• Published 4th Apr 2021
  • 2,134 Views, 89 Comments

Sombra's Recovery - MisterEdd

Hunted by the crown, Sombra tries to evade capture while rediscovering who he is.

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The Mysterious Invitation

Sombra aimlessly wandered the wastes of the Frozen North, the savage winds screeching tirelessly as the former king staggered through the ankle-deep snow. He grimaced, twisting one hoof out and repeating the action with the others, only for each step to once again entrap his hooves in the freezing terrain. Hours, possibly days had passed though there was no sun, and therefore shadows, for which to gauge the passage of time; only inky blackness shrouded the skies. The stallion was frustrated beyond belief...yet also strangely hopeful. It was as if all of this endless meandering in the snow was leading to something fortuitous for him.

Prying a hoof loose, Sombra glanced up to see a simple wooden door appear in front of him. Curiously, he touched a hoof to the brass doorknob and turned...only for the knob to become stuck. Frowning, he turned the knob counter-clockwise and was again met with resistance. He snarled and twisted the knob back and forth.

"Heimskur gagnslaus hlutur...open, curse you!"

Finally, there was a click and the door slowly swung inward, flooding the area with a blinding light.

Sombra blinked and soon found himself on a long, winding road, one that lead to Canterlot in the distance. The city shone like a golden beacon, begging him to enter but something forced him to turn around and glance behind him. He could make out the remains of his foalhood village burning, screams and shouting echoing in his ears. He...he had to go back! The crystal ponies were invading and he had to do something! Anything!

There was a period of indecision before he shook his head and turned back in the direction of Canterlot. No, THIS was the way, wasn't it? He sauntered forward, limbs moving in an atrophied-like state, every step hampered by invisible iron weights. Closer and closer, Sombra trudged forward and before long, Canterlot was just within sight....

Sunlight poured in through the window just as Sombra's eyes flicked open. He groaned, swatting at the rays and turning over onto his side, cursing Celestia and the sun. A moment passed before he sat up and peered at the room until his vision came into focus. Blinking, Sombra wiped the eye crust away and yawned, putting in a stretch for good measure. It was then that he recalled his recent dream, taking in every detail so that he could adequately ponder its significance.

What did it mean?

For the past few weeks, the same dream played out only this time, the accursed doorknob finally turned. So he was on the road to Canterlot and the umbrum village was being invaded. Then he started walking towards Canterlot, albeit moving with with all of the urgency of a snail, before he was so rudely awakened. Was he meant to return to Canterlot? But then, why was he so sluggish?

A low rumble sounded in his stomach. Perhaps some breakfast would aid in his thought process. Groggily, Sombra dragged himself out of bed and slunk into the bathroom to splash some water onto his face. He caught his reflection in the mirror, finding a still-red scar etched into the left cheek, bowing upward and ending in a lightning bolt down his jaw. He peered at it for a few more minutes and gave an internal shrug.

It wasn't as though Sombra was particularly good-looking before, so what did a slight disfigurement matter? Besides, it was just a mark signifying his continued survival, this one indicating his battle against the late dark alicorn Midnight Sparkle. In the old days, scars were adornments worn by warriors, physical reminders of their bravery and fortitude, to be displayed proudly like badges of honor. There were stallions in his colthood village who swapped stories of their feats, pointing to various wounds as proof of their claims. Now in this modern age, such injuries are treated like something to either be gawked at, to elicit pity or to be fixed with magic and surgery.

Bah! Where was the glory in that?

Exiting the bathroom, Sombra made some cinnamon oatmeal and took a seat at the kitchen table, staring out the window of his Manehattan hotel room. It was small but that didn't bother him; it wasn't as though he required the unnecessary space that would've been allotted to him had he selected a bigger place. His personal effects were limited; only some saddlebags filled with the basic essentials, such as shampoo, soap, toothbrush and paste, et cetera, were sufficient to his needs. Gnawing on a spoonful of oatmeal, Sombra opened up the newspaper and perused the "Help Wanted" section, eyes drifting carefully over his options. His funds were rapidly depleting and despite the ease in thievery, he was no pick-pocket and would prefer earning his bits through a more honest mode of obtainment.

Many of the jobs were, well, mundane. There was need for a hair sweeper at a barber shop, dishwasher, window washer, typist. Sombra didn't know how to work a typewriter, so "Typist" was out. Sweeping some stranger's hair sounded disgusting, as did wiping off the remains of somepony else's meal, and window washing seemed to be a mind-numbing, repetitive task. Carriage salespony, grocery bagger, salon stylist. No, no, definitely not.

"This is useless!" Sombra put his chin on his hooves and sighed.

His eyes drifted over to the violet book in the center of the table, the cover adorned by a twelve-point star surrounded by five smaller stars. He gently laid a hoof on the cover, a soft smile touching his lips. The crimson cloak from Rarity wasn't the only gift he'd received that night. Later on, once the party had died down, Twilight took him into the crystal castle that she and the others called home and showed him two books, one violet and one black. She beamed as she floated the violet book over to him.

"All you have to do is write something down in your book and the message will appear in mine! Now we can talk whenever we want! Neat, huh?"

Flipping through the book, Sombra found the very last entry Twilight had made last night:

Good night, Sombra. Sweet dreams. :heart:

Too long had it been since anyone made him feel...well...wanted. True, while Twilight seemed a tad naive, too invested in the fight for Equestria's soul, too trusting in the good in others, she was at least steadfast in her beliefs and willing to lay down her life for them. Not many could claim the same thing and it made Sombra swell with pride. He didn't deserve somepony like her but here she was, doing whatever she could to stay involved in his life. He owed it to her, as well as himself, to at least make an effort at an honest living, no matter how "beneath him" it appeared.

I will try...for her.

Some movement on the other side of the door caused Sombra to bolt upright, his horn crackling to life in anticipation for a fight. A white, flat object slid underneath the door, followed by the clip-clopping of hooves steady decreasing in volume until they were non-existent. Casting a quick noise-canceling spell on his hooves, Sombra slowly trotted towards the door and pressed his ear against the wood, listening intently for any and all sounds. Satisfied that he was alone, he magically picked up the object, a simple envelope, and inspected it. The return address was for somepony named 'Primrose,' something that he found highly suspect, as he didn't know anyone by that name.

It wasn't long before Sombra found himself tearing open the envelope and hastily unfolding the sheet of paper that lay inside. The letter, composed in broad, soft strokes, read as such:

Greetings and salutations,

This letter will no doubt come as a surprise to you as you and I have never met but I hope to change that. Right now, I bet you're wondering, "Who is this mystery mare and how does she know who I am, let alone where I live?" That, my dear Sombra, will be answered in due time. My name is Primrose and I invite you to pay me a visit in Canterlot. I know I am asking much of you, to request your presence in the so-called "belly of the beast", but trust me as I say, that our meeting is, without exaggeration, one of grave importance.

Your cinnamon oatmeal will be getting cold by now, so I will say what I need to say. Pack what few belongings you have and take the 9:04 to Canterlot. Once you've arrived, visit the Canterlot Library at 2:35 sharp and peruse the shelves for "Predictions and Prophecies by Primrose the Prescient". Select the copy with the circular indent on the top of the spine and seat yourself at the empty table with the fresh coffee stain. After that, meet me at the address on the envelope at 5:16 and I will explain everything.

I eagerly await our meeting and I promise that it will be well worth the trip.



P.S. Do remember to place a quill in the right interior pocket of your crimson cloak.

Sombra studied the letter, then set it down on the tabletop. Who was this "Primrose" and how did she know so much? His eyes drifted to his bowl of oatmeal. She'd been aware of what he'd been eating. He peered through the ugly periwinkle curtains and out the window. Was he being watched?

No, it doesn't appear to be the case...

Spotting his cloak draped over the desk chair, Sombra slid his hoof through the fabric until his toe slipped into the right-side interior pocket. Primrose knew about the pocket and the color of the cloak. Rarity was a gossip-queen but he doubted the possibility of her blabbing about random details on insignificant clothing she'd designed. There were other details too, like the "grave importance" bit and the specific times. She'd asked-no, instructed-him to find a book of prophecies by a "Primrose the Prescient" and it didn't take a genius to put two and two together. He smiled.

Ah, so our Miss Primrose fancies herself a soothsayer. Interesting.

Now, Sombra had traveled all over the world and witnessed many strange things so the existence of a seer wasn't out of the realm of possibility. The Zebrican shamans were able to predict the weather through dreams and casting bird bones and Chineighse monks spent their time meditating in order to enter a state of altered consciousness. However, the existence of someone that could accurately foresee the future down to the most minute detail was a rarity, especially in this day and age. Much arcane knowledge had been lost over the centuries, whether it be from techniques falling out of practice or the records being misplaced or destroyed, such as maleficium or the folk remedies of hedge wizards. If this really was a genuine prophet, didn't he owe it to himself to gain as much knowledge as he could from her?

Glancing at a clock, he found that it was almost eight.

"I suppose I could afford a trip back to Canterlot."