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 End of Jungalore: Final Chapter 
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Post Re: Jungalore: The New World [Main RP Thread]
The barrier was weakening, and the roiling clouds had started to seep into the throne room as his body shifted - bones creaking as the thing fully inserted its own muscles over his, skin boiling and breaking apart as the energies seethed below his skin.

"You call yourself a god..." his voice sounded thick, different. "Yet your senses are so weak you cannot perceive your own doom?! Ha, you ego-bloated apes are a joke and a half!" with this, Yemhelch's jaw split apart to give way to a pair of mandibles overrun with small, wriggling tentacles.

"K-kill him!" Baphomatt screamed, a tinge of terror in his voice as he leaped back from the writhing, light-eating mass of flesh that was emerging from the body of his former opponent. Heeding his command, the undead elite knights broke their defensive position and charged forwards.


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"Stay out of my way, small fry!" the voice echoed in the crumbling throne room as a mass of teeth and eyes emerged to intercept the attackers, consuming them with gusto as he charged forwards, pursuing Baphomatt. "What's the matter? Too weak and helpless now that your little toys won't do you any good?"

"SILENCE!" Baphomatt screamed back, defiant - but his voice wavering a little with fear. "No matter what you are, no magic can truly master me! I am the god of death, and you are beholden to me for bearing the sin of life!"

"Then, I'll just tear you apart with my fists!"

Baphomatt countered with several black fireballs, blasting the throne room apart with their massive power - blowing away scores of undead gathering in the throne room. A large marble column collapsed across the throne room, cutting off Mikkael and the woman in the strange armor. A quick glance to see if they were alright, and Yemhelch countered with a brutal right to Baphomatt's throat.

"Why?! You're supposed to be dead!" Baphomatt screamed, desperately trying to take to the air. "How are you even standing?!"

"Let me give you two nice pieces of information." Yemhelch countered. "One: Right now, at the other end of the world, all the life force on this planet is flooding my tendrils with excess energy. Two, the moment you and I locked eyes in that courtroom, your fate was decided - to be slain by me."

Baphomatt was reminded of the odd tendrils he saw on his trip to the Chaos Deserts and shuddered.

"You may have power, human!" Baphomatt countered with a powerful spiked claw, Yemhelch blocking it. "But as the God of Death, I'll see to it that this world will be purged of its unclean beings! What right do you have to stop me?!"

"This world is not yours alone, fool." Yemhelch grunted against the effort, before stepping off and delivering a heavy kick to Baphomatt's face. "But the day you betrayed every living thing on this planet, you pissed me off. SO YOU VANISH!"

"Hmph, so you think can fight me?!" Baphomatt roared back. "But I command the souls of the dead! The power of entropy will end you no matter how powerful you are!" With this, he pulled out the seething book and opened it - summoning several more undead into the throne room.

"That must be... the book of Shadows." Yemhelch grinned as he managed to throw off several undead titan brawlers and paladins. "Hand it over to me, and I'll let you walk away alive, mortal."

"GRAH! HOW MANY TIMES MUST I TELL YOU?! I am a God! You will respect my authority!" Baphomatt countered with another wave of his hand, summoning even more undead. "Bargaining with Death will get you nowhere!"

"Wrong answer."

Perhaps it was his warrior's instinct from his days as a fighter at the Arena that warned him - but he managed to steal a glance to the side, and realized that three sets of jaws were closing on his arm. It was too late - before his body could even jerk away, the serrated teeth of the monstrous beast smashed down on his arm holding the book of shadows.

"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

-

"Nice work." the man wearing the fedora said as he opened his eyes and the vile book emerged from the ooze. "We have the book of Shadows."

"Um... do you think... " Ahnbein asked. "... is it possible to release the souls held prisoner by this artifact?"

"That's the plan."

"... thank you."

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Post Re: [DISCONTINUED]
Baphomatt stumbled back, his own dark magic managing to stem the blood flow from the stump where his arm once was. As he looked back on his opponent, the mass of flesh - seething out from Yemhelch's body suddenly towered over the throne room, smashing into the ceiling and raining down debris onto the ground. Incanting dark spells, the partially-transformed demonologist countered by reforming his arm into a shadow-bound shield to block the worst of the falling rocks.

That was when every eye that adorned the vast, bloated tower of flesh emerging opened at once; and there he saw the the eyes of those who he had killed over the years staring back. Some with rage and anger, others with smug satisfaction - and even others with insane laughter peering out from those crimson portals of the inky black flesh of the abomination that now surged forward into the chamber proper. It's greedy tentacles and grasping hands easily violating and tearing apart the undead as they mindlessly charged.

The woman with the spear and his former pawn would have been no threat; but now, this thing had turned the tables on him. Reforming the shield into a wedge, he spread his leathery wings and took to the air - smashing through the ceiling in a particularly weak spot into the cool night sky. The barrier had all but melted away and he performed an agile U-turn in the air, and his stomach dropped. From the bird's eye view of the ruins of Cyndar, he could see how vast this monster truly was.

The throne room was consumed, and now the mass of flesh and eyeballs reared back - towering in the pre-dawn sky as it gloated.

"What's the matter?" Yemhelch's voice... backed with hundreds of others spoke in unison in his mind. "Chickening out again, like you did in that trial too long ago?"

"GET OUT OF MY HEAD!"

"Surrender it to me, and I might do that." the monstrous behemoth grinned at him.

"SHUT UP!" He roared back as he focused a vast magical maelstrom. Here, he had the higher ground. "Audi solis mortis, Ecce flammarum tua fata! Virtus mortis, et animam tuam exstinguo, Ego adrogabunt huius mundus! DIE!"

With a sweep of his arms, he let the vast fireball fall onto Cyndar's ruins - the explosion covering the city and countryside with a sinister fog, and the black flames seething and consuming what little remained in the city that could be flammable. He grinned - this flame had been once-desecrated by the highest level cultists of Umbraria to doom all life; and...

As the fog cleared, his breath caught in his throat. The entity had simply shrugged off an attack that could have leveled Cyndar, using its body to shield the town from the wost effects! Before he could prepare another volley, the monstrous behemoth composed of eyes, teeth and raw darkness reared up to face him.

"That tickled." it laughed. "Now, my turn..."

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Post Re: [DISCONTINUED]
Be ready.

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Post Re: [DISCONTINUED]
A question to the dear readers, do any of you like drawing or painting?

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Post Re: [DISCONTINUED]
tfw 6 becomes 9, enjoy this art I stole
Spoiler: show
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I assure you, I know what I'm doing. ;P

EDIT: tfw an image gets broken... Fixed Titan Image.
EDIT2: fml, Kemonor image went down. No matter, everyone should know what to expect.

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Post Re: [DISCONTINUED]
lm;mp

That's the next hint you all get.

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Post Re: TLC
Look back. I did a thing.

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Post Re: End of Jungalore: Final Chapter
The final chapter of Jungalore has begun in preparation of the release of its sequel; The Lorian Chronicles!

The following posts from here (and any before) are considered CANONICAL.

... I do realize some people are probably like, super upset with me, and that I've made some VERY iffy decisions in the RP previously. However, no more falling rocks, no more deus ex machina, from here on, there are no rules until TLC releases. I am going to make right what was wrong, and I feel there is no better way to do so than to let my friends -- you, the players -- decide the fate of the world following Baphomatt's defeat. After all, there are still many loose ends, and many stories yet to be completed.

All currently and future registered players will be able to play in this final chapter. I will have a most excellent reward for those who participate. Bear in mind that how everyone plays will determine how the world of Lorias is shaped in the next system.

That said, I feel comfortable sharing some (but not all) details of the new system, as it's now at about 60% completion.

Lorias, though it is the given default name of the world, is a completely open system. You can design worlds of your own, and not necessarily follow the given defaults of the game. There is plenty of leeway to modify characters with special traits, and appearance options. But the biggest change by far is that the game is less math, more story. There are still stats and skills, certainly, but what is most important is the philosophy section of your character sheet. It is this that will shape how the game plays out. There is also a better focus on the GM. Instead of players wandering through files aimlessly, the GM acts as a guide and fellow story writer alongside the players, and not as an antagonist or a rules lawyer.

This is what I will share for now. Maybe later I will share some more, but for now, I hope to see more players join this segment on Jungalore. As stated before, I am looking for artists to contribute racial art and more for the coming rulebook, and will even negotiate payment, so feel free to hit me up.

And remember, even if you don't think you have an imagination, or even if you fear judgement, and even if the whole world would turn against you, you have a natural ability to create any reality, and to thrive off the will you are innately born with. Do not give in, instead, let your will shape your world.

~SBE

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Post Re: End of Jungalore: Final Chapter
Mikkael rubbed his head with his fingers as he groaned, and Karliah helped him up. They had run from Cyndar, and now they had somehow taken shelter from the masses of undead being slaughtered by the seething energies that now engulfed the region.

"... you alright?" she finally mumbled.

Mikkael didn't answer. He stared out back, like something was at the very tip of his tongue, yet he was unable to say what came to him.

"...If you're wondering how we got here, Mikkael." Karliah continued. "We had to clear out when your friend there went ballistic on Baphomatt..."

"BAPHOMATT!" Mikkael almost yelled, then his voice lowering into a growl. "My body... it... tenses with rage at that name... name..."

"... you can't remember?"

"I... I think my name is Mikkael, as you said." Mikkael shook his head. "... that's right, right?"

"... Amnesia." Karliah shook her head. "Yes, your name is Mikkael Altans."

"... what about my friend you mentioned? What happened?"

Karliah didn't answer, but motioned her head to the window of the small guard post they were hiding in.

A frightful sight met his eyes as he pulled the curtains back - a vast tower of writhing shadows emerging from Cyndar in the distance, cutting a path across the sky, cleaving the clouds in two here and there. From random places, red eyes opened and shut, and massive jaws danced this way and that, almost seeming to ooze with laughter.

"Is... is that?"

"Your traveling companion. Or, what he's become, I'm afraid. Do you remember him?" Karliah asked.

Mikkael didn't respond, desperately searching through the fragments of memory that remained.

"I thought not." she sighed.

Footsteps from outside, and Karliah quickly signaled for quiet as they took cover. Mikkael, after a moment of hesitation, followed her behind a collapsed table.

"H-hello?" a voice called in. "Mikkael? Paladin Karliah? Are nyou in here?"

Mikkael winced. That voice was so familiar that he could almost give it a name; yet words eluded him. Karliah's eyes widened in definite recognition as the footsteps came closer.

A diminutive figure entered the guard post, dressed in the garb of a ninja. The cat ears on her head twitched as she sensed Mikkael shift uncomfortably in his position.

"Kazeko!" Karliah gasped. "What are you doing here?"

"Nyaa? I'd ask the same of you two" Kazeko beamed, as she removed her face-mask. "I was ordered to scout out what was happening in Cyndar when that monster appeared and I saw you two high-tailin' it outta there..."

Mikkael didn't say anything.

"Oro~? Did I interrupt something?" a teasing tone entered Kazeko's voice.

"N-no!" Mikkael's face turned red at the implication. "I-it's not like that."

"Mikkael is suffering from amnesia." Karliah responded. "He doesn't remember you, me or even Yemhelch at all."

The playful smirk fell from her face. "Oh. That's a damned shame... especially after how you two joined forces to beat the crud out of her in court."

A flicker of memory, and Mikkael shook his head while Karliah shifted uncomfortably in her armor.

"S-so, what are Velian forces doing here?"

"Usually, I'd have to kill nya for tryin' to get at secret information, but I figure you'd wanna know." Kazeko sighed. "One of the last seers in our care died a week back, but not before delivering a final vision; the rite to summon Manorach El will be carried out in Cyndar, by Baphomatt."

"Manorach El... the dragon?" Karliah asked.

"Nyup! But in this case, Baphomatt summoning it obviously reeks of some sort of dirty trick." Kazeko answered. "We were gonna nyassassinate Baph... but yeah, the hordes of undead were a little too much... So, nyou two... can you tell me what the heck is that thing that's emerged from Cyndar? Did Baphomatt summon it?"

"That thing is... Yemhelch." Karliah nodded. "Surprised? So was I..."

"Nyo Way!" Kazeko gasped. "That zany older guy who was Mikkael's traveling buddy?"

Mikkael sat there, his mind drawing a blank aside from bits and pieces of memory - he was certain he knew, but the words eluded him.

"No doubt." Karliah answered. "Though, I know he's still himself. He shielded us from a blast meant to demolish the city itself. We wouldn't have escaped either, if it wasn't for him managing to clear a path through the undead and the demons..."

"I see, that explains why he was going after Bapho up there... hey Mikkael!" Kazeko continued. "You sure you can't remember? The two of you are considered local heroes back home in Vel Da Ir for saving Hiroko from the gallows, nya know..."

Mikkael shook his head.

"I guess we should return to Vel Da Ir, and let Hiroko know what's been happening..." Kazeko nodded. "Though I wonder how she'll react when she finds out Yemhelch is a massive monster capable of crossing blades with a demigod. Should we tell her, or do we just mention that the summoning rite was a failure? Either way, a bunch of us got injured and we're gonna have to do a tactical retreat while the going's good."

-

"WHAT ARE YOU?!" Baphomatt gasped. "IT WAS I WHO SLEW LUMBRA AND UMBRARIA. WHY ARE YOU NOT DEAD?!"

"The term, 'lower life form' suits you, worm." the thing below chuckled. "Yet, here - even now, you carry the all-too-human trait of being too curious for your own good."

"SHUT UP!"

"Tell you what, why don't you stop flying around like a frightened parrot and come down here so we can talk this over like adults? Or, are you just gonna run like a chicken? Run and run, but you cannot escape from me..."

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Post Re: End of Jungalore: Final Chapter
Back in Selk, Philena listened to Eiryk's plea.

"... Yes, I see why he entrusted you with the sacred sword." She responded, "Only one with a courageous heart will lead Jungalore to peace. One who has a strong will to get things done."

"Then-!" Eiryk exclaimed, but the queen raised a hand.

"Even so, I know of no way to cross the desert. It is the only place which remains untouched by the cataclysm, save for the red waters which now run through it." She continued. Eiryk looked to the ground, and on hearing this, he couldn't help but grit his teeth.

"Yet even if this is the case I still have to! Otherwise, the Goddess Demeter who protects the Elvine will..."

Philena smiled, and she nodded, "Yes, I understand what you are saying... And I may have a solution."

The queen stood and sent out a command, "Soldiers of the Meridian Army! We make way for the ruins of Arcane Well!"

A murmur went over the crowd in her court, and everyone was distraught with uncertainty. Since the raid, the Vexus Fields were off limits to the people, as great snowstorms battered the area. Yet even with this, it made no sense for Philena to plan an excursion into the snowfields.

"Queen Philena!" Scorpio interjected, "Why would we go there?"

"The scholars of Avalon have been in contact with me, and they noted passageways that linked Vex Vinas and Arcane Well together. As you all know, Arcane Well is the only point of access in the Vexus Isles now, and we need to get into the Vex Vinas ruins if we are to get what he needs to save the goddess of earth."

"Even so, it leaves Selk defenseless."

"We will remain safe. I just... I have this feeling things will be safe here."

"Very well..." Scorpio answered, "But you are not going."

With just those words, the assassin had two swords pointed at his neck by two Meridian foot soldiers.

"Lower your blades, he meant no harm in it. Besides, I am the queen, and it is my choice where I go and when I want to go." The queen commanded. The foot soldiers complied and nodded, glaring at Scorpio.

"Scorpio, I do not mind your concern, but this is something Eiryk must do. Already, the Reptal have spoken of clean waters, and do you know what that could mean for us? For my people? For everyone?"

Scorpio remained silent, "Do as you please."

"Thank you." She stated in earnest, "Now, about how to get there..."

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Post Re: End of Jungalore: Final Chapter
The landing was smooth. Afalans nuzzled Philena as she dismounted and she pet the beast's face, handing the reins to one of the attending guards.

"Will it be easy?" Eiryk asked earnestly.

"Honestly, no. But it will be easier than the events to follow..." The queen answered. She showed concern on her face as she has stated so, but for the time being, Eiryk put it to the back of his mind, instead shifting his focus to the task at hand. The group was set outside Arcane Well, the ruins which Mikkael and Philena once visited. The location which held a close memory to her heart.

Philena recalled the expedition to the ruins. All was still similar to her, save for the red oceans and the red of the rivers and constant blizzard now bestowing ruination to the Vexus Snowfields.

Yet, unlike before, the ruins were crawling with ARKs. Clearly, someone had predicted their arrival. Yet, unlike before, Eiryk was now, for all intents and purposes, invincible to their assault, save for the lasers. He motioned for everyone to keep low as one approached closeby, passing them and glancing around. He leapt onto the back of it and began to tear his way inside, making a mess of the mechanized units inside.

Inside, he found his way to what appeared to be a seat, as if he could pilot it. With the corruption now done away with, he sat down inside, and the ARK reconfigured itself into its proper form, with three eyes and silvery armor. The group followed him around as he carefully maneuvered it beyond the corrupt ARKs.

They had made it to the west side of Arcane Well, a school with the ancient markings of the mages was in front of them, and Eiryk hopped out of the makeshift vehicle.

"Certainly interesting in there." He mentioned, "Technology unlike anything you'd imagine."

"Just remember, Eiryk, we are here for a singular purpose." Philena mentioned, "I'm walking through here blind, so we must make haste if we are to make our way towards Vex Vinas..."

With a nod, the group found themselves walking through the abandoned hallways of an ancient magic lab. Philena moved with three guards, and Eiryk moved with another three. Eiryk recalled exactly what Philena had mentioned about it earlier in the skies...

"A Banishing Spell?"

"Precisely, ancient magics exist in ruins. If we can find the magics for dispelling evil forces, you can enter the Chaos Desert. For the desert is an accursed land."


Still, with only a scholar and two guards... This would be dangerous. Should they find anything in Arcane Well, it would save them the trouble of having to enter the Vex Vinas Ruins. Yet without any guidelines, they would need to trust the word of the Avalonian scholars and make their way to Vex Vinas.

Unfortunately, the two groups found nothing. They left the school ruins empty handed and made their way to the cathedral. On their way, lasers shot out of the eyes of an ARK, stopping the group.

"Damn! And here we thought it'd be a cakewalk..." Eiryk spoke out. "Everyone! Keep light on your feet!"

Eiryk let out his demonic arm and the flames of darkness surrounded him as he ran up and clawed at the ARK. Yet unlike the smaller one which he was just operating not too long ago, this one had shields capable of blocking his attacks. Philena echoed out enchantments to increase the group's speed, and yet they would still take severe damage from its attacks.

Leaping into the air, Eiryk kept putting pressure on the ARK's shielding, and even so, it continued to remain untouched. The second he got even close, he would be repelled and would slide twenty feet from the ARK itself, which maintained its use of lasers and clawing attacks.

Then, without warning, a dragon flew over the group, letting out a terrible roar, stunning everyone in place for a moment. The ARK attempted to shoot it out of the sky, but it swooped out of the way, picking up the machine with its claws. The dragon had pure white scales, shining as if a mirror, and a breath of the coldest frost. Unlike most of dragon-kind, it had no forearms, but wings, classifying it more appropriately as a wyvern. Unlike those creatures which the Meridians were used to, it was unseen before.

"By the heavens..." A male guard uttered, "You three, get the scholars and our lady to safety! Eiryk, on me!"

The dragon slammed the massive ARK into the school's ruins, then turning its gaze to the male guard and Eiryk. He was a nimble Meridian soldier, opting to use a large hammer over typical Meridian blades used against dragons. Eiryk himself stared down the dragon as Philena made her way with the scholars and other soldiers towards the cathedral.

"Eiryk! Izraf! We will make haste to Vex Vinas!" Philena shouted back. The Assassin and the Guard nodded.

"Izraf, then? You ever see anything like it?" Eiryk asked. The Meridian shook his head.

"Never. This is something entirely new to me."

The dragon roared once more as the ARK tried to jump it, yet with a single tail swipe, the ARK was cut in two, motionless, and broken.

"Well then, I guess the first thing to do is the tail sever, huh?" Eiryk noted, his claw growing extra sharp as he fueled it with his will.

"Can you get to it?" Izraf questioned. Yet before the question could be answered, Eiryk had already latched his way onto one of the beast's six horns. He chuckled to himself and rushed forwards. However, the dragon slammed the side Eiryk was on into the hammer-wielding meridian, sending moth of them flying into a wall.

Eiryk coughed some blood and uttered, "Okay... scratch that plan..."

"Any distraction tactics you got?"

"I can sense some undead. Can you be a distraction?"

"I'm not going to be this damn wyvern's chew toy!"

A blast of ice swooped too close for comfort as they moved in separate directions. Even though they had just barely dodged it, the frost of the wyvern's breath sent a clear chill over them, freezing the water in the air around them.

Izraf made his way up the wall and Eiryk had used his keen dodging tactics to keep clear of the tail attacks and somersault attacks the wyvern had made. Izraf jumped from the wall, slamming his massive hammer on the beast's head, stunning it for a moment. Eiryk used the opportunity to call upon the bones buried beneath the snow, summoning an undead dragon which held the silvery wyvern in place. Eiryk rushed over to the tail of the massive beast, chewing, biting, and clawing his way through the tough scales, now apparent to him that they were of pure silver with a polish like none other. Nonetheless, he tore off scale after scale as Izraf hammered over the beast's head, and the undead dragon tore at its wings.

Finally, with the tail torn off, Eiryk ate his way inside, tearing the dragon apart from the inside out as Izraf dealt the final blow over the dragon's skull, crushing it in a bloody mess.

Looking at one another after the battle, Izraf asked, "Was that a good enough distraction?"

Eiryk laughed and answered, "I suppose... Come on, let's meet up with her highness."

"Wait, let's take these scales. We could make some stuff out of them. On top of that, the researchers will need to identify this beast." Izraf explained as Eiryk nodded. He took a few scales for himself and some meat as they rushed for the cathedral.

The two of them did well sneaking around on their own. Philena was still in the main cathedral room when they arrived, as were the guards and scholars. Eiryk had offered a hand up to Philena, but quickly realized he was covered in the blood and flesh of a dragon, so transitioned to a wave instead.

"I gathered the required materials." Izraf spoke up. Philena nodded in response."

"Then the assassins will be pleased. Good." Philena answered. Eiryk looked at the two of them and Philena let out a nervous laugh. "I must apologize, Eiryk, but there were reports of an undocumented beast flying over here... I didn't want you to decline such a trip to Vex Vinas, as Scorpio had noted you to be quite capable..."

Eiryk waved a hand and responded, "Hey, I don't care. I just know that I have to save these deities if we want our world back to normal."

"Please, forgive my secrecy." Philena continued, "I am truly sorr-"

Eiryk shook his head, "It's nothing. That said, the thing is dangerous. We were lucky we were on top of a dragon skeleton."

"You can summon the dead?" Philena questioned.

"I don't know how, but after saving the goddess of water, I just... Knew how."

"I see..." Philena voiced, thinking to herself. "Well, that will be useful to have."

She looked around the area, remembering the golem battle. One of the soldiers even sat upon the rubble of the golem, and she recalled how Mikkael broke through its stone shell with the massive blade he would swing about.

"... I do hope... I hope he will remember me, when I next see him."

Izraf smiled, "I'm sure he will."

Everyone took a short rest in that chamber, and when they were set, the soldiers laid down the explosives exactly where the scholars prescribed. The explosions shook the ground well, and the sealed passageway was revealed to them.

"So, this will take us to Vex Vinas?"

"As far as we know..." Izraf spoke up.

"Just who are you, anyways?" Eiryk asked.

"Izraf, Researcher and Dark Knight of the Meridian Empire." He answered, "Of course, I already know who you are, Eiryk Advento, Undead Assassin of the Church of Lumbra."

"But I'm not even..." Eiryk began to speak, but Izraf interrupted as they began to proceed.

"I know, but I am not with the Umbraria Dark Knights. I merely take on the power a Dark Knight uses as a scholarly body. I had heard of you once, before the cataclysm. You're an interesting subject, to say the least."

"Subject?"

"Just know that the Dark Knights will lead you down a path you will not be able to save yourself from. Resist the temptation. Use your powers carefully, and you will be just fine..."

The group continued down into the catacombs and followed the pathway, using small sticks of dynamite when rubble blocked the path, and ice magic to freeze the flooded portions over, that they may walk across the waters.

Finally, after three hours of walking through the dark passages, the scent of sewage permeated the area. Upon using the ladder, the group found themselves in a snow-covered ruin.

Philena was the first to speak as she walked through the deep snow and gazed at the ruins of the tower.

"We're back... Vex Vinas."

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Post Re: End of Jungalore: Final Chapter
Dodging and weaving through the barrage of barbed spikes, mocking faces and devastating energy blasts from the vast creature below was taking out a lot of him, but Baphomatt had a plan. Slowly gaining altitude with each gritted flap of his now massive wings, he had now reached the base of the massive clouds of darkness that blotted out the sky.

His magic had no effect, the blades of undead did not harm this monstrous behemoth. He had racked his memories and remembered something of this alien intruder that may have been lost to eternity with the genocide he had unleashed upon Cyndar.

"S-stay away from me!" he screamed back at the maelstrom below. "I know what you fear!"

"Oho?"

He closed his remaining battered eye, focusing on dodging the attacks from below as he willed more of the Dragon's magic into his arms. The alien creatures from Frenga Farms would vanish as the sun rose, he remembered from the idle chatter of one of his thralls who had once been planted there. And now, that pawn's information would serve as his final trump-card.

"NOW, FALL BEFORE THE GOD OF DEATH!" he roard as he raised, holding back the devastating shockwave until his fingers began to bleed - then tore into the dark energy clouds, blasting them apart and letting the first rays of the dawn sun fall upon the vast monstrosity below.

"GHHNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

The psychic roar nearly deafened him, but he managed to right his balance despite the fact he was severely wounded - his former expression of desperation giving way to a smug laugh as he saw the tendrils recoil back against the sunlight, some bursting into crimson liquid and others simply evaporating as the behemoth began to spiral - like water being drained into the center.

How ironic that a god of death had to resort to using the power of Light to defeat his foe, he thought - but that didn't matter. Methods, procedures... all burn! He would have his glory!

The throne room - the beast was retreating back into the body of that upstart! A sudden flash of inspiration struck him; if he could get a killing blow on that man - Yemhelch, perhaps he could absorb this vast beast's power... the world would not be enough; new horizons, new ambitions opened to him. He could tear apart the universe with this power!

Folding his wings, he dived like an eagle towards the central mass which was now vanishing into the body of the man who had dared to defy him. As he plowed through the clouds, he formed his arm-stump again from shield, to blade, intent on killing Yemhelch in one hit. He could not take chances with this alien monster.

Suddenly, the anguished howls of pain in his head stopped. As his momentum carried him ever closer to the blasted throne room, he saw his quarry look up at him; and a single word escaped Yemhelch's mouth - and even at this distance, he could clearly read it.

"Psyche."

He tried to change his angle of attack, or even slow down - but his partially transformed state was still bound to the laws of physics; and he was skewered on several massive tentacles erupting from Yemhelch's body. It was his turn to scream in agony as the throne room collapsed, revealing a massive jawed mouth that opened up as the tentacles pulled him down and slammed shut on him.

-

"The battle is over." the ninja sighed as he climbed back down. "... now, all that remains is that monster."

Karliah didn't say a word. Despite the distance, she and her traveling companions had seen what had transpired.

"Baphomatt is dead..." Kazeko nodded. "Dragon or not, I don't think anyone'd have survived that. Anyway, what do you think, Mikkael? Remember anyuthing yet?"

Mikkael shook his head, and Kazeko backed off. One of the ninjas broke the uncomfortable silence.

"What do we do about that monster, Taichou?"

"Hm, nyow that we've reached a possible safe distance..." she mused. "We should watch what it's next myove is. Karliah says it's one of our people... but if she's wrong, then the whole world is in danger."

"But it did help us clear the undead when we escaped, taichou..."

"So it did... let's just hope Karliah's right this time..."

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Post Re: End of Jungalore: Final Chapter
Without time to rest, the group was immediately surrounded by malformations of flesh. Remains of those lost in Vex Vinas during the raid, reconfigured in the worst of poses and positions. Bodies only half or three quarters present, and others being formations of numerous bodies melded together.

"Gods, what in Jungalore happened here!?" Izraf exclaimed, readying his hammer as everyone else followed suit with their weapons. Without warning, the flesh beasts leapt forward and pushed down both the scholars, biting into their bodies and infecting them. Their eyes rolled back and they began to vomit up their innards and more malformations of flesh took shape, latching onto the nearby soldiers. Yet they would not have it, they sliced the demons in two, and Eiryk himself feasted upon them.

Philena echoed an enchantment of fire onto the weapons of those who still stood, and Eiryk clawed each beast that got to close down, setting them ablaze.

"Queen Philena," The female guard nearby began, "What could have caused this?"

Philena finished her spell and answered, "Perhaps all the will left over here caused the mutations of the dead..."

"If that's the case..." Eiryk began his gaze into those flesh malformations with eyes, and yet they only leapt at him, leading to his retaliation with swinging claws, "Guess not... They're not undead, and I can't even resurrect them..."

"Anomalies of will, then... For now, we need to reach the ruined tower!" Philena directed the group, as Eiryk took to the front.

"But my queen, how are we to find the spells?"

"I haven't any idea." She answered, shaking her head, "I just know that we need to."

Eiryk readied himself for more flesh beings, and some came out armored in the bones of other beings and the armor of ARKs. Though more resistance was present, they would fall easily to the weapons of the guard. Izraf himself found this constant onslaught to be enjoyable, and used his health loss to further his swinging speed and power, igniting the beasts.

As they reached the tower, they saw a massive dragon of flesh, wearing the melted armor and ice.

"All sorts of new wildlife here..." Eiryk noted.

"No time to muse on it. Let's beat it down."

Unlike the silver dragon, the beast had no wings, but a large tail of ice and bone and bodies. Its main body a formation of flesh, and a head of ice sharpened into a spear. The flesh beneath its icy plates and arm blades a red, as it dripped blood from beneath the plates. Its eyes glowed an otherworldly white as its three rows of teeth ground together the body of a human. It roared as if it were a feral cat, not as strong as the beast in Arcane Well, but loud enough that it resounded throughout the town. Whatever encroaching beasts were nearing turned and ran into the waters. Better to freeze than to face this beast.

Eiryk neared it and tried to swipe at it. Yet unlike the foes previously, this beast was fast. It moved away and clawed forward. He made a block with his shadowy arm and watched as a portion of the darkness fell below, hardening to stone as blood gushed from the shadows before restoring themselves.

"Careful!" Eiryk shouted, sliding back, "That thing will petrify anything with its attacks!"

Philena focused on summoning a being of great fire, and yet, even it would not answer her call.

"What's wrong!?" Izraf shouted back to her.

"I... I can't summon anything, it's like a mass of white noise whenever I call out to the spirit realm!"

"Damn... Okay! Everyone, watch the patterns of attack!"

Though they tried to observe, the beast was too fast, and it struck down two guards with one claw each, turning them to stone before crushing them beneath its icy grip. Slowly, their party dwindled down to three.

Eiryk took the plunge and bit into the beast, getting under one of the plates, but he had to release his grip as acid began to pour into his mouth, giving him a nasty burn. He cried in agony as he coughed profusely, nearly getting cut in the process.

Philena quickly recited a healing spell on him as Izraf hammered directly onto the ice spear on its head, chipping it ever so slightly, yet the beast rushed him, cutting at him with the ice, but not petrifying him.

"... So it's only the claws that do it..." Eiryk mused. He then looked to the side where he had bit and noticed how the acid had gotten through the ice. The gears turned in his head as he formulated a strategy.

"Philena! Spear it high!"

Philena focused and mass of wood speared it skyward. It pulled itself off the wood and the acid spewed out from its stomach and back, melting most of its ice and metal plating. Now, they saw it for what it was, a mass of flesh kept mostly together by the ice and metal casing, as it slumped down and now moved with four long bone tendrils wrapping around each leg. Eiryk and Izraf combined their next attack, allowing him to slice through its flesh, protected only by the shadows he extended to the blades. Unfortunately, they dulled in the attack, but fortunately, they had cleared the way into the tower...

Though not much was left of books, they never managed to find what they were looking for...

"Damnit!" Eiryk exclaimed, clamming his bandaged fist into the wall, "DAMNIT! DAMNIT!"

"Eiryk..." Philena uttered, "I am sorry. But we will find a way!"

"YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND! I NEED TO..."

He grit his teeth together.

"Let me go downstairs to that accursed lab."

Eiryk proceeded on his own down the stairs. Izraf, the remaining guard, and Philena followed.

"We already looked down here. Nothing in ancient tongues or remotely helpful." Izraf explained. Yet Eiryk was determined. He looked through every cell in the laboratory, even around the cracked tube where Philena was held, much to her dismay. Once more, he slammed his fist down on the control panel, sending a light jolt of electricity through his body. Yet nothing.

"So it's impossible..."

Eiryk shook his head as he sat back in one of the chairs.

"All this... for nothing?" He questioned to himself.

"Well... Look on the bright side!" Philena stated, attempting to cheer him up.

"What bright side!? We lost three people and only found, what, two new species of monsters?"

"... I understand, but please, this is good for us as a whole..." Philena tried to speak.

Then, out of nowhere, they heard something they didn't expect to hear. A voice.

"I'someone there?" The deep voice spoke out, "Any'un? Hallo?"

A dialect like no other was heard from one of the hallways. Eiryk stood up and called out.

"Who's there?"

First a small explosion and rumble, but then a large shadow edged around the corner, growing smaller and smaller until the figure was fully visible. He was about four and a half feet in height, covered in heavy armor, similar to that of the Kemonor.

"Well well..." He spoke in a heavy voice, "Th's's certa'nly intr'resting." He voiced beneath the heavy metal helmet, "Yer'not like ahny race w've seen. Not like th' 'blinkind, nor th' dworfenkind."

Eiryk looked to his traveling companions, "You... You're not human?"

"Nay lad." It responded, "Ah'm wot's called a dworfling'r dworfenkind. We 'ail from th'under. We was minin' out some nyuw tunn'ls and 'eard some voices from b'yond yonder ancient ruin wall."

"I... See..." Eiryk responded.

"Still, t'think such shoddy work was built near'n ancient ruin... Y'all've gotsta be off yer'rock'rs."

"What do you mean ancient ruin?" Eiryk asked. The dwarflinger lead them toward the hole he blasted, and Eiryk saw a familiar scene. Black, smooth walls, with red markings like with the ARKs.

The dwarflinger spoke as him and his mining crew, along with the party, reached the entrance. "Th' ancient dworfling'rs built these'ere citadels as worshippin' places of th'old gods. We've gone a'ead and sealed most of 'em off, as th' things 'ave poured out monsta's as of late..." He pointed to the markings leading down a long hallway and continued, "Th' red marks? Those mean danger. Place's desecrated."

Eiryk gazed down and nodded, "If, say, we cleared out the... intruder, would you all mind if we exchanged cultures?"

"Such kindness!" The dwarflinger exclaimed, "Be m'guest, but only if ya think yerselves capable."

Everyone nodded in agreement, and Eiryk lead them down the hallway...

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Post Re: End of Jungalore: Final Chapter
The sounds of cheering, booing, trumpets and clapping cut through the silence of eternity and Baphomatt opened his eyes. He had last seen the massive jaws of whatever had eaten him alive smash down on his head; he had felt the serrated teeth cut his flesh apart, the maw ripping off one of his wings...

He stood in an Arena, below a starry night sky. The layout of this Arena was almost similar to the where he was once a Champion. A dream? He looked down upon himself and his stomach turned - his body woven back to mortal form, with both arms intact, now holding a buckler and a blackened skull staff.

"Welcome to hell, Baphomatt Flaggel." Yemhelch's voice, backed with the voices of hundreds spoke in unison. He looked up, and where royalty and other personages would recline, he saw his arch-rival.

"You!" he screamed. "Come down here and fight me if you dare!"

"Gladly." Yemhelch replied. "But you see, others... others you have killed over the years here in the Arena got dibs. I can't possibly jump the cue just to sate your selfish ass."

The Arena's spectators cheered as gratings opened, and several warriors strode into the Arena grounds.

"We will play a game." Yemhelch smiled, his voice booming across the Arena. "For every one of these warriors you slay, you will move one step closer to fighting me. Defeat 5 warriors in single combat and I will grant you the boon you wished for!"

"Hmph, arrogant old man!" Baphomatt yelled back. "You couldn't fight me without that demon summon of yours! Your head hang from this staff!"

"Very well! Let the games begin!"

A great trumpet delivered a sonorous tone that silenced the cheering for a moment, and it came back stronger as a giant of a man, perhaps a half-Titan? got out a cruel spiked mace from the rack strapped to his back and stepped into the center of the Arena, grinning like a man possessed.

"Volug von Ystunhim, a Champion of the Arena - versus challenger Baphomatt Flaggel." the sharp voice intoned over the cheering. "FIGHT!"

-

He called out, willing the energies of Lumbra and Umbraria bound to him; but only silence answered his summons. Deftly dodging the Titan warrior's powerful mace, Baphomatt somersaulted to the side, letting his staff deliver a bone-crushing blow to the Titan's leg from the side.

*CRACK*

He smiled in grim satisfaction as the monstrous man lurched in pain. An opening! Swinging his staff around, he bought it to bear on the man's back, using the sharp end like a spear, he stabbed it right through where the heart would have been. A howl of pain, and the massive man fell to the floor unmoving. Almost as if on instinct, his minds conjured the ritual to raise the undead... again meeting a sinister silence.

"Stop wasting my time, old man!" Baphomatt roared as he threateningly waved the bloodied staff. "I am an Arena Champion! I can take down all four of these pathetic fools!"

"Very well." Yemhelch smiled. "Arcturus, Vivendis, Slyythe, Hisou, prepare yourself."

The remaining four warriors, two humans, one Reptal and one Meridian, unsheathed their weapons and gingerly approached the Arena center.

"...Arena Champion, huh?" Yemhelch grinned. "But are you watching your back?"

Baphomatt did not have time to even comprehend what was slammed into his jaw with enough force that sent him flying into one of the Arena's walls. Through the clearing cloud, he saw the Titan, desperately staunching the hole in his chest, but quite pleased at his handiwork.

"H-how..."

"Volug von Ystunhim was born with a rare condition." Yemhelch chuckled. "Dextrocardia. His heart is on the opposite side of his body."

The four fighters didn't give Baphomatt much time for a rebuttal. The humans pulled him from the debris, the reptal stabbed him in the arm with a dagger, and the Meridian decapitated him with a sweeping slash of his longsword.

With a voiceless scream, Baphomatt's head rolled across the floor before the sudden loss of blood pressure made his eyeballs crumple up.

Darkness.

The sounds of cheering, booing, trumpets and clapping cut through the silence of eternity once more, drawing breath from the cold air. His corpse, standing a ways from where he was, collapsed a few seconds later as time began to flow again, burning up into ash in moments. He was still alive... and yet his body ached with the pain of the stab wound and his neck itched...

"You lost! Looks like you'll have to defeat 6 more warriors if you want to face me, Flaggel!" Yemhelch's voice echoed in his head. "But, eh... lucky for you, I won't kill you just yet. That honor's reserved for a friend of mine."

The trumpet keened its dire note and the grating opened to reveal a lithe Kemonor sword-dancer, and Baphomatt gasped as the sucking hole in the chest of the Titan folded shut.

"FIGHT!"

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Post Re: End of Jungalore: Final Chapter
As the group made their way through the red hallways, saturated with ominous light were the beasts that crept within. Unlike the one which appeared beneath the Meridian throne room, the dwarflinger ruins which were beneath Vex Vinas were a massive system of tunnels and hallways, leading this way and that.

Eiryk, taking the lead, would spot enemies and vanquish the robotic fiends, taken over by corruption, and Philena would offer healing to anyone who would fall injured, save for Eiryk of course, who would feast on any which were dead humanoids. As they pressed on, they soon came to a room with a spiraling path down the walls, leading to a smaller center at the bottom-most level.

"Be ready for anything." Eiryk warned, "There's likely something down there."

The remaining guard, Philena, and Izraf remained at the uppermost level, as Eiryk vaulted down the pathways, finally reaching the bottom. It was maybe no more than thirty feet in diameter, and lit by red light. To one wall, Eiryk spotted it -- another monolith. Unlike that one which was back in the Meridian throne, it was red. He attempted to make a strike with Excalibur, but no luck.

Suddenly, a loud wail struck the entire room, deafening all standing within. The remaining guard looked to the source of the sound, perched high upon the ceiling. The door to the room immediately shut, and the brand glowed bright red upon its smooth surface, as well as the bottomost floor. Surrounded entirely by darkness then, save for the glowing brands, a crunch filled the room and Philena and Izraf felt the splatter of warm fluids upon them.

Yet Eiryk saw everything in the pitch black darkness. A beast of mechanized legs, missing its heart and clothed in the robes of a mage. Its arms two massive claws made of machinery, and its lower half made of mechanized spider legs. Upon its neck, a massive set of jaws, lined with four rows of teeth, seething liquid corruption. It was only when Philena cast a spell of sight that she recognized him.

This was once Hohenheim; grandfather of Mikkael.


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"By the Gods... He should not be alive!" She uttered as she was pulled down the levels with Izraf. Eiryk joined them and responded easily.

"I don't think if God still lives it would let such monstrosities live."

But without warning, the beast lunged for the group with its massive jaws, and they each rolled out of the way. Its patters began to glow red as from its mouth shot a red-hot beam of light, briefly illuminating the area. Everyone kept moving up and down the individual levels. As they continued to change position, more beams would be shot out.

That was when Izraf realized, "Can this thing even see in the damn dark!?"

Eiryk decided to test this theory. He stood in one place as it shot its beam of light, then took aim with his massive jaws. Sure enough, they aimed straight for where Eiryk was when he just barely moved out of place.

"Izraf is right! Cut all lights if possible!" Eiryk shouted. Philena followed the word, and Izraf made a jumping assault upon the mechanized mage as it made its way to the center of the multi-layered room. It came crashing to the ground level and Eiryk followed tow, grabbing its massive jaws and attempting to rip them in two. However, this proved nearly fatal as they clamped down on his leg. He was swung up, hitting the ceiling and falling again to the ground. Before he could react, Hohenheim launched a massive fire attack, covering the entire ground.

Everyone was promptly burned badly, Eiryk especially so. Yet he would not relent. He launched hisleft arm into action, and focused an immense amount of will into it, letting it cover his whole body, cloaking him in total darkness.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As this happened, many thoughts rushed through Eiryk's mind. He was swirling in total darkness, unable to tell himself from that same darkness. Soon, a figure approached him, like a silhouette of himself, but with glowing white eyes.

"What is this?" Eiryk thought to himself.

"Your true power." The figure answered, "Welcome to the world which you created, Eiryk Advento. I, too, am Eiryk Advento."

"You are not me."

"But I am, and I am your truest intention."

"No, you cannot be, and aren't."

Imagery began to rapidly flash through his mind. Blood, death. Many figures began to rush him and feast upon the dead as he cut down each and every one of them. All the while, the blood began to rise higher and higher with each death, until he found himself waist deep in the blood.

The figure duplicated itself multiple times over, exploding in a massive array of blood and drowning Eiryk in it. Bloody figures pulled him beneath the surface as this occured and everything went black...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Eiryk rose from the ground, burned, wounded, and dying, the darkness conformed around his body, filling his wounds, remedying his skin, and then, a beastly roar escaped his mouth.


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Hohenheim turned as Eiryk underwent a major transformation. Now his Assassin armor had fused with the shadows into a set of blackened plates and bones. His hood morphed into the head of a black dragon, and his cloak extended in metal plates behind him, his blades now sharp and black. The eyes of the dragon glowed a crimson red as both his arms embodied the inner darkness. So terrifying was his form that all in the room shuddered in absolute fear.

"Queen Philena... Stand back..." Izraf warned.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When he came to, he was chained up. The shadows had disappeared beneath his bandages, and Philena was staring at him with worrisome eyes.

"What the in the nine oblivions were you thinking!?" Izraf belted out as he picked Eiryk up by the collar.

"I... Don't understand."

"Eiryk, after the fight, you turned on Izraf and I..."

"I don't remember anything of the sort..."

"Kid, if you think you're safe just by saying-" Izraf began, but Philena placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Izraf... I trust Eiryk personally."

"I'm sorry, it wasn't my intention to harm anyone. The shadows began to beckon me and..."

"Relax..." She uttered to him, "I feel that... Scorpio would be the best to speak with you. For this is akin to what the Assassins use to carry out the most dangerous of tasks..."

"... Right..." Eiryk answered. Izraf shook his head as Philena beckoned to unchain him. Doing so, Eiryk stretched and looked over to Hohenheim. Or, rather, what was left of Hohenheim. Scattered throughout the room were machine pieces, and blood soaked the bottom floor. The body was, however, missing.

"You ate him thereafter." Izraf explained, "Honestly, I don't know what you are, but you need to control whatever that power is..."

"I suppose... I've been using it recklessly."

"Well, what do we do now?" Izraf asked, "The room is yellow now. Does it have to do with the monolith down there?"

"Yes, this way..."

Eiryk, Izraf, and Philena waded down the spiraling ramp and Eiryk pulled out Excalibur, striking the glowing yellow circle. Just as it had happened before, the room changed from yellow to blue lights, and everything faded to white...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Once again, the tremors started, this time coming from Vex Vinas. The snowfield began to dissipate into a more quaint northern tundra, as it was when the mages watched over Vex Vinas before the raid. Under the ruined city, a massive white cross rose from the land, and blanketed the sky in the purest white light. The red waters around Vex Vinas, just as in Tal-Ari, had begun to fade back to their pure blue form. Small green crosses raised from the depths of the water, souls being released to the heavens once more.

Yet, half the world was still blanketed in the crimson waters, nonetheless, the cross disappeared, and the Northern Corisca Mainland was once again of pure waters, flowing and teeming with life.

Eiryk, Philena, and Izraf appeared outside Vex Vinas, and meeting them was a man, or rather, a terrifying figure with the voice of a man. He wore the skin of a leopard, fashioned into a the robes of one from Vel Da Ir. A straw hat hid most of his face, save for his sharp teeth protruding from his mouth. His facial skin appeared as red, and his hands appeared as a forest green.

"So... Another rises to take on the responsibility of 'hero' then?" The being spoke in a calm tone.

"You must be... An elemental god?" Eiryk asked, and the being smiled.

"I suppose I owe it to you, after all, my powers had been sealed for some time since the spirit of light cast me out... Yes, I am the God of the Air. You may refer to me as Fuujin."

Save for Eiryk, the group knelt before him, and the deity laughed, giving a brief, more clear look at his face. He tilted up his straw hat, revealing four eyes, two giving a look of anger, and two giving a look of joy, "Please, you needn't treat me with such formalities."

"Great Fuujin," Eiryk spoke up, "I am in need of your power."

"Oh? What is it you seek then, mortal one with the scar of shadows?"

Eiryk explained his situation to the wind god, and the being nodded in contemplation.

"You are absolutely right, cursed mortal, for if she were to pass, then the whole of Jungalore would soon follow." He stated in agreement, but then smiled, "Do you know the whereabouts of the celestial crown?"

"The celestial crown?" Eiryk questioned.

"Has it been so long that the mortals have forgotten what the celestial treasures are?" Fuujin asked rhetorically, "Allow me to enlighten thee."


Link


A great gate opened, and the three of them stepped through. There, they were greeted by one hundred lesser beings of light, kneeling in a bow along the path leading up to a great palace. Each was dressed in white silk, with three sets of feathered wings sprouted from their backs, and two halos floating above their heads. Concealing their faces were hoods and white wraps, and they uttered constant prayers as the group walked by.

"Angels...?" Eiryk asked.

"Correct... Welcome to the Yuunlands... In layman's terms... Heaven. We are approaching but one area of heaven, for its vastness cannot be surmised in words."

The group continued along the path and were completely awestruck by the absolute beauty of heaven. Eiryk, however, was focused on the god, leading them through the temple.

"We are approaching the hall of treasures, emptied from a time long passed..."

They continued walking through a vast series of doors until they reached it, a room with six treasure chests.

"It all happened, not long after the creation of the world we originally called... Lorias."

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Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:48 pm
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