The Crystal Gambit

by AhriSafari

First published

After his defeat, Sombra is forced to flee his rightful kingdom. But perhaps a young unicorn foal is just what he needs to set a new plan into motion to take back his throne.

Sombra failed. His precious Crystal Empire was taken away from him. But he may have found the key to getting it back in the form of a unicorn foal with great magical potential.

20 years later he and his allies are ready to execute their plan to take over Equestria and the Crystal Empire. But their scheme hinges on a marriage between the heirs of Sombra and Chrysalis. Princess Pumpkin Patch has been groomed her whole life to be the crystal queen, but when she meets a spunky farmfilly she begins to make her own plans. Love in a life that's held nothing but hate could be the only thing that can stop Sombra's Crystal Gambit.

Prologue- Glimmer and Shadow/The Shadow's Flight

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An empty shadow hides in the night
Stripped of its kingly guise
As it continues its frenzied flight
Across the silent skies

He had been made to look like a fool, easily beaten by that usurper to the throne and that damned crystal heart. Not killed, mind you, but beaten, defeated in his own kingdom, outside his own palace! It was laughable. He would be dead too were it not for the immortality spell afforded to him by his dark magic those many centuries ago. But the spell wasn’t perfect, for it would be quite a wait before he could take any form besides an almost immaterial shadow.

The form of a dark specter did serve his purposes at the moment, however; as loathe as the fallen king was to admit it, he had no choice but to flee. He could not stay and fight, for there was nothing he could do to reclaim his crystal kingdom as long as the crystal heart was protecting it. Nor could he attempt to conquer another part of Equestria in order to amass his forces as that would no doubt attract the ire of those foolishly idealistic sisters. As bad as being turned incorporeal was he knew that in his weakened state he would be fully subject to whatever worse punishment those two could devise.

So he fled. Thanks to the shroud of Luna’s night, he went unnoticed by the ponies sleeping in the villages that rushed beneath him. He could move rather fast as the air slipped right through him instead of pushing back against him. By the time the night was only half way done he had gotten quite far south of the Crystal Empire.

Those thousand years it had waited
A thousand years now gone
But those little ponies it so hated
Their peace still lives on

As he flew he considered what his next move would be. It would take a couple centuries before he could manifest his corporeal form, but he would have access to enough of his magic to threaten one of the princesses within a couple decades. But for what purpose? he thought, Now We must deal with this third alicorn who has taken our throne in addition to the sisters of day and night. We are not sure We could risk engaging them in combat until We are at full power. This is not even considering the Elements of Harmony, which would surely be rallied against Us.

The shadow cursed internally, he had sat and waited for a thousand years only to have to wait centuries more after gaining his freedom. He was not a very patient pony, you see. But it couldn’t be helped; the king wouldn’t foolishly attempt the impossible.

In its fiery anger, it almost passes by
A glimmer of starlight below
And the sharp whine of a foal’s cry
The source it has to know

Suddenly, as he passed nearby Canterlot, he sensed something below. Among the many pinpricks of light that signified the magic inherent in living creatures to his magically-enhanced senses, the shadow spotted a point of great brightness. Unusually high concentrations of magic weren’t unknown to the shadow, and he had encountered much more striking instances before. However this case drew his interest because, from a cursory glance taken several miles in the air, it was located smack dab in the middle of an earth pony town. While it was not unheard of for an earth pony to have an abundance of their own magic (the crystal heart was one such nexus of power), the shadow sensed not earth pony magic, but pegasus and unicorn magic.

He decided to trek down this trail fate had revealed to him. His dark form silently dived down out of the sky and upon the small town. Even in the muted darkness of night the shadow internally gagged at the sickeningly sweet colors that adorned every building he snaked between. He swore to himself that as long as he lived he would never understand Equestrian architecture. He almost turned around and left when he found the building that his prize was in was styled to look like it had been built from a random assortment of baked desserts. It was things like this that reminded him why it was best that an intelligent king like himself rule over ponies, for they were obviously not sane enough to make sensible decisions on their own.

“WHAAAAAAAAAAA!!” A shrill cry pierced the air as the shadow slipped in through a window on the top floor. Quickly, his eyes searched the room, fearing he’d been spotted.

It finds a fruit bright as sunlight
Just waiting to be plucked
And without a deserved fight
The shadow does abduct

His wandering eyes then met with the point, or rather points, of star-like magic he’d come looking for. A pair of infants, one unicorn, one pegasus, both with tremendous magical potential. The pegasus colt had a tan coat and dark, chocolaty brown mane, tail, and eyes. The unicorn filly was similarly tan, but with an orange mane and tail and blue eyes. The two were crying in displeasure at the poltergeist that had invaded the sanctuary of their room, but the shadow was too focused thinking about the possibilities to notice or care.

Both of these children could be very useful to Us, he thought, unfortunately, We are too weak to spirit them both away. We shall have to choose one. Unicorns are the vastly superior race, and perhaps We could take this filly as an… heir of sorts. However the young colt could grow up to serve Us as a personal guard. Oh what is a mighty king to do? His pondering was cut short as he heard the sound of a pony climbing the stairs. Obviously the children’s crying had awoken their parents. He had to act quickly or he would have neither. He allowed the billowy shadows that made up his form to wrap around his chosen prize. Suddenly two foal’s crying turned to only one as the now sleeping infant was carried out the window. If anypony was watching, they might have called the way the shadow cradled the foal tender and caring. But his thoughts were nothing but malicious, as he considered how that one spark he found in the night was just the start of the dark army he would build. That spark would eventually set the alicorns, the Elements of Harmony, and anything else that stood in his way ablaze. Then they would look to the heavens, and know they were defeated by him, King Sombra!

“What’s wrong dears? Did one of you have a nightmare again?” Just as the last of his ghostly body left the room he heard a mare enter offering soothing words to a child who was no longer there. “Hey there Poundy, where’s your sister? Pumpkin! Pumpkin!?”


Its heart is like stone in a quarry
Its soul is dead as fallow
Now you know the tragic story
Of the glimmer and shadow