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    Lurking among the trees and shadows are where the many creatures make their homes within the Everfree Forest. Some are of a kind and gentle sort, while others are more of both mean and scary.

    Originally, these creatures would pose little trouble to any who journey into their territory. But now, they begin gathering around the hut of the zebra herbalist, Zecora. Surrounding the entire tree that the hut is base in so that none may escape, the now wicked creatures move in closer...with their faces becoming visible for a certain pony to see as she watches from the window inside.

    “Those eyes…”  Princess Luna mutters to her friends to that which she discovers from her observation from the window the alicorn princess, carefully hidden, “…they are the same from Canterlot...”

    “You mean they’re…?” Rainbow Dash asks, fearing the very answer that every other pony, and zebra, do not wish to hear.

    “Yes..." Luna sadly admits to what she sees, "Like everypony we know...the creatures of these woods, both kind and cruel, are now servants of Tirek.”

    “No..."  The frightened Fluttershy weeps softly, “Those poor little animals. How could he do such a thing to them?”

    “Cuz he’s evil, Fluttershy…” Applejack answers, who stands close to the yellow pegasus to comfort her as best she can, “…and from da look of it, it don’t matter who he long as he gets what he wants.”

    “What ever shall we do?” Rarity asks her friends while feeling the urge to faint upon the bed.

    “We have to get out of here,” Twilight answers as she and Zecora start barricading the door with the shelves and cauldron.

    “Well, we sure as hay ain't goin’ out dat way.” Applejack implies, while lending a hoof. Even though propping heavy items up against the door will not keep the creatures outside from barging in forever.

    “Oh, this isn’t good. What do we do?! What do we do?! WHAT DO WE DO?!!!!!”  The panicking Pinkie Pie screams as she dashes from window to window...checking to see how close the creatures are.

    Rainbow darts over to the pink pony and covers her mouth with her hoof, “Be quiet Pinkie. You want them to hear us?”

    “They already know we're here,” Princess Luna informs, “They have known we were here since we first arrived...”

    “How do you know that, your Highness?” The curious Twilight Sparkle questions, "Were they following us, spying on us since we entered the Everfree Forest? What?"

    The Princess of the Night hangs her head in shame for some reason. Before anypony asks, Luna releases a small sigh and explains, “Because…in a way…I still serve him.”

    The Mane Six plus Zecora are appalled and confused at what Princess Luna has just uttered from her mouth; They have no idea how to react to what she just said. However, Twilight comes up to Luna to question her, “What...what are you saying?”

    Taking in a deep breath of air, Princess Luna sighs and confesses, “I...I did not realize this until just recently, but…”

    “Hate to interrupt ya’ll…” Applejack butts in just as Luna was about to explain something important. Apparently, the sounds of scratching and banging coming from the outside hut are signalling that the dark creatures outside are attempting at breaking and entering, “…but Ah could some help over here!!!”

    Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie rush to the orange earth pony’s aid. Together, they push up against the large items that are propped up against the door. Twilight assists Zecora with the window; The lavender unicorn uses her magic to move the bed, setting it up against the window. “That ought to do it,” Twilight proudly states upon finishing.

    The noise from the outside grows louder, as if more than simple creatures of the forest are using what they have to break into the hut. Every pony inside knows they can not hold them off forever...nor can they take them all on. Suddenly, they hear one of the creatures speak as it bangs on the door, “All Hail Tirek the Supreme!”

    Rainbow Dash groans in disgust upon hearing the same chant everypony in Canterlot were repeating over and over, “Even though its only been a short time, hearing them chant his name like that over and over is REALLY getting annoying!”

    “I’m with ya’ on that one, Rainbow.” Applejack agrees with her best friend.


    The dark creatures outside continue to increase in numbers and gather around the hut, attempting to break down the door and windows. It will not be long before they succeed...for their clawing and ramming only grows stronger with every minute.

    Inside the ponies continue to hold out as long as they could, but are running out of time. While the six ponies lean up against the furniture propped against the door and windows...using what strength or magic they have to keep the evil creatures out...Zecora digs through her scrolls located nearby on the wall shelf.

    “We cannot keep this up forever! We have to get out!!!” Rarity screams.

    “You got a better plan?!” Rainbow Dash asks sarcastically, who turns to see a certain pony hiding underneath the table, “Fluttershy, come out of there and help us!”

    The timid, little Pegasus has her head under the table with her hide quarters sticking up in the air. She whimpers and shakes nervously, refusing to come out, "I...I c-c-can't. T-Too...s-s-scared..."

    Twilight and Luna uses their combined magic to keep the window secure, “Zecora! If you have anything that could help us with this, now might be a good time!” Twilight yells.

    “A simple moment if you please, as I pack some important necessities!” The wise and annoyed zebra herbalist snaps as she stuffs a saddlebag with a few scrolls and some food.

    “What is all that for?” Twilight questions upon noticing the pack being filled with items that seem to be what a camper would use if going camping...or at least hiking.

    “Dis is what you ponies will need, in order for you to succeed.”

    “Wha…What do you…mean?” Fluttershy asks as she finally comes out from hiding, thanks to a little push by Rainbow Dash...literally. 

    Zecora finishes packing the saddlebag with what she can, then walks over to where the bed was and places the bag down for a moment while she lifts up the rug that seemed to be formerly under the bed, “I will need to explain a few things of importance. Your majesty, could you take their place and handed this disturbance?”

    “Very well. Go ahead, my friends. I can hold this for now.” Princess Luna increases her current magic and holds both the door and window in place.

    The Mane Six gather around Zecora as she gives the bag to Twilight, “There is not much time so I will be quick: find and ask others for help, carefully and wisely you must pick.”

    “What?” Rainbow Dash asks, but realizes what the zebra is referring to: Gathering help of the other species across Equestria, "Where do we even start?

    “To the southeast where the Hayseed Swamp lies, you will find a zebra tribe that which I have strong ties. Seek them out and listen to their wisdom, only then will your path begin towards Equestria’s freedom.” Zecora advises strongly, for it seems she knows this other tribe very well.

    The girls understand Zecora’s words but Applejack has to bring up the question to their current situation, “Dat sounds like a plan...but just one problem: How in tarnation are we ta get there if we are trapped in here?!!?”

    Zecora sighs then lifts up the rug from the floor…which reveals a trapdoor. everypony is immediately surprised by this...especially the flying cyan pegasau, “Huh. That’s…convenient.” Rainbow Dash states, "So...where does this lead to anyway?”

    “It will take you to safety. No more time, you must be hasty!” Zecora explains as the banging grows louder; The dark creatures outside are almost through the barricade that will not hold for much longer.

    Twilight gasps from the way Zecora speaks, and turns her attention from the trapdoor to her zebra friend, “You are coming with us...right?”

    Zecora shakes her head sadly, “There is nothing more I can give you. This is your do what you must do.“ She walks over to the wall and grabs a bamboo staff, “Worry not for me. I can handle myself, as you can see.”

    As much as they cannot leave their zebra friend behind, arguing the situation will only make her upset...since Zecora has clearly made her choice to stay and buy the Mane Six time to escape. With no time to discuss this further, since the barricade has only less than a minute left before failing, each of the mares wish her good luck...promising to save her as they would every other pony in Equestria.


    As the Mane Six are about to jump in, Twilight turns to Princess Luna...who is still holding the creatures at bay, “Come with us, Luna!"

    Using what power she can summon to hold the doors and windows in place, even as hard as it is with many dozens of creatures raming and clawing at it, Luna does not budge from her spot, “I cannot, Twilight Sparkle.”

    “W-Why not...?”

    “I would only put you and your friends in more danger than I already have,” She answers sadly, which only confuses every pony and zebra present.

    “What are you talking-” Twilight questions, and then suddenly remembers what Luna spoke of earlier, but was unable to finish because of the creatures outside growing stronger in numbers and attacking the hut, “Please…tell us why!”

    Feeling that now is the best and only time to explain herself, Luna does her best to hold the barricades with her magic while explaining why she cannot come along, “Because…even after you six saved me from the darkness that time ago…there was still a small amount that remained…inside me.” She continues on as she holds her magic as best she could, “Tirek was able to use that and track me here; I am responsible for them finding us so quickly.”

    Twilight and the others are shocked by this and feel sorry for the Princess; It is enough she has suffered for a long time being trapped in the moon for a thousand years...but now it is worst knowing she is still bound to the Darkness in some way, “Princess Luna…”

    “If I go with you, Tirek will use me to find you. I will not put any of you in further danger.” Luna confesses as her magic ibegins to wane, “You six are the only hope for Equestria now. Go, and weep no more. Be strong…for all of us.”

    Twilight and her friends can not bear to see both Zecora and Princess Luna remain here to fight off these servants of the Dark Lord, knowing they will eventually become one of them. But Luna is right: as the bearers of the Elements of Harmony, it is their duty to protect Equestria, from every evil that threatens it.

    “We will succeed…we promise,” Twilight vows as a single tear rolls down her cheek. The others all promise the same: They will see to it they find help from across Equestria and find a way to restore their home and everypony in it to their original states. 


    The creatures from the outside push themselves harder and harder to breaking down the door and windows, Suddenly, the sounds of wood and glass cracking can be heard by everypony. There are only seconds left before the hut of the zebra herbalist will be invaded by those that now serve the Dark Demon Tirek.

    “Hurry! Go, now!!!” The Princess orders.

    Rarity and Fluttershy are afraid to go down the passage; To them it is both scary and dirty down there. Rainbow Dash grows impatient and pushes them both in, jumping in right after them

    Pinkie Pie however does not need any motivation to jump; She calls out to the others already inside the tunnel, “Look out below!” Then she jumps in, “Wheeeeee!!!”

    Applejack jumps in next, holding her breath and yelling, "Geronimo!!!"

    Twilight turns to look at Zecora and Luna one last time before jumping down. She is afraid for them but know that this is their choice...and can take serving evil until set free With the promise made held strong in her heart, Twilight will not give up on them or any of her friends and family. With one last smile to her dear friends, the young lavender unicorn jumps into the hole.


    Once the girls are all in and moving their way on down the tunnel, not knowing where it will take them, Princess Luna uses her magic to seal the trapdoor...locking it tight so no pony or creatures can use it to follow them.

    Zecora stands close to the Princess, ready to defend her home and drive the evil forest creatures back...for as long as they can, “If this is to be our last stand, let us stand together and make it grand.”

    Princess Luna knows that she and her friend will be captures soon, but admires the idea of pushing them back with their combined strength. Releasing her spells holding the door and window, the alicorn princess smirks, “I could not agree more. Lets do this!”

    The zebra herbalist and the alicorn princess stand side by side as the creatures burst into the hut...roaring with the presence of evil in their eyes; Timberwolves, Manticores, snakes, and even little birds all charge at the two. Together, both Zecora and Luna use their own skills to hold them off:

    Zecora uses her bamboo staff to knock a few out, while Luna uses what strength and magic she has left to push them all out of the hut and even drive some of them away with her loud, booming voice, “BE GONE FOUL CREATURES, AND WE MAY SHOW THOU MERCY!!”

    Once they clear the inside of evil creatures, they rush outside to handle the rest. But this time, there are more than simple creatures this time; Ponies and much larger creatures are before them.
    Feeling that this will end sooner than they had hoped, the two bump hooves and will not let this slow them down at all. Zecora and Princess Luna charge at them...ready for whatever happens next.
The Mane Six now have their new mission: Save Equestria from the dark centaur Tirek. The only question is where will they go, and what help will they find?

Chapter 8: courageousoflight.deviantart.c… 10: courageousoflight.deviantart.c…
Chapter Guide: courageousoflight.deviantart.c…

Link to Cover Image: courageousoflight.deviantart.c…
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ArtisticNinjaCat Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
WOW Llama Emoji-56 (Hiding) [V3] When Luna & Zecora team up its a great idea NOT to get their way
SomeRandomMinion Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
And so the adventure begins proper... :)

I'm a bit weirded out that Luna didn't bring that last bit up earlier, but then again she may have just figured out that Tirek could track her right then and there.

By the way:

"you will find a zebra tribe that I have strong ties..."

May want to change this to "to which I have strong ties". As it is it kinda looks/sounds like an incomplete sentence, even if you kept the rhyme.
Courageous-of-Light Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Indeed the adventure begins. 

Thanks for pointing that out...though it was hard; You have no idea how much rhyming I had to write it for the last few chapters :faint:
SomeRandomMinion Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
Welcome. :)

And as for Zecora's rhyming: To make it easier on you in the future, just think in couplets--pairs of short phrases or sentences, usually rhyming on the last word in each. When a couplet ends, so does the rhyming sound; then the next couplet will have a different rhyme and so on.

With the rhyme scheme in mind, it'll be WAY easier to write dialogue that both gets the point across AND keeps poetic flow. 

Also, this:
Courageous-of-Light Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I did use that! :giggle:

It was still hard!!!!!!!!!! :faint:
SomeRandomMinion Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014
Oh, whoops. ^^;

Well, writing for Zecora can be a pain for me sometimes, too. Especially at first; it took FOREVER before I got something that worked in my mini-stories when my art featured her....
Courageous-of-Light Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Ah I see. Yeah, rhyming for her is difficult, but thankfully I dont have to do it a lot anymore :nod:
lilsonic1355 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013  Student Artist
Iv gone this far, your story just keeps getting better and better. This is probably the second or third fanfic series that I actually took the time to read (which I rarely do these days)
Courageous-of-Light Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Really? Wow, thank you :pat:

Yeah, there is plenty more to come, so enjoy the rest :D
BassDropThePony Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist

is twilight an alicorn in this one

cause she is in the show an that's been bugging me for a while

Courageous-of-Light Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No, she is a Unicorn...because I wrote this before any of us knew she was to become one. :)
GenoX11 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013
ChaosContrl Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Just awesome.
Courageous-of-Light Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks...and thanks for all the comments you have been giving me. You have given me more then any other. I need more viewers like you.
ChaosContrl Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Student General Artist
No one's perfect! =)

Although, I really like the story you made! It keeps my attention on it all the time, and I am always curious on what will happen next!
Courageous-of-Light Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
True, and i am glad to hear it. Don't know how many chapters there will be. Maybe around i plan to write some short stories/episodes that come afterwards.
ChaosContrl Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Student General Artist
For your short stories, maybe you can do stories in which the reader will read a chapter depending of what he chooses.

For example:

"The hero came into a crossways. He chooses to take..."
And then the reader choose to read between a next chapter for "what would happen if he chose left" and one for "what would happen if he chose right".
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December 22, 2012
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