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Champions of Equestria

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Description:

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR “THE LIGHT OF HARMONY’S HOPE” FOUND BELOW: READ AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION
 
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(4,000 BLB/Before Luna’s Banishment)
 
Prince Tirek: 4,000 years ago, in the Netherland Kingdom, a centaur male was born to the centaur, King Vorak, and the Gargoyle, Queen Haydon. His name was one born of unknown inspiration: Tirek. First born heir to the throne of the wasteland kingdom. Though he was raised to be a prime example to his kingdom, and all within, he was…..conflicted. Though he did care for his family, and his subjects, the young prince was driven by a sense of rebellion, and a drive to be better than others. This put him at odds with his father more times than can actually be counted. Even more so when both his mother gave birth to a younger, gargoyle child they named Scorpan: and when it was discovered he himself was born with rare, magical abilities that only a few centaurs are born with. This, along with his parent’s favoritism towards his kind-hearted brother, gave rise to a resentment towards them - though he did care for his brother, and didn’t blame him for the treatment the centaur prince received from the king. This began raising an impending sense of superiority, and drive to surpass his father as his magic grew stronger. Something that a hermited centaur wizard named Sendak cultivated on as he took the prince on as a pupil, teaching him all that he knew. He fed Tirek’s arrogance, and pride every day with more knowledge bestowed onto him: only Scorpan knew of his secret lessons with the hermit, but said nothing out of love, respect……and fear of Tirek. The prince didn’t hate the little gargoyle, but his low self esteem did grate on him sometimes, as did his cautious nature. But he had every confidence that his brother would keep quiet about his meetings with Sendak, despite his parent’s suspicions. And for many years, until he was 17 of age, since he was 11, learned many of the lost magics of his people with the aid of his master, and kept his hands clean of any suspicion during his time under his mentor’s teachings.
 
But all that changed when the hermit wizard ventured to the land of Equestria, and brought home a Unicorn for a most ambitious, mystical experiment that would change Tirek’s fate forever.
 
Sendak had learned of an ancient, and powerful type of magic, and the spell to harness its true power: the ability to consume and absorb the magic of others. He foalnapped a unicorn from Equestria to experiment on with this magic in the hopes of finding a way to reclaim his vitality, and obtain a new source of power - maybe even a means to seize the throne for himself, though he’d never say that to his young protege’. Unfortunately, he made the mistake of sharing this secret with Prince Tirek, who saw opportunity in his master’s experiment, and desired the same thing Sendak himself desired: the power of equestrian magic. In addition, despite the fact he knew nothing of the art, he secreted himself to Sendak’s cave in the dead of night, and tried to consume the unicorn’s magic. He tapped into that demonic ability, if but a moment, but his control slipped, and he had a magical rebound that destroyed the cavern. His master was exposed, and he fled before he could be discovered. Though he denied any accountability, King Vorak remained skeptical, and confined him to his quarters as he escorted the Unicorn home while trying to prevent any national incident between his kingdom, and the alicorn’s own. This act turned the embers of Tirek’s anger into a cindering, roaring fire that made him swear to overthrow his father, and become an indomitable force. This caused him to also verbally lash out at his brother, Scorpan, for his emotional turmoil, but he had enough sense of self to apologize when he did. The brothers swore to each other that, no matter what happened, they would always be bound together by the bonds that held them together. Even Tirek, who resented his parents for holding him to such low regard due to his negative, and ambitious attitudes, agreed to this and swore that like the Princesses of Equestria, would one day rule together as Co-Rulers. Even if they were driven apart, they would still love and care for one another, in each other’s hearts.
 
But the brief taste of Equestrian magic never quite left Tirek’s mind since that night. And he gained a newfound obsession which caused him to make drastic choices. One of which had him getting into an argument with Vorak about the truth regarding Sendak while holding court, which eventually got so out of control that the overworked, paranoid, and fearful king struck his own son for the first time. Now fearful of his own father, and with the father himself realising his mistake, to his horror, Tirek tapped into more of his own magical reserves and shot Vorak away from him with a blast from his hand in desperation, and the need to protect himself. Seeing the fear in his own people…..and families eyes, Tirek knew he had no choice: without so much as another word he fled the castle, and went into the wilderness of the Netherlands - though not before grabbing a bow, and sliver full of arrows from a guard along the way. His father sending his guards to pursue and bring him back in the desperate need to atone for his mistake. Young Tirek thought he was being sought out for punishment by his father, and only resisted with his newly acquired offensive abilities, while trying to save his arrows for when he needed them. Soon, even the King joined the recovery party, which lead them into an ominous part of the mountain region, where Tirek had gone into a cave that was strong with the essence of “The Darkness”. Fearing for his son’s safety, Vorak even called on Discord, a member of his court, to help them find Tirek. The chaos spirit couldn’t simply snap his fingers to bring him out because the darkness of that cave disrupted his powers. So, with no choice they went in - and in doing so, learned that this was some kind of dark fortress which had been forsaken eons ago. Large wells of indigo colored, mystical essence, steaming in the depths below. Soon enough, during their search, they indeed found Tirek.
 
But he wasn’t alone in those caves.
 
A host of corrupt satyrs had taken refuge in these caves, and had succumbed to the very fumes of the Wells of Darkness in there. Thus turning them into more demonic, feral creatures who were still fully capable of armed combat, and had also gained offensive, magical abilities. To protect themselves, Discord gave the gargoyle guard’s spears a chaos-infused boost so they can also fire magical beams, and they can have a chance to fight back - even as restricted as he was, the chaos spirit still had plenty of tricks up his sleeves (if he had any.:D (Big Grin)). While Tirek, himself, was repelling Satyr after Satyr while retreating further into the crypt-like cave, and with only sword in hand and Discord beside him, Vorak set forth to save his son. Tirek saw his father, and Discord, and was now further filled with fear as he tried to shoot them away, too. With only his magic, and his bow and arrows in hand, Tirek continued evading his enemies, only barely managing to hold off a Satyr that got the drop on him. When ambushed, Vorak begged Discord to save his son, to which the draconequus obliged.
 
Managing to keep up with short-ranged teleports, he eventually made it through the remaining satyrs and cornered Tirek on a causeway - rooted above one of the Dark Wells. In the fuming mists, just as Discord flashed next to him, the prince fired at him with a mystically charged arrow, only for the chaos spirit to reflect it on instinct by turning his paw into crystal, and having the arrow him back in the face in fiery splinters. Young Tirek was burned from his own attack, and riddled with agonizing, burning splinters that made the world around him nonexistent: so much so he never managed to stop himself from stepping backwards, and over the ledge. He recovered fast enough to grab a stone spike, and halt his fall. Still unable to teleport him, Discord reached for the prince, and tried to lift him up. Perhaps if Tirek hadn’t gotten his hands scraped on the rock, his grip wouldn’t have loosened. But in the end, Discord lost his holding, and the young prince fell screaming through the air. Down, down, down below…….straight into the Well of Darkness below him. His body disappeared in a splash of black and red liquid before it settled. All who witnessed this were mortified: but none moreso than the King, and Discord. The former falling to his knees as, to every parent’s greatest horror can be, he had witnessed his first born…..his baby boy, die right in front of his eyes. And the grief turned to anger when Discord offered his most sincere apologies for his failure to save Tirek, hence causing him to blame the draconequus for this tragedy - even though he knew it wasn’t his fault because of this evil place. Even so, he let his anger control him to the point he officially cast him out of his court, and his kingdom forever. Dejected, and sad, Discord gave one last apology before he did as the king ordered, and left. This would set the spirit of chaos on his own path, which would lead him to Equestria one day - and unfortunately, it would lead to him displaying why he is called the spirit of chaos. Once the king finished grieving, he went home to give the bad news. The Netherlands mourned for the passing of their lost prince, and shared in the grief of their future ruler’s end. Yet on this dark, and rainy day, none but his family felt more pain for the death Tirek had succumbed to: Scorpan, worst of all, as the promise made between them had been broken, and now the young gargoyle was alone. As father, mother, and brother privately blamed themselves for this tragedy, the future of their kingdom seemed to be shrouded in a bleak veil of sorrow. Little did any of them know that the cavern fortress had secret aqueducts leading outside, and into a small lake nearby where all in the land was dead……except for the owner of the crimson hand with vicious claws, and a malformed wrist band that emerged from this excess as the remains of bows and arrow alike appeared.
 
Prince Tirek was dead…….and now, something new had been born from his boiling remains.
 
The moment he was able to get out of the noxious lake of darkmatter, he felt his whole body in pain. As if he had been expanded from the inside, and his bones had stretched against their will. He even felt a new weight on his head as he crawled out of the mire, and onto solid earth. His armor torso plate now little more than molten metal pouring off of him, except for a single, metal ring surrounding his neck. He was amazed he was alive, but wondering if this pain he felt was worth it. Feeling over his itching, burning body, he felt himself coated in a layer of…….fur? Hair? Something fuzzy, that was for sure. And he knew he never had a beard, save his signature goatee, but …….the most startling thing he noted was how much he felt his own face had changed. Where once there was only a flat surface and a nose, now there was a muzzle long as a bulls. Even his horns, which he glimpsed in a puddle in the rain, had grown to resemble a bovine set. This finally got him curious enough to actually look at himself in the rain puddles growing from the deluge pouring overhead. He was cautious at first, but knew he had to find out what happened - what was wrong with him. When he did finally see, it was……. so far beyond what he imagined. Even by centaur standards, he was no longer normal. Whatever that well was he landed in, had cursed him into the form of a…..a hellish beast out of the darkest pits of Hades, or rather the TRUE Tartarus (not that oversized cave prison the princesses were said to have at their disposal.). His eyes now gleaming with sinister gold, he could no longer hold it in. What sounded like quiet weeping suddenly began morphing into deranged laughter as the now fully grown centaur arose to his feet. His laughter sounding more mortifying and broken with every bout he let out as he clutched at his pitch black hair-fur. He was no longer the Tirek he remembered, and never again would he be the same. This whole incident, caused by his own parents, his subjects…..and that misshapen freak of nature who couldn’t even save him from a high dive of death.
 
The Prince was gone, replaced by this new creature…..and all it took was one bad day to make it happen.
 
Even so, he had no idea what he should do. He couldn’t go home as he was now: he would be imprisoned on the spot once his fath-…no. Once Vorak recognized him, he would use his current state to give him the excuse needed to justify intended punishment. That draconequus couldn’t be tracked thanks to his unpredictable ability to literally disappear into thin air, so hunting him down was out of the question. And anywhere else he goes he would be treated like the monster he had been turned into. It seemed like he was on his own now, with only his anger, and hatred for his father, his mother, his home, and the chaos spirit who let him become this…..thing. Even the Equestrians had the biggest hand in his fate because of that unicorn. Yes! THEY started this whole thing, and they were the ones to truly blame. Only hatred for all he blamed let him carry on for as long as he could. But then something happened which he did not anticipate, or imagine could happen: a voice called out to him, like an elderly grandparent speaking out to their grandchild, asking if he were lost. He looked to the source, and noticed some kind of….distortion in reality that acted like a mirror at the same time. On the other side, he saw an old, horned figure in black skin, whose eyes shined like his own. Again, he called out to him, and then presented a thin, aged hand which actually had hints of green, like rotting flesh. Still, the figure offered him sanctuary, and aid. He wasn’t afraid of the centaur he somehow knew was just a boy. What choice did Tirek have but to agree?
 
He took the offered hand, and soon found himself in another land entirely. The window he passed through was some kind of massive crystal that was shining like a rainbow in silver glass. There were other crystals there, as well, surrounding what he now realized was a mausoleum in a dark cemetery. All around him, he sensed only Darkness: the same Darkness he could smell coming off of the crimson cloaked figure whose horns were like antlers, a pelt of fur wrapped around his neck and acted like a tail hanging behind as his hooved legs moved about. His face, however, was another story entirely as it was completely aged to the point of decaying. Even with no lips to cover his predator sharp teeth, he could still express himself with his fiery orange and red eyes. The figure then said he was named “Tirathos”, and he had much to teach, and show the former prince. He was old, but his work was not over yet: The Sacred Tree of Light still stands, and Harmony thrives in their realm. He no longer had the power to war against it - but Tirek had been chosen to carry on this dark crusade in his stead. Listening intently, Tirek heeded the withered lich as he spoke of making the centaur his heir and successor, who he would train in the ways of the Vashtar, itself - the Darkness, itself. In exchange, Tirathos would teach him many things even his old master never could in a single millennia, and gift unto him ALL of his dark powers. Then show him the way to reawaken, and claim all of it.
 
Tirek agreed, enticed by the promise of power, and intrigued by this stranger who, despite his withered appearance, harbored a mass of power exceeding anything the centaur ever imagined - but then again, he hadn’t the ability to sense energy and magic to this extent before. His curiosity, and the sign of opportunity from this ‘training’: if things worked out, he would finally fulfill the pledge he made to himself to show Vorak that he was indeed an indomitable force……before he lays waste to that worthless kingdom he once called home. Why content yourself with ruling one spit of land when all the world can be your kingdom? To conquer, and reign over as you see fit while making all those despised pay to your hearts content. More, to claim the power of the cosmos, wasted on frightened farm animals who consider themselves the ruling class. These were the thoughts that burned in his mind before he agreed to be apprentice to this….new master. And in this hidden domain, which was a pocket dimension hidden between the mortal realm, and The Dark Realm, yet accessible to those who can find the way without a traveling crystal, as the one Tirathos wielded. As such, the concept of time itself ran differently between the two: a day in the mortal realm was year in the dark one. And so it was weeks that gave Tirek all the time he needed to hone his newfound might, and abilities: even harnessing the ability to absorb magic from other living things - provided by his master in the form of wandering ponies. At last, he had tasted the power of Equestrian magic, and found it most delicious. And he was harnessing his own inner-darkness to become even stronger. If Discord was an embodiment of chaos, then Tirek would soon become an embodiment of darkness, with the same level of might to match, and even surpass. He even learned something truly important: the ability to utilize the Sacred Dragon Crystals. The objects of power belonging to a race of dragons said to be directly descended from the Bahamut: the Primordial Archangels of Light. The majority returned to their own realm for reasons lost to time, but there were others who stayed behind - and in doing so, provided the dark wielder a means of gaining new power that would make him a god. Tirek himself soon armed himself with the knowledge of wielding these crystals, and added it to his arsenal.
 
However, he would not be using the master’s crystals just yet.
 
After 15 years in the dark realm, the lost prince had mastered the dark arts, and had grown in both body and mind. He had taken his hatred, and rage, and turned them into the tools needed to give him the strength to seek out what he desired, and take it for his own. He would become a true god on Earth. Only two things remained in order for him to complete his training. The first was for Tirek to perform an ability that is considered forbidden even among the Primordials, themselves, and yet was used to give birth to Tirathos: and he wanted Tirek to use it on him, and absorb his soul into himself. Like a vessel, he would harbor his master’s very essence, draw on greater power, and ensure that Tirathos would endure in spite of his imminent death, which was what also brought the training to its final stage. The second was simply a pledge: a pledge to bring back the empire Tirathos had created centuries ago, in the First Age of the Ancient Equestrian world. First, he would need to recover the source of Tirathos’ powers, hidden in the vaults of Tirek’s old home: The Dark Crucible. Once he had it, he could begin his rise to power, and in the process learn the true reason his parents hated and feared him. Though he didn’t fully understand, Tirek wanted to know what the dark one apparently did. And thus agreed to the pledge, and to let the master become part of him. Being taught the technique, Tirek siphoned Tirathos’ soul into himself, and then left only his master’s withered husk in the wake. However, it could still be a medium for Tirathos to commune with, and would act as such should his pupil ever require aid. Therefore, as apparently had already been prepared, Tirathos had been swallowed by the very darkness itself, and brought into the Mausoleum to be laid to rest. Once it was sealed, his crystals vanished without a trace: according to Tirathos within Tirek, they were bidden to hide away in The Midnight Mountain. A place Tirek would one day find, and take as his seat of power, just as it served his master eons ago. With the soul of his mentor giving him power, and serving as his silent sage whom he could commune with through meditation, he opened a portal through his own magic back to the mortal realm. He was surprised when he learned of the time dilation effect, and that 15 years had only been a little over two weeks out here. No matter, not when there was work to be done.
 
And the king and queen were due a visit from Lord Tirek.
 
 
Lord Tirek: Many sad, and lonely weeks passed for the royal family as they had forcibly accepted the loss of their eldest brother and son. Scorpan lost some of the spark of happiness he once had while his mother, and father grieved in their own ways. Haydon consoled herself by looking over old photo albums of the times she, her family and Tirek were ever truly happy. And that made her guilt all the stronger because she blamed herself for not doing more for her son when he was growing…… estranged, and frustrated with the rest of them. She should have seen something was wrong with him, and at least TRIED to understand, and console him about it. Instead, the only one she consoled was her husband after father and son had one of their “quarrels” where Vorak would show only disapproval to his eldest son, while the son himself showed resentment for this treatment, and what he must have believed was him basically showing how little he cared for the young prince. She was a fool, she now realized. And now, these pictures were all she had to ease the pain she felt when reminded of her lost prince. That is, until she felt an even greater pain through her chest as a massive hand held her mouth shut, and when she glanced behind and saw a bull-horned figure whose eyes shimmered with hate, as the dagger in her back fully injected the lethal poison he had laced it with. Before it claimed her in the darkness of her palace’s study, the centaur had only one thing to say to her.
 
“Thank you for accepting my death in such a way….mother: at least besides my gram-gram, you and Scorpan were the only ones who gave a damn about me.”, revealing to her in her final moments that her son had returned……..but was not her son anymore.
 
The King himself, meanwhile, had given in to his own depression. Seeing only himself as the cause of his son’s death, Vorak was never the same after that night. He hardly ate, barely slept, and had secluded himself into the personal chambers he shared with his wife. The only thing helping him feel just a little better was the ales, and wines he consumed to drown his misery away. It was bittersweet, to say the least. And even then, the pain would never truly leave and he would never forgive himself. Tirek was gone, and he was never coming back. However, the doors to his room had made their average creaking sound, signalling someone had come in. He assumed it was Haydon, and felt at least some happiness at the thought of his wife. Probably came back to help ease his guilt, and sadness. What he did NOT expect was a massive figure standing in the doorway, with only the lights of the king’s desk for illumination and the lamps in the halls, covered in a veil of shadow, with only an imposing physique, a pair of long, curved horns, and barely visible pinpricks of yellow that could pass for eyes. The king demanded to know who he was, and Tirek was all to willing to oblige him by asking if he’d really forgotten him so quickly. Just like Haydon less than half an hour ago before, Vorak recognized the voice of his son, in spite of its more mature, and demonic tone which was unsettling to hear. He expressed how happy he was to see him despite believing he was dead, but the ex-prince didn’t but into it. He outright accused him of seeing him executed for striking him with magic that day, considering him insane with an unsettling chuckle. Vorak couldn’t find any words and instead moved back towards his desk to reach for his sword, out of fear. But the sound of magic charging, and the other centaur telling him not to bother threw that idea out the window. The father tried again to reason with his son, saying if he attacks him intentionally, then prince or not, his life would be forefeit for the treason he was about to commit. Tirek, of course, wasn’t afraid or dissuaded in the slightest. As far as he was concerned, he had died in the caverns long ago, and found the process liberating: like a sort of therapy. When the King spoke one last time, he tried convincing him that all would welcome back their prince if he stood down, and let him be. It was here the former son had declared that The Lost Prince is dead, and gone: he would be known as “Lord Tirek”, as he revealed his full body to the king, and then sentenced the Ex-King to death for crimes against the new Ruler of this world.
 
He then blasted Vorak out the window, along with his desk and chair, causing a large crash as everything went plummeting down into the abyss surrounding the castle. To Lord Tirek’s surprise, Vorak held onto the broken edge as he went careening. But when the dark master went over to him, and he reached his hand out as he begged for help, Lord Tirek plucked the crown on his father’s head, and while spinning it around stated that this belonged to him now. He then stomped on Vorak’s hand with all his strength, with the other clenching his ankle, then after saying “The Prince and King are dead” before grinning and saying, “Long live the Dark Lord.”, before releasing and watching his father plummet into the dark chasm below. His laughter echoed in the chamber at his retribution finally being his. But the sound of commotion caused him to open a portal to the lower levels of the castle, just as guards rushed in. He then went to collect his inheritance in the hidden vaults. There, just past a magical seal-locked door, resting on a pedestal, was the tool of his rise to power: The Dark Crucible. Much like his former magic powder bag, he wore the heart-shaped pouch around his neck, getting the feel of this new weapon, and power source. That was when he saw it: a tapestry explaining his own family tree, which all lead back to a single name at the beginning of this lineage.
 
Tirac. The fabled first Dark Lord of the First Generation of Equestria. The imperial terror who conquered the known world before all who lived there rose up, and destroyed him was Tirek’s direct ancestor. He was the descendant of the black spot on the legacy of the centaurian race, and why they were condemned to live out there lives in this wasteland.
 
He finally understood, at long last, why he was so despised by his own mother, and father: even with his hair, and his sash, he actually resembled the dark-haired ruler of midnight, as the legends call him. Especially with his horn-shape, and his choice of armor-attire. Every time they saw him, they were reminded of their races greatest disgrace. But Tirathos, who spoke from within the void of Tirek’s subconscious had something else to say about that. Focusing, he concentrated his mental faculties into reaching into his own mind to commune with his master. And it was here that he found that Tirathos truly was part of him now, but he also learned another truth as the once elderly lich began billowing in deep, purple smoke: here in the astral plane, as it’s called, Tirathos could shift to his original forms, and he divided in three. The shadow of a devil looming behind, whose eyes burned like yellow flames, whose skin was darker than the blackest void, and his physique was no longer frail and rotten - it was versatile, firm, and strong, as one would image the body of a god would look like. His horns had changed, and were now shorter, but sharp as a pike, by the looks of them. Add in his immense bat-like wings, and you understand this is no mere god. Before him, on the left Tirek saw a black and red cobra with six eyes who seemed to grin with malevolence pure. The right had a hellish inferno on four limbs, two arms and legs each, that may have looked like a dragon, but his very form, and posture, the length of his horns, wings, and tail, plus the flaming fury in his eyes told him this was something else entirely - strangely enough, something that felt the same as the serpent, but stronger. And there, standing in the middle between was the very figure who his people, and the few who knew of him, spoke of in legends, and stories to frighten younglings at night. His ancestor, Tirek, Emperor of Midnight Mountain, the Well of Souls, and The Heart of Darkness itself was Tirathos: or half of him, at least.
 
The figures then explained their history, and how the Primordial Outer God, Apophis, waged war with his Elder God counterpart, Lignum Harmonia, the sacred tree. A war that saw to the creation of a corrupt form of beings made from the Bahamut, who were the soldiers of The Primordials armies, renamed Djinn. How he obtained a form in their likeness, that raged with the fires of Anarchy, itself, and would have laid low The Sacred Tree of Light were it not for the Bahamut themselves, and the cataclysm that destroyed the universe which came before theirs, simply known as Ragnarok. Though weak, he did not die: instead, Apophis regained his strength, and came into contact with this Equestria, revealing the existence of multiple Earths that now exist parallel to their own. He attempted to finish what he began by destroying the world, but the lost prince’s ancestor, once a protector, defeated him in armed combat. But then, once he had convinced the centaur, the demon, Apophis, made a pact with Tirac to bestow on him his power, and knowledge, and wisdom only primordials can possess if the centaur would allow the eldritch being to join their souls together. Tirac agreed, and much like Tirathos’ pupil had done yet in a reverse fashion, Apophis’ soul willingly became part of the centaur’s being so that even when his body died, his true self remained unharmed, along with the true source of his existence: The Jinsei Heart. A crystal of divine power which was the source of a Primordial’s life, and their very existence. As long as it live in any shape, or form, Apophis lives. Thus the Jinsei had been hidden from the world, in a place only they could find it. Together, they then set off on a quest of domination, and doom for the world of Ancient Equestria. With the outer gods knowledge of the essence that gives life to all of creation, “The Source”, and The Darkness that makes half of it, along with the art of weaponizing one’s soul in the form of an energy weapon, Tirac used the Darkness within his own soul, and called upon The Darkness of The Source to forge a Soul Saber, and a retainer of evil never seen before, which Lord Tirek now wields. With the Dark Crucible, Emperor Tirac with his soul-partner formed the Midnight Empire, and ruled the world for many centuries - until a single unicorn who harbored the essence of The Light of The Source, and of Harmony within his six companions, Tirac was forced to use the crucible to become the all-mighty Dokuru, or rather Dark Lord, Tirathos.
 
Even then, it wasn’t enough, and he fell to the power of Harmony and Light, used to bring a soul saber that counteracted his Dark Crucible, and destroyed him - for a time.
 
Tirathos reconstituted into the withered form Prince Tirek had met after his “accident”, and forced him to hide for centuries more in a secret hidden pocket realm that was a concealed domain of darkness, where he was able to bring his Crystals of Power to aid in finding a successor worthy enough to replace him: they chose Tirek, who was of Tirac’s bloodline. And thus, upon consuming his master’s soul, he had become a true reincarnation of the true first emperor of Equestria. Now, it was up to him to carry on the legacy of Midnight, as he had pledged to do. A notion Tirek agreed with as he held the crucible in his hands as he returned to the real world, and with his sheer will, bid it to manifest into the weaponized form of “The Rainbow of Darkness” as it had also been named. Under his master’s guidance, he then learned his actions towards his parents had also allowed the evil in him to swell, and fragment a piece of his very soul in the process. With that in mind, he combined his power with that of the Dark Crucible to manifest this ‘fragment’, and give it physical form. The result was a malignant spirit, born of evil, who held the likeness of a pony, but was more demonic in appearance than any Thestral in the world due to their crimson skin, predatory maw, and eyes, and their massive dragon wings. The name Dismay was given unto this creature, and his first, and perhaps mightiest servant pledged themselves to him for all time. With that in mind, he then decides to carry out the remainder of his goal by setting out for Equestria to claim its power for his own, conquer this world, and then perhaps find the means to become what Tirathos himself once was.
 
However, he remembered a promise he had made to one who mattered most dear to him - and who may be of great aid to him in his quest for dominion over the world.
 
Lord Tirathos: Tirek reveals himself to Scorpan after the Gargoyle prince hears commotion outside of his room. Something had happened that the guard were keeping quiet about, and it was then the centaur teleported into his room. Naturally, he didn’t recognize him at first, until the centaur spoke of things only his younger brother knew that would prove who he was. With the revelation, the brother’s embraced each other for what felt like eternity. He then asked Tirek what had happened to him, and why he looked so…….different. He first insisted that Scorpan address him as Lord Tirek, and secondly, he was a victim of circumstance who simply found a way to survive, and endure. And now, he was mighty, and powerful like he always wanted. When the subject of their parent’s came up, though, Tirek refused to see them because he had watched a terrible thing occur thanks to his newfound powers: their parents had been murdered. Murdered by the Equestrians for what Sendak had done, and blamed for his actions as well. They wanted vengeance on their kingdom, and so Tirek intended to bring justice and retribution to them in turn - and he needed Scorpan’s help to do so. Something about Tirek made Scorpan weary, and hesitant at first. But his love, and trust won through and he agreed to aid his brother. Though when asked what would be done about their home, and if they were going to leave it in a state of panic, and leaderless, Lord Tirek merely smiled and said that all would be taken care of. A steward would see to it that their kingdom was enlightened to the events, and cleansed of the fear, and histeria that would follow once word of the King and Queen’s death came forth. Trusting him with small hesitance, Scorpan relented. And the two of them went through a portal of Tirek’s making, leading to the land of Equestria.
 
Their Kingdom was indeed left to the affairs of a steward chosen by Lord Tirek: Dismay, who did all as Tirek described by assuming her true, dragonian form and cleansing the kingdom in her dark flames until all was only ash, and soot - all of the dead would find enlightenment in the next life.
 
From there, history takes its main course: Lord Tirek, and Scorpan set forth to steal the magic of Equestria in order to weaken, and dominate the opposition. Though first, Scorpan would need to observe and study the ponies to survey the threat level. He agreed, and was prepared to go forth, before Lord Tirek halted him. Reminding him of the bond they had, and the promise they made, the centaur gave his brother an ivory ring, with a bud-like gem of silver on its top. This was his sign of gratitude and loyalty. Touched by this, Scorpan felt the need to return the favor in kind: and so gave Tirek his medallion, though it was a gift from their grandmother. He wanted him to have it for the same reasons Tirek said he gave the ring. Tirek expressed his gratitude, and wished him the best as he set off for Equestria…… the centaur hoping that he would indeed not fail him by siding with those worthless creatures against him. A week had passed since then, and Tirek spent most of his time meditating to hone his control over his power. On the eight day, Scorpan finally returned, and the eager centaur was quick to greet him and ask how his mission went. What he was almost surprised to see was a look of uncertainty on his brother’s face. His suspicions only grew when Scorpan began asking questions he didn’t like hearing: is their campaign truly necessary when it involves ponies who had nothing to do with their parent’s deaths? What if it was indeed only a small band, unassociated with the rest of the society itself who acted independently? Why should they consider ALL ponies enemies when only a few were their quarry? Couldn’t they perhaps ask the ponies to aid in their search for justice? Things like that. And it became all too clear when Scorpan revealed he had been conversing with them that he was turning to their side. He even dared to beg Lord Tirek to leave the Equestrians alone, and not go through with his plan to punish them needlessly. Tirek refused, and told Scorpan to get these ideas out of his head. The ponies were his head with lies in order to gain his trust, and betray him. He reminded him that Vorak and Haydon were allies to the Alicorn Princesses until Sendak abducted one of their subjects. How the gargoyle could not see that what happened was retaliation, plain and simple, then he was a fool, as Tirek put it. Hearing Tirek speak like this, with such hatred, and contempt was unnerving, intimidating, and unbecoming of the Tirek he once knew. And for the first time in his life, he openly defied his brothers claims by saying HE was the fool for letting his anger, and rage control him as he always did. Even before he disappeared he allowed anger to dictate his actions. Now he was taking things too far, and Scorpan was wondering if this was all worth it, or not - and if he wanted to be part of it any longer.
 
The demonic centaur was livid that Scorpan had spoken to him this way, and said such things. He was prepared to remind him of their oath when the worst thing to ever imagine happened: Dismay flew in right at that moment, and declared that The Netherlands were now only a desolation, as he had ordered. This snapped Tirek out of his furious state, and he saw the horror of his brother after hearing this. Before he could fabricate more lies, Scorpan demanded to know what the monster pony had meant by that. This made Dismay respond in defense of their master, and without thinking, reveal that his brother had created Dismay to destroy their own home so that no evidence of her master’s actions could be traced back to him, and so he and Scorpan would have no reason to return to that wasteland. Before they could speak any further, Lord Tirek seized Dismay by the neck with his magic, and began throttling them as he ordered their silence. But it was far too late. Despite his timid, often complacent, and docile nature, Scorpan was NOT a fool, and he began piecing things together. Before anything, he asked if all that he’d heard was true. His spiteful scowl gave him away, it seems, given it wouldn’t leave with any attempts to hide it. He knew he’d been caught, and admitted to it. This made the Gargoyle turn to anger himself, as he realized that Tirek had lied, and manipulated him: and he know believed it was his own brother who murdered their own parents. The outrage was unbelievable, and eventually it came to the point where Tirek actually tried to shoot down Scorpan with his magic at non-lethal levels. All he did was scare him away, and leave the heir of Tirathos bewildered. He gave Dismay his most murderous glare for what they had done……though he did nothing to truly harm them, since he had no wish to lose his immortality a horcrux like Dismay provided. Instead, he was forced to accelerate his plans, and take Equestria himself. He bid his creation begone, and await his command when he summons them.
 
And the rampage he partook in would lead to one of the most devastating conflicts Equestria has ever seen.
 
With the magic of numerous ponies within him, The Dark Crucible in hand, fully unsheathed, and the sight of his own flesh and blood beside the Princesses and their mentor, Starswirl the bearded, fueled the power his hate, and his rage was unfathomable. For a while, he took Scorpan captive, further expositing his ambitious desires before trying to kill him, only for the alicorns to swoop in to save him. Scorpan was tossed aside, and Lord Tirek focused his attention on his true enemies. However, he was in an unstable state of mind because of his unbridled fury, and it drove him to follow his master’s example in order to show these miserable nags what the power of Darkness was capable of. Ignoring Scorpan’s pleas, he thrust his blade into his own heart while energizing it to the fullest. To the horror of all present, instead of Tirek dying by his own weapon, something far worse occured: it turned miasmic as it sank into his body with only a violet wound in its place. And out of the wound a wave of pure Darkness emerged to wrap itself around Tirek, encasing him as though it were a cocoon. A fair description, for in but a few minutes, the former centaur had undergone another startling transformation: he was a monstrous, bipedal creature clad in gothic-like armor that seemed to be part of his body, and a massive pair of wings rested on his back, only flapping once in a while. Startled, yet undeterred, the young rulers of Equestria combined theirs with the power of Starswirl to besiege the dark demon. But nothing could harm him: no magics, or swords, or spears, or ANY weapons of this world could harm him despite their efforts to prove otherwise. He merely used his might to swat them like insects, and gain the shortest victory in history, before he then cast his gaze to the heavens, and bid a shroud of darkness encompass it as he rose to heights that were of titans, themselves.
 
Tirathos had been reborn into the fourth generation of Equestria, and as his assault upon the land went undisturbed - not for the equestrian’s lack of trying - the Darkness’ victory was close at hand.
 
That is, until the last enemy he ever expected to come against appeared before him in a form that disguised his aura, and soul: Scorpan. He had been chosen by Lignum Harmonia to become the fabled “Champion of Light”, who his master told him was the one who had slain him eons ago, and had come to defend Equestria from Lord Tirathos’ evil reign. With the sacred blade known as The Sword of Light - the ONE weapon that can harm the servants and masters of evil - he clashed with the monster that was once his brother for the fate of not only Equestria……but the world. For hours they fought, both sides seeming equal in strength and power, with neither side seeming to have an edge over the other. But as time went on, Scorpan showed no signs of weakening or tiring, not like Tirathos. His desire to protect Equestria was strong, and his desire to save Tirek from himself even stronger. This gave him the strength to persevere, and his natural knowledge of flight was his advantage. After giving the Primordial Dark Lord more strikes to weaken him, Scorpan took his chance to strike. And with a downward thrust of his sword, he impaled the sword of light into the skull of Lord Tirathos. A wave of distorted energy flooded over the Dark Lord when this happened, and after Scorpan pulled out the sword, the results were instantaneous. His very body began overflowing with energy from the sword made of harmony, and light, and he began shining through his armored body like a sun until finally - B-DOOOOOOM! He exploded in a wave of magical, and cosmic energy so powerful it broke through the dark veil, and nearly blew everything apart in a hurricane-like wind. The armor that made up the Dark Lords body fell to crumbled pieces - with only his helm surviving.
 
It was over: Tirathos, the enemy of the free creatures of the mystic Earth, was defeated.
 
Diminished Lord Tirek: Tirek himself reappeared in his previous state lying on the ground. Unconscious, but alive. His weapon faded into darkness, and flew away to any number of places imaginable. He had failed, and now lay in ruin: not yet realizing that Scorpan had cast Tirathos deeper into the confines of his mind and souls, and in turn damaging all memory related to his master. Once all was settled it was decided that Tirek would face punishment for ALL his crimes. And since they found he could not be killed, their only option was imprisonment. And after a sorrowful Scorpan left Equestria to rebuild his home, and his kingdom from the ruin it lay in - unaware of the trap the gift ring would spring once he reached the Everfree Forest - Tirek himself would be banished into the cavernous prison of Tartarus, to spend the rest of his days in isolation, and solitude for all time. When he awoke in a cage atop a claw-like peak standing erect from the shadows below, he had found it hard to remember what had happened. All he could remember was……an accident making him into a beast……..his parent’s deaths at his hands……..his journey to Equestria with his brother…….and then the sensation of fogged memories that only told him Scorpan betrayed him, and helped the princesses imprison him here. His face scrunched into a hate-filled scowl at the thought of both being betrayed, and beaten, by his own weaker, and inferior brother. But that he chose ponykind over him earned nothing but his full hatred for the gargoyle he once called brother. The only other thing he remembered was Scorpan giving him his own medallion, to symbolize the strength of their brotherhood, and the friendship it entailed.
 
Now, for over 4,000 years in this eternal condemnation, it would serve as a symbol of hatred, betrayal, and his thirst for revenge on the ponies who thwarted him - and the brother who betrayed him.
 
(To be continued)
 
All art belongs to their respective owners, including MelSpyRose, winddragon24, and Light262.

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