• Published 6th May 2016
  • 215 Views, 5 Comments

Light's Darkest Form - Fateful Pony



Derpibra and his friends go off to the ruins revealed during The Chrysalling.

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Voidwalkers

The door tremored the ruins as it shut behind the party, locking them into an infinite ink of darkness.

“Derpi,” Optix called. “You sure we can’t at least light up a torch?”

“Yes.”

“But it’s pitch black in here! It was a dream, so it couldn’t have been totally real right?”

“No. It felt too real. That’s why this place feels so familiar.”

Everyone was bumping into each other recklessly, but Derpibra seemed to have a better sense of direction.

“Everyone, hold on to each other’s backs.” Twilight said. “If we move as a coordinated group, we won’t be at as large a risk of getting lost. Follow Derpibra’s lead. He seems to know more about this place than we do.”

“He’s movin’ from instinct and deja vu.” Applejack said. “Ah say we jus’ trust ‘em. I do.”

Everypony nodded, not that they were able to see it.

Their hooves latching on to each other’s backs, they walked in a sort of conga line. The idea in practice was slightly cumbersome, but was effective. Should someone spot something, at least one pony- whoever it was- could stop the train.

Derpibra was feeling lucky, and decided to slap the soft mass directly in his grasp, hopefully to lighten up the mood of blindness and slight fear.

“Who just did that?” Rarity called into the darkness behind her.

Derpibra held his breath, realizing he got the wrong mare.

“What’s wrong Rarity?” Twilight voice sounded, presumably from the farthest back of the line.

“Someone in this line smacked my rear.”

So that’s who I hit… Derpibra thought nervously.

“Let us not stray about for too long mates.” Gaffold said. “We should stay focused on our objective.”

“Well, who’s at the way front?”
“Me.” Applejack called.

“Well, lead on then.”

“Twi, ah can’t exactly see in here ya know.”

The conga line quickly dispersed, everyone figuring this idea to be useless.

“That idea’s out the window.” Derpibra grunted. “Hmm… well, this room can’t be that huge. Maybe we can find a way to actually see in here without using light.”

“That’s impossible.” Twilight said. “My scientific studies suggest that there isn’t a feasible way to see without producing any kind of photons.”

“We’re in a ruin made of solid darkness. I’m pretty sure being able to see without light in here would be possible.”

“Then what do you propose we do?”

A bright black light emerged from Derpibra’s belt pouch. Somehow, the black light seemed more visible compared to the darkness the ruin itself radiated. He withdrew the suspected item and realized it was that mark that Daischtert, the black dragon gave him. The worn, rolled cocoon of metal vibrated softly.

“What is the mark doing?” Gaffold inquired.

“I have no idea.” Derpibra replied with a barely visible shrug.

“Wait a sec,” Optix started. “Aren’t we makin’ light now?”

Derpibra remained silent, unsure of how to answer that question. His feeling of dread- impending doom, loomed upon him, not knowing what might happen. His nightmare only did so much in the way of details toward the consequences. All he knew was that something bad might happen-

His pessimistic thoughts were quickly abolished as the mark’s at first black glow turned to a low purple. It’s magnificent creation of photons extended to the far corners of the surprisingly sizeable room. Along the walls were even more words and literature from the Luxembourgian language. Runes about the floor, cracked, and pillars inscripted with ancient decorative etches. The ceiling had quite the odd assortment of old style suns and moons painted about the surface. The entire room was cast in the revealing purple light, making everything adopt a more mystical look.

Everyone winced, expecting death, or perhaps something worse, but was met with only a slight sparkling noise from the mark. Small, shiny particles glittered about the stone room from its soothing radiance.

“...Huh? Why aren't we dead?” Optix questioned.

“I don’t know.” Derpibra said. “Let’s just be glad nothing happened.”

To the left of the room, blue text flashed under the aura of the mark. Upon the cracked wall was another patch of the Luxembourgish language, awaiting Twilight’s translation.

Twilight, curious, came up to the text with a book in hoof, and took about a minute to translate the short sentence. “...Under the caring light of the mark will you be able to see without incident.”

“Maybe that’s why he gave it to you.” Gaffold said. “To make traversing this ruin a less perilous task.”

“Glad for that at least.” Derpibra said with a shrug. “I’m still wondering why Magnus would be Däischtert’s mortal enemy though. He never told us why.”

“Perhaps he wanted us to discover it, eh?” Turning his attention to Twilight, he asked, “Twilight, is there anything you can find on why these two dragons are the way they are?”

“I will need some time.” Twilight squinted slightly into the increasing darkness to spot a lever next to an outline of a rectangle in the wall. “...Looks like a lever.” She trotted over to pull it, but the white unicorn stopped her. “Rarity?”

“What if the lever is linked to a trap? We cannot use magic to aid our escape since it will make light that I presume the ruin wouldn’t appreciate.”

“Well,” Twilight glanced around a moment before responding. “there is no other way to get farther in this place. We’ll be fine.” She pulled the lever in question, and observed the rectangle retracting into the floor below, revealing a dimly lit hallway. “The caution is appreciated though.”

“She has a point.” Optix said. “As much as I love running through crazy ass traps, We shouldn’t be getting in trouble over a failed safety protocol. Keep your chins up.”

And with that last half-inspiring statement from the freelance military mare, everyone walked into the ever illuminating hallway. Without the mark, navigation would be nearly impossible.

The next room appeared before them, being much more spacious than the last. Ancient illustrations of dragons and ponies dotted the walls, along with various suns and moons, similar to the ones previously seen. At the end of the room was an even larger set of stone doors with odd protrusions.

“Quite the hall I’d say.” Derpibra said. “Hm, where do we start first with these drawings?”

Twilight started from the far left of the room at its corner. “Here, from left to right… maybe. Who knows if this is at all like how English is written.”

Twilight spent what felt like hours translating the captions and picking possibilities of what pictures could possibly mean, before finally managing to compile a story to summarize it.

She cleared her throat before reading her notes. “There was once a time in history where dragons and ponies lived in harmony together, but this was many years ago- perhaps before Equestria was conceived as an idea. But, there were many cultural and moral differences between the two species.

Ponies required resources and land, both of which dragons consumed without much care. Dragons were unable to produce anything due to their relative inability to touch crops or buildings without crushing them. However, dragons made up for their mistakes by serving as guardians of ponies.” She moved to another section of picture and text before continuing.

“But soon, dragons’ selfish nature stemmed from them not getting any return for their hard work, as at the time ponies were constantly at war, and dragons scarcely any time to their families. They demanded the rarest of all things- at least at the time, like gold and massive amounts of food. Ponies refused, seeing as they could not produce such things with the then-current technology they possessed.

Dragons began to turn bitter, and resigned as protectors of their former allies. The numbers of dragons in Equestria lowered as the lack of food, even from areas they’ve plundered, was not enough to keep up their population. It is not much higher today, since dragons require immense nutrients and supreme conditions to raise healthy offspring.”

She moved yet again, to the last text and picture. “Then, two dragons rose, both full of light. Magnus, once a low class member of the dragon clan, rose to power through speechcraft and wit. He sought strength, so maybe he can set the dragons’ rightful fear-induced grip back over ponies, so they may gather what they want, when they want.

Daichtert used to follow in his ideals, but quickly became aware of his master’s plan. Turning to the opposite element for help- the Darkness, he sought to put Magnus out of his power hungry position to restore a more permanent harmony between us and dragons. That is why his name is Daichtert, Luxembourgian for Darkness. It is rumored that this was not his original name, as it’s been lost in time ages ago.” Twilight closed her book with a confident smile. “Was that informative enough?”

“Now we know exactly what happened!” Derpibra said. “I can’t believe Magnus would be like this though. It’s just… so far fetched.”

“That scoundrel!” Gaffold grumbled. “He meant to use us as tools for his rise to power, and he wanted Daichtert out of the way first… maybe his assassination was all but required?”

“Perhaps.” Twilight half-nodded. “One thing that still puzzles me is… how did this ruin get here?”

“Only one way to find out.” Gaffold pointed to the doors down the large room.

“Right.” Twilight trotted to the door that could double as the actual wall to the room. Upon it’s face were several cubes and rings with square imprints. “Seems like some kind of puzzle.” Scooping up the stone cut-out with a forehoof, she spotted a symbol of a dragon’s snout upon it. Another cut-out had a minimalistic design of a pony face upon it. Then, the third being two swords clashing in another minimalistic design.

“So,” Rainbow Dash began. “What’s with the boxes?”

“I don’t know… maybe we need to… ah! Got it!”
Inside the imprints of the rings, she spotted the same symbols, but in different colors. “I just have to match the symbols and colors. Trivial puzzling at its finest.”

“Whoever made this ruin was not very smart, were they?” Rainbow snickered.

“Perhaps not. But, it saves us time.”

While Twilight began her working on the puzzle, Derpibra spotted a crate propped against the wall. Feeling curious, he trotted over to the wooden container, and observed it. The crate was battered and old, but looked relatively new in comparison to everything else.

Flipping the wooden flap open, he dug inside and found something that felt slightly heavy. Retracting it, he apparently held to a dagger. The blade itself was not very… sharp. Blunt actually. It could serve as a form of an unconventional baton, but something about it felt useful in some other way, somehow.

Deciding to not break anyone’s focus, especially Twilight’s, he placed it in his belt pouch where the mark previously was before it went floating about lighting up the place.

“This puzzle is surprisingly simplistic.” Twilight said, sounding disappointed. “Even a novice school philly could solve this with minimal difficulty.”

The colossal doors rumbled as the locks and tumblers as the wall’s inner mechanisms unlocked and twirled. Once the entrance was spread open, bright rays of sunlight stopped right at the entrance, almost as if it hit an invisible wall- unable to penetrate the darkness within.

“Beautiful,” Gaffold sighed at the wonder. “If, a bit of a paradox in itself. How the Light cannot reach inside is most interesting. Is the Light really that lacking in strength in comparison?”

“Who knows.” Twilight sighed. “These ruins had to have been enchanted by the most powerful magic. The question is who was it that did it?” She began her walk into the Light, and the closer she drew, the brighter the room got. Becoming so illuminated that her eyes were rendered useless, along with everypony else’s. But only a second passed before the brightness suddenly blinked away, leaving behind shined characters that read, when translated: “Light, the typical force that represents good, has often been used for evil. Darkness experiences the same treatment…”

“So,” Derpibra began, slightly puzzled. “Does that mean Darkness can be a force of good too?”

“Maybe.” Optix said. “Honestly, this place just seems too weird to take seriously.”

“Are you really saying that?” Gaffold snickered.

“Hey, I’m not weird, just unique. And what about you, huh? You’re some WEIRD golden griffon. Where the hell did you come from?”

“Guys,” Derpibra called, marginally agitated. “Is now really the time for this?”

“I jest, I jest love.” Gaffold said.

“Ah, sod off Goldilocks.” Optix pouted, leaving Gaffold to his momentary laughter.

Good to see every pony is getting along just fine, Derpibra thought. “Twilight, any ideas?”

“Seems to be a dead end. Nothing immediately eye-catching here.”

“Eye catching you say…” A deep voice rang from no location in particular.

“Who said that?” She turned about and searched for the source, finding before her a set of red reptile eyes that radiated the most peculiar aura, the most familiar voice...

“Daischtert?”