Chapter 8a – Race to the Top

Final Fantasy XI: Adventurers of Vana’diel

Chapter 8: The Lord of Shadows
A: Race to the top

Narration: After a long a grueling battle, the party made up of Zeriah, Amerita, Lightwind De’Ragnor, Silverstar, and his twin brother Blackstar were able to pull through and defeat the three evil shadow warriors that had terrorized Vana’diel over the last few months. But it wasn’t met without it consequences. Unable to bring herself to kill her older brother, Zeriah turned Amerita’s Great Katana on herself and allowed herself to be impaled by the sword. This however, struck something within Dark-Evo causing him to become distracted and allowing an angered and hurt Amerita to take Dark Evo’s own sword and rid the world of this evil darkness once and for all. And with the help of Amerita’s mysterious mirror, Evogolist was freed from the darkness and in turn was able to heal and restore his sister Zeriah back to life.

Now all that remains is the powerful dark lord himself, the Shadowlord. As our heroes enter the dark Castle Zvahl, danger lurks around every corner, but where there is darkness, light shines at the end of the tunnel.

Silverstar: So this is Castle Zvahl.

Blackstar: Yeah……evil enough.

Evogolist: Hey Zee, who are these guys? I kind of like them.

Zeriah: Figures, their names are Blackstar and Silverstar, they saved me back in San d’Oria.

Amerita: Ha, ha, I guess it’s like they say. Birds of a feather flock together.

Blackstar: Hey!! We got work to do here!

Silverstar: Yeah! Cut the chit-chat will ya!

Narration: Zeriah grinds her teeth at the two dragoons annoyed by their demanding tones.
As the party makes their way through what is known as Castle Zvahl Bailey, they couldn’t help but take notice of how the Shadowlord’s guards were letting them through with any problems.

Amerita: Something isn’t right.

Evogolist: What….what is it?

Amerita: Why aren’t they attacking us?

Lightwind: It’s like I stated earlier, he’s watching. The Shadowlord is already
expecting us. No need to kill us just yet I presume is what he’s thinking.

Amerita: The bastard probably wants to kill us himself.

Evogolist: We should continue moving, I have a score to settle with Mr. Dark and Gloomy.

Blackstar: Well…you heard the man. Let’s get going!

Narration: As the party once more made their way through the dark castle, unbeknownst to them, they were being followed. Following behind them was non other than one of the Shadow Lord’s Morbid Eyes. Ahriman demons that served as the Shadow Lord’s watchmen.

Silverstar: Uh….guys…we’re being followed.

Blackstar: Bah, just ignore it.

Silverstar: Ignore it?
How can I ignore something like that?
I mean look at that big creepy eyeball thingy….it gives me the shivers man….brrrr

Narration: Blackstar, annoyed by his brother’s complaints, throws his lance at the Morbid Eye killing it and disabling the Shadowlord from seeing anything else.

Blackstar: Happy now?!
Geez, I swear you can be a big baby at times!

Lightwind: You fool!
Do you know what you just did?!

Blackstar: Enlighten us, mister I goofed up and rage destroyed the seal.

Lightwind: Thanks to you two the Shadowlord’s army will be after us now.

Silverstar: Give us a break will ya?
It’s not like he doesn’t…have…other…big eye…birds….<gulp>

Zeriah: Will you three shut it already!

 Narration: As the party enters another section of the dark castle, they find themselves coming to a room full of demons and Ahriman.

Evogolist: Where are we exactly?

Amerita: According to the layout, it seems to be another wing of the castle.

Lightwind: Castle Zvahl Keep, the last place on Vana’diel you wanna be.

Amerita: I’ve heard horror stories of this place.
It’s darker and grimmer than the Baileys Wing and anyone venturing in never makes it back out.

Lightwind: Right those were no tall-tales.
Castle Zvahl Keep has a total of forty-two chambers between its first two floors, all crawling with beastmen. From the third floor on up, nothing but the Shadowlord’s top demons occupy the areas surrounding the teleports we’ll need in order to reach the throne room.

Evogolist: And let me guess, that’s where the Shadowlord stays?

Lightwind: You should know….you’ve been there.

Evogolist: Huh?

Zeriah: Come on let’s get this over with.

Narration: Zeriah casts a veil of Sneak and Invisibility on the group allowing them to pass by through the first few sets of rooms. At a time they even ended up at a dead-end and found themselves fighting off a small group of goblins.

Evogolist: Man, these guys aren’t your typical, run of the mill gobbies are they?

Lightwind: If you think they’re tough, wait until we get to the third floor.

Blackstar: And just what could possibly be on the third floor?

Amerita: The four dark lords.

Silverstar: That doesn’t sound good.
Guys I’m beginning to think this was a bad idea.
I think I’ll call it quits here.

Lightwind: So tell me, just how do you plan to leave?

Narration: The silver-haired Elvaan turns around and finds himself surrounded by more goblins.

Silverstar: Uh…yeah…nevermind.

Zeriah: It’s too many of them.

Amerita: We need an exit strategy!

Lightwind: Fine, out of my way.

Narration: Lightwind uses the Great Sword weaponskill “Shockwave”, a semi powerful attack that puts its victims to sleep. The attack grants Lightwind and the others enough time to escape.

Making their way throughout the rest of the first two floors, Lightwind leads the way swinging his giant Great Sword left and right clearing the way for the others. The dragoon twins follow-up by using their “Twin Tornado” attack forcing back any enemies that lingered.

Evogolist: Oh, um…wow, these guys aren’t bad.

Zeriah: Oh, give me a break.
They’d be better if they didn’t talk so much.

Blackstar: Hey you two!
Quit you gawking and let’s keep moving.

Narration: Zeriah clenches her fists and then fires off two arrows almost striking the black-haired dragoon twin, but instead the arrow strikes two quadav that were nearby.

Blackstar: Hey!

Zeriah: Shut it or the next one is going right in the crack of your skull.

Blackstar: Gulp!

Narration: As the adventurers continue making their way to the Shadowlord’s Throne Room, Meanwhile the Shadowlord himself prepares himself for their visit.

Shadowlord: So…I see that my shadows have failed me.

Grand Duke Batym: An unfortunate event my lord.

Shadowlord: Indeed.

Grand Duke Batym: But where they failed, the four dark lords will surely make up for it.

Shadowlord: ……

Narration: As the Shadowlord awaits the adventurers of Vana’diel, he returns to his tomb to finish regaining his strength. Deep down, the Shadowlord secretly hopes that the six adventurers overcome his four dark lords, only so that he can destroy them himself.


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