FotC – S2 – Mirage of the Living and the Dead

Episode 1

SCENE – The Ship
*scene of a sailing ship*
Text: It had been a week since Ming Na had awakened upon the ship on its way to the Crystal Desert. But she was different somehow, aloof… cold. The mood of the group was somber, with the corpse of their fallen friend in the lower deck, they knew they had lost more than just a member of the team.

Athena: She hasn’t spoken for a while now.

Waljan: Perhaps she is still unwell.

Athena: I fear that it is more than that.

*Anduril runs over*
Anduril: Will you take some broth? I shall get you a bowl.

Ming Na: I thank you for watching over me… but there is no need.

Anduril: I…

Thorgrim: Monk, you know more than any of us about this mythical weapon that we are journeying towards. Do you know of its exact location?

*Ming Na stands up and turns towards Thorgrim*
Ming Na: I know of nothing more than what I have revealed. I expect the goddess to show us the way once we have arrived.

Ming Na: *whispers to Waljan* Do you know where Zyr is laid?

Waljan: You may find him in the lower holdings. I understand your desire to want to see him, but understand Ming Na, nothing can be done for him.

Ming Na: I wish to be alone.

*Waljan nods*

SCENE – Kelden at the Courthouse
*extras dancing*

Kelden: Excuse me sirs… does anyone know their way around these mountains?

Drunken man: Bwaahhhhaaa well lookie m’lads, a stranger to these parts. *sounds of laughing*

Tristan: How have you found your way to these god-forsaken regions?

Kelden: Believe me, it was not by my choice.

Drunken man: Ahhhahah we have a lone adventurer here!

Tristan: This is a dangerous place, you should not be traveling alone.
Kelden: I’m afraid reliable traveling companions are often hard to find.

Drunken man: Sir, reliable traveling companions are usually as reliable as the platinum you pay them! *laughter rings*

Tristan: Please excuse my friend, he has had one too many drinks. I must admit that we don’t get too many visitors these days. Tell me, what brings you here?

Kelden: I seek a significant monument in the Shiverpeaks.

Tristan: This is important to you, is it not?

Kelden: Yes, enough to risk my life for.

Tristan: I haven’t been up there much, but I would be willing to show you the way.

Kelden: That is very kind of you, but I must admit that I have not carried much gold with me.

Tristan: Worry not sir. Pay me what you are able. It pleases me to aid strangers as yourself. My name is Tristan Thanatos.

Kelden: And mine is Kelden Nathorr.

Tristan: Come drink with us. We shall leave at the first light of dawn.

SCENE – The Ship
*scene of Anduril and Keryn at the forefront of the ship*
Anduril: Do you think the enemy will strike again?

Keryn: Pfft.. only the ignorant would believe otherwise.

Anduril: Ignorant you say? You are so transparent Keryn, it is easy to see through your act.

Keryn: We all disguise ourselves oaf.

Anduril: I note how you have been somewhat closed as to your past.

Keryn: No one bothered to ask, and if they had, they had best remove their nose before losing it by sticking it into others business.

Anduril: Come now Keryn, if the origin of my guild causes the group concern, how do you expect any to trust you while you do the same with your past?

Keryn: I do not want their trust or misguided empathy. As for you, I have heard more of this guild than you know. The name spreads farther than perhaps you anticipated. You live in the shadows while you pretend to embrace the sun.

Anduril: An interesting perspective you have, though perhaps you are the one who is misguided. You will never find peace until you have what your heart wants, and you forbid yourself to follow that road. It is you who is damning yourself, not anyone else…myself, Ming Na or even Balthazar. Its you.

Episode 2

SCENE – Sanctum Cay ship
*Ming Na sees Zyr laid on the ground and she sits next to him*

Ming Na: I was foolish… afraid… blindly dedicated to Dwayna. I swept away your words because I had believed they were venomous to the truth. The truth I had insisted upon. But since I’ve passed through the in-between – I’ve come to realise that I don’t comprehend anything more of the realm of the deities. I wish you were here to guide me, and for now I would give anything to hear your voice again… If you could hear me now.

Daldrath: He cannot hear you…

*spins around*
Ming Na: Da… Daldrath Ojuki?

Daldrath: You know who I am. Do you know who killed him?

Ming Na: It was YOU!

*Daldrath laughs*
Daldrath: And in the same way, I could crush you in seconds. But not today. Send a message to your team; my master calls you to abort this fruitless mission, and return to your homes. If you abide, I shall have no reason to destroy every one of you like I did your… friend.

Ming Na: Your master’s flaw is believing that every man fears death.

Daldrath: Oh feeble monk, you may not fear for your own life – but what of those who thread on board this vessel? You cannot hope to save them all.

*Ming Na remains silent*

Daldrath: Be wise and take up the offer that my master has generously given you. Go home.

*Daldrath teleports away, leaving Ming Na alone in the lower decks*

SCENE – The Afterlife
Text: The woman faded from view even as he felt the cool embrace of a much more powerful nature. Arriving in a strange new world, the monk looked about. There was something familiar about the spirits that roamed its surface.

*Seyr steps forward*
Seyr: Well Zyr…you finally decided to join us. It certainly took you long enough, had enough of mortal life have you my son?

Zyr: Father?! You are here? I…

Seyr: It is always the same for all those who come. Yes I am here lad, and glad to see another piece of the family fall into its proper place.

Zyr: Mother, is she…?

Seyr: Listen, my son. All your questions will be answered in time; all I ask is that you allow me to be your guide and trust me. So many come to this realm without a guide and descend into horrors beyond reckoning. Angry and bitter souls they become and remain thus, never finding peace.

Zyr: What has become of the ancestors of Orr?

Seyr: All those who passed on in harmony with themselves ended here. There are many who have gathered from the many generations of Orr.

Zyr: Incredible, to mingle with the ancient ones…

Seyr: You may find my son, that they share the same view of their own predecessors. It may surprise you that at some point one would approach you with the same sentiment.

Zyr: I highly doubt that…there isn’t much to show for my exploits in life.

Seyr: Is there something you wish to share with me Zyr?

*silence*

SCENE – Temple of Grenth
*Daldrath appears in front of the temple of Grenth*

Daldrath: My lord, Grenth, the almighty god of the Underworld, I have come to obtain my bond toward you.

Grenth: You must be a follower to kneel before death itself, and yes, the most powerful weapon you can obtain from me is within this temple. I have taken the trouble to secure it since it fell, hoping it would fall onto another of my followers. I see the day has come…”

Daldrath: Thank you M’lord. I will use the scepter for greater purposes than the one who had carried it before.

Grenth: Halt slave and heed the prophecy – slay the sword-wielder for he shall surely return to destroy your master.

Daldrath: *surprised* Sword-wielder, M’lord?

Grenth: The son of Emperor Ghalin must not be allowed to continue his journey, for only that of the royal bloodline might wield the Sword of the Living and Dead – to which neither you, nor your master, will be able to withstand.

Daldrath: I must say that this comes as a surprise, Lord Grenth. I knew nothing of an heir to a throne traveling within the team.

Grenth: Prove yourself worthy by offering the son of Ghalin as a blood sacrifice to me. He is known today as the hunter, Waljan Sayre.

*Grenth fades away*
Daldrath: The hunter…

Episode 3

SCENE – The Ship
*Ming Na exits from the lower decks, it’s night*

Ming Na: You have waited all this time?

Waljan: haha, there’s not exactly many places to go to on this ship.

Ming Na: The others are gone.

Waljan: Yes, they’ve gone to bed. Will you be retiring for the night yourself?

Ming Na: Perhaps *sits on deck*

Waljan: Don’t mind me saying so, you seem troubled by something.

Ming Na: Have you ever felt that you’ve outlived your time?

Waljan: What do you mean?

Ming Na: That Grenth had passed you by and doomed you to carry on living with the ‘what ifs’.

Waljan: I felt that way when I laid my eyes on something I shall never forget, back in Ascalon.

*flashback to burning fields*
Waljan: Hundreds of people were mercilessly slaughtered in the field they later named the Field of Valor. There were sounds of mourning, utter hopelessness, despair.

Ming Na: Did you know someone in that field?

Waljan: My family. Those, whose loved ones had perished during the battle with the Charr, constructed a great fire that consumed the bodies of the lost. That day the words of an old song came back to me. And in that field of death, and dying, I sang a song that later haunted me for years.

Ming Na: Will you sing it to me now?

Waljan: Sure I will. It is titled E-Aloi, when translated, it reads simply “Farewell”

*Waljan sings while images of Ascalon flash by*

Farewell, farewell my family,
Farewell my loved ones,
Our time has come to leave your side.
Our memories still linger on,

And treading the path that you’ve laid down,
Till we the day we meet at the end,
There the weary need run no more,
And we can rest in peace.

*Keryn appears*
Keryn: Hunter, how did you learn this song?

Waljan: My father taught it to me as a child.

Keryn: Who was your father?

Waljan: Rheged Sayre, an ex-royal guard with the Troican army.

Keryn: Could it be?

Waljan: What is the matter, warrioress?

Keryn: Tell me hunter, was he a guard to the Libistinian Princess Orianka Amira?

Waljan: He did say he was a guard to her for a while, it has something to do with the reason we had to leave our homeland. I am not familiar with the full story, he had not intended to reveal more of his past till I was of age… or so that was the plan up till the day he left this world. How do you know all this?

Keryn: And how old are you now?

Waljan: Twenty-four years of age. I will admit that you’ve made me very curious with your prodding.

Keryn: Yes… it was twenty-four years ago. Well boy, I have a startling tale to tell. I can barely believe it myself.

SCENE – Post Sear
*scene of Kelden running with Tristan, Kelden stops and gazes out*
Tristan: Sir?

Kelden: The Barradin Estate used to be there.

Tristan: You remember it.

Kelden: Yes. It feels like a different place in time. Why do you stay on? Why haven’t you and the others left for Kryta as the other Ascalonians?

Tristan: I’ll admit that it seems hopeless sometimes – but it is still our home. We stand with King Alderbern – salvage what we have lost, and reclaim what we can. It may be a land of death, but it is the land of my birth. I believe we can rebuild it, slowly but surely.

Kelden: I admire your faith.

Tristan: Sometimes faith is all we have to cling on to… and love for my home, for the people I treasure… that is all I know.

Episode 4

SCENE – Flashback
Keryn: It was about the days of Emperor Kintah, just before the guild wars that I met the princess. She was in Cantha to rally the aid of the emperor for she knew that impending doom was headed for her nation. She did not reveal anything of her royalty the entire time I spent with her as our friendship grew. I discovered the truth later on when I followed her to the courts of the emperor, only to watch her deep-seated plea for her nation turned down.

Keryn: We parted ways soon after, but I still heard slips of news from her nation – how she had given herself as a wedding gift to Emperor Ghalin of Troi, the very nation that had threatened war with her own. Fortunately, her marriage to Ghalin ended the war, and her influence on him turned him from a merciless warmonger into a loving husband and king.

Keryn: Unfortunately, peace in her nation did not last for long, for during the guild wars, Ghalin left Troi to mediate with nations and was replaced by the son of his first wife, Prince Macsen – a greedy and power craving soul, much like his father while in his earlier years.

Keryn: I received the rest of this information on my return visit from whispers in the palace. Whispers of a secret that would surely bring the Ghalin empire down in shame. Apparently, lust had driven Macsen to impregnate his own step-mother, forcing her to flee from the kingdom in fear. The last I heard of Orianka was that she had hid in the woods with her bodyguard till the Troican guards found her and made sure they left no traces of the prince’s dark secret. However it is said that Orianka had carried the pregnancy to its full term, and her bodyguard had escaped both nations together with the child. They remained as nothing but rumors till what you’ve mentioned of your father… Rheged Sayre was that bodyguard. If he survived long enough to raise you to adulthood… do you know what this means?

Waljan: Is this a cruel joke of some kind, warrioress? You are telling me that my father had lied to me all these years and I am not his true son. No! I cannot believe what you are saying. And cannot believe that you have the audacity to insult my family!

*Waljan leaves in a huff, Keryn is alone with Ming Na*

Keryn: Monk…

Ming Na: I sense sincerity in your words.

Keryn: I’d have thought you would pale at the thought of speaking to me again.

Ming Na: I would be honest with you and speak plainly. I am assuming you would prefer honesty.

*Keryn nods*

Ming Na: Your words hurt me then, yet I respect your feelings. No one has the right to judge others, particularly with no knowledge of their past.

Keryn: You have been more trouble to me than I can say, monk. My feelings have not changed… concerning your kind. However, you have impressed me where few ever have or will. Your fight to survive has won my respect. Know that no matter what happens, I shall remember your strength.

Ming Na: I…

Keryn: I need no words from you. Let this encounter just be between the two of us.

*Ming Na nods, and walks away*

Keryn: Another thing…

*Ming Na stops*

Keryn: I’m sorry.

*Ming Na leaves and Balthazar appears*

Keryn: Balthazar?

Balthazar: Well done daughter, I trusted that you would be transformed one day. It has finally come. You have earned your freedom.

Keryn: My freedom?

Balthazar: I have kept you against your will for too long now. You can opt to leave or to stay. Choose carefully.

Keryn: *ponder* I choose to stay.

Menethos: If we are to proceed, great danger will lie upon this path, for both of us. I have been doing some study of my own down here, and damn if your passion has not moved me. But none of the others must hear of our plans. I insist Zyr, even to your father.

Episode 5

SCENE – The Ship
*scene of daylight on the ship, Ming Na is sitting on board and gazes back at the ship door. Sounds of arguing come from the pit*

Athena: There’s something you’re not telling me! What happened last night?

Waljan: You don’t need to know everything.

Athena: Ooooh, sometimes you really frustrate me. *sounds of door slamming*

*Waljan comes on board*
Ming Na: Why do you not answer her?

Waljan: Does it matter any if she knew?

Ming Na: It might… to her. She does not enjoy the times when you treat her like a child who does not understand.

Waljan: Sometimes it’s hard to get her to understand.

Ming Na: She is headstrong… but she is no child.

Waljan: *quietly* No she is not.

Ming Na: She waits for you… Do not leave words unsaid… for sometimes the end comes too quick.

*Waljan heads downstairs*

SCENE – Ship lower decks
*Athena stands at a corner, somewhat mad*
Waljan: I… apologise for treating you… with such indifference today. I hurt you, it was not my intent.

Athena: Why do you keep answers from me Waljan? Do you think I cannot handle them?

Waljan: It is not that… The warrioress had told me a tale, about the princess of Troi. She seems certain that I am her son.

Athena: *laugh* That is ridiculous. Is she insinuating that your father had an extramarital affair?

Waljan: She.. she says that I am not his son. That he had stolen me into the night when my true father sent his guard to murder the princess.

Athena: Your true father? Who is that?

Waljan: Prince Macsen of Troi.

Athena: *laugh more* Now who would believe a tall tale like that?

Waljan: I’m uncertain.

Athena: But thank you.

Waljan: What for?

Athena: For telling me.

SCENE – The Afterlife
*Menethos approaches*
Menethos: Ah we have a newcomer.

Seyr: Menethos, may I introduce my son, Zyr. Zyr this is…

Zyr: Please, there is no need for introductions. Sir, your concepts in meta-physical theory are unparalleled.

Menethos: Hmph. I assume you read them then?

Zyr: All I have seen contradicts what you wrote upon the afterlife. Still your work was acclaimed and still remains so.

Menethos: Bah. What separates accolades and utter nonsense is often a very thin veiled line. Many who claim any significance truly belong amongst the rank and file of the perpetually lucky. Now may I speak to you in private, if that suits Seyr of course.

*Seyr nods and leaves*
Menethos: Now let us drop the niceties if you please. You do not belong here, so why have you come?

Zyr: I…I have passed away, have I not? What else could I possibly do to gain access to this realm?

Menethos: Don’t be a fool. I know what you did… there is a reason those magics were forbidden!

Zyr: I knew that I risked great things… I had to answers to seek. The life that I had been given was much too limited to explore them fully.

Menethos: Stubborn boy. Do you truly believe that you could have done anything to prevent the sinking of Orr? No, you will never be at peace here, not while you maintain the link to that realm.

Zyr: How in Dwayna’s name could I possibly not act? When everything I ever knew had been dashed, leaving me alone with only memories!

Menethos: Beware my friend, you cannot live in such an existence for long. You will either slip into the realms of the bitter and enraged souls of the damned, or fade away to nothing as your source is severed.

Zyr NO! I will not accept this fate! There must be a solution! I know there is!

Menethos: Zyr please. do not pain yourself with this. Disillusionment will only…

Zyr: Spare me the lecture, you told me yourself all your theory was nothing here! I refuse to believe there is no way back!

Menethos: There is one possible way….

Zyr: Tell me what it is.

Episode 6

SCENE – The Ship
*Daldrath appears before Athena and Waljan*

Daldrath: How touching.

Athena: *tuns around* Who are you?

Daldrath: *laughs* My dear…are those what you wish to be your final words? Continue on, enjoy your last moments…together.

Athena: Don’t you think of coming closer, not after what you have done! *flings a fireball at him*

Daldrath: You truly think you can battle me? Don’t be foolish, my fine little girl.

*Waljan tries to lunge at him, but is knocked down instead*

Waljan: What in Balthazar!

Daldrath: What you have seen is just an ounce of my power. What you will soon encounter will truly be a test of your skills. On the beach of the Crystal Desert await your doppelgangers, formed in your likeness and skills. They will attack as soon as you stop foot on the shore. Turn away now or prepare for death. *disappears*

Thorgrim: *point* Land ahoy!

SCENE – The Afterlife
*Menethos and Zyr sit alone, talking*

Menethos: There is a way back, though it is treacherous. The Spirit Gate which all must pass through to obtain this place, it is said to flow both directions with the aid of an enchantment.

Zyr: I recall no such thing in my descent to this place.

Menethos: None of us have a memory of it, for it is intended to remain shrouded from the mind. None are to pass back through to the land of the living.

Zyr: Then how do you know of its existence, how could anyone know?

Menethos: It was accidental if truth be known; I never intended to find out such a thing. I found the writings of one such who was descending to the plains of sorrow and anguish and privately he recorded the fall. Naturally his works were incomplete, and no one knows what became of him. It appears that in his state, as the mind slipped to insanity. He found a brief moment of clarity, but there seems to be no connection with his writings just prior to the statement and afterward.

Zyr: That seems reasonable, and yet how could you validify such a thing, having no memory of it yourself.

Menethos: I took it upon myself to do some ‘traveling’ outside of this sanctuary. The journey was arduous and nearly fatal for me. Yet such was my desire to see what was veiled from my mind. Hastily I wrote down all I knew, if fear of losing my mind and purpose in the lonely stretches of the dead. I traveled the uncharted paths of the Underworld, past creatures that have dwelled for millennia, feasting and restless upon the souls who stray, till at last I set my eyes upon the Gate. Although my mind forbade the memory, I looked upon it. I had once again rediscovered the existence of the gate since forgetting the last time…it was like reading the works of another. Count yourself fortunate that the material is ready for the using.

Zyr: I am grateful for this, Menethos.

Menethos: But do not take light of your decision. Zyr, you should consider your father.

Zyr: I have… I do not know what is to be done.

Menethos: You will do what is best. That is all that can be done. Some things worthwhile are never easy.

SCENE – Way Up To the Mountains
*Kelden and Tristan are battling hydras*

Tristan: I admire your skill, ranger!

Kelden: *laughs* You’re not too bad yourself.

Tristan: Tell me… my man. What could be so important that you would carry yourself thus far to complete?

Kelden: To be honest, I do not completely understand it myself. All I know is that the goddess is sending me to this place, and to this place I must go.

Tristan: The goddess Dwayna?

Kelden: Yes.

Strange voice: He is a liar, Dwayna speaks to no one but the high priests. What would gods have to say to the common man?

Tristan: Why would Dwayna send you here?

Kelden: To advert tragedy in another place and time.

Strange voice: A liar indeed, he does not answer you directly but speaks in riddles.

Tristan: Perhaps we should continue.

Kelden: Yes we should.

SCENE – The Shore
*One by one the doppelgangers are raised from the sand. The team watches from the ship*

Daldrath voiceover: What you have seen is just an ounce of my power. What you will soon encounter will truly be a test of your skills. On the beach of the Crystal Desert await your doppelgangers, formed in your likeness and skills. They will attack as soon as you stop foot on the shore. Turn away now or prepare for death.

Episode 7

SCENE – The Beach
Text: There was a horrid silence as the sea breeze gusted about the two opposing groups. And all at once, the doppelgangers exploded into action. The beach turned itself into a flurry of war of the strangest kind.

*fight, and when it ends…*
Thorgrim: Is everyone alright?

Athena: *looks around* Waljan?

*camera pans out, the team realizes that Waljan is gone*

SCENE – Afterlife
*Zyr is poignant upon all he must do when Rosariel appears*
Rosariel: Come at last have you, dryder-brains?

Zyr: Wh… what? Rosariel?

Ros: That’s right fool. I was wondering when you would show.

Zyr: I haven’t seen you since..”

Ros: Since you left the academy? Incredible, your memory is truly…impeccable. I think it was your noble intent to exchange lore with a mystic within the city of Cantha wasn’t it? Hmm, I think I know what you were really after.

Zyr: I was certainly doing nothing your imagination would drum up! You haven’t changed have you Ros, you were always the antagonist…damn you.

Ros: Awww… did I hit a nerve? After all this time, you still have not developed any sense of humor.

Zyr: Ros, what happened? I thought everyone that was left became…

Ros: After you left the Charr attacked. I was at the front lines…what else do you want me to say? I missed damnation by a few days…I suppose I have been lucky in that respect. Any of us who died in those first days before the ritual was cast were saved a hard fate.

Zyr: And all these years, I have regretted my absence.

Ros: So what brought you here? Did you get trodden by a dolyak?

Zyr: Ha. What difference would it make, you who never held a care as to my welfare. All I recall was you’re presence being distractive and a bane to my studies.

Ros: You presume much, ignorant as you are. You strolled about the academy with a book perpetually pasted to your head, it’s a wonder you noticed anyone else at all. It was all I could do to pick at your shell. Did you never even look at another girl during your stay there?

Zyr: There you go again, thinking the whole world would revolve around the feelings between a man and a woman. There are more productive pursuits than the wasted energies upon such things.

Ros: You never answered my question.

Zyr: Never.

Ros: You may also not have known then, that you were admired by some.

Zyr: You are a talespinner as always.

Ros: We all share regrets Zyr, no one can live a life without them…it is the truly maddening ones that set those who lose themselves apart from the rest. How can you call it a life…you have not been honest with yourself!

Zyr: If you refer to my life, then it might please you to know that I found what you refer to, albeit in the final moments.

Ros: …you found it…I see…well then I suppose it would seem appropriate to retract my comments…except for one thing. I was not referring to your life Zyr…and now I shall live forever trapped within the one regret left undone.

Zyr: Rosariel…

SCENE – Cage
Text: Far beyond the reaches of civilization was kept the hunter, an alleged heir to a throne. And yet one who knew too little to understand the reason for his capture.

Waljan: What is this?! Let me out!

Daldrath: Welcome heir, to the only remaining temple of Grenth – and your tomb.

Episode 8

SCENE – The Desert
Text: Such a curious place is the Crystal Desert… Windswept with sand as fine as silk, plunging and arising from the ground like the formation of waves on the ocean.

Athena: We must search for him.

Anduril: Before that we need a plan, the desert is too large to go roaming in aimlessly.

Athena: Why him? Why did the Lich take him?

Ming Na: *steps out* I may have the answer – it was one of the secrets Dwayna had revealed to me when she appeared to me in Kryta – that the Sword of the Living and Dead must be wielded by its true master; one of royal blood. I thought that it meant that we would meet a member of royalty on our journey, but little did I know that it would be one of us.

Athena: No, not that again! He is the son of Rheged Sayre, a simple woodsman. He is no royalty.

Keryn: Put aside your pride for a moment elementalist, and consider the possibility. Why else would the Lich capture him and not one of us? It is likely that the Watcher has known for a time now.

Thorgrim: Either way, he is our teammate and deserves not to be released without a fight.

Anduril: Now it is unlikely that the hunter is being kept in any city, it would have to be a quiet dwelling away from prying eyes.

Ming Na: It would also have to be a home to magic if he wishes to do what I believe he might, to strip the hunter of his heritage and bestow it upon himself, in order to take control of the sword.

Anduril: That leaves us several sites, carved by the Ancients, now left deserted.

Ming Na: It would surely not be the temples of Dwayna, Balthazar, Lyssa and Melandru – rather he would likely head directly to the god by which he serves; Grenth.

Anduril: There is a temple of such, north of here.

Ming Na: It is our best hope.

Anduril: Then let me lead you there.

SCENE – Shiverpeaks
*Kelden and Tristan thread the mountain, Tristan hears voices again*

Strange voice: Nothing good can come out of this fruitless quest. Listen to me and abandon the stranger.

Tristan: Who are you?!

Kelden: Are you speaking to me?

Strange voice: I am no one that you need to know, merely a voice of reason that will haunt you while you ignore my words of caution.

Tristan: *to Kelden* What curses have you brought with you?

Kelden: What has happened?

Strange voice: Thread on this path no more! Listen to my words and destroy the ranger.

Tristan: I… I cannot follow any longer. There are greater forces, come to destroy you.

Kelden: What forces? Tristan, speak to me!

Strange voice: Take the rock at your feet and strike the ranger. Abide or be destroyed yourself!

Tristan: No! I cannot follow you any longer. Please forgive me.

*Tristan runs off. Kelden turns around*

Kelden: I hope I am close enough then.

SCENE – Afterlife
Text: The time came, when Zyr was ready to depart. He carried a copy of the writings of Menethos from his excursion. With heaviness within his heart, he made a final trip to say goodbye to his loved ones.

*Zyr stands before Seyr*
Seyr: You resemble your mother more than you know son. You have taken after her courage, her determination and strength. Thank the gods they have sent you.

Zyr: Father, there are things… I am unable to say. But one thing I’m sure of, that you are my father and the thought of you affects my every decision.

Seyr: With my son at my side, perhaps I might finally find the peace I have long sought for since my arrival here.

Zyr: Goodbye Father.

Seyr: Goodbye my boy, I’ll be waiting for when you return from your walk.

Text: The last thing the monk wanted was his father chasing after him with pleadings of family. That would rend an already wounded heart. Neither the gods nor his own kin could stop him now, and threatened with the prospect of fading into oblivion was a dark taskmaster. But as he was about to ascend the wall to head towards his journey, a voice stopped him.

Ros: You fool! Have you lost your mind completely?

Zyr: Haven’t you a better past time than pestering me? Both in our previous lives and in the present?

Ros: Never mind me! What in the world would possess you to go out there?

Zyr: Rosariel! Be still!

Ros: I always esteemed you to be someone of a sound mind, but I am frankly at a loss to this madness.

Zyr: Curse you Ros! My life is nearly gone! I have already cast it away, and soon there will be little left to remember! I don’t belong here, in this afterlife! My life is being slowly eroded away every moment we speak.

Ros: You used that ritual.

Zyr: Do not patronize me, I have little concern or energy to abide here with you. *turns away*

Ros: Farewell Zyr, may you find happiness in everything that you do. And in your dimmest moments, recall the tainted soul you left in the afterlife who shall spend every moment hoping, and waiting for you. *he turns back and she’s gone*

Episode 8

SCENE – Cage
Text: Lone and confused, the hunter awaited at the mercy of the Lich

Waljan: Why do you keep me in here?

Daldrath: heh heh There is no need for you to know. Simply stay still and allow me to do the work. *begins to cast spells on Waljan*

Waljan: What is this? What are you doing to me?

Daldrath: How wondrous – What great power awaits….

Voice of the Watcher: You have found the heir, bring him to me.

Daldrath: I will, once I have done what I have set out to do.

Voice of the Watcher: Do not delay fool! The longer you do, the sooner you shall be thwarted!

Daldrath: *kneels* Trust me master, I just need a few more moments, and we shall not only have your enemy ended, but wield the power to retrieve the legendary weapon of the ancients. Surely that would please you greatly.

Voice of the Watcher: There is not enough time! Dwayna and her servants move against us as we speak.

Daldrath: I shall not fail! I am so close now.

SCENE – Shiverpeaks
Text: Kelden had arrived where Dwayna had pointed him to slightly before sundown, and as he gazed upon the magnificent statuette, she gave him the mystical words to speak.

Kelden: YOU ARE THE SHEPHERDS, THE ONES THAT GO BEFORE AND THE ONES THAT FOLLOW BEHIND. YOU ARE THE FOUNDERS. YOU ARE THE CARETAKERS. BY YOUR ACTIONS WILL THE FORCES OF LIFE BE BOTH RULED AND JUDGED. YOU ARE THE WEAVE WITHIN THE FABRIC.

Voices in the Statuette: You have called upon the Oracles, what do you wish of us?

Kelden: A great enemy has come upon my companions, I wish to damage him in order to give my friends a chance to carry out their duty to the gods.

Voices in the Statuette: We have seen the danger, and we have noted your commitment to Dwayna. For that purpose, we shall grant you your wish. Now be gone and ask for no more.

SCENE – Cage
Text: As promised, the Oracles worked their magic, just at the moment that the Lich was about to relieve the hunter of his heritage and attain the power to wield the Sword.

*Daldrath stands in front of Waljan, he’s frozen solid as he’s struck by the Oracles*

*Waljan is teleported instead into the Underground paradise*

Waljan: Wha… where am I? *he looks around to view the spectacular scenery* Amazing!

SCENE – Desert
Text: The team made their way to the temple progressively, the sun piercing down their backs.

Athena: I detest the Crystal Desert. It is dull, and dry, and hot…

Thorgrim: Fret not elementalist, we shall be done with this place soon.

Anduril: *to Ming Na* I shall be able to take you as far as the temple, but what then? We might not be able to battle the Lich.

Ming Na: We have to.

Anduril: Is there not some way that you could tap upon the goddess to receive her help?

Ming Na: It might not be ideal for me to speak to her.

Anduril: Is this about what had happened in the in-between?

Ming Na: More than you know.

Anduril: This mission is hers. Without her help, how do we succeed against such looming enemies?

Ming Na: The question is would she allow us to be defeated? It is not our battle, it is hers. And she would do well to keep us alive.

SCENE – Afterlife
Text: The road to the spirit gate had proven to be fraught with unspeakable horrors and dangers. All was as Menethos had described in his personal journals. But they braved through it all, and were nearing the gate, finally.

Menethos: Wait Zyr, before we approach the Spirit Gate, there is something I feel that I should share with you in the case that you might want to use.

Zyr: What is it Menethos?

Menethos: When you return, you might be lost for a time, time that you might not have. I want to help you, despite my better judgment, and yet the only course available is one I would never recommend in clear conscience. How badly do you wish to live?

Zyr: Greater than any desire I have ever known!

Menethos: Even under the burden of near limitless power that can consume your soul in an instant!? Would you do that, and risk the corruption?

Zyr: What are you withholding… be out with it!

Menethos: Such a thing is not for mortals, even the gods to control. The power source is taken from what lies outside the domains of all the gods…the realm of chaos. I tell you, that there is power there…raw and completely untamed. To siphon a fraction of it into your body would be beyond any pain you have felt, as it would sear and scour through your spirit and veins. Are you prepared to face such an event?

Zyr: It seems I have little choice. What did you mean by corruption?

Menethos: The fact is that once one is exposed a degree of power, that same being will seek more, however incremental it may be. Tell me, have you not found it to be so? I am merely showing you the door, Zyr. The use of it will lie in your charge.

Zyr: I shall endeavor to do what I must to fight it, for there is little more that can be done until I have felt its potency.

Menethos: Then the time is now, let us approach the gate.

Episode 10

SCENE – Afterlife
*the ground begins to shake*

Zyr: What is happening?

Menethos: I do not know!

Zyr: Do you think we have been discovered?

Menethos: Doubtful! This event is far beyond the scale to detain and deal with ones like us. There is something else happening. Hurry! No time to waste!

Zyr: *turns to Menethos* I shall never forget you, Menethos.

Menethos: Neither will I boy, but we shall spend forever in here if you do not go now.

Zyr: Goodbye… *jumps into the portal*

SCENE – Desert
Anduril: I believe the temple is near.

Ming Na: A moment… I recognize this place. I had seen it in my visions. We are to find a passage in the rock.

Anduril: Are we not headed to the temple?

Keryn: Let’s try the passage since we are here.

Txt: Hidden in the rock, entirely beneath the surface of the desert, stood an enchanted world with a false sun, with fields and rocks and streams.

*as they exit they see Waljan standing there*

Waljan: *laughs* So, you finally decided to join me!

SCENE – Ship
*Zyr wakes up from knockdown*

Zyr: *gasping in pain* The power…gods…this is going to be difficult. *as he stands up to look from the ship* I must get to the team – if they are not already dead by the hands of the Lich. I must… *begins to flicker* What is this?

SCENE – Underground Paradise
Athena: Wal! How did you manage to get here?

Waljan: Tis a long story – but to keep it short, the Lich took me to a place in the desert, was about to do a spell on me when he froze in time, and I appeared here. I admit I don’t understand it all, but it is great to see all of you again.

Ming Na: I believe the reason he took you was to strip you of your heritage. When I heard that you are heir to a throne, I failed to reveal that Dwayna had intended for the Sword to be wielded by one of royal blood.

Waljan: Are you certain that I am?

Keryn: The Watcher seems to believe so, that is enough for me.

Waljan: Say I believe you, and what I am to do, where is this Sword we are searching for?

Ming Na: It is in this place. Dwayna had showed me that entrance for a reason.

Athena: So then this is true? That he is a prince?

Waljan: We shall see Athena. Nothing is certain till we get that Sword.

Txt: The team wandered further into the strange new world, enchanted by its beauty.

Athena: All the while I had expected to arrive at a dusky cave, or some dwelling within the sand… never would I dream we would end up surrounded by all this.

Anduril: What is this place Ming Na?

Ming Na: I wish I knew. We are beneath the earth, the desert is above us. And what appears to be the sun and the sky are conjured by mystical forces much greater than we’ve ever known.

Anduril: What of the plants… and the birds that we have seen? Where have all these come from?

Keryn: Perhaps we shall discover as we go along.

Txt: But what they were to discover was only more questions.

Thorgrim: Halt… I hear a rustling. *the team stops* It comes from the bushes.

*Zyr emerges*

Zyr: Greetings…

Team: What?

Ming Na: It cannot be!

Episode 11

SCENE – Underground Paradise
Thorgrim: There must be some mistake… We saw you… we carried your body.

Anduril: Is it really you, Zyr Tareniel?

Zyr: It must be, the name is familiar. And yet I cannot seem to remember how I got here, or what I was meant to do.

Waljan: In Ghalin’s name… this is impossible.

Thorgrim: Perhaps this is Dwayna’s second chance, for all of us.

Zyr: Dwayna… yes. I do remember her.

Athena: You were an essential part of this team, monk – and shall continue to be if you wish to rejoin us.

Zyr: I see no reason to be apart. Perhaps in our continued journey I shall discover the answers to my questions.

Anduril: It is wonderful to have you back! The goddess has indeed blessed this day.

Zyr: Yes indeed. *turns to Ming Na* Might I have a word with you?

*Ming Na nods, and they move aside from the others*

Zyr: Since I have come here, my mind has been an empty space. These people are familiar, and not. And you, you seem to stand out among them all, and I assume that we were close friends from before. I am utterly embarrassed by this; that I will need you to explain where I fit into this picture.

Ming Na: Zyr, you cannot recall anything at all?

*Zyr shakes his head*

Ming Na: We have traveled miles from the Covenant Keep by command of Dwayna to slay an ancient evil in the north. During our journey here, you went out to meet a servant of our enemy in single combat and you were slain. You have been gone for some time, and yet here you stand. All the pain and anguish of your loss seem to ache all the more…that I… we suffered needlessly.

Zyr: I thank you for sharing this with me, though I can see it has pained you. I would ask that you bear me with some patience. It seems that my memory was taken at some juncture and slowly it returns to me.

Ming Na: I shall.

Zyr: Ming Na? *she stops* Your name is Ming Na, is it not?

Ming Na: Yes, you have remembered correctly.

Zyr: There was… a connection between us that went beyond friendship, wasn’t there?

Ming Na: There was. A long time ago.

Zyr: Perhaps one day we shall find it again.

Ming Na: Perhaps.

SCENE – Temple of Grenth
*Daldrath is reanimated*

Daldrath: *gasps* What is this? Where is the heir!

Watcher: Fool! You refused my wishes and now Dwayna has intervened, sending him on the path directly to the Sword.

Daldrath: No! I shall stop him! If I had done it once, I would do it again!

Watcher: You best not fail me twice! Time is of the essence.

SCENE – Underground Paradise

Anduril: There must be a purpose to this place. What power holds up the artificial sky? What keeps it from tumbling down above us? These are all answers that we must seek!

Ming Na: There inscriptions on our way in, but in a language I do not understand. Perhaps they have answers?

Zyr: Take me to them, perhaps I might be of assistance.

*the team follows Ming Na to the inscriptions*

Zyr: *glances at the words and reads them carefully* This is what has been written: You have entered the realm of the Sword. Forged by the ancient ones, and kept by the servants of the Blade. By its power does this world exist. Embark into the temple, only the chosen one.

Anduril: What temple is this?

Athena: Perhaps we should carry on down the road and see where it takes us.

Txt: As the team pushed further into the strange new land, all hearts were enthralled with the beauty that lay before them. All but one… The warrioress sensed a strange presence trailing the team. She decided to fall behind to take out the intruder.

*Keryn runs forward and finds Daldrath there*

Keryn: You!

Episode 12

SCENE – Underground Paradise
Keryn: So you have returned…

Daldrath: I have killed one of you, what makes you believe it will not be the same this time?

Keryn: My team is near, I only need raise my voice for them to hear me. I believe it would be something you fear. If you were able to fight us all, you would not bide your time here in the shadows.

Daldrath: So why haven’t you called them?

Keryn: Because I see you as an image of someone I could have become. Someone so enwrapped in wrath that you cannot help but thirst for revenge – Someone who began with noble intent but have since become lost in self-pity. And you would rather be commanded to do the will of an evil force because you’re afraid to face yourself… to save your fading humanity.

Daldrath: All humanity is dead to me!

Keryn: You were once a man! It is still within you.

Daldrath: Don’t taunt me woman!

Keryn: *laughs* Just to think, all this while we had feared you when you are your own worst enemy.

Daldrath: I shall deliver the end to all of you! You shall learn the meaning of fear!

Keryn: That is barely a threat, Lich – now that the monk that you believed you had murdered has returned to be with us. There is no fear where there is naught.

Daldrath: He is an illusion!

Keryn: He is no illusion… Death does not hold us. I see you Lich. I know why you’ve done what you have. But let not hatred consume you – it is not how they would’ve wanted you to live.

Daldrath: What do you know of people who’ve passed?!

Keryn: Only that tragedy sometimes turns a man into something he is not. Much as I’d woken up one day to find what I’d become. But I have since been redeemed, with the support of companions, re-discovering my humanity – you can too.

Daldrath: I don’t have such a luxury.

Keryn: You do now. I shall not tell the others of your presence, but should you choose to continue your battle against us, you will make an enemy of a potential friend.

SCENE – Underground Paradise
Txt: As hoped, the road led the team to the temple the inscriptions had spoken of.

Waljan: So, this is it. Should I go in alone?

Zyr: Yes.

Waljan: *heaves a sigh* Alright, I shall return.

*Daldrath watches from a corner*

Voice of the Watcher: Strike the heir when he is alone, do it swiftly before he is able to take the Sword.

*Daldrath nods and sneaks in while the team isn’t looking*

*Waljan walks into the temple and admires the lights, but as he proceeds Daldrath approaches to stab him. Waljan swings around*

Daldrath: I cannot let you attain the Sword, heir. My calling is to slay you where you stand.

Waljan: Why do you call me heir? Your master believes I will achieve much with this Sword, does he not? It is his fear that has sent you to my side repeatedly.

Daldrath: Perhaps it is better for you to live in ignorance. Now, prepare to meet your end.

*the men fight, and Waljan is almost killed*

Waljan: *gasps* Do it swiftly, please.

Voice of the Watcher: Destroy the heir! Do it now and earn your rightful place by my side.

Memory of Zyr’s voice: Oh I know your master. He’s a conniving demon who cares nothing for himself and his goals. You will suffer while you serve him. And finally, he will end your life when he has what he has set out for.

Voice of the Watcher: KILL HIM! Why do you hesitate?!

Memory of Keryn’s voice: Because I see you as an image of someone I could have become. Someone so enwrapped in wrath that you cannot help but thirst for revenge – Someone who began with noble intent but have since become lost in self-pity. And you would rather be commanded to do the will of an evil force because you’re afraid to face yourself… to save your fading humanity.

Voice of the Watcher: You pitiful, weak mortal! Do as you are told!

Memory of Keryn’s voice: But I have since been redeemed, with the support of companions, re-discovering my humanity – you can too.

Memory of Daldrath’s voice : I don’t have such a luxury.

Memory of Keryn’s voice: You do now.

Daldrath: I… cannot do it.

Voice of the Watcher: Do not defy me or suffer the consequences!

Daldrath: I already have. My soul has forever been lost, there is nothing more I have left to give. Go heir, fulfill your destiny, as I shall attempt to regain mine.

*Daldrath leaves a surprised Waljan*

*Waljan emerges from the temple as the others stand up to see him appear*

Waljan: Men and women of the Keep, here’on begins a new chapter in our journey. With this sword shall our enemies be vanquished, and peace be brought upon fair Tyria once more.

*team cheers*

^