• Published 3rd Feb 2021
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The Twilight Reaper - Arceaion



What if Twilight never became Celestias apprentice? Instead her history was a much darker one, one steeped in death and secrets not meant to be known by mortals.

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Chapter 1 - Mors cum parvulo

As you come into this world something else is also born; you begin your life and it begins a journey, toward you. It moves slowly but it never stops.
Where ever you go, whatever path you take, it will follow. Never faster, never slower, always coming. You will run it will walk, you will rest it will not.
One day you will linger in the same place for too long. You will sit too still or sleep too deep and when too late you rise to go, you will notice a second shadow next to yours.
Your life will then be over.

-Peter Capaldi


They say that Death is cruel; that he is cold, uncaring and above all unfair however this is far from true. Death is kind, merciful and benevolent; after all it's his job to ensure that those who die are allowed to rest peacefully without fear, remorse or regrets. He does not judge on the actions of the mortals he tends to; he just makes sure they are given a peaceful sleep, one that will allow the souls to be happy.

Of course such a task can be hard to do sometimes, mortals die so often and so fast that he is always spread thin and he never can take a moment to stop and rest. But this is more of an annoyance or minor inconvenience; all jobs have their downsides after all. No, the hardest part of the job is the times when he is called to the side of a child; times like now where he stood before a small child that could be no older than seven. Death looked upon the child with sadness, her time was fast approaching and he had been called early.

Death always made sure that when a child died he was early, it may inconvenience him later on but children were special in that for them death was an especially scary thing and they would need comforting and someone to guide and reassuring them took a precedence over other older souls. As Death watched the mother and father of the child as well as the older brother stay beside her weakening body crying he once more felt a wave of sympathy for the child. One so young with such a loving family and promising future, snuffed out before they were even given a chance to shine. And people said he was cruel; they never realize that all their suffering was the work of his counterpart, Life. It was she who brought plagues and famine, it was she who caused death, he was just here to sweep up the broken pieces of those she toyed with and tuck them away in a safe place where she couldn't hurt them anymore.

Death looked at the hourglass in his hand and sighed as he watched the last grain of sand fall, it was time. The child coughed and raised her hand to her brother however the light left her eyes and the hand fell before he could grab it; Death raised his scythe with a sad grimace and swung, the blade made contact with the body of the child and passed through it without resistance. As the blade came away from the body black tendrils appeared and pulled the child's soul away with it. As the soul stabilized the Child appeared once more only now she was now translucent and groaned before looking up with wide eyed fear at the being before her. Death looked down at the small child sadly and slowly he knelt down laying the scythe on the ground as he took a seat before the child.

"Hello Twilight Sparkle, today you have died." He said in as kind a voice he could muster. "I am Death, Guardian of the Veil, bringer of Eternal Sleep, and the Pale Horse." He said keeping his voice kind and friendly.

"So I died?" Twilight asked confused before looking upset. "But mom said I would get better, she promised she would make sure I got better and then I could go to Princess Celestia School!" She said as tears began to fall. "I-I don't want to go! I don't want to die!" She yelled as she curled up and began to cry.

Death winced and he looked down sadly. "I'm sorry Twilight, but there's nothing I can do." He said as he moved closer to the crying child and embraced her. "I do not decide when your time comes child, simply to make sure you can find rest." He said as he pat Twilights back letting her cry, he knew she needed this and he honestly felt pity for the child.

As Twilight began to calm down Death drew back and looked at the sad child. "Can I at least stay for today?" Twilight asked. "I want to see the sunset at least one more time." She said sadly.

Death hesitated for a moment before sighing. "Very well but if you wish to spend one more day here then you'll have to come with me." He said as he picked up his scythe and rose. "I don't have a lot of time to simply walk around and let you do what you desire though." He said calmly. Twilight nodded and stood, wiping tears away from her eyes with her sleeve. Death reached out a hand and Twilight took it as a dark portal opened and they stepped through it.

When Twilight and Death emerged they stood in the hall of a hospital. Death let go of Twilight's hand and reached into his coat pulling out a long list that he barely kept from falling to the floor in a messy pile. "Right let's see..." He muttered as he looked through the list. "Right so here we go." He said as he returned the list to his cloak and motioned for Twilight to follow him. The two walked down the halls till they reached a door numbered 225 where death entered by phasing through the door, twilight followed quickly and stopped when she saw the old man lying in the bed. "This is Yellow Rock, a good man who has lived a fine life but his time draws close to its end and so I've come." He said as the heart monitor began to register a slowing pulse that finally stopped.

The loud beeping of the heart monitor registering the flat line drew panicked nurses who moved to try and save the old man however the attempt was futile as Death had already swung his scythe and the soul of the elderly man was pulled from his body. "Oh, I say!" The old man said with a gasp as he looked around and saw the cloaked figure of Death. "So you finally decided to pay this old man a visit?" He asked calmly.

"Hello Yellow Rock, today you have died." He said calmly. "I am Death, Guardian of the Veil, bringer of Eternal Sleep, the Pale Horse." He said as he stepped forward. "Your time upon this world has ended and so it is time for you to rest." He said as he reached out his hand.

Yellow Rock smiled and took the hand without hesitation. "Then let's be off, I wish to see my final adventure be a grand one, oh reaper of souls." He said cockily. Death nodded and a portal opened allowing the group to leave the hospital and enter what looked like an infinite void.

As soon as they entered Yellow Rock stumbled and Twilight quickly ran over to him and tried to help him up. "Thank you, young lady." He said kindly as he turned to death. "Strange that Death would be helped by a child." He said quietly.

"She is spending her final day among the lands of the living with me, after today she will rest as well." Death replied as they continued to walk through the void, as they walked the translucent forms of souls began to appear till at last they reached a spot and death turned. "This is the end of your journey, the last stop before you dream your eternal dream." Anything you'd like to say or a last request before your peaceful slumber?"

Yellow Rock shook his head. "No, my story has ended." Yellow said as he sat down, his eyes growing heavy. "I only hope the deeds I've done both right and wrong are judged accordingly, let the rest be silent." He said as he slumped over, his eyes closing as he fell into his eternal sleep.

Twilight watched as he fell into slumber before turning to death who reached out a hand for her to take as another portal opened. Twilight took it and they appeared in a new location, this one was less peaceful than the hospital with police and guards moving quickly to cover the area. "Oh dear..." Death mumbled as he pulled his list and looked down concerned. "Twilight, I'm sure you know that evil exists correct?" He asked, receiving a somewhat confused nod from the child. "This is the site of a death done by a very bad man." He said calmly as he approached the body.

This time when he swung his scythe over the corpse crying could be heard and as the soul appeared it became why. The woman before Death and Twilight was mangled; her face unrecognizable and her stomachs entrails were spilling out of her guts. Twilight looked in horror before retching and death calmly stepped forward. "Ice Candy today you have died." He said in a soothing tone as he slowly approached the crying spirit who turned and paled in fear. "I am Death, Guardian of the Veil, bringer of Eternal Sleep, the Pale Horse." He said as he stepped forward. "Your time upon this world has ended and so it is time for you to rest." He said as he neared her.

"NO! I won't rest, not till my killer is caught!" Ice Candy screamed in anger and fear. "Look at what that bastard did to me!" She yelled gesturing to her body. "He mangled me!"

Death reached out his hand causing it to glow and slowly the woman's body began to restore itself. "Revenge, justice, these are desires of the living." He said in a calm voice. "Your time among the living has passed; Life has seen fit to cut you free and in so doing you cross into my domain." He said as he reached his hand out to her. "Now please, come with me." he said.

The woman looked at herself and then at death before stepping backward. "No, I was killed- murdered and I will have revenge!" She roared.

Death sighed and closed his eyes. "Your time has passed as such you will come quietly or by force, either way you will come." He said as his eyes snapped open and he thrust his hand forward silvery strings shooting out from the air and ensnaring the women who screamed and trashed in anger. "No matter what, all will come with me in the end." He said sadly as he approached the women who had stopped struggling and simply hung there limply crying. "I'm sorry you died in such a way but there is nothing to be done now." He said as he lowered the woman who was now crying and embraced her.

"Why, why now?!" She sobbed. "I finally managed to piece my family back together from almost falling apart, I was pregnant with my husband’s first child, I was just promoted and- and-" As the women broke down crying into death's arms his eyes glowed slightly and slowly the women began to fall silent. After a moment Death picked the women up as a portal opened. "Grab onto my robe young Twilight." He said and together they once more entered the portal and returned to the Veil. As they walked through the bodies Death looked down at the floor as if he were looking for something and after walking for a time he stopped and set the women down, almost instantly she began to sink into the void.

"Why is she sinking?" Twilight asked as she watched the women drift further into the inky blackness.

"The greater the pain a soul has when they die the deeper they sink into the Veil to try and escape their pain." Death said. "Her pain is great, I imagine when she finally finds her place to rest she will be deep in the Veil." Death explained sadly. "That is my duty young Twilight, to ensure that those who die are allowed to rest peacefully without fear, remorse or regrets. I do not judge the actions of the mortals I tend to, I just make sure they are given a peaceful sleep." He said as he turned to the young child. "One that will allow their souls to be happy; it is a difficult job, and one that I cannot do alone."

"So there are other deaths?" She asked receiving a chuckle from Death as a portal opened and the two walked through it.

"No, I am Death and the only one but I do have servants." He explained as they exited the portal and he pulled out his list. "One of my servants, Davy Jones, works the seas. He commands a ship that sails the ocean and collects the souls of those who pass at sea and once the ship is full he sails to the Veil and drops them off." He explained as he put the list away. "Then there is Thanatos, he is the Angel of Death and does the same as I, however he travels beyond Equestrias borders when gathering souls." He explained as he entered the house of a young woman who was cooking. "Lastly there is Charon, he stays in the Veil and watches over the more... active souls." He said with a chuckle. "Souls often tend to get up and... wander. They don't do any harm but they can get lost trying to find a way back; Charon's job is to make sure they don't get lost and to bring them back if they wander off." He explained as a support beam fell from the ceiling and crushed the poor women who barely had time to look up and scream before she was killed. Death looked sadly at the crushed mare and stepped forward preparing to remove her soul.

For the rest of the day he spent repeating this routine, Twilight and Death would go to a place where someone had died, speak with them and reassure them if needed, then take them to the vail where they would be put to rest. Twilight watched as Death tended to the souls who died, collect those who had just died and even catch wayward souls that had escaped him. But as the day drew to a close and Twilight grew more tired Death began to let her speak and interact with the soul more. By the end of the day Twilight was the one talking with the souls and reassuring them while Death simply reaped the soul and helped calm the more dangerous or distraught ones.

At last the day ended and Death took Twilight back to Canterlot where they stood on one of the many observation platforms around the city. "Thank you for letting me spend one more day seeing the world Death." Twilight said sadly.

"It was... a pleasure." Death said hesitantly as he watched her calmly.

"Why does everyone think you're bad?" Twilight asked with a sad smile and turned to Death. "You let me spend one more day here on Eques, you help the souls who die and make sure they're happy, so why do so many of them fear you?" She asked.

Death was silent for a moment before looking out over the observation deck and staring at the city under them and the lands beyond. "They fear me because I am unknown, because I am inevitable." He answered after a while. "All come to me in the end, all must find rest eventually and as such they are afraid. Even your princesses who are immortal will one day find their way to me." He said sadly.

Twilight moved over to the tired looking man and hugged him. "If I could I'd love to help you, I had fun talking to the spirits and helping them move on. They all had such interesting lives, each with their own thoughts, experiences and stories." She said sadly. "I'd love to see it all, and do it all again." She said as she looked down. "Even if some of them are scary or mean I want to help."

Death was taken aback as he looked at the little girl hugging him and as he looked at the child he thought back to all the people she was able to help. She wasn't as fast as him but with that trade off she was much more gentle and kind to the spirits making them come willingly; Death smiled as an idea began to form in his mind.

Twilight seemed to have a unique talent for connecting with ponies and she was kind to them, perhaps if she was trained properly she could help speed up the line and fewer souls would be lost. "Twilight, what if instead of letting you rest I gave you the power and chance to do what we did today again?" He asked, earning a confused look from the girl. "I have Charon as the caretaker of the Veil and as such he doesn't reap souls. Then I have Davy Jones, Captain of the Flying Dutchman who sails the seas collecting the souls of the Seaponies, Hippogriffs and Sirens. Next I have Thanatos, the Angel of Death, who patrols outside Equestria and gathers the souls of the Minotaur, Griffons, Zebra, Dragon, Breezie races." Death explained as he turned to Twilight calmly. "This leaves me having to tend to collect the Valkyries, Terra, Magus, Crystal Terra, and Changeling races." Death explained as he knelt down and looked at Twilight. "Because I have so many souls I can't take the time to be as kind to them as you saw today, many of them I have to rush to their sleep but you seemed to be able to get them to calm down and come more willingly than I." He said as he looked Twilight in the eyes.

"Twilight Sparkle, I will make a deal with you." He said calmly. "I will grant you a new life, one that will give you everything you could ever desire but in exchange you must become an Avatar of my power and collects the souls of mortals as my other servants do." He offered.

Twilight seemed to think about his offer for a moment before looking at Death confused. "What would I do exactly?" She asked.

"Like my other savants you will collect souls but rather than being seen only by the dead I will give you a new life entirely allowing you to live in the mortal world." Death explained. "Of course there are going to be certain rules you must follow." He said with a smile.

"And what rules would those rules be?" Twilight asked as she crossed her arms and pouted.

Death chuckled. "Rule one, you can never tell anyone you were once Twilight Sparkle; if anyone learns then you will die." He said calmly. "Rule two, using the power you will have as my servant is meant only for the deceased; to perform your duty as my servant you will be given some control over my domain so you must be careful with it." He explained. "And Rule three; you must guide at least one soul per day."

Twilight considered Death's offer as she watched the sun begin to set however after a while she smiled and looked at Death. "I want to help, if this means I can help then I accept your offer."

"Very well Twilight Sparkle, from this day forth you are no longer bound to the whims of Life, this means that you are now bound to my domain." Death said as he smiled at his newest and youngest servant. "You'll need a new name; something fitting that will not give way who you once were..." Death trailed off in thought before looking at the young child sitting beside him with a smile. "Aeternum... yes, that will do. Aeternum Rest, the Grim Reaper of Souls." He said with a smile as he ruffled Twilight's hair. Twilight now the newly named Aeternum smiled as the portal opened and Death reached out a hand. "Come Aeternum; let me show you to your new home." He said as she took his hand and then entered the portal.

They say that Death is cruel; that he is cold, uncaring and above all unfair however this is far from true. Death is kind, merciful and above all he is benevolent, after all it's his job to ensure that those who die are allowed to rest peacefully without fear, remorse or regrets. He does not judge the actions of the mortals he tends to; he just makes sure they are given a peaceful sleep, one that will allow the souls to be happy.

Author's Note:

I hope you enjoyed the start of this new story and I'll see you in the next chapter.

Young Twilight Sparkle: