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EpicRome23 last won the day on April 9

EpicRome23 had the most liked content!

About EpicRome23

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    The Last True Knight

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    Reading, writing, purging heretics, video games (Strategy and/or RPG all the way, especially Fire Emblem.) large flying and fire-breathing lizards, history, necromancy, obtaining unlimited power, and conquering the world. That's all the important stuff. What do you mean, 'one of these is not like the others?'
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    Devoted Yalortian

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  1. @AthenasFire Welp, this is on me for leaving things until quite near the last minute not completely on purpose, but it was certainly possible that I could have gotten to this earlier if you somehow manage to catch my post and then reply before things hit read only, then great! if not, and in any case, we can see about getting this thread moved over and set up to finish on PGRP soon.
  2. "Hey you!" ... The good intentions and the pain... Lay drowned now in the pouring rain. ... It's not raining. It's not... anything. Was this death? "You can't pass here. It's not your time." There was a faint light far ahead in Cerik's vision. A voice, as if speaking from far away, entered his ear. "Sir Knight. I am Alexios. General of Aligoria, and High Commander of the Shadow Guard. I am here on the behest of Princess Sibyla. Allow me to take the Dead-Eye Monocle, and bear it into the cave just up the peak in your stead. I swear on my honor, I will collect the power dormant there with the Monocle, and then return it to you, empowered." The knight gave a weak nod of assent and a muffled yes- in reality, at least. Wherever he found his mind in, it had been much a stronger response there. ------ In reality, General Alexios had nodded in his turn and then spoken to Maria. "Forgive my sudden appearance, my good lady. Even now, the Princess moves to engage Imryll Duskbane-" A loud pop sounded as a wave of power breifly washed past them. Above them, a sphere of white fire and a sphere of black fire collided, a figure within each hard to make out but visible. "-and it is up to you which you will support. You can, of course, choose to try and slip away while they are so engaged. But if you choose that path, I must warn you of this." He pointed to the west. Over the ocean, there was what seemed to be a wall of solid darkness slowly but inevitably approaching- tearing up the land before it and sucking it into the void, where it fully disappeared from view. "You will have to escape from that. And I cannot guarantee you will find sanctuary on your own. Aid the Shadow Princess, and I swear to you that we will lead you straight to sanctuary after the First Sage of Light is dealt with. Whatever you choose... your actions will make it clear. Either way, I will be making good on my word to the Knight." He knelt down for a moment, gently removing the monocle from beneath Cerik's helm. Then, with a couple worried glances at the encroaching wall of darkness and the battle above, he began to climb the surprisingly gentle slope of this part of the mountain to the cave visible beneath the peak. ------ "You have to live for what your future holds." "My... future?" Cerik looked around. Images of a time past came into view around him. Marcygate. The order of knights, his king, his first love Luanda. Each broke away into pieces that moved away from him and faded as he moved to touch them, as if they were mirrors he had just shattered with a great blow. The guardian of the underwater ruins where he found the monocle. Salida. The deserter. The cultist leader- the cultist leader did not fade. Instead, he smiled. Then, he opened his mouth and Maria's voice came forth. "Plus that cultist leader would be disappointed! Don't let some cheap shot be your end!" A cheap shot... Cerik looked down at himself for the first time in what felt like forever. Through him and his armor, his very own sword Farcutter, crackling with electricity. The memories of what had just happened returned to him. Reaching for Salida's hand- sudden pain and betrayal. Mad ranting the last thing he heard before consciousness had faded from him. ... The surroundings before him shifted. Two paths unfolded before him. One toward that faint, distant light. And the other, deeper into a darkness that seemed all too blissful. At the fork of these paths stood his best friend of old. The one whose death had set him on the path of an adventurer. He spoke with a neutral expression. "Which will you choose, Cerik? Will you get back up and continue the fight? Continue to stand against evil in all it's forms? Or will you allow this to be your retirement? Let the embrace of death overtake you, reunite with me and all the rest that you have lost in your years?" A decision of great weight and import. Perhaps the greatest decision the knight would ever make. Reduced to a simple fork in the road. At another time, he might have laughed at the strangeness of it. But he didn't, and contemplated the choice before him. Maria's voice echoed all around one last time, loud and vibrant now. "You're a knight, aren't you?" ... A knight. ... You are a knight, Cerik Windshade. ... You have found your goddess. You are on the verge of an even greater power to combat the powers of evil. Would you truly let it all end here? ... "... No. My friend, there is not really a choice here, in the end. I am a knight. And a knight never gives up the fight until peace is clearly won." His old best friend smiled widely, stepping forward and clasping his shoulder. "I suspect that's what you'd choose in the end. Godspeed, Cerik. And one day? When the time comes for you to take the other fork... I'll be waiting for you with our favorite drink readied." Cerik grinned and returned his friend's gesture. "Better double that, my friend, I have no doubts that my thirst will be grand at the time. I can't say I look forward to that day right now, but I can promise I'll have a smile when we once again unite." With that, Cerik strode forth on the path toward the faint light. ------ In reality, Cerik sat up with a groan. Farcutter laid beside him, bloodied but no longer thrust through his lower torso. Amura floated nearby, Maria stood a short distance away. And above him, two beings of great power clashed. White fire and black fire. White fire... the First Sage of Light. He wasn't sure where he had picked up the title, or why he felt a revulsion upon hearing it. But he knew what he had to do. He clutched Farcutter in his right hand, and turned toward Maria slowly and with a wince. "A knight such as me... one would expect I would choose to support the Light without hesitation, no? But Light is not inherently good in every single instance. I have a feeling, Maria, that this light above us is not good, not just." In his left hand, he drew forth and tightly clutched the Storm's Eye. The air around them perceptibly began to shift as Cerik exerted his will over the weather around them. "If this Shadow Princess gives me an opening, we can end this in one blow. Coordinate your magic with me, and a swift victory will be assured. All I need is a couple minutes." He looked across the ledge, where two figures in white armor that almost seemed to glow approached with weapons in hand. White wings spread wide behind them. "... and it seems I'll need you to buy me those minutes. Our troubles should be over after this, I hope."
  3. -Epilogue (Shadows Amidst Impermeable Darkness)- Gormaric and Eri: It took the ebon knight little time to find Shadowfang through the connection he held with the dark blade, once he was free of his prison of mind and body. How the sword had maintained a will of its own in even the illusory realm, he was far too tired and drained to question. His armor was refastened to the best of his ability, and he once again adorned that thick blue cape that he had been gifted in the wake of Remissio's demise. Perhaps the memories of that renegade paladin were a liability in this land, and had already proven to be capable of forming a tangible danger. But... they meant something. The key to answers, the meaning of the actions of that strange creature among the Spires. Or at the very least, a clue. This, and more, the so-called Bane of Yh'mi pondered as he made his way out of the caves. His stolid wyvern Eri was not far behind him, bearing some equipment that had been too much for the adventurers to carry but that they couldn't bear to leave behind. Not an excessive amount, of course, and the elephant Surus could bear a good load more by sheer virtue of size and strength, even weakened- but enough to contribute, certainly. There was nothing that had been taken from her, anyways, aside from the strength and stamina that had been drained from all present there. She would endeavor to recover that strength as soon as possible. The blackest depths, the hottest depths, amidst the very center of an all-cleansing light... wherever her master desired to go, Eri would bear Gormaric there, and protect him with all her strength with tooth, claw, and wing. It was for this purpose that the Shadow King had given her form. A singular driving purpose. The bad end of freedom was too many choices to ever find one fulfilling path. Affairs were soon back in order at the Aligorian contingent's camp. However, assuredly an oddity in the eyes of the Order of the White Hand, the forces of the Kingdom all withdrew to their camp not too long after the Furthest Point had been claimed. This seemed to have been in response to a missive that had arrived from a messenger bearing the colors of the Shadow King. Something was coming, Neque had shared. Something big and potentially world shattering. All personnel returned to the Aligorian camp, and kept close to the golem Anywhere, through which Neque would act to preserve his people if all was it bad as it seemed it might be. The ebon knight and his wyvern hoped it was a false alarm, and operations in the darkness of Yh'mi could resume as they were. But if everything were truly about to be turned upside down, then it was best to follow the command of their king and hope they would be seen safely through it all. And here he had thought that the greatest threat was within Yh'mi itself. What a cruel irony it would be if an external force overtook both them and the tainted land, then, wouldn't it? ---------------------------- Frederick: The commander of the Subversors was alone. Amelia and Gilliam had been found lifeless in the caves, back to back. Most likely awoken by their "deaths" and subsequently overwhelmed by their enemies in reality, before the others had awakened to finish the battle. Then, Bors and Oswin... two hauntingly empty eggs stood where they likely would have been, and no trace of them within the caverns. So, that power in the illusory realm had to have been real, since their sacrifice had been. Frederick did not feel it coursing through him now- but somewhere deep inside, a trace of it could be briefly felt. It existed. He would reclaim it one day, in the memory of his men. And then he would bring it fully to bear, ripping and tearing the twisted land that had claimed their lives. Uru-inlaid armor and shield. Their familiar weight returned. The equipment of his subordinates... painstakingly stacked into a pile, their weapons set atop it as a memorial. Frederick was the last to leave the caverns, for he had spent a while sitting before the pile, staring in silence. Meditating, saying his goodbyes, some other third thing? Whatever the case, he made his peace before he made his departure from those damned caverns. Alone in his tent with a bottle of whiskey. At the least, Frederick's tent flap was open to the center of the camp, where Gormaric and Anywhere stood while the Aligorian forces either stood and watched in anticipation or rushed around to complete pressing tasks. Maybe his power would re-awaken in whatever was to come. He smiled at the thought. ---------------------------------- Ilene: She had expended great power in helping to deal the finishing blow to the queen. It was all she could do to don her light armor and mask-helm, and retrieve her beloved curved blade. Then, she hitched a ride with the archer crew atop Surus, as her feet could hardly carry her. She slept like a log, to chuckles of amusement from the archer crew. Ilene was not present at the Aligorian camp. Indeed, merely a day after the Aligorians had returned from the Furthest Point, a note was found in her tent: She had set off on her own, bound for the Shadow King's side. Gormaric had been visibly confused upon hearing of this, but then ultimately shrugged and sent a well-wish her way on the wind. Hopefully the Shadow Guard commander could outspeed Neque's prophesied calamity to reach his side. She had earned that much through her actions. ------------------------------------------ Surus and Crew: The elephant could no longer fly. This revelation had been accompanied by a large thump that had echoed throughout the cavern, and some sad trumpeting. Captain Jeorge and his crew had managed to calm Surus down and get him on his way nonetheless. The elephant helped to carry companions and equipment alike as the expeditionary force to the Point made their exodus from the caverns. The elephant had returned to the camp with only the archer Norne atop his back. When questioned, she stated that the rest of the crew had followed the enigmatic 3-13, after he had tried to split off into his own to make an unexplained trek deeper into Yh'mi. They had sent her back with Surus to make sure their choice was known, as well as keeping her and the elephant from succumbing to any dark fate they could possibly meet. But... something told Norne that bunch would be alright, no matter what was to come. Surus lightly trumpeted in agreement, as if reading her thoughts.
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