Chapter 1: The Rise Of Alcahest
Nobody truly remembers how Alcahest first rose from the Underworld. No written records that were kept during this time of turmoil survie today, and nobody who lived during the first grand battle dare spoke to his children about what had transpired. All that is known is that a being, calling itself Alcahest, rose from the very reached of the Underworld in an attempt to destroy our world.
Many attempted to destroy this foul god and his hoards of minions, but none prevailed; Alcahest himself drew his power from the very reaches of all that is evil, and no good was strong enough at that time to challange his power. It seemed like the battles were hopeless. One after one, the great kingdoms fell, and the lands were covered with the armies of fould undead fiends. The human race began to resign itself to eternal death.
Then one man stood up to challange the foul god. His name has fallen from all memory, but his mark on the fiend is branded into our minds forever. He sought and gained the powers of the four Guardians: Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth. These four elementals of good poured their energy into the creation of the Guardian Blade, the lone weapon that could damage the foul creation from hell. Armed with this power, he stood up to Alcahest and his unholy army.
The land itself quaked with the fury of their battle, but in the end, Alcahest was defeated. Lacking the strength to continue his presence in the Living World, he once again returned to the foul regions of hell. His army fell along with him, save for a few creatures that went into hiding. The great lands soon began to recover, and the race of man had once again been saved from the very visage of evil.
The swordsman himself soon returned to a simpler life of farming and family. The Guardian Blade was returned to the Guardians, who then left for their respective realms until they were needed again. For nearly a 1000 years, it seemed like they would never have to return to our world.
Then the evil returned.
Alcahest had not been destroyed, but simply severely weakened. He still lacked the strength neccessary to return to our world, but that did not stop him from sending others in his place. In truth, one messanger was sent from Hell in order to begin the conquest. His name was Babylom.
An empire sought to conquer the kingdom of Panakeya, but were unable to do so, due to the bravery of Panakeya’s knights. Alcahest saw a potential victory in this, so he sent Babylom to assist them with the powers of darkness. But first, there was the matter with the Guardian Blade…
Chapter 2: The New Hope
Alen was born to a farmer’s stock in the remote areas of the land. He adventured ever since he was a young lad, but never strayed beyond the forest that surrounded his home. This was more on his end than his family’s; he feared what was waiting over there, as if a premonition was always being swept over him.
Alen grew to be the town’s chief hunter. A master with the sword, the elders of the village sometimes said that he reminded them of the warrior who slew Alcahest thousands of years ago. Of course, Alen payed no attention to their remarks; he cared not for the legend of Alcahest and the Guardians. All that concerned him was the life of the villagers and his skill with the blade.
One morning, Alen left the village in search of food. When the day turned up nothing, he returned to find his village in flames. He charged forward, desperate to save as many townspeople as he could. Although a few survived, they were horrifically outnumbered by the massive waves of unholy creatures that attacked the village. Leading them were two beings that resembled a sick cross between lizards and humans. Alen tried to save those who were alive, but was unable to reach them before the Lizardmen. Helplessly, he saw his own brother, one of the survivors, slaughtered at their hands.
Realizing the day was lost, Alen took for the forest yet again, the Lizardmen in pursuit. Alen ran through the forest until he reached a large, omnimous cliff. The Lizardmen drew close. In desperation, Alen drew his sword and charged forward.
His blade was shattered in a single blow.
Alen was soon backed to the very edge of the cliff. Suddenly, a green, humanoid-like creature appeared to the side. It was actually floating in mid-air! “I am Babylom,” said the creature. “The god Alcahest is preparing for his return; he has forseen that a swordsman will wield the Guardian Blade against him yet again. It is his belief that you are that very swordsman. That is why you must die here!” The Lizardmen then drew forward.
Suddenly, the entire area was filled with a blinding light. Alen struggled back, but was unable to proceed much further. Babylom recoiled in complete fear, as if the power was recognizable to him. When the light dissapeared, Alen was gone.
Alen now stood on a grassy mountain, near the cliff he had been trapped mere moments before. A ball of light appeared in front of him. “I am the Guardian of Fire,” said the ball. “If you are to defeat Alcahest, you must once again take the Guardian Blade and strike the foul god back to his hell!” Suddenly, Alen found himself holding a large, curved sword and a bizzare shield. His equipment seemed to pulse with an unknown power.
“If you seek to gain my full power,” said the Guardian, “head for the cave on this mountain. There you will see my true form.” With that, the ball of light vanished into the earth.
Chapter 3: Vengence
Alen stood, dumbstucked at what had just happened. He never cared for the legends of the Guardians; and yet they saved him, presenting him with equipment that could allow him to avenge his village as well as his honor. But was something else at work here? He did not care; all he wanted to do was track down the damn lizardmen that had ruined his life.
The wolves that occupied the mountain began to act strangely at Alen’s appearance; foam dripped down their mouths as a terrifying sneer appeared at his appearance. At first, Alen paid no attention; after all, these creatures would only attack if they felt threatened. Then, when he reached a small gathering of trees, a pack of them leaped at his throat. In desperation, Alen raised his sword and brought it down upon his attackers.
Fur and blood smeared the area as his sword connected with the ravenous wolves. Alen withdrew his blade from the lifeless corpses, and noticed that no blood stained the sword; it was as if it had cut through nothing. This was indeed a special weapon, and for the first time in his life, Alen thanked the Guardians for their assistance.
Alen’s journey through the mountain had lasted only an hour when he saw a pack of wolves close in on someone; a young man, barely even fourteen, wearing the clothing traditional of a student at the Magic University. What a young novice like that was doing on these mountains confused Alen, and he prepared to defend the young man, but it wasn’t neccessary.
The young wizard stuck his staff into the ground and muttered several bizzare words. The staff itself began to glow, and suddenly the entire pack was burnt to ash. Steadying himself, the man turned to Alen, who simply stared on in complete surprise. The wizard extended his hand in friendship.
“Greetings, warrior,” he said, definate signs of fatique in his voice. “My name is Garsten. I came here in hopes of studying the Fire Guardian, but the cave he is reputed to dwell in is filled with poisonous gas. So I guess I’ll just gather what I can from out here. I would stay and chat, but the paper is due in two days. Farewell!” With that, he simply vanished.
Alen stared blankly for a short while, then shrugged and continued onward.
Alen had reached a small cliff when he found his previous pursuers, the lizardmen, standing in ambush. “We are under orders to KILL YOU!” said one of the foul creatures. “Prepare for your doom!”
The pain of seeing his family and friends dying suddenly swept through Alen, filling him with complete determination to destroy these creatures once and for all. He drew his curved blade, and the battle began.
At first, the two monsters attempted to surround Alen and destroy him from two directions. They succeeded in trapping him at the edge of the cliff, but Alen’s mind suddenly began to think clearer than it had ever done before. He blocked the blow of the one to his side with his shield, then used his sword to parry the other’s attack. Just as the attack was parried, Alen swept the sword downward and wounded the lizardman’s leg. Thrown off-balance by the surprise and crippling attack, it stumbled backwards. Alen then used this opportunity to shove the other aside, allowing him a chance to once again take the offensive.
The wounded lizardman charged forward yet again, but the wound had crippled him so much in his leg that he was unable to aim his attack correct. Alen simply side-stepped the failed charge and used the opportunity to knock the lizardman forward. The creature fell off the side of the cliff, striking it’s body against the mountain side the entire time before plunging into the jagged rocks at the bottom. It was truly dead.
The remaining lizardman remained unhindered by the death of his partner, and ran straight towards Alen. However, this was exactly what the swordsman had wanted him to do; the very instand the creature was in range, Alen’s sword went straight into its heart. The monster fell onto its knees, and Alen withdrew the blade and sliced off the head of the creature, insuring its destruction.
Alen looked over the cliff. The entire countryside seemed calmer following the destruction of the monsters that had caused him so much grief. The Alen realized the truth; Babylom had ordered the attack, and thus all this evil was both by his hand and by the being known as Alcahest. Alen swore that he would make certain that they would never return to this realm again.
Then he noticed two strange masks lying near the dead lizardman’s body. Closer examination revealed them to be a type of gas mask; evidently these two had something to do with the Guardian. Whatever it was, Alen knew that without the power of the Guardian, he would have died along with the villagers.
As he left, Garsten suddenly appeared in front of him, a smile on his face. “You have gas masks?” he said, full of enthusiasm. “Then we can enter the cave! I might yet see the Guardian first-hand!” Alen wanted to tell the kid no, but apparantly that wasn’t an option.
Garsten lead him to a small cave built right into the mountain itself. Sighing heavily, Alen helped Garsten get his mask on. They entered the dark, mysterious cave.
Chapter 4: The Fire Cave
The cave appeared to be populated by creatures that had adjusted to the deadly gas. Drawing his sword, Alen lead the way inside. His actions disturbed a colony of bats, but they were soon felled.
After plowing through a row of fragile pillars, they discovered an old hammer lying on the ground; no doubt whoever had been in this cave before had left this behind. Alen picked up the weighty object; it still performed quite favorably. He then took to smashing a nearby wall down; this could destroy walls.
They continued inside the cave, and soon reached a cliffside. A few wolves attacked, but were easily dealt with. However, during the combat, Alen’s hammer flew from the strap on his back to a nearby wall, shattering the obstacle. Inside was a traveller’s skeletal remains, as well as a torn backpack that yielded a still-usable torch and a tinderbox. Picking up the two items, they made their way farther into the cave.
They soon found themselves in a darkened area. The torch somewhat remedied the problem, but they soon saw the lave pits overflowing on the ground. Carefully, the two made their way around to a small chest lying in the side. Alen opened it to reveal two sets of boots, each one cold to the touch. They put them on, and soon found that their feet were no longer blasted by the sweltering heat of the cave. On the way back, however, Garsten slipped, and his foot landed in a puddle of lava; however, he was unharmed, for the boots had the power to ward off heat.
Making their way through the lava, they found themselves facing an enormous hallway. As they took a few steps, a large wall of cooled magma leapt in front of them. Carefully, they made their way around the deadly wall traps before reaching the room at the far end. The instant they stepped through the door, they slid down a slide onto a platform suspended over a pool of lava. A large monster completely enveloped in black armor emerged from the pool, and the voice of the Fire Guardian rang out.
“Now, prove your worth to me! Destroy this Golem!”
Suddenly, the creature swung a giant fist at the two, who then jumped in seperate directions. Alen drew his sword and sliced at the arm, creating a gaping wound. Instead of blood, hot magma poured from the damaged area. The creature withdrew, then charged again, this time at Garsten; the wizard, however, had teleported away from the creature.
Enraged, the Golem prepared to destroy the entire platform. It’s mighty fists rose in the air, and Alen knew that he had precious little time to react. He charged forward and drove the blade straight into the creature’s massive neck. In a mixture of pain and shock, it backed away, while the liquid magma that seemed to act as its blood fell down in pools. Finally, it fell back into the lava, a stone, lifeless corpse.
Suddenly, a strange creature appeared above the place where the Golem had fallen. “I am the Guardian of Fire,” it said. “Your worth has been proven. Head to Panakeya, for that is where the Guardian of Water rests.” With that, it returned to a ball of light and dissapeared into Alen’s sword.
“Well, gotta go!” said Garsten. “I’ve got homework to do.” With that, the wizard vanished. Shrugging, Alen made his way out of the cave and headed north.
Chapter 5: The Invasion
While Alen was battling the Golem, the Emperor and his head general Gordon were planning how to strike Panakeya’s two remaining strongholds; a mountain fortress and the Water Temple. They lacked the manpower to get through the temple, and the fortress was so heavily guarded that half of the Empireal army had been destroyed trying to sieze it. Gordon estimated that it would take them at least two weeks to destroy the fortress if all manpower was focused on it; an estimation that angered the Emperor.
“You fool!” screamed the Emperor, his voice echoing through the halls of his palace. “I will not leave our borders unprotected just so we can destroy some silly fortress! We need to think of a new plan!”
Just then, Babylom entered the throne room. Gordon drew his sword and charged, but the green creature dodged easily. “I have come to aid you, Emperor.”
The Emperor leaned on his throne. “I’m listening.”
After descending from the mountain, Alen found a sign showing the way to Panakeya. After a day-long journey, he reached the small town set outside the Water Temple. Here, he thought, was where he could find the Water Guardian.
He approached the entrance, only to be stopped by several armed guards. “The Princess is reciting the ritual to seal the demon,” they said sternly. “Wait until tommorrow!” With that, they tossed him down the steps.
After dusting himself off, Alen sat on the edge of the docks, watching the gentle flow of the water. Back home, he never had sights like this; all their water came from wells at the edge of the forest, too deep for anyone to look inside. But here, water flowed freely. It was like a being a newborn.
The sound of explosions and screams halted that paradise. Alen turned, just as an explosion rocked where he was standing previously, sending him flying into the water. He was able to grab onto a piece of railing that was still attached, but remained somewhat hidden. Finally, he pulled up enough that he could see.
Emperical soldiers rode into the town, led by a man dressed in light purple. Then he recalled the story that a traveller had told in the commons; about Gordon, the empire’s ruthless military commander. He remained out of sight, not ready to face this many enemies alone.
“Destroy the temple!” screamed Gordon. “Leave no survivors!” With that, they rode to the temple and charged inside.
Suddenly, several robed figures, lead by the being Alen recognized as Babylom, also appeared. They, too, entered the temple.
Pulling himself completely out of the water, Alen drew his sword and shield and charged inside.
Chapter 6: The Princess
The doors were shut, but Alen forced them open with one blow. The empirical soldiers, shocked by this new enemy, attacked blindly. However, many of them ended up victims of Alen’s blade; some ran in sheer terror at the sight of the carnage.
Alen headed farther inside, where he saw a wounded Panakeyan soldier. “Please,” said the man, “save the Princess. The key to the sewers is in my pocket. Please…hurry…” He then died. Full of grief, Alen took the key and escaped to the sewers.
After much searching, Alen found another key. When he returned to the top floor, the soldiers had returned. Once again, they were defeated by Alen’s blade. He then used the key on one of the doors. It fit perfectly.
Inside was a tall, stone tablet depicting a ferocious demon’s head. It’s eyes seemed to burn into Alen’s very soul, and he found it increasingly difficult to concentrate. Suddenly, he found himself in another room entirely.
The new room was long and full of beautiful artwork and ornate floors. At the end was an altar. A young woman was praying to it. When she heard Alen’s footsteps, she spun around, her hands poised to defend herself. Then she recognized the blade.
“You…” she said. “You’re the chosen one. I am Princess Elixil. I am here to seal the demon. Please, we must stop the empire!” She then lead Alen to a secret passageway leading into the temple’s inner sanctum.