Into The Heart Of The Story, returned

Its been a few weeks since my last post, but i return to you now with my oldest work, a re-written, improved version of Into The Heart Of The Story.

For those who havent read it or dont remember it, Into The Heart was my attempt at turning the rather sparse story of Final Fantasy 1 into a novelised form, it involved more detailed characters and expanded on themes in the games.

In its final form it stetched to nearly Five long Chapters and Two side stories, after a while i grew tired and began my other fic Ties Of Blood (which i will return to soon), its been a while but i am ready to return to the journey of the Light Warriors.

Due to my life being rather hectic of late (school catching up with me, ending my relationship with my Girlfreind, freinds and family reminding me of other responsibilities) i havent been writing much, but the positive responses i have recieved (both on the boards and off) has convinced me i have a talent and wont let it be stopped.

So i begin know where it all began for me, the first two parts of Chapter 1 of Into The Heart, i hope you all enjoy it…

Into The Heart Of The Story

Chapter 1 = The Beginning


The world is veiled in darkness
The wind stopped
The earth began to rot
The sea is wild
Yet the people wait
Their only hope
A prophecy
When the world is in darkness
Four warriors will come
Lukhan, leader of the 12 sages and greatest prophet of his age.

Part 1 : The Prophecy

He stood on a cliff overlooking the city of Corenia, the greatest city made by the human race, watching the people come and go all with some look of fear and anxiety on their faces. He felt nothing for them however.

Corenia was truley the grandest of human cities, at the edge of a large township sat the huge castle, with its graceful minarets that seemed to be reaching for the stars themselves. It served its purpose as a warning beacon to an enemy, the thought of attacking a castle of its size made many enemies think twice about a siege.

The people however saw this castle as a beacon of hope, the single greatest structure made by humans and the seat of the single most powerful human of the time, the King of Corenia.

Those enemies who thought they could assualt the castle had many other obstacles to overcome, the city and castle were surrounded by a large white wall, twenty feet in height and constantly manned by armed guards.

Even with all of this a large forest surrounded the wall, parting only at the barbed, wrought iron gates. Protected by powerful magical defences this gate would need an army or even stronger magic to break, with one of the strongest armies in the world behind them it would take a force of great power to take this kingdom.

The man on the cliff knew differently, an almost intangible darkness existed around Corenia, the people hurried about with scared looks on their faces, something terrible had happened, something that shattered their feeling of safety. The citizens of Corenia knew a terrible fear, something they could not place but knew was real.

This young man had been sent to help them, to fight for people he did not care for, to stand against the coming darkness that all could feel.

He was an impressive sight, wearing armour mainly composed of chains over red leather, at his belt sat a large steel sword in a scabbard. He kept his hand on the hilt at all times, ready to defend himself against anything that would harm him.

The mans head was virtually unseen beneath a shock of dark red hair, all you could see was his face where one could see the anger he held in his soul, the responsibility he knew in his heart and the pain knowing that his chosen path could kill him.

Yet the most impressive thing about the man was his eyes, the emerald green and black pupils seemed to stare into your very soul. He was a man not to be taken likely and because of this some thought of him as inhuman and they may very well be right.

His skill with the blade was great, but due to his nature most who saw this did not see him as just a good fighter but the greatest fighter, therefore to the few people he had met other than his friends he was simply called The Fighter, word of him and companions spread like wildfire. Their skill was partly the reason but it was mainly becuase they sounded like the ones from the prophecy…

The Prophecy…

The prophecy which had dominated his existence as long as he could remember, when he was an infant he had been abandoned, he and three other children were left at an orphanage in the town of Pravoka, the greatest of the human ports.

He and his 3 friends were different from the other children and everyone knew it, isolated from most of the citizens they considered themselves outcasts, this made them stronger as friends but not as good with the so called ‘normal’ people.

When he and his friends were twelve a strange man came to the orphanege, he was a tall, well built figure who wore exotic clothes and armour.
He spoke to the head of the orphanage and managed to ‘convince’ him using gold that the four would be better of with him.

The children took an immediate liking to the man; he was different like they were yet treated them like they were normal. He purchased a house on the outskirts of Pravoka and he gave each of the children an orb, telling them to protect the orbs with their lives, the next day he begun to train them.

The man called himself ‘‘the Master’’, he said he was from a far of place called Lefain, where he was a great hero among his people, yet he could not return there and that it was his duty that he should train the four.

The boy who eventually was know as Fighter was trained in the use of weapons, he soon mastered swords and axes and he learned how to use his strength so that he could move faster in heavier armour, every day he ran carrying rocks to increase his strength, by the end of his training he could run many miles with a bag full of rocks and still not feel fatigued.

The second boy was an elf, a member of the light-footed race with pointed ears who normally lived in forests, this elf however seemed more at home within cities, whenever the master had to go into the town the elf boy always went with him. He learnt the art of deception and stealing yet he vowed never to use his skills for evil gains. His training considered of minor practise with a blade (he accepted that he would never be better than Fighter, yet his skill was by no means flawed) and he ran with a mile long ribbon wrapped around his waist, the faster and longer he ran, the longer the ribbon stayed up, by the end of his training the ribbon barely touched the ground.

He was known to most people as Thief (yet he considered this title an offence to his non evil ways, but concluded that it added to his prestige).

The third was the only female of the group, the master taught her about the god of light who all of the good races revered (although each race considered the great god as a member of their race and each had its own specific name for it),humans called this god Odin the protector (for it was believed that the god Odin protects the light of the sun from the darkness). Her training consisted of minor practise with a mace and her study of religion, due to her faith she was granted power by Odin and she gained a power similar to magic that only a handful of people could use, it was called white magic and it allowed its users to heal wounds and destroy undead creatures of the night.

She was known to most people as White Mage; she considered this an honour and is the most diligent of the four about defeating the evil that plagued the world.

The last was the second human male, but most people could barely tell, when he was young he had a talent for magic that was left mostly untapped, but when the master took him in he was taught the truth about magic, all colours start as white and then split apart and when they come together they make black. Most practitioners of magic realised that at the base of the rainbow there was a great source of energy and that could be tapped with the right force of will and science to influence it, when the master told him this his eyes were opened, after a little basic training with a dagger and a staff the boy started to learn how to influence the power that was his all along. By the end of the training his knowledge of magic gave him the ability to create small bolts of lightning from his fingertips and balls of fire from his eyes.

He was known as the Black Mage, he didn’t care much about his title or the people who gave it to him, his only concern was learning more about magic and the cause of darkness which was unnatural and threatened the natural order of things.

When they were only sixteen the four went hunting in the woods, when they got there they were attacked by a Red Imp, a foul creature that appeared to be almost a foul mockery of a human, with its small figure, twisted features, a long nose and black eyes, seeing the young humans as easy prey it attacked. Within a few minutes it had been overcome by the four, it had died in a wave of blades and magic, it was then they realised that they had easily defeated a foe that would make many soldier cringe in fear, that was when they suspected that may have been the ones mentioned in the prophecy. It was always in the back of their minds yet it had only now been clear to them.

Over the next few years they continued their training, but over time they noticed their master weakening, he claimed that it was because he was so close to where the darkness was coming from, one day he could not leave his bed, while his condition only grew worse. The four were distraught, the only person they saw as a parent was dying.

One day he called the four to his bedchamber and told them what they feared.

''My students i am dying, i will not survive to see the sunset, do not cry for my last few years with you were the best of my life, you are all destined for great things and I am glad to have been part of your training. For I have been training you to be the Light Warriors, the ones to push back the tide of darkness, that is why I gave you the orbs, so that you may restore the light that once gleamed in their centre".

“By the days end a Pirate armada will have taken Pravoka and if you stay you will be killed, I left a small boat hidden by the river for you must leave this night and escape to Corenia, when you get there you must see the king. I leave the rest in your hands, Fighter you must lead them, if you can control your feelings then you will be a great leader, I see that now finally”.

"Thief please do not let greed stop you from doing whats right, helping people is its own reward, White Mage my dear child, i will tell Odin myself when I see him to listen to your prays, for I can see that you will heal the land that has been ravaged, Black Mage with great power comes great responsibility, never let darkness cloud the truth and you will learn what true magic is, farewell my children…farewell’’.

He closed his eyes and fell into a sleep from which he would never wake.

He was buried on a cliff overlooking Pravoka, and even in the darkness they could see the pirate ships in the distance, they turned and left into the night, never looking back.

Fighter looked at Corenia and began to spoke seemingly to himself.

‘‘Why is their a need for darkness, all people do is kill each other, we don’t need demons in hell, we already have our own on earth’’.

‘‘It is because of the darkness that people kill each other’’.

Fighter turned and saw his friend Thief, he was dressed in black leather armour with metal greaves and neckgaurd (to stop me from wringing it thought Fighter), he kept a rapier in his belt but his true weapon was his speed, while stronger people could kill him with a certain ease he was a master of dodging blows, he was also usually the first to strike, to him that was all that was necessary.

White Mage came up the cliff to meet them, she was dressed in long flowing white robes with a red trim, the garment of a priestess, her hood was pulled low but behind it was a face of considerable beauty, yet she kept her hood low as a sign of respect to others, showing her reverence to all things (in her own eyes at least), she kept a small hammer at her belt as her weapon.

Then came Black Mage, dressed in dark blue robes which completely covered his body except for his hands (which he wore brown gloves over) and his face (he wore a large straw hat which almost completely covered his head, all one could see were his bright eyes from underneath the shadows which obscured his face) he carried a wooden staff in his hands engraved with runes, his very presence and unusual look disturbed people.

‘‘So the Thief is the one giving the pious talks now, why should we help those who shunned us and abandoned us’’ Fighter snapped back.

White Mage stepped forward ‘‘It is because of those reasons we must help them, people fear what the do not understand and they do not understand us, or how we acquired our abilities that take people lifetimes to learn, we have to teach them to respect us and more importantly each other’’.

Fighter turned to face Corenia ‘‘The only reason I am here is because it was masters final wish, when we are done here I am going back to Pravoka, pirates or no pirates the people of this world will have to sort themselves out’’.

Black Mage lifted his head and said ‘‘Well are we going to stand here all night or shall we go down their and get some rest, we cannot do what is required of us this night, my magic is nearly depleted and nightime belongs to the creatures that roam these lands, we must prepare for the trials ahead’’.

This they all agreed on, leaving north towards the gates, it was nearly sunset so the guards were soon going to stop people from entering or leaving the city.

They reached the gates before the night watch was assigned and were greeted by eight crossbows aimed at them, the four stopped and Fighter shouted

‘‘We are travellers seeking refuge within the city’’.

‘‘Get lost’’ they heard one of the guards shout ‘‘No travellers this late, especially not Elven scum’’.

Thief visibly tensed at this, he shouted back

‘‘We are here to help the king, but if the city doesn’t want any ‘Elven scum’ helping them then I can go somewhere else’’.

At the mention of helping the king the guards lowered their crossbows and started muttering amongst themselves.

They could hear the dreaded word ‘Light Warriors’ being muttered, along with several other comments that they strained to hear.

‘‘The Prophecy’’.

‘‘Here to save the princess…’’.

‘‘Are they going to fight Garland’’.

Finally a commanding voice called for the gates to be opened.

The gates were opened and the four were let inside, they were granted free rooms at an inn of their choosing on the condition that they next day that they would visit the castle.

Part 2 = The Kings mistake

The next day came and the Light Warriors prepared to see the king. Fighter, Black Mage and White Mage waited in the guest room of a fairly small inn called 'The mask and the crown’. They were awaiting the return of Thief who left on a recon mission (they wanted to know how bad the situation was from different people rather than trusting the interpretation of one man, even if he is a king).

The door opened and Thief came through, he moved to the table and spoke.

‘’ The situation is worse than we thought, even the thieves wont talk about what has transpired, gold isnt loosening any tongues. All I could get from the townsfolk was mutterings about traitors and kidnappings, but there is something else’’.

'‘When we entered the town someone must have spotted us or the guards aren’t very good at keeping their mouths shut. There are mobs out there looking for us, I could hear them shouting things like ‘The Light Warriors are here’ and ‘Were saved’, so I think we should stick to the back alleys until we can get to the Castle, agreed’’.

‘‘Agreed’’ the others said in unison, no one wanted to be bothered too much, they wanted to help the king as quickly as possible and leave.

Ten minutes later they were surrounded by a mob of people all trying to grab them and it came to no surprise that Thief was to blame.

‘‘I thought you said that alleyway led to behind the shopping district!’’ Fighter shouted as he pushed away peoples hands.

‘‘Why are we in the town centre!’’ Black Mage shouted as he considered summoning his magic to scare away the crowd.

He didn’t get a chance, the town guard arrived and quickly dispersed the crowd. They approached the Light Warriors and a guard with a silver helmet faced Fighter and adressed him with utter respect and reverance.

‘‘Greetings, if you are going to the palace we shall escort you, I am Sir Dakaran and I must apologise on behalf of the townsfolk. With the recent events they have had little to hope for, but now you are here’’.

‘‘Just take us to the castle’’ Fighter said angrily

‘‘Yes Sir’’ said Sir Dakaran, with a knight’s salute (holding his sword blade up in front of his chest).

Fighter only looked at him with disdain.

They were led through mobs of people which seemed to be getting bigger and louder by the second, the guards kept them at bay and controlled, but they could hear shouting coming from all around them.

‘‘Save us!’’
‘‘Save the Princess!’’
‘‘Kill the traitor!’’
‘‘Kill the dwarves!’’
‘‘Kill the elves!’’

Thief turned and looked at the man who shouted the last comment, the man realised what he had said and bowed his head in his shame.

They finally reached the doors of the castle and the streets were filled with people shouting.

The doors were opened and Sir Dakaran bade them through.

Thief was the last to go, before he went inside he turned to the crowd and waved, he pulled his rapier out and held it to the sky. The crowd went wild, even when the thick oaken doors were shut all could hear the shouting of the people.

All the guards and his other three companions turned and looked at Thief.

''What, we are supposed to give them hope aren’t we ‘’.

The 3 Light Warriors only shook their heads, while the guards smiled, for the first time they believed that the Light Warriors where here and their troubles would soon end.

They were led through the many floors of the castle before they came to a corridor which seemed to go on forever, it was covered with paintings and tapestries of all manners and forms (including a detailed picture of the castle carved in tree bark which Thief swore was of Elven make).

Statues of warriors long dead, stood like silent guardians along the last stretch, they reached a set of double doors at the end of the corridor which were made of the strongest oak and reinforced with metal (the kings last defence in war Fighter thought, because no other kingdom would take him in). Protecting the doors were two guards with silver helmets which saluted them as they walked past, they opened the doors and went into the throne room.

It was a large chamber which held the biggest tapestry the four had ever seen, deatailing the Corenian national flag (a gold dragon holding a crown and a griffon holding a green rod on a red background). In the room were 4 guards with gold helmets on (the kings personal guards).At the head of the chamber were the King and Queen sitting on thrones of gold, silver and bronze flanked by golden statues of Dragons.

The King was a middle aged man, yet the problems of the past few days had made him seem much older, he wore long red robes of state with a silver trim, he also carried a gold sceptre in his hand.

The Queen was the same age as the king yet the problems of the past few days had taken a greater toll on her, she had barely stopped crying and had eaten very little food, she had only appeared in the throne room now because of the rumours of the four had given her hope. She wore a red dress as was befitting of her title.

Sir Dakaran stepped forward and said in a loud clear voice ‘‘My liege, I present to you the four who have came to help’’.

The king said ‘‘Thank you Dakaran you may stand down, take your men and wait in the main hall, I will send for you if I need you’’.

Dakaran bowed and walked out, his men behind him.

‘‘Please step forward’’ said the king who leaned back in his throne.

The four Light Warriors stepped towards the throne, the king turned to Fighter and spoke ‘‘So, you must be the one called Fighter’’.

They looked in surprise at the king.

‘‘We the royal family of Corenia were the first to receive the prophecy from the great mage Lukhan and his friends, we decided that the whole prophecy be a secret to protect you all’’.

They looked at each other and then back at the king.

''Would you like to know the full prophecy?’’.

The King pulled a scroll from his robes and started to read.

"The world is veiled in darkness
The wind stopped
The earth began to rot
The sea is wild
Yet the people wait
Their only hope…a prophecy
When the world is in darkness
Four warriors will come

One known as Fighter will come in anger
One known as Thief will come in desire
One known as White Mage will come in arrogance
One known as Black Mage will come in ambition
And if they do not defeat the darkness within themselves
Then they will not defeat the darkness that threatens the world".

The king rolled up the scroll and put it back in his robes.

‘‘I had a few copies of the original prophecy made, when I heard of your arrival I made sure I kept one, so you would finally realise your destiny’’.

Fighter managed to get past his shock and he spoke ‘‘Those aren’t our real names, but they may as well be, we have been dubbed those names because of our abilities. People prefer to believe that we have come to save them than to realise the truth, we are just people who want peace, that is why we have come to restore it, what has happened that is so terrible’’.

The king leaned forward in the throne and sighed ‘‘Then I shall tell you what has befallen the kingdom’’.

‘‘It all started during the War of crowns’’.

‘‘As you know it started when the Elvin king Astaron and the dwarf’s chieftain Bartelby Stoneblade had a falling out over trade agreements, war broke out and the human cities were drawn into it, sides were taken and war began’’.

‘’ 5 years into the war the kingdoms were bled dry, yet the senseless war continued, hope seemed lost, especially when the General Ragnor disappeared, we continued in despair’’.

‘‘Then one day a young knight appeared, the most skilled man with a blade in the kingdom, he led a suicide mission against the commander of the Elvin armies. The commander himself was King Astaron’s brother, the mighty warrior Calagard’’.

‘‘The unit lead by this knight successfully managed to separate Calagard from his men, he could have ordered his soldiers to cut him down, but he instead challenged Calagard to a duel to the death and if he lost then his men were to let Calagard go. Then would return to Corenia bearing the news’’.

‘‘After many hours of fighting the young knight finally won, they left Calagards body unspoilt for his men to find, then they made there way to the capital and the last true battle of the war was fought there. All the armies met on the fields outside the Elven capital and our side won, the knight for his brave actions was promoted. It was because of his successful rout of the Elven-Melmond alliance that the war ended, after the battle a treaty was finally reached and peace had started to return’’.

‘‘The knight who accomplished so much, his name was Garland’’.

‘‘When he returned he was given the platinum helm and declared the champion of Corenia. He was given money, land and titles aplenty, he led the remaining Corenian army against the bandits and Ogres of the land. He wanted for nothing, but then he asked for something he could not have, he asked for my daughters hand in marriage’’.

‘‘I could not grant this, she was supposed to marry the son of the Elven king, to forge a solid peace between the two nations’’.

'‘Garland could not bear the thought of there being something he could not have, he started to grow more distant. He was seen outside a place to the north known as ‘The Temple of Fiends’, a place where worshipers of darkness once gathered and performed rituals, but it was abandoned’’.

‘‘The reports of sightings of him in the temple started to grow, yet I had not the courage to confront him on the subject. He and I were friends and I had to deny him the one thing he truly desired, for the sake of the kingdom’’.

The Queen started to cry again, she knew what was coming next.

‘‘Two days ago Garland entered the city dressed head to toe in a suit of jet black full plate mail armour, his eyes burned an unusual red, he pulled the gates of the city open with his bare hands and broke the great beam that normally blocks the great doors of the castle. He marched into the throne room and yet no one had the courage to stop him, our fears had been realised, Garland had turned to darkness and his hatred of me fuelled his unholy powers’’.

‘‘He marched into the throne room and stood where you are standing now, he spoke to me in a changed voice ‘you fool, you put the needs of the weak fools you call subjects in front of the needs of those you called friend, because of your betrayal I have turned to darkness and now I can have what I desire’.Then he pulled out his blade which shined as black as the night’’.

‘‘My personal guards attacked him while I escaped into a hidden passage that only I knew of, yet he slaughtered my elite guards with barely an afterthought.Then he tore through the castle to the princess’s room, he was sealed off and was trapped at the top of the highest tower, he climbed to the highest window and leapt out’’.

''I despaired, even though he had turned to evil he was still my friend I did not want to see him or my beloved daughter die".

‘‘Yet they did not die, Garland seemed to grow wings made of darkness, he took flight and sped towards the Tempe of the Fiends’’.

‘‘Then came messages of pirates invading Pravoka, we had to concentrate on protecting the city from an attack, even then no one would volunteer to save the princess, all had seen Garlands skill and feared him more than any man’’.

‘‘Then you arrived, i ask of you a boon, i want you to save my daughter and release Garland from the darkness that he has surrounded himself with, if you do this then I will make sure you are properly rewarded, it will help restore the peace of the land’’.

‘‘I ask a lot of you I know, but you are the Light Warriors and if you do not help us now then Garland will only get stronger and he will eventually hunt you down, if he feared anything in this world then it would be you’’.

''Will you please help me?’’

The four looked at each other and then back at the king.


Wohoo, nice to see it back, scott :smiley:

Sorry for the lack of updates but two weeks ago the processer on the computer fried, me and my brother have spent a lot of time getting the comp working again, when it was finally working again we found out that the D and E drives got completly wiped.

With this i lost everything, my last backup is from nearly six months ago, as a result of this and the problems with the rpgclassics board i have permanantly lost the last chapter of Ties of Blood and a lot of non-board related work.

The comp is finally workin again and i will resume Into the Heart again soon, im afraid Ties of Blood will take longer however as i know have to re-write the third chapter.

Just an explanation of my absence, im sure you will understand and Into the Heart Chapter 1 Part 3 will be on soon.

Can’t wait, this is one of my favorite stories.

Part 3 = The Journey to the Temple

It was the next day that they were sitting in a forest clearing, at best they could guess they had reached the halfway point to the temple, this was however Thief’s estimate. For the best part of the day he assured the others he knew where he was going, when Fighter suspected they were going in circles he carved an X on a tree, when they approached this again five minutes later all hell broke loose.

Fighter was shouting at this point, although he was talking to the whole group he was mainly aiming his comments at Thief.

“We have been following this fools directions for how many miles and we are stuck in the middle of nowhere”.

Thief only smirked, his innate confidence annoying Fighter.

" We are in a land filled with Odin only knows how many monsters and wild animals, on our way to attack an evil knight who has lead armies to victory. A man who is feared by a whole kingdom and has magic potential that we don’t know about, a person he lives in a place called ‘The Temple of Fiends’, which he probably has filled with Dark elves and Ogres and its all Thiefs fault!’’.

‘‘My fault’’ Thief said back ''How did you work that one out?’’.

Fighter seemed close to attacking Thief at that point, his hands shaking with rage at the absurd comment.

''It was you who got us lost and alerted our presence to the people of Corenia, it was you who showboated to the crowd outside the castle and it was you denied a free map at the city gates because you said ‘I can lead these people to the gates of hell’ just to show off to those girls who were waiting to send us off ‘’.

Thief moved his hand closer to his blade, Fighter moved his hand to the hilt of his sword and then White Mage stood in between them.

‘‘Stop this, if we are to confront this knight of evil then we need to present a unified front. The prophecy said that if we do not defeat the darkness within ourselves then we cannot defeat the darkness…’’.

As White Mage was lecturing Fighter and Thief on the importance of friendship and goodness Black Mage grew bored. He dropped his pack and sat on the floor, then he noticed a shape dart behind a tree.

He stood up and their was the sound of rustling in the woods all around them, he tried to listen closer but could only hear the arguing behind him.

‘‘Quiet!’’ he hissed, grabbing his pack and backing up closer to the others.

The other three looked at him, Black Mage never wasted his time with idle chatter, whenever he said anything it was of importance and they knew better than to ignore him.

Then they could all hear it, around them footsteps and branchs breaking, they moved back to back and drew their weapons. White and Black Mage prepared their magic in case it was needed.

From all around the woods burst, they could see child size figures running towards them, then they recognised what they were, Red Imps.

Red Imps were evil creatures, only concerned with the death of those who aren’t Red Imps, they were about four feet in height. There features were twisted, black eyes shaped like arrowheads and long pointed nose that ended at the top lip. The reason they are called Red Imps is because they dye there clothes red and stain there blades with blood (not because of their skin like most would assume, their skin was a dark yellowish tint), each carried some sort of crude weapon (normally a blade of some sort) upon there person at all times. These particular Imps wore a red triangular hat, each bearing a symbol (which in their language meant ‘Warrior’), they were the hunters of the forest, highest in the food chain.

The Light warriors were surrounded by these creatures, they could see them drawing weapons and shouting to each other in their own guttural language. They waited for the creatures to come to them, if they were separated and there were more of these creatures then they could be in trouble…

The Imps were delighted, very few people came this way since the evil one (their name for Garland) passed through. They were ready for a fight, the first few burst from the woods and charged towards the closest, Black Mage.

As they reached the edge of the clearing Black Mage had already started chanting, the other Light Warriors could feel the magic emanating from him, he called out the final chant that would activate his spell.

‘‘The power of Lightning bends to my command, Zeus Blade Magic!’’.

Lightning bolts shot from Black Mages outstretched hands, they flew through the air and hit the first few Imps that came through. They fell dead to the ground, more Imps came from all around them and attacked.

Three of them leapt at Fighter, they shouted and shrieked but he wasn’t scared, with his friends had defeated their kind since they were little more than children, these meant nothing to him.

True to form the Imps attacked with little plan or teamwork, most people saw them charging and ran. Fighter was too well trained for that, the three on him attacked while they were all close together, with one swift neck-level swing he nearly decapitated the three. Their bodies dropped to the floor and Fighter raised his blade and the next ones charging towards him hesitated but didn’t run, they approached him with more caution.

Thief was charged by two of the Imps, they did so in the same way the ones on Fighter did, but Thief tried a different approach, dropping to one knee, grabbing a handful of dirt and throwing it in the face of the closest Imp. He blocked the second Imp’s knife whilst he kicked the first one in the belly while it was blinded, knocking it on its back wheezing in pain, Thief disarmed the second Imp and quickly ran it through the chest, it fell dead to the floor.

White Mage started to call upon her magic, she saw a single Imp charge towards her and then she knew what spell to cast.

‘‘Nature, protect me from the my enemies, Fog!’’.

A grey mist gathered around White Mage, the Imp was confused by what it saw but still tried attacking the mist, a hammer crashed into its skull and it dropped. The magical mist dispersed around White Mage and she saw more Imps charging towards her.

Black Mage realised how many there were, too many for the group to defeat easily. They would more than likely take many of them down and their were was a remote possibility that they could win. Yet then they would not be in a condition to fight Garland, he looked to his companions for ideas.

More Imps came charging down, they were soon completly surrounded, Black Mage thought back to his studies concerning Red Imps, he remembered that although they were killers, they also held a great tie to their land.

An idea came to mind, he gathered his energy to cast a spell that no other mage in the world would risk casting in that area, he was however no ordinary mage.

‘‘The power of Fire Burns to my will, Imix Hatred Magic!’’.

With the completion of the chant a breif red aura flickered around him, then he pointed his hands at the forest canopy. A great surge of energy flowed through him, into his hands and then into a nimbus of flame that set the nearby forest alight.

‘‘Run!’’ Fighter shouted as he charged towards the smallest group of Imps, he was ready for a fight but they had lost interest in them. Their home had just been set on fire, all of the Imps began to panic, they forgot about there battle and one of them shouted in their guttural language that a lake was nearby. All of the Imps realised what they were to do, as a group they ran towards the lake and removed their hats.

Anyone in the woods who entered the clearing after the battle would indeed be in for a shock, as they would see a large group of Red Imps with hats full of water running towards a fire.

The Light Warriors were running as fast as they could, with images of a Red Imp army at their backs they quickly cleared the border of the trees, they burst through and they saw open plains.

They stopped and Fighter suddenly lashed out and pushed Black Mage to the floor.

''What do you think you were doing, you nearly got us killed?".

Black Mage, familiar with Fighters outbursts said nothing, he brushed the dust off his robes and stared into Fighters eyes. It was almost as if he was daring him to push again.

White Mage stepped in between them, forced to once again mediate between the males of the group.

“Stop it, if he hadn’t of acted then we would have been overrun, it was a risk yes but a risk we had to take. We probably stumbled across a forest full of those creatures, now both of you get your act together and apologise”.

Fighter mumbled a half hearted apology to Black Mage, once again White Mage had calmed his temper.

Thief suddenly called out, he raised his hand and pointed across the plains.

‘‘Hey everyone, look over there, is that what i think it is’’.

They all turned around and looked at what Thief was pointing at.

‘‘The Temple of Fiends’’

Part 4 = The Dark Magic Ritual

The temple wasn’t quite what was expected, the Light Warriors had images of a fortress manned by creatures of the night or some sort of unholy cathedral ran by priests of evil.

The sight in front of them was very different, it could barely be called a building nevermind a temple, it was made of a dull grey stone that was broken in many places. All around was debris from what remained of an outer wall scattered in a haphazard fashion, their also seemed to be the reamains of an entrance, a path seemed to have been roughly cleared and it lead into the darkness.

The four prepared themselves, this is what they came here to do, defeat Garland and save the princess. When they had done this they would have fufilled their masters last request and could return home.

They gathered their equipment and moved towards the entrance. The Red Imps were no longer a concern, they reached the entrance expecting an attack, but when nothing happened they felt a little disappointed, then they realised that Garland might have escaped.

Suddenly chanting could be heard from inside the temple, they ran into the entrance and darkness soon enveloped them, White Mage called upon one of her lesser white magic abilities.

‘‘By the power of Odin, let there be Light!’’.

A burst of light appeared in front of them in the form of a glowing orb, they could now see a large black door at the end of the corridor. A dread voice came from beyond, it echoed around them and seemed to come from all sides.

Thief pressed his ear against the door but the voice soon multiplied in volume, they could all hear what was being said.

‘’ Darkness, that which opposes the light…!’’.

Thief tested the door, it wasn’t locked but it was stuck.

‘‘Give me the power that is my birthright…!’’.

Fighter bade the others move, he took a few steps back.

‘‘Enter me spirit of evil, lord Chaos of hades…!’’.

Fighter lowered his shoulder and charged.

‘‘This blade of mine shall pierce the heart and drain the blood of Corenia!’’.

He crashed into the door, it held.

‘‘Now let a new age of darkness begin with the death of an innocent!’’.

They all moved back, preparin to charge together.

They heard a scream.

Garland lifted his blade, ready to drop and complete his destiny.

Then the door exploded.

He turned and realised who had entered, beneath his helmet he smiled, he had been waiting for this for a long time.

The four stood up and drew themselves into a battle stance.

Garland only laughed, a hollow humorous sound that held no merriment, he then spoke and his voice inspired fear in the hearts of those who heard it.

‘‘So the king finally found people willing to face me, i suppose you are all the Light Warriors’’.

It was then that the magical light settled in the room, they could see what they were about to face. The room they were in was made completely of a smooth black rock, light seemed to be absorbed into its surface yet none reflected back. In the centre of the room there was an altar and on it a young girl dressed in the clothes of a member of the royal family of Corenia, the princess they realised, but its what was standing in front of the altar that got their attention.

It was a man-sized creature, decked head to toe in a suit of blackened full plate mail armor. Holding a blue sword in his hand that radiated with magic held poised over the princess, yet the thing they noticed the most about the him was his eyes, they burned red from the inside of his helmet, he turned to face the four and turned his blade to point it at them.

The Light Warriors moved closer.

‘‘Take another step and I kill her’’ Garland placed his sword on the neck of the princess.

They stopped but kept their weapons ready.

‘‘At last my waiting is over, you the light warriors have come to stop me, it matters not if you kill me or I kill you my victory is assured, neither bonds of love nor death can tie me to this land, now come fulfil your destiny and let me fulfil mine’’.

He held his blade in front of him and quickly turned to strike at the princess, he pushed his blade down.

A slender rapier blocked it.

Thief had moved closer while Garland was talking and had leapt when he turned, his blade knocked Garlands sword away.

Garland used all of his strength to push away Thief’s blade, the physically weaker elf was struggling while using both hands. Garland was only using one hand, he punched Thief in the stomach with his free arm, Thief fell to the floor in pain and Garland lifted his blade to finish him off.

Then lightning flashed all around him.

Garland doubled over in pain, his armour was nearly completly made of metal, he called upon his dark powers to heal him.

Then he could see a sword swinging for his helmet, Fighter had moved in thinking him helpless, with unnatural speed and skill Garland’s blade intercepted his.

Garland and Fighter looked into each others eyes, each could see the unbridled hatred in the other, Garland smiled beneath his helm and called upon his dark powers to summon a shield of pure unholy energy, it pushed Fighter back into the altar.

While this was happening Black Mage was summoning his energy for another spell, White Mage moved closer to Thief and summoned her own power, she held her palm facing Thief and started to chant.

‘‘The power of compassion incarnate, Cure!’’.

A beam of bright light shot from White Mage’s hand into Thief’s body, he started to recover from the blow.

Fighter was striking Garland’s magic shield with little effect, he pulled back and waited.

Garland closed his hand into a fist and chanted words of unholy magic, electricity flowed around his body. He pointed at Black Mage and chanted quickly.

‘‘Tiamat’s might empowers me, Electric fury!’’.

Black Mage quickly countered with a spell of his own.

‘‘The power of Lightning bends to my command, Zeus Blade Magic!’’.

Two bolts of energy shot from each caster, they struck each other and exploded in the centre of the chamber.

Thief and Fighter started to strike the shield at once, it was starting to break.

White Mage realised that combat may start again; she summoned her holy energy and pointed at Thief.

‘‘Nature, protect a freind from harm, Fog’’.

A mist appeared around Thief, Fighter struck the shield one last time and it faded away.

Thief struck quickly, his rapier aiming for any available weak spots, Garlands blade shot out and with uncanny accuracy sank into Thief’s leg.

Thief dropped to the floor, clutching vainly at the wound and screaming.

White Mage started to prepare another healing spell; Garland pointed at her with his free hand and chanted.

‘‘Karys anger flow from me, fiery rage!’’.

A wave of fire shot from his hand, White Mage quickly changed the spell she was casting.

‘‘Water bless me, Nullify Fire!’’.

The fire seemed to hit an invisible shield and then it disappeared, but using that spell had stopped her from healing Thief; she started to summon her energy again.

The effort to create the fire had weakened Garland to, he was using too much power and if he carried on at his current rate then he would be weakened to a point of death.

Fighter’s blade came crashing upon Garlands arm; unexpectedly instead of bouncing back it severed the limb, armor and flesh.

Both Garland and Fighter stared at what happened, Garland knew this was a sign, his power was nearly gone and his plan was almost complete.

But he had little time to dwell on this as he heard a spell being finished behind him.

‘‘The power of Lightning bends to my command, Zeus Blade Magic!’’

Garland was struck down in a wave of lightning bolts, Fighters blade went through his weakened plate mail and into his chest. Garland fell to the floor, Fighter lifted his blade to finish him off and end his evil.

Garland once again began to laugh; he pulled himself onto one knee and dropped his sword to the floor.

‘‘You fool, I see that their is little chance of you defeating the darkness, my victory is assured…tell the king that I…’’.

He sank to the floor and his body started to disappear, his armour crumbed into dust and his sword turned into a pool of liquid metal that sank into the floor.

Fighter felt the floor to make sure Garland had not turned himself invisible; he could hear White Mage healing Thief and Black Mage sink to the floor in exhaustion. The counter spell had cost him the last bit of his magical energy, he would have to rest for it to return.

Fighter sank to his knees and looked at his reflection on his sword blade.

‘‘What did he mean his victory is assured, what did he mean?’’.

Fighter pulled himself back up; there was work to be done.


They untied and calmed the princess, they decided it was best not to linger in such an evil place. When Thief was healed by White Mage he left the resting group to search the rest of the temple.

When they were ready to leave they gathered their equipment and left for the exit, then a voice echoed down the corridor.

‘‘Hey everyone, look what I found!’’.

Thief had just come down the corridor, holding what appeared to be a metal helmet in his hand.

‘‘I found this outside, there was a skeleton amongst the debris, it was holding this and i figured Fighter could use it’’ he tossed it to his warrior freind.

Fighter slowly placed the helm on his head, it felt uncomfortable for a second and then seemed to mould itself to his shape.

‘‘It seems to fit all right, thanks Thief although I don’t like the idea of wearing some dead mans helm’’.

Thief smiled ‘‘No problem my freind, funny thing was I think that dead guy wanted me to have it’’.

Black Mage suddenly looked interested '‘What makes you say that ?‘’.

‘‘Well when I lifted it up out of his hands, well it seemed to be stuck, but then I heard a noise. I figured it was the wind but when I looked down I saw the skull was staring straight at me, then it let go as the skull fell to its side, then I noticed then name written on the inside’’.

Fighter looked inside and saw the word Lefain written inside, he almost dropped it with fright.

‘‘Lefain, is that were the master came from’’ he asked Black Mage.

‘‘Yes, maybe he’s still looking out for us, even from beyond the grave’’ Black Mage replied, a sense of foreboding in his voice.

There was a collective shudder amongst the group, then a relief, they knew that no matter what they faced their master would be fighting alongside them, in soul if not in body.

Fighter placed the helm back on his head; he became one of the few humans to have ever used a piece of Lefain equipment.

The princess merely watched, wondering why they were so concerned over a helmet.

They returned to Corenia the next day without trouble (although Thief had a suspicion they were being followed by Red Imps) and they returned to the castle in glory.

They had a procession of guards and civilians waiting, they were led to the castle and then to the throne room.

As soon as they entered the King and Queen ran towards their daughter and hugged her, tears rolling down their faces.

‘‘My beloved daughter, i will make sure nothing ever hurts you again’’ the king whispered to the princess, she only cried more.

He straightened himself up and spoke to the assembled people, joy was apparant in his voice.

‘‘From this day forth let it be known that the Light Warriors have returned to us, the Fighter, the Thief, the Black mage and the White mage. Due to the return of our heroes we shall finish the bridge between Pravoka, we will raise an army and we will drive out the pirate scum’’.

Everyone in the chamber cheered loudly, the noblemen, merchants and guards all cried out as one.

The King surveyed the chamber and noticed that the Light Warriors had remained silent.

Fighter looked at the king and merely shook his head, angered by such useless bravado, the King spoke once more.

‘‘We shall destroy the pirates who have overun our neighbour city of Pravoka, Fighter will you help us?’’.

Fighter looked into the kings eyes and spoke, a silence filled the chamber becuase his words inspired fear in those who were not Light Warriors.

‘‘For nearly all of our lives we have been known by our professions, we are the prophecy incarnate. Yet something the prophecy did not say was that we are people, not mindless faces who kill evil beasts and knights’’.

Something awoke within Fighter, a rage he had never known before, everything hit him at once.

He was an outcast, he was dangerous, he was something to be feared.
All he had was his freinds and he came to blows with them most of the time.
The only man who understood him was dead.
He couldnt take anymore of the prophecy

The Prophecy…

He raised his sword and screamed so loud that the people outside could hear.


He thrust his sword into the ground, it was sunk half way into the stone, all the soldiers were aghast at this incredible feat of strength.

Fighter approached the king, he grabbed him by his robes and pushed his face straight into his.

‘‘I am a man who fights only to protect those I care about, i am not a prophecy, i am just a human’’.

‘‘My true name is Arthur, i am not the mindless fighting machine you have placed your faith in’’.

‘‘We will deal with the pirates, it’s our homeland and it is out responsibility. Come my freinds, we must prepare’’.

For a second they hesitated, but they felt the same, they just lacked the courage to admit it.

Fighter turned and marched out of the throne room, his friends turned and followed.

The king and the guards could only watch as they left, silence dominated the chamber as a chill swept through the room.

The darkness seemed closer than ever.

I’m sorry to hear about your computer woes, scott, and once again I am very sorry that I didn’t make backups of the fics on the board.
But the story is looking as good as ever and I hope that you’ll manage to get back to Ties of Blood as well soon.

Into The Heart Of The Story

Chapter 2 - The Past and Present


They stood on a bridge spanning a far and fast running channel of water, two lands once seperated were now joined by this landmark creation and the people who now walked across it were the cause of its being.

The bridge of Light as it was commonly known, named after those who inspired its creation, the Light Warriors.

It had been less than a month ago that these four youths appeared before the soverign ruler of Corenia, a Kingdom who was betrayed by its iconic hero, the undefeated knight Garland. He was a man who won a war for the kingdom and could have anything he desired except for the one thing he truley wanted, the hand of the King’s daughter, the Princess Sara.

When he learnt that she was betrothed to the son of the King of elves he was crushed, turning to dark arts he became a warrior of evil, who in one foul swoop slew most of the kings guards and kidnapped the Princess Sara, taking her to the broken site of evil, the Temple of Fiends.

It was then, when all seemed lost, four orphans visited the king, sent by their dying master to begin a prophecy foretold a century before, yet unfortunatly for the king they did not believe they were truley the Light Warriors of legend. The King was unsure of how to react to this but asked for the help of the youths anyway.

They left for the Temple of Fiends, after a battle in Imp infested woods they found the run-down, fallen site of evil. Inside this place they confronted the evil Garland and slew him (but not before he gave a chilling portent of the future).

With the Princess safe (and after a strange find outside the temple) the Light Warriors returned to Corenia, yet when they got there they all but denounced the title of Light Warriors, wishing only to return to their homeland of Pravoka that had been taken over by a Pirate armada.

After over three weeks preparing in Corenia the bridge was finally built, although they claimed they were not the Light Warriors they wanted for nothing in the town. The merchants and armorers of Corenia saw it only fit to give them what they needed for the journey ahead.

When they were ready they left Corenia (through crowds of teary well wishers), they had reached the bridge after less than a days travel, as it was coming to sunset they reached the halfway point.

One of the four decided to stop, he approached the railing at the edge of the bridge and stared at the sunset, watching the light reflected in the water ripple with the waves.

He was the one known as Fighter, as his name implied he was the strongarm of the group, skilled in the use of sword, sheild and axe, he was the warrior of the group. The light from the sun glinted off the new suit of iron chainmail he had been given, over which he wore a Corenian knight’s tabard (bearing the royal symbol of a gold dragon holding a crown and a griffon weilding a emerald scepter), wearin a dark brown cloak over his back. At his side he carried a broadsword longer than his arm and a steel sheild (also with the royal symbol) on his shoulder. The most startling piece of equipment he wore however was his helm, an item of strange design made from an unknown material, found outside the Temple of Fiends and given under strange circumstances, it appeared to be made by the ancient (and most thought exctint) race of Lefain.

“We should have used the boat Master left us, too much time has been spent lounging in Corenia, the Pirates have probably turned into the city into a fortress” Fighter said, staring into the reflection of the sun.

The other three stopped, one of them walked over to the railing and stood next to Fighter, although he was only slightly smaller in height and build he was no less skilled and no less deadly.

He was the one known as Thief, swift of blade and sleight of hand he was the shadow that protected the group if they realised it or not. Dressed in studded, dark green leather armor with a long black cloak (which made him near invisible at night), in a scabbard at his back he carried a fine steel rapier, a weapon that relied on speed and accuracy, traits he was famed for. He was a member of the race of elves, smaller in stature to that of humans but longer in life (some have been known to live up to five hundred years of age, although that was rare), he was the only elven member of the Light Warriors yet this mattered little to the group.

“It would have been rude for us to leave with them working so hard, besides its better that we prepared for what was ahead” Thief told Fighter, staring at the same sun.

The last two joined them, for a moment it reminded them of their more carefree youth, the nights spent with their master in the house they owned outside of Pravoka, their hometown.

The first of these was the one known as White Mage, dressed in long white robes with a red trim, beneath this she wore a suit of light chainmail, she kept this covered however to surprise the enemies who thought she was the weakest member of the group. In the arm of her robes she kept a hidden silver warhammer, but her true weapon was her magic, granted by the god of light and honor Odin, because she faithfully served and upheld his ideals he gave her the power to heal and to control the elements (to a degree). During her stay at Corenia she was allowed into the hallowed inner sanctum of the Odin preists, there she was taught new spells and granted power as payment for her defeat of Garland.

Last of the group was the one known as Black Mage, garbed in night blue robes with silver arcane runes of defence woven into it, wearing a wide brimmed wizards hat that seemed to create a shadow across his face, all one could see of his features were two yellow tinted eyes (a side effect of his magic use). Carrying an oak staff and a dagger, these were last resorts compared to his true weapon of magic, an intangible energy field that could be tapped into by those who trained hard at harnessing its power. This magic allowed Black Mage to create elements and use them as forms of attack and defence, mainly the ability to control Fire, Ice and Lightning but these were often enough. When Garland was defeated the Guild of Black Mages shared there secrets with him, teaching him new and more powerful spells for his journey ahead.

The four of them stood staring out over the water, for a while nothing was said, however White Mage finally broke the silence with a question they had all been asking themselves.

“My freinds, what are we going to do if we free Pravoka?” she said quietly, the wind seemed to pick up around them at this point.

They stood in silence for a short time longer before Fighter broke it again.

“You seem pretty confident that we will win, there could be an army holding Pravoka for all we know, perhaps the Pirates are in league with some other group”.

White Mage turned and leaned back on the railing, she reached beneath her shirt and pulled a small gem attached to a chain from around her neck.

“Since we heard the rest of the prophecy i’ve been thinking, i know we were never sure about being Light Warriors but after recent events i am not so sure anymore, i know you do not want to help the people Fighter but i think we should keep an open mind until we have dealt with Pravoka”.

Fighter stepped back from the railing and walked back to the center of the bridge, he looked up to the sky and spoke again.

“I know what you mean, i have also had my doubts but i dont want to make a solid decision until we have freed our home, when we are done there we will decide what we shall do next, what do you think?”

White Mage smiled and nodded, when Fighter kept a calm he was a good thinker, she looked to Thief and Black Mage for their decisions.

Black Mage only nodded, glad that a decision had been reached, Thief stared for a moment longer then gave his answer.

“Fine, but before we do we should visit the master’s grave, to properly say goodbye”.

The others had also considered this, without words they gathered their gear and continued across the bridge.

Realised that Part 1 is a bit long so im doing it in two installments.

Part 1 = The Past

They were reaching the end of their first day of travel, it would take them (at theit current pace) at least three days to reach Pravoka. The moon was bright in the sky and it was Fighter’s watch, he stared at the campfire while the others slept, letting his other senses take precedence (most creatures of the night were easier to hear than to spot).

He was surprised how easily his freinds slept, although he supposed that the revelations of late had been hard to deal with. Before they met the King their was no solid evidence that they were indeed the Light Warriors, the others were never sure what to think about the prophecy. Fighter however denied it, he always thought of it as a hoax, a way of assuring the populace that everything was going to be alright in the end.

The idea that he and his freinds could be the Light Warriors always baffled him, the common belief was that the hero’s of the prophecy would be perfect, brave and noble warriors, dedicated to fighting evil. He knew this desciption certainly didnt match him and his freinds, they all had problems to resolve, Black Mage seemed to crave only magical power and Thief wanted possesions and gold.

White Mage was the only one who seemed to fit the role, however even she was not perfect, because of her devotion to Odin and his ideals she found it hard to accept other forms of belief. She saw good and evil as clearly as black and white, not noticing (or choosing not to) other ways and ideas.

Fighter stared deeper into the flames, he knew very well his own weakness, anger and rage that blinded his common sense. The rigours of life had touched him deeper than his freinds, making him perhaps the hardest to understand. This would not be so much of a problem if not for his strength, what he loses in skill he makes up for in an almost unearthly power and endurance, striking fear into those who caused such emotion within his mind.

A noise awakened him from his thoughts, a strange scraping sound as if something was dragging itself across the ground. With weapon already in hand he awoke his companions, it was not long before all four were up and ready for battle. Yet nothing could be seen outside of the light of the campfire, White Mage lifted her hands and called upon one of the powers granted to her.

“By the power of Odin, let there be Light!”.

A bright burst of light lit up the area, the sound of animals retreating away from them could be heard all around. Black Mage finished gathering the energy necessary for a spell and searched for a target, when he saw what had alerted Fighter he stopped, letting the power subside.

The others wondered why he stopped casting, then they to saw what had made him pause.

It was hard to work out what it was at first, it took a moment for their sight to adjust from dark to light, but what they could make out was a slender being that moved slowly towards them. Soon however they could see all too clearly what had disturbed the camp.

A broom.

A broom was dragging itself into the light, it seemed to stop when the light had fallen onto it. Then the impossible happened, something that made the four stand dumbfounded.

The broom spoke.

“I say” a voice emmanated from the broom “Are you the Light Warriors?”.

The four stood silently, amazed at the sight.

The broom waited a moment before speaking again.

“Are you the one’s known as Black Mage, Fighter, Thief and White Mage?”.

Black Mage then noticed a glitter from near the bottom of the broom, it came from a spherical shape imbedded within the wood. When the light started to fade to a duller level he noticed it was a gem set like a pommel stone into the broom’s surface, then it became clear to him what it was. He had heard stories of such things during his training, but it was thought only one person could create them, a person thought dead…

“Matoya” he said aloud.

The broom turned slightly so that the gem was facing Black Mage.

“So you know my master then?” the voice spoke again.

Black Mage seemed to relax at this, he bade his freinds to lower their weapons, he approached the broom.

“She was one of the most powerful and respected of my order, but everyone thought she was dead” he replied.

“No, she still walks this land, the people of the Orb do not die easily” the broom spoke back.

“Who are the people of the Orb?” Black Mage asked.

“I would explain but i cannot linger, these are unsafe lands and i have been sent to find you. My master bade me to invite you for a meeting at her abode, although perhaps i should let her explain why she requests your presence.” the broom spoke, then waited silently.

Black Mage was surprised at this “But how are we to find her?”.

The broom’s gem glowed brightly for a second, then the light faded.

“I am to lead you to her home, although she claims to understand if you decline” the broom spoke once more.

The gem glowed once more, after a small delay it spoke again “I have been instructed only to tell you this, she has answers regarding your past and your future, if you help her with some…business then she will aid you greatly”.

“I will await outside your camp for your answer” the broom said this and dragged itself towards the edge of the light from White Mage’s spell.

The other three still watched the marvelous creation, Black Mage stood lost in thought.

White Mage finally broke the silence “Who is this Matoya?”.

Black Mage turned to her, his eyes had an unusal glint, almost as if he was excited about something.

“Matoya was, or should i say is the most powerful black mage who ever lived, helping establish many schools of magic and defeating creatures of great evil. One day she simply vanished, it was quite some time ago so most presume her dead”.

Thief stared at the thing dragging itself away from them “How do you know that this Matoya is something to do with the broom”.

Black Mage followed Thief’s gaze to the broom “As powerful as she was Matoya was also known for her eccentric nature, she made several powerful gemstones that could make base objects come to life. She was the only mage powerful enough to do it, i believe the reason that creature moves and talks is because the gem embedded in the handle is one of those stones”.

White Mage looked upon the broom with scorn “How do we know that some evil wizard slew Matoya and is using the things she made, i think this is a trap”.

Fighter put his blade back into its scabbard " I agree with White Mage, why should we trust this thing that arrived in the dead of night?".

Black Mage merely shrugged “If someone more powerful than Matoya appeared then why does it not simply wipe us off the face of the earth with magic. It matters not however, i cannot miss the oppurtunity to meet the greatest of my order, i go with or without you”.

The others watched as Black Mage gathered his things, he turned to see what their decision was.

“Well?” he asked.

Thief stepped forward “I will go with you, if something evil is trying to trap us then we stand a better chance together”.

White Mage stood her ground " I am not going, this whole thing seems absurd, if this Matoya wants us then why doesnt she come herself, i am going on to Pravoka".

Fighter seemed indecisive “I agree with White Mage, but i dont want to split the group apart, why dont we deal with Pravoka and come back later?”.

The four slowly turned from calm suggestions to arguments, neither side was willing to yield.

Then a voice came from outside the camp, the broom was calling to them.

“Excuse me but i have just been sent word from the master, i have been told the only way for me to get you all to come is to say your true names”.

The four stopped dead in their tracks, all thought that the broom was bluffing, only they and their deceased master knew their true names.

“Fighter, your true name is Arthur, Thief, your true name is James, White Mage, your true name is Nina, Black Mage, your true name is Cid”.

This shocked them to their core, those names had not been spoken in years, how could someone have known of their existence.

The gem on the broom glowed brightly “I can see i have swayed you, Matoya has known about you for some time, if you would be so kind as to gather your things and follow me”.

Without words the Light Warriors gathered their equipment, White Mage gave Black Mage an apologetic look, he just smiled at her.

The four freinds were ready, soon they were following the guiding light of the broom’s gem, to what goal they were unsure.

Sorry for the delay, iv really added to this chapter as those who have read the original can attest, so much so that i have been forced to do it in three parts (of which this is the second).


After three hours of travel the broom stopped, they were in a grove of seven oak trees that seemed to have grown in a perfect semi-circle. The whole area had a certain sense of serenity, a mystical area that held an aura of nature and magic in harmony.

The broom seemed to be motionless, the light of the gem in its surface flickered slightly, it was at that moment Thief noticed something, he tapped Black Mage on the shoulder.

“You have also noticed it?” Black Mage asked.

“The darkness here, i normally see well in the dark but i cannot see past the trees” Thief whispered into his ear, not wishing to alarm the others.

“Yes the dark is magical, but what kind i cannot tell, this grove is literally overflowing with energy, it confuses my senses” Black Mage whispered back.

Then the light from the broom returned, it turned to face the four.

“You have been accepted by the master, now you may enter her home, please excuse the illusions for she has many powerful enemies” the broom spoke in its disembodied voice.

When he finished speaking the wind picked up around them, the trees in the grove began to sway and leaves flew in all directions. Black Mage noticed a magical aura coming from the trees that wasnt there before, then he saw something peculiar, the shadows from the trees seemed to be moving.

The shadows of the seven trees started to move towards each other, within the light of the broom they touched, connected this way something had started to happen at the center of the grove. A set of stairs leading straight down into the earth was revealed, the shadows parted and the winds stopped, the doorway was open.

A feeling of calm returned to the grove and to the four, the broom started to drag itself down the stairs, the guiding light still shining.

With a sense of anxiety the four followed, down the stairs into the darkness, following the bouncing light as it moved ahead of them.

The light finally stopped, when they had gotten closer a door was visible, the broom was waiting next to it.

“Can one of you open this for me?” the broom called up.

With a sigh Fighter moved to the front of the group, with his hand on sword he opened the door slowly, the broom quickly moved into the gap and into the next room.

The four prepared themselves, if a hostile force did wait for them then they would be ready.

Fighter pushed the door open and drew his blade in one swift motion.

Yet what was beyond made him stop, it was something very unexpected.

What lay beyond the door was a spacious hallway, the walls appeared to be made from fine white marble and were decorated with paintings and tapestries that seemed to be ancient. From the ceiling hung crystal chandeliers (Thief’s eyes seemed to bulge from their sockets as he realised their worth) a faint light emanated from these yet seemed to fill the hall

Black Mage could feel a strange magical aura around them, it felt like the area they were in was larger than it should be, as if it was somehow strechted or bound. The broom dragged itself to a large set of oaken double doors at the end of room, waiting for assistance.

The group slowly walked down the hall, the decoration and artwork was indeed beautiful, yet it all felt unnatural, as if none of it was truley real, Fighter opened the next door and was ready as before for the worst.

Light streamed through as Fighter slowly pushed the door open, the broom bounded inside as fast at it could, this next room was just as opulant as the first except it appeared to be a dining room. A large oak table surrounded by chairs set with fine cutlery and plates, everything was in such a way that it looked like dinner was about to be set.

The broom moved to a door at the other end of the room, this door however opened by itself, Black Mage was amazed that such magic was being used for simple tasks.

“Please be seated, the master will be with you soon!” the broom called out before it disappeared into the darkness behind the door.

The four were left to their own devices, everything about the situation felt…unnatural to them, all this finery and magic seemed a bit extreme for a lone wizard. Black Mage ran his hand across the surface of the table, feeling magical energy sparking around his fingers, although he had an appreciation of enchanments he wondered why a table would need such. Thief seemed the least affected by the situation, he was the first to sit down and inspect the items that lay in front of him, silver cutlery that also had an odd feel about them, apart from Black Mage was the most attuned to magic (being a member of the elven race whom are closer to natural forces than humans) yet even he felt out of place.

Eventually the others overcame their misgivings and sat down, laying down their packs cloaks they wondered what was in store for them.

Then the door at the end of the room opened once more, the broom pushed itself into the room and stood behind the last empty seat.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, i present to you the master of this domain, the lady of the orb, Matoya the Black!” the broom spoke to the four in a loud voice.

The four looked to the door, expecting it to open once more, a cough from the once empty seat caught their attention.

“Greetings Light Warriors, my name is Matoya, welcome to my humble abode, please excuse my servants uncultured welcome”.

Matoya was a women who’s age was hard to determine, she appeared to be in her early thirties but seemed to have an aura of age and power that defied her look. When she spoke experience and wisdom seemed to flow through her words, yet this seemed the most natural thing about her. She wore long black robes with silver sigils that seemed to move of their own accord across the fabric, her long silver hair flowed down to her shoulders, accentuating her almost unearthly beauty. Black Mage felt a powerful aura of magic surrounding her like nothing he had ever experienced before, it was then he noticed something strange about her, the normal yellow taint of magic did not show in her eyes, in fact she did not even notice his stare.

She was blind.

“Im sure most of you have noticed my blindess, but let me assure you my power allows me to see far beyond that of human eyes, i can see you all as clearly as you see each other, so do not think for one moment that this gives you an advantage over me, i could strike you down with a mere thought if i was so inclined” her words filled them with a mixture of wonder and dread.

They did not doubt her for a second.

“But forgive me, im sure you have many questions, im sure you are tired and hungry, let us have supper before we talk” Matoya spoke softly this time.

With a wave of her hand a sumptous banquet lay before the four, some of the finest food they had ever seen was there, boiled potatoes, potted turkeys , roast lamb, honey glazed ham and so many side dishes that White Mage felt guilty even looking at them, thinking of how many poor could be fed with this.

The others looked longingly at the food before them, several bottles of fine wine appeared also with immaculate crystal glasses. White Mage however was not so quick to trust such strange surroundings, she decided to use some magic of her own.

“By the grace of our lord let no poison past our lips, Esuna!”.

A single stream of light flowed from her hand, it moved through each piece of food and returned to White Mage’s hand.

“My order has methods to detect poison, i hope you are not offended” White Mage explained to Matoya.

“Of course not, i would have been dissapointed if you were not cautious, many enemies will haunt your path in forms both foul and fair, its good to see the group has a strong women watching over the men” Matoya said smiling.

The others were about to complain when they realised they almost ate the food without checking.

“But as im sure your freind can tell you the food is not poisoned, please enjoy your food and perhaps we can talk” Matoya smiled, one of the bottles floated into the air and filled her glass with a dark red wine.

“Supper is ready” Matoya announced as the gentle sound of a harp played around them.

With a nod from White Mage they picked up knife and fork eagerly and began.

Exams all next week…no updates till after unfortunatly:(

You take care of the exams first and foremost, scott. No stress.

Exams are done, i have lots of free time and hope to get some writing done, heres what i was working on before i had to leave, hopefully the next update will wrap up the chapter.

Jesus this is gonna be one of the longest chapters iv ever done.

A short while later they were finished, the Light Warriors ate until they were stuffed, it seemed no matter how much was eaten more food appeared to replace it.

The remaining scraps and morsels faded from view with a simple wave of Matoya’s hand, crystal jugs filled with water appeared in their place (alongside the bottles of wine) and napkins in place of the plates.

“Once you are suitably relaxed we can talk about why you are here” Matoya lay back in her chair, watching each of the four in turn.

Some were not so eager to wait however, Black Mage had grown steadily impatient throughout the evening, the food sating his hunger but not his curiosity.

“Excuse my haste lady but why have you sought us out?” he finally had the courage to ask.

Matoya regarded Black Mage with her empty stare, she finally smiled and spoke.

“I have known of your coming for a long time now, since before you were born even, this day has long been awaited and now you can finally be told of your past” Matoya’s clear voice rang around the hall.

“All this started twenty five years ago, precisly five years before the War of the Crowns, or rather i should say it started long before that, back to when i was no more than an apprentice”.

“In my fledgling days i was very skilled in the art of magic, but back in the day their were no schools or guilds that taught gifted youngsters like today, pupils were taught by a single master and as such the number of black mages was few, i wanted to change that”.

“Once my master thought i was ready to leave i joined up with three other adventurers in Corenia, the warrior Ragnor, the white mage Unne and a rather peculiar individual who used both kinds of magic, he was Lukhan…”.

“The man who told the prophecy” Thief blurted out.

Matoya smiled, for a moment she seemed to be lost in her own memories, eventually she came to and continued.

“Yes Thief you are correct, together the four of us adventured across the world, fighting evil and helping the innocent, our names almost became legendary but it was not enough for us however, despite all our work their were still a group that had bested us, four people who had dissapeared long before we were born, the Lefain born Sky Warriors”.

“They had fought the four demons Chaos sent to plague this world, defeating each in turn and cornering them in the Temple of Fiends, with an army of primitive humans, elves and dwarves they marched against the evil hordes that had gathered, defeating them in a spectacular battle that lasted days, then the Sky Warriors told their companions to leave and for the races to go home, they wanted to fight the four demons themselves”.

“To this day no one knows what happened in the temple, but both the Sky Warriors and the four evils vainshed, no trace of them has ever been found”.

This story was already known to the Light Warriors, their master was one of the last Lefain and the tale was well known to him.

“We wanted to be the most well known group of adventurers in the world, that is perhaps why we first sought out an item of magic so powerful and dangerous that no one would dare seek it out, not even those who serve evil, or at least thats what the legends told us”.

“But tales of danger did little to dampen our spirits, following stories and historical records we learnt that the item was hidden in the vaults of an underground Ogre kingdom, lacking the strength to siege the city we aimed to sneak inside its walls…”.

“That’s suicide, Ogre’s are a warlike race, their cities are impenetrable from what i hear” Fighter interrupted, speaking plainly.

“To us that was part of the fun, preparing as best we could the four of us were granted permission by the king of the dwarves to enter the tunnels leading away from his kingdom, straight into Ogre territory” Matoya took a sip of wine then contuined.

“With the aid of magic we barely got within the city walls, but when we discovered that the item was even further underground and behind powerful guardians both Ogre and magical we despaired, it took most of our strength to get that far and we were in no position to fight any further, we prepared to leave the city”.

“Thats when we heard the call, the four of us heard a voice speaking to us in our sleep, it promised to help us suceed if we helped it escape, we eagerly accepted in our desire for sucess”.

“The voice told us everything we needed to know, where we could find the vault, the weaknesses of its guardians and how to break the final deadly enchantments that held it bound, with this knowledge we besieged the underground treasure chamber, defeating every challenge laid before us”.

The Light Warriors were in awe of the story, Matoya took another sip, letting the story sink in.

“Me, Unne and Lukhan finally broke the final enchantment, but this triggered an alarm, soon most of the Ogre city was in arms and charging towards our position, this meant little to us however as we entered the final chamber, to find only a single stone plinth and resting on that an ordinary glass orb”.

“But our discovery was not as sparse as we thought, enraged my companion Ragnor picked up the orb and preprared to throw it against the wall, but his hand stopped midway…as our mysterious benefactor was revealed”.

“It was the glass orb, it was the item we heard of, an aritfact so powerful that it had a sentient will of its own, it communicated with a form of telepathy that worked better in dreams, it practically begged me to take it from the chamber as it held an enchantment that dampened its powers”.

“The magic users of the group wanted to do this, however Ragnor argued against it, Ogre’s are a race of warriors but they arent stupid, he thought they must had a reason to seal it away, but we could simply abandon the quest, in the end it was i who carried the orb from the room”

“But the Ogres soon arrived, we were surrounded and weakend by the trials we had faced, but although our bodies were tired our spirits flared stronger than ever, we prepared to die fighting, to die gloriously on the field of battle”.

“But the orb had other plans however…”.

“With its power returned it used a powerful magic none of us had ever experienced, we were all transformed into luminous beings, creatures of light that could move at incredible speed, the orb controlled our magical forms and before we knew it we were back on the surface”.

“So glad to see the sky again we collapsed on the floor, the orb had drained some of our life force along with using its power, with a last message it told us to take it to a place called ‘Crescent Lake’, their it promised that our destinies would began”.

“When we fit to travel we made our way to the nearest village, there we rested up and prepared for the next stage of the journey, finding this place called Crescent Lake, the orb had become silent so we made our way to Corenia to find the cartographers guild”.

“After a few months of looking over old maps we came to a place that seemed to fit the name, a lake shaped vaguely like a crescent moon, once again we travelled and finally the four of us reached the place on the map…but nothing happened”.

“Once again despair took a hold, we wondered if we had done something wrong or if it was the wrong place, we decided to rest that night on the shores of the lake”.

“It was my watch on that fateful night, i was stating into the center of the orb, waiting for some sign, then Lukhan awoke with a start, claiming he heard the voice that spoke in the Ogre city”.

“Then the others awoke, both saying the same about the voice, it was then we noticed the light of the full moon on the water, the orb had awoken in this place of magic, then it spoke to us again, told us of our destiny”.

“It told us about you…”.

A chill swept through the room, the Light Warriors looked at each other in turn, Matoya had a look of triumph on her face, she had been waiting a long time to tell this story.

When the four were ready she continued.

Spent the past week helping my bro move house so have been too busy or tired to write, but im back now and finally can finish Chapter 1…


“Our minds were flooded with images of war, of elves slaying dwarves, humans slaying elves and cities being burned and looted, it almost more than we could take”.

Matoya placed her glass delicatly on the table, she seemed overcome by the terrible memory of what she saw.

“Forgive me, the orb made sure we saw some horrific things, it tried to install a sort of fear, it promised that no matter our actions we could not prevent this war, but we could stop an even more terrible war from happening after it”.

“It revealed a terrible secret, the four elemental demons that the dark god Chaos had created long ago had returned…”.

“But i thought the Sky Warriiors had defeated them long ago, that is what our master said” Thief commented.

“Your master was Lefain born, it is likely their legends state that they slew the demons when the truth is no one knows what happened, it seemed that whatever happened long ago was not enough, the four had returned albeit in a weakend state”.

“Yet not weak enough that they were defenceless, the fiend of air took flight once more, the five headed dragon Tiamat is what legends say it was, somehow she found the floating citadel of the Lefain, with one single stroke she nearly wiped out the race”.

The room was silent, the four knew that the Lefain were nearly extinct…but they never knew how.

“Your master fought alongside his people, fighting the creature so some of his people could escape, he even resorted to unlocking a secret weapon of the Lefain that nearly slew both him and the fiend”.

“But that stories telling must wait for another time, the important thing is we knew the Lefain would be unable to help us in another war against Chaos, the fate of the world lay in the hands of human,elf and dwarf”.

“We were told that the four fiends had each found an orb, four legendary crystals that held the power of the elements, well they drained the power of the crystals and fused it into their bodies, making them stronger than they were and weakening the planet”.

“The orb told us that the first act of our fate was to find these discarded crystals, while they were seperated from the fiends they were still guarded by powerful creatures, we would have to split up and search as individuals”.

“Each of us were given the rough area that the crystals were in, it told us that when we had all found our quarry we were to return, then the orb sat silently”.

“My freinds and i talked all night about what we must do, the mental image of the war still haunted us, we were prepared to do anything to prevent it, even if the orb said we couldnt”.

“We decided we would split up and search for the crystals and return as soon as we could”.

Fighter looked to the others, something just occured to him, he placed his hand over his chest, the others were doing the same.

Matoya smiled, she picked up her glass and took another sip.

“As you seem to be aware, the fate of the four crystals is known to you whether you knew it or not”.

“They are the gifts given to you by your master, the same you were around your neck to this day”.

“The ones you never spoke about around strangers, items you were told were precious and never knew why”.

The four were visibly shocked at this, each reached beneath their tops and pulled out the gem they wore in a clasp around their necks, all looked like dull glass spheres yet held a peculiar light in their center.

“Then its true, this is proof, we are the Light Warriors” Thief said amazed.

For once Fighter did not immediatly comment, he just sat staring at the stone.

Matoya took another sip and placed the glass down, with a sigh of content she smiled at the four.

“My story is not yet done, in fact it has only just begun”.

The four turned back, glad that they had accepted the brooms invitation.

Nice, scott :slight_smile:
By the way, do you want this newer version in the archives instead of the old one?

That is a good idea…i had not considered it.

Sure, ill send you the files once i have completed all of Part 2, then i hope to go back and do a chapter of Ties of Blood.

That sounds great :slight_smile:

Sorry that iv been doing this in small doses, i promise the next update will be bigger.

Part 2 : The Present

“After several years searching in the volcanic region of Gurgu i found the discarded stone of Fire, the same you wear Black Mage, as i suspected it was devoid of all but a spark of energy”.

Matoya spoke breifly about her journey that took her to the almost inhospitable mountain range of Gurgu, almost as if it were something she would rather forget.

“Soon after i found it i was being followed, with the help of hired swords and guide’s hired in Corenia i was fortunate enough to survive many ambushes. At one point i even felt the terrible presence of the Fiend of Fire, i was lucky enough to avoid it, more lucky than some”.

Matoya’s face went dark, hurtful memories once again plaguing her.

“We met again at Crescent lake, the four of us each bearing the elemental crystals (each with little energy left) and the Orb spoke to us again. But even though we had all aged and learned one of us seemed unusally different, my faithful companion Ragnor seemed to be preoccupied, i promised myself i would look into it at another time however”.

“The Orb was more powerful than when we had found it, i had taken it with me and it had taught me powerful magic to supplement my already formidable powers. Now we had found the stones we were given freedom of sorts, we were told to prepare for the war that would happen and each was to ‘follow our ambitions’”.

“My faithful freind Lukhan wished to stay at Crescent lake, with his share of the gold we accumulated over the years he built an academy of warriors who used melee weapons and both forms of magic like he did, he single handidly started the school of Red Mages”.

“The preist Unne travelled far away, he said he wanted to find the remnants of the Lefain race who were trapped on earth and seek their help, he occasionally sends messages on his progress (unfortunatly there has been little)”.

“Ragnor went into training alone, he wanted to lead the human forces and their allies to victory, yet he still seemed distant, when i pressed him he would not reveal why he felt this way, i will explain his fate later”.

“I on the other hand was given a very specific mission, i was told to create a base of operations in this region, the Lefain who survived the destruction of his people had survived the terrible battle and was wandering the land as an adventurer. I was to look for him and reveal the fate of his people whom he thought were lost and to bring him to Corenia for he had a very special purpose”.

“He was the warrior Berrandar, your master who looked after you since you were children”.

The five all sat in silence for a moment.

“I am sorry i have kept you up this late, while i am sure you would like me to continue it is getting late, perhaps we can talk more in the morning”.

“Wait” Black Mage said suddenly “What about the war, your blindness, Ragnor and our master”.

Matoya smiled “I know i have said much and your minds must be ablaze with curiosity, yet you need to digest all that i have told you and be more eager to learn in the morning, i also must sleep you understand”.

The four didnt realise how tired they indeed were, it had been a long and strange day.

Matoya smiled once more “The brooms will lead you to your rooms”.

As if they heard her four brooms entered the room and led each Light Warrior to a spacious room with a double bed and a chest for them to put their equipment and armor in.

Matoya left the room last, she walked down the long corridors to her room, it had indeed been a long day

She had waited a long time to tell the story, yet the circumstances are different than what she had expected. It was the last thing she wanted to do, to ask the Light Warriors to help her.

Lost in her thoughts she simply stood and stared at a bare pedestal, something that once held an item of great power and of utmost importance.

“I hope they can return you to me, if not then all we had fought for may have been for naught”.

With a last vacant stare at the pedestal she prepared to sleep, hoping the next day would be better than the last.

Fighter awoke with a start, the images of a skeletal figure dressed in violet robes had haunted his dreams, he could still remember its burning red eyes staring at him. He sat up and pulled his sword out of its scabbard, although he was in the care of one of the strongest Black Mages in the world he still felt safer holding his weapon.

He looked at his reflection in the blade, one thing his master had drilled into him at a young age was that he should always keep his equipment in top condition. The steel of his sword gleamed brightly and the edge was sharp, thanks in part to Black Mage’s magic. Sweat covered his face and matted down his hair, his eyes were wide open and his heart still beat rapidly.

Knowing that he would not get back to sleep Fighter leaned back against the wall, the cool stone helping him to relax from his nightmare, he could still remember vague images of the creature and the way it laughed cruelly at his discomfort.

“No point in fretting about it” Fighter said to himself “May as well just get up”.

He clamoured out of bed and a sinlge torch flared into life over the doorway, Fighter quickly changed into his clothes and then his armor. After he finally put his sword back in its scabbard and tied it to hsi belt he left the room and returned to the dining room.

Everyone was already there it seemed, Matoya and the other three were sat chatting excitedly and eating breakfast. None of his companions were wearing any armor other than he (although Black Mage wore none anyway) and Fighter felt slightly strange as he rejoined them at the table.

“Good morning Fighter, how would you like some breakfast?” Matoya asked.

Fighter nodded and Matoya snapped her fingers, several plates of mouthwatering food appeared before him, he eagerly began to tuck in as the others continued talking.

“We have been discussing a rather distressing matter im afraid” said White Mage to Fighter.

“Indeed, we have been talking of my former apprentice, a Dark Elf (i realised too late) who stole the precious Orb from me…”. explained Matoya quickly.

“You mean you dont have the Orb anymore?” Fighter asked, a piece of toasted bread in his hand.

“I am afraid not, you see it was less than a year ago that a young elf managed to find my hidden home, he was a brilliant Mage and had a vast intellect. Unfortunatly he was also something of a charmer, he convinced me to take him as apprentice” Matoya said to Fighter.

Black Mage’s eyes narrowed, Fighter caught this out of the corner of his eye, it took a great deal to enrage his calm freind. He wondered what was causing his anger.

“I taught him many of my secrets, some i had promised not to teach anyone, but as i said he is a charmer, after he thought he had learnt everything he stole the orb from me and took flight back to his home country of Elfland, this was less than three weeks ago” Matoya adressed the whole group with this comment.

“But Dark elves are banished from Elfland, he would surely be hunted and slain” Thief said quickly.

“This is not some foolish youth who decided darkness was absolute, my former apprentice is very powerful and also very evil” Matoya retorted.

“You see Dark Elves are not made naturally, some individual elves decide that power and possesions are worth more than anything else, thus many of them undertake a ritual which greatly alters them”.

“They become willing servants of the god Chaos, for their unwaivering loyalty he gives them a great increase in their magical power, but the body of the subject is put under a lot of pressure and the natural form is quite…unsettling, this change however gives them complete control over their shape”.

“You mean they can turn into other objects?” White Mage asked.

“Only people, nothing that is not sentient, although they have been known to turn into animals and certain large creatures like Ogres and Trolls” Matoya explained.

“The one that stole the Orb from me is known as Astos, with the orb i am afraid he is now nearly unstoppable, unless however…”

“Unless what?” Black Mage asked.

“While i held the Orb it did not reveal all of its secrets nor its powers straight away, it grants you a little to get you started but then it requires a sacrifice of your person, with me it was my sight although that was not much of a sacrifice as i could use the Orbs power to see normally” Matoya continued.

“I realised after Astos fled why the Orb had asked for my sight, he knew this time would come, my power is but half of what it was when i held the Orb and i am forced to choose between my magical eyes and my other black magic spells”

“You mean you cannot cast spells?” Black Mage asked quickly.

“I am afraid not, while i am within the boundaries of my home i can keep my sight and some of my old power, however for many years now i have been guarding these lands against Ogre’s. They have learnt to fear the ‘Dark Witch’ that protects Corenia and Pravoka, but with me not stopping them they may decide it is time to take the surface” Matoya said with a grim expression.

“Do you think that is likely, surely Corenia is also feared by them?” White Mage asked.

“That would have been the case were it not for the Fiend of earth, the creature who drained the elemental crystal Fighter holds has been provoking all sorts of underground races to invade the surface kingdoms, i fear it is only a matter of time before the Ogres make the first move” Matoya responded.

“Is their no way to prevent this?” Fighter asked.

“Their is, i am unable to leave my home for long so i cannot hunt Astos myself, so it falls to the only people who could do such a job…the Light Warriors” Matoya said grandly.

The four looked at each other incrediously, then turned back to face Matoya.

“But the way you described Astos…his power?” Thief said first.

“Against one perhaps but you outnumber him, forcing him to divide his energies between you” Matoya replied.

“He has the Orb, wont that warn him?” White Mage said second.

“The Orb serves only its goal, i doubt it will betray you after it worked so hard to bring you together” Matoya responded smiling.

“Will he not have servants, undead or demons under his command?” Fighter asked third

“I doubt it, while he has magical informants and spies he is also very vain and arrogant, from what i know of him i would not be surprised if he fought you alone, in fact i think he would take pleasure in it” Matoya asnwered.

“But the true question here is will you do it, i cannot force you but i can guide you on the path to your destiny, for me and for your master, will you retrieve the Orb?” Matoya asked softly, her voice little more than a whisper.

“I will”.

Black Mage had just stood up, his hands flickering with magical energy from the table, with a look of pride in his eyes he faced Matoya.

“For Matoya, greatest black mage of an era and my master”.

The others looked surprised at Black Mage, they had never seen him so passionate about something.

They did wish however that he had asked them first.

“I am certainly glad to hear it, i hoped you had gained some of your masters heroism, it seems it was well founded”.

Matoya was smiling at Black Mage who had sat back down, the other Light Warriors gave him a dark look.

‘Err…Black Mage does not speak for the group’ Fighter said giving his freind a questioning look ‘But we would be happy to help you, considering your hospitality’.

Matoya leaned back in her chair, seemingly lost in thought.

“You are all indeed powerful considering your age, however compared to Astos you are lacking, even as a group he would overpower you” Matoya’s spoke, her voice low.

“Then how do you suggest we face him?” Black Mage asked.

“It is not a question of how but of when, you will be stronger in the future, however i wonder if Astos will learn of you and try and slay or mislead you before you are ready” Matoya answered slowly, still thinking.

“I am to understand you are on your way to Pravoka, dealing with the pirate invasion will be a good start to your preparation for what is ahead, however defeating the lowly scum that attacked a defencless port isnt enough”.

The four looked at each other, wondering where she was going with this.

“There is a place, across the sea is the homeland of the elves, it is a place that is currently in a political upheaval, the King is old and some question whether the prince is ready to take the throne. It is also a land of great magic and power, if you can gain the trust of the powers that be then they will prepare you for Astos”.

“That is what you should do, if you succesfully liberate Pravoka then you must travel across the sea, pledge your allegiance to the King and he will give you what you need”.

Thief looked troubled by the idea of going to the homeland of the elves…of his people, yet he still nodded in agreement with the others.

“We cannot promise anything, Black Mage may be willing to take up this quest but what you ask will take a long time to accomplish, i say we leave it to a group vote to decide?” Fighter suggested.

“Whatever we decide i will go, after we have freed Pravoka” Black Mage answered quickly before returning to his normal silent self.

“If Astos is indeed out there then he represents a blight upon this land, dark elves are evil creatures of the highest order, i go with Black Mage”.

Thief had said nothing, he seemed to be contemplating something.

“What say you Thief, do you wish to go to the elven lands?” Fighter asked.

“I did not wish to see my people so soon, i had hoped if i had returned then i would do so in glory, but if Astos is out their and threatening my fellows…” Thief trailed off, his point had been made.

“Well thats three of us going, Fighter?” White Mage asked.

Fighter didnt know what to say, he thought Thief might agreed with him on this one, although he wouldnt see his freinds go into danger alone he did not want to be surrounded by another race who had previously warred against his home.

But loyalty won out against fear.

“Fine, where you go i will lead, it wouldnt do to split the group up” Fighter finally answered.

“Then it is settled, we will attempt to free Pravoka and then we will go to Elfland” White Mage declared.

Matoya had been listening to the whole conversation, what she asked of them was perhaps selfish, but necessary. She was however worried not just about what would happen if Astos slew the Light Warriors but what would happen if they won.

She wondered what Black Mage would do if he held the Orb in his hand, would it make him the same offer it had made her, would he surpass the great Matoya.

These thoughts were a small concern compared to what would happen if Astos was not defeated, she only hoped that following the Orb all those years ago was the right thing to do.

Later that day the four wary visitors prepared to leave, their spirits seemingly high but all the information they had learnt still preyed heavily upon their minds. As they were about to leave only three were waiting at the last corridor before returning to the surface.

“Where is Black Mage?” Fighter asked.

The three had no answers, Thief however asked for silence, his superior hearing had caught something.

“Behind us, down the corridor” he stated.

They slowly followed his directions, when they came to the end they could hear two voices, one was their freind and the other was Matoya’s broom.

“Ignore what she had said to you, magic can be taught in short space of time if the spell is simple enough, i suspect the reason she kept it from you was becuase she was worried about you wanting to learn more of her secrets like Astos did. Well i think she is making a mistake not telling you this spell becuase she had created it originally for all mages to use who dabbled in black magic. You see when the Orb originally gave her a power boost she used it to create a permanent control over the magical force that surrounds this world, with a simple enchantment anyone can become part of the energy for the sake of viewing from a great distance” the broom was speaking excitedly.

“What do you mean i can see from a far away height, the clouds?” Black Mage asked.

“Yes, however you can only view from far away, you cannot spy on people or see beyond a roof or anything similar, the enchantment is TCELES, use it wisely my freind” the broom answered.

“Indeed i will, you have my thanks” Black Mage answered, a twinge of excitement audible in his voice.

The others rounded the corner and saw him, the broom leapt up as if struck by lightning and scurried off.

“Well…i think i am ready, shall we leave?” Black Mage stated, not surprised that his freinds had been listening.

His freinds thought better than to ask about magical affairs, the answers were never to their liking.