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, The Sword of Zambiandë (GS)
Member No.: 4
Joined: 16-June 06
The Sword of Zambiandë
Prologue from Attack on Balecroft:
"We can’t hold them much longer!" yelled Patriarch Afrin. "We don't have the forces anymore!"
"They'll hold for a few more days. I have nine of my own up there, and they're the best pilots you'll ever see!" replied General Falcane.
All hell then broke loose. The Dreg, sensing the end of the power of Indosyne, flew forward to attack what was left of the defenders. The old leader himself, Suliantig, led the defense against them.
Suddenly, from out of nowhere came thousands of transports, all with the same markings...
Zambiandë had returned. The Ten were all here, and the battle now began.
The Defeat of the Dreg
With the addition of the new soldiers, Elephande’s armies were now of equal size of the Dreg army. The attackers were forced back with a ferocity not seen since Frontian. The Ten strengthened their armies, and answered only to Elephande himself.
It seemed that Zambiandë had landed straight out of prophecy itself, with vast amounts of troops, and had made thirteen swell to fourteen. The numerous banners of the Indosyne Union flew proudly once again.
Yet Zambiandë’s fury was unchanged over 700 years in the Zealo. His armies gave chase to the fleeing Dreg, and killed a great many.
“Elephade! Call back your troops!” yelled Elephate of Defond, but his cousin’s words went unheeded.
Elephade ran over a hill only to find vast amounts of Dreg troops on the other side, who immediately gave chase. The skilled marksmen of Defond and Origin were waiting for the Dreg on Elephande’s side of the hill, and many more fell. Knowing they were beaten, the Dreg leaders sped off in their vehicles, only to be chased by General Falcane’s vehicles.
“Copy that, Five.” Six modified ATVs crashed in to the clearing, chasing the first of the Dreg leaders.
“Ali, take Three and Four, flank ‘em to the left. Echo, Cain, come with me, we’re going right.”
“Copy, Lead.” The group split in half and started to flank the convoy.
Meanwhile, a lone Jupiter Adept sat high up in a watch post, reflecting on recent events. Just a month ago, Richard and his friends had been simple Adepts, protecting the tower at Anegon. After Afrin showed up, they had stumbled into war after war. First an attempt to destroy his home, now this galactic battle between creatures he’d never seen in his life.
“Forget it. I’m not sitting around anymore,” he said.
“We were told to stay here, Richard. Besides, what could we do? It’s out of our hands anyway,” replied Ryan, a young Venus Adept.
“I don’t care. I’m not sitting around and waiting for it to end. Come on guys.”
Allen and Cyrus followed Richard down the tower. Mumbling, Ryan, Cody and Casey followed them down.
Admiral Suligan watched the space battle with mild interest from the command seat of the Zalendaria II. He had hoped to be on the ground on this day. Ever since he had let in those transports, the reports on Balecroft were improving. He listened in to General Falcane’s report of the fleeing Dreg leaders.
Suligan had never paid much attention to those “old stories of home” told by Elephande, but with recent events, how could he doubt them? These grand shadows, specters of the past, come back for one final chance at freedom? The great Suliantig himself, a commanding fourteen feet tall? The lost herd Elephade, led back to glory by Zambiandë, the one who started it all? It was too much to take in at once. The Ten of legend, leading the forces of Frontian, as the two brothers, Elephade and Elephande, called it, into battle?
Elephade-Admiral-Allysuntis appeared next to him.
“Sir, Patriarch Afrin requests you on Balecroft immediately. He needs to talk with you,” she said
“Very well. Have my ship ready,” Suligan replied.
By the end of the day, Afrin’s outlook had changed. The battle was going much better now. It seemed that his namesake, the prophet of Allysulia, had been right. But not even his father had guessed that Elephade would be alive after this long. Suligan’s arrival interrupted his thoughts.
“As you may be aware of, Admiral, Algonine, Suisune’s patriarch was killed on the field today.”
“I was aware, but what do I have to do with him?”
“You have been selected to succed him to his position,” Afrin replied.
“Why me? What did Algonine think I could do? I was never even in his herd.”
“No, but he was well aware of your capabilities as a squadron leader.”
“Squadron? I have no space combat training!” exclaimed Suligan.
“I don’t understand it either, but he left no heir, and he left me to choose his replacement.”
“So this has to do with getting me off your back?” he joked.
“I knew it! I’ll take the position, but…”
“You’ll be on the ground in no time,” Afrin interrupted.
Richard led his friends into the Suliantig herd’s camp. As Afrin walked out of a building, he noticed the group of Adepts.
“What are you doing here?” he exclaimed.
“Someone didn’t want to wait…” explained Ryan, a bit sarcastically.
Afrin rolled his eyes. Richard never liked to be in the same place for a long time. He had hoped to join the battle here, but Elephande didn’t need their help.
Elephande strode into view, the Mark of Suliantig shining a bright red on his forehead. “It seems you could make yourselves of use here,” he remarked, and he took out a map. “This area of Balecroft is not populated at all. In fact, you should be able to use that to your advantage,” he continued.
Richard understood what Elephande had planned immediately. He went off to discuss a course of action, while the others stood back and waited for them to return. Shortly thereafter, the six Adepts moved onto different hills overlooking the Dreg camp.
From his vantage point, Casey saw General Falcane’s rides escort the last Dreg General back into Elephande’s camp. He sent up a plume of fire, which was the groups’ chosen signal, and braced himself. Below, an earthquake split the Dreg camp off from the surrounding hills.
Richard and Cyrus then sent a barrage of lightning into the Dreg camp, while Allen and Cody made the sky rain fire down onto the unsuspecting Dreg. The final defeat of the Dreg was on hand.
Suddenly, a large shadow formed over the Dreg camp. Fifteen feet tall, with gray armor, He looked and acted the part of a god. There was blood all over his body, like he had just been resurrected from the dead. Elephande and Elephade turned, and looked into a face neither had seen for 778 years…
“Altoda… how unexpected,” remarked Elephade.
“Silence, Zambiandë,” Altoda said with a sneer. “So, the High Elder set up a reunion of Frontian without inviting me?” he inquired.
“You know quite well why you weren’t informed, General of Discord,” said Suliantig. “This is the day of redemption for those who followed you.”
“Ah… The Mark, as well… How touching.”
Suliantig charged at Altoda, who sent out bolts of lightning at him.
“Aldones, Marto…” remarked Altoda. “Where are your manners?”
“In the same pit you came from, Altoda.”
“Aldones, aldones… Is that any way to speak to an old friend?” he sneered.
Defoc and Suisande glared at Altoda, while Suliantig took direct action. He again charged at Altoda, who made no attempt to block him.
“Not yet, my friend. There is only one who can touch me now…”
“I took you on once, and I’ll do it again, iste unto,” remarked Elephande coolly.
“Very well… Allow me to make the first move.” His power was awesome. Huge fireballs erupted around Elephande, who rushed down to Altoda, lightning flashing around him. At the same time, Suliantig struck again, and this time his aim was true. Altoda recoiled from Suliantig’s unexpected thrust while continuing to bombard Elephande with fireballs. Defoc, his dexterity a marvel, was on Altoda in a heartbeat, bearing down with ferocity never before displayed. Altoda moved back, assaulted on all sides.
Richard sent lightning down on his unprotected back, and rushed forward to strike. Altoda felt the full force of Richard’s sword connecting with his spine. He wasn’t going to get up this time.
In his mind, Altoda remembered the Istean herd, of which he had been an elder. The Istean was the original pride of the High Elder, before the Fallen One corrupted it. Instead of an elder, Altoda had become a general, waging an ethereal war against Suliantig and his brethren.
It had all changed now. He was now the master, and Zambiandë was his chosen one. But he had failed, defeated by his brother and the power of the Mark. Now, that power flowed into him, revealing the true Altoda. Zambiandë and Elephande were united against him, and the Ten stood strong.
Elephande watched as his former enemy shrank. He had finally beaten the Fallen One, and was now just a crippled Istean. Pity rose in the Ten. Here was one of their own, an Istean corrupted into an enemy. But Istean-Elder-Altoda was no longer an enemy. Elephande approached him.
“My brethren… I have been freed for just a moment. He senses the end. I am an Istean now that his powers are gone. His influence, however, remains.”
“Elder Altoda. You paid a price for your corruption. But you have fought valiantly,” Suliantig remarked. “Now, if your time is short, there can only be one who can finish the job.”
“He knows who he is. By the High Elder, I am truly sorry. I shall await you in the next realm.”
Istean-Elder-Altoda, the oldest of his kind, died there. But the influence of the Fallen Elder did not. The next words were harsh
“Come on, you know who you are, martyr for the Mark! Kill me, and die in agony!”
Richard struck again, but nothing happened.
“No… This is my battle,” Elephade said, and he looked at Richard. “General, you know what I shall ask. Through the swords unleash, my legacy shall not be forgotten. And as for you, Altoda, I regret ever listening to your 'words of wisdom' in the first place. Zambiandë akiz Elder Higenti!”
Zambiandë charged at Altoda, and slammed hardly into him. The great chill after that told them that they had won. At what price had they won, however? Fifty thousand Elephatide lay dead on Balecroft, along with one hundred thousand of its citizens. Dreg causalities numbered in the millions.
As Elephade’s strength left him, Richard chanted words he had never heard in his life. Picking up his long sword, he yelled, “Legaso delquen Zambiandë, powenti unproen qi shenta!”
Brilliant light flowed from Elephade’s body towards Richard’s sword. The ground shook violently, and Richard nearly fell from the sheer power entering his sword. A few minutes later, it was all over. Altoda was dead, and the price had been paid. Allysulia-Youinse-Elephade, as he was once known, lay dead next to him. He had been Altoda’s bane.
The New Adept
The Mark was in silence. Elephade-Patriarch-Elephade, an honorary Bearer of the Mark and Patriarch Elephande’s younger brother lay dead, and his power was contained in the sword of the young Adept whom he had called General.
Richard lay exhausted on the ground nearby. The effort of holding the sword had taken a huge toll on him. Sweating and panting, he looked around. His friends had gone to round up the remaining Dreg in the camp below, and did not know what had happened on the hills above.
Cyrus and Allen came over the hill to find Richard looking paler than ever, on the ground, holding his sword like there was no tomorrow.
“What was that chill about?” asked Allen, “and why did it get so cold?”
“It was Altoda,” gasped Richard.
“Who?” they inquiered.
Elephande strode over. “Altoda. He was once my nemesis, but he is dead now. The cold blast you felt was the exit of the Fallen One from his body.”
As Elephande strode over to his herd, Allen and Cyrus looked more clueless than ever.
Suddenly, a young Adept appeared beside them. He was about average height, no more taller than Richard, and had hair so white you could see it for miles.
At the moment however, he looked extremely disheveled, and his hair was half-burnt. At the same time, Cody ran over the hill with flames shooting towards the new arrival.
“What was that for, you stupid idiot? What did I do to have you land on top of me?”
“Look, “ the stranger replied, “that was an accident. It’s harder than it looks to teleport between planets, you know.”
Cody just stood there with his mouth open in protest for a minute. Richard climbed up again, and looked at the stranger. He looked familiar somehow…
“And anyways,” the stranger continued, “I have a message for the six who left Anegon a month ago.”
Crisis at Anegon
The messenger looked at them all. “I am Mekae, a resident of Contigo. I was sent by Anegon’s leaders to fetch you back to our planet.”
The four adepts stared at Mekae with varying looks of surprise on their faces. “We’re supposed to come with you? We can’t teleport!” yelled Cody.
“Man… No offense dude, but you have a major temper probl…” His thought was cut short as Cody talked him to the ground. He then flew twenty feet into the air, and landed on his back with a thud.
“You know, I don’t know your name, but for an Adept, you’re really stupid,” Mekae said. “You don’t need to know how to teleport! The skill allows me to transport whoever I want.”
“You never did tell us why we have to leave,” said Richard.
“Actually… I don’t know why,” he replied.
“If you don’t know, I’m staying here. You guys go ahead, I have some unfinished business here anyway,” Richard replied.
“Go where?” asked Ryan, who had just gotten there.
Mekae sighed. If Richard didn’t go, then what was the point of going? Then again, he was told to bring back all that he could find, and the other five seemed willing to go, even without their friend.
“Go on. I’ll be there as soon as I can,” Richard urged. “If they need us, then it’s urgent.”
“He’s right,” said Allen. “Better five of us who go and find out than us all staying here.”
Allen was right, of course, so it was agreed that they would leave Richard behind.
Richard looked on as Mekae and his friends disappeared from sight, and then walked over to Suliantig. He needed to know what would happen next.
Back on Anegon, the six Adepts listened to Kevin, leader of the town’s new military units.
“It seems that there’s this guy going around, killing people and looking for the Adepts who saved our city,” Kevin continued. “I don’t know why he’s looking for you, but be careful. He’s killed at least ten people already.”
Allen tried to remember all the details of the battle for Anegon, and he soon slipped into a memory…
Flashback, from Afrin’s Test:
Richard surveyed the destruction around Anegon. The battle was nearly finished, but there were still a great number of evil Adepts out there. And their leader, an assassin clad in black, wasn’t going to give up easily.
He fought like a cornered beast, with ferocity unknown to the defenders of the tower. He seemed to be immortal, and all who fought him had died.
Afrin was near by, caught in a battle he didn’t belong in. But that didn’t stop him. He had no way of getting back to his ship, and right now, he didn’t want to. The heat of battle had come to him, and like so many others of his kind, he was thriving.
The Sword of Zambiandë
Suliantig didn’t know what Elephade had meant to do when he asked to have his spirit put into his sword, but he could always ask. He was a testament to the fact that spirits under the High Elder could take on a non-ethereal form and communicate with the living.
As if he had been mind read, Elephade appeared next to him that instant.
“Just a word to remember,” whispered Suliantig, “try not to come down in plain view of everybody.”
“Huh?” Elephade looked around. Many of the people of Balecroft, and all of General Falcane’s pilots were staring at him. “I see what you mean.”
“You!” exclaimed Richard. “Why did you have me capture your spirit in my sword? And how did I know those words?”
“You will soon find out why,” he replied. “Your next enemy is one I have met before, and I know his weakness. If you ever need my help, raise your sword and call my name. I will come.”
“And he might not be alone,” injected Suliantig. “If you get lucky, all ten of us will come, and the sword will really pack a punch!”
At that moment, Afrin walked over. “Well done, young General. Where are your compatriots?”
“They teleported back home with a messenger,” Richard said, and pulled a grin of the look on his friend’s face. After a month surrounded by Adepts, he had still not completely gotten the concept of Psyenergy. The teleporting incident was obviously way over his rudimentary knowledge of the subject.
“Uh… I won’t ask again,” said Afrin with a bemused expression. “If you need a ride, I can give you a shuttle to use.”
“A shuttle? Will a fighter do?” Richard inquiered.
“If you can find one small enough,” Afrin laughed.
After an hour of parting remarks from everyone from the common soldier to Elephande himself, Richard got into the fighter. It was small by Afrin’s standards, so Richard could have fit his family comfortably inside. He fired the engines, started his way home, and hoped he would see his friends again.
Altoda's Bane (Long Sword):
5% chance of one hit kill
10% chance of poisoning enemy
Unleashes giant shadow that strikes an opponent
1 out of 30 chance that shadow will stay for more than one turn.
Unleash has 2% chance of becoming a barrage of ten different shadows that do different damages to an enemy (poison, stun, delusion, sleep and one that may kill opponent) and various helpful raises (speed boost, defense boost, full heal, revive, and attack boost)
Reunion and Remorse
Mekae led them on a forest path that led towards a dock on Hesperia’s northern end.
“How much longer does this path go?” asked Casey from the rear.
“About another mile before you get to the docks. When I was summoned here, I didn’t know how to teleport, so I used these docks. They’re well hidden.”
A few minutes passed, and something made Allen turn around. “Where’s Cody?” he asked them.
His answer came soon enough. They heard a yell, and turned to see Cody being chased up the path towards them. A man, dressed all in black, was the target of three different bursts of lightning.
The man sent flying blades towards Cody. Most of them missed him, but he caught three in his back.
He fell to the ground, but he wasn’t finished yet. When the Assassin came up behind him, he sent a column of fire into his assailant’s surprised face. He screamed in fury, and drove his sword down, but Cody had already rolled away.
Cody stood up and unsheathed a scimitar of considerable length. He struck low, but his blow was parried.
“So you wish to fight? It makes no difference.” He struck hard, and Cody fell bleeding to the ground.
“I will get you all soon enough, I promise that. None of you are safe from my wrath,” he said, and disappeared with a flash.
Cody felt his energy draining and he knew his time was up. But he now remembered who that man was…
Flashback from Suliantig-Patriarch-Afrin:
“That assassin, what did he call himself?” Afrin asked.
The battle for Anegon was over, and the black man had escaped. The seven were back on the Zalendaria II, and they could not think of anything besides the battle they had just gotten out of.
“He called himself Reno, and he said he was coming back for us,” replied Cyrus, with a big grin on his face. “Like that would ever happen, the way he is now. He barely got himself out of there alive.”
“Well, no matter how hard it might be, he sounded like he meant it. And he just couldn’t be killed!” remarked Richard. “He killed about a hundred Adepts there, and he’s probably going to kill a thousand more before he stops.”
“Still, Richard, you must admit it’s going to be very hard for him to get us up here,” laughed Allen, pointing through the window, where Afrin’s home of Indosyne was the backdrop.
“I will agree you have a point there,” chortled Afrin. “But we won’t stay here long. We need to start a patrol, and I’d love to show you my home.”
“I don’t know about you guys, but I need a vacation!” exclaimed Casey.
They were soon merrily talking, and all thoughts of the battle had finally left their minds…
Cody told them all he knew about Reno, and they were now very aware of their stupidity.
For that stupidity, Cody had paid a price. The group of six Adepts was down to five, and Reno was still out there.
From his fighter a few hundred feet off the ground, Richard saw the fire and set down in the closest spot possible, a large sandy beach near a dock not too far away from his friends. He knew something was wrong; it was obvious to his mind. He didn’t know who had sent the fire, but they had to be stopped. The fire clans had been told to keep away from Anegon, and this one had breached the area that fire Adepts weren’t allowed in.
He found his way to where Cody had lain, and was intrigued by the pool of blood. With that much on the ground, someone had to have died. But where was the body? He started back towards his fighter, wondering about this new problem.
Mekae brought the body back to Anegon, where they put it in a crypt commemorating those who participated in the battle a month earlier.
“So it was the man who lead the attack on us?” Kevin asked. “We should have known. I remember fighting him. He was amazing with a sword and dagger.”
Flashback from Afrin’s Test:
“So you are the one the people are hailing as a hero?” sneered Reno. “Well, let’s see how you good you really are!”
Kevin dodged his first blow, and thrust his blade deep into Reno’s left shoulder. It was the only wound Reno had sustained in five days of fighting.
“Lucky blow… very lucky indeed. You do know a hero is much more that a lucky person.”
Kevin’s next blow was parried, and his sword was thrown from his hand. Dodging Reno’s blade, Kevin jumped and ran away as fast as he could, lest he become the next victim.
Richard walked in, with Mekae by his side. He had a thoughtful look on his face.
“Just who I was looking for!” said Kevin. “I was hoping the fighter was yours, but by its size I thought it was Afrin’s!”
“I borrowed it from him,” explained Richard.
“That makes sense. You could fit the entire village in there!”
“Probably,” said Mekae. “But we need to find Reno or get out of here, and do it quick!”
“I know who to ask about this. I just don’t know where he is,” commented Richard.
“So, Elephade, how did you know who we were facing?” asked Mekae.
“I, uh, had a hunch,” he began.
“You know, as clever as you are, you were never good at lying,” spoke the spirit of Allysulia-Elder-Memdrian.
“And you would know that how…?” Elephade joked.
“You think I never learned anything about my sons in twelve years?”
“I would stop there if I were you, Elephade,” remarked Elephande with a great smirk.
“Well… I seem to be outnumbered,” Elephade said. “Any help from over here?” he asked the Adepts.
“What you say to make your family mad is our own business,” replied Richard. “We just needed an answer.”
“And you will get one,” remarked a familiar voice…
Altoda continued, “Reno was someone he met a few years back, on a planet not to far from where you call home. He let slip to Elephade that he was going to attack, and that if by the unimaginable chance he was defeated, those who quelled his forces shall be brutally executed.”
“Well, that sounds lovely,” Mekae said, “But why should I be killed for something I never did?”
“He doesn’t know that,” remarked Richard. “There were six of you, and most of the faces he recognized. He won’t believe you anyway.”
“My advice is to get very friendly with your weapons in the near future. You will defiantly need them,” said Elephande.
“We’ll remember that,” said Casey.
The six walked off, but then Altoda called them back.
“Richard, I have something that may help, but I don’t know when it will be ready,” he said. “I can’t say much else now, but I’ll find you when it’s done.”
“My friend, if you don’t finish it soon, it might as well be too late,” Richard replied.
Sword and Wielder
The six friends inconspicuously blended back into Anegon, but that didn’t stop Reno. He had killed a dozen while they were gone, and his attacks continued. They were never predictable, and Reno left no trace of himself, although they all knew whom the executioner was.
All six had become ‘friendlier to their weapons’ like Altoda had advised them to, and they were waiting for the next sign of Reno.
But Reno was mysteriously quiet for a few weeks, prompting them to go look for him. Altoda had told them where to look, and so they started north in Mekae’s boat. They only knew the name of where they we going, but a map had told them that it lay north of Anegon.
After a few days travel, they reached the desired landing spot. It was a large island, so they would be there a long time. Suddenly, right after they landed, they heard a noise from the bushes. Looking in that direction, they saw a short girl come out to face them. She had vivid blue hair, and eyes as brown as a mountain.
She carried only a staff, as tall as she was, and a deep, dark blue. At the moment, it was pointed at the group of Adepts.
“Who are you?” asked Casey, and immediately, he was blasted up on a pillar of water. The group roared. Richard, Allen, Mekae, and Cyrus used the fact that she was a Mercury adept against her, and Ryan tried to bury her underground.
She yelled in pain, and Ryan stopped for a moment.
“Who are you?” he asked the girl.
“Why should I tell you? You’ll just go and tell him I’m here, won’t you?” she answered.
“One more answer like that, and your crypt goes right here!”
In an instant, she had him frozen on the spot. What happened next was beyond anyone’s train of thought at the moment.
“Well, this seems like a nice party,” Reno casually remarked, dodging an ice bolt from the girl’s staff. “I guess you guys can’t stand the wait, can you? Are the other defenders of Anegon that hasty also?”
This time, it was a rock spire that Reno dodged. “I see someone has volunteered to fight me first. Come forward, and let us test our strength against each other!” he said, with a look of pure satisfaction.
It was Casey who stepped forward, and he wasn’t carrying a weapon.
“Is this your idea of a joke?” Reno asked, laughing.
“Nope,” said Casey, “a friend once told me to know every inch of my weapon. So that is what I have done!” A long sword, six feet from hilt to tip, appeared from the ground in front of him.
“Is that all you can do? If it is, you aren’t as familiar with your weapons as you should be,” Reno said, laughing.
Casey then did something he had never done before. Angrily, he lased out at Reno, catching him off-guard. Reno’s attempt at a parry missed, and Casey’s blade cut into his leg.
Surprised by his own boldness, Casey struck again. This time, however, Reno blocked it.
“Very impressive. Perhaps I underestimated you,” remarked Reno, sounding a little surprised.
“Maybe you did…” Casey replied, striking again. Reno’s blade parried his stroke with such force that his blade flew ten feet away from him.
“Then again… Maybe I didn’t,” Reno said, striking hard. Casey fell to the ground.
“You were doomed from the beginning however,” Reno said. “None of you can win against me.”
“We shall see!” said Mekae, and at the exact same time Richard yelled an unintelligible name.
A large shadow sprang out of his sword. Fifteen feet tall, and sporting a red Mark on his forehead, the shadow of Zambiandë rushed at Reno, knocking him down. Reno the disappeared before the shadow had hit him twice, however.
“Well, what do we do now?” asked Allen, looking at the body of their friend.
“First,” replied Richard, “We take him back,” pointing at Casey. “Then, we go after Reno.”
The girl had disappeared, but she wasn’t on anyone’s mind as they carried Casey’s body back to the boat.
The City of Water
“Hey guys, someone’s following us,” pointed out Cyrus.
“It’s her,” Mekae said. “She’s been following us for days. Probably looking for our help. She stopped dead in her tracks after hearing where we were from.”
“Who wouldn’t? She thought we were with Reno,” Richard added. “To learn that we’re from the city that stopped his advance would have made her think about her haste.”
“Well, lets see what she wants. There’s an island over there,” Cyrus said.
“Don’t forget, Cyrus,” replied Ryan. “Reno could be anywhere.”
Richard nodded. “He’s right. Let’s stop here and let her on.”
They waited, and in five minutes, she had come onboard.
“I’m terribly sorry for attacking you, I had no idea you were from Anegon, and I need to go to the elders of your city, and…” she said, very quickly.
”Man, and I thought I could rant. You don’t have to be sorry. If I was you, I would have attacked me too if I had just shown up like I did,” interrupted Allen.
That response made everyone look at him like he was crazier than he was normally.
“Thanks, and my name is Brooke, and I come from Hydrolonia, the city of water. I was sent to ask for your help in our battle.”
“Could you take us there?” Richard asked.
“Sure, you mind if I drive the boat?”
“Sure, but you don’t really drive a boat,” Mekae whispered to Allen, who burst out laughing.
“I heard that,” said Brooke, whacking Mekae across the head with her staff.
About a week passed without anything happening. By the end of the tenth day, even Allen didn’t have anything to say that he hadn’t said ten times already.
“This is boring,” he said. “When will we get there?”
“In about two days,” Brooke replied.
Brooke had a strange routine. Whenever she wasn’t piloting the boat, she was shut up in her cabin playing a wooden flute, or writing some strange story.
“There’s something strange about that girl,” Mekae said to Cyrus on the twelfth day.
“I know. She’s never really talked much since she came onboard. Are you sure this isn’t some sort of hoax?”
“I don’t think it is. I actually found the city on a map, so it does exist,” said Richard, coming upstairs.
“That makes me feel a bit better,” said Mekae.
At that moment, Brooke came up.
“We should be there at any moment. You should get a warm welcome here.”
“That would be a first,” said Mekae. He still found bits of charred hair every so often, compliments of Cody’s welcoming committee.
Just then, however, a large city appeared over the water. It looked like something out of legends, nearly five hundred feet tall and with towers spectacular as the lighthouses built by the ancients long ago.
“That,” said Brooke, smiling at the looks of awe on the faces of the others, “is Hydrolonia, the city of water.”
Member No.: 4
Joined: 16-June 06
The Council of Hydrolonia
“Welcome to Hydrolonia, warriors from Anegon,” said a voice to their right.
“Yes, Agomob, I have brought them,” replied Brooke.
“Excellent,” he sneered. “Now run home and tell your parents you’re actually good for somethi-“ His response was cut short when he turned into a block of ice. Brooke looked ready to kill him, but then a girl’s voice rang out.
“Brooke! You’re back!” A girl with short brown hair came running up to them.
“I’ve been hoping to see you again, Blair.”
Except for the hair, the two girls looked like twins, and most of Hydrolonia acted as if they were.
Blair and Brooke led the Adepts through Hydrolonia’s maze of streets with ease, bringing them ever closer to the heart of the huge city. The pair talk, both to each other, and to the others, and the group found that they were actually quite the people to be around. They also knew the city very well, better than most others, but they wouldn’t specify why.
Richard moved up to talk to Blair, and Mekae joined him.
“How long has this city stood?” Richard asked as Mekae walked up.
“A few millennia,” replied Blair. “You could ask the council for the exact date when we get there.”
“Council?” asked Mekae.
“She didn’t tell you? Brooke, we’re going to have to work on your explanation skills.”
“And where did you leave that guy?” asked Allen.
“Agomob? In a dump, where he belongs,” laughed Brooke.
“That wasn’t very nice,” said Allen.
“Maybe not, but I'm not old enough to say what I really think,” Brooke said, laughing even harder.
As they all laughed, the council’s meeting place came into view.
“This is the Hall of Hykos, the first ruler of Hydrolonia,” explained Blair. The looks of awe on the boy’s faces were unrivaled with anything yet.
“Yes, I believe you are the Anemoian warriors,” said a guard. “Please come in. Blair, Brooke, you can come also, as you have already played a part in this tale.”
Inside the farthest hall, a council of twenty-four was waiting for the Adepts. Most were in varying states of antiquity, but two or three were still in their prime.
“I am Chris, leader of the council of Hydrolonia,” said the one farthest from the door, standing. “Despite what you see, we have no relation to the Lemurians. We have normal life spans, though granted, ours are a tiny bit longer.”
Another younger person rose. “I am called by many names, though I am a stranger. People here know me as Mute, because I usually have nothing to say, but when I do, my wisdom is unmatched.”
Hours passed as the council described their choice and actions.
“And that’s why we sent Brooke to ask for your help,” concluded Chris.
“Wait, wait a second…” asked Allen. “You want us to go where?”
Mute and Elrik
“You will not go alone, however,” continued Chris “You shall have Mute’s aid, as well as the company of Brooke and Blair. We also have a contact up there in Vesuvia, but he calls himself the Summoner.”
“Boy,” said Cyrus, “doesn’t that sound like a happy family?”
“Don’t worry,” replied Mute, “I’ll stay in my cabin most of the way there.”
“Unlike him,” added Blair, “we’ll be glad of the company.”
Despite the hate felt towards the Vesuvian Adepts, The survivors of Anegon boarded the ship with the others. Mute, like he had said, stayed in his own cabin. He was the only one who didn’t share a cabin, however. Cyrus, Ryan, and Allen slept or fenced in their cabin, Mekae and Brooke did many different random things during the night, and thus got moved into a cabin on the other end of the ship, where they would be free to ‘experiment’. Blair and Richard talked about battle, war, and the histories of their respective cities, of which everyone else usually found boring.
One thing Blair and Brooke found very interesting were the accounts of the battle for Anegon and Reno’s ambushes.
“He’s the one behind the warriors from Vesuvia, I think,” said Blair, after hearing the stories of Reno’s actions.
“He’s got to be,” agreed Richard. “He led them into battle against us.”
“We’ll have to be really careful, unless we want to fall into another of his traps,” included Mekae.
“Are you sure Mute will recognize this person?” asked Richard. “They all might look alike.”
“I told him to stay on the beach until we came,” Mute replied, stepping out of his cabin. “He’ll be easy to recognize. I’ve seen him before.”
“I hope he will be,” Richard replied. “It would be awfully embarrassing for you to lead us all into a trap.”
Days passed, and they always sailed northward. The waters got colder, and Richard was the only one to be found on deck. He seemed to enjoy the cold air, to the amazement of everybody else.
“Hey guys, I see something!” Richard exclaimed after three weeks of travel.
A lone figure was on the shore, shooting out a large plume of fire, almost as if he was guiding the ship to a safe port.
“That would be him,” pointed Mute.
The ship dropped anchor in the cold bay, and a gangplank was dropped onto the shore. The figure walked up.
“By the color of your faces, I am guessing you’re from Hydrolonia. Welcome to Vesuvia. My name is Elrik, and I hope you came prepared to not be caught.”
“So do I, my friend,” replied Mute. “What can you tell us about Nick’s military strength?”
“There’s not much left really,” he replied. “They all were killed at Anegon.”
“And we made damn sure we killed them all!” That was Cyrus in one of his periodical outbursts.
“I wasn’t told that Adepts from Anegon would be here, Mute. That could give us away.”
“We’ll try not to kill anyone,” remarked Richard.
“It’ll be hard, but we can probably do it,” added Allen.
“Well that’s nice to know,” sneered Elrik. “Now come on, before it gets too cold out here.”
They headed towards a small city sitting at the foot of a mountain. It looked very cozy inside, and was probably very pretty when it wasn’t covered with three feet of snow.
Brooke was the first one to go down from the temperature, and Elrik, looking like the maker of winter, carried her into his house, where they would all stay. It was no coincidence that none saw them approach, as nobody would be out in this snowstorm.
“I’ll move the boat to where it won’t be seen,” said Elrik, moving swiftly back into the strengthening blizzard.
Richard and Mekae mover Brooke close to the fire, and sat down, trying not to fall asleep before Elrik could get back. It was no use, however. Elrik came back a few hours later to find Richard the only one awake, and the rest sleeping near the warm fire.
Richard, however, was looking for an answer. “How did you first meet Mute?” he asked the fire Adept.
“He is an old friend of mine. We weren’t born here by any chance. We lived farther south, in Prox. At least, we did until the great storm covered it with snow.”
“But didn’t someone light the Mars lighthouse just north of Prox?” Richard inquired.
“Yes, after the storm. By then, though, the two of us were living up here, where the true might of the Mars Clan lies. Prox was only a front, you see. The idiot Reno had whipped the warriors of our city into a frenzy and then thrown them against Anegon, a heavily defended city whi-“
Richard interrupted, “I’m from Anegon. Give me some credit, I do know a little about its defenses.”
Elrik laughed. “As no doubt you do. Where you actually in the battle?”
“Yes I was, and if you’re going to ask me about Afrin, yes he was there also.”
“Afrin?” Elrik looked confused. “Was that the name of the creature that the warriors said could not be killed?”
“Why was he there?”
Richard sighed. “It’s a long story.”
“Well,” Elrik laughed, “Judging by your companions we have the time.”
After Richard got finished telling his journey up to the point where they had met, Elrik looked pale.
“You mean he’s killing you off one by one?”
“If we don’t stop him,” replied Richard.
“Well, then, I guess I’m coming. By the looks of it a fire Adept might come in useful.”
“Yep. But were going back to Anegon, so don’t flaunt your powers there.”
Return to Anegon
Mekae didn’t lead them straight back to Anegon, however. He took a small detour and brought the ship into a port near what he said was his home. The traveled through the small port city, and made their way inland.
Coming out of a forest, they beheld a city at the edge of a large crater.
“Welcome, my friends, to Contigo, the city of ancient descent. The crater is a mute testament to the Anemos, who left long ago.”
“Mute testament?” asked Elrik. Pointing at the oldest member of the party, he continued, “You mean like he would be if we left him somewhere? A Mute testament to our journey?”
Nobody laughed at this, and it took a lot of restraint to keep Mute off of the young Fire Adept.
“Anyway, shall we enter?” polled Mekae.
“I’d like to see it myself, but…” began Richard
“So would we,” agreed Blair and Brooke.
“Well, if he goes,” said Allen, pointing to Richard, “we’ll go.”
“It’s decided then, I guess. Lets go.”
They walked into Contigo, where many people recognized Mekae and told him of the motley crew that he had brought back.
“Hey, Mekae, don’t tell your cousin you brought those people! She might go crazy like last time,” remarked one boy, looking a bit older than Mekae.
“Last time?” inquired Allen.
“Long story. I brought friends over from Glatia over on the other side of the continent, and she got way mad. It’s become a small legend. But that’s my house up on that hill.”
“Are the people so annoyed by you they made you live there?” asked Elrik jokingly.
“No, it was mainly my cousin’s fault.”
“What did I do?” A red-haired girl stormed out of the house, and with a look of disgust on her face, walked over to Mekae. “What did I do?” she snarled.
“I was just explaining to my companions the events which led to us living in this house…” started Mekae, but he was slugged before he could continue. He collapsed and rolled down the hill, to the astonishment of the group.
“I’m sorry, I was a bit rude there. My name is Blaze, and I’m unfortunate enough to have that idiot down there as a cousin. Supposedly I have an actual brother, and if I do, I hope he acts better than him.”
“I have no idea of why we came here, but he could probably tell you,” explained Richard.
“I brought them here to show them, and also to see if you could help,” panted Mekae. “We must return to Anegon.”
“Anegon? I haven’t been there in nearly fourteen years. I’ll come, at least to see what happened.”
“A lot, I promise you,” remarked Cyrus.
Finally, they returned to Anegon. For half the group, it was the first time they had seen the Tower of the Wind that stood guard over Anegon.
“It’s beautiful,” said Blair. “It’s taller than the lighthouses, I think.”
“Far from that,” came Kevin’s voice. “It’s only about two hundred feet tall.”
“How is the Reno problem?” asked Richard.
“Strangely inactive. He hasn’t attacked since you brought Casey back.”
Just then, he appeared. Reno was standing with two other figures by the forest path. They were Agomob and Mute.
“I have heard you’ve met my friends,” he replied coolly. “Agomob here says he has a score to settle with someone, and I thought it would be fun to watch.”
“Only you would say that,” replied Brooke, advancing alone.
Blair walked up next to her, drawing a sword. “She’s not alone.”
“Very well. Mute? Show them the true meaning of no quarter.”
Mute, striking hard, barely missed Brooke’s shoulder. Blair made a deep cut with her blade, and Mute dropped his sword and howled. Agomob struck out, and made a deep gash in Brooke’s back.
It looked like a standoff. Then Mute picked up his sword, knocked Brooke down with the blunt side.
“As he said, there will be no quarter. He drew his sword up for the stab, but another voice rang out.
“Legaso delquen Zambiandë, powenti unproen qi! Akiz Elder Higenti!” shouted Richard, and the familiar shadow of Altoda’s Bane charged Mute and Agomob. They fell down, and Agomob was bleeding profusely.
“Nice try. Sadly, I think she won’t miss your presence,” remarked Blair.
She drove her blade down into Agomob, killing him instantly. Reno looked shocked. So did everyone else. Apparently, Blair had forgotten to mention her sword-wielding skills.
“You said no quarter, Reno, and so I gave him none. I think you better take your other friend and leave before I get over there,” she threatened.
“It seems you win this round. Very well, I must prepare anyway. Mute!”
Mute got up and limped over to Reno, and they promptly disappeared.
“Wait a second…” said Brooke. “This isn’t my cousin. He’s just an actor.”
“That’s exactly right,” snarled Agomob, shoving a sword through Brooke and also teleporting away.
Brooke fell, and some citizens who had been watching the fight helped Blair get her to a doctor.
It took a few days, but Brooke had recovered, for the most part, and Reno was nowhere to be seen.
“I think he arranged for Agomob to do that,” said Blair one day.
“If he did, how did he know that the actor would die?” asked Allen.
Richard replied, “It’s simple. He knows we can’t stand and watch our friends get picked off, and so we have to do something.”
“Actually it’s not that simple,” said Brooke, walking in. “Agomob arranged for the actor. Did you not see the look on Reno’s face when Blair ran him through?”
“That’s true,” remarked Allen. “I think Agomob tricked us all that day.”
“So what do we do? Now there’s three of them,” said Mekae.
“I know Agomob,” said Brooke. “He’ll avoid a fight when he can. He’s a coward, and works best by cunning and deceit, like you’ve all seen.”
“I don’t think Mute will listen to Reno much longer,” added Elrik. “Not when Reno has all the power.”
“Great,” remarked Richard sarcastically. “So we have a triumvirate like the one after Caesar’s death. Only this time I don’t think any love affair could stop this power feud.”
(Note from Author:
I’m sure you have all heard of Antony and Cleopatra?)
More days passed, and finally they set off to Reno’s island, with hopes of taking down at least one of the three.
“I think if we kill Agomob, it will strain the other two, and they’ll begin a power fight,” said Mekae.
“You never know. It’s just a strange group altogether.”
“Allen’s right. You never know how they will react.”
“Is it just me, or is this the same place where-“ Cyrus’s line was cut by a slow laugh.
“So, you want to destroy us?” asked Agomob. “I would love to see you try to kill just me.”
Without notice, a lone shadow came up and stabbed Agomob in the back. He fell down dead, and Mute appeared behind him.
“Don’t you all just hate sneaking idiots?” he asked, a smile appearing on his face. “But I think you’re right. Reno does wield too much power. I think I should show him true power.”
“And what, in your mind, is true power?” asked Richard.
“As for that, you will soon find out. Keep your vigilance and look for me where I am least expected.”
With those words, he left, leaving the Adepts with no clue to where the next blow would fall.
“Nick! Get out here, and meet your doom!” roared Mute, standing outside Vesuvia with his army.
“Do you know how foolish you are to do this, Mute?” Nick yelled back. “This city has never fallen in five thousand years, and it won’t fall while one of us is still alive somewhere.”
Mute laughed, and roared a command. At once, arrows flew over the wall of Vesuvia.
“Andy, do you think you could go back to Contigo and raise an army to help us?” asked Nick.
“No, but I can bring you an army form somewhere else,” replied Andy. “My friend Mekae left for Anegon some time ago. I don’t know how excited Kevin would be about sending you an army, but I can try.”
A few minutes later, he appeared in Anegon, breathing heavily.
“May I help you?” asked Kevin, noticing him.
“A few weeks back, you called for a messenger from Contigo, and we sent Mekae. Where is he? Or the military leader here?” asked Andy.
“I am Kevin, if you seek the military leader of Antigo.”
“My name is Andy, from Contigo and Vesuvian heritage. I understand how you feel about Nick right now, but he needs your help.”
“I told him to never trust Reno. He turned on you, didn’t he?”
“Actually, it was his right hand man, Mute, who was also our representative in Hydrolonia.”
“Mute? He was here earlier, although Richard gave him quite a good beating.”
“What about Mute?” asked Richard, walking up.
“Andy, this is Richard. If I decide to send Nick help, he’ll lead it.”
“Lead help where, Kevin? Can we really spare a force to anywhere?” asked Richard.
“You probably won’t like this, but Nick has requested our help. It seems Mute has struck again.”
“At Vesuvia?” asked Richard. “Why there? It’s one of the stupidest things he could do!”
“Will you help us? We can’t hold much longer.”
“It’ll take a few days to assemble the standing army,” explained Kevin.
“We don’t need the army,” said Richard.
“What?” they both exclaimed.
“I’ll just gather the group, and we can leave right now.”
A few minutes later, the Adepts stood ready to transport back to Vesuvia.
“I didn’t think I’d be going home this quickly,” said Elrik.
“OK, we’re ready. Are you sure you can handle it?”
“Just watch,” said Allen.
“Famous last words,” laughed Cyrus, hitting Allen on the shoulder.
They knew well that they all might die there, but they also knew that their stand, if it was their last, would be remembered by all.
They arrived a few miles outside of the city. The weather was much warmer than it had been the last time they had journeyed here, but the city was nowhere to be seen. Instead, they found an army assaulting makeshift walls.
“Keep at it!” yelled Mute to his forces. “Those walls will come down soon!”
“Not with us here you won’t.”
Richard and his friends stood on a nearby hill. Elrik had his sword drawn and waiting. Mute pulled out his own sword and rushed towards them.
“He’s mine,” said Elrik. “I have a score to settle.”
The others ran off to help the remaining defenders while Mute advanced on Elrik.
“Very well then,” he said. “Let’s see what you learned from me.”
Mute charged at Elrik. Elrik dodged, and Mute stopped just short of being impaled on the end of someone else’s sword.
The sword belonged to Reno, and he looked ready to kill someone.
“Mute!” Reno yelled, “You won’t touch him until I’m finished with you!”
The silver disks sprung out at Mute, who got a bunch of them in his chest. He fell hard to the ground, but as he did, he sent a wave of blue light at Reno. Reno staggered back, blinded, as Mute struggled to get up. Neither was very successful in their efforts.
“Get out of here while you can!” yelled Reno. “Get your friends and go! I can take care of this!”
Elrik ran off to find the rest of the group.
“Why did Reno tell us to go?” asked Mekae.
“I don’t know, but we should at least listen. Besides, I need to see if Elephande has anything new going on outside of this planet,” explained Richard.
“I’m up for a vacation,” laughed Blair.
“Mekae? You know where to take us,” said Richard.
“Right, here goes.”
They appeared on the bridge of the Zalendaria II, Afrin’s command ship. Their arrival went mostly unnoticed.
“Hello, may I help you?” asked a sarcastic voice.
Suisune-Patriarch-Suligan greeted them with his usual air of sarcasm.
“Suligan, where is Afrin?” asked Cyrus.
“In his office, where else would he be?” replied Suligan, smiling and laughing.
“Suligan, I do suppose Afrin told you that the patriarch is supposed to be mature?” asked Richard.
“He did, but he’s boring now because of that.”
Altoda walked up, and he looked at Suligan like he was an idiot.
“You know, you are the saddest excuse for a patriarch that I’ve ever seen!” he yelled.
“Have you worked yourself into that equation?” Suliantig replied.
The group stepped back. It was easier to anger Altoda than it was to make money.
“I should kill you right here, but I shall only correct you. I am Istean-Elder-Altoda. I was never a patriarch, but I am more powerful than you will ever know!”
“Oh really? And who would testify to that?” Suligan sneered.
“I would,” replied Elephande, looming almost right behind the young patriarch.
If Suligan’s look had been placed on a news show and transformed into words, it would have the form of a nonstop hour-long censure.
Suligan did what he could – he backed away and got a long way away, very fast.
“I shall take you to Afrin,” remarked Altoda, very bitterly.
“No, I haven’t heard of anything unusual around there,” said Afrin with a cross look on his face. “But I do think I can handle Suligan.”
“I guess then, we should go,” said Mekae.
Altoda stopped Richard. “It is finished,” he said. “Wear this, and most physical blows cannot harm you.”
Altoda gave Richard a simple gray shirt, one that looked like a toothpick could pierce it. But if Altoda made it himself, it had to have a lot of hidden power.
“Thanks,” said Richard, “but this doesn’t look too powerful.”
“It is, and you’ll be surprised how powerful it can be.”
Richard put the shirt on under his mail, and left silently.
The group arrived back in Anegon at midnight, and the town, surprisingly, was wide awake.
Mute stood, waiting for them in the center of the town, with a large smile on his face. He looked very bloody, but still a large threat.
“So, welcome back. How do you like your welcome?” he laughed.
The Final Battle
I stood calmly facing Mute.
“Go check to see if there’s anyone else around here. I’ll deal with this.”
“So you will? Come at me, then!”
I advanced, and pulled out Altoda’s Bane. I stood there, waiting for the slightest movement of his hand. The shirt Altoda had given me was over my armor. I don't know what made me wear it. He never told me what it did.
He struck fast, faster than I thought possible. I heard a clang underneath my shirt. The broken armor fell to the ground, useless. The shirt had no scratches on it at all.
"What tricks are these?" he yelled.
Without responding, I struck, he parried, and the battle began. We went at it for what seemed like hours, until he got a lucky hit on me.
I fell to the ground, and half gasped the familiar name.
The shadows of all Ten came out, and Mute yelled in fury. I looked up, in much pain, and saw Mute on the ground in front of Reno, who looked very angry.
“I warned you not to pursue them!” he yelled.
“And who made you the boss?” spat Mute.
He struck at Reno, who cleanly dodged the blade.
“You couldn’t fight an elite,” he said, “not as worn out as you are.”
“Maybe not,” he agreed, “but I did something your precious trainee couldn’t. I defeated him,” he said, pointing at me.
As I got up, Reno shot a look at me, as if it was a warning to not approach them. Could Mute be a greater threat to Anegon than Reno was?
I heard a sound behind me, and turned my head. The Ten were back, and Reno noticed it also. He jumped out of the way, and Reno thought he was running away.
Suddenly, it all went black…
Mekae’s Point of View:
The tide of the battle had turned in our favor, and I now know why the Adepts from Anegon are so highly feared and respected. Kevin’s troops, all in their early twenty’s and veterans of the siege, were a fearsome bunch. So were the strange-looking Vesuvian Adepts led by Nick, who took to hunting down Mute’s troops in the forest.
“Mekae! Over Here!” Blair’s shout brought me back to reality, and I ran towards her.
I saw Mute, laughing and pursued by Reno, throwing a torch into the forest, starting a huge blaze. He turned and parried Reno’s stroke, and I stood confused. Where was Richard, and why were Reno and Mute fighting each other. With a huge jolt, I realized that Blair and I were the only ones not in the forest!
I woke up inside of a blazing inferno.
“Zambiandë!” I called, hoping he had stayed longer.
“General? Will I suffice?” asked a shadow I didn’t recognize.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“Forgive me. My name is Defond-Patriarch-Elephate, and I am one of the Ten, as well as the cousin of the brothers,” he said, referring to Elephande and Zambiandë.
“Where are the others?” I inquiered.
“Fighting. Jump on!” he yelled.
I did, and he sped up. In another second, I had blacked out from exhaustion again.
Blair’s P O V:
I stood horrified, watching the forest ablaze. I knew that all of the armies were in that blaze, and I didn’t know if anyone would survive. I saw movement below, and I noticed a limp figure on the back of a shadow.
“It’s him!” Mekae yelled. “He’s alive!”
If the person was alive, he was barely hanging on. I then realized that it was Richard, and I ran off after Mekae. As we ran, I saw him wake up as if from a deep sleep. I also saw Mekae draw his sword at another unrecognizable person.
“There is nothing you should be afraid about,” Reno said. “My job is done.”
“Job? But he’s still alive,” he said, pointing his head toward Richard.
“Yes, but I have repaid my debt. Unfortunately not all of you survived my apprentice. I count seven of us total alive.”
Besides us four, I saw Allen and Blaze walking out of the forest, followed by my best friend. Brooke was on the back of Elephande, and she looked almost as bad as Richard.
Among the dead I counted Kevin and his troops. I also noted that no Vesuvian was left alive, including Nick, Mute, or Elrik. Sadly, Ryan and Andy, natives of Contigo, and Cyrus, native to this city, were counted among the dead.
Tribute to the Fallen
A week passed by, and Anegon slowly settled down again. Elephande’s shadow found Ryan and Cyrus near death in the blackened forest the day after the battle.
Reno told us about the Order of the Hidden, of which he was an Elite. The Order was an organization broken into two groups: the members and the Elite. The members were devastating mercenaries of a sort. The Elite each had a member as their protégé, and the member took on the name of the Elite.
Reno the member had been hired by a Vesuvian soldier to lead an assault against my city, and had gotten out of control. He had gone on a rampage after his release from the pay of the soldier, and had found his old friend, Mute.
Reno the Elite ended up killing his protégé after he injured Brooke. Reno then found Mute outside Vesuvia and warned him not to pursue our group. Mute didn’t listen, and he ambushed us here at home. He also burned the forest down before he was killed by Reno.
Two Years Later:
“And we shall never forget their sacrifices for us,” finished Allen.
A second, smaller tower had been erected in memory of the Anegoan and Vesuvian Adepts who died protecting Anegon. My friends and I said what we knew about our fallen comrades, and so did some others.
Afrin was there, and he gave a startlingly reminiscent speech on behalf of Casey and Cody, with whom he had traveled.
“Somehow I don’t think we could still be here if I had never met this amazing group of Adepts,” he had concluded, to the biggest ovation of us all.
I was now the commander of the Anegoan forces protecting the city. Mekae, Blair, Brooke, and Ryan all stayed and made their home here in Anegon. Reno also pledged his support to aid us, along with the Elite of the Order.
The city of Vesuvia had been left deserted by Mute’s massacre by fire. It sat deep in snow, with nobody there to care for it.
Chris of Hydrolonia had congratulated me on my new position, and sent an ambassador – or two – Blair and Brooke. They made sure that I had whatever I needed to rebuild Anegon.
Blaze returned to Contigo a hero, along with her cousin. Blaze stayed there, but Mekae moved to Anegon to keep in touch.
Afrin convinced his father to send Anegon a representative from the Indosyne Union, and I was never short on information. Unfortunately, the representative was Patriarch Suligan, and so most of it was misinformation. Afrin noticed his father’s ‘mistake’ and sent me Elephade-Admiral-Allysuntis instead. Allysuntis, like her namesake, was strong in mind and spirit. She refused the position of matriarch of her father’s herd, even though she was the rightful heir and bearer of the Mark of Elephade, a version of Suliantig’s mark crafted by Suliantig for Elephade’s leaders. She preferred a battlefield command, and she was more fit to be leader of Suisane than Suligan was, a natural flier.
As a General for the Mark, I was called to lead my Adepts in battle alongside Elephande’s soldiers. I always wore Altoda’s gift, and Zambiandë’s sword when I was in battle, and they have yet to fail me.
Yesterday, however, I was told some amazing news: Elephande was resigning as leader of the Indosyne Union, and Afrin will take his place. Elephande once told me that the end of the Age of Ten was close. Could this be it?
“Elephande, why are we all here?” asked General Falcane.
“As many of you now know…” started the aging patriarch.
“Cut the formalities!” yelled Mekae.
“As you know, I have resigned as leader of the Indosyne Union as of July 10th. And seeing as I am old enough to retire, at the young age of 793,” Elephande continued half-comically, getting groans from the group.
“What he’s trying to say,” said Suliantig, “is that he wants you all present to take part in the coronation, per se, of his son as the new leader.”
“However, will still be the patriarch of my herd, but I retake the herd I was born into. This next month is the last of the Friendship herd, and I shall lead my herd into the next age as the Patriarch of Allysulia once again,” Elephande ended.
Apparently, this was unknown to everyone, for even the shadows of the Ten fell silent at this.
“Therefore, as of November 7th, the 58th birthday of my dear son,” Elephande began to Afrin’s dirty look, “this galaxy shall enter a new age, sparked by the victory at Balecroft and my resignation.”
The military leader of Anegon was sitting next to his friend, and Richard started to move to calm Afrin down.
“Was that considered an insult to you?” he whispered.
“Which part, ‘dear son’, or the fact I’m 58?” Afrin snarled back.
At this, the three present Adepts from Anegon burst out laughing, and everyone glanced in their direction.
“Any final questions?” Elephande finally said, unperturbed by the noise. “Very well then, we shall meet next on November 7th, on the plains of Chilaquand.”
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