Letters to the Queen

This story is a sequel to A Different Perspective
Iridia wasn't sure if she wanted to go with the herd but both she and her mother knew what would happen if the new Chrome Hive was not set up correctly. She might be homesick, but with the ability to write letters home to her hive on a regular basis shes is never truly alone. How could she be with all of the chaos that goes on at House Path every day!



5. Path's Obligation (Part 2)

Author's Note:

So This is going to be a pretty dark chapter. Darker than most if not all of the cogsverse universe.
I tried to tip toe around the bad parts. But this story had to be told, so that everyone would understand how path can do what he does in the later chapters of quantum gallop.



Path woke up with a groan to see a Green Queen gazing down at him with a smile.

“I was wondering when you were going to wake up, Lord Path. Are you hungry?” Dianthia smiled and handed Path a plate, and he started to munch it down like he hadn’t eaten in weeks.

“So… care to tell me what happened? A few of the younger nymphs are wondering are concerned.” Dianthia passed him a second plate.

Path stopped and looked at her with a smile. “It would be a lot easier if I showed you, but I don’t have the strength to shift my resonance again. If you can do a one-on-one connection, I will gladly show you. I just need this information to stay between us and nobody else. This doesn’t get out on the network, or talked about to the Queens or Princesses. It’s not something that even most of my herd know about. It’s a very, very secret training that Warfist made me undergo. It pushed me to my utter limit.”

Dianthia nodded slowly as she leaned in, curling up close to him as she opened up a private connection between the two of them. Since he was not directly exposed to the network, it was easier on both of them. She appeared in Path’s mindscape with a smile. Soon Path appeared as well, as did a door behind him.

“Pass through the door and you’ll see all of the information I have on it, presented in a format that should be the easiest to understand. Fair warning though – it won’t be pretty.”

Dianthia nodded as she walked past Path, opened the door, and everything went white.

# # #

Warfist looked over at Azon from behind his imposing desk. His meeting chambers were Spartan at best, designed to be functional as well as intimidating. Right now the catbird was staring the Western Changeling down, idly tapping his claw against his cold metal desktop.

“I do not know medical magic and techniques like you do, however I do know that you have no reason to lie. Explain to me your reasoning. If it is just, I will hear you out, but if I find subversion....” One of his claws started to scratch the metal slowly, cutting into it. “Pray to your Queen that I do not find subversion.” His piercing eyes stared the Medical Head down as he spoke.

Azon gulped slightly. “It was my fault, really. When he was near death, I started casting as much as I could into his body in desperation to jump start it again. I have no idea how it even worked, but his heart restarted. Path was crying out for painkillers. You would expect such a thing because most of his body was broken… organs ruptured… basically the worst parts of the medical handbook. Once he was stabilized, I cast my strongest painkiller and sedative spells. After we got him into the stasis pod, the unicorns cast them as well, and then several more times while in the healing pod. Then as he had to walk around to talk to the dignitaries, he was under the painkiller spell and light sedation. Then once his magitek horn was rebuilt, he had Twilight program those two spells among many others into it, and now he has been casting them on himself. I believe that Path has grown a physical dependency on them.”

Warfist stared at the changeling for a few moments before he spoke a single phrase. “Potential outcomes?”

Azon sighed. “It will get worse and worse. Right now, despite being fully healed, he might be so dependent that to be without them would cause him immense pain.”

Warfist clicked one of his talons on the table. “And if we get him off of it?”

“Because it is magical and not chemical, after a few days he will be rid of its influence, but you will have to keep him moving during the few days to keep his muscles from locking up. It will be hell. Pure and simple, Path may be broken after that.”

Warfist stared at Azon again for a few moments before he stood up. “I have trained many griffons, Azon. Part of the process is that we shatter the griffon down to their most basic form and then rebuild them stronger, better than before. A House is only as strong as its head. I am the Warmaster, and it is my duty to see that the House is as strong as it can possibly be.” He sighed and thought for a few moments. “Your colony has worked with griffons for a long while – tell me: have you ever heard of the ‘Way of the Four Gates’?”

Azon blinked a few times in surprise. “It’s a rarely used technique; griffons versed in the old ways can use it. The technique has to deal with the idea that griffons can use the four primary emotions to accomplish great things. But all the stories I have heard only talk about the Gate of Hate.”

Warfist smiled thinly. “It’s the most commonly used, and the most destructive. Hate, Love, Fear, Bravado – the Four Gates. If Path survives being broken, it will be time that I take a new student.”

The changeling just blinked. “You know all four?!”

Warfist smiled “There is a reason why I am without equal.”

Azon sighed. “So how are we going to do this?”

Warfist started to walk out the door. “I need to make a few contacts… and I need you to go talk to Proper Place. I will need to break him physically and emotionally. Proper Place knows enough to break him emotionally, and I can break him physically. I need you there to ensure he does not die. Once he’s in pieces, then we can begin the reconstruction.”

# # #

Path looked at his herd as he walked down the hall. “That really was a good meal. I should ask for their spinach surprise more often.” Path looked back at them all and smiled. His smile faded as he saw their concerned faces. “What’s wrong?”

Roseclaw spoke. “Just remember that we love you, Path.”

Path blinked a few times. “What are you ta–”

Twilight’s horn lit up as the magitek horn Path was wearing sparked, sending a stun spell through him, and he crumpled to the ground. Soon after, Warfist, Azon, and Proper Place came from around the hall.

Free looked at his brother. “How long will this take?”

Azon sighed. “With luck: a week.”

Free whimpered, “Why can't I go with him?”

Azon replied, “Because of your link. His pain would become your pain, which would then become the herd’s pain. We need to isolate him because he can only do this on his own.”

Warfist picked up the unconscious Path and they walked away, leaving a concerned herd.

Twilight looked at the rest of the family. “Let's just get some rest and try to take it one day at a time.”

They slowly nodded and headed back to their chambers.

# # #

Path woke up, flailing and sputtering as water was splashed on him.

“What is going on?! Oh, Sweet Celestia! Why does everything hurt?” Path groaned out as he opened one eye to see Warfist standing in front of him. “What is the meaning of this, Warfist?!”

The griffon said nothing, and Path slowly got up to his feet, only to be tripped and put back down by Warfist. The griffon glared at him. “Sit down and shut up. I am going to tell you what's going to happen before you lose your mind.”

Path blinked and went to cast, only to find his magitek horn was missing. “W-what...oh no...”

Warfist looked at him sternly. “You have been abusing magic, Lord Path, and it has made you weak. It is my job to keep the House strong, to make you strong, even if I have to destroy you and build you back from the ground up. I will be back in twelve hours, Lord Path.”

The griffon flew up and landed on a high up ledge where the door was located. Apparently this had been one of Ravenclaw’s punishment rooms for his more rebellious pony slaves.

Warfist shut the door behind him as he heard Path yell for him to come back. He turned to Azon. “Keep an eye on him, you and your second in command. Only intervene if you think he might pass.”

– Twelve Hours Later –

Warfist woke up and walked back to the chamber entrance where he found Azon looking troubled.

“Path... well, he's still awake, but you might not want to go inside. He's really mad.”

The griffon raised an eyebrow. “I thought you said he was going to be in a world of pain?”

Azon sighed. “He hasn't reached the pain part yet. He's still in the anger phase, which means he must have cast the spells just before we grabbed him. It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.”

Warfist slowly walked into the room and looked down at the snarling pony. He flapped down to the ground, only to be attacked. He caught the hoof in one talon and flipped the weak pony over his head and onto his back.

“Look at yourself! You once took down a Queen, but now you can't even land a punch,” Warfist taunted as Path rushed at him, sending a flurry of bucks and hoof punches. His body, however, was weakening, and his muscles were unfamiliar with the non-sedated sensations, starting to burn with the slightest exertion.

“Stop trying to hit me and hit me!” Warfist screeched as he grabbed the earth pony and launched him across the room. The pony hit the wall and slid down.

“I… kill you… I'll bucking kill you...” Path glared at the griffon and charged one last time, turning at the last moment to buck. Warfist grinned as he held his claws out, connecting with Path’s hooves and sliding back a few feet.

“Your will betrays your strength. You might just make it through this after all.” Warfist took back to the air and left a hissing Path on the ground. He exited the cell and looked to Azon.

“He's doing pretty good. I will come back in a day and a half. Again, do not talk to him unless he is at risk of passing on.” Warfist rubbed his talons slightly.

“By the time you come back, he is going to be in the worst stages. His body might very well reject itself. We have no idea how bad his comedown is going to be,” Azon warned.

“Path is strong – he will make it,” Warfist said before he left.

– 36 Hours Later –

Warfist returned to see Azon watching through the door, deeply concerned. “His vitals are still intact… but hes not doing good at all… I fear that I may need to recast the painkiller spell on him.”

Warfist pushed him aside and opened the door. “You are now under direct orders to not do that.” He flew in and landed, looking down at the pitiful mass of pony. Path had repeatedly gotten sick...among other things. The only way Warfist knew Path was still alive was his slowly rising and falling chest.

“Get up,” Warfist growled out.

“It hurts so much... Please… just kill me...I can't… I can't handle it!” Path cried, the heap still not stirring.

“I said get up!” Warfist yelled.

“Why... why are you doing this to me?” Path looked at the old griffon, his entire face matted by crying.

Warfist leaned down into the pony’s face and Path flinched. “This is your crucible, Lord Long Path. If you live, you will be re-forged into something greater than yourself. If you fail, you will die and your House will fall apart.”

“Please! Just… just cast the spell just once... please… It’s sheer agony.” Path started crying again.

“Get up, Path! Get up and show me you are worth re-forging. Show me that you are ready to ascend to the next level. Show me that you’re meant to lead! ” Warfist backed up and screeched. “GET UP, LONG PATH!”

The earth pony slowly moved; each inch his body shifted felt like every bone in his body was breaking. One of his hooves touched the ground and he screamed. Then a second... then a third… then a fourth. It took everything he had to slowly get onto all fours. The earth pony shook violently as he locked eyes with Warfist, his teeth clenched and sweat pouring off his face. “The House… will not.. fall.” Path collapsed back onto his side, passing out from the pain.

Warfist smiled in satisfaction as he took back to the air and out the door as Azon looked at him.

“Warfist, I don’t know if his body can handle this anymore. His vitals were all over the board when you pulled that stunt.”

“How much longer until he’s at his worst?” He asked the changeling.

“I would say two more days should be his lowest point. If he can last that final day, he should survive it,” Azon replied quietly.

“In two days, Proper Place and I will arrive. He will monitor his vitals while we do the plan we talked about.” Warfist started to walk out.

“That could kill him!” the changeling cried out.

“The greatest weapons are forged in the fires of hell.” Warfist left the doctor to watch over the still detoxing earth pony.

– 48 Hours Later –

The last two days were hell for Path. Every neuron in his body would not stop sending pain signals. He did not sleep. He did not eat. He had lost all control of his bodily functions. His voice was shredded from the constant screaming, and Azon had to come in a few times to cast healing magic to mend the damage to his throat, but he obeyed Warfist’s command to not abate the pain.

Warfist eventually returned. “How is Path doing?”

“Bad. Very bad. This detoxing is the worst I’ve ever seen. His vitals are acceptable, but I don’t think we should push it,” Azon warned.

“It must be done. It is your turn to play your part. Proper and I will monitor. Do what I said.” Warfist opened the door as Azon sighed and transformed.

Path wasn’t sure if he was alive or dead anymore. It was hard for him to see, or even to breathe. His body was failing him and nobody would help. His herd was gone. His house was gone. His mind was nearly gone. It was then that something snapped his mind back to reality – a giggle he had only heard once before.

“Oh, how the mighty have fallen.” The blue-chitoned Queen stepped into Path’s view as his eyes widened, but even that caused him pain. “The once-great ruler of a Noble House stretching across nations, now a pitiful heap destined to die alone in a pit.” The Mad Queen slowly started to walk around him, every now and then tapping his side, sending fire coursing through his body.

“One by one, Path. I will consume everything you love.” The queen leaned down until she was only a few inches from his eyes. “RoseClaw and Twilight will become my royal concubines. Every night I will take joy in defiling what you once loved.”

Path’s body started to heat up as the pain began to be overcome by pure, endless hate.

“Blue Streak and Lucida – such lovely children. I will dismember the fast one, but I will not give him the mercy of death. And your legacy – she will be the play toy of the lowest burrower drones. I don’t have to destroy their bodies to annihilate their souls.”

Path’s legs started to move. It was slight at first, but the fire building within him was not fading away. Chrysalis resumed pacing around Path as she spoke.

“And my daughter? She is my legacy. I cannot kill her for it would be killing my hive. But I will rend her consciousness from her form. My daughter will be the factory I need – breeders just lining up one after the other to replenish the forces you destroyed. One does not need a mind for the carnal acts that will befall her.”

Something broke inside Path. The burning was not his muscles crying out for numbing magic; they were crying out for vengeance.

“And there is nothing you can do about it, you weak, broken, shell of a mud pony….” The Queen turned to face Path, expecting him to be on the ground. However, she was not expecting a hoof to connect to her face, and then another. As the earth pony let out a war cry that no living thing should ever be able to make, it only took two punches before Azon’s disguise fell. Two more punches landed before Proper Place levitated the pony into the air to stop him from outright killing the doctor.

Path was more beast than rational being as Warfist landed down on the ground to look up at him. The pony looked at him… or maybe through him.

“The re-forging is complete. Proper Place, call the medics to help Azon. Take Path into the medical wing and restrain him.” Warfist smiled widely as he looked at the thrashing pony.

“Now to sharpen you into a force even the Aspects will cower from.” Warfist left the pit as the other medical staff came in to handle the situation.

– 72 Hours Later –

Path woke up with a groan, but instead of looking up at the dank, decaying ceiling of the pit, everywhere he looked it was white. He let out a grunt of pain, but he noticed that the pain was considerably less than before.

“So glad you finally woke up, Lord Path.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Path was able to see Warfist looking down at him as he moved up to the bed.

“There are those that cannot handle their worst fears realized, or their entire body revolting against them. Your crucible was more extreme than most, but because of that, you will reap higher gains than those who took the easy way.” Warfist talked as he walked to the door and locked it, before returning back to Path.

“What I am going to say stays between us. It is lost knowledge and needs to stay lost. Do we have an understanding?” Warfist locked eyes with the pony, drilling into him with great intensity.

Path’s mind was shaking off the haze of unconsciousness, and he focused on the griffon, nodding wordlessly.

“Within all beings, there is an energy – an energy that most have forgotten. Their own magics drown out the song that is within all living beings. You are in a unique position as you have no magic, thus you can begin to see, begin to hear again. This is why the crucible had to occur, to first hear the song you need to hear its high note. It’s why I had to push you to your breaking point. You would live, or you would die.” Warfist looked to him.

“Song? High Note? What are you talking about?” Path asked.

“Griffons refer to it as the life-song, Changelings refer to it as chi pathways. It is the movement and flow of intent and energy though a living being. You can now hear the song, which means you can now be your own conductor, a master of yourself, beholden to none. With proper training, of course.” Warfist smiled and leaned in closer.

“Before all of that however, to know a true name grants a person great power over the owner of that name. It is a sign of the highest level of trust when a full name is revealed. I now recognize you as the head of House Path, and my true Lord.” Instead of the normal formal nod or slight bow that Warfist usually gave, he did a full and complete bow before he looked up and spoke again. “Morza Warfist Rockfeather is yours to command.”

Warfist stood up with a proud smile. “Your training starts tomorrow. Be ready.” He chuckled a bit before he left the room. Soon Path could hear the hoof-steps of his herd coming to check up on him, and he figured Warfist notified them that he was awake. Indeed, maybe he was fully awake for the first time in his life.

# # #

Dianthia closed the connection as she looked at Path wide-eyed. “You went through all of that and made it out okay?! There are entire groups of Yellow Changelings that are specialized to deal with spell addiction, and even they have rarely had such hard cases.”

Path had held nothing back except Warfist’s name, but he shrugged with a smile. “I try not to remember it, and I hope that you never speak this to anyone either, but long story short, I am being trained to be better. Progress is slow, but I have enough control over certain notes to do what I need to do, such as feed my daughter if I need to.”

Dianthia’s eyes went wide. “You can control love?!”

Path chuckled. “No, I can’t control anything outside. I am becoming a master of myself, not of everyone around me. But if my daughter is hungry and tired, I can put her on my back and direct my internal flows so she can get at them with no effort or focus on her part. Have you ever wondered why when I’m in the meetings, Epifany climbs up on my head and sucks on one of my ears? Or if we are walking, she lies on my back and nuzzles the back of my neck?”

The Green Queen blinked as the mental pieces fell into place, and then started to laugh. “Lord Long Path – ally of the world and a nursery drone!” She held her muzzle as she giggled.

Path slowly lifted an eyebrow with a smile. “I am feeling a lot better now. How about we connect to the network again and I finish my speech, but this time the easy way? I don’t want to pass out again.”

Dianthia rolled her eyes before she lay down next to Path. He tilted his head to the side, and she could see his chi paths moving and shifting before they became still for her. She leaned in and reconnected him back to the network so he can begin his speech once more.

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