My Little Pony
Disclaimer: Yep. I own the rights, but decided not to make a show out of it, but rather post a story about it online where people could read it for free, instead of making tons of money off it. Naturally, my college business class teacher often pulled his hair at my results.
"Raise the drawbridge," Wind Whistler called.
"But Magic Star and North star are still out there," Twilight exclaimed. "We can't—"
"They've surrendered themselves over willingly. Look."
Twilight closed her eyes to concentrate, then teleported onto walkway of the front wall. Sure enough, the two ponies allowed themselves to be picked up and flown away by the dragonriders.
"They've left us! They left us," Truly gasped.
"But observe, the dragonriders are all leaving," Wind Whistler said. "Could they merely have required four ponies?"
"Once they're out of sight, I'm going after Firefly," Medley whispered to the scholarly Pegasus.
"That's hardly in form with your usual cautious character."
"Firefly's my friend. I should have been right after her from the beginning," Medley guiltily replied.
"Just four," Ember asked Twilight.
"I guess. I don't know what's going on, Ember, but we'll find out soon enough."
"Just four? Then why send an army to come after us? I don't get this," Gusty hollered.
"Do you think they'll be back," Shady asked.
"Count on it. Dark lords never just let things be. Tirac would have us for slaves before he's done."
"But we're just little ponies? What use could he get out of us," Shady asked.
"Better miserable slaves, then any free spirits running loose," Paradise explained.
The white Pegasus looked at the earth mare's confused look.
"I know it doesn't make sense, but that's what lust for power does to someone. Enough will never be enough."
"That's usually when you bite off more than you can chow," Heart Throb said.
"Well, yes, all tyrants fall eventually, but when is the question, and will it be before he's had his way with Dream Valley," Paradise asked.
No one had an answer for that one.
"Well, then. I suggest we use the time we still have to weigh and measure our current situation. Then implement a plan of action," Wind Whistler.
"I second that," Galaxy spoke up. "We have to defend ourselves, find out what Tirac wants with our friends, and save them."
"Right, so let's get thinking," Twilight said.
The light purple unicorn used her magic to levitate a pen and scroll to write down whatever they came up with. The ponies gathered and began discussing their options.
"I'd feel better about this if Magic Star were still here. She usually leads us," came from Shady.
"Could she really have asked any of us to take her place," Galaxy asked.
"This Northeast pass is the straightest path to this city that Tirac could take to get here if he has victory at the Front. Other than that, it's forest on either side that his forces will have to cut through," Bernard said as he pointed to a spot on the map laid out before himself, his brother, and the other officers present.
"Milords, even if your father does have success in the Northeast, Tirac himself will come to clear a path for his forces if our main army cannot stop him" a general stated. "Then because we stood against him, he will come to destroy our people."
"I know, General. We have to evacuate our people to safety. Father's campaign is against powerful odds and will buy us enough time for that if nothing else."
"Odds are that he has laid to waste more powerful lands than this, milord," Andrew the Librarian added. "Shall we fetch the town Criers?"
"Yes," Bernard responded. "Send the people this message that all the people are to be ready to pack and organize, then come to the capitol when the time comes. There they'll meet an escort that will take them to one of our allies in the West, in New Delbrook. We'll send word if they can ever return."
"Very well," Andrew penned the last of it and handed the page to a servant to send onto the scribes.
"As for us," Bernard said. "We will meet the forces of Tirac when they come. They might defeat us and claim the lives of those who will fight them, but what they will get is an empty land."
Bernard then turned his attention to Frederick, who continued to pour over books, even during the meeting.
"Brother, do you have any thoughts to share?"
"Well," Frederick turned his attention from the text in hand. "As you all know, six elements make up the forces of nature in our world: fire, water, wind, light, earth, and darkness. Each has an opposite it is weak to. Fire to water, water to fire. Wind to earth, earth to wind. Light to dark, dark to light. Fire, water, wind, and earth are currently commonly used by today's mages, while the magicks of Lights and Dark have been lost to us since The Cataclysm. Has anyone ever considered that Tirac's magical weapon is just the Element of Darkness, harnessed to his will?"
"Well, the scholars that have theorized and speculated about his power have assumed it is an unnatural, otherworldly power, and all thoughts of it being a weaponized form Darkness have been tossed out."
"That would be because you said it yourself: that both the Light and Dark magicks have been lost to mankind. Besides, darkness just does not fell soldiers and bring entire countries to their knees, milord," Andrew replied. "The records concerning the continents of Lumina, the Continent of Light and Old Umbrae, the Continent of Dark, are very vague. It's even been suggested that they are just a myth and the ancients never had the power at all. If Tirac has uncovered the ability to harness the Dark to his will, then I'm afraid we have still have no method of countering him."
"What we have then is a new avenue to of thought to consider. Ruins of Old Umbrae: The Continent of Darkness are scattered all over the land! We've been trying to counter him under the assumption that he uses unnatural magicks or that he has been harnessing energy directly from the Astral Plain via a pact with a spirit or devil. Nothing tried has worked, for seventy years and going. Whether counter spell, curse, or seal."
"That would make some sense, since the Light and Dark elements were said to trump all others," Andrew spoke.
"If so, then there is the catch along with the answer. Both of those nations eventually fell as all do in time," Bernard cut in. "The secrets of using Light and Dark Elemental Magicks died with them because they would noy share their secrets with the rest of the world."
"So you did pay attention in class sometimes, older brother," Frederick laughed, impressed by his brother's input.
"No, but you have been studying the supposed lost elements since childhood. So that is the catch. We recover a secret of a nation long gone? What time do you think we have?"
"Well, I will not deny the hour grows late…" Frederick started.
"Very late," A magician spoke. "Magic takes years to learn. Recovering the lost Elemental Magicks will also take much time and all that have tried have failed, Lord Frederick. If Tirac had the fortune to succeed where others failed, then it is truly telling how inaccessible the ancients made the powers of Light and Dark. It will take years, possibly decades to find it, and then whoever does will have to learn an entirely new body of magic not taught in any of today's Magic Academies from scratch to defeat Tirac."
"Then our situation is grim," A general said. "What matters at the moment is defending our peoples. We can chase faint hopes and chances another time."
"We will not have later if we are all killed when Tirac comes for our heads," Frederick argued.
"So we mount an expedition, then," Bernard asked. "Which way? There are ruins of the ancient kingdoms and new cities built over or around the old ones in all directions at varying distances across Eoland. We would have to sweep the entire land. The simple fact remains we need our men here, and now, Frederick."
Frederick was about to argue back, but when he saw that he was not going to convince anyone to help, thought better of the notion.
"Very well, Bernhard. If I may, then, could I be allowed to continue studying this? If I can find a lead, would you be willing to listen?"
"If you can find a lead, your suggestion will have my undivided attention, little brother."
"In that case," Frederick replied, stepping up the map. "I would suggest we set up a battalion of men at the Northeast pass to slow Tirac's approach, should it come to that. It will at the very least buy us a little more time to position ourselves and get the people out."
"So you were paying attention," Bernard grinned. "I was thinking the same thing. So it will be done, then."
"If that is all for now, then, Bernard, I would like to retreat back to the study."
"By your leave," Bernard said.
Frederick bowed slightly, and then left.
The guard opened the door for him as he passed. Outside, his assistant, Megan, waited patiently for him.
"Good evening, milord."
"Good evening, Megan. I have some work to do. Listen, why do you not take off early tonight. I only need you for a couple more things tonight."
"Oh, but would that really be alright, Lord Frederick? I am…"
"It is alright, Megan. I will even make sure you are paid for an entire day."
"Oh, then, what will you be needing, then, Lord Frederick?"
"We are heading to the study. Today, I will require every book on the history of the ancient continents, Lumina and Old Umbrae, the occult, Elements, Light, Darkness, and summoning that our library possesses."
"Yes, milord. Will you need anything else?"
"Yes, I skipped breakfast this morning, while the librarian and I are collecting the materials, could you run down to the kitchen and have them fix something light for me?"
"Right away, Lord Frederick."
Megan looked like she wanted to say something, but held her tongue.
"You're wondering why I'm letting you have the rest of the day off."
"Yes, milord. Are things really all that bad?"
Frederick stopped and sighed. After a moment of deliberation, he decided to be truthful.
"Yes, Megan. I'm afraid it is. We have been targeted by a force that has thus far been unstoppable.
To call our situation unfortunate would be a gross underestimation. Tonight, go home. Enjoy some time with your family. After you have ordered the food, you are free tonight."
"Excuse me," Firefly called to some passing people. "Can anyone show me to whoever's in charge around here?"
She had landed near the Dongard Castle Town a short while ago, and had walked up the strangers passing in and out of the city.
"Huh," a man stared dumbly in her direction.
"Blimey! Did… Did that purple lil' pony jus' talk," a woman asked.
"Impossible. This has to be some kind of joke."
"Oooo, pretty pony."
"Yes, don't touch it, dear."
"Why does it 'ave wings?"
"It? IT? Excuse me, but I AM a SHE, thank you very much, and I am the one talking. Can any of you tell me where your leader is?"
"A talking pony? Impossible!"
"I smell money to be a made," one man said, grabbing a nearby rope.
"Uh-oh," Firefly muttered and took to the sky immediately. "Hey, I'm not just some four-hoofed thing for you to sell! I need help. Please, where can I speak to whoever's in charge around here?"
"That'd be Lord David."
"Ah, great! Where can I find him?"
"He's headed out Northeast…pony?"
"Oh, do you know I can find him there?"
"Well, you don't need to, deary. His son Bernard is runnin' things in his stead for now. He's in the castle."
"Oh, great! Thanks, lady! I'll go see him right now!"
Like a shot, Firefly was off towards the castle.
"No, wait, little pony… Oh, dear."
"How do you think Lord Bernard's going to handle a purple talking flying pony that drops in uninvited?"
"Give 'er to Lord Frederick?"
"What is it, soldier?"
"I see something purple coming our way."
"There, sir! Tis coming out way now!"
"What in Eoland…! Archers, to your positions!"
"It looks like some kind of…flying horse…?"
"Are they coming out to greet me," Firefly wondered as she neared.
Of the iron clad humans around the walls surrounding the castle, the one with a cape and a badge raised his arm in her direction.
"Halt, beast! Halt, I say!"
"Wha…," Firefly uttered as she slowed her flight to a halt as she spotted the archers taking aim at her. "What are you doing?"
"You shall not enter here, beast. What manner of errand brings you to our skies?"
"Please, Mr. Knight, I have to get in to see Lord Bernard. It's very important that I do!"
"State your business, beast."
"I AM NOT a beast! I'm a Pegasus pony, and my name is Firefly. I need your help. Listen, dragonriders attacked my home and took two of my friends with them. If I could just…"
"If I could just…"
"Well, why not?"
"No one gets in without invite, Ms. Firefly. We will tell Lord Bernard that a 'Pegasus' pony has come to see him, but you will not be getting in until he decides to let you in."
Firefly's ears fell flat at this. "Oh, oh right."
With that, she fluttered away.
"Sir, should you not have asked her here she'll be staying?"
"How hard could it be a spot a purple winged pony that talks, Wilkins?"
Firefly let herself descend to ground level down in an alley away from the loud crowds. Who could have known these humans would be such sticklers for rules? She had been tempted to just fly right past those archers and into the castle, but she thought better of the notion, since she didn't want to make too bad of a first impression. At least Lord Bernard was going to be told of her this way.
She trotted off, taking in the sights, not sure of what to do with herself now. She had hoped to just be able to fly in and ask for help. She hadn't counted on red tape.
"I hope they're all holding out back home."
"What was all that about, captain," Bernard asked the officer as he approached. "We heard shouting out here."
"Oh that. Well, please do not think me insane, milord, but a talking Pegasus, called herself Firefly, came here, sir. It said it needed you help."
Bernard blinked several times, taking this in. Finally, he said:
"Sir, do not think me mad, but I actually spoke with the creature. It tried to just fly right in to see you. Well, I could not risk it being an agent of Tirac, so I forbade its entry. Well, tell him what you saw, men."
"Ay, milord. A purple flying talking Pegasus clear as day."
"Purple, flying steed, indeed, milord."
"Darnedest thing I ever saw…"
"If the others weren't also seein' it, I'd think I had too much to drink before comin' back to duty."
"Maker only knows how it avoids being eaten by wolves with that colorin'…"
Bernard nodded, acknowledging what was being said to him.
"Very well, but why did you not detain this creature?"
"Well, sir," the Captain said. "The airborne equestrian did not actually do anything illegal or act hostilely."
"Well, capture it for the time being, anyway, but do not treat it poorly when you do. I will see for myself what this is about when I can. At ease, gentlemen."
Meanwhile, far to the Northeast, in Tirac's castle, the dark lord waited impatiently. Though it had only been almost three days ago, Scorpan should have returned with all four of the ponies he had been sent for.
A moment passed after the dark lord roared the infant dragon's name.
"Yes, Lord Tirac! I'm coming, milord," the small purple reptile called breathlessly as he entered the throne room.
Spike took a low bow before frightfully lifting his gaze to the master of the castle.
"What does milord need?"
"Has Scorpan returned with the other two ponies yet? My patience wears thin."
"No, not yet, milord, but I'm sure he's on his way back right now."
"I don't want your assurances. I want results. While you are here, I might as well inquire about the state of those first two Pastels that were brought in."
"Oh, yes, milord. We've been taking the upmost care of them."
"Good. They will need to in good condition still by the time of the Summer Solstice. It is to that end I had that garden constructed out back. Keep them well, Spike. You are dismissed."
"Yes, yes, milord," Spike bowed again and retreated quickly from the room.
Tirac smirked as the sight of the small creature practically fleeing his presence.
A knock at the door of the throne room announced the presence of another visitor.
"Enter. Ah, General Shiltarn of the Lizardmen. What news 'graces' me with your presence this day?"
"Milord, Dongard has refused to turn over their lands to you."
Tirac almost laughed.
"A rare occurrence these days. So what news of the battle do you have to report," the lord asked as he took a drink from his goblet.
"We were not able to defeat them in our first engagement, milord, but their land and army are small. They will not be able to weather a second strike."
"For your sake, Shiltarn, they had better not. Or must I remind you of what happened to General Dranga," Tirac gestured to the head that hanged from the wall above his throne.
"…No, milord. I understand. I will deal with this annoyance, myself."
"Good. Dismissed, General."
The General bowed, and then left the room.
"Hmm. Resistance from the Dongardians. How interesting."
"Oh boy, I always think he's going to kill me," Spike muttered, breathing a sigh. "Well, I better check up on Fizzy and Parasol now, anyway. "
The dragon then basically the skipped the rest of the way, as Fizzy and Parasol had been much better company than anyone else in the castle, saves perhaps Scorpan.
In the dungeon, Parasol and Fizzy stared through the bars of their little cell sadly. Only three days had gone by and they'd had enough of this place already.
"I spy with my little eye…"
"Wow," Fizzy genuinely exclaimed. "How do you do that? You ARE good at this!"
"Okay, now I spy with my little eye…"
"You did it again!"
CLANG! The loud slam signified that the two had a visitor, which either meant a visit from Spike, the only friendly face in the castle, or a sorely guard bringing them their dinner. They hoped for the former, but expected the latter.
"Hi, girls," Spike said happily as he bounded into view. "How are you doing today?"
"Trapped," Parasol said.
"Yeah, sorry about that, but hey, it isn't all bad. I'm here to take you out to the courtyard."
Of yes, being allowed out into the courtyard was one of the few joys outside of Spike's company that came with this dreaded place. Not to just a joy, but a necessity, as all ceatures and beings need outdoors and sunlight in one form or another. Thankfully for the health and mental well-being of Fizzy and Parasol, and soon Magic Star and North star, Tirac and his subjects, despite their overall cruelty, knew this at least.
The courtyard was closed-in, anyway, and Fizzy's magic would not allow her to teleport outside anyway, for some reason. Nevertheless, the two Pastels were overjoyed to arrive outside and be greeted with green as they were lead by Spike.
Together, the three enjoyed their time away from the dingy cell as they ran and played through the small garden of delights that had been grown there. Alas, after a few hours, they were called back and forced back into the cell again. Spike's apologies did little to sooth being cramped back into the little stone square, though.
"Alright, men, you all saw the flying beast earlier, correct?"
"Sir, yes sir!"
"Alright, then spread out and put up posters of the thing, and keep an eye out for it while you make your daily rounds."
"Yes, what is it?"
"How are we going to get the public to believe this thing exists? Unless they have all seen the beast with their own two eyes, they are all going to think Lord Bernard has lost his mind."
"Well, they will learn better once the beast is captured. Dismissed!"
The soldiers of Dongard split up and began combing the city for Firefly, ready to capture and imprison the latest 'threat'.
"I actually have the rest of the day to myself," Megan thought happily. "I suppose I should not be so happy about it since it means we are likely to come under attack soon. Oh well, at least it will not be today. I wonder if Daniel and father could use some help with the cows… Hello, what's all this…?"
Interrupting her thoughts was the sight of a wanted poster for a purple, flying, talking pony, as issued by Lord Bernard. She blinked several times, disbelieving what she was reading. Anyone who saw it was to report it in. She might have laughed and assumed madness of her lord if she did not personally know him to be of sound mind, herself.
"What is going on," the girl thought.
She quickened pace towards home, deciding she didn't want to get caught up in whatever was going on. She had made her way through most of the Castle Town with the main gate in sight when she heard it, a high-pitched whinny and the clopping of hooves in a nearby side street. The girl turned and down the uneven road of broken, cracked, or poked up bricks with several stairways leading don or up along the side. The way was narrow as well.
"Now what fool would take their horse off the main street and onto this dangerous road?"
It was then Firefly made her appearance as she galloped into view before leaping into the air and taking flight. Megan rubbed her eyes and looked at the Pegasus again almost certain she was seeing things not there.
"A flying pony!"
"I can talk, too."
Megan yelped, surprised at the response.
"Hello," Firefly said. "Listen, could you hide me? Those knight guys are after me and I don't know where to go."
"Why are they after you?"
"I don't know, but please, I could really use the help."
"Um, well… W-What have you done?"
"Nothing! I just tried to get into the castle to ask this Bernard guy for help."
"Oh, you should not have done that, especially right now. Listen, I don't know about helping you, but I can forget I saw you, since you do not seem like you really mean any harm."
Firefly's ears fell back at the sound of that. She just nodded her response and fluttered away. A bit of guilt welled in Megan, seeing the dejected creature.
Megan led Firefly into the side road and took her through a few twists and turns before the two came to a narrow space between two buildings near the East wall.
"There's a bigger space behind there," Megan explained. "I used to use the spot when I was little and played Hide-And-Seek with the other children. You can drop down from above and the come back out when the coast is clear. Just stay out of trouble, alright? The poster said nothing about any crimes you committed, so I am willing to give you a chance."
"Well, I guess it can get a little drafty back there, but it always hid me well when playing hide-and-seek when I was little."
"Ah, not what I me…never mind. Anyway, thanks, er…"
"Thanks, Megan! I'm Firefly."
"Pleased to meet you. Well, I have to be going, but you should ask to make an appointment to see Lord Bernard at the front gate of the castle when you can. Hopefully they won't try to capture you."
Just as Megan was turning to leave, a voice rang out from not far away at all.
"Quickly men! We're gotten reports that the beast came this way."
"Oh, no. The will see me," Megan gasped. "They will know I was trying to help you."
"Hope on," Firefly said, appearing next to her. "I'll get us back into that little hiding spot of yours'."
"Is it safe?"
"You want to spend all night being questioned?"
"Hop in, Meg! You can trust me."
Megan carefully climbed onto Firefly's back. Once the girl was secure on her back, Firefly took to the air and descended into the little space behind the buildings and none too soon. The two remained quiet until they were sure the soldiers had passed.
It wasn't until she was sure no one else could hear them that Megan dared to speak.
"Hey, Firefly, what do you need to see Lord Bernard about anyway?"
"Dragonriders attacked my home. They took off with two of my friends. The ponies… We haven't dealt an attacker, since…ever. Not since ol' Olivia scared off the goblins once and for all. We need help, and yours' is the only kingdom I know about."
"I see, that is awful, but you have come at a bad time I'm afraid. We have our own share of problems right now."
"Our home is under attack, too. A warlord named Tirac has come with his armies."
"Where's he from?"
"Northeast of here."
"Hey, those dragonriders came directly from the North to our home and we're due east of here! You don't think e have a common enemy, do you?"
"Probably, but what would Tirac want with little ponies like you?"
"Well, we're all a bit magical, I guess, but we're nothing special. Besides, we've always been happy to leave the rest of the world alone and be left alone by everyone else, so I can't see why he wants us."
"Yes, I'd imagine a bunch of flying ponies would have to be magical."
"Oh, we don't all fly. We also have unicorns who can cast magic with their horns and plain old earthbound ponies, but we all talk."
"Hmm? That is interesting, but if you have been targeted by Tirac, then Lords Bernard and Frederick have to be told," Megan announced. "Alright, I am bringing you home with me tonight, and this is what we will do after that…"
Megan leaned in to whisper in Firefly's ear.
A/N: And that's it for Chapter 3. Please R & R.