• Published 15th Apr 2021
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The Fall of the Anoian - bookhorse125



Equestria is not the only land full of magical creatures. Welcome to Anoia.

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Chapter Eight - Red

“Take her away,” Pretty Pony commanded, flicking her tail.

“Yes, Golden Lily, ma'am,” the commander grumbled. Golden Lily lifted off, her wings buzzing as she flew away to the village. The commander looked at Brickle, who, reluctantly, followed. He cast one more longing glance back at Red before she disappeared from sight. The commander waved his hoof just the tiniest bit, and the other Soliouns poured into the cave, surrounding Red and trapping her in a corner. Red tried to use her magic to fend them off, but she’d never been that good at protective or defensive spells. Soon an iron collar was around her neck with two chains connected to it like iron leashes. The squadron of Solious soldiers flew out of the cave, forming a circle around the pegacorn. The commander flew in front, with two other Soliouns flying close behind him. Each of these ponies had a chain in their mouth, which were connected to Red’s collar so that they dragged her along. Red didn’t protest. Hopefully, if what she’d learned in school was correct, the Solious tribe had any trials at sunrise. It was about the middle of the night. Surely, they would put Red in a well-guarded cell, but at least she would be alone. Then she could contact Twilight Sparkle.

The Solious village was relatively small. Red counted about three dozen huts, most of which served as businesses and homes. The rest of the cliff, surrounding the village, were fields and gardens with every kind of plant you could imagine. All of them seemed to be prospering in the Solioun sunlight.

To the side of the village was a large amphitheater, which Red assumed was where all the tribe’s big events happened: plays, trials, executions… Next to the amphitheater was a small jailhouse that was connected to the amphitheater. You could go through the jailhouse and come out through an archway that opened up on the open sands of the bottom of the amphitheater. The squadron of guards dragged Red towards the jailhouse. It was empty, with about ten cells that consisted of a small, three-by-three room with a stack of hay and a bucket of water. There was a small, barred window in each of the cells. The guards stuffed Red in the cell closest to the door to the amphitheater.

“Sleep tight, little pegacorn,” the commander snarled at Red, “because in the morning, it’ll all be over.” He left two guards stationed by the door to the jailhouse and the one to the amphitheater but left himself. He didn’t seem too worried about Red escaping. Once Red was alone, she sighed with relief and looked down at her necklace.

To communicate without looking too suspicious, Twilight Sparkle had given Red a necklace that was a large purple gemstone in the center of a silver frame decorated with smaller gemstones that were pink and dark indigo. Twilight had one that was exactly the same, just the large gem was red and the smaller gems were chocolate brown and forest green. Red took a deep breath, lit up her horn, and blasted the gem. It glowed magenta, and then a projection of Twilight Sparkle appeared in front of Red. Twilight looked around and blinked.

“Oh! Red!” she cried happily. “Sorry, I’ve never really done this before, but - Nevermind! So, what’s the emergency?”

“Well, it’s no big deal,” Red assured her, “except for the fact that I’m about to be executed.”

WHAT?!?!” Twilight looked shocked. Red told her the whole story.

“I’ll send reinforcements!” Twilight declared. “I’ll even come with my friends! We’re great about negotiating and getting ponies free who have been captured who don’t deserve it.”

“I appreciate it,” Red said, cutting off Twilight, “but by the time you get here, it’ll be too late.”

“This is really bad,” Twilight said fretfully. Red rolled her eyes.

“Thank you, Captain Obvious.” Red’s head shot up. “Sh. I think I hear something.” Twilight closed her mouth, but she looked like she wanted to keep talking. Red stepped towards the door of her cell and looked out.

Brickle?” she asked incredulously.

“Shh,” Brickle placed his hoof over her mouth. “Yes, it’s me. The guards don’t know I’m in here, and it would probably be best to keep it that way.” He looked past Red and stopped. “Uh, Red, who’s that?”

Red looked where he was pointing.

“Oh! Well, uh, heh, heh, funny story, um, just a moment.” Red slapped her necklace, and the projection of Twilight disappeared. “So, what were you saying?”

“Red, I… I can’t let you get killed tomorrow,” Brickle burst out. “So I came up with a plan. But I need your help.”

“I’m listening.”

Brickle’s eyes met Red’s. His blue eyes were shaking with fear, and misty from unshed tears. Faint circles lined his eyes, indicating that he hadn’t been sleeping. Red’s bright and intense green eyes were steady and firm, even though she was scared out of her wits. Brickle gazed into Red’s eyes and felt a wave of calm wash over him, erasing his fear.

“Alright. Here’s the plan.” Brickle told her his plan in a hushed voice. Red listened patiently, nodding slowly at times.

“Okay, here’s my thoughts. A good plan, but it won’t work.” Brickle hung his head. Red smiled at him encouragingly. “Don’t worry. I’ve got a better one.”

The sun rose in a dazzling display of pink and gold, showering the island in light. Soliouns bound from their homes and danced in the sunlight, their coats and manes shifting colors. Young foals flew up in the air and danced about, flipping and whirling and dancing in the light breeze. Eventually, everypony headed towards the amphitheater, filling up the seats and looking expectantly at the sands below. Golden Lily stepped out into the sunlight when they were all seated, letting a rainbow of colors shift through her mane before settling on her normal color.

“Good morning, Soliouns!” she cried cheerfully. The ponies in the stands cheered, stamping their hooves to show their approval.

“Yes, yes, it is the start of another wondrous day,” Golden Lily continued. “But, last night, we found something deeply disturbing.” The ponies gasped and whispered to each other. “Indeed. An Anoian pony was found sheltering in our own caves. And not just any pony. A pegacorn.” There was more gasping and whispering.

“We have caves?” a pony in the back asked. Golden Lily ignored her.

“This is very disturbing, I agree,” she said sincerely. “I hope I’m not the only one who believes that this traitorous pony deserves to be executed in the most painful way possible.” A few ponies looked at each other with uncertainty, but the majority of the crowd was nodding agreeably. Golden Lily smiled kindly at them. “Yes. Guards, please bring the prisoner.”

Two Solioun guards emerged from the jailhouse tugging Red behind them. Red’s head was hung, and she meekly followed the guards, who insisted on tugging on her anyway. Her wings were folded in tightly. Nopony noticed that her pendant was glowing slightly.

The guards chained Red to the ground while Golden Lily observed coldly. Red pawed meekly at the sand, leaving shallow trenches. The guards trotted off to guard the entrance.

“Commander Storm?” Golden Lily commanded. “The blade.”

The same commander from the night before emerged from the shadows holding a double-bladed ax in his mouth. Red gulped as beads of sweat trickled down her neck. Golden Lily took the ax and held it in her hoof as she turned to Red with her eyes empty of remorse.

“This is what happens when you anger the Solious ponies,” she said frostily. “May you be the last to make this mistake.” Golden Lily grabbed the ax in her mouth and raised it high.

“WAIT!!!”

Everypony’s head turned to the entrance to the jailhouse. The guards parted to reveal a purple pony with a deep indigo mane striped with violet and magenta. Her fierce purple eyes were flashing, and her wings were spread defiantly.

“Lemme tell you something,” Twilight Sparkle said boldly as she strode out towards Golden Lily, who had dropped the ax. The ponies were so shocked by the fact that Twilight had both wings and a horn that they didn’t notice that her hoofs weren’t sinking into the sand. “You’re messing with one of my friends. And you do not, I repeat, do not mess. With. My. Friends.” Twilight stopped an inch away from Golden Lily’s face. “Do you hear me?”

“W-what is this?” Golden Lily stammered. “Another Anoian? This is treachery! How many more of you do I have to kill, pesky pegacorns?” Sweat trickled down her neck as she avoided Twilight’s firm gaze.

“Oh, you can’t kill me,” Twilight said. “I’m not a pegacorn. I’m an alicorn, which means you have no right to kill me. Also, I’m not even from Anoia. I’m from Equestria, which makes me an Equestrian.” She glared at Golden Lily.

“Makes no difference!” Golden Lily cried. “You’re trespassing on our territory! You must suffer the consequences!”

“The thing is, I’m not. I’m not even actually here.” Twilight lit up her horn, looking at the ax with hatred in her eyes. Red lit up her own horn, although nopony saw. They were all focused on Twilight. Red teleported the ax away, but it looked like Twilight had done it.

“I...I...I...RUN!!!” Golden Lily screamed, spreading her wings and flying away from the amphitheater. The rest of the Soliouns followed in suit. When the dust settled, there was nopony left except for Red and Twilight.

“Well, well, well,” Brickle said as he landed in the sand, his coat shifting from camouflage back to white, holding the ax in his hooves, “your plan worked.”

“Of course it did,” Red said snarkily, looking teasingly at Brickle as he used the ax to hack through her chains. “If I came up with it, it’s guaranteed to work.” Brickle elbowed her playfully. Red smiled and pulled off the iron collar. She rubbed a sore spot on her neck as she turned to Twilight. “Thanks for your help, Twilight.”

“No problem,” Twilight grinned. “I haven’t had that much fun since I beat Chrysalis, Tirek, and Cozy Glow!”

“Uh… who?” Brickle asked.

“Nevermind,” Twilight said hastily. She whipped her head to the side. “Oops, I’ve gotta go. Another council meeting about the missing ponies.” She rolled her eyes and vanished. Red’s pendant stopped glowing.

“Missing ponies?” Brickle turned to Red, who was blushing.

“Well, the emperor’s trying to take over Equestria, the place where that pony’s from. So he captured several citizens to study them and to look for Equestrian’s weaknesses.”

“Equestria? There’s a whole other continent out there?” Red nodded.

“Full of ponies and other creatures, and I’m going to help save it.” Red spread her wings and launched into the air.

“Wait!” Brickle called. Red skidded to a halt and turned around. “I’m coming with you.”

“Brickle, no. You’re a Solioun. You’ll be killed on sight. I can’t… I won’t risk your life, too.”

“But it’s fine if you do?” Brickle demanded, stamping his hoof.

“Brickle, you don’t understand,” Red protested. “It’s dangerous! And you’ve never left the island before. It’s very different.”

“I can get used to different. If I’m correct, I’m trying to help a pegacorn from Anoia.” He gave Red a stink eye.

“No, Brickle. I won’t let you.”

“I don’t want to stay here!” Tears swam in Brickle’s eyes. He couldn’t have Red flying off to her death with no backup.

“You have to, Brickle! This could mean war between two large continents of ponies and other creatures. The Solious ponies will have to choose aside. It’s inevitable. So choose the right side! Convince the other ponies to join your cause. And, if I come back…” Red faltered. She hated making promises she might not be able to keep. “If I come back, I’ll never go anywhere without you.”

Brickle’s eyes were still misty, but he managed a smile and nodded at Red. Red returned his watery smile as she turned around and flew off towards Anoia. For some reason, leaving Brickle behind was tugging at her heartstrings a little bit more than she expected.

Author's Note:

Constructive criticism is appreciated.