Diaries of a Madman

When Discord breaks free of his stone prison, he proves to be much older and wiser than he was on the show. A being of ancient and unimaginable power, he forces Celestia to make a deal to save her little ponies. What she doesn't realize is that one of the terms of the deal is that she forgets ever making it. Enter Navarone, a poor human just trying to get by—or at least, to the ponies that's what he looks like. Pulled from his home by an accidental summoning from one Twilight Sparkle, Navarone is thrust into a world of ponies and more violence than he expected from such a peaceful seeming world. These are his adventures—with a few asides from everybody's favorite Lord of Chaos, of course.

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1. Prologue

“I remember when I woke up again. How the little fillies that gave me the power to finally break free ran off, laughing, not realizing what they had done. I remember being back in my body after so much watching but being unable to act. And I most definitely remember you, Celestia,” I said, gently caressing her face. She flinched.

“My student will stop you, Discord!” Her lower body was stone. The only thing she could move was her head, and her unicorn magic does nothing to me. She fixed me with a glare.

“If I let her. Do you know what it is like, Celestia, to live forever?” I asked, walking around her. Her eyes refused to follow me, and she kept her head straight, staring ahead. “I don’t mean living a few thousand years, as you have. I mean truly living forever.” She didn’t answer. After a minute, I stopped in front of her. She refused to meet my gaze. I wrapped my eagle talon around her throat and forced her to look me in the eyes. “I have lived for millions of years.” I dropped her statue to its feet with a thud. Her eyes didn’t leave mine. “I have lived since there were a handful of sentient creatures and will live until there is only one left and there can at last be peace.”

“Why are you telling me this, monster?”

“So you can understand. So you can understand why I do what I do. And maybe… Maybe, Celestia, so we can make a deal.”

“I would never agree to anything you say!”

“Maybe. Maybe…” I continued pacing. “I have been stopped hundreds of times. I have been turned to stone. I have been buried. I have been banished under the oceans, bound by magics long since lost. Almost every race that has ever existed has managed to banish me at least once. Dragons have done so the most, but after so long my proximity has polluted their minds.” She hissed. “Don’t worry, my dear: That took several hundred thousand years to do. Ponies will have long since faded to obscurity by the time that might happen to you.” She gave me a hateful look. I waved my lion paw. “Oh, don’t get me wrong! Ponies are magnificent animals, of course. It is just a trend I have noticed. I don’t mean it as an insult.”

She was silent. “You know, Celestia, it wouldn’t kill you to be civil. I know you don’t care for me, but think about how I feel! You locked me in stone for several thousand years.”

“You deserved worse.”

“Yes, I did, I suppose. But you would do the same had you lived as long as I. You think you know boredom. You think you know loneliness.” I stopped in front of her and bent as close as I could to her eyes. Insane yellow and red met fierce pink and black. “You. Don’t. Know. A. Thing.” I stood straight again. “You are a long-lived ruler of a short-lived race. And I feel I should apologize for what my magic did to you. The Elements of Harmony don’t usually have that effect, though they are usually only used by species that live longer anyway.”

“You knew about the Elements?”

“I created them, of course. I created them and I hid them away. I always give my opponents a trump card that they can use to defeat me.” I continued pacing. “So your student and her ‘friends’ are out looking for them right now. Normally I wait thousands of years to give my enemies the trump. But I have something different in mind.” I stopped in front of her again. “And do you know why, Celestia?”

“You are too afraid to fight me and Luna again?”

I chuckled. “Good guess, old friend, but no. As I said, I want a deal.” I started pacing again. “What would you say to a truce? Now, before you say anything, I want to explain my terms.”

“I suppose I don’t have any choice.”

I laughed. “No, my dear, I suppose you don’t. I’ve played for chaos all my life. I have created discord. I have torn families apart. I almost never hurt anything, though I do cause some manner of torment. I have never—EVER—killed anyone. I have caused others to kill, yes. I have whispered insane torments so long in the mind of some that they kill themselves. But I’ve never actually killed anyone.”

“That doesn’t excuse you from responsibility.”

“I know. Trust me, Celestia, I know. I’ve had this talk before with someone that decided not to take my deal. They said the same thing as you did.” What she didn’t know, of course, is that the person I had this talk with was her. I’ve had this talk with her hundreds of times, all within the last few minutes. I just make her forget each unsuccessful attempt; I’ve learned my lesson about giving up too soon. “So I’ve been playing for chaos for a long time. Frankly, I’m a bit tired of it. I think I have decided to play the other side of the fence for a while. Not forever, of course, but for a while. The thing is, I need someone to teach me how.”

“And you expect me to let you run wild while I teach you how to play nice. Why does that sound unappealing?” 

“No, I’ve just explained my reasoning. I have yet to lay down any actual terms. Are you even slightly interested in hearing them?”

“If I say no?”

“Oh, you’ll hear the terms whether you want to or not. But if you don’t accept them, I will rule this world for a very, very long time. I’ve seen it already. The reason dragons put me down so many times, you see, is that they live long enough to be able to do it. But dragons are corrupted by me, now. They are still mostly sane, of course, but greedy and violent. There are exceptions, and some can be trained well. But if you choose not to accept my terms, I will hide the Elements of Harmony so well that they will never be found in your lifetime. Or I might just unmake them. I have the power to, I just lack the desire.”

There was a pause. “I’m listening.”

“I thought you would. The first term is this: I live in your lands, disguised, for as long as I can stay hidden.”

“No powers?”

“I’ll have a few. But I won’t use them unless I absolutely have to. My body will age, if you let it. I will drop my immunity to magic unless I am actually put in danger.”

“Keep talking.” Quieter, she murmured, “Never thought I’d say that.”

“A mare telling a man to talk...” I giggled. She just rolled her eyes. “Fine, be that way. Term two is that no one is to know of me unless I tell them. I will be in your lands, hidden, and not a single soul on this world can know of me.”

“What about Luna? Can I tell her of this agreement?”

I snapped my fingers. Luna suddenly stood next to Celestia. As soon as her hooves hit the ground she snapped awake. “DISCORD!” she shouted, horn glowing. I rolled my eyes and snapped my fingers again and her horn disappeared.

“Need I remind you, young one, of who I am?” I asked as her body started to turn to stone.

“You’ll never get away wi—”

“Yes, yes, spare me your tripe.” She glared at me. “Yes, you hate me. Yes, it was my fault you turned into Nightmare Moon. Yes, you can blame me for being on the moon for a thousand years. Happy?” I don’t think she was very happy. “Celestia, care to help me out here?”

“Not really. This is kind of funny, actually.”

“Celestia, what has he done to you?” Luna asked, almost in tears.

I snapped my fingers, and replayed the entire conversation to Luna. When she caught up, she was silent.

“Much better.” I pulled a party hat from the air and stuck it on Luna’s head. “Not quite the same…” I rubbed my beard, pretending to think of something. I suddenly snapped my fingers, as though I had an epiphany. I reached behind Celestia’s ear and pulled out a horn, only to find that the hat on Luna’s head had already changed to a horn.

They didn’t look amused.

“Tough crowd!” I picked my teeth with the unicorn horn, and then bit into it. “Candy cane?” I asked, offering it to them. They just gave me a look. “Straight back to business! I like that! Though we’re not exactly in a hurry,” I said, pointing out the window. They looked and didn’t see anything of note. I checked the watch I wasn’t wearing a second ago and tried tapping it. “Damn birds never appear when you need them,” I muttered. “Anyway, time doesn’t exist outside this room anymore. But that’s neither here nor there. I’m sure you’re both terribly busy.” Celestia gave off a longsuffering sigh, and Luna just gave me an evil look. “Oh come on, Luna, don’t look so stony!” I gave it a second, and burst out laughing. Neither of them even smiled.

I instantly smoothed my face. “Fine,” I announced in a dead voice. I started pacing again, hands behind my back. “So yes, Celestia, you can tell Luna of this. Though I think she might already know by now.” I waved my hand, still pacing. “That’s only two of the terms. What say you?”

“You’re going to keep going, either way,” Celestia finally said, after sharing a short glance with Luna.

“Yes, I am,” I answered. I stopped right in front of her. “What do you think so far?”

“If you are telling the truth about them, and will keep to your word, I see nothing to object to so far.”

“Good… Good.” I resumed my pacing. “Term three: After some time of good behavior, I will regain some of my powers. They will be randomly picked, nothing either of us will have any influence over. I will not use them against you, but I might use them to protect myself against you, if I feel threatened.”

“Okay,” Celestia said.

“Term four: I will not die. I might get injured. I might get hurt so badly that by all rights I should die. Some ponies will question this. To that end, I will give you magic—and all unicorns, by extension—that enables healing and the transfer of life force from one creature to another. It is ancient magic. And when I say ancient, I mean so old that even I barely remember it anymore, and I remember everything perfectly.” Luna rolled her eyes. I smiled, and put a single finger on her forehead. Through that link I let her glimpse a millionth of my life. She immediately burst into tears, screaming.

“What did you do to her?!” Celestia demanded.

“I gave her a bit of perspective,” I whispered, taking my thumb off her. Her glimpse into my mind was lost, and with it the reason for tears. Her mind would be haunted for a while, but she wouldn’t know why. “All better, aren’t you deary?” I asked, stuffing a lollipop in her mouth. She spit it right out. I shrugged. “Eh, suit yourself. You want anything?” I asked Celestia. She shook her head. I resumed pacing. “So we have four terms. And you ponies even get a bit of something out of it. I’m sure you’ll think of a way to explain the magic to your ponies; it takes a lot of energy to use, and it’s hardly perfect, but you’ll figure all that out as we go.” I paused, both in my pacing and in my dialogue.

The silence stretched. Celestia finally broke it, “And?” she demanded.

I blinked. “Sorry, I also froze time in the maze outside. A bit of direct intervention was required with the two pegasi; of all the pony races ever created, those were the only ones to ever give me any trouble. Aside from you alicorns, of course… But I think I took care of that problem quite nicely.”

“You missed two of us!” Luna accused. “And look where that got you!”

“And why do you think I let two female alicorns go?” She didn’t have an answer to that. “Term five… This one is quite a favorite of mine, and I’m sure you’ll both agree. I’ll report everything I do to you, Celestia! Everything without a single real lie, unless you tell me not to write something down. Oh, I might leave some details out, some things that I’m sure you wouldn’t find important or interesting. I might not put down exactly how I feel in some cases, because that’s more of an opinion than something I did, but you know how it goes. If it makes you feel any better, your student doesn’t report everything to you either. She has quite a mind on her, she does… I could do all manner of things with it. She has quite the propensity for insanity.”

“But you won’t touch her if we agree to this little truce of yours.”

“I suppose we can make that a term, if you wish… Term six: I will not corrupt any minds using my magic. Unless they choose to follow me down the road, I suppose. Or after, when all this falls apart.”

“Falls apart?” Luna asked. Celestia just closed her eyes and whispered something that I wasn’t able to hear but was able to read off her mind.

“Old age will steal me away eventually,” I said. “If not old age, something will get me. Only I won’t die. Even with magic I should die, but I won’t. Someone will figure something out eventually. Which brings us to term seven: When it all falls apart, you two will take zero responsibility. We’ll have a mock battle and I’ll be stone again until I break free. I will use my magic to ensure this happens.”

“This seems… wrong, Celestia,” Luna whispered.

Celestia didn’t answer.

“Term eight: I will obey you both, as a loyal subject should.” I mockingly bowed. “Of course, I will happily make suggestions and there are orders that I might conveniently not hear. But if you—” I broke off.

Celestia gave off a smug smile. “Is my student giving you more trouble than you thought?”

I blinked my way back. “Your student has finished the labyrinth, actually. Her friends did not follow my rules. I just had to hide us all while I showed Twilight something she missed.” I shuddered. “One thing you two will also never understand: Being everywhere at once. The very air itself seethes with discordance! Sciences long forgotten in this world…” I saw them staring at me in confusion. “No matter. I think we were on my last term. Term nine. At any time you may pull the plug on this entire experiment. I go back to being full Discord with all my powers and you go back to being my enemy. And I will not go easy on you. I will dominate this world for so long that there will not be a living soul—dragon, pony, alicorn—that remembers what it was like before I ruled. Assuming you don’t win, of course.” The two sisters shared a look. I stopped in front of them. “But you know what the fun thing about that is?” They looked at me. “I’ll help you fight me!” The look on their faces was priceless.

“How could you help us fight yourself?” Luna asked.

“A good question,” I said, patting her on the head. She didn’t take it well. “A question which I will only answer if you accept my terms and the truce that accompanies it.”

“Celestia, he’s lying. You know what he is!”

I stood to my fullest height. “I will always lie. But when I give my word, when I tell a promise, I always keep it. Even you should remember that from our time together, back in the day.” I stooped back down.

“Surely you won’t consent to being a pony, though,” Celestia said. “What kind of disguise will you take?”

I beamed. “I thought you’d never ask!” I snapped my fingers and my form rapidly pulsated, changing, shrinking. When the form finally stopped, I stood before them, shorter than both by at least a few inches.

“What… what are you?” Luna finally asked, after they had both stared at me for nearly a minute.

“What creature is so horrible that could spawn something like Discord?” I asked in a voice not my own. “What is so mentally chaotic and so hate-filled that they could construct something as evil as I?”

“Nothing that I have ever seen,” Celestia finally said, after they shared a short look.

“Humans were the first sentient being on this planet. Ever. You can’t imagine how long ago that was. Think your lifetime. All of it. Imagine that thousands of times. Now millions of times. They thought they knew so much… They thought they were so wise… They had methods of war, of fighting, of killing, that rivaled anything I have seen since. I’ll admit, they produced a few souls that gave me a run for my money. But they always fell in the end, and when they did there was usually renewed violence. This form right here, this individual human shape, is the first one to ever call me into existence. Not the idea of discord, but the persona of Discord! I immortalized him for his crime. He’s in here,” I said, tapping my head, “seeing everything I see, everything I do. You think I am mad!” I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Cain was definitely quite the character, that one. But no matter,” I said, snapping again and changing back to my form, “that is the form I will take if you agree. I’ll even give you the knowledge to change me around if, in the end, you don’t like that form.”

I put myself right back in front of Celestia. “So. You have heard my terms. I think they are a bit fair, personally. Hell, they give you a pretty big power over me.” I shrugged. “But I knew that is what it would take. So what do you say, Celestia? Friends?” I asked, holding out my hand. Her stone skin fell away and she flinched. She looked at my hand, biting her lower lip. She turned her head to look at Luna, who I had turned fully into stone as soon as I let Celestia go. “This is your choice to make, Princess. Your choice.”

A minute passed. Two. Finally, she slowly, hesitantly reached her hoof up to shake my hand. As soon as she touched me, she started turning back to stone. “Relax, Celestia, you can still hear me when you are fully stone. You just can’t ask questions.” She stared at me defiantly until she was completely covered. I let her hoof go.

“I promised you a few extra details,” I said. “I wasn’t lying. If you ever wish to pull the plug on this experiment, the words you must speak are, ‘Tractor sand blue burn.’ You must speak them in that order, with nothing in between.” I smiled, though I knew she couldn’t see me. “Now, you see, this is where things start getting interesting. If you recall, one of my terms was that no one could know of my existence here. Not a single living soul on this world. And the last time I checked, you and your sister were both quite alive. Oh, you’re currently incredibly stoned, but you are still alive. So when I snap my fingers again, you are both going to forget all about this talk.” I felt Celestia’s horror. “Yes, I know how you feel, my dear. But I also remember that you shook on it. And I think that you remember as well. And you want to know the hilarious thing?”

She didn’t answer. I continued, “Luna predicted this. Twilight would have predicted this. I’m pretty sure that a child would have predicted this, Celestia. Luna didn’t mention it because she thought you knew. Oh, if you had felt her horror when you shook my hand…” I chuckled, and wiped a fake tear out of my eyes. “So you’ll forget me. You’ll also forget the code words to end it. You’ll forget that you were given access to the magic. But you’ll still remember how to actually do the magic; I’m not stupid, no matter how much you think I am. Actually, I think I might put some of the magic in an old book for Twilight to find… That seems more humbling, in a way; let the student teach the mistress something.”

I felt Celestia’s mind shift. “Yes, yes, I’m getting to that. If you somehow remember how to unleash me and decide you wish to, how will I fight with you against myself?” I laughed again. “I think it’s somewhat ingenious, myself. You see, the only way you’ll remember those words is if I tell you what they are.” I felt the horror in her mind expand exponentially.

“So you understand, I see. Yes, I said I will help you fight against myself. So Discord will help Celestia fight against the human that is on Celestia’s side by telling her the words that will end the human’s existence. Discord tricks Celestia into fighting for him. And you’ll fall for it. I already foresee it. And do you know what else I foresee for you, Celestia?” The horror was still growing. “Remember term six of our agreement?” A single tear dropped from her stone face. “I corrupted one sister a few years ago when I wasn’t even able to move. You just bet your entire world that I won’t be able to corrupt the other one now.” I let that sink in for a minute before I snapped my fingers.

 

The world shifted. Time reversed itself right up to the point where I broke free again. Instead of breaking free, I just melted from the statue, leaving it intact and hollow. I ghosted invisibly across Equestria—across the entire world—whispering in a few minds and setting things up just the way I needed them. I told Celestia I wouldn’t use my magic to corrupt minds, but you don’t have to break someone to make them do what you want them to. All it takes is a bit of honeyed words and occasionally some lies.

I drove a pony nearly mad from loneliness.

I pushed the winds to severely injure a griffin when she collided with the ground.

I forced some filthy monsters to begin a migration.

I whispered into the mind of a unicorn, driving him across the lands in search of monsters that didn’t exist.

I drove a king mad.

I made a mugger go too far but step back from the abyss when it was almost too late.

I whispered jealous thoughts into the mind of a mare.

I drove narcissism so deeply into the mind of a pony that he would be broken if his body was harmed.

I gave an ancient dragon nightmares.

I drove a serpent mad from loneliness.

And I whispered the method of the spell needed to bring my puppet into existence to the mind of one Twilight Sparkle.

And while I was doing all of that, I was considering who to use as my little puppet. Yes, I say puppet. Ponies are simple creatures, truly. Playing with them as myself would be too easy. No, I needed a toy, a memory of a memory.

So I chose the only being I ever truly despised.

Besides, I could not come to the world with my own personality, as that would tip Celestia off immediately. There were many other problems, as well: The language was entirely different from anything any human had known. The atmosphere was so radically different that any human coming here would probably die almost immediately afterwards. The ponies would be reluctant to accept the human, due to his obvious status as a predator and due to how odd he was.

The man I had in mind was an interesting sort. Still young, so the ponies could eventually accept him. He had plenty of flaws, so they could (try to) teach him. He was plentifully intelligent, so he could survive in his new world.

And so it was decided. I grabbed the ancient personality from my mind, threw it into his young body, and got ready for the show of a lifetime.

 
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