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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 10:41 pm    Post subject: The temple of elements Reply with quote Back to top

She vanished, and to the surprise of the other two Dragons, so did the White Citadel

Infernuvar entered the great hall just in time to see the heated exchange between the archons. He wasn’t impressed by the gold dragon’s last remark. So he approached the sliverwing as soon as the spell was cast. To his surprise, the great gold dragon spoke first, her mighty voice boom out and echoed in the hall.

“I spare you as you have done no harm nor intended any”

Infernuvar was rather irritated by the attitude of that voice, but his quick mind was not hampered in any way by the irritation, so his reply came quickly.

“I doubt the other will spare you, for the alliance is now broken again. If I were you, I would not attempt to confront the might of the phantom fortress. Against that power there can be no victory.”

The gold dragon suddenly snapped her head around and faced the fire drake. Her voice boomed out again with both empathy and great majesty.
“The only thing to fear is fear itself. That was an argument between higher powers. It was their disagreement so it is not my place to decide. Its outcome was as inevitable as a stone falling. Dauros and Kypta have not set aside their differences, so neither should we. I doubt the phantom fortress will set its might against us while a greater threat walked Ardania Unchecked.”

“Those who do not see far often fall short” replied the fire drake “what if they do, what should be your response to the legion of dead should they pour south as a black tide.”

“That, you have to see by your self” The gold dragon replied, her wings unfolded into great sail and lifted her gently into air. The archon took to the air with agility and grace, and in within moments, she was flying though the great arch that marked the gate of the citadel. Infernuvar followed, although with some efforts and had some near run-ins with pillars and walls here and there.

An astonishing sight unfolded before them as they flew though the arch. Judging by the dim lighting, they are in a great cavern, yet the cavern must be so great that no walls can be seen in any direction. Five monolithic pillars stretched into infinity both upward and downward. Four of the pillars are equally spaced, they bare the color of gold, black, white and red, respectively, and a blue pillar stood in the center of them. The blue pillar is both thicker and more majestic then the rest, it emanates a deep yet radiant blue. A pair of great stair cases flowed around the pillars, forming a great double helix. Arcane runes are inscribed onto the side of each pillar, and the runes on the gold pillar are glowing intensely.

“Welcome to the temple of elements!” The archon exclaimed when the pair slowly circled the great structure. Dragons are flying in and out of the glowing rune on the gold tower; apparently, these are ether windows or entrances. Those noticed them cast suspicious eyes at the firedrake before continuing with their business.

It took some time to approach the gold pillar, or “temple of wind” according to the runes inscribed onto various locations on the wall. The firedrake paid very little heed to the features of the monolith as he focus to maintain his attitude and course in the rushing current around the temple. Once inside, he took his time to survey his surroundings.

The temple of wind is roughly circular. Its diameter is roughly that of white citadel but it’s immeasurably taller. The wall itself is emitting a comfortable glow that illumined everything in sight. The glow reflects off the scales of the gold dragons, making them unbearably bright. Arcane artifact and tomes lay scattered everywhere. Some of them are labeled and tagged, but all of them have yet to be put into their proper places. The archon seemed to have vanished as soon as she guided the visiting firedrake into the temple. Emarius was about, working on identifying long lost artifacts. His presence didn’t surprise Infernuvar a bit, after all, the dracomage had disappeared from the citadel for longer then he should.

Emarius paid no heed to the firedrake until the he was satisfied with a magic mirror. Apparently the mirror was more interesting then the visitor to Emarius, which irritated the firedrake terribly.

However, Infernuvar was paid proper share of respect when the mage finished gazing at the mirror. He was hailed by the gold dragon, which seemed to welcome his presence.

“Ah, it’s being a while, so the silverwing said a firedrake will assist me, is that correct?”

“I am not sure about the assisting part. I have promised nothing and will not promise anything until proper compensation is secured.” The firedrake replied. The arrogance of the gold dragons is starting to get on his nerves.
“Ah, you must see this then,” the dracomage replied, teleporting a large tome to Infernuvar, who wasted very little time perplexing over the text on the cover.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">

What was forgotten should rise again when that was lost is recovered.

</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">The book was apparently one of many works of Amaru the guardian. Most chapters are about obscure lore on the ancient draconic kingdom ruled by his late majesty Andraxal-Kerlazor. However, a particular chapter, named “origin of dragons” was less boring then the usual. And it reads:

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">

Many thought dragons are little more the oversized winged lizards. It’s not so. Dragons are the physical incarnation of the primal force of the elements. This knowledge is only processed by a few who escaped the wrath of Krolm and downfall of the draconic kingdom. And it was kept away from the dragons in fear that they may rise to great power again.

Each of the draconic races are bind to power of an element, the gold to air, the black to earth, the red to fire and the white to water. The blue and noble dragons are bind to the element of ether and since the downfall of Vendral; the primal sprit of ether has yet to take form again.

Krolm’s war with the dragons was not only a legend. Yet few understand its true implications. To divide essence, Krolm divide elements by breaking the ethereal link binding them. That is to say, without a king, the dragons may not truly cooperate because of their incompatible natures.

The two deities Darous and Kypta had mastery over dominion of air and earth, therefore gaining the service of the dragons bind to those dominions, one should bear in mind that if the power of the elements is to unite again, it will raise to such height that none can yet foresee.

There is very little need for such unification, a single draconic race has power rival the combined strength of every humanoid race on Ardania. It’s said that power of the elements is great. I fear that should the unified power of the four is unleashed; few may be safe from its wrath.

The temple of elements is a legend sometimes referred to by books recovered from dragon hordes. The true nature of it remains a mystery, yet it seemed to be the seat of ancient draconic power over Ardania.

If the legends are true, then the temple is best kept away from any dragons. Their endeavor of its excavation might yield knowledge that will permit them to dominate Ardania once more.

</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Infernuvar slowly raised his head when he finished the last line, and from his mouth came two words.
“Too late.”

<small>[ 09. March 2004, 10:43 PM: Message edited by: Merlin the Black ]</small>

Last edited by Cooker on Tue Apr 27, 2004 3:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:12 pm    Post subject: Apocalypse Reply with quote Back to top

Kynoto moved back over to the table, where Amaru still sat, his golden eyes examining the Inn's customers. She sat down beside. His ear twitched toward her, but he continued to gaze at the patrons.
"Who was that?" she asked.
"Hm? A friend, I believe. He didn't mention his name."
"He didn't mention anything, that I could see or hear. What was in those scraps of paper you kept passing back and forth?"
"Communication. Either the man is dumb or he has taken a vow of silence, after the manner of the Monks."
"Ha. He certainly doesn't look like a Monk. Is he coming, too?"
"Yes." Amaru paused, his eyes on the doorway, which was filled with the unmistakeable figure of a Lyco. "It would seem Darac has finished his shopping. Allow me to introduce you."
Amaru stood, and Kynoto did too. The Lyco looked around, spotted the apparition, and came over to him. A dark man of medium build (he appeared short, next to the Lyco), wearing a Wizard's robes, came behind him.
"Hmph!" Darac snorted when he came up to Amaru. "I see you have picked up a friend." He looked her over, and she bristled at his arrogant inspection. Amaru laughed softly.
"Yes, and so have you," he replied. "Her name is Kynoto Flagfinder, a bounty hunter. Kynoto, This is Darac son of Tarac, Prince of the Lycolongi."
"Hmmm," she murmured, studying Darac in turn.
"And who is your friend, Darac?" asked Amaru, looking at the dark man. The Wizard stepped forward and bowed.
"My name is Nan Liang, great one. I would be honoured if you would allow me to accompany you and your companions."
"'Great one'?" asked Amaru, amused. "So darac has told you of me?"
"In so many words," replied the Wizard.
"I told him you were an apparition and a teratogenic," growled Darac. "And your name. He apparently was to deduce from that what you were."
"You seem none too pleased," observed Kynoto, carefully neutral.
"Everybody seems to know about it except me," he said. "I am not used to being kept in the dark."
"I know a great manner things," interjected Nan Liang smoothly. "And the dark is sometmes the best place to learn them." He cocked an eye at Amaru. "Are you not going to ask my motives?"
"Why should I? Darac seems satisfied with you. Besides," he added, shaking his head, "where we go, only a man with a true purpose would follow."
"Suppose I was in league with this creature?" challenged Nan Liang. Amaru laughed again.
"It would make little difference. This monster, whatever he is, is so powerful that one man more or on his side would make little difference. It is our cause which needs more power, not his."
"I see." Nan Liang nodded, and smiled. "I am glad you are here, Amaru, and I am also glad that I may accompany you -- and the young lady." He bowed again, to Kynoto. "A charming name for a charming girl, I'm sure. What do you seek, Lady Flagfinder?"
"Money and glory," was her immediate reply. Amaru laughed yet again.
"Ambition is a sure indicator of potential," he said. "Please, let us have no more questioning. for good or ill, we are in this together. But there is another who will be joining us."
"'Another'?" asked Darac. His eyes narrowed. "Another apparition?"
"Not quite," replied Amaru. His eyes lost their focus momentarily, and he murmured so softly that only the Lyco's keen ears heard him. "Not quite . . . but it has been so long."
"What does that mean?" mutted Darac. Nan Liang looked at him, but whatever he meant to say was withered out of his throat by the Lyco's glare.
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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:56 am    Post subject: Apocalypse Reply with quote Back to top

As the guardian pondered for an answer for the last riddle, the stranger left the starfarer’s rest. Down into the bustling finical district he went, paying little attention to the market place and the magic bazaar. He needs the very finest equipment for this quest, and no such items are ever sold for any amount of gold.

The hooded figure stopped at guild of the alchemists, which is located near the magic bazaar for convenience. He muttered a phase to a side door and the door opened under its own power. The figure did not appear surprised; he stepped into the door confidently and found himself in an otherwise empty room with a large chest in the far end of it.

The “enforcer” approached the chest when a long sword leapt out of it. The blade is forged in Mithril and it emanate a golden glow, a line arcane runes runs down the center of the blade on each face. The hooded figure spent a moment to savor the artifact, and then he proceeds to recover a sheath from the chest. The “enforcer” whispered, and the blade gracefully glided into the sheath in his hand. He then tied the blade to his belt and left as quickly as he entered. The door shut behind him.

To a casual eye the sword was just another magical blade, but a keen eye with profound knowledge of lore can decipher the draconic written on the side of the blade as.


The blade which wields itself

Three pairs of such eyes were staring at him as he entered starfarer’s rest, to his great irritation.

[ 12. March 2004, 01:58 AM: Message edited by: Merlin the Black ]
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

"Is this your stranger?" growled Darac as the Enforcer walked in the door. "What do we need with one of those scum?"
"He is no ordinary Enforcer," observed Nan Liang calmly.
"Indeed no," said Amaru. He gave a mildly reproving glance to Darac. "He is a . . . scholar of old, nay, antiquated lore. He bears -- two swords of potent enchantments. I think he will complement us nicely."
"Ha. Say what you will, apparition. He may think himself cute by hiding his name, but such stupid tricks won't garner my respect."
"I find it intriguing," murmured Nan Liang. He studied the approaching strange more closely. "Yes, I see the two swords -- but how do you know they are enchanted?"
"There are inscriptions on them, written in ancient letters." Amaru shrugged and smiled. "Even if you could see them, Master Wizard, it would not help you. The letters are very . . . antiquated, indeed."
"Hmph," snorted Darac. "And I suppose you can see these inscriptions, even though they're under his cloak?"
"If you say so." Amaru nodded as the Enforcer stopped before them. "Welcome back. I trust you have everything you wanted to get? Yes? Good. And now, as we have prepared our bodies, let us prepare our minds."
"'Else we may lose them,'" said Nan Liang. His dark eyes glittered with curiosity as he gazed at Amaru. "That is from one of the philosophers of my ancestors' homeland. Do you know Zhang Xu?"
"He resides peacefully in the Celestial Realms," replied Amaru. "Pray Agrela he may remain so."
"What would stop him?" asked Kynoto, drawn into the conversation despite herself.
"What do you think?" asked Amaru. "We are playing for high stakes, and our enemy is many moves ahead of us. We shall be hard pressed if we are to even the score."
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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 PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2004 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The day passed. Kynoto went out, gathering various potions. Amaru went to the Innkeeper to barter for provisions; a cargo Aeroship would not be supplied for passengers. Darac and the strange Enforcer stayed at their table, glaring at each other over glasses of untouched wine. Nan Liang returned to the Wizards' Guild, saying he would be back at the appointed time.
The appointed time came. One hour before midnight, and the companions were all gathered in the Aerodome. The 'Dome was brightly lit, but unusually empty and silent; save for them, only a few attendants moved about, preparing the lone Aeroship for launch.
Amaru stood looking on, his golden eyes half-lidded and bright with liquid. His robe glowed in the magical lights, and his long white hair and tail semed to come alive with wills of their own. His left hand rested on his sword, the right was tucked into his robe over his heart.
Darac leaned against a pillar, a sneer in his golden eyes as he alternately watched the apparition an the subdued 'Dome attendants. His axe dangled from his right hand in a seemingly haphazard fashion, but little flickers of electricity showed that it was activated. The single to mar his pretense of disinterested disgust were his antennae, which twitched impatiently.
Kynoto was running through her inventory of weapons, potions, and other paraphernalia. One of her catchphrases was "Be prepared;" and, in view of the upcoming journey into the Void, she had nearly bought out the Market to fulfill her maxim. Assuring herself that everything was in place, she leaned her weight on her right leg, lifting her other so that her left foot locked under her right knee. Then she waited, running through all the rumours she'd heard about the Void.
The last two, Wizard and Enforcer, stood off in one corner. The Enforcer, without speaking, had given the rest to know that he did not welcome company. Nevertheless, Nan Liang had persisted in staying near him. Near the strange man stood with his back to the wall, pretending to ignore everything and being aware of all of it. Nan Liang stood with his hands folded into his sleeves and his head down, but his brown eyes glittered as they reflected the light.
"Well, noo," said a gruff voice. A Dwarf in the ornate armour of a Flamcarl came trundling out of the Aeroship. He glanced around at the assemblage of odd entities: Lycolongus, nameless teratogenic, bounty-hunter, Enforcer, Wizard. "What a wierd bunch o' ducks we've got 'ere! Ah s'pose ye're the party as weaseled passage aboard my ship?"
"Yes," said Amaru, stepping forward. "I am Amaru, and these are my companions. You are Captain Helix?"
"Aye," said the Flamcarl, swelling with pride. "Captain and part owner o' the Star Dragon." At this, the Enforcer seemed to twitch, and Nan Laing raised an eyebrow. "Ah s'pose ye'll be wantin' aboard?"
"If it please you."
"Ha! Whether or no it please me, Ah've got precious little choice! Two lairds signin' yer stupid pass! Ah've got to take ye on, willy-nilly. But ah don' 'ave tae like it, an' if ye're more trouble than ye're worth, Ah'll pitch ye overboard! Aye, and yer fine lairds can save ye then!"
"Shut it, little man," snarled Darac said, pushing himself away from the pillar. "We need you to take us to the Moon, or I'd cut your head off right now. But we don't have to like you, and if anybody gets pitched overboard, it'll be you!"
"Och, now there's a braw laddie! Ye think 'cause ye're bigger'n me ye can take me?" The Dwarf laid a hand on a long dagger thrust bare into his belt.
"Don't push it. But if you want a fight, I'd suggest you get your dragonmouth." Darac bared his fangs. "That little piece of scrap won't hurt me."
"Enough," said Amaru. "You can fight when we get to the Moon. Until then, let us try to remain amicable."
"Heh," snorted the Dwarf. "Brains an' brawn. Ye kin come aboard, then. Ah'll try an' put up wi' ye."
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

as night settled over Ardania, a lesson was being conducted within the warped bowels of the Chaos Mages' tower. Four disparate people knelt on the smooth floor of a large, empty cave; behind them stood the ominous figure of Xyra.
"Close your eyes," Xyra directed. His four pupils did as instructed; Nifhim opened one eye but closed it again hurriedly as Xyra turned his violet gaze on him. "Now, then. To channel your spirit energy into power . . . hm. It's been a long time since my father instructed me, so you'll forgive the inexactitude of my teaching. You do understand the concept, right?"
"No," answered Bragor. The Rogue Lord and Captain of the Xyres Guard had his eyes clenched shut, lest he attract he attract Xyra's notice.
"I think I do, Master," said Iscara. The Lyco's posture was far more relaxed than her comrades'. She was well used to training for battle, and even the most mundane exercises lodged firmly in her memory. "My late Master, Cao En, taught that each being consisted of a physical and a spiritual soul. The two are connected by something which he called essence, and that this allowed the body to influence the soul and the soul direct the body. This 'essence' could be converted into energy, empowering the body or used to form magic weapons."
"Your master was correct, as far as he went. I guess not all humans are mindless apes. This 'essence' of his is spirit energy. It is connected to the Ether Winds. When a person dies, most of his spirit energy remains with his soul, giving it personality in the Celestial and Nether Realms. But part of it stays behind, with the body, and thus are the more mindless undead raised merely by the Winds' fickle nature. But enough of this.
"Spirit energy is truly useful for channeling outside the body. First comes its use to empower the body, as you said: increasing your strength and speed. It cannot increase your inherent skill, so you fodder had better practice that. You'd better practice anyway, for mastering spirit energy is not easy."
"You don't say," muttered Nwnllyr, who was having a hard enough time maintaining his uncomfortable position.
"I do say," replied Xyra sweetly, making Nwnllyr wince. "after you channel energy into yourself, you'll learn to channel it through yourself. Being connected to the Ether Winds, it can be used to manipulate them in much the same way as magic, but there is a difference. Using spirit energy is much more tiring than casting spells, but also much more powerful. Using it to imitate magic, therefore, while sometimes useful and always fun, is generally a waste of energy."
"But where does the energy come from, to be wasted?" asked Nifhim, twisting his head to look straight back at Xyra.
"Hmph. Part of it comes from your emotions: hate, anger, pride, fear; some of it comes from material sustenance. Every creature has to work out the balance for himself."
"Tell me, Master," said Nwnllyr, shifting slightly to ease his legs, "why does no-one practice this? If it is truly more powerful than magic - "
"Because it is so difficult," replied Xyra. "An ordinary mortal attempting to use his meagre supply of energy would probably kill himself. Bragor, for instance. It takes conditioning to even gain enough energy in surplus to use without dissevering body from soul. Even in the rare cases where a mortal is born with surplus energy, he lacks the inborn talent in using it. It takes training -- and, thanks to the Dragons, there is nobody but the so-called 'gods' left to train. Dragons, although they have spirit energy in abundance, prefer magic and have no idea how to unlock their power any more than a primitive mortal. As for the gods, I'm sure they rue they day they let mortals play with the Ether Wnds at all. Teaching them spirit mastery would be a short path to suicide."
"Why teach it to us, then?" asked Nwnllyr.
"Because, unlike the 'gods', I have no fear of being supplanted by apes. Or dragon-wolves," he added, grinning at Iscara. Her antennae twitched. Apparently irritated, she cleared her throat.
"Master," she said, "I spoke of Cao En. We Lycoes, as you have so pointedly reminded us, have Dragons' blood in us and Dragons' spirit energy. We know how to channel it."
"Indeed?" asked Xyra. His smile widened, and his eyes glittered. Iscara tensed, sensing his gaze. "You should have told me. In any case, it is no reason to play at being equals with me. Still, if you do have some rudimentary skill in the matter, it will take a certain load from my shoulders. I have pressing business away north, so I leave in charge. And, Iscara, if on my return I fail to find the Captain able to blow a hole in this Tower with his spirit energy, I shall teach him to blow one in you."
Iscara rose, and nodded. Xyra laughed, and was gone.
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 3:34 am    Post subject: the gathering storm Reply with quote Back to top

Infernuvar slowly raised his head when he finished the last line, and from his mouth came two words.
“Too late”

“Precisely”, echoes the calm voice of Emarius. “Their fear is not unfounded, this location is about as old as Ardania itself, and according to legends, its size is both finite and otherwise.”

“Somehow, that does not surprise me” Infernuvar is not about to take injury to his pride. “Somehow I know that if you fall out of that entrance, you will keep falling, while passing though the same entrance over and over at ever increasing speed.”

“Yet I will never arrive at where I desire in all of eternity.” The great gold dragon pondered. “Your word reminds me of something: There is only one room, and yet there are many. For example, if you cross the door at the end of the room, you will end up in an identical room, yet if you cross ‘it’ again from the other side you will end up in any but this room. That implies no room exists until you enter it.”

“There are five doors in this room beside the entrance to the temple, one each wall. That implies the correct transition pattern is required to arrive at any desired destination. And may I ask how you acquired the knowledge if you can never return to this room once you leave it?” the fire drake is becoming lost in deep thoughts.

“‘Never’ was not correct, in fact, if you move in the same direction enough times, you will eventually come back here. No matter which direction you go and whichever room you begin in.” The golden creature replied “If the ancients indeed process intellect to create a dimensional pocket of this degree sophistication, it would not surprise me if they could bend the very rules of existence.”

“And whatever is remained of their knowledge will greatly further our cause” The firedrake pondered, his greedy aspect taking hold of him. “This place feels like nothing but a sophisticated hoard to store treasure awaiting one that is worthy of it. If that is true, the treasure must be accessible within finite number of transitions or whoever created this temple could not have placed it within finite amount of time”

“You are right, but we cannot conduct a search, because even if such a search could be conducted in finite amount of time, it would not have concluded after the world has ended.” The mage continued “the sequence of transition is the password, and we might obtain the password, guess it or somehow get around it.”

“I doubt we can acquire the password by guessing or otherwise, after endless years” Another voice boomed out, the gold archon glided into the entrance gracefully before folding her wings “But I theorize this sophisticated construct can be overloaded with a simple teleport spell. A teleport spell cannot be successfully cast if the destination is the position of the caster, so if anyone attempts a teleport into the room marked by the number of transit required for returning to this room, the spell attempt will be both successful and otherwise. This attempt will cause a paradox that will interfere with the inner working of the mechanism and overload it. Hopefully whoever attempts the teleport will live to see the result.

“Archon, I concur with your proposition and think it’s worth the attempt, however, I would like to know where such information is acquired.” Emarius turned to face the newcomer. “After a thousand years, you still surprise me.”

“There are two type of dragon in this world, Emarius. Those who reason with their mind and those who reason with magic. You can proceed with the preparations, Arch-mage. Infernuvar, please come with me”

Within the hour all but Emarius have cleared the Temple. A message was send telepathically to the sole occupant of the temple to air and a single teleport spell was cast.

What followed lived in legends: For a few long seconds nothing seemed to happen, and then all walls of the entrance chamber began to glow as the ageless magic slowly fail and all rooms cascade onto each other. Finally with a blinding flash of light, the rooms dissolved into nothing less, leaving Emarius bathing in a sea of light.

The dragon then raced out of the temple at great speed. He does so as his form begins to blur and slowly dissolve into a web waved out of lighting. The web then suddenly lunges forward at supernatural speed and condensed into a sliver dart as it went, leaving a trail of vapor in its wake.

The dart impacted the white citadel with an audible boom, and then exited on the opposite side, leaving a smoldering hole though the structure.

“And that was terribly unnecessary.”
Commented Infernuvar as the bolt slowly dissipated into a web of lighting, and then condense into a vague form of a dragon, as the form slows itself down and swing around. The form flew gracefully pass the citadel as it solidifies. Emarius then slowed down to survey the damage he just caused.

So, the element of wind has awaken, soon the primal forces of elements will rise to challenge the evil now spreading throughout the lands.
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 PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Long ago, Ardania had exteneded far to the north. Now, a thousand and more years after the Cataclysm, the legends of the Northern reaches were all but forgotten. Most of this icy land had been sunk beneath the waves. But, far in the north, the Frozen Islands still maintained the last of the northern outposts of the Ardanian lands.
Xyra now made ready to search them. He felt the power emanating from the north; it called to him, and he zeroed in on it as an Aeroship on a guidance beacon. When he found the Tower of the Chaos Mages, he believed he had found its source, but the pitiable attempts that they made to stop him did not tally with the presence. So again he set off, northward, and the power, ambient in air and icy sea, grew around him. Its signature was familiar, and somehow comforting; the signature of entropy, of Chaos, which Xyra's parents had created with their nascent powers long before the Face of Chaos donned his divine mask. When he reached the first of the Frozen Isles, the world around him was warped beyond recognition by the chaotic forces. Xyra breathed the darkened air deeply, and smiled.
"Zairast norem'ic, Fervon?" he murmured, levitating above the mutated beach, where grey palms waved like mocking phantoms of happy Southern climes. "Kl'onem. So kl'erem'que kl'ex jildast. Haas costem -- Fervus, Kle morquid Norem szhla!"*
He sighed, pleasure and regret mingling in its sound. Then he flew onward, now having to correct his flight pattern more and more frequently as space was torn apart by the entropic energies. As the chaos grew stronger around him, Xyra began to understand that this would be a longer search than he thought, for he could not hope to pinpoint the god's exact location amid these intertwining eddies of reality and unreality. Indeed, he had to be careful, for now a false movement, even the wrong thought, could throw him into a dimension destined to wink out of existence in a mere second. He grinned appreciatively, and gave himself over totally to trying to guess at the paths the disorderly nightmare would next take.
In this way, he slowly covered one island after another, hunting for the elusive God of Chaos.

*Translation: "Chaos reigns over all, (does it,) Fervus? I am indebted (to you). I have not felt (this) since I was a child. But (something) is missing -- Fervus, I will show (you) true Chaos!"
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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 PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Only a slight vibration could be felt within as the Aeroship shuddered to life. Without, all was noise and confusion. Magical fields howled and crackled, fires roared into life. High above, the 'Dome's vast expanse began to open, disclosing the dark sky of Ardania's night. The Moon came into view, and with a vast cacophony, the Aeroship lifted from the 'Dome's launching circle. Momentarily the sky was obscured, and then the Aeroship was just one among many celestial lights.
The passengers were stuffed into a small compartment called the undercabin, the afterthought tacked on to later designs of cargo Aeroships for just such unwelcome luggage. Placed underneath the engine room, reached through whatever made up the ship's cargo, it continued a single bed, a single chair, and one enchanted window through which it was possible to see a magically distorted image of the receding planet.
"Weel noo," said Captain Helix, swaggering into the tiny cabin, "like yer berth, do ye?"
"It is cramped," replied Amaru, turning away from the window, "and not advantageous should we be attacked."
"Och, ye'll be safe enoo' here."
"Precisely," snorted Darac with acidity. "If you're attacked, how can we fight?"
"O-ho, so the little laddie wants tae fight, does he?" Helix chuckled and shook his head. "Nay then, Ah'm charged wi' seein' tae the safety o' my cargo. Ah'll not be lettin' ye anyewhere near the beasties, should any get abaird. That's no' very likely, anyway. There's no' much as can penetrate the force-fields, even out here."
"Cap'n!" came a voice, delivered through the air by the ship's communication nexus. "The bottom rear shield is experiencin' anom'lies! Iyarandel thinks that it's Void Wraiths!"
"Bottom rear - " Helix swore. "That's this place!"
"Yes," said Amaru quietly. "I can sense the difference."
"Weel, laddie," said Helix, turning grimly to Darac, "ye're tae get yer wish. Ah'me sorry for ye. Void Wraiths aren't nought tae be played with. ah'll be leavin', this place is already too cramped for good fightin', and Ah've got tae see tae the rest o' my ship." He turned and pressed a finger to the door bottun. The door hissed open as Darac laughed scornfully.
"Yes, run, Captain. You talk well, but talking won't always cut it, will it? Maybe you should abandon ship, before the nasty 'beasties' come aboard."
The Flamcarl glanced furiously over his shoulder. "Keep talkin', terry," he growled. "A Dwarf never leaves his ship, and he never forgets an insult neither. Count yerself fortunate if the Void Wraiths finish ye noo!" The door hissed shut. Darac started after him, but Nan Liang laid a hand on his shoulder.
"Softly now," he breathed. "They're here."
Nearly invisible, pale mist had been drifting up through the floor. Now it was thickening, taking on shapes vague but definite. Three humanoid figures formed, tall, menacing; engraved armour was visible on them, dissolving downward into formless fog, and they bore shining blades that burned with a white brilliance of pride and hatred. Cold filled the room, and the air breathed by the companions became visible, even as the shapes. They wore helms, but between helm and breastplate nothing but the icy mist was visible.
"Yes." The word floated in the air, soft and cold as the fog which crawled on the floor, and no-one could tell which figure had uttered the word. "We are here, mortal. You have trespassed in the Void, the realm of darkness and nothingness. Your lives are an offense to its empty sanctity. Now, we shall punish you, and your ashes will lie cold amidst the stars."
"Your kind have ruled here too long," replied Amaru, the only one to remain unmoved. "Lunord placed you as guards against evil, but that very evil has consumed you. It is time for a new order."
"Blasphemy!" hissed the voice, and the three figures raised their swords. Darac shook himself, and drew out his axe. Knives were suddenly in Kynoto's hands, and Nan Liang raised his staff. The Enforcer threw back his cloak and drew his blades.
"Careful," warned Amaru as his own queerly-shaped sword swept into the air, "touch them not. The cold will slay you. Only magic can hurt them."
"Foolish," whispered the voice. "Nothing you can do will stop us. Surrender your souls!" The shapes moved forward.
Darac howled and flung himself at one, his axe snapping in arcs of blue lightning. The Void Wraith raised its blade, and the ethereal weapon chimed as it blocked the hand-axe. Darac snarled and stumbled back, clutching a blue-tinged hand. The axe, rimed with frost, fell to the floor. The Wraith advanced, its blade raised, then paused as Nan Liang pointed a fnge at it. A stream of fire lanced out, and burned through the armour. a sigh filled the room, and the Wraith raised a hand. Nan Liang cried out, and slumped to the floor, shivering uncontrollably.
The second glided towads Amaru. The apparition calmly met its attack, wincing as the two swords rang together and his hand was chilled. He twisted as the Wraith reached for him with its other hand, touching the wall behind him and causing part of it to flake off and shatter on the floor. He locked hilts and forced the Wraith's blade down, ducking as it swept its hand over his head. As it fell back to regain its balance, he jumped up, and thrust the sword between helmet and hauberk. There was a whispered as a wall of frozen air was expelled from the dissolving wraith, and Amaru was locked against the cabin wall in a sarcophagus of ice.
Kynoto threw her daggers at the third as it approached, but they passed right through its translucent armour and shattered like icicles against the far wall. Cursing, she drew her longsword, thanking the gods she'd thought to have it enchanted. But, hearing the Lyco's cry of pain, she hesitated in crossing with the monster. Instead, she fell back, and the strange Enforcer stepped in front of her.
Murmuring a word, he let go one of the swords. Rather than falling, it flew towards the Wraith. Taken aback, the monster hesitated, and the sword drove through the armour. There was another whisper, and Kynoto shuddered as the icy wave washed over her. The sword was sheathed in ice, but in a second it had melted, and returned to the Enforcer's hand.
the firt, and now the last, wraith now stood over Darac's body. Its sword sang downward, leaving a white scar on the wall, but the Lyco had rolled aside.
"Die, scum!" The Wraith turned at the scream, sword raised. Darac stood behind it, a ball of energy in his cupped hands. The Wraith raised its free hand, another ball forming there. The two flew together, shattering in ice. But through the miniature icestorm came another blast from the Prince of the Lycolongi, driving the wraith against the wall. Its sword was gone. As it struggled to regain its upward position, it was engulfed in a curtain of fire. A last whisper sighed through the chamber, but the icy blast was muffled beneath the spell of Nan Liang.
"Good work, Wizard," said Darac, nodded. He turned and frowned at the ice-bound figure of Amaru. "What's this? Surely the apparition is not dead?"
"It must not be," murmured Nan Liang, his eyes speaking louder than his tongue.
"Oh no," cried Kynoto. "well, it figures - " She was interrupted by a crack. A fissure appeared in the ice. All at once, it melted. Amaru slumped to the floor. Shaking his head, he looked up and smiled wanly.
"The void wraiths are no more," he said. "See, the mist is gone. Congratulations, Nan Liang. Your fire burned away all their influence here. If even an ice crystal should have remained, they could have reformed. They are truly the incarnation of the freezing cold of the Void they inhabit."
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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 PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 12:50 am    Post subject: Krolm's Anvil and the Hammer of Krypta Reply with quote Back to top

“We now rest on Krolm's Anvil, an ancient battlefield”
- The account of Venn Fairweather, advisor to King Gavinal, High King of Ardania

“The dead forged it, the dead calls to it, the dead wake for it.”
- Sydrian Achieve, on the bell of Krypta

A week passed since Xyra the tower of chaos mages. And Xyra and his minions are not only who are aware of it. For the tower stood over remains of those who fell, so the dead whispered. The whispers are heard by many, some are more ancient then others.

Ocimillium could never be satisfied, but his patience was second to none. There he waits, in his lair of ashes and bone, seemly asleep, yet aware of all. The orb is being rebuilt at an alarming rate, many of his minions worked as if the very whip of their masters are behind them. Those who cannot work on the artifact maintained magical barrier to so that no divinations, arcane or otherwise, could sense the growing will of the ancient artifact that was built to challenge Krolm’s might.

Yet, there are some who can be spared. There are always more dead then the living, in fact, living are a species of the dead, a rare species indeed.

So not too many was surprised by the sudden departure of Ocimillium and a great deal of Bone Wyrms. Those who are left behind simply continued their task without questioning, for they believe that the will of Ocimillium is the will of Krypta, and vise versa.

What they did not notice was that two artifacts also went missing from the vault, the Holy bell, which was a token of alliance by the firedrakes, and the ring of twilight, the infamous artifact who only suffer rivalry from the ring of healing.

The flight then raced north at full speed, they travel by night and hid from sunlight. Yet all they flew pass could feel the unmistakable presence of shadow. Within half a week they passed though all of central plain and begun hoping across Isles of Doom in short flights and by the end of the week the Krolm's Anvil was within sight from above.

And then, the bell that has rested for thousands of years ran out once more, the chilling echo washed over the Isles. Those who perished could no longer rest, for they have heard Krypta’s call. And within moments, a legion of dead dug themselves out of the earth they once rested in and advanced upon the Tower of Chaos like a tide of darkness.

And within the tower, the haunting echo of the bell could be heard, like the herald of doom.

So the Hammer of Krypta has fallen.
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 PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Bragor paused, his swarthy face paling. The enrgy sparking around his hands died away.
"What in Krypta's name was that noise?" he demanded, turning to Iscara. It was Yimabaaph, however, who answered. The Chaos Mage also released his spirit energy, and walked over to the unnaturally shaped window.
"What in Krypta's name?" he chuckled. "Smooth way of putting it, Your Rogue Captainship. That was the Holy Bell, and it looks like we have company."
Nwnllyr walked over to the window too, and softly swore. "Undead. Thousands of undead. What do we do?"
"we put our training to practice," said Iscara calmly. "Bragor, make us a few more windows."
"With what -- oh." Squinching up his face, the Rogue Lord raised his hands. Reluctantly, a ball of energy formed there. He strained, and threw it against the rough black stone of the outer wall. It cracked, and a section fell outwards, crushing a few zombies who had been clawing at the Tower.
"Good, but not good enough." Iscara lifted her arm. In a second, two more holes had been blasted in the tower.
"Hey, who's the Captain here, anyway?"
"Heads up," said Nynllyr. "The Phantoms are here, and it looks like they don't care for gravity."
The Black Phantoms indeed did not care for gravity. Like a misty tide the enigmatic spirits were flowing up the side of the Tower. Beneath them, the undead roiled and churned, slowly forming a great mound beneath the four irregular apertures where the Xyres Guard waited.
"Now!" cried Iscara, and three balls of energy flashed down upon the Phantoms, whp paused, seemingly perplexed by an attack that was not quite magical.
"Captain!" she snapped, scowling at Bragor. "You're supposed to fire!"
"Sorry," he puffed, "but I think I've expended all of my energy."
"Just great. Well, you'd better generate some more, because that knife isn't going to cut it."
Three more blasts ripped down, without having much effect on the Phantoms. The tide once again moved upwards, some sixty Black Phantoms ascending without a sound. Iscara swore.
"Again! Again, you dogs!"
Three more energy blasts burst into the Phantoms, glowing with more power as the defenders' fear lent them strength. One of the translucent shapes shimmered and vanished, but the others did not halt. Below, the mound of undead continued to grow.
"Oh, Xyra, come back!" groaned Bragor as the others let loose another volley.
"He's not likely to return any time soon," snarled iscara. "Just fight!"
Screaming, Bragor cupped his hands and leaned out of the window. There was a tremendous flash, and another Phantom disintegrated. The Rogue Lord groaned, and slumped back unconscious.
"Oh great," said Iscara softly. "Well, keep it up!"
More energy balls flashed down, but now the Phantoms were in range. A vortex of fire engulfed the openings, forcing the three remaining Guards to stagger back. Iscara angrily waved away the smoke, and saw the dark, transparent skull of a Phantom glaring at her through the window.
"Oh great," she repeated. She drew two daggers, who burst into falme at her command. "Well, let's go!"

The last of the mutated Dragons exploded in a shower of black blood and scales. Xyra laughed.
"Come on, Fervus!" He shouted to the shifting chaos around him. "Are those wyrms the best you can do?"
Suddenly, everything went dark. Xyra could still sense the chaos, but it was contained. Around him, all was calm, as if he stood in the eye of a great storm. Stood indeed, for beneath his feet was a surface, though of what substance he could not tell.
"Well done," said an indescribable voice from the darkness surrounding him. "You've defeated half of my Chaos Dragons. Now, we can talk." The voice trailed off into shrill laughter.
"Fervus. What a surprise."
"Mock me? Of course." The laughter came again, more hysterical than before. "Every one mocks me. I'm the weakest of the gods, you know. But, do you know a secret?" The voice became low. "They're afraid of me! Afraid that, since I am so weak, they might be able to overcome me!"
"Really. Drop the charade, Fervus. I know you're not as crazy as mortals say."
"Of course I'm not!" The voice became loud again, shrill with indignation. "You wound me! Whatever you are. But you're just like all the rest. Think me crazy just because I know more than they do. Thus do they underestimate me, through jealousy!"
Xyra's violet eyes glowed. He laughed again, a small chuckle. "Maybe I was wrong. Ever since you came into existence, I thought there was a method to your madness. Now I see I am wrong."
"Don't be silly. Of course you're not wrong. Two wrong don't make a right, but three rights make a left!"
"Whatever. Crazy or not, you must answer: will you join me?"
"Of course I'll join you, but on one condition."
"What's that?" asked Xyra, both amused and irritated.
"That you give me free dental coverage. My teeth have been killing me."
The violet eyes rolled in their sockets. "I daresay you have no teeth. But, granted. Free dental coverage."
"Of course I have teeth. I'm a Varg." the darkness rolled away, and Xyra found himself standing in a vast chamber of black marble, facing a spinning column of variegated energy.
"No doubt," said Xyra. "Now then, what do you think we should do now?"
"Have some biscuits?" suggested the energy.
"No!" snapped xyra, his patience breaking.
"Well, in that case ... " The energy seemed to think. "How about spreading mayhem and destruction?"
"That's better. Don't test me, Fervus. I'm not a patient ... being."
"Of course not. Gods usually aren't. Speaking of gods, where is Fervus?"
"You mentioned Fervus, so naturally I thought he was here. You surely weren't talking to yourself, are you?"
"I'm talking to you!"
"Me? You dare speak to me?" The column began to swirl faster, motes of energy flecking off to burn holes in the floor. "Know you who I am? I am Fervus, God of Whims and Face of Chaos!"
"Enough!" Light flared around Xyra; a vast aura which far outshone the pillar of energy. "Crazy or not, god or not, you will stop these games!"
The pillar diminished and faded, subdued by the immensity of Xyra's power. Suddenly, there was nothing there but a small, impish figure clad only in a loin cloth. The shape stared up at Xyra, admiration written on its features.
"I don't know about gods," the figure said, "but I'll help you. My name is Chaos Mask. What's yours?"
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

A week after landing on the Moon, Amaru, Darac, Kynoto, Liang and the Enforcer were nearly two hundred miles from the Ardanian colony, and apperently no closer to their goal. Amaru, however, showed no signs of giving up, guided apparently by a large vein of artemite. Its smooth, dark surface stood out plainly against the light, pocked-marked stone around them. For the past two days they had been climbing, and the landscape around them was increasingly more surreal and more beautiful. The Lyco, however, was not impressed.
"Rock," grumbled Darac on their seventh day out from the Aerodome. "We're following a trail of rock just because it's darker than all the other rock."
"Can you not feel the vibrations?" asked Amaru. "The artemite pulses with magical energy, and it gets stronger the further we go."
"I feel them, but if they're any stronger than the artemite back by the Aerodome, then I'm an Oculus."
"Hmm," murmured the Wizard. He fingered the amulet on his throat. It was the only thing that kept them alive, providing their lungs with magical air and strengthening the gravitic fields so that their blood would flow naturally. "I think they are getting stronger. I was not sure at first, but now Lord Amaru has confirmed my thoughts. It is a slight increase, hardly perceptible unless you are looking for it."
"Ha." Darac glanced over his shoulder at Kynoto, who was gazing at a jet of pale yellow smoke issuing from a crater on their left. "What does the bounty-hunter say? You said you wanted to see the Moon; well, you've been seeing it for a week now."
"It's ... very beautiful," she said quietly, almost half to herself.
"Ha." Darac turned back to Amaru. "How much further? Or do you even know where we're going?"
"That depends on what you mean. I do not know the distance in miles, but I feel Luna's presence drawing closer. I think that, once we reach the top of this rise, we shall see her dwelling-place."
"And when will that be?"
"If you will pardon me," said Nan Liang, a touch of wonder in his normally reserved voice, "I think we have arrived."
The party halted at the peak of the road. On the left and right there circled away a jagged parapet of jagged stone which fell on the far side in a steep cliff. Below, cupped by the circling wall of what they perceived was a huge crater, lay a smooth, glassy valley of artemite. The road of ore continued down to the valley's centre, where it met the gate of what was certainly Luna's palace. It was a tall, slender structure, formed of artemite and translucent marble. The towers which branched from the central keep were strangely lovely, as though they had been shaped by the flowing of a gentle sea. The central keep rose so that its pinnacle was on a level with the lip of the crater; nearly half a mile in height. It appeared as the trumpet of some great lily, luminusly white surrounded by its grey leaves.
"Indeed." Amaru nodded, his golden eyes catching the glow of the keep. "The pulsations are mcuh strnger now. Come, Luna will be expecting us."
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:39 pm    Post subject: Roar of fire ! Reply with quote Back to top

“Absolutely not” answered the red and green lizard, whose head is titled at the glowing sphere at the center of seemly infinite darkness. The question was “any ideas?” the thirteenth that day. The question gave him strong urge take a bite out of the older gold dragon, which he barely resisted.

Emarius the gold seemed to be more intended to insult his kind then to actually inquiring about his process. Half a week after figuring out the puzzle of wind, the draconic mage was able to dig up an obscure tome that somehow contains the incantation that happened to be the password to open the temple of fire. But no apparent progress was made after that, as the building stubbornly refuse to release its secrets.

The fact it contain secrets was no secret. All entrance to the temple seems to lead to the same chamber. It was a vast emptiness illuminated only by light emitted from a crystal ball that haphazardly suspended at the center of it all.

At first look the ball seemed to be simple mirror, but a closer look yielded an astonishing result. The ball always display a flawless imagine of the room a minute after, no matter what the two giant lizards tried. They are getting frustrated and quite tired, and that is the chief reason they have not attempted turning each other into a festive snack.

“If someone stops that thing from predicting the future so flawlessly, something will happen.” Hinted Emarius, he was still recovering from his last attempt to shatter the sphere by ramming the sphere in his lighting form. The result was, of course, a spectacular failure, as he was bounced off various surfaces in the structure until he got a handle on himself.

“It hardly takes a dragon to figure that out. The question is how, now we are certain that bouncing lighting off it won’t work.” snickered Infernuvar. They were chatting in common because the different draconic derelicts are not compatible with each other, and telepathy is even less so.

“I will be very happy to bounce you off it, whelp. Brilliant idea my tail” the older dragon spoke playfully. He has grown quite found of the creature sprawl out next to him. “So much for the legendary quick wits I heard of your kind.”

“Wait, I have an idea, could your kind stop time, or something?” Infernuvar suddenly rose, folded his wings and stared at his golden companion. “Isn’t this obvious? Whatever magic in that sphere must have something to do with time. Stopping time would cause it to squeeze to a halt. I wonder why we haven’t thought of it earlier.”

“Because you weren’t thinking, now this idea is going somewhere. Unfortunately, you must cast the spell. I don’t want to be around when this thing go off, judging by my feeble attempt at the other temple.” The mage held out of his great claw, and a scroll appeared on it. “I saved one of these just for an occasion like this, but I will make sure you pay in gold if you fail.”

“That won’t happen.”

Very soon, Infernuvar became the sole occupant of the temple of the fire; he flew next to the orb, held out of the scroll and chanted.

Nercon – Nerul – Neroush …

As he read off the last rune, the scroll vanished in a conflagration of light. Silver runes shimmered into existence in a circle around the dragon, while he struggled to maintain his attitude and concentration. A seal of the scale appeared, and then morphed into an elaborate seal of an hourglass. The firedrake stretched out his claw, grabbed the seal and sprung it with all his might until the sand is no longer flowing.

What he failed to notice is the temple began vibrating violently as soon as the hourglass tilted. As the time stopped, the crystal ball erupted into flame.

So was the dragon.

The silverwing was not surprised when a comet surged out of the temple; it circled the temple in a spiral before making a beeline towards the citadel, blasting a greater hole then one that was recently repaired. And comet then took vague shape of a dragon before the outline Infernuvar took shape.

On the surface of the moon, Amaru’s expression suddenly turned into shock as the enforcer exploded into a great comet and shot forward to the pinnacle of palace at mind boggling speed, leaving a dark trail of choking smoke.

Ocimillium sensed something, it was not right, something urged him to turn back, something at back of his mind that alerted him to great danger. Seen the victory in sight, he gave off a mighty roar, sending a massive shockwave towards the chaos tower, and then vanished in a portal of teleportation, the bone dragons followed suit.

And the chaos tower suffered from the worst earthquake in thousands of years.
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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Xyra stared in amusement at the numberless hordes of Cultists scurrying around the Temple of Chaos, the vast sanctum where he had confronted Fervus.
"Why did you not send them against me?" he asked the individual next to him. In appearance, he was much the same as the others: naked except for a loin-cloth and mask, armed with a brace of throwing knives. But the energy signature of this short man was quite different, for he was not truly a Cultist but Fervus; not a worshipper of chaos but the god of chaos. Fervus himself, however, did not seem to realize that.
"For one thing, I doubt they'd listen. For another, after seeing what you did to the drakes, Chaos Mask is sure Fervus thought discretion the better part of turnips."
"I cannot blame him. Well, shall we proceed?" Xyra pointed south, where his minions awaited on the Isle of Krolm's Anvil.
"Y- " Fervus', or Chaos Mask's, eyes crossed. "Chaos Mask thinks he just sensed an unusual flux of energy."
"Did he now." Xyra stared south, then flashed into a streak of green light. Behind him lingered the words, "Follow ias you can."
Chaos Mask uncrossed his eyes and vanished.

"What in Krypta's name - " gasped Bragor. He jumped to his feet, only to be shaken down by the horrible shaking that had engulfed the tower. Having retreated to an inner chamber, Nwnllyr and Yimabaaph had just finished sealing the door when the earthquake struck. Now they too were thrown to the floor as stone cracked ominously around them.
"It's an earthquake!" shouted Iscara.
"Naw, really?" snapped Bragor.
"Th-this is n-n-not cool," groaned Yimabaaph, his teeth rattling from the tremor. "Ear-earthquakes and Phantoms. I-i-i-if only Fer-fervus were here - "
"Well, he's no- " The door exploded before Nwnllyr could finish. The Phantoms flowed through, three at a time. Nwnllyr swore and vanished. Iscara formed a hurried energy sphere and sent it at the Phantoms, who simultaneously throw globes of lightning at her. A heave of the floor caused both to miss, shattering the roof, which collapsed in shards upon the Phantoms.
"Hurry, retreat!" she cried. "While they're still confused!"
"Phantoms are never confused," said Nwnllyr's voice. He appeared next to the far door. "It won't take them long."
Already, translucent figures could discerned emerging from the rubble. Bragor led the retreat as Nwnllyr held the door amidst the shaking.
"The Tower won't hold long either," observed Nwnllyr as he slammed the door shut.
"Nonsense," snapped Iscara. "This thing was torn from the earth. The whole island would have to sink before it fell."
"That m-m-m-might be a possibi-bi-bility," chattered Yimabaaph.
"Actaully," said Nwnllyrm, "it won't take that. Remember when Lord Xyra made his entrance? I think he critically damaged the Tower's structure."
He spoke the truth. Great cracks were spreading out from the holes Xyra's descent had drilled through the Tower. The room they stood in began to shift and break apart as the cracks on floor and ceiling widened.
"We're doomed!" wailed Bragor.
"Not yet, we're not," siad Iscara grimly. "Everyone, gather 'round me!" They hastened to obey as she lifted her arms. Just as the ceiling collapsed and the Phantoms blew the second door door, a sphere of energy formed around the Xyres Guard and deflected the rubble.
Then, the Tower fell.

"Pitiful," said Xyra, staring at the rubble of the Tower. It was crawling with undead, and in the grey light of dawn he could see no sign of his Guard. "I leave for a few days, and everything falls apart. What's this?"
His head cocked on one side, he watched as a single small figure struggled in the midst of the assorted undead. Daggers flashed, entorpic magic flared. Xyra laughed.
"Why, I do believe it's Fervus! He must have teleported. How considerate of him. Well, I had best help." A green flash, and Xyra came to earth.
A swathe of the undead fell, and Xyra was at Chaos Mask's side. Xyra raised his hands; a shockwave spread out, and all of the undead wavered and crumbled.
"Wow," said Chaos Mask, staring in awe at the lifeless corpses. "Just - like that?"
"Of course. Now, to deal with them." A phalanx of black mist had formed and was advancing towards the two. Xyra brought his hands together, lowered his arms to point at the approaching wave, and fanned his fingers. Streamer after streamer of energy shot out, and burst into the misty ranks. Explosions shook the ruins, smoke filled the air. But the smoke wavered, and the translucent shapes continued forward.
"Impressive," muttered Xyra. "They are the first to withstand my spirit attacks. This calls for something else." So saying, Xyra's form blurred. Chaos Mask watched without blinking as a green and silver streak passed through the cloudy host, dissolving the Phantoms as it passed among them. Fire and electricity flared, but soon enough Xyra had returned to Mask's side.
"So much for that." Xyra looked around. "I wonder where my Guard is, if any of them survived?"
"How many were there?" inquired Chaos Mask.
"Then Chaos Mask thinks they're all still alive, and under our feet."
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]

Last edited by Falotar on Sun Oct 17, 2004 9:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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 PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Darac swore and drew his axe in an arc of lightning. A Fire Shield took form around nan Liang; Kynoto dropped to the artemite, coughing.
"By Cao En's blood!" shouted Darac as he angrily waved away the smoke. "What was that?"
"That was a Dragon," said Amaru, a slight line creasing his forehead.
"A Dragon?" said Liang. "It looked more like a massive fireball or meteor."
"I assure you, it was a Dragon." Amaru raised his hand, and the smoke was blown away by a wind unnaturally strong fro the Moon. "see there, by the pinnacle."
They looked, and Darac cursed again. There was a fire Dragon, all right. It was plainly illuminated by the silver strands which bound it. The strands emanated from the keep, and despite the obvious struggles of the wyrm, held it fast.
"So, our mysterious Enforcer was really a drake from the Sydrian Mountains," mused Liang. "How interesting. Did you know of this, Lord Amaru?"
"I guessed at it," said Amaru, nodding his head. "But it was not until he cast that spell that I was sure."
"What spell was that?" asked Kynoto, finally getting her breath back.
"I believe it is called the 'Spirit of the Elements'," replied Amaru. "It was locked away for thousands of years in a secret location. Now, it seems, the Dragons have unlocked it. I fear greatly what consequences this discovery will bring to Ardania."
"So, it turns a Dragon into a fireball?" asked Darac. He thrust his axe away. "It doesn't seem so bad to me."
Amaru shook his head. "The destructive potential of this spell is unimaginable. Weapons cannot hurt a Dragon in such a form. And, such the Dragon can guide this fire anywhere he chooses, he could destroy an entire city in minutes."
"A living ball of flame," mused Liang. "Quite impressive."
"Whatever. Anyone can level a city, apparition. What I don't like is that you knew all along that a Dragon was with us."
"I did not know, and I saw no harm in allowing him to maintain his secrecy."
"Hmmm." Amaru's ears swivelled to Kynoto as she stood up. He turned to her.
"Is something wrong?"
"Dragons are monsters, right? Why would one help us?"
"Dragons are ancient creatures, Kynoto. While it is true they have no love for mankind, they are not mindless beasts either. I am sure this one has a good reason to see this menace destroyed."
"Well, we might as well get going," growled Darac, striding forward. "Master Wyrm isn't going to appreciate us dilly-dallying while he's in that net."
"It serves him right," said Amaru with a hint of a smile. "But yes, time is precious. Our enemy will not be resting idle."
"Death awaits you!" - Maester Seymour, from Squaresoft's Final Fantasy X[i]
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