• Published 17th Jul 2016
  • 11,420 Views, 177 Comments

Shadows and Watchers - -SBRS

An Abyss Watcher is flung into Equestria after the Ashen One's secret betrayal. Finding someone to hold onto, he discovers new purpose under the guidance of the moon.

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Chapter Five: Chambers

My eyes glazed over the steel helmet, discerning the various details upon it. I laid a finger upon the cold metal, running it up and down. Strange cracks lined its form, black tendrils of dark hardened upon its surface. I gave a chuckle, memories flashing through my mind as I handled the familiar pointed helm—an ill omen to the masses.

At the moment, I was in the Ancillary Armory, a small sanctuary for the Palace Guards to keep their arms close. Called the Ancillary for short, it was a small little room—dark, drab, and quite the stark contrast from the rest of the castle. Weapons, clearly designed for equine beings, lined the walls, and suits of pony armor were arranged upon little stands. A long table sat in the middle of the room, under a dim, orange candlelight.

I set my helm upon the table and looked down upon myself. I wore the distinct attire of the Undead Legion, bequeathed unto me upon my induction into their hallowed ranks. A black-dyed leather cuirass over chainmail protected my chest and stomach, while leather guards covered my legs, my knees supported by a pair of worn and severely scratched iron poleyns. A crimson cloak was sported upon my back, dark vines similar to those upon my helm lined upon it.

It interested me to see the Abyss’ effect on my armor, a visual manifestation of our insanity proceeding our resurrection. That we were consumed by that which we fought, was a testament to our failings. Our efforts in combating the Abyss had, ultimately, been for naught—Farron had been subsumed by a rotting bog. Darkwraiths patrolled the wood, our followers and disciples malformed into unsightly beasts.

Yet, curiously enough, they had still been loyal. Through the passing of time, our aides had protected what Farron had become, guarding our chambers of rest. It was a monument to the devotion that the Watchers had borne, the single objective that had brought us all together and bound us by blood.

I could only hope that I could find a purpose as meaningful, as commanding of my mind. Perhaps I would find that purpose in Equestria—perchance by way of being Luna’s friend. Naught but four days in this land, and she was already dear to my heart.

I returned my gaze to the table before me, my eyes landing on three separate objects. One, a wedge-shaped dagger, a sinister look about it. Its angled point was worn, yet still sharp, and its oaken hilt pale from age. Another, a small, yellow bottle, glowing like an otherworldly sun. Regrettably, it was empty, and I only wondered how I would come to find a supply of it. A bonfire, perhaps?

The last was a large sword, and with a smile upon me, I picked it up. Its edges were sharp, and marked by a strange metal. Titanite, I knew it was, its strength foretold within legends of the gods. It was long, very long, and ornamental carvings dotted the blade. The Farron Greatsword was iconic of the Abyss Watchers, and was the core of our legion.

Hoofsteps interrupted my thoughts, and I looked up from my work. Two ponies had entered the armory, walking side by side. I noticed Luna first, a smile upon her.

“Greetings, Roland,” Luna said, coming to a stop across the table. “I hope your things haven’t been damaged?”

I shook my head. “No, they haven’t. My thanks, good confrere,” I said, returning Luna’s smile.

The princess nodded happily. “That’s good to hear,” she remarked. Then, she motioned towards her companion. “Roland, I would also like you to meet Miss Lily Pad. She is one of my personal aides.”

“N-nice to meet you, s-sir,” she stuttered, looking so very nervous. She was a pegasus, much smaller than the few others I had seen. Her visage was delicate and shy, and she seemed to avoid looking at me, preferring the sight of her hooves. Her coat was a pale, light blue, and her mane a duality of lush green and girlish pink.

“Charmed, Miss Pad,” I greeted her, nodding my head. Looking back at Luna, I gave her a questioning gaze. “And what do I owe the pleasure of meeting you two this morning?”

“I’ve managed to get ahold of a guest room within the palace. For the time being, I thought you should make it your home,” Luna explained, and my brows raised in interest. “I’ve instructed the servants to furnish it appropriately. Lily can take you to your room.”

I was happy with the revelation. “Really? Thank you, Luna. Though, if I may, I do have a question, of sorts.”

“Yes, Roland?”

I coughed, before speaking. “I would like to visit you, some time or another. When, perhaps, is a good time to see you?”

Luna took a contemplative expression, lifting a hoof to her chin. “Hm, I’m not very sure. I must attend to the Night Court late into the night, but afterwards, I am usually in my private study for a time,” she thought aloud. “Yes, that is a good time. Visit me in my private study after the Night Court. We can talk then.”

I nodded in affirmation, satisfied with her answer. “Very well. I will see you in your study.” Looking at Lily Pad, I smiled. “Now, shall we be off?”

The demure mare nodded, motioning towards the door. Giving Luna one last glance and a wave of my hand, I set my sword upon the table, beside the dagger and flask. It would not do well for me to take my weapons from the room—the guards were already on edge as it was, and a sword larger than themselves free in the halls of the palace would certainly not aid in that regard.

I made my way to follow Lily out of the Ancillary, eager to see where I would be staying.

I sat quietly upon the bed in my new room, a hand upon my chin. It had been a rather long walk from the Ancillary, and I was glad for the rest. Lily had led me through a winding multitude of stairs and towers, across near the entirety of the palace. She was a nice girl, though we had not talked as much as I would have liked. She was much too afraid of me, and far too interested in her hooves.

Quite frankly, the architecture of Canterlot puzzled me. The entire city looked to have been built into the mountainside, spiraling towers dominating the landscape. Buttresses and bridges, seemingly lofted by pure strength of marble support, weaved through the air like the webs of a spider. From the safety of my room’s window and balcony, I could see entire platforms of vibrant grass and cobbled street above swaths of open air below.

I was not sure whether to be entirely fearful for my life and those of the city’s ponies, or flabbergasted and dumbfounded by the equine denizens’ ingenuity. Perhaps it was a reminder of the magical nature of the land.

Indeed, I could feel the arcane laces of magic perforating the very air of Equestria. It was unlike anything I had known in my home, and though magic was common enough in Astora and the surrounding countries, it was never to the magnitude that dominated this new world.

The ponies themselves, as small and innocent as they were, beheld great magic within them. Their individual bodies and minds were bursting and brimming with esoteric sorcery and fae power I knew nothing of, yet I could feel the grand scale of ability within them. It was humbling, to say the least.

Perhaps it was for the best, that I was surrounded by such power. I did not know a purpose yet, and I did not know of how much use I would be if trouble were to appear. Mayhaps, I was not needed at all, and I could be satisfied as merely the good friend of a lonesome ruler. Perchance, I could take a rest from it all, and maybe see to it that my most simple of wants could be sated. I had not felt the pull of the darksign since my release from the dungeons, and I hoped that it would remain so.

Pulling myself out of my thoughts, I took a glance around the room Luna had bequeathed me. It was grandiose, more luxurious than any steading I had known before in my time. My bedding was large, thick white blankets of linen and cotton upon a red mattress. Four pillows lay scattered across the bed, two large and two small.

I was amused—in a matter of seconds, Luna had successfully doubled the amount of pillows and cushions I had owned in my life.

Besides that, a mahogany desk stood to the side of the room, bereft of any parchments or quills. Tall bookshelves stood to its sides, though deprived of books. Perhaps I could make a study—I knew I wanted to learn more about Equestria.

A chest lay in a corner, inlayed with gold, and opposite were a pair of drawers and cabinets. A wardrobe, once again of mahogany, sat opposite the bed, and upon the floor was a lush carpet, designs of mystical creatures patterned across its threads. A fireplace took up a final corner, alive with a vivid blaze.

I was not used to any home of this much luxury—in fact, I was quite taken aback by it all. I was not sure what to make of such a large room, and, to some degree, I was intimidated. It made sense, however, that a palace would bear such grand chambers, but I preferred to see myself as of a simpler sort, sated with snug spaces and homely, warm rooms.

Perhaps I would become accustomed to it in time. In the case of failure, I could always ask Luna if I could make my home in an armory such as the Ancillary.

And that, in fact, reminded me of my other wants. I yearned to learn, to know. I, quite embarrassingly enough, had enjoyed Luna’s stories, and I desired for more. Last we had talked, Luna had begun a tale of winter, and I wanted so very much for it all.

I had always loved stories. My brothers, the Watchers—some had mocked me for such child-like enjoyments. Yet I did not care, for I loved tales, legends, and poems. I had grown to be quite the reader, and as much as I loved the battles, the duels, the hunts, and our brotherly songs as Abyss Watchers of the Undead Legion, I loved the tapestries of color and thought my beloved stories could weave.

I would visit Luna this night, to continue our talks. I wanted to learn more of this Hearth’s Warming, and I wanted to pursue this friendship of ours. Perchance, I would regale Luna of a tale of my own—of Artorias, perhaps, and his tragic end.

I would also ask Luna about the archives—I had seen them on the way to my room, and I wanted to read.

I wanted to learn.

Author's Note:

A bit of a shorter chapter. Some of you might have seen my blog post - I am having my wisdom teeth removed on Saturday, the 6th of August. So, I wanted to get another chapter out for ya'll before I go out of commission for a few days. Thus, it's a shorter chapter, but it gets the job done.

Hope you guys enjoyed!