Pencil Doodle®

Equestria's Darkest Corners

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((Sorry for making things confusing >.< i had just guessed in my head that when i wrote the post before me waking up "the next day", it was nearing night anyways... So i just wrote my character to sleep and decided it would make most sense that my next post deal with him waking up... didn't mean to bend the time space continuum :P))

IC: "Uhmm, symptoms? I'm sorry I don't follow. Am I sick?" Ruby sighed, "And why does everypony insist on poking and prodding me? I'm just scared now, especially since I have absolutely no clue what's going on anyways..." Ruby was starting to feel as if the world were falling apart around him. The voice simply added to this. Hopefully someone I've talked to in the past few days knows anything at all about what is going on. I really don't want this to become my "normal" world.

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((Its just the fact that no one else bothered to mention the time change threw me off...))

As the sun rose, Jack felt the changing energies in the earth, as its rays brought life back to the world. He stretched with a loud groan, before crawling out of the barrow. The air was still cool and the morning fog had not yet burned off of the lake, which lead him to a most cheeky plan! Being doubly sure that none of the town's folk were about already, Jack strode atop the foggy clouds that still hung about the lake. Even without his horn and wings, he still had his magic - as he had proven the night before - it was just that now it was much harder to control. Well, most of the time... Fog always harder to walk upon, but having several dozen centuries of practice meant that he had long since mastered the art. Looking down at the lake, it was not the running water that he was used to for bathing, but it looked clean enough. With a nod of resolve, he released the magic flowing to his hooves, executing a masterful backflip with an overly loud, "Woot!"before splashing into the lake from nearly fifty feet up!

It was nearly a minute before he resurfaced, a large bass in his mouth, grinning as though he had just been reborn! He had to admit that it was exhilarating to take a swim in a lake once more, he had all but given up on it when... He sighed, wishing that particular memory had not just decided to return and spoil this beautiful morning. Thus is the curse of immortality. To outlive all things of mortal design. However, the sight of a green stallion in the sky did manage to pick him up, if only a little...

((Krauser, if you would? You mentioned IC that you were going to market? Jack has not spoken with one of his kind in more than a millennium, unless you count his 'sisters', and that's complicated at best!))

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((Not a problem! :) ))

Krauser finished the hut much quicker than expected... Hell, it took him about half an hour. He expected one and a half. The early finish was great, so he went to the market while Pencil and Ruby kept talking

As he was trotting along he saw Jack, but thankfully he was diving into a lake... 'Wait, how did he get in the air'?! Krauser thought to himself, so he hid in a bush, using his green fur to camouflage himself into the flora. He waited in hopes Jack would do something spectacular without his horn or wings. He was truly baffled that Jack had managed to get all the way up there, and hoped he could discover his secrets.

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Jack watched Krauser keep flying, and he shrugged in the water. He must be looking for breakfast. Jack surmised. Tossing the first fish onto the shore, he plunged his head back under the water seeking to catch another fish. Why? He had no rightly idea, it just seemed wise to him at the moment... Before too long, he had caught another bass. Now that he had his fish and was thoroughly refreshed, he decided that it was time for him to get out of the lake. However, rather than merely swim to the shore, he rose from the water as if lifted by unseen wings, to stand on its surface. He glanced down to his forelegs and as if on command, the water in his coat and mane evaporated! Looking to the shore, he merely walked atop the water as if it were cobblestone!!!

There was plenty of dry drift-wood upon the shore that he managed to get a decently sized pile, before drawing a pair of circles around it. For this spell, all that was required was his hooves upon the circle and two words that Krauser could just barely catch...

"Lignum ignire" He said in the ancient tongue with a forceful tone.

He swiftly went about preparing the fish, with skilled movements that took mere moments. It was doubtful if any living pony could've matched his speed! That is, without slicing themselves open in the process. Finally, as they began to cook, Jack glanced up, past the fire, directly towards his bush.

"Your first lesson 'tis, a mere bush may hide your visage, but not your presence, Krauser." Jack grinned knowingly, "Come on out, I have nothing to hide from you. Nor you I."

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Krauser stared on making a face sorta like, '(O<>O)' When he saw Jack rise out of the water and perform his magic. he heard the phrase 'Lignum ignire' He was too tired to decipher it. He watched Jack cook until "Your first lesson 'tis, a mere bush may hide your visage, but not your presence, Krauser." His grin was visible from here... 'How did he see me?!' "Come on out, I have nothing to hide from you. Nor you I." Jack said it calmly, as if his slight outbreak last night hadn't even happened.

"I... last night you were somewhat... angry with me." Krauser said quietly, trailing off with the last few words. "Forgive me if I struggle with not being slightly timid." He looked down slightly and trotted forward. "Well, I think you agree we need to talk, after the fish are done cooking may we descend into your makeshift hole?" He asked regaining his sense of urgency. "If not I suppose we could converse out here, but the way you said it made it seem more appropriate to do so in private." He said trying to sound as formal as possible.

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"No Krauser, it is I who must ask forgiveness. I had no reason to act as I did last eve. Please, dine with me." Jack motioned next to him, before adding, "That is if you don't mind fish. I adopted a taste for them while within the Griffin Kingdom."

Jack decided to see where the conversation would go and continue from there. For now, he was simply content to have another alicorn to converse with. It had been more than a long-count since his last, not counting his brief conversations betwixt his sisters...

"From what I gathered, you are younger than a long-count? I hope you take no offense in my asking, but just how old are you?" Jack looked at him with a kind smile and a curious gaze.

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"Please dine with me." Jack motioned for Krauser to sit by him, so he did. "I'm glad to see you feeling better about last night." He smiled and used magic to hold the fish in front of him. Nopony knew, but he was a carnivore. He gladly tore a bit off and ate it. After he had eaten a decent amount he kept it in the air, and proceeded to talk.

"To be honest... I don't know how old I really am! I remember at least 15 years of life, but I'm not sure if any of my life was a blank. I never knew my parents either..." At the mention of his parents he shed a tear and looked away, hoping not to embarrass himself. "Forgive me, but I've searched for them for a long time. I also have no cutie mark, and maybe never will..."

He tried his best to force a smile but simply couldn't. He was thinking all the saddest thoughts he had thought throughout life. After he had remembered he was being stared at by another alicorn he shook it off and used a leaf to wipe his face. "Forgive me if I seem emotional, I just had a traumatic childhood and thinking about it makes me feel... It makes me feel really sad or lack of a better word." He still tried to remain formal, but he was failing and eventually gave up.

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Jack was glad that Krauser joined him. Though he was envious of his abilities to control his magic, he was long past being bitter about the loss of his horn. Clearly, he had overcome it. Though he was somewhat surprised how readily he devoured the fish, the first time Jack had tasted one, his stomachs rebelled against it, making him somewhat ill...

"Oh, goodness, you're barely more than a Colt!" Jack exclaimed, that meant that there must be living alicorns somewhere out there! Then he saw the lad's tears and felt a pang of sympathy in his heart. At that, the far elder stallion nuzzled the lad, hoping to bring him out of his state. His smile was genuinely soft and caring, Jack shifted a bit and glanced back at his flank, leading Krauser's eyes with his. Despite his age, his too was blank, "Its not so bad. Some talents just are, you don't need a mark to know when you've found yours..."

Jack did his best to soothe the young alicorn, before speaking again. "I too was an orphan, or something similar." He breathed deeply, "Last night, when I said I was 'the last of the old gods' I spoke truthfully. I am nearing two long-counts in age. I was raised by Starswirl the Bearded, shortly after the settling of Equestria."

This fact he kept hidden from all others, out of fear of their reactions, however, to a fellow alicorn he had no such inhibitions...

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Krauser's eyes nearly popped out of his skull when he learned of who had raised Jack. "Starswirl the Bearded??" He almost yelled. "I may not know much... But I know how famous he is. It must have been incredible." He said, his voice softer than normal. The other alicorn nuzzling him and doing his best to make him feel better had been unexpected, but made him happy nonetheless.

"I suppose, now that you're much calmer, you're happy about having another alicorn to talk to?" He asked, hoping not to offend. He kept taking the occasional bite of fish, but wasn't as hungry as before. "I know I am. The princesses, while nice, just aren't like genuine friends... or by some extent, family." The colt smiled warmly at his elder. He wasn't one to be sentimental, but he felt like hugging Jack.

"I know this could have been mentioned earlier, but you look VERY young for your age. now, onto a more serious matter. What in the name of... Anything is going on here?! Even if I've never been here, things seem too strange. It confuses and worries me deeply."

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Jack nodded. "He was a unicorn wise beyond his considerable years..." He said trying his best to forget his untimely end...

He chuckled in response to Krauser's remark about the princesses. "I'm not entirely surprised, my sisters are not the easiest bunch to get along with." Jack shrugged dismissively, "Luna's imprisonment on the moon took a toll on her and it will be some time before she returns to her former self. However, Celestia, you'd do well, not to bother with her. Suffice it to say that I have little nice to say about her..."

"I look young for my age? Just how many elder alicorns do you know?" Jack laughed, before realizing that Krauser was trying to be serious, "Sorry, its an old habit." He explained, before nodding, "I wish I knew, whatever it is is powerful enough to draw me from the Western Mountains of Everfree, to search for it. Part of me worries that Pencil might be right? What if I did bring back one of the elder gods all those centuries ago? In the time before they ruled the lands beyond in an iron grip and all ponies got for it was chaos. War and pain and death..."

*Grammar fail

Edited by Jack

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He nodded at the revelation of how Equestria used to be. "Amazing, and not the good kind... It's just so hard to believe there was a large amount of strife and chaos in the land before the rule of your apparently much beloved sister Celestia." He hoped Jack would catch the sarcasm in his voice... "We need to stop him if he is back, otherwise... things could go to hell and back." He looked down in thought, but realized this; we should be happy at the moment, so he decided to try and make Jack be happy

"While I am worried worried for Equestria, I feel we should try to be happy at the moment." He smiled and thought about bring Pencil and Ruby over into the conversation. He had already gotten Pencil to break his stern outer shell, maybe he could again. "I think we should try to see if Pencil and Ruby would like to have some time to hang out with us, if you wouldn't mind?" He asked wondering what if something might make him say no.

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Jack only barely caught himself from both scowling and revealing undue facts about Equestria's past that were no longer relevant. The fact was he wanted to correct the fact that only Celestia had ruled Equestria in harmony, seeing that Jack had for several centuries, but at the same time, he really didn't want to reveal what happened surrounding the arrival of Discord... Sighing to keep himself from saying anything that he would regret, he nodded in agreement.

"Agreed, even one of the ancient-ones could plunge Equestria into a dark-age."

"It will be hard to be happy while the premise of our destruction looms nigh..." Jack shrugged, "However, I am worried about Ruby. There is something odd about that one, something resides in his mind that should not..." He nodded decisively, "Yes, let us find them." He took a step, but promptly stopped, "Please, do me a favor and do not tell the others of what we've spoken. If they need to know, I will tell them in due time."

At that Jack started heading towards the forest, in the general direction that Krauser had come from. However, the younger alicorn would have to show him the way...

Edited by Jack

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((We epic spammed XD))

"Whoa!" Krauser yelped. "Wait up Jack!" He scrambled to get on his hooves, and eventually did, but only after slipping. Once he finally got his balance back he galloped in front of Jack and led him back to where the others should be. "Wait here for them to finish talking while I go to the market, please?" He asked both A) to not interrupt and B) To give himself and Jack some time to think about what the other had said.

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((It was all banter, nothing plot related happened. (No pun intended)))

Jack nodded without speaking further and patiently waited for Ruby and Pencil. With a full stomach and a good night's rest, he once again had the patience of a saint and the composure of a monk. Well, more or less?

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((Not exactly sure how to write myself getting to you guys :/ my last post kinda left me waiting for a response from pencil doodle...))

Ruby was starting to get frustrated again. "For the love of Celestia! This is taking too long! I need to warn everyone else too about this." Ruby took off and headed back towards the town and shouted behind him "Are you coming or not?"

After about a little over an hour of flying, he noticed the green alicorn and Jack by the lake and flew down towards them. "Hey! You two! I have something really important I need to talk to you about. I'm not sure where Pencil Doodle is at the moment. I took off and left him behind, but I'm sure he can take care of himself. Anyways the really important thing was this voice that came to me while I was in the woods last night and this morning. It spoke to me last night and made me fall asleep, then when I woke up he... it... whatever was already there waiting for me and told me that it would make all of these strange happenings 'go away'. I'm really worried ponies are going to get hurt in this!"

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Krauser looked at Ruby in shock. "Hey, I remember you! You were the pony I found before coming here!" He landed and smiled at Ruby.

After listening to the story he looked at Ruby in awe. "You... You sound crazy, BUT," he emphasized the "but" ((Oh gosh, did I really say that?)) so he didn't discourage the pegasus. "I believe you. I think all four of us, and anypony else who may have something to do with this. When I came I saw two other pegasi, where are they now?" He asked adding a slight edge to his voice. He needed everypony there to fully understand the situation, and assess it the way they felt best. "Wait here for me while I go to the market to get food for a few days." He said, commanding his elder and the pegasus in a respectful tone.

Without waiting for a response, he was off! He hoped they would wait, and expected them to, but had the nagging sense something was amiss...

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Jack narrowed his eyes in thought and glanced over at the lake.

"This is worse than I had guessed..." He said more to himself than anyone else, "Not only is it intelligent, but now it begins to manifest itself?" Now he looked right into Ruby's eyes, "Can you speak with it? Can you summon it?"

Jack looked on eagerly, not entirely sure how he was supposed to combat this entity? Once he knew what it was, he'd have a better idea of just how to proceed. Until then, all he could do was hope and shield himself from magic as best he could...

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"I-I'm not sure if I can summon it; I haven't tried before. I'm not even sure how I would do that. But when it talks with me it can hear what I'm saying and apparently get thoughts from within my mind because it new my name without me telling it. Does that help at all?" Ruby was hoping that the little information he had could be used by jack in some way. He also knew that he would probably want to be around him for the foreseeable future due to his vast knowledge and physical prowess.

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((seems like the story is dieing :/ I hope it doesn't...))

Krauser had arrived at the market without any troubles. He looked around for a good quantity of food, and when finding it he approached cautiously. "Excuse me sir, may I purchase all the food on this cart?" He asked trying not to come off too pushy.

"Whatever, as long as you have the bits to pay for it, one hundred and thirteen." He growled, seemingly angry.

"All right. As long as I get the food." Krauser glared at the salespony, and gave him the bits without hesitation. After receiving the bag he flew back towards Jack and Ruby, hoping they were still talking.

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((I think we may have scared off Pencil? :\ ))

Jack ground his hoof gently into his chin in throught. There were many 'creatures' that could, in one form or another, communicate in such a manner...such as Discord. Though, Jack doubted that this was his doing, it didn't fit his style. In all honesty, this could be a new creature to Equestria for all he knew. It does happen every few centuries that a new sort of outsider wanders in...

"It helps, though not to identify the creature." I grimaced slightly, "If you have no objections, there is one thing I might be able to do? I can place an incantation upon you that would serve to fortify your mind and make you more resistant to this creature's manipulation...seeing as it has taken a fancy to you for some reason?"

Jack did not realize the irony of his statement to the lad, as in his day and age, both pegasi and earth-ponies were able to use magic, if not as profeciently as unicorns. A fact that he somehow forgot momentarily... To Ruby, Jack must've looked somewhat odd even suggesting magic, seeing as he lacked a horn!

Edited by Jack-Pony

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((I hope we didn't scare him off :( ))

"You can still do magic? Even if you lost your horn? Well if you can, I wouldn't mind not having that thing enter my mind whenever it wants. It's pretty terrifying knowing that it just has free access to anything it wants." Though Ruby was a bit skeptical that Jack could perform magic with any proficiency, it was worth a try. He hated the voice because it no longer meant he had any privacy. The one thing he enjoyed most.

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(( If it was anyone it was Krauser and I, for our post-spree! ))

I looked at him curiously for a second, before I remembered the err that I had made. Very few that I had met in recent times, knew any of the ancient magics of their forebears...

"I can." I nodded reassuringly, "Its not so easy to use our magic without a horn, but your forebears made due. It is their magic that I use." I started drawing the first circle, but did not get very far before I hesitated, "More or less..." I grinned cheekily before adding, "Please don't move from this circle until I complete the spell, alright?"

I completed the two circles rather quickly, after all, they are only circles. Now came the tricky part, the incantation itself. So began the slow process of etching them into the sandy ground with the edge of my hoof... The words had to be just so, or else the magic would have little effect, or worse, they may do something completely against my intention! If Ruby were to regard them, he would find the lettering very similar, but the words completely foreign.

((It's going to take Jack a post before the circle is complete, so if you want to ask him anything, now's the time.))

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((I hope that our posting-spree wasn't the cause.))

Krauser returned to find Jack muttering to himself and Ruby sitting inside a pair o circles.

"What in the name of Celestia is this?" He mumbled quietly. Instead of landing silently he somehow managed to stop flapping his wings and fell. He landed on his hooves but it hurt, a lot. "Ow!" He tried not to distract Jack and sat by the pair, watching in awe as the spell began.

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