Personal Journal of Dell Conagher, Builder's League United mercenary corps Engineer
I'm rather mad at myself for not starting this much sooner, but everything has been happening quite quickly. After what has apparently happened, though, I think it's time I started keeping a record of what's going on.
In a brief summary, a few weeks back my associates and I were summoned via an unknown magical force, which my newest colleague has identified as the Rainbow of Darkness, to an alternate universe where the dominant species is apparently evolved equines. My friends and I were transformed into these species, apparently as a way of helping us adapt to this new location.
Perhaps I should cover the basics first. The primary natives of this world come in four main varieties, the seemingly most common being the Earth Pony, which bears the closest similarity to our own ponies on Earth and possessed characteristics which include greater durability, strength, stamina, as well as a connection to the land that two of the other breeds lack. Second in rarity is the Pegasus, winged equines which have characteristics similar to birds (hollow bone structure, barring a few exceptions), and the ability to control and manipulate the weather. Third in rarity is the Unicorn, a species with a hyper-sensitive, horn-like protuberance from their heads which allows them to manipulate a source of energy which I am tentatively calling 'magic.' I'm not unfamiliar with magic, but I've never seen it on this scale before.
It should be noted that I myself have become a Unicorn.
The most rare of the 'pony' breeds is the Alicorn, which bears traits of all three species of pony, including wings and a horn, and are known for having massively powerful abilities. So far as my research has been able to show, there are only four alicorns left alive today, two of which are known to be immortal, regarded as goddesses by some.
There are other sentient equine species, including zebra and donkeys, all of which seem to interact fairly well to each other, biological limits present in our world not present here. (For example, a zebra and a pony can have a foal that is perfectly healthy, while in our world there would be birth defects, usually sterility.) In addition, there are also several species present here that are merely myth in our world, including dragons, hydras, manticores, and the like.
A common biological feature among ponies is the 'Cutie Mark,' a tattoo-like marking that appears when an individual realizes their 'special talent.' Basically what they're best and what they will most likely be doing with their lives. Gaining a Cutie Mark is considered a momentous occasion worthy of celebration. My associates and I gained Cutie Marks upon our transformation to ponies, each based on our best talents. (Mine took the form of my favorite wrench.) There is a large amount of leeway and interpretation in how Cutie Mark talents can be used. (For example, a local fashion designer and a current associate of our group has a talent for finding gems, which are apparently very commonplace in this world. Her talent could have easily marked her as a miner, but she turned her gem-finding towards the world of fashion.) In regards to the two aforementioned 'goddesses,' their talents are control over the sun and moon respectively.
Don't ask me how this works. I barely understand magic as it is. Medic's having a ball, though.
Society is Earth-like, with similar cultural patterns (including, thankfully, bathrooms.) Lifespan of ponies generally is similar to humans, albeit moderately longer. (VASTLY longer in one notable case.) Government is diarchal, with two primary rulers (alicorn princesses) and a Congress of nobles. By all accounts the Congress regarded as a big joke, most people only listening to what the princesses say.
...Some things never change from world to world, really.
My associates and I have taken up residence in a small hamlet known as 'Ponyville.' It appears to be rather close to the capital city, Canterlot. My associates and I have agreed to a contract involving the protection of the moon goddess as well as Ponyville, in particular the nine hosts of powerful magical artifacts known as the Elements of Harmony.
The Elements of Harmony, from what I can tell, are magical forces focused through hosts and magical artifacts, each one representing an aspect of universal balance, represented formerly by the Rainbows of Light and Darkness. The nine elements are as follows: Trust, Hope, Love, Loyalty, Generosity, Kindness, Honesty, Laughter, and Magic/Friendship. (The two terms appear to be interchangeable, although recently Friendship has been used more often.) Until recently, Trust, Hope, and Love were inactive for reasons not fully explained. In a stunning development, my associates and I have turned out to be the Dark counterparts to the nine Light bearers, evidenced by our ability to merge into a magically powered version of our human selves that combines elements of both ourselves and the ones we merge with. In addition, we both gain full access to each other's memories.
My counterpart, for example, is the previously mentioned fashion designer. Our merger has left me with an increased sense of style, and given her an increased sense of practicality in her designs. (She also seems to have a budding crush on me. I'm flattered, really, but my heart belongs to Pyro.)
So far, all nine of the Light elements have been activated, while we're still missing the Dark Element of Hope and Dark Element of Friendship, represented by Pyro and Medic respectively.
That covers the basics so far. Now for a summarized timeline of events.
We were deposited in a place known as the Everfree forest. After venturing into other settlements to learn the basics of this world, we eventually made our way into Ponyville. By happenstance, the town came under attack by creatures called 'Nightmares,' which analysis indicates are lifeforms who have consumed high amounts of a magical, highly toxic substance called Smooze, which corrupts them mentally and physically. (Important Note: Even Alicorns are not immune to 'Nightmare' corruption.) In this case, the 'Nightmares' were savages, born from a local pack of creatures called Diamond Dogs. We used this chance to fight alongside the Princesses and defeat the 'Nightmare' Dogs, earning the trust of the town. We moved in with the then six Elements of Harmony bearers and have taken odd jobs around the town to help maintain that trust.
Since then, we've encountered several different Nightmares, all born from various ponies that were either tricked into drinking Smooze or forcefed it. My attempts to create a magitek Sentry have resulted in the creation of a fully autonomous, fully sentient artificial intelligence I have dubbed 'Gem.' She bears the form of an Alicorn, but she is nowhere near as powerful as one, and her mentality is that of a child. I've become quite fond of her, and view her as a daughter of sorts. (I still want to see Krista again... Oh baby, Daddy misses you so much. You'd love Gem...)
The situation has escalated quickly. We have recently entered into alliance with a local species called the Changelings (the closest comparison to an Earth species I can think of is classical portrayals of mythological fae mixed in with succubi). Spy has become half-Changeling, half-Pegasus, so he is acting as our liason to the Changeling hive. Collaboration with local military has revealed that the one behind the recent attacks is an unknown entity called Slendermane.
Information about Slendermane is sketchy, because apparently the more you know about him, the more vulnerable you become to him. Possibly a psychosomatic effect of the creature's power? I'm not sure. What I do know is that he appears to be specifically targeting the sun goddess with intent to drive her insane. We're keeping this quiet for now, but I'm worried. More and more the increasingly intense attacks seem like a distraction.
...It gets worse.
RED Spy, with aid from Merasmus, came over here as well. He revealed some uncomfortable truths about why we and our lookalikes from Reliable Excavations and Demolitions were so similar to us, and told us about the new problem in the form of Gray Mann (a COMPETENT Mann brother, a terrifying thought on its own) and his robot army AND his alliance with our world's version of Slendermane, called simply Slenderman.
Recently, I myself was converted into a Nightmare. I have no memories of the event, because apparently the Element of Hope took what apparently were two-thousand years of agonizing, torturous memories into herself and suppressed them. I am baffled that she is still sane now.
I owe her everything now... I WILL make this up to her somehow...
Especially since I apparently nearly destroyed the town in my stint as a Nightmare, killed several members of Equestria's elite fighting force the Wonderbolts (they obviously haven't forgiven me yet, but they're tolerating me. It'll have to do until I can earn their trust again), and forced two of my friends to relieve their own Nightmare transformation. The fashion designer even lost one of her front legs trying to rescue Pyro and Gem from me.
The guilt is intolerable. I can't let this stand. My crimes... This is nowhere near a practical problem, but I'll be damned if I let it go unfixed.
Priority one right now is both arming Ponyville and preparing it for future attacks, most likely from Gray's robots, and also creating a new leg for Rarity. (The fashion designer I've mentioned repeatedly. I'll go into details about our new associates the next entry.) I've entered into discussions with a pony called the Doctor (who's apparently from another reality himself). He mentioned an old enemy of his called the Cybermen. Some of their technology is still intact. If I could adapt it, it might make a suitable replacement limb. With some additions, of course. I destroyed her leg, you can damn well be sure I'm going to make up for it by giving her something better than the original.
What galls me most is how helpless I feel... All these horrible things, and I couldn't stop it...
Never again. I've talked with the others, and they've agreed.
The endgame goal of all this is the destruction of Slendermane. That's the only way we can ensure SOMETHING resembling a victory.
you'll need it