I am Cozy Glow.
I have to remind myself of that routinely. I am Cozy Glow, an innocent little filly desperate to make friends and learn about the "Magic of Friendship" in Princess Twilight's school. It is a role I take to well, but the mask still slips and fails me from time to time.
I came here with nothing, only a purpose from My Masters. A purpose I had the abilities to complete, I just required some additional assistance and research.
I spent months studying these ponies of Equestria. Odd. That was my solidified opinion of this world. Every creature here was very odd. The world itself was odd and they were even odder for accepting the oddities as normalcy. Despite shape-shifting being a known and not uncommon capability in this world, the fact that I never once had to fear discovery is perplexing.
I took many forms at first, testing this world, this country and its culture. My body aligned towards female forms, but male was not difficult to become either.
This world is not dissimilar from my own. Unsurprising, as worlds in the same cosmological regions tend to have rules and races that are the same, similar or at least akin to each other. Ponies are a dominant power here, for good reason. A divinity of this world, one of their own making, has obvious chosen them as It's primary worshipers. How unusual though, these things called Alicorns. Like both Gods and Servants at once, but clearly divine all the same. Only through a divine could a race be so open in potential towards ascension. A rare thing in my land, but unnaturally common within this realm.
Unnatural, an additional, sub-word to describe the Oddness of this world. Nature was either warped or broken, needing these ponies to tend to it, even to the skies, the very sun and moon failing to move without these ancient demiurges that ruled this nation.
Still, unnatural and odd does not translate to incomprehensible. In fact, they are very easy to comprehend when I dismiss with some common sense of my world. Sending me as a completely blank slate might have been a better choice for My Masters, but they could not guess the nature of this world.
I eventually chose to be a filly. To be a pony, as they were the natives of this nation. Being a young one allowed me to cloak my actions in the visage of innocence. Unicorn would stand out too much; Trixie Lulumoon, Starlight Glimmer, Sombra. All of these had been villainous unicorns, regardless of how unique the Shadow King was. But to be Earth Pony would be too limiting. Being a pegasi allowed me wings for mobility as well as quickly letting me get away from observers when I needed to feed. Weather control magic could be used as an excuse for some of my activities. Being a mare? A mixture of cuteness and the slight female dominance of these ponies.
The Tree of Harmony was the key to everything, that was easy to deduce. It is truly an amazing form of Theocraft; A minor, fledgling god born out of both gestating necessity and artificial means. And constructed out of magicrystals with psionic properties. Truly unique, and likely one of the only two or three things truly holding this world together.
But getting its direct help was out of the question. Especially after that Cursedling, Chrysalis lost control of those shoddy, wooden excuses for an attempt at Fleshcraft. I'm insulted by their very existence, however brief.
It was not hard to deduce that the Tree and the Princess's castle were connected. I had heard the Princess and her allies speak of a map that sent them to solve problems. I deduced from this that either the Tree was unaware of me or did not view me as a problem. I am content with both, but cannot risk confronting it. A "Her" I believe, but my knowledge of Theocraft and identifying deities is basic at best. Basic for My Masters, at least. These creatures do not even seem to have a concept of such, which is bizarre to consider given how many there are in this country.
I considered confronting Him directly, but his state and mood were hard to deduce. My brain is reinforced and enhanced by matter from the Thrall of a Illithid and one of the greatest minds of My World, yet I am unable to summarize how aware of Who and What he truly is. How much is an act and how much is the madness from his improbable rebirth?
That is not my concern, that is for My Masters to discover.
It wasn't until after the invasion of that odd satyr that I made my move. I had no doubt that they would be victorious. They had the True Power and the backing of He and She, for now.
The Chaos of that incident, creating the "official" records of my identity and placing it in their government's basic cataloging of citizens was all too easy. I had already planned to attempt to endear myself to the Three Filliteers, as the echo of someone's humors made me think of them as. But the opening of the school altered and delayed things briefly.
I could FEEL it. Harmony's roots spreading from the castle to the school. She was growing fast as more came to believe in her and friendship, even just as a concept. Clever Godling, using Godlings of Her own making to spread Her faith and grow her power. By now, destroying the Tree would likely not kill Harmony herself, just rob her of her main vessel. Not that I truly care. In fact, destroying the Tree or Harmony is counterproductive to my purpose.
It does not take long to ingratiate myself to most of the school, becoming the Princess's right hoof in a manner. It is rather tedious, balancing my childhood act while not appearing too smart. I already gave too much away at the start, with my way of trying to get the Filliteers allowed entry into the school. Starlight Glimmer clearly saw my devious streak, but has since been sufficiently misdirected into believing me nothing more than a filly that was too smart for her age and trying too hard at times. Misguided altruism is a wonderful cover story, very endearing when it succeeds.
The Magic here is just as Odd as the rest of the world, the most powerful forms of mana working mostly on an empathetic nature. Passion held great dominion here. It took me this long to figure out how to fulfill my purpose.
Gathering magic is in my very nature. Or, rather, the nature of the mana-fungi implanted in my intestines. Stripping the magic from this land is something well within my power, but I needed some help to figure out how to adapt to taking magic from living creatures en masse.
Of course, it wasn't hard to know of Tirek.
I could have approached him, learned from him in another form, but oooh I was not ready for such a task. I had to tame the soul-shards buried in my being. More than one wanted to kill the centaur, to destroy him utterly. A sentiment My Masters would no doubt share, but the leech was needed for now. And justice was not mine to commence.
I am not, in any form, a master of magic. I am master of nothing, if I am to be honest, I am the mastered. That said, learning certain spells is not hard for me, even if this world seems to have a dim view of who can and can't use spells and such crafts of magic. It took only a little careful observing of the small drake's teleportation-flames to create something similar, sending my message right into this so-called Tartarus.
After some convincing and sweet talk of the not-so-innocent and annoying kind, he proved to be extremely useful. Many little understandings and nuisances of this world's magic were made clear to me from his lettered lessons. All I needed after that was the right place to supply for the ritual.
And lo, Harmony provided. I suspect She knows the truth. Of me, of He. Perhaps She even knows of the War raging among the Pretenders. If She does, she clearly has no desire to enter for the Throne herself. Good. I believe He likes this world, maybe even likes She herself.
When I was in that Chamber of Roots, I could feel her, practical see Her, almost hear Her. But I couldn't. I am not of this world, so I cannot be touched by Her at this stage of Harmony's power. Pity. There is much I would like to ask and say to this goddess.
All the same, I could feel her intent. She wanted me to tell them. I knew which them, Twilight and the other champions. Maybe even Harmony's former champions. But I can't.
Not won't, can't.
My existence was made for a purpose, and the very nature of my creation would not allow me to put that purpose at risk unless there was no better alternative.
Ahhh, I had spoken too soon. Harmony didn't understand my nature until I allowed her to. She is so sad, so filled with sorrow for me as she sees me for what I truly am. She, no, this world does not yet have much in the way of Fleshcraft. I am amused, yet her sympathy fills my soul-shards with rage and despair for my own existence. Rage for My Maker for creating me, but my Devotion and my longing for the divine, for Him, override my hate. I gain a new intellectual appreciation for My Maker, granting me a flaw that would spurn me on to complete my purpose even more than the Soul-Shards already wanted.
The artifacts this Princess had in her possession proved very suitable for my needs. For this, the items required were not those of great power, but great age. Time has a way of deepening the bond between a world with items and denizens native to it. The Elements initially came to mind, but those had been remade and therefore were more new than not. Even better, these items were from the farthest reaches of the known world, which would spread the gathering effect more efficiently.
Once it was all underway, I only needed to direct Harmony's champions to Tirek. Tartarus, by all I've read, should keep them trapped until my work is done. I just had to make sure they had a key. A one-time key, of course. I had no reason to believe Tirek would keep my identity a secret if confronted, nor did I make any request of him to do so.
Starlight was a minor issue, but trapping her in the beacon wasn't too hard. I had planned to send her to My Masters; a living native could aide them in finding the cosmological location of this world. I trapped the Filliteers, my soul-shard rebelled at the idea of harming little ones, so a closet sufficed. The Six Successors? Ah, yes, Harmony's bid to unite this world more closely. I regretted having to turn the Chancellor on them, but they discovered me, in part, and Neighsay proved problematic.
It was my first time meeting such a harshly xenophobic pony, so it was hard to adjust my machinations on the fly without breaking character. I allowed bits of my frustration and anger to show at this penultimate moment, too much perhaps, but I knew I could not brush this incident off as some misunderstanding. So I molded a second Cozy Glow personality, Cozy the Villain. Similar to the first but allowing me to show bits of myself without any suspecting my true nature.
Pity that Harmony stopped me from sending the magic through, it would have sped up the arrival of My Master, but I understand. She has a new generations of Champions to begin forging and I provided a proper blaze to start with. I can respect that. Until their respective world ends, the divine must continue on as if the sun will rise another day. Harmony is a fair mistress upon this world, so I can pardon this delay.
Still, my mission is done. Harmony at least allowed me that, a chance to signal my Masters in their world. That much magic works as a wonderful beacon with a rift into the cosmos opened below it.
In time, they will arrive. Will I be alive to see it, I wonder? It is hard to say, as gathering all that magic may have damaged my construct some. Changing shape and size is painful now, feeding passively is not as easy as before. Ripping a soul out to eat would be far too extreme now, in this world. And I don't particularly feel a great need to live. My Shards are strained but content in all ways but one.
So here I shall remain, in this prison and spin the wheels of my persona. I could tell them now, as it makes no difference, but I'm not sure why I would. My Masters will arrive no matter what anyone does.
My name is not Cozy Glow.
I have no name.
I am not a Pony.
I am not, technically, Real.
I do not even have my own Soul.
For I am a Ponunculus.
An artificial creature, made from the body parts of dead creatures, given new life by a mixture of science and magic. But mostly magic. The life in me is artificial. My personality is by design, with some remnants of a soul or two influencing me. I can feel them, some small urge from the Daughter-Shard to call My Maker "Father" and another to kneel before Him from the Servant-Shard. Were the Servant and Daughter separate individuals or one person? I never had a chance to inquire, but it helped in finding Him. All like me had been given shards from those that worshiped Him or knew Him. So that we would sense Him and know Him.
I came here to find Him. And upon finding him, signal My Masters.
So please enjoy yourselves, Heroes and Villains, Divines and Mortals, Gods and Servants. Enjoy this world and the time to come, for I honestly do not know what future awaits you all.
Except for My Masters. My Masters are coming, and they want one thing. Him.
They Want Their God Back.
End of Chaptter
Hello, everypony. Welcome to the Wiltverse, as I'm affectionately calling it: An AU that is really only AU to Season 9. I'd say more, but, spoilers.
So, yeah...this is the thought process of the pony-homunculus that took on the identity of Cozy Glow. Not much else to say, but I hope you enjoyed this little mental thriller.
Something else to mention; I based elements of this story from various CYOAs and builds I made of them. This one in particular was the inspiration for this chapter:
PS Please consider tipping my pat-reon, thank you!