Gloomy and grey skies.
They’re all that can be seen by anyone or anything whenever they look upwards instead of down.
But the skies are the least of everyone’s worries.
For in this town known as Canterlot, and in this nation known as Equestria, there is misery and slavery in the midst. Ponies. Each consisting of three races: the Pegasus, the Unicorn, and the Earth Pony, are slaves to creatures of mighty strength and size.
Long before any of this happened, Equestria was a happy place full of harmony and friendship, and ruled by four Alicorn princesses: Princess Celestia, the princess of the day; Princess Luna, the princess of the night; Princess Cadence, the princess of love and family; and Princess Twilight Sparkle, the princess of friendship and harmony.
But then...on the day of a special event called “The Friendship Festival”, along comes an evil tyrant from the lands south of Equestria, who goes by one very name: the Storm King.
Lead to the land by a broken-horned unicorn named Tempest Shadow, the king was able to take away all the happiness the ponies had ever known.
The Elements of Harmony: Princess Twilight Sparkle, and her friends, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Rarity, were gone; and so was Twilight’s dragon assistant, Spike. The rest of the alicorns of Equestria were turned to stone by Tempest Shadow, along with a pegasus named Derpy Hooves, who saved the life of Twilight before it could ever hit her.
Now, the ponies are nothing but citizens in despair. Strapped. Muzzled. Caged. Reined. Even whipped here and there. They’re forced to do everything the Storm Creatures wanted.
A couple of earth ponies for instance are forced to give the minions the treatments they often gave their spa customers since they are owners of a spa in a place called Ponyville. Just like right now. The pink one is providing as the foot stool for one of them, while the blue one is giving massages and rubs on his feet. The masseuses couldn’t voice their disapproval because of the muzzles gagging their mouths. The massage is something that hit the spot for the minion to even close his eyes in relaxation, and the best part, the masseuses would just stay quiet.
Suddenly, just before the Storm Creature could even take a nap, there is a sound. The sound of an airship, hovering in the sky. It wasn’t uncommon to the ponies since they heard the sound before, but this one...is enough to jolt the creature’s eyes open, as if something about that ship is grabbing him like a magnet would metal.
Before the blue pony can even do another foot rub for her customer, the Storm Creature holds up his hand and makes her stop. He uses his foot to move the pink pony out from under him like she was an actual foot stool, casting her off to the side.
He runs off, the ponies not following because they don’t want to, and because they are chained at where they are anyway.
The Storm Creature runs through town, passing several tents, buildings, and even enslaved ponies who are either reined or in cages. He also passes some fellow minions who are similarly giving their attention on the airship. He jogs so fast that his bulk is able to knock over a tent in his way, as well as a cart full of apples.
He’s heading for the Town Square. He isn’t the only one either, because he sees a few others beside him who are heading for the same place. One of them is even using a chariot pulled by five enslaved ponies to act as a mode of transportation, the leader being a red pony with dusty orange hair and a green apple for a cutie mark.
Finally, our Storm Creature and his pals reach the Town Square, and line up in a side-by-side formation like soldiers in the military. The one on the chariot hops down to be at foot level with the others, and, like a cowboy would a horse, he slaps the red pony on the flank and makes him and the others high-tail it to wherever the chariot hass been before.
Several other creatures gather beside them and across from them on the other side of the pathway they are standing in front of, all lining up for something in particular that’s coming. It’s something that they have been waiting for besides Tempest’s return with the missing fourth princess.
The airship comes into view. At first glance it very much looks like the others because of the color and shape, but look closely, and you’ll find that the ship is bigger than the rest, and the nose point in front of it is larger, thicker, and could very well make the balloon resemble a dart.
The ship hovers towards a large clearing that is across from a couple of Storm Creatures who are standing at attention with the others. When it is above the clearing, it stops with a strong jerk like a car stopping because of a brake lever.
After just a few seconds, it slowly lowers down to the ground like a compressor slowly pushing down water. As the ship lowers itself downwards, the minions still stood at attention, with only giddy heart stopping and spine tingling anticipation inside of them. Ponies who are nearby, reined with nowhere to go or inside of cages, could not help but direct their eyes and ears to what is happening before them.
The ship lands with a clank, the landing not being enough to change the posture or expression of the minions. It feels to the ponies like the world has come to a stop for some reason because of the airship landing before them, even if they don’t know exactly what it is. They do however feel that there could only be one explanation for what is happening: the king...is here.
Just when the silence seems like it would be eternal, the door to the ship suddenly opens up, misty smoke coming out from the inside of the balloon and from the ground at where the door crashes itself with a clank.
The Storm Creatures bow to the ground, the palms of their hands laying flat on the concrete, their heads and necks downward, and their eyes closed. A few more creatures who obviously commandeered the ship run out and did the same, one of them carrying a really huge staff with a crystal at the end of it.
The ponies meanwhile just stand with their eyes and ears at full attention on the scene before them. Particular attention coming from that of three fillies who are trapped inside of a cage, consisting of a a yellow earth pony with a red mane and pink bow, a white unicorn with a pink mane, and an orange pegasus with a purple mane.
The ears of every creature in the area are suddenly directed by the faint sound of footsteps coming from inside of the ship, the rhythm being of a two-legged being like the minions, lightly walking on the metallic flooring of the ship.
From the clearing mist and atop at the ship’s entrance stands a figure whose brilliant opal eyes are able to stand out from the mist before it can ever dissipate. When it does clear, it reveals a figure who has a light, azureish gray coat. His hands, feet, and face are phthalo bluish gray, and he has two black horns on top of his head, each on separate sides from the crown on his head. His height is taller than any of the other Storm Creatures in his army.
He...is the Storm King.
His hands are behind his back, and he is wearing an emotionless look on his face that no one could see through, except maybe that he’s slightly bored. His eyes are half-closed, like there is nothing around here that really caught his interest.
He walks down from the slope the door made, his footsteps being the only sound at the moment. His feet exit the metal and touch the concrete with a soft step. His half-closed eyes scan the surroundings the ship landed in as he continues to stroll.
As he strolls, a yellow butterfly with red spots on its wings is flying by him, fluttering up and down until at one point...it comes to the height of the Storm King’s head.
With quick reflexes like that of a frogfish, he grabs the butterfly with his left hand, balls it up tightly, and crushes the insect. After it’s crushed, he puts the butterfly in his mouth and eats it, chewing it up without his mouth closed like it was gum. He swallows the insect with one loud gulp.
He puts his left hand behind his back like before.
Taking out his right hand, he gives a loud snap with his fingers. A minion comes out of nowhere holding a tray that had a beverage bottle with a straw in it. The Storm King takes a sip of his drink with the straw. Finishing his drink, he puts it back on the tray, and waves his minion off to make him get back with the others.
He puts his right hand behind his back like he has done with his left hand.
He stops out in the middle of the bowing Storm Creatures. His eyes scan his surroundings again, this time to just take in the life forms that are in the same place as him. He sees his guards bowing of course, but he also sees enslaved ponies that are looking straight at him with astonishment. Especially the three little fillies. That didn’t bother him because he likes it when people get shocked or feared by him.
Deciding he’s growing bored with the silence and the guards just facing themselves to the ground, he does the one thing he thought of in order break the ice...
“Alright. C’mon, guys, no need to be facing the ground and bending your backs anymore.” he orders, motioning his hand upwards as he gave it.
At that very order, the Storm Guards pick themselves up onto their feet. At first, the way they seem to be standing next to one another seems a little out of line to the tyrant’s point of view. But to him, that is nothing a little command couldn’t fix.
“ATTEEEEENTION!” he roars.
The Storm Guards dress their ranks right away and stand at full attention, their arms to their sides, legs close together, and their backs and heads straight. The alignment and straightening satisfies the king, and he fully opens his eyes to no longer keep them half-closed and half-open.
“Okay, then.” he says to his guards, “First off, not a bad looking dump, but still a dump nonetheless. It’s mostly because of the cuteness, really. I mean, seriously, how can a guy like me and guys like you even stand it, huh?”
The Storm Guards make grunting sounds and nod their heads in agreement to his speech.
“But that’s what a conquering is for, right? Overthrowing a simple country full of simple mortals like ponies so that we can spice things up a bit. So...” the Storm King smiles and claps his hands, “Great work on what you did with the place guys, it’s really improved thanks to you.”
The Storm Guards give a salute of thanks to their master, and even though it isn’t shown, they are very happy that the Storm King approves of the sadness and enslavement.
When he stops clapping, the Storm King’s smile disappears and he turns his attention to the minion that is holding the staff. He snaps his fingers, the sound and direction being directed to the minion.
He runs over to his master right away.
The king reaches out his hand as if he wants something to be handed to him. The guard doesn’t need a riddle to know what his king wants, so he hands him the staff he’s holding, his master in turn clutching it to where he has a good hold on it.
The Storm King motions with his free hand to order the minion back in line, which he does not hesitate to follow.
He directs his attention right back to all of his guards like a general would in the military.
“Now then...Can someone direct me to the throne room of the country’s head honchos. It’s nothing personal, but, I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE IT IS!!!” he shouts with aggravation.
Two guards come out of the lines from each side and report right to the Storm King with a salute.
“Perfect,” he says, “The rest of you. DISMISSED!”
The other guards break formation and spread out into town.
The two guards that are in front of their master lead him to where the castle is at, the latter following behind without even so much as a baby step.
As they stroll, the Storm King turns his head to find that the three fillies who have their attention particularly on him are still looking at him. That’s when he decides that they were staring and being tense for too long.
He puts on one of his friendliest of smiles and faces, the intention being to get the fillies to be a little more calm.
When the fillies see his smile, they instantly think of him as friendly. They smile brightly and relax their muscles, shoulders, and stares.
But calming them isn’t the only thing he wants.
His expression changes from friendly to cruel in the blink of an eye, and his smile changes to where he bears his teeth.
He growls and roars at them like a lion scaring away other creatures to assert his dominance.
It scares the fillies and causes them to scream. They run around inside the cage as they do, until...
They unwittingly bump their heads against one another
The Storm King laughs upon seeing the results of his from friendly to frighten plan, and he continues to follow his two guards to the castle.
The three fillies meanwhile hunker and cower, shaking like leaves with their eyes looking in various directions. All the while, they hear the tyrant’s humorous laugh echo from where they are...until it stops.
Their expressions and feelings change from not only being frightened, but a mix of both fright and sadness. The white unicorn’s eyes even start watering to make tears. The first one falls from her right eye like dripping wet paint, and falls off of her cheek and onto the cage floor.
A few minutes later...At the Castle...
For a moment, the hallways that lead to the throne room are still and silent. Not a sound or soul can be found.
The doors leading into the hallway suddenly slam open! Revealing the Storm King and the two minions who lead him to this castle.
The Storm King walks a couple of feet ahead of his minions before turning around to face them.
“Okay. So, the throne room’s just up ahead?” he asks the minions.
The minions grunt and nod their heads ‘yes’ in response to his question.
“Great,” he tells them, “Everything’s cool, so, you can go do whatever you want now.”
With that, the Storm Guards leave their master behind, shutting the doors with another slam before leaving the king completely alone.
He turns himself away from the doors he just came through. When he does, he observes the surroundings that the hallway currently provides for him. He sees that there are apparently some stained-glass windows high on each side of the walls, but he couldn’t get a completely clear view of each of them. So he decides to take a look at them as he is walking.
With one step forward, he makes his way to the doors of the throne room, choosing to take note of the windows as he does. He sees that they are depicting not just the four rulers of Equestria, but that they are also depicting times of this land’s history. The ones that particularly caught his eye are ones depicting six equines battling villains who have obviously been here before he has come along.
‘Hmmmm. Seems like I’m not the only one who tried putting these ponies on a leash.’ he thinks to himself, ‘What a bunch of second-rates, letting a group of hay-breathed quadrupeds make mince meat out of them.’
Finally, he approaches the doors leading to the throne room.
With one strong push of his hand, he moves the doors into opening, revealing the room to be similar to the hallway, but at the same time, very different.
There are not only stained-glass windows depicting the night and day, but there are also two thrones: one is yellow with a sun above it, and one is blue with a moon above it. Behind them both and off to the side are doorways: one door has the sun above it and is at the right of the sun throne, and one door has the moon above it and is at the left of the moon throne.
To boot, the throne room is complete with a fountain on each side of a slope leading up to them.
“Nice,” he commented, “But too much when it comes to decoration if you ask me.”
All of a sudden, just when the Storm King thought of rolling his eyes at the decorations and designs of this place, his focus is drawn with wide eyes upon something that he thinks is the complete stand out to it all.
Three statues of large ponies! And they are each standing in positions that can just about make a square!
They are three of the pony rulers that he sent his lieutenant, Tempest, to petrify and turn to stone with some magic balls that he lent her. And by the looks of it, they are shocked and scared beyond anything else.
“AH HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!” he laughs, “Good job, Tempest. You really know how to get a job done right just for me. Amazing what someone’s desperation and desire can accomplish these days.”
Before he could relish in his victorious glory though, he notices that there is something missing. He is shocked by what he is just now remembering and noticing.
“Wait a sec...aren’t there supposed to be four of you guys?” he asks them, even though they can’t speak.
And that he is right. Tempest told him that in order for his new staff to gain magic, there needs to be four princesses not three! He growls and grits his teeth that one of them is missing.
Before he can angrily ask himself or the princesses where the fourth one is, he suddenly sees something that stops him from doing so. It is a yellow piece of paper that contains a note, and it is attached with some tape to the flank of the tallest statue.
Curious, he walks right over to the petrified alicorn. When he is close enough, he can easily compare the height of it to his own, in that she is half the size of him. He takes the paper off the statue with one simple yank and brings it up to his face level. He silently reads what the note says:
Tempest and I have gone out to catch an escapee princess who managed to slip away from our forces. But don’t worry, we’ll get her back.
Be back soon!
As he read the note, a feeling of anger comes over him, the signs of his emotion showing on his face, and the paper shaking because of his hand. He crumbles up the paper into a messed up paper ball and throws it at the head of the second tallest of the three, the impact giving little effect or damage. It bounces back from the head before falling to the floor.
When it touches the ground, the Storm King feels as if he’ll blow his top because of Tempest’s failure to acquire the fourth alicorn. But then...his eyes widen and a smile forms with sudden realization!
The note is right!
“Why should I be worried?” he asks himself, “Tempest’ll get her back. She’s the strongest and most accomplished member of my army, there’s no way she would fail.”
“The princess will be back here in stone before you can say Ticonderoga,” he says, before turning his attention to the reader and breaking the fourth wall. “If you can say Ticonderoga, that is.”
He turns his attention to the three princesses who are already turned to stone, with a malicious grin of confidence.
“After all, if she could catch you three, how hard could it be to catch one more.” he says to them boastfully.
His comment to them gives him an idea. An idea that he thinks he could very well have fun with, as well as a way to kill the time while he waits for Tempest to return.
He walks right over to the petrified princesses, until he stands at the center of the three, where his staff will be planted to extract the magic from them. And with the start of one word, he makes conversation with them, even though they can’t talk back in the state they are in.
“So, how’s it going? Enjoying your time as ornaments?” he asks them, suddenly bringing out a powerful laugh that echoes throughout the room, “What am I saying? Of course you aren’t. I mean, look at your faces. AHHAHAHAHA!!!”
He calms himself down from the laugh he just had.
“Anyway, I bet you’re all wondering why I decided to invade your little humble abode,” he says to them, “And, I’m pretty sure Tempest must have asked you to give up your magic before turning you all to stone.”
He comes right up beside the statue of Princess Celestia, and, does a little ventriloquist act.
“Yes, she did ask us to do that,” he says, making a girlish voice to make it seem like Celestia is talking to him.
He goes beside the statue of Luna and does the same thing, with the same girlish voice.
“And we are wondering why thou hast come to steal our magic,” his girlish voice for Luna says, “So, why art thou here?”
He goes beside the statue of Cadance.
“You’re very handsome by the way.” his voice for Cadance says.
“Awww, well thank you,” he thanks with a chuckle, before becoming serious, “But flattery will get you nowhere fast.”
He walks over to the center of the three princesses, and holds out his staff.
“Ya see this twig?” he shows each of them, “It’s a little something called the Staff of Sacanas. A gift given to me by my lieutenant, Tempest Shadow.”
He pulls his staff away from the petrified ponies.
“I know what you’re thinking: How could a citizen of this little has-been paradise, betray her own kind to a guy like me?” he asks for them with a chuckle, “Well, let’s just say that it’s interesting what one measly deal, where she promises me magic and I promise her the restoration of her horn, can give the dealers and victims living in this world, huh?”
He faces himself away from the princess, and walks out of the center to where he is only a few feet away from them.
“Anyway, you want to know why I want your magic?” he asks them, “To become the most powerful being in the world, that’s what. Have slaves groveling at my feet, yadda-yadda, all that sort of stuff.”
He laughs to himself upon saying that.
“WRONG!” he yells.
“If you think that’s it, you’re only partly correct. That’s actually what I told Tempest too, but...I sorta stretched the truth a notch to not cause a problem with the deal. In fact, no one knows what I really want in this world. EXCEPT for me.”
“I mean, monarchy isn’t quite my style really, and I’m pretty sure that sort of scheme has been too consistently used. Although, I don’t think I’d mind others groveling at my feet.”
He leans himself onto the statue of Celestia, his hand up against it to support him.
“Being the most powerful being in the world isn’t the only thing I want.”
“You see, I’m not your typical king, really,” he tells them, “Unlike you guys, who lounge about in your chairs all day, and get rich simply through taxes, I’m more of a traveler. I mean, who would want to be sitting around, dealing with things like taxes and diplomacy issues all day?”
“My style of getting rich comes from pillaging and plundering, as well as selling merchandise on the side where all the money goes to me. After all, how can you have an army and servants, get food, and make some really awesome airships if you don’t have any moola to support yourself?”
He takes his hand off the statue and straightens himself up from leaning on it.
“There are three things that I like besides being rich and having willing or unwilling followers,” he tells them, “Being the most powerful creature by far is something I like, but the other two that I absolutely value most of all...”
He looks around the room to be sure no one is in here besides him and the princesses, and leans into Celestia’s stone ear
“...is death...” he whispers, “...and destruction.”
He leans away from Celestia’s ear, and walks around the three princesses.
“What?!” he says in his girlish voice for Celestia, “But...NO! That can’t be!”
“Oh, but it is.” he confirms in his own voice.
“You see, during my conquest for treasure and magic, the two things that I often love doing in my past time are taking away lives like they’re ants in an anthill, and destroying homes like a bear wrecking a beehive. My real goal has always been...” he pauses, “...to be death and destruction itself.”
“But alas, before I met Tempest, I have been forced to begrudgingly have help in my conquest, which causes me to seem weak in my opinion. Once I acquire the magic that all you chicks carry though, I will finally have the power to fulfill my ambitions alone without any help whatsoever.”
He stops beside the statue of Luna, and walks into the center of the three.
“With this staff, and your magic, I will be the end of all ends, killing lives and destroying homes until everything around me is nothing but a barren wasteland. And I will be the beginning of all beginnings, as the creator of a new world and era, reshaping everything however I see fit into my own image,” he says darkly, “Today will just be the beginning of myself and the world’s newest chapter.”
He chuckles upon what he just said.
“Thou will never get away with this, fiend!” his voice for Luna says.
“Oh, but I already have, because here’s the best part...no one will stand in my way.”
He walks out of the center and straight towards the doors to the throne room, choosing to leave the room and go sightseeing around the castle. He opens the right door to where it isn’t all the way open, but he could still fit through nonetheless.
He turns his head back to where he is looking at the princesses, with a smug grin on his face.
“And by the way, when Tempest returns with that missing fellow princess of yours, and your magic goes into my new staff, I plan on putting your entire city under demolition,” he lets them know, “It’s nothing personal, but, everything here is just not to my taste. Even if my guards have been able to add some misery and darkness here and there.”
He faces himself away from the princesses and walks out the door, before sticking a hand from the other side, with his hand flat like it was on a desk.
“Storm King is out,” he says, before bringing his hand up and putting up two fingers, “Peace.”
He takes his arm out of the crack of the doorway, and the door closes behind him. The throne room is once again without any life, save for the three lone petrified alicorns and their confused and horrified faces.
Everything has become quiet again, just like before.
If the princesses are able to move or make a sound because of what they have been told, they’d have cried because of their home being doomed to the monster that spoke to them.
It seems...that all is lost.