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The Story of Palis A continuing story of worlds trapped in war, where their only hope are Heroes from other worlds.

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Old 10-23-2005, 05:24 PM   #16
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

My heart- cold to everyone? How could he say such things? I was not cruel. Cruelty was something that the common man would have. I was a maiden of the gods. I could not be so imperfect. I needed to be marble. I needed to be unreachable. So long as I could maintain that, he could not realize my weakness. I tried frantically to recompose myself, but it was useless. Every moment I spent in that guise, I was hurting him.

“Gadriel…”I muttered but did not know what else to say.

I stared at his reflection in the pool and saw the pain in his eyes. I saw his rage begin to pull back and give way to sorrow. He was ashamed of what he was doing and so he slowly let go. I turned to face him, for I did not need the pool to see the truth in this man. His spirit was always open to mine and unless he closed up on purpose, I could always tell what he felt.

“I’m sorry…” I muttered, raising my head and looking at him with as much sincerity as I could, though I knew he saw only distance.

“Please, Llideah…tell me what I have to do to avenge my father…”

So he had not forgiven me… and now he wanted to kill the man who would unite the continent. I shook my head.

“I can’t tell you…”

“Because it’s not your place?” he asked, lowering himself so he was at level with me; no longer looking down.

“I want there to be peace. If you destroy Kani there will be none.”

“Peace? Have you not seen what his armies are doing? I know you have faith in him, Llideah, but you are being lied to. Everyone can see that. Why can’t you?”

“I see only the truth…” I answered, my spirit weak as dust “It’s impossible for him to lie to me…”

“You do not want to see the truth.” He put his hand on my cheek like he had so many times before “Please, Llideah, he has murdered my father. And thousands of others. Peace is the last thing that he wants, he’s only using you.”

He had me look in the pool once more, though this time he merely pointed to it. I gazed in and saw what I had feared. Fire, death, sickness, cruelty; it was all there, staring at me as plain as a reflection yet as deep as a valley. My hands shook as I saw what I had done. This was my doing wasn’t it? I had told Kani where to go…where his armies would be most successful. I had told him of the weaknesses of cities and of the land he marched on. Because of my blindness, so many were now dead. The vision evaporated, but instead of what I expected, I saw myself staring back, my hands red and stained with the blood of a thousand men, my soul blackened with murder and ignorance.

“…you will be used too…” I told him, finally, pulling my eyes away from the pool “…if you try to destroy Kani, it will be your death. Not only in this life, but in the next.”

His heart fell and he nodded “I have to destroy him. I owe it to my father and to my homeland.”

“Then there is no convincing you?” I asked; I did not want him to go.

“You must ask? Your intuition fails you, priestess…” he muttered, “Perhaps then your vision is incorrect.”

For the first time I wished it was so and that the goddess had lied to me. But I knew it was impossible. Whatever strength I had had now been stolen away from me, and I sat before Gadriel, as weak as I had been when we met, three summers ago. Just as he could not hide from me, I could not hide from him. We were like two fools, hiding from each other behind our own glass walls.

“You will not be able to destroy Kani unless you know of his weakness …” I began “… he is a descendant of a titan, and so he will not fall easily. If you wish to be successful, then you must use the weapon of a god.”

“Where shall I go then?”

“Ride north with all the speed you can. There will be a cavern where it is fabled that a ship of the gods once emerged and disappeared. Deep inside you shall find the forge of the immortals. If you have the fate stone you will be able to unlock an ancient chamber, in which you shall find the blade of Eithne. Only this will allow you to destroy him.”

“Where shall I find the fate stone?”

“I shall take you to it…Kani thinks that he has it in his possession but it is not so. I have it here still.”

Gadriel nodded “A wise decision.”

“I find it sense not to trust a man with immortality…”

He nodded

“Noah and I will ride north, then to Gracia. If I survive, then I will send word and meet you in the town square of Adinem. Do you know where that is?”

“I do…” I mumbled, one unstoppable tear drifting down my cheek.

“Do not worry.” He said, wiping it away with his thumb “We shall find each other, I promise.”

I gave him the fate stone and watched him leave. When he reached the passage, he lingered for a while, and for a moment I hoped he would turn back. He did not. We stared at each other in silence for a brief eternity; marble and fire now mortally seperated by Ishtar’s Pool.

The world is white, hazy, and it is only now that smoke gives way to what has remained hidden. They say you can never forget your life; you can only hide from it. Every thought, every feeling is the present, and though time may pass, you never truly lose yourself, for it is only your actions that slip into the eternal past.
It is the waking world that forbids us from crossing this smokey barrier, and so if only we allow the material illusion to slip away, the truth becomes as simple as walking across a shallow pool.
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:06 AM   #17
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Syne led towards the town. Kirby, Glenn and the Golem followed as best as they could. From over the wall several weaker demons jumped in and attempted an ambush on Syne and her friends with little effort they were taken down rather easy. Then from out of nowhere three demons none of them had ever seen before appeared. They stood tall and wore no armor. They had only robes on and metal bars on their fists. The golem went to attack and was destroyed in a single blow.

Syne charged the monster with her sword and swung, only to have the monster grab the weapon by the blade and bend it like it was nothing. A single blow to each of the members rendered them unconscious. They were the lifted onto the demons shoulders and they disappeared.

Syne woke up and rubber her head. “Where the hell am I?” She said at almost a whisper.

Glenn woke up as well. “This doesn’t look good.” He said looking around.

Syne looked though the bar of the cell. “Why am I all alone?”

Glenn looked a noticed it too. There was a good twelve feet between Syne’s cell and his. “I don’t know but Kirby is in this cell, he’s still out though.

Syne looked down and noticed all her clothes had been changed. She was wearing just a white robe with nothing underneath. “Hey Glenn do you still have your armor and everything?”

“Yeh they even left me my sword. Guess the figure I can’t get out of here. Not much left of your sword I’d figure.” He looked over at Kirby. “He’s still got all his stuff as well.”

“They stripped me down and took everything. Even my underwear, they have something planned for me or I’m still a threat to them. I’m not really sure.” Syne said with a long sigh.

“That’s right we do have something planned for you.” A voice said from the darkness. “We plan on killing you so that the master can gain his full power.”

“Valmarus you scum! You lowly little……” Syne said almost crying with rage.

“Yes yes yes. Poor little Syne, the spirit of the twin sister of Kani, it must be tough living through this twice in one existence.” Valmarus laughed. “You really are pathetic, letting yourself be killed a second time by your bother.”

“It’s not like I had much of a choice the first time. You let him kill me, you my husband of all people let him eat my soul so he could be stronger.” She fell to her knee’s crying. “Then you let him kill our son too.”

Valmarus came out from the shadows. A slender man with short black hair and a firm build stood there with fire in his eyes. “What are you talking about Hector is still alive and well. We just turned him into one of us.” He started to laugh violently.

“……..” Syne couldn’t speak she was so angry.

“I’m so sorry Syne.” Glenn said from the other cell as Valmarus laughed and walked out of the room. “So that’s what happened. Is there more?”

“A lot more, let me tell you.” She said as she wiped the tears away from her eyes.

730 years ago.
Kani was born along with his twin sister Isea. From very early on they both showed great promise as powerful warriors and magicians both equally as powerful as the other. Kani eventually grew to be so famed and recognized as a good person that he ascended the chain of command in Gracia until he was king. His sister married his best friend and general of his army Valmarus.

Isea gave birth to a son named Hector who also grew up to be very strong. Eventually he became one of the generals of the army as well, and only at age fourteen.

Kani, Valmarus, Kain and Bathoris, Kani’s adviser, all went in search of the lost shrine of Nichi. They found it after only three months of looking. Something brought them there, an unknown force that lead Kani right to it. When Kani returned something had changed to him and his men. They all seemed strangely more powerful then they had been and also seemed to never run out of energy.

Then Kani announced to the city that there was a great evil force forming that had to be destroyed. People began to panic and chaos ruled the city. Every able man and woman was put into arms and then subjected to a special treatment, coming out as demons.

Isea begged both Valmarus and her brother to stop but nothing she said seemed to move them. Then one day she was taken in her sleep stripped of her clothes and bound to a stone table. Valmarus was there when she woke up. The only thing he said to her was “Now our king will be invincible because of you.” Then Kani used a dark art to suck the soul out of her and then ate it. Though her body died she could still see everything that Kani did.

Kani then took Isea’s son and turned him as well into a demon. Hector became the most powerful of the demons under Kani and was also the most loyal of them.

Kani almost completely destroyed the rest of the world in a matter months. The only force that was able to hold him back was Ishia and her holy knights. Kani used the priestess Llideah to for see all the battle outcomes so that he would not loose.

Then one day Llideah and Gadriel became wiser to the fact of what was going on and joined together along with several others to kill Kani. Gadriel wanted to be the one to kill him but in the end Llideah stuck the killing blow, but not before getting cut down by Kani. They died together but Kani did not see fit to stay dead. Ishia and her Holy Knights came and destroyed Kani’s body as it started to reform. She was then announced as the new queen of Gracia. When Kani was killed his sister’s soul was released from the binding and sent far away, to be reborn as Syne. Kani’s original soul was reborn as Nichi, unknowing to his parents that he was named for the shrine that had turned Kani evil. Then there was the other soul the evil one that had attached itself to Kani’s in the Shrine of Nichi. It was reborn as Brian.

Back in the cell.

“And that’s my story.” Syne said

“My god that sounds like a rough life.” Kirby said sitting up.

“Aye lad that does sound like it’s rather painful.” Glenn said.

“Be thankful you never came in contact with Kani in battle Glenn you’ll never have memories of your past because of that. Though you did play a very important role in killing him, you gave us the keys into the castle.” Syne said

“So I played a part in this as well.” Glenn said letting out a long sigh.

“So what is it with this world, why does it bring people to it?” Kirby asked

“Very simple, during the war 700 years ago almost the entire population of this planet was killed in the war with Kani. Every single person’s soul was so destroyed by it that they were forced into different universes. Simply put the planet is calling back the people that once lived here.” Syne said “You were my cousin Kirby. You lived in a village on the other side of the planet from here.”

“I see.” Kirby said looking pleased. “And somehow all the people that were related to this mess have been pulled into this war, it’s very interesting.”

“Exactly.” Syne said “There are over 50 people coming to this world every day.” She said as she started making a ball with her hands. “Imagine a planet. Now a normal life sustaining planet is usually only twenty-five thousand miles in circumference, this planet is over half a million miles in circumference. The population of this planet is so high that this could take forever to repopulate the planet normally. So it has to do this to bring back balance to the planet.”

“I get it now, thanks.” Kirby said.

“Well I don’t know about you too but I’d sure like to know what happened to the others.”

Meanwhile Osirus and Belial had been fighting as hard as they could against the demons forces. But with the help of a binding stone they were caught. Unable to move out of the range of the bind stone until the controlling stone was destroyed, so they played poker.

Malice fought on not noticing that the rest of his friends had been caught.
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:19 PM   #18
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

The battle was lost. Malice fought desperately alongside Magus, the two exchanging worried glances frequently. Malice had sent multiple wind messengers to find his friends, and yet none had succesfully returned. Atop of the stairs where the two warriors fought valiantly, Malice could see the city below as it was swallowed by the plague of the demons and Gracian soldiers. The city had been overrun, and Malice was doubtful of the survival of many of the soldiers. All that stood now were the two large steel doors of the main castle. Inside, soldiers could be heard scampering, awaiting the demonic infiltration.

"Magus," cried Malice as a new row of demon underlings placed themselves strategically in between them. Malice cut down another demon, and pushed two more back with a stroke of violent wind. "We have to regroup."

Magus made another large arc with his scythe, creating a gap between him and the oncoming demons through the newly fallen ash. He looked to Malice quickly as he focused his energy into a beam of shadow. It leapt from his hand, piercing demonic hide and clearing another small path. "Yeah, I see a point in the centre of town. There is a small resistance of soldiers still fighting. Let's try to keep them alive. I could use a lift."

Malice nodded assuringly, and without looking thrust his dagger backwards. A wave of ash brushed his shoulder as the serpent dagger added another to its kill list. Malice said a prayer to the wind goddess, silently hoping that it wasn't in vain, and he cloaked. Picking up Magus, the two headed to the centre of town in hopes to save the soldiers from the foreboding stroke of death.

*****

Even before landing, Magus jumped off, driving himself feet first into a crowd of demons. He quickly adjusted his footing, and slashed again, striking three off guard. A large demon approached Magus. It bellowed, a coarse muffled laugh from beneath its blackened exterior. It went to strike, but was interupted by the cry of an attacking retainer. The large demon casually swept the soldier aside, felling some of its kin in the process. It took another step towards Magus, and Magus braced himself for a quick killing stroke. Suddenly, Malice appeared on its shoulder, and quickly plunged his daggers into its neck. Malice sprung off gracefully as a large pile of ash remained.

The two fought efficiently, clearing the demons from the paths of the soldiers, always watching eachothers backs. A panther-like demon sprung at Magus from behind, and Malice hurled a dagger, connecting with the panthers neck. The soldiers cheered them on with kind remarks, but they were all in vain.

The demon lines suddenly halted, with Magus in mid swing. He comically sliced off the head of the nearest demon, who stood still awaiting orders. The demons took a step back, creating a pathway through their lines to the entrance of the city. In the spot where the gate once stood and now lay splintered against the stone wall stood Kain. His thunderous footsteps came closer, all the time never losing the appeal of a leader. He walked tall, with confidence. The air around him even seemed to shudder with each step that Kain took, as if acknowledging his greatness.

He entered the hallowed out area where the demons has receded from. He looked first at Magus, then at Malice, and smirked. "So this is all that your army could muster? Two pathetic would-be heroes? Heh, it feels almost a pity to waste energy defeating you." He laughed.

Malice knew better, but he was afraid that his partner wouldn't be as smart as him. Before Malice could say anything, Magus took the bait.

"Why you..." he said, and lunged forward.

"Magus wait!" cried Malice, realizing the flaw in his friends actions.

Kain sidestepped Magus' shoulder and lay him flat with a quick strike of his elbow. Magus struggled to get up, almost as if using all his strength, but quickly slumped back down, groaning. Kain drew his lance from his back, and pointed it at Magus' slumped body. "You see my friend? Not even a fight. You are weak, pathetic. Your human cities fall to the weakest of demons. Your human minds are crushed under our influence. The human race is pathetic and weak. It is a shame that I used to call it my own..."

As Kain taunted, Malice formulated a plan. He slowly slid his daggers into their sheaths and raised his hands behind him. His body shielded the movements of his hands, but Kain was too busy glorifying a race that wasn't his that he didn't notice the subtle moves.

"...and now I have obtained true power, a power which has brought my to a new level of being. No longer must I live in fear of the demons, for I am now one with them. This is the power worthy of a true champion. This is a power worthy of destroying you."

Malice looked up, a newfound determination in his eyes. "But there is one thing that you didn't forsee Kain. A villain's mind is clouded by darkness. I'm sorry, but you have just lost the upper hand."

With that, Malice released the channeled energy from behind him. He propelled himself forward, hitting Kain with a quick shoulder. Kain slid backwards in the gravel, and placed a hand where the shoulder had left its imprint. He looked up and scowled. "You won't get away with this!!!" he spat.

Malice had helped Magus up. Magus looked a little worse for wear, but still in decent fighting shape. Malice let go as Magus stood up by himself, and only then realized the attack coming from the point of Kain's lance. Malice had only a split second to draw his daggers. He crossed them downwards in an X, blocking the javelin that was being forced his way. Malice forced the lance downwards, and stepped on the wooden shaft, snapping it. He looked up, and was struck in the face by a fist. Malice sprawled backwards, releasing grip on his daggers. The dragon dagger skid to a halt directly at Kain's feet. Kain picked up the dagger, and toyed with it in his hands while he looked down at Malice.

"Nice try kid, I'll give you that..." Kain didn't have time to finish his speech. The sun, which shone down directly on Malice from behind Kain, was suddenly blocked out. Kain forsaw the attack, and holding Malice's dagger by the blade, quickly spun and threw the dagger towards the sun. Magus shuddered as the dagger pierced his armor and continued into his heart. He dropped forward, carried by his momentum, until his body slumped to the ground.
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Old 11-08-2005, 10:44 PM   #19
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Kain drew his silver sword, a secondary weapon, from the scabbard at his side. His walked up to Magus, laughing as he watched the fallen warrior struggle and twitch in pain. He put one foot on the dagger, and Magus winced in pain. He pushed down, and Magus let loose an immense groan. Kain readied his sword, and with one stab, pierced Magus' heart only millimetres from the entry wound of the dagger. Magus let out one last breath before his soul escaped his body to join those of the soldiers lost in the gruesome battle.

Kain stood back as Malice rushed to Magus' side. For as much of a villain as he was, he relished in the kill, and the sight of another doomed soul looking for comfort in his dead companion amused Kain. Malice reclaimed his dagger from Magus, the body twitching as he did so, causing Malice to wince in disbelief. Malice slowly turned to Kain after a minute of silent mourning, and looked up. Tears streamed from his eyes, cleansing him of the dirt that had gathered from days of endless fighting.

"Oh Vayu, goddess of the winds, I am your humble acolyte. Your thoughts are mine to indulge, your spirit mine to guard, and your desires mine to fulfill. I ask you today to grant me a great strength so that I may vanquish a terrible evil. Your troubles will not be in vain, my lady."

The sky quickly became cloudy, blocking out the trecherous sun. The wind picked up, growing so great that the demons standing in the town could not just stand their dumbly without being blown away. Even Kain fought the wind as it buffeted his body. Kain looked at Malice, his hand over his eyes shielding them from the wind. Malice stood crouched, on one knee. He held the dripping dragon dagger at his side, and he summoned the snake dagger from the dirt only yards away to his hand. Malice slowly got up, keeping his composure, and looked at Kain. Without making the speech that Kain had made, Malice attacked.

The presence of the wind only strengthened him. He shot forward at an exhilerating speed, slashing forward with his left hand. Kain blocked the shot, and reached forward, trying to catch Malice offguard. Malice became one with the wind, his essence dissipating to ride the gale, and he reappeared behind Kain. Kain, astonished, spun around with a slash of his silver sword, but the blow was easily parried by Malice. The other dagger came down, tearing a gash in Kains armor, but not piercing it. Kain backed up one pace, giving himself ample room between himself and the forsaken Malice.

Malice sheathed his daggers, and again became one with the wind. He could feel the air inside him. He was not just hiding this time... he was the wind. He shot forward, reappearing in front of Kain, and landing a square punch to his chestplate. Again, Malice dissappeared, this time returning to his form behind Kain. With a quick sweep of his leg, Malice took Kain's feet out from in front of him. Kain never hit the ground. Summoning the power of the ever increasing winds, Kain stayed afloat. Malice warped in and out of his god-like state, connecting blow after blow on Kain. finally, Malice appeared from the sky, from the same direction that the sun had pierced his gaze, and he flew dow towards Kain. His foot connected with a bare piece of Kains armour, and there was the distinct sound of a rib cracking as Kain hit the ground with a thud.

Kain looked up frightened as Malice landed beside him. "Please, please, don't," he pleaded. But Malice's eyes were glazed with an unparalleled fury. A dagger raised from out of its sheath, appearing over Malice's shoulder. In a split second, the dagger flew towards Kain, pinning him to the ground as it pierced his armour, continuing into his heart. Kain slumped as the dragon dagger claimed a new home.

Malice snapped out of his trance, and the wind subsided. He slowly walked over the Magus, without paying heed to any of the demons that still stood statuesque. He picked up Magus' body, and carried it into the castle, leaving the dagger marking its place in the very heart of Kain.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:51 PM   #20
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Even the demon soldiers parted as Malice passed, for they regarded him as a general and acted with that strange paradox that is the etiquette of war.

Magus’ soul was gone, and he lay lifeless, his cheeks still flushed with blood that would cease to flow; his body still warm with forever frozen heat. It was a surreal thing- something that could not be understood, nor explained. It was as if he had simply stopped; fallen in a moment of fury.

Malice entered the coldness of the castle, his shadow stretched out long before him on the marble ground. He was silent and still, blood flowing from his hair like tears from his eyes, running down his cheeks and dripping onto Magus’ un-flinching and lifeless visage. As the guards closed the heavy door behind him, Malice collapsed to his knees, the bravery, the pride gone.

He never let his comrade’s body touch the floor.

In the solitude of the castle, he hunched over, pulling the bloody form close to him and letting go of all his tears. They were not tears only for Magus, but for everything; for the war, for the countless soldiers who now lay in un-tended graves, and for the misery that had become his life. How in all this time had this come to him? How had a simple task taken him so far from his home- a home he would probably never see again? And how was it that now he kneeled upon a doomed territory, with the shell of a man who once breathed and spoke with life.

Over and over he wept, his tears and blood spilling upon the floor ceaselessly. This was his time. This was his time to finally let out what his heart had so long yearned to do- to pull away from bravery, from valour, from all that was the glory of war; to cry for peace and cry for home, to cry for the ceaseless hatred. Somewhere, somehow, he had lost himself; he had slipped away- become no longer human.

With shaky, muddy fingers, he wiped the blood from his friend’s cheek, watching the strange idleness with rage and hope.

“Wake up…” Malice cried among uneven breaths “Wake up!”

He shook him fiercely and once more collapsed into tears. The silence of the hall gave way to sobs, and for a while he said nothing.

“Dammit! Why would you do this? Why would you leave like this?” he cried after a moment, pressing his forehead against the lifeless man’s chin. But the figure was still and silent, its pale lips shut in an eternal lock and unwilling to grant Malice the comfort of sound.

“I don’t understand…” Malice said aloud “All of it…all of your life resulted in this? All of that to one mistake! And now…”

He leaned forward, and his lonely dagger slid from its sheath, landing in a smear of blood. Malice watched it tensely, his eyes and palms aching with rage and sorrow.

Slowly, and with wavering breath, he outstretched his shaky finger and ran it along the blunt side of his dagger.

“What friendly blood lies on my blade…” he muttered, a strange and forced smile coming to his face, his teeth parted and unable to close “Of all the ways…of all the ways he had to die…it had to be my knife!” His voice met an uneven crescendo, escalating until it resonated through the hollow halls.

The echo dissipated and fell, evaporating into nothingness and leaving him alone. He listened, motionless, before looking down once more, a solemnity having come over him.

“It is my fault, my friend…” he muttered “Your blood is on my hands… my knife… Death! Everything is mine.

But that won’t be all. Of course it won’t be all! There will be more death. More to add to my soul’s debt. For I know of fate. I know of how it chooses men and drives them to eternal sorrow!

Well that may happen…but the blood will no longer be yours…it will no longer be any human! I have been too careless and now I see the error of my ways! Kani…” he scowled, the name a whip to his already scarred soul “It will be his blood that runs upon my hands. If any blood it shall be his! I am done! I am done with this! Let me die and let my bones forever rest amid the waves, to lie in a pitiful grave! But let me just this one pleasure! Let me live to see my dagger in his heart!”

*

The fog parted, clear and white like steamy ice. For a while, the world still blurred in a haze of light and wood, but slowly it crept back to its proper place, falling, as dust does, into the jade puzzle. Things were right again, but not entirely whole, and even as Titania lay on the ground, she knew that something was wrong.

In the time that she had lain there (an hour? Two? A day?), the mud had soaked into her clothes and the cold into her bones so that it choked her veins and froze her from the inside out. She shivered, pulling herself up with slippery difficulty.

Slowly, she looked to where her own blood stained the ground, and once more drew her hand up to her forehead, faltering as her own hands stung and whipped at her wound; burning at her simplest touch. For all the power in the world, she had never been able to heal herself, though she did not know why. Magic was a mysterious thing, always tumbling beyond the reach of human understanding, shying away like a frightened and mischievous dove.

Quick as a wave, the silence lifted and her ears filled with the sound of a hard pattering. In wonderment, she looked around her, watching as a shower of white pebbles fell from the sky. Unsure, he held out her hand to catch some and marveled as they melted in her palm. What strange phenomenon was this? She shook her head as the novelty wore off, and the falling increased. Whatever it was, it was pulling the demons back temporarily, allowing the last few humans to regroup and return to the sanctuary of their castle.

Unrelentingly, the ice fell from the sky, bouncing off of the gray stone castle. From the corner of her eye, she caught a glint of gold, but as she turned to look, it vanished and she believed it to only be a misinterpretation.

The humans slowly ran inside the various entrances of the palace, their muddy feet staining the once-pristine floor. Titania followed, but something pulled her. Some force compelled her to walk a little further and enter through the western doors.

The guardsmen had abandoned their posts, and so she entered on her own accord, pushing open the heavy object and stopping in the tear of shock as the panels gave way and the light spilt rectangular upon the floor. The blood, the dagger, the body…

Her breath snaking through the frosty air, she watched as the familiar head turned to stare at her, tears and blood upon his wordless face. In his eyes, she saw blame, and sorrow; rage and guilt. But for all that it hurt her, she fell at cold at the sight of the body, unable to shed a single tear. In silence, she stared back at him with an unreadable face, frozen in place by the sight of his pain. The moment of ghostly stillness passed, and she moved forward, unsurely, her shoes becoming stained in the blood which covered the ground. She said nothing to Malice, and yet as she kneeled beside him, he knew to allow Magus’ head to fall upon her lap.

“Rest now…” she muttered, asking no questions of his passing “Your spirit is free now, may it never return to this place of suffering again.”

She turned to Malice but he was silent, turning away from her with shame. Slowly, she took his wrist, and guided his fingers over Magus’ eyelids, allowing the warrior a last solemn rite and muttering a few blessed words.

From behind closed eyes, he stared up at them, a man forever gone and silenced. All greed, all desire, had flown from him in his last moments and now he was free to be part of the eternal. He was free to escape the lashing fire and be lifted above the violent world.
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Old 11-18-2005, 12:19 AM   #21
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Syne sat in the corner of her cell thinking about what was going to happen to them and what may have happened to Malice and Titania. Glenn and Kirby had drawn out a chess set and were occupying their time. Syne thought long and hard about how they could actually beat Kani once and for all, nothing came to mind.

Nichi, memories of Nichi’s life and how he used his powers came to her mind. She noticed the similar forms of training that all three of the counterparts had used. The main one being the weights that they all had attached to their arms and legs, however Nichi had one that Brian and she did not use. The Magic retainers were the missing key.

“Glenn I have a favor to ask you, if it doesn’t embarrass you too much.” Syne said as she stood up and walked over to the cell divider.

“Well that all depends on what it is your asking of me.” Glenn asked as he walked over to the cell divider as well.

“Well I’ve been thinking about Nichi and how he was able to suppress his extra power by using some form of a tattoo like seal on his body, I’ve checked the rest of my body but I can’t see my back, so could you please take a look at it?” Syne said lightly blushing.

“I will do that if you wish me to.” Glenn coughed

Syne turned her back to him and let down the robe she was wearing. “Anything?”

“Well yes there is.” Glenn said clearing his throat. “It would seem there is a triple star inside an octagon with several strange looking characters, and in the center of it is a diamond shape.”

“Where on my body is it?”

“It’s between the shoulder blades.”

“Ok thanks.” She said as she pulled back on the robe. “Now I know, and I just have to figure out how to use It.” as she said that she began to sit down and meditate.

“Why do you have so many scars Syne?” Kirby asked breaking his silence.

“I’ve been a fighter sense I was twelve years old.” Syne said sighing. “Think about the learning curve.”

“Well I was asking more about the one large scar that runs a half crescent down the entire length of your back?”

“I have a scar like that?” Syne thought to herself.

“Yeh it runs from the top of your right shoulder to the middle of your left ribcage then to the top of your right hip.”

“Oh right that, I was almost killed once but as you can see they only got a bit of my skin.” Syne lied; physical evidence of her past life sacrifice had manifested itself on her. Only it was as though she had lived through the ordeal. She decided to block out everything and figure out how to activate the magical retainers.

Glenn and Kirby stated talking and playing chess again.
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:03 PM   #22
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

((Are you guys ready for the sappiest post in the whole story? I'm SO sorry. I've just been inspired as of late ^^ and also I wrote it while listening to Legends of the Fall ))

Snowflakes fell through the hazy sky, turning and tumbling in a graceful ballet. The wind was their music, and it guided them gently through the gray, its clear breath cold and soft as summer waves. Below, the ground was a mess of frozen mud footprints, slowly being covered in a blanket of winter beauty.

Noble chin raised up, General Hige Toboe stared out at the field, an ethereal silence about him. His worn boots were pressed gently into the soft but solid earth, and he seemed immovable as rock. With ease, the wind whipped around him, lifting and tossing his cloak as playfully as a child would. Yet there was nothing childish about him, for as he stared –eyes cold as the earth he stood upon- he saw the world with wisdom beyond centuries of inheritance.

Before him lay a muddy field, grazed with ashes from burnt grass and bodies. Along the plain and the countryside, were the remnants of homes- black skeletons rising out of the frozen earth. There was no colour; there was no hope. All that lay before him was death, and the quiet that it brought.

In that moment, he could see his whole future staring back at him- an eternity of black and gray, reaching out toward a distant heaven. No matter what he did, no matter what strategy he could compose, his symphony would end before its time and fall in a cry of wailing discord. He would leave no legacy- no great deed to be remembered by. He would disappear just as the men before him disappeared beneath the falling snow.

In years to come, he thought, men will walk by this plain and never think about the blood which stains the grassy roots, or the souls that now wander the earth, their lives sold in exchange for a bitter defeat. For time falls upon us whether we like it or not, and moments are soon lost in the cruel river called “past.” A thousand years from now, no one will care what happened here. They will walk carelessly by and see none of this destruction, for they are blinded by snowy time. Our lives will be locked away- covered in a dirty, white pall, and no matter what, there is nothing we can do about it.

For we are the dead.

We are the forgotten.

No longer may we feel the sun upon our faces or the warmth of that longed-for embrace. No longer may we even hope for anything better, for our time will be over.


And though he stood alone, he felt that it was not so. For it seemed as if someone had shared his thoughts, and had truly understood him.

Slowly, he turned his back away from the field and faced his ailing troops. The coldness returned to his body, and the wind pressed him forward, though he moved voluntarily and without quarrel. His steps were now laden with a new heaviness, and even as he moved forward, he knew that his thoughts had already passed away into time.

[I]We each have only a moment, and we never know when it will be over. It is no use delaying what the soul yearns for, for at any moment it might be too late. Darkness is eternal and the day must be embraced and enjoyed, for sunset moves nearer with each and every second.
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:03 PM   #23
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

*

He sat quietly in the corner, never raising his eyes up from the cold, marble floor. The room was a mess of silence and gray, the only light coming from the orange embers of small makeshift fires. Though they knew that at dawn their castle would be burned, the men had lit their flames in the proper places, their respect for their home extending even unto their last night alive. For these men were extraordinary, and they laughed and sung even as the hours collapsed. They knew that they were doomed, and yet they acted as if it were any other time. For it was not fearlessness that made them great, it was the way they smiled even though their hands shook, and their stomachs ached with the pain of anticipation.

Her face aglow in the orange light, the small girl sat with her legs slightly pulled up in front of her. With her arms, she cradled her knees and with her eyes she stared down at the crimson scores which marred her skin. Along the tops of her feet, lay hatches of red- cuts from being dragged out of the field- while her wrists were black with bruises. She coughed aloud, and her ribs felt as if they were going to break; though the fire was before her, she still felt cold.

From behind her, she heard a man begin to play a strange instrument- probably his last possession in the world, if it was even his (for the castle store-room must have had plenty of things which the men could use to entertain themselves). She turned her head slightly and watched him, his blistered fingers holding an odd-looking stick delicately, before brushing it smoothly over taut strings. The sound was heavenly, and she watched him quietly from her corner, a solemnity hanging over the room.

We march for long
and traverse through a’flame
And still we sing that hopeful song
Till we see home again

Though night be long
And fog be thick as snow
We must be strong
And still our feet must go

For this is our land
And this is our call
Together we shall stand
Together we shall fall


For that while it did not matter who was who, or what everyone was called. General sat with militia, and militia sat with archer. For they were all men, and all souls, ready to face death in the morning with anxiously pounding hearts, and fists as strong as mountains.

Away from the fire, Malice sat in silence, bathed in shadow and cold upon the ancient stone. He stared at his hands- his bloody hands- and brought them over his face, hiding away from the world that he was sure saw him as the worst kind of murderer. He stayed like this for a while, until he felt a sudden warmth upon his shoulder.

Somewhere in the months that had passed, an unspoken understanding had grown. Though they never said so, both knew they had a connection, but had to keep it pressed away. There were more important matters, and even then a thin veil of uncertainty. But now that death seemed impassable, and eternity had opened its gluttonous mouth before them, the veil was pulled away and the thought of separation seemed all too cold.

Quietly, Titania sat down behind Malice and lay her cheek on his shoulder, placing her hand on his; her eyes did not see the blood which stained his fingers. There was silence for a while, until finally she muttered something un-intelligible. Still, he knew what she had said, and nodded in silence.

“Must you fight tomorrow?” she asked, quietly “Please….I think you can still leave- you have the power to do so… if you take arms tomorrow -”

“I can’t just leave.” He replied, never looking at her “These men… they have nowhere to go, so why should I? Besides…” he lifted his hand and stared at it “Whatever fate I receive is the decision of the gods. If it be my death tomorrow, then perhaps they mean to punish me.”

“I do not know what gods are present in this world, but I know that the ones of mine would not punish you with darkness. In these past few months, you have lived as a hero and shown true areté. Please, do not send yourself to a fate that you do not deserve.”

“Magus-”

“Magus died bravely. His wound was to the front and he had no choice in the matter.”

“You’re wrong…” Malice muttered, “He had a choice. He chose to fight, just as I have. I cannot send him to his death and then back away from that which he gave his life for. He was one of my greatest friends, and I cannot let him die without finishing what he started.”

“And what then? Once you destroy the demons here, what shall you do if you are still alive?”

Malice fell silent and turned his head away.

“You have to understand… I have responsibilities as a man- I am not some beast who watches his kin fall to pieces and runs away to hide in a den. Just as I am not a man who can live knowing that I have murdered my best friend. Both of these deeds are beyond my fathoming. Don’t you see? Trying to convince me is useless…my mind was made up from the time I was born.”

“…or perhaps even before then…

I…Llideah knew when Gadriel was going to his death. And still he did not believe her. You were foolish once, please do not be again!”

“What you see as foolishness is nothing more than conscience. You have to trust that I know what I’m doing.”

“How can I convince you to change your mind?”

He shook his head once more “You can’t. My mind is made up. Tomorrow I fight, and if I die, then it is with the knowledge that I have not blackened Magus’ memory.”

Titania was quiet for a while, but a question pressed at her lips, and finally emerged quietly, dripping in shame “…aren’t you afraid?”

He smiled slightly and shook his head, though his palms ached and his fingers trembled.

“Then why am I afraid?” she asked “Everyone here…they’re all so brave. They know they’re going to die, and yet they smile and laugh. When that soldier pulled me away, I thought that that was the end, and I was afraid. I tried to be calm, but I was afraid. How can you so easily march up to death and not be frightened?”

He turned to face her, seeing the tears which wanted to spill from her eyes, but were held back by shame and stubbourness.

“There is nothing to be afraid of.” He said, taking her hand and placing it over the pendant which he still wore “You see…Phoenix watches.”

She felt the object, but more noticed the way in which his hand shook. She knew then that it was not only she who had come to fear death. He had as well, only he was better at disguising it. Slowly, she wrapped her fingers around his fist and smiled as best she could.

“You see,” she laughed, looking down “I’ve become like a child again. I was afraid when I came to a new world, and now that I’m going to another, I’ve become so once more.” She smiled, and raised her eyes “But that first time, you were there for me…and you’ve watched me since then. I know that sometimes I don’t seem grateful, and I act like I don’t need any help, but knowing you were there for me…it really did make all the difference. And now that we’re here, and it’s almost over… I just hope that you know how much you’ve meant… I think you were right about me finding my home...Malice- you're...you're my dearest... friend...”

She looked down, unsure if he would laugh at the way her words dripped with too much sentimentality. Moments passed as awkward hours, but soon she felt warmth on her temple as he rested his chin upon it, ignoring the way death slowly snaked around him as dark as a shadow. At the slightest touch, she brought her arms up and wrapped them around his back, coming closer and hiding in the warmth of his chest. As if it were a natural response, he too closed his arms around her, not shrinking back as her tears ran down his shoulder. He made no words of comfort for his friend, yet still the silence was enough, and it drew out her tears, coaxing them with the promise that they were not shameful. With small hands, she clung to him as if afraid at any time he would be snatched away and pulled into the abyss.

Life was nothing but the present; the past and future melted into nothingness.

For this is our land
And this is our call
Together we shall stand
Together we shall fall


The man repeated his song over and over, his notes filling the air and lulling the soldiers into a state of solemnity. Here they sat, the last of their kind- men who stood before the awaiting chasm of death, and showed no fear. For though the snow fell outside, they were warm in each other's company, and did not even notice.
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Old 12-30-2005, 11:54 AM   #24
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

************************************************** ***************************
The Netherrealms, The Year Infinity Minus One, Magus's Soul

So... THIS is what it's come down to? After all of that. The happiness, the sadness, going after everyone who'd harm Schala, trying to get back with her...

...and THIS is how it ends?

I should've known my life would end up a big anti-climax. And then there's also the life flashing before the eyes bit. Might as well get it over with...

************************************************** ***********
Earth, The Year 12,007 BC, The Kingdom Of Zeal

Magus stood in the center of the room as people rushed about, moving at an incredibly accelerated pace. He managed to get the gist of what was going on; Queen Zeal was giving birth to her second child. Time flashed by quickly, so he only managed to get a glimpse of the child. The child's name was Janus.

************************************************** ***********
Earth, The Year 12,000 BC, The Kingdom Of Zeal

A seven-year-old boy, with his pet cat following, meets a small group of people; a silent young man, a spoiled girl, an intelligent-looking young woman, a moving machine, a woman who looked like she lived in a cave, and...

...a humanoid frog. He felt a strange... connection with this frog, but he also felt something even more sinister. He walked up to the silent man.

"The black wind howls..." said Janus.

The man looked at the boy, surprised.

"...One among you... will shortly perish..." With that, Janus bolted out of the room.

************************************************** ***********
Earth, The Year 12,000 BC, The Kingdom Of Zeal

They stick a sword in the Mammon Machine! Now the creature "Lavos" escapes the earth. He kills the young man Janus had just spoken to. Now a portal, everyone going everywhere, everywhen! The Gurus, Janus, and...

...Schala...

**************************************************
Earth, The Year 590 AD, Guardia Woods

The imps attacking. Now the big green one! Schala, Schala, he's gonna hurt me help!

Wait, no. He wants to be my friend. Call me Magus? Yay!

*************************************************
Earth, The Year 600 AD, Denadoro Falls

Long time no see, Cyrus. Here to get the sword that can kill me? Too bad! You're dead now, and...

...who's this?

Well, an apprentice! I needn't kill you. Instead, I think I'll turn you into a frog!

A botched spell, the young man only half transforms, retaining humanoid structure and language but frog features. He goes over the waterfall, he's not coming back!

*************************************************
Earth, The Year 600 AD, Magus's Castle

Damn! The frog returns, and with the sword that Cyrus was after. The spell ruined, Lavos isn't coming - how am I supposed to get revenge now? A portal, sucked in...

************************************************** ***********
Earth, The Year 12,000 BC, The Kingdom Of Zeal

A man in a purple cloak, the Prophet. The Prophet decides to be there when the Mammon Machine was used, as he remembers from the last time he was in this time period. When he was the prince. The man who was with the frog, killed by Lavos? Everything happens again! Then he awakens, the man's friends, the frog reconciles, and...

...Magus joins them in their quest to...

...bring him back.

That's the first memory I want. How did we bring Crono back?

************************************************** **
Earth, The Year Infinity, the End Of Time

The old man, Gaspar, Guru of TIme. An egg? The Time Egg! That's it! That's how we brought him back. Now... why did I want that memory? Better continue...

************************************************
Earth, The Year 1999 AD, Inside Lavos

Lavos has been guiding the evolution of the world for millions of years. And now it's over. He's destroyed. We're all returning home... I release the curse on Frog, reverting him back to Glenn. Cyrus's apprentice. And now a true knight himself, with the Masamune. I go on a search for Schala through space-time.

****************************************
Palis, The Year 699 Ishia, Gracia

Little did I know I'd be dying in this world. Oh well. Schala's supposed to be here. Nichi, Malice, Belial, Titania, Aikia... now Queen Ishia dead, Aikia takes over! Aikia leaves us and we begin to defend Gracia against the demons. The Lavos Spawn... Schala dead? Suddenly a flash, and Glenn's returned! And now Nichi stone!

That's the other memory I wanted. But... maybe there's more...

*************************************************
Palis, The Year 0 Aikia, Chimera Forest

Illusions, Brain joins us, Doreen? Doreen saves me. Titania's memories, I figure out how to defeat the monster that's killing her memories! Glenn wields Mastermune now, we leave and go north.

****************************************
Palis, The Year 0 Aikia, Ramodin

That's him. Kain. The demon who killed Schala. Me and Malice. A hectic fight, ending with...

Malice. It wasn't your fault. I was reckless. You fought the way you knew best, I fought the way that I felt most fitting. I should have just stayed behind and cast magic like I usually do. That's my name, right? Magus. I shouldn't have been so close. But I've found the memories I want. Now how can I use them correctly?

************************************************** ***************************
The Netherrealms, The Year Infinity Minus One, Magus's Soul

"So, Magus, come up with anything?" asked Janus.

Magus looked at the young boy. "All I've got is that we could use the Time Egg to save Nichi."

Janus nodded slowly. "But what else can we do? I mean, are you sure you would want to save Nichi with it?"

Magus nodded. "Nichi, Ishia..."

"...Schala..." whispered Janus.

Magus continued. "And... me."

A slight tremble through the darkness.

What was the start of all this?
When did the cogs of fate begin to turn?

Perhaps it is impossible to grasp that answer now,
From deep within the flow of time...


Magus looked up, not daring to believe. "Is it..."

But, for a certainty, back then,
We loved so many, yet hated so much,
We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
Whilst our laughter echoed,
Under cerulean skies...


Janus looked up in joy. "Schala?"

"Janus... I'm here..."

"...Schala is here for you."

Magus recognized the words. He had spoken them himself, although with the words Janus and Schala transposed, during his search for her in Palis.

With those words spoken, Magus had done something he hadn't done since the Lavos Spawn told him that Schala was dead.

He began to hope.

((When Magus's life is flashing before his eyes, you have to realize the incredible pace, hence its hectic and confusing wording of the events.))
__________________
What was the start of all this?
When did the cogs of fate begin to turn?

Perhaps it is impossible to grasp that answer now,
From deep within the flow of time...

But, for a certainty, back then,
We loved so many, yet hated so much,
We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
Whilst our laughter echoed,
Under cerulean skies...

Last edited by Dark FFnut; 01-16-2006 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 02-17-2006, 06:04 PM   #25
 
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Posts: 57
Re: Chapter 4: Domination

((Gah, this thing is going nowhere, come ON people!))

************************************************** ***********************
The Netherrealms, The Year Infinity Minus One, Darkness

Despite Magus's joy, there was still one other who felt pure anger at Magus's death. This anger wasn't over the fact that Magus had left this world, but rather, that he had left this world with Magus.

A terrible curse issued from Variel's mouth. The floating, formless mist that was Variel trembled slightly with its intense anger.

"SEVEN!" he shouted. He drew another breath. "HUNDRED!" Another breath. "YEARS!"

His words echoed endlessly in nothingness. His anger was beyond words. At the final battle with Kani, he watched Noah prepare for the battle. Unfortunately, Variel already knew the outcome. The entire Council did.

************************************************** ***************************
Palis, The Last Year Of The Great War, The Council Chambers

Lord Nihel sat in his grand throne, Lord Arel's chair next to it. Around the table sat Safriel, Dakael, Kadael, Variel, and both Lords. Only Gadriel was missing.

"Where is... where is Gadriel?" Nihel's voice sounded tired, old, like he had just undergone a great ordeal.

"Gadriel is the youngest member of us all, my lord. You need to remember that he is the only one of us with any family left outside of this Council. With his father's recent death..." whispered Variel.

"Ah... yes... where he has gone?"

At this, Safriel smiled a little. "He's probably going to look, himself, for his father's murderer, seeing as how that girl Llideah refused to tell him."

"If we could just tell him that Kani-"

"Silence, Variel!" thundered Lord Arel. "You've said it yourself. Gadriel is too attached to this world to be able to keep secrets among the Seven. You will not tell him about Kani. Besides, myself and Nihel have a matter to discuss with you all."

Dakael spoke up this time. "What's it about? This war, maybe? What's going on?"

Nihel nodded grimly. "This world is nearly finished. That girl Llideah gave power over Fate to Kani. It's impossible to save this world now, so we shall leave it to rot in its own state. Now we go on to another world and-"

"What the hell?" Variel stood in outrage. "You're just going to... to let Palis be annihilated? No way!"

Nihel glared at Variel. "Enough, Variel! I refuse to alter this world any more! What's done is done! This world wouldn't be able to be saved anyway, not for seven hundred years! What could you do? Nothing!"

Variel hadn't even heard anything past "seven hundred years." He stormed out of the room and drew a runic circle on the ground. Speaking ancient binding words, he bound his soul Palis for seven centuries. Drawing more circles, he soon bound the souls of Gadriel, Noah, Llideah, and even Kani for the same amount of time.

"In seven hundred years... we all come back and do this all over again."

"HEY!" screamed Safriel. Arel stood by her, as did Nihel.

Nihel raised a hand. "Variel! You've expressly altered the will of the Seven! You hereby-"

"Blow. It. Out. Your. Ass."

Nihel's eyes widened. "Fine! Variel, you are excommunicated! Now, I command you to leave at once!"

Nihel, Safriel, and Arel all re-entered the chamber. Variel stared at the door for a few minutes, before his brain began to fully comprehend the screams of agony within. Demons soon exited, covered in the blood of the five Council members in the chamber.

"He he he... so, now they can't ruin master Kani's plan! We win!"

"Yeah! Let's get out of here now, so we can get rewarded!"

Cackling, the demons vanished. Variel stared at the space where they once stood, suddenly remembering that his charge, Noah, wanted him to speak to Llideah. He dashed off into the darkness.

************************************************** ***********************************
Palis, The Last Year Of The Great War, Behind the Temple of Ishtar

Variel heard Llideah walk up behind him. "Hello," she whispered.

"Come to see me, Llideah?"

Llideah shrugged. "Depends on who you are. Noah told me to meet his friend here."

Variel laughed. "That all depends on what Noah meant by friend. I am more of a guardian than anything else. The seven of us are to make sure everything runs smoothly."

"Seven?"

"Yes, seven. There are seven of us, and we're supposed to make sure that everything happens as it's supposed to. But it's not - not yet, anyway."

"What are you talking about?"

Variel peered through the rain, noticing that the girl seemed "Two of us have been sent to guard certain people. We're supposed to make sure that, at least, those two people fulfill their fates. But I changed the rules."

"What?" asked Llideah.

"I've cast a spell, and a dangerous one at that. I was excommunicated from the Seven because of it. It's a good thing I was. I was going to be reporting when they attacked."

"They?"

"The demons. The other five were slaughtered - Lord Nihel, ruler of the Seven; Safriel, Lady of Pain; Dakael and Kadael, the twins; and even Lord Arel, the Unfated. Only I and Gadriel survived."

"So what happened?"

"I cast a spell. I chose several souls to be sealed until the correct time. Specifically, the events that are unfolding shouldn't be unfolding for seven hundred years. So I sealed the souls of you, Noah, Gadriel, Kani, and myself. Seven hundred years from now, our souls will be bound to others. These other people will be our vessels to reenact these events. In seven hundred years, we will have this conversation again, Llideah, and we won't even realize that it's been so long. When that happens, I will protect Noah, just as Gadriel will protect you. After our seven hundred year intermission, we'll act out this exquisite play once more, but this time the ending will change to the way it's meant to be. I feel sorry for our new hosts, but it's necessary to keep them. When it's all done, we can depart for the afterlife and leave them to their normal lives, but-"

"Wait. You're denying us all the afterlife?"

"Twisted little game, isn't it? But necessary. Sorry, Llideah, but there's still a few more acts to go before we can take our final bows."

************************************************** ***********************
The Netherrealms, The Year Infinity Minus One, Darkness

Those last words rang in Variel's ears. He remembered himself and Llideah... no, Magus and Titania, having that same conversation on the airship. He knew that even with Magus's death, he was the least important of these bound souls. And, should his friends discover a way to restore Magus, perhaps Variel could also return...
__________________
What was the start of all this?
When did the cogs of fate begin to turn?

Perhaps it is impossible to grasp that answer now,
From deep within the flow of time...

But, for a certainty, back then,
We loved so many, yet hated so much,
We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
Whilst our laughter echoed,
Under cerulean skies...
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:13 PM   #26
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

Late into the night, the men kept the oil lamps lit, their source a gutter system which ran along the city walls and through the homes, distributing precious light to those who needed it. It was an invention exclusive to the city, and one that proved to help keep peace among the townsfolk.

In the morning, dawn’s rosy fingers shone through the arched windows, painting a masterpiece of light and shadow on the stone ground. Through this, the rippling darkness lay solid next to the white of the sky, never mixing but always remaining one after the other. Outside, the air was white and filled with swirling snow, falling like moments in the glistening banks of memory.

All night, the cold had slithered through the windows and Malice, filling his blood and bones with ice, and cutting at his hands like red knives. He awoke, in more pain than usual, feeling the frigid air inside his chest like icy fingers.

He looked outside to where the snow fell and shuddered, wishing that he could do something to stop the tumbling white. It struck him then that he was truly alive- that he was seeing what he was seeing, and that every breath was a miracle coursing through a strong but delicate body.

Soon, it would all end.

It would stop.

He would be separated from the sunny, beautiful world, and forgotten beneath the mud while life went on without him. There was no way out now.

Angrily, he raised his fist, slamming it down hard on the stone floor. It was not something he thought about- simply an instinct. A reaction to fear.

Fear? No… that wasn’t allowed. Everyone else was allowed to be afraid, but he wasn’t. There was no one to watch him- to look after and soothe his mind. He was alone, and he would remain so for all eternity.

“Wake up…” he muttered, wanting someone anyone to hear him, and to distract him.

Somewhere in the bridge between sleep and consciousness, he had lost his way, and now his mind wandered paths that he would never choose to travel.

What came next was a blur- a slow, gray mesh of stone, of light, of armour and of useless words. He wandered the black and white quietly, the others seeing in him an ethereal heroism, an inspiration and a strength which filled them with hope for tomorrow’s sun.


There was the sound of a horn.


*

The battlefield moved quickly, and existed in a perpetual wheel of sound and pain. Blood spattered the frozen mud, where men lay lifeless against the crimson snow.

Kain rode through the town atop a dark brown mount, swinging his sword with so much skill that men fell dead in his path. With expert hands, he pulled at the reigns, bringing his horse into a sharp turn toward the steps of the temple. He would burn it, he thought, to set an example of what he thought of his enemy.

Without halting, he grabbed hold of one of his soldier’s spears, setting it on fire with his own demon magic, and riding toward the stone steps of his destination. He lowered his wrist, bringing the flame to the wooden support, when suddenly he was dismounted. Something had pushed him from his steed.

Without faltering, he hit the ground in perfect balance, quickly swinging his sword at the fast-moving soldier who had taken him down.

”You again…” he muttered, rotating his wrist above his head so that his blade turned toward Malice’s forehead.

“I’m happy to see you to.” The Theiran replied, catching his enemy’s forearm and driving his dagger toward his stomach.

Kain brought up his other fist, knocking the blade with the back of his covered arm and punching Malice beneath the chin.

The mage faltered but did not stop, he tucked in his fingers and threw up his arm, driving the base of his palm upward into Kain’s nose.

The demon cried aloud, bringing his hands over his bloody face. Without hesitation, Malice opened his palm, sweeping a gust of wind toward his enemy. Kain fell backward, hitting the walls of the temple.

The Theiran ran toward him, ready to deliver another blow, only to be stopped when Kain pulled the burning spear from the ground and thrust it toward him. The object missed, landing in an abandoned stall and spreading its flames quickly.

Soon, the two were separated from the rest of the battlefield by a wall of smoke and fire- an impassable labyrinth which spelled death for one of them.

Kain laughed, red flames and hatred flickering in his eyes. He raised his spear and sword, the sweat from the firey heat dripping off of his greasy hair. With strong arms, he whipped the bladed weapon forward, narrowly missing his enemy.

“You’re lasting longer than your friend did.” Kain muttered, arrogantly “But then again, with him you did all the work for me.”

Malice called the wind to give him lightness, and sprung from the ground with an airy grace. His twin daggers pulsed in his hands, and with ease he slashed Kain across the face.

Blood spattered on the ground, as the demon grabbed at pain, losing steady grip on his spear.

Malice moved back, kicking the wooden object in half with precision before bringing his foot sideways into his enemy’s face.

Kain winced in pain but grabbed the Theiran’s foot, dropping the already broken spear in order to do so. He was burning with anger now, pulsing with hate. He twisted Malice’s ankle to the side and was about to break it, but the air grew light and Malice pushed his foot to the side with the force of a storm. Kain fell back once more, but did not even have a chance to recover. The flames swirled around him and crept up his cape, consuming it too quickly to be natural.

He saw his death now- he stared at the eternal and knew he was about to plunge into nothingness. Angrily, he ran toward Malice, bringing up his sword and thrusting it with all his power, only to have it caught between the warrior’s crossed daggers. The two struggled like this for a moment, strength pressed against strength in a last attempt at victory.

“You can’t overpower me, you little bastard.” Kain gritted his teeth, angrily, his own adrenaline and hatred taking over.

“I don’t need to overpower you” Malice answered, with a fierceness never seen before.

With one last effort, he grabbed the broken spear and hurled it at the oil gutters that ran above Kain.

There was a scream, and in a burst of red and black, it was all over.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:14 PM   #27
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

*

The air was cold, but the wind was filled with ash. Titania coughed, her body feebly trying to rid itself of the poison that was everywhere.

The battlefield was smoky now, and the men could scarcely see the ground before them. They cried aloud as death found them one by one, striking their names from the list of existence. Though they stood and fought together, the enemy sword ushered in a journey they would have to make alone.

The walls crumbled as more siege weapons arrived, the ancient stone falling to the cold, steel battering rams. As the gray stone tumbled in a cloud of dust, the men scattered. But fate seemed cruel to one, and as he fled, the oil gutter collapsed, following a weakness further away. The man jumped back, but slipped, unable to rise and aware of the fire that was making its way toward him.

There was a burst of white and in a moment, the soldier found himself surrounded by flame, but somehow protected. Perhaps some higher power had kept him alive? Or perhaps something closer to the ground.

Though the city fell around them and fire blazed along the rampart, there now was hope. In losing Kain, the demons had lost all organization, and now there were no more advances they could make.

*

Light and air trailed after Titania’s hands as she skillfully controlled her magic. Her motions were fluid, more refined than when she had first begun, and –indeed- more effective. Now there was a grace -a beauty in the skill- and it seemed almost impossible that such light could end life.

The demons were moving back now, slowly withdrawing from the city they no longer knew how to conquer. Titania ran along the gate, her icy cheeks flushed with excitement. That same adrenaline that had flowed through her in Gracia now returned to her veins, this time pulsing at her control, unconsciously pressing her to continue.

“We’ve retaken our city!” cried one of the men, seeing how the demons fled, and now only a few remained.

They cheered of victory, chiding on each other as they finished off the last of the enemy.

But all was not over.

Titania raced back to the wall where the fallen soldier still stood, protected by the aura she had created. By now the fire had dissipated, and it was safe to allow him out into the world.

She kneeled, helping the fallen man up and preparing to heal his wounds, when suddenly the cold air was broken, and a shadow of fear washed over her. Cast on the ground before her was a shadow of a beast, and in a moment the greatest force she’d ever felt, pulled at her shoulder.

She bled from where the hand had touched her, and even her own magic could not stop the burning. The force had caused her to turn and when she stared up at her attacker, she was struck with fear.

When he was so close, he could see into her soul- her eyes glass broken with his sharp gaze. He had her by the neck, holding her steady so he could stare at her like this, and see the fear he now instilled. Coldly, he touched her cheek, seeming satisfied when she shuddered in pain.

“Marble has become porcelain.’ He laughed, knowing that now she could not stop him “What is this new life you have, Llideah? One where you are afraid? One where I can pierce your spirit?”

He had slipped here, and in a moment he realized it, yet he kept his composure, pretending not to have faltered.

“I always could have. I always knew what you hid from me- what you did not tell me. But you see, Llideah, this body…this version of me is missing that.”

His speech was inconsistent and she could tell that he was mad. The hate, the insanity in his eyes raged, but still she could not argue- her throat was closed with pain at his clenched hand.

“Little Delilah, now you’ll see what it means to be faithful to a lord.” He smirked, as she screamed, blood and spirit flowing from her neck only to disappear in his hands “Your life is mine now- when I die, you die. You can’t betray me anymore- you’ll only be destroying yourself. From now on, you can’t walk away from me. And from now on what you see is no longer secret.”

She burned with pain but now a new spark flickered in her mind. He had done it. Once more he had sealed his own fate.

With this a feeble smile came to her face, and as it did, Kani’s grin disappeared. She stared at him, unafraid, and laughed despite the tightness in her throat. She knew now how Llideah had destroyed him the first time.

“You are such a fool…” she smirked.
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:49 PM   #28
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

With Kain out of commission Kani came storming across the field annihilating everything in his path. Single blows took out hundreds of men and sent their bodies flying. Even his own men would get killed in the way oh Kani’s mighty Halberd.

The smoke dissipated around Titania, she could breath again normally and off in the distance she could see the battle as Kani tore through the ranks of soldiers. She looked about to find Malice standing there with blood covering most of his face and jacket. He looked strait at Kani and smiled. “Don’t worry Titania it will all be over soon.”

Malice charged towards Kani with the blinding speed only he could achieve, unfortunately Kani saw him coming and had his spear waiting. Before Malice could stop the broad side of the spear caught him and sent him flying bones could be heard snapping all over the battle field. Lifelessly Malice’s Body landed on the field. Titania cried out “Malice!!”

---------

Meanwhile Kirby, Glenn and Syne sat in their cells. Something strange had been happening for about three hours now, every so often they would hear drilling noises from below them.

“What do you suppose that is?” Glenn said putting his ear to the floor.

“Not sure but its getting closer.” Kirby said also with his ear to the floor.

Syne sat still in the corner trying to cover herself up with what little clothes she had on wishing she could get the hell out of this place. Then with a loud thud the stones below the division of the two cells collapsed out from the floor revealing a tunnel. And up popped three heads, it was three dwarfs in miner’s helms and cloths. “Hope we are not too late to rescue you all.” The first one said. “We got word that you’d been caught from the Capt’an, we are the dwarfs of Galmon crater.”

“Great we were heading to find your people. Can you get us out of here and help us find our friends?” Glenn said pointing down the hole.

“What do you think we are here for?” The dwarf said

“Can you get my stuff for me, its right over there?” Syne said pointing at the case in the hallway.

“We sure can miss.” The dwarf said prying open the bars with a large pickaxe.

Syne retrieved her stuff and put back on her clothes. She grabbed her sword and cut off the magic restrictors that had been put on her. “Albright ready to go! Do you know where Magus, Titania and Malice are?”

“Titania has been retrieved but Magus is dead and Malice is as well, but Titania would not go with out him.” The dwarf said “Quickly we must be going.”

Malice dead! Magus dead! How could this be? Syne thought as she entered the tunnel last. A few hours later they arrived at an underwater river where a boat was waiting.

“This is as far as we go.” The Dwarf said pointing at the boat. “Please get on the boat the others will bring you to the city safely, we have tracks to cover.” The dwarf said pulling out a couple of sticks of dynamite
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Old 02-28-2006, 07:34 PM   #29
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

"Hmm, what have I gotten myself into?" Kirby thought to himself as he looked around.
"Kirby! Kirby!!" exclamed a muffled voice.
"Eh?" Kirby inquired.
"It's me! Me, Dude!"
"Oh, I almost forgot about you guys! Well, I'll just let you out then-"
"No, not in front of everyone!"
"Hey Kirby, are you alright?" asked Syne.
"Oh yes, I'm fine." Kirby replied, as he shuffled backwards. I just...have to...take care...of something..." "Oh, well, okay then." Said Syne. "I'm sure there's a bathroom on the boat though..."

***********************************************

Afterwards, some point backwards in the tunnel, Kirby released his three feline companions. "Nyaa! Feels great to be out of the bag, for now." said Misty."We've been thinking Kirby, you know..." said Sneaky."That it'd be best...if you stayed here, in Palis!"
"Oh okay...say what?!" exclamed Kirby.
"Yeah, you know, stay in Palis. And we're leaving." explained Dude. "Wha, why?! Why would you leave?! Besides, this universe is far too graphic for me. It's best not to get involved in whatever it is thats going on here. Glenn and Syne seem to be involved in something big, whatever it is. All this talk of demons and reincarnation is making me confused!" said Kirby. "Heh, and Syne says I look like her cousin, or something."
"Well, you may have been, in a past life. You never know" said Sneaky. "But anyway, we all thought about it, and we do think it's best for you to stay here. Call it destiny or something, but you may even find your 'inspiration' that you want so much!" Said Dude, "clawing" another dimensional vortex.
"Hey, wait, but I-"

Of course it was too late for Kirby, each cat leapt into the portal, Dude clawing it shut behind him.

"Eh......" was all Kirby could say.
"Hey, Sir Kirby!" called out Glenn. "The Dwarves need to use the dynamite now!" "Oh, I see. Well, I'll be on my way!" answered Kirby.
"What have I gotten myself into?" Kirby asked himself with a sigh.
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Old 03-02-2006, 05:21 PM   #30
 
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Re: Chapter 4: Domination

((*chucks a Prinny at Seph, then dives for cover* Bad Seph. No cookie for you.))

************************************************** ***********************
The Netherrealms, The Year Infinity Minus One, Darkness

Still floating in the darkness, Variel began to ponder everything. "It... it was fate, wasn't it? The... the way I died... and I did the same to my host..." He drew a deep breath. "Magus... your death was my fault..."

************************************************** ***************
Palis, The Last Year Of The Great War, Kain's Castle

Gadriel confronted Kain, the blade of Eithne in his hand. "Demon!" he cried. "Where is he? Show me the murderer!"

Kain laughed, drawing his silver sword. "Fool," he rasped. "You know not what you face. Your ignorance shall bring you into eternal repose."

A blast of electricity issued from Gadriel, lost in his own fury. It found the sword like... well, like a lightning bolt to a piece of metal. Kain dropped the sword, and it lost its cohesiveness, splattering on the floor. Drawing his lance, the demon charged. The blade of the gods brushed aside the demons weapon, but a blast of energy caught Gadriel and he fell backwards. Cackling, Kain raised his lance, pointing it directly at the man's chest.

"May the gods condemn you to eternal torture," spat Gadriel. Kain only smiled as he drove the point down.

And missed.

By the time Gadriel had figured out what was happening, Variel had already knocked Kain aside. The lance lay off to the side of the room, forgotten. A quick punch knocked the demon to the floor and left Variel panting. Gadriel rushed over to the body of the great demon, only to get slashed by the now-solid silver sword that Kain had managed to grab from the floor. Variel knocked the sword loose again, and shouted, "Gadriel! Now!"

Blood in his eyes and unable to differentiate between friend and foe, Gadriel fired a bolt of lightning, blasting one of the two battling figures onto his back.

A few seconds passed as Gadriel waited for Variel to assure him that the battle was won.

Instead of Variel's assurance, however, the only sound that reached his ears was Kain's cackle.

Gadriel let loose a second bolt, toppling the demon. This second blast had nowhere near the voltage of the one that felled Variel, unfortunately, and Gadriel knew it. "Kain... I swear... on my father's grave... on Variel's grave... that I will be the one who puts you into yours."

The lance, sword, and demon all vanished with those words, but the echoes of the cackle remained in the air. Blinking through the blood, sweat, and tears, Gadriel silently picked up Variel's body and carried him out.

************************************************** ***********************
The Netherrealms, The Year Infinity Minus One, Darkness

Tears fell from Variel's incorporeal face as he recalled those final moments. Filled with utmost sorrow, he shuddered. That's when he realized what was really wrong. "The binding spell is over... why haven't I gone on to the afterlife yet?"

*********************************************
Palis, The Year 0 Aikia, Kain's Castle

A small moth flapped out of the castle as hard as it could when Kani had begun his rampage. This moth, unbeknownst to anyone else, was Lavos Gamma, one of the only remaining Lavos Spawn in Palis. With Kain dead, Gamma had no protection from the other demons under Kani. Flying as quickly as he could, he attempted to get away as fast as possible.

CRUNCH.

He hadn't planned on Kani throwing Malice into the air at that moment, and Lavos Gamma met a rather abrupt end.

((Hey, we have too many villains to give them all a dignified death, right? And finally, my next post, I will take control of Glenn - I'm sure that Masa, Mune, and Doreen have been too quiet for anyone's tastes anyway.))
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What was the start of all this?
When did the cogs of fate begin to turn?

Perhaps it is impossible to grasp that answer now,
From deep within the flow of time...

But, for a certainty, back then,
We loved so many, yet hated so much,
We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
Whilst our laughter echoed,
Under cerulean skies...
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