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 [Prologue Arc] Shard V - The Forbidden Temple

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Kazatul
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PostSubject: [Prologue Arc] Shard V - The Forbidden Temple   Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:35 am

After rescuing the prisoners and figuring out how to break the orbs and return the spirits to the rightful Kotada, the Alliance is focused primarily on defense. For months now, all of our master strategies and troop movements had been coming from Kavos, but when his anger finally subsided, all that was left was grief and for the first time, doubt in his own stratagems. Kavos is bold and decisive, but after the massacre at Tanzanite, he became overly cautious and he second guessed himself. There were several battles that he didn't even participate in. I did what I could to step in and issue orders. We grew up together, so I had seen a lot of his tactics and he would typically plan with me, so I knew some of his strategies and troop placement schemes, but he possessed a rare gift. We lost ground as the two months following the massacre continued to weigh on Kavos. What was worse is that Garnet Village were giving serious consideration to surrendering. If they were allowed to surrender, this would have left only Topaz and Emerald to fight against an enemy that has shown a level of ruthless barbarism that we had not seen in several ages. The Topaz and Emerald villages are two of the strongest villages and arguably the strongest of our villages, but they would be stretched far too thin to contend alone. To put it plainly, if Garnet surrendered, our defeat would be almost certain. Especially with Kavos in the state that he was in. Yunes managed to calm her village enough to buy us more time and Pelion steps up his role as one of the military leaders. As Champions, we stepped up to protect our people and our territory. We managed to stem the lost of territory before everything we had gained had been retaken and Aquamarine was still crushed so that helped as well. We...

Agon falls silent for a moment before his eyes start to glow. "Very well," are the words that are spoken by him before he looks up to address the Inquisitor again. "He would like to speak to you directly. One moment." A dark purple energy gathers in front of Agon for a moment and before she can react, it surrounds her prisoner and he vanishes from her sight. A moment later, the energy forms around her and engulfs her in complete darkness. It would only be for a moment and then she would find herself in a circular room. There are cushions on the ground as well as assortments of tropical fruit placed on silver platters. There are also golden pitchers and goblets placed in front of each of the three cushions. The Inquisitor looks around to search for an exit while eyeing her former prisoner, who is free and putting food in the bowl closest to the Inquisitor. He also fills all three goblets with wine. He invites her to join him. An image appears across from her on the opposite side of the cushions. At first the image is distorted as if she is looking at a mirage. Slowly, her vision of it becomes clearer and she can tell that it is a man. He appears clearly and she sees that he is robed. His skin is the color of gold blended with bronze. He has straight, dark black hair that hands down to his pectorals in the front. It is well groomed. He has a rather thin mustache that connects down to a goatee. His face holds a serious look upon it. He is quite handsome she notices and seems to exude an aura that is both refined yet feral. His build is slender yet muscular and chiseled. His robes are sleeveless, so it is clear that physical exertion is a normality to him. His robes is red and silver with black trim. There is the hint of light armor under the robe as he is wearing combat boots. When her gaze meets his face again, she is somewhat shocked as she finally gets a clear look at his eyes. They are not normal by far. They look almost reptilian, but still different. She speaks in a voice that is almost automatic and involuntary, "Your eyes... I have never seen eyes like that on a Kotada." The new arrival replies, "It is because I have the eyes of a dragon. I am not full Kotada. At this point, I am probably no longer even half Kotada, but that is why I have come. You have treated my brother with respect and so I shall do the same with you. You wish to know what has transpired here. I will tell you the rest as it was caused by decisions I made. First, in desperation to save our people and then because I wanted to be sure that no enemy ever thought to invade Isla Dragos again...

"As Agon told you, I became consumed by my grief. I truly cared for Na'al. Given a different course of action, she may have become my consort. You must understand that when your mind has been honed and heightened to allow you the wondrous gifts I was bestowed, it can also become your greatest enemy. When you cannot escape your thoughts and they haunt you and question you, you lose your ability to be who you once were and who so many need you to be. That is where I was. I had her memories of the Massacre of Tanzanite and so when I tried to rest, my mind replayed it over and over again. It was trapping me in a perpetual nightmare. Watching someone you love suffer like that. When I tried to come up with battle plans, I kept seeing those closest to me dying because I made a miscalculation. Occasionally, I would come up with a strategy that would help turn the tide of a battle, but more often than not, I was too unsure of myself to do it, so I left. I went to the one place where I thought I might answers. I went to see the old dragon that mentored me when I was a boy.


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"I Will Strike First and I Will Strike Last. Order calls for your neutralization."
Kautuka - Mystic Hybrid | The Art of War
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Kazatul
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PostSubject: Re: [Prologue Arc] Shard V - The Forbidden Temple   Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:57 pm

I traveled to his cave and we talked and talked for days. He distracted me with tales of old times before Tyrael became Kotada. He told me of many wars and distant lands. He just got me away from Isla Dragos for a while. When the nightmares returned, we traveled to another plane of being that he was able to create. There he taught me to better control my new powers and to reduce the intensity and frequency of my power outbursts. After three and a half days of distractions, he finally asks, "What are you going to do now, Kavos? Are you going to hide in here with me or are you going to fight?" I told him that I want to fight. That I want to destroy all of them. I want to protect all of our people, but I don't have the power to do so. He reminded me of when I was a boy, "Kavos, do you remember when you were that wild, out of control youngling who couldn't handle his budding powers?" I nod and he continues, "Do you remember what I told you then?" I pause for a moment and recite, "For your most glorious moments will be forced upon you by an outside threat and in your truest awakening lies the decimation of our people. Many... so many will perish, both dear and unknown. And you will do many things that you never thought yourself capable of. When you fear that you will lose everything, that is when you will gain that which you will cherish most and so much more."

I sighed and told him that I remember his words, but I still do not understand them. "What more must we lose? I have already lost that which cherished most and I am going to lose my brother if I cannot figure out who to defeat them. I need your help." The old dragon actually smiled at me before scoffing. He tells me that he is far too old to really be of use to me in this war, but that there is another who can help me. "Young Kavos, are you truly willing to do whatever it takes to save Isla Dragos?" He already knew the answer. I nod to him. I was sure. I was sacrifice myself if it meant that my people would be free and the vermin would be dead. I suppose in some aspects, that is exactly what I did.

He told me the tales of an older dragon that has lived for nearly two centuries. She was quite powerful, but also extremely volatile. She had killed nearly all of the Tyrael who had come to attempt a merging with her. Those who tried to raid her treasure were also killed. I knew who he spot of and her lair was the one place that everyone was told to stay away from. Her powers were terrifying and her fury was legendary. Neither of which did I really want to fall victim to, but I had no choice in the matter. If this is the direction that I must go, then it is the direction that I will go. "So I must travel... there... in order to save our home. How am I supposed to survive her when the stories we are told all our lives is that she is merely contained there by the great dragon spirits?" His reply is that I must gain her respect and give her that which she truly wants. Always talking in riddles. I nod to him and leave to gather food for the old dragon. When I return, I notice that he looks very tired and I ask him if he is alright. He tells me that he is nearly his twilight era. I shake my head and tell him that he still has plenty of time. I prepared his meal and embrace him in a hug before I make my brief return to Topaz Village.

I knew what I had to do and I made my peace with it, but what I was going to try was suicidal for sure, so in case I failed, I at least wanted to say goodbye to Agon. However, I also wanted him ready in case I succeeded. Our meeting was brief. I had come up with some ploys and plans to keep the Broker Alliance distracted and slow their counterattacks while I was gone. I detailed several plans for Agon to carry out with a very straightforward plan. Agon speaks up, "Focus on defense. Dig in and wait for my return. If I take too long, use these and trust yourself like you did in the Aquamarine Campaign. Do not let our people become slaves to this parasites." The only problem with trying to say goodbye to a person that knows as well as we knew each other is that even without the words, they know a goodbye when they hear it. He asked me what I was planning to do and at first, I merely told him that I was going to get help for us. He inquires further and after trying to dodge the question a couple more times, I finally tell him where I'm going. He tries to talk me out of it of course, but I knew that this is what I had to do. The old dragon would not have sent me if it wasn't necessary. Agon offers to accompany me and I tell him that he cannot. "I know what I am doing, but in case I am wrong, you must be here to help Pelion and the elders. You must be the Strategist that I know you are. You must succeed where I have not. Just dig in and hold them at bay. I will return, Agon."
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Kazatul
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PostSubject: Re: [Prologue Arc] Shard V - The Forbidden Temple   Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:19 pm

Of course he knew that I wasn't certain, but as a brother to me, he knew that he had to believe or at least show faith that I could do what so many had failed to do. I open a portal and teleport away. I am bounced out of the portal suddenly before I reach the ruins. I try again and find that the area is protected by some sort of anti-teleportation barrier. I am able to walk thru the barrier however, so I decide to fly the rest of the way instead. I kept my mind as calm as possible so my thoughts could not run away with me. When the doubts start to creep towards the surface of my thoughts, I merely focus on one fact. I need this devilish dragon in order to save my brethren and bring an end to this war. That is what is important. Nothing else can be allowed to matter.

Approaching the ruins brings a sense of trepidation. I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know if the dragon had sensed my presence from afar and was rushing to attack me in defense of its territory. This, however, did not happen. I searched around the temple for the entire day to no avail. After resting in a meditative state for a few hours. I rouse from my meditation when I get the sense that an attack is coming. I come to alert with my heart pounding. My blood flow had increased to prep my muscles for the conflict that I believed was coming. After a minute or so and no attack, I begun to believe that my anxiousness had allowed my mind to play a trick on itself. Since I was already alert, I decide to continue my search. I go deeper into the temple grounds and into the main temple itself. Exploring the temple grounds even further, I stop several times to take in the landscape and to notice where battles took place. In some instances, it felt like I could feel the flow of the battles. Scorch marks and indentations in the walls were signs of conflicts. Cracked and tattered pieces of armor and clothing littered certain large open areas. Broken weapons were scattered about as well. Judging by the number of weapons, many had come to seek out this dragon, but they did not seem to fare well.

As my search continues for hours, I begin to wonder if the dragon is even in the temple. The old dragon told me that she was contained within the temple grounds, but if that was the case then why was it so difficult to find her. She is a large dragon, so it should be possible for her to elude me this much. Also, considering how powerful she is rumored to be, she would not need to elude me. After another two hours or so of searching, I came across an area that I could only describe as graveyard. Bones were gathered in sections and piles. I start to notice a pattern so I float up into the air in order to get a more complete view. The bones were indeed arranged in a pattern of sorts. She had set the bones up as sort of a game board. She had been playing with them it would seem since they were moved into position in what looked to be a strategy game. I study the board and the suspected moves that were made to get the board into its current position. In my analysis of the movements, I notice that I would have made different moves to counter some of the moves that seem to have been made. Using my power of telekinesis, I slowly rearrange the board, forgetting for the moment that I am playing with the skulls of those who fell to her. Based on my assumptions of her moves, I found myself slightly outmaneuvering her moves. Patience in order to understand the whole field and move her pieces to where I need them seemed to be my advantage. Once I get back to the number of moves that I predicted it would take to get the board set up the way it was, I stop. I found myself deeply fascinated by this room, so I wanted to continue the game when there was more light to be utilized. As darkness fills the room, I allow myself to relax and meditate. I suppress my energy presence in order to conserve energy but also to stay hidden.

The next morning, I exit my meditation peacefully and find the dragon entering the room. She looks at the "game board" before turning to me. She did not seem pleased that I had rearranged her pieces nor did she seem thrilled at the fact that some of my maneuvers had bested her own. I rise to my feet and look at her. Feeling the need to be polite since I was intruding into her home, I introduce myself, "I am Kavos from Topaz Village. I have come because I need your help. The Old Dragon near my village told me that I could find you here." She steps on one of the skulls that I had positioned and looks poised to attack. "Go away, Kavos of Topaz Village. You cannot handle what I possess and even if you could, I don't really like Tyrael as you can see here. If you wish to live, leave now and never return here." I stand my ground and with a snap of my fingers one of the skulls around her vanishes and reappears in my hand. To be honest, I wasn't sure if that would work properly since I was still getting the hang of these new powers, but I understood the flow of energy and that was a great help to being able to show her that I was already a Kotada. "I do not wish to merge with you as you can see. But I need you to lend me your power so that I can end the fighting that is ravaging our homeland. Please help me end this." The dragon looks at me and speaks, "You were warned..."

A sharp surge of psychic energy pulses through my body as a great deal of pressure surrounds my head. I had never felt anything like this and while it truly hurt like hell, I hold it together and grit through the pain long enough to form a barrier to my mind. I cannot be broken this easily. I don't care what I must do in order to gain her help. I will end this war. The dragon applies more telepathic pressure that I continue to fight against. "Help me!" I scream out. I push back with my own psychic energy that lessens the pressure being applied. "We have lost far too much and far too many. The only way I'm leaving without your help is if I join the ancestors of my village." Time seems to freeze for a couple of moments before a blinding light flashes between us knocking both of us backwards.
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Kazatul
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PostSubject: Re: [Prologue Arc] Shard V - The Forbidden Temple   Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:15 pm

When my vision returns, she is already flying towards me. I evade the dragon and fly out to a more open area of the temple. As she follows, I quickly turn about to face her and project a powerful gust of wind at her that pushes her back, but she uses the momentum to spin around and smack me with her tail. It knocks me across the room, but I manage to teleport before I hit the wall. I continue to attack her and evade as many of her attacks as possible. Despite the size of the dragon, she is unnaturally agile and fast. Still, it does not matter. I cannot falter. Not now. We continue like this. Trading attacks and fighting throughout the temple, typically switching rooms when I would get knocked into a new one by her. She was a powerful adversary. Pain soon became a normal companion of mine. The strange thing, however, is that the longer I fought her, the stronger my powers seemed to get. The more I understood my powers and the more vicious I got with using them.

Finally, after what felt like two days or so, I finally managed to knock the dragon down to the ground and stun her. I go to strike her again when she managed to surprise me. The dragon does not move but as my energy orb is about to connect, the orb stops right before the dragon's form and the dragon fades away into the Void. The orb disappears as well and strikes me in the back at a higher velocity than I had launched it. The strikes propels me towards the ground and where the dragon's form used to me. Before I could hit the ground, my momentum is stopped by a clawed hand gripping my throat. Looking down the dragon had taken on a humanoid form. How in the world did she manage to do that and so fast?! She slams me into the ground on my back and the impact actually makes a small crater. Before I can recover, she kicks me in the ribs to lift me into the air. If I thought she was fast as a dragon, this slender feminine frame of hers was even faster. I am forced to fight defensive so that I can try to regroup and gain an understanding of her speed. It takes a bit of time, but I start to keep up with her by figuring out how to predict her attacks a bit better. Still, I am not doing well in this fight. Even so, I continue to fight. Every time she knocks me down, I make myself get back up and believe me when I tell you that there were times that it truly hurt like the pits of afterlife to get back up. I still seemed to continue to get stronger and stronger as I fought with her.

A week had passed by now since we started fighting and without eating, sleeping, or hydrating, I was starting to reach my body's limits. The amount of punishment I had endured at her hands probably should've killed me several times over from wounds, but I was constantly able to heal them over time. As I struggle to get back to my feet after being caught by a vicious roundhouse kick to the side of the head. I try to shake off the daze and steady myself, but I was completely open to attack. She charges in for another attack and I try to defend against it, but I'm too slow at this point. I block the left jab, but the right knee connects causing me to gasp for air. I stumble backwards and she dashes forward in a slightly diagonal pattern to end up on my left side. She easily parries the left palm strike with her right hand as she brings her left leg behind me. Swinging her left leg back and upwards, she takes my legs out from under me as her palm plants itself firmly in the center of my chest and drives me directly into the ground forcefully. The pain was finally overwhelming my body to the point where I could not teleport away and moving my body was extremely difficult too. She pins me down and gets ready to deliver the final strike and all I can think about in that moment is that I had failed my people. I had failed Agon and more than anything, I had failed to avenge Na'al. I could not move. I could do nothing, but die at this point. It could not end like this. I had to figure out a way. There had to be something I could do. As her palm lowers towards my head, my eyes surge with energy and I telepathically repel her from me. She recovers her balance in the air a few yards away from my body and looks down at me. I struggled to force my body back to a knee at least. I try to will it to continue to fight, but it would not. Thankfully, the telepathic outburst had weakened her as well. I am not sure to what extent, but she drops out of the air to take a knee as well.

She vanishes and appears next to me with a look of curiosity all over her visage. The claws of her right hand are pressed firmly into the flesh of my throat and neck. I didn't have the energy for another attack. She looks at me and asks, "What drives you to keep fighting like this?" My left hand grabs her hand around my throat and moves it to the left side of my temple. "I will show you..." My right hand reached up for the left side of her temple and I open my mind to her fully. I show her Isla Dragos before the Tournament. How beautiful and joyous this island was. Then I show her Isla Dragos as I have seen it change. I showed her the bloody carnage of the battlefields. I show her the sadness in the survivors and then I show her what is truly driving me... the Massacre of Tanzanite Village. "I will fight you... I will fight as long as I must and I will sacrifice myself if it will cause you to help save OUR people. These vermin... these parasites... came here to our home and they have caused all this strife and they have tried to steal our powers in order to boost their own. And they possess very different powers than we do. I want them dead for what they did to the Tanzanite." The female dragon looks at me and tells me to show her more of these outsiders. I give her access to all of my memories and encounters with them.

Once she has seen the memories of the Brokers, she nods to me. Everything around me shatters and dissolves into nothingness until suddenly I am back in the graveyard room. The dragon is in full dragon form before she shifts into the humanoid form once again. She tells me to follow her. I do and we come to a sort of treasure or trophy room it seems. There are several gems and rune stones placed about the room. She sits down and closes her eyes as if she was about to meditate. I ask her what she is doing and why we are not heading back to the frontlines of the battles. She tells me that I am not ready yet. I tell her that we do not have time to simply meditate. We need to get back so that we can turn the tide and counter attack. She opens her eyes to look at me and speaks softly, "When we were just fighting, it was almost sunset, wasn't it? Yet, when you found yourself in the game room, it was late morning or early afternoon again. The concept of time is very different in the mind than the actual passage of time. If you want my help, you need to be stronger. You need to truly understand the dragon within you. Sit and I will help you."

In our minds, it felt like weeks had passed as we trained and she taught me to commune with my dragon spirit. The symbiosis became so much stronger that I began feel more like a dragon than ever before. She taught to understand my new connection to the Void. My dragon spirit was practically a part of me at this point. I wasn't sure exactly what she had done, but I most certainly felt different and better. The world looked, smelled, sounded, and felt so much more sensational and vibrant. The other big shift is that I feel urges like never before. Looking at the female dragon, she seemed to know what was happening to me and she seems to enjoy it. Looking at my eyes, she nods to me and smiles, "Now you are ready to be a true Champion, Kavos. Enjoy what you are feeling. Revel in it and embrace it. Let us prepare to hunt. You have me in quite the mood for one."

-----------------
"I Will Strike First and I Will Strike Last. Order calls for your neutralization."
Kautuka - Mystic Hybrid | The Art of War
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