OOC thread: https://mlpforums.co...nd-raven-rawne/
It was just past noon on a lazy Saturday in the Crystal Empire. A day like any other, really. The weather was nice and warm, thanks to the Crystal Heart and it's magic, there were few clouds in the sky, a perfect day for spending time outdoors. Ponies of all walks of life enjoyed their weekend as they saw fit, filling the Heart with their happiness.
Not all of them, though. Some eight miles east off the city, a subject of the Crystal Princess felt anything but happy at the moment. In fact, she was scared and running as if her life depended on it. Truth be told, it did...
A thundering cacophony of hooves galloping on hard rock echoed through the caverns and tunnels. A lone figure was stampeding through the extensive cave system - a young mare, one of the crystal ponies who lived in the nearby city. Her cherry coat was dirty from tripping on the rocks, her mane a mess from running at breakneck speed, her eyes wide with fear as the crystal lantern she held in her mouth shone dimly, it's light fading. Dark thoughts rained on her like black rain, fueling the fires of dread as she strived to navigate the unfamilliar corridors towards the entrance.
"How could I be so stupid!"
"I never shoud've went so deep on the first run!"
" Left or right, left or right, left or right... RIIIGHT!"
"Heart help me, I can barely see with this fading lantern."
"How can I possibly get out without the light?"
"I'm going to die here."
Crystal Clear was panting hard from exertion and stress, her saddlebags were weighting her down and biting into her underside with every breath. The lantern will go off at any moment now, and she still was far away from the entrance...
She tripped on a stalagmite she haven't noticed, lost her balance and crashed sideways on the hard suface, letting go of her fading light source. The fluorecent crystal lantern swung on it's strap on her neck and finally gave out it's last, leaving the terrified mare laying on the cavern floor, wheezing, and now in complete darkness.
She was in no hurry anymore. She was done for, quite probably. The crystal pony lied where she dropped for a few minutes, panting hard and trying to collect her thoughts. Recall the route back on the surface. Try to accustom to the dark in vain hope of seeing her hoof in front of her face... Once she cought her breath, she sat, slowly, wincing at the pain in her side. Looking around, she saw nothing but black. Crystal got up on her shaky hooves and slowly, very slowly, she moved in the direction she believed she would find the exit.
After what seemed like an eternity of groping in the dark, Crystal saw a small light in the distace - a promise of escape! She resisted the urge to run towards it as fast as she could, and continued her slow march, testing the ground before her with a foreleg before each step.
Finally she reached the mouth of a tunnel from which the light shone, and ran straight into it, overflowing with joy and relief. She was on the verge of crystaling from happiness when she ran into the adjacent cavern and found the source of the light - a pony was standing in it's middle, but it was unlike anypony she have ever seen. The stallion was jet black, tall as the Royal Princess of Equestria, and his mane and tail were... fire? Crystal froze in place, unsure of who or what was standing in front of her. As she was about to slowly back down, the strange pony noticed her.
"G-good morning, s-sir?" - she wimpered with a clentched throat. What if this pony was an Umbrum? Would it hurt her? Should she run? As the wave of thoughts assaulted her mind, she stood frozen, watching the pony intently.