• Published 27th Oct 2012
  • 11,019 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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Second Impression

A waxing moon hung over the sleeping town of Ponyville as the large form of Guardian moved through a nearby field. He had only one objective in his mind and it was to get to the tree building that housed a zebra at the moment. Through the grasses that had grown wide for years moved the shadowed form that stopped just before the edge of the field and crouched low to the ground. Guardian gazed upon the darkened homes and buildings that lay peacefully in the night, unknowing of creature of legend moving nearby.

Guardian's ears twitched back and forth as he listened for any ponies that may have been walking during such a wonderful nights. After standing still for a moment the large creature made his way onto the open street and up to the two story building. He reached the wall and stopped when he heard the sound of a couple talking. He was about to place his hooves on the walls when he heard the voices clearly.

A female voice reached him. "I love you, you know that right?"

Another mare responded. "I know you do. You tell me everyday and you know what? I love you too."

A soft giggle reached Guardians ears and he froze. The pair continued as he just stood there listening. The first mare spoke again.

"I wanna tell you something Bonny. I really do love you with my soul. I know that sometimes we fight but even we do I still love you. I'm sorry I've been pushing for us to adopt. I've just been thinking that having a foal could bring us closer but now I think that just sharing a night like this one is all I need."

Guardian couldn't hear the other mare respond as he shook his head to remove the image of a beautiful mare smiling when he had said something similar to her. He placed his front hooves on the wall and used his claws to feel the wall. A perfect surface to climb. Guardian lifted himself off the ground and up the wall. Within a moment he was on the roof of the building looking over the town from a better perspective.

A soft voice filled his mind as he stood there motionless. "I love you too. Please tell me that we will never be apart."

Guardian spoke in a whisper and closed his eyes. "Always my love. You will always be with me in my heart."

The silver face swam before his mind's eyes and smiled at him. He could almost feel the warmth of a fire that had burned nearby in the cozy little home that he had once owned. It was nothing compared to the mansion that the mare had lived in but she had said that she liked the simplicity of his small home. The mare rolled over and hugged him close, her body rubbing against his own in a seductive way.

"You always know what to say."

Guardian reopened his eyes and looked up to the night sky. "If I did we wouldn't have lost what we had."

The dark furred creature moved to the edge of the roof and leaped to the nearby roof. He landed noiselessly and continued. His motion was but a blur that only the most well trained night watch could spot and his hooves made not so much as a light thump as he landed. He had crossed several buildings in only a matter of a minute before he heard the voice of a mare on the street. He stopped and moved to the edge of the building to inspect this voice.

A pink mare was walking the street below with a puzzled look on her face. She held one hoof up to her face. "Tingly hoof," She shook her mane. "Floppy mane," She sat down then stood back up. "Bouncy bum... My pinkie sense just isn't making sense tonight."

The mare looked around then shrugged. She moved off down the street while shaking her head every few steps. Guardian watched her go for a while wondering if she was the town crazy or that she was merely sleep walking. He pushed the thought from his mind and spotted the library off a few buildings away.

He reached the building standing next to the tree library and spotted a balcony on the upper boughs of the tree. He took a small start and leaped of the roof and landed silently on the wooden surface. He looked around the street and the nearby buildings to check that he had moved unseen. He spotted the pink mare again at the far end of the street watched her as she walked in a small circle for a moment.

Town crazy.

Guardian turned around and walked to the balcony door. He opened it slowly and silently as he walked into the room beyond. He paused as the sound of a small creature's heavy breathing met is ears. He scanned the darkened room and spotted a small basket near the foot of the bed. He moved close to the basket and caught the strong scent of brimstone.

Guardian growled. "A dragon."

He looked down at the basket and spotted a purple form of a baby dragon. Guardian stared at the tiny form for a moment before he leaned down and placed the small blanket over the dragon and tucked it in.

Interesting. Wonder how it got here at such a young age... no matter I'm not here for the dragon. I'm here for Zecora.

He looked around the room and spotted the door. He moved to it silently and opened the door slowly, as to not awake the sleeping creature behind him. He quickly stepped out of the room and silently shut the door. A dim light came from behind him from the lower level. Guardian made his way down the nearby stairs until her could spot the source of the light. Motion near the center of the room caught his eye and he stopped.

Sitting in the center of the room was the zebra he was looking for. He tilted his head to the side as he looked at her. She was balanced on a small bamboo head first with her legs folded in. She was humming gently as she balanced there with her eyes closed. Guardian looked at her for a moment as a strong scent reached his nose. It was a relaxing smell he couldn't quite describe but he knew what it was.

Incense. She's meditating. Interesting creature this Zecora. He spotted a trio of candles resting in bowls that were spread around her in a triangle.

Guardian moved back up the stairs a little and placed his hoof on the side of the wall. He lifted himself off the stairs and onto the wall of the tree. He moved up swiftly until he came into contact with the ceiling then transferred himself to ringed surface. For a moment he hung there and looked down at the zebra as he wondered why she was meditating. He mentally shrugged and moved along the surface until he was almost directly over her.

For a moment he looked down at her and the image brought the vivid memory of when he first learned to walk along surfaces like this. It had been a strange sensation to look at the world upside down and when he had first done so he thought that all the blood would rush to his head. However he had discovered that his anatomy prevented this after spending an hour on a ceiling in his youth.

The zebra below made a small adjustment that brought Guardian back to the tree building. He crouched close to the ceiling and began to make a sturdy anchor of web. Once that was complete he slowly lowered himself down until his head was even with hers. They were barely a foot apart now that he was hanging from a web. For the briefest moment he thought she was going to open her eyes and scream but she remained immobile where she was. Guardian placed his legs on the strand and watched her in silence.

Guardian studied the details of the mare at such a close proximity. She looked older than all the other mares he had met but granted that number only included Applejack and Twilight. Her features were well defined and fuller than those of the younger mare but her face was still smooth. He began to wonder just how old she was but moved on to the rest of her striped body. She was fit, her body looking as if it had been sculpted from stone, and she had to be seeing that she was maintaining her balance on a pole while standing on her head.

Guardian looked at the rings for a moment. He knew that they had to be a zebra custom of some kind as he had never seen a pony wear anything like them before, but for what he could only speculate. Minutes passed in silence as he hung there. He closed his eyes for a second and let out a soft breath.

The voice of Zecora shattered the silence. "If it was on me you wanted to sneak, then a better entrance you should seek."

Guardian let out a low chuckle. "Was it my breathing or the creek of the wood when I began my descent?"

Zecora slowly opened her eyes. Her gaze shifted to the left to see the form of a rather amused Guardian hanging from the ceiling. She froze for a moment and took a deep breath.

"It was your breathing however soft, now what is holding you aloft?"

Guardian looked at the web then back to the surprisingly calm zebra. "Web. I must say, hearing that you wanted me to apologize face to face was rather interesting. Not many that are attacked by a monster tend to want to see it again."

She gave him a small nod then rebalanced herself. "If I was to live with you near, then I must learn to defeat my fear."

Guardian nodded. "Interesting indeed. Very well then, to the meat of this matter."

Guardian dropped to the floor without making a noise and lowered himself in a deep bow. "I humble myself before you Zecora. I have committed a crime against you and for that I can never be sorry enough. I seek your forgiveness for my horrendous actions towards you."

Zecora got down from the pole after a moment and stared at the creature. Here was this truly monstrous creature in size and appearance bowing before her as if she was royalty and begging her forgiveness. She didn't know what to say or do for a moment but stare.

She took a step closer to the lowered creature. "You are forgiven with words of such elegance, now please tell me of your genesis."

Guardian stood back up to his imposing height. "If you wish. I am Guardian, Chosen of the Matron and Defender of the Tree of Light. I have recently become friends with a filly of the name Apple Bloom, a mutual friend as she has said."

Zecora nodded. Quickly they began to tell each other of the events of their life since they began to interact with ponies of Ponyville. Close to an hour had pasted while they talked.

"So Guardian before you came to these lands, maybe your origins you could expand?"

Guardian looked at her for a moment as she took a small sip of tea she had made for herself as they had talked. For a moment he wondered if he should avoid telling her the truth like he had with Apple Bloom on his origins. She's older... and understands what it means to live a lonely life away from ones kin. He sighed and looked out the nearby window.

"I may not look it but I am old. Older than many of the living creatures in the forest and beyond its boundaries. For many years I wandered across this world without a purpose aside from surviving until the return of the Tree. Long before you were born my people lived in these lands but now they have been scattered far. Maybe they have made a new home for themselves, or maybe they have long died off and I'm merely a living relic of such times."

He turned to see Zecora looking at him with concern in her eyes. She opened her mouth to speak but stopped when a bright light erupted from the window. The pair moved to the window to locate its source. They could see a pillar of light reaching up to the sky. The pillar of light connected with the moon and it went from a crescent to full instantly.

Guardian moved to the door in a moment. "Stay here and tend to the dragon. I have my own issue to deal with. Another night we will finish this conversation."

With that the door to the library slammed shut as Guardian raced towards the forest.

"Ah don't know Twilight, Guardian didn't really like it when we were near it the first time."

Apple Bloom glanced over at the unicorn next to her. Twilight was looking at the trees around her as they walked through the forest. They had started heading into the forest a few minutes after Guardian had left them alone on the forest path. Apple Bloom had been perfectly happy with leading Twilight to the tree but was now having second thoughts.

"Ah think we should wait until he comes back. He wasn't that happy when me and the other crusaders went to look at the tree."

Twilight stopped walking and looked at the filly. "I don't think he would mind if we just looked at it for a little bit. I just want to see what you were talking about. Just one quick look then we can head back to the farm."

Apple Bloom sighed a little and started walking again along the path. Twilight followed the filly in silence, her gaze on the trees around them. The sound of night birds and other creatures of the night reached her ears as they walked amoung the trees.

"This way. You sure we should do this?"

Twilight nodded. "Of course. We are just going to look at it. Nothing dangerous in just looking."

Apple Bloom caught sight of the light from the tree. "This way." She muttered under her breath. "Ah still think we need should wait."

They walked off the trial into the trees towards the light. They soon reached the wall of trees that circled the grove. Twilight stopped walking as she looked at the trees.

"Are we close?"

Apple Bloom looked back to see Twilight looking up the trees. She looked up as well and noticed that the trees seemed to stretch up into the very sky.

"Yeah. We just need to get on the other side of these trees. Come on, Ah don't want to stay out here all night."

Twilight nodded. "Okay."

The pair walked around the wall of trees. Apple Bloom stopped when she reached the small gap and saw that it had been sealed off with massive webbing.

"Ah guess we should wait for him or try tomorrow."

For a brief moment Apple Bloom thought that Twilight was going to agree but the next moment shattered that little hope. Twilight's horn began to glow and the web was pulled off the trees and formed a small ball that she placed next to the opening.

"There we go. Let's take a look at that tree then."

Apple Bloom let out a tired sigh and walked through the small gap. Twilight followed her and let out a soft gasp as she spotted the tree. The soft white light filled the grove and a gentle breeze moved across the pair of ponies as they looked upon the tree. Apple Bloom sat down next to the entrance to the grove as Twilight started to walk around the tree in a wide circle.

"Don't get near it. Guardian said not to touch it because it's sacred to him and his people. He said it would have killed me when I tried to touch it."

Twilight looked over at the filly. She smiled and nodded but she hadn't really listened to her. Of course he would say something like that. Just scaring her so it won't be touched. She looked at the tree up and down, studying every detail she could as she finished her first pass of the tree.

Twilight stopped for a moment and tapped her chin. "How could something like this be created? It would need a source of magic somewhere to keep it alight but what sort of source."

She took a few steps closer and scanned the base of the tree. She heard the concerned voice of the filly behind her. "Don't! He got mad at me when Ah got near it. We looked at it, can we please leave now?"

Twilight glanced over at the filly. "In a moment. I just want to get a closer look. We'll leave in a moment."

Twilight circled the tree again but stopped roughly two thirds of the way around. She noticed that the tree was smooth, almost like it had been made out of glass. She took another step closer to the tree and stopped just out of hoof reach. She heard Apple Bloom from behind her.

"Twilight don't!"

Twilight moved closer and reached out to touch the surface. Her hoof was almost in contact when the tree began to glow brighter. Apple Bloom watched in horror and began to run towards the unicorn the moment she realized what had happened the moment the tree lit up. The sounds of the forest around them, the bugs chirping, the birds of the night, and even the sound of animals moving nearby instantly stopped and the amulet Guardian had given her began to glow as well.

Apple Bloom had opened her mouth the stop the lavender pony but was to late. Twilight's hoof touched the surface of the tree and held it there for a small moment. Her hoof felt the pressure of touching the tree but she couldn't feel it. It was just pressure. She brought her hoof back and noticed that where she had touched the tree had turned purple. She looked at the bottom of her hoof to see if the tree had turned her hoof white but was slightly disappointed when she saw that it was still its normal shade.

Twilight turned to the yellow filly. "See nothing wrong with touc—"

In an instant the grove exploded in both motion and sound. A white lightning bolt shot out and connected with Twilights horn. At the same moment a blinding pillar of light shot into the sky. Twilight screamed in shock and tried to use magic to shield herself and Apple Bloom but to her horror the beam of energy prevented this. She began to shake her head in hope of disconnecting the beam as a sudden whirlwind filled the grove, churning the leaves into a perfect sphere with the tree in the center.

Apple Bloom was almost to her friend when the wind began. With a force stronger than any she had ever felt she was picked up off the ground and tossed through the air around the tree. She nearly made a full circle before she was tossed outside the whirlwind and crashed at the base of a tree. With the wind knocked out of her and her back and her hind-legs hurting she could only watch as more beams of energy connected to Twilight. Some connected to her legs, chest, and one connected to the tip of her tail.

Once the final energy tendril connected with her body the leaves stopped moving but the roar of the wind continued. The leaves began to fall apart, ripped into a thousand parts then reconstructed as the most terrifying thing Apple Bloom had heard reached her ears: The agonized scream of Twilight as she began to flail in the air. The tendrils of energy began to slowly lift her into the air.

"Twilight!" Apple Bloom screamed as she tried to get up but her legs just couldn't seem to find purchase on the damp earth. After a moment she stood up and rushed towards the sphere of leaves but when she made it to the sphere she crashed into what felt like a solid wall. She scramble to get back up and tried again to find the same invisible barrier keeping her from helping Twilight.

"Twilight! Please Twilight teleport away!"

The yellow filly tried to force her way pasted the wall of air but couldn't move an inch. She looked around frantically but felt helpless. Twilight was going to die and there was nothing she could do to help her. "SOMEPONY PLEASE!"

Her call was answered in the form of a deep roar from above her. She looked up and spotted the large form of Guardian diving through the air and moved through the sphere. His descent was slowed only for a moment when he tackled Twilight in the air and pulled her out of the grasp of most of the beams. They hit the ground with a forceful impact.

Guardian was a blur of motion the next moment as he moved his body directly between Twilight and the tree. This simple action broke the connection the beams had with Twilight and for a moment hung in the air then they latched onto Guardian. Apple Bloom watched as the second they all were connected to him he threw Twilight out of the sphere of wind and stood up.

The large creature made his way to the base of the tree and braced himself there as the roar of the wind picked up to a deafening level. Guardian stood there as black smoke began to rise off his coat and he merely stood there as the wind whipped leaves around him. Just as the wind roared its loudest it all stopped. The noise was gone, the leaves fell to the ground and the tendrils of energy moved back to the tree. The small purple spot on the tree faded back to white.

Apple Bloom slumped to the ground as she watched the large creature stand there with smoke rising off of him. The sharp stench of burnt fur reached her and nearly caused her to gag at how strong it was. As the smoke slowly rose off of Guardian she became aware that his chin had fallen on his neck and something was dripping out of his mouth.

"Guardian?"

She was rooted to the spot when another smell reached her nose. It was a mixture of two distinct scents. The first was close to that of when she had smushed a bug on her hoof and made the mistake of sniffing it. The second was unmistakeable. Blood. Guardian gave a small cough and a moment later spat a mouth full of the ichor and blood mixture onto the ground.

Guardian then turned and locked eyes with her. He slowly started walking across the small gap between then, pausing only for a moment to spit another mouthful of blood off to the side. His stride was heavy and his hooves dragged on the ground. His voice was rough and barely above a whisper.

"What happened?"

Apple Bloom could only look up into the now icy cold eyes. "Twi-Twilight wanted to see the tree and Ah lead her here. She touched the tree but Ah tried to stop her. She wouldn't listen to me but Ah tried to stop her, Ah really did!"

Guardian shifted his icy gaze to the small heap that was Twilight. He didn't even look back at crying filly as he began to move towards the unicorn.

"Stay there. I'll deal with you in a moment."

Guardian walked over to Twilight and spoke in a rough voice. "Get up. Now."

Twilight merely lay there for a moment. Guardian growled at her and grabbed her roughly and lifted her head up off the ground.

"You're not dead so get up."

Twilight's eyes flicked open as he dropped her head back to the ground. She slowly stood up but her shaking limbs made it hard. She nearly fell twice but managed to stand up again. This only lasted for a moment as she doubled over and became reacquainted with her dinner.

She looked up at Guardian as tears began to stream down her cheeks. "Than—"

"Don't. You have defiled sacred ground, broke several laws of my people, took advantage of myself and Apple Bloom, and nearly killed yourself in the process. You have taken what little faith I had in your kind and shattered it without a single thought of your actions."

Twilight slowly backed away from Guardian as his voice gained a deadly quality. "I'm sorry."

He shook his head. "No, you're not. You blundered into something without caring at all until it bit you in the ass. Your kind has always done this thinking that they can conquer anything they want to because they have a horn on their head. You know nothing of this tree, its origins, or even why my people revere it. Get out."

"I'm sorry, please give me another chance."

Guardian closed the gap and locked eyes with her, his eyes alight with pure malice. "Get. Out. You've lost that right the moment you set foot in this grove. I should punish you as the laws of my people demand but I'm choosing to spare you of that. Get out of this forest and never return to this grove or I will revoke this mercy."

Twilight could only stand there. "Please, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to—"

"GET OUT!"

His voice was almost as deafening as the very wind the tree had made. Twilight closed her eyes and in a moment was gone, only a flash and the smell of ozone to signal that she had been standing there. Guardian stood there for a moment, spat out another glob of blood at where Twilight had been standing then turned to look at a terrified Apple Bloom.

He walked over to her slowly. He stopped just in front of her and looked down at her cowering form. Apple Bloom closed her eyes and braced herself, expecting his anger. However she never felt it. Instead Guardian picked her up and began to pick the bits of dirt and leaf out of her mane and coat with his four claw tipped limbs.

She opened her eyes and looked up at his now passive face. "Ah'm sorry! A never should have lead her here. Please be mad at me, not her. It's my fault!"

Guardian continued to clean her for a moment. When he spoke it was in a soft voice, softer than she had ever heard him speak.

"I am mad at you. More so than you would ever believe. However I know that you didn't do this out of malice, rather to be a good friend."

He sighed for a moment then turned his head to the side and spat out another mouth full of blood. "Twilight has betrayed me more than I can tolerate from any pony. I can forgive you but not her. She has broken a sacred law of my people and for that she can never again come near this place."

Apple Bloom stopped him from picking the leaves from her mane. He looked down to see her watery eyes. "But it wasn't her fault, Ah'm to blame. I should be the one you yelled at not her."

Guardian finished cleaning the filly by picking out a whole leaf that was sitting on her bow. He looked down at her then sighed.

"You want to know why I can forgive you?"

The yellow filly nodded. Guardian lightly tapped the amulet on her chest. "That. It's designed to show if the wearer is trustworthy and honest with its creator. If you had lead her here for selfish reasons then it would have shattered, and I know you tried to stop her because the amulet's eyes are glowing. You have done everything in your power to protect my trust and the tree. For that I thank you."

Apple Bloom looked down at the amulet as Guardian shifted her from his forelegs to his back. "Really? You still trust me after Ah did something like this?"

Guardian nodded and moved towards the gap in the trees, his stride much slower than normal and with a hint of a limp. "Yes. The amulet never lies and by the looks of it you haven't lied to me yet either."

Apple Bloom held the gift in her hooves for a moment. "Did you make this for me after you saved me?"

Guardian shook his head. "No. I was wearing it at the time."

"Why?"

Guardian stopped outside the circle of trees and sealed it again with web. "To protect it in case I wanted to give it to somepony I trusted."

The filly studied it for a moment. "Ah'm not the first to have this am Ah?"

Guardian shook his head. "No, you are its first and only owner."

Apple Bloom tapped the back of his neck which made him stop and look at her. She wiped her eyes before she spoke. "Was this supposed to be for somepony else?"

Guardian sighed deeply and nodded. He stayed silent which prompted the next question he knew would follow. "Who was it for?"

Guardian looked ahead and began to walk towards the forest path. "Somepony I used to know. Let's get you home."

Apple Bloom let the amulet fall down to her chest. "It was for your special somepony wasn't it?"

Guardian stopped walking and looked up to the tree tops. "Yes. I had made it for her and was planing on giving it to her."

"What happened?"

Guardian stared up to the hidden sky and remained silent. Apple Bloom waited for a moment. "Guardian what happened to her?"

The large creature started walking once more and spoke in a hoarse whisper. "I lost her in the worst way. She has long since been dead and I would like to leave this subject alone. You need to get home and must retire for the night as well."

Apple Bloom sat down on Guardians back. "Ah lost my mom and dad when I was younger. Ah understand the pain of losing ponies you love."

Guardian looked back at the pony and sighed. Not in the way I have.

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