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Everything posted by dragonofruin

  1. The king rumbled softly in his throat and followed the mare through her house again, and out into the morning light that was shining down onto her back yard. The grass was a rich green, and the flowers added flecks of color. It was simple. He could appreciate it to an extent. While Raven settled herself on the padded bench, Sombra chose to seat himself on the soft grass, his eyes narrowed against the harsh sunlight. "I can't say that I am. The Crystal Empire never had much in the way of unicorns, much less very many books on magic and spells despite their vast library. Most of what I know is what I could find, and what I could create from my understanding of magic. I can imagine after a thousand years that the understanding of magic has gotten far better.. It seems to, from the sound of it. I intend to learn what I can," he replied with a small shrug of one of his shoulders. "I still believe I can help, in some way." If he searched himself about why he wanted to help, Sombra wouldn't be able to find the answer or the reason. Maybe it was because she'd allowed him to stay in her home, or that she'd been so understanding and caring about what he'd been through. What she'd said was more heartfelt than he expected from a pony. "An enchantment? I never knew." Sombra grunted, making a note to nose around the guest room he'd been given to see if he couldn't find that enchantment. Maybe he could do something to keep the sun from coming through the windows, or the cracks in the curtains. The question that she next asked caught his attention, dragging it away from his pondering. His head tilted, and he eyed her thoughtfully. "You need not drop everything for me. I'm not exactly the 'go out do something in town' type of stallion." An eyebrow rose, as if asking her if he really looked like a social beast.
  2. A deep frown crossed Sombra's muzzle and lingered, troubled by something he'd just discovered about Midnight. It was an experience he knew, one that made him briefly consider his own memories with a mixture of renewed hatred and a feeling he couldn't identify. Empathy perhaps? A sigh escaped him in a heavy exhale and he slumped back in his seat, no longer interested in what pastries remained on the plate between them. "I thought ponies could eat anything vegetarian. Grain, fruit, vegetables.. even dairy." he spoke up, offhoofedly addressing the matter of Equestrians' diet. He was certain he'd seen ponies eating different things during the time he'd been exploring a few different towns. The umbrum grunted softly and loosely crossed his forelegs over his barrel chest. "Regardless, I know something of the experience of which you speak. Of being shunned for not looking quite like the rest. I do not see why you would continue to treat me as an enemy, other topics aside." Sombra snorted softly and looked up, catching movement in the corner of his eye. It was the waitress mare again, bringing them cider. Sombra straightened up from his disgruntled slouch to sniff at it curiously, eying the rich red color of the liquid. It smelled pleasant, to be certain; he didn't have any qualms about drinking something just because it was red. He levitated his glass and took an experimental sip to try it out. He wasn't familiar with cinnamon so it was from his point of view, that whatever was in it was something he took a liking to.
  3. His hoof had barely begun to push open the door when it appeared to swing open on its own accord. Raven came into view in the next instant and he blinked, stepping back from how close she'd come to running into him. "Believe me, I wanted to sleep more. I may have to make an effort to make my room darker when the morning sun rises if I want to avoid being conscious." He snorted softly, as if being awake was the most inconvenient thing in the world. For a creature who spent most of his time awake, it could be; he was finding he was beginning to enjoy sleeping again.. at least when he had a comfortable bed to sleep in, that was. Sombra moved further back into the hallway to give Raven space to leave the room. "Perhaps I can -- help, if you wish." To think, he was offering help. Him. But when it came to the practice of magic and learning new spells, he was willing. Besides, it would give him something to do. "In other words, you need to work around your disability. It's commendable that you've managed it," he murmured, responding to her subtle apology with a mere shrug of his shoulder. "It makes me wonder, however.. Why have you never tried to find a unicorn skilled in healing magic? Surely they could help?" Sombra asked with a small frown, quizzical. Why hadn't she? Unless there were no healers with that level of skill available. Well, there had been one.. but that'd been a thousand years ago, and that traitor was surely dead unless she'd been in the Crystal Empire at the time he cast his curse. The smile Raven turned upon him was met with a little more confusion and Sombra couldn't figure out why.
  4. The shadow king idly poked at one of the remaining pastries in the midst of his conversation with Midnight. His ears were still trained on the other stallion's voice, clearly attentive to the information about areion he was being given so freely. Their openness would baffle him if he didn't know as much as he did about the nature of ponies. Naiive. Lead to believe in such things like friends, and that the world was some gentle, carefree place where no danger existed. It was.. foolish, but the freedom they displayed with information was advantageous to him. Perhaps not this particular topic, it was just interesting to him, something to learn. Sombra's gaze shifted back up to Midnight after the change in tone, and he met the bat pony's eyes evenly, unruffled. "You're so defensive about a mare you hardly know," he murmured, almost challenging. It was a bullheaded habit of his to do so, to see if he couldn't challenge ponies to really think about why they did, or thought, anything. Like this particular case, for example. A dark eyebrow rose. Potential darkness. He didn't know why it struck him so.. funny. Other than a soft huff, Sombra bit back what he wanted to say about that. He felt most of what he wanted to point out to ponies would be ignored, areion or not. Instead, he chose to listen to Midnight's story, frowning faintly. "So it was a bit of bad timing, then? When ponies were still so terrified of something they thought to still be a mere foal's story? I can imagine," he replied, a hint of a smirk curling the corners of his mouth up and baring the points of his teeth. "It must've been difficult for both parties."
  5. Sombra couldn't allow himself to get predictable, but he didn't consider his plan of action with as much detail as Chesster was. It was something he wasn't entirely aware of, although he could acknowledge the other stallion as being intelligent enough to. His only intent was a forward one: to hit Chesster as hard as he could. It'd worked well enough for him thus far. His hooves pounded heavily against the dirt, drawing ever closer to his opponent, his lance aimed.. and they met. All Sombra was aware of after that was a sharp pain where Chesster's lance struck him, the world tilting.. and landing heavily. Stunned, Sombra waited until his senses came back to him before he tried to move, distantly aware of the sound of cheering and Chesster's snarling voice aimed at who he could only assume was the crystal ponies. The pain in his chest throbbed. It worsened when he moved, but Sombra didn't allow it to get to him and pushed himself to his hooves, his lips peeled back from his teeth. He had a higher pain threshold from what he'd been through in the Crystal Empire, but he couldn't deny it still hurt. Chesster had hit him hard, and he had to admit to himself that he was impressed- enough so that he couldn't be upset about this particular loss. There was still the last round.. if he could manage it. A glance showed him the dent in his armor the crystal pony's lance had made and he grimaced. Giving himself a careful shake, the king moved towards the end of the field Chesster previously occupied and moved to face the tilt-yard again. This pain was going to slow him down a little, and he was starting to consider there was that chance he wouldn't be able to win this. Chesster was skilled, experienced, not something he could top when he didn't have the same to consider the right angles to take his opponent down. Exhaling heavily, Sombra adjusted his weight and changed his lance out for a new one in the meantime. Whether he liked it or not, he was going to give this tournament one last go and see who would come out on top. At least, this would be a great learning experience.
  6. The king trailed after the mare, his eyes wandering over more of the house's interior as he saw it. It was nicely spacious and clean, with rich carpet underhoof. He quietly scoffed. "Not all that fancy? It is far better than the buildings of the Crystal Empire! I've.. never been inside any of the houses, but the architecture in Equestria alone is far better than the empire's. Even the interior of your house is pleasant on the eyes. You need not apologize to me. As long as you have what I need, there'll be no problems," he replied, voice low and smooth. Sombra stepped past the mare when she opened up the door to the guest bedroom and he scanned the room with curiosity. A comfortable bed, and another door that he presumed lead to a bathroom of some sort. It was confirmed shortly after by Raven. He grunted, pleased. Briefly he glanced back at Raven, watching her go before he shut his door behind her and made for the bathroom. His rich red cape was discarded, draped over the edge of the bed, and he took advantage of having access to a bath again. A nice, hot bath. Only shortly afterward when he was dry did he lay himself down in bed, giving himself a chance to relax. Eventually, he drifted off without meaning to. When morning came, Sombra stirred, shying away from a thin beam of sunlight that was streaming between a crack in the curtains. He quietly grumbled to himself and tried to bury deeper under blankets he didn't remember covering himself with, trying to mentally find that dark abyss of sleep. Unfortunately, it was not to be. What shred of consciousness existed seemed to spread like a virus, and the grey king was lying in bed, awake but groggy. Giving up on any chance of returning to sleep, he kicked the covers off and rolled out of bed, giving himself a shake and slipping his cape onto his back and fastening it at his neck on his way out of the room. The surroundings seemed unfamiliar in the morning, but last night's memories were slowly coming back. Raven. The mare must be around here somewhere. Sombra made a note to himself to also keep an eye out for this uncle of hers, just in case he ran into the stallion. He wandered the house on his own, getting to know its layout, and along the way he passed by a door that he was sure he'd heard faint rustling noises from, as well as the sound of a backfiring spell. His ear twitched, and Sombra attempted to enter the room to investigate. It was probably her.
  7. This time King Sombra was solely focused upon Chesster, no more idle, curious thoughts drifting through his mind. There was only the pounding of his heart, and the pounding of his hooves on the dirt. When they met on the tilt-yard for a second time, the sound of their lances breaking was loud in his ears. He'd felt the impact of Chesster's lance beforehoof, and he'd managed to keep his footing. So, too, did Chesster. This crystal pony was resilient. From the cheers of the crowd, it sounded as if the other crystal ponies were hesitantly regaining their confidence because of Chesster. It annoyed him slightly, but he kept it at a distance as he cantered around to face the tilt yard again, back at where he'd started. He slowed to a halt, breathing hard and keeping himself still while the ground crew changed out their lances again and cleaned off the field once more. He idly watched them while he considered his third approach. Chesster hadn't merely been boasting when he said he had experience in jousting. It showed, not just in the advice he'd given and what Sombra saw, but in this joust. The shadow king wasn't entirely sure if there were any weaknesses or mistakes he could take advantage of, if Chesster did this well the third time. Softly, the umbrum grunted and inclined his head towards Chesster's offer. "Very well, if you win. You might as well still buy me a drink regardless!" Sombra replied, his powerful voice carrying well enough despite the excited crowd. The scents, the noise, it was starting to grate on his nerves; he was used to his solitude, quiet places and very few ponies if any at all. This was starting to push his limits, but he would endure for the sake of victory. Rolling his shoulders and giving himself a shake, resettling his armor back on his body, Sombra started forward again once he felt he was prepared, focusing himself on Chesster again as he started galloping down the field once more.
  8. A low, rumbling chuckle left Sombra. "My people are monsters too, and they've done things just as terrible as I have. Perhaps worse, but perhaps that is a story for another time." A soft sigh left him. He wouldn't try to dispute what Raven had to say about him because it was.. nice to hear somepony say such a thing for once. To never name him a monster as so many ponies before her had done. The umbrum merely nodded and took notice of the mare's weariness. It was late at night, and most ponies were asleep at this time. As for himself, he felt nothing. Sombra leaned forward in his seat and rose back onto his hooves while Raven busied herself with putting the tea away, and putting out the fireplace. An ear was idly cocked her way, and he was made aware of her schedule tomorrow. Implying that she might want to spend more time with him once she had nothing else to do. He'd never admit that he actually liked the idea of somepony looking forward to talking with, let alone seeing him, the next day. "I'd have no idea how to identify a pony from Stalliongrad or any other location. However, I'll be sure to remember who he is," Sombra replied with a little dryness as he made his way towards the door where Raven waited for him. He'd guess that she'd give him a room to sleep in tonight, and so long that he was here and had access to a bathtub, he was definitely going to take advantage of being able to bathe.
  9. The air felt tense. It was down to the final two competitors: himself, and Chesster. The crystal pony didn't seem to show any sign of fear, nor gave off any either, and Sombra had to commend him for his strength. The kind of spine that most other crystal ponies lacked, and it made Sombra much more curious about his masked opponent. Who was he, really, beneath that helm? There was a possibility Sombra might not recognize him, and Chesster could easily be somepony who was determined to destroy him.. Who knew, really? King Sombra inhaled slowly, centering himself and setting aside thoughts that'd attempted to wander again. He was ready, and nothing would distract him. As Chesster started his charge, Sombra thrust himself forward and galloped down his side of the fence, channeling his anger towards the crystal pony as he aimed his lance, trying to put as much force behind it as he could as they met. Chesster's lance struck him, and although the impact rattled him, Sombra kept on his hooves, unlike the other stallion. It was satisfaction that he took out of seeing the crystal pony fall out of the corner of his eye. The umbrum continued onward toward the other end of the tilt yard that Chesster previously occupied, his pace slowing and lifting his head high for whatever ponies dared to cheer for him. Sombra faced the tilt yard again, standing still while the staff ponies changed out his lance for him. It allowed him a moment to think, and to consider what he'd learned about Chesster too. He now personally knew how hard Chesster could hit and what he could do. "Maybe, maybe not. We'll just have to see, won't we?" The king replied with a soft scoff. Beginner's luck. Maybe it was, but he wouldn't allow what Chesster said undermine what confidence he'd gained. He wouldn't bear losing power to a crystal pony of all creatures. Once the ground crew had finished fixing his lance into place, Sombra spared a moment to check it to make sure it was properly secured; he wasn't going to allow any attempts to sabotage him if he could avoid it. After he was certain all was well, the king squared his shoulders and started forward, once it was time for the second round.
  10. Sombra hadn't intended it to get so lengthy. He thought he'd be able to present his history simply enough, but the more he'd talked the more he realized he couldn't reduce it. There'd been too many important details, and he'd even forgotten one: that Hope had abandoned him after what he'd done to Amore. While he couldn't blame her for fleeing from a monstrous act, she still -- left him. The only friend he'd had who he thought would stick by his side no matter what, but as it turned out, Hope seemed to have just been there for the good times. For the most part. The umbrum had noticed how Raven's expression changed so drastically by the time he'd finished, and when she spoke, she surprised him. His ears twitched towards how weak her voice was in shock, and he shifted in his seat when the mare rose to stand before him. Sombra could do nothing but stare, an expression of some bewilderment on his face. She'd acknowledged him for what he was, and offered to defend him. Something stirred in him and he could dare to say that that proclamation had touched him. Was this what support felt like? Real support? Sombra cleared his throat, as if trying to work past how this left him feeling and loosely draped his curled forelegs against his chest. He wasn't sure what to say. Such things like thank you and I appreciate this felt.. unusual in his mouth. "I never expected to hear such a thing in my life," he murmured, looking down at the bowing mare. "Do not be mistaken, what I did to them was terrible. I enslaved them, made them dig so that I might find the door to the umbrums' prison. Some of them were overworked and died. I am not innocent." Although he continued to speak quietly, gravely, his voice was still strong enough to be heard, a low rumble of sound. "If you intend to defend me, at least know what you defend." He tilted his head, considering something else. "If you wish to help others, help those who actually need it. Ponies are not the pure, faultless beings they believe themselves to be, but terrible, selfish, and prejudiced. You'd do better to help those the world refuses to do anything for for being different."
  11. The king frowned, tensing a little from her tone and made an effort not to rise to that flicker of anger, to respond in kind. There wouldn't be any point to argue with her, or any pony; they were so set in their ways and -- what did he know of familial connections? "They are also its rulers, and most of the responsibility of leading and protecting their kingdom rests on their shoulders," he couldn't help replying. "I see no point in throwing your life away, whether for nothing or some greater good." And not for princesses. The latter was kept to himself and he huffed softly, drinking the rest of the tea from his cup and setting it back onto the table. "But perhaps that is only my view," he added in a quiet rumble, exhaling heavily through his nose. A small shrug followed, as if the conversation were closed. He was a stubborn, bitter creature, and he didn't want to get into any sort of a fight with his host no matter how much he disagreed. Instead, he focused on the story behind her unique spell, listening with his ears perked in interest. "It seems to be," he quietly agreed. It sounded like it was a useful spell, but not one he could attempt to try if he ever wanted to. It was unicorn magic. "Now then, I've gotten the information that I was so curious about, I suppose it's time I give you my history, isn't it?" Sombra said after a brief pause, tapping the end of one of the chair's armrests with a forehoof. Maybe she'd see why he thought the princesses were worth wasting one's life.. His head tilted as he considered where to begin. He already knew he wasn't going to launch into any close detail. "My first memory was waking up on somepony's back. One of the crystal guard. They'd found me lying out in the snow some distance from the empire, and with no family to bring me back to, and because I wasn't a crystal pony, they brought me to the orphanage, run by a mare named Chestnut Falls. I couldn't speak the pony language, and the only word I knew was the one that became my name: Sombra. I grew up in that orphanage, and I was schooled by Chestnut Falls along with the rest of the orphans. It was difficult, but once I'd managed I was eager to read and learn whatever I could." The king quieted, searching his memory. "It feels.. strange now to admit that the other foals bullied me, but they did. I wasn't a crystal pony. Dark colors, dull coat.. Why wouldn't they?" he muttered bitterly. "The only thing that got me through that orphanage was a filly who befriended me, named Radiant Hope. I suppose she wasn't as well liked by the others either for being strange. Still, she had been my friend and I grew up with her. We did a lot together, and did what most foals did when they try to get their cutiemarks. And of course there was the Crystal Faire.. which has its own history entirely. For me, however, the crystal heart's magic affected me negatively, and at the time I had no idea what it was. All I knew that every year, every Crystal Faire, I was in extreme pain. You should understand that that pain, and all the foul treatment at the hooves of those ponies is why events unfolded as they did. Whether I had Hope, or not, I grew bitter, and did my best to bottle the anger I felt." Sombra exhaled and slouched back in his seat, forelegs draped over the armrests. "To make this short.. the tipping point was the day the Crystal Heart nearly tore me apart, and Hope saved me. She developed powerful healing magic and managed to keep me from a terrible fate. As a result, she got her cutiemark.. and later got a letter from the princesses requesting her to become their student, to hone her extraordinary magic. Of course, after she showed me that.. I became distraught, and fled out into the wastes in hope I'd find my own destiny. Too, I wished to escape, because without Hope, what nearly happened to me might happen again. I ran into a large, red crystal and a voice spoke to me, calling itself my mother who explained what I was and where I'd come from." He tilted his head. This story of his was getting far too long, but he'd covered most of it. "The umbrum are imprisoned deep beneath the Crystal Empire and that crystal is their only window on the world. The only way to escape was to turn one of their own into a pony, to lock his powers away, and slip him out. So, Rabia unlocked my dark power and I realized my purpose. That was pretty much where it started what you know. I went back into the empire, stole the Heart, and shattered Princess Amore.. because she knew all along what I was, and let me suffer all those years." He snorted. "So the Empire became mine. I let my rage and bitterness out, and I enslaved them. Most of them."
  12. His guess had been correct. Change. To want to reform him, or anypony, was the want to change them. It felt wrong, and he was a beast who had done a great many wrongs. It was just that to want to change somepony, who they were, rubbed him the wrong way and he was glad Raven was smart enough not to try. If she had, it wouldn't have gone well for her and it likely wouldn't turn out well for anypony who came to reform him and who he was as a.. creature. An umbrum. He couldn't very well call himself a pony now, except in the loosest sense for the ease of speech. Her soft giggle was noted with some interest. "I see," Sombra rumbled, the tone of which he'd said it expressing that it'd finally clicked. REA. The Royal Equestrian Army. Their guard. Now it made sense who exactly this mare wanted to join and who her family had served for generations. The stallion grunted, crossing his forelegs over his barrel chest and sipping tea from his levitated cup. "Perhaps it was best you never had that chance to join them. Equestria, from what I have seen of thus far, is strangely peaceful. I know of its history, to an extent, and I know it has encountered greater powers.. the kind of power a mere mortal army cannot battle on its own. If I had ever had my chance, how well do you think they would have stood against me? Not very well. They would have fallen easily." Pausing, he peered into his cup thoughtfully. "Whether your horn was cracked or not, you would only have been putting yourself in terrible danger for.. what? The princesses? They are far more equipped in power to deal with such great threats than a mortal, or even an army of mortals." The more Sombra spoke about the royal sisters, it made it clear that he was disenchanted with them, with princesses or any sort of royalty as a whole. He thought very little of them. After mulling over whether he had any more questions, Sombra felt all of them that he'd asked thus far had been answered. Save one. "My last question. What was that spell you used against the ruffians in the alley? It was new to me, and strange. After you answer this last question, I do believe I'm due to tell you about myself."
  13. I considered putting plot/rp ideas for the rest of my characters in Sombra's plotter over in Schemes for a King, and decided against it; he can just be special with his own post. I'll just make this my general plotter for my other characters to avoid spamming the OOC board. And again, I'd be happy to help others out with their plots too! I'm always open to discussion so they work out for both of us. PRINCESS LUNA Application A Little Socializing - Luna finds the change that has come with being a princess has drastically changed after a thousand years, and she's slowly coming to find the castle.. a little stifling. Attempting to break this monotony, she attempts to venture out and see more of Equestria by herself, where she may encounter other ponies who she can talk to, depending. [Open] Sisterly Bond - Their duties and their sleep schedules often keep them from getting to spend time together like they used to, and the only time they're awake at the same time is during major functions in Equestria, or when something is threatening their kingdom. The sisters manage to work their schedules so that they can simply spend some casual time together whether its just talking, or deciding to ditch the castle and head out into Canterlot itself to be like normal ponies. Princesses deserve to have fun now and again! [Stormstride] Mortality - Luna faces off against a new threat that presents itself, and she's forced to do it alone- perhaps even to protect ponies from harm, something she is newly encouraged to do to make up for her past. However, it doesn't go so well and she nearly perishes in the process of fighting this threat. Something that will leave her questioning her mortality. [Open] A Nightmare Rises - It is difficult to simply let go of what others have said and done, no matter what apologies or small gestures have been made to make amends. Upset and feeling that she will never truly be accepted or loved by their citizens as her sister is, Luna's negative emotions take hold once again- yet the transformation is a little more incomplete this time when she has no desire to upset the balance for her own ends, but to cast down her crown and give up on being a princess of Equestria. [Open; also open to discussion] YUNA Application Fortunetelling - As a zony who can predict what may happen, Yuna has employed herself as a fortuneteller and travels Equestria, moving from town to town to make a few bits. While most of her fortunetelling is but an act, put on to entertain and wow ponies, if she picks up that they need help in some way, or may legitimately run into trouble, she does her best to help. [Open] Friendship for a Wanderer - Being both a hybrid and a zony who is always on the move, it can be difficult to make friends. Sometimes her stripes may simply throw other ponies off. However, those who are true and wish to get to know Yuna for who she is, she may get a chance to finally earn some friends. It will be a new experience for her, somepony who hardly socializes outside of her occupation, and perhaps a little difficult to open up, but not impossible. [Open] What Everypony Seeks - It is not something Yuna has ever found interest in, let alone thought much about, but there is always that chance that she finds a pony who she gets along well with, who spends a lot of time with her and sticks with her through both good times, and bad, no matter the trouble they endure. It would be with surprise that Yuna discovers she's fallen for this pony, that what she may be feeling is love. [Open] ELYSIUM Application none; plots yet to be made. plots are also welcome. ROSE Application none; plots yet to be made. plots are also welcome. GALLANT none, unapplied as of yet.
  14. The voices of the others in the room flowed past his ears, and although he paid some attention to what he heard, most of it was upon Miles. The king inclined his head when the koma-inu bowed, pleased to receive such respect. It'd been far, far too long.. and Miles was one of very few who would bow to him willingly. "It was never accounted for, and when my curse was so.. nonspecific. It was only meant to make the empire disappear so long as I was gone, myself. As long as the princesses' banishment held. By the time I'm sure you've awakened, I was either long gone south into Equestria, or it was during the two years I'd been.. piecing myself back together. The Crystal Heart certainly destroyed me, for a time." There was a slight, smug note to his voice, as if he'd achieved surviving its magic himself. Of course he knew that he didn't- it'd been pure luck that it hadn't killed him. Sombra gestured idly at Miles to rise and moved to stand next to the koma-inu so that he'd be able to have eyes on the meeting room again, eying the ponies that were present again. The bat pony still struck him as strangely familiar until it dawned on him: it was Midnight. Thus far, he was the only areion Sombra had seen with a similar color scheme to him: black mane, grey fur. He made a note to talk to the bat at some point, too, as well as getting to know Stormstride, who seemed so passionate and so.. bitter. That bitterness resonated in Sombra himself and it drew him. There was also.. Raven, some of who's story he knew already. His attention drifted again to what questions and answers he overheard, and one answer in particular caught his interest: an archive. Knowledge. Anything any of them would want to know. It was something he was definitely going to stick around for so that he might have access to. His tail flicked and he turned his attention towards one of the new ponies, this Tongue Twister. It was an odd name, but it was Sombra's opinion that most pony names were strange. "It likely won't disappear, not until after the passage of a few millennia. Empires rise and fall, and this one will in time. Just not so soon, if the sisters and their appointed.. champions have anything to say about it." The king spoke up, his voice carrying through the room again.
  15. The mention of a curse turning some of them into vampires was enough to furrow Sombra's dark eyebrows while he ate on his pastry. A curse. They interested him greatly, because they were something that he was good at. If given the chance, and a good enough incentive to help, then he'd be able to help others figure out and undo such curses.. However, nothing warranted a reason for him, and especially when this one mention of a curse could only be a foal's tale. Although.. who knew, really? He was curious to see if any of these vampires actually existed. "Associated with night and darkness because you remind ponies of bats, creatures that are nocturnal- they only come out at night. As I presume areion do, too." Sombra fell silent, puzzling over the exile in particular. He grunted. "As somepony who fought the royal sisters himself, it still surprises me to know that Princess Luna fell to her own darkness and became so.. corrupted, to the point she took on this new name of hers. When I met them to do battle, they struck me as ponies do who think they're so pure, so perfect, who cannot do wrong. And yet here she fell. It makes me wonder how much longer it will take before Celestia falls, too." There was a note of satisfaction in his voice, of a smugness, knowing that they really weren't so perfect as they tried to lead others to believe. "Ponies shun those that are different from them. They are afraid of what is new and things that they do not understand. Look at how they act about the Everfree Forest. It is a dangerous place, to be true, but what I hear when they speak of how scary it is, is because the weather behaves as it wishes, rather than adheres to the control they exert over everything else." Sombra paused, cocking his head and finishing the last bite of his pastry. "It is the only reason they fear, and shun. They do not understand, and it is not like them or the way they wish it to be. I know this from experience." Silence fell again for a brief few minutes as he considered Midnight, curious about something else that'd been mentioned. "Why is it you believe areion are connected to Princess Luna? Or is it because your species has attached themselves to her because she begins the night?"
  16. King Sombra rumbled softly, quietly pleased that Raven would allow him to withhold certain details. He said nothing more, allowing the mare to start talking and tell him the story behind her cracked horn. He didn't know what the REA was, and he could only assume it was some sort of group. A military group? Sombra pondered it while Raven continued, and his dark brows furrowed. An incomplete memory. The lost details were slightly disappointing, but his curiosity about her horn in particular was satisfied. A misfired spell, an accidental impact.. he could see how it would crack her horn. It was fortunate it wasn't broken off entirely. "It is something good, I suppose, although I know nothing about this.. REA you speak of. You can spend your time relearning how to perform magic at your leisure, and work around your new disability. Certainly Equestria must have something for you to apply yourself to outside of this group you've mentioned," Sombra put in. "So," the stallion continued, taking charge of the conversation once more, "my second question is about the word you used earlier. Reform. What does it mean, when you said you didn't think you'd be able to reform me. Is there some context that I'm missing? Why do you think you have to reform me? Some sort of attempt to change me, I presume?" He tilted his head questioningly and straightened again to sip at his tea while it was still hot.
  17. Eagerly, Sombra read through what the journal might claim about the Crystal Empire's disappearance, curious to see if it was a lot of hearsay and assumptions, or if it might hit anywhere close to the truth. Of course, he knew nopony would ever know the intimate details like he would, let alone details about himself. "Primal?" he echoed, tilting his head up slightly and while his eyes remained glued to the pages. It was interesting to see how ponies interpreted things, such as the Crystal Empire and its disappearance, how little they knew about it. Sometimes, however, their interpretations and assumptions were annoying. A rear leg was crossed over the other while he leaned back, half balancing the journal on his forehooves and half levitating it. Briefly, he looked up to see what it was she was offering him and saw the teapot. Tea? Why not? "Of course," he replied a little distractedly, most of his attention returning to the journal. Her comment about the tea flavors only earned a shrug from him- he hardly bothered to eat or drink, so the flavor didn't matter to him. Unless it turned out to be unpleasant to him in some way. Once he was finished reading, Sombra hoofed the journal back and took the other teacup Raven had poured, curiously sniffing at the tea. "Very well. Now that I'm able to ask my questions, perhaps I shall reward you with telling you about my history afterward. You will know the truth, although I believe I may still keep a few very secret details to myself. Details nopony should ever know for their own safety." The king sipped experimentally at his tea and sought out the first question he wanted to ask. It was perhaps the easiest and most obvious one. "How did you crack your horn?"
  18. Areion cuisine? The shadow king grunted and continued to eat his blueberry filled pastry, only glancing up and catching how Midnight was eating his. It was a little strange, and he could imagine why ponies thought areions were vampires.. or like vampires. Sombra snorted softly and licked crumbs of the pastry from his lips. "Something like fruit bats, then?" he queried, although it wasn't too serious a question. An eyebrow arched. It sounded like there was a story behind biting a pony in self defense, something that he felt enough intrigue to want to hear about while he was still having a conversation with Midnight. He withheld it and chose to follow the opening the other grey stallion left him with to ask questions. "I suppose that will be a good start. I'd like to know about where areion came from, why they're so different from pegasi.. and yes, their history. I'd like to hear about it, to hear about a species I don't hear about every day." Like the modern three tribes, for example, and the crystal ponies. He already knew enough about them that they weren't all that interesting. But areion? They had his attention, and it was clear from the things he wanted to know that he was eager to learn anything new. Sombra plucked up another fruit-filled pastry and bit into it. This time he could more readily identify the fruit: apples. It was different from raw apples, and still quite pleasant. Sweet. He settled further into his seat while he ate, making himself comfortable to listen to Midnight.
  19. Sombra inclined his head, clearly interested in how Raven answered. She was trained, and she had fighting skills, but she didn't want to hurt ponies. He snorted softly. "So it is your talent, then? Or connected to it? Sometimes being taught well at a young age can become an instinctual response when you're older. It's muscle memory. If these skills of yours only crop up when you or others are in danger.. then perhaps I should point out to you, that if you do nothing, you will be the one getting hurt. You shouldn't feel so much guilt over self defense." The king quieted, catching the mention of her cracking her horn. It was a story he wished to hear, but he didn't yet find an opening to ask. The levitated journals had gotten his attention and he leaned forward a little in his chair, rear hooves resting on the floor and one foreleg reaching out to the floating journals with curiosity. There would be a lot to read in those books.. "Naturally," he murmured, responding to how they were centered around Equestria rather than the Crystal Empire. "The empire is far from the rest of Equestria, near the very top of this continent. In the Frozen North. It's secluded, separated from everything by an icy wasteland. Of course nothing would mention the Crystal Empire if most ponies have never been there before. As for farther north.. I only know of the yaks in the mountains, but beyond them? It's impossible to tell. It could just be treacherous mountains." Sombra shrugged, averting his red eyes from Raven to the journal she'd opened to show him. Greedily, he read it to see what this particular passage might say.
  20. Roleplay Type: WoE Name: Luna Sex: Mare Age: Over a thousand years old. Species: Alicorn Eye colour: Teal Coat: A deep, slightly desaturated blue Mane/Tail: A brighter blue that's flecked with stars. Physique: Slim, athletic, head and shoulders taller than most ponies. Residence: Canterlot Occupation: A princess and one half of the diarch that rules Equestria Cutie Mark: A white, crescent moon Unique Traits: A large black, spotty blotch on her hindquarters. Her mane is airy and seems to flutter and float with every little movement; it flows freely when she wishes to display power. She has partial immortality- long lived, but not invincible. Skills Dreamwalking: During a time when she was still imprisoned in the moon as Nightmare Moon, Luna discovered that she could still influence ponies in Equestria through entering dreams and sowed nightmares. Now, she chooses to make up for it by helping ponies confront their fears, and helping them deal with their problems so they will no longer have recurring dreams. Magic: As one of Starswirl's students, Princess Luna has a skill and understanding in magic, especially of the more dark variety to the point she created something called a Tantabus, and she is capable of dreamwalking, something nopony else is capable of, much less has the power to do. Weaknesses New Moons: Princess Luna is closely connected to the moon. She is strongest during full moons, but new moons leave her weaker when the moon is eclipsed by the planet. History: Character Personality: After all the time she'd lost to being imprisoned in the moon, Luna's manner of speech and views are more old fashioned, although this is slowly changing the more she adapts to the modern day. While she may not share her sister's playful sense of humor, she is known to fall back on her more prankish nature from time to time when the opportunity presents itself, although her duty as princess and her experiences have prevented it. Luna works towards her improving her social skills with ponies of the modern day, and while she is occasionally still shy and uncertain when she is among ponies, she is becoming more comfortable as she settles back into her role as one of the diarchs of Equestria and keeps a calm facade amidst troubled times. Luna still struggles with her guilt over what she's done, and it often weighs heavily upon her shoulders. She feels she must make up for it somehow, and she has found that she can do so through dreamwalking- helping ponies deal with their nightmares and facing what troubles them most. Her kindness and willingness to help are most often expressed through her dreamwalking, and on occasion in person as well, when she sees that somepony is in need of help or a guiding hoof to steer them right. Her way of helping them avoid what she had become. The Element of Honesty shows most strongly in her- Luna never shies from speaking her mind or telling a pony the truth. She feels lies do more harm than good and she is adamant that she never be lied to. Character Summary: One of the diarchs of Equestria, Luna shares her sister's burden of ruling their kingdom and is the opposite to Celestia in many ways; quite literally the night to her day. She is the one responsible for raising the moon and beginning the night, and has also taken on the task of protecting the dreams of ponies to make up for once causing nightmares during her long imprisonment in the moon; the only way she could still influence Equestria. She has slowly regained her power and she's still adapting to the many changes the modern day has brought with it while struggling with her guilt. She is slowly getting better, and she has become much more comfortable in her role as one of Equestria's princesses, although she does not speak much in public unless it is necessary for an event.
  21. King Sombra kept up easily with his long legs, choosing to pace himself rather than try to cover ground between himself and the fleeing mare. He still couldn't figure out why she'd run. His heavy hooves beat the smooth pavement of the street, the sound preceding him to where Raven slowed before a two-story home. The architecture and what Equestria's homes were built with still intrigued him, and they looked far more interesting than the crystal the homes of the empire were formed with. His pace slowed to a trot, and then a walk, coming to a stop in front of Raven. "If you are so capable in a fight, why did you run?" Sombra asked, moving to follow her inside. His eyes shifted away from the mare to sweep the spacious interior of her house, yet again curious about what lay in a pony's abode, how it was decorated. A glimpse into some sort of normality outside of his perspective as an orphan. "Is.. fighting your special talent?" Another question was asked once they reached her study, and Raven made it clear they could talk there. He didn't see why it alone was safe- the rest of the house was just as private, but he kept his thoughts to himself and found a comfortable enough chair to settle down in without waiting for his host's permission. As soon as he was off his hooves, Sombra allowed himself to relax into the cushioned seat, slouching and looking around at the interior of the study with curiosity. Vaguely, it reminded him of his own, the one he'd kept hidden beneath the crystal palace at the bottom of the mineshaft he'd forced crystal pony slaves to dig. It was all done in order to find the door to the umbrum's prison, one he'd never had the courage to open once he had. It still remained unopened, and he was the only creature who knew it was there- and he presumed to think he was also the only creature to know how to even get into his study. Sombra had more questions to ask Raven, but he felt it was best to wait until the first two that he'd asked were answered. He didn't want to overwhelm her more than she already was.
  22. The mare's statement was enough cause for concern, bringing forth another question Sombra had to file away to ask her once they were in a setting that allowed their conversation. Remaining silent, the stallion walked beside her through the streets of Canterlot, allowing her to lead him through a city still unfamiliar to him in many ways, despite how long he'd lingered in it already. It was dangerous to, all because of the royal sisters lived here, in their tall marble castle. His own thoughts wandered, and twice along the way Sombra glanced over at Raven's face, curious about the way her emotions had changed and why. She didn't seem so sullen now as she was earlier, but some manner of.. content? It puzzled him. Her decision to take the roads hardly inspired a thought, but her decision to sometimes cut through the unlit back alleys of the buildings was enough for him to question it. Still, the stallion said nothing up until she abruptly stopped and whispered to him. Being a monstrous creature and a kind of predator, he had no sense of danger here in these dark alleys, not like a prey animal. Sombra didn't know what she was picking up on until the ponies showed themselves. Scruffy, maybe even a little dirty, and one of them wielding a knife. A part of Sombra could have laughed. To him, they weren't scary, much less a threat, and he could have dealt with them easily.. but it seemed Raven wished to do just that. For his own curiosity, King Sombra chose to step back and allow her so that he might see what she was capable of. His ears were pinned back against his mane and he shut his eyes, although one was cracked open to watch her perform her magic. It was a strange spell, one that he'd never seen before or anything like it before! It intrigued him, and so too did the feel of that magic. He shut his eye again as she cast her spell, and he couldn't help but flinch back from the roar of sound. It left his ears ringing once it faded, and he dared to open his eyes again to behold the mare's fighting skills.. right before she fled. The king chose to carefully step over the downed muggers and ran after her, a frown on his muzzle. He didn't know why she was running.
  23. The movement in his peripheral vision drew his attention back to the crystal ponies, and he saw how their colors were duller than before. It pleased him, bringing back the smug smirk that sat so comfortably upon his face. His gaze shifted back to the tilt-yard to watch the two other competitors joust, and he could see how poorly they were doing. Their fear was affecting them, and Sombra had to wonder how much of it was done so neither of them would win and have to face him. A low chuckle rolled up his throat. "I hope they do," Sombra murmured at last, responding to what he'd heard Chesster say. If he hadn't taken the empire down with him, they might have existed for a thousand years, and all memory of him would've been lost to the generations. It would have been disappointing, in a way, yet he would've had the advantage to retake the empire again. It didn't matter any more though. The Crystal Empire was a place of misery and after the way the Crystal Heart had quite literally shattered him, the pain of it, it was enough to convince him to forget it entirely. Although it meant losing the only purpose he'd been given in life, it was better than that place. All he was left with was the comfort that they still feared him. This jousting tournament was practically a feast. There were enough of them frightened of him, and the very mention of him, that he could feed and he didn't have to do a thing to do so. Closing his eyes, he took what he could until it'd been announced that both the competitors out in the tilt yard had jousted poorly, had failed. Sombra reopened his eyes and rose to his hooves, his smirk making another brief reappearance. "I look forward to it," he answered and strode off towards his end of the tilt-yard, grabbing one of the lances on the racks and fixing it to his armor just as he'd done before. Once he'd finished, King Sombra faced the tilt yard, lining himself up with his side of the fence and stretching out his legs. It hadn't escaped his notice that the cheers of the crowd weren't as enthusiastic as they were before, and that they were rallying for Chesster. It didn't matter to him that they were because of who he was. Giving himself a shake, Sombra pawed the ground with a hoof. He was ready and intent upon defeating Chesster; he had to get back at the stallion somehow for laughing at him.
  24. Sombra raised a dark eyebrow. He could try his damnedest to imagine it, if he wanted to take Midnight even the slightest bit seriously, but he wouldn't be able to. The flavors of the fruits, other than apple, was entirely beyond him. Something he might get to find out tonight, once their food arrived. It didn't take long for it to, and it saved Sombra from having to see Midnight drooling over the fruity pastries he'd described. The tall king was vaguely aware that Midnight was saying something, and he leaned forward with interest, sniffing the air to take in the pastries' warm, sweet scents. It was appealing enough that he found himself more willing to try these sweets out. A glance was cast up towards Midnight, as if ensuring the areion didn't think he was sniffing all because he'd been told to. Not at all. Using a sliver of dark magic, the only magic he could wield, Sombra lifted one of the pastries curiously. This one appeared to have some sort of dark blue filling to it. He bit carefully, chewed, and found that it was actually rather good. It'd been ages since he'd even dared to eat something sweet, and this wasn't overly sugary. It was a natural sweet, as fruit was. "Hm," the stallion grunted. "I'm surprised to say that I'd have to agree with you. These are good."
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