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 Looking Towards the Past to See the Future

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Zephyr Botanica



Posts : 267
Join date : 2013-01-03
Age : 30
Location : Long Beach, NY

PostSubject: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:51 pm

Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. The sound of water droplets splashing on marble was deafening. Each one sounded like a miniature explosion, one duplicated four to five times over as the noise reverberated off what were towering walls, topped with an arched ceiling. The moisture originated from a deep crack in the ceiling, right beside what was once an elaborate painting of the moon in its many cycles. Where blues and variations of white once danced and sparkled, there were now muddy hues of brown mixed with green mold and gray dust. Veins of water had been dampening the masterpiece for some time, but considering that large portions were still intact, it couldn't have been for too long.

Arranged across the marble of black were rows of bookshelves, whom homed countless books, scrolls and other instruments of record keeping. The rows stretched so far, that one could gaze down an aisle and not see an end. It seemed as if the room itself expanded a great distance, in fact, but all it had for company was its furniture. A section had been decorated with desks and chairs, all of which were askew, as though hastily moved. Some bore the marks of burns, others scratches, some chairs were even smashed to splinters. Fresh dust covered all, though beneath were the shallow imprints of hooves and claws.

Amongst the northernmost wall, large tapestries dangled. Their color had grown dull, but not from age- the area seemed to have been drained of its color through mystical means, rather than natural. Here, twin alicorns stood across from one another, reared onto their hind hooves. They had their right forearms stretched out so that their hooves touched, while the tips of their horns also connected. One was white, with a beautiful flowing mane and exquisite feathered wings. The other was black, with bat-like wings and a mane that was both wild and wicked. Between their bodies rested a large circular mirror, but its face did not bare the room's reflection. Rather, at its core drifted a black essence mixed with white, the two hues constantly battling one another for all of eternity.

It was here that the room first began to quake. But as the quivering grew more intense, it spread out through the alcoves, threatening to dethrone every book on its shelf, and overturn the already damaged tables. The black marble split with red webs of light, which rapidly spread out and thickened to condense into a singular circular puddle. From it, black electricity sparked, the ends of their streaks bent downward to pierce the floor. Each time, a symbol was left behind, one of an archaic nature that burned a bright red. Once all were in place, a black beam was expelled from the circle's center, through which the forms of two unicorns were produced.

Onyx calmly stepped out from the rift, her eyes closed, armor silent in her stroll. Her coat had lost its sheen completely upon entering the area, while purple flames reignited from the corners of her optics. When they were reopened, what was once a white sclera had become a fierce green. Her slitted pupils dilated, taking in the familiar sights. She remembered every nook and kranny of the place, including the reason for its disturbed state. As she observed, her pupils bared no reflection themselves, but rather everything they witness were drowned within their darkness. It'ssss good to be back, isssn't it? An illusion of her master materialized before her, so solid and clear that it seemed real. It is, I confess. She replied with a small smirk.

The mare twitched her tail as she turned around to face her rift through space, which originated first in Canterlot. Her dear friend, Heartspan, had decided to join her on her adventure to reconnect with her roots (amongst other things). Once he was seen safely through, she would stamp her hoof on the ground, causing the runes to shatter. With their dismissal, the red light would implode in on itself, sucking the beam of darkness along with it. Before long, all of the magic would cease to exist, and the region would appear to have never been disturbed at all.

"It is here that I grew up." Onyx announced, her chest held out with pride, her head tall. "Here, the mysteries of magic unfolded before my eyes." Her sights moved slightly past him and to the statue beyond. She stared at the mirror, marveling at the combative essences of light and darkness. No matter how many times she had seen it, it always amazed her, and this time was no different. For those trained in her arts, the mirror acted as a gateway into themselves. Those with more experience could use it to see whatever they wished, from lands far away, to the inside of their focused target's soul.

"Welcome to the alcoves beneath the Crystal Empire's great library." Dramatically, Onyx bowed down onto one knee and grinned. "A place that only a select few have ever seen, or ever will."
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shinigami3



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:05 am

Heartspan felt the magic transporting him across space. The bending of reality as the two distant points merged for just a moment. He looked briefly at the couple as he stood in the rift between worlds. Not just their faces but many passing faces had frozen in looks of surprise.

This just won't do will it.....

Asphodel whispered sweetly. His shadow pressed outward holding open the rift. He could feel the tendril of emotion rising from each an everypony he could see from the confines of the magic. If he focused he could feel even those who were beyond his field of view, almost all the way to the high street itself. Those he could see moved in slow motion, time distorted for heartspan by the curving of space projected by Onyx's magic.

Call on your emptiness...
Feel it's power seething in desire for these feeling pressing in on you....
Allow it to run free, to devour the emotions of those poor creatures.....


Asphodel spoke excitedly, and he could feel a wave of sorrow descend on the ponies of canterlot. He could feel as one by one their emotions vanished beneath the weight of her sorrow.  She drew it in, heightened it, and released it back onto them, feeding upon it and growing stronger still. All the while he felt a stirring of nothingness within him. It churned in desire for freedom, and in the end he released it. Emptiness rushed from him like water, it filled every gap, poured through every crack in each ponies being. Filling them to full. It devoured every feeling that asphodel had missed. Yet it did not stop there. It rushed along the chain of sorrow she held, burning away her sustaining force as it entered her victims violently. Heartspan watched as eyes grew wide, their light dimming and dying. He felt his shadow recoil as his power rushed backward along the stream of sorrow. He could feel Asphodel's surprise, her magic coming to bear, but he halted his power before it could do anything. It churned like a mighty storm as it hung suspended before her. He could feel her surprise give way to rage and concern. For the first time he could feel doubt in her essence. He did not which one would win in such a fight but he no longer understood himself to be a prisoner. He pulled back at the reigns of his new power and felt it calm and go still.

W-well.....done....

Asphodels words were etched with fear as she spoke into his heart. He made no reply as she allowed the spell to close over them. Instead his mind focused on what he would find on the other side of the spell. He stepped away from the magic as Onyx turned toward him.

"It is here that I grew up."  …. "Here, the mysteries of magic unfolded before my eyes."

he could feel the pride in Onyx's voice as she spoke. She stood taller , her bearing more statuesque. To him it seemed she was glad to be home. He looked about the room. Noting the damaged furniture, and the rows of ancient tomes. In the end his eyes fell on the statue of the Alicorns. They were poised as if in eternal combat.

All the while he took in the look of the acolytes library he could feel Asphodel recovering, mastering her emotions. His shadow shifted and writhed taking on the form of the mare who took up residence in his spirit. It was a subtle change and one that could easily be mistaken by an on looker but he could feel the shift in his very essence.

Finally....we are where we need to be....
Follow my direction and we will be unstoppable...
We will rid the world of celestia's tyranny......
We will elevate our dear Luna.....and give life to your sister...
and I will take my deserved place upon equestria's throne....
and you....you  may have any wish your heart desires.....


her words were spoken with such vehemence and such joy but those feelings did not penetrate far into him. He looked back toward Onyx. She had goals too. would they stand in the way of his own he wondered.

He could sense Asphodel's displeasure but she did not voice it as Onyx bowed deeply. Heartspan did not know what the future held for any of them but he knew his friend would need his power to gain what she wanted, and Asphodel as well needed it. More than that Asphodel would need Onyx. The three were stuck in the symbiotic relationship, even if they did not realize it. He nodded to himself as Onyx spoke. This was Luna's will.

...This is Luna's will Asphodel.  

His heart spoke very matter of factly to his parasite and as expected her words were filled with misgiving and pouty anger.

Perhaps......we will see in the end my brother...
just remember who warned you when things go poorly.....


"Welcome to the alcoves beneath the Crystal Empire's great library." …."A place that only a select few have ever seen, or ever will."
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:37 am

His silence was disturbing. Normally, the stallion would have some sort of comment, make a chuckle, or do something. Instead, his facial features were stoic, and there lacked that certain glow in his eyes. Inwardly frowning, Onyx looked past her friend and to the statues beyond. As she stared up at the magnificent marble masterpieces, her heart swelled with recognition of their conflict. When she first started to study, it felt as though her very soul was being torn in two. Her innocence - her inner light- wanted nothing to do with the demons that were being introduced into her. Now, it was as if he was facing the same situation. Am I at fault here? Was this all because I befriended him? Would he have been better off without me?

She withstood the desire to visibly frown, though it took a great deal of effort. Instead, the mare momentarily distracted herself by staring down into the 'mirror' between the two statues. As she watched the black and the white swirl, ever fighting for dominance, she noticed the essences started to swell. Entranced, she stood stock still as they continued to expand, all the while the air rippled and morphed. All at once, the essences merged along with the air, forming a surface that bared Heartspan at its core, along with a mare she had never seen before. While the features weren't recognized, the magic that she felt radiating from the female was. And that was when it dawned on her- the artifact was granting her, and her alone, the vision of what dwelt within him.

So, this is who I must vanquish? For a mare, she was quite fine, delicately built, and held with a posture that stank of sophistication. Their eyes met, allowing Onyx to grasp a better idea as to the other's power. [i]Thisss one isss strong. Within the image, her Master materialized, standing behind the other two, his cloak billowing. Do not underessstimate her. He warned as purple flames licked at the inside of his hood. He turned his head to Heartspan. He isss sstronger than I firssst thought asss well. Thisss one learnsss quick. Already he fightssss for control. This statement made her slightly cock her head with curiosity. So long as he can control her, I'll have more time to figure out how to exorcise her.

When she blinked at last, the unicorn noticed that the portal had returned to its normal state, though for Heartspan and his dark passenger, it would seem that nothing had happened at all. Biting on her lower lip, she turned from him and started down the corridor, which was bare save for some tapestries hanging from both sides of the walls. Each one bore the same archaic symbol in red, mounted on a shimmering black base. The same marking was displayed on her armor in black. "I'll show you the way to the surface. While you gather our supplies, I'll be doing a little research." She called back to him, hoping he was already following. "I want to spend as little time as possible in the tundra, so it would be best to narrow down the areas of our search."

The hall eventually opened up into a large central chamber, circular in design. At its center was a marble platform, with runes etched into its side. Hovering but inches from its surface was an enormous red crystal, one slender in form, but tall in height. Several smaller crystals danced around it, eternally trapped in the parent one's orbit. Onyx couldn't help but recall how her Cutie Mark resembled it. She stared at her own reflection upon it and grinned. I have yet to unlock all of this crystal's magical secrets, but I know I am close. Why else would it have gifted me with such a mark? The mare waited patiently before it for Heartspan to arrive.

"This will transport you to the surface." She raised a hoof and pointed to the crystal. "It will send you into a building on the outskirts of the city. For the residents, the structure appears as nothing more than another crystal, but I assure you, it is quite more. Inside, follow the spiraling staircase down and to the back wall, then place your hoof upon it. You'll need a little bit of magic to get the door to appear, but once you do, you'll be free to continue."
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shinigami3



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:52 pm

Heartspan's eyes locked onto onyx as she stared at the statue of the Alicorn. His eyes followed her gaze alighting on a mirror set in the base of the statue. She watched for several moments before cocking her head. He wondered what it was that had distracted her but after a small time she blinked and started off down a side corridor. He trotted along slightly behind her. Listening intently as she explained the need for supplies and her desire to search in only select areas.

The hall opened into a great circular chamber whose dominate feature was a tall, slender, red crystal . All around it smaller crystals orbited the parent crystal, held fast by the power of the parent crystal. He looked up at the crystal and then down to Onyx as her words found him.

"This will transport you to the surface." …... "It will send you into a building on the outskirts of the city. For the residents, the structure appears as nothing more than another crystal, but I assure you, it is quite more. Inside, follow the spiraling staircase down and to the back wall, then place your hoof upon it. You'll need a little bit of magic to get the door to appear, but once you do, you'll be free to continue."

He looked from onyx to the crystal as he thought for a moment.

“ How long do you intend for us to be in the wild?” he asked curiously “ I will need to purchase supplies enough for our time there.”

he turned back to Onyx as he spoke, his words coming in even pitch and measured tone. While he spoke Asphodel was silent. She seemed to be filled with anticipation and nervous energy and Heartspan was forced to block it out via magic as it disrupted his even and calm train of thought. He could tell Asphodel awaited a moment alone with him, a moment to discuss the things boiling in her spirit. While it was not worrisome it was distracting. Beyond this a curious thought formed in his mind. He was not sure if it was truly his own or a stray from his parasite, but he voiced it none the less.

“ Would it not make more sense to have me help with the research. Then we will be sure of how many places we must search and can guess better what we will need for supplies.” he offered calmly.

For a moment he felt a nagging sense of foreboding and though it was easy to keep the feeling out of his voice, it was not so easy to dismiss his early warning senses.
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:13 pm

Quote :
“ How long do you intend for us to be in the wild?” he asked curiously “ I will need to purchase supplies enough for our time there.”

Onyx found herself transfixed by the crystal once again. The shimmer it self-produced was absorbed into her slender pupils, but not reflected. Instead, green blazed as her sclera, while purple flames continued to lash through the air. Just being inside the chamber had willed the darkness to reveal itself, but not without her permission. Here, the mare had no worries about being able to control her magic, for the room was her personal sanctuary (though it had been used by others- primarily for transportation needs). For her, however, there was a very special bond between the inanimate object and herself, one that she couldn't explain, but cherished.

"No longer than a day. At first." She pondered his question, uncertain herself. "I do not plan on sticking through the night- not even magic would ward us from the sub-zero temperatures. We'd freeze before being able to cast a spell, even with protection spells upon us." Her vision drifted to one of the smaller orbiting crystals. It seemed to slow in its path when it reached the angle she stood at, almost as if it wanted to welcome her back home. Onyx suppressed a smile, returning the sentiment with a simple nod instead. "We can always return come sunrise again, so there's no true rush." The crystal hesitated, spotting Heartspan, an unfamilar pony. But she mentally reassured the piece that all was well, and it continued on its endless rotation.

Quote :
“ Would it not make more sense to have me help with the research. Then we will be sure of how many places we must search and can guess better what we will need for supplies.” he offered calmly.

At this, she frowned and scrunched her face up a bit. "Normally, I would agree." Onyx began, bowing her head in deep thought. "But..not this time." She pondered over her next choice of words well. "What I wish to read is sacred." The mare began, turning more towards him. "And a bit..personal..to me." It was painful to say such things, especially with how strong between the two had become. Deep down, she truly, indefinitely cared about the stallion, and wished no harm to come to him, be it physical, mental, or emotional. The very last would be affected should she tell him the truth- the stallion whom she wished to revive, she had been infatuated with for some time.

We mussst rid him of hissss shadow. The unicorn looked up into the large crystal, from which the voice emanated from this time- but to her ears alone. In its ever-shimmering surface, her master appeared, his gray snout poking out but slightly from his hood. Ssseek out the book of your desire upsssstairs. The record of hisss demissse will be new, and no doubt duplicated for all the unworthy to cherish in their ssso-called freedom. Onyx sneered. To go upstairs would mean exposing herself to eyes that would recognize her armor and its mark. Using magic would only arouse suspicion to the Crystal Ponies that also held unicorn DNA in their genes. Do not fear, my dear. He stepped forward, his image enlarging to fill more of the crystal's face. All will go well. But you musssst alssso find the scroll on that sorceressss inssside him.

Her head turned to Heartspan once more. "Feel free to explore while you're above. The Crystal Empire is quite beautiful." Onyx gave him a warm, true smile. "It's unlike any other city you've ever seen, or ever will." Not to mention, it might be his one and only chance. Should she discover the remnants of her King, the Empire would change as it had all those years ago- and not for the better for its natives..
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shinigami3



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:42 pm

Onyx watched the crystal. She seemed transfixed to the point that Heartspan nearly asked his questions again. When at last she did answer it was unexpected.

“ No longer than a day, at first.” ..

The words hung in his mind as she continued on about the cold. All the while her eyes were locked on the crystal. He followed her gaze and noticed that the crystal seemed to respond to her, and once he spotted this it seemed to react to him as well.

…....I suggest we avoid traveling through this
…...Remember, we have the light magic at our disposal.

Asphodels words were cautioning and mirrored his own opinion. When Onyx mentioned sacred texts and turned to him it was on the tip of his tongue to reply that no such thing existed in the world of magic. It was simply a tool and nothing more as far, at least as far as he was concerned. There was no need for personal things, they were at war with their society. He would have spoken his mind but in that moment Asphodel chose to intervene.

…....Allow me to handle this one.

Do as you wish......

Heartspan really didn't care this time. His friend was hiding things from him and this was to his mind the first step of betrayal. He wanted time to reason things out. Allowing his parasite to take control would allow him time to begin the process of evaluation.

“ Ah I understand.” he replied calmly and a small smile graced his lips “ I will return near midnight. I really do want a chance to look around.”

he looked up at the crystal for a moment.

“ I think I will just rely on my own magic. I have never used such a device.” he continued “ well, be careful Onyx. I think it is best I leave now.”

He bowed his head slightly before vanishing in a small flash of light magic.

Asphodel was careful of the reactions such an effect would command in such a dark area. She sent out threads of dark control magic into the room preventing any sort of backlash from dark magic present in the area.  


They appeared on the edges of town alone amid the bright sun and crisp air. In the instant of their arrival Asphodel materialized. She stood just to the side of him her gaze looking out over the crystal city.

“ It is a beautiful place, but I much prefer canterlot.” she offered before turning to heartspan.

A small wan smile crossed her lips as she looked at him.

“ I know that you cannot feel much. But I am sorry she has betrayed you.” she said kindly “ Even though you can't feel it , I can feel how much it has made you suffer.”

Heartspan looked at her calmly

“ Well, you did warn me. Your sister warned me too.” he replied evenly “ So it is my fault if I have been weakened by this.”

Asphodel let out a small laugh.

“ Well, it has made me fat I think .” she teased “ And some good comes from this. We have many hours to ourselves and much we can accomplish. There is also much we must discuss. I think first let us buy supplies and after this we must see the great heart that guards this land. I will explain everything once we have had a chance to see it.”


Heartspan nodded in reply as they they began to make their way to the city. They chose to enter at a side street before progressing to the market. Heartspan remain silent taking in the crystalline buildings and their residents. The crowd gradually grew as he neared their destination. He only garnered the occasional stare but there were so many of his own people that he barely warranted any attention. While he walked Asphodel walked at his side taking in her new surroundings as they walked. After a long time she finally broke the silence.

“ You know, Lily and I would spend our summers here.” she offered “ That was back before the rebellion of Lord Sombra. The library here is unrivaled.”

Asphodel looked over at heartspan looking for a reaction but she found none. Heartspan simply headed with purpose toward their destination. She could feel the ebb and flow of his hidden emotions but they did not reach the surface of his being. He was pulling the cloak of emptiness much tighter around himself than she had anticipated. She looked forward as a creeping worry began to rise in the pit of her stomach. Had she created a monster?

Heartspan listened to her little story as they walked but he really didn't have anything to say about it. He had already known that the library here was extensive and he had much more important things to worry about. He was preparing for the inevitable battle that would come should Onyx betray him. Not only this but they were on the eve of casting what he understood to be a very dangerous magic and he had to prepare himself for the toll it would take on him, provided that Asphodel was not herself betraying him. He knew she could hear his thoughts and could feel things hidden from even himself but he also knew that he was now the stronger of the two.  They both knew it.

Once he reached the market he was quick to purchase a few days worth of food and water from various stalls. He carefully shrank the packages putting them away in his saddle bag. Despite asphodels advise to try various delicacies he kept his purchases to utilitarian food that would keep well and be good for survival. Once that was accomplished he lead them to the great heart at the center of the city.

So, we are here, what are we to do now.....

Asphodel remained silent for a long time. She had tried to loosen his grip on his power by being flirtatious and fun. She had tried to convince him to try her favorite foods and made light comments but nothing had worked. So she had followed him mutely to the heart and now as they stood near it among a small crowd of visiting ponies She could feel her own excitement dimmed by her concern. A contest of power would be terrifying and brutally swift. She was not certain that she would win. She could feel his own confidence rising and his magic responded to it. As a master she would have been proud but she was not his trainer, and she was not proud. She was worried and annoyed. Finally she broke the silence.

“ In all of my knowledge I have discovered only two substances capable of holding a ponies soul. One is well known, Flesh.” she stated as she stared into the depths of the crystal. “ The other one is this very crystal. You may trap souls in other vessels but they are still separate and distinct. This crystal can hold life, allow it to merge naturally. “

She turned to heartspan. Her eyes filled with knowledge and a sort of cruel delight. A subtle madness lurked at the edges of her voice as she spoke on.  

“ When I began my studies we had only just learned of the law of equivalent exchange. My sister and I headed the team that had discovered this very fundamental principle. We had long known of the alicorns power, and many of our kind were dissatisfied with being led by such a creature. Not lily though. Lilyvale loved celestia, loved her even more than me, her own flesh and blood. She doted on the princesses, did their every bidding. I hated it ! I was her twin! The other half of her soul! How could she love anyone but me......”

Asphodel stalk toward him her eyes wild. She stopped only a few inches from him her eyes locked onto his own.

“ That is when I realized....if I wanted her love, I would have to become an alicorn. It was that simple. I wandered the world armed with the new law of transmutation. It took so many lives and in the end I failed. I lacked one critical thing. I lacked the special talent of change. I was born with the talent for creation, creating something from nothing but I needed to change myself. You see..i was doomed from the very start.” she stated, then suddenly she sat on the ground heavily her eyes closing as she continued. “ When lily discovered how many lives I had taken, what I had done, she turned her back on me, but not before I had discovered this crystal.”

Her eyes opened and she looked up at heartspan her madness suppressed.

“ All that time Lilyvale thought she had killed me I dwelt in her body just as I do in yours. I wanted revenge, I wanted to succeed in my plan but as I watched her descend into madness I could only feel a deep sorrow for our fate. She was doomed just like me. Her talent was destruction, rendering finished works into nothingness, such a power could never create life.” Asphodel turned toward the crystal. “ All the while she tried to fix what she had done and all the while I was right there unable to comfort her because in her madness she had lost touch with her heart. In my anger I had lost touch with mine. Her only good work was shaping your training. The only part missing was dark magic, but thanks to Onyx even that has been taken care of.”

Asphodel stood once more and walked back toward the crystal.  

“ With the power of your sister, the talent for reversal; reversing change. With my power, and with yours we can finally succeed. We can undo all of our mistakes.”


Heartspan listened to her intently taking note of her various quirks. She spoke of preforming magic of such severe nature that it chilled his very spirit and yet at the same time, it could be done. The things she intended, they could be done for a price. He wondered how steep the exchange would be, but he knew that whatever the cost it would be worth it if they could do all of this. He found his grip on emptiness slip just a little as a feeling of hope sneaked in. If she kept her word, Asphodel would make his every dream come true. They really would be able to undo all of their mistakes, all of their suffering would be reversed.
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:13 pm

The flames at the edges of her eyes flickered as she winced from the light that Heartspan released upon his departure, but were quick to steady and ignite further. They seemed to hiss in annoyance, as if having suffered pain from the event. At least the darkness has not consumed him. It seems more stable and under control. She mentally commented, her eyes flowing to one of the satellite crystals again. As she focused on it, the fragment pushed itself free from its orbit and came to a hover before her muzzle. But that wasn't him acting. That was his passenger. A hoof reached out to touch the stone, causing its surface to ripple, then solidify with the shape of the mare with the pale green coat and golden locks.

"Find me any texts that involve this pony." Onyx commanded. The crystal flashed in recognition of the task and shot straight up towards the ceiling, but rather than to shatter upon it, the piece phased through. A second shard was then summoned. "And you, find me information about King Sombra's fall. Where it took place, when, how- everything." Pulsing in response, the second did just as the first, and with equal ease. With her two primary tasks in the works, the unicorn was free to moll over all the questions in her mind. Since she found herself comforted by the crystal's presence, she sat down where she had stood, her eyes ever lingering upon the centerpiece.

But before she could delve too deep into her mind, she felt a light tingling sensation in her horn. Knowing what it indicated, Onyx raised back onto her hooves and took several steps back from the crystal. She directed her horn down towards the marble floor and waited patiently as magic gathered upon it, causing a red mist to flow about its silhouette. Once enough had gathered, the essence was released onto the ground, where a projection of a fairly new book was formed. It bared a leather face, one so fresh she could practically smell the dye used to color it a flawless white, and the golden ink that sketched out its title: Tyrannical Terror: The Invasion of King Sombra. The crystal that she had tasked to finding the novel was secretly transmitting its contents from the library above- the unicorn felt it safer for such magic to be used in place of having the book mysteriously disappear.

Upon a mental command, the cover flipped open, baring the first chapter. Onyx's heart beat heavily in her chest as she started to read, reliving the tales of several ponies that had once acted as his tormented slaves. Having been unconscious during Sombra's reign, the mare was unaware as to how the Empire fell, and what became of its residents. She found herself stricken with horror at his cruelty, but at the same time, a part of her relished it. He displayed raw power, fueled his might with fear, and completely dominated to the point that no pony would even consider rebelling against him. This stallion ruled with an iron hoof, and it impressed her to no end. Still, she didn't completely agree with his treatment of the others- while it was essential for his manner of keeping control, there were other ways to keep ponies loyal.

Onyx had no idea how much time had passed as she continued through the passages, but the details were so rich and complete, that her mind swallowed all the information it what felt like minutes. At long last, she came across the passage which told of Princess Celestia and her sister, Princess Luna, deciding to finally overthrow King Sombra and free his people. At first, the mare was irritated with their interference, but then, other curiosities took hold of her. For one, why did it take the two alicorns so long to act? Secondly, why did it require both their strengths combined to banish him? Just how powerful was he? And third, how did they not find a way to counter the curse he bestowed upon the kingdom- the same one that had been thrust upon her years before that one?

It wasss too powerful, and they were drained from the effort. Her Master chose to materialize as a shadow, stretching out from her own, at that time. Her eyes fell onto him, to where his eyes would be. Upon connecting with that region, purple flames burst into life, and a pair of bright green lights, shaped as eyes, sparkled. When they did finally recover, the ssssisssterss sssiphoned through all their magical knowledge, but found nothing. The only thing that could have helped them wasss the Cryssstal Heart, which our King wasss ssmart enough to hide from all. Onyx nodded. It made sense- an artifact that powerful and filled with Light was his greatest threat. Eventually, they gave up. The princessesss had other mattersss to attend to, after all.

Several more pages were turned before the next half of the book was revealed. This one told of the Crystal Empire's sudden emergence, and with it, King Sombra's shadowy essence. As she read through the story, Onyx made sure to take her time and memorize every line. Her lord was incapable of escaping his ethereal form, nor did he have the strength to penetrate the magical barrier that had been erected to protect the city from his influence. But besides intelligent, the stallion was patient, and waited for the magic to weaken, and slowly poured his own into the land. Unfortunately, several mares quickly put and end to his hopes and plans, by not only keeping him from ever fully invading, but they discovered the Crystal Heart and returned it to its place of power.

"The Crystal Heart shattered him." Onyx growled, almost in a feral manner, "He finally became whole, but only for a minute." Her brow furrowed with anger. "While his physical form was annihilated, I have no doubt that his essence remains. He is too powerful a stallion to be fully thwarted so easily." She looked back to the shadow of her Master. Ever sssince you awoke, I have sssensed his presssence. It is by far ssstronger here. He commented. It isss even heavier now. After nodding, her sights shifted back to the last page of the text. "Somepony claims they might have seen his horn fly off into the distance, still intact. If that is so, not only will we have his magical essence, but a physical part of him as well. He can be brought back."

The back cover of the tome, as it turned out, bared a map of the Crystal Empire and the mountainous region that surrounded it. Onyx took a moment to calculate just how far the horn could have been flung, and made a mental note of it for her later pursuit. Once done, the hologram was dismissed, along with the magic from her horn. Moments after, the crystal that had revealed all the data sank back through the ceiling, and returned to its normal orbit. She silently thanked the fragment with a smile, then awaited for the other to transmit its findings, if any were to be found...
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shinigami3



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:59 am

Heartspan walked forward to stand next to Asphodel. He took note of the watchful gaze of the guards watching over the stone. In that moment he was glad that they were only pegasi and not unicorn guards. He was familiar with hiding the glow of magic that accompanied most spells. so analyzing the structure of the crystal and it's magic would be easy to keep from their knowledge, such would not be the case had they been unicorns like himself.

With his new power it took him only a few moments to see how the molecules in the crystal fit together. A few moments to see the flow of magic and emotion held within it. He wondered how they would replicate such beautiful and kind emotions when they were both so broken. This was a thing of love, of friendship, and they were decidedly not. Asphodel answered him without hesitation as soon as the thought entered his mind.

...We may not be such kind creatures my friend, but surely your sister is.

He could see the thoughts of his parasite as she fed them to him. The formula for her spell projected into his mind as if he had designed the process himself. He probed it for weakness or inconsistency and finding nothing he replied to her.

Yes, I think that may well work......
But, I think you should be the guinea pig for this...not my sister.


There was no pause as asphodel replied

…..As you wish my friend.....i understand your worry and in this I have no fear of our success so it is an easy thing to accept.

Then when do we begin?.....

….We will begin as soon as we make it to my lab, provided it still exists after all of this time.

Heartspan turned and walked back toward the city streets, Asphodel walking at his side. Once they were a safe distance from the crystal heart he stopped .

From here you can take the lead I believe we will accomplish more that way....

…..of course.
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:06 pm

It didn't take long for the request to be fulfilled.

As before, a holographic version of a scroll was presented before the unicorn, directly linked to the vision of the crystal shard that hunted above inside the library. The paper seemed ancient, its edges tattered, color a dying yellow. The ink that once must have been a deep black was now faded, though she could make out enough of the letters (though some seemed to have faded) to get a basic understanding of the sentences. Unsure as to how much information would be uncovered, the mare decided to make herself comfortable and lowered onto her belly, stretched out her front legs, and relaxed.

Her eyes scanned across the small writing. "The Mare Asphodelvale." She took note of the name while chewing on her lower lip. It seemed vaguely familiar. Apparently, she was a mare gifted with the art of transmutation, a type of magic that caused one object to become another. I see why she chose Heartspan as her host. Her brow furrowed with annoyance. But I still have no idea how she infested him to begin with. I could have sworn that my spell had pulled his sister's soul from the abyss. I wonder if she inserted herself onto her essence- hitched a ride. With a grunt, she shook her head and read on.

Asphodel, as she was more loosely referred to, had made great advancements in her talent, revealing the type to the world while also opening gates for others to learn and master it. Her talent was regarded far and wide, making her mind a thing that even the elite wished to poke at. She undertook a controversial approach, however, as her skill strengthened- the mare delved into transforming not just the physical appearance of her test subjects, but their personality- their very existence- as well. Another part to note was her fascination with eternal life. She wanted to become immortal, as do many others. But her methods.. they were nothing but twisted and cruel.

The parasite's life ended rather abruptly, and more shocking, at the hooves of her twin- Lilyvale. What?! She jumped up onto all fours and stomped the ground with a growl. Well, that explains that. If she's anything like her sister, it won't be easy to get rid of her. But that didn't mean she wouldn't give it her all. Rather than to focus on her battle strategy, though, another thought crossed her frequently running mind. This gives me a second chance.. Her eyes widened to the epiphany. Her essence.. that strong darkness..it can still be mine!

Like the first, the crystal shard dismissed its link to Onyx and phased through the ceiling, then returned to its orbit around the center crystal. She nodded to it, muttering her thanks before turning around and stalking down the corridor she entered the chamber from. I'm going to have to figure out how to tap into that power surge that happened to me if I hope to fulfill my plan. As she marched, her silver armor clattered, while the flames in her eyes magnified. And once I do, there will be nothing anything or anypony can do to stop me. I will be the ruler of darkness. All forms of it.

She came back to the dueling alicorn statues and came to a stop before the mirror. As she stared into it, the shadow that was her Master's presence raised from a two-dimensional plane and became three-dimensional at her side. From beneath his cloak, his gray snout poked out just enough to bare a grin. Onyx found herself matching his smirk, with a single sharpened canine tooth poking out from her upper lip.
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:39 pm

Asphodel was still not entirely accustomed to the stallions body though the shifting of intellects was much more smooth than the first few times. It worked best because her subject was willing rather than having to be battled for control. She peered out through his blue eyes at this world she had not seen for over a millennium. She watched the crystal ponies as they went about their daily lives oblivious to her existence.

Soon she began to trot through the town in measured pace. Her keen sight studying each and every pony she passed. She was searching for a certain complexity of personality. A certain emotional matrix. They had to be young ponies, only colts and fillies would do. They had to be innocent and most importantly they had to be happy. When such a pony came to her attention she would pause to lure them with a gentle thread of dark magic.

The magic would lead them unknowingly after her. She was careful that they follow her not too closely nor to obviously. That would alert the guards and that was not something she felt she wanted to deal with. Her magic worked much more subtly than that. When at last she had the proper number of subjects she made her way to an abandoned home. She was careful that no pony noticed her entry. Once inside she wove strands of dark magic about the place, a spell designed to keep interest in the place at a minimum.

There she waited until all 5 of her subjects had arrived. One by one they found their way in, enthralled by her spell. One by one they were drowned in the power of her sorrow. She took away hope, she took away smiles, and in their place she left only the devouring sadness that she commanded.  When the last shred of their emotions vanished beneath the weight of her power she focused a thin thread of heartspan's magic. The teleportation would take them deep into the unicorn range, and far from this place.

She was no fool. She could see easily the bond of friendship between Onyx and heartspan. She hated it and knew what trouble would come from this bond. Her work was too important to let such a thing stand in the way, or rather such a pony. No she would remove them far from this trouble, and in safety she would work her plan.


Heartspan could feel the ebb and flow of Asphodels emotions. He could feel her elation, her worry, her fear, and most of all he could feel the madness creeping in on the edges of her spirit. He knew she would betray him, she had planned to from the very beginning. The seconds crawled by as she worked her spells and prepared him for his own downfall.  She felt herself in full control but he knew better. The darkness within himself had warned him of this. Even now it curled through his essence, separating and shielding him from her. In the end it would be he who walked away with power. She had given over too much knowledge while thinking herself the master and he was more than willing to play along. After all he had learned how to revive his sister, and now he had only one small detail to attend to: Asphodels demise.
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Zephyr Botanica



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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:43 pm

I believe it isss time. Her Master declared, his smirk still threaded on his lips. Onyx's eyes moved to him, but the rest of her remained before the portal, whose swirling essence of darkness and light began to battle more ferociously. His smile weakened as he approached the artifact, his glowing green eyes transfixed on its exact center. Time for what? She inquired, watching with interest. There issss sssomething here that I wasss meant to bessstow upon my mosssst trusssted ssstudent. He paused his pace, right hoof lifted half from the floor, neck craning back to look to his pupil. It wasss entrussted to me by our King long, long ago. Returning to his walk, the cloaked stallion stopped but inches from the swirling substance, his nose nearly touching it.

She quirked a curious brow. Just what could possibly be stored within the portal? More importantly, why would King Sombra entrust him to ensure it fell into the right hooves? Just..who was her Master anyways? Never before had he mentioned a name, nor had he spoken of kin. In fact, the two hardly had much of a relationship outside of their studies. For all she knew, he could be somepony incredibly important- this event surely spoke volumes of such possibilities. As more questions took root in her mind, the mare's body was starting to fill with adrenaline. Her heart pounded, hooves anxiously kneaded the marble tiles, tail lashed back and forth. I am honored, Master. At last, she thought, not wanting him to sense her suspicions.

Gazing back into the portal, the cloaked unicorn reached out into it. The moment his hoof touched the competing essences, the white vanished, the darkness overwhelming it instantly. At this, Onyx guffawed, having never seen the portal react in such a manner- some light had always maintained itself when others focused their will into it. Even with hers. He continued to submerge his arm up to his shoulder into the void, and she watched as his cloak bucked and billowed to his searching movements. When he brought it back out, she released a breath she hadn't realized was being held, and took a few steps back to give him room to do the same.

When her Master turned around, he bore a necklace with a chain made of small red crystals. At the center rested a black pendant, shaped into half the face of an unicorn. The way it was cut so clean indicated that it once had a counterpart that locked into it. The portal behind him pulsed, its center burning with a small bead of light, which started to grow in order to resume its battle with the darkness, and to maintain balance. Though a bit hesitant, Onyx approached him and reached a hoof out. When hers touched his, it phased through, the hoof and arm was made of shadow instead of flesh. As soon as the amulet had passed to her, the figure lost its substance and flattened again, returning to a shade upon the floor, attached to her own shadow.

"This amulet.." Onyx began, squinting at it. "I've read about it somewhere before." Her red eyes moved from it and up to the dueling alicorns' heads, where their horns touched at the tip. "It's not complete. This is only one half of the whole." The shadow twitched with laughter. Indeed. The other half hassss been sssstored elsssewhere. But that should be enough to aid you for the time being. He stated. Refocusing on the pendant, the unicorn smirked, knowing of what power it held. While its true potential was halved, it still held enough to potentially unlock her inner power completely. And if that was so, it would make obtaining her shadow form again that much easier.

"Thank you, Master. I promise, I won't disappoint you." She closed her eyes and focused her magic around the necklace, encasing it in a red levitating aura. Purple flames danced out from the corners of her eyes, its flow having still failed to waver since her return to the sanctum, while the jewelery was positioned over her horn and head. Her Master watched as it was lowered, his shadowed form swelling with pride once the crystals fixed to her neck. I know you won't. He declared. Not if you want to achieve all your desssiressss.

The second she cut her magic from the amulet and let it set against her armor and flesh, a surge of power shocked through her system. It zapped every cell in her being, energizing them, while her magical essence swooned. She spread out all four legs, bracing herself as she struggled to maintain the might, fearing what might happen if it escaped and she lost control. All of her focused was thrown into containing it, concealing it within, and condensing it into a smaller, richer form. As she did so, Onyx's mane flared out, its follicles shedding their solid form to become dancing purple flames, which her tail soon matched after. Her entire body shook as she raised her head, neck straining against the magic that surged in her horn.

Rearing onto her hind legs, the unicorn slammed her front hooves into the marble, cracking it beneath their armor. Silently declaring her dominion, her eyes snapped open, their fire continued to crackle, but her pupils had burned away, as did her irises, leaving her eyes to beam with a sinister red light. Sneering, she poured more effort into her control, fighting the power down, centering it within her soul. Eventually, it succumbed, allowing for her pupils to return to normal, and hair as well. Huffing and puffing, Onyx allowed herself a moment to recover before she lifted the pendant with her hoof up to her eye level. A sly grin formed. "Yes. I do believe this will work perfectly.."
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PostSubject: Re: Looking Towards the Past to See the Future   Today at 7:14 am

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