The Last Stand of King Sombra

by Blueshift

Chapter 1


From outside the throne room that sat at the heart of the Crystal Castle, the sound of explosions could be heard. The mighty King Sombra sat scowling in his throne as he heard the clattering of hooves outside and felt the tremors that shook the delicate ornamentation of the room.

“Chancellor, report!” he barked, as his favourite chandelier took the opportunity to plummet from the ceiling and explode into a thousand sharp (yet still beautiful) fragments.

High Chancellor Rook cleared his throat nervously, looking about at the tiny detachment of loyal guards that were left. He had loyally served the King all his life, but never in all his years had he thought it would come to this. Never once did the old pony even consider escaping though – his King would come through, he always did.

“It’s… not good sir…” Rook began as diplomatically as he could. “The Crystal Kingdom is in full revolt over your uh… wise and beneficial rule. Over half your forces have defected with more every passing hour, and the rebel leader Twilight Sparkle has stormed the palace.” He stopped, silently staring at King Sombra, waiting for the inspired tactical order that would save the day.

“Bugger.” King Sombra sunk into his chair, his armoured form clanking as it rubbed against the precious crystal inlay of his exceptionally comfortable throne. He stared at the bolted palace doors as if expecting a horde of rampaging pastel ponies to burst in at any moment. “How dare they!” he finally exclaimed, thumping one heavy hoof against an armrest. “After all I’ve done for the Crystal Kingdom! My economic policies! I cut unemployment to zero!”

Rook nodded sagely, his elderly face crinkling. “Yes, my liege, the death penalty for the crime of not having a job was inspired. However, we must face facts and act soon to crush this revolt! The populace is armed and angry!” He risked a peep out of one of the windows, eyes widening in alarm. “That pink pony’s got a seven inch cannon!”

“A seven inch cannon?” King Sombra scoffed. “That’s tiny! If that’s the best they can do, I’ve got nothing to worry about!”

A seven inch cannonball exploded out of the window above Rook's head, electing a shriek of panic from the elderly courtier. The king stared at the ball as it slowly rolled across the floor towards his hoofs. “Oh, right,” he muttered. “Yeah, I get it now.”

Rook straightened up, tugging at his collar in an attempt to regain his composure. “Ahem, sir, the threat is very real. Any moment the rebel Twilight Sparkle and her minions will storm the throne room. Word is that they are armed with the devastating Elements of Harmony. I have taken the liberty of requesting reinforcements from our allies, the Basalt Kingdom, but they are still one week’s march away.”

“A week?” King Sombra exclaimed in disbelief. “Those lazy Basaltian soldiers! Well, Rook, I shall just have to hold off this Twilight Sparkle myself!” He stood up, puffing out his chest and letting his large red cloak flow behind him. “I, King Sombra, Master of the Crystal Kingdom! Did I not slay the Dragonlord? Did I not crush the Embodiment of Gris and scatter his ashes to the far wind? What care have I if my guards desert me? I am a living weapon, the most powerful warlord in all Equestria!”

“Yes, yes!” Rook clapped his forehooves together, feeling tears pricking at the corner of his eyes. The recent revolt had been so disheartening, but here was the mighty King Sombra he remembered, the dignified, powerful leader.

“I will make my final stand here!” King Sombra boomed defiantly. “As befits my position, I will not go down like a mewling cur! I will fight this Twilight Sparkle with all the majestic awe that a pony of my stature commands! I will not denigrate myself in the face of the enemy!”

“Very good sir!” Rook beamed widely, his heart racing as his knees went weak from Sombra’s display of defiance and power. “Those ponies may have defeated Nightmare Moon, Discord and Queen Chrysalis, but they will never better one as venerable and steadfast as yourself! You are truly an inspiration!”

There was a sudden loud rapping at the door, and a high pitched voice squeaked: “Sombra! Come out so we can rainbow cannon your ass!”

King Sombra froze at this, and then slowly turned to Rook. “Ah… on the other hand, I have a better plan. Rook, fetch me a false moustache and the largest hat you can find!”


The doors to the throne room burst open, revealing six pastel ponies with Twilight Sparkle taking up the lead. “King Sombra!” she announced, bounding forwards. “It’s over! Your citizens have revolted, your guards have deserted and your defence lies in ruins! Surrender now or I will be forced to unleash the full power of the Elements of Harmony!”

Twilight’s dramatic spiel petered out as a large snore cut across her words. She glanced around in confusion before finally settling on the figure slumped across the ornate crystal throne. It certainly looked like the terrifying grey stallion that was King Sombra, only instead of armour he wore an orange poncho, and a large wide-brimmed hat covered his face with only a large black moustache visible.

“Hello, ma’am, can I help you?” Rook shuffled up to the new arrivals, stealing a quick nervous glance back at the throne as he did so. “I’m afraid you’ve come at a bad time.” He tugged at his collar. “The king is taking his siesta.”

“Oh…” Twilight frowned, looking to her friends who shrugged in response. “I’m Twilight Sparkle, and I’m here to overthrow King Sombra. Could you please let him know I’m here so we can get this over with?” She gave a polite smile back. “Thanks.”

Rook shifted uncomfortably. “Ah, King Sombra? King Sombra?” He struck a thoughtful pose as he repeated the words to himself. “No, no, doesn’t ring a bell. I think you’ve come to the wrong castle, Ms Sparkle, this isn’t King Sombra’s castle, this is…”

He was rudely interrupted as the figure on the throne stopped his snoring with a heavy snort, and leapt to his hooves. “Hola!” cried the king, jovially waving at Twilight and stroking his large bushy moustache. “Me llamo King Sombrero!”

“King… Sombrero?” Twilight peered suspiciously at the king, taking in his large hat. “Are you sure? This is the Crystal Castle, isn’t it?”

In response, King Sombrero started to leap animatedly up and down, producing a pair of maracas from inside his billowing poncho and shaking them about. “Ay, caramba!” he shouted, shaking his head firmly. “No, no! Sombrero Castillo!”

“The King says…” Rook cleared his throat, staring in horror as the king leapt upon a can of beans and began to devour the content with much gusto. “Er… he says that this is Sombrero Castle. I can see how you might have made that mistake, given Sombrero Castle is right in the middle of the Crystal Kingdom.”

“Also, it has a big sign saying ‘Crystal Castle’ hanging outside!” Rainbow Dash darted forward, pushing her face into Rook’s. “This isn’t fooling anyone, that’s obviously King Sombra!”

Meanwhile, King Sombrero had acquired a bulky red weed whacker and was busy half-heartedly attacking one of the throne room’s pot plants, pausing only to throw the occasional peanut into his mouth. Tipping his sombrero up, he surveyed his work before lounging back against a wall to take another siesta.

“I… don’t think it is,” Twilight whispered urgently to Rainbow Dash. “I mean, that can’t be King Sombra, can it? No pony would pretend to act like that, would they? That would be…”

“Racist?” Pinkie Pie croaked. “Twilight, is this racist?”

King Sombrero yawned, stretching as he awoke from his well-deserved rest. “Ay Dios Mio!” he muttered, taking hold of a can of bright orange paint and a crusty old roller, and starting to smear paint over one of the palace walls.

“Twilight, this is horrible!” Fluttershy quivered, covering her eyes. “I feel so uncomfortable!”

“Yes, this has to be the real King Sombrero,” Twilight croaked, eyes transfixed on the sight of the king. Turning back to Rook, she shook her head. “I’m so sorry, there’s been a horrible mistake. We’ll leave you in peace and try to find the real King Sombra.”

Rook smiled as Twilight turned to leave. “I wish you the best of luck, ma’am,” he respectfully replied.

Meanwhile, King Sombrero bounded up and down, shouting a loud “adios!” at the departing ponies. The moment they were gone, he ripped off his moustache and gave a cry of triumph. “Ha! See, Rook, See my evil genius! They thought they were a match for King Sombra! But they were nothing! Nothing!”

Rook frowned at his lord and master, and bowed his head. “This is not like the good old days.”


“Open up; open up in the name of the free ponies of the Crystal Kingdom!” The banging on the throne room door became louder and louder. King Sombra simply sat in his throne, gripping the armrests hard as he stared at the barred door in an almost catatonic state.

“Don’t be a coward, King Sombra!” came the voice of Twilight Sparkle. “We know it’s you! No more of that pathetic ‘King Sombrero’ stuff! Face us like a stallion!”

“My liege…” Rook shuffled closer to the throne, body tensed and ready to race back towards the safety of the corner of the room should the king suddenly explode into a fiery rage. “I… I think you have no choice but to fight them.”

King Sombra continued to sit as still as a statue. Rook was about to gently speak again, when the king suddenly rose from his throne as if nothing was wrong, swirling his great cloak around him. “Why, Rook, you think I am scared? Of those ponies? Neigh! I am King Sombra, mightiest pony of all, I have nothing to fear from those retrogrades! Let them in and I shall crush them under my iron hooves!”

“Oh sir, of course!” Rook cried in relief, secretly admonishing himself for ever doubting the king. Soon he would see the vile Twilight Sparkle crushed by his majestic master, who would prove that he was indeed the bravest and most fearless of all in Equestria. He hurried over to the door and threw open the bolts.

“King Sombra!” Twilight Sparkle cried, leading her friends as she stormed into the room. “It’s over! Your citizens have revolted, your guards have deserted and your defence lies in ruins! Surrender now or I will be forced to unleash the full power of the Elements of Harmony!” She paused. “I know I did that bit yesterday, but I think it’s important. Also you should be ashamed of yourself! Not cool!”

“Twilight, Twilight, Twilight,” King Sombra sneered, stepping forward to size up his six foes. “So, we meet at last. Again. I hope you didn’t mind my little trick yesterday, but now I shall meet you as an equal on the field of battle. I will show no mercy and expect no quarter! I am no coward, I desire only full combat, I am eager to prove myself the match for you and your so-called Elements of Harmony!”

“Yes!” Twilight’s headdress started to glow with elemental power. “Let us end this now, King Sombra!”

King Sombra’s eyes began to glow with ethereal purple light. “Now, you will face my true might, and learn the power of my religion!”

Twilight’s Element of Harmony immediately stopped glowing, and she tilted her head to the side in sudden interest. “Oh? I didn’t know you were religious!”

“Yes, yes…” King Sombra stopped his magical glowing eyes as he trotted back to his throne. “I’m really religious. The Religion of Evil, it’s called. The religion is based around the fact that I’m an evil king, and it is my religious belief that I should win all the time and that no-one should try and defeat me.”

“Oh.” Twilight frowned. “But I’m trying to stop you!”

“Yes, well…” King Sombra shrugged, sitting back in his chair and covering his head dramatically with one hoof. “Don’t worry about it Twilight. I know not everyone is accepting of other pony’s religions. I don’t mind that in offending my beliefs by trying to overthrow me that you’re religiously persecuting me.”

Twilight’s forehooves immediately went to her mouth. “No! No, I would never do anything to offend anyone of any religion!” she squeaked in horror. “I respect all beliefs equally! Come on girls, let’s leave!”

As Twilight turned to go, King Sombra called out: “Oh, it’s also my religious belief that my enemies are locked in the castle dungeon! That one’s very sacred!”

“Got it!” Twilight called back as she trotted shame-facedly out of the room. And then, more meekly, “sorry!”

King Sombra sat on his throne for a minute, before turning to Rook and shrugging. “Well, I was going to fight them!”


“Open the door this instant!” A smattering of thuds could be heard from behind the throne room door as several hooves smashed against it. “There’s no such thing as the ‘Religion of Evil,’ you big liar! Now we’re free of your dungeon, you’re going to get a good rainbow cannoning!”

King Sombra stared grimly at the door, casting a glance over at Rook. “Now Rook, now you shall witness the true power of King Sombra! I shall scatter their ashes to the far corners of Equestria! None shall survive my wrath in this titanic battle which I am absolutely looking forward to! Open the door!”

“Okay sir. Yes sir.” Rook started to move towards the door, wondering if he would truly get to see the promised smiting of the king’s enemies this time. The king had spent some time the previous night carefully explaining how excited he was to battle the full force of the Elements of Harmony and prove his power, but he didn’t seem to have a good track record in actually battling these ponies. He shook the traitorous doubts from his mind and opened the heavy doors. King Sombra wouldn’t let him down! He would show those pony fools not to mess with the glorious ruler of the Crystal Kingdom!

“King Sombra!” Twilight Sparkle yelled as she bounded into the room flanked by her companions. “It’s over! Your citizens have revolted, your guards have deserted and your defence lies in ruins! Surrender now or I will be forced to unleash the full power of the Elements of Harmony! Properly, this time!” she added quickly.

“At last, Twilight Sparkle, the final battle approaches!” King Sombra glared menacingly at the assembled ponies before him. “I cannot wait to destroy you!”

Rook started to break into a grin, bouncing up and down with glee at the impending smack down.


Rook’s face fell and his enthusiasm deflated.

“…I can’t.” The king shrugged sadly. “As much as I’d love to, Twilight, today is Opposite Day, and as such I’m unable to take the role of evil king about to be defeated, because that wouldn’t be the opposite of what I am, would it?” He rolled his eyes in an exaggerated fashion. “I know, I know, what a hassle!”

“Wait a minute!” Pinkie Pie sprang forward defiantly. “Today’s not Opposite Day! Opposite day’s next month!”

“Well, yes…” The king stumbled over his words, but soon regained his composure. “Obviously today isn’t Opposite Day, but that means it is, because Opposite Day can only be on a day which isn’t Opposite Day, because that is the opposite of a normal day, you see? That makes sense, doesn’t it?”

Pinkie stroked her chin suspiciously. “I guess…” she mumbled, conceding the point.

“So, what does that mean?” Twilight looked at her friends for ideas. They all shrugged in response.

“It means, dear Twilight,” King Sombra announced, bounding down the steps of the throne, “that we need to change places! Because that’s the opposite. So I’ll go here, as the hero of the rebellion, and you girls sit in my throne, as the evil king about to be overthrown!” He started to gently shove them towards the throne.

“Oh, uh, does that mean we need to get defeated?” Twilight frowned. “Because if it’s Opposite Day then shouldn’t it mean that the evil king who’s about to get overthrown should w–“

“No.” King Sombra interrupted firmly. “No Twilight, that’s not how it works at all. In fact…” he grimaced slightly. “It also means that we need to skip the fight, because not fighting in the opposite of fighting, and you should go straight to the dungeon.”

The ponies looked at each other, thinking this over in their heads before seemingly agreeing. “Okay, I’m glad we got all that cleared up!” Twilight retorted happily. “We’ll go lock ourselves in the dungeon and come back tomorrow.”

King Sombra waved the ponies off as they left, smiling as he heard Fluttershy turn to Twilight and say: “What a nice evil king!”

He sat back down in his throne and sighed. “Tomorrow!” he called out to Rook. “Tomorrow you shall see bloody carnage enacted upon those ponies!”


Bloody carnage! Bloody carnage!

Twilight Sparkle had only just begun her now regular speech upon entering the throne room, when King Sombra leapt from his throne in front of the ponies, cutting off Twilight’s words and bellowing out his own with great enthusiasm.

Just because I’m an evil king,
Doesn’t mean I don’t like to si-iiii-iiing!

“Is he…?” Twilight’s face paled as King Sombra began to dance a little jig.

“He is!” Pinkie Pie squealed happily. “He’s singing!”

They say I’m evil, they say I’m cruel,
But I’m a pony, not a mule!”

Pinkie Pie leapt next to the king, wrapping a hoof around his neck as she joined in the chorus. “But he’s a pony, not a mu-uu-uule!”

As King Sombra danced, a drum solo echoed around the room. Rook sat glumly at a set of drums, smacking them as instructed with a stick. That morning he had been extremely excited to be handed the hefty wooden implement, believing that he was being entrusted to aid the king in battling his enemies directly. He sighed inwardly. Disappointment was a part of life.

“Evil king, evil king, soon we’ll have the final fight!” The ponies all lined up, dancing and singing in unison as Sombra began to break-dance. “Evil king, evil king, soon you’ll see our rainbow’s light!”

“Yeah!” King Sombra cried happily as he sauntered around the dancing ponies, shaking his behind in a rumba movement as he changed the beat of the song. “Don’t you kerfuffle, do the dungeon shuffle!"

“Don’t you kerfuffle, do the dungeon shuffle!” sang Twilight and friends as they danced out of the room in a conga line.

“Don’t put up a fight, lock up that door tight!” Sombra crooned down the hallway. As the sounds of singing echoed away in the direction of the palace dungeons, he coughed and trotted back to his throne as if nothing had happened.

Rook stared at him.

“Hey,” King Sombra exclaimed. “I didn’t say that you could stop!”


“Three days…” King Sombra shifted uncomfortably on his throne, staring out of the window at the rising sun as if he would see the relief forces of the Basalt Kingdom galloping into view early. “Not that I need to be rescued, you understand,” he clarified to Rook. “It’s just… it wouldn’t be fair to fight those ponies myself, given how obviously superior I am to them.”

“Yes sir.” Rook ground his teeth as he trotted towards the door. “Shall I, sir?”

“Go on, Rook. I’m ready this time!” King Sombra squared his shoulders as he psyched himself up. “Elements of Harmony, pah! I fear no elements!”

“It’s over!” Twilight burst in with her friends, bleary eyed and panting. “Your citizens lie in ruins, your guards have revolted and your defense has deserted!” She paused. “Yes, I know I did that wrong but Pinkie just wouldn’t stop singing!” She threw a dark glare at her pink friend, who just waved happily. “Now, prepare to be defeated!”

“At last, a battle!” roared King Sombra, rising to his full height. “But know this, Twilight. Our struggle will be so epic, so titanic, that it will rend this very city that you seek to protect asunder! I have another proposition. A battle of wills, of intellect! I will challenge you to a game of my choosing, in a place of my choosing. The winner takes all!”

“That’s very gracious.” Twilight nodded thoughtfully. “I would not want any innocent blood on my hooves, King Sombra. We accept your challenge!”

“Yeah, Twilight’s the cleverest pony ever!” Rainbow Dash shouted from behind her friend. “She’s the best at every game. You’re going down!”

“Aha!” King Sombra smirked. “The game I choose may be outside your comfort zone, Twilight. It is a game of logic, intelligence and bravery. I choose… ‘Dungeons and Dragons’!”

“Yes!” Twilight hissed, punching the air. Then, more politely, she grinned back. “Oh, I’m sure I’ll cope.”

“And the place we shall play is… the dungeon!” King Sombra shouted! “Now, get a move on, I’ll join you!”

“Right on!” Rainbow Dash cried. “Come on girls, let’s get ready to break out the D20s and show this guy we’re not to be messed with!”

King Sombra sat back down on his throne as he watched the ponies depart to the dungeon. “Rook!” he called to his faithful servant. “Give them two minutes to reach the dungeon.” He leaned forwards, face darkening. “Then release the dragons.”


Rook paced up and down the length of the throne room, glancing every so often at the closed doors. Finally he stopped. “Sir!” he began, before changing his mind. “My lord. My king. I feel I must speak. Long have I served you, and grown to respect your power and majesty. Your dignity and poise! Why not just fight these rebels? Surely such…” He swallowed, trembling inwardly at this show of defiance, “…such trickery is beneath one such as yourself!”

“Oh, Rook, Rook, Rook.” King Sombra shook his head sadly as he gazed upon his once-loyal servant. “Do you doubt my power? My exalted nobility? Do not mistake my actions for trickery; I have no need of tricks, for I fear no pony! If it pleases you, I will employ no deceptions when Twilight Sparkle faces me next, however I may smite you for your arrogance!” His eyes flared with an evil light, and Rook found himself leaping backwards as if about to be struck.

“V-very good sir.” Rook quivered, moving towards the door. “Is it time? For the final battle?”

“Yes. Yes it is.” King Sombra sat back in his throne. “Nothing can stop this clash of destiny!”

“King Sombra!” Twilight cried through gritted teeth as she and her friends stormed the throne room. “It’s over! Again! Your citizens have revolted, your guards have deserted, yada yada yada. Let’s finish this!” She bowed her head, and the Element of Harmony embedded in her headdress began to glow.

“Yes! Let this be our final battle!” King Sombra began to summon up all his dark energy, letting the power of evil focus around him. “Prepare for oblivion, Twilight Sparkle!”

Rook watched agape, scarcely able to believe the final battle was actually happening. He chided himself for his loss of faith in the abilities of his master and prepared to watch King Sombra show the world that he was indeed a mighty and fearless monarch.

“Oh! Oh! Oh! It’s awful!” All heads turned towards a small blue messenger pony, who raced through the open doors and made straight for Rook, flinging a large scroll at his feet before collapsing in a wheezing heap. “Tragic news! Tragic!”

Twilight’s eyes flickered towards the new arrival. So did King Sombra’s. “Is everything all right, Rook?” he boomed in the slightly intimidating voice that he used whenever he was in a final battle with someone.

Rook prodded the scroll suspiciously, and then began to unfurl it. He instantly recoiled in shock. “Oh! Oh, sir! Oh!” he gabbled. “I’m so, so sorry!”

King Sombra raised a quizzical eyebrow. “What’s wrong Rook? What could it possibly be?”

“It’s…” Rook gulped hard. “It’s your grandmother, my lord. She passed away last night.”

“No! No!” King Sombra flung a hoof over his forehead as he stumbled backwards to collapse slumped in his throne. “That poor, sweet old mare! The darling of my heart! Dead! The tragedy!” His bottom lip began to quiver hard.

Twilight stepped back, wide-eyed. “Wow, uh, that’s awful King Sombra. I am deeply sorry for your loss. It’s… it’s probably inappropriate to fight given the circumstances, we can come back tomorrow.”

King Sombra nodded softly. “Yes, yes, Twilight. That is very wise, leave me to be devastated by my grief!” He sighed deeply. “Tell me Rook, what happened to that kind, gentle mare?”

Rook unscrolled the paper a bit more, doing a small double take as he read it. “Well sir, it says here that you killed her.”

King Sombra’s gaze hardened suddenly, scowling at Rook, before taking on a more compassionate façade. “Oh yes, killed her with kindness!” he cried out, loud enough for Twilight to both hear and understand completely.

Rook read further down, shaking his head. “No sir, not kindness, it says ‘death ray’ or something.”

King Sombra met Twilight’s suspicious glance. “Ah, ‘De’Ath Ray Ice Lollies’, her favourite!” he spluttered. “She must have eaten too many.” He produced a silk handkerchief from his pocket and gently dabbed his eyes. “Sorry, I’m just too… upset…”

“I understand,” Twilight whispered, slowly backing away. “Come on girls, we can go sit in the dungeon and pick this up tomorrow.”

“Maybe we can find some ‘De’Ath Rays’ too!” Pinkie Pie whispered back.

King Sombra waved his handkerchief after them. “I’ll see what I can arrange!” he called as they departed.


King Sombra stared out across the horizon. “Soon, Rook. Soon the legions of the Basalt Kingdom will march into view! This is important because…” he faltered. “Because I want them to watch my victory so they can report how brave I am!”

“Yes sir.” Rook glowered at the king through narrow eyes. All his life he had served Sombra loyally, worshipped him as a living god, spent every waking hour venerating his every step. To have him so seemingly unwilling to face this ‘Twilight Sparkle’ was unseemly! It went against everything Rook held dear! The only thing that kept him going was the thought that there was some greater plan Sombra had in mind which Rook was too ignorant and foolish to understand.

“Rook,” Sombra announced, turning back from the window. “I have a greater plan in mind, something which you are too ignorant and foolish to understand.”

“My lord!” Rook clapped his hooves in delight. “So today when Twilight arrives you will crush her?”

King Sombra smacked his lips as he considered this. Finally, he spoke. “When Twilight Sparkle enters the room, she will want to rainbow cannon me, because I’m the evil king that needs to be overthrown, correct?”

Rook nodded. “Yes sir, you’re really evil.”

“You know, Rook…” the king continued. “You have served me so faithfully, have you ever thought about a promotion?”

Rook frowned. “But sir, I’m your Chancellor! I am second only to you!”

“You’ve got it!” Sombra threw his hooves out wide. “Here’s the plan, Rook. I hide behind these curtains. When Twilight and her rebels enter, they’ll see me on the throne, or what they think is me…” From an old chest, he pulled a crudely painted wooden mannequin with several thick strings trailing behind it. The doll looked a bit like King Sombra, if you squinted really, really hard. “This wooden doll will be on the throne. You’ll stand behind the throne making my voice and pulling the strings. When Twilight enters, she’ll think that I am just a puppet and you are the real evil king, pulling my strings. Then she’ll rainbow cannon you.”

“I… see…” Rook looked at the doll, then up to King Sombra. “And while she’s distracted, you’ll leap out of hiding and finish her off?”

“Yes! Yes! Sure, why not! I can do that too!” King Sombra patted Rook on the back. “See, Rook, what a team we make! Me, with my power and might and glory, and you with your… cannon… fodderness.”

“Yes sir. I see how it is, sir.” Rook gave a resigned sigh.

“Excellent.” King Sombra moved towards the curtain at the far end of the room, throwing it around himself. “Now Rook, you know what to do!”

Rook looked towards the throne and the wooden puppet. Then he looked towards the door. “Yes sir, I know what to do.”


“Quick march, quick march!”

The sound of trooping hooves echoed over the mountains as the Basalt Kingdom army strode towards their goal. They had been moving for nearly seven days now at a quick pace, determined to reach the Crystal Kingdom in time to crush the rebellion. It had been a long and gruelling trip, but finally they had made it. The towers of the Crystal Castle could be seen glinting in the distance.

“Company halt!” Commander Rocky yelled as loud as he could, watching with a sense of satisfaction as two thousand of the toughest, roughest pony soldiers obediently stopped on cue. Those rebels wouldn’t know what hit them. “The time for battle is soon!” he called to his men. “But we must approach carefully! King Sombra is relying on us, we must not let him down. This area may be crawling with rebels, we would be wise to be cautious!”

From the corner of his eye, he spotted a lone, elderly stallion making his way across the rocky terrain, a small bindle strapped across his back. “You there!” he yelled. “Hey, you! Come here this instant!”

The frail figure approached, and Commander Rocky moved forwards to meet them. “Tell us, old stallion,” he boomed. “Are there any rebel encampments nearby? We are here to rescue your glorious master, King Sombra. Today, we march on his castle to free him from the filthy rebels!” He waved a hoof in the direction of the castle.

“Oh good.” The old pony smiled. “But it’s not that castle. No, no, no. I can see how you might have made that mistake, but that’s Sombrero Castle. That’s where King Sombrero lives. King Sombra lives in Crystal Castle, far, far over there!” He pointed at the furthest mountain peak.

“Really? Damn!” Commander Rocky cursed to himself, turning back towards his men. “You heard him men, we’re not there yet. Quick march, on the double!”

With that, the Basaltian army restarted their long and exhausting march into the distance.

As the last of the soldiers departed into the distance, Rook put down his bindle and unrolled it, taking out a sandwich and munching on it happily as he watched the castle. A few moments later there was an exceptionally girly scream, and a rainbow exploded out of one of the windows, flinging a helpless stallion far into the sky.

Rook smiled. It was going to be a good day.

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