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Grey Interlude

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#1 JRPomazon


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Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:25 AM

Russo was dead. He had been dead for days now. Kalm knew this, we was the one that let him choose his death so he could escape. Why did he let him do it? There were only a few of them left now, this wasn't a price they could afford. He took a look at the prize achieved by Russo's sacrifice, an old tome that was of great importance. Great enough importance that it attracted the goddess of Koridai's servants. Damned bloodhounds.

"We're finally here." called out Kalm newest compainion, a slender woman cloaked in gray like himself. The hood they wore covered their faces, helping them keep a low profile wherever they were sent. The two of them arrived on the shores of a beach, the sand still a lovely shade of white despite the barren nature of the earth. The sun had not risen yet

"We are meeting Gospel and the old seer here. They're our trip back home."

"That place isn't my home Sierra. In the state it's in, it's surprising that it was a home to anything at all." Kalm replied, his old loyalties to his old home of Ikana still strong as ever.

"Then why are you returning with us then?" She asked.

"Isn't it obvious?" He replied, turning away from his companion.

The silence between the two grew, neither of them really in the mood to speak. The waves of the ocean were just as peaceful and calming as they were two years ago, softly hitting the beach and receding back. Sierra waited patiently for the sounds of seagulls to interrupt the ambient sounds, but they never came. Not many creatures remained in these lands after the rise of the goddess, there was nothing left.

"What was it like?" Sierra asked, breaking the long silence.

"What?" Kalm replied, turning back towards her.

"The old capital city."

"Dried blood, ash and stone. That's all there was." Kalm replied.

"Oh . . . I see. My father was a wealthy merchant, he told me that one day he would move our family to the capital. Start fresh and new."

"Where did that come from?" Kalm asked Sierra, curious to her topic of conversation.

Another silence, the waves filling in the gap.

"Just making conversation I suppose." She replied. Her voice was filled with melancholy.

"I see you've made it!"

A new voice shouted from down the shore, a new cloaked traveler and an old man headed towards them. The two had staves, one of metal for the cloaked man and one of wood for the older man, whose eyes were bandaged by a worn strip of cloth. The sun was beginning to cast a golden light on the shore, the day was beginning.

"Gospel, it's good to see you." Sierra replied as she went to greet the two. Kalm followed shortly after.

"If you're here that mean everything went as planned. Excellent news." Gospel said, relieved until he noticed a missing body.

"Wait, where is Russo?"

A new silence arose among the four, swiftly broken by the older man.

"So he has fallen. To the forces of Koridai no less." The old man interrupted.

Gospel looked over to the old man in disbelief, or what traces could be seen behind his cloaked face.

"Master seer, truly you cannot mean-"

"It's true Gospel. Russo is gone." Sierra interrupted.

Kalm clenched his fist.

"Our fellowship has grown thin. We will discuss this matter with the others." Gospel said.

"Master Tiresias, if you would be so kind as to take us home." Sierra asked.

The old seer nodded and raised his staff to the sky, enveloping the travelers in a blue light.

-Interlude I: End-

OoC: To expand on the story of my Chronicles Character(s), these NPCs will follow their own story that will interact with all of Chronicles. These characters are NPCs, so it'll be find to have fun with them if they show up in a story with your characters. As long as it is in good taste, of course.

Edited by JRPomazon, 22 September 2010 - 01:45 AM.

#2 JRPomazon


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Posted 29 January 2010 - 12:57 AM

In a circular stone room, they began to appear one by one. Each of them dressed the same, a gray cloak covering their body and face. They brought with them each a particular sense of melancholy, a sadness that was also a strength. Each one had met with grief and it was that sadness that drove them to whatever fates waited for them. It had always been like this since the world ended two years ago. The final member of the group arrived, her cloak partially stained in blood.

"Vale, how is Lucas?" asked Sierra, who had lowered her hood to reveal her gentle face and long raven black hair.

"He'll live, although he got some nasty burns from helping the vikings in Virrat. Kid must have been nuts to do that." Vale replied, contempt with her hood on.

"It was because of him that we were able to stop Koridai from gaining a foothold in Virrat." Gospel added, always a voice of reason during these talks.

"What about Vildmark?" the tall Kalm asked.

There was a silence among the party, not quite sure what to say.

"They're dead. Both Willis and Leona." a man in the back of the room replied coldly.

"Dead?!" Sierra cried out, the shock of hearing the news.

"How did this happen!?"

"Solomon was with the diplomats, he showed them no quarter."

A new voice, belonging to the blind old seer Tiresias.

"Master Tiresias! You with the power of foresight surely saw this happening! Why did you not warn them!?" Vale cried out, grieved and outraged from the news.

"I can only observe fate, I cannot change it. Although I was hoping that this turn of events could have been avoided." The old man replied.

Vale broke from her position and went to Tiresias, intending to ring his neck. However, her attempts failed as another cloaked man held her back.

"Belze! Let me go!" She cried out.

"You need to calm down NOW Vale. You are not yourself." The older man replied, his voice sounding like that of a man who has witnessed a thousand battles. While she struggled, Vale's hood fell of her face. Her face was worn lightly by age, her graying hair reached to her neck. Her eyes were blue, although it seemed at one point they were were much more vibrant in color.

"Yeah Mommy, let the old general actually protect someone for a change." Maes said, his voice filled with scorn.

"Maes, you bastard!" Belze retorted as his rage was directed at the uncouth member of the group.

"ENOUGH!" cried Gospel in an attempt to reclaim order.

"We've had our share of losses as it is. Russo is gone as well and Lucas is terribly wounded. There is only a third of us alive then from when we first established ourselves two years ago. We can't afford to fight amongst ourselves now."

A new silence washed over the group now, no one really wanting to say anything. Gospel, as he usually was, was right. Was it the scorn from their comrade or the harsh truth they all shared that silenced them in that room, where only the smallest pieces of sunlight came through.

"I noticed that Urick and the others aren't here right now. Are they gone as well?" Sierra asked.

"No, they are at the Chamber of Sages. Researching the ancient manuscripts." Gospel replied.

"Che, good thing that moopey bastard isn't here." Maes said, irritating Gospel intentionally.

"Shut up you damn convict." Kalm replied, fed up with his "comrade's" attitude. Maes didn't reply to Kalm's insult, although he could have said a number of things. Instead, he opted to chuckle softly and leave the room. He didn't care in the first place.

"So what about the Viridian Knight? I haven't seen him in a while." Kalm asked, curious about one final issue. The old seer cleared his voice with a cough.

"The dragoon is fighting his own battle right now. When the time comes he will return to us in full form."

Time passed and the talk ended.

Russo . . .

Leona . . .

Willis . . .

How many more would have the same fate as these three and their other comrades? Tiresias would never tell.

-Interlude II: End-

Edited by JRPomazon, 05 February 2010 - 01:52 AM.

#3 JRPomazon


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Posted 21 February 2010 - 06:15 AM

"So, Urick was sent from the Chamber to investigate the ordeal with the pirate city? For what reason?" Kalm asked as he practiced his swings with his double-sided hand axe. Without his hood, his tanned complexion and dark hair was visible to the world. Even after being away from his homeland of Ikana for so long, it's mark on his body, his tanned skin, had not yet faded.

"The same reason you're swinging that axe of yours around, for practice." Belze replied, watching from a few feet away as the two enjoyed the morning breeze on the outside. It was the beginning of a fair day, something to relax their weary spirits after the loss of their comrades in arms.

"He's been cooped up in that place for close to 3 weeks with Aegis and Zat, wasting away as they research the old magics. It's a tiresome job, even when Gospel comes over to help."

The area they called their home was once a prominent location a long time ago. Even before the Cataclysm, it was disregarded as a old ruined town that sat upon a large island much like the Forsaken Fortress two years ago. They called it "Windfall Island" and even in it's state of disrepair it was converted to become their home. The island was one of the few places within the realms of the Cursed Lands that Chikara's curse had a minimal effect. It was an Eden surrounded by thorns and bramble, possibly one of the few last bastions that one could live in the Cursed Lands without losing one's mind. It was chosen by the seer Tiresias himself when their fight against the goddess had begun.As the large windmill turned slowly as the gentle wind carried the blades up and down, the gray cloaks moved about and prepared for their next mission.

Suddenly, a massive steel ball came hurtling towards Kalm as he continued his diligent practice. He leaped away, only to find Maes holding the chain connected to the steel ball that would have crushed him if he were to wait a second more.

"Now that's what I call practice! Am I right Boney Boy-o?" He shouted.

"Maes! What the hell is wrong with you!" Belze asked, the older man outraged by the blatant disregard of his comrade.

"The geezer seer told me to get you all round up, he's got news to share."

* * * * *

They had all gathered once again in the meeting area within the main structure that housed their accommodations. Weapons, food, whatever they needed it was there. The seer sat in his usual spot, waiting for the arrival of Maes, Kalm and Belze.

"So they arrive at last." Gospel said, standing close by the old seer. Kalm noticed that Lucas was finally up and about after many days of rest.

"You alright?" He asked as he directed his attention to Lucas, his dirty blonde hair tousled from resting for so long.

"I-I'm fine. Thanks." he replied quietly.

"You have all arrived." Tirisias said, beginning things promptly.

"I shall get straight to the matter at hand. I forsee a great war between the Kingdom and the Empire in the immediate future, the tensions that had been building for some time between the great superpowers have now come to a critical point. Depending on who wins could very well affect our very well being."

"You talk like you don't know the outcome Tiresias. Come on, spill it! Who gets murders and who runs off with the head?" Maes asked.

"Due to the strength of the goddess . . . no, the strength of the god of chaos, I am unable to see the outcome of this war clearly. My vision of the future has become clouded by the disorder that is spreading from the Empire." The seer replied.

"Well, that some load of good THAT does us. Looks like the old man is useless after all." Maes commented, crossing his arms in displeasure.

"Watch your to tongue Maes!" Shouted Belze, who was having enough of Maes for one day.

"I'm shakin' General." he replied sarcastically, baiting the older warrior.

"Please, enough of this banter." Gospel interrupted, hoping to quell the arguements.

"Master Tiresias, please continue. What course of action do you suggest we take for this predicament?"

"The recommended course of action is to take no action." The old man replied solemnly, his verdict made.

"You can't be serious sir! How can we do nothing? We could aid the Kingdom in their struggle against Koridai!" Lucas protested.

"Or we could at least get a couple hits of zealot country while their pants are down fidgeting with the vikings." Maes crudely added.

"No, I can see where Master Tiresias is coming from." Gospel commented, crossing his arms.

"We stand alone from both factions, we shouldn't interfere with their senseless bloodshed. We watch from afar see the outcome to it's end."

"Where the hell is the fun in that!?" Maes asked, angered by this approach to things. Constantly they stuck to the shadows, hiding in plain sight and plotting in the dark. It was enough to drive a man insane.

"If you don't like it Maes, find something else to entertain you." Vale added, tired of his childish and brash attitude. The ex-convict stared back are her with great disdain.

"As I have mentioned, this war could very well affect our future as well as the futures of the Kingdom and the Empire. We must see how things play out."

"If that's true then that means we have all the more reason to do something abou-"

"Lucas! That's enough!" Vale shouted, the young man recoiled as he flinched. Maes chuckled softly in the sight of his cowardice.

"Gospel said it himself, we aren't apart of either nation. We're fighting to get this continent back to the way it used to be and break this damn curse! Fighting for Vikings or getting a couple sucker punches in on the goddess won't do us any good in the long run."

"As we await Urick's arrival from the pirate city, you will all remain on the island. The supplies we have recovered thanks to young Lucas will provide us for the duration of the war without us having to venture to either country. If a need does arise we can visit the other continents if desperation calls for it."

The rest of the talks when without much debate and the group dispersed quietly. Tiresias remained in the room, as if he were waiting for someone. Eventually, he broke his silence.

"So, you have returned at last Dragoon." He asked, the feint sound of footsteps echoed in front of him. Into the room's light appeared a man in beaten and scared green armor. His face was unshaven, a light beard covering his face along with various cuts and scratches.

"Did you find what it is you've been seeking?" The old man asked the warrior in green.

"No, just a lot of dead ends and things I didn't need to see. I still have no answers." he replied.

"I've come for a couple of things and then I'm off. The conflict in the south might not be my immediate responsibility but I'm going to decide for myself whether or not I'm going to fight."

"For what reason could you possibly find to fight in their senseless war?" The seer asked.

"That's something I'm going to find out for myself."

Without another word, the warrior in green left the room and headed to grab what he needed. Jordan of the Whirlwind Spear was to head for the south.

-Interlude III: End-

Edited by JRPomazon, 21 February 2010 - 06:15 AM.

#4 JRPomazon


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Posted 25 February 2010 - 04:19 AM

Jordan didn't want to waste any time, the tensions of the two nations grew less stable every day. If there was going to be a war, he was going to be there. Whether he was to fight however, was a different matter. The gray cloaked warriors were elsewhere, Kalm and Belze resuming their training, Vale tending to Lucas' body, Sierra outside watching the waves, Gospel reading in his study and Maes walking around aimlessly. Each of them had seen so much pain and death in these past two years and it was from these experiences that they were bond together in comradeship. They all wanted to make things better for Verden again, to restore it. However, even Jordan was not able to tell just what it was they wanted to restore. He looked at himself in the mirror, his face covered in healing cuts and his armor, the armor Ken Miyamasa had forged for him all those years ago had grown so battered and beaten that it was on the verge of becoming scrap. His single paladron was in a similar state of disrepair, the skull he had painted on to honor the Forsaken Fortress all but faded now. Jordan was tired, but he couldn't stop now. There was no rest from this life he led in the cursed lands.

A flash of light appeared before him, blinding if only for a moment then fading back to a visible glow. Jordan looked to see letters spelled out in a pristine white light. Urick and his spirit writing.

"We have been recognized,
Tred with caution
Wind to fall at Puerto Valecho
Lady's Garter Inn
Most likely Trap"

As soon as he finished reading the text, the words vanished. Was he the only one to receive this message.

"Our situation grows dire it seems Dragoon." The old seer said, walking out of the shadows with his walking stick.

"For a blind man, you tend to find your way around pretty damn well." Jordan commented.

"Where are you leaving to now? The south? Or perhaps this island?" The blind man asked.

"I . . .ugh. You know, I really don't know right now. It seems everyone wants a piece of me."

"The one you call Steel is the sender of this request, I have seen as much. He has gained much power since joining the empire."

Jordan clenched his fists involuntarily. How many men did Steel kill or just send to their deaths to get that seat he wondered? Tiresias cleared his throat, intentionally breaking Jordan's thoughts from his anger.

We cannot allow you to become distracted now Dragoon. Please, meditate with me a while." The old man added, stroking his beard.

"Are you serious?" Jordan asked, his voice with hints of disinterest and irritation. Of course, the blind seer never jested. Without another word, Jordan sat down and crossed his legs.

"Clear my mind, right?" Jordan asked. The old man nodded, tapping his staff on the ground as he activated a particularly intricate spell.

#5 Steel Samurai

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 04:41 AM

Deep in the bowels of the Shadow Forest, the hidden headquarters for the Hands and Eyes of Chikara, Steel sat, looking out over the newest recruits being trained. They were raw. They were uncoordinated. They couldn't sneak to save their lives. But that, all of that could be gained by training. No, it was those qualities that could not be taught that these young ones had in spades. Resourcefulness. Quick thinking. And an unwavering devotion to the goddess who had given them so much; a desire to help end those who would try to take all that had been given them by the bounty of Chikara.

They would make good assassins.

Steel turned back to his desk, a magic stone providing the light he needed to write, when there was a sudden twinge at the back of his skull. He narrowed his eyes. There it was again. Almost as if someone was trying to gain access to his mind. It was sharp, firm, but not aggressive. And not powerful enough to do any damage. He relaxed, setting aside his mental defenses. There. An impression, a message left in his head without using words. He considered its contents for a moment. Odds were good Jordan had a magician of some kind around him, and this would be safer for both of them.

So be it.

Steel got onto the floor, relaxing every muscle in his body and resting his forearms on his thighs, hands loosely placed on top of one another. He closed his eyes, and relaxed his mind.

And then he saw him.

"It's been a long time, old friend."

#6 JRPomazon


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Posted 25 February 2010 - 02:52 PM

The thing about the mind was that it was dark most of the time. Whenever you needed something to appear, all you needed was to think of it and then in a brief flash it would arrive. It was rather peaceful as well, not a single distraction to-

"It's been a long time, old friend."

Well damn, scratch that. How the . . . Tiresias you old bastard.

"Is friend another term for expendable resource? Like all those soldiers who died for a greater cause two years ago?" He asked.

"You seemed interested in seeing me. What do you want after all this time?" Jordan replied, annoyed to be speaking to his former "superior" officer.

Edited by JRPomazon, 25 February 2010 - 03:16 PM.

#7 Steel Samurai

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 03:56 AM

"And thus are the wounds I endured at the hands of Crowe repaid. Sad, is it not? When two men who used to be comrades cannot speak civilly to one another even after all this time?"

Steel rose, stepping on nothingness as he walked towards Jordan.

"You're looking healthy, at least, if somewhat the worse for wear. I see that armor Ken forged for you still rings true. That is good." A shadow passed across his face. "I have not . . . heard of Ken in some time. I fear he may have perished in the Cataclysm, though my efforts to recover his body found nothing." The expedition to find Ken's body had cost Steel nearly half of his enormous yearly salary.

He stepped towards Jordan.

"Truth be told this is the first opportunity I've had to speak with you since the Cataclysm. I had hoped you would have had time to think over what I told you, that day I swore myself to Chikara. But it seems my words had no effect. So listen now, Jordan of the whirlwind spear," Steel's tone became darker, harder. "Every step I've taken, every action I've made has been with the end goal of protecting those who have fought with me, those who have saved my life, those who have risked themselves for me and I for them. I have risked position and power to stop that bloodhound from pursuing you. And not one of you, Not ONE of you that I call my comrades has fallen due to my actions."

"You may not agree with the path I've chosen, nor like those who share that path with me. But never, EVER forget that I chose this path to ensure you, Ransom, Ken, Kitsune, and all the rest could remain on yours."

#8 JRPomazon


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Posted 26 February 2010 - 05:49 PM

"Do not take me for an ingrate, but I'm not alive today just because of your grace alone. I'm not the greenhorn you met in Sornaiid. Don't assume that I need to be saved like some helpless child by you, our selfless savior. While you’ve been living in luxury in the boon of the goddess, I've been fighting her children almost daily."

Jordan was referring of course, to the cursed rather than the imperial forces.

“They were people, innocent people that were just living their lives until Chikara robbed them of everything! They are only the start of the world she is trying to create, I’ve seen the power of Lazu ever since my journey to the Eagle’s Talons! How could you stand by and allow it to happen? And to make matters worse, we have that fossil Selena who is using an entire nation to spur on her damn rivalry that has lasted for centuries! The labyrinth rules this continent and uses those who have not been reduced to grotesqueries to fight their meaningless war!”

He calmed himself to continue the conversation, his fist still clenched.

"I will admit that serving the goddess to further your own personal intentions is rather cunning, but I've seen what her power has done to people. Do you honestly think you can be so close to the fire and not be burned?"

He stepped toward Steel in the void.

"I will never accept that you willing chose to be "saved" by the goddess. Even with your noble intentions you still wanted power, just like everyone else in that damn empire.”

He paused for a moment, trying to collect his thoughts. He looked at Steel straight in the eye, his tired eyes giving a piercing gaze. He wanted the truth, the blunt and honest truth.

“Tell me, if it came down to me killing that farce of salvation you call Chikara, would you strike me down?”

#9 Steel Samurai

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 10:27 PM

"She is not the Chikara you knew as the Queen of the Labyrinth. She has . . . changed. I cannot explain it, but the union of the woman known as Chikara with the god Lazu produced a different person entirely. The Cataclysm was . . . a tragedy, but there was nothing you, nor I, nor anyone else in the world, save perhaps for Selena, could have done about it. You think, if I had had the power to stop Chikara then, that I would not have? Don't be foolish. It was only because I realized her powers were so far above mine, or yours, or the Admiral's or anyone else on the entire damn continent that I swore my allegiance.

"Do not put me in the same category as those weak-minded cultists in the Eagle's Talon. It is not difficult for those with a strong mind and able body to keep the madness of chaos at bay, though it hovers ever at the edge of consciousness. You speak of those in the Empire wanting only power, yet I fail to see how that differs from any other human on the planet. Love, and Power, Jordan. These are the two eternal motivators, that which is responsible for every pursuit of mankind. And for we warriors, we who known the bitterness of death and the alternate glory and self-loathing of bloodshed, for us the pursuit of power is as natural as breathing. What is training but the attempt to make yourself into a more powerful being? You indite me for this yet my only fault is that I have been more successful at gaining it than most. You seek the power to restore the past, I search for the power to ensure the future. It is not so different.

Steel looked into Jordan's eyes.

"Should it come to a choice between slaying you, and allowing Chikara to be slain, truth be told I do not know what I would do. More lives than just yours and hers woul ride on that encounter. Chikara's death would send the country into chaos. No single one of the quadrate could take control and rule successfully, nor could we cooperate without Chikara's guiding hand. And then all that we've worked for, the progress we've made would have gone down the drain. You have not been in the Empire in some time, have you? The people are happy, Jordan. There are no food shortages, little crime, and education and science flourish. If Chikara was gone, if a civil war broke out, the old scourges of famine, disease, ignorance would break out again. She is like no other ruler I have ever seen, Jordan. She does not care for power in and of itself; she could kill every man, woman, and child on the planet in a day. She truly cares for those beneath her, myself, Solomon, Magnus, Toan; and her citizens are not merely tools to measure her strength, not merely nameless numbers in a census. She provides for them because she loves her people. And she conquers not because she wishes to expand her territory, but that more might know her bounty, the protection and plenty that has come to those under her rule. I have worked for and seen many nations, Jordan, yet no leader have I seen whose true goals are merely this. Not Khuffie, not Magnus, not Selena . . . Yet you, and Selena, and all those opposed to her would take this from those people. So yes Jordan, should it come to that, and I pray it never does, I would strike you down. Not for the sake of Chikara, but for the sake of my comrades beneath her, whose lives of peace and content would be ruined by your thoughtless actions.

"The point is a moot one, anyway. No weapon that I know of exists that is able to even wound the goddess. And trust me, if I knew there was one, then I would already have it, for . . . well, nothing is certain. And should things change, should it become apparent that her actions unreasonably threaten the lives of my comrades, then I will turn on her without a thought. But I do not think that will happen.

Steel looked at Jordan, his black eyes sparking.

"Join us, Jordan. I can arrange for your safe passage to the Arbiter's Grounds. Chikara is merciful, should you show to her that you have seen that her way is the best way, then she will accept you. I do not ask you to swear allegiance. You hold your honor it too high a regard for that. But there is always work for a mercenary around the empire, especially one as powerful as yourself. The war is coming, Jordan. Selena claims to fight for freedom and liberty, but it is as you said. She longs only for warfare, to keep killing and fighting to the end of her days. And the longer this war is, the more innocent lives shall be lost. Fight with us, Jordan. Fight against those to whom bloodshed is the only way of life. Fight, so that men such as you and I, warriors of mighty renown and bloody hands are no longer needed. For such will be the case when Chikara's goals are achieved."

#10 JRPomazon


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Posted 27 February 2010 - 02:14 AM

Jordan paused as he thought about what he could say. Perhaps the goddess was the long awaited answer to all the troubles and woes caused by selfish people. Everything Steel said came off as if it were glazed with honey. It all sounded good, every last word. But his mind had been made up for some time. Jordan saw things Steel could not imagine during these past two years, things that convinced him so thoroughly against submitting to the empire or the kingdom for that matter. He signed, shaking his head as he stared at his feet.

"The past is the past Steel, that was a lesson I learned a long time ago. The last thing I want is another nation where a man like Khuffie is crowned with any honor. But if the goddess is so great, why does she damn Verden and what is to stop her from ravaging another land? If what you say is true, then the Chikara that rules your nation is a being that is completely unstable! If the chaotic forces within her mind gain control then what will happen to your empire? How will you protect your comrades then? This isn't just me spouting incredible conjectures, this could very well come to pass! Famine and disease may be avoided but the holy empire of Koridai soaks in ignorance like pigs in filth! You'll all be blind to the end of your days!"

The darkness of their thoughts began to shape around them, a world of memories was forming in response to Jordan's will. A glimpse of the valley in Sornaiid, the sanctuary within the Hall of Heroes, the shapeless world of Limbo, the shores of the Forsaken Fortress, the wilderness surrounding Hatena, the lost village of the Eagles Talons, the burning capital of the fallen alliance, Khuffie's bloodied throne room, a windy desert and then . . . a world filled with only fire and agony.

"I will not be swayed. I can't help create false hope for people. They have to find their happiness for themselves or else nothing changes."

#11 Steel Samurai

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Posted 28 February 2010 - 06:56 AM

"False hope? All hope is false. Oh certainly, what one thinks one is hoping for may come to pass. But in the end that which you think you desire is never really quite enough. Humans are born, they eat, sleep, make love and die. Some live for twenty years, other for hundreds. But one thing is certain: Mortals die. There is no true hope for the future, Jordan. There is only the here and now. The only life whose meaning we can ensure is our own. And if all hope is false, then all hope is true. The true value of hope is not the promise of things to come, it is the relief of the mind from the pain and anguish of the world as it is now. Would you rather have these people live happy, hopeful lives for ten, twenty years, and then die in an instant at the whim of Chikara, or live for fifty years in poverty, misery and sickness? I know well that she is unstable, and at any moment could kill me, you, and everyone on the damn planet. But there is nothing either I or you can do to change that. And so I follow Chikara. For the power to protect my friends, and because, in a way, I have come to see her cause as one that benefits mankind more sincerely than any other ruler I have yet met.

"Is this really what you wish to fight against? The happiness of humanity? Ignorance is bliss. Few among a generation are burdened with the desire for raw, unadulterated truth, but to them it will come. Those who truly wish to see the reality of things are driven to discover it, and, once discovered, often wish they never had. Is it your place to foist this upon them? Is it mine? That is what each must decide for himself. People will believe what they wish to until they discover the desire for truth within them. Try to shock it out of them and they will hate you and go back to believing what they will."

The scene around them shifted once more, from the fire of Jordan's imaginary future to the ice of Snowpeak.

"What is civilization? What is it that makes us more than just a pack of wolves, a murder of crows? Love? The animals take care of their own, on the surface love is no more than that. Intelligence? I have seen a herd of cattle fend off a marauding coyote much more effectively than a human town could a single assassin. No, Jordan, it is the ability to see meaning in life. To delve beyond mere sensory pleasure and find what it is that our lives are destined for. But Selena, these vikings . . . they relish the thought only of bloodshed, sex, and alcohol. They say they fight for freedom, but the truth is the fight only that they may fight more. They fight that civilization may fall. Jordan. Can you with good conscience stand back from this war. Innocent lives will be lost, whatever the outcome. Your aid, on either side, could end this war faster. And the faster it is over, the fewer innocents will be lost. You have three choices. Stand back and watch as those caught in the crossfire die in a hail of bloody fire. Join Selena, who likely wants nothing more than to kill her enemies for the rest of her days. Or fight with Koridai. You may see them both as evils, but recognize at least that one is the lesser."

Edited by Steel Samurai, 28 February 2010 - 07:19 AM.

#12 JRPomazon


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Posted 28 February 2010 - 10:39 PM

"I choose neither."

"Why is it that we have to choose Calatia or Koridai? Why has the world we live in become a place of ultimatums? Join or die? Do either Chikara or Selena have the right to draft the world for this war? Of course they don't, even with all their power combined they still haven't the right and in a thousand years they never will. Love is a drug, intelligence is a burden, happiness is relative, freedom is an illusion and the world is a house built on corpses. Yeah, yeah, I've heard this bullshit before and yet I'm here making a fool of myself trying to best you in words. I'm sure Chikara loves her people so much that if she can't have them, she'll turn them into mindless beasts so that no one else will. I'm sure you know full well that she is merely humoring the people of the empire by playing this role of divinity, it's not like she needs anyone being the goddess of destruction and all. Well, I take that back. I'm sure she'd appreciate targets to toy with and kill. Same can be said for Selena too, so don't think I'm being biased for a second."

The scene switched over from the snowy scene to an island, covered in age old ruins of homes with a large windmill spinning slowly.

"You joined Chikara for the power to protect your friends. Then it seems that it isn't Steel that have been helping me and the others all these years but the goddess. That's something I can never have with either Calatia or Kordai, the freedom to be who I am and see what I can do by myself. And to me, that is something really incredible. Sure it's selfish, everyone is. That's why there is so much grief over such little things in life. Chikara uses her "divinity" to bring her people together, bribing them with fruitful harvests and a booming economy. Selena likes to stab things and assert herself. But really, that's all well and good but it's not a permanent solution."

But all of that is just politics and ideals, isn't it? I guess you are right about one thing though, I don't have the right to take away people's happiness just because I don't agree with it. But to be fair, your empire has not only taken away my happiness but is attempting to do so again with it's globalization."

The scene once again faded to black.

"I'm happy I talked with you Steel, I guess I needed to ask you why you did what you did. But don't think I'm going to be so pleasant when we see each other later on. " He said, smirking.

OoC: Let's wrap this up, eh Steel Samurai?

Edited by JRPomazon, 01 March 2010 - 02:10 AM.

#13 Steel Samurai

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 07:45 AM

"So be it. And as for the next time we meet . . . Well, I pray it is not as enemies. Watch out for Solomon, my friend. Chikara has given him some strange new ability to sense any one person he chooses, and I think we both know who that person will be. I fear it will not be long before he brings the hammer of the Inquisition down upon you and your allies. I warn you though, if I catch any more of your grey cloaked lackeys hindering the cause of the goddess I will torture and kill them without a moments regret. Keep them out of our way, Jordan. You can continue your attempts at whatever it is you wish to do without attacking my people."

Steel turned to go, and the blackness around them began to lighten. Brighter and brighter it became, overcoming the images of the warriors themselves. Just before he faded completely, Steel turned back to look at Jordan one last time.

"I may have news of Gwen. I shall contact you when I have it confirmed."

And then the psychic link faded, and Steel was once more in his quarters.

#14 JRPomazon


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Posted 03 March 2010 - 02:40 AM

"Wait, WHAT!?"

Jordan snapped back into reality, the everchanging void now a simple stone room. The old seer Tiresias standing by, a smile on his wrinkled face.

"Well Dragoon, the plot thickens." He said.

"It seems that he is a good comrade after all. It must be a relief for you to know that he holds you in such regard even now and of course, the news about the young lady."

"Yeah." Jordan replied, his mind still aloof.

"After all this time, I finally feel like I'm close to finding her. But . . . "

"With my sight restrained, I cannot foresee your future far enough to tell whether Steel's tidings will hold good fortune or woe. All you can do now is hope for the best." Tiresias commented.

"And expect the worse." Jordan replied.

Tiresias took his walking stick and tapped it against Jordan's shoulder gently.

"Try to rest a bit before going off again Dragoon. Despite my lack of sight, my nose tells me you could use a fresh change of clothes."

Jordan smirked, a great weight lifted from his shoulders. For now, the idea of a fresh tunic and slacks sounded like heaven.

* * *

With his armor removed for the first time in what felt like an eternity, he stood by an alcove of the large windmill's doorway overlooking the ruins of what was the former dorm, Windfall Island. He had no history with this former dorm, Pharos' line ran through the Hall of Heroes, the Desert Crusaders of the Desert of Mystery and the dwellers of Death Mountain, where his grandparent's met under very strange circumstances involving a golden duck and a very confused mask salesman. It was a location useful to the gray cloaked heretics for Chikara's curse held less influence over this patch of earth. A mystery that he had no interest in, all he cared about was that Verden still held sanctuaries for its people.

"So, the Viridian Knight has returned to us." Said Belze, leaning against the doorway from the other side.

"Well General, it's good to see you are well. Why don't you take off that hood? It's not like anyone will care if they spot you."

Belze took off his hood, revealing his scratched and worn face. The man who had seen so much battle was looking well for his age.

"I'll be leaving soon, there is a storm brewing in the south and I'd say that there is gonna be one hell of a show."

"War is something I couldn't care less for." the older man replied, his eyes looking off into the past.

"I can't say . . .you shouldn't blame yourself. You're going to anyway, right?" Jordan said.

"Those boys were my only family I had back then, I had already chased off everyone else who mattered for my damn rank."

Jordan left the window and walked towards Belze and tapped him on the head.

"Stop it already. It's not worth raking yourself like this."

Belze snapped himself out of his reminiscing.

"Thanks kiddo." He said, rubbing his head where Jordan pressed.

"As intimate as the scene is, you should probably get going soon before anyone else finds out you are here."

The voice belonged to Kalm. So much for being unnoticed.

"And a fond hello to you too Kalm." Jordan replied, smiling as the reunion began.

It wasn't long before the others began to crawl out of the woodwork, finding Jordan and wishing him well. It was the first time in 6 months that he had shown himself.

-Interlude IV: End-

#15 JRPomazon


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Posted 20 April 2010 - 12:49 AM

The Chamber of Sages rested in the mountains, hidden away in the cursed lands. It was the home to countless volumes and tomes of the old world, magics long since forgotten and relics that were thought to be myth. It was rediscovered serveral months ago by the Gray Cloaks of Windfall, located by the seer Tiresias and his ability see into the past and future. Since that day, it served as a second home where it's many mysterious and locked away knowledge was slowly uncovered to aid in the revival of Verden. It was done in the hope that there was something left behind that could aid the last of Verden's denizens reclaim the land from the goddess. However, the location of the Chamber was not hidden from everyone.

The templars of Koridai had begun their journey to this forgotten dorm by their master Solomon, to eradicate the heretical forces that dwelt there and to make sure the unholy texts of magic were destroyed to never be used against the goddess or lead her people astray. So the warriors clad in red armor ran on through the wilderness, like hungry dogs which had broke free from their chains to the location they were designated to arrive. It would only take them a few days, their mad rushing effectively helping them make good time.

Urick, who had returned from his mission in the pirate city of Almirante, walked through the halls of the chamber, passing by countless texts and scrolls until he found his compainion Gospel, who was looking through tomes with Zerk and little Thorn. Zerk was a large man, his build almost bestial who carried an equally large shield on his back while Thorn was the opposite, a girl no older than 12 with dainty features and freckles.

"Welcome back Urick! It's good to see you again!" Cried the ecstatic youngster, running to greet Urick.

"What happened to your cloak?" She asked, curious as to why he was without his familiar attire.

"Well child, it's a rather long story."

"But-but I want to know!" she cried.

"Another time Thorn, I must speak with Gospel about the mission."

"Indeed, but it is good to see you all the same. We've had too many losses as of late." Gospel added.

"Losses? Whay do you mean?"

Gospel looked back to Thorn, cursing himself inwardly after letting that slide out of his mouth.

"It's big people talk kiddo. Nothing to worry about." Zerk said, turning the page of the book he was reading.

Gospel motioned to Urick, the two of them took their leave of the young girl and her large caretaker.

* * *

"So, Leona and Willis didn't survive."

"I fear not Urick, they didn't rendezvous with Maes at the designated time and Tiresias confirmed it later. With war brewing in the south, we have been told to remain at Windfall until the conflict is resolved to a point where we can intervene more freely."

"I see. But for how long do you think we can last like this?"

"Lucas made sure to secure supplies, we will be able to manage for some time. And that gold you received can help us if we need to venture out again."

Urick placed a new cloak over his shoulders, the familiarity of having something over his clothes felt reassuring despite the fact it was now a signal to anyone who knew of them.

"When do we leave for Windfall?" Urick asked.

"In a few days, we still must try and rediscover anything we can use to combat the goddess."

"You are being rather vague Gospel. I've been here for months looking through papers and parchment till my fingers began to split and we have only found so much. To look through all of this would be something beyond anything my lifespan could allow. The truth that remains buried here will still be here even if we leave for a time."

"Perhaps you are right Urick, but it cannot hurt to remain here for a little while longer. That reminds me, how did the amulet work?"

Urick pulled out his charm, the one he took along with him to Almirante.

"It works very well, but it has a range. If we could produce more of them, travel and evasion would increase drastically along with overall chances of mortality."

"That is good to hear!" Exclaimed Gospel, excited by the news.

The day would soon draw to a close and preparations would begin for the migration of the four who walked through the aged chamber. Unknowable to them, the bloodhounds of Kordai would soon be at their door within a few days time.

OoC: Will complete this interlude at a later time after more things happen in the other stories.

Edited by JRPomazon, 20 April 2010 - 12:51 AM.

#16 JRPomazon


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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:58 AM

A few days had passed, although time had a way of standing still in the Chamber of Sages. Urick, Zerk and Gospel studied and researched through the tomes they had collected, wrapping up their current studies before the trip back to Windfall Island. Some of the books and scrolls would be taken with them, so that even during the hiatus from stalking through the ancient library some research could be done. Little Thorn did not take part in the research, far too young to understand the words written by the sages. She found exploring the chamber, pretending to be slaying dragons from bookshelf to bookshelf.

“So, what are we bring back?” Zerk asked as he closed the book he had been reading.

“I’m thinking the Scrolls of Regina and the Seal of the Nocturne, I still need to look through them to see if I might have missed anything.

“Only one book for me.” Gospel said, holding a book that was titled “Seals and Incantations of Gaia”

“Seals?” Urick asked.

“Yes, I found something rather interesting within these dusty pages called the Inigos X Spirit seal, it says here it can seal any soul within a person’s body.”

“This is rather fascinating but I don’t think that will help us much.” Zerk said, picking up a new book.”

“How can you say that? This just might be what we’ve been looking for!”

“Gospel, seals are made and broken, the only thing between them is time. Sealing Lazu doesn’t guarantee that Verden will be restored either.”

“I see what you mean. It’s unfortunate, I had such high hopes for this.”

“And the only thing between us and fixing Verden is time too. We just got to keep at it.” Zerk replied.

Outside, the Imperial Templars had finally finished their journey. By the outer perimeter of the dorm, the seven red clad warriors prepared their siege.

“Remember your orders. Kill all but one of the heretics and destroy the pagan library. If we cannot do that, then we must prevent entry to the chamber. We cannot allow more dangerous ideas to fall into the hands of those who wish the Empire harm."

"Agreed. All for the glory of the goddess."

#17 JRPomazon


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Posted 04 June 2010 - 07:35 PM

OoC: Chapter 5's conclusion

They approached in silence, underneath the shadows of decimated structures and statues. The former icons of a more golden era offered them a cloak of darkness as they were embraced by the setting sun. It would be dusk soon, the night would have reign over the world. Little Thorn retained a good deal of her innocence, despite being a child abandoned and destitute during the days of the Alliance and worse, the days after the Alliance. It wasn't until the end of the empire that she would know the warmth of a home and family, the Grey Cloaks taking her in as one of their own. It gave the child hope, hope that there was more to this life than just survival. As she skipped and hopped through the ruins of the Chamber, she noticed something from a window she merrily skipped by. A moving shadow. With great curiosity she leaned in and looked to see what was out there, excited and scared all at once. The light was fleeting, the shapes became hard to recognize but even with the waning sunlight she could see the bad color on the shadows. From skipping came running, rushing to the library where the others were. The bad color meant people were going to die, she had to tell them what she had seen.

As she through the hallways, her journey was interrupted by a imperial templar who swatted the poor girl away with his buckler. Thorn rolled on the ground in pain, slowly getting up to look at what she just hit. As the imperial templar was recognized, she screamed. She screamed as loud as she could.

From the library, Urick and the others picked up her voice. The screams of a child seemed more irritating to the ear than most other forms of noise. Dropping the tome he carried in his hands and taking his scythe, without another thought he rushed to the child. Without the cloak he felt lighter, less resistance from the wind as he rushed to Thorn's aid. Urick was the one who found that girl, who protected her from that ditch as the cursed ran amok through the streets. He'd made sure to watch over the child ever since. The poor girl ran for her life, her and Urick meeting half way in the ancient domain.

"Urick! The bad color! The bad color is here!"

But to his horror, his servitude to the child would be cut short as an arrow would skewer the child from behind. She fell swiftly, her body had become motionless. Wide eyed and aghast, the white haired warrior rushed to the child and grabbed her as fast as he could. His compassion was awarded with an arrow to the shoulder. He didn't care. He had to get her out of here. To the library, to safety.

The Templars rushed from all openings they could find, looking for anything living to kill on sight. Those where their orders.

Urick rushed back to the library, Gospel and Zerk looking on as they saw the poor child bleeding out in Urick's arms.

"What happened!" Shouted Zerk.

"Bloodhounds, at least a dozen of them. They . . ."

"Hand me the child Urick! Let me see what I can do!" Gospel shouted as Urick handed Thorn over to the expert in healing. He removed the excess clothing and examined the wounds. There was a pause, Gospel just looking at damage done.

"The arrow has pierced her heart, there is nothing I can do."

Urick just stared, as if his very sole was drained from his body.

"We Got COMPANY!" Zerk said, grabbing his shield and raising it in front of the doorway. The shield grew to an immense size and blockd the doorway perfectly. The sounds of arrows echoed from the shield, a temporary defense.

"Urick, we need to leave now. We need to take the books and leave."

"DAMN THE BOOKS GOSPEL!" Urick shouted.

"Take Thorn and get her some help!"

"Urick, it is already too late! This is not the time to take leave of your senses!" Gospel retorted.

"Close the main door for crying out loud, I can't hold them back forever!" Zerk shouted, holding up his massive shield.

Without another thought, Gospel rushed to the wall and pressed a large button. Two massive stone doors began to shift slowly from each side, cutting the grey cloaks off from the templars and vice versa. With a loud click, the doors shut tight and a silence fell upon the library.

"There is not guarantee that will hold them off for very long. This place was designed to be sustained by Sage magic, those stone doors will not hold like they would have centuries ago."

Gospel looked at Urick's arm and proceeded to walk over.

"Let me take care of your arm Urick."

Urick swatted his hand away as he reached for his wound.

"Stop wasting your time and help-"

Zerk punched Urick from behind as he came back over to the two by the dying child.

"Urick, you heard Gospel just as well as did. There is nothing anyone can do for her right now."

Urick stared blankly at the child, covered in her own blood on the floor of the library. Tears began to well up in his eyes as Gospel then took his time to address the arrow in his shoulder.

* * *

Urick was patched up and Gospel acquired his books, Zerk took care of preparing Thorn's body. They had to leave now, there was no other choice.

"Once we open this door again, there won't be any going back." Zerk said, grabbing his massive shield as he took his position in the front of the group.

"You drop something, it's gone. If you stop, I can't. We need to get to the meditation room and use the warp point to get back to Windfall. I'm sure you two have have enough of an imagination to figure out what happens if we don't."

"Understood Zerk, thank you." Gospel said, taking a satchel and filling it with his books. Urick took little Thorn's body in his arms and held onto it for dear life, his scythe resting on his back.

"OK then, here we go."

Zerk pressed the button once again, the stone doors opening slowly and loudly. The attention of every last templar was directed towards that door. Once he was finally, cleared, Zerk took his shield and began rushing forward with Gospel and Urick close behind. The doors began to close again, sealing within the library all the books of historical value that would be kept safe fore eternity. There was no going back. The sounds of arrows clashing once again echoed in the hallways while other templars tried to attack Zerk's openings as he ran with the shield. But to their dismay, there were no openings to exploit and they were subsequently pushed aside with tremendous force. They kept running, as fast and as long as they could the three ran without looking back once. As they passed, the Templars who waited behind began to pursue them from the rear.

Zerk entered the meditation room first and quickly propped himself in front of the door as the other two came in.

"Get the magic working! I don't know who long I'll be able to hold them off!" Zerk shouted.

Gospel took his staff and began to cast a spell on a circle that was covered in a series of runes and markings. Urick looked on as Zerk held back a series of attacks from the other side. The circle was lit and a blue light glowed from the middle of the room.

"Quickly! Everyone to the center!" Gospel shouted as he and Urick holding Thorn's body rushed to the point. Zerk held his ground."

"Zerk, what in Diel's name are you waiting for! Get over here now!"

"You go ahead! I'll hold them off until you escape!"

"That's not how this works! We've only one trip!"

"I SAID MOVE IT!" He shouted back.

He stared back to the doorway in front of him, the large man staring down at least half a dozen imperial templars with even more on their way. He was going to protect them, not matter what the cost. Gospel closed his eyes as the blue light enveloped him and Urick, he did not wish to see any more of this grizzly sight.

"Thank you." Gospel replied.

The two disappeared within the light, leaving behind no trace of their presence. From the other side of the room, more templars broke through the very walls of the meditation room and sealed the fate of the warrior called Zerk.

* * *

After inspecting the Chamber, the templars found no sign of life with its walls and took the shield of Zerk as evidence for Solomon's investigation. The library was sealed before they could inspect it, saving volumes of information that would have been destroyed otherwise. The Chamber was then sealed by the outside, all entrances were closed off with whatever the templars could find and all information to it's location were destroyed. Once again, the Chamber of Sages had vanished from the face of all known geographical records.

Back at Windfall, the two Grey Cloaks returned with a few samples of the library and the body of Thorn. Their thoughts went back to the Chamber, the final resting place of their comrade who protected their lives with his own.

-Interlude V: End-

#18 JRPomazon


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Posted 18 June 2010 - 10:38 AM

1 year ago, Taj-Nar Mountains

The blind seer Tiresias had seen in a vision a great power residing with the Taj-Nar Mountains one stormy night at Windfall Island. After awaking from what he had seen, he called an audience with the best finders of the Grey Cloaks, Kalm and his newly appointed partner Russo. Within the stone chamber from where Tiresias resides, a circular room with narrow windows, the two warriors were told to venture to the western portions of the Taj-Nar Mountains and discover exactly what resided there and retrieve it if possible. Although unsure of why, the two began their journey with aid of Gospel's magic to send them into the heart of the mountains. They were told to meet back at a peak known as Cera's Throne in one week. It has been six days since the two began their journey.

The cloaked men walked up the ridged mountain path, the sounds of shifting rocks knocked away as they take their steps and a howling wind echoed throughout the area.

"So that's when I told her 'Sweetheart, that's all well and good but what when are you going to shut up and JUMP ME?'"

A silence fell upon the two, Russo's humor was not received well by Kalm.

"Ugh, tough crowd. Not one for humor, eh Kalm?"

"There's nothing to laugh about, we're on a mission." The tall Kalm replied to his shorter companion.

"Jeez guy, lighten up. We've been here for DAYS and we haven't seen hair nor hide of this "Tyrian Soul" the old man mentioned. I doubt it's even here."

"Stop complaining, you're getting on my nerves."

"I'm getting on YOUR nerves!? You've been as quiet as a freakin' church mouse since we got here. This is the first real conversation I've had in a week!"

"Gee, I wonder why?"

Russo crossed his arms, becoming increasingly irritated as Kalm keep his silence. The duo's eyes scanned the area, no signs of anything but rocks. Russo, being an ex-thief had a talent of noticing anything of value while Kalm was just observant. Personalities aside, the two did manage to get work done since they were paired up. The two climbed up and up, trekking through the stony paths underneath an ever imposing sun that beat down on their backs. They had hiked through at least half a dozen mountains since arriving, always moving west as Tiresias instructed. Upon the setting of the sixth day, a storm began to roll in and shrouded the sunset. Russo found this unfair, seeing that he was denied a beautiful sunset after a day of dry heat beating on his back while Kalm felt a since of foreboding.

"Great, first heat and now we get drenched."

Kalm kept silent, uninterested in anything Russo had to say.

"Say Kalm, I never thought to ask but where did you come from before everything went to hell in Verden?"

The silence continued, Russo uncertain whether or not he should continue talking. It felt as though he was speaking to a stone.

"Ikana." Kalm replied.

"Huh? Ikana? That's weird, you don't look much like a skeleton."

"I'm not one of the ones that were reanimated by Lady Selena, I arrived after I left my hometown in the Alliance."

"Fed up with Khuffie, eh? I don't blame you, I was thinking of going to the Forsaken Fortress where a thief like me could get respected."

"There is no honor among thieves, your journey would be for nothing."

Russo looked over to his companion, a eyebrow raised at his comment.

"Touche, Bone Boy."

The storm had rolled into full swing, the subtle sounds of thunder echoed in the heights as the two warriors took shelter by a rock wall facing the wind. The fire they had was composed of several twigs they managed to find, a meager comfort was better than nothing. Huddling next to the flickering flame, Russo looked to the sky and noticed that it had not begun raining yet. It was weird, he felt almost certain there would be a downpour. However, what he did discover was even more strange. A thick black soot was covering many of the rocks above the rock wall the two had stationed themselves by.

"Hey, take a look at my hand." Russo said, showing his dusty black hand to Kalm.

"I fail to see the punchline, what is this?"

"Not sure, but I think you out to take a look up above and see for yourself. I mean, you've got the height and all.

As he was told, Kalm rose to see what it was Russo was talking about and discovered that the entire area above the wall was scattered with charred earth with a single spire standing above the land.

"I think I might have found something."

"Yeah, that's what I was just saying! All this black stuff on my hands has to be from somewhere."

Kalm grabbed Russo and lifted him up to his eye level.

"Hey! What the hell are you-"

Russo say the ground and the spire.

"Kalm, I think I found something."

The two quickly abandoned the fire and climbed up the rocks to the charred ground. At first it did not seem like anything special, the dark and hazy sky looming over the black earth below as the men in grey traveled across. Then, as though they had trespassed on holy ground, a bolt of lighting crashed from the heavens in front of them. The two warriors froze in their steps as the brilliant flash appeared before them. In an instant, the light was gone and only their racing hearts were left in it's wake.

"That . . . was close." Russo said, shaking a little from the experience.

The two resumed their walk to the spire as yet another bolt crashed down to their right. Russo was nearly hit and jumped back from the shock.

"Damn it! This is too weird! I've got a bad feeling about this Kalm!"

Kalm said nothing as he looked at the shifting clouds above his head.

"Russo, on the count of three we run for the spire."

"Ah-WHAT!? Why would-"

"There is something wrong about this lightning, and looking at the ground I'm thinking it's trying to keep us out."

Russo looked at the charred ground and made a loud gulp noise in his throat."

"You are batshit crazy bonehead." He said, adjusting his cloak and belt underneath.

"On three?"

Kalm nodded.

"Ok then . . . 3!"

The two mad a mad dash for the spire that stood at the middle of the charred ground, planning to outrace even the lighting itself. As was expected, the lighting strikes targeted the two as they ran, attempting to stop them in their tracks. Nearly evading the dangerous lights as they crashed to the ground, they focused on trying to make it to their destination. Leaping and sidestepping, the two moved as though they were bolts themselves. Strange marks on their cloaks began to glow as they ran, their speed increasing as the feint light shined. Every effect on their person was graced with sage runes that were recently unearthed in a book at the fabled Chamber of Sages some time ago. In one last push, the two pushed themselves as the scattered lighting followed them at their heels to the spire, which stood only 7 feet from the ground. Panting, Russo leaned against the stone spire.

"Heh, I thought it would be bigger."

The two began to look around the as the lighting still struck the ground below them. The two looked in fright, almost ready to move again when they realized that the lighting was no longer following them. They looked at each other in confusion as the sky let loose it's fury.

"A lucky break?" Russo asked.

"No, I think we just found what the seer mentioned." The former Ikana warrior said, pointing at a strange violet stone coming out of the spire's surface near the top.

"Well, is that the Tyrian Soul? Kinda small."

He looked at Kalm.

"Well, go grab it."

Kalm turned to the stone and tried the climb up to grasp the purple stone, only to be met with a nasty shock the moment he tried to touch it.

"Gah! It's charged!" Kalm shouted as he flung his hand away.

"I need something to grab it with."

Russo reached for a small bag on his belt and searched through it, looking for something in particular. His face brightened up with success as he pulled a pair of cloth gloves.

"Alright, lemme try."

The shorter of the two men began to climb up the rocks with his gloves and a small pick axe in his hand. As he reached the stone, he stuck his pick underneath the stone and chipped away at the surrounding rock. After the first few strikes, a large groove was created that was big enough to extract the stone. With his glove, he reached gingerly and quickly swiped the stone from its indentation. The stone shocked him greatly, but he did not let go. As the stone was dislodged, the lighting began to die down. The two of them sat by the small spire and rested from the running and picking. Russo looked at the violet stone he had just grabbed.

"It's warm, in a weird way. I think this is it."

The two of them sat underneath the passing storm clouds, resting their backs against the stone spire. And just as they managed to take a deep breath, the rain began to fall.

Grey Interlude: Thunder Sidestory: End

Edited by JRPomazon, 18 June 2010 - 12:02 PM.

#19 JRPomazon


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Posted 08 August 2010 - 02:07 AM

Little Thorn was buried on Windfall Island, a cross marking the ground where she was placed to rest. Another cross was placed next to hers, a white cloth tried around it for Zerk. There were other crosses around those two. Russo, Leona, Willis, others as well. The flight from the Chamber of Sages happened a little more than a week ago, but still Urick stayed by the graves. He was weighted by a survivor's guilt, as were all of those who lived in these times but more so the executioner's son. The graves were placed on the lower field beneath the massive windmill that stood like a monolith over the ruins of the homes that occupied the once flourishing domain. The last structure that could be called home for anyone living here.

From the windmill, the raven haired Sierra watched on as Urick remained motionless in front of the graves.

"Is he . . . still out there?"

Lucas appeared from the keep of the massive windmill, slowly coming out into the day.

"Yes, he still hasn't moved." She replied.

She turned to the boy, his dirty blonde hair as messy as ever.

"You feeling well enough to be moving around? You shouldn't push yourself."

"I know Sierra, I know. I'm feeling much better today."


"Please, don't worry." He interjected.

Sierra looked at him dumbly, surprised that she was cut off.

"W-What's wrong?"

She laughed softly, covering her smile with her hand gently.

"I think that is the first time I've ever seen you show any kind of assertiveness in a conversation. You are usually pretty meek about talking with people."

"Y-Yeah?" He asked, scratching the back of his head while he looked to the ground in nervousness.

* * *

Gospel was inside the Windmill, in a small room of artifacts recovered from missions. They were resting on makeshift shelving created from spare pieces of wood that they managed to salvage from the island. The small stone dubbed "the Tyrian Soul", several scrolls and texts from the chamber of sages, and most importantly the book recovered from the ruins of the temple of Diel. Sitting by a window, he attempted to open the book but to every attempt was failure. A powerful force kept it's cover bound and the pages sealed and even Gospel's advanced magics could not undo this lock. He placed the book back on the shelf, sighing in despair as once again he was unable to unlock the secrets. He removed his hood to remove his spectacles and clean them with his cloak. A loud knock was heard from outside the room and from the opened door came Kalm, who had been in search of Gospel for some time. Gospel placed his spectacles on again, the frames brushing away his curly auburn hair.

"There you are." The Ikana denizen said, his hood still over his face.

"Have you been looking for me Kalm? I'm sorry, I was trying to open the book again."

"Again? How many times have you tried it now? Six? Seven?"

"Oh come now, there is nothing wrong with perseverance. Inside that book may very well be the chance we need to begin the re-genesis process this land needs."

"Or it doesn't and it's a piece of trash in a fancy white cover."

"How can you say that? Russo gave his life so you could return to this island WITH that book."

"No Gospel, Russo gave up his life so he could die in a manner of his choosing and so I could live. The reason you have that book is because it was part of the mission."

"Is that all this is to you? Just the prize for the mission? This could be-"

"Enough, Gospel. The reason I came looking for you was to ask for your help getting Urick back on his feet again but I don't think you're going to be of much use."

Kalm turned around and walked away, tired of the uncaring sage that sat in the poorly lit room of relics. Gospel was without words, he knew he was in error by saying something like that. He rested his head against he hand he sighed again.

"Oh Diel, what must I do?"

* * *

By the graves, Urick sat still as he stared at the small wooden cross bearing the roughly carved name "Thorn". Thought from physical appearances he seemed still and silent, inwardly the poor soul cried and shrieked in grief. Cursing himself, the templars, the chamber, everything involved with her death and the death of Zerk. From behind, the old general Belze approached him, his old and weathered face carrying a grief of it's own.

"Do you know how long you're been out here?" He asked the white haired man. Urick remained silent.

"Do you know how much longer you're going to be out here?"

Urick remained silent.

"Do you know that you cannot bring her and Zerk back from the dead by just sitting here?"

Belze pulled two wild flowers from the inside of his cloak, held by the belt he wore underneath by the scabbard of his long sword. He gently placed them by the graves of Zerk and Thorn.

"I remember serving with Zerk in one of the campaigns of the old Alliance. We were stationed in Van'Duras on the day the Labyrinth came and tore up the capital. Nothing but screams and fires. We did what we could to help the defending forces, but their strength left them as those monsters ripped through. I was wounded from a previous attack as several alliance soldiers and myself we cornered by a group of those bastards, who wanted nothing more than to rip our head clean off. As we looked at our would be executioners, it was Zerk who took only his shield and rushed to attack them head on. We thought he was running to his death but you should have seen what he could do with that simple iron shield. But he kept them all back for us, he made himself into a wall so we could escape and managed to break through their ranks once we had escaped. He would never allow a single one of his comrades to die if he knew there was something he could do. After I met the Viridian Knight and the seer, I was happy to see him again and still sane no less in the ruins of Olimandias."

He stopped, noticing that the white cloth around Zerk's cross was coming undone. The aged warrior knelt down and retied it.

"I understand you're hurting. We all are. But you can't let the hurting become more important than the living you and me have to do."

Urick still remained silent.

"Come by the Windmill when you are hungry kid. All this grief will make that white hair of yours yellow."

Belze left Urick to himself.

Thought from physical appearances he seemed still and silent, inwardly he was slowly beginning to put the pieces back together.

* * *

Facing the ocean, the Tiresias sat on a stone as the sea breeze brushed against him. Though blind, he was watching the future play out before his eyes. Happiness and Sadness mingling together in a mixed, but discernible outcome. His black blindfold that covered his eyes contrasted with the paleness of his frail body.

"Old man, what the hell are you out here for? On that note, how the hell DID you manage to get out here. I thought you were blind."

Maes, stomping in his usual manner came to destroy the tranquil scene. His hood blew in the breeze, though it still covered a good portion of his face.

"I have my ways of getting around, a blind man is not a helpless man."

"Whatever. I just came to tell you about that "thing" from earlier."

"How was Horace?"

"Brutalized, chained up in a cold Calatian cage. Jordan was there, he knows his side of the story."

"And I have been seen how it played out for some time now. And so it was that what I have seen has come to pass."

"Why did you ask me that anyway? You knew I was going to kill him. You ASKED me to finish the hit AND you already saw it happen before it ever did."

"My prediction of future events is not as flawless as many might think. You see, there are occasions when the future I see and the future that plays out are not one and the same. There are those who have altered the flow of time to take another route and with the chaos of Lazu, the future has become much harder to predict."

"Is that why you want to get rid of the Goddess? So you can see the future better?"

"Partially, but that is not the sole reason I have helped found this group to save Verden and perhaps other lands from darkness."

"Care to ENLIGHTEN me old man?"

Tiresias turned his head to the sound of Maes' voice.

"My reasons are for me and me alone. I have no intentions of justifying myself to you Maes."

"The why did you send me to kill good ol' Horace you fucking geezer? Why not Jordan?"

"The Dragoon would not kill him, he believed that he could save Horace and bring him back. I feared the future that would come of this decision and sent you to prevent it."

"What was that future?" Maes asked.

"The Alliance capturing Windfall, discovering it's secrets. I would become their tool for war and you among others would be killed."

"Heh, scary stuff. And what about the Green Dream?"

"He would join the vikings only to die in battle at the hands of he who once called himself his friend. Now Maes, I must tell you now that you are not to tell anyone of what has transpired out in Calatia. Only yourself and I known the truth while Gospel understands that you had to tell Jordan a message."

"No need to tell me twice. This isn't the first time I've prevented one of these bad futures of yours."

Maes left Tiresias' company, walking off to entertain himself. The old seer resumed his meditation by the open sea and began to feel the weight of an unearthly shadow creeping from the depths.

"Do you come with a message specter? A tale of foreboding to frighten us, we among the living? I am the one who sees the future, as well as the past. No words you have could offer me fear and discouragement."

"As expected of the blind seer Tiresias. But even you could not predict MY words. Your foresight is limited to this world, the world of the living where I have been a denizen of the dead for several years. But soon you'll be able to."

"That is a future that will not come to pass."

"And you will stop it? My plans have already progressed to the point that not even you could stop them. As my former pact-partner, you should know what will happen now. Hell, I know what's going to happen to YOU and everyone on this island."

"What do you plan to do Wraith? Has this world enough chaos coursing through it's veins?"

"Oh, absolutely. But it's not being done right at all. I've got to set the example for the puppet of Lazu and show her how it's really done."

"And what is this you speak of? The dead cannot return to the land of the living. Your ambition is folly, as it has always been since the accursed day we became bound by our souls."

"I am aware of the workings of this world that Diel himself put into place. But what I think you should be more concerned about is whether you will truly be able to foresee the events to come. The ones that don't involve you allowing bloodshed.""

The presence had left the seer without a trace, the old man left without words as he could already speculate what the wraith from beyond had in store for the world.

"Whatever it takes, I will secure the proper future for this world as I have done for a centuries."

Interlude VI: End

#20 JRPomazon


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Posted 28 August 2010 - 01:39 AM

Within his chambers in the remains of the giant windmill, the old seer had sealed himself inside and had remained undisturbed for several days. Although the Grey Cloaks were told not to disturb him during this period, they feared for his health for he had not eaten anything for several days. Pacing the outside of the room, Gospel worries about the older man's safety as Vale sits quietly by.

"Why has he locked himself in there?" Gospel asks aloud.

"Gospel, don't you think you are getting a little too worried? This isn't the first time Tiresias has locked himself away in his room." Vale replied.

"I know that, but I can't help but think that there is something different about this time. I cannot place my finger on it but something is definitely amiss."

The brief interaction between the two of them ended there, Gospel resuming his pacing as Sierra rose from the ground and headed outside.

"I'm heading outside for some air, perhaps you should do the same soon Gospel.

The older woman left the scholar to his brooding, heading out of the windmill to get a breath of fresh air. However, her walk was interrupted when she was stopped by a tap on her shoulder. She turned around to find who other than Maes, smiling smugly as Vale quickly brushed his hand away.

"What is it you degenerate?"

"Geez, right off the bat you go with the insults. I'm hurt Vale. Really hurting."

"I presume you have nothing better to do than bother me, so I'll be on my way."

"Well hold on now, hear me out." Maes said, walking in front of Vale and blocking her path.

"YES?" She asked, irritated being around Maes for a period of more than two minutes.

"Tell me, did you have to kill your kids during the Cataclysm or were they already dead?"

Vale quickly retorted with a straight right jab into Maes' face. The older woman was furious. Maes stumbled back, quickly regaining his balance as he chuckled. His question was asked for the sole purpose of opening old wounds.

"I'm sorry, did I hit a sore spot mommy dearest? HA! It's so easy to rile you people up."

"You're repulsive you sad bastard."

As Maes got back up, his hood fell from his head, revealing his scarred face. Vale's eye's grew wide as they saw his battered face and bright red eyes.

"The hell . . . ?"

"Ah. The eyes, right? Yeah, I keep those puppies hidden for a reason, there ain't many people with peepers like this. Only people who have lived in the-"

"Labyrinth." Vale interrupted.

Maes raised his brow in surprise.

"Oh? So you know about the ol' Labyrinth? Well, everybody here does, so that isn't much. However, we have a problem now."

Maes moved closer.

"You see, we can't have people knowing that bit of trivia 'bout me. I've got my reasons for keeping it "hush hush" and I'm not going to spoil the surprise for anybody."

Maes pulled out his ball and chain and quickly wrapped the chain around Vale's neck. The woman grabbed the metal choking her neck, but her strength was not enough to pull free from it's hold.

"So now I got clean this mess up."

He wrapped the chain around her neck tighter and tighter, slowly squeezing the life from her. As her face turned blue, Vale rushed Maes and headbutted him. He stumbled back, giving her some slack in the process as his grip loosened. She screamed as loud as she could until the chain was tightened again.

"Stop squirming already, this doesn't have to be so-"

A pair of daggers flew at Maes, the Labyrinth warrior taking the hit on his left arm rather than his face or chest. Sierra, along with Lucas had heard Vale screaming.

"Maes! What are you doing!? You're hurting her!" Sierra shouted, shocked to see Maes killing Vale.

"Well no shit girlie!" He shouted, pulling the daggers out of his arm as Vale escaped. The woman panted hard as she knelt to the ground, Sierra and Lucas awestruck as they saw Maes' face.

"Those . . . those eyes . . ." Lucas said, caught off guard by the ruby red eyes.

OoC: Will complete this chapter tomorrow evening.

Edited by JRPomazon, 28 August 2010 - 01:40 AM.

#21 JRPomazon


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Posted 30 August 2010 - 01:54 AM

Maes suddenly fell back and ran further inside the windmill, quickly throwing his hood over his face. As he left, Sierra and Lucas ran to the panting Vale, who desperately gasped for air.

"I'm fine, don't let him escape." She said, coughing after finishing the sentence.

Lucas and Sierra both rushed after Maes, apprehending him was the first priority. The warrior had gone violent several times before, but it was never like this. He had never tired to kill anyone when he got into one of his infamous 'moods.' As Maes ran through the old stone hallways throughout the massive windmill, he appeared as though he was looking for something in particular. He kept turning his head left and right, as if he needed to find a certain room. At last, he stopped at a storage room near the top of the building, the artifact room. He swung his ball and chain to pick up momentum and threw the ball which crashed through the wooden barrier. He smiled smugly, walking through the splintered remains as he looked for his prize.

"MAES! Stop this now!"

He turned back to see Sierra, Lucas behind her.

"You gonna stop me?" He asked.

"Why Maes? Why did you try to kill Vale? This doesn't make any sense!" Lucas shouted, passionately curious as to Maes' fall into madness.

"The same reason I got to kill you kids, you know something you ain't suppose ta. And that, is a no no."

He threw his chained ball at the two of them, Sierra and Lucas managed to dodge the strike which broke the stone wall behind them.

"Hmm, getting sloppy." Maes commented, quickly pulling his weapon back.

Sierra drew several daggers and threw them at Maes, most of them hitting various portions of his body. As he protected himself by placing his arms around his vitals at the last second, one blade managed to strike his gut. Maes grunted in pain.

"D-Damn it." He said, holding back the painful expressions as best he could.

* * *

Maes was tied in rope and thrown into a large room within the Windfall Windmill. The others had gathered save for the grieving Urick and Tiresias who had remained in his quarters to discuss what course of action to do next.

"We've never had anything like this happen before on Windfall, what happened to Maes out in the field to make him go this mad?" Asked Gospel, confused by the recent development.

"Maes has always been unstable, madness for him is nothing new." Said Belze. Maes, overhearing this, smiled smugly.

"But perhaps he has finally lost his constitutions and the curse is beginning to take a hold."

"He never had constitutions to begin with." Vale said, a bandage around her neck. They looked over at the red eyed convict, slowly shifting the ropes in a vain hope of escape.

"He's of the Labyrinth, the reason he was able to live as long as he did in these lands is because he had already lost his mind a lot longer than you or any of us might think."

"How old do you think he is?" Asked Lucas.

"Doesn't matter, stay on point Lucas." Kalm interrupted.

"So . . . what will happen to him now?" Sierra asked, the eyes of the others focused on her.

A sudden silence fell on the group, each of them debating to themselves the answer to that particular question.

"He . . . He can't stay here. Not after this." Gospel said.

The others looked back at the scholar.

"You've said it yourself Belze, Maes has always been like this. And he has been getting worse."

"Are you suggesting that we cast him out in the cursed lands?" Sierra asked.

"NO." Gospel said.

"If we let him live . . . he could give away information about us. One of us has to give him a final punishment."

"You are suggesting we KILL him!?" Lucas contested.

"We can't do that! There is no way we could ever do that! He's one of us!"

"He's not, Lucas." Belze said.

"He attacked you and Sierra, tried to steal one of the artifacts from storage and almost killed Vale. He doesn't get anymore chances."

The elder warrior drew his longsword and pointed it towards Maes. It was at this moment that Maes saw the irony of what was happening to him now. He had done many secret missions ordered by Tiresias himself as he tried to make the "perfect future" come to pass. Hell, he even killed the long lost Horace in Calatia. As death finally found itself directed straight at him, he understood just what Tiresias had been planning all along. His death at the hands of his comrades was a future Tiresias was going to allow.

"You sure you want to kill me Belze?" Maes asked.

Belze remained silent.

"Or perhaps you do. Maybe these are your true colors."

He looked at the group of people behind Belze.

"And look at all of you, conspiring to kill me like the bastards you are. You talk about saving the damn nation, but you're no different than the cursed! HA! You'd kill me without a second thought while standing on that damn high horse you call 'justice' or 'fairness'. And you know what? I'd kill all of you if it means my life!"

Maes broke his bindings with a feat of muscular strength and knocked Belze's sword from his hands. He quickly grabbed the sword and slashed wildly at Belze, who leaped back from the weapon's reach.

"I'll start with you OLD MAN!"

Maes cried out in pain as a scythe dug into his back as it ripped down his back from behind. The red eyed Maes turned to find Urick standing behind him, holding his bloodied scythe.

"Fucking A, what the hell is wrong with me today?" Maes said as he felt to his knees.

"Urick!" Lucas shouted, happy to see him come at the knick of time.

"Just in time it seems." He said, looked at Maes slowly try to get on his feet.

"D-Damn it. . ." Maes said, slowly trying to get up.

"Don't even try Maes. If you think I'll let you get up again, I'll end your life." Urick said, readying his weapon.

"Oh? The crybaby is going to kill me? This should be rich . . . heh."

"Don't bother Urick, he's not worth your time." Belze said, reclaiming his sword.

Maes smiled, despite the pain and threw a small ball from his hand. As the ball hit the floor, it began to cloud the room in a dusty fog. As the Grey Cloaks coughed and weezed for the first few moments of the smoke bomb, Maes managed to get back on his feet and ran out of the room as soon as he could. As he left the people who had been his comrades for close to two years, he ran as quickly as he could, looking for a room yet again.

OoC: Will finish this post later tomorrow. See below for conclusion

Edited by JRPomazon, 04 September 2010 - 11:52 PM.

#22 JRPomazon


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Posted 05 September 2010 - 12:02 PM

Blood dripping from his back, Maes ran frantically to the artifact room where he was last captured. There was definitely something there that could help him get out of here, if not be used as a bargaining chip. The others were still coughing and trying to clear the smoke from the room, buying him enough time to reach his destination. He began spinning the large ball and chain flail and threw it into the wall, traveling through the stone and creating a new entrance through one of the rooms. He leaped through the opening, threw his mace again and repeated the assault until he final rediscovered the artifact room. As he looked around, he grabbed the violet stone without so much as a thought and broke down the door in front of him. He had no idea what this thing was, all he knew was that it was important for something.

As he left the room, he managed to be a step away from a flying dagger that almost struck the side of his face. Sierra had managed to find him it seemed, the others were not far behind. He turned around and ran off as yet another dagger flew by him. He threw the massive steel ball at the ground below, smashing the floor open which he quickly used to make a hasty escape to the lower floors. As he landed, he quickly looked around him to find that Kalm and Urick were on the other side of the medium sized room. Quickly, he threw the steel ball at the ceiling, breaking away more stone to rain down on the two of them. As Urick was forced to back away from the debris, Kalm managed to run around it and threw his axe at Maes as he retrieved his weapon. The ex-convict side stepped the attack and ran off, breaking the old wooden door down as he ran into it.

He ran into a smaller room with a staircase leading down into the lowest level of the windmill, his ultimate destination. As he headed towards the spirl staircase, he was kicked in the solar plexus, Vale had come to intercept him with her fists. Maes got to his feet quickly, despite the various wounds he had collected.

"Well hi Mom, how's the neck doing?" He asked, beginning to spin his mace to pick up momentum.

"You bastard, you're not getting away." She replied, readying herself for his attack.

She charged at him, her speed was impressive for a woman in her late thirties. Maes threw the steel ball at her directly, the blunt weapon heading straight for her. She countered as she punched the mace, causing the projectile weapon to shatter into three large chunks. Maes looked on in disbelief as he saw his weapon shatter right before his eyes.

"You've got to be kidding me." He said, dropping the powerless chain.

Upon further inspection, he saw that Vale's bandaged hands were nothing but a ruse hiding her true weapon. Steel Gauntlets inscribed with sage magic runes.

"No more tricks now Maes!"

She charged again, throwing a straight jab at Maes' face and sent him into the wall behind him.

"You bitch . . ." He said, getting up sluggishly. His face was bloodied and he was certain his nose was broken. He grabbed the violet stone he stole earlier and raised it towards Vale.

"See this? You stop right now, or I'll shatter this stupid stone." He said, pleading for his life under the guise of an upper hand.

"Really Maes? You think a ploy like that is going to convince me not to kick your ass?" Vale replied, lunging at the barely standing Maes. As she when to connect with another punch, Maes unintentionally blocked with the hand that held the violet stone. The stone glowed, causing a large flash to shine from the artifact as lighting shot from it and hit Vale. The blast had electrocuted her and sent her to the ground. Maes looked dumbfounded as he tried to make sense of what had happened. He looked at the stone.

"Well, aren't you fun?" He said, running around the fallen Vale and down the stairs.

As he made his way to the bottom, his eyes adjusted to the poor lighting of the basement. This is where he sometimes stayed, in a dark place that reminded him of his home. He walked through a small door to find his destination, the lotteria pool that rested at the base of the Windfall Windmill. Long ago, these were used as wellsprings for teleportation portals. They were the source of the power that was used to bring Grey Cloaks to all corners of the world in an instant. Maes smiled as he quickly ran towards the blue glowing light that came from the pool. He looked into the portal and was transported away. Without planning a location ahead of time, the portal took him to a random place somewhere on the planet. Belze and Gospel ran into the room to see the clever Maes escape, looking back at his former comrades with a smug and triumphant smile.

"Damn it!" Cried Belze, running towards the pool to go after Maes.

"No Belze!" Gospel said, catching up after the old swordsman and holding him back by his shoulder.

"Look at the portal!"

The two of them looked to see a fantastic city surrounded by plains and dry sands. The white Colosseum that stood over the rest of the city told the two where Maes had ended up.


"It is not quite that simple Belze."

The two turned around to find Tiresias, whose visage was illuminated by the glow coming from the pool.

"He chose a location at random. He had as much of a chance of landing in a volcano as he did the imperial capital. But the end of his life is now certain, Solomon and his bloodhounds are currently within the walls of the city."

The two remained silent, looking back at the pool to see the image of the Arbiter's Grounds fade away.

"Come, let us meet with the others. We must decide on what to do from here on."

Interlude VII: End

#23 JRPomazon


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Posted 10 September 2010 - 03:09 AM

"They are coming denizens of Verden. I have foreseen a red dawn fall upon these shores from which we cannot escape."

Tiresias addressed the last of the Grey Cloaks within the large meeting hall inside the windmill. The signs of the previous scrimmage with Maes were still visible, reminders of his desertion almost impossible to ignore now. As the now hoodless warriors looked at each other with worry and pensive expressions, the blind seer continued to go on about his vision.

"We have to leave. If what the seer says is true, we gather our valuables and take flight." Vale said, crossing her arms.

"We don't know if Maes was captured, perhaps he escaped and they don't know where we are." Commented Lucas, holding on the possibility of hope.

"He landed in the heart of the empire. There is no doubt that he was captured for information by either the Inquisition or other imperial forces." Urick replied, dashing the youth's hope.

"But where will we go? The Chamber has been compromised and our older outposts have either been overrun by cursed or just plain fell apart! Windfall is one of the few places left in Verden where normal people can even live! It's our home!" Sierra exclaimed, becoming quite passionate for the survival of her comrades.

"But we have mere days before the empire and their advanced ships come to wipe us out! What sense is there to stay in a place just to be killed? I agree with Vale, we must leave." Kalm said.

"We can try to retreat to Calatia." Lucas said.

"Are you mad? There is a war going on right now between the Kingdom and the Empire. Any and everything that is foreign to either side will be regarded as an enemy, it's almost a certain death." Kalm replied.

"Sierra does have a point." Belze commented. The others turned to the senior warrior.

"This place is our home, I don't think we can survive for too long if we try to go off and find a new place to live. The cursed have become much more savage than they have been in months, smarter too. Besides, we all knew that one day that this island may be discovered and that is precisely why we have set up proper protection from any and all invaders."

"From the research I have done within the Chamber, I have discovered the secrets to some of the sage's ways of protecting their strongholds. I believe I can manage to maintain a barrier around the island if we are to be attacked, perhaps even some remote magic."

"And what if that isn't enough? What then Gospel?" Vale asked.

"Then we fight." Belze said.

"Tiresias, can you call upon Jordan to return to us? If we are going to be attacked, we will need his strength to fight them off." Sierra asked.

"My dear child, I fear that I have not been able to communicate with the Dragoon for some time since his last visit. I fear that he is within the recesses of Lazu's corruption and beyond my sight." The seer replied, lowering his head in remorse.

"So there is no way he'll come back to help us now . . . maybe we should leave . . ." Urick commented.

"I am a blind man, there are many things I cannot see boy. I may be able to bring the Dragoon to us yet, but it will take time. But whether or not I try depends on your answer." Tiresias said.

They all looked at each other, each of them seeking answers from everyone but themselves.

"So . . . do we wait for a miracle?" Vale asked.

* * *

Three ships filled with imperial templars had left the waters of the goddess and sailed to the Cursed Lands. On the front ship, the smallest of the trio, Solomon stood over a large chart on a oak table. He plotted the quickest route to Windfall with the aid of several navigators he 'brought' with him. Dressed in his imperial clothing, the Grand Marshal stared intently at the small oval that marked the island's location. If one did not know beter, they would assume his gaze would burn a hole straight through the map. Several of his affects were brought with him, mostly artifacts and samples recovered from the various encounters with the Grey Cloaks. The shattered short sword that belonged to Russo, the tattered cloak worn by Leona and the shield that belonged to Zerk that was taken from the Chamber of Sages. Solomon requested these be brought on board so perhaps he could devise a strategy to wipe out the inhabitants of the island. This was however all depending on the truth of Maes' words.

Maes was kept under close guard as he took a good portion of what food was available to him. Various fruits and jerked meats we scarfed down as the templars could barely keep their eyes on the gruesome display. It was the best meal he had in months, manners were the last thing on his mind. Despite the convict's lack of tack and the templar's patience, there was like Solomon's overwhelming presence on that ship. A sort of choking madness, though he appeared composed his insatiable bloodlust had completely intoxicated him. As the Grand Marshal took a step outside, he looked on to the open sea. Soon, soon he would finally end this matter between him and these heretics personally. He would send each and every one to hell and act as the hammer that strikes evil in the name of the goddess. The steam power vessels then sailed into the setting sun, it was only a matter of time before the beginning of the end.

#24 JRPomazon


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Posted 11 September 2010 - 05:36 PM

OoC: Here is part two, I'll try to wrap this up with as few posts as possible. My apologies ahead of time if this whole thing has been kinda spammy, but seeing as things are developing quicker than I thought they would I'm going to need to finish this mess up.

The night had passed and the sun had begun to rise again. Solomon remained in his small quarters on the ship, sitting on the edge of his meager bed. He was waiting, staring off into space as he patiently meditated. Of course, the inner workings of Solomon's mind were not so serene, filling his thoughts with the ideas of how to properly execute a massacre. They would be guarded, protected from invaders. They would also use the island to their advantage, best to avoid guerrilla warfare at all costs in a place they had no prior knowledge of. However, he had three ships filled with Templars and his own personal militia ready to strike at a moment's notice. This was good, seeing as he wanted to purge this heretics from this world.

He wanted them dead. Every last one. He would kill them one by one, no public executions or glorified deaths like last time. No, they don't deserve to be remembered. But their deaths will be long. They will be painful. And they will, by any means, be stretched out for as long as Solomon liked. He would not stop until he was satisfied. But until then, the voyage continued. They were going nearly at the top speed, it wouldn't be too much longer now.

* * *

The denizens of Windfall Island chose not to wait for a miracle, to take flight from the island was the decision made by the majority. So they packed what little they could, provisions and supplies with the occasional artifact or memento. The blind seer had nothing of value to bring and opted to wait for the others, but he wasn't expecting to leave this place for he had knowledge that the others did not have. But he kept his silence, the others would soon find out what he knew. Within the basement of the Windmill, this knowledge was being obtained first hand as Gospel went to collect enough power to begin their exodus.

"No . . . no no no no!" He cried, placing his hands on his head.

"What's wrong Gospel?" Asked Lucas, who had already collected his things.

"The portal . . . the lotteria pool is too weak to send us."

"Huh!? What do you mean? What happened?"

"It was Maes. He haphazardly jumped in without another thought. His lack of preparation has drained the pool of too much of it's power."

"Well, can't we replenish it or something?"

" . . . It takes a month to restore the power of these portals, we haven't the time. And there is also a chance that it may even be impossible to restore it properly."

The two were silent. Gospel pushed his spectacles up as Lucas stared off into space.

"We need to tell them, huh?" Lucas asked, looking back to Gospel. The priest remained silent, still gathering his composure.

"Yes . . ."

* * *

The three ships continued on their course as planned, three little wooden triangles were placed on the large sea chart to indicate their position. Inside the large cabin in the ship, two navigators checked their instruments and were preparing to take them outside to better decipher where they were.

"This whole voyage has me a bit on the edge." One started, grabbing his sexton.

"What do you mean?" The other replied, overlooking the chart.

"Some grunt from the inquisition comes to us, says this ship needs a crew. And not just any ship, one of these new ships with the technology from Vildmark. And it has an engine room, I have no idea WHAT an engine is! And where heading for this little island in the CURSED LANDS. The Grand Marshal must be mad."

"I agree that I do not understand why we are here or what Lord Solomon has in mind but I think it is safer for now to be quiet with our doubts. I always hear terrible stories about that man, this Lord Solomon."

"You and me both."

The two of them collected what they came for and moved under the fading starlight to find Solomon standing out by the bow of the ship, staring at the rising sun. They looked over to see a red crescent growing out of the water.

"The sun is . . . red." One said to the other.

"This . . . this cannot be a good omen."

"I beg to differ." Solomon interrupted, the two navigators surprised that their words carried to his ears. He turned to them, smiling viciously.

"This red dawn will be the day of our greatest fortune."

* * *

Gospel and Lucas had left the basement to tell the others the unfortunate reality of their situation. There were some tears, some shouting, distress was abundant within their ranks. Where do we go now? What do we do? As they were caught up within their own discord, the blind seer took his leave and headed out of the room and into the outdoors. Despite for being blind, he had done well for himself to navigate around the windmill. He wanted to be outside, where he could feel the breeze. Leaning on his staff, he lowered his head as if he were praying.

"This . . . this is for the best. After today, the course of the future will be for the best."

It was almost as though he was trying to convince himself. The old man knew what would happen here, perhaps he had known for years what would happen here. Or perhaps, he knew only a single possibility of what would happen here. Inside the Windmill, the others had stopped their frantic complaints. They all looked at each other, tired of the explosion of emotion.

"So . . . it seems we have to wait for a miracle if we are going to live." Kalm said, leaning against the stone walls of the Windmill.

"And what if their isn't a miracle?" Urick asked, sitting on the floor.

"What then?"

"We fight." Lucas said, his uncharacteristic response surprising the others.

"I don't . . . I don't really want to fight . . . but there isn't anyway around it. So, we got to do what we can . . . here."

Belze placed his hand on the shoulder of the young archer.

"Well said Lucas." He said.

"So, it's just the seven of us versus who knows how many of them." Vale said, placing her hood back over her head.

Gospel got to his feet and walked out of the room.

"Where are you going Gospel?" Belze asked. Gospel turned around, a stern expression on his face.

"I'm the only one who can properly manage the magical barrier that we had placed on this island. I'm just getting ready for the storm."

* * *

A top the imperial ship, a young man sat in the crow's nest, looking through a telescope that saw nothing but open water. He asked himself why he was even here, a combination of boredom and lack of sleep made him a generally unhappy person at this particular junction in time. It was out of sheer boredom that he took his telescope to his eye and stared out into the water when he unexpectedly found something. He didn't say anything at first, studying the mass closely to be sure that he was correct. Suddenly, he wasn't so bored.

Inside the ship, Solomon looked over the chart with the three wooden triangles intently. His patience had been strained thin over the past few days. According to the navigators and what Maes had told him, the three ships should be close to the island. If they did not see land today, then this entire voyage would be deemed a waste of time and Maes would be promptly killed.

"What is the estimated time till we reach land?" he asked the navigators.

'M'Lord, it should be only two hours."

"If it was two hours, we would have already seen the island!" He exclaimed, his voice carrying a tremendous force. Anyone within earshot was fearful of what Solomon might do if he is to be kept on this ship for much longer. They all prayed to the goddess that they find what they were looking for, or fall prey to Solomon's wraith. Before the navigators had to attempt to reason with a man who had no concept of the word, a red clad templar had entered the room. He stood straight and saluted Solomon as soon as he entered the room.


"Sir, the man in the crow's nest has confirmed land 12 miles from our current location. Land ho sir."

Solomon smiled, turning back to the navigators.

"Alright then, two hours it is."

Edited by JRPomazon, 11 September 2010 - 05:38 PM.

#25 JRPomazon


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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:21 AM

Windfall was now visible to the naked eye, the closer the ships got to the shores the more and more excited and irritable Solomon became. He stayed on the open deck, occasionally pacing or looking over the rail to the ocean. He was reminiscing of all the events, incidents and confrontations he had with they Grey Cloaked heretics, each memory fueling the fire of his vengeance. Did you think you could hide here and hamper progress whenever you saw fit? Did you think your dream would last forever? Did you think the empire would just let you all live in peace after what you have done so many times before? Never.

It's time to wake up.

The ship shook violently, as if they had his a sandbar or some sort of outstanding boulder. Many of the passengers where shaken to their knees, Solomon included. As the Grand Marshal got to his feet, he noticed a dome of light extending out from the island from all sides. As he looked on, all possibilities that this island was not inhabited were destroyed completely.

"Lord Solomon, what is this!?" asked on of the templars, not sure as to what he was seeing.

"A magical barrier . . . clever."

Solomon turned to the templar.

"Bring me the heretic." He order. Before the templar could salute, they were interrupted by a smacking noise.

"Somebody looking for me?"

Solomon turned to see that Maes had already made his way to the deck as he was eating an apple. He was comfortably leaning against the side of the ship.

"Ah, Gospel is working on guard duty. He controls the defenses for the island with his magic."

"How do we get past?" Solomon asked.

"You don't, that's the point of the barrier."

Solomon walked over and grabbed Maes by the collar of his cloak.

"You'd be wise to not be clever with me heretic."

Maes dropped his half eaten apple and swatted Solomon's hands from his collar. Solomon stepped back, surprised that his grip was swatted away.

"I'm 200 years too old to let myself get scolded by you." Maes replied, his red eyes glaring.

Solomon drew his saber, tearing it away from the loose cloth that held it back and thrust it into the wooden wall that Maes was resting on, a mere inch from his person.

"And I don't have to allow you to live."

Solomon's green eyes glared right into the contrasting reds of Maes. A silence quickly fell over the two of them, both of them just as reckless and brash as the other.

"You had me look at some crap you collected from the 'heretics' you killed, did you bring them along with you by any chance?" Maes asked.

"Yes, I brought all evidence in the inquisition's possession with me." Solomon replied.

Maes smiled.

"Bring me the shield."

* * *

"They've reached the barrier?" Urick asked Gospel, who was holding his staff as he sat crosslegged facing the ocean. The barrier dome flashed with white light periodically, like a lighthouse beacon rotating in the night.

"Yes, I can sense their presence. It appears to be three ships, I presume all filled to the brim with bloodhounds." Gospel replied, maintaining his concentration.

"How long can you hold this up for?"

"A few days. If those ships are filled with as many men as I think they are, they will run out of provisions and have to head back for an imperial dock."

"And if they have enough provisions?" Urick asked.

"Then there will have been enough time pass to restore some of the lotteria pool's power. Enough to get some of us out of here."

Urick paused, concerned that Gospel had already made a list of survivors and sacrifices in his head.

* * *

A templar returned to the deck with the shied recovered from the Chamber of Secrets. He lowered it onto the deck and placed it down.

"Perhaps you can tell me what is so important about this shield then. I've had historians and scholars alike inspect this artifact and yet we know next to nothing about it."

"Well, it's a shield for starters." Maes said, hoping to irritate Solomon one last time.

"But the real kicker about this baby are these."

Maes ran his fingers around the shield, yellow rune markings began to lighten up as his touched it.

"All the other scrap you collected was too badly damaged to use, but our equipment has been covered with these magic sage runes for a number of reasons. Makes us stronger, or faster, walk on water even. The shield you managed to get in more or less one piece, so it still works. Obviously. Now, since this shield is active, the barrier will recognize us as a lost little Grey Cloak."

Maes took the shield and threw it at the shining barrier, causing the magical dome to break upon impact. The metal shield bounced back onto the deck of the ship, spinning a little bit before coming to a stand still. Solomon looked on in amazement as the barrier was broken.

"Full speed ahead! I want to be on those shores NOW!" He shouted.

* * *

The destruction of the dome was like watching a cathedral of glass shatter into millions of shards. The Grey Cloaks looked on in disbelief as their only protection was shattered. Gospel was especially horrified.

"THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE! HOW DID THAT BREAK MY BARRIER!?" He cried, thinking of all the ways that it could have happened.

"The barrier is shattered! The barrier is shattered!"

Urick shook Gospel violently.

"Calm down! The barrier is not our only defense! If the shield fails, follow with the sword!"

* * *

The ships were going at full speed, they would reach the shores in minutes. Smaller ships were being prepped to be rowed to shore by the numerous templars who were ready to begin the final invasion of the island. On the front ship, Solomon's bloodlust was reaching it's zenith, his hands twitching with anxious excitement. Behind him, Maes had remained on the deck as he finishing his apple, looked on to the island. It was time for payback.

"Those bastards tried to kill me you know." He started, throwing his apple core into the water.

"Well, I may have started it but that didn't matter much. That old bastard knew that my life would be in danger if we went along with his plan for the "best possible future" and that didn't stop him from throwing away Diel knows how many lives."

Solomon turned back to Maes with fierce eyes, giving the former convict an ill feeling. Best to leave this one alone for now then.

"It won't matter for him or anyone on that island. They will know divine justice." Solomon commented.

"So, we're good then. I helped you find the island, you'll reward me for my services."

Solomon drew his sword and thrust his blade into Maes. Maes looked down to see the crimson blade protruding out of his chest, but strangely the lack of any blood from the wound. He looked to Solomon with a expression of confusion.

"The hell is this?" He asked.

"Your reward, a swift death for your crimes. Now heretic, embrace judgment."

Solomon twisted the blade in Maes' chest and pulled it out fiercely. As the blade left Maes body, the man fell to his knees. As the grey cloaked convict lay helplessly on the ground, he witnessed his life flash before his eyes. All the violence of the Labyrinth, all the crimes he committed in the days of the alliance, his time with the Grey Cloaks and a memory he had all but forgotten.

Amongst a pile of the cursed, he sat by the ledge of a cliff with Jordan of the Whirlwind Spear.

"Man, nothing beats a good brawl. Gets all the crap out of your system." Maes said, looking back at the defeated cursed.

"Depends what you call a brawl, this looks more like a massacre to me." Jordan replied, feeling unnerved around Maes.

"Don't give me a line like that Whirlwind boy, deep down we're all the same. The only distinction between us all is whether you're either the gunner, or your cannon fodder."

"We don't know what kind of people we actually are though. We think we know, but the truth is we're just making assumptions based on what we think or what others tell us." Jordan replied.

"In the end, we never know for sure. Maybe not till the day we die."

As Maes looked up at the sky as he shipped neared the shores of windfall island.

"Heh, to be done in like this . . ." *Hack*

As Maes closed his eyes for the last time, he took a long good look at his life. It was then that he came to a decision.

When did I become like this? I should have been more like you. Should have been more like the rest of them.

Solomon knelt down and searched Maes' body. From a small pouch he picked the violet stone from the dead man's possessions.

"It's only the beginning."

#26 JRPomazon


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Posted 16 September 2010 - 01:59 AM

The templars had taken to the shore boats and invaded the shores in a matter of moments. They're orders were simple: kill all heretics. as they stepped of the boats and onto the sandy beaches, they drew their swords and ran into actions. Every ruined home. Every ditch and cranny. Every semblance of structure or shadow they charged off to the massacre at hand. The red knights charged, only to be met with the first of many challenges. The Grey Cloaks would not surrender their home nor their lives without a fight. Without noticing the skies above their heads, magic glowing sigils appeared in mid air, decorated in the runes of the chamber of sages. A few did take heed of the magic that was above them, only to realize it was far too late. Massive bolts of lighting rained down on their heads, striking from the skies with light magic that sent the unfortunate first charge flying. From the windmill, Gospel maintained his concentration as he controlled each and every strike with tactical precision. He raised his staff towards the location in question and placed new targets in grave danger. The other grey cloaks watched from within the walls of the windmill, seeing the battle unfold.

"Remind me never to get on Gospel's bad side." Lucas commented, watching the flashes of light in the distance.

"It seems our time in the Chamber was not for nothing after all." Replied Urick.

"How long can he keep this up?" Lucas asked.

Back at the shores, more templars were arriving as others were either being blown away or narrowly dodging for their lives.

"The heretic's magic is too strong! We've only managed to get 10 feet of ground and we're losing it fast!"

"Haven't we mages of our own? We must charge onward!"

As the templars argued amongst themselves, Solomon himself had taken to the field of battle. Dressed in his crimson attire, he had the rune shield from before and the violet stone from Maes.

"Why has the assault been delayed?" He asked.

"M'lord, the skies strike at us with terrible magic! Have we not a counter offensive of our own to surpass this terrible barrage?"


The men looked to the sky, seeing the sigils alternate positions in the sky as the shrieks of men could be heard echoing. Five circles of light took the ultimate offensive.

"All templars, charge onward! Use the structures as shelter from the attacks! ONWARD!"

The red clad knights gave a warcry and ran off to whatever structures they could manage to reach. As some were hidden and safe, others were taken by large explosions that took out the smaller and weaker structures. They managed to outsmart their adversary and continue their charge under the cover of the ruins.

"Sir, they must be attacking remotely from the windmill! That is the only location they could observe us from!"

"Take the windmill at all costs! Even if they hid somewhere else, we will be able to regroup there and the island will be ours!"

Solomon began his march to the windmill, rushing past the bodies of his fallen men to take the large structure that sat on the highest hill of the island. A white sigil appeared above Solomon, ready to deliver the final blow to the Grand Marshal. As the light struck down, Solomon raised the shield in front of him, the massive shield protecting him from the attack. The magic was spread in different directions, the shield's own magic repelled that of Gospel's attack. Form the windmill, Gospel was able to sense that his attack had failed.

"No . . . I didn't expect this . . ." He murmured.

"That's how he was able to get so far . . . those bastards have Zerk's shield."

Gospel called down to the others.

"I'm doing what I can to hold off the majority, but it seems others have broken through. I leave this to you all."

Without another word, Kalm, Sierra, Vale, Urick, Lucas and Belze left their comrade to man the assault from above. They proceeded down the windmill to the base entrance facing the Koridain ships. as they ran, Kalm raised his hand in front of Lucas.

"Lucas, find a good position and start taking out targets that get into your sight. We need you for support." Kalm said.

"Alright, just be careful! All of you!" He cried. Without another word, the others ran off to intercept anyone who managed to pass Gospel's line.

Back on the shores more templars were finding the first moments of their time on land to be the most dangerous as many found themselves victims before they knew any better. Solomon and some of the others managed to leave the beach behind them and had escaped to the deeper parts of the ruined domain. With more congested structures, the attacks from Gospel were less likely. As a group of five templars rushed through the cracked and ruined streets, they suddenly found themselves the targets of several flying daggers. They were evaded, the instincts of even a basic Templar surpassed that of a common foot soldier. However, the ploy to startle them succeeded as they took several strikes from behind, the work of Urick's scythe. These five were finished, their armored backs no more protected from the unforgiving scythe than they would be naked.

"Excellent work Sierra!" Urick said.

"On to the next batch!" She replied, retrieving some of her weapons.

On another part of the ruins, a group of three templars took on Vale as her gauntlets grabbed their blades and shattered them into pieces along with their bones.

"You'll need to do better than that." She said, finishing them off quickly to continue onward.

Belze and Kalm managed to apprehend their share of templars, the axe wielder from Ikana using his superior speed to outrun and eliminate his opponents as the old general's superior sword play was too much for the templars.

"How many do you suppose we have here?" Kalm asked.

"Doesn't matter, they're all going down." Belze replied, charging in to finish another Templar off.

Still at the edge of the shores, Solomon was protecting the other Templars with the shield, blocking strikes and allowing others to pass in safety. The mortality rate had dropped by 50% with his interference, more and more templars were getting past. Using the violet stone, he managed to fire off retaliatory blasts of lighting towards the windmill, shaking the old structure to it's foundation. Back on the other side of the island, Gospel did his best to continue his attacks despite the lighting.

"Do they possess magic as well?" He asked himself.

He suddenly dropped to his knees, the stress of keeping up the barrage for as long as he had as well as the barrier was tiring him. Sage magic was powerful, but it took years to master properly. Wielded by someone who had not mastered this properties would not be as effective with it and would tire too easily.

"Ugh. Diel help me, I can't stop now."

Noticing the reduction in attacks, Solomon ordered his men to charge. He himself would follow shortly after them.

Edited by JRPomazon, 16 September 2010 - 03:11 AM.

#27 JRPomazon


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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:07 PM

Several Templars had passed by the various Grey Cloaks who had been picking off the invaders with basic guerrilla tactics. Taking the windmill was their objective in hopes of stopping the magic attacks. As each of them slowly moved through the shadows and close to the path that led to the Windmill, a volley of arrows rained down from the sky and scattered their resolve.

"They have archers! Wait for an openin-"

An arrow struck the loud templar in the throat, causing him to gag and fall over. Little did they know that there only a single archer shooting them down. As young Lucas placed several arrows on his bow, he shot them into the air and had them reign down on the rest of the templars.

On the heights of the Windmill, Gospel's attacks were losing their vigorous tempo as he was losing his stamina to continue. He reached in his cloak for a vile, filled with some sort of red potion. He took the vile to his lips and drank it slowly, restoring some of his energy. In moments the assault continued in full swing, but many templars had already past through during his weakened state. Back on the shores, the last of the invading forces remained where they stood. 300 templars were sent here by orders of Solomon, and these last 20 were instructed to remain here till they were needed for battle.

Sierra and Urick had taken down another set of templars inside a old buidling, Sierra running distractions with her daggers as Urick came and finished them off. The process was repeated as it bore success.

"More and more are coming! Gospel's magic isn't holding them back anymore!" Sierra said, grabbing her weapons from the walls and ground they pierced.

"This isn't looking good, we should retreat back to the Windmill and check on him." Urick replied, pulling his scythe from a fallen templar.

A sudden pressure emanated from behind them, several templars burst through the walls. One lunged through the clay and stone walls to strike Sierra, his blade blocked by Urick's scythe. As he looked at the enemy he interlocked his weapon with, he noticed that this templar was sporting a silver trim to his armor and was more decorated than the other templars. Damn, it was one of Solomon's personal templars.

"The bloodhounds are here too!?" He shouted, pushing the templar back and parrying the strike of another. Sierra threw her daggers at the three that burst through, the flying daggers knocked away like they were nothing.

"Sierra! Get back to Gospel and Lucas! Tell them what we are dealing with here!"


"I SAID GO DAMN IT!" The white haired warrior replied, fending off the attacks of three expert templars with his scythe.

From behind, an ally rushed in with axe in hand, throwing his double bladed weapon into the face of one of the templars. Pulling back on the rope it was connected to, he drew his bloodied weapon back into his hand.

"Sierra, go now. If you run into anyone else along the way tell them to retreat back into the windmill."

"Kalm! Where's Belze?"

"He went looking for Vale! Now go!"

The raven haired Sierra nodded and ran off to begin the retreat. The figures of Kalm and Urick became smaller the farther she went, but the idea of neot seeing them again did not cross her mind.

Elsewhere, Vale was running back towards the windmill. Her shoulder was bleeding, an attack got through and managed to strike her. However, she was still able to fight despite this. However, the enemy she would encounter next would offer he no quarter as she ran into the open street of the ruins in Windfall. She froze, a killing intent was all around her. She leaped back, evading the strike of Solomon's crimson saber. She raised her fists, only to see who her enemy was.

"You . . . how are you here!?" She cried, surprised to see Solomon himself on the battlefield.

"If I am to be rid of you heretics once and for all, I intend to be there to see it for myself!"

Solomon dashed towards Vale, the woman having a hard time keeping up with his movements. He slashed from below, Vale lowering her gauntlets to block his saber. She leaped back, the gauntlet she used to block his blow was dented and gashed. Another attack like that would surely shatter he weapon if not her arm. She noticed the shield he was using as well, a familiar affect of her old comrade.

"That shield doesn't belong to you!" She shouted, rushing in to take the offensive. She throw a series of punches, Solomon dodging most until using the shield to block the last one. She knelt down and kicked Solomon's feet, causing his to trip down and release the shield. Solomon quickly got to his feet and slashed at Vale, who managed to evade by only a hair's width.

"You have some luck woman, but that will not be enough!" He shouted, kicking the shield at Vale in hopes of tripping her up. She sidestepped the sliding shield and raised it in front of her as Solomon came in with a heavy strike. However, he exploited the opening around her waist and threw a punch straight into her solar plexus. She gagged, dropping to her knees and dropping the shield. Solomon's thrust his saber at her, striking her side with his crimson blade. She felt the cold steel pierce her, stinging like frost.

"D-damn it. . ." she said, looking at her new wound.


Solomon turned to his right and drew his sword out of Vale and blocked the oncoming sword strike for Belze, who leaped in to intervene in the battle at hand.

"Belze . . . " Vale said, grunting in pain.

"Oh? Another heretic? Well, I must say this is quite CONVENIENT FOR ME!" Solomon began to fiercely attack Belze, who was able to parry with his sword. Vale managed to get up, hoping to continue the fight despite her wounds."

"Get out of here." She said, reaching for Zerk's shield.


She got to her feet and begun attacking again. She passed the shield to him.

"Take this and run! I can handle this!" She said.

"I beg to differ!" Solomon said, lunging at her exposed wounds. She blocked his attacks, shattering her already damaged gauntlets into steel shards. Solomon struck true once again, piercing through her chest.

"VALE!" Belze shouted.

"Please, just go." She said, turning back to her comrade.

She turned back to Solomon and delivered a massive headbutt to his face, knocking him back and releasing his sword. Vale slowly prepared to fight on, taking a new stance against the Grand Marshall.

"Protect everyone, they'e the only family I got."

Unable to deny her wish, Belze ran off with the shield as Solomon regained his composure.

"You'll pay for that you bitch." He said, pulling out the violet stone from a small pouch at his side.

"That is-"

Vale's words were ceased prematurely as lighting burst from the violet stone, sending a massive bolt of electricity through the sword into Vale. As her life flashed briefly before her eyes, she was able to see her husband and children once again. Their smiling faces giving her so much warmth and joy, it seemed that she would be joining them soon.

"Please . . . please make a miracle happen. Protect my new family. If any can do it . . . it'll be you . . . Viridian Knight."

The smoldering body of Vale fell to the ground, her long graying brown hair covering her face like a veil. Solomon placed the stone away and drew his sword from the corpse. He looked up to the Windmill, determined to take it by all possible means.

Belze returned to the others, waiting inside the windmill for him and Vale. They noticed the shield on his arm.

"That's Zerk's shield! How did you-" Urick asked.

"They had it." Belze replied.

"What happened to Vale!? Where is she?" Sierra asked.

Belze remained quiet, he didn't want to say anything right now.

"No . . . not Vale . . . not her too . . ." Lucas said, completely shell shocked from the news.

"Solomon is on the island too, he's the one who killed her."

They looked outside to see that a great deal of templars were heading straight for the windmill. Solomon was not in visible sight. Belze rushed out from the massive door to the fight below.

"Belze!" Shouted Kalm.

"Lock that door but good and check up on Gospel! I won't die that easily!" He said, brandishing his longsword as he charged alone.

"No! Damn it all, Belze!" Cried Urick.

Lucas looked on with dead eyes.

"Belze is going to die . . . just like Vale . . .just like-"

Kalm walked over to the blond archer and slapped his face.
"Lucas! Don't you dare say that. Don't you dare say anything like that! This isn't over! We're still alive, here in these cursed lands and you want to know why!? Because we are the ones who will save this nation from this! From all of this! Now come on, you can give Belze some support with your arrows!"

Kalm released Lucas, shut the door and ran up to the higher levels to check on Gospel. Sierra and the others followed too. Outside, Belze was cleaving a path through the templars with his sword, the older general's swordmanship proving to be successful against his numerous opponents. They retreated back, recognizing him as an opponent who was not to be take lightly. However, it was not long before Solomon reappeared before the veteran soldier. Solomon with his saber in hand, walked slowly towards Belze.

"Still alive I see." Solomon said, looking down at the templars that had fallen prey to his sword.

"You should have run when you had the chance."

On the shores of the island, the residing templars sat restlessly as they waited for orders. Any orders.

"What the . . ." One of them stammered.

It was an odd phenomenon, the air and ground were acting as if they were water, rippling about like waves in the ocean. As the templars looked on, drawing their swords in fear of whatever it was that was coming. A form appeared from the ripples in space, It was . . . green . . . and then . . . there was the whirlwind.

Edited by JRPomazon, 17 September 2010 - 06:36 PM.

#28 JRPomazon


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Posted 19 September 2010 - 05:51 AM

Kalm and the others reached the higher levels of the old windmill, finding their comrade collasped on the stone floor.

"Gospel!" They cry almost in unison, rushing over to the former priest of Diel.

"I'm . . . I'm sorry. I spent more energy than I thought." He said, slowly getting up as he was helped by Sierra and Kalm.

"I take it that we are in a very grave situation?" He asked.

"They are right outside the windmill now. We managed to do what we could, but there is just too many of them." Sierra said, reaching to hand over Gospel's staff to him.

"We're running out of options."

Outside, Belze and Solomon had begun their duel as the other templars attempted to break down the door to the windmill. They did not interfere with their superior, they knew if they did they would be considered as an enemy themselves.

"You've got some fight in you old man! I like that!" Solomon said, smiling viciously as this new challenger provided him with much amusement.

"Do you know how many of my friends you are responsible for killing!? Russo, Leona, Willis and Vale! Their blood is on your hands you murderer!" Belze replied, slashing at Solomon fiercely.

"Those who go against the will of the empire, the will of the goddess with DIE without a second thought! But do not despair old man, their deaths will help pave the way to a brighter future! A future where all nations can bask in the light of the goddess! So resign yourself to death! Die for the sake OF A NEW WORLD!"

A flurry of arrows came crashing down on the heads of the templars who where trying to break down the door to the Windmill, skewering them through their armor. Lucas was trying to aid Belze as best as he could from the upper levels of the windmill through a more exposed window. He took aim at Solomon and fired off another arrow. Seeing this attack coming, the grand marshal retreated to the lower ranks as the projectile missed it's mark. Solomon pulled out the violet stone once again and aimed it towards Lucas' position.

"I've had enough of your tricks!"

A burst of lighting shot from the stone, shattering the stone exterior of the windmill. Lucas was blown back from the blast, hitting the back wall with full force.

"Damn you Solomon!" Belze cried, brandishing his sword to strike down the grand marshal himself. Solomon placed the stone away and evaded Belze's attack. Leaving himself too open, Solomon took advantage of Belze's clumsy strike and pierced through the older warrior's defense. Belze cried out, although baffled by the lack of blood left behind by the attack. He dropped his sword and collapsed as Solomon pulled his blade from the warrior's chest only to strike him repeatedly, juggling his body before it fell to the ground. The slash marks were red, although no blood ever fell from any of the wounds. Belze fell face first onto the ground. From all the battles and all the conflict that comprised his life as a soldier, his final thoughts went to his comrades inside the windmill.


Solomon drew the violet stone once again and fired it at the door to the windmill, blasting it apart into pieces. The remaining templars flooded the old structure, intending to slaughter everyone inside. Solomon used the stone again, attacking the windmill again with another burst of lighting. The side of the windmill exploded, one of the windmill blades flying off as the stones rained down on the ground. As the dust settled, a half of the upper portion of the windmill was destroyed. Solomon felt a jolt from the stone, the magic was becoming unstable.

"So there is a limit. No matter."

He placed the stone back in his pouch and watched as the templars ran into the windmill.

A white dome encircled the Grey Cloaks, Gospel's magic protecting them at the last minute. They had to have dropped several floors, seeing as the floor they were on was obliterated. Heavily panting, the priest fell to his knees.

"I've done all I can." He said, exhausted.

Lucas stumbled from the dust and shadows, holding his bow tightly. Blood was covering half of his face.

"They're coming in . . . what do we do now?" He asked, walking towards the group.

The templars' footsteps could be heard echoing from the intact portions of the windmill. The five remaining Grey Cloaks looked on, waiting to see their brilliant red armor burst through. Waiting for the inevitable. And as they appeared, they were prepared to go down fighting. But then there was a gust. Light at first, then as intense as a storm.

It was uncertain to everyone on the island what had just happened. Several templars were blown away by the winds, littering various parts of the island. The Grey Cloaks were confused as the windmill was no longer infested with the invading templars. Whatever portions of the windmill that were above them was now scattered on the ground below. They looked down and there he was, shining like a vision in his green armor.

"He came back . . ." Gospel said, almost on the verge of tears.

The two men stood across from each other, wearing green and red. Solomon just looked on, unsure as to whether or not it was him. But the pain from his scar screamed, it was him, it was really him. Then in that moment, all the rage and all the wraith took Solomon's mind.

"YOU . . . " He said, looking at Jordan with his piercing green eyes.

OoC: The finale will be posted later tonight, I think it's about time to end this story.

Edited by JRPomazon, 19 September 2010 - 06:20 AM.

#29 JRPomazon


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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:25 AM

He wasn't an illusion. For so long the pain that shrieked from his old scar had driven him into a state of perpetual rage at the slightest sense of a breeze, a gust, even breath itself. He wasn't a vision, he stood over the fallen bodies of the deposed templars, whose may or may not have perished with the wind that fell on the island. His armor was better than he remembered, almost as though it was given a sort of new life beyond the means of simple maintenance. He wasn't a dream, Solomon's eyes were wide open.

"YOU!" Solomon shouted, raising his sword above his head and dashing with a frightening speed towards Jordan. The viridian knight stood calm, slowly calling a spear from his back and raising it to defend against the brutal strike Solomon gave. The clash of their weapons echoed throughout the island. The two of them looked at each other, directly at each other. Solomon's green eyes crazed and brimming with hatred as Jordan looked on with a cool and uncaring demeanor. His eyes were tired, but gazing so fiercely. The eyes of a man unfazed by death.

"So, you're Solomon." Jordan said.

"It figures it would be you, that loud bastard from the desert. Did you give Chikara my message?"

Solomon shouted, continuing his assualt as his mind was taken over by wraith. Jordan managed to leap back, holding his spear as he blocked each of the strikes within an inch of his life. But still, he kept his calm.

"All this time, all these years I have been searching and NOW I FOUND YOU!" Solomon cried.

The two warriors backed from each other. Solomon reached for the collar on his shirt and revealed the scar on his neck to Jordan.

"Remember this scar you carved into my body? I will never forgive you for the dishonor you gave me that day! Now I will slay you with my blood sword!"

"Is that why you are here? Over resentment, Solomon!?" Jordan asked.

"ENOUGH! YOUR VERY EXISTENCE ALONE IS A GHASTLY DISPLAY!" Solomon shouted. He touched his crimson blade with his pointer finger and ran it across the grotesque edge. The red blade extended by several feet, the 3 foot saber now extending to 8 in the blink of an eye. Drops of blood fell from the sickly thin blade as if it were bleeding. Solomon charged again, slashing his sword madly. Jordan leaped back evading the new blade's reach. The stone and earth it grazed was slashed into bits, flying from the ground in a dusty cloud.

"With this sword I will help carve a new world! With the bodies of the heretics, I will lay the foundation for the future!"

Jordan leaped back to one of the exposed floors of the windmill. He quickly jumped off, throwing his spear like a lance at Solomon at a terrible speed. Solomon evaded the projectile with ease, Jordan landing several feet away, Calling his weapon back to him through the means of wind manipulation. As Jordan grabbed the spear once again, the slammed it down like a hammer to the ground, a huge gust of wind blowing Solomon off his feet and onto the ground. Jordan leaped into the air, preparing to dive in at Solomon. As he reached a suitable height, he lowered his spear as he plunged downward to the earth. Solomon, who had experienced this attack before, rolled away to evade while managing to hold onto his enlarged blade. As Jordan crashed into the ground, smaller rocks and dirt rising as he made impact, Solomon quickly got to his feet and attempted to strike the warrior before he got to his feet. Jordan called upon his second spear using the wind to block the downward saber slash from midair. Jordan grabbed his second spear and pulled his first from the earth, parrying the various slashes Solomon attempted to land on his body as he held his polearms from their ends. He managed to capture the thin blade within the grasp of his two spears, managing to stop the onslaught.

He had to die. That was the only instinct, the only sole impulse driving him now. He has to die. He has to die. He has to die. He has to die. He has to die. He has to die. He has to die. He has to die. He has to die.

Solomon's blade transformed again, the thin and slender blade expanding to a foot wide as blood flew from the blade's surface. With the shift in size, Jordan's spears were knocked away. Solomon began his attack again, with a disturbing speed his blade crashed about from the ground to the air as it kicked up shards of debris. Jordan leaped back to evade the thunderous attacks. He looked at the crimson blade's new form and was baffled by how Solomon managed to swing a sword so large so fast. He cast his spears to each side of him, the polearms wavering in midair as they began to rotate like the fans of a windmill. They picked up speed quickly as Solomon kept attempting to strike Jordan from a distance. As the spear's rotation got to a face enough speed as Jordan span his hands furiously, he slammed the spinning pole arms at the ground, sending two funnels of wind carrying large chunks of the earth around them. The two wind funnels merged together at a point, sending a massive cyclone carrying large chunks of earth at Solomon. It was the return of Jordan's more famous techniques, the Earth Dragon's Fang.

Solomon took the hit directly, digging his large sword into the ground and using it for cover as debris and possibly dead templars bashed against it. After the wind settled down as quickly as it picked up, Solomon drew his sword from the ground as Jordan picked up his spears. Solomon took his sword with two hands, the saber now a massive zweihander. Solomon shouted again, rushing with his weapon to cleave Jordan in two raising his sword high. Jordan threw both of his spears into the air, directing them in midair with his control over the wind. They shot at Solomon from both sides, the Koridain warrior slamming his sword into the ground to intercept the flying spears and knock them away. Jordan recalled his weapons, swinging them down to create a massive gust of wind to send Solomon flying again. However, that success was not met again, the weight of Solomon's crimson blade was able to keep the inquisitor earthbound.

They were a good distance from the windmill now, the Grey Cloaks watched on helplessly as they saw Jordan fend off the grand marshal himself, one of Chikara's quadrate. One of the strongest men in the empire.

"He's not doing so good out there." Lucas said, barely able to stand.

"Can't we help him? There has to be something we can do." Sierra asked.

"That man took out Belze and Vale without so much as a scratch and that was before his sword became a monster!" Kalm replied, watching the match intensely.

"It was a miracle we were able to hold out this long . . ."

Urick, no longer wishing to be a bystander left his scythe and took Zerk's shield and headed down the remains of the windmill.

"Where are you going Urick?!" Lucas asked.

"He needs help, I'm doing what I can." He replied. Watching him go, Kalm rose up from his spot and followed.

"Lucas, stay behind with Gospel. Sierra, you follow us."

Back onto the battle, Jordan managed to keep up with Solomon's attacks. However, his speedy escapes were tiring him out. Even with the sword becoming larger, Solomon's attacks were only becoming more fierce. It didn't add up, how was this even possible?

"Have you grown tired of running HERETIC!? Now do you understand the foolishness of your actions!?" Solomon shouted, swinging his massive sword at Jordan once again. Jordan leaped from his spot and landed on the thick blade, landing perfectly as the missed swing came to a rest. Jordan quickly dashed forward, making good of the opening he had. Solomon quickly swung his sword up, knocking Jordan off the sword and sent him into midair. As he crashed onto the ground, Solomon's sword came crashing down like a hammer. There was no time, the sword would surely . . . but it did not. A resounding clash was heard all over the island. Jordan looked up to see Urick and Kalm holding the shield Zerk carried above them, protecting Jordan from the massive red sword.

"Get up Viridian Knight!" Shouted Urick.

"Impudent heretics! HOW DARE YOU STAND IN MY WAY YET AGAIN!" Solomon shouted, coming in with a horizontal strike to cleave them in two. Urick quickly shifted the shield down and protected himself and Kalm, although the force sent the two of them flying. The two of them hit the ground hard a few feet away, Zerk's shield and Kalm's axe seperated from them as they hit the earth.

"No! What the hell are you thinking!?" Jordan asked, his calm face shattered.

"DIE!" Solomon shouted, about to cleave Jordan once again.

Jordan evaded the massive strike, although was hit by several pieces of stone and earth that were carried up from the ground. As the green clad warrior swayed as he recomposed himself, he noticed Sierra coming from the back to her comrades. He looked back to Solomon, who was ready to finish them off.


As Solomon went in for his charge, swing his sword high prepared to slaughter the three Grey Cloaks in one single strike, Jordan dashed towards Solomon at unruly speed aided by his control over the wind, thrusting his spear at his open chest. The spear broke through Solomon's armored chestplate, but the damage was minimal as he moved away from the strike at the last second. The two leaped back from each other, wishing to gain considerable distance from one another. Solomon clenched his side, a small trickle of blood coming through his fingertips. His rage was building. Jordan stood in front of the Grey Cloaks who had come to save him at the last moment.

"What the hell are you thinking!? You'll end up getting killed if you take him directly!" Jordan shouted, scolding them for their reckless abandon.

"We can't have anyone else die now! We've lost too many friends as it is!" Sierra cried, holding back her tears.

"He killed Belze and Vale! He hurt Lucas and the others! Why weren't you here sooner!?"

It was that human reaction that awoke something in Jordan, a sort of sensation of guilt, sympathy, perhaps a good lot more feelings than one could describe.

"I'm sorry Sierra. Please leave the rest to me, no one else is going to die today." He responded.

He held onto his spears and looked around him. The shield and the axe laid on the ground. Belze's sword managed to get over here as well, tossed around by the wind no less. He turned around and quickly grabbed two daggers from Sierra.

"I'm going to need to borrow these." He said.

Jordan placed the daggers around his belt and walked towards Solomon, who was no longer preoccupied with his wound. Using the power of the wind to increase his speed, he dashed towards Solomon, his spears in hand to finish the battle. He threw his spears at Solomon like a lance, which was swatted away with his massive sword in the sky.

"IS THAT ALL THE GREAT WHIRLWIND SPEAR CAN MUSTER!?" Solomon mocked, charging in to kill Jordan.

His sword was raised high from knocking away his spears. Jordan waved his hand forward as he rushed in, the discarded weapons of the Grey Cloaks came to him as they were carried by the wind. Solomon kept his eyes on Jordan until he felt a massive blow to his chest, Jordan charging into him with Zerk’s shield, breaking the inquisitor's armor and running past him. Solomon was pushed back, dropping his sword to the ground. As he tried to turn to look back at Jordan, he felt Sierra’s daggers plunge into his back as what could only be described as a green blur past him. Kalm’s axe was slammed into his shoulder, another gust of wind blowing past him sending his body into a contorted position as he tried to keep his balance. From behind again, Solomon was struck with Belze’s sword, which was plunged deep into his side. Solomon dropped to his knees as he witnessed the green blur leap up into the air. A dark speck appeared in the sky, growing quickly until it would reach the ground. Jordan came crashing down with the full force of gravity and plunged his spear through Solomon's chest. Completely stuck through with the various weapons and bleeding out from his various wounds, Solomon’s face was captured in a state of immense pain as the massive attack was concluded in under 7 seconds. Jordan stood before Solomon, calling the weapons from his body using the wind, setting them down swiftly on the ground by the Grey Cloaks save for the spear that pierced through Solomon, which he took in his hand.

"Impossible . . . " Solomon murmured.

"Not once . . . but twice I am defeated by you . . . how . . .?"

Jordan said nothing to Solomon, his hazel eyes staring him down with a quiet rage of their own.

"You heretic . . . this isn't over. I cannot die . . . I REFUSE TO DIE . . . not even hell will stop me from doing . . . the will of the goddess . . ."

OoC: The finale comes after this.

Edited by JRPomazon, 21 September 2010 - 11:53 PM.

#30 JRPomazon


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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:28 AM

OoC: A rushed ending, but there isn't much left to rush.

Jordan stood in front of Solomon. The inquisitor was bleeding out from his various wounds, coughing up blood continuously. Despite this, his green eyes were still as frightening as they were before, his fire for battle had not yet been extinguished. But Jordan looked at him straight in the eye and with no other words he turned around and walked away from him.

"You . . . come BACK HERE!" Solomon shouted.


Solomon attempted to grab his sword and stand, only to fall over. Jordan looked back.

"You're lucky to be alive after all that and STILL you want to fight? Why? To what end? Your vendetta is over Solomon, we won." Jordan replied.


"And have you never sinned, Solomon!?" Jordan asked, his anger coming through.

"You've destroyed our sanctuaries, you've killed my friends, you are far from blameless!"


"The goddess is death! She will bring this world to it's end!"


Jordan was about to grab his spear and finish Solomon off, To finally kill Solomon once and for all and to end his sick little vendetta. As passion was about to over take him, he felt someone at his arm. He turned quickly to find Sierra.

"Please . . . no more. He can't hurt anyone else." She said quietly.

Jordan looked at her and back at Solomon, who was covered in his own blood. He wasn't going to last much longer now. Closing his eyes and suppressing his anger he turned from the bloodied imperial warrior and headed back to the others. Solomon looked on, watching Jordan walk away.

"No, this isn't how it ends. He can't win. He shouldn't be allowed to win. I fought for the future! I fought for the goddess! WHY AM I NOT THE VICTOR! ANSWER ME! HERETIC! HERETIC! JORDAN!"

* * *

At the windmill's remains, the others gather around. Bruised, bleeding, they looked at each other in silence unable to say in words what they felt right now. The templars were gone, either hiding, dead or retreating. Jordan went on to explain everything that happened, his time in Calatia, the witch, the trip into the Labyrinth, everything. He was able to use come back to the very moment he was needed, a call from beyond the void to bring him here to save the Grey Cloaks. As they talked. As they spoke, the faint sound of footsteps echoed from the darkness of the windmill. As they looked to turn, Tiresias appeared before them.

"Master Tiresias! You are safe!" said Gospel, his voice quite tired from the long day.

"Belze told me to go into hiding before things went awry." He said, holding his walking stick.

"Why didn't you tell them Tiresias?" Jordan asked bluntly, a sort of sharpness in his tone. The blind man turned toward Jordan's voice.

"Because I believed you would return Dragoo-"

"You knew what was going to happen. Vale and Belze didn't have to die. And if you knew Maes was going to betray us than you could have known that he would from the start! Why Tiresias? Why did you do nothing?"

Jordan was furious, no longer going to give any quarter to the old seer. There was silence, they all waited for his answer.

"For you. It was all for you?" He replied.

"In order for you to be ready for the final battle, you had to know the harsh reality of the world you have known for the past two years as well as the world beyond the curse's reach. I had to make sure these events would occur and so I was prepared to make any and all sacrifices. Even the Grey Cloaks were no exception to this, I was ready to let them die for your enrichment."

Jordan punched the old man as hard as he could, furious to hear the truth. Tiresias fell to the ground as he dropped his cane.

"HOW LONG WERE YOU PLAYING THIS GAME!?" He asked, about to attack Tiresias again. Kalm and Urick took Jordan's arms and held him back.

"Let me go! He has been manipulating everything, he is just as responsible-"

"We already knew Jordan!" Said Kalm.

Jordan stopped struggling. He backed away and looked at the remaining Grey Cloaks, confused beyond belief.

"We knew. Tiresias told us before any of this happened. We . . . we were ready for anything if it meant saving Verden. Saving our home.

"But . . ." Jordan started.

"But what point is there in working so hard to save a home if you don't even get the chance to see it for yourselves?"

Jordan turned to Tiresias, the old man getting up slowly.

"They are waiting for you Jordan. Selena and her warriors. It is time to leave Windfall behind." The old seer said.

Jordan knew that the final battle was going to start soon and if he was going to be any use he would have to be there.

"And how would I leave? I can't just magically teleport anywhere I want." He said.

Tiresias raised his hand, a blue sigil appeared in front of Jordan. Gospel raised his staff, Urick raised his scythe, Sierra raised her daggers, Lucas raised his bow and Kalm raised his axe. A blue light emanated from the enchanted weapons and a circled around Jordan.

"What about you all? What will you do from now on?" Jordan asked.

"Don't worry about us." Kalm said.

Within the light, Jordan began to depart for the final stage. He looked over to the blind seer.

"Tiresias . . . I'm going to forgive you."

As Jordan faded away, Tiresias felt a horrible sense of guilt in his heart.

"Very well Jordan. Very well."

* * *

Within the ruins of Windfall, Solomon laid face down on the ground in a pool of his own blood. His massive blood sword slowly began to reform into it's original state, the simple saber. As it began to lose it's mass, the wounds on Solomon's body began to close quickly. It was almost as though the sword was beckoning for him to live on.

"There he is!" Shouted one of the templars seeking their superior. They checked his neck for a pulse.

"By the goddess, he is still alive! Get him back to the ship, we're leaving!"

"What about them? The mission?"

"The mission was a failure, we need to leave while we can!"

* * *

As the Grey Cloaks looked over the wind scarred environment from the shores of the island, they managed to take a small landing boat for themselves and head to one of the ships.

"You think we can take them?" Lucas said, placing his arrows in his quiver.

"Most of them are still on the island, taking one ship shouldn't be too hard." Sierra replied.

"Where to next you think?" Urick asked, holding his scythe.

"Honestly? Anywhere." Kalm replied, looking over to the large imperial ship they headed towards.

Gospel, exhausted from his use of magic held onto a white bound book. The book of Diel from the artifact room

"I still haven't been able to get into this book . . . maybe we'll find a way someday."

"Perhaps." Tiresias said, sitting in the back of the boat.

"Or perhaps we will merely serve as it's custodians for the time being. Until Diel can properly return to Verden.

With that said, the Grey Cloaks departed from Windfall. Whether or not they would return to their home depended on the brave souls fighting within the pit of darkness so far away, to Jordan's destination.

Grey Interlude: The End

OoC: Like I said, this was kinda rushed in lieu of current events. Wish I did more with it, but no use crying over spilled milk. Thanks for putting up with my NPC brigade for so long. And thanks for reading.


Edited by JRPomazon, 22 September 2010 - 01:42 AM.

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