• Published 8th May 2021
  • 5,308 Views, 419 Comments

Dark as Chitin - LostBox

I can hardly remember anything for the life of me, though I feel I should. Why is there a voice in my head?

  • ...

Chapter 18: Assembly

Twilight sat at her chair within the Council Room, Spike standing beside her, posture tall and proud. One by one, multiple important Equestrian figures filed into the room, taking their respective seats. There was a bit of commotion, but given the serious nature, it soon quieted down. Once everypony was seated, Twilight was the first to speak up.

"Thank you everypony for coming today, as you might already know, this is about the madness plaguing Ponyville. We believe we've gathered a few leads relating to the issue. Spike," Twilight said waving a hoof over to Spike.

Spike, taking this as his cue, took a magical orb from out of his messenger bag. Holding it out for everypony to see, the magical orb began floating toward the center of the room, rotating faster and faster until it appeared to be a stagnant image.

The orb then began shining brightly, as it projected multiple images of light from its mass. There were images of ponies affected by the madness, their magic readings, the ring, and possible causes.

Everypony looked at the holograms in awe, Twilight addressing Starlight now.

"Starlight, would you mind recounting what happened in the Everfree?"

Sitting up straighter in her seat, Starlight began speaking. "A few days ago, a friend of my daughter's was attacked within the Everfree by a strange creature. Strangely enough, the records of the creature I was able to find were from an old untitled scripture from Celestia and Luna's castle ruins. The creature seemed to be something called an Argonian, a long-since extinct race since pony-kind developed. The creature was also devoid of magic. After subduing the creature and interrogating it, it committed suicide, turning to ash, before telling me anything. The only information we were able to gather from it was that it had something to do with the madness, which I think are more akin to possessions, happening in Ponyville. Discord managed to find that ring in the wake of the ashes of the creature, " Starlight said as she pointed a hoof at the hologram of the ring.

Everypony in the Council Room was now a bit more on edge than before, surprised at the dark turn this meeting had taken.

"After analyzing the ring, I was able to deduce that it was completely devoid of magic. However, it has some kind of other ethereal energy flowing through it. I'm not quite sure what it is, but it does seem rather potent," Twilight explained.

"That can't be possible, everypony has magic, and what other ethereal energy is there besides magic," Rainbow Dash said in disbelief.

"Maybe it's love?" Thorax chimed in.

Starlight shook her head. "I doubt it, that creature didn't seem to have an ounce of love in them. Besides, the rings' energy seems more ominous than anything else."

Fluttershy spoke up. "Then, what could it be?"

Princess Cadance stood up, eyes steadily focused on the images of the ponies affected by the possession. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but after seeing this, I have something to get off my chest."

Shining Armor looked to his wife with mild concern.

"A few days ago, we found a few guards and a squad captain unconscious along the outskirts of the Crystal Empire. After we got them checked, the doctors were able to conclude that aside from being a bit dehydrated, their vitals were completely fine. But... they just won't wake up, no matter what we do," Cadance confessed, sounding defeated.

Everypony looked at Cadance with concern. Thorax was the next to speak up.

"Actually, now that you've brought it up, I found the same thing happening with a few changelings. They were sent on a scouting mission but never returned. When we did finally find them, their vitals were completely fine, but for whatever reason, they wouldn't wake up."

RIght as Twilight was going to speak, the doors to the Council Room opened as a few very distraught-looking guards opened the door, rushing up to Twilight's seat.

"Princess! Something's happened!" One guard yelled as she ran up to Twilight, almost out of breath.

"Calm down, what's going on?" Twilight said, trying to console the pony.

"It's...it's the treasury." Another guard said.

This caught everypony's attention in the council room. Twilight's eyes widened in surprise. This couldn't be good, this couldn't be good at all.

"Tell me everything that happened."

"We were doing an inventory scan, as usual, when we noticed that a few items were missing. We searched everywhere to see if they were maybe displaced, but we came up with nothing.

Twilight gulped. "Which items?"

The guards looked down at the floor, rubbing their forehooves nervously.

"The... Alicorn amulet, Sombra's horn, and an Ancient Wyvern's magic core."

This was when Twilight did something she hadn't done in a long time; Twilight began hyperventilating.

Starlight walked over by Twilight's side. "Calm down, Twilight, maybe there's a lead here."

Twilight continued hyperventilating, her friends now by her side, embracing and consoling her the best they could.

Starlight addressed the guards. "Did you find anything that might give a clue as to what happened?"

The guards shook their heads. "No, nothing, it was as if they just up and vanished. There were no traces of magic, hoof prints, damaged doors, nothing. We were around the clock 24/7 as well, every guard accounted for their shift. We run an inventory scan every 12 hours so it had to have happened recently," one guard explained.

Twilight, understandably distraught, passed out.

Somewhere in an undisclosed location...

Four hooded figures gathered around an altar adorned with skulls and bones, four pillars adjacent at each edge of the altar. In the middle of the altar were three objects: the Alicorn amulet, Sombra's horn, and an Ancient Wyvern's magic core.

"Did you get them?" One of the figures asked, addressing a slightly smaller hooded figure.

Without saying anything, the figure stuck its palm out, four transparent and colorful orbs appearing above it. Each orb seemed to shine brightly, almost like crystal.

The larger figure took the orbs, placing each one at the precipice of each pillar. The figure then pulled out a ritualistic dagger, cutting its palms with it. The other figures did the same.

Gathering around the altar, the figures joined hands, speaking in unison.

"Child of darkness, arise, for the Lord has called of you."

The objects in the middle of the altar began leaking pitch-black darkness, a darkness that almost seemed sapient. The darkness moved around the room, floating around each figure before returning to the altar.

With this, a single being emerged from the darkness, forsaken ruler, King Sombra.

Sombra stepped from the shadows, yet they only seemed to follow him, enveloping his body like a cloak.

"What is this?" Sombra said, sounding confused.

None of the figures responded, instead, a voice within Sombra's own head speaking for them. The voice was raspy, ancient.

"Your renaissance, my child," the voice spoke pridefully.

Sombra had no idea what the voice was talking about, but if his senses weren't deceiving him, he was...alive. But it felt different, unlike before, he felt abnormally cold, and there was no pulse to be found within his veins. Strangely, this didn't bother Sombra in the slightest. One thing was certain, however, he felt more powerful than he had ever been, darkness coursing through his veins, rather than blood.

"My child, what is it that you wish for, more than anything else?" The voice asked insistently.

Sombra held a hoof up to his head, his mind feeling vacant. Suddenly, Sombra remembered everything: the Crystal Empire, the elements of harmony, and Twilight Sparkle. Though Sombra had spent a great deal of time being dead, he knew exactly what he wanted.

"Revenge," Sombra said, removing his hoof from his head.

The voice cackled maniacally, overjoyed at Sombra's response. Sombra didn't laugh, however, nor did he feel joy, in fact, Sombra was certain that he felt little to nothing at all.

Looking around the area, Sombra found that it looked like he was in a cave of some sort. The more peculiar sight, however, was the sight of the four hooded figures kneeling before Sombra's hooves.