunderstorm was the cleverest pegasus that ever lived, and she knew that though the South Wind may be swifter than his Northern brother — faster than her, even — he would be too tired from his long journey to want to put up much of a fight. He wouldn’t want to fight, while she had everything to fight for, and that would ensure she would win the battle if nothing else would.

She sprung out on the South Wind, taking him by surprise before he could leap out of the way, and whaled on him for several minutes while he struggled to break free. Eventually, when she was certain that he would only fly off with news of her rather than fight back, Thunderstorm let him go and watched the South Wind fly away. “I’ll complain to management about this!” he yelled as he went, and Thunderstorm knew she’d won.

After taking another moment to catch her breath, longer than she’d taken for the North Wind for some reason, Thunderstorm turned west, to where the West Wind lived in luxury as a guest of the empire, and set off. She left the coastline behind, and soon the farmlands and high cities came back into view. She set her gaze on the highest palace atop the highest mountain, where she found the West Wind the first time. And so she flew directly for it, hid on a roof until nightfall, and crept in to find the West Wind. They were found fast asleep on a great soft quilt, and snored until Thunderstorm shoved them awake.

“What the— you again?” the West Wind said.

“Me again,” replied Thunderstorm. “That imperial makeup looks awful on your complexion, by the way.”

The West Wind leapt up suddenly with a roar of fury, shattering all the mirrors in its room and bringing the palace’s countless guards charging on. But Thunderstorm was the swiftest pegasus who ever lived, and the arrows and javelins they hurled at her missed, each and every one. She sprung out the window and flew out across the farmland, and the West Wind followed her in its anger.

For long miles and longer leagues they flew, the West Wind and Thunderstorm, choking the skies with blown-up dust and flashes of lightning. Though it had seemed soft, the West Wind could be as swift as its Southern brother and as strong as the North when roused. But it was blinded by its anger, and the power it threw forth only ever buffeted Thunderstorm ever onwards, combining with her speed to make her uncatchable. They clashed in the skies for over a week until the West Wind finally collapsed, utterly spent. Thunderstorm pursued it and battered it while it was down, until the Wind finally staggered up into the sky.

“I’ll get the High King to blow down your house and burn the ruins!” it yelled. “And set the ashes on fire as well, for good measure!”

Thunderstorm laughed as it left, but as soon it was out of sight, she collapsed with coughing and attempts to regain her breath. The battle had choked her with dust, and she felt as tired as she’d ever felt. She was still a hero, but she was still getting older as well, and the long fight with the West Wind had drained her badly.

But her job wasn’t finished, and so she made herself recover, turned around, and flew east. To the last of the Winds.

Over farmland and cities, over the mountains of home, over the cruelest and highest mountains, over all of them she flew, and back across the black ocean as well. Several times, she nearly slipped beneath the water while half-asleep, and only caught herself at the last minute. She flew on regardless for a month and a day, until she finally reached the same island where she’d met the East Wind. The East Wind was there, watching and waiting.

She alighted on the island, and staggered up to the East Wind. It looked down at her. “Have you defeated my brothers? Sent them skywards?” it said.

Thunderstorm nodded, and the East Wind stretched itself for battle. “Let’s finish this, then,” it said, and mustered a great storm around its head. Thunderstorm leapt up, but was caught off guard by the force of the pelting winds, and only got one light kick in against the East Wind’s leg.

The East Wind instantly collapsed there and then, its storm overhead fading away. “Aaargh, oh no, I have been bested,” it said while dramatically flailing. “What can mere wind do in the face of such strength, aargh, etc. I must tell the High King at once about this terrifying foe. Only he can save us.”

Thunderstorm waited for the dramatics to finish, and then asked the wind, “When will you tell him?”

“I must go now. He will be suspicious if he has heard from the others and doesn’t hear from me,” the East Wind said. “I will give wind to your wings to head back to your land, but don’t tarry. If the High King doesn’t find you soon, he will take vengeance upon your flock. You must go there to protect them, come what may.”

Thunderstorm cursed and immediately launched herself into flight, speeding like ballista-shot back over the ocean with the East Wind’s power under her. The East Wind flew up into the skies, but not too quickly, in order to give Thunderstorm a head start.

Thunderstorm flew and flew, with both the East Wind’s power and her own determination and desperation giving her speed that split the sky with thunder in its wake...

Huh? Inspiration? Heh, I guess so. Heard this before I was even old enough to go to flight camp.

She was battered by the winds and by her own speed, and got tired past the point where any other pony would have collapsed, but she flew on regardless. Over the oceans and over the high peaks and over the mountains of home she flew, finishing the journey in a few days rather than a month or a week.

And no sooner had she alighted in a grassy field next to her home mountain, then the sky darkened all at once, growling with thunder and distant flashes of lightning, and the clouds thickened right above her home mountain. Vast black tendrils punched through the clouds to rip them asunder, and past them, there loomed the colossal head of the High King. He was a great cloud of black wind and crackling lightning, rising up into the sky further than Thunderstorm could see, and as she looked up at him, white eyes in the depths of his form blazed open.

“You have challenged and humiliated my servants,” boomed the High King, his voice like distant thunder. Thunderstorm saw the Winds slinking around him like whipped puppies. “Thus you have challenged me.”

“Give the pegasi the power to control the weather!” said the bravest pegasus who ever lived, looking right back up at the High King and meeting his gaze. “Do that, and this doesn’t have to go any further.”

“I think not,” said the High King. “Servants, take her. All of you.”

The Winds looked at one another, and then hesitantly back up at the High King. “I’VE STILL GOT A BRUISE FROM HER,” whined the North Wind.

“I’m behind on my schedule. Can’t I just get back to work?” said the South Wind.

“Have you seen what she did to my complexion?” said the West Wind.

“Aargh, alas, my poor ailing frame, aargh,” said the East Wind, and winked at Thunderstorm.

“No? Then I will deal with her myself,” said the High King. With one pass of his tendril, his power flared to life amidst his form like a glowing ember, catching Thunderstorm’s attention.

And in the next sentence, he brought the sky down upon her. Lightning bolt after lightning bolt screamed out from the depths of the dark clouds, and Thunderstorm desperately twisted from side to side to avoid them. She angled herself upwards towards the rent in the clouds, and hammered up from the ground to reach it and the High King. Thunder rolled across the sky and rain drove down in sheets as hard as iron, blinding Thunderstorm and forcing her back from the High King. Her magical weightless barding was overwhelmed and torn off her frame by the weight of water, and she struggled to so much as keep flying past the deluge.

She wheeled in mid-air and flew to to curve around the mountain’s side for shelter. More lightning chased her down, bolts smashing upon the mountainside at her back and sending a long path of molten rock sloughing off its face. Thunderstorm threw herself away from the spray of molten rock, forcing herself to stay upright in the air against the rain. Still she fought, flying up at the High King’s face again and again. Each time she flew up, rain battered her down, and once the High King had threatened the Winds into action, each gust they sent nearly sent her swerving into his lightning. But every time she was forced back, she flew back up, never surrendering.

But a moment came where she grew too tired, and she needed a moment to catch her breath and think. Thunderstorm threw her hoof up to shield her eyes from the rain as she tried to think, stopping in mid-air out of tiredness, and in that moment, the High King struck. Lightning lashed down and tore across her back, and Thunderstorm was struck senseless with pain. She fluttered down through the storm, and only woke when she crashed into the distant ground.

Scorched feathers fell around her, and a jarring weightlessness and hollow pain atop her back told Thunderstorm the worst news she could have received. The wings that had carried her across the world for so many years had been burned away.

From far above, the High King laughed. “We are done here,” he said. “Return to your posts, and visit storms upon this wretched land that will scour it down to the core. Hem them in and make sure they see their doom approach. Teach them the price of disobedience”

And as Thunderstorm lay broken upon the ground, past the roll of the thunder and the hammering of the rain and the howling of the wind, she heard distant cries from her flock, pinned within the mountain caves. They were still her flock, and she was still their hero. And so she rose to her hooves.

She looked up, and saw the rent in the sky slowly closing. The High King’s tendrils slowly wove it back together, his white eyes staring down at her in triumph. And to her side, the mountain lay partially sundered by the force of the High King’s lightning, a long and curving path slashed into it that still glowed with heat.

And Thunderstorm knew what she had to do.

She took off towards the mountain path, fighting past her pain and galloping swiftly up the trail of molten rock. Her enchanted shoes hissed as they struck the hot rock, but they kept her feet protected, and she kept her gaze straight ahead and let the rain nearly blind her. All she had to do was run straight towards the rift in the sky.

The High King growled with fury, and another volley of lightning crashed around her. But though he had taken Thunderstorm’s wings, he couldn’t take the wind from under her hooves. He may have taken the skies from her, but he couldn’t take the pegasus out of her, and so she galloped on. The rain and wind buffeted her, but she pressed on, filled with a fire that could never be quenched. Her hooves struck up sparks and molten spray from the ground like a drumbeat. And as she saw the rent narrow and narrow, she ran all the harder.

But the gap narrowed and narrowed, past the point where she could fit in it, and revealed only the cold gaze of the High King. For all she kept running, the embers of hope dimmed in Thunderstorm’s heart.

Then the wind howled anew and the rent flickered around the edges. Thunderstorm squinted to see what was happening. The East Wind rushed around the cloud rift, forcing it open and defying the angry High King. “Leap!” called the East Wind. “Leap now, while I have the strength!”

Thunderstorm needed no second telling as she reached the half-melted peak of the mountain. And as the High King brought all his strength to bear to crush the East Wind and force the gap closed, she drew upon everything she had. And with the last of her strength, she leapt out across the void and in the last second, in the absolute nick of time, flew up into the High King’s domain. The East Wind lifted her as she cleared its form in the gap, and she plunged up into the form of the High King himself.

He reared back in shock and drew upon his power to force Thunderstorm back, it flared in his grip, and she tore it from his hooves to hurl it back down towards the ground, glowing for a brief time like the sun itself.

The High King screamed, and Thunderstorm’s last tired laugh was drowned out by the roar of the winds as the gap in the clouds slid closed. The rain lightened, and then vanished; the thunder and lightning faded into nothing; the clouds shivered the darkness out of themselves with one final torrent of water, and paled. And the winds softened and went away back to their own corners of the world.

And for a few long moments, peace held in the world before the pegasi of Thunderstorm’s flock peered out into the world. There was nothing but molten rock cooling and settling around their mountain. There was nothing but a sky grey with with quiet and solid clouds. And amidst a grassy field, there was nothing but a glimmer of fading power, nearly hidden amongst the grass.

The pegasi ventured closer to the glimmer, and there they found the stolen power of the High King. They cautiously picked it up, and found to their delight that contained within was all his weathercrafting talent, allowing them to shape the winds and fashion the clouds and work with the weather as they pleased.

The instant it was in their grasp, they immediately used it to fly up and into the sky, carving the clouds apart to try and retrieve Thunderstorm from where she’d fallen, to let her know that her striving had brought them the greatest gift the pegasi could have ever known.

But past the cloud cover, there was only blank, rolling whiteness all around, with blue extending up forever, with nothing to suggest a pegasus, or a High King, or anything else at all had ever existed or fought there. And though they searched for a year, and mourned her after with songs that tried to reach up into the very heavens to call her home, Thunderstorm was never seen again.

Out of respect for her last deed, the flock took her gift and spread it equally across all the pegasus flocks, who she had all helped at one time or another. And soon, even pegasus foals were learning to direct gusts sent by the Winds, to clear and move clouds, and to not fear the storms that came rolling in overhead. For they were now more powerful than any storm and all the Winds combined when they worked together, and the skies now held no fear for them.

And … well, that’s how we took the weather into our own hooves. How we took it from the best using cunning and skill, and how we secured our place amongst the other pony tribes, and how we remain a pillar for all Equestria to this day. Why we call the wind from the east lucky, and why some older folks say you can hear it laugh in its freedom if you listen just right.

And it’s why sometimes, when the wind picks up and the clouds all shift around, you can can see ghost ponies galloping across the sky, galloping amongst the clouds. One of them’s Thunderstorm, keeping an eye on all her heirs below and making sure we’re alright and not in too much trouble. Or, well, not any trouble that we didn’t seek out for ourselves.

Cool, right?

Heh, well, uh, I’m sure my grandpa might’ve told it a little bit cooler. Couldn’t have ever told him that, though, or he’d just get a big head. Terrible thing to happen to a pony, trust me.

Bunch of baloney too. Maybe. But heck, they were telling it back in Hurricane’s day. Maybe they thought all we pegasi today could stand to keep on hearing it. All sorts of things we could learn from it.

The bit where she flew her fastest was always my favourite. Thought you might like some of the stuff near the end as well, when Thunderstorm got her w —

Alright. We don’t have to talk about it. Always best to turn the stories over in your own head, anyway.

It’s getting dark. Not that dark, though, and I reckon we’ve got enough logs to keep us going for a while yet. Hit me with your own best shot, squirt.

I’m sure you’ve got plenty stories of your own.

Comments ( 60 )

Prometheus may have stolen fire from the heavens, but he would have been pretty darned thirsty after a few weeks if the pegasi didn't bring rain.

Oh this was well done. I loved the mingling of your typical epic myth with Rainbow's story-telling and Scoots' interruptions. Of course, I can't get enough of the Palaververse, so maybe that ties into my enjoyment as well...

6907540
Too true. You really can't neglect stealing any classical elements.

6907748
Glad you approve! Mixing the storytelling elements was a fun experiment, and I'm glad it works for you. :twilightsmile:

I nice one, maybe even with a hint of truth. After all If Chaos has a spirit, and Harmony a tree, maybe the storms had a king...

Very well done. I did like the bit of inclusion of the Palaverse that was subtle enough for readers of your blogposts to know about but not enough that someone browsing new Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo stories was forced to read up on what exactly who the corvid's coramer was:twilightsmile:

6907809
The story itself is remote and mythical enough to the pegasi that the High King and the Winds themselves could just be legends ... but in a world as magical as Equestria's? Nothing's out of the question. :raritywink:

6907924
Glad you like it! Having a Palaververse reference seemed fun, but it also seemed sensible to keep it appropriately subtle so as not to overwhelm new readers.

"out the campfire"
"out of the campfire"?

"dove him"
"dove at him"?

"Thunderstorm was the cleverest pegasi that ever lived"
"pegasus"?

"back, It flared"
Was that "it" meant to be capitalized?

"forever,, with"
Extra comma?

A very nice story. :)

6908098

an appropriate song for the story

6908798
Thanks for the corrections, and glad you approve. :twilightsmile:

6908832
Very appropriate indeed. :pinkiehappy:

Would've liked to hear something about why the East Wind helped Thunderstorm. Just something like, "The High King feels I am the softest of the Winds, and his wrath upon me is disproportionate. You can bring that to an end."

But still, very good.

6909399
Something like that might have been a good addition - the most I had in mind was that given in the story itself, with the East Wind just cultivating a sense of affection towards the pegasi over the millennia. Suitably self-aggrandising for a pegasus folk-legend, but a touch more self-interest for the East Wind would have been better in most other contexts.

Glad you find it good, though. :twilightsmile:

Creator, this is brilliant! Love the way the story is told, it makes feel real, in a weird way. So this is an old legend, from back in the empire's days, which means it was heavily romanticized. My theory is that this "High King" was either an abomination created by Antlertis along with the four winds, or an eldritch being similar to the Thing In The South. Am I near or am reading too far into this?
I really hope you do some more stuff like this, it works sooooooooooo well. Thanks again marquis for a fantastic bit of fiction!

6909084
You're welcome. :)

Wonderful! absolutely wonderful! This reminded me so much of the greek myths that I've read, and the story was just so perfect! Favoriting this one for sure!

An excellent story. I approve.

6909755
Really glad you like it! :twilightsmile: There's really a lot of romanticism going on here - think of Thunderstorm as the pegasus equivalent of Prometheus, or Cú Chulainn, or someone similar - so both the High King and the Winds themselves are likely to be purest fiction. Though in the depths of history in a setting with ample precedent for magical entities, who's to say for certain?

6909870
Happy to have satisfied! 'Rainbow Dash attempts to tell an old myth' was the idea I was attempting to go with, and trying to mimic the old Greek myths was good fun.

6910647
Glad to have your approval. :pinkiehappy:

Y’know, maybe making it all Shakelancy doesn’t add that much to the experience.

“Yo, North Wind,” said Thunderstorm. “I want to know how the pegasi can master the weather, so that we don’t have to suffer under it any longer.”

Typical Dash :rainbowlaugh:

Nice little tale, very entertaining narration.

So, we'll be seeing more of Thunderstorm, right?

With the way you've written it, we damn well better.

~Skeeter The Lurker

How are you so good at mythology-crafting?

6912232
Glad you like it! And who indeed needs any Shakelancey stuff when you've got Dash-style narration? :pinkiehappy:

6912246
Well, Dash did promise to tell Scootaloo the rest at one point or another. And there's presumably a story or two behind how Thunderstorm stole her enchanted shoes or defeated the Cormaer.

No promises, what with all the other things I'm partway through or contemplating or procrastinating on, but more Thunderstorm would certainly be fun to deliver. :twilightsmile:

6912321
Blood rituals and sacrifices to eldritch powers, mainly. My conscience may be sullied beyond hope of recovery and my dreams may be seeded with the waking nightmares that are to follow, but at least I can attempt to spin out some mythos every once in a while.

This really does feel like a legend being told by someone who likes to add in her own details, the way legends like this are meant to be told. Very well done, and interesting lore.

6912466
Thank you very much! An old legend given a Dash-esque slant was what I was hoping to achieve.

6912492
The creative process is a horrifying one. At least, when I do it.

s3.amazonaws.com/kym-assets/photos/images/newsfeed/000/130/993/Zecora_CoolStoryBro.png?1307366603
seriously, I loved this little story. I look forward to seeing another written the same way.

A perfect blend of mythic tone and Dashing presentation. Makes me wonder what the basis for the legend was. Sure, it could just be an explanatory myth for something the pegasi have always had. On the other hand, it might not be.

It says a lot that the pegasi tell stories of how they had to earn their signature magic, while the unicorns and earth ponies simply had theirs. It paints the other tribes as entitled, even lazy. They were the lucky ones, who could simply rest on their laurels and reap the benefits of their gifts. Not the pegasi. They had to work for it. They needed a champion who exemplified their ideals to wrest that power from a cruel and petty tyrant. That not even the loss of Thunderstorm's wings stopped her says a lot about what those ideals are. It isn't a matter of the wings of the body, but the wings of the soul.

In all, magnificent work. I deeply regret not reading it sooner, and I get the feeling I'm going to be saying that about most if not all of your stories that I haven't yet read.

6913177
Glad you like it! As far as other things written in a similar way go, unless I end up writing a follow-up to this, then Bad Horse's Bedtime Stories for Impressionable Young Colts and Fillies might be worth checking out. It was a partial source of inspiration for this, and similarly has a first-person narrator telling varyingly-garbled stories to an offscreen audience. Great fun. :pinkiehappy:

6913239
Very glad you approve, and likewise glad that a lot of the pegasus backstory and mores were picked up on. There's definitely a heavy dose of braggadocio to it, being originally written by pegasi for a pegasi audience about how awesome pegasi are in having had to earn their place in the world through heroics and hard labour rather than dumb luck. Their ancestors had to ante up and vanquish the world's evils themselves in order to get anywhere, and so should their descendants.

Basis-wise, the legend's definitely regarded in modern Equestria as an old explanatory myth for the weathercrafting of the pegasi, with Thunderstorm herself the equivalent of a Heracles or a Gilgamesh - either a total myth, or totally distorted by stories and time from her original mundane self. Mind you, in a setting like this ... well, stranger things have happened.

6907774 Will there be a sequel?

Or epansion?

I mean, it's long enough to be a saga.

6913894

Gather Round young ones
And let me tell you the tale of the one
Who tricked the Four Winds And Their King.

So long ago this was
That the color of her mane and wings have been forgotten,
But we must never forget what she did for us.

Her name was Thunderstorm
The one who flew to the Utmost North and found the Flowers of Youth
The Mare who fought and drove off the Corvid Cormaer.
And many great things.
But those are stories for another time.

In her time,
The winds were untamed
And the clouds were as sturdy as
The truths that the tongue of Discord spins.
Cold rain and uncaring wind whipped the air into frenzies beyond anypony's control.

The pegasi had the worst luck.
The earth ponies who knew architecture built houses for their young.
The unicorn built great fortresses to shield from the weather.

THe pegasi?
The pegasi made do hiding in the dusty bowels of the earth.

And Thunderstorm saw it all.
Saw it from when she was still in her mother's embrace.

Some things simply are.
Something you suffered from all your life
May seem as common as the idea of fire bringing warmth.

And so it was for Thunderstorm.
None know when she began to wonder how life could be
If the skies were under their control,
But when that thought came,
She acted.

She began her greatest journey.
Her journey that would take her innumerable times around the world.
She would meet the Four Winds time and time again,

She flew to the cold and unforgiving North,
Just as she had when she searched for the Flowers of Youth,
To meet the North Wind.
Grim and Surly he was,
Caring Nothing for anything he saw lesser than he,
He blew with the other winds,
And his was the one that brewed storms of devestation.

Growling to Thunderstorm's approach,
He heard her plea to teach her the secrets of taming the winds,
And like the lion warning a scavenger,
Told her to leave.

Thunderstorm,
Seeing no hope
And danger if she were to pursue the answer,
Left to find the South Wind.

She flew back over the icefields and glaciers of the Frosty North
Until she passed the mountain that she had called home,
And continued on.

She flew over vas plains,
Over valleys carved with the patience of water,
Over forests tangled in threads of green
And moorlands covered in blankets of heather.

The Corvids who lived there,
In the Moorlands,
Dared not bother her
After seeing her defeating Cormaer.

She found him over the ocean,
Gently blowing wales in the ocean
The tips as grey, gloomy, and calm as he was.
The Stoic South Wind
Charged with blowing steadily,
And as such was tame compared to many of his brethren.

Thunderstorm presented her plea at the edge of where the land met the grey Southern Sea,
But the South Wind did not respond
And simply returned to his southern home.
Tasked with blowing steadily,
He also had to travel the farthest before he met his three brothers
Near the homeland of Thunderstorm,
And as such was tired and wished to go home.

Thnderstorm,
Persistent pegasus she was,
Followed him and asked again.

South Wind was tired and wished to go home,
Flew faster.
Faster he flew.

And still Thunderstorm chased.
Her plea beginning quite calm,
And ending in only what could be called stormy indeed.

He flew quick.
She followed.
He flew quicker.
She followed.
He flew yet quicker.
She followed.

And so it went for a time.

But the South Wind was the Wind
And so returned home
With Thunderstorm becoming lost.
She cursed everything and flew to the West..

She flew past the moors
Till they solidified to Glens,
She flew past the Glens
Till they rose to mountains and valleys.

And then she flew past the mountains
Till they dropped to dusty plains that stretched and seemed immeasurable
And on top of the plains stood slaves who toiled.
A million labourers working on the plains of dirt and sand,
And their labour blew the dust up high to where Thunderstorm flew
And stung her eyes.

A western Empire,
Cruel and large
Ruled here by a spoil Imperator who cared for nothing
But wealth.

And it was here that Thunderstorm knew,
She would find the West Wind.
She waited till nightfall to free the West Wind.

Inside the largest of its cities,
And the grandest of its buildings
was where she found The North Wind,
But it is very hard to free what does not want to be free.

For the West Wind had been spoiled by the luxuries the Empire provided,
And had fallen in love with the spoiled Imperator
And simply threw her wind out to keep the sky and fields clear.
By the time, the winds reached the mountains of her home,
They became cold and dusty things,
Blowing pegasi out of the wind as surely
As a lightning bolt.

When she spoke her plea to the West Wind,
The West Wind sneered and called to the guards
To throw the vagabond out.

With gifts of arrows and a salute of javelins,
Thunderstorm exited gracefully out the glass window
And flew to her last hope,
The East Wind.

Flying back home to her mountain,
Passing the plains, the valleys, and the glen,
She circled her home once for nostalgia
And to remind her of her hope and mission.

And then she flew with hope on her face,
And the weight of dread on her back.
She flew past the other mountains,
Past the earth pony villages,
Past the unicorn castles,

And past the greatest of the mountains.
She stopped and rested.
As she did, she gazed past the beautiful blue Eastern Ocean where no end seemed in sight.

Had any other pegasi been in her hooves then,
I do not want to wonder what they would've done.
Most would have left,
But Thunderstorm?
She spread her wings and flew.

For a moon cycle
And a day,
She flew,
The ocean becoming a tapestry of endless blue.

A rocky island greeted her,
Seeming to have risen out of the waters
Just for her.

She landed,
Tired and exhausted,
And was greeted by the most dangerous of the winds.

The Eastern Wind.
Old and powerful,
Pegasi had feared it since their own creation.
Never tiring,
The storms it threw westward were the most dangerous of all the storms...
Even the wolflike North Wind.
But in its long life, it watched the ponies.
Watched them live their lives,
Build their homes,
And struggle.

Fascinated with them,
He had begun to feel a kinship with them in the world they shared
And cajoled the earth to rise up to create the Mountain Shield,
Even if it meant,
It could not watch them as well,
To protect ponykind from his violent storms,

It had seen Thunderstorm struggles
Had known she would come,
And so he sat and waited on the island.
Whether it was always there or whether he had asked the Earth
As he had when he made the Mountain Shield,
The island has never been mapped on any map.

The East Wind smiled and waited for Thunderstorm's plea.

He thought for a while before relenting.
“Tricky. I think I might know how you can gain that power
But it won’t be easy.”

Thunderstorm growled with determintion.
“That doesn’t matter.
It hasn't been easy before,
Why should it be easy now?
Tell me,”

“We Four Winds are great and powerful,”
"But their is one we all answer to and dare not defy,
"The High King."
"Terrible, wrathful, and jealous of his own power,
He dwells past the highest clouds beyond the reach of all flight
"even yours."
" He commands us with his own mastery,"
"And he grows his pride by commanding us to blow unceasingly"
" so that the world will always be aware of him"
" Stealing his power from him won’t be easy. But it canbe done.”

“How, if he lives beyond even my flight?”

“You must bait him out.
Sting him in his pride,
And he will come forth to fight you,”
Other than his mastery of the sky and the Winds,
Only his pride is his alone.
And to sting his pride, you must defeat his servants below the clouds,
We, the Four Winds,
He must see us fleeing back up to his stronghold.
Then he will descend to have revenge.
You must steal his power then and free us.
Or die horribly.
Whichever suits.”

"How can I defeat you?"

“We are not above weakness.
You yourself must find them
"“I suggest leaving me until the end, though.
I shall be compliant, and you’ll need your energy.
For now rest."

And Thunderstorm rested on the island with the East Wind.
Rumour has it that they may have fallen in love,
But that's only a rumour now.

With the East Wind under her wings,
she returned to her mountain in a week's time.
She circled her mountain once, twice, thrice,
Thinking, Thinking, Thinking,
On how to undergo the greatest gamble that the pegasi would ever undergo.

She flew North with resolution to defeat the North Wind.
Past the icefields and over the glaciers she flew,
And she flew directly toward the North Wind
Who Bellowed

“YOU DARE RETURN TO ME IN DEFIANCE?
“YOU WISH TO DIE THAT BADLY?”

With fear coiling her heart,
Instinct flapping her wings,
Enchanted hoof shoes that she stole from a unicorn prince on her hooves,
Stupidity clouding reasoning sufficently,
And Bravery in her eyes,

She went and gave the North Wind an uppercut
Just as it came bearing down.

And so it began.
A sparrow in a storm,
Thunderstorm fought with the North Wind.

She flitted past the swipes as the North Wind
Lumbered around the Icy Landscape.
And for all his bluster,
His fearsome reputation,
He was quite soft,
Quite weak.

Before quite terrifying,
The North Wind limped back to his birthplace in the sky,
Blubbering like a whipped dog.
For all his strength,
He could not take his hits well.

Thunderstorm,
The only pegasi to ever witness this sight,
Smirked to herself,
Taking a petty pleasure at the picture
And then flew south.

Past her home,
Past the Valleys.
Past the Glens.
Past the Moorlands.

Till she perched on the sullen beach of the South
Facing the Gloomy Sothern Sea where the South Wind was at work.

Thunderstorm was clever,
So she hid,
And like the last time,
Waited for the South Wind to shamble in.
The South ind would have been just as fast,
No faster!,
Than his brother, The North Wind,
But seeing his journey was longer than the others,
He would be too tired to fight.
And she had the future to fight for.

So she waited till she saw him,
Then jumped on him, pinning him,
And pounded on him,
Laying blow after blow on his back,
Till she was sure he was too hurt
To fight back at all.

He fled too
Shouting a threat behind him.

She took a long breath then.
Longer than the one where she fought the North Wind for some reason.
Looking down at her hoof,
She saw it tremble.
At first she thought it was fear.
Two winds she had fought,
The winds that had plagued pegasi for eons,
And she had just forced two to flee!
She then realized,
She wasn't scared.
She was excited.
The weight of dread
Had slipped off as she sent the South Wind away in fear.
Thunderstorm grinned then with the knowledge she could do this.

She then flew past the Moorlands, the Glens, The Valleys,
The plains came to view,
And the dust stung just as fierce the first time from the farmlands below.

She knew where the West Wind lived as a guest of the empire
And so hid on the roof till Nightfall.
She slipped in through the window and found the West Wind sleeping with the Imperator.

Thunderstorm roughly served her awake.
The West Wind rose surprised and asked,
"You again!"

Thunderstorm snorted derisively at the mare,
"Me again. That makeup doesn't do much for you."

The West Wind rose in fury and in a ballad of blows,
Broke the Glass Window once more,
Leaving the Imperator in the bedroom wondering at the event.

Their battle measuring the immeasurable leagues of plains that the Empire controlled,
The West Wind and Thunderstorm's battle was visible from even Thunderstorm's home mountain,
The largest Twister to touch the ground in millenia was their battleground,
Dust and flashes of light were the only thing that gave even a hint of the combatants inside.

Though pampered and soft,
The West Wind could be as Swift as her Southern Brother
And as strong as her Northern Brother
When she chose.

But it was blinded by rage,
And what power it wasted only helped Thunderstorm,
Giving her wings strength and speed,
The clashed for days until the West Wind finally collapsed,
Completely spent.
Towards the end,
The West Wind had fled from Thunderstorm,
But Thunderstorm only pursued it and battered it while it was down,
Until the Wind finally staggered up into the sky.

She cried,
"I shall call the High King to burn your mountain down to ruins!
And burn the ruins to ashes!
And then burn the ashes for good measure!"

Thunderstorm only laughed
As the West Wind fled.
Only when the West Wind was truly gone,
Did she lay down and cough the ill begotten dust from her lungs.
Thunderstorm was still strong,
But years had passed since she had first began her journey for the secret to commanding the skies
And the battle had taken a larger toll than she would willingly admit.

But with a determined will,
She forced herself to recover
And to return to face the last wind,
The Eastern Wind.

Several times over her moon cycle and a day flight,
Thunderstorm awoke to find herself drowning in the waters of the Eastern Ocean.

Finally alighting on the island where she had once rested,
She staggered to the East Wind who only looked on with seemingly uncaring eyes.

He asked," Have you defeated my brethren?"

Thunderstorm only nodded exhausted.
She despaired inwardly when she saw it stretch for battle.

"Let us finish this then.",
And the East Wind called forth a storm
Stronger than the North Wind's One,
Swifter than the South Wind's One,
And deadlier than the West Wind's One.

Thunderstorm,
Having been near the East Wind
Was spared the worst.
But she was still buffeted about
With her rear hoof catching the East wind on the side.

Immediately, he dramatically collapsed,
Calling off the storm,
And said,
"Woe is me! Such strength! Such strength!
What is a weak wind to do?
I must go tell the king!"

Thunderstorm patiently waited
And then asked,
"When will you tell him?"

"I must tell him soon.
You can rest now,
But you must hurry back.
When I tell him,
He will take vengeance on your flock."

Thunderstorm cursed to the heavens
And immediately took flight back.

The East Wind followed closely behind her
And eased her flight,
It is said that their flight was followed by lightning.
Such was her speed that her own winds were hindrances to her flight.

Any normal pegasi would have collapsed at the pace she flew,
But she returned to her mountain,
Past the Glens and Moors
And the Mountain Shield,
In days rather than weeks.
The East Wind had left her,
But left his winds to aid her.

As soon as she alighted on the patch of grass
That when she was young would nap on,
Then the sky darkened to black,

And then opened up
With cracks of thunder and fingers of lightning tearing open a hole
For The High King and his Four Winds

The High King,
Fearsome he was.
He called forth the one who had challenged his servants and thus him
And Thunderstorm came.

She shouted to the heavens,
"Give the Pegasi control of the heavens!"

"I think not!"
The High King denied her,
"Servants take her!"

The North Wind feared her, remembering his beating,
The South Wind found her irritating, wished to go back to his work,
The West Wind was vain and found such things too bothersome
And the East Wind wished to help her, winking at her.

The High King,
Prideful as he was,
Declared,
"Then I shall deal with her myself."

And with a tendril of power brought the sky down on her.

Thunder was the song that the High King played.
Rain was the curtain he drew upon her.
And on the stage that was for the lone actor
That was Thunderstorm
Death was her partner.

Over and over, Thunderstorm flew to the opening in the sky,
And over and over,
The High King would call forth the rain and lightning,
So that the sky was her foe.

Time and time, she flew around the mountain to buy time,
And lighning chased her,
Striking the rock and boiling it,
So that even the earth attacked her.

And then after innumberable times of falling down and recovering ,
She stopped to think.

And the High King threw lightning on her back.
Pain danced down her nape, down her back, down and through her,
Sending her to the grouund in blissfl sleep.

When she woke to the ground at speeds where she would've died if not for her enchanted armor,
She was greeted by a rain of feathers.
The hollowness on her back,
Far worse than any pain,
Told her the tale.

Her wings,
Her wings that had been born to her.
Her wings, the greatest gift she ever had,
Her wings, the wings that had been with her through her rcountless travels,

Had been torn asundered by the lightning the High King called forth.

And the High King laughed.
Sneering, he commanded his servants,
The Four Winds.

"“We are done here
Return to your posts,
And visit storms upon this wretched land
That will scour it down to the core.
Hem them in
And make sure they see their doom approach.
Teach them the price of disobedience."

Each one of the winds began to leave.
None of them looked back,
Save the East Wind,
Who only looked upon sadly.

And Thunderstorm?
What of her?

She laid on her stomach,
Listening to the High King.
She thought of her flock,
And she heard them,
Heard their cries as they were pinned in their caves.
And she remembered why she did this.
She was the hero.
She was their hero.

Thunderstorm glanced up at the closing breach in the sky,
A rapidly fading blue surrounded by black.
She saw the High King's white eyes looking down in Triumph.

Thunderstorm decided she rather didn't like that look
So she stood up.
The ground was still molten,
Her fur was bonded to her skin by the intense heat,
And only her enchanted shoes kept her hooves from fusing with the ground.
The pain was overwhelming.
And logic dictated that without wings,
A pegasi couldn't fly.

Ignoring all that,
Thunderstorm went on the greatest flight that she ever went on in her entire life.
Only one thought went through her mind at that moment,
All she had to do was make it through the rift.

She began with a hobbling step,
It turned into a slow trot,
Then a quick one,
Became a lively canterr,
And before all who saw it,
She had begun to gallop to the highest point of the mountain wherer it still touched the rift.

The High King growled
And quickened his efforts to close the gap in the heavens.
He sent lightning bolt after lightning bolt down,
He double the already heavy rain,
And still she galloped,
Still she danced arond all the things he threw,
For she was pegasus,
With or without her wings,
Her will would always soar high above all the obstacles,
But victory would be his,
The sky was past the point where Thunderstorm could fit.

Thunderstorm saw the small hole,
Knew it was over,
But in her pain,
She still ran.

"Leap!"
The East Wind.
He alone of the winds had stayed,
He had bided his time until he deemed it right
And now he leapt,
He gambled just as Thunderstorm had gambled all those years ago,
And openly defied his king and held the rift open.
" “Leap now, while I have the strength!”

THunderstorm reached the peak of the half melted mountain and leaped,
Her hooves still galloping,
It seemed almost as if she was running on nothing but air.
If she was,
This truly was her most legendary flight.

The East Wind blew,
And for the last time,
Aided Thunderstorm in flight
As she soared through the opening.

The High King in his surprise,
Had gathered all his power in for one last attack,
Thunderstorm knocked all of the power down into the heavens
To the sound of the High King's scream.

Her last, tired laugh drowned out by the blustering wind.

For a few long moments,
None dared to go out.

But then one came out of the cave.
Two.
Three.
Then they surged out and looked at the power that Thunderstorm had stolen for them.

None remember how it looked,
But we remember how it felt.
How it felt to control the wind,
How free it felt to fly with the wind,
Instead of against it.

And as soon as the pegasi of Thunderstorm's flock understood what they had,
They immediately flew up to the sky and rendered the thick, black blanket
To threads in search of Thunderstorm's body.

But all they saw was blue.
All the surrounding settlements saw the blue sky
And were in awe.
Before Thunderstorm had stolen,
It was in a state of perpetual storm,
And that blue was beautiful.

But for the pegasi,
It seemed almost mocking.
As if it was telling them to be happy in spite of the sacrifice that Thunderstorm had given them.

They searched for a year,
But all they saw was the sky.
Each day and each night,
They would sing songs in her honor.
Gradually the bitterness turned mellower
And they began to recall in fond memories
Her deeds and times with them.

In respect of her gift,
They spread the gift,
Taught all how to use the gift.

And told their young the tale of Thunderstorm and the Four Winds.

6914467 Remember to complete this.

Hope you don't mind.
I like doing epics for good stories.

6914470
...Not even the slightest hint of minding to be found here. That was excellent, and thank you very much for it! :pinkiehappy: I can safely say that's the first time anyone's ever written an epic based on anything I've written.

6915097 Funny. Most people tend to say that.

Glad you liked it!

Did you see some of the small differences?

I hope you expand this short into a saga. It could be that and set off it's own set of lore.

6915097 Is the West Wind a mare?

And are Thunderstorm and the East Wind Lovers?

6915669
I did clock some of the differences, yep. More dwelling on Thunderstorm's internal emotional states was a definite plus, and implied romances between the Winds and Thunderstorm/the Imperator was a neat touch.
6916665
Gender and romance-wise ... well, that's entirely up to the teller. It's an old legend, and every story-teller's been free to add their own elements and elaborations. The version Rainbow told Scootaloo, and the one Rainbow probably heard herself when she was a filly, was a fairly strait-laced adventure without much mushy stuff and kept the Winds fairly ambiguous forces. Other storytellers have almost certainly given the Winds specific genders, or inverted Thunderstorm's own, and shipped everybeing involved, depending on their individual preferences, artistic medium, and audience.

A good mythos tale.

6916731 I ship East Wind and Thunderstorm.

6917255
One of the more sensible shipping options, all things considered.

6917348
None of them in particular, really. The South Wind's certainly married to the job, though. :raritywink:

6917408 The Northwind is definitely a...

BLOWHARD!

Get it? Because he's the wind?

6917426
Good god, I'm an accidental genius. :pinkiehappy: Normally, I try to steer clear of such wordplay. It's not a punderful habit to engage in.

6917445 Indeed. You might say it always has a FROSTY greeting.(Get it? North Wind? Cold weather? Damn Hawaii should not be this cold.)

6914467 So, um, that's a 3000-plus word comment.

Considering oral tradition, and the fact that you appear to already have OP's blessing, and the implication that there's more you want to add...

Following. Following so hard.

Is it odd that I could easily see Thunderstorm being the sort of OC that everyone uses? Like, if we ever want to write a good classical myth, and the Hearth's Warming horses are too modern, we write a Thunderstorm story?

Because I would be okay with that. Would you be okay with that?

6933804 It's three thousand words plus? Really?

Wow.

6933870
I'd be exceedingly okay with that. :pinkiehappy: It's probably a hallmark of the Thunderstorm myths in-universe that they've been devised and told by any number of different pony storytellers. If other actual writers wanted to use her for their own classical myth, then that'd only be fitting.

6933887 I should totally ask to publish that.

Oh well.

6935261 Thanks for following me. PM me if you want to RP or have a conversation.

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