• Published 30th Apr 2019
  • 7,680 Views, 395 Comments

New Moon - AzuraKeres

Centuries ago, Luna was shunned by her ponies and exiled at the hooves of her elder sister. She perished in her solitude, but her soul lived on through a stone. And some unknown time later a voice calls her to come out.

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02 - Fracture (2e)

Author's Note:

Gold Jaeger

A private owner of museums that likes to collect the exotic. His taste had spread to living creatures, and now he wishes to obtain the rarest of them all.

A party of two ponies and griffons scavenged through a dense dark forest. The constant rustle from the grass, trees, and bushes and clicking from crickets were working the nerves of the travelers. From dawn, the group had traversed the woods and for undying hours they quivered for signs of predators. Within the night, with only lamps holstered on each creature, and small rays of light from the crescent moon, they were finally able to discover a cave within a clearing.

Their travel possibly took them across every end of the Everfree forest. The misfortunes they endured from running into manticores within large crevices, cockatrices looming from the bushes, and Timberwolves that pounced them at their inconvenience. A few of their numbers were doomed to dwindle by the creatures’ sharp jaws.

But their leader did not care. He saw their casualty as an inevitability, which is why he brought only the most expendable of his collection with him. Those he could easily replace. If he was truly walking on a fool’s errand from his anonymous source, he preferred not to damage his most valued belongings.

But now, here he was. Within this cave lies the object to his most desired treasure. “I’ve finally found you,” said a yellow stallion who approached a diamond-surfaced tree within the cave. He rubbed down its crystalline trunk with a hoof. It was densely smooth despite its sharp edges; yet also so fragile that he could possibly rupture it if applied enough force.

“Is this it,” a male gray griffon voiced as he approached the yellow stallion. Behind the yellow stallion remained only two griffons and a stallion that gazed neutrally at him. The griffons were the last of his assets to survive this journey. “This is what you risked our life for, Gold? You forced us into these awful woods and lose so many of my kind just so you can find some stupid tree!?"

The yellow stallion’s horn radiated red as a metal collar strapped around the griffon made a clunking sound. The griffon collapsed to his knees, bearing his claws on the collar that clenched around his neck and had him gasping for air moments later.

“Wait,” the griffon croaked. “Stop...Please.”

“I usually don’t like to hear any guff from my belongings,” Gold said. “Especially from ones so mediocre.” Gold gazed coldly at the croaking griffon and then unfastened the collar before the griffon's eyes became bloodshot. Despite the griffon's dull worth, he rathered not blemish his property. Well, as little as he possibly can. “Let this be a reminder to never question my decisions. I bought you only for your servitude. If you can't do something so simple, then I can always take you back to that cesspool of a cell those vendors placed you in.” The stallion turned towards the other griffon, a blue griffon that glanced painfully at his heaving companion before him. "That goes for you as well."

“Yes sir,” the blue griffon answered.

Gold turned his attention back at the tree. He noticed six empty sockets within each of its branches. No doubt the missing objects that belonged there were currently in the possession of Princess Celestia; which only confirms that this was indeed the place he was looking for.

“So you are the fabled Tree of Harmony,” Gold spoke to the tree. “Many centuries ago, my ruler used your powers to seal away a very rare specimen. You might remember it to be the embodiment of the night. A monster that epitomizes all terror that lurks beneath the moon. I really must thank you and the princess for preserving her, else I may have never been given this opportunity. I intend to add her to my collection and you will be the key to do so.”

The stallion nodded at the two griffons. “Make yourselves useful and break a branch or two for me.”

The blue griffon flapped by the gray griffon’s side and helped him back to his feet. The gray griffon was able to recollect his breathing and grimaced at the collar that remained harnessed around his neck.

“Move,” the stallion behind the two said with a rough voice. The gray griffon quivered and swiftly flew before that stallion's horn may alight. The other griffon soberly followed behind him.

The two withdrew an ax that they holstered with leather belts on their back. Picking a particular spot, the two slammed the curved blades of the ax upon the branch, bashing shards off of it until it finally broke off and fell.

Gold enshrouded the fallen branch in a red aura before it hit the ground and levitated it before him. He was quick to notice the sudden dimness of the light emanating from the tree. Its light briefly flickered before it found balance with a weaker brightness. Before the two griffons could begin on another branch, the stallion yelled, “Stop!”

The griffons halted and glanced at the yellow stallion. Without a word from their beaks, the two descended themselves to the ground. “I’ll settle with one for now. My efforts may prove fruitless if my only resource of the elements were to die.”

The stallion placed the branch atop the back of the returning griffons. “Be good slaves and carry it for me.” The griffons quietly heaved the branch out the cave as the two stallions followed behind.

When they returned under the darkness of night, Gold looked up to the sky for the moon, where his greatest treasure currently lied. Soon, he would finally find a way to undo the barrier that binds the mythical creature. He waited to see the crescent moon within a clearing of the moving clouds, but to his dismay, it appeared nowhere in sight. “Odd, I could’ve sworn I saw it before.”