• Published 26th Jun 2012
  • 1,663 Views, 41 Comments

Daughter of Chaos - Pennington Inkwell



Eclipse Tumult is forced to fight an enemy from his distant past, one that he had prayed was gone and dead. But can even the brother of Discord and his faithful student stand against the godlike powers of the sadistic Eris?

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Discord's Warning

Celestia took a long, deep breath. As she so often did, she had chosen to spend time in the Canterlot Gardens while she calmed down and thought things through. Inevitably, she'd wound up back in the Labyrinth, wandering through the walled paths aimlessly. Luna had been right, of course, as little as she had wanted to admit it at the time. After Eclipse's confession, she had gone out to clear her head and get some fresh air, which proved to be harder than she'd anticipated. Being the ultimate authority in Equestria, Celestia had been given a lot of practice in remaining impartial to most matters, but it had taken her a long time to calm down and look at what happened as such. She'd spent the rest of the day and the entire night outside, watching the sun set and the moon rise and set again. When the time had come for her to raise the sun, she did so without a word. During her long hours of pondering, she had completely relived Nightmare Moon's rise, fall, and return in her own memories, re-thinking who played what role and why exactly Luna (or Eris) may have acted the way that she did.

No matter how she looked at it, however, part of the blame still rested on her. Whether it had been Luna's true feelings or Eris's lies, she'd allowed Luna to be ignored and disregarded while she had been treated as a precious treasure Equestria couldn't live without. When she had been forced to fight her own sister, Celestia's pride had been completely eradicated, a fact to which she had attributed as being the reason that the Elements of Harmony had chosen to intervene. But she still hadn't learned her lesson. It took almost a thousand years of guilt, remembering every night when she raised the moon in her sister's place, for her to fully and totally humble herself. She'd eventually almost completely and totally become "Equestria's Princess," losing her identity and outwards appearance in the title. She would turn away anything more than the formal respect needed to retain her image. She worried that her true self would always be prideful, always want the attention, so she repressed it for years on end. Over time, she'd come to accept herself again, but embraced the guilt, as well. But now, Eclipse was claiming that what had happened wasn't entirely her fault... and she'd leaped at the chance to finally be free of the guilt.

But the guilt was still there. Now, she simply had to admit that Luna's descent into madness and the crushing of her spirit had been a group effort with Eris, Discord... and Eclipse. Someone that she had trusted above and beyond almost anyone else in the world. She'd confided in him many times about what had happened with Nightmare Moon, and every time, he'd tried his hardest to console her and remind her that everything had been made right in the end. Now, his insistence that what had happened wasn't her fault made more sense: because it had been his fault, as well, and he took the total blame.

How did he hide the guilt for so long?

When Luna and Eclipse had first met, Luna had locked herself away in her room, insisting that no one, not even Celestia, disturb her. Celestia had thought that Eclipse had said something to upset Luna and confronted him about it. Even after the misunderstood blame was resolved, it had been a moment bordering on Eclipse leaving and never coming back. If they hadn't pursued him themselves, that very well may have been the result.

She and Eclipse had both had one of their siblings turn on them, and each on had been forced to ensure the other's imprisonment. The events surrounding Nightmare Moon had always been something that the two of them could come together on, a turning point in their lives that they could share. Finding out that he'd played such a key role in Luna's banishment had made her feel as if she'd been betrayed again by someone she loved.

"And the thing is, if he hadn't tried to keep it a secret, I might have been a bit more understanding... It wouldn't have come as such a shock!" She muttered, shaking her head.

"Oh, Eclipse always was more for hanging in the shadows and keeping things to himself! But then, after living with him for so long, you ought to know that by now, Celestia!"

The blood in Celestia's veins ran cold as Discord's voice floated out from the maze walls around her. She looked from side to side, trying to find the source.

"Discord! Where are you? How did you escape?"

"You mean you seriously can't tell?" The voice chuckled to himself, seemingly amazed at her "ignorance." "It's been building for a while, now... Chaos is coming to Equestria. Eris is returning, and the air is practically sparking with the energy!" Celestia cringed as several arcs of electricity ripped through the air around her, fading after a few seconds. "It was simple for me to escape once I'd drawn in enough ambient energy! Eclipse has been afraid of you if he didn't let you know about that!"

Celestia looked from side to side once again, still trying to find the draconequus. The last time that Discord had been able to communicate directly with his brother, she and Luna had been forced to sever their magical bonds before he harassed Eclipse into going back into hiding. "You're not going to be able to take Equestria again, Discord! And Eclipse won't help you!"

"Oh, don't worry your sun-dried raisin of a brain about that... I don't intend to do anything!" Discord finally appeared, reclining on one of the topiary walls.

"What?"

"Oh, I can already tell that over the years, Eris has done a LOT of changing!" He chuckled to himself. "I'm not sure how she's different, but she's much stronger, and she's taking her time coming to Canterlot. I can already tell that the best thing for me to do right now would be to simply step aside and watch the fireworks!" He summoned a bag of popcorn and pair of red-and-blue-lensed glasses out of thin air, looking as if he were ready for some kind of movie. He polished the tips of his claws on his chest, inspecting his reflection as he used his other paw to pop a few pieces of popcorn into his mouth. "I'm sure that a few of my brother's old hideouts could be improved to be somewhat livable for now..."

"You mean... you're not going to do anything? No attacks? No warping Equestria?" Celestia found herself suspicious of his words. When he wasn't on the defensive, Discord would rarely have a reason to lie, but she simply couldn't believe that the menace to ponies across the country would simply sit still and do nothing.

"Well, I might make a few pleasure visits to some old haunts of mine..." A flower-patterned shirt was added to his ensemble, giving him the look of a tourist fresh off the road. "But aside from that, it would be nice to see what my little girl can do after all of these years!"

Celestia took a moment, lost in thought. After hearing the story of their early lives from Eclipse, she had wanted to talk to Discord herself.

"From the way your brother described her, it sounds like Eris is going to be out for blood, including his. Aren't you worried about him?"

"Why would I be? He gave up on me, didn't he? In the past year, he's visited me, what, six times?" He scoffed. "He wouldn't help his own brother escape being entrapped in stone! Ever since you and Luna took him in and brainwashed him, he hardly even remembers that I exist!"

Celestia could almost detect an undertone of pain in the draconequus's voice, though he hid it well. Several of the things that Eclipse had told her about Discord came back to her memory.

"Eclipse told me that you weren't always set on self-satisfaction and conquest, Discord... In fact, he told me that you once weren't very different from how I am now: caring, loyal, protective of the ones you love."

Discord stretched lazily, though he removed his glasses to give her a disbelieving stare. "You and I? Alike? Perhaps being in stone preserves the mind, because I'm relatively certain Eclipse is going senile! Conquest? Maybe not during my years in the cradle, but self-gratification? Always."

"Even when the two of you ran away from home? When you protected each other from wraiths and dragons?" Celestia smiled smugly as Discord's surprise became apparent. "And you never had a cradle. The two of you were orphans, taken in by the Kirins."

"Hmmph, looks like somepony did their homework!" Discord grunted, rolling off the side and floating down to the ground. "Did he tell you that I also tried to kill my adopted parents?"

He was trying to intimidate her, but Celestia knew the entire story. "After they betrayed you and ordered the two of you to banish one or the other. You were a distraught child. Anyone would have been upset."

Discord muttered something under his breath as he rose to his feet, though Celestia didn't catch it.

"I was then what I still am now: Discord! The spirit of chaos and disharmony! Something that Eris is going to bring in spades." He seemed almost to be reminding himself of his identity more than Celestia.

"Could you fight her?"

"If I wanted to, I'm certain that I could do whatever I wanted whether Eris was fighting me or not!" He lifted an eyebrow at her. "But I know what you're thinking, Celestia, and no on both counts! I won't help you, and Eclipse won't be any help!" He walked past her, placing a claw on her shoulder.

"As far as draconequui go, Clips has always been a runt: small, weak, and underdeveloped... personally, I blame myself. I did everything for him. He hardly lifted a claw during our life on the run! If you think that he's powerful, he's still like a child compared to me. Eris will crush him with ease." There was a beat of silence between the two of them. "Eclipse will do what he's always done when faced with confrontation: he'll run. He'll survive. Even when you and Luna are both gone. Don't count on him, or you'll end up like me... Trapped and left for dead."

Celestia's eyes narrowed in suspicion. Now, when she was being told that she couldn't trust Eclipse, her indignation made her realize just how much she did still trust him, in spite of what she had learned. "Your tricks won't work on me, Discord! You're not going to fool me into turning on him."

Discord feigned shock at the statement, putting a claw over his heart. "Moi? Try to drive a wedge between my brother and my warden? Perish the thought!" With a snap of his fingers, Discord disappeared.

"But remember, Celestia..."

The daughter of chaos is coming
to consume, to grow and destroy.
I watch everything go from the shadows
and sometimes pester and annoy.

But if the lives of your "family" you wish to save,
the deeds are already done.
There's only one option left for you, now.
My best advice? RUN.

"I always like giving the losing team my support! Keeps the game running longer and builds the chaos and excitement!" His voice was quickly fading into a mere echo of himself. "So good luck to you three... You're going to need it."

Just as quickly as he had appeared, Discord was gone again, this time off to who-knew-where.

"It's not like him to play the Cheshire Cat role. He likes being involved, making sure things get done himself..." A horrifying thought struck Celestia, and she quickly turned around, taking to the air and flying back towards the castle. "What if... What if he doesn't think he can fight Eris, either?" It made sense, in a twisted way. It had nearly killed the both of them to create her, and both he and Eclipse had hinted that she was much stronger than when she was first "born."

We're going to need to keep the Elements of Harmony at the ready... When she reaches the castle, it's going to be our toughest battle, yet!














Whipstitch and Lily sat in seats across from one another on the train, already almost to Fairytrail. Suddenly, a series of chills ran through her body, causing Whipstitch to shudder and turn to the window, looking out into the forest they were passing through.

"What is it?"

"I think... I think something happened. It feels like the winds are picking up..." Whipstitch muttered, trying to understand the sensations running along her senses, like a tingling energy that heightened her awareness of her surroundings.

Lily tilted her head in confusion. "Winds? Whips, we're inside with all the windows closed. What winds?"

"'The winds of change,' Lily. At least, that's what Eclipse calls them in my lessons... They're the flow of chaotic energy through the world." She closed her eyes, trying to concentrate. "It feels like somepony's just opened up the flood gates." In her own mind, Whipstitch was working to reach out and see what was happening more clearly. Learning to see and use the natural flow of energy in the world had been one of the first lessons that Eclipse had taught her, but her progress in understanding them had been methodical and sluggish at best.

When she opened her eyes, she smiled as her view of the world warped and tinted into an array of colors. They were still on the train, of course, but she was viewing it on a higher plane. The entire world rippled like cloth in the wind, and living figures were represented by a light-filled outline. What she was interested in, however, quickly made themselves known.

The winds were usually represented by arrays of tiny, neon-white threads that floated through the air, moving back and forth with the currents and waves of energy. Unicorn magic was organized, self-sustaining, and usually stemmed from the user, but even the strongest of chaos beings relied on their magic being able to move and flow on its own. The magic could be generated and manipulated on its own, of course, and Eclipse had demonstrated such a concept to her before, but only he and Discord had seemed capable of doing such. Whipstitch had tried and failed a dozen times, but in the end, she always came back to manipulating the winds to achieve what she desired.

This time, however, rather than the gentle tendrils that she was so used to seeing, Whipstitch reeled with shock to see what seemed to be gigantic arcs of electricity coursing through the air, humming and crackling with energy, putting off tiny flames into the air. It was watching a lightning strike in slow motion, and there were dozens of them in sight, running everywhere. Shaking her head in confusion, Whipstitch started to reach out with her hoof, but paused just short of touching one. Simply touching a thread under normal circumstances would give her a shock, along with a boost in her energy. Touching them now, when they were exponentially stronger, seemed as if it could be asking for trouble.

Eh, heh heh... There you are... A deep, unmistakeable voice emanated out from the winds, echoing loudly. Whipstitch's heart skipped a beat.

"D-Discord?" She whispered the name with almost-holy reverence. "Is that you?"

That was a nice spell you tried using to keep me in stone... It tickled. Still, impressive, considering your poor teacher. Threadmane's progeny certainly doesn't fail to impress. Despite his flattering words, Discord's tone was nonchalant and without much inflection of excitement. Whipstitch felt her face flushing, and she looked down, still surprised beyond words.

What's the matter, there, Whipstitch? SPIDER got your tongue? Immediately, Whipstitch's embarrassment fell away, replaced with indignation at Discord's insinuation of her "little secret."

"H-Hey! How do you know about that?" After a moment's thought, she grinned devilishly as she realized that this was her opportunity to break Eclipse's rule about keeping her infatuation with Discord to herself. "Better question: do you wanna know more?"

It doesn't matter. I'm here to pass on a message. Discord's teasing tone became more somber. Don't. Just don't.

Whipstitch's eyes narrowed. "Don't what? I wasn't doing anything!"

No, no, no! Please, don't tell me that you inherited Eclipse's closed-mindedness along with his wimpiness! Whipstitch could practically see him rolling his eyes at her. That's the message! Don't. Don't act, don't fight, don't do anything. You'll regret it.

"Discord... are you threatening me?" She whispered.

What? No, my dear! The message isn't mine! I'm just the messenger! Granted, it's not bad advice, considering your position, but it's not MINE! There was a beat of silence between the two of them before Whipstitch realized that he was waiting for her to ask the inevitable question.

"Good! I admire you far too much to take a threat seriously! Then who's advice is it, my dear?" Whipstitch grinned.

It's the advice of someone who already killed you once before, Whipstitch... There was another beat as the words hung in the air and Whipstitch's mischievous grin quickly disappeared.

"... Do you mean Eris? She killed Threadmane, and those other ponies! And that was a thousand years ago!"

Now I, for one, would like to have the opportunity to meet you BEFORE you're killed again, and maybe teach you a few tricks that'll run my brother in circles for hours!

"Well... I have a nice little place in Ponyville were we'd be left alone."

So I'd prefer that you and your friends all stay ALIVE. And as much as I hate saying it, you should take my words seriously. There may be plenty of time for FLIRTING later if you survive!

"I'll be counting on it!" Whipstitch's smirk returned.

There was a flash of white light, and Whipstitch was suddenly back in normal reality. The change had obviously been Discord's doing, and the sudden shock took a moment for her to adjust to, blinking several times and shaking her head.

"Are you okay, Whips?" Lily asked. "You were zoned out for a pretty long time! I couldn't get you to respond!"

"I-I'm fine." Whipstitch muttered, rubbing at her temple. "But I think I figured out why chaos is in the air..." Looking from side to side at the other ponies in the car with them, she leaned in close to Lily and whispered.

"Discord's finally back!"

"WHAT?"

Lily, of course, didn't share her enthusiasm.

Luna took a deep breath as she approached Eclipse's door. She'd been easily willing to forgive him when Celestia had blatantly refused to. She blamed it on her small rebellious streak, wanting to be the one to step up when she knew that her sister's actions were wrong. Over the day that had passed however, when she was alone, the full meaning of what he had told her had sunk in more and more deeply. She'd approached the door several times, only to turn away again and again, trying to deal with the swell of emotions. None of them had shown up to have dinner together the previous night, each having their meals delivered to their rooms.

Raising her hoof to knock on the doors, she was surprised to have them silently swing open before she could touch them.

Eclipse was laying on his bed, staring upwards at the skylight in his roof. It look Luna only a moment to realize that he was staring at the sun as it passed overhead. He looked as if he hadn't moved since he'd first returned to his room, sinking deep into the mattress and blankets with an almost deathlike stillness.

Luna wasn't entirely sure how to disturb the silence to ask if she could come in, but he thankfully broke it for her.

"Whatever you're going to do, it's fine... I deserve it. Stab me, zap me with some spell, send me to the moon... Heck, not even the Elements of Harmony would be a fitting punishment for what I did to you. I'm not as strong as Discord, so they'd just dissolve me away, turn me to ash."

"You spent a dozen lifetimes in Everfree to make sure you stayed alive... and you'd throw that life away out of guilt?"

"If it could give any kind of recompense to the pony whom I love like a sister? If it could console one of the only two beautiful goddesses in the world who cared about a lonely, barely-stitched-together conglomeration of animal parts?" He raised his head slightly to look at her. His normally-blue eyes had been burned black by the sunlight, and seemed to stare straight through her.

"Yes. I'd throw it away. I'd go and beg Twilight to use the Elements against me. I'd eat Zap Apples until there was nothing left of me but a pile of black goo. I'd throw myself off the watch tower knowing I can't fly! Yes. I'd give you my life to try and repay the fact that I ruined yours... And then I'd have nothing left to give to apologize to Celestia." After a few seconds of staring between the two, he reached up and removed the burnt eyeballs with a loud pop. Placing them in the drawer of his nightstand, he retrieved two more and pushed them into the empty sockets. "Besides, it would be the easiest way to get rid of this guilt..." He muttered as he sat up again, dangling his goat's hoof and rabbit's foot off the edge of the bed.

"Well, I think that you should know that you're wrong." Luna couldn't resist the tears as she walked to him, climbing up onto the bed and settling next to him. "The easiest way to get rid of it would be for me to forgive you..."

When Eclipse turned to look at her in surprise, she realize that they both had tears streaming down their faces. She smiled for a moment as her emotions overtook her. Looking into his tear-stained eyes, Luna couldn't bring herself to muster anything but pity for the draconequus. They'd both lived with unbearable guilt for a thousand years, and both understood each other on a level most ponies couldn't comprehend. After a few seconds of staring at one another, Luna gently leaned her head against him, letting herself weep as she felt the guilt and the pain finally beginning to lift, and a massive weight on her heart gave way to the sweetest joy and relief she could imagine.

"How could I not forgive you for being tricked by Discord? You were trying to make peace, and your intentions were pure... and we'd never even met until the past year!" She giggled lightly to herself at the absurdity of the fact. "I know who you are, Eclipse Tumult, and you're someone who would rather die than hurt my sister and I! We've been through so much together, and you made our lives so much better by coming here! I couldn't imagine what we would do if you threw yourself away like garbage!" Looking up at him again, she couldn't help but smile. "I never had a brother, but aside from my own sister, you're the closest friend I've ever had! We're family, Eclipse, and family forgives each other, no matter what! If there's one thing I learned from coming back to Equestria after all those years, it's that forgiveness is only limited by the pony giving it!"

"Luna, I... I..." Eclipse was without words, his throat choking shut with emotion.

"Eclipse, whether we're angry or sad or happy together, Celestia and I will love you unconditionally. You may not have realized it, but when you told us the truth and took the blame, you lifted an immeasurable guilt off of my shoulders! Now I know that what happened... the nightmare... it wasn't all my fault! That's something that I thought I'd never have." Wrapping a hoof around his shoulders, she pulled him into an awkward, sideways hug. "Eclipse, I love you, and I forgive you for your part in what happened."

"I'M SORRY!" Eclipse finally broke down completely, grabbing the Princess of the Night in a tight hug and sobbing into her shoulder. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, Luna!"

Luna smiled as he finally opened up and gently comforted him, placing her hoof on his back and letting him weep. She and Celestia had always thought of Eclipse as fragile because of his frail figure and timid demeanor, but he'd been holding so much guilt. She wondered just how strong he'd needed to be to live among the two of them without cracking under that guilt until now.

"It's okay, Eclipse. It's okay. There's nothing to be sorry for..." She whispered, letting his shoulder catch her own tears of joy and relief. The two remained in that state together as the sun passed overhead until the water had washed away the pain in both their hearts and there were no more tears to cry.




"It wasn't your fault."

Author's Note:

PSSST...

Nobody tell Gina I used that picture.

It's a blown-up piece of this picture:

Don't tell her I used it.

Because I didn't tell her, either.

Tee hee.