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Adventures of Blue II: The Encroaching Umbra

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Author Topic: Adventures of Blue II: The Encroaching Umbra  (Read 151 times)
BlueAnnihilator
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« on: 16 April, 2012, 09:36:46 pm »

~~Prologue~~

Following the fateful encounter with Iblis, Blue remarkably chooses to abandon his quest for vengeance, refusing to abide by a fate decided for him.

Sorrowful and dissuaded, Blue thereby departs the desert oasis of Nandor alone, leaving behind those who influenced his change of heart to begin a new life.

Heeding Bob's last advice, he travels to the city-state of Soleanna--a land ruined ten years ago in a horrific accident--
to have an audience with the nation's reigning Patriarch, Ashleigh Criswell. Unsure of what to expect, Blue meets with the sovereign, in hopes that he'll regain his sense of purpose.

~~Soleanna City: Patriarch's Chambers~~

[Patriarch Ashleigh is an aged, well-bred man with solid black hair, slicked back, and a neatly trimmed beard. A stern yet kind-hearted figure, he gladly accepts Blue's request to have an earnest dialogue. We join the two in mid-discussion]

Ashleigh: ...You feel conflicted. They respected you, admired you, placed their faith in you. The same people that you once believed to detest your kind. And now, you begin to doubt the philosophy that was forced upon you, is this correct?

Blue: It is...but you have to understand! I-I spent my entire life around people who hated me because of what I am, even...my own mother.

Ashleigh: Hrm...

Blue: The man who later took me in, helped me learn magic, taught me that humans are the enemy. That they're weak, cowardly worms that fear our power, and seek to eradicate us. I had no reason to doubt him... It was all I knew! Nobody ever showed me that humans could be...like them. No one cared! They treated me with a genuine kindness that I had never felt before, and it confused me! I...began to doubt myself, and my purpose.

Ashleigh: That is good. With your confliction, comes a yearning for the honest truth! Allow me to explain.

[From a pocket hidden in his robes, Ashleigh pulls out an ordinary gold coin]

Ashleigh: Not all people of a certain kind are the same. This is key to your understanding of the world. The people who tormented you in your past are but a small minority. Just like this coin, there are two sides to the equation. On one side, are the humans that fear and resent mages, and on the other, are the ones that respect their gift and treat them as equals. Take myself, for instance...

Blue: Huh...?

[Ashleigh pulls back the sleeve of his robe, revealing a mysterious mark on his wrist]

Blue: Ah! That's a... Then you're--!

Ashleigh: You can sense it, can't you? I'm a mage as well, and yet I was elected the Patriarch of Soleanna in spite of the public's awareness of my heritage.

Blue: But...but how...?

Ashleigh: It would come as a surprise to you, Blue, considering your upbringing. But in reality, it's not as strange as you think. Mages in positions of power date far back to ages long past. In fact, let me tell you a story... Long ago, a woman known today as Saint Adele, used her powers of magic to transform a dry, cracked land into a beautiful, pristine lagoon. The poor refugees who were forced to endure the once harsh terrain followed her as she founded a new city upon the lagoon. Soleanna...was it's name. Thereafter, Saint Adele became the city's first Matriarch, revered for her power and benevolence, as well as her great wisdom.

Blue: That's... That can't be real!

Ashleigh: Haha! Ohh, but it is, Blue! You should also know that Saint Adele and myself aren't the only ones. There are others like us all over the world with great influence, working tirelessly to close the divide between the common man and those of us that are blessed. And we do so, not with horrific displays of destructive might, but through unity and diplomacy. As mages, our inherent wisdom and thirst for knowledge are valued traits. It was this, not my power, that won the hearts of the people. And now, as the patriarch, they are counting on me to restore this ruined land to its former beauty.

Blue: I...can't believe this. All this time, was I lead to believe a lie?

Ashleigh: It...was not a lie. Merely a flawed perspective... But you must see, things are not always as they seem! Sometimes you have to look beyond the surface in order to grasp the real truth! You will find that even things you are used to will show you something new if you look hard enough.

Blue: What are you telling me, Master Criswell?

Ashleigh: You were forced to grow up at a young age, Blue, but you still have a child-like comprehension of the world around you. There is much of the world that you have yet to see.  So many new things waiting to be discovered. Base your views on what you perceive with your own eyes, not on what you are told by others.

Blue: But...where do I go? H-How should I proceed? I don't...know what to do anymore. This is what I came here to find out!

Ashleigh: That, is up to you. That path that you follow from here on is yours to decide. The world is a big place, Blue. I'm certain somewhere out there are the answers you seek.

Blue: So...you can't guide me at all?

Ashleigh: To guide you myself would make your search for inner truth meaningless! My job is merely to impart my knowledge unto you, in hopes that my spared wisdom can carry you forward.

Blue: *sigh*... Then what's the point of it all? Did I travel all this way for nothing?

Ashleigh: You mustn't grow discouraged. In time, it will become clear to you!

[Infuriated at Ashleigh's indirectness, Blue slams his palm on the ground and exclaims]

Blue: *shouting* That's bunk and you know it! I am sick and tired of these vague auguries, Patriarch! I've heard enough!

[Blue's outrage solicits an angry response from the Patriarch's loyal attendant, Heloise. She curses him with threats of retribution]

Heloise: What insolence! How dare you, a mere peasant, address our Lord Patriarch in such a manner!? For this treasonous insult, you will be punished by the full extent of the law! Guards! Come quickly!

[Ashleigh abruptly calls out to Heloise, interrupting her tirade]

Ashleigh: Heloise! What is the meaning of this!? Who gave you the right to pass judgement on my guest!?

Heloise: L-Lord Ashleigh...!? What are you saying!? I was merely acting your in best interest!

Ashleigh: Stay your tongue, ignorant pup! You do not decide what is best for me! Your attendance is no longer required, Heloise, now kindly take your leave.

Heloise: B-But Lord Ashleigh...! I--!

Ashleigh: Now!!!

Heloise: Ah! ...Mmn. Yes, Lord Patriarch.

[Fearing futher retaliation, Heloise complies with Ashleigh's command and leaves the chambers]

Blue: ...Hmph.

Ashleigh: Please, forgive Heloise, Blue. She does not fully understand your predicament like I do. Your frustration is most warranted, but even still, I cannot brook such behavior in my chambers, is that understood? How do you intend to move forward if you can't let go of your residual rage!?

Blue: Uh...! I...

[Unable to answer back, Blue inwardly fumes, knowing that the Patriarch speaks the truth. Meanwhile, a servant approaches to deliver a message to Ashleigh]

Servant: Lord Ashleigh, I've come bearing an urgent message for you.

Ashleigh: Oh? Well then let's hear it.

Servant: Certainly. The appointed meeting to discuss further developments in the restoration project will commence soon. If you don't leave now, you'll be late.

Ashleigh: Hmm, I see... Well then, Blue... it seems I have pressing matters to attend to, so we'll continue this discussion another time. I'll have one of my servants show you to a room. See to it that you're well-rested, for we'll begin making preparations for your journey first thing tomorrow. Is that clear?

Blue: ...Yes, Master Criswell.

Ashleigh: Please, Blue, there's no need for formalities. Call me Ashleigh. ...Servant, please show our guest to a room.

Servant: *bows* At once, Lord Patriarch. ...Right this way, Master Blue.

[Following the servant's direction, Blue makes off for a guest room to rest for the impending journey. Meanwhile, Ashleigh looks on at him with a promising smile]

Ashleigh: ... (Hohooo, it appears Bob was right all along. Blue... though you've now found your humanity, you still find it difficult to trust in others, and thus your heart  remains closed. In your trials ahead, I believe you will discover the true compassion of friendship, and one day, finally come to appreciate the world that you were born into...)
« Last Edit: 16 April, 2012, 11:48:25 pm by BlueAnnihilator » Report Spam   Logged


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