• Published 19th Jan 2013
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Rise of the Elements Part II: Return of the Avatars - Radiant Dawn

Ancient beings of long since past are returning, but for good or ill?

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Chapter 5: Frost's Saviors

Chapter 5: Frost's Saviors

Perspective change - Ditzy Doo

It had been a little over a month since Frostbreaker had confined himself to the dungeons, and because of that it was a long, depressing month. Twilight Sparkle and the two princesses would often be seen studying in the Royal Library of Canterlot, doing little else during the day.

I couldn't really blame them...we all missed Frost.

Granted I didn't know him quite as well as the rest of his friends, but fighting with him in that one battle had made me feel closer to him somehow. And while I wasn't a part of his "group", I still felt lonely without him around.

Lately though, I'd been hanging around a pony I'd met in a field near the northern border. His name was Enigma Flare, and the first time I met him he was training with some weird weapons I hadn't seen before. I didn't really feel for him the way I did Frost, but he was a cool guy and was a lot of fun to train with. I remember the first time I met him I kinda snuck up on him and he almost set me on fire in surprise, but he quickly apologized and we spent the rest of the day training together.

He had made it very clear he held no love for the guard or the military in general, but I was still very impressed with his skill in both fire magic and martial arts. I wouldn't be surprised if he could give Dark or Frost a run for their bits, and that was saying something. Still, contrary to his skill, he was actually pretty calm otherwise. In a lot of ways he reminded me of the colonel, which was probably why I found it so easy to be around him.

The date was Wednesday, August 20th, 1203, and like most days recently, I was meeting up with Flare at the training grounds. The captain was at first reluctant to allow a civilian into the grounds, but I vouched for him and so Captain Shining Armor said it was okay, and so, I was walking from home towards the barracks when I saw the multi-hued gold-maned unicorn napping near the gate that led to the training grounds. I giggled when I saw him and walked towards the sleeping colt with a smile on my face.

I stopped right in front of him and spread my wings before throwing a strong gust of wind and dust at him. He stirred and I giggled. "You know Flare, you have few hobbies, it seems. They seem to only consist of training, eating, and sleeping."

He grumbled and stood up before opening his eyes. "This one is a bit aggravated you chose that exact moment to interrupt my nap. I was having a good dream. And for your information, I have plenty of hobbies. You're just not around when I'm participating in them."

I snorted a laugh. "To think you couldn't find a nice enough mare to do that for you..."

He looked at me confused for a moment. "Oro? Hey! Wait a minute, that's not it and you know it."

I giggled and turned on the feminine charm (thanks to Rarity). "Oh...do I?"

He just rolled his eyes and walked towards the gate. "Alright, we've played around long enough. If you want to play, show me what you got in a fight."

One of the things I learned really quickly about my companion was how much he hated violence. Training seemed to be a different situation altogether though, since we made sure we were in no real danger with each other. He sparred fiercely, and in doing so with him, I had gained quite a bit more skill in fighting in Frost's absence. I had made a promise to myself to be ready to fight valiantly should the threat of war ever come to Equestria again, and this new friend offered me a way to easily temper my skill and resolve.

And so, we were walking for awhile towards the far end of the training "arena" - which was really just a massive crater where Dark and Frost had fought - talking about, of all things, the Gryphon Encroachment battle.

"I'm telling you, Ditzy, I could do it. I swear, I'm just an inch away from being able to cast that spell." Flare said, with annoyance in his voice.

I shook my head. "For your own safety, Flare, don't do it. It killed the prince when he did it. How do you think it's going to affect a normal unicorn?"

He snorted and laughed. "Well he just wasn't ready, that's all. He needed more practice."

I stepped in front of him and glared at him. "Hey, I mean it. If you try and cast that spell, I'll snap off your horn with my own two hooves."

He held up a hoof and rolled his eyes. "Alright alright, geez. No need to get all threatening on This One." He then pointed over at the weapon rack. "You should grab a weapon if you want to last more than twenty seconds this time."

I rolled my eyes right back and instead grabbed steel rear hoofcaps and foreleg bracers. Before he had forced himself into exile below the palace, Frost had taught me all he knew about hoof-to-hoof combat, as did Dark, and so I felt much more comfortable just using my hooves.

Almost as soon as I turned around, my sparring partner was sailing through the air with a staff in his magic's grip. He brought the weapon down on me with great force, so I rolled to the side as it hit the ground where I had been. He then whipped it to the side, leaving a strong stinging sensation in my ribs.

He chuckled and readied the staff again. "Come on, you gotta be faster!"

I growled and lunged at him. He flicked the staff again and brought my hooves out from under me, leaving me spread-eagle (as Dark called it) and completely vulnerable to attack. He then jumped in the air again to bring the staff down on me, but this time using his hooves for extra leverage. I had been waiting for this, and I placed my right hoof over my chest. Right before the staff hit, I whipped my hoof across, knocking both the staff and him into the ground beside me. His nose slammed into the ground, dazing him for a second, giving me just enough time to roll over on top of his back. This was his vulnerable position, as he knew I was much stronger than him, and he wasn't willing to use his magic to permanently hurt me. As mean as it was, I used this to my advantage and caught him in what Dark had called a "rear naked choke".

The unicorn started to struggle as he fell forward, completely helpless. Because using magic required focus - unless you had trained to make it completely second nature as Frost had - cutting off oxygen to the brain made most unicorns incapacitated. This fighting style had already been integrated into the guard's training program as means for non-lethal fighting, and as the unicorn "tapped out", I could see why. I let go of him and he started gasping for air, glaring at me.

"That wasn't fair! You know I can't focus when you do that." he stated in frustration.

I chuckled and smiled. "Frost taught me that in a fight, no holds are barred. That means in a situation like that, your job is to find a way to keep it from happening, or find a way to counter it."

He snorted in annoyance, but nodded. The young colt was very talented, but still had a lot to learn. That's not to say I didn't as well, - as the battle for the north border had taught me - but I still had more experience than him. Still, it was too bad he held such resistance to joining the guard or the military, as he'd make a hay of a EUS (Elite Unicorn Specialist) with his natural ability in fire magic. My thoughts were interrupted, however, by hoofsteps behind us.

I turned to see the two princesses approaching, along with the gifted unicorn mare, Twilight Sparkle. Flare and I both stood until they were standing in front of us, then bowed in reverence.

"Arise, my ponies." the sun princess said gently.

We did as we were told and I stepped forward. "It's good to see all of you. What brings the three of you here?"

The lunar princess then stepped forward with a warm smile. "Straight to business, hm? Very well, my faithful subject. We have found a way to possibly purge the darkness that currently plagues the prince...but we will need the help of this unicorn." she stated, pointing to Enigma Flare.

He raised an eyebrow. "Me? Why do you need my help? I'm just a normal unicorn."

Twilight Sparkle giggled and smiled warmly. "You may not be a royal alicorn like the two princesses, but you are far from average, Enigma Flare. Your strong affinity for fire magic is required to breach the prison that Prince Frostbreaker has made for himself. We have tried to break the defenses for days now, but to no avail. We need the raw, scorching power of fire to get past, and you are far more gifted in it than me."

For the first time since I've known him, Flare blushed and stared in disbelief. "What? N-no, that can't be true. You're the Element of Magic and the student of Princess Celestia herself. I know for a fact that I couldn't have taken care of an Ursa Minor like you did. I can't even teleport!"

Twilight placed a hoof on his shoulder, still smiling. "It is true, my abilities in most forms of magic far surpasses yours. However, you seem to specialize in the elemental magic of fire. While your other forms of magic are lacking, your skill with fire far exceeds anything I've ever seen before, or ever dreamed of accomplishing."

Before he could come up with another retort, I just elbowed him in the ribs. "Flare, just accept the compliments and offer your help. They wouldn't have chosen you if they didn't have faith in you."

He sighed, closing his eyes for a moment. Suddenly, he opened his eyes again and smiled at the princesses. "Alright then, if you think I can do it, I'll do all I can."

Princess Celestia nodded and turned around. "Thank you. Come this way please. Corporal, you may come as well if you wish."

Perspective change - Twilight Sparkle

As we walked down the winding steps leading to the deepest part of the palace dungeons, I couldn't help but think about Frost. I was well aware of the effect one day without us had on him...what would an entire month be like? The closer we got to the end of the hallway that led to his "cell", the more worried I became. The wall of ice was virtually unchanged as we reached it, and the young blonde-coated unicorn stepped up fearlessly.

He smirked and planted his hooves. "Alright...everypony stand back please."

We obliged and his horn began to glow not with normal magic like mine would, but with flames. He charged the spell for a moment before letting it go, and a large fireball slammed into the wall of ice, causing a large amount of steam. When the steam cleared, however, the wall was completely undamaged.

"This is the new avatar of winter and ice you're dealing with, Flare. You're going to have to kick it up a few notches." the gray pegasus mare said.

The chromatic gold-maned unicorn looked back at us and nodded. "Okay...for this spell, you all might want to just get all the way around the corner. Things are going to get really hot."

We nodded and stepped back to the edge of the corridor, stepping behind the corner of it. I couldn't help but peek around the wall to see what he was doing, however. As I watched, flames began to form around his horn again, but this time they slowly spread over his head and down his back. The flames continued to lick along the fur of his coat until he was covered head to hooves and tail in orange flames. I was worried at first until I noticed his coat was not burning whatsoever. Even so, I could feel the blast of hot air as the heat finally radiated down the hallway. The flames along his body - as well as his body as a whole - began to slowly pulse with a reddish color, the pulses increasing in frequency as he continued to charge the spell.

Eventually it became too hot to continue to look at him, so I hid my head around the corner. The next moment, a large blast was heard and steam rushed around the corner to us, covering the princesses and myself in a warm mist. I stepped back around the corner to see the stonework around the unicorn glowing a very dull red color, and as I stepped closer, I noticed the stone was warped and had actually started to melt. The wall of ice was gone, however, leaving only the titanium door barring way to Frost.

Perspective change - Celestia

As we stepped forward and opened the door we were hit by a blast of freezing air, so cold it actually left a thin layer of frost along my coat. I cast a modified barrier spell around us, so as to protect us from the cold, but what I beheld when I looked up at the room defied all my expectations. The room had been completely transformed into a place of howling winter wind, snow, and ice. As we walked forward, I could still feel just how abnormally cold the ground was to my hooves, and they actually began to ache from the permeating chill. Suddenly, the wind stopped, leaving the room clear to our vision. Upon a small hill of snow sat Frost, facing away from us. He looked vastly different from what I remember. His coat was still the same color, as was his mane and tail. Head to hoof, though, he was covered in strange markings that were glowing a bright cyan. Before we could reach him, he disappeared from sight. There was no flash of light, so I knew he had not teleported, but neither did I feel the ambient magic in the air of an invisibility spell being cast. It was then that I heard the sound of hooves in the snow behind us, and we all turned to see Frost standing there, a blank look on his face.

"What are you doing here, Princess? I believe I made myself clear that it was too dangerous for you to be here." he said to me, his emotion impossible to decipher.

This caught me completely off guard. Ever since we had become friends nearly a year ago, he had never referred to me by my title. Even with that being the case, I had to make known what we had found out.

"Frost," I started sternly, "we have found a way to purge the shadow that covers you from your essence."

He raised an eyebrow, but otherwise seemed unaffected. "Oh? Please explain, I'm listening."

'The sooner we do this the better.'

Where once I felt love in his words - in his very aura - there was now nothing. The feeling was very unsettling, but I forced myself to push the emotions away and I trudged on. "As I am sure you know by now, the shadow that hangs over your mind and soul is none other than the avatar of death...your father."

He nodded. "Yes...the being has made itself very well known to me. It is hard to ignore being by myself for over a month." he nearly growled. The same markings that had covered his illusionary self also covered him, and as his frustration heightened, so did the light they gave off.

Twilight stepped forward with a scowl and stomped her hoof. "Hey, don't blame this on us, Frost! You chose to lock yourself in here. We worked every day for the past month researching, testing, and deliberating over this. You should be thankful, because we didn't have to do this."

He now audibly growled and stood tall, his imposing figure for the first time actually intimidating me a bit. "Well you should have worked faster." He stated coldly. "And what do you mean you didn't have to do this? Were you going to leave me here forever? That's it, isn't it?"

It appeared the month he spent in solitude had done more damage than I initially thought to his psyche. This was not the Frost I remembered and loved. This was a hurt, damaged being driven insane by no contact with anyone but the dark entity within him.

We could only hope the damage was reversible.

Luna then strode forth and braved the stallion's glare. "This will get us nowhere, Frost, so let us get straight to business. There is a magical ritual we are able to perform that will purge Death from you. However..."

He raised his eyebrow again. "However?"

Luna took a deep breath before continuing. "However, the spell will give Death his own physical body. It is the only way to be sure he will not influence you again."

Frost still seemed apprehensive. "But wait, if he can influence me anytime he's in an energy state, won't he just kill himself to revert to that state?"

I shook my head with a smile. "No, my dear. If an avatar in physical existence is killed, it is banished to the elemental plane for thousands of years, until it has gained enough strength to break free. Death knows this, and so he would not risk it. Whatever he wishes to do that involves you, he wishes to do it now...in this time."

Frost finally let loose a soft smile and closed his eyes. "Thank the gods." He then opened his eyes and I could see excitement within them. "Okay, so what are we waiting for? Let's do this!"

I nodded and motioned for Luna and Twilight to take places around Frost, while Enigma Flare and Ditzy Doo stood far away.

Before we started I looked right into his eyes and advised, "Frost...I warn you...this is going to hurt more than anything you've ever experienced. I am sorry...but this is the only way.”

He nodded and I could see his muscles and jaw tense. "Very well, Celestia. I trust you."

For the ritual, we all had a part to play, and seeing as how I held the powers of the avatar of light, I was given the most important duty: to protect his living essence. Twilight readied her barrier spell to hold the soon-to-be two beings in this world, while Luna was to find the invading essence within Frost and disconnect it from him. As the ritual started, I could feel the large amount of magic in the room swirling about us.

I watched in horror as Frost fell to the ground in silence, writhing in pain so great that he couldn't even scream. It tore me apart to have to see him this way, but I reminded myself it was for his and our safety. As the ritual continued, I could feel the two entities within Frost's body start to weaken. I focused my magic - my very being - and acted as a tether to this world, holding Frost's being in the waking world. Sweat began to pour out of my forehead as the spell began to take its toll on me, but as I looked at Luna I noticed a rope of her magic pulling a dark, swirling mass of shadow out of Frost's body.

It was at that moment the entity decided to fight back.

We all felt it, as the entity in Luna's magical grip began to magically thrash about, causing Twilight's spell to falter for but a moment, but that moment was just enough for it to break through. Just as the mass of Death began to take shape into a pony, it exploded in a wave of energy, throwing all six of us to the ground, and shaking the walls of the room we were in.

We woke what must have been hours later, as I could feel the sensation of the sun wishing to retreat to the horizon. And so, Luna and I did our nightly ritual of lowering the sun and raising the moon, and then quickly rushed to see the fallen body of Frost. I was near a panic until I saw that he was breathing...but where was the avatar of death? I noticed Luna looking around the room, and realized she must be thinking the same thing. I did a quick "scan" of his essence, only to find that he was indeed alone. The avatar of death was nowhere to be found within him, but that still meant that somehow, Death had escaped.

We would worry about that later, however, as now we needed to tend to the prince. And so, pulling forth some magic from my exhausted body, I levitated Frost outside the room and teleported him to his bedroom in the palace.

Perspective change - Frostbreaker

I woke up in a soft bed for the first time in what seemed like forever...and I was warm, almost uncomfortably so. I was about to activate a bit of a cold aura around myself to cool down, but I noticed I was being cuddled to death by a white alicorn and a violet unicorn.

Okay, some things are worth putting up with warmth.

I thought I must be dreaming again, so I bit the alicorn's neck, causing her to moan softly and open her eyes. There, staring back at me was a beautiful, albeit groggy, pair of lovely magenta eyes.

"Dear Frost, I'm too tired to play right now. I'm sorry...tomorrow night, please." she said, a little annoyed.

I simply wrapped my hooves around her tightly. "I'm sorry, love. I just had to make sure you were real. I thought I was dreaming again."

She smiled softly and nodded. "I understand. Please, go back to sleep though. We will speak of everything in the morning at breakfast."

I nodded and settled back into the warm embrace of two of the most beautiful beings in the world right now, and before I knew it, I was falling back to sleep, my mind being untroubled for the first time in what felt like eons. I fell asleep that night with a genuine smile on my face.

Author's Note:

Fan OC added, so everyone say hello to Enigma Flare, courtesy of AstralElebit.

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