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Prose Equus 22: Dust and Crypts.

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 02:16:30 PM
AIE Safe Anon OC Adventure Action Drama

  1. Prose Equus 22
  2.  
  3. >It has been an eternity coming, but you successfully managed to do the impossible in Asgard.
  4. >Securing time to be in your room, alone, in a small private bath.
  5. >You exhale all your gathered breath as you sink deeper into the water, listening to the songbirds and swallows chitter out past your balcony on the sunny day.
  6. >Most of your days in your second life involved waking up to someone at your door, hurrying your way through a meal, and then being taken on to do some task or another.
  7. >Honestly, it wasn’t that much different from life in the royal guard, just the things you fought against were nastier.
  8. >Even now, a lifetime later, your time in the guard feels like a familiar wound among hundreds of others that adorn your body like medals.
  9. >If you had asked anyone, they’d think it odd that your life hasn’t changed much even though you now live an after-life. You disagreed.
  10. >Peeking from the corner of your eye, you see your sword resting on a wooden chair where you had left it and breathe a sigh of comfort.
  11.  
  12. >You received an education when you were found and expressed interest in being a guard, they could not have the defenders of Equestria being morons, and that education included some philosophy. With that knowledge, you would often turn your thoughts to yourself in your youth.
  13. >Arriving as you did, you found yourself listless at times. No desires, no wishes, no loves that lasted or stood out to you. You had never wanted a family of your own and the thought of a quiet life seemed…irresponsible to you.
  14. >Yes, you may not be magic, there was not any pony around that could not do what you could do outside of count to five on their limbs; but you could do SOMETHING.
  15. >Another sword among a thousand, perhaps the sword that made a difference in someone’s life.
  16. >When you considered yourself like that, you had found yourself more at peace from the questions in your head. You sometimes wondered if that made you sad or not.
  17. >Who you were or why you were here no longer mattered to you, as swords didn’t have a need for such things, only to attack their enemies and protect their allies. The trick, you learned, was in ensuring that you were wielded by the just.
  18. >You silently ponder if the current wielders of your blade would be considered just, you hope so.
  19. >A knock at your chamber door pushes those thoughts away.
  20. “Come in,” you say with a sigh.
  21.  
  22. >”No-name.” you hear as the door opens. “I have need of you today, gather yourself.”
  23. “You’ll have to speak up, Lord Tyr, I’m wearing a towel.”
  24. >The often felt but rarely heard presence of the Lord-General of Asgard walks into your room with an uneven staccato from his prosthetic hoof. “I can see that…why is it on your head?”
  25. >You look up at the towel you have around your head despite the rest of you being uncovered.
  26. “Keeps the hair out of my face.” You quip.
  27. >”Is that a common problem?”
  28. “Just because something happens at all doesn’t mean I want it happening more often.”
  29. >The general grunts and takes a few steps. “Well make yourself decent, Mother calls for us.”
  30. >You suppress a groan at having your bath interrupted and begin scrubbing your limbs with the soap, intent on at least finishing it.
  31. “Did she say what for?”
  32. >”She did not. Mother calls and we answer, that is the way of things.”
  33. >You scrub your back.
  34. “You’re the High-General of the city, does that bother you at all?”
  35. >Tyr offers a simple shrug. “I trust her appraisal of any journeys into Midgard we may make over mine.”
  36. “A-huh. There a reason for that?”
  37. >Silence was his reply.
  38. >Which meant “Yes, but I won’t answer you”. Fine.
  39.  
  40. “I take it from what you’ve said that we’ll be going down to Equestria and your Mother won’t say what for. Still, what is your appraisal of it?”
  41. >”Not complicated.”
  42. “Humor me.”
  43. >The general sighs and looks out your balcony. You use the time to get your legs. “Right away, calling the two of us stands out. It means it’s a situation that cannot have reinforcements thrown at it to solve like the Tartarian gate. She also commanded we bring our arms, but not which, indicating we’re to expect trouble, but nothing specific.”
  44. “Aha. And I’d wager that her wanting the two of us means that it’s a military issue that involves working together with the Equestrians, since that’s the only thing you and I have in common.”
  45. >”You catch on quick.” The General says.
  46. “It’s why I’ve lived this long.”
  47. >You toss the sponge you were using onto the balcony to dry in the sun.
  48. “Alright, I’ll have to ask you to leave here, General. Unless you’re keen to have to see my butt.”
  49. >”I’ll pass.”
  50.  
  51. >You dress yourself, don light armor, and strap your sword to your side to meet Tyr outside of your door.
  52. The Prince turned High-General leads you through the halls of the palace out onto one of the walls, making your way to a small landing in the shadow of a watchtower.
  53. “I swear, with each day I spend here, I learn about another part of this palace I didn’t know existed.”
  54. >”Imagine how we all feel.” The general retorts.
  55. >You and Tyr approach the landing to find the Queen standing among various bird cages, each with an inquisitive raven inside. The queen has one at the end of her hoof as she holds him up to her ear and listens to it whisper into it.
  56. >Odder still, she was smiling as she listened.
  57. “Now I’ve seen everything…”
  58. >”I’m very old, No-name. I am permitted a hobby.”
  59. >”You’re a goddess of poetry, Mother.” Tyr says.
  60. >”And occasionally I would like to indulge in a hobby that is not most often associated with those who study the arts and suicidal playwrights, son.”
  61. “I never guessed you for Falconry, your Highness.”
  62. >”Never. Dreadful birds, rife with disease. My ravens are far better.”
  63. >You look over the jet black birds in their cages or on the railing of the landing, several caw at you.
  64. “A murder…wonderful.”
  65. >”An unkindness, No-name. A group of ravens is called an “Unkindness”.
  66.  
  67. “Yes, that’s MUCH better.”
  68. >”Well you were thinking of crows.”
  69. >Tyr clears his throat. “I’ve brought No-name and myself, Mother. What duty would you ask of us?”
  70. >Sleipnir gently puts the raven speaking to her back in its gilded cage while she talks. “Raven whispers are not all that has been reaching my ears as of late; the mortals pray to us for guidance.”
  71. >“Guidance on what?”
  72. >”They have found something that they fear, and wish for their gods to rid them of it for their safety.”
  73. “What is it?” you ask.
  74. >Sleipnir turns to the two of you “Were I to list all the things that the mortals ought to fear, we three would be here from now until Ragnarok comes. The two of you will travel to Midgard and investigate with them, determine what it could be, and share your findings with me. After that, we shall act.”
  75. >Tyr silently nods, you not the difference between the two’s actions. War gods seemed to come in many flavors.
  76. >”Take yourselves to the Bifrost, I have…politics to see to.” Says the Queen, layering venom onto the word “politics”.
  77. >”We will not fail you, Mother.”
  78. “You can count on us.”
  79.  
  80.  
  81. >You and Tyr flash down to Canterlot amid a town square. Apart from citizens turning their heads to see you arrive, no one gives you more attention than a train whistle coming in.
  82. >Tyr looks to either side, clearly noticing the calm.
  83. “Don’t worry about it, Lord.”
  84. >You begin walking down a street path towards the skydocks.
  85. “If you knew a third of the things this city has been through, you’d understand why they seem a bit jaded.”
  86. >The general follows behind you at a decent pace as you lead him through the Canterlot streets. You notice his head swiveling around, looking at buildings, street corners, and civilians.
  87. “See something you like?”
  88. >His head turns back frontward. “ I didn’t see it before in our diplomatic visit. Peaceful city. Clean streets. Happy populace.”
  89. “It would be difficult to see the real city when it’s all bowing to you, yes. There are a few problems here or there, but it’s a great place overall.”
  90. >”I find myself wondering what sets it apart from other places in Midgar.”
  91. >You wave to some of that very reason in golden armor as you pass by a street corner.
  92. “That would be the Royal Guard.”
  93.  
  94. >The general doesn’t reply, so you take it upon yourself to deliver a civics lesson.
  95. “The name implies a more militaristic approach than it really is, but the Royal Guard’s primary duty is to maintain the upkeep of Canterlot and her citizens. That’s done primarily through public outreach and public works. The Guard is the biggest employer of able-bodied ponies in the city and maybe a tenth of them actually make use of their combat training. Most end up helping the people out one district at a time or keeping their ear to the ground for a way to make the city better.”
  96. >”And those that see combat?”
  97. “Generally have you request those stations, unless there’s an emergency or something.”
  98. >Like Changeling invasions.
  99. >”Mm…almost sounds close to a dictatorship.”
  100. “You’re not the first outsider to say that, but you are the first with an ever-watching hyper-powerful ruler of a Mother as their head of state to say it.”
  101. >”Touche.”
  102.  
  103. “Is Canterlot perfect? No. It is the jewel of Equestria, and where there are jewels, there are thieves. But crime was down for years before I died and for the most part, the people recognize the effort being put in by the Guard and the Princesses and pay that effort back by doing what they can to help realize what those efforts are working for, them.”
  104. >”And the Royal Guard is lead by this Captain you’re taking us to see?”
  105. “Despite our best efforts, yes.”
  106. >”Meaning?”
  107. “Meaning that some years ago, Shining Armor married into royalty and became the crown prince of the Crystal Empire to the North. A few years later, he became a father, but he still devotes a hefty amount of his time to the Guard. He’ll work himself to death if that keeps up.”
  108. >”Is concern for one’s commander this customary in the Guard?”
  109. “The guard respect Captain Armor for the efforts he made to keep the city safe and happy, but he’s a personal friend of mine as well.”
  110. >You glance back to Tyr.
  111. “We trained together as kids.”
  112. >The general closes his eyes and nods. “Under Gaeus.”
  113. “…Yeah.”
  114. >This wasn’t the time to ask about that.
  115. “Come on, let’s get to the airship. I’d wager Shining is waiting to cast off already.”
  116.  
  117. >Across the Royal Fleet, there was no ship that could match the Delphinus in speed.
  118. >Her envelope that contained the gas needed to lift from the ground was made of a light, yet firm material from the east, and the rotary engines on her rear were of an experimental design.
  119. >Combined with the best crew in the navy, the airship served as the fastest way for the Royal Guard to respond to any situation.
  120. >Which is why you knew this was the place you’d find Shining Armor waving at you from the deck.
  121. >”Ahoy there, Anon!”
  122. >You salute back.
  123. “Ahoy! Permission to come aboard!”
  124. >”Permission granted! Lower the ramp!” Shining calls to his deckhands.
  125. >A wooden ramp is lowered down to the two of you which you quickly ascend and shake Shining’s hoof when he meets you.
  126. “You look good.”
  127. >”I always look good.” He says. Shining turns to Tyr and adopts a serious face, bowing to him. “General, thank you for honoring this request.”
  128. >A bit surprisingly, Tyr bows back. “It was my pleasure, Prince Armor. As Asgard’s ally and charges, the gods are happy to treat your prayers with the seriousness they deserve.”
  129. “What’s the situation.”
  130. >”I’ll tell you on the way.”
  131. >Shining turns back to the deck. “Raise the ramp! Cast us off at best speed and make way along the route we prepared! Every second counts!”
  132. >Both you and Tyr exchange a look, Shining’s haste arose questions.
  133. >”Walk with me.” He says. “I’ll explain along the way.”
  134.  
  135. >Shining leads the two of you down into the ship, passing crew members and guards along the way.
  136. >”Exactly fifteen days ago, Professor A.K. Yearling was performing an archeological survey of a collection of ruins, a mostly intact shrine that was revealed when a recent Parasprite swarm devoured the section of forest surrounding it.”
  137. >”Where was the ruin located?” Tyr asks.”
  138. >”Southwest of Stableside, on the lowest tip of the continent. Overlooking the ruins of Eternity’s Crossing.”
  139. “What’s so important about this place that the egghead went snooping around?”
  140. >”Apart from the archeological significance? It was an old world ruin, the purpose of why it exists has been lost to time, but the professor dated it back to a period before the alicorn Princesses were recorded.”
  141. “I take it she found something?”
  142. >Shining stops at the stern of the ship, looking back to the two of you. “Professor Yearling reported finding a droplet of a vial of a droplet of a mysterious black sludge in a protective barrier, the same kind that seemed to match up with some, let’s say “disturbing” reports I received from the Badlands.”
  143. >You and Tyr both inhale sharply and look to each other.
  144.  
  145. >”You were right to call to us.” The general says.
  146. “Not to be a wet blanket here, but are we sure this professor’s claim is accurate?”
  147. >Shining nods grimly. “I debriefed her myself to confirm it. She claims that she found a droplet of tar-like sludge inside a barrier atop a golden saucer inside the ruins. When she attempted to prod the sludge with an instrument, it ate it and grew in size.”
  148. >Damn, that sounded right.
  149. “Is she alright?”
  150. >”Imaginably shaken, but the only casualty reported was her instrument. She says the sludge and the general atmosphere of the ruins spooked her so bad that she ran out of there, even got the tomb raiders she was racing against to run.”
  151. >”Smart.” Says the general, rubbing his chin with his metal hoof-cap. “We need to presume there is more there, making this an extreme threat. Have your helmsman get us to the shrine as quick as they can, but to keep us at high altitude. We should observe before setting down.”
  152. >Shining nods. “You’re the expert here, the Delphinus and her crew are at your disposal, for the sake of Equestria.”
  153.  
  154. >The Delphinus ate through sky like a starving pig ate through slop. You stand atop the deck watching the clouds go by and the earth below vanish beneath them.
  155. >Thanks you either your trained ears or the golden fruit the gods have been feeding you, you detect the presence of another from behind, the cocksure click of his hooves and flutter of his wings telling you who came to visit.
  156. >”You know, you could at least stay dead each time you travel back to the afterlife. I’m going broke holding funerals for you every time.”
  157. “Asgard isn’t the afterlife, not really. Just the front door to it. Looking to visit, Flash?”
  158. >Flash Sentry rests his hooves on the railing of the ship and watches with you. “Pass, thanks. I’ve still got stuff on my bucket list.”
  159. “Chief among them?”
  160. “Getting out of this chickenshit posting, for one.”
  161. >You nod your head.
  162. “Aaaahh…I get it, he’s still mad at you.”
  163. >Flash was a friend from a younger generation of royal guard, but a friend all the same. He’d become something of a younger brother or ward of some kind to Sunshine Smiles, of the Night Guard, after the two had been both chosen as the students to one of the Guard’s more…infamous members. The hard work you’d put in as a youth is what allowed Flash to maintain his cocky nature thanks to the stability Equestria was enjoying. You weren’t upset at him for it, he was living proof of all you and your comrades had done to keep the peace throughout the land.
  164. >He was still a brave idiot though, it seemed.
  165. >”It was one date.” He says.”
  166. “She’s his little sister, Flash.”
  167. >”Who is an adult now and also a Princess who can make her own decisions.”
  168. “And before she was either of those, she was his little sister.”
  169. >Flash silently watches the clouds drift by, chewing his teeth.
  170. >”It was one date.”
  171. “Yeah, but I bet you wish it was two.”
  172.  
  173.  
  174. >When viewed from above, the shrine did not look like anything special. A pot shaped stone structure built into the cliff next to a connected watchtower made of the same grey stone with a churning sea some many meters below it.
  175. >It’s only when you step off the lifeboat onto the ashen ground upon which the shrine rests that you really notice how off it is. When your boot digs into the ground and sinks up to your ankle.
  176. “…Guys, this isn’t dirt, it’s-“
  177. >”Dust.” Tyr says, finishing your sentence as he climbs out of the lifeboat as well.
  178. >Shining Armor hops out and turns back to the craft “Flash, take the boat up and circle around until you get my signal. I don’t want to risk our way out of here, but I’d like to leave fast if we have to.”
  179. >Flash Sentry salutes the captain. “Understood sir, maintaining holding pattern.”
  180. >You don’t watch Flash take off, but are glad that any princess related grudges are put away during work. You draw your sword and keep your eyes peeled on the shrine.
  181. “What is it the flyboys say? Those who dare?”
  182. >The general glances around to the earth before the shrine, noting several dozen rounded stones placed halfway into the ground and only a faint pathway up towards it. “Stay behind me.” He says, marching forward.
  183. >You follow the general, staying in the middle of the pack, while Shining brings up the rear. You feel no wind upon your face, and the bits of greenery peeking from the ground barely move as you pass by, the entire cliffside almost frozen like a painting.
  184. >Shining is drawn to the ground. “It’s just…dust, as far as the eye can see…no dirt, no soil, nothing…”
  185. “You both feel the…hush here, right?”
  186. >”No birds, no bugs, no small game…”
  187. “You said Parasprites came through here?”
  188. >”There was a forest…”
  189. “And now…”
  190. >”Now the shrine is exposed and the wind itself fears to travel here.” Tyr says.
  191.  
  192. >The three of you climb the hill to the shrine, watching for any unwelcome surprises but find…nothing waiting for you beyond an open door and clouds of black dust drifting out of its frame.
  193. “Is that-“
  194. >”Ash.”
  195. >The three of you peer into the doorframe and find a sunken portion of the temple, with blackened stairs leading down on either side and weathered pedestals in the back, used for whatever this shrine’s purpose was back when it was still alive.
  196. >Poking your head in through the door gives you an intense feeling of vertigo, like walking through a house that wasn’t yours, the feeling that you did not belong.
  197. >Taking a few more steps inside kicks up more of the ash into the air, but the faint sunlight from the overcast sky at your rear illuminates some of the room through the clouds.
  198. >Namely the massive scorch marks traveling up all sides of the walls and out every window and door of the shrine.
  199. “Did a bomb go off in here?”
  200. >”Whatever it was, it was at the center of the room.”
  201. >”Be on watch for fire giants…”
  202. >You and your party continue down the stairs into the center of the shrine, finding a few branching tunnels that lead into a basement of sorts carved into the mountain.
  203. >Investigating these paths just lead you back to the central room, and each path held the same, just more dust and echoes.
  204. “We’re getting nowhere here.”
  205. >”Both of you.” The general’s voice calls. “Come here now.”
  206.  
  207. >Both Shining and you race up to pathway Tyr stood at the end of and look over his shoulder.
  208. “What is it?”
  209. >”Have you found the slu-“
  210. >Tyr raises his prosthetic hoof to silence you both, and you get a look at what he’s watching so intently.
  211. >Inside a small cove within the wall was a single golden saucer, no bigger than your fist, and in the center of that sauce was a bright orange flame. Peering closely at the source of the fire, you see a flat, bubbling oil of blackest pitch.
  212. “Did…someone get here ahead of us?” you ask.
  213. >Tyr reaches his prosthetic hoof out, slowly, towards the flame as if to touch it, but he’s stopped by Shining Armor.
  214. >”Hold it.”
  215. >The Captain’s horn glows a rosy pink. “There’s an easier way.”
  216. >With a touch of magic, the captain reaches out to the golden plate. There’s a small spark along its surface as a countermeasure is triggered and with that, the flame goes out, leaving the steaming black goo in to sit in the center.
  217. “Is it inert…?”
  218. >”I don’t sense anything from it…” Armor says.
  219. >”And yet we’re being this cautious.” Says Tyr.
  220. >The general reaches out with his own magic and lifts the saucer from its perch…producing an audible click of a pressure switch.
  221. >Your face cringes as you prepare for the spikes to come out of the floor, but all that you hear is the whirring of some mechanism and a small coffin being ejected from the wall beneath the saucer’s perch.
  222. >Inside of the saucer rested a single golden urn, pristine in its craftsmanship and untethered by time, containing its chaotic bubbling mass still.
  223. >A silent pause resonates between the three of you as you contemplate the duress residing inside that urn until the general speaks.
  224. >”Signal the ship. We need to get back.”
  225.  
  226. “Are you sure you just want to LEAVE it in there?”
  227. >You follow behind the general with Shining as he leaves the shrine, marching back towards where the lifeboat landed to call it again.
  228. >Most notably NOT carrying the golden urn with him, having decided to leave it where it lay.
  229. >”What happened the last time someone touched one of those?”
  230. >You think back to the desert, the battle that followed, and the Changeling hive that was obliterated.
  231. “…Point taken.”
  232. >Shining trots next to you. “We’ll call back to Canterlot and arrange for a team to secure the urn in a way that won’t provoke it. The Princesses will know what to do.”
  233. >”Form your team, but leave what comes next to us.” Tyr says. “No-name and I will report to Mother and determine what to do next.”
  234. >Shining eyes the general. You feel a buzzing in your pocket. “Any threat to Equestria needs to be investigated in depth.”
  235. >Tyr continues forward, not turning back as fog rolls in from the cliffsides.
  236. “Uh, guys.”
  237. >”We of course have faith in you, Captain Armor. But these urns have shown to be the realm of Mother before, and our best course of action will come from her.”
  238. >The buzzing grows more intense as the fog gets closer. Shining opens his mouth to say some retort, but you grab him and rush forward, tackling Tyr to the dusty ground.
  239. “DROP!”
  240.  
  241. >The fog rushes over the three of you, bringing with it a great wind that hasn’t visited this place in a long time. The buzzing in your pocket, the Palantir that you always keep on you, won’t stop.
  242. >Shining and Tyr look up with you as the fog gathered like it did whenever you looked into the past, but this time the shapes it made were hazy and incomplete.
  243. >You see a massive seven headed beast thrash about and swing its appendages at another that figure that darts between its legs while another that’s form seemed less complete than any other floats above it.
  244. >Parts of the smaller figures flash and twist as they move among the larger one. There are leaps, spins, and twirls before the seven heads become six.
  245. >Then Five.
  246. >The apparition of the past is knocked against a mountain that no longer exists before being leapt upon by the entity on the ground.
  247. >An ear-splitting roar escapes from the creature’s misty mouth and drives away the fog by force alone, banishing the visions from sight and finally causing the buzzing in your pocket to cease.
  248. >Your two companions watch where the foggy apparitions were with confusion, not believing their eyes.
  249. >”Something…awful happened here.” Shining remarks.
  250. >You can only wonder why it happened. The Palantir would only activate with the gem inside it, right? What triggered this partial vision? You sincerely hope that it wasn’t disturbing that urn, but your fears get the better of you, and so you speak before anyone else.
  251. “Shining, get back to the ship and get back to Canterlot. Tyr, call Heimdall. I don’t think we can wait to go back the way we came.”
  252. >”Aye…”
  253.  
  254. >You and the general march through the golden halls directly towards the throne room. The guard on duty straightens at his approach. “Sir!”
  255. >”Open them, now. I need to speak with her.”
  256. >The guard looks pensive under his helmet. “Sir, I-“
  257. “The general said NOW!”
  258. >The guard straightens again and begins the process of opening the doors, you follow Tyr directly in, but bump into him when he stops just inside.
  259. “What are you doing?”
  260. >”This is not a good time.”
  261. “What the Hel do you mean ‘not a good time’?!”
  262. >Tyr nods towards the throne, you turn your gaze to it and see a familiar sight happening at the worst possible time.
  263. >Loki hanging her head while Queen Sleipnir chews her out for something.
  264. >”You are almost fully grown, Loki. You know what is expected from us.”
  265. >”I’m not exactly ‘one of you’, am I, Mother?”
  266. >”BITE YOUR TONGUE.” The Queen fumes. The air in the throne grows heavy while Sleipnir collects herself slightly. “You know that untrue, Loki. You have been adopted into the royal family, which makes you a PART of it. As a god and a royal of Asgard, you must obtain those who would worship you, you may only do that by doing deeds worthy of worship. Currently you have neither to your name.”
  267. >”I wonder why THAT could be…”
  268. >”Your attitude, mostly.” The Queen states flatly.
  269.  
  270. >Loki stomps her hoof and leans forward. “MY ATTITUDE is because of who and what I am, Mother! The people of Asgard do not trust me like they do you! They would never see fit to worship one who they know isn’t one of them!”
  271. >”Then give them a reason to.”
  272. >Loki makes that hunched over pose you know means she’s about to blow a gasket, but the Queen cuts her off. “Whatever you’re to say Loki, swallow it. Are you not the God of Mischief? Do you not call yourself my daughter? Those who do both of these must do deeds that earn them the worship of the mortals, no exceptions. Even Hermod and Vidar have inspired as such.”
  273. >Alright, this was taking too long. You push past Tyr and walk further into the throne room.
  274. “Highness! I don’t mean to interrupt your talk with your daughter, but the Lord General and I have something urgent to report! If it will put an end to this now, I will volunteer to be the princesses first worshiper here and now!”
  275. >The Queen looks to you and lets out a single, uncharacteristic laugh. “Would you now? I don’t genuinely believe that you know what that entails.”
  276. >You cross your arms.
  277. “I don’t care. This is important, Loki is my friend, and I can do it. End of story.”
  278. >Loki wordlessly gets off her rear and begins walking to the door, taking whatever chance to leave.
  279. “Lady Loki, I-“
  280. >”Shut UP, No-name!” she snaps. “Do not embarrass me further.”
  281. >You receive a downright arctic shoulder from Loki as she trots past, the Queen and her brother watching her go. “Teenagers…so tiresome at times. No-name, Tyr, step forward and tell One-eye what you have found…”
  282.  
  283. >You and Tyr spell out to the Queen exactly what you found. The shrine, the ashes, the urn, the visions, all of it.
  284. >You didn’t exactly explain where the visions came from, but that wasn’t important.
  285. >The Queen’s good eye slightly glazes over as you explain everything, like one does when thinking of a long-held conversation.
  286. >Tyr and you stand next to one another, silently waiting for Sleipnir’s response as she considers the facts.
  287. >”You were both right to leave the urn…touching them has never ended well.”
  288. “So there’s more?”
  289. >”More than I’d like, I was never truly able to get all the Eitr.”
  290. “What IS it, your highness?”
  291. >The Queen’s single eye shifts in its socket and looks you over.
  292. >”…It is the black breath of the Nidhogg, No-name. The poison that spews forth from the darkest depths and poisons the world.”
  293. >”Mother!” Tyr exclaims.
  294. >”Oh clam yourself, Tyr, he’s been beneath the lake.”
  295. >The general lowers his head and chews his teeth.
  296. >”You say that the Guard Captain wishes to take the urn to the Midgardian Princesses?”
  297. >You nod.
  298. “He says he wants any threats to Equestria investigated at length.”
  299. >Sleipnir taps a single hoof in contemplation. “I will trust the Sun and the Moon with this task. They may learn the seriousness of its threat and act accordingly.”
  300. >You and Tyr both nod.
  301. >”However.” The Queen begins. “I want it to be nowhere else. Take it from the world’s grave, return it to Canterlot, and watch over it as they learn of it.”
  302. >The Queen continues.
  303. >”I am entrusting the both of you with this task, as there are none better suited for it. Oversee the transport, delivery, and anything that comes after until the mortals discover a way to eliminate it.”
  304. >You and Tyr raise your hands and hooves to your chest and salute.
  305. “It will be done, your Highness.”
  306. >Your thoughts wander a bit. What did she call the shrine?

Prose Equus 26: Bleeding Gods.

by MAndroid

Prose Equus 25: Windows to the Past.

by Mandroid

Prose Equus 24: Death Sentence.

by Mandroid

Prose Equus 23: Spooky Scary Symbiote.

by Mandroid

Prose Equus 22: Dust and Crypts.

by Mandroid