Illiad Easle

Private A Cultural Exchange 1x1 with Sherem

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(Link to OOC: HERE)

@Sherem

Do you want to make new friends? Learn about the world? Experience different cultures and help others do the same?

Participate in the first ever All Equis Cultural Exchange!

Entry open to all creatures, participants must be at least their species age of maturity (Typically 12+ years). Those not considered adults must have their parents’ permission to enter.

The All Equis Cultural Exchange is a two week program preceded by a few weeks of preparation to allow both parties to confirm their willingness to participate before embarking. The two weeks entail one week in the hometown of each of the participants. 

Entry requirements:

Write a letter about yourself including the following:

Your name, your race, and your age. Be sure to describe yourself, including a picture if possible. And finally, be sure to include your location, as well as a short explanation as to why you want to participate. 

Please include a proof of residence. In countries where this document is not provided, Exchange officials can be sent to confirm your residence free of charge. 

Once you have submitted your letter, you will be paired with another of similar age who wishes to share their culture with you.

You will have a few weeks’ time to interact via letter, after which the Cultural Exchange will officially begin!

The bottom contained a mailing address and the invitation to submit any questions to the same in writing or in person. 

Flyers bearing the above text were distributed throughout the world. Carefully placed to attract the attention of all those interested in participation.

 

Sherem had somehow found one, and had submitted his own application.

 

Upon receiving his application, and discovering that he was an alicorn, the Children were unsure who they could pair him with, and ultimately decided there was only one creature that could hope to provide a reasonable exchange partner. 

Midnight Star was in his study in Castle Archback when Nightshade, tenth of his name, approached him with the proposal that he be paired with the alicorn. Midnight was intrigued, and agreed, setting to work writing out the letter of introduction the format of the exchange required.

Noble Sherem,

It is with great pleasure that I be the one to announce your acceptance and subsequent pairing with myself in the cultural exchange, should you still be interested. To provide you with a measure of understanding, I am Midnight Star, adviser to the Children of the Moon and second leader of the Equis Global Council. I am an earth pony by nature, but with the stature and life of an alicorn having reached just over 1020 years of age myself. I have a black coat with a white mane and tail. My mark is that of an eight pointed star, symbolizing hope even in the darkest nights.

I hope that I will be able to make this exchange an enlightening one for the both of us, and I anxiously await your response.

~Midnight Star

 

Letter written, he passed it along to the responsible party to have it sent along to Sherem.

 

A few days after Sherem submitted his application, he would receive the above letter along with the official letter of acceptance, instructing him to write his own letter of introduction.

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Sherem took the letter and read it at least two times in a row on his way back to his place. The key into the lock of his door goes in and so Sherem went into his home, pretty organized nothing dirty except some dust over here and there, Sherem went to his desk and began to write his reply and just as he was about to start...

That voice inside his head said: "And this is your way to shake things up, is it wussy?" and Sherem said out loud "all the things I do never has anything to do with you now or ever, now shut up I need to concentrate here" with a smug tone the voice said "perhaps I should also introduce myself with this Midnight as well, oh and remember to write down that you are screw up in both the head and body" Sherem with more anger said "I said, shut up"

He began to write down the letter of Introduction:

Greetings 

Advisor Midnight Star, I do hope this letter finds you in a good moment. I am Sherem Vice-captain of the Canterlot guard, at this moment I am on a leave of a couple of months from my work and therefore, this is why I decided to participate in this program. I am a male alicorn, and a crystal pony, therefore In actual time span I'm also over 1000 years old due to the stasis that the empire was put after the defeat of king sombra by the our most gracious princesses Luna and Celestia. My Cutie mark is basically a sun and some glyphs around it that I would like it would remain untranslated. I have a white coat and a gray mane, red eyes and all the usual appearances of an Alicorn, horn and Wings.

I also have good expectations of this exchange as well, It's kinda hard to have friends in a position like mine, socially speaking of course.

Waiting to hear news from you, partner.

~Sherem

He prepared and sealed the letter with his guard seal and sent it through the official line of the program and as he sent it he sighed and the voice inside him said "and so something interesting has begun, I can feel it"

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@Sherem

As luck would have it, it was not in fact a good moment when Midnight received the letter, advising the petty squabbles of inconsequential nations rarely put him in a good mood. But the event of the letter's arrival was enough to make him wholly forget his previous annoyance as he set to reply:

Well met Vice Captain Sherem,

I hope it is not presumptuous of me to ask, but I assume that Captain Armor no longer commands the Equestrian Solar Guard? As such you serve as second to the new Captain? Forgive my ignorance, I haven't had much ability to study Equestrian structure in recent years. I hope you'll forgive this question as well, my curious nature often gets the best of me, but were you born an alicorn? Or did you ascend like the Princesses Sparkle and Cadenza? It gives me great satisfaction to hear that Equestria has accepted you so readily, and that you seem to have integrated yourself after your long stasis, I know how difficult it was for Sir to acclimate when he was freed, as he wasn't gone as long as the empire was. As to your mark, I don't know if I can hold back my curiosity hard enough to not at least try to decipher your runes, if I might ask why you want to remain ignorant?

I apologize again if any of my questions offend, my intent is purely to learn. To be perfectly fair I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have in return, whether about myself or Archback I'll do my best to satisfy your curiosity as well.

Sincerely,

~Midnight Star

Midnight looked the letter over for a bit, wondering if he came off as too excited, "Even if he's not really as old as me, I suppose he could still outlast the rest, so it's worth making a lasting friendship if we'll both be here a while." He shrugged as his own musings, deciding it was better to be honest than try and portray someone he was not, and sent to letter off to Sherem.

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Sherem walked the streets of canterlot, and feeling what he would call an "itch" because he was not on duty and was doing no work and too add it was also an awkward situation, for it's not common for the ponies of Canterlot see an alicorn to have a casual stroll, least of all Sherem in no armor, therefore he attracted a lot of gazes and stares from everypony around. 

He went into the store that sold boxes of Cider and decided to take 3 boxes packed with bottles of apple cider, the alcoholic kind, and then remembered that a possible reply could have come from Advisor midnight in his Exchange program and again the voice inside him said "don't get your hopes up wussy, you're not that interesting of a pony, on the other hoof if it was me who we were talking about..." and got interrupted by sherem speaking in a low tone "nopony asked your opinion" he checked his mail locker and found the letter and read it. Giving a sigh because he felt two matters uncomfortable, speaking about the glyphs and his ascension, but he could at least try to answer one of them.

Then as he returned his place, he got to write the letter, but as the first drop of ink went onto the parchment he felt losing control and out loud he said with a different voice and his eyes turning sharp, replacing the yellow and black the other entity inside his head took control and said "now now, let's make this more interesting" and suddenly shifted back to his old self and said "NO! no no no, you can't and I will not allow it" his other self replied "Seems you still have some strength, but trust me It won't be long before I start sending MY letters, wussy" he mocked him and laughed.

Shaking his head he started to write down the letter.

Greetings again Advisor Midnight

First allow me to express my joy to see that you got my letter and decided to write back, I cannot thank you enough for your time though I ignore what are your duties and your position exactly. I would ask questions of my own soon enough about your own post.

But first let me try and give a reply to most of your questions.

First about the chain of command, well you are partially right since commander Shining Armor is no longer the head of the Solar guard and was replaced, he is the higher military authority in all of equestria. Most reports of all the guards around the domains of the princesses go to him all the way to the crystal empire, my birth home, and yes I serve as a second in case the captain is absent and other stuff witch by protocol I cannot detail here.

About of how I became an Alicorn...well, I was born as a pegasus first and by the grace of Princess Amore and my merits in the matter of Strategy and Planning I was ascended to Alicorn, by Celestia and Luna It was hard to do magic at first, it was a...difficult process very very difficult. I do hope this brief answer would go well for your curiosity.

As for the glyphs surrounding my Cutie Mark, I'm afraid I cannot give you an answer because...it is a delicate matter, very delicate and perhaps and also maybe, it's a big MAYBE, I will convey that matter one day, but I see that a bit far away.

As for my questions I will try not to pry too much into personal matter, see which ones of these you will answer at your leisure.

I never heard of your position or what is exactly what you actually do, does it have any links to the royalty? Who are the Children of the Moon? and Finally how did you lived around 1020 if you are earth pony but with no horn and wings?

I do hope you find this letter your liking .

~Sherem, Vice Captain of the Guard

He sent the letter via the official line of the program and then decided to "Bend" the rules and accords of his "Time off" and visited the forges of the guard, where he decided to act as a Volunteer around the forges, even if it meant to carry heavy bags of ores and coal. 

 

 

 

 

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@Sherem

Midnight was rather happy to receive the latest letter, it had brightened immensely what would otherwise be a rather monotonous lifestyle. It did not escape his notice however that Sherem seemed slightly distressed when he wrote his letter, it would show in the style of writing. I wonder, though I better not presume. He's already off put by my prying, hopefully what troubles him will pass.

His thoughts sorted he set out to write:

Trusted Vice Captain Sherem,

I apologize for any distress my inquiry into your runes may have posed, I'll refrain for your comfort. I must say i'm rather surprised that Captain Armor retains his standing despite my understanding that the Crystal Empire was a nation independent from Equestria, I find it troubling that it may yet be a puppet state. 

As to your questions, as Adviser to the Children of the Moon I guide their learning and studies as they govern the creatures living here at Archback Mountain, as Second Leader of the EGC I advise Sir, who is the First Leader, in his decisions regarding conflicts between the nations that participate in the council. As of yet we do not have any official relations to your royalty as Equestria has refused to join the council. The Children of the Moon refer both to the twelve foals that your Princess Luna adopted and that I cared for in her absence, as well as all of their descendants and those that have joined them in living here on Archback Mountain. As to my longevity, it is due to my relationship with Luna herself, soon after we first met she was distraught to find that I would not live long, and as such she imparted a certain power with me that has thus-far allowed me to continue living, I have not physically aged much since I received the power, and so far as I am aware I will never die of old age. In a way I am like an alicorn, just without the benefit of wings or conventional magic.

If you don't mind my asking, might I hear more of this Princess Amore? I must say I am ignorant to much of the history of the Crystal Empire before Sombra, and I find myself skeptical of the records I have discovered.

Hoping this letter finds you well,

~Midnight Star

Midnight worried for this new friend of his, wondering about the secrets he had scratched, and hoping that they would not ultimately be consequential. He sent off the letter to Sherem, hoping the best for him.

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The letter had arrived but with a delay due to some problems "on the road" but he did get it eventually and as he read it, he started to wonder if was coming too brooding for his new contact.

Shaking his mind off it he went to his office, and still there was no work for him coming since he was still on leave form duties, however Princess celestia allowed him to go into the forges and his office, but not regularly, she knew she had to make her authority felt, but also knew she could not hold a workaholic from working.

Sherem went to his desk and started to write down but was then that he lost all control and HE was in charge

Esteemed Advisor Midnight

Good to hear you got the previous letter, here I thought that you finally got tired of boring old Sherem here, and there is more good news coming.

The vice captain will be out for a while, and in his stead I will be here on the other side of this correspondence, prepare to have the time of your looooong life, for madness can be quite fun once you give it a try.

waiting to hear from you

~Sheoreth

With it he implanted a spell inside the letter that would activate as soon as another pony read it and using the official route he sent it, passing himself as Sherem and once it was sent, an evil smile was on his face.

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@Sherem

Midnight had had no shortage of enemies in his time, and being the second in command did not do him any favors in that department. As such he was no stranger to tampered mail, curses sent his way, and other attacks to his person. The solution was then, that any mail addressed to him or Sir would be screened by another trusted adviser. Even though the spell was not detected by the cursory scan all mail to Archback received, it was triggered upon being read not by Midnight, but by said adviser.

Midnight was in a meeting, anxiously awaiting the next letter's arrival when a hurried page entered the room, "Come quickly! Nightshade's been cursed!"

Without a moment's hesitation Midnight rushed out of the meeting and straight to Nightshade's office where a pair of unicorns stood trying to free him from the trauma the curse had trapped him in, another was busy containing the letter which had held the curse, taking care that it would not trigger again. It did not escape Midnight's notice that the letter had been sent from Sherem, meaning he had sent it, or it had been intercepted and tampered with. Midnight found the latter more likely, and being unable to read the letter himself lest he risk the curse as well, he had no way of knowing for sure.

"It's so dark... where's our mom? Why's she gone..."

Midnight's expression grew more concerned, he had heard those words before, but not from this Nightshade. He had heard it from the first Nightshade over a thousand years past. He had suspected that the iterations of the twelve shared some sort of bond, it seemed this curse had pulled something through.

Nonetheless, he seemed to be stabilizing, so Midnight's worry lessened.

There was a bit of fire in his heart as he returned to his study to write back, the inkling suspicion of Sherem holding on in his heart. He wrote:

Vice Captain Sherem,

Forgive the bluntness of this letter, but I'm afraid your last letter to me was compromised in transit. I advise caution on your part though I'm sure your no stranger to attack on you from your standing. Given the nature of the compromise concerning your letter I was unable to read it, and as such hope that you could send again your response. I've included in this letter a more secure channel of communication which should prevent further tampering. Please send your future letters through it rather than the Equestrian Post.

~Midnight Star

He sent off the letter straight away, and was glad to hear that Nightshade had recovered from the curse's effects, at least apparently.

An attack on me is one thing, but when you hurt my family, my children, you'll soon discover why the old families fear me.

 

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Sheoreth passed as Sherem for the time, but in the end he ended up causing lots of troubles on Canterlot, between them:

Ponies being sent to another dimension, others missing around the city, and some other things that would pass as Discord's doing like distorted realities and bizarre sightings inside and outside of Canterlot. 

Soon the letter arrived and as Sheoreth read it he gave a sigh of exasperation seeing that this small plan did not work, he decided to sent another letter but this time with no curse or spell on it, but it did sent part of his aura of madness, so that when he actually read it he would feel the change and some of the powers that the binding of Sombra gave to him during the transformation.

Oh dear advisor

Seems you did manage to doge the spell I sent, but like I told you before, the Vice captain will be out for a time, and he is not coming back soon.

It does seem that you did not read the previous letter, perhaps you should and then you would understand that what I am and what I bring into Equestria.

Therefore let me introduce myself, again oh how do I hate to repeat myself

I am Sheoreth, duke of madness and previous general of King sombra, although that last credentai is worth nothing since he was worth nothing, as for now I will be the one being your partner in the absence of wussy vice-captain, once you have truly felt what I am i do believe you will find the realm of madness to be pretty entertaining, it is for me.

Let's hope you got this one, or we are in real trouble, and out come your intestines and I SKIP ROPE WITH THEM!

with affection

~Sheoreth

Tracing the means by witch the letter of Midnight was sent he used the same way to send it to him, and that night he went to parade in the guise of Sherem around the city to keep doing what he pleased. 

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@Sherem

Midnight was hesitant to say the least when the new letter arrived, given Nightshade had been given time off as the trusted adviser Sir's Knight Slend had take over duties as the proof reader of the mail. Slend was cautious as he passed the letter over, which was unusual for the shadowy pony. "It reeks of darkness and madness, I was able to dispel most of it with Sir's teachings, but the taint of it remains."

Midnight scanned the letter over, wincing inside as he felt the taint of madness. "As I feared, it seems someone out there has hijacked our communication lines, using Sherem to get to me. This Sheoreth, the name it unfamiliar, though without the house or noble title it could be any of the old families seeking revenge. I know not whether his claims to be connected to Sombra are genuine. We will need to be cautious." Midnight turned to Slend, "Fetch Gari, we'll need some purity for a counter."

Midnight wrote out a response:

Interloper Sheoreth,

May this letter find you well, that it may strike you true. Twice now thou hast attacked my people and myself with your darkness, an injustice that will be repaid. I strongly advice you restore the Vice Captain to his rightful place before you suffer my wrath, the wrath that made Equestria tremble and nobles quake. Rest assured that you will fall as all darkness does before the first light of dawn. Restore Sherem, go thy way, and you will escape my judgement for a season. Refuse and I will bring my judgement to thee.

~Midnight

Letter written, he sealed it and passed it to Gari, tenth of her name, who placed purity within it similar to how Sheoreth placed madness. When he read it he would be struck by the pure light to combat his darkness. The response to this letter would determine whether he needed to seek out Sheoreth himself, he feared that it would come to such an end.

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Soon the news of problems raised around Equestria of what was going on on Canterlot, even to the kingdom of Midnight. Sheoreth Indeed got the letter and as he read it, he laughed his flank off since this fool that decided to waste his time with Sherem was threatening him. 

"So this advisor wants to play eh? very well I will prepare the board" he said with an evil grin but headaches where bombarding him, but since Sherem was still weak Sheoreth could keep the control of the body. This time Sheoreth made a shorter letter both in content and even on the parchment.

Advisor

Very well, you wanna play? I'll be waiting, and each day you delay to take action I will make disappear more ponies here in Canterlot until even Princess Celestia and Luna are also gone, my suggestion would be to hurry on making a move, before I get bored oh you wouldn't like be when I get bored.

Game's on Advisor, your move.

D4 

~Sheoreth

Along the D4, there was the drawing of a pawn piece, as he sent the letter he looked to the window seeing who would be gone next now

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@Sherem

Tensions were rising at Archback, the letter was well scanned before it was passed to Midnight, and once it was is set a series of events into motion. The mountain and the colony had ramped up security, the thestral clan was putting up twice the sentries in case any threat came towards the mountain. But those were all externalities, Midnight wasn't afraid, but cautious. He stood in the looking tower, enchanted mirrors giving him a near perfect view of most of the Equestrian continent, he was looking towards Canterlot, but at nothing specifically. "It's not my place to go to Equestria's rescue. I've saved their thankless flanks before."

He had no love for Celestia, nor those who stood willingly in the ignorance she fed them, it would be a tragedy to be sure, the world would lament their loss, but the world would go on. The Council had fail-safes for the celestial bodies if the princesses were ever incapacitated, neighboring nations would reroute trade and eventually any number of ranger forces would pick up the pieces.

"But I suppose... after all this time... I can't run and hide again. She needs me there, this time."

He turned away from the looking room, leaving instructions that he was to be watched, and news of his death would be spread to the world. If he failed to save it, they'd burn it down in vengeance, even Sir would be unable to maintain peace if his body were added to Equestria's pile.

He sent a letter, not to Sheoreth, but to his own contacts in Equestria and Canterlot, hoping that they had yet to be targeted.

Down to the armory, to don a set of armor he had not worn in a century, renew long drained enchantments, and make preparations. The most important were a set of lightning javelins, stowed securely. His armor came in three parts, a chain mail cover that went from his withers to his hocks, a set of black plate armor that covered his neck from poll to withers, covering up to where the chain mail covered, and an enchanted helmet giving him the ability to see magical concentrations, like those held within living beings and charged runes. The armor was covered with an enchanted covering, shimmering crimson against the stark black, enchanted for comfort and durability it had seen him through hundreds of sword fights and brawls.

Preparations made he made his way out of the mountain by night, armored in the garb the old families would recognize: The Black Knight, liberator of slaves and slayer of owners.

He would arrive in Equestria by Midnight, the outskirts of Canterlot by dawn.

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As Midnight arrived on the outskirts of the city of Canterlot, he could feel a darker aura, something new, something he had never felt before. Inside the city he could see that the streets where mostly empty, no ponies that could be seen on the street. Though Midnight had clearly no appreciation for the ponies of Equestria and Princess celestia, all of the scenery in the city gave him chills.

Soon on the empty streets a fog started to cover the inside of town, the source it  was clearly magical, yet he could not tell who was the one doing all of this or pinpoint where exactly it generated, it was getting harder to see around the city. Then a voice:

"A new arrival! sorry that I could not prepare a welcoming committee, but I'm just so excited I could just, TEAR OUT YOUR INTESTINES AND STRANGLE YOU WITH THEM" he laughed

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@Sherem

So much for stealth. Clearly Equestria's defenses have failed, again. Though that's to be expected when you make your guard captain also run a puppet nation a hundred miles away.

He didn't deign the threat/invitation with a response, simply activating the enchantment in his helmet, if the fog weren't in and of itself full of magical energy he'd be able to see if anyone were standing in it, or if any magical traps lay within. He had used similar tactics before, throwing down smoke bombs to obscure the area, then use his helmet to take down his enemies while they were blinded.

He'd move slowly, taking careful account of each path as he moved more or less directly towards the castle. In, grab, out. Let Equestria deal with their problems this time.

He'd keep moving unless something tried to get in his way, he'd stop to asses any potential obstacle before moving forward.

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Midnight moved until he found the castle of the sisters.

As he went inside, he saw all the guards pretty out of combat, either beaten or passed out. From there each step took him to the throne of Celestia and Luna. And there both princesses lay down, hugging each other in an embrace but unconscious and some spears that where stuck on the floor around them and then again the voice talked to him.

"Fun little image isn't it? seeing how you are reacting to all of my little scenery, I would guess that you have no love for these ponies at all, and then you came to face me in the end, I feel there is something impor....NO WAIT somepony important, and she is in the is room!" he laughed mocking his feelings "so it's one of the two princesses isn't it? but the question now is, "Is it Sunbutt or the Moonbutt here?" after this, steps where heard behind him, slow, calm like he was taking strud.

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@Sherem

Midnight's only response was a raised eyebrow, which was hidden beneath the helmet. He can apparently follow me well enough despite my not being able to find him. Disadvantaged as he was he moved past the downed princesses to take up a spot in the middle of the room, that way no matter which way he or any forces he might have entered the room, he'd have adequate time to prepare a defense.

Despite preparing inwardly he gave off the appearance of tranquility. He spoke with a deep, even voice, his accent had traces of the old dialect and an overall air of refinement, "Impressive, not many can say they've bested the Equestrian Diarchs. But I see they're not dead, not even the guards outside, so perhaps not so impressive." He made a show of looking towards the throne, "Hmm, it appears as if I could take the throne myself, take credit for your achievements. After all, despite all this you're still no one."

He briefly thought that perhaps taunting him was a bad idea, but someone enraged rarely made good decisions, and therefore all the easier to defeat.

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Another laugh in the dark was heard form the same voice "You're trying to play coy! how funny" the steps turned faster and then a loud sound was heard on the same direction, like stone breaking. The stepping was gone and soon Midnight could feel the ground where he stood trembling. From underneath the stone floor cracked and Sheoreth emerged pushing Midnigh'ts neck with his hoof, Although he was wearing almost no armor he was using some leg protectors that would count as Light armor and with a sword on his back.

Sheoreth pressed hard his hoof on the neck of Midnight as they flew up several Stories, going through solid rock until they got to one of the towers of the castle with the moon that Luna left before she was put out of combat.

"Beautiful Night isn't it?" he said with a grin and took out his sword and stabbed a square of the floor and as he looked at Midnight who was recovering from the first attack he said "Nc3"

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@Sherem

Midnight had considered that his attacker might attack from below, but there wasn't much of a way to defend against such an attack, and as such was caught by the attack, but not wholly off guard.

Midnight remained tranquil in the face of danger, the similarity between this Sheoreth and Sherem not lost on him. "Given how unlikely it is that there's two alicorns of the same description, I must assume that you've either been Sherem the whole time, or are possessing him."

He considered opening with a javelin, but decided that opening with a very strong attack would be a poor plan, especially without knowing the full extent of his enemy. When Sheoreth stabbed the ground he raised an eyebrow in amusement, "A chess reference? Truly? Well, as I can hardly expect you to play fair, there's no reason why the match shouldn't be stacked against you from the start."

Midnight moved to strike, moving much faster than one would typically expect given his size and the field. His hooves seemed to grip the ground better than they had any right to, emphasized by the thunderous sound of his approach. He would leap about a stride's length away from Sheoreth, only to slam downward faster than gravity typically allowed, he would strike Sheoreth with quite the blow if he did not evade. If he did so, Midnight would be quick to ready himself for a counter. "We're not even playing the same game."

If Sheoreth were to look closely, he'd see that Midnight had dispelled a few visual illusions on himself: His hooves, rather than singular like a normal pony, were divided into three equal parts, and resonated with a unique sort of magic.

(Midnight's abilities explained in OOC)

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Magic was never the expertise of Sheoreth, he took his sword out of the ground and faced the charge, Indeed the movement of Midnight was more than he could anticipate at the moment. As always most of his strategies and way of fighting would be to first observe his opponent while he attacked. He was willing to take damage, but had at the same time to keep it to a limit.

Sheoreth lunged against Midnight with stockades that would go onto vitals points his body as well to test the construction of that armor, with an evil smile he said "nopony has to agree to play, in the end they are always dragged into my game, where I always win" Sheoreth concentrated into seeing the flaws into his form and stance while he attacked. Analyzing ways, tendencies and he thought that loosing blood sounded a good exchange for now.

"Welcome to my game!" the stockades became really fast as they went for several points around Midnight.

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@Sherem

Midnight smirked inwardly at how nearly his attack missed, Not so fast now is he?

Given Midnight wasn't a normal pony, his vital points were different enough that it would be no issue, but he recognized what Sheoreth was trying to hit, and so made a show of dodging as many of the stockades as he could, but prioritizing reducing the distance between him and his opponent. Where his vital point was furthest from the typical pony's he had strategically placed a weak point in his armor, to make his enemies think that it was an actual weak point in his defenses. While it would hurt to get hit there, it would hardly be deadly, and given just how many times he had taken a blow there before it would hardly even bleed.

As such he didn't try to dodge the one aimed there, disguising the hit by dodging another instead. The rest that he could not dodge, or allowed to hit him ineffectively, glanced off his armor, tearing the cloth cover in some cases to reveal the chain mail beneath.

 He didn't wait for the attack to let up before launching into one of his own, this time attempting to grapple the alicorn. If he could get a grip on the alicorn it would be near impossible for him to get away given his abilities.

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To the surprise of Midnight, Sheoreth Lunged against him as well, bringing the two of them even closer so much that both could see each others eyes "COME ON! SHOW ME WHAT YOU CAN DO!" Many others in this situation would take a logical approach and try to dodge any attack, but Sheoreath was madness itself. This move would give him close range for more speedy stockades around the body, but most would bounce against the chain mail, but nonetheless he kept attacking without realizing that the plan of Midnight would go for a grapple attack, he had fallen for the play of Midnight.

At the same time something inside the mind of Sheoreth was stirring really hard, something magical that even Midnight could feel it.

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@Sherem

His opponent grappled, Midnight let out a snort of true enjoyment, this fight was awakening a fire within him which had not burned in years.

The grapple was a simple neck grip which he would easily be able to leverage to throw Sheoreth on his back, transitioning the hold to pin him to the ground with Midnight on top.

Despite the commanding position he would not move to strike, but rather would extend his horseshoe blade to hold against the alicorn's neck. "Dost thou yield?"

The repeated strikes by the stockades were wearing on him, as such he wanted to end the fight before whatever strange magic he was building up came out to hurt him. 

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Sheoreth gave an unsettling smile at him "oh, we are using the formal language now?" he didn't seem to be afraid even with a blade against his neck "go ahead, kill me and then you also kill the wussy" he mentioned this to gain some time expecting that Midnight would react out of concern.  "Ah who am I kidding nopony ever cared about him, you might just be doing me a favor, and then again this world would lose some madness that is always good for it"

As he was pined down Sheoreth let his reaper to be consumed by the shadows of the floor making it disappear into the floor.

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Midnight simply pressed the knife a bit harder, "Don't tempt me, death might be a mercy considering what you've done. I know not what the punishment might be, but if it is similar to what they gave Sir... I wouldn't wish that on anyone."

He pulled the knife back, "Still, I don't need to kill you, not yet."

He would go for a light jab with the knife in a painful, yet wholly non-vital area, "There's many more ways to subdue a foe," He mostly struck to see how Sheoreth would react to pain, because it was just as likely that only the one trapped within would feel it, meaning he would have to change strategies. For good measure he would give the alicorn's horn a solid strike, not enough to damage it, but to disrupt any external spell he might be forming. The quickest way to disarm a unicorn was to strike their horn after all, it shouldn't be too different with an alicorn.

If Sheoreth did not feel the pain he would simply have to hold him bound until he could be contained, or if he spoke true, until Sherem could break free himself.

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Giving another unsettling grin he looked at him and spit on his face even when it was covered by the helmet "You think you can scare me? I'm a mad pony! there is nothing you can do that I haven't thought or done already at this point" he chuckled, mocking him "but that's enough about me, let's talk about you. Your attitude, your way to look behind that helmet says that you have history here, you seem to hide something, something you really wanna burry, you even seem displeased to be here, and it's not for me, is something else right?" 

While the hit to the horn would be disrupting any magic, the rapier was already inside the shadows and was repositioning above them without Midnight realizing it "something about you screams resentment! anger, and it's just wanting to break loose! and the first clue was when you wrote the wussy about the "puppet State" in that letter.And it's always the tear jerker of a history that is behind such feelings, but then again you will not answer to this so let me emphasise my POINT!"

as he said that last word the rapier fall directly getting to slash due to the force of gravity cut the open side into the body of Midnight, the force of gravity and the precision of the spell managed to go through a small but weaker point of his armor that was weak due to the previous stockades Sheoreth gave before.

"Check"

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Midnight grimaced more from Sheoreth's words than the pain of the surprise attack. Time to change the approach. 

Midnight knew that killing him wasn't an option, and he clearly wasn't feeling the pain, so Midnight would go for the next best thing: unconciousness via repeated head trauma.

Midnight adjusted his grip on the prone alicorn so he could swing with both hooves, alternating left and right sides with strikes weak enough not to cause permanent damage, at least at first, but gradually increasing in strength until the alicorn was unconcious or somehow managed to strike back.

Midnight didn't bother removing the rapier either. "The only one in check is you, and I'd nearly call it mate. My king is in another castle entirely. I'm the killer queen of this board!" Despite his training he was growing angry, few of his opponents lasted as long as Sheoreth was, and those few fought with honor. Sheoreth was opposite that in nearly every way.

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