The Crystal King's Shadow

by TGM

Chapter 1: Prologue

Load Full Story Next Chapter

Twilight Sparkle groaned with frustration. Her friends were on the outside of this massive tower, and here she was, struggling with a stupid door that didn’t want to stand still!

“Eugh!” She let out a grunt of effort as the black magic that Celestia had taught her to use blazed from her horn like an arrow, finally hitting its mark atop the moving door. Her face erupted into a grin, as the door opened spilling forth a bright white light. “Spike!” She called to her assistant. “I think it’s here!” She rushed forward towards the light, which washed over her as her form slowly shrunk…

Light gave way to form, walls rose around her, and crystal turned to marble.  She found herself in the doorway to Princess Celestia's chambers, facing the princess' throne. The young mare’s face twisted in blatant confusion. “Huh?” she said, as she looked about the place she knew so well.

“What are you doing here?” A voice called from behind her, full of rigid authority, nothing like the loving voice of the princess Twilight had come to know.

“I…I don’t know.” Twilight said, sounding slightly reproachful at the princess’ harsh tone. “I opened a door and…”

“And now you must go.” The princess’ sharp tone cut her off as she quickly signed off a letter, making it vanish with a quick flash of magic.

“But…GO where?” Twilight asked, unsure of what it was the princess was implying.

“Doesn’t matter to me.” Came Celestia’s reply, signing another letter, her back turned to Twilight. Once it vanished, she turned to look at Twilight, her face full of disappointment and disgust. “You FAILED the test Twilight.” Twilight’s eyes bulged as the force of the princess’ words hit her.

“I don’t understand!” Came Twilight’s distressed reply. “The test….”

Celestia cut her off mid-sentence, caring not what she had to say next. “Not only will you not move on to the next level of your studies, you won’t be continuing your studies AT ALL.” The powerful Alicorn caused another letter to vanish, turning fully to look at her. Twilight, eyes brimming with tears, held back a sob as she pleaded with the princess.

“But…you didn’t say anything about not being your student anymore if I failed!” She said as she held back her tears, refusing to show signs of weakness to the princess in hopes that she might come to her senses. Celestia put a wing on her backside, looking down with a loving expression before crudely pushing her towards the exit.

“Didn’t I?” Celestia said, before making her way from the throne room. Twilight held a hoof out after her.

“But…but what do I do now…?” Her thoughts were interrupted as her eyes were drawn to one of the windows. One in particular was depicting her failure at the Crystal Empire, it showed King Sombra looming over Twilight’s falling form, nothing but a pit of crystal spikes and fire awaiting her at the bottom as King Sombra’s laughter echoed in her head. The pain of failure becoming too much for her to handle, she collapsed to the floor, weeping.

After all the tears had gone, she stepped outside onto the stone steps leading up to the doors of the castle. The world seemed considerably darker, Canterlot itself seemed to be covered in shadow. Ponies that passed her either shook their heads in disappointment, or they simply looked away. Had everyone known of what had happened?

Twilight hung her head and listened to the sound of her own hooves clip-clopping on the cobblestone streets. Agony and pain tore at her heart. She stole a glance over her shoulder to look at the castle one last time. It loomed over her, taunting her with its brilliance and elegance, as if knowing she would never be able to set hoof in its sacred grounds ever again.

What was she going to do? She could return to Ponyville, but the library had been Princess Celestia’s arrangement. With her denying Twilight as her student any longer, would she be able to return there? A passing pony bumped her shoulder. He didn’t stop to apologize, he simply kept walking. In the distance, Twilight could make out the tallest towers of the crystal castle, the tallest building in the Crystal Empire. It was black, its brilliant pearly sheen replaced with a sinister dark blackness, no longer did the empire sing of happiness and joy, but of sadness, fear, and tyranny.

Twilight decided to head back to the place she stayed while she lived in Canterlot. She would go back to Ponyville, surely her friends there still loved her, right? As she made her way to the tower where her room was located, she noticed other unicorns turning their heads away, some shook their heads sadly, others just scowled at her. What was happening to everypony? Celestia’s words came back to her, words from her mentor before she had left for the crystal empire:

“If the empire is filled with hope and love-“ Celestia’s horn glowed a soft golden color, causing Twilight to stare in awe as a full color spectrum of light washed across the room, bathing the entire room in a golden light. “-those things are reflected across all of Equestria.” She frowned slightly, her eyes closing. “But if hatred and fear take hold…” Celestia’s horn began to spark a purple-greenish color as her eyes became a sinister purple color, blue wisps of smoke leaking out of the edges of her pupils. A dark mass of magic built up on her horn, striking the floating crystal and turning it black. A long sinister shadow stretched across the ground, causing similar black crystals to sprout around Twilight.

…Is that what was happening now? Was the fall of the Crystal Empire having an influence on Equestria? On the ponies? There had to be a way to fix this! Twilight quickly rushed to her room, opening the door with her magic. “Spike? Spike are you here?” Twilight trotted around the room, she could find nothing except for a note she hadn’t noticed before, stuck to her wall near the front door.  She peeled the note off with her magic and stared at it, holding a hoof to her mouth.

I need to think about some things. You’re better off without my help anyways, you said as much yourself.


Twilight's eyes brimmed with tears. She didn’t want to cry again but….she had lost spike...the dragon she had known since he was in an egg... the pain was too much.... She let out a choked sob before collapsing onto the ground, her tears flowing freely.

Next Chapter: Chapter 1 Estimated time remaining: 8 Minutes

Return to Story Description


Login with