Episode 19: Balance Perfected
As the elemental storms raged across Entralia, Laurel thought of a way to contain Gerthran. The damage from the storms had reached as far as the Frigis Isles. Entralia was in peril of being destroyed. As Gerthran continued to strengthen along with the chaos, Laurel thought of a way to end this before it was all lost. She held the ringblade in front of her and entered a state of meditation. Pieces of history flashed in her mind. In these glimpses she saw how Astros banished Cythia in the past. It was an intricate and mystical dance that could unleash an incredibly powerful spell. Banishment alone would not suffice though, Gerthran’s power and influence would eventually seep out of wherever he was imprisoned. Instead Laurel thought of a modification that would disperse the chaotic energies and bring them to return to the worlds naturally. So she began to move. The ringblade followed her hand movements. The weapon seemed to dance along with Laurel. Slowly an orb of energy formed and split. Three orbs formed. One split into fire and water orbs, another into wind and earth and the third into light and dark. The elements formed in a balance perfected. These orbs followed the shape of the ringblade and spun around it. When the dance was completed small particles of energy began to flow out of Gerthran and dissipate.
Gerthran – “What are you doing? What is happening?”
Laurel – “This is how I defeat you, not with a blade through the heart or a spell of destruction, but with a dance and a send off.”
Gerthran – “You can’t possibly…, urk.”
Gerthran was shocked, his power diminished quickly. He was no longer in control. The artifacts he held fell off and became inert. Even the staff of Zanathas lost its power. He slowly fell back to the ground. The elemental storms lost their power and the skies cleared. The sun was starting to set on the horizon. Cythia reappeared.
Cythia – “I see now. Astros and Danathos have been gone for a long time. You there, the chaos here is no longer mine, but spread out among the worlds. Your actions resemble those of Astros himself, yet you are no god or deity.”
Laurel – “I don’t need to be, these are the actions that best fit our survival. We have grown beyond the need of beings like you.”
Cythia – “Nothing tethers me to the seven worlds anymore. So I will fade, like Astros and Danathos.”
As she said this Cythia’s body faded away along with some of the chaos energy that was flying off. Meanwhile Gerthran was on his knees. The forces of Entralia took away the remaining warriors of chaos who quickly surrendered once their leader was defeated. Laurel walked up to Gerthran.
Laurel – “You could have destroyed us all. You dismissed all the pain and suffering that all that would have caused.”
Gerthran – “I cared nothing for that. Power is all that mattered and now you’ve taken it all away.”
Laurel – “The Entralian council will decide how to punish you. I’m done here.”
Soldiers arrived and took away Gerthran. Laurel searched around for Lumos and Thistle. She finally found Lumos waiting on a small hill. The old sage surveyed the damage. Parts of the plains had been sundered and littered with cracked stones.
Lumos – “To think one person could cause such damage. The land will need time to heal.”
Laurel – “Are you alright?”
Lumos – “Physically, yes. Seeing all this is mentally taxing though.”
Laurel – “Where is Thistle?”
Lumos – “She left, but not before mentioning something about traversing the ether.”
Laurel – “Hmm, though I’m sad about her leaving like that, I’m sure she had her reasons. I wonder what prompted this sudden departure.”
Lumos – “Wisps continue to be a mystery. I am sure she will come back someday.”
The battle of chaos has ended. More of a skirmish than a war, but it took its toll on Entralia. The dimension that once held Cythia dissipated with her. Laurel and Lumos left to return to Balancor. Once there they saw the damage done by the elemental storms. Many homes had been damaged or destroyed. It would be a long road towards recovery. Laurel was confident that using Astros’ Ringblade she could help hasten all the work ahead.
Lindrel met with Laurel and was relieved to see her safe. The burden placed upon her was taxing. So she took some days to rest.
In the following months Laurel spent a lot of time traveling and helping different regions of Entralia to rebuild. She met with Lidya one last time while meditating near the village of Jaunr.
Lidya – “You know I used to live here?”
Laurel – “Lidya! Where have you been?”
Lidya – “Ah, here and there. I’m glad you got the hang of that ringblade. You saved Entralia.”
Laurel – “Is this how you felt? In the battles you fought?”
Lidya – “I was a hot headed and stubborn mess to begin with. For the longest time I lived for the challenges ahead. To be called a hero by the people always felt odd. I was just following my heart and trying to protect others. What I don’t have is the same composure as you do, nor the patience. Indeed, I would have used all my power to kill Gerthran. Your solution was both elegant and brilliant.”
Laurel – “Thank you. I still don’t know if I will be able to take someone else’s life.”
Lidya – “It’s never an easy thing, and I think it’s best not to dwell on that. Anyway, I’m actually here to say farewell. The weapon of power is safely in your hands and you have used it with honor. Your future with it is fully in your hands.”
Laurel – “Thank you again, it was an honor to meet you.”
Lidya – “Goodbye.”
The figure of the great heroine disappeared and behind it was a certain wisp.
Laurel – “Thistle?!”
Thistle – “Hi Laurel!”
Laurel – “Where have you been? Lumos told me you left but it was all so sudden.”
Thistle – “I had things to explore and other wisps to meet.”
Laurel – “I thought that was a rarity, did something special happen?”
Thistle – “In a way, yes. As you know, wisps hold great elemental power. We used this power to help shield the other worlds from damage. So the chaos unleashed here didn’t affect them. It was like a natural calling for us. Now we are free to wander again.”
Laurel – “Does that mean you’ll be traveling with me once more?”
Thistle – “For sure!”
With the good friends reunited they set off on their next adventure. Laurel visited each of the other worlds again. She returned the now inert artifacts. In Brensur, she met with Zethia and spoke to her about Lidya. At Ixis, King Hector was very happy to add the Circlet of Cold Flames and the Ring of Frost to the royal vault. In that world Laurel met once again with Umari and even went on a short stint to some far off islands. At each visit to the other worlds Laurel made sure to speak with the leaders and Sentients that helped her along the way. Upon her return to Balancor, she was greeted by a lot of people who were grateful for her and called her a hero of Entralia.