• Published 19th Jan 2012
  • 10,662 Views, 139 Comments

Ravenspire - Imperius

Twilight's read stories about an ancient library deep in the Everfree Forest and sets out to find it

  • ...

Fate Weaver

It was a beautiful summer day in Equestria, Celestia's sun was high in the sky and there was barely a cloud to be seen. The citizens of the small rural town of Ponyville went merrily about their lives as they savored one of the last days they had before summer gave way to fall. Pegasi lounged in what few clouds there were, little fillies played games in the parks, mares and colts trotted through the streets going about their business. It was an all around perfect day in Ponyville. Unfortunately six fillies weren't around to enjoy it, their plans took them down a somewhat less enjoyable road.

"Remind me again why you're dragging us along with you." said Rainbow Dash as she and her friends made their way through the perpetual twilight of the Everfree Forest.

"Because the last time I tried to travel through here by myself a cockatrice turned me to stone." Twilight replied. "That's something I'd like to avoid going through again."

"You coulda just brought Fluttershy along with you if that's what you're scared of, she's the one with The Stare."

"Well nopony's forcing you to go with us, you can always fly back to Ponyville if you don't feel like joining us."

Rainbow Dash was about to respond when the howling of distant timber wolves cut her off.

"Ya know, on second thought, maybe I should stick around. Somepony's gotta make sure you guys are safe after all, hehe." she said rather unconvincingly while Twilight rolled her eyes and laughed.

"So what exactly is this place y'all seemed so darn interested in findin'?" Applejack inquired.

"It's a place I used to read about when I lived back in Canterlot called Ravenspire. It's a huge tower deep in the Everfree Forest that supposedly contains hundreds of books about ancient magic."

"If you wanted to go there so much how come you waited this long?" Pinkie Pie questioned as she hopped happily along.

"Well it was just so far from Canterlot, traveling that far would have interrupted my studies too much. But now that I live in Ponyville and we're right on the edge of the forest it was just a matter of time before I finally found the time to go find it."

"W-wait, d-did you say it was called R-r-ravenspire?" Fluttershy asked nervously.

"Yeah, have you heard of it?" Twilight asked.

"Twilight, darling, absolutely everypony in Ponyville knows about that horrid place. It's something of a local legend." Rarity explained.

"Really?" Twilight asked. "So why doesn't anypony ever talk about it?"

"W-well because it's h-haunted!" Fluttershy squeaked out.

"Haunted? Please, there's no such thing as ghosts, Fluttershy." Twilight scoffed.

"You don't know that for sure, though. What if there are!" Fluttershy whimpered.

"Ghosts just aren't logical, though. There's never been any evidence to suggest that they really exist."

"Well ah guess we'll find out when we get there now, wont we." Applejack said.

"Bah, ghosts don't scare me! If they tried anything I'd show 'em who should be scared of who." Rainbow Dash boasted.

"So tell me, Twilight, however did you hear about Ravenspire all the way up in Canterlot?" Rarity asked.

"The Princess mentioned it to me during one of our lessons and it sounded interesting so I looked it up. It's actually a pretty interesting place." She explained.

"Oh yeah? What's so great about it? I'll bet it's something awesome like super amazing parties or maybe its got tons of candy!" Pinkie Pie said, still hopping enthusiastically along.

"Sorry Pinkie, I'm afraid that it's nothing like that." Twilight said. "Nopony knows what's in it for sure, but a lot of what I've read suggests that it might be some kind of ancient library. And when the Princess told me about it she said that it had been around for as long as she could remember, imagine what kind knowledge might be hidden away in such an old place!"

"Dang, as long as she can remember? But she's over a thousand years old! That place must be totally ancient if even she can't remember it not being around." Rainbow Dash commented.

"I know, I can't wait to get there and see what kind of books might be waiting!"

"Ya know Twi, ah hate to be a downer, but don't ya think that in a place that old any books mighta turned ta dust by now?" Applejack commented.

"You never know, it's possible that the books were enchanted to prevent damage from aging like books in Canterlot Library. The fact that the tower has been around this long without crumbling suggests that it's enchanted somehow." Twilight theorized.

"Well ya don't hafta wonder much longer, looks like we're here." Announced Rainbow Dash as the group emerged from the brush into a clearing.

Before the six ponies loomed the imposing figure of Ravenspire. It seemed to be carved out of a single titanic piece of black rock and it rose up into the sky for hundreds of feet, terminating at the top in a crude pair of wings that gave it its name. For a hundred feet in every direction nothing grew around the tower, as though the forest itself wanted nothing to do with it, and considering the forest they were in that was saying something.

"Okay, we found it, that sure was fun girls, we'll have to do it again sometime, but I think I hear Angel Bunny calling me. Coming Angel!" Fluttershy said as she made to bolt back towards Ponyville.

"Oh no you don't!" Rainbow said, chomping down on her tail and keeping her from leaving.

"B-b-b-but what if-" Fluttershy stammered out.

"Oh don't worry," Rainbow interrupted as she dragged Fluttershy by the tail, "nothing's gonna happen to you, especially with me here to protect everypony!"

"Well if there's nothing else then perhaps we can actually go inside." Twilight said trotting towards the tower.

After crossing the empty stretch of land separating them from the tower, they circled around it and came across a massive stone gate that evidently served as the front entrance.

"So how exactly are we s'posed to get inside?" Applejack questioned, eying the massive gate.

"Let me try a little something." Twilight said as she began channeling magic for a spell. She aimed her horn at the gate and let loose her spell. The spell struck the gate but, aside from quite a spectacular light show, there was no visible effect.

"So uh, is that all ya got there, sugar-cube?" asked Applejack.

"I don't understand, that should have opened it! There must be some kind of magic protecting the gate."

"Don't worry darling, I'm sure we'll think of another-" Rarity started, but was interrupted as the gate began to slowly and rather loudly grind open, startling the six ponies. Once they were open and the ponies had gotten over their shock, they started towards the entrance.

"I guess it just needed a moment to work through the old enchantments protecting the doors." Twilight ventured.

"Well whatever it is it looks like it worked." Rainbow stated.

Upon entering the doors they were faced with six separate stone stairways leading off to various parts of the tower which Twilight paused to consider. Rainbow Dash saw Twilight thinking this over and wasted no time expressing what was on her mind.

"No. No. We are not all going to split up in this dark, creepy tower."

"I didn't say-"

"You were thinking it, I know you were thinking it."

"Alright, well I guess we're not really in any kind of a hurry, we can search in pairs and search the other three directions later if that sounds better." Twilight suggested.

"That still sounds like a really bad idea." said Rainbow.

"Oh don't be silly Dashie, this is gonna be so much fun! We're like adventurers! Come on Rarity, let's go!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed, grabbing hold of Rarity and dragging her up the nearest stairway.

"Well that just leaves two more pairs." Twilight said.

"I guess I'll take AJ with me, she's the only one of you that at least has a chance of keeping up." commented Rainbow.

"Well ah reckon that sounds like a challenge." Applejack said.

"That it is, AJ. Whoever finds Twilight some books first wins?" Rainbow suggested.

"You got yerself a bet, lil' missy!" yelled Applejack as she bolted up the stairs ahead of Rainbow Dash.

"Well it looks like that just leaves us Flutter... shy?" Twilight said looking around for the yellow mare. "Where'd you go, Fluttershy?"

"O-over h-here." Fluttershy squeaked from the dark corner she was cowering in.

"Well come on over here and we'll get searching." Twilight said, totally oblivious to the other mare's terror.

"If you say so, Twilight." She said, falling in behind Twilight as they began up one of the stairways.

The stairway proved to be much longer than it looked and eventually lead out into large, dark hallway.

"H-hey Twilight? Do you think maybe you could make us some light?" Fluttershy asked.

"Sure, just give me a second." Twilight said as she began to channel magic into her horn. In a few seconds she managed to cast an illumination spell and her horn began to glow. The illumination from her horn lit up the hallway they had emerged into, but something seemed amiss about it. The hallway was large, too large it seemed.

"Um, Twilight? This doesn't seem right, the tower didn't look nearly this big from the outside." Fluttershy said.

"You're right," the purple unicorn agreed, "this hallway alone looks like it's twice the width of the entire tower."

"Do you think maybe it's some kind of magic?" Fluttershy suggested as they started down it.

"Definitely, I've read about stuff like this, it's called 'compressed spatiality'. It's a really complicated kind of magic and requires the caster to be able to think in some really complex ways. I've seen examples of it back in the Canterlot Palace like in Princess Celestia's study, but never anything on this scale. If the entire tower is like this then it's possible that the inside of this tower might be as big Ponyville." explained Twilight.

The two ponies continued down the immense hallway peering through archways as they passed by, but not seeing much worth investigating. Eventually after what seemed like ages of walking, the two ponies came to the end of the hallway and were faced with another stone door.

"Stand back, Fluttershy. I'm gonna try my unlocking spell again and I'm not sure what kind of magic might be protecting this door."

"If you say so." Fluttershy said, backing away to a safe distance.

Twilight readied the spell she had used on the front gate and prepared to cast it again, but before she finished casting it the door swung open.

"Well that's weird." Twilight said, letting the magic dissipate.

"I t-t-told you, T-twilight. This p-place is h-h-haunted!" Fluttershy squeaked, terrified.

"I told you, Fluttershy, there's no such thing as ghosts. It's probably just the remnants of an old spell we activated."

"I-if you s-say so, Twilight." the frightened pegasus said.

The two walked through the door and even with Twilight's illumination spell they couldn't see the walls of the room. Twilight began to channel magic with which to supercharge her spell, but again the tower's magic beat her to it and rows of magically suspended torches lit themselves and bathed the room in light. What Twilight saw made her jaw drop.

It was a library, but like nothing she had ever seen before. The room went on for miles, with walls reaching up for hundreds of feet. But the sheer immensity of the room was not what enthralled her, rather it was what lined them. The walls were lined with books, standing book shelves formed a maze of knowledge, even the ceiling was one massive book shelf and was peppered with what looked like doors. If she was the type of pony to believe in heaven, this was what she would have believed it to look like.

There were even small booths dotting the room which, upon inspection, contained house sized rooms of yet more books and even more of the booths. Twilight's breath caught in her throat and her heart rate doubled at the prospect of what she was seeing, there were hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of books within this series of rooms. Her mind froze up trying to calculate the time it would take to read each of these books.

"Fluttershy, just look at this place! Compressed spatialities within compressed spatialities! This is magic unlike anything I've ever dreamed of! Whoever built this place had to have been some kind of genius!" Twilight exclaimed.

"Um, th-that's g-great T-twilight, b-but-." the yellow pegasus stuttered out.

"And just look at all these books!" she continued as she raced over to the nearest bookshelf and took down some books. "I've never seen any of these titles before 'The Ninth Canticle of Tzeentch', 'Machinations of the Deceiver', 'The Lords of Change', these must be absolutely ancient! I can't wait to read these!" she continued to rant.

"T-twilight, I r-really th-think y-you sh-should-" Fluttershy persisted, slowly backing up towards Twilight.

"Just imagine what could be learned from these! These books could show us what life used to be like before ponies settled in Eques-" Twilight was interrupted by a shadow blocking out the torchlight that was far too large to belong to her diminutive mare companion.

"Ah, visitors. It has been so very long since anyone interesting has visited my library. How may I be of assistance?"

Twilight slowly turned to face the speaker. What she saw was what seemed to be a very elderly raven. Dull black, and evidently moth-eaten, robes adorned with faded gold jewelry shrouded most of his body, but where his feathers were visible they were dull and graying. A pair of massive wings were folded upon his back which would have been quite impressive had they not been missing more than half of their feathers and what feathers remained were in desperate need of preening.

The staff he carried in his right hand was totally at odds with the rest of his appearance. The midnight blue shaft looked meticulously polished and was ringed with the most brilliant gold and studded with turquoise. At the top rested what appeared to be a stylized snake with a single large turquoise eye.

"Y-your... library?" Twilight managed to squeak out.

"Well seeing as I am currently the only resident of this tower, yes. I would say that this library is mine. I see you have 'The Ninth Canticle of Tzeentch' there." said the raven, motioning towards the book Twilight was holding suspended in the air with her magic, "I applaud your choice, it really is a classic. It happens to be my favorite book, as a matter of fact." he said conversationally.

"I-I'm sorry, I didn't know there was anypony living here, I would have asked permission if I had known!" Twilight stammered out, placing the book back where she found it.

She was about to continue with her apology but was interrupted by a soft chuckle from the raven.

"It is fine, young pony. All who desire knowledge are welcome within the walls of the Black Library."

"The Black Library? I thought this place was called Ravenspire." Twilight said, confused.

At this the raven chuckled again. "Is that what they're calling it these days? Ravenspire? I suppose it is a fitting name, I doubt anyone besides myself lives who still remembers the original name."

"What do you mean? What is this place? And who are you?" she asked, while the raven sat patiently listening to her rapid-fire line of questioning.

"Ah, yes," he said when she had finally run out of breath, "where are my manners? How rude of me to not introduce myself. I am Ar'Karaleth'Kar'Abosh, Lord of Change, the last of the Daemon Princes, and loyal disciple of the Great Changer, Tzeentch. You may call me Fate Weaver."

"Um, hello then, uh, Mr. Weaver. I'm-"

"Twilight Sparkle, yes, I do believe I've heard all about you. As well as your demure companion, Fluttershy, here. And the other four ponies who entered the tower with you, the pegasus, Rainbow Dash, the unicorn, Rarity, and the earth ponies Applejack and Pinkie Pie."

Twilight blinked in surprise. "How did you know that?"

Fate Weaver furrowed his brow in slight irritation at the question. "For the last decade, every time that brat Celestia came to visit me she simply would not stop talking about her "most faithful student, Twilight Sparkle" and her companions. Oh how her stories of love and tolerance just drive me up the wall."

"Celestia? As in the Princess? Princess Celestia comes here? Wait... brat? You can't call her a brat! She's the ruler of all of Equestria!" Twilight exclaimed, rushing to the defense of her mentor.

Fate Weaver just sighed and shook his head. "You are young, you've only known her for perhaps a decade and only ever as your ruler and teacher. I, however, have known her for much, much longer and as a peer rather than a superior. To me she is a naive, overly optimistic child."

Forgetting her intimidation of the elderly raven, Twilight rushed to defend her mentor from the judgment of this ignorant feather-head. "She's not a naive child! She's an amazing leader and the wisest pony in all of Equestria! She-"

She paused mid-rant when she realized that Weaver was counting backwards.

"Nine, eight, seven." he counted.

"Why are you counting?" Twilight asked, her previous animosity temporarily forgotten.

"Six, five, four."

"Um, Twilight?" Fluttershy said, finally having overcome the terror Weaver instilled in her. "I think I hear something."

"Three, two."

And sure enough there was something, was that... shouting?

"One, and enter stage left." Weaver said, pointing off to one of the booths on the right, the door of which immediately burst open as Rainbow Dash and Applejack tumbled through it, shouting at each other.

"I found it first!"

"Are ya blind? Ah got through that there door first n' you know it!"

"And stage right." Weaver continued, pointing off to the upper left as Pinkie Pie and Rarity tumbled through one of the ceiling doors.

"Wheeeeeeee!" Pinkie Pie squealed as they sailed through the air while Rarity clung to Pinkie for dear life, screeching at the top of her lungs.

With a gesture of his hand Weaver conjured a mattress under the two plummeting ponies so they could land safely, whereupon Rainbow Dash and Applejack promptly collided with them. The four ponies were then unceremoniously deposited on the floor before Twilight.

"And so arrive the last of our guests." Weaver said. "Just as planned."

"Ugh, what th' hay just happened?" Applejack groaned.

"Rarity? I think we're safe now, silly." Pinkie Pie giggled as it became apparent Rarity wasn't slackening her screaming death grip on her. Rarity tentatively opened one of her eyes and, upon realizing she was no longer plummeting towards certain doom, rapidly disentangled herself from Pinkie.

"Oh boy, am I glad to see you girls again!" Twilight said.

"There you are Twilight!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed, "So I totally found you a ton of books!" the declaration earning her a dirty look from Applejack.

"I don't think we need to worry about books at this point." Twilight said, indicating the room Rainbow seemed to not have noticed.

"What do you... oh." Rainbow said as she finally took notice of the amount of literature surrounding them.

They were all interrupted by a polite cough. "Well, Miss Sparkle, aren't you going to introduce me to your friends?"

The four ponies finally took notice of the avian librarian waiting patiently a short distance behind Twilight.

"Woah, who's the feather-head?" Rainbow asked, eloquent as always.

"Hi there, Mister Feather-Face! I'm Pinkie Pie, it's a pleasure to meet you, do you wanna be friends?" Pinkie chirped happily.

"Good gracious! What is that travesty you're wearing?" Rarity exclaimed, aghast at Weaver's apparel.

Twilight cleared her throat to get everypony's attention. "Girls, allow me to introduce Ar'Kala... err, Al'Kara... um... Fate Weaver. He lives here in Raven- err, The Black Library."

"Welcome to the Black Library, all. So glad you could join me today. I was starting to wonder if you'd ever get here." Weaver said.

"Hang on now, d'you mean ta say y'all were expectin' us?" Applejack questioned.

"Of course, Miss Applejack." Weaver said, "I've been expecting you for some time. It was only a mater of time before Miss Sparkle's curiosity finally got the best of her and she came in search of my tower."

"But how did you know I was curious about this place?" Twilight asked.

"The last time she visited me, Celestia told me you had been asking questions about the tower and that I should be expecting a visit from you and your friends sometime soon." he explained.

"Hang on a minute." Rainbow interrupted, "You mean the Princess visits you?"

"She does indeed." Weaver confirmed, "She's been visiting me for ages now. One might call us friends if she didn't annoy me so much."

"Oh come now, Weaver. Surely after all this time you must have warmed up to me at least a little." came a teasing voice from behind.