• Published 2nd Jul 2017
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Stories in Stone, Last Dance - TDR

All stories must end, even those in stone. The final book of the Stories in Stone series.

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Last Kiss

Stories in Stone
Last Dance

Last Kiss

[297 years after the defeat of Tirek.]

“I cannot say we did not expect this.” Rynthia sighed her hoof reaching forward to brush closed the eyes of the Hippogryph laying on the floor before them. The dark grayish blue feathered half Pony half Griffon lay unmoving on the floor, the feathers around his neck and wings ruffled enough to show the white fluff underneath, even after the ropes had been removed.

It had taken the four of them two massive teleports to get here less than an hour after getting the news from Talon's third son. The Elder Hippogryph had left the four gods alone with his fathers body as he went to address the rest of the Griffon Nation about the death of their God and to prepare the funeral for his father.

Twilight Sparkle was not the slightest bit winded despite coming all the way from New Canterlot in one hop. Shin had less distance to go from the Crystal Empire, but he had brought Elusive and Rynthia with him so the Changeling was looking a little worn.

“What do you mean you expected this?” Twilight snapped at Rynthia. The unexpected death of a God by suicide, particularly one that was her nephew in law had stressed her considerably. Celestia had called this phase of being a god 'the black phase'. The older alicorn had seen it a number of times before and it was always the worst part of immortality as you were forced to watch every one you ever cared about grow old and die, including those you should not have outlived. When Glimmer passed five years ago Celestia had doubled her efforts to find new bearers of the Elements of Harmony.

The Sun Goddess was not in a rush to dismiss the fallen bearers however, she was more concerned that Twilight might become something in her grief, and that the Elements would be needed to deal with her. Princess Celestia had caught Twilight twice after her brother died studying the books recovered from Tamberlane on Necromancy and after the second time had destroyed any of them she could find left in the castle much to Twilight's horror at the burning of books.

When her niece Glimmer died from pneumonia complications, Twilight with drew from society almost completely, canceling her Night Court and locking herself in her lab. Elusive and Shin seemed to be the only ones who she would talk to, though she shut out everyone else including Celestia.

She had finally started to come out of her lab again when news of Talon being dead reached her. She had immediately vanished and arrived here only a few seconds before Shin teleported the others in.

The Hippogryph god had bound his own wings to prevent his flight instincts from kicking in and hung himself from a central beam in his personal quarters. A will and a note was left on the desk along with a scattering of knickknacks including one of Glimmers feathers twined in silver wire with one of his, a odd crystal that glowed lightly with it's own light, and a number of photos of the couple and their foals.

“Calm down auntie.” Shin stated flatly as himself, not altering forms or anything as he lifted his brother in law's body, laying it on the bed and covering him with a blanket. “We both know Ryn's a little crass after all she's seen across Equss. But she is right. We did see this coming.......”

“What do you mean you expected this, that you saw this coming, answer me!?!” Twilight snarled advancing towards Shin only for a black spear to slam into the ground before her, the tip of it likely piercing the floor completely judging from a few muted cries from below them.

“Mother stop. Or I will stop you.” Elusive ordered. It was not a request, it was simply a fact in his mind. The Kirin towered over the other alicorn glaring down at her. ”I understand you are upset, but if you do not power down your horn now I am going to be forced to explain to mom why I had to put you in the hospital. I am already having a bad enough day as it is, do not force me to make it worse for both of us.”

Twilight blinked as if suddenly noticing the glow of her horn and the spells she was ready to cast. She stepped back her ears drooping as she shook her head clearing the spells. “Sorry.....it's just........”

“You don't need to explain. You just need to calm down. They were my family too auntie.” Shin sighed.” We have it a little better than you I think with these losses because there are three of us going through the same thing. You have auntie Celestia, but it seems you've been avoiding her. That cannot be healthy for either of you.”

“It hasn't been working out very well between us for a while......so no, it isn't.” Twilight sighed.” She understands what's going on but.. but shes so distant about it.”

“She likely has to be. Other wise she would be a wreck as well and no one would run Equestria.” Rynthia stated. “ Now then in light of your question. We knew Talon was going to do something, but we did not know what. When Glimmer died, most of him did as well. He's spent the past five years researching something. Avoiding nearly every one and letting his youngest son run the country. We were prepared for some sort of necromantic things to happen, but despite his knowledge Talon's magic was never that powerful outside the schools of Storm and Weather.”

“That he killed himself to go be with Glimmer again is not the slightest surprise.” Shin explained. “He was the Bearer of Loyalty after all. And as far as any Changeling can recall any who bore Loyalty and found something or someone to direct that Loyalty towards never lasted longer than what ever they had sworn to. Jer'rahd with Luna, Andree with Aqua, Dash to Big Mac, the list goes back as far as the hive mind can recall. When Glimmer died he did as well, despite his body continuing to move.”

“What bothers me.” Elusive added.” Is how he managed to do it. There is no star metal in either the ropes around his wings or in the noose. There is nothing in this room that could cancel magic enough for him to be able to die like this. Gods are notoriously hard to kill.”

“Unless you are my father and mother.” Rynthia smirked.

“I'm not going to count those two at all.” Elusive snorted.”They could kill the moon and stars themselves if they put their minds to it.”

Twilight closed her eyes as the three of them continued to talk. She wasn't really understanding how they were dealing so easily with this. She was horrified every time one of her friends or family died.

When Fluttershy died the only ones worse off than her were AJ and Rainbow Dash. When Dash died even AJ was stronger than Twilight was. She had some how managed to make it through her brothers passing because she still had Applejack and Pinkie. When Pinkie and Discord passed, she had tried to give up being a god completely, only to be talked down by Luna, Applejack, and Celestia. When Applejack died, she did her best to continue arranging everything at the farm for the funeral and helping them take care of anything that came up because of the elder mares passing, that was when she declared the place a heritage site, preventing anything from ever fiscally happening to the farm for as long as she was a Princess. She had also taken one of Applejack's hats and had nearly ruined it crying into it.

Like Celestia she had started her own little room of memories and the longer she lived the bigger it got. When Cadence passed she didn't really have anyone any more and had pretty much collapsed. Glimmer and Talon had been the ones to help her recover from that.

Jer'rahd, Luna, and Celestia had been the rocks she had clung to through the worst of everything. The three were used to death, though with every one of their adoptive foals that passed or vanished she could see the Kirin and Changeling Queen starting to crack. When Dawn died Jer'rahd had practically destroyed the hospital where Dawn had been in hospice, and that had been just getting out of it, without even turning into the Beast.

Luna only stayed to make arraignments for her daughters funeral before vanishing as well. It was thirty years before any one even heard from them again and that was only a short confirmation though the hive mind that they were alive. Ninety years later and the pair were still gone somewhere with no sign of them returning anytime soon.

Bleu and Spike claimed to have seen them though that was only briefly as they wandered across the frozen north on their way somewhere. Spike had been helpful as well, though he and Bleu still had more trouble with the Dragons than any one liked. It didn't help that he and Bleu had taken a long nap not long after Cadence died. It would still be a few years yet before they were to wake. He knew why the pair had done so. A dragons sleep tended to revitalize them, the longer it was the more years it seemed to add to their life. A dragon who didn't take periodic naps after reaching a certain age tended to age faster than those who didn't.

Celestia could have been there to help Twilight, but a difference of opinion a long while ago coupled with the losses of her friends had driven a rift between the two alicorns. Twilight still loved her, but she couldn't be with her any more. It was something they still needed to discuss, but Celestia seemed to be accepting of the relationships division. Perhaps Trixie had been right and Twilight was only attracted to Celestia because she was her teacher. She hated to think she was that shallow but the cooling had happened once she had surpassed her teacher in a number of fields. Celestia had stagnated in her education, Twilight had not.

After all that Twilight was now seeing the death of some one who had gone through what she did in terms of losing some one close to them and had taken his own life because of it. Twilight didn't know what to feel. Even his closest friends seemed less affected than she was.


No, that wasn't it.

Twilight lifted her head and looked at the others more closely.

While Rynthia was as always unreadable, Shin was quiet, he was never quiet, most times the Changeling God wouldn't shut up unless Rynthia or Elusive asked him to. He had no snarky comments, no quips, and he was remaining in his more neutral, natural form, too. He was not shifting or changing at all, he was static, which was something she recalled Cadence saying he did only when he was upset or scared.

Elusive was all business, he was distracting himself with logic and anything but the obvious things he should be focusing on. While he had always had a interest in science, putting things together, and puzzles, the fact was he had completely detached himself from his emotions. Despite not being his birth mother, Twilight had raised him along with Celestia during better times and she knew something was wrong. She was just too upset to have noticed it. Talon was Elusive's best friend since they were foals and he was dealing with it his way while she broke down. Her only connection to Talon had been though the marriage of her niece to him, Elusive and the Hippogryph had practically been attached at the cutie mark since the pair were three.

Twilight suddenly felt even worse for her outburst.

“Now this is interesting.” Elusive stated softly. “ Mother take a look at this, it's a bit beyond me.”

Twilight's ears perked up as he called to her and she quickly sorted herself in the only way she had found that worked, by regulating everything to numbers and lists.

Step one, examine the body, rule out foul play. Check.

Step two comfort the grieving. Failed, move on to step three.

Step three examine the area for clues. Elusive managed that before she did, so check.

Step four, research any clues found.....

Moving over to the tall Kirin's side she slid her wing up over his back pressing lightly to his side as she lightly hugged him against her, though it was more hugging herself against him. She felt him tense a moment then relax as she took note of the things on the desk with more than just a passing glance. Elusive handed her the two notes that had been on the desk to read while he looked over an odd glowing crystal.

The first note was the suicide note. There was no mistaking Talon's claw writing as the Hippogryph had a odd lean to his letters that was hard to easily replicate simply due to him being a south claw. Given ponies tended to write with magic and their mouths the idea of a dominate appendage was a little odd to them, granted south claws tended to be rare any way, which only added to the oddity that was Talon.

The note was a rather short affair explaining briskly that he could not handle his time without Glimmer any more. The script was eloquent and apologetic to all he might upset. There was a brief mention of a black alicorn he had seen on the street from his window, but that was only mentioned on one line as he thought it might have been Luna.

The rest of the note however focused on the fact that Talon couldn't find any one worthy enough to inherit his God powers. As such he devised a solution and he left that solution in the possession of his remaining friends, Shin, Elusive, and Rynthia.

The second page was nothing but a formula. The script of it almost made Twilight forget why she was even here in Talon's chambers to begin with.

The spell was unlike anything she had seen before. It was something that should very well be impossible. The amount of power needed would be immense and the detail on the target would need to be beyond immaculate with at least seventy three different magic circles simple used to bind it and a hundred more to simple intact the transfer spell. The spell formula also showed the command word that was needed to access it.

“Glimmer Sparkle.....” Twilight muttered as she read the command word, without focusing on the gem the spell would not go off. Her gaze turned to one of the other objects on the desk, her gaze darting over the flawless gem.

The gem was a work of art. Three hundred faucets each one enchanted with fail safes and seals small enough that one needed some sort of intricate magical magnification just to see the rune coding. Twilight noting the thirteen point runic weaves on each facet of the gem. With the formula she could easily replicate it. Maybe give up her powers into her own gem and simply let time claim her........

“Mother?” Elusive asked causing Twilight to jump and whip her head.

“What is it?” Rynthia asked looking over Elusive's back at the gem, The Zebra mare actual a apple or two taller than the massive Kirin, defiantly Rhede's daughter.

“The Gem contains everything that made Talon a god...... if the formula's are right and I doubt they are wrong....” Twilight muttered.

“That can be done?” Shin asked curiously.

“It seems it can be now.”Twilight said as the group of them looked over at the shrouded body that Talon had left behind when his spirit went off to pursue his wife Glimmer among the stars.