Things to expect from this set: 1- A card with an effect I was please asked not to do... but I did it anyways! (Tyertar, Ragantiar's Vizier) 2- My first tricolored walker and colorless walker! (Darios and Amrhotep) 3- Enchantments that can be destroyed by a red card (Colorless enchantments) 4- The completion of a cycle from 2002 5- A snekk lord (Baere Vipertongue) 6- You know my duals, time to show you my trilands!
1- A card with an effect I was please asked not to do... but I did it anyways!
Why do I feel like I was the one who asked you not to do it
Can't wait! I get the feeling I know what the enchantment is going to be -- at least, I think I know why you prefaced it the way you did... time will tell!
Nah, it wasn't you, and actually you inspired me to explore unusual design space with Am'atambi so if people don't like the card you're exclusively to blame! Regarding the enchantments, it's easier to know what the twist is taking into account I showed you said red card XD.
A Brief Recap
I thought to make a brief summary of the story so far, so here goes:
These guys, the Titans, created Korrinayru, but then the people of the world defied them, so they got angry and wiped them out:
In this new, postapocalyptic world, people survive the way they can, but there's Sentinels (emissaries of the Titans) out there, so it's not so easy. This guy called Darios meets a planeswalker named Aylin who defeats one of them, so he thinks "Maybe I can team up with her and go talk to the Titans to see if they're no longer mad at us and let us move on with our lives. Yeah, that sounds like a sensible idea!" So he leaves his friends and family behind to do just that.
In the meantime, the native planeswalker Allagras has come back, and he's cocky enough to try and kill the Titans (because that turned out so well the first time...) so he rallies his people and, after convincing them not to hate him anymore, they go ahead and follow his plan. But they cross paths with a group of mad, religious zealots known as the Scorched, who say "Hey, if we didn't die it's because the Titans love us, so to prove our devotion to them we're gonna immolate the rest of Korrinayru". This obviously doesn't sit well with Allagras, so they fight. But don't worry, Allagras makes it after Khierassa, leader of the Scorched, gets swallowed whole by a wurm...
There's also these b-plots with The Erased, who's a mysterious fellow who just seems to be there to advance the plot. He gives Steelhoof (the centaur leader) a ring with "The Gem of Allure" so he can bring Sentinels to his island because Domri is suddenly here and he's helping the enemies of the centaurs. Also there's this other guy named Ragantiar who got "The Gem of Consumption" and used it to become the leader of he's tribe but now he kind of wants more and is trying to conquer the entire country, but more on that later.
So back to Darios and Aylin! They're finally in Millikas, where the gateway that will take them to the Titan Realm is, but oh noes they get kidnapped by some Sentinels! Is this the work of the Titans? No! It's the work of this guy!
But who's that guy? He's one of the three dudes who thought it was smart to wage war on the Titans thirty years ago. Turns out he too got a visit from the toot fairy The Erased, and he got the best bargain: "The Gem of Obedience". With that, he's gonna use the Sentinels to take over the world and kill the Titans (second time's the charm)!
And that's what you missed on Korrinayru. What will happen to our heroes, antiheroes and villains? Stay tuned for more!
Also, as a reward for sticking through this, here's a card spoiler!
@jacqui-pup: in reality, someone is trying to disassemble one... Also, due to lack of space only Obedience will appear as a card for the time being.
The Mechanics of Creators Versus Creation
The spoiler season starts with mechanics! What's old? What's new? What's borrowed? What's blue? Let's find out, shall we?
Korrinayru's mechanics Scavenge Since we're still in a plane of scavengers, it's clear this mechanic needs to stay here! As in Korrinayru, scavenge will be , and there will be "scavenge lords" here as well:
Wasteland Just like in set one, wasteland will be featured here as well, rewarding you for having lands in your graveyard:
Beckon/Deities Deities are still pivotal in this world, and with beckon you'll be able to animate them:
Outlast and Relinquish will not be appearing in this set.
New mechanics Battle cry Now that it's out in the open that Multhratos is back and he's taking control of the Sentinels, people are starting to side with him once more. War is imminent, and some are already taking sides. Battle cry will be appearing in . Battle cry (Whenever this creature attacks, each other attacking creature gets +1/+0 until end of turn.)
Bequest is a keyword ability that enters this set in order to replace Outlast. Inspired by Modular, this mechanic lets you move counters around once your creature dies, and will be mainly , but will appear in other colors. Bequest X (This creature enters the battlefield with X +1/+1 counters on it. When it dies, you may put its +1/+1 counters on target creature without bequest.)
Transcendence As the Titans' control over the Sentinels fades, Korrinary are actually being rewarded for harvesting their power. Transcendence is an ability word that will reward you for casting enchantment spells. Transcendence - Whenever you cast an enchantment spell, [effect]/[effect] if you cast an enchantment spell this turn.
A small survey I conducted revealed people want to see the Snekk Lord... well I lied! There is no snake lord in the set! That's because there's a Snake lady!
In some cards of Korrinayru, the name Baere Vipertongue has appeared:
Well, Baere is a young Velkian who's trained in shamanistic ways ever since she discovered she could speak with snakes, earning her the name Baere Parseltongue Vipertongue. She is deeply protective of these creatures: if you mess with them, she'll make sure they mess with you.
Even though she won't take part in the story, I fell in love with the artwork and decided to build a legend around it, here's what came out of it:
I would really appreciate feedback on her, her CMC and stats have been nightmarish. I tried to use Izoni to compare but Izoni's trigger is easier to meet although at the same time Baere is giving you 2/2s rather than 1/1s, so I'm still unsure if I costed this corrected. Any commentaries on her card are both encouraged and appreciated!
I'm allergic to text but the cards have some high highs and low lows. I love discarding land cards as a cost to turn on wasteland, and I'm a big fan of the Scavenge bonuses (though admittedly I have no clue how to properly cost scavenge). Carrion Feaster worries me, but I can't quite put my finger on why. A 2GG 7/6 is obviously excellent in limited but probably never playable outside of limited and you have to really jump some hoops to get there, so maybe it's just fine, but it feels out of place as a common. Baere's Call is a design that I hate -- creating one token is almost never playable, and the second token swings the power level fairly radically (in that it doubles it). I'd up the CMC and make two tokens by default, with a different wasteland bonus (cost reduction, give the tokens a keyword until EOT, etc). That way it'll still be playable for its front half.
The lord is fantastic. I also have no clue how to cost it, but using Izona as a guideline might help? I think six is probably the way to go, but really, heck if I know. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I should've probably said something about this earlier for Korrinayru but the 'translated from Velkian' bit doesn't sit right with me because, like, aren't we supposedly hearing things in translation by default if these are set on fantasy worlds?
That said, the snake cards look great, as do most of the other cards posted so far (though I am not sold on Under the Titans' Watch, especially at uncommon). Baere does feel like a six mana card, but I really like the effect.
@canterburyegg: well, taking into account the following card is currently in KStandard, casting Carrion Feaster in constructed is actually a possibility :
I agree on Baere's Call and am currently finding a way to fix it.
Neottolemo: The "translated from Velkian" bit is because Velkian isn't technically an understandable language. Velkians have become savages, and they speak in guttural grunts and such, so even a planeswalker with the google translate magic of the spark would not be able to understand it as a speakable language, hence the clarification. Your commentary on Under the Titans' Watch is funny because I've received both "too pushed" and "not pushed enough" comments on it XD
As Multhratos saw the devastation that surrounded him, all he could think about was how this all had been a drunken mistake. He remembered entering that Lasyvrian tavern a few months ago, how he’d met Erkred and Salagol, and how after the fifth (maybe seventh?) mug of beer he’d began complaining how his life took nowhere, how it was all the Creators’ fault and how someone should do something about them…
And now here he was, facing extinction for trying to do something about the Creators. He’d even seen them emerge from the Gateway. Five disgusting creatures, five… Titans, so almighty and so gigantic only now could he realize the full extent of his insanity. But he couldn’t go back now, he’d brought all these people to their deaths. So he was forced to put his money where his mouth had been. Taking advantage that the Titans were focused elsewhere and he’d already dealt with the wave of Sentinels that had come his way, he sneaked his way to the Gateway, and entered…
He woke up five days later (although he couldn’t tell how much time had passed) in the middle of a bloodbathed Millikas. He could only tell where he was because of the countless bodies that littered the landscape, now a barren waste, but he still had to convince himself this was indeed where he was, since the Gateway to the Titan Realm had disappeared, leaving a huge portion of the country missing where it had once stood…
“I’m sorry, I’m just so sorry…” he whispered to the dead that surrounded him.
All he could do after that was wander aimlessly through the obliterated territory, wondering what had happened inside the Titan Realm and why he was still alive, and hoping he could find a survivor.
As he kept going, something caught his attention: a cloud of smoke was approaching him, so he began screaming at it hoping it would be people from another country. But instead it was a beastlike creature, a Sentinel! He prepared to run away, but he realized that he deserved this death. This was punishment for his greed, he should die the same meaningless death his brothers in arms had suffered! He stood there waiting for the end to come… and the end came and left.
The creature approached him with its vicious jaws wide open, but the second it reached him, it seemed to scoff in disgust. It took a careful whiff at him, then snorted, turned around and went back where it came from.
“So even the creatures that were created specifically to fight us during the war dare not lay a finger on me. I truly am disgusting…” he said bitterly.
Maybe he was wrong, maybe he was actually dead and his spirit was the one roaming. He’d heard Velkian stories of an afterlife, although that would be a direct contradiction to the Blessing of Death, so the mere thought of it was a stupidity. Besides, he was feeling weary, and hunger and thirst were already annoying him. He was definitely alive, but at least he now had a new idea of how to pass away: he’d starve himself to death!
He simply lay there on the desert floor and closed his eyes, waiting for his mortal body to finally succumb to its imperfection, but after a few days of waiting (he couldn’t tell how many, he only knew time was passing because of feeling the shifts in lights from the sun and moon cycles) he realized he may not even be capable of dying that way. He didn’t get it: he could feel the hunger and thirst tearing his body apart and fill him with indescribable pain, yet he knew he could go on with this sensation indefinitely. Was he not a mere mortal? After all, the last time he remembered eating something had been…
And then it struck him. What could be the cause of him surviving, what could be the cause of the Sentinel refusing to attack him, why he could still live even though he was technically dead… what had happened in the Titan Realm!
He had managed to hurt one of the Titans, he had actually done something that, as small and insignificant as it was, it had actually some relevance for his cause. He’d managed to cut off the tip of Luthiel’s finger, and in a moment of perfect clarity and for reasons he could no longer remember, he ate it. Things had been so much more clear back then, but maybe the knowledge contained in that Realm had been so overwhelming he could not return to his own plane of existence carrying all that knowledge with him or his psyche would collapse.
“So I am partially like the Titans now… That means that I am immortal… That means I have some sort of control over this world… That means I can actually finish what I started!” he spoke to the void that surrounded him as ambition filled his spirit once more.
And so, for the next thirty years, he began honing his power. He learned how to channel his Titan part to get small Sentinels to do his bidding, but he couldn’t take it very far, all he could do was get them to hunt something for him, or bring him water so he could keep the hunger and thirst at bay, and even these measly tasks required a ton of mental effort. But then salvation came, and oh how glorious salvation was.
A man who seemed to be dressed in rags yet had glimmering gilded golden ornaments appeared before him out of thin air.
“Who are you?” asked Multhratos scared. It was the first time he’d been approached by a sentient entity in all these years, and this stranger looked unlike anything he’d ever seen, and he’d seen so many things…
The stranger simply stared at him in curiosity.
“Who I am? I don’t know… But my purpose in this place seems to be that of helping those in need, and you look like you are in need of help” he said cryptically in a deep voice.
While Multhratos pondered these words, the stranger simply removed a ring with a blue gem from his ring finger and handed it to the man.
“The Third Gem is Obedience. It is the most powerful and the most dangerous of all three gems. Whatever creature you use it on will be yours to command, but in using it, part of your vital strength will be drained. The stronger the will of the one you are trying to subdue, the greater the toll on your body…”
“What happens if its wielder is immortal, then?” asked Multhratos immediately.
“I’m not sure… I’ve never met an immortal” replied the stranger.
As Multhratos put the ring around his finger, the stranger seemed lost in thought.
What happens if its wielder is immortal? Why does this remind me of something else? No, he wasn’t immortal, he wanted to be, which is why he created the Gems, yes! The gems are dangerous, that’s why I’m here! Not to help people in trouble, but to make sure the Gems are separate and stay separate!
“Are you okay?” asked Multhratos as he saw the concern in the man’s face.
“Yes, I am” replied the stranger “But I’d like to ask you for a favor.”
* * * * *
“I’ve seen your feats... Aylin, is it?” asked Multhratos with a sadistic tone “You’ve been able to battle and kill Sentinels with relative ease. Not only that, you’ve been through different worlds, which means you can actually enter the Titan Realm without being overwhelmed, or at least I hope so…
“Yes, you’re the last component I need to win this war. Once I have you under my control, I’ll send you to the Titans and have you kill them in my behalf!”
Before Aylin could even react, the man had already pressed the ring against her forehead and she could feel its power taking control of her. As she fought this soothing sensation that spread quickly through her mind, the rest of the world seemed to disappear.
She could feel cold tendrils grabbing a hold of her thoughts, and her willpower seemed to be weakening by the second.
Aren’t you tired of fighting? Aren’t you tired of running away? Aren’t you tired of feeling tired and anguished? All you need to do is let go, surrender. Nobody will blame you, you deserve a rest from life, especially after what happened to you… spoke a strange voice in her head.
But that was exactly why she fought, because of what had happened to her. After that day she’d sworn she’d never feel vulnerable to another man ever again. And she wasn’t going to break that vow!
With all the strength she could muster, she fought back the sensation. As the stimulus from her surroundings returned and her perception was restored, she could see Multhratos thrown back after losing the struggle.
“Apparently you’re stronger than I calculated… I’ll need to take some measures before attempting this again” he said gasping heavily “How about you?” he added, turning towards Darios.
“Multhratos” said a deep voice near the two captives “The intruders have defeated the Sentinels and are headed this way. They seem to have left their differences apart and joined forces…”
Aylin and Darios turned towards the source of the voice, only to see a ghastly man who seemed shocked at the image of Multhratos and them.
“Stay here and make sure the captives don’t try anything funny, I have something to do!” replied Multhratos exiting the hideout.
But the man was lost in thought. The image of the man trying to take control over Aylin’s mind had triggered something inside him, and he seemed tormented by memories of his past life.
“Who are you?” asked Darios looking at the stranger and completely unable to discern his origin given his clothings.
For the first time since he’d arrived at Korrinayru, the mysterious stranger had an answer to that question.
On Friday, the identity of the Erased is finally revealed, so stay tuned!
“Amrhotep” said Tyganiep following his friend “I can explain!”
“Tyganiep, the reason I helped you create the Gems was to get rid of the Gods and their army!” exclaimed Amrhotep in anger “I never thought you’d use them on our fellow people!”
“The Basteura are not human!” retorted Tyganiep, talking about the Rammanethi cat-people.
“They helped us fight this war and get rid of the priests that summoned the infernal armies! They have just the same rights as us, and you betrayed them! I knew you had a tendency to get drunk with power, but I thought I could change you. Apparently I was wrong…”
Oh, how stupid he’d been. The three Gems had been a mistake, and he’d allowed himself to create them. Allure would draw in the most powerful of creatures, Consumption would drain their energy and once they were weak, using Obedience on them would be easy and hardly take any physical toll. Whoever controlled the three Gems could conquer the world!
“I’m destroying them” said Amrhotep coldly.
“You can’t! We still haven’t purged this world. What if the Gods return? What will happen then, huh?”
“I think I’d rather take my chances with the Gods than with you…”
He expected Tyganiep to burst in rage and attack him, but instead he began laughing eerily.
“Well, well, well… you’ve finally made a wise choice then.”
“What do you mean?” asked Amrhotep intrigued, it seemed like his lifelong friend had disappeared, replaced instead by a creature that looked like him, but was unlike him at all.
Tyganiep simply raised his hand in Amrhotep’s direction, paralyzing him without speaking a single word. He pointed his hand to the ground and the man was forced to bow.
“Remember when I killed the last God? When I did I saw something I never thought I would: there’s an intriguing set of leylines connected to the sands of this world, leylines that are linked to every last one of us. While you stood by my right side and rallied the people under our government, I took the opportunity to study this power and harvest it right under your nose!
“It turns out that this power is greater than that of the Gems, since I don’t need direct contact with my victims, but I still need them every once in a while when someone steps out of line. I’ve been slowly but certainly exerting my influence over this world, and now everyone belongs to me!
“You want to know the real purpose of the Gems? I convinced you to help me make them with enough power to beat the Gods, but I was already seeing the bigger picture: I wanted the power to overthrow the Gods and take their place, not just get rid of them for the people!”
Amrhotep couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He’d been played even before his friend had become Pharaoh. He’d unwillingly helped create a tyrant even bigger than the Gods themselves!
“Did I ever mean anything to you?” he asked with bitterness.
“You did, back when we began the War, and ironically, the bond we developed made it easier for me to exert this power over you!” he said, clenching his fist.
Amrhotep immediately began contorting in pain, as if a thousand needles were being pressed against his organs and muscles.
“I can defeat you without even laying a finger on you…” said the Pharaoh sadistically, clenching his fist once more.
The pain became unbearable, and Amrhotep began howling in agony. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t think, he couldn’t even react, just take this punishment impotently, until all of a sudden it stopped.
He turned around expecting Tyganiep to be preparing for something worse, but instead he saw his friend standing in shock, a glimmer of guilt slowly fading within his eyes. He did care about him after all, at least enough to stop for a few seconds, and they were a few seconds Amrhotep had to make the most out of.
With uncanny speed, he rose and began running towards the pedestal were the Gems were kept. He managed to grab them but once again felt himself forced to his knees as Tyganiep regained his composure and once more used his power on him.
“Release the Gems and I will spare you…” he said with a deadly cold voice.
“I thought you didn’t need them anymore…”
“This power is still new to me, and the Gems have proven to help me channel it…”
“All the more reason to get rid of them!” screamed Amrhotep using all his willpower to stand up and place the Gems on his hand.
He felt a series of sensations in slow motion, a piercing scream from the man who had once been his best friend, an excruciating pain that spread throughout his whole organism, a pulling force that seemed to rip his very soul out of his body, and a strange and warm light that bathed him from the inside out, pulling him out of Tyganiep’s grasp and into an abyssal darkness.
* * * * *
As a gush of water splashed on his face, he woke up startled.
“Are you all right?” asked a stranger’s voice, but it all sounded like gibberish to him.
He looked around himself, unable to understand anything. What was this strange place? Why was everything different? Where was he? Who was he?
He looked at the stranger in the face and tried to ask him about this, but realized he couldn’t speak. He had memory of the concept of speech, yet couldn’t form any sounds close to words. He stared around him, knowing everything was wrong, but he couldn’t put his finger on why it was wrong. He stood up, looked at the man one more time, and ran away as far as he could.
He kept running for hours in no particular direction until he was stopped by a group of strangers.
“Well, what have we here?” said one of them placing his hand on the hilt of his sword “You’re a weird man, are you not? You’re wearing nothing but rags, yet seem to have some pretty expensive-looking ornaments. Heh heh heh.”
He drew his sword and pointed it at his Adam’s apple.
“Give us everything you have and we won’t have to hurt you” said the man.
The Erased just stood there, unable to process what was happening, so the other men began removing his headpiece for him. Soon, none of the golden ornaments he’d worn as Tyganiep’s advisor were in his possession, but that didn’t seem to sate the burglars’ greed.
“Look at those rings you have there… Give them to me, now!” he demanded, pressing the sword against his skin and making a few beads of blood appear.
The Erased looked down at his hand and saw the three Gems. Something triggered inside him. It wasn’t a full memory, just a few faint certainties about these strange crystals.
“No” he said, speaking for the first time since his ascension.
“No?” said the thief contemptuously.
It all happened in a flash. The sword was raised, ready to decapitate the Erased, but he was quicker, launching forward and tackling the man. He forced the sword out of his hand and stabbed the man’s chest, killing him instantly.
The other three men charged against me drawing out their own weapons, but even though he didn’t know why, the Erased knew exactly how to disarm and defeat the three of them. As he strangled the last of them, he looked back at his right hand, thinking about the Gems. He didn’t know what they were, but he knew nobody else could have them.
And so the years went by. Little by little, he regained his ability to speak, his hunting skills, even his social skills, being accepted by a small village as one of their own and using his combat expertise to protect them from thieves and wild beasts.
He seemed to had found his purpose in life, until the stranger came to town. A man wearing clothes nobody had ever seen had shown up out of the blue, staying in the village to try the food and drinks before continuing his trip. But upon seeing the Erased and, most importantly, his foreign clothes, he’d said five words that would forever change him.
“So you’re a planeswalker too?” asked the man, sealing the Erased’s fate forever. After seeing his confused response, he explained the man about the Multiverse and the existence of other worlds.
So that was what those dreams had been about? A world covered in sand, with barely any vegetation or water, something that was clearly impossible. It hadn’t been fantasy, it had been home! But as he thought about the world he originated from, the Gems taunted him once more: You can’t go back there, not with the Gems, and nobody can have the three of them at the same time…
He knew he’d find answers back home, yet he couldn’t return yet. What if he gave the Gems away individually? Then he’d be able to go back… But as he studied the people in the village and roamed other places in the world, he realized nobody was worthy of them. If anybody in this world had access to even one of the Gems, it could bring catastrophic consequences to this world. No, he needed to go to a world that was already torn up. A world so far gone beyond any form of restoration that upsetting its balance with the power of the Gems would not alter its already devastated state. And so he spent the next few years roaming the worlds, trying to find this world, if it even existed, until he came accross Korrinayru.
* * * * *
“I am Amrhotep” he said to Darios and Aylin as these memories flowed back to him in an instant, reminding him of his purpose here.
He’d been fooled once more. Unable to remember Tyganiep and their years growing together, he’d found a familiar warmth in Multhratos’s character, and decided to help him get back on his feet, but all he’d done was help another tyrant rise to power. All it took was seeing him try to use Obedience on Aylin, the same way Tyganiep had done once. But this time he was still in time. He’d helped a monster conquer a world. He wasn’t going to let it happen once more.
“I don’t know when he’ll return, but I know how to defeat him” he said to the captives as he released their bonds “Time is of the essence if we are to stop him from taking over this world!”
Next week, we'll see the conclusion of one of the B plots!
NOTE: I have to congratulate WotC for pulling off two great colorless walker, designing Amrhotep was a nightmare and I'm still pretty sure I didn't do a great job, so if any of you has suggestions on how to improve him I'm all ears eyes!
It had been ten days since Steelhoof had activated the Gem of Allure and attracted the Sentinels to Velk, and the results had been disastrous. Whatever protection the Titans had imparted to keep the Sentinels away from the centaurs only worked outside the island. Once they’d been attracted, they had begun decimating centaur and savage territory alike!
Even though he had the full support of his tribe and most of them had claimed he’d made the right choice and that they would have done the same were they in his hooves, he couldn’t help feeling ashamed of his choice.
The only saving grace in the midst of this chaos was that the Sentinels had not yet reached the tribes, being forced into the outskirts of centaur territory thanks to the efforts of Steelhoof and those fighting alongside him.
As he chased a dragon that had been causing struggle in the north, he prayed that they’d be able to contain the threat and be fortunate enough to stop the Sentinels from defiling their tribes.
The dragon had been flying overhead, seemingly going elsewhere, but it took a quick turn and breathed a stream of fire in the direction of Steelhoof, who had just enough time to move out of the way, his troops following suit.
“Arrowhead formation, now!” ordered the centaur chieftain, and the rest obeyed.
The centaur vanguard formed a triangle with Steelhoof at the front, and ran straight towards the dragon once the flames dissipated. The creature opened its maw once more but an expert arrow was shot into its mouth, forcing it to spit it out as a reflex and stopping it from showering them in fire. The chieftain stopped dead on his tracks and the rest of his men inverted the arrow’s direction while surrounding the dragon, each throwing a weighted rope at their corresponding partners. The ropes flew above the beast and, with the aid of the rocks tied to them, the centaurs pulled the creature down from the sky, forcing it to plummet gracelessly to the floor.
Now it was at its most vulnerable, it was not very hard for them to finish it off.
“Good job, everyone” said Steelhoof with a tired smile “Now let’s head to the west, I heard-”
But a sudden tremor stopped him dead on his tracks. As he struggled to keep his balance, the ground next to him split open, and a massive wurm erupted from it.
“Quick! Form a circle and surround it!” he commanded, but as his people did so the creature lunged towards him, emerging completely and thrashing with its tail and scattering the centaurs around.
Steelhoof had only enough time to move out of the way to avoid being swallowed, and before he could even catch his breath he was forced to do it again. He was being cornered by this creature who, unlike the other Sentinels, seemed focused solely on him, and he didn’t have enough time to think, much less elaborate a plan.
But it seemed that a plan would not be necessary, since he’d already lost. As he heard a low bellow behind him, his blood froze in his veins. One Sentinel in front of him and one on his back, he was cornered and completely unable to do anything about him, his end was all but certain…
But as the wurm lunged forward, it completely bypassed him, attacking the Sentinel instead and tearing it to pieces with its vicious maw.
Sentinels never turn on their own kind, even if they’re trying to hunt the same prey… thought Steelhoof completely shocked at this turn of events, finally given a chance to evaluate the situation But then why is it coming after me so intently? Unless… it’s after this!
He looked at his right hand, where the Gem of Allure still shone, its intensity drastically increasing after the arrival of the Sentinels. In a second, the answer was clear to him. This Gem had brought the Sentinels to him, and now he’d use it to get rid of them! As the wurm finished feasting on their common enemy, the rest of the centaurs finally caught up to their leader.
“Thornpelt!” commanded Steelhoof with a strong voice “You are left in charge of this squad, I want you to head to the west and get rid of the Sentinels there! You know how I think, you’ll know what tactics I would employ and I trust you’ll make the best out of them!”
“But sir!” replied the lieutenant concerned “What about you? How are you going to deal with that creature?”
“I’m not, I think I can use it to destroy the Sentinels, but I’m not sure about my theory, so I can’t risk you being near me if it fails, I’ve already failed you once…”
But before Thornpelt could speak the wurm had already finished eating the Sentinel and was already chasing Steelhoof again, so he quickly trotted into the thicket in the opposite direction of his troops.
The fact that he had been running away for almost half an hour and the wurm hadn’t caught up to him was proving his theory right, since he’d muttered an incantation that delayed the trail Allure left behind, forcing the creature following it to slow down. Even though his muscles were cramping and his lungs were burning, he kept running, afraid of what might happen if the creature caught up to him.
He finally reached his destination: the shoreline. A few seconds ago, he’d reached the decimated edge of the forest, the only place of Velk where the Descent had taken its toll, and now he was finally near the sea, where a gigantic Kraken had actually emerged drawn by the inevitable pull of Allure. Steelhoof stopped dead on his tracks.
He stood there awaiting for the Sentinel to come closer and, as the creature raised one of its clawlike appendages to cut him in half, the wurm caught up to them, jumping at the Titans’ creation once more and fighting it.
So it is powerful enough to be drawn to the Gem, yet it seems to be driven by something more than instinct, or it wouldn’t go after the Sentinels the second it found them thought Steelhoof as he finally caught his breath This creature is not natural, it is following someone else’s orders, but then that means-!
Before he could finish the thought he felt bolas wrapping around his legs and the momentum of the impact made him lose his balance and fall violently to the ground. The next thing he felt was a dull hit on the head, and then everything went black.
* * * * *
“So you were trying to take control of Varoth, right?” spoke a rough, yet young voice as Steelhoof recovered from the hit.
“Who’s Varoth…?” was all he could ask, and his ignorance earned him a whippin on his flank.
“Varoth is my gift to the Velkian… I summoned him so he’d get rid of the creatures you brought here” replied the young man.
“I did it as a desperate resource, your people twisted my arm and, for what it’s worth, I deeply regret my decision” was the centaur’s reply, and, once again, he felt the whip beating his flesh.
“You torture these people for years, then call upon monstrosities to hunt them, then try to take away the only protector they have and you blame it upon them?!”
“Are you not from here then?” asked Steelhoof in shock “Who are you?!”
“I am Domri Rade” answered the young man, gesturing to whoever was behind the centaur, probably to stop them from whipping him again “And the Velkian have explained everything to me…”
“Not everything, apparently, they seem to have forgotten to mention how this all happened because they chose to fight the Titans, how they lost their territory to their own stupidity and started raiding ours even though we had nothing to do with it! This is all their fault!” spat the centaur enraged.
Domri gestured once more and the whip descended once more.
“I don’t care who caused them to lose their homes, I care about you bringing these behemoths to Velk and trying to take control of my gift to these people.”
Steelhoof was breathing sharply as the stinging pain dissipated. This man was misguided, but he’d sided with the Velkian savages already, so trying to change his mind was a complete waste of time. Instead, he decided to take a new approach.
“Your wurm, I wasn’t trying to gain control of it, I didn’t even know it belonged to you, but as you can see, the same power I command that brought the Sentinels to us seems to work on this… ‘Varoth’” he began “The Velkian and us have been in turmoil for years, but right now we seem to have a common enemy… I think I can work something that will be beneficial for both our people…”
“What are you proposing?” asked Domri, intrigued.
“I’m proposing permanently ridding Velk of the Sentinels.”
On Friday: alliances, war, drama, and the conclusion to this arc!
A few hours later, Steelhoof was back in his tribe with four savages following him closely. He’d been allowed to keep the Gem of Allure since Varoth was tracking him and, if he dared do anything funny, the wurm would wipe him and his entire people, and that was a risk he would never take.
He’d made a deal with Domri: centaurs and savages would form an alliance to get rid of the Sentinels, and once that was dealt with, part of the centaur territory would be assigned to the savages… but before closing the deal he’d need to consult with the rest of his people. He’d already made a decision for them and the consequences of that decision had landed them in this mess. If he did it once more and it was all for the worst, then he’d never forgive himself, and neither would his tribe.
After gathering the military leaders and the tribe elders, he explained the situation to them.
“I believe we can use this ‘Varoth’ to fight the Sentinels, it is strong enough to deal with them individually, and if we combine military strategy with the savages’ brute force and magic capabilities, we can isolate the Sentinels from each other to weaken them.”
“You realize that by showing our military tactics to the Velkian they’ll know how to defeat us if turmoil ensues later, right?” asked one of the lieutenants “What happens if they’re not content with being given territory and try to take the rest away from us?”
“I thought the same thing” said Steelhoof grimly “But if we do not stop the Sentinels, there will be no territory left for either of us. They’re as desperate as we are, trust me. But then again, this is not my decision to make. I’ve given you my side of the story and my opinion, the choice is ultimately yours.”
He let the council deliberate and waited patiently for hours. When the sun had finished setting, he received the verdict: the vast majority had voted in favor of the alliance.
“It is settled, then” he said, then turned to the people who’d escorted him, and made the corresponding gestures Domri had taught him to let them know they had an agreement. The savages nodded and were escorted back to the edge of the forest.
“Tomorrow the world changes once more” he said grimly, hoping he’d made the right call this time.
* * * * *
After managing to bring down the fifth Sentinel in a day, Steelhoof was content with the alliance. Now that the entirety of Velk was united in cause, they were being efficient and quick. It was true that the humans and giants were still rather unstable and sometimes menial matters would result in internal fights, but with the help of Domri they were able to calm everyone down before something serious occured.
Steelhoof had to admit the planeswalker was quite charming and quite adept. He knew how to lead his people, which was a virtue they shared. But his most important collaboration had been summoning Varoth. With the wurm’s help, the Velkian had access to raw power they had been lacking ever since the Descent, and, thanks to the Gem of Allure, they could guarantee the Sentinels would come to Varoth, thus forcing them to fight under their rules.
The plan had been perfect… until the day the sky turned black.
It happened completely unexpectedly. From one second to the next, the sky simply turned to an almost completely pitch darkness in the entire world. In the north, five pale white silhouettes projected themselves in the skies, creating a dazzling contrast that was both majestic and terrifying. A brutal roar that carried an equal mixture of anger and anguish echoed throughout every corner of Korrinayru, momentarily deafening centaurs, humans, giants and wildlife alike. And then… the swarm.
The sky returned to its normal state, but the world didn’t. In a matter of seconds, the skies and seas swelled with Sentinels, all coming from the same direction: Millikas.
“Is this a new Descent?” asked Steelhoof terrified “The Titans have returned to the mortal realm!”
Everybody panicked internally, for there was no time to let fear take control over them. The newly spawned Sentinels were already rushing towards Velk, driven by the Gem of Allure. It didn’t take long for chaos to ensue.
Velk was immediately swarmed, and the Velkian had to fight tooth and claw just to stay alive. Any form of strategic thinking had to be left behind for instinct to take over (the savages had the upper hand on this). Their strongest weapon had now become a crutch!
As Steelhoof fended off as many threats as he could while barely leaving a scratch on them, he looked down at the now blindingly glowing Gem of Allure. That accursed stone had completely ruined his life! Yes, he had struggled to keep the savages at bay, and getting a common enemy had united them, but still, now all he could see in the future was extinction!
He cursed himself for accepting it in the first place and for casting the spell to draw the Sentinels towards Velk. He couldn’t just undo the spell, the Sentinels already knew they were here! And since they lived in an island, they had no means of driving them anywhere else! Unless…
And then Steelhoof had an idea. He’d learned to mistrust his judgement given what had happened the last few days, but with this, not only could he potentially drive the Sentinels away, he would also be able to atone for his mistakes!
The Sentinels would be driven to the Gem of Allure and have no decision on the matter, so what if the Gem was moved by one of them? They would never turn on their own kind, and if all the attention was focused on one Sentinel, the Velkian could focus all their efforts on that one creature and capture it, driving it as far away from their tribes as possible. It was a long shot, but in the heat of the moment, it made sense.
There was a catch, though. A Sentinel wouldn’t willingly ingest the Gem, and they couldn’t rely on shooting it at one. There was only one way to ensure it would end inside the creature, and that was how Steelhoof would atone…
“Domri, I thank you for helping me unite both our people!” he screamed at the planeswalker “I hope you keep your end of the bargain! And order Varoth not to go after the Gem’s pull…
“Thornpelt!” he screamed at his lieutenant, who momentarily stopped fighting to approach him “I’m leaving you in charge! Just make sure you drive that dragon as far away from Velk as possible! Oh, and tell Purehide I love her…”
Thornpelt looked at his commander in confusion, but when the other centaur extended his arm, they both grabbed each other at the elbows in the traditional salute of friendship and respect.
As soon as the salute was broken, Steelhoof threw a spear at the dragon he’d pointed at earlier. The creature immediately focused its attention on him and started flying in his general direction, its maw wide open.
“Get out of the way!” commanded Steelhoof as he ran towards the Sentinel.
It all happened so fast, those present could barely process it. Steelhoof leaped as the dragon’s mouth descended to swallow him. A bright green light enveloped the centaur and, by the time it dissipated, so had he.
Trying to keep himself together despite the shock, Thornpelt was ready to execute his commander’s orders, but Steelhoof’s plan had worked better than he’d originally expected.
As the creature began writhing in confusion, uncertain of what was happening to its body, it began flying in circles, then fell on the ground and began thrashing and squirming, then it took flight and began flying again, this time away from the Velkian entourage.
Whatever the power of the Gem of Allure was, it was driving the dragon to itself and, unaware of how to make the pull stop, the creature had no orientation or purpose, flying sloppily and haphazardly out into the open sea and then to the mainland, with the rest of the Sentinels following closely. The dragon that swallowed Steelhoof was doomed to spend the rest of its life driven to itself by a power superior to itself, always thirsting to reach its destination, but said destination would always be ever so slightly out of reach, forcing it to aimlessly wander the world.
Domri removed his hand from Varoth’s head, which he’d done to soothe the creature into not falling for Steelhoof’s spell. When he turned around, he saw humans and giants menacingly standing in battle position and the centaurs doing the exact same thing. They still didn’t trust each other, and were waiting for the perfect excuse to go for each other’s throats.
The planeswalker caught a glimpse of Thornpelt and stared at him straight in the eye.
Centaur and man exchanged a silent conversation and nodded at the same time, dropping their weapons to the ground and urging their people to do the same.
Even if it was to be temporary, there was finally peace among the Velkian.
Next time we take a leap to Mauras and check on our good friend Ragantiar!
NOTE: (I'm taking a one-week hiatus because I'm lazy I have an exam I really can't afford to fail, so there will be no updates next week)
WARNING: The following story contains elements of violence and gore.
Ragantiar loved everything about his life. He loved his home, he loved his position and, most of all, he loved being a Tribelord. But that had not been enough. With the aid of the Gem of Consumption, he was already craving more. Ragantiar was strong, and he loved being strong.
Now that his power was unmatched, he had actually decided that being Tribelord was not good enough, and he’d taken on the task of becoming the supreme ruler of every Maurassi tribe. He’d already beaten the leaders of five other tribes, and the news began spreading faster and faster, to the point where every other Tribelord had decided to intervene, and it all led to this glorious moment.
It had been decided that the tribes would be united under one Tribelord, who would become the Overlord of Mauras. To decide who would be the Overlord, all seven remaining Tribelords would have a mortal combat, and whoever was the last one standing would earn the so coveted title. Every single Maurassi was expectantly surrounding the area that was designated as an arena, bloodthirsty with expectation to witness the onslaught that was about to happen.
“My brethren, today we’ll be gifted with a unique spectacle! History is being written today, and none of us wants to miss it!” spoke a man named Tyertar, the one who’d suggested the Tribelords fought in the same place “These seven people will fight for the title of Overlord and the right to rule us all! The rules are simple: anything goes! Whoever survives will earn the title…”
The Maurassi roared in excitement, all was going according to plan. Once a winner was declared, Tyertar would faithfully stay by their side, securing a location as the right hand of the most powerful Maurassi alive. Just like Ragantiar had been before receiving his Gem, he’d never been strong, but he had vision, and the new Overlord would need help managing all the tribes. That was were Tyertar would step in as an advisor. He was just a bloodbath away from his dreams to come true.
The second he stepped out of the arena and merged into the crowd, it all began.
Ragantiar had made sure to use the Gem on two Sentinels and an Ammbradu to have enough strength to endure for the entirety of the fight. The other six Tribelords were no match for him, only time was a threat to him. The second the effect wore off, he’d be at the others’ mercy.
The second the fight began, however, something took a wrong turn: the other six Tribelords went straight to fight him! Unbeknownst to him, they had had a secret meeting the previous day, and agreed that Ragantiar was the greatest threat. Once he was dealt with, the rest would conclude the fight regularly, since each of them thought that with him out of the way the title would inherently be theirs.
A bulky woman ran towards him with unbelievable speed, holding her hands tightly and using the momentum plus a considerable amount of strength to hit him square in the face, which sent him straight to the floor. As the woman stepped on his chest to immobilize him, another one pinned his right arm (the one that had the Gem) to the ground. Three other Tribelords did the same with his remaining limbs, while the remaining two violently punched his stomach.
Without the mobility of his arm, he couldn’t consume the others, and each punch hurt more than the previous one. Even if his body wouldn’t break, the pain could be felt, and he was about to faint from it…
“This is not how it’s supposed to end!” he screamed.
Mustering all the strength he’d absorbed, he forced himself up, sending his assaulters staggering back. He jumped at the woman that had thrown him to the floor, paying her in kind and forcing her to fall on her back. But now that he’d focused his strength she was no match for him. He began punching her face, and the second the first punch came into contact with her, the Gem of Consumption began draining her. It only took him a few seconds to break her skull and turn her whole face into a disgusting puddle of blood. It took even less after that for her to die.
He stood up, seeing the remaining five Tribelords coming his way. Channeling all the strength had actually drained most of his reserves, and he knew he only had a few more minutes before the Gem’s effects wore off.
“I can keep going all day!” he bluffed, smiling maniacally “You’ll all die as painfully and mercilessly as her!”
The other five paid no heed and began coordinating a new assault. Ragantiar cursed internally and charged towards them. He avoided a couple of jabs that went straight at him and caught a punch headed for his throat with his right hand. As the Gem worked its magic on the unassuming victim, he twisted his arm and began pulling, until he tore it right out of its socket, leaving the other Tribelord screaming in pain.
He felt a dagger cutting through his back and howled in agony, instinctively he used the severed arm as a beating stick to hit the man behind his back with enough strength to force him to retreat, withdrawing the dagger in the process.
One of the other Tribelords, however, got a hold of the arm and pulled on it, forcing Ragantiar to lose his balance and once more fall to the ground, this time landing on his stomach. Before he could react, he was pinned on the floor once more, this time tighter than before. He could hear someone approaching as he struggled to set himself free, and saw with the corner of his eye that he was holding the dagger. It was time for the coup-de-grace, and he barely had any drained strength to use in his favor.
Ragantiar knew what he had to do, it was risky but he had no choice. As he killed Tribelord after Tribelord, he’d figured out the properties of the Gem of Consumption and understood its limits. He could let the borrowed strength course through his body without it reaching its full potential in exchange for it lasting longer, or he could deploy it all at once for a devastating few seconds. With how much he had remaining, he knew he wouldn’t have more than five seconds. Five seconds to set himself free and kill the remaining four Tribelords that were about to kill him. He had no choice.
One. Something similar to a shockwave seemed to shake his whole body as he stood up, easily breaking the others’ grip and turning around fast enough to kick the dagger holder’s leg, breaking it with a loud crack.
Two. He grabbed the dagger out of its owner’s hand. The Tribelord’s last feeling was shock, as Ragantiar used the dagger to slice his throat.
Three. Ragantiar threw the dagger at an oncoming attacker’s face, hitting him right on the forehead and piercing his brain, killing him instantly.
Four. As the two Tribelords that remained standing turned to leave, Ragantiar grabbed them by the back of their heads, pulling them towards him and forcing them to face each other.
Five. Ragantiar smashed the Triberlods’ heads together. The heads exploded gruesomely, splattering blood, bone and brain all over the battlefield.
Six. Completely drained of energy (he might have even used some of his own) Ragantiar stood victorious as he began to smile.
But his celebration was premature. He’d assumed the dismembered Tribelord had been defeated, but he was wrong.
As he got hit on the back of the head, he fell gracelessly to the ground, his head completely buried in the mud. The Tribelord used his remaining arm to turn him around and pin him by the neck, choking him as he began headbutting him mercilessly.
A cracking sound revealed how Ragantiar’s skull was beginning to break, and he could barely move a muscle, exhausted as he was.
The battering went on for a few more seconds and, as the state of his victim seemed fatal, the Tribelord prepared for a final hit… But as he rose one last time, Ragantiar began laughing. It was a cold, merciless laugh, the laughter of an ambitious person who knew they’d won.
Ragantiar’s right hand was placed on the back of the Tribelord’s head. The Gem of Consumption was already acting on him. Ragantiar had already won.
It only took a few seconds for the strength transfer to give him the upper hand. He effortlessly tossed his assaulter away, standing up and approaching him with a sadistic smile on his face.
Without a single word he kneeled over the man, who was desperately gasping, and twisted his neck.
The crowd roared, and Tyertar, not wanting to waste a single second, ran towards him, raising his arm and urging the rest to cheer.
“All hail Ragantiar, Maurassi Overlord!” he screamed in excitement.
Ragantiar grinned. It was finally over. He’d risen from the bottom of the food chain and now here he was: Overlord Ragantiar. He could get used to that title…
But the celebration was suddenly interrupted. As the skies turned black, the Maurassi saw the silhouettes of the Titans projected in the heavens. The Creators spoke some words that nobody could discern, but the tone was evident: they were angry.
As the ground began shaking, Ragantiar could see a swarm of Sentinels running towards them.
He smiled and looked at the Gem of Consumption on his right hand.
“Time for me to do my duties as Overlord…” he muttered as he ran towards the oncoming threat.
Yup, when I asked the Discord judges if this worked, they told me it did. Wind specifically said "Yes, it works, but please don't." BUT I DIDN'T LISTEN MUAHAHAHAHA!
On Monday, the Titans return to the Mortal Realm!!!
So, due to things in BB moving faster than I originally expected I'm actually giving you this small interim. It is purely a story moment with no cards to back it up, but it's meant to develop Aylin's past a little bit... I give you
“There, you’re free now” said Amrhotep as he finished releasing Aylin and Darios.
“Thank you” said Darios, but his friend had other things in mind.
The second she was let go, Aylin punched Amrhotep in the stomach, then summoned a wall that shaped itself around the man’s body, immobilizing him in place.
“How do we know this isn’t a trick? What guarantees that you’re not here to betray us?!” she said punching him once more, this time in the face.
“Aylin, cut it off, he set us free!” said Darios desperately.
“We’re in hostile territory, we thought ourselves safe and landed in this situation, I’m not taking any chances!” she retorted.
“I said cut it off!” he screamed at her, grabbing her by the shoulders in an attempt to pull her away from Amrhotep.
Just like last time he’d touched her, she got triggered, punching him in the chest and sending him flying backwards and causing him to hit a wall.
“I told you not to touch me!” she screamed as tears began to roll down her face.
“Seriously, Aylin, what is wrong with you! What happened to you? What could be so terrible that nobody can touch you, not even give you a hug? Why do you have to be so brutal with everyone?” he asked desperately.
She turned towards him, grabbed him by the neck and pressed him against the wall. She prepared her fist for a punch and, as it approached him, he flinched, closing his eyes and preparing for the pain. But instead she punched a hole in the wall right next to him.
This was Darios and, even though she didn’t like to admit, after all these days spent together, she actually considered him her friend, even if she hated herself for letting him get to her this way.
“You want to know the truth of my past?” she said “Fine, here goes…”
For a few seconds, nothing short of a perfect silence filled the room, then Aylin spoke.
“When I was sixteen years old I was…” she began “I was… was… forced to see my parents’ death…”
“A man broke into our home. My father told me to go hide. I hid in a closet and saw the whole thing. I saw him beat my father senseless, then stab him repeatedly. I saw my mother crying, begging for mercy, trying her best to stop him, but unable to. I saw him place his hands on her neck and strangle her…”
She began crying.
“I wasn’t as powerful as I am now, I wasn’t powerful enough to stop him” she whispered, although her tone of voice was different to the one she’d had during the rest of the story “He must have known I was there, because after he was done with them, he began searching for me… and he found me.
“He pulled me out of the closet, grabbing me by the wrist the exact same way you did a few days ago” Darios’s eyes began watering, hopefully his respectful silence would express all the guilt he felt right now for that incident “He pulled me towards him, then violently pinned me against a wall, and began strangling me…
“As is struggled to get some air into my lungs, I felt a strange warmth inside me. It filled me from the inside and, before I knew it, I was being dragged elsewhere: I had ascended as a planeswalker, and I was entering the Blind Eternities…
“But the man was still holding me and, as a result, he got dragged with me! One thing to know about planeswalkers is that the spark allows us to survive in the Blind Eternities for a decent amount of time, but the rest of you… unfortunately your body is completely unable to withstand the entropy present there. His body was shred to pieces in a matter of seconds… my first action as a planeswalker was killing a man!”
She stopped, tears still rolling down her eyes. She let go of Darios and dismissed the wall that was holding Amrhotep in place.
“Aylin, I’m so… so sorry!” he said, leaning in to hug her.
“Please, don’t” she said, stopping him by placing a hand on his chest. He nodded apologetically and stopped.
Aylin thought she’d feel guilty for lying so blatantly to Darios, but apparently keeping her past trauma a secret was more important to her than letting him in and letting him help her.
Her parents were still alive, but they didn’t know she’d ascended so they probably thought she was dead. It was true that she’d killed a man, and it hadn’t been a stranger, but he’d died the same way she’d described it: being dragged with her into the Eternities during her ascension, and he had deserved it (Aylin actually thought he’d gotten off too easy).
“I’m sorry for hurting you” she said to Amrhotep while turning towards him, then looked at Darios and made a motion with her head to urge him to help “Come on, help him get up.”
The man meekly obeyed, running towards the planeswalker and offering him a friendly hand.
“There, let me help you, we’re sorry for this” he said apologetically.
“It’s okay, I’ve made mistakes in the past and it is my fault you’re in this situation, so I understand your paranoia… But trust me, as long as he has the Gem of Obedience and immortality on his side, he’ll command the most powerful army ever seen on this world!”
“Wait, he’s immortal?!” asked Darios shocked.
“I’m afraid he is, he told me so himself and the fact he could control so many of these creatures without losing his life is a testament to it…”
“I’ve never faced and immortal before…” said Aylin wiping her tears and smiling devilishly “Sounds like fun, where do we begin?”
After Khierassa’s defeat, it didn’t take too long for the Scorched to surrender. They had thought their leader to be at such a transcendent level she was completely invulnerable. For years they’d considered her a champion to the Titans, someone the Sentinels would dare not touch, and they had just been proven wrong…
Allagras and Aritior took the chance to rally their men and tend to their wounded, allowing the people they’d just fought to do the same.
“We don’t deserve your mercy” said one of the Scorched, accepting the aid of a merfolk who was tending his wounds.
“You do, brother” said Aritior solemnly “You all do. We have been fighting this war together, each in our own way and pursuing our own beliefs. But at the end of the day, we’ve always been dealing with the Sentinels. The Titans have forsaken us. They are the enemy, and we must get to them.”
“Are you planning on killing them?” asked a Scorched. Aritior nodded silently.
But Allagras wasn’t so sure he could make it now. When he’d shot his trident at Khierassa, he’d done it expecting it to come back. Now, it was lost forever inside that Sentinel, and trying to find it would be a waste of time.
Allagras’s trident had been his weapon ever since he was young, it was practically a part of him now, but that was not the main reason he needed it. The trident had been with him to the Blind Eternities in multiple occasions, and he’d strengthened it through the years so it could survive the entropy present in them. As far as he knew, it was the only weapon he’d ever had in his power that could make it in one piece into the Titan Realm and still retain its integrity in order to kill the Titans. Now that he’d lost it, he wasn’t sure how he was supposed to finish the job.
“Listen, Aritior” he said to the Tizzanier king pulling him aside “I have bad news…”
“Allagras” said his friend sincerely “It doesn’t matter. I know you. You’re a powerful, clever and resourceful man. You’ll think of something. I still trust you in this quest.”
The planeswalker smiled. He knew, Aritior knew he’d relied on his trident to finish the job, yet he trusted him to be okay without it. Their friendship had finally be restored.
And so, after burying their dead and aiding the wounded, Tizzanier and Scorched marched north together in search of the Gateway to the Titan Realm. With the humans’ help, they were shrouded in a spell that would make any and all Sentinels bypass them, so they could continue their quest uninterrupted.
Or so they thought, until they came across the man.
He was sitting on top of a large rock, completely alone and wearing clothes that hadn’t been seen since before the Descent.
“Who are you?” asked Aritior warily as his people were tilted into battle position.
“It seems that even after thirty years of constant reminder of my actions, people still forgot me… I am Multhratos.”
Everyone gasped in both surprise and exasperation. Aritior lifted his trident and pointed it menacingly at him.
“I’m afraid that won’t work” replied Multhratos with a sad smile “I have transcended mortality. Nothing you do can kill me…”
“Haven’t you done enough?” asked Aritior disgusted.
“Thirty years ago, when I doomed this plane to its death, I thought the same thing” replied the man “But now I realize the answer is no. I have not done enough.
“Thirty years ago I wanted to bring down the Titans for no purpose other than irrational anger. Now I want to finish what I started… but I plan to take their place!”
“You and what army?” asked the merfolk.
“I’m so glad you asked” replied Multhratos as a mysterious blue light shone on a ring he had on his hand.
Hundreds of Sentinels had been patiently hiding in the wasteland that surrounded them, awaiting for their master’s command.
“It’s okay, these wards will cloak us” said one of the Scorched.
“No they won’t” replied Multhratos smiling maliciously.
The Sentinels suddenly shot at the assembled army, taking a few of them down before they had time to react and begin the fight.
“Your wards will protect you from normal Sentinels, but these are bound to me. They share my knowledge, and guess what, I can see through all your tricks, and so can they!”
As Allagras sloppily fought off the Sentinels with a trident he’d been granted after its owner died in the previous fight (he still had to get used to it), he began thinking about this quest. One of the three men who had orchestrated this entire catastrophe was still alive. Not only that, he was still stubborn enough to keep the war going on, and he was planning on keeping all that power to himself!
Allagras couldn’t help but see himself in Multhratos. He was being driven by vindictive rage into this crusade which had already claimed hundreds of victims. He might as well be leading everybody to extinction! And why? Because he was angry at the Titans, just like the three forsakers had been thirty years ago!
But there was a crucial difference. Multhratos was now fighting only for himself, all he wanted was power over Korrinayru. Allagras was doing it for his people, all he wanted to do was see the Tizzanier (and why not, all other Korrinary) freed from the consequences of the Descent.
But after a few minutes of fighting, everyone present was reminded that Multhratos was not the one they’d come to battle.
It was horrifying and awe inspiring. The sky turned pitch black and, in the distance, a blinding flash of white light could be seen, followed by five gigantic figures that seemed to emerge from it. It had been thirty years, but the Gateway to the Titan Realm had been opened, and the Titans had entered Korrinayru once more!
Each of them stood on the horizon tall as a mountain. Krodyos seemed to be a spirit of light inside gilded armor, and was the most human-looking of the five. Mythrodas adopted a form similar to the krakens he so generously spread along the world, his body seemingly composed of dark blue tentacles and his head protruding from a corallike breastplate. Mnetridos seemed to have two bodies, the second one protruding from where the head should be on the first one, his face covered by dark tendrils. Corrignos looked like a hybrid between a man and a beast, he was the biggest out of the five, he had fangs instead of teeth and his hair rose up like a bonfire. Luthiel was made entirely made of vines, branches and vegetation, his eyes were red, and anybody who paid enough attention would notice that one of his fingers was missing a phalanx.
These were the forms they’d chosen when they first entered the Mortal Realm, forms that were meant to inspire awe and respect. Instead, they inspired fear and rejection, forever sealing the fate of Korrinayru.
The five of them began speaking simultaneously, their five voices merging into a voice so majestic it paralyzed Sentinels and Korrinary alike.
“This war has gone on for long enough. Apparently we didn’t do enough to destroy you thirty years ago. Today we fix that mistake. Today Korrinayru, our biggest mistake, finally goes extinct!”
Their bodies shone blindingly for a second, and seemed to vibrate in a thousand different spots. As the spots grew closer, their true nature was revealed: a whole new generation of Sentinels had been spawn, this one more vicious and bloodthirsty than the last! This time they would make sure everyone was dead!
The Titans slowly began fading away as the sky returned to its normal color and the Gateway closed once more.
“Come back, you cowards! Come back and face me!” screamed Multhratos at them in sheer rage as the Sentinels headed his way “I’ll conquer all your Sentinels and use them to kill you! You hear me? You’re already dead!”
The Sentinels spread out. Some headed to Velk, others to Mauras, Lasyvria, Desarrea… but hundreds of them headed to where the battle was taking place.
Multhratos, the Tizzanier and the Scorched all got ready. It was a three-way battle, and every side was hellbent on destroying the other two. Whatever was about to happen, it was guaranteed to be a massacre!
The return of the Titans caught Darios, Aylin and Amrhotep completely by surprise as they exited the cavern where Multhratos had been holding them.
“No, this can’t be!” said Darios desperately as he saw the wave of new Sentinels swarm above them and head towards every corner of Korrinayru.
“Let me handle this” replied Aylin cracking her knuckles. But the Sentinels flew right past them, apparently ignoring them “Not again!”
“Listen” said Darios “They don’t know we’re here, and that is the only sliver of advantage we have right now. We’ve seen the Gateway open, so we know it’s ahead of us somewhere. This is the final stretch, we’re almost there! We have to keep pushing forward until we reach the Gateway, we can’t stall by fighting Sentinels. " Aylin, who was already entering a combat stance, relaxed and nodded in annoyance.
“Fine, but if they come after you, don’t start crying for my help, I won’t fight them for you…”
“But you will fight them nonetheless, not for me but for the thrill” replied Darios smiling impishly. Aylin smiled back at him in return.
“Okay” she added raising her hands pretending to surrender “Let’s do it your way, for now…”
“Might I remind you that Multhratos still has the Gem of Obedience on him?”
The man had explained everything to both of them: the Gem of Obedience bound those touched by it to its user, meaning Multhratos had absolute control over all the Sentinels he’d influenced with its power. Normally, it would drain his lifeforce, but given how he was apparently immortal, that meant nothing to him. There was an issue, however, and it was that he needed to keep it on him at all times. The second the ring got removed its effects would irreversibly dissolve, so he’d need to use the Gem over all his subjects all over again, but of course, he wouldn’t be given the chance.
They didn’t need to destroy the Gem (Amrhotep was pretty sure destroying the Gems was impossible, given their origin and power), all they needed to do was take it away from Multhratos. Of course, that would be no easy task…
“If we get to the Titans and convince them to take our side they’ll be more than strong enough to defeat Multhratos!”
“They’re omnipotent, aren’t they? They’re gods…” said Amrhotep bitterly “I’ve dealt with gods before, I know what power does to someone, and I know that mere minions like us have no way of swaying those who have power…”
“Listen!” said Darios, angrily turning towards him “My whole life I’ve lived with fear! I never knew if I would be alive the next day, I never knew nothing but fear and despair! Thinking that there was even a small chance of being able to change that is what kept me going day after day! I’m standing here right now because I dared face my fear! I’m standing here right now because I dared to take a step in this journey, knowing I’d probably be dead by now, knowing I’m probably never gonna see my family or anybody I love ever again! I came this far, and I’m not surrendering, not now, not when I’m so close!”
Both Amrhotep and Aylin were speechless at these words. They both silently nodded and Darios started walking north. They followed him without any further objections.
They kept going for hours, resting as little as possible and barely speaking other than to make sure they were on the right track. Then, they saw it: the Gateway to the Titan Realm.
It was rumored to be so big that it could be seen from anywhere in Millikas, yet it had taken them days to finally be able to see it in the horizon… all the way across the sea!
“No, no, no!” screamed Darios as he fell to his knees, tears rolling down his face.
“What is it now?” asked Aylin with an annoyed tone, although it was all pretend, she was actually concerned.
“The Gateway… it was supposed to be in Millikas, there was never water separating it from the country! The Titans must have separated it from the mainland so that nobody would ever try to get there again! It has all been in vain!”
He started screaming and punching the ground enraged. Even hope wouldn’t help him now. He’d done all he could do, he’d exerted himself way beyond his limit, he’d gone farther than he’d ever thought he could go… and it still wasn’t enough. For the first time in his life, the full weight of the notion of impossibility fell over him.
When his hands started bleeding from punching the ground so hard, he stopped, but he didn’t get up.
“Listen…” said Amrhotep, unsure of how Darios would take it “There’s still something we can do. We can still stop Multhratos, and maybe if I recover the Gem…”
But he was interrupted by a disgusting shriek. A dragon was flying high above, it was being followed by an escort of Sentinels, and its flight was disturbingly erratic. However, as confused as it looked, it did noticed them, and descended upon them, closely followed by the others. Aylin smiled and began preparing for combat.
That feeling thought Amrhotep as he felt something stirring inside him, something that drew him to the dragon The Gem of Allure is inside that dragon! It must have swallowed the centaur! What have I done to him?
“Listen” he said, grabbing Darios and helping him up “That dragon has one of the other Gems, and I think I can channel its energy to help us both achieve our goals! You can either stay down and drown in self-pity or keep fighting and help me retrieve it!”
Darios slowly wiped the tears from his face and pulled out his bow.
“Let’s do this!” he replied with determination.
There were at least fifty Sentinels, but the three of them made it seem like they were not even a challenge. Despite his eyes still being red from crying and his hands still hurting, Darios pushed through the pain, relentlessly shooting arrows at the flying Sentinels’ eyes and forcing them to either avoid them or be blinded.
Aylin, in the meantime was hurling rocks at them with blinding speed, which limited their mobility and shot many of them down. As they fell, she made spikes grow from the floor, impaling whatever creature that fell over them.
Amrhotep surprised them both. His muscular physique gave away he was a strong man, but they didn’t know he had magical ability as well. Sand began raising from the ground and getting under his bandages as though he was absorbing it into his body. In a few seconds, he’d grown to five times his size, his body glowing red and his muscles swelling to an unnatural size. He began grabbing whatever flying Sentinel that survived Aylin’s and Darios’s volley, while stomping at the Sentinels that came from the ground.
It was quite a spectacle, but it didn’t last long. Soon Amrhotep returned to his regular form, and he looked exhausted. But it didn’t matter: he’d done enough damage for Aylin and Darios to finish of the rest, including killing the dragon who had the Gem of Allure inside.
“Quickly!” he said gasping for air as he pointed at the creature’s corpse “Dig into its stomach and look for a centaur, if he’s alive, get him out. Otherwise, take the green ring on his hand and bring it to me!”
Aylin immediately ran towards the carcass while Darios helped Amrhotep lie down.
“That was amazing!” he said to the man “How did you do that?”
“I was… saving it for Multhratos” he said breathing heavily “I won’t be able to pull it off for a few more hours. Forget about me, though, and go help your friend!”
Darios ran towards Aylin, who had already cut a huge gash on the creature’s abdomen.
“Found it!” Darios heard her scream from inside the creature’s gut “The centaur is dead though!”
Darios was almost there, all he needed to do was clear the way for Aylin to come out and then…
But there wouldn’t be a then, not this time. Time seemed to slow down as he heard a sound similar to an explosion. He saw a beam of light shoot towards Aylin from the sky just as she exited the creature. She was staring at the Gem and not paying attention to anything else. She had no way to react, no way to prepare, no way to defend herself!
Darios wouldn’t reach her in time, and he didn’t have the magic ability she did to raise a shield from the earth and block the attack. But he did have a way to protect her, there was only one thing he could do if he wanted her to live…
As Aylin looked up, she saw Darios run straight towards her and suddenly stop, spreading his arms and his whole body as he prepared to become the human shield that would save her. As the beam hit his back, he screamed in agony, a searing pain spreading throughout his body.
“P-p-p-please!” he begged with tears in his eyes “Plea-please promise me you’ll s-s-s-stop-p-p-p Mul-Multhratos!”
Aylin could only stare at the whole situation in shock, unwilling to believe what was happening.
Darios knew she would do the right thing. He knew she cared about him enough to do it… And so, as he felt his whole body disintegrate, his last thought was to hoping she’d be able to save Korrinayru now that he wouldn’t be able to.
Darkness. All he could see was darkness. So this was death. This was the Blessing of Mnetridos, a whole eternity of sentience staring into an abyssal darkness, not much of a blessing at all…
Suddenly, a voice. Darios could feel someone, or rather something, approaching. He felt a sickening feeling of unease as he breathed in something that felt like air but smelled like rotten smoke.
“Who are you, intruder, and what are you doing in Kamdrana?” spoke a creature with a voice so deep and eerie it sent shivers down Darios’s spine.
Kamdrana? What did that mean? He’d never heard that word in his life.
“Answer me, planeswalker!” spoke the voice, this time enraged.
Planeswalker? Why is he addressing me like that?
“You’ve… you’ve got it wrong! I’m not a planeswalker!” he said, feeling a strange feeling of despair taking control of his body “I-I just died! I’m supposed to be dead!”
“If you were from this world you’d either be one of my minions or belong to one of my brothers, and I can tell who belongs to those vermin… you are a planeswalker, you’re not dead! But don’t worry, soon you’ll wish you were…” spoke the voice maliciously.
He could feel an inhuman hand grabbing him by the neck, and the strange smoke seemed to be polluting his whole system. The creature questioning him was Maukreios, one of the three Demonlords of Kamdrana and one of the two who were still alive. He secreted a dark mist that triggered people’s fears, and instigated that fear to drag the innate evil in everyone to feed off of it.
“Ah, yes, I can feel your fear… I can sense you’re afraid of losing everything you’ve known… Your world, your family, your friends, even this girl you’ve only just met… You care so much about them, but they’re all so close to being killed, and so violently…”
Darios began trembling, this creature was getting to him.
“Ah, you have so much to lose, yes… Give in to your fear…” said Maukreios delighted as despair began to grow inside Darios. He hadn’t fed in ages, and the last planeswalker who’d come to this world had been Pandora… and she’d forever destroyed Kamdrana! The fact that someone had arrived at this forsaken plane had been a gift, and he planned on exploiting every last bit of it.
A series of conflicting emotions began stirring inside of Darios. While his friends and family were fighting a war they had slim chances of winning, he was here, being subdued by a creature he could feel but not see, and he wasn’t even fighting back! He’d give anything to be able to come back, he didn’t care who got hurt in the process and how many of them had to be hurt by him.
“Yes, yes!” said Maukreios “Let fear give way to anger and ambition, let them overwhelm you, let them consume you!”
Yes, anything! He had to do anything to get back! He was done with abnegation, his constant altruism had gotten him nowhere, only to this forsaken world where nothing but despair existed…
It’s not true spoke a voice inside him You’re looking at it all wrong… Abnegation and altruism got you this far. True, things are looking grim, but look at all you’ve achieved. You got to Millikas, you survived multiple encounters with Sentinels, you’ve given your whole tribe hope! It is true that abnegation alone will not get you all the way. Sometimes you need to put your own wellbeing on top of the rest. You gave your life for Aylin and got rewarded with a planeswalker spark… But in order to get back to her, you’ll need to fend for yourself, you’ll need to put yourself over this creature!
Slowly but steadily, Darios stopped shaking. For some reason, the darkness began making sense to him, and whatever smoke he was breathing began to feel less toxic by the second. Suddenly, he could discern his assaulter. It was a disgusting creature of pitch-black rugged skin, three meters tall and clad in an ornate armor. It had multiple eyes and a couple of horns. It seemed to have no mouth and to secrete a dark mist, the strange substance that Darios had been inhaling.
He grabbed the clawlike hand that was choking him and began pressing.
“Impossible” said Maukreios.
“I’m sorry, but you’re in my way, and I cannot let anyone stand in my way!” said Darios with more determination than ever.
He pressed his hand against Maukreios’s chest and it began shining white, burning the Demons’ skin. He immediately dropped him.
“Curse you, Pandora, if you hadn’t come I would be powerful enough to punish this insect!” screamed Maukreios enraged.
The demon leaped at Darios once more, but he raised his hand, creating a barrier of light between the two of them. When the barrier vanished, the planeswalker had already left.
* * * * *
As Amrhotep finished recovering, Aylin was standing on top of the corpse of the Archon who had attacked her and hit Darios instead. The creature’s entire body had been beaten to a bloody pulp, and nobody would ever be able to discern to what kind of creature those mangled remains used to belong to. As blood dripped from Aylin’s hands, tears fought to do the same across her face, but she fought them back.
“This thing better work” she said, turning towards Amrhotep and glaring murderously at him “For your sake, this thing better be as powerful as you claim it is!”
“Trust me, it is” he responded, standing up slowly and clumsily “Give it to me, please.”
Amrhotep extended his hand and Aylin approached him, dropping the Gem of Allure carelessly on his open palm. The Rammanethi planeswalker placed the ring on his finger and began muttering words in an arcane language.
Suddenly, in the distance, the Gateway opened once more and the Gem began shining with a blinding green light, its warmth burning Amrhotep’s skin.
“I have never felt so much power!” he said, his hand shaking.
“Leave now!” spoke a majestic voice from the other side of the Gateway.
“We just want to talk!” screamed Amrhotep, hoping the Titans would hear him.
“You’ve already caused too much trouble. We do not wish to speak to you!” replied the Creators.
Aylin began to coat herself in an earthen armor. If the Titans wouldn’t let them in, she’d force her way through, but before she was finished, the armor fell off her body. She blinked, confused, and tried to assemble it once more, but the earth wasn’t responding, it was as if she’d lost her geomancy!
“I created this earth. It obeys me first and you second” spoke Corrignos’s voice harshly “You’re just like the rest, you try to use our Blessings against us. And we will not stand by it!”
“Fine, no violence, but at least let’s talk!” said Aylin bitterly as she realized the weapon she could count on for her entire life had been taken away from her in an instant.
“We will not speak with you!” retorted the Titans.
“Then speak with me…” said a calm voice that seemed to come out of nowhere.
“Impossible…” whispered Aylin and Amrhotep in unison as they recognized who the voice belonged to.
With a flash of light, Darios finished materializing in front of them.
“Darios… how?!” said Aylin as she surrendered to her emotions and let tears fall down her face.
“Turns out I was a planeswalker all along… I’m sorry, but I need to do something right now” he said, then stared straight at the open Gateway “Titans! I am Darios of the Destori! I’ve come all this way because I wish to speak to you! I know the Korrinary turned their backs on you once, and that’s why you punished them, but you have now turned your backs on us! Your creations are now slaves to Multhratos, and unleashing more Sentinels will only give him more power! You’ve been holding a grudge for thirty years… Isn’t it time to let it go? Are you still so blinded by rage that you won’t at least give me the benefit of doubt? A conversation, that’s all I seek! Just listen what I have to say, and if you don’t like it, then you can do as you wish with me and this world!”
Nobody spoke for a few seconds. Then, all of a sudden, everything seemed to go wrong. The ocean began violently shaking, the earth trembled ominously, even the wind seemed to blow so strongly it felt like it was cutting their skin. Was this it? Were the Titans taking out Korrinayru in a blast?
A bridge began materializing, stretching all the way from the Gateway to where the three planeswalkers were standing.
“Come alone!” said the Titans.
Darios turned to Aylin and Amrhotep.
“Please stop Multhratos” he said grimly “I’m counting on you to get that ring out of his hand!”
“Don’t worry” said Amrhotep looking at the Gem of Allure “I have a plan.”
“And I have enough power to get rid of those pesky Sentinels if they come for us!” added Aylin with a sad smile “That is, provided that friend of yours grants me access to the earth once more…”
She made a quick motion with her hand and a rock shot up from the ground and straight to her palm. They were ready!
The three planeswalkers looked at each other and nodded solemnly. As Aylin and Amrhotep turned around and began heading back to where they’d encountered Multhratos, Darios began walking on the bridge towards the Gateway.
He thought he’d take hours to get there, but there had to be some magic to the bridge, for it only took him a couple of minutes.
“Enter” demanded the Titans “But be prepared for what you’re about to encounter…”
Darios took a long deep breath, then stepped through the Gateway.
On Friday, I will finally reveal the five Titan cards, no redaction, no teasing, so brace yourselves!
Darios had only seen the Blind Eternities once, and he’d expected the Titan Realm to be similar to it, but what he saw caught him completely by surprise. Everything around him seemed chaotic in a way and yet seemed to make perfect sense at the same time. His own body looked completely different to what it usually looked like, yet he couldn’t point any particular difference with his usual self-image.
This entire world was made of infinite possibility, and anybody who had never witnessed the Blind Eternities and their entropy (like Multhratos) would immediately be overwhelmed when faced with something much bigger than they could process. Darios’s lack of expertise in planeswalker was already having this place make him uneasy, but he knew that if he hadn’t ascended he’d probably gone mad by now.
Darios stood at the Gateway’s threshold, then path formed in front of him, pointing him in the direction the Titans wanted him to go. He followed the path until it ended abruptly. Right in front of him, an image materialized. Even though he’d only seen him once and for a few seconds, he recognized the Titan standing in front of him as Krodyos.
I am the Blessing of Light spoke Krodyos without speaking I came to you so you could have something to always guide you. But the same Light that points the way can also be the searing Light that wipes you from existence if you dare defy it!
As he said this, a blinding light began emanating from him. It burned intensely, to a point where Darios wished for his death rather than to keep facing this torture. His wish was granted a few seconds later, when the light completely erased his body.
Darios stood at the Gateway’s threshold, then path formed in front of him, pointing him in the direction the Titans wanted him to go. He followed the path until it ended abruptly. Right in front of him, an image materialized. Even though he’d only seen him once and for a few seconds, he recognized the Titan standing in front of him as Corrignos.
I am the Blessing of Land spoke Corrignos without speaking I came to you to give you a world to contain you, I gave you the very earth you stand on! By defying me, you renounce to the right to stay on this world, and the earth that once brought you contention and support now only brings you pain!
As he said this, Darios realized he couldn’t move. Pinned to the floor as he was, he had no way of avoiding the avalanche of rocks that rained down on him, crushing him and killing him instantly.
Darios stood at the Gateway’s threshold (something was wrong), then path formed in front of him, pointing him in the direction the Titans wanted him to go. He followed the path until it ended abruptly. Right in front of him, an image materialized. Even though he’d only seen him once and for a few seconds, he recognized the Titan standing in front of him as Mythrodas.
I am the Blessing of Water spoke Mythrodas without speaking Water is the origin of life, it is the structural base from which life can exist, and life relies on me. But even what gives you life can end it if you trigger its rage!
As he said this, Darios began coughing, first softly, then more violently. As he coughed, water begun pouring out of his mouth, the same water that was mercilessly gathering inside his lungs. As he scratched his throat desperate for a gasp of air, the water kept falling from his mouth and nose, until his face turned purple and he fell dead to the floor, his eyes horribly desperate.
Darios stood at the Gateway’s threshold (something was wrong), then path formed in front of him, pointing him in the direction the Titans wanted him to go. He followed the path until it ended abruptly (why did he have the feeling this had already happened?). Right in front of him, an image materialized. Even though he’d only seen him once and for a few seconds, he recognized the Titan standing in front of him as Luthiel.
I am the Blessing of Life spoke Luthiel without speaking If you exist it is thanks to me, but being alive and having the right to be alive are not the same thing. In order for life to exist, it sometimes needs to snuff out other life. To live is to have the will to survive, and the determination to end the life that threatens yours!
As he said this, Darios’s skin began squirming. Soon, insects and small animals began tearing through his epidermis and coming to life, while a tree began sprouting from inside him, tearing him in half when it grew to full size.
Darios stood at the Gateway’s threshold (something was wrong), then path formed in front of him, pointing him in the direction the Titans wanted him to go. He followed the path until it ended abruptly (why did he have the feeling this had already happened?). Right in front of him, an image materialized (he had a vague memory of this situation). Even though he’d only seen him once and for a few seconds, he recognized the Titan standing in front of him as Mnetridos.
I am the Blessing of Death spoke Mnetridos without speaking I am the most mysterious of the Five Blessings, but I am just as important. People fear and respect me, but they can’t see my true intentions, and as long as they remain ignorant, they remain afraid!
As he said this, he snapped his fingers. In less than a fraction of a second, Darios’s lifeless corpse fell to the ground, the cause of death being completely impossible to discern.
Darios stood at the end of the path that had guided him into the realm. He was breathing heavily and had collapsed on his knees.
“How…? What…? Why…?” he said, completely confused “I died, but I didn’t, you killed me, multiple times! Why am I still alive?!”
The five Titans materialized in front of him, then spoke to him in one voice.
“Don’t you get it yet?” they asked “This is the Titan Realm, this is the place we belong to, with its own rules and its own reality.”
Darios processed these words. That would explain how everything made perfect sense and no sense at all at the very same time. Now that he thought it through, he realized the Titans weren’t necessarily in front of him, he couldn’t even tell what “in front of him” was. He couldn’t tell right from left or up from down, yet he seemed to process things in a way that gave the illusion that everything had the same structure as the Mortal Realm.
“You created the Mortal Realm” he began “You created it under your rules, the reality I’ve lived in my entire life is the reality you set for us. This is your reality, one that escapes your control, and the rules of reality are different here.”
“Exactly” replied the Titans.
“You can’t die in the Mortal Realm, can you?” asked Darios intrigued.
“No, when we created the Mortal Realm and its laws of reality, we made sure we could not die in it” was their answer, and their tone indicated there was something important hidden in those words.
“But you can be killed in this realm, right?” asked the planeswalker.
The solemn silence that followed that question was the answer Darios needed.
“Why don’t you go to the Mortal Realm and end Multhratos and the rest yourselves? Why didn’t you do that thirty years ago?” was his following question.
“Your whole life you’ve learned to fear and hate us. It is true that we considered the attack on us an unforgivable betrayal, but Korrinayru is our creation, and we could never force ourselves to completely destroy what we created.
“We’ve spent the past thirty years wondering if we’d made the right decision entering the Mortal Realm and trying to end it, but we never found a good reason to end it entirely… and we were fools for doing that! Now Multhratos controls the Sentinels, we cannot guarantee the Gem of Obedience won’t work on us, and he has absorbed our essence, so he’s immortal!”
Darios realized something: the Titans were actually capable of feelings. They felt guilt, and sadness, and bitterness, and now they felt fear. Multhratos, Erkred and Salagol had completely ruined the public image of the Titans when they suggested the uprising, and the Titans’ decision to end it all was the nail in the coffin.
“There has to be a way to stop him!”
“He absorbed our essence, so he’s immortal!” replied the Titans.
“But we can still fight him, we can still stop his Sentinel army!”
“He absorbed our essence, so he’s immortal!” repeated the Titans.
“All we need to do is…”
“He absorbed our essence, so he’s immortal!” replied the Titans.
Then it hit him, he understood what the Titans were really saying.
“He’s like you… He’s immortal out there, but in here he can be killed!”
The Titans silently nodded.
“Get rid of the Gem, and we’ll get rid of Multhratos” they said grimly.
“And what happens next?” asked Darios, dreading what the answer might be.
“What happens next is in the hands of you and your people. We’ll be watching, and your choices and actions will influence ours. Depending on what they are, you’ll face resurgence or extinction.”
Darios smiled bitterly. Even if Multhratos was dealt with people might not forgive the Titans for the Descent. Would they bow before them once more or would they try to end them by their own hand? At least he’d learned the Titans were willing to give them a second chance… Hopefully people would listen.
The Gateway opened in front of him. He could’ve sworn he was nowhere near where the Gateway had opened when he entered, but he knew that was not how things worked in here.
“It’s time for you to go, Darios” spoke the Titans one last time “Let’s hope you can help the Korrinary, for all our sakes.”
Darios nodded solemnly and exited the Titan Realm.
Post by CanterburyEgg on Mar 25, 2019 18:36:56 GMT
Show of Omnipotence is... weird. If you're triggering the second condition, you're unlikely to care about the five cards you just drew. If you aren't, then you're paying WUBRG to draw three or four cards, with a reliance on already having a bunch of enchantments in play. I think this should be two separate cards and I'm not convinced either needs to cost WUBRG.
You clearly don't know me at all! Nah, I agree, I've been concerned with this card and never truly sold on it, I may have overkilled it while trying to make it top-down. I will rework it (probably as a colorless card). Thanks for the input!
Aylin and Amrhotep arrived when the battle was at its most violent. It had been a few hours since the Titans had spawned the new Sentinels, and the encounter point between the Lasyvrian, the Scorched and Multhratos was now a blood-covered desert, littered with the corpses of hundreds. Not only that, Multhratos’s army was the biggest, since he’d taken advantage of the new Sentinels being focused on the other Korrinary to submit them to the Gem of Obedience. Even though neither Aylin nor Amrhotep had witnessed the entirety of the battle, but the winner was obvious.
“What’s your plan then?” asked Aylin.
“I’ll channel the power of the Gem of Allure in an attempt to drag as many Sentinels away from Multhratos as possible. If I do this correctly, their instinct will override Multhratos’s hold over them, and he’ll have to waste a ton of mental energy to keep control over them, so he’ll be unable to focus on you. Use that opportunity to take him by surprise and retrieve the ring!”
Aylin nodded and Amrhotep began casting his spell. It was time to end the reign of Multhratos!
* * * * *
Allagras’s muscles ached unforgivingly. He’d been fighting the Sentinels for hours now, and if he stopped for even a split second he would die. His whole body was sticky with blood, sweat and dirt, and for every Sentinel he killed, two more seemed to come his way.
If at least he were wielding his own trident… He’d become one with that weapon, and it had become an extension of him. This whole battle would’ve turned out a lot differently if he still had it, but without it his control over the tides was nullified and he relied on this crude replacement and his brute force to deal with the deadliest creatures in the world!
He removed the trident from the skull of a wurm that had tunneled its way under him and had almost swallowed him before he had a chance to react. Fortunately, its mouth wasn’t wide so he’d managed to stand on the edges, then jumped to the side before it closed and struck one of its eyes with the trident. The wurm thrashed in pain but he held tightly to his weapon while applying enough force to dig it deeper into the creature’s head until it reached the creature's brain.
As he removed his weapon from the carcass, a dragon had began descending with its eyes fixed on him. A volley of arrows and magic projectiles, however, shot it down as it stretched its claws, and a spell someone cast of him absorbed the impact of the creature’s corpse landing on him, so all he had to do was cut a way through its entrails. He was glad the Scorched had joined their ranks, their magic was proving invaluable in this war.
Aritior was struggling in a different way than Allagras. His weapon was still the one he had wielded almost his entire life, but he still hadn’t fully recovered from Khierassa’s assault, and his left eye’s vision was so blurry he preferred to keep it closed. He’d formed a phalanx with Scorched, who were in charge of wards and weakening the Sentinels, and Lasyvrian, who were giving their all in the battlefield hurting the Sentinels as much as they could before inevitably being torn to shreds by their superior strength.
Suddenly, the tides shifted once more and, against all odds, this time it was in their favor! A wave of green light emanated somewhere from the north. Allagras felt a strange attraction towards its source, but stood his ground. Instead, most of the Sentinels who were fighting began turning away from their prey and heading towards whatever had generated the light. It was as though something more powerful than the Titans’ command was drawing them away!
“Come back!” screamed Multhratos enraged.
He focused all his attention on the Gem of Obedience, and some of the Sentinels began turning back and returning to him, although not without evident struggle.
This was Allagras’s chance! He could end all this the same way he’d ended their war with the Scorched! He calculated the distance and strength and launched his trident at Multhratos.
The weapon flew across the battlefield, aimed at its target’s chest just like Allagras’s trident had done against Khierassa. However, this time, his enemy was prepared and, noticing the imminent threat, commanded a Sentinel to fly in the way of the projectile. The creature did what its master forced it to do, taking the hit and collapsing to the ground. Multhratos had still managed to retain control of around thirty Sentinels, a quantity large enough to still defeat his enemies.
Winning seemed impossible for the Lasyvrian and the Scorched, at least until the earthquake.
* * * * *
Aylin had not remained idle while Amrhotep prepared the spell. She had begun channeling a spell so deadly she needed a huge amount of concentration to pull off. Not only that, she’d paid attention to Multhratos’s patterns while he commanded the Sentinels, and she knew she’d need the information when the time came.
She was able to tell Amrhotep’s spell was set in motion the second it happened, since she felt a strange desire to head towards her ally’s location, as if a force stronger than herself was forcing her there. She held her ground, however, and when she realized Multhratos was struggling to retain control of his minions, she unleashed her spell.
The earth shook so violently it felt as if the whole world was about to be split in half. A huge barrier rose between Multhratos and the army of Aritior and Khierassa, indicatin this was no longer their fight. Tremors began shooting towards Multhratos, while rock chunks flew above Aylin’s head and into the Sentinels that surrounded him. The man was forced into a defensive position, ordering most of his minions to surround and protect him while a fraction of them headed towards her in an attempt to stop her. But surrounding her was a vortex of stone that was churning so violently nothing could come close to her without being seriously injured.
It was all smoke and mirrors, though, since she wouldn’t be able to keep the spell going for much longer. All she needed was an opening, and she knew just how to get it!
Her arms began trembling as she raised them. Along with her limbs, a gigantic boulder began levitating, bigger than any Sentinel she was fighting. She launched it forward with all the strength she could muster, and it flew straight towards Multhratos.
But by doing so, she’d consumed most of her strength, and the protective barrier of rocks she’d summoned around herself dispelled. She weakly snapped her fingers before an eagle landed on her, pinning her to the ground.
Multhratos saw the projectile and realized he’d need most of his Sentinels to stop it from crushing him (an immortal body would mean nothing if it was smashed to pieces), but relaxed when he saw one of his minions defeat the geomancer.
He was no longer at risk, so he raised his hand and pointed it at the raining projectile, commanding all of his flying Sentinels to destroy it. But that was what Aylin had been counting on. She’d studied his control of the Gem, she knew he’d have to point his hand at the boulder to command his army to destroy it, and that would be her window. Right before the Sentinel took her down, she’d snapped her fingers to command a small spike to shoot from Multhratos’s back towards the place where she’d calculated his hand would be. It wouldn’t require surgical precision, but she knew it could fail, so as she landed on her back, she wondered if she’d made it. What happened next told he she had.
Multhratos screamed as the shard cut off his ring and middle finger. The severed appendages fell to the ground, and the Gem of Obedience fell with them.
It was finally over, with the Gem detached from him, his hold on the Sentinels vanished. Their will recovered, they began spreading out. But that didn’t mean good news, for now they had once more regained their primary directive: to eradicate whoever they saw. As the wall Aylin had raised collapsed, the remaining Sentinels began swarming towards the Korrinary army. But before the two opposing forces could reach each other once more, the Gateway opened once more, and the Sentinels stopped dead in their tracks.
Defeat had such a poor taste. He’d become immortal, he’d acquired a power stronger than that of the Titans, he’d amassed the most deadly army ever seen in all of Korrinary history, and it hadn’t been enough!
“I refuse to let this end this way!” screamed Multhratos at the skies, kneeling to pick up his severed finger and retrieve the Gem of Obedience “You’ll see, you’ll all see!”
But he suddenly found himself completely paralyzed. All he could move were his eyes, and as he did, he noticed the Sentinels were frozen in place the same way he was, this could only mean one thing!
The Gateway opened once more on the horizon, only the Titans didn’t emerge. Instead, five arms appeared. Each arm belonged to a different Titan, and they impassively headed towards their goal: Multhratos himself.
As they grabbed the man who had began the war thirty years ago, he regained some of his mobility, but all he could do was thrash hysterically as he was dragged by his Creators back into the Titan Realm, the place where he had been granted his immortality, and where it could be taken away from him.
“No, no, no, no!” he screamed desperately as he fought futilely to set himself free “This can’t be the way it ends, no! I should be conquering you! I’m the one you should be afraid of!”
His screams fell on deaf ears. It only took a few seconds for him to disappear on the horizon. Everybody present could tell exactly when he entered the Titan Realm, since his screams resonated all around, chilling the blood in the veins of his fellow Korrinary. A moment later, only silence could be heard, and everybody knew that however Multhratos had died, it had been a horrible experience.
Once their enemy was defeated, the Titans emerged into the Mortal Realm.
“They’re back!” screamed one of the Tizzanier.
“You were right” exclaimed one of the Scorched “They won’t stop until we’re all dead!”
“Let’s charge now!” commanded Allagras “While the Sentinels are still incapacitated!”
“Wait” spoke a stranger’s voice, vibrating with such power that there had to be some sort of spell amplifying his speech.
A dragon landed near the army, and Darios dismounted it. This was the moment of truth! The Titans had granted him this Sentinel so he could catch up with Aylin and Amrhotep, and had cast a spell on him so he could address everyone present.
“Listen, this war is over!” he began “The Titans were never our enemies, only Erkred, Multhratos and Salagol were, and now they’re all dead! There is no more need to keep on fighting, no more blood needs to be shed!
“Thirty years ago, three men decided to wage war against the ones who created us. They made a grave mistake, and to this day, we had to pay the price for their error!
“But they were not the only ones who made a mistake that day. The Titans themselves made one too! They thought they had failed their creation and that their creation had failed them, and they chose an extreme solution: to destroy that which they had created!
“For the last thirty years they’ve been regretting that decision, and had it not been for Multhratos’s resurgence, they may have been willing to give us a second chance before all this happened!
“What are we going to do, people? Do we still want to fight? Do we still want to forsake this plane? Do we want to make the same mistake our common enemy did, even after seeing what happened to him?
“The time has come for all of us to lay our weapons down! Let’s leave this dark moment in the past and look towards a bright new future!”
Murmurs rose among the people. Darios’s words were reaching them but, at the same time, they were just words, there were no guarantees that anything he was saying would actually come true.
“How do we know we can trust the Titans?” demanded Aritior “And for that matter, how do we know we can trust you? We don’t even know who you are!”
“My name is Darios” he replied “And I’ve come here all the way from Desarrea! The reason I’m standing here is because I took a different route to yours, I decided to talk to the Titans rather than to use violent means, and that is the reason I can guarantee they’re willing to give us a second chance!”
“Here’s our guarantee” spoke the Titans suddenly from behind him.
A strange wind blew. It was an odd sensation, that made the Korrinary feel a pleasantly strange mixture of hope and peace, but that was not its only purpose. From one second to the next, all the Sentinels began vanishing, turning into dust in a mere instant.
Finally free from her assailant, Aylin got up and approached Darios.
“You took your sweet time” she jokingly reproached him “I was in charge of doing all the dirty work!”
“That just means you got to have all the fun” he replied with a smile, which Aylin reciprocated.
“From the moment of Creation up to the Uprising” continued the Titans once the Sentinels had finally vanished “We have been considered the almighty deities, the omnipotent Creators that the Korrinary had to kneel before!”
“And you expect things to go back to the way they were before the Descent?!” exclaimed Allagras bitterly making special emphasis on that last word, since he didn’t approve of the term ‘uprising’ “Do you just expect us to blindly kneel before you once more and serve you faithfully?”
“No” replied the Titans solemnly as they kneeled “We created you because we wanted to watch you thrive. We created you because we put our hopes in you! It is us who should be at your service, it is us who should be offering ourselves to you! We now know this, and we are here to tell you that things are about to change!”
Everyone stood quiet for a minute. The Titans had admitted a mistake, they had accepted they were flawed as well and, most importantly, they were willing to make amends! Was this a trap? Should the Korrinary attack first? Was this Darios telling the truth in that he’d spoken to them or was he a creation of the Titans meant to have them lower their guard?
Aritior asked himself all of these questions and more, until he finally made a choice. He pointed his trident straight at Darios, then dropped it to the ground. His people followed his example.
“A new age begins in Korrinayru, then!” spoke the Titans as they got up and smiled.
As everyone clapped and hugged, Amrhotep approached Aylin and Darios, gasping heavily and sweating after having to channel the spell into the Gem of Allure and having to deal with the countless Sentinels that came to him while keeping the charm active. Allure pointed towards Obedience and he grabbed the Gem, removing it from the severed finger.
“I need to talk to both of you” he said to Aylin and Darios.
“Can it wait?” asked Darios hopefully “I need to see my people, I have to tell my mother everything’s okay!”
Amrhotep nodded solemnly, then the three of them began walking towards Desarrea.
* * * * *
Darios’s mother had been crying herself to sleep every night since her son had left, and after the Titans reentered the Mortal Realm, she couldn’t help but think he’d met a horrible fate, which took away her sleep altogether. So when Darios entered her tent seemingly unscathed and with a brand new look in his eyes that indicated he’d matured on the way, her heart skipped a few beats.
“Darios!” she screamed with joy as tears run down her face. Before her son could even reply she was already hugging him tightly, and he hugged her in return.
“Mother” he replied in a relaxed whisper “It’s over… It’s finally over. The Titans are on our side. The Sentinels are gone. We’re free!”
They both cried silently for a few minutes. When they broke their hug, his mother looked up and saw Aylin and Amrhotep standing behind her son. She approached the geomancer, her body language irradiating gratefulness, but Darios stopped her from hugging her as well. Both women simply looked each other in the eye and nodded solemnly.
“Can I have a minute?” Darios asked his planeswalker friends. They both left respectfully, indicating they’d be waiting outside.
“Who was the man? How did you manage to solve everything? Did you enter the Titan Realm? Did anything happen to you?” she began bombarding her with answers.
He spent longer than an hour telling her the details of his trip, how they’d reached Millika, how they’d found the tragic news that Multhratos was still alive, how Amrhotep saved them, how they reached the Gateway, how he ascended…
“So you’re a planeswalker yourself?” asked his mother amused “It’s a pity you ended in that horrible world…”
“Mother…” he began, then paused as his eyes began to fill with tears “Things have changed since I left. Being a planeswalker has a lot of consequence and… and…”
“And you have to leave again…” she spoke sadly, seeing what he wanted to tell her in his eyes.
Darios stared at her silently, then gave her a bitter smile.
“If it were just me being a planeswalker, I could stay here, but Amrhotep has a mission, and I’m the only one who can do it and…”
“When do you leave?” she interrupted.
“In the next few days, probably less than a week.”
She leaned against him and hugged him.
“Then let’s make these days count” she said as tears fell down her cheeks.
The next few days were bittersweet. Darios saw his whole tribe finally settle on one place with a promising amount of resources. The people could relax, the children could play! People were free to live their lives, and he’d taken a part in this! But on the other hand, he wouldn’t be able to accompany them, he’d be leaving soon, and he wouldn’t be able to return, not until he found a solution to his dilemma, and he was unsure of whether there was one.
Amrhotep and Aylin had a different experience. The man was more than glad to help the Destori settle in what would now be their only location, and helping rebuild a society eased his guilt for helping not one but two people try to destroy it.
The geomancer still resisted any form of physical contact, but she’d actually let some of her defenses down and was gladly chatting with Darios’s people. She spent hours excitedly explaining their adventures in a theatrical way (blatantly exaggerating her own feats, which made Darios chuckle) that enthralled everyone. The kids were particularly charmed with her, and she seemed to have a soft spot for the girls of the tribe (not something maternal, but oddly similar). It was all an act, though, for in the inside she knew she’d be leaving them behind like she always did, and if she actually got attached to them she would never bear not being able to ever see them again.
And so the days went by. Darios regretted he wouldn’t be able to enjoy the peace for longer, but was glad that at least he’d been capable of witnessing peace upon Korrinayru.
“All hail Ragantiar, overlord of Mauras!” spoke Tyertar to everyone present “Let it be remembered how he alone conquered all of the Maurassi tribes in order to unite us and reinforce our bonds as brethren!
“Not only did he manage the amazing feat of defeating the despotic Tribelords that stood on his way to liberate Mauras from their oppression, he defeated the Sentinels that came our way and scared the Titans themselves back into their measly realm.
“Thanks to Ragantiar we are now free of Sentinels. No more oppression, no more fear, no more struggling to survive! All hail our Overlord Ragantiar!”
The Maurassi gratefully cheered for their leader. Ragantiar couldn’t help but smile, he’d finally obtained what he’d always wanted: everything!
Thornpelt and Domri had finally finished an agreement on what land would correspond to the humans and giants of Velk.
“A few days ago we were mortal enemies, now centaurs, humans and giants can live together in peace, not only in the same territory but in the very same tribe!” spoke the centaur “Velkian brethren, we thought you were savages, and we were wrong, you were valuable warriors who gave their all to protect this home which belongs to all of us. For that, you deserve to be called our brothers and sisters, and let me say I am proud to welcome you to form part of the tribe which honors one of the men who made this possible!
“From now on, we shall be known as the Steelhoof Tribe, and together we shall forge a brand new future for Velk!”
“How do you take these news, Lord Varoyass?” asked a cleric to the High Priest of the Scorched after he’d finally had enough time to process the events of the last few days.
“We’ve lost contact with Khierassa over a week ago, and the disappearance of the Sentinels and resurgence of the Titans indicates that she must have finally brought the Purifying Fire to the rest of Korrinayru, but she must’ve lost her life in the process… But rejoice, for we have all been blessed! Korrinayru is pure once more!”
The cleric left the ornate tent to spread the good news, and the second Varoyass was left alone, his smile became a disgusting grimace. Unbeknownst to the rest of the Scorched, some of their brethren had come back from their journey through Korrinayru talking about how they’d been wrong to worship the Fire, and how the merfolk and fish-people of Lasyvria had opened their eyes and helped liberate them from the Titans. Fortunately, they’d come straight to him and hadn’t spoken a word of this to anybody else, so he managed to silence them permanently and stop this heresy from being recklessly spread.
He sighed with tired frustration. These news could shake their faith, and he couldn’t allow that to happen. He’d have to tread lightly to prevent these news from reaching the rest of the Scorched. They had been chosen by the Fire, and their duty wouldn’t be complete until all of Korrinayru had experienced it. The fact that the Titans had forgiven them all and the Sentinels had disappeared was not going to stop him from achieving that goal!
With the Sentinels finally gone, the merfolk and fish-people could finally spend hours going through and classifying the multiple resources the Great Harbor had to offer, and restocking would be fairly easy.
While Allagras gladly coordinated this activity, Aritior was busy relocating his people along their new territory. Lasyvria would probably need to be populated by land-treaders, but the Tizzanier Isles would finally thrive once more, and he couldn’t be happier about it. The cavern they’d hidden in for years had barely had more than enough space to shelter all the populace, but now it would just be remembered as a historical site, the Tizzanier finally able to return to their rightful home, where they’d find themselves with more than enough territory to welcome them all.
As the sun set, all activity and everybody returned home.
“How’s your eye?” asked Allagras.
“It’s fine” replied Aritior “Definitely better than your trident!”
Allagras punched him playfully, although his eyes betrayed he still mourned the loss of the weapon he’d proudly wielded for years.
“So, what comes next?” asked the leader of the Tizzanier to his friend “Where will the tides take you?”
The planeswalker stared at him in surprise.
“Aritior, the tides have brought me to the place where I need to be” he said solemnly “I may be a planeswalker, I may have the capability to leave whenever I want, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to use it!”
He stared at the open sea which seemed to spread infinitely in front of him.
“I’m finally home.”
The Gateway to the Titan Realm was finally restored to its rightful place, and after making sure the good news were spread, the Titans returned to their own Realm, since their prolonged stay in the Mortal Realm could hinder the fabric of the reality they’d created. This time, however, the Gateway remained opened. The Korrinary would be able to communicate with their Creators whenever they wanted.
“Hopefully this time things will work out” said Mythrodas.
“They still don’t understand the Blessing of Death” retorted Mnetridos “And as long as that fear remains in their hearts, there’s no guarantees.”
“This second chance is both for them and for us” said Krodyos “We have to be wiser than them and guide them, not punish them.”
“They know what we’re capable of” added Corrignos “They will not trigger our rage again.”
“But as long as that is what keeps them from attacking us, this peace will be fragile. I gave them life, I’m taking it upon myself that they realize what a gift it is” said Luthiel.
The Titans stared into the Mortal Realm once more. Millikas greeted them with its barren waste. It would take time, but Korrinayru would heal, they would make sure of it.
Aylin and Amrhotep where sitting down a few meters away from the Destori settlement, waiting for Darios to finish his goodbyes. About an hour after the sunrise, he caught up to them.
“I’m ready” he said with a fake smile, which was betrayed by his swollen red eyes.
“As you two know, I wish to return to Rammaneth and free it from Tyganiep’s grasp” began Amrhotep “However, I cannot allow any of the Gems to get there ever again, for I don’t know what damage they may cause. At the same time, I cannot allow any one being to gain possession of the three Gems…”
Aylin and Darios nodded, they’d been talking about this on their way to Desarrea after the end of the war.
“Aylin, you seek confrontation, you enjoy fighting, and with this you’ll ensure to always be able to encounter the most powerful beings of every plane you visit” he said, handing her the ring with the green Gem “And for that, I bestow unto you the Gem of Allure.”
Aylin grabbed the relic with a greedy smile. Fun times were about to begin for her.
“Darios, you are one of the most honor-driven people I’ve ever met, and by granting you the Gem of Obedience, I take your word that you will never use it, no matter how dire the situation.”
He handed the blue Gem to Darios, who silently accepted it. He was being handed a huge responsibility, and he was willing to honor his word.
“I’ll ask both of you to seek a way to destroy them, especially Obedience, for it is the most dangerous of them.”
“And what about the third Gem?” asked Aylin curiously “What happened to Consumption?”
“Consumption has been entrusted to somebody else, and I will never let any of you know who that person is… As long as each Gem owner remains ignorant of where to locate the three of them, the Gems will never come together.
“And that’s why I need to ask something else of you two.”
Aylin and Darios stared at him in confusion.
“I must ask that from this day forward you take separate paths and never cross each other again. If fates reunites you in a world, I want you to leave that world immediately. The Gems must stay as far apart from each other as possible!”
After a long silence, both planeswalkers agreed. Darios’s pain at not ever being able to see Aylin again was visible in his face. The geomancer was showing no sign of this inconveniencing her in any way, but deep inside, she could feel a cold hand grabbing her heart.
“Goodbye forever to both of you, and may the gods (or rather, the Titans) watch over you wherever you go…” said Amrhotep, then he vanished into the Blind Eternities.
Aylin and Darios were left alone, staring at each other in silence.
“I guess this is it…” said Aylin with a sad smile.
Darios wanted to say so much, but the time for goodbyes was over.
“Thank you” was all he said, but in those two words a torrent of emotions and words were implicitly spoken. Aylin nodded gratefully and stepped into the Blind Eternities herself.
Darios was left alone. From this moment on, his only companion was the Gem of Obedience. He stared at the burden he’d agreed to carry on his finger, sighed, and left Korrinayru.