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Posts posted by dragonofruin

  1. Canterlot had proven to be an interesting place. It leaned more towards the wealthy elite of unicorn society, and because of such, the mountainside city was clean and well-kept, although there was still enough evidence of some of the more regular citizens living here. The former tyrant cared for none of them and kept to himself as much as possible, or to any libraries he could manage to sneak into during the more quiet hours. Or the dead of night, if need be- it wasn't terribly hard getting inside for one like him who was unafraid of breaking a few rules and laws. If he was breaking any all just to read when he wouldn't be disturbed or discovered.


    Currently, the umbrum wasn't up to much beyond lurking at the city's outskirts, close to the marble railing that edged the large platforms of the city. There were a few benches and patches of grass from which a tree or decorative patches of flowers grew. He sat under one such tree, his forelegs crossed over his broad chest and his mouth pulled into a thoughtful frown. There was still a lot to explore, and learn, and yet.. even now, he found himself in a moment where he just felt lost without what defined him before in the Crystal Empire. He'd never go back, of course, he'd succeeded well enough at what he intended when he'd been there. That part of his life was over.


    Sombra shifted briefly in his spot, peering around the tree he was leaning up against just to check on his surroundings; a habit to make sure nothing was sneaking up on him. There was only so much brooding he could do without getting restless and checking with a paranoid eye.

  2. I've struggled for the longest time to even write or think of writing one of these, but 👀 I was hoping to try to get back into a few rps on here again? I know I had an older 'looking for rp' post somewhere, but I figured I'd just.. make a more general one or something.


    I don't have any specific ideas, just characters to offer up if anyone's interested in figuring something out.


    I greatly favor rping King Sombra, as well as Princess Luna, and I have a small scattering of OCs (A traveling zebra-pegasus hybrid named Yuna, a noblemare pegasus named Rose, and a foreign unicorn named Elysium who likes magic). Uh, I have a character log w/ their apps linked for information.


    And because I favor Sombra, I do already have a thing going on with him that's unrelated to s9 (and I'd been doing way before then), so I'm pretty flexible what I can do or set up with him~.


    So I guess if anyone's interested in rping with any of my characters, don't be afraid to comment and/or send me a dm or however you wanna talk.



  3. A soft sigh heaved itself out of Sombra. The momentary trouble of rescuing Alizarin from the quicksand was no longer an issue, and he could now just sit there and watch the Captain helping Fluttershy get the deer out next. He made no move to help- to him, it was only a deer. The woods were rife with them. He was moderately aware of Alizarin's presence next to him, and he dared to give her a glance out of the corner of his eyes, his expression as typically severe as it always was.


    "Yes," Sombra gave a simple answer. None of them knew. "She wandered off right after she spoke to you." He snorted softly. It would figure that a foal would slip off right when they're in the middle of some sort of crisis, all of them too busy to even stop her. Alizarin had been in trouble.


    The king turned his head, noticing that Alizarin was looking more alert than she had been seconds ago; another little glance had shown him that. He couldn't help looking, after how close she was sitting to him. How present.


    His ears twitched and he was back on his hooves after Fluttershy's shout, looking around in alarm. There, over by the edge of the clearing, he saw a small splash of yellow trying to crawl out through the foliage. Whatever happened had sent her back in a sorry state, and he didn't know what it could've been until Alizarin was shouting about a basilisk. Sombra heard of them before, but he'd never really gotten around to reading up on them; there was just so much about Equestria to learn. It never felt as if there was enough time for him to simply sit down and read everything he wanted to.


    Sombra followed after Alizarin, ears flattening back against his flowing black mane. "Get something? Like what?"


    How poorly everything was going tonight was getting mildly irritating for the tyrant. He'd come out here to see, to make sure, none of his suspicions were true, and whatever was really the cause of the animals' disappearance could be getting away.

    • Like 2

  4. Sombra followed the other stallion on silent hooves, watching the guard pony closely on their way towards another intersection in the hallways. None of the few rooms they'd passed seemed very interesting, and only seemed to be empty or filled with decrepit furniture from what glances inside showed him. Even some of the wooden doors were deteriorating with age. It looked like it'd been quite a nice castle in its day, and it was a shame it was all coming apart like this.


    His attention quickly returned to Heart Shield, drawn back by the stallion's voice responding to what he'd suggested. "Maybe," Sombra replied, sounding less than interested. There was only so long he could contemplate about the whats and wheres before he started to get bored. Besides, he had a feeling the library was somewhere around here, somewhere close..


    The stallion paused, watching as Heart Shield was startled by something off in the shadowy corners of one hallway, sending the guardpony skittering back and right into his side. Sombra hardly budged, but he did have to move a hoof to steady himself against Heart Shield's weight running into him. An eyebrow arched and Sombra leaned his head forward, peering off at what must've scared the poor pony. From what he could see.. nothing, just what looked like a suit of armor or.. a statue, perhaps? A snort escaped him and Sombra reached over to pat Heart Shield's shoulder with a low chuckle.


    "Jumping at shadows now, are we? It appears I won't have to do much just to scare you," Sombra teased, stepping by him and picking the hallway to his right. Summoning a werelight with his magic, a low oddly colored flame, he shed some light on the hall ahead, and he was sure he could see something. Exactly what he'd suggested, perhaps- tall, important looking doors, and one of them cracked open from the last ponies who must've breezed through here. The umbrum trotted towards it, intrigued. It had to be the library, at last! He'd guessed from the ruin's shape, that it had to be somewhere on the castle's right side.

    • Like 1

  5. The mare was just out of his long reach, a fact that brought a frown to Sombra's face. It appeared he'd misjudged where he'd extended the crystal, but from the shore it'd look like it was close enough. Although, with the Captain flying above them with her rope with Alizarin now on the end, she was coming ever closer. Soon enough, Alizarin was grabbing onto his foreleg. His muscles strained as he pulled her towards his safe plank of crystal, heeding Apple Bloom's earlier warning about being careful with the strong pull of the quicksand working against them.


    Before he knew it, Alizarin was tumbling into his forelegs, much to his surprise, and he fought to keep his balance on his rear legs to keep himself from tumbling backwards and sending them both into the sand. He managed to keep his balance, his attention returning to the pony pressed up against him and a small jolt ran through the stallion's body when he realized how close she was to him. Sombra tensed up slightly, alarmed, and easily let Alizarin go when she hopped away from him. He awkwardly brushed at what bits of sand ended up on his coat and legs while Alizarin thanked the Captain up above... and turned to him to express the same gratitude.


    Sombra stilled, blinking, his ears twitching ever so slightly back. Thanks? Well that was certainly.. new.. and the first time somepony had ever thanked him for anything. He hardly knew what to do about it, much less feel.


    Confused, he only managed a soft grunt before he got to his hooves and carefully strode back towards nice, solid ground, and he struggled to get his thoughts back together all the while. There was, at least, a welcome distraction in Alizarin's abrupt question, and of course, the sight of the deer past the mare serving as a reminder of what else they had to rescue. Sombra could almost roll his eyes, but it'd have to be saved..


    "The foal ran off into the woods. I don't have a clue where she could've gone or why she thought it was a good idea to go off on her own, but she has," Sombra replied, almost grumbling. It was mildly annoying, and in this darkness? These woods? They'd have a hard time finding her if whatever this mysterious creature didn't get to her first!

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  6. Sombra didn't quite get the reaction he was looking for, but the way Heart Shield jerked and moved away from him drew a deep chuckle out of the umbrum, his sharp teeth glinting faintly in the dimness. There was a faint glow to his eyes that was more evident in the diminished light, the very same eyes that watched Heart Shield's smile and fidgeting when the stallion spoke, clearly attempting to focus back onto their task at hoof.


    The king straightened, tearing his gaze away to peer down the hallway Heart Shield had initially been inspecting, with pillars interspersed and dividing up the walls into sections. A soft rumble rolled out of his throat and he strode after Heart Shield with a sweep of his short, black tail, intent on scouring every inch of this place to see what he could glimpse of the princesses' former life here. It was just a little bonus next to finding that library of theirs, and he felt it shouldn't be too hard to find it despite what Heart Shield was considering aloud.


    "I don't think so. I can't see why the princesses would've tried to hide their library from other ponies, if they were meant to be the unifying force for the Three Tribes. Hiding and withholding knowledge wouldn't have looked all that good for them. Of course, I also know that those who were rich or in power did tend to hoard such things during that time. I just can't see them as the types who'd keep ponies out.. at least, one of them," Sombra mused as he followed Heart Shield through the hall. "Which means, the library shouldn't be too far away from the main part of the castle, perhaps with some important looking, tall double doors.." He strode up alongside the royal guard and tilted his head, eying Heart Shield with one faintly glowing eye.


    "You should keep an eye out for that while we're exploring."

    • Like 1

  7. His ear twitched towards Heart Shield's hoofsteps as the other stallion walked past him and he pulled his eyes away from the dusty, mostly empty room he'd been eying for anything interesting to jump out at him. There wasn't much in it beyond a rotting shelf and a table that'd been broken by some falling stone debris- nothing, in other words. Sombra put it behind him as he silently followed the pegasus towards the end of the hallway, and when Heart Shield came to a stop, Sombra came up close behind him, looming over the smaller stallion's shoulder with those faintly glowing eyes of his with the intent to give poor Heart Shield a bit of a scare.


    His voice would break the dark, heavy silence with a suddenness. "Isn't it?" Sombra rumbled, his voice low in his throat, almost a purr near Heart Shield's ear. "I doubt the sisters, or at least Celestia, would be so boringly repetitive. This place doesn't seem like it would match Canterlot's layout anyway, when what little I've read about the city suggests it was going to be a unicorn city, barely built when Luna was sent to the moon."


    "I think it has to be on the ground floor, at least. If not, then I suppose we can check upstairs if we can't find it down here.." A sigh entered Sombra's voice, as if he was finally relenting with some troublesome demands, rather than the only suggestion he'd heard about it thus far. It was both a habit of his, and something he employed whenever he felt like agitating some poor pony who simply wanted to be heard.



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  8. The shadow king grunted softly in acknowledgement; he certainly would be moving at his own pace. He wanted to scour this place, to get a good look at what might be left over and left behind by the royal pony sisters themselves. Maybe he could gain some more insight on them, and the lives they used to live. Knowledge, after all, was power, and it was a wise thing to learn as much as possible about those who were his enemies once, unless they still were. Who really knew? Sombra only cared to keep himself safe, and his emotions closely guarded.


    "I doubt many of them would have. The Everfree Forest is something that ponies acknowledge as too dangerous to go near, and most are likely to steer clear of it for that reason. Why interrupt your idyllic little life to explore a place you might potentially die in, if not come to great harm?" Sombra remarked, pausing when he heard Heart Shield hoofsteps slow. Glancing back, Sombra saw that the stallion had pulled out a lantern to light and attach to his saddlebags. He made a soft noise and strode on, just at the edge of the circle of light the lantern now cast so that it wouldn't interfere with his night vision too much.


    The first doorway loomed up off to his left and Sombra paused to peer inside, to see what it might contain. Likely not much, he might guess.

    • Like 1

  9. The king rumbled softly as he looked around, trying to figure out what doorway would be the likeliest looking one to lead them to the library. The second floor could wait; they could just work their way up if they couldn't find anything on the ground floor.


    "I think I might like to start with the halls to our right, first. Judging from how this place looked on the outside, it might be somewhere off in that direction," Sombra mused, heading off across the worn stone floor for the closest arching doorway. They, he noticed, were a fair bit taller than himself. Perhaps a little taller than Celestia at her strange height, and the hallway looked wide enough for a few ponies to walk side by side. At least the castle was roomy.. and perhaps plenty of places to get lost in.


    Not him of course, but perhaps somepony else.. if ever Sombra felt inclined to lose poor Heart Shield in here.


    The umbrum had to stifle a chuckle and moved in to the dimly lit hall.


    "After we find the library, or perhaps before, I wouldn't mind getting a good look at what's left of this place. Do a bit of sightseeing. I'd like to see what the royal sisters left behind with my own eyes."

    • Like 1

  10. Sombra couldn't tell if there was any guilt in the satisfaction he felt when he discovered that the crystal he'd formed stayed in place, all unwittingly tested by Apple Bloom. He hadn't expected her to nonchalantly walk across it to calm Alizarin, if that was what she was doing, but she had. He only hoped it'd hold his weight, as she was just a filly. Her attempts to calm the earth pony mare aside, Sombra paid some attention to what Apple Bloom said about the quicksand as he briefly glanced up to check on the others.


    Fluttershy was dealing with the stuck deer, who the umbrum wasn't terribly concerned about, and the Captain who'd gone to land, presumably to get the very rope she mentioned, the same that Alizarin called for. Sombra waited until Apple Bloom had returned to dry land before he approached the edge of the quicksand, and his crystal, though he paused at the edges.


    "Where do you think you're-.. !" Sombra started to protest when Apple Bloom darted by him and off towards the trees. Investigating? These woods were too dangerous for a-...


    He stopped his thoughts there, a confused scowl on his face. Obviously there was nothing he could do about Apple Bloom, it wasn't as if he was her caretaker or anything. He would've considered whether he should say something to her if Alizarin's panic hadn't become so apparent, and he chose to focus on the issue at hoof. The filly could handle herself. A foreleg lifted and Sombra hesitated to step out onto the crystal he'd formed. While he'd never suffered from nearly drowning in his life and had never been in anything too deep, he knew he couldn't swim and there was something in Alizarin's panic that bothered him, echoing a little of his own fear. All his bravado and nonchalance hid that he was a coward- the king would do anything to protect his own skin, though he was never beneath fighting somepony or something if a situation came to blows.


    Sombra forced himself to move and gingerly stride out across the plank of a crystal, hopefully before anypony could notice his hesitation, and he bent down, reaching a foreleg out to the struggling mare to see if he couldn't grab one of her forelegs. If anything, he could at least try to drag her closer to the crystal so she'd have something to hold onto if he just couldn't get her out himself. This was probably where the Captain's rope might come handy; they might both be able to get poor Alizarin out of the quicksand.


    And probably deal with the deer in a similar fashion, he supposed.

    • Like 3

  11. A shadow overhead prompted Sombra to look up and catch a glimpse of Heart Shield soaring over, having crossed the chasm himself and avoiding the rickety rope bridge. His expression was one of mild annoyance as, because of this, Heart Shield had taken the lead, the first to reach the old castle doors; tall, double doors, with metal rings for handles. The wood was faded and worn from age and weather, and the metal on it was rusted.


    "I'm sure it was pleasing to look at. I still find Equestrian architecture interesting, and what it might've looked like a thousand years ago was likely far better than the eyesore of Canterlot or.." Sombra trailed off with a frown. Well, Canterlot castle wasn't so bad. It'd taken him a while to get used to it, but it wasn't bad. "No, the Crystal Empire's palace is what I was thinking of." He sneered, a lip lifting back from a fang. The expression faded once he strode up the stairs alongside Heart Shield and used a hoof to push the doors open onto a grand foyer, a large hall that was a fair bit longer than Canterlot's with a few doors on each side of it leading off towards various parts of the castle. There were metal brackets mounted on the walls by each where torches would've burned once, and up ahead were stairs. It branched off into two that lead up to the left and right, leading up to the same landing that had possible paths that lead off through the castle's second floor.


    Sombra wasn't sure where to start on finding the library in this place- whether in its prime or in ruins, it was likely going to be a maze of halls and rooms.


    "According to some stories, they weren't. Some say Starswirl approached them, as well as the leader of each tribe, thinking that alicorns might rule them indifferently. Ponies couldn't rule themselves because of their racism, so outsiders were a better option to them at the time." He paused, blinking after he realized something. "You know, I've never thought to ask Celestia for the truth of all that happened. I'm around her often enough and yet I never thought to until now." Annoyed with himself, Sombra rolled his eyes and strode into the gloom.


    The interior wasn't quite as worn as the exterior, but there was visible damage, and chunks of the ceiling were missing. Plants grew up through the cracks in the stone floor, pillars were chipped, and two old fraying banners hung from the arched ceiling. These Sombra eyed with interest.





    • Like 1

  12. Sombra made a noise in his throat, amused by the frantic tone in Heart's voice. "As I said, I don't think Celestia had a clue to what she was doing.. Unless she was being malicious, if she saw her poor little sister as just another 'villain' to beat." He inclined his head. "Although, as I know the mare to some extent, it sounds as if it was the former." The umbrum glanced back at Heart Shield, a frown back across his muzzle in response to how stubbornly the guard was insisting that they, as princesses, just couldn't be questioned because of their status.


    He snorted softly and slowed his pace once the trees began to thin out and ahead, the castle was more visible against the open sky. There was a chasm, over which hung a very old, rickety rope bridge. Some of the planks were missing, and the remaining ones Sombra didn't trust in the least. He'd much rather teleport across than try it, but before he did anything he chose to try to get through to Heart Shield for a moment longer.


    "They're not perfect. They're flawed individuals, like mortals are. They weren't always royalty either, from my knowledge.." The history books never mentioned where the royal sisters came from, only that Starswirl approached them about leading Equestria so they could rule the three tribes impartially. Sombra shrugged. "I get that you have to follow orders as a Royal Guard, but it's always.. healthy to question those orders and those who give them. They're not always right about everything." He wasn't entirely sure that he could say a thing to help Heart Shield begin to think more for himself, but he could try. Regardless, they were here now after.. what? A couple hours' walk?


    Sombra moved ahead, magic briefly flickering around his horn as he teleported himself across the chasm in a flash of dark magic.

    • Like 1

  13. "It almost sounds as if you think Princess Luna chose that. I doubt Celestia understood what she was doing, either," Sombra put in with a small frown still lingering on his muzzle. His pace slowed so that he could drop back to walk at Heart Shield's side and look down at the off-duty guard. No place? How could any of these ponies think they couldn't question their leaders? Sombra knew from personal experience that princesses were terribly flawed, imperfect, despite their attempts to fool everypony into thinking otherwise, and he felt that to not question them was to be foolish to trust them. He trusted one once and look at how that turned out!


    The umbrum scowled. "You should always question them. Questioning your 'superiors', or anypony, is to have a healthy skepticism in those that are strangers. The only reason the princesses even have power is because they've made you believe they do, when really they have no say." Tossing his mane, he strolled ahead, spying the glint of sunlight finally shining through the trees. It meant there was a clearing, and one that meant they were close to the cliffs the castle sat on.


    "Besides, I doubt Celestia would do anything if you simply asked a curious question about her life and what happened with Luna," Sombra rumbled, flicking his tail as his pace increased to a quick trot. Their path to the castle would let them break away from the winding river and step back into the woods, but the brush was thinner here, and he could already spy the silhouette of something tall and jagged in the distance: the ruins.

    • Like 1

  14. A grey ear flicked back towards Heart Shield's voice, pondering the details of Princess Luna's story aloud and about her thousand year banishment. The king had been banished for as long as she had, if not a little longer.. He already knew that detail. Before he could think to tell Heart Shield about the general details behind Princess Luna's banishment, he overheard Heart Shield's thought and Sombra's hoofsteps faltered.


    I couldn't imagine spending a thousand years completely alone like that. 


    "It's not the least bit fun. I could only imagine what it was like being banished to the moon. I had to endure an icy void," Sombra put in softly with a small twitch of his tail. It was something that bothered him, and while it was still relatively recent by a few months. Not a day went by he wasn't glad he was free of that place, and he never wanted to go back for any reason. Perhaps something had favored him when Celestia changed her mind about him so quickly, although he still wasn't quite sure why she had.


    "It wasn't so much what Luna did than it was what ponies had done, or rather.. what they failed to do." Picking up a different thread of conversation in the brief silence, the umbrum pushed on, acting as if he hadn't just shared that little tidbit. "All the stories say that ponies failed to appreciate Princess Luna and favored her sister more, all because her sister raised the sun and ponies being a diurnal species.. of course they would adore the princess of the day." Sombra cocked his head. "I imagine, in the details left out of such foal's tale-like stories and legends that Princess Luna was largely nocturnal, and she was likely left isolated and left feeling unappreciated and alone because of it. That, and her sister's failure to listen to her about anything, or perhaps brushing off her concerns and feelings, was what eventually left Princess Luna to grow angry and jealous about being treated so differently. So.. she gave in and had a confrontation with Celestia, and in that it corrupted Luna, turning her into something else. I'm not entirely sure what, but she'd shed her old name and took on a new mantle. Celestia apparently used the Elements of Harmony, and banished her."


    He frowned in thought, puzzling over Heart Shield's question. Why hadn't Celestia used the Elements to do what they'd later done? Maybe Celestia was in such a panic she hadn't thought to, or simply viewed Luna as another dangerous villain to lock away. They certainly had a habit of doing so, from what he read of old legends and alleged history. Discord, himself, Tirek..


    "I can't really say, not knowing any of that personally. Perhaps you could ask Celestia when we're back at the castle," Sombra put in with a proverbial shrug. "As for the ruins, we'll see. It shouldn't be much further now."

    • Like 1

  15. Sombra had set them on the path of following the river, which was going to help give them some direction to go in despite how the river wound through the wild forest. This allowed him to take some of his focus off of where they were going in favor of looking back at Heart Shield and caught a glimpse of that faint blush on the stallion's grey cheeks. There was always something about making ponies blush that sparked something in him that Sombra could never really place a hoof on. He could only puzzle over it and discard it for now to be studied and picked at later once he had the time to himself to do so.


    "Who knows? Perhaps Celestia simply abandoned the place after what happened with Princess Luna- she couldn't face the shame of what she was responsible for, something all those stories and legends fail to account for. They only praise Celestia for what she did, if they mention names or any identifying details at all." His snout wrinkled. It was easy to see, from an outsider's perspective who'd never grown up with such a butchered version of history to thoughtlessly consume, to pick out all the flaws in the telling of it and how ponies had viewed what happened through what they'd written.


    "If there's anything I might agree with, it would be that. Although I might word it differently, that we'd at least bothered to investigate and learn something, or at least find something in those ruins. I just wonder how bad those ruins must be after a thousand years, or if we'll be able to navigate it well enough."

    • Like 1

  16. The shadow king only glanced over at the rustle of a bird escaping from the low foliage, unperturbed, but he had noticed how it'd startled Heart Shield. He smirked, eying the stallion for a brief moment before he looked ahead again, recalling his memory of the Equestrian map- specifically this part of it. The river that flowed around the east side of Ponyville split off into the Everfree, though if he recalled correctly..


    Sombra angled their stroll through the forest to the left, intent on making sure they could run into the river so that they could follow it as close to the castle ruins as they could manage. Some of the maps and information he'd come across suggested it would be on a cliff.


    "We won't know until we get there," the umbrum thought to remind Heart Shield with a lift of one eyebrow. "I can't really see how they'd just be old novels. I don't think modern things like that existed a thousand years ago, although there were certainly plenty of stories recorded on pages. Many myths and legends and snippets from history, supposedly. I would know, the Crystal Empire had some of its own." The rumble of his voice filled the near-silence of the forest where they walked. There was still enough quiet ambience that when silence fell between them, it didn't fall entirely. The soft rustle of leaves and faint birdsong, and eventually.. the silvery sound of water. They were getting close.


    They'd come across it soon enough, a murky green-blue. The waters weren't running terribly fast, but even then Sombra had no intention of even ending up in it. He turned away, moving along the river's edge instead- and at a distance, too.



    • Like 1

  17. It became apparent what those calls of distress were coming from when their charge through the forest came to a swift halt, and a look past the foliage told Sombra exactly what he was looking at; the others commenting on it certainly helped explain it for him. Quicksand. Something he'd read and knew about, but never saw or experienced for himself- after all, much of this world was unexplored for him, something he wanted to rectify at any chance he could seize now that he finally had the freedom to. The creature the calls were coming from was a deer, stuck in the sand and struggling. Sombra couldn't feel any particular pity for it.


    A flash of yellow up above showed him where exactly Fluttershy had gone, who he'd lost track of once he rushed off into the forest after Alizarin. His ears perked. Rope? There was something of an idea rolling around in his mind, not one he acted on quite yet when he was uncertain about the quicksand.. and helping, for that matter. It didn't concern him.


    It was only once he heard a branch snap! somewhere up above, and Alizarin, who he hadn't been paying attention to in that moment, came tumbling down into the quicksand herself. Stuck.

    Ears pinning back, Sombra debated with himself, red eyes flicking from the Captain and Apple Bloom to Fluttershy, who he judged probably wasn't strong enough to pull Alizarin out if she couldn't even help the deer. He began to question himself as soon as he spurred himself into moving, striding past the filly and the red armored mare towards the edge of the strange patch of sand, where he paused. He didn't know what the others were planning on doing, and so the umbrum disregarded them for the moment.


    Sombra couldn't be certain of how it might work with so loose a material, so he instead focused on the solid ground at the edge close to where he stood. The familiar effect of dark magic was evident in his eyes as he used it to summon one of his trademarks: a flat black crystal. It split the earth and protruded towards the quicksand, albeit far slower than it would've usually moved as he actually bothered to take some care with it. Sombra didn't want to hit Alizarin, (or the deer for that matter, considering how Fluttershy might react). It was what he could think to do, better than any other option, though whether it might work remained to be seen.


    They weren't exactly finished here.

    • Like 2

  18. An audible snort escaped the umbrum at the brief list of belongings he was given. A compass was useful, perhaps.. and for any non-unicorn ponies, lanterns too; but Sombra was here with all his magic at his disposal. Who'd need lockpicks, or any other such tools, for that matter, with a unicorn (or at least one that had the appearance and abilities of one) present? Maybe what Heart Shield had brought along was useful, at least that he'd been told of thus far, but he could have doubts that the rest of it could be.


    His tail swished behind him and he glanced back at Heart Shield, pleased to see both the red possible shame on the other stallion's cheeks, as well as the fact that the pegasus was beginning to question the princesses. Of course it was only about something like 'why didn't Celestia go back for her things?' instead of anything bigger, like why Celestia ran Equestria the way she did and had history told a certain way, close to the manner in which stories and foal's tales were sometimes told. Why was everything built up the way it was? Among many other questions. Maybe Heart Shield had some potential..


    "I suppose. Some of the knowledge that must reside there could be the only copies of those books left from that era. I'm sure the Canterlot Archives and other libraries have updated versions, but the original books? What might they contain?" An eyebrow quirked upward as another look was cast back at the pegasus.


    "Who really knows? We won't, unless we get to that castle and see what we can uncover about your supposedly good and benevolent rulers."

    • Like 1

  19. His eyebrows rose and Sombra glanced over at Heart Shield with half-lidded eyes. "I suppose we could. It'll get us there most of the way," Sombra replied with a sigh, as if he was relenting to a demand instead of a suggestion. Before he looked away from the off-duty guard, he glanced down at the stallion's saddlebags, curious about what could possibly be making that rattling sound. He'd just have to find out later, wouldn't he?

    "If you're here for books and valuables, why did you bring saddlebags already full of.. whatever that is?" Sombra thought to ask, as he looked ahead. It hadn't taken them long to get through the winding streets of Ponyville and out onto the outskirts where soon, the Everfree Forest loomed. It was nothing like anywhere else in Equestria he'd seen, and perhaps he liked it for just that reason. It was unique. It was also dark, and ponies avoided it for its dangers. Sombra trotted into its heavy shade, undaunted, a small smirk crossing his muzzle. The dark shadows cast by the trees, even during the day, didn't bother a creature such as he- he could see well enough in the dark without needing a candle or a summoned werelight to see by, and it was far better than the numerous sunny days that seemed to plague Equestria.


    "We'll see what sort of adventure we find here in the Everfree, even if we might not find the 'books and valuables' you seek to pilfer from the royal pony sisters' old castle," Sombra spoke up again, his powerful voice carrying his words easily. "I wonder what they'd say if they found out. I also can't help but wonder why they, or at least Celestia, didn't get their remaining belongings out before she decided to move to Canterlot. Though if I recall the information from the history books correctly, Canterlot was still being in the process of being built by the unicorns then. I wonder how pleased they were when their great savior chose their city as her seat of power," he mused, some sarcasm lacing his tone in the latter statement.

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  20. His question evidently didn't need to be answered. The others had heard that yelp well enough, and all concern for the squirrel flowed towards whatever the source of that yelp might have been. Albeit, the normally timid yellow mare became surprisingly irate with Alizarin over the squirrel, something that raised Sombra's eyebrows. He already expected that reaction from Alizarin, but not from Fluttershy after he'd been around them long enough to get a read on each pony's particular personality. Fluttershy's courage, however, didn't last long after that distant distress.


    Sombra rumbled softly in his throat, barely managing to take a couple of steps towards that edge of the clearing when a little yellow and red blur flashed by him and disappeared into the dark. Apple Bloom. If he could have any concern for any of the ponies here, it was at least for the filly; she could very easily come to harm, running off into these woods on her own. Soon enough, the Captain and Fluttershy were disappearing into the dark, leaving him alone with Alizarin.


    The shadow king moved up next to the farmpony, a small frown on his face. "Naturally. We should probably make sure they don't throw themselves directly into danger." An eyeroll followed his statement. Normally he would just stay behind and let them run into whatever was taking the animals in these woods, if it didn't involve what he assumed it was, or if it was anything like it. Not that he was here to play protector.. The Captain was likely the only other pony there with them who might know how to fight, though he wasn't sure how capable Alizarin might be too.


    The words Ah trust ya caught him by surprise, snapping him out of the short flow of his thoughts while Alizarin had been lighting her candle, and he looked around at her with wide eyes. Why would she trust him? He blinked and spurred himself to move, running after the mare. It was easy enough to catch up with her with his longer stride, and it wasn't long before the pair of them finally caught up with the rest of the group. Letting Alizarin do the talking, he peered ahead, hoping to catch any sign of whatever they might be coming up on.

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  21. His ear twitched back towards the stallion's voice, the only sign that he was acknowledging that Heart Shield spoke at all. He could hear the hesitance in the pony's tone. "Beyond wandering the very edges of the woods, I've never really set hoof in the Everfree Forest before," he replied, and there was a brief pause, one he purposefully left to see if the statement created any dismay in Heart Shield. "However, I've looked at the maps and it just seems to be in the southeast part of the Everfree Forest, somewhere just east of the Ghastly Gorge. It shouldn't be terribly difficult to find it. If I recall correctly, we can either follow the river that seems to flow through the woods, or we can simply walk until we find the cliffs." There was a dry tone to his voice that suggested he found the question a waste of his time to answer. Of course he wouldn't get them lost- or at least, he wouldn't get himself lost..


    Sombra lifted his eyes to the sky and snorted softly. The second question Heart Shield had to ask had to be given some consideration. What was he seeking? Well, information mostly, as well as a chance to look in on the royal sisters' old castle. There was something else, something he was equally curious about, but it was something he decided against telling Heart Shield; just as he'd decided not to tell anypony else. Sombra couldn't remember if he ever mentioned it to Raven, as she was the only he just might consider telling.


    "I have some curiosities. I'd like to see what old books survived the castle's near destruction and what secrets might be hidden in those ruins. What of yourself? I don't remember if you ever told me."

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