Seven Worlds – Ep11
Episode 11: The Encounter
An exhausting battle, a new piece of the transmutation spell and the endorsement of the trial council as masters of dark magic, Lidya, Peter and Lorenzo are now ready to step back into Entralia. A portal created by one of the council members awaits their entry. In the shimmering image of the other side they notice that soldiers have surrounded the area of their arrival. At the center of the pathway was none other than Damien himself. For the group he was just another soldier with highly decorated armor. He did indeed stand out from the rest, but whose real importance eluded them. Damien and his troops were unaware of what was happening on the other side, the portal was obscure to them. This provided Lidya and the others an advantage, they could try to surprise the soldiers and then escape. Before they could finish their plan, fireballs rained from the sky and exploded upon impact with the ground. The attack caught the soldiers by surprise. This was the perfect opportunity for Lidya, Peter and Lorenzo to leave the Nightmare Warp.
General Thana, was there beside Damien commanding the troops, while her master watched. Further in the backline Nathaniel and Morg stood guard.
Thana – “Maintain formation! You there! Join me in rooting out whoever is attacking!”
She left with five soldiers in tow to search for whoever was bombarding them. With the rest of the battalion in disarray Lidya, Peter and Lorenzo took this opportunity to make their move. As soon as they exited the portal it closed behind them. The few soldiers still on guard were quick to attack. Peter struck with his magic and pushed away many of the soldiers. Meanwhile, Lidya and Lorenzo easily cut down others, clearing a path towards Damien.
Lorenzo – “It appears you are their commander. Let us pass!”
Damien – “Ah, I see you are the strong survivors that I was informed about. It is a shame that your defiance will end here.”
Lidya – “And who might you be? Don’t think for a second I won’t strike you down! Let. Us. Pass!”
Nathaniel – “Such foolishness! It is a wonder how you’ve survived for so long.”
Morg – “You are clearly unaware to whom you speak.”
Lidya – “Yeah, another poor sap who doesn’t know when he’s outmatched.”
Nathaniel – “How dare you speak ill of your god! I will strike you down!”
Damien – “Silence Nathaniel! Take the other two, I will face this defiant little gnat. Maybe I can turn her to my side.”
Lidya – “Oh so you’re that deity that closed off the portals? I thought you’d be taller. Let’s do this.”
Morg and Nathaniel took a step back and ordered their troops to attack Peter and Lorenzo. Lidya’s friends were pushed back and a circle formed around Damien and her. A breeze swept the makeshift arena. Damien drew his sword, one hand behind his back. Lidya lunged forward and ran at Damien. The mighty warrior sidestepped the attack and swung his sword down behind her. She was prepared though and shifted one of her axes to block the attack. Strike after strike the soldiers were mesmerized by the dance that ensued. Each time Lidya approached she felt the winds shift, aiding her opponent’s move. It was a wind magic enchantment that could change the very course of the wind and grant a boost in swiftness. Despite the boon Damien placed on himself, Lidya was able to keep up. The battle evolved further when Lidya started combining spells with her attacks. At first some flames joined her dance and the heat certainly seared a bit of Damien’s armor. A quick shift and she used a dark orb that exploded near Damien’s chest. This left him vulnerable for long enough to allow Lidya to use all her strength in the next swing. Her ax struck Damien’s armor and embedded itself there. Damien was enraged, but he held another special enchantment on him. Just beneath the armor was a layer of stone. An earth enchantment that served as an additional layer of protection. Finally, Damien grew tired of the exchange and with a series of combined magic attacks blasted Lidya away. She landed near Lorenzo and Peter, who had been able to push back the soldiers temporarily.
Lorenzo – “Lidya! Are you alright?
Lidya – “Urgh… I… think I’ll live.”
Lidya struggled to get up, her energy drained from the magic and duel against Damien. Shortly after, Thana arrived with Marx in tow. She was dragging him on the ground and threw him at the others.
Thana – “Here, have your friend back. It seems you are all dying together.”
Marx – “Oof, that… didn’t go as planned.”
Lorenzo – “You did your best.”
Marx – “Sorry guys.”
Peter – “There’s too many of them, it won’t be easy to escape.”
Thana – “Escape? Pah! There is no escape from our lord Damien.”
Damien – “Our little duel was entertaining my dear lady, but it seems you have little choice. Join me or die.”
Lidya – “The name’s Lidya, dirt piece and I am not betraying Entralia!”
Thana – “You dare sully his name!”
Damien – “Hush Thana! It is amusing. I, who has ruled Cythia for decades, will soon rule Entralia. Your resistance is meaningless.”
Peter – “Cythia? There is no such world.”
Damien – “It is not a surprise that you do not know of it. The councils have kept the secret from you. Cythia is not a world itself, but a dimension, much like these. Its energies are unlike any I had seen before, but they strengthened my resolve.”
Lidya – “So what?! Nothing gives you the right to upend our lives!”
Damien – “I have every right! For my banishment! I will have my revenge against the councils! Now make your choice!”
Lidya – “I will not join you! Nor will they!”
Peter – “Even if you strike us down here, the council will not falter.”
Lorenzo – “You will be sent back to wherever you came from!”
Damien – “So be it. Dispose of them!”
The soldiers prepared their weapons and marched forward. Thana was at the lead, while Damien took a few steps back to watch his troops. In the midst of this a thick dark mist began to seep into the area. The sun was already setting in the distance, but this darkness was unnatural. Hidden in the mist a man appeared and whisked Lidya and her friends to safety. Now far from the soldiers, they stopped to speak. Their savior was the portal keeper for the trial of darkness, Ghelbor.
Ghelbor – “Goodness, Marx are you alright?”
Marx – “I’ll be fine, but you were a tad late.”
Ghelbor – “Apologies, a patrol pushed me further back than I intended. There was little I could do.”
Lidya – “You saved our butts though, thank you!”
Lorenzo – “What will happen now?”
Ghelbor – “I must return to the portal area. Even if there is a danger, I have to protect the trial entry.”
Peter – “Are you insane?! Those soldiers will tear you apart.”
Ghelbor – “It is my sworn duty.”
Marx – “Be careful.”
Ghelbor left without saying much else. His great dark magic would most likely help him remain safe, but his main plan was to seal off the portal to the Nightmare Warp.
Lorenzo – “Where are we anyway?”
Marx – “We should be close to Balancor. You should be able to take the Ribashkan there.”
Lidya – “Peter and I are the only ones equipped for it.”
Marx – “It’s fine, once that is done, you’ll have access to the transmutation spell.”
Back at the trial of darkness entry point, Ghelbor arrived in the cover of the night. He inscribed the area around the rune circle with additional runes and cast an enchantment to close it from anyone else’s access.
Damien – “What have we here?”
Ghelbor – “I know of you. You will not succeed in your endeavors.”
Damien – “Do you really believe a few runes will stop me? I have no interest in the other worlds yet. Entralia is the main course of this feast, the others are just filler. They will fall in due time.”
Ghelbor – “The others you fought, they are strong willed. I have faith they will find a way to defeat you.”
Damien – “You will pay for helping them.”
In blindingly swift motion Damien grabbed Ghelbor by the throat and lifted him.
Ghelbor – “You… won’t… win…”
Damien – “The war is over for you.”
Ghelbor’s last breath escaped him and Damien threw his body to the side.
Damien – “What a waste. My generals, we continue our march tomorrow morning!”
Seven Worlds – Ep10
Episode 10: Trial of Darkness – Part 2
A giant beast appeared before Lidya, Lorenzo and Peter. It threatened to end their trial challenge. The beast identified itself as Gothrilar the Cursed.
Gothrilar – “Give up! You have neither the power nor the will to defeat me!”
Lidya – “Oh yeah? We’ll see about that!”
Lidya, headstrong and stubborn, charged forward. Gothrilar swiped with its massive hands but Lidya was swift enough to dodge and slide on the ground. She slashed that the hands with her twin axes causing Gothrilar to recoil. Then it unleashed power bursts of dark magic which Lidya repelled using light energy shields.
Gothrilar – “Your light is meaningless here, give up!”
Lidya – “If anything he is persistent, let’s go guys!”
Though her enthusiasm for such a challenge was high, she heard nothing from Lorenzo and Peter. When she looked at them they seemed frozen. The very color from their bodies fading away.
Lidya – “Hey! You two! Get a hold of yourselves!”
Gothrilar – “Pah! They know they must submit to me!”
Lidya – “You! I will bury you in the mountain from which you arose!”
Lidya moved around looking for openings. She was able to slash at Gothrilar’s legs. Although she was aware of the consequences she launched a few light beams, weakening Gothrilar. The beast countered by slamming its fists on the ground causing pillars of dark energy to blast through almost hitting Lidya. She needed the other’s help, but they had been slowly consumed by the darkness, as if the warp itself was claiming their bodies.
Lidya – “Snap out of it! I need your help! Lorenzo! Peter!”
Lorenzo – “It is hopeless Lidya, you should give in as well.”
Peter – “This is a fitting end for us, we die as warriors.”
Lidya – “Enough!”
Lidya gathered her energy and cast flames at their feet causing Lorenzo and Peter to recoil. The pain seemed to snap them out of the trance they were in. All the while Gothrilar continued his rampage against Lidya. His claws were descending upon her when an energy shield blocked the attack. Peter had cast the spell and was sustaining it. Using the opportunity, Lidya jumped away and imbued her twin axes with light energy. After seeing this, Peter used the same spell to empower Lorenzo’s ax. After this Lorenzo dashed to Lidya’s aid.
Lorenzo – “Mind if I join you?”
Lidya – “Be my guest!”
They both jumped away from another swipe. While Lidya and Lorenzo fought in close combat, Peter bombarded Gothrilar with both light and dark magic. Gothrilar was angered, but could barely react. His flailing was still dangerous.
Lidya – “Hey Lorenzo, how far can you throw your ax?”
Lorenzo – “Far enough!
Lidya sent her axes flying towards Gothrilar. They struck just below the shoulders. With a loud yell Lorenzo threw his ax with incredible force. It ended up embedded on Gothrilar’s chest. The beast was rather shocked, the blows weakened him. Then he noticed that Peter was deep in meditation. He was creating a powerful incantation that would banish Gothrilar. A rune circle had appeared beneath the beast and symbols floated around him. Lidya and Lorenzo followed up with flames around the beasts’ feet and a flash of light at his eyes. A great pillar of light emerged from the center of the rune circle. Gothrilar screamed and then slowly began to fade away. As he did the axes still stuck on his body fell to the ground. When the banishment spell subsided the area looked altered by all the energy. Peter started to use what dark energy he could to repair the damage and stabilize the Warp. After recovering their axes, Lidya and Lorenzo rejoined Peter. Lidya helped with the stabilization.
Lidya – “Phew! That was amazing. Well done Peter, and you too Lorenzo.”
Lorenzo – “Quite the fierce battle. For a second I doubted we would survive.”
Peter – “Together we had the upper hand, but it was Lidya’s will that pulled us through.”
Lidya – “All I had to do was light up a spark.”
Lorenzo – “Beneath our feet no less.”
As they stood in celebration of their victory the council village and the world portal materialized nearby. When they entered they saw six cloaked figures, it was the council members. They congratulated the three in completing the trial of darkness. The group proceeded to inform the council of what was happening in Entralia and the world portals. They mentioned that they already knew the world portal was disabled. A previous group of warriors was able to go through, but shortly after that, the portal deactivated. Lidya and Peter received the second part of the transmutation spell while Lorenzo declined to receive it. He felt it was not necessary.
The trial of darkness is now complete. No new warriors were found to join Lidya, Lorenzo and Peter for the defense of Entralia. Their next step is to take the trial of balance, known traditionally as the Ribashkan. One of the council members creates a portal that will lead them back to Entralia. Together once again, they venture forth.
Seven Worlds – Ep9
Episode 9: Trial of Darkness – Part 1
Damien, the deity that Marx had warned about, finally made his full entry into Entralia. His power already disabled the world portals. A number of his soldiers now patrol some of the trial areas. In particular the entrance to the trial of light has been seized. His next target is the area where the portal to the trial of darkness is located.
The Nightmare Warp reveals itself as a version of Entralia filled with a dimmed light, moving shadows, grotesque creatures and emotions that can take shape and attack. The trial of darkness in this dimension forces challengers to face their fears and anger. Most of the creatures here are aggressive. Surviving them is also a part of the challenge. As they traversed through a long valley, Lidya was curious about light and dark magic.
Lidya – “So, what’s stopping me from casting a large light flare to keep the creatures at bay?”
Peter – “Well, I am, because I told you not to do that. The actual reason is to avoid destabilizing the dimension. Concentrated light magic can cause it to expel you somewhere in Entralia.”
Lidya – “That sounds a bit fun actually.”
Lorenzo – “Please do not get any ideas.”
Lidya – “What? Why are you looking at me like that?”
Peter – “Light and dark magic are opposing elements. They are connected to our spiritual and emotional energy. This is why the Mindscape was rather mellow compared to the more active Warp.”
Lorenzo – “The creatures here certainly seem quite active.”
Peter – “Yes, shadow creatures in particular prey on the challengers and drain them of energy. We should continue on to those caves further ahead. Once we cross those we should be closer to the council.”
Lidya – “The caves sound like a good place for an ambush. Is there anything we can do about the shadow creatures?”
Peter – “Hmm, experienced dark magic users can learn to charm them. They can even command them to perform specific tasks, but then again, I don’t think we can take the risk of trying. It takes quite a bit of energy and the dark magic enchantments are rather complicated.”
Lidya – “Sounds like you know your stuff.”
The group entered the caves. Every corridor and passage was twisted, one wrong turn and they would get lost. Lidya remained curious about Peter, so she asked him about his past.
Peter – “Not much to say. I had taken the trial of darkness once before. I failed and lost a good friend in the process. I had also failed the trial of light. Both events marked me, yet they bolstered my determination to continue onwards.”
Lidya – “And now you’re here.”
Peter – “Yes. I think the key this time is being able to help you. The training I subjected myself to was well worth the sacrifice.”
Lorenzo – “We are grateful. We would not have been able to reach this point without your help.”
Lidya – “Can you show me some dark magic spells?”
Peter – “Sure thing, you will surely need them.”
While Peter started teaching Lidya some of the more basic dark magic spells a low rumble echoed through the passage. They hurried to what looked like a large open cavern. Before they arrived at the exit a group of shadow creatures cut them off. These creatures were mostly amorphous blobs of dark energy. They move around looking for an opening to strike with dark magic. Peter signaled Lidya to use bolts of dark energy. Meanwhile Lorenzo tried using flames to keep the creatures at bay. Three of the four shadows that attacked had seemingly picked a target. The fourth one remained on the sidelines as if analyzing the situation. Most of the group’s magic was proving ineffective. Lidya even tried a light beam spell, which resulted in the cavern shaking violently.
Peter – “Please don’t try that again.”
Lidya – “I had to try something! These things are relentless!”
Lorenzo – “What will it take to push them away?”
Peter – “I don’t know! This is the part I failed before.”
Lidya – “I have an idea…”
Guided by her instinct and her will, Lidya gathered as much dark energy as she could. Afterwards she closed her eyes and lashed out with her mind. With her eyes closed she had a different form of vision where she could feel and sense the shadow creatures. She noticed the fourth creature and its energy. They seemed to resonate, so she tried something she wasn’t sure would work. The power of creature control allowed Lidya to command the shadow to attack the others. With the creatures now distracted by the attack, the group moved to the offensive. They were able to strike down their opponents, which promptly retreated deep into the cave. Shortly after defeating the shadow creatures and leaving the cavern a stronger rumble shook the ground. The group ran as fast as they could and now found themselves in a valley. Behind them the cavern collapsed and revealed a large hulking beast. Lidya’s shadow creature warned that this beast was far more powerful, but it promised to fight to the last of its energy. The beast has a pair of bat wings and the body of a minotaur, a creature only heard of in legends.
Peter – “This is far worse than what we faced before.”
Lidya – “Our shadow friend will help us, but I don’t think it’ll last long against this thing.”
Lorenzo – “We must muster our strength. No giving up at this point!”
Lidya – “You’re right, let’s give it our all!”
The giant beast started its march towards Lorenzo and the rest. This next confrontation would put their strength and magic to the test. As is the whole point of the trial of course.
Seven Worlds – Ep8
Episode 8: Revelation
Lidya, Lorenzo and Peter are about to embark on the next trial. Some time before they even approached the trial of light the rumored deity plotted in the background. The deity in question has performed tasks that seemingly prove its far reaching power. His envoys have begun to spread across Entralia warning of his arrival. Inside a castle in a strange and chaotic dimension, a man awaits a report from his servants. Said servant, Vahnloth, speaks of the start of the invasion.
Vahnloth – “My lord Damien, preparations are ready. Your troops await your orders.”
Damien – “Good, how fare the assassins sent to the trials?”
Vahnloth – “Most have been highly successful. A small few failed. They met their end before completing their mission.”
Damien – “Excellent. Have the generals been summoned?”
Vahnloth – “Yes, they will be here shortly. Soon your might will be felt.”
Damien – “Indeed, I will rule Entralia or see it burn around me. With the trial councils rendered inert and the world portals disabled there will be nothing to stop my ascension.”
Vahnloth – “Your foresight knows no rival.”
Damien – “Alert the first battalion, we move out soon.”
This man, a self proclaimed deity named Damien, radiated incredible power. Both magical and physical. His strength is shown through wielding heavy armor and a large sword. An age-old resentment filled his heart. At some point he was once considered a great hero, but the fear of his power drove the Entralian council to seal him away. The unique dimension where he resides bears no mention in most historical books in Entralia. Only a few in the council actually know of its existence. The knowledge of such a place might entice people to seek it out and thus release Damien by accident. Some might seek him out of their own will, which is even worse. Despite the lack of access to the dimension, Damien discovered a way to travel to Entralia. Among his army it is rumored that his sheer power was able to break through the seals placed upon the dimension. Such power comes from a mastery of all the elements.
After his declaration many people have chosen to side with him to improve their chances of survival. Those who submit to his rule are provided for, but must pledge their life to him and fight in the coming war. Damien also secretly established hidden trials to further bolster recruitment. These called to strong warriors and promised them riches.
To the Entralian council’s dismay, his imprisonment only served to strengthen both his resolve and power. As such, he can now easily create a portal to move his troops around Entralia. With the world portals disabled there is no hope for reinforcements from the other worlds. Entralia has very few warriors, with the exception of those who have taken the trial of balance. Finally, revenge against the council draws closer.
Vahnloth – “Your generals are here, Lord Damien.”
Damien – “Generals Nathaniel, Morg and Thana, welcome. I see you are eager for combat.”
Nathaniel – “Indeed my lord, we ask for your blessing for our coming battle.”
Morg – “Today we set foot on Entralia, we will make your name known throughout its lands.”
Thana – “Your glory will be known. We will not fail you!”
Damien – “Ever faithful, this is very good to hear. My generals, you have my blessing. Bring down our enemies you who are my strongest fire, water and light respectively. May no one dare to strike you down, for they will incur my wrath!”
Thana – “A question, my lord.”
Damien – “Go on, what is it?”
Thana – “What of the young man we recovered? What will you do with him?”
Damien – “Ah yes, I have very special plans for him. He will join you in the future, but I must first perform a unique ritual. Nothing that should concern you.”
Thana – “Apologies, my lord.”
Morg – “We shall take our leave then, it is time to deploy our forces and begin bringing down the councils.”
Damien – “Go! Bring them to their knees!”
The three generals already have a far reaching reputation within the ranks of Damien’s army. They are ruthless and masters of their elements. Skilled in combat, no one dares to challenge them directly. This will no doubt spell trouble for the defenders of Entralia. Transporting his armies to the world was a simple feat. A large castle structure built using the limited resources of the dimension now expands further as it enters this world. Placed near the center of the continent, its location both provides a good reach against the regions and invites the challenge of the councils. With Damien now in Entralia, he immediately receives a report on the most recent happenings. Scout messenger Halic hastily runs through the corridors to reach his master.
Halic – “Lord Damien! A report!”
Damien – “Urgh, Halic, what is it now?”
Halic – “Pardon, I ran as fast as I could. A group of our soldiers were attacked near the portal to the trial of light.”
Damien – “Is that so? Did they carry any particular banner? A crest? Has the Entralian council decided to oppose me?”
Halic – “None that we could identify. The little information we got was that they were fire masters from Fernal. They were cut off from Brensur just before entering.”
Damien – “Hmm, I may have been too hasty in sealing the portals. No matter, they will provide ample amusement for me. That is, if they survived the trial. Ready a battalion to accompany me. I will meet them at the portal to the trial of darkness.”
Halic – “But sir…”
Damien – “Execute my orders!”
Halic – “Yes master!”
Halic was always constantly shaken by Damien’s presence. Entralia teetered out of balance with how much power he irradiated. Now he marched forward, quickly deducing that the warriors sought to take the trial of darkness. It was very possible that Lidya, Lorenzo, Peter and Marx would meet face to face with Damien.
Seven Worlds – Ep7
Episode 7: Trial of Light
Soldiers of an unknown army patrolled the area where the portal to the Mindscape of Light is located. Under normal circumstances a gatekeeper is stationed here to greet any trial challengers. This gatekeeper was nowhere to be found though.
Marx – “We can move a little closer through these woods. It might not matter if we can’t find the gatekeeper.”
Lorenzo – “Worry about the gatekeeper later, let us move.”
The trio kept track of the soldier’s movements. Each time they got a chance they moved through the woods, inching closer and closer to the entry point. Soon, they reached the edge of the woods, hiding behind some bushes. As they were inspecting the area, they noticed the gatekeeper hiding out near them.
Lidya – “Psst! Hey you! Come over to us.”
The man kept a low profile, nearly crawling to where Lidya, Marx and Lorenzo were sitting. He identified himself as keeper Marsalis.
Marsalis – “Who are you?”
Marx – “I am Marx, this is Lidya and Lorenzo. We’ve come on behalf of the council in Fernal. We need to take the trial and recruit warriors for a coming battle.”
Marsalis – “I see. Do you know these soldiers?”
Marx – “No, we don’t recognize the crest they bear.”
Marsalis – “Neither do I. I sensed their approach while meditating here. Using my magic I hid away in the woods by casting a dense fog. Sadly they used the opportunity to ambush a group of challengers.”
Lorenzo – “They killed them all?”
Marsalis – “Yes. It was horrible to watch, but had I interfered I would have fared the same.”
Lidya – “Where are the trial grounds? We need to get there.”
Marsalis – “To enter the Mindscape I must activate the portal that leads to it.”
Lidya – “Mindscape?”
Marsalis – “Yes, it is a dimension where the light of Entralia is strong. It is there that the trial takes place. The council village as well as the world portal can also be found there.”
Marx – “We have to reach the council.”
Marsalis – “I can open the portal, but it will take time before it is fully active. You see those runes on the floor? They must all be active for the portal to function.”
Marx – “That last patrol left not too long ago. If we hurry we should make it.”
Lorenzo – “Make haste then.”
Keeper Marsalis ran towards the rune circle and positioned himself beside it. He started channeling light magic into each of the runes while drawing them in the air. As he did this Lidya, Lorenzo and Marx waited for the portal to fully form. The wait was tense, at any moment the soldiers would return. A scout saw their attempt at activating the portal and ran at them.
Marx – “I’ll hold him off. As soon as that portal opens you run through!”
Lidya – “Got it!”
Marx engaged the scout. No doubt the clash would draw the attention of the other soldiers. Two fireballs flew at the scout hitting him on the chest, but he was unfazed. The soldier drew his own ax to meet Marx’s. They were both masters of fire magic, so the contest would be decided by their combat skill. Despite the scout’s swiftness he was no match for Marx and fell.
Marx – “You must hurry, the other soldiers are coming!”
Marsalis – “The portal will be open soon. I can buy you more time if need be.”
A few seconds later and the portal was open. Lidya and Lorenzo were quick to enter. From inside they could still see Marx and Marsalis.
Marx – “We can’t allow those soldiers to push through into the Mindscape. Lidya, Lorenzo, get going!”
Lidya – “What?! No! I’m not leaving you behind!”
Marx – “Just go! You know what has to be done, we can meet back here later. Marsalis, close the portal. I’ll help you fight off the soldiers.”
Marsalis – “Understood. Good luck Lidya, Lorenzo!”
The portal closed leaving Lidya and Lorenzo within the Mindscape. As it closed they could see the faint silhouettes of the soldiers closing in. Lidya was frustrated by the separation, but there was nothing she could do.
Lidya – “Damn…”
Lorenzo – “We must push forward. I trust in Marx’s skills, he will be fine.”
Lidya – “I agree, but I don’t like leaving him in such a situation.”
Lorenzo – “The best we can do is to follow his instructions. The faster we are done here, the better.”
Lidya – “Right, let’s get moving then. This place really makes you feel burdened.”
Lidya and Lorenzo have no knowledge of light spells. As they’re exposed to the Mindscape they are challenged to perform tasks using that element. Little by little, their skill with it begins to grow. Lidya in particular was really adept in learning the new magic. They moved rocks, built light bridges and even held platforms in place, as if stopping time itself. Lorenzo had a difficult time keeping up with Lidya. Even then, both had to take extended breaks to restore their magical energies. Finally they reached a point where they could do no more.
Lidya – “Urgh, this is frustrating. My magic is all but drained, I’m tired. Is there no end to this?”
Lorenzo – “We should be near the end, but without further knowledge of light magic, I fear we are stuck.”
Lidya – “What is this thing anyway?”
Lidya was staring at a large glass orb. When trying to walk away from it, the world seemed to move them back, keeping them in this position.
Lidya – “I think I’ll just sit here for a while. We won’t figure it out by trying random stuff.”
Lorenzo – “Agreed.”
Lidya – “You know, anyone without proper training would have been exhausted to death in this place.”
Lorenzo – “Clearly the main challenge of the trial is to be able to measure oneself. Keeping track of our magic and being able to carefully tweak the amount of energy used to cast a spell is a trial in itself.”
The two sat down beside the orb for a short while to think of a solution to the puzzle. Before they could come up with anything concrete, a stranger arrived. The person sent a small light flare into the orb and the enchantment keeping Lidya and Lorenzo stuck was lifted.
Lidya – “Oh hey, thanks!”
Man – “Greetings, who might you be?”
Lidya – “I’m Lidya, and this is Lorenzo. We need to speak with the trial council about urgent matters.”
Peter – “My name is Peter. Surely such a matter would be best informed through communication crystal?”
Lorenzo – “We would not be here if the crystals were intact. Some force destroyed the one in the council of Fernal. Since then we have assumed none are active.”
Peter – “I see. What about those?”
Lidya – “Oh, right, I completely forgot.”
Lorenzo – “Well, these crystals are tied together. They do not have the power to send a message to the larger crystals within the council chambers.”
Lidya – “Speaking of, we could try talking to Marx.”
Lorenzo – “For now, that would not be wise. We do not know their situation and it is best if we wait for them.”
Lidya – “Right. So, Peter, care to join us? We could use the help.”
Peter – “Fine, I accept. You wish to learn more light magic then?”
Lidya – “Yes.”
Lorenzo – “No.”
Lidya – “What? Why not?”
Lorenzo – “This magic does not resonate with me. I just want to finish the trial.”
Peter – “That is understandable, but strange. Don’t you want to reach Jenehrtes?”
Lidya – “Oh, we need to explain that.”
Lorenzo and Lidya explained to Peter what is happening with the world portals and their mission in the Mindscape.
Peter – “Most interesting. This is quite the event. I feel further convinced to help you out. Also, Lidya, since you’re so eager to learn more I will take the time to teach you more light magic spells.”
Lidya – “Great!”
Peter – “I have a good grasp of magical energies, it’ll be easy.”
Lorenzo – “By all means, the rest of the trial should be a breeze with you here.”
Peter – “It has been quite taxing, but I believe we’re almost at the end of it.”
Finally walking away from the puzzle orb they arrived at what seemed like the council village. After they passed the main entry gate, the group noticed the lack of noise. There was no one there.
Peter – “Honestly I thought all the other challengers would be here.”
Lidya – “What do you think happened?”
Peter – “Perhaps they’re still lost trying to clear the puzzles.”
Lorenzo – “Look over there, the council chambers.”
Once inside the chambers the group was greeted by a hooded figure. This lady spoke of how the world was at peace and that their struggle had come to an end. Lidya felt uneasy at the sight of this person. As she observed she noticed a slight shimmer running over this figure. It revealed her to be somewhat transparent, as if not really being there. Before Lidya could warn Lorenzo and Peter the floor disappeared. A vast chasm of unfathomable depth opened up. Peter, in a swift motion cast a spell to create bright white wings on his back. He flew to Lidya and Lorenzo, grabbed their hands and tried to fly up. The weight of both warriors was too much and his enchantment was breaking apart. Knowing that Lidya had the necessary energy to cast the same spell, he explained how to channel the energy to make it happen. In a burst of bright light Lidya found herself flying too. With both Peter and Lidya being able to fly, they saved Lorenzo and landed on a small empty valley not too far from the illusion of the council village.
Lidya – “That was exhilarating and also a bit scary for my liking. I surely didn’t want to end up splattered on the ground.”
Peter – “You didn’t notice? There were others down in the chasm.”
Lorenzo – “I fear I was too focused on falling to my death to notice anything else Peter.”
Lidya – “Ha! I get you Lorenzo. Who were they then?”
Peter – “I’d say it’s possible they were some other challengers. Their minds are probably trapped, much like ours were previously. It appears as an endless chasm, but it truly is just a prison for the mind. Look at the village now.”
Lorenzo – “It has faded. Yet, the chasm is still there.”
Peter – “Yes, it must have been yet another test.”
Lidya – “Urgh, what more do we need to do? This place is getting on my nerves.”
Before Lidya could continue the world moved around them. They were brought to the real council village by magic similar to that of the puzzle orb they had encountered earlier. This time the place was bustling with activity. People could be heard outside the council chambers. Within the chambers a small group of council members greeted the group. They mentioned how they were the first to arrive in a long while. The final challenge of the trial was breaking through the illusion of the false village and being able to save themselves. To their surprise only two had actually been selected as masters of light. Peter and Lidya proved beyond any doubt that they had the skill to continue becoming great warriors of light magic. This also meant that they could earn the first part of the transmutation spell. Councilman Talvos spoke to the group.
Talvos – “We commend you for your bravery. For this you have earned the first part of the great transmutation spell. Although its need has declined over the ages, having it is necessary to partake in the Ribashkan, the trial of balance.”
Lidya – “Wait, first part? How many are there?”
Peter – “Three parts, didn’t your friend explain that?”
Lidya – “He must have forgotten to mention that part.”
Lorenzo – “We do intend to take on the other trials, so it does not seem that much of a problem.”
Lidya – “True.”
Talvos – “Is there anything you wish to discuss before we open the world portal?”
Lidya – “Yeah, about that…”
Lidya explained what happened at the end of the trial of fire and what Marx had found while working with the Entralian council. Talvos said that they had not used the portal recently, so they decided to try, just in case they could recruit a few warriors from Jenehrtes. As expected, the portal did not activate.
Talvos – “I’m afraid you are the only warriors we can spare. Lidya, Peter, you are the only ones to have completed the trial successfully.”
Lidya – “Sorry Lorenzo.”
Lorenzo – “Oh it is quite alright. I do not possess the same connection that you do, Lidya.”
Peter – “I know something we could…”
Before Peter could finish the glow of Lidya’s communication crystal interrupted him. It was Marx.
Marx – “Lidya? Lorenzo? How do you fare in the trial?”
Lidya – “Marx! You’re alright!
Marx – “Yes, Marsalis helped me greatly. We have since moved away from the area and are hiding. Tell me about the trial.”
Lidya – “We finished it already. Plus we got our first recruit.”
Peter – “I’ll be glad to help. We’ve been given the first part of the transmutation spell. Just before you called I was about to say that we can enter the Nightmare Warp from here. Those who wish to take part in the Ribashkan are offered this shortcut, and since you seek to take all the trials, we might as well continue with that.”
Marx – “The trial of darkness is as taxing and difficult as the trial of light. Be careful.”
Lidya – “We’ll be fine.”
Marx – “I will wait for you at the entrance to the trial of darkness, that way we’ll be closer to the next trial. Stay safe!”
The crystal’s light faded away.
Talvos – “We will continue to keep track of things here. At least now we know why our communication crystal was broken and what this supposed deity is up to. Be sure to warn the other councils. I will open a portal to the Nightmare Warp, good luck on the trial!”
Peter – “Thank you, we’ll make the best of this.”
Lorenzo – “Let us hurry onward then.”
A large shadowy sphere formed near them. Once they touched it they were transported to the dimension where dark magic is strongest. There the trial of darkness begins.
Seven Worlds – Ep6
Episode 6: Crossroads
Marx, Lorenzo and Lidya discussed the current events and planned how to proceed. So far all they knew was that some self proclaimed deity is claiming rule over the Seven Worlds. The portals at the end of the trials had been shut down by some unknown power, possibly stemming from this being. Lidya and Lorenzo, who had been selected to enter Brensur, were now stuck in Entralia.
Lorenzo – “Well? What now?”
Marx – “I’ll speak to the trial council. It’s possible they might have some new information. Afterwards we should leave the region.”
Lidya – “Alright, that sounds good. Maybe they’ve had a chance to speak through the communication crystals.”
Marx – “Indeed. I’ll be back shortly.”
Marx left to seek out an audience with the trial council. About an hour after he left, Marx returned with news.
Lidya – “Did you find out anything? What happened?”
Marx – “They don’t know much else of the matter other than what I informed them previously. The communication crystal in the main chamber was cracked. I guess it won’t work anymore, at least not until repaired.”
Lorenzo – “What about using special message spells?”
Marx – “Sadly, those don’t have the necessary energy to reach another world. It would need the world portals to be working.”
Lidya – “Do you think someone broke into the council chambers and broke the crystal?”
Marx – “No, the damage didn’t have a specific starting point. Also, no simple hammer or weapon could easily damage such crystals. I fear it was some kind of far reaching spell.”
Lorenzo – “If they cannot ask for reinforcements from Brensur, or anywhere else, how can you gather the needed warriors?”
Marx – “That’s where we come in. Their instructions for us are that we have to contact the other trial councils and ask about any warriors that can join us.”
Lidya – “Whoa, we’re taking the other trials?”
Marx – “We have no choice. The rest of the councils are unaware of what’s happening. The only way to reach them is by going through the trial grounds.”
Lidya – “I’m not against a good fight, but all the trials are painstaking, not to mention dangerous and deadly endeavors.”
Marx – “Yes, this is why our first priority is the trial of light.”
Lorenzo – “Why that one specifically?”
Marx – “The actual trial of light is a step towards a bigger target, weapon transmutation. It is a complex enchantment that allows warriors to change their weapons into others.”
Lorenzo – “Ah, I see.”
Lidya – “Wait, I don’t get it. Why is that needed?”
Marx – “Did you forget that lesson? Oh right, I think you slept through that one.”
Lidya – “Just tell me Marx! Stop teasing.”
Marx – “Ha, well. As you should know, different weapons are aligned to different elements. Changing your weapon will allow you to more easily channel its energy. Also, it provides a great advantage in battle because you will have greater versatility.”
Lidya – “That sounds like a very neat trick to have in the battle challenges of the trials.”
Marx – “It would be, except you have to use the weapon aligned with the element of the trial you are taking. So don’t even think about it. Trial councils can disqualify you for that.”
Lorenzo – “What effect would a disqualification have now? No one can leave Entralia either way.”
Marx – “True. No matter, we will try to remain within the rules. I would rather not antagonize the trial councils. Besides, we need their help.”
Lidya – “Got it. Shall we get going?”
Marx – “Yes, I asked mother for a favor. We will be stopping by her village first.”
Marching through Fernal was a breeze for these three fire element masters. The trial had certified Lidya and Lorenzo as such. This resulted in them arriving at Agatha’s village quickly. She met them at the northeastern entrance.
Agatha – “Welcome back, it’s good to see you are doing well.”
Lidya – “Hello Agatha.”
Lorenzo – “Greetings madam.”
Agatha – “Quite the strong ones traveling with you eh?”
Marx – “It still surprises me that you can tell at a glance mother. How are you?”
Agatha – “Concerned, of course. Be careful on your travels.”
Marx – “As always. You have something else for us?”
Agatha – “Ah, yes. Just as you requested.”
Lidya – “Hey! Those are hard to come by, how did you find them?”
Agatha – “I’ve had these for years. When Marx was younger we would use them to talk from time to time.”
Lorenzo – “Communication spheres, a rare sight indeed.”
Agatha – “Yes, so make sure not to lose them! They’re shaped from obsidian and enchanted by the spell master in the trial council.”
Lidya – “Only three?”
Marx – “It’s all we have Lidya, and besides, there’s only three of us.”
Lidya – “Oh, right.”
Agatha – “You can set them on your belt. They will glow when someone is trying to contact you.”
Marx – “Thank you mother, we should keep going.”
Agatha – “Be careful out there, and safe travels!”
Marx, Lorenzo and Lidya continued their way to the gates of Fernal. Some passages were still treacherous. Every now and then Marx suggested a change that shortened their travel time. Once they cleared the gates of Fernal, a path led them due south. As they continued on their way, the group discussed the matter of the trials.
Lidya – “Is there any record of anyone taking all the trials?”
Marx – “Not that I recall. The Entralian council might know more. There might be a mention of something like that in the archives.”
Lidya – “I wonder how those trials will work. What do you think?”
Marx – They will test your knowledge of the element. Spells, weapon mastery and your ability to channel the element’s energy are the key.”
Lorenzo – “We have a long road ahead of us. How will we learn to use other elemental magic, like light magic?”
Marx – “I am a master of fire magic, as are you. In a similar manner that we trained to channel this power, then surely we should be able to tap into other elemental energy.”
Lidya – “It probably won’t be as easy as you say.”
Lorenzo – “We should try to tap into this power as often as we can. It will serve as training.”
Marx – “For all of us.”
Lidya – “Not to be brash, but I feel an eagerness for battle. It’s like Entralia opened up further for me.”
Lorenzo – “Do you truly wish to fight so much?”
Lidya – “Of course! I want to prove myself above other warriors. Though, I am saddened that Brensur is off limits right now. My mother and father are there.”
Lorenzo – “They took the trial then? And they left you?”
Lidya – “Well, yes. They left me with my grandmother. After she passed away Marx took care of me and trained me to follow in their footsteps.”
Lorenzo – “It seems tragic to go through all that.”
Lidya – “I’ve since accepted it as my lot in life. I can’t hold ill will towards them for wanting to reach Brensur.”
Lorenzo – “Did you ever hear from them again?”
Lidya – “No…”
Marx – “The truth is, we have no proof that they made it to Brensur.”
Lorenzo – “Oh… I’m sorry I asked Lidya.”
Lidya – “Eh, pay it no mind. Like I said, no ill will. What about your family Lorenzo?”
Lorenzo – “I only know of my father. He said my mother passed away shortly after I was born.”
Lidya – “And you think my story was sad?”
Lorenzo – “Yes well, I understand a little of how you feel I guess. Father helped to train me. He used to run a mercenary company until his passing. We traveled to all kinds of places.”
Marx – “Did he ever think of leaving for any of the worlds?”
Lorenzo – “He did. The same trial we just passed. Brensur called to him, but it would not be. He sustained a terrible injury in the trials. Afterwards he spent his days training me to take the trial. Eventually he got sick and there was nothing we could do.”
Marx – “I see. Sorry to hear that.”
Lorenzo – “In a sense, he lives on in the training he gave me.”
Lidya – “He trained you well.”
Lorenzo – “Indeed, but enough of that. We should make camp, it will be dark soon.”
Marx – “Let’s head over there, we can continue our trip early in the morning.”
The group halted their advance to rest. A small clearing near the road lent itself as the perfect rest area. Since Lidya was so eager to face the trial, she took the first watch. They didn’t want to risk falling prey to any bandits or other rogue elements.
Early morning on the next day, they quickly packed up and left for the trial entry. Just before reaching the area, Marx noticed something was off and pulled Lidya and Lorenzo into a thicket. While hiding they saw a few armored warriors on patrol. They don’t recognize the crest on the warrior’s chest plates. Marx asks himself whether it is possible they serve the deity. With this new development they must now find a way to access the trial grounds of the light element, the Mindscape.
Seven Worlds – Ep5
Episode 5 – Trial of Fire – Part 5
The trial of fire continues for Lidya as she marches onwards. On her way she fights more mercenaries, duels other challengers, traverses the hazards of Fernal and even the occasional battle against a salamander. Though the battles have made her weary, her strong spirit gives her all the strength she needs. Looking out across an area called the Plains of Fire, heat mirages distort the view slightly, but Lidya did not doubt what she saw. A large gate marked the entry point of the council village. The World Portal was not too far off. Just before the gates there is also a small village. That was going to be her next destination. As the sun begins to set in the horizon, Lidya makes haste through the plains. A large flow of lava is currently covering an area and the only way to move through is to jump from rocks that are still visible. Quick as she can and taking care to time her jumps properly, Lidya moves across the flooded area.
Lidya arrives at the village, tired from her ordeal. She sits at a bench in the central plaza, watching a few people move around. Most people here were once challengers that either gave up or failed the final challenge of the trial. After stretching for a short moment, Lidya turns her thoughts on how the trial must have been for her parents and how they must have passed through similar ordeals.
A few minutes of rest and Lidya felt good enough to move on. The next challenge lies in the council village’s arena. A final test that pits challengers against each other. Brensur, the world of fire magic is ever closer.
While Lidya takes the final steps of the trial, the group of Lorenzo, Anna, Aaron, James and Jayna are near that same village. They took a different path which was safer than the previous ones they passed through. Having fewer battles meant that they had time to hone their skill in a different way. Lorenzo, being the most experienced, often spars with the others in the group. Their path took them over some nearby hills that overlook the outer village and just beyond it they noticed the gates to the council village.
Anna – “The gates to the council village are gigantic.”
Lorenzo – “Yes, the region also serves as Brensur’s first line of defense. Meanwhile the trials ensure that only the best warriors are allowed through. In this way the worlds protect themselves.”
Aaron – “Is it true that the world portal isn’t activated until the closing ceremony?”
Lorenzo – “Indeed.”
James – “We’re almost at the end, I can hardly believe it.”
Jayna – “This will be the last challenge before Brensur, we must prepare accordingly.”
Lorenzo – “Until the remaining challengers arrive we will have plenty of time to train. We should also get proper rest. Let us make haste to the council village.”
The great council village of Fernal was established to maintain control of the trials and challengers. A group of watchers keeps a strict count of all the challengers currently partaking in the trial. Among the watchers is also the spell master who is the very key to opening the world portal. During this night the council convenes to prepare for the battles in the arena. Of the original twenty three warriors that entered through the gates of Fernal, only thirteen remain. With this information they start pairing matchups for the final challenge. The duels to be held are non lethal. Anyone who had reached this point had proven themselves against the harsh environment of Fernal. The same goes to other warriors taking the trials of the other elements. If they prove themselves to excel in combat, they are allowed to pass through the world portal. Regardless, the battles are often harsh and taxing to those participating. Everyone that reaches this point is motivated by how close they are to their goal. With the matches decided, a board is placed near the arena so that the challengers can see who they will fight against.
Lidya arrives at the main plaza and checks out who she will have to fight against. Although she doesn’t know him yet, she has been set to battle Lorenzo. A moment after she leaves to rest at the Inn Lorenzo’s group arrives to look at the list as well.
Jayna – “Oh hey look Lorenzo, you’re fighting that girl I met at the infirmary.”
Lorenzo – “Lidya eh? She must be strong to have reached this far on her own.”
Anna – “Aaron got lucky, you’re the wild card here. James has to fight this warrior called Valnar.”
Aaron – “So it’s either Valnar or James.”
James – “Oh you’re gonna end up fighting me for sure.”
Jayna – “Hey Anna, if you win your match tomorrow you’ll be up against me next.”
Anna – “Challenge accepted, I can’t go easy on you.”
Lorenzo – “We are all set then. Let us proceed to the Inn, it is late.”
Everyone agreed and hastily made their way to the nearby Inn. The night seemed to stretch forever. Lidya’s excitement for the coming fights nearly kept her awake all night. Exhaustion eventually took over and she was able to sleep. The others, except Lorenzo, had similar issues.
The next day a packed arena greeted the challengers. The village often received visitors from Brensur itself to watch the matches. Sometimes challengers had family that lived in the world of fire and would visit to cheer for them. Lorenzo looked over at Lidya, who was pacing back and forth, trying to ascertain his opponent’s strength. At a glance all he could see was an overly eager warrior. She seemed reckless.
Throughout the day the duels were held. All of them were powerful, heated battles. Afterall, it was a test of both strength and fire magic. Anna won her match easily, which now pitted her against Jayna later on. James also won his match against his opponent. Ultimately the last matches ended up being Anna against Jayna, James against Aaron and Lidya against Lorenzo.
The duel between Anna and Jayna was a display of powerful fire magic. They were mostly skilled in spells. Fires danced around the arena, leaving the audience stunned. To Jayna’s dismay Anna gained the upper hand and was able to overpower her. Anna won that match. She helped Jayna back to her feet and left the arena together.
Following Anna and Jayna’s fight was Aaron’s and James’. Another fierce competition ensued. In the end Aaron’s training with Lorenzo proved worthwhile and he pulled a win against his newfound friend.
Finally the match between Lidya and Lorenzo was at hand. This particular battle was both powerful and intense. Lidya was swift and relentless in her attacks, while Lorenzo was more calculating in his strikes. His handling of his heavy ax was impressive. The council kept taking notes of this battle as it stretched for quite some time. It was nearly sunset when the two warriors, nearly exhausted from their duel, continued to plot against each other. All Lidya needed was one false step from Lorenzo, and surely enough, after biding her time, Lorenzo made a mistake. She cast a spell to create a heat shimmer. The mix of the spell and Lorenzo’s tired muscles made him take the wrong stance and Lidya was able to disarm him. His ax was thrown off into a wall. Both were visibly tired. Right then the audience exploded in cheers and applause for the both of them. The trial of fire has come to an end.
The following day the warriors were gathered in front of the world portal. The great spell master of the council used his magic to activate the portal. In it an image of Brensur appeared after a swirling blaze dissipated. A list was read out by the spell master naming those who had successfully shown their skill and mastery. Anna, Jayna, Aaron, Lorenzo and Lidya were called. Sadly, James did not show enough mastery to be called. Despite this, the spell master mentioned that he would be welcome to stay in the village to continue honing his skills. As the others passed through the portal Lorenzo and Lidya spoke to James.
Lorenzo – “Not everyone is given the opportunity to continue training at the council village. Keep at it and I’m sure I’ll see you in Brensur very soon.”
James – “I hope so. Will you help with my training?”
Lorenzo – “If I get the chance to return, I promise.”
Lidya – “Hey Lorenzo, I didn’t get a chance to say this yesterday, but you are one strong warrior. That was a great match.”
James – “You two were amazing to watch.”
Lorenzo – “You have great skill as well Lidya. We should train together in Brensur.”
Lidya – “You bet! Let’s get going.”
As Lidya took her first steps towards the world portal, the spell master warned not to continue. The energy of the portal was becoming unstable. This continued until the connection broke. The image of Brensur faded away and the portal lost its power.
Lidya – “Whoa, what just happened?”
Lidya’s confusion added to other’s panic. Many people came from Brensur to witness the trial battles. Now they were all stuck in the council village. The council members assembled right there and calmed the people. While this happened the warriors were ordered to return to the Inn. They would be informed if the world portal could be reactivated.
A few days later and there were no changes to the world portal. Lidya, Lorenzo and James stayed together during those days. They were resting near the main plaza when Marx, Lidya’s trainer, arrived.
Lidya – “Huh? Marx! What are you doing here?”
Marx – “Lidya! Am I glad to see you. I was informing the council of some new information I found. Come, let’s convene at the Inn and I’ll tell you everything.”
They moved to the Inn along with James and Lorenzo.
Marx – “I see you made new friends.”
Lidya – “Ah, right! This is Lorenzo and James. Lorenzo was my opponent in the final duel.”
James – “Hello.”
Lorenzo – “It is an honor to meet you. Lidya was a challenging opponent.”
Marx – “I’m glad to hear that. Lidya was quite the handful to train.”
Lidya – “Hey!”
Marx – “Anyway, onto more pressing matters. It seems that what happened here with the world portal has happened in the other trial grounds as well. After that event the envoy of some ancient deity arrived at Balancor and announced this being would come to rule the Seven Worlds.”
Lidya – “Why now?”
Marx – “There are rumors of some ancient prophecy. I’m still investigating that part. Regardless I was told to seek out warriors. The Entralian Council wants to prepare for the worst. As it stands, it seems most of the elite warriors made it into the other worlds.”
James – “That practically leaves Entralia defenseless.”
Marx – “The council suspects that was precisely what this deity wanted.”
Lorenzo – “What will you do then?”
Marx – “For now, see if I can find more people to join me.”
Lidya – “I’m in, there’s no point in hanging around here if we can’t go to Brensur.”
Lorenzo – “I will accompany you as well.”
James – “I will remain here, if the world portal can be reactivated we will need those reinforcements.”
Marx – “That’s a good call. In the meantime we should prepare traveling supplies. I fear we must head out as soon as possible.”
The news of this rumored deity caught everyone unawares. Lorenzo, Marx and Lidya gathered what they needed and readied for their eventual departure.
Seven Worlds – Ep4
Episode 4: Trial of Fire – Part 4
After the tragic loss of Edward and gaining a new companion in Aaron, Lorenzo’s group finally arrived at the village. A brief respite from the harsh trial. Upon their arrival they quickly seek out the village’s healer to tend to Jayna’s burned leg. They are greeted at the entrance to the infirmary by an old lady named Agatha.
Agatha – “Ah, another challenger hurt by the flows. Come dear, head inside and enter the last room to the left. There is a bed available where you can rest. I must head out a moment to gather some healing herbs, as soon as I’m back I can help with your healing.”
Jayna – “Alright. James, will you help me get there?”
James – “Sure.”
Agatha – “I suggest the rest of you go somewhere else to rest. The nearby Inn is a good place to stay, if you have the coin for it.”
Lorenzo – “Thank you.”
Jayna limped forward while James helped her maintain her balance. They passed a few rooms already occupied with other injured challengers. Each room was rather small, but could accommodate two beds. When they reached the room Agatha mentioned there was already someone else there. Jayna sat down at the edge of the other bed. She looked out one of the windows, it looked abnormally dark. Dense clouds covered the region.
James – “I’ll head to the Inn. Lorenzo should be there with the others.”
Jayna – “Ok, see you later!”
Lidya’s vision was blurry, but slowly coming into focus. She felt something on her forehead. It was a damp cloth. She took it off and set it aside. As the room came into focus she saw someone sitting on a bed beside her. Lidya moved to sit at the edge of the bed. Still rather confused she was curious about what had happened to her.
Lidya – “Hi, I’m Lidya, did… did you bring me here?”
Jayna – “I’m Jayna, and no, I didn’t bring you here. I just got here myself.”
Lidya – “Ah, that’s quite the burn there.”
Jayna – “My friends helped me get here. The healer mentioned she would be back soon.”
Lidya – “Maybe she has the answers I seek.”
Jayna – “Have you read that letter yet? On the table beside your bed.”
Lidya hadn’t noticed the letter and promptly began reading it. It was from her teacher. In the letter he explained that he was keeping an eye out for her throughout the challenge because he had noticed that a number of mercenaries had infiltrated the trial. Many of those mercenaries apparently had been hired to cause discord and to cut down as many challengers as they could. He also had suspicions that something much worse was happening in the background but he didn’t have much information. As she continued to read, Agatha arrived.
Lidya – “Marx…”
Agatha – “Ah, I see you’re awake. Here, take this. It’s a little bitter, but it will help you regain more strength.”
Without a second thought Lidya drank the potion. She didn’t react to the bitterness, which impressed Jayna a little.
Agatha – “Looks like you’re almost ready to go. Here, your weapons, boots and vest. Oh and I see you got his letter.”
Lidya – “Yes, still looking after me, even when my training was completed a while ago. Do you know him by any chance?”
Agatha – “Why yes, he’s my son. For as long as I know he speaks very highly of you Lidya.”
Lidya – “You’re pretty famous yourself master Agatha.”
Agatha – “Oh don’t call me that, just Agatha is fine. Even if there is some renown to my healing skill, I’d rather not boast about it. It can bring unwanted attention.”
Lidya – “I understand. Did Marx say anything else?”
Agatha – “No, he said to me the same he wrote on that letter. He’s probably off investigating whatever it is he is suspicious of.”
Lidya – “Well then, I’ll get ready to leave.”
Agatha – “And now for you young lady. That burn should be no problem with this.”
Agatha handed a cream to Jayna.
Agatha – “Put this on. I made it using leaves, tree sap and a healing enchantment. It should help heal the burn and restore your skin.”
Jayna – “Thank you so much!”
Shortly after Jayna was putting the ointment on, Lidya was ready to leave.
Lidya – “Thank you for everything, Agatha. It was nice to meet you, Jayna.”
Jayna – “Stay safe Lidya, hope to see you at the council village.”
Lidya – “Thanks!”
Lidya’s twin axes caught Jayna’s attention. They seemed peculiar for some reason, but she couldn’t point out what. It was as if she could sense some mysterious power emanating from them. As Lidya continued on her way she pondered what Marx mentioned in his letter. “What could possibly be worse than having the challengers get hunted down by mercenaries?”, she thought. As she’s walking away from the village, she and Lorenzo cross paths. Lorenzo takes notice of Lidya, but continues on his way.
Seven Worlds – Ep3
Episode 3: Trial of Fire – Part 3
The harsh reality of the trials makes itself felt. Jayna, Lorenzo, Edward, James and Anna were attacked by a group of Salamanders. Although they were able to repel them it placed Edward in a very precarious position. The intense heat is burning his legs, even with the magical protection. Meanwhile the cavern shakes violently.
Edward – “Everyone! Go! Get out of here, you can’t do anything for me now, just go!
Cracks form around the rock where Edward is lying, it begins to float into the river of lava.
Anna – “No, Edward!”
Lorenzo – “Anna, we have to go. We can’t risk our lives any further!”
Jayna – “We can’t leave him!”
Lorenzo – “It is too late and Edward knows it.”
James – “Lorenzo’s right, if we stay we’ll all die.”
Edward – “Leave! I’ll try to make it out. This rock is still stable, don’t worry!”
Lorenzo – “Please be careful. Over here everyone, we can climb through this area. That tunnel should lead us outside.”
Lorenzo pointed the others to an opening not too far above them, but they would have to climb for a bit. As they left Edward behind an explosion shook the cavern again. Shortly after, a wave of lava came crashing down from deeper in the cave. As Lorenzo and the others began to enter the tunnel Edward looked at them. Jayna and Anna looked back, he was charging a spell to close off the tunnel behind them and protect them from the rushing lava. James pulled Jayna and Anna back as the spell was cast and the entry started to get blocked by falling stones. The group tried their best to run out of the tunnel. Jayna was still limping from her previous injury, but managed to keep up. Meanwhile, the wave of lava finally reached the rock Edward was still on. Sadly for him the rock flipped over and threw him into the lava river.
The group of friends was now down by one. Overwhelmed by grief, but still strong enough to push further ahead.
Anna – “How could he? He knew he would die, why did he leave us?”
James – “There was nothing we could do. He did what was best for all of us.”
Lorenzo – “Yes he did. To honor his sacrifice we must continue.
Jayna – “Yeah, could we rest here for a bit. I need to heal my leg properly.”
Anna – “I’ll help.”
Lorenzo – “James, keep watch for any disturbances from the volcano. I do not want any more surprises. I will scout over the ridge and determine our next destination.”
Although saddened by the loss of their friend, the group knew they had to push forward. It was precisely their friendship that gave them the strength to continue.
A quick look along the horizon and Lorenzo was able to identify a village that was fairly close. One of the few hidden villages that serve as a place of respite to many who partake in the trials.
After informing the others about the village they prepared to move on. James helped Jayna stand. As they finished packing some of their supplies a stranger arrived. The young man introduced himself as Aaron. He asked Lorenzo if he was the leader of the group and wanted to have a friendly duel in exchange for some of their supplies.
Aaron – “The people I was traveling with decided to abandon me. Thankfully I was able to reach this point, except I have little food left. I was able to duel others for some scraps but it probably won’t be enough to reach the council village.”
Lorenzo – “I am not exactly in the mood for a friendly duel, but if you are so inclined to do this then I will not hold back.”
Aaron – “That’s the spirit. Let’s go.”
James – “Lorenzo, you don’t have to do this.”
Aaron – “Would you rather I just take your supplies?”
Lorenzo – “I would not allow that either way. Get ready.”
The group’s sorrow weighed heavily on their minds. Lorenzo felt anger, in his mind he had failed Edward. Fueled by this anger, but not blinded by it, the duel commenced. Aaron took a few swipes with his ax. Lorenzo, thinking of a way to quickly end the duel, simply sidestepped the swings, disarmed Aaron and then pushed him to the ground. Powerful mana gathered in Lorenzo’s palm. Before he unleashed the spell, Aaron yielded.
Aaron – “Well, I was not expecting that. You are incredibly skilled.”
Lorenzo – “Here, this should help you until the next village.”
Aaron – “But… I lost.”
Lorenzo – “Yes, but I am not without a little empathy. The trial is harsh, I hope you improve by the time we reach the council village.”
Aaron – “Alright, if I am to repay your kindness, then I’ll help you. That is, if you’ll have me.”
James – “We lost a dear friend but a few hours ago. Perhaps having you with us is like him telling us to move on.”
Anna – “We should hurry to the village. Jayna will need more time to heal.”
Lorenzo – “I accept then, Aaron, you may join us. I can even give you some pointers.”
Aaron – “Thank you.”
After a difficult day the group is now joined by another challenger. They continue towards a village that lies close by as the sun sets on the horizon. The eerie light of lava and volcanoes reflects on the clouds above.
Seven Worlds – Ep2
Episode 2: Trial of Fire – Part 2
A weary Lidya hobbled her way through a path towards a distant village. Her magic waned and her mana was drying out. She sat, leaning on a large stone. There she slowly lost consciousness.
While Lidya fought against the warriors and the poison, another group of challengers were moving through some of the more treacherous paths. This group had agreed that they would try to reach the portal together. Bound by a long standing friendship, Jayna, Edward, Lorenzo, Anna and James promised they would look out for each other. They come from the same village far outside the Gates of Fernal. As they walked they saw some of the great fire salamanders of the region, which are often hostile, but luckily for them, too far to bother them. This path was riddled with rivers of lava and sulfur vents.
As they moved along a cavern they started to talk among themselves to calm their nerves.
Jayna – So, Edward, what are you going to do when you get to Brensur?”
Edward – “I don’t know yet. I want to prove myself to everyone, including you Lorenzo.
Lorenzo – “Hey, are you going to start with that? We are not even halfway through.”
James – “That’s right and at this pace those salamanders we saw back there will catch up to us.”
Anna – “James is right, we should concentrate on the task at hand, which is to cross this cavern.”
Edward – “Well aren’t we feisty.”
Jayna – “Heat getting to you Anna?”
Anna – “Not sure, I think Edward’s head is blowing some smoke.”
Lorenzo – “Alright, alright, that’s enough. We should be out in… wait. Do you feel that?”
The ground started shaking and from a nearby lava river a group of three salamanders appeared. Lava sprung up from their leap and splashed one of Jayna’s legs. Her magic guarded her from the intense heat, but the stone hardened quickly making it difficult to walk. Anna moved to join Jayna and started using her magic to carefully melt the stone again. Meanwhile Lorenzo, Edward and James drew their axes to mount a defense. While Anna continued her work, Jayna tried her best to channel some of her magic towards the others. She also focused on keeping her heat resistance enchantment active.
Knowing that salamanders are resistant to fire spells, Lorenzo prepares to strike with his heavy ax. Edward and James team up against one salamander, while the remaining one begins to advance towards Anna and Jayna. The salamander lunges at Jayna, pushing Anna away. Edward pivots from his target and moves to support Jayna. He is able to push the salamander away and strike it with his ax. The scales of the beast deflect some of the force of the blow. Edward is sent flying back into a large rock when the salamander hits him with its tail. Then Anna proceeds to cast a blast spell launching the salamander into the lava river. The power in that spell causes the cavern to shake violently. As this happened Lorenzo was able to pin down and then execute the salamander he was facing. When he turns to face Edward he notices that the rock he is now leaning against is breaking apart. The last remaining salamander, startled by all the shaking retreats into the lava river.
Lorenzo and James rush to help Edward who is still stunned by the attack from before. Anna helps Jayna back on her feet and they watch helplessly as the others run towards Edward. The rock then crumbles and he slips close to the lava river.
Pieces of stalagmites are falling from the top of the cavern. A multitude of rocks are tumbling down from deeper in the cave. For the moment, the situation seems hopeless for this group of old friends.