Prologue: Prelude to a Legacy

Special thanks to the amazingly talented intl-incident for the absolutely gorgeous Gothic stone manor that is being used for part of this chapter and that will make appearances in subsequent chapters later on.  I saw it once and fell in love.

Oh my ‘dear’ twin sister will pay dearly for this treachery, I vowed to myself as I surveyed the empty plot of land before me.

As sweet, black thoughts of the vengeance I would wreak upon her spun round and round my mind, a gruff bark had me looking down and I remembered by ‘companion’.  Despite myself and despite the situation—and my ire at said situation—I reached down to give the majestic beast a quick belly rub.  Sighing, I rose from my crouch to look around once more…

So begins the story in the tattered pages of a magnificently preserved old tome found in the basement of my ancestral home.  These are the words of the progenitor of my family, the Mother as she was called.  She went by many names, during her life.  But the one that she was first known by was the Queen of Dragons.

I don’t even know why I’m writing this all down.  Maybe it’s just something to do… as if I didn’t have enough to do already.  But despite all the time I’ve been spending searching for answers, I have yet to find any of the information that I need.  Perhaps if I record my thoughts, I might come up with something I missed before.

*****

The house was extravagant and sprawling, something that fit my sister Lyall to a T, as they say.  While my lip curled in a bit of disdain, I couldn’t help but admire the sweeping structure, the craftsmanship of the home.


It wasn’t something I often noticed.  Then again, this form was just as foreign to me.  But my sister had been adamant about it.  Some nonsense about my true form frightening the neighborhood… then again, if my sister hadn’t chosen to live among the mortals, this wouldn’t be a problem…  But I digress.  I arrived at her home quite a bit earlier than she had said, hoping to catch her unawares.  I should have known better.  Lyall didn’t do anything that she didn’t want to do.  Rather than have anyone meet me, she made sure that I had to come searching for her.

After exploring the home (simply for my own curiosity, of course), I found her in what I assumed to be some kind of work room… I believe the mortals call it an office or a study, maybe.

She was seated behind a desk and grinned at me insolently.  “Welcome to my humble home, sister dear,” she gushed, not bothering to rise to hug me.  Despite the show of opulence, and her words, we each knew where we stood with one another.

“Humble?”  My voice dripped with sarcasm.

“Well, it’s all relative, I suppose,” she replied with a shrug, though she was smirking at me.  But the smirk faded soon enough.  “Come, follow me.  We can be comfortable while we talk.”

With all that happened between my sister and I over the years, I crossed my arms over my chest.  “Why am I here, Lyall?”

“I will tell you in due time!” she snapped.  She must have seen the surprise and shock on my face because she sighed.  “I apologize.  Celestia… I know we have not always gotten along and in fact, our relationship has become strained.  But I promise you, I am not wasting your time, but what I am about to tell you is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  I am extending an olive branch, if you will.”  She bowed slightly, a gesture I knew to mean she was sincere.

“Alright, as you wish,” I murmured, just what could be so important.

She led me through the house to a gorgeous living room with a vaulted ceiling.  Somehow, it all seemed a bit… tame for my sister.  I took a seat on one of the small sofas and Lyall took a seat in one opposite me.  We sat in silence for a long moment, each taking a measure of the other.

We stared at one another until I felt a little laugh bubble up.  Finally, I told her, “Your choice of house surprises me, Lyall.  It seems too… tame for you.  It is gorgeous, but not quite what I pictured for you.”

“I was a bit surprised myself,” she murmured, looking down at her lap.

“But it’s grown on me.  I enjoy the grandeur and can’t help but love it.  I know you scoff at the way I choose to live in the Sim Realm, but it suits me.”

“Hm.”  I tilted my head at her.  “Yes, your personal choices notwithstanding, I find myself curious why you’ve asked me here… and why I cannot assume my true form.”

At this, my sister narrowed her eyes at me.  “You are relegated to this so-called inferior form because you have let your own ‘children’ run amok.  This land is only just recovering from their ravages.”  Her glare found its mark and I shifted uncomfortably.

“Yes, I… suppose you have a point,” I finally admitted.  “Though, in my defense, I have been away for many years and was unaware of their rampage until it was too late.”

“Well, be that as it may, that is why you are not allowed to use your true form.  I have made my home here and would prefer not to disturb my neighbors too much.”

I settled back with a sigh.  “Fine fine, you’ve made your point there.  Now, what did you wish to discuss?”

It appeared that she wouldn’t answer me and I was about to ask again after a few moments of tense silence when she let out an explosion of breath.  “I know you prefer to be on your own, to avoid the conflicts and petty squabbles of the Court.  However, you are the most sensitive of us when it comes to the energy flows of the Realms.  Surely you have noticed the imbalance?”

I frowned.  “Yes, I have noticed a few anomalies, if you want to call them that, but-“

With an impatience I knew to be intrinsic to her character, she interrupted me with a shake of her head.  “They are far more than an anomaly.  The magic and energies of the Realms are unstable.  And it is growing worse.”

I could feel my frown worsen as I contemplated this.  Yes, now that I examined what I had been able to feel and sense, it made sense.  “What is causing it?”

“We aren’t sure, not really.  What we do know though, is that the Sim Realm is experiencing a large influx of the energy.  The balance seems to be shifting here.”

Another silence stretched between us as I absorbed the information.  Now that she pointed it out, I understood why I had felt an odd sensation when I had first arrived.  I had chalked it up to being in an unfamiliar form.  But now that I concentrated, I could feel the surplus of energy around us.  Running my tongue over my sharpened canines, I wiggled my nose.  “What do you propose we do about this?”

“Well, being that you are the best of us with the ebb and flow, it was put forth that you explore this realm and see if you can’t pinpoint where and how this shifting is occurring.”

I could only stare at her for a long moment.

She stared right back.

I couldn’t speak.  She smiled at me, obviously enjoying my reaction.  “It won’t be that bad, you know.  We will have to take some precautions though.  We wouldn’t want to endanger this Realm more than this energy influx already is.  We will have to suppress your ability to shift form, just in case.”

My mouth opened but no sound came out.  Lyall stood.  “Come, I have a place for you to get to work.  You’ll want to perform your own research, I’m sure.”  She came to me and pulled me up by my wrist.  I still couldn’t think of a single thing to say and somehow, I was following her down to the basement of the house where an area had been prepared for spells and magical research.  I still don’t know what compelled me to follow my sister’s instruction or to even contemplate going through with this insane scheme.  I was the last one who should be exploring the Sim Realm.  I made it a point to avoid it and yet… I could read between the lines.  If I went through with it, I could be here for quite some time because I would have to repress my natural power and so it would take longer.  But I had felt what Lyall had been talking about.  I was the most sensitive to energy and it made sense to send me.  As it was, I found myself pouring over volume after volume, searching for… something.

Finally, I found something that might work to help me suppress my natural power.  I was a poor potion maker however, so Lyall volunteered to make it.  Before long, she presented me with the finished product.

I looked at it for a long time, long enough to have her laughing.  “Come now, I didn’t poison it.  I know it’ll be difficult for you, but it’ll be over before you know it.  After all, we’re immortal, aren’t we?”  Eyeing her suspiciously for a moment, I finally put the bottle to my lips, and then tipped it up before downing the contents.

The taste was… awful doesn’t even cover it.  I gagged and choked for a long moment and it felt like fire licked down my throat and consumed my chest.  The room began to spin around me and I fell onto my side.  As my vision began to grey out, I saw my sister’s face above mine.  There seemed to be regret in her eyes.  “I’m sorry Celestia,” she murmured.  “This was the only way.  You’ll understand… later.  You might even thank me for it-“  That was all I heard as I lost consciousness.

*****

When I woke up, I found myself here… on this empty lot in a place I was even more unfamiliar with than the land that my sister had made her home in.  I learned later that the Sims there called it Monte Vista.  But I didn’t care about that, not then.  I was too horrified.  My sister had perpetuated the ultimate betrayal.  I was no longer Celestia, Queen of the Dragons, Lady of Air and Dusk.  I was a Sim… Lyall had turned me—mortal.  A sense of urgency drove every beat of my heart; I could feel time already beginning to ravage this inferior body I was now trapped in.

I don’t know how long I lay there, but eventually, I bounded to my feet, almost falling over onto my face, unused to moving in this body.  Only then did I hear the soft ‘chuff’ of sound next to me.  When I looked over, the creature cocked its head to the side and then gave a bark of welcome before it stretched out in a kind of bow.

A wolf… one of my sister’s.  I almost smote it then and there… but something about the look in its eyes stopped me.  When I looked closer, I noticed there was a scroll attached to the black spiked collar it wore.  Frowning, I reached for it and took the scroll and opened it.

Dearest Celestia,

First, let me apologize for my duplicity.  I should have told you the truth, but I knew you would refuse me.  I know you won’t believe me, not right now.  But please believe me when I say that I am doing this for your own good.  You are most likely cursing my name and vowing all sorts of vengeance right now, but I know that deep down, you are terrified.  Yes, I have trapped you in a mortal body.  Yes, I lied to you, or at least I was not completely honest with you about what must be done.  But I did not lie about there being a problem, nor did I lie about you being the best choice.  You are the only choice.  The truth is, you are the only one that can repair this balance for it was your own essence, in the form of your dragon children that caused the imbalance to begin with.  That is all I can say right now.  I will let you digest this information.  Knowing you, as I do, you will spend the next few days (which is foolish, since you have a limited number of days in this mortal body) trying to find a way to reverse my little potion.  I can assure you, you won’t find a way.  I would suggest you make the most of your time and for once in your life, try to enjoy yourself.  Open up… but since I know you won’t, I will just wish you well and good luck.  I will contact you again.

Love your sister,

Lyall

P.S.  This is Diego.  He is one of mine, though now he is yours, sister.  I figure you will need some companionship.  No matter how furious you are with me, I don’t see you able to harm him.  He will not resist you, regardless.  Take good care of him; he will take good care of you.[/u]

I rolled the scroll back up and then threw my head back and screamed out my frustration, Diego a bit startled at first.  Then he joined me, throwing his own head back and adding his howl to mine.  After a while, I stopped and then sat down on the ground, burying my head against my knees as I pulled them tight to my chest.  It was a long time before I could pull myself together, but I did, finally.  My sister didn’t even have the courtesy to supply a residence… though I did find what I found out to be this realm’s currency.  Diego brought me a small pouch and I found these Simoleans inside.  But it was $1300, not even enough to give me more than a hovel!  But Diego proved to be helpful in this regard; his hunting skills were exemplary and it was amazing to me what these Sims would pay money for.

So I had my hovel and was able to purchase enough components to create my own little station to begin practicing my craft once more.  At least I wasn’t completely powerless.  I still seemed to possess some rudimentary powers, though it paled in comparison to what I should have been…

Diego continued to hunt up things to sell as well as more spell and potion components for me.

I would find my way out of here and I was going to throttle my sister… that was my plan anyway.  But things changed, as they do.  Excuse me, Draco is crying.  He needs to be fed.  I will have to catch myself up after I’ve fed and changed him.

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