The Second Mage War

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The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 21st, 2017, 10:16:22 pm

This is something that takes place in an AU, where a mysterious egg, not money, has become the root of all evil. Will probably take a few posts, so check back often.
Chapter 1: Thomas

Fireballs flying, icicles filling the air, boulders mowing down magi left and right. And all I can think of is Where in the world am I? And how did I get here?
The last thing I remember is... I was at the Keep, trying to figure out what those eggs were. I found it the first one in Boreus, and then I found the same kind in Voltar, the Grass Forest, and the Callisto Islands. They change colors too, in a cycle. Black, blue, white, red, and back again. And not like a Spider Light, not really. They don't give off any light, and there's no set time interval. They just shift colors, with no warning. You can't tell when they'll shift again.
I'm the only one who knows about it, but I know that it was nothing anyone had seen before. It wasn't in the Bestiary, and I know all the legends, and there's nothing about something like this. I learned a long time ago not to touch an unknown egg barehanded, but It didn't seem to be on fire or anything, so I risked picking it up without my gloves. And I think that was a bad move, because the instant I did, there was a flash of light, and when it disappeared I was... wherever this is. I still can't figure that out. My best guess though? I've been zapped back in time to the mage wars. Definitely the mage wars. Why else would there be this kind of magic zipping back and forth through the air?
My thoughts are disrupted by a loud screech, deafening even over the clamor of battle. Again and again, I hear it, like a mix between a vicious war cry and a wrenching death howl. It's terrifying, and it seems to come from everywhere until suddenly it's right behind me. I feel claws closing around me, and I see a shadow, bigger than any shadow should ever be, blotting out the sunlight. I look up and see a massive, pitch black, howling gryphon, still letting loose the horrible sound. Then I hear a voice and realize that this gryphon has a rider.
"What in the world are you doing here?!" booms the voice. "I told you to stay at the Keep!" I finally manage to get a look at the source of the voice - a man barely visible on the back of the enormous beast that holds me, with a voice far too loud for someone of his short stature. I realize that he must think I'm someone else.
"Who the heck are you?" I ask, hoping to get the point across that I'm not his apprentice, or whoever he thinks he talking to. All the while we're flying away from the battle, and believe me, I'm good with that.
"What do you mean? I'm..." he pauses and leans in to look at me. Then a look of realization comes across his face, and he says, "Oh." He shakes his head. "I apologize, my boy. You bear a resemblance to my son, Malcolm, whom I specifically told to stay back at the Keep. My name is Aladon. But I have some questions for you, and I expect answers." Aladon. Now there's a name I recognize. He's one of the high council at the Keep, a trusted adviser to Thane. His son Malcolm is in my class. He's a total moron, and kind of a jerk. Back on topic, the fact that Aladon's here just about eliminates my time travel theory. But I want answers, and I figure being smart-alecky to a council member is a bad idea, so I roll with it.
"What's your name? And how old are you, boy? 12?"
"My name is Thomas, and I'm 14."
"That's far too young to be on the battlefield! Whose apprentice are you?"
"Master Francis."
"Never mind. Where am I anyway? And what year is it?"
"Right now we're heading for the Keep. Nightfall here needs some rest. And did you seriously just ask what year it is?"
"Yes, I did. My brain is a bit scrambled right now."
"Incredible. What year do you think it is?"
"Well, it was 3029 PW when I left, if I remember correctly.
"Post wars. 3029 years after the great mage wars ended."
"That's not an expression I'm familiar with, but you've got that right."
"Then what's with the battle back there?"
"Have you been drinking boy? Or just living under a rock? It's the Stream Wars!"
"What? There's no such thing. The Stream belongs to everyone, why would there be a war?"
"Boy, now I know you've been drinking. The three guilds have been fighting it out for well-nigh two decades!"
"Three guilds?"
"Herbalist's Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Society of the Trident. Each one wants control of the Stream for themselves."
"But why?"
"Boy, I'm not going to explain the entire history of the world, stuff that's common knowledge."
"It's not common knowledge where I'm from! Look, just let me talk to master Belmos, he'll know me."
"Belmos was captured, you idiot!" Then my brain catches up with my ears. I'm sure now that I haven't time-traveled. I'm in another reality.
"What? By who?" I ask, still trying to process this.
"The Dark Brotherhood, fool. Since he was one of the leaders of the RUC, they grabbed him as soon as they could."
"The Reunification Corps! For goodness sake, you are clueless!"
"Look, just take me to someone in charge here. I need to figure out what's going on!"
"I have every intention of doing so. Thane has put strict limitations on how young the fighters can be. Your master is going to be in trouble."
"You just acted like you had never heard of him, so how would you know? What makes you so sure that he's even one of you?"
"Well, I assumed, since you were in our territory, that you would be one of ours. And this Francis you speak of is not a name I've ever heard of, in our ranks or the ranks of anyone else. I don't know everyone, but if your not ours, Thane will want you anyway. Prisoners are valuable."
I'm really not sure how to respond to that. I just try to think of what I'll say when I meet Thane. That's something I've always dreamed of, but in this world, it seems more like a nightmare. We fly for quite a while, and I think I must have fallen asleep because now I'm waking up, and we're on the ground and somehow I ended up on the gryphon's back behind Aladon. The landing must have shocked me awake. The gryphon's size occurs to me, and I can't help but ask him how we get down.
"There's a roll-out ladder in the saddlebag to your left," he responds, not bothering to hide the eye-roll.
"How'd you get a gryphon this big, anyway?"
"I was in the Dark Brotherhood before the war."
"Aladon! Who have you brought with you?" Says the guard as he approaches.
"A rather foolish boy, who apparently is completely ignorant of the world and the war, and by all measures not old enough to be on the battlefield."
"Hey!" I yell, somewhat insulted. They both ignore me, and he Aladon continues.
"He claims to be the apprentice of a Master Francis. Do you know that name?"
"My brother's name was Francis."
"The one who was killed after he was... sold out?"
"Yes. But he never had an apprentice."
"Well, I'm sure Thane will be able to clear the air. He'll know who this kid is, I'm willing to bet." My brain apparently is still on delay, because I just now realize that I recognize the guard. It's my master's brother! But that means... Impossible. But I have to know.
"Kai!" I call out his name, and they both start.
"How do you know my name?" The guard asks, a look of... I'd almost say fear, written on his face.
"Come on, you know me! Thomas! I'm your brother's student!"
"My brother never had a student!"
"Test me. Ask me a question, I'll answer it. Anything, about either one of you."
"How many ice gryphons did he have?"
"Trick question. He is - was, I guess - a fire mage, and he had 3 fire gryphons named Fireball, Ash, and Eruption."
"How many do I own?"
"You never had any gryphons. You're allergic to the fur."
"Unbelievable. How do you know so much?"
"I already told you."
"He's got to be a spy, Aladon!"
"Thane will love this," Aladon replies. "Follow me, boy."
"As long as I can talk to someone with some pull, I'll follow you anywhere.'
Immediately when we enter the Keep, I can tell, as if my brain hadn't solidified it before, that this is not my reality. Not only were the exterior walls much more heavily fortified, but the inside has guards at every door, there are swarms of Alvean Wasps flying around unchecked, and I'm pretty sure I saw a Mortifelis pack outside the girl's dorm. Which, at least where I come from, are highly restricted. At last, we reach a door I'm very familiar with - the door to Archmage Thane's office.
"You wait here. If you try to run, the guards will hurt you, trust me."
"I'll wait."
And wait. And wait. I knew the Archmage was longwinded, but how long can it possibly take to get in, tell him the story, and let me in? I was just sitting there, waiting, for an hour and a half. About thirty minutes in, I realize that I haven't had anything to eat since breakfast, and it was lunchtime when I picked up the egg. I'm freaking starving by the time Aladon returns and takes me in to see Thane.
"Archmage, I present our spy," he says.
"I'm not a spy!" I blurt, instinctively.
"Well, then, how do you know so much about us? And who are you with? I've checked the records of all the sides in this war, and you're not registered with anybody."
"I'm with the Keep. But not the Keep you know. I'm pretty sure I've been zapped into an alternate reality." Unbelievably, Thane smiles, before he responds.
"And how do you think that happened?"
"I was sitting in my room, investigating this weird egg I'd found. I picked it up, for the first time without gloves, and the next thing I know, I'm in the middle of the battle."
"Wait. What did this egg look like?" Thane is suddenly deadly serious.
"It was about the size of a roc egg, but it kept on changing colors, from black to blue, white, red and back again."
"And you have no idea what it was?"
"Beats me."
"Aladon. You do know what I'm about to say, right?"
"There's no way he's making that up. Only the highest ranks of any of the four sides know about those."
"Know what?" I ask.
"The egg you just described," Thane says, worry creasing his face, "It belongs to the creature that is at the root of this whole war. But most people think it's because their leaders just want control. The thing that keeps this war going is the fact that most of the underlings want power for their guild too."
"What creature?"
"It's called an Exsistizer. They're shapeshifters, taking on any form they need to suit their purposes. They don't seem to have a 'true' form. But they also have the power to alter reality, which is why everyone wants them under their control."
"Alter reality how?"
"They can make anything come into existence, on a whim. They can make things disappear too, but only inanimate objects. And most important of all, they can change the makeup of matter, down to the smallest particles."
"So they can change things into other things?"
"Yes. With ease."
"Um. Yikes."
"Yes. There's never been a report of something quite like what you claim happened, but I want you to know, I believe you," Thane says, much to my relief. "Aladon, assemble the council!"
"Yes, sir!" Aladon replies, rushing out.
"And you boy. Tell me, what's the Keep like where you come from?"
"W-Well..." I stammer. Where to start? "For one thing, there's no war..."
"I figured that. You seem to know some names, young one. I assume there are people in your world that exist here."
"That's right. Kai, Aladon, Belmos, and, well, you. I haven't seen anyone else."
"Interesting. Do you have any idea why there's no you? I mean, a version that's always lived here?"
"I'd guess the war, sir. My mother was an Herbalist, and Dad was Dark Brotherhood. They'd be on opposing sides in this world."
"I see. Well, it's probably better. Having two of you could be a disaster."
"Yeah. Although I do wonder about some of my friends. And apparently, my master is dead."
"Yes. Francis was Dark Brotherhood, just like your father."
"I know."
"He and his wife were both working undercover for us, with eight other agents, but they were betrayed, and executed."
"Oh gosh. That's awful!"
"Yes. They were good people." We sit in silence for a moment, until a realization hits me, hard.
"Wait. Oh man. Bella!"
"Francis has a daughter or does in my world anyway. Her name's Bella, she specializes in illusion arts. Sound familiar?"
"Ah yes. The Shade. Our best spy."
"She's alive?"
"Finally, some good news!"
"You're friends with her are you?"
"Yeah, we've been pretty good friends for quite a while. And I've had a major crush on her since we were, like, 10." Thane almost laughs when I say that last part.
"Well, she's on the council, so she'll be here soon."
"She's on the council? She's 14!"
"Desperate times, desperate measures. Besides, she's the head of the espionage department. Best spy we have, master of disguise."
"Yeah, that's Bella. She's constantly pulling pranks."
"Maybe in your world."
"Archmage! The council awaits in the Hall of Speakers," Aladon declares as he enters.
"Thank you, Aladon. You boy, come with me. I want you to tell the council what you have told me."
"Yes, sir. Finally, I can see a friendly face."
"If you're referring to the Shade, I feel the need to point out that she won't know you. This isn't your world."
"Ohhh. Rats. I forgot about that."
"She is to be treated with the utmost respect, as is the rest of the council."
"I know. My master is a member, I attend a lot of meetings."
"Yes, he was, wasn't he?" I'm still not used to hearing Master Francis referred to in the past tense like that. This'll take some getting used to.
As we enter the hall, I find myself surrounded by noise, almost as loud as that on the battlefield. When they council sees Thane, though, it gets dead silent.
"My friends, I realize that we were not planning a meeting, but something... unexpected has come up."
"What is it?" A voice from the crowd, I recognize and pinpoint instantly. It's Bella, sitting on the right. My excitement at seeing someone I know is tempered by the look on her face, in her eyes. It's a look of absolute indifference, of emptiness. It's terrifying.
"This young man, Thomas, has some things to say to you all."
Last edited by morrisoni on December 22nd, 2017, 2:28:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 22nd, 2017, 2:25:42 pm

Chaper 2: Isabelle A.K.A. Bella A.K.A. Izzy A.K.A The Shade
I can't believe this. Thane has put some kid up in front of the Council. He's got no place there! Sure, that sounds hypocritical, but he's either insane, a total idiot, or a liar. He claims he's from a 'different world,' where the war doesn't exist. What really ticks me off is that Thane, Aladon, and the rest are actually buying this crap! I'm guessing the kid is Dark Brotherhood. They have a knack for lying. And if he is, so help me, I'll kill him. I'll make him suffer for what his kind did to my parents.
"I'm not sure why the Existizer eggs showed up in my world," he continues, "Or why I've been zapped here. But I get the feeling I'm supposed to end this." You have got to be kidding me! I can't comprehend why the rest of the council is buying into this kid's baloney. Nor can I keep my mouth shut any longer.
"Just what were you doing on the battlefield anyway?" I ask, pretending I care.
"I just explained that. That's just where the egg zapped me." Okay, so he already answered that question. But seriously.
"And what reasons should we possibly have to believe you?"
"I'll answer that, Shade," Thane says, speaking for the first time since he introduced this kid.
"Please do, Archmage."
"As you all know, it is a common matter of war ethics to exchange lists of all soldiers, even spies, so we know who to exchange to whom as prisoners."
"Your point being?"
"The last exchange was only a week ago. He's not registered with any of the sides. As far as anyone involved in this war is concerned, he doesn't exist." Well, everyone in this world is in the war, so... "And the reality-altering abilities of the Existizers have yet to be fully understood. His story seems very plausible."
Okay. He's got me. That's hard to argue with. Either the Brotherhood has infringed on one of the few rules it holds to such a high standard, or the kid's telling the truth. But I really doubt the Brotherhood would do that. Some of them, my father's friends before the war, are halfway decent. Most of them were working with the RUC, aligned with my parents. Things were going so well and would have kept going too, except for that backstabbing, two-faced, traitorous Khadakhad Daant, Aaron. He's the one who betrayed my parents, and all the others and had them executed. He betrayed his friends! If I ever get my hands on him, so help me...
"Shade. Are you listening?"
"I'll take that as a definite no. Shade, you're being assigned to keep this boy out of trouble."
"Is that all you can say, Shade? Keep him with you, keep him out of trouble. Show him the ropes. Try to explain how this war works. And get him something to eat."
Well, it could be worse. I'm getting hungry anyway.
"Okay, kid, get your rear in gear. Since you come from an alternate Keep, I'm assuming you know where the cafeteria is," I say, cloaking my sarcasm as we leave the Hall.
"Sure thing, Bella." I can't believe what I just heard. I turn around, making sure that I did hear it.
"What did you just call me?"
"How did you know that was my name?"
"Because I know you. Or at least my world's version of you. That's what everyone calls you, at least in my world."
"No one but my parents ever used that name. I'd prefer you didn't."
"Oh. Sorry, Shade."
"Much better. Now, let's see what's for lunch."
I let the kid lead the way, just testing him. He heads straight for the cafeteria, without even hesitating. Maybe there's a grain of truth to what he says. I do notice, though, that he shies away from the Noctis Enoxes that guard the council members' rooms. What a wimp.
"Hey! Brit!" I say, walking into the cafeteria. The little girl working behind the counter, Brit, sees me. Her face lights up.
"Shade! Hi!" Brit's kind of like my little sister. Her parents abandoned her three years ago. They decided to leave us for the Dark Brotherhood and left her in the dust. She was 4 years old! Just one more reason I can't stand them.
"Brit, this is Thomas. He's..." I realize I hadn't been told what excuse to give him. But if he's my father's apprentice in his world, he's a fire mage, so... "a defector from the Dark Brotherhood." The look she gets on her face when she hears that is a mixture of disgust and hurt. I get it. I 100% get it.
I look over at Thomas, and I see a look of recognition pass over his face. I guess he knows Brit too. I really hope he doesn't let on because then I'll have to erase her memory, if I'm lucky, and the memory of everyone in the cafeteria if I'm not. And that is not an easy spell to pull off, trust me. Fortunately, he's smart enough to keep his mouth shut.
"Why did you leave the Brotherhood?" Brit asks, already fixing what she knows I'm going to order, a bowl of Voltarian pepper chili.
"They were doing stuff I just couldn't hang with. I mean executing all those people, for what? A little undercover work? A prisoner exchange would have been more humane, and more profitable for both sides, really," Thomas says, without hesitation. He must have thought that excuse out. He's... not entirely horrible at this. Of course, he might just be telling the truth, that he really does hate the whole idea. And I'm with him on that.
"I agree completely," Brit says, disgust turning to sympathy. "The Brotherhood's leaders are terrible people. But I'm assuming you're not here for small talk. What do you want to eat?"
"I'll take a steak, please. Well done."
"You want anything to drink?"
"Just water would be fine." This kid has no guts.
"Okay. Shade, how about you?"
"The usual." Not sure why she asked. She was already making the chili, and she knows I always order the Triple Trouble. It's made with ingredients to represent the powers of the element birds - Voltarian pepper sauce for the Phoenix, Borean freeze-berries for the Ice Phoenix, and Razan zap-fruit representing the Thunderbird. Good stuff, but really strong. Not everyone can handle it.
"Sure thing, Shade. Here's your chili, your Triple Trouble, and a water. The steak will be a while."
"Thanks, Brit," Thomas says. She doesn't say anything. I guess she just assumed he knew her name because I said it. Good assumption. Saves us trouble.
"So, Thomas," Brit says, suddenly very interested "Do you know a guy named Paul? He was in the Brotherhood," she asks, and I know where this is going. Her parents. No matter how many times I tell her...
"No, sorry, can't say as I do. Why?"
"No reason. Just someone I knew, a while ago."
"Okay." The same look flickers across his face. I guess he does recognize the name and doesn't want to ask.
"Steak's up!"
"Thanks, Brit. I'm starving!" Thomas says, digging in. I've already eaten about half of my chili and finished off the Triple Trouble.
Once we finish, we head up to my room. The Enox guard tries to bite him, and he almost jumps out of his skin. I can't help but laugh for the first time in quite a while.
"Okay, so here's the deal, Thomas. I'm going to try to give you a quick tutorial on this war. It all started 24 years ago when the first Existizer eggs showed up in the Stream. They were first found by Master Belmos, actually, and he took care of them. When they hatched, they took on the form of Belmos himself. They always shift into whatever living thing they first lay eyes on. Their shape-shifting abilities made them valuable allies, but it wasn't enough to start a war, even though they were rare. But then their ability to alter reality was discovered.
"Then Jesira, leader of the Dark Brotherhood started buying up all the Existizers she could find, hoping to get them all under her control. The Tridents' Lord of the Seas and Herbalists' Jerald found out about it and started doing the same thing. It turned into a price war, and then into a theft competition. Each guild was stealing eggs from the other two, as many as they could get their hands on. But most people in any of the guilds just thought that it was the guilds getting greedy. Then, a Trident raid on an Herbalist hatchery turned violent when they ran into Dark Brotherhood thieves who had been sent after the same target. They started a scrimmage, and the Herbalist guards were alerted. In turned into a free-for-all, and both raiding parties and all of the guards ended up dead. The war was on."
"Geez. These people take their eggs seriously."
"You've experienced what they can do firsthand. But they can do even more, as you've heard. They're insanely powerful. After that, each of the guilds declared war on the other two. Those who weren't in any guilds, and those who were but wanted no part in the war, formed the Reunification Corps, or RUC for short. Our whole goal is to restore the peace between the three guilds. We take prisoners on a regular basis and use violence as little as possible. We just want peace.
"I like that idea."
"I figured. The guilds, though, absolutely hate it. Each one wants themselves to be in absolute power. Unity is out the window for them. We find ourselves having to use force more and more. That battle you were in earlier was just us trying to defend ourselves from a 3-pronged assault. We were under attack from all 3 guilds."
"Wow. You guys can seriously hold your own, can't you?"
"You'd better believe it." Then I hear a squawk through my window, and see a Ruby Wyvern flying in, with a scroll. I take it off, read it, and then wish I hadn't. "Oh crap!"
"What is it?" I'm too busy writing out a response to say anything at first. After I send the wyvern off, I answer.
"They've captured our best fire mage."
"Who has?"
"The Tridents. And we're in big trouble because he knows a lot of things that shouldn't be told to anyone outside of the council. I've got to go. You stay here, and don't open the door to anyone."
"Except you, right?"
"To anyone period. I've got a key. If you think it's me demanding to be let in, it's not. Make sure they have a key." And with that, I'm out of there. I've got to free my uncle Kai!
Last edited by morrisoni on November 26th, 2017, 11:05:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 22nd, 2017, 11:09:13 pm

Chapter 3: Kai
I'm still pretty shaken up. Not only am I stuck here, guarded by leviathans, krakens, and other beasts in this underwater prison, but I still can't get over that boy! The way he knew so much about me and my brother... He must be in the Dark Brotherhood or something. Maybe one of Francis's ex-comrades. Yes. That's the only logical explanation. He must be with the Brotherhood. Well, no matter.
Another thing that's rattling my brain is: how did I get here? I remember that after I got off my shift, I took a walk, trying to figure out what had just happened, and then... nothing. I know I'm in a Trident prison, but I have no memory of being captured. I guess I was jumped in the courtyard. My head doesn't hurt, so I'm guessing they knocked me out with gas or a spell.
My guards walk into the room, talking quite loudly.
"I can't believe how lucky we got!" the first one, a young boy with red hair, says.
"Yeah. What are the odds that the Herbalists would fall asleep right on our return path from the raid? And with an RUC prisoner to boot? I don't know how they expected to hold him, I mean he's a fire mage," the second one, a blond girl about the same age, replies, laughing.
"So that's how I got here!" I blurt.
"Ope. He's awake," the boy says.
"Big deal. Water beats fire. He's not getting out." I really, really hope they're wrong. I have to get back to the Keep. My niece, Isabelle, told me last week that the Herbalist Guild is getting too powerful, and she needs more fire magi trained. It was supposed to start today. And I'm supposed to be negotiating for Belmos's release. We've got some prisoners that should be valuable enough. Well, so much for that! Then, all of a sudden, a voice comes out of nowhere.
"Alan! Mary! I need you two in here!"
"Okay dad!" the girl yells, and they both run. With them out of the way, I can plan a little. I do my best thinking out loud.
"Let me see. None of my creatures can get here, not that they know where I am anyway. Like the girl said, water beats fire. On the other hand, fire boils water. But that's useless right now. I've got to think of a way out of here. I really hope Izzy knows the Tridents have me. I'm betting she does because nabbing me is something they would brag about. If she can get a few of our plant mages out here, we shouldn't have a problem."
That's one thing about this war that makes our job ever so slightly easier. Each guild has a weakness. The plant mages in the Herbalists' Guild are weak to fire, the Brotherhood's many flamethrowers (just like myself) are useless against water, and the water-wielding Tridents are at a disadvantage when facing plant mages. It's a cycle. The RUC, on the other hand, has all three of those, and we can put them into battle accordingly, and cover for each other. This is why we've managed to hold our own, even with triple assaults like the one we were fending off earlier. It's something, let me tell you. I'm still pondering how to get out of here when I hear yet another voice.
"Okay, Kai. Listen up," the voice says. It's a small, high-pitched noise, almost like a bird chirping. "I can get you out of here, but you have to do as I say."
"Who are you? Where are you? Show yourself!"
"I'm afraid I can't do that just yet."
"Why not?"
"It would jeopardize the mission. But do as I say, and all will be revealed in due time."
"Are you with the Keep? Or one of my enemies?"
"Neither. I am for you, and you only. My sole loyalty is to you."
"Your words make no sense!"
"Do you want out of here, or not?"
"Well, yes."
"Then do as I say!"
"Okay! What do you want?"
"When your guards return, blast them."
"With what?"
"Just use a fireball."
"They're water magi!"
"I'll take care of it!"
"Well, it can't hurt."
So I wait. For quite a while. Whatever those guards were needed for was time-consuming. But when they come back, I immediately call them over.
"What is it?" the girl asks, not bothering to hide her lack of caring.
"I have something I want to tell you."
"Get on with it."
"Eat flames!" I summon up my biggest fireball and throw it at them. To my surprise, it's bigger than anything I've ever created, and they can't hold it off. Unfortunately, they manage to push it back long enough to get away, but the metal bars have melted into nothing, and the two are unconscious. The effort wore them out really quickly, I guess.
"Well done, Kai," the voice remarks. "I'm impressed."
"I didn't know I could make a fireball that powerful!"
"That wasn't all you."
"What do you mean?"
"Look in the top right corner of your cell, Kai." I do, and I'm stunned to see a tiny blue bird sitting there, with tufts of flame sprouting from it.
"A pygmy phoenix! How did that get there?"
"I've been watching you, Kai. You have a pure heart, unlike many people in this world. You also have great potential." It's right about here that I realize: that voice is actually coming from the phoenix!
"How can you talk? And do you have a name?"
"My name is up to you, Kai. The speech is a long story."
"I see. Well, why did you follow me?"
"I knew that if you remained prisoner long, they would crack you."
"No offense. But they, as water magi, have methods of getting information that you, as a fire mage, would be unable to stand against."
"Fair enough. Now let's get out of here!"
"Bring the guards. They will be valuable prisoners."
"They're just guards."
"Take them!"
"Okay... If you say so." Right then, I hear a loud explosion and the place rocks.
"I think your friends are here." The phoenix appears to be right because I hear a very familiar voice coming from down the hall.
"Okay, keep a lookout for guards! Spread out, search for Kai!"
"Izzy! I'm down here!" Her head appears around the corner.
"Uncle Kai! How did you get out?" I look at the corner quickly, and the pygmy phoenix has disappeared, so I improvise, assuming he doesn't want to be seen.
"My fireball is apparently much hotter than I thought. I melted my way through the bars when my guards were called away for a minute, then knocked them out when they came back."
"Okay, then," she says, then starts yelling again, "Hey! Mission accomplished! Now get out!" We run as fast as we can until we reach the blown-open entrance, the only place where this prison touches land. "Here girl!" Izzy shouts, calling down her elder phoenix, Dichotomy. I couldn't believe it when she told me she had taken my birthday gift to her and turned it into that. Mostly because I hadn't known it was possible. The girl's a genius. Obscure languages like the symbols in the Ashen Temple are something she's a master at. Anyway, we all load up, us and two plant mages, then fly out.
"Hey, Izzy?"
"Did you find anything out about that boy?"
"He's a Dark Brotherhood defector."
"Okay." Looks like I was right. Throughout this conversation, I'm looking around, trying to find that pygmy phoenix. He's really good at hiding. I'd wager he can light-bend, somehow. But for now, I'll just let it go. I'm sure I'll find him back at the Keep.
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Re: The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 23rd, 2017, 11:45:31 am

Chapter 4: Spark
Boy, it's a long flight back to the Keep. I'm just glad good old Dichotomy was able to carry me without much of a problem. She's a good friend of mine, Dichotomy is. Taught me how to hunt. And now, I have a real human companion. I haven't had one since the war started. I'm kind of picky. I've been hiding ever since I hatched from my egg, waiting and watching. Kai is the only person I've seen who's really pure. His niece Shade is a good little girl but has a lot of hate in her heart, I can tell. I don't blame her, but I just can't tolerate hatred. It dampers my energy and my nature.
Kai, though, has no darkness of any kind. He's like a beacon. Pure light, even after he lost his brother. I follow him back to his room in the Keep, and I reappear, right on his bed.
"Whoa! Where did you... How do you do that?" he asks, stumbling back.
"I can bend my firelight."
"Wierd. I've never heard of a pygmy phoenix doing that." Shocker.
"Ever hear of an illusion phoenix?"
"Most people haven't. We don't like drawing attention to our light-bending abilities."
"Hmm. I've just got to ask, how did you know?"
"Know what?"
"That the guards were the kids of the Lord of the Seas? I mean, you said they were valuable prisoners."
"Deduction. I heard them say 'okay dad' when the call came, and I recognized the voice. I'd been checking the place out ever since we got there."
"You're a genius!" I wish, but I have to be honest with him.
"No, I'm just a tiny, light-bending bird. I can go anywhere without anyone noticing."
"Incredible. But how can you talk? You said it was a long story."
"Point made. Those things can do all sorts of stuff," he says, not pushing the subject.
"You're telling me," I chuckle. "Anyway, I've been waiting and watching ever since I hatched. You're the first person I've seen that has a truly pure heart. Your powers can be made much stronger with my help, as you've already seen."
"Yes. A fireball that took out two very powerful water magi is bigger than anything I've ever witnessed."
"Believe me, it can only grow from there, Kai." He seems impressed even with that little display back at the prison. Has he seriously never dealt with a phoenix? He's a fire mage! Then again, he gave Shade Dichotomy for her birthday... whatever. No big deal.
"Grow how?"
"Before the war, in my last incarnation, I helped my magi bring fire down from the sky. A raining inferno. She was unbeatable."
"I think I'll call you Spark."
"Sure. That's fine. A weird place to put that in the conversation, but okay. What exactly is your most powerful technique?"
"Uh... probably flame reversal. You know, throwing around a fire that already exists, like from a campfire or another fire-based attack." Yeah, I know. I'm a firebird. I've been watching fire magi for years. Believe me, I know that move like the back of my wing.
"I see. And your weakest?"
"In all honesty, my flame absorption. I can't negate flames as well as other magi, but I make up for it by redirecting it." Interesting. I'm not the greatest at that myself, but no one needs to know that.
"I can help you with both of those. And everything in between." He thinks this over for a minute.
"Let's start training then," He says. Easier said than done, as right then the door springs open, and Shade rushes in. I disappear.
"Uncle Kai, we've got a problem!" Shade yells.
"The boy's gone!"
"The defector?"
"No, no, the Trident boy! The prisoner!"
"Great. Just great."
"All the fire mages are being instructed to go to the secure rooms. The defector's in there already, and you need to get there."
"I took him out before, I can handle him this time!" He's smart. He knows not to tell her why.
"No, you can't."
"Yes, I can!"
"No, you can't!"
"Yes, I can!" He pushes her out of the way and runs out. I fly after him. He's a bit overconfident, but we can handle it.
Last edited by morrisoni on November 26th, 2017, 9:56:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 23rd, 2017, 1:08:32 pm

Chapter 5: Alan
No fire mage should have that kind of power. Ever. Even if he is the best fire mage the Corps has, he beat me and my sister! He must have some kind of help. Well, no matter. Mary's still unconscious, and who knows how long that'll last. I'll come back for her. I can't believe they left us unguarded. Idiots. I can just rust out the bars, not a problem, in less than a minute.
I take a look around, to make sure no one else is within visual range. Then I blast away the bars with a jet of water. Easy as pie. One last look back at Mary, to see if she's awake. Nope. Well, I can come back with reinforcements. Right now, my aim is to take out that freaking fire mage. I'm sure I can find him. I head upstairs, to where I know the council members live. I'll just figure out which room is his, then storm the castle, so to speak. And then I hear a door slam open, and a voice yelling. I'm sure I'm in the right place when I register what she's saying.
"Uncle Kai, we've got a problem!" Must be the Shade.
"What?" comes another voice. This one I recognize. It's Kai, the fire mage I'm looking for. Bingo.
"The boy's gone!" Well, that didn't take long for them to figure out. Impressive.
"The defector?" Who?
"No, no, the Trident boy! The prisoner!" Okay, no idea who the defector is, but it's obvious Shade's talking about me. This devolves into an argument over whether Kai should go after me, or stay in the secure rooms with the other fire magi. He eventually pushes past Shade and runs out to try to find me. Except he starts running in the exact wrong direction. I figure I'll make his job easier. I whistle as loud as I can, and he does an aerial 360. It's actually pretty impressive.
"Looking for me?"
"Yeah, waterbug, I am." I can't believe he just said that. Waterbug is a term for an inexperienced water mage. And I'm anything but!
"Who are you calling waterbug, sparker?" That's basically the equivalent term for a fire magi.
"I feel the need to point out, I beat both of you. At once. And where's your sister, anyway?"
"She's still out cold. I'll come back for her. I don't stand a chance trying to defend her on my own."
"I wonder if she'll see it that way."
"Don't worry, she will."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Shut up and defend yourself!" I yell, getting a little irritated. I summon up a sword of water and rush him.
"I don't think so, waterbug," he says, creating a wall of fire, just as hot as the fireball from earlier. My sword is toast. Well, water vapor. I can't believe it. He's got to be cheating somehow, but I don't see a fire creature of any kind. Maybe he's a dark fire magi or something. Not uncommon. I try again, bombarding him with water throwing knives. They all vaporize. I can't understand it. They should be extinguishing his shield. I go to my last resort and send a massive tsunami crashing down the hall. It disappears in an instant. This doesn't seem possible, but I'm out of energy at this point. I collapse. Before the world goes dark, I see a pygmy phoenix materialize on his shoulder, and can't help thinking Where did that come from?
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Re: The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 23rd, 2017, 8:02:28 pm

Chapter 6: Shade
So help me, I'm going to hurt him. My uncle is such a freaking daredevil. I really wish he hadn't done that. On the other hand, I've never seen anything more awesome in my life! He's got to have some kind of help because no fire mage can stop a wall of water like that on his own. Although I could have sworn I saw something, like a big spark, materialize on his shoulder for a split second.
"I told you I could handle this kid," he says, turning around to face me while the prison workers drag the kid away.
"So help me, Uncle Kai, if you ever do that again..."
"How did he get out, anyway?"
"Apparently some brainiac made the decision to not give them any guards."
"Well, that was brilliant!" Can't argue with that.
"Yeah. The excuse was 'they were out cold! We didn't think they'd wake up anytime this week!' Yeah right. They've been disciplined, and we now have guards around the clock on them."
"So I ask again, how'd he get out?"
"Blasted the bars to smithereens with that same tsunami spell he tried against you. Much more successfully."
"Gotcha. Have you checked on the Brotherhood defector yet?"
"I sent him to the bunker with the other fire magi."
"What was he talking about, anyway? I mean, he said he was your father's student!"
"He was a dehydrated, malnourished, disoriented mess, and apparently Dad trained him a little bit before he was... you know. He knew Dad pretty well, and by extension, you I guess." It's not a total lie. Most of the things I just said are true. I just didn't give him the whole story.
"Okay..." The all-clear horn sounds, and I hear the Keep start up again. I'd better go find Thomas, and make sure he doesn't get himself in trouble.

Chapter 7: Thomas
Dang. This world is dangerous! I wonder what happened up here. I didn't hear any real battle, but that bunker is pretty secure. Nothing gets in or out. Sound included. I'm in the back of Bella's room, and she enters, calling my name.
"Back here, Shade!"
"There you are. Kid, you'd better be grateful I knew you had to be a fire mage, or you'd be dead right now in all likelihood."
"I'll bet. The Lord of the Seas has to have trained his kids well."
"Yeah. But you should have seen it when Kai faced him down. It was awesome! He vaporized every attack the guy threw at him! Even a massive tidal wave!" Now, this is the Bella I'm used to. Energetic, enthusiastic. I can see that familiar glint in her eyes, the one she gets when she's excited about something. I haven't seen that look since I first arrived in this world. I forgot how much I'd missed that. It really brightens up the room. Or that could be her light orb. Who knows.
"How did he do that? In my world, at least, he never had that kind of power!"
"I'm not sure. He wasn't that strong before in this world either. He hasn't elaborated." Okay then. I wonder what that's all about. It occurs to me that he had a pygmy phoenix named Spark in my world. I wonder if he's got him here, too, and uses him a lot more, but just hasn't told anyone. I decide I'll keep that to myself. We talk for quite a while. She fills me in on how things work here, asks the odd question or two about my world, and back and forth it goes until I check the clock, and holy hellhound, it's past midnight! I guess it's a good idea to ask a few questions.
"So, where am I going to be sleeping?" Bella looks at the clock herself and does a double take.
"Oh, geez, it's late! We'd better get to bed. There's an empty room in the boy's dorm. A space left by some undercover agents that are currently not here at the Keep. You'll stay there."
"10-4, Bella." She shoots a death glare at me. "Shade! Sorry!"
Put two chapters in here, because they were both pretty short.
Last edited by morrisoni on November 29th, 2017, 7:10:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 23rd, 2017, 9:58:50 pm

Chapter 8: Kai
"Archmage! We've got trouble outside the gates!" I yell, bursting into his office. Normally this would get me in serious trouble, especially at 3:00 in the morning, but right now I don't think Thane will mind. I don't have much of a choice.
"What trouble, Kai? This had better be serious!" Thane says, looking up from his paperwork. Very important, I'm sure, but it has nothing on this.
"Serious as suicide, sir!"
"Don't just stand there, what is it?"
"The Dark Brotherhood has gathered their forces for an all-out assault, Archmage! They're attacking right now! No one saw it coming, even our spies were clueless about it."
"We have our best water magi on the front lines, and the rest of our warriors putting up their best fight, but the Brotherhood has gathered every one of their soldiers. Every. Single. One. And they've brought in their Existizers as well, and they're morphing everything around the Keep into hellhounds. We can't hold them off much longer. It might be time to call in the... secret weapon." As much as I hate to say it, I really think we don't have another option. This is our last resort.
"Are you sure, Kai?" A blast rocks the room, proving my point.
"Yes. As sure as I've ever been about anything."
"Okay. Do it."
"You know we need the whole council for that. Including you, Archmage." I'm sure he realized this, but who knows.
"Yes, I know. Assemble the council."
"Yes, sir." I exit as quickly as possible to round up the council members. I'm halfway down the hall when I realize that we have a major problem. I turn around, and shout down the hall "Archmage! We're missing a piece!"
"My brother! We never replaced him!"
"Get the defector. Your brother trained him, he can fill in."
"Right away, sir!" As I exit, I call on my little friend. "Spark! Take my form, get the council members!"
"You got it!" He flies off and I run towards the room where the boy is sleeping. I knock on the door, as loud as I can.
"What is it, Shade? I've only been asleep for an hour!" It's Thomas. I recognize the voice.
"It's me, Kai. We need you in the Hall of Speakers, NOW!"
"What for?"
"Just come with me if you value your life!"
"Is that a threat?" he asks, opening the door.
"No, it's a command. MOVE!"
"Okay, okay!" I have to push him to get him up to speed, but when we get to the Hall, the rest of the members are already there. Spark works fast.
"What's going on, Kai?" Aladon demands.
"As most of you have figured out, we're under attack. Project Fusion is activated. Thomas here is filling in for my brother."
"Project Fusion? What the heck is that?" Thomas asks.
"Did Francis ever teach you a maneuver called the Blaze Ball?
"Yeah. That's where you bounce the fire off of the environment, picking up speed and power, right?"
"Yes. When I say, toss one of those at that golden plate on the ceiling."
"Everyone else, you know your roles. Archmage, lead us off." Thane puts his hands into the air and a bolt of electricity arcs toward the gold plate. Then Aladon and I send streams of fire at it. Our water magi, Drew and Kim, join in, blasting the plate with water. Then Izzy starts her magic, beaming shadows to the sky. Smithee, our council's Herbalist mage, grows a massive plant, reaching all the way to the ceiling. It's all down to one thing.
"Thomas! Now!" He's been sitting there, trying to figure out what's going on, but to his credit, he snaps right into reality and heaves one of the biggest Blaze Balls I've ever seen. This kid's good.
Then, just as it was supposed to, it absorbs everything we've been throwing at the plate, and gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until it's the size of two rocs combined. Thomas just stands there, mesmerized. I doubt I could snap him out of it now, but I don't need to. We'll just let it work its wonders. The ball now sucks all of the light in the room.
When we can see again, the ball is gone. In its place is a giant creature, left part equine, right part draconic, middle part avian. Its two outer heads burn with fire, one hot and one cold, while its middle head bursts with electricity. Auras of shadow and light emanate from its twin tails. Living wood protects its front half, while bleached bones armor the rear.
"What... what is that thing?" Thomas asks. I wish I could put it into words! It's terrifying and mesmerizing. Wonderful, yet petrifying at the same time. It's...
"An Annihilation," Thane says.
Last edited by morrisoni on November 25th, 2017, 5:10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 24th, 2017, 4:26:20 pm

Chapter 9: Shade
"Annihilation? Never heard of it!" Thomas yells. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I just can't believe what I'm seeing, and I'm guessing he can't either. It's a three-headed, two-tailed, pegasus/bone dragon/phoenix/ice phoenix/thunderbird/lichenthrope fusion. It's actually pretty scary, and I don't scare easily.
"Neither has anyone else," I reply. "It's not a creature that exists. Until now. It holds the combined power of all of us. The Annihilation can control fire, ice, water, electricity, plants, light, shadows, and even death itself."
"Why have you guys never..."
"It's dangerous. If one of us were to get killed, we would lose control of it. It could destroy the entire world. We're only summoning it now because we have no other choice."
"Everybody mount up! Let's go!" I find myself taking charge, even though I know that here, Thane's supposed to lead the way. Not hesitating to think about that part, the council follows my instructions and hops on. We fly out onto the battlefield, cloaking ourselves in shadow. Just my little contribution. We drop each of the council members where they're most needed. Thane, Thomas and I stay on the Annihilation's back.
"Okay, Thomas. You stay here with me, and just hold on tight," Thane says. "Shade, I want you to go in deep. Behind the lines. Your priority is taking out Jesira. Get her alive if possible."
"Can do, Archmage. I've got some scores to settle with these people."
"I know. But don't let your personal vendetta get in the way of defending the Keep, okay?"
"Yes, Archmage." What, he doesn't trust me?
Thane brings the creature low to the ground, and I hop off. I'm right inside the Brotherhood camp. It can't get any more perfect. There aren't even any guards. In and out, quick and easy. Too easy. There's got to be a catch. There's always a catch. I'll have to keep a low profile. I try to find the HQ tent, hidden in darkness. I've always loved the cloak-and-dagger stuff.
I barely manage to avoid being trampled by a messenger. I decide to follow him.
"Master! I have news from the battle!" he says as he enters the main tent. I'm right on his heels, and can't help thinking that 'Master' isn't the right word for Jesira. Then I look at the center of the room, at the Dark Throne where she usually sits. She's not there. It's a man, a man I know all too well. My priorities just underwent a massive shift.
"Well? What is it?"
"The Keep's council has a beast of unimaginable power! It controls all of the elements at once and is wreaking havoc in our ranks."
"What?!" the man yells.
"Sorry sir," the messenger says, bowing his head and resigning himself to a very painful experience.
"No, no, it's not your fault. Go rest. I'll think of a way around it."
"Yes, sir," the messenger replies, relief painting his features as he exits the tent. The man sits there on his throne, apparently deep in thought. He doesn't even notice when I uncloak until I call him out.
"Aaron!" He jumps a good foot into the air. It would be comical in other circumstances.
"What the...?! Who are you? How did you get in here?"
"What, you don't recognize me, Aaron?" It's an honest question. It hasn't been that long since the last time I saw him.
"I beg your pardon?" He pauses, and then it hits him. "Well, well, well. It's been a while, I'll admit," he says. The friendly tone he's using about makes me sick. "I mean, I've managed to get to the top of the Brotherhood since we last saw each other. But you didn't come here to talk about me. How are you? Made some new friends with the traitors, have you, Bella?" That name. When he calls me that, I just snap.
"Do not call me that!"
"Now Bella, is that any way to talk to your father's closest friend?"
"Shut up!"
"Come on, Bella, talk to me."
"Shut. Your. Mouth."
"Stop talking! So help me, if you say one more word, I will kill you. I won't hesitate. I'd enjoy it, actually." He doesn't respond. I guess he finally gets it through his thick skull. I'm not in the mood for games. I mean what I said, too. I might not look it, but I'm armed to the teeth, trained in every fighting style ever. I'm a Raza Cobra, ready to strike. Then I hear a voice from behind me.
"Master, the beast is... what's going on here?" It's the same messenger from before. Big deal. I can handle him. I turn around and draw my dagger. I realize how young this kid is. He can't be more than 10. Whose idea was that?
"Let me ask you a question, kid. Do you have a family? Friends?"
"Yes," he says backing away. I really don't want to hurt this kid, so I think I'll just scare him.
"If you ever want to see them again, I'd recommend you stop right where you are. I know how to use this thing," I say gesturing with my dagger. He gets the point. Better mine than the dagger's. "Now empty out your pockets and disarm." He does. Smart move. Two daggers, a few throwing knives, a sword, a spellbook, and what I'm guessing was going to be his lunch clatter to the floor. He's about to set a hellhound egg on the ground too, but I don't see the point. "You can keep the egg, kid. Now get out of here, tell the guards not to attack when we come out, then get as far from this camp as you can. Understand?" He nods and quickly obeys. "Smart kid." I turn back to Aaron, and inside I'm laughing my head off at the look of sheer terror on his face. I can't help rubbing it in.
"Now, I think you know that I won't be afraid to hurt you, Aaron. Nor will I be afraid to use you as a shield if we walk out of here and fireballs start flying. So you'd better cooperate. Unless you want to take a look at the grass from the underside."
"Bella, you wouldn't hurt me. You're not that kind of..."
"Stop talking!" I flick my wrist, and my dagger's whirling through the air towards him. It sticks in a tent post. Exactly what I aimed for. I grab it and point it right at his face.
"Missed," he says smugly.
"I never miss. That was just a show. Don't call me that ever again. From now on, I'm Shade, to you and everyone else!"
"Okay." He goes silent, a defeated look on his face. You have no idea how good it feels to know I put that there. We exit the tent, and surprise surprise, nobody bothers us. I send up a beacon, my extraction signal. Thane and Thomas swoop down on the Annihilation and pick us up. The look on Thane's face is not quite what I was expecting.
"Shade! Your mission was to capture Jesira! I told you not to let your personal feud get in the way!" Thane yells. Much to my astonishment, Aaron comes to my rescue.
"Jesira is dead. I've taken her place. I assume that fulfills her mission requirements." Thane looks just as stunned as I feel.
"I see. I owe you an apology, Shade. Well done."
"Thank you, Archmage. How goes the battle?" As if to answer my question, a firey pillar appears in the heart of the Brotherhood camp. The elemental pillar is a universal symbol that we all understand: they've surrendered! We've won!
"I'd say it's going quite well, Shade," Thomas says, speaking for the first time.
"You know what that means?'
"Yeah. They used the same surrender signal in the mage wars." He's right. That's where we got it. Just didn't think he'd know it. He's a smart one. Nice too. In another time, maybe, we could be friends. But not here. Not now. I can't take any more hurt. And who knows what'll happen to him. For all I know, he'll end up dead. I really hope not. I can't help but wonder what happened to that kid I terrorized earlier. I kind of feel bad about that, but it doesn't matter. Now, we celebrate! We might not have won the war, but the Brotherhood is out, and our job just got a whole lot easier. Plus, I got my revenge. Aaron is going to suffer. Win-Win-Win!
Last edited by morrisoni on November 29th, 2017, 7:17:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 24th, 2017, 6:45:19 pm

Chapter 10: Thomas
One down, two to go. Bella just basically won the whole battle for us. All the Annihilation really did was take down a few (hundred) hellhounds while we waited for her signal. We didn't even have any casualties! Not quite sure what "personal vendetta" Thane was referring to, but I can guess. I'd say the new head honcho she dragged in is also the sell-out who got her parents killed. And if that's the case, I'll kill him myself. Anyone who hurts Bella answers to me.
"Thomas. Thomas!" I snap back to reality when I realize she's yelling at me. "We're back. You can get down now. Thane will go dematerialize the Annihilation while we prep for the party."
"Right. Okay." I dismount and head for the door when all of a sudden a young man I don't recognize runs out, calling for Shade.
"I'm right here!" she says, turning around.
"Shade, you're needed inside, right now!"
"What is it?"
"I don't know, but your uncle said to hurry!"
"Come on, Thomas!" she yells, dragging me with her. I don't have time to react. We race down the halls, following the student.
"He's in there, Shade," he says, pointing to the door we've stopped in front of. Bella and I both freeze for a moment because we both recognize the door. It's Brit's room. She's got the same torveus dragon decorations on her door at my Keep. And if we're needed here, so soon after the battle...
"What's going on?" Bella asks as we rush in. Kai, who's sitting in a chair in the corner, just nods toward the bed, where a man in a healer's uniform is packing up his tools. He turns around and speaks to us, but my brain refuses to register what he's saying.
"I'm sorry, Shade. I couldn't do anything else."
"What do you mean?" I think she knows, but her mind won't accept his words any more than mine will. Kai answers her question.
"Izzy, she was in the battle," he says shaking his head.
"That's impossible! She's seven!"
"She wanted to help. I told her to stay back, but she snuck out, and she was attacked by a Hellhound. She was so badly injured, we weren't sure she would even make it back to her room."
"There was no way she could have survived," the healer says. "I did everything I could, but it was just too much. I'm sorry."
"No. You're lying. You're lying!" she screams, pushing him to the floor and running over to the bed. I help the man up and follow her. There's Brit's body. I barely recognize her, and I know her really well. She's one of my best friends, thanks to Bella. But her face is torn up, her legs and torso scorched. It's horrific. Bella stands there for a few seconds and then collapses, bawling. I can't blame her. She's always been close with Brit, probably more so here than in my world. I don't know what else to do, so I just hug her and try to calm her down.
By this point, I'm crying too, and we just sit there and let it out. I'm not sure how long this lasts, but I do know that I'm done before she is. The girl's wall has just been shattered. I let her keep going. All the while, we can hear the noises of the victory celebrations echoing down the halls. It makes me sick.
"Kai, will you close the dang door?" I say. Kai, who has been sitting in his corner this whole time, obliges. After a few minutes, Bella stops crying and whispers something so faint I almost miss it.
"Thank you, Thomas. So much. For everything."
"It's okay, Bella." She doesn't respond this time. "Let's get you back to your room, Bella. You really shouldn't stay in here."
"He's right," Kai says. "You need to get some rest."
"Whose was it?" she asks suddenly. "Who did the hellhound belong to?"
"We don't know."
"Oh. I was hoping."
"Just... it helps to know. I'm not sure why, but the more you know, the more closure you get. You know what I mean, Uncle Kai?"
"Yeah, Izzy. I get it." So do I. I mean, they're speaking from experience, I can't. But it makes sense. Knowing exactly what happened can help. Knowing who to exact payment from, like she did for her parents. Who to forgive. It makes sense.
I take Bella back to her room and head back to my own. Kai catches me on the way there.
"Hey, Thomas. I just want to thank you for everything you've done. You've helped Izzy see the lighter side of life. She kind of lost that after what happened to Francis. And even in there, when the darkness was unavoidable, you were a source of light for all of us. Without you, I don't think Izzy would've been able to handle that."
"Yeah well..."
"I don't think we should leave her alone, though. I'm afraid she might do something... drastic."
"Like what?"
"Like hurt herself. Or the Brotherhood prisoners. Or both. She was really, really attached to that little girl. If she can't figure out who's responsible, she may very well just try to eliminate the entire Brotherhood."
"And we can't have that happening."
"Right. I have no desire to go to the party now, anyway."
"Me either."
"We can take turns keeping watch."
"Sounds okay to me. I'll take the first hour. You must be exhausted."
"You have no idea. Those Existizers are difficult to deal with." And suddenly, for some reason I can't explain, I've just got to know. He's not on the council in my world, and he wasn't at the meeting here. Yet he was a part of the creation process for the Annihilation. I've got to ask.
"Kai, I've got to ask. How much do you know about me?"
"You're a Dark Brotherhood defector..."
"You don't know. You're a part of the council and you still don't know, do you?"
Last edited by morrisoni on November 25th, 2017, 5:55:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Second Mage War

Postby morrisoni » November 25th, 2017, 4:29:07 pm

Chapter 11: Kai
"You don't know. You're part of the council and you still don't know, do you?" I have no idea what Thomas is talking about. I'm completely lost.
"No, actually. I'm just a messenger. I was called in to make the Annihilation because they were short a fire mage."
"That makes a lot more sense. I wondered why you weren't at that meeting. But who's the ninth member then?"
"My brother and my sister-in-law were the other two. I filled her spot, and you filled his. We hadn't found permanent replacements for them yet."
"Okay, Kai, listen. What I'm going to tell you, you can't tell anyone else. Don't let the council know you know, got it?"
"Okay..." I haven't the slightest idea where he's headed with this.
"I'm not from the Brotherhood. Never have been."
"Then how did..."
"Hear me out. I'm not from this world, Kai. I'm from another reality, where the war isn't a thing, the guilds coexist peacefully, and Brit, Francis, and Jesira, among many other people, are still alive." I can't even imagine a world where that's the case. My response is instinctive.
"Four Extisizer eggs popped into my world somehow. I collected them all, and then, when I touched one with my bare skin, I was zapped here, to a world where I don't exist, my master is dead, you're on the council kind of, Brit's parents, as Bella told me last night, abandoned her, etc, etc, etc."
"Incredible. I would say you're a liar, but Existizers can do a lot of things." Yeah, I'm buying it. After everything I've seen, nothing seems impossible.
"Yeah. I didn't even know what the eggs were. The Existizers aren't a thing in my world, not normally. I think the only reason they showed up was to bring me here so I could help stop this war."
"That makes some strange kind of sense. The Existizers don't like conflict, I know from personal experience. They only fight when they're forced to."
"Interesting. Bella left that part out."
"She doesn't deal with them very much. She might not even realize that."
"I see. Okay, you should get to bed. See you, Kai."
"Right. See you in an hour." As I turn to go, I hear crying, softly. I can tell it's coming from Thomas, not Izzy. He must have been friends with Brit in his world. That poor girl. She never was good at listening, but I never thought she'd disobey an order like that in the middle of a battle. I always did like the kid. That kind of thing should never happen to anyone, especially a 7-year-old girl. I'm most of the way to my room when I hear a voice from behind me.
"Kai!" I turn around and see Spark hovering in the air.
"Oh, hi Spark. Good to see you aren't injured." My voice must betray my feelings.
"You don't have to sound so excited about it."
"Sorry. It's just..."
"Yeah. I heard. It may help you to know, I was doing some recon before you went into battle. I know who the hellhound belonged to." This catches my attention.
"What? Who?"
"It was their leader. Aaron." And boom. Just one more reason why. I'm seriously starting to consider flipping a coin with Izzy to see who gets to kill him.
"How do you know?"
"Brit made it into his tent, somehow. He ordered it to attack."
"He wouldn't dare!" I know he's done some horrible stuff, believe me, but I can't imagine him ordering the murder of a little girl!
"Unfortunately, he would. He very much would." Forget the coin flip. Izzy deserves to kill this low-down, rotten, traitorous murderer.
Whoa, wait. What am I saying? Turn the other cheek. Can't get bitter over this. Would Francis want this? Would Brit? No. I can't be holding on to it.
I've got to tell Bella about this. I think I'll let her rest for a while first though. No point in dropping another bombshell just yet, when she's hardly had time to process the latest one.
"Thanks, Spark. Now I'm going to bed. I'm exhausted." Spark disappears and I feel him alight on my shoulder. I'm glad I have him. He's a good companion. He's understanding and he keeps me from going crazy sometimes. Not to mention I'd probably be dead without him at least twice over. I do wonder though why he won't let me show him to anyone. But that's his business I suppose. Now seriously, I'm going to bed!
Last edited by morrisoni on November 27th, 2017, 4:03:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I pop in and out from time to time. If I don't immediately respond to something, don't take it personally. I'm just busy.
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