• Published 22nd Nov 2022
  • 1,139 Views, 127 Comments

Sombasi, Brother of Sombra - Pomp-Neigh



Two brothers, born in darkness. But with seperate outcomes.

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Chapter 2

Radiant Hope became drawn to what she saw unfolding before her: hundreds of crystal ponies were gathering before the Crystal Castle, Celestia’s sun hovering just above.

Soon their heads merrily lifted up toward the balcony, red curtains closed, and the empire’s purple banner fluttered beneath the overlook. Said banner depicts a strong yet delicate ice-colored snowflake with a six-pointed star behind it, concealed within a ring. And a duo of grapevines is present on either side.

Hope instantly recognized the royal patio; it is often where Princess Amore would emerge from those very same red curtains to address her subjects, with two guards always stationed on either side.

The red curtains began to unravel as if on cue, and two guards sporting spears positioned themselves on either side of the now-unveiled entrance point. Ponies began to erupt into cheers, stomping hooves and neighs encompassing Hope’s eardrums, despite her ‘current state.’

She took a moment to take in the extremely cheerful masses, her head turning in every direction with a smile before raising her head high with closed eyes and shouting:

“We love you, Princess Am-!” her words died in her throat, eyes widening and muzzle falling agape.

Hope’s entire world seemingly paused as she took in the beautiful dark-purple mare donned in royal attire that now encompasses the patio. But above all, this princess struck an awful resemblance to…

“We love you, Princess Radiant Hope!” the ponies cried out in glee, almost as if they cemented Hope’s realization for her.

“Oh my gosh!” Hope screamed, consumed by wonder and glee. “I-I’m a princess!”

Suddenly, two prominent figures appeared after a gold and dark-blue flash of magical energy before the masses on ground level. Their flanks bore the celestial bodies, the sun and moon, and Hope’s eyes practically shot out from her skull.

“Princess Radiant Hope, I, Celestia Sol Invictus, would like to congratulate thee on thy achievement.” Celestia finishes with a respectful bow.

“And I, Luna Selene Invictus, extend our-”

“May thy rule be as vibrant as the sun, and Equestria looks forward to continuing our ever-growing relations with the Crystal Empire,” Celestia interjects after rising from her bow, Luna narrowing her eyes, seemingly hurt by her sister’s actions.

Hope took notice of that but simply shrugged it off. After all, it was probably just a mistake, she figured. She’s sure Princess Celestia meant no harm.

Her fairy friends are right; they’re sisters! It’ll be ok.

And so, Radiant Hope continued to observe the processions. And her ‘other self’ looked lovingly upon her subjects for a moment before making her proclamation:

“My beloved crystal ponies…!”


“N-no…” Sombra muttered in horror, his eyes threatening to tear apart the edges of their sockets. “No. No, no, no, no, no…”

All around him, the Crystal Empire had changed drastically, and not for the better. Everything took on a darker tone, and the castle is overhauled with piercing spires of blackened crystal and an alighted crown of blue and green flames that rests at the structure’s precipice.

Ponies are shackled against their will, lined up, and forcefully escorted by monsters of shadows and even other crystal ponies with strange helmets covering their features.

He knew those monstrosities… they matched the descriptions…

These are the Umbrum.

Sombra was disgusted by the very sight; how could this ever happen?! These creatures DARE to threaten his home-

“Nyahahahahaha!”

A deep and foreboding cackling makes itself known, echoing throughout the empire, followed by a sizeable foggy cloud of darkness that encompasses the empire's skies. This phenomenon garners Sombra’s attention, and the nearby crystal ponies wail in pure horror.

Green eyes take shape, a flowing purple flame leaking out with crimson-red pupils dilating in pure bliss, and a toothy grin presents itself even amongst the blackness. The local Umbrum neighed and screeched in what Sombra could only assume was… applause?

Sombra’s breaths hastened, his heart threatening to burst out of his chest. This simply can not be; Hope said that the Heart reveals one’s future, but this

No. Surely Sombra would show up at just the right moment, like in those heroic novels Miss. Chestnut would show him and Sombasi-

Sombasi.

“Sombasi?!” Sombra cried out, looking around for his beloved sibling. “Sombasi! Brother! Where are you?!”

“Ah!” the dark entity from above beckons, its eyes shifting towards a distant cliff face. “Welcome home. Have you come to save MY crystal ponies?”

Something strange was happening. That monster was still clearly talking, but Sombra couldn’t hear anything now. It was as if the entity had been put on mute, and he was certainly not a lip reader.

Sombra followed the horror’s gaze, and many Umbrum screamed, their eyes flashing with that eerie ‘light.’ He saw a collective of figures standing in the distance on that same cliff face—an army of gold and dark-blue apparel.

And Sombra’s worries slowly dissipated when he narrowed his eyes in focus and saw who stood amongst them, specifically at the helm.

“S-Sombasi…?” he questioned in disbelief. His brother had clearly aged, eyes now red instead of the green that Sombra had been accustomed to, the green eyes they shared.

Six shadowy equine figures stood alongside Sombasi, although it was hard to make out the full details of their forms. In fact, the same thing remained consistent amongst the entire army, barring his brother and the armor the masses wore.

Upon a second inspection, he did take note of that strange little biped that stood next to what was clearly a unicorn. Said unicorn being one of the six equines alongside his brother.

But where was he? Where is Sombra? Sombasi didn’t look into the Heart; he did.

Sadly, the colt wouldn’t have much time left to see this vision through to the end, and a sudden all-encompassing light takes hold.


Both Sombra and Radiant Hope break out of their trances in unison, falling onto their flanks and breathing heavily. But while Hope possessed genuine happiness in her features, Sombra depicted pure horror in his.

“S-Sombra!” Hope displayed her growing excitement. “You should’ve seen it; I was a-”

“NO!” the dark unicorn cried out, shaking his head. “No! I-I don’t want that!”

Hope looked upon her friend in shock, taking a few steady steps towards them with a comforting forelimb being extended. That is, until the sound of hooves clopping against the crystal foundation becomes known, garnering their attention.

Sombra and Hope turned towards an encroaching pale vermillion crystal unicorn mare, her gaze depicting kindness, her aura radiating love. Her beauty was unlike anypony else they had ever seen, and a duo of guards, an earth pony and a pegasus, trailed her from behind, keeping their formation on either side.

“Princess Amore!” they shouted in unified shock.

“Good morning, my sweets,” the princess greeted lovingly with a flashing smile and closed eyes. “I see you two have come to confirm the Crystal Heart’s capabilities.” she chuckles. “Miss. Chestnut is quite thorough in her teachings.”

“Princess!” Hope stampedes forth with glee, skiing to a halt but sliding a short distance on the crystal grounds, her hooves scurrying to stop her approach.

“Uh, oh!” she shouts.

All the while, Sombra looked away in sorrow, eyes downcast.

Amore fires up her horn and floats Radiant Hope into the air, saving the filly before gently lowering them to the floor.

“Careful there, little one,” Amore starts with a small giggle. “There are two things to watch out for in the frozen north: the weather and running on the crystal pavement.” she finished with a wink.

Hope brings a forelimb up, placing it behind her neck with sheepish laughter. “Thank you for saving me, princess.”

Amore nods. “It’s my pleasure, Radiant Hope.”

Hope gaps at this. “Y-you know my name?!” she asked incredulously.

“Of course I do,” Amore asserts lovingly. “I make it my sworn duty to remember every name of all my subjects throughout the empire. We are all one,” she shifts her gaze to the Crystal Heart, “and that unity, our conjoined happiness, our positive emotions, is what powers this artifact.”

Hope’s eyes formed stars, steeling herself from ‘fanmareing’ in front of Amore. But Amore couldn’t help but notice the aura of sadness positioned nearby. Hay, she could literally feel it.

-Sombra…- she inertly worried for the dark unicorn. She made a mental note and brought her gaze back to Radiant Hope.

“So tell me, Hope, what did you see?”

“O-oh, well…” Hope looked away in embarrassment, “I-It was nothing.”

Amore raised an eyebrow with a mischievous grin. “Oh? So if I were to read your mind, I wouldn’t catch you lying to me?”

“Y-you can do that?!”

“Ohohoho!” the princess laughed genuinely, Hope tilting her head laced with shock. “Of course, I can’t do that. Well, not without magic, but I’d never breach such privacy.”

Hope shoots the princess with a deadpan expression. “You know, I only met you in pony for barely five minutes, and already I'm starting to think you’re a troll.”

Amore laughs gleefully, her guards stunned by Hope’s impressive forwardness.

“Ooh~! So forward, thank goodness for that!” the princess swiftly leans into Hope.

“Between you and me, I don’t want to be seen as boring and unapproachable like Celestia,” she whispers and finishes with a wink before pulling away and rising to her full stature.

“I want ponies to approach me as they are, without inhibitions. Honestly, though, Celestia needs a good stallion in her life, poor mare. Hmm, come to think of it, even Luna, for that matter. Oh! Look at me rambling, hehehe. So?”

“S-so?” Hope inquired, drawn out of her former stunned state.

“What did you see in the Heart?” Amore asked excitedly.

Hope hesitated for a moment but steeled herself and took in a deep breath. “I… I was the empire’s next princess.”

Amore’s eyes widened, and even her guards let loose muffled gasps. As for Hope, she turned away with slight regret.

In hindsight, it was pretty ambitious to declare to the current ruler that you’d become the next one to replace them, even if it was a vision from the Crystal Heart.

“That’s wonderful!” Amore happily exclaims before merrily skipping forth and circling around the amazed Radiant Hope, humming a tune.

“You simply must tell me more about it later.” she fires up her horn and lifts Hope within a light-blue aura, setting the dark-purple filly onto her back before trotting towards Sombra’s direction.

……….

Sombra refused to accept that future. But even so, where was he? Sombasi was there, so what about him?

He must’ve been somewhere among that army…

Hello, Sombra,” Amore greets, Hope waving a forelimb from her back. “You look absolutely handsome today, my good colt. But, pray, I cannot help but notice that gloom radiating off you.”

Sombra tries his best to hide his emotions, sporting a smiling mask. “I-I’m fine, princess. And, thank you…”

Amore sighs in worry. “I’m sorry, but you’re not very convincing my boy.” she trots forth, leans down, and nuzzles the dark unicorn. “Talk to me, Sombra. What did you see in the Heart?”

Sombra wanted to speak, but a quick glance at the guards located behind the princess made him hesitant, although he tried to hide it—tried being the operative word.

Amore inertly and instantly realized this. She raises her head before looking back over her right shoulder.

“Gentlesirs?”

“Yes, my princess?” they respond in unison.

“Please station yourselves to the nearby archway, specifically to the west.”

“But, princess,” the crystal pegasus starts, notably blue in coloration beneath that armor. “Surly we-”

“I think I'll be quite fine tending to a couple of foals, my dear guard,” Amore interjects, a small hint of authority slipping out.

The crystal earth pony guard, sporting a glittering yellow coat, briefly glances toward Sombra before turning to his compatriot. “You heard the princess, milites. You are to join me at our new post.”

“Y-yes, sir!”

The two guards begin to trot away, walking side by side toward the western archway.

“Sir,” said the pegasus. “Are we really leaving her with-”

“You’re a Sentry, right?” the earth pony interjects.

“Y-yes…”

“Then act like it, damn it. Your family is highly respected amongst the guard. The princess gave you an order; now follow it. And keep your thoughts to yourself.”

……….

“Sombra?” Amore inquired once more, having observed the departing guards for a moment before looking down at the colt.

“Tell me what you saw. Please, don’t be afraid.”

“B-but I am afraid, princess,” Sombra hesitantly answered. “I… I don’t want to accept what I’ve seen…”

“Sombra…” Hope comments in sorrow.

“Shhh,” Amore coos. “Let it all go. Speak only when you can, but never hold it in. Communication is a powerful thing, Sombra, and the first step to solving a problem is to recognize there is one.”

The dark colt absorbs Amore’s words, closing his eyes and sighing in preparation. Then, he opens his orbs and lets the words flow from his muzzle.

“I saw them, princess… I saw the Umbrum. I saw ponies in chains and a corrupted, black empire...”