• Published 1st Sep 2016
  • 1,619 Views, 76 Comments

Temor - Askre

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

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Chapter 2. Drawn to the past.

Chapter 2

Temor halted his walk to look back at the city in the distance. It was gleaming and sparkling in multitudes of colors and the tower cast streams of multicolored light into air. The immediate area surrounding it was free of snow and had green grass. The prince frowned, remembering a different city, dark and foreboding, with sickly yellow sky and the tower looming over everything like a pillar of evil.

With a snort, the unicorn turned around and continued to trudge through the snow. He now wore an iron helmet, accented with gold and a black plume. He didn’t want to take any chances; it was clear that he had enemies everywhere, so he best be ready for battle at any time.

Emerald had turned out to be true to her word. She had brought everything he had ordered her to get. The equipment, aside from the helmet, were now all in saddlebags carried by her. After stealing some food, the two snuck out of the city. Temor knew he would not be welcomed there and his slave made no complaints.

Father’s horn could be anywhere, he thought and frowned. I need my dark magic to home in on it. This might take longer than I initially thought.

So father, after over twenty years I’m actually leaving the Crystal Empire after all. Well one thousand and twenty three years or so, the pony thought as his mind drifted to the past.

The Crystal Empire – Sombra’s reign.

“A child? Why would the spell pull a child through?” King Sombra growled as he stared at the confused and frightened young unicorn colt sitting in the red circle on the floor. The boy was no more than six years old, with a dark gray coat a shade lighter than his and dirty blonde mane and tail.

“W-where am I? W-who are you?” the colt whimpered and looked around the red room he was in. It had tables filled with strange and foreboding equipment and in one corner was a cage with moldy hay for bedding.

“It will just have to do. It will be another two weeks before I can perform the spell again.” Sombra groaned in frustration and rubbed his forehead tiredly with one hoof. The whimpering from the child caught his attention and he glared at the boy who was huddling in the circle.

“I-I’m scared.” The colt said and then looked at the big dark gray unicorn with black mane and red curved horn that stood over him. The steel hoof guards, the chest plate, the crown and the red cape made him look even more foreboding.

“Are you scared, child?” Sombra snorted and grabbed the boy up using his magic and lifted him to eye level. “Good!”

Sombra then open the cage in the corner and tossed the colt in and shut it. For a moment he watched the bewildered child rise up and look frantically around. The boy then looked at him with tearful eyes, still wondering what was going on.

“I-I want to go home… please…” he whimpered, hoping this was a nightmare, that he would wake up and mom would come and hug him and tell him it was all right.

“You will, once I’m done with you. If you survive, which I doubt,” King Sombra stated coldly before turning around and walked to a table where he started working on something.

Private Iceland continued to watch the big scary pony. Nothing was said that would comfort him and he wasn’t waking up. Usually this was the part of a nightmare where one would wake up. Suddenly he wanted his brother Barricade to wake him up with a splash of water like he had done a few weeks ago as a prank.

The colt didn’t like this place. It was stinky, the red glowing color in the walls was spooky and the things on the tables didn’t look friendly either. He looked at the hay and made face. He didn’t like hay. It tasted bland and boring and this particular batch stank and he was standing in it.

Mommy, daddy, where are you? He thought and started to circle around, like that would help if even only a little. Reluctantly he sat down, feeling fresh tears come through.

“Mommy… Daddy… I’m scared…”

The present

Temor growled and stopped for a moment, the memories had taken him a bit deeper into the past than he’d cared for. The unicorn rubbed his forehead tiredly and tried to banish them back to the recesses of his mind.

The Prince shook his head and took one last glare back at the city. That’s when he noticed that Emerald stood near him, looking at him with mild concern in her eyes. The stallion frowned. It still puzzled him that she had saved him and kept him away from his enemies. He cursed his horn for being broken so he couldn’t probe into her mind.

Turning away, the pony looked over the unfamiliar landscape that awaited them. He had never gone past the borders of the empire; he knew only of a few place names, but not where exactly they were.

There was no point in taking a map from the city. It would be outdated. Then again any map, even an old one, would have been good if only for reference. Temor grunted when he realized that. It was too late now and he was not going to risk sneaking back into the city.

“Alright,” he muttered as he looked up to the sun, then at the position of the mountains. Those he did recognize even if he had only seen them from the distance. “It’s a high risk, but the only civilized nation next to the Crystal Empire within a reasonable walking distance is Equestria. That is south.”

But would father’s horn be blasted that far? I’m reasonably certain that it remains within the borders. Temor grit his teeth, then his eyes set on a small mountain or a hill in the distance that was just far enough outside the city borders that it was snow covered.

“That little mountain… father took me to it once, to show me more clearly where Equestria was from the south,” the stallion turned to face the mountain. He stared at it for a long while without uttering a word.

Emerald just stood and watched, wondering why the little mountain had caught his attention so much. The mare looked at it but really only saw a snow-covered rock. She barely even recalled seeing it. Ever since she was a filly she had been a slave and had never been outside the castle, ever watching her parents and siblings toil away for the king. When she was of age, the young mare had been given to the Prince as a personal slave.

The crystal pony sighed. Deep down she was glad that her home was finally free, that her mother and her siblings could now live happy and free of the tyranny of the king. She had never seen the ponies so happy and full of life before.

But I know they would treat the Prince no better than the King, she thought and looked at Temor, who still stared at the mountain, almost like he was in a trance. They would demand his blood. For them he would be just as guilty.

“Are you alright, my Prince?” she asked hesitantly, starting to become concerned how long the stallion had stared at the mountain.

“Hmm, what?” Prince Temor blinked for a moment then glared at Emerald. “I’m fine,” he snapped and started to head for the mountain without saying another word.

Emerald raised an eyebrow, but she didn’t say anything more. The mare did wonder though why they were headed to the mountain. It would take them a slight half circle back towards the city even if it was still well outside the borders. She decided to shrug it off for now. The prince had mentioned that King Sombra had taken him there once. Maybe he had left something there.

It took them about two hours to reach the mountain and by that time it was afternoon. Emerald frowned, it didn’t look like much, but it still was steep. Temor started to walk around and she followed without question.

The Prince was trying to recall where the path leading up was. He vaguely recalled there being one, but back then his father had expelled the snow so it was easier to find. With his horn busted, he would be lucky he could levitate anything.

Finally, he found it. Before he started to ascend, the unicorn looked back to see if Emerald was still with him, she was after all carrying the saddlebags. When Temor saw that she was indeed right behind him, he started to walk.

I don’t know what it is, but something is just telling me to head to this mountain. Could it be that the old spells father told me about are working? he thought as the stallion ascended.

Did father hide something there in the event of his defeat? I know there are a lot of things he didn’t tell me. I only knew small portions of his plans. Temor narrowed his eyes a bit.

The Crystal Empire – King Sombra’s reign.

Private scrambled to the furthest corner of the cage and huddled there when he saw Sombra enter the laboratory. The colt was starting to learn that only one thing happened when the king arrived - pain and lots of it. The boy whimpered when the stallion approached the cage, regarding him with a raised eyebrow.

“I am quite impressed, little one, that you still live. You are more resilient than I gave you credit for,” the king snorted and used his magic to open the cage and then drag the whimpering, crying colt out.

“No, no, please don’t hurt me… I’ll be good… I just want to go home… please send me home… I just want mommy and daddy…” Private cried and desperately tried to wiggle free from the magic aura that held him.

“Oh, you’ll go home soon enough. The spell will only keep you here for two more days,” Sombra said and lifted the colt higher to meet his eyes. “Fascinating! After all the spells I’ve infused into you, all the potions used to prepare your body to serve as a potential host if I ever die in your time period, here you still live and are just as ready as the other ponies I’ve prepared and sent back to their time.”

The colt didn’t really understand or care what the king was talking about. He just kept crying and dreading the eventual pain that was to come. He had been blasted with magic, forced to drink nasty drinks, been poked and prodded by the pony that held and kept examining him.

“I wonder… your coat...if you had a black mane and tail...I could have sworn…” Sombra fell silent and his brow dropped into a thoughtful frown.

Then much to Private’s surprise, he was returned to the cage without a further word. The king then walked to the journal on a table in the corner opposite. The colt didn’t question why he hadn’t been tormented more, he just curled up again on the hay, crying.

He must have fallen asleep at some point because he was startled out of it when he was suddenly picked up. The colt almost instinctively started to whimper and beg not to be hurt, once again trapped in a red magic aura, facing King Sombra as he lifted the boy to eye level.

“One more test before the spell sends you back tomorrow,” Sombra said and brought the colt over to one of the various tables.

Private gulped when seeing a drinking bowl full of a strange-looking liquid, remembering some of the potions that had already been forced down him. The boy was put on top of the table, but still held firmly in the magic aura as Sombra picked up the bowl and presented it to him.

“This will infuse some of my essence into you. I wish to test something,” King Sombra said, more out of a habit than actually caring if the boy was interested. Usually he said this to get a bit of a reaction from his prisoners.

“I accidentally slipped more of my essence into it than I intended, but I’m not wasting more ingredients, so it will have to do,” he grunted and scowled hard, indicating to the boy that he better drink up.

Private didn’t dare do anything else, he grabbed the bowl, sniffled and then forced himself to drink from the bowl. He half-expected a nasty aftertaste and his body to tingle all over and make him sick like the other potions had. The colt braced himself for it, closing his eyes hard and looked away. Nothing happened.

Slowly the boy opened his eyes. He was still on the table, held down with the magic aura. He looked at Sombra, confused to see the stunned look on the king.

“He has dark pony ancestry,” the king whispered, confusing the colt even more. Then the boy was further perplexed when Sombra started to smile and it wasn’t a sadistic or cruel one, it was happy.

The Present.

Temor blinked as he realized they had reached the top of the mountain. He had been so deep in thought that the whole trek upwards had just been a blur. What he didn’t know was that Emerald had kept him from walking off the edge, the Prince paying no attention to where he was stepping.

There were several snow-covered outcroppings on the peak, but no sign of anything else. Temor arched his brow as he looked around. The stallion ignored Emerald, who came up behind him and started to walk onwards, scanning the ground for anything.

Why did I want to come here? he thought, confused as he made his way between piles of stones. There isn’t even a sign of a cave here.

A light caught his attention and when he looked up he growled when seeing the shining crystal tower. The stallion quickly turned away, not wanting it in his sight, facing south now he could see Equestria in the distance.

Wait, I was considering going there, but no, something drew me here. Temor kicked up snow in frustration. He glared over where Emerald had sat down near some outcroppings. He was half tempted to order her to help him with the search, but the unicorn wasn’t even sure what he was looking for.

“This is ridiculous, I should be concentrating on finding a place to rest and then figure out how to locate my father’s horn,” he growled and started to stomp towards Emerald.

Then from the corner of his eye, the stallion glimpsed something. He looked towards it. Something lay very close to the edge, something very familiar. Temor suddenly felt a strong desire to go over and pick it up. The unicorn walked over and his eyes widened when seeing the crimson color in the snow.

It cannot be, he thought and almost cackled in glee.

Without a second thought, the stallion hurried over and using what little magic he had in his broken horn, the unicorn snatched up the item which was like a red knife blade with a hint of gray at the bottom.

Emerald jumped when hearing Temor yelp, seeing a bright flash. The mare gasped when the unicorn crumpled unconscious to the ground. Being on the wet snow, he started to slide towards the ledge. The crystal pony tore off her saddle bags and rushed over. She barely managed to grab a hold of the Prince before he slipped over the edge of the cliff.

With a heave, the mare managed to pull the stallion back and she didn’t stop until they were well away from the ledge. There she finally allowed him to drop to the ground and took a moment to catch her breath and slow down her rapidly beating heart.

That was too close, she thought and rose up. Emerald made her way back to the edge and peeked over. She could see a ledge just below, but it wasn’t very big and the crystal pony was very glad she hadn’t had to rely on the luck that Temor would have simply landed on it.

Shuddering, Emerald walked back over to Temor, who showed no sign of waking up. The mare frowned and trotted back to the saddlebags. She had packed blankets in them and pulled out both, then she went back to the stallion and spread one blanket on the ground. The mare rolled the Prince on top of it before draping the other over him.

What happened? she thought as the mare sat down next to the blanket-covered Prince. Emerald hadn’t quite seen what had excited him, only seeing the unicorn lift something before everything else happened.

With a resigned sigh, she lay down, knowing there was little she could do until Temor woke up. The sun was up, so it was still warm despite the snow, but she knew it would get colder soon enough. The crystal pony wondered if she should risk a fire to keep them warm. The light would probably be seen since they were at the top of the mountain and the city was still within sight.

I’ll worry about that later, she thought and stifled a yawn. The mare could barely remember the last time she was so relaxed.

End chapter 2