• Published 14th Jun 2016
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To rekindle the flame - Sky Trotter



Both banished to Darkness, Can a long lost friendship be Rekindled

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Chapter 3

True to her word, Ember wrote a letter to Phoenix the following day and continued to do so on an almost daily basis for a year. Consumed with curiosity over Obsidian, Ember forgot to ask about the existence of the male alicorn. She continued to ask questions, and in return, Phoenix gave answers, while also continuing to question her about her daily life as well as her attitudes towards the thought of friendship.

Ember’s first letters contained the most basic of questions that you would expect to be asked.
“How did you get the other Dragons to agree to the peace treaty between Equestria and the Dragon lands? How did you first come into contact with the Royal pony sisters?” but in time she began to delve into more personal topics.

“Dear Phoenix,

It has now been one month since our first meeting, and I feel that I have asked a good number of questions in regards to the policies that Obsidian put into place. But at this point, I find myself curious as to who he is as a Dragon. Not as an ex-Dragon Lord but, as just a regular dragon. So I wonder, what are some of the things that he likes to do? I feel like I know quite a bit about who he is as a ruler, but not who is he as a dragon. I know that I am repeating myself, and I hope that this isn’t too forward of me to ask.

Your Friend
Ember”

Obsidian looked a the letter and smiled. “Well, it took her a month before she got up the gumption to ask about me on a personal level. I guess it’s time to start writing about personal stuff.”

“Dear Ember,

To answer your last question first. No, I don’t think it is too forward to ask about Obsidian on the personal level. He was glad that you decided to delve into that topic finally. Policy and procedure can be a bit dry, and besides, you can learn quite a bit more about someone by learning what they like and don’t want to do. So as far as what Obsidian likes to do in his free time. Well, he enjoys reading. Having a vast collection of books to read he has spent the better part of the last century learning all he can about magic as well as just enjoying stories that have been written. Although to be completely honest he has a great need to update his collection. The newest story that he owns was printed well over 500 years ago. Did you have any specific topics that you would like to know about in regards to his collection? Perhaps genres? Fiction, non-fiction, action adventure, magic studies? He has a vast array (if a bit outdated). If you would like I would imagine that he would be willing to lend you some reading material, Although I believe that he may have to translate it into a more modern style of speech. Dragons and Ponies had a very different way of speaking that long ago. If you are interested, please let me know. It shouldn’t take all that long to translate the books into a more manageable format for you.

Your friend

Phoenix.”

Sealing the Scroll tube Obsidian pressed the onyx gem in the lid and is vanished away. Within a few minutes time, the tube blinked back into existence. “Well then, that was fast.” he chuckled to himself

“Dear Phoenix,

I would love to read anything that he would be willing to share. If possible would he be able to start with magic? I know that Dragons have magic, but up to this point I haven’t been able to find anydragon that would be willing to teach me. And now that I am the Dragon Lord I feel like asking would sound more like a command than a request. I know that I could make them teach me, but it would be nice to have a willing teacher rather than a captive one.

Your friend

Ember”

With this one exchange, the sharing of knowledge began. On a monthly basis, Obsidian would translate one of his magic books and bring it to Ember under the guise of Phoenix. Twice a month they would meet to have lessons in person. During their lessons in magic, he tossed in as many nuggets of wisdom as he could. Ember grew considerably in this time as a dragon, as a ruler, and she also began to show a bit of a gift for magic. During this time, however, one topic had been forgotten, the one issue that should have held a vast amount of importance for the teacher. The subject of Luna’s return.


Over time Ember and Phoenix grew to become good friends. Ember was finally able to relax and let her guard down, in a metaphorical sense. However, in a physical sense, she was never able to lower her guard. As she learned after her second meeting with Phoenix, He was a terrible prankster, after arriving home without noticing that he had changed her wings bright pink. The constant pranking helped her, however. She began to become acutely aware of her surroundings and made sure that she kept her physical guard up when she was outside of her home. Finally after a year of time the one letter that she had been hoping for ever since she had met Phoenix arrived.

Dear Ember,

Over the last year, I have come to know you and would like to state that we are friends, or at the very least I would hope that you would think of me as a friend. I feel that after this last year I have finally been able to gain a real measure of your character and have decided that it is now time for you to receive the reward that you have craved. I ask that you meet me at the location that we first met in one week's time. At that point in time, you shall finally be able to meet Obsidian the Black. I request only one thing from you as you meet him: please keep an open mind.

Your friend,
Phoenix

Reading the letter a third and fourth time, Ember could hardly believe her eyes. After a year of waiting, she was finally going to be able to meet him. The great and ancient dragon Obsidian. Over the last year, she had learned quite a bit about Obsidian--asked as many questions as she possibly could and received many answers--to the point, she thought she almost knew exactly who he was, why he did the things he did and for the reasons he did them.

The week before the meeting was one of the longest weeks she’d ever endured. She imagined that this must be what Spike felt like when he was waiting for Hearth’s Warming Eve, at least if you were to believe what Spike wrote in his letters.


The night had finally come; it was the long-awaited meeting. He finally felt that it was time to move on. He had found a new friend, and now he was going to reveal himself to her. A truly momentous occasion; he only hoped that he would not scare her too much.


“Well, I guess that it is time to get going.” Obsidian walked out of his cave for the first time in over 900 years. “It’s time to see what life has to offer again.”



Ember was once again waiting in the crystal cavern sitting on her usual chair, waiting. She quickly jumped out of her chair and turned around when she heard the smallest of sounds. Behind her stood Phoenix, wearing his usual rakish smile.

“Very good Ember, you heard me coming and acted accordingly. You have taken my lessons on self-preservation to heart. Good.”

Ember blushed with a sense of pride. “Thought you could sneak up on me. Yeah, right. So where do I meet him? Do we have to go far?”

Phoenix smiled and replied, “Not far at all. If you would follow me to the entrance, you shall be able to meet him in just a few seconds.”

Ember had to contain her internal squee. “What does he look like, I mean does he have any other distinguishing features, scars or something that he doesn’t like anydragon to look at? Just so I know what to expect.”

“Oh, I think you will know him when you see him, and no. He doesn’t have any kind of a deformation that would cause embarrassment .”

They continued to walk to the entrance. Once there, however, Phoenix dropped his bag on the floor and continued to step out of the cave and a bit further away. Ember looked at him with a puzzled look on her face, right up to the point that she noticed that Phoenix’s shape had begun to distort and grow. Within the span of a few seconds, an enormous form came into existence. She could hardly believe her eyes: the dragon that now looked down at her dwarfed her father in comparison. It was as if a living mountain was looking down at her.

Teeth the size of lesser dragons, and scales darker than night, his eyes contained a luminescence that was hard to describe.

After looking up at the massive dragon for just over a minute, the only thing that she was able to say was, “You jerk. You were Obsidian the entire time!?”

A booming laugh escaped the massive dragon as his form once again shifted down to his smaller Avatar. “Is that all you have to say? The friend and teacher that you have spent the last year writing to and meeting with turns out to be the dragon that you have been searching two years for and all you can say is, ‘You jerk?’ Hahaha!”

Ember looked at the now-black stallion and blushed. “How is it even possible for you to change form like that?”

“Magic, of course. Although to be honest, there are very few of our kind that still practices the art of gaining an Avatar form. More often than not, dragons that reach the size where an Avatar becomes useful will normally isolate themselves and live off the devotion of sycophants that worship them, rather than go through the pain of learning how to change their form for convenience. A major failing, if you ask me.”

“Well, I guess that makes sense. And now that answers the question about how there is a male alicorn, I guess.”

Obsidian laughed again, realizing that over the past year the one topic that had never been broached between the two he decided it was time to bring it back up. “Oh yes, I guess I forgot to bring that up again. You had mentioned in our first meeting about the other alicorns in the world. I was under the impression that only one alicorn was in existence: Celestia.”

Ember smirked, happy that she now knew something that the massive jerk didn’t. “Well, yeah, Sun Butt is still around. Then there is Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship, and Cadence, the Empress of the Crystal Empire. Flurry Heart is Cadence’s daughter, and of course, Princess Luna has returned to continue her role as the Princess of the Night.” Turning her head to look back at Obsidian, she was stunned that he had fallen to his knees and felt a broad sense of concern when she saw a drop hit the ground that betrayed the fact he was crying.

“Hey, are you ok? Why are you crying?”

Obsidian tried to compose himself and looked back at her. “Please tell me that you jest not. Has Luna truly returned to our world? Please do not toy with me.”

Ember could hardly believe what she was seeing: the great Dragon Lord, Obsidian the Black, a member of the highest echelon of what dragons were capable of, now was kneeling before her weeping at the mere mention of somepony’s name. “Um...Yes, she came back a couple of years ago. Twilight and her friends saved her from the Darkness that had corrupted her and warped her into Nightmare Moon. Why?”

Obsidian let a strangled laugh escape his lips. “I am sorry, Ember, but I must be going. There is somepony that I made a promise to a long time ago that has been alone for far too long.”

Saying little else, Obsidian burst into the sky and shifted back to his massive form, shooting through the air toward Equestria. Ember stood there in shock and could hardly believe what had just happened. Going by what she had just told him, she could only think of one being that he was off to see. “How could he not know that she had returned?”



Thousands of miles away, several hours later, Luna was sitting in her throne room sifting through the dreams of her citizens and trying to make sense of the recurring pattern that she had found. A massive black dragon, the size of which must have been a mental exaggeration on the part of her citizens, kept appearing in the dreams of her little ponies.

As she continued to sift through dreams, she could feel a tingle as something moving very fast was approaching her home and her subjects here in Canterlot. The level of magic was staggering, and it began to scare her. Thoe what unnerved her the most was that this immense magical signature almost seemed familiar.

Luna jumped as the door to the Night Court slammed open, and Celestia burst into the room. “Luna, don your armor. We need to leave now. I am sure that you feel what is coming. I will be joining you. If we hurry, we can intercept it before it makes it to the city.”

They both looked in the same direction as they felt the massive levels of magic stop about a mile outside of the city. They both released a pent-up breath and summoned their armor around themselves. Luna looked to her sister and commented, “Is it just me, or does that magic seem almost familiar?”

Celestia looked at her smaller sister and nodded. “It does, but I can’t place where I have felt it before. However, I can’t imagine that we have ever felt this much before.”

Having donned their respective armors, the two sisters shot out of the throne room and went straight to the source of the magic.

Obsidian had shifted back to his Avatar and now sat beside a campfire. What surrounded him were things that Luna had once given him. A brass telescope, a star map, and a few odds and ends. What sat next to him was the chair that Luna always had claimed whenever the two of them had rested together to gaze up at Luna’s beautiful sky.

His eyes scanned the horizon; he was partially shocked when he felt not one, but two alicorns headed his way. “I guess it would be too much to hope for that I would get to be alone with her.”

He had just finished summoning the third chair when he felt the ground rumble as the two sisters landed. Standing with his back to the sisters, he quietly said, “Welcome to my camp. I had only expected one of you. However, you are both welcome.” He turned around slowly, his eyes brimming with tears. “I am so sorry that I failed you, Luna. I let you fall into the darkness.”

The sisters stood there in shock as they looked at the stallion that neither of them had seen before, but who at the same time reminded them of someone they both once knew.

Luna spoke first. “You speak with such familiarity to us. How bold, I do not bel…” Her eyes looked around and took in what surrounded them, the Telescope, the star maps, the chairs and the tent and rage began to fill her. “Vile monster. Where did you steal these things from?”
The venom in her voice could have caused a hydra to loosen its bowels.

Obsidian looked at her and laughed quietly “Why, my dear friend, you wound me. I would have hoped that you would be able to remember to whom you gave this. Has it been so long that you forgot me?” An edge of hurt crept its way into his voice. “Must I show you my full form before you will be able to remember who I am.” Tears began to fill his eyes just before he launched himself into the air. Neither sister was ready for what they saw-- the behemoth blocked the view of the sky with his size. “Now you see why I modeled the form you saw the way that I did; after all, it is much more comfortable to be that size.” Landing; he shifted back to his smaller form and motioned to the other two chairs as he asked, “Would you like to take a seat? If I remember right, you both enjoy Earl Grey. Cream and sugar for Celestia, and honey and lemon for Luna, right?”

The two looked at each other and nodded. Taking their respective seats, Luna sat in her old chair apprehensively and looked back at the black stallion as he prepared their tea. Gazing at him she took this opportunity to look into his eyes and and the spark of realization hit her like a brick wall. “...S-S-Sid?”

Obsidian stopped moving and took a short breath. He hadn't heard that name in over a thousand years. His shoulders shook as he began to weep. “I am s-so s-sorry. I failed you. I let you slip into darkness, I fell asleep, and when I awoke and found that you had been banished, I hid away from the world. I didn’t care anymore. I abandoned the dragon lands and hid. I was such a coward.” Falling to his knees, the tea, now forgotten, he wrapped his arms around his chest and tried to calm his breathing.

Suddenly two familiar arms wrapped around him from behind and held him, whispering into his ear. “I can’t believe that you are still alive. Please don’t mark this occasion with your tears. Instead, let us revel in joy.” Luna held the stallion that had once been her most faithful friend. Celestia kept her hand over her mouth as she realized who this black stallion was.

“Where have you been? It has been more than a thousand years, relations with the dragons had been deteriorating, and you have just been, hiding away? Doing nothing! You were one of our greatest allies! Where were you?” Celestia began to tear up with hurt. “How could you do that to us. We needed you more than ever; besides you weren’t the only one that failed Luna. You were her friend, but I am her sister, and I just stood by and let her fall prey to the Darkness.” Celestia hugged herself, her anger and shame trying to overwhelm her.

Luna looked at Obsidian and finally made the connection that her sister had mentioned not moments ago. “Sid...Is what my sister said true? I know that you had gone into hibernation before my... Banishment. But after you had awakened to find me gone. Did you turn your back on everything and disappear?”

Obsidian flinched at Luna’s words and nodded his head. “I am ashamed to admit it but, yes it is true. I couldn’t find it in my heart to continue when you were gone.” Turning to Celestia “I know that you needed me, but I was angry. I hibernated with the expectation that everything would be back to normal when I awoke. Instead, I found an Equestria that was falling apart at the seams, You were alone and Luna had been banished to the Moon. To be honest, I was furious at you for banishing Luna and most of all for not finding me and waking me up to try to help.” Turning back to Luna “But most of all I was disgusted with myself for not being there when you needed me. I was supposed to be your friend and her's.” His spiral into self-pity was cut short with a curt slap across his face

“How could you! Even with me gone Celestia could have used your help. She was left alone without anypony in the world to help her, and what did you do? Sulk in a cave. What happened to the Champion of the Dragon lands. The fearless protector. The Greatest friend to Equestria. You hid away and pouted. She had to hold everything together for a thousand years!” Punctuating her final thought with another slap, Luna turned on her heels and flew back into the direction of Canterlot.

“Well, That could have gone better” Obsidian said to himself more than anyone else. Turning his head to look at Celestia he added: “I guess you want to get your slaps in as well.”

Looking at the dejected dragon, Celestia felt her heart begin to break. “I am not going to hurt you any more than you have already hurt yourself. Luna is in a rather...fragile place right now. She finds herself in a time that she never had an opportunity to ease into as time passed. It has been thrust upon her, and now she is being forced to adapt. Look at things from her perspective. You are one of if not the only friend that she has from the old world other than myself, and shortly after finding one another again she discovers that you effectively told us to deal with it by ourselves because you were angry. Now do not take this the wrong way. I know that you are beating yourself up about this, and I am still quite mad at you for disappearing, but I also know that you care about her still. And from the looks of it, you still care about Equestria as well. But to put it in laypony’s terms ‘you dun goofed up’.”

Obsidian looked at the White mare and sighed “I guess you are right. Gah! How could I have been so stupid.” Looking at her with pleading eyes “Please tell me is there any way that I could fix this? Anything that I could do?”

Celestia’s looked back at her old friend and replied “I do believe that there may be a way of fixing this. However, It is not going to be easy.”

“Please tell me. I will do anything to be her friend again. I want to be able to spend time with both of you again. Please.”

“Alright but you are going to have to work for it” Celestia replied

“I am ready and willing, I want this more than anything.”

Meanwhile back in her cave, a very confused Ember was putting the finishing touches on the letter she planned to send to Obsidian asking where in the world that he had disappeared to.