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Ehlmaris 09-24-2009 07:39 AM


The ethereal plane.

Ehlmaris paces back and forth before Baradreth. His eyes remain locked on a vision of the world that he has been taken from. "So that's it. There's no hope, then."

Baradreth shakes his head. "There is always hope."

"Where?" Ehlmaris turns to the God. "These images, these visions... they show me nothing but the fact that the world is coming to an end." He advances slowly. "The power of the Ancients is returning. It took all of the Gods to suppress it. And now, there's not enough of you left to finish the job!"

"Only mortals can save the world now."

"There are none who can stop this! This Phoenix has already begun work on the defenses! You know as well as I do that only three could stand a chance against this!"

Baradreth nods. "And your point is?"

Ehlmaris stops, feet from the deity's throne. "My point? My point is that two of them are a week's journey away, and by the time they get back, even they won't do any good!"

"And the third?"

The paladin's eyes widen. "The third?! The THIRD?!" Frustration, anger and rage permeate the man's voice. "YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE THIRD!"

Baradreth shakes his head. "No. You could aid them, but when the time comes, you would not be able to put an end to this." The King of the Gods rises from his throne. "The Phoenix must be destroyed. You could not bring yourself to such a solution."

Ehlmaris bites his lip, his fists clenched.

"The third is moving as we speak. You know him. Think back, through your memories." The paladin's eyes remain fixed on the god before him. "Turn around. Perhaps a reminder will help."

Ehlmaris turns to see the images before him morph into a vision of an old man rushing through a dense forest, holding his staff before him, the trees seeming to part in his path. "I can't see his face."

"You don't need to. You haven't even seen his true face."

The mortal's brow furrows as he turns around, his head cocked to the side.

"He has guided you from birth until your throne. He thought his job was done." The God sets a hand on Darislav's shoulder. "He has lived for centuries, Ehlmaris. To think it was just to restore your throne would be rather bold - of both of you."

Ehlmaris turns around, squinting at the image before him.

"He will return your world's last hope to where it needs to be. Just as he stole you away from danger, he will lead them into it. As he sheltered you on your journey, he will shatter their naivete."

"Dranath...? He's alive?"

Baradreth nods. "Indeed. He doesn't know it, but he's the last servant of the True King. He does not serve the Light, he serves the World. The ultimate creation of the True King of the Gods. This has sustained him well beyond the normal lifespan of your kind."

Ehlmaris stares into the vision as the man reaches a cave. Baradreth joins him, standing at the paladin's side.

"He will not let his master, your world, die without a fight." The God smiles slightly. "And it should be a good one."


The old man reaches the bridge to the Temple. At this point, all the torches are out and most of the inhabitants are sound asleep. As he crosses the bridge, rows of torches flare up into a bright white, illuminating his path and the entire room. The magma below begins to churn furiously as he strides forward.

The guards at the gate rise, drawing their blades at this sight. "Halt!" The man, his head lowered, his staff held parallel to the ground below him, remains speechless. The guards approach slowly, and one begins to hum slightly. He stops immediately as the old man's eyes flare up into a brilliant flash of emerald.

Roots shoot out from the bridge, securing him down as vines rush around him, fully entwining him from foot to just below his nose in a second. The second guard gazes on in horror. His sword falls as he inhales as if to scream for help. The man thrusts his staff forward, and a rock flies from behind him towards the man, hitting him squarely in the forehead, thrusting him backward to slump down unconscious against the door.

Reaching it, the old man spread his arms wide and a burst of wind swings the doors open with a loud crash. The trainees of the temple begin to stir in their beds, grabbing their blades and heading out of the barracks lining the central corridor leading to the main temple.

The man raises his staff upward as they exit the buildings. Flames shoot up from the ground alongside his path, blazing with a white heat up to the tops of the cavern. The trainees step back in awe.

The man enters the main temple, met by a contingent of guards. His eyes flash again, a deep blue, as all but one are encased in ice. "Where are the Riders?"

The remaining swordsman shakes his head. "Your powers are incredible, but our guests are under our protection. You shall not harm them."

With incredible speed, he thrusts the bottom of his staff upward and into the man's jaw. "Fool! Harm them? No harm shall they see from me!" He looks beyond the man on the ground to see Clint and Thor, freshly awakened by the tumult. "YOU!" the man yells, pointing with his staff. "You must return, immediately!"

Clint and Thor rush forward. "Who are you? What is going on?" Clint glares at the man, his hand on the hilt of his blade.

"I am Dranath Brightmoon. I have served the Empire for centuries. And now I must bring you back there - not to serve the Empire, but to bring it down."

The masters of the temple have come forward by now, staring at the three. "Clint! What is the meaning of this?!" The High Master rushes forward. "I thought you said that your Empire was at peace!"

Dranath stares at him, then back to Clint. "We have no time to delay. The power of the Ancients has returned."

Clint shakes his head. "No. The Darkforger was captured! It's impossible!"

"Imbecile! Are you that blind?!" The old man grabs Clint by his shirt and pulls him closer, mere inches from his face. "He was captured for a reason!" He lets go, pushing Clint backward. "The Cataclysm could happen again!"

The group stares on, speechless.

His mouth hangs open, his breathing is heavy. "The prophecy... Oh, who am I kidding." He sets his staff upright, leaning on it. "Nobody's listened to anything I've said for centuries except Ehlmaris. And he's disappeared."

Clint steps forward. "What prophecy?" he demands.

The old man breathes deeply, hanging his head down as he softly speaks:

"After the fall, after the cleansing, after the rebirth of man
Their ways shall rise, all to corrupt, at the Phoenix's hand.
The Heavens will shake, the Earth will break, Hell itself will be wrought with fear.
With a change in the wind, should the will of the Gods end, only man can make clear."

He looks up. "The Phoenix has risen. Out of the millennia-old ashes of the Cataclysm, she has risen. She has resurrected the secrets of old. And now commands a power approaching that of old."

Clint shakes his head, his eyes not leaving Dranath. "But... who is this Phoenix?"

Dranath turns around, sighing. "Then you are blind. Follow me and you shall see." He begins to walk out of the temple.

Clint looks around, between the old man, Thor, and the swordsmen. "If he speaks the truth," the High Master grudgingly says through gritted teeth, "you may need more military support than you thought." He steps forward to Clint. "Go. We will follow."

Clint nods, then looks at Thor, who has a mischievous grin on his face. "I knew this peace stuff was too good to be true," his fellow Rider says. "Let's do this."

Clint smiles. "One last fight, then." He turns to the now-thawed guards. "See to my wife in town. If we survive, we'll come right back. If we don't..." He hesitates, thinking back on the talk of the Cataclysm. "If we don't, then I don't suppose there'll be anything to worry about."

The group rushes out of the cave, finding Jacuel and Droxi waiting with two very large carts. ^Heard there was trouble,^ Jac thinks to Thor. ^The villagers provided some space for backup. We've got all your gear.^ Thor smiles as he motions for the troops behind to climb onto the carts.

^Clint... Kate demanded that she be allowed to stay here for this one.^

^Good.^ Clint pats the dragon as he settles into his place atop her. ^She doesn't need to see what's happening back home.^

^Which would be what, exactly?^

Clint grips tightly on the reins as they rise into the air, then soar at top speed back to the west. ^I don't know. Frankly, I'd rather not see myself.^

Ehlmaris 09-24-2009 08:52 AM

The dragons reach familiar territory after a mere two days of constant flight. The force is unaware of fatigue, of hunger as they press forward. As the land passes below them, though, the scenes ahead grow increasingly unfamiliar.

Smoke pours out of the mines at the foothills of the Council. Dragons are chained to carts loaded with glistening gems carved from the depths of the earth. Darislav soldiers direct them toward the capital, strange weapons in their hands. Weapons exactly like that of the Darkforger. As the Imperial City comes into view, a translucent purple shield is visible around it.

"They've made progress, I see," Dranath says. "That shield is powered by the gems they've been harvesting." He squints his eyes as it draws closer and closer. "But it's not complete!" The man points forward excitedly. "There! At the top! There's a hole! That's our way in!"

Jacuel roars in acknowledgment, taking the lead. Clint breathes deeply as they approach. His red armor glistens in the morning sun, which has painted the sky just as red. Storm clouds approach on the horizon. "This is one hell of a day for a fight," he thinks out loud as they swoop inward through the hole in the shield.

Cries erupt from the streets, and peasants point upward at the once-familiar sight of the Riders. Some smile in hope. Others rush to their homes. The soldiers on the ground merely take aim. Thor sees them, and cries out: "HOLD ON!"

Blasts of energy fire upward at the group. The dragons swoop through the air, evading them with nothing resembling ease. With one final flap of their wings, they slow their ascent just above the rooftops before setting down with a mighty roar.

The swordsmen from the east leap from the carts, singing their songs of war as they slice forward at the soldiers of the Empire. Clint and Thor slice the ropes securing the carts to their dragons.

Dranath jumps out of a cart as a blast of energy strikes it, sending splinters of wood flying. "Go to the Palace! We'll keep them distracted!" He shuts his eyes and raises his staff, and the winds pick up. The storm clouds draw nearer, bolts of lightning striking the shield above with devastating force.

Thor follows Clint into the Imperial Palace. "The Council's likely on their way. I know they saw us approaching. I just hope that this Brightmoon can pierce the shield in time."

Clint draws his blade on a soldier at the gates, slicing the weapon from his hands. He grabs his head and slams it into the wall, and the guard collapses. "I hope so, too." He presses onward. "Let's get to the throne room."


Outside the Palace, the battle rages on. The shield above is growing weaker as the forces of nature pound at it. Lightning pierces holes through the upper reaches, tempestuous winds hurl trees and boulders at its base. It begins to flicker as the dragons of the Council draw near with their Riders.

The High Master of the Order of the Singing Blade continues to hum his songs, cutting down the soldiers and deftly dodging the energy blasts that have thus far decimated his men.

Dranath begins to sweat, exerting his powers to their fullest. The remaining troops concentrate on forming a perimeter around him, cutting down all soldiers who aim their gem-rifles in his direction.

The shield flickers. Dranath opens his eyes. A bright yellow flashes forth from them. The clouds let loose, and thousands of bolts of lightning pierce downward, striking the shield with the full wrath of the natural world. It shatters in a massive explosion, forcing the combatants below to the ground.

A lone soldier reaches for his rifle and takes aim at the old man. With his last breath, he pulls the trigger.


Clint and Thor reach the throne room as the shield is broken. The screeches of dozens of dragons are heard in the distance as they kick the door open. Clint strides into the room, his swords at the ready.

At the balcony, Warbird gazes at the scene outside. Her purple robes have been replaced with a fiery red, and her auburn hair blows wildly behind her. The Darkforger turns around and raises his rifle, only to be met with an arrow lodging itself firmly in his throat as Thor enters.

"Hmph." Warbird turns and faces the men. "He was of no use anymore. His secrets are now mine." She walks forward. "Clint... why are you doing this?"

The Rider lowers one blade to his side, and points the other at Warbird. "I should ask you the same thing!"

She laughs. "That shield that you destroyed was going to protect this city for generations!" Her expression turns to that of a burning hatred. "I did this for Darislav!"

Thor readies another arrow, but the tip of a blade reaches the nape of his neck. "I wouldn't," Indrasil says as he steps around and into view, lowering the bow with his other hand.

Clint looks between the two, his eyes settling on Indrasil. "You know better than this! This caused the Cataclysm! Do you want to destroy the world?!"

Indrasil shakes his head. "The Ancients had nothing to do with that! They were peaceful! They used this technology to defend against the Gods!"

Warbird approaches, a wicked smile on her face. "The Gods are to blame for the Cataclysm. Turns out the Darkforger not only knew how to create all this," she says, raising her hands as she turns around to view the chaos outside, "but he knew the true story of the War of the Ancients."

Thor breathes deeply. "This is different. You've made weapons out of all this!"

Warbird turns back to the men. "Of course! Do you really think anyone wielding the power of the Ancients wouldn't be met with resistance?"

"You've imprisoned your own people, enslaved the Council!" Thor presses forward, but is pushed backward as Indrasil levels his sword with the man's neck.

Warbird raises a hand. "Say whatever you want. The both of you are now insignificant." The explosions of energy outside begin to grow louder. Dragons begin to fall from the sky. "Neither of you will change anything." A magical aura begins to grow around her.

"NO!" Clint yells, rushing forward. Indrasil turns to attack the man, but Thor elbows him in the face and draws his own blade, launching an offensive against the corrupted paladin.

Warbird steps to the side, her aura coalescing into a magical blade embedded with the gems harvested from the mountains. Clint somersaults forward, ducking under the blade as she swings at his torso. He begins to hum as he turns around, his expression the calmest it's been in days.

Thor presses forward, forcing Indrasil back as their blades clash. Indrasil raises his spare hand between parries and cries out, "Luminas!" A light shines forth, almost blinding Thor. The paladin takes advantage and swings forward, narrowly missing the Rider as he dives to the side. He grins as he steps toward Thor again, raising his blade high.

Warbird and Clint engage in a fierce, fast-paced duel. Clint's blades twirl around him, a lethal, captivating sight to behold. The rhythm of his strikes, the sounds of the blades clashing and grinding along each other forming a perfect harmony with the song he hums. Warbird swings ferociously, energy crackling forward every time the mage-blade meets steel.

Thor raises his blade, stopping Indrasil's as it comes down toward his shoulder. He slams his head into that of his opponent, then kicks him back. With two deft moves, Thor strikes his opponent's blade, then swings his own in a circular motion, launching the other sword through the air. It clatters to the floor yards away. Thor moves as if to run Indrasil through, but upon seeing the panic-stricken face before him, his expression turns to disgust as he rams the pommel of his sword into the paladin's face, knocking him out.

The energy swirls as Clint and Warbird's pace picks up. Suddenly, the energy bursts forth and strikes Clint. He cries out in pain and one of his blades hits the ground.

Thor turns to see Warbird thrust her blade through Clint's torso.

The blood seeps forth slowly, almost invisible on Clint's armor. "Warbird..." he utters. "This... isn't you." The woman's eye twitches as she drives the blade slowly further. Clint gasps in pain. "I would've... served Warbird," he says, blood making its way into his mouth. He coughs, spattering red fluid on the queen's face. "I would've followed... Warbird." She bites her lip as her jaw shakes. She gives one final thrust and the hilt of her blade reaches the breastplate.

"I... loved... Warbird." Clint spits the words out as his head inches downward. He forces his gaze to meet her eyes. "I loved... Allayn Warbird."

Thor drops his blade to the ground as Clint falls to his knees.

"But you're not her."

Clint uses the last of his strength to thrust the remaining sword in his grip into the woman's chest. She stumbles backward, looking down as her blood flows down its length. She falls to her knees and opens her mouth as if to speak. Only blood comes forth as she collapses to the floor. Clint takes his last breath and joins her on the blood-soaked floor.

The explosions outside begin to disperse. The triumphant roars of dragons are heard, interrupted only by one shrieking in pain as Droxi falls from the sky. Thor turns to see Jacuel follow after her, tears in the dragon's eyes. The world goes silent.

Thor looks around in disbelief, not even noticing the flash of divine light near him. He hears a voice cry out, but fails to recognize the words as Ehlmaris rushes forward, falling to his knees between the fallen. Tears stream down his face. Thor merely walks forward and places a hand on the king's shoulder, offering no response to the cries of "Why?"

((Final resolution will come soon. I feel that this is a good spot to take a break, though :P))

TBH 09-24-2009 12:12 PM

(This is begining to sound familiar, have we done something of this sorts before?)

Ehlmaris 09-24-2009 08:51 PM

((Closest things I can think of to this are when Ehl reclaimed the throne following a battle in the throne room, and that one time where Ehl "died". But this time there really won't be a happy ending, and the dead don't get to come back.))

EDIT: ((And I totally didn't realize Warbird was gonna die until I wrote all this... surprised me a good bit.))

Ehlmaris 09-25-2009 08:23 AM

Following the battle, the surviving dragons of the Council round up the soldiers remaining loyal to the deceased queen. They, alongside the corrupt Indrasil, are tried for treason and found guilty. As for the Empire, it quickly dissolved, with the individual regions reclaiming their sovereignty. Ehlmaris and his subjects are left alone to rebuild and repair the debris-strewn capital.

The former Emperor remains in his throne room for weeks, seeing no visitors or ambassadors. His world collapsed before his very eyes as he looked on, helpless. The knowledge that he ignited the spark of ambition in Allayn Warbird that caused this claws at his conscience. His mind is even further troubled by the knowledge that everything he believed in was a lie.

Word quickly spreads that his powers are no more, and rumors rise that the Gods have abandoned the world. Strengthened by the example of Indrasil, this leads quickly to the collapse of the Holy Order. As belief in the Pantheon begins to dwindle, so do the Gods themselves.

Warbird's funeral is fraught with tension. The King remains silent as the grave his wife now inhabits; the citizens of the capital do not attend, displaying the hurt in their hearts. The body being lowered into the ground is that of a traitor in their eyes - a conqueror, a tyrant. Ehlmaris clenches his fists as nobody sees his tears strike the ground.

Searches for the body of Dranath Brightmoon end in futility. Having been struck by a blast after bringing the shield down, he seemed to vanish. Legend spreads amongst the witnesses that he became one with the earth he served; the few holding on to faith in the Gods believe he was the earthly incarnation of a deity, wielding powers on par with those Ehlmaris once commanded. Everyone, however, agrees on one thing: he is gone.

Droxi, severely injured when the bond between dragon and partner was severed by Clint's death, eventually recovers. She abstains from duty with the Council, the wound left in her soul never quite healing.

The Order of the Singing Blade returns Kate to the Council in time for her husband's funeral. Her tears flow like the rains on that fateful day. The attendees - Council members, the Order, emissaries from Darislav and kingdoms far and wide - are scarcely able to lay eyes on her. She gives birth to a healthy boy months later, but the occasion only brings back the painful memories of the loss of the child's father.

Aid flows in from the countryside to the Council as the nations realize that only they can be trusted. They step up recruitment and, under the wise guidance of Thor da Bastilon, work to keep the peace throughout the newly troubled land.

((Yeah... I totally saw a happier ending when I started this over a year ago. I think I like this better, though.))

Qtchi 09-25-2009 06:05 PM

[OOC: *gasps and clutches her throat* Nuuuuuuuuuu! You killed her off!!!!!! NUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!! *sighs sadly* Now who's gonna be the heroine?! :(

Edit: Every time I read the Nodiatis RP forums, it just makes me really really wanna write... LOL! Don't know if this is a good thing or bad thing, but I'm going to need a new notebook soon...]

Ehlmaris 09-26-2009 05:30 AM

((Heh, that's the thing. I initially had it where she would realize the error of her ways as Clint died, and was still planning on it up until I started typing out that fight - then I realized that she was too far gone. There's really no heroes in this one. Clint ****ed up his primary goal in life - being there for his kid. Warbird went past the point of no return. Ehlmaris started the whole thing by accident. The Gods couldn't intervene. Dranath broke a promise to Kate - he never returned to bring her back to the Council. Speaking of, Thor and the Council seemingly came out on top - but their losses (both Clint and the dragons and riders that perished that day) taint their new jurisdiction and authority.))

((Oh, and Indrasil's just a douche. I never liked him anyway. But he gets to live. I've decided that recurring characters of mine only get to die if I like them :P ))

((PS nothing wrong with wanting to write more :P As I've said elsewhere, you're really good with descriptive details and such. Post some more of your stuff some time, I think I speak for all of us when I say that we'd love to see it!))

Vuxxa 09-26-2009 05:07 PM

(sadly there can never be enouph notebooks.)

TBH 09-27-2009 04:53 PM

(Vuxxa, you should take a look in my closet ;) And that actually made me all teary, shame on you and yet YAY for a grand storyline.)

Vuxxa 09-28-2009 04:46 PM

(what if I'm too afraid to take a look in your closet)

TBH 09-29-2009 06:15 PM

(You would be wise ^>^)

Vuxxa 09-29-2009 07:55 PM

(what if i already looked in the closet and am now scarred fo life)

Qtchi 09-29-2009 08:30 PM

"Psh," Qtchi's writer says as she confidently reaches for the doorknob and tugs the door open. "There is absolutely nothing to be sca-"

Her words break off as a muffled shriek and the girl disappears...

Vuxxa 09-29-2009 08:37 PM

Vuxxa silently rocks back and forth in the corner whispering incoherantly.

"Uhhhh, what the **** just happened" says Vuxxa's writer

Vuxxa 09-29-2009 08:38 PM

A Troll walks in and proclaims "I shall save ye" he then dives through the doors where he cries like a little baby.

TBH 09-30-2009 12:21 AM

(??? Uh....something tells me this stopped being my room...ANYWHO... you'd just have a shelf to fear... it's an attack shelf with deadly aim)

Vuxxa 10-01-2009 11:39 PM

oh, it's still your room alright.

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