The Fall of a Tyrant

by Zoom Star

First published

One pony's journey to defeat a rising evil upon the throne of Equiheim.

This story follows the journey of an illusive renegade, and his fight against the ruthless tyrant king, who governs the land of Equiheim with an iron fist.

*Land based off of Norse mythology*

The Beginnings

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History. Those who forget it are deemed to repeat it. It is one of the most important parts of our society today. Why, you ask? History is the stories told by the old to teach the new of their mistakes. History enables us to learn from the past in order to create a better future. And if you ask me, that sounds pretty important. But History is also biased. It is based off of sources, written or not, that are influenced by the victorious. You will almost always find that most historical battles, duels, fights and wars always depict the side that won as the good side. But that isn’t important right now. This story tells of a single stallion, who risked his life to rescue his people from the evil on the throne. This is his story, and I tell it to you, so that the next ruler in line shall not make the same mistakes.

The hands of chance have no hold on me,
The eyes of fate have no sight of me.
For I know what I must become,
A shadow on the winds of change.


The ground was wet and muddy from the rain that had continued to pour endlessly in the dark night. The sun had risen since then, warming the areas of the forest floor that weren’t covered by the expanse of lush canopies overhead. Drops of water constantly dropped onto the ground from the many leaves that had been drenched. Everything was still at the moment.

The peaceful silence was utterly broken by the sound of carriage wheels rolling against the muddy forest path. The clattering of the wheel as it turned, along with the squelching as it ran through the mud, barely hid the sound of hooves hitting the ground in a canter. Soon, the carriage had made it to a large clearing in the canopy above, sun shining on its radiant colours.

The carriage was a very bright green, with red trimmings across the roof and doors, giving it a cheery tone most commonly associated with Hearth’s Warming Eve. The two large stallions at the front of the carriage were attached with large black harnesses. The harness was difficult to see in the darkness of the forest, especially seeing as their coats were black as well. They had bright red helmets, and matching armour.

They slowed to a halt underneath the radiant sun’s glare, stretching their black wings out to full length, revealing red plates up and down the bones of the wings. These were obviously the king’s royal guard. The passenger in the carriage opened the door and stepped out, obviously leaving his shelter for some fresh air.

The passenger had an orange coat, which shined under the bright rays of sunlight pouring through the large hole in the canopy. His mane and tail were a deep red, with yellow streaks running through it. Most of his coat was covered in his fancy gown, which had the same red and green color style as his carriage. He looked back at his guards, his yellow eyes squinting at them.

“Are you sure we are safe here?” he asked them, his voice squirrely and high-pitched. The first guard spoke, his deep voice echoing softly through the forest. “Don’t worry, Royal Adviser Hastein, you are in no danger here” he said, turning his head to watch the surrounding forest. Hastein scoffed, holding his head up. “Surely you have heard the rumours?” he asked.

The second guard, with the same deep voice, chuckled. “You don’t actually believe those old mare tales do you?” he asked, giving him a strange look. “The king has become, shall we say, loathed in recent times” Hastein replied, looking at the guard with disgust. “Chances are a rogue stallion may be hiding in these woods, and I am indeed a prime target!” he squeaked.

The guards chuckled, looking at each other and then falling silent, unwilling to continue the argument. They waited for a few minutes in the clearing, taking in the fresh air and relaxing from all the pulling they had done moments before. The trees rustled slightly, Hastein fidgeting in fear of being attacked by rogue bandits, but alas, it was the wind.

And then, it all happened at once. A shadowy blur pounced from the branches high above them, landing in front of the two guards. “What the-?” they both stuttered at the surprise of the new pony that had appeared, but it was too late. They both lay dead, cuts along their necks from where the pony had struck. Then, he rounded on the Royal Advisor.

Hastein squeaked, seeing the pony approach him, his hoof raised. And the tip of the hoof was a sharp shining metal shoe, blood dripping from it. Hastein fled, cantering as fast as his hooves could carry him. But, the pony was in front of him again, as if he had appeared from nowhere. And then, the shine of the metal glinted upwards, and swung down upon him. He was dead.

The pony looked down at his prey, examining the small pockets in the Advisor’s cloak. All he found was a small bag full of bits, which he put into a pocket of his own. He trotted back to the clearing, where the carriage laid still, the two guards lying motionless in front of it. The pony checked the storage compartment inside the carriage, and smiled at his findings.

Inside it was a large map, which he snatched up and unravelled in front of him. He skimmed over it, his eyes darting from one place to another, each place with different guard assignments and posts, which he stored in the deepest part of his memory bank for further inspection. Not wishing to leave any evidence, he placed the map back where it was, and closed the compartment door.

The sun was beginning to set, and the forest was becoming dark. The pony looked up into the gradually receding light, and then began walking back along the path. He went over the map in his mind again a few times, counting up the posts and reviewing the various jobs. The darkness was beginning to engulf him now, and so he broke into a canter, and then a gallop.

The scenery changed rapidly as the pony continued to gallop through the darkness. The trees became fewer in number, the dark sky filling with bright stars across it. The moon, a crescent shape, was shining amongst the small dots of light. The canopies of the trees slowly receded away, opening the sky completely.

Soon, the trees became small stumps, leaving large gaps in the forest. The path turned from dirt to gravel, and soon became a stone walkway. The pony stopped at the edge of the forest, looking down at the large town bustling below. The town was full of market stalls built of wood, and at highest point was a large castle of wood and stone, which looked over the entire town.

The pony pulled out a small handkerchief, and began cleaning his metal hooves, removing the blood. After pocketing the handkerchief, he pawed at the ground to add dirt and dust to them. Then, he began to trot into the town; the guards on either side of the bridge nodded their approval, allowing him to cross the bridge. He nodded back at them, and began walking towards the large wooden building by the fountain.

The pony pushed the door open and casually walked into the large tavern. The tavern was full of ponies, some sitting at tables drinking apple cider, others simply talking to each other in heated conversation. The pony moved up to the counter, feeling the curious stares of the ponies around him. The bartender looked him over, and then gave him a large apple cider.

The pony welcomed the drink, pulling it up with his hoof and drinking it quickly. It was delicious, the immense apple flavour running down his throat. The pony slammed the drink down, placed a few bits onto the counter and simply said “A room please”. The bartender nodded, and pointed with his hoof at the stairs across the room.

The pony nodded, walking up the stairs and into the first free room. He threw his cloak onto the rack in the corner, revealing a black coat, matched with white mane and tail. His flank was marked with a grey raven, his cutie mark, which he had earned as a young child. He took his metal hooves off his real hooves, hanging them on a hook next to his cloak.

The pony stepped up to the small mirror, looking over his coat and sighing. He turned, watching the door patiently. Then, there was a small soft knock on the door, and the pony casually walked over and opened it wide, allowing the pony one the other side to enter. The pony took off their large cloak and hung it next to the other.

The pony was a mare, a dashing bright yellow coat. Her mane and tail were bright orange, which matched the color of her eyes. Her nose and hooves were tipped with a white-cream color. She smiled at the stallion, walking past him gracefully and setting herself down in the chair by the window. The stallion smiled back, and simply asked “A drink, Jarnsaxa?”

The mare smiled, and simply nodded. She looked out of the window, staring down at the busy market stalls, rushing to sell their goods. The stallion made his way into the small kitchen, pouring out two apple ciders into two tankards and placing them on a tray. He brought the tray through and placed them onto the small table between the two windows, and sat opposite of the mare.

The mare smiled, taking a gulp of cider and setting the tankard back down. “Word around town is the bandits in the Glistenheath Forest killed two guards and the Royal Advisor of the king” she finally said, her voice soft and charming. The stallion smiled, looking up into her orange eyes. “Nice work, but did you get the plans, Arngeir?” she asked, a questioning look on her face. Arngeir smiled, and then laughed, getting a confused look from Jarnsaxa.

“Always straight to business, I see” he said, grinning at Jarnsaxa. She smiled, sighing heavily. “We are fighting the most important person in Equiheim, you know that right?” she asked, looking concerned. Arngeir simply rolled his eyes, and then took out a large map of Equiheim. Jarnsaxa stood up and looked over his shoulder, watching him edit it.

The map was split into 6 parts, 3 in the northern regions, in the rest in the south. The top 3 consisted of Hoofgaurd, the capital of Equiheim, Pony Pass, the forested area full of ancient trees, and the Vigrid Canterlands, a vast desert of ponds and geysers. The bottom 3 consisted of Trotholm Keep, the military base of the king, Biwalk Bridge, the gateway to the other worlds, and Griffonscar, the land owned by the kings allies the Griffons.

Arngeir delved into the deepest depths of his memory and recovered the map he had found in the carriage in Glistenheath Forest, and began adding the troop movements for this month onto his own map. As always, Hoofgaurd was the most heavily guarded, Griffonscar and Trotholm Keep coming a close second. If they were to start a revolution, they would need to begin in the others.

Arngeir scanned over the newly edited map, and decided the next place to start was Biwalk Bridge. Jarnsaxa had allies in Equestria, and we would need them if we were going to fight back against the tyrant that now sat on the throne. The bridge had 5 guard towers surrounding it, which meant it would be hard to take, but it would be easy to keep it in their possession when they did.

Jarnsaxa must have seen him concentrating on the region, because she smiled and nodded, placing her hoof on the area of map labelled Biwalk Bridge. Arngeir smiled, placing the map into his saddlebag and taking his coat of the hanger and covering himself with it. He lifted the hood over his mane, and then swung his saddlebag over his back. Finally, he attached his sharp, metal hooves.

Jarnsaxa stared at the sharp metal objects he had put onto his hooves, slight fear seeping into her big orange eyes. She shook her head, smiling at the stallion so he did not notice her fear, and followed him out of the door, whipping her coat of the hanger and wrapping it around herself. The two cloaked ponies left the tavern, with more stares showing them out the door.

Arngeir trotted up to one of the stalls in the market, looking at the various trinkets on the counter in front of him. It was then he noticed a small interesting piece on the back wall, hanging from an ornate hook. It was a small sphere, with runes running across its entire face. It seemed to be made of pure gold, and was emanating a small glow.

Arngeir looked at the stall owner with curiosity, seemingly surprised at how he had come to acquire it. “How much for the ball in the back” he said, trying to sound like it wasn’t very valuable. It worked, as the stall keeper gave him a disgusted look. “20 bits, and nothing less” he said, taking the sphere off the hanger and placing it on the counter.

Arngeir took out the small pouch he had taken from the Advisor and placed 20 bits onto the counter. Nodding at the stall owner and saying a small “Thank you” he took the sphere and placed it in a small compartment of his bag. He smiled at the bargain he had made, only just realising who was standing next to him with a quizzical look.

The two ponies then made their way to the large gates at the front of the town. They pushed the gates open and walked up to the carriage that was standing there. The carriage was slightly duller in appearance than the Royal Advisor’s parade float, but it would get them from A to B well enough. It was a deep brown, which mimicked the coat of the old pony pulling it.

Jarnsaxa placed 10 bits into the pouch around the old pony’s neck, saying “Biwalk Bridge, please” and joining Arngeir in the carriage. They sat opposite each other, feeling the soft pull as the carriage began to move forward, the distant sounds of the old pony’s hooves hitting the ground as it went from a trot to a canter, and then a steady gallop.

Arngeir watched out of the window as the landscape began to change before his eyes. The desolate forests were becoming lusher the further away from Hoofguard they went. The settlement of Hoofguard had caused a vast destruction of the forest landscape to make way for building materials and building plots. But this changed as they moved away from it.

The leaves became a brighter green color than the dull brown of the previous forest trees. The trunks and roots looked much healthier than the greying replicas by the capital city they had so quickly departed from. The ride began to get smoother as we continued, which was kindly welcomed by the two ponies sitting in the back.

Arngeir turned to Jarnsaxa, smiling. He pulled out a small map that he had picked off someone’s pocket in the market. It was a large version of the region of Biwalk Bridge. Arngeir stretched it out between their laps, Jarnsaxa looking down at it. The map showed a large orb in the centre of the map, surrounded by 5 towers, each with at least 10 guards each to protect the Bridge.

“I suggest we take the two at the back, one each?” she asked, looking up at Arngeir. Arngeir smiled at his apprentice, he had taught her well. “Then, we take the next to down, following the route” he replied, pointing to the next two towers. “We’ll meet up at the 5th tower at the entrance, and take the Bridge together” Jarnsaxa smiled, excited to finally be on a mission with her mentor.

Suddenly, the carriage stopped abruptly. Arngeir rolled away the map and hid it back in his bag. He looked out the window, confused as to what had caused the interruption. The night was still young, the moon’s eerie brightness lighting the forest path. The forest was calm and peaceful; nothing was stirring, perfectly normal for any other pony. But not Arngeir, he smelled an ambush.

Jarnsaxa opened her mouth to speak, but Arngeir lifted his hoof up, and she fell silent at once. Arngeir exited the carriage, the dark shadows engulfing him under the black cloak. As he predicted, hundreds of arrows came down upon him, except he was not there. The arrows struck limply into the cold hard ground, as if the attackers had shot at nothing.

Then, a dozen stallions landed from the trees, green hats and cloaks hiding their mane and coat. They were forest bandits, common on the roads between borders. They looked around at the area, waiting for a wounded pony to emerge from the shadows. But instead, there was a large gust of wind, and 5 dropped cuts running up their sides and neck.

Arngeir turned, his cloak flowing in the wind. The remaining bandits cowered in fear at the pony in front of them, and they ran like headless chicken into the deep forest. Arngeir smiled at his victory, turning back to the carriage. The old pony who was drawing the carriage led still, an arrow stuck firmly between his eyes. Arngeir sighed, moving towards the body.

As he removed his pouch of gold from around his neck, he called for Jarnsaxa to leave the carriage. She hesitated at first, climbing out and staring at the 5 bodies in front of her. She gulped heavily, turning and trotting over to her mentor. Arngeir threw the money pouch to her, and she promptly caught it, adding it to her bag. The two ponies then began the long walk into Biwalk Bridge.

Biwalk Bridge

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The sun raised slowly, the light shining down on the small clearing in the dense, lush forest. The grass was long and flowed as the wind blew through the air. The trees bent and swayed, the sound of branches moving filling the silence, threatening the peace of the calm scene. In the centre of the clearing, a large amongst the grass stirred.

A stallion, black coat and white mane and tail flowing in the wind, rose up on his four legs. He had been sleeping under a dark cloak, which he swiftly lifted off the ground and wrapped around himself. Lying where the cloak once rested was a slightly smaller mare with a yellow coat, and an orange mane and tail, which slowly breathed in and out, still fast asleep.

Arngeir smiled at his companion, leaving the hood of his cloak down as he watched her soft breathing. He searched the forest, making sure that they were safe from ambushes, and then walked slowly to his saddlebag so as not to wake Jarnsaxa. He slowly pulled from it a scroll which he rolled out into a map of the area they had arrived in during the night, Biwalk Bridge.

He skimmed over it, going over their plan in his head. After they had taken the 5 towers, the only thing that stood between them was the Bridge Guardian, who they knew was sworn in a blood oath to the king, which meant that, should a new one be crowned, he would have to follow his orders, willingly or not. This meant they would indeed have to fight him at some point.

After rolling the map away and putting it back into the saddlebag, Arngeir took out a large kit that he placed onto the ground amongst the grass. He folded it out, seeing various tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, and other handy tools. He picked up the most useful one for the mission ahead, a pair of flare cannons, which were small devices that fired an orb of light into the air.

He packed one into the pocket of his cloak, and placed the other a few metres away from Jarnsaxa. He watched the sun as it continued to rise high above the treetops, and then slowly walked to his companion and prodded her with his bare hoof, the only one without a metal attachment on it. She stirred, rising up slowly and gracefully, her mane flowing back from the breeze.

They smiled at each other, looking into each other’s eyes, before looking away as if nothing happened. Arngeir promptly lifted his hood over his head, shadowing his face from view. Jarnsaxa noticed her flare cannon lying in the grass, and trotted over to pick it up and place in her small cloak pouch, throwing her cloak over her body. She then picked up a large bow, tying it to her back.

The two ponies nodded, Arngeir throwing his saddlebag over his shoulder, and the two set off towards the first point in which they would set off their plan. They were cantering at first, but as the two looked at each other, they saw a competition in the other’s eyes, and the canter quickly became a gallop. They sped off through the forest, weaving through the trees at top speed.

And they stopped abruptly, the two smiling at each other as they rested, catching their breath. Arngeir, looking serious now, pointed toward the tower in the distance that was closer to Jarnsaxa. It was a small tower, 2 stories high at the most. It looked similar to the Rook in the game of chess, with small areas in which to use as cover and easily pick off anypony with arrows from above.

Jarnsaxa nodded, beginning her slow creep to the large door at the base of the tower. As Arngeir turned, the last he saw of her was her hoof reaching up and pulling her bow off her back. He slowed, sneaking carefully towards the replicate tower on his side, and focused his approach on the large wooden door at the base of the tower.

As he got to it, he pushed slightly on it, causing it to turn on its hinges. He made his way into the tower, the circular room in front of him empty besides a set of chairs and a table. There were two guards sitting at the table, laughing away with a tankard in front of them. “And what did he say?” asked the one guard, eager for what seemed a punchline of a joke.

Arngeir crept up behind them, listening closely. “Alright, alright. This assassin simply walks up to the guy and says-“Arngeir smiled. “I’m right behind you” he said, raising his hoof into the air as the two guards turned with horrified looks on their faces. In a single moment, his hoof came down, and they were dead, each with a large cut across their neck.

Everything was still, and nothing stirred above. His cover had not yet been blown. Jarnsaxa and himself had planned to do this in the day, so that the towers only had 5 guards each instead of the usual 10. He slowly made his way up the stairs, careful not to make too much noise as he lowered himself to the ground.

The remaining three guards were standing, each at a different window. Arngeir smiled, slowly making his way to the centre of the room. He looked from each guard to the next, and then slowly looked down and closed his eyes. Then, with one huge swift movement, he spun on the spot, sending small knives into the air. The guards dropped like paperweights.

Arngeir looked out through the window, and saw the small red orb rise into the air above the tower Jarnsaxa had entered, and smiled as it exploded with no sound at all at the peak of its flight. He took out his own flare cannon and fired a similar orb, but blue, into the air in the same manner. He then pulled a small rope with a hook on the end, and looked towards the next tower.

With all his might, Arngeir threw the hook at an arc towards the next tower. He heard a small whoosh as it flew through the air, and his head cocked to the side as his ear searched the wind for the sound of a clunk. Sure enough, he heard it, a small notifier that the hook had latched to its target. He smiled, pulling off the metal attachment on his hoof and replacing it with a longer one.

It was stretched out further, a bend in the end as if it was a hook. Arngeir smiled at it, glorifying in its uniqueness, before walking back a few paces and then cantering at the window. With a huge leap, he threw out his right hoof, the hook aimed directly at the rope that was extended in front of him. Arngeir braced, his body tensing as the hook latched on and a giant spring made his organs jump.

And then, he felt amazing, as if flying through empty space. Freedom, nothing holding him to the ground. He sailed down the rope, slowly descending towards the base of the tower, the large wooden door in his sights. He had no time to remove his hooked hoof, so he simply left it as he unhooked and flew through the door into the group of 5 guards.

The guards wheeled around on the spot from the bang as the door flew off its hinges. Arngeir smiled as he landed on his feet perfectly and used the momentum to send himself through the room, soaring towards the 5 guards. Before any of them could make a sound, he spun, extending his hoof out to the side as it cut deep into the first guard’s neck, sending Arngeir into him.

He jumped up from the guard’s body, lashing out his right hoof and hooking into the second guard's head and pulling, using the momentum to throw his left foot into the third guard's chest. After clearing the last two bodies, he leapt into the air and pinned down with his hooves, cutting down the two remaining guards.

He looked around at the bodies, smiling at his work. With a swift dash, he ran up the stairs and looked out the window, lifting up his flare cannon again, reloading as the second red orb appeared over the tower closest to the first tower that Jarnsaxa had entered. He smiled, firing his into the air as well, the two orbs exploded together, the sky ablaze with blue and red sparks.

Arngeir leapt from the window, landing perfectly on the hard ground. He felt his bones ache from the small pain of the landing, but he simply shrugged them off as he ran at the next tower. The guards knew they were there now, and so it was unsurprising when 3 of them burst through the door and ran at him with long golden spears.

Arngeir smiled, jumping into the air with a barrel roll, soaring above the three guards. As he came back down, he extended his hooves and took down the first two guards. He smiled as he lifted himself up, when he sensed a spear being driven into him from behind. He span around, seeing the third guard, his spear aimed at his head.

And then, an arrow head burst through his head, between his eyes. His mouth fell open as he dropped his spear, and then he fell to the ground, dead. A few metres back, Arngeir saw Jarnsaxa, her bow in her hooves, a smirk on her face as she lowered it down onto her back. She trotted over, her hair dancing in the breeze.

“Nice shot” said Arngeir. She grinned, looking down at the guard with an arrow through his head. “Next time, don’t be so careless. I may not be here to save you” she said, holding her head high with a pompous manner. Arngeir rolled his eyes, and the two ponies walked up the Bridge. It was larger than they had remembered, but amazing all the same.

The Biwalk Bridge was a large orb, with a missing chunk in one side, like a Pacman mouth. The orb has a large walkway that extends from this gap, similar to a tongue, but its covered in an assortment of glowing lights, giving the impression of a rainbow. Arngeir remembers his first visit here as a child, and how his father had pointed out that the lights were actually coming from the bridge, not on it.

Arngeir smiled, his childhood seemed like centuries away. He stepped onto the walkway, Jarnsaxa following him closely on the other side of it. He looked forward, peering into the inside of the sphere. The inside walls were covered in various runes and carvings, all in a gold texture. In the centre of the vast room was a door, with a large knocker on the front, in the shape of a griffon.

Then, Arngeir noticed the stern figure standing in the middle of the gap. He was a black stallion, with large amounts of gold armour around his coat. The only gaps were on his back where his wings flowed from, and his face, leaving his mouth and eyes exposed. His tone was very serious, as if he had no smile in him at all. His eyes were fixed upon the two ponies with a cold stare.

They approached slowly, their hooves echoing across the walkway of light. The stallion in front of the sphere simply followed their every movement with his eyes, each step closer, each muscle moving back and forth to move the two ponies forward. His blue eyes were cold, his stare so intense it made the ponies shiver as if he were looking inside them. They quivered at the thought.

As they took a final step toward the large sphere, the stallion raised his hoof at them. “By order of the king, you are not allowed to enter the Biwalk Bridge without a signed form from the king himself” he boomed, his voice echoing through the air. Arngeir stood firm, looking the stallion straight in the eye.

“Guardian of the Bridge, the king who commands you is no longer fit to rule!” he shouted. The stallion’s hoof lowered to the ground. He smiled, his eyes filled with a cold fury, as if he was ready to battle. “If you wish to pass, you must defeat me, and you shall never accomplish this feat” he said, pawing at the ground with his hoof and moving to fighting stance.

Arngeir nodded, and then turned to Jarnsaxa. “I must fight him alone” he said, frowning at her disappointed reaction. She nodded, hanging her head and walking back. Arngeir turned back, facing the Guardian of the Bridge, replacing his hooked hoof with his normal metal hoof. Then, the two stallions ran at each other.

A huge clang ran out through the forest as metal hit metal. Arngeir flew backwards; his metal hoof on his right was hurting his hoof immensely from being struck too hard. Whatever that armour was really made out of (it wasn’t gold, that’s for sure), it wouldn’t be harmed by normal steel. He got up, walking back to the fight, his eyes focused intently on the Guardian with a cold stare.

The Guardian was quick to act, striking with his armoured hoof against Arngeir’s body. Arngeir screamed out in pain as cold, hard metal met soft flesh. A large gash went through Arngeir’s cloak and into his coat, blood soaking the black fabric on his body. He threw his cloak off, revealing his black coat and white mane and tail.

His body screamed at him, telling him to stop and rest, to recuperate, to heal. He pushed harder, blocking the pain and anguish from his mind. He had to do this, or all his fighting would be for nothing. He stood back up, his body continuing to shake with pain, the screams from inside telling him to stop.

He concentrated on the Guardian’s face, creating a small target around it. No, he told himself, to fatal, he had to go for something that would stop the Guardian from fighting, without killing him. Then he saw them, a small flutter on the Guardian’s back. His wings were bare, or he wouldn’t be able to fly. And in Equiheim, the worst humiliation of a Pegasus is a broken wing.

Arngeir readied himself, lifting up his hoof, and lashed forwards at the Guardian. He was cantering now, but the scene had somehow gone into a slow-motion play. He watched as the Guardian ran in for his own attack, his hoof lifting up to hit Arngeir again. Arngeir knew what to do, turning his body in mid-air, the hoof flying past him.

He swerved, pulling back his hoof as fast and hard as possible. With a deafening crack, the hoof split right through bone in a single swipe. The air was full of screams of pain that emanated from the Guardian’s mouth. He fell, his wing bent in a bad angle, the bone inside it cracked down the middle. It had worked, he had won.

Arngeir turned to face the Guardian, his eyes full of tears of pain. The stallion in the armour seemed to calm slowly, his tears slowly dripping less frequently, his outbursts of pain subsiding, until he just lay there. Finally, Arngeir showed the Guardian his hoof, which the Guardian quickly took in his own, pulling himself up with all his might.

Arngeir smiled at the stallion before him, placing his hoof back on the ground. “Thank you, young pony. You have cleared my mind, and freed me from my oath to the tyrant who sits on the throne” said the Guardian, bowing low. “If you wish to use the Bridge, I shall let you whenever you ask” he finished, smiling at Arngeir and pointing to the large sphere.

Jarnsaxa rushed over to Arngeir, a few tears in her own eyes. She quickly came to her mentor’s side, giving him leverage to stop him from falling from immense pain. “I’ll be fine” he said, smiling at his apprentice. “Go, get your unicorn friend, she can help me, and then we shall continue our fight against the king” he finally said, sitting down on the edge of the walkway.

Jarnsaxa nodded, walking into the sphere. She looked back, and watched as her mentor lay down, taking his well-deserved rest. She smiled, her eyes twinkling from the light reflecting off her tears. She approached the door, and took the knocker shaped like a griffon in her hoof. She knocked three times and whispered “Equestria”.

The door swung open, revealing a large tunnel of immense light. It seemed to project vivid images of various lands across the expanse of the void. Eventually it stopped on a familiar lush land, full of beautiful forests and animals. Standing in the centre of the image, was a small lavender unicorn, her smile wide as she looked deeply out through the image.

And then it was gone, as quickly as it had come. And then, a loud crack filled the air as a small figure appeared where the image was just moments ago. It was slowly trotting out of the door, the colour beginning to enter it’s many features. Finally, the same lavender unicorn from the image was now standing before them, a large smile on her face.

“Jarnsaxa! I can’t believe I’m finally here!” she shouted running and hugging her friend, the door swinging shut behind them. “Celestia says that I should collect things from Equiheim for study back home, so I hope you don’t-“ she stopped, looking past Jarnsaxa and seeing a stallion lying down with a large cut in his side, bleeding immensely.

She ran over to the pony, her smile quickly turning to a frown as she examined the wound. Arngeir had passed out during the time she had taken to arrive. “Twilight, please can you help him? He’s my mentor, and I need him alive!” she said to her lavender friend. Twilight looked back at Jarnsaxa, nodding quickly, and then slowly lifted the nearby cloak onto his wound with magic.

Pony Pass

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“Enter!” shouted the mysterious dark figure upon the throne. The room around him grew silent, the darkness becoming frightening as the silence engulfed it. The large pillars lined against the sides were hard to make out, as the darkness seemed to grow larger and spread around them. The large doors on the opposite side of the throne opened, revealing two figures.

As they walked forward, the dim light of the few torches in the room began to show their features. One was a slim stallion, a green cloak around him, along with a similar shaded hood over his head. He was being shoved, dragged toward the throne by the other stallion. This stallion was slightly fuller than the weedy one behind him, and was covered in black cloth with belts to hold it down.

When they reached the throne, the stallion in front bowed to the dark figure, and then threw the weedy stallion behind him onto the ground in front of him. He kicked him in the back with the his front hoof, a loud grunt filling the room as his hood fell back, revealing a war-torn face with greyed hair. The dark figure on the throne rose up and stood in tall, his eyes focused in anger.

“Tell me, pathetic rogue, how you could not stop him with a full squad of bandits?” he asked the stallion, his anger evident in his voice. The green cloaked stallion cowered in fear. “Your m-majesty, I did what I could, but he was too fast, too strong!” he whimpered, his eyes wide with fear. The king snorted, pacing back and forth in front of him.

“Rumour has it that you became the new leader of the forest bandits by killing the last one” he finally said, a smile stretching his face. The bandit leader nodded quickly, bracing back. The king smiled wider, looking to the other stallion in the dark cloak and nodding. The stallion nodded back, lifting his hoof into the air, a large silver blade erupting from the sleeve of his suit.

He swung down, slicing across the bandit’s side. The stallion fell to the ground, his side bleeding from the large cut now across it. “Very good work, Syver. It seems you are the new leader of the Hoofguard Bandits” said the king, smiling at the stallion. Syver smiled back, the blade slid back into his sleeve as he put the hoof down.

“I shall use the bandits for my search. The rogue assassin shall not be able to fight you after I have finished with him” said Syver, looking out at the large doors across the hall. The king nodded, finally sitting back down in his throne and directing Syver toward the door. “Your dinner is ready” he whispered, causing the shadows to surround the body of the bandit, and then the body was gone.


The peaceful silence of the forest was broken by hooves hitting the ground, beating constantly as their owner ran toward a pair of ponies huddled in a corner. A mare, her yellow coat gleaming, stopped before the lavender unicorn that was tending to a stallion with a dark coat. She had her magic weaving a thin twine through a large cut in the stallion’s side.

“How is he doing?” asked Jarnsaxa, her orange mane rustled with leaves hanging through it. Twilight looked up, having just finished stitching the cut together. “He’ll survive, but it will take a few days for the cut to heal fully, and he’ll still have a scar” Twilight replied. Jarnsaxa smiled, finally having some good news since the Guardian wounded Arngeir.

Twilight stood up in front of Jarnsaxa, now frowning. “While he rests, I want you to tell me what you’ve gotten yourself into. What are you planning?” she asked her, a concerned look on her face. Jarnsaxa nodded, walking over to a small log nearby and sitting down. Twilight trotted to her, and joined her on the log.

“Arngeir and I are fighting King Othin, a horrible tyrant” she began, her face falling. “We plan on taking each area under his control, and then take him down in Hoofguard. So far, we’ve taken Biwalk Bridge” Twilight’s eyes grew wide, and she looked at her friend with a scared look. The two mares sat in silence for some time, before they noticed a stir in the corner of their eyes.

Arngeir opened his eyes, realising the pain had subsided since he was last awake. He turned himself over and stood up, shaking from the pressure of his body weight on his legs. He moved around a few paces to get used to his legs, then turned to see Jarnsaxa and Twilight both standing in front of him with giant smiles on their faces.

“You’re okay!” shouted Jarnsaxa, rushing over and hugging Arngeir. Arngeir smiled, returning the hug, before they split apart and stood back a few paces to let Twilight into the small huddle. Arngeir nodded to Twilight, and the three of them sat down as Arngeir pulled out the map of the areas that he had edited. Taking out a quill and ink, he put a cross through the Biwalk Bridge area.

The three began looking over the rest of the map, studying the various areas and deciding upon which one to go with. Pony Pass was a worthy place to go for next, seeing as it was the main trade route for all of Equiheim. The forests there would provide very good cover, and the base of operations, the stronghold known as Menglad, would be an easy target.

They agreed upon this choice, and they began to pack. Arngeir lifted his cloak, holding it up so as to let Twilight clean it of blood. He replaced it around himself, and lifted the hood over his head. Twilight and Jarnsaxa each put their own cloaks on, and they approached Arngeir, who was putting his metal attachments onto his hooves.

The three ponies stood next to each other, forming a firm line. Twilight closed her eyes in concentration, her horn becoming a steady purple as it created a large field around the three of them. She continued to push, her horn spewing out light as the three ponies braced their bodies. And then, in a giant flash of light, they disappeared, leaving the area looking untouched.


“Over here!” shouted one of the bandits. Syver trotted over, his hood shadowing his eager face. As he approached the last tower, he saw the bandit standing over a group of three bodies. Two of them had the signature cuts of the assassin he was looking for; the last had an arrow through his head. “The assassin has a companion, an archer” said Syver, scratching his head in surprise.

He made his way onto the walkway toward the large sphere that housed the gateway to the other worlds. There standing in front of it was the Guardian of the Bridge, his golden armour ruffled slightly. Syver walked calmly towards him, a large grimace struck across his face. “What has happened here Guardian? Is it true that an outsider came through without permission?” he asked.

The Guardian simply stood firm, no emotion striking his face as he stared into the eyes of the stallion before him. Syver waited for a response, but none came. He walked forward a few paces to stand next to the Guardian, and looked into the large sphere where the door resided. “Very well, if you wish to remain silent, I will not force you to tell me” he said, calmly walking away.

He approached the group of bandits that had finished looting what they could from the corpses, standing firm as they all stopped what they were doing. “Men, it looks like our target is heading in that direction” said Syver, pointing his hoof at the forested area nearby. “Gather what you can carry, we must catch the man responsible for this” he added, leading the group toward the forest.


A large flash of light erupted on the small dirt path, the light rushing through the dense jungle either side of the path. Then, as suddenly as the light appeared, it disappeared, replaced by a trio of ponies. Arngeir shook himself, slightly dazed by the teleportation, and then scouted the surroundings of the forest.

Twilight and Jarnsaxa followed Arngeir as he began trotting down the path, slightly frightened by the silence of the deep forests around them. Arngeir quickly broke into a gallop, surprising the mares as they broke into a similar pace to keep up. They were headed toward a large building, standing firm at the end of the path. Signs along the pathway read “This Way to Menglad”.

The three ponies stopped in front of a large stone fence that surrounded the building. Arngeir looked over the fence, inspecting the different aspects of the trade base of Pony Pass. It was built of stone, large windows on every wall showing rooms of ponies sorting packages. Patrolling around the outside of the building were five guards, and there were fifteen more inside according to the map.

Arngeir turned to face the two mares, a stern, confident look on his face. “Once we take this building, we’ll have the various resources of the trade routes in our hooves” he said, pointing a hoof at the building. “Jarnsaxa, you and I will take out the guards together. Once we finish them off, we’ll take care of the Trade Master, and Twilight will take his place” he finished, the others nodding.

He nodded back, turning back to the building. As Jarnsaxa walked up to Arngeir’s side, the two of them jumped over the fence, leaving Twilight to stay out of range. They rushed forward toward the group of guards, taking them by surprise as they lifted their weapons and began striking hard and fast. The five patrol guards fell in a matter of seconds, leaving the alarm untouched.

The two ponies nodded as they stood either side of the large doors that lead into Menglad. They pushed them open, and lifted their weapons once more. There were 7 guards here, all pointing large pikes at the two ponies. Arngeir ran at them, jumping just a metre away from the tip of one of their weapons, and slicing down with his metal hooves, taking two guards out.

Arrows soared past him as two more fell to Jarnsaxa’s marksmanship. The three left cowered as Arngeir came up behind them and gave them swift cuts to each of their necks. They dropped to the floor, their limp bodies becoming lifeless and still. Jarnsaxa smiled up at Arngeir, who smiled back. But their rest was short lived, as the other 8 guards burst through the doors on either side of the room, ambushing them.

Arngeir, acting out of instinct, dived for one of the fallen guards weapons, lifting the large pike up and aiming it like a javelin at the large group of guards nearby. With a mighty heave, he threw it as hard as he could, and smiled as he heard the welcoming crack as it collided with the guard closest to him. The other three jumped, too shocked to react as Arngeir leapt at them.

Hooves outstretched, he forced his back hoof into one of the guard’s stomachs, causing him to fall back from the kick. Arngeir’s metal attachment sliced through one, and his other hoof scooped up another pike from the winded guard. He swung it round, aiming for the sweet spot he had pinpointed. Sure enough, the pike went right through one guard and into the other, both dead.

As he stood himself up, he looked over to the other side of the room in horror. Three of the guard were dead, but one was now facing Arngeir, a knife inches away from Jarnsaxa’s neck. She was struggling to break away, but the guard was too strong. “Move and the mare gets it” said the guard, an evil grin emerging on his face.

Just then, a large wooden desk flew through the air, knocking the guard away from Jarnsaxa. The guard looked across the room, shocked at the sudden surprise. Arngeir took his chance, running at the guard. He quickly swooped up the guard’s knife and brought it firmly into his head with a powerful swing. He left the knife dug in, and walked over to Jarnsaxa.

She was lying on the ground, a small scrape on her back from where the wooden desk had skimmed her. Twilight ran up to them, her horn slowly losing its purple aura, from when she had used her magic to separate the guard from Jarnsaxa. Arngeir ripped a small patch off of his cloak and placed it softly on the wound on Jarnsaxa’s back.

“Argh, my back!” she screamed, writhing on the ground as Arngeir attempted to patch up the blood. Twilight watched with worried glances as Arngeir began slowly removing the patch, and adding new ones to soak up more blood. Twilight put a soft hoof on Arngeir’s shoulder, and he stood back, nodding slowly, a small tear dropping from his snout.

Twilight stepped in front of Arngeir and began working her magic, sowing the wound up as Jarnsaxa continued to scream in agony. Arngeir, unable to take the noise, began moving through the doors towards the Trade Master’s Office. The walls began changing from wood to stone as he walked, the empty space being filled by desks upon desks with piles of documents on top of them.

With a small push, Arngeir sifted into the large room titled Trade Master’s Office. There in front of him was the stallion in charge of the trade of Equiheim. “Who are you?” he asked, a shocked look on his face as he looked from Arngeir’s head down to his hooves, where the metal hooves covered in blood shined from the light of the torches in room.

“Stay away from me, murderer!” the Trade Master screamed. He scrambled out of his chair and grabbed a large paperweight on his desk, throwing it at Arngeir. He ducked, the paperweight soaring over his head on smashing into the door with a loud crack. The Trade Master ran as fast as he could toward the door, trying to side-step Arngeir.

Arngeir chuckled softly, swinging his left foreleg out, cutting the Trade Master along his front. He stumbled forward, landing with a thud onto the ground. He began choking loudly as he clutched at his throat, trying to stop the bleeding. “Is this what you do? Do you think murdering innocent people will bring you anything?!” he screamed at Arngeir, before breathing his last.

Arngeir looked down at the limp body, frowning. “Anyone who sides with the tyrant who calls himself king is no longer innocent” he said softly, dragging the body out of the room and hiding it inside a cupboard. Twilight walked through the door on the other side of the room, approaching Arngeir slowly.

“She is doing well. She’ll be up and running in a few minutes, she just needs a bit of time to rest” said Twilight, smiling at Arngeir. Arngeir smiled back at her, cantering over and grabbing her in a strong hug. She stepped back in surprise, but simply wrapped her arms around him, patting him softly on the back.

The two ponies split apart, looking at each other with large smiles on their faces. “I have removed the Trade Master, you can take over Menglad and use the trade routes throughout Equiheim to aid us in the fight against the king” he said, pointing his hoof at the Trade Master’s office. She nodded, walking toward the door and pushing it open.

Before she entered, she turned back, facing Arngeir with a worried look. “Listen… Arngeir was it? I need to ask you something before I start getting things sorted” she began. Arngeir nodded, his ears perking up to listen. Twilight walked back to him, looking him directly in the eyes. He frowned, his body tensing from fright of what Twilight was worried about.

“Listen, I don’t know you as well as I know Jarnsaxa, but I’m worried that what you’re trying to do here is not only putting you in danger, but her as well. Please, is the killing really necessary?” she asked, a small whimper escaping as she said it. She obviously did not like the word, as the harmony of her world meant killing did not exist.

“I wish it wasn’t Twilight, and if there was any other option, I would choose it. But, our king must be stopped, and without the deaths I have brought, he will continue to bring chaos to our world” Arngeir replied. Twilight nodded, looking down as she realised the importance of the situation. Arngeir put a hoof on her shoulder.

“But, I will do everything in my ability to keep Jarnsaxa from harm, you have my word” he said, smiling at her. She looked up into his eyes once again, but this time, her eyes were no longer filled with worry, but with hope. A small tear fell off her snout, her hoof coming up to wipe her eyes. Arngeir smiled, simply smiling and saying “I care about her too much to let her die”.

Twilight looked at Arngeir, her face lighting up with joy as she stepped back from him. Arngeir nodded, and walked back to the front of Menglad. Twilight bounced back into the Trade Master’s office, her joy practically bursting out of her. Arngeir pushed open the door, and saw Jarnsaxa just getting up from her long needed rest.

“So did we get everything done here?” she asked, flexing her forelegs to get them adjusted to the sling around her back. Arngeir nodded, pointing towards the door as he began to leave the building. Jarnsaxa trotted behind him, following him out the door and into the surrounding courtyard. The two ponies jumped over the fence, landing on the dirt path and beginning their trek into the forest.