• Published 13th Dec 2018
  • 4,956 Views, 261 Comments

It Sleeps Beneath Foal Mountain - the7Saviors

Something isn't quite right about Tree of Harmony, and Twilight Sparkle will do whatever she can to find out what. The mystery she stumbles upon however, reaches much farther than she knows, and she'll soon find some secrets are best kept hidden...

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Was it a blessing... or a curse?

My initial flight over the unnamed western forest was as uneventful as I hoped it would be, and for a time, I was able to enjoy the cool breeze that buffeted me as I soared low over the sea of trees below me. It was a different sort of chill from what I'd experienced in my dream. It was a tranquil, yet bracing sort of chill that I couldn't get enough of.

The only thing keeping me from complete contentedness, was the blasted soreness and irritating itch in my eyes. No matter how much time passed, the irksome sensations never seemed to fade—that is, until the hour began to grow late.

I'd occasionally stopped to rest whenever I saw a clearing below, the length of my journey requiring it, and I'd found that the sensations were much less bothersome beneath the shade of the trees where there was ample shadow to hide from the light of the sun.

From what I could tell, my retinas had somehow become oddly sensitive to light, and this worried me a great deal. It was not a severe aversion thankfully—far from it, but it was enough to cause some noticeable discomfort. More than once I ruminated on just how this was possible, and what had caused such a change.

It was clear that the dream had much to do with it, though by what kind of magic I wasn't sure. I wasn't even fully convinced that it was magic that had done this to me, and given what I'd been through, it may very well have been due to something beyond my capacity to understand.

Still, beneath all the discomfort, confusion, and unease, my insatiable curiosity and studious fascination were roused. The idea that I might've been gradually changing into some creature of the night like the vampony legends of old crossed my mind, but I laughed the notion away.

This change, however it may have originated and whatever it may have been, was not the result of some mythical monster from a foalish Nightmare Night story, I was all but certain of it. Whatever did this to me, was no doubt connected to everything else that had happened over the course of several months.

As I thought about my dream—as I thought about that terrible black abyss, I too thought about the words of the eerie stallion in black. He had mentioned much about a coming darkness and my involvement in bringing it about. I had to assume that this new development was somehow related, but how?

Why did it happen? How did it happen? What was that beast in the dark and what had it intended to do? Questions heaped upon questions and yet I had no answers for any of what I was experiencing. Until I met with Daring Do, I could only document these frightening experiences within my journal, and document I did.

Day eventually gave way to night, and it was as Luna had raised the moon that my worries began to give way to intellectual intrigue. Night had fallen, and with it, the soreness and itching had all but vanished. I could still feel it vaguely, but it was a mere whisper compared to what it had been before during the day.

As if that hadn't been enough, I could see fairly well in the unlit darkness, moreso than I normally would've been able to during a particularly bright full moon. My urge to study this phenomena had increased significantly, yet I was also self aware enough to realize just how odd the change in my demeanor was.

I eventually found yet another clearing and touched down to make camp for the night. I put up my safety wards and set up the tent I'd magically shrunken and stored away, then set out to grab some wood for a fire. As I began my trek through the darkened forest, I went about casting some magelight from my horn, only to gasp and clench my eyes shut from the bright magenta flare.

I quickly put out the light and blinked away the spots in my eyes. To my amazement, I found I didn't need the light to see my surroundings. It was still dark and there were still shadows through which I couldn't see, but I found I could get along well enough without any visible light source save for the pale light of the moon.

Standing here in this dark wood, I was forced to confront the fear I'd held since the discovery of my affliction. Something unnatural had occurred during my dream, and as a result, I'd been changed, there was no denying it now.

While I could still see just fine for the most part during the day, my vision now leaned more nocturnal than diurnal. What's more, I felt oddly at ease in my current surroundings, perfectly content to wander about this dark wood on my own.

It was nothing like my journey through the Everfree, and for once, beyond the fear and uncertainty, I felt a relief that I hadn't felt in months. Still, something was terribly wrong and despite my fascination, I grew wary of this unexpected development.

I thought on what this could mean, and I found the words of Sound Mind returning to me once again. That I had experience such horror after that unsettling encounter with the stallion in black could be no mere coincidence, that at least, I was sure of.

Unable to do anything about my current predicament, I decided to leave it alone for the moment and continue my errand. I wandered the woods, gathering what I needed for the campfire, and wondering whether or not it would even be necessary, given my apparently enhanced nighttime vision.

Then, as if to remind me of the other practical use for an open flame, a cold wind blew past and cause to me shiver slightly in its wake. I pressed onward and, within the next half hour or so, I returned to my campsite with an ample amount of firewood.

Once I'd set the campfire ablaze, and made myself comfortable next to it, I spent the next few hours simply gazing up into the night sky and, perhaps unwisely, ruminating on everything I'd experienced up to this point. I perused my journal, carefully trying to pick apart what I'd written so far in order to make some sort of sense of it all, only to fail utterly and miserably.

Though I'd had many adventures in the past, nothing like this had ever happened before, and I was woefully unprepared for such things—such mysterious and morbid things as the recent events that had befallen me.

The world around me was quiet, save for the soft crackle of the open flame before me. As with the darkness, the silence was not at all like that of the Everfree. The lack of noise was, in fact, rather comfortable and, feeling at ease, I allowed myself to drop my guard for the moment.

Taking advantage of that comfortable silence, I became somewhat introspective for a time. I thought upon the unease, uncertainty and outright horror I felt regarding my predicament, and how it was at great odds with my insatiably curious and polymathic nature.

I was fully aware of the possible danger and utter stupidity of what I was trying to accomplish. I was aware that I should've simply let things be as they were, for if the dreams and visions were anything to go by—and they were at that—things would become a lot more grim.

What awaited me down the path I had chosen for myself, I knew not, but still I pressed onward, pulled forth by a desperate need to know, and the promise of truth, grave or not. I also needed to know what had set these events into motion and why.

What were these strange and monstrous entities that haunted my dreams? What in Celestia's name did I see upon being cast into those horrid, star strewn domains? Was it vivid, nightmarish fantasy, or a sign that there was more to our universe than I could have ever possibly imagined?

How was the Tree of Harmony involved? Who or rather what was that doppelgänger really? Many were the days I could've spent pondering such questions, yet for all my internal queries, I remained frustratingly devoid of any answers. That would soon change once I reached my destination, but, being the kind of pony that I was, it galled me that I was unable to resolve the riddles on my own.

I had learned much of friendship since my days as the Princess's protégé, and with that, I'd learned to rely on others when the need arose. It was only now that I had time to reflect, that I realized I had well and truly begun to relapse back into the mind of the pony I had once been during my life in Canterlot.

I told myself time and again that I was foisting this burden upon myself to spare my friends and family from the horrors I now faced, and it was true enough at first. I felt however, that these reasons were becoming a bit less altruistic and a bit more selfish and personal in nature.

Though it perturbed me greatly, I ultimately decided not to change my current mindset, as it was the only thing keeping me moving forward at this point. I desperately clung to my inquisitive tendencies, for I feared I would either go mad or flee and abandon my search altogether without them, and that was something I could not and would not abide, not now.

The only thing I could do now was steel my resolve and pray that Daring and I would discover the truth behind these inexplicable and unsettling events. Though I succeeded in finding the strength to press forward, my lingering worry kept me awake for much of the night—a lingering worry that not even the quiet serenity of my camp could quell completely.

After some idle reading by the warm light of the fire, I did eventually manage to gain a few hours of dreamless sleep, for which I was thankful. Morning came far too quickly for my liking, and to my dismay, the itch and soreness from the day before had not waned in the slightest, though it hadn't gotten any worse.

Another casting of my mirror spell revealed no change in the slight deformity that had developed in my tired eyes, and with that, I was forced to accept that this may not have been some temporary affliction. I had maintained a small hope that the oddity would fix itself given some time, but no more.

I decided to move forward with the assumption that the change was permanent until proven otherwise, and so resolved all the more to find a cure, no matter how convenient or interesting I found it. This was not meant to be, and if I let things continue on as they were, further changes might await me, and they might not be so benign as this.

After a quick breakfast prepared in advance, I stowed my camping supplies away and set off once more into the morning sky. I was more eager than ever to reach my destination and consult with Daring Do, and when I finally spied the small and somewhat ramshackle cottage in the clearing some few hours later, I wasted no time in alighting upon the mare's doorstep.

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