Chapter 8: The Lord of Shadows
C: In the Face of Darkness…
Narration: After arriving at Castle Zvahl, the Adventurers of Vana’diel quickly made their way through the Bailey’s Ward with little to no trouble. However, upon reaching the Keep, our heroes would soon find themselves being tested. At each teleport leading to the Shadow Lord’s Throne Room, lurked one of four demon generals.
Facing their trial of darkness, Evo, Zeriah, Amerita, Lightwind, Silverstar, and Blackstar overcame their obstacles and defeated three of the four generals. And now, before they come face to face with the Shadow Lord himself, the party of five must face his top and most exhaulted general-Viscount Morax.
But first, the high-ranking demon general meets with the Shadow Lord. While the Shadow Lord wishes to face Evo and company himself, Morax has plans of his own for one particular knight.
Viscount Morax: My lord, Vapula, Bifrons, and Romwe have all fallen. There also appears to be two groups of adventurers making their way here.
Shadow Lord: So it seems.
Viscount Morax: My lord, one of them appears to be the Galkan Dark Knight that defeated you twenty years ago.
Shadow Lord: Ha, Ha, Ha!
Zeid you fool! So you’ve come to finally face death?
Viscount Morax: My Lord, I have one request if I may ask?
Shadow Lord: Proceed.
Viscount Morax: The Elevaan Knight clad in white armor-please allow me the pleasure of killing him myself.
Shadow Lord: And why should I grant such a request.
Viscount Morax: It would seem that he wishes to die by my hand.
It would only seem fitting that I grant him such a wish.
Shadow Lord: Fine, so be it.
Viscount Morax, as my highest and most exalted general, I grant the thy permission to slay the Elvaan knight-Lightwind De’Ragnor.
Narration: And as the Shadow Lord returns to his resting state, Morax takes his leave of the dark lord. But as he leaves, a hellish grin appears on his face.
Meanwhile the Adventurers of Vana’diel arrive at the third teleport, but are stunned to see that the third general has already fallen.
Amerita: It would appear that we are not alone.
Zeriah: So, someone’s helping us?
Lightwind: It would appear so.
Blackstar: Well they could have sure as hell appeared sooner.
Silverstar: Yeah, like three general and a whole army of beastmen ago.
Zeriah: Could you two be any more ungrateful.
Narration: The two dragoons turn their nose up at Zeriah’s dislike for them. Soon after, two adventurers appear revealing themselves as the ones responsible for the third general’s demise.
Lion: Allow me to offer my apologies then. We were a bit occupied at the time thanks to someone riling up the beastmen in the floors below.
Narration: Both Zeriah and Lightwind look towards the twins. Once again the twins turn their noses up at the two. Zeid, who was less than pleased to see the group after what took place back in Fe’Yin.
Zeid: I thought I told you all to go home?!
The Northlands is no place for kids, especially kids that tend to cause trouble…a lot.
Narration: If there’s one thing that Evo can’t stand, it’s being called a kid. And so he fires back at the Galkan Dark Knight.
Just who in Altana’s name do you think you’re calling a kid!
Amerita: Evo’s right.
Each of us has every bit of reason to be here as you two do.
Zeriah: Except of course those two over there.
Narration: Says Zeriah as she points over to the two dragoons.
Silverstar: Hey, we heard that!
Narration: Lion, not one for arguing and tension, tries her best to calm the situation.
Lion: Can everyone calm down please.
Zeid, you need to lay off of the Galkan Sausages. Besides we’ll need all the help we can get if we’re to come face to face with Mr. Big, Bad, and Ugly. And from what I’ve seen, these guys can pretty much handle themselves.
Zeid: Fine, but their deaths are on your head should we fail.
Lion: Ooookay then.
Oh, hey Evo, remember me?
Narration: Evo thinks back to the day he was made emissary and asked to travel to Windurst and San d’Oria. He then remembers meeting Lion as he entered Heaven’s Tower and then again later on after he defeated Ahriman and Dark Dragon.
Lion: Yup, that’s me.
How’s it been?
Evogolist: Oooh well you know, got accused of killing a few friends. Had my body possessed by an evil doppelgänger and tried to kill my sister, but hey-everything is just fine.
Well now that the tension has died down some, how about we get a move on.
Narration: The others agree and begin making their way to the next teleport. upon arriving to their next teleported destination, the group of adventurers are immediately thrust into battle with the surrounding demon knights and wizards.
Evogolist: You know, after a while, these guys do get quite the bit boring.
Zeriah: Tell me about it.
Narration: Just then, one of the demon warlocks grabs ahold of Zeriah. Sadly, his hands seem to be in an uncomfortable spot and Zeriah let’s out a big scream.
Evo…get it off of me!!
How dare you grab my little sister like that.
Narration: The wyvern known as Lumiere flies around and chomps down on one of the demon’s wings. The demon then begins to try to flap it wings in an attempt to rid itself of the wyvern. Unable to bear the pain any longer, the demon lets go of Zeriah, who in turn grabs her bow once more and fires a flaming arrow at the demon.
Amerita: We need to clear the room, there’s too many of them!
Lightwind: Allow me.
Narration: The Elvaan knight takes his powerful Great Sword and with all his might, calls upon the power of Ultima once more to take down the encroaching demons.
Lightwind: Soul of Ultima!!
Narration: There’s a loud screeching noise as the waves of light fly out from the sword and strike the demons. Evo and the others cover their ears, unable to bear the loud noise.
Lion: What the hell was that?
Lightwind: A power from the deity Ultima.
Lion: Never use that again…okay.
Narration: Suddenly, the sound of footsteps echo throughout the room.
Zeid: Wait…you hear that?
Lion: Get ready here comes big trouble.
Narration: From the shadows comes non-other than Viscount Morax. The high-ranking demon general laughs maniacally as he enters the room. Lightwind however, freezes up and drops both of his swords. Amerita notices and calls out to him.
Amerita: Lightwind…Lightwind are you okay?
Narration: Her calls are of no use as Lightwind stands there, frozen in fear. The memories of the same laughter echo throughout his head. It was that same laughter that he heard so many years ago as an Elvaan child.
Meanwhile, Morax looks over the room. He’s amazed and yet angered to see his brethren lying on the ground.
Viscount Morax: To see so many of my brethren laying on the ground. And to look and see that a mere few were able to do this.
Evogolist: Quit Impressive, huh?
Narration: Morax lets out a loud demonic roar. His powers explode as lightning bolts strike the ground around the group of adventurers.
Evogolist: I guess that would be a no.
Narration: Yells Lion, as she and the others attempt to dodge the bolts of lightning. One bolt almost strikes Lightwind, but Amerita leaps over to him, knocking him out-of-the-way.
Lightwind listen to me, you have to snap out of it-Now!!
Narration: Try as she may, Lightwind is still too terrified to move. And as the bolts of Lightening come to a halt, the adventurers of Vana’diel prepare to attack, but not before the demon general leaves a dark revelation for the Elvaan knight. Pointing his finger towards Lightwind, he says with a dark chilling voice.
Viscount Morax: You will be the first to die.
Narration: Lightwind is shaken even more by Morax’s words and slowly begins to crawl away. As our heroes run in to attack, Amerita looks over to Lightwind and wonders, why would a Elvaan that up until now, was brave and courageous, be afraid of this one demon? What could have possibly happened in Lightwind’s past that he would cower in front of the enemy?
To be continued…