• Published 17th Dec 2019
  • 115 Views, 30 Comments

Hearth's Warming Helper - Team Corona - Talon and Thorn

In order to try and get her court to bond Queen Celestia, also known as Corona, decides to organise a Hearth's Warming Helper. Set in Raindbowdoubledash's Lunaverse.

  • ...

Terror Wing - The Herald of the Sun by Talon and Thorn

Terror Wing sighed in frustration, what was the point of this stupid Pony present giving ritual anyway? At least he was getting a feast from it. He plunged a talon into the bag Smoke held out to him tearing a hole in the side before grabbing a token at random and pulling it out. He turned it around a few times before he realised it was of a pony with its mane done up in a mohawk, it must be the symbol for Zecora. Glancing around he furrowed his brow, what on Equestria could he get that rhyming freak?

It wasn’t that he wasn’t used to giving gifts, back home it was a common way to seal bargains and make alliances, at least that’s what his father said. It was considered an insult to actually pay anygrif in coin, well anygriff who was anyone. Peasants and merchants used money, but if you wanted a noble to do anything for you then you had to give them ‘presents’ like a golden torc, or a silk cloak, or a new sword. It had always seemed stupid to him, if you wanted someone to do something for you you just forced them, and if they were strong enough to stop you then you didn’t deserve to have them work for you. Still his father had told him that was how things were supposed to be, it didn’t stop his brother Gwion giving him a beating anytime he wanted something though. Terror Wing grimaced scraping his newly enhanced talons against the ground, feeling them cut into the rock, once he returned home things were going to be different, he thought.

The feeling of the stone parting beneath his talons brought Terror Wing’s thoughts back to the present. The queen had given him powerful gifts and she could probably take them away again, he wasn’t going back to the weak nobody he used to be! Even if it meant he had to take part in some silly pony ritual. He looked over at Zecora and noted the rings around her neck and in her ears, it looked like jewellery would be a suitable present for her. He had a few pieces in his room that he’d brought with him from home but none of it seemed suitable for her. He’d have to go do some shopping, he grinned, and by shopping he meant go out and take something from some pony. It would be a chance to try out his new form, he stretched his wings wide smiling at their size. Celestia had warned him about getting seen by the local pony population but she’d also told him to get a present. Plus as long as he kept away from a large city no one was going to worry much about a few travellers who got a fright, and maybe a bit of a beating. With the enhancements the queen had made to him he’d be there and back in half a day tops.

Like a red lightning bolt Terror Wing shot through the early morning sky high above the snow covered ground, his keen eyes scanning everywhere for a possible target. He smiled, this was the life! Back home he had loved to hunt, the freedom of the sky, the skill needed to spot a rabbit or a fish from hundreds of feet above, the feasting afterwards! He licked his beak, maybe once he’d found a present he could get himself some breakfast.

When he had been a chick there was nothing he had loved more than to hang around in the kitchens and watch how the various dishes were prepared, he’d found it fascinating how the addition of a few spices or a slightly different way of cooking could totally change the taste of a meal. The head chef Gaston la Grand had taken him under his wing and taught him a few recipes. He smiled at the recollection, then his face turned hard. When his father found out he’d gotten such a beating, hunting was considered a noble pursuit, but the actual preparation of food was considered a low class occupation and well below a princes’ notice. He’d never seen Gaston again and guards had been posted on the kitchen to keep him out. He’d cried in his rooms for weeks.

Terror Wing shook his head trying to clear out the memories, that had been a long time ago he’d been a very different griffin then, weaker, stupider. Now he was older and the queen’s herald, he didn’t have time for such foolishness. Still, he had to look for a present for Zecora, then maybe he could hunt. The lair’s staff included some half decent cooks, although being ponies they didn’t know what to do with good flesh.

It seemed that his hopes of finding a travelling pony carrying jewellery had been rather optimistic. He’d circled the outskirts of the nearest settlement several times without seeing anypony. It looked like they were all well within the town’s boundaries, probably already celebrating the Warming festival, or whatever it was called. Maybe he should head to another settlement, or even try his luck in the heart of the town. He could probably swoop down and steal something before anypony noticed. His eyes suddenly twitched as he noticed movement just outside the town boundaries. Focusing his gaze he recognised a small gaggle of miniature ponies, foals.

He almost disregarded them, they probably didn’t have anything he wanted but he was feeling bored, and there might be something interesting going on. He angled his wings and fell into a steep dive zooming towards the herd below him.

Figgy desperately tried to jink to avoid the incoming projectile but his small wings couldn’t gather enough air to do more than bob and the snowball struck him on the flank sending him spinning in a nearby snowdrift.

“One down!” crowed Barley Corn scraping up another hoof full of snow off the ground, “You’re next Black!” He released his weapon at a solidly built earth pony filly with a dark red coat.

“As if!” She barked hopping aside and hurling her own snow ball back which caught Barley in the ear. “Come on!” she snapped at Figgy as he tried to dig his way out of the snow, “You’re just so useless sometimes!”

“Sorry sis,” said Figgy struggling with the weight of snow that had gathered on the long scarf their mother had made him wear.

“Why’d we have to play with that baby anyway?” asked Quicksilver using his aura to levitate a stream of snow towards his opponents who fled, giggling as they went.

“Dad made me!” protested Black flicking her white mane back from her eyes.

Finally back in the air Figgy scowled. He wasn’t all that much younger than his sister, only two years, well almost three. It didn’t help that he was a little small for his age and she was freakishly big, like taller than some of the teen ponies he knew. He swooped low and began to gather up more snow.

“Hurry up!” cried Quicksilver, their opposition had regrouped and the small herd was closing in on them rushing from drift to drift using whatever cover they could. One of the Barrell twins stuck their head out of cover and she quickly tossed at ball at him or her to get them to keep their heads down.

Figgy quickly tossed a ball towards the nearest target but it fell short by several hooves which caused the attacker much hilarity, before Black caught him on the horn with a much more accurate lump of snow.

Blushing Figgy scrambled around to reload but his ears started to twitch. There was a whistling sound coming from somewhere nearby and it was quickly getting louder. Many of the other foals had also heard it and were glancing around in confusion. Some instinct made him glance up and his eyes widened at what appeared to be a bright red fireball plummeting down towards them. He pointed a hoof and yelled in terror. His warning came too late and the projectile struck the ground in the middle of foals throwing up great gouts of snow which knocked him from the sky and threatened to bury him again.

With a series of cries and squeaks the foals ran in random directions, two of them bouncing off of each other in their panic. Stuck in the snow Figgy could only watch in near terror as what he had previously thought was a fireball unfurled itself into a giant mass of red fur and feathers. It was a griffin, he’d heard about them in school, but nopony had told him they were as big as a bear! The creature turned towards him and licked it’s huge pointed beak in apparent hunger before giving out another roar. He closed his eyes.

“G-g-get away from my b-brother!” came Black’s voice from just in front of him.

Giving a theatrical growl that he couldn’t help turning into a laugh Terror Wing looked around at the miniature ponies as they fled in panic. He had meant to just watch their small war but it had been too tempting to just give them all a fright, he thought he remembered that being part of this pony festival. He was a little surprised to see one of the foals standing her ground, she was quite large compared to her peers but still didn’t come up to his knee.

“K-k-keep away from h-him!” she stuttered.

Terror Wing cocked his head to one side wondering who she was talking about before he noticed parts of a truly tiny pony sticking out from the large pile of snow his landing had thrown up. He took a further step towards it and although the filly turned as pale as her dark coat allowed and looked like she was about to lose control of her bladder she still held her ground. He was rather impressed really, the way she was protecting her brother like his own sister Gabriella used to, at least before she’d gotten hitched to that fop Giorgio. Of course if the brother was a real stallion he wouldn’t need anypony to protect him.

“No need for a duel,” he joked reaching over her and carefully, using two talons, lifted the colt from the snowdrift. He gave the pegasus a gentle shake to remove the worst of the snow before dropping him next to her. Apparently dazed the smaller pony stared up at him mouth open slackly. The filly quickly positioned herself in front of her sibling looking ready to turn to buck at a moments notice.

“Keep away you monster!” she threatened. “I won’t let you eat him!”

“EAT HIM?” he bellowed before noticing he’d almost blown the foals away with his voice. He continued trying to control his volume. “There’s hardly a mouthful on him! Plus, don’t you know ponies taste terrible? I’m just here to,” he paused for a moment, should he tell them anything about his mission, then shrugged, what could these mini ponies do anyway? “Do some shopping,” he concluded.

“Shopping! Monsters don’t go shopping!” exclaimed the filly in surprise, her fear apparently forgotten for the moment.

“He’s not a monster, he’s a griffin,” added the smaller pony.

“Yeah, I’m a griffin, actually I’M A GRIFFIN PRINCE!” The third born son of a king anyway Terror Wing’s mind added.

“What’s a prince?”

“It’s like a Princess, but a boy,” explained the filly rolling her eyes at her brothers stupidity.

“You’re like Princess Luna!” asked Figgy wide eyed.

“Um, yeah!” said Terror striking a pose, “I’M PRINCE TERROR WING!” That sounded right, once Corona dealt with her sister she’d make him King, maybe even High King, he’d have a nation of his own, just like Luna.

“Wow! What’s a prince doing in our town?” asked Black.

“I need to get a present for, well, for a friend,” maybe these little ponies could help him after all. “I’m looking for some jewellery.”

“Jewellery! Rings and necklaces and stuff? Like Mr Gilt sells?”

“Yeah, that sounds right.”

“I think he’s closed for the holiday’s now,” said the filly.

“Pretty sure that won’t be a problem for me,” grinned Terror Wing. He doubted any pony door would stand up to his new body for long, although things might get a bit noisy if he had to break his way in.

“You should talk to Dad!” exclaimed Figgy, “He’ll know what to do!”

“Mr Gilt’s his friend I’m sure he’ll get him to open his shop, especially for a prince!” added Black.

Terror Wing shrugged, that might work, it would be less noticeable than breaking into the place, once he was in he could take what he wanted and nopony would be able to stop him, perfect. He looked down at the foals below him, they’d done a good job, they deserved a reward “Could you find your home from above?” he asked.

“Yeah,” said Figgy looking unsure.

“Wh-aaaaarg!” cried Black as Terror Wing grabbed her and her brother and dropped them on his back before leaping into the air borne by a flap of his mighty wings. Terror grinned as his passengers screams quickly turned from fear to excitement, he remembered his sister taking him on flights as a chick. It had been fun to spend time with her, sometimes even his brother would come as well to show off some new trick he’d learnt. Terror quickly circled the town a few times then did a barrel roll. “So where’s your place?” A pair of hooves pointed towards a large building near the centre of the town. He frowned, “Your Dad’s a big shot?”

“He runs the best restaurant in town!” exclaimed Figgy proudly.

Terror Wing shrugged, maybe he could get a snack as well as a present. He tucked his wings in and dived towards the ground causing a fresh peel of screams from his passengers before landing heavily in the snow outside the rear door to the restaurant. Black hopped off of his back, and after staggering around drunkenly for a few seconds, headed for the door and shoved it open. “Hey Dad! We found a Prince, a Griffin Prince!”

A grey coated muscular earth pony stallion wearing a rather stained apron appeared in the doorway. “What are you talkin’ about Black?” he asked before looking up at Terror Wing. He gawked for a moment before stepping even further back and looking up a bit more. “Um, err, howdy I’m Pease Pudding, how can I, er, help?” he finally managed.

“Your children told me that you...” Terror Wing sniffed the air, there was a very familiar smell coming from inside the restaurant, “Is that Käsespätzle?” he asked. Not waiting for a reply he shoved the smaller pony aside and squeezed through the door into the kitchen beyond. There were several other surprised looking ponies working over various dishes, he ignored them and followed the scent to a particular pan.

“Er, yeah,” said Pease following the giant flanked by his children, “before the kids happened me and the missus used to travel a lot, we spent some time in the Griffin Kingdoms I got to love this stuff.” He struggled to get past Terror Wings bulk and gave the pan a stir. “I can never get it quite right though, it should be so simple just eggs, flour, a sprinkle of salt and some water to make it fluff up. Then cover it in a layer of cheese and eat, but I can never get it quite right, it just doesn’t taste how I remember! I’ve been trying it for years.”

“Water? Who uses water?” complained Terror, did ponies know nothing about cooking?

“The recipe I got says water, well Wasser des Libens, Water of life right? Does it come from a special spring of something?” his brow furrowed.

Terror Wing reared back bumping his head on the ceiling and gave a deep belly laugh. “WASSER DES LIBENS IS ALE!” he cried. “A good beer gives spätzle it’s flavour. I wouldn’t expect you ponies to have a real Griffin brew but you have to have something half decent around the place!” he carefully took up a spoon in his talons and stirred the mixture, it wouldn’t do to let it burn.

“Actually I do have something from the Kingdom’s” said Pease rushing over to a cupboard and bringing out a brown bottle. Terror Wing grabbed it and read the label.

“Not bad, they don’t export the best but it’ll do,” he tossed aside the partially cooked spätzle. “I’ll need to start from scratch, hey you, little guy,” he pointed to Figgy, “get me a new pan, and you,” he pointed to Black, “get me a dozen, no two dozen eggs, small ones if you can they taste better, and you,” he gestured to Pease, “watch and learn!”

Terror Wing chewed happily, maybe the ponies didn’t have much in the way of wurst but they had a surprising selection of other ingredients, on top of the Käsespätzle they had sauerkraut and he’d found what he needed to make a Käsekuchen for desert as well. For the first time in a few months he actually felt at home, there was nothing like food to bring back memories of the feasts he’d had growing up, of the times spent with his friends and family. Glancing around the table it looked like the Pudding family were similarly content after their meal.

“It’s just how I remember it,” said Pease taking a last bite of his meal. “Not that I want to be unwelcoming after that, but, what’s brought you here in the first place? We don’t get many griffins passing through.”

“Oh, right, I was going to get someone a present, I need...” he paused. He’d only been away from home for a few months, but Zecora hadn’t been to her homeland for a year, maybe more. Could she be missing her home as well? He’d never seen her eat anything but regular pony food, but there had to be some sort of recipe that her people alone made. “Actually, you said you used to travel? Did you ever go to Zebrica?”

Pease leaned back, “Sorry, I never made it that far,” Terror Wing clicked his tongue against his beak, it had seemed like a good idea, “but I do have a few books about the food they have down there,” continued the chef. “I serve some of them in the restaurant but mostly just for the family.” He dropped down from his chair and went over to a shelf full of books before selecting a few. “Want to have a look?” He spread them over the table and started to point at various recipes. “The kids love Mabuyu, it’s just baobab seeds coated with sugar but you can add all sorts of flavouring to them.”

“I like the chilli,” said Figgy hovering over the table with some difficulty.

“That’s ‘cause you’re a freak,” exclaimed Black sticking out her tongue, “honey’s the best!”

“Then there’s Samosas, Githeri, Mukimo, maybe even Ugali,” continued Pease ignoring his kids feuding as he pointed out the recipes.

Terror glanced over the ingredients, most of it was common stuff the kitchen’s back at the lair probably had, but some was more unusual. If the restaurant served it then they must have a supply. Normally he’s just take what he wanted, but he’d shared food with the family now and sacred hospitality was one taboo that even he wouldn’t break. He wished he brought some pony money with him, maybe he could fly to the lair and back in time? Or was there something else he could do in exchange?

Pease seemed to read his mind. “You want to try some of these recipes?” he asked, “Tell you what, you show me some more griffin recipes and I’ll help you with these. I can even let you have some ingredients if you want. I figure a good meal makes a good gift, right?” he grinned.

Terror nodded. “That sounds fair,” he stretched his talons, “maybe we can start with Beetenbartsch, you’ve got beetroot right?”

It was well after dark by the time Terror Wing started his journey back. That had been more fun than he’d expected, it had been nice to spend some time with the family and to get a chance to cook something. Maybe it wasn’t princely behaviour but he didn’t care, if anyone challenged him about it he could beat them now. He could beat anyone!

He waved back at the Pudding family as he flew into the sky and set a course for home barely feeling the bags of ingredients and completed recipes on his back. Maybe ponies wern’t all completely useless wimps after all. Sure none of them could fight worth a damn but they had their uses, maybe once Corona took back Equestria he could have Pease in his palace kitchen? He did good work. The kids might even be useful in a few years once they’d grown some. Black was fierce enough that she might even make a good soldier with some training. He was sure he could think of something for Figgy to do despite his size, he might make a good scout maybe?

Putting those thoughts aside for the moment he started to decide on the menu for the meal he would present to Zecora. She better appreciate what he was doing for her.

Author's Note:

The main thing about this story was giving Terror Wing some personality. I'd made him a one dimensional screaming idiot in Voice of the Sun and wanted to give him a few hidden depths in this one. How he was at least partially a product of his culture and family situation, often overshadowed and bullied by his more popular older brother.

So I decided on cooking as his secret hobby and added him playing nice with a few foals as well. I did wonder about using the Barrell twins but they didn't seem to fit so the Pudding clan came into existence.

I have quite a bit of fun looking up German and African recipes as well.

Comments are always welcome.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!