That Freezing Touch

by FreudTastic

First published

Ponyville is invaded by the Groke, and the Mane Six have to find out how to make her leave.

PonyVille... a town of peace and serenity, even in a dark season like the winter, and everypony is just minding their own business and going on with their every-day life... that is, until both Twilight Sparkle and Spike encounters something horrid, of unnatural dread and cold, and are barely saved from a certain, icy tomb. After discovering the identity of the monstrous being called 'The Groke', everypony of the Mane Six, along with Spike, has to find out why and how the Groke has found its way to PonyVille, or eternal cold may descend upon them!

My first Pony Fic, please be gentle on your criticism! Will be writing more chapters when I have the time.

A Chilling Encounter

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The snowy winds were raging hard outside of Twilight’s library as the winter was still far from over, and all the ponies in Ponyville had sought refuge in their homes during the relatively small, yet still raging blizzard. Spike had just managed to get a big, nice and cozy fire blazing in the fireplace, and Twilight sighed for herself as she was looking through some of the books in her shelves.

“Seriously, did it have to burst up into a blizzard right now?” she asked herself as her horn glowed and she stacked a few books up in two piles. “These books have to get delivered to Zecora today, and I have to walk through this weather? Give me a break!”

“Well, you did kind of plan a bad day to deliver books on, Twilight…” Spike said modestly as he picked out Twilight’s book-bags which he’d help strap onto her back and around her belly. “I mean, you heard what Rainbow Dash and the other Weather Pegasi told you; harsh blizzard expected on Saturday afternoon!” the violet unicorn just groaned as she was proved to have picked a bad time, but just scoffed a bit.

“Fine, I was wrong this time around. But I’m still going to get these books out on time. I mean, it’s just a really snowy weather, we can deal with that, can’t we?” she smiled a bit as she stepped into a winter coat, using her magic to pull up the zipper until it was shut, and then put on two pairs of thick winter boots, along with her scarf around her neck. “There we go! Spike, you ready to go?” she asked, turning to notice Spike being dressed in a rather ridiculously thick jacket which made him look all poofed up. “Oh Spike… well, that’s the only coat I have in your size, so I hope you can bear with it…”

“Not a problem, Twilight!” he said as he gave her a thumbs up, but then his ear twitched a bit, as if he was catching something. “Hm? What was that?” he waddled up to the window to look out at the flurry of snow that was blowing past it, as well as the snow-covered ground out on the streets of Ponyville. What had he heard? Probably the wind… but no, wait. There was something out there… not somepony, but… something… he couldn’t see too clear with all the snow blocking the view, but what he managed to make out was something that, for some unclear reason, made him shudder with an unknown fear; far away, he could see the blurred-out figure of something shaped as a hill, slowly dragging itself along the snowy ground, before it turned itself to face right in his direction, and Spike could make out two gleaming dots in the dark figure, and a sinister-looking frown. As if to top off Spike’s horrible discovery, he could’ve sworn he heard a distant sound… a growl;


“WAAAAAH!” Spike jumped away from the window and rushed right underneath Twilight Sparkle, hiding underneath her and coiling his tail up in fear. Twilight just gasped a bit as the dragon rushed underneath her and looked down at him, tilting one of her brows.

“Spike, what has flown into you?” she asked him with a gentle tone of voice, leaning her head down to nuzzle him as he was just shivering.

“O-O-O-O-O-Outside…” Spike stammered and whimpered, holding over his eyes and shaking while Twilight shrugged a bit and moved over to look outdoors. Looking out the window, she saw…… nothing.

“Spike, what in all of Equestria is it that you are sputtering about? There’s nothing outside the window…” she told him as he’d perk his head up a bit from his fetal position.

“B-But it was there! I saw it! Something big and scary…” he whimpered as he stood up, holding his tail nervously and fiddling with the tip of it. Twilight just rolled her eyes at him as she’d walk up to the two small piles of books, using her magic to levitate them into the bags on her back, shutting them as well.

“Oh don’t be silly, Spike! No one would be crazy enough to go out in a weather like this!” she told him firmly as he was about to open his mouth again, and as she noticed him about to protest about the fact that they were going out in it, she turned and looked sternly at him. “No ‘buts’, young man! Look, I’m sorry I’m kind of sounding mean… but we have to get these books to Zecora! I know she lives in the Everfree Forest, and that it is kind of dark outside with the snow and winter and what-not, but we can’t keep a fellow Pony waiting. After all, she did help us all out when we were struck by Poison Joke…” remembering that time, Spike couldn’t resist a small, muffled chuckle as he’d hold his snout to keep himself from laughing out loud, and Twilight just frowned a bit. “Just… let’s be on our way, alright?”

“Right, coming!” Spike piped out as he’d run up to Twilight and leap up on her back, the pony smiling as she’d nod and open the door… the moment she did, both of them were met by a face-full of snow as the winds blowing were keeping the door open, and they struggled their best to get out, and Twilight closed the door with some effort, sighing afterwards.

“This is gonna be a long trip…”


Luckily for both Twilight Sparkle and Spike, however, it seemed that the weather seemed to calm down during their walk towards Everfree Forest, the horrible gales having reduced to only a few small gusts of wind by now, and the snow falling less frequently. Twilight was just glad that the weather had settled down to a more favorable level, whilst Spike was still fretting slightly over the slightest noise that was made around them.

“Spike, honestly…” the violet unicorn stopped for a while and looked over at him. “What is it that’s got you so spooked? I mean, you’re never this scared of something. Especially something that clearly doesn’t exist.”

“B-B-But I did see it!” Spike whined a bit as he looked around frantically; trying to make sure they were okay. He hadn’t seen whatever it was for a while now, but the mere sight of it had made him hope that they’d never encounter it, whatever it was.

“Well, what exactly was it?” Twilight demanded, smirking a bit as she knew that she’d be able to outsmart Spike.

“Well, it was… it was… I don’t know, the snow was too thick in the wind!” the dragon frowned a bit as Twilight pulled her tactics.

“A-ha! So therefore it could have been anything! Maybe it was just Big Mac or someone else.” She said, slightly victorious in her tone, before chuckling with a soft smile. “Don’t worry Spike, I’m sure it was nothing special. Now let’s get these books to Zecora, and we’ll be back in the library before you’ll say ‘Okey-dokey-lokey’!” she just realized she sounded like Pinkie Pie, and sighed a bit, face-hoofing herself. “Why do I use those terms…” she muttered, but then noticed something else; the world around them had turned a lot darker, and as she looked up, the skies had all been clouded up with dark clouds. “What’s this… the clouds are blocking out the sun… oh well, I bet the Weather Pegasi will be on it…” she said as she went on, walking towards the opening to Everfree Forest, with Spike still clutching onto her back tightly.

“I-I just don’t know about this…” he said slowly as he looked around the now much darker forest, the only light being provided being the subtle ‘glow’ coming from the snow’s pearl white blankets. “I-I mean, I’ve heard of dark mornings, but this is silly! It’s not supposed to be this dark in the morning!”

“It’s just how the Everfree Forest usually is, Spike.” Twilight told him dismissively as she kept walking onwards, not really being intimidated by their darkened surroundings. She had been scared a few earlier times, but after living in Ponyville for a while, she didn’t really think of it as scary anymore. Besides, right now she was focused on getting the books to Zecora, and nothing else. She wanted this to be over with as quick as possible so he and Spike could enjoy some hot cocoa and marshmallows in front of their fireplace, while waiting for spring to turn around the corner. The snow crunched softly under her dressed hooves as she walked, taking the quickest way to Zecora she knew of. What she didn’t notice, however, was that behind her, some of the winter-blooming flowers and grass were beginning to die down, and wither at a very quickened pace. One who did notice this, however, was Spike, and he cowered behind Twilight’s tail as he saw this. This was way more unnatural than the Everfree Forest usually got. Just then, he heard that noise again.


“A-Aahh… T-T-Twilight…” Spike stammered as he heard the growling sounds, ears flattening to his head as he clattered with his teeth. Twilight just rolled his eyes.

“Will you calm down a bit, Spike?” she demanded. “It was probably nothing more than the wi-“

“Ggggrrrrrrrrrhhh…” the growl was suddenly heard again, like it was very close to them, and right after that, the sound of trees breaking behind them echoed in the forests, making even Twilight Sparkle stop dead in her tracks. A shiver ran along her spine.

“T-T-That was probably just a Timber Wolf, S-Spike… w-we can take it easily…” she stammered too, realizing Spike had been telling the truth by now. She took one more step forward…


“A-A-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! T-TWILIGHT!!” Spike yelled as he yanked in her mane and tried to make her look behind herself, and while the mare yelped and almost jumped into the air from the shock, she was just about to scold Spike… when she got a glance behind herself. And that’s when her entire body became rigid as a stick, her limbs refusing to move even if she’d scream at them to run, and her eyes wide in both shock and fear. What she saw behind herself was out of this world, and whatever it did to her, it was making her freeze to the core of her little pony body, and feel an unspeakable feeling of horror and dread; The thing was a towering, ghost-like creature with a hill-shaped body, a big, hideous nose, and two long-fingered hands. But the most hideous, fearful detail of its body was those two, soulless gleaming eyes, staring down at her like a pair of headlights, and that big, shining white-teethed frown on its face. Its growls were heard clear as daylight by now, and from what she would notice near its robe-like bottom, the ground was frozen solid. But she was just frozen in place by looking at it, not knowing what to do. Scream her lungs out for help? Run as soon as she could muster herself to do so? Confront it with her magic? No, she dared not do the latter, or the first… she just wanted to run. But she couldn’t!

“W-W-W-W-W-W-W-What…” she stammered for a long time, just staring up at the horrible, dread-inspiring being. “W-W-What is that……”


Once more with its intimidating growl, the being suddenly took one step towards Twilight, dragging its body along the ground. Twilight yelped in fear, wanting to crawl up into a ball and hide somewhere… but she still couldn’t move. Spike, however, tried to be brave as he leaped up from Twilight’s back and stood in front of her.

“D-D-D-Don’t you dare take another step towards her!” he’d threaten the unknown being, stammering still, but standing his ground. “I-I-If you as much as touch her, you’ll have a dragon on your neck! I’m warning y-“ but as Spike would look again, the monster was towering above him, glaring down at him with those soulless eyes, just standing still over him. Spike gulped loudly, before realizing one of its hands began moving towards him. “W-W-Wait, w-what… w-w-what are you doing?! N-No! Stop! D-D-Don’t touch me! NO! STO-“ his voice was suddenly silenced as all that was heard afterwards was ice-cold silence. Twilight gasped as she heard his voice’s sudden end, and looked up to see Spike… frozen solid. His tiny little body covered in a thin layer of ice, even with some icicles hanging from his nose, tail and hands.

“SPIKE!” she screamed in fear, not wanting to believe that her baby dragon was frozen solid, but was then realizing that it was getting colder around her, and she was soon shaken down to her very foundations as she felt the looming gaze of the being now traveling upon her body. She saw no way out; her limbs would not obey her, her voice was betraying her, and she was cornered by the giant being as its hand stretched out for her, prepared to encase her in an equally icy tomb……

That’s when finally, all the fear and coldness in her body came to her senses, and she blacked out.


“Wake up, wake up, you dread-filled filly! Pray that the monster has not scared you silly…”

“U-uuugh… my head…” Twilight would feel herself come to her senses again, shaking her head as she woke up, finding herself to be someplace warm again, finally. She took her time to get used to the blurry vision, but finally straightened it out and saw she was in Zecora’s hut, her body being warm and thankfully not turned to ice, and finally saw the zebra in front of her. “Z-Zecora?”

“It’s good to hear you’re awake, my friend… but don’t be hasty to call me a heaven-send…” she spoke in her native tone, walking over to a pot with boiling water, where Spike was lying, thawed out of his icy coverage and just relaxing as good as he could, with the horrible memories he had. “Your little one seems to take it well. But I can tell, his mind has gone through hell.” Zecora spoke anew as she’d push a rare tome up to Twilight, showing her a text and an old image of the same being she had encountered, and Twilight shivered slightly at just seeing it. “Just read, and behold. A monster from Ponytales of old.” Twilight peered at the text, and began reading.

“The… Groke… an ancient being said to be as old as Equestria itself. She is said to be the embodiment of loneliness, having been born long before ponies ever wandered this earth, and longs for a friend of her own. She got so lonely, in fact, that the ground around her started to get cold from the sheer amount of loneliness she felt, and finally, things began to freeze from her touch. Some say she has been forbidden to ever be with anypony, because of her mere appearance putting fear in anyone’s hearts, or because of her power to freeze anything she touches. And others claim that all she wants to cause is misery for those who have friends in their lives. One thing is certain though; if you take something the Groke values highly…” the last part she read with a gulp; “S-She’ll chase you for eternity…”

“This is what I fear, for all of Ponyville… if someone’s taken Groke’s prize, it will all be downhill…”

Gathering the Mane 6; Part 1

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“This is… not good.” Twilight stammered a bit as she read the final part, Zecora closing the book once she was finished. “If somepony in PonyVille has taken this… Groke’s most valued object… then all of us could be in serious danger! I mean, look what she did to Spike!”

“I don’t even wanna call that thing a she!” Spike piped up as he was getting out of the brewing pot and drying off. “Even if it is a she, she’s the most ugliest thing I’ve se-“ Zecora quickly shut Spike up with a hoof to his mouth.

“Be quiet fool, and think before talking! There’s no telling where the Groke might be walking.” She warned him, before letting go of his mouth, and went up to her pot again, stirring it a few times. “It is safe to go back now, however, which you should. I can’t keep you here forever; it would not do any good.” Twilight just nodded slowly as she and Spike were told to go back, but she was still scared to go out. What if that Groke thing still was out there? What if she’d appear right behind a corner? Carefully, she nudged the door open, her eyes closed as she just listened for anything; something dragging along the ground, a crunch of snow, a growl… but no such sounds came. She opened her eyes, and saw that the clouds had all disappeared, and the weather was surprisingly clear, with the sun shining down.

“But… But this…” she said, trying to find a logical reason behind it all. “This can’t be… the weather was awful just a few seconds ago! How can it be so clear right now?”

“The Groke causes more than the ground to turn grim; when she walks in the sun, the skies will go dim.” Zecora explained as she kept fixing with her ointments and potions, and Spike went up to his mother-figure, patting her flank gently.

“Don’t worry, Twilight… I may have been frozen last time, but this time, if I so much as see that thing, she’s roasted!” he promised, trying to be brave for Twilight, so that she’d at least be a little comforted. It worked, as the violet unicorn smiled softly, with a small nod.

“Thanks, Spike… you’re a very brave little dragon.” She said as she’d lift him up on her back, and then walked away from Zecora’s hut. The walk was excruciatingly long for the two of them, or at least it felt that way as they looked around themselves with each step they took, at each turn they rounded, and with each, slight noise they heard. It was evident that the experience had done more than just scared them up a great amount, but finally, they both exited the Everfree Forest, without meeting that horrible thing again…

Or so they thought.


“Twilight…” Spike whimpered a bit as he hid behind her mane. “She’s… back!” Twilight was worried as well. She did not want to face that horrible being again if she could choose not to, but that growling noise hadn’t come from any place close to them, luckily. However, it did come from…

“Wait…” she said, as she tried hearing it again. She heard the same growling noise again, and then she was assured of where it came from… which made her even more worried. “That came from Sweet Apple Acres! Oh god, if Applejack is there, she’s in trouble! Spike, hold on tight!” she told Spike as the dragon clutched onto her mane, and her horn began glowing brightly as there was a bright flash of light, and then both of them were gone. She had teleported to Sweet Apple Acres, but she hoped it was not too late.



”Hey, wha’ in the hay do ya think yer doin’?!” Applejack shouted at the unknown, rather scary being that had invaded her farm’s perimeters, which was now strolling across the apple tree fields, all the new sprouts and plants having withered away since long ago. Sure, she was feeling rather cold in its presence, and it made her shiver just a bit, but if anyone dared to damage or ruin her apple plants, they’d be lucky if she hadn’t already Apple Bucked them into next week. “Get outta ‘ere right this instant, or I’ma send Big Mac on ya! Ya ‘ear me?!” but the Groke didn’t seem to listen, or care. She was just looking at her with that gloomy, scary frown of hers, and her glaring eyes.


“Ya heard mah sister! Get outta ‘ere!” a bright yellow filly shot out from underneath Applejack as she rushed right up to the Groke, not a single ounce of fear in her on the outside. Applebloom was just as protective of the farm as Applejack, and she wasn’t gonna let some big ghost destroy it. “Or I’ma get mah Crusaders and trample ya on yer toes!” suddenly, the Groke seemed to look at Applebloom with a slight smile, but even that was creeping both the Apple Family Ponies out.

“Ggrrrhh!” the Groke was growling in a somewhat happy tone, and began to stretch her arms out for the small filly, who’d instantly change attitude from a confident and brave filly, to an utterly shocked and scared little pony, as she cowered from her grisly hands coming closer and closer. But then she felt a rough nip on her back, and she was taken away by her sister, who leapt backwards the moment she had Applebloom, and put her down beside herself. This however, seemed to make the Groke annoyed, and her frown returned as her growl became angry. “Gggrrrrrrrhhh!”

“Don’t ya dare touch mah lil’ sis!” Applejack scowled as she glared at the monstrous Groke. She didn’t know why, but it was her sisterly intuition that told her that something bad was going to happen to her sister filly if she didn’t drag her out of there. “Now start runnin’, or I’ma Apple Buck ya so hard ya’ll see double fer a week!” this, the Groke seemed to understand as a threat, and she just frowned as she turned away and walked off, back towards Everfree Forests. “Hmph! Serves ya right, ya freak o’ nature!” she yelled after her, and then turned to her little sister. “Lil’ sis, y’alright?”

“Y-Yea’… thanks fer savin’ me, big sis!” she said with a shaky tone, nuzzling Applejack’s legs as a bright flash then occurred, as Twilight Sparkle and Spike appeared. “Twilight! Spike! Y’all just missed something cool! Kinda creepy, but cool!” she shouted at them, but Twilight went right up to Applejack.

“A.J, I’m so relieved to see you’re alright!” he said with a sigh of relief, looking around and seeing the ground along the farm being frozen. “She’s been here, hasn’t she?” she demanded, and Applejack, clueless of the being’s real name, tilted her head a bit. “The monster! The Groke!”

“Tha Groke? Now wha’ in tarnation is that?” the orange mare asked as she looked over at the frozen soil and withered plants. “If tha’s wha’ just was ‘ere and ruined mah plants, then yea’, she was ‘ere alright! Tried ta touch mah lil’ sis, too, but I got ‘er outta dere in the nick o’time!”

“Well that was excellently done of you, A.J. If she had been touched by that thing… she would’ve frozen to ice.” Twilight explained to Applejack, who seemed a bit shocked and worried.

“Frozen t’ice? Y’all can’t be serious!” she protested.

“Believe me, that thing can!” Spike added in as he looked at Applejack. “She touched me, and I had to get thawed up by Zecora to get back to normal.” Not that it was a really supernatural feat, since anypony could just whip up a warm bath to thaw someone up, but it seemed to convince Applejack slightly as she just had a shocked look on her face.

“Well, t’was good tha’ Applebloom didn’t get touched, then.” She just confirmed, and looked back at the frozen soil. “So… tha’ thing was called the ‘Groke’, am I right?” Twilight nodded. “Well, what we standin’ ‘round ‘ere for?! Time t’kick that fella’s butt!”

“No, A.J! We can’t do that, it’d be rude! Besides, she’s just looking for something, I bet.” The violet pony explained.

“Lookin’ fer somethin’? Then why the buck did she come t’ Sweet Apple Acres an’ ruin mah sprouts!” Applejack protested, frowning a bit.

“Well, we have to gather the others, A.J. This could be serious trouble for everypony in Ponyville. Fetch Fluttershy and Rarity. I’ll go get Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. And do it quick!” with a quick nod, Applejack was off to Fluttershy’s cottage, while Twilight once more teleported away, this time appearing outside Rainbow Dash’s house. “Rainbow! Rainbow, please be there! We have some serious problems on our hooves!” she finally walked out of the front door, but she seemed to be in a terrible state. She was groaning and rubbing her eyes, and her wings seemed a bit limp.

“What? What is it?” she said with a half-yawn. “Sorry… just been up all yesterday cleanin’ up clouds…” Twilight figured that it had been caused by the Groke when she appeared, but… wait. Did she say ‘yesterday’? Did she spend the rest of Saturday in a coma after meeting that fiend? She shook her head a bit. “Twilight, what’s up?” the drowsy Pegasus asked.

“N-Nothing…” she said, calming down for a bit. “Now look, Rainbow, I know you’re still sleepy, but you need to shake it off for now. There’s some really serious business to be dealt with, and everypony in Ponyville could be in danger!” as Twilight explained it all, Rainbow was looking at her with a sort of half-interested expression, her eyes groggy from lack of sleep, and her ears just flopping about lazily.

“Uh-huh…” was her final reply, spoken in a sluggish tone as she just groaned again. “Look, I dunno if I can make it unless I shake off some sleep, but thanks for telling me about-!” she yelped in mid-sentence as Twilight had forced a full rain cloud over and squeezed it like a sponge, soaking Rainbow Dash in water as she was fully awake by now. “Dang it, Twilight! Warn me next time, ‘kay?” she asked her with a grumpy tone, shaking off the water.

“I will try and remember.” She giggled a bit. “Now please, let’s get a move on. I reckon that Applejack has already gotten to Flutter-“


“-shy! That came from Fluttershy’s cottage! We have to get a move on!”


The small garden just outside of Fluttershy’s cottage had begun to wither and decay, and the water in the small creak running along had frozen deep-solid. The trees were all lined with frost, as were the bird houses in them, and there was a trail of snow and footsteps on the bridge over the creak, as upon the road up to Fluttershy’s cottage, the Groke was seen walking slowly towards the warmth of the house…


Gathering the Mane 6; Part 2

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“There there, Angel. Make sure you’re all nice and cuddled up in there.” Fluttershy smiled in her usual nervous ways as she was tucking in her pet rabbit Angel into his bed, the rabbit just frowning a bit as he had his arms crossed. “Now Angel, please don’t make a fuss about it… you need your beauty sleep, or you’ll be all grumpy.” She tried to persuade him the nicest she could, and Angel just frowned, but did as he was told and soon cuddled up to fall asleep. “Ooh, aren’t you the most adorable little bunny.” She smiled warmly, giving him a soft nuzzle as she then sneezed a bit, but turned her nose away from Angel before she did so.

“Oh my… it’s gotten really cold all of a sudden. I thought I had made a…” she turned to a fireplace in her cottage, but there was no fire burning in it. The wooden chunks, which had just a few moments ago been engulfed in flames, were just lying there now, all burnt out even if it was a lot left to burn. “… nice… fire. What happened to it?” she went over to the fireplace, trying to figure out what had happened with the nice fire she had going in there. A fire just couldn’t go out by itself, could it? She tried to re-light it with some matches nearby, being as careful as she could as she tried not to burn herself, but the cold was getting to her as her hooves were shivering. She was beginning to ask herself what this unearthly cold came from. It was nothing like she’s ever sensed before! What she didn’t notice, however, was that something had opened up the door, the handle frozen solid from the touch alone, and that something was striding into her cottage, leaving naught but a trail of snow and ice behind itself. And a great, terrifying shadow looming over her back as she tried to ignite the matches, but whenever she tried, they all died out quicker than a desert melts ice. She was about to just forget about it all and try later, when she felt the cold shadow upon her, and feeling something close up on her, not seeing that something was reaching for her flank, and then…


The Pegasus squealed loudly in fear as her flank was touched and flew straight up into the air, latching onto the lamp in the roof and dangling there as she looked down to see Twilight Sparkle, Spike and Rainbow Dash down below, and soon enough, she saw Applejack and Rarity barge in through the already-open door.

“Wha’ in the hay happened ‘ere?” she exclaimed. “Ah heard Fluttershy scream an’ thought she was getting’ ponynapped!”

“Goodness gracious, what a mess there is in here!” Rarity made an exasperated gasp as she saw the thick trail of snow and ice on the floor. “Honestly, this is not how I’d leave my boutique! Not ever!” Fluttershy just sighed in relief as she floated down to the floor and smiled nervously.

“I-I am sorry…” she said slowly. “I just thought… something was behind me.” She looked at the door, thankfully and blissfully unaware of the thing that could have just grabbed her.

“Well, let’s go to the Sugarcube Corner and I’ll tell you about what’s going on.” Twilight said, a bit of sternness in her tone.


As the five ponies of the Mane 6 reached PonyVille again, however… it looked like a disaster. Something had been dragging itself all over the place, and what was worse; The houses, the stands, the carts, even some of the ponies… everything was frozen solid. Except a few buildings, thankfully including the Carousel Boutique, Twilight’s library, and Sugarcube Corner. But it was still a shocking sight to behold as Twilight was unable to comprehend it all. Had the Groke done all this? All in search for her ‘treasure’?

“Holy guacamole!” Rainbow exclaimed as she zoomed all over the place, inspecting some of the frozen ponies. “It’s all deep-frozen! I know winters are cold, but gimme a break!”

“Must’a been tha’ ‘Groke’ thing tha’ Twilight mentioned…” Applejack muttered as she tapped on the flank of one of the ponies, recognizing her as DJ-P0N3, her usual grin of joy missing from her face as a look of shock was on her muzzle. “An’ she don’ seem t’be happy.”

“But what in all of Equestria could this horrid creature be looking for?” Rarity said as she looked around. “And why here in Pony-…” her eyes lit up in stars. “Oooh! Maybe it is here to get some of my newest collection of dresses! Why, that thing must have a sense of fashion, and came all the way to PonyVille to-“

“I do not think that it’s here for dresses…” Twilight said with a mental groan as they all went up to the bright pink bakery building, and just then the doors slammed open, and Pinkie Pie was revealed, her usual happy and over-joyous expression on her face.

“Hiiiiiiiiiiiii!” she exclaimed with a soft giggle at the end. “Oh my gosh, have you guys seen all this snow and ice?! It’s EVERYWHERE! And I literally mean, everywhere! Like, I have never seen so much snow in one place, except for that one time we all went to the top of a big, snowy mountain and-“

“Pinkie, please, we need to talk about something.” Twilight said as she looked around. “We’ll need to stay in the Sugarcube Corner for a while, is that okay?”

“Okie-dokie-lokie! Mr. and Ms. Cake have been out for quite a while anyway, so I don’t think they’d mind!” Pinkie smiled, blissfully unaware of their possible fate as they all went into the building, and then shut and locked the door. “So, why’re you guys so serious, huh huh huh? And why’s everything so cold and wintery outdoors? I mean I know it’s winter, but still, this is like, the coldest-“ she was shot down slightly by a serious glare from the others, and just smiled weakly as she’d bounce up to a table where the others stood at the moment.

“Okay… I know that some of you have seen it, others more or less, but as you probably know… PonyVille is in danger.” Twilight said with a serious tone as Spike wordlessly pulled a book out of her bag, which was the one Zecora had shown her earlier. “Thank you Spike. The things you’ve seen happening out there… ponies being frozen, trails of snow and ice flooding the roads, strange growling noises… are all caused by this being.” Spike had been flipping the pages as she spoke, and now, he turned the page to show the Groke. Everypony except Twilight began to shudder as they saw it, Fluttershy looking utterly mortified as she realized that was probably the thing that was about to touch her flank back in her cottage. “This… is the Groke. A being said to be as old as Equestria itself, and no one has seen it until today. Apparently, somepony has stolen her treasure, a thing she holds very dear, and she won’t stop causing this until the one who did it is found and put to justice. She leaves a trail of ice and snow wherever she walks, and if you as much as nudge into her, you’ll be frozen solid.”

“Now wha’ in tha hay is tha’ for some kinda abomination?” Applejack exclaimed. “Ah will not let mah lil’ sis out as lon’ as dat thing’s out ‘dere!”

“That thing looks… awful.” Fluttershy stammered with no seeming end as she just held her hooves over her eyes, not wanting to see it.

“I think it looks goofy! That silly big nose is funny!” Pinkie Pie giggled.

“This is an utter disaster! PonyVille is doomed!” Rarity wailed as she was about to whine like she usually did, but she was given a rough slap on her cheek by Applejack’s tail. “Ow! Why would you do that, you brutish earth pony?!” she demanded.

“Saddle yer back, Rarity!” she said, another way to say ‘calm down’ as she looked sternly at the fashion-crazed unicorn. “Ah’m scared to mah tailbone too, but ah’m not gon’ let dat thing ruin our beloved PonyVille!” she turned to the other of the Mane 6. “Ah say we find a way t’bring tha’ thing’s ‘treasure’ back, an’ tell it t’get the hay outta ‘ere! Anypony with me say ‘Aye!’ “

“Aye-aye, sir!” Pinkie giggled frantically and held up her hoof.

“Aye!” Rainbow Dash declared.

“W-What if it just wants to be friends with somepony…” Fluttershy stammered out a bit, cowering still at the image in her mind, but she tried keeping a weak smile on, just to be strong. Twilight sighed and looked at her.

“Honestly, Fluttershy… I don’t think that the Groke wants to make any friends.” She said with a worried tone.

“But Twilight, it said right there-“ Spike tried to pipe in, but Twilight just cut him off with a ‘Not now, Spike’, leaving him to grumble in a surly tone.

“We have to assume it won’t stop until its treasure is reclaimed… so we have to find it, and give it back to it. I know it won’t be easy, since it’s so scary… but we’ll put our hooves together for this! I promise you Fluttershy, we’re all in this together!” patting Fluttershy’s head to reassure her she was talking the truth, the pink-haired Pegasus finally smiled, and nodded a bit.

“Alright then… aye.” She said meekly, and Applejack nodded before she turned to Rarity.

“Seems like all of us has made up their minds…” she told her. “How ‘bout you? Scared t’get a lil’ chilly?” she teased her, but Rarity just turned her nose up and scoffed.

“Hmph! Out of all ponies, Applejack, you should know the most that I am not one to turn down a chance to save my beloved home! Even if this Groke might be the ugliest thing I’ve seen in my whole life, I will swallow my pride, and face it with all of you. I say aye!” she declared. Twilight just smiled a bit and nodded as all ponies finally seemed to agree.

“Alright then, since I’m in for it already, I’d say we should start looking for some clues as to what could be the Groke’s treasure.” She explained, but just then, the lights went out around them as Fluttershy screamed in panic, but was shushed down by Twilight. “Calm down, Fluttershy!” she whispered to her as all the Mane 6 and Spike looked out the windows. There was a thick mist hanging around PonyVille now, and the frost covering the windows made it slightly more difficult to see through fully. But what they did see was something small running around in the city square.

“Who in the buck is that?” Twilight asked as she peered her eyes, trying to see better. But they all gasped as a familiar voice was heard;

“Big sis? Big sis?! Where are ya? Tha’ thing came back to the farm! Ah ran away as fast as ah could, cuz it started t’get scary! Big sis, where are ya?”

“Applebloom!” without hesitation, Applejack dashed from the window and right out the door, not even listening to Twilight shouting after her to stay indoors in case the Groke was near. She did not care about some stupid ‘Groke’ right now. She had to make sure her little sister was alright. “Don’ worry none, lil’ sis! Ol’ A.J is here!” she said as she skid to a halt near her, picking her up by her neck and putting her on her back. “Now c’mon lil’ sis, we gotta get back inside b’fore…”


The moment they heard the growl behind them, Applejack’s limbs froze solid in fear. Yes, the dare-devil pony Applejack literally froze in fear, only her head obeying her as she slowly turned around to look at whatever was behind her. And there it… she was. A towering, hill-shaped figure, teeth rowed up in a frown and glaring, hollow eyes and long-fingered, grisly hands. She had been brave the time the Groke showed up near Sweet Apple Acres, because she was ruining the Apple Family’s sprouts, but now, she was only a few inches away from it, with Applebloom on her back, and her body was not obeying her. She wanted to run with all her might back to the Sugarcube, but she could not do it. She was stuck in place. The Groke let out another growl, one of its hands moving down towards the pair of Apple Family members as she was just staring at her demise, mouth open in fear as not even a gasp slipped out of it.

“B-Big sis?! Big sis! Move, please! Move, big sis, it’s gon’ grab us! Big sis!” Applebloom pleaded to her sister, trying to shake life into her as she was frantically moving away from the hand trying to grab them. It was getting closer… closer… the hand was almost nudging at Applejack’s back…

“Begone, you foul lonely monster of old! Leave them alone now, do as you’re told!”

The voice that boomed across the streets seemed to startle the beast as she looked down the icy roads to see a pair of gleaming eyes staring right at her, and backed off with a defensive growl.


“You shall not claim another to your icy grip! Not another filly shall to your cold tombs slip!”


“Listen carefully now, and you better think twice! Next time I’ll speak, I won’t be so nice!”

Finally, the Groke seemed to give herself in to the threatening tone of the voice getting to her, and she growled and turned away, leaving PonyVille in silence with a trail of snow and ice following in her wake. The mist lifted, the skies still dark, but it was easier to see now. And from the escaping clouds, Zecora emerged, having a serious frown on her face as she looked at Applejack, who had now sunk down on her front, holding her hooves over her face and shivering, her entire body pale as the snow below her. She was also heard whimpering a bit. The rest of the Mane 6 rushed out as Zecora had appeared.

“Zecora! Bless Celestia that you’re here!” Twilight exclaimed. “Applejack almost got touched by the Groke!” while she explained the situation, Fluttershy rushed over to Applejack to help her fellow pony back up on her feet, while Applebloom still tried to make her big sister talk, but she was just stuttering incoherent sentences about freezing and ice.

“This is not good, PonyVille is laid in silence. And nothing in Her path will be of defiance. What you face now is the Groke’s unrelenting wrath. She won’t stop at anything, as she treads her lonely path!”

“Well, what do you reckon we should do, then?” Rainbow Dash protested. “I don’t want my wings frozen by that thing!”

“We have to figure out what the Groke’s treasure is, and fast!” Twilight explained as she looked at Zecora. “And we will need your help, Zecora. You have the most knowledge about Equestrian monsters and creatures that live outside of PonyVille, and most knowledge of the supernatural. With your aid, I am sure we will be able to find out what this treasure is!” Zecora gave a soft nod as she’d accept the terms. “Now, let’s get to work… to the library!”