• Published 6th Jul 2012
  • 6,040 Views, 307 Comments

Legacy of the Pegasi - secret89

An ancient pegasi myth has returned. It will take three special pegasi to turn back the storm.

  • ...

Ch. 26: Shaken Faith and Nightmare Creatures

Legacy of the Pegasi:

Ch. 26: Shaken Faith and Nightmare Creatures

Windswept ambled aimlessly through the halls of the Senate Chamber. Bereft of pegasi, his hooves echoed against the stone cloud floor. In a way, the sharp clip clops were almost soothing as echoes bounced off the walls. He certainly needed it.

He walked on, trying to focus on the rhythmic sound. Numbing. That's what it was. A delightful distraction. Here and now, with only himself, the empty hall and the sound of his hooves.

Perhaps he could do this forever?

Light flashed from one of the windows, but it was the wrong kind. Windswept's curiosity beat out his rhythmic serenade as he stopped to observe.

Storm clouds. More and more had appeared in the days since Typhonis had arrived, yet the weather factory had not changed its production.

Light flashed again. Lightning. Of course. I knew that. Windswept thought dumbly. Of course he knew that. Why wouldn't he?

Lightning flashed again in the distance, followed by the gradual crawl of thunder. The thunderheads reacted.

Windswept's mind narrowed, clarity slowly forcing itself upon him. That's not right. Not on their own like that...

But the thunderclouds continued to move on their own. Bulging and convulsing, pulling and ripping and finally, two ends pulling so that one massive thunderhead split into two.

Windswept stared. Seconds dragged on.

Split. Split. Splitted... splin... splinter?

Windswept's eyes widened.


A new echo rushed into his mind, far from soothing.

“Heal the Splinter!” An echoing voice screamed. “Heal the Splinter!” It yelled again, battering his mind. Again and again it screamed, each time greater than the last.

Windswept clutched his head. Another voice invaded.

“You're not meant for this... you need to... heal the splinter,” the voice droned, again and again and again. Eventually it deformed, droning, ...Heal the splinter...heal the splinter...heal the splinter.

Windswept's mind was like a vice. He dare not move. It felt as if it would shatter at any moment. His aura lay helpless as the two mismatched voices, one screaming the other droning, but both carrying on:

Heal the splinter...heal the splinter...heal the Splinter!


Silence. The voices were gone. Windswept looked up.


The elder Tempest Guard had his hoof on Windswept's shoulder. He frowned. “Are you alright?”

Windswept looked around, confused. Outside the window the thunderheads continued to twist and bulge.

Windswept tore his eyes away from the sky. “Y-yeah,” he stuttered, shaking his head.

“You seemed like you were in pain. Did you see the medic?”

“Yes, yes,” Windswept replied quickly. “I'm fine.”

Silver regarded Windswept skeptically for a moment. “Good. You've really proven yourself the past few weeks. And we can't have someone such as yourself falling out now.”

“Yes, well, I'm uh..., I'm glad to help,” Windswept said. “Anything for the Tempest Guard...” he added softly, looking away.

Windswept inwardly shivered. He felt dirty.

“Are you sure you're alright?” Silver asked again. “You should be celebrating!”

“Celebrating?” Windswept echoed. “Celebrating what?”

“Our victory! It is practically assured!” Silver exclaimed proudly. “Things couldn't be better right now! A failed coup! A thwarted assassination! It couldn't be more perfect! Pegasi across Equestria will demand Commander Dark Shot surrender. The fool has boxed himself into a corner, he will be forced to step down and the military will follow him. And once they submit, our victory will be complete!”

“What about the royals?” Windswept asked.

Silver deflated slightly, casting a sidelong glance at Windswept. “A minor detail. Legitimacy in the eyes of the pegasi race was all that was ever needed. Luna's presence has assured the royals involvement in the coup. It will be their downfall.”

This is good, Windswept thought, feeling his mood lighten slightly. If events played out as Silver said, then nopegasi would have to die. All would be united behind the Archon.

The royals could rot for all he cared.

“You did say that they would have a compelling reason to join us.”

Silver shrugged. “Not quite what Dominus and I had imagined. I did not anticipate Dark Shot would defy the government, but it doesn't matter now. He clipped his wings the moment he sent Pilus to the Senate.”

“Indeed,” another voice joined in. Dominus cantered in from the opposite end of the hall. He bowed his head slightly to Windswept and Silver. “Yesterday's events will not soon be forgotten. And neither will your actions, Windswept.”

“My what?”

“Despite the chaos from yesterday, I witnessed the skill of your aural powers. Never before have I seen one of our own rise so quickly amongst the Guard and with such power.

“Dominus,” Silver greeted. “I'm glad you're here. I was about to meet with the Lord Archon to plan the way forward. If you would care to join me?”

“Actually, I just left the Lord Archon,” Dominus replied.

“I see,” Silver replied. “Then if you could direct me-”

“He does not wish to see us; or rather I should say, you and I,” Dominus gestured between himself and Silver.

“Is that so?” Silver arched a brow, his steely eyes turning to Windswept.

Windswept suddenly felt very uncomfortable, avoiding Silver's gaze.

“Quite. He only asked for you, Windswept,” Dominus said, his mouth curling into a slight grin. “It seems you have caught the Lord Archon's attention. No doubt from your performance before.”

“I, uh,” Windswept stammered. He peeked up at Silver, daring to meet his friend's eyes.

They were cold.

“I'm sure it's nothing!” Windswept said quickly, flashing a cheeky smile.

Silver stared icily for a fraction of a second. Then the stallion smiled. A large, gracious, charming, devilish, backhanded, and thinly veiled smile. One Windswept was all too familiar with, but never in his dreams would he believed to be on the receiving end on. “Of course,” he said silkily. “Best not keep the Lord Archon waiting Windswept.” Silver turned a wing to Dominus. “Come my friend, there is much we must discuss.”

The two departed, their voices and echoing hooves fading down the hall.

What was that all about? Windswept thought. The thought lingered, but Windswept shoved it to the side. The Archon awaited.

It only just now occurred to Windswept that Dominus had failed to mention where the Archon was. No sooner had the thought crossed his mind, when the Archon's presence fell over him. Sensations of great comfort and care, memories of his previous meeting with the Archon. Awe and reverence. But only memories. Not the true feelings. Now there was only confusion. "Heal the splinter," echoed in the back of his mind.

Windswept frowned, beating back the annoyance. I will make it a reality, he thought forcefully, clinging to his oath.

Still, Windswept shivered. The feeling of filth crept up once more, seeming to cling to his hooves.

The Archon's presence guided his steps, and he fell into an unconscious trot that carried him higher and higher into the tower.

He tried to focus as he walked. Thoughts of an empire reborn, the pegasi race indomitable once again, wrongs of the past righted, all he vowed to do. He had brought about change for the better!

He could feel the tell tale nostalgia of pride welling within. Windswept frowned. No, not nostalgic... he countered. Yet it remained, another phantasm of emotions. But it seemed to bring something else.

Focus, Windwept repeated. More thoughts. Typhonis, Lord Archon at the forefront of the new empire.

Windswept winced. A reflex. He huffed in anger, trying to center his mind on Typhonis. He gritted his teeth, almost as if he were bracing himself. We are winning, he thought. Nothing. The visage of the Archon remained, but it seemed darker somehow. Yet he remained tense. “We will continue to best them,” he whispered to himself. Still nothing. The vision morphed again, an angry god amongst the tempest. Anger flourished within Windswept. He reached for the memory of Typhonis as they met last. His vision of the future. Windswept's solemn pact. “I will make it a reality!” he hissed out loud.

You're not meant for this...you need to...heal the splinter...

It came as a whisper, but surged like the storm. The Archon was swept away in an instant. The face of the blue stallion Wonderbolt replaced it. His aura flailed wildly, reaching at the thought. The ghost of Captain Highwinds joined it. Another instant, and both were gone. Confusion was all that remained.

Who is he? Windswept thought angrily. Why does the Wonderbolt traitor matter so damn much?

His aura surrendered no answers.

Windswept shivered. He still felt dirty.


The words silenced Windswept's thoughts. He had arrived.

The Archon had his back to Windswept, seated on the balcony as he surveyed the stormy skies before him. His wings were outstretched, faint sparks of lightning dancing along the tips. Typhonis swept and angled his wings about rhythmically. The thunderheads responded, twisting and convulsing, bulging and compacting, as if Typhonis were molding the storm clouds with his hooves.

“Come, join me.”

Windswept obeyed, silently seating himself next to the Archon on the highest tower of the Senate Chambers.

For a time both sat in silence. Windswept's emotions seemed oddly silent. Neither was he fearful or filled with the Archon's infectious pride; only a strange, empty confusion.

The storms caught his attention. He gazed forward unthinking, lost in the hypnotic patterns of the crashing tempest.

“What are you doing?” Windswept finally asked. He almost surprised himself with his bluntness.

“Preparations for the coming battle.”

Of course. It should have been obvious. “So you mean to confront the royals then?”

Typhonis did not immediately reply.

“All in due time,” Typhonis replied, continuing to mold the thunderheads. They had taken a more distinct shape now, a portion of the thunderhead shaped into a sheer tower, stretching upward beyond sight. It almost appeared solid, but violent arcs of lightning still jumped about its surface. At the tower's base storm clouds continued to slowly bulge, settling around.

Windswept waited for Typhonis to continue. He suddenly felt very tense.

“Cloudsdale has accepted me, and for that I am grateful,” Typhonis continued. “But there are those pegasi who would still defy me, who still cling to Hurricane's influence.”

Windswept winced. He knew the answer, but he had to ask. “You mean the Wonderbolts. And the military...”

Typhonis nodded. “Yes.”

“We are going to attack our own?” Windswept asked brazenly, turning to face the Archon.

“They are rebels and traitors, descendants that have embraced their ancestor's treachery!” Typhonis snapped, fixing Windswept with narrowed eyes.

For a fleeting second Windswept thought the Archon would destroy him on the spot. It would only take a flick of the wing, and Windwept would be reduced to ash. But Typhonis did nothing. He should have felt terrified. A whimpering and insignificant whelp beneath a god. Instead Windswept came to another chilling conclusion. He did not care. He could feel his aura stand alongside him in a curious display of loyalty.

Typhonis' gaze softened.

Typhonis folded his wings to his side, apparently finished. The storm tower was eerily silent and the storm clouds beneath it barely hummed, only the faintest flashes of lightning within.

Typhonis sighed. He turned to Windswept.

“Your compassion is more than commendable, young Tempest Guard. For that I am grateful.” Typhonis seemed pensive for a moment, his eyes lost in thought. “There were those who once said my temper was as quick as lightning.” The Archon's face softened. “I will give every chance I can to those who will lay down their arms and renounce their resistance.”

Windswept could feel the sincerity in the Archon's words, and yet...

“But,” Typhonis continued, his words taking a sharper edge, “I doubt many will. It seems my own influence is not the only one to have survived these many millenia.”

The Archon extended a single wing. A bolt of lightning flashed from its tip, striking the tower in the distance. At the same time Windswept felt a sudden surge in his aura. The same as when he had last met with the Archon, the same pure, and ancient vastness that had overwhelmed him. It was the Legacy Stream.

He was not in the Stream this time, but it's overwhelming presence was unmistakable.

Windwept could feel the Stream's power radiate around the Archon. The Archon's aura took hold of it, wielding the Stream like second nature. It then fired in an instant along Typhonis' lightning current. Another flash and both the Stream and the rope of lightning were gone.

“What did you do?”

The Archon smirked ever so slightly. “As I said, preparations.”

Violent flashes of lightning suddenly arced and erupted from the tower. Windswept could feel traces of the Stream within it, as the mass of thunderclouds at the tower's base bulged and convulsed viciously.

“He was real then?” Windswept questioned, though he was unable to pull his eyes from the tower.

The Archon paused, seeming caught off guard by the question. “Yes,” he replied softly. “Hurricane was real, and for a time, the greatest leader of the pegasi race outside of myself and my brethren in the Archon Council. And he was my greatest, and only friend.”

Typhonis paused, his eyes lost on the horizon.

“Until he and the Archon Council betrayed us.” He turned to Windswept. “I do not know whether it was Hurricane who corrupted the Council or vice versa, only that their corruption was total. Hurricane's command of the military allowed him to sway Skythus' forces to his will, starting with his precious Legacy Guard,” Typhonis spat, putting particular emphasis on 'legacy'. “The rest followed suit.”

The tower continued to flash. Windswept felt the traces of the stream grow stronger. As he watched, his eyes caught sight of something spinning within, a faint red light trapped in the funnel.

“Except for one unit,” Typhonis smiled, a pensive look on his face. “Captain High Winds and the Tempest Guard refused to follow, and thusly splintered from their traitorous brethren in the Legacy Guard.”

Windswept felt as if he had been struck with a lightning bolt. The Legacy Guard and the Tempest Guard? The gears in his brain went into overdrive. That's it! The splinter! That's what Captain High Winds was talking about! I need to- Windswept brain abruptly made a full stop. What was he thinking? Did he want to reunite the two Guardian Orders? It was ancient history wasn't it? What did it matter now? What would it solve?

“I would not be here were it no for Captain High Winds' loyalty,” Typhonis said proudly.

High Winds seemed to have a different opinion on the matter, Windswept recalled. The ghost seemed anything but loyal to Typhonis back at Black Mist Prison. But why?

The question hung in Windswept's mind. He needed to know more. The confusion that seemed to stick like mud at his hooves drove him toward it. Captain High Winds last words demanded it.

It did not seem to fit with the Archon's vision, or his story of the past for that matter. And besides, I don't even know if the Legacy Guard still exists...

Windswept's aura suddenly jumped at his thought. Once again the blue stallion from before, the Wonderbolt with whom he had fought before entered his mind. There was no malice in his aura at the thought. Something that still puzzled Windswept. Just who's side are you on? He thought.

His aura reflected an unashamed indifference. If anything it seemed to proudly project its sentiment, radiating all the stronger at the thought of the Wonderbolt and the Legacy Guard.

The Wonderbolts...and the Legacy Guard...Windswept thought slowly.

Too slowly for his aura.

Windswept's aura surged with rampant impatience, swirling around the two thoughts. The Wonderbolts. The Legacy Guard.

One and the same?! The Wonderbolts are the Legacy Guard?

Windwept's aura jolted rather forcefully, the equivalent of smacking the stallion upside the head.

Okay, okay... Windswept thought, unconsciously massaging his neck. “I think... I think they may still be around,” Windswept spoke, looking to Typhonis hopefully. The Archon had to know something about the Legacy Guard. “The Legacy Guard, I mean.”

“They are.” Typhonis confirmed flatly. “Your opponent from yesterday seems to be one of them, and it appears his companions have acquired a rather... pesky artifact.”

Alarms went off in Windswept's head. Something that the Archon was concerned about? “What is it? Something we need to worry about?”

Typhonis was silent for a fraction of a second before replying, but just enough to bother Windswept.

“The particulars are nothing you need worry yourself about,” Typhonis said dismissively, as if he had said too much. “Only that we will ensure that this particular trio do not acquire the rest.”

He's not telling me something, Windswept thought. More half truths.

The red orb of light began to grow brighter within the tower. Though still obscured by the darkened clouds, Windswept swore he could see a form begin to take shape.


“As I said,” Typhonis said a little more forcefully, “do not worry yourself. You will soon see,” he added, gesturing to the tower.”

Windswept said nothing, instead doing as the Archon asked.

The red orb continued to spin within the tower, faster and faster. The faint traces of the Legacy Stream spiked in and out, perfectly in sync with red light as it pulsed.

Windswept squinted, as more distinct features appeared. Wings. Hooves. The silhouette of a pegasus.

Windswept's aura gave off the distinct impression of unease, to which he could agree. He could feel the Legacy Stream, but its radiant purity was missing.

Windswept shifted uncomfortably. Wrong. That's what it was. Wrong. Sacrilegious.

The Archon grinned. Proudly. A benevolent ruler.

"Wrong," the back of Windswept's mind hissed. "Not proudly. Menacingly. An angry god amongst the tempest."

Lightning flashed from the tower, followed by thunder. The red orb, now a haze within something that resembled a pegasus froze in the center of the tower.

A second later the silhouette bolted upward, jagged bolts of lighting in its wake.

The pegasus form erupted from the top of the tower.

Windswept's jaw dropped.

Tearing across the sky, at first glance, appeared to be a jet black pegasus. One as dark as the darkest storm cloud. A mistake anypegasus could make, were it not for the lightning wings that carried it, the red haze that filled its eyes and the wisps of thundercloud that trailed behind it.

The thundercloud given life covered the distance from the tower to the balcony in only seconds. Windsewpt resisted the urge to run. The calm of the Archon's presence was all that held him there. It was barely enough as Windswept felt his hooves shake. He recalled the nightmarish stories told to foals. Many a night cowering under his bed. Fears he had long cast aside. Were he not transfixed by the hellish being that beheld him, he would call it a unique experience, the terrors of foal-hood returned with a vengeance.

A Storm Stalker, Windswept thought, wide eyed. Stars above, a real, live Storm Stalker!

The Storm Stalker alighted without a sound in front of the Archon. It stood a full head higher than Windswept, half a head beneath the Archon. It folded its skeletal cloud wings at its sides, the webs of lightning feathers that stretched between each cloudy bone dimming only slightly. No longer flying, its features were sharper, despite its misty form. Its mane reminded Windswept of the Princesses, wavy and ethereal, but with the jet black color of a thundercloud. Within its chest resided the red orb. The glow seemed to travel to the creature's head, which filled the sockets with the blood red hue. There was neither a mouth nor nose. Simply a shadowy mask, which served to unnerve Windswept all the more.

The Storm Stalker stood at attention before the Archon. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Windswept had the distinct impression of a noble warrior, but it was quickly swept away.

Freaking out tended to do that.

“Fear not Windswept,” Typhonis spoke. “The volantis umbra will not harm you. They obey my every command.”

“Tha-tha-that,” Windswept stuttered, fearful to draw attention to himself. “That's a storm stalker! They're real?! And-” Windswept lost his words as several errant thoughts hit him at once. One by one they fell in place. “They?! What do you mean they?”

“Calm thyself Windwept. Yes, the Storm Stalkers are real, as you put it. And yes I did say 'they'.”

Windswept willed himself to relax, difficult as it was. “They are the preparations you were referring to.”

Typhonis nodded, still looking over the Storm Stalker. “No war was won without an army.”

War. Of course, Windwept thought, nodding grimly. The conquest of Equestria. Celestia and Luna could hardly be expected to hand over the country, though it would be infinitely easier.

But what of the pegasi at Los Pegasus? What of them?

Maybe they'll be afraid as I am, Windwept thought, cautiously gazing to the Storm Stalkers eyes. Perhaps they'll surrender when they see. There's no reason to fight, right? He thought hopefully.

The naive hope was quickly snuffed, strangled and smothered under filth. Filth that rose from his hooves. His aura twisted uncomfortably.

Nunc armas!” Typhonis suddenly shouted.

The Storm Stalker immediately vaulted onto its rear hooves. Lightning flashed at its fore hooves, brandishing electric daggers.

Windswept jumped out of his skin, nearly falling to the ground. But the Storm Stalker was still, rigid before the Archon with daggers crossed in salute.

Typhonis nodded in approval. “Very good, very good.” He regarded the soldier for a moment. “Ut armis!

In a series of motions, the Storm Stalker uncrossed and sheathed its blades, resuming its earlier posture.

As Typhonis had said, the Storm Stalker obeyed his every command. Seemingly a magical construct, a drone tied to its master's will. Windswept's aura was wary of the construct, but seemed to be drawn to the energy at the Stalker's core. Curiosity and... familiarity?

“How did you do it?” Windswept asked, his own curiosity overcoming his fears as he moved closer to the Stalker.

Typhonis thought for a moment. “It is... complicated to say the least. It is not the crude magic of this world that gives the volantis umbra life. Instead, my connection to the Legacy Stream is what allows them to be so.”

Windswept's aura went into a tailspin. It lurched and pulled, thrashing about madly, all directed toward the Storm Stalker. Hey, hey what's wrong?

His aura ignored him. Instead it only fought harder, urging Windswept on. Vibes of rage, desecration and defilement ran rampant.

Okay, okay hold on, Windswept thought, trying to calm his companion. His aura subsided, but still simmered angrily.

Windswept turned his attention once again toward the Storm Stalker. Despite his own curiosity, the Archon's cryptic answer and his aura's insistence, he was reluctant to dig deeper into the creature's link to the Legacy Stream.

Okay, that's an understatement, he corrected. No telling what this thing will do if I go poking around inside its head. Windswept frowned. It felt like a bad idea, looked like a bad idea, Tartarus it even smelled like one. But he had to know. For some reason his aura believed this was important.

And that was good enough.

Windswept mentally sighed. Here's to bad ideas.

He pushed forth with his aura, directly into the red haze at the Storm Stalker's chest.

The Storm Stalker remained still.

Windswept breathed a little easier. He began to search with his aura, something he had found easier and easier to do since he had been inducted into the Tempest Guard.

Surprise was the first thing that struck him. It was easy to move amongst the energy that powered the Storm Stalker. Maybe that's because it gets its power from the Legacy Stream? It wasn't a bad guess. But perhaps a bit too easy. The energy had a consciousness of sorts, but subdued. Again, this didn't seem too out of the ordinary; magical constructs needed some kind of artificial brain to operate after all. So what was it that bothered him so much?

It's all so... familiar?

Windswept's aura jumped at the thought. It was as if a beacon had been lit within his companion.

The light dawned on Windswept. Familiar like Captain High Winds ghost!

His aura pushed him deeper.

Windswept dove beneath the upper layers of the Storm Stalkers consciousness.

His mouth dropped.

At the very heart of the Storm Stalker was a ghostly pegasus stallion. Clothed in ancient Skythan armor and suspended in mid-air, in what appeared to be a state of forced unconsciousness, if the ethereal chains were anything to go by. They wrapped tightly around the ghostly stallion's hooves and wings, extending upward toward the red, robotic consciousness that Windswept had first encountered. A faint green glow hummed at the stallion's core. It seemed to suffer under the weight of the chains that forcibly changed it to the red hue glowed brighter along the links. Windswept could feel the power of the Legacy Stream course through the chains.

It wasn't just familiar. It was exactly the same as Captain High Winds. Fragmented and broken, but the aura of a real, living pegasus.

Or what once was living, Windswept thought. Where had this ghost come from?

Lighting flashed outside Windswept's consciousness, striking the tower. The power of the Legacy Stream surged once more.

The final pieces fell into place.

That's it, he thought, horrified.


Windswept snapped back to reality.

"There's a pegasus in there!" He spun around, facing the Archon. "A soul!"

Typhonis looked genuinely shocked, but quickly regained his composure. "You are quite insightful, young Windswept. Your aptitude with your aura and the Legacy Stream is growing,” he said, smiling.

The confirmation was all the more horrifying. “It's true?!” Windswept in disbelief. “You're... you're ripping souls... from...from...”

“From the Valley of the Stars, yes,” Typhonis confirmed flatly.

“It's... it's wrong!”

“Is it?” Typhonis questioned airily. His face turned stern. “Or perhaps you speak of things you do not understand, nor comprehend? Perhaps you and other pegasi are not the great warriors of my time and do not have the stomach to do what needs to be done?”

“Enslaving our ancestors?!” Windswept countered.

“It is a great honor to serve the pegasi race beyond death!” Typhonis shouted.

Windswept cringed, deflating from the Archon's outburst.

“Your time, all of your time,” Typhonis waved his wing, gesturing to Cloudsdale, “under the pretender Celestia has made you weak.”

Windswept made to speak, but closed his mouth. Could such a thing be true?

“The praefractus is not something I use lightly,” Typhonis said, softening his gaze. He turned to the Storm Stalker, resting his hoof upon the soldier's chest. “Only in a time of great crisis do I call on our ancestors to aid us, and only then temporarily.”

“I... I understand,” Windswept said after a time. But that doesn't make it okay, he thought. That soul hardly seemed like he had volunteered. And somehow I doubt they have a say in it.

Typhonis uttered another curt phrase in his native tongue. The Storm Stalker immediately took to the air, flying back to the tower.

“Your power grows Windswept,” Typhonis stated. “As I said before, I am happy to see the old bloodlines endure. With that lineage comes power. Power and potential.”

“What do you mean?”

“You have excelled beyond what your peers in the Tempest Guard can assist you. To advance further, to aid us more, will require greater guidance.” Typhonis smiled warmly. “I can teach you, if you so wish.”

Windswept's mouth hung ajar.

Awe and reverence. A benevolent god.

His aura twisted and turned, caught between joy and disgust.

Windswept took a moment to think. Was there any reason not to take Typhonis' offer? It was true his powers had continued to grow, but controlling them was not easy. And an even bigger question loomed over him. Did he wish to work so closely with the Archon, after what he had just witnessed?

“I cannot secure our future alone. Help me care for our race.”

Windswept met the Archon's gaze. Again, there was the sincerity and care.

“I'll do it,” he answered.

Typhonis smiled broadly. “Excellent.”

But not for you, Windswept thought. Not yet, at least. There were too many questions, too many unanswered half pieces of information around the Archon. If Typhonis was willing to teach him, Windswept would be able to not only better serve the pegasi on his own terms, but maybe find out the truth of things. Why High Winds wanted him to re-join the the Tempest and Legacy Guard. Why Typhonis feared the so called 'pesky' artifacts. I'm not going to go into this confused any longer.

There was certainty. And for the moment, he didn't feel the stain at his hooves.

His aura hummed in harmony with him.

“We shall begin at a later time. For now, you are dismissed. I have further preparations to make.” Typhonis stated, turning once more to the horizon. “Be ready for when I call.”

Windswept bowed his head slightly, then turned to go. Don't worry Typhonis, Windswept thought, steely eyes forward. I will be.

His hoof steps echoed, gradually fading as he disappeared into the Senate.

Time passed in silence as the Archon still faced the sky. Abruptly sparks of crackling lightning began to travel along his hooves. The silhouette of a lengthy object began to materialize in his hooves, covered in crackling sparks. The electricity grew more intense as the object began to take physical form.

The electricity quickly subsided. A long, amethyst scepter rested in the Archon's hooves, adorned with a ruby gem. Typhonis turned the scepter over several times, observing its make. Draconic markings and symbols were etched into the crystal pommel. The ruby was uncut and wild. Dormant embers glowed within it.

Typhonis raised the scepter to the sky. Flames erupted from the ruby, swirling about faster and faster. Then, without warning the circle of fire exploded outward. The ring traveled beyond the horizon and out of sight.

In a flash the scepter was gone. The Archon of Storms settled once more, resuming his watch of the tower and the horizon beyond.

Author's Note:

Hello all!

Well, would you look at that, I updated this thing! Not as much as I would like for the time it's been since last chapter, but it would have been quite a while to finish the rest of what I had planned. And it's probably better that the chapter will be broken up this way.

At first I wasn't too sure about this chapter. But I did enjoy finally getting to reveal the Storm Stalkers, one of my earlier concepts, and how they're created. More importantly, I feel much better about Windswept's role in the story now. I feel like he has really matured as a character.

The Archon is just awesome to write. For some reason complex villains really motivate me to write.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it.

P.S. Next chapter we journey to Los Pegasus, for real this time, promise!

Until next chapter,