• Published 25th Sep 2021
  • 13,562 Views, 672 Comments

Forgotten - milesprower06

Eager for more answers about Equestria's ancient history, Sunny Starscout uses one of her dad's maps to venture into a long-untouched forest in search of the past.

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The Forest

Sunny Starscout slowly made her way through the trees, brushing past leaves and twigs with nearly every step. With her single saddlebag around her shoulder, she lifted the flap and dug into it, taking out the smartphone that Pipp had given her before she had started this trip down the mountain.

"I'm not entirely sure you'll get a signal all the way in there, sweetheart, but I just want you to have a way to head back towards the mountain if you get lost in there." The pegasus had told her.

Sunny softly tapped the screen, and the lock screen came up, letting her confirm that she had a single bar. It wouldn't be much good for a call, but it was good enough for GPS, and if worse came to worst, Pipp had also loaded up a compass app. At the very least, she would be able to get herself pointed northeast and roughly head back towards the mountain.

She couldn't be absolutely sure, because the canopy was dozens of feet overhead, and obstructed absolutely everything.

She slid the phone back down into her bag, and glanced at the other items inside. Zipp had insisted on her packing three different kinds of wildlife repellent, including a taser, a spray, and a snakebite kit. Along with that, was the last two items she had packed herself; her dad's journal, and something far, far older; a laminated ancient map of the area.

She had studied it on the mountaintop just before descending, and even up there, she wasn't sure how much of a help it was going to be. Apparently, in whatever era this map was from, Zephyr Heights was called 'Canterlot', and the forest below used to be much, much smaller. The map showed it on the other side of the river, and now, you couldn't even see the river, the forest was all the way up to the base of the mountain, and stretched to the horizon.

Somewhere in here was a town called Ponyville. Or rather, whatever was left of it.

She stepped over a fallen trunk, and continued following the river to her right, her absolute best point of reference, beginning to wonder what she would even be looking for in here. The trees, if they fell, would last a century or less before they became indistinguishable from the surrounding soil, so the chance of finding any intact buildings or artifacts was nil. Most of her father's collection had come from discarded museum pieces, or from inside stone or metallic buildings.

But perhaps she would get lucky. According to Queen Haven, almost nopony ever came down here. It was easy to see why; the trees were very disorienting, and she wasn't sure how far from the river she was willing to travel, as it was her only guarantee of not getting completely lost, and she didn't bring camping gear. She got a very early start to get as much use of the daylight as possible. She guessed it wouldn't be too long after late afternoon when this place became entirely pitch black, and she only brought one flashlight.

There were no paths or roads to speak of. She wondered what this place used to look like ages ago. Growth like this would have taken centuries.

The mare stopped to look around when she saw the river widen as it curved to the left. Just after the curve, on the other side, a large pile of boulders sat, a few of them having sunk into the river, moss growing on them. It had to have been a rockslide. Behind that, were several very steep hills, almost a mesa, and was clearly where the rocks had fallen from. There was no telling what used to be here.

Her gaze slowly moved to the left, to her side of the river, and then slowly traveled skyward as she took in the biggest tree she had seen in this forest yet by far. Masses of vines were draped from every branch, and smaller plants and vegetation had made their way up the trunk in their endless quest for sunlight.

Squinting her eyelids slightly, Sunny took a couple steps towards the tree, wanting to take a closer look. She could barely make out the tree bark beneath the countless vines and stems, but what had caught her attention was the odd way roots closest to her were shaped. They didn't go right into the ground, but seemed to be going perpendicular with each other several times before finally burying into the soil.

Was that... A staircase?

Sunny gingerly took several more steps towards the roots, and saw that they were covering something that was clearly artificial in shape. Stepping over them, she came to the base of the tree, covered in a layer of vines, and slowly reached out with a hoof. She parted what vines she could and saw a... surface. She couldn't tell what color it was underneath all the dirt and moss, but she could definitely tell it didn't match the tree bark. She took another careful step forward, reached farther through the vines, and tapped on the surface.

She was hoping the sound it made would help her figure out what it was, but what she was absolutely not expecting was the reverberation that she heard.

Was... Was this tree hollow?

She tapped again, slightly harder to confirm her suspicions, then stepped forward further to brush aside the vines, enough to tell it was a large set of doors. She pushed, and got nothing for her efforts besides creaking. Trying again with the other door provided no better results. Pulling down what vines she could to clear as much of this doorway as possible, she took several steps back, then galloped forward, putting all her weight into her left shoulder as she collided with the left door.

She was hoping the door would come unstuck, and come unstuck it did, as it broke off the hinges with a loud snap, and the earth mare lost her balance, somersaulting once into the pitch black of the interior.

Author's Note:

Well, it certainly didn't take long for me to start off my very first G5 story.

Not a whole lot is going to come of this. Just one more short chapter with a bit of mystery sprinkled in, unless I come up with something insane tomorrow at work.

Thank you for reading! Constructive feedback is always welcome and encouraged.