Chrono Compendium

Kajar Laboratories - Fan Works and Submissions => Fan Fiction => Topic started by: Captain B on October 29, 2018, 08:13:01 pm

Title: ((FINISHED)) Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on October 29, 2018, 08:13:01 pm
 This is a bit of WIP that hopefully I'll be able to maintain the time and inclination to work on. It's a scenario that has been brewing in my head for some time, and I want to try to give it manifestation.

 Basic summary is that, as the name implies, this tells the tale of Janus as he grew to become an adult in the middle ages. It begins shortly after his arrival in the time period, and ends just before the events of 600 AD in the game. Along the way, it also seeks to explain certain things, or set up how certain events came to be. There are some rather surprising twists and a select few OCs as needed, but everything sets up the events in the game, nonetheless. There is also a little bit of fourth-dimensional thinking involved, as far as "original timelines" goes.

  other than that...        I hope you enjoy it.

01/10/2019 Edit: FINISHED W/ 20 chapters

---------Chrono
~~~~~~Trigger

         Rise of the Fiendlord

     

    Prologue:

    Keeper's Dome, 2299 Kingdom Calendar

   
    A lone figure in a tattered gray suitcoat and gray skirt stood on a mezzanine, looking out at the world. It was always a cloudy and dirty world, with little vegetation left and almost as much human life. Buildings would lay toppled or half-buried in the ground, ash flying everywhere you looked. The sunshine however could still be felt through the cracked glass and it warmed this woman's soul a bit.

   "You know...." said a voice from behind, "The Ozone layer is weak here. You might not want to stay there too long."

   "Will I wither and die?" she asked, not moving or even turning to face him. "Will my fading husk finally shrivel up and kill me itself? I care not. I have destroyed the world, Belthesar. Look out upon it and see. I have no right to leave this time or look away from it, and she has no will to leave my side. There is only punishment for me, now."

    Belthasar shook his head. "Your Majesty...     ...I won't pretend that you don't bear your sins upon your back...    but the power of Lavos....    the promise of the Mammon Machine... you can't deny that in some way, you succumbed to the same illnesses that have plagued mankind since they first came upon the Frozen Flame: greed, envy...    madness...     Schala does not condemn you for it...    ...why do you condemn yourself?"

    Zeal shook her head. "Schala does not condemn me because she thinks herself just as responsible. If she had said 'no', or used force to oppose me..."

    Belthasar put a hand on Zeal's shoulder. "she doesn't condemn you for it because she loves you. She didn't stop you because to her, deep down, you were always her mother."

    "..."

    Belthasar removed his hand. Touching her like that was *certainly* was not something he would ever have dared to do back in the Kingdom of Zeal, but he felt that after everything that happened...  now that they were living together in this... observatory of time... well...      ...maybe they were friends too now. ...or not.

   "Actually...   these domes were built in happier times. Have you not seen the video record of the 'Day of Lavos'?"

   Zeal remained facing the window, without a word.

   "The destruction you see about you came about in 1999, Kingdom Calendar. That's... umm... let's see...      13,999 years after what you did. In that time, the world not only healed, but grew warm and habitable. Not a dreaming paradise perhaps, but a world with grass and trees all its own."

   "Is that so?" she asked. "And in all that time, nobody else brought about the end? Just me?"

   "Mother, stop", Schala called out. "It was a dark time for you, then. You can't blame yourself like that."

    "Hmmm..." Belthasar replied. "Actually, there was one other incident in 600 Kingdom Calendar. That's..."

    "65,012,600th year of Lavos", Zeal replied. "I'm well aware of the new system."

    "Erm... yes, well...    during this time period, Lavos was briefly awoken by a powerful sorcerer named Magus, who hoped to weaponize it and destroy humanity, paving the way for his own kind, the fiends."

    "Fool", Zeal snorted. "So he destroyed the world as well?"

    "No. He had succeeded in making some sort of contact with it, but then his castle was destroyed and he was never seen again, inadvertently saving humanity in the process. Still, he is regarded as bringing knowledge of Lavos back into the history books, as well as...      ...oh... yes... you might both find this interesting, but...         ...the black wind as well."

    Zeal looked surprised for once. "That's impossible! That curse only affects royal family."

    An alarming thought crossed Schala's mind. "Belthasar, is it... do you think it is possible that he..."

   "Hmm?" Belthasar replied. "Oh, no my dear...  no, not likely. Magus was a fiend, not a human. Besides...



     ...I don't think Janus had any actual powers..."
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on October 29, 2018, 10:49:29 pm
Ch 1: Big Fat Liar


      Truce Coastline, 580 Kingdom Calendar

     
      "LET ME GO!!"

      A very angry looking green blob in a robe was hovering across the sands under the pale moonlight. A screaming child was slamming his fists into the creature's back, as he had been hoisted over its shoulder.

      Ozzie was already more than steamed that his trek to the top of Truce Canyon provided another non-sale with those irritating imps, but then this kid literally popped out of the sky and proceeded to telekinetically puree his clientelle. He'd be damned if he wasn't getting *something* out of this.

      "SHUT UP!" he shouted back at the annoying brat. "You cost me a fortune today, you know that?? You better hope your parents are rich, because if I'm not getting a ransom out of you, you're getting in my belly!"

      "You fool!! Of course my mother is rich!! She rules the entire kingdom of Zeal! If she finds out what you've done..."

      "Zeal!?" Ozzie interrupted. "Don't play games with me, I know all about that old fairy tale where the kingdom in the sky gets too heavy or something and falls down. That little trick you pulled back there though was definitely no fairy tale...   ...so, tell ya what: if you *promise* to show me what you did back there again, I'll put you down."

      "..."

     "Huh? Hey, look kid, it ain't easy hovering your way up the top of that canyon. Not to mention I can't even take the easy road 'cause of all the humans in town... I was supposed to make some good money today, selling cheap ether to a few imps who can't even do anything with it! Now, I made that whole trip for nothing and it is all your fault. What am I supposed to do?"

     Janus remained silent. He was still pretty confused.

     Ozzie sat the boy down on a fallen tree branch, giving him a great view of the ocean horizon. Janus looked out and was somehow convinced that at some point the ocean just stopped, and spilled out onto a surface world below. This was much too warm for the frozen hellscape he remembered.

     "Where's Schala? What did you do with her?"

     "Eh?" Ozzie mumbled. "Who's that, your nanny? Look kid, you popped out at me! Now I saw what you did back there, and I'm not convinced you're one of them, so tell me the truth: are you a human, or a fiend?"

     "What kind of a stupid question is that??" Janus shouted. "Of COURSE I'm a human!!...

...wh... well, what's a fiend?"

      "I am a fiend..." Ozzie smiled, "...those imps you murdered were fiends...   anyone around here that looks weird, acts weird or, hell, smells weird is a fiend, as far as humans are concerned. Anyone who puts ketchup on eggs is a fiend. Anyone who wants to kiss their own gender is a fiend. Anyone who wants to be a *different* gender is a fiend. Anyone who likes rain? Fiend. But most importantly, *anyone* who can use magic, is most *certainly* a fiend. Understand?"

     Janus shook his head. "...no...   why would using magic make someone nonhuman? They'd just be enlightened, wouldn't they?"

    Ozzie had no clue what Janus was talking about. "What?? wh-no, look - What are you?? And be honest..."

    "Well..." Janus began, "I... guess I'm... a...  fiend?"

    "Thheeeerree we go..." Ozzie grinned. "You're an awful human-looking fiend, to be sure... But that's ok. Maybe you've been living a lie all your life, huh? Ok, tell ya what. See that dead fish on the ground there?"

    Janus noticed the decaying fish, with its guts hanging out and one milky eye staring right at him. "Uh...    yes?"

    Ozzie smiled. "Watch this."

    Ozzie snapped his fingers, and the fish began to flop along the ground, almost dancing.

    Janus's jaw dropped. "He's alive again!!!  how did you do that!????"

    Ozzie laughed. "Nah, he's not alive, he's just reanimated is all. Zombie fish!! aahahahahahaha!!!"

    Janus smiled a little, compelled to join in the fun. With some concentration, a dark aura began to surround the fish as it levitated into the air. After moving it over the water, Janus gently set the zombified fish into the water and it swam away.

    "There..." Ozzie smiled. "That wasn't so hard now was it?"
 
    Janus was beginning to realize that this was probably not the Kingdom of Zeal. "...w..   where are we, Mister?"

    "Awww..." Ozzie smiled. "Are you lost, fiend?"

   "I-I'M NOT LOST!! I just...  ...maybe, don't know where we are. Where's Zeal?"

   In the back of Ozzie's mind, he was beginning to wonder if perhaps this strange kid was telling the truth. "Uhhhh..." Ozzie thought to himself, "We'll talk about that later. For now though, let's you and I set up camp tonight and get some rest, ok?"

    Janus's smile faded. "I want to go home."

    "Look..." Ozzie smiled, "It's late, kid. Tomorrow we can get our bearings and-"

    "I WANNA GO HOME NOW!!!" Janus screamed. "NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW!!!" 

    "YOU CAN'T!!!" Ozzie screamed. "DON'T YOU GET IT, YOU STUPID LITTLE TWERP?? THERE IS NO ZEAL, NOT NOW, NOT EVER AGAIN!! IT FELL OUT OF THE SKY SO LONG AGO PEOPLE DON'T EVEN THINK IT EXISTED!!"

     Janus fell silent. "...you're lying!! YOU'RE LYING!!! I JUST CAME FROM THERE, IT HAS TO BE..."

      "LOOK AROUND YOU, BRAT!! DO YOU SEE ANY FLYING DIRT?    ...It's gone. It's been gone for a long time...   I'm sorry."

      Janus shook his head. "then this isn't 65,012,000 Year of Lavos..."

      Ozzie sighed. "This is 580 Kingdom Calendar. I think you're a long way from home."

      Janus fell eerily silent.

      "Hey... h-hey there... look...  it's not all so bad! Tell you what, kid: I think us fiends could use a fiend like you around! Maybe humans won't boss us around so much if we have a tough guy like you around...   well... you'll be tough. Just you wait and see!! We might not have much right now, you and I, but when we get home to Medina, I'll teach you some new magic. Then, you'll never have to cry or scream to get your way again."

     Ozzie was trying to come off as warm or fatherly. In truth, he only saw Janus as another meal ticket, and Janus knew it. He was alone, here. Alone with a con artist and cheap necromancer. Hell, that fish he put in the water probably stopped moving by now. Cheapass necromancer.

      Janus realized he would be alone for a long, long time. His only company, his only true company was his own thoughts and fantasies. He pulled his amulet out from under his smock and held it closely, his eyes closed...

      ...He could see Schala running towards him, with her arms outstretched. She knelt down and held him as tightly as she could, tears in her eyes.

      "Are you ok??" she whispered. "I looked everywhere for you...  Let's go home, now... It'll be ok..."

      He smiled, glad to be back in her familiar embrace. It put a warmth in his heart and soul to let her into it, to simply be held by her. Heck, even if Zeal really was gone, he'd be happy so long as Schala was there. She could figure anything out it seemed, so long as it didn't involve their mother, the mammon machine, or...           

     ...Schala faded away, with a horrific cry for help. Janus couldn't do anything though. He realized he was dreaming of something that could no longer be. There was only one thing left, now...        one thing he had left to seek in this world that might just ease his troubled soul.

     his whisper broke the silence of the night and the ambiance of the waves.

 
      "Lavos..."
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Boo the Gentleman Caller on October 29, 2018, 11:00:01 pm
Nice. Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on October 29, 2018, 11:51:04 pm
 Ch 2: The Oath

 
  San Dorino outskirts, one week later

 
    Despite their rocky start, Ozzie was surprised by how quickly it seemed Janus had warmed up to him. While initially unsure about having a kid tagging along, he felt that if this kid really came from Zeal, then he was a living, walking treasure all on his own.

    Janus ran up ahead and jumped on a rock, holding a big stick and waving it around. "Ozzie? Can you really teach me magic?"

    "Only if you're willing to learn it," Ozzie replied. "No more of this 'I have it/I don't have it' Crap. You're talented, and I think its time you embraced it."

    Janus gave some deep thinking to this. He buried his magical prowess deep away in his mind back home. Thirst for power was doing terrible things to his mother, and it seemed to demand everything that his sister had. He hated that, and refused to allow the same to happen to him. Now though, he didn't care. He'd never hated anything before in his life, not even his own mother, as much as he hated Lavos. One day, some day... He was going to kill it. It couldn't possibly expect to get away with what it did, and he was going to teach that creature that it was not invincible."

    "Back home..." Janus spoke, "Schala told me I had 'Shadow Magic', and that it was rare...    ...is that good, Ozzie?"

    Ozzie smiled. "Rarest of rare...    followed in order by light, fire, and finally water. It's also the most destructively powerful, in that same order...    of course... my own knowledge of magic is pretty basic. I make dead things walk again, I don't know a lot about fireballs or tsunamis or stuff like that. For that, you would need a magician. Don't worry, we'll meet a magician someday Janus. For now though, let's just focus on a few basic wards. You know what a ward is, right?"

    Janus scratched his head. He never actually had to think about this before, but now he wished he'd paid attention. "Uhh... I think so...."

    "Ok, no worries," Ozzie told him. "Basically, a ward is like a sort of shield. Cast this when another foe launches a magic attack to block it. In order to cast a ward on a target, you simply point to that target with one hand, while the other hand makes the signs. To point it at yourself, you just point to the ground. Think you can do that?"

    Janus followed Ozzie's gestures closely and chanted as needed, but it took several tries before he finally, *briefly* got a small shield to appear around him. By the time he had managed to finally and reliably sustain a magic ward, they were already deep within a huge forest.

    "Ugh, I hate this forest..." Ozzie groaned. "It's so huge... I can never find the way back to the secret cave back home.

    Janus was too busy pretending his new ward spell was blocking off Lavos's attacks to notice or care what Ozzie was talking about.  He knew he'd probably need stronger magic than this, but as long as he was learning, he was sure he'd be alright. Ozzie, however, had made it painfully clear over the past week that he was pretty bare-bones, and not a professional for the boy to look up to. For that reason, Janus longed to meet a wizard of some sort that actually could teach him the things he needed to know...

    "Janus... Janus!!! HEY JANUS!!"

    Janus looked up at his big friend. "Huh? Wha??"

    "I said are you coming or what?? The woods are on fire!!"

    Janus looked around for signs of a red blaze, but mostly found heavy smoke filling the air. Coughing and running out with Ozzie, he looked back to see a red glow was indeed beginning to fill the air.

     The sound of laughter came from somewhere deep within.


 ========

   "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!! EVERYTHING IS ASH!!!   THE TREES, THE LIMBS!!! THE LEAVES!!! THE GRASS!!!! EVERYTHING BURRRRNNSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT'S ONLY NATURAL THIS WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Janus and Ozzie ran back in, covering their mouths as they tried to rescue the screaming child lunatic. By the time the two of them found him, he was laying on the ground, in a coughing, laughing fit, fire still pouring out of his hands. "LLLLOVE IT!!! THE FIRE IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!"

       "Janus, grab his legs and let's get him out of here!!"

       Flaming branches were coming down all around them as they quickly tried to get this mad pyro to safety. Almost nobody tried to put the fire out, as only San Dorino got involved: it was two days from Porre, so they didn't even bother.

      Janus and Ozzie stopped on a hill overlooking the blaze, and laid the boy in the grass. He looked to be a bit younger even than Janus, but definitely mage-like.

     "...I think he's dead. Do that thing where you bring the dead back!"

     "I don't bring the dead back..." Ozzie repeated, "I just make the corpses live again. What this kid needs is some mouth-to-mouth, I'm afraid... Just hold on...."

     Ozzie was about to put his lips to the kid's face, when the boy woke up and screamed, slapping him across the face. "YOU HOUNDING FIEND!! I'm not *that* kind of boy after all~"

    Janus and Ozzie gave each other a look. What a weirdo. 

    "Hey," Janus told him. "You know we just saved your life back there."

    "Yeah?" The magician groaned. "What do you want for it, a medal? Wanna 'nother merit badge for that stupid amulet you're wearing?"

     Janus scowled. "I... it's not stupid!! you shut up!!

     The little magician laughed loudly. "Your mom!!!"

     Janus jumped on top of him and started trying to gouge his eyes out. He might have succeeded if Ozzie had not intervened.

     "ALL RIGHT, THAT'S ENOUGH!!! Look, kid... we're just passing through alright? We saw a fire, we came to help. Simple as that. Now, look if we can just-"

   "SHADOW!!!" he continued. "Hey, holy crap, you're a Shadow Boy!!!"

   "Huh?" Janus asked. "Oh!! yeah... I am Shadow!! I know, right? hahahahaha... What are you, then?"

    "I'm fire mainly," said the young magician, cockily, "But I also know a lot of illusion magic. Magic is definitely my strong suit, and I loooooooooooooooovvvvveeeeeeeeeeee using it!!!!"

     Janus's smile lit up."Then you're gonna teach me all about it!"

     "Whoa, whoa whoa hang on a second," the kid replied. "Why would I do that?"

     Janus immediately responded by lifting the little wizard into the air and tossing him around a bit. He didn't know much of dark magic at the time, but he'd caught on to this much at the very least. The magician fought it a bit, but ultimately stopped trying once Janus had lifted him high enough into the air.

     "H-hey, man..." The kid whined. "Come on... let me down... Look, I'll teach you some more magic, I promise!!! Just don't ask me for fire, ok? You have to be fire element to do that!!"

     Janus frowned, angrily. "I want you to teach it to me anyway."

     The kid screamed as Janus started shaking him. "I CAN'T!! LOOK YOU'RE SHADOW, IT WON'T WORK!!!"

    Janus was getting impatient. "I... SAID... TEACH ME...  NOW!!!"

    The little magician was tossed to the ground, hard. Tears were in his eyes... "h-hey...   n-no f-f-f-fair... *sniffle*... stop it..."

    Now, Janus felt kind of bad for beating the kid up. He offered the boy a hand and helped him to his feet. "Alright. But you *are* gonna teach me fire magic. I'll learn, no matter what."
 
    "Might as well..." the kid sniffled. "I've just been doing this ever since my folks got burned up at the stake. I guess it was their fault for being... fiends.

    "Sounds like we're both loners, then... comin' our way?" Janus asked.

    "you know what??    Sure. I can get down with that", the magician replied. "So, what's your name?"

    "Janus Zeal. You?"

    "Hell if I know," the little mage shrugged. "I bug people so much though, that they usually just call me 'Flea'. So... I guess that's my name."

    ...well that made Janus feel awkward. So far, he was the only person he'd met who had a last name. Ozzie and this weird kid were both in the same park otherwise, and it was starting to make Janus feel...     "less than fiendish". Over time, as their journey towards Medina continued, Janus came to use his last name less and less. He even experimented with a few other monikers of his own, like "Face" or "Blue". Nothing he had really stuck out though...   

    Janus was becoming convinced that his new allies might actually be friends. He was still untrustworthy of either of them though, and, as he would one day discover, he was right for it....
   
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on October 30, 2018, 09:48:33 pm
Ch 3: Meal Ticket

   Ozzie's fort was a small, tower-shaped structure with multiple floors. Within its library, Janus sat back in a chair, reading a large red book. He often said that he hated reading, but this wasn't actually true. What he hated was being interrupted while he was reading, or having someone interrupt his privacy.

   "Heeeyy Januuuuuus," Flea sang as he tilted Janus's book away from his face. "Whatcha reeeaaddiiiinng?"

    "Janus's eyes glared at the mage, then rolled down toward the book. "240 ways to murder nosey magicians."

     "..."

    "It's a tome on advanced warding. I've been studying the details over the past several weeks, and I think I might have some ideas... only problem is they all require more advanced spells than a simple fireball..."

    "I could teach you."

    Janus raised an eyebrow. "what do I have to do?"

    Flea smiled. "Just put that book down for a minute and go stand over there."

    Janus did as he was told and faced Flea, who began charging up a fire spell.

   "Uh... Flea..." Janus began to ask, "What exactly is this supposed to teach me?"

   Flea simply smiled as he leaned back to toss the fireball.

   "Whether or not there is a god", he grinned as he suddenly launched the ball towards Janus at high velocity. Warding did not yet come instinctively to the young prince, who panicked and jumped out of the way. The fireball continued towards a bookshelf and Janus quickly tossed off his dirty purple robe to smother it. All this time, Flea was laughing his head off.

  "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU IDIOT!? YOU COULD HAVE BURNED THIS WHOLE PLACE TO THE GROUND!"

  "What do I care??" Flea shrugged. "You're the needy one, not me."

   Janus tried really hard to like Flea, since Flea was currently his best shot at actually learning some spells. However, Flea was also a somewhat sociopathic pain in the ass who delighted in trickery and treachery, whom each day with made Janus feel further and further from his goals.

   "Hey, what's with that stupid silver thing you carry around anyway? What is it like some sort of weird dreamcatcher?"

   Janus couldn't immediately see any harm in telling this boy the truth. "it's...  it's an amulet. My sister gave it to me, before...  well...           it's not important. Look, if you're done trying to set me on fire, I'll just read into fire magic myself, alright?"
 
   Flea's expression turned to a hateful envy as Janus turned away. "he thinks just because he's shadow, that he's supposed to be sooo much better... all I'd have to do is burn this whole place down...   starting with him..."

   Flea charged another fireball and threw it in Janus's direction. This one landed in the boy's hair, much to his horror and shock. Flea got a good laugh as Janus desperately tried to put it out, and even more of a laugh as Janus tried to save the various texts that Flea was setting ablaze, one by one.

   "Would you STOP THAT!??? I NEED THOSE!!"

   "Oh, I know," Flea grinned. "I guess you better learn fast, then..."

    Janus jumped on flea and started hitting him again, pressing his thumbs into the little mage's eyes. "I SAID STOP IT!!!"

    "h-hey!!! Let go of me!!!  OZZIE!!!! HELP!!!!"

    Ozzie came bursting into the room to see books all over the place and a shirtless Janus about to kill Flea. small embers were around the room.

    "What...  ...the HELL DO YOU TWO THINK YOU'RE DOING!??    BOTH OF YOU OUTSIDE, NOW!!!"

    "I didn't even do anything" Janus tried to explain. "Flea started setting everything on-"

    "I SAID OUT!!!"

    Janus kept trying to talk over Ozzie, but Ozzie only got louder and louder, and eventually became abusive, smacking Janus. "I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY, YOU LITTLE SHIT!! YOU CAN SPEND SOME TIME IN THE HOLE, UNTIL YOU LEARN TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT AND FOLLOW ORDERS."

    Janus couldn't understand. He was only trying to learn, and save the books. Didn't Ozzie even care? He was led to a small dark cellar and tossed into it. Light faded below as Ozzie closed the door, and he could faintly make out muffled screaming from two figures.

   "Well at least Flea is learning not to piss him off", Janus thought to himself, tears in his eyes. "Still, he didn't have to get so mad at me. I was only trying to help. If Schala were here, she'd understand. She would be defending me right now, probably casting lightning at him or something...she'd have grabbed Flea by the hand and led him away somewhere where he couldn't cause any trouble...   I don't think she'd throw him in a place like this, though... it's too dark.     

    ...

    ...

    "Huh..." Janus thought to himself, drying his eyes. "I've never been in darkness like this before..."

     ...


     "...I kind of like it."

   Janus felt... concealed by the darkness. Unable to see his own hands in front of his face, he felt like nothing else could or would detect him either. When he closed his eyes, he even felt as if he were one with it.

    ...his eyes began to adjust.

    Janus could see that the cellar led to a small wooden shelf in the back, with a few odds and ends sat upon it. These things included a small crystal ball, an old dirty bowl, and a large red book, which seemed oddly familiar to Janus, before he recognized the faint glint of a familiar gold crest - Zeal's crest.

    "..what...?"

    Janus pulled the book down. There was gold-colored text on the outside cover, reflections just barely making it visible to his straining eyes...   

    "Account of red-innate spells and sorcery"

    Janus wished he had a light to read this by. It was impossible to read anything in this darkness, so he had to run up to the cellar door and attempt reading by whatever small rays leaked through.

    "ignite... ignite... ignite a burning light. A flame in the darkness, a candle shining bright..."

    For a non-red, nothing should have happened next. However, a faint warm glow began to fill the room, as the book became more and more visible to him. A smile crossed the boy's face as he continued reading into this old tome. Who would have thought that a book so old would just by laying around somewhere deep down here?

    After what seemed like a fleeting moment, the door of the cellar opened. "Ok Janus," Ozzie called, "You can come out now."

    Janus looked back at Ozzie, then at the book. If Flea knew about this book...    ...no. No, Janus would have to hide it somehow. Hide it he would: over the next several weeks, Janus would attempt to be punished with "The Hole" again and again. Things between him and Ozzie got worse and worse as he acted out, but he found himself left alone to learn from this old book, comfortably and quietly, at least until Ozzie dragged him back out into the daylight.

    Eventually, Janus determined that it was too dangerous to keep the book down there all the time - what if he put Flea down in "The Hole"? He soon hid it away under his bed, and began reading it through his bedtime. Luckily, Flea never learned that the book even existed, and Janus was slowly, secretly, learning all of Flea's same fire spells. "I'll show that jerk", Janus began mumbling to himself. "He's not the only one who can cast a fire spell...."     

   His mind turned back to Lavos. Would some warding and fire magic be enough? No, certainly not. Even with the knowledge that the book offered him, Janus felt he still needed more.

 More.

  More knowledge was needed.

 Silently, he cursed himself for not having studied these books back in Zeal...
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 01, 2018, 11:23:46 pm
Ch 4: Solitude

     
    "What's this??"

    Janus stared down at his plate. While Flea and Ozzie enjoyed bread and cheese, Janus was handed what looked very much like a green turd.

    "Well," Ozzie rolled his eyes, "since you enjoy acting like such an ass all the time, I figured you can start eating a matching diet. You'd better chow down on that too, never know when you're gonna eat next around here..."

    Janus glared at Ozzie and pushed it away. "You cannot be serious."

    "Hey, at least I'm offering you a choice. If you don't wanna eat feces, then you can go back down in the hole for the night with nothing. You brought this on yourself by acting this way for so long..."

    Flea smiled, waving his bread in front of Janus before taking a big bite. "Ooooh, so delicious...."

    Janus ignored the magician and focused on Ozzie. "I am not putting that in my mouth."

    Ozzie responded in kind by getting up and taking the plate away. "Hope you don't change your mind, because its going, going...   and gone. Out the window."

    Janus watched, and, for a moment, wondered if it was a mistake to throw away supper. Just for a moment though. Long enough to say "of course not you idiot, he was feeding you a turd."

   With a sigh, Janus walked out of the kitchen and towards his bed.

    "Where do you think you're going?"

    "Can't I at least take some bedding with me?"

    Ozzie shook his head. "Not if you plan on walking out of here without doing dishes, you aren't."

     Janus didn't even eat with them, but still had to do all their washing. He could tell Ozzie was being downright abusive, but couldn't deny that he really did have some fault in this. After deliberately getting in trouble over and over, his actions had been catching up. Janus may have "supposedly" been shadow, but now Ozzie had a new magician that actually listened once in awhile, and he was much more talented than old Janus...

    ...or so they thought.

    "One more night," janus thought to himself. "I've almost got it all memorized by now. One more night, and I don't care what happens to the book... one more night and I'll be able to challenge...   


    ...flea..."


     Janus stared at the text. None of it made any sense. The letters were all jumbled, the words that were intact formed nonsensical sentences, if not outright jibberish. One of the diagrams was replaced by a picture of Flea smiling.

     The door opened Janus as he was taking all of this in.
 
    "Well well well..." Flea smiled. "Someone found themselves a red book? Gosh, these are rare, hehehe.... rarest of rare!!! thousands of years old. So dryyyyyyy...    brittle... It'd be shame if it were to...     burn."

    Janus shook his head, slowly. "Don't you dare."

    Flea smiled and shrugged. "Fine by me. It's not even the real one, anyways" Flea smiled, producing Janus's book from behind.

    The prince's eyes went wide. "GIVE IT BACK!!!"

    "What's that? Make it black?"

    "FLEA, DON'T"

     Flea smiled and put his hands around the book. a warm glow began to radiate from them.

     "FLEA!!"

      The boy just smiled as the book quickly, almost instantaneously, went up in flames and vanished into ashes.

      "FLEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

     "Awwww.... you gonna cry??? Sorry kid, but I can't have you upstaging me or anything."

     Janus gritted his teeth. "THAT BOOK COULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF A KIND!"

    "You know what your problem is?" Flea asked. "...you're too attached to things. Like this amulet for instance..."

     Janus backed up. "You won't touch it."

     Flea inched closer. "I beg to differ."

     Flea chased Janus to the back of the cellar, where the two fought and wrestled over the amulet, screaming and punching each other. bloodied but victorious, Flea grabbed the silver bauble and ran outside, laughing.

     "NOOO!!!! COME BACK HERE WITH THAT!!!"

     Janus climbed out of The Hole, met with bright moonlight. Not far away he saw Flea holding his amulet the same way he held that book.

     "This thing is useless to you, Janus" Flea called out. "I'm doing you a favor. I promise I'll forge this into a nice dagger or something..."

     "FLEA, NOT THE AMULET."
 
     Flea's hands began to glow.

      "FLEA, I'M WARNING YOU..."

     Flea smiled as the amulet began to turn red. "Go to hell, Janus."

     ...


     ...


     ...


     ...Janus had no memory of what came after. One minute he was screaming for Flea to stop, and the next...    ...Flea was on the ground, in the fetal position... he was screaming, crying, and...     covering his smoking, smoldering crotch.


     ...there was blood.

    "Oh shit."

    "UUUWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!" screamed Flea in pain and terror "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZZZZZZZZZZZZZIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *sob* OOOOOOOZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!"

    Janus looked over at the keep. A light came on. "Shit," he thought to himself. "Shit shit shit shit shit..."

    "Ok, Flea..." Janus tried to calm him. "it's not that bad I'm sure, just let me see ok??"

    Between screams, Flea rolled to face him, and...            ...it was that bad. It was bad-bad. Flea was left well-mutilated. Without going into details... there was blood, and nothing was recognizable anymore.

    Now Janus said it out loud. "SHIT."

    "Flea??" a distance voice called. "Flea are you alright??"

    Janus looked towards the keep. Then at Flea. Then back at the keep.

    ...there was only one thing he could do now...



    ...run.

   =================================

    As Janus took off deep into the woods, his mind turned to the horrific injury he'd caused Flea. He always felt a little bad every time he made Flea cry, but Flea was such a sociopathic monster that he didn't exactly care either. Still, Flea had become Ozzie's golden boy, and now Janus had just signed his own death sentence.

    Every time he stopped for breath or to try and get his bearings, he could hear voices from behind, screaming his name. Janus was tired though, and needed rest. He leaned against a tree to catch his breath, and Ozzie must have noticed it...

    ...slowly, the fat green fiend hovered towards the tree. "Oh Janus..." he smiled. "I know you're there, Janus... ..and I am *very* disappointed. Now, you're coming with me...   right... NOW!!!"

    Ozzie jumped out to face...                      ...nothing. Janus wasn't there.

    "Huh?   weird...        coulda sworn...."

    Meanwhile, from up in a branch, Janus watched Ozzie wander around a bit. He realized he could never go back to Ozzie after this, and would once again be cast away from his home, or whatever passed as a home, but at least he now had a strong understanding of Fire Magic. He feared to use it though, even as cold as he was, thinking Ozzie might notice. he and the magician must have realized by now that Janus could cast fire, and would be looking for it.

    "I don't like this anymore..." Janus whimpered. "I wanna go home...      I don't care what happened I just wanna go home...      Everyone is so nasty here, it's WORSE than Zeal!! S-schala... w-w-w-where are you..."

     He knew it could never happen, but deep down he wished with all of his heart that she would simply appear in this time period and rescue him. 

    "N-no...    I-I don't need to... to..."

     Janus's attempts to keep it together failed, and he curled up, sobbing into his arms. "I-I DON'T WANNA BE HERE ANYMORE!!! I WANNA GO HOOOOMMEEEEEE!!!!!!!   YOU STUPID CREATURE, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!!!!! UWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaa..."

     Eventually, Janus cried himself to sleep. The next morning, he'd continue as far away from Medina as possible.
    Eventually, he fell asleep in that tree, never to be found, or to return.

    Janus was on his own.
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 03, 2018, 05:28:26 pm
Ch 5: Time

      The next morning, Janus was staring intently at a wounded, dying rabbit. It looked frightened, but unable to escape the young prince. Its fur was seared and blackened on one side, and it was twitching as if attempting to move its legs desperately.

      With stone-faced stoicism, Janus picked it up and snapped its neck before driving a stick through its warm corpse and starting a small fire, which, ironically, was the easiest part.

      "I'm not going to cry anymore..." He thought to himself as he stuck the whole animal over the flames. "There's nothing left. I always said Zeal's foundation was trickery and lies...   Well, here I am on the surface, in the middle of it. The middle of the harsh, cold truth..."

      Suddenly, the rabbit popped, hot blood and grease spattered on Janus's face. He...   ...probably should have skinned it first.

      "AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!"

      He fell back and dropped the rabbit directly into the fire, where it popped and bubbled and spattered more. "Oh shit!!!" he thought, and quickly pulled it out, blowing on the flaming remains of the animal to try and put it out.

      ...was it supposed to be that black?
 
     Janus's breakfast tasted like charcoal, as he continued through the woods, not sure which direction he was going.

     "Alright..." he smiled. "I kinda messed up. But it's not like I can't make a fire now! Ok. Ok...   No clue what I'll do for clothes or shelter...   but hunting's a cinch at least..."

     Janus wandered through the woods, crossing ravines and using fallen trunks as bridges. All the while, he kept trying to snack on burnt rabbit. It tasted terrible, but at least it wasn't a turd on a plate, which possibly came out of Oz...

     ...Janus stopped. Something ahead was giving off an eerie blue light.

     As he drew closer and closer to the curious object, his face began to light up. Was that...???

     "Hey..." he smiled. "I know what that is..."

     Janus came into a small meadow, where a large, clear, blue pyramid sat before him.

     "This is..    the Zeal North Palace...      I don't believe it!!!"

     Janus grinned widely as he explored the structure. It looked like it had been lost and ruined for ages. "Mother always told us never to go near this...     well, she's long gone, now. She can't tell me what to do anymore.

    Janus ventured further into the ruins.


==========================


Keeper's Dome, 2299 AD

       "No...  no..." Belthesar mumbled to a small robot he constructed. It resembled a Nu, but was fully artificial and had no intelligence of its own. "I want to record. RECORD."

      The construct spoke. "Understood. Wreak Hoard."

      "What!??    RECORD MESSAGE."

      "Recording now..."

      "Alright, finally" Belthasar mumbled. "To you who opened the sealed door... I am B-"

     "Message Saved."

      "Oh, for the love of..."

      The Nu-like robot smiled. "Would you like your message deployed now?"

      Schala giggled and gently stroked its head. "Can you ask him to record a longer message?"

      Belthasar shook his head. "I don't think it could comprehend that. It's impractical, but I think I'll need to record several small messages and just have them deployed on a path, like breadcrumbs."

      Queen Zeal shook her head. "Seeing you do this does not leave me with much confidence, Belthasar. You're the one calling the shots here after all..."

      "Well..." Belthasar spoke, "The hope is that I'll be able to build a vehicle that operates independently of gates. Frankly though, I don't think it can overcome the strong attraction to specific relative points in history...    ...and I'm not even sure it should."

      "As long as we don't have to make long journeys to get from gate to gate, that's not too bad", Schala shrugged.

     Belthasar shook his head. "Let me make one thing crystal clear for both of you: From this point forward, there is to be no more time traveling unless absolutely necessary. The potential to devastate the continuum of space and time is severe...  and it may interfere with... things."

     Schala seemed slightly upset. "So we must stay here..."

     Belthasar gave her a suspicious look. "It is bleak here, but there is no chance of unexpected... alterations... involving Lavos."

     "I understand," Schala spoke, disappointed. As she was turning to leave, she glanced at Belthasar's gate key, sitting on the table next to him. It was not like Lucca's gate key at all - this one was silver and cylindrical, far more hi-tech looking.

     "If only I could..."  she thought to herself as she left the hangar and approached her mother. "Mother? I would like to seek counsel with you."

     Zeal remained quiet for a few moments before responding. "Very well. Attend to me, Schala, and speak your mind."

     Schala bowed her head for a moment and the two began walking together. "Belthasar says we are to remain here forever."
 
     "Is that so?" Zeal replied. "Unfortunate. I have wished better for you than to spend the end of your life tending to my grave."

     ...a morbid thought. Nevertheless, Schala continued.

     "I'm worried about him. Sometimes, he mumbles to himself, then suddenly shouts. I'm worried that the Guru of Reason is...    ...at a loss of it."

     Zeal looked in her daughter's eyes and saw fear. This, right here, melted her heart.

     "Schala...  ...my light of Zeal... Belthasar is sick, in a way medicine cannot fix. We have both suspected it, and now I am certain. He puts on a brave face for both of us, but eventually you and I will be on our own."

     "And then you will leave me too..."

     Zeal did not respond with words. She simply slid an arm around her daughter's back and held her.

      "My Light...  immortal or not, I will never leave you. It would be irresponsible of me, when you are always so loyal. Even if you cannot see me... I will be there."

      Schala couldn't help but blush. It was unusual of Zeal to hug either of her children. She was always strict and rigid, expecting both of them to adhere to royal protocol...   until the Mammon Machine was built. At that point, Schala was a near-constant demand, and Janus fell by the wayside, completely free to do as he pleased. Speaking of whom...

     "Mother...   there's... something else."

     "Speak..." Zeal... less ordered, more encouraged.

     "If the Black Wind only affects us...     why do you suppose this 'Magus' spoke of it?"

     "Perhaps he was an ancestor," Zeal suggested, "one who was lost to the flow of time. It is also possible his family descended from the creatures of Mount Woe, and they picked it up from some ancestor."

     Schala shook her head. "...I don't think that's it."

     "hmm?"

    "Mother... I need to confess something to you."

    "Go ahead" Zeal replied. "I doubt highly that I could be angry with you anyways."

    "Janus...   ...was not impotent."

    Zeal smiled a bit. "Is..   is that so? Well then, towards which element did he lean? Did you know?"

    Schala hesitated to speak it, and Zeal could see the difficulty in her eyes. "...s-...  Shadow, mother..."

    Zeal's smile faded. "...Shadow!?   Interesting...       I can see why he would hide that from me, now."

    Schala nodded in confirmation. "He was... afraid. He saw what was happening to you and I. He tried to avoid the same, but... Mother?"

    "Don't say it, Schala," the queen replied. "You believe his heart was twisted, and he became this evil man of the past?"

    "Well, I don't know for sure. I would..."

    Zeal subtly shushed her, as Belthasar had entered the room. Schala continued, quietly.

    "...I would need more information."

    Zeal nodded. "We will continue this discussion later. Be on your way, Schala."

     Nodding, Schala walked away. Belthasar looked on, in suspicion before turning to his construct. "I am beginning to regret mentioning the Black Wind. Did you remember to provide Janus with something to defend himself?"

     The construct smiled. "I left a short sword outside the ruins. He should encounter it outside of the sealed pyramid."

      Belthasar nodded. "Very good."

   
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Boo the Gentleman Caller on November 04, 2018, 12:04:22 am
Oh! Nice! Curious what will happen next!
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 04, 2018, 02:58:42 am
Ch 6: Space


 
      Bhajat Dunes, 585 Kingdom Calendar


      The searing sun beat down upon the bleached, blinding sands of the desert province. Vultures  pecked at rotting carcasses, and the sky shined a deep blue, save for that cursed, white sun.

     Even still, he persevered: A lone figure, sprinting across the sands. He could see it in the distance, and it completely awed him: a sprawling city, shadowed by a massive palace, just beyond. It was built into the side of a mountain, but the towers scaled above it.

    Upon reaching the top of the dune, he had to stop, and catch his breath. Taking a swig from his water canteen, a figure in baggy lavender pants and a dark blue waistcloth stared out over the horizon, a short sword slung across his chest. His shirtless figure was toned and somewhat tanned, but not muscular. A mess of faded light-blue hair fell in front of his face. It was short in the back, but sloppy as if he'd cut it himself.

     Janus had made it to the city of Alucinatio.

    "There it is," he said to himself, brushing his bangs away from his face. "Just like the wise man said. I better take a moment and cool off..."

    Closing his eyes, the young man began an incantation, slowly cooling his body temperature and momentarily leaving a patch of frost on the ground.
 
 ==============================

     Inside the city, people were practically running up to him trying to sell him things.
 
     "Young man!! young man!!"

     Janus rolled his eyes. "What."

     "Have you been going through life without trying one of my fish?? It's seared to perfection!!"

     Janus passed him. "I prefer mine black."

     He didn't get far before another individual came to harass him, followed by another. It was the same with any foreigner who entered the city, and always after the same thing: Money. Truthfully, Janus had none and had little need for it. He was essentially a wandering student, and he was on his way to find a very particular individual, whom he was told lived somewhere in the city itself.

     "WHAT A FINE MAN YOU ARE!!!" spoke a rather large burly man with a beard. "PLEASE, YOU MUST BUY ONE OF MY RINGS AND GIVE IT TO A PRETTY LADY!!"

     Janus gave the man a freaked-out expression and ran. Too many people, too much attention. He ducked into a back alley and collected himself, before taking note of his surroundings. It was shadier back in here, and the few individuals here didn't care one bit about him. Luckily for Janus, these back alleyways led everywhere throughout the city, and managed to avoid the main road for the most part. A skilled street-rat would probably know all the passages and shortcuts well enough to walk them in their sleep, but Janus was, at this point...

     "Lost", he spoke after navigating them for awhile. "That's ok. The wise man said I would have to be."

     "Whom do you seek, boy..."

     Janus turned around to see an emaciated figure sitting down on the ground, under a small canopy. His skin was dark, and his eyes shaded to the point of obscurity. Unlike the loud-mouthed obnoxious merchants out in the streets, this man never smiled.

     "I am seeking a teacher... a master of combat. I was told he lived within this city."
 
     "Yes..." the frail figure responded. "There is... such a character... The Prophet of Alucinatio. He is expecting you. Enter, Janus of Zeal."

     "wait, how did you ..."   

     The man did not respond, and simply stood up, joints cracking. Slowly, he knocked on the wall next to him, and a door appeared. Janus was... impressed. Magic was not that common, even among fiends. The idea that a human of all people could pull it off was...   needless to say, quite a feat.

     Humbled, Janus stepped down into the darkness... there was a cool, dark den beneath the city, in which a few men could be seen reading, some even practicing magic out of ancient spellbooks - Janus would need to remember that later. In the center, Janus was surprised to find a humble looking fiend.

     "I... am the Prophet of Alucinatio. Welcome, Janus of Zeal."

     "You-you're a fiend...", Janus spoke. That was unusual, as they were not welcome in the city. However, it did make more sense. "S-sorry... I mean.. .thank you."

     "Tell me...   why do you seek me?"

     Janus began. "Teacher, I am travelling the world, in search of knowledge - Ancient, forgotten, arcane knowledge. I am capable of casting shadow magic, but I have already learned an extensive amount of both fire and water in my travels. You are the next step in my journey."

     The Prophet of Alucinatio stroked his beard. "I am the keeper of ancient wisdom, as ancient as your own origins.... as ancient as the sealed temple outside which you found that blade. Yes....      I know many things about you, young prince. *I*... can see into your *mind*... but, NOT, with my *eyes*...    Janus Zeal, in order for you to embrace the elements of light and dark, you must begin to see things with your *mind*'s *eye*...."

     "Prophet..." Janus shook his head. "I don't understand."

     The Prophet looked in two directions and called out in native tongue, as one fiend produced a chair for Janus to sit, and another brought out a bowl of red dust, setting it before him.

    "What the hell is this?" Janus asked, before suddenly the Prophet took a deep breath, and blew the dust in his face.

    Janus coughed and rubbed it out of his eyes. "What the hell was that for!???"

    "See, with your mind Janus."

    Janus stared at the Prophet. "See with my mind's eye..."

    Looking more closely, he spotted a third eye on the Prophet's forehead. Was that it??

    The prince followed its gaze towards the direction he came from... at least he swore that was where he entered. Gathering his things, he got up from his chair and stepped into the doorway again.

    "...wait, I don't remember this..."

    The hallway led somewhere else now, and with each direction he didn't look towards, history seemed to change. If the corridor turned to the left, he'd continue on and look back to find the corridor came from the right. Then he'd turn around and find a dead end before him. Then he'd turn around again, the corridor would be completely straight. Seeing a multitude of doors before him, Janus eventually just picked one and entered.

    He was in a corridor of red paper walls and ceilings, held together by wooden frames. sunlight was hitting the paper and illuminating the walls a deep cadmium red. There did not appear to be any alternate paths, nor did the path seem to change all around him anymore. Instead, there was only forward and back, which Janus casually walked.

     "See what the mind's eye perceives..    mind's eye...     mind's eye..."

     Janus stopped. "The mind's eye. What is that? Is that the answer to all this?"

     He sat down, feeling like he needed to meditate. After getting comfortable, he closed his eyes and cleared his mind. "My mind...     my eyes...  my two eyes are the only ones I have, though... How does one see even with them closed?"

     Janus began forming a mental picture of the room. He could see the calm but passionate red of the interiors, eventually fading to yellow. Then to white. Bright white. Like a heavenly church.

     "...as there is a trick behind any mysterious magic" a muffled voice spoke, with increasing clarity, "there is no such thing as an impregnable fortress in this world!! A toast!! to my coming victory!!"

    Janus opened his eyes to find himself face to face with an enigmatic man in an elaborate white suitcoat and pants, with a mask over part of his face. The paper walls were gone, leaving only the floor and frames. They appeared to be high in the sky.

     "...Who are you", Janus asked. The man only responded by producing a small rod and shrinking it between his palms into nonexistence. With a flick of his wrist, it came bursting out of Janus's chest.

      AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!! GAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! Janus screamed at the sudden jolt...    but it didn't hurt. He fell to his knees, but it didn't hurt. Why didn't it hurt?

     The figure again flicked his wrist, and the rods became as swords, stabbing into him. Janus didn't even bother to block this time, thinking his end would soon be upon him.

    ...The swords were gone. There were no wounds.

     "Well this is interesting", the figure noted.You're not dead or anything are you? Were you called back from the great beyond?"

     Janus looked at his chest in the light of the sun. Here, he could see the truth, past the illusion of shadow.

     "N-no", he replied. "I'm fine. I-I always was..."
   

      "Well then," the enigmatic man continued, "You just might be the key to the destruction of the entire world. I can't say for sure...         ...but fate seems to have a great task for you. Therefore, I will yield."

      Then, suddenly, the figure before Janus transformed into a white ball. When Janus put his hands on it, everything went blindingly white.

     "That is correct of you, Janus. Now, be careful, boy. ...we will meet again. . ."

     When Janus's vision returned, the sky was gone, replaced with a cloudy night sky, cobblestone, and street lamps...

   Janus was clearly on quite the journey.

   
     
     
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 04, 2018, 08:54:32 pm
Ch 7: Dimensions

???,   Time ???? Kingdom Calendar (presumably)


      Janus had been walking in the night for some time, along what looked to be a modern concrete construct, with railings, overlooking a bright city in the distance...   ...and nothing in between. When he looked down over the railing, there was nothing. Black. No bottom. All he could do was continue forward, illuminated by orange-tinted electric streetlights above. Considering that Janus spent his childhood in an advanced civilization and moved forward into one considerably less-so, whatever this was didn't particularly phase him.

      Eventually he approached some guys who looked like street punks. They took notice of him and stood in his way.

     "Well, check it out..." one of them spoke. "Long way from home, aren't you Aladdin?"

     "Just get out of my way," Janus demanded. "You really don't want to mess with me."

     "Hey, Slash," one of the punks shouted. Janus couldn't help but notice a similarity to Flea. "This kid's got some balls. maybe we should cut 'em off."

     "Slash" smiled. "Good idea, Flea..." and all three of the punks pulled out knives.

     Janus blinked...    the third guy kinda looked like a human Ozzie. "No... I ain't doing this. Just get out of my way."

     "Ozzie" lunged right for him. Janus had no real fighting skills, but he could see the knife coming easily, and dodged accordingly. In fact, the thought to grab his arm and break it at the elbow with his knee came almost instantly, followed by the suggestion to smash his own elbow into the punk's nose, breaking it and stabbing the sharp inner bone into the brain, killing him...

     Janus dumped "Ozzie's" corpse onto the ground in front of him and drew his sword. "You wanna play knife fight?? Come on... Let's play knife fight."

     "Dude..." Slash spoke, "FLEA, HE KILLED OZZIE MAN. OZZIE'S DEAD!!!"

     "What the hell man!???" Flea screamed.

     "AND I'M JUST GETTING STARTED!!" Janus shouted. "all you had to do was not mess with me, and you all just had to... HEY!! GET BACK HERE!!"

     Janus began chasing the other two punks. Flea and Slash split off, and Janus decided to follow the former. Flea ran for what appeared to be a fixed ladder attached to the side of the structure, leading down off of it a ways. Janus chased down the ladder after Flea, but the ladder only led onto a small foothold with no doors of any sort heading into the structure.

    Flea was cornered.

     "Look, man..." Flea stuttered, terrified. "I'm sorry alright?? Look we won't bother you anymore just go please don't hurt me or Slash!!! H-here... you want money??  You can have it!! Please just go!! WHY ARE YOU STILL GETTING CLOSER"
 
     Flea stepped a little too far back, and fell over the railing. However, Janus was able to grab him by the collar before he could be claimed by the endless black void.
 
     "Oh... oh... oh god, thank you... seriously, thank you... I'll never  bother you again, man... I owe you my life..."

     "Yeah..." Janus smiled. "You sure do."

     ...Immediately he grabbed Flea by the scalp, and slit his throat. After some desperate gurgling and attempting to breathe, Flea finally stopped moving.

      "Well, debt settled..." Janus muttered, before tossing the body back into the void. "Now to go get the other one."

      Janus climbed back up onto the path, and ran forward. Eventually he reached some sort of checkpoint station with a building. All was dark when he entered, and not in a comfortable way. He knew something was wrong, and did not want to stay in here too long.

      "..wait? What am I doing?? He's stuck with me, not the other way around."

     "Oh, mr. punk..." Janus grinned. "Come out, come out wherever you are...    I'm not going to hurt you!! I'm only going to watch the light go out of your eyes when I incinerate your skull..."

     Suddenly Janus found a pair of hands around his neck and a face next to his.

    "Funny... I was thinking something very similar. Sorry kid, but today is not your day..."

    Janus sloooowwlly moved his hands upward. "Slash" could not see them in the pitch black.

    "Do I get any last words?"

    "Better say 'em fast."

    "ok...    inciniero projectus

    Suddenly a ball of fire smacked the punk in the face, sending him reeling backward. Janus tackled him to the ground and drove his sword into whatever it would connect with. He couldn't see Slash, but knew he was on top of him. Stab. Stab. Stab. Stab. Stab. Stab. Stab.

    ...Eventually, the figure stopped moving and fell limp. Janus was covered in his blood. Wiping his blade with the punk's jacket, Janus left the room out the far door and continued onward.

    The city scape was gone in the distance. Now, it was just all black, along with snow falling. It was getting colder, but didn't feel wintery. Just lonely. Creepy. Sad. Something in Janus's mind was telling him to turn back, but he wouldn't. He couldn't. He had to cultivate this power. He had to unlock it... even if it meant leaving everything else behind.

    He was beginning to understand what was going on, now. Where he was... What all this was...    well, somewhat. He couldn't explain everything, but he was beginning to understand the true meaning of "the mind's eye".

    "I'm seeing..." janus whispered. "I'm seeing my mind." 

    "...               ...I have to press on."

    The streetlights stopped appearing as he continued, and soon, but for the snowfall, he was left in complete darkness, unable to see if the ground beneath his feet continued or not. At first he was hesitant and moved very slowly...     ...but the path went on, and on, and on... for what seemed like hours. Finally Janus just stopped.

    ...it didn't even matter. Did it?"

    Janus focused on the air around him... his own energy...             If he could do this in a dream, he could manifest it outside of the mind's eye... that is the true power he possessed...

     ...and so, his feet began to lift off of the ground. He was flying.

     Janus continued forward, through the air. As he did so, he picked up speed. Several figures were floating in the darkness, barely illuminated in colored light.

     "No, Janus..." Doreen, of all figures, called out. "Past this point, we can't help you any longer. Are you sure this is what you want?"

    Janus ignored her and continued on...       ...almost stopping when he saw Alfador.

    "Meeeeeewwwwwlllll..." it said, crying for him.

    "No tears..." Janus thought to himself, otherwise ignoring the cat. "It's all gone anyway."

    "Janus!! Janus!!! Janus, stop it!!" Schala shouted, scoldingly. "How is this going to undo anything?? Do you really think it will bring back Zeal??   Or me, for that matter? What would you do afterwards??  What was your escape plan???"

     For this, he stopped.

     "It doesn't matter. Nobody gets to push me around, any longer. Period. All who challenge me shall perish...    ...and Lavos already threw down the gauntlet. Now, it. Must. Die."
 
     "...Then my brother is truly dead."

     Janus nodded. "Yeah. Guess so."

      Coldly, he carried on, as she faded into the darkness. Truthfully, if that were really her, he might have changed his mind. Knowing that she couldn't be real was the only thing keeping him going, now. The only thing true about his past was the amulet he still carried. His contant reminder of why it all mattered so much...



      ...and now, he was completely alone in the dark and cold. Still... something was out there... waiting for him. Beckoning to be won.

   
      Blue flames began to appear to Janus's left, and to his right. More and more flared up in lines as he continued along, almost like runway lights. He could faintly hear chanting ahead.

    Nuega, Ziena, Zieber, Zom...

   
    Cast open the gates that lie betwixt heaven and earth..

   
    In exchange for the life of this world...

    "Stop!" Janus shouted. "Turn and fight me, coward."

    The mysterious, caped figure stopped his chanting. His hair was blue like Janus's, but grown out and long. Long, elflike ears protruded from both ends and a dark cape the color of wine flowed from below the blue mane.

     A dark chill suddenly came over Janus, piercing his very soul. It was a familiar chill, which he hadn't felt in some time...             ...the black wind. Suddenly, he had a very bad feeling about this.

     "Very well, then.." it spoke. "Take your best shot...      ...if it is death, you seek!!"

   
    Janus drew his sword, preparing for the final challenge.
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 04, 2018, 10:35:14 pm
Ch 8: Death

       
      Janus could have phrased his challenge to this figure better. Almost immediately, the ghastly, faceless warlock dashed at him, wielding a scythe and swinging furiously, relentlessly. Janus tried to block and parry each shot, but the warlock was too fast to make an effective counterattack.

     There was no tire, there was no break. He just kept going, slowly wearing Janus down, until he finally opened the boy's guard and drove his knee as hard as he could into Janus's stomach, stunning him long enough to follow up with an elbow directly into his spine, driving him to the ground.

    Janus couldn't move...    he had to though... had to... think... quickl-

    ...the warlock brought his foot down, hard, into the prince's back before grabbing him by the neck and throwing him into the abyss. After a few moments of silence, the warlock resumed his chanting.


     ...only to be met with a sudden ice spike into his back. Janus was hovering in the air over him, ready to strike again. In turn, the warlock snapped his fingers, generating what looked to be an entire iceberg, before hurling it in Janus's direction.

      Thinking quickly, Janus immediately cast an explosive fire spell, shattering the projectile and revealing the Warlock on the other side, ready to fly through... and punch him in the face. Janus reeled backwards, only to be hit with several more punches and accentuated with a powerful fire blast, knocking him back downward into nothingness.

      "Fire and ice...    not enough...." he thought to himself as he sailed and sank deeper into the void...              "I...              I can't do it..."               

       A voice rang in Janus's mind. "see with the mind's eye..."

      Janus began to think. "My mind. Its all my mind. Something in my mind. My spells. My personal studies...        yes... yes, its in here somewhere!!!"

      The warlock was preparing another iceberg to drop down on Janus.

      "What was it I was experimenting with as a child...??"

      ...            ...!!

      "BARRIER CHANGE!!"

      The glacier shattered harmlessly around him, and an explosive blast flared up into the warlock's face.

      "I... I did it!!" Janus smiled. "Only ice attacks can harm me now... is.. is that what he's doing?? It must be!! Ok..."

      Before the warlock could recover, Janus immediately generated a large ice spike of his own and dashed towards him, driving it into his chest as hard as he could before sending it clean through with a kick from the bottom of his sandal. His enemy produced an unearthly growl as a firey sphere of destruction flared out, blasting Janus back momentarily. Janus aimed another ice spike, only to discover that the warlock had barrier-changed again.

     "Damn... ice, then fire, then ice, then fire... what do I do?"

     Janus and the warlock became like two shadows dancing through the air, constantly clashing at one another in ballet motion until the warlock had overpowered his adversary and grabbed him by the head, kneeing him in the mouth and then the throat. Finally, he grabbed Janus by the head again and began heating up his hands, preparing to incinerate the fool prince's head.

     "No... gotta... do something... different..."

     Janus tried to think. What could he do against the darkness? If he had just...             

     ...he did. Could he use it??

     Janus couldn't explain how, he just thought, and the spells came to him. It must have been the orb he picked up before. In the mind's eye. The mind's eye...   

     His eyes suddenly glowed a bright white.

     "fulgur tristitiae salebra succussum!"
 
     The warlock's hands locked up at his sides as he jolted violently, lighting up like the sun itself and screaming loudly. Janus could briefly see a silhouette of his skeleton as he floated there, completely stunned and open to a finishing blow.

     Janus obliged, by pulling out his sword and driving it straight into the convulsing wizard's face, splitting it open and spilling white light out. Janus flew back to watch as the figure's body seemed to shed away, disintegrating into rays of light....     its skull appeared again, screaming as light poured out of its eye sockets... mouth...  chest...     stomach....       

     ..and then he exploded. Janus had to shield his eyes from the intense light, and when it subsided, he opened them again to find that the void had been replaced with an almost heavenly atmosphere, full of sun and clouds again.

    He won.

    Another orb sat on a pedestal just beyond. Janus sailed to the ground and walked towards it.  It was a black orb, a purple malevolence swirling about deep inside it. Placing his hands upon it, Janus felt something else stir within him...    encompass him, from deep inside his own soul. He no longer was a shadow-born user. He *was* the shadow. An untold volume of the secrets of dark shadow magic was now at his mind, his mind's eye, and at his fingertips.

    Finally, he had acquired the knowledge of all four elements: Fire, Water, Light, and Shadow. A dangerous collection of dark powers was now at his complete command, and only more could follow as he resumed his studies.

    Lavos materialized behind him, and, judging from Janus's expression, this was something he willed. Concentrating, Janus began charging up the very darkness within his soul. An endless well of that which remained when the light was gone... this was why shadow was the most powerful magic. It would always be there, even after the light.

     Janus unleased a terrifying ball of dark energy which was swallowed by the parasite. Soon after, the ball exploded, and Lavos burst to shreds, no remains to be found. This made Janus smile.

     "Soon," he said, contemplating his current power, as the world around him began to fade away towards the waking world.

     "Soon... I'll be ready."

 
   

       

Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 05, 2018, 10:08:41 pm
Ch 9: Villification


      Alucinatio Palace Dungeon, 588 Kingdom Calendar


      A bald fiend sat alone in a dark cell, as if in meditation. He couldn't remember how long he'd been locked up for, only the fire and fury with which the sultan had sentenced him this time. He would probably rot away in here, but in a way he almost didn't seem to care. Most of the guards generally avoided him, as he gave them serious creeps and almost never spoke. The only evidence he was even alive was that he ate what he was fed.

      "Hey, Creepshow", a guard called as he opened the cell door. "Good news: you got some company now."

      Suddenly, a young man was tossed in and landed face first in the sand, pale moonlight shining through the bars onto a toussled blue mane, framed with long, elven ears. The sound of the cell door shutting was heard, and the guards left.

      Janus laughed to himself, a little.

      The fiend opened his eyes and greeted his new cellmate. "Welcome, fiend. What foolishness brought you to this city?"

      Janus rolled onto his back and relaxed. "power... splendor... conquest. You?"

     The fiend couldn't help but smile at the audacity of his new cellmate. "Business..."

     Janus was getting cold and, out of the blue, decided to cast a small fire in the room. "well, well well..." the fiend spoke. "You become more and more interesting the longer you remain here..."

     "I should think so," Janus smiled. "I have been studying in the school of the prophet of Alucinatio for three years now. Only now am I satiated enough to continue onto my next goal: hand to hand combat..."

    The fiend stared, silently, while Janus continued.

     "...and I was told you are superb."

     Janus's new friend shook his head. "You truly are a damned fool to deliberately get yourself thrown in here. I'll bet you exposed the whole school in the process, too..."

     "Exposed?" Janus smirked. "...I'm the one who ratted them out."

     The fiend's smile widened. "Ohhhhh....  you are something else. Well, you've found me out then, my friend. Here I am: Slash, the swordsman, at your service. Normally, I command a steep price for it, but... this is quite an unusual request. I'm afraid I will need to quadruple my going fare, considering what I offer you."

      Janus smiled. "Teach me, and I will set you free."

      "A bold statement," Slash replied. "Even if you do succeed, what makes you believe I won't simply skip town, or worse yet, slit your throat?"

      "Because," Janus calmly stated, "We're going to conquer the kingdom. You don't desire to miss out on that, do you?"

       Slash smiled. "You are still a fool, sir. I'm locked up in here for good reason. Release me and terrible things will happen because of it. You might be making the biggest mistake of your life."

      Janus stood. "Swear your fealty to me, and you will serve in a pantheon as one of my highest generals. We shall forge an army which will wipe these humans from the face of the planet. Not you nor your blade shall ever go hungry again."

      "Pffft, fealty..." Slash scoffed. "I don't even know your name."

      Janus straightened his back, staring at Slash with his piercing green eyes. "You may call me Magus, Lord of Fiends."

      Slash laughed, as if to entertain him. "Very well...                 ...Fiendlord."

=============================================   

 
          Keeper's Dome, 2299 Kingdom Calendar

   
         "hmmm...."
Belthasar thought out loud... "no, no no... THE POLES MUST BE REVERSED!!!!  I CAN DO IT!!!   ...but only when all eight pistons are positioned inward..."

          Schala watched him work on his odd ship, with some voice of terror. "Mother, Belthasar is beginning to frighten me. It's as if he has some grand plan, but even he can't comprehend it."

       Zeal stared, blankly. "The Guru of Reason has always been an eccentric, Schala. In truth, he did not fit well within the kingdom for it. He was a distraction to dreamers and thinkers alike.... but now?   ...he's just gone crazy."

       "DON'T USE THE 3/8" WRENCH!!! DO YOU WANT TO KILL US ALL????"

       "Bless his heart..." The Queen mumbled, "But his mind doesn't have long."

       Schala nodded, sadly. Belthasar and the other gurus were people she had grown up with. They were in the room when Zeal gave birth to her, even. They were also in the room when Schala first got a baby brother. Now, two of them were gone, and she was losing the last before her very eyes. "It breaks my heart to see this, Mother. He deserves better than this."

       "and I deserve far worse."

       "Mother, please... don't say that..." Schala begged. "I need you..."

       Zeal shook her head. "No, actually...      ...you don't. You are far stronger and more capable than you realize. I feel much the same of Janus - look how far he came! Tainted of soul, yes, but his sheer determination saw him well into adulthood."

       "But... Mother...   where would I go? What would I do? Belthasar says we are not to leave this wretched time period..."

       "I have no quarrel with that judgement, Schala..." The queen replied, coldly, though only for a moment as she turned to her daughter with a rare, warm smile.


 
        "...except where my children are concerned."

===============================================

       Alucinatio Palace, 588 Kingdom Calendar

       3 days later

       
       
     
Alucinatio was burning to the ground.
 
       Women and children were screaming as they fled their homes in the night. Slash hunted down and executed anyone he could find, laughing hysterically as their blood painted the walls. All the while, Magus hovered in the skies above, raining down destruction and chaos. It had all started with the soldiers - Magus did not appreciate their rough handling and poor treatment of him, but reveled in the screaming terror he squeezed from their throats.

       "Your domain is an assault on my eyes and my ears..." Magus bellowed. "If you cannot abide by the word of my tongue, than you shall abide by that of my hands. Prepare to meet whatever diety consumes the souls of the damned."

       Magus caught a glimpse of a purple fiend maniacally slaughtering everything in his path. He was not unnerved by what he glimpsed, and allowed him to play as if a puppy off of its leash. It was all so easy, it put a smile on his face: that he could so easily have what he wanted, damning anyone in his path. His business in Alucinatio would soon be over...

       After questioning and murdering the Sultan and his family, Magus holed himself up in the royal library. He was looking for details about deep-sea ruins, particularly anything that might resemble the Ocean Palace. If his mother could pinpoint the closest location to Lavos, He surely could as well.

       Several more days passed, in eerie silence. There was nobody left alive except for Slash and Magus, who was still reading.

       Slash wandered the streets, looking for anyone or anything else to kill. When his hunt failed, he directed his attention back home, to the palace. In complete silence, he ascended the great stairs into the east wing and approached the closed door to the library.

       *KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK.*

       Magus was so into what he was reading, it was as if he didn't even hear it.

        *KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK.*

       Again, Magus was busy mumbling a book's words to himself, still wearing the same clothes, as the morning sun shone into the windows. Had he even slept?

       Finally, Slash just walked in, finding Magus just sitting there at a table, with his book.

       "HEY!! COULD YOU NOT HEAR ME KNOCKING??"

       "I heard you just fine, Slash", Magus replied. "I was hoping you'd go away."

       "Man, there is nothing left to do in this town. We've cleaned it out!! What are you even looking for anyways?"

       Magus thought to himself. What to tell Slash... what to tell Slash...

       A smile crossed his face.

       "The ultimate weapon, of course. I intend to bring forth an evil that will annihilate humanity in a single night...      and I think I have found just, where, to do it..."

        Magus got up from his chair and left with slash, one particular word in the book he left behind had been underlined.

   
         
        Medina.
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 07, 2018, 12:59:19 am
Ch 10: Homecoming


        Guardia Castle, 589 Kingdom Calendar


        A man in a checkered black and purple tunic walked into the knight's quarters to find several soldiers waiting for him.

       "Gentlemen..." he began, "Thank you for your patience. Let us begin:

       As you are no doubt aware, there has been a significant increase in fiend hostility within the past five years. While I do not doubt our own efforts, I fear things have come to a head as of one year ago today, when our previous knight captain was killed by the frog king, who had taken the Hero's Badge. Some sources are saying that the fiends plan to declare war soon..."

      ...There was murmurs and laughter amongst the soldiers.

      "Whether they are effective or not, we are expected to defend our kingdom against them. Frankly, this has gone beyond the realm of acceptable. People are now getting hurt. Besides, as long as the Frog King has that medal, I fear to think what else he may obtain..."

      "The Masamune..." one soldier muttered.

      "If they get their hands on that, they may have an actual shot at victory. Therefore, it is paramount that the fiends do not obtain that sword. I want patrols in San Dorino and Porre to begin looking for signs of fiend dissent. Do not hesitate to use force if necessary."

      "And you, Sir Cyrus?"

      Cyrus stood. "I will recover the badge, and the sword. I may be gone for awhile, but I will return. If that is all then...      ...meeting adjourned."

      Soldiers got up and started talking, as Cyrus headed for the stairwell. His squire was waiting for him outside.

      "They don't seem confident in you..." he spoke.

      "They take me seriously enough...      ...its the idea of fiends representing a serious threat that they can't comprehend. I have a very bad feeling Glenn, and I think something big is on the horizon. We need that badge... and the sword."

      "I can have your armor and gear ready by tomorrow night"

      "Excellent", Cyrus replied. "We'll leave the morning after."

      -----------------------------------------------------------

      The time passed rapidly, before Cyrus was before the majesties.

      "Cyrus," Queen Leene asked, "Are you leaving so soon?"

      "Yes, your majesty. It's time we took back that medal from the Frog King. Besides...   ...I'd like to see that fancy sword for myself."

      "Cyrus..." the king added, "You will return, yes? We need you here."

       Cyrus smiled, reassuringly. "...as long as there is life within these bones, sire. By your leave..."

       Solemnly, the king nodded, and Cyrus was on his way.

=======================================

       Two weeks had passed, and Cyrus's fears were beginning to come true: Soldiers in San Dorino found themselves overwhelmed by fiend hostility, and were actively fighting every day. The enemy was unskilled, but relentless. This was combat most soldiers were not adequately prepared for.

       Porre arguably had it worse, as fiends had begun committing arson throughout the town, especially aimed towards the soldiers. One particular green fiend was floating around and reanimating his fallen brothers, sending the shambling corpses after undead vengeance.

       "I'm tellin' you Flea... I don't know why we didn't do this sooner," Ozzie laughed. "These guys aren't much trouble! Ha!!"

       "I would remind you..." spoke a young man with long, pink hair, "We are still heavily outmatched. By now, they will be sending soldiers this way from the North, and we are still basically as trolls to them, not dragons."

       "Damn..." Ozzie thought. "The eunich's right. We can't stick around like this. If we don't skedaddle back up to the cave soon, Guardia's soldiers are gonna cut us off."

      Ozzie growled. "Alright, Flea. Let's you and I re...   ...treat... back to..."

      Flea sighed. "Did you lose your train of thought again, Ozzie?"

      Ozzie silently pointed to the other side of town, which was completely ablaze. This was no small arson: the sky was red with the glow of it. Before they knew what came over them, it then turned pitch black, in the middle of the day, and lightning raged all throughout. Mass screaming could be heard, and as the two approached, they saw two figures slaughtering everyone in sight. Flea and Ozzie wisely decided to hide.

      When the chaos finally subsided, Ozzie poked his head out cautiously, while Flea casually walked towards the two figures...

-----------------------------------

      "It's about time we left a calling card for the fiends..." Magus uttered. "I will command their attention, every last cur."

      Slash shrugged. "Fine by me, man. But uh... what does this have to do with your "Lavos"?

      Magus continued. "I will need to construct a facility to bring Lavos forth, as was done in ancient times. I have determined the capitol of fiends, Medina, to be sitting directly above the point it last broke the earth's surface. Now I just need peons intelligent or, perhaps, gullible, enough to see it through."

      "Hey, buddy!!" Ozzie waved. You uh... really got some issues to work out, you know that?"

      Magus looked around. Here everything was burnt to the ground, bodies and blood everywhere... and this green fiend just walks out like its no big deal. Actually, he recognized this fiend...

      Magus tilted his head. "...Ozzie, is that you?"

      "Eh?" Ozzie replied. "Do we... know each other?"

      "Heh..." Magus replied. "Does the phrase 'Eat shit and die' ring any bells?"

      Ozzie's eyes widened. "...waiiit a minute..    ...what!?? No way!!!!      You can't be... He should've...   but..."

      Magus had a look about him like a shark that smelled blood, and went into a frenzy, grabbing Ozzie by the throat and holding him up over his head.

      "Try to feed me turds, will you?"

      "*gag*....*gulg*......niicee... to see you... too...."

      "And that turd himself? Flea?"

      Flea called out as he approached, very mellow. "Uh... I'm over here. Hey, Janus."

      A smile crossed Magus's face. "To think we should all reunite here, in the wreckage of a dead town."

     "Yeah..." Flea awkwardly smiled. "Hey, listen...   I'm sorry about before, alright? I was being kind of a douche, and... well... I guess after you, erm...   "castrated" me, I just sorta... mellowed out."

     Magus glared. "Is that so..."

     "Yeah... look, I feel like shit about it, and I'd love to try being your friend again. I mean if you don't..."

     "No," Magus shook his head with an unsettling smile. "Don't be foolish. I'd be mad not to. Wouldn't I, Ozzie?"

     Ozzie just smiled and shook his head. "pllesass.... putmedowwwnnnnn"

     Magus dropped Ozzie onto his ass. "Alright, both of you listen, and listen well. If you want your fiend revolution, then from now on, you both do as I say, when I say it. I will not tolerate insolence, and I most certainly will not tell you twice. In less than fifteen years, humanity will be totally extinct, and fiends will inherit the Earth."

    "Uh..." Ozzie smiled. "S-sure thing Ja-er Magus, just... one thing..."

     Magus growled. "Yeess???"

    "Y-ya know...   I'm not... so sure how much authority you can command.... you know, looking the way you do."

    "Do you disapprove of my appearance?" Magus asked.

    "No, not at all!! I'm digging the ears a lot, just... you still look as human as, well... Flea."

    "He's right," Flea replied. "You do look pretty human. I could help with that, though."

    Magus found a piece of a mirror and studied his face. Aside from his elven features, he still looked quite human. He even still had his tan from his time in the desert.

    "Hmmm... perhaps you are not as dumb as you look, Ozzie. Very well. Flea, I will allow you to assist me with this change in appearance, but after this, I must know your transformative techniques for myself. I will determine when I do and do not want to appear inhuman."

     "Fair enough," Flea shrugged. "I guess I owe ya for the way I treated you before. Ok, hold still..."

      Flea planted his hands on Magus's face. The color seemed to drain away from it, and Magus's irises went from bright bold green to a fiery blood red. He groaned a little in discomfort as his eyeteeth grew sharp, like a vampire's... but knowing what was happening, he welcomed it. It satisfied him. When he opened his eyes, he looked in the mirror shard again...

     "Well done, Flea..." he smiled. "Well done, indeed..."

 
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 07, 2018, 09:57:27 pm
Ch 11: Zeal [Noun]


      Keeper's Dome, 2299 Kingdom Calendar


      One lazy afternoon under the dustclouds of the ruined future, a young woman was... attempting... to use a computer console. Belthasar normally discouraged this, seemingly intent on not letting Zeal or Schala do any irreparable harm, but Schala had determined it necessary if she was to...    "journey", soon.

      "Belthasar has been researching and documenting the locations of instabilities and 'gates'..." she thought to herself. "Maybe... just maybe if I can figure out how to... pull it up... I can figure out how to get to the middle ages. If a gate takes one to the same place in a different era, then perhaps it is possible to compare gate locations in different eras to find a way!"

       It was clumsy and awkward. She had no real computer skills, being from Zeal, and neither did her mother. To make matters worse, she couldn't ask Belthasar for help for obvious reasons.

      "Wait..." she said, as she clicked around in random files, "map... map... maps....    999...                 1998...   64999999...   !!!    599 Kingdom Calendar!! That's... that's just a year before Janus is supposed to...          oh my... There's nothing sooner either? This will have to do then. Ok, Schala, let's figure this out: a gate to 599 has to come from somewhere, right?"

      Schala started opening random maps, looking for anything where the coordinates matched up. She had to teach herself how to use this thing, but she was clever. Eventually, after about half an hour of searching, she finally had her answer.

      "Positioning links up with...       999 Kingdom Calendar, in the back of a place called...     Leene Square!! That's it!! That has to be it. Right in that small space at the back. That must be where I need to go..."

      Belthasar's voice could be heard in the distance. Quickly, Schala shut the machine down and tried to leave it looking untouched before pretending to sulk about.

      "Oh... hello Belthasar..."

      Belthasar nodded casually and went towards the back room, almost without a thought. If she could just get the gate key away from him, she could make a dash for Bangor Dome. That's the gate Belthasar brought them through, and would be close enough to Leene Square. If she were as intelligent on this matter as he was, she might have been able to simply target Janus and drag him through the Bangor Dome gate herself, just like Belthasar did to Schala and her mother...

      A thought came over Schala's mind. What was she planning, here? A poor old friend was losing his mind, and she was going to rob him of his only means of leaving this terrible time period? Not to mention leaving her mother to deal with him as well. She felt terrible about what was on her mind, but her heart ached too much. She had to see Janus. She had to reach out to him.

     As always, she found her mother on the mezzanine, taking in the sunlight.

     "M-mother... I would like to seek au-"

     "No, no..." the woman insisted. "For once, Schala...   just say 'Mom, I want to talk.' I want you to feel like you can do so freely. We are no monarchs anymore. I will not hold you accountable for...     less than protocol."

      "Mother, I need help."

      Zeal looked concerned. "What troubles you, my light?"
 
       "I...    I know how to get to Janus, but I need the gate key to do it. I'm... I'm scared, Mother. I know what I have to do, but... I just don't think I can do it."

      "My light..." Zeal smiled, "You know that neither me nor Belthasar have any intention of ever leaving this time period. He spends all of his time on those "wings" of his, now anyways. He only fears you would try to escape. You are the only one of us with any desire to leave this prison...    and the only one with no sentence to serve anyways."

      Schala shook her head. "Mother... I can't leave you..."

     Zeal could hear her daughter's voice begin to break, tears began to form. "Oh..." she began, "No, my light, don't do that..." in a bit of a half-mumble, not as an order but as a reassurance, as she immediately threw her arms around her daughter and held her tight.

    "Schala...  my light..." Zeal smiled,holding her head to her shoulder, "You are a young woman, now. You cannot stay at my side forever - such is the nature of things. I am glad though, that before we parted ways, I could hold you again and tell you....     ...tell you... just how sorry I am...  for mistreating you, for neglecting your brother... For hurting my subjects. When I think about the fear and pain I put into your eyes as I struck you and lashed out...  it puts those same feelings in my own..."

     Zeal's eyes were watering now, too. "I've been a terrible mother. I love you Schala, and I'm sorr....  he... for..."

     It seemed mother and daughter had to console each other at this point. The more warmly Zeal acted towards her, the more comfortable Schala grew with it. The only true cruelty Schala believed in now was that fate was tearing them apart just as Schala got to know a truly kind, supportive side of her mother. It wasn't the harbinger of Lavos, or the good but strict queen of the land before that. It was...  a mom. An actual mom. Someone who wanted to be this role for a long time.

     ----------------------------------

      One week passed since that emotional day. Zeal had resigned to assist her daughter as much as possible in, if not reaching Janus, then at least escaping this awful future. She was sure to let Schala know, as well: if Belthasar was not going to help them, they would have to act against him. As his mind slipped, Zeal saw more of her brainwashed self in him. She understood that she would need to undermine him at this point, for her daughter's sake... and she was prepared to accept the consequences of doing so.

      Because she had no actual desire to leave the future, Belthasar did not notice at all when Zeal swiped his gate key. He asked if she'd seen it after a while, but Zeal shrugged and shook her head. Schala at this point was keeping it well hidden on her person, but Belthasar fervently kept her away from it, and knew for sure that she did not steal it. Although he was not wrong, he was outsmarted. Schala had just about all of the resources she needed now, to begin a trek to Arris Dome. There, she could find out more about Magus before making her journey towards Bangor Dome.

       "Mother..." Schala called out, in the dark of the night. "I...  I think it's time."

       "Hmm??" Zeal pondered as she stirred from her sleep." ...!!   OH!! Schala!!"

       Mother followed daughter to the exit of the dome and held her tightly, knowing it would possibly be the very last time she would ever do so. "Schala??"

      "Yes, Mother?"

      "You are so kind.." Zeal smiled, tears streaming. "Don't ever let anyone or anything change that, no matter what!! I am so proud of you...    Schala...     when you find your brother...     My light... tell him... he was my moon. My starry night. Tell him... I'm sorry for the way I acted towards him... and that I love him."

      Schala smiled, reassuringly. "I will. Mother... thank you. For everything."

      Zeal smiled back. "Be on your way now, my light... the longer you wait, the harder it will be."

      Schala held her mother once more, then turned and ran. She didn't look back - she couldn't look back. She couldn't change her mind about this. "Just think of Janus..." she told herself, smiling with tears as she headed out into the night.

"Don't worry Janus... Ane-ue is coming to save you!!"

 ------------------------

    Mount Denadoro, 590 Kingdom Calendar


       Magus ascended the mountain trail alongside Ozzie. In his right hand, he carried his new weapon of choice: a sharp, frightening looking Scythe.

       "Do not falter, Ozzie. We need to hurry."

       "Alright, alright geez..." Ozzie huffed and complained. "What's so important about this Masamune anyways?"

       "For one thing..." Magus explained, "If the kingdom of Guardia lays claim to it, our battle will be over before it ever truly began. More importantly however, It is made of a rare, extinct mineral known as Dreamstone, which will allow me to control the beast. If I must destroy the sword, I am prepared to do so. However, having it will be a great boon to the end of humanity. Understood?"

       "I don't get it though..." Ozzie asked. "Axl stands watch from up here. Why don't we just ask him to take care of it?"

      Magus glared. "Damn it, Ozzie this is no light task, especially for an insolent whelp like Axl. There are trials required in order to obtain the blade. I alone shall meet the requirements and descend with the sword in one hand and my scythe in the other."

      Ozzie stopped for a moment to enjoy the view, as Magus continued on.

      "Aaahhh...             ...Mountains're nice."

      "OZZIE."
 
      "Oof!! Coming!!!"
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 08, 2018, 12:04:33 am
Ch 12: Malice


        Arris Dome, 2299 Kingdom Calendar

 
        Schala couldn't believe it. She was told there were people in this dome, but...           ...their living conditions were even worse than what she and her mother experienced under Belthasar. Many of them were filthy... cold looking...         they smelled, yes, but that only made her sadder for them.

        "Hey..." someone uttered. "you come from Lab 16?"

       "N-no..." Schala spoke. "Sewer Access."

        A woman next to him piped in. "But... what about the monsters?"

        Schala thought of a good turn of phrase to say that she was able to evade them with her power. "I....       ...didn't have any trouble."

        "Hmm...." an old man smiled. "I fear the same cannot be said for one of ours. He went down into the basement early this morning, trying to get some food from the refrigerators, and  hasn't yet returned."

        "I see..." Schala nodded. "Listen... I have need of this dome's supercomputer. Where might I locate it?"

        "Down in the basement..." the old man, Doan, pointed. "Be warned though, there are machines down there which seek human carnage. Please, young lady... do not let yourself fall victim to them."

        Schala shook her head. "That's a chance I'm willing to take. I have to get to that computer. If I find your friend... I'll bring him back with me."

        Nothing Doan could say would stop Schala Zeal. She climbed down the ladder and into the darkness below. There were some lights down here, but spaces were a little more narrow in the main security room, which separated the refrigerators and the computer area. Unfortunately, the latter path was closed off, so she tried the former. Within, she came across a series of catwalks overlooking a large pit of assorted wreckage and junk. From up ahead she could hear a voice.

        "Come back here you little beast!!"

       A man was chasing a rat back and forth across the walkways, straight towards her. "Quick!!" he called out. "Catch it!!"

       Schala was started by the small creature but quickly moved to grab it before it could dart between her legs and towards safety.

       "Squeak!!! I give up!!! I give up don't hurt me!!!"

       "I won't hurt you, odd thing...     ...but what's so important about you?"

       "That rat..." the man called out, "knows the password to the security room. Anyone who wants to use the computer will need that code in order to get in."

       "The code...     The code!!! Little rat, please you have to tell me!!! You have to tell me what it is!!"

       "Squeak!! alright, I'll tell you. It's-"

       CRRRAAAAAAAASSSHHHH!!!!!

   
       Suddenly, a gigantic machine burst into the room, followed by two smaller "bits"

      "EXECUTING PROGRAM..."

      The man stared up in horror. "Oh shit...     RUN!!!!

      The three of them turned back towards the entrance and ran for it. Lasers were firing in Schala's direction and she was forced to dive for cover, causing her to fall back a bit.   "wait!! Help!!!!"

      The man looked at Schala. Then back at the machines. Then back at her. "Should have known this is how I'd...              HEEEEEEEEEYY!!!!   OVER HERE!!!!" he shouted to the machine, waving his arms up and down.

      "NOOOOO!!!!" Schala shrieked."WHAT ARE YOU DOING????"

      The man smiled back to her. "Getting you out of here. Now hurry!! Go!!!"

      Schala bolted for the door, while the man ran in the opposite direction towards the food stores, robots hot on his tail.

      "Tell my wife...    ...I love her."

 -----------------------------------------

       ...


       Schala sat huddled up in a corner, trying to block out the sound of laser fire and screaming from the other side. Between leaving her mother, defying Belthasar, and now this...   She had stayed strong for so long... but this was more than she could take, and finally tears became full-on sobbing.

      "I hate this world!!! I tried...     I tried to love it...     I can't. Why must some creatures always have to die, just so others may live??? It's not fair!!   IT'S NOT FAIR IT'S NOT FAIR IT'S NOT FAIR ISNOFAIIRRISN'TFAIIIIRRRRR IT'S NOT....   it's not...."

      "...what kind of an existence is this??"

      The large rat from before poked its head up at the sound. Seeing Schala so miserable, it took some sympathy on her and curled up in her lap. She couldn't help but stroke its fur as it tried to console her.

      "We're the only good meat left around here, squeak....    you humans are dying off, now. Soon it'll just be us, the bugs, and the machines... If some of us get killed off to feed a few humans...    honestly, at this point we just do the best we can to survive....    s-squeak."

      Schala shook her head. "You're so intelligent... so kind...     *sniff*...    I could never harm you...

      "Thanks... squeak. Um...   if you want... I could show you how to... work the password."

     Schala sniffled. "Thank you... I would like that very much..."

     The rat took her to the console and pressed the buttons she needed, switching the bridge access towards the computer room. On the other side, she found herself needing to avoid more rogue machines as she navigated a few corridors. She briefly ended up confronted by one, but was able to quickly get away, dodging lasers as they scuffed the wall next to her. After locking herself in a large empty room, she turned around to see a gigantic power dynamo of some sort, with several circuits and wires all leading towards a single monitor and keyboard.

      "This must be it...  The Arris Dome supercomputer. Alright... let's see here... 'Search...'    'Magus'..."

      QUERY: MAGUS

      RETURNED 431 RESULTS

     1: MAGUS (NAME) - ARRIS HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA

      "Yes..." Schala said. "That should do..."

      ===========================
          Magus (individual)
             -From Arris Dome Historical Encyclopedia-

            Magus, also known as "The Fiendlord", was a tyrant fiend who threatened Guardia Kingdom from 590 to 600. While his exact origins remain unknown to this day, it is believed his parents were likely casualties of poor human-fiend relationships which preceded his reign (see: humans and fiends) Those who knew him described him as "bitter and angry, eyes of wrath."


            Schala scrolled down some. Most of the article just went on about him being a terrifying dark wizard who had it out for humanity, but there had to be something...

~~~~~~~
            The Black Wind

            "The Black Wind Howls..." was a phrase fiends attributed to Magus, who supposedly spoke it whenever he sensed oncoming death or destruction, whether that of his enemies or of his own kind. It has since become a popular fiend phrase for any kind of "bad feeling", no matter how trivial, and has also become a popular title for several military forces in the centuries since.

      "So..." Schala whispered. "Where then did he pick it up...     and are there any images of him?"

      Appearance

      Due to the high prevalence of fiend lore, no reliable description of Magus exists. Some described him as a lanky, grotesque figure "with eyes like an octopus, and teeth like a shark". Others described a hooded, bearded fiend carrying a long staff. However, there is still another curious description of Magus as a more "humanoid"-looking variety of fiend, resembling a human male with long hair and frightening facial features. This depiction of Magus can be seen in the ancient Medina statue "Majesty of the Fiendlord (c.595 Kingdom Calendar)

     Schala followed that link, and was taken to an image of a statue, which certainly did resemble a man more than it did a fiend. His hair and cape were sculpted as if it were blowing behind him, and a scythe was in one hand. He had the other crossing his chest, clutching something...   she couldn't quite make it out...


       Zoom image to full size (100%)


        Schala did so, and the resolution increased significantly. Now she was able to scroll towards his chest, seeing that in his hand, he was clutching...

        "The...  the...   it's..."   

----------------------------------

          Zeal Palace, 65,012,000 Year of Lavos

          "Now, take this..." Schala spoke softly.

          Janus stared at the odd silver object given to him. "What is it?"

           Schala smiled. "It's a sort of amulet, containing my prayers. If something should happen, it will protect you...."

-------------------------------------

          Arris Dome, 2299 Kingdom Calendar

          Schala's jaw dropped. There was absolutely no question now: Somehow or another... 

          "It's you..." Schala whispered. "My little brother...     ...Janus...    What happened to you?"

---------------------------------------

           Mount Denadoro, 590 Kingdom Calendar

           "Do what???"

           "I have made my instructions clear," Magus repeated. "Leave the mountain and report to Medina for construction of my castle."

           "Man..." Axl began, "I've been patrolling this place since before you even showed up!! This is like.. my home!! You can't just tell me to beat it!!"

            Magus grabbed Axl by the throat and pinned him to the cliffside. "Then you can stay here as a stain amongst the rocks."

            Begrudgingly, Axl obliged, not without some rude comments under his breath.
         
           Magus stepped foot inside the summit cave and approached the Masamune, only to be approached by what appeared to be two children.

           "Let me guess: you're here for the Masamune too??"

           Magus scoffed. "I did not come here to play hopscotch with children, if that is what you are asking."

           "Wow..." Masa replied. "Well, no need to be an asshole, buddy."

           Magus's eyebrow raised. "What children are you, to use such language before an adult?"

           "You really think we're ordinary children?" Mune replied.

           "Just give me the damned trial so I can take the sword an be on my way."

           Masa and Mune shrugged. "We don't feel like it."

           "WHAT!?"

            "See..." they began, "It's not about the sword, but who wields it!! If we gave it to a guy like you, well...    oohh boy... Bad things would happen and...   Doreen would be pissed."

            "Tch!! YOU TWO!!"

            Magus finally put two and two together: it was Masa and Mune from Enhasa.

            "It is I, Prince Janus you fools!! I need your power if I am to destroy Lavos!! Now, give it to me."

            "Huh??? Oh...           ...hey, Janus. Weird meeting you here."

           "THE SWORD!!! HANDS, NOW PLEASE."

           "Look..." they repeated, "We can't. I'm sorry. You're too...   ....angry. hateful. just... generally pissy. Doreen said bad things might happen if we fall into the wrong hands, and... well....   you know..."

            "Either you surrender your power to me..." Magus growled, "Or I will destroy you here and now..."

             "I really don't think you can-"

             "MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSS!!!"

            That fat fiend, Ozzie, was running into the cave, panting and out of breath. "S...  s... some...   *huff*...  one...    ssssssss coming...  think... knight... Cyrus..."

            "What!??   Now!???      No..." Magus grumbled. "No, no no no no no no no no no!!! They're coming for the sword!! We have to stop them!!!"

            "Wait... Lord Magus, you need that sword right??"

            "Acquisition would be paramount, yes..."

            Ozzie smiled. "I've got an idea...."   

----------------------------------

            Cyrus had surpassed the trials set forth by Masa and Mune, who deemed him worthy of wielding the Masamune. The brave hero held the shining sword high into the air, as Glenn looked on in awe. "Cyrus..." he thought to himself, "You truly are the light that will guide Guardia to victory and peace once again..."

            ...what actually happened was far from it. As soon as they exited the cave, they were confronted by the fiendest of fiends, ready to rip the sword right out of their hands.

            "So, Magus..." Cyrus gritted his teeth. "We finally meet!!"

            "Indeed, Sir Cyrus. I've been looking forward to this!!"

            Cyrus laughed. "If it's formality you are looking for, I have none for you. I do have something else, though..." the hero smiled, presenting the Masamune. "Forthwith, I shall slay you and restore peace to this kingdom once and for all."

            An unfortunate realization crossed Magus's mind: he would not be able to take the Masamune, for if he did, Masa and Mune would still likely reject him. The only thing it could be used for, it seemed, was his own demise. "Dammit.... dammit dammit dammit...        ...I guess that only leaves me with one choice..." he thought to himself.

           "No more talk!!" Cyrus shouted. "NIRVANA STRIKE!!!"

          ...

          ...
 
          ...It all happened so fast. One moment, Cyrus was dashing towards Magus. The next, he was picking himself up off the ground, while Glenn looked at the air in horror, at where the Masamune once was...

          "C-Cyrus!!!!  The Masamune!!! It's..."

         Magus smiled. "That's right. So much for your precious sword. Now, to take care of you..."

         Glenn was petrified. How was Cyrus going to get them out of this one?
 
         "C...Cyrus..." Glenn whimpered, "I-I'm a goner..."

         Cyrus immediately backed up to Glenn and put a hand on his shoulder reassuringly. "No you're not. Listen to me, very carefully alright? I'm going to provide a distraction. When I do, I want you to RUN. Alright?"

         Glenn was too terrified to even do that. He could only look on as Cyrus rushed the Fiendlord, only to be met with a scythe through his stomach. Blood sprayed everywhere in thick patches which split into smaller droplets as they flew, and a disembowled Cyrus was sent back towards Glenn.

       "Oh no!!! Cyrus!!!"

       Cyrus's helmet was obscuring his bloodshot eyes.... blood was pooling from his mouth.

       "G-..  g.. lenn..        t-the Queen..  y-you...  must..   p...  p...  p...    protect... the..."

       Magus rolled his eyes. "Enough. I grow tired of your bloody mucus."

       With a snap of his fingers, flesh and steel began to twist, and Cyrus's armor began to crumple like a tin can, with a horrific crunching sound from within. Glenn could only look on in horror as his best friend's body was slowly shriveled and crushed to oblivion as the armor became a flat, bloodied plate on the ground.

       ...And Guardia's hero was gone.

       Glenn was stunned with fear and horror... that was Cyrus just now... and if he couldn't do anything... Glenn was... 

       "Hmm??" Magus called. "Well?? What's the matter, boy? Aren't going to try your luck?"

       Ozzie laughed. "Look at him!!! He's like a frog, without a pond to hop into!! Say, that gives me ideas...          What do you say, Lord Magus? Can't we give him a more fitting form?"

       A smile crossed Magus's face. He'd been itching to try this spell for some time.

       "Sure, why not..." he spoke, looking Glenn right in the eyes.

      "After all...          ...no insolence should go unpunished..."
Title: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord ((FINISHED))
Post by: Captain B on November 08, 2018, 08:31:33 pm
Ch 13: Harbinger


        Zenan Bridge, 599 Kingdom Calendar

       
        *jiggle*

        *jiggle*

        Flea couldn't stop giggling.

        After hearing about Magus's spell at Mount Denadoro, Flea had been doing a lot of experimentation, and decided that if he couldn't repair his anatomy...   ...he would alter it. It all happened a few weeks ago, with a spell that began as an agonizing process and rapidly turned into a euphoria unlike any Flea had previously had the opportunity to experience. He was starting to like being a girl, but insisted he was still Flea, deep down.

       "Flea, please..." a fierce man in a dark red cape groaned. "I find it disgusting."

       "Hey, dude..." He smiled. "It's your fault."

        Ironically, Ozzie's chest was bouncing nearly as much, and nobody seemed to care, least of all Magus. In back, Slash and Axl walked together.
 
        The five fiends approached the bridge, and saw a small military gathered on the other side. "Look well," Magus called out. "Zenan Bridge is the chokepoint to Truce, and Guardia Castle along with it. Once we overtake this bridge, the castle will be ours. Burn Guardia Forest to the ground around it, then spread out:  Send teams of ogres into the surrounding mountains: I want fiends closing in on it from all sides, that includes snipers perched to monitor the main gate, as well as the towers. We five alone will enter the castle and execute the majesties. If you encounter the frog knight, you may engage him but do not, I repeat, do not underestimate him. Once this operation is finished, you may do with Guardia Castle as you please. I will be at my own, making the final preparations for Lavos. Understood?

       The fiends all just sort of nodded their heads. Good enough, Magus figured.

      "Alright then. You have your orders. ATTACK!!"

------------------------------------------------------------------------

       A small military camp was stationed on the other side of the bridge, with several knights moving back and forth across it. The knight captain was seen exiting a medical tent with a lieutenant at his side.

      "Listen well...  I have orders from the King to destroy Zenan bridge if necessary. We will be unable to reach San Dorino or Porre if that happens, but the castle's safety is paramount. Relay this information to your archers, and be prepared if I give the order, understood?"

       "Yes, sir."

       "FIENDS ADVANCING!"

       "Damn!!" Captain uttered. "Liutenant!! Scramble your men!!"

      Within seconds, swords and shields clashed. The knight's phalanx held for fifteen minutes before fiends began to compromise it. One soldier was actually crushed under his shield by the weight of an ogre, and the diablos had no reservations about climbing over their comrade.

      In the heat of things, nobody noticed a hooded figure freeze her way across this mess, and most assumed it was Magus.

      It definitely caught Magus's attention though, because he certainly didn't remember doing it, and it definitely came from the other side.

      "!!!   What in the..."

      It didn't take long before he eyed the hooded figure, still trying to avoid the conflict while desperately crossing the bridge. Magus kept back, intent on investigating this oddity.

      "That's impossible..." he muttered. "There's no way they could have a magician, especially one of that caliber..."

      As she fled, she tripped over a fallen fiend and landed backward, her hood falling back.

      ...

      ..."Huh... Human alright..." Magus pondered. "I didn't think any other humans could come so close to matching me...    heh, with her blue hair, and her bright, green eyes, she kinda looks like..."

 
      ...

      ...

      ...


      "...no..."

      Magus hovered above in silence, just staring at her.

     "It's not possible...   she's not...   no!! Dammit!! I thought I got her out of my head... Why does she haunt my vision???"

     "STOP IT!!" Magus screamed out loud, causing some of his subjects to look up in the sky at him in confusion.

     "Stop?"

     "YOU'RE DEAD!!! D-E-A-D!!! YOU'RE DEAD AND GONE!!! I'VE ACCEPTED THAT!! WHY WON'T YOU JUST GO AWAY!???"

      He was holding his head and thrashing about, screaming jibberish now. Slash, Flea, and Ozzie just stood there, their mouths hanging open. "Uhhhh....   Magus?"

     It was then that Magus noticed a large fiend approaching the young woman with an axe, laughing. "TIME TO DIE, HUMAN MAGE..."

     The poor fiend never even had time to know what hit him, before Magus struck him back with such force that he collapsed through the bridge's entire width, taking several fiends with him. Before she could fall in, Magus drew up his cloak and grabbed her at lightning speed, depositing her on the other side and then running away from both his soldiers and the girl.

     "BURN IT!!" came the order from the other side, as flaming arrows drove into the wood. Many of Guardia's soldiers were able to retreat from the flames, but several fiends either burned alive or drowned as the bridge rapidly collapsed. Everyone caught between the flames and the holes, well...        ...they fought for what they believed in and would be remembered.

     What should have been a long-awaited and carefully planned-out victory for the fiends turned to disaster as Magus had suddenly flipped out and abandoned them. And what was with that human mage? A good portion of the fiend's military force was actually lost along with Zenan Bridge, neither side was happy about it.

-------------------------------------

     "I don't believe it!!" Axl shouted, as they marched with what little was left of their forces. "TWO YEARS OF CAREFUL PLANNING GONE TO SHIT, THANKS TO HIM. Is he trolling us or something? I mean, why did he take off like that??"

     "It kinda looked..." Flea uttered, "...like he was having some sort of... panic attack or something. I guess even Magus can lose his cool in a battle."

----------------------------------------

     Whether Magus liked it or not, he would have to answer to his forces for what just happened back there. Naturally, Axl gave him lip, which only resulted in Magus stripping him of his command. Again. As for the others...
 
     "Hey... Magus..." Ozzie awkwardly smiled. "So uh... you wanna talk about what-"

     "No."

     "Oh.. ok...  you know, it's just that we had been planning that for a long time and suddenly you just..."

     "I saw a ghost, Ozzie. A phantasm from an old life."

     "Yeah..." Ozzie replied. "That mage. We saw it too...  hey, you're a..."

     "FIEND, Ozzie..." Magus shouted. "I'm a fiend."

     Ozzie whispered. "You're whatever she was, right? Hey, I saw her face. You two related?"

      Magus really did want to discuss this, or even think about it. Something he thought he had accepted and buried was now crawling its way back up to the surface, just like Lavos was going to, soon. "I saw her cast... I carried her across...   ...Ozzie saw it too...   am I truly going mad, or...       ...!!!"

 ------------------------------

         San Dorino Desert, 3 days later

         It had been nineteen years since Flea's manic rampage decimated San Dorino forest. Something deep underground dragged the trunks down, and shifting sands replaced the dirt. One poor woman lived in a small oasis, at the center of a dustbowl. Most people just ignored Fiona, or thought she was a lunatic to try and repair the damage. The fiends certainly didn't mind, as it made getting back and forth much easier.

         ...so when she received a visitor, she was rather surprised.

       "I am told you know about the Magic Cave..." a blue-haired girl inquired. "Do you know where it is?"

       Fiona nodded. "Where, yes. But please... don't be so foolish as to actually go near it."

       The mage insisted. "Don't worry about me. I might just be able to help with... all this. I just... need to talk to him. Magus."

       "You're the magician they're talking about up in town, aren't you?" Fiona said, backing up. "So what's the deal?? Are you a fiend too? Are you the reason this desert persists? Magic has never brought us anything but trouble. Please, be gone."

       Schala insisted.

       "I am quite nearly inclined to agree with you, on that. It's rarely done much good for me either, until now..."
 
        Schala eyed Fiona's outfit. It was fine for the forest, but not for the dry and brutal winds of the desert. She needed something that could breathe, but still protect her body...

        ...that's it!!

        "Here..." Schala smiled, pulling her old dress out of her pack. It was faded, and looked more brownish than it did purple, but it was still in one piece. "You can't save the forest dressed like that. Please, take this as a sign of my goodwill."

         Fiona was shocked and, needless to say, moved by Schala's generosity. She invited Schala inside, and tried the dress on: it was a little shorter on her than it was on Schala, but it still fit her well enough. Together, they talked about the Human-fiend war, and about the arrival of Magus. Fiona deeply feared that her efforts would be in vain if the fiends won, but Schala smiled and reassured her she could end it. "I just need to go and talk to him..." she smiled. "Please... help me do this."

         Fiona nodded. "Ok. The magic cave is north-east of here, past Mount Denadoro. Magus's forces greatly do not like humans though... if that's what you are..."

         "Don't worry", Schala smiled. "I'll be okay. Thank you, so much for this..."

         "And thank you, miss..." Fiona smiled. "...for these clothes. This is much better."

         With that, Schala was on her way again. After the horrific experience beneath Arris Dome, she felt a strong warmth in her heart again. Now, it was time to go and see if she could bring that same warmth to her brother.

         "Janus...           ...I'm coming."
     
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 08, 2018, 11:30:41 pm
Ch 14: Reunion


        Magus was silently cursing. In all of his contemplation over recent events, he nearly forgot all about his ceremony. He now had to dedicate all of his time to the final preparations, and couldn't take an active part in the fiends' endeavors.

        Somewhere, deep within a dark chamber of his castle, he was slowly, meticulously, drawing a runic circle on the ground, in front of a demonic altar. He had been studying this for nearly ten years now - he didn't care who he had to pray to to make it happen, but Lavos was getting dragged up for a fight. It was that simple.

        Magus knew the words somehow, deep down. He had heard them during his... trip, many years ago.

        "Let's see..." he whispered.  "Nuega...  Ziena. Zieber...          and Zom. Nuega Ziena Zieber and Zom. That's how it begins...  and then you sacrifice the world... I wonder if any of them have figured that out yet?" 
 
        "Did you tell them, Janus?"

        Magus immediately whipped around in the direction of the voice.

        "What!!????  NO!!! IMPOSSIBLE!!!! You...  y-you...        you're...!!!!!!

      -------------------------

      ....The Prophet of Alucinatio.

      "This cannot be," Magus growled. "I watched them chop your head off in the town square."

      The Prophet nodded. "Indeed. They did chop my head off, and I died."

       Magus's eyes narrowed. "And yet here you are, walking and talking to me."

       The Prophet did not react with any kind of emotion, though he seemed to listen. "I am not here on account of your treachery," he spoke, "except to say that because of it, I did not get a chance to tell you one more important thing about your powers."

       "Oh?" Magus chimed with sarcastic interest. "And what is that?"

       "Although you may command the power of all the elements, you must beware. Power alone will never allow you to obtain that which you desire most. In time it becomes as a crutch upon which you lean, forgetting how you ever stood without it. Someday, you will be forced to give it up. When you do, I hope something of you will still remain."

       "Great," Magus replied. "Now leave."

       "There is... other thing, Janus..."

       "Yeah? What?"

       "I have a prediction for you. This is not a punishment or curse of any sort. It is, no more and no less, just a prediction."

        "Out with it..." Magus ordered.

        "Until you realize that you cannot accomplish any of your true goals by yourself, you will slowly and steadily begin to lose everything, just as you did instantly when your kingdom was destroyed. This, again, is only a prediction: there is no expediting it nor delaying it: they are merely two events which shall coincide."

         "Great. Now, will you leave?"

         The Prophet nodded. "For good. This is the last you shall see of me. Goodbye, Janus...."

        ...

       ...In that moment, Magus suddenly jolted awake. He had apparently fallen asleep in his hidden chamber, and someone was pounding at the door.

      "Magus!!! Magus, are you in there!! We need to talk!"

      "Oof..." Magus thought. "Not this again..."

      Magus angrily flung the doors open in Ozzie's face. "I already told you, I'M FINE. It was just... an episode. Nothing more.

      "Actually, I'm not here about that. This is something I thought you might actually find important."

      Magus took a deep breath, followed by a long sigh. "What?"

      "That mage girl we saw before is in the main hall. She's asking to see you."

      ...Tch!!! "W-the...  the mage... w-why did you let her in!?"

      "Well," Ozzie explained, "When the message was first relayed to me, I told them to chase her out of the surrounding woods. She was apparently pretty insistent though, and when she didn't get her way, she asked again...   ...and here's the interesting part," he carried on, while Magus continued fussing with his altar.

       "...She asked for Janus."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzhMdhtaeR4

       Magus suddenly froze in place.

       "Janus..."

       Magus walked back into the room some, to think. Ozzie followed after, unsure what would happen next.

       "It's her..." Magus thought. "It's actually her, isn't it? This isn't a hallucination, or a dream, or...    ...no, Ozzie saw it too... and she's asking for...    ...now, on the eve of my...   no...  no...      no, no no no no nononononononnonoooo...."

       Magus had apparently started thinking out loud. "Uh....  Magus?" Ozzie asked. "Are you ok? Seriously..."

       The Fiendlord collected himself, took a few deep breaths, and stood facing away from Ozzie, a certain excitement and terror in his eyes.

      ...

      ...

      ...

       "...Have my belongings moved out of my room," Magus ordered. "Give the room to her, and make sure it is tastefully decorated. Tell Flea that I want a wardrobe prepared for this woman. A TASTEFUL wardrobe. She is not to be harmed or mishandled in any way, got it? Treat her no differently than you would myself. Tell the fiends that my sister is here to assist with the final steps of my plan if you must... and Ozzie?"

       "Yes?"

       "Prepare a meal. Inform her that I shall sup with her tonight."

-----------------------------

        When they told Flea that Magus's sister had arrived, a sense of dread came over him: Two Maguses??   ....Magusi? Magi??  point is, the fiends were cursed. But no, actually, Flea found she was much nicer than her brother. The two of them hit it off rather well, and Flea was a big help as far as putting Schala in something fancy for supper.

         "Well," Flea smiled, "If that is all, I must return to my duties. I'll come and get you when chow's ready. Ciao!!"

         Schala bowed her head with a smile. "Thank you so much."

         ...and now, she was alone. Alone to think, and look about the chamber. Like much of the castle, it was a shadowy place, the kind which the warm glow of candles could never fully illuminate. The stone was black, and the carpets seemed to be the color of blood. The place would have been a goth's paradise, but it only reminded Schala about how she found him here.

        "Janus..." she thought to herself, a bit forlorn. "I should have done something before. Something to stop mother...  look what has happened to you... my sweet little brother. Look what the world has turned you into. The darkness which plagued you has finally swallowed you up... ...but here you are, treating me so kindly...   ...maybe something is still in there, reaching out? Maybe...  I can still save you..."

         Schala looked out the window and sighed. It was a castle window, which did not come up to Schala's face, but sat in a deep recession of the thick wall, requiring Schala to lean in towards it. There was nothing to see outside, though. It was too dark.

         "I will be happier," she thought to herself, "when the sun rises. And of course, before that, when me and Janus finally meet. I'm here, Janus."

-----------------------------

         "She's here, Janus," Flea called out. "She's seated and waiting for you, like a pristine princess."

         "Ok... how do I look," he asked. "Do I look... presentable?"

          Flea eyed Magus over. He was wearing a black cape with a blue and gold doublet, along with blue pants.

         "A little basic," Flea shrugged,"But it'll do. Hey, it's just your sister, right? hehehe"

         "Yeah..." Magus sighed. "Just my sister..."

---------------------------

          Schala sat at that table for what seemed like an eternity, waiting for Janus to join her. Although she was raised to follow perfect manners, after awhile her patience was tested.

          "He is coming, isn't it?" She sighed. "He couldn't have forgot..."

          Flea came running back down into the black and red hallway, armor statues all around the fancy table. "Sorry!! He's on his way now," she spoke before leaving to give them privacy.

          Now, Schala could hear footsteps. A sudden fear came over her, as she realized Janus was finally on his way...   ...exactly how much had he changed? How was he going to react to seeing her?? He did... go through all of this because he still cared.. didn't he?

          Schala held her breath as he entered. Her eyes met with his, as he approached. From the look of it, he was holding his breath, too, and...          looked just as scared.

          A long silence filled the room as the two siblings just... stared at each other in an awkward awe and fear of each other.

         "Y-..." Magus muttered.  "You...   you're here."

        A slight smile formed on Schala's lips. "...Janus?"

        In that moment, for the first time in possibly decades, an honest smile appeared on his face. Not one of malice, or satisfaction. Just..     happiness. Deep down, he felt a little bit awful for trying to kill it for so long that he forgot how it felt...    ...he wasn't going to, but he wanted to cry.

        Schala stood up. "Oh my god...   I... I just..  I saw the amulet on the statue, and I just... and there was the history, and... and I did the research because I thought maybe... and you...   here... I-I-I... I had to...   oh god Janus...!!

        Magus's voice was breaking. "take the plate if you'd like...   but we can't stay in this room."

        Schala nodded, understandingly. "Let's go to mine."

        The two of them rushed urgently upstairs, looking as if in distress and slamming the door behind them...

         Schala felt compelled to spill everything about what had happened since the Ocean Palace. Mother... Belthasar...    How she discovered her little brother's whereabouts via the amulet... Magus couldn't help but laugh a little bit in his tears: having the image of his amulet sculpted into that immortal statue...    helped Schala find her way to him.

         "I'm so sorry, Janus..." Schala sniffled. "I-I wanted to come for you... to come, and just pluck you out of here... but this time period was as close as I could get, and I knew... if there was even a shred of you still in there... well... I had to try...."

         Magus thought about her words. She meant well, but there was a subtext to them, which reminded him of why he partly dreaded this moment: once he had accepted that his sister was gone forever, traces of him as Janus slowly began to fade as well. He was convinced that he'd killed the prince off for years... He always kept that amulet though, as a reminder of why persevered. He never expected, however, that one day he might actually have to answer to Schala, of all people, for everything he'd done.

         "Schala... about that..."
 
         "Shhhh..." she stopped him. "Don't. It's ok, Janus... I understand. I'm not proud of you, but...    ...I understand. You've always been a bitter person, and I'd hoped that the darkness would not consume you, poison your mind as it did Mother...  I am aware of what you're doing...  as well as what your goal is."

          Magus wasn't sure how to respond to that. "You must think so poorly of me..."

         "I pity you," she replied. "But I am not angry, or horrified. I'm just glad that you never forgot about me. You've done a lot of terrible things, Janus... but we can put that behind us now..."

          "Maybe you can..." Magus told her, "but the whole world knows my name now."

          "Then leave!!!" Schala insisted. "Janus, if you've made yourself the world's worst villain in this time period, then simply leave!! Go somewhere that nobody will care!!   ...come with me."

           "?"

           "The future..." Schala smiled. "It's not a glamorous place... or a pretty one...  actually it's... pretty bleak. Somehow, though...   I feel like you of all people might appreciate that kind of honesty in the world..."

            An amused smile crossed the Fiendlord's face. "Maybe...      ...I'll think about it, Schala."

            Schala curled up in her brothers arms for once, instead of the other way around.

           "...I'll think about it."

           ...

           
           Neither of them ever noticed that the door was slightly cracked open...

           ...or that Axl was listening in.

         
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 12, 2018, 10:00:31 pm
Ch 15: Syntax

Medina forest, 599 Kingdom Calendar

     
         Two blue-haired figures were walking through the forest, light chatter amongst them.

        "Basically, I found light and dark themselves in what is called the 'mind's eye', and from there I was pretty much good to go..."
 
        Schala nodded. "Well, I'm not proud of a lot of what you've done, but I must applaud you on that, Janus... even if your understanding of it is still a little...    narrow." she said with a smile.

        Magus glared back at her. "...what do you mean 'narrow'!?"

        Schala rolled her eyes, standing on a fallen log and balancing herself on it. "Just because you learned fire and water out of books does not mean they were not also in the mind's eye. I remember doing that exercise myself, when I was about your age."

       Magus kept staring at her. "...I'm 30."

       "Look..." Schala corrected herself. "You know what I mean! when I was... the age you were... when... ...       ... ...when you left."

       The fall of Zeal was a bit of a sore subject for her.

       "It is impressive you were able to find huge bounties of both light and dark magic in there without any previous research, though..." she continued.

       "Heh," Magus smirked. "Maybe you'll have to teach me, sometime..."

       "hehehe...." Schala laughed. It was a forced laugh, for an uncomfortable or awkward thought.

       "yeah..."

-----------------------------------

       "Well," Magus smiled. "Here it is."

       Schala stared in wonder at the big blue pyramid of energy. "The barrier still holds, after thousands of years...    incredible!!"

       "I found it here way back, when I was still a child," Magus explained. "If this were Zeal, I can't imagine what Mother would do to me for going near it... but she's neither here nor there..."

       Schala continued just gazing in wonder at the structure. She rested her palm gently on the barrier's surface, and found that it held, as if the energy were a solid. She could even lean on it, as if it were thick glass. "Belthasar constructed this... he must have known it was still around, even from his perch in the future..."

       "You still have your pendant, right?" Magus asked. "We could break the seal and find out."

       Schala shook her head. "Unfortunately, I do not."

       Magus looked disappointed to hear this.

       "I sold it in Truce, for some provisions" she explained. "It's not like it had any more power to open doors, anyways..."

       "That's no trouble to me," Magus spoke encouragingly. "We could go and buy it back, easily."

       "Janus..." Schala stopped him, "If I could be totally honest, I *don't* want to see that pendant ever again. It was constructed to control the Mammon Machine, and has only ever brought me pain and misery. I'd just like to be rid of it."

       "So..." Magus sighed. "The Zeal North Palace ruins remain an enigma..."

       "Well," Schala replied, "Maybe that's exactly what they should be. Come on, Janus. Let's head back to your castle."

       Magus was about to move, when he suddenly stopped, dead in his tracks. "Wait...!!"

       ...

       ...

       "We... are not alone..."

       Schala began looking around, unable to spot anything. Magus however, stayed perfectly still for several moments, before suddenly reaching out with a palm and suddenly dragging a figure before him, seemingly out of thin air.

       "...Axl."

       Axl squirmed, trying to free himself. "Hey, I have a right to be in these woods too, you know!! Let me go!!"

       Magus dropped Axl before him. He wanted to put the fear of god in Axl's heart, but with Schala present, he felt too awkward about it.

       "Axl..." Magus sighed. "What are you doing here?"

       "Look..." Axl replied. "You've been acting weird since before *she* showed up. Some of the fiends are... you know... starting to ask questions."

       "Dammit..." Magus thought to himself. It was happening. Schala's arrival was beginning to undermine his plans. God bless her for doing it but...      it wasn't affecting his work well.

       "Everything is fine, Axl. My sister is someone I haven't seen in a long time, is all. We have a lot of catching up to do. Why don't you run back Ozzie and the others, and tell them I said this?"

        "Not so fast," Axl pressed. "...why aren't you mad at me? You're always mad..."

        "Axl..." Magus continued. "Truthfully, your poor attitude, insolent and insubordinate though it may be, reminds me greatly of myself at one point in time. Perhaps someday, you too may become the fiendlord. Until then, I need you to just have faith in me, alright? I will raise Lavos, and the world will be yours."

        Axl sighed, uncertain about this. "Alright..     ...I guess. I'll leave you two alone, then."
   
       ...and with that, he simply disappeared. Magus and Schala returned to the castle in relative silence.

        "...            ...Janus?"

       Magus nodded. "Yeah?"

       "What you said back there, about Lavos...  you are *still* planning to do it?"
 
       "I am," Magus told her. "Lavos destroyed our kingdom, Schala. I can't let him get away with that."

       Schala shook her head. "It doesn't matter, Janus. Lavos is the reason the future is so bleak."

       "All the more reason why I must succeed," Magus argued. "I will destroy Lavos, and then you and I may return to your future, to find it a more pleasant realm."

       Schala shook her head. "No, you don't understand..."

       "Then what?" Magus grilled her. "What do I need to understand?"

       "Just..." Schala thought to herself. "Please, Janus, don't obsess over Lavos. That's what happened to Mother."

       Her words seemed to get through to him...        ...for a moment.

       "...            ...             ...I will destroy Lavos."

       Schala sighed. "Janus, you thick-headed fool" she thought to herself. "I only hope you can see the error in doing this, before it is too late."

       "I must be attended to by my generals," Magus spoke. "I will again have Flea accompany you for today, since you seem to be hitting it off well."

       "Of course..." Schala said, sadly and deflatedly. "Well," she thought to herself, "it was nice while it lasted..."

        Alone, she sat in her room. It was nice of him to make sure she wasn't lonely, but still, she came for him and now he was blowing her off. Worse yet, he was crazy-obsessed over ending Lavos, and she couldn't find it within herself to tell him the truth: that his obsession was going to get him killed sometime next year. The year 599 was almost over, and once it was? She didn't know how much time she would have before he began his spell.

        "One way..." Schala thought to herself. "One way or another..."

        Once again, Axl was eavesdropping.

         "I cannot let him bring forth Lavos."
       
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on November 22, 2018, 12:27:16 am
Ch 16: Strain

A few weeks later

     Axl was sat in the mess hall, his feet up on a table. There was a large turkey leg in one hand, and a beer in the other. Slash looked annoyed with him.

    "You know..." Slash chided, "There are things you can be doing besides sitting around. Just because you have less responsibility doesn't mean you're free to do what you want."

    Axl just shrugged. "Doesn't bother me. Unlike the rest of you, I don't fear Magus-"

    "Or respect his title, clearly."

    Axl smiled. "He's not gonna do anything to me. Especially now."

    "What do you mean?"

    "Come on..." Axl grinned at Slash. "You have to have noticed. Ever since that girl showed up, he's gotten...    ...soft."

    "Uh... yeah..." Slash replied. "I don't think he's gotten soft, Axl. I THINK he's trying to focus his resources on Lavos. We've got a lot of time before Zenan Bridge is fixed, and right now he's laying everything onto his enforcers - us."

    Axl didn't respond.

     "Which means," Slash continued, "Shape your ass up or I'll cut it off."

     When Axl again refused to respond or even sit right, Slash brought his sword down right between the fiend's legs, narrowly missing his crotch. "AH!" Axl jumped, falling back in his chair with a crash.

      "SO STOP MOUTHING OFF."

      Axl looked up at Slash, who was ready to put the fear of god into him. "Hell no!! I'm not following that crock of shit, and neither should you!! Slash, slash listen..."

     Slash grabbed Axl by the neck and started to squeeze...

     "N-neither of them... a-are... who they..  they say..."

     "Huh??" Slash asked, slowly releasing his grip.

     "Magus...    Schala...  they...   they're frauds!! They're frauds, I'm tellin' ya!"

     "Kid..." Slash rolled his eyes, "I've known Magus longer than you, and that's still young compared to how long Ozzie and Flea have known him. Why would he spend TWENTY YEARS orchestrating a fraud? He is the very reason Guardia is taking fiends seriously in the first place! Nobody cared about us before, nobody thought we could organize any of this!! THAT FIEND in the cape is the sole reason we've gained anything!"

     "Dude, Slash, he's not even a fiend. His real name isn't even Magus! It's Janus Zeal."

     Slash tilted his head. "...alright... I'll give. Where the hell are you getting all this?"

     "Well, you see, I was..."

     Before Axl could continue, footsteps were coming down the stairs. In the spirit of confidentiality, Axl shut his mouth. Not long after, Flea appeared, along with Schala.

     "Afternoon, boys..."

     Slash rolled his eyes. "Afternoon, ladies"

     "Oh?" Flea scoffed. "I only see one lady here."

     "Yeah whatever" Axl shrugged. He gave Schala a brief glance. "Hey," he said.

     "Hello there," Schala smiled. "I don't think we've been introduced. I am Schala, Magus's sister. And you are?"

     Axl didn't answer. He simply got up from the table, glaring at her, and left.

    "Geez," Flea said, shocked. "The hell's eating him?"

     "Just some conspiracy bullshit", Slash shrugged. "Find anything in Choras?"

    "I don't want to talk about it", Flea sighed. "I just wanna sit here and chill with Schala, because for once Magus isn't lighting fires under my ass to get things done."

    "That bad huh?"

    Schala just watched the two go back and forth.

    "Kids are the worst part", Flea groaned. "Harder to hit, and way too stupid. Thankfully I managed to keep the Naga-ettes fed well enough."

    Schala gulped as she realized what Flea was implying: they fed children to monsters. She knew her brother was involved in some pretty terrible things, but never really fully considered what that meant until now... or that even now, he was still giving commands to do so. He was still Janus though, and she needed to get through to him one way or another...    she was scared though: scared that, in order to stop him, she might have to harm him... or worse. And what of his generals?

      "You ok, Schala?" Slash poked. "You've been awfully quiet. You know, if I didn't know better I'd think you'd never spilled blood before."

      Schala thought back... back to the Ocean Palace. She could hear her mother's voice, screaming at her. She could barely see through all the tears, screaming, and pain... she had to continue with the machine. There was no "stop". No stop at all... thus, because she didn't stop, she raised Lavos to the surface and destroyed her kingdom, along with so many Earthbound...

      "More blood than you can possibly imagine", she uttered, lowly. "I've done this before, long long ago. Trust me: Magus will do it, but I'm the experienced one..."

      Maybe she did belong in a place like this.

      "Um... excuse me..." she spoke, apologetically. "I need some time alone."

      ...and with that, she urgently left the room and all of its company, dashing back to her room to think.

      "He's really going to do it, isn't he...  he's going to bring it forth... why? What will he accomplish? Zeal can't be brought back, and I'm *right* here... he's so insistent though... He's not going to stop if I just ask him to. No...  I can see it now. He's become ruthless and cold...

      ...just like mother."

      Schala sat on her bed, with her head in her hands, face in her palms, thinking about the painful future she had to get through. "I have to stop him... Janus, I'm so sorry... but you've gotten out of control. This wrath and fury are not you, Janus...   this cruelty... and to think you believe you can simply *fight* this creature? After what I went through...   you know I witnessed this creature's power. If I simply tell you, maybe that will be enough... but what if it isn't?? You've become a monster - I can't allow you to simply stay here and continue! I've gotta do what I should have done with Mother....   I've... I have to...       ...oh Janus... I'm so sorry for this..."

---------------------------------

      Magus was at his altar when a loud knocking came from the door.

     "DO NOT DISTURB ME", Magus hollered. "YOU FOOLS DO NOT COMPREHEND THE INTRICACY OF THE UPCOMING CEREMONY!!"

    A voice responded. "Janus? It's me..."

     Magus suddenly went very soft. "s-Schala?? ...come in."

      Schala walked in, looking very nervous and upset. "I need to speak to you..."
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on December 11, 2018, 08:12:27 pm
Ch 17: Collapse


    Keeper's Dome, 2299 Kingdom Calendar

     Belthesar's eyes went wide.
 
     "Zeal..." He shuddered... "What have you done?"

      Queen Zeal stood firmly. She was still Belthesar's Queen and would not bend to him. "I have made a decision for the sake of my family, Guru of Reason. Schala has done nothing wrong, and I will not allow her to suffer alongside us. If she desires to be with her brother, than we cannot stand in the way."

      Belthesar shook his head. "This was not supposed to happen...   she was supposed to be here, where she couldn't... 

      ...

      ...

      ...this'll ruin everything... especially if Janus is prepared to..."

      "What are you talking about??" Zeal demanded.

      "She's the flame's arbiter, right? If Janus raises this beast, she could be... I'll have to change everything...  write history from the future...    it can be done... its just..."

      Zeal sighed and left him rambling. He was making less and less sense as the days passed. At times she did regret losing patience with him as she tried to provide company, but as his mind deteriorated more and more, she knew things would only get worse and worse.

     "...and if I could establish contact with her, then...!!"

     ================================

       Magus's Castle, 599 Kingdom Calendar

     

          Magus felt a pit in his stomach.

          He knew exactly what Schala was going to say, and had been dreading it since the very moment Ozzie confirmed she was alive and well in the middle ages.

          "You don't like this, do you Schala?" He sighed.

          Schala said nothing.

          "...You don't like what I'm doing here. You think I've become a monster who stalks victims in the night and spills blood because his favorite color is red."

         Schala looked aside. "Your change in appearance does suggest it..."
 
         Magus thought deeply about how to reply to this. He didn't want to argue with her, but needed to persuade her to at least leave him be.

        "Janus, I..."

        "Look..." Magus spoke, still trying to find words. "There was a time, long ago, when I didn't want to do any of this... a time when I would cry myself to sleep, wishing you would just come and take me away, like it was all just a bad dream...    but that was a long time ago, Schala. I came to accept that you were dead and gone...  that I was on my own."

        "But Janus, now I-"

        "No..." Magus told her, softly. "No words you speak at this point can ever persuade me...    No, perhaps I ought to say that no action, no power on this planet remains which can stop me now. So long as you are without power to match, my fury will know no rest until Lavos's last moment is filled with pure terror and regret as I bear my scythe down upon it."

        "And why??" Schala demanded, tears streaming down her face. "To what end? For me?? For a kingdom wracked with corruption and foolishness? Janus, I'M RIGHT HERE!! "

        This next part was the hardest for him to say.

        "...P-please...      Return... R-return to your own time now. You cannot stay here, dwelling on this. Please, get out of my castle and leave this time period."

        Schala's vision was blurred with tears. Did he really want her gone that bad??

       Magus couldn't stop the tears, and was getting tired of trying.

       "Schala...  thank you. But I am the boy I was no more. Back to mother, with you...
 Live...    be strong..."

       Schala attempted to protest this, but suddenly found herself being moved out of the room by an unknown force, the door slamming shut behind her. She slammed her fists against it as much as she could, calling out for her brother... calling out for Janus...    ...but there was no response.

       Janus was truly dead, and Magus did not want her. Desperately trying to contain her sobbing, she left the castle and began making a long, sniffling, tearful trip back towards Truce.

      "So..." she whispered, under the pale light of a full moon.

      "You mean to tell me that no matter what I say, no matter what I offer... there is nothing I might do to stop you?"

      "What purpose, then, is there to remain here... I couldn't stop mother...    I can't stop you...      you tell me not to dwell on this, and yet... Have you even considered how I could possibly live a life in that place, that awful place where people die and are brutally murdered every day... knowing I could have saved your life..."

      Schala reached Zenan Bridge. Reconstruction had begun, but the bridge was still totally out. Unlike Magus, Schala did not possess the ability to fly, and certainly would not be able to swim the gap. She could possibly produce another ice bridge, but did not want to draw any attention, especially right now in her vulnerable state.

       "What do I do..." she thought to herself.

       ...and then...

       ...something, just...

       ...clicked.

       Schala dried her face and furrowed her brow, eyes remaining closed. Taking a deep breath, she sighed.

        "Very well, then..." she spoke.

        "Currently, I am the only person in this time period who I believe comes close to matching your power, right? By now, you've seen fit to eliminate all else... I'm the wild card, though... and I'm not even sure you can hurt me."

        Schala re-braided her hair and glared in the direction she came from, a green fire in her eyes.

        "If it is the fate of this world to be destroyed, then I will not let it happen without a fight."
     
        "If I am doomed to perish for daring to change it, then so be it!!

        "...but if I can change history, you shall bet your own ass that I will do it!
         Whether your like it or not...   I'm coming, Janus."


       
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on January 09, 2019, 12:41:09 am
Ch 18:

Schala vs. Magus



         Ozzie, Slash, and Axl were outside on the fortifications, surveying the woods.

         "What are we supposed to be looking for, anyway?" Axl asked.

         "I'm not sure..." Ozzie told him. "Schala left in tears, and then Magus gave orders to make sure nobody gets in or out."

         "Heh.. told you she was no good. Glad he came to his senses"

         Flea watched them laugh and converse upon their upcoming victory, with some sadness and contempt. He, for one, kinda liked her.

         "Yeah...     came to his senses..." he thought.

         "Hey," he called out.

         "Flea," Slash called back, "Where you been all this time? Silent vigilance, eh?"

         "Yeah... something like that..." Flea replied. "I'll be scouting the outer perimeter. Axl, try not to shoot me with that crossbow eh?"

         "Oh, don't worry" Axl smiled.

         At this point in time, Schala had already made her way back to the forest surrounding Magus's castle.
 
          "I'm not aiming for you..."

--------------------------------------------

          Flea pulled his cloak up, glancing around nervously as he emerged from the shadows of the outer wall's nooks and crannies, a door closing behind him. "Something's wrong..." he thought to himself. "I need to find her..."

          Flea combed the dark forest with a small lantern at her side to guide the way. For just a brief moment, not too far in his search, he thought he saw a pair of bright green eyes staring back...   

          ...and believed it was his imagination for only a few moments after, as suddenly he was assaulted by a cloaked figure with a knife.
 
          "My fight is not with you," they said, "But stand in my way, and you'll be breathing steel. got it?"

        Flea remained very calm and moved slowly.

        "Schala..." he whispered. "this is a bad idea..."

         "Silence," she hissed. "Take me to Magus."

          Flea did not listen, and only spoke further. "Don't do this, Schala. They're going to kill you if you approach. Trust me: Just turn around, and walk away. I don't want you to get hurt...   ...please."

         Schala pressed the knife closer to Flea's throat.
 
         "Schala... I think of you as a friend. I want you to live, Schala. Please... I won't tell anyone you were here, if you just leave."

         Schala's green eyes seemed much brighter than ever, piercing Flea's soul with a sharp glare. "You are a murderer and a monster. Not my friend."

        "So is Janus...   ..yes, I know his name...   I knew him, anyways...    Schala please..."

         Schala's furious, piercing glare did not cease.

         "...not a soul, Flea. You will not tell a soul..."

         And with that, Schala simply walked away. Sighing sadly, Flea returned to the castle...

         ...falsely assuming Schala intended to leave.

-----------------------------------------------------

         Nuega, Ziener, Zieber Zom....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi1AAOjRxVc

         Outside Magus's castle, a lone figure sprinted towards the front door. A fiend with a crossbow tried to shoot her down, but was suddenly pounced upon and grabbed by the throat. When he realized what was happening, he was already being used as a hostage by the young woman, screaming orders for the others to stand down. Ozzie ordered Slash to just run Axl through, as he was no big loss. Slash hesitated though, and Schala was already gone.

        An ogan fell to the floor in a dark, candlelit hallway, blood spilling from the lacerated remains of what used to be an eye. Deep down, she hated what she had to do, but she knew in her heart that it was up to her to stop him. More fiends were chasing her down the hallway, Ozzie and company included, and yet more were as fried corpses stenching the foul hallways. They called out to her, tried to kill her... they failed. All who stood in her way met a grisly fate. Her pure, kind soul slowly began to find the task easier and easier than she would have liked...

         Cast open the gates which lie betwixt Heaven and Earth...

         With the castle on high alert now, she climbed outside the tallest tower, knife in her teeth. She never looked down: there was no down. Only up. Only Magus...  never again would she allow that to happen... not from Mother, and not from Janus. She knew it in her heart.

         Her heart was pounding out of her chest. She was almost there.

         Magus was just at the end of the hall. She had to do it tonight. This was the night he...!!

         In exchange for the life of this planet, bring forth...

         

         "JANUS!!"

         
         Magus brought his arms to his sides and lowered his head in frustration and disappointment. He had been practicing the words over and over and over in his head, trying to memorize them for the day in a year when he would bring forth Lavos... how many times would he be interrupted?

         "You should not have come back here."
 
         "Janus..." Schala tried to speak, her voice quaking not from the onset of tears, but from the fear in her own heart at what she was preparing to do. "I love you, Janus. I always will, no matter what you do."

          Magus did not respond.

         "But you leave me no choice. One way or another, you're coming with me."

          To this, Magus turned around. He'd never really seen Schala angry before, and frankly it did shock him, deep down. Had he really pushed her so far?

          "I will not be moved."

          "..and I will not be denied, Janus", Schala replied. "Listen to me, damn you!!! I have history to support me on this! In the year 600 AD, you do indeed come to face Lavos again, just as you did before...   but your power is not enough. It is not even a fraction of enough. You are killed, your castle is destroyed, and... over a thousand years from now, Lavos will still exist...   to bring forth the rotting world I now call home... couldn't you have figured that out, Janus?? You were never going to succeed in this."

          "You can't prove what happened. Can you? My future is not set in stone."

          "I don't care what you think", she said, lunging for his arm. "You're coming with me."

          No sooner had Schala grasped Magus's arm than he violently pulled it away and struck her across the face. For a moment, Magus was shocked at what he had done, but refused to stop now. If he did, he'd regret it all too much to continue.

          "You will NEVER LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME AGAIN!" He shouted.

          Schala's eyes narrowed in determination and grabbed his hand. This time when Magus reacted in wrath and fury, Schala moved in on him and grabbed at his arm harder. "Janus Zeal, that is enough!!" she screamed. "I will march you to that gate, even if I have to break you in order to do it!! You are not the one in power here...

          Magus pulled away, but Schala's grip was surprisingly strong.

          "I am not bending Janus. Not this time. Don't make me shove you all the way there."

          Magus replied only with some strange words. "
fulgur odiose confabricatus
"

          "...what?"
 
           Suddenly a sphere of lightning launched Schala away from him and dissipated. She sat on the ground looking up at him, but her resolve was unfazed.

           "fulgur jaculum"

           A bolt of Lightning arced around Schala and converged into an arrow-like bolt as it struck Magus in the chest, sending him staggering backward, considerably. When he looked up, she was standing over him, energy crackling around her, and her eyes were completely white and glowing.

          "I am the ranking arch-sorceress of the Kingom of Zeal... Schala called out, as if a ruler making a declaration. "Do not dare to defy me, warlock."
 
          Magus responded in kind, levitating in the air. There was a dark energy around him as his eyes went completely red. You will pay for this insolence...

          Darting at his sister, Magus grabbed her by the throat, carrying her to the ceiling and unloading a Dark Bomb spell right into her face. Momentarily blinded, she responded by grabbing his head and nearly freezing it solid. It was enough for her to escape, before she violently kicked him in the stomach, with every ounce of magic power she could. Once she landed, she quickly threw a barrier of flames over herself. Magus tried to penetrate, but the sphere exploded outwards and he was launched back again.

          Not wasting any time, Schala immediately encased his body in ice. With Magus immobilized, Schala levitated him in the air and began to leave with him....   

         ...she wasn't entirely surprised though when he escaped.

         He lunged toward her again with a punch, but she dodged and grabbed his arm.

         ...By this point, a large crowd had gathered in the room to watch. Sensing this, Magus responded by whirling his sister around and tossing her into the air, before suddenly hurling a large ball of lightning right at her, blasting her into the ceiling which suddenly smashed open, allowing moonlight to pour into the now open room.

         Pale moonlight was replaced by a bright flash as the lightning ball suddenly exploded, and Schala sailed to the ground. It seemed she was beginning to understand flight magic, herself. Awkwardly, she tried to throw her arms around Magus as tight as she could, tackling him to the ground.

         "Nggh... Look at you!!" Schala cried out. "Look what you're doing!! Attacking me... striking me...        Janus, what has happened to you??"

         Magus growled. "I told you...    J-Janus is dead!!"

         "No, he is not..." She replied.

         "Janus died in the fall of Zeal..." Magus insisted. "I exist now only to bring the same misery and torture down upon that beast!! And not even you can stop me!!"

         "SHUT UP!!!" Schala screamed, beginning to levitate again. The two figures clashed in the air, over and over again like balls of light. One was eerie and purple, while the other was blindingly bright. "Your petty, selfish revenge is a cost without reward!! Janus Zeal would never approve of what you've done!! Do you think you honor him??"

          Magus responded with a well-timed punch to the stomach.

          Schala nearly threw up a little blood from that.

          "nnngghh...!! D-damn..." she muttered, falling to the ground."

          Magus closed in on her, as the crowd watched, eagerly.

          ...it was time to finish her off.

          Grabbing her by the neck, Magus lifted her into the air above him. To this, Schala did not struggle any more. She did not thrash her legs about, or even try to pry his hands open. She only rested her whole body and looked him in the eyes, defeated.

          "You truly want me gone this much... do you?"

          "I wanted you to leave me," he replied. "I didn't want it like this."

          At this point, fiends were shouting and chanting. "DO IT!!! DO IT!! DO IT!! DO IT!!"

          Schala could see tears in her brother's eyes. Deep down, this was all painful enough for him. All the harm he brought to her... what he was doing now... She knew that Janus was definitely still in there.


          ...
         

          "very well," Schala replied.  "If Janus is truly dead..." she spoke, calmly, "Then I, as well. Just squeeze, fiendlord. Squeeze, and end it all."

          The chanting of fiends was getting louder and louder all around him. His heart was racing. His tears flowing. He didn't even care about that anymore. He had hurt Schala badly, and now he was going to kill her...

         "My god..." he thought to himself...    "what am I doing..."

         His fingers were shaking around her neck...    ...but no matter how hard he tried, he just...

         ...couldn't....

         ...squeeze.

         "NNggh....." he struggled...   his expression grew angrier... and angrier... mostly at himself. "Just squeeze, dammit!!!" he thought... "Why won't you do it!!!  Why...   won't... you........"

          "uuuuuuuaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

          ...He did squeeze, yes...    ...but not her neck.

          Janus couldn't take the guilt of what he was doing anymore, and held her tightly in his arms, breaking down into heavy sobbing.

          It was over, and he had lost.

          "Schala..." he struggled to speak, in painful remorse. His sister was beaten, and bloodied... He threw those attacks at her, he punched her hard in the stomach... he struck her across the face...  Schala, of all people.

          "I'm so sorry...."

          For once, she was smiling again, with tears in her eyes as well.

          "Hush...   Janus, it'll be ok...  it's ok, now...   hush..."

          The confused and angry cries of the fiends simply faded away around them. Janus just felt horrible for what he'd done to his dear sister, but had been so... convinced... and knew that if he stayed here any longer, his desire to bring about Lavos would only grow...

          "Schala..." he begged amidst sobbing. "Please... we have to get out of here... before I..."

          "I understand..." she whispered soothingly, holding his head in her arms. Then, she began softly humming an incantation...

          In a flash of light, both of them were gone.
 
          Axl stared on from a distance, realizing the fiends were about to lose the war.
Title: Re: New Project: Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on January 10, 2019, 08:33:27 pm
Ch 19: Conclusion

Zenan Plains, 599 Kingdom Calendar

   

   Schala dare not look back. She was happy and victorious, but also weak, injured. She and her brother both. They could only go so far on magic alone, and knew that the fiends would likely be looking for them, but if they could just get through that gate, they would be home free.

    Magus dare not look back, either. He didn't exactly fear the fiends, but he knew what he was leaving behind, and was afraid he might change his mind about this.

     Suddenly, Schala stumbled in front of him. Magus quickly caught her, and helped her up.

     "Let me help..." he whispered. "My magical strength is greater, after all."

     "I-I'm ok..." she tried to say, bravely. In truth, she took quite a beating and had hardly anything left. Magus realized this and, despite her protests, picked her up and began carrying her into the air. The land shrank beneath them, as the night air grew cold. Wrapping his cloak around her, he sailed toward Truce Canyon, where it all began.

      "How amusing," he thought to himself, "that my quest for vengeance in this... 'primitive' era should begin and end in the same place."

----------------------------------------------------

            "LET ME GO!!"

      A very angry looking green blob in a robe was hovering across the sands under the pale moonlight. A screaming child was slamming his fists into the creature's back, as he had been hoisted over its shoulder.

      Ozzie was already more than steamed that his trek to the top of Truce Canyon provided another non-sale with those irritating imps, but then this kid literally popped out of the sky and proceeded to telekinetically puree his clientelle. He'd be damned if he wasn't getting *something* out of this.

      "SHUT UP!" he shouted back at the annoying brat. "You cost me a fortune today, you know that?? You better hope your parents are rich, because if I'm not getting a ransom out of you, you're getting in my belly!"

      "You fool!! Of course my mother is rich!! She rules the entire kingdom of Zeal! If she finds out what you've done..."

---------------------------

       "Gods..." Magus thought to himself. "Was I truly so insolent? It... embarasses me to have been that child, so long ago... ...but, if Janus is alive, then I must bear it."

        Schala was sleeping peacefully in his arms. Below, unknown to either, a lone figure was racing across the land, following them.

----------------------------
 
     ...Janus had no memory of what came after. One minute he was screaming for Flea to stop, and the next...    ...Flea was on the ground, in the fetal position... he was screaming, crying, and...     covering his smoking, smoldering crotch.


     ...there was blood.

    "Oh shit."

    "UUUWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!" screamed Flea in pain and terror "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZZZZZZZZZZZZZIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *sob* OOOOOOOZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!"


--------------------------------------

    "I almost forgot how unbearable he was when we were young...   that he is the same child I so horribly mutilated all those years ago..."

---------------------------------------

     Janus found a sword to his throat.

        "You fiends are a blight upon our kingdom", the Sultan shouted. "I should have you executed one by one, like vermin past the threshold of my home. What have you to say in your defense?"

         "Not much..." Janus smiled, "...except that I intend to lead you to the rest of them..."

          Within minutes, guards had raided the den, slaughtering some students and arresting others. Those latter, along with the Prophet of Alucinatio, were then summarily and publicly beheaded. Janus couldn't help but smile as he watched, a necessary bridge burned so that he may reign unopposed.


-------------------------------

         "I led Slash and myself to slaughter with my new abilities, shortly after..." Magus kept thinking to himself. "Did the Sultan and his family truly deserve such a fate? His bigotry was violent...as was that of the inhabitants of Zenan. Schala would not agree with me...  but not only does she forgive me... she was willing to forcibly pull me away from that. To think, perhaps I did not truly understand my sister's love until today... for if I cannot forgive myself, then at least she does."

         Magus's mind turned further back, to his departure from Zeal.

-----------------------------------

"Hmm...! A Dimensional Warp!!"

    "No!!! We'll be dragged in!!"

     Janus cried out Schala's name.

     "NO!!" she screamed. "JANUS, STAY AWAY!!"
 
      He was confused at first, thinking she meant to protect him. But she didn't understand: he came to save her, and that's what he was going to do. He wasn't afraid. The Gurus were rattling off about holes in the air swallowing them up, and before Janus realized it, he was being dragged away as well.

      "S-... Schala!!???"

      "JANUS!!" Schala screamed. She reached out for her brother, but their fingers only touched before he was suddenly and violently sucked in.


---------------------------

       "Lavos..." Magus growled. "How dare you do all of this... and to think, where we go, you have already had your way with the rest of this planet... it is insulting...

        ...taunting...

        ...mocking me for my fai-"

       Magus stopped. Taking a breath, he looked down at his sleeping sister.

       "...no... perhaps that's what you wanted. After all, she says you lived, and I did not. Perhaps this is my victory..."

-------------------------------------------------------

        After some time, Magus and Schala arrived at the canyon. Magus quickly took a look around, making sure no one was there before turning to his sister, leaning on him.

        "What do we do now?" he asked. "How do we make it appear?"

        Schala smiled. "With this", she said as she produced the small metal wand and pressed a button.

        Magus jumped back in alarm, as a familiar blue void of doom appeared. He'd seen this before: it spat him out in this hell, decades ago. And now, he was going to a time period even worse off? Willingly? But if Schala was there, then maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

       Reminding himself that this was a good thing, Magus took Schala's hand and nervously approached the gate.

      "It is... safe, right?"

      Schala nodded. "It's safe, but... once we cross, I need you to destroy this gate key for good once we cross. Belthasar will be unhappy, but... I think it needs to be done, and I have barely the strength to hold it up."

     "Just a little further then..."   Magus smiled, holding her hand.

     "Just a little further..."



     
      ...





      ...they never entered.

     
      Just as they had taken one step, Schala suddenly lurched forward, screaming in agony. Alarmed, Magus knelt down to help her, confused as to what happened until she was laying on the ground...  ...with an arrow in her back.

      Magus's vision went red.

      "Schala..." Magus begged. "You have to get up... we're almost there..."

      She was too weak though, and the arrow...  it pierced something important. She couldn't breath, and she was bleeding profusely.

      "Janus..." she gargled, before blood fully filled her lungs and throat... "I-....ah-... I...  I-"


       ...


       ...

 
       ...and she was gone.

       literally three steps to safety, and she was gone.

       "No..." Magus whispered. "This cannot be... not when we were so close... not when I was willing to redeem myself...    !!"

   ----------------------------------

              "Until you realize that you cannot accomplish any of your true goals by yourself, you will slowly and steadily begin to lose everything, just as you did instantly when your kingdom was destroyed."

--------------------------------------

      "Is this your idea of a joke!!??" Magus shouted to the sky. "I wasn't alone!! She was helping me, and you took her!! I TRIED TO CHANGE!!!!!!!!     I TRIED TO CHANGE!!!!!"

      Looking down at the gate key, Magus angrily squeezed it, until it crushed to pieces in his hands. Then, he looked to the sky, his eyes filling with tears. "I...   tried..."

      "Yeah..." a voice called out. "..but that doesn't work so well for the rest of us."

      Magus whipped around, his eyes redder than usual, to see none other than Axl, holding a fired crossbow.

      "You did this..." Magus growled lowly.

      "I did," Axl replied. "I had to. She was bringing you down, and this was the only way to stop her. But it's okay now," he smiled. "You're going to bring forth Lavos, like you said you would. Like you promised us... without interruptions this time...          right?"

      ...

      ...


      ...Without fanfare, or words, Magus immediately compressed his scythe into nothingness, much to Axl's awe and confusion... before Axl, suddenly, felt something deep within his body.

      "M-Magus???"

      Magus stared at him, blankly, replying only with one word.

      "WandaIn..."
Title: ((FINISHED)) Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on January 11, 2019, 12:08:43 am
Ch 20: Epilogue


    Magus wanted to bury Schala, but had neither the time nor strength to do so. It disturbed him to have to incinerate her body, as it truly felt like she was disappearing from his world. However, there simply was no alternative, and he refused to simply dump her body in the woods for someone or something to find.

    "I'm sorry..." he uttered, under his breath. "With you... I would have done it. But what point is there, now? I return to a woman I feel I never truly knew...    an old man I have no fond memory of, seeking to dictate my life, if your words are true...   and a world where Lavos already won..."

    "Well," Magus thought to himself, "Maybe my fate is to perish. If so, then I must simply laugh. But nothing stands in my way now. I will have my revenge."

    As Schala's ashes scattered, Magus stood up and retrieved his scythe from the burst-open chest cavity of what used to be Axl. Then, with Axl's remains wrapped up in his cloak, Magus returned to his castle.

=============================

Keeper's Dome, 2299 Kingdom Calendar

    Queen Zeal had a nightmare the night before, and her feelings did not subside when she awoke. An intense, unbearable feeling came over her, and she needed to speak to Belthasar.

    "Belthasar..." she muttered, dragging herself out of bed toward his side.

    "Your Ma-Zeal?" he muttered. "Why are you awake so early?"

     Zeal sat down in a chair. She was trembling and wrapping her arms around herself, hunched over a bit and looking very distressed.

      ...

      "Zeal?"

      ...something chilling escaped her lips.

       ...

      "The Black Wind howls...                   ...Schala has failed."

       ...

       Belthasar stood there for a moment, processing both the gravity of her words, and what to do for her in this difficult moment. Finally, he just sat down with the Queen and held her in his arms, trying to comfort her as the weight of things began to hit him. He knew he was losing his mind... that he would likely never get to leave this time period...   but when the time was right, he hoped Schala and Queen Zeal one day could....               

        ...that unfortunately never came to be. As the day passed, Queen Zeal spent far more time around Belthasar than normal. She smiled sincerely through all of his controlling and insufferability, just wanting to spend time with him, as if she knew something was coming that he did not. When she went to bed that night, she thanked Belthasar for always being loyal to her kingdom... and for trying to stop her in her moment of weakness. She apologized to him profusely for that, seeking any kind of redemption or forgiveness she could, so she could have a clear conscience.

         Sure enough, she did not wake up the next morning.

         Belthasar was now completely on his own, aside from his mechanical Nu.

=======================================

          Magus's Castle
 
               600 Kingdom Calendar


 
           Axl's rotting skull was no longer recognizable on its wooden stake outside the entrance of the fortress, and Magus had ordered it to be removed.

           Schala's arrival a year ago had sown some distrust. However, what happened to Axl sent a clear message to the other fiends that Magus meant business, and would not be crossed.

           ...still, Magus thought deeply about her. There was nothing left of her, now. Nothing but the pendant...

           "The pendant..." Magus uttered out loud.

           "Huh?" Ozzie perked up.

           Magus stood at his demonic altar, the site where he would summon Lavos. Thinking deeply, he turned to face Ozzie.

           "The battle at Zenan Bridge... the fiends who successfully crossed have camped together right? Where are they now?"
 
           "Well..." Ozzie thought to himself, "They're holed out in the old Manolia Cathedral. Why?"

            Magus steepled his fingers and rested his forehead upon them.

            "...My sister sold something of great sentimental value to me: a pendant, which a brilliant blue stone. I want it returned to me. I don't care who bought it, who you have to kill, I Want That Pendant."

            "Not a problem," Ozzie smiled. "Yakra is over there now. I'll let him handle whoever has that pendant."

            "Excellent," Magus spoke. "Now, leave me...   the time is almost upon us, and I need solitude."

            Ozzie nodded silently, and left the room. As he did, Magus took a moment to let the sound completely die from the room, until he was in complete silence and darkness, before his demonic altar, to practice in peace. Turning away from the entrance, he raised his hands out to his sides, palms up, and began chanting again.

            ...
 
            "Nuega, Ziena, Zieber, Zom...

 (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/dBLt06nRWdA/hqdefault.jpg)


      Rise of the Fiendlord

         2018-2019 Captain B

                The End
Title: Re: ((FINISHED)) Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Redline57 on February 17, 2019, 04:25:14 am
Awesome story, great job! But why did you change the picture at the bottom?
Title: Re: ((FINISHED)) Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Boo the Gentleman Caller on February 17, 2019, 03:17:28 pm
Nice! Congrats on finishing the story!
Title: Re: ((FINISHED)) Rise of the Fiendlord
Post by: Captain B on March 03, 2019, 07:37:13 pm
Awesome story, great job! But why did you change the picture at the bottom?

I don't remember doing so, but if I did it was probably because the original image didn't work.