• Published 10th Apr 2018
  • 6,094 Views, 233 Comments

Kulaas ahrk Dovah - SkarinOfAtmora



While studying the Tree of Harmony, Princess Twilight Sparkle stumbles upon and releases an ancient evil hidden deep beneath the tree itself. Luckily, she also releases the only one who can stop it...

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1 - Into the enchanted chamber

Ever since their discovery of the Tree of Harmony there was a nagging feeling in the mind of the young alicorn princess known as Twilight Sparkle. A feeling there was more to the Tree than meets the eye, some big secret that not even her mentor Princess Celestia knew about. As if the Tree was part of something much bigger than the Elements it held or even the box from the flower. Something was telling the young alicorn that this was just the tip of the iceberg. But what could it be? The scene was pretty straight forward: a magical tree, inside a magical cave, located near the old castle of the two princessess. There were no other stone corridors, no other objects in the cave, nothing that said Hey, I'm hiding something! and it was driving the young princess crazy.

"Aaaargh! This is so frustrating! " said princess threw her arms up in frustration after her hundreth time of inspecting the cave top to bottom "I know there's something else here! I can feel it! " she then dropped to her knees in defeat "If I could only find it..." a tiny pebble fell on her shoulder as if presenting itself as the major discovery but Twilight simply brushed it off her school uniform and sighed in desparation "Maybe the girls were right. I could just be overthinking it. " trying to reason with herself never went well with young Twilight and neither did now. Her passion for science and new discoveries lit up like a volcano and she rose to her feet with fire in her eyes "No! In the name of science, and proving my friends wrong, but mostly science, I will find this secret you're hiding Tree! " a new-found energy coursed through her, new strength pushing her forward "Even if I have to tear this place apart pebble by pebble! " stomping her hoof down she was ready to prove her determination.

CRACK

Looking down in surprise Twilight saw a large crack spreading in the stone ground beneath her.

"Uh-oh... " smaller cracks branching out "Nononononono- " as if answering her pleading the spreading stopped "Whew... " breathing a sigh of relief Twilight moved... A finger. Part of the floor crumbled down into a black abyss and the rest soon followed, taking a surprised Twilight with it. Somehow teleporting to safety slipped her mind but luckily she managed to summon a protection spell around her body as she fell down into the abyss along with the rocks.

To her surprise the abyss wasn't so abyssmal, more like a 10 feet hole beneath the surface. Landing relatively safe, she blinked a couple of times in confusion "Huh... Looked much deeper from up th- " she never finished her thought as her eyes widened in sudden realization. Directly in front of her was a root from the Tree of Harmony. Nothing strange about that, no, it was the fact that it led to a small tunnel! Like, barely big enough for Twilight to crawl through it. But...

"I KNEW IT! " jumping out of her rocky surroundings Twilight did a little victory dance, hands pumping overhead and hooves tap dancing below "I knew It, I knew it, I knew IT! Ooooh this is going to be my greatest discovery EVER! " her eyes practically had stars in them "I, Twilight Sparkle, will be the first pony to reveal the greatest secret of the Tree of Harmony! " stopping her victory dance she got serious again "Now I just have to find out what it actually is. " and so with a new-found pep in her step, Twilight bravely tackled the tight tunnel and followed the Tree's root wherever it may take her.

That was half an hour ago.

"Feels like I'm going in circles... " Twilight sighed as she crawled on through the seemingly endless tunnel, the only light provided by the soft glow of her horn. She was about to give up when another light joined. Literally a light at the end of the tunnel, a dim, light greenish one to be precise. There was also some strange buzzing sound "What is that? " finding relief that the tunnel was hopefully coming to an end, Twilight pushed on until she finally reached the end and could actually stand up. Her bones gave a satisfying pop as she finally streched out, her aching body finally getting some relief from the cramped tunnel she was in. Looking down she saw the light source and kneeled to inspect it "It's a glowing plant. " upon closer inspection she noticed something else "And it's humming. I've never seen anything like it. " she opened the satchel she always carried and pulled out a small paper bag "Better take a leaf sample and find out what it is. " as soon as she plucked a leaf of the plant, the entire thing stopped glowing and humming "That's strange... " with a confused look she placed the leaf in the bag and the bag in her satchel. Standing up Twilight noticed it was dark again so she cast a simple light spell to illuminate the way. It was so dark that she could only see a few feet in front of her but decided to march on nevertheless. First thing she did was step into a small puddle and groan "Horseapples... " she looked down at her hoof and promptly shook the water off and continued forward, still looking down to avoid more puddles, only to crash into something hard that sent her right on her butt "Really? It just isn't my... Day... " as she was raising her head to look at the obstacle ahead she realized it was a statue "Oh... My... Celestia... " mouth agape, eyes wide and realization struck "A statue of a pony! " jumping to her hooves she examined it more closely when her light illuminated the statue better "Wait... That's not a pony... " truly, it was not.

The closest description she could give it was a monkey but it stood tall and straight like a pony would. Further examination showed something else "Female? " deducing that from the shapely figure and an obvious rounded chest. The statue was covered in dust and cobwebs, probably from being underground for who knows how long, and it was posed in a strange manner. The right arm was stretched out, open palm facing up as if it was supposed to be holding something. Twilight decided to remove at least some dirt from the statue to get a better look. Once she did it was once more confirmed that the statue was indeed that of a female. Her short mane, as Twilight guessed what it was, was reaching her shoulders and two small braids going around her head and tied in the back. As for the clothes it was a very revealing outfit, showing enough cleavage to give Rarity a run for her bits and even it's design looked masterfully crafted with a short cape on the back and a hood. Knee-high boots looked to be armored as were the long gloves on her arms and even the large belt looked strong. Twilight has never seen anything like it "What are you? " stepping back she looked around "Is this somekind of ancient temple? " her curiosity peeked she continued walking and soon another statue appeared before her.

This one also looked female but the clothes were rather... Concealing. From head to toe everything was covered except for the eyes under the hood. She did make out some sort of bird in the armor's design, a raven perhaps? There was also a bow and quiver on her back and a dagger on her lower back. And was that a tail? Like before, this statue held the same pose "Maybe they represent some ancient ritual... " mulling over the possibilities in her head, Twilight reached yet another statue.

This one was definitely male and on top of that, it looked scary. The armor, she guessed, was made of plates, large ones over his shoulders and thighs, a sword in it's scabbard on the left hip, and what Twilight assumed, hoped, was a helmet because the angry looking eyes and fanged mouth appeared hollow, almost demonic. The helmet was also plated around to presumably offer protection as if the scary face wasn't enough.

Taking a step back, Twilight looked at the creature before her and came to the same conclusion as before "The same pose on all three statues... " Twilight tapped her chin in thought "There has to be more to this. " turning away she put some distance between herself and the three statues. Turning back towards them her horn lit up and sent a powerful illumination spell into the air, shining a bright light in all directions. Satisfied with the result she looked around the brightly lit chamber in front of her "There! Much better! " ready to explore once more she bagan to turn around to see what's behind her "And now to-DRAGON!!! " Twilight screamed in horror when she came dangerously close to a wide open dragon maw. Scurrying backward she hit something hard which caused her to jump in fright and dashing towards the exit. While she was running for her life, Twilight glanced behind her to see if the dragon was following her only to stop in her tracks " By Celestia... " looking back at her "pursuer", Twilight realized the dragon was actually a statue. Not only that but the dragon looked nothing like the ones she knew. Compared to them, this one looked small, but much, much more terrifying. It's body was covered in long spikes that looked very sharp and deadly. The long tail was no different and even the claws on it's legs were looking deadly. Speaking of legs, this dragon had no front legs, rather, the wings were the front legs. Suffice to say this dragon sent a chill down her spine unlike anything she encountered before. Looking at it from a distance Twilight realized it was posed in a combat stance, facing off against a creature that resembeld the statues she first discovered. The left arm was holding up a shield towards the dragon while the right held a sword in what appeared to be mid-swing. Whate made Twilight's skin crawl the most was the fact that the knight's armor, she assumed he was one, appeared to be made of large bones, horned-helmet and all "What kind of pony... -being, makes an armor out of bones? " having seen enough Twilight's horn glowed "I have to get the Prinesses. " and with a flash, she was gone.


Meanwhile in Canterlot...

Inside the throne room, Celestia was holding her usual day court where her subjects could express their concerns, suggestions, complaints and most often than not, some outrageous demands. Today was no different as the nobles of Canterlot demanded lower taxes for nobility while increasing the ones for the general populace. Celestia wanted nothing more than kick them out on their pompus flanks but alas as Princess of Equestria she had to remain civil. She would list to their "fair proposal", say she will consider their proposition, but not actually do it, and then politely decline a few days after, starting this process all over again. In moments like these Celestia desperately prayed for some disaster to strike that required her immediate attention "Perhaps Spike eating too much gems and having a bad tummy ache. Yes, I suppose that is disasterous enough... " she tought to herself and sighed quietly "I could relly use some cake right now... " as if answering her silent prayers, Twilight Sparkle literally popped into the throne room in a state of panic "Oh thank the Sun! " Celestia rose from her throne with a big smile and addressed her star pupil.

"My dear stu- " Twilight shot towards her mentor like a bullet and stopped only inches away before begining her tidal wave of an explanation.

"PrincessCelestia!IwasresearchingtheTreeofHarmonywhenIfellthroughthegroundandthenfoundatunnelthatledtothishuuugechamberwithstatuesbutthosewerenotponystatuesandtherewasadragonand-MMPF! " Twilights onslaught was silenced by Celestia putting her palm over Twilights muzzle "Mmmpffmfpmmpfffmpffmmmppff- " okay maybe not.

"Twilight? " Celestia tried to calm down the young mare who was now waveing her arms around, trying to explain something.

"Mmmmffppmpmpfff- " nope.

"Twilight? "

"Mmpffffmmppmpppffff- "

"TWILIGHT! " not using her Royal voice, though not far from it, she managed to get Twilights attention "Twilight... relax, take a deep breath and start from the beginning. Okay? " the younger Alicorn nodded and when Celestia removed her hand from Twilight's muzzle she did just as told and began anew.

"As I was saying, I was researching the Tree of Harmony beacuse I felt there was something more to discover. "

"From your sudden appearance and behavior I assume there was? " Celestia asked, her gentle smile still present.

"Of course! Oh and what a discovery it was! " Twilight was getting excited again but Celestia let her continue "You see, first I fell through the floor- "

"And injured your head apparently. " some noble tried to quietly be funny and caused some snickers.

"I heard that. " Celestia's quick glare was enough to silence the noblepony. Twilight, however, was oblivious.

"-and there was this tunnel so I decided to follow it. Once I did, it took me this huge dark chamber and after casting a strong illumination spell there were these statues- "

"Congratulations, you found an ancient pony ruin, good for you! Can we get back to what's important now? " the same noble from before was mere seconds away from being tossed out by Celestia herself until Twilight spoke to him directly.

"Those weren't statues of ponies. " this piqued Celestia's interest "In fact, the statues resembled no species known to Equus. " this got the crowd murmuring "Even the dragon statue was unlike any seen before. "

"Do you have any idea what they could be, Twilight? " this was a shocking revelation to Celestia. The discovery of a temple beneath the Tree could change everything they know about it.

"Well... I did get a good look at one... " Twilight said uncertanly "First I thought it was a monkey but then I remembered something from my early days in Ponyville. " it was as if Twilight was ashamed of what she was about to say "I was organizing the library books when I found one hidden under one of the bookstands. It looked very old and in bad condition... " Celestia almost immediately knew what book Twilight was talking about "It was written by Star Swirl the Bearded. The book's name was- "

"The Scroll. " Celestia finished with a hint of disbelief. Her conclusion caused an uproar among the nobles in the hall.

"That is preposterous! " one of the nobles screamed in outrage "The Scroll was written after Star Swirl went completely mad! A great mind for sure, but after he snapped he began to descend into madness! " the other nobles nodded in agreement " Tales of tall monkeys, yellow creatures with pointy ears and walking lizards? " Twilight's ears flopped aginst her head.

"Everypony please! I know it sounds crazy but I think he was right! " Celestia's heart felt for her young student.

"And talking cats? " this statement was followed by enormous laughter. Tears threatened to flow from Twilight's eyes but she somehow managed to hold them in "Oh oh! Or how about that world eating dragon? What was the name again? Alduin? " most of the nobles were rolling on the floor laughing and Twilight could no longer hold her tears. The most groundbraking discovery in years and this was how they treated her? Finally, Celestia had enough of their appaling behavior.

"ENOUGH! " her Royal Canterlot voice shook the walls of the throne room and everypony immediately stood to attention "Your disgusting behavior to your Princess is unexcusable! Get out of my sight! All of you! " the ponies rushing out of the room could have sworn Celestia's mane caught fire. The Sun Princess then hugged her young student and rubbed her back in a comforting manner "It's okay dear Twilight. Let it all out... " her calm motherly voice did manage to somewhat calm Twilight down.

"*Sniff* S-so... You believe me? " Twilight asked with her eyes red and puffy from crying, cheeks stained with tears. Celestia smiled reassuringly.

"Of course I do Twilight. " the young alicorn smiled "I do believe you found something, but for now let's not get ahead of ourselves, okay? This is a very, very sensitive topic so we must be one hundred percent sure before we go public with this information. " Twilight understood what was said but still wanted her mentor to fully agree.

"I-I understand. "

"Now, I need you to calm down, gather the Elements of Harmony and come back here so we can find the answers together. " this surprised Twilight.

"You're coming with me? "

"Of course I am. " Celestia answered ever so gently "If this is what you say it is, then I want to see it firsthoof. " then she leaned closer and quietly added "Personally, between you and me, Star Swirl was my idol as a young filly so this will be fan-mare moment for me. " with a wink at the end Twilight finally smiled.

"I never figured you for a Star Swirl fan-mare. It's... "

"Strange? "

"Refreshing, actually. " Twilight answered "Makes you more relatable. " she finished with a cheeky smile to which Celestia playfully stuck her tongue out. After a short laugh Twilight put her game-face on "Anyway, I'll go gather the Elements and- "

BOOM

Snapping their heads towards the large wooden doors of the throne room the two alicorns saw Discord standing there with random confetti popping around him.

"Goooood morning Canterlot! " with a pop he appeared between Twilight and Celestia and hugged them tightly, smushing their heads together "Isn't it a beautiful day? Birds chirping, the Sun shining in the sky and nobles laughing their balloon heads off! " taking a deep, deep breath he exhaled it with great satisfaction "I love the smell of chaos in the morning! " he let them go and began inspecting his claws "So, what was that about? " he asked with a big, one-tooth grin.

"Nothing you should concern yourself abou, Discord. " Celestia answered sternly.

"Really? Cuz' I could have sworn I heard Star Swirl and scroll in the same sentence. C'mon Sunshine, I just know it's juicy! "

"Don't call me Sunshine, Discord. "

"Sunbutt then? "

"Discord! " a faint blush crept to Celestia's cheeks.

"Fine, don't tell me. " the draconequus huffed in annoyance and crossed his arms "But I will find out eventually. I'll just ask Fluttershy! " a sly grin spread on his muzzle causing Celestia to sigh in defeat.

"If you must know, Twilight may have made a big discovery today. " this got Discord's attention.

"Did she now? " he got rather close to the Princess of Friendship "Do tell. "

"W-well... I was doing research on the Tree of Harmony when I fell through the ground and foind this ancient looking chamber. " her explanation caused Discord's eyes to widen a take a few steps back.

"Sorry, what now? " Celestia suddenly grew suspicious of his behavior.

"And there were these- "

"Statues? " he finished in an uneasy voice.

"Yes! And one was- "

"A dragon... " for the first time in a long time, Celestia saw Discord afraid.

"Yes! How did you... " now even Twilight grew suspicious and narrowed her eyes at Discord "Know? "

"Yes, how did you know? " Celestia joined in on the questioning but Discord didn't even looked fazed by it. Though what came next left both Celestia and Twilight shocked. Discord once again smushed their heads together and spoke very quietly and very omniously.

"Now you listen and listen good. Do not go back there. I mean it! "

"You knew about this? " Celestia tried to pull away but Discord wouldn't have it.

"I am deathly serious Celestia! Forget what you saw, bury the entrance and never speak of this again! " Twilight somehow managed to escape Discord's hug.

"We can't just forget this! This could be the gratest discovery in the history of Equestria! " the young mare said while raising her voice.

"What's gotten into you Discord? " Celestia was now convinced Discord knew something.

"Princess Celestia, I'm going to gather the Elements and meet you here as planned. " Twilight said with conviction.

"Listen to me Twilight! Don't go back there with your friends! You don't know what you're dealing with! " his warnings fell on deaf ears "I'm warning you Sparkle! "

"Warning her, Discord? " Celestia approached the draconequus with a deadly glare "You don't get to warn anypony. Now leave before I change my mind about your stay in Equestria. " her only response was Discord growling menacingly "Twilight, gather the Elements. Go, now. " the two still locked in a glaring contest.

"Yes Princess. " before she could teleport Discord had one last thing to say.

"You'll never get Fluttershy! " before vanishing into thin air. Twilight recognized Celestia's expression and intervened before something rash may happen.

"Relax Princess. He's not going to hurt her if that's what you're worried about. "

"It's not that Twilight. " Celestia's brows schurnched in thought "Discord doesn't usually act like this. Usually he would encourage us to look into this and laugh at the chaos it caused. But now... " she sighed and continued "I believe he knows more than he's letting on. If Dicord thinks it's a bad idea- " she couldn't believe she was about to say this "- maybe we should listen. "

"Then we don't bring the Elements... " Twilight said while rubbing her chin in thought.

"What do you mean? "

"He specifically said don't go back there with your friends, which would mean whatever is down there is tied to the Elements. " she began pacing "Which means if the Elements aren't there, we've got nothing to worry about. " Celestia could see some sense behind her logic.

"So what do you suggest we do? "

"The two of us go, maybe Princess Luna if she's awake, and some of your guards just in case. "

"Twilight, are you sure about this? " Celestia was feeling uneasy about the whole thing altogether.

"Princess Celestia, the statues I saw down there were posed in a specific way. L-like a ritual or something similar. " she looked her mentor in the eyes, filled with determination "For all we know, these beings could be the first to discover the Elements of Harmony. This could give us new knowledge about the Elements themselves. " Celestia chewed her lip in deep thought "Just a quick peek and we're out. Maybe we find a book or something that will give us answers. " this was not an easy decision to make and Celestia hated those. While this could shed more light on the Elements of Harmony and give answers to questions they couldn't even ask right now, it could also unleash an ancient evil upon their land. Star Swirl was deemed mad after publishing his book but the conviction and details he put into it always gnawed at Celestia for some reason. Madpony or no, she always thought there was something behind that book and now with Twilight's discovery she didn't know what to think anymore. What she did know was that Twilight will return there eventually, bless her curious heart, so Celestia decided to get this over with now to avoid potential future disasters. With a heavy sigh Celestia made her decision.

"Very well- " a big smile appeared on Twilight's face "-we shall go investigate. Go in and go out as quickly as possible. " Twilight's smile threatened to wrap around her head.

"Huzzah! Adventure awaits! " heads snapped to the new arrival who was stealthily hiding behind one of the stone pillars "We must make haste! " Luna strode towards the doors. Seeing nopony was following her she looked at her fellow princessess "What is the saying these days? We're burning daylight? " and with that she went outside to gather the royal guards.

"Well I guess Princess Luna is joining us. " Twilight said with a sheepish smile which earned her a raised brow from Celestia "I'llll go get my things. " and with a poof, she was gone.


Back in the ancient chamber once again, Twilight made use of her time and began scouring it for clues. She even discovered three more statues on the opposite side she didn't see before and many separate chambers all around. Celestia and Luna stood to the side with their respective guards and observed the sight before them.

"What does all this mean sister? " Luna asked while inspecting the statue of the female Twilight first discovered. The Princess of the Night wondered how the statues were so well preserved. She tapped the shoulder of the statue and found the stone to be solid, as if the statue was made just recently.

"I do not know Luna. What I do know is that this changes everything. " Celestia wondered if these statues were remnants of an ancient civilization that possibly preceeded them? But how is that possible? Even her parents pointed out that ponies, griffins and even changelings were present since the beggining. And not to sound rude but her parents were ancient so they must have known what they were talking about. In any case, this place was making her feel uneasy so she decided to end this little expedition.

"Twilight? It's time to go. " mentioned alicorn poked her head from behind a stone.

"Awww! Five more minutes? " she whined in a foal-like manner. Celestial could only giggle at her student's antics.

"I'm afraid time is up dear Twilight. We must go. " she motioned for Twilight to come along.

"Okay. " her ears dropped sadly and she made her way towards the Princessess only to stop in the middle of the chamber, right in front of the dragon and the knight "I just don't get. There's nothing here! No books, no pottery, no weapons no nothing! " putting her hands on her hips she continued "Either there was nothing there to begin with or- " her ears suddenly perked up "Do you hear that? " Celestia also perked her ears to hear better.

"Yes. It sounds like- "

"Bats. " Luna finished nonchalantly and on cue a giant swarm of bats flew out of one of the side chambers and went straight at Twilight.

"EEEEEEK!!! GET THEM OFF! GET THEM OFF! " Twilight flailed her arms wildly trying to shake off the swarm that passed around. While doing so she tripped but managed to catch herself with one arm on the dragon's maw and the other on the knight's shield. Steadying herself Twilight faced the Princessess "Now, I know you're gonna' say they're more afraid of me than- " she noticed their stunned expressions "What? "

"Twilight... What did you do? " Celestia asked short of breath.

"I didn't do anything. " came a confused response. Luna simply pointed her finger, signaling something was happening behind her. Twilight didn't need to turn around, she could already feel it. Enormous amout of magic was being released behind her, unlike anything she ever felt before. Slowly turning around anyway, she was met with a stunning display. Magical energy swirled around the knight and dragon, tearing away bits and pieces of stone to reveal something underneath. Now everything came together, Star Swirls book, Discords warnings the Elements of Harmony "Oh no... " Twilight was unconciously stepping back towards her mentor.

"What is happening? " Luna yelled over the loudness of the magic whirlwind before them, the royal guards drawing their weapons to be ready. Celestia knew what was happening but she refused to believe it. She refused to believe that they just unleashed an ancient evil upon their land to which, ironically enough, Discord warned them about. Twilight was in a state of shock to say the least.

"What have I done... " burying her face in her hands she began crying and Celestia hugged her tightly for some comfort.

"We have to stop it! " Luna yelled once again over the magic storm in front "Sister! We have to- " she couldn't finish as a new voice made itself present. It was more of a growl, one so terrifying and loud it shook the very air around them, sending shivers down their spines. And just as the growling ended so did the magical storm. Bits and pieces of stone still crumbling away from the statues, one stone uncovering a blood red dragon eye.

Then all Oblivion broke loose...

Author's Note:

Aaaaand that's it for the firsr chapter. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I'll answer any questions spoiler-free if there's something you wish to know.

See ya' in chapter two: Awaken