Journeyman Speech Level Achieved!

by GeneralLiberator

First published

Sombra is misunderstood by ponies everywhere, both metaphorically and physically. If they could read his mind, they would understand...

Now with a dramatic reading by AShadowOfCygnus!

The name that makes ponies everywhere tremble.
The name that is the definition of cruelty.
The name that strikes fear into the hearts of all that hear it.
And that's really all that anypony can say. Ponies everywhere wonder what really goes on inside the head of the legendary crystal tyrant. What dreams and thoughts of malice could possibly sustain such cruelty?

What actually goes on inside Sombra's head might surprise everypony...

A big thanks to the amazing Mickeymonster for letting me use the cover art. Check it out here!

A Crystal Bicycle Built For Two...

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The sound of nearby voices roused him from his nap. He opened his red eyes up to look out from under the tree where he had been peacefully snoozing. A quick scan of the surrounding area did not take long, and he found the source of the voices.

Well, would you look at that.

A small group of foals ran across the grassy field, laughing and giggling happily as they did so. One was a white unicorn filly with a curly mane whose laugh was very easily identified by its squeaky nature. One was an orange pegasus filly with a messy fuchsia purple mane who seemed to be the speediest of the bunch. One was a yellow earth pony filly with a red mane, tied up with a rather oversized red bow.

There were two others as well, both of whom were colts. The first was a grey pegasus with a blown back black mane who was trying his very best to catch the orange pegasus filly. The other was a brown earth pony with a darker brown mane. His most discernable feature was a strange hat on his head that sported some type of spinning device on top of it.

The foals continued to scamper playfully around the field. The stallion hidden beneath the willow tree merely stared at them blankly.

For their own good, I pray that they don’t notice me and go on their way.

“Oh come on, Rumble!” The brown colt shouted at the grey pegasus colt in a rather whiny, nasally voice. “Try to catch somepony else!”

“Yeah give it up!” The orange filly taunted him as he missed another dive from above at her. “Even flying, you can’t catch me!”

“Oh really?” The colt called Rumble said with a smile. He then looked off in the distance with a fake shocked looked on his face before pointing. “Look Scootaloo! It’s Rainbow Dash!”

“WHERE?!” The filly Scootaloo asked excitedly, falling for the bait. No sooner had she turned her head did Rumble tackle her into the grass, with the two rolling before they came to a stop with Rumble holding her down. Rumble smirked while she pouted. “Hey, that’s not fair!”

“Too bad.” Rumble said as he climbed off of her. “You’re it.”

“Nice one, Rumble.” The white unicorn said with a giggle. “Only Scootaloo would fall for something like that.”

“Oh yeah, Sweetie Belle?” Scootaloo said as she turned to the unicorn with a grin. She pawed at the ground like a bull ready to charge. “Let’s see you eat those words!”

With that, Scootaloo took off after Sweetie, with the unicorn squealing with laughter trying to get away. The brown colt then started waving his hooves about.

“Don’t worry Sweetie! I’ll save you!” He said dramatically. “Hey Scootaloo…I…uhhh…” The brown colt looked down at the ground in thought, trying to think of a way to draw Scootaloo off Sweetie Belle. Rumble, seeing his friend’s lament, walked up to his fellow male compatriot and whispered something into his ear, making him perk up. “Hey Scootaloo, the Wonderbolts stink!”

“WHAT?!” Scootaloo turned to the brown colt with a look of pure and utter rage, which actually made him fold his ears down. He turned to Rumble with a pleading look.

“Better run, Button.” Rumble said with a sly smile.

Button took the advice and took off, with the enraged Scootaloo hot on his tail. Some of the others observed the chase with looks of unease, fearing that Scootaloo sincerely did want to hurt Button. Eventually she chased him over toward the tree, unaware of the current occupant who stood up as they neared. He stared at them as they came under the canopy, with Button not watching where he was going.

“You orange demon!” Button taunted her. “You shall never catch-“


Button was cut off as he collided with something. He stumbled backwards onto the ground, rubbing his head as he did so. Scootaloo soon caught up to him, seeing that he was hurt.

“Hey Button are you-“ She stopped and her pupils shrunk to pinpricks. “Button?” She practically squeaked his name.

“What?” He asked as he looked up to see what he had run into. His expression soon matched hers, and his ears folded down.

The large black, red-eyed stallion stared down at the two of them, his eyes seeming to glow in the shade of the tree. A red cape ran along his back, with heavy looking armor plates covering his torso and legs. His horn was a blood red color and curved upward in a rather unnatural way. His expression was completely blank as he gazed upon the two foals, who looked rather terrified at his presence. He carefully regarded them.

Well, I have to admit, they are quite adorable.

“Button Mash! Scootaloo!”

The stallion turned to see the other three come under the tree and stop alongside their comrades. They all froze upon seeing that their two friends were not the only ones there. Sweetie gave a slight squeak and huddled up close to Button. Almost every one of them looked scared out of their wits as the stallion continued to stare.

Poor things. Here they are enjoying a game, and it suddenly gets crashed by me.

The only one who seemed to be calm was the earth pony filly, and she showed her bravery by stepping forward toward the stallion.

“Apple Bloom!” Sweetie called to her. “What are you doing?”

“Y’all need to relax.” Apple Bloom said with a drawl in her voice. She turned to shoot them all a scolding look. “Just because he looks different doesn’t mean he’s a monster! Remember what happened with Zecora?”

They all were silent for a moment before their expressions relaxed significantly, remembering the incident with the zebra. They all looked back up at the stallion as Apple Bloom turned to him with a smile.

“Howdy, mister!” She chirped cheerfully. “Sorry about mah friends here. They didn’t mean nuthin’ by it.”

Such a brave, yet friendly little one, isn’t she? Very admirable qualities.

“Anyway, mah name is Apple Boom.” She said in a chipper voice. “What’s yer name?”

The stallion just merely stared at them all, completely unmoving. His expression was still completely blank, not revealing anything at all. The five foals all looked at him with their big expressive eyes, waiting for an answer.

Such friendly innocence. Usually others would be so hesitant toward newcomers, and yet here is this one treating me like a long lost friend. And those eyes of theirs…so full of life and energy. It is the good kind of naivety, where they believe that the world is theirs for the making. True, someday they will inherit it from us older ponies, and if they keep up such positives demeanors, they will surely make it a better place.

“Uh…mister?” Apple Bloom asked after a half a minute of silence with a cocked eyebrow. “Are ya ok?” The others all looked at him quizzically, waiting for him to say something.

I want to tell them yes, that everything is fine. I want to tell them not to worry about me, and to go back and enjoy their game while I take my leave. I want to tell them to have fun and spread joy above all else. I want to tell them to enjoy life to the fullest, for it is a grand adventure for all of us.

I want to tell them to love and to never hate, for it will not achieve anything for you other than misery.

They all continue to stare, looks ranging from confuse to unease. The stallion stared right back blankly.

Yes…that is all what I want to say.

However, what actually comes out of my mouth is-

I WILL EAT YOUR SOULS!!!” The dark stallion suddenly roared at them, his horn glowing and his eyes spewing green fire off to the sides.

Huh. Close enough.

The foals all went pale faced and let off terrified shrieks before fleeing off in different directions, screaming bloody murder. The only ones who don’t are Button and Sweetie, who instead fainted in fear right on the spot. Button’s leg gave an involuntary twitch.

The stallion merely stared down at the unconscious pair blankly before shrugging and walking off. He exited from under the tree and began his trek across the field, the tall grass parting for his large form.

This…is me.

“TARTARUS HATH NO FURY LIKE MINE!” The stallion screamed at nopony in particular as he walked.

Well, not fully me. I am merely the better half, trapped up inside this prison of a brain. The one currently driving the body is the…well…not better half.

“DEMONS TO MARCH UPON THE LAND, I SUMMON THEE!” The stallion shouted into the air. However, no demons came, and he continued to walk with a flat expression.

You can clearly see why.

I don’t even remember how it happened. And I sincerely doubt he can remember either. Not that I would bother asking. Nowadays, all that comes out of that mouth is madness laced with empty threats.


My point exactly.

Not like I haven’t tried reasoning with him. Believe me, I have. I like to think of myself as the voice of reason, which is actually rather funny if you think about it. The voice of reason is a voice inside of the head of a raving maniac who needs no reason to scare a group of sweet foals to death.


Yes buddy, I’m sure they will.

I know that he can hear me. Every once in a blue moon, he chooses to actually listen and heed the advice I give him. Granted, it is always in form of small things such as “Sombra, don’t eat that glowing blue flower” or “Sombra, don’t poke that sleeping Hydra with a stick.”

Those are all menial things though. Faust forbid, whenever something big comes up, he doesn’t listen. Things like “Sombra, don’t try to enslave an entire Empire” or “Sombra, don’t challenge two goddesses to a duel” generally get ignored.

Maybe he is ignoring me just to spite me, and show the little voice in his head who is boss. Or maybe he just doesn’t care. Again, I don’t know. What it boils down to is that I am mainly just along for the ride.


The nutjob ride.

The last time he went off the deep end, we ended up facing off against an alicorn, her husband, her sister-in-law, her friends, and a little green dragon. Good old Sombra here once again tried to bring his fury down upon all those in his way.

It didn’t end well for us.

The last thing I remember is us getting hit by a gigantic wave of pure love and happiness, which to Sombra is like burning acid. I can only guess that we were defeated.


But lo and behold, we awoke a few days ago in a field, far away from the Frozen North that we called home. Sombra may be a complete nimrod, but he certainly knows his way around dark magic. How that works, I don’t even know. It took a while, a few months perhaps, but eventually our body reformed and we breathed the sweet scent of life again.

The bad news is that the process left him almost completely drained of magic, which is slowly recovering. I don’t know how long it will take, but in the meantime, he can do little more than cast a few rudimentary spells and scare young foals.

Needless to say, the lack of magic made him rather…irritated.


The sun was beginning to set in the sky as Sombra continued to walk, coming along the edge of a tree line. The forest beyond looked rather menacing, with the trees twisted up in very unnatural ways. He stopped for a moment to stare at it, the dark abyss beyond giving off a very bone-chilling aura.

The Everfree. I remember legends of this place. An untamed wild teeming with dangerous beasts and undiscovered mysteries. A place where even the vilest of beings dare to tread. A place unlike anywhere else in the known world.

“BOW TO ME, FOREST!” Sombra screamed into the trees. “FOR I AM YOU NEW-URGHAHH!” Sombra head twitched to the side as he let out a series of garbles and warbs.

Ok, first off, how is a forest going to bow to you? And second: What have I told you about touching up on your speech skills?

Sombra got up onto both hindlegs and shot his hooves into the air. “THE VERY HEAVENS WILL TREMBLE BEFORE ME!”

And how exactly would they do that, hmm? How exactly do you intend to make clouds shake? Better yet, what would be the point of making them tremble? Do you even think about these things before you say them?

“BURNING RAGE!” Sombra screamed as he waved his hooves in all directions. “BURNING RAGE EVERYWHERE!”

Guess not.

“Urgh!” Sombra let out a pained grunt before turning and continuing his trek along the tree line. The sun had now finally set, and in its place the full moon rose high above. The light from the lunar body illuminated the ground as he walked.

Ahh. It is times like this that I like to metaphorically sit back and relax. It is a great time to think about the world and everything in it-


-because everything has a purpose in its existence. We are all pieces of the great puzzle called life, with each and every piece playing a part, whether large or small. The great tapestry of the universe-


-is without limit. No matter how hard we may try, we will never even scratch the surface of understanding it. So much potential, and yet we will never reach it. It is almost saddening. Wondering how things could have been if we had followed a different path. If we could have just-


You know Sombra, I really wish you would have just listened to me. You know I only want the best for us. For you. Don’t you understand that?

Sombra stopped in his trek. They were in the middle of a rocky clearing next to the forest, with a clear view of the sky above. Sombra furrowed his brow, almost as if thinking about the voice’s words.

It’s not too late to change. Think on your past mistakes. Realize where you went wrong. Accept the truth and it will-


*sigh* Well, A for effort to me. I will pin it up on my metaphorical fridge with the thousands of others.

Sombra then took deep breaths, calming himself down before looking up. It was a fantastic night, that was for certain. The moon was full, the stars were out, the nebulas were painted across the sky, and the shadowy figure flew across the-

Wait, what?

Sombra squinted his eyes at the anomaly, and eventually the shape of a pony’s body, along with wings, were clear in his vision against the night sky. The figure descended and landed further away in the rocky clearing, facing away from Sombra. It turned its head to reveal the face of-

Sweet Faust up above…I don’t believe it…

Princess Luna, the Mistress of the Night herself, sat down on her haunches and looked up into the night sky. Perhaps she was out for a nighttime flight, but what are the odds that she landed right here in this clearing? She gazed up into sky above, perhaps admiring her own work. Judging by the content look she had on her face, accompanied by the peaceful sigh, she did not detect Sombra yet.

Alright, maybe we can just quietly slip away before she-

“Arf?” Sombra grunted like a confused dog. Luna sharply turned her head in his direction.

Well, so much for that.

“Who is there?” Luna called out to the shadow figure across the clearing. Sombra merely stood where he was, not moving. “No need to fear! Please show thyself!”

Luna sat up and began to walk forward. The distance between the two was closed, and she gasped when Sombra came into view in the moonlight.

“You…” She narrowed her eyes.

Oh my Faust, I had nearly forgotten who I was dealing with here. The Princess of the Night herself, in all her wrath and glory…

“You…” She stomped forward, each of her hoof falls cracking the ground. “Fiend!”

She is the mare that controls the very realm of dreams itself. One spell cast by her and we would suffer nightmares for the rest of our existence…

“How are you still alive?!” She demanded. “You should have died in the Frozen North when Twilight and her friends defeated you!”

She is still the mare that I remember…with that same righteous fury that could cut us down like ripe wheat…

“Well, I know not how you survived…” She said as her wings extended. “But your reign of terror shall never again plague this world!”

She is still the one who defeated us in single combat all of those years ago, even after her sister had been disabled by us. And then she banished us away into a dark prison where we sat for 1000 years…

“I do not need my sister’s help against you!” Luna said as she took a defensive stance. “I defeated you by myself before, and I will do it again!”

She is still the same vengeful princess from so long ago, wielding power that I cannot even imagine…

“And now you will truly taste the wrath of-“ Luna stopped for a moment and cocked an eyebrow. “Uhh, why are thou looking at us like that?”

Sombra stood there, his eyes wide taking in Luna’s form, a look of complete and utter awe plastered on his face. His mouth hung wide open.

She is still the most beautiful mare I have ever laid my eyes upon.

“Garb?” Sombra mumbled, making Luna’s eyebrow rise even further. He continued to stare at her dumbly.

Tell her she is as gorgeous as a thousand full moons!

Tell her that the works of all the most legendary painters and ballad composers will not even come close to doing justice to her beauty!

Tell her that all of the stars up above combined cannot compare to the majesty of her shining blue eyes!

“NARPLE!” Sombra grunted loudly.

Luna narrowed her eyes. “You may try to confuse me fiend…” Her horn lit up with a glow and she resumed her stomping forward. “…but it will not change your fate!”

Oh crap. Quick, tell her that you mean her no harm!

Sombra cocked an eyebrow, clearly not understanding what was about to happen.

Remember that you don’t have your powers back yet, buddy. Therefore, she could easily turn you into a black stain on the ground!

Tell her that you have changed! Tell her that you want to be different, that if given a chance, you will make the absolute most of it!

Luna stopped a fair distance away while Sombra merely stared blankly.

Tell her that you want to be redeemed, that you wish to let go of your hate. Ask her to care for you, teach you to love so that you in turn may love others!

Tell her that you at last want to turn away from your evil path, and whatever you do, DO NOT scream the words “crystal” or “slaves” at the top of your lungs!

All was silent for a few seconds as Sombra and Luna continued to stare at each other. Finally, he opened his mouth.

“ANOTHER SLAVE TO MINE MY CRRRRSSSTALLLLSSSS!” He shouted while pointing a hoof at Luna with an evil grin.

Luna stood silent for a few moments before her eyes narrowed and the glow of her horn intensified.

Well, this is the end.

Sombra jumped back as a blue bolt of magic impacted the ground in front of him, making a sizable crater.

After all of the crap that you put us through that we just barely managed to survive, we are finally going to die.

Sombra screamed as he zigzagged across the rocky clearing, all the while dodging the hail of magical bolts that rained down around him.

And since you currently don’t have your full magic power, we won’t be able to come back. Not this time.

Sombra dove behind a large boulder as Luna continued to fire off her magic. The projectiles struck and chipped away at Sombra’s cover as he huddled behind it.

I am not even going to bother saying I told you so.

As Sombra continued to cower behind the rock, a bit of movement from the tree line caught his eye. He looked over to see multiple shadowy shapes prowling along the edges of the forest. Glowing green eyes were all that he could make out before they stepped out into the clearing.

Oh goodie. The timberwolves are coming out to play.

The wooden wolves began to stalk out of the trees as Luna continued to fire at the boulder.

Well, maybe we can make our escape while Luna is busy slaughtering them. Then we can once again go back to our routine roaming the land while you scream at random passerby and I think about how much I hate-wait, why is she still firing at us?

Indeed, the Princess of the Night continued her assault against the boulder, completely oblivious to the two dozen or so timberwolves that began to creep towards her from behind. The creatures bared their wooden fangs, which dripped with glowing green sap.

Well isn’t she a persistent one.

Turn around Luna. Turn around or you’re dead!

Obviously the inner voice’s warning was unheard by all except Sombra, who merely stared out from behind the boulder. A bolt struck the rock near where his head was, and he again retreated behind the cover.

Ok, Sombra. I know how much you love to scream. Now scream at Luna to turn around.

Sombra once again popped his head out.

“YOU ARE NO MATCH FOR ME, PUNY FLEDGLING!” He shouted before once again ducking behind the rock.

No! Tell her that she is in danger, but not from you!

Sombra again poked his head out.

“THE SHADOW COMES FOR YOU, THIS NIGHT!” He let out a shriek as a bolt passed mere inches from her head, making him take cover yet again.

Sombra, listen to me: just scream “timberwolves.” That’s all I am asking of you. “Timberwolves.”

Sombra looked up at Luna again before pointing a hoof.


No! Timberwolves!


I can appreciate that you are actually trying, but it is not getting anywhere.

The timberwolves were now dangerously close to the oblivious Luna. The latter wanted “justice”, while the former wanted blood. In a few more seconds they would be on her, and she wouldn’t even see it coming.

Sombra sat behind the rock, gritting his teeth.

Sombra, listen to me. Do you see that pretty princess out there?

Sombra cocked an eyebrow. “Pretty…Prin…cess?”

Yes buddy, pretty princess. She is about to be killed, all because she is currently too focused on you. Therefore, you are the only one who can stop it.

Sombra took another peek out at her. Indeed, she was very pretty. Her dark blue coat and waving ethereal mane seemed to shine in the light of her moon up above. It was all accented by her gorgeous blue eyes. Indeed, it was a very pretty scene indeed.

Well, despite the fact that she had a look of complete rage on her face, and also the huge pack of timberwolves who were about to tear her to pieces.

Sombra gritted his teeth again, even harder this time.

If you don’t do something, she is going to die, and it’s going to be your fault!

“GRAAAAH!” Sombra let out a loud, frustrated shout before leaping into the air and standing on the boulder he was previously hiding behind. “LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU, PRETTY PRINCESS!” His horn glowed, mustering up what little magic it had, before a dark bolt of energy flew out of it towards Luna.

The sudden action startled Luna, who stopped her attacks. She was even more startled by the magical bolt heading towards her. Before she even had time to react, the projectile was upon her, but instead of impacting her like she feared, it passed right by her head. There was an explosion behind her, accompanies by a few yelps of pain.

She turned her head to see the spot where three timberwolves had previously been, now nothing more than charred piles of wood. Then she noticed for the first time the large pack of them that had been flanking her. The pack was as surprised by the sudden attack as Luna was, and stopped to gawk at the burned heaps of wood that had once been their comrades. Luna was brought out her reverie when a shadowy figure ran past her, charging and screaming at the timberwolves.

Sombra was a wild, dark blur, striking each of the beasts with both his magic and his armored hooves. Both resulted in a lot of flying wood and terrified yelps. One wolf was blasted to pieces, while another had its head bucked clean off. The pack was whittled down quickly, with the smart ones turning and fleeing back to the trees. Sombra smiled a wicked smile, panting heavily from the depletion of what little magic reserves he had.


His victory cry was cut off by the sound of a growl behind him. He turned just in time to see the massive alpha of the pack lunging through the air towards him, teeth bared and ready to tear him to pieces. He did not have time to move. He did not have time to think. He only had time to close his eyes and prepare for the end.

Instead, he was treated the sound of a yelp, along with displeased growls.

He opened his eyes again to see the wolf in the air a few feet from him, suspended in a glowing blue field. The wolf thrashed and growled, but was unable to break itself out of the powerful spell.

Sombra turned to see Luna walking up beside him, her horn glowing a blue to match that of the field. She turned to look at him quizzically before the glow on her horn briefly intensified. The alpha wolf was then thrown by the telekinetic force, flying clear out of the clearing and over the tree line where it disappeared into the forest, giving a terrified howl as it did so.

Sombra watched the timberwolf disappear before turning to the one who had saved him. Luna stared at him blankly. He stared right back.

It was probably a good ten seconds before she spoke up.

“You saved me.” She said in a hushed voice with a look of disbelief.

Sombra smiled a big toothy grin, revealing his fangs. Instead of being frightened by it, Luna merely matched it with a small one of her own. No sooner had her smile come did it disappear, replaced with a frown.

“Well, I can certainly appreciate what you did, however…” She narrowed her eyes at him. “It does not change what you did in the past. You are still a criminal by Equestria’s standards. Surrender yourself now, and I will be merciful.”

Well, this is usually the part where I say that everything is going to be just fine, but I know how you work Sombra.

Sombra’s smiled disappeared before a confused look crossed his face.

Now that we finally have a chance to redeem ourselves and end this torment, you are probably going to say or do something to screw it up. And nothing I say is going to change that.

Sombra blinked and remained silent for a few moments.

Well, go ahead. We haven't got all night.

Sombra listened to the voice, who sounded very displeased. He then looked back to Luna, who stared at him with a cocked eyebrow.

What he did next surprised both the voice and Luna greatly.

Sombra rushed forward, and Luna, fearing an attack, began to charge her horn. Instead, Sombra reached out, took her hoof in his…

…and kissed it.

“A Shadow…” He said in a low voice as he gazed deep into her eyes with his half lidded. “…for the Night.”


A look of pure and utter bewilderment came onto Luna’s face, and the glow on her horn fizzled out. Even at night, even under her dark coat, the blush could not be missed.


“I…erm…” Luna retracted her hoof from Sombra’s grasp and took a few uneasy steps back. “Well I must say that was certainly…ahem…unexpected. To say the least.”

No seriously. Somepony tell me. What just happened?

Luna coughed and straightened herself up. “While my previous statement still stands, perhaps there is a better way for this to end rather than me banishing you…”

Sombra stared at her with a cocked eyebrow and tilted his head slightly to the side.

“So Sombra…” She began with a slight smile. “I offer thee a proposition. My sister recently managed to oversee the reformation and rehabilitation of the Spirit of Disharmony himself. If Discord managed to be reformed...” She had a hopeful look in her eyes. “…then perhaps you too will consider it?”

Oh dear Faust above…this is really happening isn’t it? Alright, Sombra. Say yes, you can do it!

Luna stared at Sombra expectantly, waiting for a reply. The former tyrant of the Crystal Empire just stood stone faced, carefully considering what was being offered to him.

Finally, after a minute, he gave Luna a very warm smile.

YES! Finally, after so long, this nightmare will finally be over! Praise the gods, both old and new!

Now we can finally live like a normal pony. We can learn what it means to be happy through the happiness of others. After so long, it is finally-

“YOU WOULD LOOK LOVELY IN A SLAVE COLLAR!” Sombra suddenly screamed at Luna with a big, dumb grin before going slightly cross-eyed.

I hate my metaphorical life.