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The Silent Shore


Written by The Descendant

Chapter 3: "The Elder Lord"


The water washed over her, filled her mouth and her nose. At once Dash felt her breath escape her. She pedaled hard, felt her hooves strike against something.

At once there was a feeling that she was being pulled, dragged. Something, something was tugging at her!

As the last bit of her air burned in her lungs she threw her head wide, felt it contact whatever was pulling at her. At once there was a cold feeling, and the rush of water around her ended and she immediately drew a massive breath.

She spun around in place, fighting to her hooves, attempted to look upon whatever had been dragging her…

…and saw the old hat and dearly familiar face of Applejack before her.

"R.D.?" asked Applejack, her own face seemingly ashen, deeply set and worried.

Rainbow Dash wobbled to her feet. She was as cold, wet, and confused as a newborn foal, and her knees knocked together both from the cold and the remains of the visions she had seen while high above…the faces that…

She went weak again, falling forward into Applejack's offered hooves.

Together they sat there on the silent shore, the mist covered reaches beyond the sea. As Applejack's warmth flowed into her friend neither Dash or Applejack spoke. Each seemed to sense the other wobbling in uncertainty and deep confusion…fear.

"Dash, you okay?" asked Applejack after a long while.

"You saved me," she said, turning to face Applejack, "A.J., A.J., I'm so…grateful, I'm…"

"You was only in about a foot ah' water," said Applejack, her face still emotionless, "I thought ya'd gone loco…too cold fer' swimming this time of year."

Rainbow Dash shuddered again, another great tremble went through her, this one composed both of the shuddering cold and the realization of what it meant that she'd not been so far out to sea…

"But, but I fell…I fell so far," she said, "If I'd landed on the beach, I'd…I'd be…"

No, no she'd fallen into the water. Deep water. It was the last thing that she remembered…remembered as the faces…

She shuddered hard once more, realizing that somepony…something…must have brought her up out of the sea. Must have laid her in the shallows…watched over her until Applejack drew near, kept her muzzle from the water…

The vision of the fog, the faces, around her unconscious body filled her with a new dread even as she wondered at what it meant that…that she'd been saved…

Saved by the dead.

Applejack saw Dash still shaking, still trembling. It was only when Dash looked up to her that she saw the expression across her face…an expression that she knew she must be mirroring.

"Dash?" asked Applejack, "There's no perytons to be found on this beach, and not a single stick of the wreck. But I'm tellin' you a fact, Dash. Dash, we ain't alone on this beach…"

Dash's expression went white, and Applejack feared she was about to be ill. Still she continued, needing, begging to know if she'd been alone in her travails.

"Dash…did, did you see anything, odd?"

Dash's shivering got worse, and Applejack moved closer, letting more of her body heat slip into the pegasus.

"A.J., I…I saw," said Dash, wavering, "I saw something I never want to see again…"

The two stared at one another, the wordless understanding flashing between them.

"Did…did you see, hear, anything?" said Dash as Applejack lowered her head. After a long moment she took a deep breath. Slowly the earth pony lifted her head and looked to her friend.

"Dash, I didn't see nor hear a single livin' soul," said the Bearer of the Element of Honesty, the emphasis on the last two words, "Not a single livin' soul."

Dash and Applejack sat there, the meaning of their statements clear to both of them. There may come a time for exposition but this was not it. Now was just the time to sit and shiver, to watch the waves roll in beneath the grey blanket.

"I don't wanna be here anymore," said Applejack, nuzzling Dash to stand. Together the two ponies began moving from tier to tier, moving much slower than when they had first arrived.

As they went they were silent, noiseless as they crossed the spaces between tiers with little jumps and slides, Applejack nursing her still raw cuts from her earlier experience.

At once their heads tossed in unison, and then they looked at one another in alarm.

A noise…they had heard a noise.

Together they stared not down towards the water, back out over the tossing sea, but instead up the beach. They looked towards the line of dunes beyond where the forest ended and the beach began.

The sound reached out to them once more.

Together they stood there, staring up the beach as the sound moved from ethereal to very, very, very real…clarion and clear.

Bells, the sound of tiny bells…and, hooffalls.

They gulped as the bells came nearer to them, as they saw nothing. Yet, the nothingness had it's own presence…it was so very real. They heard the hooffalls, heard the tiny bells jangling in time with the rhythm of the unseen hooves that went across the slippery rocks.

They heard the hooves draw nearer, their bodies tensing as it became clear that they were angled towards them. There came the sound of a great large creature planting hooves into the pools of the water that sat among the stones, but no water moved in them. The sound of the breath of an immense creature was amid them, yet the mist did not part…

…not until his head moved.

To Dash it was though the fog had left a memory…as it wrapped around the nothingness the immense figure of a peryton seemed to disappear through it. From the hole it left came a sound, words…words she did not understand, spoken softly…

"Tilgi meh…"

Dash lifted her hoof to her cheek as a soft feeling went across her face, a small wet spot that almost seemed a kiss. Her mind raced…it couldn't have just happened…

"Tilgi meh…"

Applejack too felt the little kiss, her heart racing as the nothingness moved between her and Dash. As the sound of bells began again they felt the presence move on…on past them, past where the waves broke across the stones of the beach…down into the sea, the vast rolling sea.

Great timbered halls and firelight. The snows across high mountain fields. The old song sung across deep woods. Loss.

With that, the fog began to lift, and the great presence disappeared from their senses.

Dash looked down, saw her own hoofprint in the small collection of sand below her. She let out a great gasp as she realized a large hoofprint of a peryton stood beside hers.

As the haze rolled away all that was revealed was the great stretch of the stony beach and the sky beyond in a deep shade of grey that fought with the blue.

There was a hiss behind them, one that made the jump in time, kicking like wild horses.

They turned to see the balloon touching down on the beach. Looking to one another sheepishly they slowly made their way to where the purple sat illuminated against the still-grey sky. As they did the first seabirds they had seen began to walk across the crevasses, darting their long thin bills into the spots between the rocks.

A seagull squawked overhead and more birds ran up and down the stones in advance and retreat in time with the waves. The earth pony and the pegasus looked over the lip of the basket and down into the still bleary, tear-filled eyes of the unicorn and the dragon.

"I don't want to talk about it," said all four in unison.

A short while later they had crossed over the outcropping, turning around the bend to make for the peninsula beyond. Three of the occupants of the balloon looked on in wonder as they crossed before a massive glyph, one bigger than the balloon itself.

They looked upon the great jade eyes that stared out over the sea. The figure of a massive peryton stag stood there proudly yet remorsefully. His vigil over the waters was as silent as the bells drawn upon his antlers.

The remembrance of the hooves upon the beach and the soft wet spot upon her cheek smashed through Dash, and at once she turned to Applejack.

"A.J., A.J., do…do you think…"

Yet, Dash could not continue. As she and the others looked down over Applejack all that they could see was how she had pulled down her hat, clenched her eyes, and covered her ears as she lay in the bottom of the gondola.



She knew, of course, that dragons eat meat. Spike would have to eat meat if he'd ever want to grow to his greatest potential, become the vast and terrible dragon that she knew he would someday become. He was already bigger than most dragons his age, and soon he'd be molting again. Whatever her own feelings about it, she knew that eating a lobster would do him no harm.

It had been the money she was worried about. Her stipend saw them through many things, but it was hardly a fortune. With winter coming they'd need things, firewood, scarves…and so, she'd thought, maybe he'd be willing to forego?

But, as they had walked wordlessly into the restaurant in Nag's Head his eyes had lit up at the sign of the crustaceans in their bubbling tank. In that instant she'd gladly agreed to part with the bits if…if they kept his mind off of…

"Here we go, folks," said the waiter as he and his buscolt brought up the trays, "Here's a nice little dinner for ya'."

"Lunch, actually," said Twilight, looking upon the salad. It was too much…she couldn't even imagine eating this much. Her stomach still turned, flipped…thought of the cries in the darkened woods…

She looked up to see the same expression across the faces of Dash and Applejack. Only Spike's face was alight as the waiter cut open the bag of mussels and cracked the shell of the lobster for the whelp.

The waiter smiled to them all, his own heavy Old Northeastern dialect becoming more obvious as he saw the crestfallen appearances of his customers.

"We all are most glad you folks stopped on up," he said, trying to make polite conversation, "'Tis most likely our last weekend up her for the tourists, what with the leaves about to come down in the Runnin'. No more leaf-peekers! No one will be comin' up to the beach anytime soon, neither…"

"I can't imagine why," deadpanned Dash, her voice getting quieter as she looked down at her tiny piece of quiche, "We had such a great time…"

"Oh!" said the waiter, laying the corn beside the lobster as Spike drooled across the table, "Was you up to the beach today? Go on up to see the Standing Stone? Kin' hardly think you saw that much with how foggy it were…"

The four were silent.

"Standing Stone?" asked Twilight, noting how Applejack turned her head away as it was mentioned, "The great big peryton, in the stone, the glyph?"

"Tells the story right proper, don't it?" asked the waiter, laying the steaming crustacean before Spike. Spike however simply looked back up to him in surprise.

"The story?" he asked.

The waiter looked back and forth to them in confusion, then smiled. "You all didn't go see the Standing Stone without knowin' aboot' it, didja?"

They looked at the table, fought to understand his Old Northeast accent, tried to think of a reply.

"No, no we didn't…I, we don't know why we stopped," added Dash, weakly.

"That's a right shame. National treasure that is, one of the reasons we get tourists here in Nag's Head. It's a right wonderful thin' too," he said, smiling over them.

"Yeah…it's, interestin'," added Applejack.

He looked to them, saw them looking back at him in different shades of emotion. Worried that they're concern and confusion may lead them to forgo ordering desert he began to regale them with an old story. The few salty ponies at the bar turned around to hear the cherished foal's tale of their youth…

"T'was long ago, you see," he said, laying his serving tray across the stand, resting easily on three hooves as he lifted the fourth over them, "Back when Equestria weren't so old…back just after the War of the Witches…"

"That's thousands of years," said Twilight, looking to the girls, going quiet as the waiter looked back over her, "Sorry…"

"Not at all, miss," he continued, "This was when the last of the peryton tribes that had lived in the west came down into Equestria. They came to take their share of the promise made by the Sovereigns to the allied races that had stood before the Witches and their multitudes. Those that had stood with us in the war…had fought back against the invading army and the consuming blackness it unleashed."

"Now, only one more tribe remained here in Equestria, a small band, lead by a great and powerful Elder Lord. One of the majestic peryton stags, one with great rainment and many bells, symbols of rank, tied in his antlers…"

The four looked up to them as remembrances of bells sounding through the haze flit over them.

"These perytons, as all do, lived in the woods and fields in their lodges and got along quite well with the local ponies, as all do, good friends indeed. This was when Hofston and Manehattan and all that were still just villages, and just little homes beside the sea here and there made up the entirety of the Old Northeast…which weren't so old then, as I'd said…"

"Now, down across the border came a race…one that had served in the ranks of the Witches, a brutal people, or so the story goes…history they say is written by the winners…but anywho, we know that somehow they got past the Regular Army. You have to hope somebody lost their job over that one…"

"What, what did they look like?" asked Spike, his lobster yet untouched, "What race was it?"

"Who can say?" replied the waiter, adjusting his tray, "T'was so long ago…we know that they were long things, with great long legs and arms that were clawed…"

Memories of shadows of nothing in the haze sent Spike scotching closer to Twilight.

"…and that they were Bloodspillers."

"Bloodspillers?" said Spike, his arms crossing in front of him.

"Aye, the most fiercely devoted adherents of the Witches…ones who believed that they could use the blood of their enemies to pull the Witches out of the deathly sleep into which the Sisters had placed them."

Twilight, in reply, moved closer to Spike, the memory of dark magic hovering over the long low table reaching back into her mind.

"So, it was said," continued the waiter, motioning the buscolt to see to a distant table, "that when this race came over the mountains and through the Everfree they captured ponies that lived in the little homesteads along the border, began to...gather them up, the poor unfortunates, like lobsters for the boilin'…"

The scene of a family of ponies, a big stallion fighting, the mother uselessly trying to help her colt and filly escape down the road, filled Twilight's mind.

"Now, this last peryton lord, he was waitin' to go to Cervia, the land set aside for the whole of the peryton race…and his last ships sat here in the harbor and beyond the toe of the peninsula. The news came down in runners that there was a fell people aboot', the lantern bearers racing through the woods with the news…some killed, the last one running far, far, far out into the sea to drown in his attempt to signal the ships…"

Applejack's cup came crashing down to the table, her eyes wide.

As the waiter cleared it away he continued, "The bearer's sacrifice was worth it, though, for the Elder Lord of the perytons sensed the meaning. He asked for volunteers to go with him, and he sped out into the woods to try to save as many of the ponies as he could, save those who had helped his people."

"Yet, he was fighting an army, and as they battled towards the great stone circle…"

Twilight felt her heart go into her throat.

"…all of his lieutenants were killed, and he saw he was too late to save one family."

Spike reached for Twilight's foreleg. As he did she looked down to him. She saw his mouth move and his lips tremble. At once Spike spoke, Twilight gasping as she saw him lift his arms as he had when he stood inside the fog…beside the table.

Spike's face was distant, and his words silent, almost a whisper.

"E'er his noble blood spilt, ah'n his court cast down to death, Lukas Magnus lifted up his head. There amidst tah' foe did the Elder Lord invoke the word, and it became as light…"

"Very good lad!" said the waiter as some applause came from the bar, "You do know the legend! Ya' even spoke it nice an' properly!"

"Yeah", said Spike, wavering, "Yeah…"

"But," asked Dash, not noticing Spike's discomfort, "What does it mean?"

"It means, lass," added the waiter, replacing Applejack's cup, "that he called for help, called out to those who had promised to help the peoples who had saved Equestria…called for the Sister Sovereigns…the Princesses…"

Silence hung about the restaurant, only on the far side was there conversation and the tinkling of cups and plates.

"And let me tell you…they did indeed answer," continued the waiter, "If the story is correct. An', when the Sister's saw what the Bloodspillers had done…they were…a tad miffed…"

Twilight's mind raced back to the stone circle.

She saw light cascading through it, saw Celestia's eyes alight, a most perfect and holy rage racing through the elder sister as she scythed her light across those who had harmed her little ponies. She saw the very rocks being scoured by the light, ripping at their surfaces. She heard the reverberations of the words of the Firstborn Alicorn as her judgment upon them became death.

She saw Luna's dark and terrible countenance fall over them, saw the very life being strangled out of them on waves of darkness. The Nightbringer's powers smothered the black magic already at work in the place…killed it, punished it, had been punishing it over and over and over for millennia.

So great was the wrath of the Sisters upon this fallen race, Twilight realized in that moment, that the very souls of the Bloodspillers had been driven deep into the earth of Equestria. They had been unable to lift from it, go to their true judgement, until their victims were themselves free to splash in the waters of the Well of Souls.

"Oh," she breathed, the realization of these facts growing behind her eyes.

"So the myth says," added the waiter with a shrug, "Only Celestia and Luna know 'tis true or not…"

Twilight's mind flashed to the quills and parchment on her little desk back at the library. A look down to Spike made her realize he was thinking the same thing.

"Anywho, as this was happenin'," he continued, "The ship that was waitin' for the Elder Lord and his retinue caught fire…"

The eyes of all those in the booth stared back at him.

"Nopony knows why it happened. Some say it 'twas one last arrow, alight with fire, that that a dying Bloodspiller sent flyin' through the air. Some say it were a magic spell that came creeping out of the woods in want of vengeance...could be any of these, or none,  but in the end there was a great explosion, you see…they heard it all the way Downwest in Hoftson, so great was it."

He looked over them, very glad that they seemed so enthralled with his storytelling, almost as thought they were living through it…had been there and seen it.

"It was so horrible that the perytons were all killed, and not just the ones on the poor boat, but also those perytons and ponies on the shore who were waitin' for a chance to escape…they were all killed too."

"What, what…did the ship, have a name?" asked Dash.

"Nopony knows after all these years, but we do have an idea of what it looked like, " he said motioning to a counter far beyond. There, under a dim light, stood a model ship…

…one almost exactly like the ship that had parted the fog before them.

The group sat quietly as he continued.

"Now, down to the shore came the Sisters, the ponies, and this one last Elder Lord. Now, you see…they all saw the carnage, the wreckage, and the silent shore gave them no replies when they asked if any creature needed help. So, the peryton stag, the lord who had sacrificed so much to save the ponies, had to suffer the death of his people…"

He stopped, went quiet. The ponies at the bar hung their heads as well.

"We've always been good friends wit' the perytons, you know, especially here in the Old Northeast," he added softly as the ponies at the bar and in the booth nodded in respectful agreement.

"So, this wounded Elder Lord," he continued after drawing a deep breath, "His grief became great, and though he fought to contain it…he could not. He wished to be with his people…and, even though the Sisters and the ponies there begged him not to he simply gave them each a kiss and said one wish to each in his native tongue…"

"Tilgi meh," said Dash and Applejack in unison, their hooves going to their cheeks.

"I thought you folks didn't know the story!" he said, smirking at how they had interrupted the best part of the myth.

"We…we've got a working knowledge of it," said Twilight, guessing at what had happened to her friends.

"Yes," the waiter said, lifting the tray once more, "'Tilgi meh'…'forgive me', he had said. With that his proud hooves fell across the sand, the stone, and through the pools as his bells rang out across the shore…

…as he went down into the sea, drowning himself with his kind. Thus ended the last Elder Lord of the Perytons to come over the mountains."

The booth was quiet, and the ponies at the bar turned back to face their drinks and make small talk with the barkeeper.

The waiter looked over the group of ponies and the young dragon in front of him, saw that they seemed to be lost in thought.

"Soon after the bodies were all recovered, and placed in a cairn. Today the ancient remains of that cairn sit beneath the Standing Stone, the image of the peryton lord upon it. The names of the perytons and ponies alike that were lost that day are written there. We get a few perytons who come to pay their respects, and not as many ponies as we'd like…shame that, it's a national treasure, really…"

"It's somethin' else," added Applejack, trying to lift her cup as she trembled.

"Oh yes…we get ghost hunters, too," he added, watching as the group suddenly all looked up to him. Ah, here's what they wanted to hear.

"They say that on foggy days you can still see them all…that the perytons who were killed don't know that they are dead, seeing as they died so fast. It's said that they still try to draw ponies down to the sea…to the safety of the ship. But, they don't know that the boats not there…so the ghosts draw them down to their deaths!" he said, attempting a haunting flourish.

"That's a damn lie!" called Dash, pounding her hoof on the table. He startled, nearly tipping the tray, and looked at her as the other patrons of the restaurant spun as well to look at the pegasus.

Dash quieted, returned to her seat.

"They'd still be saving ponies…lifting them out of the sea, if they were weak…" she said, seeming to hide behind her quiche.

"Maybe true, maybe not, miss," he said, forcing a smile, "'Tis all a bunch a whooey anyhow…made up for the tourists, I suppose, if you don't mind me sayin'."

He looked once more to the quiet group, realized that they hadn't eaten any of their dinner. With some small worry he looked upon the little dragon, saw that the whelp hadn't touched the lobster.

"Kin' I fetch ya' some more hot butter, lad?"

Spike put his arms across his belly and spoke in a fragile tone.

"I'm not hungry anymore…"



The balloon lifted from where it had sat in Nag's Head, the ponies and dragon now loaded up with little travel trays of the food they had barely eaten.

As soon as they were clear of any of the eyes of the village they tossed it all over the side of the basket. Each sat in a corner, unspeaking.

Dash stood, gave a low moan of displeasure, one that brought the others to attention. As she cursed they too looked out beneath the basket. When they saw what had brought her so much distress they too made unhappy noises.

The trees of the Whitetail Woods were now bare…the leaves having already been wiped from the branches by the magic of the ponies. The Running of the Leaves, and the Hofston Mare-athon that they had hoped to judge, announce, and participate in had already been run…it was over.

Beneath them the colors of autumn had failed, been removed and laid to the forest floor.

"How long were we on that beach?" asked Applejack, her words solemn and grave, "Twi…Twi, how long were we on that beach?"

"The waiter," she said, making a sudden realization, "He asked us how our dinner was…"

Dash turned her head to where the sun should be…to where Celestia's deep magic should have it if the time was still the early afternoon.

It was not there…it was lower, much lower, and far to the west.

"Twi…" continued Applejack, soon stopping as she saw the expression of worry that flew across the faces of the other occupants of the basket.

The balloon shifted course, now to the south, their purpose for coming now firmly ended. As the magic shifted around them the heat of the day seemed to fade, and as they came closer to the lesser mountains that ran like a spine down Eastern Equestria they seemed to pass into a shadow of doubt and confusion.

"Are…are you gonna write to the princess about all of this?" asked Applejack after a long while, after the sun had begun to dip across the western horizon.

"Twi, you gonna ask if any of this was…real?"

"No," replied Twilight, moving to where Spike had laid himself, wrapping herself around him to share their heat.

"Why not?"

"Because I'm afraid she might tell me."

Applejack looked out across the mountains, then to the forest below. It was stark, barren…lifeless. It was as lifeless and without sound as the shore had been, almost entirely devoid of any motion and life.

Thus, as she looked down at the expanse of black limbs below Applejack could not get the worry that something might be looking back at her out of her mind.

She moved to the center of the basket, nuzzled the two who already lay there, and joined them in their comforting embrace.

Rainbow Dash continued looking out over the edge of the basket for a long while, watching the blue of the sea beyond recede until the black of the forest consumed it.

As she watched she listened, listened very hard and with much intent.

No voices came back to her, and when she closed her eyes the faces were not there…as though it hadn't happened.

Yet, it had happened. She knew it had, and that fact alone made a shiver go through her.

She turned, looked at the mound of her friends nearby. They were not sleeping, simply huddling together against the cold that seemed to be reaching up into the balloon…the cold and doubt of their uncertainty driving them to one another.

With that she walked to them, and they parted for her, making a space.

With that the group joined together in wordless mutual support, the understanding that they had been witnesses to something beyond understanding. In that time and that place all they could do was offer each other their warmth, something denied to the dead who, they hoped, had now been freed from their cold walks upon the silent shore.

As the small group hovered above the Whitetail Woods the hiss of the burner sounded out at intervals, breaking the silence of the forest below.

Small breezes whispered through the dark, leafless branches, catching in hollows and sending up the dead leaves in little flips and tosses. Here and there a crow sounded out.

One crow listened as his caws echoed far down the rows of trees, as the sound bounced off the black, stark limbs.

He tossed his head, listening for a reply, staring off with his small black eyes.

Hearing none he raised his great black wings and lifted though the outstretched branches to the sky above. Here he moved to avoid coming near the purple balloon, banking away as the hiss of its burner illuminated the sphere in the skies that were drawing down into darkness.

Inside the basket beneath the four little figures huddled together silently and tried not to think about the vast expanse of the forest below, the great stark trees that seemed to be reaching up to them with pleas of mourning as they drifted on the cold air.

End.
In the midst of autumn's splendor Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Applejack and Rainbow Dash head north to participate in the Hoftston Mare-athon segment of the annual Running of the Leaves.

Yet, as they meet the sea something seems to draw Rainbow Dash down, down into the fog and uncertainty that rolls in from beyond the Everfree Forest.

What secrets of old Equestria hide in the deep woods and upon the silent shore?

======================================
Just visiting DeviantArt and you'd like to tell me how horrible this story is? Don't have a DA account and you'd like to leave me some comments, critiques, criticisms or flaming bags of doggy-doo? You can find the story and a comment section on Equestria Daily here...

[link]

...and here on Equestria Forums!

[link]

See you there!

======================================
(C) Hasbro Studios, used in parody in satire with respect to copyright.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconjames-washburn:
James-Washburn Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2013
Well, wasn't this just fine?
Ancient history, trip-out sequences, pant-filling terror. I found it kinda hard going at times with the more oblique descriptions, but maybe I was reading too fast. And we heard more about the War of the Witches, which is always good news. Well, as in it's nice to hear about. Generally speaking it's usually very bad news about a lot of people getting murdered...
Reply
:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Heh, it's a mixed bag when a body count is involved, eh? Thanks for reading and commeting!:)
Reply
:iconkurseofkings:
KurseofKings Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2012
"the invading army and the consuming blackness it unleashed." This "consuming blackness" wouldn't happen to be called the Smooze, now would it?
Reply
:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It was... but now I'm considering how I can make it the Changelings...
Reply
:iconkurseofkings:
KurseofKings Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
I don't know about that... What with the witches that you mentioned, I say the Smooze sounds better. But, hey, if you want to make it the changelings, it's fine with. (But the Smooze sounds the best to me.)
Reply
:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'm just scrambling to figure out what to do with my personal fanon now that the season finale has screwed it up!;)
Reply
:iconradiantvoid:
RadiantVoid Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A thought: What was Spike being harassed with then?
Reply
:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Whatever is scariest in the mind of the reader! The reader is always able to make things far more vivid than what I can write. All I can do is set the box in front of the reader and they fill it with all sorts of horrors... or descriptions, visions...

Sometimes it's what the author doesn't tell the reader that makes all the difference!;)
Reply
:iconradiantvoid:
RadiantVoid Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You went a tad to far explaining it to claim that they don't know what they saw. Plus, Twilight would have had to have been under more stress than anything else ever to have quelled her inquisitive nature to such a degree.

Haunting though, and the Perytons I declare now to be canon.

Although the 'overview' of equestria (seen in passing several times) seems to indicate that a large mountain range surrounds the borders, leaving precious few areas in which a pony could get near the sea.

rating this round: 5/5

Not perfect perfect, but definitely a 5. I love watching demigod beings administering a beatdown... something oddly cathartic about it i suppose. Only thing that was off with this one was you may have overexplained the phenomena, instead of leaving some of it up to guesses.

Very spooky though - what was with the extremely random 'he needs to eat meat' thought though?
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:iconradiantvoid:
RadiantVoid Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh now i see what you mean. I meant that i thought it was an odd jump in logic for Twilight to even be mildly concerned about *that* after what had happened.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Okay, since you asked you're gonna be the first to see my "mental map" of Equestria.;)

Equestria occupies a "middle portion" of a continent. Imagine it as a combined Poland and Germany flipped around, everything passing from east to west and back again has to cross the tall Eastern Mountains beyond the Everfree (as in The Somewhere Cycle and A Cup of Joe)of the slight and rolling Western Mountains. There is access to the North Sea in the north (this story) and the Southern Ocean in the south (The Purple Mare).

I don't think we've ever seen much of Equestria, and I think that the creative team has intentionally left it blank to keep it pliable for episodes.

I was torn about how much to tell... I didn't want to leave anyone guessing though because I don't know how much of my stories are going to end up in others.

I notice that you keep bringing that up... may I ask, in all due respect, if you're a vegetarian? I just wanted to accentuate that Spike is different from the ponies, and as a dragon we've seen that they aren't against eating phoenixes, so they are meat eaters. Can't claim that I knew that at the time of course!;)
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:iconradiantvoid:
RadiantVoid Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, no. Not even a crappy one. I will make mild attempt to avoid pork, but usually i eat it anyway. I wasn't aware I brought it up that much: I find the image of Spike eating lobster hilarious. The comment in the first part of this wasn't a critique on what Spike wanted, but rather that I liked the pettiness and triviality of his request.

For all his supposed savvy, the waiter REALLY knew how to kill an appetite: "Boiled them like lobsters". I wasn't even there and I lost my appetite when he said that. Impressive bit of writing.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ah, now I see.

The waiter was so intent on telling his story that he got a little carried away!

Thanks for the compliment! Now I have to finish this shipfic so you have a story to read!:)
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:icongiantmako:
Giantmako Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Never a dull story with you Descendant, a day can always be brightened or at least livened up a bit when reading your stories.

*Shudders* should not have read this all alone like i did, the sheer haunting mood, and level of creepy put into this is amazing i must say. Its worth noting just how on edge i was while reading, and copious amounts of tension this story is brimming with.

I loved how well you used the fog during this fanfic, and i how it feels like a warning key. When the fog starts rolling in the reader knows its time to start gripping their seats. The shared fear that the characters experience together, and in their own private moments made me scared, and more than once i found myself looking over my shoulder.

The legend behind the whole haunting is well done, and touching. It's dawned on me the number of times I've seen perytons show up in your stories and the way you use them makes me wish they were actual characters in the show. I admit before this the only time I've heard of such a creature is during my sessions of playing D&D with my friends on the rare occasions we would all get together. As well as the continued use, and overall broadened background for the Witches. Every time their brought up I'm given another glimpse of Equestria's past and the dangers that threatened the land before the main 6's time. Well done on both of them.

I could go into great detail, but I'm a little low on time so I'll cut this short a bit. Sorry.

Excellent story, terrific writer as usual, never going near a foggy beach again.
Till next time friend
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You've become one of those commentators I have to open a new window for so that I know I've replied to everything. I have the best Watchers!:D

I've tried to put a lot of different emotions into my stories. This was the first one where my intent was to unsettle and disturb my readers. Not in the "Oh God why?" kinda way, but more a general "creep-out". I'm very glad that it really worked for you. I'm also very glad that you caught onto the idea that I used both private and shared experiences in the story.

I too very much wish to see the perytons! I also promise to keep dropping hints about the past that occupies my fanon... right up until I release a full fan-fic about it!;)
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:icongiantmako:
Giantmako Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well i try my best, we watchers are all just glad to have such great work to read.

It worked quite well i have to say, pretty sure it continues to speak volumes about how much effort you put into these stories. These are the kind of works that inspire others to put forth that hidden 110% we all have within ourselves.

Now that sounds like a great read, can't wait, and will continue to keep looking for more of those hints in your other stories.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You are far too kind, Mako!:)
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:iconsaint-walker:
Saint-Walker Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2012
Brilliantly written story, I love the dark cold costal setting, it's like New England, Flamborough or Maine. It's not so much scary as it is...eerie, ethereal, it has an otherwordly feel to it, luke a good Steven King novel. It reminds me of a show called Creepy Canada where they covered ghost stories and legends in Canada and the northern USA, not a gorefest, most subtle in how it scares you
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
"Eerie" is exactly what I was going for. I'm glad you think I found that perfect little niche'. New England and the Maritimes are exactly the setting I was going for too! Jeez, I guess I did a good job if you were able to pick all of that out!:D

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!:)
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:iconmorgan-persimmon:
Morgan-Persimmon Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011
Absolutely fantasterrifying.
I agree that this, along with the Story of the Blanks, is both chilling and gives an interesting hypothetical look into the deeper reality of a hypothetical Equestria as we don't really get to see in a children's show.

I honestly think this would be amazing as a story to exist in something I imagine- picture the show's characters and setting in something with a less cartoonish pacing, you know? Something where there can be quiet moments, pieces of stillness.

That is what I want to see even more dearly than a frenzied shipping bonanza.

Don't even get me imagining a combination.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
What a great vision for the future of the series! I'd love for there to be more of an interesting mythology behind it. Still, we don't want to go too far in any one direction... grimdark or shippy!;)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! I really appreciate it!:)
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:iconmorgan-persimmon:
Morgan-Persimmon Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012
Right right, no problem!
I suppose I'll follow you now, to make sure I don't miss out on any other neat bits like this.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I appreciate your patronage! Feel free to look around... not much in the way of other creepy stiff here, but some things I'm proud of!:)
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:iconcanadian-trekkette:
canadian-trekkette Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011
I'm not exactly a fan of creepy stories, mainly because I have an overactive imagination and a tendency to creepy-ness induced insomnia but this was VERY well written. But this was amazing. I was eating supper, and I think I forgot about my pizza halfway through the second chapter.
It's eerie, without being blatantly scary. Really captures the eerieness (I keep using that word...) of a fall fog.
I really like the bookends using the crow and Twilight's line "I'm afraid she'll tell me." Just that one line says so much...
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you!

I generally prefer creepy or "mental thrillers" to outright scary or grotesque horror. What I attempted to do here is let the reader fill in the missing little bits...what ever you could put in there is so much scarier than what I could ever come up with!;)

Thank you so much for reading and commenting, C.T., you're a great Watcher! I really appreciate it!:)
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:iconxeno-the-hedgehog:
Xeno-the-Hedgehog Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
That was one of the most chilling stories I've ever read.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I'm glad it had the desired effect! Thanks for reading and commenting!:)
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:iconxeno-the-hedgehog:
Xeno-the-Hedgehog Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
That was one of the most chilling stories I've ever read.
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:icondpv111:
DPV111 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011
Thank you, Descendant. That was truly awesome. And for a scary story that is REALLY saying something. I think I can count on one hand the number of actually tasteful and well crafted MLP scary stories:
1: Stare Master episode
2: Story of teh Blanks
3: the beginning of Part 3 of Off the Edge of the Map
4: and now this wonderfully atmospheric tale is added to the list.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I am very thankful for you praise! I saw your comment on Daily just a few minutes ago and I was utterly floored. Thank you so much!:)
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:iconguitarfan01:
guitarfan01 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Finished it. Printed first two chapters and will reread with possibly more comments next time I have a computer (likely +2 days).
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!:)
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:iconguitarfan01:
guitarfan01 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Good job.
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:iconuxieknight:
UxieKnight Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
:D first scary story I've liked. Awesome job bro
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for saying so! Thank you for reading and commenting!:)
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:iconrinellawashere:
RinellaWasHere Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011  Student Writer
"Because I'm afraid she might tell me."

This line just floored me. You have once again proved your gift for writing.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you once again for your kind words.:D
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:icontwistedboxy:
twistedboxy Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
A beautiful and haunting tale. Excellent work.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for coming along on the creepy little ride this was!;)
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:iconcharlesdeleroy:
Charlesdeleroy Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011
This is an absolutely excellent haunting tale. The terrors of the mists brought to mind some of the works of Poe, the surreality of several haunting "Twilight Zone" episodes, and snippets of other tales of terror from long ago when horror relied on the skill of the writer to create images which crept into the primal depths of the mind and stirred up the old fears of lost little animals in the deep, dark forests wherein prowled the shadow beasts awaiting to devour them. Those classic installments of fear never depended on merely gore and grossness for their impact, but instead troubled the mind with the unseen and half-seen, writhing through the thoughts such that even when all was known and the reader finally reached 'The End', the soul still remained disquieted.

I am simply amazed by this and other works in the Pony fandom which take the innocent land of Equestria and instill it with foreboding, not detracting from the peace and joy of the current time, but adding to the relief that it became as it is and hearkening back to the suffering and sacrifice required to overcome the ancient darkness which threatened to snuff out the light.

We've seen a tidbit of that in the show now. Nightmare Moon was one thing, a simple villain borne of jealousy; Discord was something different entirely, a legend of a time of misery, a sadist who ruled the land before the Sisters who delighted in the suffering of his helpless subjects.

I've heard the legend of the War of the Witches mentioned before in several stories. Is there one that tells its story in full? There are simply so many stories to sift through, I fear I'll never find if it exists. I have a list 4 pages long just of my favorites, 64 stories and their links (this one now included).
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I always have the best commentators!:D

Thank you for picking up on several of the themes that appear in the story. I'm a big history buff and a fan of mythology, so I try to re-use classic themes whenever I can. As you said, I'm unimpressed by random gore and needless violence and I prefer to "trouble the mind".;)

There's a lot of backstory to Equestria for us to fill...I always like to look at fan-fiction as a genre related to science fiction and fantasy. We're just trying to fill in the blanks. I'm very glad you've stopped in to share in my version.

I'd like to think that Nightmare Moon's background is related to Discord's...that they were both part of an older world, but that's just part of my personal fanon.

The War of the Witches is something that I've mentioned in a number of my fics...if there's someone else out there using it I'd very much like to see how they're interpreting it. Thank you so much for the Fave!

Thank you for reading and commenting!:)
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:iconcharlesdeleroy:
Charlesdeleroy Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011
I've also always thought NM and Discord had something to do with one another. My idea was that NM came from a 'taint' of Discord upon Luna's mind, a stain he infected her with which spread faster and faster as she became jealous. That little stain would be the last little revenge he struck with just before his petrification, something that he knew would hurt the Sisters later.
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
That's an interesting take on it.:)
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:iconxanderman1201:
xanderman1201 Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011
i should not have read this story alone, in a quiet house, at night, in the dark...
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:iconduplexfields:
DuplexFields Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
...just before going to bed, "one last story for the night,"
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:iconxanderman1201:
xanderman1201 Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2012
yeah
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
...while listening to this guy's music!

[link]

He's the one I listened to while writing it.;)
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:iconxanderman1201:
xanderman1201 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2011
Creepy...
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:iconthedescendantofkehan:
TheDescendantofKehAn Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I'm glad it fulfilled it's purpose!:)
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:iconxanderman1201:
xanderman1201 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011
yeah.
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