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Thursday, December 25, 2008

3.2.13.6. The Armor of Righteousness - Part 6



Without speaking, Alexis proceeds to the door. The Firewall has died down, and the other fighters follow him, staggering from their wounds. A bright light comes from a distance inside the doorway, bringing hope of deliverance to the thirsty, much fatigued and wounded fighters.
Alexis steps into the next chamber, the core of the lave cave. It’s a vast area with a boiling magma pool far below and something like an island on the center. A natural stone bridge connects the entrance to the island. There is a stone pedestal on the center of the island, and the bright light comes from it.
Cautiously, Alexis treads across the relatively narrow bridge – barely enough for two people crossing side-by-side. He keeps his eyes on the light and tries hard not to look down. With that pace, he reaches the island in five minutes.
Approaching closer, Alexis marvels at the celebrated Armor of Righteousness, which have helped his forefathers won an empire. Like the Greaves of Diligence, the armor is silvery white with gold linings in color, stylish but not elaborated in form and design – a perfect harmony of display, performance and comfort.
This divine armor was forged with magic in this very place from the godly metal, eternium, mined from this mountain, Urzaghi. Rarest among the rare, stronger than mythril and adamantium. Once wore by the God of Light himself, Vadis, the armor bears the godly aura and power, empowering its worthy master, the Heir of Vadis to match the Heir of Vordac’s power.
As he moves to touch the armor, a voice comes. ‘Wait a minute, Prince Alexis. Don’t you care about the others here?’
Alexis turns and finds Hernan with Carolyn and Andreas trailing behind him across the stone bridge. He says, ‘Pardon me, Don Hernan. I was too distracted by this blinding light and forgot myself for a while.’
Saying so, he takes Hernan’s hand and guides him to the island, and then helps Carolyn and Andreas in the same manner. Just then, an eagle comes and lands on the island, transforming into the halfling, Dejan Pavlovic.
Alexis talks on, ‘So, who gets the armor?’
Carolyn answers, ‘None of us, I’m afraid. The efreet was disappointed. We didn’t reach the level of virtue he required.’
Dejan also speaks up, ‘But now the guardian is gone, and we don’t want Vordac’s heir lay his hands on this, right? Should I volunteer as the new guardian? No, thank you! I can hardly live in this kind of environment.’
‘We don’t have time to find a new efreet, and Algaban is busy guarding Adair’s Arsenal, ‘Andreas speaks out his point of view. ‘Anyway, the efreet has opened the way. It means we must replace him as guardians of the armor. Since we can’t guard it here, we better take it to Yvais under Archangel Avariel’s care.’
Hernan takes his turn to speak, ‘Good idea, Father Andreas. Just let the archangel decide and choose the one who will wear this armor and the Arsenal of Light as an entirety. We can take the armor but we better not wear it. Do we agree to this?’
‘Of course!’ says Carolyn. The others cheer their agreement.
‘Sounds fair for me,’ says Alexis. ‘Hernan, you bring the armor. The rest of us will guard you along the detour. Let’s hope we can reach the exit before our water supply runs out.’
‘Okay,’ says Hernan. ‘Now get prepared. We don’t know what will happen if I take the treasure away from its place of keeping. Well, here goes nothing.’
Hernan touches the Armor of Righteousness – nothing happens. Now he slowly takes it up from the pedestal – nothing happens too. Hernan sighs in relief. Just then, the pedestal moves down! The fighters become alert, in case it’s a trap. The top of the pedestal becomes even with the ground and the ‘island’ slowly rises.
‘Oh, no! We must get out of here now!’ says Hernan.
‘Wait, Don Hernan!’ Alexis responds, ‘Look above you! It’s a light! Maybe the exit is there, on top of that opening.’
‘Let’s hope you’re right, Your Highness.’
To cut the story short, it’s indeed the exit. Now the fighters are standing on a mountain peak in the middle of nowhere, far away from the dragon head entrance.
Dejan talks cheerfully, ‘Great! We took the armor and got stuck in the middle of nowhere. No I have to find the guide angel. You guys stay here and wait for the airship!’

==oOo==

About an hour later, Dejan comes back with two guide angels and one airship, Aurora.
‘Well,’ he explains. ‘Team Cristophe already rode griffins back to Yvais, so the airship only refueled at Klosser and flew back here. Looks like the other team is doing great as well.’
Carolyn comments, ‘What are we waiting for, then? Let’s go back to Yvais! I can’t wait to find out about the fifth quest!’

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