Author Topic: The Origin of the Nightmare  (Read 142 times)

Offline Dream Warden

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The Origin of the Nightmare
« on: June 10, 2014, 04:58:30 am »
The moon. One of the two celestial bodies in the sky and little sister of Sun, shone brighter than ever. Nopony really knew what had happened, but the moon was ornated with silhouette of a pony, one can only guess who. A hooded figure raced through the forest, towards the castle of two sisters. They knew that it was now or never, if they wanted to find something, anything worth of great power from there. After all, one of two immortal beings had just fallen there. She reached a small hill that had a great view at the castle, and was covered by big rocks. The hooded figure took cover in the rocky formation. That was when a bright flash filled the sky, and an ear piercing scream could be heard. The pulse from the strong spell send the unicorn flying, and she hit a rock that stopped her fly short.

The unicorn got up from the ground, her hood dropping down and revealing her features. Ember shook her head, to clear her mind from the hit on her head. She didn't let this small set back stop her, and she climbed back up, to get a view at the castle again. There was not a single creature to be seen there, the clash between two alicorns must have driven them away, to hide, out from the harms way. But it was a plus for Bright Ember, as all the predators had left as well. Ember reached the castle gate in minutes. She had witnessed the bright beam and the agonizing scream of the younger sister, or what was left of her in that, warped new form of hers. Ember began to approach the gate, but quickly hid behind a ruined pillar, as the fallen alicorn's sister flew away from the castle. Where she was going, Ember had no idea, nor was she interested in that. The gate had been damaged, and was easy to get through. Ember entered the castle through a small opening and was walking in the now empty hallway of the castle, that belonged to the rulers of Equestria. The feeling of being there already brought a sense of might to Ember, but she knew that it wouldn't be enough. Ember looked around for a moment, before picking a random direction from numerous hallways and galloped down that way.

After a short while Ember arrived to what most likely was an armory. She took a quick look around, but everything there seemed to be standard issue armor and weaponry for the guards. Maybe they held all the enchanted equipment elsewhere, or maybe they had took it away from there, to be used against the corrupted Princess... Ember discarded the piece of armor she had inspected and moved on. She went through the barracks and towards the living quarters. The eerie silence in the hallways started to creep ember out. She hadn't really noticed it before, but now it was overwhelming. Ember took a small, rather dull dagger from under her cloak and held it close to her with her magic, hoping that it would make her feel a little bit safer there.

A walk that seemed to last forever, eventually brought Ember to a door that was slightly open. The door has a symbol of the sun encrusted to it. Ember brought her hoof up and gave the door a gentle push, but for some reason, she couldn't go in. Touching the door gave her a strange feeling. It must be protected with magic, or something else like that... The strange feeling grew into an uneasy one, and it was forcing her to step away, to leave the place she was currently standing in. Ember tried to resist it, but couldn't and eventually she had to leave. The crest on the door was shining dimly, giving away an impression that it was doing something. Ember left the corridor before the door could do anything else. She was slightly afraid that maybe the door had somehow "alerted" Celestia of her presence, and didn't want to take any chances with it. Ember left the upper wing of the living quarters and headed to search the lowers ones. They didn't seem to have any kind of protection placed on them, but their contents were nothing worth celebrating. mostly beds for ponies to sleep in and closets for the said ponies to store their clothing. Dream kept going through the rooms one by one, still slightly scared that The Princess of the Sun would appear there and catch her just rummaging through her castle, but at the same time she was wondering, why The Princess wasn't there already. Why the castle was completely empty in the first place? Ember gave up with searching for trinkets in the living quarters and headed towards the throne room.

Getting the door leading to the throne room open was a challenge of it's own. The room was in ruins, and the door had been blocked by rubble, but Ember managed to get the door open enough for her to slip through it. She took a moment to observe her surroundings. In the middle of the room was a strange looking pedestal, but it seemed to be empty. Slowly and carefully, Ember made her way to the two thrones in the end of the room. She approached the darker and slightly smaller throne and climbed up to it. The moment she sat down, Ember heard a voice speaking to her from somewhere around the room. She had no idea where it came from, but it sounded like it was close.

"Greetings, young one..." The voice said, while sounding friendly, it still caused Ember to instantly jump down from the royal chair and draw her dagger out. She spun around, keeping her dagger pointed to the direction she was looking at, trying to find the source of the voice, but simply couldn't see anypony else there.

"W-who's t-there!"
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 12:03:55 pm by Dream Warden »

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Offline Dream Warden

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Re: The Origin of the Nightmare
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2015, 08:32:04 pm »
From one of the corridors, a brilliant, majestic alicorn stepped out. Her form greatly resembling that of Luna's, but the alicorn was glowing bright moon blue, and seemed to be just a ghost, and not an actual pony. Ember turned to the now visible pony, pointing her rusted dagger at her "D-don't come any closer..." Ember warned the approaching stranger, but the unicorn's words seemed to have no effect. The bright blue alicorn kept walking towards her, until she was standing right in front of her, and with her hoof, pushed Ember's dagger down "Please... There's no need for violence... We are not here to harm you..." The alicorn assured. Ember didn't resist against the hoof pushing down her only defense. The stranger's presence gave her a soothing, safe feeling.

"W-who are you...?" Ember asked, after her dagger clanked down to the ground.

"I am what remains... Of the moon..." The alicorn answered with a sad tone "And you would be Bright Ember... The foal of farmers Sweet Dew and Fresh Dirt... A sort of a prodigy, if i'm not mistaken..."

"H-how did you-?"

"I am your princess of the night. I have visited you in your dreams... You're quite a talkative type Ember..." Before Ember could answer, the alicorn walks past her, and looks up to the new moon, and it's new face. Ember sees a tear drop down her cheek. She walks next to the alicorn, and looks up to the moon. "P-princess Luna...? W-what happened to you...?" Ember carefully asked, turning to look at Luna.

"Envy... Selfishness... Anger... Rage..."

"WE TRIED TO TAKE WHAT'S RIGHTFULLY OURS!"

Ember turned to look behind her. A bit frightened, she began scanning the room as well as she could. She could swear she heard something, screaming, shouting in unison with Luna's gentle voice.

"Do not fear, little one... The nightmare is gone now..." Luna assured her, placing her hoof on Ember's shoulder, before she began to walk back to the corridor she first arrived from. Ember hesitated for a moment, before hurrying after her. Once she caught up with the alicorn, Ember slowed her pace to match hers. Ember doesn't speak, she's just looking at Luna's ghostly form, that gracefully walked forward, passing multiple pieces of furniture, some broken, some carrying extremely fine details in them, before stopping by a mirror. Ember turns to look into it, seeing real, living Luna's image in the looking-glass. "We are afraid... That our journey is at it's end..." Luna suddenly speaks up

"WE HAVE FAILED!"

There the voice was again. Ember couldn't explain how she was currently feeling. Her whole being wanted to run, but at the same time carry on, as she felt both threatened and safe with Luna. The feeling was obscure, almost like a dream

"We require your assistance, young one... Our essence cannot exist while our body is locked away... We will not survive this imprisonment..." Luna spoke, turning to Ember "The moon needs a sanctuary... Someone to keep us safe..."

"WE CANNOT LET OUR EXISTENCE FADE! WE NEED A HOST!"

"... Somepony to bear the burden... Will you help us, young Ember...?"

"THOU DOST NOT DARE TO DENY THY RULER!"

Ember yelped, and took many steps back, before scrambling down on the stone floor. The voice was piercing through her head. She could acknowledge it's presence, but not what it tried to say. She looked terrified, but the feeling of terror faded, when Luna placed her hoof on Ember's shoulder again. "Will you safeguard our life...? Make sure the moon can still have it's princess...?"

"WE CAN MAKE YOUR PARENTS PROUD OF YOU! WE CAN MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF YOU! WE CAN GIVE YOU A LIFE!"

"What do you say, young Ember...?"

"YOU CANNOT REFUSE!"

Ember felt like she knew the answer. No... She knew that she knew it. But there was only one answer. How can one know the answer, but still get it wrong when there is nothing but one answer to the question? "I-i'll do it..." Ember said, feeling a strong gust take over the entire corridor right after that.

"Find the mirror... Young Ember..." Luna spoke for the last time, before her form disappeared

"COME TO US!"

Ember fell down from the throne, hitting the floor below quite hard. She rubber her jaw, that she could swear was disjointed now. She then remembers the dream that she just had, but still cautiously looks around the room. To her shock, she sees her dagger, all the way down the stair, on the floor where... No! It couldn't have happened. It was just a dream. Just a dream...

Ember hesitantly looked at the corridor she had walked with Luna, the one that lead to a mirror. A frightful image in the looking-glass inscribed in her mind. Ember walks down the stairs, picks up her dagger, and starts her trek down the corridor, expecting, hoping, to not find the mirror in the end of it. She gets an uneasy feeling, as she passes by furniture, all looking too similar to her dream, to the last detail.

Offline Dream Warden

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Re: The Origin of the Nightmare
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2015, 11:20:50 am »
The walk to the mirror was way longer that Ember remembered, but after a while, she arrived to the looking-glass, that she saw in what could have only been a dream. I felt really genuine though. Ember inspects the frame, silently reading what's written on it "Somnus... Aeternam... *mumble* Somnium... Aedilis..."

"Thou hast arrived..."

Ember spun around, once again grabbing her dagger in her magic, and pointing it out towards the darkness. She backed up to the wall, and against the mirror. There was only one way to her location, and she kept her eyes fixated to the corridor. The voice speaking sounded new, and definitely not Luna from her dream. "I-i'm warning you... I-i'm armed...!"

"WE MAY BEGIN!"

Ember had no time to react, before multiple appendages shoot out from the now rippling surface of the mirror, and began to pull her inside. Ember tried to struggle free, but couldn't fight the weird forces pulling her in. She lost her cape, and small leather satchel she had, her belongings falling down to the stone floor. Ember saw Luna arriving from the hallway, the ghostly form of the princess watching at her with sorrowful eyes. Ember tried to reach out to her, and cry for help, but her screams were muffled by the appendages, and she was pulled under the surface of the mirror.

The surface of the mirror rippled for a moment longer, before settling still, turning solid again. Luna walked over to the mirror, her form twitching, as her gentle features twisted into nightmarish terror. Her mouth widened, multiple sharp teeth sprouting out to fill the new space in her mouth. Her eyes sunk away, leaving only empty sockets behind, that held one, small light in each of them. Her nostrils grew longer, her entire head looking more like a skull now. The light blue feathers from her wings fell of, revealing broken, twisted mixture of normal wings, and leathery bat pony wings. Her body and hooves took a more skeletal and skinny form, and her flowing tail and mane darkened in color, and they lost their smooth shapes. The horn on the twisted being's head became jagged, and crooked. The thing laughed, before striking it's bony hoof against the mirror, shattering it into million pieces.

Ember gasped, waking up on the throne she had sat down on. She panted heavily, as she looked around the throne room, that seemed unchanged. She noticed that she was missing her cape and satchel. She jumped down from the throne, to look for her belongings. After looking behind the thrones, and walking down the stairs, Ember heard familiar voice speak to her.

"You had a nightmare, young Ember..."

Ember spun around, and saw Luna standing on the mouth of a new hallway, that Ember couldn't remember seeing there before. "L-Luna...? What's happening here...?" Ember trotted over to the princess, who seemed to be even less visible now.

"You are in deep sleep... No doubt because of me... Do you remember what i asked from you? What i asked you to do?"

Ember nods "I do... B-but... The mirror... What is that important? I saw-"

"I know what you saw, young Ember. But you don't need to burden your mind with it... Forget the mirror..."

"THE MIRROR IS IMPORTANT!"

"Please... Follow me... I have something to give you..." Luna began to walk down the hallway, Ember following shortly after her, and they soon came to a set of stairs, that began to descend underground. The stairs seemed to go on forever, and were very poorly lit, Luna's glow being the only thing that made advancing possible. Ember remained close to the princess and her eyes fixated forward, as the dim lights caused shadows to dance and twist around them. Ember couldn't hake off the feeling that something was following them. They reached the bottom after several minutes of descending stairs, that ended in a huge door, bearing a crest of the moon, but not the same crest accompanying the sun in the sisters banners. The crest glowed dimly, when Luna approached it, and opened at her command.

Behind the large door, was a simple, small room, and in the middle of that room was a pedestal, that held a small, blue orb on it. Luna led Ember inside. "Here it is... What remains of us..."

Ember gazes at the orb, feeling like she was gazing at the dream itself. She was snapped out of the orb's trance, when the huge door slammed shut, causing Ember to get visibly fearful instantly.

Luna noticed this and spoke up. "Don't be afraid... This is to keep the nightmare out... Now take it, and keep it safe... We trust in you..."

Ember eased up a little, but was still feeling quite panicky "B-but why me...? Why not somepony else... Somepony educated and... Better than me...?"

"Call it fate, young Ember... We feel like you are meant to carry this torch forward... With this you can-"

"YOU CAN IMPRESS YOUR PARENTS! YOU CAN TAKE YOUR PLACE IN THE HISTORY BOOKS! YOU CAN BE SOMETHING!"

Ember couldn't hear what Luna said. A loud banging suddenly hitting the door, and growing more and more intense by the second. Ember backed off from the door, and against the opposite wall. It didn't take long for the door to begin to dent, and crack.

"Take the orb, young Ember... Only then you will wake up... You probably feel confused, and afraid, but don't be... It will all make sense to you... Take it... And meet me in the dream world..." Luna's fading form disappeared completely, her light retreating to the orb. Ember was breathing heavily, her eyes racing between the orb, and the door, that was about to give in. She didn't want to know what was coming through the massive piece of metal, and wanted to escape, to wake up. Ember picked the orb up. It shattered at her touch, and she absorbed the fragments, and felt a sudden surge of power go through her body. Ember looked up at the door, that was ripped in two, the twisted alicorn breaking it's way through. It's sickly smile, and empty eyes stared at Ember, before charging at the unicorn, opening it's huge mouth and going for the kill. Ember covered her head with her hooves, and waited for the pain to come.

Ember felt a moment of serenity, a moment of clarity. She felt like she was staring at the heart of dreams, seeing countless ponies dreaming, and what they were dreaming. She stared in awe, before seeing a quickly approaching wall of light, that blinded her eyes.

"IT IS DONE..."

Offline Dream Warden

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Re: The Origin of the Nightmare
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2015, 11:56:18 am »
Ember woke up outside the castle, resting on a bed of flowers, morning sun's rays gently glowing through the three canopy, and to Ember's eyes. She wiped the last bits of dream off, and got up from the forest floor. First think she realized to do was to check her belongings. Almost to her surprise, she had everything with her. Ember climbed up a small hill, to get a view at the castle again. There seemed to be lot's of ponies there. Lot's of commotion. Guards and such. They were collecting the resources of the castle, probably to transport them somewhere else. Ember was confused, on how she got out from the castle, and why it was empty in the first place during the night. Ember snuck in to the small makeshift camp stationed outside the castle gates, and with little effort, managed to get hold of a armor meant for a mare. She had to get inside the castle. Ember hid her cape and satchel under a small mount of moss, and put on her disguise. Being a farm pony, Ember managed to stay standing with the full armor, but her walking was a little wobbly.

Ember tried to act casual, as she walked inside the castle among few other guards, each of them turning to go to different parts of the castle, but Ember continued forward, towards the throne room. The doors were open, and apparently cleaned of rubble, that Ember remembered to be there, blocking the door. She looked around the room, many guard going around the huge hall, carrying things and going about their duties. Ember turned left, to the corridor that had had the mirror. First thing she noticed, was familiar looking furniture laying around the corridor. Ember tried not to pay any mind at them, and continued forward.

She arrived to the end of the hallway. She was both shocked, and relieved to find the mirror there. Identical to the one she saw last night, up to the finest details in it. After going through the frame, Ember looked into the mirror, but yelped and jumped back, tripping on a long carpet and falling down to the ground. Ember saw the creature from the last night, with it's wide smile and empty eyes stare back at her, smiling and looking pleased. One guard ran to the spot from a connecting hallway, that Ember could swear wasn't there last night. The guard asked "Are you alright? What happened?"

It took Ember a moment to be able to answer. She panted a little, and tried to sound convincing, as she replied "I-i'm fine... I just... Tripped on the carpet..." Ember picked up her fallen helmet, put it back on and offered the guard a nervous smile. "If you say so... Are you sure you're okay...?" The guard asked, not entirely content with Ember's answer. "I-i am... No worries... Mate..." Ember replied, trying to upkeep her grin.

"It's sergeant to you, private... Let me know if you need help with anything... We don't need any injuries here, not after what happened last night..." The guard returned to where he came from. Ember sighed, slouching down on a throwaway chair that happened to be near her, to catch her breath. She carefully took another glance at the mirror, but this time she saw just herself. The mirror felt important to her for some reason. Ember stopped another guard that passed by, judging by his armor he was a higher ranking officer. "S-sir... What shall we do with this mirror...?"

The guard stopped and turned to Ember. "Our orders are to leave it there. It will not be moved away from the castle. Anything else, private?"

"I-i see..." Ember answered, looking back at the mirror. Her attention snapped back to the guard when this asked her a question with a firm voice "N-nothing else, sir!" Ember saluted, like she had seen the guards do.

"Get back to work then." The guard said, before continuing on his way towards the throne room. Ember followed after the guard shortly after, wanting to go see the vault. When Ember arrived to the throne room, her face slumped pale, and she felt her hooves tremble a little. Where the hallway leading to the vault was, was just plain wall. A look up revealed that there was a window leading outside on it, and nothing behind the wall. She began to inspect the wall, knocking on it every now and then. Few passing guards threw confused glares at her, but payed no mind, as they thought she was under some weird orders. After solid ten minutes, Ember gave up. She didn't dare to try and go to the living quarters, and instead left the castle. Slipping out was as easy as finding a extra suit of armor and slipping in was. Ember retrieved her belongings, and started her journey towards home. She arrived home in the evening, running inside to tell her parents about what happened to her, but she arrived to hear sorrowful news...

 


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