• Published 12th Oct 2017
  • 2,553 Views, 56 Comments

All Hail the Overlord - TheAncientPolitzanian

An alternate reality requests the aid of the Elements of Harmony and the Princesses in fighting the greatest threat they may yet face. However, this threat goes by a name familiar to all of them: Thorax.

  • ...

Chapter 26: A Brand of Failure

Ember followed the hallway Morion had earlier gone down. She tried to be stealthy, as stealthy as one could be in a suit of full plate armor. As she walked she stared out the now red-tinted window to see the Changelings below tearing down statues to Sombra and the Princesses, as well as cleaning up the city. Ember grinned. She loved seeing those pompous pony rulers' statues torn down. What had they ever done for their people, besides ruling them for a thousand years?


Heck, Celestia and Luna had almost destroyed the planet. How could they possibly be considered good rulers after that?

"Ponies," she spat with disgust. "So weak."

She finally caught up to Morion, dashing behind a pillar and peering out as he stood still in the hallway, his eyes locked outside of an open window. Suddenly a large wasp, the largest she had ever seen, flew into the room. It looked big enough to be able to hunt birds, in fact. It was red and dark grey, and clearly buzzed with menace.

Morion held his hand out and the hornet landed on his hoof. "Damage reports?" he asked.

"Exactly 387 Initiates, 102 Legionnaires, and 32 Overlord's Guard met their end in the previous battle. The conflict also claimed the lives of about 527 ponies whom were caught in the crossfire, although we are still finding more buried in the rubble," a deep, hissing voice said as the wasp buzzed its wings.

"Good. I have a new mission for you. Scout out the river in which the enemy warriors escaped, find their most likely last location, and report it to Pharynx," Morion said as he tossed the wasp into the air and turned to continue walking.

"It will be done, Lord-General," the wasp said, before it darted out the window. Ember's eyes trailed the wasp for a couple minutes before she continued following Morion.

Morion slowly turned and saw the door to his new room. Across the hall were Ember's, Lurick's, and Haras's, and next to his was Barxt's.

He had been in each of the rooms, to check in with the generals as they were working, and he remembered them with perfect clarity.

Ember's was as of yet unfilled, Haras's had a large statue of Thorax in the corner, which Morion had found him praying to, Barxt's was filled with stolen pony décor, luxuries and money, which he had sacked over the course of the war from the weak creatures, and Lurick's was bare aside from a desk which he kept for his schematics and diagrams.

However, all of them were far more lavish than Morion's. He entered the room to see a most familiar sight: a dark, empty space, with nothing but a furnace in the corner, burning with a orange and yellow light, a single branding iron resting inside.

Morion removed his armor and helmet, resting them in the corner, before he slowly walked into the light. His body was crisscrossed with brands, all of the same image: a flame, with two mandible-like antlers emerging from it. Very few spaces on his body were clear of brands, with only a couple spaces on his chest, underside, and legs being free of the brands. The largest one rested on his forehead, just below his horn, and it still burned even now, giving him constant, unending pain.

The changeling stood in front of the fire and grabbed the iron by the handle with his levitation. He turned it around, revealing the same marking that he had covering himself. Morion closed his eyes and slowly exhaled before he began.

"For failing to protect him from the Elements, I brand you," he said, before he shoved the brand against his chest, and shouted out in pain. He slowly pulled it away to reveal a new black marking upon his crimson carapace.

"For failing to protect him from the Celestia's, I brand you," he said, before he did it once more, burning another marking onto him.

"For failing to-" he started, before he felt the brand ripped from his magical grasp. He slowly opened his eyes, allowing him to see the Dragon Lord Ember.

"What are you doing to yourself?" she asked in confusion and concern.

Morion quietly stared at her. She was an enigma to him. She showed a sense of genuine concern for him. His natural empathic abilities allowed him to see that she was a sociopath, more so than the Overlord in fact, but she seemed to care that he was doing this to himself.

She cared for the dragons and changelings, yet saw the rest of life as playthings and enemies. Interesting.

"You would not understand, so I will not tell you," Morion said as he wrested the brand from her grip and put it back in the fire.

Ember simply steeled her expression and stared at him. She didn't say anything as Morion heated the brand up again, preparing to brand himself once more.

"Is there another reason you were following me in the hallway like a lost puppy earlier, or are you just here to interrupt me?" Morion said, as he turned to look at the taller drake out of the corner of his eyes.

"You knew I was there?" she asked, causing him to roll his eyes. He didn't respond, and simply removed the brand from the fire, so she just decided to ask the question now. "Tell me about the Overlord's past. I want to know more about my lord," she said.

Morion dropped the branding iron which clattered on the ground. Morion stared blankly ahead, his face suddenly gripped by pure guilt and sadness. He closed his eyes and inhaled slowly. "And why am I the one you've decided to ask?" he said flatly in a monotone.

"You seem to be the closest to him, out of everydrake here. Even closer than his brother," Ember said as she sat down. "I will not be leaving this room until you tell me everything."

Morion slowly picked the brand up and placed it back in the fire, before he turned and sat down, staring at her eye to eye. "On two conditions," he said as he stared at her.

"Name them."

"Number one, you do not say a word of what you saw me doing to our lord."

"Deal, what's the next one?"

"You never interrupt me again."

Ember nodded, and Morion gave a light grin, the first one to grace his usually apathetic face in months, barring the ones the Overlord gave him. "You are indeed a good servant of Thorax. Barxt in particular would have immediately reported me to try and get ahead," he said before he turned to the fire, it being the perfect back drop for his story.

Years ago, there were three changelings, who hatched together in the same clutch. Two were the Queen's sons, and one was the son of a random low ranking peasant, who died of starvation before his birth.

The first born grew up to be a noble warrior, the queen's loyal lapdog who never strayed far from her side, and never hesitated to do as his mother told him. He is unimportant, but know he became the attack dog of our lord.

The second was a free thinker, who never stopped questioning his mother, who he saw as weak. He was outspoken and noble. He saw the love sharing of the Changelings to be weak and ineffective, only ever leading to them starving, in a world where all life hated them.

The last was born sickly and weak. Despite their kind and gentle ways, the hive saw that he would likely not survive to live a single year, so didn't bother to try and help him. That is, all of the hive except for the second one, who took care of him, and nursed him to health.

The third and second formed a large bond. They became fast friends, and they never strode too far from each others sides.

"Wait, stop," Ember said, holding up a claw.

Morion sighed and turned to see her. "What? I thought I told you to not interrupt me," he asked.

"Sorry, but..." she said. "What does this have to do with the Overlord?"

Morion turned back to the fire, his face once again overcome with sadness as he thought back to an earlier time. "The Second and Third changelings… are Thorax and I," he said with a sigh.

Ember gritted her teeth. "S-sorry, I won't talk again."

"Thank you."

The two changelings found themselves bored of the peaceful ways of the Changelings, and like the first one, they decided to practice the art of warfare. While the first studied how to be an honorable and courageous warrior, the first and the second studied tactics alongside combat.

They saw it as not practicing to fight, but rather practicing to win. While the other changelings gathered what little food they could, or flocked around the queen while she told them stories of her time as an Element of Harmony, the two changelings sparred and trained together.

While the others read books preaching the love of Equestria and her king, and brainwashed them into compliance, the two Changelings read books of war, and practiced against each other regularly in games of logic.

Others called them crazy. They called them paranoid and evil, up until the king of Equestria disappeared. Replaced by Luna and Celestia. Most of Equestria's neighbors, barring the changelings, saw this as a moment of weakness for Equestria. A moment to claim the country for their own, but none dared to make a move. None except the Gryphon Empire.

Under the banner of their King, the Gryphons marched into Northern Equestria, reaching as far as the outskirts of Manehatten before the Ponies could just barely slow their advance.

The panicked Equestria called upon all others for aide, of any kind. The only ones to answer were the Changelings and Crystal Empire, and even then, the Crystal Empire only aided them because their queen felt she owed a debt to the two princesses.

The combined forces of the Slave Armies of the Crystal Empire, The Day and Night guard, and the Changeling Empire's forces, who amounted to nothing more than armed peasantry, slammed against the superiorly equipped and trained forces of the gryphons.

The only side who managed to make any significant advances into the enemy army were the Changelings, led by a certain two changelings who had trained their entire lives for this occasion.

They managed to give relief to the Crystal Empire and the Equestrian armies and give them time to rally and strike at the enemy and crack their iron and steel defenses, but it came at a cost.

In the end, they were cornered in a final battle, a week before the war finally ended, and they were captured.

The third... was wounded in the final moments of battle, and had to watch as his closest friend was beaten, and had his wings torn form his back. He failed to protect him.

In the end, the second, third, and 66 of their soldiers were taken into a gryphon prisoner camp. They had their wings torn off their bodies, and were forced to live their lives as prisoners, going through all kinds of torture imaginable under a truly cruel and sadistic warden.

For months after the end of the war they were kept prisoner, until finally, one amongst them, the second changeling, managed to feed on enough of his own fear and hatred to evolve and free himself.

In a bloody rampage, he killed every single gryphon he could find, before he freed the other prisoners and showed them how to do what he'd done.

In the end, he led his new army to the hive and killed the queen, wrestling the power from her, and the rest is history.

"Woah..." Ember said.

Morion nodded and sighed, before he grabbed his armor. "I have spent too much time in here. I need to get to work. I was only supposed to be in here for a couple seconds, we need to leave," he said as he put in on.

Ember nodded before they left the room together. "Thank you for telling me this... and I'm sorry about your wings," she said.

"It is fine. One cannot expect others to know everything, and you cannot exactly serve the Overlord to the best of your ability if you do not know him well enough," he said, before he slammed the door closed behind him. The two walked down the hallway together and turned the corner to come face to face with six young creatures of all species, stopping both groups in their tracks.

The eight stared at each other for a couple minutes, neither side making a move. "Uh.... Hello," the Gryphon in the group said.

Author's Note:

Some comments, some comments, My Kingdom for some comments.