Gamesh had just finished another battle, this time against a group of demons that had decided to settle down in the middle of a jungle, when he heard the call. It was directing him out of the jungle, but then, any direction he went would lead out of the jungle eventually. When he reached a city called Diaspora, the voice stopped. So he wandered. He bought food and decided to look at mounts. He was just entering when he heard a crash. Indiscernible voices were floating toward him. He walked over. There were three men struggling to shove a black horse back into its stall. The horse had crashed straight through the stall door, though it looked like it had had several boards nailed over it. Gamesh looked at the horse and said “How much?” One of the men looked over, surprised. “Um, 50 gold?” Gamesh looked at him; that was cheap! “Done.” The other two men let the horse come out. It looked at Gamesh. “Thank you.” Gamesh simply smiled, gave the man five platinum coins, and motioned to the horse “After you.” With the men staring at them, Gamesh followed the horse out. Once outside, Gamesh led the horse out of the city, where they could talk in peace. “What exactly are you? Show me your true form!” The horse looked at him and said “No need to be rude. I am called Gil in your language.” Gil then proceeded to nuzzle Gamesh. Gamesh patted Gil’s head “You still have not shown me your true form nor answered my question. Normal horses can’t talk.” Gil looked at Gamesh with huge sorrowful eyes. “I have been cursed with the form of a mere horse. I am a Nightmare and can only be freed by powerful Light magic.”
Gamesh picked up yet another book from the pile and looked at the index. It listed variations of the typical Skeleton, Zombie, and Dragon. There were Vampires, Gnolls, Trolls, Redcaps, and Dinosaurs, but no mention of Nightmares. Feeling frustrated, he placed the book on top of another pile and picked up another book. Nothing. There was no mention of a creature called a Nightmare anywhere. Gil wasn’t any help, when Gamesh asked him where he was from, he just looked and at him and asked “Don’t you already know?” “No!” “It doesn’t have a name… but every living being knows what it is.” Gamesh had been unable to figure out what Gil had meant by that. “I can’t find a way to undo the curse without knowing more about your kind.” He muttered. “If you can’t tell me what I need to know, then I’ll look for it myself.” Gamesh pulled out another book, nothing. Still nothing. This was infuriating! This was the third pile he had gone through, and there wasn’t even the slightest hint of a Nightmare! He put all the books back, and then walked back out. Gil was waiting by the door. “Nothing, eh?” Gamesh glared at Gil, and simply hopped onto Gil’s back, and they rode off into the forest.
Gamesh sighed. People just seemed so corrupted these days! This was the fifth band of bandits that he had found around one city! Most of them were peasants, barely worth his time. But some of them had obviously been trained well, and trained by a very good warrior. Someone here was worth battling. Now if only he could find the one who had been training them. Gamesh had asked some of the people in town what was going, and they had told him that it was none of his business. That was putting it mildly. Gamesh shook his head, who knew farmers could be worse than sailors. Suddenly his head whipped around; something large had moved in those bushes! He watched calmly, feeling their wave of terror wash over him. Gamesh motioned to Gil. Gil stalked up to the bush. Sure enough the leaves moved, they were not worth his time. Gil turned and walked back to his master’s side. Gamesh swept around and walked away. He would leave them to try and figure out why they were spared. “You are dead!” the voice was hard, filled with hate. Gamesh spun and his sword leapt out of its sheath. A girl stood there, glaring, arms crossed in defiance. She had a sword tucked into a carved sheath at her side. Several armed villagers stood at her side, weapons out in front of them…
From the bushes, a girl watched a couple finish their vows, then complete the ceremony. She yawned, guard duty was boring, but it was a way to earn money. The only problem with being a “Robin Hood” was that the money she got from stealing was always given to those who needed it more. And they weren’t too good at giving back. But, she could see more of the poor fed, educated, and happier. Her clothes were torn and dirty, golden hair pulled back into a ponytail with a piece of vine. The only clean part about her was her eyes, glowing golden, they seemed to see things others did not, analyzing situations accurately in a single glance. The couple was making their way back to the city, making care to separate before they approached the gate. She was to meet with the man later that day to claim her payment, but something else was attracting her attention at that moment. There was a well overgrown path leading past the temple! It looked like it hadn’t been used in centuries. The girl didn’t exactly know how she spotted it, but then, she didn’t know how she spotted that guard wearing a Cloak of Invisibility either. She crept up the path, making her way through the brambles and trees.
Finally she reached a clearing. A shrine stood in the middle, surrounded by sunlight. The girl walked toward it and knelt to examine the carvings. “What is your wish?” The booming voice made her jump, and she looked around for the voice’s owner. “I said, what is your wish?!” Oddly enough, the voice was coming from the shrine. She didn’t see any magical markings. ..“ANSWER ME!” The girl glared at the shrine. ”Sheesh, no need to be so rude, I was trying to figure out where your voice is coming from.” “Is that your wish?” “No, I wish to be able to protect this world from the greedy and self-centered.” “Um, that’s pretty close to the original wording…” “What original wording?” “Nothing” The voice cleared its throat if it had one, “Then O Champion, take your weapon and go protect the world and all that good stuff.” A sword appeared in the ground in front of the shrine. The girl was rather confused now, and just stood there with an eyebrow raised. The voice sounded embarrassed. “Sorry, I don’t like the formal thing, just take the sword already. The world will need saving soon.” “Um, okay?” The girl grabbed the sword and pulled it out of the dirt with ease. The sword shone with light, it would be impossible to conceal from sight. Just as she thought it, the sword’s light diminished and shrunk to the size of a dagger. Her mouth hung agape as she stared at the weapon, no magical weapon she knew of could understand thoughts! “Wha-“ but the spirit was gone, she didn’t know how she could tell, but she could tell. She realized too that her primary senses had been heightened and increased. Smiling, she decided to go and collect that payment.
What is it Trix?” The old woman turned to the impatient child. “I said I wanted you to interpret these markings!” Trix was annoyed at being pushed aside so the woman could serve someone else. The woman sighed then held out her hand “All right, let me see it.” Trix pulled out a scroll which she had meticulously copied the symbols on the temple onto. The woman took it and studied for what seemed like forever, then gazed at Trix in amazement. “This is in the language of Light!” Trix glared. “So can you read it?” The woman began to read off the scroll, “If- I can’t read this word- should rise again, then- I can’t read this word either- shall raise new champions to take up the powers passed on through endless time and drive it back. All –I can’t read this-together, break the seal of Limbo. I am afraid that several of those are unknown to me. They are probably names of well renown, because they aren’t part of the usual alphabet.” Trix sighed, “Thank you, I was hoping that it would tell more, but I guess not.” Trix walked away, unsure of what to do. When talking with the rest of her band, they told her that a mysterious stranger in black was killing the others. She frowned, “I guess that we’ll have to try and catch him then. I need someone who is very stealthy to try and figure out his habits. We will not be taking any chances.”
Max and JayEdit
A boy stood at the crest of the hill, wondering what was taking so long. He had messy dirt brown hair and wore simple peasant’s clothes. His eyes were brown and his face freckled. He looked like your average kid in the workforce, clothes smeared with mud and healing cuts and bruises. “Yo, Max…” the voice was weak, and coming from behind him. The boy turned in shock “Wha-? Jay?!” A winged boy stood behind him, covered in scratches and fresh bruises; one wing was bent wrong and dragging on the ground. He had bright blue eyes and spiked white hair, and was wearing a torn tunic and breeches similar to his. “What happened this time?” Max asked, running to Jay before he could fall over. “They spread fishing net across the rooftops- ow!” Max was pulling a needle out of Jay’s wing. “It’s all right. What were they using?” Max smoothed the feathers back over a large cut. “Knives, sticks, the usual. There were boys and girls this time.” Jay started cleaning out a cut on his leg. “Wow. That would explain the needles and bow.” Max started inspecting Jay’s bent wing. “A bow?!” Jay started trying to look behind him, and then cried out in pain as Max relocated his wing. “Owww! That hurt a lot!” “Sorry. I had to get it back in place.” Max let go of Jay’s wing, and pulled the pink bow out of Jay’s hair, tossing it to him. “What the heck?! Why would they put a bow in my hair?!” Max looked at Jay and said “I don’t know, maybe she liked you.” Jay glared at Max “Ver-ry funny, Max, very funny.” Max grinned “Sorry, I thought I could lighten up the mood, but your just too sourpuss!” Jay lunged, grinning playfully, then fell back down. “Oww. That hurt. Okay, let’s get back to the house.”
‘The House’ was really just makeshift shelter they had erected with sticks, leaves, and cloth. The inside was littered with pieces of metal from Max’s projects. Jay swept the pieces away from his ‘nest’ and curled up inside, falling asleep instantly. Max put the mess into a large pile in one corner of the shelter, then went outside to look for herbs. He came back an hour later and, dropping the herbs into a pile, he lay down on the floor and went to sleep. Jay had all of his wounds treated to, and they decided that they would stay a bit longer. It was Max’s turn to go to town and do the chores. Max was not looking forward to it. It would be safer for the two of them to go together, but one of them had to stay to keep the rangers from clearing out their stuff. That and some the bigger boys in town had found out where they lived. They had the disadvantage of not knowing the terrain, but they would love the opportunity to smash Max and Jay’s “hideout”. Max broke out of his reverie as he approached the village. He stopped just outside and checked that his equipment was easily accessible but out of sight. Sighing again, Max straightened up and walked into town.
Of course, they found him, they always found him. Despite the fact that he looked just like any other country boy, they always could find him when he went into town. Jay was easier to spot, despite his many attempts to disguise himself. Max supposed that it must be the way they acted; going straight to their destination and coming right back out, spending as little time in an area as possible. They had him cornered in an alley, blocking off any exit he might take. “You’ve messed around long enough, punk. It’s time for us real boys to send you a farewell. The hard way.” One of the bigger boys stepped forward and cracked his knuckles. Max backed against the wall. He could run faster than a normal human being, but it didn’t look like that was going to help here. “And you won’t be getting any help from your freak brother either, he’s as good as dead if he comes back looking for you.” This voice was female; Max looked up and saw several girls armed with slings or small bows on the rooftops. Max realized they were right, if Jay came, he would be shot out of the sky.
Max stepped toward them, suddenly feeling incredibly calm, and slowly took off his pack. One of the boys raised an eyebrow, “What, you gonna try and give us an offering to save your miserable life?” Max simply grinned and lifted a large metal box out of the bag. He set it on the ground in front of them and pressed an indentation. “You’re call.” Max smiled. One of the boys stepped forward and poked the box. “This ain’t another one of your tricks, is it?” Max smiled and shook his head. Not a complete lie, he hadn’t used this one before simply because it took too long to pull it out. The boy picked up and examined it. Nothing happened. Right when the other boys were walking up, it went off. The box opened and revealed a metal cone and gears. Suddenly the boy holding it was sucked bodily into the cone and appeared to shrink as he went. The other boys felt the suction start taking hold and started trying to run away, but they too were pulled into the box. Most of the girls on the roof managed to get away, and only the ones who were slow witted or slow on their feet were caught. Max managed not to be pulled in by somehow rooting his feet to the ground. The cube closed as Max pulled himself from the ground. He walked over and picked the cube up, examining it for defections or signs of impending explosion. Seeing none, he tucked the cube back into his backpack and, hoisting it up; he walked back to his chores.
Trix and GameshEdit
Trix glared at the swordsmen who had been causing so much trouble. His sword looked like her sword, but the opposite of her sword. It was made of solidified darkness, she could tell. “I said; you’re dead! Why aren’t you doing anything?!” The boy cocked his head at her and came up out of his fighter’s stance with his sword pointed toward the ground. “I was waiting for you. Ladies first, right?” He grinned devilishly at her, then brought his sword up and bowed. Trix just stood there, realizing that he sounded quite a bit like someone from her past… but he was on the other side of the world, and certainly couldn’t be here fighting against what he fought for.
Gamesh grinned in spite of himself; this was going to be fun. He could tell that the girl was flabbergasted, but since she wasn’t going to do anything; he lunged, sword out for her throat. She reacted faster than he expected, dancing out of the way and whipping out her sword at the same time. This time it was his turn to be stare, but he didn’t stop moving. As he sidestepped her next attack and countered with his own, he studied her sword. It was glowing, not just one color, but seemingly just pure light. Then he realized why she had been staring at him, she wasn’t staring at him, but his sword! Their swords appeared to be opposites, his of Darkness, and hers of Light.
The boy spun, his long silver hair spinning out as his sword came around on the side. Trix ducked, and then quickly leapt as he reversed and swept the sword at her feet. Man, he was fast! She noticed that his horse stood off to the side just watching like the villagers that had joined her. Trix leapt and spun toward the boy, becoming a deadly, whirling wheel of light. He brought his sword up even as he sidestepped, obviously anticipated her plan to lash out sideways or flip underneath his sword. But because his sword was there, she couldn’t lash out without impaling herself on this sword. So instead she flipped underneath his sword and lunged toward his horse instead. Trix’s sword suddenly flashed and sent a blast of light toward the horse. The boy lunged, sword out to deflect the bolt, but the horse simply stepped into the path of the bolt allowing the light to wash over him. The boy stopped short, emotions finally showing on his face in astonishment.
Gamesh was flabbergasted. Gil was fast enough to have dodged that, and he didn’t! Then he remembered what Gil had said when they first met. ‘I was cursed with this form. It can only be broken by powerful light magic.’ Gamesh smiled and stepped back as the light dissipated and a shadowy figure of a horse stepped out. “Heheheh. I should thank you for freeing me, young one, if it weren’t for the fact that you cannot be allowed to die.” The horse grinned a terrible smile and showed glowing coal red eyes. “The girl stumbled several steps back, then regained her composure and actually sauntered up to the Nightmare! “So your way of thanking someone is to kill them, huh? That sure does sound nice. Just kidding! But what are you? Obviously not a regular horse, so don’t try the ‘I’m a mutated horsy!’ with me.” Gamesh marveled at her bravery, then was struck by a certain similarity to someone he had known when he was younger. He turned his thoughts back to the conflict between Gil and the girl. “You have quite a lot bravery, girl. We shall meet again. But the Plane of Darkness tells us to wait.” Gil trotted, no, floated, over to Gamesh. “We must go. Your sword speaks. We are needed elsewhere. This time has not yet come.” Gamesh nodded, he too could feel the sword’s call. Climbing onto Gil’s back, Gamesh pulled his cloak up around him, tucked the Dark Sword into its sheath, and then they rode off, leaving the infuriated girl behind.
Trix was annoyed. Just when things were getting interesting, they just had to leave. But she shrugged and turned back to the rest of her group. They had been huddling behind a tree the entire time, unwilling to miss the epic fight, but fearing for their lives. “Come on guys, it’s time for us to go as well.”