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- Aura, Rabiyu and Sifrei - Isopolis -

Aura stood still on the same spot just as Henry finally banished from the world. In on hand she was holding Henry's long sword, a memento for him to her, and the other was reaching out for someone who wasn't there. This moment, this simple moment, felt eternal, as if everything would stay like that forever, until Aura felt a pair of hands on her shoulders.

"Do not forget his sacrifice, for it is thanks to him that each one of us recovered that which was most important." Sifrei said calmly.

"But what about him? He didn't get the chance to..." Aura replied without looking at Rabiyu or Sifrei.

"May the Source and the Gods have mercy and let him have his well-deserved rest. Never forget about him, Aurora. If you keep his memory in your heart, then he will never die." Rabiyu said.

Aura simply nodded and remained silent, whatever was happening around her was currently of no importance for her mind, until the voice of Alastor brought her back. Apparently, he was asking about Rufus' lamp, but for what reason? what was he planning to do with it.

"Rufus' lamp? Well, yeah...I suppose it does." She answered.

"With us travelling to the past, Rufus' freedom at the hands of Ahriman became undone. So yeah, it is highly possible that wishes can be made." Rabiyu said to Alastor.

"But why are you asking?" Aura said while looking at Alastor, "What is it that you want to wish for?"

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~Aqua: Isopolis: In Need of a Nap~
Aqua was stricken by grief as she watched Henry’s sacrifice, but she couldn't deny the relief and gratitude the overcame her at the thought of having her staff back.  The female elf gave him a slight smile, as he walked past her, but didn’t say anything. She would be fine, but others needed his goodbyes more than her. Aqua tightly clutched the staff to her chest as it reappeared. The thought of just how held back she was without her staff still worried her deeply. She decided she would need to practice using her magic without her staff along with learning to use other types of weapons. She’d also need to train her control over her emotions during battles as well. Rest would be her first goal, then after she’d worry over other things. 

She was about to go by Elia’s side to cheer her up went she heard Typhon’s loud voice along with Alastor’s voice. She groaned loudly, even more so when she heard Aura’s response. “Does it matter, they have a king pinned to the ground with a sword. Don’t listen to them, until they become reasonable and put their weapons away.” She crossed her arms. All she wanted was to sleep, but it seemed as if that plan was sidelined again.

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Elia sniffled, looking up into Henry's brave, determined face.  Her smile was infectious?  It delighted her to hear this, and yet it tore at her heart painfully.  "Henry . . . why . . . ."

The raven-haired fairy fell to her knees, gripping the ground as sobs shook her entire form.  Many were grieving, whilst others simultaneously rejoiced at the return of their precious sacrifices.  Everyth watched in horror as Henry gave himself up.  She extended a hand, its wrinkles fading before her very eyes.  Youth flooded through her body, her spine straightening as her white locks turned dark once more.

"Henry," she whispered, unable to make it to his side before he was gone.  A tear rolled down her cheek as she watched the Source of All Life fade from existence, and Henry with it.  Carefully she brought a hand to her chest, chin lowering.  "You've taught me how to be human again.  You have shown me courage, compassion, love.  And you have even saved me from death, at the cost of your own.  Thank you . . . Henry."

The human princess let out a yelp at about this moment, the weight of a person crashing down and bowling her over.  In a tangle of auburn hair and limbs, Athena found herself looking face-to-face with her beloved knight, whom she squeezed with all of her might.

"ARTHUR!" she returned, as though the two were in a squeaking match.  "You're here!  You're alive!  Oh, I'm so sorry.  In my sacrifice I had to give up ever seeing you again!  I made you vanish . . . didn't I?"  Clearly, she was clueless about Arthur's own sacrifice, giving up his humanity so that the rest f the world may be saved.

Meanwhile, Yevgeni stared down, incredulous, as Nergal begged for forgiveness from the others.  "I wouldn't go that far," he drawled, shaking his head.  "We're the villains.  They're going to execute us, lock us away, or worse, banish us to the depths of Isopolis and the torments within.  We do not get happy endings.  They won't forget our crimes that easily, nor should they."

The blond noticed Aqua fold her arms, seeming exasperated by everything that went on that day.  He couldn't help but laugh.

"Someone who looks how I feel," he said, before offering her a smile.  "Come, you're going to have to seek apprenticeship from someone else after all of this.  Your mentor has failed, and I do not think we will be able to practice our magic like we once had.  I am sorry."  A frown furrowed his brow, as though recollection suddenly hit him.  "But I realize that I owe you something.  Wasn't there something that you sought from me, before we arrived here in Isopolis? I do not know what will become of me, but seek me out and I will do what I can to help you."

-----------------------

As the warden of Isopolis, Soren would know how to guide them to safety, out of the depths of the Forbidden Shrine and back on to the island whence they came.  They would find that the halls which they once crossed had changed, everything anew and foreboding.  And yet, it somehow had an order to it, which Soren would show them through with ease.

At last, adventurers, it is over.  To get here you have had to endure hardships and suffering, and yet despite that some of you have found love, joy, warmth, and friendship.  Life isn't about the destination, it is the journey, and how you embark on that journey is what brings that life meaning.

You have accomplished the impossible, the restoration of the human world, and have erected a new era of unity and peace between the human world and that of the fey.  It has been a long journey, and the road to recovery will be longer even still, but in allowing your hearts to guide you, you will surely find your way home.

Spoiler

Yes, that was totally inspired from Kingdom Hearts. :P

~*~Epilogue~*~

It was a momentous occasion.  The halls were decorated with great splendor, and Kilkis Seres was flooded with tourists.  Today was the day that Jynn Venas, the crown prince of Kilkis Seres and son of Shiva de la Alexandria, was being coronated and officially recognized as the true king.  Three weeks had passed since the events in Isopolis, and everyone was processing it in their own way.

Elia stood meekly among the crowds of people, though her normal warmth and joy was not present that day.  She would smile when people would comment on her dress, or try to praise her heroic deeds on that fated day.  However, it was a false smile, as no joy spread through her heart.  She could not celebrate when she was grieving the loss of a friend.  A hero.  A warrior, who sacrificed himself so that his comrades could be whole once again.

Earlier, she had wished upon Rufus, asking him to restore Henry.  The djinni had done his utmost, and yet Henry was nowhere to be found.

Athena stood alongside Arthur, wherever he may be, grasping his hand tightly and offering him a warm smile.  "Imagine this being you one day," she said playfully.  "That is, if you succeed in receiving my father's blessing . . . !"

Other faces, too, were present at the coronation, one being Everyth Castanova, who stood silently on the sidelines, as well as King Alderon, who was exchanging jokes with Draksis, if he were there, and Alastor, if he were listening.  Yevgeni Malachite was not present, though his whereabouts were not known by the majority, nor did the majority care.

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Jynn Venas-Coronation

In Jynn’s new room, he sat quietly on the edge of the bed, looking at the window. After all these years, it is his time to serve the Overworld. Not much happened during the three weeks, other than the fact that he has given a public speech about his future. Now it was time to truly be the face of Kilkes Seres and the Overworld. 

He sighs, and materializes the Leviathan in his hand. He looks at the eye on its hilt. “Well mother. I never thought this day would come as fast as it did, but here we are.” He faces back at the window and stands up. He can already see the crowd awaiting his appearance. He withdraws his sword. 

A servant knocks on his door. “Your majesty? It’s time!” Jynn stretches, and finally heads to the door, and opens it. The guards and servant bow down to his appearance. “Are you ready?” Jynn nods, and the guards escort him to the main hall, where everyone was waiting. Some of his friends and allies were here, including Bherna and Dawson  

 

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It was one hell of a roller coaster once they returned. They had to fix everything, deliver the dead, so on and so on. Everyone was busy. Arthur got to see his mother and sister, reassuring that they were alive. They only remember the bright light, and then nothing. Just a bright flash. They didn't know that they had been dead for over twenty four hours. Afterwards it was lots of work to get everything back and settled down, as well as bringing everyone up to speed that the war was over, and that they were now allies. Now he stood next to Athena, wearing his more formal attire. It was the more elegant armor, with his cape, though he didn't wear his helmet. His scars had healed over, the three distinctive claw marks across his face, a lighter color against his skin, a permanent reminder of the war. He held Athena's hand, looking at her as he blushed. "Ah...I've fought a war, turned into lightning, and come back to life...yet I still fear in having to win your father's favor." He mused before looking back at her with a smile. "Yet I shall do whatever it takes...for you, Athena." He reassured. Though his cheeks still flushed at the thought of being king. Him? King? The knight who once got a black eye before the soap slipped from his hands, bounced off the wall and hit him? Then again, with Athena, he could do anything. He was sure of it.

After the events, it was a busy time. Recovery, yet all with the push of gathering things together and making it right after the sacrifices had been made. Helios finally saw his parents. They were the ones to show up at Kilkes Seres after exchanging a few letters. The Spriggan and Fey would hug their only child and scold him endlessly for worrying them as they did, for going as far as to lie to sneak out of the world, and for never visiting. Yet they both saw a change. When they last saw their beloved child he was merely a Fey. A reckless one whose moral compass was all over the place, still deciding what he even wished to desire in the world. But now? All they saw was a man who had somehow survived it, and the hesitation in his eyes had been cut right out, even as the playfulness never left. He was no longer their pup, but they couldn't have been more proud. They would stay, now somewhere in the crowd. Helios decided to stick around in Kilkes Seres, helping with the preparation of the crowning ceremony as well as just trying to be a general help. At least until he knew what he would be doing next. Now the ceremony was in motion. He dressed for the occasion, wearing a white long sleeved jacket with silver linings, dark gray dress pants and a pair of boots. A blue stole draped over his shoulders. His face markings had been renewed, now a line across his face, underneath his eyes and over his nose, with two smaller ones on either cheek. Helios stood next to Aura, watching everyone in anticipation to see the king-to-be. "It still seems surreal." He would admit, holding Aura's hand. "I thank you for helping me face reality, Aura."

 

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- Aura, Rabiyu and Sifrei - Isopolis -

Aura was waiting for Alastor's response, whatever he needed the lamp for should have been very important for him to consider using a wish, but they had to leave, and Rabiyu knew that.

"Maybe this could wait until later, Alastor?" Rabiyu said calmly while looking at the man, "If it is important enough for you to try and use a wish to, well, wish for something, then it must be important and, perhaps, better told in private."

The young human woman looked between Rabiyu and Alastor for a moment, so did Sifrei. Both agreed to the elf's words. This had been a rather exhausting quest, one that they had managed to pull, even if it requiered a few sacrifices.

"Let us leave this place. Perhaps we could talk about this once we arrive at, well," Sifrei hesitated for a moment while looking around, "whichever place we go. Kilkis Seres or Mystras."

Without waiting for a response Aura looked at the white haired elf once more before running to Helios' side. Rabiyu gave Alastor a nod while Sifrei offered a small bow before following the rest of the group outside.

--------------------

- Kilkis Seres - Three weeks later -

Today was a beautiful day, it was a momentous day, for it was the day of the prince of Kilkis Seres' ascension, to finally be crowned king. Aura had arrived from Mystras with Rabiyu and Sifrei earlier in the day, She was wearing a black dress with golden trims and complicated beautiful patterns in gold threads, Rabiyu had asked to have it delivered from somewhere back in the north, or so she said. It was beautiful, and far more expensive than she could imagine, if the looks of jealousy coming from some of the fey women was to be believed.

"Was it necessary for me to wear this dress, Eli? I mean, I AM grateful that you got it for me, but," Aura hesitated for a moment, "isn't it expensive?"

Rabiyu, who was now wearing a gold and silver armor, was walking next to Aura, and by what she could tell, maybe some of the locals thought that young Aurora was part of human aristocracy, as she was currently being followed by two important looking people wearing armor.

"This is a momentous occasion, Aurora. It is to commemorate the ascension of the prince, his ascension to be the rightful ruler of Kilkis Seres," Rabiyu answered, "I think you look good on it. And besides, money is of no consequence, it possesses no meaning to me."

"Just enjoy the moment," Sifrei said while smiling, "this is the start of a new era."

How could she enjoy such moment when she had lost two of her loved ones ever since she came to the Overworld, how could she be expected to deal with the pain of being left behind by those two? A few nights before, she had a dream, a dream in which her brother asked her to live life to its fullest, for both him and Henry. She deserved to be happy, and it would make him happy to see her that way. That dream made her realize that Aurion was right. She was going to live, and she was going to remember those who didn't make it. It was the least she could do.

The trio made their way into the palace of Kilkis Seres, people were already gathered there. They had seen some familiar faces among the crowd, both human and fey. Aura had found Helios moments after they arrived, but he was quickly spirited away by his parents. Aura decided to give him some space. She remained still, looking around the palace, it felt like it was the first time she had been there even when the last time was not the best. Helios's voice brought her back to reality.

"And thank you for helping me find the strenght to keep moving forwards, Helios," Aura said as she intertwined her fingers with Helios', "I lost so much ever since I came here, but having you by my side gives me the strenght to keep going. I am sure both Henry and Aurion would give me a lecture if I gave up, but with you by my side, I know I can conquer any challenge."

Both Rabiyu and Sifrei left Aura with Helios as they felt the deserved some privacy. So they walked back a few meters and waited for the ceremony to start.

"Any news back home?" Sifrei asked,

"None. It has been a couple of days, but the more I try to use the astral projection, something dispels the spell. It is quite strange." Rabiyu answered.

"Well, the Tide Mother and the King of Kings are aware of what happened in Isopolis. Our report was very detailed. Or at least yours was. I was not aware once we arrived at the last part." he said while rubbing his cheek.

"Do not worry about it. They were informed of everything I remember, and what little I don't, I do not think it is that important, we were fighting at the time, after all." Rabiyu said calmly, "I do have a question. I learned that you were planning to help Miss Mariel face the Heavenly Host. Do you realize that we have to go back to the North, right?"

"I know, I know. And my offer for her still stands. I have no authority with the Heavenly Host, as I am not part of it, but that doesn't mean I cannot help a friend in need," Sifrei said while looking at the elf, "We will go back home, but if she indeed goes to face the Host, then I will return and be at her side. You know, for support."

Rabiyu stared at the archangel for a moment, trying to find out what was going through his mind, but she didn't. Besides, she understood the feeling of wanting to help someone. Yevgeni had been abscent ever since they came back from Isopolis, and that was expected, he had conspired to kill the Frostbearer and destroy the world below. Forgiveness was not something that he could expect from Kilis Seres, or most individuals for that matter. But she knew that he needed someone, a friend, to be at his side, and she had decided to be there when he needed her.

 

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{Mariel: Epilogue}

Shortly after the restoration of the World Below, Mariel fell ill. She was feverish, delirious, and in considerable pain. Attempts to magically heal her of the affliction seemed to only strengthen it. Then, on the third day, the malady broke. Its symptoms vanished as quickly as they had come, though left her feeling strangely hollow and alone. To most concerned, she put it down as a temporal sickness from the time jump. But this is not what she feared to be true. The Sanguis Vindicta had been awoken inside her. Could she truly believe it had gone dormant again? 

Fearing the ancient magic within her, the Guardian Angel isolated herself. With the aid of a few she trusted, she tested herself. After several weeks of trials, the blood magic did not surface. While it still worried her, she listened to the council of others and put aside. 

As Mariel prepared to go to Jynn's coronation, she considered what her next move would be. The story of the Lost Legions had to return to the Hosts, but was she the right one to bring that message anymore? She had fallen to the Sanguis Vindicta on top of her disobedience eons ago. The Hosts could simply see her as a tainted and fallen angel. Would her fallen comrades be honored if she was the one testifying for their memory? Sifrei had offered to stand with her, which was a great comfort to Mariel. She wasn't sure how the Archangel's presence would influence her standing, but at least she wouldn't be alone. Though perhaps it was better to go alone. She fully expected to face some sort of judgement for what she had done. She didn't want to drag Sifrei into that as well.

The debate on whether she would take Sifrei on his offer continued inside Mariel's head as she flew to Kilkis Seres on the coronation day. She had lodged far away from others, so the flight was long, but it was better for collecting her thoughts. Along the way, she came across a merchant and his family beset by bandits along the road to Kilkis Seres. Instincts kicking in, she swooped in to defend the innocent. Her duel blades flashed out, driving the bandits back. The merchant was already dead, but his wife and child remained alive.

"Drop your weapons or face your judgement here where there is no mercy." She called out. "The local magistrates might cut a deal if you-"

Mariel's words were cut off as an unseen archer fired. The other bandits started running again as Mariel whirled around to see the little boy struck by the arrow. At first she was shocked that they could have missed her, but realized she hadn't been the target. The bandit had shot the child as a distraction for their get away. Shot the child. Shot the child. Shotthechild.

Shot. The. Child.

The red haze enveloped her vision as her eyes fell on the fleeing bandits...

 

During the coronation, the merchant's wife arrived in Kilkis Seres, carrying her child. When questioned, she spoke of a red winged angel saving her and her son's life before charging after the bandits. Sometime later, a scouting party found the site of the bandit ambush. Not far from there, they found a grizzly scene of a group of bandits hacked and torn asunder. There was no sign of the red winged angel, but among the dismembered bodies were found two angelic swords. One with a flaming blade pinned a bandit to the ground, charring the corpse. The other was found a few yards from the carnage, the blade snapped in two.

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Posted (edited)

((A wish was made upon Rufus to bring upon a separation of Odin into two parts:  Raiden and Teshub again.  As a result, Odin is no more, and Raiden has returned.  More will come for Raiden and Rufus in time.  In the immortal words of Square Enix, "Please be excited.))

- Raiden:  Epilogue -

Jynn's Coronation

After a harrowing set of events brought about by several weeks of misguided conceptions and an endless series of horrible mishaps, Raiden found himself here, back in the capital of Kilkes Seres, anxiously awaiting within his best robe made of spider silk the moment when the prince will be bestowed the throne of the continent.  He was amidst friends garnered through a myriad of ways -- choice humans of the World Below who had earned their rights of passage into the Overworld over and over again, those who were for and against his cause, and some people who remained neutral and unattached.  All had their own reasons to being here, but under the unified banner of watching a king get crowned.

He breathed in and out, trepidation causing his hands to shake in a manner quite unfitting to him.  He both worried for and looked forward to the future state of the kingdom, once solidified by Shiva's ideals and now under Jynn's guiding hand.  Would he be able to handle the pressures of the state and remain level-headed?  He trusted Jynn's judgement, but even still he worried, almost enough that he wanted to bring up the possibility of being an advisor to his son.  He decided against it, however.  The Mystran people needed him for the time being, at least until he could find someone or a suite of people who were fully able to take over the affairs of being the ruler.

Teshub was his prime choice for a candidate, even if the man attempted to kill him in secret.  His hopes and aspirations for reuniting Odin dashed upon the rocks when he rediscovered what Odin was really like, Teshub seemed skeptical as to what to do with his life if he ever left imprisonment.  Kept within the most secure parts of the Mystran cells, he had no ways of escape and precious few ways of entertaining himself, so Raiden came to visit him between his duties.

Both seemed apologetic for their disparities against each other, and slowly their kinship was being reintegrated, healing the damage caused by both centuries of unspoken frustration and recent betrayal.  Once trust can be reinstated, Raiden had no doubt that Teshub would easily be able to handle all of the faculties of being a ruler, much like he did.  That was not to say that fail-safes would not be instated, however.  A new pedigree of guardsmen was to be promoted as elite soldiers of Mystras, to keep him and Teshub on the right path as well as keep a sense of order to the growing city.

Back to the present, Raiden snapped out of his introspection and found that Jynn made his entrance, accompanied by his entourage.  He issued a mixed smile and stood straight up.  It was time.

Edited by Vaude

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- Soren Monroe, The Sentinel: Epilogue, Jynn's Coronation -

Three weeks...such a short amount of time since the end of everything had loomed, yet it felt like years. Years, passages of time that felt just as long to a eternal Fey as they did to a mortal Human, yet many squandered them. Some didn't think it possible to squander an eternity, but one can always be surprised. Soren, despite his years of military service to the Royal Army, ascension to the position of Sentinel for Isopolis, even managing the Shrine's Prison Cells, felt he had also squandered his eternity. Not because he was wasting his time, far from it, many of his years had been the best of his life and he has learned much from his mistakes including his grandest being the betrayal of Queen Shiva, but rather because there was unfinished business that desperately needed attending to, always being sidelined by Soren's desire to live a new life on the surface world, beyond the hellish pits of the chaotic Tartarus, or by the more important tasks of saving the worlds from a pompous, insane Deity.

After today however, nothing would get in the way...tomorrow, after Jynn's Coronation, he would settle things. Once and for all.

But today, Soren Monroe was dressed in his dress blues, holding a sword-cane to his side with tidied up hair and a cleaned up face, next to a newly restored Lord Raiden of Mystras, much to his delight, the man he once knew was still alive, originally trapped in a merger with his other half; Teshub, or the Infiltrator that Soren had crossed paths with at the Shrine, who wasn't particularly happy with his current situation, but he didn't matter to Soren right now. If Raiden passed a gaze his way, Soren would offer a friendly smile.

It was then however, that Jynn entered the room, forcing all to attention upon his entrance, Soren included, who stood tall and proud of the boy, for stepping up and being ready to take his rightful place where his mother once was.

 

-------------------------------

- Several Hours Earlier - Isopolis, Prison Cells -

The cells of Isopolis's Prison were filled with chatter, as inmates talked amongst themselves, for they often did so when the Warden wasn't present. They chatted about many things: What the events at Isopolis entailed and why they were being kept a secret? Would the new inmates acclimatize quickly? Where was the Warden? What was for lunch?

A large door clanked and swung open, bringing a deafening silence across the cells as a dark figure loomed, a large, flaming greatsword at his side as he marched forward with intent, his footsteps heavy as he took large strides toward the cell of one of the newest inmates. The ashen skinned prisoner looked up as his cell door was unlocked and swung open, the figure immediately grabbing him and dragging him out of his cell across the floor, continuing toward a new door to the side despite the man's protests.

How could this be? He was not to be executed! The Warden promised mercy! Why was this happening?! Could someone please save him?!

"Yevgeni?! SOMEONE?! NOOOOO--"

His screams were cut off by the door slamming, immediately being surrounded by a Sound-Proofing Spell as it was locked up tight. It remained this way for several minutes, silence falling upon the inmates who dared not speak but were nonetheless surprised and afraid, wondering why the Warden had suddenly done this, yet at the same time, they didn't feel too much sympathy for the Queenslayer as he was dragged to his sudden doom. Soon afterwards, the door was opened and from it, flung a headless, ashen corpse, which was soon taken away by two Guardsmen, to be burned.

As it so seemed: The Queenslayer was dead.

-------------------------------

 

- Execution Room -

The still screaming Nergal was dragged to the chopping block, the masked Warden tossing him onto it mercilessly, breathing heavily from the effort, while also preparing himself for the swing that was needed to end his life. Nergal's voice was hoarse at this point, his cries did not cease until the moment came, as he heard one last breath from the Warden and then...nothing, his vision went black.

Soren tossed the unconscious Nergal aside, pulling out a small spellbook and muttering an incantation, which enveloped Nergal in an aura of violet energy that coursed through him, hovered over the chopping block and began to coalesce...into an empty, body duplicate of the Queenslayer himself. Following this with a swift beheading, Soren picked up the fake's torso, unlocking the door and tossing it outside, shutting the door again before picking up the head and planting it on a nearby spike, as proof of the Queenslayer's "execution". Then, the Warden walked to the opposite wall, pushing in one of the bricks, causing a secret passage to open up beside it.

A few minutes passed, while Soren muttered several more incantations, force-fed Nergal several potions and used a couple of transfiguring runes, ending it all with a slap to the face, bringing him out of unconsciousness, then he dragged him to his feet, keeping him steady until he got his bearings.

"Hey? Hey! Rise and shine, pull yourself together. Behind you you will find clothes, food, water and other things to keep you going in that satchel next to it all." Soren spoke hastily once he was certain Nergal was paying attention, then he slammed a small leather object into his chest, Nergal clutching it was Soren beckoned. "There's some money and your new identity. Now get dressed, don't ask questions, hurry up!" He spoke urgently, to which the astonished Nergal understood and followed wordlessly, dressing himself, pausing to look in the mirror...his face was...different.

 

lalGkEu.jpg

Further examination of his new appearance would have to wait, as he donned a pair of slacks, grey socks, leather boots, a buttoned, long sleeved tunic, fingerless gloves, a long, hooded brown cloak pinned upon him with a silver raven pin, a ring with an amethyst gem in its center upon his right ring finger and the bag, being a shoulder-slung leather satchel, which he situated alongside everything else with in it his purse, straightening himself up before Soren began to direct him to the passage.

"No one will know about this, Nergal. Such are the privileges of being a Sentinel and Warden. In fact, as far as everyone is concerned, Nergal is dead. From now on, your name is Gabriel Woods. You are a travelling blade, often you moonlight as a Witcher and Hunter, you offer your services where you can, take odd jobs and help those in need, most for coin, but some out of the kindness of your heart. Some call you "The Raven.", "The Watchful Crow", "Nevermore" or whatever else is fitting. I've already spread word across the land of your exploits, but you will make them a reality." Soren explained, Nergal, or rather, Gabriel, absorbed this information silently.

Soren then laid a hand upon his shoulder. "Forget being the Queenslayer. Forget Yevgeni. Forget this old life...I beg of you...start anew. Prove to me this desire to atone..." He then slowly slid his hand off of the man's shoulder, gazing at him for a few moments, before jerking his head to the passage. "Now go. The passage will lead you out of the prison, follow the path off of the Island and go wherever you want, but I'd suggest whatever Inn you come across, you are sure to find potential customers there...good luck. Gabriel."

Gabriel nodded, though with a tinge of somberness as he realized he had to abandon the friend he swore never to do so to...but he shoved that aside out of necessity, because that was Nergal's promise, not Gabriel's...so he sighed and began to leave, but he stopped in his tracks and quickly turned to Soren, speaking in a new, slightly deeper, graveled and wholly different tone, sans the ethereal suggestion it once held. 

"Soren? ...why are you doing this for me? ...do you forgive me?"

"...it's not because I forgive you. It's because I believe you. I believed you when you swore to atone to all of us. As Nergal, you have no hope...but as Gabriel? You can do some good."

"...thank you."

"Don't waste this chance. Goodbye."

And so, the passage closed off and Gabriel Woods did as instructed, quickly finding the exit to the outside, taking a moment to examine his surroundings and ponder...

"I don't deserve this...but...I'll make it work. For Soren. For everyone...there is no Nergal. Not anymore...not so long as I live. I will do that demon proud......goodbye, Yevgeni, my old friend...may you be granted a similar mercy."

Gabriel thought to himself, ending his thoughts with a determined huff as he followed the path. A free man. A new man.

After the passage closed, Soren turned away, sighing deeply, hoping he had done the right thing...but now, he was to attend Jynn's Coronation. Cracking his neck, Soren exited the Execution Room to prepare.

Edited by Nero Kunivas

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Raiden would feel a hand rest upon his shoulder and a tender familiar voice say, "The look on your face suggests that you are carrying the weight of a thousand worlds.  For just this one day I must implore you, my lord: let it go."  Standing alongside him, in vibrant fuchsia scales and mythril armor, was no other than Lorleanna, a loyal servant and trusted general to both Mystras and Raiden.  "I cannot imagine what must be circling through your mind, though    I am guessing that it is a lot.  The worlds have much healing to undergo after what has transpired, but in time, and in the right hands, it shall be done."

The general remained standing there, at Raiden's side, spear in hand even though Kilkis Seres soldiers implored her to part with it.

Meanwhile, the raucous conversation and many voices died down as Jynn arrived in the chamber.  Athena, who held Arthur's hand close to her cheek, gently tugged her knight to make room for the other fey and humans scrambling about.  The crowd parted, granting the crown prince access to the rich carpet leading to the throne.  The throne of his late mother, and grandfather, and many fey men and women before them.  A wizened elderly fey awaited Jynn before the throne, a staff in one hand with his other hand behind his back.  When he would approach the man would offer Jynn a bow, before extending the hand which was concealed.

In his palm, likely too small for others to see, was a blossom.  It was transparent and cloudy, with a subtle hint of blue.

"This object transforms into an item which is dear to your heart, the moment that you touch it," the sage explained.  "As you can see, it took the form of a cherry blossom upon your mother's coronation, her favorite flower."

He continued to hold out his palm, awaiting Jynn to place his hand over the object.  When he did, he would continue.

"Will you, Jynn Venas of Kilkis Seres, solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of Arcana, and the dominions thereto belonging, according to the statutes in Parliament agreed upon, and the laws and customs of the same?"

Silence fell, awaiting Jynn's response.

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- Raiden, in the near future -

The bag was nearly prepared in full, and Raiden rubbed his aching eyes as, even if the nation was reunited under the rule of the new king, he could not get any sense of rest.  The news that was alerted him by his ongoing network of spies caught him entirely off-guard, and he could not stop himself from being on the move and being worried.  Mariel had gone missing.  Reports revealed that a sanguine-winged angelic being had saved a woman and her child before rushing off into a set of brigands that attacked their family, killing the father of the child in the process.  There were scarce other reports of a similar sighting, but he was certain it was Mariel, having seen her in action through a different set of eyes.

The door creaked open, and one of his newest promoted individuals, a commander subsidiary to both Alastor and Lorleanna poured in with certain steps, closing the portal behind him.  Like Lorleanna, he was a reptilian and held the appearance of a lizard, but unlike her he did not have draconic blood flowing through his veins but rather that of a serpent.  Raiden looked up at him with reddened eyes, causing the man to stiffen and lock his knees in military fashion.

"You're leaving?"

"That I am, Augustav.  I feel the need to visit a faraway friend.  I leave the city in your and Lorleanna's capable hands in the meantime.  This trip of mine should not take much longer than a week, should I be able to find her."

Augustav's slitted green eyes narrowed as he tilted his autumnal head sideways.

"Her, sir?"

"My friend Mariel, more specifically.  I have only just found out that she is alive and well weeks ago, and she slipped off the radar once again.  I lost a queen not long ago.  I'm not going to lose someone I care about again so quickly."

That shut Augustav's mouth for a time.  He was still young, the new commander, and held himself in a stoic quiet befitting those who did not know what next to say.  Raiden went back to his packing, placing the final remnants of items required for the trip in a newly acquired bag of holding with silver filigree.

"That's that.  Hold down the fort while I am gone.  In this new era of peace I have a feeling that we will be seeing less of each other and Lorleanna and you will be leading more."

"Then we will do our best to lead, sir," the red lizardman voiced with a sense of bravado, his mouth flickering with a smile for a brevity.

Raiden grinned as well as he ensnared the mouth of the bag with gloved hands and tossed the bag over his grey-cloaked shoulder.  The open road called to him, and he answered with a determined step that marked the beginning of his journey.

 

- Rufus Contralto, Epilogue -

Upon being reunited with his shadowy half Nihil, Rufus was freed from the shackles of his prison with well-made wishes, and after an endless shower of thanks and gratitude he set out in search for the woman elephant of his dreams, Mouse.  His powers as a djinni waned as his old set of powers slowly restored themselves, along with his memory through bits and pieces.  One day while in Mystras' bar, The Flowering Hyssop, he disappeared entirely from the face of the Overworld and that of the World Below.  Never was he seen again.  In time, the chair he sat in was later called Rufus' chair, and was anecdotally linked to many disappearances within Overworld.

 

- Jari Coriander, Epilogue -

Jari continued his journey for power without being thwarted, eventually becoming a stronger, more confident kitsune who gained new tails considerably quicker than that of many of his brothers and sisters.  After years of being on the road, he settled down with a lovely wife who kept him happy for the rest of his years, as well as a growing family of crafty yellow-faced kitsunes and foxchildren who shared his affinity for accelerated learning.  When he died two hundred years after the events of the second Great War, he was known as Hepta Jari after his accumulation of seven tails through battle, intelligence, and wisdom.

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Jynn Venas-Coronation

As Jynn heads into the hall, the crowd makes room for him to walk atop a red carpet, leading to the throne. Several people cheered him on, while others stayed quiet, possibly knowing the hardships he faced to get here. Jynn reaches the throne room, and he is greeted by an elderly fey. 

Almost as soon as Jynn approaches him, the elder opens his concealed hand, with a glowing object in the form of Shiva’s favorite flower. From what the elder says, this object will transform into something dear to the former prince’s heart, but what? Before Jynn places his hand over the object, he pauses, and recalls an important memory.

Spoiler

Flashback

Jynn and Shiva-Ambrosia Forest, 1989 years ago

Teal for Shiva, and blue for Jynn

Deep in the Ambrosia Forest, a 6 year old Prince Jynn is out on a stroll with his mother, taking in all of the wonders of the outdoors and the forest. He was bolting ahead of Shiva, but does not stray too far ahead of her. Up ahead, a black and white Pegasus mare was grazing with a foal, who would one day become Jynn’s horse, Melstrome, in the future, by her side. Excited, he tries to get his mother to pick up the pace so he could get closer. “Come on mom!”

A soft chuckle escaped her as she watched her son's eagerness. It pleased her that the young prince had such an adoration for animals and wildlife, and such creatures also took to him. While she had always enjoyed wildlife, they always recoiled from her icy touch. “Just be careful, dear. They're wild and might bite," she warned, though did not stop her son as he approached the Pegasi. Once she reached him she planted a kiss on the top of his head, smiling as she looked over his shoulder at the two. "You know, it's quite rare to see a mother pegasus and her child in the middle of the day like this."

Shiva manages to keep up with the young, spry prince, warning him to keep a safe distance, to which he heeds. Both pegasi had a beautiful piebald overo coloration, a color that is rarely seen on pegasi. The mare looks towards Jynn and Shiva cautiously. However, the young Mel takes interest in the two, approaching them. Jynn whispers in excitement. “It’s coming towards us!” He leaves a hand out, but keeping it flat so the foal can’t nip at him. 

Within seconds, Mel is in touching distance, and his mother is close behind, keeping an eye on Jynn and Shiva. First, the foal keeps his head away from Jynn’s hand. Instead, he sniffs it, and also raises his nose at Shiva, examining her as well. A few minutes after, Mel finally places his muzzle on Jynn’s hand. In this moment, although the two don’t know it yet, they have made a connection that will last a lifetime. 

After a few moments, the mare calls back for her foal, and the two head off deeper in the forest. Jynn looks at his hand. “I touched a baby pegasus!” He looks forward to see a glowing flower. He looks to Shiva. “What is that?”

A smile crept on Shiva's face at Jynn's excitement. "Yes, you certainly did!  He likes you, I think." She looked on toward Mel, in the direction that he wandered off to with his mother. "And what a lovely baby pegasus. Do you like Pegasi, Jynn?"

The young queen's gaze shifted away from her son and further to the west of Ambrosia Forest. Not much farther was her home. Her secret home, where her and her secret husband dwelt away from the expectations of the kingdom and the crown. Her throat tightened; how things could have been so much different, had her father not bound her into the role that she must now play. The three of them could have been a family. It pained her heart to think of it for long.

Jynn's voice summoned her thoughts back to the present, to which she came over to investigate. "Oh!" She smiled, kneeling on the soft soil and bringing a finger to one of the petals. "This is a white blossom, a rare species to find in this part of the Overworld. The legend behind it is that the place where you find one revolves around something important happening in relation to this very spot. Perhaps good fortune smiles upon us!"

Jynn nodded when Shiva asked if he liked Pegasi. “Yeah! They’re so cool and loyal! I hope I tame one someday, especially one as pretty as those!” He loves equids, but he loved the Pegasus breed more because of their majestic and free spirited nature. 

After a few moments of gazing off in the distance, Shiva returned her focus on Jynn, kneeling near the flower that he pointed out. The prince followed suit, and sat beside her. She claims that the white blossom may give the two good fortune. Jynn smiles. “Yay!” The two then appreciate the flower and the natures of the forest. 

A few minutes passes, and something comes up in the young prince’s mind, something he only feels comfortable asking his mother. He leans his head on Shiva’s arm. “Mom? When I’m a king, will people like me? I’m having trouble making friends outside of Kilkis Seres when we go to other places.”

The arm gently slips out underneath her son's head as she wraps it tightly around him, resting her head into his. The words cause her heart to skip a beat, an inner struggle forming within. To tell him the truth, or offer false securities and make him smile now? She drew in a breath, the air growing colder around them.

"Being royalty comes with many privileges," she started, fingering the blossom as she spoke. "But also many deficits. There will be many people who will love you, willing to do anything for you and be by your side always. And then there will be those who want to give you a hard time, but you cannot let them get to you."

 A frown furrowed her brow. "But what is this about not making friends? Do you feel that people don't like you, Jynn?"

Jynn hugs her. He notices that the air around them chills, but he is not bothered by it. Shiva gives an honest, but careful response, stating that many will be by his side, but there will be those who will not. She tells him that he should not let those people get to him, to which he replies with an “Ok.”. Shiva also asks if the young prince felt that nobody likes him. Jynn hugs her tightly. “I don’t know. A lot of kids that are as old as me like me in Kilkis Seres, but everywhere else, some don’t seem to want to be around me. Perhaps it’s like what you said.”

Jynn looks up at Shiva with an innocent smile. “Mom, we’re pals, right? And we’ll always be together, right?”

"Since fey tend to live much longer than humans, there tend to be fewer children in our world," Shiva admitted. "I guess I never thought about it much, because I had a best friend growing up. Thanks to him, I never noticed what I would have otherwise been missing."

She considered her son's words a moment before continuing. “Unfortunately the crest of royalty is difficult to bear. It may be that some are afraid of you rather than dislike you, dear. Some just don't know how to act around royalty."

The sun began to dip below the horizon, the moon barely visible from underneath the canopy of trees.  She glanced up.  "My dear, nothing can last in this physical world forever. However, yes, we will always be together. In some way, shape or form, whatever exists will always exist.  I do not know how or where I will be, but one thing is for certain: wherever I am, I will always be by your side. Of that I promise." With that she leaned into her son once more, kissing his head before standing. It pained her to think of leaving him; what mother could ever bear to think of having to leave their child alone in the vast cruel world?

"You will be a great king, Jynn. And no mother could be more proud of her son than I."

Jynn took his mother’s words to heart, with a new understanding that some aspects of the real world are not what he imagined. As luxurious and great the royal life can be, there are many disadvantages to it. And nothing in this world will last too long. But he is assured that his mother will be with him, in some way, shape, or form, and assures him that he’ll be a great monarch. 

Jynn stood up and held his mother’s hand. He takes some time to process all of her new teachings. “And I promise not to let you down, Mom.” He hugs her again. 

It is night, and it was time for the two to head back to the palace. All of this traveling, and new information made the young prince exhausted, it was hard for him to stay awake, but he kept going. A random guard from Kilkis Seres ran up to them. “Your majesty, Prince Jynn! It is getting late. I hope everything is okay.”

Irritation flickered upon the young queen's face as the guard addressed them. Must she be observed wherever she go? Another deficit to being royalty, she thought grimly, though managed to get her emotions in check as she responded. "All is well, Bertram, thank you.  I was just taking an evening stroll with my son. It can become . . . rather stifling behind the stone walls of Kilkis Seres."

The guard bows and walks on. Jynn couldn’t help but notice Shiva’s annoyance. He quietly laughs, then stands on his toes to try to whisper to his mother. “I guess that’s another downside to our life?” The guard, thankfully was too far ahead to hear them.

Shiva shot her son a sideways glance, before a knowing smile played on her lips.

"You will always have a shadow, for better or worse," she added, before walking with Jynn back toward their home, the palace looming overhead beneath a canopy of stars.

A smile crept to Jynn’s lips before he finally places his hand over the object. The elder continues. “Will you, Jynn Venas of Kilkis Seres, solemnly promise and swear to govern the people of Arcana, and the dominions thereto belonging, according to the statutes in Parliament agreed upon, and the laws and customs of the same?" Jynn notices the silence among the audience, all awaiting his response. He pleads to these words. “I will.” 

The elder asks two more questions. “Will you to your power cause law and justice in mercy to be executed in all your judgements?" Jynn nods. “I will.”

 "Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the divine laws of Arcana, the true scrolls and ancient texts established by law, and will you preserve unto the sages and clergy of this Realm, and to the shrines committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges as by law do or shall appertain unto them, or any of them?" Jynn nods again. “I will.”

Upon those words, two tiny wings emerge between Jynn’s fingers. From the feel of the object, it has turned into a Pegasus in a cantering position.

Edited by Endless Thundaga

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- Helios & Arthur - Kilkis Seres - At the coronation -

Aura looked like a queen. Fey would glance over to her, their jaws dropping and eyes widening. Her beauty easily entranced those who happened to glance her way. She took Helios' breath away when he saw her, even as he kept his cool. But, it made him glad to realize the gravity of it. Aura had gotten the favor of the beings from the North. Whether with him or alone, she would have a bright future ahead of her, and he could only smile at the thought of the possibilities. For her, they were now endless. The clothes he wore would be gifted to him by Jynn, worthy of a noble. Clothes he would never be able to personally afford, of such soft yet sturdy material. Hell, for once he was wearing shoes. Though maybe he could convince Jynn in wearing otherwise. It was an odd feeling. The whole situation around them seemed surreal. Long ago he was sneaking into the royal library, a rogue Fey who had befriended a protege mage and a draconic heir. Now he stood in the coronation after surviving...well, all of that. It was as if he were still dreaming, and one day he would wake up and go back to playing with the wolves. But he did not wake. He was still there, standing and witnessing history. He would feel Aura's fingers twirling with his, and his mind would be brought back. He turned to listen, smiling. He would gently raise her hand, placing a kiss against its surface. "Your possibilities are endless, Aura." He spoke, turning his attention back to the throne. "Live a life to be proud of. Live a life with no regrets, my dear." He said, witnessing the coronation as it began. His eyes would soften as he watched Jynn take his place. It was...heartbreaking that it took the death of a monarch. Shiva was not perfect. No one was. But it did not mean that she deserved to leave this world without witnessing her child any less.

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-Xion and Rhaedyn Thane: At the Coronation-

 

All around the hall were the remaining Ithurians, with Thane himself in the front row. They were silent sentinels until Jynn said "I Will", at which they all either banged the pommel of their weapon on the floor or against their gauntlets in approval. Thane himself did so.

"The real test, King of Kilkis Seres, is if you are able to be King." He mused.

Can't just say he'll be great, can you?

"Did I ask you, Rhea?"

The two bickered a bit internally. Nearby, Xion had come alone with Ask'raziel, Jeremy having overslept and the others with duties to carry out. She didn't see her daughter anywhere. She was wearing a flowing black gown that showed her curves - as if Succubi had any other clothing - and her arm was no longer bandaged. She had asked the Genie to cure Consumption, and now...now her people were free. She was free. No fear of that hateful hunger. She looked at her arm once more, still in awe that she no longer was inflicted.

It was as God above had deigned those below a reprieve...for trying to do what was right. All Xion knew...was that Zion was out there somewhere.
"...you impossible woman." She whispered to herself, before looking up at Jynn. A pegasus.

"May you fly just as high." She said softly.

 

-Eclaire Oathkeeper: Above the Coronation-

Eclaire was sitting on the railing of the, watching. She was in a new outfit, all black with some silver decoration. The Castle tailor had made it specially for her. Lightweight and made of magic fiber, it was stylish AND functional...even with a skirt. She leaned against the pillar behind her, smiling as the pegasus formed in Jynn's hand.

"Are you not going to join the ceremony?"
Behind her was Fiona, who was mostly impassive. Eclaire shook her head. "Nah. I was Shiva's Retainer. I failed in protecting her...Yeah I helped kill a god but...I don't think I belong there. Others might. They're friends with Jynn and Bherna and such. Everyone barely knows me. It won't feel right."
"Yet you linger."
"I'm watching for her. Well. With her. She'd be watching either way."
Fiona nodded. "I see. And nothing I say will make you go down there?"
"No." She said softly. "And yes. I know I could make friends. Reasons to stay. But that'd make my plans harder."
"Plans?"
 

Eclaire looked up at the roof. "When I walked into that old home in the woods, I expected a creature-infested shack that I could live a quiet, lonely life away from people, so I wouldn't hurt anyone like I had been. Instead of a lonely little hut to live out the rest of my life in, I met a woman. I met a Queen. I feared she would be angry, but she saw something. She saw...potential. Hope for someone so hopelessly lost in the darkness that she was walking in circles. She was the light that led me to now. A mistake turned a hero. A lost girl now found." She giggled. "I'm getting dramatic, sorry. Just...I can't stay. If I do, Fiona, I will dishonor Shiva. She gave me....she gave me life. I just existed. Then....then she loved me, and gave me life. Now I will live that life. But not here. Not where I will pine away in her room, and waste the time she so generously gave. No. I won't make her feelings, her compassion a crutch. She opened my eyes, so I want to see the world once more." She looked back down at Jynn. "He has so many friends and loved ones. He doesn't need me. But even then, I left a calling stone in his room. All he needs to do is hold it tight and think of me, and I shall be as lightning strikes - swift, aggressive, and here before you know it." She brushed some hair from her eyes, then slid off the railing.

"Where is your sword?" Fiona raised an eyebrow. Eclaire paused, then motioned with her head to the window. Sighing, the maid stepped up and looked out. In the distance, on a hill overlooking Kilkis Seres, she could barely make out a silver glow atop it. 

"Shiva will remain where she belongs - overlooking the kingdom she gave it all for." Eclaire said softly. "When I am needed, I shall retrieve it. But until that day comes, the sword of Shiva, now named after, will be atop that hill as a watchful eye. If you ever need me, Fiona, and the calling stone is missing or lost, all you need to do is grasp the sword. I enchanted it, and it works just the same." She smiled, then hugged Fiona. "...for all my words, Fiona...I will miss you. You've been kind, and caring, and have accepted my need to feed without complaints. You deserve the world, and I hope you get it."

This time Fiona was ready. She spun around, finger to Eclaire's lips. "I know what you're about to do, and I will demand you kiss me correctly and not like I am some floozy at the tavern!" 

Eclaire blinked, nodding at once. Nope, not gonna argue with that.  She gently cupped Fiona's cheek and leaned in for a proper kiss, as demanded.

 

Fiona had something right. That aether, that lifeforce she was required to feed on...it felt as sweet as the day she took those three seconds from Shiva. Opening her eyes, she looked at Fiona.

"Love, you idiot." She said, deadpan. "Now get out of here, I will be happy to not have to clean your particular brand of mess. You have any idea how you twist and turn and throw your clothes everywhere?!" She shook a finger at Eclaire. "Get! Go! If you're so set on not attending the full ceremony, then git!" She slid around and spanked her. Eclaire yelped. "Hey!" She jumped a few feet forward, rubbing her tush. "That wasn't needed!"

"I know." Fiona smirked. "But like you. I wanted to."

Eclaire just shook her head a bit, then waved. "If Jynn asks, tell him how I feel." And with that, Eclaire turned and leaped out the window. Her aetherial wings flared to life, and the valkyrie-succubus took to the sky, facing the blazing sun. Eyes closed, she basked in the warmth as she gained altitude, sighing contently.

"For all our time and our brief goodbye, Shiva...I love you...but I forgot one thing..."


And so, as she basked in the warm sun, she said two final words before falling back towards earth, rolling and flaring her wings out to full, and flying over the palace in a shower of aetherial light, a small, yet powerful, aurora forming in her wake as Eclaire Oathkeeper set off to live.

 

Thank you.

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- Raiden:  Final Epilogue -

Lorleanna's hand startled, then comforted the Mystran leader as it perched upon his shoulder.  He turned his head towards her with a thankful nod and patted the top of her hand with a more meaningful and genuine smile.

"Letting it go is more difficult than I can bear, even for one day, but I will try my best, dear friend.  As you say, much healing is to be done and will be done, this time with a conjunction few accords in history can match.  Regardless, there are always beings of ill intent skulking around in the shadows, and so you, I, and Mystras in general have to keep our guard up after this day is fulfilled."

He gave her a sideways look, then smirked and focused on Jynn.

"For now, though, please follow your own advice and enjoy the festivities and the coronation.  Terrified are some of those around us with that spear of yours in firm grip," he commented with a chuckle.

The three vows of a providential blessing of a monarch were bestowed to Jynn, and much pride and respect was offered to the prince, even among the depths of the ranks of Mystras, whose entourage, while still skeptical of Kilkes Seres and the crown, felt joy upon seeing the rite of kingship take place.  Raiden especially felt a sensation of relief and elation.  The boy he once considered a stranger, and only recently learned to be his son by birth, now was a man and a son in full.  Pride overcame him as he locked his face into a smile of stone, trying his best to openly hide the fact that tears welled up inside his shut eyes and escaped through the creases.

"Shiva, your . . . our son . . . has become a marvel," he mumbled under his breath.

So began a new chapter in Overworld, a time of great jubilation, rebuilding, and concordance.  Raiden hoped that this third era he had borne witness to would last the longest and burn the brightest, and with proper leadership so it will.

 

- Raleigh Marin, Epilogue -

The ebony-haired Raleigh slipped through the cracks, forgotten by most and remembered almost implicitly as a travelling warrior for hire, a gourmand of several eateries, and a storyteller under a false name.  She eventually adopted this name of Stormweather and went to several inns and taverns, resulting in a tragic mishap of sitting in the infamous Rufus' chair of the Flowering Hyssop.  Not realising the error, she headed out the door of the tavern and disappeared into thin air in front of various starstruck drunks.  In rage, the patrons turned the chair into toothpicks, but Rufus' chair lives on, knitting itself together with a baffling magic which now made it a popular tourist attraction.  Even two hundred years later, the splintered wood is still melding together, with its last pieces almost making the chair whole.

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- Aura, Rabiyu and Sifrei - Kilkis Seres -


"Endless, you say? I suppose you are right. I will live my life to the fullest, to honor my brother and Henry, who gave their lives to make all this possible."

This was the first time Aura had been part of such an important ceremony, and more importantly, the object of some attention from others, as fey and humans sometimes turned to look at her. So much had happened in the past few months, some good things, some bad ones too, but change was a part of life and nothing could stop that. Jynn had been named king now, what that meant for the land? she did not know, as she was not part of it, nor she wished to remain in the city.

Instead, Rabiyu and Sifrei had offered to take her to the northern lands as their honored guest, or as Rabiyu had said, as part of her family. She was a strange one, Aura always thought. Always quiet and never really showing much of what she was thinking, but deep down she was just as any other person. Aura had grown attached to the elf ever since their first meeting, and she could see her as an older sister of sorts. So, when they offered the chance to leave, she took it immediately. She just hoped that Helios could be at her side, but she wasn't going to force him to leave everything he had just so she could be at his side.

"I know it has been crazy ever since we came here, but I am glad that I got to met you, Helios, but there is something important that I need to tell you," She said as she watched Jynn, "I will be leaving once things settle down. Rabiyu and Sifrei offered me to take me to the northern lands, and I accepted. I just...I love you so much, and I would love for us to be together always, or at least until my life is...but I cannot force you to leave the life you have here just so I can have you by my side. I cannot stop you from following your dreams just to be with me, and I won't. I won't be that selfish."

Aura rested her head on Helios' shoulder and closed her eyes, just enjoying being close to the person she loved.

"But I intend to enjoy having you by my side, even if it is only for the rest of this day."

Meanwhile, Rabiyu and Sifrei had been watching the ceremony in silence, watched the people's reactions for their new king. Rabiyu's respect for the new king had improved ever since he admitted his mistakes, that was a sign that he was growing and that he understood the importance of admitting one's own mistakes. Sifrei, while paying attention to the coronation, was also trying to see if Mariel was around, but he never managed to find any clue of her presence among the crowd.

"What do you think of the new king?" Rabiyu asked.

"Uh? He has a good head over his shoulders, and I am sure he has some good people around him that will help in this new task." Sifrei answered, "What about you? Did you managed to..."

"No. I was not allowed to see him, not after what he did. I just hope Yevgeni is doing fine," Rabiyu said quietly, "he did some terrible things, but everyone makes mistakes, each and every one of us, and they will follow us throughout our whole lives. In any case, our usual way of travel will not work thanks to this strange disturbance, so we will have to take the long way round. It will take us a day or two of travel to reach Heimdall, if we manage to get some winged mounts."

"I met someone back in Mystras, someone from the north. I am sure she could help us with that. But the day is still young, and I am sure Aura would appreciate more time with the young shapeshifter." Sifrei said as he looked at Aura and Helios," so let's wait until later to leave. Besides, I still hope I can see Mariel, just to see how she is doing. The Sanguis Vindicta can be harsh for an angel to fully control, but she is a capable woman, I am sure everything will be just fine."

Rabiyu looked at Aura, the poor girl had lost so much in the past months, and she had promised to take care of her. A promise she was going to try her best to keep, no matter what. But Sifrei was right, she deserved to spend more time with her partner. She was sure that Aurora would be sad if Helios didn't come with her, but he had a life here, and she was sure that Aurora knew that. Rabiyu was sure that everything would work out in the end. Or she hoped, at least.

 

Edited by Elrandir

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- Helios - Kilkis Seres - At the coronation -

Helios listened intently, and when she mentioned that she would be leaving for the North, he was not surprised. The beings of the North had seemed to take a liking to Aura. Well, a liking would be a subtle word for it. Something had struck them about her, seen the potential, and they wished to see how far it could take her, and Helios could not be any happier. The North was a land unlike any other, and if there were any new beginnings available it would be there. "It sounds like a dream, Aura." he admitted. "I have heard so much of the Northern lands. They are a realm beyond the clouds that have no comparison to any other. The land of the original dragons, and most of the sky dwelling creatures. The cradle of many species. You have them by your side...you shall flourish even further, Aura. You will become a new sun." He would smile softly at her. "I...do not think I am ready to travel." He admitted, a hand against his arm. "I have been away from home for so long. I feel that I must take a moment and recollect my thoughts. The time will always tick away, and none shall wait for me. Yet...there is much that I must recollect." He admitted, glancing at her. "I shall not stop you either, my Aura. I...I think I will remain here, and write. Write and write in order for this and all worlds to remember what happened to those who we cherish. I will not be selfish either, my dear. Go on and spread your wings, and enjoy every moment of your adventure. Do not let anything or anyone stop you. Reach for the skies and stars...live the life that you choose." He smiled, leaning his head against hers softly. "I will spend the rest of this day with you, and cherish it for as long as I live. Yet nothing will make me happier than to see you live the life that destiny has awaited for you. Do not ever waste the chance, Aura." He placed a gentle kiss on her head. "I will write to you. If fate is to have it to have us meet again, I shall welcome it. Until then, enjoy every step of the journey, my flower." With that, his attention would return to the ceremony. He needed to rest. It was not as physical as it was mental. He wished to reflect and to write. He wished, for once in his life of adventure and excitement, be normal. It would seem that it would be enough adventure. At least for the time being, until he could be ready again. Then again, he was a fey. he had more than one life time ahead.

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- Meksis, the United, Armour of Twilight - Epilogue, Kilkis Seres -

Unlike most, the Chaperone Meksis, Protector of the Innocent, was not present at the final battle for the fate of the worlds and all reality, to stop the madness of the Fused Deity Ahriman, later Ahriman Umbra, but in the end, the Aspect of Destruction was obliterated, his spirit released and then, his actions undone, even his creation, by an intrepid group of heroes that Meksis couldn't help but about, except all he heard as a result of the time travel that they didn't disclose, was that they stopped the Queenslayer and another man, from stealing a great, forbidden source of power and destroying everything. With the willing sacrifice of a human, they were able to restore the Human World, but what hurt Meksis the most was that the one who was lost was Henry Hansees. It didn't feel like it was that long ago since he met the man, the impressive man of valor and integrity, whom he had complimented in person and encouraged him to press on...now he was dead? In the name of the race that hated his kind for the longest time? In spite of his sadness, he only admired Henry more, for he was truly selfless in his final moments. He also heard that Soren Monroe insisted that Henry's name be mentioned and remembered...in a way, Soren finally got his wish: For Humans to be respected just as Fey would, even in a small way by comparison.

For a while in fact, Meksis was wandering aimlessly, with the recently restored Hektor in tow, who's concern and company was appreciated in such a dark time. The loss of his blood brother weighed heavier than he cared to admit and though Henry's nobility was comforting, his loss too was a blow to Meksis's heart. Without Maxis, the Chaperone, one who's supposed to know his direction, to guide and protect people under his watch, was directionless for the first time in his life...

One day, he turned to Hektor and asked him to let him wander alone, as to try and collect himself. Though the gentleman refused at first, fearing for Meksis's state of mind, the insistence and reassurance he was only just able to muster was enough to convince him to allow it, though it was with a word of warning, as even such a stalwart man like Meksis would find himself to be vulnerable in the face of such loss. The two parted ways, with Meksis promising he would come back one day, as he kept wandering the Overworld, eventually ending up in...

- The Ambrosia Forest -

The wind was blowing lightly through the trees, their leaves fluttering in turn as the sounds of insects, small animals and birds filled the air around the astray Meksis. It was almost relaxing...yet what was foreboding was the distant noise of chatter, sounding heated as if an argument was going on in the distance. His senses sharpening and cracking his tightening 'neck', Meksis took off towards the noise. Soon enough, Meksis came across what appeared to be a camp of some kind. In it were large tents, a decent sized campfire and amidst all of it and around it were armoured soldiers, bearing the insignia of Kilkis Seres...why were Knights of the Queen's, or rather, King's Army stationed in a Forest? There were seven Knights, one of them was wounded, kneeling next to one of the tents, while two were arguing angrily; the one to Meksis's left was dressed a little more elaborately and looked aged, bearing the marks of a General, while the one to his right was a Captain, young and clean shaven. The latter was seemingly very distressed, while the former was just angry...and had his sword drawn, covered in blood, presumably that of the wounded man, who was just a Second-Class Knight...what the hell was--

"--going on here?!" Meksis called out as he approached, startling the General who pointed his blade at Meksis. "Stay back, Knight! This is of no concern of yours!!" He shouted dismissively, lacking the commanding tone men of his rank acquire through experience, only deepening Meksis's concerns. "He's mad, sir! He had us desert during the war--!" "Stay your tongue, Captain!" The Captain began, but was cut off by the General, who now sounded desperate...so quickly, yet rightly so. Meksis found himself shaking his head slowly. "Deserters...? General, explain yourself...now!" He ordered, taking a firm stance and outright shouting his last word, leaving the General quaking in his mud-covered boots. "And can someone help that man?!" "No! He's a traitor, leave him!" Meksis would add, but a quick order from the General only served to anger him. "A traitor?! Explain!!" The General swallowed a lump in his throat, his eyes darting between the Captain and the wounded Knight. "Tell him then...tell him, you coward!" The Captain spoke with disgust, but it was a mistake, for it pushed the General over the edge, who simply yelled as he attempted to stab the Captain, but would be met with a Greatsword between his own blade and the Captain, in the hands of an angered Meksis, who's Aura was that of Light and Darkness.

Meksis swiped the General's sword out of his hand with minimal effort, pointing the blade at the nerve-wracked and maddened leader. "Under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Kilkis Seres, in accordance with the Rules of Engagement, Section 7, Paragraph 14, I am placing you under arre...a-arre, I am...p-pla...plaaaaaagonna give you what you deserve! General!!" With a red flash of his eyes, Meksis raised his blade suddenly, cutting the General's chin, slicing him in a downward-diagonal motion, bringing it back with a horizontal swipe, then lunging forward, grabbing the General's shoulder so hard it began to bleed immediately, but that was the least of his worries, as Meksis's Greatsword was now embedded in his gut, with the Defiled giving a sadistic chuckle as he yanked the blade out, spun the General around on the spot and kicked him over, causing him to fall into the campfire, beginning to scream as the flames burned him. Before he could get up though, an armoured boot pressed down on his head, keeping him in the flames as Meksis began to laugh.

"H-Hey, hey! That's enough! He's a sick bastard, bu-but don't you, you think that's too much!?" The Captain suddenly piped in, noting Meksis's unusual behavior and gleeful sadism as he punished the General more than he thought necessary. Meksis however, simply turned his head toward the Captain, tilting it just a little, unnerving the poor Fey.

"You're so right..." He uttered softly in a deeper, distorted yet oddly clear voice, which already brought no relief to the shocked Captain, but his fear was worsened when he heard a sickening crunch...Meksis had crushed the General's head beneath his boot, lifting his foot out of the campfire to properly face the Captain, taking deep breaths and chuckling lightly.

"Meksis?! That's enough, give me back control!"

"No. I do not wish to." The Defiled spoke aloud to the Chaperone's internal voice and would continue to do so.

"I thought we were past this, what are you doing?!"

"Taking advantage...of a great opportunity, my friend."

"What damned opportunity?!"

"Your weakness."

"Wh...what?!"

"Your grief. It opened the way, brother. The way to your fall...and my rise~"

"No, stop this now! Now! Let me...back...in-in control...!! Why can't I--?!"

As this debate went on, Meksis's Aura, which was originally still a united mixture of Light and Darkness was now fluctuating, the energies seemingly warring with each other once again, but this time...the Light was faltering as the Chaperone attempted to wrestle back control, failing and straining as the Darkness dominated the Light...all the while, the Knights stood there, watching. Paralyzed with fear and indecision, their breaths shallow and fast as their brains screamed at them to run or fight for their lives.

"Now...time for a bit more fun. Wouldn't you agree? O Captain? My Captain~"

Within mere moments, the Defiled was already in motion, the Captain hardly had time to react before he was gutted like a fish, his insides burned with a dark flame as he was tossed into a tent...the tent for the six other wounded Knights which caught alight, burning them all alive as the chaos continued, with the other Knights desperately charging at Meksis, attempting to stop him. But one by one, they fell in their own miserable, cruel and agonizing ways, be it repeated slashes and stabs, electrocution, suffocating and slowly corrupting them with darkness or flaying them alive with his considerable power, until all he was left with was the wounded Second-Class Knight, who turned away from the carnage out of terror, but could feel the creeping darkness of the Defiled as he now loomed over him, blood dripping from his darkened blade. The Knight looked up at Meksis, eyes wide with fear, hyperventilating with pain and desperation. "P-Please! Have, *cough* have mercy! Please, please don't kill meeee...!" The Knight begged and begged, openly sobbing as he whimpered before the corrupted armour, who simply knelt down and raised the Knight's chin with a soft cup from his free hand.

"Oh you poor little wounded lamb...attacked by the so-called leader whom you swore service to...who had you desert a great battle between Fey and Human-Fey forces, oh I remember it all so fondly now~ I made my first kill there, you know...a little dragon boy named Ren Mordecai, know him?" The Defiled was met with a terrified silence, so he shook his head with a low laugh. "He was a mighty warrior, he could even transform into a Wind Drake! *Contented sigh* Ren was a good fight...If only he wasn't mortal, then we could've battled for as long as I wanted. And, well...if my brother didn't spoil the fun. It's a funny thing, isn't it? In life, you could be having the time of your life, high as a kite and then! Upon! A! Sudden! ...from the heavens descends the spoilsport who tells you that you've had enough?! I decide when enough is enough! And you know what?! From now on, I really, truly do make the deci--...oh dear." The Defiled kept talking, but unbeknownst to himself, with every punctuated word, he spoke more angrily and had accidentally stabbed the Knight to death with his own sword, then stabbed a few more times after that to relieve some stress before discovering what he had done.

Meksis just laughed out loud for a second, before calming down instantly and dismissively tossing away the Knight's body, standing up tall as he clutched his head.

"You utter monster! How could you do this?! You traitor, you conniving son of a--"

"Oh will you be quiet already, brother?! Shut up!! Your voice grows wearisome, almost as much as your misplaced trust in me being broken...how did you even make that trust in the first place, you simpleton?! You trusted the voice in your head?! The Dark Infection was able to convince the Chaperone, the unbreakable warrior, to trust him?! You completely Grief-mad idiot!! Oh...you were just so lonely after the death of your simpering Blood Brother and the abandonment of dear old Hektor, weren't you...? Oh how sweet~ Your big Heart has just lost you your body! And it's all your fault!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!"

"I won't let you keep it, nor this power, Infection! No matter what, it will never remain yours!!"

"Heh heh heh...oh but now that you mention it...you're so very right! No one is truly infallible, all except divine beings, of course...I may have my own moment of weakness too...you'll smell blood in the water, and WHAM! The Chaperone is back, baby! Time to dispense some Justice because I am the best!!"

Amidst the semi-childish and maddened ramblings of the Defiled, from one lone tent emerged the worried head of a black haired, young and skinny man, who simply watched for a while as the Armour talked to itself, but then began to slowly sneak out as to not be noticed by Meksis...that is, until he stood on a fallen twig, causing the Defiled to lurch around in a nanosecond, his eyes narrowing on the young man, glowing a brilliant crimson.

"Then let us sift out the Light...and let Darkness prevaaaaaaaaill!!The Defiled screamed out, which caused the man to try and run, but to no avail, as Meksis had already imprisoned him in a snare of shadows, then began to focus the Light that still remained in his aura, taking deep, concentrated breaths as the power began to consolidate and coalesce around his extended arms to his sides, they were now glowing with a brilliant Light.

"Wait, what are you do--...no! NO!!" The Chaperone's voice could be heard now, as a strange spectral presence, due to his actual spirit being in the Defiled's now outstretched hands, having separated it from the Living Armour's ancient, sacred bonds, as they now took hold over a purely dark, infected spirit that would visibly begin to take over the Armour of Meksis. "Make yourself at home, brother!! It'll be yours forevermore!!With this, The Defiled released the Spirit of the Chaperone forward, causing it to rush towards the next, healthy and living vessel: The ensnared young man, who couldn't even say a word before Meksis's Spirit entered his body and swiftly, unconsciously and utterly overwhelmed the man's weaker spirit, Meksis regretfully and unintentionally subsuming him and now housing his body, which was then released from the snare of darkness, leaving Meksis kneeling on the floor, gasping for actual air, instead of a subconscious habit, managing to look upon his hand, now the flesh and blood of someone else as he lay gasping.

"No...! ...young man...I am so sorry..." Meksis apologized to the long gone spirit of the man he had been forced to possess, while the Defiled stood proud in a fully corrupted and powerful armoured body, now in complete control as his infection spread fully, turning the Armour of Meksis into a organic-metallic horrifying hybrid, yet it all seemingly merged perfectly together, as the Defiled Infection had become far more powerful than Meksis could've imagined. The Defiled Infection now had a mouth and visible eyes, though his cheeks were split and filled with teeth as well as he grinned maniacally at Meksis, before thrusting his free hand forth at the man, sending a small, but extremely dark orb, literally dripping with Darkness at Meksis, which traveled too fast for the man to react to, as it entered via his chest and sent extreme pain throughout his body...true pain for the first time in over five millennia, before looking at his hands as he clutched his chest. His skin started cracking and flaking off.

"What have you done to me?!" Meksis called out in fear and surprise, looking straight at the Defiled Infection, who laughed devilishly. "An insurance policy, brother! As well as the mortal body of a Fey rather than your armour, I've placed a curse upon you that will slowly deteriorate your body and spirit. Eventually, you will be naught but a pile of dust and a shattered spirit...unable to move your mortal body. And your spirit unable to pass on to the next world..." The Defiled Infection explained the situation clearly, but he was very clearly enjoying describing just how bad it was to the extremely scared and angry Meksis, who just screamed at him as the feeling soon dawned on the now mortal Chaperone, who fell to a fetal position in a moment of unbridled despair, which only provoked laughter from the Defiled. "So, *ahem*, essentially...your life is over. And your body? Your power? It is all mine~ And soon, the new legacy of Meksis...shall begin."

Time slowed down for Meksis, the Defiled's words echoing in his mind, his skin flaking and the disintegrating particles floated off of his decrepit body as his breathing became slow and was eventually all he could hear, just for a few moments that just felt like forever, but during them he closed his eyes tightly.

Was this truly the end?

Was all that lay ahead of Meksis a deafening, unending Darkness that he would never be free from?

Would he truly never be with his wife in the world beyond ever again...?

Would countless innocents be butchered, maimed and slaughtered, all in his name?!

..................

...........................

........................................

......"No...".....

With this uttered word, time resumed as normal and Meksis's eyes suddenly opened, his irises no longer the brown of the young man, but a brilliant blue as he began to pick himself up off of the ground, as the Defiled's laughter slowly ceased, his arms lowering as he wondered what Meksis was playing at, as he stood as tall as he was able, despite still falling apart.

"I won't allow this...I cannot allow this...!"

The Defiled merely laughed. "You're going to die, Meksis! What can you possibly do now?! Ha-haHA! HAHAHAHA!"

"If I let you leave...you'll kill innocent people...you'll sully the name of the Chaperone, my name!"

"I know! And you'll have to live with it for an eternity! As a pile of dust! Hahaha!"

"You will cause terror! Misery! Despair! You will bring nothing but a bastardized Darkness to the world!!"

"Oh well at least you recognize that not all that is Darkness is like me...it's why I'm better!"

"I swear on it...I swear on my name as the Chaperone, on the legacy of Maxis, on the sacrifice of Henry, on all of the world..."

"And in the end, all you'll be able to do is--"

"I WILL NOT LET YOU WIN!!"

A brilliant flash of light erupted from Meksis, who suddenly was in front of the Defiled and had his hand around the infection's throat...this was the Solidarity of the Chaperone, supercharged for a few precious moments to allow him to overpower the Defiled, who was so stunned that he barely resisted, while Meksis spoke.

"I will not leave this earth, but I will not suffer in a dark, deafening silence...I will end your vile life!"

The Defiled would then widen his eyes, as the true appearance of Meksis, a healthy, invigorated and younger looking Nergal it would look like, superimposed itself upon Meksis's current body for a few moments, as he spoke his next words.

"And I will protect the innocent! From creatures like you!!"

In a swift motion, Meksis took something from the Defiled's Satchet, pocketed it, then took hold of the Defiled's Armoured Chest with both hands, letting him go, but now the infection would feel a great deal of pain as Meksis motioned some actions via sleight of hand, leaving the Defiled unable to discern what he was doing.

"Wha-what are you--!?"

Soon the Defiled was flooded with Light to further stun him and with another swift motion: A hard throw, he was tossed across the camp into one of the last tents, Meksis glared at him, his eyes glowing blue as the sky, slowly raising his hand to show the Defiled what he had just relieved him of with the throw. The Defiled's blood red eyes widened as he frantically pawed at his chest...something was missing...something necessary...

The Seal. That bound a Living Armour's Spirit to their metallic vessel, which if removed--

"N-No!! How did you?! Give it back to me--!" The Defiled began to choke on his words as the effects could already be felt.

"Second Generation Armours always had a design flaw...with a special motion, one could break and remove their seal with minimal resistance from the Armour itself...it's a good thing the only ones who figured it out were Armours like myself. It was strange...you could only remove the seals of the First Gen via exorcism, and it seemed so with us...but strangely enough, this flaw allowed us to put a stop to any rogue Second Gens, overwhelmed with Darkness. We just never told our creators or the public how we did it. Always left quite the look on their face...just like yours." Meksis explained, he was still seething with rage at the Defiled, though at this point, he had already won as the Defiled began to "fall apart", so he coldly mocked him as the Dark Spirit was visibly beginning to separate from the Armour of Meksis.

"No...! NOOOO! THIS WAS MINE! MY MOMENT...MY--AGH, MY...MEKSIS!!!"

The Armour of Meksis fell to the ground, the infection within it disintegrated without its master, which now floated above the armour, in an incorporeal form, seething with rage as it grew unstable, enraged.

"Damn you...! *Sigh* But...all is not lost, no no no...even in this form, I will bring you despair! And death!!"

"Tenebris unum: vinctum!"

As it turned out, Meksis had stolen back "In Shaping Worlds and Nations" from his Defiled self, the ancient tome handed to him by Ivany, opened it and spoke words of power that restrained the Defiled Spirit in a Arcane Sigil. He then began to speak another ancient language from the book, holding out his hand which glowed as it channeled energy into the dark spirit.

Care- vamme harna en-.

Care- vamme suy- en-.

N- made minna úqua, móre er.

Care- vamme vanta sina nór en-.

Every spoken phrase did something to the Defiled Spirit...each one final and binding.

His power was taken from him.

His mind was torn asunder.

His incorporeal form was transformed into a small, purple-black crystal.

The crystal was rendered inert, forever silencing his voice and his deranged ambition.

Meksis closed the book, putting it in his new coat pocket, walking up to the crystal, kneeling to pick it up, standing to look at it closely, making sure all of the incantations had their desired effects. Once satisfied, he cast a spell that would create a portal to a different dimension, but didn't state which one, then after it opened next to him, he tossed the crystal into it and closed it up, never checking exactly where the inert prison for the Defiled was going, no did he care anymore...

The Chaperone was about to breathe a sigh of relief, but he was cut off by a disgusting, throaty coughing fit. The Solidarity had faded and Meksis began to die again.

"I'm running out of time...!"

He managed to speak in hoarse voice, muttering a word to the removed seal as it spontaneously transformed itself by his command into something else: A sheathed Katana, one that would be capable of cutting through anything, due to it being rendered as the opposite to a seal. Placing it in his left hand, Meksis quickly picked up his old Greatsword...it was now drained of its power and broken in half. Still long, but now it would only serve a purpose...one that would save his life, but first and foremost, he had to be quick.

Sheathing the broken Greatsword, Meksis unsheathed the Katana, cutting a portal and stumbling through it. He had to move fast if he was going to survive.

- End of Part 1 -

(Very long one, I know. And there will be more. lol)

Translation:

Do not hurt again.

Do not breathe again.

Be made into nothing, dark one.

Do not walk this land again.

Edited by Nero Kunivas

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"Very good."  The sage straightened, noticing the form in which the transfiguring heirloom had assumed.  He then procured a crown from a pillow resting on a pedestal: an ornamental band of true gold, embellished with two emeralds and curvatures to the metal.  Awaiting Jynn to kneel, the sage retained his grip on the majestic piece, and once Jynn had knelt before him, he would place the crown gently atop his head.

"I now crown thee," he started, "King Jynn Venas of Kilkis Seres.  Rise!"

A roar of applause deafened the chamber, many teary-eyed while others laughed and cheered.  Bells sounded from above in the tower, its deep chimes echoing throughout the courtyard and boring through the window panes.  It was a momentous occasion and a day worth truly celebrating.  For some, it was closure, but for many it was a new beginning.

~Fin~

(This is it for me with the coronation ceremony.  If you would like to add anything more you are welcome to do so until Sunday April 14th)

 

Everyth Castanova – Final Epilogue

The raven-haired mage returned to the World Below with her king, determined not to waste the life that Henry restored to her.  Before her departure she discussed in length with the white mages about her condition of rapid aging, and the finest medics within Kilkis Seres pooled over hours of research, dedication, and utilizing the finest ingredients to concoct a potion which would reduce this side effect of her magic usage.  Everyth was very grateful, though after this day she chose to put the majority of her magic to rest.  Her powers brought forth a painful reminder of what she was, and what she lost.

For many years Everyth remained dutiful to King Alderon, until his passing and his daughter succeeded the throne.  It was around that time that Everyth fancied another life, one exploring what the worlds had to offer, and thus she returned to the Overworld.  She spent time as a teacher, educating the younger generation of Fey about the exploits of the humans along with their adventures, and, of course, flirting with all of the handsome fey that she encountered.  Her hard work eventually paid off when one of them flirted back, which began the chapter of a new era for the human mage.  She happily married and lived out the rest of her days within the Overworld, adopting a pet wyvern named Flick, raising a half-human daughter, and learning how to utilize her magic in even more ways than she had been trained previously during her days as a soldier.

Yevgeni Malachite – Final Epilogue

The days passed in a blur, and Yevgeni wasn't even certain how long he had been imprisoned.  Finally the day had come, when he was to be exiled.  Apparently this was King Jynn's form of mercy, exiling him as opposed to sentencing him to a life in prison or death.  He was sentenced to live out his days as a human would, deprived of his magic in a world that he had tried to destroy.  Yevgeni couldn't help but chuckle at the irony of the matter.

With his magic suppressed, he was hardly a threat graver than the average prisoner.  The elf was submitted to the human authorities, who would be transporting him to the World Below via airship with the rest of their scouts when their party was ready to return.  Living within the human world was not precisely the worst sentence, and for a time the elf was willing to go, until he overheard gossip about events occurring in the North.

In the night, Yev requested water from a kind serving girl.  She seemed to fancy him, and he used this to his advantage.  He felt sorry for taking advantage of her generosity, and he felt even sorrier that he would have to get her in trouble.  When she returned he had asked if she would be willing to provide him with a candle so that he could finish a letter to a family member.  While, obviously, giving him anything dangerous was prohibited, she made the exception, and what a mistake that was.  The campsite went up in flames, with the soldiers scattered about.  Once the situation was under control and everyone accounted for, it was discovered–all too late–that Yevgeni Malachite escaped, which King Jynn was promptly informed of.  For centuries, no one heard his name spoken again.

- - - - - -

The streets of Semnar were dark, with few lamps fueled with undying embers.  Yevgeni's footsteps fell softly on the cobblestone, his gaze meeting each door as he took in the scene of the modest village.  In the day the streets had been once filled with children, though upon sunset the villagers would return indoors, where they would start their fires, eat their meals, and head to bed for another early rising of even more hard work.  Such was the life of Isadora Malachite until she made her way south and fell in love with a king.  Considering the wealthy home that he was raised in, it was hard for Yev to imagine that his mother had once been a peasant girl.

The elf strode up to a cottage, rapping his knuckles along the oaken door and noticing that the structure was in immaculate condition.  The door opened to reveal another elf who stood about a foot shorter than him, with gray-streaked dark hair and very green eyes.  Her eyes widened as she took in his features, opening the door wider so that he may enter.  With a courteous bow of the head, he did so.

"I don't believe my eyes," she said, closing the door and turning around to gape at him.  "Yevgeni Malachite, is that really you?"

A sigh escaped Yev as he removed his gloves, approaching the woman to take one of her hands and kiss it.  "It is indeed.  It is good to see you again, Grandmother."

She withdrew her grasp from him, striding across the room before taking a seat in a recliner.  The woman watched him coolly.  "Do not think that I do not hear what happens."  His grandmother flashed a newspaper at him.  "You are the talk of the town.  What shame you have brought to this family!  And now you come here seeking asylum?  Only now do you recognize your humble origins?"

Shame to irritation flickered upon the elf's face.  "Perhaps I am here on other business and wished to see you again, Grandmother.  Is that so wrong?"

"I doubt it very much, Yevgeni."

He furled and unfurled his fists, drawing in a breath to remain calm.  "I am here because I desire to save a friend.  I only ask to stay for one night, that is all, and if there is an apothecary that you may recommend I visit.  My magic has been suppressed, and until I can unlock it I cannot even cast the smallest flame."

"Oh, that must hurt your pride so much."

Yevgeni winced as though she had slapped him.  He knelt before the woman, blond hair streaming over his face.  "I am truly sorry, Grandmother.  I . . . my behavior has been unacceptable.  I should have come to see you more, but instead I cast you out to earn the king's favor.  And Veriti–I have tried, but I could not save her."

The older woman gripped his chin, forcing his gaze to meet hers.  Matching eyes in all ways, except hers shone with more age and years of experience.  "Perhaps you could entertain an old woman with your tales around a fire," she said.  "And some tea.  Goodness knows that I have been wondering what you and your sister have been up to all of these years, especially since you do not know how to write letters. . . !"

"I"–a smile flickered across Yevgeni's face–"very well.  Where shall I begin?"

"The beginning."

(Elia, Alderon, and Athena's epilogues are to come, along with a scene featuring Yev and Aqua)

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Bherna Lao-Inheriting Jynn’s Abode bear Mystras

A few hours after King Jynn’s coronation, Bherna returns to the abode in the Mystran mountains. It was even more quiet without her father, but Bherna appreciated the silence. She took a seat in Jynn’s old office, and gathers some books that were crammed in the shelves. Though she may be a strong mage now, she was eager to become stronger, but at the same time, both the world below and the Overworld’s relationship must be maintained, so she volunteers to live as a researcher of magic, so repeats of the events that have happened before can be resolved quicker and easier. 

A guard enters the office and offers her a bow. “Milady, I suppose your father will no longer be stationed here?” Bherna looks up and nods. “Correct. As he is now king, he will live in Kilkis Seres from now on. So, he left this abode to me.” There was a pause. The guard seemed to be thinking about his duties, but soon his eyes returned to Bherna’s. “Very well, princess. My loyalties will lie with you from now on.” 

As soon as the guard leaves the room, Bherna continues her studies.

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King Jynn and Dawson-After the coronation

Jynn takes off his crown as soon as the last guest leaves. As he begins to walk down the hall, a straggler catches up to him. “You’re not going to wear that thing twenty four seven?” It was Dawson. He was not much of a fan of crowds and parties, but he could not miss his best friend’s coronation. Jynn laughs. “No. This headwear is not my style. Plus, I don’t have to wear it. My mother never wore hers.” The Palico looks ahead, as if he was lost in thought. “You know, as hard as it is for me to say this out loud, I’m glad you finally took your place in this world. We need leaders like you.”

The two pause near the end of the hall, and Jynn becomes curious of Dawson’s future. “So. What’s next for you?” The felyne crosses his arms. What’s next? He hadn’t really put too much thought into it. But he does know he has one goal in his life. He looks to Jynn. “I don’t know. I suppose I might retire from hunting and pursue a culinary path. I still need to put some thought into it.” But the cat had curiosities of his own. “What about you pretty boy? What’s your plans?” 

Jynn thought about it for a moment. “Really, all I can do now is keep the Overworld in check, and monitor the restoration of the world below.” Dawson nods. “Fair enough.” He then gets closer, giving off a smirk. “What about you and Alicia? I haven’t seen you two together for days now.” Jynn becomes annoyed by the Palico’s questions. “Dawson, that’s really none of your concern. Whatever happens between me and her is our business.” The cat raises his paws. “Alright, alright, chill dude. Just curious.” He looks out the window. It is getting late, the sun is barely above the horizon. Dawson takes his leave. “Hey man, it was good talking to you. See you soon.” The two part ways.

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