Summary: Trixie made a deal to get the Alicorn Amulet, and someone has come to collect on his due. Refusing to accept her friend's terrible fate, Starlight must journey into the Inferno and face more horrors than she ever believed existed. And as her guide is Discord, the Lord of Chaos. Stars an original version of Equestrian Hell, created by me and Dragon Wizard 91, who coauthored this.
The middle of this night was dark and deep, with Luna's light unwilling to do more than breach the canopy of the ancient and primordial forest, the Everfree. Starlight eyed the trees warily as she made this trek, suspecting threats at every turn . Although nothing less than a hydra or Ursa Major could threaten her, she still found this greenwood more haunting and ominous than she ever had before.
"Where are you, Trixie? I know you're out here," she said to herself in worry as she scanned the area, any set path long lost to her. What her friend was doing in such a place, at such a time, she could not fathom yet she knew in her heart that Trixie was here all the same. She narrowed her gaze as a scent reached her nose: it was dry, metallic and sweet in her mouth. It was a smell that could only inspire dread in a pony.
With panic in her veins, she leapt forward towards the smell and raced through the thicket as fast and as hard as her legs could carry her. All thoughts of levitation or teleportation vacated her mind. What if she overshot her? What if she emerged only to fall on her and make any injuries worse? Instead, magic raced through her veins and muscles, easing pain and pushing them on harder than they had any right to perform.
Joy birthed and died in the same instance as she spied an opening ahead with a familiar cloak and hat adorning a body. But the form did not move and she couldn't even see her breathing. "Nononononono," Starlight repeated to herself between sorrow and rage at the sight that grew grim as she did close.
Yet at the rim of the glade, she found her path obstructed by three terrible beasts. A manticore, cragadile, and a bugbear all stood around the form of her friend, a pool of crimson steadily forming around the mare. But there was an unnatural ferocity and rage about these creature that growled and roared at her. As if willing her to leave this place out of pure malice instead from the need to feed upon flesh.
An apology to Fluttershy might be owed later, but for now, she didn't care. "Get away from her!" Starlight yelled as she charged her horn, prompting the manticore to roar in defiance. A beam from her blasted the maned creature back, but its hide was far tougher than it should be. The cragadile and bugbear charged as their comrade recovered. Another beam struck the ursine-insect, only halting its charge as it shielded its face with its arms. The reptile's jaws were upon her, just as Starlight teleported away.
She reappeared, just steps away from Trixie's immobile form, but the manticore had already leaped to slash its claws at her. Like knives, they grazed her cheek as she dodged back, blood staining her coat. With a grit of her teeth, her own magic enveloped her, taking her airborne and shielding her from the brunt of harm.
The battle was long and hard. In the air, the two chimeric beasts dogged her endlessly, never letting her retreat far from one without clashing with the other and the cragadile would remain circling Trixie should she attempt to claim the injured pony. While on the ground the manticore would relentlessly pursue her while the cragadile often tried to position itself to sneak upon her and the bugbear watched for any sign of weakness to strike.
Twilight, Chrysalis, Cozy Glow: never before had her heart pounded so hard in her chest as in this fight. But never had the stakes been more real, and perhaps, already lost. Time had once been her greatest conquest, and now it was her greatest enemy in this fight. No matter how hard she hit, no matter how much she brought pain upon them, these three remained unwavering in their pursuit of her life.
As the fight reached its end, Starlight's magic failed as she dropped to the ground. Standing, but panting hard in exhaustion. Sensing her weakness, the three pounced on her at once.
She smirked. Perfect.
They could only roar and screech as many trees, chopped down by her attacks in this battle, were slammed into them with all the might of an Ursa Major. She smirked at the pile of timber before dread returned to her heart, racing over to the pale blue mare. "Trixie! Trixie, are you alright?!" Starlight called as she stood over the figure, removing the hat and wincing at the beautiful, silver mane now tainted crimson. "Trix, can...can you hear me? P-please don't be...," she trailed off tearfully as she placed a hoof gently against the blue mare's neck.
"...You came," Trixie spoke weakly, straining her eyes open to stare up at the former villain, but her smile was one of truly bittersweet joy. "Trixie is...happy to not be alone for this..."
"It's going to be alright, Trixie! I know some healing spells, we just need to sta-" Starlight tried to assure, both Trixie and herself, but the words died as her friend coughed up blood.
"Not this time, Starlight. This is the Great and Powerful Trixie's curtain call," Trixie said with a weak chuckle, but wasn't surprised when her fellow unicorn ignored her, horn alight as magic tried to heal her body "I...I never told anyone."
"Anyone what?" Starlight asked even as she cradled her friend and tried to heal her, but found that whatever wounds she had somehow resisted the magic, as if something was preventing the spell from working
"How I got the Alicorn Amulet," Trixie informed with a weak sob. "I was so stupid and weak, and so angry. I made a mistake. A mistake I have to answer for now..."
"Trixie, whatever you did, Twilight forgave you! They'll help you! I'll help you!" Starlight vowed, imploring her not to give up now. "Just tell me what you did..."
"I...m-made a deal," Trixie continued as her body started to shake and grow cold. "I wanted so badly to make Twilight pay, an-and I didn't believe him. what he offered. What it'd cost. It wasn't until after I lost the amulet that I realized w-what I was dealing with," she rambled on, fear and despair clearly shining in her eyes.
"Who-whoever it is, we'll protect you," Trixie tried to assure, choking back her own tears as she began to lose hope in saving Trixie from her injuries.
"No one can protect her now, Little Mage."
Starlight held back a gasp of fear as she clung protectively and carefully over Trixie's form. "Wh-whose there!? Reveal yourself!" she ordered as she flared her magic. But even for all her bravado, she could not help all her hairs standing on end. Something primordial and instinctive within her trembled at the very voice that had addressed her. Ancient and powerful, twisted and heartless.
"Hmhm," a soft, ominous chuckle reverberated through the clearing, a feeling of pressure exerting itself upon her. The shadows grew deeper and dark, closing in all around them.
"Starlight...run," Trixie pleaded, her form going limp in Starlight's grasp, the time-mare's eyes dilating.
"No. No, Trixie, don't give up! Don't...don't leave me," Starlight pleaded as she descended into soft sobs, alone in the darkness.
Well, almost alone.
She turned to glare, only to recoil back in fright, perceiving her own shadow extending into a strange form, a beast with two giant horns. From her silhouette emerged a grand and terrible creature.
A great ram of blue fur that devoured the light around him, with eyes of solid scarlet that sought to drown the world in blood and fire. His mighty horns were like a crown, making him appear even taller while challenging any and all that would dare to defy him. Evil and power radiating off him in waves, every step of his hooves creating fractures in the ground that bled with an unholy red and orange light.
Starlight knew who this was, who this could only be, but her mind tried to reject what her soul knew to be true. "Grogar," she breathed and, in that moment, knew true fear.
"I have come for her," he declared ominously, standing over them like a mountain over hills.
"But you're..." Starlight trailed off, not even sure what she meant to say. Not real? A myth? A fillytale?
"Dead," he finished plainly as his eyes red orbs eyes shifted to the form of Trixie Lulamoon "And so is she," he declared as a magic surrounded his horns, but like none that Starlight had even seen: wisps of shadows and mist that moved like coiling snakes, ready to thrash and strike. To Starlight's horror and utter incomprehension, another Trixie emerged from her friend's corpse. Her body cloth-less and bloodless, but stained with tainted black veins against her translucent and shining coat.
The despondent soul of the show-mare trotted forlornly to Grogar before Starlight could even understand what she was seeing. "I have to go with him, Starlight," Trixie said sadly, smiling all the same. "Thank you for making these last few months so...wonderful. Goodbye, my friend," she said as she forced herself not to cry more. Grogar grunted, prompting her to turn obedient as they started to leave-
Only for Starlight to teleport in front of them, her tear-filled face wracked with fury and defiance, magic wrapped around her entire form. "You can't take her! I won't let you!" Starlight vowed with a glare as she shot a beam at the form of Grogar, the attack phasing through him as if he were smoke.
"You dare to challenge the Nether King's claim to a soul!?" Grogar growled in outrage as he sent his own beam at her, like a small dart of blackness. Starlight's eyes were wide in shock as the small attack shattered her shields and cut her uninjured cheek, the ground quaking with the impact that she dare not turn to look upon. "If you desire her back so, come forth and claim her from the depths of MY world!" Grogar's voice boomed his challenge as his infernal magic engulfed Trixie, yanking her skyward as he took flight, a trail of burning shadows left in the wake of his hooves.
"Starlight! Don't do it! Leave me to this fate!" Trixie implored over her shoulder as Grogar soared through the pitch-black sky.
But Starlight paid her no mind, charging after them with all the speed she could magically gift herself. She no longer had the strength or will to fly, but her body had not given out yet.
Grogar gave her an annoyed look out of the corner of his eye before speeding off. But not before leaving her a gift.
Starlight's race came to a halt, crashing face first into the dirt. Tasting her own blood, she was momentarily dazed. With a groan, she looked down at what had interfered in her mission to save her friend.
Her anger became horror at the sight of a skeleton pony, still half buried in the earth, reaching out to grasp her hind leg with its forelegs. The sound of rustling earth reached her ears, bringing her gaze upward and looked about something from a nightmare: she saw many more undead, of many other creatures, rising up to subdue her: Griffons, small drakes, chimeras, diamond dogs, and even a young hydra.
For a good three seconds, Starlight just stared at the undead horde before nodding slowly. "Okay. That's how we're doing this," she mused, as if accepting the reality of her situation as she popped her neck to one side and then the other.
And than she promptly blasted the skeleton pony holding her. Undead Griffons and pegasi lunged at her, prompting her to teleport deep into the midst of the lifeless creatures. She glared as they turned upon her, her magic swelling and then expanding into a blast, destroying half the horde, crumbling them into dust. She turned her gaze up at the drakes of death, magnified muscles and magic both sending her rocketing towards one. Her beam sliced through the ribs on half of its chest before literally lodging herself inside the torso of the reanimated creature, using her magic to bring the severed ribs back into place.
The undead beast fell from the sky as it mindless tried to claw at its own chest, Starlight shooting off the ends of its arms from inside the rib cage, using it as a shield as the horde clambered onto the dragon and each other, trying to rip both of them apart as she took shots while using her hind legs to try and support the bone structure a bit longer, As bones began to crack, she felt a thud against the ground before looking up through the shoulder and seeing the young hydra skeleton approaching, one of its long necks bringing a flesh-less cranium down on her.
Teleporting out at the last second, the creature ate nothing but its own kind, but kept attacking them in search of her. The unicorn peered down at them, getting her breathing under control as the adrenaline wore off. "Well...that just happened," she said in between breaths as she looked out over what she suspected was no longer the Everfree. Inhaling deeply, she steeled herself onward. "...I'm coming, Trixie..."
With that quiet vow, she forced herself to fly on, her magic fueled by her righteous anger. Still, her heart could only wither as she realized that Grogar and Trixie had moved far beyond her sight.
"Where are they...?" she mouthed with sweat upon her brow. The idea of going for help never occurred to her, for she could not take chances with this, not Trixie's very soul! The others might just think her mad with grief, deluded by the denial in the face of a tragic death.
"Ahhhh!" Trixie's scream drew her out of her thoughts and wrenched her heart, but it did give her direction.
"Trixie!" she called out desperately into the endless night as she spied her destination: The ruins of the Castle of Two Sisters. Without hesitation, she teleported to the door and charged through them. Within, she saw Trixie's soul akin to how she found her body: prone and withering on the empty dais of the derelict throne room. "Trixie!" she yelled again, racing to the spirit, her tainted veins growing harsh and thick through her being.
"St-starlight, please! Leave!" Trixie implored through her pain, legs clenched together as she tried to block out her agony. "D-don't let my mistake damn you as well!"
"I'm not losing you, Trixie! You're my best friend!" Starlight pleaded with angry tears. "Just tell me what I have to do to fix this!?"
"Fix this? Have you learned nothing?"
Starlight futilely tried to grasp onto Trixie's form, involuntarily floating up to where Grogar stared down from a cloud of darkness. "You could not fix those ponies you enslaved. You could not fix the children that came before you. You could not fix time itself to suit your desires...And you can't fix this one's fate, only doom your own," he vowed forebodingly as they both vanished like smoke in the wind...
Starlight stared numbly at the spot where her friend and her captor had been merely an instant ago, all of what was happening now finally hitting her properly, like a brick of despair. "GRRRRRRRAAAAAAAA!" Starlight cried out in rage as tears streamed down her face, slamming her hooves against the floor. And again and again and again, until she was sure something was starting to crack, and it wasn't the stone floor. Refusing to accept this, she tore her head up and screamed to the very heavens for any that would hear. "Harmony, Alicorns! Someone! Anyone! Please! Grant me a way to save her!"
"You ponies DO always forget me."
Starlight turned in surprise but swelling hope as she laid eyes upon the one being who, if no one else, might be able to fix this. "Discord!"
"You were expecting a poet?" he asked with a soft smirk, but his eyes betrayed the sympathy he rarely showed openly.
"Grogar! He has Trixie! Can you save her?" she asked, quick and hopeful.
Discord shook his head. "I honestly can't. Not directly," he answered meaningfully.
"And indirectly?" Starlight questioned, not yet caring for the reasoning.
"I can show you the way," He informed, scowling sternly down at her. "But you really will be risking your eternal soul."
"Given some of my past, I wouldn't call my soul that much of a risk, Discord," Starlight replied solemnly before standing upright, "But Trixie needs me! I won't abandon her!"
"The shortsightedness of mortal beings..." He murmured fondly as he shook his head, "But, if you are truly so determined to save her, then I will be your guide, Starlight Glimmer."
In the next moment, Discord stomped his foot into the ground, cracks and breaks appearing in the floor.
"What are you doing?!" She hissed at him, stepping back in surprise.
"Opening the path to Grogar's domain," was Discord's simple reply as the entire castle began to rumble. "If I were you, I'd start running," he informed dryly. Taking heed, Starlight ran for a door and found herself descending into the violently shaking ruins, forcing her to leap across collapsing stairs as she descended further and further until another particularly strong and sharp quake banged her against a stair column.
She blinked away stars, feeling hot air on her cheek wounds. With her vision clear, she looked out in terror. Half of the castle had been torn completely off and was now falling down a great chasm into some fiery depth below. "Okay, I know there wasn't any gorge THAT deep nearby!" she said to herself before frantically continuing on.
Upon reaching the bottom, she was only barely shocked when ponies of pure fire blocked her path. "Really?" She asked in exasperation, gritting her teeth to charge up her magic...and was pleasantly surprised to find herself completely recharged, obliterating them in short order with one shot. "Thank you, Discord," she said under her breath. With that, she ran through the flaming ruins, dodging under broken columns and teleporting across otherwise impassable breaks in the path. What felt like hours later, she found a great chamber containing an enormous bronze door.
And before it stood her guide. "What was THAT?!" Starlight yelled in disbelief. "Why did this whole place just break itself apart and catch on fire!?"
"The path to the Gate of the Nether always takes on an infernal mockery of wherever you are," Discord explained plainly, looking more serious than she had ever seen him. "This is no place for cowards, Starlight. Everything about this place will try to kill you, or worse, corrupt and claim you," Discord warned, clearly unimpressed with her frustration. "This is the last chance, Starlight. Once you enter the Blind World, I can't get you out. I can only show you the way."
"...If I turned around now, Discord, then every lesson Twilight had ever taught me about friendship would be pointless," Starlight answered, steeling her resolve. "I need to keep going, and I am going to save her."
Discord eyed her for a moment longer before smirking, as if he saw something he approved of in her. "Don't say I didn't warn you, Starlight Glimmer," he warned despite his apparent approval as he raised a hand to the door.
Starlight looked at it properly for the first time. It was enormous, three times the size of the front door to Twilight's Castle, and at least as large as she heard Tartarus's to be. On it were...creatures, monsters. Twisted, malformed imitations of ponies, dragons, griffins, every creature she could imagine and more. All with their limbs outstretch to where the two doors met. The rim appeared to be made of bones coated in metal. But between the bones and the...netherspawns depicted upon the door, she saw writing. In no language she knew. "What does it say?"
"Only those damned to here may read it, but it basically tells you to give up," Discord answered with some of his usual cheek, just a tad, before lowering his talons.
The door creaked opened, slowly moving inch by inch as the putrid scent of sulfur and brimstone hit her nose. "It smells terrible," she murmured with a grimace.
"That's the least of it," Discord shot back humorlessly as he waved inward. "Ladies first."
Starlight cautiously approached and almost jumped back as she looked over the edge. "It's a sheer drop!" Starlight realized, unable to make out the bottom. Just a light. Not a comforting one either.
"Living or dead, all souls fall into this place, Starlight. Don't worry, it won't hurt. Much," Discord assured with an unhelpful shrug. But Starlight nodded and accepted the idea that this jump wouldn't kill her instantly and, with that, leapt in. As she fell, she glared defiantly down into the abyss.
And the Abyss glared back.
Her glare turned to horror as she fell further and further. It...it was one enormous pit! And there were creatures, countless souls falling and burning alongside her, screaming their horror as they joined with those below, screaming in agony. And before she hit the ground, she had only one thought.
Everything about this place was pure despair.
She landed with only minor aches and needles, taking a moment to take in her surrounding. "...What is this place?" Starlight asked quietly. All around her were barren, jagged rocks of a dirty red color. Above, all she could see was darkness and smoke. Screams, near and far, echoed over the lands without end.
"The Realm of Solitude," Discord answered as he appeared beside her, as if he had been hidden by nothing more than a breeze. "Welcome to the Netherrealm, Starlight Glimmer."
"Welcome to the Inferno."
Okay, and there we go. First chapter in the Equestrian Comedy. Hope you all enjoyed this. Hmm, first time having Starlight or Trixie in main roles I think.
So, yes, obviously this inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, and the game based on the Inferno. But while some themes and such will resemble the Divine Comedy, me and betawriter created out own version of Equestrian Hell with Grogar as the Devil. And like Dante's Inferno, you will get a backstory on realm of the Netherrealm, and on some trapped within- along with why this place exists at all in a setting like MLP.
Hope you all enjoy this., and Badass Starlight