Jump to content
dragonofruin

Dark Rendezvous (Open! Attn: Ciraxis)

Recommended Posts

Quote

"Clever little mare...but not clever enough. You thought you can remain unnoticed, but you can't hide a soul. I don't know how long you been there, but the moment you became agitated, your presence was revealed." Long Guo mare explained, while stroking Tongue cheek in a creepy manner.

 


"Well, of COURSE she could sense my soul !" TT groused to herself as she futiley struggled to escape the Blood Sun's grasp, "She consumes them !  And mine would be the only other soul here not her's or Sombra's !"


She didn't know whether to be impressed or flattered that she could detect Yin and Yang's quarreling (she didn't think their combined energies were enough to BE detected; but, then again, she'd never been around anypony that COULD detect such things).

 

"And now she's going to do something horrible to me !" Tongue Twister realized.


Accepting that there was no escape, she focused on the image of a jigsaw puzzle, and a single word : SCATTER !

 

Quote

Twister could feel Hou's magic - her dark corrupting magic - seeping into her mind, body and spirit, poisoning it. One could recall what she did to the plants around her without noticing. 
 And then it stopped. Her magic was less intense when she was flexing' against Sombra earlier, and it couldn't be more then a second....but a cruel, horrible second regardless! 


Within what passes for her mind, the last thing Tongue Twister felt was everything going cold, like burning frostbite everywhere.  Then shattering like glass.


When she recovered, she was drifting in a dark space, with no light in any direction.


Then she noticed some movement out there - a tiny dancing light, like a firefly.


She extended her hoof and let the glow land.  Looking closely, it was Yang.  A bit on the small side for even a Breezie.  She was alive, but very much diminished.


"That isn't good..." she noted to herself, before the darkness around her shrugged.


Cautiously turning her head to look, the noted the darkness was Yin.  Now the size of an Ursa Minor.  Wrapped in the coils of a very heavy set of chains and shackles, staring blankly ahead with glowing blood red eyes.


"THAT'S EVEN WORSE !!"


Back in the real world, Tongue Twister was flailing as the corruption continued.  But she somehow managed to stay conscious enough to hear the sorceress' monologue : 


"I think it would be enough for now. After all, the fist time can be.....pretty rough for the unexpirinced. Ufufufu!" Shuren allowed herself a small giggle. 


"Perhaps if we meet again, I will do some more work on You. But! Let's go back to the lecture at present...." she mused before addressing Sombra once more, or rather both of them. 


"I didn't lie when  told that whatever happens in Ponyvile benefits me. It is however, only a secondary objective at best. If - by some means - neither predicted scenario happens? Oh well." Hou shrugged. 


"The true jackpot, was the Canterlot Castle. Or rather, the Castle's Forbidden Library, and Celestia's hidden vault where she keeps quite....interesting collection of items. Unattended. And both opened by scrolls infused with my dark sorcery. Scrolls that I handed to my servants...." Hou leaned towards Sombra "....Another resource you desperately lack. But of course they wouldn't be good enough to stop you. Which is why I had to make you busy. Perhaps if you have turned tail, and rushed straight to Canterlot, you would have had a chance at averting my efforts. But oh, that would mean running from the fight wouldn't it? No, you too proud for that.....and I was counting on this.... You lost the moment you chose to take this fight, Sombra!" white mare said in triumphant tone.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The explosive sound of crystal shattering pulled Sombra's attention from the thing that'd been bearing down on him to Hou, now bloody and pricked with many shards of his shattered crystal. Perhaps, if given the chance, he could've done something creative with those little shards and Hou's flesh, but he never had that chance when she started to perform blood magic, creating an orb of her own blood which she then used for a spell.

 

He found himself suddenly ensnared by glowing threads of red light, his body caught up in them and his hooves off of the ground in a way that Sombra found uncomfortable, and because it was made of her blood too. He immediately began to writhe in his bonds, snarling with dark magic sparking around his horn again in an effort to get free despite Hou's speech filling the quiet and fading energy of their fight seconds ago. Just listening to her was beginning to infuriate him, and he was only distracted long enough by that pull of something dark far away in the general direction of Canterlot.

 

His teeth bared and he turned blazing eyes up towards Hou. "What does your plan matter to me? Do you think I was just going to stumble in and stop it because.. what? Because I might like to play the hero?" His tone was sneering and harsh laughter bubbled up his throat. "What do I care?"

 

There was a lapse in his verbal retaliation, taking in that accusation again that he had been in Canterlot in the.. throne room? He'd never even set foot in that castle much less the throne room. "I TOLD YOU! I was never there!" Sombra roared, his fury spilling out with the frustration that'd been building ever since Hou engaged him in this pointless fight. A display of power was one thing, but what she'd been attempting to do? He snarled and squirmed in his bonds, before briefly falling still as Hou's attention turned skyward.

 

There had been another! Sombra knew he had to have seen the shadow of something up above, over the fog.. His head snapped up to spy the helpless pegasus Hou had snared, just as she had with him, and Hou's following thoughts on something Sombra was unaware of with the unknown pony. His brow furrowed and he took the moment Hou was distracted to try to start working on how he could free himself, if he might still be able to use his magic to do.. something. He wasn't sure if he was any sort to care that she had her magic on another, and he'd likely not make any effort to free this pegasus unless it served a purpose for him.

 

"Have I really lost when I never even cared to start with? Whatever your plans might be, or when I had no goal myself?" Sombra asked her, his lips lifted in a sneer. "You're doing a lot of showing off for an audience that has no interest. If anything, you're wasting your time and mine!"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, this had been quite the interesting display, and perhaps something to look into in the future if he could add any of that magic to his repertoire. For now though, Magnus sat a fair distance away, close enough to see the battle and listen in but far enough to be relatively safe while he was invisible to the eye. Bending and manipulating light itself made for quite the good hiding spot, he could hide in the middle of an empty field at mid day and no one would see him. And with all that time spent on the streets, he knew how to remain unnoticed from other senses. If there’s light, he can manipulate it, and if there’s not, there’s no real need to use it to hide, now is there. 
 

With the appearance of the bloody orb, and the capturing of Sombra and a pegasus, Magnus hummed softly to himself. That was some interesting magic, to be sure, but it looked like it might be at its limit already. To be fair though, holding Sombra was in itself impressive, from what he knew of the former king’s capabilities. The unicorn kept watching as he remained hidden, considering leaving if the mare could detect souls nearby. He had been counting on the battle to keep her attention enough to not notice him, but now that it seemed to be over it might be time to go. Maybe he could get in her good graces though, utilize her resources to achieve his own goals. He still had revenge to enact, after all. For now though, he kept his distance, waiting to see where things would go from here while he stayed at the ready to defend himself or escape as appropriate. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Stop it? No. Hijack it? Yes." Hou explained, while at the same time plucking crystal shards from her flesh. "Not all of your strength is at your disposal right now, your memory might be a bit fuzzy, and you bit directionless, but I know you an pragmatical opportunist. This way of thinking is worth respecting." sorceress admitted. "At least in those moments when your pride doesn't get better of you. If you're so dismissive about everything, why were bothering going there in the first place? Not curiosity, I could see that o 'Seeker of Knowledge'." white mare said with an eye-roll "....It almost....as if you had some...obligation. Did you swore an allegiance to somepony? No, that's not how you would think about it. Mutually beneficial partnership is how you view it. A favor for a favor...and you loathe being indebted to anypony. Is that it?" Shuren guessed, before turning to a writhing mare for a moment.

 

"You know, it would be a lot less unpleasant if you just give in. Then again, it's no fun if that would be the case. It makes you think about things does it? Like all the times you turned the other cheek....when instead you should break his or her legs." Hou said, putting a suggestive imaginary in Twist head. "...it's so much more...interesting on the other side little mare. Especially in the world so unbalanced, so long under tyranny of the light. What point of living safe and sorted out life...if instead you can aim at the impossible and become a legend?" sorceress said. She learned long ago that those who resisted the darkness, wouldn't be appealed by pointing out how much more easy things could become. For those like them, it was much better to highlight the challenge. Hou smiled - almost invitingly - before focusing on Sombra once more. It seems that he was having another temper tantrum.

 

"You know, if didn't know you better, I would say that your stubbornness borders on idiocy. So instead I will ask you a question. Have you been living under rock Sombra?" unicorn mare said with emphasis.

"There been witnesses. It was on the HEADLINES: 'Former Tyrant Trying to Abduct Heir to the Crystal Throne.' or 'Warlock Defeated once More, in Canterlot!'. When whole world says one thing, but you insist on your version, that doesn't sound like you're paragon of hidden truths. It sound like you living in denial." she pointed out. At the same time, she had that distinctive feeling of being watched. Not sensing anything, just having a hunch...an you don't live for over millennia without realizing when to trust you instinct....

 

"And before you bring out that you 'Me don't remember such thing!'...well.... it isn't really and argument, isn't it? After all you all but admitted having memory problems. Besides, it not like things like that couldn't be induced. This reminds me of that one stallion, who conquered the nation, and then strengthened his iron rule by erasing history of how things been before his regime, from the minds of his subjects.....Oh right! THAT'S YOU!" Shuren said as coyly as she could. "Wouldn't surprise me if somepony with a grudge tried to pull some karmic retribution here." she 'theorized'. Of course she knew what was really going on, but throwing it straight to his face wouldn't be amusing at all.

"If you not afraid of an answer you might not like, and not want to ask anypony involved, why don't visit site of your last 'defeat' Yourself? Those bonds will hold you for around fifteen more minutes. Plenty of time between my minions wrapping things up, and with Celestia and CO. coming back from their road trip." she explained before pulling out and uncorking enchanted vial from before. As if on command, her hydrargyrum started to pull itself inside. "Just don't blame me, if you end up having some 'phantom pains'." she added.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sombra could only lean his head back and roll his eyes with great exaggeration. "You really are trying too hard to act as if you're on top of everything when you're not. No, I don't owe any obligation to anypony. I never would. I owe nothing. I am allied with nothing. As for the newspapers?" The umbrum barked out a laugh. "I don't even read it. I've long since found Equestrian news dull. I'm sure it's 'interesting' sometimes whenever some fool tries to conquer it again, but," he shrugged, indicating that he had no interest regardless. If he wanted to deal with some pony's view or retelling of events he could just ask the next pony he ran into on the road.

 

The tyrant's struggling ceased the longer his mind worked on potential solutions to his current predicament, trying not to let Hou aggravate him more than she had been. Dark magic was slowly bubbling and sparking up around his curved horn, preparing himself; his magic would feel, thus far, aimless, its purpose unshaped. Hou could yammer as long as she wanted about her assumptions about him- and that was all they really were, assumptions. He wasn't in any form of denial, no matter how he looked at it or how he tried to pry apart what she'd told him and what he'd seen.

 

All he knew was that something was falling apart within Equestria for some time, the way ponies had been acting towards each other, those not of their species. Something happened in Canterlot, certainly, it's just that Sombra never looked at any newspapers when he had better things to read and do on his curious way through the country. His brow furrowed. Maybe he did 'live under a rock', though that wasn't quite right.

 

Regardless of Hou's interference, he'd find out exactly what happened sooner or later. Why she insisted he was in Canterlot's throne room when he'd never set foot there.. "I could almost wonder if it isn't you who's delusional here," he idly put in, his attention shifting from the silvery liquid to his glowing bonds. "A few hazy memories are one thing, and this isn't it." His magic sparked and he focused it onto one of the glowing strands, wrenching at it. If he could get free, he wasn't sure if he might try freeing the pegasus too for the hell of it- one less soul for Hou to take.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

"You know, it would be a lot less unpleasant if you just give in. Then again, it's no fun if that would be the case. It makes you think about things does it? Like all the times you turned the other cheek....when instead you should break his or her legs." Hou said, putting a suggestive imaginary in Twist head.


 "...it's so much more...interesting on the other side little mare. Especially in the world so unbalanced, so long under tyranny of the light. What point of living safe and sorted out life...if instead you can aim at the impossible and become a legend?" sorceress said. 


Tongue Twister actually managed a laugh at that as the sorcercess turned her attentions to Sombra.  "Tyranny is tyranny, no matter how well it's lit.  If I wanted to become a legend, I could just do something considered impossible by others.  


Like resisting your corruption !  Didn't think of THAT, did ya ?" she continued to herself with a pained chuckle.


"The Light has legends of its own.  And how does one become a legend of the Light ?  Usually by destroying a Legend of the Dark.  

 

In an endless cycle of misery, blood and pain.   The Wheel is beginning to turn; why would I want to be under it ?
 

The world has cycles and rythms of its own; trying to force things to happen on your schedule is like trying to shove a mountain down to the sea.  Or roll a recalcitrant stone uphill, as in the legend of Sisyphus.


What would becoming a legend actually gain me," she asked herself with as much of a shrug she could muster while ensnared by the Blood Sun, "other than lifetime of paranoia ?  If the lightsiders don't kill me, one of the Dark will.  Or she will - should I become too successful and become a plausible threat to her, or she no longer has any use for me, or just because she buckin' feels like it !"


She managed a smirk.  "In the end, it is all the same.  I'm doomed if I yield, and doomed if I do not !  The First Path of the Way of the Nothing is 'Glorious Irrelevancy'.  Since nothing I do matters, I can do anything I want !


So I think I'll just stay where I am.  Not too light, and not too dark.  I might even see if I can bend this curse to my will, to serve my ends.


Succeed or fail, it will be interesting either way.  And on MY terms." Tongue Twister finished - before launching into a bout of booming maniacal laughter as her wings started to distort from the ongoing corruption.


She became rather quiet after that, listening to the battle of wits between Sombra and the sorceress.  


"Hmmph !  She's trying to gaslight him.  Typical !" she mused as she labored to keep what was left of her mind together.  


To that end, she just started chanting 'Nothing Is Forever.' in every language she knew.
 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magnus watched the scene silently, listening to what was being said as he further contemplated what to do now. From the looks of things, the mare in control was getting ready to move along, which could be good or bad for him, depending on if she noticed him and how she'd react to his presence. Perhaps it would be better to simply reveal himself. Or leave and approach her later, though that came with it's own sorts of issues, like why he would know anything about her. Still, either one could end up with him getting the same treatment as that pegasus, and from the looks of things it wasn't all that desirable of a process to go through.

 

For the sake of sating his own curiosity though, he created an illusion of himself on the other side of the group from him with his ability to manipulate light. For now, it was simply standing along a path, watching the scene. He'd have to see how they'd react to another newcomer before considering actually revealing himself.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Of course I am on top of things Sombra! Unseen, but always felt for centuries. And now, I am dragging out the skeletons that Celestia has keept in her closet, and bringing them home with me!" Hou bragged.

"And how that 'nothing' attitude worked out for you so far? Four times ...." Shuren started but interrupted herself seeing that warlock was about to snarl again "....Fine, have it you way - Two times you have tested yourself against Celestia or her puppets, and two times you had your posterior hoofed to you. Making all you worked for meaningless." sorceress pointed out. She seemed really, really annoyed right now.

"Practice your 'detachment' as you like, while the world and those withing it pass you by." Hou added scathingly. "What doesn't change, dies. I am not the same mare that was your guest at Crystal Empire, just as she wasn't the same mare, that left burning monastery behind her. And I thrived! Go ahead, be an unchanging 'monolith', one that gets buried under sands of time. And while at it, say 'Hi' to 'Extinction' from me. I plan to see it never." She raising her hoof and, surprisingly, the bonds that restrained Sombra and Twist receded!

"Congratulations, I know when I am beat, you convinced me. This was indeed the wast of time. I am not in a mood for a 'meal' anymore." white mare said dryly before turning towards cackling Twister.

"How cute, she thinks she's resisting." sorceress summed up pegasus fit of laughter. "Nothing is Forever? Well, then it pleases me that I will be the first..." Shuren leaned over ground-sprawled pegasus. "When sentient life will forget what Equestria or Long Guo were, I will be there. When Equinekind will leave it's cradle, and spill to the sea of stars, I will still be there. When this universe collapses unto itself and gives birth to a new one. I. Will. Be.There." unciorn said with emphasis, wearing - simply put- a terrifying expression. "Now be silent, or I will rethink skipping dinner." she ordered before focusing at Sombra once more.

"I believe I was wrong about earlier as well...." she mused while conjuring some item from thin air. Instantaneous artifice? No, she was accessing pocket dimension of so sort. "You are a king indeed Sombra." Hou said before thwarting said item at his hooves. Bracelet? No, a crown. And not just any crown, it was.....

"A King of Stubborness!" she announced, before her words were drowned croaking from thousand throats. As Hou took a step back, an a flock of jade-eyed ravens flew between herself, and Sombra with Tongue. When the birds were gone, so was Shuren, leaving Tongue Twister struggling with what was happening to her, and the warlock - staring at his former possession.

 

Moment's later, a pillar of Rainbow light shooting into the skies could be seen, rising from the fields around Ponyville....The Darkness receded...for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A low growl rumbled out his throat, shaking the air. Perhaps he may have lost to them twice, but one had been a pyrrhic victory for the royal pony sisters. He'd still taken the Crystal Empire away with him. He remained quiet about it, however, deciding that there was no longer a point trying to point out his justifications or what he'd experienced first-hoof and that she likely only heard about. Unless she somehow happened to witness it in one way or another..

It didn't matter to him now. A scowl would meet Hou the next time her attention shifted back to him from the madly cackling pony; he was sure he recognized corruption when he saw it. He just didn't quite know what was wrong with this pony. As the bonds around them disappeared, he hit the ground, barely managing to keep on his hooves; he stumbled a little to ensure he did.

 

"You've got that right," Sombra growled out, his eye twitching as she tossed the item she'd summoned at his hooves, but he didn't dare look at it yet just in case it happened to be a distraction. He was stubborn, and just as determined, and he had a reason to remain so detached to all but the world itself; ponies, companions, meant nothing to him. It remained to be seen if that, and he, would ever change. Perhaps in little ways, he would, he was adaptable enough.

 

His upper lip twitched as, after her tirade, Hou disappeared behind an abrupt flock of ravens who he had no doubt were magical. Sombra leaned away from them, holding a hoof by his face to protect it.. and soon enough they were gone, leaving him with the mad pony and an unknown fourth he hadn't noticed yet amidst all the chaos of his fight with Hou and her speeches.

 

His gaze finally dropped, and it was there he finally saw the item she tossed him for what it was: his old crown. All this time he thought it'd been destroyed, broken with the rest of his armor, and yet here it was, still whole. Sombra picked it up, catching part of his reflection in the iron band of the crown itself. He tilted his head and looked up, his attention briefly caught by the glare of rainbow light in the sky, far from here, disturbing the clouds.

 

Grunting, Sombra sidestepped towards the mad pony, eying her. "How long had you been watching us?" was all he could think to ask, while daring to glance around the area for any other possible surprises, and through the slowly dissipating fog, he was sure he could see a figure standing just short of the clearing.. His red eyes narrowed. "Who's there?"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

"How cute, she thinks she's resisting." sorceress summed up pegasus fit of laughter. "Nothing is Forever? Well, then it pleases me that I will be the first..." Shuren leaned over ground-sprawled pegasus. "When sentient life will forget what Equestria or Long Guo were, I will be there. When Equinekind will leave it's cradle, and spill to the sea of stars, I will still be there. When this universe collapses unto itself and gives birth to a new one. I. Will. Be.There." unciorn said with emphasis, wearing - simply put- a terrifying expression. "Now be silent, or I will rethink skipping dinner." she ordered before focusing at Sombra once more. 


Tongue Twister managed to remain silent until the sorceress disappeared in a flock of jade-eyed crows.  

 

Meanwhile, inside her mind : 

 

Spoiler

 

"Now where did you get to TT ?" the abomination swaggering around inside Tongue Twister's mind bellowed into the mindscape, "I have a big list of twits that need a beat down, and now we have the power to do it !"


Then the abomination paused, and grinned.


"I don't have to find you, do I ?" the abomination spoke into the void, "I don't know what foolishness you did to your own mind that enabled this bizarre state, but me, Yang and you being seperate is just a temporary condition !  The moment you return to normal, we fuse back together.  Since I am the most powerful entity here, all that you are will be subsumed into me !
Like everything you've ever done, your resistance was pointless and irrelevant."


"Oh for the love of all gods above, below and in between - STOP TALKING !!" Tongue Twister yelled at the preening monstrosity as she flew before it, "It would almost be worth fusing back together so I'd cease to exist, if it meant I wouldn't have to listen to your prattle any more !  You're almost as bad as the witch that shoved you in here !"


The abomination smirked.  "I would say that you will think differently once we are fused, but you won't think anything any more.


Now do the only sensible thing : accept my inevitable victory and get on with it !"


"Fine !" Tongue Twister replied with a dismissive wave of her wing as she reached out with her will to return to normal.


Flashing red lights and a ear splitting klaxon put an end to that.


"What trickery is this ?"


"No trickery.  Just a failsafe !" Tongue Twister replied over her shoulder as she willed those annoying alarms off, "In the event that my mind is damaged or altered without my consent, the Maintenance Crew can lock everything in its present state until the problem is resolved.


Your existence is a problem; therefore, you, me, and Yang will remain seperate like this until the problem is resolved."


"We'll see about that !" the abomination snarled as it took a swing at Tongue Twister.


Who didn't even flinch as she passed harmlessly through the abomination's gigantic hoof.


"Yin and Yang's position was completely advisory." TT stated with a smirk, "Neither ever had the power to do much other than argue and to give me advice.
And since you essentially took over Yin's job - congratulations !  You're now just a voice in my head that can do NOTHING except howl and scream at me !"


"LIES !  I AM THE SUMMATION OF ALL YOUR DARKEST IMPULSES GIVEN POWER !  I CANNOT BE DENIED !" the abomination howled at it struck at Tongue Twister again and again (and failing to affect her again and again).


TT snorted in derision.  "You're as stupid as you are ugly.  Yin wasn't my dark side.  Never was.


Now, if you're done, I have what passes for a life to get back to."

 


"Why do my wings feels so heavy ?" she thought as she returned to the normal world. 


 

Quote

Grunting, Sombra sidestepped towards the mad pony, eyeing her. "How long had you been watching us?" was all he could think to ask.


"I was flying past just as the battle started." she replied, struggling to get to her hooves, "That fog may have hidden both of you from view on the ground, but not from the skies.  When I saw all the power that was being summoned, I figured it was yet another threat to Equestria.  


I didn't know how big a threat until she started talking.  And throwing around flaming skull blasts.  And talking.  And mercury shaped and controlled with her mind.  And talking.  And talking.


I figured someponies in power really needed to know about all of that.  So I took notes." she stated as one wing turned to mercury and retrieved her notebook from her saddlebag and passed it to her hoof, with her too absent minded to immediately notice "This isn't horrible writing, it's shorthoof." she explained to Sombra, showing him what she'd written, "A way of transcribing spoken sounds as fast as they're spoken.  I was keeping up with both of you .. until ... ?"


She looked at her hoof - she'd just noticed that instead of the bottom third of her leg being white, it was now pitch black.


She waved it in the air vigorously to shake off whatever was on it.  The color didn't change.


She tried to use her wing to wipe off whatever was on her hoof.  She looked with horror upon the silvery liquid shape where her wing was supposed to be.


She flexed the alula and pinions; the shape obeyed.


"GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!! WHAT DID SHE DO TO ME ?!!?!" she screamed before running around in a panicked circle.


She tried to fly away, but she couldn't get off the ground.


Breathing heavily, she frantically willed the mercury into the shape of longer, narrower wings.  They were perfectly formed, but flapping as hard and as fast as she could didn't even get her into the air, for mercury is much heavier than flesh and blood.


She dropped on her haunches and spread her wings forward, trying to sense the familiar mana currents in the air.


Nothing.


"I -- can't fly any more ?!" she whispered in horror.


"She took my flight ?!  For NO REASON AT ALL ?!" she stated in a strained tone as rage began to replace fear.


Tears ran down her face as her pupils became vertical slits and the sclera changed to black.


She ground her teeth as they became more like a shark's than a pony's.


The black part of her legs began crawling upward, until she was completely encased.


"SHE DID THIS TO ME !  SHE KNOWS HOW TO UNDO IT !" she screamed, "I'LL TEAR OFF THE TOP OF HER SKULL AND PROBE HER BRAIN NEURON BY NEURON TO FIND OUT HOW !"


She stood up and started to wander off, until she heard a mare's laughter in her head.


"It seems the silly little mortal's control isn't as perfect as she thought it was !" the voice said, "I can work with that !"


Tongue Twister stopped where she was and took a few deep breaths.


As she calmed down, the more extreme changes reversed themselves, leaving her as a gray pegasus mare with black socks and silver wings.


"Sorry about that." she meekly stated to the stallions, "I'm not quite myselves today."

 

Musical Interlude : Skillet's Monster

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that was unfortunate. Now he would have to track her down before speaking to her. That was an issue for later though, there were still two others in the clearing and it seemed his little illusion had finally been spotted. He took a moment to decide what to do, eventually figuring he may as well see what Sombra had to offer before moving on. 
 

As the illusory clone started walking closer to the two, Magnus used a bit more magic to throw his voice and make the sound come from the illusion.


“Me? I am simply someone looking for ways to become stronger, to get revenge for some unjust wrongs committed against me. I’m sure you understand that desire, and I am sure that someone of your caliber could teach me something useful.” The illusion said as it stopped at a comfortable conversational distance. Magnus had to wonder how compatible their magic would be, as he liked to manipulate light, and Sombra was more focused on shadows, but he would just have to wait and see he supposed. He wasn’t entirely sure what had happened to the pegasus either. Or how much of it was new. Probably all of it, but he had seen some strange things over the years, so he wasn’t going to rule anything out. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The former tyrant had little idea what was going on in the mare's head, only that she was a chatty one, willing to detail all that she'd seen and that she'd stayed to watch the fight. A soft, amused snort escaped him as he looked back down at the crown he held in his magic, a frown crossing his muzzle again at the sight of it. "I am a danger to Equestria- at least, I would be, if I bothered to do anything," he replied, his eyes dropping to the strange notes that the mare chose to show him them, doing something with her wing that he knew wasn't normal. If he'd been the average pony, it might've made his skin crawl- well, perhaps it did a little, but he was so used to being able to shift into shadow and alter his shape however in that particular state that it wasn't much to him.

 

His attention was quick to return to the other newcomer at the sound of their voice. There was something about it, but.. Sombra shrugged to himself and heard the stallion out. "I'm sure," he agreed. He did understand that desire, and while he could teach this complete stranger 'something useful', he wasn't feeling particularly inclined to unless there was something he could get out of it. For the moment, the only thing that'd decided to rear its head and change what had become so standard for him was Hou Shuren. There was something to be done about that sorceress, although what Sombra wasn't sure. She'd been completely unreasonable, and had a mysterious goal in mind- while Sombra didn't care what it could be, there was the potential that it could become a pain in his flank regardless.

 

The crown he held felt like it was a piece to something, he just wasn't sure what yet. She'd mentioned he was 'sighted' in Canterlot's throne room, so did that mean somepony was pretending to be him? Was Hou behind that, if she had this?

 

Sombra jumped from the shout of the pony mare, whose name he still hadn't learned, and he watched her following freak-out over what Hou had done to her. His lips peeled back from his teeth in distaste.

 

"Y..Yourselves?" Sombra queried, confusion flitting across his features, softening the scowl he'd fallen into. He glanced over at the stallion. "What are these.. unjust wrongs, by the way?"

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

"Y..Yourselves?" Sombra queried, confusion flitting across his features, softening the scowl he'd fallen into.


"Yeah.  I spend quite a bit of time alone when doing field research." Tongue Twister replied, "Found that talking to myself kept me focused.  After that trip to the Fenguang Valley though, I may have overdone it.  Now that old 'angel and devil on the shoulders' routine is a bit more literal than figurative for me."


She took a few deep breaths to calm down and come up with a cover story.


"Oh, where are my manners ?  I am Tongue Twister, intern reporter for the Canterlot Historical Society1." she stated with a polite nod to Sombra and the other stallion, "I may not be a rising STAR in the Organization yet, but if I can find a big story, I could be !"


She turned to look at the trees twisted earlier by the sorceress' power and sighed.  "This - was a bit more than I was expecting though." 


She looked at one of her altered wings and scowled.  "Definitely more."  

 

Spoiler

OOC : 1this is the same place Chrysalis/Krackle Cossette claimed to work for.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magnus remained silent for a moment, frowning at the memories that question drug to the surface. Still, he supposed there was no harm in answering that question truthfully, so after a moment more of silence after Twister had finished, he eventually answered the question.

 

"My idiot of a father decided that staring at a bright light was a good idea, and somehow it was my fault he went blind from it. I saved us from being stranded in the ocean, and they kicked me out for it." He said, anger seeping into his voice. Clearly he hadn't forgiven or forgot that incident, even after all that time. He glanced at TT after that, not sure why she had emphasized the word star like that, but he saw no reason to bring it up.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Tongue Twister, what she introduced herself as, mentioned sounded terribly familiar. Sombra was sure he'd read something of the sort during his reading sessions in various libraries, but the name for it escaped him for the moment among many other things floating around in his memories. It almost sounded like some sort of split personality, but it didn't seem like it developed from any usual causes. He made a thoughtful sound in his throat as he contemplated it for a moment and eventually had to set it aside for now- it'd come to him later, it always did.

 

The mention of STAR, if he was hearing her emphasis correctly, was enough to make his lip curl. He'd been invited to join that organization, and.. eventually chose not to be a part of it. Sombra looked at Tongue Twister and tried to recall if he'd seen her there at that initial invite-meeting; he hadn't paid much attention to most of the other present, beyond a few that stood out to him or were familiar to him, and couldn't be sure. Maybe she could've been.

 

"Considering what she's done to you now, you probably should've fled while you still had the chance. Hou Shuren has gone far with her practice in dark magic, as well as.. whatever the rest of it was, so I can't be sure what can be done about.. this.." Sombra gestured to her with a hoof, indicating her altered coloration and the earlier, fluid strangeness of her wing.

 

His attention switched back to the stallion to hear him out, annoyance flashing across his grey face. That was.. it? "All that for his own stupidity? I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to go back and simply destroy him for such a petty overreaction to his foolishness. Really. Doesn't Equestria teach its foals each generation not to stare at bright lights? Like the sun?" Sombra scoffed, tossing his mane back. "Were I to give you any lessons, I would tell you: find yourself a nice knife or sword and catch them by surprise." He shrugged. Unless this stallion's, whose name he hadn't learned yet, father was some sort of expert spellcaster that the pony couldn't hope to best, Sombra didn't think it'd be much of a challenge.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

"Considering what she's done to you now, you probably should've fled while you still had the chance. Hou Shuren has gone far with her practice in dark magic, as well as.. whatever the rest of it was, so I can't be sure what can be done about.. this.." Sombra gestured to her with a hoof, indicating her altered coloration and the earlier, fluid strangeness of her wing. 


TT's ears perked up.  "Her name is 'Hou Shuren' ?  Good to know." she stated before writing a few notes; Tongue Twister hadn't completely trusted her own memory for years.


She smiled and sighed.  "Yeah.  I could have just fled the scene.  I may have even lived a few more years happy, ignorant, and unaltered.  Until whatever plot Hou has in mind got underway.  Then I could look out over the misery and wonder if it could have been stopped if only somepony had given a warning in time.  The whole 'walk away and let somepony else deal with it later.' routine never sat right with me.  It is way too risky !  And relies on the invader making a critical mistake.  Not a very sound strategy."


She thought for a bit.  "Hmm - now who to give the information to, once it's been verified ?" she mused for a few moments, deep in thought.  And who would believe it ?  She already had three strikes against her : she wasn't overly important, she now reeked of dark magic, and could be considered a madmare.

Quote


"My idiot of a father decided that staring at a bright light was a good idea, and somehow it was my fault he went blind from it. I saved us from being stranded in the ocean, and they kicked me out for it." He said, anger seeping into his voice. Clearly he hadn't forgiven or forgot that incident, even after all that time.


She then regarded the red-maned stallion a bit.  "Your family threw you out over a mistake ?  An accidental blinding is extreme, but still !


Living well is the best revenge.  They tossed you aside, so toss them aside and be greater than they could ever hope to be.  But if they insist on going after you, I sort of agree with Sombra on this one.


But I'm not really somepony to take advice from at the moment..." she stated with an apologetic smile as the pupils in her sky blue eyes turned to vertical slits for a moment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magnus fell silent as the others responded to what he said, frowning a bit at their responses. It seemed they didn't understand his desire for revenge here as much as he thought they would. Or maybe Sombra was simply assuming the revenge was of a smaller scale than it was. There was three targets in his family, as well as that traitorous group of thieves that picked him up. He couldn't exactly expect them to know about the thieves, but he did say it was his family that kicked him out, not just his father.

 

"It is more than just him. I would also have to contend with my mother and sister, as well as any guards that deign to get involved. And afterwards, anyone who would seek to 'bring me to justice', and depending on how I feel about it at the time, any challengers to my takeover." He said simply, focusing more on Sombra at the moment. It might be time to move along and find Hou after all, but he would at least stay to see what Sombra said to that beforehand.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sombra wiggled his jaw in thought, digesting what Tongue Twister had to say about the 'hide to live another day' method. In a way, she did have a point, even if he'd rather stick to that method for the sole reason of avoiding the mess she'd ended up in. Or something worse. Hou could've easily decided to take Tongue's soul, and Sombra never wanted to know what that might be like. His snout wrinkled.

"I get it, but we still don't know what her plan is. What is her goal? Absorb more souls? Conquering Equestria? Slay the royal pony sisters?" There were quite a few more possibilities Sombra didn't bother to name, but most of it seemed too.. petty for Hou. Maybe he could be right about one of them, maybe not- he'd have to wait and see what unfolded.

 

An eyebrow arched back up. So there were more involved? Sombra turned more fully towards the other stallion and sat down, curling his tail around one flank. His magic draped his helm around one upraised foreleg, leaving it off to the side of his thoughts for now. "How powerful is your family? Are they mere ponies, unicorns, or do they actually have some skill in magic to make them a challenge?" The king cocked his head, inequine red eyes focused on the other stallion's face. It would certainly be something fun to do on the side, while he worked to figure out what Hou was up to and how in Equestria she got a hold of his helm- how it was even still in one piece when he thought it destroyed for good.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"

Quote

I get it, but we still don't know what her plan is. What is her goal? Absorb more souls? Conquering Equestria? Slay the royal pony sisters?" There were quite a few more possibilities Sombra didn't bother to name, but most of it seemed too.. petty for Hou. Maybe he could be right about one of them, maybe not- he'd have to wait and see what unfolded. 


TT thought for a moment.  "Actually, I think she'd consider conquering Equestria or slaying the royal sisters too short sighted and petty." she stated, "When she was SHOVING THAT DARKNESS INTO MY HEAD, she said things like 'When sentient life will forget what Equestria or Long Guo were, I will be there. When Equinekind will leave it's cradle, and spill to the sea of stars, I will still be there. When this universe collapses unto itself and gives birth to a new one. I. Will. Be.There.'


It sounds like she wants to outlive the universe.  I'm - not really sure what the point of that would be.  Unless she wants to influence and control a universe when its born, essentially making her a god."


She took a few deep breaths.  "But that's just idle and horrible speculation at this point.  It would help if we knew what was stolen from Celestia's vault in Canterlot Castle.

 

That is not going to be easy to find out."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“They are unicorns, yes, and there is some magical skill present. The three of them could probably beat me, and it seemed like my father had found ways to make up for his lack of sight the last time I did reconnaissance. I have no doubt I could take them down one-on-one, especially from stealth, but I would rather be prepared for the worst-case scenario. The cornered beast is often the most dangerous.” Magnus said, keeping his gaze even as he watched Sombra. Maybe he was getting somewhere here after all, but on the other hoof, the more time he took here the harder it would be to find Hou. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Mm, I had the same thought," Sombra muttered, running his tongue over a fang. His eyes had drifted downward to the grass, and soon flicked back up as Tongue Twister recited what Hou said- word for word, which was rather impressive for a pony to have remembered that in so stressful a situation. "Hm."

 

"I might wonder if she's bent on destroying everything, but even then that feels like a stretch." A heavy sigh escaped the king and he glanced over at the unnamed pony, a small frown on his face. His tail idly lashed in the grass next to his flank, twitching like an irritated cat's. It was too bad there wasn't something he could've done to learn even a little bit about what Hou was going for, and what she might've stolen. Could it have been his helm, something that might have actually survived and was found out in the Frozen Wastes to be stored away in Canterlot? Or was there some artifact he'd yet to know of? There were so many, the sisters had likely hidden some from the public completely.

 

"Really," Sombra mused. The thought was almost entertaining- dealing with a few unicorns who might actually know what they were doing with their magic. The reason this stallion was cast out was for such a silly reason, and yet.. it'd be something for Sombra to focus on. To vent his frustrations, and maybe find his way closer to an answer on the side, if it lead him anywhere near Canterlot. His thoughts wandered over the royal sisters, and what could be done.

 

"Fine, then," he spoke up abruptly, straightening up. "Maybe I can assist you."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tongue Twister was trying to figure out a way to find out what was stolen from the royal sister's secret vaults while Sombra was pondering his next move. 

Competent thieves leave no sign they were there (the longer the mark doesn't realize he's been robbed, the better chance of escaping), and she doubted Hou would employ anyone incompetent.  So there was an excellent chance that nopony in Canterlot even knew anything had been taken from the vaults !  "Hmmm … now, how to alert the proper authorities that a robbery DID occur …"

 

"So, you'll be heading for Canterlot ?" TT inquired of Sombra before continuing "I would strongly suggest staying out of sight, since Harmony's Chosen killed you twice in one day, if the newspapers are to be believed. 


Of course, who can be sure of anything when Discord is involved ?" she finished with a shrug.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The mere mention of authorities left Sombra with a wild urge to present himself to Celestia directly and tell her just to spite Hou Shuren, despite the consequences of making himself known to start with. The risk of banishment, or another attempt to murder him.. Would it matter? For each mistake he made, he only learned and grew stronger from it- or at the very least, cleverer. He was snapped out of his thoughts by Tongue Twister's inquiries, his ears alert and his eyes wide.

 

In a moment, Sombra was on his hooves and inches away from the pegasus mare.

 

"What do you know? Hou hinted to something about Canterlot, and my being there despite having never set foot in the castle itself- but she never told me much more than that. Only accused me of playing dumb." His brow furrowed, and the red of his eyes blazed beneath them with the hope that Tongue Twister could give him more information about this imposter who was possibly tarnishing his name- not that he hadn't done that plenty enough on his own.

 

"What is it about Discord? What exactly happened in Canterlot, and why are others claiming I was there?" His tone was insistent, and the stallion himself was visibly agitated. His tail was sweeping behind him, his gaze trained solely on her as he waited.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magnus hummed, giving a single nod in response to Sombra’s words before he seemed to get distracted by Twister. The unicorn watched for a moment before speaking again. 
 

“Now then, I assume we will meet at a future date to do this training, and you appear to have your hooves full at the moment. I am Magnus Durum, find me in Canterlot when you are prepared to teach.” He said, the illusion standing up after and giving both a nod before vanishing. The real unicorn stood in his hiding place, giving the two another look before walking off under cover of invisibility to find this Hou and see what she had to offer. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

"What do you know? Hou hinted to something about Canterlot, and my being there despite having never set foot in the castle itself- but she never told me much more than that. Only accused me of playing dumb." His brow furrowed, and the red of his eyes blazed beneath them with the hope that Tongue Twister could give him more information about this imposter who was possibly tarnishing his name- not that he hadn't done that plenty enough on his own.

 

"What is it about Discord? What exactly happened in Canterlot, and why are others claiming I was there?" His tone was insistent, and the stallion himself was visibly agitated. His tail was sweeping behind him, his gaze trained solely on her as he waited.

 

 

Tongue Twister took a deep breath as she ordered her thoughts.

 

"It all started a few months ago, the day the royal sisters first decided to retire." she began, "A unicorn stallion matching your description, using dark magic and crystals, strolled into the Crystal Empire and took it over with very little effort.  Then Harmony's Chosen - Princess Twilight and her friends - showed up and hit him with that 'Elements of Friendship Laser of Automatic Victory' they always use.  

 

It was thought he'd been erased from existence, but he wasn't.


He somehow returned, destroyed the Elements of Harmony, and then turned the citizens of Ponyville into a mind-controlled army to storm Canterlot Castle.


Since the royal sisters weren't there at the time, it was a rather easy victory.


As usual, Twilight and her friends showed up to save the day, and somehow found a way to summon the Friendship laser without the Elements, and disintegrated 'Sombra' yet again."

 

Turns out the whole thing was a ruse !" she growled a bit.  


"Apparently, Discord decided to help Twilight get over her insecurity by having her and her friends defeat a villain.  So, he brought 'Sombra' back for them to slap around.


Since they've already 'destroyed' you twice in one day, if they find you again, they'll probably try it again.


Hmm - I wonder if Celestia told Twilight anything about Hou Shuren ?  Or even if she has hidden vaults full of dangerous artifacts ?  Those would be REALLY good things to know about ahead of time !"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...