Episode 18: Gerthran’s Plot
The battle continued. This day felt like it stretched for hours upon hours. Cythia’s influence threw the elements into disarray. Laurel struggled to break free from Gerthran’s hold. The spell was powerful and tugged at her very connection to the elements.
Gerthran – “Laurel, you will be the first to bear witness to my ascension!”
He lifted the staff of Zanathas high above his head. The staff began shining with a strange dark light that engulfed the area. Cythia herself was stunned and then she noticed the effect. Her energy was being drained and transferred into Gerthran.
Cythia – “What are you…? You fool! Do you believe yourself powerful enough to contain my energy?!”
Gerthran – “That and more my mistress, you are not needed here. Your master is likely long gone or he would have appeared before you already.”
Cythia – “No, that is impossible! There is no path that would…”
She stopped realizing she didn’t feel Danathos’ presence. Also she noticed something else, but could not be sure what it was. Her body began to shrink and slowly fade. When Cythia disappeared completely Gerthran started to float. His power augmented to an unknown extent.
Gerthran – “I have done it! I succeeded!”
Laurel – “This was your plan all along? Not just to bring her here but to steal her power?”
Gerthran – “Cythia was another pawn in my game. A long time ago we were freed from the influence of deities. I can feel that now. Those beings are gone, but I remain. I will rule, my chaos will be absolute!”
Laurel – “You’ve lost your sanity.”
Gerthran – “I would offer you a place by my side, but it would be so inconsequential to someone of my power. I will do this though.”
Laurel, still held in the air by Gerthran’s magic, struggled more and more. Then her artifacts started falling off one by one, and flying towards Gerthran.
Gerthran – “These are mine now, no one will ever be tempted to defy me.”
The only thing that remained by Laurel’s side was her ringblade. The half rusted weapon looked like it would break. In that instant, while nearly losing consciousness, the mysterious figure appeared before Laurel.
Mysterious Figure – “Stay awake! You still hold the key to defeating this challenge!”
Laurel – “Who are you? Why do you keep encouraging me?”
Mysterious Figure – “Well, it’s about time I told you. I was the wielder of the Twins of power and the Andraconus. I was a hero to the people for many years. I faced down gods and power mad foes. My name is Lidya.
Laurel – “The great heroine? How can you be here?”
Lidya – “You have something that can overcome this madman. A weapon of power. You see that ringblade? It has the potential, but it is only fueled by your courage.”
Laurel – “Then I will use every ounce of it!”
Lidya – “That’s the spirit!”
Still almost completely paralyzed, Laurel focused her mind and tried to move the ringblade. To her surprise and Gerthran’s, the ringblade flew between them and let off a blast of energy. This was enough to sever the spell that was holding Laurel.
Gerthran – “What?! How?”
Laurel – “I will not let you get away with this!”
Just as she said this, reinforcements arrived from different places. Wolves from the Astros Plains, soldiers from Brensur and Ixis, even the Queen of Zanathas herself arrived with a contingent.
Gerthran – “You will fail, you will all fail! I have already taken all the power from you, there is nothing left for you to do.”
Laurel – “Dismiss me at your own peril.”
Laurel readied the ringblade to launch, and as she was charging energy into it the gems of the other artifacts began to glow. These gems split off from the artifact that held them and flew towards the ringblade. The rusted part of the ringblade cleared up and revealed a golden side with inserts for each gem. Once the gems were in place a surge of power and ancient knowledge overwhelmed Laurel. The new knowledge revealed that this weapon is called Astros’ Ringblade. An ancient deity who valued justice, courage and kindness had wielded this ringblade to cast out Cythia. Now Laurel would use it to do the same to Gerthran.
Gerthran – “What have we here? Did I miss an artifact?”
Laurel – “This is not just any artifact Gerthran, it’s a weapon of power and these choose their wielders. Like the Twins of Power or the Andraconus before, I wield this to bring back the balance and save Entralia!”
Their battle resumed. This time Laurel had the upper hand the entire time. The staff of Zanathas was rendered inert and little by little all the other artifacts began to fall off from Gerthran. His power was diminishing with each blast of energy that Laurel was able to hit.
Gerthran – “No! I will not allow this to continue!”
Laurel – “Then give up! You have no chance of winning.”
Gerthran – “If I cannot defeat you, then I will reforge the worlds however I please.”
A large ray of intermixed elements shot up toward the sky. The elemental storm above the area intensified. Parts of the ground began to float. The winds carried searing heat all around and hail peppered everything. The chaos began to feed into Gerthran and he in turn unleashed more power. Despite having been stripped of most of his artifacts, Gerthran continued to rampage.