Prologue
~

"Everything has a story, Fable..."

Once upon a time there were a bunch of idiots. They followed a certain little pony who'd buck you in the gut for calling her little, and she was the biggest idiot of them all. She led them a million miles from anyplace they could call home, right to the end of the world, and one by one they fell like the snow into the snow; battered, beaten, and waiting for their lights to go out, but they wouldn't wipe those bloody grins off their faces. Like there wasn't anywhere else they'd rather be.

You were one of them.

All of you knew this was going to be a one way trip, but that wouldn't stop you – not much could when you set your minds to something – and now we're here. Standing on the proverbial bridge. Would you jump if I asked you to?

"…Stories are more than just tales about heroes and villains; they're entire histories, lives and dreams – they're ponies…"

Alright, maybe it wasn't their fault. They didn't just wake up one day and decide 'hmm, I feel like dying,' no, there's a story behind it. There always is. I even remember Faith's smile when she told me everything had a story, like it was something I was supposed to know or understand, but paying attention was never one of my strong suits. Besides, I hated stories. Sure, I might've liked them when I was a filly, but did I mention I was an idiot? They were always about their do-goody heroes with their evil-be-gone gimmicks tucked away in some magical pony princess' closet, and their equally half-assed villains wanting nothing else but to destroy the world (woooooh!).

The kind of crap that made you believe the world really was meant to end this way. The kind of crap that could make anypony cynical and a smart ass, and growing up in Dust didn't help that.

If its name can't prove to you how charming it was, nothing would, but there, we all learnt to accept a simple truth: we don't live in some fantasy world where ponies fly and magic exists. No. We lived in a funny place called 'reality' – and as the story goes: in reality the bad guys can win.

"…And there are too many out there to even dream of knowing them all. We wouldn't live long enough to…"

And that's why we're here, why I can't change what's going to happen, and why the bad guys actually won. I know this will be hard for you but... agh, I was never any good at this mushy stuff, but who knows how different the world will be when you wake up. Heck, maybe the world will have forgotten us by then.

I can't let that happen. So when you read–or hear–or see this, whatever, I need you to do me a favor. I know I don't deserve it, but it's not for me.

It's for them.

"…Fable, one day yours will find you, and when it does don't expect ponytale endings. Don't expect to be its hero. Sometimes, it's all we can do to play a part or relay the tale…"

I need you to remember. I need you to know the truth about how they got here and what price they paid for a responsibility that wasn't theirs to fulfill. I want you to kick some heads in for me, bust some bones and make the world remember who they were. They were the real heroes of this story. They were our friends.

"...As a storyteller, it's our role not to forget these stories. Never forget them, because the past will always come back to haunt you and only the future can save you from it..."

Everything has a story, kid...

"…And all of them deserve to be heard."


((Thanks to my editors and prereaders for kicking my glorious behind into gear: ArtemusD, Asgardian (aka Valkyrion11), MONSTERheart (aka IronTiger63), Scoopicus (aka Scoopicus), and Pupuchaku))