• Published 27th Oct 2012
  • 11,015 Views, 810 Comments

The Legend of the Arachnapony - RaijingtheClockworkPony



Sometimes the craziest legends are the true ones. When Apple Bloom stumbles upon an anceint source of magic she discovers a very ancient creature.

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A Fine Morning

A warm ray of sunlight reached Twilight's nose and cheeks as Celestia's sun rose in the early hours. She turned over in the bed and stretched out. She felt the crisp, cool sheets against her fur and realized that she was lying in her bed alone. She opened her eyes slowly and looked around the guest room. The light came in from the skylight at just the right angle to strike the pillows. Twilight shifted from the bed and moved in front of the small mirror resting on top of the drawer.

Wow, my mane is a mess. She began to brush her mane as she recalled the night before. She had spent the night talking with Big Macintosh, and he had been kind enough to walk her home. The only other thing she could recall was Spike wanting to cuddle with her. She began taming her mess of a mane when she heard the door open and she spotted the purple dragon munching on a waffle.

“Oh wow, there’s a monster on your head.” He chuckled. “You’re gonna need some powerful magic to get rid of that.”

"Spike, that's not very funny." Twilight gave a small snort of annoyance then smiled.

Spike leaned against the doorway and finished his waffle. "I thought it was. So… are you and Big Mac dating or something? Because I heard him at the door…”

Twilight tossed a pillow at him that knocked him off his feet. "It's not like that!"

Spike got back up chuckling and fluffed the pillow. "Twilight, I know it's not. You've been my friend for how long? And you think I would assume you would do something like that?"

Spike grabbed the pillow and tossed it back at the mare. She caught it with her magic and placed it down next to her on the bed. Her embarrassment returned in a sudden rush of color to her cheeks.

"Sorry Spike. I really do think he’s a nice stallion and all, but he’s hardly my type."

The purple dragon hopped on the bed next to Twilight. "That's good. Just warn me when you do find your type. I want to make sure they are nice to my older sister." He paused for the moment then decided to ruin the touching moment. "Granted, you're my older annoying pony sister who's a little crazy most of the time."

Twilight lunged across the bed and began to tickle the tiny dragon with an almost frenzied smile. "ANNOYING?"

The two of them wrestled on the bed for minutes, each of them gaining the advantage and tickling each other until they couldn't breathe. They lay on the bed catching their breath when a small cough came from the doorway. They looked up and saw Zecora standing in the doorway with a small smile on her face.

"I see you are awake and filled with mirth, I trust you discovered the creature of terrifying girth?"

Twilight’s face turned grim for a moment, embarrassed that she had forgotten the reason she had gone out to the farm last night.

Twilight rose off the bed and walked towards the zebra. "I did."

Zecora face brightened with hope. "What is this mighty beast, who upon my flesh it nearly did feast?"

Twilight motioned for the pair to follow her as she brought the large tome out of the saddle bag. "It's called an Arachnapony and it's a he. They are a very old race of creatures that are supposed to be a legend but, well... after what I saw and talked to I can safely say that they are real, or at least he is."

The small group reached the main library and sat down around on of the small tables. Twilight opened the book and flipped to the page with the Arachnapony entry. "He says that most of that isn't true but that's not important right now." Twilight looked over at Zecora. "He told me to tell you that he's sorry. He made a mistake and wishes for you to forgive him."

Zecora looked at Twilight for a moment then her face changed from the one of surprise to an almost offended look.

"If this apology has been made in good faith, then let him come and speak it to my face."

Twilight and Spike stood there for a moment stunned at her words. Twilight shook her head for a moment then spoke in disbelief. "You want him to apologize in person? The creature that nearly killed you and made you flee your home to come here in search of help?"

Zecora nodded. "If I am to return to my home unafraid, then to me personally this apology must be made. To face this beast shall banish all fear, and I shall shed no more worried tears."

Twilight nodded as she realized her friend’s point. She wanted to face Guardian so that her fear of him would be erased. "Okay. I'll tell him that you want to meet him. From what I’ve seen and from what Applejack has told me he's—"

Spike looked up from the book. "Applejack? Wait, she knows about this Arachnapony as well?"

Twilight nodded. "The entire Apple family seems to have met him. Appaerently he saved Apple Bloom from Timber Wolves and from there she kept going back into the forest to talk to him. He calls himself “Guardian” for some reason and only operates during the night."

Spike rubbed his chin in thought. "So Zecora is going to have to meet him in the dark forest by herself? Seems kinda sketchy to me."

Zecora waved her hoof dismissivly. "A spider uses surprise as a weapon on those unsuspecting, but now I know, so no venom shall he be injecting."

Twilight nodded. "And you won't be alone. I'll go with you and make sure you have support the entire time. I'll talk to him tonight and see if he's willing to meet you here. If not then we'll head into the forest tomorrow."

Zecora nodded and looked at the picture of the Arachnapony. The large looking creature had a small filly in its mouth and a screaming mare under its hoof. Zecora swallowed and hoped that this image was nothing more than an artist’s overactive imagination.

On the small deck of a club house nestled in the farmland of Sweet Apple Acres sat a most unusual pair. Guardian and Sweetie Belle were watching the sunrise together. The Arachnapony looked down at the small filly that had awoken early in the morning and had run out onto the deck. Guardian had seen the look on her face when she realized that she had spent the night curled up next to the young colt. At first it was kind and almost embarrassed then turned to shock and fear. She had run out the door which prompted Guardian to place Apple Bloom down next to Scootaloo and follow the filly to make sure she didn't get hurt.

He found her sitting in the corner of the deck looking out over the darken farmland. He sat down next to her and looked at her. She returned the look then continued to gaze over the farm.

"Sorry about waking you up."

He lowered himself so that he was lying down at eye level with the filly. "I was already awake."

Sweetie blushed a little and looked at him. Her look alone was all the question she needed to ask. Guardian nodded and tilted his head a little. "Why would you run away from a colt you have confessed your affection for?"

Sweetie shuffled a little uncomfortable for a moment. As she did Guardian suddenly understood and his voice grew stern. "You lied to him. You don't care for him at all, or not in the way he does about you."

She shook her head. "No. I do like him and maybe in the same way but... I just don't know."

"Don't know what?"

Her head and ears drooped. "I don't know if I'm ready to find my special somepony yet. I mean what if he's not the one? I'll be stuck with him for the rest of my life."

Guardian remained silent then did something that Sweetie had never heard from him. He was laughing softly at her. He did this for a few moments then took a breath to calm himself. "My poor child, that's not how it works. If you two fall out of love you can just go your separate ways. You are not bound to each other forever."

Sweetie looked up at Guardian her face brightening. "Really? So if it doesn't work we can go back to being friends instead."

Guardian nodded. "Of course. Not everypony finds their true love the first time, and those that do are very lucky."

Sweetie Belle's eyes filled with hope. "I... guess I can give him a chance."

Guardian nodded. "You should also give him the truth as well. Tell him how you feel, let him know that you're scared and he can help you with that. Be honest with him this time."

Sweetie's ears splayed in embarrassment. "Okay."

Sweetie moved closer to Guardian as a cool morning breeze rolled over them. Guardian wrapped around her and held her close for a moment. He sat there for a moment as a living blanket for the filly before she spoke to him.

"You know a lot about love and stuff like that don't you? Did you ever have a special somepony?"

Guardian closed all eight of his eyes and gave her a pained sigh. Moments stretched out as he remained silent. Sweetie almost pulled away in fear that she had made him mad at her when he spoke very softly.

"Yes. I did love a mare once. A very long time ago."

Sweetie looked up at him and noticed that his eyes were closed. "Was she nice?"

Guardian nodded. "For a time. Then I saw her true nature and things changed between us, much for the better."

Sweetie glanced back at the club house and moved away from Guardian. The Arachnapony followed her gaze and noticed that Featherweight was rubbing his eyes and walking towards them. Guardian rose from his spot and began to walk off stating that he had spotted somepony he wanted to talk to. As he walked away he heard the younger ponies talk.

"Hey, Featherweight. I need to talk to you."

"Oh… sure. What’s up?"

Guardian almost considered staying nearby to listen but decided that the young ponies privacy was of much greater importance. He walked off into the orchards and climbed up one of the larger trees. He settled in and turned towards the still rising sun. Its warm rays struck his coat and warmed it but had the opposite effect on his mind and heart.

He closed his eyes and knew that the images in his mind would only bother him if he didn't let them flow at that moment. The face of the mare from his dream arose, her wonderful blue mane, the entrancing sapphire eyes, and a coat that truly attested to the family name of Silver. The next thing that rushed to his mind was a memory of her lips on his own and the taste of peaches they had shared on a mountain side.

Second time she has entered my mind since I have met these foals. Perhaps I'm growing sentimental in my old age.

The Arachnapony let out a long sigh as the image of the mare forced its way back into the forefront of his mind and smiled at him. He opened his eyes and moved lower down the tree and picked one of the larger apples near him. The mare in his mind’s eye was leaning forward. He brought the apple to his lips and took a bite. The mare was within inches of his face now and he could almost feel her warm breath on his muzzle. Guardian chewed the apple slowly as the mare in his mind faded away.

The old Arachnapony's head fell a little as he swallowed. Why do I care so much about something that happened so long ago? It's dead and should stay that way. He blinked slowly and felt his chest tighten a little. Maybe I should be dead with it... I could have easily let myself die a long time ago and yet my duty has kept me alive. His expression and heart hardened as he took another, almost vicious bite of the apple. He had survived this long without the need of a mare. And I shall stay alive until my duty ends.

Guardian slumped down in the tree and remained there for an hour or so as the sun rose. He decided to check on the younger ponies and moved down the tree to the ground. He walked back to the club house and spotted Featherweight and Sweetie Belle sitting together with their tails wrapped around each other's and the filly's head resting on the colt’s shoulder.

Guardian made his presence known by giving them a small grunt. The pair pulled away from each other and looked over at him. He could see them both blushing in the morning light. "Go and wake up your friends. I need to head back into the forest and I can't leave the four of you alone out here."

The pair nodded and headed into the clubhouse. A few minutes later the four young ponies walked out, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo looked very grumpy that they had been woken so early. The five of them began walking towards the farmhouse in silence. Guardian noticed that Featherweight and Sweetie kept glancing at each other and blushing. The simple action made him wonder what exactly they had said when they had talked, but the thoughts were forced from his mind when the form of Big Mac came out from the trees and waved to the group.

"Y'all better head on up to the house quick if you want some breakfast. Granny made plenty of pancakes for you but Applejack might eat them all."

The younger ponies raced to the house at the mention of food, leaving Big Macintosh and Guardian behind. Macintosh shrugged with a small smile on his face and began walking into the orchards. Guardian followed him as his path was heading in the same direction. Macintosh noticed this and nodded at him.

"Ain't gettin' breakfast?"

Guardian shook his head. "I'll eat later." Guardian took a small sniff of the air and caught the strong scent of lavender. The scent of a pony of the same color. "You spent the night with the unicorn?"

Macintosh shook his head. “Ah walked her home.”

Guardian tilted his head to the side. "No wonder her scent is all over you. Are you two courting?"

Macintosh shrugged. "Ah doubt she’s interested in me, and Ah got too much work to settle down yet."

Guardian head remained tilted to the side. Macintosh got the strong mental image of Winona doing the same thing. Guardian spoke with mild curiosity.

“Interesting…”

Macintosh shook his head and adjusted the large yoke he had on. "Not strictly speakin'. Just idle gossip at this point."

"Would you even consider a mare that rash?"

Macintosh rubbed his chin for a moment. "She is my sister’s friend so Ah hope she wouldn’t be that type, but Ah’s have to say no." He paused for a moment then gave Guardian a quizzical look. "Why?”

"I wouldn’t trust a mare with those sorts of intentions."

Macintosh stood there stunned at the blunt comment. "Why not?"

Guardian looked at the red stallion for a moment then up at the sky. "Because everypony I have met has betrayed my trust. It's only a matter of time before the rest of you do so as well. Applejack has already done so by telling Twilight Sparkle of my existence and I haven’t even given it to her yet. The rest of you are coming dangerously close to angering me."

Macintosh felt annoyance at the matter of fact tone. "And how exactly have the rest of us done anything to break your trust or even to make us not earn it?"

Guardian looked at Macintosh and the farmpony could swear he was smiling. "My dear stallion, your wording implies that you ever had it. No, none of you have my trust." He paused for a moment and shook his head. "I misspoke. Apple Bloom has my trust. She annoys me beyond anything a pony has in a long time but it's all in the name of curiosity."

Macintosh stood there and tried his best to soak in Guardians words. "So... what about the rest of us?"

Guardian tilted his head and sighed. "I have already told you. None of you have earned my trust, especially the unicorn Twilight Sparkle. I make it a point not to trust her kind."

Macintosh may have had trouble keeping up with everything else but at the mention of 'her kind' he found himself getting angry. "Her kind?"

Guardian nodded once. "Unicorns. They have proven to be rather cold blooded to my kind. There is a reason you haven't heard of my kind before Macintosh. I don't trust her until she proves herself worthy of it. Now I must get going. Those foals have driven me to exhaustion, I can't understand how you deal with them."

With that, Guardian turned and began to walk away. He stopped after a few yards and turned back to the stallion that was staring at him. "Also tell Twilight that if she wants to talk to me she will need Apple Bloom to guide her to me in the forest. Good morning Macintosh."

Macintosh stood there confused on how to feel about the massive creature walking away. The red stallion had no idea if he should be angry at him or to be confused at the almost random mood changes he was showing. He chose to hold his judgment until he could talk to Guardian more.

Apple Bloom glanced over at the bouncing mare next to her and shook her head in partial embarrassment. Twilight was jumping around in excitement like a foal on Hearth’s Warming Eve. Twilight was jumping at every little sight and sound as if she was expecting Guardian was going to walk out from a shrub.

Apple Bloom looked down at the small necklace that she was wearing and was still as amazed by it as she was the first time she had worn it. The stone softly glowed in the dim light like the full moon through a thin cloud. Apple Bloom had spent most of her day studying the strange stone that it seemed to be made out of but every time she thought of a stone she would realize that they didn't glow. So was this a rare type of stone that only Guardian could find, or was is magic that made the unknown stone glow?

“So how close are we?”

Apple Bloom looked over at the unicorn and saw the nervous smile on her face. “Well… Ah think we might be pretty close. “

“Actually I have been following you two for a few minutes now.”

Both of the ponies jumped at the deep voice that suddenly sounded. However they both reacted differently after the initial shock wore off. Twilight began looking around to locate Guardian with a surprised look. Apple Bloom merely looked up with a smile as she spotted her friend.

Hanging upside down above the pair was Guardian. His unblinking gaze was towards Apple Bloom as he lowered himself to the ground. As he flipped himself on the web he was hanging from Twilight noticed him and leaped back in shock. Touching down on the forest floor Guardian received a hug from Apple Bloom.

“It is good to see you Apple Bloom. I trust that you are doing well?”

The young filly nodded and gestured to the still rather startled Twilight. “Ah’m doing fine. Twilight wanted to talk to you though.”

Guardian glanced over at Twilight for a moment before taking a few step over to her. “I hope that my apology was accepted.”

Twilight looked at him then at the hanging strand of web. “Uhh…” She shook her head and focused on Guardian. “Right. Zecora didn’t accept the apology as it was.”

Guardian’s ears pinned. “I’m sorry to hear that. Why didn’t she accept?”

Twilight gave him a small smirk. “Because she wants you to apologize to her in person.”

Apple Bloom looked between the two confused as Guardian let out a deep chuckle. “She wishes for me to apologize to her. The monster that almost…” He glanced over at Apple Bloom for a moment. “… Harmed her” He finished lamely “She has more courage than any pony I’ve met in quite a while.” He nudged Apple Bloom gently. “With a small exception.”

Apple Bloom gave a small giggle but her cheer faded as she thought about what the exchange between Guardian and Twilight meant. She tried to ask about it but Twilight cut her off.

“So she was wondering if you would be willing to go to the library and talk to her. I think it would be best done tonight so that she can return to her home.”

Guardian nodded. “Very well. What does this Library look like?”

Twilight stood there stunned. She was expecting him to argue or just flat out deny going into town. Instead he was accepting the offer and willing to head into the town without a second thought.

“Oh… Well it’s a large tree building that has a balcony and a sign with a book on it. Should be really easy to find.”

Apple Bloom walked between the older pony and Guardian and tapped Guardian’s leg. The large creature looked down at her with mild amusement.

“What did you mean you nearly hurt Zecora? When did this happen?”

Guardian glanced up at Twilight for a moment. “A moment of privacy please.”

It wasn’t a question. It was an order and Twilight was more than willing to obey it. She walked down the forest trail and left the filly with Guardian. Guardian waited until she was completely out of earshot before he spoke.

“I want to say something before I tell you what happened. I have been alone for a very long time with no contact with ponies.” He paused for a moment and sighed. “During that time I began to embrace my more… basic nature.”

Apple stood there silent and looked at him. Guardian continued. “I have come to terms with what it means to be an Arachnapony. Unfortunately one of those terms is that I have an urge to consume…”

“Consume what?” The filly looked into the eyes of the larger creature and saw that his face gained a worried look.

“Meat. Like the giant spiders that were my forerunners, my kind has a hunger for flesh and hunting.”

Apple Bloom’s eyes widened and she took a step away from Guardian. “You… you eat meat?”

Guardian could hear the fear in her voice and see it in her eyes. He nodded and sat on the ground. “Yes. My kind eat meat just like the wolves, eagles, and other carnivores in Equestria, but I have sworn never to eat or kill a pony… but I had failed to hold that urge in check and I attacked Zecora. I nearly did something unforgivable.”

Guardian lowered his head and closed his eyes. “I lost myself in a moment of weakness. If you fear and hate me now, I understand. I will hold no grudge against you if you choose to never see me again.”

Apple Bloom stood there for a moment looking at the larger creature and saw something in the low light. Somehow he looked old, older than any creature ever should. The fact that he ate meat terrified her. Only monsters and evil creatures ate meat. Yet she couldn’t see him doing that. His voice was filled with genuine pain from his actions and he looked miserable.

She took a few cautious steps towards him and tapped his shoulder. Guardian reopened his eyes and looked at her.

“I don’t hate you. Will you promise never to attack a pony like that again?” Guardian nodded. Apple Bloom smiled at him and continued. “Promise to protect Zecora like you do me.”

Guardian smiled at the filly and gave her a tiny bow of his head. “I promise to never harm any pony and to protect you and Zecora with my life.”

Apple Bloom smile at him and hugged him tightly. Much to her surprise he returned the hug with his clawed limbs. They finished the hug and glanced over to see Twilight smiling at them. Guardian rose quickly and walked over to her.

“I have to talk to Zecora now. She is at the Library right now?” Twilight nodded. “I shall head there now then. Our conversation should only last an hour or so and I feel that it would be best if it was private between myself and the zebra. Feel free to watch over Apple Bloom.”

Guardian set off through the forest at a speed that left Twilight bewildered. This was the second time in less than two days that she watched Guardian move at such speeds. She sat there amazed at the speed of such a large creature. A minute past before she realized that she had promised to be there with Zecora when Guardian talked to her. Something told her that interrupting their conversation wasn’t the wisest of options.

She looked over at Apple Bloom and gave her a small smile. “So… What about this tree you told me about?”

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