• Published 12th Nov 2011
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Envy and Arrogance - Mindblower



The Elements are critical to world stability. Twilight and her friends find this out the hard way.

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Chapter Eleven

Chapter Eleven

*******

The Elements of Harmony awoke in a windy desert.

Dash rubbed her eyes and shakily stood up, but quickly had to cover her face because sand was blowing everywhere. “Obsidian!” she yelled.

“My apologies,” the brown stallion said from nearby. The storm quieted. “So, you have arrived.”

“Yep,” Pinkie chirped.

Obsidian’s eyes widened, but he soon had a wide smile on his face. “Ah, Pinkie Pie. It is refreshing to see those eyes; I have long awaited the Return of Harmony to these lands.”

“Well, as you’ve probably seen, it’s a bit of a wreck outside,” Twilight sighed.

“I am aware,” Obsidian nodded. “But it is our job to correct that.”

“Where’s Verba?” Applejack asked.

Obsidian motioned to flickers of color drifting on the sandy wind. “The magic here is too powerful for him to form properly. However, he is watching us, make no mistake.” After a brief paused, he charged up, his eyes glowing with a bright light. A powerful gust of wind blew away all of the sand within a circle about fifty meters across, revealing an ancient stone courtyard.

Rarity looked up and gasped. A crisp image of six ponies hovered through a thin glass plane above them. They were looking through a window into the real world.

“That is the Gateway,” Obsidian said. “It is one of the only two places in the world where Harmony meets Discord, and one of the few places I can contact you.”

“And the other?” Fluttershy asked.

“The Lock, deep in the heart of Discord.” Obsidian closed his eyes in thought for a minute, but quickly recovered himself. “However, that is not what I am here to talk to you about.”

Obsidian’s eyes glowed again, and the vision changed. The mirror crumbled for a moment and rearranged itself to be in front of the Elements. Obsidian warped behind them.

Slowly, their reflections changed.

Rarity’s became even more beautiful, if such a thing was possible. Her pelt changed to a light purple color, her body sprouting wings. Her mane was an indigo color. Her blue eyes changed into white discs with purple irises, but no pupils. Her Cutie Mark was a purple gem, like her necklace.

“That is the original Generosity,” Obsidian began. “She didn’t value beauty or skill, only what other ponies could give to each other. However, she possessed many talents and wasn’t afraid to share her knowledge and abilities.”

Applejack’s reflection wavered and then refocused into an orange alicorn stallion with a shiny black mane. His expression was solid and his stance firm. His irises were glowing an amber orange. His cutie mark was an orange gem, similar to Generosity’s.

“This is the original Honesty. He might look like someone you know,” Obsidian chuckled. “He could always tell if somepony were lying and could convince ponies to take risks they never would have otherwise. However, he was endlessly pessimistic and paranoid.”

“What happened to you?” Twilight asked.

“Magic isn’t perfect,” Obsidian sighed. “There are always some discrepancies, my appearance being one.”

Dash’s reflection morphed into a crimson alicorn stallion. His red iris eyes shone with determination and confidence, and his dark purple mane blew in a nonexistent wind. Upon closer inspection, purple flames seemed to be leaping from it, as well. His cutie mark was an almost invisible red gem.

“That is the original Loyalty,” Obsidian said. “He inspired the original revolution against Discord, and led the Elements into battle along with Magic. However, his battle was cut short when Deception, disguised as his lover, backstabbed him.”

“Ouch,” Dash cringed. “Who’s Deception?”

“We’ll get to that,” Obsidian said.

Pinkie’s reflection morphed into a pale blue alicorn mare with a pink mane. Her blue irises were shining and playful, and she had a wide grin on her face. Her cutie mark was a sky-blue gem.

“This was the original Humor,” Obsidian said. “For us, she was a source of comfort in tough times, somepony to lean on. Always the very last to give up, her energy prevailed against impossible odds in the fight against Discord. However, her emotional instability led to her losing control of her ability.”

Fluttershy’s reflection morphed into a pink alicorn mare with a rose-red mane. Her pink irises had a very happy and sympathetic expression that made Fluttershy want to run up and give her a hug.

“That is the original Kindness,” Obsidian explained, “the oldest in our family. She, like Humor, was somepony to go to when sad or unhappy, but she was very weak otherwise. Nopony can or will attack her, however.”

Twilight’s reflection became slightly more holy, the crown on her head glowing brilliantly. Her body turned to a pale white color, like Rarity’s, and her long mane to a brilliant rainbow, like Rainbow Dash’s. As her form became more masculine, her purple eyes became wry and clever, though they retained a powerful aura of friendship and amusement.

“That was the original Magic,” Obsidian said. “He led the Elements of Harmony on their first crusade and ultimately won the war on Discord without Loyalty or Kindness. He has immeasurable strength and is the only pony that can survive without the other Elements. However, he shares all of his counterparts’ flaws, leaving himself exceptionally vulnerable to Vengeance.”

The reflections disappeared.

“Wow…” Rarity breathed. “To think that we share some of that power. It’s amazing!

Obsidian nodded. “Now that you know your roles, let me show you how the Elements were created. All of them.”

The Elements of Harmony disappeared.

=====================================================================

*******

They reappeared in what looked like a magnificent garden. Butterflies and birds fluttered throughout the sunlit trees by a sidewalk that led through the foliage. The air smelled of lilacs and roses, which wasn’t surprising considering the thick flora surrounding the path. However, despite the royal look of the garden, there were some conventional elements present as well. Sopping wet sidewalk chalk and washed-out pictures dotted the sidewalk, and there was a small playground with a swingset next to the path.

Rarity glanced at her hooves. They were slightly misty and undefined.

“Where are we?” Twilight asked Obsidian.

“This is before the Elements were created, in the family garden,” Obsidian explained, looking upon the place fondly. “It was where we spent the greatest moments of our childhood. We were a family of fourteen, you know.”

“Wow,” Applejack said, raising her eyebrows. “Ah have a big family, but most a it’s extended.”

“Tag, you’re it!” A nearby voice chirped.

A young Honesty chased a young Loyalty through the garden. They couldn’t have been more than school age. They were weaving and stumbling their way through the garden with Loyalty in the lead.

“Slow down!” Honesty complained, pausing to catch his breath.

A filly Kindness also ran up to join the group. “If you want, I’ll be it,” she offered.

“Aw, that’s no fun!” Loyalty said. “You’d never get any of us! You’re just too darn slow, Pearl!”

“That’s not very nice,” Kindness hmph’ed.

“Tag!” Honesty said, quickly swiping his hoof at Loyalty and brushing his thigh.

“Hey, no fair!” Loyalty whined. “It was time-out!”

“But you never said so, so you’re it!” Honesty said, ducking in-between trees as he tried to avoid Loyalty.

“It’s always time-out when we’re talking!” Loyalty complained. “That’s a rule!”

“Nuh-uh, that’s not a rule, you’re lying!” Honesty retorted.

“D’aww…” Pinkie giggled. “They’re so cute!”

“You especially,” Dash said, nudging Obsidian.

Their mentor turned a slight shade of red. “Nopony is spared the innocence of youth, Rainbow Dash, least of all me.”

“What are you doing?” Another filly asked. She was sitting under the shade of a tree. Her pelt was a dark blue, her mane a pale gray.

“Playin’ tag,” Loyalty said. “Wanna join?”

“Ugh, no,” the filly rolled her eyes. “What a waste of time.”

“You’re such a stick in the mud, Ivy,” Honesty rolled his eyes. “Have fun being bored.”

“I will, thank you very much!” Ivy said, going back to her sulking.

“C’mon, let’s go play somewhere else!” Loyalty said. He scampered off, with Honesty and Kindness close behind.

Another filly walked up onto the path. She was bright green, with a yellow-green mane. She was using telekinesis to carry a picture book, but wasn’t looking where she was going, almost tripping over several objects as she was reading. A tall white alicorn carefully guided her along the path to make sure she didn’t stumble into some of the many ponds that were scattered around the garden.

“Bookworm,” Ivy grumbled to herself as the pair walked by.

“I just don’t understand!” the filly said, tossing the book into a nearby pond.

“Elie,” the adult alicorn chided, pulling the sopping wet book out of the water. “That was your favorite book; why did you ruin it?”

“Sorry, mother, but I just can’t understand something. Why are all the villains in the stories so dumb?” Elie asked.

The white alicorn stifled laughter. “Oh, dear. That question.”

“What about that question, mother?” Elie asked. “In every book I’ve ever read, the villains ignore all of these things that are right there in front of them. They never make backup plans, they never double-check; it’s as if they’re trying to lose!”

“The reason the villains are, well, challenged is because they aren’t real,” the alicorn said.

“But it’s rather boring, in my opinion, that heroes never have any challenge. If I ever write a book, I’ll make sure the heroes don’t get away so easily,” Elie said determinedly.

“I’m sure you’ll be a fantastic writer; You’ve always had the knack for storytelling,” the alicorn said, affectionately nudging Elie’s side.

Mom!” the group heard yet another voice cry.

Two colts, Honesty and an indigo colt with a purple mane, were running toward the scene, with Honesty in the lead.

“Lucifer hit me!” Honesty bawled.

“Did not!” the filly Lucifer shouted.

“Did too!”

“Tattletale!”

“Meanie!”

“Calm down!” the white alicorn mother scolded. “Obsidian, where did he hit you?”

“Nowhere!” Lucifer protested.

“She was asking me!” Honesty sniffed resentfully. He showed his mother a bruised front leg. “Right here.”

“Oh, that’s not good,” the mother said. She looked sternly at Lucifer. “You take a time-out right now!”

Lucifer grumbled as he went to sit on the swingset. “You’re no fun to play with; you always end up crying.”

“That’s because you always cheat!” Honesty retorted.

Both of you are right,” Elie muttered, but loud enough that everypony present could hear her.

“Obsidian, how about you go and ask Norton when lunch will be ready?” the white alicorn suggested. “Elie, how about you find a chapter book? I’m sure you’ll like those much better.”

“Sure!” Honesty chirped, scampering off to a nearby manor.

“Okay,” Elie shrugged. She walked off as well.

“Jeez,” Dash grumbled. “Twelve kids and two parents? How did they survive?”

“Wealth helped, as well as a noble position,” Obsidian said. “The white alicorn you see before you is Queen Harmony. She was the wife of King Discord. They didn’t rule Equestria, but they helped spread harmony and kept discord in check.”

Another small colt was sneaking up behind Ivy, who was taking a nap. He had a swampy green pelt and a sickly yellow mane. “Boo!” He yelled, snickering as Ivy nearly jumped out of her skin.

“Krysk!” Ivy shouted as she started chasing Krysk around the garden. She wasn’t fast enough, however, and she soon got tired out. “I’ll get you back later!”

A young Humor was bouncing along the path with another alicorn, a grayish filly with a mane that was a slightly darker gray in color.

“...And then, the pink pony popped out of random places saying ‘Forever’ for the rest of her life!” Humor chirped.

“That's a great story!” the grayish filly said. “Can you tell me another?”

“Sure, Alexandra!” Humor grinned. “Just the other day I was talking with Steele…”

“Seems pretty happy,” Twilight observed. “Why are you showing us this?”

“Because there has to be happiness in order for there to be sadness,” Obsidian said ominously.

The group disappeared.

=====================================================================

*******

They reappeared in what looked like a sacred hall, with a glowing fountain in the center. It was an inside courtyard, with grass growing even though the only source of light was the fountain itself.

“This is the Gateway!” Rarity gasped.

Obsidian shook his head. “No, this is the Fountain of Harmony. This is where most of the evils were born. It all started with Deception’s incessant curiousity.”

A young filly walked into the room. It was clearly Elie, but she was older than in the last illusion. She was looking to and fro, as if she thought somepony might be following her, or she was in a place she wasn’t supposed to be.

“Heh,” Elie chuckled. “I’m smarter than they think.”

Elie walked up to the fountain, eyeing her reflection in its waters and grinning mischieviously. “Hello, beautiful truth. How are you on this fine day?” She licked her lips.

What are you doing here?!” Alexandra hissed.

Elie nearly jumped ten feet up in the air. “S-Sister?! Oh, thank heavens; you scared me half to death!”

“Answer my question,” Alexandra growled. She too was slightly older. A year or two must have passed.

“This fountain has been locked away from us with powerful seals. Don’t you think it might have something special here? Something that mother and father are hiding from us?” Elie inquired. “You know they are.”

“Hiding what?” Alexandra asked, now more interested than angry.

“Hiding the truth,” Elie explained. “So many secrets have been kept from us, sister. Although I do not want to defy mother and father, I am not entirely sure that I trust them. This fountain will be able to tell us everything we need to know, you and I.”

“We should trust our parents,” Alexandra said.

“Perhaps, but what if mother and father are keeping from us something that we have the right to know?” Elie asked. “I trust that you have your curiosities as well. Our parents kept this from us, correct? Can’t you feel how much magic is coming off of this fountain? They might be hiding much more from us, you know. We must find out what.”

“This isn’t a good idea,” Alexandra said, biting her lip in apprehension.

“You mean you have no desire to know why we were kept here all these years?” Elie asked, shocked.

Alexandra shook her head. “No. If the truth is too painful to realize, then I’d rather live a lie, actually.”

Elie paused, looking at Alexandra as if her sister had just turned down a winning lottery ticket. “...I respect that of you, sister, but I cannot bear another minute not knowing the dark truth behind Harmony.” Elie turned back to the fountain. “They say that this fountain reveals the depths of a pony’s heart. It may be worthwhile to take a little sip.”

Elie,” a voice warned.

This time, Elie really did jump ten feet up in the air.

A jet-black alicorn stepped out from the shadows. He wouldn’t have been noticeable had he not come into the light of the fountain. “You’re supposed to be in bed, darling. What are you doing at the Fountain of Harmony?”

“J-Just sightseeing, Father,” Elie chuckled, gritting her teeth and shaking with fright. “I’ll be on my way, now.”

“You drink from this water, and there will be some dire consequences, ones that I assure you will be unpleasant,” King Discord growled sternly. “Go back to bed right this instant.”

Elie quickly nodded. “Yes, father.” She then ran off as fast as her legs would take her.

“And, Alexandra?” Discord asked, turning to his daughter.

“Yes, father?” Alexandra asked, slightly nervous.

“See to it that she doesn’t come back,” Discord ordered, vanishing.

“I…” Alexandra trailed off. After a brief minute of thought, she made her way back to bed.

Now that everypony had gone, Obsidian warped the group to their next destination.

=====================================================================

They reappeared in the exact same room, but this was much farther in the timeline.

“Why all the warping around?” Dash asked. “Why not just, y’know, tell us what happened?”

“Because,” Obsidian began, “the horror of these events will better resonate in your minds if you actually see them.”

They were at what looked like a ceremony. All of the Elements of Harmony, their siblings, and their parents were at the Fountain of Harmony.

“Today is a fantastic day,” Discord said. “For today, we will add some more great warriors to Equestria.”

One by one, the now mature Elements of Harmony took a small drink from the fountain. First Generosity, then Honesty, then Loyalty, then Humor, then Kindness, and finally Magic. Their eyes glowed for a minute, but then their pupils disappeared. It was calm, almost serene, as the ceremony was completed.

Alexandra stepped up to take a drink as well, but Harmony stopped her.

“Mother?” Alexandra asked.

“I’m sorry, Alexandra, but you aren’t quite ready,” Harmony said sadly. “Maybe in a few years you can join your siblings.”

“B…B-But… B-But I’ve worked just as hard as they have!” Alexandra protested. “That’s not fair!”

“Trust in me, daughter,” Discord said to Alexandra, who was tearing up. “I know you are disappointed, but to allow you to drink the waters of Harmony now would be a mistake.”

Rarity cringed. That was not the right thing to say…

Alexandra nodded, and swallowed her sadness. She went back to sit next to some of her other siblings who hadn’t been allowed to drink either.

“You will depart in the morning,” Discord said to the Elements of Harmony.

The scene changed.

=====================================================================

*******

They were in a large bedroom, supposedly Alexandra’s. The adult was crying her eyes out, dampening her pillows and sheets. It was dusk now, almost night.

Elie walked in the room. “So, you’re going to allow our parents to tell you what to do?”

Alexandra wiped her eyes off on her comforter. “Do I have a choice?”

“But of course,” Elie grinned. “We all have the choice, you know. If you feel that you can handle it, the others and I will be visiting the Fountain shortly, and I would be glad to have you along.”

“But… that’s against the rules,” Alexandra sniffed.

Elie shrugged. “Yes, I suppose, but what are rules in the grand scheme of things? Our siblings’ power already dwarfs our parents’; Who knows what could possibly happen if we, for instance, were to drink the sacred waters?”

Alexandra nodded. “S-Sure, I’ll go. Are you sure that it’s a good idea?”

Elie laughed. “Well, I guess we’ll see, won’t we? Better than sitting on our flanks and twiddling our hooves, now isn’t it?”

“Are the others coming, too?” Alexandra asked.

Elie nodded. “Hurry, while Harmony and Discord are occupied.”

“Oh, yeah, I passed by their room earlier. Do you know what they were doing?” Alexandra asked.

“Revitalizing their youth,” Elie said nonchalantly.

“Come again?” Alexandra asked, confused.

Elie arched an eyebrow. “You know… knocking hooves.”

Alexandra stared at her blankly.

Elie rolled her eyes. “Never mind; we have to hurry or Lucifer will drink the entire Fountain without us.”

The two made their way down to the fountain room, easily bypassing the security magic. They traversed the corridors and found themselves with four other alicorns their age.

“Now it’s a party,” an older Lucifer snickered. “Miss goody-two-shoes got rejected and joins the cool club.”

“I can’t blame her,” Krysk said with a smile, circling around Alexandra. “She must have been jealous.”

“Hey, what’s that one alicorn over there doin’?” Applejack asked, pointing to a brown alicorn with a dark brown mane.

“He is Guilt,” Obsidian explained. “He has a mental defect that prevents him from speaking properly; he was perfectly intelligent but could never form words. Despite being very nice and talented, his disability held him back, which is why he is with the others.”

Alexandra looked warily at her counterparts.

“Alright, since you so generously volunteered to join us in this little banquet, you can taste test,” Ivy said, shoving Alexandra toward the fountain.

“Um… why me?” Alexandra asked, stumbling forward.

“Father said that there would be dire consequences, but we want to know if those are real or just made up,” Elie said, motioning to the fountain in front of her. “Go ahead, have a sip.”

Alexandra stared at her reflection in the fountain for a while, biting her lip and anxiously shifting her weight. Indecision bounced through Alexandra’s mind as she thought long and hard about the life-changing decision in front of her. Eventually, though, she lowered her lips to the water and started to drink.

Alexandra began to change. Her grayish body began to wash over with black, her wings lengthening and becoming black as well. Evil started to spread throughout her body, spreading to the others in the room. All of the others started to shriek as the evil started to enter their souls and change their personas, each and every one of their pelts and manes becoming dark and sinister. Alexandra, however, was the most affected.

But the most staggering change was their eyes. Not able to become fully pure, they became vertical, daggerlike slits.

Alexandra started to laugh, but she wasn’t Alexandra any longer. They had all lost their previous identities to this new and powerful evil; the evil of a corrupted soul.

They had turned into the Elements of Discord: Envy, Arrogance, Deception, Guilt, Hate, and finally Vengeance.

The image vanished.

“No…” Twilight murmured.

“That was how it started,” Obsidian began. “Now, we must-”

Suddenly, the world started to shake. Cracks developed in the desert courtyard as the world became unstable, fuzzy, and undefined. Fluttershy fell over as Obsidian tried desperately to correct the situation.

“The outside is under attack!” Obsidian yelled. “Hurry, you must leave; I can tell you everything else later!”

The Gateway appeared to them once again, and the Elements of Harmony jumped through it.

=====================================================================

[Note]: I do not own anything in this story that already belongs to someone else.
This entire storyline takes place BEFORE season two, but AFTER season one.