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Chapter Five - A Tale Of Keys
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Idea master

Joined: 10 May 2004
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Location: Sneaking Idearium into your beverages.

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:53 am    Post subject:  

I return with a chapter about the truth! The whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

Also, a villian. A very eeeeevil villian.

Chapter 5 - A tale of keys...

"We're going to find out the truth," Harold declared after a short internal struggle. "I want to know why the elves' story contradicts what we've found here."

Lucy nodded. "Are there any doors nearby?"

Harold looked around and found a closet door close by. "This one," he said, and inserted the black bone key, tapped the doorknob three times, and opened the door to the elven village once more. Harold stepped through the door to his room and looked back at Lucy. She had crouched by the robed figure. "Lucy?" Harold inquired.

She stood up and walked through the doorway. "What were you doing?" Harold asked.

"One traditional rule of dungeon-crawling: Loot the body," she replied.

"And what did you find?"

"That's a secret. C'mon, let's find the truth."

Harold agreed, though was still curious about what she had found.


In another plane of existance far removed from any other, there was a tent.

In the tent was a man.

About that man's neck was a green and black crystal.

Within that crystal was a terrible, evil power. It had the souls of a thousand people who had dared to stand against him. Their anguish and torment fed his power and made him stronger.

This power had come at a price, however. All power did.

A minotaur entered the black silk tent and bowed before the mass of robes that covered the man who wore the crystal. "Lord, the mages scrying says that thy key was retrieved. A new Bearer found him."

"Good. Demon?"

"Your summoners are supposedly next on his list, Master."


"He does not know, Liege."


The minotaur pulled a table from a corner and unrolled a map. Upon it were marked all the nations of the world that they knew of. Half of the map was dyed red.

"We are here, Master, in the Southern Plains." The minotaur tapped a small part that was not dyed red. "A small town lies to the north of us, and many artifacts of power lie about in the hands of dragons and behind many men that wish to keep them from you."

"Fools. Pillage. Take. Recruit. Kill."

"And for the town?"

"Retaliation. Denial."

The minotaur strung his master's words together and got the orders hidden underneath. "One more thing, Lord." The minotaur picked up a copper coin and placed it on the map, quite near where a mark on the map signified the capitol city in the west. "A small force of dragons and magi were seen moving near Veks. They bear the banner of Solymr, the genie, who is in the employ of tan. What are your orders concerning him?"

The man visibly stirred and grasped his crystal. "Myself. Darkness. Portal. Morning."

"Very well, my lord, I shall inform your dragons of your intentions. Shall I execute your orders concerning the Southern Plains, then?"

"Execute. Executed."

The minotaur bowed low. "It shall be done, my Lord."

The man seethed with internal torment. Why had he made the deal he did so long ago? Why did he choose to not pay with money or blood? It had taken him so long to even recover from his deal, and even then, it was a limited recovery...

No matter. Once he crushed the Southern Plains, the elves to the east would be no match for him.

"Leave. Alone. Darkness."

The minotaur bowed lower, if such a thing were possible. "I shall inform your camp."


The man reached up to a wall and brought down a sword of such power that even the minotaur, magic-less fool that he was, could feel it.

"My Lord, why do you give me this?"

"Titan. Use. Crush."

The minotaur groveled before this man. "Truly, my Lord, I am grateful beyond words or measure. Rest assured, the power that lies within this blade shall be used while you are away taking care of Solymr."

"Go. Preperations."

The minotaur hastened away, the sword gleaming in his hands. The man laughed silently. The power in that blade would very well consume him if he were not cautious about such things. He most likely wouldn't be, and he'd have to find a new commander in two day's time.

Enough of that now. He had things to do, preperations to make for his journey. He would have to traverse half the world once morning broke if he were to stop Solymr from attacking the capitol. His general there was young and would lose the battle, even with superior numbers. Magi were nothing to trifle with.

He knew this because he had been a magic-user himself once. Now he was the channel for a great evil power that wouldn't let him go. However, he was fairly sure that if he conqured the world, he'd have enough souls in his crystal to throw off the evil lord that imprisioned him within his own mind.

He had to win his campaign. If only for himself.


"Master Harold, back so soon?"

"Xandra, we need to talk, and we need to do it now."

"I assume you found the key then?" Xandra was a little flustered by Harold's directness and latent anger.

"Take a seat, this could be a while," Lucy suggested.

Xandra sat, and Lucy followed suit. Harold began his torrent of questioning. "How old is the Key-Bearer job? And don't say it's as old as the worlds themselves."

"But it is. At least, as we know them. These worlds are better now that Good and Evil aren't tearing them into shreds for their own gain and battles against one another."

"So you knew that the job was at most ten thousand years old...and didn't tell me this because of what?"

"Actually, I was barely a child when the Founder sealed away the Spheres. I met him once...he was someone that you know has gone through much, someone that didn't want to do what he did, but knew he had to. I could see it in his eyes and the way he held himself. He constantly had the weight of the worlds on his shoulders. According to the elders, he was a person of both sides, which makes sense. Only someone of the Light could seal away the Darkness, and only someone of the Darkness could oppose the Light."

Harold had stopped his angry pacing and taken a seat. "What happened when the Spheres were sealed?"

"Well, according to him, we're very near the world he used, and so we were hit harder and first by the aftershocks. While he was sealing them away, it looked like all the light and shadows were being drained away to somewhere else. Then, after a few minutes of that, the backlash hit us. Everything lit up as bright as day, then was engulfed in shadows as dark as night. Finally, the light returned to normal, and all the colors, everything looked a little paler, a little less vibrant and full of life. He, his seven children, and his family friend passed by here and created those doors with runes on them. We have nine of them here, but the Key-Bearer always sleeps in the room beyond the door the Founder created. He said 'If we fall, then the runes will flare red. That is a sign that the seals are weaking and we must be found. Should all nine runes flare, we have all fallen into darkness, and the worlds will return to how they were before in one year's time.' Then they went through the door in your room and dispersed across the Multiverse."

"And the Dragon and Unicorn?" Lucy asked. "Where did they come into his life?"

"They were his friends since their birth. Talran was the spirit of all blue dragons incarnate, and Lavica was the unicorn of a volcano; basically it's guardian spirit. They took up the mantel of keeping the worlds safe upon themselves, and passed it on to another, who passed it on in turn. It has been that way for ten Key-Bearers now."

"Ten...then they might be reincarnated by now! They might have the knowledge we need to keep this world safe!"

"Yes...but how would you find them?"

Harold pondered again. "We've still got that demon, ancient knowledge or no. I'm quite sure that they'll find us, when the time comes."

"But we ought to at least look, shouldn't we? We have to see if they know anything about fighting demons."

Harold closed his eyes and got his thoughts in order...


The minotaur commander walked down to the vast camp in the Cross-wastelands early in the morning. "Army! Atten-SHUN!"

The many troops that composed the army quickly got into their ranks. Legions of infernal troglodytes armed with spears and harpie hags armed with daggers and swords, a horde of medusa queens armed with crossbows and their gazes, dozens of evil eyes that shot magic and minotaur kings with great axes. Finally, there came the scorpicors with their posioned tails and sharp fangs and claws.

"We have been given permission to do as we see fit in the Southern Valley by our Lord!"

The army cheered. The minotaur commander held up the sword his Lord had given him, and lightning struck, silencing the lot of them. Oh, he would enjoy this sword.

"He is currently away with his dragons dealing with a threat back at the capitol. In the meantime, you will obey ME. Now, the way I see it, we have a variety of options here. One, we could attack the small backwards village that lives here and thus give our Lord another spot to use for his return trip."

Everyone cheered, and the commander reached for his sword again. Everyone fell silent.

"Two, we could raid the area of all it's valuable rescources and enslave those that dwell here to serve us."

The army had learned it's lesson and remained silent.

"Three, we could go on a rampage, fill the plains with blood, take all artifacts of power, and crush all life out of the plains."

The army was still silent.

"Keep in mind, of course, that what we are aiming for is to please our Master. I want to hear from your leaders as to what you wish to do, so divisions, huddle!"

The creatures got into huge masses and began debating what they should do. The commander awaited their opinions while fingering the hilt of his sword.

An evil overlord out-to-rule-the-world character, more magical mojo than you can shake a metaphorical stick at, and reincarnation and evil afoot! Blimey, two polls as well!
So! What does Harold do? Track down the demon or dragon and unicorn? And how should he go about it either way?
And as for that commander, he's got an army to lead in lieu of his Leige-Lord-Master. Which path of mayhem will they reap first?
Come one, come all, to the suggestion part, which is right...
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Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 8794

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:41 pm    Post subject:  

Another wonderful chapter IM, and a truly excellent villain with a great motivation behind him. A couple of small typos, but nothing that spoils things.

The only thing that I didn't quite like was the Minatour asking for options from his men. A leader like him would decide himself I think.

Anyway, this really is your best work to date IMO. Keep going!

Oh, DP... :D

"Three, we could go on a rampage, fill the plains with blood, take all artifacts of power, and crush all life out of the plains." my choice!
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Idea master

Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 1787
Location: Sneaking Idearium into your beverages.

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:54 am    Post subject:  

Aaah, Chinaren, don't you know? A good commander is capable of pleasing both his Lord and his army! If he can't, then they WILL turn on him.
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tramp in a storm

Joined: 11 Apr 2005
Posts: 1585
Location: You never know...I could be in YOUR dust bin.

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:17 am    Post subject:  

Ooooh nice chapy. heheh I did not giggle imaturely at anything.
*fears for my sanity* You know there's something wrong when you find out that you sound like a hyper 4 year old. It's true!

anyway, i agree with Chinaren. The army gets it's fun and their master gets his artefacts of power. Everyone is happy*.
One question: Do we get to see what the sword does to him?

*apart from the dead people though. Unless they were suicidal anyway.
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Idea master

Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 1787
Location: Sneaking Idearium into your beverages.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:54 pm    Post subject:  

Right, part one of the two-part poll has popped out due to an error in IF-space continuum. I am polling for Harold's actions for four days, then this poll shall be splashed with holy water to be sent back from whence it came.
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Idea master

Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 1787
Location: Sneaking Idearium into your beverages.

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:27 pm    Post subject:  

The poll will close after today, so get yer votes in now! I have located the holy water and am drawing closer to the demon of voting!
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Idea master

Joined: 10 May 2004
Posts: 1787
Location: Sneaking Idearium into your beverages.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:31 am    Post subject:  

A three way tie...well, I suppose that this should have been expected.

Anyway. The poll has been banished, only to have it's bigger brother show up in it's stead. Whilst I search for my crucifix over the next four days, you may inscribe your rune of voting now as to what the army of evil will do.

And opinions as to which one of the two forces - Keybearer or Evil Army - that will have the next chapter written about them are very much welcome.
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Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 125
Location: On mah steed.

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject:  

Ahm all caught up n' this un young feller. Ahm enjoyin' it too ahm. Missed ther discussion' like, but ah will vote.
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