• Published 20th Mar 2013
  • 1,477 Views, 39 Comments

Volken: They call me, Prophet - TheTwerp



Lost beyond the edges of the map Princess Twilight Sparkle seeks a way home while travelling with a most interesting companion. A Volken who they call Prophet.

  • ...
5
 39
 1,477

The Wardens Oath

"You've heard of prey chewing off a leg to escape a trap? There's an cowardly kind of trick. A true hunter would remain in the trap, endure the pain, feigning death that he might kill the trapper and remove a threat to his kind."

- The Warrior Priestess: Gaius, talking with the young Hawk

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was warm, soft, like she had been wrapped in a blanket of pure comfort. Snuggling down with a quiet yawn Twilight Sparkle let herself doze for a while. Her mind reflecting blearily on the days past, the time Rainbow had won the Best Young Flyers competition, Applejack and her impromptu trip to Dodge Junction, or the more recent time of finding herself as a Princess alongside her mentor and friend Celestia.

Her doze was interrupted when a sudden tickle filled her nose. Twilight grimaced a little before letting out a sneeze. "Ah-Chu!"

*Sniffle*

"Ugh, gross." Twilight uttered wiping her nose. Opening her eyes she was greeted by the sight of a wall of cloth, or fabric, she couldn't tell. "Huh?"

Pulling the lip of the soft quilt over her head she found herself in a icy cave. Memories of the accident, the walk and subsequent encounter with a Volken returned in a flurry.

"Oh yeah."

Twilight let out another snort before rising reluctantly from the warmth. She cast her gaze about the place, the fire had lowered it's blaze to a smoulder with the light it cast off mixing with streams of sunlight that filtered down through the walls in a crescendo of colour. Twilight smiled at the display while her gaze wandered the cave looking for the individual who had saved her the previous day.

"Prophet?" She called weakly.

The small echo of her own voice was all that answered. Examining the cave she came upon a small wooden bowl filled to the brim with an assortment of petals and leafy greens. Frowning, she lent down to take a whiff of the plants. They smelt of the berries that grew in the summer heat on the hills near Ponyville. As the fruity scent entranced her senses, her stomach annoyed at being ignored for so long announced it's presence.

*Gruwl*

Twilight jumped a little at the sudden noise, her face turning pink slightly. Glancing around to find no trace of the Volken, the mare let out a small chuckle as she patted her rumbling belly. "Ok I get it, I guess he left these for me?"

Shrugging the mare nudged the bowl closer to the fire before settling down to eat the offered breakfast. Sifting through the assortment of food Twilight began to eat. She decided to try the petals first. The dainty looking things were pinkish in colour with a subtle white trim. Plopping a few into her maw Twilight chewed tentatively before guzzling the rest down.

"Wow! These are delicious!" She said her voice muffled by the food.

Once the petals were consumed she moved onto the leafy greens. The leaves were a deep evergreen that spoke of richness and vigour. Riding on the assumption that they would taste good as well, Twilight shoved a whole bunch into her hungry mouth and chomped down.

"Urk." In an instant Twilight's jaw locked in place as the foul taste offered began sinking into her tongue. "Bleh!"

"Oh Celestia! That was awful!" She yelped whilst spitting, trying to remove the horrid texture.

Deciding to ignore the leaves Twilight made sure she could find no more petals before she pushed the bowl away from her. Her stomach was pacified a little at the breakfast but not by much. The organ still churned, begging for more food. Letting out a sigh the mare rose again and trotted back over to the comfy sleeping bag.

"I wonder where Prophet is?" Twilight thought idly.

Her body shivered a little so Twilight lifted the edge of the quilt with the intent of dragging it back to the fire. That was until she noticed something she had missed earlier. The sleeping bag had fur attached to it.

"Oh no..." She said her face losing all it's colour. "This isn't..."

Flipping the quilt over, she watched in total horror as it thumped back down to reveal itself. The quilt was actually the skin of another creature. She placed a hoof to her mouth as she felt the breakfast rise to her throat.

"Oh it is!" Twilight yelled backing away from the thing. "I slept in that-"

*!*

"I'm gonna be sick!" Twilight dashed up out of the tunnel which was mercifully short to blast out into the morning sun.

Leaning over and placing a hoof to her chest the mare took a few deep breaths, slow and deliberate. Pacing her breathing Twilight was able to calm her fluttering stomach. Once sure she was able to hold her food Twilight took a good look at the area. The winds that had plagued her all day yesterday had vanished. Only a mute breeze flushed past, whistling gently as it went. The morning sun was glaring harshly off the icy floor, as it reflected the light into the clear blue sky. Momentarily forgetting the skin down in the den Twilight plopped her rump down to admire the scene.

"It's pretty here." She said to herself idly tracing a hoof in the snow.

The beauty of this place was undeniable, the quiet thrums of nature, the endless fields of shimmering white. She would never think of living here, but it was somewhere she would like to return too. Maybe when she had some equipment and her friends.

Twilight felt her thoughts drawn back to the more immediate, down in the den was the skin of another creature. Up here was the cold and snow. She was conflicted over what was worse when a shiver assaulted her, deciding the internal debate.

"Brr." Shaking a little Twilight picked herself up and reluctantly returned to the den.

Twilight's mind worked with the rational, logical centres as it tried to justify the reason for the pelt. "Of course a Volken is going to use a pelt, the Griffons do the same." Her mind reasoned.

"Doesn't mean it's not disgusting..." She muttered to herself, pushing past the pelt to stand over the fire. Looking around Twilight felt a little concerned at how messy the den was. Bags and tools lay strewn about the place, the pelt she had slept in was now cast aside and the bowl of food still had a spit-wad of disgusting leaves in it. Twilight felt the obsessive need to keep everything orderly and tidy rear its head.

"Mhm, I better clean this place up."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He had almost forgotten this feeling, the thrill of the hunt. Prophet couldn't stop his grin from surfacing as he stalked forward toward the prey. He had been tracking this particular animal all morning, a snow fox. He could of gone for something bigger, there were deer roaming the wastes a little further south. But he didn't need all that food, he was only needing to feed himself after all.

"Thou Shalt Not Hunt More Than Thine Needs." Prophet whispered gently.

The hunter was perched atop a snow drift waiting. Prophet had followed all the training and experience he had learned, placing snow in his muzzle to hide his breath, shifting to bury himself slightly to hide his coat. The snow fox would have to be really lucky to evade him. It had burrowed into the ice for the moment probably to create a den for future offspring.

"Spring is fast approaching." The hunter mused.

As Prophet sat waiting his mind wandered back to the purple being he had left in the den. He had awoken to find the pony still slumbering away. The injuries she had sustained from their encounter had healed nicely. The wings were still tattered but there was not much he could do for that, healing magic wasn't really his thing. Minor things like twists and punctures was something all Volken learned to heal as a hunter, regardless of magical aptitude. The ability to fix oneself was paramount to be being a living Volken as opposed to a dead one.

Still true healing magic had never meshed well with Volken. The few mages produced were always snapped up by clan leaders to serve as battlemasters. The Volken people had often just purchased the time of willing Griffon or even pony healers, when they could be convinced.

Prophet could of used magic to savage this prey that lay before him. The Elder Hunter knows how many young mages think they can just use magic for everything. He smiled at memories of his own youth where he had tried to convince his father that the old methods of hunting were wasteful.

"Do not speak as if you know boy!" The old man's voice swished by his ears. "Do you think your power is endless? What happens when you find one better than yourself? The old methods are not there to punish you boy! It is to give you an edge, when all else fails you. Remember this."

Prophet knew his father was right, the youthful version had scoffed back then, but now he knew better.

"So much better." He mumbled.

A few moment passed before a movement in his vision stilled him. The fox poked it's head out of the hole, sniffing the air cautiously. The little creature dipped back down for a few moments before raising out of the ground. The hunter grinned, his teeth glinting in the sun. The trap had been set, a small offering of berries that the fox's here consume for sustenance during hard months of winter. The little beast shifted over to the small pile of red berries and began to nip at them.

Prophet stilled his breathing, closing his eyes as well. With a burst of adrenaline he surged forth from the snow, flakes of ice showering the area behind him. The little creature looked up to see a snarling monster rushing toward it. Turning tail and sprinting back to the den it had built it scrambled for it's life.

Prophet felt the rush of power as he closed down on the little fox. It was just about to escape it's head ducking down into the den. Just as it moved to escape he thrust his own muzzle down and latched onto the fox's tail. It let out panicked squeaks as he dragged it back out into the plain. Throwing it down it scrambled to recover and dash for it's life when Prophet clasped his fangs around it's neck. With one almighty shake the spine was sundered leaving the fox to fall limp in his grasp.

Letting the diminutive thing fall from his muzzle the hunter allowed his body to calm itself. The fiery energy simmered down to be replaced with more normal feelings. Not forgetting the Code he lowered his gaze to the fox's body.

"Be one with the wheel." He droned dutifully whilst placing a paw to the creatures head. "I thank you for this bounty Elder Hunter, let the world know that I shall not waste."

Once satisfied that his duty was complete the Volken picked the prey up and placed it in a holding pack on his back. The restraints of magic lifted by his hunt, Prophet let out a burst of energy sheathing himself in a cloak of energy. To an outsider he simply shimmered into nothingness, with only a set of paw prints left in the snow. Normally he would of trotted back to camp under no spell but it was easier to travel this way, the bandits of late had been pushing further and further north. The last thing he wanted was to be caught in a battle with outcasts.

Flexing his wings the hunter kicked off the ground with an almighty shunt. Taking to the air he flapped hard and fast, eager to return to the den.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Whew!" Twilight sighed happily. "All done."

Twilight had set to work earlier in an effort to clean the cave. It was the least she could do after Prophet had saved her life. First she had taken the bowl and dumped the contents in a small hole near the den. Using the snow to scrub the bowl a little she had returned to place it back near the fire. Next she reluctantly collected the pelt, folding it over in the process. Taking the square of fur she started to organise the area around her side of the den. The square becoming the resting place for the bowl.

After that was done she moved over to the Volken's side and started sorting through the tools. Various things from hammers to claw devices were left strewn about. Frowning at what the uses for them might be she glanced idly at the square of fur. Shuddering Twilight decided against thinking about it and just settled on sorting them out.

An hour or so must of passed as Twilight moved things about the cave. After she was done Twilight settled down onto the ground in front of the fire, her eyes wandering a little. It was much tidier in here now, bags and packs now rested in order of size, tools all settled in order of sharpness rested on a patch of cloth, which she was sure was cloth this time.

As Twilight sat the mare fluttered her wings a little, remembering the damage done to them. Looking over to her back she saw the tattered limbs shudder a bit as she flexed the muscles. They stung and prickled as the nerves around them announced that more time was needed to heal. Still hope filled her as she knew that if the nerves were working, she was at least recovering.

Twilight let out another shaky sigh as she lifted a hoof to prod gently at her other wound. The horn affixed to her head still let out pangs of pain every now and then. Her hoof traced gently up its length, feeling the crack that ran its course to the top. Sniffling a little the mare hesitated for a moment before placing her hoof to the very top, feeling the broken section that had snapped off.

*Sniff*

Tears began to stream her face as the usual power that resonated in her horn was gone. Only a dull empty feeling remained there reminding her of her loss. Brining the hoof down sharply to cover her eyes she let out a few despairing sobs.

"I-It'll be Ok." Twilight repeated in a mantra. "It'll h-heal just f-fine. You'll s-see."

*Sniffle*

Feelings of despair rose forward and reared their ugly heads, her mind racing with panicked ideas. What if the Princesses cast her out? What if her friends no longer liked her? What if she never healed?

*Stomp*

A purple hoof cracked down onto the ice shattering the in front of her. "No! Stop it!"

"You'll be fine!" Twilight shouted wiping the tears away. "You're being silly."

A plunking noise drew her attention, the bags in the corner of the cave had fallen spilling their contents over the ground. Eager for a distraction the mare lifted herself over to the bags. The largest pack had deposited a few trinkets. Twilight sat down and picked up a large wooden flower that had been painted rather sloppily. Turning it over she saw an inscription on the back: Луна.

*?*

"Nyha?" Twilight tried. "Wonder what it means?"

The thing was well cared for, clearly important to the Volken. Placing it gently back into the pack, she looked over the other trinkets. A few feathers, a smooth black stone and an assortment of quills. As she shifted through the mess, placing each item back into the pack her gaze fell onto the final item.

"A book?!" Twilight uttered, stunned at the the tome.

It was bound it what appeared to be synth-leather, a creation that ponies had come up with to protect old tomes, but she guessed it was probably the real thing seeing as it was a Volken book. Swallowing the queasy feelings again she pushed past it to open the book. It was written in the script of the Volken, unreadable to her. She gasped in frustration at her misfortune. Still the book did contain a large helping of illustrations.

"Hah! These are so pretty!" Twilight said gushing over each picture.

The book looked like a story book, every other page depicted a large Volken in various scenes and situations. It's large wolf like features seemed to dominate every page. At the start it seemed to show the large wolf as some kind of warrior seemingly always engaged in battle.

"I wonder if he was a local hero of something?" Twilight placed a hoof to her head in thought.

The book continued, showing scenes of the mighty warrior fighting endlessly with many creatures. After a few more pages the story clearly changed, a single scene showing the mighty warrior stood still. He seemed to be stunned into submission by the image of another Volken, a female by the look of things. She was covered in wreaths of flowers as a single bird perched upon her muzzle.

"Wow. It must be a love story!" Twilight felt her inner filly giggle madly at this revelation. Everything else was blissfully forgotten as the happy mare flipped from page to page.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Vo-fum*

Prophet cracked his wings again shunting the air away from him. He was starting to sweat. The energy to run the cloak along with his flying was beginning to tire him. His mind wandered a little, thoughts of his meal soon filling most of the space. It had been so long since he had eaten something he had caught himself, he was nearly drooling at the planned dinner.

*Vo-fum*

Another crack of the wings and he entered the plain his den was located in. The sun was glaring down onto the plain, causing the ice to shimmer like glass. If he had been visible Prophet was sure he would have been able to see his reflection. The winds were starting to pick up again as the effects jostled him some.

He crested the last hill to see the few spikes of ice that jutted from the floor, the markers of his lair. The warmth of the den and it's fire were calling him as he pushed himself harder. With his lair in sight his mind cast about to remember the guest that had slept there last night. An ugly thought arose.

What if the pony was still there?

He let out a snort at the absurd notion. The pony was clearly frightened by his mere presence, as it should be. He suspected that the silly thing had taken the first chance she had gotten and bolted. His mind glowered a little, if she had taken anything from his lair she shouldn't have then they were destined for another encounter.

*Vo-fum, fum, fum*

With a few more flaps of his wings the hunter lowered himself to the ground. Releasing his hold of the magical current the Volken fluttered back into existence. Fluffing the wings a little he tucked them back to his sides, placing the packs over them. It was better this way, last he needed was for others to note his wings. A stray pony seeing them was one thing, many would disregard her claims, but a Volken would cause a lot more trouble.

Shuffling again he padded toward the cave entrance, noting that the snow didn't appear to be disturbed. Frowning he lowered into the tunnel. A airy giggle wormed it's way up the tunnel to reach his ears.

"It can't be." Prophet said with a dire frown.

Pulling himself out of the tunnel he was greeted with a very odd sight. The den which often looked like a bomb had gone off inside was now clean and tidy. His packs laid out neatly alongside the tools he carried. The pelt that served as the ponies bed was now neatly folded up with her bowl laid out on top. He allowed his gaze to settle on the culprit in question, her tattered wings dancing excitedly about her form. She was snout deep into what appeared to be a book, a book which he recognised.

"Ahem!" Prophet grunted loudly.

*!*

The mare froze solid, the noise stifling all giggles and stilling her wings. The ears wilted as she slowly turned her head to his location. Prophet stood there his face a mask of anger. Shrinking down as he padded forward to bring his muzzle to hers.

"Please explain to me. Is this a pony thing?" Prophet asked.

"W-What?" The pony said meekly moving back, book toppling out of her grasp.

"Well among my people, routing through another's things is...very rude..." His lips parted to reveal his vicious looking teeth. His mind was ablaze with fury. Why was she still here? Why was she messing with his things?

"O-Oh I um...sorry." She uttered. "I j-just was cleaning up and w-well your pack fell over..."

"You cleaned up?" Prophet remarked feeling bewildered as his anger faded a little.

"Y-Yes. I made a bit of a mess with the food you left me." She stammered. "So I thought I'd clean up."

Her hooves picked and pawed at the ground nervously as her eyes remained locked with a speck located near his paws. He was confused, a pony of all things had offered to clean up his den. It was unexpected to say the least, Prophet could only gape at the sight of his lair that sparkled with cleanliness. Still he was well within his right to cast her out of his den now, he was not joking about the routing in others things.

"Are you mad?" The mare asked looking up at him.

Prophet jumped back as if he had been struck. Her face was the spitting image of her. It was the same unsure pained visage that his Summer had worn when he had first meet her, so many years ago. The wilt in the ears, the soft frown of worry, the way she shifted her forelegs in a flutter. It was so painful, that look she was giving him.

"N-No!" Prophet barked, causing her to flinch. "I just..."

*Sigh*

"I just expected you gone from here." He finished.

She looked down again, her face contorting in despair. "Oh, I s-see."

The pony shuffled about for a moment before lifted off the ground to stand unsteadily on her hooves. Prophet frowned as she moved toward the exit, her back drooping in sadness. Prophet momentarily wondered what she was doing, until it became clear she had taken that as a cause to remove herself.

"Wait." Prophet called after her. She halted mid step to look back, tears welling in her eyes as those soft lips quivered a little.

"За любовь к Матроны." He breathed, his gaze turning away from the pitiful sight.

"Forgive me pony, that was not a cause for you to leave." Prophet spoke stiffly. "I meant that I would have expected most ponies to leave the moment my back was turned. The danger I pose is enough to cause most prey creatures to flee at first chance."

"W-Why?" The mare asked between sniffles. "You're not going to hurt me right?"

"You're not going to hurt me?"

*!*

Prophet shook his head franticly, the voice of his beautiful Summer echoing the mares statement. She frowned at the sudden flurry of movement he gave off.

Recovering, the hunter scowled angrily. "Do not insult my honour." Prophet snarled.

"Wha?" The pony started.

"Forget it." He interrupted with a sigh. "Just come and sit."

Pointing to the fire the Volken turned his back on her and stalked over to the packs. Checking the assortment of tools to see if the damn mare had broken or lost anything, he found that each item had been cleaned and neatly laid out. Huffing with appreciation he turned to the last pack. The items inside were very valuable and if the mare had touched-

"S-Sorry." He heard from behind him. "Some of those fell out."

His anger rose again, as he turned to snarl at her. "I p-put them back! I swear!"

"Except the book." Prophet stated.

Her face flushed with embarrassment. "...sorry."

Snorting he looked over the items, all of which had been jostled a bit but clear to her words none had been touched to much. At least she hadn't tried cleaning them.

"Fine." He turned around to flop onto his belly in front of the book still laid on the ice. "It has been a while since my things have had the touch of a female. Seems you are the same no matter the species."

Her face seemed to turn even redder as the broken wings flitted behind her. "Thank you. I think."

"Hmph."

Prophet lowered his gaze to the book. He reached out gingerly and collected it in his paws. He held the thing as if it were the most precious thing in all his life. The mare's eyebrows rose as she watched the display of affection to the tome. His paws flitted over the pages, flicking from one to the next, his eyes glazed and dull.

"What is it about?" She asked.

He stopped to look up at her before responding. "It is a story. It tells the tale of the great knight Seph."

"Seph?"

"Yes." Prophet nodded. "He was an mighty warrior that slew many foes."

Prophet let his gaze wander back to the tome. "In the olden times of the world he stalked the dark places of this land and he knew only the paths of the warrior, all who fought him died swiftly."

Twilight began to move closer, shuffling over to listen better. Her eyes filled with awe at the story being told to her. "What happened to him?"

"He fell in love." Prophet stated unaware of her movements. "One day, as he stalked the plains of Wintersbane he encountered a female."

The tome parted to reveal the picture of the female Volken, wreathed in flower and smiling lovingly at the animal. Twilight had now moved over so far that she was sat next to Prophet. Her gaze following his as he scanned the pages.

"He stopped stunned at her beauty, lost in the sound of her voice as she sang along with the wiles of nature." Prophet continued. "He was so blinded by her that he dropped his sword, something that no warrior would ever do less they shame themselves."

"He move forward to speak to her, and beg her that she might grace him with her name." Prophet turned the page, revealing another picture of a mighty Volken on his knees before the female. "She told Seph her name was мечтатель, or Dreamer."

"The great knight Seph was so be-smitten that he begged her for a chance to prove his glory, so that she might take him as her mate." Prophet said his voice drying up, becoming a monotone. "He bade her stay and await his return, for which she agreed. The knight wandered for a day and a night to return with a great deer he had slain to impress her."

"Dreamer saw this and broke down into tears, her sorrow clouding the sky." Prophet let out a long sigh. "The great knight could not understand why she was saddened, the hunt had been glorious and the bounty plentiful."

"Dreamer asked Seph why, why had he taken the life of this being when he need not all that it's bounty contained. Seph was left wordless as she sobbed, his mighty heart shamed." Prophet turned to the last page. "It was then Seph threw himself down onto the ground and begged for forgiveness, unable to bear her disappointment. Dreamer broke from the great deer to stand over him and then she spoke to Seph of her sorrow."

"She explained that the world was a wheel, that all life filters back into the great cycle. He had taken many lives and had placed then into the wheel before their rightful time. He was not a great warrior she claimed, but an unfeeling murderer."

Prophet placed a paw to the picture, it rested on the image of Dreamer, her face cowled in flowers and light. "Seph broke into a madding state of despair, the knowledge of his crimes flooding his breaking mind. The sword with whom so many had been slain was left strewn behind him. Dreamer merely cast a single gaze at the instrument before it suddenly disintegrated along with all the evil Seph had poured into it in his long life. Dreamer then turned back to Seph, her own being not without mercy. She placed a paw to his chin, raised him up and spoke unto him the way of a true warrior. It's prime tenet engraved into his very being."

"All life has the right to grow. No matter how small or insignificant." Prophet chanted his voice taking a mask of utter reverence. "It was then Seph, the stalker of the plains was remade, from the broken ashes of his past sins the great Elder Hunter arose reborn. Once he had sworn to uphold the Code, Dreamer revealed herself to be The Matron of the world, the deity of life and death and only then did she lay with him."

"Through their union did the first of the great hunters come. Filled with honour and virtue the Elder Hunter and his loving wife taught their sons the meaning of the Code. The methods to hunt, to fight, to survive and the wiles of magic. Once done the couple left this earth to return to Elysium the birthplace of The Matron, the great hunters ever thankful to their blessed parents for the gifts of knowledge, honour and the Code."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"..."

"..."

Silence had settled over the cavern, the Volken was not making any other movements, his mind lost in the meanings of the book. Twilight sat stunned, her own mind desperately trying not to cry at the beautiful tale. The story had left her speechless, it was an origin story, a tale of the Volken birth as a species. She was practically bursting with curious energy. A need to grab a quill, notepad and tea set in preparation of some serious note taking was starting to physically hurt her.

"That was..." Twilight stammered wiping tears away. "That was beautiful."

"Mhm? Hmph, it is just a tale for cubs." Prophet said dryly.

Twilight was a little taken back at his dismissal, the way he read that spoke volumes to her. Twilight may have once been a wallflower but even she knew when somepony was cared for something deeply. The way he cradled the book was proof enough that if she had damaged it, well she probably would be wandering out in the cold by now.

*Slam*

Twilight jumped as the Volken slapped the book together and stood. He padded over to the packs and put the tome back into the largest one. Once he secured it he walked back to her and nudged her with his muzzle.

"You better leave for a moment pony." He muttered.

"Oh! But I thought-" Twilight stuttered rising unsteadily to her hooves.

"I said a moment pony. Unless you want to watch me gut and skin a kill?" Prophet smirked his teeth showing.

Twilight felt her stomach turn and face pale as she quickly trotted to the exit. Grappling her way back up the tunnel she plopped down onto the ice outside the hole. Pushing the sickening thoughts of what was happening down there she let her mind wander to the story. It was such a wonderful story, it reminded her of the Mare in the Moon tale she had read fatefully many years ago.

Twilight sniffled a bit as she thought of her beloved mentor, her friends, her family, Spike and all the others that were so far away from her. The mare rubbed idly at her eyes wiping the moisture from her face when a shout drew her attention.

"Pony! You can come down now!"

Frowning the mare lowered herself back down the hole. Once she had returned the smell of blood assaulted her nose, its effect twisting the contents of her belly upside down.

"Oh Celestia!" She muttered loudly, her hooves covering her snout.

"Mhm?" Prophet was sat in front of a pot that now rested over a burning fire. "Oh the smell, give it a moment pony."

Grumbling Twilight sat down across from Prophet her snout still covered with a hoof. "I have a name you know."

"What?" Prophet said looking up from the contents of the pot.

"My name is Twilight Sparkle, Princess of Equestria." Twilight muttered, indignant.

"I know? You roared that into my face yesterday." Prophet raised an eyebrow.

"Huh? Well why don't you call me by my name!" Twilight thumped her hooves down outraged at the Volken.

Prophet's gaze fell back to the pot with a frown, he stirred the contents for a bit before looking back up at the waiting pony. "Hah, amongst my people it is not customary to give a cub a name until they earn it or are given one by an elder."

Twilight merely tilted her head, too confused to answer. "I had been searching for a name to give you...but I guess that is unfair to you, not being a Volken after all." Prophet continued.

"Why give me a name?" Twilight asked.

"It is our way, the name would reflect on what we think of you. For example a male may be called Trapper, due to his proficiency at trapping prey."

"So what were you going to call me?"

"свет, it means light."

"Why Light?"

Prophet let his gaze lock with her own, his one sickly green eye lighting up, it's magical fire burning away the trappings of the mortal plane. "Because your spirit is saturated with it. It ebbs and flows around the core of your power, it's very beautiful to behold."

Her face flushed, ears flicking about in embarrassment. She was always embarrassed when somepony examined her with a mages eye. "Oh well thank you but just call me Twilight...please."

"Twilight then." Prophet said the power in his eye dwindling away.

"What did you mean earn it?" Twilight stuttered trying to pry more information from her companion.

"Well, it is akin to your "Cutie Marks" and how they define your place in the wheel." Prophet pointed his paw to the magical start that adorned her flank. "When a cub feels up to the test, he or she is to present themselves to the Clan Elders and show off something they can do to benefit the Clan."

"Then they get a name?" Twilight asked intrigued.

"Yes." He answered. "Twilight Sparkle is not a name we the Volken would accept, it is simply to vague, but if you are truly a leader of your people then you deserve that respect."

Ending the conversion, Prophet glanced toward the wooden bowl. A flutter of power and it drifted over to him as he began to pour a slop of food into it. Her mind alternated between envy at the use of magic and disgust as she remembered that she had eaten out of that earlier today.

"Allow me to eat mine first, then I will fetch you something." Prophet said noting her facial expressions.

"Oh! that's Ok I'm not-"

*Growl*

"..."

"I think your stomach agrees with my plan." Prophet chuckled heartily.

"Hehe." Twilight flickered her ears in shame. "Stupid stomach!"

Prophet ate quickly, bringing the bowl over to the pot to help himself to more of the slop that was inside. Twilight watched as he adopted a face of mild pleasure, the joy stemming from eating a good meal. Curiosity overrode common sense as the mare couldn't contain her inquisitive nature.

"What have you made?" Twilight braved.

"Mhm? You sure you want to know?" Prophet asked.

After she gave a hesitant nod he continued. "First I took the kill and after gutting and cleaning it cut the chucks of meat up and placed them into this brew. I melted some ice for the water, placed some of the flowers and some vegetables from nearby alongside to create a stew."

"Volken eat vegetables?" Twilight asked turning away and hiding her desire to vomit behind her hoof.

"..." Hearing nothing Twilight glanced up to see the hunter glowering at her. "We are not savages, pony."

Her face went cherry red as she realized the insult she had just cast at him. Looking down at the floor she stammered. "I didn't mean-"

*Snort*

"You are far to easy too wind up!" The Volken laughed.

*!*

"He's teasing me!" Her mind reeled as she watched the Volken titter at her expense.

"Hmph!" She grunted, cheeks puffing up with a pout.

The look she gave him could of killed a raging manticore, but he simply laughed harder. The chuckling of the hunter brought a small grin to her own face. She let the warm smile seep over her muzzle as she lowered her head down to rest on her forelegs, the hunter consuming the rest of his food. After a time Prophet downed the last of his stew, dropping to bowl into the pot.

"Right, I'll fetch you something to eat." He rose and padded toward the exit before slowing to a halt. "Did you prefer anything from what I left this morning?"

"Oh yes those flowers were delicious! Um but the leaves were...nasty..." Twilight wilted a little. "But if that's all that's available then I'll eat them." She said trying not to sound ungrateful.

"Fair enough, makes it easier on me, the flowers are plentiful here." He snorted. "I went further a field for the leaves."

"How did you find flowers here?" Twilight asked as he turned to move away.

"You only see what's on the surface. The flowers grow underneath the frost, they are found on a berry bush that the creatures of this plain live on." He called over his shoulder as he rose to disappear up the tunnel. "I'll be back soon Twilight."

With that Prophet left her alone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Prophet kicked another chunk of ice, he watched as it skittered away. He had been walking for a while. He had left the den in a jovial mood, company had not graced his presence in a long time. He had allowed himself to drop his guard, laughed with her, teased her and offered to look for food for her.

"What am I doing!" He snarled his teeth gnashing. "She is prey! Nothing more!"

*Sigh*

"Shouldn't of called her by name." He growled at his own stupidity. "Should of just filled her up and sent her on her way."

He couldn't do that of course, his honour demanded that he make sure of her survival before he could cut her loose. Prophet sighed with resignation, he would of made sure anyway, no creature should really suffer the injuries she had.

"Getting soft." He grumbled under his breath.

Prophet let his mind wander to times gone, to his Summer and Moon. The mare looked so much like Summer, yet her mind was inquisitive like the little Moon he had told stories so many years ago. As he stood looking out into the night a image of an old wood log cabin appeared in his minds eye. The whole building radiated warmth as a great hearth blazed brightly from inside.

Prophet approached and placed a paw to the door, gently nudging it open. He breath could taste the scent of bread baking, cinnamon mixed with berries and the silky touch of a woman. "Summer?" He called weakly.

He pushed into the house while an assortment of toys and playthings lay strewn on the floor. He smiled painfully as he recalled all the places he had bought those things to please his little Moon. Breaking past the mess he entered the kitchen to find a figure dressed in a simple blouse and apron, a frilly bonnet wreathed her head.

"Summer?" Prophet whispered, his eyes glazing over.

"Mhm? Prophet?" An airy voice called as the figure turned around to show a pair of soft violet eyes framed by a tumble of dark locks. Her warm smile shone from underneath the bonnet as the Volken moved closer to place a tender paw to his face. "My love?."

The image of his beloved moved closer to place a single kiss to his cheek. Prophet sat, his eyes closed and breathing hard. The touch was ethereal, magical, something from his youth.

"I miss you..." He called weakly.

"I know." The female answered her voice distorting.

With a frown Prophet opened his eyes. Instead of seeing the love of his life, mother of his child, he was greeted to the sight of a dark purple pony. Her smile warm and loving as the mare placed another kiss on his other cheek.

*!*

All at once the image disintegrated as Prophet collapsed into the snow swatting the last vestiges of the mirage away. His mind reeled at the realisation of what had just occurred. His breath hitched as a torrent of great sobs rocked his chest.

"Why!" He bellowed to the sky. "Have you sent her to torment me! To remind me of my failure!"

Shuddering with sorrow the Volken was startled when the sky answered him back. "Life is a cycle son. I said that one day you'll see them again, to take comfort in that fact."

"I didn't want to see them again." Prophet gasped between sobs.

"Whether you want to or not is irrelevant, the world turns and if you cannot keep up, it will leave you behind." The airy voice of his father filtered down from the sky.

"Why her though? She is so much like them..." Prophet said voice barely audible.

"I know my son. What we do is not to cause you pain, never forget that. What we want you to do is your duty boy. Remember that you swore an oath to me and your mother."

"All life has a right to grow. No matter how small or insignificant. We as the Great Hunters will serve to protect that life no matter the cost to us."

"That's right. You must look after her Prophet, she is far more important than you realise.

"Her?"

"Don't make the mistake of thinking that little thing is some weakling. Even broken as she is her magic far outstrips any you have encountered before. She is young but the power to remake the world lies within her."

"Remake...the world?"

"You will see. Keep her close Prophet and she will remake you too, as your mother did me."

*!*

"Father?"

Only the empty air answered this time. Prophet lay for a while longer before the winds picked up again, wafts blustering their way down the white plains stirring the snowflakes in the wake of their passing. Letting out a snort the Volken collected the remaining flowers and headed back to the den.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Twilight was bored, her hooves idly picking at the ice underneath. Prophet had been gone awhile and her mind was starting to worry again. She was loath to admit but she was deathly afraid he would just up and abandon her. He was harsh and scary but the only companion she had, if he left she would be in serious trouble.

She again cast her mind over his actions, his sudden switches between joking to dull indifference. It was clear to her that he was not used to dealing with others, maybe even of his own kind. The way he was constantly checking her position, wary of any sudden movement she made reminded her of the stray dogs that Fluttershy kept sometimes.

She also couldn't help but wonder if he was just saving her for a meal when he was really hungry. The idea seemed silly, but it was a Volken. His story from earlier told of a Code that involved protecting life but he still killed a fox and ate it. What if he suddenly turned round and devoured her in the night? A scraping noise drew her gaze to the mouth of the entrance. After a moment Prophet's muzzle poked through.

"Oh good you're back!" Twilight said rising to her hooves.

"Worried I'd leave you?" Prophet chuckled darkly as he clambered through the hole.

"N-No!" Twilight halted unsteadily, becoming flustered.

"Whatever. Here's your dinner." He placed a pack of those pink flowers in front of her.

"Ah ha!" Twilight trotted over to begin shovelling the plants into her maw. "Mmmm."

She took the offered pack and shuffled closer to the fire, munching happily as she went. She watched as the Volken placed himself down on the other side of the fire. He picked at his coat, shimming pieces of snow and frost from the pelt. As she devoured the plants the concept of food bothered her again.

"Say Prophet?" Twilight asked gulping down a section of meal.

"Mhm."

"Why didn't you...eat me?" Twilight felt her hooves tremble at the thought. She watched as the Volken stopped his cleaning to stare at her vehemently.

"What did you say?" Prophet growled.

"Well it just seemed like it would of been easier for you to just eat me instead of helping me." Twilight said meekly lowering her gaze.

"..."

"...a few thousand years ago I might of done." Prophet said eerily.

"What?" Twilight gulped.

"Relax, you remember the story?" Prophet asked watching the mare nod her head. "Well that didn't really tell everything. Back in that age a pony like you would of be hunted and eaten in no time."

Twilight suddenly lost her apatite as her face felt pale. Prophet merely smiled devilishly before continuing. "It was a dark time then Twilight. We hunters killed each other and anyone that crossed us, a nation of violent and bloody killers."

"When the teachings of the Code came to us we as a people changed and became better as a whole, the killing and eating of those who bear the mark of sentience was a sin." Prophet began to clean his pelt again.

"Of course not all went with the change, some would not, some could not. We did what we could but most had to be wiped out. It was after we left behind that life did we find out something in particular about the devouring of sentients."

"What?" Twilight asked her voice a whisper.

"That it drives you mad. Many of the olden were insane due to the amount they had consumed. That is why I will not eat you Twilight. I have little sanity and I will not waste any more just to eat your pretty little flank." Prophet said with a smirk.

Twilight nearly choked at the comment, her hooves still trembling at the thought of being eaten. "I see."

"Worry not Twilight, I am not so fearsome." Prophet chuckled. "I bet if you had your horn and wings you could easily kill me if you desired."

Twilight tried not to choke again at the horrid thought of killing somepony, even Prophet. Pushing it aside Twilight again attempted to eat the offered meal as she idly watched the Volken stand up and move over to her.

"Tell me Twilight what do you intend?" He asked plopping down next to her.

"Mhm?" She grunted her cheeks puffed full of food.

"Do you intend to remain in this plain? Start your way south?"

"Mmpf!" She swallowed with a loud gulp. "Ahem, excuse me. Well I was starting my way south when that storm hit."

"So you intend to leave." Prophet nodded in satisfaction. "Then I shall ask something else."

"What?"

"Do you wish me to travel with you and help return you to your home?" Prophet now stood looking the mare firmly in the eye.

"What!?" Her eyes bulged from their sockets. "I c-couldn't ask you to do t-that!"

"So you are saying you know the lay of the land? You know how to survive here? You know which plants are edible and those that are not?" Prophet glared at her.

"Oh..." Twilight wilted as the thoughts of common sense sank in. "Well..."

*Sigh*

"Twilight, let me take you home?" Prophet asked letting a paw gently brush her shoulder.

"O-Ok!" She squeaked at the touch. "But why?"

"To make up for a failure I made long ago. Besides it's been a long time since I travelled south. I would like to see the world and what has changed in my absence. Maybe after you are delivered home I will wander to the southern straights and see the Griffons again." Prophet said his eyes drifting off into memory.

"...well thank you Prophet." Twilight said her face suddenly very hot and sweaty.

"No trouble, eat then sleep, we will set out in the morning." Prophet turned away from the flustered mare and laid down near the fire. He was exhausted, the plant scavenge, then the hunt this morning followed all that happened this evening was just crushing. In a mere matter of moments he was asleep leaving the confused alicorn to finish her meal.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Sniff, Sniff*

"Mmm, close..."

"How close?"

*Sniff, Sniff*

"Few days hike, west."

"Well we better get moving. Can't let this go to waste."

"How much power do you think it'll have?"

"Enough to get us further south, back to the holds, back to get revenge on the Clans."

"From one prey? You truly think so Snatch?"

"You didn't see it Blaze. I did. It was a beacon of magic..."

*Growl*

"...and I want it."

Author's Note:

Yoski!

Well this was mostly written the day after first chapter. Then the Flu came and battered me in the face, only today am i able to form conscious thoughts. :twilightsmile:

Anyway second chapter is now up. Next one might be a bit longer as i'm now getting back onto Doubly Mared, seeing as it's almost finished.

Please Like and Fav!

=== Music I was listening to while writing this: Crysis 2 Theme ===

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!