The Mighty Ride of the Firelord

Jul 10th, 2013
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  1. >You are Anonymous, the Firelord.
  2. >You have blazed a trail of fire and chaos across the peaceful land of Equestria, leaving a blazing scar across its face.
  3. >Your target is the city the ponies call Canterlot.
  4. >There is where your foe lies.
  5. >Where the one you have chosen to be your nemesis waits.
  6. >Where she sits on her gilded throne, high on a mountain.
  7. >She, who dared think that she was a greater master of fire than you!
  8. >The sun? Bah! Before your might the sun is but a spark! Before your anger her flames are as a warm summer breeze!
  9. >You are the one true Lord of Fire and all the world will know it!
  10. >The ponies have sent army after army to best you, and yet she still hides!
  11. >You have devastated them, sent every single force she sent against you back to her in pieces!
  12. >Every challenge, every demand, ignored!
  13. >First she sent an envoy to ask what you wanted.
  14. >You sent him back with your answer.
  15. >Then she sent guardsp0nies.
  16. >You sent them back with your challenge.
  17. >Then she sent her armies.
  18. >You forged their armor and weapons into monument to your superiority.
  19. >And still she will not face you!
  20. >The thoughts of the false princess make your blood boil even more than it already does.
  21. >The ground bakes and cracks and melts beneath your feet as you continue on your trek.
  22. >You cast a glance behind you at the trail of destruction you leave across the countryside and grin in appreciation at your work.
  23. >A blackened stretch of baked earth a kilometer wide and countless more long trails behind you, angry red veins of magma crisscrossing it the entire way.
  24. >If only the entire world could look like this.
  25. >As wonderful the thought of such a paradise is, the irony is that without any life to compare it to everyone would lose sight of its greatness.
  27. >You cast your baleful gaze about the vast plains of vile green before you.
  28. >Soon it will burn, soon only one flame will rule.
  29. >By now the sun has finally set and the only light comes from the pillar of fire that billows about you as you continue your journey.
  30. >And the light of the moon.
  31. >You enjoy the moon, it casts its light without presuming to be superior. It seems almost benevolent.
  32. >Unlike the sun, which casts its gaze greedily upon all the land, claiming all for its own.
  33. >Years ago there used to be a face on the moon, you rather liked it.
  34. >You liked to imagine that it gazed down upon your great works in wonder and awe.
  35. >But one day the face left the moon and your nights became more lonely.
  36. >You wish you knew where that face went, it had been your only companion for the longest time, always watching, always appreciating.
  37. >You wish the night would last forever.
  38. >But the sun never fails to cast down its kind counterpart, it is not content to let another be loved and beheld more than it.
  39. >But soon your justice will be met out and there will be no mercy for the guilty.
  40. >You shall cast down the lying sun.
  41. >Your flame, so cruel, will bring the end and the dawn will never rise again!
  42. >How you long for the day when the harsh glare of the sun will be forever replaced with the kind and loving gaze of the moon.
  43. >You heard a tale once of a time when the moon sought to cast down its villainous sister, but was herself defeated and locked away.
  44. >The story fills you with rage whenever you remember it.
  45. >By your hand, the moon will take its rightful place in the sky.
  46. >And the world will know that it was you who cast down the sun and brought them the love of their mother moon.
  48. >There is a flash of light not your own and you briefly wonder if this is some new tactic of the cowardly Sun Princess.
  49. >You see a silhouette in the moonlight, the shape of a pony, but taller.
  50. >You see wings and you see... a horn.
  51. “Alicorn...” you hiss, your voice like the crackling of a flame.
  52. >For the first time since you set out on your journey you halt. This is it, finally the cowardly princess has come down from her mountain to accept your challenge!
  53. >”Yes, we have come to put an end to your wanton destruction of our lands! Stand and fight us!”
  54. “Gladly...”
  55. >You clench your fists, the superheated metal encasing you groaning in the heat of the flames.
  56. >You take a step forward, the ground beneath your foot being reduced to lava.
  57. >Another step, then another, and at last the Sun Princess is in sight.
  58. >Her dark blue coat, her flowing mane of starlit midnight.
  59. >Wait... this isn’t right.
  60. “You... are not her.”
  61. >The dark alicorn takes on a look of mild annoyance at your disappointment.
  62. >”No, we are not our sister. She fears that the battle resulting from two such powerful beings would ravage the kingdom irreparably. We, however, have no such qualms about putting such a villain down! We- hey! Where are you going!?”
  63. >You stopped listening the second she said she isn’t Celestia. You don’t know who this second alicorn is, but it is not your nemesis and therefore not worth your time.
  64. “Canterlot.” you hiss as you walk passed her.
  65. >”We demand that you stand and face us!” she says, indignantly stamping a hoof.
  66. “You are not Celestia. You are not worth my time.”
  67. >She sputters angrily for a moment before trotting after you.
  68. >She does not shy from the inferno raging about you, this mildly impresses you.
  69. >”And why are we not worth your time?”
  70. “Because you are not strong enough.”
  71. >”We happen to be incredibly powerful!” she exclaims.
  72. “Don’t care. You aren’t Celestia.”
  73. >”And why is it that we are not worthy of fighting?”
  74. “Because you are not Celestia, therefor I do not care about you.”
  75. >She ruffles her wings indignantly.
  76. >”I am every bit as powerful as she is! Why should I not warrant the same attention?”
  77. >Is this her plan? Whine at you until you leave?
  78. >Challenge accepted.
  80. “You do not rule the sun. You are not important.”
  81. >That one... actually seemed to hurt her a little.
  82. >With a flap of her wings she throws herself into your path.
  84. >While she’s busy shouting her demands at you you simply decide to walk around her and continue on your way.
  85. >She trots back to your side and continues to follow you like a lost puppy.
  86. >”You fought the armies of guardsp0nies Celestia sent for you and they are far less powerful than we!”
  87. “They were sent by Celestia. They were a challenge from her. You came of your own volition and, if what you say is true, against her wishes.”
  88. >”Then we have lied! Our sister sent us to stop you! Now face us!”
  89. “No.”
  90. >”Why?!”
  91. “I told you why.”
  92. >”We didn’t like the answer!”
  93. “Well you’re not getting a different one.”
  94. >”Fight us!”
  95. “No.”
  96. >”We demand that you fight us!”
  97. “I demand that you go away.”
  98. >”You must fight us to make us leave.”
  99. “You’re really annoying.”
  100. >”We are not!”
  101. “You’re like a small child.”
  102. >”Just because Celestia is a few years older does not mean that we are any less powerful!”
  103. “I didn’t mean it like that, I meant that you’re just as annoying as a small child.”
  104. >”And who are you to insult a princess as such?!”
  105. “I am Anonymous the Firelord, Flame of the North.”
  106. >”Well we are Princess Luna of Canterlot. Sister of Celestia.”
  107. >Luna. You like that name.
  108. “You have a nice name. I like it.”
  109. >Luna stands stock still and you aren’t sure if the red upon her face is from the glow of your fire or a blush.
  111. >After her shock wears off Luna resumes her place walking next to you.
  112. >”You... like our name?”
  113. >You nod.
  114. “Yes. It’s a beautiful name. It suits you well.”
  115. >The red upon her face grows more.
  116. >”We... thank you. Nop0ny has ever given us such praise before.”
  117. >You grunt in acknowledgement. You just wanted to compliment her name, you couldn’t really care passed that.
  118. >”It is strange that such a compliment would come from a villain like you.”
  119. “Hilarious, isn’t it?” you say, hoping she’s able to derive how little you care from your tone.
  120. >If she can she doesn’t show it.
  121. >”So why do you wish to fight our sister?” she asks.
  122. “Because her existence is a challenge to my superiority. Only one flame can burn the brightest.”
  123. >”So... it is simply because of a rivalry? Not because you think her stronger than us?”
  124. “That would be about the size of it.”
  125. >”Oh. Well then perhaps we owe you an apolog- wait! No, we are not going to apologize to villainous scum like you!”
  126. “I didn’t ask you to.”
  127. >”And why are we even talking to you? We are here to stop your rampage whether you wish to fight or not!”
  128. “Because you couldn’t stop me even if you wanted to, little Luna.”
  129. >”We are NOT little!”
  130. “You’re smaller than I am.”
  131. >”Well you’re a giant!”
  132. “Six and a half feet hardly constitutes a giant. p0nykind is just small.”
  133. >She shoots you a glare.
  134. >”We are small because you are a giant!”
  135. “So you admit that you’re small.”
  136. >”We have done no such thing!”
  137. “You’re acting like a child again.”
  138. >”Shut up!”
  140. >She’s been following you for hours at this point, nagging and whining and still demanding that you fight her.
  141. >This is the worst hell.
  142. “Little Luna, I will not fight you. I will only fight Celestia and those she sends against me. I will not waver in this. I simply do not have time to waste appeasing the whims of children.”
  144. “Why do you keep saying ‘we’? Do you have an imaginary friend or something?”
  146. “Dost thou thinkest that this be a play?”
  148. “Well go ahead then. Smite me, O mighty smiter.”
  150. >You flick her horn with a finger and she cries out, nearly falling to her knees.
  151. >”So crass! How darest thou touch a lady’s- AH!”
  152. >You do it again. It brings the same result.
  153. “You are weak. I’ve barely touched you and you act as though we’ve been fighting for an age! Already you gasp for breath and can barely hold yourself upright. Do you see now why I will not fight you?”
  154. >She glares at you, breath still coming in great huffs.
  155. >”You are lucky it is so late and that it is time for us to perform our royal duties. We go now to lower the moon for our sister, but then we shall return. Do not expect us to be so merciful when next we meet though, for when we return we shall utterly devastate your plot!”
  156. >You breathe a sigh of relief as the flustered princess flies away.
  157. >Wait, she goes to lower the moon?
  158. >Does she control the moon as her sister does the sun?
  159. >Her name, her appearance... it all fits well... was she the face on the moon?
  160. >You halt mid-step as you remember the rest of what she said.
  161. “She’s going to what my what?”
  163. >You are Princess Luna.
  164. >And you are a very confused pony right now.
  165. >The villain Anonymous is proving to be quite strange.
  166. >You had thought that he was simply some mindless monster bent on destroying your kingdom.
  167. >But in truth he only wants to prove his strength to you sister.
  168. >Which miffs you far more than it should.
  169. >Why is SHE so worthy of his attention?
  170. >Why doesn’t he want to fight you?
  171. >He keeps saying it’s something to do with a rivalry, but that doesn’t mean he can’t fight you too!
  172. >Are you not the Princess of the Night? Are you not one of the most powerful beings on Earth?
  173. >What does Celestia have that you don’t?
  174. >Your mane is far more beautiful than hers, hers is just a stupid pastel rainbow, yours contains all the beauty of the night sky!
  175. >She is taller though, and certainly more filled out than you.
  176. >But that’s not your fault! You’re still growing! You’d be tall and slender too if you hadn’t been stuck in the moon for a thousand years!
  177. >Her flank is certainly more shapely...
  178. >You take a look back at your rump as you fly.
  179. >... Curse that sister of yours, always stealing the colts away with that plot of hers.
  180. >That’s probably what it is. He likes her flank better than yours!
  181. >He’s probably just doing all this to impress her just to get a piece of her flank!
  182. >Oh that shallow, evil, vile, rugged, handsome, muscular-
  183. >No! Bad Luna! No fantasizing about the evil villain!
  184. >As soon as you raise the moon you’re gonna show Anonymou and Celestia both!
  185. >Your sister’s not getting this one all to herself! Not if you have anything to say about it!
  187. >With the moon set and the sun rising, you take wing from the palace and begin your flight back to Anonymous.
  188. >You’re going to show him, you’re going to show everyp0ny!
  189. >You’ve played second fiddle to your sister for your entire life, but by facing and defeating Anonymous where even Celestia wouldn’t dare nop0ny will ever doubt your power again!
  190. >Anon crippling you so easily was a complete fluke. Everyp0ny knows how sensitive horns are...
  191. >Oh gosh it felt so good when he did that...
  192. >He must NEVER know.
  193. >You can feel your carefully stoked anger begin to falter.
  194. >He even called your name beautiful.
  195. >Nop0ny had ever paid you such a compliment before.
  196. >But he called you childish!
  197. >But you were being a little immature...
  198. >But it’s not your fault, he refused to fight you!
  199. >Though he did say he only wanted to prove his superiority to your sister...
  200. >But all the p0nies he’s hurt! That can’t be ignored! Entire legions of guardsp0nies have been broken by him!
  201. >You shake your head in frustration. It doesn’t matter what your opinions on the matter are, the fact of the matter is that Anon isn’t going to stop until he beats your sister.
  202. >And your sister isn’t going to fight him until the absolute last moment.
  203. >And until then who knows how many more ponies will be hurt in this conflict?
  204. >You have to be the one to end this.
  205. >... wait, did you just call him Anon?
  206. >Why are you referring to him so familiarly? He’s a villain!
  207. >Ugh, the sooner this is over with the better. You’re getting far too confused by this all.
  209. >You arrive at Anonymous’s location in the early morning, his progress has been slow but steady.
  210. >The burning scar across the kingdom has extended several kilometers in the hours that you’ve been gone.
  211. >As you approach you behold a sight that makes your breath catch.
  212. >All across the landscape lie the unmoving forms of guardsp0nies. Another legion must have been dispatched over night.
  213. >Impotent anger fills you at the thought of so many loyal subjects lost.
  214. >Propelled on by your fury you descend upon Anonymous like a falling star.
  215. >You impact the earth before him and, unlike the last few times you obstructed his path, he actually stopped.
  216. >Dirt and rocks fly up into the air from the force of your landing, a small crater forming around you.
  218. >”Nothing.” he responds.
  220. >”They’re not dead. They just collapsed from heat exhaustion.”
  221. >Your fury dims just a quickly as it arrived.
  222. “What?”
  223. >He shrugs.
  224. >”They never even got close to me. They all just dropped from heat exhaustion as soon as they got near. It seems they couldn’t take the heat.”
  225. >He chuckles at his own pun.
  226. “So... our subjects are unharmed?”
  227. >”Pretty much.”
  228. “And what of those from the past conflicts? Many legions have been sent out against you and not returned.”
  229. >”Same thing. Any of them who managed to get close I pretty much just pushed over and they were done.”
  230. “We do not believe you! You have caused much destruction within Equestria in your quest, why would you spare those who stand against you?”
  231. >He shrugs again.
  232. >”I’m not really looking to kill anyone. It kind of defeats the purpose of being the best if there’s no one around to appreciate your greatness.”
  234. >You are Anonymous.
  235. >And for some reason the fact that Luna came back fills you with joy.
  236. >And that gives you very mixed feelings.
  237. >She doesn’t seem to know what to say at your last statement.
  238. >You continue walking and she follows silently into step beside you.
  239. “You said you were going to lower the moon when you left.”
  240. >Your words pull her from her reverie.
  241. >”Yes, it is our duty to raise and set the moon each morning and night.”
  242. “Were you the face on the moon?”
  243. >She looks shocked for a moment, not knowing what to say.
  244. >”Yes... that was when we were imprisoned within the moon during our thousand year banishment.”
  245. >Your eyes widen slightly.
  246. “That story was about you?”
  247. >”Story?”
  248. “The one about how the moon tried to cast down the sun.”
  249. >Her ears go flat against her head. “Y-yes... that was us...”
  250. “I’m sorry you lost.”
  251. >She perks up immediately at your words.
  252. >”Pardon?”
  253. “I wish you’d won. I’ve always loved the moon.”
  254. >Her cheeks darken at your words.
  255. >”You... forgive us, but you do not seem as one who would be more partial to our night.”
  256. >You shake your head.
  257. “No, I view the sun as an enemy, as a rival. The moon does not seek to dominate the sky and the land, but to simply shine her light in peace. It also helps that it is far more pleasant to look at. One truth the sun dares not speak is that her light can only blind and burn.”
  258. >”So you prefer the moon to the sun?” she asks incredulously.
  259. “Of course. I don’t know why anyone would choose otherwise.”
  260. >The two of you walk in silence for a few moments.
  261. “So are you going to stop me?”
  263. >”We must admit that we are... confused as to what to do. We have never met one who so greatly reveres our moon.”
  264. “Aye, that would prove a confusing situation. I am glad I’m not in your position.”
  265. >Silence falls between the two of you again for awhile, the only sound the cracking of the earth as it burns beneath your feet.
  266. >”What will you do when you reach Canterlot?” she asks finally.
  267. “I will challenge Celestia. Surely with her capital and so many of her subjects in harm’s way she will accept it.”
  268. >”What if she doesn’t?”
  269. “Then I will cast Canterlot Mountain down and burn the land until there is naught left but glass. Then she will face me and I will kill her. Then mine will be the only flame left burning in this world. Then you will take your sister’s place and rule the land in night eternal and I shall spend the rest of my existence in service to you and your moon.”
  270. >”... Would you mind running that last bit by us one more time?”
  271. “You do not wish to rule or me to serve you?”
  272. >”We... well that... we mean of course that would be nice but... surely you don’t have to kill Celestia, do you?”
  273. >You toss the thought around your head for a few moments. If the Moon Princess did not wish for you to kill her sister then who are to argue? The Mare in the Moon kept you company for so long, it would be the least you can do to repay her kindness.
  274. “I suppose it is not necessary. I suppose that so long as I defeat her and prove my superiority then I have made my point.”
  275. >”So you will stop this?”
  276. “No. I did not say that. I will not waver in my mission, but I will not kill Celestia.”
  277. >”What about Canterlot?” she asks nervously.
  278. “If she accepts my challenge then I will not have to resort to that.”
  279. >”... And you promise you won’t kill her?”
  280. “On my honor, princess.”
  282. >You are Princess Celestia.
  283. >And you have never been more worried than you are right now.
  284. >That monster that’s burning your kingdom to cinders is headed straight for Canterlot.
  285. >You’ve lost so many legionnaires to it already, and your heart broke with every single pony lost.
  286. >You cannot face him yourself, the resulting battle would ravage the land for untold miles.
  287. >More than that, there is a chance you might not win.
  288. >Even with Luna’s help it might be difficult.
  289. >No, you need to bring such overwhelming force to bear against him that he won’t have time to cause any destruction.
  290. >But you need help.
  291. >And your options don’t exactly excite you.
  292. >Besides you and Luna, the only others in existence that could rival you are beings of unparalleled evil.
  293. >But better the devil you know.
  294. >And that is why you find yourself standing in a special recess of the Canterlot Sculpture Garden, facing four very familiar statues.
  295. >You can feel the evil of this place and it sends shivers up your spine.
  296. >Words cannot describe how little you want to do this.
  297. >But you have no choice. You know that you can reign them in with the Elements of Harmony if need be, but that still brings only a little comfort.
  298. >You close your eyes and take a deep breath, preparing yourself for that which you would never forgive yourself for.
  299. >Your horn glows and you take one last look at the statues.
  300. >And you silently ask the world to forgive you.
  302. >”Oh you have no idea how it feels to be flesh and bone again! Really, standing in that one position for that long really puts a crick in one’s back.”
  303. >”Be silent, abomination, you’re inane prattling is giving me a headache.”
  304. >”Oh lighten up, Tirek, we’re free! Try doing something other than scowling for once in your life!”
  305. >The centaur only snorts in reply.
  306. >”Freedom is all well and good, but if I might have my bell back that would make the occasion just a little better.” Grogar remarks.
  307. >”Nuts to your bell, I want my Sapphire Statue!” Ahuizotl snaps.
  308. >”Forget your meaningless trinkets, return my Rainbow of Darkness to me at once!” Tirek bellows.
  309. >”Well you heard ‘em, Celestia. Best get to it!” Discord says, snapping his talons.
  310. >You sigh in irritation as a Prench maid outfit pops into being on you.
  311. >With a flash of your horn the offending outfit is reduced to cinders.
  312. “Everything will be returned shortly, but before that I wish to discuss the terms of your freedom.”
  313. >”And here it is. How did I know that this wasn’t going to come without cost?” Grogar says.
  314. >”Your terms better be appealing, wretch.” Tirek growls. “I am not your errand boy.”
  315. >”I’ll do whatever you want, just give me my statue!”
  316. >”Ahuizotl, you are incredibly pathetic.” Discord says.
  317. “Enough!” you shout. “Currently there is a monster ravaging Equestria. I do not know what it is or where it comes from, but it is incredibly powerful. More than any of us here.”
  318. >The centaur snorts again. “An amusing sentiment, princess. I strongly doubt that this creature is stronger than I am.”
  319. “I am stronger than you are, Tirek. And even Luna and I cannot best this monster alone.”
  320. >”I accept! Now give me the statue!”
  321. >”Shut up, Ahuizotl!” everyone present yells.
  323. >”So you want us to do away with Mr. Big Bad, do you?”
  324. “Yes. Defeat him and you will have earned your freedom.”
  325. >”And what’s to stop us from simply refusing and leaving?” Tirek growls.
  326. “You’re certainly free to try. But once you start running you had better never stop, because I will be behind you every single step you run. You will never be safe, you will never be able to rest, I will never stop chasing you. Do this for me and I will allow you to leave my lands without fear of pursuit.”
  327. >Tirek is silent a moment, a look of hatred upon his face.
  328. >”What would you have us do?”
  329. “What you do best. I would have you fight.”
  330. >He grins savagely. “You have a deal, princess.”
  331. >”I, too, find this deal to be completely fair. You shall have my aid. Anything is better than being a statue, even the Realm of Darkness.” Grogar adds.
  332. >”Oh what the heck, it sounds like fun! Count me in!” Discord exclaims.
  335. >You turn and leave the garden, heading back to the castle.
  336. >More specifically, to a certain vault deep within the bowels of Canterlot Mountain.
  337. >The Elements of Harmony are not the only relics of power you keep locked away.
  338. >There are yet darker and much more vile things.
  339. >Things that you would never allow to see the light of day were you a better princess.
  340. >Things that you are about to put in the hands of the most villainous monsters to ever blemish Equestria with their existence.
  341. >Sun preserve you.
  343. >You are Luna.
  344. >And since you talked Anonymous out of killing your sister he two of you have been speaking more openly with each other.
  345. >You find yourself hanging on his every word.
  346. >He’s told you all about the Firelands where he came from, about his home which he referred to only as The Core, he even has a pet phoenix like Celestia does. He said it’s name is Millagazor or something.
  347. >You don’t know why, but he completely enthralls you, his confidence, the way he carries himself, the absolute certainty he has about his actions.
  348. >That’s what you wish you could be like. You envy his confidence, how his very being seems to radiate authority.
  349. >He’s what you so desperately wish to be, and the fact that he holds you in such high regard makes you almost giddy.
  350. >You feel like a school filly with a crush.
  351. >Except that’s ridiculous, you’re a princess and he’s a... whatever he is. It’s such a silly thought.
  352. >After his own story concluded you shared with him the story of how you became the Nightmare.
  353. >He surprised you when he told you how appealing an everlasting night sounded.
  354. >And left you blushing like mad.
  355. >You can’t seem to stop doing that around him.
  356. >Do you want to stop?
  357. >He pays attention to everything you say, he actually listens, even seems genuinely interested in what you have to say.
  358. >It’s been ages since you’ve felt like this.
  359. >Taking a look at the sky you can tell that it’s just past midday and Canterlot Mountain is within sight.
  360. >You sigh and remember what you’ve decided to do.
  362. >It’s nothing too hard.
  363. >All you have to do is fly up to the palace and explain the situation to your sister.
  364. >Celestia will go down and accept Anon’s challenge and fight him.
  365. >You really aren’t completely sure who will win, but you’re sure that once you explain yourself to Celestia she won’t hurt him too badly if she wins.
  366. >Then Anon, like he said, will go on to serve as your guardian and champion, enforcing the will of the moon.
  367. >Maybe one day he’d be able to join you as more than just a servant...
  368. >You haven’t taken on a prince in millennia...
  369. >The thought immediately sends blood rushing to your cheeks and you have to fight to keep your wings from going stiff.
  370. >Why are you even having thoughts like these at such a time? You’re currently escorting what amounts to the most dangerous villain in Equestrian history to a cataclysmic fight with your sister.
  371. >This sure is complicated.
  372. >Why can’t he have just been evil?
  373. “Anonymous?”
  374. >”Aye Luna?”
  375. “I’m going to go to Canterlot now. I’m going to explain everything to Celestia and hopefully she’ll see reason and just accept your challenge. Please try not to cause much damage?”
  376. >“As you will, my princess.”
  377. >Once again his words turn your cheeks scarlet.
  378. >You clear your throat distractedly.
  379. “Yes, well... I’ll take my leave now... please be well Anonymous.”
  380. >”I shall, my princess. You may count on it.”
  381. >You look around to make sure you’re alone, biting your lip hesitantly.
  382. >Anonymous notices your behavior and cocks an eyebrow.
  383. >Quickly, before you have a chance to think and stop yourself, you reach up plant a quick kiss on his cheek, the wetness from your lips steaming away as you make contact with his skin.
  384. >Deed done you take wing and start off on your way to Canterlot before you can see his reaction.
  385. >You’re sure he knows yours, there’s no way he could have missed your near constant blushing.
  387. >It’s not long before you arrive back at the palace.
  388. >You alight gracefully on the balcony of your sister’s room and take a deep breath, steeling yourself for the conversation you’re about to have.
  389. >You enter the room and, to your surprise, Celestia isn’t in there.
  390. >Well there are only a hooffull of places she can be, but you have to hurry, Anon is getting closer every second.
  391. >After a few minutes of searching you find your sister walking down one of the palace’s many hallways, a runed, wrought iron box floating next to her in her golden aura.
  392. >You know exactly what that box contains and the sight of it sends a pang of dread shooting throughout you.
  393. “Sister!” you call out, speeding up to catch up with her.
  394. >Your voice seems to startle her, she whirls around to face you and her eyes widen when she sees you.
  395. >”Luna! Where have you been? The monster is within sight of Canterlot, we have to-”
  396. “Celestia, what are you doing with that box?” you say sternly.
  397. >Celestia looks away from you, refusing to meet your gaze.
  398. >”Something that must be done...”
  399. “Sister, those relics are evil! We sealed them away for a reason!”
  400. >”I know, but we need every advantage if we are to defeat this monster.”
  401. “But that’s just it! He only wants to fight you!”
  402. >”I know, he told us as much when he sent back my envoy.”
  403. “No, Celestia, we’ve been with him this past day! We’ve talked with him! All he wants to do is challenge you!”
  404. >She glares at you sternly. “You’ve been with that monster? Luna, he wants to destroy us!”
  405. “Listen to me, sister! All he wants to do is prove his strength, he won’t kill you, he just wants to fight!”
  406. >”And you believe him? Look at all the legionnaires he’s killed so far!”
  408. “He hasn’t killed a single one! We watch one of your legions attack him! They just collapsed from the heat when they were too close to him, none of them died!”
  409. >”Luna, he lied to you! Do you really think he’d let anyp0ny who stands against him live?”
  410. “YES! Because while you hid in the palace we sought him out! We spoke with him! He is not evil, he even likes us!”
  411. >”He what?”
  412. “He told us that his original intention was to cast down the sun so that the moon could rule eternal! Then he pledged himself to our service once he had accomplished his goal!”
  413. >Celestia narrows her eyes at you.
  414. >”And you agreed to this?”
  415. “Of course not! We even attempted to talk him out of his quest, but he would not waver. We did, however, manage to convince him not to harm anymore ponies or kill you.”
  416. >”So you plan to just let him waltz in here and beat your sister black and blue?”
  417. “We may still be a little angry about our thousand year imprisonment.”
  418. >”Luna, I don’t care what he said, he’s a monster and we must bring an end to him for the good of the kingdom. Now come, our... “allies” are awaiting our return.”
  419. “Allies...?”
  420. >”Luna... I know this may be difficult to accept, but we need help to defeat him.”
  421. “Celestia... what did you do?”
  422. >”Please forgive me Luna... I’m so sorry.”
  423. “What have you done?”
  424. >You follow Celestia until you reach the Sculpture Garden.
  425. >The box, the Garden... this could only mean one thing...
  426. >Your breath catches in your throat. No. Surely Celestia wouldn’t do such a thing...
  427. >Not to Anonymous... not to your prince...
  429. >”Hey guys, the ponies are back!” calls a voice you had hoped to never hear again.
  430. “Celestia. WHAT. HAST. THOU. DONE?!”
  431. >”What I had to do.” she answers.
  432. >With a pop, a familiar draconequus appears by your side.
  433. >”Aw, don’t tell me you didn’t miss me, little miss Moonbutt.” Discord mock pouts.
  434. >”STATUE!” another voice calls.
  435. >Ahuizotl too?
  436. >The monster known as Ahuizotl comes bounding out from the hedge maze and lands before Celestia acting like an excited puppy.
  437. >”You’ve brought my statue!”
  438. >Suddenly the ground begins to tremble and yet another unwelcome figure figure emerges from the hedge maze, opting instead to simply stomp through it.
  439. >”My Rainbow of Darkness. Now!” Tirek growls.
  440. >Following at his side is yet another figure, Grogar the necromancer.
  441. >”Ah, my bell, it has been far too long since I’ve seen it last.”
  442. >You simply cannot believe this.
  443. >Your sister has released the most dangerous and evil being in the entire world just to battle Anonymous?
  444. >Anonymous isn’t even evil!
  445. >You can’t help but feel sickened with your sister for committing such an atrocity.
  446. >You glare at her and you see her shrink from you gaze.
  447. >”Luna, please understand. It’s the only way to-”
  449. >Celestia looks shocked at your outburst, but you don’t give her a chance to reply.
  450. >The shadow beneath you becomes inky black and you sink into it, vanishing from sight.
  451. >You have to warn Anonymous.
  453. >You are Anonymous.
  454. >And finally Canterlot is in sight.
  455. >You stand before the mountain, glaring up at the city.
  456. >You hope Luna manages to convince her sister to face you, you would rather not destroy Canterlot.
  457. >A flash of light interrupts your thoughts and for a moment you feel hope that perhaps it worked.
  458. >But the alicorn that stands before you is not Celestia, but Luna.
  459. “What happened? Did you not speak with your sister?”
  460. >She looks frantic.
  461. >”We... we did. Anonymous... we have terrible news.”
  462. >Ah, so she did not accept your challenge. A pity, it looks like you will have to level the mountain after all.
  463. “She will not face me.”
  464. >”No, that’s not it. She is coming to face you.”
  465. >Now that confuses you. Surely this is a good thing. Unless Luna is worried that you might harm her sister.
  466. “Then what is wrong?”
  467. >”She... Oh I don’t know what possessed her to do this! But she has released the four greatest villains in Equestrian history to aid her in her battle with you! I’m so sorry, Anonymous!”
  468. >So the False Flame brought aid? Then let them come. It will only make your victory all the more satisfying.
  469. >You rest a hand upon her withers, startling her.
  470. “You worry for me, little Luna. Do not.”
  471. >”Don’t worry, Anonymous, I will not stand for this! I will stand by your side against-”
  472. “No.”
  473. >”What?”
  474. “No, this is my fight. And this is your sister, no matter what she has done you will find it in you to forgive her. Do not throw away these bonds, trust me... I had a brother once.”
  475. >”You did?”
  477. >You nod somberly.
  478. “I struck him down in a bid for power. And I have regretted it ever since. Trust me, the bonds of friendship between siblings are the most important in the world. Do not throw them away so carelessly.”
  479. >”I... I understand. But the villains she released, they are monsters! I simply cannot stand idly by while they roam free!”
  480. “Don’t worry, little Luna, I shall deal with them for you. You are my princess and I shall do as you command. Your enemies are my enemies.”
  481. >”Please be careful Anonymous. They’re dangerous, each one of them required both my sister and I to defeat.”
  482. >”I will bear that in mind. But do not underestimate me, I am called the Firelord for a reason. I am no pushover.”
  483. >Luna smiles and it is a sight that you would give anything to see again.
  484. >Suddenly she surprises you, rearing up and resting her forelegs upon your shoulders.
  485. >”Please be well Anonymous. I’ll be waiting for you to come back to me like you promised.”
  486. >She then closes the distance between the two of you and locks lips with you.
  487. >You wrap your arms around her and return the kiss in kind.
  488. >After a time you pull away, breaking the kiss.
  489. “Go now, little Luna, I will join you shortly.
  490. >She smiles and walks backwards a few paces, her shadow growing inky and dark.
  491. >Before she goes she calls out to you. “What was his name?”
  492. “Who?”
  493. >”Your brother.”
  494. >You smile sadly as you remember that fateful day, a single sizzling tear rolling down your cheek.
  495. “My brother went by many names, to the world he was the Prince of Air, the Lord of Skywall, or the Wind Seeker. But to me, his closest brother, he was called Thunderaan.
  497. >Luna has gone, now you wait.
  498. >You stand alone in the field before Canterlot Mountain awaiting your battle.
  499. >Suddenly the land grows dark.
  500. >You look up to see storm clouds forming.
  501. >But something is wrong...
  502. >They’re pink.
  503. >Suddenly a downpour begins and the inferno about you sputters lightly under the torrential assault.
  504. >But this isn’t rain...
  505. >You’re quite sure that rain is not dark brown.
  506. >A bolt of lightning shoots down from the clouds and strikes the ground before you, depositing five figures on the ground.
  507. >Your eyes narrow as you take in your adversaries.
  508. >The False Flame stands before them and as your eyes fall upon her you are overcome with such fury that it takes every ounce of willpower to keep to your promise to Luna.
  509. >Glares are exchanged between your two sides.
  510. >You raise a hand to the heavens and a bolt of crimson fire rips from the sky, striking your hand.
  511. >When the fire dissipates you are left holding a great red and gold spiked hammer that seethes with your rage.
  512. >Your greatest weapon, the very weapon with which you felled your brother all those years ago.
  513. >The inferno about you intensifies tenfold, searing the earth into cracking glass.
  514. >You hold your hammer out to them in a challenge and they all take on a ready stance.
  515. “Come insects! BY FIRE BE PURGED!”
  517. >The goat rears up, the bell about his neck tolling an evil note, and slams his hooves upon the ground.
  518. >The ground trembles and cracks before you.
  519. >Suddenly a colossal claw of bone erupts from the ground, shooting high into the air and slamming back down, hoisting the rest of whatever waited below upwards.
  520. >The bone golem pulls itself from the ground and stands up to it’s full height, casting you in its shadow.
  521. >The monster stood at least ten meters tall.
  522. >You ready your hammer, but your adversaries are not done yet.
  523. >The serpent snaps its eagle talon and the pink clouds descend from the sky and bind themselves around the abomination, forming muscles and sinews and tendons.
  524. >The cat monster is next, raising a sapphire carving into the air.
  525. >It glows with a malevolent light and the golem becomes ensnared by ribbons of flesh which crawl over its form and encase it from head to foot.
  526. >And still they are not done.
  527. >The centaur steps forward and grasps a satchel hanging about his neck.
  528. >With a tug he opens it and blackness storms out.
  529. >The shadows swallow the golem whole and a storm of evil rages about it.
  530. >The centaur opens the bag again and the black rainbow returns to the satchel.
  531. >Now before you stands a monster, a demon, a child of black powers.
  532. >Before you stands an abomination crying out for purification by flame.
  533. >And you shall not deny it.
  535. >You charge the abomination, flames billowing from your mouth as you scream your rage at it.
  536. >The monster slams down a twisted claw to crush you, but retracts it, screaming furiously as your flames sear it.
  537. >You slam your hammer into its leg, fire pouring from your weapon and burning the matted fur and then the flesh away, revealing baked muscle underneath.
  538. >The smell of burning flesh and fur fills the atmosphere as the creature fills your ears with its ringing roar.
  539. >It opens its great jaws and vomits a torrent of darkness at you.
  540. >You raise a shield of flames to deflect it, but as the blackness meets fire, the air is driven from your lungs as something crashes into your stomach.
  541. >The centaur has joined the fight and slammed a great spear into your gut, the force of the blow hurtling you away and tearing your from its serrated tip.
  542. >You slowly rise from where you land, fire and magma bleeding from the wound.
  543. >You look up to see the centaur charging you again and your raise your hammer to counter.
  544. >Before any blow is struck a lance of black energy strikes you and knocks you off balance, making you an easy target for the rampaging centaur.
  545. >He impales you on his spear and lifts you high into the air, pulling the spear back as if to throw it.
  546. >He does just that, sending you and the spear through the air.
  547. >Mid throw you’re enveloped by a blue aura and sent hurtling into the ground where you painfully crash, forming a small crater.
  548. >You stand up once more, groaning, and grip the spear impaling you with your free hand.
  549. >In but a moment the weapon melts and the slag pours from your wound.
  550. >Pink tendrils snare your legs and you can’t help but grin as you’re thrown high into the air.
  551. >You haven’t had this much fun in ages!
  553. >You come hurtling down, adding to your growing number craters formed this fight.
  554. >The serpent appears before you with a glass of chocolate milk.
  555. >”Care for a drink?” he asks.
  556. >He then tosses the glass at you.
  557. >It impacts and detonates with incredible force, once again sending you through the air.
  558. >Before you land once again a beam of pure sunlight strikes you, tearing through your torso and opening another wound.
  559. >You’ve never been more thankful that you gave up your body of flesh for one of fire.
  560. >”And once more! Go for it, Grogar!”
  561. >The goat rears up again, and again the bell at his neck tolls.
  562. >He slams his front hooves into the ground and bones erupt beneath you and throw you again.
  563. >Is that their plan? Juggle you?
  564. >It’s going to take more than- oh wait, no, that’s actually a good plan.
  565. >The last throw sent you hurtling towards the monster’s gaping maw.
  566. >You then pass into its mouth and the jaws snap shut around you.
  567. >And you only know darkness.
  569. >You are Celestia.
  570. >And that was much easier than you thought it would be.
  571. >Perhaps you could have done without releasing Discord and the others after all...
  572. >If that was the case you would never forgive yourself.
  573. >As if you were going to anyways.
  574. >”Haha! See that, Celly? We took care of you bad guy problem no sweat! Now about that freedom you mentioned...”
  575. “Fine. You have your freedom. Just get rid of this abomination and leave.” you say, anger plain in your voice.
  576. >”Pathetic.” Tirek growls. “That was hardly a challenge. I almost feel insulted that you freed me for such a minor inconvenience.”
  577. >”Tirek’s sentiments mirror my own.” Grogar remarks. “That was much easier than you made it out to be.”
  578. >”Oh it’s so good to have my statue back!”
  579. >”Shut up, Ahuizotl!” Discord yells.
  580. >As the five of you prepare to depart you’re startled as the monster the four villains craft begins roaring.
  581. >It claws at its throat in evident agony.
  582. >Smoke begins to issue from its mouth and nose.
  583. >Suddenly the ground beneath it begins to crack.
  584. >Orange light shines through the breaks in the ground beneath the monster's feet, but its agony is keeping it distracted.
  585. >The ground breaks apart fully and a swirling pool of magma becomes visible.
  586. >The ground upon which the monster stands finally breaks and it plunges into the pool of lava, screaming its torment.
  587. >Its howls eventually silence as its head vanishes beneath the molten rock, but the pool is restless with its continued thrashings.
  588. >Finally the molten lake stills.
  589. >And then a figure begins to slowly rise out of it.
  590. “It would seem it’s time for round two. I hope that wasn’t your best shot.” you say to the villains.
  592. >You are Anonymous.
  593. >And you have had enough of this foolishness.
  594. >You will not spare any effort here, you will be neither chivalrous nor sporting.
  595. >It is a fool who keeps his greatest weapon in reserve instead of using it as early and as often as possible.
  596. >You are not a fool.
  597. >Without giving your adversaries any time to recover you call upon the might of the Firelands.
  598. >The pool of lava upon which you stand begins to churn and swirl.
  599. >You raise your hands high into the air and the lava raises with them.
  600. >It crawls over your body until your are completely entombed in magma.
  601. >And then you release your holds on your physical form and allow your essence to pour into the lava around you.
  602. >The molten rock takes on your new form as you become an avatar of the Firelands’ power.
  603. >The swirling pillar of lava and fire forms a torso, arms, and great sweeping pauldrons.
  604. >A head forms atop the pillar and sections of liquid rock cool to form your visage.
  605. >You are Anonymous, Lord of Fire, and these fools who dared face you will soon learn how you earned that title.
  606. >Your hammer reforms in your outstretched hand, scaling up to match your new size.
  607. >You gaze down upon the shocked faces of your adversaries and grin wickedly, the cooled magma rock forming your face cracking with your changing expression.
  610. >You bring your hammer down and the land breaks under the assault, magma welling up from the crater.
  611. >The necromancer vomits another beam of void energy at you.
  612. >You reach out a hand and counter with a burst of fire.
  613. >His attack turns from dark purple to blinding orange as your fire burns the very magic.
  614. >The fire reverses the attack, sending the heat of the firelands down the necromancer’s gullet.
  615. >He doesn’t even have time to scream.
  616. >In barely a second all that is left of the goat is a burnt out husk.
  617. >One down.
  618. >Your burning gaze locks on Tirek and the centaur meets your challenge.
  619. >He rips the satchel from around his neck and opens it, throwing it at you.
  620. >The Rainbow of Darkness erupts from the pouch, you saw what its power was capable of and you feel legitimate concern.
  621. >You shield your self with a hand and the Rainbow strikes your outstretched hand, enveloping it.
  622. >You cry out in shock and flood your hand with purifying fire.
  623. >Slowly the Rainbow of Darkness changes from black to crimson gold as you saturate it with your power.
  624. >You grin and rear your hand back.
  625. >With all your might you hurl the newly formed Rainbow of Fire at Tirek and score a direct hit, the demonic centaur emitting only a single roar before he’s incinerated.
  626. >”Well now, that’s certainly impressive, let’s see how a little chaos changes your attitude!”
  628. >The serpent creature appears floating above your head.
  629. >Before you can react the creature brings an eagle talon down upon your head.
  630. >You’re not sure if it’s stupid or just has a death wish.
  631. >Whatever trick it was going to use seems to backfire, your power shielding you from harm and rejecting the spell, sending it back up into the caster.
  632. >The serpent screams as its own power is redirected against it, crackling up its body and turning it to stone.
  633. >You’re sure that that was probably meaningful and incredibly ironic in some way, but right now all you can feel is bemusement at how idiotic a tactic that was.
  634. >Was touching you on the head supposed to accomplish something other than killing him?
  635. >You look down at the blue cat creature with the sapphire stone.
  636. >It takes one look at you and bolts, screaming like a girl.
  637. >You sigh, forming a fireball in your free hand.
  638. >You rear back and hurl the fireball with all your might like a burning baseball.
  639. >You watch as the ball of fire arcs through the air, following the fleeing villain’s course perfectly.
  640. >It descends through the air for what seems like a full minute until colliding with the coward some distance away, the resulting explosion forming a mushroom shaped pillar of smoke.
  641. >Let it never be said that the Lord of Fire couldn’t also be a great pitcher.
  642. >Now, to find the sun pony.
  643. >A flash of light catches your eye and you finally locate her.
  644. >She’s rocketing through the air, a cone of brilliant white light surrounding her.
  645. >Your eyes widen.
  646. >She’s too close, too fast.
  647. >You can’t stop her.
  648. >You close your eyes and brace yourself.
  650. >Celestia strikes you straight in the chest.
  651. >But she doesn’t stop.
  652. >Enveloped in the power of the sun she bored her way through your chest and out your back.
  653. >You have never felt such agony.
  654. >Not from the wound, for you are immaterial at this point.
  655. >No, from the light.
  656. >She does not burn you with fire, instead she sears you with sunlight.
  657. >It fills you, the blazing rays of the sun burning your soul!
  658. >Such agony!
  659. >Never have you felt the pain of being burned, but now it hurt.
  660. >Your very soul feels as though it’s on fire, shining with such light that it burns.
  661. >A scream of agony rips from your molten throat as fire and magma hemorrhage from your unstable form.
  662. >The call of the Firelands fades, your form becomes harder to maintain.
  663. >You reel in pain, your hammer slipping from your grasp, landing in the lava beneath you with a great splash before dissipating.
  664. >It doesn’t end, the light, the damnable sunlight fills your soul!
  665. >It hurts, it hurts, by the hallowed Core how it hurts!
  666. >You throw back your head and with a final scream of agony and defiance your avatar form comes apart, the superheated magma blowing about the plains.
  667. >Your form becomes solid once more and you feel yourself falling.
  668. >You fall and you fall and you fall and yet you don’t hit the ground.
  669. >How curious.
  670. >As sensation returns to you you notice the feeling of something against you.
  671. >You notice two dark blue hooves wrapped around your ruined body.
  672. >Looking up you see the fearful and concerned visage of none other than Luna.
  673. >She had caught you and is now ferrying you safely to the ground.
  674. >You smile despite yourself.
  675. “Luna...” you whisper.
  677. >Luna sets you gently on the ground, her eyes unable to leave the gaping hole in your chest.
  678. >A few weak fires sputter within you, you can’t repair this kind of damage.
  679. >Your very essence was ravaged by Celestia’s power.
  680. >”Anonymous... you... you’re not going to leave me are you?”
  681. >Before you can respond Celestia alights on the ground next to the both of you.
  682. >”Luna! Get away from him! He’s dangerous!”
  683. >”Anonymous is our champion and we will do as we please!” she snaps back.
  684. >Celestia takes a step back at Luna’s outburst.
  685. >”Your... champion?”
  686. >”Yes...” she whispers, a few tears starting to form. “After this was over he was going to become our champion. And then one day our prince...”
  687. >Celestia is completely taken aback by this.
  688. >”You... you mean... and him? What...”
  689. >”He wasn’t going to kill you, he wasn’t going to kill anyp0ny.” she whispers.
  690. >Her tears fall freely now, landing on your ruined armor and fizzling away.
  691. >You reach a hand up and rest it on her cheek.
  692. “Do not cry for me, little Luna.”
  693. >”Please don’t go!” she begs. “I don’t want you to go!”
  694. >You glance down at your body, bits of your skin and armor are flaking away into ash.
  695. >A pity, you thought you’d have more time left.
  696. ”I’m sorry, my princess. I cannot keep my promise.”
  697. >”No! I order you not to leave me!”
  698. “Goodbye, little Luna.” you whisper. “The Firelands are calling me home...”
  699. >The wind picks up and you breath your last, your body being reduced to ashes and flying away on the wind.
  701. >You are Princess Luna.
  702. >And you have just lost the one being that you felt truly appreciated you.
  703. >The last of Anon’s ashes have just blown away in the wind.
  704. >And with them, what you feel was your best shot at happiness.
  705. >You feel a wing drape across your withers and look up to see your sister standing over you, a concern written across her face.
  706. >”Luna... I’m sorry, I didn’t know...”
  707. >You’re about to snap out an angry retort when you remember Anon’s words.
  708. >Not to throw away the bonds of family.
  709. >He wouldn’t want you to do something so foolish over something like his death.
  710. >Instead of saying anything you embrace your sister in a hug.
  711. >She wraps her wings and forelegs around you in her own hug while you cry your heart out into her chest.
  712. >”I’m so sorry, Luna... please, please don’t hate me... I don’t want to lose you again.”
  713. >You can hear her begin to cry herself.
  714. “I don’t hate you, Celestia... I could never hate you.” you manage between sobs.
  715. >”I’m so sorry, I swear I’ll make this up to you!”
  716. “Just be my sister. That’s all you have to do.”
  717. >”I love you Luna.” Celestia says. “I love you so much.”
  718. “I know, sister. I know. I love you too.”
  720. Fifteen Years Later
  721. >You are Princess Luna.
  722. >Your sister has been gone for a long time.
  723. >When the war with the griffons started you had attempted to use the Elements of Harmony as a weapon.
  724. >It didn’t end well.
  725. >You won that battle, but what you gave up wasn’t worth it at all.
  726. >The spirits of the Elements Bearers were taxed beyond anything a mortal could ever endure.
  727. >All that was left of their once brilliant souls were little more than guttering candle flames.
  728. >Celestie, wracked with guilt, stayed behind in the darkness to keep their souls from flickering out.
  729. >Leaving you to fight this war by yourself.
  730. >You stand high atop Canterlot looking out over the scorched plains where the battle with Anonymous had taken place over a decade ago.
  731. >Plains that were now swarming with griffon soldiers.
  732. >The war had not gone well, the griffons were far more advanced in military technology than Equestria.
  733. >They had steadily conquered bits and pieces until only Canterlot remained.
  734. >And now they come for Canterlot.
  735. >You look out at the numberless hordes with your two lieutenants by your sides, Grand Magister Trixie and Knight-Commander Ditzy.
  736. >Ditzy turns to you, the eyepatch over her left eye making her look rugged beyond her years.
  737. >”It’s been an honor serving you, my princess.”
  738. >You close your eyes and whisper a quiet prayer to anything that might hear.
  739. “What must I do? How can I save my people? Someone, anyone, I beg you, I need help...”
  741. >”Your Majesty, do not count us out yet.” Trixie implores. “Equestrians have done more with less.”
  742. >You sigh tiredly.
  743. “We do not think that anything short of dropping the moon on them will win us the day.” you mutter.
  744. >”Well why not do that then?”
  745. >You and Trixie turn your gazes to Ditzy in mild shock.
  746. “Pardon?”
  747. >”Why NOT drop the moon on them? If we’re going out we might as well take them out too.”
  748. “An eye for an eye leaves everyp0ny blind.” you say.
  749. >Ditzy growls in return. “Too bad they don’t share the same sentiments.”
  750. >You sigh. Ditzy hadn’t been the same since Ponyville fell.
  751. >Not since she lost Dinky.
  752. >Ditzy huffs. “We’d need a miracle to win this...” she mutters, looking out over the amassed griffons.
  753. >Then the ground began to tremble.
  754. >”Well what’s this? Do they have some new weapon now? I wonder what it is this time.” Ditzy says in a bored tone.
  755. >Suddenly the ground before Canterlot Mountain begins to crack and break.
  756. >A telltale orange glow shines out between the great fissures beginning to snake their way through the griffons’ ranks.
  757. >Your breath catches in your throat as magma begins to seep up from the ground.
  758. “It can’t be...”
  759. >Creatures of burning nightmare pour from the ground and throw themselves upon the griffons with reckless abandon.
  760. >Finally the ground shatters and a pillar of magma surges into the air, as tall and broad as the mountain.
  761. >All the familiar features form upon it and a you see a great spiked hammer out of the corner of your eye.
  762. >”WHAT THE HAY IS THAT?” Ditzy bellows in shock.
  763. >Molten eyes level themselves upon you and a voice of roaring fire answers.
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