• Published 9th Jan 2022
  • 920 Views, 39 Comments

Sanctuary Under a Paleblood Sky - Dragonfire2lm



Bloodborne crossover. Sunset Shimmer is a child when she is exiled from Equestria for trying to revive forbidden magic. Her grief and sorrow is heard by a Great One that still clung to human empathy and suffering in equal measure.

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Glory be to Celestia

The streets were quiet, unsettlingly so for Raine as she walked at a steady pace towards the palace. She felt naked without her weapons, and there was something odd about this tree-city.

The empty streets were expected given the lateness of the hour, but not even Yharnam was this brightly, painfully lit. It was almost as if night didn’t exist here with how golden light poured from the hundreds of lamps hung on every available branch.

She could also sense a second kind of power, weak and faint, deep beneath the city and drowned out by the solar magic that covered every nook and cranny of the place. Raine made a note to investigate it once Sunset was safe.

That faint power, whatever it was… she could hear it calling out with little power it had left, and she had an idea on what it was.

A speck of white in the distance gave her pause and she looked down the road to find someone waiting for them.

A pony with a horn, a pair of feathered wings, and far taller than any equine she’d ever laid eyes on waited for them at the steps to the tree palace. They had fur as white as snow was garbed in a royal purple toga. The large, sun-shaped crown upon their head stood out along with the green, pink, and blue flowing mane and tail.

“I take it that’s your princess?” Raine drawled as Sunset stopped in front of her.

“Y-yeah, what do we do?” Sunset replied and looked back at her, very much unwilling to return to the princess’s side judging by the mix of fear and defiance in her eyes.

“Well…I’ll talk to her, and if that fails, I’ll use a bit of magic of my own…”

It would out her as being something non-human, but it was something she had been prepared for ever since she had regained a human form.

She had a duty of care, to her friends back in Yharnam, to those welcomed into The Hunter’s Dream, and now to Sunset.

Sunset spun faster than Raine thought possible to face her. The filly’s eyes were bright with excitement. “You’ll show me some of your world’s magic?”

She raised her hands in a placating gesture. “It’s just to let you get your things so we can get out of here. But I’d rather try talking first.”

Though Raine was more than ready to use her skill in the arcane arts to assist the girl, there was always a chance this could be resolved with a reasonable discussion.

A slim chance, but a chance nonetheless.

“But… what if she does something?” Sunset asked, excitement fading into worry.

“It’ll be alright.” Raine said soothingly and walked over to the royal mare waiting for them.

“You must be this Princess Celestia I’ve heard about,” Raine said. “My name is Raine, I’m afraid I got a bit lost when your daughter found me out there in the forest.”

“Student,” the princess corrected, amethyst eyes giving the woman a wary look. “Sunset Shimmer is Our student, and We thank thee for returning her to Us.”

“My mistake,” Raine said and waved an arm at the filly in question. “Why don’t we let the child get some rest and talk business? We’ve been wandering the forest for hours and the poor thing is exhausted.”

The yawn Sunset tried to stifle in that moment added to her statement. Raine waited calmly as the tall mare surveyed them both.

After a moment, Celestia nodded. “We agree that the hour is late, and if thou art to stay in Our land, We shall require thee to answer some questions,” Celestia stepped aside and opened a wing to point at the palace entrance. “Return to thy quarters Sunset, thine…research shalt be seen to upon daybreak.”

Raine looked behind her and her heart clenched at the sight. Sunset looked between the monarch and the hunter with uncertainty and Raine wanted nothing more than to scoop up the child and whisk her away to the safety of The Dream.

Part of her was itching to bring retribution to the woman that had cast out a child and sent them to what would have been their death. Or at the very least, have a few stern words with her.

One step at a time, the most dangerous thing here is me. She reminded herself and gave Sunset a reassuring nod.

“Come, there is much We wish to know about thee,” Celestia said as Sunset trudged past them and into the palace. “We are certain that this marks the start of a glorious opportunity for the both of us.”

Raine made a noncommittal hum as she followed the princess inside, thankful for the blindfold over her eyes as the inside of the tree palace, with its glowing walls and root-like chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, was even more irritating to the hunter than the brightly lit streets of the city outside.

“Pray tell, where art thou from?” Celestia asked as Raine trailed behind her. The princess not even glancing back at her as she spoke. “We hath seen many a human be pulled into Our realm, but not one dressed in such charming garb.”

“I was in the city of Yharnam before I was swept into this world,” Raine replied, technically true. “You wouldn’t know of it.”

“I suppose not, then tell Us about thyself?” Celestia asked. “Take thy blindfold for instance, tis something religious in nature?”

“No, I was born with an acute sensitivity to light, as well as losing sight in my left eye when I was born,” Raine replied. Her sensitivity had only skyrocketed since her transcension. “There’s a… spell of sorts on the cloth that allows me to see while dimming the brightness of the world around me.”

“So, thy realm has magic?”

“Of a sort,” she agreed as they turned a corner and entered a large room. “Not exactly a sort you ponies can use from what I’ve heard.”

A strip of green carpet led from the entryway up to the raised dais at the back of the room. The room was adorned with artwork and tapestries depicting ponies, some with horns like Sunset, others with wings, and still, some with neither. They showed scenes of ponies living under the light of the sun, reverently worshipping the princess before her. These works of art depicted a time of peace and prosperity and Raine wondered how much of that was true in the current day.

Some tapestries looked as if half of it had been burned away, the edges blackened and frayed.

In the centre of the dais lay a large, gilded throne with an image of a stylized sun on the backrest.

The princess turned to face her, her face a mask of indifference. “And what dost thou know of Equestrian magic?”

Raine shrugged, playing dumb. “Something about logic and needing a clear mind? It all seemed to go over my head a bit.”

The princess hummed.

“Within this realm, magic is the greatest power one can wield, but it is also the most dangerous,” the princess said. “Too many hath fallen prey to their darkest wants and desires, and their magic responded in kind to turn them into wicked creatures of darkness…”

“So, We teach against such foolishness and inspire Our ponies to live in harmony with their power by careful study and controlled use of their magics,” Celestia explained, her wings opening wide as she stared the hunter down. “If thou hath concerns about how We govern, then thou canst leave.”

“After all, We art certain Sunset has informed thee of Our rebellious sibling and the reason to which Sunset herself was cast out?” Celestia asked with a raised brow. “From thy scent and magical aura alone, We see that thou art not as mortal, nor as human, as thou pretends to be.”

Raine made a noise in annoyance, she didn’t know her dormant arcane power could be detected by anything other than kin or great ones. Celestia had sharper senses than she gave her credit for.

For once, she wished she could have a civil conversation without things turning hostile. “I am not here to cause trouble, honest!”

“Then why art thou here?” Celestia demanded.

“Because your student was crying, grieving for the home and life you ripped away from her,” Raine replied just as sternly. “She had no idea what to do with herself and for Oedon’s sake, she’s a child.”

Celestia was taken aback by her outburst, her wings folding closed as the princess cleared her throat. “…We presumed that she would return to Us, we cast her out to teach her a lesson in respect… Thou must understand, the magics Sunset was enthralled with are far too dangerous to be used.”

“Then as her teacher, her caregiver, you should have acted appropriately,” Raine countered, and she pointed a finger at the princess. “You had a duty of care, and that girl would have been dead if it weren’t for me.”

“We assumed she would still remain in the city…”

You put a child’s life in danger just so you could prove a point.” Raine growled and let her hands fall to her sides. “If you don’t want her or her research then fine, I will take the girl in and take her to my world.”

She studied the princess in the silence that followed. The calm, stoic façade of the princess was broken by the look in her eyes. And Raine met the vitriolic mix of anger and worry in the princess’s gaze with a steely look of her own.

Not that Celestia could see that when Raine still had her blindfold on.

“As I said, I have no intention to harm anyone,” Raine reiterated calmly. “I’m just here to help a kid, maybe find others who are in need of help.”

“And thou shalt leave Our subjects in peace?” Celestia asked.

“Course I will. If there are folks out there that call for help. I’ll do what I can,” Raine said. “Sides, given the state of things outside the city, you could use all the help you can get.”

“We have the situation well in hoof. While We thank thee for thy generous offer, We have no need of it.” Celestia replied somewhat stiffly and gestured for Raine to follow her.

“But… perhaps thou art correct about Our student. She will be happier in thine realm,” Celestia hesitantly added. “Sunset has always struggled with keeping her emotions in check despite her gifted talents in spellwork.”


Sunset steeped into her room to find everything just as she left it.

The curtains were drawn shut over the large window at the very back of the room, even the naturally luminescent walls had dulled their glow and were a shade of pale grey in the darkness.

She walked over to the tall wardrobe in the corner by the window, tucked next to the foot og her bed, and began to rifle through it. She pushed aside the ornate, embroidered saddlebags adorned with Celestia’s golden crest of a stylised sun, and turned her attention to pair of sturdy, plainer bags hidden in the back coner of the wardrobe.

She grasped the strap in her teeth and carefully lifted it out and placed it on to her bedroom floor. Sunset had always preferred the plain old thing, it had served her well when she was just a nopony trying to find her way in life, and had in her time as Celestia’s student, the reliable saddlebag had become a home for her most prized possessions.

With her back towards the desk situated by the wall opposite the wardrobe, she took her time opening the flap on one side of the bag and peeked inside.

It’s still here!

She smiled as she carefully lifted the item out in one hoof. It was a small, silver device. A round disc with a small, smooth blue gem in the side of it.

She pressed the gem and was overjoyed as the top of the device opened to release a floating orb of pale light.

Moonlight.

The room was bathed in the comforting glow of moonlight, it brought her no small measure of comfort to know that this small keepsake had not yet been taken away from her. It contained within the last remaining shreds of power from a dear friend.

The day she was given it was one of the last she had spent with the now imprisoned goddess of the moon.

“Art thou studying the tales of the stars again, Sunset Shimmer?”

“Yes, you don’t mind, do you Lady Luna?”

“Mind? I am delighted that thou hath taken an interest in the old tales.”

“Old tales? They’re older than you?”

“Very, I may be their guardian and steward now, but that was not always so. The stars have a rich history to them that I honour as part of my duties.”

“How?”

“By committing each of their stories to heart and sharing them with curious soul like thyself. In fact, a curious soul such as thee wouldst make fine use of this…”

“Is that… moonlight?”

“Derived from an old spell of mage light, I thought it fitting that thou should have something to aid in thy research when I am away.”

“How is this going to help me learn more about empathetic magic?”

“Ah but you see little one, tis made of such magic. Filled with my wish for pleasant dreams and peaceful rest. Replicate the spell within and thou shalt surely grasp the core principles of the old magics.”

And Sunset did, but before she could show Lady Luna the results of her research, the goddess had one final falling out with her sister and was sealed away.

Sunset’s smile faded as she pressed the jewelled button to return the ball of moonlight to its casing. And stowed the trinket in her bag.

She didn’t have time to dawdle. She turned her attention to the desk, cluttered with her research. Dragging her bag with her, she began to sort through her notes and other items of interests.

The manuscripts of old tales and legends she had transcribed from old tomes and scrolls were placed in the bottom of the bag, followed by the scrolls containing everything from mock-up runes, constellations, and fragments of spell circles.

All the while she kept her ears focused towards the door as she moved with a precise sort of haste that was second nature to her.

With the desk cleared, only one item remained, an old scrap of parchment, the page yellowed with age, but the glowing reddish-pink rune engraved on it remained as a testament to the powerful magic it contained.

She stared at it for a moment, willing it to reveal its meaning.

The rune was almost indecipherable to the filly, the page itself had just appeared under her door one day with no explanation. Not even the guards knew.

But it sung of empathetic magic, and she had been determined to crack its secret.

She was drawn from her musing by the sound of movement near the door and she quickly put the rune between the pages of a manuscript and scanned her desk for anything she had missed.

At the sound of footsteps, she turned around to see Raine stepping into the room.

Sunset’s greeting died in her throat at the sight of Celestia following close behind.

“Your majesty…” Sunset said as she did her best to not let her steadily mounting dread show on her face.

“Sunset Shimmer, We hath decided that thou shall live with this…being,” The Princess said with an air of finality. “Since thou hast thy grievances with the way Equestria uses magic, then thine research shalt be taken to a realm in which it may do no harm.”

Sunset could only watch as Raine, in the middle of removing her blindfold, rounded on the mare. “No, you had no right to look after a child and I will not let her live with such neglect and disregard to her safety!” Raine was adamant as she stared up Celestia. “You have no right to make this out as some sort of divine plan or decision on your part. I was going to take her and whatever she wanted to bring with her regardless.”

She couldn’t believe her ears. She was going to stay with Raine? Celestia was just going to let them leave and with all her research intact?

A wave of emotion washed over her, she struggled to find her voice.

“I-I can stay with you?”

The harsh look Raine was giving the princess melted away as soon she turned to look at Sunset.

Raine responded with a nod and a gentle. “Of course, for as long as you want.”

“…Even when I’m an adult?”

Raine shrugged.

“I don’t see why not?”

Sunset tried to smile, but her eyes were watering, and her mouth wobbled. It felt like she had received something she had been denied her whole life and she didn’t know how to react.

She was happy, relieved, too emotional for words.

She struggled to keep her composure. It was only with the princess looming over them that Sunset managed to keep from bursting into tears of joy.

“Now then,” Raine said and knelt down to place a hand on her shoulder. “Got everything?”

Sunset, too overwhelmed to speak, grabbed the strap of her saddlebags and held it to her chest as she nodded.

Raine nodded and paid Celestia no mind as the mare watched them from the doorway. “Right, now I’m going to use a spell of mine to bring you to my world,” Raine explained, and Sunset did her best to focus at the mention of Raine’s brand of magic. “Listen- no listen, no matter what you see, you are not to copy me.”

She frowned at that. Did Raine think she couldn’t do it?

Sunset,” Raine said sternly. “The kind of power I use has killed people.”

A stunned “What?” came from Celestia and Raine turned her head back to look at her.

“Hush you.”

Sunset let out a strained giggle as Raine turned her attention back to her.

“I’m not saying you can’t learn it. I can teach you when you’re older, and you can hold me to that,” Raine explained calmly. “But what I used is too advanced for a beginner. You could end up hurt, dead, even drive yourself mad.”

“So Sunset, please listen to me when I say that you are not to copy me, alright?” Raine gently pleaded. “I don’t know what I’d do if you got hurt.”

It was strange, having someone be concerned about her. She’d been largely left to her devices outside of her lessons with Celestia, and even before that Sunset had just been one of the Other, the unwanted in a city that was content to forget she ever existed prior to becoming Celestia’s student.

Sunset could see that Raine was earnest in her worry, and she nodded.

“I won’t copy any spell you do until you say so.” she promised.

Raine nodded approvingly and scooped up Sunset and held her to her chest.

“Let’s get you somewhere more welcoming, eh?” Raine said warmly and Sunset pressed her face into the woman’s shoulder. “Hold onto your bag tightly now.”

A strange noise, a sort of whirring hum filled the air as pale blue light wrapped around them. Sunset squeezed her eyes shut as she gelt the power built, ringing oddly in her horn, and held her breath as her stomach lurched and the crackle of power filled her ears.

The surge of power that followed overwhelmed her senses, and Sunset’s overtired, magically fatigued brain couldn’t handle the strain of the foreign power around her.

She blacked out.

Author's Note:

Now as usual, please let me know if I missed any typos. And let me know what you think of the story so far! Comments make my day.