Different style for me lol. Yeah, this is what happens when you leave me on a train for three hours with a book of Lovecraft short stories. And meanwhile, anyone else think that comic was a little Lovecraft-ish? Scary undead evil things in the ground waiting to be dug up by their victims to reign down darkness over all the land for eternity? Anyway, I'm loving the Fiendship is Magic thing. :heart:
If this one goes over well, I may do a small fic for each comic. I hope you guys enjoyed the different style. I'm also planning to do a full length story soon based on the comics that will be a mixture of this style and my usual romantic comedy.
Thank you all for reading!
"And Radiant Hope, she'll suffer the worst. She betrayed me to save this 'home' of hers. I've developed a new spell just for her. How bitter will her victory taste when she has no home left?"
I magically pen these final words, and then I feel the presence of the two sisters descend upon the Empire. Their light has come to my shade.
I put aside my diary and prepare to ascend the stairs. Perhaps someday someone will find this room and that book and understand the true story of my greatness, the true story of what needed to be accomplished here. But that day won't be for a very, very, very…very long time. I grin thinking of how long there will be darkness, and my fangs glisten in the eerie light of my magic brimming in my eyes.
I close the door of my study and begin my final dark climb.
I knew the sisters would find me, I knew their magic was too great for me to defeat, at least without my army by my side. The destruction of Princess Amore was one thing, but the destruction of the immortal sun and moon…even I am not strong enough to purge my world of such constants, of such light. And Radiant Hope brought them upon me. She is the ruiner of my life, I realize now. Shadow was never meant to love, never meant to feel friendship, never meant to smile and dream. She brought me away from my true nature, she LIED to me, contorted my life, twisted my senses—she was WORSE than Amore with her secrets!
My only regret is that since Radiant Hope ran to the land of the princesses, I cannot put my curse over her along with all of the other crystal ponies.
My only joy is the knowledge that she will suffer the pain of never seeing her home, the place she belongs, ever again. She kept me from where I belong…why should I not return the favor?
But maybe…maybe also I just cannot bear to see her again. Because maybe the love will come back if I do, and then I do not know what will happen to me…or to her.
I raise my head proudly toward the throne room above. My finest hour, the finest hour of all the shadows, is coming. What I shall do will strike fear into the hearts of those princesses forever, it will make them see the true power of darkness and know that the shadow of me and the shadow that made me cannot be ignored any longer. They will never forget. And I will return one day when time has taken some of their vitality from them to have my final victory. Then Hope will be no more, and nothing shall stop me. Those crystal ponies will be my slaves again and dig up my people, darkness rising from the cold snow to feast upon all the light…even the light of the sisters one day.
I look up to the disc of light above marking the floor of the throne room. I remember what Amore once said about changing my destiny, and I give a low chuckle and feel my magic flare. One cannot change one's nature, one cannot change one's destiny…one can only fight losing battles until denial has no more power and true power is finally acquired. I was meant to blacken the Empire just as Amore was meant to rule the crystal ponies, just as Hope was meant to heal the sick, just as Celestia was meant for the sun and Luna meant for the moon. If they all may have their destines, why may I not have mine? Why should I be denied for being born differently? I had not accepted such injustice as child, I certainly would not allow it to pass now.
Only a few steps more. I can feel my darkness pulsing, my eyes aflame with green and purple and red in excitement for my moment! Yes, oh yes, I shall have my great revenge over these beings for their rejection of me and my mother—the darkness they ignored! I will make the last thing they know true fear, I will burn it into their hearts until all else is forgotten…and when they wake up from their near forever sleep, all they will feel is the echo of my misery and the ever present fear of me, and I shall feed and grow from how they suffer. The crystal heart is secured, no one shall stop me, no one shall come forth! Perhaps Hope…but by then she will be gone, and there will be no other! Let her live her life knowing my doom for her people is a promise—the last one I will keep between us.
I have no more fear. I have no more regrets. I have nothing of who I thought I was and all of who I've always been meant to be. I am darkness, I am shadow, I am the king of all monsters. I am SOMBRA! ALL HAIL SOMBRA! LONG LIVE SOMBRA! SOMBRA REX!
I reach the top of the staircase, I enter the throne room, I see the two sisters…and I smile.
Their stern gazes meet my own, yet I see a touch of hesitance, a flicker of fear due to the state in which they have found me. I know I look more monstrous than ever. I know they will never forget the sight of me. Oh, the day and the night, the foolish day and the night—it will be the light of their power aimed at monstrous me that will ignite the spark of my great spell and wrap the Empire into the shadows of my mother for a thousand years! I will make them just as much a part of my curse upon the crystal ponies as I am!
"Sombra!" Celestia's voice is firm. "We will give you one more chance! Stop this, let the crystal ponies go, and come with us!"
Luna glares and speaks now. "We shall take you back to our castle. We have many texts on dark magic, and Starswirl the bearded is an expert unicorn wizard. We will find a way to purge you of this darkness."
I look at them both. I speak. "You could no sooner purge me of my shadows than I could purge you of the sun or the moon."
There is a deadly silence between us.
"Then we must defeat you," Celestia challenges, and then her magic produces six gems.
"And we shall destroy all of the shadows," Luna adds as her magic makes three of the gems come over to her.
I know those gems—the Elements of Harmony. I know everything that is coming. I just look from one sister to the other, and my twisted smile grows. "You're just as silly as Princess Amore was…as Radiant Hope turned out to be…as I used to be. You cannot change destiny. And one day you shall fear me too. And I will rule forever."
Celestia and Luna merely look back at me with the rage of ponies trying to protect those they love. The silly gems glow. They are strong. But always there is more darkness than light. Always the darkness can swallow the light. The sisters will fade…I can almost feel a thin, black crack in their bond as it is, and it shall grow. Oh the darkness that shall spring up everywhere unending!
"Thou cannot escape!"
I know they expect me to run or to attack, and I know that they'll attack before they realize I'm not doing either of those things because their magic and this moment are exactly what I want. The pony sisters are about to blast me into oblivion, and it's what I want. For I will come back so much stronger…I will come back beyond the king of monsters…I will come back a GOD.
I just stand there while the Elements quietly glow. And then I laugh. Oh I laugh. I laugh so that the dark tones within me echo over the crystal covered halls and resound into the air. The last memory of my subjects will be fear, but the last memory of the Crystal Empire for these two sisters will be my mad laughter as by banishing me they banish the Empire! This will be a moment remembered throughout history!
The Elements…a screech of shadows…the sky flickers…fire and smoke…and everything changes!
"What's happening!? Luna!"
"Celestia, I don't know! Run!"
"But the crystal ponies!"
"It's too late!"
The sisters turn and flee with their little gems as darkness bursts in magical explosions everywhere, and the ground shakes, and the green fire of my eyes burns until a dome of black and a net of red and a mist of purple covers the Empire just as they escape. And then…and then…for one perfect moment I am me in the dark. I came from the dark. Oh mother…I am back to the dark.
A perfect flash. I am pulled to the cold and ice where the rest of my people are frozen.
And then no more. I—
One thousand years passes. And I come back. But I am defeated through the efforts of a purple pony whom I cannot understand—as capable of darkness as she is of light. Somehow she seems almost less natural than I do…
She leaves me lost as a bit of shadow crystal in the form of my horn while the crystal ponies celebrate and feel joy at their new freedom.
The strange purple pony leaves the Empire.
I wish she would return.
Something about her makes this final shade of me glow. She is not like the others. I could actually use her.
The purple one—Twilight Sparkle—returns to my secret dark part of the castle. And she has wings now, she is a princess now. Interesting…
The new princess of the crystal ponies greets her and follows her into this part of the castle. Princess Cadance—like a little Amore, she is no match for me, at least not without her precious Crystal Heart and the precious love of the Crystal Ponies. She has the same weakness Amore did all those years ago. If I had all of my old power, I would turn Cadance into shadow crystal and shatter her too.
My thoughts return to Twilight Sparkle. As she gets close, I still feel that there is something strange about her. I remember how she summoned dark magic as part of defeating me, and I feel her summoning dark magic now to enter here. She uses it so naturally that she becomes like a shadow for a moment when she does so. And my kind of magic does not even hurt her—even attempting to use it hurts Cadance just as the Crystal Heart used to hurt me, but Twilight experiences no pain in mastering such evil. Is her heart really that full of joy? Or perhaps what makes her different is not something so simple. Perhaps there is something else about her that she and I both do not understand….
If only I had more power, somehow I could use Twilight. But I'll wait. I'll come close to this new princess, but for now I'll wait to do anything more. I have all the time in the world to wait.
They enter my study and read my diary now. Time passes like nothing for me. It feels as though they are done before they start, and all of the images of the past wash over me in a single feeling. And still no regrets, no fear, no love, no hope—
I don't like the feeling of that last word. I'll never consider it again.
They are leaving now to return to the light.
Twilight says she feels bad for me because I never got to see the Crystal Faire. And for a moment, just for a moment, no matter what, I cannot help but think the word 'hope' one more time…Hope.
But then Cadance, the 'new Amore', says not to feel sorry for me. I'm bad, so why bother. Just forget all about me and my people…just ignore old Sombra and everything a life of crystal and shadow did to him.
I feel dark and nearly dead again. I am amazed I can even move enough to get closer to Twilight. I feel the fear of her and Cadance as the little sounds of my wandering make them wonder just what of me is still left down here. Yes, their small fear keeps me alive for now…and maybe forever until the time comes again for me to ascend…until the time comes for all of the Umbra to ascend from their icy, dark depths to the crystal and light. We lie beneath everything waiting…It's almost funny really.
'Blew me to bits', hmm?
Hmm, hmm, hmm, silly ponies, haven't you realized yet? Shadows…never…DIE.
LONG LIVE THE KING!
One thousand years ago, just after the defeat of Sombra and the loss of the Empire.
Celestia and Luna returned home to the Everfree Forest with deep frowns and heavy hearts. It was the dead of night, and a solemn silence reigned over their castle as they flew through a window and landed in their throne room.
Celestia let out a deep sigh. "At least we returned at night. No one is awake to bother us or question us or to want to celebrate our 'victory.' We can be alone to sort this out."
Luna's eyes fell a little and a slight wince went through her. "Yes…No one is ever awake during the nights. We'll be perfectly alone until you make the sun come up." She let out a breath and shook her head, moving past any personal feelings on that matter. She looked to her sister. "We must tell Radiant Hope. Oh sister, what shall she do?"
Celestia looked back to her sister, pain in her eyes. "Before we left, she told me if we were not successful in freeing the Empire and helping Sombra, she would prefer not to pursue her general magical studies here with us. She would rather go off to one of the great temples in the east and study shadows and heal the sick and be alone to meditate on what has happened. I believe she will choose the same course now, though she might need some time here first to get her bearings. I know she at least wanted to say farewell to her home one last time before she departed. But now…" Celestia couldn't go on anymore. She just looked forward, eyes wide and glistening with tears.
Luna moved closer to her. "Sister…what he did…it cannot be permanent? Certainly all spells and curses, even those of banishment and even those cast by a power as great as that of the Umbra, have time limits set to them. Even the worst curses I can remember reading about from Starswirl's lessons lasted at most a thousand years. And they certainly can't be used over and over. It was his failsafe this one time because he knew he could not defeat the power of us and the Elements. But when he and the Empire do return, we shall stop him once and for all and save the crystal ponies. A thousand years is not so long for you and I to wait. And in the meantime we shall find a way to make sure we succeed in the restoration of the Crystal Empire when the time comes." Despite Luna's words of encouragement, tears were in her eyes as well.
Celestia's eyes closed as soft tears rolled down from them. "I know." She took a deep breath. "But I just…how could he DO this!" She suddenly stomped her hoof into the marble floor, actually causing small a tremor to go through the room with her power. "Amore said the situation was under control, she said he would choose correctly—how could he do this horribly selfish thing, Luna?" Her eyes flew open and she looked to her sister. And for a very rare moment there was utter confusion and even a touch of desperation in Celestia's gaze.
Luna blinked at the sight of her sister in such a state. "I…I don't know. But, Celestia, Amore did say he had such a difficult childhood, and living as a shadow and not even knowing it must have been awful for him. He was shunned always for no reason he could understand. Only one person in a whole Empire gave him any love. Everyone else dismissed him and ignored him." A glint of fresh tears returned to Luna's eyes…but they were not entirely about the Empire. "I imagine it must have hurt him very much, sister, being ignored like that. And it must have made him angry. So when he finally came into his dark power, all he could think about was ridding himself of that pain as completely as possible by inflicting it on all the others. The situation must have been so complicated, sister—I cannot envy him the life he has led."
Celestia blinked a few times, seemed to try and absorb her sister's explanations, but then shook her head, looking down again. "But Luna, it's so wrong! He banished an Empire, a whole Empire! And what he did to Amore! What his betrayal has done to Radiant Hope! There is no excuse Luna, nothing justifies—"
"I am not saying he was justified," countered Luna simply, wiping away her own newly fallen tears. "I am just saying…pain has been a part of his fate and actions from the start, Celestia. And I recognize he was in pain just as much as I recognize the crystal ponies have been in pain from him." She took a breath. "He was lonely, Celestia, and unappreciated." Her gaze became firmer. "And frankly, as I have said from the start, I did not agree with Amore's approach of not revealing the truth to him herself as soon as she realized the situation. Perhaps all of this could have been prevented if she had."
Celestia seemed confused again for a moment as she took in her sister's words. Then she looked down and her gaze softened. She sighed. "I don't know…perhaps you are right, sister. Aiding Sombra in his destiny and guiding him toward good, even just a little, may have helped make a better ending for everypony." Then she closed her eyes and tears started to fall again. "Oh Luna." Celestia moved closer to her sister.
Luna moved closer as well and put her foreleg over Celestia. "Tis all right, Celestia. We shall both tell Radiant Hope all that has passed in the morning. And we shall make a formal announcement of our deeds and the situation to the kingdom afterwards. For now, you sleep…I shall guard the night, and I shall give Radiant Hope the best of dreams. All will be well, sister." She removed her foreleg.
Celestia took a deep breath and opened her eyes. She nodded, looking forward, and then raised her head. "You're right. We must be strong for the sake of the kingdom and for Hope." She looked to Luna again. "Thank you, dear sister. I know Radiant Hope will appreciate what you will do for her this evening."
Luna smiled a little. "I know she shall too. She is a good pony."
Celestia smiled a little and then moved close and crossed her horn with Luna's. "Goodnight, Luna. Tomorrow after the announcement, please head straight to bed. You need rest after what we've gone through. Allow me to deal with all of the questions and all of the people for the rest of the day."
A small sigh left Luna and a little wince went through her again. But she smiled and nodded. "Yes, and thank you sister…for offering to deal with all of the people tomorrow. I am fortunate, I suppose, that there are no people during my nights to deal with."
Celestia smiled a little more. "You have people's dreams and the creatures of the Everfree forest and the rotation of the stars to deal with—I'm sure that's more than enough. Allow me to take care of everything else."
Luna just sighed, swallowed, and nodded, managing to maintain her smile in response to her sister's sincere attempt at comfort and care. "Thank you, Celestia. And goodnight to you too."
Celestia nodded and moved away from Luna. Then she turned and headed toward her bedroom.
When she was gone, Luna approached one of the open windows to gaze up at her moon. It was full and glowing in a most lovely way tonight. She closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them. They glowed with cerulean light for several minutes. Then the light flickered and was gone. Her eyes returned to normal once more. "Sleep well with the dreams I have provided for you, Radiant Hope," she said softly into the night air. Then Luna spread her wings, rose, and departed the castle.
As she flew, she tried not to think of Sombra. She tried not to think of his pain. She tried not to think of how she could almost understand what he had done even if she did not condone it. She tried not to think of what he had given up and what he had gained.
But one thought did stick with Luna as she flew over the land and saw that, as usual, not a soul was out but her to experience the night.
'Sometimes I feel like a shadow too.'
The night wore on into daylight. And then the truth of Sombra and the Crystal Empire was told…and so began the legend and the wait of a thousand years.
A/N:Thank you all again for reading, and please review when you can!
~Azure129 aka Jenna