Author Topic: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned  (Read 4248 times)

tushantin

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Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« on: July 16, 2011, 08:03:28 pm »
~Index~

Prologue / Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5 / Epilogue

~~~~~~~~~~~

“What is it that you seek?” Said the voice, a womanly and sinister voice of the shadow that slithered past his sight. There was no end to her restlessness.
“I seek to protect them.”
“But what is it that you really seek?”
Falco twitched in astonishment as the question hit him hard. The demon was right; what was he trying to prove by lying to himself? Heroic deeds befit only those who’s lives are run by petty ideals. And she saw it in his heart. Saw his lust for...
“...Power.”
“And power demands sacrifice,” the shadow hissed. “Are you sure, the cherub blessed with all that is good, to wager anything and everything for something you may not need?”
“Power is beautiful,” an honest smile played on his face. “No matter what price it demands, I have fallen in love with its magnificence.”


~~~~~~~~~~~

No matter how busy I am I still can’t help myself when it comes to Dream Splash! I’m writing this on Friday (my day-off) and Saturday in my spare time, so critique me to your heart’s content, because this’ll be fast. I was going to accompany this with some art, but unfortunately my tablet had an accident.

Before I begin, allow me to explain what Atash Kedah is and what it signifies. When Crimson Echoes showed its face to the world it was a candle that burned bright of fandom dream before extinguishing and leaving a trail, an example to follow through. Many of us at the Compendium and beyond congregated, collaborating with all the artistic and technical talent we could muster to finish wrapping up the loose ends left by CE, inspired by its ambitious and lovable story. Why? Because a lot of the story remained untold, and the very story and mysteries of the Chrono Universe was what brought us together in the first place.

The Chrono Universe is vast, its stories stretching and connecting individuals from every era since the dawn of time to the future that awaits. Each fan contribution expands it further, revealing intricacies that touch beyond its canon limits. But a chosen few individuals worked together to make sense of every story left behind, creating baffling revelations and writing new adventures, of heroes we lost, of heroes we’ve never heard of. Storytelling was a big part of our inspiration and lives, and the project turned into, as FaustWolf mentioned, Angelus Errare: Heroes Unsung. Story and art became the stars, and we became the Radical Dreamers who sought to pluck them right out of the sky.

And the experience paid off, not only for the project we worked on but also through maturity of skill and thinking; some of us improved in art, some became excellent writers, some were so inspired they wanted to make an original, breath-taking story! Constant debates and brainstorms later we found ourselves with a treasuretrove of knowledge and inspiration to work with, and the Chrono universe developed a culture so diverse and realistic that it may as well become an example to our daily lives (in fact, we even mapped together a possible culture, races, dialects, religion and way of life of the Mystics, which combined with FaustWolf’s initial ideas, became Fleabane from last year’s Dream Splash; mind you, that was only the beginning).

And that was when I realized that we had everything but one factor in mind: we’ve seen the rise and fall of Guardia, and the fall of Zeal itself, but what about its rise? My mind went all of the place, and if only for a little while I went on a personal journey through my own thought process, pondering what the Pre-Antiquity might have been like. I took what I knew with me, and by the time I had returned I had become Enlightened, holding a story so epic, that you might find yourself growing chest hairs, tattooing your brain or even setting your soul on fire. And the Lord and Savior, Sir Crono, asked me to carve them down on stone tablets using nothing but my nails.

Haha, just kidding! He didn’t ask me, he commanded me. But the story was too vast to be written as an Old Testament, let alone stone tablets! So vast that the story could challenge the vastness of all of Chronoverse itself! Yes, it was the story after Lavos fell to earth and before he rise of Zeal, a story of dreams, intelligence and magic blooming in barren lands, a story of trust and betrayal, of hope and destiny, of the most badass grandparents anyone can ever have and a Magii War (equivalent to WWII) that shook the planet. The viewpoint characters were many, and there were no specific heroes and villains; just characters fighting for their dreams and standing proud, facing death that lurked in every corner.

And this was Atash Kedah, the war that brought hell along with it, the time where it only took a moment out in the battleground to shatter those dreams you held dear, and not a single soul was spared; all in the name of the greater good. It was the war that makes Mystic Wars look like a school-fight.

~~~~~~~

And now to the Dream Splash. What I am about to submit here is but a fragment of Atash Kedah, which also relates to a forgotten character from Radical Dreamers: Lilith, the Shadow Huntress. Yes, she is far more than what meets the eye. I did take many ideas from older legends and mythology. Here I describe the origins of Lilith and why she is what she is. After this, here continuity lies in Fleabane - Moonlight Reckoning, and soon after in... something, until it finally reaches the events of Radical Dreamers, the ultimate epilogue and final closing chapter to her adventures.

So yeah, enjoy!  :D

....

Seriously, enjoy! Dammit!   :roll:
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 07:59:16 am by tushantin »

tushantin

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 08:10:37 pm »
Prologue: Evolution

Cue track - Tower of Bad Dreams (Blue Magic)

‘Twas a time of omen when the children of cold blood fell to the might of a woman, who challenged them against all odds. She was the epitome of strength, courage, and -- above all else -- mercy. She was the prayer of the lands that sang the joys of livelihood, and she was the dream that awakened the hearts when the red fire burned the skies.

She was their Goddess. But with every light that captured hearts, she also awakened the darkness that lay dormant within them, those wicked shadows she fought her entire life. Her very nightmares.

The skies burned with crimson hue, and clouds dissipated as if in fear as the fire drew closer; the fellow tribesmen ran for their lives, ran for their safety and fell in prayer. They left their stock, abandoned their huts, hid inside caves, and a few among them faced the heavens still, for whether or not the end drew closer they would at least not die as cowards. And impact happened: a deafening sound shattered many eardrums, a quake that tore the earth asunder, lightning warning that the end was night, and the ocean flooded with turbulent wrath. Someone, or something, was not pleased with them.

The adventurers among them came to the burning crater to witness what fell from the skies -- but it was not there! They searched, and searched, but the found nothing but broken debris and ashes of destroyed lands and forests. What they witnessed here was, what they considered to be, magic. There was no reason for the sky to be angry with them, and yet here it was, throwing fire at them.

And it was then that two tribesmen found something -- a broken shell left by something that fell from the skies. But the shell was alive. What they saw before them was not a mere shell or animal, but a jewel that burned in crimson, like a flame that was frozen in time. And it beckoned to them.

And they touched the Flame, and all was light. It showed them things they never saw, and gave them the confidence, the desires they never had. Their mere gait set the barren cave abloom, and their voices called for a destiny they desired. ‘Twas then that the first tribesman dreamed to share this magical blessing with the world.

While the other dreamed to keep this blessing for himself.

Slowly he lifted his hand towards his friend, and in a tone that knew no remorse, commanded:

“Burn away from my sight.”

~~~~~~~

Part 1 - The Whisperer


I


Cue track - A Warrior’s Path (OCRemix)

The Frozen Flame sat on the pedestal and watched bloodshed and carnage before him, for he knew it was to pass. But not too soon. Began a game of survival, each tribe for their own, warring to acquire the jewel either for superiority or for their own survival, that very jewel that turned them against each other. Brothers armed against brother, with trust naught in sight. It was the flame that gave them magic, that made dreams come true, that helped them shape destiny on their own accord. If there was ever was anything of value it was not life of another, but the flame that brought them light.

And in that war were many slain, as Phoebe wept for the loss, as bodies fell from the skies either burned or in frozen death. She wept for her beloved, she wept for her enemies, she wept for the damned that fell to the Flame’s greed, and she wept for the damned who could not escape the Flame’s children.

On that night in the frozen desert of Araknos, before the shadows emerged again to claim her soul, she grasped the jaded candle, grasped her destiny with a shaken hand and called out the shadows from the abyss.

“In worth of petty dignity and blood, with silver knife I carve thy name in stone: Erzes! Show thyself and liberate me!”

“Who are you of petty dignity to call me by my name?” Said the voice of the demon, echoing in turbulent winds.

“Thee the deceiver, thee the tempter, Erzes, shall have no power over me, thy mistress Phoebe,” she commanded. “Lest thee suffer pain in eternal flames, obey my commands. Fly me away before dawn, before the Elementals return, and protect me with thy very essence.”

Hesitantly the demon subdued to his mistress’ insufferable charge.

“And every power,” Erzes mentioned, “demands a sacrifice.”

“And sacrifice I shall.”

The demon chuckled in its most sinister tone and its shadow grew wings wider than a Griffin’s.

“Hop on, my arrogant, full-of-thyself mistress -- oww! You didn’t have to hit me with that bolt!”

~~~~~~

II


The war raged and brought civilizations to their knees, and the planet grew ever so colder as ashes of the departed scattered across the sky, devouring every ray of light, eating away all hope. To the heroes, to the victims, to the Messiahs, to all that was lost and to all that was to create, to all that grasped onto a single prayer, what awaited them was but a shadow of despair. The only clans to survive were the superior five: Zeal, Edehna, Araknos, Shikari and El Grande; with fear in their hearts and sorrow darkening their minds, dreams became meaningless, for if only those that lived beyond the whispers of the Flame felt the need to spend a precious moment in tranquility.

And the prayers and cries were heard by brothers two of the powerful clan Edehna. Nodamus the Wise King, and Adamus the Cunning; with the might of Gods they tore through the army of Araknos, as Dragons and Beasts fell to their demise. And to the King they flew with the promise to end the war of ages, with a dream to stand victorious.

“My life lay in your hands, and all my secrets and faith I lay unto you,” said Nodamus as he flew on his Griffin, dodging the venom of a Basilisk.

And the Basilisk fell into pieces with a single wave of Adamus’ sword.

“And I shall not let you down, my Lord and Brother,” said Adamus.

“Nor I, my darling,” said Queen Abbyzou, riding on her Pegasus.

The three took on the King of Araknos, the keeper of the Flames, who swore to the deepest abyss that doom was nigh, but his trickery had no effect, for no doom nor uncertainty would faze their valiance. And stepped forth Nodamus to claim his prize, that very flame frozen in time, and touched it.

And he saw things that he never would dream of: There he was, blind and solemn, with all of the frozen world seeking sanctuary before him, and came his brother with malice in his heart and slew him like a dog where he stood.

And as you see shall happen,” said the wretched whisperer. “But the beholder of the flame is also the beholder of truth and destiny. You have the power to change your own fate.

And the King asked his brother once again.

“My life in your hands, and the glory of Edehna in my trust.”

“And your faith in me,” said Adamus with an honest smile, “is my very soul.”

The liar’s soul is worth naught a penny,” the whisperer spoke.

“And the liar is you!” Said Nodamus to the Flame in rage. “Liar is you, the wicked is you. You are the tempter, the deceiver, the evil whisperer in the heart’s of the innocent.”

And they desired, so I giveth,” the Flame continued.

“And become the source of all misery. But enough! This flame shall never see the light of day ever again. You shall tempt and lie never again.”

“Sealing me away shall accomplish nothing, for the truest demon runs in your blood, seeking liberation. So long as humans breathe your horrors shall never end. You can change your fate, but you do not wish to. You shall regret -- ”

“-- No more.”

With complex waves of his form and the power of his spells, to everyone’s surprise Nodamus sealed the flame within an impenetrable prism, and he stood over the castle’s balcony where the armies of Zeal and Shikari approached and announced:

“This day Edehna has proven its power over the wretched whisperer, the Frozen Flame, and stands victorious before the world. The nightmare has ended, and I wish no more blood, no more enmity.”

~~~~~~

III

Cue track - Tower of Nightmares (Blue Magic)

Peace was found, but the bitterness of the cold did not fade. Rivers froze and lands covered themselves with a blanket white. The commoners and the Earthbound breathed in relief, but the the extremists’ dream of conquest was not forgotten. Yet ‘twas wise to keep your desires to yourself lest you become an enemy of false peace, which was peace nonetheless; a house made of fragile glass.

Stood King Nodamus in the deepest chambers of Edehna where the Flame lay hidden, trapped in the strongest prism he could conjure. ‘Twas temporary, if only until he could find a way to send it to the darkest chasm where not a soul may find. The FF did not belong here.

Sin and sorrow were not forgotten. Nor were the words of the Frozen Flame.

...for the truest demon runs in your blood, seeking liberation. So long as humans breathe your horrors shall never end...

The doors behind him opened, and in walked Adamus with charming grace, smiling to his Lord and brother.

“Adamus,” said Nodamus in hope, “my dear, faithful Adamus; you have been by my side in many a strife that my gratefulness knows no bounds. My life in your hands, and the glory of Edehna in my trust.”

“And your faith in me,” said Adamus with an honest smile, “is but a foolish dependence.”

A shadow emerged from Adamus’ feet and took the form of a Gargoyle; with a beat of its wings it attacked with elements, wind and fire alike. With swiftness of his spells Nodamus conjured a barrier that withstood the mightiest storms, but the barrier broke like stained glass and a spear struck his torso.

“...silver... spear...” The dying King gasped.

“Your prized possession!” Adamus exclaimed. “He who lives like a coward deserves no prizes.”

Blood spilt and tainted the snow, and the prism shattered with the King’s dying breath. ‘Twas the final bloom of the flowers afar, for the rain hath no promise but the sky bleeding crimson.


(To be continued...)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 03:15:41 am by tushantin »

tushantin

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 08:11:45 pm »
Part 2 - Fallen Angel


I


Cue track - Words Better Left Unspoken

The land grew unbearably colder still and the lakes froze rigid, a blockade yielding no morsel. Falls ceased their flow mid-way and starvation plagued the very children the land whilst nature betrayed her own kind in neglect. The fiery wrath vanquished, but heart was cold, for the hollow -- the wretched emptiness -- refused to yield a single flower of hope. All was gone and dead, all sentiments, everything one held close, buried in the white blanket that marked as their tomb.

But what they wanted most in this blinding white was but a color. A taint of crimson.

‘Twas six years before when she flew from Araknos’ frozen, barren deserts, in the hope of escaping the shadows of her monarch and her enemies alike, but the cold followed her to every corner of the planet. And she swore her allegiance to Zeal Clan, though the tragedy of her lost taken by the very hand she served. Further more she dared breach the horizon itself, more she tested the waters and played with fire, and even more so she endangered herself in the pits of darkness, but her fear was dead the very moment she summoned the demon Foliot.

And to a forlorn cave they approached. The creature landed with the wings of shade, vanishing into remnant echoes of the damned that emanated from the hollow.

“Go if you must,” Erzes apprised. “But these echoes are not winds alone, but the forgotten screams and cries of the damned, condemned to lament their sorrow. A gallow off all the broken memories and dreams rest in its confines, of all the scarred hearts and hollow souls, you will be lost in its bitter and blind emptiness and never see light.”

“And I never have,” said Phoebe with a sorrowful tone, then without another word, stepped into the emptiness.

And all the while the shadows of broken dreams stalked until she reached the threshold. With a deafening scream, they lept.

******

II


The Smith made me something, my Lord. He calls it a Scythe.

Oh? And what is it meant for?

Hehe, your Highness knows when spring arrives we will have to deal with the excess grass at the Royal Gardens. I shall reap them for you, so your feet would have no trouble.



The reverie shattered, its fragments falling into the emptiness of the void, but the screams never faded; the shadows veiled her eyes from reality itself.

Waken, she screamed to herself in futility as no sound escaped her lips.

And the shadows formed into images in her mind. Broken shards of past memories. And it hurt her, cutting her mind like a sharp knife on flesh.

And there, in a majestic palace stood a King, looking down upon his new slave.

“Why, Adamus,” said the woman. “Why must you kill your own brother, your very own blood?”

“That man, Abbyzou,” said the King, “was but a poltroon, fearing to wield God’s gift, a traitor to his own nation.”

“He trusted you! He tried to bring an end to this war, and to all misery!”

The King laughed. “What have the two of you been deluding yourselves into? Misery has always been there, even before we knew of the Flame, and wars were always waged. The Flame is not a monster Abbyzou, it only taught you how to dream, and dream well. No, a true monster is he who either runs from its light, or uses it to burn civilizations and laughing at the screams. A true monster is within the heart, always seeking to escape. A true monster loves power over others, doing its best to become the Almighty, with sanity only a distant memory. A true monster... is me!”

And he took a step towards the former queen.

“Bow to me.”

But the woman stepped back in fear, closer to the window.

“Praise me,” Adamus stepped forth. “Love thy King.”

But he woman paid no heed, backing towards the window.

“Abbyzou, bow to me. WORSHIP ME!”

With a final scream he lunged with his spear, but the lady jumped from the window deep into the ravines. A whistle, a flutter of wings, and off the lady flew on a Pegasus, away from her beloved Kingdom that was once her home. But Adamus knew better; a single wish to the Flame gave him wings of angelic flare, whiter than snow, and he chased. Spells fired across, towards the lady and towards the King, fire breaking past the winds. With a single breath Abbyzou drew, lightning blasted from her finger tips, but the King remained unharmed. Then she built walls of ice, stronger that hardest diamonds, yet broken by her pursuer. Flames emerged from the Kings palm as he fired a bolt towards the Pegasus’ wings; it burned, charred its flesh, invoking screams of agony. The former Queen fell into the unfamiliar winds.

Waken, Phoebe screamed. But her lips refused yield sound.

And the dream faded once again, but voices were still heard.

Where art thou, Lady Abbyzou? I have searched continents for you. Please come back to the Palace. Don’t make me burn them.

Never...

Waken.

Abbyzou, return to your King. Your children await you. They bleed, Abbyzou. Everyday one of them drops dead.

But... I cannot. I am trapped in a continent of endless horizon. I cannot... fly...

WAKEN!!


And with that, the nightmare fled with veils afloat, shimmer poured in sight.  

******

III


Awakened the witch in a brawl and freed herself from the wicked snare, though curses and spells failed to emerge from her palms as the voracious cave devoured all light. Shadows lunged like beasts of the night to the damsel’s dismay and fright, and withdrew she from a robe a mere chalk and drew a circle on the platform she stood, with mystical runes and signs within.

“Shadow Dome, emerge!” She screamed, and thus soon surrounded be an aura of black light.

And the shadows could not enter. They could not reach her, for every attack upon her was countered with an opposite element. And she tamed the beasts of the night with binds of unbreakable streaks of flare.

These memories are not yet forgotten, Phoebe wagered. The woman is beyond saving, past beyond the borders of death, but I can still save her spirit.

She ensnared the shadows with a spell or two with words and binds of grand arcana, knowing the fragments of shattered souls were but concentrated emotions of a being long gone. The creatures had no name, no thought, no intelligence; thus fused in the form akin to they once were, unborn and unnamed.

“The misery and malice that haunt this cave,” beckoned Phoebe, “you hold your form upon my order; and your name by my will be, Lilith, of the Shadows.”

And the shadows formed a fair humanoid complexion, lost in an eternal sorrow that knew no more.

“I am... Lilith,” said the feminine, pitiful demon. “My mistress.”

“What is your past?”

“I do not know, my mistress...” the demon murmured in sorrowful tone.

“What are your desires, your dreams?”

“I seek... to reap the green from the earth... for...”

“For whom?”

Hesitantly she pondered why, but the identities, those memories remained forgotten.

And she bowed. “For you, my mistress.”

******
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 05:43:39 am by tushantin »

Lennis

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 10:42:16 pm »
There are some really great lines here, tushantin.

This one in particular stands out:  "Yet ‘twas wise to keep your desires to yourself lest you become an enemy of false peace, which was peace nonetheless; a house made of fragile glass."

I have to ask.  Is this line original?  If so, you have a real gift.  :wink:

FaustWolf

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 01:18:29 am »
I second Lennis on that quote. That be a moment of brilliance right there, that be. Can't wait to actually read through this.

tushantin

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2011, 03:13:33 am »
Thank you!  :D

I have to ask.  Is this line original?  If so, you have a real gift.  :wink:

Yeah, except the "glass house" metaphor was used before, I think. Every quote in there is original, though influenced from various sources such as ZeaLitY's entry. I hoped to try a Biblical narrative here than anything else and began loving the style, as I went all out on visual imagination.  8)

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Lilith of the Shadows
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2011, 05:41:19 am »
Part 2 finished! Relatively shorter than Part 1, but bleh... Part 3 will conclude this story soon.

So here's the thing. Here you'll see Radical Dreamer's Lilith's origins, which was mostly inspired by Jewish, Byzantine and Antiquity folklore. Lovers of real-world witchcraft (or Bartimaeus Trilogy) might find some intriguing easter eggs. Also, Magus' elemental barrier at the Mystic Wars is also explained, but limited to a weak barrier of Shadow Element in this case.

Once again, criticism is welcome!

FaustWolf

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 01:11:19 am »
I finally got around to reading everything tushantin, nice work! I can sense all the primordial ooze of a great story (and, more importantly, great writing) stirring around in there.

What's lacking is fulfillment of the reader's desire to spend more time with these characters, learning their wider personalities and motives. That can obviously be traced to the fact that this is essentially a sketch that only captures brief glimpses of the much wider vision you have. I can sense the Dream Daemon concept rearing up here too, and it's so esoteric, you can expect most readers outside our old project gang are going to have a tough time chewing on it in a treatment this brief.

The mysterious (and, if I read it right, intertemporal) relationship between Phoebe and Abbyzou intrigues me. Thanks for the music suggestions too, I love having some media to go along with the writing -- really spices up the prose! And I didn't know Blue Magic had that many awesome tracks floating around.

If you want to develop this particular prose style further and want to seek out examples, I would very highly recommend Tolkien's The Silmarillion. (Ironically, another work where a bunch of awesome stuff is tossed out but underdeveloped simply because there's so much to cover!). If you can reach the breadth of The Silmarillion and the depth of The Lord of the Rings, just imagine -- you'd have a twenty book saga!  :D
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 01:13:54 am by FaustWolf »

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2011, 09:06:56 pm »
I do absolutely love this! I'm in love with your description its amazing! You paint the canvas beautifully and i'm waiting for more!

tushantin

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2011, 05:48:56 am »
@TheMage: XD Thankies!

@FaustWolf: Haha, thank you! The Dream Splash not only gave me an opportunity to introduce the Atash Kedah but also to experiment with writing styles (even though I'm horrible with words and archaic grammar).

True, Lament of Damned here is but a simple sketch focusing on Lilith's origins, which could perhaps be a part of the Frozen Flame folklore that is mentioned in Fata Morgana, creating and expanding a fictional culture (because culture makes fiction rich; look at Harry Potter) with mesmerizing and inspiring stories.  :wink: Of course, one big cause for the shortness of the story was my experiments in trying to merge this super-compressed and artistic style with fast-paced development and action, and the unintentional bonus I received was the blissful destruction of "Show and Don't Tell" rule, blurring the lines between Show and Tell indefinitely (or at least I think so).  :D

But the truest reason for lack of development is because I wanted to stay true to RD for Dream Splash and develop it further by only focusing on Lilith's origins. The Atash Kedah in itself is a gigantic saga (so big that I may never finish it alone), an Epic describing the Rise of Zeal and its consequences; Several main characters (at least two from each clan and Earthbound tribes), the conflict between those clans with their own righteous reasons and motives (something like Suikoden 3 and FF6), tying the gap and explaining the Magic system, and Phoebe plays a larger role in the overall Epic than this sketch and thus becoming the first Seneschal as she grows powerful and unbeatable and unstoppable.

Quote
I can sense the Dream Daemon concept rearing up here too, and it's so esoteric, you can expect most readers outside our old project gang are going to have a tough time chewing on it in a treatment this brief.
Oops! XDDD I apologize for that, but I thought I'd leave it vague to maintain the old project's freedom of imagination. Erzes is a Foliot and quite alike Masa and Mune, with the same level of power and a good twist; while Masa and Mune were created by Melchoir's dreams and take the form of a sword (or possess it), Erzes is a rogue Dream Daemon from the Shadow Realm and appears in the form of black wings.

But Lilith is a whole other deal, and you already know how. :wink:

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll check it out.


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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 07:48:25 pm »
Look out, here comes Phoebe doing the impossible! (Sheesh, this might stretch on to four parts; but might be worth it) So yeah, the finale is close at hand, and the Zeal Clan shows the world that you need no FF to be a winner!


Part 3 - Ascension


I


Cue track - Windancer (Secret Garden)

The sun awoke, an immortal gold trapped in dust clouds, its rays of hope wandering like flocked angels of ambiance. Adamus craved beyond his capacity and tore the world a new abyss to fall into; the Clan of Edehna, once a proud guardian of peace, became a power mounted on torrefied corpses of over a million. Shadows fluttered across the seven seas enforcing the now Emperor’s law: the disobeyers embraced death, and the servants became enemies of humanity. But dawn whispered a new promise, for ‘twas the light of a new age, an era that brought clans together, yearning to break through the heavens, fledged with one wish. One dream.

The Frozen Flame granted all, and if Adamus willed his castle in the sky it came to be. And his Empire rose towards the azure, casting a shadow at the frozen wastelands. But the dream of Zeal, Shikari and whatever remained of El Grande was not subdued, and they prepared to face the mightiest Empire that ever came into being.

Upon a few solemn islands stood Zeal’s army en masse, and upon the highest cliff with a valiant heart stood His Majesty -- King Zabala Zeal, dreaming things that may never be.

“If they have the Frozen Flame,” said His Majesty, “we have something just as good.”

“The Sun Stone,” said a voice.

“Yes,” the King turned, only to find himself talking to a head of a mannequin, suspended on wooden-spider’s legs. “Good lord, Dal-Hun! What happened to you?”

“I am sad to announce that I have perished in battle, and this is what remains of me. My essence will not last much longer.”

“The Rabbit-King of El Grande, huh?” The King murmured in sorrowful tones. “You fought well, no doubt, but who would have known a buck-toothed niggard of El Grande would better our finest man in battle!”

“That buck-toothed niggard, as I finally understood, was but a hero to his people and their cause. I implore, let us make it our duty to befriend and protect the people of El Grande.”

“Anything for you, good friend! I promise they shall find a new home.” Zabala smiled. “Do your family know?”

“They do. I have lived long and proud serving you, Your Highness, and my legacy shall continue in your name. My only regret is that I may never hold my grandson, Dalton.”

But the King bit his lip and remained silent, knowing his own pride can never compare with the pain of his people. This war had claimed plenty, and may claim many more; he vowed to end it.

“Our sorcerers are capable and valiant, Dal-Hun,” the King continued, “but none as zealous and strong as you.”

“None, but one, Your Highness. We have a woman that once swore to challenge fate and withstood what could break the toughest monster, defying all hail that come her way; a youth who’s springtime knows no bound, with passion ablaze that burn hotter than the very fires of hell, that insuperable ray of light shining brighter than a thousand suns. She is the very epitome of Zeal, a waking dream of radical with a pledge to eradicate all that is corrupt.”

“You mean, that Araknos girl? She is hardly a true Zeal folk.”

The puppet laughed. “Blood does not make Zeal, My Lord. Dreams do.”

As the King witnessed, came the girl with splendor in her gait and all the wizards and courtiers gasped and turned to look. To the King himself she stood as equal, not with position but with power, and with a charm that could befall a man bowed to His Majesty.

“Lady Phoebe, at your beck and call, Your Highness.”

******

II


The war had begun and the isles of Zeal rose to meet the Sky Empire of Edehna, one that was meant to be a paradise but was now soaked in blood. The Children of Zeal flew on their Pegasus, chariots and Griffins armed with spears and fire, but the guardians of Edehna awaited them with headstrong pillars and barriers of magic, and traps at places unthinkable. The battle broke as fires and lightning raged amidst the struggle: barriers were strong, but Zeal was relentless, and without tire they pierced through. Without fail the ghosts of Zeal disarmed traps and the soldiers stepped forth with their flaming swords and lightning arrows. Edehna Guardians countered in vain, biting dust in the enemy’s wake.

But ‘twas inside the caves and forests of Edehna where nightmare stood awaiting them. Despite their power, tactics remained futile in unknown territory; demonic trees and rocks took some of them by surprise and they found themselves outnumbered and helpless, in the mercy of the enemy within. Valiantly they fought, but in vain, and stumbled, only to get back up again and vaporized by an onslaught of spells. ‘Twas only the beginning, and Zeal was almost lost.

“Zeal scum, they never cease,” said Captain Ronald. “Bernard, finish them!”

“No... this is wrong... wrong...” murmured Lydia.

“No, I will not!” Said Bernarnd. “This is not what Nodamus would have wanted.”

“You dare betray Edehna?” Captain Ronald scoffed. “Nodamus is gone, but the Kingdom is bigger than he! What about of lord Adamus? What of the ideals of our great --”

“...this... not the time... can't be...” Lydia murmured.

“The ideals of Edehna died the moment Adamus slew our King!” Bernard cried. “Adamus does not deserve my support.”

“This is no time for squabble, soldier! Either you are with us or not. Lydia, take care of this traitor!”

Blankly Lydia stared at the ground before her, as if all her senses fled her body.

“Lydia, I ask you this last time,” Ronald barked. “Destroy the traitors!”

A wicked, quite demonic smile suddenly played on her face as she eyed her captain.

“Delivering your death wish,” she stepped forward, a scythe appearing in her grasp, “is my privilege.”

******

III


“Foresight,” Phoebe spoke and instantly saw all through the eyes of her demon.

There was an emotional bond between the witch and Lilith, a bond that could never be explained with mere words. But in that battle, all they knew was that victory was theirs to grasp. A prospect of revenge and the little bloodlust would only be satisfied properly the path she had chosen; her every will is for the witch to obey, and salvation would be granted.

Lydia, Phoebe thought, I’m sorry. Many of my comrades have perished too. But this is war, and I will not hold back.

She put on her gloves and looked at the ocean getting further and further away as her island floated towards the clouds. And she stood on a large platform, high up in a cliff, to announce her coming.

“I really hope Adamus gets this, for this is the only warning he ever will.”

'Twas her dream to fly and claim the sun, and now it was within her grasp.

******

“Adamus, Lord of Edehna, heed my call.”

A confident voice echoed all throughout the floating lands of Edehna, and all the Emperor’s men sought to find who was responsible, but it only seemed as if the winds themselves were possessed. Adamus himself wished to know who was so insolent to challenge him in his own domain.

“What troubles you, my darling?” His wife, Eve, stepped towards him cautiously as if her mind was possessed by something else entirely.

But Adamus paid heed only to the voice in the winds, and nothing else.

“For the welfare of all the world’s union that the Zeal Clan represents, you are ordered to stay your soldiers and refrain from attacking, and further more confiscate the Frozen Flame. We are well intentioned to accept you as an allied nation. You are given five minutes to respond, otherwise as much as we’d hate to cause more deaths, we have no choice but to retaliate.”

A moment of truce finally came, and the masses of Edehna rejoiced. A few hundreds, however, did not accept their enemy’s favor and maintained their vigilance. Adamus flung onto the balcony and screamed.

“World union?” Adamus cried at the end of his own sanity. “Allied nation? It appears the great Zeal Clan has forgotten to dream! Oh we know you’re after this rock, to fly higher above this. And I tell you this: I await your offense.”

With a wave of his sword he conjured demons of various powers, and another wave that brought the caves to life.

“Now then, bring in all you can! And don’t dare lose, lest you see this pitiful world of yours crushed beneath the feet of your true God.”

“Very well,” said the voice, “if that is your final intention, so is our right to destroy it. Brace yourself for hellfire, Adamus. Several deaths of your men go upon your head, so watch for bodies falling from the sky. A hundred bodies, I promise, and the first after that will be yours.”

The voice faded, but Eve’s face remained a horrified smile.

“You believe in me,” Adamus smiled back, “don’t you?”

“I believe in you,” she replied, with emotions that were not her own.

******
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 07:53:42 pm by tushantin »

TheMage

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2011, 02:39:37 am »
Blood does not make Zeal, My Lord. Dreams do might be my new favorite quote! If only his grandson were so wise :D

Part III gave me chills! There's more riiiight? Right? Please :D

tushantin

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2011, 07:25:22 am »
Blood does not make Zeal, My Lord. Dreams do might be my new favorite quote! If only his grandson were so wise :D

Part III gave me chills! There's more riiiight? Right? Please :D
Yeah! XD Part 4 (plus Epilogue) coming as soon as I can manage. That will be the finale.

TheMage

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2011, 05:50:46 pm »
Yey for part 4!

tushantin

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Re: Atash Kedah Monogatari - Lament of the Damned
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 09:34:19 pm »
Hehehe! Guess I lied about this being the last chapter; don't worry though, it's so close you can taste it. This forth part of the awesome battle Lilith and Phoebe undertake against a male dominated society Edehna, rising through Adamus' impossible challenges and basically kicking ass. A character from FaustWolf's Fata Morgana also appears in this story as a cameo, doing things that kids shouldn't do.

Adamus will hear his final knell in the next and (truly) final chapter, Phantom Break. Yes, the famous RD move makes it in.  :D

And now I take my earned night's repose.


Part 4 - Liberation


I


“Edehna’s army surrounds us, my lady,” Phoebe warned, surrounded by dozens of tight-fitted dancers and musicians of Zeal. “They will breach the threshold within a quarter hour.”

“This is bad,” King Zeal remarked. “The shadows are numerous, like dust clouds in the sky. But why the musicians?”

“We have our finest ones here, armed with instruments we’ve stolen from the Shikari tribe,” Phoebe giggled. “You’ll see eventually.”

“I hope you know what you are doing, girl,” Zabala statd sharply. “I do enjoy the serenity of hymns, but this hardly is a time for an orchestra. Also, these instruments are so... primitive.”

“We are at war with a primitive and barbaric mindset, Your Majesty,” Phoebe bowed, “one that has no respect for culture nor his people. As a civilized clan, it is our duty to give him a taste of his own medicine and reign superior in his realms.”

“Now you truly speak like a Zeal warrior,” Zabala smiled. “Our army is prepared, and ready for this battle.”

“Good. Now on my signal, please lead the army and flee to the Southern Island.”

“Huh?” The King blinked, flabbergasted. “What do you mean flee?”

“We won’t give in, but we couldn’t risk casualties either. Your Highness, I have a strong feeling that the Shikari may turn on us at our weakest moment. Do not worry, this battle or the next, I promise I will not soil the name of our clan.”

A whirlwind of emotion and doubt swirled within the King’s torso but, skeptical as he was, patted the witch’s shoulder before his farewell.

“My Prayer shall be with you.”

Phoebe took this as a sign of faith and watched the King and the army flee to the Southern Island as the skies grew a darker by the moment. With boundless fortitude she paced towards the musicians and finally announced:

“No matter how primitive an instrument, music will always remain the soul of the universe. So let us dance at the hymn of Great Edehna’s doom.”

******

II



Cue track - Basileus (Corvus Corax)

Shadows fluttered like an army of crows and grew closer by every beat of the heart, but the valiant Phoebe and her musicians awaited with every tremor of the lifting isle and shaking feet, their shivering spines and cold sweat down their necks. Time stretched before them as eternity, awaiting for darkness to breach their feint streak in the sky, and when the moment finally came the group burst into a performance.

Bagpipes blew in strange variations at the beating of several drums, and the dancers capered in synchronized rhythm. But it wasn’t they who danced to the music, but ‘twas the music that played to Phoebe’s jubilance. To and fro she leaped in grace, left and right the dancers bounced, and all the atmosphere grew to cheer with life in their breath and zeal in their hearts. The music raced to sound of drums, and off she bounced onto a cliff as she beamed towards the darkened clouds that withstood from bathing in blood. The streak above merely amplified their effect of the music. And she danced and swung, while the players followed their Maestro, while the darkened cloud flew amok and the spirits split asunder.

The sorcerers of Zeal were right to fear this darkness, for no amount of physical or magical attack could desist them. Spirits were never alive, and the casualties in battle would be of those that were. But if there was one thing Phoebe knew well it was that these spirits were echoes of lost dreams, restless screams and devastating emotional turmoil. But music was holy, music was pure, with a song inscribed in the heart’s of every life. Music affected the deepest consciousness and emotions that words may never reach, and only music could make her the master of those spirits and bolster her people’s ardor.

Mundify the darkness into light!

With grace she pranced along her dancers, while the mad shadows swirled to her rhythm, and with care she spared a loving hand towards the breaking nightmare above until a fragment dropped before her, soiling her fingers with charcoal mist.

“And thy name shall be Percy,” said Phoebe.

“At your will, My Mistress,” said the shadow, transforming into bare-bodied boy with strange limbs, tail and ears as those of a rabbit’s.

She took his hand and led him through the throng that acquired their own Spiritual partner, and they waltzed a victory in ardent ceremony with laughter echoing under the cerulean. The darkness dispersed and the clouds vanished, and the laments of the damned turned to melodic chimes, while hither and tither the animals frolicked to their heart’s content, all burden forgotten.

With the fleeting of the notes through the instruments the dancers grew closer to their partner, with all the love of the moment that struck their heartstrings. And with a gentle kiss, or perhaps a peck on the cheek, the spirits smiled before they faded away, liberated. Farewells and gratitude echoed through the skies, and the people rejoiced at their impossible victory. ‘Twas not a battle, but a miracle. 

“Lady Phoebe... this was a miracle!”

“Now we can finally get rid of these stupid instruments. Ugh!”

“No,” Phoebe remarked. “Prepare for the Finale, where I dance alone.”

******

In the caves, which devoured many Zeal warriors, now lay the corpses of its owner, littering the rocks with their blood and torn remains. That who was to die did not, but those who pledged loyalty unwittingly embraced death. The face of late Captain Ronald hung in vines at the ceiling, while Bernard stood in horror, alive and well though the scene scarred his soul.

“Lydia, what,” he hesitated, gulping. “You... you are Lydia, aren’t you?”

The woman who was once known as Lydia smiled back, a bloody scythe still clasped in her wrist.

“Forgive me, Bernard,” said she in a voice that was not her own. “They were... annoying me...”

With courage the boy stepped towards his fiance, but at a blink of an eye she vanished out of sight.

******

III


Cue track
- To Glory (Two Steps From Hell)

And so it began with a final battle as Adamus welcomed his challenger, for every life lost in his realm shall strike his death-knell to a hundred. For he saw all of the joy and dances, and proclaimed it mundane and filthy coming from the lesser, and declared his attack. But his men hesitated, afraid, indecisive and confused. Many surrendered, a few remained.

The traitors... must be eliminated!

The few marched ahead to draw blood of their very brothers that trusted them. And Phoebe saw all with her foresight, and began her virtuoso merit with a swing miles away in the sky. Trumpets played, drums struck, and footsteps closed in upon brothers, but before the daggers could touch the flesh Phoebe leaped in the air with a graceful swing. And the malicious dropped dead in a heartbeat, while somewhere a knell had rung, with their slayer standing proud with utmost disrespect to the dead. Her green, tainted hair shrouded her face while the blade of her scythe shined crimson, dropping fresh blood onto the snow. And yet she yearned for more.

Lydia she once was, though Lilith she actually was, a borrowed form for her safety in this world, where elements scattered here and there and harmed the essence of a transparent Shaitan like her. She knew not love, she knew not mercy, but she knew vengeance and hatred that never quenched.

Those that surrendered were spared and protected, while the rest who warred were slain. Lilith and Phoebes, with their minds as one, saw all in their path and destroyed any walls that stood in their way; Phoebe’s every swing was Lilith’s own, and the demon’s satisfaction contented her master easily. The strongest warriors succumbed to the reaper, for all they saw in their final blink was sinister smile of the witch. She fled like the wind through the caves, forests and corridors of Edehna and struck upon her enemies like a lightning strike. She burned the ancient remnants of the past, singed the essence the memories left by time, gashed and scarred until time bled crimson, and buried the ashes of humanity to the ground, A swing, a turn, a magical spell, and together they overcame all adversities, and the Scythe mauled and destroyed all that was once beautiful. And time itself stopped at her will as Phoebe danced while the great Edehna burned.

Adamus stood still as the knells persisted, one ofter another as quick as a heartbeat. He panicked and screamed, and ran amok until he grabbed the Flame once again:

“Who are they?” He cried.

“There is but one woman pulling the strings, and her name is Phoebe.”

“The wretched Flame lies! Phoebe girl merely dances in the sky!”

“But her Shaitan dances at her will. Her Shaitan, that you were responsible for making.”

Abbyzou, Adamus thought at once and glanced at his wife Eve, who showed no expression but a distant, unaware smile. Another death knell broke his thoughts and he demanded:

“Bring me spirits from the depths of the Abyss, of the darkest corner and hottest blazes.”

“It... cannot be done...”
The Flame, for the first time since the dawn of dreams, hesitated.

“Ifrits! Bring them to me!” He screamed again.

“...As you desire...”

And it was done; a dozen Ifrits of unmatched strength appeared before him, their aura belching fires as hot as the sun incinerated every object in the room but their master and his wife.

“The courtroom,” Adamus commanded. “Abbyzou will come there next; await her.”

And without a ponder the Ifrits disappeared.

The witch flew to through the corridors striking the ninety-ninth knell towards the courtroom, her scythe flailing behind her, and the demons of fire that bested the strongest spirits and sorcerers awaited her. The doors fell open, an inferno fell upon whoever may have been unfortunate, and when the heat calmed...

… there was not an ash. The witch never entered, nor was her presence felt, but of two intruders of lesser power. The Ifrits searched and bellowed, and singed all things that the suspects could have hidden.

“Seith, they know we’re here!” Said the voice of a little girl.

“...Sheima, you’re an idiot,” said the voice of a little boy. “Glacier!”

The rooms froze with a crash of cold waves and encased everything, including the Ifrits, in diamond-hard ice. From within the frozen walls materialized water, forming in the shape of a boy, and from the floor’s reflection emerged another, a beautiful girl who’s face grew pale in the cold.

“W-wha-wo-w-... achhoo!” Sheima sneezed.

Seith sighed and tapped his twin sister with a magical touch, and she grew warmer.

“Oh!” Sheima exclaimed. “Magic Coat!”

“Miss Sheima Creojeanne, can’t you remember simple spells even in the most dire situations?”

Sheima pouted. “I can’t help it! Dad keeps throwing a barrage of books at me! I feel bored.”

“You feel too much.”

“And you think too much!” She snapped. “War is a grown-up’s job. Why must you drag me all the way here?”

She awaited response, but Seith did not reply. And then it dawned on her; she was better at he at magic, and it was always she who saved him in the most troubled times. A smile played on her innocent face.

The first pillar of ice encasing an Ifrit began to crackle, and the twins took notice immediately. A second crack, and they fled to the corridors once again.

“We can’t beat them!” Sheima screamed.

“We aren’t supposed to beat them,” Seith corrected. “Just distract them from you-know-who.”

“I know who exactly?” Sheima blinked, puzzled.

An Ifrit, free from the encasing and growing massive, fiery wings, flew at their direction. Sheima aimed behind her and casted a devastating spell, while the Ifrit prepared his detonation.

******