• Published 13th Dec 2018
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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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I heard the wretched song...

The rest of the trip went off without a hitch and while that night hadn't fully left my mind, I found I was able to refocus on my duties as both the Princess of Friendship, and the Headmare of my school.

Forms were filed, schedules were created, classes were planned, students and teachers alike were attended to when the need arose, and life in general for me at least, had regained much of its normalcy. Still, the Tree of Harmony and my strange and frankly terrifying vision was always there in the back of my mind.

I did what I could to distract myself from the memories. I threw myself into my work, I made sure to find some more time to spend with my friends, I even made appearances during some classes to give some of my own advice on friendship and the tenets of Harmony.

For a time it seemed to work, and the thoughts began to grow more distant, almost as though they really were a nightmare I'd had some time ago. Unfortunately every time I let my guard down, every time I let my mind wander, my thoughts always inevitably turned towards either the visions, the Tree itself, or that thing that took on my appearance.

The thoughts pulled at me, always poking and prodding me from a distance, and I found it harder and harder to concentrate as the week passed. There was also the issue of Chrysalis and her possible plans, but I had already informed Celestia, and she assured me she would see to it that the Queen's activities were investigated.

I didn't bother mentioning what went on in the Cave of Harmony. I already tried to tell the girls, and if they didn't believe me, I doubted Celestia or Luna would. I loved my friends and my previous mentor dearly, but if history had taught me anything, it was that baseless accusations and wild claims would get me nowhere fast.

If I was going to tell Celestia and my friends the whole story, I needed some kind of evidence to back it up. The problem was that, for as much as the thoughts of that tree filled my head, I wanted to be nowhere near the Tree of Harmony if I could help it.

I hadn't had any nightmares about the events that had transpired, which I was grateful for to be sure. That relief was stifled however, by the fact that I hadn't had any kind of dreams whatsoever since that night. It worried me, and yet I did not think to bring the matter to Luna.

As with the urge to hide my visions and my ethereal look alike from my friends, this too was something I felt I needed to keep secret. Again the reasoning escaped me, and with each passing night, some nameless dread would begin to creep upon me as I lay in my bed, despite the fact that I did not dream.

Spike had taken notice of my growing unease and restlessness, but I was always quick to brush aside his concerns. It was just nerves, I told myself it was just the stress of my workload, and the mental strain the horrible memories of that cave were putting on me. Doubtless this constantly tightening knot of dread in my stomach would unravel itself soon enough.

I was wrong.

It had been a little over a week since the retreat, and as I was beginning to settle in for the night, the unease that had been building suddenly became a nameless fear. I had just laid down in my bed, only to jerk back up again, my wide eyes twitching this way and that, looking for something in the shadows.

There was, of course, nothing to see, and my pounding heart began to settle once more. The fear vanished as soon as it had come, leaving me wary and slightly on edge. I stayed sitting upright for a few more moments before finally letting myself relax, lying back down, and closing my eyes.

I was gone in an instant.


The world was completely shrouded in it, and I could see no more than maybe six or seven yards beyond its thick grey walls. What little I could see was slightly blurry and unfocused, as if I was seeing the world through some sort of haze.

I sat alone in a grassy area, the greenery beneath me soft and warm, and a heavy thicket of trees, tall and imposing before me. I recognized these trees, but at that moment, I couldn't place them for the life of me.

For I don't know how long, I sat there staring at that line of trees and wondering whether or not I should move forward. It seemed to be the only way to go, and yet I hesitated, unsure and wary of just what awaited me within the confines of that forest.

It was then that it appeared.

From out of the trees some tall, formless black silhouette began to emerge, and for a moment, I was filled with a familiar terror and a sudden desire to flee, but the urge passed as quickly as it had come.

The shape fully revealed itself to be none other than me, yet I couldn't help but feel that there was much more to this reflection. I was struck with the sense that something wholly alien and unknowable hid just behind those wide unblinking amethyst eyes and small, innocent smile.

It was alluring in a way I couldn't describe, and I found myself drawn to the strange creature. I watched as it approached me, never breaking eye contact, never losing its easy stride, never once dropping that small smile.

Then it stopped before me, perhaps a few hoof-lengths away, and stood there. I waited to see what it would do, not having moved an inch from where I sat. I waited not with fear or uneasiness, but rather with bemusement and curiosity.

It spoke.

I saw its mouth move in such a way that it was clearly communicating, but my ears could not pick up the sound of its words. Somehow, despite the silence, I still understood what it wanted of me. Without hesitation, I obeyed, following it as it turned and retreated back into the forest.

I entered the forest and the fog seemed to close in around me, obscuring most of the flora. The forest itself was silent, and if there were animals present, I neither saw nor heard them, not that I was paying any attention.

At that moment I only had eyes for the reflection trotting ahead of me. Its hooves made no sound, and it almost appeared to be gliding along the dark ground strewn with roots, vines, and fallen leaves.

The odd sense of familiarity grew stronger as we continued down the path towards an unknown destination. As I followed the creature, I began to pick up a sound, distant, but most definitely there.

I could only just pick it up, and what little I did hear of it baffled me. It was unlike anything I'd ever heard, and its source eluded me. The reflection ahead of me made no comment, nor did it even seem to notice.

It simply continued to trot along, never moving too far ahead or getting too close to where I was. The fog continued to obscure, yet I never once lost sight of my look alike. The sound gradually grew louder, and I felt a sudden chill run up and down my spine at the noise.

It was something akin to a song, but only in the vaguest of descriptions. The sounds, the pitch, the melody, these were all things I tried and failed to grasp, and I was unable to properly put anything I heard into actual words.

The longer I was subjected to the horrid sound, the deeper my fear became.

Just as I felt I couldn't take anymore, the otherworldly cacophony suddenly ceased and the fog fell away, revealing a cave. This cave too was familiar to me, and though the increasingly overwhelming fear had abated, the constant foreboding had not.

The creature I'd been following all this time stopped just before the mouth of the cave and turned to me. Its eyes twinkled brightly and its smile widened into a joyous grin before it vanished from sight.

I was left alone to face whatever was in that cave.

I lingered at the entrance for a short time, feeling as though there would be no turning back once I stepped through the entrance. I knew somehow that I would be at the mercy of whatever awaited me here, and I could feel my decision pressing down on me like some great and terrible weight.

I pushed on, my curiosity and determination strong enough to move my hooves across the threshold separating knowledge from ignorance. I trotted into the cave and moved down the sloping and jagged stony pathway towards an unknown outcome.

It wasn't long before I reached my destination, and what I saw was enough to give me immense pause. Standing tall before me was the Tree of Harmony, but something was wrong.

The sense of familiarity and recognition that had been growing so strong as I proceeded further, vanished completely. It had the appearance of the Tree of Harmony to be sure, but the warmth was gone, there was no Harmony to be had here, at least, not as I knew it.

In a very real and disquieting way, I had no idea what I was looking at.

I stared at the tree, my mind in a daze and my stomach twisted in knots from the sheer wrongness that pervaded my senses. Almost unbidden, my hooves carried me closer to the tree, and as I neared it, I stretched out one of my hooves towards it.

I wanted—needed to be closer to the tree. I needed to know why it felt so different, I needed to know what my reflection had known, I needed to find the origin of that terrible yet provocative song. I needed answers, and there was no doubt in my mind that this tree was somehow the source of the knowledge I coveted above all else.

The tree responded to my desire, but not in the way I had expected or hoped. Rather than simply revealing its secrets, it lashed out, six writhing, undulating, ghostly tentacled limbs emerging from its branches and wrapping around my startled frame.

I cried out in alarm, but no sound escaped my lips, I tried to pull away, but the tree only tightened its grip and pulled back harder. My struggles were laughable in the face of the tree's power, and my resistance was short lived.

It dragged me forward, pulling me into itself as I silently screamed for help, for mercy, for anything that would save me from whatever it had in store for me. Unfortunately it was not to be, and as I reached the tree's center, my vision went white.

When my eyesight cleared again I found I was no longer in the cave, nor was the tree anywhere to be seen. Instead, I found myself floating amidst pitch black darkness on all sides. All around me I could see countless motes of light—twinkling stars in the distance.

I could see swirling galaxies, planets, and moons of all sizes both big and small, both near and far. Even in my boundless horror I knew that I had somehow reached a domain far beyond my understanding.

Here was a place not even Celestia or Luna could reach with their vast power, and beneath my terror, I felt oddly humbled by it all. I couldn't tell how long I floated among the darkness and starlight, but as I watched and listened, I began to hear that eldritch song once more.

It had returned, louder and more terrifying than ever before, my mind and body shaking with the force of it. The sound came from all around me, but I could practically feel the source of the sound in this place.

A shadow passed over me then, and I turned out of reflex, only to see what I believed to be yet another planet, this one a rusty red in color and silhouetted by a bright star shining somewhere behind it. It was terribly close, and as I observed it, I began to realize that this 'planet' was the origin of the wretched song.

I wanted to get away, but I remained frozen where I was.

I knew, perhaps instinctively, that nothing good would come of being near this thing and its song, but I couldn't move an inch. I couldn't turn my eyes away from the massive celestial body, and I was forced to watch as the center of it slowly split open to reveal a single, burning red eye.

Its gaze tore at every single part of me, and I tried harder to free myself of the unknown force that held me there, to no avail. I remained as I was, watching as the impossibly large thing grew even larger in size, or that's what I thought to be the case at first.

I quickly realized however, that its size wasn't increasing, it was getting closer. It was quickly closing the distance between us, its alien song swelling with some renewed sense of urgency or purpose.

As it neared me, I let out a ragged scream, the sound of my own voice finally ripping its way from my throat. I continued to scream as my vision once more faded to white, completely unaware that I was returning to the waking world.

Returning to my own world.

I woke up screaming, my eyes wild and my breaths coming in short, ragged gasps. I thrashed about, or at least I tried, but there was something holding me down. For a moment, my panic increased and I only tried harder to escape, but then a voice, as calm and as clear as a quiet moonlit night reached my ears.

I turned to see Luna standing by my bedside, her horn lit and her expression warm and reassuring. I looked down at myself and saw my body outlined in a magical aura the same color as Luna's magic.

Her soft and calming words washed over me, and I finally began to calm myself, my heartbeat gradually returning to normal. after another minute or so, I informed the Night Princess that I was okay, and she relinquished her hold on me.

It was then that I noticed both Spike and Starlight standing on either side of Luna, their faces a mask of concern and, in Spike's case, a bit of fear. As it turned out, I had been screaming loud enough to hear throughout my entire castle, and it wasn't just wordless screams either.

Starlight mentioned I'd been speaking some kind of weird language she'd never heard before. Both her and Spike had heard it, and from the looks of it, my words had unsettled them immensely.

I of course, had no memory of doing such a thing, and they of course, questioned me, asking me what had happened. Luna asked me what I had been dreaming about, something I found extremely odd given who she was.

The bottom dropped out of my stomach when she told me she couldn't reach me in the dream realm. She spoke of some kind of mysterious force that pushed her away, rejecting her outright. There was apparently nothing she could do to fight against it, so she instead arrived at my castle, hoping to rouse me from my slumber the mundane way.

I was both shocked and disturbed at the implications, but I had no explanations to give to the worried ponies and baby dragon. Just remembering what I'd seen in that dream had me trembling, and I refused to subject them to that knowledge.

It was clear that was no mere nightmare. It felt too real, too vivid for me to ever believe it was anything other than a vision—maybe some kind of terrible, unfathomable premonition. In the end, I told them I couldn't remember what I'd been dreaming about, but each and every one of them were clearly unconvinced.

At their insistence, I promised them I'd let them know if I ever recalled anything about it. That seemed to mollify Spike and Starlight for the most part, but I could tell Luna didn't want to let this go. Thankfully she said nothing more on the matter other than to tell me that she'd be informing her sister of the matter.

After a few more reassuring words to Spike, he and Starlight left the room as well, leaving me alone with my thoughts. There was certainly much to think about, and none of it was pleasant to consider.

The look alike, the tree, that song, and what I saw in 'that place', I couldn't make sense of any of it. I didn't know what it all meant, but despite myself and my fears, deep down I still wanted to find out.

Whatever I thought about that nightmarish vision, the curiosity I felt had been very real.

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