The Return of the Beastmaster
The days were many, but the lives were few. Violence and darkness swept the land of Hippoborea, with various barbaric tribes controlling sections of the massive, Proto-Equestrian continent. One of these tribes was not the Doron. The earth pony clan roamed the steppes of Greeinom, trying to better the land as they trudged through the harsh climates, seeking a better future for the land. They took care of the wildlife and turned blighted areas into palaces of wilderness as they believed it was their religious duty. They worshipped the Princes and Princesses of nature and magic and cowered in fear of the war god. All except for Bronze Tusk, a hearty warrior set out on a quest to simply see blood shed from his tribe’s foes (which was everyone else) and possibly to gather food, as the steppes were progressively becoming more barren, but that was not on his mind. So did he roam the land, seeking whatever crossed his path to a greater, or at least more violent, future.
After hours upon hours of travel, Bronze Tusk happened upon a precarious pub, perched upon a cliff. It had seemed as if there was much less food on the way towards his destiny, than his blighted wastes of Greeinom. Tusk stepped in, and witnessed violence and debauchery. As natural as sex and violence were to nearly all the inhabitants of Hippoborea, it wasn’t nearly as concentrated as in this Tartarean tavern. After dodging a couple of customers being flown about, Bronze Tusk sat down at a rickety table and ordered a cider. He imbibed the contents of the frothy tankard and asked the barkeep if there were any important events that he should know about.
“I don’ know what you’ve been talkin’ ‘bout” said the surly bartender in an incomprehensible, central Borean dialect “but r11;”
Suddenly, the pub burst into a radiant display of flames. Tusk stared at the carnage going on, gazing at the great fires of Tartarus until all was ash except for him and a crude wooden idol formed from the remaining wood. It resembled a bipedal, but still grotesquely equine figure holding a scythe. Scrawled across the base was the phrase “The Beastmaster shall return.” Bronze Tusk grinned with delight, smashed the idol with his hoof and made his way towards the nearest town.
The city of Neigh Sunbon was a pillar to eternity. Towers and temples to the princes and princesses of Central Hippoborea littered the skyline, as crude statues forged by unicorn magic and their earth pony servants littered the streets. As far as the city stretched, so did the unbelievable levels of devotion to the uncaring gods. Festivals were held almost every day to call the sun back to the Ages of Legends, but ultimately, they were futile.
As Bronze Tusk approached this town, something seemed off. It was as if some sort of great evil dwelt there, waiting for the exact moment when a dark haired, muscular, greenish Earth Pony would come running into the town and demand information for who this strange Beastmaster fellow is and why he wants to return, and then strike. Maybe it was the insane levels of revelry sounding from every imaginable square in the city, maybe it was the overly grinning statues of their saints and servants, and maybe, just maybe, it was that there was someone up on a tower of a formerly occupied palace proclaiming:
“THE BEASTMASTER HAS RETURNED!”
It didn’t really matter, because the town was on fire anyways.
Atop the palace was a mare draped in ceremonial robes. She was a Unicorn, as were most of the residents of this tumultuous town, and was chanting strange prayers to the gods of the past. Each word she said seemed to cause another sort of flame, channeling her power into these strange syllables of Fell Fire. Oddly appropriate considering that was her name. Bronze Tusk, sword in mouth, attempted to dodge the eldritch missiles and find out who this person was, but was unable to scale the wall, and was trampled by the fleeing cityfolk.
Bronze Tusk woke up in a demonic stupor. He was in a small room, miles away from anything in particular except for imminent doom. Savagely, he sliced strange staring sigils of sanguinary soothsaying, seeking solace and maybe more morbid magic that he could decimate devilishly. He tore down the walls, bellowing the name of the war god, so that he may find an answer inside this hellhole. Suddenly, Fell Fire walked in the room. She was clad in a ceremonial outfit worn only by the eldritch agricultural lords, prayed to only in curses.
“Welcome, my friend,” She said in a deceptive tone, “I have so much to share with you.”
Bronze Tusk ceased his bashing and stared at the wizened Unicorn. Reluctantly, he followed her into a great hall, decorated with arcane icons and seated himself at a desk with a large, occult globe.
“This is what is known as a Summoning-orb,” Fell Fire said, “Created by my forefathers, it harnesses theurgic Unicorn magic in order to manifest a corporeal image of what I’m invoking. However, it needs more power. That’s where you come in.”
Fell Fire shoved Bronze Tusk into the great sphere. Being adjusted to the winds of Greeinom, Tusk struck back with all his might, sending Fell Fire into the wall containing a tapestry of a wizard-priest subduing a demon. Unfortunately, it was too late for Tusk, as he was sucked into the orb. Fell Fire began a chant:
“Gods awaken from scorned days,
Back to the days where we were slaves.
Relic of arcane haze,
Release us from this horrid maze!
Suddenly the ball of chaos shifted into the form of a bipedal giant. He wielded a many pronged weapon and had a beard of pure white. He decimated the ceiling and peered down at the ponies.
“Hey now, what be yew? Miniature horses? Well shoee, if I ain’t never seen one a’ dose in mah life. Imma gonna take yew back to mah ranch, gonna be a milliyunaire!”
The titan reached down at Fell Fire as she recited spells of many other spurned gods, spouting tiny sparks of flame that did little to the hulking beast as he stepped back into the great portal. Through time did he travel, maybe to the place she wanted, but it certainly wasn’t the right time for her. Bronze Tusk looked around and ran away to a better town, or at least a place that was slightly more sane. That would never happen in Hippoborea though.