Life Before Dawn
Act 1: Howls of War
The battlefield was engulfed by the hazards of war and across the country you could hear a thousand men screaming. As seconds pasted the screams became louder and more agonized. Neither side showed any sign of weakness. The tactics employed by each side were flawless. The soldiers fought hard and valiantly and although some men were singled out as the ones who could end the war, everyone was destined to become a legend.
The war began 4 years ago. The kingdom of Astosos had just received a message that their neighbor Nelasta was building an army. They feared that Nelasta was going to attack. The king's royal messenger was sent to restore the peace. However the messenger never returned.
The king hastily decided to enlist the help of the Spy Guild to find out if Nelasta soldiers murdered his messenger. The spies came back with no news of the messenger but they recovered documents revealing Nelasta's plan to attack.
Meanwhile in Nelasta similar accusations were made against Astosos.
Soon revered members of Nelasta and Astosos society began dieing. Each kingdom believed that the other employed assassins to kill their people. Of course the Assassin Guilds of both kingdoms denied any involvement.
The day came when Astosos declared war on Nelasta. The most powerful mages from each country began casting spells from afar. It was Astosos who began the first direct attack. Castle Gil, the capital of Nelasta soon fell and millions were slaughtered. However Nelasta was far from defeated and struck back at Astosos.
More and more battles could be recounted but they did not matter. It is this battle that will decide who will emerge victorious.
The battleground it self was unclaimed and was laid between the borders of Astosos and Nelasta. It was never worth claiming due to the lack of natural resources and the fact that people were rumored to have been engulfed by shadows while venturing to far into the barren land. It became known as The Valley of Skadi. The Valley of Skadi was enclosed within a canyon, which opened up at both sides to Astosos and Nelasta. The area was sparse with trees, which made ambushes easy, however the skilled warriors of both sides had long ago figured out ways to avoid ambushes. The greatest degree of caution was used well traveling through the valley, when executing an ambush breathing was not an option.
Eleusis the champion of Astosos was preparing to set out into the fray. He gripped his sword and quickly left his tent. Eleusis was a heavily built man who had been a warrior all his life. He began training as soon as he could walk. His swordsmanship was flawless he was the single greatest fighter ever to grace the earth and of course he was preparing to do battle with his equal.
Elleggu' also a champion of his country, Nelasta, was brought up the same way as Eleusis. However a thief named Gidja captured Elleggu' at the age of 14, and held him for ransom. The thief believed that Nelasta would pay quickly for Elleggu''s return. However Nelasta cast Elleggu' aside and began training other warriors. Gidja knew that Elleggu' was still useful to him, so he quickly put him to work. Elleggu' was forced to kill anyone, in Gidja's way. Soon Elleggu' transformed into a heartless warrior and once he reached the age of 18 he killed Gidja. Then he returned to Nelasta to reclaim his title as champion of Nelasta. He killed the finest swordsmen in Nelasta to reclaim the title.
Eleusis had direct orders to kill Elleggu' so that the Nelasta forces would give up knowing that their greatest warrior had lost. However the tacticians of Astosos had another plan that would be sure to cripple the Nelasta's army. The mages were to use their most powerful spells to push back the opposition, well Astosos knights blocked off the enclosed passage to Nelasta. Once the passage was blocked off the knights would then send a hail of arrows onto the retreating Nelastians.
The plan however required a large amount of energy, in order to power their spells. It did not take long for the Nelastians to notice their rivals gathering magical rocks*. It was too late to stop Astosos's plan, unless a full-scale attack was made upon the Astosian encampment.
*The rocks in the valley and in a 50-mile radius of the valley had taken on magical properties. This was due to the massive amount of spells being cast. As a spell is cast some of its power is left behind, for some reason the power became particularly attracted to rocks.
The Astosian encampment burst into flames. Those guarding the encampment were instantly incinerated. Luckily a magical shield took most of the impact and only a few fires raged across the encampment. The Nelastian forces erupted into the base. Astosian mages immediately sent spells towards the invaders**.
**The mages were not ready for the attack. They were only awake because it was necessary for at least 10 mages to enforce the shield surrounding the encampment. The rest of the encampment was sleeping peacefully because they believed that the shield would protect the base itself.
The fires caused as much damage as they could but were ultimately useless as the mages easily put them out when the found the time. Astosian soldiers showed immediate response and were up a matter of minutes after the invasion took place.
Nelastian tacticians knew that the forces of Astosos would be able to counter. It was all in the hands of fate whether the forces would counter in time... Fate decided to make things interesting...
An Astosian wizard within the battle began chanting. Pure magic began erupting from his fingertips. The Nelastian soldiers fought to get to the wizard but were kept away vigilant Astosian fighters. Mages began to notice the wizard as well but by the time the got around to casting their spells on the wizard, a magical shield surrounded him. Suddenly sparks flew from his fingertips. The gateway into the encampment filled with a whitish substance. It was more than just another magical shield, it reflected all magical attacks thrown at it and anyone who touched it instantly disintegrated. Unfortunately for the Nelastians they did not know that. In a few seconds half of their forces were destroyed and spells began bouncing throughout the encampment.
There was no other outcome, the Nelastians were sure to die it was their fate... Fate decided to give them a chance...
The shield was strong; there was no doubt about that however it only guarded the gateway. The decision would put the Nelastians at a severe disadvantage, but it was better than being dead well... better than the whole nation being dead. The plan required the mages of Nelasta to give all the powers and therefore their lives to destroy the shield around the encampment (not the one in the gateway, that one was indestructible). A flash of light blinded everyone and there was not a single Nelastian mage around and the shield around the encampments were gone***. Nelastian soldiers frantically began climbing the walls but only one out of five actually made it up the wall. Bowmen were picking them off at an increasing rate.
This was only the beginning of Nelasta's troubles... Where were Eleusis and Elleggu' during this critical battle...?
***Remember the shields around the encampments were powered by the mages. To destroy the shield around the Astosian encampment it required that the Nelastian mages give their lives, therefore leaving the Nelastian shield powerless.
Eleusis vs. Elleggu'
Clash of the Titans
During the struggle between their respective nations both Eleusis and Elleggu' were seeking out each other. Strangely enough they found each other. Even stranger still though was that were they found each other was in a small clearing. The clearing was shaped in a circle and along it's circumference was sparse bushes and trees. Running away from the battle would be impossible as the trees formed a wall, which could only be navigated around carefully. This obviously would allow your adversary to kill you well you rummage through the bushes.
"Eleusis," called Elleggu', "the time has come, is your fate to die by the hands of me..."
Fate flipped a coin...
"Is that so? You have a little too much confidence for a second rate warrior."
"So the insults begin," laughed Elleggu', "you have no idea what I'm capable of."
"How bout we stop this inane chatter and begin."
"As you wish."
Elleggu' charged but Eleusis dropped to one knee and held his sword up blocking the blow. A furious battle ensued. Elleggu' tried to swing his sword below Eleusis in an attempt to cut off his legs. However Eleusis was able to jump just in time and at the apex of his jump he managed to kick Elleggu' in the face. Elleggu' went down hard.
"Hmm, that kinda hurt but you'll have to do better than that."
Eleusis dashed towards his fallen foe but Elleggu' rolled to his side and Eleusis's sword harmlessly impaled itself into the ground. Elleggu' got up and kneed the struggling Eleusis in the face. The final blow was his but Eleusis finally got his sword out of the ground. The strike did take its toll on Eleusis as Elleggu''s sword neatly cut through the left side of Eleusis's face. He didn't even flinch.
"HA! So the mighty Eleusis is not as quick as they say. Go home boy before I make another ridge in your face."
The blood from the wound drizzled across Eleusis's face and when it reached his mouth he licked the blood.
"Tastes good, but you'll have to hit me where it counts next time."
The battle began once again with even more force. The two fighters began taunting each other during the fight. With tremendous force Eleusis struck but it missed his opponent by a hair and cut a tree down. Many more trees came down and the clearing began growing. The rivals found themselves within the forest with very little room for movement. Eleusis grabbed a tree branch hanging above him and used it to kick Elleggu' with surprising momentum. Elleggu' fell to the ground but before Eleusis could even think of dropping from the branch he was up again. Elleggu' tackled Eleusis who still holding the branch and they both fell into the bushes.
They emerged battered and bruised due to the thorns, which grew within the Valley. Neither of them broke a sweat the battle was sure to rage on forever...
Fate's coin landed...
They finally came out of the forest and their battle now took place on a cliff overlooking the battle that was taking place within the Astosian encampment. The battle was epic it's ending was sure to be a momentous one... the cliff broke apart.
The world began to slow down. Eleusis continued fighting and so did Elleggu' the section they were on seemed like it was taking ages to completely slide of the cliff. The section fell at a 45-degree angle. Eleusis was closest to the ground. By some miracle he found some grip on the section. He sprinted towards Elleggu' and after some swift sword motions he was able to get his leg in a position that would allow him to trip Elleggu'. He took the opportunity. Elleggu' slid off the section and grabbed the edge. Eleusis began his own slide in order to stomp on Elleggu''s fingers. Elleggu' fell but with surprising agility he was able to dive straight into a tree. The section hit the ground and a tremor rolled across the landscape. Eleusis was no where to be seen. Elleggu' was victorious.
A Savior Arrives
Nelasta was battered and bruised. Their champion was able to defeat the champion of Astosos but it was a hollow victory. Elleggu' was weak the battle had taken his toil on him. Their forces depleted and their champion wounded, the Nelastians saw no other choice besides giving up. Their was no way for them to even run, their only exit was surrounded by archers. By the ever so random trick of luck a wizard appeared. It was an amazing site to see. He appeared in the sky surrounded by a purple orb. The archers guarding the way to Nelasta began to fire at him but the orb protected him. As the arrows dropped harmlessly down, he began to say something. 2 smaller orbs appeared around him. Suddenly the orbs flew towards the canyon. The archers didn't have a chance they were blown away.
The Nelastians watched on with great delight but they soon realized that the wizard may not be a friend. They knew that he was not part of any Majik's Guild, they would have heard about him if he had. He landed in front of Angus, the king of Nelasta.
"What do you want with us wizard? Leave us alone we have had enough trouble today. Our forces have been all but destroyed and our champion is wounded."
"Do not fear I am not here to destroy you, quite the opposite in fact. I am not a wizard I am a Sorcerer. I have observed your battle with the with the kingdom of Astosos. You have made severe tactical mistakes against them."
"Now you just wait a second...," Angus's mouth suddenly closed as he looked upon the energy pulsating from the Sorcerer's hands. The air grew heavy all around and all at once everyone blinked.
Act 2: War of the Majiks
They opened their eyes and they stood in Castle Gil.
"How can this be, Castle Gil was destroyed." Angus exclaimed.
"Must you ask such a stupid question? I was able to teleport your whole army and resurrect your countrymen, it was simple to rebuild the castle."
"While for the most part. My power is limited to those who were lost in the Valley of Skadi, so only those who died there have been resurrected"
"So you can't use your powerful magic anywhere else?"
"For the time being yes. However if I am able to absorb the magic of another like myself my power will have no boundaries and will be at your command and yours only."
"Wait a minute, how do I know I can trust you? Don't think for a minute that I haven't heard of the Apocalypse Wars.
In legend a mighty cataclysm befell the earth and two beings rose from it rose from its ashes. They were Omega the god of planets and Mantalister the Supreme Being. Omega soon created his four deities, Enilil, Loki, Sila and Aegir ((all names taken from various cultures from around the world)). Loki the deity of fire began to fight with Aegir the god of water whom tried to destroy Loki by extinguishing his 'eternal flame'. He also fought Sila the god of winds whom he battled because he had an advantage over Sila because the winds of Aegir would spread his flames. Loki formed an alliance with Enilil because Enilil was the god of rock and could defeat Aegir. The deities continued fighting and began destroying the world in their massive battles. Meanwhile Mantalister had created Asista the goddess of all-living things and Anarchia the goddess of power.
Mantalister became infuriated by the four deity's destruction of the earth and decided he would put a stop to this. Omega however wished his 'children' to survive and protected them. Asista helped Mantalister gain an advantage over Omega and the deities but Anarchia had betrayed them and joined Omega. Mantalister immediately used his powers to contain Anarchia's powers. The mortals of the world tired of the gods fighting and used a spell to contain the four deities, which were the center of the destruction in a crystal. After the deities were captures the winds died down, fires and floods stopped and Earthquakes ceased everything was well again..."
"It didn't take you as long as I thought it would to figure out I was a spawned from the magic of the Apocalypse Wars. However I am much more than an accident created by the energy of the gods. There is more to the legend then most mortals know.
Before even Mantalister and Omega were created a lone god ruled. The god controlled all power and the entire universe himself. However the god was unable to sustain balance between good and evil. Metaphorically speaking the god's shoulders broke from the burden of holding the universe together. The god decided to split himself into two forms Mantalister and Omega. This was around the time of recorded history but unknown to the world both Mantalister and Omega were not complete. A third being sprung from the ancient god.
During the Apocalypse Wars this other being tried to stop the war but was struck down by Mantalister in what was then known as The Golden Valley. The being split apart into two separate forms Umbria and Skadi. Mantalister stood over the beings body and was blinded as Umbria and Skadi took form. Mantalister was badly wounded and Skadi saw his chance to stripe Mantalister of his immortality. Asista arrived at that moment and restored Mantalister to his full strength. The tables had turned on Umbria and Skadi, Mantalister stole their immortality. Instead of simply killing them Mantalister left them in The Valley of Skadi and kept them there by putting an enchantment on the valley.
Mantalister did not expect a battle happening in the valley millions of years later. The magic of your battle allowed Umbria and Skadi to break free from the valley. Unfortunately the two would have to join together to regain there immortality. Umbria however had grown to dislike Skadi because she had fallen in love with a mortal who had traveled through the valley earlier with his father a demigod on his way to wage war on the kingdom of Astas.
If you have not guessed it by now, I am Skadi. I am here to seek your help in capturing my wayward sister. You have no choice but to trust me, how can you resist the power of a god?"
"You could still turn on us."
"Even if I would I am your only chance in defeating Astosos."
"Your sister is probably long gone by now with that warrior."
"Nay king, the magic of your war was strong indeed but it only stretched our cage to the borders of here and Astosos."
"What guarantee do you have that we'll win? What if your sister joined forces with Astosos?"
"I thought of that already," with that Skadi clapped his hands and beside him appeared a servant.
"Who is that?"
"Merely a boy who got lost in my valley. He told me of your war. Knowing the potential of your wizards magic, I readied myself for the inevitable battle that would take place in my valley-"
"How did you know it was inevitable."
"Don't interrupt, I was getting to that. It is within human nature to have something that another does not. Despite the lack of anything but trees and some magic in my forest there was no reason to battle there other than to claim it."
"Anyways, long story short I ordered him to obtain this." Skadi waved his hand towards his servant who was now kneeling and holding out a crystal.
"Is that the crystal that holds the deities?"
"But of course sire I only expect the best from my men."
After Nelasta's forces disappeared, the Astosians left the valley knowing they had won. However they were stopped by the sorceress Umbria. Although the Astosians fought hard Umbria easily overcame them. She approached the king of Astosos, Matalon.
"Who-who are you," stuttered Matalon. "My name is Umbria I am a sorceress and I need your help."
"Why should I help you? You slaughtered many of my men."
"Open up your eyes fool, they are still alive. I need everyone of them if I hope to accomplish my goal..."
Few Minutes Later...
"I need to stop Skadi from joining with me so that I can find the one I love. I have learned that he has obtained the ancient crystal that contains the deities. He believes that he can free them so that he can use their powers against me. However he needs to gather enough power to break the seal on the crystal. If I can somehow obtain the crystal before he gathers enough power I will be able to cast a spell reinforcing the seal on the crystal. Unfortunately he has enlisted the help of the Nelastians promising them a quick victory against you. His plan is to absorb power from your people and the Nelastians in the midst of battle."
"You say he saved the Nelastian army? Wouldn't have been easier to absorb their powers at that time? Didn't he waste a lot of power reviving them?"
"You are confusing power with magic. To put into simpler terms he needs a tremendous amount of life force to break the seal. Fortunately for us mere magic will do nothing to the seal."
"What do we have to do."
"At the moment we can not attack the Nelastians because Skadi will immediately take the chance to absorb your power. However you can lure them to an area where Skadi can't reach them. At that time I will go to Castle Gil, reinforce the crystal and if need be kill Skadi."
"By the sounds of it you and Skadi are evenly matched how do you intend on defeating him before he fuses with you?"
"I will take with me Eleusis... Don't look so puzzled, you do know Eleusis is alive? You may have heard about the little cliff incident but trust me he miraculously survived. I will give you time to think of my offer in the mean time let's return to Astosos..."
The cliff section hit the ground with surprising force. It would have killed a normal man... but Eleusis was far from normal. A tiny rock rolled down the rubble and then a large boulder was sent hurtling through the air... Eleusis was alive.
He struggled to his feet and shook the dust out of his hair. As he stood straight up his bones began to make cracking sounds. The pain was unbearable and even the mighty Eleusis fell to his feet. He strived to remain conscious but he was loosing the battle.
Then darkness began to roll around him. Using every ounce of his strength he rolled over. He looked up to see the beautiful figure of Umbria. She held her hands up and something radiated from her fingers. It was not magic it was something... more. The darkness shifted and light enshrouded Eleusis. Blinded by the light it was he slowly opened his eyes again. What appeared to be ghosts where flying around in the white sky... white sky? Eleusis no longer had to fight rigorously just to keep his eyes upon. The light was, natural.
"Eleusis can you hear me?"
"Y-yes I can who a-are you-u?" Moaned Eleusis.
"I am Umbria a sorceress. I need your help. You see..."
"No there's no need for you to explain I know who you are." Eleusis himself was confused at what he knew about Umbria.
"Ah! So you are the one," Exclaimed Umbria, "You look confused... don't be it will all be clear in a moment."
Eleusis heard a voice in his head... his own voice but it was somehow different. It explained to Eleusis what he already knew?
The Apocalypse Wars was the bloodiest battle ever. Many mortals died because of the horrific fighting of the gods. They organized the Knights of the Apocalypse (KOTA) an elite group of fighters with special abilities. Using their abilities they formed a side in the war representing the humans many lesser gods immortality could not even protect them from the KOTA. When the deities appeared the KOTA were sent to destroy them. But the battle was lost the deities immortality was not easily taken away and the KOTA were slaughtered. The people of the world worked together to find a way to defeat their common enemy.
Knowing that if the deities were to fall then Omega would forfeit the war knowing he could not win. The magicians of the kingdom came up with a plan to create the crystal but it would need the power of sorcerers. This caused the people to lose heart. The sorcerers were enemies of many kingdoms and it would be difficult to get them to help. As if the task were not difficult enough the plan called for four sorcerers, which evidently was the exact number of sorcerers theft.
A smaller war was part of the Apocalypse Wars. The war was known as the War of the Majiks. It consisted of three main battles between the sorcerers and gods. The first two battles took place in the Fields of Hastango and Infinity Mountain. Both sides were forced into a stalemate for both battles. Neither side was about to let the other win the final war. The Plains of Eternity was covered in blood that day, a millennia ago. The sorcerers fought valiantly but were consumed by flames, blown to bits by wind, swallowed by the earth or drowned by water. Once a mighty race the sorcerers were whittled down to four. Mantalister took mercy on the remaining sorcerers and let them live to work for him.
The KOTA's assignment was clear. They were to rescue the sorcerers from Mantalister's grip. By some miracle they made it to the very resting place of the gods, the Celestial Garden and forged their way through the gods. They rescued the sorcerers and returned to earth. Although happy to be rescued the sorcerers refused to aid the humans. They planned to leave the fallowing morning...
The sky lit up and in one rush of air the encampment were the KOTA and sorcerers were staying in was destroyed. The deities had arrived. The KOTA scrambled to raise a defense but were no match for the deities. Loki set ablaze the battle field and the KOTA fell...but one survived. He was one of pure heart and he struck Loki down. However Loki was too strong. He propelled the long warrior off of him. But the warrior did not give up and with his holy blade he pierced Loki's body. The blade began to glow and drained Loki's immortality. Enilil aided his ally and created an earthquake which knocked the warrior to the ground.
The air began to raise again and Enilil toppled over. Water filled the area and both Sila and Aegir appeared. The deities then forgot about the goal Omega had given them and began to resume their normal fights with each other. Then on the four towers of the encampment appeared the four sorcerers they began to chant and a force began to bind the deities together towards a floating crystal.
It looked like the war was finally over but Sila used the winds to force the crystal into the water below. The deities freed themselves and each targeted a sorcerer. Using their magic the sorcerers were able to defend themselves but the deities started to advance on them. The lone KOTA dove deep into the water and retrieved the crystal. He then held it up and felt his life force being absorbed by the crystal but he was able to hold on. Still pulsating with the power of the sorcerers the crystal shot out rays of light towards the deities. They began to bind together again. Once again Sila tried to use the winds to knock the crystal out of the KOTA's hands. Aegir shifted the water and created tidal waves but the force did not budge the KOTA. Loki lit the water on fire and Enilil threw boulders at the lone warrior but it was all for nothing. The deities were defeated and entrapped within the crystal...
"As you have probably realized you are the ancestor of that knight. You must help me defeat my brother and prevent the deities from being awakened. We must infiltrate Castle Gil. We must work quickly to ensure that not many lives are lost in the upcoming battle between the Astosians and Nelastians."
"Yes your king has chosen to aid me and has lured the Nelastian army to the outskirts of Astosos where Skadi can't touch them."
"How can we possibly defeat Skadi?"
"With sacred blood flowing through you, you should have no problems killing Skadi. However he is growing stronger and if we don't act now, even you wouldn't be able to defeat him."
"If my kingdom is with you then so am I."
It was said to be impossible. Castle Gil was impenetrable. The castle rose to the clouds atop a mountain island. The sea surrounding it was known as the Gil Sea, which was able to corrode all but the finest ships. A narrow land bridge was the only way to reach it. However it was possible to get across, the Astosians had done so many months ago. Although they thought tunnels were the only solution the Astosians decided it would be risky due to the fact that if the Nelastians caught on they would collapse the tunnels. Instead the Astosians opted for the direct approach. A full scale invasion, 50 000 men charged across the land bridge. In the end only 300 lived to tell the tale.
Eleusis decided to follow his kingdoms lead and simply walk into the fortress. There were undoubtedly traps on the bridge but it was his only choice.
"We're going to have to cross the bridge."
"What? It's impossible... Skadi is sure to have guards around who could easily attack us with arrows." Said Umbria.
"Impossible...? Maybe but there is no other way. We must attack head on."
They began to cross and were met with vile gusts of air but they forged onward. The expected attack from the castle guards never came but something much worse did. Suddenly a tidal wave formed and attempted to wash them away. Umbria struggled to keep the wave away from them by using her magic.
The bridge split into three with Umbria on the far side and Eleusis in the middle. Umbria tried to reach him but Skadi appeared in front of her and struck her down. He began to approach her but she was able to protect herself with a shield.
"Come, come dear sister. You know this is hopeless. Give up now and become a god once again."
"I'll never given into you!"
"You have no choice you can't keep this up forever. You don't have enough strength to sustain that shield."
"Leave her alone!" Shouted Eleusis as he made a dash towards the other piece or the bridge.
"Appear!" Shouted Skadi and a cloud appeared in front of Eleusis. A puff of blue smoke appeared and in the center of it stood... Elleggu'!
"How's it going Eleusis," taunted Elleggu', "I guess it's about time that I treat you to another lesson."
"Don't be so cocky Elleggu'. It will be you who will fall this time."
"Oh? Will it now? I guess you better hurry up and kill me before Skadi absorbs your little friend there."
Elleggu' grabbed his sword and swung at Eleusis as he was about to reply. It did not go as planned however, Eleusis swiftly pulled out his own sword and blocked the blow in a mere second.
"Your a little to slow Elleggu', perhaps you should give up now."
Elleggu' pulled his sword away and the sound of metal clashing filled the air. Eleusis expertly blocked Elleggu' and stayed on the defensive. A window of opportunity appeared and Eleusis ducked under Elleggu''s sword and stabbed him in the stomach.
"How can this be happening...?" Uttered Elleggu' as blood filled his mouth. He struggled to not choke on his own blood. He desperately swung at Eleusis and fell to the ground.
"How is this possible... how could you have defeated him so easily!?" Shouted Skadi angrily. "It was you wasn't dear sister you gave him this power!"
"It was not I who did this. The gods themselves awaked Eleusis's fury. It's over Skadi there will be no more wars. Even if you managed to absorb me, Eleusis still possesses the power to kill an immortal."
"We'll see about this." Skadi closed his eyes and began to cast a spell. Umbria leaped to her feet and tried to stop him but the power radiating from him threw her across the bridge. "Infuriate!"
Elleggu''s limp body began to glow and pure energy pulsated through his veins. He rose to his feet and took Eleusis blade from his stomach.
"I believe this is yours," laughed Elleggu'. Eleusis grabbed his sword and they prepared to battle again.
"Stop Elleggu'! As you are now you still can't defeat Eleusis. We must return to the castle. Follow us if you dare Umbria..."
Scourge of the Seas
The winds began to blow harshly as Umbria and Eleusis stood where Skadi left them. The bridge began to break away as the wind tore at them violently.
"If we're going to turn back we must go now before the bridge breaks!" Shouted Umbria over the winds.
"I could never live with myself if I didn't finish what we started! We have to defeat Skadi or else we will forever live in fear of him!"
"I'm glad you haven't grown scared Eleusis!"
"Quite the contrary actually. I think this experience is making me even more fearless!"
The winds howled viciously and tore away a section of the bridge. The duo gazed at the destruction the untamed wind was causing. The waves crashed against what was left of the bridge. Umbria and Eleusis made a mad dash towards the castle. Then it happened... Umbria was overtaken by the winds and the slippery ground caused her to fall into the deadly sea.
Eleusis bravely jumped into the water knowing full well that the water could kill him. He submerged himself deep into the thick liquid and swam desperately to the limp body of Umbria. He felt acid pierce his skin and enter his blood stream but still he persevered. Reaching out a hand he grabbed Umbria but only for a second as the acid made it hard to hold on to her. Out of the corner of his eye he saw something.
A living legend quickly came into view. It didn't exist... it couldn't exist! Eleusis reached deep down into his memory and remembered the name of the creature. The name sent shivers down his spine, Hippocampus! The creature in legend pulled Neptune's chariot but it became vicious and attempted to kill it's master. Although unsuccessful the creature still roomed the seas. Skadi must have captured it as a last resort to defeat Umbria. The creature itself was half-horse and half-fish, with the head and forequarters of a horse and the tail and hindquarters of a dolphin. It's forelegs were webbed paws. It was truly a frightening sight.
Eleusis looked death in the eye and in a desperate bid he swam towards Umbria. Ignoring the pain he grabbed her hand and held on tight. The surface was so close! He had to make it. Hippocampus watched and slowly drifted towards them. Eleusis finally made it to the surface. Sweet oxygen came into his lungs. The water began to ripple. Eleusis looked down and to his horror he saw the overwhelming shadow of Hippocampus. The shadow then erupted out of the water and Eleusis was overcome by the wave it created. However he was able to use the wave to propel himself towards the bridge... his last hope.
When he reached the bridge he quickly pulled Umbria up onto it. Hippocampus began to move at an increasing rate. Without warning he jumped out of the water and hit Eleusis with it's tail as it returned to the water. Eleusis realized he'd never make it to the shore if he didn't defeat the beast. He withdrew his blade from it sheathe. The creature turned around to take another shoot at the audacious warrior.
Hippocampus came close enough to jump and Eleusis saw his chance. He jumped atop the beast and dug his blade deep into it's body. Hippocampus let out a mighty roar of pain. As he pulled his blade out Eleusis saw a fountain of blood squirting from the creature. However Hippocampus was not done yet and it began to shake causing Eleusis to lose his balance.
Eleusis new if he fell into the water, Hippocampus would make short work of him. He slid down the creature's body and when he felt the end was near; he managed to hook his blade into the monster's fin. He wasn't safe yet though, he felt his blade slice easily through the fin. Thinking quickly he grabbed one of his daggers and with his free hand he pierced the creatures tail. He griped his sword and pulled it free of Hippocampus's fin.
Using his dagger he climbed his way up Hippocampus's body. As hard as it tried the creature could not unearth the dagger in it's body. As long as he held on Eleusis knew he could make it to the creature's head to deal the deathblow. Suddenly Hippocampus stopped trembling and composed it self. The creature was eerily quiet. It dawned on it that all it had to do was... roll over. Eleusis felt the creature shift all it's weight to one side. The dagger was uprooted and Eleusis felt a rush of water surround him.
Hippocampus dove into the water and rushed his prey. Eleusis swayed out of the way and attacked with his sword. The underbelly of the sea monstrosity was barely even scratched by the blow. The battle went on for hours it seemed. Hippocampus kept rushing Eleusis and Eleusis expertly dodged every attack. However after what appeared to be the hundredth time Hippocampus attacked again but this time as it passed Eleusis, it used hindquarters to kick Eleusis.
Whatever breath he had left, Eleusis lost it. He felt his bones being crushed by the blow. Distraughtly he swam to the surface for air. Hippocampus came up behind him and hit him so hard it pushed him out of the water. Eleusis knew his bones could not take much more of this, they would shatter after another attack. Eleusis laid there floating on the surface unable to move. He felt the water being displaced and knew Hippocampus was gonna attack again. With the last of his energy he gripped his sword, closed his eyes and concentrated. Suddenly his mind was filled with every sound, feeling and even smell. Without thinking he rolled himself over only a slight bit. Then the out of the water erupted Hippocampus. Eleusis saw it's weak spot in his mind and rose his sword, rolled over again so that he was facing the creature as it emerged and he trusted. The blade immerged itself deep into the creatures body and Eleusis felt resistance. Knowing full well this was the beast's heart he began to push harder and felt the blade pierce the heart. All this happened in half a second but in his mind it felt like a whole minute.
Hippocampus only one third of the way out of the water, fell onto it's back. It's tail emerged from the water and threw Eleusis towards the bridge...
Win or Lose
Another Flip of the Coin
Eleusis landed atop the bridge with a mighty thump! His body felt torn and his mind wandered to thoughts of better days... younger days... the field... the sun... all was well. The cold reality made him cringe. His life was over, gone where the good old days, all that remained was suffering and death. He laid there waiting for death to claim him. In his eyes he saw the battle between Astosos and Nelasta begin. He prayed to every god there was that his countrymen would be ok without him. He envisioned himself fighting along side the brave soldiers of Astosos. Oh reality tore at him and took him to a place far away from his people. He felt himself let go of what he wanted to be real, he opened his eye and didn't see death coming for him... he saw the sunset. It's mere simplicity filled him with hope. Win or lose he would survive long enough to see dawn.
Black light enshrouded him. His bones responded to the light and they began to heal. Closing his eyes he felt pure untainted energy flowing through his body and he pushed himself up. He took in a deep breath of air and quickly released it. Upon opening his eyes he saw the welcome sight of Umbria.
"What did you do to me..."
"I used my Majik to heal you."
"I knew Majik was powerful but I didn't believe it would be able to heal me..."
"Yes Majik is powerful indeed. However it has limits just like the magic you humans use. I too believed that it could not heal you, I thought you were to far gone. Your body is not like a normal human's, even a KOTA would have been killed from those injuries. You're something more. I have long believed that the warrior talked of in the legends of the War of the Majiks was an Anesia."
"What's an Anesia?"
"It is believed that the Anesia race was the start of the KOTA blood line. Not much is known about them, they kept out of mortal and immortal affairs. Every once in awhile one would appear to save the innocent and disappear into the shadows from once it came. Once the Apocalypse Wars began the mortals believed the Anesia would come to save them. None came...
"What happened to them, did the gods kill them?"
"No it seemed as though the Anesia just faded out of reality. I believe that they felt that the mortals had reached prosperity and they were no longer needed. The gods made sure that the world would be thrown into chaos once again with their foolish war. However it was to late for the Anesia to save the world once again. They were however still able to create mortals who held the power to kill immortals. Although not true Anesia the KOTA were the closest thing known until now. The Anesia must have left one of there own to oversee the development of the KOTA and to lead the world out of it's darkest time if needed. You must be an ancestor of that person."
The weary duo finally reached their destination, Castle Gil. The castle was encased within a courtyard. Four towers stood atop the four corners of the walls. The castle itself was composed of several towers with one situated in the middle which reached up as if to touch the sky. Rain began to relentlessly pour upon the weary travelers. This was their last chance to turn back and as they stood there with their goal in reach they began to walk forward.
They entered the courtyard, suddenly Eleusis felt a cool breeze. Everything seemed to be alive. Trees and bushes began to sway with the rhythm of the wind. The darkness itself began to shift and it began to mold into something else. Before them, Eleusis and Umbria saw two creatures emerge from the darkness. The creatures stood still as the last of the darkness tore away from their bodies. Upon closer inspection the monsters were made completely of stone and they could not move.
"What are these vile creatures?" Whispered Eleusis.
"They are gargoyles, their duty is to protect the castle. If we walk pass them they will be released from their stone prison. If we try to destroy them in their statue state they will surely awaken."
"We're to close to our goal we can't let them stop us. If they awaken I will gladly show them to death's door."
With that Eleusis stepped through the gap between the menacing statues. Their bodies began to shake violently and several chips of stone fell from their body. Their speed began to increase and the ground itself vibrated.
"Come and get me, you ugly beasts!" Yelled Eleusis.
A sudden wave of sound erupted from the statues. Eleusis ear's pounded as the sound tore into them. When the dust settled the creatures stood behind Eleusis. He turned around and the first gargoyle came rushing towards him. Eleusis expertly dodged it but the second one emerged from it's wake and hit Eleusis in the chest. The gargoyle held onto Eleusis and flew high into the sky. Without warning the monster let go of Eleusis only for the other gargoyle to hit Eleusis in mid air. The force sent Eleusis crashing into the courtyard walls. He felt his body make a deep impression into the sheer stone and he fell down to the ground, twenty feet below.
Umbria rushed towards his crippled body. But her advancement was hindered as the Gargoyles crashed down in front of her. They let out a mighty roar and attacked. By using every technique she knew, she was amazing able to avoid their furious attacks. However the gargoyles gained the upper hand as she became tired. Seeing an opportunity one of the gargoyles was able to break into her defenses, knocking her down.
The second gargoyle turned it's attention back to the battered and bruised warrior Eleusis. It flew towards the limp warrior. Eleusis felt time slow down once again and he opened his eyes to see the creature approaching him. He stood up and drew his sword. Time sped up once again and Eleusis jumped towards the gargoyle. While in the air he dodged the gargoyle and as it was passing him he used his sword to cut it's left wing.
Meanwhile Umbria laid in front of the other gargoyle. She closed her eyes and held out her hand from her finger nails, small particles of Majik appeared and surround the monsters head. The creature desperately tried to stay awake but the smell calmed him and he felt himself drift into sleep. It knelt down before her and was once again covered in stone.
Eleusis dropped to the ground and watched the creature scream with pain. Blood dropped from it's wounded wing. It turned towards Eleusis and readied itself for retaliation. Unable to fly it clumsily charged towards Eleusis. However Eleusis sidestepped the creature and expertly used his sword to cut the gargoyle across it's chest. The gargoyle held onto the fatal blow and with a whimper he was incased in stone again.
"Well that wasn't so hard, was it Umbria?"
"What ever you say," panted Umbria, "I wonder if they'll be gone forever..."
As if to answer her question the darkness crept upon them once again and enshrouded the gargoyles and took them back to whence they came.
Fight to the Death
Eleusis carefully opened the large wooden doors that laid before him. The path that led to the castle was hard enough who knew what may await him at the other side of the doors. They slowly creaked open and Eleusis made his way into the castle. The entry way was a large room with two sets of stairs on each side of it. Beside the doors were finely crafted doors and atop the stairs a larger more impressive door lined with jewels and even some rare ambers decorated it. A single red amber laid atop the peak of the door. The red amber sent chills down Eleusis's back it appeared to be watching him. He began to make his way across the red carpet which flowed across the floor and up the stairs. The carpet held no imperfection it was laid out carefully and it seemed that a magical aura surrounded it, preventing anything from disrupting it's own personal harmony. I believe Umbria described the room best.
'Which way do you suppose we should go?'
'I think we should head for the top first. Skadi is undoubtedly waiting up there. He likes to make things more dramatic. You know an epic battle atop the highest tower in a god less castle.'
'We might as well get it over with then. Let's give him the battle he expects.'
A slightly less impressive, dimly lighted and circular room was found on the other side of the door. Candles littered the circumference of the castle but they seemed to be taking away light rather than making more. The floor was cold to touch and rats scurried across it frantically. Although it was far from the perfection of the main floor it still had the perfect red carpet. Across the room three more steps hugged the wall and lead up to another, jewel and amber infested door. Within the door another flight of stairs crept up the tower. Carefully they climbed their way higher and higher up the tower. When the finally reached the third amber and jewel door another unimpressive circular room awaited them on the other side. This continued for hours it seemed. Stairs, circle room, stairs, circle room, stairs, circle room with a slight addition of a small statue of a dragon like creature which stood to the right of Eleusis as he entered the statue at least gave him hope that he would actually reach the top.
Finally at the top of one set of stairs stood a crystal door. Surely this would lead to the summit and surprisingly enough it did. It was a typical end of the line top of a tower area. Stones formed a circle and atop every second circle was another stone.
'This is where he appears from some kind of portal in the sky covered in darkness,' explained Umbria.
And then a blue portal opened in the sky and Skadi emerged from it covered in darkness.
'You are to slow my sister I was beginning to think you'd never show up. It's a pity you didn't come here sooner, you might have stood a chance.'
'Where's Elleggu', Skadi?' hissed Eleusis.
'I believe he is here somewhere. I don't suppose you would like to play with him would you?'
Another portal opened behind Eleusis and from it depths Elleggu' crashed down upon Eleusis. The force broke through the solid stone floor and the two hurtled towards the bottom of the previous stair case. Somehow they both found a way to survive the fall but Eleusis was in rough shape. Elleggu' stood up and Eleusis attempted to do the same. He crept up onto his hands and knees. Elleggu' kicked Eleusis in the stomach and sent him flying towards the wall which cracked from the amazing stress Eleusis limp body put upon it.
Once again Eleusis landed on his hands and knees. Blood dripped from his body like swear his head was cracked and his arm had a gash on it which stretched from his hand to his elbow. He staggered to his feet and the true damage to his torso was seen. You could see that the right side of his torso was slightly slimmer then the left and blood made a thick coating on Eleusis's clothes.
'You've gotten better,' coughed Eleusis.
'You haven't seen the least of my new powers.'
Eleusis unsheathed his sword and blocked the oncoming blow from Elleggu'. He trusted violently at his rival and parried the retaliation attacks from Elleggu'. It was amazing that Eleusis was even able to move but he defended himself the same as he would if he had been in perfect health. Every swing from Elleggu' was expected and rejected by Eleusis. Even Elleggu''s movement was sensed by him. Every foot step, every clenched fist and every gasp of air. Elleggu' made a quick sidestep and circled Eleusis as he lunged towards him. The missed attack set off Eleusis balance but he quickly regained his composer and turned around. Elleggu' raised his hand and it began to glow in a blue color. Eleusis attacked but the magical field surrounding Elleggu' stopped him. Three blue orbs appeared above Elleggu''s hand and quickly raced towards Eleusis. He managed to dodge one but the other two where able to hone in on him and smash him into a wall once again. Elleggu' continued his attack by pointing a finger at Eleusis. The magic rose him from the ground and Elleggu' swung him into a full 180 degree angle and forced him into the wall he had previously hit earlier. A small cracking sound could be heard but it wasn't coming from his battered body the stone wall was breaking and the magical force was still pushing against him.
'I guess this is the end Eleusis, there is nothing you can do. You have grown strong but I've grown stronger still.'
Far above the two warriors, two Majiks stood face to face to each other. Umbria moved first from her finger tips electricity charged towards Skadi. He floated between the bolts and counted with a barrage of fireballs. Umbria closed her eyes and the fireballs harmlessly bounced off her towards Skadi. He was knocked from his place high atop the ground and fell to the tower. Umbria raised her hands and a dome of stone encased Skadi. She flew high into the sky held her hands together and from the castle courtyard rose a cone made of rock. In a few seconds the cone rose up and hung above the stone dome. She then let her hands fall to her side and with them the cone went crashing down onto Skadi. From it's rubble emerged the battered and bruised Skadi. Umbria dashed towards him and hit him with a swift uppercut. He rose into the air and from Umbria's hands a blue spike erupted and sent him over the edge. Just inches away from the ground he stopped himself. As he laid on air he hummed a few words and before him appeared a large fireball getting larger by the second.
'Dodge this dear sister!'
The fireball rushed towards her at amazing speed and connected, she could feel her entire body burning. However she remained calm and slowly blew out air. The fireball began to flicker and fade until only a small spec of it remained. She grabbed it and hurtled it toward Skadi. Surprised by this turn of events he was unable to dodge it and the small pebble easily broke through his skin and penetrated his heart.
His limp body dropped to the ground and was no more.
'No this is not the end!' shouted Eleusis as he rose his sword into the invisible beam that held him in place. It stopped and Eleusis approached Elleggu'.
'Any other tricks Elleggu'? Or is this all you have for me?'
'No this can't be, Skadi said those attacks would be enough. Try this!' Five more orbs appeared in front of him and he sent them flying towards Eleusis who easily dodged them as the last ball pasted him he stabbed Elleggu' with his sword.
'It finally happened, one of us won,' said Elleggu', 'it is a pity it wasn't me. Good form Eleusis, good form.' He gasped his final breath and fell to the floor.
The battle was won Umbria and Eleusis gave a sigh of relief. They looked back on their short time together and saw many difficult battles. Skadi and Elleggu' were defeated but somehow they both knew everything wasn't alright. It's funny how when you know something it is actually a fact.
From the abyss at the bottom of the castle a light shone. It wasn't a particularly fantastic or even bright light but that didn't change the fact that it was there. Gradually it grew brighter but no one could mistake it for life being created or perhaps it was merely being pulled into existence. Whatever was happening it was happening at a slow pace but it was still happening when it shouldn't be. Then Umbria made the unfortunate mistake of looking into it.
Rays of light began to shoot out of the ball of light in it's core Skadi became visible. However it was much darker then Skadi and small black veins covered his body. Could Skadi have somehow taken on a knew form? Umbria doubted it she hit him squarely in the chest and all jokes aside he did have a heart there. A body can't possible live without one. Suddenly a black beam protruded from the interior and the figure climbed it into the sky.
Umbria looked up to him and cautiously asked, 'who are you?'
'Don't you recognize me sister?'
'It's impossible you can't be Skadi he's dead... isn't he?'
'You really don't know do you? I was once a part of you as well as Skadi when you two were one and the same. I am Skadi's wraith or a doppelganger if you will. Everyone has one, it's utilizing it after death that's the trick. Anyways I believe this is what you are after?' Doppelganger held out his hand and in it was the crystal of the deities, 'I quite like it how about you? It's really a shame that as a spirit I am unable to use it. Wait maybe there's someone else who may want it, yes I'm sure there is.' He tossed the crystal far to the east, 'for some reason I feel it's destined to be found by someone who will use it the same way, Skadi did. I wish them luck whoever they are. Now I'm afraid I'm going to have to kill both of you. Alas it is Skadi's wishes and I am his wraith. This wouldn't hurt a bit, well it might,' Doppelganger grinned and opened his mouth. Pure sound waves escaped from his mouth and began wreaking havoc on the worn out tower.
Eleusis shielded his eyes from the flying debris and protected Umbria, 'I'm afraid you're mistaken, Doppelganger. It is you who will die.'
'Step aside warrior, my quarrel is not with you it is with my sister.'
'You know I can't do that.'
'Then you will die,' laughed Doppelganger, 'maybe this trick will work on you god knows it didn't work on her.' He held up his hand and from within it sprung another fireball much the same as the one Skadi had called upon earlier. He threw it and Eleusis stood between it and Umbria and held his ground.
'Eleusis you can't stop it I'm out of power, we have to dodge it!' Shouted Umbria over all the noise. Eleusis looked over to her and looked up the fireball was three seconds away from impact. He valiantly grabbed her and hurried towards the edge of the tower. The ball struck and they were blown off their feet by it shrapnel.
They landed on the roof and began to fall. Hurriedly they tried to find something to hold onto. There was nothing they could do death was as certain as gravity at that point. Eleusis searched himself looking for something to stop their fall. He had no daggers left and he never brought rope. Quickly he realized the obvious solution. He turned around, which caused him to fall on his stomach, he raised his arm and with all his strength he punched through solid stone. His fall was halted and Umbria quickly sped past him and grabbed onto a leg. Doppelganger hovered above them.
'Very good warrior you saved the girl but for how long?'
Eleusis now that he had gotten his bearing slowly stood up on the sloped roof, as did Umbria. Doppelganger rushed towards him, Eleusis drew his sword and prepared for impact. He swung but missed and Doppelganger rammed right into him. Eleusis was thrown back across the roof. Once he touched back down onto the roof he struggled to stay standing and prevent himself from falling off. Suddenly he stopped and found himself on the edge.
'Whew that was a close one,' muttered Eleusis. Doppelganger and Umbria could be seen fighting a little higher up on the roof. Quickly he grabbed his sword and hurried towards the combatants.
Doppelganger saw Eleusis before he could reach him, 'you still standing warrior? You're tough I'll tell you that much,' he laughed.
However his laughter was silenced as Eleusis drove his sword up to the hilt into Doppelganger's stomach. But his speed didn't stop there. He drove Doppelganger to the apex of the rough and yet he still didn't stop.
'You intend to defeat me by killing yourself, how noble,' sneered Doppelganger as he tried to swallow the blood in his mouth or whatever doppelganger's bleed.
'Not exactly I plan on you breaking my fall.'
'I very much doubt that'll wo--'
And then the last shard of Skadi faded into nothingness but against all odds not to mention the laws of physics, Eleusis was alive.
'It's over,' sighed Eleusis.
Umbria floated down beside him. 'Not quite that crystal is still out there I must return it to it's rightful owners. It is my duty to right what my brother has wronged.'
'You realize I can't go with you don't you. I must aid my countrymen.'
'I know but still I must do this. For only then will everything be right again.'
'I suppose this is where we say our good byes.'
'Yes I think so to. It was nice fighting alongside you and when we meet again I'm sure you'll be a thousand times stronger. Good bye.'
'Good bye have a safe journey.'
They shook hands and turned their backs on each other. Would they ever see each other again. Probably.
Act 3: Shattered Kingdoms
Eleusis found himself wondering aimlessly through the vast forests that decorated the area. Somehow he knew where his countrymen were. He forged on through the bush not knowing what kind of destruction might await him, wherever he was going. However the gentle breeze blowing through the forest gave him hope. He counted the seconds as he walked on 1062, 1063, 1064... The battle had to have been drawing to a close. According to Umbria they left to fight only ten hours ago. Because of it's importance both sides would have struck hard and fast so they could finally say they won. Although he would never question his countrymen's strength, he also didn't question Nelasta's either.
Eleusis looked up and saw the beautiful canopy reaching for the star filled sky. He could not have asked for a better night. The ground seemed to even welcome every step he took and the air readjusted itself to accommodate his every movement. Wild flowers were interspersed across the ground and to Eleusis seemed to have a mystic energy flowing from them.
Eleusis looked down and saw fog gently caressing the landscape. He was sure that it was hiding untold of beauties but he was also sure of the danger lurking under the seemingly harmless fog. Ahead of him a giant oak tree stood alone, no other tree dared to get close to it. Eleusis tensed up and his ears began to pulsate as he heard screaming.
Eleusis was knocked off his feet and fell into a small mound of mushrooms. The fog rushed towards him carrying dead souls through his body. A body sat at the foot of the tree, it's skin held onto it very loosely and told stories of animals viciously tearing at it. The head remained almost human as long brown hair fell behind it and was made into a ponytail. The eyes, nose and mouth showed it had clearly been a male.
'Dear god,' Eleusis said to himself, 'he looks almost familiar.' Then his eyes drifted to the man's left shoulder. Besides many scratch marks he found a leather strap hanging on by a mere thread. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a carrying case. Carefully he removed the only letter within the case.
To Angus of Nelasta
I have received word that your kingdom has began building an army for the
purpose of attacking my kingdom. Unfortunately the reasons for this are lost on
me we have always lived in peaceful understanding of each other. My source of
information is quite untrustworthy and hopefully they have lied for some unknown
reason. If for some reason these accusations are true, it is my hope that we can
make an agreement were both parties can be satisfied. Thank you for your time
and I hope to hear from you soon.
From King Matalon
It was a familiar face, it was the messenger his king had sent to Angus. Someone must have intercepted the message and killed him. Upon closer inspection the a small fragment of a gold shield could be found. On the shield a few scales of a drawn dragon were easily seen. Only high ranking Nelastian soldiers used such a shield, finally there was proof. Angus killed the messenger before he could even deliver the message.
The Alpha Sword
A Gift From a Lost Kingdom
Fueled by a new hatred for Nelasta, Eleusis pressed on through the forest determined to strike down those foolish enough to start a war over nothing. Finally he emerged out of the woods and looked across the open plains. A storm was brewing, a terrible feeling rooted itself deep in Eleusis's brain. His eyes began to scan the distance in search of something, anything. Then he saw it a flag burning, no it was the flag of Astosos but even further away from it was another flag also burning almost endlessly.
Eleusis began to run towards the flags ignoring the various poisonous plants that littered the ground.
Finally he reached his destination and looked upon it with horror as he saw bodies covering the ground neither dirt nor plant could be seen under the thick coating of blood. In the skies the clouds shifted and banged into each other causing violent thunder. When he returned his eyes to the ground he saw his king lying amongst the soldiers, he was still breathing. Eleusis rushed towards him in a desperate bid to save the king.
King Matalon looked up into the face of his loyal subject the one who was always there to protect the kingdom from anything. He talked in a voice that most people would consider the dying voice. 'You didn't make it this time young lad' he chuckled.
'I had a world to save sire.'
'Indeed you did and you're journey was successful?'
'Yes Skadi is dead and the crystal is out of harms way.'
'That's good to hear, at least one of us got something out of today.'
'Don't speak as if this means nothing to you sire.'
'Hmm, yes I am rather disappointed but as long as you live on our kingdom will not be forgotten. Although it is a duty for a king, I'm afraid I will not be able to fulfill it.'
'Me? But I am just a knight.'
Ignoring Eleusis's last comment Matalon continued. 'You know young Eleusis I had always hoped for a son but unfortunately in all my years I have never found someone I love deeply enough to care for a child that would lead a country. Then you appeared as if from nowhere and rose up in the ranks to where you are today. The first time I saw you as a lowly squire I said to myself he had the strength, courage and wisdom necessary to lead a kingdom. I watched over you very carefully and watched you grow and become stronger in body and mind. I saw the countless battles you helped win and finally decided this child shall be heir. Actually it was during the first battle in the Valley of Skadi, when I decided this. I decided that it was there where my final war would be and afterwards I would crown you king. Things didn't turn out right at all, I thought I had lost the one person who could be my heir when you fought Elleggu', but Umbria came with good news and told us you had survived but she also devised the plan that would seal my fate. I'm sure she had the best of intentions but things just didn't turn out the way she wanted them to. However that is the past you are the future Eleusis.'
'I'm sorry but my mind can not be swayed. You are the one I have chosen to carry the memory of our lost kingdom. I declare you king of Astosos, and I know you will fulfill my wishes. I will only have regret when what happed today is forgotten by the rest of the world. Although it is tradition it is not necessary for you to take my crown it will only get in your way. However there is one item that you must take with you in order to show the world Astosos's true power.'
Matalon grabbed his sword from be hind him. Eleusis knelt down and graciously excepted the gift.
'What you hold now has been passed down through centuries even before Astosos's time. The blade with never break or dull and it holds the power to caste down anyone who dares challenge you. It is the first sword and in reality it is the only true sword. They call it the Alpha Sword. I have held it longer then I should have and as legend says it power seeps away if it is held by one person for to long. I should have passed it down a long time ago but I felt that only I was capable of using it. I was wrong which is showed by the bodies you see before you. Now go follow you heart to wherever it may lead you.'
'But sire I can't just leave you...' He looked into Matalon's eyes and saw, nothing. Then the rain came.
At first Eleusis considered heading east where Umbria was heading but he felt he had to go on his own journey. He remembered stories from the past of a city in the mountains, he slowly remembered the name Astas. It was a kingdom once ruled by Astosos but slowly the people there formed their own government and Astosos knowing the kingdom was not a use to them, mainly because of it's location and that any resistance would cause war, decided to leave the kingdom. It was the only place Eleusis could think of going and his body began heading west.
With the rain beating down on him Eleusis made his way towards his destination. The air began to cool until it seemed to freeze around him. Even before reaching the mountains his mouth became lined with icicles, he soon found it hard to talk, which merely moments ago didn't seem to important to him. Trees soon became few and far between until they disappeared completely, soon after ice was forming on the ground. With all the changes in reality the rain still remained constant. Every drop echoing deep into his subconscious. However there was one other unusual thing. Eleusis looked up and in the only break in the sky the moon could be seen and the clouds, were not moving. He stood their transfixed for hours. He felt the seconds of his life passing by him at an amazing pace but still the clouds did not move, and neither did the moon.
Carefully he opened his mouth and through it's ice lining he said, 'I will still live to see the dawn.'
With that he remained his journey not daring to look up again, just walking straight towards the unknown. The rain began to pour even more violently as if to tempt Eleusis to give up. After hours of rain the sky had only just now unleashed lightning upon the landscape.
Finally a path laid itself before Eleusis, it lead deep into the mountains. Surely it held many dangers but still Eleusis pressed on. The snow that endlessly fell upon the mountains gave some comfort to Eleusis, knowing that it was not rain. However the rain still came down, for every snowflake was ten raindrops showing Eleusis that it would not give up. Still he continued, the gods could rain fire upon the mountains and it would not deter him. He knew naught where he was going or why he was going there but he was going there.
Trials of the Mountain
After awhile the cold didn't bother Eleusis, it began to feel like a small dog biting at your heals rather than a bear try to tear through you well on fire. Eleusis remembered the first time he had that feeling, and he thought to himself, 'that bear was really tough but unfortunately for him I am and always will be stronger.' Coincidently he was thinking that to himself at the moment.
After a few hours the rain and snow slowly formed together and transformed into hail. However the rain still outnumbered anything else that dared fall from the sky onto the icy mountain. It was said that this mountain was inhabited by the most fearsome creatures in the world, which may be true but most people who travel to the mountains die before even seeing a bear or ogre. Even if a person were to against all odds finds a bear or ogre that is not actually frozen to the mountain or dead then chances are the person would live because if someone with so little hair or girth can get that far, you don't want to mess with them.
So his rather uneventful journey continued. He was almost happy to look up and see a pack of wolves watching him. However the wolves quickly changed their mind about the traveler and made their way to their various caves making a mental note of how cold the human looked and how far he could go before his blood froze.
Eleusis felt his stomach churn after every step. Hunger began to tear away at his mind, he could not stand it any longer. He frantically looked around for food well carefully navigating the mountain path. A branch could barely be seen in the distance through the rain, snow and hail. Upon it a Eagle perched, giving warmth to his eggs. Thoughts of delicious eggs danced around in Eleusis's head but he could not do it. Of course he realized this when he reached the nest while holding tightly to a small ledge.
The eagle looked at him quietly, almost expectantly. It was an eerie stare, one that looked deep into his soul trying to figure out his intentions. The eagle slowly raised it's wings, still staring at Eleusis and took off into the sky.
After much struggling he finally made it back to the trail but he didn't feel right about moving on. Perhaps he spooked the eagle and it would never return and leave the babies to be frozen before hatching. However his fears were drained away as the eagle returned and in his beak he held a fish. Strategically it dropped the fish at Eleusis's feet. Trusting the eagle as much as it trusted him Eleusis picked the fish up and examined it cautiously. When there were no apparent signs of danger, his stomach took over and he drew the fish to his mouth.
The moon still stayed there held by some unnatural. Eleusis kept on going further and further across the mountains but still saw nothing. Unlike the lower mountains no creatures could be seen, but Eleusis couldn't help but feel like he was being watched. Normally when people feel like they are being watched then they probably are and chances increase if the person is in some sort of dark and scary place.
Atop one of the lower mountains watching Eleusis was a small rat like critter. It stood on two legs, it's eyes glowed in the dark and his hands clenched into tight fists. More noticeably then all that was it's tail, which wasn't as much of a tail as it was a razor sharp sword. It started of as normal tail but near the end it began to bend into an edge. Behind the creature stood three more and behind them hundreds lay sleeping.
'What is this creature?' hissed one of them.
'I believe it is a human but no human can make it this far,' said another in voice the same as the other.
'Hmmm any good meat on one of those things?' inquired the first.
'I'm not quite sure but Jimmy claimed to have eaten one when he went down to the lower mountains,' explained the third with the same sinister almost snake like voice as the first two.
'What did he say about the taste?'
'He said it tasted like chicken.'
'Hmmm I haven't had a good chicken in a long time, what do you say we pay Mr. Human a visit?'
'Um, Sir? Jimmy also mentioned the fact that humans are incredibly strong. He only managed to taste one because he snuck up on him.'
'We know these mountains better than anyone, a sneak attack is quite possible.'
'But... he looks like a warrior and if he managed to get up here it may not be too easy.'
'What is a warrior?'
'It's a... um... a really strong well trained um... thing that has many finely tuned senses.'
'Don't worry that sounds just like me.'
'Uh sir didn't old man Ricky beat you in an arm wrestle just yesterday.'
'Well maybe I don't have the strength but I do have the finely tuned senses. I can hear a snowflake fall from a mile away.'
'But isn't this mountain about ten miles across, it's hardly a feet to say you here a snowflake in a place where it snows all the time.'
'Are you questioning ME?'
'Uh sir I don't think he's questioning you... hey wait a second what do you mean ME. I thought we were all supposed to share power!'
'Well yah sure but I have more finely tuned senses then all of you and in this matter it puts me in charge.'
A voice from somewhere in the horde interrupted the speaker, 'he's got you there!'
'What? Well yah sure, hey wait a minute who are you?'
'I believe she's, his mother.'
'Guys I'm sorry to interrupt you!' shouted a voice, 'but he seems to have gotten away.'
'What are you talking about man he's... still... there... What the hell where'd he go!?'
Eleusis couldn't help but feeling lost. Surely this path could go on forever, he thought. He also kept on feeling watched but it was impossible nothing could survive up here. Well he did but that was different he told himself. Then in the distance a scream was heard and a small avalanche fell from a near-by mountain.
'SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! What don't you people understand about being sneaky?'
'Poor, poor, Ray he was such a nice fella,' sobbed someone.
'What forget about Ray sure he had a good life but I think he would have wanted us to go on with the hunt. Now come on.'
'He was so young though...'
'I don't care how young he was.'
'Yep, yep, yep Ray was someone you could really look up to,' said another gently drifting into dreams of days gone by.
'Ok yes I admit it he was a great rodent but life goes on.'
Everyone's minds slowly blanked out in remembrance of their dear friend Ray.
In a horde of such great numbers... 672 by last count but there population kinda grew fast if you know what I mean, everyone knew Ray. Well... they thought they knew Ray but at least 300 were thinking about Jay and 232 about another Ray. The rest just kinda just got lost in the moment and the people who actually new Ray were beginning to hear a familiar voice. Well as familiar as a voice that sounded eerily similar to 671 other voices could sound.
'What do you want?' growled Ray's brother.
'Could you please look down?'
Slowly the gaze of 671 looked down, for those of them who weren't on the edge the mostly gazed down at their feet.
'Well I be dammed, Ray you're alive.'
'Uh at this moment it seems more like an absence of death. You wouldn't want to pull me up would you?'
Eleusis kept going when most men would have given up. Ignoring the fact that he just so about 371 rodents trying to pull another rodent up. He'd been in these mountains for far to long he was seeing things.
672 vs. 1
'Shhhh, he'll hear you.'
'Seriously if he hasn't heard us by now he is obviously getting that there mountain fever. Thinks he's delirious but he's really in sound mental condition. Happens to lot's of creatures, mountain air is the key to achieving inner piece to bad the daft buggers can't figure this out. Always talking about illusions and stuff, I guess everything can't be as smart as us.' Just then a loud yelp was heard in the back of the horde.
'Sorry, sorry, just kinda, sort of, cut someone with my tail.'
'Oh that's quite alright don't worry about it.' The creatures leg began to bubble and the gash became a mere memory.
Eleusis found himself atop a very large summit. He couldn't figure it out why he couldn't stop thinking that this summit had enough room for 673 people or creatures to battle it out. A small rock fell at his feet.
'Oh damn I knew it,' he whispered under his breath as time slowed to a halt. Closing his eyes, he pulled out his sword and saw two snowflakes stopped in time which were strangely enough exactly identical. Time hit him like a brick and his arms moved in an expert fashion and where there had been air before 672 rodents appeared. After they appeared they slowly fell to the ground as Eleusis slashed through them not even flinching as rodent after rodent came at him.
The battle echoed across the mountain tops. Avalanches started to think about happening but decided that it wasn't worth their time.
Blade meant, teeth, arm and mysterious tail like thing. For the most part the blade was coming out on top. Creatures appeared on all for sides of Eleusis and lunged at him. As if dancing he expertly turned the whole 360 degrees at least more then 360 times. Blood flew rampant through the air but strangely enough dissolved before any of it hit the ground.
Eleusis's blade seemed to never slow down it was eternally flying in complex motions defending whatever came it's way. Unfortunately at this moment it was not defending against anything. He opened his eyes and before him stood... 856 bodies. He could have sworn he was only fighting 672.
With his latest test in the mountains completed, Eleusis slowly walked away. Behind him, what could simply be described as a bubbling sound was heard. Carefully turning his head, he was greeted by a massive amount of blood slowly reinserting itself into the limp bodies of what it once inhabited.
856 creatures rose up from where they laid, most of them grumbling some curse about being beaten. Eleusis reached for his sword once again but only gently held the handle, just in case. One creature carefully approached him.
'Who, who are you warrior?'
'I'm Eleusis of Astosos, the shattered kingdom.'
'Ah... I see you are of Astosos. I have heard of your kingdom, the harsh winds carry much information to our home. For what it is worth I am sorry about your kingdom.'
'And how about you attacking me?'
'Purely business I assure you. The whole survival of the fittest thing, I guess that would make you the fittest,' chuckled the creature.
'Hmmm... yes business what is your name rodent?'
'Well I can tell you one thing it isn't rodent. My name is Greg, I am of the Ratasa race. Glad to meet you.'
'Yah sure. So why exactly has the battle stopped?' Inquired the obviously confused Eleusis.
'Why you've won of course. Can't bloody well continue on with a battle when it's already been won.'
'But you regenerated.'
'Bah regeneration... waste of time if you ask me right boys?' A chorus of screams agreed. 'I always say if I get me top half separated from my bottom half I've lost.' Then Greg saw a glimmer down by Eleusis's side. 'You? You hold the Alpha Sword. I dismissed it as legend but now I have seen it for myself.'
'Uh yah... neat eh?'
'Truly you must be a walker of destiny it shows in your eyes. Only those truly skilled can master the Alpha Sword as you have. You may know that it can caste down anyone but only in truly skilled hands can it unleash as much power as you have today. You look puzzled do you not know?
'Know what? It was given to me as a gift from my king.'
'Hmmmm, then I reveal to you it's legend...
For the lone god to separate, a blade was required. Humans were called upon to make the blade. But at that time there were no swords at all, so the humans were faced with the challenge of making the most powerful sword in history before any other sword was made.
Finally a smith from a valley deep in the Jespertan jungle figured out what ingredients where needed. Silver an element as yet undiscovered in the time was needed, blood from a river, a tear from the god, and titanium. Slowly the humans began to gather the materials but still the god's tear was needed.
The god however was incapable of crying. Thus is the fate of being perfect. The humans did not let this stop them and struggled to find an answer. It is said that two philosophers found the tear but refused to explain how they got it. No matter only one Alpha Sword was needed and no more were to be made for fear of the destruction it could cause.
Of course there is always legend of the Beta sword. Which was named appropriately enough considering how original humans are.'
'The Beta Sword?'
'Yah just some other legend, some daft bugger tried to make his own Alpha Sword but what he got was far from it. He got all the materials to... wonder what went wrong, must have been hard to get Asista to cry... I wouldn't worry about it, last I heard it was on the other side of the world.
Anyways the whole ceremony was done yay! Blah, blah, blah, three gods sprung forth, blah, blah, blah, Apocalypse Wars. Between all this stuff everyone forgot the Alpha Sword and it was merely pasted down between people. Legends sprang up about it being able to defeat anyone but that was simply untrue. Only in the right hands could it do that but there would always be some new evil that sprang up that redefined the meaning of the right hands.
Of course everyone who knows anything about the whole legend knows that only one race can unlock everything the sword holds. -'
'Yes right, hey what, how'd you know about that? Oh yah of course you would, you're one of them aren't you. The last one actually, it's quite unfortunate really. It seems fate has chosen you to be the last one hold onto memories of your kingdom and your race. The winds can be cruel sometimes.'
'Yes I have felt rather lonely lately,' Eleusis said with a hint of regret in his voice.
'Well we can't have any of that,' Greg explained bighting up the mood with his cheery voice, 'Kim, Shawn you're coming with us.'
'Huh, what why us?'
'Yah didn't we go over the whole power thing a little while ago.'
'Well yes but this is rather important.'
'Can't be to important. We're still alive aren't we?'
'That's not the point have you not noticed the rain?'
'Huh, rain? What rain?'
'I think he means the rain that's been falling all night.'
'Oh that rain. What about it? It'll clear up by dawn.'
'Well there's is still the matter of there being no dawn in the last couple of days.'
'Yah it has felt kinda dark all the time kinda like I've been living my life before dawn.'
'Wow that's pretty philosophical did you come up with that all by yourself.'
'No think I read it in a book.'
'Why Moe I didn't even know you could read.'
'I'm kinda self taught. Actually I only read the title after being told what it was ten times.'
'You can count?'
'Of course he can count. Any idiot can count.'
'Isn't a count some kind of ruler or something?'
'I think so...'
'I don't think that's what she meant.'
'I once met a count, actually it was Benny dressed up in some cape. But it was a rather impressive cape none the less.'
'Sorry to interrupt but I don't really need your help,' explained Eleusis.
'Nonsense me boy we all need help at one time or another and this just so happens to be the time. Now, Shawn and Kim could you PLEASE come with us then? I ask this question strictly as one Ratasa to two others. You don't have to come with us, it is strictly your choice. Just like it may or not be strictly my choice to say things about you behind your back.'
'Hey that white mail!'
'Call it what you will but I know you'll make the right decision.'
'Ok, ok, I'll go'
'Yah sure whatever it should be fun.'
'Now as for the rest of you... uh go do whatever you do.'
One by one the Ratasa disappeared until only, Greg, Kim, Shawn and Eleusis remained.
'Well then that's taken care of, onward then!' Shouted Greg.
Eternity and Reality
The wind began to pick up, the air became unbearably heavy and the eternal rain fell from the eternal night sky. All in all it was beginning to feel like a journey that would take an eternity. Despite only been exposed to it for such a short time, Greg, Kim, and Shawn were feeling the effects of the harsh weather away from the horde.
A strange race, thought Eleusis, their names even sounded unusual. There was also something unnerving about their voices. Kim sounded just like the two guys but strangely enough they sounded like Kim. There was really no distinguishing between which gender they were until they actually told you themselves. Even then it was a bit iffy. Not being particularly hairy creatures, Eleusis began to wonder how they survived the cold. Actually he only wondered about so that he might not accidentally start trying to understand what they were talking about. That's another thing, it seemed like they talked for eternities which was a long time considering they were going through eternal rain, eternal night and a journey that might take an eternity.
There was something about that word eternity. He had read a lot of books which had to do something or other about eternity but he guessed they never had to go though this.
Finally he came to the conclusion that he liked the strange Ratasa race. Besides the whole attacking him issue they really weren't that bad...
Finally awakening from his thoughts, Eleusis looked up and noticed something. It had stopped snowing.
'I have a bad feeling about this,' he announced.
'Yah what's wrong, it's actually quite a beautiful night when you think about it.'
'You're right besides the damn infernal rain it's actually not that bad.'
'They're right don't worry about anything Eleusis. We know this mountain like the end of our tail. It just takes some time to get through the mountains. I can absolutely guarantee that we aren't lost.
'He didn't even say that's what was wrong. So I don't know why you would feel the need to tell us we aren't lost.'
'Are you thinking what I think you're thinking? Because if you think that then....................................................'
Eleusis gave up, getting a word into the never ending ramblings of those three was almost impossible. He tried his best to forget about the snow. Once he forgot about the snow he remembered, the rain. It was so unusual it was like something from another world. It played with your mind and drowned out everything. Every rain drop etched itself deep into his soul and tormented him to no end...
'Hey wait a second it stopped snowing!' Kim shouted.
'Really? Well, well I suppose it has. Isn't that quite a stroke of luck Eleusis.'
'I don't know the last time it stopped snowing, it felt strange everywhere.' Said Shawn in a frightened voice.
Eleusis couldn't help but agree, reality was slipping he just didn't know where to. The wind was slowly coming to a halt, and each breath he took reminded him of what it really was like to be breathing. Even the cold was replaced with, with, nothing.
After days of traveling in one night Eleusis finally realized the world was dying. Reality was shattering as something new tried to force it's way in and create itself.
The other three looked at him and nodded in silent agreement. With the horde it was different you were constantly surrounded by people talking about Joe, Bob, Sue and Kathy. Nobody ever stopped to take the time to look at the world. It was a new sensation for them and they didn't like it. For the first time they had nothing to say.
Still lost in his thoughts, Eleusis felt his feet stop moving. He listened for something, somewhere and he heard it. The sound tore across the mountain tops shattering rocks and snow didn't merely avalanche it raced towards a place where it could be safe from the sound.
Then it happened, the pebbles from the path began to rise up and disintegrate. At first slowly and then... there was just a memory of trillions of pieces of rock flying up.
'Eleusis, wake up!' shouted a female voice.
Deep within the recesses of his mind Eleusis could hear the voice crackling and fading out of reality. Opening his eyes he realized he was laying on a bed in a trashy old room. Something about the place seemed familiar to him. He could feel certain memories pulling themselves up onto the edge of his mind only for them to be replaced with horrible realization that the Ratasa trio had disappeared.
A women walked in the door and the memories once again pushed his friends aside and began covering every inch of his mind. He couldn't help but feel like he was getting lost' not lost just getting there.
'I swear boy that if you don't stop being so lazy you'll never make it into the royal army.'
'Huh what? Yes ma'am?'
'Day dreaming again? Ah, you are a lost cause. Don't worry I still love you but I'm sure Etrancha will have something to say about your tardiness.'
Eleusis attempted to explain but all he could manage to say was, 'yes ma'am.' And then he felt as though his life was just being dragged along.
He soon found himself downstairs and sitting at a table. The lady then proceeded to serve him some kind of gruel. Eleusis was used to eating the exquisite meals in the palace but something about the gruel seemed inviting, it reminded him about his childhood.
After finishing his meal Eleusis was sent off to the palace to meet this Etrancha. As he was walking Eleusis began to think. He knew this place, didn't he? But slowly he was forgetting, and remembering something, older. It was if his long-term memory was taking over his mind. Things from days ago seemed hazier then things that happened years ago.
He arrived at the palace gates, and there waiting for him was a very large man who he assumed to be Etrancha.
'Eleusis do you realize what time it is?'
'I don't even know what life I'm living now.'
'What? Are you playing some game Eleusis? If you are, I don't have any patience for it. All I really know is that you're just avoiding work. That's the problem with your generation you feel that everyone is being to hard on you. However if you want to be in the army then in time you will realize these are the best days of your life.'
'Time'?' Muttered Eleusis.
'Are you ok Eleusis?'
Eleusis slowly looked down and saw something he had not seen in years. He had the body of child. Then he looked up to the sky and saw rain.
He remembered more. His friends, home, mother, teacher, and war. It was a strange thing war, sometimes used to capture land and others to insure national integrity. It always ended with death but that did not matter it was just something that came after life. No war held greater loses, it tore away at a persons identity, it corrupted them, it made them strong. Those who have been exposed to it feel compelled to continue wars long settled and begin new ones, if only so that they can show their strength. Even Eleusis after being exposed to war forgot his teachers words 'these are the best days of your life' and replaced them with a illusion that war was the only way to make life worthwhile. He fought for his country in relentless crusades only to come back and get a pat on the back. He had taken many steps since he was a child and now it was time for him to take a few steps back. His kingdom had been shattered and it was up to him to carry on the few shards that remained and only with the innocence of a child could he perform such a duty.
Act 4: The Secrets of Astas
A new journey has begun and with it's tremendous force it is pulling Eleusis to Astas. What secrets lie in this kingdom the key to unlocking them began with an eye opening.
Slowly Eleusis's eyes adjusted to the now very real darkness. The Ratasa trio stood looking down upon him murmuring to each other.
'He's got a terrible fever.'
'Yes but he's strong he'll beat it for sure.'
'I don't know about this, hey wait he's waking up.'
'What's going on where are we I can't see the mountains.' Coughed Eleusis. Struggling he tried to get up but he winced as pain shot through every area of his body.
'Uh well one of them kind of blew up and FLASH! We found ourselves here but you were unconscious for some time. It's strange we came out without a scratch and you look pretty beat up.'
'What, didn't you guys see anything?'
'I think I did but it happened so fast. I could have sworn I saw a figure in between the pebbles.'
'Yah I saw it to, it looked like pure black. Maybe we should turn back, it's obvious something is trying to keep you away from Astas.'
'No I need to go there.'
'But why? I know your kingdom is lost but why come to this desolate place to share it's memory?'
'I don't know why! Something has drawn me here, it's to late to turn back now. I must follow the trial fate has left for me. If you guys don't want to go I'll understand.'
'Of course we'll go. You need us after all and there's nothing for us to be afraid of.'
Story of Darkness
The gates opened and within them the lives of thousands of people marched towards there unknown destinations.
They appeared to be in the marketplace, which like any good marketplace was filled with merchants peddling their wares. People were melding together forming massive groups across the small area.
No one took any notice of the four travelers as they walked silently across the marketplace. The Ratasa trio went off to look around or so they said. Eleusis felt that they felt obligated to leave them alone while he finds out how exactly he will continue on his kingdoms legacy. This even confused Eleusis, all he had was the Alpha Sword, how could you carry on the memory of an entire kingdom with just a sword.
He looked around and quickly decided against just sitting down and telling stories. These people looked as though they wished nothing to interrupt their lives. The word perfect suddenly came to mind and after awhile the peoples movements looked like they had been practiced and perfected. The kingdom had not a care in the world yet somehow it made Eleusis's heart sink.
He realized he would need to do some sort of heroic deed, to truly show what he and his kingdom stood for. Only then would word spread, only then would his kingdom not be forgotten and only then would his own life not be forgotten. I am an Anesia defender of the weak he said to himself only if I live up to my title will my duty be completed. But there was still nothing.
Eleusis perked his head up, it was faint but he hear a small murmur. Cautiously he looked around for whomever the murmur belong to. His eyes fixated on a small group of six children. As if they felt his gaze the children quickly became silent. Eleusis stopped in front of them and looked as though he was browsing. Then he heard it.
'Oh no we're gonna get it now, I'm sure he knew we where talking about him. I feel so stupid Mama told me that I must not concern strangers with our problems.'
'I don't see why, these travelers came from the mountains. No one can survive that they must be able to help somehow.'
'Don't fool yourself. Hachan is immortal he can not be beaten no matter how strong his opponents are. Now be quiet hopefully we have talked quiet enough and the stranger just thinks we're gossiping about new comers.'
'Excuse me,' Eleusis turned around and faced a little boy whom he assumed was the last one who talked. 'What was it that you said?'
The boy's face froze, and his mouth began to dry up. With a loud gulp he mumbled, 'Uh I was just saying to me friends here that we don't get visitors around these parts.'
'Um yes that's what we was talking about,' chimed in one of the girls, 'we was thinking you were searching for shelter due to the rain and ummmm... night.' She smiled.
'Well that's not exactly correct. Say what's your name you two.'
Soundlessly the other four shifted back leaving the boy and girl alone. 'My names Akana and she's Melanie. Pleased to meet you sir?' Stuttered Akana.
'Yes, yes, hello young ones,' laughed Eleusis,' I couldn't help but over hearing a small part of your conversation. You don't have any kind of problems do you? If you do I think you should know that I'm a warrior and that I may be able to help you.'
'No nothing really,' Akana responded quickly.
'Well sir ummmm there is one thing.'
'Shhhh Melanie! Mama said...'
'But he says he can help!'
The last yell caused the marketplace to screech to a halt.
Now be quiet you to and various other comments with the overall meaning off shut up could be heard from the lifeless crowd.
'Well you see--'
A rather impressive looking gentleman entered the marketplace shouting, 'alright, alright, break it up. Everyone get out of here. Run along you to.'
Quickly the people filtered out of the small clearing and left the man and Eleusis alone. Eleusis examined the strange man. His hair was completely white and he wore impressive but slightly rusted scale mail. Although not particularly a muscular man, he did quite well at presenting himself as being bigger than everyone else.
'No then sir. I must personally welcome you to our fair kingdom.'
'I thank you for your welcome sir,' Eleusis mentioned as he bowed to greet the man.
'Say what's your name son?'
'Eleusis, and what might I ask is yours?'
'I am Etano. I'm also what you might call a king but elected representative is the more commonly accepted term around here. Might I ask why you have come here?'
'Me kingdom, Astosos has been defeated in battle. Our bodies line the fields along with that of our enemy Nelasta. I am the only one who remains and I have come here to ensure the memory of my kingdom.'
'Ah Astosos, a fine kingdom, even though we have had our differences it is said to here of it's demise. But we face our own problem now so I'm afraid I can't properly entertain you.'
'Yes sir I have heard of your plight. The young lad Akana accidentally mentioned something about a Hachan?'
'Yes, he is the one who is causing our grief. As we speak our soldiers are fighting his dark army only five miles from our back gates.'
'What? You are surrounded by the mountains no battle can be fought there.'
'Hachan's battle can be. He came to our kingdom out of the darkness brought upon by this damn night and quickly caused trouble. As he entered one of our soldiers approached him and asked of his business and met a quick demise. Other soldiers rushed to his aid but even though their attacks cut through his defenses he still stood laughing. Flexing his immortality like a muscle he effortlessly slew them. It took some time but we eventually got him to withdraw from the kingdom. Fearing his return we followed him but in a small mountain clearing his dark army awaited and we began battle.'
'Hmmm, this Hachan doesn't scare me. I have been through many hard ships I wouldn't let mere immortality stop me from defeating him.'
'What you wish to fight him? You are insane but I suppose I can't stop you from joining the fray...'
Eleusis saw something a dark figure rushed past them. He heard Etano mutter something along the lines of oh no. His next words were clear as day.
Blue energy cascaded over the heads
Eleusis carefully examined the newcomer. His face was a very dark gray, upon it he wore a smirk, his ear's were that of an elves and long white hair flowed out behind him. His gauntlets looked as though they could crush rock and his black scale mail showed no imperfections. A cape hung from his shoulders covering a massive sword. On his side a small dagger dangled.
'Now then what do we have here?'
'So it is true, there are travelers from the mountains,' laughed Malchan, 'you must be pretty strong but I'm afraid that the problems of this kingdom don't concern you. So I suggest you go back to whence you came.'
'Who is this?' Whisper Eleusis to Etano.
'He's one of Hachan's sons, Malchan.'
Malchan's eyes suddenly focused on the glimmering sword swung over Eleusis's shoulder. 'Whe- Where did you get that?'
'What this it was a gift from an old friend. What's it to you?'
'Ahhh, no I see your true intentions. You intend to kill my father.'
'If need be yes, now step aside or you shall take his place.'
'You think your strong don't you? You may hold the Alpha Sword but you are to weak to even challenge my father.'
'Sounds like you think you can beat me. Care to support your words?'
Malchan reached behind him and grabbed his blade, frantically running towards Eleusis. He swung and Eleusis narrowly dodged the attack while reaching for the Alpha Sword. Quickly recovering from the missed attack Malchan spun around to take shot but his attack was effortlessly deflected. A series of complex sword movements followed. Slowly Eleusis's defenses began to wear down and he found himself being backed into a corner. He waited for any opportunity to escape, Malchan raised his blade for another attack and quickly Eleusis grabbed a pole supporting the canopy of a merchant booth and swung around.
Malchan was taken back by the move and Eleusis used the momentary vulnerability to strike him in the back. To his dismay, Malchan brought his sword down his back and blocked the blow. With their swords still looked Malchan turned around bring both swords above his head.
The battle continued on, Eleusis caught his second, third and fourth breaths well, Malchan didn't even break a sweat.
Etano took his eyes off the battle for a second and turned towards an alleyway. Within it he could here a group of people talking, actually it sounded like one person talking to himself or herself. Cautiously he made his way to the alley make sure he avoided getting in the way of the battle.
'Who-- who are you,' his voice was filled with uncertainty.
'And I'm Kim!'
The figures stayed in the shadows of the alley but Etano swore he could make out the figures of abnormally sized rats. 'Uh could you please by any chance step out of the shadows.'
'Oh sorry that was mighty rude of us.'
'Yes, yes sorry indeed.'
Etano almost fainted at the strange figures of the Ratasa. 'You are friends of Eleusis right?'
'Well I sure hope so.'
'It's never officially been said but I'm sure we're friends.'
'Hey look there he is now!'
The Ratasa trio pushed Etano away to see what was going on. 'Who's that fella with him.'
'Yah why are the fighting we have to help him!'
'Hey, hey wait don't do it!' Etano's comments fell upon deaf ears.
Malchan was taken by surprise as the Ratasa lunged at him. No matter how quickly his sword moved he could not stop them from tackling him to the ground. Struggling he attempted to get up but Eleusis placed a foot upon the warriors chest pinning him down.
'What is this? I thought that we were having a fair battle. Call off these creatures!'
Eleusis felt something boiling inside of him. Malchan was challenging him... he had to accept otherwise what would people think of him? No he had a duty to perform he knew better. There was no need to fight in pointless battles, to allow Malchan to stand would be to fight yet another war. It wasn't worth it all he could possibly get in the end was the brief satisfaction of knowing he was strong and deep within him he also knew that Malchan could kill him.
'No... I can't do that. There is no need for me to prove myself to you.'
'I see so you are a coward? You think you can win by getting help.'
'A battle not fought is always won. I can't continue.'
'Is this how you plan to defeat my father? If so think again. The Ratasa may possess eternal life but they are far from immortal. If they try to help you in that battle I hope you know that my fathers magic can keep them at bay.'
'Uh perhaps we can explain it better. Our race is held together by very few molecules allowing us to regenerate. But magic is able to separate them even farther meaning that we'll barely be able to move if it is used on us. A small price to pay for our regenerative powers besides it's not very often a wizard comes to the mountains.'
'Hmm, I'll take care of your father when I'm ready. That has no basis on what's happening now.'
'So what do you intend to do with me. Would you dare to slay a fallen man as well?'
'No return to your father and tell him to leave here or meet his doom.' With that Eleusis rose his foot and not to soon after Malchan quickly grabbed his dagger and buried it in Eleusis's ankle.
The Ratasa taken back by the turn of events lunged towards him once again but it was to late. Malchan grabbed his sword and cut through the trio. He turned around and laughed at Eleusis who was wincing with pain as blood poured out of his wound.
'Foolish boy now you will pay!'
Eleusis tried to block the impeding but he could not reach his sword in time. Suddenly a black figure shot out of the darkness. And caught the blow with his own sword. Slowly Eleusis adjusted his eyes to see... another Malchan? In it's had he held an identical sword to that of the other Malchan. Both their swords were pressed tightly together and the look of pure hatred for one another burned in their eyes.
'What are you doing here, brother?'
'Just decided to stop by I heard about the travelers and figured I'd find you here.'
'And what is it that concerns you here? Me and this boy were in the middle of something.'
'Oh is that right as I saw it you had lost and stabbed him in the foot. Of course that's just what I saw. You bring dishonor to the family Malchan how can you fight so dirty?'
'He refused to fight so I decided to give him a little push.'
The stranger shook his head, 'so that is your reason? I'm afraid that isn't good enough. If he didn't wish to fight then you should have left him alone. He spared your life yet all you could do was foolishly attack.'
'How dare you speak to me like this. What makes you feel that you can order me around.'
'Oh nothing just the orders of father. He has been watching your battle and he has decided he wants to face him. That combined with your blatant lack of honor gives me permission to keep you from taking his life.'
'I'm amazed at father's stupidity. This one is no match for him and it's sad that he feels he needs to show his power by beating a weakling.'
'Watch your tongue, Malchan or one day you may find it missing.'
'Fine whatever. Father is wasting his time and soon I will take over then we'll see who's giving orders.' Darkness began to encases Malchan forming a shell around him and slowly he began to drop to the floor in a puddle. Finally the last speck of darkness faded away.
His Name is Ekera
The stranger shook his head in dismay and uttered to himself, 'poor Malchan he is becoming to much like father.'
Swiftly he snapped out of his trance like state and turned to Eleusis.
'Greetings traveler, my name is Ekera. I'm rather sorry that my brother attacked you but thankfully you have only received a minor wound. I'm afraid that if I weren't here to tide his temper then he may have killed you.'
'That's alright but why is it that you saved us?'
'Hmmmm? Are you death it is exactly as I have said Hachan wishes to challenge you. With good reason to. Malchan may not realize it but you do hold great power.'
'If your father knows that I may be able to defeat him then why would he challenge me?'
'My you do have a lot of questions. Despite what you may think my father is not the source of this eternal night or rain. He hopes to somehow solve it's mysteries. A few hours before dusk he felt fate draw him from the Celestial Garden to Astas. When he arrived the night came and then the rain.
Only by instinct did he begin to besiege the kingdom in hopes that perhaps it was tied to the night. In a way he was doing what he thought was right but he was also letting his dark urges take over. Soon he fought only to prove his strength but still the rain penetrated all his thoughts. Then in his eyes he saw you traveling through the mountains. He knew that he was destined to fight you and that no matter the outcome it would bring the end of the night. I fear that he may disregard his own thoughts and do anything he can to beat you.'
'There's still one thing I can't understand why is it that he wishes night to end? From a gods point of view I doubt that a little darkness will effect them.'
'My father is no god he is merely an immortal. I'm afraid that I can not answer your question though for if you do not know the answer deep inside of you then you aren't the one he seeks.'
'I appreciate your words of wisdom Ekera. I'm sorry that I must vanquish your father but this kingdom needs me. I only wish there was a way to solve this without conflict'
'It is alright I do not fear my fathers demise. As he is now, his existence only symbolizes that of a dark cloud. Only when defeated will he truly be fear of his dark urges. You may have learnt from your adventure that you must see the world through a child's eyes. That does not mean that confrontation must not take place it only means that you must do what your soul bids you to do. Malchan's death was not necessary and you recognized that and backed down knowing that the victory would only increase your pride. This is another matter you are no battling for the world, not for it's own pride as you would for a kingdom but to prevent it's destruction.
In the end you must know that is all that you need to fight against. Death to some extent isn't even worth fighting for. The gods have placed upon you a great responsibility let your soul guide you in carrying out that responsibility.
Now I must leave. I'm sure we will see each other again when you step up to fight Hachan.'
With that Ekera disappeared. Eleusis carefully considered his words and made his way to the battlefield Hachan had prepared for them. He reassured the motionless and speechless Etano that Hachan would soon be a memory.
The Approaching Battle
The rain was beating down at a faster pace than ever. It was if it was trying to stop Eleusis from reaching his goal but he knew there was no going back. Hachan had to fall or none of this would ever end. Still the rain persisted beating down harder. All it managed to accomplish were several large puddles. Lightning danced across the star filled sky and water just kept on rising, and rising, and rising.
Eleusis slowly realized the horrible truth of a flood. As he was walking he couldn't help notice the river that was accompanying him. If he didn't hurry than Hachan's defeat would not matter Astas would still meet it's fate.
From behind him he heard one of the Ratasa shout over the pouring rain, 'Eleusis the river it's over flowing!'
Eleusis looked over and what had once been a river on the brink of overflowing was overflowing and at a overwhelming rate. Water began to seep deep into his boots. His fears were being realized, he had to get to Hachan.
'Come on we have to get there now!' The travelers broke into a mad dash towards the small mountain where the battle was taking place.
A few hours later they were still struggling to climb the mountain and Eleusis couldn't help but looking down. The water had to be at least 4ft deep now. It didn't matter now the summit was only a few minutes away. He had to make it on time or he would have failed his kingdom.
Finally he reached up and grabbed a relatively flat surface. Pulling his head up he saw a truly unusual site. Mere silhouettes on the dark background seemed to be fighting against the Astas army. He could help thinking of how the dark army was such a suitable name for the strange creatures.
What he could only identify as Hachan stood upon a small rock piercing through the summit. Hachan could simply be described as Ekera or Malchan. There was defiantly a family resemblance in the same way that all Ratasa looked kinda like each other.
Hachan clearly noticed Eleusis and motioned him to approach. Carefully pulling himself up he began to walk across the battle field. As if by magic the battle seemed to move around Eleusis. He looked back to see that the Ratasa were making themselves useful by joining in on the battle. Finally he stopped before Hachan and held his head down.
'Eleusis you have come. This is good now this horrible night can finally end.'
'You seem anxious to meet your demise,' smiled Eleusis.
'Ah always the true hero Eleusis. I don't fear my death, if it means I will see the end of tonight I welcome it. However I don't plan to lose. You really are a hero you know? That sword and your bloodline are proof of that. Malchan may not have realized it but I know what you are and I will not underestimate you.'
Eleusis rose his head, 'thanks for the compliments. It seems a shame that one of us will have to die tonight. But for the sake of the world, I challenge you Hachan!'
'Very well than I except but there will be no backing out, no holding back. Ah good an audience,' smiled Hachan.
Malchan and Ekera appeared on the opposite side of the battle field and gazed upon the upcoming battle with interest.
'Remember Eleusis there is only one winner and one loser. Only your soul will reveal to you which one you are!' Shouted Ekera.
'Words to live by,' smirked Hachan, 'tell me Eleusis will you beat me?'
'Well than I guess that's to bad for me.'
The only sound on the summit at the moment was swords slowly being unsheathed. Nature itself seemed to anticipate the battle.
Battle for the Sun
A earthquake tore itself across the mountain tops and sent many a soldier tumbling to there doom. Within it's rocks began to raise from the ground itself only to be violently pushed aside by the two warriors.
Eleusis tried valiantly to gain the upper hand as fast as possible by pushing Hachan back towards the giant rock. Slowly Hachan was pushed back until he could go no further, he felt his back touch the surface. As Eleusis prepared to make another attack he noticed a small smile cross Hachan's face. Eleusis then swung with all his might as his overly confident foe. Seconds before the blade reached it's destination, Hachan engulfed himself in darkness and reappeared behind Eleusis. The Alpha blade however did not stop it's assault and effortlessly cut through the rock.
'Very good Eleusis but you're going to have to do better than that. My magic is stronger then you may think.'
'Maybe so but you can't evade my attacks forever,' smirked Eleusis. The realization that he out classed Hachan in strength gave him new hope in winning the battle.
However his advantage was soon lost as Hachan came at him with surprising speed. The battle soon got a whole lot more complicated. Every sword movement Hachan made was a majestic dance and no matter how furious Eleusis's attacks were he could not match Hachan's skill with a sword. Every attack was expertly deflected but soon Hachan became more offensive and in one swift move he made it through Eleusis's defenses.
Eleusis reeled back as pain shot through him. A small but deep gash appeared on his cheek as he slowly moved his hands away from it. Wasting no time Hachan continued his onslaught. Helpless at the moment Eleusis, clumsily deflected the attacks but another strike made it to his chest and sent him falling to the ground.
A small pool of blood surrounded him and was intensified by the rain.
'Such a disappointment. I was sure this would be a battle to end all battles but instead you give me inept attacks. Oh well finally this ordeal is over.'
Eleusis heard the air itself parting as Hachan's blade was brought closer and closer. Eleusis felt one of right foot grip onto the ground and with a kick quick he began a barrel roll. Seconds turned to hours and Eleusis saw Hachan's expression change into pure amazement. He reached down and grabbed the Alpha sword right before landing. When he finally did land Hachan turned to him and hurriedly grabbed his sword but it was to late. Eleusis brought the Alpha sword up and made a clean cut through Hachan's armor. From shoulder to shoulder blood leaked from his helpless body.
Quickly he regained his senses and tried to resume the battle but his first attack harmlessly whizzed by Eleusis. As he brought his sword back Eleusis raised his sword up and provided Hachan with a small gash in his hand, promoting him to kneel down and hold his hand up in pain. Eleusis hastily made took another swipe at him but once again Hachan called upon his dark powers and reappeared further down the battle field.
Holding up his wounded hand, Hachan hurriedly tried to cast a spell. Eleusis rushed towards him but to no avail. Sparks flew from Hachan's finger tips and slowly he clenched his fists. Eleusis's body fell limp and every movement he made took every ounce of his strength until finally he could move no more.
Content with completely disarming his opponent Hachan went in for the kill. Eleusis closed his eyes and with much effort began to raise the Alpha sword. Eleusis was familiar with the spell it was simply a more powerful version of one that Elleggu' had tried using on him. At last he was able to fully raise his sword up into the air and it began to glow. Slowly he felt his strength returning to him and with ease he side stepped Hachan's attack.
Keeping sure the pace didn't slow down at all, Hachan quickly recovered from the missed attack. He turned around and his sword once again met the Alpha sword. The battle began once again but Hachan's injuries took there toll on him and he became noticeably slower. Eleusis's noticeably less painful wounds didn't slow him down at all in fact he seemed to become even faster.
Hachan become more and more uncomfortable as he failed to block many of Eleusis attacks. In mere moments his face and arms began seemed to be covered in blood. Even his armor was beginning to wear down. A few more hits and Eleusis would once again be able to cut through it. Realizing his obvious disadvantages he called for a break.
'Wait!' He held up his hand.
'What are you doing I thought we agreed on no backing out.'
'Is that so? You think I would let you win?'
'You can't back out now where is the honor in that. Face your fate and the sun shall grace the skies once again.'
'No,' Hachan shook his head, 'if I must die then it will be by the hands of nature not you!'
'What are you talking about now...?'
'You know that of which I speak. You surely have felt it to, the connection between the sun and your soul.'
'Yes I have long thought of it since this whole ordeal has begun... but I thought for sure it was not true.'
'If dawn does not come then our powers will slowly fade away. It is the key to immortality with the raising sun we are born again. Although you may not be an immortal as an Anesia you also draw your power from the sun and without it you will soon wither and die. I believed that I had to make the sun rise again but if it means losing my life to the hands of another then I want no part of it. The gods themselves mock us and refuse to interfere because their strength lies elsewhere. As far as they are concerned immortals like me don't even deserve to live.'
'What a heart felt story father,' mocked Malchan, 'but still it is merely an excuse for not excepting your fate.'
'I would still your tongue Malchan.'
'Why should I if you don't except your fate then we will all die. It is clear to me that it is you who has to die for this to end and if this weakling wouldn't do it then I will. After that I'll finish him off myself.'
'Your vision is clouded Malchan I doubt you could even keep up with our movements. You are thinking with your ego and not your brain. If you wish to fight me then you will die.'
'We'll see about that!'
Malchan launched himself at his father with amazing force. Hachan just stood there as he steadily approached. Then in one swift move he raised his sword and buried it deep into Malchan's torso.
Malchan struggled to speak as blood oozed out of his mouth, 'ho-- how can this be?' he chocked.
'Ah my poor son, blinded by your own rage. Ekera come hither.'
'Yes father,' kneeled Ekera.
'Take Malchan away from here there is some unfinished business I must attend to.'
'I must protest-'
'Yes I know Ekera you have a certain goodness within your heart. You are different then me and don't understand what I am. However I ask you as your father that you leave here. The choice is yours but I have made up my own mind and your presence may end in your death.'
'Yes father, I will leave.'
Ekera picked Malchan's limp body from the ground and rushed by the still raging battle between the Astasians and the dark army. Upon reaching the opposite ledge he looked back at his father and jumped into the air. In a puff of black smoke he disappeared.
Hachan looked back to were the battle was still being fought. 'It's strange isn't it? There own battle has been taking place even as we fought. Makes you feel a little separated from reality doesn't it? Now matter it is time that their battle ends.
I call upon you my dark army. Cease your relentless onslaught, your job here is done. I will call upon you when I need you again.'
With that the dark army faded out of reality and Hachan smiled to himself. 'Now Eleusis it seems as though you have saved these soldiers. But what of the kingdom they vowed to protect? I think the time has come for me to return there.'
Eleusis quickly realized Hachan's plans and attempted to stop him. However it was to late just as he was able to reach for his sword Hachan had faded away.
Fires of Eternity
Eleusis quickly made his way back towards Astas with the Ratasa close behind. Even further behind the remaining Astasian soldiers struggled to keep up. Their heads at that time were filled with confusion. Who was the strange young man, he who made them all look weak. Single handedly he brought Hachan crashing down to his knees. In awe of the fighter they seemed like sheep as they followed him back to Astas. None knew quite what to expect when they got there but they knew the warrior would certainly have an idea or two.
In fact Eleusis had no idea what to expect. Hachan had lost, he had no reason to return to Astas. Perhaps what Ekera had said was coming true, Hachan was giving into his dark urges. He feared the worst, thankfully when he reached Astas they were not realized.
The gates into the kingdom were blown to bits but that was the only damage that he could make out. People littered the town square and in between them all stood the menacing Hachan. The soldiers upon arrival began to have second thoughts and considered leaving. However they knew it was there duty to assist this warrior in anyway they could.
Hachan caught site of Eleusis and a small smile crossed his face. Then pure rage began to burn in his eyes. The various onlookers were pushed aside by some mysterious force as Hachan unleashed his full fury.
'Eleusis I am glad you could make it. Now you shall see my true power,' he laughed.
Eleusis struggled to keep his footing as Hachan's power pushed violently against him. With considerable effort he managed to shout, 'Hachan! You will never win now stop this at once.'
Suddenly small burst of wind began to streak away from Hachan. Eleusis managed to narrowly dodge one. It continued on and to his amazement cut through the top of the castle gate bringing tons of rock to the ground. Unfortunately several soldiers were standing below when the rock fell.
Furious at his foes violent attacks, Eleusis launched himself towards him only to be grabbed by one of the Ratasa.
'You must not fight you can not win, we must retreat!'
'No he'll destroy the town.'
'He'll destroy you if we don't leave. He's casting some kind of spell, judging by the power build-up there is no way we can survive.'
Realizing the hopelessness of his situation Eleusis gave in. The Ratasa, pulled him towards the gate, several townspeople followed.
'What? Where are you going? Come back and face me Eleusis, then you can see what true power is,' Hachan looked on in a rage at the retreating hero. 'Alright then you leave me with no other choice. Ma-s-da-al-sk-tra!'
Hachan's body burst into flames as a towering inferno launched itself from the sky. Looking on with dread Eleusis saw a small dome forming from the after shock. Just as they were able to escape it reached the castle gates and stopped, however it still spread across the rest of the city. Stopping at each gate it slowly began to dissipate leaving behind a blaze.
'What have I done?' Moaned Eleusis.
'What you had to do, son. You saved us.' Said a voice from behind him, whom he instantly recognized as Etano.
'What? Saved you? Your kingdom is in ruins I did nothing.'
'That is untrue, my people still breathe you must not forget about that.'
'And what of those who did not make it out, did you forget about their lives.'
'Yes it is a shame but alas we must move on and rebuild our kingdom. Besides they shall live on, I am familiar with that which Hachan has rained down upon us. It is known as the fires of eternity, they are the flames which burn forever and claim peoples souls. However they are not all powerful and leave small remains of which they engulfed behind. Over time those lost within them will rise as shadows and protect our once proud kingdom from those who may stumble upon it. Those undead will live forever but the cost is that they can not hurt those who come to challenge them, they must use their furiousness and wisdom to prevent any others from wandering into the flames.'
'Then I suppose it is over...'
A voice began to boom from everywhere, 'not quite Eleusis, you should know better. You can't defeat me. Light began to emit from a toppled building and from within it Hachan exploded unscathed.
'Now Eleusis, I will finally extract my revenge prepare yourself.' Hachan rose his hand and from it appeared... nothing. 'What is this? My magic it is gone...'
'Eleusis he has fallen victim to the fires his immortal soul has been claimed and with it so has his godly powers!' Shouted Etano.
'How, annoying. None the less I still possess my knowledge of fighting and with that I will end your life with the tip of my blade.'
Hachan made drew his sword and made his way towards Eleusis at a blinding speed. Dropping to his knee Eleusis grabbed the Alpha sword and blocked his foolishly laid out attack.
'You sure about that Hachan? You seem to be a little more clumsy then before,' laughed Eleusis.
'How dare you speak to me.'
He pulled back his blade and took another swipe at Eleusis, whom jumped away from his position on the ground. Harmlessly Hachan's blade buried itself into the earth. With substantial effort he managed to pull it from the ground.
Eleusis took the opportunity to attack, narrowly missing as Hachan sidestepped away. There blades once again locked and moved at a rapid pace. Hachan had somehow lost his majestic fighting style and struggled to keep up with Eleusis's movements. Not only that for the first time in his life he became tired.
A few more minutes passed by and Hachan was obviously wearing down. Each hit from Eleusis took it's toll on the former immortal. Finally the mighty Hachan fell to his knees.
'No this can't be... I've worked so hard, I've come so far, how can you beat me?'
'I'm sorry it has to end this way Hachan but even now I can feel myself fading away. Give yourself up and the sun will finally rise.'
'I am sorry but my pride forbids me to just give up,' laughed Hachan, 'any way I can I will win!'
Hachan quickly reached for his dagger and made an attempt to drive it deep into Eleusis. Sensing his movements Eleusis gripped the Alpha blade and with a twist of his wrist, drove the blade through his armor from side to side.
'Well it seems that you have won. I see now that it was I who was destined to fall, I should have seen this coming. You have a strong heart Eleusis, I'm sure you will go far.' With that Hachan closed his eyes and was at piece again.
A single raindrop hit the fallen one's body and there was no more. Eleusis looked up and through his god like vision the moon seemed to move ever so slightly across the night sky.
Act 5: New Dawn
It has begun the beginning of a new dawn. The moon once again began it's never ending travel across the night sky and the air smelt as it usually did after rainfall. Everything was as it should be.
Astosos and Nelasta
In distant lands lay the remains of two shattered kingdoms torn apart by war. They stand magnificent to behold and upon passing a weary traveler may mistake it them for something more than a deserted kingdom. Over time the remains were pillaged by thieves, and the land claimed by new kingdoms.
Ultimately the land stood cursed and those who took from it never returned to were they came from. Any kingdoms who found the land rich in natural resources soon became poor and weak, because those resources seemed to deplete at an exponential rate.
It is said on the whispering wind that the destruction was brought upon by the king of Nelasta who in a time of civil unrest choose to kill a messenger of peace from Astosos. However the truth has all but been forgotten and buried within the deep desires of those who really started the war.
Perhaps the truth will be revealed in the future but for now the land seemed content in knowing that dawn was finally coming.
Valley of Skadi
Rocks pulsate with mystical forces and enchant those who come near. The few people who dared to enter the confines of the Valley of Skadi found power that they had once only dreamed off. However only those who escaped found true power and continued on to be legends themselves.
Within the valley two camps could be found. It was in these camps were the soldiers of Astosos and Nelasta slept while they were not constantly attacking one another. Upon entering one of the camps stranger couldn't help but here the whispers of fallen heroes.
Before her stood a magnificent desert. Looking up she felt comforted in knowing that a new dawn was approaching.
'He has done it. Somehow I knew he could, although he must have gone through much. It's a pity that I could not reveal the significance of sun rise to him but it's good to know that he found out for himself.'
She sat down and looked wearily at the night sky, 'I suppose I must press on the crystal of the deities is still out there. My power is still weak though, it would be best that I watch the dawn and let myself fully rejuvenate. I have a long journey ahead of me and I'll need all the strength I can get.'
With that Umbria sat in silence counting the seconds until dawn. In her mind she wondered about Eleusis's travels and what would become of him in the future.
A child taken from his home grew into one of the greatest tyrants ever known. He hated his master for his wasted childhood and began to give into his dark impulses. Once a hero of his land he died a scourge upon the lands. One can not wonder what would have happened to the child if he had only lived to see another day. Perhaps he would have seen the errors of his ways.
Gidja his cruel master was the only one who truly knew of many of moments in Elleggu''s childhood but with his death that story was buried along with him. However stories feel compelled to be told and from the very soil itself it will rise again.
Apocalypse Wars and War of the Majiks
Some say they were the greatest wars to ever touch the red earth and still others say they never happened. The truth can only be learnt if you listen to your own beliefs and it will always be true. Do not thrust this belief upon other though or you may find you were wrong the whole time.
A few stories have mentioned these wars but none have gotten deep down into the core of their history. There still remains some stories which reveal all that needs to be known of these wars floating around somewhere.
The Alpha Sword
Now resting by Eleusis's side the Alpha Sword holds many stories. The story of it's creation has been passed down across many races but few know the exact details of how it was forged.
However deep in the Jespertan jungle a smith resided. In his hands he held the finest blade that anyone had ever seen. With a flick of his wrists he threw it into a pile with the other ones. He had failed once again, every time his heart sank lower and lower. He began to think it couldn't be done, he couldn't duplicate the amazing sword his ancestor once forged.
Within his mind he held the story he knew every last detail. It had been kept in his family for thousands of years and he had vowed never to reveal it to anyone but his children who were destined to ascend to smiths as he had.
Still he felt compelled to let the whole world know the story. He looked up into the night sky and noticed the moon had finally moved. The movement sparked something deep within him. Somehow he knew that his ancestor's blade had a partial role in the miracle and without thinking he began to write.
The Ratasa is a strange mountain dwelling race. Behind their relatively simple way of speaking (which they did very well) they held amazing intelligence.
Adventure was pretty much a common word in the Ratasa vocabulary. Whether it be taking a journey to one of the human cities or having various competitions something exciting was always happening.
Many of them looked up to see the moon once again crossing the night sky and began to think of their departed friends Greg, Kim and Shawn. They wondered what adventures they would have with the human Eleusis now that order returned to the night sky.
After awhile they stopped wondering and began talking about it.
The kingdom of Astas is cursed to burn forever. Within it a small life force could be sensed, and it was gathering. Someday it would blossom and from it those whose lives were claimed by the fires of eternity would be reborn in the form of shadows.
In the future a boy was destined to come and against all odds would defeat the shadows and reveal himself as one of the heroes of a new age. His legend was freshly etched into the book of time but even it will be shrouded by the story of another and then another.
Thus is the nature of legends they are forgotten shortly after they were created. Still many heroes fought to make their mark in history. Although it is the sad truth that they will be forgotten they can take comfort in knowing that at least one person will know of their legend and keep it burning forever.
The Legend of Ekera
From one person's story springs another and from that yet another comes. Surviving several centuries Ekera wrote his legend and to this day is still write it. Deep within his story lives a tale of love and family. Through his life Ekera continues to struggle to choose between the two.
Someday, somewhere he will find his answer. For now he looked up into the night sky and his heart began to fill with hope as he knew his father had been resolved of his dark ways.
A mysterious race which disappeared long ago. The Anesia held the powers to cast down the gods themselves. They were called upon by those in need and they held allegiance to no one.
A person was born an Anesia it was not something that could easily be learnt. However with the Anesia's disappearance their bloodline also stopped and now it only flows through Eleusis. The Kota bloodline is only a figure of speech it does not run deep in the veins of all Kota for their ways can be learnt and mastered.
Through his journeys Eleusis brings a little bit of the Anesia back to the earth. However the Anesia's past must be understood before they can truly be reborn.
Kingdom of Lastanyos
A small patch of land was found. Void of any other human occupancy, the land was left untouched. It wasn't to far from Astas only a few miles at most. Carefully a shovel buried itself deep into the ground, then another and another, and so on and so forth.
'Let this be known as Lastanyos, a kingdom whose name will be known through out the world. In time we will grow bigger than Astas ever hoped to become and take our place in human history,' shouted a man.
'Umm Etano. What about the lad Eleusis, will he be joining us in our new home?'
'No he said he must continue on his journey. We said he would leave at once as soon as the sun rose. Speaking of which the moon is about to make it's descent!'
The Journey Continues
The sky began to glow as the moon began it's descent. In only a few moments the sun was to rise and take it's rightful place in the sky. Eleusis looked upon it with satisfaction knowing that he had succeeded in what he set out to do. Finally the rain had stopped tormenting him and finally he could experience a new day again.
All you could do was make a sigh of relief, 'it's perfect you know that, I believe this is the first time I've ever seen a sunset.'
'Yah it's really something isn't it,' murmured Greg.
'So where will we go now Eleusis?' questioned Kim.
'I really don't know. I always fancied myself out on the high seas. However I suppose I can only go were my heart takes me.'
'Yeah it's no fun planning stuff like that out,' sighed Shawn, 'we just got to go were the humor strikes us.'
Eleusis looked out into the distance and he saw a speck of light. It began to grow until the entire landscape was lit up by the beautiful sunrise. Energy began to flow back into him, he stood up and motioned for the Ratasa to follow him. He didn't know where he was going but with the sun to his back he knew it would be a journey that was destined to be a legend.