A Tales of Symphonia fic? On an RPG forum!?

TALES OF SYMPHONIA SPOILER WARNING

Well, I’ve become a ToS nut again, and I decided to do a fanfic concerning Lloyd’s aventure to destroy all of the Exspheres in the world. There are huge spoilers concerning ToS in this, so don’t read unless you’ve finished ToS or you don’t care. And with that, the story begins. Enjoy, constructive criticism/reviews appreciated.

And on one final note, a special thanks to GG and Val for helping me ToS info I had forgotten. :smiley:

Tales of Symphonia: The New World Rising

Full Summary:
Mithos has been defeated and the Great Tree of Mana has grown, allowing Sylvarant and Tethe’alla to become a united world. However, the fledgling land is in uncertain times. Desians continue to threaten the world and Renegade forces are stretched across the world to combat them while a radical papal army rises in Meltokio and half elves are wary and tense of humans following the Desian era. Enter Lloyd Irving, the hero who now journeys to destroy the life-draining Exspheres in the world. Lloyd and his companions will ultimately shape the destiny of the new world rising.

Chapter 1: The Third Hero

The figure that sat on a rock letting the morning breeze wave his untidy brown hair certainly did not look at first glance to be a hero. He was tall and slender with a red buttoned shirt, blue pants, and red boots. He looked like a common adventurer; a light brown travelers’ pack lay next to the seventeen year old’s seat and a belt with various necessities was strapped around his waist. Admittedly, his two dazzling swords, both sheathed, would have suggested that he wasn’t quite the ordinary traveler.

In fact, he wasn’t the ordinary traveler.  Lloyd Irving was the hero who had wielded an ancient sword of legend, defeated angelic beings single-handedly, allowed a giant tree of flowing mana to grow, and had made whole a world that had been torn asunder thousands of years ago.

Lloyd yawned widely and blinked as the sun emerged from behind a cloud to shine in his eyes.  He was tired and would much rather have been still asleep, but Colette had made him promise to be at the rock – the same rock he had gone to when he felt like ditching one of Raine’s classroom lessons and taking a midday nap - at daybreak.  In her letter she had given him a foreword that she had a wonderful surprise which, in her own words, would be a “great start for our journey!”

Now that Mithos was defeated, Lloyd was on another journey.  He wanted to destroy all of the Exspheres in the world.  Lloyd bitterly stared at the Exsphere engraved on his palm and remembered first discovering that Exspheres, which increased strength, stamina, reflexes, and speed drastically when embedded onto a life, were made from human life energy.  He had said they were a mockery of life, and he still meant it.  Mithos (not Yggdrasil anymore, he reminded himself), his Cruxis angels, and his half elf Desians had used them to enforce their control of both worlds, literally breeding humans in Desian ranches for the sole purpose of using their lives to power Exspheres.

The ranches were destroyed and Cruxis was defeated, but Exspheres still existed in the world.  Lloyd wanted to end that, and he would do whatever it took.  He had taken that vow during the quest to stop Mithos’s planned Era of Lifeless Beings.

Now he sat here, a month later, ready to make it happen.  If Colette would hurry up!  He yawned again and squinted into the distance.  The grass whispered and waved across the plains, but Colette was nowhere in sight.

“Hi Lloyd!”

Lloyd gave a start and fell forward, catching himself before he landed flat on his face, instantly recognizing the voice that had sounded joyously from behind him.

“Colette!” He exclaimed once he had gotten over his shock.  He was smiling through his shock as he stood, brushed himself off and turned to look at his golden haired friend. “Don’t scare me like that!”

“I’m sorry!” Colette said, and Lloyd had to fight down a laugh.  Even after all this time, Colette was still a complete klutz and said sorry reflexively.  It was what made her so endearing.

“But Lloyd, I’m sorry we were late, but we-”

“We?” Lloyd blurted suddenly. “Is this your surprise?  Someone’s coming with us?”

“Yes, that’s right!” Colette exclaimed earnestly.

“Who is it?  Genis?  Sheena?  Or is it-”

His answer came in the form of a slap on his back hard enough to send him stumbling forward several steps.  Before he had recovered from this, a slender but strong hand wrapped around his neck, putting him into a surprisingly tight headlock.

“Well hey hey hey, it’s the hero of the world!  How you doin’ Lloyd-o?” The voice was unmistakable.

“Argh, Zelos!?” Lloyd yelled managing to turn his head upward slightly and see Zelos’s long scarlet hair. “Geroff!” He shouted, struggling in Zelos’s fierce grip.

With a laugh Zelos released him, and Lloyd turned around, massaging the back of his face to see his would-be attacker.

Zelos looked exactly the same as he had a month ago.  Same white headband, red coat, black gloves, and white pants (personally made by the finest tailors in Meltokio, Zelos had bragged to Lloyd and Genis on one more than one occasion) and as he had just realized, same lighthearted outlook on life.

“You have to react faster than that while we’re on the road, bud.” Zelos instructed with an air of smugness. “If I had been a monster you might be dead.”

Lloyd was almost too stunned to speak. “You’re coming with us!?”

“That’s why I’m here!” Zelos replied lightly, as if it were obvious.

Lloyd stared at Zelos disbelievingly.  During his time in Iselia and with Dirk at his house, he had thought often about his old friends.  Whenever he had pictured whatever it was they were up to, Zelos in his mind’s eye had been at his enormous mansion in Meltokio with a pretty girl on each arm!

Lloyd turned to Colette, who had been watching all of this interest. “Colette, how did Zelos learn about this?  And did you know he was sneaking up on me?” He added as an afterthought.

“Well, I knew he was sneaking up but I’m sorry Lloyd, I promised Zelos I wouldn’t tell you!” She was apologizing – as she always did – but Lloyd had the sense that Colette was enjoying herself.  Being freed from the burden of being a Chosen of Mana must have lifted an enormous weight from her shoulders.

“But yes, Zelos came to me.” Colette continued. “During one of the celebrations about the return of the Tree of Mana, Zelos asked me what I was planning on doing now that we had stopped Mithos.  So I told him all about how you and I were going on our journey to destroy the Exspheres, and he seemed interested!  He made me promise not to tell you though.”

Lloyd turned to Zelos, who shrugged. “Hey, they always say the best kind of prize is a surprise, right bud?”

Lloyd couldn’t help but laugh. “I don’t get it though.” Lloyd said, smiling slightly.  Zelos was a ladies’ man and had loved to use his status as the now former Chosen of Tethe’alla for his own gain, but his dedication and resoluteness never ceased to impress him. “Why would you want to come on another journey?  I had always seen you spending all your time chasing after the girls in Meltokio.”

“See, that’s the problem, my friend.” Zelos stated, sounding rather like Raine when she was stating something she considered obvious. “When you’re done with a journey to reunite two worlds, bring back the Great Tree of Mana, and stop a misguided half elf turned angel from turning everyone into lifeless beings, you can’t just settle down.  There’s a new world to journey across, Exspheres to destroy, and cute hunnies to meet!”

Unexpectedly, Zelos became somber.  He lowered his voice and leaned towards Lloyd, and his customary smile slowly faded. “More than that though…I want to enjoy life as a normal person.  Now that there’s no need for Chosens, I…want to live like a human, instead of a descendent of angels.”

“What?” This sudden mood swing startled Lloyd.  Lloyd had gradually discovered that Zelos, whom he had assumed to revel in being the Chosen of Mana of Tethe’alla, privately wanted nothing more than a normal life.  He spoke of this fleetingly and the occasions were few and far between.

“Especially since it caused me to, you know…at the Tower of Salvation.”

Lloyd grimaced and Colette gazed at Zelos with pity.  During their fight against Cruxis, Zelos had betrayed Lloyd, Colette, and the others, handing Colette over to Cruxis and leaving them to face the Gatekeeper, a powerful commander of the angels.  In an equally surprising move, Zelos had turned against Mithos at the last second with help from Kratos, had freed Lloyd’s trapped friends and Zelos had joined them to fight the leader of Cruxis.  To Lloyd it now seemed like Zelos had not quite gotten over the guilt of deceiving his friends.

“Well I know how important life is now!” Colette suddenly piped up, turning the heads of both Lloyd and Zelos.  Her expression grew cheerful. “Lloyd’s taught me that being the Chosen was forced on me.  I’m entitled to a life just like he is, and just like you are, Zelos!”

Zelos’s smile returned immediately. “Colette, my adorable angel, you really know how to ruin a bad mood.” He turned to Lloyd. “So what’s the deal, can I come or what?”

“Well of course you can-”

“FANTASTIC!” Zelos bellowed, and clapped Lloyd on the back again, even harder than the first time. “Well man, Colette and me traveling together was a blast, but hey, I guess you can tag along too.”

Lloyd wasn’t sure whether to laugh or roll his eyes.  This journey looked like it was going to be much more interesting than he expected.
In fact, Lloyd had no idea just how interesting a journey to destroy the Exspheres of the world was going to become.

Said it before, I’ll say it again: An interesting read. Even though I know the plot in advance, I cannot wait to see the story unfold.

While it’s far too early to judge the story, the prose and characterization seems solid so far. I’m definately interested in seeing how you can develop things from here.

Good luck, man. Writing can be tough.

Here’s chapter two after sickness and tests and papers, oh my!

Chapter 2: Ascension

Thousands of miles away from where Lloyd, Colette, and Zelos began their journey, a ceremony was taking place. On a chain of islands far out into the sea, the strongest fortresses of the Desians stood defiantly in the face of their shrinking presence in the new world.

The Desians had been devastated during the original adventure of Lloyd and his friends. Many of the Desian ranches that had focal points of power and influence were destroyed. With the death of Yggdrasil, morale among the Desians was at an all time low. Many believed the Coming Age of Half-Elves they had lived for was lost.

When the news came that the successors of the Desian Grand Cardinals had arrived at Cruxis Islands, named as they were in honor of Yggdrasil and the angels, there was an upsurge of hope among the Desians. The successors to Forcystus, Magnius, Kvar, Pronyma, and Rodyle were exalted for their exploits and it was the hope of many a Desian that these new Grand Cardinals could bring the half-elves to glory again.

At the very center of the Cruxis Islands behind countless patrolling guards, fortified walls, watch towers, and machine turrets a coliseum of sorts had every seat filled with Desians, who were all chattering eagerly amongst themselves. It was a metallic version of the coliseum in Meltokio, built of metal and with cushioned seats on platforms that could rise if anyone had to voice an opinion. At the center of the coliseum five pedestals had been arranged in a pentagon some ten feet off the ground, with a small flight of stairs leading to each one.

The Desians in the coliseum suddenly grew silent as Desian Archbishop Lethos with short coppery hair, flowing green robes, an ornamental headpiece, and a golden staff with three exspheres at the tip strode smoothly out into the center of the coliseum. The Lethos paused, then held a piece of machinery to his mouth.

“Announcing the succession of the five Desian Grand Cardinals!” He boomed, his voice magnified several times by the machine he held.

Instantly the coliseum erupted into a frenzy of cheers, clapping hands, and declarations of glory to the Grand Cardinals and the Desians.

Lethos seemed satisfied and held up both hands. “Calm yourselves, my half elves!” He urged, and the audience fell silent again.

The archbishop hit the ground with his staff. “Announcing Domarius, heir to Magnius!”

The audience roared with applause and cheers again and as Domarius, fully seven feet tall with his auburn hair hanging in braids down the back of his head, walked with surprising grace out into the coliseum from a side door, especially for someone who was wearing a red breastplate and leather leggings. He left a trail as Desians hurled flowers at him until he reached the Lethos and kneeled before him.

“Domarius, heir to Magnius!” Lethos began, putting the staff on Domarius’s shoulder. “Your exploits have surpassed even your predecessor. You fought and routed entire companies of the Palmacosta militia single-handedly in a valiant effort to protect the Palmacosta Ranch, single-handedly captured some of our most elusive human ranch escapees, and have been the bane of the human scum on the battlefield. Now rise, Grand Cardinal Domarius!”

Domarius rose and spoke into the voice amplifier. “I shall carry on Magnius’s work I hereby vow to lead the Desians to victory!” He proclaimed in his gravelly voice with a hint of confidence that suggested Domarius had never been bested in battle – or anything else. The Desians’ cheers increased in volume as he mounted the stairs to one of the platforms and stood tall – literally and figuratively.

The audience became quiet again and Lethos hit the platform with his staff again. “Announcing, Baelron, heir to Kvar!”

The coliseum once again thundered with cheers and applause. Rigid as a statue, Baelron strode out of the same side door Domarius had come from amid a rainstorm of flowers. He wore a tactician’s uniform decorated with a rainbow of medals and recognitions. His black hair was pulled into a long braid behind his head.

Baelron reached the center of the coliseum and kneeled while the Lethos placed the staff on his shoulder.

“Baelron, heir to Kvar!” Lethos proclaimed. “You have been well known for brilliant strategies and leading small Desian armies to victory against overwhelming odds. You have become revered among the Desians for dealing swift merciless retribution onto any humans who dared oppose us. Now rise, Grand Cardinal Baelron!”

Baelron rose. “Indeed, Lethos, I have been merciless with my prey.” His voice in the amplifier was crisp, chilling and used to giving orders. My retribution shall be swift unto those who slew Lord Yggdrasil!”

Desians in the audience roared in approval as Baelron mounted another of the platforms around the Lethos.

Once again the audience became quiet and Lethos hit his staff against the floor. “Announcing Hecratia, heir to Rodyle!”

Female Desians in particular cheered fanatically as Hecratia emerged from the shadows. Her hair had an unusual hue of purple and it was done elegantly up on the top of her head. Her hair mingled with her dark blue robes lined with silver at the edges. She too knelt before the Lethos and had the staff placed on her shoulder.

“Hecratia, heir to Rodyle!” Lethos shouted. “Your inventions and your genius were what led you to become Rodyle’s successor, for without them, the Desians would be no more! Rise, Grand Cardinal Hecratia!”

Hecratia rose, her face barely concealing her look of sinister delight; her greatest ambition had been to become Grand Cardinal so she could gain access to Rodyle’s private laboratories and research centers scattered around the worlds – well, world now.

“It is my greatest honor to take the place of my teacher Rodyle.” Hecratia declared to the audience in her musical voice. “I will avenge his name and put his inventions to work in a way no Desian has ever dreamt of!”

The audience erupted in cheers a third time and Hecratia took her place on a pedestal.

Lethos hit the platform with his staff a fourth time. “Announcing Ordrim, heir to Forcystus!”

The cheers given to the first three Cardinals were nothing compared the deafening cheers that filled the coliseum as Ordrim walked out. Ordrim was a battle hardened veteran and a hero among the Desians. He was an older Desian with a rugged face, unkempt hair of a dark green hue not unlike that of his predecessor and sharp eyes, but he had been chosen as the heir of Forcystus, who had idolized him, when Ordrim had preferred to stay on the frontlines. Now Ordrim agreed to take the position for the good of the Desians. Ordrim had what looked like a square steel contraption mounted on his arm; what few found out and survived was that it produced a broad long-sword when activated. As a testament to how Forcystus had idolized Ordrim, Forcystus’s very arm-gun came from Ordrim’s sword.

“Ordrim, heir to Forcystus!” Lethos said once Ordrim had fought his way past the rainstorm of flowers and had dutifully knelt. Your deeds in the name of the Desians have glorified you justly. You personally saved Grand Cardinal Forcystus from certain death. You have turned the tide in battles by your very presence. Most of all, you are famed with surviving an avalanche in a way that nobody can explain!”

The audience amid cheering broke out in hushed whispers. During a battle between Desians and a human militia, the humans had triggered an avalanche with the aim of killing Ordrim, who had proven to be more than a match for any human soldier. Humans and Desians alike had witnessed the horrid spectacle as colossal boulders fell on top of him…but he had emerged from under the rocks somehow completely unscathed to horrified humans and awestruck Desians. That battle he had helped slaughter the humans to a man.

“Rise, Grand Cardinal Ordrim!”

Ordrim rose with a resolute look on his weathered face.

“In the name of Lord Yggdrasil and the angels that were so ruthlessly slaughtered, I fight in their name. I fight in the name of the Desians. Most of all, I fight in the name of Forcystus, who’s life was cruelly taken at his Human Ranch. They shall be avenged without mercy.”

The stadium thundered in approval, clapping and calling out cheers for the Desians and the Grand Cardinals.

The audience became especially quiet now. They knew what was coming. The final one to be raised to the rank of Grand Cardinal would be the leader of the others and the highest ranking person among the Desians albeit with limited power.

Lethos paused briefly. “Announcing,” he began. “Grand Cardinal Leader Drathion!”

The stadium’s cheering was so frenzied and so loud that Lethos actually staggered back, astonished that this audience - so much as any audience – could generate such a deafening amount of noise.

Better than boos, he thought wryly.

Drathion, complacent looking and garbed in a silk shirt and fine cloth pants of mixed blues and silvers, strode into the arena, his azure cape trailing behind him. His long, silver hair and calm green eyes belied his immense power. Many a Desian had argued how well he could fight against even Yggdrasil. His cape hid a crimson sheath, which held a gleaming katana.

Lethos looked at Drathion much more intently than he had the other Grand Cardinals. As Drathion knelt, only Ordrim noticed that Drathion gave Lethos a swift, almost unnoticeable wink.

“Drathion, heir to Pronyma!” Lethos proclaimed as though nothing had happened. “Your legendary prowess as a fighter and as a tactician is virtually unmatched. Your daring feats of strength, skill, and intelligence have won praise from Lord Yggdrasil himself. Now, take your position as leader of the Five Desian Grand Cardinals!”

Drathion rose to a deafening storm of cheers. He looked around at all of the Desians.

“My friends!” Drathion declared into the voice amplifier. “We have fought since the Desians were first made for the Coming Age of Half Elves where the arrogant humans who discriminate against other races. We vowed that justice would be dealt on the humans for being ignorant of their sins.”

He took a breath and continued. “Lord Yggdrasil and the angels may be dead, but do not lose sight of our mission! We must honor Yggdrasil and the angels and fulfill their desires. By the power granted to me by Archbishop Lethos, I shall be the spearhead that leads the Desians on to victory with every resource we have!”

This startling declaration was met only with fanatical cheers from the Desians, who cared nothing more than to see their power restored. Drathion looked at the other Grand Cardinals.

The other Cardinals neither looked nor sounded as pleased as the crowd. Hecratia’s eyebrow was lifted in what Drathion interpreted as amusement. Baelron’s slightly narrowed eyes held a mix of curiosity and suspicion. Domarius had a poorly concealed look of shock on his face.

Ordrim’s look stood out most. There was an expression of outrage on his face when Drathion had finished his speech, but he had quickly covered it behind a stony weathered face, eyes ablaze with suspicion. Drathion knew why.

In his speech, he had implied complete control over all of the Desians, a lofty claim nobody but Yggdrasil had ever dared to make.

Very well done. It’s just about what I would expect of the Desians, as far as ceremony goes.

“We’re not really a cult so much as a maniacal group of fanatical, blade-wielding zealots.”

Seconding Val’s sentiments.