• Published 19th Jan 2012
  • 10,246 Views, 139 Comments

Ravenspire - Imperius



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

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Friendship is Chaos

"Oh Applejack, don't lie to me. I'm the one that made you a liar." Discord said, using his magic to drag Twilight's friends through the air. "Will you ever learn?"

Twilight teleported herself to her friends and shielded them in a magical barrier, breaking Discord's hold on them. She then used her bubble to safely lower them all, its power driving back Discord's chaos where it touched the ground.

"I'll tell you what we've learned, Discord." Twilight defiantly proclaimed. "We've learned that friendship isn't always easy, but there's no doubt it's worth fighting for!"

"Eugh, gag! Fine, go ahead, try and use your little Elements. Just make it quick." Discord said, teleporting back to his throne, "I'm missing some excellent chaos here!"

Twilight needed no further prompting. "Alright ladies, let's show him what friendship can do!"

The six ponies gathered around Twilight, summoning the power of the Elements once again as Discord relaxed in his chair staring smugly down at them. The gems in the ponies' necklaces soon began to glow and emit bolts of energy at Discord.

"What's this?" Discord said no nobody in particular, having fully expected the ponies to fail. "Oh no." Discord's eyes went wide in shock. At the same time the ponies opened their eyes, they shined white with the power they were channeling.

"No!" Discord yelled, too late realizing the danger he was in. "NOOOOO!"

Suddenly a blast reminiscent of a sonic rainboom erupted from the gathered ponies and sent a beam of rainbow energy racing toward the draconequus. The beam struck its mark but encountered unexpected resistance, evidently Discord wasn't going down without a fight. Twilight and her friends poured as much energy as they could into the rainbow beam, saturating it with the power of their friendship, but still the resistance remained. To Twilight's dismay the beam began to refract at the point of impact, sending single colored beams in all directions. Suddenly a voice rang out from Discord's end of the beam, every syllable dripping with power.

"That." Twilight couldn't believe it, it wasn't working.

"Is." Despite her growing horror, she couldn't help but feel curious, the voice was familiar, but it didn't sound like Discord. It almost sounded like...

"ENOUGH!" the voice roared. Violet energy erupted from Discord's end and shot up the beam, splitting it right down its entire length. When it impacted the ponies the magical backlash caused a massive explosion, tossing Twilight and her friends through the air like rag dolls.

Twilight hit the ground and skidded several feet before finally coming to a stop when she bumped against a taloned claw. She could see her crown laying barely a foot away, if she could just get to it...

"Discord..." she growled weakly, trying to crawl forward, "I d-don't care... h-how strong you a-are... we'll stop you."

Discord offered no response but to watch her inch her way towards her crown. As she made to reach out for it he reached down with his bird claw and snatched it away from her. She growled weakly again in frustration but suddenly froze, Discord's bird claw wasn't black.

Twilight looked up at what she had thought was Discord, only to see Fate Weaver looking down at her with a contemptuous scowl.

"W-Weaver? What...?" she asked, confused.

"Always so quick to blindly follow." he said, his words full of contempt, "Is this what Celestia has planned for me when she no longer needs me? A nice place in her garden?"

Twilight rose unsteadily to her feet. "What are... are you talking about?" she said, breathing heavily.

Weaver sneered at her, idly twirling her crown in his hand, but before he could comment he was interrupted.

"Weaver? Fate Weaver, is that you? What happened to your other head? Oh dear, time... time has not been kind to you." Discord laughed, flying over to Weaver. His words seemed to shake him out of whatever mood he'd gotten into and, much to the pony's surprise, the two embraced as old friends.

"I wouldn't be criticizing the appearances of others if I were you," Weaver laughed, tossing Twilight's crown back at her, "As for the other head, well... let's just not talk about that, it was a phase that I'm not really proud of."

"I can't imagine why you'd want to get rid of it, I can only imagine how fun it would be to have someone else to talk to that's just as smart as I am. Oh! Where are my manners, you just saved me from being turned back into a tacky garden ornament, here, have a drink on me!" he said, offering Weaver a glass of chocolate milk.

"Why thank you, Discord, don't mind if I..." Weaver squinted at the glass and promptly tossed it over his shoulder where it detonated upon hitting the ground.

"Oh you know me so well." Discord said, chuckling.

They were suddenly interrupted by the rest of the ponies making their ways over.

"Anypony mind explaining to me what the hay the bird-brain is doing here?" Rainbow Dash loudly asked.

"It was him..." Twilight said, still stunned, "Weaver's the reason we couldn't stop Discord."

"Weavie?" Pinkie Pie said, confused, "There's no way it could've been Weavie, he's our friend, he'd never help a meanie like Discord!"

"Alas, Pinkie, Miss Sparkle is telling the truth. It was I who put a stop to your ill-fated attempt to imprison Discord again."

"But why?" Fluttershy said meekly, "He's evil, he tried to destroy our friendship!"

"What else could I do, Fluttershy?" Discord said, "Don't get me wrong, it's not like I didn't enjoy it every second of it, but even if I didn't it was the best way of making sure I didn't get turned back into stone. You may not know this, but it is very, very lonely being a statue for thousands of years."

"Well what I'd like to know is how you could have possibly repelled the Elements of Harmony." Rarity said.

"That there's a darn good question, there ain't nothin' stronger'n friendship." agreed Applejack.

Weaver scowled at that. "That applies to everyone, you know. Not just ponies."

The ponies looked at him is disbelief.

"W-what?" Twilight asked.

"Your so-called 'power of friendship' works both ways. Discord is my friend and I was protecting him." Weaver explained.

"You two are friends?" Fluttershy asked in disbelief.

"Well of course!" Discord said, "Weaver's the only one who's ever appreciated my beautiful chaos."

"But he's evil!" Twilight insisted.

"Why? Because Celestia says he is? If she said I was evil would you turn the Elements against me on just her word?"

"But you're not evil, you don't go around making ponies miserable. You were nice to us, the princess would never ask us to do that." Fluttershy said.

"It's only a matter of time," he spat, "eventually Celestia will have no further use for me. Eventually I'll become an inconvenience to her and she'll do to me what she did to Discord and Luna."

"Well now you're just being paranoid," scoffed Rarity, "the princess would never do that to you. You're her friend, after all."

"Perhaps I am being paranoid, but paranoia has saved my feathers more times than I care to count." he said, "Now as I said, you will not be imprisoning Discord again, go back to Celestia and tell her you failed. And tell her that if she really wants to go down this path then she should come do it herself."

"Weavie, please don't do this, we're friends!" Pinkie implored.

"If you're really my friends then you wont listen to her lies." said Weaver with finality.

"Arrivederci, little ponies! I do so hope we meet again!" Discord called out.

With that Weaver slammed the haft of his staff against the ground and suddenly he and Discord were enveloped by a violet explosion. When the light faded the two were gone.

"Ah'd never'a believed it, the princess's own friend just saved Discord." Applejack said, stunned.

"Difficult to believe, to be sure, but... he did raise an interesting point. If the princess told us he was evil, would we have just taken her word on it and used the Elements on him?" Rarity asked.

"She wouldn't do that unless she had a good reason to though... right?" Fluttershy asked meekly.

"Of course, Fluttershy." Twilight said, full of confidence, "Princess Celestia would never do anything without a good reason, especially something like using the Elements of Harmony on someone so close to her."

"So it's a yes then?" Pinkie asked, her voice strangely subdued, "We'd take the princess's word and hurt Weavie and just hope she had a good reason for it?"

"Well... yeah." Twilight said, "But she would, she always does."

"I can't believe you guys are falling for this!" Rainbow Dash finally shouted, "Weaver is just as bad as Discord! The only difference is that instead of destroying our friendship he's trying to destroy our trust in Celestia! Just listen to yourselves!"

"Oh my gosh, Rainbow Dash is right!" Twilight gasped.

"Hold yer horses there, girls, why would he go doin' that?" Applejack asked.

"What does it matter? He just saved Discord and tried to turn us against the princess! And counting right now, we've met this guy all of three times, we've got no reason to trust him other than that he's the princess's friend and it looks like right now he doesn't even have that going for him anymore!

"And remember the story he told us back in his library? He's some kinda champion for a guy who used to run around calling himself things like 'The Deceiver' and 'The Great Schemer' and he's proud of it! The princess might be smart but this guy's entire life is all about lying and cheating, I wouldn't be surprised if he's been tricking her for the whole time he's known her!"

"Unpleasant as it is, I think Rainbow Dash has a point." Twilight said, "We need to go see the princess right away and tell her about what's going on. If Discord and Fate Weaver are working together then we're going to need all the help we can get."

Minds made up, the six ponies gathered together in a small circle and Twilight teleported them all to Canterlot.

________________________________________________________________________

Deep in the Everfree Forest, hidden away within the bowels of Ravenspire, Discord and Fate Weaver were deep in conversation.

"Oh this is so exciting!" Discord said, "Just the two of us on the run from the law, partners in crime!"

"We're not running from anyone." Weaver snapped.

"Jeez, when did you get so serious?" Discord asked.

"Around the time you were turned into a statue."

"Eugh, that long? That's just depressing." said Discord, grimacing.

"Well you were always the fun one." Weaver said, "When you were imprisoned it was just Princess Responsibility and Princess Antisocial for company. And soon after that it was just Princess Responsibility."

"Ah yes, I can see how a few thousand years with those two might make you a little dull."

"Not as dull as you might think." he replied, absently tapping his staff against a nearby book case. The case proved to be a convincingly painted plywood cutout and toppled over, striking the one behind it and setting off an amusing domino effect of fake book cases throughout the library. Discord burst out laughing at the display.

"Oh my, it seems I'm really going to have to up my game around you. You always were the hardest one to prank."

"Well your unfaltering reliability doesn't really help you all that much either." Weaver chuckled.

"Reliable? I've been called a lot of things in my time but that's certainly a new one. What could possibly be reliable about me?" Discord said.

"I can always rely upon you to be dishonest, my friend. It's just one more example of how chaos is the only thing that you can really trust." explained the ancient raven.

"Oh I don't know about that. What about Celestia and Luna? Surely they're more trustworthy than I am, I don't think I could stand the idea of being more reliable than they are." Discord said with an exaggerated gag.

"They're far too honest for my tastes. You see, a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. It's the honest ones that you need to look out for, because you can never really tell when they're going to try to pull the wool over your eyes." Weaver explained.

"Is that why you had your little tantrum back in Ponyville? You think Celestia's planning something?" the draconequus asked.

"I started having my suspicions a while after she first turned you into stone." Weaver admitted.

"Thanks for that, by the way." Discord quipped.

"Well I agreed with her at the time," Weaver said, "you'd gone completely out of your skull. But I swear by The Changer that I had no idea it was supposed to be permanent. I thought she was going to imprison you for a while to give you some time to calm down and think about what you'd done, I assumed it would only be for a few centuries, a millennium tops. Never did I think she meant to do away with you permanently."

"So that was when you went nuts, when did you go completely bonkers?" Discord inquired.

"Nightmare Moon," Weaver sighed, "Celestia kept Luna around so long as she didn't get in the way, but the instant that little filly grew a backbone and became a nuisance, Celestia banished her to the moon and usurped her power. Then once Luna got free, Celestia had her zapped back into little Princess Antisocial and I haven't seen her since."

"Have you considered that you may be overreacting a little?" Discord chuckled, "As entertaining as it would be, Celestia's the last pony in the world that would turn into a mad tyrant."

"There used to be a saying: 'Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.' Do you really expect me to believe that any being could be in possession of such unquestioned power for so long and not succumb to the power of the position?"

"Well didn't you rule that one place for something like a thousand years? You seemed to handle that pretty well." Discord remarked, conjuring a throne to lounge in.

"When did I tell you about that?" Weaver asked, startled that he could have forgotten such a detail.

"You going senile or something, you old chicken? You told me not too long before Celestia turned me into a statue."

Weaver narrowed his eyes. "Liar." he said, simply.

"You got me, I confess, you never told me about it." Discord confessed dramatically, "But in all honesty I stole your books. Like all the time. I don't think there was a single time I visited you that I didn't steal one of your books."

"Well I knew that," Weaver said, rolling his eyes, "though I didn't think you'd stolen anything of historical significance. My congratulations on sneaking that by me."

"Oh excellent, I fooled you! This calls for a victory drink!" he said, conjuring one of his pink rain clouds and a glass.

"Not in my library!" Weaver shouted at him, "I'd rather nothing exploded in here today."

"Fine, fine." Discord said and summoned a paper cone instead which he used to spear the cotton candy cloud. "But back to my point, you did pretty well for a guy in a position of absolute power for quite a while." He then tossed his unused glass behind him which, to Weaver's dismay but not surprise, exploded.

"I wasn't the one in charge, my master was. I simply carried out his will." the raven explained.

"Well you must have used that for personal gain at some point." Discord insisted, munching on his wad of cotton candy.

"One of the perks of being a Chaos god's personal champion is that said god's gaze is always upon you, it's rather difficult to misrepresent their will for personal gain when they're always watching your every move."

"Ah, yes that would make it difficult. But there must have been some sweet perks that came with the job."

"I didn't have much time to enjoy the power, what time I didn't spend ruling was spent looking over my shoulder and watching out for usurpers."

"Wow, who in their right mind would ever want a job like that?" Discord asked, confounded that any being could find such a position to their liking.

"Only those who truly embodied the ideals of their gods were chosen as champions and elevated to daemonhood. The challenge presented by the constant scheming and counter-scheming was what I lived for. It was an eternal dance of deception and lies. The rush I felt when I outmaneuvered a would-be usurper or successfully eliminated a powerful rival was incredible." Weaver explained, voice filled with passion.

"Mhm, mhm." Discord hummed, nodding to himself, "I think we may have found your problem."

Weaver's only response was to drive his palm into his forehead.

________________________________________________________________________

Celestia had been pacing her chambers anxiously ever since she'd sent the last of her letters to Twilight. She hadn't yet received word back from her student about her confrontation with Discord and feared the worst. She didn't have to worry much longer as she was suddenly pulled out of thoughts by a guard pony entering her chambers.

"Your highness, we were told you wanted to be informed of any news regarding to the situation in Ponyville the instant we got any word."

"That is correct, please tell me you have good news." she said, doing her best to hide the nervousness she felt.

"Your student and the other Element bearers have just arrived in Canterlot and wished to update you personally, shall I send them in?" he asked.

"Of course." she replied, her apprehension increasing. If they were here in person that meant they had either met with resounding success or terrible defeat. She was about to find out.

Six very beat up fillies entered her chambers, heads hung low. Celestia's heart sunk as she took in their expressions. Twilight was the first to speak up.

"Princess Celestia... " she began. Celestia's heart broke at the shame she heard in the young pony's voice. "We couldn't do it. Discord managed to escape."

"What happened, my little ponies? How did Discord resist the Elements?" she asked, dreading the answer. Twilight's next words only solidified that dread.

"Fate Weaver." she said, "I don't know how, but he managed to shield Discord from the power of the Elements of Harmony. When we asked him about it, all he said that the power of friendship works both ways."

"I should have expected this." Celestia said, "Fate Weaver and Discord were very close friends before Luna and I imprisoned him and the Elements pass judgment based on the target's intentions. When Weaver put himself between you and Discord the Elements must have felt a dedication to his friend so strong that they didn't deem him worthy of punishment. That combined with his already incredible magical ability must have given him what he needed to push back their power."

"So he really did use the power of friendship to beat us?" Twilight asked, shocked.

"From what you said, it seems as though it definitely played a role. Though I believe that his own power also had a great deal to do with it." Celestia said.

"That's not all," Rainbow Dash interjected, "that stupid feather-head also started bad mouthing you too!"

"What?" Celestia asked, seeming almost hurt by this news.

"Yeah, he was sayin' things like 'Is this what she has planned for me too?' and that we were blindly following you just 'cause you told us that Discord was evil!" Rainbow Dash yelled.

"Oh no," Celestia said, "I was afraid of this too. Weaver's been acting strangely for a long time now, and when he told us all the story about his home it all started to make sense. Weaver was the champion of a god of scheming and his home must have been rife with jealous rivals. It's very likely that in the thousand years he spent ruling his city he developed a kind of incurable paranoia from always having to look over his shoulder. I'm willing to bet that he never let that paranoia go and can't stop seeing hidden agendas and secret plots around every corner."

"It certainly seemed like it." commented Rarity, "He seemed to have it in his head that since you had imprisoned Discord and banished Luna to the moon that you would go after him next."

"Then it's exactly as I've feared, he just can't seem to accept that everyone isn't out to get him and I think that his friendship with Discord only exacerbated the problem. It's my theory that they're such good friends because Discord was always up to something and this made Fate Weaver feel justified about his paranoia. I think it also may have reminded him of the home he missed so much.

"Luna and I were never really ones for those games and so we never did anything to him, but in the end I think it made him even more suspicious, made him think we were involved in some kind of long term plan. It was probably my banishing of Luna to the moon that finally tipped him over the edge into full blown paranoia. It was around that time that everything he said and did just began to seem a little less genuine, like he was only going through the motions. I thought nothing of it at the time, but since I last visited him I became convinced that it was true. All he could talk about was how much he missed The Inevitable City and how he regretted not stopping Luna from turning into Nightmare Moon. The combination of homesickness and the hundreds of years of paranoia must have finally gotten to him."

"What should we do?" Twilight asked.

"It breaks my heart to say this," Celestia said softly, "but we need to stop him. He's become a danger to himself and everypony in the world. Now that he and Discord have been reunited there's no telling what havoc the two of them could cause, their combined power might even be enough to break the barrier between our world and the Warp. If that were to happen..." Celestia didn't need to finish, the ponies all remembered Weaver's tale.

Pinkie was the next to speak up. "So now we have to use the Elements to hurt Weavie just because the princess says he's evil? This is exactly what Weavie said would happen."

Celestia was unnerved, it seemed the doubt Fate Weaver had sown within the ponies was starting to take hold. It made sense that it would take hold strongest in Pinkie Pie, having to hurt a friend was nearly unthinkable to her, no matter what the reason.

"Don't tell me you actually believe that ancient chicken over the princess, Pinkie!" Rainbow Dash yelled.

"Please, girls, this is what he wants, he wants you divided so you can't bring the power of the Elements of Harmony to bear against him. And I never said he was evil, I don't think he ever was evil, just confused. He was brought up to believe that everyone was out to get him, he's just reacting in the only way he knows how. I want you to understand why this has to be done, both for Equestria's sake and for his own."

"I'm sorry, Princess." Pinkie Pie said.

"I can understand that it might be hard for you all," Celestia sighed, "You never had any connection to Nightmare Moon or Discord so it wasn't hard for you. But you have to put aside your personal feelings and do what's right for the world. Me and Luna did it with Discord, then I had to do it again with Luna, it was hard and it broke my heart to do it, but it needed to be done for the good of Equestria."

Celestia could tell her speech had worked, slowly confidence and determination returned to the six ponies. She looked at each of them in turn and received a determined nod from each.

"Alright Princess, we'll do it." Twilight said, "Let's go save Equestria."