• Published 28th Jun 2012
  • 30,279 Views, 2,546 Comments

A Novice Swordsman in the Canterlot Court - DungeonMiner



Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.-William Shakespear. This story is about the latter. Alan Williams, a man trying to take a peaceful camping trip, finds himself in Equestria. Greatness follows.

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3-Questions, Answers, and Questions

Chapter 3

Canterlot Castle woke to a relatively peaceful sunrise.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!”

Relatively...

Alan roared. He was still here. He was still in Equestria. He was still insane.

He had admittedly hoped that he would have woken up in the ditch. He had hoped this was all some dream that he would and could wake up from. He had hoped that this small dip into Equestria would have been just that, a dip, not a plunge, not total immersion.

He needed to get back. He had problems he had to take care of. He had to pay bills, the rent, not to mention car payments.

What about his job? Would they fire him? Could you fire somebody for being in a coma?

What’s more, what about his body? It hadn’t eaten for a day, at least if this mindscape followed a 1:1 time ratio, and starving to death would be a terrible way to go.

Assuming, of course, that he would sit there undisturbed long enough to starve to death. What if a coyote or something had gotten to him? Or a snake? Or anything, really? He was safe from buzzards for now, but given time it wouldn’t be long before they would pick his bones dry.

Apparently, he had been a little loud, because no less than three soldiers burst into the room. “Anything wrong?” the leader, Silver, asked.

Alan sighed, before reaching for a set of clothes. “No, Lieutenant, I’m fine, just forgot where I was for a second.”

Silver gave Alan a look.

“Have I been summoned by the Princesses?” Alan asked, his voice deadpanning.

“Yes, you have. You’ve been given a few minutes to get ready, but do hurry.”

Alan nodded. “It won’t take me long.”

Silver nodded back, before he and the other guards backed out of the room.

Once they had gone, Alan picked himself up. Way to have mental breakdown. Sighing, he went over to the counter, brushed his teeth, put on the deodorant, slipped into a clean pair of jeans, and donned a new T-shirt. Man, I feel under-dressed.

Next went on the belt. He decided it would be best not to bring the knives today. Bringing weapons to a throne room was not a way to be liked by anybody.

Throwing on a pair of socks, Alan got his boots ready before finally standing. That was everything, wasn’t it? That was everything he owned here. A few changes of clothes, a handful of knives, a dismal supply of food, a canteen, a flashlight, and his iPod.

He could almost count that list on one hand.

Alan smirked. You were the one who wanted to go roughing it. Grabbing one of his many granola bars, each one having been painstakingly laid out by Silver yesterday, Alan made it a quick breakfast and headed straight to the door.

Outside, Silver waited alone, the other guards disappearing to wherever they had to be. “I hope you’re hungry, Princess Celestia has ordered a breakfast feast for you while you answer questions.”

Alan sighed, the half-eaten granola bar between his teeth. Taking one last bite, he handed the rest over to the stallion. “You want the rest of this?”

Silver looked at it for a second. “What is it?”

“Grains mostly, with nuts, raisins, and other chopped fruit, all held together by melted sugar. Very high in protein,” Alan said, “It’s very good, and since breakfast is being provided.”

Silver smirked. “Alright, alright, I’ll take it,” he said before grabbing the offered bar in his teeth. With a quick chomp and a gulp, the rest of the bar went down the pony’s throat. Silver gave a surprised grunt. “Heh, human food ain’t half bad.”

“Don’t say that too loud, there are plenty of disgusting things we eat, like Brussels Sprouts.”

“I’m sure the culinary horrors of humans put ours to shame,” Silver laughed. “But seriously, those things were good, what do you call them?”

“They’re granola bars, just grains and sugar really, plus a flavor or something.”

“Well, I’m going to try to get this passed for military rations; they’d make breakfast so much more bearable.”

“That bad, huh?”

Silver groaned. “Don’t even get me started. Between the soggy hay and the stale oats, it’s a miracle we can move in the mornings.”

“Sounds tough.”

“It’s the army,” Silver retorted.

“Fair enough.”

“Do humans have an army?” Silver asked.

“One for every country.”

“Do you guys see a lot of peace?”

“About as much as you see a human.”

They continued their talk, Silver always guiding the human through the halls of Canterlot, until they eventually came to the gold-gilded doors of the throne room. Silver nodded to Alan. “Alright, be sure to mind your manners. Be polite, and above all, don’t stare at Luna, no matter what she does. From what I understand, she’s still having a few issues from the banishment.”

Alan nodded. No big deal, just eating in the presence of royalty. Royalty that moved the sun and the moon at their mental commands, but royalty nonetheless.

That didn’t help...

The door opened, and Alan was greeted by the sight of a massive, golden table laid the entire length of the throne room. Alan saw that the other ponies, the Mane Six as well as Doctor Hooves and Derpy, were already seated, and were staring at their bowls with interest. Well, except the Doctor, who was happily eating something that looked like oatmeal. At the head of the table, wide enough for four places, sat Celestia, and beside her, Luna.

Luna was different than what Alan remembered. Her mane, mostly, was the major change; it was longer than he remembered when he saw her at the end of the pilot, and a much darker blue. Her tail had followed the same path, growing longer and a deeper blue.

Luna whispered into Celestia’s ear, the elder sister nodded in response. Then they both stood as Alan entered. “Welcome, Sir Alan Williams,” Celestia said, smiling, “would you do us the honor of joining us for breakfast?”

Alan nodded stupidly.

A chair, directly to the right of Celestia pulled away, wreathed in a golden aura of magic. Alan took the seat, as graciously as he could, and found himself sitting directly across from the lavender unicorn, Twilight, who was staring intently at her bowl, trying to figure out what exactly was in it before she lifted her head and gave him a quick smile. Alan nodded, and smiled back. Twilight sat to Luna’s left, and he himself sat to Celestia’s right, with the Mane six and the other two ponies crisscrossing the table. To Twilight’s left sat the Doctor, Applejack, and Fluttershy, while to Alan’s right sat Derpy, followed by Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and the Rainbow Dash.

Derpy gave him a smile, her eyes correctly aligned at the moment. “Sorry about the whole ‘Eat Muffin, Space Monster’ thing.”

Alan smiled. “Don’t worry about it,” he said, before looking at his own bowl.

It looked exactly like oatmeal. And, given that this was in fact a figment of his imagination, it probably was oatmeal. Finding a very old-looking spoon, Alan took a bite of the sludge, and found that it actually was, in fact, a bowl of oatmeal.

But what a bowl.

Alan moaned as the crushed grain met his tongue, traces of sugar and milk and honey each taunting his taste buds as it slid around his mouth. Swallowing, he turned to Celestia. “That was absolutely delicious, Princess.”

She smiled. “I am glad to hear it; it has been a very long time since I’ve needed this recipe, and I was sure I was forgetting something.”

“Well, if you did, it was for the better. This is the best oatmeal I’ve ever had!”

Celestia giggled. “Thank you, and please, call me Celestia, there is no need to be so formal as of now.”

Alan nodded. “Of course, Celestia.”

The alicorn nodded in return, before she took a bite herself. Taking that as some sort of cue, the other ponies began to eat, tentative at first, but after the first bite, he could tell they enjoyed it.

They ate for a bit, silently, before eventually, Celestia spoke up. “Now, Sir Alan, I do believe we have some questions we’d like to ask each other.”

Alan took one last bite of oatmeal before nodding. “Yes, that would be good.”

Celestia nodded. “Well, as our guest, please, go first.”

It took maybe a second before the first question popped to mind. “How am I here?”

The Doctor immediately perked up, before quickly returning to his bowl. Derpy shot him a glare.

Sighing, the Doctor then spoke up. “Alright, alright. That one is my fault.”

Celestia and Luna both turned to earth pony, expecting a very interesting answer.

“Let me start,” he said first, “by introducing myself. My name is the Doctor.”

“Who?” asked Twilight.

“Exactly.” Alan answered, a smile on his lips.

“Yes, well.” the earth pony continued. “Let me start by saying that I was not born a pony in the conventional sense.”

Everyone’s eyes were on him, waiting for an explanation.

“I am actually a near-immortal being known as a Timelord, and by rights, I should be dead.” The Doctor paused for a minute. “You see, Timelords are allowed twelve regenerations when near death, allowing us to take on a new body, so technically, we get thirteen lives. Now somehow, I’m still not entirely sure how, but somehow, I got fourteen, the last of which was this body you see before you.

“Now, with my very close brush with death, I decided that I should probably retire. Take a load off, as it were.” He smirked. “But it seems I can’t leave well enough alone sometimes.

“To make a long story short, my assistant and I were trying to recreate a phenomenon I had heard about happening here. An interdimensional portal. Well, short story shorter, it worked, and here you are.”

Twilight spoke up. “Wait, wait, wait, you expect us to believe you’re some sort of time-traveling super-pony?”

The Doctor shrugged. “Well, between the cutie mark, and the human sitting across from you, I figured that was all I needed.”

“That does not explain why you attacked me,” Alan remarked, smirking.

The Doctor gave a quick smile. “Well, when you open up an interdimensional portal that literally anything could go through, you tend to hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” The Doctor took another bite of oatmeal. “Best case scenario, a colt’s ball would have passed through, worst case, some monster bent on the destruction of all life. And quite frankly, Mr. Williams, you are much too big to be a ball.”

“So can you get me back?” the question popped up, more on its own than anything. If he could get out of here, then maybe he could finally go on about his day.

“Sadly, no.” The Doctor said, burying his face in a cup of apple juice, “Da Tarshish bent don oryda...”

“What?”

Derpy sent the Doctor another glare.

The Doctor pulled his face out of the glass. “The TARDIS went on Holiday.”

“Tar-what now?” Applejack asked, probably confused by the whole conversation in general.

“The TARDIS, part time machine, part dimensional hotel, part living creature,” the Doctor explained as best he could. “When I had told it I was retiring, it went off, disappeared, and essentially said, see you in the next three thousand years.”

“It can do that?” Alan asked.

“Apparently.”

Well, that only proved it, his mind was keeping him here, this was just a projection, he couldn’t really escape it. It was all fictional.

“However, I do believe that a certain Princess may be able to help you,” the Doctor said.

Every head turned straight to the head of the table.

Luna fidgeted.

Celestia then spoke up. “I may be able to help,” she said, “but sadly, it is not as simple as a teleportation spell. Simply throwing you to another dimension would be very dangerous, since it would place you, not only in a random dimension, but at a random place and time in that dimension. As it is, it’s a miracle you didn’t fall to your death once you appeared here.”

“So you can’t help me either?” Alan said, cynicism brewing.

“I never said that,” Celestia said. “I can, but it will take time, and the concentrated effort of both myself and Luna.”

“How much time?”

“That,” Luna said, a little loudly, Alan thought, “is something we cannot know at this time. There are too many variables to look into before we can give thee even an estimate.”

Celestia gave her sister a look, and Luna then said, “Forgive us, if we were a little loud.”

Celestia then took the conversation. “Now, I hope you don’t mind, Alan, but I have a question myself.”

“Go ahead.”

“When you first arrived, you seemed to know where you were, in fact, that seems to be the only question you haven’t asked. You have also been able to call us by name, certainly a feat for someone from another dimension. Would you care to explain yourself?”

There it was, the million dollar question. He had no choice but to follow it with the million dollar answer.

“You’re a cartoon.”

Celestia seemed a little puzzled by the trite answer, which was only mirrored by every other pony present.

Alan sighed. “In my world, we have a box, if you will, called a television; we use it to broadcast one-way images and sounds. Mostly, television is used to broadcast stories, fictional stories, like plays. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is one of those fictional pieces of work that tells the story of one Twilight Sparkle and her friends.”

Twilight’s mouth hung open.

“You are all a cartoon,” Alan reasserted. “In fact, I’m fairly certain that at the moment, I’m in a coma, at the bottom of a ravine, dreaming up all of this, while slowly starving to death.”

There was silence in the throne room for a few seconds.

Suddenly, both princesses burst into laughter. This wasn’t a controlled giggle, this was a straight-out guffaw. Celestia fell off her seat, and Luna had tears streaming down her face.

Admittedly, this was not the reaction he was expecting.

It really didn’t help when the Doctor joined Celestia on the floor, roaring his own head off with laughs.

Meanwhile, the other seven ponies and one human just kind of stared at each other, wondering what joke they had missed.

Eventually, the three immortals composed themselves, and they got back onto their respective chairs. “That is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard! In a coma!” Luna cried.

“We’re a story!” Celestia snickered, “an honest to goodness foal’s tale!”

The Doctor shook his head, smiling. “So you’re from that universe? I’ve always wanted to meet someone from there.”

“What are you talking about?” Alan asked the Timelord.

The Doctor smiled. “Your universe happens to be one of the few that gets feedback from all of the others.”

“Wait, wait, wait.” Celestia interrupted, “Are you saying we are a piece of fiction?”

“No, no. You misunderstand, Princess. We are in fact a story in his universe, and as far as they are concerned, we are fiction, but we are anything but.” The Doctor sipped his juice. “His universe happens to be placed in the ideal position for certain people to receive interdimensional feedback, normally in the medium of thoughts or dreams. Essentially, he is from the universe of uncanny entertainment.”

Alan gave the Doctor an incredulous look. “So wait, every TV show I’ve ever seen is actually a real dimension?”

“Movies and books too,” the Doctor nodded.

It was Alan’s turn to laugh. “That’s just stupid! That, above all, proves I’m stuck in a coma, because there is simply no way of that being plausible.”

The Doctor sighed. “I suppose, since you knew who I was, that arguing with you further would be old hat for you. Enjoy your fantasy, then.”

Celestia and Luna were silent for a bit before Celestia asked, “What does that entail, you being in a coma?”

Alan looked up at the white alicorn. “Well, I’m not entirely sure, but from what I know, it means that anything I do in this fake world would react simply as my subconscious would understand it to react. If I scared a bird, it would not turn to give me a lecture, but it would fly away, like all birds do.”

Celestia nodded, telling him to continue.

“Also, best I can figure, since I can feel pain, my subconscious is inflicting a simulation of pain to keep the facade going, which of course means that it is pulling from my past experiences, you can’t obviously experience anything new in a coma, there is just no wa-”

Alan suddenly felt something weird. He felt as though he had been siphoned through a tube coated in honey while being spun through a cyclone. There was not an iota of pain, but it wasn’t exactly comfortable either.

Alan suddenly found himself standing on a beach, Celestia standing next to him, before another flash and another trip through the tube brought him back to his chair in the throne room. “-ay...”

Celestia smiled. “You know, in all of my years, I’ve always thought that teleportation was the most unique experience on earth.”

Alan’s eyes went wide.

He had never felt anything like that before, nothing even came close.

This was real.

This was very real.

He was actually sitting here, in the real Canterlot, with the real Celestia, the real Luna, the real Doctor, the real Derpy, the real Twilight, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow, Rarity, Pinkie.

He had hugged Pinkie Pie. Holy crap.

All of these thoughts and more compressed into his brain in the space of less than a second. But they were followed by exactly two.

I really am in Equestria, and I really am stuck here.

Alan’s eyes leveled directly at the time-turning earth pony. “Thank you. I’m going to kill you.”

The Doctor blinked. “What?”

“Thank you for bringing me here. Now I’m going to kill you for bringing me here.”

“What?” the Doctor repeated.

“I am going to lose my job, my house, my car, everything,” Alan seethed. “I may have just begun living every brony's dream, but you’ve just ruined my life! I am going to kill you!”

Alan stood, slowly making his way around the table. “I am going to kill you, and if you regenerate, I’m going to kill you again! Please regenerate!”

Derpy got to her hooves, ready to pounce on the human, but was cut short by her target suddenly being lifted up into the air, surrounded by a midnight blue glow. “Thou shalt do no such thing,” Luna commanded, her voice still a few decibels under yelling. “It was not his decision to pull thee through, and thou will not hold him accountable for it.” Placing Alan down next to his chair, she then continued, “Besides, we have not yet explained ourselves.”

“Yes, Alan please sit,” Celestia said, “because it is time to answer your other question.”

“Which question?”

“How did I know you were a human.”

That was a good question.

“The answer is very simple, actually.” Celestia said, “You are not the first human visitor.”

“I’m not?”

Celestia shook her head, “1498 years ago, three months from the day, my sister and I were out for a morning flight.” Celestia’s eyes closed, and a smile played on her lips. “We passed over one of the many lakes that dotted Equestria at the time, when Luna spotted a small vessel.”

“It was white.” Luna said. “And small, no larger than 14 hooves long, 7 feet if we remember the correct human term. But inside this small boat lay a figure we did not recognize.”

“It was near death,” Celestia continued, “and sickly pale, but we took it back to our castle, not yet named then, and with all of our science and magic, healed him.” Celestia opened her eyes. “When he first came to, he was sure he had died, and had made his way to heaven. Once we had convinced him otherwise, we got a name. He was king, in his land, a place called Camelot, and his name was Arthur Pendragon.”

Alan stared straight at Celestia. “Arthur?” his voice asked, seemingly on its own, “King Arthur?”

“Yes, do you know of him?”

Alan blinked. “Arthur Pendragon, first king of Britain, Lord of Camelot, Head of the Knights of the Round Table, the Rightful-born King of England?”

“Apparently you do.”

Alan blinked again.

“Well, he was fairly old when he came to us, but he nonetheless was a very strong warrior, and pledged his loyalty to us. He led our armies into battle, defending our homes and risking his life for us, he taught us many useful strategies, and we named Canterlot in his honor while he yet lived.”

“He was an excellent negotiator,” Luna continued. “Many times he fended off the Griffon and Liger armies with words alone. We then named the leader of our armies the Pendragon, but sadly there has not been one since Arthur.”

“But,” Celestia said, “with your permission, we would like to change that, Sir Alan.”

“What?”

With a golden glow of magic, two items slowly floated towards him; they stopped a few inches above the table, where Celestia laid them there. “As the only other human to come to Equestria, you are, by right, Arthur’s heir.”

“What?”

"It is a matter of birthright," Luna clarified. "You are his closest relative Equestria has seen. Whether you are worthy of it remains to be seen, however, it is still your right."

“This was the sword he had us make him,” Celestia said, lifting the first item. The sheath magically removed itself and the steel grey blade of the hand-and-a-half sword shone in the morning light. “On one side it reads ‘Mercy’ so that the blade would never be raised needlessly, and the other reads ‘Justice’ so that the blade would never let wrongs go un-righted.” The sword was sheathed, and the second item floated up. “This is Arthur’s horn, cut from a griffon general’s own hand; this single claw was carefully carved and magically sealed so that anyone with intentions against it would feel fear, while its allies would be inspired towards bravery.”

The Horn and Sword landed gently in Alan’s hands. “They are yours, Alan, by right. Now, we must ask you...”

She paused for only a second, but a second long enough for both sisters to say in unison, “Will you be our Pendragon, Alan of Earth?”

Alan blinked again.

<<<|Ω|>>>

It had taken him a while, but eventually, Alan had managed to stutter that it was just too much to take in.

The sisters had understood, and had given Alan permission to do as he pleased as a citizen of Equestria, as well as given him some bits to start himself off.

Now, he sat in his room, looking at the blade that sat in his lap.

Pendragon Alan Williams of Earth.

That did sound pretty awesome.

You work in retail.

Leader of the Equestrian Armies

You became a brony less than a month ago.

With the Elements of Harmony at his side, nothing could stop him.

You could hardly swing the thing correctly.

A knock sounded at his door. Getting up, he opened it, and was surprised to see the Mane Six waiting for him.

“Hi, Alan.” Twilight said.

“Uh, hi.”

“Everything Ok?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yeah, just a little shaken up is all,” Alan said.

“Can we come in?” Rarity asked.

“Oh, of course, be my guest.”

The ponies filed into the room, single file, all quiet, except Pinkie Pie, who hummed anxiously.

“Is there anything I can do for you?” Alan asked.

“Well,” Twilight said, “we figured since you don’t really have any idea what you’re going to do, not that you don’t know, but well, we figured that—”

Rainbow Dash interrupted. “We want you to come to Ponyville with us.”

Alan blinked.

“We’ve already cleared it with the Princess,” Twilight jumped, “and I have more than enough room in my library for you to stay, and if you ever want to become Pendragon and move, Spike can send Celestia a message, and—”

“Twilight.” Alan stopped her.

“Yes?”

“Why are you inviting me?”

“Because that’s what friends do!” Pinkie said, jumping into his face.

“Besides, we still have questions to ask you,” Twilight answered.

“And you will definitely need more clothes, and I would happily make you some tailored-fit ensembles,” Rairty offered.

“Yeah, and now you’re at least 20% cooler for being the second human in Equestria,” Rainbow cheered.

“That, and it’s always best ta keep your friends close,” Applejack advised, while Fluttershy merely nodded her head in agreement.

Alan smiled. “When do we leave?”

--------------------------------

Alright guys, another Chapter down, only 30 or so to go.

“Did you really have to include all of the Doctor Who references?”

Yes. Yes I did.

“I don’t think you did.”

I’ll give you another cupcake if you don’t argue with me.

“That was a good idea, putting all of those Doctor Who references in there.”

That’s what I thought. Alright so please, comment, criticise, etc. Thanks for reading so far, bye!

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