Author Topic: [MTG] The Mending of Alara  (Read 23131 times)

RaikouRider

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Re: [MTG] The Mending of Alara
« Reply #90 on: August 06, 2009, 09:08:52 PM »
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CHAPTER 12-4: The Decisive Battle

Music Track: Giygas' Intro
Album: Earthbound


After taking deep breaths and drawing their weapons, the five freedom fighters bravely stepped through the vortex. The first thing they noticed was the storm of mana at the very center of a large, floating landmass, the swirling streams of mana twisting the ground beneath in ways no one thought possible. "Well, this is it!" Aravan shouted over the magical windstorm. Josh and Ace began walking toward the multicolored nexus of the mana storm, their hearts racing just as fast as their friends'.

When they had reached the edge of the safe ground, about sixty feet from the bright center, a creature looking like an angel leaped out from inside the storm. Her wings were tinted with the other four colors of mana as depicted on the monitor they had seen earlier. Even her sword hilt glowed vibrantly in all five colors of mana. "So, Asha still has not atoned for her errors, Eron?" she said, pointing her blade at the other angel.

"You're an archangel of Bant!" Eron shouted back. "Why aren't you helping the others protect her people?"

"Unlike you want to believe, lowly Amesha, Asha is fallible and corrupt. Without the necromancy and death energy of Grixis to keep her powers of light in check, she could do entirely as she pleases, without a feeling for her subjects. Furthermore, she did not realize the consequences of her actions, and she is going to pay dearly for it. With the defeat of Sedris, the balance of Alara's mana is upset, and the Progeny wakes again."

"By defeating Sedris, we have made Alara a better, safer place to live! That is the ideal Asha strives for, and the ideal everyone in Bant is taught from childhood! Surely she taught you that during your ascension!"

"I will no longer serve a ruler who purges those who do not conform exactly to her ways. I now serve the Progeny, who casts fair and perfect judgment to all five former shards of Alara. The Progeny is incorruptible, ineffable, and infallible. The Progeny has given strict orders to eliminate, through whatever means necessary, anyone who does not agree with the perfect judgment laid before everyone here. Asha must suffer for her transgressions. Join the Progeny in purging the corrupt, and live the ideal life in the new Alara!"

"Upon my ascension as an angel," Eron breathed heavily, "I forever swore to Asha that I would defend her and uphold her ideals. She needs me just as much as I--no, all of us--need her. And I have no intention of breaking my vow to her!"

"If this is the way it must end, then feel free to throw your lives away--they will only fuel the Progeny's purging flames!"

"Chaaaaaaaaaaaaarge!!!" Eron and his four friends shouted.

Music Track: Dancing Mad (Tier 1) //Nobuo Uematsu
Album: Final Fantasy VI OSV


Of course, only Josh, Eron, and Ace charged the angel. Just as the two swordsmen were about to jump-slash her, she leaped up--straight into a shot fired from Eron's bow, from point-blank range.

"You cannot keep a secret from me! Soulgaze!" Aravan cried, then gasped in horror at how powerful their foe was. "Guys!!" he shouted. "Stay away from her!"

But it was too late. The angel raised her sword skyward, a holy bolt promptly striking it. "Pour down holy rain from the gates of heaven! Tempest of Light!" She threw her sword into the air above her, and spheres of holy energy fell around her like hail. One nailed Eron straight in the chest, and he struggled to stay aloft after the blow. The other two dropped to the ground almost immediately, moaning painfully on the way back up. Just as she caught her blade, Ace's sword arm started shaking from being nailed several times with the balls of light.

"As I was saying," Aravan resumed, "she has all kinds of area-of-effect spells that devastate groups of melee attackers. Keep spread out!" The group dispersed at his command. "Freeze underneath a mountain of ice! Glacier Force!" He led the angel straight into a rapidly-forming prison of ice, burying her in layer after layer of cold. After eight layers formed, a beam of the coldest temperature he could conjure shattered the sheets of ice. "So the DM is respecting the 9999 damage cap after all...I really wish DMs would stop doing that, especially if they expect their players to reach epic level."

"Pesky Esper wizards," she gritted her teeth. "This should teach you..." She raised her arms into the air. "In my presence you will know quiet! Silence!" From his neck up to his eyes, Aravan's skin began turning white, sealing his mouth shut as soon as the color change passed it.

"Purify this crippled body and mind!" Shalin cried. "Refresh!" Aravan's skin turned back to normal, the spell completely reversing the effects of the angel's silencing act. Just as the angel was re-casting it, Josh and Ace leaped toward her, slashing from both sides. The crippling mixture of light and darkness erupted from her wounds. After a loud shriek, she collapsed, and the storm sucked her body in.

Music Track: Dancing Mad (Tier 2) //Nobuo Uematsu
Album: Final Fantasy VI OSV


Pulses of concentrated mana shot out in a myriad of directions as another creature flew out from inside the storm--this one appeared to be a Grixis demon transformed by the Maelstrom. The vile creature raised its arms skyward, absorbing electricity from the storm into its hands before releasing it on top of Josh. The knight dropped to his knees, electricity crackling all over his armor.

"The Maelstrom ran its course through demonic hordes as well," Eron sighed in observation. "There will be no rest and no mercy for the *Bleep*ed! Asha's Vengeance!" Thick beams of intense, holy light rained above the demon, cutting through its body like the sharpest sword in existence. The assault literally ripped open a hole in its chest. Seeing no way to defeat someone with holy power on his side, the gasping creature dove straight toward the angel, its body encased in electricity. Unable to fly out of the way in time, Eron found himself trapped beneath the abomination, electrocuted in its suicide move.

"*Bleep*, Eron, you're supposed to stay in the back row!" Aravan shouted. "You're a healer!" The demon, too, was sucked back into the center of the Maelstrom. "Without a healer, we're not going to make it!"

"You still have me!" Shalin reassured her comrade.

"But you can't rez at all. Eron was the only one of our party that could rez last time I looked at everyone's character sheets. And since this is the final battle, I am sure the DM isn't beyond using cheap, instant-death tactics to see that he is the winner of his own campaign."

Music Track: Dancing Mad (Tier 3) //Nobuo Uematsu
Album: Final Fantasy VI OSV


Before Shalin could reply, cones of electricity surrounded the four fighters still standing. A second cone fell to the side of each of the first, then the sets began disintegrating from the ground up. Suddenly, Josh found himself attacked by a silhouette of an armored man exactly the same height and build as himself. He barely parried the blow. The others found themselves in similar situations, facing shadow beings that appeared to be clones of themselves. Eron, exhausted from battle, could no longer keep his eyes open.

"I swear the DM is metagaming," Aravan snarled. "You cannot keep a secret from me! Soulgaze!" He found all four of their foes to be surprisingly weak, especially for what he thought of as an 'endgame boss'. "Level 99 hit points with level 50 stats, huh? Typical." He turned to Ace and Shalin. "See if you can catch them all in an area spell--they don't even have enough hit points to survive the damage cap!"

The barbaric shadow warrior leaped above the summoning circle created by Shalin's copy, trying to come down on top of Josh. His sword felt just as heavy as Ace's, knocking the knight to the ground. Josh prayed to Asha for help, chanting a healing spell he needed to stand again. Unfortunately for him, his foe continued to wail on him while he was down, as the instinct of anyone from Jund would command. He, too, had no strength to keep his eyes open, and both Bantians were fading fast.

"Fireheart of the world, rain burning destruction! Meteor Storm!"

"Rage and blow, storms of fury! Tsunami!"

The massive updrafts created by the windstorm Shalin procured lifted their foes right into Ace's rain of boulders. The shadow clones of Ace and Josh vanished after their first contact with the burning rocks, and Aravan's followed on the third. The final one remaining was barely able to stand after putting out the flames with a quick casting of Refresh, but now she was accompanied by a dark version of one of the Nayan's great titans. The black mockery of a Spearbreaker stood in front of her as she cast a weaker version of Shalin's Nourish spell. That gave her the strength to climb up the Gargantuan's body and spray fireballs while riding the great beast.

"Make a mockery of Naya's greatest creatures, will you?!" Shalin shouted. "Tear my foe to pieces with a cone of wind! Gale Force!" Three hurricane-force wind gusts converged directly on top of the behemoth, blowing the rider from her perch and into the storm of mana. Once she had disintegrated, so did the beast. Shalin, Aravan, and Ace ran toward the two fallen. "Josh, are you okay?" Shalin knelt down to get a closer look at the injured fighter.

Music Track: Dancing Mad (Tier 4) //Nobuo Uematsu
Album: Final Fantasy VI OSV


Before she got a chance to listen for a response, the ground beneath them began shaking, and the central nexus swirled more violently. From the hole that had been created due to the storm's distortion came the most bizarre creature they had seen yet. Its entire body glowed like the multicolored panorama of the Maelstrom, only brighter. A cord stretched from its chest to the center of the storm. It looked somewhat like a human, but far different than anything they had encountered during their trip across Alara. The closest expression to describe what it resembled was a glowing human fetus.

"This is the Progeny itself," Aravan gasped.

"For the sake of everyone all over Alara!" Shalin rallied her comrades.
 
The only noise the Progeny made was a shrill cry akin to that of a young child, and with it came terrible magic. A transparent spirit of a snake appeared, coiling around Aravan's head then taking a bite into it before vanishing. He dropped to his knees, hands on the sides of his head, trying to curb the splitting headache from literally having a portion of his mind eaten. Shalin gasped and ran toward her friend out of concern. Ace, paying no attention to them, charged the entity. His blade merely bounced off the side of the strange being. "What?!" he shouted.

"Let me try!" Shalin replied. "Tear my foe to pieces with a cone of wind! Gale Force!" A large tunnel of wind slammed directly into the divine child, but it, too, had no effect at all. "Nothing's working!"

"Reduce this body to its natural capability!" Aravan cried. "Disenchant!" A sphere of faint white light surrounded the foe, then shattered without effect. "Whatever is causing our attacks to bounce off cannot be removed by normal means! *Bleep*!"

With a second shrill cry, fireballs rained from the sky, and a yellow dome of highly unstable mana fueled by pure rage surrounded the party. Any fireballs that contacted the dome exploded on contact, until the dome fell in on itself. All three remaining fighters found themselves on the ground, Shalin the only one able to even get up to her knees afterward.

---

(Silence Music Track)

"Aravan!" Sharuum cried. "I feel something terrible just happened to Aravan!"

"You're not the only one," Kresh added. "It's like I can't feel Ace anymore. I didn't care for the guy much to begin with, but I have to respect his bravery."

"So, now it's them, too..." Asha sobbed. "First Eron, then Josh, then those two...was there no hope for a unified Alara to begin with? As far as we have come, we were sure that we could change our own fate. We thought that fate was something to be decided by ourselves, but perhaps it truly is the gods that determine our fate. We just should have gone in there with them. They would have had a better chance with us."

"Asha, it is not your fault," Sharuum assured her. "If anyone had the capability to free the unified Alara from the fate of the Progeny, it was them. We would not have done them any good."

"This means that their deaths will burden our souls for the rest of our lives, Sharuum. We are the ones who sent them into such a dangerous place."

"No, Asha. They went there on their own prerogative. It was ultimately their decision, and they accepted it. It is no one's fault."

"I still feel terrible for Eron. He ascended to become an angel, then sacrificed himself for a cause that was ultimately futile."

"Shalin?" Mayael mumbled.

"What, Mayael?" Asha perked up.

Music Track: FINAL FANTASY ~FFXII Ver.~ //Hitoshi Sakimoto
Album: Final Fantasy XII OST


"It's Shalin! She's still alive! I can feel her--barely, but she's still alive!" She folded her hands in prayer. "O great hydra-god Progenitus, grant Shalin strength in her time of need, for the fate of every living thing on Alara depends on it!" She turned back to the other guardians. "Everyone, we must pray for Shalin and the others!"

"I don't believe in that stuff," Kresh replied.

"Then try to reach out to Ace in your own way!" Asha folded her hands in prayer, then she, Mayael, and Sharuum closed their eyes.

---

Another wail from the Progeny, and lightning began striking around Shalin and her fallen friends. Just as she was about to be struck by one, a faint, rainbow-colored aura surrounded her and her friends, and the bolt slid around it. The four fallen opened their eyes and slowly got back on their feet. Once all five were standing again, the auras surrounded the divine creature instead. With a sound akin to a large piece of glass shattering, the mana holding the aura together broke into many pieces and disappeared. The vibrant colors of the Progeny faded slightly as it cried in pain. "Mayael...thank you," Shalin sighed.

Music Track: Dancing Mad (Tier 4) //Nobuo Uematsu
Album: Final Fantasy VI OSV


"Save the thanks for later," Aravan added urgently, "we still have a job to do!" He turned to face his foe. "You cannot keep a secret from me! Soulgaze!" After casting the spell, he paused in thought."

"So, what are we looking at here?" Eron asked.

"Wow, I was honestly expecting worse. 99,999 hit points is a lot, but at level sixty shouldn't take terribly long. It's so powerful, it appears to be able to cast every single spell known to anyone on Alara, but cannot control its casting at all. From this, I can say that it will cast a completely random spell every round. That appears to be its entire battle script, regardless of its current hit point count."

"Any weak points?"

"Not really; it takes half damage from all elements. Stick to weapon attacks and non-elemental spells. You cannot drain all of its mana points either, as it will just draw more from the Maelstrom as a free action every round. Because of the large number of area-of-effect spells it can cast, we need to stay spread out." At Aravan's suggestion, the party fanned out, Josh and Ace on opposite sides of the Progeny, and Shalin and Aravan in the far corners. Eron flew high above his friends, keeping one eye on them and the other on his foe.

After another cry, a faint barrier of light formed around the mighty guardian of the Maelstrom, similar to Eron's Hindering Light spell. Josh and Ace wailed on it with their swords, the Bantian's light-and-dark blade a liability instead of an asset in this fight. The others followed up with the strongest single-targeting spells they had in their arsenal, being Gale Force, Purge, and Glacier Force. Despite the massive blows, the Progeny showed no sign of weakness.

A huge twister lifted Josh high into the air, sending him crashing to the ground after a long trip back down. He dizzily looked for where he dropped his sword, crawling back toward Aravan to find it. The Esper wizard helped him stand back up while Ace continued to slash away and the others repeatedly fired the same spells as before.

Two exchanges later, the Progeny unleashed a devastating spell none of them had ever seen cast anywhere on Alara. An enormous, fiery explosion engulfed the entire field of battle, the ancient being directly in the center of the white flames. The holy flames sent all five of them flying, their power collecting in the center of the blast, the caster absorbing it. The only thing that saved Ace was his high heat tolerance.

"It's now or never," Shalin said, being the first to stand up. The others rose much more slowly. "Empower us with the divine strength of the Nayan Gargantuans! Titanic Ultimatum!" Her hands swirled with amounts of mana she had never manipulated before, branching off into five streams each capable of producing an intense spell. When it had encased her and her allies, all of them grew to an enormous size--easily triple their normal height.

Eron and Aravan quickly found out that the power of their spells had also been magnified; the angel in particular saw how much more brightly his rays of judgment glowed. Aravan's blast of cold further agitated the Progeny. Before it got the chance to cast another spell, Ace leap-slashed it, the weight of his blade also magnified. With a loud wail, the divine spellcaster disappeared, as well as the nexus distorting the ground at the center of the Maelstrom. Once it had fallen, all five of the victors returned to their normal size.

Music Track: Escape
Album: Super Metroid


Seconds later, the entire area began shaking, and the multicolored panorama of the Maelstrom began cycling through its five colors like a strobe light. Suddenly, Asha's voice echoed above the earthquake-like noise. "Listen, everyone! In its defeat, the Progeny seeks to crush everything inside the Maelstrom with one final magical assault--the destruction of the Maelstrom itself! You need to hurry and escape--it could collapse any second!"

"But we're so far from where we came in here that it'll be impossible to get out in time!" Shalin panicked.

"You're a guardian of Alara--isn't there anything you can do to hold it off?" Eron said in a slightly calmer, yet still urgent, tone.

"With all four of us working together, we should be able to hold it back long enough for you to escape."

"How long?"

"My guess would be twenty minutes."

"Then we have twenty minutes to get out of here!"

"I figured the DM would throw a load-bearing boss at us soon enough," Aravan moaned. "It does make for exciting escape scenes, but it defies all forms of logic."

END OF CHAPTER

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

A mere ten days after the Mending, a young knight of Valeron and a young ranger of Eos made a discovery that would change Alara forever.

Thanks to Spiderboy4 of High~Light Studios!

RaikouRider

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Re: [MTG] The Mending of Alara
« Reply #91 on: August 09, 2009, 09:27:37 PM »
--------------

CHAPTER 12-5: Escape

Knowing that getting out of the Maelstrom on foot would be nowhere near fast enough, everyone gifted with a flying mount called them forth from the aether. The sphinx sat down low enough for Aravan to climb aboard without event, but Ace had to hoist himself onto his hellkite. Shalin's phoenix glowed in bright, vibrant yellow, oranges, and reds, and the halcou looked majestic, as always.

"I see two vortices instead of one," Ace observed.

"*Bleep*, I knew this was going to happen," Aravan snapped. "He changed the entire dungeon on us for the escape!"

"Well, which way?"

"How should I know?"

"Just pick one! We don't have forever!"

"Right. Go right!" All of them flew through where the nexus used to be and into the portal to the right. Ace's dragon soared ahead in a burst of speed, flying into the white light at the center of the vortex. After emerging in the new area, Ace and Aravan found themselves on the ground, the two birds flying in the cramped quarters of the Etherium Mines.

"It's what happens when you teleport a summoned creature into a space too small to fit in--it is recalled back into the aether," Shalin explained.

"What are we supposed to do now? Even if we get into a more open area, I'm tapped out," Aravan moaned.

"Well, it's going to be a bit of a long shot, but I think my leotau will be fast enough for you two," Josh suggested. "Eron, you may have to ride with me at some point, which is going to slow the halcou down. If you ever fall behind, this is what it will probably come to." He folded his hands in prayer, projecting the summoning circle in the testing chamber the former jail cell faced. Immediately after the leotau appeared, Ace and Aravan pulled themselves on to its back. The five made for the east exit to the research lab, and found a vortex that wasn't previously there before, inside one of the inactive stasis tanks. The one next to the quarantine chamber had disappeared. All the active computer monitors showed "EVACUATE" with a timer beneath that ticking away the time remaining, down to hundredths of a second.

Ace clasped his hands together and began casting a spell to break the tank open. "Wait!" Aravan shouted.

"What is it? I'm gonna bust this thing open!"

"Josh, do you think your leotau can break the tank with a charge?"

"Absolutely." Without a reply, Aravan slid off, Ace following after the Esperite prodded him so. After a deep breath, the majestic, armored feline charged into the tank, shattering it to pieces and activating the portal. This time, Eron helped Ace and Aravan get back aboard Josh's beast before all five of them went through. Aravan got one last glimpse at the timer before it disappeared into the multicolored light; it read 17 minutes 22 seconds and change.

The warp dropped them in the middle of the Desert of Repentance, no idea where they were. "*Bleep*, now we have to search the desert for a way out?!"

"I'll scout out for an exit," Shalin offered, and her phoenix took to the northern sky in a blazing fireball.

"I'll go too," Josh said, then his halcou took off in the opposite direction. The group staying behind became more nervous with each passing second, large tremors creating quicksand in low spots of the arid land.

Over three minutes later, Shalin stopped her firebird above the remnants of an Esperite tower and waved. Seeing her stop, he turned the halcou around and flew full speed toward her. Eron kept pace with the running leotau as best he could, warning the riders of quicksand he could see better from the air. The vortex was partially concealed by the tower, which is what made it so difficult to spot. Once everyone had caught up, everyone dove through it, Aravan the only one aware of exactly how much time had passed.

The shaking became much more profound upon being thrust into the Valley of Progenitus--by this time, each tremor made the ground beneath visibly move, making it hard for the leotau to keep its balance. Shalin pointed out that the west gate from which she entered the valley was still there. She flew through it first, and the others followed in single file.

The party emerged in the Stomping Fields, just as Shalin expected. All the Gargantuans that wandered here previously had mysteriously vanished. Shalin's phoenix swooped high into the air, the two looking for portals hidden among the ruins. After circling the field once, she found two. The group opted for the closer one, hidden behind a pile of square columns that somehow the tremors had not knocked over yet. The shaking getting more intense by the minute, all of them rushed through the gate. "*Bleep* you, DM!" Aravan shouted as he discovered they emerged back in the Etherium Mines, one cell over from where they had started. They backtracked to the Stomping Fields, riding and flying to the warp on the other side of the plains. This other gate led back to the Seaswept Cliff, the water by the beach churning violently from the near-constant tremors.

"Finally, back in familiar territory," Josh sighed.

"And with not much time to spare, either--only seven minutes left!" Aravan added. Rather than risk the Esperite, Ace had the leotau run down the winding mountain path while those capable of flight flew down to the portal on the south side of the beach. Everyone hustled through, and they breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the east end of the Cathedral of Bliss in sight. Just as they stepped onto the narrow path that led to the three-dimensional maze, all the routes collapsed to be level with each other, and another of those strange, five-toned elementals rose out of the ground. Aravan clasped his hands together, and one began glowing white; the other, black.

"I thought you were tapped out," Shalin said.

"Not quite; I have just enough mana left to cast this." He turned back toward the monstrosity. "You will die, and no one will remember you. Unmake!" An enchanted mirror rose from the ground up to the elemental's face. When the creature saw its own reflection, its body shattered into jagged pieces, as though it was made of glass. The phoenix and halcou carried their riders to the balcony of the Cathedral. Eron landed a couple hundred feet from it, exhausted from flying for so long. After walking to just in front of it, he sighed not once, but twice. With a heroic effort, he heaved himself back into the air, barely high enough to grab onto the edge of the floating sanctuary. Josh and Shalin dismounted to pull him up to safety. Eron collapsed on the balcony after being pulled up.

The leotau carrying Ace and Aravan carefully ran across the merged paths, focusing on keeping its balance while the ground shook harder yet. Once they were just beneath the sanctuary, Josh recalled his leotau back into the aether, then instructed the halcou and phoenix to pick them up and get them to safety. Shalin hugged Ace when her firebird dropped him off. "I'm so glad you're safe!"

"We're not safe yet," Aravan pointed out. "Though the exit portal is right there, we're still way above the ground. This place is going to blow in less than three minutes, and I'm completely tapped out."

"So am I," Ace sighed. "So what can we do?"

"There's only one option," Shalin started to suggest. "The halcou and phoenix will have to carry us to the ground, one at a time each."

"We don't have enough time for that!" Aravan exclaimed urgently.

"It's our only out. We don't have a choice. Aravan, Ace! Go!" Aravan gripped the halcou the hardest he could as it disappeared through the portal and to the western deck of the side of the cathedral back in Alara. Ace and the phoenix followed Aravan. When both of them stood on the edge of the deck, they simultaneously dove down, both screaming from the G-forces behind their birds' acceleration. The riders literally rolled off their birds and onto the grassy plains below, unable to stand from being so dizzy and tired. Seconds later, the riderless birds took back to the air.

Back at the top, Eron, Josh, and Shalin stepped through the vortex and onto the landing deck. The angel couldn't believe that the most sacred structure in all of Bant would be destroyed in less than two minutes. Josh and Shalin watched anxiously, waiting for their birds to come through the clouds and carry them away from the doomed Cathedral. "What's taking so long?!" Shalin half-snapped, half-moaned. The seconds seemed like minutes, Josh keeping track of each passing one. Twenty seconds passed, and still no sign of them. Thirty seconds. Forty seconds. Fifty seconds, and still no sign of them.

After a minute passed, a computerized voice saying "WARNING" repeatedly echoed beyond the unstable portal. Still no sign of them. Josh counted down the seconds in his head. Forty-two, forty-one, forty, thirty-nine, thirty-eight. At long last, the halcou and phoenix rocketed through the clouds and onto the deck. Twenty-nine, twenty-eight, twenty-seven, twenty-six.

Josh loosened the halcou's saddle, scooted it up slightly, then tightened it again. Twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen. "Hurry, Josh!" Shalin shouted from her perch as the knight helped Eron get onto the avian. Josh was forced to sit behind Eron, directly on the bird's feathers. Twelve, eleven, ten, nine. "We have to go, now!" Eron looked back at the cathedral one last time as the phoenix and halcou took off with the remaining three in tow. Five, four, three, two, one, zero.

Pulses of mana unlike anything Alara had ever experienced before shot out from the vortex, cutting through the floating structure and sending debris flying everywhere. Large chunks of metal and stone became weapons deadlier than any sword man, aven, or angel ever crafted. The halcou and phoenix continuously weaved to lessen the chance of being hit by objects flying at hundreds of miles per hour. They touched down next to Ace and Aravan and gasped at the horror they witnessed.

---

Music Track: Majestic Kingdom //Dennis Martin
Album: The Legend of Dragoon OST


"Will he be okay?" Shalin asked the balmgiver tending to Ace at the Seaside Palace. "He was bleeding pretty badly when that statue piece fell on top of his leg."

"He's going to have to have his leg amputated and replaced with an etherium one," the female cleric replied. "It's the only way he'll ever walk again. We have several enchantments dulling the pain as best we can, but he was still groaning. We'll probably get him into surgery later this afternoon, and you have the metallurgeons who evacuated here from Esper to thank for that. Otherwise, such an operation wouldn't be possible."

"As much as I disagree with the use of etherium, I'm happy it's saving my friend's life. Esper was obsessed with the stuff, and it caused their entire civilization to fall apart."

"Well, that makes sense. You're a Nayan druid, and are trained from childhood to only take from nature what you need. Druidic magic is very good at destroying artifice."

"I learned to suppress that after traveling with Aravan. He taught me that there are both constructive and destructive uses of it. So long as it's being used to save lives rather than take them, I'm fine with it."

"You should stay in Valeron--you could teach our druids a few things that could help better protect her ports from Jhessian invasion."

"That war is still going on?"

"I'm sure that when things return to normal--rather, as close to normal as they'll ever get--we'll be at war with Jhess again over naval rights. It's been that way for years, and I don't see it stopping anytime soon."

"Well, I would stay, but I'm pretty sure after everything settles down here, Mayael and I are going to return to Naya to deliver the news. I'm off to tell the others about Ace."

"Have a good day."

---

"Is Ace going to make it?" Eron asked, still in bed as Shalin entered, Josh and Aravan turning their heads toward her.

"He's going to have his leg replaced with an etherium one, but it looks like he'll make it," Shalin answered. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. "He's going into surgery tonight, and thanks to the magical properties of etherium, recovery shouldn't be more than a week."

"All the metallurgeons who survived the fallout must have been novices," Aravan added. "It never took anyone I've known that long to recover from very similar operations. Of course, most of those people are probably dead by now."

"What are you going to do now, Aravan?" Josh asked. "We're all going home once Ace's leg is repaired and healed, but you don't exactly have a home to return to."

"I'll probably stay somewhere in Bant for a while, heading to the outer limits of Esper regularly to collect data on the fallout. When it's safe, I plan to go back to assist in the cleanup plan. Of course, this is years down the road; I doubt Esper will ever reach her former glory again. How close we get largely depends on how much etherium in the wreckage is salvageable. I think the Ethersworn have learned why Crucius fled Esper after hearing just how far the Noble Work was taken, and we will make better use of what little we have."

"Speaking of plans, what are you going to do, Eron? There isn't a home for you to return to either, now that you're an angel."

"I'm going to see what Asha says," Eron replied. "Without the Cathedral, none of us know where to go, really."

"I think we should see her the day after Ace's surgery, when he feels well enough to at least be moved."

---

Music Track: The Elemental Stars //Motoi Sakuraba
Album: Golden Sun OST


"Thank you, all of you," Asha congratulated the five fighters, Ace's new artificial leg still wrapped underneath a number of sheets. "You have given the reunified Alara the chance to live on its own, apart from the Progeny that seeked for the world to be split. We owe our lives to you." Silence followed. "You don't have to say anything."

"Enough of the formalities," Aravan interrupted. "We know, we're heroes. I would prefer if we got down to business." He turned to Sharuum. "Great Hegemon, what are your plans for returning to Esper?"

"Sedris' wake of destruction has made Esper uninhabitable for the time being," Sharuum answered. "With all traces of his undead gone, the radiation should clear naturally, but it will take several years at least. Then, we have to address the issue of cleaning up Vectis and Palandius, as well as the outer cities also affected by the fallout. We must salvage as much etherium as possible out of the ruined structures, as we cannot mine new etherium from the bottom levels. Because the quarantined area is far underground, it will never be safe to traverse again. From there, we make careful, sparse use of the etherium we have to rebuild Esper. Again, this will take years. In the meantime, we sphinxes will stay in Bant, outside the castles. The rest of the evacuees will have to find shelter here in Bant, or elsewhere in Alara. It should not be difficult, as the societies from the other worlds are mingling with Bant and each other as we speak."

"Sadly, that has made Alara more dangerous," Mayael added. "Gargantuans and dragons now roam everywhere, doing as they please as though it was their home world. Of course, we are now better equipped to handle them, as you demonstrated yourself, Shalin. You trained a dragon to follow Ace's orders--something unheard of among godtouchers. After all this is over, Shalin, I would like to meet with you again, in my palace. We have important matters to discuss, privately."

"Now that Alara is permanently merged back together thanks to the Progeny's defeat," Asha continued, "she faces a new problem: her five cultures merging together with the worlds themselves.

---

Music Track: Overture //Nobuo Uematsu
Album: Final Fantasy VIII OST


Word of Josh's heroic deeds quickly spread throughout Bant, and he was later invited to Castle Valeron, where Rafiq greeted him with great news. The two of them toured Bant's many castles, Josh collecting a number of sigils at each stop. After returning to Valeron, Rafiq, the king, and the angels blessed him with a new rank: Co-Knight-Captain of the Reliquary. This, in name, made him an equal to the Grand Champion of Sigils.

Eron returned to Asha, who further blessed him by declaring him the next Asura of Honor when it was her time to go. He, too, collected numerous sigils for his heroic work.

Shalin and Mayael returned to her palace back in south-central Naya, where she announced that Shalin would be Mayael's successor as Anima. She couldn't believe she was charged with such a powerful and daunting duty. The two went all over Naya to spread the news to humans, nacatl, and elves all over Naya. Tensions between humans and elves relaxed, and elves began to interact with Shalin's Gargantuans more.

Ace spent a great deal of time in the castles of Bant, getting used to his artificial leg before returning to the skies above Jund. The hellkite he commanded made him a fierce predator, never a shortage of food on their dinner table. Not even the greatest of clans dared to hunt him or his dragon down.

Aravan and Sharuum stayed at the Seaside Palace, they and the others from Esper looking into the condition of their former homeland. In the meantime, he was raised in the way of chivalry, reintroducing offensive and support blue magic to wizards in Akrasa, and from there, all of Bant. The new skills introduced would certainly make following Hero Competitions more interesting than even the one where Ace and Shalin fought each other.

After a long period of time, Esper began to look like a former shadow of her previous self, and traces of life blossomed into grassy plains in Vithia, the world formerly known as Grixis. The more time that passed, the less apparent it became that the plane of Alara even fractured into five shards to begin with.

Though their homes were hundreds of miles apart from each other, the five heroes still stayed in contact with one another, gathering from time to time in places spread all across Alara. The names Josh, Eron, Shalin, Ace, and Aravan, the names of those who freed the reunited Alara from her terrible fate, would never be forgotten by her people.


THE END

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For those of you who have also read Alara Unbroken, I would like to know what you think of this compared to that book.


« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 08:07:31 AM by RaikouRider »
A mere ten days after the Mending, a young knight of Valeron and a young ranger of Eos made a discovery that would change Alara forever.

Thanks to Spiderboy4 of High~Light Studios!