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Sunday, March 16, 2008

3.2.13.2. City of Angels - Part Two

Avariel Swordsinger the Archangel
The airship Aurora lands on an open space, a grassland normally functioned as a gathering place. The people of Yvais are rarely visited by ‘land people’ and Aurora is the first airship ever built, therefore they didn’t build an airport.
The divi scholars stare at the ship with awe, also with hope that they have a chance to study this device and make more airships. It’s been their thirst to seek knowledge outside Yvais, not depending on the angels and aelis alone for transportation and information.
Anchors are cast, and some passengers and crew climb down the ship with rope ladders. Wonder never ceases to strike the champions and ship crew alike as they see the magnificent city around them – more out-of-this-worldly than Ascension in Valanis. Also so fair the dwellers are, perhaps fairer than elves. Even Iris the elf stares at the aelis and divis with admiration and (a slight) envy.
A wise, stunningly handsome divo who apparently is an elder, garbed in rich, purple robe approaches the guests and greets them, ‘Welcome, O’ People of the Land. Welcome to Yvais. The Eight Champions, our Archangel is expecting you. Please follow me to your carriages.’
The champions follow the elder to two carriages parking nearby. Four all-white skin and mane pegasi (winged horses, plural of Pegasus) are reined on each carriage. Being bigger than common horses, the pegasi are strong enough to bear the four-seated carriages up in the air plus eight passengers and two drivers altogether almost effortlessly.
The ride is swift and short, up to the highest tower in the city, so high that the carriages must fly through the clouds to arrive at the topmost floor. Calies’nevar, the Sky Piercer, that’s the name of the tower.
The carriages land on the terrace of Calies’nevar Tower Peak, a saucer-like structure that looks as though floating on the sea of clouds. The contestants walk into a great, dome-like room. The room has no furniture in it. Its walls and ceiling are made of crystals of uneven shape, size and color. However, the crystals don’t reflect any object in the room. Instead, each crystal piece shows the current event in the world. Actual, minute by minute.
The champions can’t help staring at the crystals with awe when a gentle yet divine voice comes.
‘To know all happenings in the world is great, but it’s the Almighty One’s work. He doesn’t need crystals to see them all, as he knows all and does all, timelessly and limitlessly. Each person must solve his own problems, and then he can solve the problems of many, but never all. It’s not your burden to bear.’
All eyes turn to the speaker: Archangel Avariel Swordsinger. He’s the fairest creature of all, with a face so divine, full of charisma. He has white, very long, wavy, angelic hair running down his chest. Unlike other angels, Avariel has four wings with wingspan about his height each. Though he doesn’t use his wings, he moves like a floating in the air, his feet don’t touch the ground. In battle, he uses a very long sword with its blade glowing white like a twinkling star, named Aschinova, the Shifting Star. Every time he unleashes a special attack, he sings the name of the attack (in a poem) when striking – a habit that earns him his name, Swordsinger.
The champions are snapped back to themselves as they hear Avariel’s voice, and the archangel talks on.
‘Greetings, Champions of Vadis. Welcome to Yvais. I am Avariel, the Keeper. You were invited and chosen to come here, and one amongst you will be chosen to be the true Heir of Vadis.
As you may well know, to claim the Arsenal of Light, you must undergo five quests, of which you will go through dangers and past the guardians, not to mention trials of physical, mind and spiritual strength. We have no specific rules regarding that matter, but be warned! Your each and every move will be taken into account, so think before you act!
As time is pressing, all of you don’t have to undergo all five quests at once. You will be split into two groups, each will take two quests. After all quests are complete, you all will regroup here and do the fifth quest. Now, when I say your name, move to your groups.
Group one: Cristophe, Adler, Eidos and Iris.
Group two: Alexis, Carolyn, Hernan and Andreas.’
The eight champions immediately move into groups as instructed. From the looks of their faces, they are not quite happy with that arrangement. They prefer to be with their original allies. But, none of them make any sign, any sound, even any sigh of protest because such action will be accounted against them.
‘Good,’ says the archangel. ‘Now, Alexis and Cristopher, come and draw from this box.’ He waves his hand and a silver box materializes on the palm of his hand. It’s covered with a white cloth with a clit as opening to put a hand into the hole on the top of the box without seeing what’s inside.
Alexis comes forward and draws first. He gets a red, transparent crystal with fire flickering inside it.
‘You got “fire”, Alexis. It means you will seek out the Armor of Righteousness. Go to Kparev Village south of Turmane City in Castoria, and then a guide will take you to Mount Urzaghi. It’s a dead volcano, but the lava cave underneath it is still burning. That lava cave is used to be an underground mine. Eternium, the rarest and the most indestructible metal was found there once. The guards and monsters in that cavern are very powerful and will surely attack you fiercely, so do your best and use your three strengths!’
Cristophe’s the next, and he draws a blue crystal with a water bubble inside. The archangel immediately gives his instruction.
‘You will seek out the Shield of Faith in the Great Lake Ovalna in Merida Kingdom. A great hero from the distant past, Res’marth, Queen of the Water Elves will help you and provide you with details.’
The knowledgeable Iris comments, ‘Res’marth? One of the Great Paladins aiding Sage the Fireheart and my queen Carolyn? I know her.’
‘Then you’ll have no trouble finding her on land,’ says Avariel. ‘Go on, Alexis, draw your next crystal.’
Alexis draws a green crystal with a tiny whirlwind swirling in it.
‘Go to the Windy Hills of Ekalla and the halfling village of Ekinmor in Edel and seek out the Greaves of Truth. You shall meet our guide, Dejan Pavlovic the halfling in the City of Klosser. His help will be essential along the way.’
Without further ado, Chris gets the last crystal in the box, the yellow one with a stone in it.
‘You will venture into the Griffin Cliff in the mountains of Halethia to claim the Helmet of Truth. Be careful, you will come across a griffin*) sanctuary there. Earn the respect of the red griffin, Acavela and he’ll guide you through safely as Guardian of the Arsenal.’ The archangel then turns to all champions and says,
‘Then all is set. With airship Aurora as transport and the angels to show the way, we shall finish the five quests as soon as possible. Go now, for Vordac’s Heir has continued his terrors and he waits for no one.’

(* Griffin = A majestic, magical beast embodying the strength of a lion on its hind body and legs, the agility of an eagle on its front legs, head and wings and great, almost-human intelligence. Sometimes used as a symbol of perfection and absolute power. Like unicorns, the griffin is enforced with holy aura. Vadis created this magically powerful creature as a rival to Adair’s creation monster, manticore.

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