He Who Walks The Graves

by The Zealot

First published

When the ignorant find knowledge they are dangerous. One man understands this, and so seeks to educate the nation he once fought for, and to bring down it's tyrant ruler.

Stories have been written, time and time again of heroes and villains. Though in the end the hero usually triumphs, the tale of the villain is many times more important. My name is Reaper, I am public enemy number one to the country of Equestria, this is my story; of how I got here, and of my revenge.


A very special thanks to Blue Spark, for the fantastic cover art that he took the time to draw for me.

Prologue: And so...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Prologue: And So...

‘Twas a beautiful view, where I was standing, anyway. From the high peak of a mountain, looking out across a valley, the sun setting on the horizon. I clasped my hands together behind my back, head held high, looking over the valley. It looked beautiful on the surface. But below all that, in the villages, there were ponies suffering. All of this, because of one simple mistake. It was of no matter now, soon it would all end. Soon all would be- I was interrupted from my thoughts by the sound of hooves on the cobblestone behind me.

“Foul miscreant! Thou shalt suffer for thy crimes! Surrender thyself, lest thy punishment be even more severe!” I heard a mare’s voice call out. Spinning around I saw a battle hardened unicorn in steel armor, sword held in a green magical grip. Her coat was of cerulean, her mane of peach, her eyes of deep indigo. And she was here to try and kill me, or, more likely, capture me. They needed information, that of which to stop what I had set in place. They would not get it.

“You insult me. I have slaughtered your brothers and sisters by the dozens, one against many, no less. And yet you, a single soldier, think you can bring me down. But you aren't here to kill me, you are here to capture me, your rulers need information, you will not get it.” I said, my deep basso voice rumbling through my helmet and across the space between us. I drew a revolver, 45-70. in nature, it was known as a ‘Taurus Raging Bull’, it was a favourite weapon of mine. I placed it to the side of my helmet, against where my ear would be. I pulled the trigger.

What should have happened then, would have been a 45-70. round going through my helmet, doing what so many .50 caliber rounds and other weapons could not, and making my brain mush. It was part of a plan, you see. I have a particularly strange ability, that to come back. Whenever I ‘died’ I would find myself back again, some time in the future. Be it weeks or months, I always came back. Healed, both my body and equipment. I had used this power time and time again to avoid capture, they thought me dead, and I would be back a time later.

This time, however, it didn't work. There was a bright flash, the sound of jamming metal, and a cold covered my body. I couldn't move, I darted my eyes to my arm and body, and found cold grey stone. It was then that she walked in front of me. So regal, her alabaster coat and tri-color mane impeccably groomed, her regalia polished to a shine. Her glare so deep and hating. The last thing I heard before the stone took me over were her last words of boast.

“We have you now, Reaper.”

[1200 Y.R.S.]

Prologue The Second: ... It All Begins

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Prologue The Second: … It All Begins

You ever tried to sit in a car with two rifles and a shotgun strapped to your back? It’s not easy, let me tell you, uncomfortable as all hell too. They weren't real, of course, just some models I’d taken the time to make. An Anti Materiel Rifle from Fallout New Vegas, a Colt M16A1, and a M90 Close Assault Weapon from Halo: CE. The last one may not match the others, but come on, it’s badass.

Now, you might be wondering why I was carrying around models of guns, well, I was going to a convention. Not anything specific really, just an in-general games thing. I was dressed up in some armor that was made from a mish-mash of character’s outfits from different games; New Vegas, Devil May Cry, Metal Gear, [Prototype], and then my own spin on things. All in all it looked pretty badass, took forever to find a way to make the lenses of the helmet glow red, but it was worth it. It also took forever to make the bandanna plate, seriously, Dead Space is cool and all but that folding thing that shit does in there is hard to recreate.

I looked over to my friends whom I was riding with, there were four of us in total. Tony was wearing some Enclave Remnants armor from NV, Jack was dressed up as Richtofen from Zombies, Marie was going as Faith from Mirrors Edge, and then there was me, in my mish-mash that I've already told you about.

We were an odd group, yes, but all the costumes were well made, and we all looked, well, badass. Perhaps I use that word too much, but it works so well for everything! Anyway, I looked out the windows from my thoughts to see we were pulling into the lot of the building the convention was in. A few minutes later we all piled out of the car and walked to the doors. The others were waved through but I had to stop and talk to the guy at the front, explain to him that the guns I had were all just models, and that the knives had been blunted. Didn’t tell you about the knives? Oh, well then, just a heavy khukri and two 12” Nightstalker Force Recon Bowies, nothing much.

Stepping inside after that I found my friends waiting for me, that was when I looked around. Now, the building had looked big, but it was fucking huge inside, and it was all full of booths and stuff, with people selling all kinds of things. Truly it was amazing, and it was the reason I had six hundred in cash on me.

“Well folks, looks like we made it. Let’s go do some stuff, yeah?” Tony said, his voice muffled from his helmet.

“Indeed, every man for himself, or are we staying together?” I asked, slinging the M16 into my hands, gotta look cool, dontcha know.

“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m gonna go see if they have anything from Mirror’s Edge around here, ciao.” Marie said, before walking off into the throng of people, disappearing from sight.

“Yes, I believe I shall follow her example, also I need time to make this accent work.” Jack said, trying to sound like Richtofen, keyword: trying.

“Cool, cool, I’m gonna see if they have some stuff from anything I like, might find something from Dishonored or something.” I said, waving a gloved hand at my friends before walking off in a random direction.

[2016 A.D. 2:56pm]


‘Twas glorious, glorious indeed! Everywhere the eye could look, such candy as weaponry or armors, recreations from the greats! My enthusiasm aside, it was truly amazing, all the things that were laid out before me. I was standing at a small corner booth, the teeth across my chestplate jingling together as I looked over the table. Upon it where recreations of trinkets and accessories from many a game and movie, I could name few, but I knew what they were. There was a set of glasses, such as the ones of Agent Smith from The Matrix, some sort of amulet thing, silver head of a unicorn and a set of wings, in which was set a blood red stone. There was a set of gloves, not unlike the ones my friend Marie was wearing. And even a staff leaned against the table! But one thing in particular drew my attention, it was a tooth. Large and sharp, like a crooked fang, it had a hole bored through it so as to attach to a necklace.

“How much for this, my good madame?” I asked, holding up the tooth between my thumb and forefinger.

“Well, normally I'd sell something like that for, oh, two hundred bucks. I've never seen anything like it, you know. But, well, your costume really goes with it, so I’ll knock it down to a hundred n’ sixty.” She must have been talking about the rows of teeth that went across my chest, ones taken from most every predator on earth. Wolves to foxes, sharks to barracuda, and so on. Took a damn long time to get them all.

“You have yourself a deal madame! Thank you so very much.” I said with glee in my voice, handing over the cash to her I grabbed the tooth and placed it in a pocket of my coat.

I walked from the booth and over to a corner of the building that wasn't so crowded. I removed my coat, draping it over a nearby bench, and took off one of the many necklaces I was wearing. I want to say bandoleer, as that goes across ones chest, but it usually holds things, while what I wore were simply lengths of silver chain that I used to hold the teeth on.

I had some difficulties undoing the clasp of the chain, but I managed, I removed some of the teeth until I had about half left, then on went the new tooth I had bought. Returning the others to the chain I re clasped it and put it back across my chest, the new tooth hanging in the middle of the others.

[2016 A.D. 3:14pm]


A few hours later found me with several new items I had bought, three Black Hats from Black Ops 2, now attached to my belt. A silver Dr. Who pocket watch, now inside my coat breast pocket. And a full set of silver claws, perhaps I should explain. They’re basically like the finger bits of gauntlets, they covered from the knuckles to the end of the fingers, ending in a claw. Engraved with golden leaf, I must say they looked badass.

It was as I was walking through the convention, still on the lookout for more cool stuff, when suddenly I wasn't.

[2016 A.D. 3:20pm]


I was in a void- no, a void is empty and quite- this was some kind of unreality, a mishmash of colors and sounds, and I was in the midst of it, floating. I looked around, or tried to, everywhere was the same, everything was different. Noises, laughter and crying, screaming and shouting. Colors, blood red and sky blue, forest green and sunshine yellow. Deepest purple and lightest pink. A kaleidoscope of colors and shapes, patterns and waves. Then I fell.
I left suddenly as I had entered, found myself hurtling down. Turning in the air I was met with the sight of a forest, far below. I could do nothing, I tried my best to slow my fall, my duster helped with air resistance, but I would still hit hard. At the last moment I turned again, falling on my armored back. Then, I blacked out.


“Oh dear Lord whyyyyyy?” I groaned out, standing up from the ground and rubbing my back. “Where the- where the fuck am I!?” I asked the wind, I looked around and found that I was in the middle of a forest. “Oh you have got to be FUCKING KIDDING ME!” I shouted to the trees around, if I had taken the time I would have noticed my voice was deeper than it was before, but I was in no mood for reason or thought then. I had been… taken, taken and thrown somewhere away from where I was. This looked like no forest I had ever seen, nothing looked right. Everything was there, trees and grass, shrubbery and flowers, but it all looked off. Just a bit, what’s the word? Cartooney, that was it! Everything looked too bright, too crisp!

Just as I was thinking this over I heard a loud roar behind me, turning around I found myself looking at a…. creature, some kind of hybrid of a lion, scorpion, and bat, running towards me it’s mouth open.

I didn't act, but my body moved. I pulled the AMR from my back and brought it to my eye lens, lining up a shot through the scope. Why was I doing this, I thought, these were simply models, nothing real. But apparently that wasn't the case, for when I pulled the trigger I was knocked over with a loud bang, looking up saw the beast missing most of it’s face.

I stood up from the ground and looked down at the rifle in my arms with shock, for multiple reasons. Firstly, that I had just killed something. Secondly, that my model rifle now worked. And thirdly, that I was in some new world that I had never seen before.

The last one may be a bit presumptuous, but I had never seen any kind of documentation about lion-bat-scorpion hybrids before, have you? It didn't matter then, I needed to think. Night was coming, perhaps I could sleep this off, see the world tomorrow with a clear head. Yes, that sounded like a good idea.

[1189 Y.R.S.]

Chapter 1: What Breaks My Heart...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 1: What Breaks My Heart...

One thousand and fourteen years. That is how long I have been trapped, immobile, in my stone prison. Forced to look out over the world that should have been shaped differently, no rest for my weary eyes. I could not move, nor talk, nor do anything I would wish. I simply stood, a monument to an age that could have been, and was lost for one single tiny little improbability.

But the thing is, all prisons open eventually, and the time for mine to break was coming. How did I know? I taught her the spell, of course, but never at it’s full power. Celestia thought herself better than me, in intelligence and strategy. She may have won the battle, all those years ago, but the war is not yet over. Not even with my long absence, no, the pieces are still in place, the puzzle is almost complete.

I was broken from my thoughts by yet another school group, they showed up every now and then and it was entertaining to hear them blather on of things that only school children would find important. Three stuck out to me, however. An orange pegasus filly with a purple mane, a light yellow earth pony filly with a red mane and bow, and then a white unicorn filly with a mane of purple and pink.

These three stuck out to me, for they actually cared! They looked upon the statues, and listened to their teacher with interest! It has been far too long since any of the ponies looked upon my statue in thought, far too long indeed. It was then that the orange one spoke.

“Um, Ms. Cheerilee, what’s this statue supposed to be?” She asked, raising her hoof to point towards me, oh I do hope their teacher makes a good guess.

“Hm, well now students, that’s an interesting question. You see, nopony knows quite what this one is supposed to be. Over the years there have been many theories, but I personally believe it signifies… change. But change is not always good, remember that, my students.” Their mulberry colored teacher said, by jove! She got it right, well, sort of.

You see, in my own opinion, I am the embodiment of death, but that also does include change, as well as destruction. It’s a tad morbid, yes, but it was a, dare I say, fun job. I act as my namesake, a reaper of souls, I took those who died on the battlefield to their respective places of rest, be it the pony ‘Everafter’ or their version of hell. In case you’re wondering, that’s not why I was imprisoned. I was here because of an age old plot to overthrow the crown and bring down the country. I had my reasons, most of them were to be a lesson, but alas, the time never happened and so I am here trapped.

The little ponies all ‘ooh’d and ‘ahh’d at their teachers explanation, it was a bit sweet. What, I may be an evil bringer of death, but even I can recognize cuteness. But far too soon they left, it was perhaps for the best, however, as not soon after the fall of night my prison shattered. ‘Twas louder than I would have hoped, the stone being flung from me at such velocity. I couldn’t fix it now though, if anyone heard me hopefully it would take them a while to get here. The first thing I did after my thousand year imprisonment was to stretch. After that I pulled the tiny bit of shrapnel from my revolver, flicking it off into the shrubbery.

I holstered my weapon and looked around. I was near the front of the garden, it seems. Perfect. I could start the plan underway, but first, I could have some fun. That fun would come in the form of she who I tormented eternally, Princess Luna. Perhaps I had caused her insanity, perhaps.

With a snap of my fingers and a flicker of shadows I was in the room of the night princess, standing over her. This was a new place to me, new castle and all. It is a good thing I don’t work on location and instead on person, otherwise I would not have found dear Luna.

I wasn't going to do anything too horrible, no, she didn’t deserve that. Not until the fall, anyway. I wrote a note on my personal stationery. Shadow grey with gold leafe text, if you must know. And of course a golden scythe in each corner.

Dear Luna,

It has been too long, Princess. Do you remember what I told you all those years ago? Tick tock, Luna, your time is coming.

~ The Reaper

Signed with my ‘name’ I propped the note up on her bedside table, against a clock fashioned in the likeness of a skull, and of course, with the stereotypical ‘tick tock’. I remember that old rhyme, morbid it was, if you think about it.

Tick Tock, Goes the clock, and what then shall we play?
Tick Tock, Goes the clock, now summer's gone away?

Tick Tock, Goes the clock, and what then shall we see?
Tick Tock, Until the day that it all goes away.

Tick Tock, Goes the clock, and all the years they fly.
Tick Tock, And all too soon, you and I must die.

[1014 A.B.]

Chapter 2: ... Will Break Your Skull

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 2: … Will Break Your Skull

I awoke to the sound of the wind shifting the grass and the light of a mid day sun shining down upon my prone form. I tried to wipe the sleep from my eyes but found myself unable due to my helmet. It was of no consequence, I was awake now anyway. The reason, as you are likely want to know, was that I heard a symphony being played. Not that of instruments, no, the symphony that is nature. In its purest form, birds and the wind, the rushing of water with the buzz of bugs. Noise from animals of prey, and of predators. All together, in harmony.

It was, amazing. I kept myself still, so as not to interrupt it. For I could not in good conscience ruin something so beautiful. Eventually the animals left the clearing I found myself in. I got to my feet, brushed the grass off of me, and pulled my M16 from my back. I had some tests to do, you see.

[1200 B.N.M. 12:34pm]


After a few hours of testing it was found that not only were all of my models now real, but that they all seemed to have a bottomless clip. The way this was found out was when I fired a six shot revolver seven times. I will admit, readily, that I was both surprised and overjoyed. I always liked guns, but I never had a chance to use them. And now that I was in a new world, as was evident by things I had seen, I would probably need a way to protect myself.

“Alright then, these guns are real now, the knives are sharp now, and I’m going to assume this armor can now block 40mm grenades. Come on world, throw your best.” I said to the empty glade that I stood in, ready to finally go do something. “So, need to go exploring. Annnnnnnnnnnnnd- THAT WAY!” I shouted, pointing in some random direction after spinning around a few ways. With a flap of my coat from the dramatic turn and a Dr. Who esque finger point, I was on my way.

[1189 Y.R.S. 1:26pm]


I had been walking for the better part of three hours, I got hungry and killed something. After some odd questioning of myself as to how I knew how to hunt, skin, gut, and cook a dead animal, I was back on my way. It was then, as the fourth hour began, that I found myself looking at the outer wall and courtyard of a… castle.

Standing guard outside were two… small horses… in armor. I didn't question it past that, these horses had armor and weaponry, and they were guarding a castle. I didn't know where I was, and I needed answers. That didn't mean I wanted to deal with guards, though. I found myself moving through the shadows, finding a dark area where I blended into the shade, before climbing up the side of the wall and up to the parapet. Once there I looked down to the courtyard, finding the main building, I continued to travel across the top of the wall.

I admit, my dramatic entrance was not necessary nor a really good idea, that didn't stop me though. There was an open window, how could I pass up the chance? From the top of the wall I did my calculations, and then I jumped. Years of free running helped me out a great deal, as hitting the ground at full force would have hurt. Instead I rolled upon contact and sprang up in front of two thrones. Occupying them where to bigger horses, one with a coat of alabaster and a golden crown, the other with a coat of navy and a black tiara.

The look on their… faces? Eh, why not, was hilarious. The most certainly were not expecting something to roll in from a window, it seems. After a few moments the white one got over her shock and glared at me, before starting to speak.

“Who doth dare disturb our rest!” She didn't ask, she declared. I had gotten they were royalty, but she didn't really look at rest. Oh well, I had gotten myself into this, and damn it, I would be one suave bastard! Or, perhaps a cryptic bastard would be a better comparison. I always did like talking in riddles, reading Poe did that to a person.

“‘Tis simply a traveler from times and places long past, seeking to request aid in a return to home. I do apologize for my entrance, however, your guards didn't seem too ready to let me in. I beg forgiveness for this, and beg from you both help in what I have said.” I had thought my voice had gotten deeper, but it must have been more so than I thought, for I could feel the rumble through my own bones, and it seemed that the princesses were shaken.

“Thou art a traveler? We would be interested in the tellings of your adventures, if thou would be so kind?” Said the smaller, dark horse. She had a sparkle in her eye that I must say I liked, she seemed curious, and that is always fun.

“My adventures? Well, how could I turn down a… princess? But I feel it not to be proper to tell a story whilst those involved are uncomfortable, surely you have some kind of sitting room in which we could partake in comfort? My stories are long, and your thrones don’t look to be too kind.” I rumbled, seriously, things were shaking ever so slightly. With a look to her sister the blue one nodded, and once they were both down from their thrones, they motioned for me to follow them.

[1189 Y.R.S. 4:23pm]


Over three more hours I had told them many stories, none of them true though. From the battle of Hoover Dam to the quest of the Dragonborn, the duty of the Tenno and the wars fought again and again by the U.S. I told them of a world where creation ruled, and of one where difference was punished by death. All told, they were from games and books, and some I came up with along the way. Luna and Celestia, as I found where the princesses’ names were very entertained with my tellings.

“These have been very interesting tales you have told traveler, thank you for sharing them with us. But as with all things, our time must come to an end. My sister and I have a country to preside over, you are welcome here most certainly, if you would but give us a name?” She said, a smile upon her face and a laugh in her throat. I had thought of when they would ask my name, and had come up with one suitable of my appearance.

“You may call me… Reaper. It is a name I have used time and time again. I thank you for your offer, princess, and will most certainly take it. But for now, there is much I must do, I take it this palace has a library?” I asked, I had gotten some information from the both of them, along with explaining my not being from this world, but if I were to be staying then I would need to know more about the land.

“Reaper? An interesting name to be sure. Anyways, we do have a library. If you would stay here we shall have a servant sent up to lead you there, have fun, friend.” She said, letting out a chuckle. Luna joined her, and with mirthful smiles they left.

I leaned back in the chair, I imagine it to have the finest fabric possible to acquire, but I couldn't feel it through my armor. It was not moments later that a small grey mare walked in, she wore no armor and had a ‘cutie mark’ of a feather duster. I still found it odd, how these ponies worked, but had decided not to question it.

“Um, h-hello sir. I am to escort you to the Royal Library.” She said, her voice timid and soft, she was scared of me, as was to be expected. I nodded to her and rose from my seat before speaking.

“Thank you much miss, once more unto the breach I suppose.” My voice didn't shake that around it, instead it seemed to calm her. The breach I spoke of was, of course, the maze-like castle. With an affirmative nod of her head and a smile she turned and led me to the library.

[1189 Y.R.S. 7:34pm]

Chapter 3: The Subliminal...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 3: The Subliminal...

I left Luna’s room, a smile on my face, as I returned to the night. I had things to do, yes, things to start. First I would find a defensible location to act as a forward operating base. I snapped my finger and I was off, into the aptly named ‘Everfree Forest’.

I had created this place, to drive the princess from their old hall. I was wandering aimlessly, until I felt something, a presence? I walked for two hours, finding myself inside a cave. I looked around until I saw a bright golden, glowing… rune? No, you must be fucking kidding me. The summon sign for Solaire of Astora! Oh, how unfortunate that I don’t have any humanity, ‘twould be badass to fight with Solaire.

What? I used to play Dark Souls, and that guy is awesome. With a shake of my head and I sigh I left the cave, and kept looking for a place to call home, well, a home of sorts.

[1014 A.B. 2:23am]


It seemed fitting, where I now sat. I had taken the place of the solar ruler, sitting in her throne in the old castle. I could remake it, turn it into a proper base. It could be great again. And, of course, there was that amazing sense of irony in my being here.

First I snapped my finger and destroyed the platform the thrones rested on, reconstructing it from obsidian, along with a new throne of onyx and plush red velvet. Black and red is so overdone, yes, but it does look good.

With yet another snap of my fingers the throne room itself was reconstructed in black obsidian, with a rich red carpet leading from the entrance to the steps of my throne. Dim yellow light shone from candles that floated in the corners, and from a chandelier of rainbow crystal.

“Hm, perhaps I should limit myself, wouldn't want the princesses catching on and finding out where I was. Good thing there were all those underground catacombs. So nice of them to show me where they were on my last tour.” I spoke to myself, keeping my voice soft so it didn’t cause anything to shake about. I never had figured out how that worked, a deep voice is nice, but it could sound like the rumbling of an earthquake. However, I suppose it does make shouting orders or challenge easier.

My decision made on how I would make my base I decided to have some fun. Well, more like to find some information. I was gone for one thousand years, things are bound to have changed, and it would be good to know what had happened.

[1014 A.B. 4:30am]


Canterlot, what a peculiar name. It matters not, the library in the palace was extensive, as it should be. It seems that much had, indeed, changed in my time away. The elements were taken up by six new mares, seemed that they had shown themselves to be formidable, hell, the element of magic is an alicorn. But really Celly, you're giving out alicornism to anyone nowadays?

I looked to the corner of my right lens, seeing a clock pop up in black. Seems my reading had taken a while, it was eight in the morning. You may be thinking that the sunlight should have tipped me off, well, I was sitting in a corner of the library away from any windows, so shush, you.

As I was closing the book I held I heard a gasp and the thump of books on thick carpet. I snapped my head to the noise, seeing a shocked looking lavender… alicorn, the element of magic, oh joy. Thing is, she didn’t seem to know who I was, seems that good old Sunny hadn’t told anyone about me, oh how fun this could be.

“Might I help you, dear miss?” My voice emanated from my helmet, shaking some of the books on the shelves as I spoke. It seemed to knock her from her shock, that or the book falling on her head.

“What- sorry, who are you? And um, if you don’t mind, what are you?” She asked in a bookish tone (Yes, that’s a thing now), curiosity evident in her voice. At least she didn't ask me what I was first, that would have been rude.

“Who am I? Now that is a good question. You may call me Reaper, my dear. As for what, well, the annals of history never recorded my kind, but I am Human. Pleasure to make your acquaintance, please, sit down.” I motioned to the plush couch next to me, setting the book I held on an end table.

She nodded and moved over to the couch, taking up a spot next to me. Picking up her books and placing them on the ground beside her, she looked back over at me. “Um, I hope I’m not being rude but, well you see, I've read pretty much every book in here, and I've never heard anything about any ‘Hoo-mans’. Would you mind, uh, telling me a bit about your race?” She said, a happy smile replacing her look of trepidation. She was forthwith, I’ll give ‘er that. Well, I could explain a bit about myself, I suppose. Good chance to be semi-philosophical, well, not really.

“Firstly, my dear, it’s ‘Human’ not ‘hoo-man’, pronunciation can be so troubling, yes? As for my race, well, that would be hard. You see, every one of us was different. Some were similar, yes, but none were the same. From looks to mind, from language to habits. I suppose I could try though. Firstly we are a species without magic,” As I said this her face took on another look of shock, before she suppressed it and motioned for me to continue, “instead we have ingenuity, imagination, and perseverance. We are connoisseurs of science, and have found many ways to do anything we needed with it. We've put a man on the moon, and deep below the seas. We can send messages instantly, to the other side of the world. We can transport hundreds at once. We have explored most every part of our world, and you could find people living most anywhere. We are adaptable, we have to be. Without any natural defense, our minds are our biggest asset. That, of course, does not mean everything is fine and dandy. But why sully such a nice conversation with topics such as those?” I finished my lecture, looking over to her I noticed she had written everything down, and placed a final period before looking up at me.

“Thank you so much! This is, just amazing! I’m afraid I have to go now, I need to tell the princess about all of this, it’s simply fascinating. It’s been great talking to you Mr. Reaper!” And with that she started to walk away, she would have no doubt left had I not reached out and put a hand on her withers.

“I’m glad you found my lecture informative, now I would ask some information of you. What is your name, my dear?” I asked, leaning back in my chair, had I not been wearing a helmet, she would have seen my smiling face. It is so hard to find anyone interesting to talk to, even rarer to find someone interested in listening.

“Oh! Right, how silly of me. I’m Princess Twilight Sparkle, Element of Magic. You don’t need to worry about the princess thing though, I’m pretty new at it.” She said with an awkward smile, I would assume that becoming a ruler would be a difficult process.

With a nod of my head and a wave of my hand she left, carrying with her a stack of notes, and forgetting her books. I was always told I had a way to weave stories, but I never thought it would extend to such a boring subject as what I had talked about. Perhaps, it was just her. Curious mare she was, this Twilight Sparkle.

I decided to make my exit not soon after that exchange, it was midday and I was feeling peckish, perhaps I could pick something up from a market in Canterlot. I put up the books that Twilight had left there and left through a window. What? Sometimes it’s fun to drop a few hundred feet into a roll.

Normally I wouldn't have tried walking the streets, but none of the ponies around, including the princesses, should know I was there. Well, until Twilight gave Celly her notes. But I would worry about that when guards showed up.

After some aimless walking I found myself in the middle of a market, perfect. I will admit, I was honestly surprised nobody noticed me. Although most of those ponies had their head so far up their asses- sorry, in the sky, that they didn't even see me, I guess that’s how it works now.

I saw a pear stand! I do indeed like pears, they can be quite delicious. Walking over to the stand and resting my arms on the counter I asked a question to the attendant, snapping her out of her daze. “Excuse me miss, how much for six of these?” I said, keeping my voice soft and motioning to the pears.

“I-wha- the pears are two bits for one, so that’ll come up to twelve bits. Would you like a bag for those sir?” She asked, it seems that she just fell back on her training, because she was obviously shocked at my presence not two seconds ago.

“A bag would be wonderful dear, and here are the bits, keep the change.” I said, dropping fourteen ancient bits on the counter. I would think they would be worth much more than the modern day ones, considering how currencies age.

The mare nodded and handed me a bag, nudging the pears into it and scooping the bits into a pouch on an apron, with a smile she waved me off. Well, she was rather nice, really. With that I snapped my fingers and left in a swirl of shadow, mid step, mind you. Appearing in my throne room and sitting down I broke the seal on my helmet and pulled it off, ready to enjoy some pears.

[1014 A.B. 1:25pm]

Chapter 4: ... Mindfuck Equestria

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 4: … Mindfuck Equestria

So, I will shamelessly admit that the first hour I spent in the library was taken up by me freaking the fuck out. After which I just kinda mellowed out, I mean, I had no way to get home so I might as well enjoy where I was, right? Looked fun enough. So, I got to reading.

[1189 Y.R.S. 7:56pm]


Three hours I spent reading, I found out much. This land was known as Equestria, ruled over by the two princesses I had met earlier, Luna and Celestia. They apparently moved the sun and the moon. There were also unicorns, pegasi, and earth ponies. Unicorns could do magic, pegasi controlled the weather, and the earth ponies did… uh… earth stuff?

I set down the book I was reading with a quite yawn, looking through the windows found me looking out into the night’s sky, the moon and stars shining brightly upon the inky canvas of the atmosphere. I was always a fan of astronomy, even though the constellations I knew wouldn't be here, it was still a beautiful night sky.

“Hmm, I just realized I don’t have a room. Hm, I wonder if either of those princesses are still awake? What time is it anyway?” I spoke to myself, as I wondered the time I saw a small box appear in the upper right of my vision, telling me it was eleven twelve at night. “Well, that’s convenient, still doesn't solve my problem of where the fuck I’m staying but…. eh, this chair is nice enough.” I said, setting my book aside and reclining in the chair, I fell asleep not moments later.

[1189 Y.R.S. 10:23pm]


Upon my sleep I found myself to be in a dark forest, shadows where everywhere, like a thick mist. I felt different, I looked down to my body to find myself wearing dark black tattered robes. In my hands I held and ancient looking scythe, carved from bone and steel. I still wore the gloves from my armor, although they were patterned with the bone structure of my hands and arms. I assumed I also wore some kind of hood, and that my face was shrouded in shadow. I should have been freaked out by this, more concerned, instead I was eerily calm about the whole ordeal. Heh: I am become death, destroyer of worlds.

“Well, this is certainly… different. When I took up the name Reaper I never expected anything like this to happen. Oh well, I must have some kind of job to do if I’m decked out like Old Grimm. Tally ho!” My voice, I found, was the same as it was in the ‘waking world’, I had decided this was either a very strange dream, or that this world had put me in this forest to do my namesake’s job.

As I wandered the forest I eventually saw lines, ones of gold and others of red, leading through the mist. I decided I would follow one of the many golden lines, and pushed through the trees to where it led. There, sitting in a grove, a faintly glowing mare, she had a white coat and a blue mane, it looked like she was just sitting there. I moved silently and walked up to her, placing a gloved hand on her withers I saw a new line appear, one leading from her and out somewhere else, it was the purest of white.

“How long have you been here, child?” I asked, I was probably younger than she was, but if I was going to be Death than I was gonna act like it.

“I-I don’t know… I've just been, waiting, waiting for so long… I just want to see my family again.” She replied, I hadn't noticed up until then, but she was quietly crying.

At that point I kind of just assumed that the new line would lead me to her destined afterlife, and that it would be easier to just say some comforting words and lead her than to try and ask her any questions, she definitely wasn't in the state for it.

“Then come with me, child, I will lead you back to your family. Stay close, the æther is an unusual place, and I wouldn't want you getting lost.” My voice seemed to calm her, make her more responsive. She wiped the tears from her eyes and got to her hooves, with a nod she went to my side.

Neither of us talked as we walked through the Forest of Darkness, as I had dubbed it. I knew that, in all reality, I should be freaking out about this, but I just felt calm, like I’d done this before. We followed the path cut through the mist by the light, my hand still on her withers, leading her through the æther.

We walked for a measure of time, I could not tell. To mark its passage through the void would be impossible, so I didn't even try. The white light eventually stopped, and when I looked up I found myself looking into a grove of greener trees, live grass and shrubbery, and a pure white light shining out and into the Forest of Darkness.

“Here is where we part ways, child. Your family awaits you ahead, you will finally be home.” I rumbled out from my place by her side, with but a nod and a smile at me she left my side, walking into the Forest of Light, disappearing from my sight.

I smiled under my hood, I was knew in these lands, I had no right to be here, but at least I could help the lost souls of the world. Perhaps I could actually be a Reaper, for it seems that my job here would be one of… not joy, but perhaps justice.

[???? K’re Jah Mil Hia]

Chapter 5: What's Left of Death Is More Than Fear...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 5: What’s Left of Death is More Than Fear...

I looked out upon the forest, the sun shining down on it’s shaded branches. I had found a tower, most of the wall and ceiling gone, it was the perfect room to get a good view from. I had made this forest, well, started it, and it amazed me to see how it had grown. According to the ponies it was a place of horror, but for one such as me it was a paradise.

“Hm, perhaps I should get more done before the princesses catch on. I could at least rekindle the flames of the forest, gather my wolves. I do need to make progress with those catacombs, but it’s so boring… ugh, once more unto the breach.” I groaned, it had to be done, yes, but I still wasn’t a fan of work.

I jumped from my perch in the tower and landed in the courtyard of the castle. Quickly I summoned up a little beacon, only visible to the magical creatures of the forest, it would bring them to me posthaste.

Not five minutes later I found myself looking at a collection of timberwolves, hydra, cockatrice, and nightstalkers? Odd. First I turned to the timber wolves, they had grown since I had made them, now they would grow again. With a snap of my fingers a charcoal mist seeped into the wolves, making them larger, faster, stronger. They were turned into worgs, their eyes taking on a ruby and onyx coloring as they came under my control.

Next were the hydra, there were three of the large creatures, and each head was staring down at me in interest. I did to them as I did to wolves, shaping them with my magic. They would regrow their heads, as the old tales of Hercules said, they would breath fire and have scales as hard as diamonds. They too took on my colors, though I am loathe to admit, I should probably work away from the black and red color scheme.

The cockatrice came next, nothing special they were, head of a chicken and body of a snake. Only thing they really could do was turn someone to stone with a stare. I snapped my fingers yet again and reshaped them. Their heads changed from chicken to eagle, their scales turned black, they could kill with but a glance now, so useful they would be.

Finally, the nightstalkers, interesting that these were here. It is of no matter, I was lazy at this point and simply changed their colors and made them stronger, as well as getting rid of the rattle on their tails and gave them invisibility.

My work on the animals complete I sent off all of them but for five of the worgs, they would be my castle guardians. They would wander the castle and hopefully ward off intruders, I only hoped that they wouldn't cause anyone to investigate. With that all taken care of I went off to work on my underground stronghold.

[1014 A.B. 3:46pm]


Five hours. That is how long it took to create my stronghold down in the catacombs, to trap it, to hide it, and to make it a place to live in. It wasn't all that big, really. A war room, to keep track of everything in the world that could relate to me. A kitchen and dining room for obvious reasons. A personal bedroom, again for obvious reasons. A barracks in case I ever came in possession of a fighting force. The reason it was so small, relatively, was because I had hidden it in the spaces between the catacombs, the entrance was an illusory wall marked with a glowing red scythe.

Now, I know what you're probably saying right now, ‘Wow Reaper, you’re a fucking retard, they’ll find your base easily.’ yeah, you guys don’t give me enough credit. The marking is made with æther magic, completely undetectable to anyone that’s not a voidwalker.

All my preparations were complete, now all there was to do was wait. Well, wait and start the puzzle yet again. But that would take a while, and for now I could rest. True, I had been in stone for a thousand years, but that is really more a kind of never ending state of awareness, it’s horrible.

As I sat upon my throne I summoned the day’s newspaper into my hand, looking at the front page revealed that Luna had finally awoken and found my letter, how nice. The story on the page mostly consisted of how Celestia had placed the country under alert, gave out a description of myself, and basically said ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get him soon, but in the meantime be careful.’ I guess she had finally learnt how to not be as blunt as she used to be, good for her.

[1014 A.B. 9:23pm]


I had taken a walk through the forest, just to see how things had changed and to set up some watchers. Watchers were these cute little creatures I had made that melded with the shadows and sent everything they saw back to my war room, basically giving me a whole CCTV network around the castle.

I had grown weary in my works, but true sleep would come no time soon. I made my way down into the depth of the catacombs, opening up the passage to my little base, I continued on to a small sitting room, dark and calm in color and soft of fabric, this is where I would be spending many of my nights until matters were dealt with.

I stretched out on a sofa, took off my helmet, and closed my eyes. I soon fell into the bottomless abyss that was my sleep.

[1014 A.B. 10:40pm]


I awoke in a familiar forest, clad in my familiar robes. The first thing I saw was how the æther had filled up, everywhere I looked soul tracks led away into the forest, the good and the bad. It seems that another reaper was never chosen in my place, it seems that I had work to do.

I started out on the nearest golden line, those who died an evil death could wait, those who died with good in their hearts deserved to wait no longer for their eternal peace. As I marched through the forest I felt myself reaching the end of the line I was following, just as I thought this a clearing opened up. A pony in soot stained golden armor sitting in the middle. As I approached I noticed it was a stallion, scorched to the point where his features were all but unrecognizable.

As I walked to him I spoke across the distance I had yet to travel, “Tell me child, what has become of you that you are injured so?” at the sound of my words he looked up and towards me, and I saw the only part of him left spared, pale green eyes of spring grass. He replied in a wretched dry voice, befitting of one so damage by the flame.

“Nightmare Moon- Princess Luna. We were the first she fought in her attempt at a coup. She, she killed hundreds. All because of her jealousy. I have waited here for so long, dark lord, so long to see those I had left behind. Must I wait any longer?”

I stood beside him now, I rested my hand upon his back and as I did healing energies flowed through him. Repairing the damage flame had cause revealed his coat to be of orange and his mane to be of yellow. He was no longer in the constant pain he had suffered through. I spoke to him in answer of his question.

“No child. Your wait is over, your pain ended, you will see again all those you love and have lost, never again to feel such suffering. Follow me, I shall lead you to your eternal paradise.” As I finished he looked to me and gave a nod that I had seen time and time again, one of hope, and of joy.

As I placed my hand on his withers a familiar pure white light appeared cutting through the mist, as soon as I saw it I started leading the stallion to his rest.

We walked, as I had many times before, in silence. Marching through the dark forest, following the faith line to it’s end.

Every time I see the everafter for these ponies it amazes me, every single one is different. This stallion, it seemed, belonged to a place not unlike Sovngarde, a golden hall filled with warriors and never ending battle. Fitting, for a warrior of the light.

“Here is where your path takes you, child. I must bid you farewell, and good fortunes in your rest.” I spoke, moving my hand from him, he gave me that ever present nod that all lost souls seem to have, and walked into the great hall, disappearing in a flash of light.

My job here was done, for now. I would have much work to do in the coming days, much indeed, but for now it could wait. I deserved some real rest, some separate from the æther. So it was that I layed down upon a bed of grass in one of the many clearing, and closed my eyes.

[???? S’ok Va Jie Kwo]

Chapter 6: ... Let Dust Be Dust And The Good Lord Near

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 6: … Let Dust Be Dust And The Good Lord Near

I returned to the world. As soon as the… soul had made her way into the light I awoke. Still sitting in the chair I fell asleep in. I found myself calm, not overly shocked or anything as I should be. It was strange, but I felt normal in doing what I had.

I stood from my chair, wondering about what else I could perhaps do with the powers granted to me, entrance into the domain of the souls would do me little help if that was all I was granted.

“Wish I had a book or something that would tell me more about my job as a ‘reaper’, would be fucking useful.” I said, snapping my fingers in disappointment. It was then that I was startled. Appearing the air before me was a black book, I fell back into my chair at it’s appearance. Calming myself from my brief shock I grabbed the book from the ground, looking over it.

It was a black leather bound tome, not larger than a common journal. Painted across it in gold was a strange alphabet that I could make nothing of, however, as I continued to look over it I saw the letter change, turn to English. They spelled out, very simply, ‘Book of Death’.

I will admit I was hesitant to open it, but knew it must be done where I to find anything of this book. Opening the book a few pages in revealed… nothing. It was blank, completely. The only thing on each page was a golden scythe and a number in the bottom corner of each page.

“Damn, it’s useless. Cool, but useless.” I sighed, keeping it open across my lap I studied it more, when suddenly, words appeared across it, along with a picture in the top corner of the page. A picture of the mare who had led me to the library.

I looked over to the door upon hearing thumping on the carpeted floor, revealing the very same mare to be walking towards me. Quickly I closed the book and hid it away in one of the inner pockets in my coat.

“Uh- uhm, sir, the Princesses request your presence at the dining hall, for breakfast” She said, still timid around me it seems. Her name, I had found from my brief glance at the book, was La poussière Sabots.

“Ah, thank you much again miss?” I replied and asked, it would do well to ask her name even if I already knew it.

“Oh, no need to thank me. My name is Sabots, La poussière Sabots. Although most ponies around here just call me Dusty. I guess it is kinda hard to pronounce.” She replied, she was happy to be asked her name, I could tell although she was a bit saddened that all others cared not for it.

“Such a beautiful name, well my dear, I will most certainly not resort to such slandering as ‘Dusty’, it would simply not do to all you anything other than your true name.” I will admit, I was never a fan of the French, but that was no reason to be rude to such a kind… mare. That was still strange to get used to.

She just smiled in thanks and started to lead me off to the dining hall after I motioned for her to do so, rising from my chair was a good indicator that I was ready to go, apparently.

[1189 Y.R.S. 7:42am]


I entered the dining hall alone, Dusty went off after leading me to the door. What? I would call her by her name when I was talking to her, not in my own thoughts, come on. Anyway, I entered the hall to find the two sisters sitting on one end of a table, a table covered with all sorts of fruits and vegetables, as well as things inedible to me, such as hay.

As I entered I gave a short bow and opened my arms in greeting, before speaking. “I would just like to say before I do anything that I am not versed in the rules of dining with royalty, so please forgive me if I offend.” As I finished the sisters responded with giggles and a smile on each of their faces.

“We know you are not from here Reaper, and anyway, ‘tis a friendly breakfast between, well, friends. You need have no fear of offending us here.” Luna said as Celestia munched on a banana. Well, guess she was right.

I gave a nod to them and looked around for a plate, finding one sitting to the right of Celestia I took it and walked around the table, piling it with an assortment of foods. Kiwi, bananas, apples, grapes, some watermelon and cantaloupe. I also grabbed some celery and green pears, because vegetable are important, you know.

I returned to the side of Celestia where I had gotten the plate, setting it upon the table and sitting myself upon the chair. It was then I realized I would have to remove my helmet, I wasn't to worried really, but it would have been nice to keep up the whole mystery thing for a while longer, oh well.

“This does all truly look delicious, I must assume you lead a prosperous country to grow such a fine crop.” I complimented the food. It did, in all honesty, look better than any other food I had ever seen.

I moved my hand to my collar, clicking a latch caused the metallic bandanna across my face to pull a Dead Space and fold up into the collar. Next came undoing the latches on the neck, which surprisingly unleashed a burst of high pressure air, thankfully coming out on the side opposite Celestia. After that it was a simple matter of removing the helmet from my head and setting it next to me on the table.

A gloved hand moved my black hair from my eyes, the helmet had crushed it pretty flat so it wasn't that hard to just slick it back and keep it there. I also rubbed my blue-grey eyes of the sleep that still clung to them, seeing as I hadn't previously had the chance.

As I looked up towards the sisters I noticed them looking at me with curiosity. “Yes? Something in you needing answers?” I decided to pull a Ulysses there, hell, my voice worked with it, too.

“We just didn't think you would, uhm, look like that under your helmet.” Celestia spoke up, now I could see the questions appearing in their eyes.

“Well, what were you expecting? Just because you ponies are all covered in fur doesn't mean every creature out there is.” I said, picking up a slice of watermelon and starting to munch it. It’s the good kind too, really juicy and good tasting.

“Well, we were just expecting something… different from all the stories you told of your species. But we won’t bother you now, this is a time for fun and food, yes?” Luna replied to my question, giving a nervous smile and trying to hide her curiosity.

“Nonsense, there is nothing wrong with discussions during times of food, and it is always fun to educate others on subjects of importance, well, relative importance, anyway. I spoke quickly, it would do well to get their questions out of the way, and they were giving me room and board.

So we began talking more in depth about the Human species.

[1189 Y.R.S. 8:23am]

Chapter 7: In My Field of Paper Flowers...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 7: In My Field of Paper Flowers…

I awoke from my stroll through the æther, still lying upon the sofa I had fallen to sleep on. I had done much in my time, sent over two hundred souls away into their afterlives. Those of evil were sent off to the Dæmon lands. Those of good were sent off to the Forest of Light. All was getting cleared, there were a thousand years of souls still in waiting, waiting for me to lead them to rest. This would be my work for many weeks, at the very least it was not overly hard, not with what I had learned of the æther.

I gave out a yawn and stretched, rising from the sofa. Upon my feet once again I brushed my hair from my eyes and then replaced my helmet to it’s spot over my head. Snapping my fingers I summoned my M16 to my back, my two pistols to my belt and thigh, and my knives to their sheaths. I opened the dark oak door of my void room, walking out into the ash marble hallway.

Walking down the hall I was making my way towards the kitchen, as I walked I passed many an ancient painting, many that Celestia probably thought lost to time. Paintings of landscapes mostly, but a few portraits of old friends, no longer with me. At the very least my ‘job’ gave me opportunity enough for us all to have our final meals together, before I was forced to lead them off to the lights.

I sighed and shook my head, clearing my mind of such sorrowful subjects. I would not forget them, no, they were the reason that my plans had to be put back in motion. It was for them that I would have my, no, our, revenge. Revenge against the crown, and all of the country. I would like to say, I am usually not the sentimental sort, but when those that you have fought beside, would have died for, are taken from you for reasons that are not true, because they threatened some ‘perfect empire’ that a power hungry pair of rulers would strive for, well, when that happens, you do anything to avenge them.

I continued walking, changing the direction I headed towards by going down a side path marked with a glowing blue line composed of æther magic. I had lost my appetite, as was common in my work, thinking of anything too deeply cause great depression when you lead a life such as mine. True, I had much work and planning to do where I would think deeply on many things of importance for the purpose of the plan. But that could be done at more appropriate times than in the morning.

I continued walking towards my War Room, planning an expedition to Canterlot, to get some information.

[1014 A.B. 8:23am]


I walked out into the courtyard of the castle, happy to find one of my many guardians patrolling the yard. I gave the worg a nod and with a snap of my fingers I was off in a whisp of smoke and shadow.

[1014 A.B. 10:12am]


I appeared in the shadows of an alleyway in the highstream of Canterlot. I was here to get information, military information. The easiest way to do that would be to find a commander, and then interrogate them. It was midday, many would think this a horrible time for such an operation, but a midday sun casts the longest shadows.

The first step would be to find a soldier I could ask some ‘questions’, mostly along the lines of ‘Where is your commanding officer’. After that all I needed to do was find said officer, and with a bit of good luck, he or she would be easy to get what I wanted from.

As ponies walked by the alleyway I jumped into one of the many shadows, morphing into it as I traveled. Eventually one of them passed by a castle guard doing his rounds, at which point I phased into his shadow. Now was time to wait, wait for his patrol to take him somewhere secluded.

[1014 A.B. 11:34am]


The gardens, how ironic, and perfect. His patrol, luckily for me, took him deep into the gardens, out by the forgotten statues of ancient enemies. The same place I once stood. As soon as he was in far enough I emerged from his shadow, appearing in front of him.

“Wh-” That was all he managed to say before I swept behind him, holding him in the air with his neck in the crook of my elbow, holding him in a choke. With my other hand I drew one of my nightstalker blades from it’s sheath and held it up to the guard.

“Now, you are going to answer some questions of mine, are we clear?” My voice rumbled into his ear, only scaring him more, if his widening eyes were any indication. Yet he still tried to be brave.

“I- I’ll never tell you anything! I know what you are, scum like you isn’t fit to live!” He shouted, or tried to, anyway. It seems that he didn’t think me a threat to him, how sad.

“Final chance, are you going to tell me what I want to know, or am I going to have to look for the words in your neck?” I would rather not waste an easy source, but if this guard was uncooperative then I could always find another. My tone seemed to shake him, though, and I saw the fear enter his eyes again.

“I- I… what do you want to know…” He said quietly, either I had scared him enough, or he thought he had a plan, it didn’t matter to me as long as he told me what I wanted.

“Who and where is your commanding officer, and I mean commanding officer. Who's the big boss around here?” My deep voice, as I had found many times before, is a very effective way of getting results from scared people.

“Our- our commander is- CODE RED!” He tried shouting, again. A quick application of pressure to his throat cut off his call of alert. I held him like that until he almost passed out. This was the last time I would ask, he would answer or die.

“Last chance. You aren’t leaving here alive, if you tell me what I want to know, I’ll make it quick.” I growled, this fuck was pissing me off, and it was too early in the morning for that.

“Dear Celestia, you, she was right. When she told us what you were, some of us didn't believe her but… you’re a- a monster! … Our commander i- her name’s Sunset Carol… she should be up in the war room, in the palace.” He whispered what would be his final words. I had broken him. It used to hurt me, every time I had to take the life of one of these ponies, keywords: ‘Used to’.

I dropped him from my arms, kicking him to the ground, quickly stabbing my knife into the back of his neck. The blade severed his spine, killing him instantly. At the very least I honor my promises.

I moved the body off into the shadow realm, it would stay there for a time before reappearing here again. By the time that happened, though, I should be back at home sitting cozy in my throne, debating what to do with the new information gotten from this ‘Sunset Carol’, speaking of, looks like I have a target to hunt.

[1014 A.B. 1:23pm]

Chapter 8: ... Candy Clouds of Lullaby

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 8: … And Candy Cloud of Lullaby

“... but Goddamn, that was a bad war.” I finished my long winded explanation of World War 2, it seems something similar was going on with the pony nation of Equestria and another nation, apparently inhabited by Gryphons.

“Hmm, Reaper, I have a question: what is this ‘god’ you keep bringing up? I've never heard of anything like that.” Luna asked me after a few seconds of silent thought, Celestia looked over at her and back at me, nodding in her mutual curiosity.

“What is God? Now, that is a very interesting question that requires a slightly long-winded explanation and an understand of my world. As you know, Humans have no magic, as such we use science to explain much of what goes on in the world. However, there are things that scientists, as we call those in the practice of science, haven’t been able to explain. The beginning of our universe is one such example, and because Humans have such a great fear of the unknown groups of people created a sort of omnipresent benevolent being that created everything and made Humans in his image, God. Or at least, that’s the Christian/Jewish view of God, I believe. This gave birth to religion, which is the practice of worshiping one or many gods. Across my world there are many different religions, all of them with some kind of holy scripture, that being a sort of ‘rule book for worship’, now, here comes the funny thing. In almost every holy book there is one basic rule ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’, makes sense, right? Well, thing is, people seem to think that, even though their holy book specifically says no killing, that it’d be fine to murder another group of people because they don’t follow the same religion.” I finished in just under a minute, all those times watching Yahtzee did make talking fast easier.

The two princesses looked at me with faces of shock, horror, and sorrow. However, telling them what I had only brought on more questions. “But, if this ‘religion’ says not to kill others, then why would they possibly think it would be alright for them to? That just doesn’t make any sense!” Celestia pointed out, waving a hoof about to make her point.

“Ah, but such is the way of Human life. I myself agree with you, Celestia, however, if someone were to bring up such a point their words would be buried under the thousands of madmen who are only using religion as a mask so that they might feel the thrill of battle. Truly, we Humans are both magnificent and utterly repulsive creatures.” I leaned back in my seat, a sad smile on my face as I finished what I was saying. I had told them first, of course, of the many good things that Humans can, and have, done. Although, with the good must come the bad, which is how we had come to the topic of war, and then unto the one we conversed of now.

“Truly Reaper, yours sounds to be a world so unlike our own, yet I cannot help but be intrigued. I would love to talk for longer, but this breakfast has gone on for long enough, and my sister and I have much work to do.” Celestia said a few moments after I had finished, taking a few seconds to think over what I had said. She stood from her chair, along with her sister, and walked out of the dining hall. Luna, however, stayed at the table.

I stood from my chair as well, replacing my helmet to it’s proper place and unfolding the bandanna from my collar. I looked to Luna, “Yae but I am left with she who is of night, mistress of the moon and caller of darkness. Something in you still needing answers, dear princess?” For a time I had spoken as I normally would, but with my lectures now over, I stepped threw myself back once more into the way of speaking I had decided to be appropriate in times such as these, it fit well yet still added a flair that I had not yet seen matched.

“I was just wondering, you say so much of how your species is constantly at war and, well, I was just wondering if perhaps you could teach our guards in the strategy and tactics of your people. Yours seem to be the kind who spend a great deal of time refining warfare, and we, thankfully, are not.” She had answered my question with one of her own, clever girl. Well, I doubt I’d be much help with war, my race aside.

“Luna, while I do appreciate the chance I’ve ne- hmm, actually… yes, yes I can do this. It’s the least I can do after the hospitality you and your sister have shown me. Just arrange a time for me to introduce myself, and then I’ll get started on some plans.” I was going to say I’d never fought a day in my life, but for some reason it felt like a lie. And truly, tactics and strategy couldn’t be too hard, perhaps I could actually help in this war of theirs.

With a nod and smile of gratitude Luna walked out of the dining hall, down a different corridor than her sister before her. I would need to study up on this war, what the ponies had for fighting, and then come up with some strategies that might actually work. I had a long day ahead of me.

[1189 Y.R.S. 9:12am]


I walked out unto the guard courtyard. That was, of course, the area in which the guards bunked, trained, and learned of their missions. I walked in to find them playing some kind of soccer game, interesting to see it working with hooves and quadrupedal creatures.

I walked to the outside of the field as they were walking back to start a new round, speaking up over the din of the victorious and those not so fortunate. “I do hate to be the ender of this game, but I believe I am to introduce myself to you all. I’ll give you all a minute to do whatever, come meet me over by the central yard.” My voice, of course, gained their attention. After a few moments of surprise over my appearance, and what I asked of them, they all released a long sigh and nodded their heads. Eh, not my fault that the time the princess scheduled was during their game.

Five minutes later I was standing in the center of the courtyard, about twenty ponies in front of me, looking up at me from where they were standing.

“Really? Only twenty? Coulda' sworn I saw more of you.” I said, just a tad confused as to where the majority of the ponies had gone.

“Well, uhm, sir, we’re the commanders. Princess Luna told us to expect somepony who would teach us some new stuff, we were just kinda surprised at seeing you, is all.” On of the guards, a rather bland light blue guy, said. I will give him props for his voice, sounded like Commander-fucking- Shepherd.

“Well, alright then. Anyway! I am to teach you lot some new tactics and strategies from my home to, hopefully, help you in winning this war of yours. As is this is just a time for me to introduce myself and get to know you all, the actual lessons will come later.”

An alabaster pony raised one of his fore hooves, I pointed over at him, signaling him to speak. “Sir, what exactly give you the right to teach us anything? I’m sure we have good enough military tactics.” He said, sounded young, not very experienced.

“Catch-22.” I said, simply.

“Catch-22? What’s that?” He asked.

“Oh? You want to know?” I asked in turn.

“Well yes, I believe so.” He replied.

“Well, I can’t tell you.” I said, with a shake of my head.

“And why not?!” He demanded, stomping a hoof down.

“Because you want to know about it.” I replied, clasping my hands behind my back and nodding my head.

“Ugh! Fine, I don’t want to know then.” He said, exasperated.

“Do you want to know what it is? Catch-22, I mean.” I asked him.

“Uhm, yes, sure.” He said, trepidation present in his voice.

“Well, I can’t tell you.” I stated, sadly.

“But why not!?” He asked, exasperated and distressed.

“Catch-22.” I replied.

“Catch-22?” He asked.

“Catch-22.” I replied, with finality.

We all stood there for a moment, the other guards looking from me back to the commander who asked of me what Catch-22 was. “And that,” I said, looking over all of the commanders, “is why I have the right to teach you lot anything.” I said, nodding my head. They all just kind of stood there, awestruck.

Looks like I have a lot of work to do.

[1189 Y.R.S. 1:32pm]


“So what you’re saying is that the armor your guards wear is made out of gold? Celestia, no offense to you or your sister, but that is fucking stupid.” I face palmed as well as I could while wearing a helmet and just shook my head with a sigh.

“Well, gold is very resistant of magic, it’s perfect for blocking any kind of magical attacks.” She replied, calmly.

“Alright, that’s cool, but you are fighting an enemy with no kind of magic, at all. They use spears, and swords, and bows, and trust me, gold is shit as armor against anything like that. Let me show you,” I motioned for one of the guards to come over to me, “alright, take of your chestplate.” he did what I asked, albeit a bit confused.

I lifted the chestplate in one hand, bringing the other back, I punched it right square in the center, actually breaking through to the other side of it. “That is why you don’t make armor of gold. It is the weakest metal in. The. World. Also, this design is really shit, you’re leaving the whole underbelly exposed and- you know what, I’ll draw up some designs and give them to you to look over later.” I threw the new useless chestplate back at the hooves of the guard, looking from it to me with a terrified expression.

I turned back to Celestia and saw a pensive frown on her face. “Yes, I suppose you are correct… I never took into consideration that we were fighting non-magic users. I will definitely accept any help you give us, thank you Reaper.” She said, sighing once again, presumably at how she had messed up.

“Good, good, now, to the point I actually came here to discuss. I am to be a teacher of sorts to these guards, these soldiers. Now, you and your sister can not fight, for obvious reasons, but I can. They look at us and they see their superiors, and eventually they might decide they don’t want to fight a war that is not theirs. But, by having an officer on the field, well, not only does it inspire moral, it also creates a bond between leader and subordinate.” I paused now, letting what I had said sink in, Celestia seemed to understand what I was saying, as she motioned for me to continue.

“Celestia, I need a team.”

[1189 Y.R.S. 3:12pm]

Chapter 9: It's Not Easy Having...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 9: It’s Not Easy Having...

I had found my way to the shadows of a guard standing right outside the throne room. It was on my way, so yeah. As I listened from my spot through the thick oak door I heard the voices of.. oh ho, the Elements of Harmony and the two princesses. Looks like it was time to make an entrance.

I quickly jumped from the guards shadow and sent him off to the æthere, along with his partner. You see, anything that’s not dead or a Voidwalker just kinda falls asleep in the æther, it’s pretty nice, actually. They would stay there for about thirty minutes, enough time for me to make my entrance, stun all those in the throne room, steal away the commander and head back to home-sweet-notreallymyhome.

I stepped to the middle of the doors, debating what to do, before suddenly an idea came to mind. Oh good ole’ Green Day. With a snap of my fingers a song started to play.

I could hear their sounds of surprise as the music started up, that only grew when the singing started and I kicked open the doors.

St. Jimmy’s coming down across the alleyway
Up on the boulevard like a zip gun on parade
Lights of a silhouet
He’s insubordinate
Coming at you on the count of 1,2 (1,2,3,4!)

I rolled right down the middle of the carpet about halfway down the room, springing to my feet just in time for the music.

My name is Jimmy and you better not wear it out

I spread my arms open, as way of greeting before jumping over to Rainbow Dash, standing next to her and putting an arm across her back

Suicide commando that your momma talked about

I jumped away and nabbed a bag of gold bits from Ms. Rarity

King of the forty thieves I’m here to represent

I tossed the bag back onto Rarity’s head, snapping my fingers and appearing with my arm around Celestia

The needle in the vein of the establishment

Appearing back in the middle of the room motioning to myself.

I’m the patron saint of the denial

I rolled over to Fluttershy and cupping her face in a hand

With an angle face and a taste for suicidal

Appearing back in the middle of the room holding a lit cigarette in one hand and a bag of dope in the other.

Cigarettes and ramen and a little bag of dope
I am the son of a bitch and Edgar Allen Poe
Raised in the city in a halo of lights

I motioned out the window, the items that were in my hands now gone

Product of war and fear the we’ve been victimized

Back in the middle of the room again, just in time with the music

I’m the patron saint of the denial

Now over to Pinkie Pie, my hand cupping her muzzle, this time

With an angle face and a taste for suicidal

I looked over to a guard that was staring at me from the door

Are you talking to me?

He ran off around the corner and I started following him out the door

I’ll give you something to cry about

I appeared back in the throne room, this time in the air

St. Jimmy!

Landing on the ground I motioned to myself again

My name is St. Jimmy, I’m a son of a gun

I was over by a window now, motioning out and towards the edge of the city

I’m the one that’s from the way outside (St. Jimmy)
I’m a teenage assassin executing some fun
In the cult of the life of Crime (St. Jimmy)

I appeared this time with my arm around Luna, pulling her close

I really hate to say it but I told you so

My revolver appeared in my hand, the barrel against her ear. This, of course, shocked the princesses, but the Elements were just kind of confused

So shut your mouth before I shoot you down ol’ boy (St. Jimmy)

I now stood in front of Twilight, also know as ‘Ms. New Alicorn’

Welcome to the club, now give me some blood
I’m the resident leader of the lost and found (St. Jimmy)

Back in the middle of the room I held a comedy mask in my left hand, and a tragedy one in my right

It’s comedy and tragedy
It’s St. Jimmy
And that’s my name… and don’t wear it out!

As the song ended I threw the masks aside, as they disappeared in black smoke. Rainbow Dash was the first to recover

“Who the hay are you!” She said, the shock and confusion evident in her voice, though she tried to put up a tough demeanor

“Didn’t you listen to the song girl? I’m The Reaper, pleasure to meet you Ms. Dash. I would stay longer but I’m afraid this isn’t quite a friendly visit, ta-ta.” I said, snapping my fingers and conjuring a flashbang, I could use magic, yes, but that would only work on about half of those present.

“Reaper wai-” was all Luna got to say before the flashbang went off and I was on my way.

[1014 A.B. 3:25pm]


Getting to the war room was not easy, well, finding it wasn’t. Getting there was, simply piggyback on the shadow of a messenger sent by Celestia to tell those in the war room how things had progressed. I must admit, it’s a nice room. Very plush, lots of maps. They had this big table in the center, big wraparound couch, pretty sweet setup.

I was waiting, honestly, for someone to point out who Sunset Carol was, didn’t take too long actually.

“Commander Carol, urgent message from Princess Celestia, regarding the Sigma Operation.” The messenger said, handing a scroll to an ember colored unicorn mare, her mane was, surprise surprise, the color of a sunset. The only thing not orange-y red yellow were her eyes, which were an emerald green. Very nice, honestly.

She didn’t even reply to the guard sent as a messenger, just nodded and took the scroll in her magic. She spread it out over a table that was in front of her, looked at it intently and then stood from her position on the couch.

“Alright everypony, the meeting is adjourned. I’ll see you all at a later date, a matter has come up that requires my immediate attention, it is of utmost importance. I apologize for cutting the meeting short, and I understand we haven’t discussed all the points we were to, which is why a secondary meeting will be held within the week.” She said to all the ponies sitting at the table, holding up the scroll with Celestia’s seal on it as way of explanation. There were a few sighs but eventually everyone left the room, leaving only Ms. Sunset Carol. And, of course, me.

“I could make some cryptic remark right now, but I’m feeling lazy so, fuck it, knife.” I said, forming from the shadows in the room, a syringe in my hand filled with a thick black substance. “Nighty night, dear.” I said, plunging the syringe into her neck and injecting the substance into her bloodstream.

Sure, I could have done something big and elaborate, but really, a little bit of venom goes a long way. I picked up Carol’s body, holding her in a fireman carry. Snapping my fingers both of us disappeared in a soft puff of smoke, appearing in a little guest room down in my ‘base’ really need to come up with a name for that place, eh, I’ll do it later.

Now, you may think of me as kind of an asshole, well, I am. Thing is, I can at least be polite, which is why the room that Ms. Carol was now unconscious in was actually quite well furnished. What? If I’m going to kidnap someone, the very least I can do is give them somewhere nice to stay.

So it was that she was left lying on the bed, I removed the syringe from her neck and it promptly vanished. I had some time to kill, she wouldn't be up for quite a while, so it was that I decided to go off to Canterlot and watch the locals, see how they lived, how things had changed in my thousand year absence.

[1014 A.B. 3:46pm]


I was looking out over some random park near the center of Canterlot, just looking down from my perch on the sills of windows overlooking said park. None of the ponies looked up, of course, prey never do. Many ponies there seemed to be couples, or at least, on a first date. As it seemed many were.

It makes me melancholy to see how like fools some very sensible people act in the matter of choosing wives. They perplex their judgments by a most undue attention to little niceties of personal appearance, habits, disposition, and other trifles which concern nobody but the lady herself. An unhappy gentleman, resolving to wed nothing short of perfection, keeps his heart and hand till both get so old and withered that no tolerable woman will accept them. Now this is the very height of absurdity. A kind Providence has so skilfully adapted sex to sex and the mass of individuals to each other, that, with certain obvious exceptions, any male and female may be moderately happy in the married state. The true rule is to ascertain that the match is fundamentally a good one, and then to take it for granted that all minor objections, should there be such, will vanish, if you let them alone. Only put yourself beyond hazard as to the real basis of matrimonial bliss, and it is scarcely to be imagined what miracles, in the way of recognizing smaller incongruities, connubial love will affect.

I must admit myself to never having been in any kind of relationship, nor will I ever be, seeing as where I currently am and whom my current company are. But matters such as those I spend not my time thinking upon. The only reason, truly, I was out here at all was because the venom, as had been injected by yours truly into one Sunset Carol, would not wear off for quite some time. Fear not for her life, a poisonous venom it is not. I’m sure you've played Metal Gear Solid 3 in your time, yes? Well, you remember The Fear? Yes, think of the venom used on Ms. Carol to be as like that of his crossbow bolts, it does no physical harm, only tires and paralyzes. Very useful indeed for when one, such as in times like these, has to quietly and quickly remove a person or persons from an area to transport them to another, in this case, from Canterlot to my ‘base’, which still needs a name.

I had decided to spend this time looking over the new city of Canterlot, which seems to have been built with no direction from Luna at all, and see how everything has changed. Technology has advanced, if by a little, they no longer use gas and oil lamps to light their homes and streets, instead using magical crystals in the vein of electric lights. One thing does sicken me however, and that is how Celestia has fallen back to her use of gold as a material for armor and, get this, weaponry! Outrageous indeed, my designs for the armor made from steel, so effective during the war, have been all but thrown out instead replaced by some pseudo Roman armor.

There were smaller things, of course, building materials, architecture, and of course how the economy had changed. But these things were not too big compared to lighting and armor, at least, not to me. At the very least, even if I swore to overthrow the crown, the citizens are finding use in my explanations of electric lighting, told to the Princess Sisters so many years ago.

I still had time to waste, but it could be done looking about some of the more rural towns, a place nearby my new home, Ponyville I believe it was called. The home of the Elements, certainly a place to look about and learn of, wouldn't you agree?

[1014 A.B. 4:42pm]

Chapter 10: ... Yourself A Good Time

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 10: … Yourself A Good Time

“... I thank you kindly Celestia, and let me assure you, nothing bad could possibly come of this.” And so ended a lengthy conversation between Celestia and I, going over all of the rules and regulations, the ups and downs, of me having a task force. We came to an agreement eventually, one I am quite happy with.

“Now, I would love to chat longer but I have taken up far too much of your time, I still have questions of your military, however, so would you happen to know where Luna might be at this hour?” Recent history hadn’t been written, I had no information on any of their military or the gryphons, I was in the dark, that needed to change.

“Well, usually Luna would be asleep, you must understand she is usually nocturnal, however, with the war going on, oh I suppose you could look in the barracks, look around for her moon and you’re likely to find her.” She replied, it did come as a surprise to me that Luna was mostly nocturnal, although I suppose her affinity for night would have something to do with that, still, interesting.

With but a nod of my head in confirmation and a wave as I left I made my way out the door and into the halls of the castle, the dark granite stone accented by paintings and tapestries, they even had stained glass windows.

“Oh this is going to be fun.”

[1189 Y.R.S. 4:20pm]


I was walking across the courtyard, heading for the barracks, when I saw a company of soldiers ( I refuse to call the ‘guards’, no matter what the princesses say) finding places inside some heavily armored, well, chariots, for lack of a better word. These chariots were being pulled along be armored pegasi, I made the conclusion that these soldiers were being sent out to fight.

“Excuse me, would I be correct in assuming that you and yours are heading out to combat?” I asked the commander of the company, who had not yet entered any of the transports, he turned to face me with a look of slight shock, perhaps at not having heard me, before calming down and answering.

“Yes, yes we are. We’re being sent out as reinforcements of Qualavia, it’s a small forward position out by the frontlines. Our main objective is to make sure it doesn’t get captured, and to press forward from there.” He finished, a slight look of nervousness in his eyes, I couldn't blame him of course, he was being sent out to the frontlines.

“Well then, if you would allow me to say a prayer for your men?” I asked him, he didn’t seem to know what a prayer was, but nodded to me anyway. I stepped forward a ways, so as to better address the main force in their transports. “In the name of God, impure souls shall be banished into eternal damnation. May God and Her Majesty be with you, amen.” I gave them a salute then before walking off, a large amount of the soldiers looked bewildered at what I said, which was understandable. Hopefully the prayer would help them along their way, though.

[1189 Y.R.S. 4:32pm]


It took a while to actually find Luna’s area, but eventually I found it. Damn thing was hidden away, well, maybe not. It’s not my fault indigo blends into shadows like a motherfucker. Anyway, I did find it, and after asking some of the soldiers around I was directed to the tent where Luna was supposed to be.

I knocked on the hard metal plate that was sown to the tent flap, announcing my entrance as was polite, before pushing through into the room. Upon entering I found myself looking at Luna laid out on a couch intently studying a map of the world, neat.

“Hello dear Luna, I do apologize for my intrusion, but I am in need of your help.” I spoke to her, she had noticed me as I walked in, leading to no sudden surprises on her part. Which was nice, honestly, I had seen what these princesses could do and was in no hurry to have such done to me. Honestly, how she even got that wing to break in that spot is beyond me.

“Oh, what is it that you require, Reaper? I suppose I can answer whatever questions you may have, I am not busy at the moment.” She responded to me, setting the map aside and motioning for me to sit in a chair not far from where she lay.

“Lucky I am, it seems. Well Luna, as you know, I’m helping out your troops with their tactics and whatnot. The only problem is, well, I know not of this war that you are fighting, I find myself in need of an education, at least in what allies and enemies we have. I would ask your sister, but I have already taken much of her time in conversing over other matters, also pertaining to this war. Simply put, Luna, I would request that if you have little else to do, that you teach me for a time.” Her expression had changed throughout my speaking, and at the end she seemed both amused and excited, it seemed to me that she would indeed teach me.

“Well Reaper, it is lucky for you indeed that I have nothing else to do, and that the day is not yet over, I will teach you, at least about what happens to be important to the war efforts. I suppose we should start with some geography? You will need to know the countries fighting, yes?”

[1189 Y.R.S. 4:46pm]


“... thank you kindly, Luna, I find myself to be much better informed than I was previously, you are good teacher you know? Anyway, I must be off, many things to plan and items to work upon, I did promise your sister to make plans for some armor to replace that current in use by your soldiers. See you at a later date, my dear.” I called to Luna, still sitting upon her couch, as I left the room. Many hours had past, and I did indeed have a better understanding of the current situation, which was going to be useful.

It was, effectively, World War Two. Equestria played the part of America, the Gryphons playing that of Germany, a race of sapient bears played Poland, a race known as the changelings were of Britain, Italy was led by sapient and anthropomorphic dogs, France being a country of sheep, literally, Russia was inhabited by minotaur, Japan was a place of anthropomorphic cats, and finally, Canada was inhabited by a race of ponies that were crystalline in nature.

Equestria and it’s allies, the Changelings, Minotaur, Crystal Ponies, and Sheep were fighting against the Gryphons, Dogs, and Cats, due to the Gryphons having invaded and taken over the Bear country, which was, as I had said, Poland.

All of this took place upon a single continent, mind you, no seas to bother with at all. It seemed every country, save for that of the dragons, was upon one large landmass. To be fair, it was pretty cool. The changelings had interested me, as their name was unfamiliar, and upon asking what they were I was educated on them. You see, changeling where a race of insectoid pony like creatures, they fed off of emotion, and could change their bodies to the shape of pretty much any other animal. To me, they were fascinating, the world’s best infiltrators, if all I had heard stood up to reality.

After all of that instruction, I was off to my room. The room I had only just received, mind. A messenger had interrupted my lessons with a letter from Celestia apologizing for my lack of quarters and giving directions to where my chambers would be located. I was not tired, mind, no, I simply had work to do. Many things, in fact, such as armor designs. Perhaps it was unfair, but I was planning a little something for the armor, dependent upon the pony races.

I had a smile upon my face, under my helmet, and as I walked I let loose a laugh that could quite easily be classified as maniacal, it was fitting, if you think about it.

[1189 Y.R.S. 10:12pm]

Chapter 11: Life Has No Meaning...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 11: Life Has No Meaning…

It is always a disconcerting experience to be a pony, how would I know? Well, there are times when one such as myself is required to blend in to the masses. I was currently walking up to the small country town known as ‘Ponyville’ intent on learning more about the Elements of Harmony by asking around the town, and simply observing it. For this goal I had taken the form of a pony.

I had become a unicorn stallion, slightly taller than most others, a coat of alabaster white with a mane of turquoise, my eyes where the only thing that carried over from my Human appearance, those staying the same grey-blue color they always were. My ‘cutie mark’ was that of a quill upon a sheaf of paper, an inkwell off to the side. I had quickly remembered the fundamentals of walking quadrupedally and as such spent but a few more moments on the finer points of magical manipulation.

All of my faculties once more under my control I continued down the road into the town, coming in on the market side. Upon my entrance to the town I was immediately stopped by the pink creature obscuring my vision.

“Hi! I’m Pinkie Pie, and I don’t know who you are, which means you must be new in town because I know everyone here, and if you’re new in town then that means you don’t have any friends! And if you don’t have any friends then you’ll be all sad and stuff, which means I’ve got to plan you a party!” Came the rapid fire and very high pitched voice of one Pinkamena Diane Pie, the Element of Laughter. Not even I have a single clue as to how she made it all the way here from Canterlot, that would be an estimated hour trip, at the fastest, and Pinkie was no unicorn, or even a pegasus, interesting.

I was about to respond to the mare that had assaulted my ears and mind with her speech that was almost too fast for comprehension, but as I was opening my mouth to speak I had found that she had vanished, seemingly into thin air. Dropping the hoof I had held to the ground I let out a sigh of defeat, this mare was perhaps crazier than I, given how she had acted in the few seconds I had observed her. More time would tell, perhaps.

[1014 A.B. 6:23pm]


Libraries are not supposed to be made out of trees! They just… aren’t… although I could appreciate the irony of it, still. The reason I was there in the first place was because I heard from someone that Princess Sparkle lived in said library, oh, and I felt the magical signatures of the Elements of Harmony inside, so there was that.

I walked up to the front door of the library and pushed it open, walking inside, apparently to the surprise of a tiny purple and green drake, Spike I think his name was. For some reason or other he was shocked at a pony entering the markedly public library. As I looked at him, raising an eyebrow in in curiosity at his surprise prompted him to speak.

“Ah, sorry sir, it’s just not often that ponies remember this is a public library, it’s gotten kinda surprising for somepony not to knock, so ah, is there anything I can help you with?” He sounded young, perhaps near his teenage years, although voice and even physical stature was never an accurate way to tell age for dragons, his words were amusing to me though.

“If you could perhaps point me in the direction of the local history section? Assuming there is one, of course.” I didn’t care overmuch about the history of this little town, although it would give me time to figure out where exactly the elements where, because they certainly weren’t the gems on display in the main room, and would allow me to read up a bit on the Element’s Bearers themselves.

With a small nod the drake answered me, “Yeah, we have one of those, in the room over there,” he pointed to a doorway across the library, “most of the local history books should be in the middle book case on the east wall, and if you need anything I’ll be in here.” I gave him a thankful nod and followed his directions into the aforementioned room.

Pulling the first tome in a series of books dedicated to the Ponyvillian history, I stepped over to a comfy looking couch and laid upon it, holding the book in my magic while simultaneously doing a location and decryption spell for the Elements.

Now, you may think it would be easy to find such a large source of power in such a relatively small building, but it appeared that this simple looking library had a very large underground complex, which extended search area, as well the Elements themselves had a way to frazzle out locator spells for them casted by those other than their bearers, making them exceptionally hard to find. How did I know all this? Well, I had tinkered with them extensively in the time before my banishment, and it seemed they had gained even more power than the last time, including but not limited to a stronger version of the imprisonment spell I had taught Celestia, the same one that was used against me.

[1014 A.B. 6:47pm]

“Eureka!” I exclaimed quietly, along with a dinging and bright flash of light originating from my horn. You see, the location/decryption hybrid spell had finally located the exact position of the Elements, and it was time to act.

Using my magic to form a kind of holographic display showing a map of the library, I used the results from my spell to give me the location of the Elements, but a few moments later they were revealed to be… in Twilight’s bedroom… ugh. Truly, this is just sad.

I swathed myself in shadows, disappearing from the, admittedly, comfortable couch. I came into existence once more in the center of what I was assured was Twilight’s bedroom, rather tidy and nice, to be fair. I used the short range detector and found that she had stashed the Elements… under her bed… dear Lord.

I pulled the case out from under the bed, unclasping the golden locks and buckles along it’s length. Opening the case revealed many a gem attached to a golden necklace, centered in the middle of them all was a tiara, holding a starburst shaped gem, the Element of Magic. Secure in that they were all present, I closed up the case again, although as I did so, I heard the sounds of the door opening.

[1014 A.B. 7:48pm]

Chapter 12: ... and Death's His Only Friend

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 12: … and Death's His Only Friend

The Forest of Darkness greeted me, as a familiar friend might upon a cold day in autumn. I was bewildered at first, of course, why was I once again in this realm of shadows and mist? But then, of course, it came to me. I must have fallen asleep in my endeavours to better armour the pony races, although I had an acute feeling of having been finished upon my untimely rest.

“Well, it seems this shall be my night, yes? Better get to work then, it ended when I brought that poor mare to her light, may as well see where one of those red lines goes.” I said to myself, adjusting my hood and gripping my scythe, I stepped out into the mist of the forest.

It took not moments to reach the end of the line I was following, in the center of a clearing in a puddle of what seemed to be blood, there was a pegasus stallion. The color of his coat I could not tell, covered in blood as it was, his eyes were forest green, madness and hatred shining clear in them. He was laughing, quietly, chained up as he was in iron ringlets, covered in the grime he himself revealed in. This pony, as was evident by his psychotic laughter and cutie mark of a bloodied knife, had been a murderer of many in his life.

My face, were it visible from the shadows of my hood, would have been one of disgust, and sorrow. I shook my head, and blocked out his ever louder laughter, for it had grown upon his notice of me, and marched through the trees over to the poor creature before me. It made sense now, golden lines were those of the good in life, and the black and red were of the opposite, the scum, the evil.

I lifted him, using the blade of my scythe to carry him by his chains, it was enough. A line appeared in the mist, this one dark as onyx and laced with blood red energy, I gave a sad sigh and shook the stallion to break him of his constant laughter, before marching forwards.

[???? Ka’h Ve;k Dj’cl Zar’ksh]


Iron gates, blackened spikes, and flames aplenty. The very vision of Hell that many of religion carried in their minds, it seems this land had made it a reality, or at least for whatever you call this place that I reached in my sleep.

Perhaps I was cruel, but I tossed the now screaming stallion deep into the gates, his screams flowed from the door until it slammed shut of it’s own accord, the surface glowed a deep orange, a shadowy red crystal was emptied from a slot in the center, down to the ground which it shattered upon. My job was done, for now, and the world recognized this, sending me away as suddenly as I had come.


I awoke with my cheek against the warm and clinging wood of the desk that had been provided to me, a crick in my neck from where I had fallen from my state of awakeness. As I fully awoke, I pushed aside my helmet a bit more, as it was obscuring the papers I had slaved over for many hours through the night.

Upon these papers were drawings, designs, all of the sort, detailing armors for the ponies. Three different designs for three different races.

I had called upon a favourite game of mine for inspiration on these suits of protection, and came up with quite the good idea. I would adapt a number of armors from the game that is Dark Souls so that they may be worn by ponies, the decisions were obvious.

Earth Ponies, strong, dependable, tough, like rock they were, and like rock they would become. I gifted to them suits of granite, recreations of Havel’s armor made for the pony body. They would be the only ones capable of wearing it, their great strength was required for it’s use.

Pegasi, fast, agile, and dexterous, so like the wind and blade they were, I sought to make those attributes one. To them I gifted the Lord’s Blade armor, light in design with armor covering the important parts, it would give them no limit to mobility as well as adding much needed defense to them, some light enchantments may even allow them to strike harder and faster, in teams they would fight, one distracting the enemy as the other snuck in and struck them with the fury of the skies.

Unicorns, intelligent, studious, and with an eye for all things academic, in the books they lived, their souls one with magic, and so they would become more so. I could not gift to them such simplicities as mage robes, no, they would still need armor were they to be on the front lines. I adapted for them Elite Knight’s armor, it would provide them with good protection while being light enough for their, admittedly, non-athletic bodies to manage, as well as providing many pouches and belts for their sorcerous items.

My work had been completed, it seems, shortly before my unintended trip into the Forest, lucky I am for that as it seemed to be midday, glancing at the clock in my room revealed that it was, in fact, just about lunch time. I gathered my papers into scrolls, bound them with lines of tweed, and slung them over my shoulder upon the removal of my rifles and shotgun. I grabbed my helmet from the desk, pulling it over my face and sealing it, I began to make my way down to the dining room where, hopefully, the sisters princess would be.

[1189 Y.R.S. 11:46am]


It seems that I had made it right on time, for as I pushed through the doors to the dining room I found myself presented with bountiful plates of food, fruits and vegetables as well as many grains, and surprisingly enough, meat. It was a surprising development due to the fact that most, if not every, species that Equestria had allied itself with were herbivores.

“Ah, Reaper, glad you could make it. We were all wondering what had become of you, but it seems you’ve made it in time.” Celestia’s voice sounded from across the room, a bit of humor in her voice as was always present, and a smile upon her face.

“Hm, I do apologize for my late appearance, working late into the morning was perhaps not my best idea, and how time flies when one sleeps, no?” I responded, doing the same as I had last time I was eating with the princesses, I went around and gathered an assortment of fruits and vegetables and, to my everlasting thanks, a nice chicken breast, before sitting down to the right of Celestia.

It was when I had almost sat in the chair so generously provided that I remembered the, perhaps not quite, valuable scrolls I carried. With an exclamation of remembrance, I set down my plate before me and slung the assorted scrolls from my shoulder, taking great care not to crush them, as that might ruin some aspect of the designs imprinted upon the parchment.

“I keep my promises, Princess. Here are some designs I drew up for some better armor that your soldiers would benefit from using.” I passed her the scrolls of armor designs which she, after looking through the first sheet, set aside in a wooden lock box reinforced by iron.

“I will look into these more thoroughly later, thank you though Reaper, hopefully whatever you have come up with will help to protect the ponies I am forced to send out daily, I am not a fan of sending my subjects to danger you understand. But let us not dwell on such things, it is lunch and it is a most beautiful selection if I might say.” She said in regards to my plans, I could understand what she meant, if I were a ruler I would certainly not be one for sending my citizens to their possible deaths, especially in a WW2 esque scenario.

At her words I gave her a simple nod of understanding before removing my helmet and proceeding to dig in to the, admittedly, absolutely delicious meal.

[1189 Y.R.S. 12:12pm]

Chapter 13: Reality and Sobriety Were...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 13: Reality and Sobriety Were…

The drake, how could I have forgotten? I’m getting sloppy. I turned towards the now open doorway to see, indeed, the small fledgling dragon from the library proper, in his hand was an envelope covered in pink and purple hearts, but that was none of my concern.

He had started to open his mouth, no doubt to alert others to my presence or try and stop me, but I quite simply wrapped him in solidified magic and stuck him to the ceiling, covering his mouth, of course. I was not cruel, though, the bindings would dissolve in but an hours time, enough for me to be long gone from Ponyville.

I traveled through my shadows to the front of the building, stepping out the door and casually carrying the case that held the Elements, I kept walking out the way I came, heading for the horizon where the townspeople would no longer be able to see me. As I walked quite a few polite ponies either waved at me, or wished me a good day, to which I replied in kind. Quite a nice town, that Ponyville place. Of course, as soon as I was out of sight of the town I warped back into my new home.

It was then that I looked around, my onyx and garnet throne room was nice, yes, but it was far too common. The candles and chandelier helped, yes, but it still looked too damn cliche. So, I decided to change it. Setting the Elements beside me I changed my form back to it’s proper kind before snapping my fingers. As I did the entire room changed, from onyx to marble, red carpet to a comfortable blue, an exact recreation of how it had been before, so very long ago.

It brought a smile to my masked face, even though such a place could never exist again, not now, it was still pleasant to have memories come alive, some of them, at least.

[1014 A.B. 8:12pm]


One time a thing occurred to me, right now, infact, and that was that my guest (Read, hostage), had awoken. How did I know? Well, magic is a wonderful thing you know. It allows many a thing, one of which was a sensor designed to alert me when the subject had awoken, which she apparently had. It was time to have a chat.

I snapped my fingers and disappeared in a shroud of shadow, appearing not seconds later in the center of Ms. Carol’s room, surprising her if the gasp was anything to go by. I turned to look at her, for I had entered with my back to her, she was still lying upon the bed, which was understandable considering she had woken up not seconds ago.

“Wh- who?” She stopped for a moment, her voice gaining clarity along with her eyes, a glare adorned her face as she looked upon me, how cute. “You, Reaper. What have you done with me! Where am I?” She asked of me, rage evident in her voice and body, how unlike any other experience this must have been to her.

“Why, my dear, I’ve done nothing to you, that wouldn’t be proper now would it? As for where we are, well, I couldn’t just tell you the location, could I? Suffice it to say this is my current home, and let’s leave it at that. Heh, you might have even visited here at some point, perhaps not.” I replied to her, curt and polite as was my nature. True, I had taken her so that I might gain information, but that was no reason to be a crude and harmful captor, no, she was a guest in my home even if she wasn’t a willing on.

“Why am I here, huh? What is it you want from me, you monster?” She questioned, and accused of me. Hatred in her tone, her face still set in a glare, truly she hated me for no reason other than what she had been told, perhaps I should change that.

“Monster. A monster am I? So many times I have been called that, you haven’t the slightest idea. Tell me girl, what have I done to you, or to anyone at present that makes me deserve such a title? What reason have you for calling me such a thing?” I asked her, a simple question it was, all I wanted to know at present was what had colored her opinion of me to such dark tones, a simple question, yes.

“I have reason because Celestia told me, told all of us in the guard about what you are, what you want.” That was her reply, quite simple really, ‘I think what I was told’ how truly sad it was.

“Celestia told you. Well then, Ms. Carol, why don’t you tell me just what it was the old princess has taught you all about me?” Another simple question for her, a very simple and innocent request, yet even with my asking of it I saw the fire of hatred burning brighter in her eyes, she despised my very being without even knowing who I was.

“She told us that you’re a monster, a creature created from the dark with the sole purpose of destroying pony kind! She told us that you delight in causing pain to others, that you are most joyous when others are in misery that-” It was there that I stopped her, a finger to her lips caused her to quiet almost instantly.

“You have not even been told half the story. I am no monster, created from dark I was most certainly not. No pleasure do I gain from the suffering of others, no joy is there in misery nor sorrow. For pony kind I hold no ill will, no, that is illogical on so many different levels. For your rulers, however, there is a very special place in my heart, a special place filled with hatred and rage. For good reason mind you.” My tone brought fear to her, I could see it in her eyes, for hearing death itself in anger is always a horrifying sight. Many had given me this same look, one of terror and panic, simply from my voice alone. It seemed that had not changed.

“Young dear, I have known the princesses for quite some time. For years before my imprisonment, we were the best of friends, them and I. However, there was a war going on. I’m sure you’ve read of it, seen it, perhaps in a dream? No, how could you. There was a war, a great war, and I gave my help to the country of Equestria for the boundless hospitality your princesses had shown me. We were the best of friends, but how time sours all bonds, the ties of family and friend rot away, as with all things. Sit down, stay for a while, I shall tell you of why I do as I do.” Around halfway through my speech I had removed my helmet, allowed her to gaze into my eyes, so weary and filled with sorrow that they were. My words could speak to her rational mind, my eyes would speak to her emotional soul, as was the way of things. And so I continued, telling her of my quest.

[1014 A.B. 9:30pm]


I stood out on my balcony, I had left dear Ms. Carol to her own devices, left her with folders and documents that I myself had found so many years ago, the very documents that had caused my wrath to turn upon the royal sisters. Perhaps she would see reason, perhaps not. She knew where to find me, and if she tried to leave then a simple teleportation spell would have her ending up at Canterlot once more.

As I was looking out across the forest, the setting sun causing such a beautiful scene that was unfolding in front of me, there came a knock at my door.

“Come in.” I had no need to be elaborate, if she had sought me out then Ms. Carol had indeed seen reason, even in the face of all the lies that wrought havoc upon her mind, placed there by none other the Celestia herself.

“I’ve looked over what you left with me. Thought on what it was you’ve said. As much as I absolutely hate to admit it, you are right. The princesses have lied to us all for so long, it needs to change, it needs to end. Please, Commandante, allow me to join you in your mission.” The voice of Sunset Carol reverberated through the room, easily audible over the low sounds of nature. Commandante, how long it had been since I had been called by title, so long indeed. I would, of course, allow her help, it was her will, of course.

“So you have seen reason. Good. For now, rest dear Carol, tomorrow shall be your initiation, tomorrow all shall begin again. Much needs to be accomplished, and you have a very special skill set that I will be in need of.” At my words I could just barely hear the swishing of air signifying a nod, and hear the thuds of her hooves on the carpet, just before she left I called, “Carol, thank you, it has been too long that I’ve been without comrade.” I turned to her, seeing her smile before she fled from the room, quiet and light on her hooves as she returned to her quarters.

I removed my helmet once more, why I had donned it in the time of respite I could not quite say, perhaps it has simply become such a constant companion of mine that I feel incomplete without it. I looked out, across the scene I had seen not moments before, this time without the filters of the helmet, the purifiers of the mask, I breathed in the forest air as the setting sun’s final beams shined upon my face. For the first time in so long, I had witnessed a sunset.

[1014 A.B. 10:12pm]

Chapter 14: ... Her Only Delusions

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 14: … Her Only Delusions

The sun was bright, the wind was cool, at least I assumed, and the birds were chirping. Truly it was a beautiful day. None of that really mattered to me at the moment, though, I was currently trying to find which part of the damn castle was put aside for the Changelings.

Why was I looking for the Changelings, you might ask? Well, I had been told a bit about them by Luna, but I was quite curious in seeing them myself, and if they were as I hoped they were, then I had a mission for some of them.

So, with the goal of finding the Changeling Queen, who was apparently staying here for some reason or another, I set out in my epic journey for information. That is, until I saw a changeling walking through the halls.

“Excuse me, yes, you there. Might you tell me where it is that the Changeling Queen is currently at?” The Changeling, which I could see now was indeed an insectoid pony, turned to me. Upon hearing my question it let loose a cacophony of buzzing sounds, before shaking it’s head and writing something down upon a parchment.

‘I apologize sir, sometimes we forget that very few creatures can understand our speak. Queen Chrysallis is currently in the dining hall, I believe she and the pony princess is enjoying something called a ‘tea hour’, I know not what that means, but you should find her there.’ That was what had been written upon the paper, I looked up from it and gave the Changeling a nod as well as a few words of thanks, before setting out once more for the dining room.

[1189 Y.R.S. 1:24pm]


I gently pushed open the doors to the dining room, following a knock upon the oaken surface, of course. I walked in to the rather muted bustle of the hall, seeing the sun princess and an insectoid appearing creature looking in my direction. I connected the very blatant dots and decided that this insectoid, pony-like creature, who was also around Celestia’s height, was indeed the Queen of the Changelings, Chrysallis.

“This is the creature of which you have spoken, Celestia?” The Queen turned to the Princess, an expression of what I took to be intrigue evident on her carapaced face.

“Indeed he is, although as to why he is here I am at a loss for, care to explain Reaper?” Came the reply from Celestia, a slightly bemused expression upon her face.

“Well, I was looking for the Queen, I had some questions as to her race and a possible mission to send a few of her soldiers on, ended up having to ask one of your, drones, I think it called itself?” That last part was directed toward Chrysallis, who bore a smirk as she sipped her tea.

“Well, there’s your reason, Chryssi, but this is tea time Reaper, no talk of business. Although, why don’t you join us?” Celestia’s voice rang out, a smirk adorned her face as well, for what reason I could not know.

I was never one for tea, to be honest, I have never had a good ole’ cup according to George Orwell's rules, so eh, but who was I to say no to royalty? So I walked over to a chair, opposite from Chrysallis, and removed my helmet. Swallowing my discomfort with the tea I was provided. It was quite good, actually.

[1189 Y.R.S. 1:35pm]


Half an hour later our tea time ended, quite enjoyable it was and many question were asked and answered, both by myself and the dear Queen, we had become more or less friends in that time and were currently walking from the hall out into the yard, as I had explained to Chrysallis my plan and had asked of her to gather those of her force that could shift to a bipedal form.

I was currently standing out in a side area of the general yard, waiting for the Queen to gather her soldiers, running a tune through my head, Offspring to be exact, and singing under my breath until I saw her walking over with about seven Changelings following behind her.

“Only seven?” I asked her when she was within range, she gave me a nod and walked over next to me.

“There are not many of my subjects that have mastered bipedal motion, it is not a very common need where we live.” She replied, sighing just a tad, before motioning over to the seven, “These are all whom I have brought that can do as you asked, I would tell them what you wish for them to do, but perhaps it would be best if you gave them instruction?” Not a strange request, and I expected nothing less, she was wise to allow me to explain the task I would give them.

“But of course.” I turned from Chrysallis to the seven Changelings she had brought to me, “All of you have been chosen because you are of a minority, all of you are capable of taking on a bipedal form. For this I bestow upon you all a mission that would be helpful to the war effort. You Changelings, you can change form, and because of that you are perfect. Each one of you will be sent off to the forward camps on the Griffin front, once there you will infiltrate their ranks, upon doing so you will take out the head chef in whatever way you need. You will then take his or her place, and administer a poison to the main batch of food going out of the kitchen. This will weaken, and sicken the Griffin forces, the poison will be spread through the food and hopefully decrease combat efficiency of all the soldiers on the front. You will stay at this post for as long as it takes, until you are recalled, do you all accept your mission?” Perhaps it was not fair of me to ask this of these soldiers, but I was promised to do what I could to help win this war, and underhanded tactics like this would be the perfect missions for Changelings. A complex idea, my plan was not, effective it would hopefully be, and at the end all I could do was hope for the best.

At the end of my explanation I was met with nods from all of the Changelings, save for one, who raised a holed hoof and… spoke. “Sir, I would prefer to be exempt from this mission, I feel my skills could best be suited doing something else.” This Changeling, who could speak where his brethren could not, surprised me indeed. As I took a closer look I noticed the faintest outlines of a pupil in his, for I assumed from the voice that it was male, blank blue eyes, the slightest sign of intelligence, or higher intelligence I suppose, from his comrades.

“Who is that one?” I asked, turning once more to Chrysallis who was looking to the Changeling in contempt, for whatever reason.

“He is one who has not learned his place, I apologize Reaper, he has not learned to do all he can to win this war, he seems more interested in academics that he will have no need for. I would not have brought him to you if he were not of the few that could take the form of a Griffin.” This I found strange from Chrysallis, this Changeling was obviously in minority, and his higher level of learning would infact be useful in the future, when this war was over. Strange indeed that she would not encourage such, but that was not for me to say.

“Hmm, young one, you feel this mission to not be of your skills? Then I offer to you a position apart from you brothers, one where your learned mind might be of more use, would you accept my invitation?” I asked the aberration, turning to him and looking into his eyes from behind me mask, Celestia had allowed me to invite those I deemed worthy to join my unique squad, and hopefully this one would be the first to join, useful he would be.

For a moment there I swear I saw sweat upon his carapaced brow, but that quickly passed and he gave me a nod, “I would accept sir, and please, my name is Hisoka, if you would call me by it. I shall return to the training grounds and await your orders, if that is acceptable?” The first thoughts to my mind were of his name, Hisoka, a strange one that sounded to be of asian origin… perhaps the naming structure for Changelings was different from Humans, that of the Ponies absolutely was. I replied to his reply with but a simply nod, and watched as he slowly and, I noted, silently, walked off.

“Now, the rest of you, be on your way, you have a mission, carry it out as you will.” Upon my words the all gave another nod and left faster than they had come, taking off on wings of film, to the sky the fled.

Rude perhaps it was, but I left Chrysallis with a simple nod, and walked off to enter the castle once more, I had things to work upon, and my business with her was done, any further meetings would hopefully be for the pleasure of us both.

[1189 Y.R.S. 2:35pm]

Chapter 15: So Close Your Eyes...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 15: So Close Your Eyes…

I had been following a golden trail for what could have been hours, it was impossible to tell in the Forest, and time was an arbitrary thing in reality, why bring it into the land of the end?

So far removed from the other trails was this one that I was certain it belonged to a saint. Allow me to clarify, a saint in this world is very different from one in my old home. A saint is any being who, during their life, did tremendous good deeds, upheld some part of being, or did other relative things.

It was, actually, very easy and hard to become a saint at the same time. Take being a saint of loyalty, for instance, this can be achieved by, very simply, being loyal, to friends, to work, anything that you could be loyal to, really. The reason it is hard, however, is because even a one time falter rescinds your sainthood. This being the reason why trails of saints were so rare, that I had found a total of perhaps six, the one I was following made the seventh.

As I walked further the forest thinned, giving way to the sun and a beach side. Ah, the Golden Shores. For many of extreme goodness they gained a special place to ‘live’ until I came along and brought them to their proper rest, it was a beach front for many, although I had seen one in the mountains and another far underground. The reason it was usually a beach, I surmised, was probably due to the inherent relaxation a beach provides, and so it was a common sight among those apart from the common.

As I reached the end of the line I saw something that surprised me, two ponies. A mare and a stallion, married it would seem by the way they held each other, resting on the shore and looking out across the water. This was odd indeed, very few times had multiple people been gathered in the same clearing, even rarer was that these both were saints.

As I approached I noted the appearance of them both, the stallion was a dusty orange color, three sliced apples on his flank, whilst the mare was of a color akin to a green apple, she as well had a quarter slice of what looked to be an apple pie. Interesting indeed.

They noticed me as I approached, no fear in their eyes, they had waited for long it seemed. They were ready, and when I told them of my business they simply nodded and followed as I led them to their afterlife.

It was, just as they were about to leave that the stallion turned to me and made a request, this was strange as many once dead forgot almost everything of their life, but not them, it seems. He asked me of his daughter, a filly they had sadly left at a young age, and who they hoped had grown well. He requested, that if I saw her, I would relay a message. I agreed, of course.

[J’lr Kor Dm’k Q’ldr’kah ????]


I stood upon the highest tower of the destroyed castle, looking out across the forest and the rising sun, next to me stood Sunset Carol, her coat glistening in the low light of dawn. She turned to me,

“Not that this isn’t beautiful sir, but why are we out here? And why so early, if I may ask?” She looked tired, presumably she hadn’t gotten much sleep, perhaps fretting over what the day might bring?

“We are here for your initiation, my dear, it is very important after all and requires a scene to remember, wouldn’t you agree?” I replied, my unmasked face turning to her, a small smile upon my face as she replied to my reply with a simply ‘oh’ and a nod.

“Let us begin. Sunset Carol, you are here because you have seen truth through the lies, because you believe in what has been hidden, because you have discarded your life for one of justice. Is this not true?” She was across from me, as I moved in front of her, the sun shining past me, creating an image to be remembered.

“Yes sir, that’s why I joined you.” Her answer had no waver, her face betrayed no signs of nervousness, she was ready.

“Then we shall start. You have given away your life, but not entirely. If you continue on, dear Sunset, you will never be able to betray me and you will serve until you die of old age. You will be devoting yourself to the uncovery of truth in the lies, to bringing down the kingdom you have so long served. Once you agree, once you bear my mark, there is no going back. You will be in it for life, do you still wish to press on?” I would not lie to her, I would not sugar coat what would happen and I would certainly not allow her to hope for an easy way out, this was a life choice, and it was not something to go back on.

“I do, sir, I’m ready.” Still steadfast she was, I will admit she brought an even larger smile to my face, it has been so very long since I’ve had anyone, anyone at all.

“Then kneel.” She did as I said, using her front hooves to keep from falling to the ground, she lowered her head and did the pony version of a prayer bow. I outstretched a gloved hand, wrapping it around her horn, an impossible glow of dark surrounding it.

Not a second later she dropped to the ground, a scream dying on her lips. From her heart radiating across her flesh in a spiderwebbed pattern was a series of runes and markings, they traveled all across the front right of her body, even about halfway up her face, glowing a bright white as the did until they faded away to nothing upon rest.

She looked up at me, tears daring to form in her eyes, her mouth trying to make words but only bringing her pain, I saw the question though. “Why does it hurt? Is that what you are wondering?” She replied with a nod, realizing she wouldn’t be speaking for the present. “It hurts to reinforce your decision. This is no mere agreement, nor a pact, this is a covenant. The pain is to show you, to remind you, that there is no going back. You have agreed to this, you have thrown your life away in pursuit of truth and justice. You will serve me until you die of old age, as I told you before. Be joyous though, dear Carol, you are the first to bear my mark in many a year, and with it comes advantages.” As I spoke I could see the pain fading from her, by the time I was done she could even speak again.

“I- I understand sir, I still stand by my decision, it’s not like I can go back now anyway.” She had resigned herself to her fate, yet held a strong face. She was a soldier before, she knows what it is like to devote one's very life to a cause.

“Very good, now, on to step two. But first, an explanation. Bearing my mark makes you different, unique, if you will. You will gain powers, as I gift them, and they will be yours to command so long as you do not betray me. The first one of many is your life. No, not letting you live, keeping you living. With my mark you will never die, not permanently anyway. You will come back, always, yet you will feel everything. Make no game of death, for that is my realm. It is both a blessing and a curse, you will never get sick, your mind shall never fail you, and ailments of the body will be cured with death. But you will never know peace until your age kills you.

That is the only way you shall find peace, and for that I am sorry. I know not why that is your only way out, the magic imbued in my mark is a slight mystery even to me. But that in of itself could be taken as a blessing. As I told you, your mind shall never falter, and so you shall not suffer through senility. You will be able to tell to your children and their children after of all the many adventures you’ve gone on and such. But as I said, a blessing or curse is for you to decide.” She managed to stand, gaining strength as the pain left her fully. She looked out into the rising sun.

“Step two is rather simple,” as I spoke I retrieved a white rock spike, sharp enough to pierce flesh, and held it out to her, “this blade thirsts for your blood, and so you must gift it.” She looked at me then, as if I were mad.

“But, sir, this is just a pointy rock, what am I supposed to do with it?” She asked, taking the spike in her magic, looking over it.

“For your power to be full you must die, this will be a catalyst for that. This is the only death I will require of you, and it shall be the least painful one. At the origin of my mark upon you, introduce this blade to your heart’s blood and it shall be a great gift to you for years to come.” As I spoke I could see that she did not yet understand, yet she tried so very hard. She had faith in me, in that I would not lie to her. And so she followed out my order, and plunged the crude blade into her heart.

She was dead the second the rock tasted blood, for it was no ordinary stone. Moonstone, it was called, named by some olden wizard with a childish crush on the young Princess Luna, he thought it would get him in her good graces, but that is a story for another time. Truly it does not come from the moon, and I never studied farther into it past what I needed. You see, moonstone is a highly toxic material, enough so that it could kill a pony in but milliseconds after being introduced to the blood stream. It was painless and quick, which is why I used it for such a ritual. But, it also had a secondary property, one of magic, it bonded with the soul of whomever’s blood it was fed with, and it changed to be more useful.

Sunset’s body fell to the floor for a second time, she lay there on her side dead as could be, blood leaking from the goring she had inflicted upon herself. A moment passed and suddenly my mark was alite, the now red stone slid from the wound it had caused, which was quickly closing as magic was working. And so it was done in but seconds, and Sunset Carol was once again alive.

“I- I’m alive… you weren’t lying but, but why did you tell me to do that.” She asked, standing upright once more.

“As a test of your faith, for one. As well as to provide to you power, and a weapon that shall serve you until the end. Look now, it is forming as we speak.” I directed her attention to the spike of rock, which was no changing as we watched.

It elongated itself, became thinner as well, shaped itself as we looked until a sword was left. It was a thing of beauty, silvery metal made up the blade although it glowed with a dull amber tint, not unlike that of Sunset’s coat. It was made as a longsword, about three feet long with a double sided razor edge, and a sharp poking end, a worthy weapon for combat. As she took the blade in her magic I turned to her once more.

“Your initiation is complete, welcome to the Seekers of Truth. You must choose two names now, a new name for yourself, to signify your new life, and one for you blade, that it will bond with you even more. I shall leave you now, do what you will. Practice, rest, read, enjoy yourself today for tomorrow I have for you a mission.” I turned away, moving over to the stairs that were strangely still intact, after the years of disrepair they had suffered. As I was walking down the first two steps she called to me.

“Sir, I just wanted- thank you sir, so much. You’ve given me a chance to change everything now.” She had tears in her eyes, of joy it seemed. I did not shed a tear, but a smile grew on my face. She was a perfect choice, and I was very glad indeed that she had gone through this all. I gave her a nod, and continued walking.

[1014 A.B. 7:24am]


I was walking through a cave carved into the rock itself, by whom I did not know although the ponies it was most certainly not. In my arms I carried the case containing the Elements of Harmony. I could sense that they had been used overmuch, and the world was dying because of it.

As I reached the glowing doors I pushed through, revealing a large crystallized tree, glowing with a white light and that of the rainbow. Yggdrasill I called it, the World Tree. For it was, truly, it contained all magic in this world, it was the source and were it to be destroyed or captured this world would destroy itself from within. But it was growing weak.

As I stepped closer the ever present field of protection around it allowed me entrance, like an old friend greeting another. For many a year before my banishment I had sat beneath this tree, studying or relaxing, it was a way to get away from it all while I could.

I stepped up to the trunk, running a gloved hand over all the places where the Elements had been carved from the bark, the dark pits of void that where now contained there. I lowered myself to the ground, releasing the clasps on the case, picking up the Elements one at a time. As I replaced them to the tree I could see it regaining strength, its glow grew stronger and the rainbow that had seemed on the cusp of fading was now shining at full strength.

It was done, the Elements were at rest once more as they should have been long ago, Celestia had neglected the health of her very world, what a good thing it was I’d come along. I could barely hear the faintest whispers of a word of thanks in my mind, but surely that was just me imagining it, what else could it be?

I left the cavern that held Yggdrasill, leaving it with a wave. Sapient perhaps it was not, but it had an intelligence born of a magnitude of magic, it was one of the few things in this world I had vowed to protect, and one of the few things I still respected from the old days.

[1014 A.B. 8:12am]

Chapter 16: ... and Kiss Yourself Goodbye

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 16: … and Kiss Yourself Goodbye

February 12th, 1189 Y.R.S.

That was a day that I would remember for many years to come in my long, long life. A day I would never forget, no matter how much I wished I could. A day that I took a lesson from, a lesson I never forgot.

That was the day I went to war.

I was given a mission by Celestia, go out to a border town in Gryphon controlled France, along with a group of rookies whom I would be leading. They were still clothed in the golden armor present in many parts of Celestia’s forces, as the new designs had not yet been mass produced and the sets that had been were sent off to the front front-lines. We were tasked with capturing the city, allowing it to be used as a forward point in taking back France.

I was excited, eccentric, even. Games and movies and books had painted my view of battle, of combat, of glorious warfare! But as the world often does, my dreams of such things were shattered against the rocky shore of reality.

We were taking cover in trenches as magic bolts, arrows, and even lighting were fired at our Gryphon foes, who were doing the same to us. Things were going quite well, actually, it was more or less a war of attrition as we took out their troops, the unicorns and their magic, earth ponies firing off bows, and pegasi commanding the weather, and of course, myself firing my rifle, all was going well.

It was then I made my gravest mistake. In my battlefield naivety I ordered a frontal charge, sure we would take the enemy by force. Some ponies objected, but I did not listen, and so we ran across the field. For a time, blinded by adrenaline, I thought all was well, that the pony soldiers were having their own time of mowing down Gryphon lines.

It was only after I found myself surrounded by Gryphon troops that I looked around, it was only then that I saw the bodies of countless ponies strewn about, comrades I had been given command over that I had idiotically ordered to death. I kept fighting though, but eventually I was overwhelmed by the enemy, and I was captured.

They rendered me unconscious, bound me, and dragged me away. I awoke in a crude cell, bound to a metal chair, though still armed in my weaponry and armor. I was there for hours as they interrogated me, thankfully their methods were mostly brute force, and my armor absorbed much of that. Where I would have had broken bones I instead only had bruises, and it was because of this reduction in pain that I was able to resist spilling the few military secrets I held.

Eventually they realized I would be of no help to them, and so they marched me out to a cliff behind the building I was previously in. A sheer drop off the side of a mountain, so far down I couldn’t see the bottom. I pondered, for a time, why they would make a base here, there was nowhere for them to run. They were flying creatures, the answer finally came to me, and that was the final thought as I was kicked from the cliff side and sent plummeting down to the darkness below.

Of course, there was a bottom to the cliff, and so it was that I found myself impaled upon an earthen spike, straight through the center of my chest. How it missed my heart and lungs I did not know, but I was certain of death. I was bleeding profusely from the chest wound, and after just a few minutes my vision started to blur.

It was then that I fell upon the spike a bit more, this seemingly insignificant change in position had quelled the bleeding, as it was now coming out in a trickle. I stayed upon that spike for hours, all I could do was look around at the bodies of people who had also met their end down here, Gryphons, ponies, Changelings, even Sheep were here. My last thoughts were of prayer, though I was never a religious man, before the darkness claimed me.

[February 13th, 1189 Y.R.S. 3:12am]


But it was not, as the Gryphons had hoped, the end of my existence. Rather, it was the prologue to the long and bloody story that would be my life.

I awoke upon the edge of the cliff I had just met my demise at. At the time I didn’t think of how I was there, I had died, I knew that, yet I was back. I pushed the thought from my mind for a time, but as my life continued I found my own death to be a more constant thing than I ever could have thought.

As I looked around the area I saw pony flags instead of Gryphon ones, it seems some time had passed, for the ponies now controlled this encampment. Strange, I thought, but I did not think on it longer than I had to.

As I entered the base looks of shock ran across the faces of most everyone there, I had been counted among the dead it seems, fitting. They wondered what had happened, if I was the only survivor.

“No, I didn’t survive. I was merely lucky enough to come back.” Of course, my answer brought more questions, but I did not answer them, I just pressed on. I wanted to be away from here, from this place where I had been so foolish, go back to the palace and learn more, become a better commander, as that would be required.

It occurred to me, as I was en route back to the palace, that explaining to Celestia would be hell. But I would not lie to her, no, and I would have to apologise to all those who had lost someone under my command. It would be a black day in paradise.
I would like you all to remember, no matter what you might think, about how glorious battle is, how amazing combat would be, just remember, war is hell.

[1189 Y.R.S. 10:16am]


Celestia and her sister were amazingly displeased with my performance, as was I myself. I was cast away for a time, unable to lead nor give direction, probation they called it. But eventually I was allowed back into things, I had to work my way back up, rekindle the friendship I had with the Sisters Princess. That took around a year.

I went back to combat a time later, I never ordered such a foolish command as I did that day, though the new armor the ponies wore made them nigh invincible one the field, arrow and blade could not pierce through the steel and rock, and the pegasi were far too agile to be hit.

I risked myself each time I went to battle, I was there for one thing, and one thing only, to make sure that as few ponies died as I could. So I gained a reputation, The Lion they called me, for I was strong and swift and let none stand in my way. At least, that was the reason they gave. Though it was no comfort to me.

For the longest times those who I had ordered to their deaths weighed heavy upon my soul. Until I found them in my part time job, leading them to the afterlife, I begged of them forgiveness and in the spirit of their kind they gave it, and so a great burden was lifted from me, though I would never be the same again.

But still I fought, and I came back, live or dead, I always came back. It was on one of this few times of respite, where I was at the castle, that I met the next member of my team, a Gryphon, surprisingly.

[1189 Y.R.S. 1:30pm]


“Come along Reaper, I have something I would like to show you.” Celestia’s voice rang through the hall we walked along, she had asked my assistance in something and so I followed her.

We reached our destination soon enough, a guest room along the outer wall of the castle, which she knocked upon and had apparently been granted entrance to, for she opened the door and motioned me inside.

I will admit, I was a bit surprised to find a Gryphon sitting at a table, sipping at a cup of tea and reading a book, but I contained myself. If he was here, in a guest room and not the dungeon, and if Celestia had shown courtesy to him then surely he was no threat.

“This is what you wanted to show me? Why would that be? And where did he come from?” I asked these three questions, I was in no mood for any games of Celestia’s, I had only just returned from a combat mission, you see.

“Yes, this is who I wanted to show you, his name is Werner, I thought perhaps you would like to meet him. As for where he came from, well, he came to us from the Gryphon Kingdom, or more accurately, he met a scouting party of ours and asked to join us.” This was the cheery explanation by Celestia, and not once did the Gryphon disagree.

“A defector? Interesting.” This was my response, and I could see the hint of a smile on the beak of the ex-soldier.

“Ja, it turns out that the ‘cause’ we were fighting for wasn’t quite up to snuff, so I decided to see if I could change sides. Thankfully your princess here is quite nice.” Came a reply from Werner himself, he even had a German accent, but not stereotypical, thankfully, and more like someone who had actually spoken German for most of their life.

“Hmm, interesting. Well, Werner, what is it you used to do in the Wehrmacht?” I decided to use the Nazi military name from my own world, perhaps it would be correct perhaps not, but whatever this soldier used to do was obviously something Celestia thought I could use.

“Well, I was one of the few soldiers who were educated before we were drafted for the war, and so I went into the Rune-Corps. Since we Gryphons have less latent magic than, say, ponies or Changelings, we instead use runes. I was in the branch that dealt mostly with demolitions, explosives and fire cleansing, that sort of thing. Sometimes we even had shows back at camp, after we won a battle or something.” A Rune-Crops? Quite interesting indeed, and demolitions was something I didn’t have for my team, unless you counted myself which I didn’t. He would be very useful, if he would accept.

“Hmm, well then, Werner, I would like to offer you a position, in a private squad of my own creation. We could use someone with your expertise.” As I said the words his brow furrowed, and he seemed to be in deep thought. Joining my group was a decision that should not be taken lightly, I suppose. “I’ll give you some time-” I was going to leave, but he had made his mind.

“Nein! I mean, ja, I would love to be part of your special squad, just tell me where to go and I will. I’m sorry, it’s only now really occurring to me that I will be fighting against my brothers. I will be fine though.” It was understandable, really, he was turning his back on his whole life, and a choice such as that was not to be made lightly.

“I thank you for your acceptance, someone will be by within the day giving you instructions on where to go, in the meantime I have something to put together. Have a good day, soldier, and always be faithful.” I gave him a quick salute, which he replied to in kind, before turning and leaving the room, as Celestia and Werner started talking about whatever it was the would.

[1189 Y.R.S. 1:50pm]

Chapter 17: What Have We...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 17: What Have We…

“Though I will not require it, punctuality is a good trait.” I called back to the now halted Sunset, she was perhaps surprised that I had heard her? Well, years of war allow one to hear even the softest of noises, it was necessary when you could be stabbed in the back at any time.

“Well, thank you sir. But what do you mean it won’t be required, aren’t we soldiers?” She only asked her question as I turned to her, an even more apparent indication she hadn't forgotten her training. This was a plus, considering that training a militant force by my lonesome would become quite… boring.

“Let it just be said that if I need you somewhere you will be there, but now, on to other matters. Have you chosen a name, for you and your sword?” Confusion at first graced her before my other question reached her ears, in anticipation I motioned her to a seat across from the one I now sat in.

“Yes sir, I have. For my name, I would like to hereby be known, as Ember.” She had the most serious of looks on her face, so very serious that to one such as myself it was amusing, so with a hint of mirth I asked of her.

“Now, for what reason do you call yourself such? Surely you didn’t make a choice at random.” She could not see it, for I was clad in my helmet as usual, but there was a smile upon my face. Such a name as Ember can be a symbol for many things, and what she decided it would mean to her would paint her life.

“No sir, I have a reason. I’ve been fascinated by fire, since I was very young, and so I studied it, I’m more a fire mage the a warrior, in all actuality, but the thing about fire is, it can always be restarted. From even the tiniest ember a new flame can burn forth from a burned out pit. And that’s what I seek to do, relight my own flame, become a new pony, a better pony.” Wistfulness and determination, that’s what I saw in her eyes as she spoke, I approved of her meanings, and of her pride. She would be wonderful.

I gave a simple nod, though she obviously saw the weight it carried, before moving to my next question, “As for your blade, have you named it?” Her eyes lit up as I asked, and she nodded, drawing her blade from a veil of fire before my eyes. Perhaps she thought it would startle me? It didn’t.

“I’ve decided to name it причина, it means ‘reason’ in-” I cut her off here, perhaps it was rude, but I was curious now.

“Russian. Now, where did you learn any bit of Russian, or Minitaur, whatever you ponies call it now. I’m curious.” Though she could not see my face she was perhaps aware of the burning stare that I focused upon her, it may have been simple paranoia, but the Russian’s had some damn good spies back in the day.

“Well, I spent some time over in Stalliongrad a few years back, I had to learn Minitaur since that’s the only language they speak over there, and a bit of it just stuck.” Ah, yes, of course. She was a soldier, she traveled, I gave her a nod and motioned for her to continue the explanation of her blade.

“Well, anyway, I’ve decided to name it this because from what you’ve made clear to me, there is so much madness, so very much, running rampant through the country. A blade of reason, then, seems apt to cut and severe such.” Amazing, she was already picking up my speech, or maybe she always had talked this way and recent events had just made her simple of tongue? Who knows, certainly not I.

“Very well, I approve.” I stood from my chair, motioning for her to do the same, and from the depths of the void pulled an age old officer’s sword, from a time ago when I fought on the side of the Sun Princess. “I now declare you, Knight Ember, of the Seekers.” Long ago, perhaps, such a ritual would have brought a tear to my eye. Allowing kinship of another, but I had done so many times, and I just felt a dull burn. A kind of guilt, that I would sentence another to a life of pain and suffering. No matter they chose this path for themselves, I was still the catalyst.

[1014 A.B. 11:12am]


I was taking a stroll through the woods around my new home, I had sent the newly named Ember out on a mission. She was to return to Canterlot, act as if nothing had happened, and gather as much classified information as possible, as well as trying to sway some of the ponies whom were less than loyal to Celestia. Should she be captured, there was a simple way of escape, although the question really was, would she use it?

Now, I was not lazing about, mind you, there was a reason for my walk. Well, alright, perhaps not, but I did have time to kill. You see, if nothing else I am polite, and considering that many new faces are being brought into this war between Tia and I, it seems only appropriate to introduce myself to these new Bearers of the Elements. The thing is, Ember would be included in this meeting, and I couldn’t very well call it before sending her off, now could I? So, I would wait for her to get back.

How, you might ask, would I introduce myself? Well, I’d written out some rather nice invitations to a feast, at least, I thought they were nice.

Dear ____

Hello, firstly, thankyou for taking the time to read this. You may know me as Reaper, yes, the very same. But, this letter shall bring you no harm, so worry not, instead it carries an invitation in honor of our new status as mortal enemies, I promise a good time and food to spare. If you would care to attend, simply sign your name by your own hoof on the line below, and you shall be whisked away to a dining place fit for a king, or princess in this case.

~ Your everlasting enemy, Reaper

Know, I’ve not written a letter in quite some time, so I would like to think I’ve done a rather good job with these invitations, although perhaps I hadn’t. But you know, it was around July in pony land, and I must say, they do have some wonderful summer weather. Nary a cloud in the sky, the sun was warm and shining, I assumed, and animals were singing and dancing about. Honestly, I’m surprised my guards hadn’t eaten more of them.

[1014 A.B. 12:42pm]


Ember had returned, with a slew of new files to add to my collection of information. Instructions had been given to those interested in defecting, and the invitations had been sent out to all the Bearers, as well as the good ‘ol Princesses. In the meantime I decided to place the old box that held the Elements of Harmony inside the deepest, darkest, and most well-protected vault I had down here. You know, make ‘em think the Elements are still in there when they aren't.

But anyway, I was currently setting up the dining area, a rather large dining table straight out of a royal dining room set up in a cleared area of my Graveyard of Heroes. It was night, but I had set up lanterns to allow sight for the guests. Now, hosting a feast in a graveyard might seem morbid, but the graves around were those of some of my best friends, and some of the greatest heroes from the war, hence the name, I found it to be a fitting place for a meeting of this kind.

Ember was dressed up in the pony equivalent of black tie dress, while I had changed from my armor into a button down shirt and black suit pants, as well as some dress shoes. When the feast actually began I would be wearing the coat to the suit, at least for the first appearance, but for now I was relaxing in the rays of the setting sun, ah, what a wonderful day.

Oh, and because I’m sure you’re calling me a fool for expecting them to show up, Ember had made it known to me that Celestia was ordering the Elements to attend, she left no question of it either. Ah, Tia, heavy hooved as usual. Tsk tsk.

With the knowledge that all those invited would attend, I got to work on some finishing touches, the last of which would be the music set to play upon the arrival of my guests. A rather classic piece, if I do say so myself. Hm, how quaint, it was the 5th of November. Ah, I had never gotten used to that, how the pony land had the same names of months as my home did, but in different order. I mean really, November in summer, bah.

[1014 A.B. 10:14pm]

Chapter 18: ... Done With Innocence

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 18: … Done With Innocence

Excerpts from the journal of royal agent ‘Reaper’

There are not many times I am away from battle these days, it seems that there is always another fight to have, another encampment to take. There is no rest. Strangely, I find myself not needing sleep, although I suppose this should be of no surprise considering my apparent proto-immortality.

I still have times of rest though. Celestia sees my constant fighting as unhealthy, and so orders me to take breaks every now and then. On one of these such breaks I discovered something most disturbing. My new operative, Werner, has been having trouble while at camp.

It seems that, even though he has pledged allegiance to Equestria, and to myself, the pony soldiers refuse to accept him as one of their own. Understandable, I suppose. They still have not accepted me, even though I have done so much for them.

However, I could not let that stand. Moral was dropping, both in my team and the military throughout. I gave a speech. To all that would listen, how the enemy is clear and those that chose to fight with us are to be accepted.

It went better than I could have dreamed. I must have at least some pull, for after that day I no longer got complaints about Werner, and the very few complaints of Hisoka, although he did carry around mostly in pony form.

On the note of Changelings, reports have been good on their mission, which they are still carrying out. Griffin soldiers are becoming weaker as time passes, and though they still push us as a steel wall, we have our victories.

This war had been going on for years, it is my hope to end it soon.

[December 6th-12th, 1189 Y.R.S.]


Celestia and her sister have made an amazing discovery. One that I find to be perhaps the most important thing we’ve found throughout this war. Deep under the castle, in a cave that looks to be formed by nature itself, we found something.

Something that Celestia and that sister of hers recognized. It was a tree. A glorious tree, of crystal and gemstone. From the bark, shapes were carved. A heart, a balloon, a giftbox, and so on. These were, as explained by the Princess, where some so called ‘Elements of Harmony’ were taken from the tree.

According to Luna, the Elements were wielded by herself and her sister, to vanquish a great threat to the world. A being known as Discord, a mad god of Chaos who made the entire planet and all its people his playthings.

This tree I named Yggdrasil, for it was the only thing keeping this place together. They couldn’t see it, I know not why, but I could. I saw how this tree, no, this construct of pure magic, I saw how it regulated the magical flow of the planet.

For were it to die, this entire realm would implode upon itself, the pure magical forces would crush the world and all it contained like a fly beneath a boot. The ponies didn’t understand. the Changelings didn’t, neither did the Griffins, nor any other species of the planet.

I was alone in my knowledge, and so, rather than be cast out for madness, I began my studies. My time away from battle was consumed by the tree. Tending to it, studying it, allowing it to feed off my power.

And in return? In return, it taught me. It gave me the knowledge to use forces I was completely unaware of. The subfields of magical energy that coursed through the veins of the very universe. But no one man could control them, and so only a tiny field of powers were opened to me. For the time being.

Movement was my focus at the time, hiding, and riding, in shadow. Disappearing in puffs of smoke. Blending myself into the darkness, and becoming invisible to all. My abilities of stealth were enhanced twenty fold.

I was promised more, for my continued caretaking of the tree. But I would have done that job even without such boons, for truly, the survival of the realm is many times more important than my personal power.

[December 15th-21st, 1189 Y.R.S.]


When I left each time from the loving caress of Yggdrasil I was left sorrowful. But soon after I remembered my promises, and so left without fuss. The tree would always be there, after all. Plans were going underway, more aggressive strikes against the Griffins were needed, and so I was chosen to plan them.

It occurred to me that my team was still not complete, we were missing a fourth individual. I had not the time to search, however. My other two teammates were out on missions, Hisoka on infiltration and information gathering. Werner on demolitions work, taking down strategic Griffin positions on the frontlines, as well as teaching the ponies all the weak spots of Griffin defenses.

I worried for them, I will admit. I worried for them all. But I could not let my worries slow me down, besides, I had a job to do. Far to the north, in the frozen wasteland, on of Equestria’s allies was calling for aid. The Crystal Empire, I had been educated on them via Luna, but it would still be a sight to see. Although, if all went well, the only reason I'd be going there was sightseeing.

The job was to get rid of a Griffin forward camp through any means necessary, the were set up within viewing distance of the city, and the citizens inside along with the rulers of the place didn't like that at all. I could understand, the Griffins didn't take prisoners so much as they took slaves.

Myself and one other were chosen for such a job. I thought it odd that only a stallion and I would be sent on such an obviously important mission, but perhaps there is something more than meets the eye about this stallion, Tank I think they said his name was. I would see first hand, we leave tomorrow.

[December 24th-26th, 1189 Y.R.S.]

Chapter 19: All Those You've Loved, All Those Who've Died...

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 19: All Those You’ve Loved, All Those Who’ve Died…

“Sir, are you sure this is a good idea?” Ember asked, fidgeting with her hooves in her chair.

“Whatever do you mean, my dear?” I asked, standing from my own chair. Or course, I could guess what she was worried about, but if she saw I was calm then hopefully she would calm down as well. Being a leader requires that one think of such reactions.

“Well, we’re inviting our greatest enemies to a secluded area, with neither of us being combat ready. Not that I don’t doubt your capabilities, but they are the Elements of Harmony, and the Princesses.” Valid points, to be sure, but she didn’t grasp the advantage we would in fact posses. The point of the dining area was that, if trouble were to arise, Ember and I could leave and the others would be stuck there to slowly die off. Hopefully it wouldn’t come to that, though.

I didn’t answer with that, though, instead I said something much simpler. “Enemy, singular.” As I said the words, I could see the confusion grown on her face, before she asked another question, completely forgetting her first. Ah, answer dodging, it’s fun when you’re the one doing it.

“Singu- Sir, there are eight of them!” She exclaimed, exasperated at my seeming lack of concern.

There was truth in her words, we would be outnumbered and the alicorns as well as the Element of Magic and Generosity were unicorns, they would be able to be combat ready at the drop of pin. But that wasn’t the point of what I said, Ember still didn’t understand who was the great manipulator, even after all she had been shown. So I decided to make it simple.

“There are eight ponies, this much is true, but only one enemy. Luna has paid penance enough to atone for her crimes, yet her sister remains in a seat of self-assured righteousness. As for the elements? They are simply misguided, following a symbol they don’t know the history behind.” It wasn’t completely honest, my reasons for fighting Celestia as far as Ember knew, but if there was one thing I learned as a commander in Celestia’s Royal Army, well, it was how to inspire faith in a cause.

“I… I understand sir, I apologize for questioning your judgment.” She looked down at her hooves then, seemingly embarrassed as her face flushed. This was the duality of commanding, to inspire faith in a cause, but to also promote free-will in your forces.

“Your mistake was not in questioning me, Knight Ember, it was in questioning before you though deeply. If there is ever something you wonder about, ask it, there is no such thing as a wasted question save for the one not asked.” I gave her a sage-like nod, perhaps emphasized by my scarred face and graying hair, perhaps not.

“I… yes sir. I apologize again, sir, such poor judgement is unbecoming of a Knight under your command.” She was no longer fiddling with her hooves, or looking down in embarrassment. Instead, a fire like the one I saw when she named herself once more burned in her eyes. I returned the sentiment with a small smile.

Our conversation done, I donned my suit jacket and sat upon my chair at the head of the table. The hour of truth approached.

[1014 A.B. 11:02pm]


Was it late for a dinner? Yes. Did that stop everyone from showing up? Celestia wouldn’t let it happen for the world.

Ember and I sat at our seats, mine at the head of the table and her’s at my right. Make what you will of that. Minutes passed but then, in sparks of light as lanterns lit, ponies appeared in their seats. First was Celestia, of course, shortly followed by Luna. The both of them looked around the graves in confusion, then horror. Not even a hint of guilt or sorrow.

Not dwelling on that, the Elements started showing up moments later.

I stood from my chair as the last pony was before her plate, opening my arms in a gesture of welcoming. “Welcoming one, welcome all. Princess and Element alike. As you all know, I am Reaper and this,” I motioned a hand about our surroundings, “is the Graves of Heroes. Before we get on to business, allow us to eat. Before each of you is a plate and a chalice, simply wish for a meal and it shall appear.” My grand introduction done, I returned to my seat.

The ponies looked around, the Elements looking to their pseudo-leader, the Element of Magic, who simply shrugged before summoning a meal to her plate. Soon the rest followed, Princesses included. To my right, Ember had also joined in, summoning a dish she had described to me prior, some cultural food from her childhood. As for myself, I had a simple meal of soft bread, mashed potatoes, and a finely cooked steak.

Psychological warfare? Never heard of it.

Once everyone finished eating it seemed none had noticed my meal, although I did see the Element of Kindness glance nervously at the blood remaining on the plate. The pleasantries concluded, it was time to get onto business, something Celestia was eager to do as she slammed a hoof upon the table as I was wiping off my mouth, getting whatever blood might be there off my beard.

“We have played your games long enough Reaper, what have you called us here for? What reason could you have for forcing us into this decrepit graveyard?” She seemed indignant, perhaps in that I could so easily provide a good meal, or that I could so easily have her cornered? Either way, I didn’t take kindly to her tone.

“I will have to advise you not to raise your voice in the resting place of those you damned. Though they are long past now, their spirits do not appreciate it,” I stood from my seat, refocusing the attention upon myself, rather than on Celestia, “as for a decrepit graveyard, can you not recognize the names upon the stones? The names of those who trusted you, and whom you used as pawns?” I motioned to some of the headstones about, drawing her gaze, I saw her eyes light in recognition but she made no move to continue talking.

Instead, her pupil, the Element of Magic asked a question instead. “Not that I don’t mind questions that your conversation with the Princess brings, but I am curious, why did you all invite us here?” She was quite polite, unlike her mentor. Although maybe it had something to do with my appearance, after all, I’m sure a scarred old man wasn’t what they were expecting under my helm.

“Yes, yes to business, shall we? It’s all very simple, I wish to show you the truth behind this false prophet you call a Princess.” I left it at that, waiting to see if there were questions before I continued.

It was at that moment that Luna slammed down a hoof upon the table, poor thing is going to have some dents. “Now wait right there Reaper! You dare to call my sister a false prophet when you move around in your shadows, acting as a mastermind to greater forces! How can you, who plagued my dreams for so long, claim to be the righteous one!” Perhaps I was wrong about Luna having earned her reprieve from sufferings.

“Because, dear Luna, I honored my promises, and my position. Girls, you Elements of Harmony, allow me to show you all the history of your country, of your Princess.”

[1014 A.B. 12:00pm]


Flashback, 1222 Y.R.S.

The war was over. After decades of war, it was finally at an end. The Griffons, Germany, had been pushed back to their capital city. The Russian’s pushed, together with the British and, of course, Equestria. Together, the three countries overpowered what remained of the Griffon forces, pushing them into the Griffon King’s inner sanctum, far below the earth where he planned to hide out his judgement. We found him, after months of fighting over the city, his guts spilled across the floor, caked in dust and dried blood. He took a cowards way out, rather than face justice for his crimes.

That wasn’t what mattered though, what mattered was that there was peace once more. Sure, cities had to be rebuilt, people needed new jobs, and there were more orphans than there had been at the start, but now there was actually a chance to fix all those things.

So it was, with a heavy heart, I conducted the mission I was issued.

There were still some outlying countries who had been allied to the Griffons, and followed their thoughts, and they had to be dealt with. Obviously, for a mop up mission, I was the best answer. I could move faster than a squad, had more individual firepower than a platoon, and I was perhaps the single most experienced soldier who survived the war.

I was away from Equestria for two years. It seemed like forever, to be away from the land I called home, from the land I fought and died for. But it was my duty, and so I made sure that all who stood in my way faced the retribution of an Equestrian Royal Agent.

When I finally returned home, it was to celebration. Parades were held in my honor, I was a War Hero, a saviour of thousands. Now, perhaps all of that was exaggeration, but the public ate it up. Sadly, I didn’t get to see my squad in the months of my return, they too had important missions that needed to be handled for peace to be secure, and with me busy who else were better qualified?

So, I relaxed in the post-war peace for a time, drowning out the sorrows I still had over crimes committed long ago in drink that came about as part of parties to celebrate Equestria victory. It only occurred to me much later how much the war truly took out on my soul. In that time, however, I tended to Yggdrasil, and it taught me more than it had in the decades of war.

My times of learning were stopped months later, however, when I received a letter in the mail. That single letter has been the cause of all of this.

[1014 A.B. 1:45am]

Chapter 20: ... I Know Their Spirits Are Up In The Skies

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He Who Walks The Graves
By: The Zealot
Chapter 20: … I Know Their Spirits Are Up In The Skies

December 28th, 1189 Y.R.S.

We were deployed separately, magical insertion. The frigid winds of the Northern Empires were far too strong, and far too clogged with snow and ice to allow for aerial drop-in. Long-range teleportation was the only remaining option. The two of us, myself and the Earth Pony I had still not met named Tank had been deployed a ways apart from each other. The reason I was told was that, due to the large amounts of energy required to get us so far into the frozen lands, it would be far too obvious, even to the Griffins, if two of us were sent at once. That was also the reason for the two-man squad.

Immediately I began my travel to link up with Tank, according to pre-mission briefing, we were about 2 kilometers from each other, in a radius about 5 km from the Griffin outpost. The maps function built into my helmet, and quite a bit of blind luck, made my journey rather quick and painless. It probably helped that I’d quickly changed my armour from black to a much more fitting white and grey pattern.


Tank, it seems, had not been so lucky with his insertion. As I crested a hill, I saw my partner in combat against no less than four Griffin Blackguard, presumably the best of the best according to Werner, we had known there would be at least a few sent to such an important camp for such a fortuitous conquest as the Crystal Empire was.

Tank was handling himself quite well, easily dodging Griffin strikes, those that he didn’t being deflected by the modified Knight’s armour he wore. That being said, I figured I should help out at least a bit.

Shouldering my rifle I sighted one of the Griffins who was trying to hang back and lick his wounds, some rather savage cuts from one of the blades attached to Tank’s forelegs. There’s a reason you don’t take breaks in combat, and I pulled the trigger.

A loud bark was let loose from my rifle, quickly lost to the furious winds of the north, as the .50 cal round was sent flying from the barrel. Each bullet I had made myself, originally, and all the duplicates took on the qualities of the parent, thus, these were the finest Match Rounds in all of Equestria. As well as the only ones.

There’s a reason .50s are war crimes when used against infantry, because the head of the Blackguard exploded in a shower of gore, the red blood quickly covered by the never-ending snowfall. His friends didn’t even know he was gone, too taken up in their fighting. Tank saw, though, and glanced up to my position on the hill. He probably couldn’t see, but I gave him a nod as I sighted the next target in line.

A few moments later and another Griffin went down courtesy of a bullet to the head, and Tank easily took care of the remaining two as the assault got less furious due to the loss of combatants. Moments after that I had made my way down to the bottom of the hill, and Tank was chugging a healing potion.

“Fine fighting there, four Blackguards for one pony isn’t something you see everyday.” I offered him some praise, rather impressed at how he had shown no trouble in fighting them off, while at the same time looking towards the bodies for anything possibly useful.

“Bah, that was nothin’, had tougher fights in basic! That was some fine marksponyship from you, though, never seen a head blow like that before.” He replied, wiping the blood off his hoof-blades onto the snow beneath him.

“Compliments aside, our job awaits. From here we’re about 4 kilometers from the outpost, should be pretty easy going since there aren’t many hills in the way, but that also means we have to move through exposed land.” For his benefit I had brought a physical map with me in addition to the ones built into my armour, he easily understood what I was trying to explain with my hands, a far cry from some soldiers right out of basic.

“Well, beggars can’t be choosers. Just gotta hope these Blackguard were also the night-watch, and that this camo will be enough to get close.” He was almost completely professional, his gruff voice betraying years of service, and his tactical understanding explaining why he was chosen as my partner for this mission.

“Well, Tank, once more unto the breach.” And with that, we left, the bodies of the Blackguard quickly being covered in the northern snow.


About 40 minutes later and we were outside the camp, laying down on our bellies on one of the many snow drifts that provided at least some cover from the walls. It was rather impressive what the Griffins had been able to do in the short time the outpost had been up. The entire thing seemed rather overfull, for lack of a better word. Few of those you would expect at a base, and a surplus of soldiers. No rank insignias either, it seems they had learned not to mark their superiors so openly.

Sadly, that didn’t prevent their bodies and actions from giving away who was of a higher position. I gently shifted my rifle in the snow, allowing Tank to peer through the scope as I pointed out targets.

“Our first step should be taking out the command structure, this entire base needs to be destroyed, but it’ll be much easier to set explosives in the chaos of multiple assassinations than a head on assault would be.” I proposed to the earth pony who was looking through the rifle scope with intent.

“Makes sense to me, you got enough of those bombs for the both of us?” He replied, his gruff tone turning up near the end as his curiosity was piqued.

“As a matter of fact, yes. Werner, one of mine, cooked us up some very special toys. High yield, decent blast, and remote detonated.” I chuckled, manifesting the detonator in my hand just quick enough to give him a glance before safely hiding it away.

His only response was a nod as I passed him an even share of the explosives. There were two main sections of the camp, it was easy enough to agree that we’d each take one end, pull out, and then blow the fuckers to hell. Of course, that’d all be after throwing the camp into chaos with the deaths of their command.

Tank had his target, and I had mine. Thankfully, by the time either of them were found, it’d be too late for the griffins. The chaos and lack of coordination would ensure nobody was keeping an eye out for sabotage, and that would result in a mission success.


I didn’t waste time, the shadows were my home and in the night they were long. My blade sunk into the officer’s spine, and he fell like a puppet on cut strings as the shadows of flickering flame filled the room. I place him in his chair, facing away from the tent flap, leaving him looking to all the world as if he were asleep.

Exciting saw me forced to personally take out another griffin, a messenger sent to relay some question or other to the leader meant I had to ensure it’d take a bit longer than the few minutes this had all taken place in for the dead to be found. Hopefully they wouldn’t sent a backup messenger for the messenger, that’d just be excessive.

Ghosting into the night, I began setting charges in strategic locations. Masses of tents, mess halls, armouries, all of these were places to be destroyed first. That they happened to be the most important of places was, of course, by design. An hour had passed by the time my stock of explosives was gone, and so I made my way to our pre-decided meeting spot.

Tank wasn’t there, but this was expected. Propping my rifle against the ground, I sighted in and quickly found the only pony in the camp. He was surprisingly good at sneaking around for an earth pony in armour, or maybe these griffins were just particularly bad. Either way, I could see he was planting the last of his bombs, and would soon be leaving.

It was as he began making his way out of the base that I remembered how Murphy had a raging hate-boner for me.

It was sheer coincidence, unluckiness on an epic scale, a fuckin’ critical fail on the dice. A griffin turned his head at just the wrong time and saw Tank as he moved to another deep shadow. Of course, he called the alarm seconds later. Seconds after that, his head was missing.

It was too late though, sirens were going off all through the camp and Tank was running full sprint to the gate. He was clear for most of the way, it was only near the end shit started to fall apart. More griffins than I could take out in a timely manner began to swarm out, I picked off who I could and he was still ahead by a good distance, but they were gaining.

In the end, it was a simple choice to make as I thumbed the detonator. Tank would survive if he was somehow caught in the explosion, he wouldn’t survive if he was caught by the horde of griffins. But I am not a man of poor calculation, and though the shockwave staggered him, he continued to run as the base went up in flames. His pursuer pulped by the shockwave.

“You crazy bastard!” Were the first words out of his mouth, followed by a boisterous laugh that spoke volumes of his temperament. “You could’ve at least waited ‘till I cleared the gate!” He finished, walking over to me as I stood from my prone in the snow.

“I could have, but you were far enough away and they weren’t, waiting for you to clear the gate would’ve left all of them still chasing you.” I replied with a good natured chuckle, slinging my rifle as I motioned for him to walk with me.

“Yeah yeah, I see the logic behind it. Doesn’t mean I have to like it, I still can’t hear in my left ear.” He complained, although he didn’t seem to take it all that hard. “So, that’s it, we signal for home now?”

“That we do Tank, that we do. Mission accomplished and all that, although if you have some time I’d like to talk to you about something when we get back.”


“Me, really?” The look on his face could be called skeptical, at best.

“Indeed, you’ve proven yourself to be an exemplary soldier. Your record speaks well of you, and from my personal experience I’d be proud to fight beside you.” I replied, my helmet off in our first face to face conversation.

“I mean, I can’t say I’m not honored but… do you really think you need a grunt?” He asked, uncharacteristically lacking in confidence. I guess job interviews are universally stressful.

“On the contrary Tank, I think I really need a combat specialist. That specialist happens to be you. You have great skill in fighting, a level head on your shoulders, and I know from your past that you won’t hesitate to do things your own way to accomplish a mission. You are exactly the kind of person I need on my team.” Was my response, an easy smile accompanying my sell, after all it wasn’t like I didn’t want him with me.

“Well… a Tartarus I don’t know but… I’ll do it sir, I’ll be your specialist.” He agreed, a smile finally showing confidence on his face as his hoof met my hand.

“Very good Tank,” I said, dramatically rising from my chair, “your first day starts tomorrow, a courier will give you directions on the morrow, but for now take your well deserved rest.” I smiled again as I lead him out of my tent, people were generally more receptive when you looked friendly, and that was even more true in Equestria.

The team was finally coming together, with Tank’s addition I had everything I could want in a strike team. We were small, yes, but we all had varied skills and, under me, the authority to complete missions however was required.

Those Germans weren’t gonna know what hit them.

December 29th, 1189 Y.R.S.