To Everna and Beyond!
The official blog and novelblog for Evernade Saga and FireHeart Saga by Andry Chang
"Come forth, Paladins! Fulfill your destiny!"
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Well, it's for me, BJ Vadis to watch and learn...
Monday, April 28, 2008
www.kemudian.com (Indonesian Language Excerpts)
FireHeart - Legenda Paladin
Bab 3.1. Di Bawah Bayang Rembulan
184.108.40.206. Sang Pemburu Orc: http://www.kemudian.com/node/91826
220.127.116.11. Misi Tanpa Peminat: http://www.kemudian.com/node/93348
18.104.22.168. Dalam Rahang Bahaya: http://www.kemudian.com/node/93351
Bab 3.2. Roda Nasib
22.214.171.124. Kenangan Masa Lalu: http://www.kemudian.com/node/95604
126.96.36.199. Bangsawan Tua Pemutar Roda
3.6. Hutan Yggdrasil: http://www.kemudian.com/node/49182
Eidos and Adler reach the northern part of the lake fourteen hours after they came in from the southeast. They have searched every part and they are now totally exhausted. Luckily they encountered some water elves who gave them mashed algae as food or they would have to hunt and eat raw fish. More sushi, anyone?
After piranha-fishmen battle, before this, they came upon four nagas guarding a shrine-like place. Adler saw the Shield of Faith there. Eidos managed to slow them down and Adler grabbed the shield from under their gills. Remembering Res’marth’s clue, Adler thought that was too easy. So he put the shield on the rock and hit it with Deathblade and all his might. The shield was a fake! The hit left a dent on it. The real shield would bounce the sword back without the slightest dent. So, Adler threw the shield away.
So now they’re still searching high and low, apologizing every now and then for trespassing merfolk holes. Another hour passes, and finally Adler signals Eidos. Let’s go back. Maybe the others are luckier than us. We’ll follow another route, maybe we’ll get lucky.
But suddenly a whisper comes into his mind. A melodious, woman’s voice, almost like singing. Why go back, O’ valiant warrior? You’re so close.
Adler shouts in his mind. Who are you? Show yourself! How dare you intrude my mind!
But you’re really close! Come a little bit more forward, don’t go back. It’s waiting for you.
Eidos’ eyes looks mesmerized with glee. He swims forward, but Adler drags him back. Looks like the old man wants to go on, mouthing repeatedly, ‘We’re so close... so close....’
The melodious voice comes again. See, the old one already understands. Why don’t you follow, O’ valiant one? The shield is here, in the most protected place. It’s genuine, you can test it yourself. And you’re close, so close. Come and take it, it’s yours by right, not for some Arcadian pampered pipsqueak or pompous prince. It’s yours, and yours alone. So come, come. Come forth.
And he hears the melodious voice singing so beautifully (though the divis in Yvais can sing better than this). Adler can’t help curling a smile, and the sweet song is like an oasis in the desert of his ambitions. He is too determined to reach his goals that he forgets to take a break once in a while and enjoy his life. Pictures of him reaching his goals pop up in his mind: An Emperor, a legendary hero greater than Sage the Fireheart, the wealthiest man in the planet, and the freedom to own anything he likes.
Unknowingly, he follows Eidos forward. His mind keeps wandering, and at one point he imagines about his faithful wife, in spite of all the riches and power, falls sick and dies. His children are lost in vanity, sloth and lust, and one of them even goes fat from gluttony. The riches and power are still there, but his life becomes empty and meaningless. His greed has made him a tyrant. His pride has made him lots of enemies. All people see him with envy, and one, driven by wrath, plunges a dagger into his heart. This snaps him back to reality.
Where am I? Adler looks around. This area is full of wreckages of small ships and fishing boats, and bones of fishermen who were foolish and greedy enough to sail to the middle of the lake for more fish – more than what’s allotted for them. On top of it sit three beautiful mermaids, all singing beautifully, with Eidos sitting among them, totally mesmerized.
Adler tries to reach them through his mind. Sirens! I knew it; you are up to no good. Though the images enlightened me a bit, but it’s all just virtual reality. It’s I who determine my own success, and with the assets in my hands, I’m just one step away from my goal.
Speaking of assets, says the blonde siren in the left through telepathy, We have one of your so-called assets here. And we also have here, the Shield of Faith.
Another siren takes the shield out from a rock and shows it to Adler. The shield looks genuine with light aura surrounding it.
The red-haired siren in the middle talks. So, which one do you choose to have? The Shield of Faith or your partner? You may choose only me. If you choose the shield, we’ll kill this old man. If you choose this old man, we shall give this shield to someone else. So, choose wisely.
Adler thinks long and hard about this. If he chooses his ally, he’ll lose his partner, vice versa. After considering his long-term goal, he finally makes a decision.
I choose my partner, Eidos.
Is that final?
Yes. You’re all aware of my intentions and my motives. There are many ways to gain an ally, but a partner, especially with rare skills – is irreplaceable.
If that’s so, here’s your partner back, says the brunette siren, tossing Eidos back to his partner. But, as you can see, this is the real Shield of Faith. We know that you will go for the shield after you choose your partner, so experience our full power.
The sirens get up from their seats and slowly begin to transform. Eidos is recovering, and Adler doesn’t dare to attack them due to Res’marth’s prohibitions. He will rather sneak in and steal the shield from the shape-shifting mermaids.
Their transformation is complete. The sirens are now three nagas. The naga sirens are legendary creatures excel in both magic and martial arts. Adler is not surprised on this situation, only thoughtful. He calculates his moves and strengths carefully, comparing to his enemies. I’m all alone. Deathblade and Haste alone won’t be enough to sneak through them. All I need to do is to go down there... Adler looks at the glowing white-gold shield with the Mark of the Right Way embossed on its front side. He may choose to run away and give up, but he’d rather die trying than live forfeiting.
The naga sirens shoot Adler with a rain of ice bolts (Frost Arrows) spell. Adler moves rapidly side-to-side, blocking the ice bolts with his sword, and goes forward in order to be in range for close combat. Step-by-step, side-by-side he goes. A few shards even rip his cloth and make him bleed.
The nagas intensify their attack by coming into a triangle formation and move in circles like a fan. The bolts also come in circles from above, under and sides. Now Adler might wish that he has three swords and six hands. More and more ice shards graze his body, and as he is in range now, he retaliates!
With Buffalo Stampede multi-thrust combo, Adler rushes forward like a wounded bull, breaking each and every ice shard with its thousand horns and multiplied speed. And as he comes real close, he dives! He only has one target: the shield. The naga sirens break their formation and shoot downwards.
Adler puts his sword on his back as shield. He reaches for the shield on the pedestal some five meters below him. Four ice shards are nested on his shoulder, thigh, lower back and left hip. Adler pays dearly for that, but his reward is two meters away now...
And suddenly, someone is passing in high speed and snatching the shield! Adler is shocked and groans in pain and disappointment. He falls, crashing on the bottom of the lake. The attacks cease, and the snatcher now stands in front of the helpless Adler now lying face-down on the lake floor. It’s Res’marth.
The Water Elf Queen speaks through telepathy. I told you this shield is in the heaviest guarded place, and now you know I’m the last guardian. You may try to get this shield from me, patting the Shield of Faith on her hand, but you don’t seem to have any strength left.
Adler scolds himself. Impatient fool! I should’ve backed off and search for the other champions first. Then, when they’re busy fighting, I’ll sneak in and take the shield. Now my wounds are too deep! I’m going to die a fool.
Do you want me to heal you? If you do, you may not attempt to get the shield again or we’ll kill you. If not, may you rest peacefully in Mother Enia’s embrace.
The Queen's offer is tempting. But the choices now are: to die a fool or to live a coward. Ach, what the heck. If I live, I can still go another day, try another way for the glory of me and my family. I accept your offer, Your Majesty.
Very well, then, Res'marth nods.
A ball of light shines like a pearl on the palm of Res'marth's right hand. She bends down on Adler. With her left hand, she barely touches the wound and draws the sharp ice shard from the wound. As the ice gets out completely, she instantly mends the wound with the light on her right hand. The water elf repeats the process three more times on Adler's wounds and scans his entire body to heal scratches, grazes and internal wounds. At that time, Eidos is fully restored, but he's still very weak from fatigue. He sits near his benefactor and thinks hard on how to get the shield, because no way he's going to do it alone.
Half an hour later, Chris and Iris arrive at the spot. They look battered and slightly wounded from their battles, and they're obviously run out of healing potions. A sight of Res'marth wielding the Shield of Faith on her left hand and a trident on her right hand in her naga form obviously shows that she's the last guardian plus her three naga sirens. Iris immediately readies her bow and arrow.
Res'marth contacts their minds.
Well, time is running out. What'll it be? We fight, you quit, or something else?
Iris replies, We really don't want to fight you, considering the long-lasting brotherhood between wood elves and water elves, and your friendship with merfolks and nagas. But if that's what it takes to claim the Shield of Faith, we'll fight you!
Go ahead, fight us, try to snatch this shield from me. But remember our deal. If you hurt any of us, we'll fight you to the death and the shield will deny you. So come on! Give us your best shot!
Iris draws her bowstring to the fullest, and suddenly Chris stops her. Puzzled, Iris looks at him, but Chris just shakes his head and signals her. I'll talk to the Queen.
With a mild surprise on her face, Res'marth contacts Chris.
Well, Prince Cristophe, what's in your mind? Are you planning to quit?
The Prodigal Prince replies, That thought crossed my mind, but there's something else in my mind, bothering me. Something is amiss. Tell me, Your Majesty, if we hurt you and the shield will deny us, if stealing the shield will be too difficult without hurting you, is there any other way?
I didn't say that you may not try other ways. Go ahead, try them.
All right then. This might sound absurd, but Your Majesty, the exalted Queen of the Depths, may I borrow the Shield of Faith? We really need it to fight evil forces, and we promise to return it to you after we banish the Great Evil from this world once again. Please?
Suddenly, Res'marth transforms back into her self water-elf form and her face smiles beautifully. Why, of course you may? Why not? 'Borrow' is the password. All you have to do is asking it to me. You fighters and warriors always resort to violence when dealing with problems and adversaries. Why don't you try peaceful ways for once? Of course, it can be done with allies or someone who you'd rather to be your ally than enemy. Violence and force should be the last resort. Seek for peace; negotiate your differences, that's the right way.
Chris responds, Honestly, we've tried peaceful ways several times. Especially in Grad, when Father Andreas told us only to run away and never harm his fellow dwarfs.
Good for you, Cristophe. Someday I want to meet this Andreas fellow. His thoughts and ways are the spirit we're seeking for.
If you want to take a ride in Airship Aurora, I'd be happy to introduce you to him.
Another time, perhaps. I don't like air flights or airships. It'll give me airsick for sure. Anyway, congratulations, Cristophe. Use the shield wisely, and don't forget to return it when you're done, says Res'marth, handing the Shield of Faith to Chris and guiding the four champions to the surface.
(Finished - part 5)
Meanwhile, Chris is following Iris to the depths, some distance away from Adler and Eidos. They’ve encountered some fishmen and piranhas along the way, but as most of them were drawn towards Eidos’ blood, Chris didn’t have much trouble finishing them off.
An underwater cave, Chris realizes as he and Iris find a big hole on the rocky wall. This must be the wall below the island we saw in the middle of the lake. Is this the ‘most protected place’ the Queen said about? Iris has already gone in there, so I better follow her and find out.
It’s dark in here, Chris analyzes the situation. Torches won’t do, they’ll get wet. If only Chiel is here with me, not with Carol, he would be a great help by illuminating the way.
Suddenly, he sees two round, glimmering black eyes from afar.
Ah, it’s Iris at last. But... how come her eyes are far apart? And they’re... not human’s?
Chris stops abruptly, turns and swims out from the cave. A moment after, something is coming towards him like a huge wave. Thank goodness, the wave gives him an extra push, so he gets out from the cave in time.
But he can’t breathe easy just yet. Coming out from the cave are eight huge tentacles, each as thick as an acacia tree trunk. They’re flailing and whipping around, with one end coiling Iris the elf like an anaconda snake.
Iris is pushing hard to keep the tentacle from rolling tighter, crushing her insides like mashed potato. She looks at Chris swimming around to find a position to snatch Iris free. As she makes eye contact with Chris, Iris shakes her head, signaling Chris to go away and not risking his life to save her. Chris understands it, but no, he charges forward instead!
With two hands, Cristophe thrusts his Wyrthal forward, thinking that it’s an opening, but suddenly a tentacle swoops towards him! He immediately changes thrust to slash and hits the tentacle with all his might. The impact pushes Chris’ sword and it hits his armor, pushing him away from there. The slash leaves a big, nasty, bleeding cut on the tentacle.
Chris’ action gives Iris time to draw her Wysteria Bow and an arrow. But she can’t get a clear shot because the tentacles go back to thrashing even harder. Iris uses the pointy edge of her bow to pierce the tentacle that is coiling her. But, instead of loosening, its grip gets tighter, and blood sprays off Iris’ mouth. The pressure is too much, even for an elf. It’s as though she can hear all her bones crackling.
Before Iris can think of resigning to her fate, Chris comes again, rushing to her rescue. Spitting blood from his mouth, he attacks with Ten Point Chain Slash.
No one hurts my ex-girlfriend!
Chris moves swiftly, slashing onto one tentacle after another, adds another set, and so on. That move brings so much distraction and the tentacles attack Chris, giving Iris an opening and time. She puts her arrow on and enchants it with Wind Shear spell without saying the magic words.
And she shoots! The arrow slices through water like razorblade. Water might slow ordinary arrows down, but this enchanted arrow goes faster and faster instead. The force of Wind Shear splits air on the tip of the arrow, creating a vacuum. The arrow fills the vacuum, and then air refills the vacuum on the arrow trail, giving it an extra push.
It hits the target: The glimmering black spot inside the cave!
The tentacles thrashes even more violently now, finally throwing Iris away. Chris comes to catch her, but Iris recovers and does a somersault to stop herself, and both of them swim away to a safer position.
However, the tentacles extend to catch them both. And this time the monster’s cone-like head comes out with an arrow sticking on one of its two eyes. It’s obviously furious and rampaging now.
It’s Kraken! Chris gasps. Oh, no, this can’t be. The Kraken is way bigger than this. It’s a giant squid, more like.
The giant squid comes out completely from the cave. Iris signals Chris to sneak into the cave and search for the shield. Chris is reluctant at first and signals back to Iris:
But how can I leave you alone out there?
I’ll handle it. I’ll keep it occupied and buy you time to get the shield. Now go!
All right, Chris nods. Be careful.
Chris and Iris swim towards the giant squid! Iris makes sure her elf daggers are firmly attacked on the edges of her bow, just like a glaive and enchants another arrow on it.
Taking a longer turn, Chris manages to sneak behind the squid and goes into the dark cave. Just as Iris is about to attack the squid, suddenly she hears the water rushing. She turns back and sees a big school of piranhas rushing from every direction! Iris gathers her aura to launch her short-range Supersonic Storm attack, but the piranhas just swim past her. The blood from the squid’s wounds must’ve attracted them.
Soon, the giant squid is surrounded by piranhas gnawing every inch of its body. Seeing that the piranhas are doing the work for her, Iris feels relieved. But her face changes. The piranhas will attack her after they’re done with the squid, and Chris is still inside the cave – a doubled threat. So again, without speaking, she summons her guardian spirit, Eshmyria.
The Wind Guardian with fairy-like wings immediately casts her specialty spell, Pandemonium. Not like Typhoon, the wind swirls and spins in form of a big ball, compacted and processed on Eshmyria’s hands. Then she pushes the ball towards the squid and piranhas, and the monsters are engulfed in the swirling mass of destruction.
The piranhas are torn apart at once, and the squid is like being cut into pieces with a giant cleaver. On and on the Pandemonium spins, and none in that area comes out in one piece. Sushi, anyone?
And finally, the ball bursts out, spilling pieces of its victims everywhere. Water fills the vacuum it left, becomes red with blood and greasy with fat. Eshmyria’s job is done, so Iris un-summons her. The water becomes calm again.
The elf meditates to rest and replenish her aura. A few minutes later, Chris comes with a mixture of disappointment and surprise from his face. With his fingers he signals Iris. Wow, you killed those monsters? That’s awesome.
Iris signals him back. Did you get the shield?
Unfortunately, I didn’t. I searched every corner of the cave, and it turned out only as a giant squid nest.
Iris shrugs. That means this is not the most protected place.
Maybe we should try the water elf city, Chris suggests.
Water elves, merfolk and nagas live together in this lake, and they have neither city nor palace. They only live in holes on rocks. So, we just have to search all places. We have to keep on trying until we can claim the shield.
Don’t forget about the competition. We have to find the shield before Adler and Eidos do. Time’s running out, so let’s go!
Monday, April 21, 2008
At the Battle of Changban (208 AD), Zhao Yun single-handedly saved Liu Bei's only infant son (Liu Shan), slaying numerous enemy soldiers along the way. His valor impressed Cao Cao greatly, who ordered his men to capture Zhao Yun alive, hoping Zhao Yun would defect to his side.
Fu Xi (God of Wisdom in Weapons of Gods)
Nu Wa (Goddess in Weapons of Gods)
See the full catalog on:
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Although Iris has dumped him, Chris still feels that he needs to keep close with his ex-girlfriend, because she’s still part of the team. Iris doesn’t seem to mind, though things are a bit awkward between them now.
Chris sees two mermen passing by, and he only nods and smiles obeying Res’marth’s warning. Suddenly, Chris feels that someone is swimming fast towards him. He turns back and sees the two mermen attack him with their tridents! Chris wants to say, ‘What’s the meaning of this?’ but only gurgles come out from his mouth. He quickly draws his hereditary sword Wyrthal and parries their attacks altogether.
Swinging his sword underwater as quickly as on land, Chris easily repels every attack from the mermen. However, he can only block and parry because an attack will probably hurt them.
The half-men half-fish beings attack together with a super fast, spiraling move. Chris is ready with a stance, and as the tridents are within range, he spins around, parrying each and every strike with Whirlwind Slash.
Defending as hard as he can, Cristophe finally realizes that the mermen are just trying to keep him occupied until his time is up. So, he finally breaks free and flees from his attackers. The mermen chase him, of course. They are about to close up on Chris when an arrow sings right in front of the mermen’s eyes! The two are surprised to see Iris who shot the arrow with great power and perfect accuracy underwater. Now she loads two arrows on one bow, speaking with a gurgling voice. The mermen respond with the same gurgles, and Iris gurgles back.
After a brief pause, the mermen finally turn around and go away. Amazed, Chris stares at Iris. But the elf just swims away. Chris follows behind, trying to catch up with her through Iris won’t let it happen.
In another place, Adler and Eidos are fighting a school of piranhas *) and about a dozen fishmen. Eidos’ Chrono Chakram slices swiftly through water and splits three piranhas and a fishman in halves, and back to the owner’s hands.
(* Piranhas = Sharp-teethed, carnivorous fishes mainly live in big rivers. In our world piranhas live in the Amazon River, South America.
The old mage turns to Adler, who seems to have trouble swinging his heavy sword made heavier in the water. Quick-witted, Eidos casts ‘Velocivare!’ making a time split around Adler so he seems to be moving faster – the essence of Haste spell. With that, Adler kills more and more piranhas, even applying Tusks of Myriad Elephants multislash, killing two fishmen and five piranhas at once.
Thinking that his master won’t thank him for the help, Eidos turns back to face next opponents. Suddenly, a spear grazes his waist! His reflex is still quite good despite of his age, if not the spear would pierce his stomach. The attack came from a fishman below him, so Eidos launches his chakram downwards, splitting the fishman in half. A split for a graze, he thinks.
He’s about to move to Adler as he feels something gnawing on his shoes. It’s a piranha! And more are coming and start biting Eidos here and there. His chakram can’t do much, only killing one or two of them. Apparently, the piranhas fled because of Adler’s quick and fierce moves and attack Eidos, the bloodier and less fierce one.
Now the piranhas are all over Eidos, giving him no chance to attack or cast a spell at all. Eidos gets busy, covering his face and eyes from piranha bites. His body bleeds more and his blood attracts more and various water monsters to come near. He tries to call out for Adler, but the Viscount is also busy, fighting fishmen and more water monsters coming from everywhere. Adler’s skill, Fingers of the Blade keeps him in upper hand, but Eidos is helpless. He is only protected by his cosmic aura so the bites only leave flesh wounds. Nevertheless, if Eidos doesn’t fight back soon, he will die from loss of blood.
That’s it! In that desperate moment, Eidos pumps his cosmic aura to the maximum and explodes it! He knows full well that by doing so, he destroys all piranhas, but his aura power is empty. He must drink spirit potion, meditate or take a rest to replenish his aura – the first way is the quickest. And now, after doing it, he’s exhausted, powerless and badly wounded, with only Res’marth’s enchantment sustains him.
But the attack was very, very effective. It killed all fishes on Eidos’ body, also made the fishmen and other assorted water monsters scared, scattering, fleeing everywhere. Seeing that the monsters have ran away, Adler sees Eidos going down deeper, hardly moving at all.
Old fool, Adler thinks, darting quickly and catches the old man. He should’ve waited longer, and I would help him. His chronomancy*) and thorough knowledge about airships are essential for my goals. He will build me a fleet of airships to conquer nations, make me an Emperor and rich beyond measure through commercial flights. He’s as precious as this Deathblade, therefore I can’t afford to lose them both, my assets for success.
(* Chronomancy = time and space magic, the art of manipulating time, space as well as velocity of someone’s action. Generated by cosmic (outer space) aura, mainly from stars.
As they resurface, Adler takes a vial of spirit potion from his belt pocket, opens its lid and has Eidos drink it whole. The old man stirs feebly, mouthing, ‘Thank you...’ But Adler scolds him.
‘Gather yourself, you old fool! And quickly! We still have to find the shield. We’re losing time here!’
‘Just... just go without me, milord,’ Eidos mutters.
‘Nonsense, old man,’ Adler pats him. ‘You must come with me. I need your magic down there. Without your Haste spell, I would end up as fish bait, though my armor surely broke many teeth and spearheads.’
Adler gives Eidos his healing potion, emptying the whole vial. ‘Now take care, don’t get hurt again.’
The champions are fascinated by the exotic scenery of the lake. The water is like a sea of sapphires and diamonds, surrounded by a cluster of emeralds from the forest around it and a bright speck of emerald from the small island in the middle of the lake. They glitter under the shine of the golden sun, giving serenity and peace in the hearts of those witnessing it.
In order not to disturb that serenity, the champions choose to walk about half a mile to the lakeside. Eidos, however gives a look of resentment to Iris who gave that idea.
Ooh, my old bones, he thinks. I should’ve insisted landing on the lakeside and have those two angels ready to carry us anywhere, but no, the elf insisted otherwise and debated fiercely with Lord Adler. ‘Honoring their tradition will increase our chance to get the shield’ – and Adler just fell for it? Should’ve insisted. I should’ve insisted. And after that, I’ll find myself a new benefactor.
As they reach the lakeside, Cristophe’s team stand in wait. Then, to Chris’ surprise, someone emerges from the lake, gradually and slowly. First, a blue-skinned head with an aquamarine fin-like tuft on top, aquamarine eyes and long, pointy ears, wearing something that looks like a thin helmet comes from the water. It’s a water elf! As she walks closer, her beautiful face looks clearer and clearer And we can also see now the dress she’s wearing: a long dress made of fish scales with a fish fin-like big collar around her neck. Her bare feet are unique – three long fingers with fin-like skin between them – as a tool for faster swimming. Her hands, however are identical to humans’, giving more versatility to this fabulous, amphibious creature.
At the sight of her, Iris kneels down, and Chris follows suit. Eidos is rather doubtful at first but he finally kneels anyway. Only Adler doesn’t seem to budge. Two other water elves who seem to be the guards come out from the water, wearing fish scale armors and helmets.
The long-dressed elf observes the champions. Her eyes are met with Adler’s the one still standing. After staring at each other for a long time, finally Adler blinks and gets down on his knees. Chris watches it with much admiration.
So this is Res’marth, one of the Seven Paladins who defeated Vordac. She fought side-by-side with my great-great grandfather the Fireheart. None can surpass her Aquamancy (water magic) power in this world. Her unfathomable charisma can break an emperor’s pride, let alone Adler’s. She deserves my respect.
‘Rise, my children, and at ease,’ says the Water Elf Queen. ‘I’m Res’marth, Keeper of the Faith. Here is my domain, the Great Lake Ovalna. I really appreciate your respect for our traditions, our efforts to keep everything sacred and natural here.’
‘All thanks to Iris, Your Majesty,’ says Cristophe. ‘Without her knowledge, we would be at loss.’ Iris blushes on hearing that. The water elf smiles.
‘It would take days for Avariel to teach you the roots of our tradition. Luckily, like her queen, this wood elf is quite resourceful. Anyways, what’s your name?’
‘Cristophe Jean de Galantine Deveraux of Arcadia, Your Majesty.’
‘Oh, a Deveraux? Sure indeed! You do resemble Sage the Fireheart. He was the greatest hero of our time, and I was so honored to fight by his side. Ahh, the Seven Stars: Me, Sage, Gairon, Carolyn, Galliard, Quentin and Azrael, and all other paladins in the time of Fireheart. The paladins rose again to fight with Antoine, another Deveraux. And now, as another Deveraux sets foot here, it means new paladins will rise to thwart the scourge of darkness. And now let me help you to make that happen.’
Suddenly, the four champions feel something weird with their breathing. They’re choked! Eidos gasps for breath, Chris clutches his throat, and Adler even protests, ‘Ghaa... I-I can’t breathe! What witchcraft is this? Ah-arhe you th-thray-ing to k-kill usssh?’ Iris is choked too, but she seems to get used to it. Adler tries to reach for his sword but he feels to weak to move, being out of breath.
They are still in that state for some time until one by one they breath back to normal again. Iris is first, then Adler, Chris, and lastly, Eidos. But they soon realize that they are breathing with a different way, and Eidos asks,
‘W-what’s this? I-I breathe differently! Is this a... gill?’
‘Good guess, Eidos Crydias. But a man of science like you should’ve known better. I’ve transfigured your noses into amphibious gills. So, like toads, you’ll be able to breathe underwater as well. Now, the reason of me doing this is simply because as a keeper, I must keep the Shield of Faith within our domain, meaning underwater, in the lake. The spell is temporary, unless you want to spend most of your time underwater for the rest of your life. The spell will wear off in twenty-four hours, so find he shield within that time.
You may kill water monsters along the way, but please don’t harm the nagas, merfolks and my kind. Search the entire lake for the shield, but to save time, I give you one clue: Faith lies in the best protected place. Go now, and good luck!’
Once again, Eidos protests, raising his hand, ‘But I can’t swim! How can I move in there?’
‘You’ll soon find out. If you have faith in me and in Vadis, nothing is impossible.’ Saying so, Res’marth leaps up high in the air, far, far backwards, and dives into the lake with a splash.
A minute later, Adler comes up to the surface and yells at his partner, ‘What’s wrong with you, Eidos? Don’t you want to come?’
‘I-I can’t, Sire. I’m too old for this, and I can’t swim,’ says the old chronomage. ‘I will slow you down, and the water will freeze me before long.’
‘Tchah! Rubbish!’ Adler yells louder. ‘Now get down here, you old fool! That’s an order! Or you can kiss your research fund good-bye!’
Hearing that, Eidos takes off his robe and his hat, mumbling, ‘Oooh, how I hate that man. He wants me dead, so he can take my airship for his own... Oooh, my poor old bones... Wish there’s a spell to reverse time so I can be young again...’
Still mumbling, he dives into the lake.
The next day, after resting and preparing for their assigned quests, the Eight Champions of Light depart with Airship Aurora to their designated sites, with two angels to guide them as promised.
Alexis’ team chooses the Greaves of Truth and Cristophe’s team chooses the Shield of Faith as their first quests, so the airship goes Northwest. Team Alexis disembarks in Edel, and Aurora flies farther Northwest.
That night, Prince Cristophe Deveraux stands on the deck of Aurora, alone with his thoughts.
Must I take these quests? Must I give up Iris to bear the burden of this world and being with a princess I never knew of? This is distressing. Iris hasn’t spoken much to me since the trial in Valanis. But, what have I to say? Oh, I know. I must convince her that if I’m chosen, I shall let my brother marry Eloise, even if it costs me my princedom. But come again, do I really love her? I mean, she’s an elf, she’s pretty and fun, but I sense something’s missing in our relationship...
Suddenly, Chris is startled when someone is coming to him. It’s Iris.
‘Ah, it’s you, Iris,’ says Chris very gladly. ‘Listen, I have something to say to you, now...’
Iris interrupts, ‘And I have something to say to you as well. Let me talk first, Ariel, because I’ve been thinking hard about this for a long time. Tell me, Ariel, do you really love me?’
‘I do, and do...’
‘And are you willing to sacrifice everything just to spend your entire life with me?’
‘That’s very sweet of you, Ariel. But don’t you see? The “entire life” is the problem. I, an elf, am doomed to live an eternal life, naturally. We only die in densely dark-plagued land, by Enia’s will, or be killed. But a human like you only live a limited lifespan. I didn’t know the reason Vadis created humans, but after my little conversation with Archangel Avariel just now, I finally understand.
Because humans are mortal, they can live their lives to the fullest as today might be their last. They have more fun, more motivation and determination, and closer to Vadis than we ever think they are. We elves are so self-content, serious, reserved, and avoiding trouble. That’s why I admire you and envy you at the same time. You are the only one who appreciates my artistry, and applauds whenever I perform.
But that’s not enough. You can’t be an elf, and you know what? I’m also willing to sacrifice anything but one: my immortality. And I can’t stand to see you die in front of me and leave me to spend eternity in loneliness, unable to love another because an elf may marry only once.’
‘Please, don’t tell me, are you going to...’
‘Yes, Ariel. I think our relationship can’t last. I’ve heard about an elf who was willing to be mortalized just to be with the human she loved – Carolyn’s mother, but no, not me. My love to you isn’t that strong. We have begun a wrong love story with a wrong way, because we both love to have fun. But as both of us grew more mature, more serious, with all responsibilities to Vadis, Enia, our nations, and the entire Terra Eternia, our priorities changed. As fun is no longer principal, you and I know that something is missing and our relationship is meaningless and dry without much fun. Just empty lies and embraces, nothing more.’
‘Oh, no, Iris, please don’t...’
‘We must, Ariel, or we will end up in disaster if we keep this up. From now on, I shall call you Chris or Your Highness, not Ariel anymore. Let me assist you in your quest as your truest friend. Your responsibility is your highest priority now, your calling and your destiny. I don’t want to hinder you or be your burden. Go and get it, Chris, and you’ll be far greater than you are now. And this is the only way I can support you.’
‘But Iris, I have something to say to you as well, you are...’
The elf archer-enchantress just turns and runs away. Chris can’t continue talking, only sees her back and tears sprinkling from her eyes. He chases Iris, but the she-elf is more agile than his own and disappears from view.
So, the broken-hearted prince falls on all fours, crying his heart out like he never cried before.
LEARN MORE ABOUT BRISINGR AT:
I'm finally in the home stretch with Brisingr. It took an enormous
amount of effort to finish the first draft, but it is finished now,
and I couldn't be more relieved. At the moment, I'm busy chewing my
way through the editing, which has been a surprisingly enjoyable
experience this time around. The hardest part is having to excise
material that I spent days, and sometimes weeks, laboring over.
However, as most any writer will tell you, just because you spent ten
days slaving over a certain scene is no reason to keep it in the final
manuscript. The only question that matters is whether the scene
contributes to the book as a whole. If not, then it must go.
I have to say, I love the cover of the new book. I think that John
Jude Palencar really outdid himself with this one. It feels right for
the book too; Brisingr is the longest and most intense entry in the
series so far, and his art reflects that. Someday, I'd like to see him
paint the Ra'zac as well. The Ra'zac and Angela the Herbalist. . . .
Together. Yup. That would be interesting.
Winter has yet to release its clutches on our valley here in Montana.
Just today, we had another whiteout snowstorm and eight inches of
snow. I shouldn't be surprised, though. At one time or another, it's
snowed during every month of the year in Paradise Valley.
In other news, the literary world recently lost Arthur C. Clarke, the
last of the Big Three science fiction authors. (The others being
Heinlein and Asimov.) Each of the three wrote books that had a
profound influence on me while growing up. In Clarke's case, it was
Rendezvous with Rama, Childhood's End, and 2001. Arthur C. Clarke was
one of the greatest prophets and visionaries of our time, and the
world is a poorer place without him. May the memory of him live
forever among the stars.
Also, on a more personal note, we just had to have our dog, Annie, put
down. I mention it because she was as much a member of the family as
any one of us, and because it was she, more than anyone, who provided
the basis for Saphira's character. Annie was a mutt: half
cocker-spaniel and half Australian Shepherd dog, knee-high and full of
wiggles. She looked nothing like a dragon, but she was more like
Saphira than you might imagine.
SEE A PICTURE OF ANNIE HERE:
We got Annie as a puppy in 1994, and my sister and I grew up playing
with her along the banks of the Yellowstone River. I remember coaxing
her into a deep hole I had dug and sitting with her in the cool
shadows, watching the clouds scurry past far overhead. I remember
running through the snow late at night, shouting her name, frantic
because I thought she might be lost. I remember wrestling with her. I
remember watching her do the most horrific things to baby mice. I
remember her wet nose, and the smell of her fur, and the expressions
on her face. I remember walking with her through a gigantic herd of
cows, and all of the cows forming a tight circle around us and mooing
as loudly as they could, eager to defend their calves from the little
wolf in their midst. The cows scared me, but they never scared her.
More than once, we saw Annie playing with a wild fox out in the
fields. She loved walks so much, we had to spell the word out, else
she became so excited, we had no choice but to take her out. Her
energy and enthusiasm seemed boundless.
In the past few years, though, various aches and pains began to slow
her down, and eventually, they left her in so much distress—along with
the stroke she had yesterday—the kindest thing we could do was relieve
her of her suffering.
Annie was as good a friend as I have ever known. I shall miss her for
the rest of my life. She taught me more about life and death and the
art of living than any philosopher. She taught me that happiness
consists of five things: food, sleep, exercise, being with your pack,
and freedom from pain. Everything else is extraneous.
Over the years, Annie gave me several scars, the biggest ones being
bite marks on my forearms, which were my own fault, not hers. Now that
she is gone, I wish I had more scars from her, for they are the only
things I have to remember her by. And I wish I had taken her on just
one more walk.
Stydja unin mor'ranr, Annie. May the ground squirrels whisper your
name in terror for generations to come.
For more information and news about
Book Three in the Inheritance cycle, visit Alagaesia.com.
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Tuesday, April 01, 2008
> Log in startign Thursday of this week to witness the return of the Order,
> a band of warriors from the future who have come to help us in the past!
> --Visit the MogBusters!
> --The new Perfect Blades have appeared in Jagged Peaks!
> --The Grenwog Festival egg hunt continues!
> --Awesome new weapons featured in the Beneath the Shifting Sands cutscene
> come to both the Inn shop and Valencia's Z-Token shop!
> --Talk to Valencia in town to learn about the Stone Mansion house, and the
> NEW Darkovia Stone Mansion!
> Log in at http://www.BattleOn..com now and read on for more!
> ::: THIS WEEK'S NEWS :::
> ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: NO PUNK CAN BEAT THE 'MUNKS!
> With the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie DVD now in stores, there is no
> better time than now for the Chipmunks to make a special visit to Ballyhoo
> and AdventureQuest! Log in the AdventureQuest and visit Ballyhoo to watch
> the trailer for the fun new Alvin and the Chipmunks DVD and then challenge
> the 'Munks to a special pinball minigame only available during this
> promotion! Try to activate all the powerups and minigames to get the
> highest score possible, and earn extra gold and even the chance to take
> Alvin and the Chipmunks with you on your quests! Don't miss this fun
> THE ORDER RETURNS!
> A group of ragtag fighters and engineers, led by the prince of Stonerule,
> once traveled back in time from a future in which a powerful sorceror
> resurrected the epic monster Carnax and tried to take over the world by
> combining the monster's clones with cyber technology! We helped them stop
> the madman-- and now the Order RETURNS to the past to help us stop the
> Devourer!! Starting Thursday evening, visit Mount Thrall on the Travel
> map to find a new area filled with many NPCs, scenes, several quests, new
> monsters and items, and more!
> They aren't out to capture ghosts, but they ARE out to prove or disprove
> popular myths! They would have called themselves MythBusters, but that
> name was taken-- so these two Moglins are the MogBusters! YOU just happen
> to find them as they are about to test the Dragon Wing Glider myth, and
> the adventure begins, getting crazier every step of the way! Don't miss
> this highly animated quest, to be found on he Travel Map.
> JAGGED PEAKS UPDATE: PERFECT BLADES!
> Sail East on the Travel map to the Jagged Peaks and search the Groggles
> nests to find the new Perfect Blades. The paralyzing Spines weapons will
> vanish Thursday afternoon and become rares, replaced by the new blades!
> Z-TOKEN UPDATE: NPC WEAPONS!
> The weapons of the NPCs in the Shifting Sands cutscene come to Valencia's
> Z-Token shop! These include Culak's huge Ol' Painless sword, Kendrel's
> Elvish Blade, and Terul'sith's Staff! Low level versions of the weapons
> will also appear in the Yulgar's Inn shop. Find Valencia in front of the
> town Inn. Find a complete listing of elite Z-Token items here:
> NEW HOUSE: THE DARKOVIA STONE MANSION!
> Talk to Valencia in town to learn about houses! The newest model is the
> large Darkovia Stone Mansion. The Mansion offers potion refill, guard
> house, battle log parchment and painting viewer frame, PLUS: 5 extra
> storage slots for every equipment type, temporary Bone Smasher Mace
> darkness weapons, a Stables with a new Dark Steed mount armor, and a new
> aerial view of your mansion and some surrounding houses!
> MONSTER ARENA CHALLENGE!
> Talk to Nimrod as soon as you enter the Guardian Tower to take on a new
> monster challenge! Battle new enemies (including the Snout and the
> Horseman!) of increasing power to unlock several reward items.
> ARTIX ENTERTAINMENT PARTNER PROGRAM
> If you have an active website that gets a lot of visitors, you should
> check out our new affiliate program. Artix Entertainment offers
> constantly updated and fun online gaming that your visitors might enjoy!
> GUARDIAN UPGRADE!
> Here are 2 links for you, and some of the most important things a Guardian
> upgrade will get your character:
> * The elite Guardian Armor and Guardian Blade! The Guardian armor has
> solid defenses and a 3-hit attack (the second and third hits unlock at
> levels 40 and up). The Guardian Blade can summon the powerful Guardian
> Dragon to blast your enemies with Element X damage!
> * Full access to ALL towns and quests: places like Lolosia, Granemor, and
> all the quests to the East and South, PLUS special minigames and quests
> within Isle d'Oriens. You'll find awesome stories, the most powerful
> monsters, reward items, and new characters!
> * The Guardian Tower! Inside the tower you will find a special shop full
> of awesome items, an armory, stables where you can take out a mounted
> armor (unicorn, nightmare, winged horse), a teleporter room that can send
> you to different quests, and the Guardian Arena, where you can fight
> through 10 big levels to get the title of Champion!
> WHAT ARE Z-TOKENS?
> Valencia in town and she has brought with her a hoard of new special
> items, that can only be bought using Z-Tokens! Take a look at what
> Z-Tokens can get you:
> have a chance to get Z-Tokens by using the Battle Monsters button in town,
> or you can buy them in bundles here:
> ADVENTURE ON
> Coming soon: Paxia Under Fire -- The Devourer's Forces Gain Ground --
> Martial Artist Class -- and more!
> AQ gets bigger and more exciting all the time, as new events, quests
> and items are added each week.
> Battle on!
> Galanoth & the AQ Team
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