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The Umbral Year; The Beginning of the End ||Chapter One||

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1678AY, 5 June

Absolon, Athentha

Thursday, 10:00A.M


A steady rain fell as the morning hours drew breath. But the rumor of war was on everyone's lips. That this time it couldn't be stopped. As the rain continued to fall, the people crowded the castle that resided in Absolon and housed the elder that was supposed to be peotecting them. The townsfolk had gotten wind that the elders of Allia and Talia had been murdered by a rogue beast. And yet they feared it would come here. With Lyonesse's temple destroyed and the shaman killed, Athentha's people had little hope. 

They feared that they would get caught up in the war without a way out. But as Yazu approached the balcony, they wanted answers as what was going to happen. Would they all be killed or enslaved to the beast? Could they kill it without the shaman or temple? Didn't they restrain her? Seal her away if that was the only answer? The people wanted something to comfort them. Yazu sighed. Being an elder and leader of the island meant he had to tell the people something even if it wasn't comforting.

Yazu opened the doors that led out to the balcony as he eyed the townsfolk, most here relying on the elder to solve their problems, others wanting to know if they had a plan. Most wanted answers. The elder stood as he placed his old hands on the wood that lined the balcony, eyeing the people. He knew that he had done a somewhat good job here, but he coyld do better to try and reassure them. Even if he lied a little.

"My dear citizens. I know you're afraid, frightened because of what has happened. We have lost so many good people to a monster allowed to remain. We have lost our tools to stop her. But I assure you that we can win this war. That we don't need those old tools. We are researching new ways to combat the rogue princess. And we will win the war against her. Our knights are meeting up with the pocket of resistance in Hydra."

The townsfolk didn't know how to respond. Didn't know how to feel about this announcement. And they stood there staring at their leader. He was suppose to be their leader. Yet he was hiding something. He didn't reassure them enough and as Yazu turned to go back in, a young elven maiden came forth.

"How does that help us now? You say that a war is breaking out, we have no means to defend ourselves and the enemy could take more of us. What do you plan to do? You're supposed to be our leader. Protect us. What are you doing to make sure no one else is taken? Killed?"

Yazu sighed. She was right. Of course he didn't have all the answers. But he was working towards them. He would let them in on it soon enough. He looked over his shoulder towards the elf. 

"I am doing everything to make sure you are safe. A knight is posted at every entrance to every city of Athentha. There are checkins of whatever is brought in. Curfew is at 10pm, meaning no one is to be outside after that. And if you see the princess, do not engage her, find a knight."

With that he headed back inside leaving the townsfolk standing there. Not sure what to accept. In truth, they were afraid of what was coming. A monster who wanted to tear them all apart. War was inevitable now.



Edited by Rin
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Yazu sighed. Rubbing his temple as he entered his chambers, sitting down at a desk. Taking a piece of parchment and a feathered pen he knew he had to try and reach the other elders. Find a way to combat the princess. 


Dear Elders,

I write to inform those that remain that we are in dire need. The shaman, Kogal has passed. The Solstice Temple has crumbled. We need to come together as Lyonesse has seemed to tell me they might have found a way. A way to finally end this. 

I need to know how many elders remain and to meet me in Absolon, the capital in Athentha. This is urgent. Bring any knights not under her possession. 

Regards, Elder Yazu 


With that he stood and wrapped four letters of the same writing around the legs of five carrier pigeons. Yazu then opened the window and let them fly off towards the four islands. He hoped this would lead to gathering the tools to battle the oncoming storm.

Walking out of his chambers he was greeted by the demon hunter Vex. It seemed he had escaped his encounter with the half breed. Yet he worried Vex was still infected. Yazu stared at the man before him. 

"Yazu, you do realise this is going to fail. Rin has made contact with a demon foreign of our land. He has killed Grant Lyon and overtaken Lyonesse. The people there are falling under his grasp and a new temple is being built. You think gathering more victims to fight her is right? Sane? No, we must not allow more to fall. Yazu, you are the elder. You are supposed to be solving this. You let Kogal--"

Elder Yazu slapped Vex in the face as he spoke of Kogal. It seemed the shaman was a traitor to the land and the elder as he helped the half breed. Vex rubbed his cheek as he sighed. He wasn't sure if the elder view him as his favourite instead of the first seed Garnet. Those two were more alike than him and Yazu. But he was here to save the land. Vex didn't care how many demons he had to kill. Athentha would not become what Miach invisoned. If he could help it. 

"A rogue demon?" Yazu asked. "From another land you say? Do you know why I sent you to Lyonesse to go after Rinoa? It was a scouting mission. I know how close to death Lyon was. But to be murdered..." he paused as he looked at Vex. He couldn't believe what was happening. "Rin must be stopped. She cannot be allowed to live. So convorting with someone to gain the upper hand? I need you to meet up with Sayndar and plan a tactic mission. I heard he's holed up with the resistance."

Sayndar was alive?! This was news to Vex as he thought he was dead. That Raven had murdered him. Yet he lived. So they could have a chance to win after all.



Edited by Rin

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Sayndar Lammecoli became the hero of Lyonesse by winning the battle against the Dark Winged Beast. Taking Rin's eye, he had given Lyonesse a chance. Yet, now it rumored that he was dead. Yazu opened him up to the news he survived the slaying. 

Yet as he rode to Mathias, Vex knew that if Rin or Raven found out about the resistance, their new found hope would die. He had to find a way to stop this. Stop Rin. His heart was heavy. He did love her at one point. But he couldn't support what she became. 

The horse rode faster as he shook his head. How did Sayndar survive Raven when Grant Lyon did not? And the rogue artifact... Rheumial. Where did he go? Who did he fight for? It bothered the demon hunter.

Raven... what is he? Why is he here? I have heard he was searching for a place to... No, he can't be. Brainwashing Athentha's princess, he desires to bring Sithis here. Why?

These questions bothered Vex. His thoughts didn't help either. Rin was the one thing the people rallied for, wished she could save them from the elders. 

No, she had to die. 

Vex's horse reared as a figure stood there now. He calmed the horse jumping off it then. The figure smirked as its empty eyes danced with such darkness. She licked her lips. The armor was of the Talia knights. 

You are doomed. The princess has already set her plan into motion. A tainted knight enters each set of island knights. Consuming them into ascension.

"What the hell are you?! Why are you telling me?! Get--"

Because you are a dog of the elders. You need to know the truth. Vex you know deep in your heart, you desire this gift. I am Eirika.

The demon girl then ran at Vex. He movec to the side as her attack missed him. He shook his head. Another fight on his hands. He sighed.

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With that Vex fell the shadow creature.  Standing there, the demon hunter had no idea what was happening. Sithis was the mark he saw on the princess. Was it something to brainwash her? He remembered seeing the darkness that eroded her. 

His fist hit the tree hard in anger. How he couldn't save her. How he couldn't save Lyonesse. His thoughts consumed him as the demon maid stood there with such a devious smile, fangs glistening in the light. Her body more pronounced and filled out. 

Why was she here? Why did she come after him? And she was no longer human, as the tendrils came flying at him. Merely missing the attack Vex landed in the dirt. 

"Fucking hell... again with that attack." Vex muttered as he stood up dusting himself off. "Getting really sick of you woman. Go back to--"

Shia smiled. The fangs gleaming as she flashed right before him and stared him right in the face. Vex pushed her back growling low. It was annoying how Shia was Rin's exact copy. 

Such language. Maybe if I look more like her you'll give in. I know how much you crave her, your heart still beats for her. But what that creature said is true. We are infiltrating the knights. Infecting them with the glorious ascension.

Vex shook his head. Shia was something else. The tendrils of void came from her hand as he moved to the side. He really hated that. The demon hunter eyed the same strange mark on the maid's neck. 

"Tell me who Raven is... what he wants. And how to free my princess from it. Tell me how to fight him!"

She eyed him reaching for his sword and before he could unshealth it, she pinned him to the tree with such a sickening smile. 

The silence was deafening.



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The spear came flying into Shia's torso as the knight stood there. Manah been had been fighting Rin forever now and heard what happened in Yral. Now she eyed a strange woman attacking the demon hunter.

Vex fell to his knees as Shia's grip was gone. He eyed Manah yet wondered if Talia itself would get involved. Shia hissed as she recoiled yet it did little to damage her. 

The knight eyed the woman. She no longer was human. Her demon form filled out more as Raven's little sigil took over her. She was becoming ravenous as she was being cursed. Shia fell to all fours as she howled, her clothes ripping as her body became monstrous. 

Her desires drippimg before her as she was demonized. And in the place of the maid was a beast. She stood half slumped licking her lips at the knight as her hands laid on her waist. She had evolved from mere demon to arch demon. 

Rebirth... her raspy voice becokened as her clawed finger pointed at Manah. Freedom... Raven has freed us from our despair. Athentha will become Sithis’s home. Our saviour...

Vex shook his head eyeing the creature that once was his friend. Her horns came crashing out from the black orange curls, her eyes slitted and pure black. Shia washed in the Sithis mark. Her hands running down her body as she ascended to arch demon of purest sin. 

Manah held her spear tight. "What the hell is she babbling on about Vex?!"

"I'll explain later. We need to run. She no longer thinks, she's fully under its power... And Rin will be too if we can't save her."

Shia grinned as she ran at Manah. She wanted to corrupt the knight and give into her sins, her lusts and desires. The knight tried to hit her with the spear but as Shia gained closer, it was no use. 

Vex's eyes widened in horror as Shia pinned the knight against the tree and defiled her. Her hands grabbing everywhere as she entered the knight's body. Manah fell to her knees, as Shia entered her heart. 

It withered as Manah could feel the corruption. Shia ate upon her as she chuckled. The knight's skin began to gray as the horns began to grow under tattered black orange curls. Manah's eyes slitted into orange yellow hues. Her mouth curved into a smirk.

You cannot stop us Vex. We will infect everything. Your precious knight is now my host. In time she shall become a mindless vessel. Rin will be consumed. The mark she bears shall override her into perfection.

"Manah... fight her!"

Manah laughed then as the two were becoming one.


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No, not again. Manah fell to her knees as she felt the seed inside her. It whispered such terrible thoughts into her head. It began to open, sprouting into her heart, showing her vast nightmares of her past. Her father belittling her to the point of tears. How he called her a failure and would never be a true knight like him. How she was doomed to lead a failing group of knights.

Manah grabbed her head as the whispers grew louder, wanting to explode inside her. The throbbing rang in her ears as she watched over and over again her father destroying her pride. Showing how weak she truly was as he beat her. The shadows eating out her heart as she became hollow inside. Vex watched in horror as the knight before him ignored his cries. His pleas. 

As her skin turned alabaster and her body filled out as she became demonic. Her mind was screaming at her suffocated by the new creature born into her body. A fake Manah stood before Vex now with a sinster smile. She felt every new inch of her new body and chuckled. She was now a knight of the void, a knight who no longer wanted justice or peace. She wanted everything she desired. She became a knightof greed and sin. 

Picking up her spear she ran at Vex as he grabbed it. Yet the soulless black eyes that stared at him showed how hollow she was now. Created by the ore. He didn't know what was happening but he'd save the land. Some how. A aharp sudden pain snapped him out of his thoughts as she had bitten down upon his arm. Luckily she couldn't infect him like anyone else. 

"You're pathetic." Vex replied throwing the knight off him. He eyed the wound as it hissed and burned, black pus falling against and down his arm. "But it seems you allowed her to corrupt you with false hopes and promises like the rest."

Manah said nothing as she stood up and dusted herself off. She chuckled eyeing the wound. It would slow him down if anything. Vex placed his hand gently on the wound area wincing as it hurt a lot. He looked up at the knight eyeing her armor. It once gleamed like the sun. Now it was as black as the night with a weird symbol on the plate. One he had seen in old days. A twisted dead tree with a crab in the middle. He couldn't place his finger on it. 

You'll see soon enough. Serphus Aluminum will rise once more. We are its weapons, its pawns and puppets.  Slaves to serve the grand and glorious properous leader...

"You're insane." Vex breathed. "I won't allow it. I'll kill you all first before I allow Athentha's people to suffer any longer. I will free them."

Manah laughed heartily then. He growled low.


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So this ore was alive. It had the capacity if wanted to take over a living host and become that exact person the longer the two were together. Vex knew now that Rin was dead. She had the powers of a lich and could use anything from her own powers to the ore to gain what she wanted. Yet he still had no idea what that was. But he knew now that he had to travel to Talia to find a new way to kill Rin. It was the only option left. Now more than ever.

Vex said nothing as he ran at Manah. The magi ran current through his body knowing he would need it. She was no longer Manah. No longer the knight of justice. His left fist connected with her lower jaw, a rush of holy magi hitting into her form. Manah slid back as she smirked. She wiped the blood from her lower lip as she smirked. The holy magi did little to no effect. The knight was immune to holy magi. And Vex saw this. 

He mumbled. Annoyed that Rin would allow her knights to be protected against the holy magi. Wasn't fair to him but he knew arguing would do nothing. Manah felt the corrosion and corruption claiming her at every moment. And the longer the ore held its presence over her it would be harder to free her. And he knew that too. The demon hunter pulled out a few knives. Washed in blesssd water, Vex wondered if this would even do anything.

Vex tried anyways as he threw the knives at her,  Manah's skin hissing and welting in pain. It burned her arm as she had flung it up at the last moment to block the knives. Her skin continued to hiss and steam as they stuck out of her arm. Well at least  it did something.


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Vex looked down at his wound once more. It had scarred but in the shape of a moth. Which normal scars didn't do and it alarmed him. Manah laid against the tree as he had pushed her back. It gave him time to look at the wound that was hissing only moments ago. He didn't understand yet at the same time he knew it didn't bode well. 

You will falter soon... 

Vex looked up to hear Manah stand up. Though badly damaged, she grinned. He raised a brow. So the knigbt had changed. Yet he wouldn't give up. He was here to do a job. Yet Vex was afraid, not knowing how this would progress.  However before he could speak tendrils broke from the knight's body and pinned him to a tree. Manah came near and was almost close to him. As hard as Vex tried, he couldn't pull her off him. 

"You're wrong. I am stronger than you. I won't fall for the same false hopes and promises she lies to you about. I am not going to let her win."

Oh my dear Vex, you don't know the truth. Let me show you. Behold the Black Heart Mirror Ore. 

His eyes widened then as Manah pulled out the ore. Only a few souls had access to the deadliest of ores made. Newly made in the land. The knight laughed darkly as her mouth swallowed the chunks of ore. They fell and pumped into the tendrils that held the demon hunter to the oak tree. As she grinned maliciously, Manah began to pump the ore into his body. 

Vex screamed in pain as the ore began to enter him. 



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