cloudhoppers

Taming a Predator

The day was actually quite pleasant in Equestria this balmy autumn day. The trees’ leaves were turning a lovely shade of gold, the air was pleasant and carried the sounds and smells of nature, and the winding trails that ponies travelled to get from town to town here in the country, when not using the train that is, were free of stones, and made of good, clean dirt.

Skeleton Grin had thought it so nice, she’d risk a bit of time sunbathing, and had chosen a little meadow filled with some sort of white flower to lay in to enjoy herself, far enough away from the path to avoid sight, but close enough to be sure she could reach it in short time after her alone time. Well, not alone time. That was all the time really. With her silent wings, luminous orange eyes and, most especially, sharklike teeth and ghostly colours, Grin had gotten used to not being welcome pretty well anywhere. As such, moments like this were always welcome.

Her black, hooded cloak, tattered and ragged at the edges, was folded carefully beside her, along with her equally black scarf, which usually covered her mouth to conceal her teeth.

Unfortunately, her serenity was not to last. Barely an hour had passed with her in the sun when she heard their approach. The sound of voices in the grass. She froze, eyes wide, dread filling her with a sense of hopelessness. She was exposed, in the open. fear laid way to panic, and she scrambled into action, snatching up her cloak and scarf, but not quite in time. Four ponies leapt into action too, whooping. All were armed, one was a unicorn with a bow slung across his back.

Eyes on fire with the madness of desperation, Grin fought back against her attackers. They managed to score three cuts on her, two of them shallow. The last was deep and ran down her side to her thigh. A yelp and a snarl and that pony would never rise again as Grin tore his throat out, turning viciously on the remaining ponies. Their wariness triggered Grin’s secondary reaction. Flight. Clutching her possessions tightly, blood streaming from the myriad of cuts on her person, Grin bolted into the air as fast as she could, desperate to escape.

But, as she thought she was home free, the buzz of an arrow flying through the air caught her attention. She swerved desperately, trying to avoid the projectile, but only succeeded in making it thud into the meat of her wing, just at the joint where it met her back. A strangled cry of pain escaped her throat and she dropped like a stone, plunging into the foliage, picking up several more scrapes, cuts and bruises on her way down and snapping and splintering the haft of the arrow badly before she thumped to the ground, her scarf catching on a low branch, and her cloak hitting the ground not a hundred meters from her position.

Blood started soaking the dirt.

Desert Voyage

Ancient Anugypt: a civilization that despite three thousand years of searching, there was still new facts, new ideas, theories to be found amidst the sandy dunes. And no pony could deny the effect it had throughout history; how Anugypt withstood the test of time in trials by fire against the opposing Roamans and the no doubt harsh conditions of the desert. Even the journey to unite the land had been met with inter-fighting between their own neighbors of Upper and Lower.

Throughout the history of Equestria, the shifting land of sands had been a place of many species to study: Earth ponies, unicorns, pegasi - even the griffons all tread upon the land of Zebras, eager to learn more. And what they would learn would tie into a even more obscure pocket of knowledge; Sphinxes. Those who had dipped their hooves into the right books would know that these chimeral creatures that blended both equine and feline traits were revered to as ‘Protectors of the Tombs’. Their blood-bound duty was the same as it was, spreading down each dynasty from first to last: Keep those who were impure of heart far as possible from the ancient resting places of the Pharaohs.

Little did the desert know it would have a new visitor; a griffon from the modern times, adorned in the guise of the past..

..Which led to the present day.

Enter Gordon Cloudhopper, a curious mind filled with many questions that sought to be answered: Who were the Sphinxes? Were they successful in guarding the many tombs that littered underneath? How did they harness the magical energy, that had been present in all that lived here? What purpose did they serve, besides protectors? And perhaps the one that led the griffon to here in the first place: Where did he tie into the Sphinx bloodline?

He had asked his father, but the father did not remember.

The father asked his elders, and they did not recall.

Even the elders did not recall..

And so, here Gordon was on the outskirts of Cayro, clad in a silken-white shendyt, cyan-dyed chest piece with it’s ankh covering the feathery chest and a blue glowing scarab necklace that sat in the center of the loop. His emerald green eyes peered out to the miles of brown that stretched on seemingly to the horizon.

Gordon sighed. “..Well, I suppose it’s time I find the answers - wherever they may be.”