• Published 1st Sep 2016
  • 1,577 Views, 74 Comments

Temor - Askre

Twilight and friends must prevent Sombra's heir from resurrecting his father.

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Chapter 12. The High Shadow

Chapter 12

“Wait, you watched me when father was raising me?” Prince Temor asked, staring confused at the former queen.

“I did. When my brother avenged my execution and took my body to be buried, I found myself as a spirit, following him. I do not fully know the reasons for this, but eventually Sombra had me buried underneath the castle in the Crystal Empire once he took over. As a result, my spirit thus roamed the castle,” Ira explained and sat down, beckoning Temor to do the same.

“As a spirit, time had little meaning to me. I saw things in the distant future and things from the past. It was often difficult to concentrate on the now - part of me also wished to depart from this world as I was dead and should move on. I was stuck in-between it all. It is very difficult to explain fully.” The mare sighed, then she glanced up when Starlight came descending the stairs.

Starlight stopped short when seeing who had arrived. She almost dropped the map in her magic grip. Quickly the unicorn bowed.

“High Shadow! I didn’t know that you would be showing up,” she said before rising.

“Forgive me, Sister Starlight. I am not here to displace the role I had set out for you. However, I had recently received news that Prince Temor had in fact arrived and I could not contain myself. I had to see him. He’s my nephew, after all,” Ira assured her then smiled. Starlight smiled in turn and nodded.

“I understand perfectly, I’ll leave you two be for now,” the light purple pony said and quickly made herself scarce back upstairs.

Prince Temor glanced at his father, who had been completely silent since the High Shadow had revealed herself. The young prince noted that Sombra was still staring stunned at Ira. It was like he could not speak a word. Temor turned back to his aunt.

“So you were saying that as a spirit, time had little meaning to you,” he reminded her.

“Right. So at first I was just an aimless spirit, stuck in the Crystal Empire because part of me didn’t want to leave and the other strained to do so. Then you arrived,” Ira continued. Her expression became more solemn.

“Something happened, nephew, I cannot explain it fully, but you were meant to return back to your own time. As a spirit, I saw it happen. You returned, grew up, my brother possessed you as an adult and cruelly tormented you.” The mare started to frown. “Then I felt something like an earthquake, but it wasn’t an earthquake, it was a quake between both time and worlds.”

“I swear, Temor, I wish I was making this up. What I saw I barely understood. I saw glimpses of another world not ours, but very alike in many respects. I saw my brother, yet it was not my brother. He was courting a strange mare with black eyes. Then saw a device, blue in color, that smashed into time. Something went wrong. A pony came out of the device, grabbed the black-eyed mare and my brother tried to aid her. This whole struggle caused a tear that tore through time and space, that sent a quake between worlds,” Ira looked just as confused as her audience. She started to rub her forehead with a hoof.

“I saw our own world split by the quake - in one you were sent back as you were, but here in this one, you stayed. The spell failed due to the damage to time and space and you became stranded.” The mare looked back at Temor. Unseen Sombra woke up from his own stupor when hearing how his son had become stuck with him.

Of course, a cascade effect through time and space, caused by some dimwit in another reality who clearly didn’t know how to operate his time traveling device! He didn’t realize - or did not care about the damage he caused, not just to time and space, but in the multiverse itself. That broke the tether meant to send Temor back. Sombra slapped his own forehead. Time travel spells and devices! I’m glad I quit messing with that after Temor got stuck. It’s just not worth the trouble or the headaches it causes.

“I apologize, I didn’t mean to ramble on like this. I just, I ramble when I’m excited,” Ira chuckled and looked sheepish. Sombra chuckled at his sister’s confession.

“I didn’t understand half of what you just told me,” Temor admitted, still looking confused.

“Good, you are not the only one. All I really know is that suddenly you were not going anywhere, my brother decided to adopt you and suddenly I found myself with more strength and resolve. I found I wanted to watch over you as best as I could,” the mare said. She looked away as if sensing something neither Temor or Sombra could.

“Further explanations must wait, nephew. We need to prepare. You are the herald for your father’s return. Already our agents are preparing the grounds, but those who would oppose us are on the move as well. They will seek to stop us.” Ira rose up.

“I take it you mean the princesses,” Temor grunted and wasn’t too surprised that the High Shadow nodded.

“They believe they can use your past to betray your father, they think you need saving. Until we are ready, you should stay here in Starlight’s village and learn what you can of the modern world. It is well hidden and you will be safe here until we are ready,” she suggested.

Temor frowned. While mulling it over, he made a point of glancing in his father’s direction to see if he had anything to offer. Sombra was himself considering this, but Ira wasn’t done shocking the two.

“While you think this over, why don’t you go up and talk with Starlight while I talk with my brother,” she said, smiling knowingly, staring right at Sombra’s spirit.

“You can see him?” the prince blinked and even Sombra looked perplexed.

“I was dead once. The spirit world is not closed to me even if I escaped it,” Ira chuckled softly, clearly enjoying the surprise on the two stallion’s faces.

“But how can he stay down here if I go up. He’s kind of bound to me right now,” Temor looked at his father. This time it was Sombra who had the answer.

“I maybe bound to you, but I can wander a distance away. Upstairs isn’t even the limit. Now do what your aunt tells you, we clearly have…” Sombra fell silent and looked at Ira before speaking again. “We clearly have much to speak about.”

Temor sighed and relented, going to the stairs and disappearing up them, leaving the dark pony siblings alone.

“It’s… good to see you again, sister,” Sombra muttered as he glanced at his sister. She had assumed a more neutral expression as she observed the spirit.

“The tables have certainly turned. A thousand years ago I was a spirit wandering in your castle and you were flesh and blood. Now you are just a shadow while I live once again,” Ira remarked. It didn’t take Sombra long to realize what she meant. His sister was furious.

He couldn’t say he blamed her. He had left the Dark Pony Empire to escape their mother’s iron grip. Had not been there when the Saddle Arabians destroyed it and executed her. She must have felt alone and abandoned since their mother had been killed before that, forcing Ira to become the queen before she was really ready for it. That is at least what Sombra thought, but his sister was still not done surprising him.

“Just look at you Sombra. You’ve become exactly what the Saddle Arabians accused us of being. Monsters. Hate and fear-driven, cruel monsters. You are so saturated with dark magic that it even oozes through your eyes. Instead of making allies out of the Crystal Empire and Equestria to retaliate against the Saddle Arabians, you conquered the Crystal Empire and let Discord have his way with Equestria.” Ira didn’t raise her voice, just spoke in a quiet yet furious tone. “What in Tartarus happened to you?”

Any other day and if anybody else had said this, Sombra would have laughed it off, even taunted whoever said it for trying to reason with him. Hearing these words from his sister however, actually made them sting and he was mildly surprised at that.

“And the boy, by the first queen, Sombra. You weren’t just my brother, you were my father, you raised me just as much as mother did. You were the best father I could have ever had...how you treated Temor…” Ira stopped when Sombra’s pained expression immediately changed into fury.

“Do not speak about my son like I did not care!” he growled. “He was the only thing that kept me sane while I was stuck in the ice during my exile. Do not think I have not regretted at times the pain I have caused him! I am fully aware of the nightmares he still has. You don’t know how worried I was when I saw the Crystal Heart activate, not knowing if it would affect him as well. I saw no sign of him when I returned. I called his name, but he didn’t respond. I was terrified that our enemies had incapacitated him somewhere so he couldn’t escape.” The spirit rose and moved closer to the mare.

“Yes, I instilled loyalty into him, yes I fused some of my own magic into him so he would be stronger, but do not ever insinuate that I didn’t care about him.” The siblings were now muzzle-to-muzzle in front of each other.

“You didn’t at first,” Ira coldly replied. “He was just a means to an end at the start, wasn’t he?”

Sombra sneered, but it gave away to a resigned sigh as he backed away and hung his head.

“I admit that, yes, I was less than pleasant the first few years and yes, initially I just saw him as mean to an end, but that changed Ira and I do not lie when I say that,” the dead king whispered.

The Crystal Empire – King Sombra’s reign.

“Sire!” a guard came running into the throne room, halting quickly and ducked his head in a bow when the king fixed his grim eyes on him.

“What is it?” Sombra growled.

“There was an accident. Your son snuck into the armory to play there. A suit of armor fell on top of him,” the guard quickly explained, not daring to look up.

Sombra suddenly felt a very alien feeling inside of him. Worry. He struggled to maintain the grim expression as he stepped off the throne.

“Where is he?” he asked.

“He was taken to his room. The doctors are already tending to him,” the guard reported, nearly toppling over when shadow and smoke rushed past him, leaving him alone in the throne room with the rest of the servants who had been tending to the king.

King Sombra didn’t waste much time heading straight for Temor’s bedroom. The king nearly broke down the doors as he rushed inside, seeing two ponies fussing over the colt on the bed. It had been been almost two years now since Temor had been brought to him, but only a year since the boy had accepted his new name.

The king stopped before getting too close, wanting his doctors to finish their work. He actually cringed when hearing the boy whimper painfully. Turquoise, the crystal slave assigned to tend to Temor was also by the bed, trying to comfort the colt, telling him he would be alright.

The armor I have made for the guards is heavier and sturdier than those the Equestrians use. A young colt would be crushed… this could have killed him. Sombra actually felt dread. He had been this close to losing the boy he had been forced to adopt.

One of the doctors turned and bowed to the king. It took a moment for Sombra to notice as he was still lost in thought.

“Report!” Sombra ordered, noticing that Temor winced when hearing his voice.

“He is bruised and battered. He may have cracked a rib or two. One leg is sprained, but he will survive,” the pony told him. The king nodded and started to approach the bed. Temor whimpered and tried to hide under the blanket.

“S-sorry… I-I was just playing…” the colt cried.

“Leave us!” Sombra ordered both the doctors and Turquoise.

The slave was more reluctant to leave than the others, but the old mare did so eventually. When he was alone in the room with his son, Sombra walked all the way to the bed and used his magic to pull the blanket away from Temor’s face who stared at him frightfully.

“And now you know why you are not supposed to play in the armory,” Sombra stated assuming a stern look, hiding his deep relief that the boy was alright.

“S-sorry. Won’t do it again,” Temor whispered and looked down. His adopted father continued to observe him.

He is so small and fragile, one set of armor was enough to injure him. I can’t forget that his ancestry hails from my race. I am not losing the last link I have to it. I must adjust my approach to his education while he is still so young, Sombra thought, unaware that in one corner the spirit of his sister was observing everything unseen and unheard.

“See that you do. You will stay in your room while your injuries mend. Your nursemaid will attend to you, but I still expect you to attend your literary courses. I will bring the books here.” He glanced towards the door. “You can come in now, slave.”

As he had already expected, Turquoise opened the door almost immediately, having been standing outside. The old crystal pony bowed before heading towards them. King Sombra stepped in front of her before she could approach the bed.

“My son is not to leave this room while he is healing. You will make sure he studies the books I send down here,” he ordered before glancing back at the bed. “Also, let him play with the toys he thinks I don’t know about.”

Turquoise somehow managed to hide her surprise. Temor visibly cringed but the king said nothing more as he walked out of the room. Once Sombra was outside, he finally let out an audible sigh of relief he had been holding in the whole time.

The first thing I’m doing once he’s well enough is to change the spells that are still within him. I’m not possessing my son if I die prematurely, he thought as he started to make his way back to the throne room.

Equestria – present time.

“I remember that,” Ira said, her expression softening a bit. “I so wished I could have hugged him back then.”

“Perhaps you are right, sister. I could have been a better father. But I do not regret raising him. Yes I could be harsh and I drilled discipline into him, but never try and say I did not care about him,” Sombra snorted and glanced towards the stairs. He could hear faint voices. Temor was speaking with Starlight about something.

“Seeing him like that, I actually worried I might lose him and there have been times I wished I could have sent him back to his own time, but I couldn’t. I could have easily just tossed him to the slaves and let them take care of him, but I didn’t. Think what you like, but that is my son up there and I will not have anypony think that I do not… love him,” he turned his head downwards, sighing deeply.

“But what about the Crystal Empire. Why saturate yourself so much with dark magic?” Ira looked at him, arching her brow when Sombra started to chuckle.

“Oh that? Simple. Power. Plain and simple power. I wanted power and I wanted more of it. The Crystal Empire was a primary source of power and I had hoped to harness the crystal heart for even more of it. The Dark Pony Empire was gone. I had nothing left. If the Saddle Arabians wanted me to be a monster, fine. I became a monster,” he said but then rolled his eyes. “And you can see where that eventually got me.”

Ira frowned but said nothing, feeling there was more to this than just that. However she did know her brother and knew he wasn’t one to confess all his motivations very easily, not even to her.

“I will eventually reveal how we are going to go about resurrecting you. For now we still need to prepare. Before I leave, I would strongly suggest you tell Temor to grant Emerald her freedom,” she said and started to approach the stray shadow of a piece of furniture.

“Why?” her brother looked at her somewhat confused.

“Spoilers,” Ira smirked before stepping into the shadow and vanished into it.

“You and your riddles,” Sombra grumbled, but then a thought hit him. By all accounts, Emerald helped Temor on her own volition. Our enemies will not just be chasing him because of the potential danger he poses, but to free her, thinking she is not here of her own free will. Freeing her will be the ultimate test of loyalty. If she still sticks by us, even after she’s been freed, our enemies lose that ammunition against us.

He glanced to the stairs when seeing Temor and Starlight descending from the second floor. Sombra arched his brow. Now to sell that idea somehow to Temor.

End chapter 12

Author's Note:

So we finally know how Temor got stuck with Sombra, The event Ira tries to describe doesn't happen in my pony world, it happens in Hail King Sombra's universe, specifically in her story Frozen Shadows, chapter five. Give it a read, it's good.

And yes, I always intended for this being how Temor got stuck with Sombra, ever since I first read that chapter, it was just such a golden opportunity to let some mishap happen in a different universe. Won't say anything more, due to spoilers. :pinkiehappy:

This chapter was posted a bit earlier than intended, due to how long it's been since last update.