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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:37 pm 
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Ashen begins to panic. She tries to calm down, but all she can do is be frantic. Then all of a sudden a smooth wave washes over her. A familiar voice came with the sensation.

Ryler: Ashen! It is Shrow'd messing with your mind! Don't worry, Lexxi isn't here. If she was, I will protect you. Quickly! Run to the spot where you first saw me! Run!

She ran. Alf ran after her, screaming what was wrong. But he couldn't keep up with her, she was fast as lighting. She ran past Starros, going to the spot in the woods where she saw Ryler. An orange tipped arrow was in the ground, below it was her essentia stone.

Ashen: My stone!

Ryler's spirit showed up. He came to her side and held her tightly. Alf had caught up but he was frozen on the spot.

Ashen: Ryler, what did you do?

Ryler: Just made time stand still. So I can talk to you, that no one can harm you. That all there is just you and me. I came to tell you this one last time: I love you. I have always loved you. I loved you with my last dying breath. I love our daughter til this day too. That I will always love you two, that I will always look over you both.


He hands her the essentia stone.

Ryler: This will amplify your powers greatly. Use it wisely. Do not let Shrow'd defeat you. *sighs* I must go to the Spirit Realm now. I can't see you after this again. I will always love you, Ashen.

He kisses you gently and disappears. A tear falls from Ashen's eye. Time is put back in place and she sees their enemy in the distance, Shrow'd.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Ashen approaches Shrow'd, who is baffled that she actually found him.

"What the hell? I was clearly hiding in the shadows. This makes absolutely no sense how you found me."

Ashen smirked. "I had a little help when it came to finding you." She looked down at her essentia stone, thankful once again for what Ryler had done.

Shrow'd was still puzzled by what was going on. "The hell... how did you obtain your..." He stopped himself mid sentence, detecting the last remaining energy of a spirit fading away... the energy of Ryler's spirit.

"You... got that from Ryler? I'm not sure how exactly his spirit was able to deliver you an essentia stone, let alone talk to you without me realizing it or intervening, seeing as I am the gatekeeper of souls. I suppose I'm getting a little rusty."

Alf finally caught up and saw Shrow'd. Realizing he was the cause of Ashen's panic, he quickly raised his sword, ready to attack. Shrow'd rolled his eyes.

"So... I'm guessing because of Ryler's interference, I'm not going to be able to control your mind so easily anymore."

"Glad I didn't have to spell it out for you." Ashen smirked.

Shrow'd was not amused by that comment, glaring at her for a moment. But he eventually calmed down and sighed.
"What a shame. You and Alf were suppose to top my last torture session. I was so excited. You were going to go mad, and I was going to force you to fight Alf and cause him to go mad as well. It was brilliant."

"Did you really think Ashen and I were going to fight each other? Our love is stronger than that." Alf proclaimed.

Shrow'd rolled his eyes. "See, this is the reason I was so excited for this torture session. Because this love fest really makes me gag."

Ashen shook her head and chuckled. "You could never understand what our love for each other is. I doubt you'll ever know how strong the bond between yourself and another can be." Ashen looked down at her essentia stone and smiled. "Sometimes that bond is so strong that it can help you to do the impossible." She looked back up at Shrow'd, ready to fight.
"And that's why we're going to take you and Legion down."

Shrow'd smiled and shook his head. "You poor, ignorant fools. Your bonds can't stop Legion or myself. This world is corrupted, and has been from the very day it was created. That is why we will take it down. I will personally ensure its destruction."

Shrow'd took something out of his pocket which startled both Ashen and Alf.

"Is that... is that a...?"

Shrow'd cut her off before she could finish her sentence. "Yes. I hold an essentia stone. One of the very items you need to stop Legion. It was destined to be in my possession, and is proof that my plans for the world will come to order."

"But if that was destined to be your stone, why are you fighting with Legion? Why are you causing all of this chaos? Those stones were suppose to go to the heroes the gods selected. Not some lunatic that would destroy all the hard work the gods have done." Ashen cried.

Ashen closed her eyes and remembered the song her mother once sung to her:

Twelve heroes which the gods hath selected,
Through fate and fortune they art protected.
They stem from both peasants and nobility,
With the greatest will and the grandest ability.
From beasts to birds, from forests to glades,
From villages, from pillages, from a realm of shades,
From the past to the present, from the sky above,
From royalty, from loyalty, and from… love.
By the light of twelve stones their path is traced,
In moonlight they fight, until all evil is erased.
Let their legacy be history, amidst stars they art drawn,
For the future is a mystery so let the past live on.


Tears filled Ashen's eyes. What was she missing? What possible explanation could there be for this? And then she remembered.

"This... This is why Brendan is working so hard to make you good, isn't it? He knew... He knew deep down you had the potential to do great good..."

"Brendan, is a naive and pathetic person who has no idea what the reality of the world is." Shrow'd responded.

"He has a better grip on reality than you do, Shrow'd." Alf declared.

Shrow'd rolled his eyes. "You people really are that stupid, huh?"

Alf had enough and raised his sword once again. "I've had enough of this Shrow'd. Considering everything you've done to Ashen, my friends, and the world, I should not be this tolerant. But if you're really destined to help us defeat Legion, if you've really been blinded by darkness and unable to see the right path up until this point, you can still be forgiven. But I will not let you hurt the ones I love any further. That's a promise that even the gods know I'll make good on."

Shrow'd yawned. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Heroic speech, love, protecting my honor, blah, blah, blah."

A portal suddenly appeared behind Shrow'd as he started to walk towards it. "Look, since I clearly can't create my greatest masterpiece thanks to that stupid spirit, I have better things to do. Go preach to your other allies, like that wannabe warrior and that old man who thinks he so clever. I'm sure they can tolerate this nonsense better than I can. Just remember that you're way out of your league."

And with that, Shrow'd vanished into the portal, leaving Ashen and Alf alone.
----------
Meanwhile, the Mysterious Spirit was watching Brendan and his friends race through the cavern, as they head towards the next section of the path that would bring them to the Kingdom of the Phoenix, where they would meet the person who might be able to reason with Shrow'd. He only hoped that they would make it to their destination in time. While he knew they would be safe from Legion's grasp for at least a short time, he knew the other heroes would soon be tested before their final battle with Legion.

Brendan's ultimate test of worth is slowly approaching.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Brendan, Lezzen, and Kathra rushed through the cave. Eventually, they reached the end of the cave, and emerged into a forest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_2zBH30HJU (Kingdom of the Phoenix: Forest Theme)

The forest was completely different from any other forest they had ever seen before. The atmosphere of the forest different, the feeling of it was almost otherworldly and mystical. The forest went on for quite some ways, and it appeared anyone could easily get lost in it.

Kathra: Gee, this forest is huge. It's way bigger than any forest I've ever seen. I have no idea how we are supposed to get through this.

Brendan: Though none of us have ever ventured into a forest such as this one, I am certain we will be able to get through it.

Lezzen: Yes. We don't have but so much time, and we can't afford to stop for any reason at all.

Kathra: Well, what are we doing just standing around for then? We need to get movin'!

Brendan: Indeed, but we need to take heed and be cautious. Let's go.

The group went through the forest at a brisk pace. The scenery of the forest was beautiful, and the trees and other plant life was like none other. Everything was completely different from any average Miashonan forest, but they had no time to soak up the scenery. They needed to get to the kingdom quickly. Their time was naught.

After heading through the forest for quite some time, Brendan came to realization that they may have gotten lost.

Brendan: I'm afraid to say, but I believe was have gotten lost.

Kathra: Huh? Don't tell me that we got lost after all of this time that we have spent trying to get out of it! Were just wasting time if were going to end up getting lost!

Brendan: I have an idea. We'll each split up and head in a different direction. I can sense where each one of our presences are, and we can also communicate using H2H. Basically, when and if one of us finds the exit to the forest, that person can communicate with H2H, and can be tracked down by myself.

Kathra: What if your the one who finds the exit? Neither of us can sense presences.

Brendan: I'll mark where the exit is using a quickly made fire. While the fire is burning, I'll track you both down. We'll be able to track our way back to the exit by following the smoke emerging from the fire.

Lezzen: Sounds like a good plan. I'll head South.

Brendan: I'll check the East and West.

Kathra: Guess I gotta go North then.

The group split up. Brendan headed off to the East first, while Kathra headed North, and Lezzen to the South.

After some time, Kathra began to feel a bit worried that she may of gotten even further lost in the forest than she was before when she was still with the others.

Kathra:*Thinks* Damn it, why can't this forest be like any other forest. I never had this problem with any other forest or woodland, so why is it so hard to get out of this one? It's just a forest! I hope the others are at least doing better than I am...

Kathra noticed some lovely flowers in a patch that was in a clearing. She decided to pick some for Brendan, since she has never given her love a gift before.

Kathra: *Thinks* I guess I could just calm down, and pick some flowers for Brendan. I'm sure he'd like these! They look like no other flower I've seen before!

Meanwhile, Lezzen was still exploring the South of the forest. She was not doing much better than Kathra, but she was still confident that she would find the way out.

Brendan had already covered the entire Eastern part of the forest, so he turned around and headed towards the West.

Brendan: *Thinks* I hope the others are doing fine. I sense they are still trying to find the exit. I'll check the West. If I don't find the exit in that direction, and the others don't find the exit in the Northern and Southern parts of the forest, I may have to come up with another plan.

Brendan headed towards the West.

Meanwhile, Kathra was picking flowers, and putting together in a bouquet. However, she couldn't help but feel like someone else was nearby. She turned to see if anyone was there, and...

Kathra: Who the heck are you!?

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 6:14 pm 
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The night was slow and painful for Dezeren. The sharp sword being poked at him led to a somewhat painful spot on his back, so he could now sleep the way he was used to. He also had quite a few nightmares during the night about the time to come. He was very glad when he woke up in the morning and found out, despite of all the nightly pains, he still got enough sleep. He stayed with the caravan until the headed to the left of the entrance to the Razakai woods. 30 minutes passed before Dezeren began to look for Barthan.

While looking for Barthan, Dezeren took another look at his newly acquired stone. He had doubts in his mind that it would do anything special for him. Dezeren walked to a nearby creek and almost threw the stone in. What had stopped him was that the stone was the last memento he had of his archery master. Once he realized that, the stone held too much emotional power to simply be tossed in a river. Plus, he liked the way it shined in the light. It almost reminds him of himself...

After walking from the creek, he began to look up into trees and began calling:

"Barthan! You there? Can you hear me?"

Dezeren said this to every tree on the border of the forest for a good three hours before his voice gave. He went back to the creek and took a sip. A few minutes after the sip, Dezeren began to feel weird. His mind began to become blurry, his thoughts jumbled up, and his body would not listen to him well. He had little control over himself. He managed to climb into a tree before the weird feeling from the creek water basically made Dezeren become knocked out.

Only seconds after Dezeren shut his eyes did the man from before came over.

"I hope you enjoy the herbs I put into that water!"

Dezeren had heard this, yes, but he could do nothing about it. The herbs are harmless past the bodily effects. It's just it may last anywhere from 5 minutes to 4 hours. The herbs were put in the water so that the animals of the Razakai woods would become easy prey. However, the man had failed to tell Dezeren about it on their way in, but for the man, this was very good indeed.

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Last edited by NethaEmerald on Fri May 25, 2012 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 6:19 pm 
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A ghostly figure appeared in front of Kathra. This is not the same one as the mysterious old man, but rather one with a similar cloak as Shrow'd. He quickly speaks before Kathra can say anything.

"Before you may gain access to the Kingdom of the Phoenix, the gods must find you worthy. I have been sent down by the gods to make this judgement. Tell your allies to come over there, to the small spring."

He pointed to a near by spring that had a small statue of a Phoenix. It was unknown how Kathra didn't see it while walking around, seeing as she didn't see it before. After looking at the statue for a moment, Kathra looked back to see the ghostly figure had vanished. However, she quickly heard her voice again.

"Be quick, young warrior. If I do not pass judgement on you three, you will be lost in these woods forever. This forest is a circular barrier that surrounds the kingdom of the phoenix. The gods will not pity the unworthy."

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 2:17 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_2zBH30HJU (Kingdom of the Phoenix: Forest Theme)

Kathra: ....? Why do we need to prove our worth in order to enter the kingdom? Shouldn't the gods know that we are worthy? I don't understand how the gods work sometimes...-_-'..I better contact the others.

Kathra contacted Brendan with H2H.

Kathra: *H2H*: Brendan, this is Kathra. Some old guy appeared and told me we need to prove our worth to the gods. He said he was sent down by them too. I'm near this spring with a phoenix statue. Get over here right now!

Brendan: *H2H*: Okay. I'll track down Lezzen and then head immediately towards you.

Brendan sensed for Lezzen's presence and quickly gathered her up, then sensed Kathra's presence, and headed towards here. After a few moments, both Brendan and Lezzen had arrived.

Kathra: Guy's, we need to stand in front of that statue over there. *Points to it*

The group walks over to the spring where the statue is at, and after just a moment, the spirit of the old man appeared again.

Old Man: Young heroes! The Gods must deem you as worthy in order to enter The Kingdom of the Phoenix. I know you all do not have much time, so you all must make haste. Let us begin!

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Suddenly, the cloaked spirit appeared next to the spirit of the old man. He tilted his head.

"Who the hell are you?"

Brendan, Kathra and Lezzen stood their confused.

"What the heck?" Kathra asked.

"I thought we were suppose to..."

The cloaked figure stopped his sentence. "We don't need the other talons here to pass judgement. And besides, the last time we let you make a judgement call, a building set on fire in the kingdom. Or should I remind you...?"

"But..."

"Get out of here. The only one who's allowed to come see them is Adalwin since he sent them here. And it's not time for him to show up yet. Now go back to Laertes and the others, now."

The old man spirit sighed and vanished. The cloaked figure shook his head and turned his attention to the trio, who looked very confused.

"What the..." But Kathra was quickly cut off. "Sorry, my apologizes for my associate. Poor fellow wasn't the best of the Talons. Likes to be over-dramatic. We tend to make fun of him for that."

"You're one to talk, since you guys are having us wait around even though the gods should know we're the good guys." Kathra snapped back.

"Sorry, sorry. But we wanted to make sure no one else entered the forest with you, or see if Legion sent minions disguised as you. This kingdom is very important to the balance of this world, as well as the afterlife. We can't be too careful you know."

"Whatever." Kathra responded while rolling her eyes.

"But there is another reason I needed to meet with you. It's time I answered some of your questions abo-"

"Why didn't you do that before?" Kathra asked.

"Kathra, patience. Let the man talk..."

"Lezzen, we don't even know who he is, and..."

"Alright, Alright. Let me answer one question at a time. I am the former Gatekeeper of Souls. My name is Saegan."

"Why..."

"Let me finish answering the other questions first."

Kathra whispered in Brendan's ear, "We're going to be here all day, aren't we?"

"Maybe if you would just shut up, I could cover everything." Kathra was about to respond, but Lezzen covered her mouth and motioned to Saegan to continue.

"Thank you. Now then, the reason we didn't inform you earlier was because we were afraid Legion would overhear us. With Shrow'd controlling the gateway to the afterlife, and Legion gaining power, this forest blessed by the gods is one of the last safe places we can communicate with you. It won't be safe forever, likewise with the Kingdom of the Phoenix. But at least for now, we can safely tell you information, and answer your questions."

"Saegan," Brendan asked, "What is the Kingdom of the Phoenix? Who exactly are we looking for? And who was the spirit who's been talking to me and led us here?"

"That spirit is Adalwin. I believe he doesn't want me talking about him at the moment. He'll show up sooner or later and formally introduce himself, when the time is right."

"When..." Saegan cut Kathra off. "Soon. He has his reason. I know, I know. It's the old spirit cliche. But he'll show up, don't you worry."

Saegan coughed and continued. "The Kingdom of the Phoenix is a city created by the gods to house those destined to be Talons and the current gatekeeper of souls. The gods long ago realized it was important to have mortals take a part in the fate of the world, and believed a group of mortals which would serve the current gatekeeper of souls, could be able to handle any crisis that would be too much for the rest of the world to handle, so that the gods could allow all beings to be in control of their own destinies without the intervention of the gods. They wanted their creations to become something more than just creations. I don't know any more than that though about the origins. You would have to be able to get into the great being's head to know his intentions. I thought I heard about one person who..."

"We get it, the gods wanted us to do things ourselves, mysterious ways, whatever. This isn't the time or place for a history lesson." Kathra said impatiently.

Saegan looked down and shook his head. "Does Aurelius have to put up with this?"

"You know Aurelius?" Brendan asked.

"Aye. I knew him from back when I was the current gatekeeper of souls. But that's a tale for another day. Anyway, the person we are having you look for is a woman by the name of Nadia."

"Who is she?" Lezzen asked.

"She... is the mother of Shrow'd, the daughter of the current ruler of the kingdom of the phoenix. Although the king is very old, and we suspect that it won't be too long before she..."

"Wait? Shrow'd is royalty? He's allowed to be the gatekeeper of souls, and a prince?" Kathra asked.

"His father was a talon who was friends with Nadia since their childhood. They were very close, and eventually fell in love with one another. There were no rules against it, and no one suspected Shrow'd would be chosen. After all, each gatekeeper of souls had to be chosen by the royal family. Those apart of the royal family do not become Talons. Their main purpose is to judge each Talon by his/her actions so that a proper Gatekeeper of Souls could be chosen, while of course maintaining order in the kingdom, and providing wisdom to the talons. While not as high in authority as the Gatekeeper of Souls, the royal family is very important in the cycle of the Gatekeepers. To remain impartial, they are not selected as Talons. However, when most of the Talons died in the great slaughter caused by Legion's forces, somehow Shrow'd was selected to be next in line. We're not sure why Memphis wasn't selected. It's possible he rejected that position..."

"So Nadia is the key to helping Shrow'd join us?" Brendan asked.

"While Shrow'd only knew his mother while he was young, she should know a way to help turn him good. Or at the very least, ensure you get the essentia stone on your side. But I warn you, Nadia and the kingdom are under the impression that Shrow'd and her husband are dead. They left many years ago and never returned. The kingdom was only able to find Shrow'd's father's body. The news of her son being alive, as well as how he is now, may... well..."

Brendan smiled. "We'll be gentle when we break the news. I promise."

Saegan smiled and pointed behind him. The trio could now see that the trees behind the spring vanished, and a large plain of grass could be seen. In the distance, they could see a small portion of the kingdom.

"You may now head towards the kingdom. My apologies for the walk, but it shouldn't take that long to get there. Go to the kingdom, ask around for Nadia. Talk to her and figure out the best action to take to save Shrow'd. Then you must face off with him, Brandon. But be warned, he will not be as merciful as he was in the past. He will want to settle his differences with you once and for all."

"Thank you, Saegan. I promise you, we will save Shrow'd's soul." Brendan said firmly.

"I believe in you. But please, if it comes down to a life and death matter, you must secure the essentia stone first. If Shrow'd can't be saved, then the essentia stone must be transferred to another being. We can not lose two essentia stones. Otherwise, all is lost. Good luck you three."

And with that, Saegan vanished, as did the spring.

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Last edited by TheHiddenOne on Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 12:07 am 
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*Three hours passed*

The herbs in Dezeren finally wore off and he woke up. His mind was still a little fuzzy, but it wasn't too bad. His vision was fine, minus the occasional pulse through his eyes form his bodies recovery process.

"Urngh... What happened?" Dezeren asked himself as he painfully sat up.

He slowly, but surely made his way down the tree that he forgot how he got up. He assumed whatever hit him must've been very powerful. Suddenly, Dezeren's mind flashed back to something:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Music. maybe)

“Tell you what. How about you get to work and forget all of this? We really need the extra hands.” Kaleb told Dezeren.

Dezeren sighed in distress and started to learn a new technique.

The bomb arrows he learned require a few major components:

75 grams of gunpowder
2" x 2" piece of paper/parchment
a 4" fuse (takes 20 seconds to hit gunpowder) (preferably made of parchment)
some string to tie the gunpowder pouch close to the arrowhead

The steps Dezeren recalled for it are:

1) Wrap the flat piece of paper/parchment into a little pouch. Leave a hole at the top for now.
2) Pour the 75 grams of gunpowder into the paper/parchment pouch
3) Curl up a 4" piece of parchment into a cylindrical-type shape. This will be the fuse.
4) Stick one end of the "fuse" into the open spot of the pouch. Leave the other end hanging outside.
5) Use the string to tie the pouch near the arrowhead. BE SURE TO SEAL THE POUCH WHILE DOING THIS!
6) Now, light it and fire!

"Why would you teach a youngster like me this recipe?" Dezeren asked.
"Because the last guy who knew it died, so we need a new person to make them." Kaleb explained to Dezeren.

Dezeren said no more and made more arrows for the remaining 1 and a half years he would work here for.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"So that's how they're made... too bad I lack the gunpowder to make some. Not like i'd want anymore than 2, really." Dezeren said to himself.

A passing by general dealer heard this and offered Dezeren a trade.

"Hey sonny! How'd you like some gunpowder?" The vendor asked Dezeren
"How much for 150 grams?" Dezeren asked.
"Well, since the accident a few years back, gunpowder has inflated like you wouldn't believe. I barely have enough spare on hand to for that. But it'd be 500 gold pieces for it."
"It's become that rare!?"
"The biggest supply was in the Razakai woods. But since the accident, all the ingredients basically went 'BOOM!' "
"There any way you can come down on that?"
"Sorry sonny. I just can't. My master would kill me if I sold it for any less."

Dezeren thought about it, and decided it wasn't worth it, so he said no deal the vendor, who walked off very sad. He felt kind of sad for the vendor, but there was no way he'd give over that much for such little of the powder. Dezeren's limbs felt faint again, and he passed out right under a tree with a bee's nest in it. The bees were not happy, and chased after Dezeren, who quickly sprang up and ran without stop to the nearest town for half a mile. Once the bees gave up, Dezeren was basically in town again. While he was in town, some scraggly woman's voiced screamed at him.

"Get out of here you little rotten, ungrateful, ignorant, murderous twerp!"

That voice sent chills down Dezeren's spine.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 10:25 pm 
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Shrow'd was walking on a long dirt road. He had just exited a meeting with Legion after discussing the need to eliminate Brendan. He was aware his master had plans for the future, but was able to convince Legion to leave Brendan out of his plans. However, in return, he wasn't allowed to go ahead with his new master plan until Legion instructed him to do so.

Shrow'd had realized something after his last meeting with Ashen and Alf. After his confrontation with Aurelius, and his battle with Fravir, Shrow'd knew he was strong. He knew he was a force to not be reckoned with. However, something was wrong.

Why were they not trying to seek him out? Why was Brendan the only one doing so? Even before their hunt for their stones, they constantly ignored trying to find him. And more importantly, every single time he encountered them, they weren't afraid.

That bugged Shrow'd. It annoyed him so much. And something became clear from his last encounter with Ashen. They trusted an idiot like Brendan, and believed that he could "save his soul."

That enraged Shrow'd. That was the biggest insult to him.

... But it was also the key to breaking the hope of each and every hero. Brendan has ties with each and every hero. He never gives up, and never loses his postive attitude. If Shrow'd were to take him down, if Shrow'd were to either kill or break him, each and every hero would finally realize Shrow'd is unstoppable. And they would breakdown, one by one.

Shrow'd had a plan, a plan that would go into motion once Legion gave him permission. He would summon Brendan through a special crisis that would rock him to the core. And then he would have his battle in a place where even the gods could see everything that was happening. They would see their precious hero fall. They would see it happen in the most glorious manner. Everyone would see it.

And so, smiling as he kept his distance from the heroes, for the moment, he began to forge his master plan. The ultimate show of his power.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:19 am 
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Fravir did not sleep that night. The lesson on lightning he had just learned kept him up, as well as the unfortunate combination of memories that he used to conjure the energy needed. Thoughts flowed to his unfortunate mother, to his father, and how he always swore he would never become like him. That was one thing accomplished, the warrior thought, he definitely was not his father.

He jolted upward as the bottom end of a staff was thumped into his abdomen.

Aurelius: Arise, we shalt depart.

Fravir caught his breathed and not too long after, the two of them trekked toward the town they saw the day before. Awkward silences were common between them, and they were never any less weird than the ones before. Aurelius led the way. The old druid was more determined than ever...his goal was finally just within reach. His student kept up, but barely, having to avoid branches swinging back to hit him or tangling himself on the vegetation. They took a turn once they were within view of the town.

Aurelius: We hath nay reason to be seen. Thy destination lies at the end of this path.

Fifteen more minutes and Fravir beheld nothing out of the ordinary. Yet his mentor still stopped him, declaring they had arrived. The old druid pushed his way past more overgrown shrubbery and stopped, looking down at the ground. It was dark, but not dark enough to restrict their vision, trees loomed high overhead. The knight was confused but caught up with the old druid as he was brushing the ground with his hand. Fravir looked down.

There was a stone slab with grooves in it wide as it was long. Except those grooves weren't grooves, but runes. Runes which the warrior could read, if he brushed the dirt out of the carvings.

Fravir: Aurelius, what is this? where are we?

Aurelius: The entrance.

The warrior looked around.

Fravir: Where?

Aurelius: Before thouself, warrior!

The impatience in the druids voice was evident, and he thumped the stone with his staff, like he did to his pupil earlier. He seemed confused. The younger man inspected the stone closer then turned to his teacher.

Fravir: I can read this writing.

Aurelius: Aye?

Fravir: It says:

I am the one who watches mountains dance.
I am without a flint for a flame.
Under me men die and oceans expanse.
None shall enter less they speak my name.


The Warrior caught himself smiling, then quickly regained his composure and waited for Aurelius' response. The old druid pondered for a while then spoke.

Aurelius: The world thrives around the courses of nature. The answer must lie there. The Sun watches mountains dance in its light, The Moon is the harbinger of men's death and the Ocean's waves. That must be it then.

The old druid spoke clearly and with emphasis.

Aurelius: The Sun!

After a moment of silence, he said again determination evident in his cracking tone.

Aurlius: The Moon!

Nothing. The Druid was disgruntled to say the least. We didn't have time for petty riddles! He was so close he could almost taste it! Another thump of the staff to the stone, then the old man sighed and turned around.

Fravir watched his teacher, and wanted to understand his impatience for the matter. He wanted to know so that he could help in any way, but maybe just waiting and thinking the problem over, and Fravir could guess the riddle. His teacher, turned around still, Fravir smiled. It couldn't be that simple could it? You lose nothing by trying.

Fravir: The one who watches mountains dance, watches them move, the one who sees fire with no flint, who men die under, and oceans expand. It isn't of nature, teacher.

The druid scoffed at the younger man. In turn, the younger man smiled and whispered close to the stone.

Fravir: Patience.

With an ancient sounding drag, the stone moved aside, revealing the entrance. Aurelius smiled at his own impatience, then climbed down the dark passage.

-----

At the bottom, the two were careful not to bump into each other. The air was dusty, the only light filtered in from the already dim world above, and who know what was lurking in the darkness.

Aurelius: Warrior, make a light.

Fravir: Do we need one? We don't need to see if we have druid meditation.

Aurelius: Something beyond the elements clouds thy enhanced vision. Make a light.

Fravir did as he was told, and manipulated the energies in the air until a small fireball hovered above his palm. Immediately the duo saw they were in a large and round chamber. Passage entrances were placed at intervals around and all seemed to either end or start in this hall. There were twelve in number, and each was labeled I, II, III etc, the last one being XII, marking twelve.

Fravir: Where now?

Aurelius: A labyrinth indeed... this way, warrior.

Fravir followed him through the hallway marked VII, with a questioning thought he brushed aside. The tunnel was long, Fravir felt like he was walking in circles until the two of them exited into what seemed to be outside? how could they be outside if they went underground?

There was a large sandy dune surrounded by water. The sky was blue and the sun was hot. They waded through the water and climbed the dune.

Aurelius: Doth not trust thost eyes, Warrior. This is but an illusion.

Fravir: This Labyrinth is enchanted?

Aurelius: Art thou surprised?

Fravir had nothing to say to that. Still, the sand felt real, he was dripping from having waded through the water, and the sun really felt hot. They looked all over the dune for a clue. Fravir searched the waters for an exit, kicking aside a crab that had found his boot. Aurelius tossed two crabs aside from his robes.

Fravir: Um, teacher?

Aurelius: Aye?

Fravir: What do we do about this?

The waters seemed to darken, then explode with angry crustaceans. Fravir shouted.

Fravir: What do we do about this??

Aurelius: Calm thouself! Think about your teachings! Crabs are inhabitants of water, what can you do with water?

Fravir, aware of the inherent danger of being overrun, Fravir did the best he could and slowed the energies, until the water around them froze, and inside it, all the crabs.

Fravir: Master, did I just... freeze an entire lake?

Aurelius: Nay. This is an illusion, or didst thou forget? The lake is finite. Stand aside.

The old druid lifted his arms and split the energies of the frozen water, the rammed them together, turning everything around them to steam. The crabs were gone, as was the water. The "sky" darkened and revealed its stone roof. The sound of sand falling into a hole was heard, as a stairway down through the dune and into another corridor was revealed.

Aurelius: Onward, we hath little time to waste.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 12:52 pm 
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The group quickly made their way out of the forest, and entered the plains.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRbROTdOgj0 (Kingdom of the Phoenix: Plains Theme)

The group rushed through the plains, with the kingdom not too far from sight. As they were rushing through, the mystic feeling and otherworldly feel did not cease to disappear. The heroes couldn't help but feel a bit aghast by the mystic beauty of the plains, and the kingdom just a short ways away from them.

Kathra: Alecius...I feel like he wasted our time a bit. It seems like to me all he did was ramble on, for the most part. I know that info is important, but ya know, I'm pretty impatient, so I can't help but feel he just wasted our time, mostly.

Brendan: Kathra, you can't be so hasty and impatient. I know we are very short on time, and I understand just how important it is that we get to Shrow'ds mother, but we can't just charge on ahead cluelessly.

Kathra: Yeah..I know...

Lezzen: Any info that we can get is helpful at this point.

Kathra: Yeah, I can understand that, but I don't want to just stand around and listen to some old guy ramble on about the history of this kingdom, that other old guy, and so on. Just get on with the important stuff about the mother, and let us be on our way!

Brendan: *Laughs* Kathra, your still the same woman I've known since the day we met, but at the same time, you've become a better and greater person than you once were, and I can see that now.

Kathra: Thanks, I think I kinda noticed that for some time now.

Lezzen: You both are quite silly when you start talking amongst each other like that. *Giggles*

Brendan: *Smiles and chuckles* Yeah, were quite the couple, aren't we Kathra!

Kathra: Tch...Heh, of course!

The group was almost to the kingdom.

Kathra: Ya know, I just want to mention something, but that old man got me to thinking..Just how many old people have we come across, along with our friends, have encountered so far on this long quest?

Brendan: Many. All of them were of some help in some sort of manner.

Lezzen: Why do you ask Kathra?

Kathra: Well, I just can't help but wonder...Why are there so many damn old people popping up out of no where! What's up with these old people, just randomly popping up and giving information? It's just kinda odd that they just keep popping up all the time. I guess old people are attracted to chosen heroes, and I don't get that at all.

Brendan: *Laughs* Kathra, you say the darnedest things sometimes. The old are people who have lived for so long, and their knowledge and wisdom is great. Compared to someone as young as ourselves, they know far more than we could know, because of how long they have been around and their experiences in their life.

Kathra: Yeah, but why do they just randomly pop up out of nowhere! That's kind of creepy.

Lezzen: What do you mean by popping up Kathra?

Kathra: Well, we could just be running around like we are now, and then suddenly some old guy just pops up out of no where and starts talking about stuff, and rambles on. I mean, they can give us important info, but they talk to much and it almost seems like they are stalking us.

Lezzen: Your just being silly Kathra. Let's just focus on the task at hand now, we don't have much time.

Kathra: Hmph, fine, but don't say I didn't warn you about the creepy old people when that other old guy pops up whenever that time comes.

Brendan: We have arrived! Let's start asking around.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:31 am 
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With the morning came Barthan skulking out the edge of the woods. He had no idea where Dezeren wandered off to, but had a hunch that Dezeren would find him shortly.

He mumbled to himself and stepped out from the forest.

Barthan: I just can’t shake the feeling of some lingering evil. There was definitely something strange about those trees.”

But it was in the past now, as he emerged from the shady trees into a grassy meadow. There were few birds and other creatures out there. It struck Barthan as odd, but he didn’t continue to think about it.

Barthan: If I’m not mistaken, I have a day until the wedding. Time to find my dear sister.

He continued through the grassland and jumped a small stream. In an hour, he saw the edge of the town and another thirty minutes brought him in talking range to the guard on patrol.

Guard: Greetings! You look like you’ve been on the road for some time
Barthan: Not too long. It hasn’t been a year yet.
Guard: A year? Most people wouldn’t last more than a week by themselves. Where are you from?
Barthan: Places. Does it matter?
Guard: You don’t live here, that is for certain. What is your business here?

The guard stepped into Barthan’s path. Despite the guard’s jovial tone, Barthan felt irritated.

Barthan: My business isn’t important to you. What I do is my own, and it isn’t anything interesting yet.
Guard: It’s my job to keep the city safe-
Barthan: It’s a big town at best. City is a stretch.
Guard: …city safe, so I keep a lookout for people that might cause a ruckus.
Barthan: Well, I won’t be committing any criminal acts, if that is what you care about. I’m visiting a family member, if it means so much to you.

The guard took a deep breath before replying.

Guard: Only two things ever come from that direction. Close friends or trouble. Let us be honest, you aren’t a friend. I don’t know how familiar you are with these parts, but in the past, various creatures came from that direction. Monsters. The type we use to scare children from misbehaving, but in the flesh. Hell, there was something in that forest that was only recently taken out, or so the rumors say.
Barthan: If you are insinuating that I look like a monster because I’m not a friend…
Guard: That…that is not my intention. I want to know where you are from and what you are doing here. It is a simple question and a fair one for a person in my position to ask.
Barthan: I’m from “That direction” most recently, and as I told you earlier, I am visiting family. Why do I get the impression that all of this trouble could have been avoided if I just walked around to the other side of this town?
Guard: Perhaps it would have.

The man paused momentarily while a thought entered his head.

Guard: Say, tell me one thing.
Barthan: Yes, I think an elephant is difficult to eat with one’s fingers.
Guard: Do…huh.

He sighed loudly.

Guard: Couldn’t you have been more forthcoming about that? Go ahead. You’re giving me too much stress as it is.

Barthan stepped past and rolled his eyes. Who cares who goes where? It wasn’t as if he were waltzing across the mayor’s land.

Once inside the city, though, his anger lessened. It was late afternoon and stores were beginning to close up. To the east side of town, he found the place he was looking for. A moderate sized blacksmith was at the bottom, but the next two stories had a true homely feel to it. On the roof, he could see a woman bustling about with a small tin of what was presumably water, tending to something. Barthan walked to the front door and gave the bell-cable a quick tug.

From the top of the house, a familiar voice called out. Barthan chuckled and grinned while the woman’s footsteps clicked down the staircase.

Woman: One second, please!

She reached the bottom and opened the door.

Woman: You came! Little brother, how are you?
Barthan: Dee! I’m doing fine. The wedding is tomorrow, is it not?
Demetria: Indeed it is. Come on in and sit down. What have you been doing all this time?
Barthan: Going here and there, getting caught in large storms, talking to some awfully loony people. A few cool ones in the bunch, too.
Demetria: I see. Well, Aron’s out of the house at the moment, Mom is three streets over thataways, and I’ve been growing some of my plants up on the roof.
Barthan: The botany stuff? Where’d you learn to do that?
Demetria: There are books in the library. Some of them are pretty old.

Demetria stood up and took a kettle off the stove. She poured it into a teapot and the tea’s aroma quickly reached Barthan

Demetria: Grew this myself. Would you like to try some?
Barthan: You know I don’t drink tea.
Demetria: True, true. Listen, there’s something I’d like to show you.

Demetria walked to the shelf on the other wall and grabbed a mug. She tilted it, and collected the small object inside. It was a small stone with a relatively smooth surface. It seemed to Barthan that there was a reddish tint to the stone.

Demetria: Aron gave this to me last week, when he found it in his crafting supplies. I don’t know why, but I just felt like it should go to you.

She walked back to where Barthan was sitting and handed him the stone. He held it and looked at it closely. He felt dizzy. The room spun around his head and he thought he was falling, as if the floor had suddenly disappeared. His vision turned hazy red, then green, then white.

He shut his eyes and shook his head to clear it. Demetria looked at him questioningly. When he had his focus again, he responded.

Barthan: It’s…a rock.
Demetria: Well, yeah. But it is your rock now. Do you like it?
Barthan: Anything from my dear sister. You never know when a small rock will come in handy. I know it seems ridiculous, but you’re the best, and if you think a silly little rock is important for me to have, then I’ll be sure to hold on to it.
Demetria: Why don’t you go visit Mom? She’s with Dad and Gramps.
Barthan: I think I’ll do that.
Demetria: Don’t forget tomorrow!

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 2:53 pm 
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(Since I recently figured out what to do next (with some help from Adam), and that it has been AGES since my last post... I supposed I should write one.)

Amok kept on searching in the forest, ignoring Grace's struggles. She didn't have the power to overthrow him, it seemed. Which was exactly what he intended, of course. He had been feeding the fire of her anger, making it burn away the other sources of her strenth, leaving her powerless against his will once he allowed the fire to shrink again.

Grace could only watch, as Amok took control. She was still there, fully aware of what was going on, but her body wouldn't do as she wanted, as if someone else was pulling her strings. Grace struggled, trying to pull lose from Amok's control, although it had little to no effect, and it simply exhausted her to try. Eventually, Grace gave up. She simply couldn't do it, he was too strong. He didn't seem to be doing that much harm to anything at that moment anyway...

Amok smirked a bit as he realized Grace had stopped fighting, the girl had finally realized she couldn't win. This would make everything a lot easier, as he wouldn't have to struggle to remain in control, and could focus on other things. Like finding that stone. Although, soon he could feel his strenth was slowly vanishing. He had probarbly taken control too soon, not giving himself enough time to rebuild his strenth. He then noticed Grace was beginning to struggle again, she probarbly noticed that his grip over her was weakening. He would have her regain control for now, it wouldn't make a difference if she were to regain control now. She, too, needed to find the stone, the eventual outcome would remain the same.

At a certain point, Grace realized Amok seemed to weaken a little bit. She didn't know why, but this was most likely her chance to regain control. Grace began to fight Amok's control again, and quickly overcame it, as she collapsed to the ground. Well... That went easier than she thought it would. She pushed herself up, getting herself back onto her feet. Okay, now what... She had to find her essentia stone, but... She couldn't help but think about her family, especially Bruce... Maybe Korgen could teach her the final move needed for time travel... True, it was one she's been struggling with for a long time, but... It was her only chance. Grace then looked around herself, and began looking for Korgen... Even though she knew she might very well not find him.


(Reminding myself mainly about Grace's abilities again. Force field, purple beam, teleport, cyclone, purple fire.)

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 7:42 pm 
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A tunnel darker than night swallowed the misfit duo. Immediately Fravir knew something was terribly wrong with the corridor that they were bound to. The light from his fireball that once illuminated the path far in front of them now retreated back into the flame as if it were scared by the darkness. The pitch black tunnel seemed to swallow light and all hope along with it. The emerald knight didn’t slow his pace until his boots landed on a firm, flat surface. He touched the closest was and immediately recoiled. The wall was colder than any ice he had ever touched. It felt as smooth as a mirror but his firelight didn’t reflect off of it.

Fravir: There’s something… wrong about this place.

Aurelius: Aye. Markahn was said to hath been a half deranged and a half brilliant. Nay doubt as to which half constructed this tunnel.

Fravir: Is there any way to spread our light out further?

Aurelius: (grabbing his temple) I hath once known a method… Ready thouself.

Beneath the druid a plate of earth detached from the seamless floor. As Fravir reluctantly mimicked his teacher the flame above his hand shot off like a loosed arrow into the tunnel ahead of them. Like lightning, the elder propelled his square of earth forward along the eerily faultless surface after the speeding fireball. The emerald knight chased after on his own slab trying to keep up.

The tunnel winded for what felt like hours turned minutes atop their speeding stones. Eventually they reached a much larger cavern and the flame began to encircle the rounded ceiling. It moved so fast the singular ball of fire slowly became a ring which made Fravir impulsively cringe. His wound hurt suddenly.

The ring of fire illuminated a breathtaking cavern. It appears the flat surface hadn’t stopped once it reached the chamber, rather it continued towards the ceiling turning the whole cave into a seamless sphere. Around the circumference stood three bronze-colored statues in the shape of a Bull, a Lion, and a Ram. They all faced an open, gilded tabernacle which shone like moonlight. Inside floated a key the color of bone. The two travelers slowed their earthen plates and impulsively walked towards the glimmering light

Fravir: What do you suppose that is?

Aurelius: A Skeleton Key. One of thy companions possessed one of its likeness. He claimed there art six others remaining. In thy travels I never expected to come across one.

Fravir: Should we take it?

Aurelius: Aye, dungeons hath locks.

Nodding in agreement, the knight crept closer to the tabernacle around its petrified guardians. The beasts did not breathe but something in their gnarled faces kept Fravir from noticing their ruby eyes. He extended a gauntleted hand and quickly snatched the tiny key. It was as light as snow. The key became white ash and fell to the floor. Something felt off.

Fravir: Five, teacher. There are only five others remainin-

An ebony paw lunged in the corner of the warrior’s eye. He jolted back a step only to feel a large breeze as the once petrified Ram dashed in front of him. He didn’t need to see Aurelius’ stave dueling with the Bull’s horns to know what had happened. Fravir shut his eyes and summoned a gust of wind which put space between himself and the statue beasts. He looked for the exit but couldn’t find it. The walls had become entirely solid. Fravir looked to the druid and to his surprise Aurelius was turning upside down. No, the entire chamber was rolling yet his feet were firmly on the ground. The monsters never made a sound.

Aurelius: I shouldst hath guessed. This is nay dungeon. Tis a grave!

Fravir: Masamune!

In a flash the blade appeared in the emerald knight’s hand. He looked at the blade of his fair Saratonia and raised it to slice down the monsters.

Aurelius: Halt, warrior! Sheath thoust blade and arm thouself with the elements.

The Lion pounced towards Fravir but he restrained himself and dove forward. The Masamune flashed out of his grasp.

Fravir: Aurelius! These aren’t trees in the forest; they will tear us to pieces!

Another swift sidestep angered the Ram. Was it getting faster?

Aurelius: Earth over steel! Doth thou wish to be a druid?

Fravir: Yes but-

Aurelius: Then fight with the elements, warrior! There is nay a thing a soldier couldst perform which a druid wouldst struggle with.

Stifling a growl, Fravir shut his eyes and stood his ground. He could see the world inside the sphere vividly. A wave of fire erupted from his hands but the beasts persisted. Aurelius was grasping his temples with one hand and clutching his staff with the other. His knuckles were white.

* *** *


No one knew the color of the mountains. They had been covered by snow for as long as anyone could recall and beneath that snow were layers of ice deeper than willow roots. No one argued as to why they were called the Teeth of the World. Few men lived here. Even fewer sought them out. But one man searched.

The mountains crumbled. Avalanche. Ashes. Take to the sky! Rooted. A pack of wolves the size of bears charged at him. They were always interested in new prey. Their ruby eyes said it though they were silent. Famished. Gorewolves. Their fur was white like snow but they bathe in the blood of their victims. They were as cold as stone. They were stone.

One charged, the now gnarled man threw his staff at it. He caught the horn. His blast of air sent snow shimmering all around. That did no good. Gorewolves saw heat. Anger. Fear. Their teeth were already red. Surgate flashed his blade as always. He was going to kill them. Kill both of them. They could smell blood like a sea monster. He might kill the pack but what good was that if a clan was on its way? Earth over steel!

By some miracle the knight in his expensive jacket discarded his blade and sent jets of fire setting fire to their fur. They smoked but they didn’t burn. The snow didn’t melt. They were tumbling down the mountain.

They Gorewolves chased them. Xezat swiped at them with earth and fire but they fought it off. Ramming. Pouncing. Horns everywhere. The warrior called out to him. To him! Like he would help him in this mess! He wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for him and the others! He needed the teeth of Gorewolves. The ivory was… different. The potion. To be free! He needed those teeth!

But it was so simple! How could the warrior not see it? The beasts were stone. Stone Gorewolves! They shatter like pottery. In one sweeping step…

* *** *


Aurelius threw the Ram against the Lion and into the Bull. They shattered like a cart of vases. The walls stopped moving but the tabernacle crashed into the wall creating a doorway.

Aurelius: Clay, Warrior. The statues were built from clay. When wilst thou learn to mind thoust surroundings-

Spinning quickly, the elder looked at his right foot. The Lion’s maw lay shattered by a stone. Fravir loosened himself and gave the ancient druid a smirk.

Fravir: What about surroundings?

Before he could respond, his teacher crumbled to the ground clawing at his temples. Aurelius’ staff made a hollow thud when it fell. The knight rushed to his aid.

Fravir: Teacher!

Aurelius: Remove thy hands!

Cringing audibly, Aurelius reached out towards the shattered monsters. Abruptly, the broken statues crumbled into dust. With the reaped energy, the ancient druid coughed up a wad of blood and his staff flew into his hand.

Fravir: Aurelius you’re hurt. We’ve got to-

Aurelius: Continue, warrior. That is thy only option. The past blends with the present for the future is at hand. Thy future. The grail is here. We continue.

The tiresome two headed towards the dark doorway. It was another tunnel. One that would lead to surely another test of their valor and skill. Fravir suddenly longed for his companions. Determination had clouded Aurelius’ gray eyes. On the other end they saw a light and rushed to it.

Aurelius cursed. Fravir’s head sunk in exhaustion. The two had returned to the chamber with the twelve hallways.

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 Post subject: Re: A Lady's Quest Chapter 6: The Forest of Condemnation
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Location: N/A
The trio entered the Kingdom of The Phoenix, which surprisingly didn’t look as grand as they thought it would be. The houses/buildings looked to be made of a special kind of stone, which they could not identify. It seemed as if these buildings were around for a while, but yet were in a very good condition. For the most part, this kingdom appeared to operate more like a town, where everyone was on the same playing field, although they did notice a small castle in the distance.

“This town is alright, but for a town made by the Gods, I would think it would look better than this. Also, if the Gods made it, then why can't it be able to protect itself from any enemies? The Gods couldn't have made it..” Kathra said.

“This town was not built to be a spectacle or a wondrous sight. As for the town being under attack, I can't really explain that, despite the fact it being built by the Gods.” Brendan replied.

“Well, then the Gods must be pretty flawed themselves then. I thought The Gods were more powerful than any being in existence. I just keep finding too much stuff that's flawed, ya know.”

“Don't underestimate the power of the Gods. I know things may be a bit flawed, but I'm sure there is some reason behind the towns weaknesses.” Lezzen responded.

Kathra sighed. “Whatever you say Lezzen. I'm sure you know the Gods intentions better than anyone else!” She said sarcastically. "Let's just go to the castle and find that woman that randomly appearing old guy said to look for."

As the trio moved towards the castle, a young man who had overheard the conversation started to come towards them. The young man had short hair, and appeared to be somewhere between 14 and 16 years old. Brendan noticed he was approaching and greeted him.

“Hello there. Would you happen to know where a woman named Nadia is? I believe she is one of the royal family members.”

The young man spoke up. “Yes, you’re talking about my mother right? Princess Nadia?”

Kathra whispered to Lezzen. “That maniac has a brother? Is this guy crazy too?”

“We… We weren’t aware she had two sons.” Brendan responded.

The young man looked confused. “Who are you people exactly?”

“My name is Brendan, and this is Kathra and Lezzen. We’ve been instructed to find Princess Nadia to ask for her assistance.”

“Assistance with what exactly?”

“It has to do with your brother.” Brendan responded.

“… Sir, I wouldn’t exactly say we’re brothers. While my mother did indeed have two children, the other child was with the former Talon Adalwin, who passed away many years ago along with their only child. I suppose we’re stepbrothers, but considering he’s been dead for many years, I’ve never really considered…”

“Yeah...about that psy...” Before Kathra could go any further, Lezzen looked at her and shook her head. Kathra sighed and stopped talking. The young man looked at them suspiciously.

“Ok, I want to know what’s going on before I introduce you to my mother. Why are you people here? Why are you asking about my Stepbrother?”

“Give us your name first. We already had to deal with enough random nonsense to get to where we are now in the first place.” Kathra responded.

“Fine. My name is…”

“Andres?”

The trio and the young man turned around and noticed a woman had approached them. She was in her 50s approximately. She did not look too old, but she was showing signs of ageing.

“Mother? What are you doing here?” The young man asked.

“I needed to talk to you about your grandfather. You keep avoiding this conversation and…”

Nadia noticed the trio standing there. Embarrassed, she quickly greeted them.

“My apologies. I did not mean to interrupt your conversation. I don’t seem to recognize you three though. Who are you exactly?”

“Mother, these three were looking for you. They want to talk to you about your son. The one that died.”

Nadia looked at them confused. “Reuben? What about him?”

“That psycho's name is Reuben? I though his name was Loony! Why? Cause' he's crazy!” Kathra whispered to Lezzen.

“Your highness, my name is Brendan, and this is Kathra, my girlfriend, along with my sister Lezzen. We’ve come here because we were told you could help us out with a… situation.”

“Please, call me Nadia. This kingdom is not formal like others. The titles are only for official purposes. But I would like to know what exactly this has to do with Reuben. He passed away many years ago. Andres, do you know…”

“Nadia… maybe we should talk about this somewhere else. Perhaps we can…”

“No, I want you to tell my mother and I exactly what is going on now.” Andres said sternly.

Kathra was not happy with the way Andres spoke to Brendan. “You really want to know? Fine. Your stepbrother never died, he’s working for Legion now, and he’s threatening the world with his spirit powers since he’s apparently the “Gatekeeper of Souls” or something. We need your mother’s knowledge to figure out how to stop him. Oh, and did I ever tell you...HE'S A FREAKING PSYCHOPATH!”

“Kathra!” Lezzen and Brendan shouted.

“W-what?” Nadia in response. She had no idea how to respond to all of this information. This should have sounded absurd to her, but the fact that they mentioned Legion, and the Gatekeeper of Souls worried her. No one from the outside, unless they were well informed, would know about those two terms.

“You know what? How could you just assume he was dead anyways?! Do you not know how much destruction and death he has caused? That maniac has done enough damage, and you were all completely unaware of it. You should be ashamed of yourselves!”

“KATHRA!”

“My son… My son is…” Nadia clearly wasn’t prepared to get this information. Not only was her son alive, but he was the gatekeeper of souls? This wasn’t suppose to happen. And not only that, but he was working for Legion and threatening the world?

Andres saw the flood of emotions entering his mother, and glared at Kathra angrily. “I don’t know who the hell you are, but you do not speak like that to my mother.”

“It doesn't matter! You two are very irresponsible family members. If it weren't for us three, he probably would have destroyed the whole world now! You two clearly didn't care well enough for your own child!”

As Kathra and Andres began to argue, Brendan and Lezzen noticed Nadia was really not taking this new information well. As she began to stumble a little bit, Brendan and Lezzen quickly went over to her and helped her keep balance.

“I'm sorry about this Nadia. Kathra tends to become irratable quite easily. We were going to give you the information about your son more gently, but Kathra has been a bit on edge lately about a lot of things. Forgive her. Perhaps we could head to your castle and discuss things in further detail?”

Nadia looked towards Brendan and nodded. She closed her eyes for a brief moment in an attempt to pull herself together and sighed. “Yes, please. Let us go back to castle and to my quarters. We should be able to speak privately there. Andres, maybe you should come with us as well. Providing you can stop arguing with our guest.”

Kathra and Andres stopped arguing and looked towards Nadia. They saw that Brendan and Lezzen were glaring at them, and quickly stopped their argument. Andres came to his mother’s side and helped Brendan get her to the castle. In her chambers, Brendan carefully explained everything that they knew about Shrow’d, and the events that had occurred with Legion.

_________________
Super Smash Brothers 4 - October 3rd(3DS)/Holiday 2014(Wii U). Currently up to a 37 (39 if you count each Mii Fighter as a separate character) Character Roster. Already past Melee, 3 (1 again if you count each Mii separate) below Brawl.


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