• Published 30th Mar 2020
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Cryptic Coda & Obscure Odysseys - Ice Star

Various Iceverse creation myths, fables, and pre-history adventures.

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The Great Divorce, Part Two [Alicorn Pre-History]

Before Canterhorn was something to marvel at. Crystal veins and clusters across the north were no comparison to the sparkling, twisting branches that stretched above him from an untarnished trunk. Wrapped up among the tinkling hanging crystals unlike any he had seen before were five pulsing orbs. Like the rest of the structure, they held the look of something beyond normal crystal but had the unusual vibrancy he could only attribute to fruit still ripening. Canterhorn saw how they twinkled with vary degrees of strength, each asserting a purpose hungering in them.

This was where his travels through the forest had led, and though it was barren of ghosts, these gems and the voice that came from the tree were all things he thought could be another obstacle and nuisance. How could one not look upon what was embedded within the stout trunk, and the sharp points of magenta that glistened there, seeing anything but the most powerful of these stones gaping at him like a maw beyond the ferocity of any hydra?

Much to Canterhorn's surprise, the tree bowed one of its boughs limbs in a rickety, sweeping gesture that sent a sound like ice shattering. The pale pink gem clasped on the odd limb winked shyly at him, like the way a mortal's least favorite child swayed when indicated.

You may not claim my fruit!

The way the thunderous voice of a female returned, echoing from no source but something unseen about the tree - or the tree itself - snapped up Canterhorn's mane. In this age, Alicorns had yet to wear much along the lines of crowns and went about unadorned unless armor was called for, their hallowed marks testament enough for the primitive time, when even they had not learned how nice some trinkets could be. Thus, his mane edged with the jagged stripes of all the creams and silvers of the world's highest dawns and dusks could only be tossed by the blast of her words.

Canterhorn dared not anger this being further with the voice of his kind, and hurriedly explained he wanted none of the fruit she bore and sought to free his kin. Standing his ground stubbornly, he spoke to the tree of the draconequui who had touched much of the world with their vulgar magics and that he would seek the necessary vengeance upon those who antagonized the world in order to bring justice.

Harmonia listened to the god's words and was practically soaking up the strength he imbued them with. In an Alicorn, she observed a treasure trove of exceptional qualities beyond the value of any dragon's hoard. Now that she could finally peer over one of these fine equines with care, the resilient soul, immense magic, and every quality she had considered for the bearer of her prophecy. Perhaps he would not be the one to receive the full extent of her many visions, predictions, and prophecies, but he would be fine for now.

Then you will do nothing to take that which is unripened and unfit to be used for this task from me.

Canterhorn was ready to offer an answer, only to realize she had asked no question.

I am Harmonia Everfree, and you are the first to find me since this world has been spun and lived. You will be the last to do so for a flood of mortal lifetimes and a period that will make this moment ancient when the next unfolds. Until then, I sense the pain of my world and how it has been warped like the twists of my roots by those who have skipped the stars to menace me.

You know yourself by an identity that not once fell within the mists of my slumber, like those of your kin have. I can hold you to no measure of personal kindness, mirth, or charity, nor shall I think to when the frailest of my fruit and its two less trying siblings are wrongly suited to your quest. Speak your name so that I might judge you, he who already knows of the love marking those born upon my young world.

He told her that he was Canterhorn, head of his family for his experience, defender of mortal ponies on his side of the world for his power, father, uncle, brother, and husband to those now forced within the very spires of the earth that bowed to their will. To Harmonia, he spoke his domain, and how it enabled Canterhorn and his magic to fold and smash the surface of the world to shape the younger peaks gifted to his young family members.

Harmonia knew that he was a stallion brave and wise. That which was most important to him he yearned to hoard where danger could not reach them like stone masks gems and caverns. Beneath his flinty expressions and stone-sprouting coat, the uncertain safety and all too apparent humiliation of his kin inspired him to purposeful action.

Then, I will call you only Canterhorn. Think of me not with any gulf between us, as there are for you and your mortals. I will ask something of you. Refuse and be cast from here with no hope; accept and take steps towards the journey I shall send you on, with my words to instruct you. Nothing about you offers any sense you might show yourself to be a Bearer one day, but the fruit is not yet ripe, you are without companions to offer the context I need, and I might only be blinking.

I can see that the leg of justice known as revenge is a reward to you and that only freeing your family rivals it. However, I am not one to bestow a visitor such as yourself with no boons. I will give you one to leave my forest with ease, and if you agree to be true, then I will offer you something of your future from my knowings.

In mere heartbeats, a spirit sprang from the light of the tree. Standing before Canterhorn was an Alicorn apparition with eyes as white as a summer noon-day sun and a cascade of bright lights forming a rainbow mane and tail to match the hues of her tree's fruits. Upon her glittering blue, translucent coat was the mark of gold. Canterhorn took in the towering figure's mark, thinking it to look much like a seed.

Ah, could I forget a thing, I would think that the fairness of Alicorns had escaped me! She let her mighty wings fan, and all that was around them shown through the limbs. I have not beheld your kind so personally since I was but a seed myself, adrift in the stars alongside the most varied and enchanted ways you have to move across our universe. Now I must thank you for your proximity, for now I can allow myself to manifest in this multiplicity! Harmonia's strong neck indicated herself with a tilt and then the tree, whose many roots were puncturing the ground.

Tell me, Canterhorn, are you a stallion as true as you are brave? Orange and red chimed softly with a sound high, clear, and unlike anything, Canterhorn had known or would know from anything else. He watched as the gems built up light, glowing like a distant fire despite their closeness and pulsing unlike any. Tell me so, and speak with the wisdom you hold yourself to, not just for me to trust you, but to trust yourself on this quest.

Without faith in yourself, genuine knowledge of the righteousness of your deeds, and the deeds of your enemy, you take up no revenge at all. The indulgence of wicked actions untrue is nothing with ties to Harmony or justice, and merely an act of slaughter acted on by hearsay. I shall have nothing to do with the making of monsters. Kill those who must be killed, and vanquish those that must be done away with. I must warn you to do no more, or I shall have a new champion do away with you.

Canterhorn received her words in grave silence, meditating not just on them, but the feelings within himself. Then, he swore himself to be true in intention and action, now and until all had passed.

Up in the boughs of Harmonia's tree-self, the glow of orange swelled like the sun sinking below the horizon over the ocean, bleeding light across his coat.

Harmonia's white eye-light was all that broke past the sharpness of the color, and what stung Canterhorn's eyes briefly when the fruit's light retreated into little more than normal luster. She bowed her head and spoke unto him that prophecy that had quaked within her for so long:

In my forest, you shall see no specter
so I must send you to wander in search of a suitable protector
looking not for a way to bring them here
but for those who can use them to make the draconequui disappear

In distant wilds, you will find orphans cast from the sky
know that they are those of magic like yourself, with might in their eye
speak not of their domain over the dead
ensure only that these two will not be misled

Join with them and their army with horns aglow
fight at the youths' sides to rid the world of draconequui high and low
spare only those who did not bring great enough harm
whether their minds are feeble or too young to charm

When your war is won and the draconequui pushed away
those given mercy must repair the world as pay
and every fallen mortal you must bury
of the draconequui, you must remain forever wary

Even when the last grave appears at peace
your new Alicorns will have the world to police
let mortals know that their words are the first commands they are required to follow
and that no longer will their souls be left roam eternally and feeling so hollow

See how these fine gods establish their realm
and gather collections everlasting when they take up helm
from now until forever know their words are not boasts
here marks the dawn of the era of ghosts!

Canterhorn was given an object like the yellow seed marking the apparition and told that in no possible past, present, or future of the world would he ever have a chance to be a Spark, not that he knew what that could be. With that, Harmonia told him that even when he could be no Spark and would never Bear Magic in all possibilities of the world, there were futures where his spire became the heart from which empire would begin, kingdoms would fall, and other gods would reside.

When Harmonia had finished, Canterhorn followed the last of her instructions. He crushed the boon and found himself upon the border where Harmonia Everfree's forest thinned into a less potently magical would. Every scratch he had sustained was healed, and as the boon's teleportation faded, Canterhorn wondered if the many knowings of Harmonia danced around her being, dying and living as the stars did.