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For those who have read the whole series or not, what would you like to see next?

Legend of Delta 21-40
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Project Era 1-20
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Project Necor 1-20
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Project Alveir 1-20
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Author Topic: The Chronicles of Alti: Legend of Delta  (Read 635 times)

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Offline TheKindMoose

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The Chronicles of Alti: Legend of Delta
« on: May 28, 2017, 10:23:38 PM »
The Chronicles of Alti is a story set on a pseudo-Earth, where magic power and scientific discovery intertwine. There are many story-lines set to take place throughout the history of the planet Alti, its inhabitants (native or not), and the struggles and wars that ensue. This series is far from the average high-fantasy, as it's not afraid to delve into modern times and futuristic technology.

At the beginning of the universe, there was a sea of true entropy. At its center, a Silhouette remained. It became bored of the entropy, and created Chaos: the Being of Creation. Chaos used its powers to craft the world. It created the Elements, Time, and Space, and the powers of Life, Soul, and Mind. Over time, these forces acquired sentience through the powers of the gods, and are known as the Eternals. The Eternals gifted the newly created mortals with small fractions of the powers of the gods, which the Silhouette despised. The Silhouette believed that Chaos betrayed it, and they fought, resulting with each of them being destroyed on the planet Alti. Chaos' remains where crystallized by their own power, and contained elements of who Eternals have not yet assimilated. The un-eternalized elements chose beings on the planet of Chaos' death, Alti, as hosts, who ascended to be Eternal.

Because of the flood of people created by Chaos in a short period of time, he gave them knowledge (including linguistics, engineering, and biology) to compensate for the high demand of supplies that would be needed. Because of this, raw materials are common, the infrastructure needed to process that material into more complex forms is rare, and advanced engineering on the small scale is common. There are three major races on Alti: the Humans, the Teres (Humanoids with a bony exoskeleton), and the Jarvainians (Boar-like humanoids that live shallowly underground). Rarely do these races get along due to their early history together.

This series is nowhere near completion. In fact, I plan to create many story lines, across multiple characters, across multiple genera (Staying within the action/adventure categories of course), across multiple periods of time. So far, I only have a few series created, of which I will finish before developing the next set. I am developing this primarily for the novel style of storytelling. This series is likely not be suited for a younger audience, though mature content will still be at a minimum, due to the nature of this series. The most mature content will be limited to use of fantasy alcohol and drugs, minor profanity, and minor gore.

CoA: Legend of Delta
This is the first series I'm making. It will be my primary focus.
A strange being is without a clue where he is, or... who he is. He remembers something that is the key to his predicament: a minuscule room filled to the brim with flame. He wakes, only to be endlessly studied by his captors.

Prelude Episode: Origin
The first moments of Delta’s life are being relived in a dream. They show the insides of a dark, metallic room being lit only by the scorching fires that engulf the walls. The room itself is minuscule to the point in which even the most minor of claustrophobics would be stricken in fear.

He slips back into the darkness to awake, currently suspended in a tank built for someone only of his small proportions. He feels the viscosity of the gel that surrounds and inhabits him, inside and out, such as a sponge in water. Struggling to open his eyes during his stasis, he can barely make out the facility outside the tank from the cracks of his weakened eyelids. He observes that he is being transported by four soldiers… on a walkway… no, a skywalk! The walls are a semi-reflective white, which contrasts the dark metal insides of both the tank and the room of flames. Sunlight refracting through a window lights the few particles of dust in the air, giving off the illusion of the night sky. His view is being limited by the immobility of his neck and eyes, although he would search for more if given the chance. Exhausted from his somewhat nominal feats, and longing for freedom, he slips back into his sleep, both to pass time and rest.

He is waken by freshness of the crisp, clean air on his skin. Using the strength which he had not possessed before, he pulls himself upwards from the emptiness of the tank, before hearing structured sounds emanating from the walls. A quick glance reveals the figure creating them from behind a barricade of glass many dozens of feet above him.

His mind is only occupied by this unusual figure for a few short seconds before investigating the room. It is as expansive as many warehouse, and more importantly, hot, with mountains of sand on the floors. Suddenly, without Delta possessing any knowledge of why, the ceiling turns to the likes of a sun. The room plumes with heat and light, but yet it didn’t bother it's prisoner. In fact, he enjoys the feeling of both the thick, arid heat and the blanket of purity on his skin. He rests his back on the side of one of the dunes, and stares up into the source of comfort. The room grows hotter and brighter, but Delta lay, happy. It becomes as hot as fire, and the sand fused into a coarse, opaque glass, but Delta lay, happy. Suddenly, the room falls back to its normal state, hot but not boiling. Delta raises from his lay to a sit whilst searching for the source this unappealing change, eventually turning his head to look at the figure behind the glass.

The sounds begin again, but this time, they were: “Yeeee Naaaaa Eeeeeee Deeee Taaaaa.” Delta pondered for a miniscule moment at what the existence of these sounds meant, before ultimately giving up after not having found a single clue during his minimal allocation of thought.

It was impossible to tell time from within the chamber, as there are no signs of any time passing, yet Delta must have been laying for a significant amount of time, as he has reached a state of minor drowsiness. As the source of heat, and comfort, had vanished, Delta began to seek out other sources where he may rest in the luxury that he had before. He begins to wander the room aimlessly, eventually reaching the same tank he had been freed of before.

Cautiously, he approaches the tank, and begins feeling a gentle wave of warmth. As he gets even closer, it’s clear to him that the tank is ripe with heat. Peering over the side of the tank, it can be seen that the gel he was previously submerged in was replaced with a shallow pool of amber-colored water. He begins to sift his fingers through the gel, observing the gentle waves created on the surface of the liquid. The substance’s weight is immense, yet quite easily pushed apart with force.

Suddenly, Delta had found himself in kneeling down in the shallow puddle within the tank. It must have been the heat memorizing him, as he has no memory of moving away from its side, or certainly into it. His drowsiness is overcoming him, for yet again he had lost his sense of time. Eased by the warmth, he begins lowering the back of his head down into the liquid. The liquid must have been made for this type of endeavor, as it easily supports his neck and head.

He falls asleep and dreams of being a fraction of his current size, running across the giant boulders of sand within the room. After glancing upwards and seeing the expansiveness of the room, he develops an uneasy feeling of insignificance which ultimately wakes him.

He pulls himself from the chamber, as before, but in awe at the unfamiliarity scene. It’s lush and green, with tall, brown, earthen monuments holding up bunches of emerald teardrops. The floor has water flowing on it in the form of wispy, roaring streams that bend and curve their way around the rich soil and flawless pebbles. Was it possible that Delta had enjoyed the dream so much that he didn’t wake when being moved? Or did the room itself change? Delta’s eyes shift up and around looking for answers to this riddle, but the contents of the room make him lose focus. He begins to stroll through the emerald blades, crushing and folding then below his feet as he wanders throughout the scene. Suddenly, he steps into the path of a stream, and the ice-cold water begins to reroute around his foot. Delta retracts his leg, having found great pain and discomfort in the cold. Delta now despises of this place, and begins angrily working his way back to the comfort of the heated tank to tend to his aches and chills, as well to admire the dangerous scene from afar.

Delta glances up at the glass once more, perhaps in belief that they were the one that caused the change. He sights the figure behind the glass, who directs Delta’s eyes downward towards a conspicuous box. Being driven by wonder, he travels to the book and picks it up... its blank. He turns it over to search for anything that may interest him, and sees a picture of the book being opened to the first page. He followed the instructions, and the sounds coming from the walls begin once more, but with pauses in-between them. They weren't the same sounds as before, but eerily similar. Every sound, every stop, he followed until the last page was the other side of the book.

Feeling drowsy from what must have been a large chunk of time, he returns to slumber once more, only to have nightmares about the streams of cold wrapping around him and freezing him to death. He is awaken by fear, and observes the new scene. Wait, it was the same! Once again, Delta refuses to travel through the environment, and heads back to the book once again. Perhaps he just wishes to use the book as a means of passing time until the environment changes into a more… hospitable one. With the book now in Delta’s hands, the figure behind the glass now produces the first sound: “Aaaahh.” Delta wait for the next sound to appear, but this time, it didn’t. Again, the figure made the sound: “Aaaahh.” Delta waits once more, but the figure doesn’t repeat. After a short while, and for reasoning implied, it was Delta who made the sound: “Aaaahh.” The figure turns to another blocked from Delta’s view by the limitations of the window. Several seconds of waiting in anticipation from Delta are well rewarded. As the talking stops, the figure sits back down and scoots in its chair, then makes the sound: “Bbbuh.” To replicate the conditions of advancement, Delta repeats, and soon, they had gotten through the book. The figure disappears to the hidden area for an uncomfortable amount of time, and doesn’t return until a previously unseen shelf emerges from the wall below, revealing a new book. This one had chains of sounds and images next to them, likely made in an order that Delta would understand. Seeing that Delta is prepared to follow, the Figure begins as ever: “Saahnnd.” Delta responds: “Saahnnd.”

CoA: (Project Era)
A young boy sneaks out to have fun with his friend before heading back to bed. In the middle of the night, he is startled awake by a noise greater than any he has ever heard. The town is in disarray at the calamity taking place. With the help of his friend, the boy narrowly escapes from deathtrap of a town and makes his way into the nearby forest. He meets a mercenary named Kroam... (Late medieval)

CoA: (Project Necor)
A great thief is working to get the money towards the elixirs that could save his sick daughter. He breaks into the largest mansion in Gold Meadow, narrowly escaping with his life. Upon returning to his home, he finds that his daughter is missing. A strange note has been left on her bed... (Early medieval)

CoA: (Project Alveir)
A private detective is hired to find out what someone is truly up to, only to find that they are a secret agent of The Alliance. The detective finds hidden files detailing vile projects being worked upon by an unknown organization. (Late modern)

Preemptive QA:
Q: Will this be free?
A: I plan on making the original writings free, including edits I make. I also plan on making most if not all of my writings into full novels when the time comes. (This is almost certainly over 10 years away, so don't pay it much mind.)

Q: What are styles of your writings?
A: Action-oriented, no embellishment, "old-timey," and emotionally descriptive. Expect a lot of lore, humor, and minor savagery. I also have many references to other fiction, so try to find them.

Q: Will there be drawings?
A: At this point in time, I honestly don't have much experience drawing digitally, so drawings wont exist for a while. If I decide to draw manually and scan them, it will only be occasionally.

Q: ______ you say? Sounds like _______.
A: Any similarities to other series is purely coincidental. The only thing that is based off of other series is indirect, such as character customization as a basis for my own. I do have inspiration from other series, but those do not effect the actual content of my work.

List of inspirations include but are not limited to: Souls series (particularly Demon's souls), Dragon Ball, SCP writing project, Mount & Blade, Dead Space, Fire Emblem anime (lol), Pokemon, The Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, Megaman, Avatar.

Q: How often can new content be expected?
A: I usually post once every week, but about once a month when I am busy.

Q: How much content can be expected?
A: About 1000-5000 words each chapter/episode, 40k+ words each volume (That's technically a novel!)

Q: What tools do you use?
A: I am using Google Docs for writing, and sometimes Microsoft Word when the time comes.

Q: How can I help?
A: Add motivational comments.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 11:37:32 PM by TheKindMoose »

Offline TheKindMoose

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Re: The Chronicles of Alti: Legend of Delta
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 12:06:31 AM »
Episode 1, Who
Delta wakes from a rather pleasant dream that he sadly forgets ever happened. Soon after stretching himself awake, he is greeted by his friend behind the glass.
???: “Hello, Delta.”
He possesses a much more relaxed tone than he had when speaking to Delta for the first time. In fact, it had been such a long period of time since their first encounter that only someone from the outside would notice his change in tone. Delta responds to his friend’s invitation to converse.
Delta: “Hello, Alris.”
Alris, as he has asked many times before, inquires: “What do you feel like doing?”
In search of an answer, Delta glances around the room which he had previously negotiated to become a dark, scorching desert. Many sharp, coagulated boulders dot the room, just awaiting a reason crumble. A few streams of scolding mineral water swirl across the room, which comforts him rather than discomfort him due to their elevated temperature. The climate is identical to how Delta had negotiated it to be, unchanged from its ascension from art to perfection that happened weeks ago. Delta begins pondering what he would enjoy doing, before remembering the one thing that was killing him on the inside. Be known that the answer to his question is no want, but an internal need. Delta summons the courage to do what he should have done weeks ago, opening his mouth to speak, but halting during his last moment of doubt to gain self-assurance. Alris’ words are filled with the faint tone of genuine worry
Alris: “What’s wrong, Delta?”
Delta: “I need to know something...”
Alris remains quiet, unusually so. He raises from his chair and paces to an area beyond Delta’s view, where he converses with an unseen figure before returning to his seat. The change in the pattern of Alris’ words hint at them not being his own.
Alris: “If knowledge is what you seek, I can reveal few answers.”
Delta: “Who am I?”
Alris: “Your name is Delta, I don't understand.”
Those who have also spent weeks in an isolation from the outside would respond such the same as Delta, albeit different. Lacking a legitimate answer, Delta’s patience wears thin even for his friends.
Delta: “A name is a label. Who am I, where am I, and why?”
 Alris halts all forms of communication for a brief moment as his body remains as motionless as his jaw. Seconds pass before Alris even moves, doing so to wet his lips before speech.
Alris: “I can only answer one of those questions.”
Delta: “Please do.”
Alris: “You are here because we need you.”
Delta: “For what?”
Alris: “I cannot say. I apologize.”
Delta: “I know I’m not one of you. I can see you through the glass. You and the one before you-”
Alris: “I-”
Delta: “-and if I concentrate, I can hear what your saying behind it as well! I heard you speak to the other about your surprise that I could speak, or to question, even. That means that I am the odd one out of a group, or entirely on my own, and therefore, not from here. Who am I?”
Alris frowns beneath his plastered, emotionless face, one that a man in his position is required to call upon. He raises from his seat and exits the room, evident by the distinct sound of the door never yet heard by Delta. No voices can be can be caught in the dead silence, not even whispers. Moments pass before a different man enters the room and sits in the chair where Alris once sat. He possesses a rather strange accent, though thin.
???: “You have impressed us with your progress.”
Delta scoffs at the nature of that comment, for he was no imbecile and had made no true “progress”. To what hidden progress does the man hint towards?
Delta: “I deserve answers!”
???: “You won’t get them now, but you can earn them.”
Delta: “What’s to keep you from lying?”
???: “Nothing but my word.”
Delta: “I won’t play your games.”
???: “Then you won’t get what you seek.”
Delta: “Then I’ll keep thinking and observing. Eventually, I’ll find out what your doing here with me.”
This time, Delta doesn’t wait for a response. As a sign of disrespect, he returns back to his tank to sleep away the irritating figure with time.
TIme passes, though, it is unknown how much...
Delta wakes with a feeling of sickness and frailty. The room had grown darker than even Delta’s crafted environment, and the cracked ceiling steadily drips a mineral-rich water. A series of gates has been exposed by the erosion of his prison, located at the floor below the glass. The tank emits a slow, repetitive beep for a few count before fading away and ultimately dying off. Delta experiences a headache far worse than anyone should ever know in their lives, and there are both stabbing and tearing pains in his chest and abdomen. Delta is terrified into paralysis by a humanoid figure blacker than nothingness with a grey glow in its eyes just as he begins to struggle off his back.
Delta’s paralysis is only lifted by his seemingly endless supply of adrenaline. He leaps up and, with a blast of flame summoned from his arms, emancipates the figure into the darkness of the room. Although the source of his terror has been dealt with, the instinct of flight remains. Delta runs -- in his eyes, for his life -- away from doom and death. He charges, forcing his body through the steel gates and shattering them into dozens of splinters of rust. He ignores the metal fragments piercing his skin as he continues forward, destroying gate after gate after gate with his might. Seeing no signs of life along the way, he reaches the only obvious exit: a ruined lift leading upwards towards the surface. He channels his flames upward, launching himself up the shaft and smashing through the roof of the building that conceals it, breaking his bones and knocking him out cold. He flies into the sky and scrapes the clouds before plummeting back to the earth at an increasing speed. As he collides with the earth, a small crater forms in his wake which only further imprints the rusted metal into his flesh.
Half dead and far away from the facility, he wakes hours later. His adrenaline is gone, and in its place: pain. No food, no shelter, a walking dead man.
Episode 2, Survivor
Delta emerges from the cave that he’s taken shelter in for the last few nights, wearing a cloak fashioned from the hide of a tent he’d raided from a long-abandoned campsite days ago. The hood has an elongated edge that masks Delta’s face in darkness from all angles les he turn directly towards the sun. The cloak is being held together, and to Delta’s body, by the strength of fused misnark thread, which was also found at the site. At his side: a makeshift pouch holding various interesting rocks.
Not far from his location appears to be the source of echoing roars that precisely align themselves with the indescribable rhythm of nature. Even the plants know the source of this noise: alveir; large bear-like omnivores with a resemblance to hyena. But alas, Delta has no knowledge of the sort. Attracted by the oddity, Delta begins traces the source as quickly as he believes he can without re-breaking his freshly mended bones. The moment Delta gets near enough to hear the roars without any echo, he traverses his way up a large outcropping overlooking the area at the epicenter of the roaring. The scene is that of a cave-painting: a duo of alveir hunting a young bioren -- a large, nomadic grass eater halfway between a bison and a caribou -- at the edge of a steep cliff. The bioren constantly juggles between the two alveir while blocking and parrying them with his horns in an attempt to ward them off. Thoughts flood Delta’s mind, ones of wonder and disgust. Why would a living being do such a thing? Why would a living being even think of such a thing?
Delta’s thoughts halt after observing one of of the alveir gash the side of the bioren with an open paw. Delta’s feelings of wonder and disgust instantly transform into those of anger and grief. He digs his feet into the face of the cliff and slides down, utilizing the momentum to form a full power shove on one of the alveir’ as they roar whilst standing on their hind legs. As the alveir is launched off the side of the cliff, its partner turns its attention to the new threat. It sweeps with its massive arm, tearing open Delta’s flesh with its serrated claws and leaving scars in its wake. Delta is smacked down onto his back, leaving him open for whatever attack the alveir wishes to inflict upon him. Fortunately for Delta, he just created an ally . Delta watches in relief as the bioren sends the remaining alveir to rejoin his kin at the bottom of the cliff.
The bioren, still infuriated, begins inching towards Delta with its ears low and head lower. Delta stops all movement, making sure not to move or otherwise further exasperate the beast, as he observes the multiple open wounds on the bioren’s chest and right side that gush crimson on a pulse. Shocked at how anything could survive such damage, he turn and looks at the beast directly in the eyes. The bioren acts solely upon its instinct to survive. Surely, such an idea is one that any living being can understand.
As the beast begins to let off, Delta struggles onto his feet and hobbles his way to the cliff that he slid down before. His knees fail to support him for any longer, his shoulder colliding against the cliff being the only thing keeping him upright. Only now does he realize that in his efforts, he re-broke his foot when sliding down the ledge, his arms when shoving the alveir, and his ribs when smacked down by the other. Delta turns around to see the bioren, who, at this point, is struggling to walk even more so than him. Delta slowly limps toward the bioren and slowly places his hand atop the bioren’s back to comfort it, and begins helping it back to the cave where he had been resting before. Being exhausted with pain, it takes far longer than it would otherwise to finally make it back to shelter. Delta takes a trip to his supply stash deeper in the cave to retrieve a towel that he’d also found at the campsite, before tearing apart it into bandages. He begins wrapping it around himself and the bioren, making sure to get the most amount of coverage from the limited material as possible.
After the threat of bleedout has finally disappeared, Delta’s stomach lets off a roar that seems to be even louder than that of the alveir roars. He had not “eaten” in weeks, not since the nutrient tank ran in the facility had run empty. Delta had to find food in order to survive, but he was at a major disadvantage: he had no idea of the concept until he saw the bioren grinding the tallgrass between its teeth and swallowing. Delta, curious, mimics the bioren, ripping a few blades of grass from the soil and chewing it with his wedge-like teeth. With the rumbling slightly subsided, Delta begins to understand the basic concept of digestion. He fashions a makeshift walking cane with sticks to ease the pain of his broken foot before beginning to search for more suitable things to eat. Rocks… ouch, bushes… no, twigs… a little better… Eventually, he stumbles across a young tree. In what only he would classify as a stroke of genius, Delta takes a sharp rock from the ground and uses it to strip the tree of a sizeable portion of its bark. Slowly, he places one of the dry pellets in his mouth and chews... For the first time in weeks, Delta feels satiated. He begins consuming it by the handful with haste, before ripping off a stack of the less girthy branches to carry back to the cave.
Night had come in the time Delta has been away. He feeds on one of the branches like maize, nibbling off all of the tree skin in a semi-circular pattern before tossing it back near the entrance of the cave. May it be the bioren comforting Delta, or Delta wanting to do the opposite, he decides to sleep outside with his new ally and stare at the few faint specs of light in the sky. Now, Delta is at peace, falling asleep to the sounds of the bioren’s heavy breaths. His dreams bring him further comfort, for this was no dream of cold. This dream is of the flames and the claustrophobic metal room, the same dream for the third time.
Delta wakes to... crackling? He rotates his head to the source of the strange noise, and observes his hand in the pile of blazing barkless branches. His cloak is charred and ablaze, which Delta quickly shakes and pats back to its non-self-destructive form. He contemplates the possibility that the dreams had triggered his ability to create flame, and more so what that could mean for him. After a moment of intense, resultful ponder -- which he commonly has -- he gives up on the idea. He removes his cloak before taking comfort inside the fire and falling back asleep.
Episode 3, Journey
Delta stares back to his mountain home to enjoy the beauty of the scene from afar and to say goodbye for good. He rides on the back of his bioren friend, whose wounds have healed as well as can be expected. They turn back around to the scene before them: A sea of pure sand as far as the eye can see. At the time they had begun their journey, the sun was barely peeking through the gaps in the mountains. Now, the sun is at its highest peak. The bioren, weak from the immense heat and moistureless air, collapses onto his knees. Delta quickly jumps off the back of the fallen beast in terror.
Delta: “Moose! What's wrong?”
With even his eyes weak from the heat, Moose blinks slowly before resting his head on the sand.
Delta: “W- You need water?”
Moose exhales out of his nostrils sharply as a sign of confirmation. Delta quickly rushes to Moose’s sides and digs out the top layer of sand to expose the cooler layer underneath. Moose slowly crawls into the cool pit while Delta removes his cloak and dangles it between Moose’s horns to provide minimal shade.
Delta: “I’ll find you water, I promise.”
Delta piles some of the cooler sand onto Moose’s back, before breaking into a sprint toward the top of the dune. He squints his eyes and glances across the horizon, searching for any sign of water. He spots nothing but a few streams of desert wind being revealed by grains of fluttering sand. Delta slams at the surface of the dune, furious. Could his only true friend and ally die because of a stupid mistake, such as forgetting that bioren must drink water to survive? Suddenly, a shift in the sand snatches Delta’s attention.
Delta: “Water?!”
Delta speed toward the movement and begins shoveling sand with open palms. In his rush to save his friend, the crater almost reaches neck depth before Delta hears another shift on the opposite side of the dune, where Moose lays. Delta climbs the top of the dune in search of this sound, before spotting it emerging from the sand: A large scorpion with the horn of a rhinoceros. Moose struggles to his feet, readying for a battle and exhaling out of its snout strongly as some form of battlecry. The stonesling snaps at Moose with its claws as Moose juggles between them like with the alveir before. Already halfway down the dune, Delta spots the stonesling pulling it's singer back in anticipation for a strike. Delta takes leaps to stop it, landing on the stonesling’s back and catching its tail with his shoulder, narrowly halting the blow before disaster strikes. Delta struggles to hang onto the tail of the beast as it attempts to shake him off like a volven in a head snag. As Delta is occupied handling the main weapon of the two’s assailant, he orders his ally finish the battle.
Delta: “Moose! Strike!”
Moose follows his friend’s command, charging forwards while narrowly dodging the snips and snaps before lifting the surprisingly lightweight beast onto his horns. Blood begins to drip down from the holes in the beast’s soft exoskeleton, and begins swirling down onto Moose’s head-stricken, exhausted head and neck. Despite the direct hit, the beast remains alive and snipping. Delta slips one of his hands to latch onto the stinger of the beast, before aiming to an apparent weak spot in the overlapping of its armor. He struggles to force the stinger to thrust, cracking the oddly shaped piece of exoskeleton on its tail to prevent it from normally making such a maneuver. With all of his might, Delta forcefully snaps the guard and pierces the stonesling’s armor with its own stinger, injecting itself with its own venom. As the beast’s struggle begins to relax, it’s clear who the victors are.
Delta kneels down on the beast’s back to catch his breath as Moose slowly collapses back into the sand. The sound of the grains shifting below Moose’s body reminds Delta of the emergency at hand. He rushes his way down and around the carcass before spotting Moose licking the blood of the beast. Delta is stricken with joy at the sight.
Delta: “Moose, your a damn genius!”
Delta hurries to one of the holes in exoskeleton to get a closer look between the flops of Moose’s tongue. Wasted blood-water slowly drizzles out from the cracks, following the shape of carcass for a short while before dripping onto the thirsty sand.
Delta: “We have to find a container.”
Delta inadvertently looks at the legs of the stonesling in his search for a flask, and forms an idea. He breaks off one of its legs, then scoops out the insides with his hands to form a makeshift flask. Delta places the container under one of the cracks, and... it works! Excited to continue his journey, he rushes to craft the rest into flasks and fill them to the brim.
The sun begins to set. Delta had made and filled eight individual bottles, reinforced his cloak, and created shade that hangs gently above Moose's back to keep him cool, which he deeply enjoys, all with chitin. Delta drags the lower half of ergonomic skeleton as a sled to store his gear and lighten the load off his shoulders. The sled has misnark rope looping through the two holes that Moose created with his horns so that both Moose and Delta contribute to carrying the gear. At this rate, they could survive more than a week off their flasks and their overly filled bellies that jiggle at every step. It is quite ideal that Delta himself doesn’t feel thirst, for he would have perished long ago.
As the sun completely falls behind the horizon, the boiling desert quickly becomes a freezing wasteland and Delta begins to feel familiar pain and stiffness in his joints. Who would have thought that such a mighty desert must also succumb to the frigid cold? Certainly not Delta. As the desert is pushed from sunset to dusk, Delta begins moving slower and slower, and shivering more and more. The two stop after finding a slab of exposed sandstone hidden by a thin layer of sand. The dunes around the slab form a protective U shape, allowing only one entrance in case a stonesling decided to get revenge on the two for killing it's brethren. Delta hurries to unload his equipment, pulling out a few of his branches and placing them into a pile before attempting to repeat the feat of flame he had made long ago.
Delta yells: “Ignite! Ignite!”
Not a single bit of heat is to be felt, or any glow to be seen. He is freezing to death, yet he is unable to summon the flame that would save his life.
Delta: “The dream! Maybe if I have that dream...”
Delta lays down in the sand with his knees up to his face to contain his inner warmth. He struggles to sleep, and fails to even yawn. It's simply too cold for Delta to get comfortable enough to sleep, and alas, dream. He realises the gravity of this situation. If he didn’t light the fire, he would certainly perish before daybreak. Delta plants himself down against Moose, who is shivering to a lesser degree than Delta. With one swift motion, Delta punches himself in the jaw with as much force as he can muster, knocking himself out.
He dreams of the fire... of the walls... of the… door! This time, he sees a door. It has sharp teeth that overlap, forming a perfect seal. It is metal like the rest of the room, and it seems that this door would be completely impenetrable by any normal means. He awaken by a gust of air shot from Moose's nose and into Delta’s face. He quickly sits back up and begins to stare at the flames of the fire in relief.
Delta: “I need to learn how to do that without sleep.”
He lays his head in the fire to feel it's warm embrace before treading out into the cold and setting up camp.
Delta: “We should probably stay here tonight Moose.”
Moose refuses to acknowledge such obvious advice with a gust of nasal air. Delta leans the sled on its side near the open side of the dune to offer minor cover incase a stonesling decides to attack before sorting the things that were carried upon it: the flasks, misnark thread, a sharp rock, and the stonesling guts he had removed from the carcass’ legs before. He pours the guts over the fire and let them cook to a near char, a trick he learned with bugs back near the cave. He removes them after a while, eating some of the chunks and saving some for Moose, who he refuses with a powerful gust of air. Perhaps Delta should have brought grass as well, but Moose’s physique allows him carry his own supply of energy in the form of fats. Delta leans back against Moose’s ribs and finishes the last pieces of stonesling before he curls up between Moose and the fire.
Delta: “I’ll find that room, Moose. I’ll find answers.”
Far off into the horizon, a warm, gentle glow marks the domain of a legend to some, but history to most.
Episode 4, Inferno
The skies glow a dull reddish color, and ash that covers and kills any plant life that dares near the brim drizzles down from above. The only contrast in the sky is from the clouds, which have a pitch darkness to them and form long, slender eyes that stretch across the sky from their epicenter. On both sides, liquid rock flutters down the steep cliffs, forming small, sharp pebbles in mounds. Tracing the streams to their source, there sits a huge volcano exerting a pitch-black smoke that ascends up from its rim. Moose lets out an angry grunt, and jostles back away from the monument. Delta dismounts Moose, who is obviously disturbed by the dreadful environment.
Delta: “Alright, Moose. Head back to the camp. I’ve got business here.”
Delta kneels near one of the streams of rock as Moose begins slowly heading back to the camp. Delta submerges his hand in the lava, intoxicated by its glow. This heat is far greater than that of even fire itself, such so it’s not even worthy of comparison. As he pulls his hand from the lava, it pulls apart off his hands like a sort of pastry sauce. Delta’s eyes travel up the river opposite its flow, following it upwards as he begins slowly making his way up the ever steepening mountain. Soon, his walk turns into a crawl, and then a climb, until he finally reaches the brim. Exhausted, he rolls onto his back and gulps air while observing the perfectly painted sky. The atmosphere is starved of oxygen due to the smoke and altitude, only lengthening the period of legitimacy for his excuse to enjoy the scenery.
After an extended period of rest, Delta stands back up to look outward from the brim of the volcano. He spots the desert where he had struggled before. The stonesling, the pluming heat, and air so dry that cacti would perish, the memories return to his mind in a slow swarm of fragments like arkiv to a nest. It seems so far away, yet, it was just days ago since he had last left it. He takes his time reflection the past before pressing on to the future.
Delta turns back around to observe the magnificent pool of liquid rock below. He has the logical reasoning required to know that it would not be ideal to simply fall down, as such an intense fall would easily kill or severely maim him. Intoxicated by the heat and smoke, he goes on to do that which he would not without such a longing for his goal to find his origins. In a sprint, Delta leaps down to the opposite side and grasps onto the course walls of the volcano, smacking his body against the jagged rock. He begins to leap back and forth using the strength in both his arms and legs, slowly scaling down into the planet’s gullet until he reaches a point where the other side is inaccessible by reason of distance. He glances downwards and see a plateau jutting out above the magma, one placed ever so perfectly to land upon. Seeing no other option, he braces for impact and releases the side of the wall, falling dozens of feet down and landing with a thud. The weakened rock of the plateau cracks in his wake, before he slowly begins to return to a normal stance after regaining the feeling in his arms and legs.
To Delta, the scene is the likes of a sanctuary. It is an enormous chamber with a variety of plateau jutting from the vast ocean of magma below. Slow, shallow waves animate the magma, giving it the illusion of life.
Delta: “This feels… nice.”
Embers of pure fire circle around haphazardly, creating streaks of flame that cut through the air. These are no ordinary flakes of fire, for they emanate the feeling of… being, the feeling of life. Suddenly, a mysterious voice echoes out from… everywhere. The beings of fire rapidly take shelter along the deepest cracks of the course wall, and the waves of magma seem to increase in intensity. The voice has no clear creator, but their intent is clearly towards interrogating Delta.
???: “Why... are you here?”
Delta: “I come to find f-… my reason for surviving.”
The words from Delta’s mouth brought clarity to their creator. He does not seek the room, or even the comfort of the flames. He seeks to find out for what reason luck allowed him to survive whatever the shadowy figure was on about, for Delta knows that the figure speaks nothing but the truth. Whatever the answer is, knowing more of his origin might lead to it.
???: “You seek me to find out why you survive?”
Delta: “I know nothing of myself.”
???: “You come here to find out about yourself? You ask me?”
Delta: “Who are you?”
???: “You truly have no idea? Perhaps I was forgotten… My effort, and I was forgotten?”
Delta: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend.”
???: “Wait… you're not… no! Beast, destroy this demon!”
Detla: “Wait!”
Before Delta can plea to the mysterious voice, a giant emerges from the magma, splashing the liquid flame around as it pulls itself on top of the plateau. It appears as massive gorilla with spider-like appendages extending outwards from its back. The only form drawn from its cloudy flesh is the result of its dull metal armor, which also forms its terrifying faceplate. Flame blows out from the breathing holes in its helmet as it exhales, further displaying its destructive capabilities. Delta begs against violence.
Delta: “Please, wait!”
???: “Begone, demon!”
Delta: “I don’t want to draw blood! Please!”
His calls go unanswered by the mysterious voice, and so the beast. The beast lunges and strikes Delta, hitting him in both the face and chest with the massive area of its fist despite Delta’s best efforts to dodge. He is and knocked unconscious on the spot and launched onto the surface of the magma.
Delta dreams, but this time, not of the flames. Delta dreams of being back within the confines of his tank. He sees an imposing man armored in a full suit of green, lusterless metal surrounded with an animate layer of a white, transparent field. The engravings on the armor are made of unique patterns that are impossible to follow with mortal eyes, and appear to be made of nothingness itself. Delta watches as the man effortlessly tears through the guard’s flesh with his wrist-mounted axes -- which appear to be made of a different material -- all while making no effort to pursue as they collapse backwards. Delta sees the man as he turn to look at him, and his stone-carved eyes. Motionless, emotionless, and all-seeing, the eyes speak to him, such as the eyes of Moose. The man turns back around and removes his helmet to let his pitch black hair breath before walking back through the open gates of the facility. He is greeted by another man, who is obviously of a lower presence despite the two now being out of Delta’s sight.
???: “Is the room clear? Did you find ‘it’?”
???: “No. Reseal the gates and camouflage the entrance.”
Delta falls back into reality as his eyes snap open with a newfound will for survival. He twists his body, grabbing on to the plateau with his right arm and swimming his left arm through the dense liquid rock below him. Delta grabs on with his left arm and digs his feet into the soft cliff of ground below the surface before throwing himself atop the plateau, crumbling most of the nearest edge.
The beast turns back to its failed kill, enraged at how such a small creature could survive such a blow from such a proud beast as it. Delta, fearless and enraged, charges at the beast as it stands up on its four spider appendages. He slides under it and grasps its spider-like leg with his hands, then heaves forward with all of his strength at the perfect angle, toppling the monster on its face. Quickly, Delta leaps onto its back and grabs at the back plate of the beast’s armor, then mercilessly attempts to tear it off. The armor plate shows no signs of damage until it suddenly releases its grip from the beast’s back and curls backwards like a shred of cheese. Delta is knocked off as the beast snaps upwards in shock, letting out an awful screech of agony and rage. It rotates and grabs Delta by the neck before throwing him onto his back, stunning him before the beast begins pummeling him with fire-coated fists. After what seems like minutes, the finally beast calms itself and grabs Delta’s neck, choking him. He gasps for air, struggling to get free as the beast leans into him with its immense weight.
Delta falls unconscious once, and dreams about the flames. This time, he sees something extraordinary. He sees a small glass cylinder encapsulating a microscopic creature. He can't get a closer look because of his hazed vision, but he can faintly make out shades of grey and red along with its general fetal shape.
Delta wakes and explodes with power, projecting himself and the beast into the air and the upper wall of the volcano. A plume of rock and dust covers Delta’s vision as he sails through the blanket of blindness while he windmills his arms, searching for a place to grip the wall. With a stroke of luck he latches onto the wall by just the tips of his fingers. Delta takes a breath of victory as the plume begins to clear up. He turns to see the beast, who is no more than thrice its height away from Delta and digging into the walls with its spider legs as it rushes towards him. Above it, a series of stalactites hang on by the slightest thread, just waiting for someone to knock them down. Using the remaining strength he didn't know he possessed, he forces the flames inside him towards the hanging daggers. They loosen, and one by one they plummet. They hit the beast, tearing its ghastly flesh, until one of the daggers, by a pure stroke of luck, plummets into the gap in its armor made by Delta, piercing it's heart.
Delta takes a sigh of relief as the beast falls into the chamber, and begins slowly scaling back up to the surface until an ungodly roar takes his attention. He glances back only to see the body of the beast spewing lava at an astounding rate. Judging by the speed that the magma is filling the chamber, it will begin overflowing any minute. Delta knows that he could survive the magma, but his relief turns to terror at the thought that Moose wouldn’t get away in time and would succumb to the liquid rock. He musters one more blast from his feet and back, launching himself back up to the surface. Wasting no time, he repeatedly sprints, jumps, and slides down the side of the volcano at impressive speeds so save his friend. With Moose in sight, he performs one last leap while shouting at his friend.
Delta: “Moose! Run!”
Moose is startled at this sudden yelling, but thinks to wait for his friend to land until the sight of lava, cinders, and boulders tumbling down the slopes at rapid speeds convinces him to do otherwise. The two run faster than they had ever before, all while murderous rock and firewater hunt them like pack animals. Exhausted, they finally make their way back to their camp, which was luckily, though not thoughtfully, prepared at the top of a large hill. Delta gasps for air.
Delta: “That was close, Moose…”
Moose sharply exhales out of its snout in agreement while both of them swallow gulps of air, with Delta doing so at a slightly faster than Moose. Delta, recalling what he had seen in his new dream and the old one, was satisfied with his trip. If only the locals showed more hospitality to travelers...
Delta: “I'm getting closer to finding out what I am, who I am… and why I’m here…”
Moose gives no response through breath. Perhaps what he thinks is: “An animal. An animal. Eat, survive, reproduce.” Delta is famished, exhausted in both eyes and body, wounded, and all of the other things you don't want to be while trying to survive except dead. Moose suddenly grunts with a dry tongue. With his entire body aching, Delta checks insides of his pouch the way one would reach inside the ravaged carcass of a lifeless animal. Alas, all of his canteens are as dry as the desert they were crafted in. Delta climbs to the top of the hill in search for any greenery, for it marks the residence of life and life water. He begins to doubt if there ever was a soul to cross this dreaded wasteland as his eyes travel across the horizon in search of existence beyond the accursed ash covered ground. Delta’s eyes, though built for darkness, bring him no aid. At his final trip across the horizon, he believes to spot a faint spec of a green hue. Perhaps it was just a mirage, but the omen of such is not to be taken lightly. Delta quickly mounts Moose to ease the pain of his own wounds while traversing the slate plains. Soon, the ash beneath Moose’s feet begins to fade, but the land remains lifeless and pale. Only the strongest of shrubs had made their stay, isolated from their peers and without flowers or berries to be seen. As the two tread nearer to the clue of life, it’s apparent that it was no mirage after all. Soon, the basil  of trees beyond the shade and ash of the volcano melts into a shade of jade, before the jade separates into its components of emerald and sapphire. As Moose takes his first steps on the healthy grass, Delta leaps off. He stares into the area as Moose gnaws on dew-covered grass, for this environment is identical to that of one he experienced in the facility. Delta remembers the cold stream and the nightmares that ensued upon stepping in its path. He begins pacing slowly to the obstacle far in front of him: a body of water more massive than one he has ever seen before. Upon reaching the shore of the crystal mirror, he begins to brace the cold and slowly dip his hand into the water. Lukewarm. Though the threat has been analyzed to be insignificant, he remains… cautious. Delta goes in closer, not for a drink, but to clean himself of the ash and soot covering his entire body, but halts upon noticing the reflection. Never, has he ever, seen a body of water large enough to observe himself with. Right now is the first time he had ever seen his own face.
Delta’s skin is an ashen grey with a slight tint of sapphire, and his eyes are pitch black with an ovular ring of white forming his pupils. His arms and legs are proportionally long compared to his torso, which is fairly evident even with the cloak on. The top of Delta’s head forms a flat dome, which compliments his toned muscles and rough skin. Delta is completely lost in his own thoughts as he realises that he and the creature he saw in his dream share the same distinct features.
Delta: “There are more…”
Episode 5, Gold Meadow
Rain pours down on Delta’s shoulders as he huddles near a recently doused campfire, shaking like an old coot due to the ice cold drizzle. As of now, their only shelter is that of the minor deflection of rain offered by the forest canopy. Moose lets out a gust of air from his nostrils, followed by a sniffle. Delta speaks with unpleasant roughness in his throat while comforting his friend.
Delta: “I know, Moose, but it's almost daylight.”
Delta lowers his hood and wraps it around his neck and face to warm his throat and jaw, preventing further bone chilling. There is no use in attempting to summon fire once more, as this weather would bring destruction to even the hottest fires. Besides, Delta’s jaw likely couldn’t handle the additional torment. Many minutes later, Delta hears a strange noise, one he had never heard before... a clicking noise... coming from behind him. He turns his head to the source, inadvertently pulling his hood from his face, where behind him, a crouched man wearing a loosely fit gambeson shirt aims a loaded crossbow directly at Delta. Upon catching sight of his face, the man’s eyes open as wide as his frown.
???: “What the hell?!”
The man begins retreating back into the brush and trees behind him. Seconds later, the roars of an alveir echo out followed by the snapping of twigs underneath their charging paws. Delta had not seen anyone since the facility, at least in person. With his confusion aside, he rushes to mount Moose -- who had been alerted by the sounds -- and begins pursuing the first human he had seen for months. What he’d do if he caught him, he’s unaware. Even using his low-light adjusted vision to aid in following the faint tracks and to steer Moose, they are still to slow to regain the headstart claimed by the human. After many long minutes of chase on a target much faster than the two, the footprints have completely faded into the rain soaked mud. By dawn, Delta has completely lost the stranger in the thick of the forest. While turning around to follow the miniscule lead of a fallen tree nut, Delta spots something through the brush from the corner of his eyes. He hops down off of Moose and slowly inches toward it, swiping through the thin supple branches in his path. Peering over the nearby cliff, Delta spots a small village no more than a few miles out. Delta is invigorated by this discovery.
Delta: “Yes! People!”
He begins scouting for the best path down the cliff before raising his hood.
The sun has fully risen over the horizon, the rain subsided, and Delta is crossing the weathered stone bridge that connects the outskirts of the village to the other half of the world across it. “Gold Meadow Village” has been elegantly painted along the sign that arches over the far side of the bridge. Most, if not all, of the buildings are made from a rich wood, and are of various weathering. As Delta passes through, he notices that the only people outside their homes are the lamellar-clad guards and the merchants taking in the last of their shipments before the start of the village day. Neither of the groups give Delta any hassle, why would they? Delta stops at the largest building in town -- the inn -- and dismounts Moose with a smile on his shadowed face.
Delta: “Maybe some people here know about me.”

Moose exhales sharply, which is always a sign that something Delta said must be significant.
Delta “Yes, yes, I know! They fear me. I’ll ask about… the flames.”
Delta walks up the steps and swings the door open wide and quick, creating a dull creaking noise that noticeably echoes inside the tavern room. From what he can see, there are three types of people in the tavern: the drunks from last night who fell asleep at the tables, the guard who keeps them from drinking any more booze until the innkeeper shows up, and the drunks from last night who drank so much booze they actually fell unconscious at the table. It seems good for the innkeeper that everyone is too drunk to actually start fights, and I bet the guard happily accepts his pay for doing practically nothing at all.
A lady slides in past Delta and glides to the far side of the room, where the bar is. The lady is clearly tired, as evident in her voice.
The lady: “Your shift is over, Leair. Could you turn the sign on your way out?”
The guard follows the lady’s instructions on his way home, glancing at Delta with a look that hints at some form of displeasurement in him being there. What had Delta done to deserve such treatment? Delta begins to head over to the bar to speak with the lady, working his way around the various haphazardly positioned tables. It’s no help that most of the people sitting at them have them have slid their chairs a few feet out so that they may rest their heads on the tables more easily. Delta finally arrives at the bar. The lady appears to be an older woman with most of her short, white hair tucked into a hat. She strikes up a conversation.
The lady: “Are you traveling with your family, kid?”
Delta: “Yes.”
Few would consider a bioren to be family, but who knows?
The lady stretches back behind the counter to begin polishing the iron mugs hidden underneath. She nearly misses sight of the chitin on Delta’s cloak in the darkness of the torch-lit tavern, which she seems intrigued by.
The lady: “Are you a wanderers son?”
Delta: “Maybe.”
Usually, maybe in a yes or no question implies cockieness.
The lady: “Say, where did you get that chitin?”
Delta: “Off of a stonesling corpse. Could I ask a question now?”
The lady responds with a confused voice.
The lady: “Sure, what about?”
Delta moves closer to have no risk of any of the drunks actually faking their sleep and successfully spying on him.
Delta: “I have dreams…”
The lady remains silent with a single eyebrow raised. Her attention shifts from getting a perfect cleaning on the mugs to Delta’s words.
Delta: “...these dreams I swear are memories. And when I wake up after them, I create fire.”
The lady chuckles, but Delta remains serious.
The lady: “How often?”
Delta: “Whenever I need to.”
The lady: “Simple pyromancy.”
Now Delta is the one with intrigue.
Delta: “Explain please?”
The lady leans in with both of her elbows on the bar.
The lady: “I’ve lived for most of Altian history. I was born back in the times of the Galvian Empire. After the Emperor’s death, and during his burial, there was a great heatwave followed by a great cold. Both lasted only for a few minutes. Afterwards, people began being born not only able to control either Earth, Air, and… what was it? Water, but with Fire and Ice as well. I was born with the power of Earth, called Geomancy. It's kind of boring, actually… The odd thing though, is that people born with the original three elements are only able to control it, but those born with the newer forms are able to temporarily create it. Sadly, even after all my years, I still can barely raise a rock.”
Delta: “What makes me different? Why am I a Pyromancer?”
The lady: “Don’t get me wrong, you’re not yet a Pyromancer, unless you are?”
Delta remains silent in confusion of how to respond.
The lady: “True Pyromancers control fire at their own will. All beings with a soul can feel the presence of one so powerful, but only a sage can truly see it.”
Delta: “But why fire? Why not earth?”
The lady: “There’s no reason that I know of. Maybe the universe just decides what fits everyone best. Or what they understand the most. Or maybe it's entirely random. Given me getting gifted with earth, I reckon the last.”
Delta’s stomach growls mercilessly, although not louder than the echo of an alveir this time. The lady reaches under the bar and creates Delta a small platter of cheese.
The lady: “Here, for the conversation. The others are too drunk or hungover to talk or even eat anyway. You return to your parents when you're done. I have to go set the misnark traps.”
What she doesn't know is that Delta has no clue of who his parents were, where they are, or even if they ever existed in the first place. The cheese itself is nice and filling, but it tastes like it’s missing an ingredient -- such as dry tree bark. Delta finishes the last of the dairy gift as the lady finally returns.
Delta: “Could I stay here by any chance?”
The lady: “Sorry kid, I can't give you a room unless you have the money. It's too the demand is high. Tell your parents it’s 15 S for the first night and 9 S for each night after that.”
Seeing no use in staying, Delta begins leaving the inn while waving goodbye to the friendly woman. The creaking of the floor boards and opening of the door startle the drunken guests on his way out.
Delta begins wandering around town trying to find a way to make enough money to stay at the inn. Trading… no, farming… no, oh this seems familiar. But then, he stumbles across a stand with a sign saying “Selling Stonesling Kabobs”. A small picture near the text appears to detail charred stonesling guts on a stick, to Delta’s best knowledge. He thinks for a brief moment before deciding -- based on the logic that larger equals more expensive -- to make giant kabobs.
He heads just out of town and finds a small tree. After a while, he has cut down plenty of branches and stripped the bark with his teeth, leaving the inner part of the wood as a sharp point. Using his prowess, Delta quickly catches enough fish from the nearby river to finish all of the kabobs despite the cold water stiffening him throughout its use. Afterwards, he constructs a small stand on a streetcorner to mimic the stand that he saw before.
By now, it’s mid-day and people are beginning to fill the streets. A small crowd forms around Delta’s stand to observe the boy in a chitin reinforced cloak selling giant fish kabobs. Perhaps it’s because of the humorous aspect alone, or also because the fisherman caught something other than a fish in the rain last week, but this stand receives far attention more than the others. The townsfolk quickly buy their weekly supply of fish for the town norm, but what they’re completely unaware of is that Delta has no idea of what a fair price is, what isn't, or how to haggle. I suppose it’s for the best that no one though to take advantage of him. Quickly, the stacks of fish turn into a baby’s weight of silver-plated coins. Delta is just about to tear down the stand and return to the inn before a burly old man approaches him while brushing his white beard between his fingers. Delta assumes that he is like the rest.
Delta: “Sorry, I’m out of fish.”
The old man: “Where are your parents, kid?”
Delta responds in a quiet voice, as he wasn’t sure the intent of the man.
Delta: “I don't know...”
The old man: “I've seen those spears, the ones you used to impale the fish. They’re incredibly wellmade. They’re handmade, correct?”
Delta: “Yes.”
The old man: “By you?”
Delta: “Yeah.”
The old man: “And how long did that take you?”
Delta: “A couple minutes. Why?”
The old man: “Well… I’m offering you a job making arrows, bolts, handles and the such.”
Delta remains silent, for the idea of employment was completely unfamiliar to him. Damn those dang fangled strategies of cultural and societal blindness forged by his missing captors! The old man turns around and points to the road back past the bridge, the one Delta would have gone down if he didn't stop at the village.
The old man: “It’s in that direction; north and a little bit west, in town Corbrar. I’m a blacksmith.”
Delta looks downwards, contemplating how he should respond until he realises the things he could learn in such a place. He was taught much by his friend Alris, including the fact that towns are the staples of civilization, knowledge, and culture. What interests him is the second, and is what pushes him to decide his fate. Even then, he sound unsure of it, which the old man mistaken for shyness.
Delta: “...sure.”
The old man: “Good! My name is Dirvar of the La-Dahl clan. Yours?”
Delta: “Delta.”
I would have uploaded all 20 episodes thus far, but there's a character limit. :/

Offline TheKindMoose

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Re: The Chronicles of Alti: Legend of Delta
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 12:09:19 AM »
Episode 6, Market
Delta is waken by the rays of dawn sprinkling from the window above him, lighting the swirling rain of dust. He glances over at his workbench and all of his unused woodworking tools, which reminds him that he completed all of his tasks the day before. His locked strongbox sits perfectly aligned with the side of his desk, which reminds him of his healthy stockpile of wealth.
Delta: “I really haven't spent anything have I?”
Delta looks down at his stomach, which feels uncomfortably empty despite its lack of verbal complaint.
Delta: “I guess I'm pretty hungry today.”
Delta heads over to the trunk and opens the concealed compartment that houses a small coin purse, which he takes before beginning to leave his room. At the end of the hallway, he encounters Dirvar carrying a massive sack of blacksmithing tools over his shoulder. Even at this hour and age, he’s fully active.
Dirvar: “Delta, I have another job for you.”
Delta responds with a quiet, convincing voice.
Delta: “Well, I was just about to head out to the markets.”
Dirvar directs Delta to follow him to the forge outside, where he carefully sets his tools down on the nearby table. The loud clunking sound and the sounds of the tools inside the bag remind Delta of Dirvar’s well earned strength.
Dirvar: “It's a great sword handle, as in two handed. They want an elegant one. Listen, I know you're a fast worker, but will you be able to finish if you don't start now?”
Delta is confident in his abilities, maybe too much so to be healthy.
Delta: “I would.”
Dirvar thinks back to the memories of his childhood, playing in the streets of a town far away. This, paired with his experiences working with Delta, convinces him.
Dirvar: “Do as you wish.”
Delta begins traveling through the shop and leaves out through the front door. Seeing Moose still sleeping soundly with his head rested delicately on a pile of hay, Delta treads lightly down the creaky stairs to not wake him before beginning to make his way down the street, excited in his first time being allowed to explore the town freely. He walks with neck angled steeply upwards to follow the town’s dynamic stone skyline, with most of the buildings at least three stories tall and packed cozily together. The stones are rectangular like sculpted brick, but the imperfect edges hint to there being only minor discretion in choosing what stones to use for construction. Both fresh and weathered scraping marks are apparent on the parts of stone that are free of dewy moss. As Delta nears the market district, he begins to realise how large the town actually is. The traffic here at dawn here is upwards of tenfold times greater than that of the entire village of Gold Meadow during midday. The market district is shaped like a circle with three main streets connecting to its outer ring. Attracted by the aroma of aged cheese, Delta takes a short break from observing the scenery to purchase some of the dryer variety of aged animal liquid from one of the stands.
Delta begins to make his way back to the forge, but halts after seeing a chainmail coif in the display window of a shop that he must of missed on his first pass. For a obvious reasons, this reminds him of his hood, which intrigues him enough to end with a trip inside. His entry triggers the happily carless jingle of the doorbell, which attracts the shopkeeper from the privacy of the room behind his counter.
The shopkeeper: “Yeah, yeah, I'm coming.”
As Delta waits for the man, his eyes travel across the primary display case. Going from left to right, there are a few shields made of various materials, a plethora of furs and hides, replacement parts for a crossbow, ...oh! Delta spots a short double-sided spear with the head of an axe. It has a striking resemblance to a halberd, albeit much shorter. The spike at the bladeless end of the weapon appears to be just the right length to offer an occasional advantage without ever catching the user. The weapon has a slight curve beginning about two thirds of the way down from the axe-end, which appears similar to how a wood splitting axe does. As the shopkeeper makes it to the front room, his eyebrows raise at the size of his guest. His voice possesses a confused, unsure tone.
The shopkeeper: “Can I… get you anything?”
Being distracted by the weapon, Delta remains oblivious to the shopkeeper’s puzzlement.
Delta: “This here, please.”
The shopkeeper shifts his eyes toward the case before leaning over the wooden back panel to view the implied item. Upon gaining sight of the weapon, his attitude shifts from confusion to irritation.
The shopkeeper: “A jiare? I don't sell weapons to children. Personal policy.”
As any “child” would, Delta is upset at being told anything close to no.
Delta: “Well, why not?”
The shopkeeper: “It's bad for business if children accidentally kill themselves or their mates after walking out of my shop with a weapon. Tell you what: You’re relatively tall and I’m in a good mood. If you show that you can use that, I'll let you buy it. You look almost old enough to not be stupid with it.”
Delta: “Sure.”
Delta has never had a duel with another person before -- nor did he know how to actually use a blade -- yet his experience against the fiery beast gives him confidence in the unknown. The shopkeeper draws a practice sword and jiare from the back room before meeting Delta in the spacious area in front of the display case. He hands Delta the practice jiare with a smirk on his face.
The shopkeeper: “If you win, you still need the coin.”
With only subtle body language hinting at it beforehand, the shopkeeper strikes with his sword, which is quickly caught by the area between the axe and spear end of Delta’s jiare but nearly knocking it from his hands in the process. Delta quickly pulls away with the caught sword in an attempt to disarm the shopkeeper, but they are fast enough to avoid the maneuver by pulling away at the last second. The force of the strike would alert a knowledgeable swordsman that the shopkeeper’s blade is extremely heavy for its size -- as if the core were made from lead or some other dense metal. The shopkeeper begins slowly increasing the speed and complexity of his attacks, yet still having all of them either clashing with the handle of the jiare or being nearly parried. Eventually, the shopkeeper becomes very annoyed at the lengthiness of the battle.
The shopkeeper: “You know, to win, you have to hit me.”
Following that comment and the following sword slash, Delta parries and slugs the man with the back end of the axe. Having lost the duel, due to his own confidence in using an ahem... 20 lb sword, the shopkeeper tosses the bulk of steel to the ground in a shame that he’d not admit to anyone.
The shopkeeper: “Fine, you win. We had a deal...”
Delta sets down the practice jiare on the display case while aweing as the shopkeeper removes Delta’s first weapon from its glass prison. The shopkeeper jumps at to opportunity to feel slightly better about losing to someone half his size, by way of snarky tone.
The shopkeeper: “You know, you still have to pay. 20 S.”
Delta opens his purse and spreads his coins out over the glass, manually counting out the 20 silver before handing it to the shopkeeper. He takes the jiare and waves goodbye to the shopkeeper, who is still of salt, as he enjoys the presence of his first weapon. Delta begins rotating the blade to better observe the craftsmanship using the sunlight from the window. The shopkeeper’s voice briefly turns to that of absolute seriousness as he implores to Delta.
The Shopkeeper: “Please, don’t kill anybody... or do, if they’re stealing my business.”
Delta triggers the happy jingle once more on his way back home, all the while getting suspicious looks from the strategically scattered about guards. They probably would have stopped him if he didn't look like a wanderer’s child, or if those who don’t care actually did in the first place. Delta thinks to take even more time than he already had to explore further and possibly find some more information, but decides otherwise. After all, Dirvar likely wouldn’t allow for Delta to explore again if he failed his promise. By the time he returns to his home and work, Moose is awake and eating the finest -- and possibly only -- grain he’s ever eaten. Dirvar’s stealthy and stout bioren had made its way to the other side of the trough, where leeches off of Moose’s food without much resistance. After all, Moose must keep his tone physique to impress the lady bioren’, and has more than enough food of his own to have no problem in sharing some with his new troughmate. Delta makes his way up the steps while brushing Moose’s back before heading back into his home only to be stopped by Dirvar, who is alerted by the glint of the uncovered blade. Dirvar is quite suspicious.
Dirvar: “Halt. Where did you get that blade?”
Delta: “The shop?”
Dirvar: “I remember forging that exact blade weeks ago! Goreen doesn't sell weapons to children.”
Delta: “I dueled him for it.”
Dirvar: “Don’t try to fool me, he was the greatest swordsman in the watch.”
Delta lacks the experience that one should possess before owning a weapon, and is therefore unable to see the simple solution of proclaiming that his opponent’s sword was too heavy to use effectively. Instead, he stands quietly pondering if he was truly skilled enough to beat a veteran swordsman.
Dirvar: “And what kind of child walks around town in a cloak? A thief?”
Dirvar begins squeezing the sides of his forehead to help relieve his stress.
Dirvar: “I take an orphan in, give them a job, and they end up being a thief. Lower your hood boy, I’m speaking to you!”
Oh my, this is a predicament.
Delta: “Are you sure?”
Dirvar gives no response other than lowering his hand down to his waist, exposing his flaming eyes. To the touch, the sides of Delta hood feel much more coarse and unforgiving than the usual. He slides his hood down and looks up at Dirvar’s eyes. In only moments, they transform from anger, to terror, to ponder, to despair. Dirvar now fully understands everything that he previously avoided asking Delta to honor his privacy, and much, much more.
Dirvar: “You aren't from Alti, are you?”
Delta: “I'm not sure. I seek to find out who I am, and why I'm here.”
Dirvar begins squeezing his forehead once more.
Dirvar: “You have a job to do. I have to think about this…”
Delta shuffles to his room and anxiously begins working on his project.
Episode 7, Shadows pt 1
Delta is outside of the city on a cliff overlooking the massive towers of stone brick lit only by torches and candlelight. He sits legs crossed only inches from the cliff. The darkness shrouds the scene outside of the town, invisible even with Delta’s enhanced eyesight. Delta closes his eyes, thinking of fire. He focuses harder and harder, wishing stronger and stronger, yet, he is unable to replicate the flames that he had summoned from within himself. He gives up on his wish for tonight, but he thinks back to his dream of the man in armor. “Who is he?” “What is 'it?’” “Why did he leave me sealed away?” Delta’s eyes peel open as he rises to stand towards the city. He thinks back to chatter he heard in town only days ago.
Delta: “You don't see someone you've never met in a dream…”
Delta looks deep into the city and its disappearing lights, reminded that daylight waits for no one. He slides down the cliff to save time on his trip home, as well as for his own amusement. Delta opens the door to the Forge, creating the usual creaking noise, before he spots Dirvar sitting on a stool off in the side of the room. He turns to Delta, dragging his beard across the table, before turning towards a much less hairy man that Delta is unfamiliar of.
Dirvar: “Delta, this is Ulkzval. He’s a Zorkian doctor and holyman.”
It is only nature that Dirvar would break up days of silence with words or actions of significance. Ulkzval wears long, overlapping orange robes that stop just above the floor. In fact, the slightest slouching would cause it to drag against the ground. Because of the bulky nature of his robes, not even the faintest assumptions can be made about his physique. Some of the outer layers seem to be similar to gambeson in their structure, but made of a much smoother material that would suggest either great wealth or nobility.
Ulkzval: “I was told of you. You know of my purpose, yes?”
Delta responds with moderate sass.
Delta: “You are here because I'm not one of you.”
Ulkzval: “Not exactly. I am here not only because I seek knowledge of you, but because you seek knowledge of yourself as well.”
This catches Delta's interest, yet he remains silent. Ulkzval waits some time for a response, which goes unrewarded.
Ulkzval: “Dirvar, I need you to leave, if you would kindly.”
Dirvar follows instructions, disappearing into the hall leading to his bedroom. His steps fill the silence until their disappearance allows the conversation to resume.
Ulkzval: “Your hood please.”
Delta slowly lowers his hood to reveal his unseen face, yet Ulkzval remains unphased by Delta’s physical appearance. In fact, he doesn’t show even the slightest change in emotion as if he knew exactly what to expect.
Ulkzval: “You have been wounded, I can tell. I need you to remove your attire.”
Delta begins to remove his outfit, displaying the various scars on his leathery skin. Ulkzval circles around, observing every gash and bruise on Delta’s body. He takes notice that almost all of them are at Delta’s front, the mark of one who doesn’t turn their backs towards danger.
Ulkzval: “Your scars -- alveir attacks... bruises... various broken bones… am I wrong?”
Delta: “No.”
Ulkzval: “You have faced various battles, haven't you? Tell me how you got here.”
Delta begins to tell the story of his experiences and battles, starting from his first memories to the current day. The facility, Moose, the volcano, even the kabobs -- Delta describes every detail. Ulkzval sees no significance in the story, but in the dreams and how they came about.
Ulkzval: “This warrior... he died many years ago. His name was Glavi. You saw him inside the facility?”
Delta: “Yes.”
Ulkzval: “And he was searching for ‘it?’”
Delta: “Indeed. What is ‘it?’”
Ulkzval: “I have my theories. No... they shouldn't be called theories, just childish legends.”
Before Delta is able to ask about these “theories”, Ulkzval interrupts him. Perhaps he knew that Delta would inquire about the legends and simply doesn’t wish to answer him. Ulkzval suddenly gains a much more commanding tone, but his face remains unchanged.
Ulkzval: “Go to the Tower of Soul, in this city. Learn.”
Delta is once again unable to question Ulkzval before, without a word, he leaves. The creak of the door acts as permission for Dirvar to return. Seeing Delta’s various scars and wounds causes him to become even more intrigued as to what Ulkzval went on about.
Dirvar: “What did he say?”

Delta: “He said that I need to go to the Tower of Soul.”
Dirvar: “But what did he say about you?”
Delta begins putting his cloak back on with good reason. Delta’s shyness suddenly shifts to the kind of assertiveness not to be trifled with.
Delta: “He said nothing about me. I feel that he knows more than he’s letting on. I'm following him.”
Dirvar offers no argument against it as Delta bolts out the door, tearing the chitin off his cloak along the way to lighten the load. He leans against the outer wall of the building and turns his head around the corner to track Ulkzval without being noticed, and in doing to spots him strolling towards an unknown location. Delta climbs on top of the building and begins lurking along the rooftops without a sound. He remains like phantom as his shadow blows across the skyline, trailing Ulkzval to an enormous dilapidated building made entirely of stone brick.
Seeing no other entrance but the imposing door at the base of the tower, Delta drops down to enter through the same door as his target. The door opens into a large, circular room lit with trapezoidal torch schones that protrude out from the wall by their large end. In the center, battlemages duel with great intensity in a ring surrounded by giant coagulated boulders and rusted tubs of water. At the far side of the room, a small observing balcony acts as a perch for a small being dressed in a dull metal armor. The figure observes each slash of a blade and each spec of ice and earth being launched at either combatant. Delta searches for Ulkzval, but only spots the few unfamiliar people watching from the duel from the stands. Delta's eyes are drawn by the explosive crash caused by the geomancer smashing one of the giant boulders into the opponent, knocking them down and shattering the rock. The figure on the balcony speaks out to the combatants down below with a young silvery voice.
The figure: “Alright, I'm calling it. The win goes to Valias.”
The geomancer, obviously named Valias, begins helping up the unknown failure as Delta makes his way over to meet the mysterious figure. The figure turns around to head back and down through the proper exit, but halts when he spots Delta climbing up onto the balcony from below.
The figure: “Um… hello, sir or madam.”
Delta: “Quick, have you seen an old Zorkian priest? He came here not minutes ago.”
The figure apologizes: “No, sorry. I keep tabs on all figures in and out. I have Artigraphic memory, as they call it, as well.”
Delta leans against the wall with his elbow, frustrated at his failure.
Delta: “Something isn't right here, I know it.”
The figure approaches Delta and gently pats his shoulder to get his attention.
The figure investigates: “If I may ask, must you need to find this man?”
Delta looks up, for the first time truly observing the armor that the figure is wearing. No that can't be right… but the color and luster… even the thickness and shape of the mask are identical. Delta investigates.
Delta: “That armor… it’s the armor of the Volcano Beasts! Where did you get it?”
The figure: “It was from a beast my father slayed. It's an heirloom. But again, why are you searching for this man?”
Delta responds with much discretion in his choice of words.
Delta: “He… I shouldn't go into detail, but he wants me to go to a place called the Tower of Soul. I want to know why and how he knows why.”
The figure begins smirking under their mask.
The Figure: “Well, he knew you were following him, then. This is the Tower of Soul.”
Delta’s eyes wide open under his shadowy cloak as he turns directly towards the figure with surprise.
Delta: “Well then… what do you do here?”
The figure heads over to the balcony railing and takes a seat, possibly in preparation for a long conversation.
The Figure: “We, as in me and everyone who comes here, teach and practice the Divine Arts: fire, ice, and so forth. This is more of a place made where people can readily find opponents to practice magic with.”
Delta: “Ah, I get it. He wants me to train here.”
The figure begins effectively interviewing Delta: “If you know, would you tell me what element you possess?”
Delta: “Uh, fire.”
The figure: “And how much experience?”
Delta: “Some.”
The figure: “Show me, please.”
Delta sits down on the opposite side of the balcony and clenches his fist.
Delta: “I can’t.”
The figure shows signs of confusion. How could one have experience with the works of Soul Art, but not be able to use it? His puzzlement ceases after remembering that his knowledge of soul is that of just a mortal being.
Delta: “I can only create fire shortly after a dream. Or during one, depending on the circumstances.”
Saying no words, the figure rises up and hops down off of the balcony. Delta simply watches with confusion as the figure extinguishes all of the schones in the building. Afterwards, they direct Delta to sit on the mat in the middle of the room, obviously knowing something that Delta doesn't. The figure remains as calm as can possibly be.
The figure: “Sit. Relax. Only when you are truly at ease, speak to me.”
Delta does so, gradually removing all of the thoughts from his head and relaxing every muscle in his body. Breath, in… out… in… out… calm.
Delta: “I am calm.”
The figure gives no response, and Delta feels completely alone in the darkness, until...
The Figure: “That's good. Think about what's most important in the dreams. Not what's most apparent… but what's important.”
Delta begins to do so. He empties the thoughts of the fire… then the room… then the guards. He has two clear images: Glavi and the mysterious creature. The figure speaks as if he is delving into Delta’s mind himself.
The figure: “I see… you gain power near death.”
Delta is now for certain that the figure is inside his head, or something similar. He struggles to keep his eyes closed, but eventually achieves the state of absolute calm once again.
The figure: “Now picture a flame. Not any flame, but your flame.”
Delta pictures what his flame would be, if such a thing. It appears as a small, incredibly active flame shrouded in the pits of darkness. Its size and speed grow microscopically over time, but only to the size of a fireplace and the speed of a raging bioren. He sees a figure in the shadows. It appears darker than the blackness of the scene. It turns arOUND.
Delta is quickly knocked out of his trance. He launches a shockwave of fire outwards, lighting the entire room for a split second and relighting the torch sconces before vanishing. The figure now lays on the ground just in front of Delta, curled up like a fetus and moaning in pain. Delta quickly hurries over to their side, terrified.
Delta: “Are you okay? What happened?”
The figure struggles the words from their tounge.
The figure: “The shadow… it knew I was watching. Ah! My head!”
The gush of flame must have attracted a scholar who had been studying from the library. As she emerges from the hallway and sees the figure in intense pain, she rushes to his side.
The scholar: “What happened?”
Delta: “We did some sort of… meditation. He saw my thoughts.”
The figure: “I saw his shadow!”
The scholar takes one of the figure’s arms over her shoulder, and Delta does the same. They carry the figure over to the nearest water tub, and submerge all of his body with the exception of his head. The scholar waves her open palm over the figure’s mask, directly above their forehead, and releases a consistent stream of ice which eases his pounding headache. With a sudden motion, she strikes his helmet with a half open palm, knocking him out. Delta swears he could see a faint glow surrounding her hand, but not convinced enough to say for sure. Delta opens his mouth to speak, but he is interrupted by the scholar.
The scholar: “He saw your shadow. We all have them. They are all very similar, but our weak minds can't handle another’s. They’re your inner demons.”
Delta: “Demons?”
The scholar: “Not real demons, no, the subconscious thoughts that eat away at a person's mind. I suggest you learn about it in the library.”
Delta points the unconscious figure lying in the tub of water as if it’s a hot summer's day.
Delta: “But what about them?”
The scholar: “Oh, they're fine. I knocked them out so they could sleep through the pain and refresh their mind.”
Delta stares at the figure, still feeling horrible about the fact that what happened did because of them.
The scholar: “Hey, you can't control your thoughts. Not fully. Go to the library and find a scroll titled: ‘The Sieges of Alti’. Read about the third siege, it's the most important of the three.”
Delta thinks ask why, but realises he has no reason not to follow the scholar’s advice at the current moment. He traverses through the hallway he had seen the scholar exit from before, which leads into the massive archives. The room is a cylinder shape, with stairs leading up to level after level a seemingly endless number of times. Delta realises that this library must make up the bulk of the giant tower, and the books make up most of its value. Delta begins to climb the stairs, spiralling up and up for several levels until he finally finds the scroll. Thank god they are arranged alphabetically, and not by the author’s name. Delta unravels the length of lukeaged paper and begins to read: Chaos created everyone and everything in the universe...
Episode 8, Shadows pt 2
1- Siege of Demons: Chaos created everyone and everything in the universe through the power of its children, the Eternals. The first people were created by their power, but they were not alone. Some of Chaos’ creations were flawed. These beings came known Demons. They spewed from the rift in the sky meant to contain them, slaughtering Humans, Jarvainians, and Teres alike, all while spreading ailments through the population. The same warrior who slayed the dragons, Glavi, sealed the rift with his ally Wyvern’s power, and destroyed the remaining Demons as he did the Dragons.
Delta’s eyes burst wide open as he reads of Glavi. Realising this book could help him understand so much more than he already did, he begins reading even faster.
2- Siege of Plague: One powerful demon survived the war. Powered by death, it killed many and possessed their bodies with its plague, creating an army of undead to fight Emperor Glavi’s. They battled long and hard, but the few left standing included the Demon of Plague, Glavi, and his two strongest soldiers: Potu and Kira. Glavi was slain by the Demon -- and his body possessed -- but Potu and Kira’s combined strength and tactics allowed them to defeat the two strongest beings on the planet: the Demon of Plague and the husk of Emperor Glavi. Potu and Kira slayed the last demon and put Glavi at rest. But then, something spectacular happened. Potu and Kira’s gifts of fire and ice spread across the world, and beings begun to be born with their same powers.
The mention of fire excites Delta beyond belief. Could this single scroll hold all of the answers he had been searching for this entire time?
3- Siege of Undead: Past the battles and wars, soldiers were left psychologically damaged by the deaths and turning of their friends and allies. Their minds have been eaten away by all of the conflict. Because of the presence of mind death, this left hollow, mindless beings whose instinct was to kill and plunder. This would normally not create such a disastrous outcome due to their numbers, but since a being can only die a single way, this left the mindless immune to traditional life death. An adventurer and scholar named Thu’os set out to find a cure for this ailment. He found no such cure, but instead, caused their destruction through unknown mystical means. Again, a spectacular event happened, but this time with his gift of electricity. Since then, no such events have occurred. Perhaps these events only occur during war?
Having finished reading the single most significant piece of historical documentation ever written, Delta begins searching for others of noteworthy reading. After hours of unsuccessful scavenging in the library that would require a map to navigate properly, he is alerted by the light of dawn streaming in from the various windows between the bookshelves and scroll racks. Now mid morning, Delta leaves to go check on the figure’s wellbeing. From the balcony, they draw Delta’s attention.
The figure: “Hey, up here.”
Once again, Delta climbs back onto the balcony the improper way to speak to the figure directly. He’s still wringing out the water from the clothing under his armor, but refuses to take either off to do so. A faint glow of heat can be felt emanating from the figure’s body.
The figure: “Quite a shadow you’ve got, indeed. Scary one too. Only some people's shadows take forms. More of a personification because of a hatred or doubt of some kind. What’s yours?”
Delta is caught off guard by both the question and it's nature. He hadn’t ever taken the question to mind.
Delta: “Well… I don't really know. I've never hated anything. Except bloodshed.”
The figure: “Oh. Well, you'll find out eventually. Hatred of death is natural for most.”
What the figure doesn’t realize is that this is true hatred. This is the kind of hatred that one would kill or die for to make waste to. Delta once again shows his concern for the figure, which is evident in his voice.
Delta: “Are you okay?”
The figure possesses a sure tone that opposes Delta’s worry.
The figure: “Yes, I'm quite. But, let's talk about the meditation. Your shadow said something along the lines of: ‘You were suppose to die.’ What does that mean?”
Delta: “I'm not sure.”
The figure: “Is there any chance of it being related to your dreams?”
Delta: “No. Just trust me on this, that fire wouldn't kill me.”
The figure: “Well, what if there was something in that dream you didn’t remember but your subconscious did, and therefore your shadow?”
Delta: “Maybe. But the best way to find out is likely just to battle and wait. My dreams keep getting more detailed over time that way, I think...”
The figure: “Well then, how about a duel before the others get here?”
Delta: “Are you sure you're okay? For a duel?”
The figure: “If you have to wait anyway, why not do something productive with your time? Do you like fighting?”
Delta realises the simplicity of the question as well as a level of metaphor that the figure doesn’t. Fighting isn’t only a test of one’s strength and wits, or a way to bring about change quickly, but a way to observe someone’s past and future through their tactics and motions. The reason Delta realises this is a mystery to him.
Delta: “Well, I guess so.”
The figure takes Delta’s response as accepting the challenge. He wastes no time hopping down from the ledge and heading to the center arena. As Delta trails him, the figure unsheathes an odd dual-sword with a small gap between the two blades. Delta unwraps his jiare while questioning the logic of such an exotic weapon.
Delta: “What kind of weapon is that?
The figure responds with a sarcastic and mischievous tone.
The figure: “Oh, you'll see.”
The two slowly close in, both waiting for the other to make even the slightest hiccup before attacking. The figure makes one step slightly askew, and Delta moves in for a strike with the axe-end of his jiare. The figure quickly parries with a steady circular motion, forcing Delta’s blade back in the direction of the strike before beginning to move in themselves. They launch a wide slash, throwing a plume of fire out from the gap in the blade. Delta, surprised, jumps backwards just out of its range despite his instinct already knowing that it wouldn’t harm him.
Delta whispers to himself under his breath.
Delta: “I'm getting the feeling that he's toying with me. Perhaps a feint.”
Delta rushes at the figure, swinging the axe-end of his jiare but stopping and jabbing at them with the back spear-end at the end of the swing. The figure quickly adjusts, catching the pole of Delta’s weapon between the two blades of his before turning to lock the weapon in place. Delta kicks at the figure with his right leg, only for the target to block with their arm forearm and wrap it around Delta’s leg before pushing it to the ground to turn Delta’s back towards him. The figure quickly grasps Delta’s free arm, locking him in place. In an attempt to escape, Delta drops his jiare to free one of his arms to attack. Doing so, the figure kicks Delta away and into a stumble before aiming their sword at Delta’s neck.
Delta: “Alright, I forfeit.”
The figure reaches down for Delta's blade before handing it to him.
The figure: “Have you had any training?”
Delta: “No, I haven't.”
The figure: “You did alright then. Actually… I'm not the best teacher when it comes to swordplay technique, but… head to the blacksmith in town. His name is Dirvar.”
Delta: “Wait, why Dirvar?”
The figure: “He was a companion of Glavi back in his day, and his personal blacksmith. He has more war experience than anyone else in town. Why do you sound so shocked?”
Delta: “Because I know him. He never told me, that's all.”
The figure: “The wars in recent history have been… violent. Dirvar is one for minimal social contact, if that makes any sense. Trust me. If you have no other plans, I suggest you head there soon.”
Delta: “Speaking of that, I have work to do.”
Delta waves goodbye to the figure before heading out the door... and almost bumping into the guy who always shows up earlier than needed.
Episode 9, Veteran
Delta enters his home and workplace. Dirvar is sitting outside just past the open back door while stirring the hot coals in his forge. He is aware that Delta has entered, but refuses to acknowledge this fact through words or body language. Delta speaks in an manner as if Dirvar is upset about his very existence.
Delta: “Now, I know I withheld the truth…”
Dirvar sets his iron down and turns to Delta. He had hoped that Delta would not speak to him, but won't disrespect him with silence.
Delta: “ very existence must be… unknown. Ulkzval told me to go to the Tower of Soul. When I pursued him, that's where he went. I followed him perfectly, but he disappeared without a trace.”
Dirvar interrupts at a quiet moment in Delta’s speech. He talks with a slow, tired voice. Doing either of which is quite unusual for him.
Dirvar: “What have you learned?”
Delta: “Nothing about myself, but about Glavi and the demons.”
Dirvar: “Ah, yes, Glavi. Do you believe that you’re a demon, then?”
Delta: “No, I don't.”
Dirvar: “If I were to tell the King of you, what would you do?”
Delta: “Nothing.”
Dirvar: “Then I shall.”
Delta demands Dirvar’s attention through quick speaking and a sure tone.
Delta: “If you tell them, they will never release me. Give me a chance to find out what I am. I believe I am not the only one.”
Dirvar is stunned as he thinks about the entire realm of possibilities that has opened up. His drowsiness vanishes.
Dirvar: “If there are more, you can likely find your origins. Alright, I am only doing this because it would be a fool's game to create conflict with the unknown.”
Delta: “Thank you, Dirvar!”
Dirvar: “Shall you retrace your steps to your first memories?”
Delta: “That place was completely abandoned. There is nothing to be found there.”
The place that Delta speaks of is unknown to Dirvar, but he lacks the direct care to investigate further into it. Dirvar only cares for the results.
Dirvar: “So, what will you do? To find the others?”
Delta: “I believe I should wait.”
Usually, it's not in a farmer’s best interest to sit and wait for their crops to grow instead of doing something useful in the meantime, but oh well...
Dirvar: “Fine. I give you a month. If you don't return with knowledge of your… kind, I will have to send a letter to King Argkel.”
Delta nods in agreement. For most people, a month would be too long to comfortably house a completely foreign figure and Delta realises this. A long pause allows for him to properly transition from one topic to another while insuring that he has Dirvar’s attention.
Delta: “Dirvar.”
Dirvar: “Yes? What is it?”
Delta: “I seek training. The one wearing the strange armor in the Tower of Soul told me about you.”
Dirvar: “Jeos? How does he… nevermind. But I- rrr, forget it. State your reason why.”
Delta: “I have reason to believe that the more I fight, the clearer my memory gets. I know that my memories will help me find what I seek.”
Dirvar: “Ah, forget it. Fine, I might as well.”
Delta: “Thank you.”
Dirvar: “Head to the plains one mile to the southeast. I will be there shortly. With haste, now.”
Delta follows Dirvar’s instructions without pause. He steps outside and mounts Moose, who he rides into the plains. Delta stops at the top of a small hill to dismounts Moose and await Dirvar’s arrival. There is a gentle breeze only strong enough to blow the hair out of Delta’s eyes, if he had any hair. The wind appears to have a greater effect on the emerald grass, which whips around in uniform waves. The sky is the color of midday despite the sun only being a few notches over the horizon. Delta stares at the sun, feeling that he could leap and snatch it out of the sky, before walking slightly further into the emerald seas and toward the sun. Only for a moment, he feels the fire inside himself. Delta’s heart slows, but only to his own perceived reality. He takes one step forward with his left, and then one much more powerful with his right before raising his arm and shooting a large stream of fire out from has palm. Realising his great accomplishment, his heart accelerates immensely and he loses control of this flame. The once great fire now withers away into a misty whisp. Delta tries again, nothing. Again, nothing. Once more, as forcefully as he can, an ember. A miniscule ember. Delta sits down and attempts to lower his heart rate to replicate the conditions of his accomplishment, but fails to get over his own excitement.
Before Delta reaches a state where he could attempt this feat once again, Dirvar arrives. He rides on his bioren, who makes heavy steps that compress the grass under its feet. Dirvar leaps off of his chubby, overfed mount as Delta stands to face him. Dirvar is clad in a layered chainmail tunic native to a country not to far away, an ancient banner decorates the surface of his armor, and a pack hanging from Dirvar's shoulder clanks and clunks with great volume. He slides the bag off his shoulder and rolls it open to reveal the contents. Delta can only spot the fact that they must be metal because of how quickly Dirvar is sorting through them all, tossing them over his shoulder. Dirvar tosses Delta a few pieces of gear: chainmail armor, an arming sword, and a slightly goofed sallet helmet that seems to coincidentally perfectly fit Delta’s oddly shaped head as if it was the skull and his head were the brains. There’s no doubt that Dirvar has given Delta that helmet for this particular reason. Delta removes his cloak and ons the chainmail, which is a similar style to that of Dirvar’s. However, Delta’s armor lacks a cloth banner, which serves as a reminder that he’s no warrior yet. Delta begins to wave the sword around in the air, catching the shimmer with his eyes. Feeling the balance, he is displeased.
Delta: “Could I use my jiare instead?”
Dirvar: “No.”
Delta: “...why?”
Dirvar: “The sword is the one tool with the sole purpose of fighting. A jiare is an axe and a spear, a woodcutting tool and a fishing tool. How well you can use a sword dictates how well you can use other weapons.”
Delta: “This seems kind of light… and flimsy.”
Luckily, Dirvar is not insulted by the nature of that comment, but rightfully sees it as Delta simply not feeling confident about the blade.
Dirvar: “Well if it doesn't feel right, try the others.”
Delta gently sets down the sword back down into the pile, nearly poking a hole in the cloth with the tip of the blade. He begins scanning inventory similarly to how he did in the store days ago. His eyes are caught by a beautiful long sword with a silver v-shaped pommel. The start of a taper begins from its small wings, which sit only slightly past the curved steel hilt. Delta grasps onto the black leather handle and lifts the sword to begin practicing swings with perfect balance. The engravings near the base of the blade seem to be lit perfectly at every angle, whereas the ones near the taper are mostly faded. Dirvar sees Delta’s love for the weapon, which reminds him of his own.
Dirvar: “Shieyol. It was made from steel forged during a solar eclipse. I made it myself back when I was only a father. It is a powerful blade, I tell you that.”
Delta: “What makes it special?”
Dirvar: “It seems to gain strength in every aspect and shine when exposed to light. Nations buy this stuff in small pieces as a way to light cities and lighthouses at night without the need for torches.”
Delta: “If it's that powerful, why bring it here? Why not sell it?”
Dirvar: “I can produce one of these every few months from regular steel as long as there’s an eclipse. It’s just that I make more money creating lanterns than swords in the limited time of an eclipse. Other smiths do the same, which is why blade of that type are rare. I keep it for sentimental value.”
Delta leans in with the sword, showing preparation for training as well as his confidence in his choice.
Dirvar: “So you choose Shieyol. Not surprising, really.”
Dirvar reaches for the scabbard wrapped at his side and frees his falchion. Judging by his voice, Dirvar has absolute confidence in his ability to defeat a Delta.
Dirvar: “You choose Shieyol. It is bright out, increasing the power of that blade immensely. However, I will still defeat you. You will learn from that defeat.”
Delta begins inching forward to Dirvar with his blade low in a stance he doesn't even know exists, let alone attempt to replicate. As he gets closer to the motionless Dirvar, Delta begins thinking of him as the figure he fought before, and attempting to predict his moves as such. When Delta reaches attacking distance of Dirvar, he performs a wide slash. It cuts only the air as Dirvar leaps back. Dirvar counters towards Delta’s wrists, stopping at less than an inch away.
Dirvar: “Rule one: Don't leave yourself open for an attack.”
The two back up to start again, playing out almost identical to before. Delta advancing forward once more, and slashes again. This time, he stops his sword slightly past the end of the swing and thrusts it at Dirvar. He attempts to knock the sword away, but Delta has prepared for such. Delta raises his sword high and angles it towards the ground, blocking Dirvar’s counter. This maneuver, combined with the light of day, slices a good sized nick in Dirvar’s weapon despite the blades only colliding indirectly. Delta changes stance and thrusts, but Dirvar pivots to the side and strikes at Delta’s wrists, once again stopping uncomfortably close.
Dirvar: “Rule two: Work on your speed.”
Delta: “How many rules are there?”
Dirvar: “I don't know. I'm just telling you the flaws in your attacks.”
Delta: “Why not just tell me how to attack well in the first place?”
Dirvar: “I follow the teaching plan of foundation, then knowledge and instinct, then experience. Discipline comes in the second phase, the one you reach after you learn what works best for you. Now, are you done for the day?”
Delta raises his blade with power and begins once more.

Offline TheKindMoose

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Re: The Chronicles of Alti: Legend of Delta
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 12:12:41 AM »
Episode 10, Murder
Delta sleeps on his burlap-straw mattress whilst the room is being lit only by the light of twilight being scattered through the translucent windowpane. He is awaken by the sound of a struggle being muffled by the stone walls of the building, but still loud enough for him to hear clearly. Delta begins to slowly creep through his room, slowed by the hormonal paralysis of sleep, before leaving through the back door. Following the apparent source of noise, he turns around the corner to see someone laying against the outer stone wall of the forge. Their head is turned towards its side and away from Delta, who still has the frothiness of midnight in his mind.
Delta: “H-hello?”
No response. Delta inches closer until he sees the faint lights in the sky reflecting off of what leaks from the stranger’s body. As he gets closer, the hope that the stranger could still be alive gets smaller and smaller, while the liquid twilight mirror gets larger and larger. Delta looks around in search of the perpetrator, and spots someone sprinting away from the area and deeper into the city. Believing that they’re indeed responsible for such vile actions, Delta begins chasing after them at full speed. Back in the direction of the body, a patrolling guard sees the situation and yells to stop before initiating pursuit. As the chase continues, it is apparent that the one being chased by Delta is much faster than he. Delta sprint-climbs up a few crates and balconies that have been lined up perfectly to offer access to the skyline, where he continues the chase on the runner, now with a height advantage. Hearing more footsteps from behind, Delta glances back for a split second to see that three other guards had joined in the chase. They had ditched their helmets and gauntlets to run faster, and seem to be gaining on him. Delta reaches a roof-corner overlooking a major intersection and stops to scan for the runner, only to finds no one. The guards finally catch up to Delta, two of whom aim crossbows at him while demanding for him to come to them.
The guard: “Down from there you!”
Delta follows instructions, only now realising that they believe that he was the killer. Just after he lands, and while the thud is still shooting through his legs, they tackle him before tying his hands behind his back with a sturdy rope and begin to take him to the garrison. As the four guards enter with Delta’s hands tied, those few in the main room give a confused look at what appears to be a child that had been arrested by the city guard in the middle of the night. They remain silent, apart from one older man with a husky voice.
The man: “What is the meaning of this?”
The guard: “I caught ‘em running from a murder scene.”
The man takes a look at Delta with an analyzing gaze. After a brief pause, he gives the order.
The man: “Take them to the room, and get some more men out on patrol.”
The guard follows command, leading the confused and frightened Delta to a dark room with stone walls containing only two chairs and a small table. He forcibly places Delta down in the chair furthest from the door before exiting the room and locking the rusty metal door behind him. This situation is bad, very bad, not only for the situation of being appearing to be a possible criminal, but the fact that if they saw his face his fate would be sealed. If that were to happen, his journey would be over. Delta waits for what seems like a forever for something to happen, until the creaking of the door alerts him to a stout grumbly man had just entered the room. He wears the same armor as the rest of the guards, but decorated with red cloth between its articulation and around the main chestplate. He closes the door and plants himself on the empty chair.
The guard: “Your name.”
Delta: “D-Delta.”
The guard: “Who are your family?”
Delta: “Dirvar and Moose.”
The guard: “That's it? What were you doing running from the city guard?”
Delta: “I was chasing someone else, who I thought was the murderer.”
The guard: “Do not insult me! You say that, you, a child, chased this ‘murderer’. Why?”
Delta: “Because they killed.”
Suddenly, a knock on the door leads to the man standing up as small flap opens, before he whispers back and forth to another guard so quietly that not even Delta can hear. As it closes,  he sits back down.
The guard: “And why did you not stop when ordered?”
Delta: “Because I thought the guard was chasing the same person as me.”
The guard hesitates, but then pulls out a map from his pocket and opens it on the table. Delta jumps back for fear that the guard was raising their arm to remove his hood, which the guard notices but mistakes for average anxiety.
The guard: “Point to the location of your residence.”
Delta points with an unsteady finger.
The guard: “Now, point to where you saw the murder.”
Delta: “I didn't see the murder, I heard it. It woke me, and I went outside to see.”
The guard: “...point.”
Delta points to just outside the forge.
The guard: “Now point to where you lost the suspect.”
Delta points toward the intersection near the street corner, or at least somewhere near it.
The guard: “Under the King’s law, lying in a murder investigation can result in the same punishment as the perpetrator. Do you admit to speaking the truth?”
Delta: “Yes.”
The man quickly rises up from his seat and exits the room, startling Delta before leaving him alone once more. Delta, shaking in his seat from his frightening encounter, begins concentrating on the sounds he hears to get a better grasp of what's happening outside the room. He hears… someone familiar, but very faintly.
“Yes, indeed. Only weeks ago. He would never.”
Delta is just about to decipher the owner of the voice before the door swings open, revealing Dirvar standing next to one of the common guards.
Delta: “What's happening?”
Dirvar seems to be a lot less worried than Delta, which slightly comforts him.
Dirvar: “You chased after this murderer, yes?”
Delta: “Yes.”
Dirvar: “Well, I gave your general backstory, a bit of reasoning, and my word, and they said that you could roam within the city limits in my presence or in that of a guard until the murder is solved.”
Delta: “Thank you.”
Dirvar: “Well, there is no use in staying here anymore. It's still night, let us return to slumber.”
The two begin to exit the barracks and begin walking back home, but stumble across an interesting scene along the way. In the main room, and older lady in a fancy gown and a raucous voice is arguing, or moreso yelling, at one of the guards. The guard takes a silent glance at Delta as they enter the room before returning to the situation.
The lady: “I don’t care! I want who did this brought in and hanged!”
The guard: “I apologize, but we’re doing what we can. Once we find the culprit, we will bring them in for trail.”
Dirvar nudges Delta, who has stopped in his tracks, whispering to him.
Dirvar: “Don’t pay any matter to it. Let’s go.”
Delta follows Dirvar’s advice, avoiding the lady’s retched eyes as they turn towards him. The two briskly exit the room, and step out onto the swept streets to continue on. As they reach the forge, and the body, they spot a doctor studying the body in the presence of a lantern-wielding guard. Delta stops. Dirvar knows the answer to his question, but asks anyway.
Dirvar: “What's the matter?”
Delta: “They’re dead…”
Dirvar: “And they deserve more, right?”
Delta gives no response. In such a situation, silence provides the meaning of yes.
Dirvar: “There was once a time I thought as you did, but sometimes death is more boon than burden.”
Delta slowly walks in towards the body, gently and respectfully nudging the doctor out of the way, who gives little resistance. Delta observes the body clearly this time, with the mirror of blood revealed by lantern instead of twilight. They take the form of an older man dressed in proper, not fancy, attire. Their blond hair shows signs of the early stages of greying and thinning. Delta notes the wounds: clean stabs too thick to be a rapier and thin to be a larger sword. They appear untouched otherwise. Delta leaves the doctor back to his work, and begins once again walking to the front door of the forge. He stops to brush the sleeping Moose's back as comfort to himself before returning to his home. A few moments after entering the forge, and before Dirvar returns to his room, Delta stops him.
Delta: “Do you have a map of town?”
Dirvar realises that someone of strong will, such as Delta, would search for one even if told no. Having someone rummage through your house while you are trying to sleep is less than ideal.
Dirvar: “Well, I think…”
Dirvar begins sliding drawers in his desk in and out of place with a decent speed, eventually revealing a map which rolls out onto the table. Delta rotates the map his way, staining it with the blood of the stranger that Delta didn’t notice was on his palm. Bloody paper has never been a good sign. Delta begins marking important locations within the city: the forge, the scene, the outer gates, and the area where Delta lost the figure.
Delta: “The man murdered is well dressed, but not particularly so. He was not going anywhere special, because he wasn't wearing fancy clothing, though…”
Dirvar: “There is no need for what you’re doing. Let the city guard take care of it.”
Delta: “I have to help.”
Dirvar: “No, Delta, think of your goal. If they find out about you, both you and me are doomed.”
Delta: “I can’t let them get away with ending a life!”
Dirvar: “Death leads to the afterlife. The afterlife is eternal.”
Delta: “Then what is the point of it all?”
Dirvar: “To create sanctuary for those who live, void of pain. There is no need for vengeance.”
Delta: “Is it truly vengeance to prevent further death?”
Dirvar sighs.
Dirvar: “I suppose not, but what you’re doing here could risk the future between Alti and the others like you if you fail.”
Delta: “Then that is a risk I’ll take.”
Dirvar squeeze the sides of his head as he begins to make his way back to his room.
Delta: “He had to be wealthy, because his clothes were nice. His money wasn't taken, meaning that he was targeted for a reason other than money. He was near the city gates, by the forge, either entering or leaving, or visiting somewhere nearby, or…”
Dirvar interrupts, both in an attempt to help Delta and in an attempt get back to sleep.
Dirvar: “He was part of the Lyda family, the most powerful in the city. Possibly the most powerful in the region.”
Delta: “Either they want to sabotage the family, take power, or get revenge.”
Dirvar: “I personally doubt the last. They run mines and farms and the sort. They’re one of the biggest goods suppliers for Varia. A political assassination would be most likely.”
Delta: “I’ll go out. Watch over the Lyda family. I’ll follow them if and when they head out at night.”
Dirvar: “You will not!”
Delta: “This is about both finding the person responsible for a murder, AND proving my own innocence.”
Dirvar: “You will not. Don’t be stupid, they’ll think you to assassinate another. I won’t let you go out without a guard.”
Delta: “Could I see about getting a specific guard to accompany me?”
Dirvar: “I… suppose?”
Delta: “Then the plan is set!”
Dirvar: “This won’t affect my reputation will it? Your plan?”
Delta gives no response, holding his chin in ponder while he walks to his room.
Episode 11, Plan pt 1
Delta is awoken by the breeze coming through the open window and the flower seed that lands on his face. If he had a nose, a sneeze would be expected. The first thing he notices is his hunger, and begins to head over to ask Dirvar to be accompany him to the markets for some food. He passes the corner to see Dirvar working at his forge.
Delta: “Dirvar, I plan on buying cheese. Would you follow?”
Dirvar sets down the hilt he had been working on and wipes the sweat from his face, before beginning to lead Delta. The two begin walking through the streets, until Delta notices something odd.
Delta: “Dirvar, I thought the markets were this way?”
Dirvar: “Were not going to the markets, at least I'm not.”
Delta glances at Dirvar with question, before seeing where they’re really heading: the barracks. Part one of the plan is now afoot. As Dirvar makes his way inside, the crowd of guards view them as they had viewed Delta before. Delta begins scanning the room for any one of the guards who possess the particular… properties required. A guard wearing a pristine set of plate armor approaches the two just as the rest of the less fancy ones return to what they were doing. The guard has dull brown hair streaming down from the center line of his head, coming to rest just atop his shoulders with a slight wave.
The guard: “Dirvar?”
Dirvar: “We talked about possibly needing someone to accompany Delta.”
The guard: “Indeed. I take it you require them?”
Dirvar: “Yes.”
The guard: “Please follow.”
The guard begins leading the two down the same hallway that Delta had gone before, and the previous feeling of anxiety shadows Delta despite him being comforted by Dirvar’s presence. They enter a room a couple doors past the room of Delta’s interrogation. This is likely the place where Dirvar was speaking before, based on the echoing sound that Delta experienced when he was locked inside that dreaded cell. Inside the room, a long desk that separates the small room into two halves. Past the desk, a doorway leads to another room being lit by candlelight, and the guard instructs the two to be seated whilst he heads there. Dirvar begins to speak, but Delta gestures for him to halt with the rise of his palm before beginning to focus on the conversation happening in back room.
The guard: “I’m assigning this to you. It’s a chance to prove yourself.”
???: “I haven't even been trained yet.”
Good news, for Delta’s plans at least.
The guard: “It's a simple task. Follow him. If he tries to kill, stop him and take him here.”
???: “Have you forgotten that I haven't received training?”
The guard: “He’s a kid about four feet tall, just tackle him.”
The talking suddenly stops before the two head to the main room where Delta and Dirvar are waiting. The guard introduces the other to Delta.
The guard: “This is Alris. He will follow you when not in Dirvar's presence.”
The name brings back almost forgotten memories of Neua, even more than just about Alris. A quick glance reveals that, alas, it’s not truly Delta’s lost friend. This Alris has a slightly thinner physique and has light brown hair and eyes. He wears a set of common clothing under a sturdy chainmail shirt. They seem to bear an unmistakable resemblance to the one in plate.
Dirvar: “Alris. Good to meet you. Your job will not be a difficult one. Delta is almost never outside for more than a few minutes a day.”
Alris sees the size of Delta and remembers that this assignment is as simple as can be... or at least he thinks.
Alris: “I don't think that will be a problem.”
Dirvar: “Good. I, however, have work to attend to. Let us move.”
Alris begins to follow the two as they make their way out of the barracks, and Dirvar separates from the group as he makes his way back to the forge. Alris and Delta walk alongside each other whilst heading towards the markets. Suddenly, Delta speaks to Alris.
Delta: “We're gonna take a detour here.”
Alris: “Why, exactly?”
Alris halts his walk once he sees where they were going: the house of the Lyda family.
Alris: “No no no, we’re not going there.”
Delta continues walking, but turns his head back towards Alris to speak.
Delta: “I'm going to prove my innocence. Come on.”
Alris: “How exactly do you know where they live? You’re not exactly making a good case for yourself.”
Delta: “I used to wander when I was still free.”
Alris: “You're the last person they want to see right now.”
Delta gives no response. Alris hesitates, but grudgingly follows after remembering that his job entails following him everywhere he goes. As they approach the house, Alris speeds ahead and leans against the outer wall to avoid the headache of being confronted by whoever answers the door. Delta makes his way up the few steps and knocks at the door. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Delta makes his way back down the steps, and Alris begins trailing him once more. Delta redirects his path back to that of the markets.
Delta: “Quite odd, isn't it.”
Alris: “The fact that they weren't home?”
Delta: “They were home. I heard someone inside trying to be quiet.”
Alris chuckles sarcastically at a seemingly sarcastic comment.
Alris: “You heard someone be quiet.”
Delta: “They were holding their breath and stepping lightly.”
Alris: “Funny. You shouldn’t stretch your humor, though.”
Delta has a little chuckle of his own.
Delta: “You haven't received training, have you?”
Alris forms a dumbfounded look on his face.
Alris: “How do you know this?”
Delta: “I heard it through the walls.”
Alris: “Who are you?”
Delta: “Ask me in the future, when I know.”
The two continue awkwardly back towards the markets, neither of them saying a word to the other. Delta takes his time buying some fresh bread from the baker before returning to the forge with Alris at his side. As the two enter Delta’s home, Alris questions Delta.
Alris: “Is that it? For the day?”
Delta: “Not exactly.”
Delta opens the drawer of Dirvar’s desk drawer to reveal the contents: the map.
Delta: “We are going to scout the area at night.”
Alris: “D’oh god no.”
Delta: “Why not? I thought this was 'A chance to prove yourself’.”
Alris is as dumbfounded as before.
Alris: “You have been listening.”
Delta hesitates for a short while, but eventually lowers his hood and reveals his face. Alris, shocked and terrified begins heading for the door with intent to go straight to the barracks.
Delta: “Think about this, Alris. If you tell them, what will that prove to your superiors?”
Alris pauses with his hands on the door knob. His eyes had never left Delta’s face.
Alris: “You’re a damn demon!”
The shock that Alris is experiencing is weakening his judgement. Delta begins to stretch the truth to gain Alris attention... or does he?
Delta: “No, I’m not. I’m something much worse if you mess with me.”
Alris: “What do you want from me?”

Delta: “It's a simple task, really, Alris. You have to follow me when I'm not here or with Dirvar.”
After hearing his name, Dirvar walks into the room while holding a bundle of wood that he intends on using to replenish the stock. After seeing the scene, he slowly walks back into his room as if he forgot something. Alris takes note, pointing at Dirvar's last position in disbelief.
Alris: “He knows this?”
Delta: “Possibly. Maybe he forgot something, or two things.”
Alris: “Explain to me why I shouldn't tell the guards that there’s a possible demon in the town.”
Delta: “Well… you need to prove yourself. I know the way the ranking system works for the town guard. The highest rank you will achieve for this is an apprentice. Solving a political murder on the other hand… You wouldn’t want to cross a ‘demon’, would you?”
Alris: “What makes you think that you can solve this?”
Delta: “Mr. Lyda was possibly moving in and out of the city. Today, someone was in their home, whether family or not, and trying their best to not be noticed. The Lyda’s must be spending most of their time outside of their home. I want to find out where they're going, and follow.”
For fear of Delta and not wanting to say no, or otherwise, Alris remains silent. Delta rolls out the map and points to the Lyda house. He slides his finger over to a nearby building.
Delta: “I will be hiding over here. The slanted roof runs parallel to the house, which will offer cover.”
Delta slides his finger over to a building at the opposite side of him.
Delta: “You will be here. It's a two story complex, meaning you should only have to climb one floor to get to the roof if you use the stairs. However, if you can climb three stories and wish to take my position…”
Alris: “And when is this?”
Delta: “Tonight.”
Episode 12, Plan pt 2
Delta awaits on the far side of the roof overlooking the Lyda house. At the opposite side, Alris is also on top of a short complex. He is searching for Delta, who responds by leaving his cover just enough to be seen by Alris. Delta listens for the sound of people inside the Lyda house, but only hears those sleeping inside the surrounding homes. Delta signals Alris, pointing at his ear and making a circle with his hand. Alris is able to faintly see Delta’s figure using the light of the the sky, responding a confirmatory nod. The house is completely unlit, and even the starlight seems to be repelled by some mysterious force. The two wait for at least an hour, every now and then checking to see if the other is there, until finally, Delta hears a noise from inside the house. It gets louder and louder, before fading away once more. Delta points at the house, directing Alris to enter whilst he anticipates for a jump. He silently sprints and leaps to the Lyda house and latches onto the frame of an open window, nearly snapping the painted trim, then listening for anyone that had heard or seen his actions. Delta hears nothing but the croaking noise of Riekers and the sound Alris proceeding in through one of the windows on the bottom floor. Delta begins heading downstairs, making less noise than the bugs, before encountering Alris on the bottom floor. The hallways provide great cover for the entire house, even the spacious main room. The two whisper to each other.
Delta: “I heard them, then they went quiet. Did you see anything?”
Alris: “No, nothing. They can't have left, meaning they have to be going down.”
Delta remains silent, his way of agreeing, before beginning to search the house for the entrance to a basement. They ultimately find nothing but a bookcase in a closet, one without the cliché hidden door. Delta begins slowly pacing back and forth in the room whilst pondering this odditie, until his foot suddenly gets caught on the shaggy rug. He trips, but narrowly avoids making a sound by using his arms and elbows as a spring. Alris helps Delta onto his feet.
Alris: “It appears that the carpet is attached to the floor...”
Alris pulls the rug upwards just enough to open the trapdoor that the rug is attached to. He can smell the stench of the damp stone passageway.
Alris: “That's not a sewer, nor on any city map I’ve seen.”
After a brief hesitation, the two begin heading down the frigid stone stairs. Both are at their maximum focus on sensing even the smallest details.
Delta: “This tunnel isn't as cold as it should be. The air is warm, and getting warmer, but the stone is cold.”
Alris: “It must mean fire is somewhere about.”
As the two travel further and further, the tunnel begins to gently curve. If it were not for Delta’s guidance, Alris would have collided with the roughly carved wall. Soon, an orange glow from the right side begins to reflect off of the damp stone, creating the illusion of a sunset on the ocean. The two finally pass the end of the curve, revealing two parallel torches on opposite sides, which Delta had accurately predicted based on the crackling noises. As they get closer, it can be seen that the hallway opens into a large room with two sets of scaffolding overlooking various crates of many sizes. Many hallways and paths lead into this room, the origin of which are unknown. If all tunnels where as long as the one they had came from, it would take hours to explore them all. The two appear to be on the second level of scaffolding, where Delta begins to listen for any oddity, yet hears nothing but the sound of torch fire. The two make their way down, making sure not to make any excess noise. Now at the bottom floor, they make their way to the crates in the center of the room. A great opening is at the bottom floor, large enough for even a giant to crawl through like a hollowed tree log. The two begin inspecting the crates, first by their mass. Alris struggles to lean the great heft of one of the larger crates, which creates a distinct clanging sound on the slightest tilt.
Alris: “Even I can tell what's in these, and I don't even have magical ears.”
Delta smirks at such a remark, before his expression is suddenly drawn to a serious form. Delta rushes, opening the lid of one of the larger crates.
Delta: “Quickly! Get in, I hear them!”
Alris hurries into the same box as Delta, who had made his home shallowly in the contents of the box. Alris shuts the lid, rendering even Delta’s sight useless in the light’s absence. As the sounds of footsteps get louder and louder, the two bury themselves deeper and deeper into the contents of the crate until the sound reaches an imminent loudness. They freeze and hold their breaths, desperately fighting against the massive weight of what rests upon them. Various movements and sounds later, they reach a constant state of rocking. The two lift their heads and bodies above the cold pebbles of metal surrounding them. Delta and Alris take numerous, stressed breaths before either speaks to the other.
Delta: “I think we're moving.”
Alris: “This is bad. Horribly. Bad. If they open the box, we’re found.”
Delta begins calming himself, and forces an ember just large enough to create enough light to reveal the thousands of bullets that they are encased in.
Alris: “I knew it, military supplies. They will not like us in here… did you bring a weapon?”
Delta: “No. The situation would be even worse if they found me with one, defiantly.”
Alris struggles out a sigh between his heavy gasps of air.
Alris: “Neither have I. We have to run as soon as you can. Keep up your hood. How are you with magic?”
Delta: “Awful, at this point.”
Alris pulls up his coif over his head, knowing the likelihood of future discovery.
Alris: “As well. This is the worst situation.”
The sound of a scuffle begins outside, as the movement stops. Soon after, the terrifying sounds of clanging metal and yelling can be heard. The crate begins tilting at an alarming pace, forcing the two to brace themselves along the insides of the box. As it falls, the two are forced out and buried by the massive wave of bullets. Delta and Alris struggle themselves to the surface with what little energy they have left, and begin an exhausted sprint for their lives from the war happening near the crates. Delta turns to see dozens of shadowy figures fight over what can only be described as a convoy, Quickly, the two charge into the nearby trees, gliding apart in the process. Far into the forest, the two take cover in the cover of brush, neither making a movement or sound to avoid detection. Perhaps hours passed since the escape, perhaps minutes, perhaps even no time at all, neither of them know. Eventually, Alris shifts to ease himself off the branch stabbing at his ribs, but accidentally snaps it in the process. Delta finds a nearby branch and throws it to where he heard the first snap in response. Now knowing of each other's location, they begin to carefully work their way back to rejoin. The whisper words even Delta struggles to hear.
Delta: “Follow me, I can see in the darkness.”
Alris follows Delta’s guidance, holding onto his shoulder throughout their travel. The two stop a familiar spot: the cliff where Delta had meditated before, on the night of Ulkzval. He observes for a brief moment as a reminder of his goal, and continues back to the town whilst sunlit spears begin to flood through the gaps in the skyline.
Episode 13, Dusk
Delta is sitting at his bench, working on the project he had been assigned days ago. He is ignoring the shining hammer reflecting a star of light into his eyes. Delta is close to finishing, and doesn’t wish to put in the extra effort to raise from his chair just to reposition the annoyance. The last piece, and… done. Delta leans back in his chair, both to bellow in his accomplishment and to get the light out of his eyes. He views the elegant stool he had been working on, thinking about the fact that his job had transformed from working on wooden bits for weapons to working on wooden bits period. Dirvar must certainly realise his talent. Delta hears footsteps in the entrance to the forge from a source which we automatically recognizes, for they were too quiet to be Dirvar and too loud to be his own imagination. He leaps from his less fancy chair and travels to the entrance area to great Alris, who seems to be still exhausted from the night before.
Delta: “Alris! Any information?”
Alris: “I came to talk to you about that.”
Having lived long enough to know such words mean woes, Delta remains silent.
Alris: “I don't know how to proceed. If I aid you directly, I could be killed. If I turn you in, I don't know what would happen to you or me. If I leave you be, and you get caught, my career path would be finished. If I help you, and I get caught, I would be imprisoned. But if I help you and succeed, I may, or may not, be rewarded.”
Delta nearly responds, but halts. An attempt at persuasion might push him away. Alris hesitates before pulling an envelope from his sleeve and handing it to Delta.
Alris: “It's the report from the doctor on the body. Every detail imaginable is written in there. If you open that, you agree to never talk about how I helped you. If you succeed, I'll inform them personally. You’ll burn it only in the hottest of flames afterwards.”
Delta hesitates, but opens the envelope and begins paging through the detailed reports. Only now has he realised that Alris had left the moment Delta accepted the deal. Delta sits down at the nearby table and begins reading through the reports:
Name: Vall Lyda
Age: 66 (As given by family, no records available or given as of yet)
Date of Birth: 7-3-111
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 163 lbs
Hair Color: Greying Light Blonde
Eye Color: Dull Blue
Manner of Death: Murder (Multiple Stab Wounds)
Cause of Death: Bleeding and Organ Rupture
Time of Death: Approximately 1:30 (As reported by Guards, and as estimated by all means)
Other: Stab wounds measure 1.5 inches near the frontal abdomen and 1 inch near the back, meaning a frontal assault is almost certain. The entrance to the wounds are also slightly more elevated in the back than in the front and are within a small radius of each other, signaling a close upward assault. The victim was likely grappled near the shoulder area during the assault. Multiple chips of black paint found inside the wound, consistent with two other murders in the last decade, neither of which were solved. The solidified remnants of a powerful poison made from Ire Flowers was recovered from the wound. All details point towards an assassination.
Note: I realise that it is unprofessional to leave an unofficial note, but this must be said. In my entire career as a doctor, this is investigation has the least amount of evidence that I have found and determined for it to be murder. The report from the child is the only eyewitness account available, yet it’s not credible. Not a single bit of evidence was found outside the body. Unofficially, it is my professional opinion that: A, we should shift our efforts towards a full search of all city foundations, and, B, these assassins can’t be caught outside of a hiccup without methods based outside of the law. Writing to the king for these permissions is encouraged.
Having finished reading the report, Delta tosses it into the forge where Dirvar still works. The smith stares at the schorch-withering envelope with surprise as Delta takes a seat near him.
Dirvar: “What was that?”
Delta: “Something I had to burn.”
Oh really?
Dirvar: “Have you finished your work?”
Delta: “I have. But now, I need your help.”
Dirvar: “With your search, I presume?”
Delta: “Yes. I don’t know how to proceed.”
Dirvar: “This is an endeavor I refuse to aid you with. For your own safety, I suggest you end this. For other reasons, I won’t stop you. I’m afraid you must find someone else to assist you.”
Delta leans over and rests his head in his palm. He thinks for some time, until he suddenly speaks to Dirvar.
Delta: “I know who might help, but I need you to follow.”
Without warning, Dirvar raises up from his chair and begins to walk with Delta. They traverse much further into the city at a steady pace until Delta suddenly takes lead, guiding Dirvar to the Tower of Soul. As the two begin to enter the tower, the shadow of the massive building blinds them with darkness. The inside of the tower is lit as normal, except dimmer than usual due to the fire burning off its last scraps of wood. The familiar Jeos exits from the hallway with logs under his arm and intent to feed the fire. Seeing his guests, he leans the logs against one of the crumbled rocks and heads to meet them.
Jeos: “Hello there, Dirvar and... knowledge seeker of an unknown name.”
Delta: “Oh, it’s Delta.”
Jeos: “Dirvar and Delta.”
Dirvar: “I heard you told him about me.”
Jeos: “Indeed I have.”
Dirvar: “Don’t do that.”
Jeos: “As you wish…”
Delta interrupts.
Delta: “I need help. I need to find who murdered Vall Lyda, but I require assistance.”
Jeos: “The city guard…?”
Delta: “They think it might be me.”
Jeos: “Oh… what exactly is your plan?”
Delta: “Truth be told, I have none. That is why I came here.”
Jeos: “Sounds like fun. How were they killed?”
Delta: “They were stabbed… why?”
Jeos: “Have you considered giving a Sensory Enhancement Elixir to an alveir and using its sense of smell to follow the scent of blood?”
Delta: “Actually, I haven’t! Where would one aquire an alveir and that elixir?”
???: “I have and alveir.”
The sound of an unrecognized voice startles Dirvar, but not the two who already know of them.

Dirvar: “Who goes there?”
Jeos: “Ytri?”
Ytri: “I can assist, except the elixir would be hard to come by.”
Delta: “And why would you do such?”
Ytri: “Because you will allow me to interview you.”
Delta: “Why?”
Ytri: “I got a good look at your face during the incident with Jeos. You’re neither Human, nor Teres, nor Jarvinian, even.”
Jeos: “Wah?”
Delta: “B- And you want to interview me because?”
Ytri: “Because I’m a scholar. I could earn awards for this. I could also sell the report to Emperor Zoh’es for a small fortune.”
A small pause fills the room as they contemplate their next course of action. Truthfully, Jeos has remained silent out of pure confusion over Delta. Ytri speaks over the faint sound of crackling fire.
Ytri: “I have spare cloaks. With some trimming, tucking, and folding, they could fit the both of you and make you less conspicuous. We will be disguised as wanderers, and ride mounts through town. One of them will be my alveir.”
Delta: “I have a bioren that I could ride.”
Ytri: “We shouldn’t stop anywhere near your residence; having no witnesses would be ideal. Once a scent is found, we will follow. You two will be masquerading as brothers, and me: the mother.”
Dirvar: “Well, you do that. Don’t get killed.”
Ytri reaches into her traveling satchel and digs out two faded cloaks, obviously far older than those who they are destined to conceal. She hands them to Delta and Jeos individually, seeming reluctant to release her grasp of the wonderfully stitched linen. Dirvar begins to head back home as the three make their way into the hallway leading to the library. Delta and Jeos change within the library storeroom, which is separated off by a large scroll rack. Upon finishing and leaving the room, they spot that Ytri had retrieved a bioren and alveir from some place unknown. Jeos walks ahead and greets the bioren with an open palm, who nuzzles it with joy.
Delta gets his first look at Jeos without his mask. His face is without any scratches or imperfections, and his hair and eyes appear as a near-pitch black. Just a few shades of red are revealed by the natural light from the windows, which create the contrast required to see them. Delta remains with his hood up, more concerned with the task at hand than getting to know his allies.
Delta: “I have obtained… some information of value on the assassin. Their weapons are painted black, and they use ire flower poison. Once we find them, what's to keep them from running or even killing us?”
Ytri: “Me and you will follow the alveir on the streets, and Jeos will shadow us on rooftops as watch.”
Delta: “What about the elixir?”

Jeos: “We could stop at one of the shops in town, one of them ought to have one.”
Ytri: “Jeos is correct, although we should stop by the alchemist to make it fresh so it’ll be at its freshest and most powerful state.”
Delta: “And what for weapons? If I shouldn't head to the forge, what should I use instead of my jiare?”
Ytri: “Hopefully we won’t need them. You don't happen to know magic, do you?”
From the corner of his eye, Delta spots a shoddy chair just waiting for someone blind enough to entrust it with the purpose of sitting upon before collapsing. He swiftly walks over, removes the circular leg, and quickly strips the wood to a point with his teeth. Jeos is in further disbelief than before. He flinches at the thought of getting hundreds of splinters in the side of his mouth and under his teeth, before Delta promptly spits out them without a single drop or spray of red to be seen.
Jeos: “W- Wha?”
Ytri: “I'll have to take a note on that. We will be leaving just before closing time, be ready.”
The three nod, and Delta slides the spear into his sleeve before beginning to search for books to read until night.

Offline TheKindMoose

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Re: The Chronicles of Alti: Legend of Delta
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2017, 12:15:54 AM »
Episode 14, Black Blade
Delta and Ytri below ride on the back of Ytri’s bioren whilst Jeos creeps along the rooftops, watching for any beings with will to do harm to those below. Delta not dares look at Jeos, for fear of revealing his position, or even his existence, but keeps tabs on him with his fine tuned hearing. He faintly hears an evil sound all too familiar, one not natural. Delta rushes to warn his allies of the drawing of bows, but is struck before he can make a sound. He feels the sharp burning pain of the Arkiv stinger point in his shoulder while he turns to see Ytri with an identical bolt lodged in the back of her neck. Soon, both of their muscles tire and weaken as if in a dream. The two slide off the bioren, making a silent thud on the dusty stone road. From above, Jeos sees the two shadows bolting for the paralyzed duo below, and the alveir only slowing their attempt. He pulls his sword from its sheath and launches a vertical streak of flame at they who are attempting take Ytri, landing a direct hit. Jeos follows up with a second slash, only for it to be blocked by a shimmering sword reaching out from the shadows. The phantom swings at Jeos with their sidearm, but strikes not more than the air in front of him. Jeos summons a great blast of flame from his empty palm, forcing the figure backwards onto the rough shingle roofing. He quickly glances back down at his allies, but regrettably, counts no more than one he saved: Ytri. Jeos turns back to his contestant before realising that they had disappeared into the shadows in wince they came. Jeos drops down and rushes to Ytri’s side, who must use her maximum effort just to utter even the faintest of words.
Ytri: “We must run… haste.”
Jeos follows her advice, summoning the might to throw her on top of the confused and irritated bioren. He mounts the alveir and begins leading the bioren as quickly as he can, both to find Ytri assistance and to avoid the clouds of torchlight cast upon by the pursuing guards. The two fade into the darkness, being searched for with only the roughest estimate of their location being made by the sound of the bioren’s heavy steps.
The sudden change in position drains the blood from the depths of Delta’s head, waking him. He braces through the headrush, gradually realising that he’s not where he’d been left. Based off the stiff pain in his lower torso, Delta knows that he had been carried over someone’s shoulder for quite a long while. He glances up and around to see a figure lurking in the shadows of a pitch-black, stone-walled room. As far as his eyes can tell, the only source of light his behind the figure. He attempts to rise, but his arms are being held down at the wrist and elbow by dried leather straps. The lurker suddenly and smoothly turns around, casting the light of a lit candle across the room. To Delta, this suddenly brings most of the room into clear view, but to anyone else, they would hardly see the floor. As the lurker begins shifting closer and closer to Delta, there is not he can do but watch. The room is, to the point of importance, empty apart from its inhabitants. The lurker lights a torch sconce near the entrance, bringing the room to normal viewing standards. Delta responds by looking as directly downwards as he can in an attempt to conceal his identity, despite the likelihood that they had already searched him and seen his face. The lurker suddenly speaks out in a way that is assertive and factual.
The lurker: “You seek to know who murdered Vall Lyda.”
Their tone recommends that it is both a question and a statement. Delta remains, for the most part, emotionless with terror.
Delta: “Yes.”
The lurker: “It was me. I slayed him.”
Delta thought as such, though he feels without any contempt for finding the truth.
The lurker: “Do you wish to know why?”
Delta is resisting the sudden urge to face the mysterious character.
Delta: “Yes.”
The Lurker blows the candle into a wisp and tosses it aside. Through the mysterious sense that all have of the presences of life around them, Delta feels the lurker's being not feet in front of him. The lurker suddenly and flawlessly removes Delta’s hood in a single motion. Delta aims his head up towards the lurker, realising that any attempt to conceal his identity is now in vain. He sees a face unlike any he had ever seen, one of a woman who shows emotion without a need for expressions. Their black hair streams down from the inside of their hood.
The lurker: “You know you will die here, and that is why I will give you the answers that you seek.”
Delta: “Why did you kill him?”
The lurker: “He was part of a plot to besiege the city by sending the Teres military goods in exchange for influence and immunity, with the ultimate goal of assassinating King Argkel.”
Delta: “How do you know this?”
The lurker: “We are powerful, with many sources. With many… powers.”
Delta: “And what of the other murders? The two from the past decade?”
The lurker: “Planning to contaminate the city with a powerful plague, and planning to use necromancy to create an army from the bodies of the catacombs.”
Delta sighs as his dread begins to peek through.
Delta: “Why must I die?”
The lurker: “Our goal is more important than a few being’s lives.”
Delta: “Again, why must I die?”
The lurker: “We can not risk our goal, or presence, being leaked.”
Delta: “And what might that be, your goal?”
The lurker: “Preventing apocalypse.”
Jeos lays Ytri gently down in a pile of old food bags off to the side the back door of the bakery, and gives a sigh of relief as his fatigue begins to recover. Jeos checks Ytri’s condition with haste, finding that she is still relatively unharmed but still almost completely unable to move her muscles or even breath. Jeos rushes from Ytri’s side and to the back door of the bakery. After a few seconds of silence, Jeos is greeted with open arms by a short man of an extremely unusual accent.
The man: “Zeos! What are zou doing here at dis time of night?”
Jeos: “Well, I would like to buy some of your Shamadin Dust Bread.”
The man: “Oh-ho, excellent! I will get some for you right away.”
The Baker rushes back into his shop. Within seconds, he returns to Jeos with a terribly stenchy loaf of bread in their hands. Jeos quickly snatches it up and hands the man a few pieces of silver.
The man: “Is dat all?”
Jeos: “That should be it.”
The man: “It zwas a pleasure to see zou again, Zeos!”
Jeos waits as the man performs an unnecessarily elaborate bow and returns to the inside of the bakery before rushing to Ytri. He tears the bread in half, causing a cascade of uncookable shamadin dust to fall from the crumbling loaf. Jeos scoops up a small handful of dust and rubs it in his hands to grind it before funneling it into Ytri’s mouth. After only seconds of dissolving, Ytri coughs out the horrid mixture into a cloud of stench and dryness. Having recovered from her paralysis, she sits up to take a few well deserved breaths.
Jeos: “Good! We need to find Delta before anything bad happens.”
Ytri: “Right.”
Jeos: “Let’s follow his blood, it’s bound to lead directly to his location.”
Jeos helps Ytri to her feet and leads her to the spot where they were attacked. They have the alveir catch the scent of blood, only for it to lead to a water trough at the side of an old tavern. Judging by the ring of water around it, something sizable must have been placed or dunked in it in order to force the liquid over the edge. The scent and trail are lost...
Ytri: “What now? The trail is gone.”
Jeos: “I don’t know…”
Ytri: “We can’t leave him to whatever fate they have for him. We have to think.”
Jeos: “Perhaps… is there still some of that Sensory Elixir left?”
Ytri: “Yes. If I gave them too much, they would never smell again.”
Jeos reaches his hand out, implying to hand it over. Ytri reaches into her pouch and pulls out the hefty bottle, passing it to Jeos with a plomp. He pulls out the cork and begins chugging the bottle with great speed.
Ytri: “Stop! You’re drinking too much.”
Jeos ignores Ytri’s command, finishing the final 2/3rds without leaving a drop untasted. He falls to his knees in pain as the entire world becomes more clear around him. His eyes sharpen and widen his view; his ears twitch and tremble at each sound; his nose catches cheeses eaten weeks ago. He looks up at Ytri, but his vision is drawn beyond the noble scholar. Jeos stares into the sky, seeing what no being has ever seen before. The specs of light in the sky have grown to torches of various colors. They are so far away, yet so massive…
Ytri: “Jeos?!”
The sound of her voice snaps Jeos back into reality. He remains on his knees and shuts his eyes, attempting to sense the essence of what he has once seen before: Delta’s soul. Alas, even the power of the elixir is not enough to find Delta’s untrained and unfocused soul.
Jeos: “I- I’ve failed. But still, maybe…”
Ytri: “What is it?”
Jeos: “I have read about a technique called Lifeburn. It exchanges the power of life for equal total power for the forces of soul and mind.”
Ytri: “Wait, I heard of that! Couldn’t that kill you?”
Jeos: “Only if I’m too weak to survive, but I must try.”
Ytri: “Think about this, Jeos!”
Jeos: “I can do this, Ytri. I speak to the Eternals themselves, and call upon their ancient pact: A gar Emokzumadi, kepa Neis necor un vinten Neis kalavar tik heylo un meya!”
Jeos is suddenly surrounded by a veil of cobalt and violet light that appear to burn his skin. If he was not on his knees before, he would have fallen on his head and cracked his skull by now. He can barely breath, and feels as if he could die on the spot. As the light vanishes, Ytri rushes to Jeos’ side.
Ytri: “Are you alright?”
Jeos: “I can see him clearly, completely so. The world is so… terrifying... He’s to the northwest, in the sewers directly under the belltower. We shall go there now. Such power…”
Delta’s ears are drawn by muffled sounds of which he cannot identify the nature of clearly. Whatever they are, they must be significant. Delta begins to think of question he would ask, whether or not these sounds might be his chance to escape.
Delta: “But why are you here?”
The lurker is caught off guard by this question. Beit for kindness to the future dead, or knowing that they would never be able to tell another soul, the lurker reluctantly convinces herself to answer the dying boy’s question. The lurker moves in closer and begins quietly speaking face to face.
The lurker: “I don't want to kill you, I don't even want to be here.”
Delta: “Yet you persist…”
The lurker: “I do, but only because my true allegiance requires it.”
Delta: “And that is to?”
The lurker: “I can't say, but know that their goal is an honorable one.”
The sounds escalate to the point which even a normal being can hear them if they have reason to. Delta focuses on the sounds, hoping to gain a clearer picture of what the cause was. Alas, the small crack under the door muffles and bends the sound too much for him to grasp an image of their creator. The strange silence attracts the attention of the lurker, who opens the door to check outside in suspicion. Though the hallways are strategically kept dark, the sound echoes through them amazingly. It is clear to the lurker that there is a large scuffle going on further down the hallway, in the main room where her allies reside. With the door wide open, Delta easily recognizes the source of the sound and forms a smirk.
Delta: “Let me give you some advice: run.”
The expression on the lurker’s face turns from anxiety to immediate nervousness, but they force themselves to retain professionalism through sheer willpower. They pull an armored mask down from inside the top of their hood and draw the crossbow from their back. Delta sees the lurker aiming the crossbow into an area blocked from his vision, hesitant to shoot. Suddenly, the lurker’s arms and shoulders lose tension before they begin running away. Surprised, Delta looses focus of the scene whilst pondering the reasoning for not firing upon the intruders, until his attention is drawn by the sight of two figures standing shadowed in the orange torchlight. Both Ytri and Jeos rush to Delta and release him from his binds, Jeos struggling to walk by himself.
Ytri: “This isn’t over, Delta. We’ll catch every one of them.”
Delta acknowledges Ytri’s comment. He wastes no time rushing into the hallway and sprinting faster than ever. At the end of the path, stairs begin to spiral counter-clockwise upwards to the top of the belltower. The lurker is charging up and around the numerous wooden beams to the bell room at speeds too great for Delta to match. Seeing no other way to catch up, Delta’s willpower is channeled into flames erupting from his back, flying up and landing only feet behind the lurker. He quickly follows them to the highest peak, and the lurker has nowhere left to run. She peaks off the edge of the tower, revealing that the street is many stories downwards and the nearest rooftop is certain death. The chase has stopped, and Jeos arrives via the same method as Delta very shortly after. Jeos demands her surrender.
Jeos: “Stop! You can’t escape from here.”
At this point, the lurker is completely ignoring even the existence of Delta. Not even the slightest remark is made towards his existence, but Jeos has her full attention. The lurker faces him without a sense of fear to be seen, or a thought to be known. She slowly raises her arm, and a small screen of light appears just in front of it. The ;urker runs their finger through several of the appearing and disappearing shapes, before strolling out towards the railing. They step onto it, before looking back at Jeos and stepping out into the air. Delta and Jeos are shocked as the figure plummets, only to be caught by a massive streak of light that cuts through the sky and takes them away with unfathomable speeds. As Ytri finally arrives, the group can only watch as the lurker flies far into the horizon. She is gone.
Episode 15, Freedom
Delta stares at his reflection in the bowl of soup at such an angle and distance that no one else can see even the faintest of his reflection. He fiddles with the small, stringy noodles with his fork whilst pondering in thought. Delta’s mind is being flooded with thoughts of the night before, the kidnapping, the restraint, the… assassin. To whom do they owe their allegiance to, and why? Delta only knows of a few factions, but narrows his minimal list down through the reasoning that if he had been important to their allegiance, they would have freed Delta instead of imprisoning him. Delta’s thoughts are torn from his mind by the clacking latches of the door. Though there are a selection of city guards in the room with Delta, he felt alone until this moment. Creating a silhouette from the outside light, Alris stands as if he the worthy heir a legend. For the first time to be seen, Alris has a smile, no… a smirk. As Alris approaches Delta, the feelings of longing, sadness, and relief begin to fade away, or grow greater than any being can hope to experience. To him, they simply disappear.
Alris: “My end of the bargain is done. You are free, and I have been promoted to Peacekeeper. I have received both a promotional sum and a bonus sum for solving the murder. I have placed the sum for the murder on the desk in your room, it’s only right.”
Even after directly receiving the good news from Alris, Delta remained weary to go outside without a follower. Alris slowly makes his way deeper into the barracks, leaving Delta alone either as a goodbye or a gentle push to leave without aid. Delta takes it as the latter. It could have been seconds or minutes before Delta left his seat, and possibly just as long to make it to the door. The glow of free sun and sky comforts him past the exit. Delta walks back towards the forge, thinking no thoughts of the night before along the way. He stops at the dusty road near the bottom of the stairs and sits on the edge of the water trough that Moose drinks from. Slowly, Moose his head and forcefully places his chin on Delta's lap with water still raining down from his snout, all whilst Dirvar’s own bioren watches from nearby, confused. Delta leans back whilst brushing Moose’s fur, and looks up at the sun. He had never been so calm. For a split second, he either thought or dreamed about how powerful of a flame he could create while this calm, before a familiar figure shows up and interrupts him.
Ytri: “Delta.”
Delta sits back up as acknowledgment of her presence, before shortly after realising the reason that she was there. Delta is too joyous to be sarcastic, though he would be if slightly less so.
Delta: “The interview, I presume?”
Ytri offers her hand to help Delta up, which decently overpowers Moose’s untrained lower neck muscles. Delta shows her inside, and they both take up residence at the table where Delta had set up his miniature detective office. Ytri places her writing supplies on the table and begs the first question Delta.
Yrti: “Who are you?”
Delta: “My name is... but a label.”
Ytri: “It sounds like you don't enjoy it.”
Delta: “It was given to me by… I shouldn't say.”
Ytri: “Why not?”
Delta: “Because I don't want them coming after me.”
Ytri: “Elaborate, please.”
Delta: “I was imprisoned for a long time. I do not wish to be so once more.”
Ytri: “How did you escape?”
Delta: “Time. Lots of time an-… and fear.”
Ytri: “Fear?”
Delta: “They… you know who… called it a shadow.”
Ytri: “How did it make you afraid?”
Delta: “It made me weak. It kept shouting ‘You were suppose to die!’ It drove my willpower to escape.”
Ytri: “How did you get to civilization?”
Dirvar walks into the room, once again horribly timed like before.
Delta: “An old man helped me.”
Dirvar quietly scoffs in disapproval, before moving on to the forge to work on the next suit of armor.
Ytri: “What do you plan to do?”
Delta: “I plan to find who I am and why I’m here.”
Ytri: “What lengths are you willing to go to complete your goal?”
Delta pauses, horrified at his first thought of: anything. He takes a moment to rethink his moral stance, before deciding.
Delta: “I will not destroy other’s right to their own goal.”

Ytri pauses momentarily to decipher the meaning of such a cryptic response, before ending the interview on its behalf. Delta and Ytri say goodbye to each other whilst leaving the forge.
Ytri: “I say my farewells. I hope to see you once more.”
Delta: “As well. Goodbye, Ytri.”
Ytri: “You may keep the cloak. It’s just a bit too long for you now, but you may grow into it.”
They both go their separate ways, Delta’s be to the Tower of Soul. As he approaches the tower, it's giant presence blocks out the sun. Now in the great shadow, Delta hurries inside to the warmth of the firelit room. He’s stunned by the giant mass of people crowding the benches around the arena, watching the duels going on inside. So many are there that they must have caused an overflow, seeing as how there are people dueling outside the arena as well. Delta searches for Jeos near the arena, but sees him laying on the rail of the balcony and against the wall instead. Delta heads to Jeos, sitting on the railing just in front of him. Jeos shows pain in speaking, but doesn’t let that limit his communication with Delta. He sounds as healthy as ever.
Jeos: “Delta! Good to see you.”
Delta: “How have you been?”
Jeos: “I’m healing at a good pace. Are you free now?”
Delta: “I am, and still alive thanks to you.”
Jeos: “Good to hear.”
Delta: “Why are there so many people here?”
Jeos: “Them? They’re training for a tournament coming up next week.”
Delta: “A tournament?”
Jeos: “Indeed. I plan to attend too. I did so last year, but I was still too small to put up much of a fight. I’m twice as strong as I used to be.”
Delta: “They allow children to fight?”
Jeos: “It didn’t use to be so, until someone only slightly older than me not only won, but absolutely dominated the previous decade-long champion. The old champion won every tournament after that, and the child was never seen at the tournament ever again.”
Delta: “How did they join in the first place?”
Jeos: “The young one asked the Champion directly, and they convinced the Tournament Master to allow it. I feel like you should attend. If you have gotten training from Dirvar, I think you are strong enough to win at least a few duels. You do like fighting, right?”
Delta: “I do.”
Jeos: “Then it is settled! I will battle you in the finals, Delta.”
Episode 16, Falconer
The clanging sounds of a hammer continually colliding with a massive anvil halt as Delta enters the forge. Dirvar rises from his seat and heads to speak with Delta, who also does the same for him.
Dirvar: “Delta! I was going to speak to you after your conversation with that lady, but you left so suddenly.”
Delta: “What about?”
Dirvar: “You are free, yes?”
Delta: “I am.”
Dirvar: “And what of the assassin?”
Delta: “They were not one, but many. She who killed Vall Lyda escaped on wings of light.”
Dirvar: “I see… are you going to pursue them?”
Delta: “No, I don’t think I could ever find them, they were too fast and had gone so far, but I wanted to talk to you about something else.”
Dirvar: “And what might that be?”
Delta: “After I spoke with Ytri, I went to check on Jeos in the Tower of Soul. It’s completely packed with people preparing for a tournament, one I wish to attend.”
Dirvar: “You think you can win?”
Delta: “Truth be told, no. I want to attend so that I can lose, so I can learn more of myself.”
Dirvar has no clue what Delta is talking about, but oh well.
Dirvar: “This tournament is… dangerous. If one kills, their share of prize money goes towards the families of those who they slayed. Those in it for glory might not be interested in the money enough to hold back. If you attend, you might die.”
Delta: “As far as I know, the only way for me to gain knowledge of myself is to fight.”
Dirvar: “You might die… I’ll give you a test. If you pass, I will allow you to fight in the tournament.”
Delta: “What is this test?”
Dirvar: “I want you to go in the direction of the plains, twice the distance where we train. There will be the house of the Falconer. Tell him that I sent you to test yourself against ‘Ashen.’”
Delta: “I will, and I’ll pass whatever test awaits me. I will see you soon, Dirvar.”
Dirvar: “Good luck. I warn you, this is a challenge not even Captain Regenfar has passed. You should bring your blade.”
Delta grabs his jiare from his room and begins to leave the Forge, but spots something peculiar out of the corner of his eye. In the shadows lay the pieces of chitin that he had previously torn from his cloak. Before leaving, he takes the time to properly secure the reinforcements to his new cloak using the old misnark thread. Although he has no idea what awaits him, armor would more often than not be useful in such times. He leaves soon after, passing through the plains and going past the area where he commonly duels with Dirvar. The scene appears identical to before, aside from the sun being at its highest peak. Over a small hill, Delta can spot a house quite the distance away. The building is large and sturdy, with what can be estimated to be a courtyard in the center based on the shape of the roofs. Birds of various species fly high and low, one letting out an indescribable whooshing sound upon catching sight of Delta’s approach. As Delta nears the front door, a tall, slender man opens it wide to greet him. He speaks in a tone faintly reminiscent of a stereotypical wizard.
The man: “Greetings. What is your purpose here?”
Delta: “Dirvar sent me ask the Falconer to test myself against ‘Ashen.’”
The Man’s expression and tone turn from jolliness to surprise.
The man: “Oh my. I shall let you inside. I am the Falconer, my name is Savin.”
Delta makes his way inside, passing through the great space under the Falconer’s arm before they shut the door behind him. It seems that the miniscule entry room contains all of the essentials of a common house. To the right, there is a bed, desk, bookshelf, and other living pieces. To the left, there is a small cooking area next to various crates and barrels. Delta follows the Falconer past the main room and into the back room, which seems to make up the bulk of the house. It’s shaped like a ring, with various open windows near the highest parts of the walls. Many cages are placed along the outer wall, and birds fly freely in and out of the windows and cages around the room. The Falconer leads Delta to the courtyard, where a slender white bird is perched on the branch of the massive tree.
The Falconer: “This is Ashen, he is one of the few domesticated phoenixes known. Your job is to kill him. As a phoenix, he is immortal and immune to pain, so you have no need to worry about his wellbeing.”
The Falconer grabs Delta’s shoulder.
The Falconer: “Are you sure about this son?”
Delta: “I am.”
The Falconer: “Ashen, I want you to give them a good battle, but stop when you sense they can no longer fight. Son, warn you that you will not get out of here unscathed.”
Ashen raises to its feet and stretches its perfect wings in a stance worthy of a king’s banner. With a screech, great streams of flame grow out from its feathers while the Falconer shuffles his way back inside. Delta unsheathes his jiare just before Ashen swoops down at great speeds. Delta dodges rightwards, landing on the grass in a low stance. Ashen returns for a second sweeping attack with its talons, but Delta blocks with his weapon and grabs onto one of Ashen’s legs. Ashen swoops up into the air great lengths before Delta can muster the strength to reach up and slices at Ashen’s wing with his weapon. Both of them plummet towards the plains, struggling to place the other below them. Despite being at a disadvantage in terms of raw might, Delta is just barely able to force Ashen beneath him in time for collision. The ribcage of the massive bird offers a sufficient cushion to land upon, though doing so with a crash. A few seconds of recuperation are needed after such a maneuver, as Delta rests on the ground in the way gravity intended him to. After a few moments of rest, Delta moves away from the cloud dirt and grass to catch a breath before the dense particles floating away alert him that Ashen is still standing. The wounds Delta had inflicted upon his mystical opponent are now filling with ashes, which rid the ailments from his body before transmuting back into flesh. Ashen raises up just above the ground and launches an orb of fire that knocks Delta back onto his rear. Again, they charge at Delta, before latching onto his jiare and flying him far from the ground. Ashen releases Delta’s weapon and launches a stream of fire directly in his plummeting path, forcing Delta to collide with the earth all while being pinned to the ground by the consistent wave of flame. Seeing Ashen diving towards him, Delta gathers up the might to brave the pummeling flames. He raises the back end of his jiare at the last moment, impaling Ashen through it’s chest. Delta pushes Ashen off of his weapon with his foot, and, with one hearty slash, he leaps and decapitates the bird at the neck. It collapses onto the grass as Delta’s legs give way.
Slowly, Ashen’s remains transform into a pile of sandy ash before reviving the mighty bird to his former glory in a fiery light. Ashen rises up and congratulates Delta’s with a joyful tune, before flying back to its perch in the courtyard. Delta watches it as it glides home, revealing that the Falconer had been watching the battle from the front doorway. He seems genuinely surprised that Delta had claimed victory over Ashen, and begins a light applaud at Delta’s performance. Delta begins traveling towards the Falconer on a limp, feeling his various cuts and bruises. He looks backward while checking the condition of his attire, seeing that oddly neither cloak nor grass had been charred by the fire of legends. The Falconer speaks to Delta as he draws near.
The Falconer: “Come on in, I have something for you as a token of your victory.”
The Falconer leads Delta to the main room and directs him to wait before heading into the bird room. He returns with a small ivory case as pristine as Ashen’s feathers, and nearly as elegant.
The Falconer: “Once every few years, a phoenix will lose one of its quills forever. After death, a lost feather can restore its bearers life force completely. If Ashen had not seen you worthy in life, soul, and mind, it would have never let you win in such a matter.”
The Falconer open the case in a smooth, steady fashion similarly to how an adventurer would open an ancient treasure chest.
The Falconer: “I believe this belongs to you. Take great pride and responsibility in owning it.”
The feather rests unscathed and undisturbed on top of a luxury black pillow. Its heat entices Delta beyond even its beauty or perfection. He gently reaches out and sweeps his hand under the feather, grasping it with great care. Delta observes the small flares it emits for a short while before placing it in one of the internal pockets of his robe.
The Falconer: “I have only ever given out six of these, including yours. They can’t be plucked normally, so this is likely the only one that you will ever receive. If anyone asks you for proof of your valor, allow them to view it with some discretion.”
Delta: “I will, thank you.”
The Falconer: “All people who come here do so because they are being tested by a knowledgeable villager, or attempting to get the feather for themselves. For what reason did Dirvar send you?”
Delta: “I want to join the nearing tournament. He wants to see if I could survive.”

The Falconer: “If the proof that you seek is that of your survival, I have absolutely no doubts in it. Show the old man that feather. I bet him wishing to see such a thing is the only reason why he sent you here, and not elsewhere, in the first place.”
The Falconer opens the door wide for Delta, reminding him that he wouldn’t benefit from staying any longer. As Delta begins making his way back to the town, the Falconer shouts over the sound of windchime grass.
The Falconer: “I’ll have Eldritch keep me informed of your bouts in a timely manner, I assure you!”
After a long, prideful stroll through the plains and back to the Forge, Delta enters with the confident posture of a god of power. Despite working with great intensity, Dirvar is quite aware of Delta’s mightiness before even looking at him. He stands and faces Delta to speak.
Dirvar: “That pose… did you truly do it?”
Delta: “I did.”
Dirvar’s expression turns from disbelief to astonishment, and his voice gains a slight more “Ho, ho!” to it.
Dirvar: “I attempted that feat many times when I was young, always ending up too slow to fight back because I couldn’t brave the burns. That is why my skin is such a color. But you did it! May I… see the feather, as proof of accomplishment, of course?”

Delta reaches into the folds of his cloak, and reveals the feather with great care despite it being as indestructible as the phoenix itself. Dirvar seems honestly and truthfully giddy at its sight, before silencing in wonder. A few minutes pass, and Delta’s arm begins to tire, until Dirvar finally calms down and backs away. He rushes into the back room and returns with a set of armor well known to Delta.
Dirvar: “You take this. It will fit snug over your cloak, and that chitin of yours can be attached to it just as easy. Head to the markets and get some of everything; Healing potions, hearty cheese, charms, get them all!”
To his surprise, Dirvar rushes to fetch Delta’s coin purse before literally forcing him out of the door. He takes the time to place the chainmail between his two other layers while still on the porch of the forge. Seeing no need to reason to resist Dirvar’s directives, Delta begins to head to the markets in hopes of buying… whatever it was that Dirvar recommended. In truth, he had forgotten, but hopes to prepare himself tactically by going to whatever stands the others in armor were and buying whatever they bought. Upon reaching the markets, Delta spots a grey haired man in reinforced, blue-stained clothing buying something from a massive stand that’s just slightly more lonely than the others of its kind. He gets in line behind the man, waiting for him to finally… just… leave… Suddenly, the man turns around with a face of humorous joy.
The man: “What d’ya think?”
Delta jumps in surprise. A few moments pass until Delta even realises the obvious thing that the man was hinting at: A decorative blue headband. Even after the wait, the man still proudly displays his giant smile.

Delta: “Uh… it will keep the hair out of your eyes, I guess.”

The man: “Hmm… Indeed it will!”
The man turns back to the shopkeeper and digs a few coins from his pocket, which he plops on the counter.
The man: “I’ll take it!”
The man once again faces Delta, who is still shocked from the first encounter. He relaxes his flawless enjoyment just slightly before speaking to Delta once more.
The man: “I see that armor. Are you going to join the tournament?”
Delta: “Indeed I am.”
The man: “Great! What’s your name?”
Delta: “It’s Delta, what’s yours?”
The Man’s face turns from joy to surprise at Delta’s question. Does Delta really not know?
The man: “I’m Zerek, the reigning champion.”
Episode 17, Arena
Zerek: “This is the Arena of Amedael. Built by his own hands, this is where Amadael held the tournament since his death a few years ago. Now it’s being led by Captain Regenfar and the rest of the watch.”
Delta’s eyes wander through the sight of the powerful arena and the clear contrast of sunbound and shadowbound created by the sun peaking out from its upper rim.  A second, solid wall sits past all of the uniform arches that hold up the outer barrier. Decorative tiles sit along the wall at Delta’s eye level, all spaced evenly at approximately half a commoner’s height from each other. Zerek moves ahead of Delta and begins travelling at a slow pace. He places his hand on one of the carved stones.
Zerek: “These tiles serve as the memory all previous winners of the tournament.”
He begins pacing leftwards from the last stone in the series, rubbing those marked with his name and depiction. He halts at the single one that ruins the pattern. It’s blank.
Zerek: “This is the one who defeated me, a child. He came to me in a hurry, begging me to help convince Amedael to let him join. I did, and he destroyed me in both the second and ceremonial rounds without a peep. No one even saw him long enough to chisel a face into his stone. All I got was his name: Svelhal.”
Delta advances, observing the tile as how Zerek does.
Delta: “What happened after?”
Zerek: “He took his prize money and left immediately as if he had a schedule to follow. He has to be fully grown by now. Anyways, we can talk about it on the way around the arena, if you wish.”
The soundless steps of Zerek contrast the relatively noisy ones of Delta as the two make their way towards the innards of the arena, as if Zerek is the ghost of a misnark assassin. They arrive beneath the stands, where the bulk of the building is located. The room they’re in seems to be similar to a cafeteria. The room is filled with the ambient sounds of both tournament and non-tournament folk who are playing on the same massive board game while feasting upon cheese and sausages. Occasionally, one of them rolls a die and moves their custom idols in a manner that seems to have a rhythm of its own.
Zerek: “This is the dining area, where combatants and otherwise eat during the tournament. Usually it's more crowded, but almost everyone is more busy preparing for the upcoming affairs than enjoying the mead.”
The two pass into a separate area through a doorway at the far side of the room, and Delta catches glance of a ramp leading upwards to the stands. As the two enter the new room, its purpose is absolutely clear.
Zerek: “These are the sleeping quarters. This is where all combatants rest before and after battle, and serves as your token of entry.”
The area is massive in both height and length, but slightly less so in width. Many thick columns hold up the rafters directly above, and also serve as separators for four individual sleeping units each. All sections come equipped with a questionably sturdy bed, drawer, and footchest. A few people have already guaranteed their stay, and more seem to be moving in by the hour. Based on their motions and odd choice of spot, many of them seem to have definitely attended on a previous occasion. The clanking sound of a familiar armor set alerts Delta to the presence of a known figure.
Jeos: “Zerek, you’re here quite early! You know they’d hold your spot until the last minute, right?”
Zerek: “Rightly so, but I was showing Delta here the arena.”
Delta: “Jeos, I thought you were still sick. I didn’t expect you to come here so early.”
Jeos: “The tournament starts in a few days, but counting happens tomorrow night. I wish to secure my spot before the rest of the crowd. Follow me.”
Jeos begins limping and using right wall as support, halting and sitting at on a bed about halfway through the room. His friends have no trouble catching up to him.
Jeos: “The bed opposite mine didn’t have a fighter last year. It’s ripe for the claim, if you wish.”
Delta lays down on the unowned bed to get a feel for it, and the faint smell of aged blood emanates from the drop-stained hide cover. However, Delta lacks the sense to observe smell at all.
Zerek: “Well, I see you’ve gotten settled. Sorry, but I must take my leave. My lady is expecting me to greet her near the city gates.”
Jeos: “Farewell to you, Zerek. I expect to see you soon.”
With Zerek having left, Joes suddenly sits up and strikes conversation with Delta. This is no ordinary conversation, and quite inappropriate given the location.
Jeos: “I am a sage. Do you know why this is important?”
Delta: “Um… no?”
Jeos: “It means that I can sense life, soul, and mind forces, those of the eternals Necor, Heylo, and Meya.”
Delta: “And why is that important?”
Jeos: “When I drank the elixir, I was still short of seeing your forces. I had to use a technique called Lifeburn, which exchanges my life force for that of soul and mind force...”
Delta: “I’m listening...”
Jeos: “The force of mind is responsible for three things: personality, thoughts, and perception. A stronger mind force means you can perceive more than others.”
Delta: “And with Lifeburn, your perception is increased.”
Jeos: “Precisely. Like I said, I am a sage. With the combined strength of the elixir and the Lifeburn technique, I was able to perceive that what others could not. In the sky, I saw a plethora of specks emitting many of all forces, some more so than others.”
Delta: “There haven’t been others who’ve seen what you have?”
Jeos: “Not that I know of, no. I haven’t read anything about it in the Tower.”
Delta: “Then what are you saying?”
Jeos: “I’m saying that I saw life beyond our limits of the sky. But what else I saw…”
Delta: “What? What did you see?”
Jeos: “Brace yourself… I saw the forces of a being too powerful to comprehend. It outshined the entire sky manyfold.”
Delta: “What does it mean?”
Jeos: “It means that there’s a being out there that is more powerful than anything anyone has ever seen. I saw its mind force… it hungers. That is why I am terrified of the future.”

Delta: “Where is it going?”
Jeos: “I don’t know, but it’s now my goal to be prepared for the worst. I’m sure my parents are as well. By Chaos let it not come here.”

Offline TheKindMoose

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Re: The Chronicles of Alti: Legend of Delta
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2017, 12:19:35 AM »
Episode 18, Valika
???: “Stand up. We’re now beginning headcount.”
Surprised by sudden shouting, Delta leaps from his bed before he’s even awake enough comprehend the order. A few of the Keepers stroll about the room, taking count and marking the names of the combatants on their boards. They seem to have assigned each Keeper to a single row of pillars, seeing as how they are going through in a uniform wave. By the time that one of the Keepers finally speaks to Delta, he is fully aware.
Keeper: “Your name, please?”
Delta: “Delta.”
The Keeper: “Are your representing any outside party?”
Delta: “No?”
The Keeper: “You don’t sound sure of that.”
Delta: “”
The Keeper: “Will there be any accommodations needed for viewers of interest?”
Delta: “The Falconer said there would be an ‘Eldritch’ watching, I guess.”
The Keeper: ”... I’ll mark it down as three.”
He slowly backs away from Delta while checking his board, before turning directly towards Jeos. He answers before the Keeper can even think about the thought of uttering a even a single word.
Jeos: “Jeos, The Alliance, and… hopefully two.”
A handful of seconds pass while the Keeper writes on his board, before he passes on to the next set contestants. Minutes pass before anyone before or after the waves even utters a peep.
???: “Alright everyone, quiet down. I will now announce the tournament information.”
Jeos turns to Delta with a wide smile underneath his helmet.
Jeos: “It’s happening. Even though I’ve done it before, this is my most favored part of year.”
???: “Every match will follow three rules: One, if you step out of the ring or forfeit, you lose. Two, if you are knocked unconscious or otherwise declared unable to battle without significant risk of death, you lose. Three, if you kill your opponent, you forfeit your share of prize money to the families of those who died. You are subjected to penalty of law if your kill is determined to have been brought upon by unreasonable circumstances.”
A solid glance at the figure speaking reveals that this is the same plate-clad figure Delta had encountered in the barracks.
???: “Everyone who has not been eliminated will have three matches a day, but today will only consist of two for each contestant. At the end of the tournament, the last remaining warrior will choose their final opponent from all combatants. If you are chosen, you have one last chance to take victory. See one of the keepers if you require more information. Now that has been said, we shall announce our first combatants: Delta and Veren of… Valika? This should be interesting.”
Jeos: “The first round? With such an opponent? Harsh.”
Delta: “Why? Who are they?”
Jeos: “Honestly, I don’t know. However, the clan of Valika is a group of some of the most elite swordsmen and mages on Alti. Be careful.”
Seeing as how Jeos has mysteriously walked away without a word, Delta catches one of the keepers walking past him to answer his question.
Delta: “When does it start?”
Keeper: “Well, now... Just follow.”
Delta quickly grabs his gear before the Keeper begins to lead him to a tunnel at the far end of the room, which opens up into the central arena grounds. The massiveness of the stands show similarities to how a noodle views a bowl of soup. In the center of the arena, four arches of the same type of stone that is used in the rest of the city compose a small shrine. Several open bowls of cinders sit on top of each arc, yet the dying fires offer no visual assistance at midday. A small ammount soft and dry sand just barely conceals most of the sun warmed rock flooring, which pleases Delta. He views upwards at the movement in the corner of his eye, revealing that the man in plate armor had made his stay on the same balcony-type area where Zerek sits. A being stands at the opposite corner of the arena, and yet another stands near the wall inside the arena. Upon catching sight of Delta, the latter coughs in preparation for speech.
Announcer: “Welcome to the Tournament of Amedael. When he was still alive, Amedael was against using time for uninformative announcements. To honor him, we shall do the same. Combatants, you know the rules. The first battle shall begin now.”
Delta and Veren begin closing in on each other with their weapons drawn. Veren wields a massive curved sword as long as many spears, which he rests on his shoulder due to its unwieldy nature. Compared to the jiare of his opponent, it appears much more viable at distance. The bulk of Veren’s armor is made out of unknown supple materials that weave and intertwine with each other, ironically forming a pattern similar to a poorly fashioned basket. The suit seems to have most of its defences on the shoulders, arms, and thighs in the form of thick plates of the same construction. His helmet faintly resembles a Barbute, allowing a good range of vision on most sides. In all, the suit appears to be much larger than what would be expected from the slender bearer.
Only a few inches within the possible range, Veren suddenly charges and slashes at Delta’s neck. It just barely wifs, and Veren transfers the momentum into a flurry of slashes reminiscent of a dueling Akriv. The speed of the blade is so great, perhaps a typhoon is a more accurate representation of its power. Despite using the great dexterity needed to even comprehend such prowess, Veren has no trouble keeping fast on his feet as he pursues his opponent, who tries desperately to escape. As Delta backs away for fear of getting hit, he just catches sight of a surprise downward slash from his opponent’s right. Delta raises his weapon and blocks, before getting uppercut with the pommel of the massive sword while it still rests within the wooden handle of the jiare. Delta falls on his rear, desperately backing way to create distance from him and Veren. Pyromancy would be of great use at the moment, but Delta realises he possesses neither the calm nor the fear that trigger his power. Luckily, one missed slash from his opponent gives him just enough time to cast sand into their eyes. Veren backs away and slashes with minimal accuracy as he digs the sand from his eyes. Delta ups and charges forward, grabbing the loosely gripped sword by its edgeless side and prying it from Veren’s hand before tossing it out of bounds. With his vision restored and mind focused on the situation at hand, Veren unleashes a chained dagger from inside his sleeve, and takes up his right shoulder guard as a shield. He rushes forwards and lunges for to pierce, to which Delta responds by sidestepping and striking at their wrists as Dirvar did to him before, knocking the dagger from Veren’s hand. He yanks on the chain to bring his weapon back to him, but Delta grasps onto the metal rope and heaves. Veren is nearly knocked onto his chest, barely responding quickly enough to brace himself with his shielded arm. Delta kicks Veren onto his back and aims the edged spear-end of his weapon at the gap in his helmet, just inches from his face, before the announcer speaks out.
Announcer: “Veren is unable to continue the duel. The win goes to Delta. The next match will begin soon.”
The crowd cheers at Delta’s surprising success, creating a roaring echo heard across town. Delta steps off Veren’s chest before offering them his arm, which he accepts while still catching his breath. They speak to each other while Veren retrieves his blade and flushes off the sand.
Veren: “I never would have thought sandy floors would make such a difference in a battle. Nice work.”
Delta: “Thanks, I learned that from Dirvar.”
Veren: “You are quite strong for a young one, unless you're actually Jarvainian, that is.”
Delta: “No, I’m not Jarvainian.”
Veren: “Well, as I said then. Your ability to avoid getting wounded will help you fight better later in the tournament, I’m sure of it.”
Just before passing into the tunnel, Delta spots the faint blur of the undersides of an avian flying high overhead. He would have stopped to observe, but the grounds of serious competition are no place for lollygagging and birdwatching. The two stop just inside the sleeping room.
Veren: “I’ll be heading off. No need to wait around to see if I get chosen for the final round.”
Delta: “Why not? You never know if they will choose you.”
Veren: “That’s not the problem, it’s time. Me and my friends are in charge of guarding Valika’s docks out on the west coast. I only have enough time left for today’s matches.”
Delta: “Honestly, I expected you to be more focused on winning. You don’t seem phased.”
Veren: “Well, I’m not. Here’s the funny thing: I was sure that I was going to lose. I was invited to Valika years ago when I was completely untrained, and I still have no idea what my skills lie. I just came here to guarantee I could test out curved greatswords.”
Delta: “And how are they working out for you?”
Veren: “Better than expected, at least. I’m still far from the level I should be.”
Delta: “Aren’t Valikans suppose to be elites?”
Veren: “Exactly. Almost all others in the clan are veterans and their apprentices, except for the few others in the same predicament as me.”
Delta: “Strange. Who was the one who invited you?”
Veren: “Some kid named Svelhal.”
Delta slowly rests his hand on his chin as his eyes gape wide open.
Veren: “Something special about that name?”
Delta: “That might be the same child that beat Zerek in the tournament long ago.”
Veren: “You’re joking!”
Delta: “I’m not. I suggest you speak to Zerek about him, on the balcony.”
Veren: “I had planned on resting near the river today, but I can’t miss this. I’ll go there right now!”
Veren rushes past the next two combatants, who had made their way from the stands and are heading to the arena. Delta follows Veren’s path, crossing over the knees of dozens of viewers before stopping and sitting at one of the only few empty spaces left. Throughout the entirety of the ongoing duels, Delta is more focused on the conversation between Zerek and Veren. If there wasn’t so many unreasonably cheery spectators, Delta could quite easily listen to the topic of interest. Alas, the cheers over victory and defeat make the loud silence even more inaudible. While their conversation lasts for quite some time, and likely further prolonged by the noise, many combatants have fought and fallen on the sand-stones of the arena ground. Just after their talking halts, the Announcer speaks out.
Announcer: “This marks the first half of today’s battles. There will be no battles for the next hour. Meanwhile, food will be in the cafeteria for combatants only, and medical aid will be administered in the sleeping area.”
Most of the massive crowd begins heading out through the unreasonably small exit down to the first floor, while many clad in armor take seat in the cafeteria. Delta fixes himself in the backmost group of the wave, stepping softly with the rhythm of the crowd to not collide with others. Upon finally reaching the cafeteria, Delta begins to search for Jeos, but is unable to locate him despite his unique appearance. He spots that the only empty seats not uncomfortably between strangers are those near Zerek, who sits at the end of the sparsely populated table in the corner of the room. Delta takes seat in one of the only ones he feels comfortable with, those near Zerek. The champion seems more or less content with his visitor.
Zerek: “I saw your battle with Veren, and to be honest, I thought they’d win. Nice work.”
Delta: “Thanks, but I’d like to hear about your conversation with Veren, about Svelhal.”
Zerek: “I’m not sure if he would like me talking about it.”
Delta: “I think it’s fine. I was the one who told him to speak to you.”
Zerek: “Alright, then. Well, it turns out that Veren was invited to Valika when he was still a child, around Svelhal’s age. This was only a few months after the tournament where he beat me, which I am still confused about.”
Delta: “And what of Svelhal himself?”

Zerek: “The way he spoke to Veren seems to suggest that he knew him before, despite Veren saying he never saw him before then. This is as much as I know.”
Suddenly, a plate landing in front of Zerek interrupts the two’s conversation. Delta turns to its pilot, who surprises him with a long-familiar face. It’s the old woman from the inn in Gold Meadow!
Delta: “Wait, it’s you!”
The innkeeper: “Sorry, what?”
Delta: “You gave me cheese…”
The innkeeper: “Oh! It's you!”
Zerek: “You know them?”
The innkeeper: “I do. They stopped at the inn a few weeks... or months ago, I don’t recall. We shared a conversation about magic, and I gave him some cheese.”
Delta: “And then I went go sell kabobs.”
Zerek and the Innkeeper glance at Delta with a silent, laughing smirk. Zerek places his hand on his chin, and partially hides his smile with a single knuckle. It slowly drifts away as he regains his thoughts.
Zerek: “You sold kabobs?”
Delta: “Yeah. I caught fish from the river and skewered them in stacks. I made the money to stay, but Dirvar approached me and offered me a job woodworking. That’s why I left.”
The innkeeper: “That is quite humorous, truly. I didn’t know beforehand. But, if you would please excuse me, I must go.”
The innkeeper heads off into the back area of the cafeteria, secretly peeking out every now and then.
Zerek: “Fine story, lad.”
Delta: “Do you have any stories?”
Zerek: “Why, I ought to. I’m one of the oldest people alive.”
Delta: “Really? How old?”
Zerek: “Oh… going on 106, I believe.”
Delta’s shock shows in his voice, which fades quickly.
Delta: “What? How?”
Zerek: “General health?”
Delta: “How are you still up and fighting at 106?”
Zerek: “Ah. Meditation keeps your body young until it truly reaches its time. I’ve been battling since I was a lad.”
Delta: “Say… have you fought any demons?”
Zerek: “Of course, I was a warrior in the second siege. And the first and third, but not as much. Well, more of a monk. I can sense a demon from a mile away, if I focus on it.”
Delta hesitates upon even thinking about what he currently is. He focuses on trying to predict the outcomes of such an action, and they all seem grim. For the first time, Delta allows his instinct to truly guide his actions. He speaks softly and quietly to not gain any attention.
Delta: “I need your help, but only if you can keep a secret. Can you?”
Zerek seems confused.
Zerek: “That depends. What about?”
Delta leans over the table from his seat, just in front of Zerek. With his back turned to the crowd, he pulls the outer rim of his cloak open to catch the torchlight and illuminate his face. Zerek’s eyes show what the rest of his face doesn’t: pure astonishment. He falls back into his seat as Delta does the same.
Delta: “Do you sense a demon?”
Zerek takes an uncomfortably long short time staring at Delta. A hunch forms in his back as he looks closer, before he returns to normal.
Zerek: “No, I do not.”
Delta: “What do you sense?”
Zerek: “Life unlike that of anything I have ever seen. You are far from being a demon, yet even further from being Altian.”
Delta: “What does that mean?”

Zerek: “It means that you must seek higher guidance than what I can provide.”
Delta: “And where would I find that?”
Zerek: “A sage named is Ri’kal. I don’t know where he is, what he is doing, or if he even knows anything of the sort. All I know is that he’s your best bet.”
Delta: “Do you have any advice on how to find him?”

Zerek: “He must be in a position of guidance. That, I know him well enough to say. Even back in my day, he was a secretive man.”
Out of nowhere, a plate of familiar cheese appears in front of Delta. He traces the arm behind him and up to it’s source: the innkeeper. She sits down at the seat directly near Zerek’s side with a plate of their own, which reminds him that he hadn’t touched it since she left. The three begin eating their food at a slow pace while having conversations that contain many words with little meaning. Those between Delta and Zerek continue to seem awkward, before a voice echoes across the arena.
Announcer: “We will now begin our second set of duels, starting now. Our first duel will be between Gerlash-… alamand and Vix of Mosopia.”
Delta says his pardons to Zerek and the Innkeeper and rushes out of room, determined to get to one of the seats near the exit to avoid the wave of people. Terribly, he is only able to find a spot three persons inwards. The series of dueling starts, going throughout the day. As time passes, Delta shifts his focus from watching the duels to calming himself enough to use pyromancy in his next duel. After all, he didn’t want to be in the situation he was in with Veren once more. By the pseudo random assignment of participant order, Delta’s name is one of the last to be called, at around sundown. Upon his trip down and into the arena, he is surprised by Dirvar in the resting room, who displays a long weapon sheathed in a black leather scabbard.
Dirvar: “I saw your battle with the Valikan. It was quite close.”
Delta: “Is that…”
Delta’s eyes glow as Dirvar unsheathes the blade from its holster, revealing the mighty Shieyol. Dirvar reluctantly passes it off to Delta, who grasps the tightly wrapped handle with pride.
Dirvar: “Your jiare didn’t offer much aid last battle, and you needed something better to keep you alive. It’s yours to keep, so take good care of it.”
Delta: “Thank you!”
Dirvar: “Thank me by becoming the champion.”
Dirvar gives Delta an encouraging pat on the shoulder while turning his body towards the arena. He whispers to Delta.
Dirvar: “If you win, tell everyone that you can who made that sword.”
A gentle push encourages Delta towards the battlegrounds with a hint of force. Upon noticing Delta, the Announcer speaks.
Announcer: “Our combatants are Delta and Valias of The Mythril Blades. The battle shall begin now.”
Valias? That name seems familiar to Delta, for good reason. A quick glance at the opposite corner reveals that this was the geomancer that he had first seen in the Tower of Soul weeks ago. Delta believes that Valias hadn’t withheld their true power back then, and knows that they wouldn’t do so now at such an event. He wears the common mixture gambeson and chainmail, with a coif wrapping up onto his head. Valias begins pacing towards Delta whilst drawing an emerald colored sword from his scabbard. With such an appearance, the blade could easily be mistaken as true mythrill to anyone who’d taken notice to the name of the faction Valias is representing. Delta follows, meeting him at the center of the arena with his sword in his prefered fool stance. The two blades collide, Delta blocking with his arms overhead and blade in front. With Valias’ weapon locked in place by the same crevasse inflicted upon it by striking Shieyol, he fails to rotate his blade for a counter. Just as Delta begins to half-sword in preparation for a thrust, Valias raises the very brick Delta stands upon using geomancy. Valias lunges, piercing all but Delta’s rough skin as he recovers from his unnatural stumble. Continuing their pursuit, Valias grabs his dagger from his side. Delta attempts to block, but his sword is pushed away by Valias’. He stabs at Delta with his dagger, gently piercing his hide before knocking Delta onto his rear using a chunk of the arena floor as a projectile. Valias attempts a jab with his sword while Delta still lays on the ground. Just as the Announcer is about to call the match, Delta blocks with his sword and kicks up with both his feet, throwing Valias away. With sufficient space between him and his opponent, Delta raises up and launches a plume of flame, forcing Valias to protect his face with his forearms. Delta realises the opportunity he has opened up, and slashes at Valias such as woodsman at a Stonetree. Valias blocks with both weapons, only to have them cut into more or less equal halves by Shieyol’ immense power, despite it only being increased nominally by the light of sundown. Delta takes up half swording once more, and hammers Valias’ forehead with the pommel end of Shieyol. With Valias knocked unconscious, the Announcer speaks.
Announcer: “Valias is unable to continue to duel. The win goes to Delta. The next match shall begin soon, after the arena has been repaired.”
While catching his breath, Delta notices the large chunk of stone that Valias had ripped from the arena with his magic. He sees a faint shadow out of the corner of his eye, to which he traces to the sky, spotting the same bird that he had seen flying about before. Someone with a trained eye could tell that this was no bird, but owl. Alas, Delta’s light adaptive vision offers him no aid for such a feat. Delta begins to make his way back up to the stands, where a kind stranger had made their way half between Delta’s seat and their own to preserve the duelist’s. They slide back as Delta takes rest upon the stone seating to watch the majestic avian silhouette floating overhead instead of what he should be focusing on. It’s only when the massive group of spectators start raising from their seats that Delta realises he’d been completely ignoring the dueling happening below. He rushes to the exit, yet has again unfortunately arrived at the back of the crowd. He sluggishly makes his way back down to the sleeping area and to his bed, where he sits to admire his newly owned armermant. A few moments pass before Jeos had also made his way to his bed.
Jeos: “Quite a scurvy lad in that duel, right?”
Delta looks at Jeos with confusion. Perhaps what he’s thinking is: “What scurvy lad? I didn’t fight a scurvy lad.”
Delta: “Uh…”
Jeos: “You know, the pirate I fought? The one that kept singing chanteys throughout the duel?”
Embarrassed about his own lack of awareness, Delta responds in the way almost all but the likes of morally strict monks would.
Delta: “Oh, that one. Quite salty.”
Jeos seems to be none the wiser to the fact that Delta hadn’t been aware the ordeal at all.
Jeos: “The way you cut through that guy’s blade was quite astonishing.”
Delta: “It’s not me, it's the sword. It’s made out of… steel. Well, steel forged during an eclipse.”
Jeos: “So Teyosian metal then? That explains it. Still, the battles I’ve seen you fight in were quite dynamic. I get stuck with a seadog...”
Delta: “Say, have you ever heard of someone named Ri’kal?”
Jeos: “Seems familiar… yes. The history books mention he was a great sage, and the apprentice of Glavi for a few years.”
Delta: “Do you have any idea where he might be?”
Jeos: “No, I don’t. Why don’t you ask Zerek? I recount him being acquainted with Ri’kal at some point.”
Delta: “That’s the problem, Zerek doesn’t know either. He was the one who recommended for me to see him.”
Jeos: “He recommended you to find him? Odd.”
Delta: “Why is that?”
Jeos: “By the code of the Galvian Empire, an heir is required to make emergency decisions in the result of the Emperor or Empress’ death. It also states that an apprentice can be considered a rightful heir, meaning that, for some time, Ri’kal was the rightful emperor of Galvia. The books say that the Galvian Empire spent countless time and resources trying to find him, but unsuccessfully.”
Delta: “What ever happened to him?”
Jeos: “I’m not sure, though there are some accounts of him crossing the ocean to the New Lands.”
At this time in their conversation, a few warriors had made their way to the sleeping area as well, now resting their heads. One of them has a doctor stitching their various seeping wounds together with thread and bandages. To what Delta has been through since the start of his journey, it appears like a mother tending her toddler's scrapes.
Delta: “Are you alright?”
Jeos: “I’m not wounded?”
Delta: “Not about that, but about that being in the sky.”
Jeos: “I am making… progress, I think. I have a plan, at the least.”
Delta: “What’s your plan then?”
Jeos: “As much as I can, I will use Lifeburn to check the skies. If I see that whatever it is, is coming near, I’ll gather as many of the strongest, most powerful warriors in the land. If I can, I’ll find my parents as well.”
Delta: “You don’t know where they are?”
Jeos: “I know that they are working for the Alliance. My father is an engineer and my mother is a sharpshooter. I imagine that they’d be working as such.”
Delta: “If I could, I’d be glad to help.”
Jeos: “Please, that would be great!”
Suddenly, the warrior being stitched together moans in pain at the slipping of the needle.
Jeos: “Perhaps it's best if we stay quiet and let the warriors get their rest. They are probably serving dinner in the cafeteria now, if you are interested.”
I didn't realize that episode 18 and 19 together reach over 50,000 chars. Legit.

Offline TheKindMoose

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Re: The Chronicles of Alti: Legend of Delta
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2017, 12:23:54 AM »
Episode 19, Champion
Announcer: “Joi’en has fallen outside of the arena. The win goes to Jeos. The next match will begin soon.”
The Announcer turns upwards to speak to the one in plate armor while the two contestants begin leaving the arena. As Delta waits for Jeos to arrive while keeping his seat for fear losing his seat if he strayed too far, words echo out once more. Based on the response from the crowd, these words haven’t been spoken at a previous occasion.
Announcer: “I would like to ask everyone to remove all metal objects from the stands. They are distracting to the combatants.”
A short pause is followed by the great minority of iron, steel, and even titanium clad individuals grudgingly raising from their seats and heading down below. Delta follows orders despite not comprehending the fact that bright light harm human eyes. He stops to speak with Jeos, who is sitting cross legged on his bed.
Jeos: “It’s quite aggravating. It happened last year too, and it’s the reason I lost.”
Unknown by Jeos, Delta lacks understanding. How could such a weak source of heat, such as light, cause such harm to humans? He fails to realise that it has anything to do with eyes at all.
Jeos: “You know, in the days of our ancestors, Teyos didn’t exist. It was dark, and lit only by torches and lanterns.”
Delta: “Sounds nice.”
Jeos: “You prefer the dark? I’m the opposite, I prefer the light.”
Delta: “I don’t care for the light, besides the warmth. The darkness is… gentle.”
Jeos: “Your words and actions are uncanny.”
Delta: “For good reason, I suppose.”
Jeos: “On that, I’ve heard from Ytri that you aren’t Human, Teres, or Jarvinian, so what are you?”
Delta: “That’s what I wish to find out.”
Jeos: “Well then, I guess I’ll return your favor, if I may. You’ll help me with my goal, and I’ll help you with yours. But first, I have to know what I’m dealing with.”
Delta: “That would be great, thank you.”
Jeos: “We’ll meet in the Tower of Soul after the tournament to discuss this further.”
Suddenly, a strange man brushes past the crowd of people and heads over towards Delta. A quick glance reveals this to be the man that saved Delta’s seat days ago. What could he want?
???: “Sorry to interrupt, but my name is Hirvanliend.”
Delta: “Um… okay?”
Hirvanliend: “I presume you wonder what I’m doing here, speaking to you. Correct?”
Delta: “Correct…”
Hirvanliend: “I have seen your weapon. It is made of Teyosian metal, right?”
Delta: “That it is. Do you want to see it?”
Hirvanliend: “Not quite. You see, it is one of the brightest days in Altian history.”
Delta: “Which affects Shieyol’s power.”
Hirvanliend: “Indeed, if that is the title of your blade. It is so bright, in fact, that it poses a great danger to those on the other end. It could slice through iron and steel with ease; Don’t even get me started on gambeson.”
Delta: “And what do you want?”
Hirvanliend: “I find death… disturbing. I saw your ability to use Pyromancy, and I’m here to offer an alternative: Swap your weapon to another, and I’ll provide you with an elixir that increases your soul power tenfold to compensate.”
Jeos grabs Delta by the shoulder and guides him a distance away from the man, before speaking quietly so that he doesn’t catch ear.
Jeos: “Now I’ve seen some fish in my few years, but this is a leviathan.”
Delta: “Is it true that someone could die if I hit them too hard?”
Jeos: “Yes, it is. I would switch to my secondary blade, but not consume whatever poison he offers.”
Delta: “If this potion increases my soul power, will I feel what it is like to be a true Pyromancer?”
Jeos: “No, you would actually become a Pyromancer until it wears off.”
Unwise words for someone trying to convince another against it.
Delta: “And would the feeling of control help me grow as one?”
Jeos: “Mabye, but I highly recommend against it.”
Delta turns towards the man, clearing one final skepticism before his decision.
Delta: “If I take this elixir, what would you gain from it?”
Hirvanliend: “Publicity. Mages across the land would buy them in bulk, and I would be wealthier than Lirier.”
It is almost unheard of for a being to use their own greed as an explanation for anything. Delta hesitates, but offers his answer.
Delta: “It will be so. I accept your offer.”
Jeos frowns in disapproval as the man pulls an elixir filled to the brim with a deep blue liquid from his satchel and hands it to Delta. He fakes a smile before sneaking off and spying on the two from inside the crowd of impatient combatants.
Jeos: “You aren’t actually planning on drinking that, are you?”
Delta: “I am.”
Jeos: “Based on my studies, equivalent exchange must happen. The power must come from somewhere. When I took the Sensory Elixer, I lost my sense of smell completely. If you take that, I don’t know what it might eat away.”
Suddenly, the familiar voice echoes across the arena. There must be an amazing set of lungs on this man.
Announcer: “We apologize for the interruption. The tournament will begin once more. Our combatants are Delta and Zae’ell of… Torin Farms.”
Jeos: “A farmer?”
Delta: “I suppose so.”
Jeos: “I don’t think you need that elixer. You know, it’s never too late to reconsider.”
Delta: “They’ve gotten this far, Jeos. They must be powerful.”
Jeos: “I know! Still…”
Delta grabs his jiare and begins heading out to the arena grounds with both a confident smirk and a shiver down his spine. Slowly beginning to feel the delightful rush of soul power, he finishes the last glugs without much thought. As he brushes past the crowd of warriors who watch from the shade of the tunnel, both of his feelings grow more intense. As he plants his feet into the hot sand in the stance of a hero, the Announcer speaks.
Announcer: “Our combatants have arrived. The next battle shall begin now.”
Zae'ell appears to be a taller woman with dark, purplish hair underneath a burlap hood. She dawns deflective plating over a dull robe, with her hands oddly unarmored. As the two begin inching near, Delta feels the flame bellowing within him, one exceedingly greater than what he has ever felt. From above, Zerek awes at the power Delta's he senses within Delta. How has he gotten so powerful in such a short time? Zerek can’t theorize, for his attention is on the combatants. Most other mages are in disbelief at Delta's soul, and hold the belief that they must have made a mistake in sensing his power either before or now. Suddenly, both contestants raise arms before the elements of fire and lightning collide in a show of visual chaos. Delta changes his stance and focuses his power. Propelled by flame, Delta flies through the cloud of dust, smoke, and sand, punching Zae'ell in their chest armor at full speed. She is knocked down and loses touch with the air inside her lungs as Delta’s path curves towards the sky. At a giant's height above the arena, Delta summons a massive sphere of flame that can be seen floating above the horizon at miles away like a second sun. Using all of his might, he projects the flame down toward the ground. Zae'ell finally recovers her stand, shooting the most powerful bolt of energy that she can muster to counter attack. The elements collide, causing the ball of destruction to explode in a curtain of power over the arena. The crowd cheering in amazement almost overpowers the immense sound of the bursting flame, while chunks of flame plumet both inside and outside the arena. The lightning passed through the orb, now hitting Delta in the arm and knocking him off balance. He begins to speed towards the ground, summoning a plume of flame below him that brings his fall to a gentle stop. Zae’ell begins casting arch upon arch of electricity, offering Delta no option but to block the serene chaos with a shield of soulfire. She inches closer and closer to Delta, attempting to strike him at the few spaces his shield is unable to fully cover. Sensing the soul force of his opponent, Delta adjusts his field of cinder accordingly to deflect the bolts of electricity before they even appear. Sensing a future hiccup in the onslaught that is still yet to come, Delta prepares for a counter. He intensifies the flame of his shield before colliding it with the floor, creating a massive gush of fire that spreads across every inch of the arena ground. Zae’ell fails to find a method of defending against the attack, and braces identically to the combatants watching from the tunnel entrance. With the scorching wave having passed, Zae’ell collapses to the sands. Having failed to stand up due burns on her legs, the Announcer calls the match while still dumbfounded.
Announcer: “Zae’ell is unable to continue to duel. The win goes to Delta. The next match will begin soon.”
The crowd cheers with the might of a dragon while Delta rejoices in accomplishment. If the continent ever had a loudest moment, it would be right here and now. Delta feels no guilt using such an alchemical method of overcoming his opponent, for his true desire was not to win, but to experience a brief moment as a true pyromancer. As the seconds of unadulterated roars reaches its midpoint, Delta begins to feel his soulforce fade as he becomes nauseous and unbalanced. With the cheering nearing its end, the combatants offer no resistance as Delta hobbles his way back inside the arena and to resting area. The path that they had cleared for him remains open -- despite the next match beginning -- as they watch him collapse on his bed. Delta attempts to rest, but laying down only makes his nausea worse. Shuffling his way through the center of the crowd, Jeos emerges and rushes over to Delta.
Jeos: “I warned you against it, now look what’s happened.”
Delta: “Save it, Jeos, I got what I wanted.”
Jeos: “Nearly killing yourself?”
Delta: “Experiencing true pyromancy.”
Suddenly, a voice from across the room takes their attention.
Zerek: “Amazing! How did you a-”
Upon realising that all was far from well, Zerek silences himself. The sounds of his surprise are tainted with worry.
Zerek: “What did you do?”
Delta seems more irritated at his condition than pitiful for himself.
Delta: “I drank a potion. Now it’s disagreeing with me.”
Zerek moves in with a blank stare and brows held low -- a near squint. A few seconds of focus are followed by an expression of a dreaded surprise.
Zerek: “That potion must have been a crude trigger to lifeburn. Your lifeforce has fallen drastically, and your soulforce has strained.”
Jeos is taken even further by such words than Delta is.
Jeos: “You’re kidding!”
Zerek: “Unfortunately, no. You can’t fight in this condition.”
Delta: “No, Zerek. I need to fight.”
Zerek plants his voice as one plants their feet in the ground.
Zerek: “You need to rest, or you’ll die out in the arena from the slightest blow.”
Delta: “I’m going to fight whether or not that might happen.”
Zerek: “And for what reason?”
Delta: “To learn more of myself. The more I battle, the more I learn. You have to trust me, more than anyone.”
Zerek lets off a sigh similar to those given off by the driver of a crashed carriage.
Zerek: “Fine, only because of your... predicament. Where did you get the potion?”
Delta: “From some businessman hoping that it would help him advertise it.”
Zerek: “Whoever made it is both a genius and an idiot. You, however, made a stupid decision.”
Delta: “Can we focus on fixing the problem?”
Zerek sighs while squeezing his forehead and thinking of a solution, until Jeos offers his from the sidelines of the conversation.
Jeos: “What if… he used mindburn to cancel it out?”
Zerek: “Well that would be swell, if he knows how. Do you, Delta?”
Delta’s silence causes both Zerek and Jeos to go back to thinking, before it abruptly ends.
Delta: “I… no?”
Jeos: “If you knew, you’d know. Trust me, you don't.”
Delta: “Then what am I to do?”
Jeos: “Go home now, and fight next year.”
Zerek: “I agree with Joes.”
Delta: “Battling is something I simply must do. Besides, I have this...”
Delta reaches into the pouch inside his cloak and underneath his extra armor layers. The other two are prepared to be be unimpressed, until the feather is revealed. They both stop speaking, or even thinking about words, while viewing the beautiful quill. As Delta begins to slide it back into its place, all the others can think is: damn.
Zerek: “Alright, you must rest until then. You’ll need every ounce of strength you have to win, I guarantee it. The chances are that it’s one of us that you’ll be fighting.”
The echoing voice speaks once more, signaling an event of significance.
Announcer: “We have reached the final lengths of the tournament. In anticipation for the semi-finals, I will now list off the four remaining participants: Zerek of the clan of Ravenkar, Tirrin Leas of the Galvian Empire, Delta, and Jeos of The Alliance.”
All in the arena hold their breaths in anticipation for the next announcement to come, the trio more so than anyone.
Announcer: “Our battle will be between Jeos of The Alliance and Delta.”
While Delta mirrors Zerek with sighs, Jeos leans down and touches his hand to his helmet. He raises up with a frown underneath his mask.
Jeos: “I had hoped to battle you in the finals, and in your best condition.”
Delta struggles to stand on his own. Jeos offers him his hand, but he refuses to take his help for reasons that aren’t clear to either of them. However, they stand side by side on their way to the arena grounds. To what Eternal have they displeased to deserve this treatment? Jeos thoughtfully takes the far side, and Delta is left only with the opposite.
Announcer: “Our combatants have arrived. The first match of the semi-finals shall begin now.”
Both of their feet remain firmly planted; neither of them move an inch. The crowd draws dead silent. Why would such a powerful pyromancer refuse to fight when they are so close to victory? The perceptive few realise that there is something wrong with the bearer of chitin.
Jeos: “You can’t fight in your condition.”
Delta: “I must.”
The viewers whisper to eachother noise of disbelief, not with their voices, but with their silent stares.
Jeos: “Why?”
Delta: “It’s part of my goal.”
Jeos: “I follow the tenets of honor, Delta. I won’t fight you in this state!”
Delta: “Either we fight how we are now, or I come over there and start it myself.”
Jeos remains silent. Attempting to trigger Delta’s instinct for survival, Jeos launches a plume of flame that stops only inches in front of him. Perhaps it might have worked, if not for Delta’s immunity to its powerful glow. Delta begins pacing towards his unfortunately chosen opponent. Just before Delta reaches attack range, Jeos makes tournament history.
Jeos: “I forfeit the match.”
Perhaps the one both most and least shocked by this is Delta, who stops in his tracks. In his disbelief, he becomes half-blind to Jeos having already begun to make his way inside. The Announcer sounds as if he still hadn’t the slightest clue of what happened.
Announcer: “Jeos has forfeited the match. The win goes to Delta. Now calling Zerek and Tirrin to the arena.”
Lacking the ability to collect his thoughts into words, Delta simply follows Jeos back into the sleeping quarters. As Jeos passes one of the combatants, they whisper to him.
???: “Amedael would be proud of you, kid.”
The two make their way to their opposite beds, where they sit. As his disbelief fades back into the reality, Delta’s feelings of nausea and frailty return. Minutes pass before either of them speak.
Delta: “Why?”
Jeos: “Ever since I could remember, my father taught me to uphold the tenets of honor.”
Both halt speech for some time, before Delta asks the only question he can think to.
Delta: “Which tenet? Was the one that made you decide?”
Jeos: “Not attempt feat against those with shortcomings leading amidst guaranteeing failure. That’s the most direct translation of the one written by Amedael.”
Delta: “I should have forfeit.”
Jeos: “No, I should have fought you. By not, I broke another tenet.”
Delta: “Which one?”
Jeos: “Not dishonor oath, les’ revered dishonor bearer, lest honor be lost.”
Delta: “It sounds like you didn’t have a choice.”
Jeos: “The tenets are build upon an ideology that all warriors would follow them.”
Delta: “Then I’ll start, I owe you that much.”
Such a response ought to lighten up the mood.
Jeos: “Good to hear. We’ll talk about it after the tournament.”
Announcer: “Tirrin Leas is unable to continue. The win goes to Zerek. The finals between our previous champion, Zerek, and the newcomer Delta will take place at dusk.”
The combatants begin flushing themselves from the tunnel entrance and to anywhere they desire to go. After the bulk of the crowd has passed, Zerek travels to speak with the two. Non-vocal communication through natural body language tells Zerek that neither of the two were too upset with the other at this point.
Zerek: “Jeos, that was an honorable thing you did there.”
Jeos: “I try.”
Zerek: “Phyres would be proud of you.”
If Jeos had not been wearing a helmet, he would have been concealing his massive grin with his hand.

Zerek: “And Delta, if you would have forfeit, I would have chosen you to be my final opponent in the duel of honor. I suppose the results will be the same either way, we will fight.”
Delta: “And I hope you hold nothing back.”
Zerek: “In your condition… we’ll see at dusk.”
A familiar voice calls out to one of the three.
Dirvar: “Zerek.”
Zerek: “Dirvar? Haha, you should be ashamed of yourself for calling me by name!”
Dirvar: “Oh, shut up! I’m not your apprentice anymore. You, however, don’t know when to die, do you?”
Zerek: “I’m afraid not!”
Delta: “You trained Dirvar?”
Zerek: “Indeed. I tought him everything I knew about how to use weapons, but then he said it wasn’t for him and ran off to learn blacksmithing.”
Dirvar: “And then I joined Glavi’s war party, which Zerek also ended up joining.”
Zerek: “Quite ironic. It’s good to see you again, but the Keepers need me for some… thing. We’ll catch up later.”
Zerek wanders off in a timely manner that would be suspicious to anyone who didn’t know him.
Dirvar: “My boy, you did it! You’ve made it to the final match.”
Delta: “I wouldn’t have if Jeos hadn’t forfeited.”
Jeos: “You still would have been chosen by both me and Zerek, so don’t sell yourself short.”
Delta: “I guess.”
Dirvar: “But you appear ill...”
Delta: “I just hope I will be healthy enough to battle Zerek. Even if I lose, I will still get closer to finding more information.”
Dirvar:”Optimism is best when it is also realism. Is it?”
Delta: “Yes.”
Dirvar: “Good. But, alas, I must go tend to something of need.”
Delta: “Don’t let me stop you.”
Dirvar rushes away in the direction of the arena exit. With people finally having finished talking to him, Delta props up his pillow against the stone pillar to rest comfortably without the nausea of lying down. He simply sits there in boredom for what seems like hours. Jeos acts to not interrupt his rest, staying quiet despite Delta longing for entertainment. Just after he begins to rest his eyes, Delta’s boredom is cast away with words.
Announcer: “We are now ready for the final official battle of the Tournament of Amedael. I ask our final participants, Zerek and Delta, to please meet in the arena grounds.”
Delta raises from his bed and removes the chainmail part of his armor for the reason of to quick on his feet, something that would be required for fighting such an opponent as Zerek. Then, he begins a healthy walk towards the final battle. Beit either from the hype or rest, his feelings of nausea and disgust have fallen to acceptable levels. Still, he remains at less than ideal shape. Upon reaching the arena grounds, he notices that the stands are more crowded than ever before. The scones at the center have grown greatly in intensity, each surpassing a small bonfire. The crowd goes dead silent, and the only noise that can be heard is that of the crackling flames. By scanning the crowd, Delta finds Jeos, Dirvar, and even Alris watching from the stands.
Announcer: “Welcome to the final battle. Zerek, the many decade champion, will be battling the powerful newcomer Delta. The battle for the rank of champion will begin now!”
Delta stares at his opponent, who displays the expression that Delta had first seen him wear, one of hidden titanic joy. The two begin walking near, stopping at about fiveheight apart.
Zerek: “I can see you’ve gotten better.”
Delta: “Indeed I have.”
Zerek: “So, let us battle.”
Zerek begins to move his staff into position, before Delta stops him.
Delta: “Wait, I have one request!”
Zerek: “And what might that be?”
Delta: “I request that you don’t throw me out of the arena.”
Zerek: “Why?”
Delta: “I want to battle you toe-to-toe, with no holding back. It will help me grow.”
Zerek pauses. He thinks to himself: “Would he die? Should I even risk directly striking him? No, it’s important for me to trust his judgement.”
Zerek: “It shall be so. Let us begin.”
Zerek raises his quarterstaff into a defensive position, followed by his opponent preparing his jiare. As they travel to their fates, each step pushes apart the sand on the ground. No grain of mineral dare stand in their way, for even they know about the war that is about to begin. At oneheight, Delta prepares a slash to not be forgotten by him nor Zerek. With all of the might in every single muscle, Delta cleaves down with the axehead. Zerek braces with his staff out wide, causing the blow land with his staff just underneath the axehead. Having been pushed back at the knees by the mightiest blow ever aimed at him, Zerek struggles to recover his stance. With his opponent occupied, Delta releases his left hand from the jiare and latches onto the left part part of Zerek’s weapon, before sliding his weapon rightwards along the staff. Once again using all of his strength, he lays into his left arm and heaves down on his axe, forcing Zerek sideways. Anyone even slightly less dextrous than the champion would have never landed on their feet. Zerek leans his staff slightly backwards in preparation for the attacks to come, blocking or deflecting all of them with the most elegant of motions. Seeing an opening for attack, he strikes Delta in his shoulder and back near the end of their sweep. Delta is knocked onto the sandy floor, but swiftly rises from the stance of weakness with a swipe upwards with a paw of raging calm. Zerek jumps backwards in defense, but Delta has prepared for such. He chucks the flame within his hand downwards at Zerek, a direct strike! Zerek raises his hand in defense, and… what? The fire appears to have bounced off of him or… something! Only someone from the side could see that it had apparently been deflected without even touching its target. The flame returns back to its creator, shattering upon his face and smothering his eyes. Zerek rushes in and jabs at Delta’s gut with power that would surely mean impalement if the champion had been using a spear. Delta curls his torso inward in pain, only to be struck in the same shoulder as before with the might of a sweeping quarterstaff. Delta shouts in pain, holding himself off the ground with the elbow of his only remaining usable shoulder. Zerek travels around Delta, ready to strike if he raised. In a position of near defeat, Delta begins to feel the flame build inside himself. This fire is built by fear, for sure, but not the fear of losing. This is the fear that he had not battled enough, and that this whole ordeal was for nothing and that he would be no closer to his goal. Motivated by the power -- and vise versa -- Delta pushes upwards with his right arm and legs. Zerek strikes in response, not hitting Delta, but knocking away his weapon far outside the boundaries. Realising his opponent is without a means of defense, Zerek follows up to finish him off. Needles of static shoot through Delta’s arm as he catches the staff in his palm. A blade of soulfire erupts from Delta’s forearm and beyond, powered by all of the soul and will to succeed that he can muster. Zerek’s staff nearly ignites on its head, creating a crescent char in its wake before he pulls it to safety. Having used the momentum from the pull to pursue Zerek, Delta slashes wide and transitions into a stab with his summoned blade. Both attacks land, igniting Zerek’s attire in the shape of a t and burning him underneath. Zerek scurries backwards, patting out the flames on his chest before they cause further harm while Delta pursues with slash apon slash apon slash. Near the edge of the boundaries, Zerek stops. Whatever attacks Delta throws his way he must deal with now; backing away is no longer an option. Just before the sweep lands upon Zerek, he disappears into thin air. Where is he? How did he disappear? These questions are only answered by the incredible hearing of Delta, for Zerek was sprinting along the sand behind him with a light step. Delta rotates and chucks the flame at Zerek. Unfortunately for Delta, no amount of flame would stop the momentum of the jumping strike Zerek has initiated. The blade collides parallel to Zerek’s chest as the end of his staff crashes upon Delta’s last shoulder. He is knocked to his knees, and fails to raise either of his arms. Zerek performs the final blow, smacking the underside of Delta’s chin with the end of his charred staff. Delta lands on his back with his head only inches from the edge of the arena. Zerek points his staff just before Delta’s chest before the Announcer calls one of the greatest matches in arena history.
Announcer: “Delta is unable to continue. Zerek has once again won the Tournament of Amedael!”
Perhaps it is not surprising at all that the continent had two loudest moments in a single day, given the circumstances. Through the shaking of the arena caused by the massive orchestra of cheers, Zerek offers his hand to Delta before realising that it would be more fitting to lift him from his cloak instead of the flesh that attaches to his shoulder. With only a short second of serious pain, Delta is back on his feet. As his adrenaline fades, pain takes its place once again. Zerek helps carry Delta closer to the exit, before breaking away and heading towards the Announcer. Delta watches from the arena as the Announcer does what he does best, announce.
Announcer: “Zerek, the multi-decade champion, has once again defeated every opponent to come his way. Knowing this, I can now declare Zerek of the clan of Ravenkar the champion of the 73rd annual Tournament of Amedael!”
The crowd cheers for time uncountable while Zerek takes in the sound of pride. He turns to view the spectators, all of whose eyes were locked upon him as he to theirs. The Announcer pats on Zereks shoulder to gain his attention for one final question.
Announcer: “Zerek, as you know, it is tradition to request a final battle with one of the contestants. Who do you choose?”
Zerek takes a deep breath to speak to the crowd directly. Not doing so would surely ruin the mood.
Zerek: “I choose Jeos of The Alliance.”
Episode 20, Hellfire
The faint shroud of unlit clouds further darken the misty midnight sky, and most of the non-combatant spectators have left the stands. The few of those who are left are the ones that came for the battles, not just the competition. The sound of the scorched twinblade being released from its prison marks the beginning of a chain of events to affect Alti for millennia to come, yet not to be realised for years.
Jeos: “It’s an honor to finally fight you, Zerek.”
Zerek: “As is to you.”
Jeos: “I should thank you for choosing me.”
Zerek: “You have no one to thank but yourself, Jeos. You earned it with your skill and honor. Now then, let us begin.”
Zerek wouldn’t be worthy of being called a sage if he couldn’t sense Jeos’ rising soul power. He charges in with a powerful lunging attack to delay the oncoming of fire. Jeos fails to counter, but successfully sidesteps just enough for the bulk of the attack to be deflected off of his incredible armor. Jeos grasps onto Zerek’s weapon as far as his arms will allow and pulls inwards to drag his opponent near. With a steady arm, he raises his sword and launches an expansive cone of nature’s enemy at the old man. While his opponent is still shrouded by fire, Jeos suddenly feels the full weight of the staff drop into his hands before experiencing mighty pull from the opposite side. Zerek uses surprise and leverage to his advantage, swinging his weapon away from Jeos while it’s still firmly locked in the younger’s hand. Jeos is thrown from his footing and onto the sand approximately one height away, landing on his knees and supporting himself with his sword. Zerek strikes Jeos on the back of his helmet with a firm grip, forcing his opponent’s face and chest into the ground and creating a splatter of sand in its path. Jeos realises the terrible position he’s in, one where his opponent could be directly above him, far off to the side, or anywhere inbetween, and begins to prepare a trick that might just turn the tides of battle. He inconspicuously slips his hand below himself and into a hidden pocket to take hold of the trinket inside. Using all of his will, Jeos forces himself onto his feet as Zerek continues to strike Jeos’ thick metal backplate. While still closer to the ground than the sky, he stretches the trinket outwards before launching a scorching bolt of flame at his opponent. Zerek does what his battle-gained instinct is, returning the flame to its owner using schools of magic still unmastered by any. But wait… just as the bolt of fire begins speeding towards Jeos, it curves it back around Zerek before erupting atop his back and launching him forwards. Zerek is forced to prop himself up with his staff or taste the sand, leaving himself open for any attack his opponent wishes. Jeos recollects his posture and steps forth with his sword, launching a beam of fire that stretches far beyond the distance of his opponent. Zerek narrowly dodges with a rightwards sidestep before smashing Jeos in the shoulder with a fully levered swing of his staff. With the immediate danger of the strike nullified by Jeos’ armor, and the crushing of the attack dampened by padding underneath, Jeos shrugs off the damage of the blow such as a tree branch during a child's play time. As the follow up attack comes and passes, Jeos returns the favor with a maneuver that would prove useless if soul had never existed. Jeos pushes Zerek’s weapon away before doing as a dancer does, stretching out his sword and summoning an expanding circle of fire with a balanced spin. As Zerek backs away to escape the intense heat, Jeos jettisons a bundle of the collected flame towards the champion at intense speeds in the form of a girthy lance. Either Zerek had become a ghost since battle’s start, or disappeared just in time to avoid the flame simply too intense to reflect. Suddenly, Zerek appears at his opponent’s flank and places him in a lock from behind. Struggling to break free from the grapple, Jeos sees no option but to turn to that what cannot be contained with might alone: his soul. To Jeos misfortune, Zerek senses the effects of his opponent’s strategy. Jeos does what must, unleashing all of his soul power in a fiery explosion as Zerek disappears into thin air once more. Just as Jeos begins to recover his view of the world from the insides of the ever-thinning sphere of flame, Zerek braves the scorching fires in a sprint. He grabs Jeos around his abdomen, carrying him without a thought of cease like a king’s field doctor. He runs further and further, holding the immense weight of Jeos’ armor while all of the burns along his ancient body shriek in agony to finally throw Jeos out of the ring and finish the match. With one mighty heave, the younger is cast from the bounds of the duel and onto his back. As the last grains of sand find their places, the Announcer speaks out.
Announcer: “Jeos has fallen outside of the arena. Zerek is the winner. This concludes the post-finals battle.”
The crowd claps with content. Perhaps it’s better for the town as a whole that the far-heard cheering has halted for the time being. After all, sleep is as much as a necessity as food. Zerek makes his way over to Jeos and offers him his hand. The two comment on the battle with short breaths as Zerek pulls Jeos to his feet.
Zerek: “Sorry about throwing you out of the ring. With your armor, I didn’t see any other way of beating you without killing you.”
Jeos: “It was a good battle.”
Zerek: “That it was. Come. Let us say our farewells at the exit.”
Zerek places his unscarred hand on Jeos back, which is still warm from the display of power. He begins leading Jeos to the arena exit, where a Keeper patrols about. As Zerek sees Delta approaching, he gives Jeos a pat on the shoulder and a gentle nudge.
Zerek: “You made it to the semi-finals. They’re looking for you, so that you may collect your prize money.”
Jeos hurries off to meet the Keeper with a grin. What the others are unaware of is that now is the first time he had ever made a dime himself, let alone in such an event. Zerek heads over to Delta. His tone is grim and laced with an emotion so bland, yet so strong, it can’t be described with words.
Zerek: “Your friend Jeos… there is something about him…”
Delta is caught off guard by the comment.
Delta: “Huh? What?”
Zerek: “Remember when I told you I can sense the soul of a demon?”
Delta: “Are you…”
No, it can’t be...
Zerek: “He possesses a soul force unnaturally strong. When I fought him, I could sense it as clear as day: the boy has the soul of a demon in him.”
Delta lacks words for response.
Zerek: “But this is no ordinary soul, for this is the soul of another someone I fought to the brink long ago -- someone with immense power most uncanny.”
Zerek grabs Delta’s shoulder and forces Delta to face him directly. His eyes tell the story of terror as if they’re portals to memories long forgotten.
Zerek: “This power is not to be trifled with, I warn you.”
As Jeos begins to return to his friends with a pouch of silver in hand, Zerek releases his hand from Delta’s shoulder as if he had just given him an old warrior’s advice. Jeos’ voice is filled with cheer.
Jeos: “They’re looking for you two. I advise you go to collect your rewards.”
Neither Delta nor Zerek tell the boy of his predicament. While Zerek stays silent for the fear of causing more harm than good, Delta does so for the words uttered by Zerek. Delta agrees to himself that he will only tell Jeos when the time is right -- when it feels that it must be so. The three warriors move along, silently heading towards the Keeper so the remaining two may collect their rewards. They stop just in front of the arena entrance to say their farewells, all of them holding a sizable to massive sum of silver in a burlap pouch.
Zerek: “I suppose this is where we part. I enjoyed battling against the both of you, despite the burns and all.”
Jeos: “Will I be seeing you in the tournament next year?”
Zerek: “Ha! You’ll be seeing me for another decade at the least. You be careful now, the both of you.”
Delta realises that these words mean more than Jeos does.
Jeos: “Then I’ll train my hardest. Next time, I will win.”
Zerek: “We’ll see, Jeos. But for now, farewell.”
Delta: “Goodbye, Zerek.”
Jeos: “Farewell.”
As Zerek begins to walk off, the two turn to say their own for the time being. Exhausted, Jeos begins to stretch his arms while speaking.
Jeos: “It's quite late. Lets meet up at Tower at noon tomorrow, or sometime following.”
Delta: “Sure. Then we’ll talk about those goals.”
Jeos: “And you’ll reveal your face to me.”
Delta: “Agreed.”
Jeos: “Alright, I’ll be seeing you.”
Delta: “Goodbye.”
As Jeos begins to make his way down the street and towards his “home”, Delta does the same. Being guided by his vision, he makes his way to the Forge just before daybreak without the need for a torch. He passes Moose and makes his way into the Forge, where Dirvar is fruitily snoozing his room. Delta sneaks past once more, collapsing on his bed and swiftly falling asleep.
Ah yes… oh! The dreams… they arrive once more! The beating put out by Zerek must have done it! The scene is familiar and long-awaited; it’s that of the burning room. Previously, none could be seen through the haze of flames, smoke, and more. But now, through will and pain, it can be seen as clear as day: five identical microscopic creatures in similar tanks, all lined up against the walls of the room. Including the dreamer, that makes a total of six.
As Delta’s mind is drawn from its own realm, his eyes begin to peel open without rush. A quick stretch brings him back to last night, reminding him of his wounds and current mission. Delta slowly rises from bed and begins to leave, but notices something unusual: Dirvar is nowhere to be found. Delta slowly passes through the building, searching for his friend through sight and sound. Alas, he fails to find him. Thinking nothing of it other than strange, Delta leaves the Forge and passes Moose before heading on to where he had planned on before: the Tower of Soul.
As Delta passes through the front door of the tower, the view is far different from what it had been last time he had seen it. No duels fill the air with the rushing wind of slashes and strikes, and the fires remain quiet. From the hallway leading to the library, Jeos emerges before signaling Delta to follow with a waving hand. The two stop near the stool that Delta had amputated.
Jeos: “We’ll talk about our goals, but first there is something you must show me.”
Delta takes a moment and a deep breath before raising his hands and grasping the edges of his hood. With doubt in mind, he stops to reconsider his choice. This moment reminds him of one similar to before, at the table with Zerek. Back then his instinct guided him to a swell decision, and he believes that it would certainly do so now. Following his subconscious guardian angel once more, he pulls back on the edges of his hood, bringing it to rest atop his shoulders. For a moment, there is neither a peep nor a whisper from either of the two. Only Meya knows what is about either’s mind, until Jeos speaks in awe.
Jeos: “This is… oh…”
Delta: “Do I scare you?”
Jeos: “No, I-… I’m intrigued.”
Delta: “Do you want to learn more?”
Jeos: “Well, yes.”
Delta: “And so do I. I also don’t want Alti to be destroyed, so let’s come upon an agreement.”
Jeos: “To what?”
Delta: “We will both work together to find my origins, as well as spread word of the Being to warriors across the land. An alliance.”
Delta raises his arm with his hand open generously.
Delta: “Well?”
For a moment, Jeos simply stands there. As any being would, his hairs stand in the presence of the uncanny. Fighting against his own instinct, Jeos raises his hand and connects his palm with Delta’s. A wave of bumps rushes up Jeos' arm with the hand at it's origin, before his skin gradually fades back to it's flawless state. For the moment, Jeos’ own guardian was his enemy. Let it be so that the boy be triumphed in this battle of instinct vs will. Soon, both Jeos’ and Delta's arms fall to their sides.
Jeos: “It’s a… rush?”
Delta: “I imagine.”
Jeos: “What was your first experience like? With humans?”
Delta: “I was taught by them from as far back as I can remember.”
Jeos: “Well.. um…”
Jeos takes a gulp of air in his moment of thought. What is he to say?
Jeos: “Well… uh… return tomorrow, when I’ve collected myself. I’ll have something for you then.”
Delta: “As you wish.”
With the true introduction at it's end, Delta begins the return voyage home before Jeos utters one final remark.
Jeos: “Bring your weapons and armor, if you can.”
The return trip is full of thoughts and theories about the events to come, about what they’re to do. One thing is made certain by Jeos’ final words: battle is afoot. Upon reaching the Forge, Delta is dumbfounded as to why Dirvar still isn’t there. Is he visiting family? Is he ill? Has he been kidnapped? As Delta thinks on and on, his thoughts turn from a wonder to a worry. To what calamity does Dirvar’s disappearance make abode to? Delta sits on his bed, wondering if he should return to Jeos -- or ever the Town Watch -- for answers, or at least guidance. It’s midday before the distinct sound of the door fills the air. Delta hurries to the entrance room, where Dirvar is traveling in a near-collapsed state. Could the worries be true? Delta rushes to Dirvar’s side to aid him in his hobble, but is refused. Delta stands at Dirvars side while takes seat in one of the chairs and proudly displays the item that solves all of the riddles. Moving in a way that would suggest suffrage in doing so, Dirvar holds out a blazing quill between his fingers while uttering words just loud enough to be audible.
Dirvar: “I did it... I bested the phoenix.”
This was thoroughly exhausting, but the owners hate links. :/

Offline IndecisiveChild

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Re: The Chronicles of Alti: Legend of Delta
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 09:14:51 PM »
Wow... I'm almost speechless.
As a person doing what you're also doing, writing various spin offs, i feel your determination, and to be so far off into it, it musnt have been easy. I think youve motivated me in one way or another.

Just keep doing what youre doing. It will definitely pay off one day :thumbsup:
A joureny of a thousand miles begins with a single step.