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Astral Wings

By: Red Charge


All I know is what the spirits tell \ A story of how a giant was fell

Three mighty warriors brought his demise \ So he slept a thousand years in disguise

He awoke more powerful than ever before \ With just one goal in mind; to settle the score

To enslave Equestria and all else as well \ And turn them to where misery dwells

But hope lies still in these four successors \ Descendants of the warriors shall defeat this oppressor

This is everything the spirits do show\ this prophecy, this tale that I have been bestowed.

The lazy morning sun shun high above Royal Rocks, the brilliant light dying the cliff terraces of the city in a bright golden hue, much akin to what its name implied, royalty. It was no coincidence, that this gleaming bastion was the capitol city of the Griffin Kingdom, and home to many of its noble families.

To a casual observer, the view of the city from afar would be nothing less than magical, each terrace, from lowest to highest designed with care to ensure the sight would be one to behold. Much could be said to compare the Griffins' very highly attuned sense of aesthetics to that of the obsessive compulsive. This, along with their unique architecture, designed only for those with flight, created a style of construction which was truly one of a kind. This impressive vista was made complete with the display of the gigantic Rocs circling it, disposing of any clouds that would block their precious sunlight. The Rocs' golden feathers would glint in the sunlight, creating the impression that they were radiating the sunlight themselves, thus bestowing upon them their epithet of "Sun Birds".

It was on the busy middle terrace that a young griffin female known to her peers as Gilda was idly walking the streets, browsing the great bazaar for anything that would catch her eyes. Claws and talons one after the other brought her through the mess, as she visited her favorite stands. She was hoping to spend as much time as she could outside, before being called to her duties as a Roc inspector. It was an impressive achievement to become a Roc inspector, for only few griffins had the necessary speed and endurance to keep up with the massive birds as they cleared the clouds from the Cliffside.

As the young female was contemplating getting a rather intimidating spiked bracelet, the city crier landed on the center podium of the bazaar, breathing heavily. This attracted the attention of all around Gilda, griffins large and small gathered around nervously, waiting to hear what news lay in store.

The griffin, older only by a bit than Gilda, took a deep breath as he opened a scroll of parchment, and read out:

"Dear citizens of the Griffin Kingdom,

It is with a grave heart that I bring you dire news for the second time in such a short period. As you all must have learned by now, Princess Celestia of our neighboring kingdom of Equestria has gone missing several days ago while on a mission to the outskirts of her kingdom.

Today, I come to inform you that what we most fear may come soon, as the Equestrian village of Ponyville has been attacked and destroyed by an unknown force, its inhabitants taken captive by the assailant, or assailants…"

A loud series of gasps and cries of surprise erupted in the audience, as the truly dire news was heard by all. Gilda herself simply froze, still trying to fit her bracelet on her hand, Ponyville? She had a friend living there, is she alright? What was going on?

"…As of yet, it appears there are no remnants or survivors of the attack, and as of yet, we have not been updated about any lead regarding the nature of the attacker. It is my personal request, as King of the Griffin Kingdom, that every citizen report in an orderly fashion to the nearby constables, and receive directions for the case that this evil, be whatever it will, shall arrive at our doors.

As of this evening, a census will take place, and all Griffin airspace will be closed, so please make all of your arrangements until that time.

With royal blessings,

King Whitefeather."

As the commotion and concerned conversation created a whirlpool of voices around her, Gilda felt the stand owner's talon on her own, taking her hand off of the bracelet. Gilda was surprised to feel a sudden painful sting; it appeared that in her distress, she had squeezed down hard on the bracelet, to the point where it drew blood.

The kindly mature griffin smiled encouragingly at her, "It's alright lass, it was just as disturbing to…" he never managed to finish the sentence, as Gilda , suddenly alarmed threw the bracelet back to the stand, droplets of blood staining the floor around, and took off with speed, her eyes widened, her body trembling.

No remnants or survivors.

This rang out in her head all throughout the flight to her home, on one of the higher terraces, the top most cote-line of the lower nobility. Crashing through the round portal, Gilda quickly began thrashing around her apartment, getting as much equipment and provisions she could into her large camping bag, and slinging it on her back.

Griffin airspace will be closed tonight for all but military personnel; she had to leave now if she hoped to find out what happened to Rainbow Dash.

They hadn't parted on the best of terms the last time they met, but Gilda couldn't bear the thought of the Pegasus being hurt. They were best friends growing up, and no friend she has made since has ever come as close to her as much as Rainbow Dash did.

Thoughts racing through her head, Rainbow Dash has to be alright, that argument last time… it can't have been their goodbye. She couldn't accept it; she was too stubborn for her own good.

Launching into flight from the ledge of her cote, Gilda dived at an angle, passing one terrace after the other, avoiding a narrow collision with several other griffins and a resting Roc before finally getting past the edge of the lowest terrace, and spreading her wings.

"You better be alright Dash, or you'll be the biggest, lamest, loser of all time!" Gilda muttered to herself as she glided beneath the cloud cover, the vast, mountainous landscape of the Griffin kingdom spread out before her.

She was too worried and focused at the moment to admire the beauty of it, the vast mountains and valleys, the waterfalls and lakes, all swept by in a blur. She had to reach Ponyville, and she had to reach it now.

The outskirts of Equestria were a relatively wild place, the prim and proper greenery tended by ponies became an uncultivated mass of rain-forests and swampland, where predatory creatures lurked and hunted.

Closer to the kingdom however, one would find many holes and tunnels leading into the ground and into hills and mountains in a wide area. This was where the Diamond Dog packs dwelled. Torn apart by strife and tribal feuding, each pack kept to their own; in constant territory wars with those around it.

Among those packs, the largest and most infamous was undoubtedly the Silver-Back pack, known to hunt as far as Ponyville, and even with a history of abducting a unicorn to find gems for them. Fortunately, the unicorn, strong of spirit eventually made them release her as her friends came to her rescue, as well as claimed a great bounty of their gems. The Silver-Backs were enraged by the loss of such a great amount of gems, but preferred that solution to a war with the ponies. However, they have not forgotten.

It was from this pack, that the Husky dog Bowie was exiled from. Thrown away with his family heirloom as the only means to protect himself, he was banished from the Diamond Dog tunnels forever. Knowing that without the protection of his pack, staying in Diamond Dog territory would cost him his life, Bowie set out.

He had given much thought to his banishment in the time he strode to the edge of his people's territory. But he soon realized that with his banishment, he had a chance to do much more.

For any pony, it would be highly suspicious to see a diamond dog walking around, much more so one with a sword. His fur was groomed far beyond what his peers allowed themselves, and he did not smell half as bad. His attire, a red vest, was also encrusted with many gems, though in a very unaesthetic manner, but nevertheless, it was uncommon even among the greedy Diamond Dogs to embellish oneself this way.

Dark and bright fur melded along his body, giving him a brilliant white mask, gloves and socks, though in truth his vest was all he wore apart from the scabbard to his sword. A wolf-hound such as himself was usually the most aggressive in a pack, but with him it was hardly the case.

He never enjoyed violence, and preferred instead peaceful conversation and relaxation. Something that he was ridiculed for many times among his fellow dogs, but he stood proud with it, and would not give in to the pressure of his lineage.

Now he only had one goal in mind, he needed to find that unicorn… Ms. Rarity, she called herself. He hadn't had much to go on, but to his dismay, every pony he met was determined to chase him off without giving him a chance to talk. Perhaps she, who has spent some time with them in their tunnels, would be willing to set aside the hate between their races for just enough time for him to explain himself.

He stood on the border to Equestria, pony land, and pondered his situation, when a huge shadow passed him by quickly. It raised a small hurricane in its wake and threw the dog backwards with the blast of air from the flapping of gigantic wings.

By the time Bowie managed to get to his feet, the shadow's owner has disappeared, leaving the dog covered in the dirt that was thrown in the air.

"What in the name of Silverback was that?" The husky asked no one in particular, looking around warily, before finally deciding to cross the border.

Time for a new lifestyle… if he could only get accepted by the ponies…

"I can't see! What's going on?" …

"I'm Teleporting you away Spike! Hang on!"

"No, Twilight! I wanna st…"

The frantic shouts in the dragon's head soon became a rumble of background noises. His vision swam as he woke, he could barely make out the ground from the sky. The yells soon returned; at first Spike was certain they were in his head, until he made out a presence nearby, a female unicorn, shouting incomprehensible phrases at him.

"T… Twilight Sparkle?" The dragon asked blearily, trying to turn on his stomach so he could stand, but getting nauseated.

"Twilight Sparkle? That arrogant foal? Huff, most certainly not! You are in the awesome presence of the great and powerful Trixie!" The voice replied, a bit less confidant than Spike remembered it.

"What… what are you doing back in Ponyville…" He managed, trying to sit up, and barely managing. His vision began to re-focus, and he noticed the debris scattered around him.

"Ponyville? As if I would return to a place filled with such… fillystines!" The unicorn harrumphed, "It was you who popped up here!" She accused, pointing at Spike and then waving her hooves around her, though where "here" was, Spike was unsure.

"I…" He tried to remember and gasped, Ponyville! "It was under attack! Everypony's in grave danger! Twilight, Rarity! We have to get back!"

"I am going absolutely nowhere until someone explains to me what in Equestria is going on here!" The brightly furred mare cried out, gesturing at what Spike could now make out as a broken wagon, much similar to the one he has seen Trixie in before. His head still throbbing painfully, the baby dragon only managed to give the dramatic unicorn a questioning look.

"Here I was, the great and powerful Trixie, allowing a rare moment of respite in my long journey, when some winged… behemoth streaked through the air. So massive it was that a flap of its wings created a gale in its wake, destroying my precious mobile stage!" The mare gave a theatrical gesture towards her broken property. "Fortunately for it, however, it sped away before the great and powerful Trixie could…"

"Shut up! Ugh!" Spike cut across her with a bellow, only increasing his throbbing headache. "Haven't you been listening to anything I said? Ponyville is under attack! We have to go there now!"

The blue mare looked at him with strange puzzle, "Why would I ever want to…" She began, but the dragon would not allow her to finish, time was of the essence.

:"Are you not the great and powerful Trixie? In a time of distress are you not the pony to call for, the most magical unicorn in all of Equestria?"

Spike's cunning seemed to pay off, as Trixie's ego swelled over her rationale. With a hoof to her chest, she admitted whole heartedly, to the young dragon's disgust, "Why yes, of course! The great and powerful Trixie is the unchallenged master of the magical arts, yes… yes, I suppose I could accompany you to… that place." She tapped her chin with her hoof now, muttering to herself.

Her confidence, if at all possible, was greater than before, as she has been practicing her magic full time since the Ursa Minor incident. Confident she could now best that foal Twilight Sparkle... even her name was unimpressive, she would arrive in the nick of time and be named savior of Equestria, yes…

Apparently, Trixie was unaware that her thoughts were being spoken out loud at a rapid, yet coherent pace as she conjured them. The purple scaled dragon could do naught but stare at this display of inner monologue and ponder whether she was at all sane.

However, a much bigger problem came to his attention; he had no idea where they were, nor how far it was to Ponyville from there. He was sure they were not near the outskirts, but he didn't recognize the environment around him either.

"… and then she would bow to me and declare me the most amazing unicorn of all time!" Trixie concluded with a roar of high pitched, deliberate laughter.

Spike let out a loud groan and not from the throbbing pain in his skull either. Of all the ponies in Equestria he had to be stuck with this narcissistic loony…

"After me then, young dragon, let us vanquish this evil!" The sorceress called dramatically, as though watched by an invisible audience, and began trotting in a random direction, leaving Spike behind. As a travelling performer, she was well versed in the many paths going through Equestria, having traveled them all back and forth, and was easily able to get on the right track. Spike could only roll his eyes as she sped off, remaining in his spot, unmoving.

Noticing she was not being followed, the mare backed up to Spike slowly, "This is the part where you follow me." She stated dully to the dragon, as though he was an actor who missed his cue in rehearsal.

"I'm kind'a weak, you know, head exploding, just got teleported in the middle of an attack on my village?" He said; his eyes aglow with embers of annoyance at his new companion.

"Well we must hurry and save your precious village, so I, the great and powerful Trixie can prove once and for all I am the greatest unicorn in the realm!" She urged.

"I can't even walk like this, not to mention running after you." Spike replied matter-of-factly.

Trixie seemed very puzzled, "Then what do you suppose we do? We can't stay here…" A sudden grin on the dragon's face turned her expression into that of slight concern.

Trotting carefully through the path, just a few moments later, the unicorn's head lowered, "Inconceivable, that I, the great and powerful Trixie, greatest sorceress of Equestria, would be ridden as a… a… riding pony!" She complained loudly; Spike resting on her back lazily as she hurried towards Ponyville.

Author's note :

Hey all! I hope you've enjoyed this prologue; hopefully I'll be able to get the story going with little trouble.

You guessed it, THESE are the main cast. And you'll find out a lot of interesting things about them as we go on!

Also, I'm inviting everyone who is interested, to join my My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Roleplaying board: Celestial Divide!

Please hop in and register over at :

We're just starting, but it's going to be brilliant once we start moving it along. So please join!

Chapter 1

Bowie was panting heavily, which was no surprise, since he was running. Well, mostly because he was trying to talk while running. It was a mostly useless action, trying to talk down a trio of raging ponies after being spotted on their farm, the outskirts ponies were definitely no pushovers, they weren't too sanitary either.

"Please! I'm only trying to get through to Ponyville!" He pleaded, jumping over a small rock threatening to trip him, and just narrowly avoiding a swinging farm instrument.

"The hay ye are, y'mutt!" the large stallion, probably father of the two younger pursuers hollered at him, swinging again with his hoe, and missing the agile dog once more.

"You've been chasing me for over an hour, I'm not even on your land anymore. Just leave me alone already you hoofed brutes!"

"He's got a point, pa, we'll miss supper if we keep this up!" One of the younger ponies huffed at the father, and the other agreed fervently. "You don't want ma getting all riled up because your dinner got cold, do you pa? Remember last time?"

At that, the father pony, in lead, screeched to a halt. "That's a fine point there son… last time it took me hours to get that rolling pin out'ta my… you mutt! You got lucky today, but come round my house again and I'll show you a good old fashion relaxation!"

Bowie stopped a fair distance away, struggling to catch his breath, these ponies may not have been too fast, but they sure were persistent. He could hear one of the sons saying still, "I think ya mean a thrashin' pa." And the loud thunk as his father slapped him across the back of the head. "I was being sarcastic y'little pea brain!"

The ex-Diamond Dog needed no further notice to escape the scene, he had hardly noticed, trying to escape as he was, but the wide open landscape of the outskirts of Equestria had long since changed to a closer environment. Small forests enrounded him on all sides, and he was on no path he could make out.

"Man, this is absolutely not my lucky day, is it?" He asked no one in particular, crouching on the ground and examining the immediate area. He needed a river, first, not as much to drink as much as to wash the filth off his well-groomed body.

Examining the plantation around him, he recognized certain water favoring plants, and a wider growth of grass and weeds in a certain direction. In this he was at least fortunate; there was a stream nearby, not a roaring river, but not an idle brook either.

Seeing this as a perfect chance to rest from his exertion, he removed his vest, dipping it in the water, and squeezing the grime out with them, time and again, before leaving it hanging neatly on a nearby tree branch to dry.

Dipping his tall, skinny frame in the shallow water did much to soothe his aching legs, and the cool water he poured on himself quickly washed off the mud and dirt, leaving him once more, with a shiny, healthy coat that he oh so desired; the sensation : Delightful.

Shaking the water out of his fur as he exited the stream, Bowie lay down beneath the tree his vest was resting on, relaxing and drying off in the cool breeze.

"Well, well Warhound, looks like we got exactly the preposterous welcome we wanted." The husky stated sarcastically, drawing his sword and observing himself the reflection on the blade, tidying his hair into a neat side-slide, and puffing up the fur on his chest idly.

"Can't say I'm surprised, huh? I don’t blame them either." The wolfhound admitted, now holding the sword at angles to examine his fur, straightening out every clump out of place.

Sighing, he checked on his vest, still wet, of course. He wished he knew how to properly sew his gems into his vest. At the moment it looked nothing like he originally imagined it, but instead it looked like it was just thrown together randomly. Hardly as wonderful as he envisioned it, oh he just knew someone with the style and elegance of Ms. Rarity would make short work of that! Oh how he longed to finally meet her, a pony who fights with words, not claws, teeth and sword.

Sighing again, he took his wet vest by hand and took it with him. He was wasting daylight, and he hardly thought idling by would bring his encounter with Ms. Rarity any closer.

Getting out of the shade, he continued his journey; this time avoiding the main road. He absolutely abhorred the idea of another incident, if he was forced to start running away after washing up, he'd be most unbearably annoyed.

Fortunately, the journey to the land immediately next to Ponyville was rather unremarkable, until he reached the large orchard of a place he recognized as Sweet Apple Acres, Diamond dogs from his pack knew well not to mess with the ponies residing here. A large, unbelievably healthy stallion called Big Mac, and his sister Applejack. Funnily enough they were hardly intimidated by the stallion as much as his sister. The pack leader Sharp, one of the vilest Diamond Dogs Bowie had the misfortune of knowing, would always say that if he ever found a female with as much spirit as that pony, he would claim her immediately. Ugh.

Oddly enough, however, Bowie could not smell either hide or hair of anyone in the area, only old scents. Following them, he realized that the family must have gone into town for some reason or other. He also caught another, strange scent; he couldn't put his finger on what it was. And then it hit him, literally.

Barely managing to see what happened, the dog realized far too late that he was not alone, as a something collided with his face forcefully, a sack of some sort, filled with gas, knock-out gas; which filled the dog's nostrils almost immediately As he was blacking out, Bowie could barely register the sounds of three sets of hooves on the soft soil. Despite the obvious threat to his person, the only thought going through his head as he blacked out, was that he had to wash up again after such a landing in the dirt.


Gilda landed softly on a cloud, resting her wings for just a moment. Even she could hardly believe she made all the way to Cloudsdale as fast as she did, when she found Dash, she'd have to make her try and break it. Worry etched back into her mind and she shivered slightly. No survivors, why did they have to say survivors? Why not just stop at remnants?

A commotion nearby drew the griffin's attention, a large gathering of Pegasi, some militia and some military, practicing formations. Gilda's talons tore through the bed of cloud beneath her. Equestria was gearing for war? It was simply unfathomable, not since her great grandfather's time were there any wars in Equestria or the Griffin Kingdom. But the image of the determined ponies flying in fighting formations, diving, ascending and charging made it all too real for her.

"This is so not happening." She spoke, as though saying that would make it come true. It didn't, the ponies didn't remove their armor, and didn't go back to their warm homes. Rainbow Dash didn't pop out of the blue and pounced-tickled the griffin into submission. This was happening, this was real, and this was dangerous.  And Gilda had to find out where Rainbow Dash is. She knew the Pegasus would do the same for her no matter what. They were best friends… If only Gilda hadn't been such an idiot!

Refueled now by her worries, Gilda jumped agilely over the edge of her cloud and crashed through several more, letting the cool moisture refresh her, before spreading her wings once more and swooping down on pony territory. She still had much distance to cover before getting to Ponyville, and there wasn't much time.

As she flew she noticed beneath her the march of many ponies, refugees heading to Canterlot and Manehattan no doubt, as Equestria reinforced its frontier regions. They are gearing up for war, but they don’t even know who their enemy is? Who was in charge of all of this?

The griffin swerved to avoid keeping above the road, she didn't want to encounter any military, Gilda had no idea if Equestrian airspace was closed or not, but she didn't want to risk it. Finding Rainbow Dash was her top priority, and setbacks were out of the question.

Deciding to take a detour through Sweet Apple Acres to avoid any military presence that might be in Ponyville, Gilda touched down softly, figuring she'd make the rest of the way on foot through the orchards. This way she could claim she was already in Equestria when she heard the news, just in case she runs into trouble.

She looked around the farm itself, hoping to find that farm pony Dash told her about last time she was in town. Strangely, the farm was abandoned, were the ponies here evacuated?

Entering the farm area, the griffin suddenly had the urge to hurry, but resisted it, crushing the earth beneath her in her talons. Gathering herself, she ventured into the farmhouse, not a hair out of place. How could this be? If they were evacuated they would have taken something with them, wouldn't they?

Hesitantly, the bird and lion hybrid called out, "Hello?" but no answer came, it was very suddenly that the place, in Gilda's mind became a ghost farm, causing her to worry even more about the fate of Ponyville proper.

Hurrying out of the farm area and into the orchard, the griffin relaxed slightly, she couldn't put her beak on it, but something was wrong with an abandoned farm, just wrong.

She quieted her strides as she began to walk through the orchard, she preferred to remain undetected if at all possible, if her flight was restricted, her chances of finding Dash would be that much slimmer.

As she walked her mind wondered to the thought of what could possibly leave an entire village empty of ponies, an army? No, that would be easily spotted. Perhaps a small platoon or maybe it was even a monster? But what monster could do something like that without revealing itself? Gilda quickly abandoned those thoughts, she was tough, the toughest, and despite her reluctance to admit it, these thoughts unnerved her.

Snapped out of her almost meditative pondering by several voices, the griffin climbed up a nearby tree for a better look, peeping through the canopy.

Her eyes painted a strange picture in front of her, three robed ponies: a Pegasus an Earth Pony and a Unicorn, were surrounding a bound… dog? She hasn't been really paying attention when studying geography in school. But she remembered something about dogs… something to do with jewels or something. She tilted her head to view the scene more closely out of her eagle eyes.

"Please, just let me go, I don't know anything!" The dog pleaded.

"Stop lying, you Diamond Dog, walking in here with a sword as though you owned the place!" The earth pony shouted, leaning in so that his face almost touched the … Diamond Dog's.

"How could I have taken an entire village captive? Do you think I carried them on my back one by one?" At that, his leg was stomped harshly by the pony, causing him to emit a small yelp of pain.

"I've just been talking to you so far, but I'll run out of patience soon, and then we'll do more than just talking."

What were these guys doing? This guy was scared wingless! Not … that he had any wings or anything. A wimp like that could never stand up to someone like Rainbow Dash, heck; he wouldn't even be able to stand up to Dash's lame friend, the one who can't talk around other people.

Without noticing, Gilda's grip on her branch had become so powerful, that it snapped, emitting a loud noise and drawing the attention of the three ponies.

Bowie was strung up against a tree, three ponies intimidating him and threatening him with physical punishment! He didn't even know what was going on! How dare they manhandle him this way? They even took his sword!

When he saw the griffin hiding in the tree, he was overjoyed, maybe they will help him! Oh they simply must, mustn't they?

"Griffin! So you did have an accomplice after all!" The earth pony called.

"Accomplice?" The griffin called out indignantly, "What are you talking about?"

"Silence! Seize her!" He called, and the Pegasus almost instantly was upon the griffin, tackling her to the ground.

Bowie scowled, he wasn't going to fight back, but now another innocent is in danger! For once it was fortunate his vest was not made well, for one of the sharp edges of an emerald was sticking out. Quickly rubbing it against the rope binding him as all of this was going on; he managed to free himself quickly, just as the griffin knocked away the Pegasus from her.

"My sword!" He called to the griffin, who was right next to the weapon. She attempted to pick it up, but this time the earth pony was at her, blocking her path. The Pegasus was hovering above them in the air, about to swoop down. Bowie, bent on protecting the innocent griffin, charged up and jumped, grabbing the flying pony's leg and smashing him against the ground, causing him to emit a loud 'oof'.

Gilda, swerving to avoid the charging Earth Pony was about to reach out for the sword, before it was snatched from her by the unicorn's telekinesis. Bowie, not about to give up though, jumped the sword, managing to grab it at the last second, before rolling to his feet and drawing it.

Gilda paused everything she was doing, along with the three assaulting ponies, to stare at the sword. Her lower beak dropped in astonishment as she saw it. It was incredible; completely symmetrical with the metal honed to perfection, no dents, scratches or even chipped parts on the blade, whereas the hilt was a beautiful silver color with a large opal set in the middle of it, accompanied on the cross-guard by two small emeralds, and even smaller rubies going down the rest of the hilt and past the grip of the sword was embedded an amazing, perfectly spherical turquoise, that matched its wielder's eyes almost entrancingly…

The craftsmanship, the symmetry! The sheer impressiveness of the simple act of drawing that unbelievable sword seemed to take all the winds out of the ponies' sails, and was complete when the Diamond Dog used it to cleanly slice through the trunk of one of the thin trees nearby as though it was butter. The trunk hadn't even detached until the wolfhound pushed it at the earth pony's direction.

"Percheron!" The Pegasus called the mesmerized earth pony, who nodded before charging off just in time to avoid the falling timber, and was shortly joined by his robed unicorn companion.

Bowie sheathed his sword, wishing the encounter would not have had to come to violence, and being more than just a bit disgusted by how dirty he was, being dragged on the filthy ground.

"Thank you ever so much," He said finally to the still-in-awe griffin lass, who shook her head violently, "I thought those brutes were going to do away with me for sure!"

"Heh," Gilda scoffed, "Those losers couldn't swat a fly if it was glued to a wall."

The dog extended his hand for a shake, and Gilda took it, squeezing it tightly with her talons.

"B….owie!" he attempted to introduce, wincing with pain, "That's… that's a nice grip you got there!" He said, trying to grin past the pain.

"Hah, you wimp," Gilda exclaimed with surprised glee, releasing his hand and ruffling her chest feathers idly. "So what did those weirdos want from you anyway?"

The husky, glad to have his hand back, checked it for fractures, then straightened his hair once more, and puffed his chest fur before replying, "I have absolutely no idea. I was just walking this unbelievably dirty farmland, and suddenly they knocked me out, I only came to just now, but it must have been hours! I am so … filthy! Ugh!"

"That's a griffin sword." Gilda informed, frowning at his aversion to dirt. She pointed at the scabbard, causing Bowie to cease all of his grooming immediately.

"A what now?" He drew it, his parents were never around to pass him the tale of the sword, he only got it when they passed away, along with the name of whom it belonged to.

To inspect, he drew it out to show his new griffin acquaintance.

Gilda's eyes widened again at the glimmering blade and hilt of the sword, but the eagle-eyed female shook it off quickly, allowing entry to her griffin scrutinizing, eyes zooming in and out on every detail, taking in every little bit of it.

"This is…. awesome, I've never seen someone embed gems like that in metal, but it sure pays off!" She inspected the blade of the sword more carefully and then announced with a triumphant smirk, "Yes, it is a griffin sword!"

She showed him the mark at the base of the blade of the sword, and directed his attention at her right eye where the same symbol was in lavender against her white feathers.

"Why would a Diamond Dog have a griffin forged sword?" She asked, only to be met with a sheepish shrug by the husky.

"I honestly don't know." He said, re-admiring his heirloom, now seeming much more appealing than before.

He suddenly looked concerned, and turned back to the griffin, "Hey." He said. Gilda raised her eyebrow at him, "Is it true what they said? About… Ponyville?"

The female griffin looked at the ground and grabbed a handful of dirt in her talon, "I only know they said it was under attack… and no one's left." She lifted her talons up, clapping them up and down against one another to shake off the dirt.

Bowie raised a hand to his mouth in surprise, but then frowned, sheathing his sword and heading determinedly towards Ponyville.

"Where're you going?" Gilda asked, alarmed at his sudden behavior.

"Ponyville… I … have a friend there." He lied, causing Gilda to raise her eyebrow once more.

"Hang on…!" The griffin called after, "I have a friend there too!"

"Well, what're you standing around here for?" The dog asked, hurrying off, leaving Gilda with her beak open. The same sissy, who was just a moment ago, crying about being dirty, was now leading her on? Unacceptable. She took off after him, determined to show him her stuff.


Trixie laughed uncomfortably, "Uh… you said… the place was attacked…" She stated, lowering her head to level with that of Spike's, a sly grin on her face, "This village looks just… fine to me."

Spike stood flabbergasted, how could it be? "I saw the fire! It was everywhere!" He called out, but now in front of him, laid out the village of Ponyville, not a rock out of place. The only thing that at all implied anything was wrong was the obvious lack of ponies, the occasional open door, swinging in the wind, and the otherwise eerie silence of the area.

Trixie scoffed, "And to think I, the great and powerful Trixie was called for… this? Huff, this is not even close to an emergency of my caliber." She raised her head, puffed out her chest and closed her eyes in prideful indignity.

Spike however, was not interested in her self-importance at the moment, he ran into the village, "Twilight! Applejack!" He called, his yell echoing throughout the village, causing him to notice just how creepy this stillness was, no birds chirping, no animals, nothing.

Trixie, though still indignant, also seemed to notice this, and paced slowly inside the village, unsure of the well being of the ponies. "Ponyvillians! The Great and Powerful Trixie is here! Will you not come greet me?" She called out regally, but also with no reply, she looked at Spike ahead of her, giving him a nervous grin, "They… must be out on a picnic! That's right, that's why they are not worshipping my glory!" A bit too much, almost overacting, but then again, she suddenly was nervous.

Spike, after exchanging a look with his unicorn companion sprinted towards the Library, Twilight had to be there. She just had to.

"Twighlight!" Applejack called out, "Twilight, what in Equestria are we s'pposed t'do!"

"Applejack, go get everypony out of here! Try and find Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy!" Twilight instructed, retreating back into the library, "I'll be out in a moment!"

"Twilight, what's going on out there?" Spike descended the stairs quickly, when a sudden blast of fire tore through the wall, knocking him down to the first level.


"I can't see! What's going on?" the dragon screamed, afraid now.

"Twilight y'gotta get him outta here!" Applejack implored urgently.

"Applejack? But…"

"The roads are all blocked!" There was a short silence, where only the crackling of the flames could be heard, cackling, as though mocking the dragon's inability, before Twilight finally said.

"I'm Teleporting you away Spike! Hang on!"

"No, Twilight! I wanna st…"

But no, the library was completely intact; everything was in place, all apart for the hole in the wall left by the blast, "Aha!" The dragon said, "Here, here the fire hit the library!" He pointed out to his sorceress escort, who squinted at it skeptically.

"Even a foal can see it's not even slightly singed, looks like it got hit by something solid, a rock maybe…" She was about to argue when Spike, this time impatient, spoke out again.

"Well, it looks like the great and powerful Trixie knows next to nothing about magical fire!"

"What? I… of course I know all about magical fire!" She said nervously, "I am the great and powerful Trixie, am I not?"

"Well then, you would know that magical fire can exist without burning objects!" He said, he hadn't had time to explain it to her, he hardly understood it himself when Twilight explained it to him.

"Pfft, of course, but what evidence is there that magical fire was anywhere near this place?" The unicorn asked skeptically, pointing a hoof at the obvious lack of ashes in the library, "It doesn't even smell like smoke."

"Because…" Spike thought, "I'm a dragon, I can… uh… sense it, don't you know?" he grinned innocently.

Trixie leaned down towards the baby dragon, eyes squinting, "Is, that, so?" She asked, her voice deadpan, an annoyed expression on her face.

"Uh, yes, of course it is. That's dragons, magical beings you know…" Spike said with a nervous chuckle, cowering under the gaze directed at him.

"Hey!" Spike called, pointing upwards, "Look, it's, is that? Yeah, it's Princess Celestia's Royal Guard!"

Trixie looked up, at the most striking sight of six, golden armored Pegasi descending rapidly towards them. "They must have seen the fire and the commotion." He exclaimed, smirking at Trixie, to realize she wasn't even there.

Speeding off in the other direction, the unicorn panted, though she had no reason to fear the Royal Guard, she was not prepared for a meeting with them. The Great and Powerful Trixie would not be caught dead without a trick up her sleeve. Unfortunately at the moment, still uninformed of what exactly happened to Ponyville, she was stumped as to what she would do in such an encounter, and chose the favorable alternative. Disappearing.

Stopping in the nearby woods, she trembled at what an awful display she must have been to the dragon, oh well, at least she's gotten rid of him.

"Hey! Why did you run?" Spike asked, panting behind her, "You know…" He huffed, "I'm in no condition to run."

Trixie shook her head, a hoof covering her eyes, something told her this will not be over soon.