• Published 31st May 2018
  • 1,875 Views, 61 Comments

A Dragon's Hoard - Amethyst_Dawn

A forbidden child is raised in the outskirts of Equestria.

  • ...

New Arrivals

Rarity’s eyes flew open, her heart was racing. There were voices, all crying out in fear and hatred as the deafening roar of an inferno pummeled the town and shook the charred walls around her. Her breathing was heavy and rapid, her throat burning with the taste of ash and the taste of burned hair. Painful tears of both water and blood slid down her cheeks as she scrambled out from underneath the cabinets, searching the rubble around her desperately the second the thunderous wingbeats passed her by. She fled from the blackened remains of her boutique, desperate to find him. To find both of them. Fires leapt up from every building she could see, reaching into the sky like a forest of great clawed fingers. The putrid stench of burning flesh grew stronger, nearly causing her to vomit in the street. Seven duplicate shadows danced around her, stretching from her hooves and crackling with the sound of cinders aflame.

“Mommy!” Rarity’s neck whipped towards the direction of the scream before she could process it, turning her towards the voice of a young filly from somewhere inside of a small shed. “Mommy! Daddy’s hurt!”

Rarity bit her lip, and charged the doors. She smashed into them with all her might, sending fiery splinters in all directions as she fell to the floor. Smoke billowed above her as fire belched out with a boom, writhing and whirling like a wounded serpent once it was allowed to escape. She didn’t give herself time to recover, fighting through the haze and scorching her coat just to climb towards the poor filly’s screams.

“He’s not waking up!” Rarity felt her heart sink at those words, fear gripping at every muscle in her body. But she pushed on, she couldn’t give up yet. She stood up to take a breath, closed her eyes, and began to race faster through the debris, leaping through a patch of smoke as thick as stone in a desperate attempt to reach the trapped ponies.

But when she fell back down, it wasn’t burning wood that her hooves landed on. Instead she felt the cold, jagged smoothness of frozen stone on her frogs. In contrast, her back and legs still felt the harsh beatings of the nearby blazes. The air was knocked from her lungs when her chest smashed against the firm ground, her forelegs had slipped upon the unexpected contact and threw her into rolling for a few feet. She opened her eyes, slowly this time, burdened with pain and weariness, and looked around her. She was in the courtyard of some mountain monastery, overlooking the conflagration that tormented Applesgate from far above. A gutteral hum tore her attention away from the carnage of her home, and locked her panicked eyes upon the massive silhouette of a mighty Drake.

The sight of the beast caused her blood to run cold, and her heart began to ache as it pulsed at paces beyond natural. Her stomach heaved with revulsion as the beast towered over her, its scales dented and impaled by ponish weapons. It turned its long neck, and slithered its massive head down to focus solely on her. The moon suddenly shone forth as if the night sky was covered by a curtain that had been pulled away, revealing the true nature of the monster. Its head was like a spade, shielded with a thick brown crest acting nearly like a helmet, and its eyes peered with green fury from behind locks of golden feathers. Its tail was raised to strike, a curved blade of pure steel stretching from the tip.

Rarity’s eyes were torn from the beast when she heard weak sobbing, and she realized she was holding a small filly in her arms. Parts of the foal’s pink mane and pearl coat were missing or blackened, and blood that wasn’t their own covered both of them.

“I’m scared,” the young thing muttered, too weak to fight what came next. “Please, I don’t like this, I don’t understand.”

“There, there,” Rarity held the filly close, and cooed in a tone as comforting as she could manage as she looked back to the dragon. “I’m sorry, but everything will be alright. This will all be over soon.”

The serpent’s eyes flared, and the tail began to move. Swiftly the blade drew closer, and aligned itself with Rarity’s neck. Her breathing steadied, she closed her eyes, and listened as the monastery around them collapsed under the weight of the dragon.

“SWEETIE BELLE!” Rarity sat up with a start, her coat drenched with sweat down to her hooves. Her sheets were mussed and torn from her distress, and her mane was frantic and disheveled. Her wide eyes stuck immediately to the doorway as the echoes of a loud clutter sounded from downstairs. Disorientedly, she pawed herself out of bed and into her slippers.

“Quite the hour to have visitors, I daresay.” She grumbled hoarsely, sliding a dagger from underneath her pillow with her magic as she rolled her eyes at herself. “Though of course I’m complaining about waking up from such a wonderful sleep. What could even be..”

A shiver went down her spine when she heard a metallic trill ring through her home, not a sound she’d ever heard before, even in the deepest woods. Her mind immediately focused on the egg. How could she have been so foolish! Some scavenger of infertile Dragan eggs must have followed its scent into her home. No doubt this creature’s hide would be thick enough for it to be a considerable threat, if it ate the eggs of such monsters. She cast a quick spell on her hooves, and walked towards the stairway.

Carefully, she set one hoof on the wall nearest to her, then the next. Without making a sound, she made her way onto the ceiling, holding her belly tightly against the surface as she eyed the ground beneath her. She gracefully scurried along the smooth surface like a large spider, and stopped when she caught sight of her new trophy.

The egg was busted open, and all the other ornaments were lying in a pool of stenchful white goop that no doubt used to be inside the egg. Rarity considered that perhaps the beast had retreated from her home after eating what it came for, but a clatter of pots and pans from her kitchen quickly discouraged her from hoping for an easy night. She took a deep breath, and continued to scuttle along the roof towards the source of the clamour, just when a sound like an annoyed piglet accompanied the grinding noises.

When she arrived in the room, she was disappointed to find nothing obvious amongst the carnage. That meant whatever destroyed her home was going to be far smaller than she would’ve liked an egg-eater to be. The oinking noise grew louder as she crept from the ceiling to the walls, hoping for a lower vantage point to spot the vermin. Much to her delight, the thing appeared to have trapped itself under one of her largest pots. She moved her dagger to her muzzle, clamping the handle between her teeth as she cautiously stepped forward towards the upturned vessel. She took a stance that made her presence feel larger to most confrontational animals, and grabbed the pot with her magic. Swiftly, it was off the floor and the animal beneath was exposed. A small, frightened hatchling Drake.

Rarity wasn’t sure what she was expecting, perhaps some sort of abnormally large insect, quadrupedal bird or even a thick breed of ferret. But this was nothing she could’ve thought to prepare for. She was frozen in shock at the sight of the vile spawn, staring at it with a caution equal to what its eyes told as it stared at her.

The little creature was only the size of a newborn foal, and held itself awkwardly on four legs. Its scales were a light purple color, darkened from still being coated in a thin layer of mucus, and it had small green spines along its head and back that matched the scales on its underbelly. It looked up at her with two vivid emerald eyes set in a face that looked keenly similar to a foal’s, fear and confusion plastered over them. The oinking sound came from a thin membrane that appeared to be stuck on the thing’s snout, flapping into the nostrils and clearly giving the creature a hard time whenever it attempted to breathe.

Rarity continued to stare at the little savage as her mind processed the implications of this encounter. Surely the mother would come into the village looking for it? And if she did, she’d raze the settlement to the ground without hesitation, leaving nopony alive this time. But if she was going to do that, why would she abandon her egg with a pony so close? Dragans never leave their nests when even the smallest threat is near.

Her mind was snapped back into the present as the little thing stumbled towards her, and its vacant eyes now seemed to read her with some vague curiosity. Rarity snorted indignantly at that, it was just like a Dragon, not even an hour old and already considering a pony as nothing more than amusement. Swiftly, her dagger flew to the monster’s neck, and the blade placed steadily beneath its chin. Rarity closed her eyes, and prepared herself to be done with it.

But nothing happened. To say that the huntress was confused would do her an injustice, it would be difficult to explain the emotion that crossed her mind as her eyes opened back to an unmoved blade. The little Drake was staring at her with its wide, foalish eyes, barely comprehending the danger it was in. Rarity shook her head violently, and tried to close her eyes again. Was the infant’s armor that thick already? No, no she hadn’t even applied any force to the knife, and the scales felt as soft as any pony’s skin.

It was then that Rarity realized she had picked the creature up, acting on an instinct she couldn’t control. It pressed its head against her chest, listening to her heartbeat like any newborn would. Rarity chided herself, swearing under her breath at her own actions. What was she doing? If anypony saw her like this, she’d be reported immediately. That was a confrontation she was not willing to have, not for the sake of a Dragon.

She started to hum quietly as the infant relaxed, standing to her hooves while still holding him firmly with a forearm. If she was going to keep him, he needed to be a secret well kept. She looked away from the infant, and stepped out of the kitchen. A dark flicker of movement from outside the window caught her eye, but after a moment staring out she decided it was a bird.

Once she was at the base of the living room stairway, she took a sharp left turn and stood before a large shelf that had been bolted to the wall. The shelves were mostly taken up by a collection of miscellaneous materials- mostly leather or coarse fur -except for one space taken by a small, porcelain figurine of a slender Unicorn. Rarity took a deep breath as the little drake squirmed, and tilted the heirloom over. There was a quiet click, and the shelf swiftly slid itself upwards along the wall, exposing an opening just large enough for the mare to duck through. Once inside, she slid the opening closed behind her, feeling a swish of air across the back of her neck.

A small glow lit from the tip of her horn illuminated the spiraling stairs before her, descending into a compact cellar that smelled strongly of earth and entombed dust. She took care of where she placed her steps as she gently paced into the stillness, and twisted a knob in the dark with her magic. The loud click of the entrance shutting behind them echoed off the stone walls. The baby in her arms was now fast asleep as the glow of an oil lantern filled the room, emanating its own warmth but still clinging dearly to her chest. Rarity found herself smiling down at the creature as she stepped into the basement, weaving through chests and crates towards a large couch.

The couch itself was immensely plush, but still firm enough to provide comfort and a feeling of sturdiness. Its design was reminiscent of a large, red leaf trimmed with silver, with an armrest and pillow set only on one end. In front of the far end of the couch was a small nightstand, atop of which sat a small glass dome. And inside of that set a pair of golden rings. Rarity set herself comfortably on the cushions, only then did the reality of how tired she actually was sink in for her. She couldn’t summon the will to do much else than hold the creature close as she set her eyes on the rings with a sad smile, and muttered to herself while she fell into a warm darkness.

“Time to make things right, I suppose.”

There was a small flash of pink light in the corner of Rarity’s eye just before she welcomed the embrace of sleep.

The hooded figure stood outside the ornate building, smiling to themselves with an air of satisfaction. A burst of pink light, and a quill and scroll appeared in their hooves; along with a small inkwell. They quickly penned a long note, and removed their hood with a glow of magic. The slender Unicorn sighed as she finished the letter, and sent it away with a quick blaze, watching as the sparkling ashes flew into the west.

“Hey!” The mare was startled from her pondering once a burly Earthen shouted at her from the other side of the street. She glanced over her shoulder, wearing an expression of dismissive inconvenience. The large red stallion walked towards her, admirably attempting to hide the worry in his voice as he spoke again, his demands firm as he stamped a hoof. “What were you doing in there?”

The stallion stopped a respectable distance from her, in spite of his combative tone. In reply, the mare offered him a relaxed smile, casually adjusting her spectacles with a hoof and pulling out a platinum pendant in her aura, the sight of which caused the stallion’s eyes to pop open. He bowed low to the ground, and altered his tone to bear more respect when he spoke again.

“I’m sorry for the scare, your highness.” He muttered as he stood up, briefly taken aback as the mare was suddenly face-to-face with him, almost towering over him. “But… uh, the mare that lives there is important to me. And the rest of the town, as well. I just wanted to be sure she wasn’t under any threat.” At this, the Unicorn glanced back at the home behind her, tilting her head to one side curiously.

“Why is her home so grand?” She asked, an unexpectedly blunt tone to her voice. “Is she the Mayor? Or an advisor?”

“She’s a Belle, Ma’am.” The stallion answered, realizing just who he must be talking to. “Aside from the Apple Family, she’s the most respected mare for miles. She’s even a Dragon slayer! Why, just this week she came back with an egg, placed it on her mantle.”

“So I’ve seen,” the mare remarked simply, turning her attention back to the other. “Tell me, what is your name?”

“Macintosh, Ma’am.” The stallion stated, nodding his head. “Firstborn of the Matriarch’s son, though I doubt that’s as impressive as a scribe for the Queen herself, Miss…?”

“Sparkle,” the Unicorn stated, extending a hoof. “Lady Twilight Sparkle of Canterlot, Assistant to the Queen of the Sun.” The stallion took her hoof to shake it, only to collapse in the dirt of the street with a flash of Twilight’s horn. “And you will remember me not, until next you hear my name.”

With that, she vanished in a flash of pink, leaving the stallion in the street.

Author's Note:

Chapter three is out, guys! :yay:

As always: critiques, criticisms and corrections are more than welcome, opinions as well as input will be considered for the story's development, and please leave a upvote or downvote depending on your impressions so far. Any and all feedback is appreciated and important for me to continue this project.

Thank you all for reading, I hope you're enjoying!

EDIT: Rewritten 9/7/20

Until Next Time, God Bless You!
~Amethyst Dawn :heart: