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Prose Equus 24: Death Sentence.

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 02:16:59 PM
AIE Safe Anon OC Adventure Action Drama

  1. -Prose Equus 24-
  2.  
  3. >A knock at the Ponyville Princess Castle-slash-library brings the local Princess to the door.
  4. >”Anon!” Twilight says. “What brings you down here?”
  5. >You kneel down and reciprocate the hug you get.
  6. “Hey Twilight, I came on a little fact-finding mission.”
  7. >Twilight blinks “Does Asgard need something we have?”
  8. “This is more a personal job, Twilight.”
  9. >”Oh. Well, come on in! Let’s see if we have what you’re looking for.
  10. >Twilight ushers you inside and through the halls of her swanky castle.
  11. >”What can I interest you in? Ancient Mythozoology? Studies of swordsmanship in Neighpon? A refresher on Spontaneous Song and Dance classes?”
  12. “Twi, if I literally ever have to live through another SSaD class, I may just die again.”
  13. >”Oh they weren’t that bad.”
  14. “An entire lecture on Jazzhoofs is ‘that bad’.”
  15. >Twilight leads you into the library-slash observatory. All rooms in this castle were -slash library it seemed.
  16. “I’m here because I came to the realization that I’m smack dab in the middle of a mythology that I only have a rudimentary understanding of, I was hoping you could help me out.”
  17. >Twilight does that thing where she smiles super wide and claps her hooves together like a schoolgirl.
  18. >”Eeeeee! You’re JUST in luck! I was interested in our new counterparts myself so I requested the best resource I could find on them, an encyclopedia of their ancient poetry all the way from Gryphus!”
  19. “That’s a long way, I’m surprised the Griffons even have the book.”
  20. >”Scholars believe that the area the Griffon Kingdoms make up was once the land that the Aesir came down to Equestria at. With recent events, they’ve grown even more interested in preserving that history! Come on, it’s over here!”
  21.  
  22. >Twilight leads you to a quiet corner of the bookshelves and pulls an old leather-bound book from the wall. She blows the dust off it and hands it over to you.
  23. >Hmm. Prose…Something-or-Other, the title was faded. IT was probably pretentious and stupid; all these titles of myths were.
  24. “Thank you Twilight.”
  25. >”Anything for a friend!” she smiles. “And doubly anything for the pursuit of knowledge. I’d read with you, but I have some spirit summoning notes to go over with Spike.”
  26. “It never ends, does it?”
  27. >”If they keep coming, I have to keep bottling them. I’ll just be in the other room.”
  28. >Twilight heads out and waves back to you. “Leave it out if you like what you read! I’ll look it over once you’re done!”
  29. >You wave to her and set the book down on the table, opening it. The parchment inside is old and the text seemingly done by an even older penmanship.
  30. >You think back to your grammar classes to get you through this.
  31. “Alright then, let’s see what we have here…”
  32.  
  33. >Before there was anything, any earth or sky or life, there were three.
  34. >The fire-swept land of Muspelhim, homeland of the primordial fire.
  35. >Niflheim, the land of frozen mists and ice.
  36. >And Ginnungagap, the gaping abyss betwixt the two.
  37. >The primordial darkness, the perfected chaos of Ginnigagap, lay equidistant from both the lands of ice and fire, and as heat and rhyme kept in from these elemental bastions did form the first life.
  38. >Ymir, the oldest and most powerful of the giants and ancestor to all that would later be, formed of the ice droplets from Nifilheim melted by the heat of Muspleheim. The violence of Ymir’s birth was only rivaled by his own, and the ancient world suffered greatly in his shadow.
  39. >When Ymir slept, the other subsects of giant, hill, frost, and fire were birthed from his body: leaping forth from his legs or his back or the sweat of his glands.
  40. >As the primordial ice and fire continued to meet in Ginnungagap, more beings emerged from the frost. Audumla, the Eternal Cow, the First Tribes, and eventually Buri, the first of the Aesir.
  41. >Buri, and his son Bor, intermingled with the giants and together birthed a new type of being into the primordial Equestria: Half-god, half-giant, the eight-legged god who took the name Othinus.
  42.  
  43. >As more sprang from the Ginnugagap and Mimir’s violence continued, Othinus decreed that it would continue no longer. She struck down and murdered the giant Ymir, and from his body, formed the realm of Midgar. His blood became the oceans, and his flesh became the fields. His hair became the plants and his skull was made into the sky.
  44. >When the first murder was complete, Othinus took the throne of Asgard and declared herself Sleipnir: All Mother.
  45. >With the newly formed and fertilized Midgard, life began to grow and flourish into the world known today. All-Mother Sleipnir took to the sky, to her fortress of Asgard in the shadow of Yggdrassil and had many children who blah blah blah blah.
  46. >The tale spills off into many personal tales and accounts after that, tales of the All-Mother sacrificing her eye for knowledge and of Mjolna cross dressing to get a hammer back. You flip through the pages to get to where the notes start to coalesce again.
  47.  
  48. >The end of the tales was marked by one word in deep, heavy writing: Ragnarok. You’d heard that word spoken before, the first time when you and Loki were in the caves of the Druids in the Griffon Kingdoms.
  49. >It was decreed by the Norns, eternal weavers of fate, that one day all would end.
  50. >A finbulvinter shall arrive, a winter to end all winters that seemingly comes from all directions and with such intensity that even the sun’s warmth fails. This winter will be as long as 3 normal winters, with not a single summer between for harvest. Mortal law will fall away as they become desperate for food and all of the Nine Realms will be consumed by a sheer struggle to survive. It will be an age of swords and axes; brother will slay brother, father will slay son, and son will slay father.
  51. >The wolves, Skoll and Hati, brood of Fenrir, will catch and devour the sun and the moon, blanketing all realms in the darkness that sat in the Ginnugagap as the starts go out in the sky, leaving naught but a black void in heaven. Yggdrassil will tremble under this weight and all trees will fall. Monsters will break free their bindings and prisons, from the Dread Wolf Fenrir to the cataclysmic Jormundgandr, flooding all the world.
  52. >From a boat made of hoof clippings of the dead will ride an army of giants lead by…
  53. >You blink and read over the passage again, trying to take it in and make sense of it.
  54. >Lead by the Aesir Loki, betrayer of her kind.
  55.  
  56. >Even as you go over the passage again, you read on:
  57. >As Fenrir devours all land and Jormundgandr burns the sky with poison, and all a pretense to when the fire giants arrive.
  58. >Cracking the dome of the sky, lead by Surtr, most powerful fire giant of all, the legions of Muspelheim will march across the Bifrost to make war with Asgard as Heimdall blows deep the Gjallarhorn, announcing that the end of all things has come.
  59. >The passages you read next church your stomach: Describing the grisly fates of all your friends as they fight against this horde of monsters, giants, and the ravenous dead.
  60. >More grisly deaths dot the pages until, finally, the black beast Nidhoggr arrives at the battle and bathes all in his poison, sinking the world and returning it back to the chaos of the Ginugagapp.
  61. >Every muscle in you screams at this book. You flip back to the start, hoping you missed something that can tell you why this happens. What begins all this death? What starts the Filmbulvinters?
  62. >You reach where you read and notice something near the stitching, the smallest fragment of a torn page.
  63. >You swear silently, angry someone had taken this knowledge from you, and lean in closer. If you were lucky…
  64. >Yes! There! The indentation of the quill had let some of the ink seep through the parchment to the page in the back. You can see through the paper if you hold it to the light and, if you squint, just make out the first word on it.
  65. >B-A-L-D-U-R
  66. >Your eyes open and you feel all the fire in you snuff out.
  67. “No…”
  68. >Now even he was involved in it all.
  69. >As the fire inside smoldered, it was replaced by a pained churning of your stomach. You needed answers to these most unsettling passages, and you weren’t going to get them here.
  70. “Thanks for the read Twi! Good book! I have to go!”
  71.  
  72. >Back in Asgard, you find the Queen alone in a small garden overlooking the waterfalls of the palace, watching her two birds flit in the air. It took downright threats to get the guard to tell you where she was, threats you’d have to pay for later.
  73. “ALL-MOTHER!” you call.
  74. >The Queen doesn’t even turn her head to see you, simply turning her good eye to finally notice you. “…That look, I’ve seen it before…in the reflections of the Well so long ago in my own face…”
  75. >The Queen whistles for her birds to land as you march up to her, but she speaks again before you can. “You know now.”
  76. “The prophecy…Ragnarok, I—a book down below.”
  77. >Everything you read comes spilling out of you; from the ordering of the world to Loki betraying the other Aesir to the mystery about Baldur’s name in the parchment. The Queen responds to none of it until you finish, looking out to the sky beyond the city with a forlorn look in her one eye. “It was not like that…” she began. “Even then…when Mimir fell…I remember the sky. It was dark…and it was raining when we-“
  78. >The Queen remembers when she is and recollects herself in a moment, looking back to you.
  79. >”You needed not go down to Midgard to know of the tale of Ragnarok, No-name. All in Asgard know it well.” The Queen looks over the city below.
  80. “And they all just DEAL WITH IT??”
  81. >”Not all of us.” She says.
  82.  
  83. >Being here now, seeing the Queen address this literal apocalypse like it was the business of the day it…did something to you. Here in Asgard you were rejuvenated, but now you feel your age in your knees and buckle to the ground, hanging your head.
  84. “How…can anything be done…against all that is told to come? How can anything be done? What’s the point?”
  85. >You feel the despair rising up in you higher, along with it comes panic and fear. You’re about to grab the Queen, shake her as hard as you can, and beg that she let you die again if this universal failure is all that awaits your second chance at life, but she smacks you with her hoof first.
  86. >”No-name. Calm yourself…take a deep breath.”
  87. >The Queen’s hoof reaches out and touches your chest, bringing a feeling of lightness and vertigo that draws what feels like all the breath in all the world into your lungs, so much that you cough and sputter.
  88. >The Queen kneels down and sits on her haunches, able to look you in the eye. ”You know now what you have always known, No-name…that someday, you will die. You knew it when you were among the mortals, did you not?”
  89. “I did…I did…but this…”
  90. >”This…is more.” The Queen completes for you. “Aye…”
  91.  
  92.  
  93. “What…can be done? Can anything?”
  94. >The Queen is silent for a bit, looking out over the sun-kissed lands of Asgard decidedly NOT on fire from giants. “It is only a prophecy, No-name…not all of them can be correct. The morals prophesize the weather each day and how often are they ri-“
  95. “I was in the well with you, I saw those three in the hut. They came up in the book…these Norns. If Ragnarok is decreed by those three, I wouldn’t feel like it was something I could ignore…”
  96. >The Queen narrows her eye. “Indeed…”
  97. “Then please, Queen. What can be done? More than just for Equestria and Midgard, more than just because I must protect them, how can we save Asgard? How can we save EVERYTHING?”
  98. >”Tell me, No-name. Do you believe we CAN? Do you believe it is even possible to avert Ragnarok?”
  99. >The question pierces through your ears and makes your stomach clench up again. You remember what you read, the certainty of all that was written, and the deaths that these gods are supposed to endure while you wonder what part you could even play.
  100. >Then, you remember further back, back to the words Captain Gaeus said when you were still green and needed to fight off Diamond Dogs.
  101. “I know I’d rather die finding out if I can than not.”
  102. >”Mm…” The Queen rises to her hooves again. “With what you have read and what you have seen beneath the well, you now know more than many…but not the entire picture.”
  103.  
  104. >Clearly referring to herself.
  105. “Can you tell me?”
  106. >”If I do, then I cannot believe what I must. Can you, No-name?” Sleipnir turns to you again. “Fear denies faith, No-name. Can your faith lie in believing that there is a way out of this trap?”
  107. >You feel your stomach tighten again as you stare into the Queen’s eye but…find the sensation lessened as you look into it. As the tightness abates and is replaced with a calm pool at the center of your spirit.
  108. “I…believe that whatever you had done in the past, that you would not wish Ragnarok on the world, All-Mother.”
  109. >You put your fist to your chest.
  110. “I believe you…and offer myself to whatever you may attempt.”
  111. >”Return to your room, rest, recover your spirit. Spend the evening with Baldur or Loki or Mjolna, but do not allow this No-name who glazes at the floor to remain in my palace by sunrise.” You nod and raise your head. “And…speak not of Ragnarok to my children…They all know the parts they play in that fable more than any other, do not spread your anxiety to them.”
  112. >You think to the passage about Loki betraying everyone.
  113. “But Queen-“
  114. >”I NEED YOU…to remain silent on this, No-name.”
  115. >You feel your resolve swell and harden to steel, something about your disposition just made you respond to being given orders.
  116. “Yes, highness.”
  117. >Sleipnir chews over something and turns back to you. “Your curiosity has put you at risk of falling to this fear of Armageddon, and so I will abate that fear…somewhat. Gather your friends and your amulet you pretend I cannot see, I have someplace I desire to send you in the coming days.”
  118. ”Uh…where, your grace?”
  119. >She rolls her eye. “You have the Palantir, do you not? Obviously, I intend to send you through time.”
  120. >You regret asking.

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