• Published 24th Jan 2013
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The Elements - hell00001



Celestia and Luna have gone into exile under Discord's tyrannical rule, and now struggle to find a way to stop the draconequus before he can gain the full chaotic power of the Element of Chaos.

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Chapter 13: Unification

The Elements Chapter 13

A blood curdling scream pierced through the air as the tallest tower in High Talon Rock blasted apart under the heavy changeling bombardment. Large chunks of stone and wood fell onto the streets below, burying changelings and griffons alike under the debris. At the same time, green balls of fire rained down upon the griffon’s capital city, tearing apart rooftops and impaling the streets, replicating the feeling of an earthquake ravaging the landscape. Griffons and ponies fought against changelings through the streets, cutting each other down mercilessly.

In the middle of the foray, Princess Luna unleashed a volley of her blue magic at a group of changelings that were congregating on the far side of the market place. The changeling’s position crumbled under her onslaught, their bodies ripping apart and blowing back into the buildings behind them. She snarled, taking cover behind a house before more changelings in a different part of the market place could get a lock on her.

“Go!” she shouted to a group of griffon soldiers who hid behind the wall with her.

On her command, the griffons scaled the building onto the rooftop and spread their wings. On top of the roof the griffons had a perfect view of the changelings that remained in the market. They took off into the air above the other changeling’s position, and swooped in and tore through their ranks, quickly overwhelming the meagre defenses they had managed to set up. Screeches and screams filled the square once again, and changelings fell upon griffon spears and talons while the griffons themselves fell to the heated green magic and fangs of their enemy.

Luna peered around the corner, watching with satisfaction as the last changeling defense in the market square collapsed. She dissipated the energy around her horn.

“Princess Luna!”

Luna spun around to see Forza and Isthus running towards her. Isthus had several burn marks over her scales and her hooves, while Forza had added some more scars to her already formidable collection.

“The west wall has fallen!” Forza shouted, coming to a halt in front of Luna. “Rikkard is having all griffon and pony forces fall back to the market.”

“Set up a perimeter around the marketplace,” Luna ordered, nodding to a few griffons and ponies who were walking by them. “Defend any pony or griffon coming towards us. Give them enough time to get out safely. Isthus, come with me.”

Forza nodded and took off into the market, taking the griffons and ponies with her. Luna grit her teeth and trotted off down the street that would take her to the west wall. Isthus followed closely behind her, the snakes in her hair hissing maliciously.

“Princess Luna,” Isthus began, silencing the snakes, “even with the aggressiveness of the changeling attack, their forces simply are not enough to take the city from the griffons. Even now their forces falter; the bombardment has fallen silent.”

Luna perked her ears and found that the changeling bombardment of the city had, indeed, ceased. Fighting still roared through the streets, but the main force of the changeling strike had already been defeated, torn apart by the savagery of the griffon’s defense. She picked up her pace and unfurled her wings.

“Even so, we cannot allow the changelings to gain the upper hoof in any part of the city,” Luna said. “Doing so would mean that we might lose more of the defense than otherwise.”

They rounded a corner and found that a group of griffons had their weapons drawn, huddled together with their spears pointing down another street. Luna made to gallop over to the group, but before she could reach them a changeling behemoth barreled through the griffons. Bodies flew in every direction, smashing into buildings or collapsing into heaps in the streets. Luna skidded to a halt.

“Princess, look out!” Isthus shouted from behind her.

The behemoth already caught sight of Luna and Isthus, and with a deafening roar it charged their position. Its hooves thudded on the dirt street, sending ripples through the ground and kicking up a cloud of dust behind it. A few of the spears and swords from the griffons protruded from its body in various spots, but the behemoth was entirely unfazed, bent on eliminating the alicorn and the gorgon.

Luna spread her wings and launched into the air, but Isthus was forced to remain on the ground. She braced herself, digging her serpent tail into the dirt and holding her hooves out in preparation for the behemoth’s charge. Her eyes narrowed, and the serpents in her hair slowly rose.

The behemoth rammed straight into Isthus, but its momentum was cut short as the gorgon plunged her hooves into the behemoth’s face. She struggled under the beast’s massive weight, her muscles straining to hold back its frantic attempts to gore her with its jagged horn.

In a moment the behemoth was unable to move its legs anymore, and the desperate attack it had previously pressed on came to a sudden halt. Isthus shoved the behemoth away, watching it as it collapsed onto its side. Its hooves had been turned to stone under the powers of the gorgon’s magic, and Isthus did not hesitate for a second once the behemoth was on its side before sinking her teeth into its neck and crushing its larynx. The behemoth instantly ceased its struggling and lay limp in the middle of the street.

Luna touched down next to the slain behemoth and Isthus, keeping her wings flared open. She glanced between the gorgon and her foe.

She’s a powerful ally. Keep her close.

Luna blinked. “We... We should keep moving, Isthus,” she said. “Let’s go.”

“Is something the matter, Princess?” Isthus asked as she fell in behind Luna once again.

“Everything is okay, don’t... don’t worry,” Luna replied, breaking into a brisk trot.

Luna and Isthus rounded one last corner and found that the entire west palisade had fallen apart with changeling drones running rampant through the streets. Griffons and ponies were cut down by the waves of changelings that were pushing their way through the broken walls, screaming and buzzing in every direction.

“Isthus, get back!” Luna shouted as a pair of changelings rushed their position. Luna charged her horn and quickly dispatched the two attackers. She then redirected the power that was building up in her horn to unleash upon one of the openings in the palisade. Her blue magic rained down on every changeling in the breach, tearing apart their ranks and ripping up the foundations and more pieces of the wall.

With part of the changeling assault nullified, griffons and ponies regrouped in front of Luna to brace themselves against the rest of the horde. Now that their enemies were no longer in disarray, the changelings crashed into the griffon and pony position like the ocean upon a cliff side. Drones slammed themselves into griffons and ponies alike, snapping at their necks and firing off bolts of their magic to try and break the wall of defense. Their efforts, however, were met by the frantic and brutal weapons, beaks, and hooves of the defenders as they were cut down and pushed back.

Another deafening roar arose above the battle. A massive changeling behemoth emerged from the wreckage of the walls, turning towards the defenders position. Its thick chitin hide glinted off of the sunlight, and its jagged horn protruding from its forehead sent shivers running down Luna’s spine. It snarled and grunted, and dug its hooves into the ground, preparing to charge.

Luna’s eyes widened, and she refocused her attacks on the enormous beast as it began its attack. She fired bolt after bolt of her magic at the behemoth, but it merely shrugged her attacks off as she was unable to pierce through its thick chitin.

“Break formation! Retre-” Luna shouted, but she was too late. The behemoth crashed through the ranks of the ponies and griffons, sending bodies flying in every direction. Screams of terror and agony filled Luna’s ears, and she took off into the air as quickly as she could before the monster could reach her.

“Isthus! Help me bring it down!” Luna shouted.

The gorgon nodded, and she immediately focused her attention on the behemoth. The snakes in her hair rose into the air again, and her magic had begun to work on turning the behemoth’s legs to stone like the last. However, against her best efforts, Isthus was unable to halt the behemoth in time before it was upon her, and thrashing its head about, it slammed itself into Isthus and sent her careening into the palisade. Dust and splinters flew in every direction from the impact, and the behemoth stared at the palisade with a smile on its face.

Luna grit her teeth and dove at the behemoth. Her horn was fully alight, and she put both of her hooves out just before impact. Her hooves connected with the back of the behemoths neck, and the force of her dive shoved the beast into the ground beneath it. The ground cracked under the weight of the behemoth.

The behemoth lay motionless, its head twisted to a very peculiar angle. Luna jumped off of its back and looked over to where Isthus had impacted the palisade, but she was cut short in rushing over to her when the sounds of the rest of the battle returned to her. She turned her head towards what remained of the defender’s position.

The griffons and ponies had been overrun once again. Changelings had broken through their defenses and were tearing them apart, tackling, biting, and blasting away at every enemy they saw. The entire western wall defense fell apart.

A dozen changelings took notice of Luna standing in front of one of their fallen behemoth, and they slowly made their advance on her. Luna’s horn lit up again, but she refrained from letting loose any of her magic for fear that she will spur them into action. The changelings snarled and licked their lips, glaring and advancing on her with hungry, merciless eyes.

Just when Luna thought the group was going to attack, griffon screeches pierced through the air. All of the changelings turned to look and see that a full battalion of armored griffons descended upon them. In a matter of seconds they were wiped out by two of the griffons, while the rest of the battalion swooped in on the west wall defense, tearing apart the attackers with their talons and spears.

One of the griffons that had come to her aid removed their helmet, revealing himself to be Rikkard. Luna’s horn dissipated the magic around it, and she turned to watch as the last of the changeling attackers were routed from High Talon Rock.

“You’re not hurt, are you?” Rikkard asked, dropping his helmet and spear next to the fallen behemoth.

Luna opened her mouth and quickly closed it again when she heard the shuffling of wood and dust behind her. She spun around and dashed over to the splintered palisade wall where Isthus had crashed through. The gorgon emerged from the ruins of the wall before Luna could reach her. She groaned and staggered for a moment before she straightened herself out. Aside from a few scratches and chips across her scales, Isthus remained relatively unharmed.

“Are you okay, Isthus?” Luna asked, looking over Isthus’s body frantically.

“I’m fine, princess, do not worry about me,” Isthus said, relaxing for a moment. She stared past Luna at Rikkard. “I think it had best that you talk to him, instead.”

Luna glanced behind her and sighed. Looking at some cracked scales on Isthus’s side once last time, she turned back and walked over to Rikkard. The west wall had been cleared of all changelings by now, although the streets were littered with bodies from both sides of the conflict, while many of the buildings had either sustained heavy damage or completely collapsed. Small yells and screams still shouted from around the city, but the changeling army had been defeated and all that was left was the few stragglers routing from the city.

“Take me to Bloodbeak,” Luna said once she was standing in front of Rikkard.

Rikkard hesitated a moment, then bowed his head and picked up his spear.

“He is in the market square,” he said, motioning for two of the armored griffons to follow him. “This way.”

~~~

The market was a mess of ponies and griffons running every which way, removing debris that had collected from the nearby buildings or bringing in wounded allies. Tents and beds were set up along the outermost perimeter of the market, while groups of armored griffons assembled in the center of the market in neat, ordered lines. In the front of the lines was a heavily armored griffon who was speaking to another griffon who was dressed in almost the exact same armor. Both had their wings flared, showing off their thick wing armor.

Luna trotted ahead of Rikkard and stopped before the two heavily armored griffons. They remained totally unawares of her presence as they continued to screech and bark at each other. The larger of the two griffons towered over the other as he shouted angrily at his subordinate. Only when Rikkard came up and touched the taller griffon on the shoulder did they both notice Luna. The larger griffon removed his helmet.

“I’m surprised you’re still here,” Bloodbeak said, dropping the helmet onto the ground.

“Don’t be so surprised,” Luna replied, “Equestrian’s honor their pacts.”

Bloodbeak’s face scrunched, and he stomped up to Luna. He stood over her, but she did not even flinch when a low growl escaped his throat.

“You’re already treading in dangerous waters, Princess Luna,” Bloodbeak said, narrowing his eyes. “Just days ago I told you what a risk it was sheltering you here, and today my worries and fears have come true. Queen Chrysalis has attacked the griffon empire with her horde to get to you, and to defend you and your precious ponies I lost over two hundred good griffon warriors. I suggest you think carefully about what you say next.”

“And with my staying here, my greatest fears have come true as well,” Luna replied coldly. “The changelings are on the move in Equestria, making their final advance upon the last places of sanctuary left for ponies. They will attack all that is left of a nation that you had once called your allies, even if it was for a short time.” Her eyes narrowed as well. “And where do you think those changelings will go to next?”

Bloodbeak backed off of Luna, but he still glared at her as he walked back to his troops behind him. He remained silent, finally taking his gaze from Luna to stare out across the ranks of griffons in front of him.

Do not hesitate. Tell him what will become of his precious griffons if he should refuse to help.

Luna stepped up alongside Bloodbeak. “This is like no other war that has been fought before. What you saw today was just a taste of the horrors that will befall your kingdom if you choose to sit idly by. Those... things are no longer Flutterponies. They have been corrupted and destroyed by Discord’s magic, developing a hunger that can not be sated through normal means.”

She stared out across the griffon ranks as well. Even if they all wore armor and helmets, she sensed the determination and brutality emanating from their bodies. They lusted for battle and a chance to really defend their homeland.

“An ally came to your aid today, and together you were able to beat back the invasion with much less losses than the enemy,” Luna added. “Imagine if you were to come to her aid today, and unleashed the full power of the griffons upon the enemy in one swift strike to eliminate their threat once and for all.”

Bloodbeak stared hard at his griffons. The muscles in his neck tensed, his beak ground together, and the feathers on the top of his head stood on end. A feral, heated rage crossed through his eyes, and he unslung the spear that he had on his back and slapped the butt end on the ground. All of the griffons in the market square immediate snapped to attention and gave their king a salute.

“Griffons,” Bloodbeak said, his voice barely audible to the ranks furthest away from him, “a short while ago I made a pact with the ponies to ally our two kingdoms in peace. We vowed to each other that if the other was in any sort of trouble at all, the other would hastily come to their rescue, and that we would fight the conflict back to back until neither of us remained standing.

“Today, the call has been heeded by the Equestrians, and ponies and griffons fought alongside each other in these now broken streets, fighting off waves of enemies until none remained standing. Together we bested the changeling threat, and forced their army to route from the Griffon Kingdom. However, six months ago, when the changelings had invaded Equestria, we failed to heed that same call.”

Bloodbeak paused, listening as a few of the armored griffons shifted uncomfortably, the metal clinking together. He took a deep breath.

“I intend to rectify that failure. Today, we take up arms against an enemy that has failed to show mercy to their enemies, and who threatens to destroy the very safety of our homeland. They threaten your lives, your lover’s lives, and your children’s lives. They threaten to destroy our walls, our castles, and our homes.”

A single, angry shout rose from the griffon ranks, shaking the ground with its intensity.

“We will not allow them to take our homes and our families,” Bloodbeak said a bit louder.

Another angry shout came from the griffons, louder than the last.

“Sharpen your spears, griffons!” Bloodbeak shouted, raising his spear into the air. “We march for war!”

A third and final shout boomed forth from the griffon ranks, threatening to deafen Luna’s ears. She remained unfazed, however, as she watched griffons leap into the air and fly in every direction, moving towards the different cities of the kingdom to call upon their armies. Bloodbeak lowered his spear.

You did well, Luna. You make a fine leader.

Luna grimaced, and she turned to walk back to the castle with Forza and Isthus trailing behind her.

~~~

The door to the elevator swung open and Luna, Forza, and Isthus all stepped out. The castle was nearly deserted with most of the guards out among the city cleaning up after the battle. They walked down the large main hall that led towards the throne room, then turned down a narrow hallway that led to Luna’s room. A single griffon guard stood outside of the room, and upon seeing Luna, he bounded over to her and gave her a salute.

“You have someone waiting for you inside, princess,” he said. He looked behind Luna and eyed Isthus warily. “He goes by the name of Firemane.”

“Firemane?” Luna blinked. “Thank you, you are dismissed.”

The griffon nodded and departed the group, walking back towards the hall that lead to the throne room. Luna glanced back at Forza with a quizzical look, then stepped forward and opened the door. Firemane was standing at the window that overlooked the city. He was garnished in full pegasus armor, although it was tattered in some places, and scrapes and dirt covered his entire body. His ears perked and he turned around.

“Firemane! It’s so good-” The expression on his face made Luna stop, and her ears folded back. “Is... Is there something wrong?”

A squawk echoed from the far corner of the room, and Philomena flapped her wings, soaring through the air and landing on Firemane’s back. She carried a letter in her beak in which she gave to Firemane. He walked over to Luna and presented the letter to her, which she took in her magic and opened it, reading over the contents.

“We have less time than we had hoped,” Firemane said dryly. “Discord and Chrysalis are moving on Stalliongrad as we speak. They have brought the entirety of the changeling force to assault this city.”

Luna dropped the note from her magic. Her eyes drifted across the ground and her wings clenched tightly against her sides.

“We have two days to get the griffons to Stalliongrad,” Luna said, looking up at Firemane.

Firemane nodded. “The Equestria Resistance is already on the move to the city as we speak. We can only hope that they can hold out long enough until we can get there.”

Author's Note:

Sorry, this took a little longer to get out than expected. I haven't written an action chapter in a few months now, so I'm trying to work out the rust in my fingers. Hopefully I'll get my fingers all ready to write the battle for Stalliongrad that is coming up.

While writing this chapter, all that was going through my head was this. Fitting, amirite?

Thank you Redracer for editing.

Next chapter is Chapter 14: Awakening

Comments ( 4 )

I thought the griffons would have suffered more losses than that. I suppose I underestimated them.

That speech was stupendous!!!

I am now all caught up. Finished the first book yesterday and now I'm here to the second. In short, I love this. Keep up the good work!

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