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Call Of The Nomad: Book One

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Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Qualna on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:23 am


Prologue
"It's been a long, arduous season, but I've finally made it to the refuge. A few familiar faces, but I can't be bothered with them now. I... still can't believe my entire tribe is lost. Blue... Vincent... Justin... and Koga. They're all gone, and I'm all alone again." It was snowing, the sky was a smoky gray color, mountains leaned against the horizon and this small town was the only civilization for miles. A man stood in the frozen plain. He had pitch-black hair, and timber colored eyes. He wore black dyed leather clothing made from bison hide and had a dreamcatcher around his neck. His face was rather expressionless, as if he had lost his meaning of purpose.
He walked into the town and observed his surroundings. It was a sleepy place that was eerie and nearly soundless during the hours of darkness. It was a town known as “Nightmare,” an encampment containing a circle of small clans in which warriors would pit themselves in battle against each other. The man with the dreamcatcher made his way into a tavern. The tavern was quiet; there was but a single other person in the room, sitting at a table in the corner.
He had chestnut hair and steel plated armor that was glimmering a crimson color. Immediately the person looked up and grinned. "Well, well, well..." he said. "If it isn't the old Gravekeeper." The man with the dreamcatcher scowled. "I don't go by that anymore," he groaned. "Just call me... Keir. And I see you've outlasted the depression as well, haven't you... Evan?"
The person leaned back in his chair and laughed. "It's been one hell of a slump, hasn't it? But I guess that shows how badass we are, eh? Let me be the first to welcome you to Nightmare... your dream come true." Evan was an inhabitant of Keir's old homeland. He was slightly young and brash at the time, but through rigorous training and self-discipline, he had molded himself into a respectable fighter.
Evan explained to Keir that Nightmare was a refuge town for warriors of all lands that had survived the depression that had plagued many societies. Many people are often bored and fight amongst each other to show off their strength and claim dominance, as the way of battle was practiced and worshipped. "So you see," Evan explained. "Battling's of the upmost importance here. You're either one of the top dogs, or next week's firewood.
Of course many people take pride in their skill and pass on techniques to others, but I'm sure you already have all that you need, being with your stubborn ways and all." "That's not an indirect way of calling me a barbarian, are you?" Keir inquired skeptically. "Ha. Of course not," Evan reassured. "I'm just saying there are people that actually need that kind of thing. Crazy, huh?" "I can only imagine," Keir muttered.
Just then a loud crash was heard, and Keir and Evan ran outside the tavern to investigate. A large, dragonic beast appeared, making its way to the town. It had six eyes and tattered, bat-like wings. A strange black mist emanated from its body.
"Looks like one of them's found us," Keir scoffed.
"What do you mean 'one of them’? What is that thing?" Evan asked.
"It's called a ‘Thaumafolke’. A being formed from The Depression. If we let it live for too long, it will attract others that will try to destroy everything in sight."
"Well, look at this! Your first day here and already we're gonna slay a fucking dragon! You ready to take up the blade again?"
Keir's emotionless brow turned into a smirk.
"I was always ready."



Episode One – First Blood
Evan and Keir walked out into the plains and approached the Thaumafolke. "E... van... E... van..." The dragonic creature grumbled Evan's name over and over as it went berserk with rage. Evan raised an eyebrow. "How the hell does this thing know who I am?" Evan queried. "What does it matter? We can't let it get to the refuge," Keir interjected.
The pattern on Keir's dreamcatcher replicated itself on the ground, making a large circular symbol. The symbol lit up, and Keir's weapon emerged from the pattern. It was a large scythe whose blade was made of a black metal and had a blood-red edge. Evan drew his blade which was a claymore sword made from refined rubies and had a golden hilt. The handle was decorated with phoenix feathers. The Thaumafolke shot out a poisonous breath as both warriors were able to easily dodge it.
It flailed its claws recklessly as Evan managed to hold off its attack with his sword. "It's rather sloppy," Keir observed. "No kidding," Evan yawned. Keir ran up the Thaumafolke's tail and brought down his scythe into the creature's skull. The beast kept muttering Evan's name as its head fell to the ground.
Its form began to slowly change. Moment after moment, the Thaumafolke began to resemble more and more like a human, much to Keir and Evan's surprise. The black mist cleared out and revealed the body of someone both Evan and Keir knew. "That's... Drake Blaze!" Evan acknowledged. Drake Blaze was a former inhabitant of Keir's homeland. He was a respected citizen until he was involved in a forbidden affair with a person named Alice, the daughter of the Sky Chieftain, Sell.
Drake Blaze also had made false claims against the battling techniques of others, often accusing people of cheating. Back at the homeland, Drake Blaze had left the homeland in his final shame when Evan defeated him and showed to the tribes what a poor fighter he was. Apparently The Depression had morphed Drake Blaze into a Thaumafolke and Drake lived off his own desire for revenge."Who knew that little freak followed us back here?" Evan asked."I didn't even know people could turn into Thaumafolke... we should get into a shelter quick, an Aether Storm is coming," Keir said.
"A... what?" Evan quizzed. "An Aether Storm," Keir explained. "It's another force of The Depression. It sometimes follows the death of a Thaumafolke, and if it catches you... well, the results are rather horrific. The effects can range from growing extra eyes or digits, having your organs turn inside-out, or even become a Thaumafolke yourself."
Both Keir and Evan at the understanding that they did not want to become mutated, headed back into Nightmare to seek lodging. They both arrived into a local inn where they saw a few patrons drinking ale and sharing conversations. A drunkard approached Evan and tried to punch him. "Hey... you... hic... give me... all your money... so I can... hic... buy some more booze," the drunkard grunted. Evan, unphased, took out his claymore.
The claymore ignited itself as Evan sliced the inebriated inn patron in half. The other guests looked at the charred remains in shock, then looked away and whispered to one another. Keir sat down at a table, ignoring what had just happened. Just then, a figure walked down the stairs of the second floor to see what the commotion was about. It was a rather short boy who wore small plated armor.
He looked around and noticed Keir. The boy unsheathed a gladius and pointed it at Keir. "It's you!" He thundered. Keir knew who this boy was but did not appear astonished to see him. The boy's name was Korasi, a former squire back at Keir's homeland.
Korasi had admired Keir's fighting skill and revered him as if he were some false idol, much to Keir's annoyance. But as time passed, Korasi refined his technique on his own and vowed to one day defeat Keir, since Keir would not recompense Korasi's esteem. Korasi's polished white armor signified to Keir that Korasi had recently developed a reputation among his fellow warriors. "I finally found the famed Gravekeeper," Korasi continued. Keir gritted his teeth, as he hated being called by that name.
Keir adjusted his left hand and a hidden blade emerged from his sleeve. Keir was about to strike when Evan walked up to Korasi.
"Keir shouldn't have to waste his breath with you," Evan announced. "How about you and me have a fight instead?"
Korasi, ever so ready for any challenge accepted.
Evan snickered and ignited his sword once more. "When I'm done with you, I’ll throw you out into the Aether Storm.”



Episode Two – Coldest Steel
Korasi clenched his gladius and charged at Evan, while Evan shot a stream of flames from his hands, knocking Korasi down. Korasi, unrelenting from his assault, stood back up and charged again while dodging Evan's flames. The two clashed blades, refusing to allow an opening to the other. Evan kept pushing Korasi away, but Korasi kept unleashing his counterattacks. Just then, the sky had changed from its ash-gray appearance into a turquoise color.
The Aether Storm began to manifest; it appeared similar to a windstorm but with visible blue-green streaks that accented the current, much like an aurora borealis. There was something else that caught Keir's attention. He looked outside the window and saw a silhouette of a person standing on a scaffolding in the far distance. Something about this figure seemed familiar to Keir, although he wasn't quite sure what. Keir then turned back to Evan, to see him victorious over Korasi, who had fallen to the ground once again.
Evan delivered an axe kick to Korasi's temple, rendering him unconscious. "Since I've gotten in this inn," Evan announced. "I've wondered what it would look like for someone to become exposed to the Aether Storm. Now I'll find out." Evan began to drag Korasi by the leg and headed towards the exit, only to be stopped by Keir.
"That's enough," he interfered. "Whether it be by Thaumafolke or Aether storm, The Depression becomes stronger with each victim it takes. So I'd advise against feeding it just for sheer amusement." Evan released Korasi in chagrin. As the inn patrons waited out the storm, they talked amongst each other, telling of rumors and current events. "Did you hear?!" One of the patrons shouted. "The Duke's stepped down from office! Count Eduardo is the new leader of the town!”
The people seemed rather indifferent and unphased, however. Keir clasped his fingers in thought. "It seems as though these people do not care for leadership, so long as they have a figurehead that keeps order... whatever order they have anyway. I haven't seen any political activity since I've gotten here... it's like a single thread holds this fragile structure together. Cliques and factions as far as I can see... it seems the ability to crash one's skull in has more of the saying word than the voice of reason, no wonder The Depression quickly found this place. Even back when I was an... 'exterminator,' there was still more organization than what I see here. Speaking of which... that figure I saw earlier... could it be...?"
Evan walked up to Keir. "Hey!" He blurted. "I hear from one of the ale jockeys that there's some sort of rare artifact hidden in the Frozen Courtyard outside this town. Wanna go check it out?" Keir shook his head. "I'll pass... there's... something I have to tend to. You best go on without me," he responded. When the Aether Storm finally subsided, Keir and Evan parted ways and headed out of the inn.
Evan walked past the far outskirts of the town to a mountain trail. He followed the path eventually leading to an icy plane. There were columns arranged along a large entryway. Before Evan could reach the corridor a cold mist blew in, and Evan felt the presence of another entity. A chilling voice echoed throughout the area.
"Well, well, well... if it isn't the Crimson Flame." The mist cleared and revealed a man of fair hair and blue eyes. He had light-plated armor that was of a similar fashion to Evan's armor, only it was sky blue and had a dragonic insignia; contrary to Evan's deep red armor with phoenix decal. "It's been a long time, Cody," Evan retorted. "Or should I call you... the Azure Frost?"
Both men were aware of the rumors regarding the artifact, and neither were about to back down. Evan unsheathed his claymore as Cody readied his blade. Cody's sword was a zweihander whose blade was made of refined sapphire, the hilt made of dragon fangs, and the handle was a polished platinum. It's almost as if this blade was meant to rival Evan's. Cody laughed, "Do you really think that blunt object you call the 'Verum Ignis' can stand up to my 'Frigus Anima?' Please." Evan glared back at Cody. "Say that one more time and I'll cut your tongue out."



Episode Three – Day and Night
Cody unleashed spears of ice which Evan met with his fire streams. Unfortunately for Evan, they were fighting on a battlefield of Cody's preference. Cody summoned pillars of ice from the ground, catching Evan by surprise. Evan stumbled to the icy ground, as Cody ran at him; preparing to perform a sweep with his blade. Evan ignited his fist and struck the ground, creating a fiery shockwave.
The clash of fire and ice created a screen of steam, blocking off Cody's range of vision. Evan, leapt through the steam and attempted a downward slash, only to be deflected by Cody just in time. Evan performed a backflip to avoid Cody's slash in retaliation, and combusted his sword to ready another attack. Cody summoned a cold haze to surround his own blade. Both combatants glared at each other intensely, waiting for the other to make a move. Evan ran at Cody while spinning his claymore in a drill-like fashion, while Cody planted his zweihander into the ground and created a barrier of ice.
Due to the field advantage, Evan was unsuccessful in piercing Cody's frozen shield. Evan continued to slash away at the barrier, but Cody was able to augment more layers to it than Evan could destroy. Cody then formed an entire armor of ice and eventually a large pair of gauntlets and leggings of the arctic material. At last a large helm was created, and the entire structure stood up revealing what appeared to be a large giant... made completely of ice. "There will be no way you can defeat my Celsius Dreadnaught Form!" Cody thundered.
Evan took a look at the frightening technique Cody has just devised and pointed at an obligatory direction. "Look, a distraction!" Evan yelled. "Where?!" Cody responded, falling for his trick. At that moment, Evan ran into the entrance of the Frozen Courtyard. Cody was unable to pursue Evan due to his newly formed armor being too big for the opening, so he waited. After all, Evan was bound to come back out sooner or later.
The inside of the courtyard was dark and cold, visibility was limited here. Evan created a flame on his palm, illuminating the area. The room was of a sallow, chalky color. There was a large hill of stairs leading to a large, barred door, and above the door on the wall was a worn out painting. The painting depicted what appeared to be a warrior; however the picture had degraded to where the face was indistinct. Evan walked towards the staircase and found a skeleton.
"Wonder what he died of," Evan thought. The skeleton moved, causing Evan to flinch. It rattled some more and soon it stood up upon its own. "Welcome..." The skeleton said in a disturbing, disembodied voice. Evan held back a shriek and eventually regained his composure. "What is this place?" He inquired. The skeleton spoke again. "This... is Ivory Halls, tomb of the fallen hero... the one... the warrior who wielded a thousand weapons. If you believe yourself to be a true fighter, you may proceed within these catacombs and acquire what he has left behind in this mortal world."
Evan soon sparked up with interest. "Who was this warrior anyway?" "The warrior who wielded a thousand weapons... lived long ago on the continent in the sky. He was a proud man, able to use any weapon he had obtained in perfect mastery, and even more, he was the only child of the Sun Lord, Nox. The warrior's name was Fang Daímonas. The pride of Fang's own strength made him quite ignorant. He challenged anyone and everyone of the continent to see who could match his incredible strength and weapon mastery.
Weeks passed and no other warrior could match Fang's technique, and they were bested one after another. However one day, another person took Fang's challenge. It was a woman... to be exact the daughter of the Moon Emperor. Her name was Lyra Pavo. Lyra was a user of the magical arts, her abnormally studious behavior made the inhabitants of the continent refer to her as ‘the shaman of a thousand spells,’ in vies of Fang's title.
Fang scoffed at Lyra, he believed magic was for the weak, and that physical prowess was the true dominant force. Fang had confidently accepted Lyra's challenge. Lyra had defeated Fang with ease, and Fang had hidden from the public in shame. Outraged, Fang had sought to one day have his revenge. Fang had made a deal with the Netherworld's Ruler, trading his soul for unhallowed power.
Afterwards, Fang challenged Lyra to another battle, in which only one person would be left standing. The two rivals waged bloody combat on each other for three days straight, and eventually the struggle of power disrupted the very continent itself, and both Lyra and Fang faded from existence. Some of the remnants of that unholy battle fell onto this Earth... and some say it grows and continually plagues this mortal world. I know of these events... because I was there..." The skeleton collapsed onto the ground and the barred door opened. Evan made his way to the door and sensed a dark force nearby. Whatever was beyond this door was sure to be ominous. Then again, that hasn't stopped Evan yet.
Keir walked outside the town of Nightmare and into the plains where he and Evan had fought the Thaumafolke. "Why... is this happening? For what purpose does The Depression exist? I just want to live a life of ataraxia," Keir brooded to himself. Just that instant, the sound of an accelerating engine grew louder and louder. A motorcycle zoomed past Keir, and the rider turned back and grinded the motorcycle sideways, while skillfully performing a spinning handstand. The rider continued to shred the motorcycle sideways as if it were a skateboard and proceeded to draw out two guns and fired them at Keir.
Keir ran and quickly dodged the bullets, then revealed his hidden blade. He looked upon his assailant, who was a woman with long blonde hair, green eyes, and wore a red leather jacket. She wore dark, cut jeans and carried two golden .45 caliber revolvers that had tigerskin grips. Keir recognized her as the figure in shadows he saw earlier. "We meet again... Valerie," Keir chided. "Not very happy to see me, are you?" Valerie beamed.
"Shooting at people isn't necessarily a cheerful way of greeting someone, especially when those bullets of yours shatter on impact. Lethal force is anything but friendly.”
"Well that aside, I'm not here to put you out. If I were, you'd be dead already... what, did you think I was a terrible shot? Anyway, I'm sure you have a few questions, and I might just know a place where you can get the answers. Follow me."
Valerie flipped back up her motorbike and started it up. "Coming?"
Keir sighed and retracted his blade. It seemed he didn’t really have any other option.



Episode Four – Flipping the Coin
Keir and Valerie rode back into the town of Nightmare and into the noble district, stopping in front of the Count's Estate. "Parking here is terrible," Valerie commented. "You're the only one here with a vehicle. This isn't like the city, society here prefers a simple life... as simple as it gets anyway," Keir retorted. They both walked in and saw a man sitting at a desk. He was rather young, he had black hair and wore white regal robes that were complimented with golden lines.
"Ah, you've brought him. Hello there, I've been expecting you, Keir. I hope Valerie here didn't give you any trouble picking you up." The man said. "Not at all," Keir stated sarcastically. "Good," the man went on. "I know you have many questions, and I shall give you a very detailed explanation of what I know to what those questions may be. This way, it'll save you the trouble of asking. You know, if this were to be one day recorded into a story of some sort, I'm sure it'd save the author from writing so much alternating dialogue between characters. Anyway! I am Eduardo, current leader of Nightmare. I see all current activities and make sure the citizens are kept in check. I hired Valerie here to track you down so that I may discuss with you a current ordeal. Now regarding The Depression; my scouts have told me the possible source of it. As we all know, The Depression is the force that seeks to engulf the entire world in its wake attempting to make it void entirely of life. Every day, soldiers of Nightmare give their lives in fighting the Thaumafolke, and our population is dwindling. Ever since the fateful Ecliptic Battle, The Depression was born and now feeds upon our suffering. You've heard of the Ecliptic Battle, haven't you? The clash between Lyra Pavo and Fang Daímonas? I'll assume you already have so I don't have to go into a ridiculously long description of the event. Now back to fighting The Depression as I seem to be rambling a lot. I have a request to ask of you. Far outside this town lies the tomb of Lyra Pavo, daughter of the Moon Emperor. The tomb is called the 'Ebony Halls.' Somewhere in that tomb lies Lyra's spellbook, which will grant the user unfathomable magical ability. What I need you to do is retrieve that book and return here, so that I may use it to fight The Depression. What do you say?"
Keir paused in ellipsis and answered. "Alright, I'll get your book. No questions asked." Valerie followed Keir outside the estate, and she stopped midway and folded her arms. "That wasn't very like you, Keir.’No questions asked?' I thought you always hated taking orders." Keir looked back at Valerie. "I only said that so he wouldn't suspect anything from me. I'm not the type to trust politicians."
Valerie raised an eyebrow. "So what are your real motives, sweetheart?" "What I really want? What I want is for this to end. I've decided I wanted to settle down and live a peaceful life. But no matter where I go, that goal eludes me. The Depression is born where virtue dies, thriving off those who can never let go of their vices or those who can never forgive one another. It isn't some magical force associated with a darker-than-dark evil being as Eduardo thinks. The Depression is within all of us, it's only our actions that allow it to surface and manifest. That is why it destroys civilizations; it reminds us of our faults and what it does to our surroundings." Valerie's swaggering grin turned into a stoic expression.
"How do you know so much about The Depression?" She asked. Keir looked down at the cold ground. "Because... I see all the signs, wherever I go. With strife and sin come the punishments of corruption. It is man's natural instinct to seek power and use it for his own selfish needs. Altruism is dead. It's as real as the dying earth we stand on. You see it don't you? Of course, it's in plain sight. However we can't always see our flaws. That's why The Depression comes: to show us. That is why even some people turn into Thaumafolke... They can't learn to let go. The Depression continues to attack because people see it as a physical opposition that threatens their lives; they don't stop to think what The Depression is trying to tell them."
Valerie remained silent for a moment and spoke. "It is real, isn't it? But Keir, look up there," She pointed at the stars in the night sky. "If the earth is our reality, then everything above must truly represent our hopes and dreams. It's so much more to look at, so much to strive for. It reminds us that there's always a way to overcome, no matter how harsh the unforgiving world may seem, what we hope to achieve will always remain above the horizon... above the earth. I know society is cruel, I won't deny that. Our actions may be wayward, but it's our vision to be more optimistic and look at the brighter side. I'd much rather look up at the beautiful stars than this barren land." Valerie and Keir got onto the motorcycle getting ready to travel to Ebony Halls. Valerie queried Keir once more. "Just what is it that stands in your way? Why are you not disposed of seeing the silver lining?" Keir replied,
"The world is a cruel place... but we ourselves... are even crueler."



Episode Five – The Grim Sleeper
Evan walked into the crypt of Ivory Halls. It was a ghastly sight, as any place that holds the dead should be. Snakes and bats crept around the area, but Evan didn't seem to be bothered by them. "How cliché for tomb to be filled with fanged creatures," he scoffed. Evan continued to navigate the passage until lost his footing and tripped near an adjacent chasm.
Evan almost fell into the large pit until something caught his hand. A mysterious figure pulled Evan back. As Evan caught his breath he looked at his rescuer. It was a man of tribal demeanor. His face and arms were covered in ancestral markings, he had cold, gray eyes and dark brown hair. In his hand was a large, decorated tomahawk, which had a lightning symbol on the blade and vulture feathers on the back end.
Evan recognized the man as no other than Sell, chieftain of the skies. Sell bellowed in a serious voice, "Come. What you seek is this way." Evan scratched his head. "Thanks for saving me and offering to help and all but uh... what are you doing here? I haven't seen you in about forever, it's kind of strange seeing you in a place like this. What's been up on your end?"
Sell did not respond. "Or you could just ignore me. That works too," Evan shrugged. The two walked further into the tomb as sand soon crept underneath their feet. "What's going on!?" Evan shouted. "Prepare yourself," Sell said monotonously.
Evan readied his weapon as hands rose from the sand. A voice began to echo across the room. "It's... so... cold... here. So.... lonely... Won't you stay with us...? Stay with us... forever. Give... us... your... flesh..." The hands pushed down against the ground and what ascended from the floor put Evan into a state of shock. They were horrifically deformed corpses of human bodies, with sunken eyes, rotting skin, and dripping blood from their openings. Many of them had exposed bones protruding from their bodies, and they all let out ghoulish groans as they surrounded Evan and Sell.
Evan began frantically hacking away at the horde but they kept rising from the ground. Evan tried to activate his magical flame abilities, but for some reason he couldn't manage to summon them. Sell merely floated above to the top of the room and observed the entire happening, not opting to help. "Get away! GET AWAY!" Evan cried, still trying to fend off the undead force. The zombified gang advanced further on Evan, as Sell suddenly whispered, "...Focus."
The word rang into Evan's mind. He was overwhelmed with his fear of the undead, making it hard to adhere to Sell's suggestion, but he thought for a moment. In spite of the monstrous sight in front of him, Evan began to ponder. Evan wondered his reasoning for taking up the sword. Was it the natural drive to seek glory and power? To become stronger than every other warrior of Nightmare? What was the point? What was it that Evan was truly seeking in the grand scheme of life? Then Evan remembered Korasi, and the answer became clear.
"I fight... because I refuse to accept defeat... at the hands of those who don't deserve power... those... CHAUVINISTIC FOOLS!" Evan's fear had become replaced entirely by a righteous fury. Evan emanated a burning aura, and the undead slowly backed away. Evan raised his fists in the air and brought them down, creating a shockwave. The impact summoned eight large tornadoes blazing of a fiery inferno.
They twisted and crashed about, decimating the walking corpses. Evan stood victorious, still burning with indignation. Sell descended down and resumed leading Evan into the tomb. They stopped upon a tall steel door. "Another door? Great. How do we open this one?" Evan inquired.
Sell's eyes began to spark a bright amber color. "By defeating me," Sell uttered eerily. Evan armed his sword. "Figures," Evan spewed. Not waiting for Sell to raise his weapon, Evan created a pillar of flames on his blade, then slammed it onto the ground towards him.
Sell levitated above the fire and returned Evan's attack with an electrical pulse, then charged his tomahawk with a lightning current. Evan charged at Sell while executing precise slashes. Sell threw Evan back with a mighty gale; Evan was unsuccessful in making contact. Sell then tossed his tomahawk, and it unleashed flashes of electricity that took the shape of an eagle. Evan instinctively planted his sword into the ground, and unexpectedly a burning entity jumped from the blade and canceled out the attack.
With one loud bang, the energy from the tomahawk merged with the burning entity to form a large beast. It familiarized a two-headed lion made of the dazzling blaze. Evan exclaimed in astonishment. "Gilgamesh!" The two-headed lion began attacking Sell with its massive paws, as Evan's fury built up within him, the more aggressive Gilgamesh became. Soon Evan lost control and felt as if another force had taken over. Evan felt his throat moving and unwittingly shouted, "COME FORTH, RAPTOR IGNIS!"
A bouquet of flames engulfed Evan, and soon he took the form of a divine genie that seethed an extraordinary volcanic strength. Evan rode Gilgamesh and charged once more at Sell, who was unable to deliver an attack of greater force. The impression of the attack rapidly charred Sell's body, causing it to disintegrate like styrofoam in a furnace. Sell's final words seemed to seep into Evan's mind, almost telepathically. "Be wary of your own strength, the deific arts are not for the unstable. I shall return one day... and I hope by then you'll have a better understanding of where your abilities originate, as well as those around you... your life depends on it."
The steel door creaked open to reveal a small room with nothing but a black shield with a red phoenix design upon it. The shield was large enough to cover Evan's entire back from the shoulders down. Evan was rather disapointed. "All this way to the thousand weapon warrior’s tomb... for a shield. Great. This thing better have some hidden ability to it. Where's an instruction manual when you need one?" Evan proceeded to exit the tomb back to the Frozen Courtyard and sure enough saw Cody waiting for him.
Cody angrily shouted at Evan. "Who the hell do you think you are?! Do you realize how hard it is holding back your bowel movements while in this thing? I've been standing here bored and frustrated all day! You're a terrible rival, you know that?! You JERKASS, I am going to make you pay for this!" Cody fired an enormous cold wave towards Evan, who quickly turned and blocked it with his newly found shield. Evan planted his claymore into the ground, summoning Gilgamesh. Cody was unphased as his zweihander morphed into a larger, more menacing blade.
He swatted off Gilgamesh, bursting it into sparks. Cody then kicked Evan with tremendous force, wounding him in his chest. Evan tried to summon the infernal tornadoes in desperation, but only managed to create half the amount as before. This seemed to be enough as it melted Cody's frozen armor. Intuitively, Evan ignited his shield and threw it into the burning squall. The shield intensified the blaze, the visual effect articulated as if the very sun were crashing into the earth.
Cody had fled the scene before he could experience any harm, and Evan was left triumphant in The Frozen Courtyard. Evan retrieved his shield and made his way back into Nightmare, waiting to share his adventure with the townspeople.
Keir and Valerie made their way to the Ebony Halls. They walked into the obscure temple; the inside was lit up with torches of violet flame. The entrance shut behind them, and the passage to the next room became covered in a strange web, created by an otherworldly force. Valerie formed a rather sheepish grin. "Looks like we have company," she commented. Sure enough, strange markings formed on the floor and creatures appeared in the room.
They were bipedal, dragonish soldiers that were armored and wielded various weaponry. One of the large creatures covered in gold plating growled. "If you wish to proceed and obtain the bountiful knowledge... then show us your strength." Complying, Keir unsheathed his hidden blade as Valerie pulled out her twin revolvers. They looked at each other and nodded, turned back to the dragonic soldiers and declared, "It's showtime!"
Valerie kicked a creature in its face with her knee, and then used it as a kickstand as she executed a high backflip into the air, showering rounds of her revolvers into a group of the soldiers. The soldiers continued to charge at Valerie, as if they didn't feel the bullets. Valerie smiled, and pressed two fingers against her lips in a motion that appeared to be as if she were blowing a kiss. Instantly, the bullets lodged in the bodies of the dragonic soldiers bursted and exploded, the soldiers collapsed to the ground, writhing in excruciating pain, and began slipping slowly into their deaths. Valerie stomped on a surviving soldier and unleashed another barrage of bullets in close range at its face, soon making it unrecognizable.
Keir leapt at a soldier, stabbing it in its back and proceeded to grab his victim by its neck and dropped down on his knees, snapping the body in half. Another troop of soldiers surrounded Keir as he tapped his Dreamcatcher, summoning a horde of spiritual energy which formed into wraiths that flew erratically, tormenting the soldiers with their spectral touch. Keir's irises turned a blood red, as streams of darkened light radiated from his fingertips, making contact with his attackers. This created a strange psychotic sensation along with the wraith's attack that caused an extreme state of torture, making the soldiers flail about madly until the very point in which they took their own weapons and committed suicide. The golden armored creature summoned more soldiers to attack, but Valerie took out dual automatic submachine guns and placed a strange technological memory lock on the triggers.
Keir quickly ducked to the floor as Valerie threw the guns which spiraled as the memory lock was activated, causing the submachine guns to fire their entire magazines, slaying the rest of the dragonic soldiers. The memory locks had an aerodynamic function causing the guns to propel back like boomerangs once they had emptied out their entire ammunition. Before the golden armored creature could summon more soldiers, Keir threw a chain made of dark energy, restraining it. Keir then walked right up to creature and stated, "The demonstration's over." Keir quickly slit the creature's throat with his blade and kicked it in the back of its head.
The web blocking the path faded away, and Valerie and Keir proceeded. Looking back, Valerie saw the entire room had been painted red. The corridor was rather straightforward, as the spellbook could be seen at the very end, not too far away in large room. As they headed towards their goal, Keir began to feel dizzy. The area around him seemed to dim and fade away. Soon Keir found himself standing in an abysmal chamber, not Valerie or the book was in sight.
A pair of orange eyes lit up in front of him, and soon his surroundings became illuminated exposing the other presence. What stood before Keir was a large shadowy essence that had nothing but eyes and a strange grin. "You... and your friends... they possess... the Deific Aether..." it whispered.”I don't know what that is," Keir quietly sputtered. The shadow cackled psychotically. "Power of the immortals... that trigger within certain few... With its strength, it has the potential to destroy all mankind... even the ones chosen with the ability can hardly control its might. That book you're after... it grants even the weakest of mortals an artificiary of the Deific Aether... a mockery. Humans can run around thinking they're some sort of almighty god. But the true form... lies in your kind. And you will see... soon enough."
The shadowy entity then threw itself into Keir's dreamcatcher. At that very moment, Keir began to feel an intense physical agony, along with harsh mental anguish. The unreal pain pulsed through his body as he felt as if he were being clawed at by a thousand steel blades. Soon the aching stopped and Keir panted in relief. Keir blinked and saw that he was outside of Ebony Halls.
Valerie was resting Keir's head in her arm, holding the spellbook in the other. "Are you alright? You passed out before we got the book." She asked, concerned. "I think so..." Keir rasped weakly. "I think I had more than just a nightmare."



Episode Six – For Better or for Worse…
Keir and Valerie headed back Nightmare and went into a local inn. They both sat at the table and Valerie set the book in the center. "Should we really give this to Eduardo?" She asked. Keir rested his elbow on the table and held his chin. "Probably not, chances are he'll use the book's power for himself. However, if we don't give Eduardo the book, he'll eventually catch on and will probably define us as public enemies. So it all comes down to doing what’s right, or saving our own asses," explained Keir.
"Idealism versus cynicism," Valerie clarified. "But what can we do? Should we leave Nightmare?"
"And go where? The Depression has already destroyed our homelands. And there isn't another civilization for who knows how far. Perhaps... we should end The Depression ourselves."
"But how? You mentioned that The Depression lives within every living being," Valerie inquired.
"Perhaps we could start by dispersing each and every faction in this town. This society lacks virtue, and they won't achieve it any time soon with cliques in the way. We could try to convince the leaders to disband, but if they won't do so peacefully... we may have to resort to drastic measures. After all factions are gone, we could work on promoting benevolence. As for Eduardo, we can confront him when we're done. We should not let our identities be known to the common public in the meantime."
So with the plan situated, the two left the tavern. A large crowd had lined up along the street as they were apparently awaiting the arrival of an important person. A carriage arrived onto the scene and a person of noblesse appearance stepped out into the street. He was a rather short man, with black hair, and clothes of shiny thread. Immediately, he noticed Valerie and approached her. "Well hello there," he greeted warmly.
"Your captivating demeanor has caught my attention, madam. May I know your name?" He attempted to kiss Valerie on the hand, but she quickly pulled away.
"It's not a name you'll ever need to use," Valerie responded.
"Ah... how rude of me. I forgot to introduce myself first. You may call me... PK. You'll find out quickly that I am a very persistent man, and I do intend to get to know you. Your name?"
Valerie rolled her eyes. "Just call me... Claudia," she fibbed.
"Ah, such a beautiful name for an even more voluptuous woman," PK grinned. "If you'll excuse me, I have some political affairs to attend to, but I'm sure you and I shall... cross paths again, Claudia." The man then went into his carriage and rode off.
Keir tilted his head. "Always the popular one, weren't you?"
"You get used to it," Valerie smirked. "It's been a long day, and I've rented out a residence. We should rest before we start our plan."
The two went to Valerie's rented flat and placed their weapons away in the corner. Keir went out into the terrace.
"It seems to be snowing more than usual today," he remarked.
Valerie walked up next to him. "Listen..." she softly spoke.”I'm sorry about earlier."
"What do you mean?"
"The way I acted when I tracked you down. I was showing off again, and I could have seriously hurt you."
"That... I have already forgotten of that. Don't worry about it."
"No... Keir... it was really immature of me. I'm sorry."
"Where is this coming from?"
"I don't know... it's just the way that strange man approached me today, it made me feel really awkward, and it reminded me of when we were still... you know, assassins. We were always competing to be the best, and looking back it seems so childish."
"It's okay. To be honest, I almost lost my temper when that PK guy approached you. Somehow the idea of seeing you with some prideful jerk really ticks me off."
Valerie looked down to hide the blush appearing on her face.
"Do you mind if I... come closer?" Her voiced hushed to a shyer tone.
Keir looked at her and then looked back out into the terrace view.
"I don't mind." Valerie stood next to Keir and placed her hand on his shoulder and smiled. Keir looked back at Valerie. "You know... I never realized how bright your eyes were until now." Keir complimented her.
They both stared at each other in a momentary silence, and slowly came closer to each other into a long kiss. Keir felt Valerie's smooth lips and naturally brushed her hair with his hand. The intensity of the embrace caused Valerie to tighten her grip on Keir's shoulder until soon, they released their graze.
Valerie wrapped her arms around Keir for a moment and let go.
"It's getting late, I should get some sleep," she whispered. Valerie walked to her room and looked back once more at Keir.
"Good night."



Episode Seven – Reopened Wounds
Morning had come, however sunlight had long eluded the dour town of Nightmare. Valerie had woken up to see Keir sitting at a table, flipping through the pages of the spellbook they had found the other night.
“Oh, you’re up already,” she said. “We never did get a chance to see for ourselves what was in that book. What have you found so far?”
Keir looked up at her. “…I haven’t been able to read it. It’s either in some ancient language, or complete utter gibberish, yet it somehow seems familiar to me. I think Eduardo may know something we don’t.”
Valerie smiled. “Well we have a little time ahead of us, let’s not worry with this now. Let’s go to the pub and get some breakfast, okay?”
The two decided to take some leisure time to recuperate from the exhaustion of what they had been through and made their way to the tavern. Much to Keir’s anticipation, Evan was there as well. Valerie went over to retrieve some victuals, while Keir paced toward Evan’s table. Evan grinned and leaned back in his chair. “Well, well, we meet again. Who’s your lady friend?” Evan asked. “That’s Valerie,” Keir responded. “We’ve… actually met each other a long time ago before I arrived at the tribe.”
Evan became curious. “Oh that’s right. You never did tell me about your past. I still remember the day the natives of the Shadowlands underestimated your strength and skill, only to be humbled with little or no effort. Hell, even the War Chief welcome you into the tribe for fear of his own life! So now that we have the time, where exactly did you come from?”
Keir sat down and began to explain. “Everything past five years is an entire blank to me. All I remember was waking up one morning in a windowless, steel room. A man opened the door and told me to follow him. I didn’t know where I was, or who I was, so there wasn’t much else I could do but comply. He led me through a dark corridor, and I heard the sound of a furnace crackling and anguished cries. Soon we came across a light leading into an office, and the man took his leave. Across the room was another man sitting at a desk. He had long brown hair and wore an eye patch. He was a megalomaniac in charge of a wealthy industry, one that mass-produced weapons, and his name was Braeden. I was told I was their latest project; a man-made killer. If I had obeyed my orders, I wouldn’t have to be terminated. Apparently I was a success since I was compatible with the power of a magical dreamcatcher that was said to be cursed. My commands were simply to kill assigned targets, violence and gore soon became my closest friends. My performance was compared with other human assassins; Braeden’s daughter Valerie, and his son Zevix.
We competed with each other, trying to prove who had the most dominant skill. The whole time I found it meaningless, and I ultimately demanded answers of my past from Braeden, and he told me I would know after one final assignment. It was ironic really, to tread the path of self-purpose and origin of my life, I had to take life away. All I had to do was murder an ordinary family and I’d finally know who I was. I entered a solitary hermitage in the plains where I was told my targets were. I went in and saw a husband and wife with one child. Taking out my gun, I shot the man first. Something came over me, I felt… remorse. I tried to fight through it and fired once again at the woman, and then I pointed my weapon at the child. Somehow, I couldn’t find it within myself to shoot him, something was holding me back. The way the child looked at me, he didn’t seem so much scared as he was confused. He stood there, looking at me and looking at his parents. I dropped my gun and ran away.
When I returned to Braeden’s office, I lied and told him I had left no survivors and insisted that he tell me who I was. He told me his corporation had discovered how to manipulate memories, erasing and modifying them at will. The memories of my past were removed, and all I could remember how to do was kill. A sick smile ran over his face as he told me that he had taken me away from my parents when I was young, and the family I had killed… was my family. From then on I never wanted to hold a gun ever again. Valerie, Zevix, and I were disgusted with this man and turned on him. We destroyed his industry, but Braeden managed to escape. The three of us decided to part ways, and so we did. I knew Braeden would try to hunt me down as I had become too valuable to let go, and too dangerous to let alive, so I spent many months on the run. Eventually someone took me in. This person claimed he knew me when we were both children.
His name was Kurtis and he was a very potent sorcerer; he possessed unrivaled magic, one that was envied by other warriors. One day Braeden had tracked me down and sent assassins after us, they were projects of his former industry. Kurtis and I fought as best we could, however in the end he didn’t make it. He was buried up in the mountains to rest in peace, unfortunately some bandits and highwaymen sought to disturb his grave hoping to find his secret to his magical strength. I wouldn’t allow anyone to desecrate his tomb, so I stayed there in the mountains watching over it. That’s why I was known as ‘The Gravekeeper’. Time after time, the grave was eventually forgotten, and I set out to find civilization. Finally, I found the Shadowlands, and the rest is history.”
Evan clapped and laughed. “I just love how people can tell a story around here without getting once interrupted. Now here’s something crazy that happened to me last night. You see I found this shie-“ Just at that moment, the door of the tavern was slammed open, and Korasi walked through looking angrier than ever. He pointed at Evan. “You!” He cried. “We have unfinished business. And I will not lose this time!”
“Oh, shit,” Evan said unenthusiastically.
Korasi and Evan went outside to fight once again; a strong sense of confidence underlied Korasi’s smirk as both combatants drew their blades. Korasi charged at Evan and they clashed their swords. Evan was easily able to overpower Korasi and managed to strike him several times, though Korasi seemed persistent. Korasi knew his technique was not going to be enough to win, and he began to focus. What was his reason for fighting, he wondered. Why did he spend so many years trying to perfect his skill? Then he knew. He wanted to show everyone he was the strongest warrior in existence. He wanted to be powerful, so everyone would respect him and disregard his young age. It was a selfish reason, but reason enough for him. An auburn aura enveloped Korasi as he raised his sword. Korasi planted his blade in the ground, and an immediate tremor shook the town. A giant stone spire shot out from the ground and knocked Evan’s sword from his hand. Then, Korasi formed a large layer of earthly material around his arm and delivered a single punch into Evan’s chest. The impact managed to pierce Evan’s armor and send him flying into a building wall. At last, Korasi was victorious, but that was not going to be enough for him; he had to assert his dominance. Korasi made his way towards Evan, as Evan dived and reached for his shield. Korasi threw another punch and Evan turned and deflected it with the shield. At that moment, the shield began to shake and glow, as did the spellbook Keir and Valerie had found.
A shadowy figure emerged from Keir’s dreamcatcher, and formed a veil around him. A strange presence overcame him, and his voice turned sinister. “That’s enough!” Keir shouted. He picked up Evan’s sword and slammed it on the ground, magically causing an infernal eruption of flames to burst from the ground, burning Korasi horribly. Korasi ran around in extreme pain and panic as he caught on fire. Slowly but surely, Korasi fell to the ground as he lost vigor and departed from the living.



Episode Eight – Hosting the Enemy
The dark entity faded away, and Valerie ran out of the tavern. “Keir, what happened?!” She asked. Evan got up and dusted himself off. “I’ll tell you what happened,” he replied. “Keir just kicked Korasi’s ass to the next world. But uh… I think something may have possessed him.” Keir turned to Valerie. “When we were at Ebony Halls, I had a dream… a dream that a dark spirit entered my dreamcatcher, although now I believe that it was real. What we saw must have been the spirit of Lyra, the shaman in the ancient lore, the spellbook must have given her the power to rematerialize. I didn’t feel like myself a moment ago.” “Yo, we can discuss dreams and spirits later,” Evan interrupted. “But right now we need to scram before anyone catches on what just happened here.”
The three absconded and soon found themselves at town plaza, where they ran into Eduardo. “We meet again,” he greeted. “Oh, and I see you have found the spellbook sooner than I expected. I knew I was right in entrusting you with the task. Now if you will, please hand it over?” Without hesitating, Keir did as he was told and gave Eduardo the spellbook. “Just take it, I don’t want to look at it,” Keir crooned.
“Very good,” Eduardo responded happily. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an announcement to make to my people.” Eduardo walked up the hill steps and appeared on a balcony. “Attention all citizens of Nightmare, prepare yourselves… for a new era! An era that will transcend history as the greatest moment in all of Nightmare! I have found great power in an ancient relic, the spellbook of the great shaman Lyra! With this legendary power, I shall seek out the source of The Depression and end the suffering of our beloved land! In my absence I am passing down leadership to someone new, a member of the royal family! Everyone, you may now bow down to the new ruler of Nightmare… the great Nezia!”
Much to everyone’s surprise, the successor of leadership Nezia was a child. The crowd frenzied and shouted in outrage of this decision, and soon the entire town was in a riot. Keir took Valerie by the hand. “Come on, we can’t stay here anymore.” “But what about the book?” Valerie asked. “He can keep it. Besides, I tore out some of the pages this morning, so I’m sure he won’t be able to use it at its full potential. Now come on.” Keir retorted. Evan picked up his sword as his trademarked smirk appeared over his face. “You two can leave if you want, but this is the kind of action I’ve been waiting for!” He exclaimed. Valerie and Keir ran through the outskirts Nightmare and ended up into the plains. They looked back and saw the town of Nightmare in a state of anarchy. Keir was especially concerned as he knew what would inevitably happen, and sure enough his apprehension was established as grisly creatures formed from the shadows in the distance. “Thaumafolke,” Keir confirmed.
Keir and Valerie pulled out their weapons, but the creatures ignored them and headed straight for the town. “Should we help?” questioned Valerie. Keir shook his head and they ventured further out into the plains. Before long they found themselves in a metropolis, a familiar place to Keir as well as other rising warriors. This was the city of Serebii. Serebii was a place where combatants could train their skills, as the art of combat was a tradition practiced here as well, yet the town also had a notorious record of con artists also. “We can stay here for a while,” Keir said. “Just don’t talk to anyone who isn’t wearing a tag. You can be certain anyone who wears a uniform tag isn’t a beggar or fraud… or even worse some jackass suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect. This town may be more notorious than Nightmare, but at least it’s fortified with more fighters to fend off The Depression.” As they walked into the city, Valerie looked at Keir. “Do you think Eduardo will actually end The Depression?” She asked. For once in a very long time, Keir laughed.
“…No.”



Episode Nine - Desanctified
Several months had passed, and the two lived in the city of Serebii without garnering any major attention from the other local inhabitants. Keir and Valerie stayed in a quiet residence, finding themselves once again sitting at a table. Valerie decided to spark up conversation. "So," she started. "You said something before about the spirit of Lyra." Keir nodded. "Yeah. When we were at Ebony Halls, I believe her spirit must have entered my dreamcatcher and has been in there ever since. You know the story of the 'Ecliptic Battle', right?"
"Of course, it was already explained in the third episode."
"...What?"
"Nothing."
"Anyway, I believe Evan found the shield of Fang, and when Korasi struck it, the vibration of energy must have awakened Lyra for that moment. She said something to me before, about a power called the 'Deific Aether'. I believe Korasi may have demonstrated a form of that power when he fought Evan. I don't know what Lyra's intentions are; all I know is that she's there."
"So why don't you just get rid of the dreamcatcher then? I thought something like that would only hold painful memories for you."
"Unfortunately this dreamcatcher is what allows me to tap into the otherworldly energy, without it, I cannot summon the ancient scythe. I believe your father knew that the last time we encountered him. Speaking of which, I think it may be time we confront him. It's about time we got a straight answer behind all those years of killing."


Valerie became silent. Her facial gesture became somber and gloomy. It had been a long time since she had thought about her father. The idea of seeing him again didn't come easy to her. Keir picked up the nonverbal cue and added,
"Well... if you don't want to, we won't have to." To which Valerie shook her head. "No," she quickly bolstered. "You're right, we've been avoiding this for too long now. It's time we finally met up with Braeden. I may have an idea where he is, just follow my lead when we're ready to leave." The pair prepared yet again to leave another place that they could not call home and were ready to go on the move once again.


When Keir and Valerie reached the town border, they were stopped by a horse-drawn vehicle driven by two guardsmen wearing armor of regal appearance. A man stepped down from inside the carriage, and was instantly recognized by the Keir and Valerie. It was PK, one of the many nobles of Nightmare. The pair was quite staggered to see him again. “We meet once more as I knew we would,” PK greeted them. “Madam Claudia, was it? And… other person. How do you do?”

Keir was ready to swing a punch but was discouraged to do so by Valerie. “We’ve been managing fine,” She said. “We left Nightmare a while back. Can you tell us what may have become of it and why you’re here?” PK smiled. “An excellent question, such fine elegance and grace is only surpassed by your fleeting beauty, madam. Alas, it is quite a long story, for you see vicious creatures, I believe called Thaumafolke or something of the sort had attacked the town many months ago due to being attracted by the riot. The militia managed to fend off the creatures, and among them a man named Evan stood out as the one who lead Nightmare to victory. The new leader Nezia had two advisors with him, by the name of Safiliwen and Buchanan. They were impressed by Evan’s leadership and appointed him the captain of the armed forces. The entire government of Nightmare was reformed, and over time the criticisms aimed at Nezia ceased. On another note, I would like to point out that I am the duke of Nightmare… well… former duke. I was once the town’s director until I entrusted Count Eduardo with leadership. I was disgusted when he went out of his way and shirked his duties by placing them upon a child, so I left and now just moved here. Speaking of which, I must resume moving my things into my new manor. I bid you two farewell… until next time.”

PK signaled to the guardsmen and they rode off into the city. Keir followed Valerie as she led him out of Serebii and went onto a canyon trail only to stop at the sight of a caravan. A line of warriors from Nightmare had appeared to be waiting there, and as Keir and Valerie advanced further towards the caravan’s direction, another familiar face stepped forward. This time it was Count Eduardo, who had a suspiciously stern expression on his face. “I’ve been expecting you two,” He hailed. “Now I’m sure you’re wondering why my soldiers and I are standing here. After a long journey of traveling and researching the source of The Depression, I may have finally found the answer. After the battle between Fang and Lyra, the unholy energy that remained seeped into the earth and plagued the lands. This energy feeds off the negativity of human beings and is able to form Thaumafolke from it. Many of our shamans have tried to purify the land, however there is an overwhelming supply of unholy energy that continues to enter the land. I have reason to believe that the energy comes from the spirit of Lyra, who is still present among us. Her lingering existence is what allows the growing numbers of Thaumafolke that destroyed many civilizations.”

Keir, who remained silent for the entire explanation finally spoke. “That’s very interesting Eduardo, you may find it even more interesting that the spirit of Lyra resides in my dreamcatcher.” Eduardo’s expression became more severe. “I know. That is why I am here; to extinguish the source of The Depression. I’ve been told that you possess strength that are similar to immortals in folklore, possibly even surpassing that strength. However I have learned magic that may rival and eliminate your unrightful god-like power. Keir! In the name of Nightmare, I sentence you to death!”

The soldiers drew their swords and ran towards Keir, who tapped his dreamcatcher. A pool of black matter formed beneath the soldiers and slowly dragged them into the ground, completely vanished from sight. Eduardo ran to his caravan and grabbed the spellbook of Lyra. “So I heard correctly,” Eduardo confirmed. “Looks like I’ll have to use this book after all.” Keir turned to Valerie. “I want you to stay back. There’s no telling what will happen.” Valerie complied and stood away. Keir reached for his dreamcatcher once again, but Eduardo conjured a pulse from his hand that shocked the dreamcatcher, rendering it powerless. Eduardo proceeded to read off the spellbook and a burst of light shot shot up into the sky, followed by a downpour of radiant blasts of force that rained down on Keir. Keir was knocked off the ground and wounded, and Eduardo continued to flip through the pages of the book and unleashed more barrages of various magic that Keir could not dodge very swiftly. Soon, Keir was shot into the ground and lied there without any energy to even move. Eduardo shaped a magical sphere in his hand, ready to deliver his final strike. “You see, Keir,” Eduardo spoke. “Even gods… must die.” Eduardo hurled the sphere, however it faded away before even making contact. The dreamcatcher around Keir’s neck began to glow and shine, and Keir slowly attempted to get to his feet. Panicking, Eduardo shouted, “What is this?! You should be six feet under by now!” Keir persistently brought himself off of the floor to stand up, while Eduardo backed away and kept pitching his magical attacks at him in vain. “Why? Why is this spellbook not purging your miserable existence?!” Eduardo cried. Finally, Keir stood up and clenched his teeth. “Do you want to know the difference between you and that spellbook?” Keir asked. Keir raised his right hand into the sky; suddenly, all light had slowly extinguished, and there was nothing left but a world in shadows. “That spellbook,” Keir resumed. “…Doesn’t have an ending.” Just then a vast, mountainous sword, almost stygian in nature descended from the sky and crashed into Eduardo, granting a gruesome fate.

Light and vision returned to the vicinity, as Valerie rejoined Keir. “Are you alright?” She asked worriedly. Keir dusted himself off and replied, “Yeah, thanks for clichéd question of reassurance. There was something odd though, Eduardo knew how to oppose the power of the dreamcatcher, at least momentarily. I think I may have an idea who tipped him off, which means we aren’t a minute off from trying to track down our old acquaintance.” The two continued to travel into the trail and eventually ended up at a steel bastion, closed by a large, towering door. Both Keir and Valerie pulled the door open and stepped inside. The interior was dimly lit, and Keir walked further to examine the building.

“Keir?”
“What is it Valerie?”
“I’m sorry.”


Keir felt a dart shoot into his neck and lost consciousness, as he woke he was discontented with where he ended up. It was a windowless, steel room.


Last edited by Qualna on Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:54 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Evan on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:44 am

Pretty good. I feel as thought if it's more of a transition to different parts of the story, which it essentially is. I'm just wondering if the point of view would be split. I think it would be interesting to see how the Nomad Evan deals with the Thaumafolke, but I was also interested in Keir's and Valerie's escapades. Looking foward to the next chaper.

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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by nightmareforums on Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:45 am

This was a nice story I look forward to the next chapter. Also I liked how "Nezia" was backwards for Aizen. Razz
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Eduardo on Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:36 pm

Two excellent episodes as update. Congratulations.
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Cocks Leader on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:52 pm

I was possessed... AWESOME! Twisted Evil
I got to kick some ass before I got mine handed to me. Great transition. It was a little choppy before, but it's a LOT better now.
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Qualna on Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:22 am

Korasi wrote:I was possessed... AWESOME! Twisted Evil
I got to kick some ass before I got mine handed to me. Great transition. It was a little choppy before, but it's a LOT better now.
You weren't possessed, you were using the Deific Aether, just as Evan did in Episode Five. As a new rule of thumb, I won't be inspired to work on this story some more until I get enough posts for feedback each time, let's say five.
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Cocks Leader on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:41 pm

Qualna wrote:
Korasi wrote:I was possessed... AWESOME! Twisted Evil
I got to kick some ass before I got mine handed to me. Great transition. It was a little choppy before, but it's a LOT better now.
You weren't possessed, you were using the Deific Aether, just as Evan did in Episode Five. As a new rule of thumb, I won't be inspired to work on this story some more until I get enough posts for feedback each time, let's say five.

Sooooo, then why did you have to kill me over that? I thought that I was some kind of threat. Awgh....
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Qualna on Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:01 pm

Korasi wrote:
Qualna wrote:
Korasi wrote:I was possessed... AWESOME! Twisted Evil
I got to kick some ass before I got mine handed to me. Great transition. It was a little choppy before, but it's a LOT better now.
You weren't possessed, you were using the Deific Aether, just as Evan did in Episode Five. As a new rule of thumb, I won't be inspired to work on this story some more until I get enough posts for feedback each time, let's say five.

Sooooo, then why did you have to kill me over that? I thought that I was some kind of threat. Awgh....
You were a threat to Evan. Besides, you knew it was gonna happen one way or the other.
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Cocks Leader on Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:34 pm

Cannot deny that claim.
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Qualna on Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:55 am

Reposted along with the conclusion below.

Due to limiting constraints on post messages, I needed to make another post to finish the rest of Book One. Enjoy.


Episode Ten - 'Til Death Do Us Part
Keir paced restlessly in the room, not knowing how much time had passed, he was missing his dreamcatcher and his blades, and the metal door at the end of the room was locked from the outside. After a seeming eternity, the door finally opened to reveal a figure standing at the other end. He was a man in a lab coat, holding a clipboard and pen. “Subject 849… how are we doing today?” He spoke in a monotonous voice. Keir did not respond. The man scribbled something onto his clipboard and adjusted his glasses. “Very well, Subject 849,” he resumed. “If you would please follow me, I may provide you with some of the answers you’ve been seeking as we walk.” Keir nodded and followed the man into a dark hallway. Soldiers were line up by the walls and armed with machine guns; they were ordered to shoot Keir down just in case he decided to rebel.
The man with the clipboard began to elucidate what he was knew. “ You see, Subject 849, you were successful product of our project to create a living weapon, an underground experiment not even revealed to the government. For years we’ve examined and spliced genes to create a superior breed of soldiers. Proficient in the deadliest martial arts, able to master any type of weapon with ease, and to be able to possess superhuman senses. We could not build our subjects from the ground up, so we took existing humans as available specimen. Many of our specimen were incompatible with our splicing and yielded rather undesired results, however you, Subject 849 passed all tests without any side effect. I reported this to our chief executive officer, Boss Braeden. We had finally created an advanced human being, however that was not enough. Against my advisory Braeden decided to use a technology from an ancient civilization that was researched in a previous project, in conjunction with the current one, the artifact you know as the dreamcatcher. He wanted his product to be able to match, nay, surpass that of the Thaumafolke… and we succeeded yet again. You were put to the test by competing with our existing agents and you again confirmed your abilities by outperforming each one of them combined. You were almost ready to be placed into the private army and be sent off to face the Thaumafolke, however by that time you had decided to stray from the plans and put our company in financial ruin. We’ve managed to recuperate enough of our funding to redesign our business, and you’ve been given a second chance to cooperate or be terminated. Just so you know nobody is there to help you this time.”
Keir thought of Valerie and couldn’t figure out why she had turned on him, but he had a much more dire situation to anticipate. They stopped at another large door. “Well Subject 849,” the man addressed Keir. “I will leave you here to speak with our CEO. I only hope this time you will be on your best behavior.” Keir entered through the door and arrived in a corporate office. Braeden was sitting in the desk with Valerie standing beside him, he looked up at Keir and clasped his fingers together on the desk. “You’ve returned, Keir. What a wonderful surprise. Your little stunt in the past has costed me billions in investments, the pride of my company, and much of my precious time. How did it feel to massacre your own family, by the way? I’m sure that memory haunts you every day, and you deserve it. An ungrateful specimen such as you deserves to suffer. I know my laboratory manager has informed you that I’d give you a second chance, however the more I think about it; the more I’ve come to change my mind. You can’t be trusted, so you are going to be terminated anyway. I’ll map your DNA and sell the gene formula to my top buyers and I will become the wealthiest man in all of history. I have no use for you alive. So farewell, Keir, this is where you die. Do not worry, I’ll make your death as slow and painful as possible.”
Braeden pulled out a device which fired a dart at Keir. Keir’s arms and legs became immobilized as Braeden put on a pair of brass knuckles and began to punch Keir relentlessly. “Father!” Valerie screamed. “You promised you’d let him live!” “This doesn’t concern you child, so stay out of the way,” Braeden answered as he persisted his brutal assault. Valerie was conflicted, but soon took out Keir’s dreamcatcher which she had been keeping and threw it to him. The dreamcatcher glowed and released an energy that pushed Braeden away. “Valerie! You wasted seed! I’ll deal with you once I get rid of Keir!” Braeden scolded her. Keir was able to move again and he stood up and placed the dreamcatcher around his neck. Keir cracked his neck and sneered, “Now it’s your turn.” Braeden ran to his desk and quickly placed his hand on the speaker. “GUARDS! GET IN HERE AND KILL THAT SON OF A BITCH,” He ordered. In a heartbeat, Braeden’s soldiers barged in the room and attempted to shoot Keir, however Keir quickly disabled and disarmed them as they came in before they were even able to fire. Keir delivered strikes to certain pressure points on the guards, and after a few seconds they all collapsed to the ground, he then turned to Braeden who was already running towards the exit. Keir chased him through the hall and they soon stopped at the corporation’s armory. Braeden grabbed a sword off of a weapon rack and prepared to defend himself while Keir summoned his magical scythe and charged at him. The blades of their weapons clashed, however Keir had the advantage and eventually overpowered Braeden. In reverence to the earlier incident, Keir began to beat Braeden mercilessly into a pulp, and kicked him into the wall as Valerie watched on agonizingly. Braeden spat a puddle of blood. “Are you going to kill me Keir?” Braeden gnarled weakly. Keir retorted, “I now hold your life in my hands. I’m willing to let you walk out of here with it on one condition. After all these years of chasing money, you’ve forgotten what it meant to take care of your family. Your daughter has stood by you in all of these times, she’s betrayed me, and she’s even killed for you. I understand that was just to keep her family together because you’re the only family she has left, and now I want you to do your part. Be a better father… for your daughter’s sake.” Braeden wheezed feebily and said, “Keir… don’t think badly of my daughter… I made her turn against you… Valerie… come here… come to your father.” Valerie did as she was told and Braeden held her in his arms.
“Keir…” Braeden carried on, “Thank you… you miserable fool.” Braeden stood up, drew a knife, and placed it by Valerie’s throat. “F-f-father?!” She cried. Braeden laughed maniacally. “Take another step and she dies, Keir!”
“You miserable bastard! What kind of man threatens to kill his own daughter?! YOU… THERE IS NO PLACE FOR YOU ON THIS EARTH!” Keir’s inexorable rage triggered the spirit of Lyra residing in the dreamcatcher, which overpowered him. Keir’s eye began to glow a blood red, and a black aura emanated from him. Valerie slowly reached for her revolver and shot Braeden in the foot. Braeden dropped his knife in pain and Valerie escaped from his grasp, which was proceeded by Keir making his way to Braeden and tearing out his limbs and organs viciously with his bare hands; he then turned to Valerie. “Valerie…” Keir grimaced in a demonic voice. “…Kill me.” Tears streamed down Valerie’s face as she held her revolver and backed away while the aura shifted into a cloak-like appearance giving Keir a likeness similar to the grim reaper. Keir’s possessed body picked up the scythe and swung at Valerie, who avoided his attacks. Valerie unleashed rounds of bullets at Keir, but to no avail as they merely shattered before they could even reach him. Keir conjured dark energy and fired them towards Valerie, knocking her up in the air, and Keir slammed his scythe into her stomach, impaling her body to the ground. Keir prepared to deliver a final execution but Valerie despite her anguished pain reached for Braeden’s sword and cut off Keir’s dreamcatcher. She pulled the scythe’s blade from her body and kicked Keir back, and then she picked up the dreamcatcher, and focused her mind. Soon a light emitted from the dreamcatcher, and a large, astral cannon formed from it and was aimed at Keir. With a simple clench of her fist, the cannon fired and demolished Keir to his death. Valerie picked herself up and made her way outside. She stopped and rested at a tree, looking up at the sky and how nothing around her had changed. She spent hours watching the stars and closed her eyes. Finally, she picked up her revolver, placed it beneath her chin and pulled the trigger.

“The world is a cruel place, but we ourselves… are even crueler.”

~End of Book One

Spoiler:
Alternative Ending
Keir paced restlessly in the room, not knowing how much time had passed, he was missing his dreamcatcher and his blades, and the metal door at the end of the room was locked from the outside. After a seeming eternity, the door finally opened to reveal a figure standing at the other end. He was a man in a lab coat, holding a clipboard and pen. “Subject 849… how are we doing today?” He spoke in a monotonous voice. Keir did not respond. The man scribbled something onto his clipboard and adjusted his glasses. “Very well, Subject 849,” he resumed. “If you would please follow me, I may provide you with some of the answers you’ve been seeking as we walk.” Keir nodded and followed the man into a dark hallway. Soldiers were line up by the walls and armed with machine guns; they were ordered to shoot Keir down just in case he decided to rebel.
The man with the clipboard began to elucidate what he was knew. “ You see, Subject 849, you were successful product of our project to create a living weapon, an underground experiment not even revealed to the government. For years we’ve examined and spliced genes to create a superior breed of soldiers. Proficient in the deadliest martial arts, able to master any type of weapon with ease, and to be able to possess superhuman senses. We could not build our subjects from the ground up, so we took existing humans as available specimen. Many of our specimen were incompatible with our splicing and yielded rather undesired results, however you, Subject 849 passed all tests without any side effect. I reported this to our chief executive officer, Boss Braeden. We had finally created an advanced human being, however that was not enough. Against my advisory Braeden decided to use a technology from an ancient civilization that was researched in a previous project, in conjunction with the current one, the artifact you know as the dreamcatcher. He wanted his product to be able to match, nay, surpass that of the Thaumafolke… and we succeeded yet again. You were put to the test by competing with our existing agents and you again confirmed your abilities by outperforming each one of them combined. You were almost ready to be placed into the private army and be sent off to face the Thaumafolke, however by that time you had decided to stray from the plans and put our company in financial ruin. We’ve managed to recuperate enough of our funding to redesign our business, and you’ve been given a second chance to cooperate or be terminated. Just so you know nobody is there to help you this time.”
Keir thought of Valerie and couldn’t figure out why she had turned on him, but he had a much more dire situation to anticipate. They stopped at another large door. “Well Subject 849,” the man addressed Keir. “I will leave you here to speak with our CEO. I only hope this time you will be on your best behavior.” Keir entered through the door and arrived in a corporate office. Braeden was sitting in the desk with Valerie standing beside him, he looked up at Keir and clasped his fingers together on the desk. “You’ve returned, Keir. What a wonderful surprise. Your little stunt in the past has costed me billions in investments, the pride of my company, and much of my precious time. How did it feel to massacre your own family, by the way? I’m sure that memory haunts you every day, and you deserve it. An ungrateful specimen such as you deserves to suffer. I know my laboratory manager has informed you that I’d give you a second chance, however the more I think about it; the more I’ve come to change my mind. You can’t be trusted, so you are going to be terminated anyway. I’ll map your DNA and sell the gene formula to my top buyers and I will become the wealthiest man in all of history. I have no use for you alive. So farewell, Keir, this is where you die. Do not worry, I’ll make your death as slow and painful as possible.”
Braeden pulled out a device which fired a dart at Keir. Keir’s arms and legs became immobilized as Braeden put on a pair of brass knuckles and began to punch Keir relentlessly. “Father!” Valerie screamed. “You promised you’d let him live!” “This doesn’t concern you child, so stay out of the way,” Braeden answered as he persisted his brutal assault. Valerie was conflicted, but soon took out Keir’s dreamcatcher which she had been keeping and threw it to him. The dreamcatcher glowed and released an energy that pushed Braeden away. “Valerie! You wasted seed! I’ll deal with you once I get rid of Keir!” Braeden scolded her. Keir was able to move again and he stood up and placed the dreamcatcher around his neck. Keir cracked his neck and sneered, “Now it’s your turn.” Braeden ran to his desk and quickly placed his hand on the speaker. “GUARDS! GET IN HERE AND KILL THAT SON OF A BITCH,” He ordered. In a heartbeat, Braeden’s soldiers barged in the room and attempted to shoot Keir, however Keir quickly disabled and disarmed them as they came in before they were even able to fire. Keir delivered strikes to certain pressure points on the guards, and after a few seconds they all collapsed to the ground, he then turned to Braeden who was already running towards the exit. Keir chased him through the hall and they soon stopped at the corporation’s armory. Braeden grabbed a sword off of a weapon rack and prepared to defend himself while Keir summoned his magical scythe and charged at him. The blades of their weapons clashed, however Keir had the advantage and eventually overpowered Braeden. In reverence to the earlier incident, Keir began to beat Braeden mercilessly into a pulp, and kicked him into the wall as Valerie watched on agonizingly. Braeden spat a puddle of blood. “Are you going to kill me Keir?” Braeden gnarled weakly. Keir retorted, “I now hold your life in my hands. I’m willing to let you walk out of here with it on one condition. After all these years of chasing money, you’ve forgotten what it meant to take care of your family. Your daughter has stood by you in all of these times, she’s betrayed me, and she’s even killed for you. I understand that was just to keep her family together because you’re the only family she has left, and now I want you to do your part. Be a better father… for your daughter’s sake.” Braeden wheezed feebily and said, “Keir… don’t think badly of my daughter… I made her turn against you… Valerie… come here… come to your father.” Valerie did as she was told and Braeden held her in his arms.
“Keir…” Braeden carried on, “Thank you… I’ve been so irrational in my endeavors that I placed my own selfish desires ahead of my own family. Please forgive me, Valerie… and Keir. From now on I will do my best to atone for my mistakes.” The three went to Nightmare where Braeden spoke with the council who agreed to pardon Eduardo’s death and allowed Keir his own residence away from the public. Braeden used his company’s resources to help renovate the town and eventually made the company’s goal to help restructure and rebuild all civilizations affected by The Depression. Soon peace was spread throughout the land, and with no major source of negative energy to feed on, the Thaumafolke eventually became extinct. After a perpetual amount of time, daylight had at last returned to the dark city of Nightmare.
An entire year had passed and Nightmare had given up its violent traditions and had a flourishing economy. Braeden had started a new corporate branch in Nightmare and sought to it that Nightmare would prosper even more, as well as continue to spread diplomacy. One day Braeden called Keir to his office to speak with him. “Keir,” he said. “I want to thank you for giving me this second chance. If it weren’t for you, none of this would have been possible. To show my gratitude I can grant you any status you desire among my ranks. So how about it?” Keir thought for a moment and looked at Valerie, who smiled back at him.

“How about… son-in-law?”

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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Cocks Leader on Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:17 pm

Very creative. Even though I read this months ago, it doesn't get old. You should really go in to writing freelance part time. Make some mownay.
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by EvilOreo on Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:01 pm

UMM!!! Qualna!! WTF! That was the most artistic and twisted endings ever!! It was so unexpected but at the same time I knew that the room would come back to haunt him (Memories and what not) but no seriously that was great! BRAVO! Buon Lavoro, exccellente storia! UM!! YEAH! AWESOME! You are truly talented!
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by EvilOreo on Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:14 pm

Okay... so I just saw the actual ending. WTF!! What the fucking fuck was that?!! I cant believe everyone basically died! I wish I hadn't read it but im also kind of glad that I did... I like both endings. The one where he ends up in the room and the one where everything goes like horribly wrong but at the same time like... idk this book was good.. REALLY GOOD.!
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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

Post by Qualna on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:19 am

EvilOreo wrote:Okay... so I just saw the actual ending. WTF!! What the fucking fuck was that?!! I cant believe everyone basically died! I wish I hadn't read it but im also kind of glad that I did... I like both endings. The one where he ends up in the room and the one where everything goes like horribly wrong but at the same time like... idk this book was good.. REALLY GOOD.!

The one where he ends up in the room isn't an ending. It's the segway to Chapter Ten where the actual ending happens where Valerie ends up shooting herself. If you look in the spoiler tag, there's an alternative, more pleasant ending. However if I went with that ending, then the series would end there with everything resolved, which is why I ended without closure. In case you missed the alternative ending here it is below.

Alternative Ending

Keir paced restlessly in the room, not knowing how much time had passed, he was missing his dreamcatcher and his blades, and the metal door at the end of the room was locked from the outside. After a seeming eternity, the door finally opened to reveal a figure standing at the other end. He was a man in a lab coat, holding a clipboard and pen. “Subject 849… how are we doing today?” He spoke in a monotonous voice. Keir did not respond. The man scribbled something onto his clipboard and adjusted his glasses. “Very well, Subject 849,” he resumed. “If you would please follow me, I may provide you with some of the answers you’ve been seeking as we walk.” Keir nodded and followed the man into a dark hallway. Soldiers were line up by the walls and armed with machine guns; they were ordered to shoot Keir down just in case he decided to rebel.
The man with the clipboard began to elucidate what he was knew. “ You see, Subject 849, you were successful product of our project to create a living weapon, an underground experiment not even revealed to the government. For years we’ve examined and spliced genes to create a superior breed of soldiers. Proficient in the deadliest martial arts, able to master any type of weapon with ease, and to be able to possess superhuman senses. We could not build our subjects from the ground up, so we took existing humans as available specimen. Many of our specimen were incompatible with our splicing and yielded rather undesired results, however you, Subject 849 passed all tests without any side effect. I reported this to our chief executive officer, Boss Braeden. We had finally created an advanced human being, however that was not enough. Against my advisory Braeden decided to use a technology from an ancient civilization that was researched in a previous project, in conjunction with the current one, the artifact you know as the dreamcatcher. He wanted his product to be able to match, nay, surpass that of the Thaumafolke… and we succeeded yet again. You were put to the test by competing with our existing agents and you again confirmed your abilities by outperforming each one of them combined. You were almost ready to be placed into the private army and be sent off to face the Thaumafolke, however by that time you had decided to stray from the plans and put our company in financial ruin. We’ve managed to recuperate enough of our funding to redesign our business, and you’ve been given a second chance to cooperate or be terminated. Just so you know nobody is there to help you this time.”
Keir thought of Valerie and couldn’t figure out why she had turned on him, but he had a much more dire situation to anticipate. They stopped at another large door. “Well Subject 849,” the man addressed Keir. “I will leave you here to speak with our CEO. I only hope this time you will be on your best behavior.” Keir entered through the door and arrived in a corporate office. Braeden was sitting in the desk with Valerie standing beside him, he looked up at Keir and clasped his fingers together on the desk. “You’ve returned, Keir. What a wonderful surprise. Your little stunt in the past has costed me billions in investments, the pride of my company, and much of my precious time. How did it feel to massacre your own family, by the way? I’m sure that memory haunts you every day, and you deserve it. An ungrateful specimen such as you deserves to suffer. I know my laboratory manager has informed you that I’d give you a second chance, however the more I think about it; the more I’ve come to change my mind. You can’t be trusted, so you are going to be terminated anyway. I’ll map your DNA and sell the gene formula to my top buyers and I will become the wealthiest man in all of history. I have no use for you alive. So farewell, Keir, this is where you die. Do not worry, I’ll make your death as slow and painful as possible.”
Braeden pulled out a device which fired a dart at Keir. Keir’s arms and legs became immobilized as Braeden put on a pair of brass knuckles and began to punch Keir relentlessly. “Father!” Valerie screamed. “You promised you’d let him live!” “This doesn’t concern you child, so stay out of the way,” Braeden answered as he persisted his brutal assault. Valerie was conflicted, but soon took out Keir’s dreamcatcher which she had been keeping and threw it to him. The dreamcatcher glowed and released an energy that pushed Braeden away. “Valerie! You wasted seed! I’ll deal with you once I get rid of Keir!” Braeden scolded her. Keir was able to move again and he stood up and placed the dreamcatcher around his neck. Keir cracked his neck and sneered, “Now it’s your turn.” Braeden ran to his desk and quickly placed his hand on the speaker. “GUARDS! GET IN HERE AND KILL THAT SON OF A BITCH,” He ordered. In a heartbeat, Braeden’s soldiers barged in the room and attempted to shoot Keir, however Keir quickly disabled and disarmed them as they came in before they were even able to fire. Keir delivered strikes to certain pressure points on the guards, and after a few seconds they all collapsed to the ground, he then turned to Braeden who was already running towards the exit. Keir chased him through the hall and they soon stopped at the corporation’s armory. Braeden grabbed a sword off of a weapon rack and prepared to defend himself while Keir summoned his magical scythe and charged at him. The blades of their weapons clashed, however Keir had the advantage and eventually overpowered Braeden. In reverence to the earlier incident, Keir began to beat Braeden mercilessly into a pulp, and kicked him into the wall as Valerie watched on agonizingly. Braeden spat a puddle of blood. “Are you going to kill me Keir?” Braeden gnarled weakly. Keir retorted, “I now hold your life in my hands. I’m willing to let you walk out of here with it on one condition. After all these years of chasing money, you’ve forgotten what it meant to take care of your family. Your daughter has stood by you in all of these times, she’s betrayed me, and she’s even killed for you. I understand that was just to keep her family together because you’re the only family she has left, and now I want you to do your part. Be a better father… for your daughter’s sake.” Braeden wheezed feebily and said, “Keir… don’t think badly of my daughter… I made her turn against you… Valerie… come here… come to your father.” Valerie did as she was told and Braeden held her in his arms.
“Keir…” Braeden carried on, “Thank you… I’ve been so irrational in my endeavors that I placed my own selfish desires ahead of my own family. Please forgive me, Valerie… and Keir. From now on I will do my best to atone for my mistakes.” The three went to Nightmare where Braeden spoke with the council who agreed to pardon Eduardo’s death and allowed Keir his own residence away from the public. Braeden used his company’s resources to help renovate the town and eventually made the company’s goal to help restructure and rebuild all civilizations affected by The Depression. Soon peace was spread throughout the land, and with no major source of negative energy to feed on, the Thaumafolke eventually became extinct. After a perpetual amount of time, daylight had at last returned to the dark city of Nightmare.
An entire year had passed and Nightmare had given up its violent traditions and had a flourishing economy. Braeden had started a new corporate branch in Nightmare and sought to it that Nightmare would prosper even more, as well as continue to spread diplomacy. One day Braeden called Keir to his office to speak with him. “Keir,” he said. “I want to thank you for giving me this second chance. If it weren’t for you, none of this would have been possible. To show my gratitude I can grant you any status you desire among my ranks. So how about it?” Keir thought for a moment and looked at Valerie, who smiled back at him.

“How about… son-in-law?”

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Re: Call Of The Nomad: Book One

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