Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light (Commentary Included)

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Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light (Commentary Included)

Post by Zerifachias on Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:51 pm

Prologue
The Stolen Flame


A tower in the forest stands tall and strong, the very top of the tower unable to be seen by mortal eyes. The exterior of the tower glows a magnificent, iridescent blue. The swirl-like markings on the tower spiral upwards towards the top, their true meaning unknown. In all of its magnificence, the tower lacks nothing. The Staircase to the Heavens is the beacon of hope and equality for all who reside in the Realm of Light.

At the foot of the temple, a tall, dark shadow waits patiently. This strange, cloaked man awaits the report of his minions, whom he sent into the tower to retrieve an artifact of great value and importance. For hours, the man waits patiently. Such tasks, he believed, took time to plan perfectly, and therefore took more time to commit perfectly. This man's crime would be the theft of the great temple's Flame.

Just seconds before the man began to become impatient, the glow from the temple suddenly and wholly went out, leaving the walls a pale purple, contrary to the blue glow they used to give off. His minions had succeeded in stealing the temple's Flame.

A small smile appeared on the only visible part of the man's face, for the rest of his body was cloaked in a shadow. This darkness reacted to the temple's loss of light. It expanded outwards and allowed the wind to catch it, which disturbed the cloud of shadows without a sound. Two more shadows appeared next to the man, each one soon being revealed as humans after the darkness faded away. These humans were not as in tune with the shadow as their leader, who was cloaked in it.

The human that knelt to the left of the man was female. Her long, reddish hair fell in front of her face, obscuring most of her face from view. She kept her eyes closed in reverence of her leader. She wore black plate armor, each plate connected similar to the was a snake's scales overlapped. The edge of the plates were colored a dark red, giving the woman a particularly dark look. A sheathed sword hung on her waist.

The other human was male with messy black hair that became more and more tangled as the wind caught it. He also wore the same type of armor as the female with a matching sword at his side.

“I thank you, Nova and Atom,” the man spoke to his two hard workers. “You did bring the Flame with you, did you not?”

“Yes, my lord,” the female, Atom, replied. She dug into a small brown pouch at her waist and retrieved what appeared to be a bead, no larger than an inch in diameter. It glowed a frightening red color, as it was within the hands of a resident of Shadow. The man seemed pleased, and he reached down to pick up the bead, but when he was only centimeters away from touching it, an electric current suddenly shot through his body, forcing him to take his hand back.

The man's flinching did not go unnoticed by the two who knelt in front of him. Atom drew back her hands quickly, glaring down at the bead accusingly. The man, however, merely chuckled, much to the duo's surprise.

“So, even torn away from your altar, you will still defy me, oh Celestria, Goddess of Light? Very well, I do not need to touch you in order to use you. The Shadow King is much more patient than you are.” The man who called himself the Shadow King snapped his fingers, ripping open three portals that surrounded him, Nova, and Atom. When the portal closed, the trio was gone.

~~~~

So, here is the introduction to my most successful role play, in story format. Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light was conceived once upon a time, long ago. And it seemed right to begin making a true documentation of the story, only with my little twists and turns that I did not, or will not be able to use due to the choices the players involved in my role play make.

As you read above, there is the main villain, who is introduced only as the Shadow King, or the Shadow Lord. His servants, Nova and Atom, played an important role in the theft of the temple's Flame.

For the sake of this story making sense, I added in a little lore that you probably noticed during the final paragraph. Celestria, the Goddess of Light, is actually the essence of the Beads of Light. Only a god can restore another god's power. This has been said in my role play before, but in actuality, the Beads of Light did NOT lose their power. They merely lost that single, most important bead that was used to light Heaven's Tower.

This prologue was made in haste, with no auto-correct or proofreading. When I get the chance, I will perform such an important task. But that time is not coming anytime soon, because I want to start dishing out high-quality chapters of the actual story. This was merely a beginning, a buffer. The next chapters will be reviewed many, many times. So many times I'll probably get sick of it and end up having my friends look over it. If any of you want to be a beta reader, let me know. I will be posting this story in a few other places.

Now, before the commentary becomes longer than the prologue, I'll end it here. I hope you all enjoy what I have in store for you.

(I hereby extend permissions for everyone to post any reply or comment to this story in the Naletia chat thread, so avoid posting in this thread, I want this to be the chapters and commentary only.)

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Re: Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light (Commentary Included)

Post by Zerifachias on Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:09 pm

Chapter One
The Prince and the Princess


Two pairs of footsteps briskly walked down the hallway on a dark red carpet that covered the entirety of the floor. On the right wall stood windows that extended upwards before arching to avoid touching the top of the wall. Red curtains matching the carpet were drawn over the windows. The hem of the curtains was a dazzling gold, with threads dangling from the edges. Golden chandeliers ornamented with white, glowing candles hung from the ceiling in intervals, providing an aesthetically pleasing appearance as well as a source of light in the dark hall. Paintings of royalty hung on the opposite wall of the windows, a picture for every inch of the wall, making the wall look more like a mural.

But the duo that sped through the hall were not interested in the Eastern Wing of the Royal Castle. No, they were both headed towards the elegantly large and wooden double doors on the far side of the hall. It was there where the King retired for the night, but as members of the royal family, the prince and princess that knocked upon the doors had a right to speak with their father.

Moments later, the door opened, revealing the tall, under-dressed man that was the King of Ermith, Clonius XIV. He wore a red and gold robe, with a white cloth tied around his waist to keep his robe from falling. Upon seeing his children, Clonius' brown eyebrows raised slightly.

“What is it, Arianna? Sigma? What could you two possibly want at this hour?” Clonius' rough voice was evidence of a long day speaking to the citizens who filed complaints or requests during the light hours. He rubbed his unshaven beard with a free hand, scratching an itch.

“Father, Arianna has a request for you, but did not have the courage to ask alone,” Sigma answered, his dark brown eyes focusing on Arianna. She was truly beautiful in the midnight blue dress that she wore, which flowed down her body like water and shimmered magnificently in the candlelight. Her bushy brown hair fell in waves on her back, and every time she shifted her feet, her hair would follow, the silky threads very lightweight.

“Father,” Arianna started, her voice clear and hopeful, “I wish for freedom. To explore the world outside the city walls. I want to visit the Temple of Light, the Twilight Forest, and the Forgotten Lake. I realize what dangers lie near those places, but I would be safe if Sigma were to accompany me. Please father, my thirst for exploration cannot be quenched by this city alone.” Arianna held her folded hands up to her chest, as if she were offering a prayer to the gods. Her shining emerald eyes seemed to plead with every fiber of her being.

The look on Clonius' face was evidence enough of his disapproval. His hand moved from his beard to his eyes, covering them as his fingers rubbed his temples. “Arianna, you are my child, and while you retain the right to your freedom, I cannot have my only heirs run off on a wild adventure. What if you got injured? Captured, or worse, killed?” Though Clonius was young, he no longer held the ability to create heirs to the throne for multiple reasons. One of them was the death of his queen, Arianna and Sigma's mother.

“That is why I am to accompany her, Father,” Sigma interjected, pulling his head up proudly. Sigma's brown eyes and hair were complimented by the red and gray vest that he wore. Sigma was much taller than both Arianna and the king. He inherited his height from their mother, Claire, while Clonius and Arianna remained short in stature. “Do you honestly doubt my prowess in the field of battle? I have lead the troops into battle against the armies of Sar'tu on more than one occasion.”

“That is not what I meant,” their father replied, his face contorting slightly in frustration. “Sigma, there are beasts and evildoers outside of these city walls that you will not be able to defeat alone.”

Before Sigma could counter, another voice echoed throughout the hall, the grace and gentleness of the voice soothing their minds and calming their emotions. “Dear Clonius,” the voice spoke softly, the feminine tone attracting the attention of those who could hear it. “If you fear for the safety of two, then send four. If the quality of a single warrior is not enough, then send a second warrior with similar skill.” The air in the hall seemed to be drawn in to a single point a few meters away. Dust flew towards the center before shooting back out in all directions as a woman materialized in that same spot.

The woman wore a long, sparkling gold dress and held her long brown hair in a bun. Her face was heavily adorned with beautifiers and three gold rings hung from each earlobe. The woman's pale red eyes gleamed brilliantly at the three royalties with an air of conceit. She reached out with long, bony fingers and offered her hand towards them as she bowed her head in greeting.

“Megaera, the Goddess of Vengeance,” the woman announced formally, then smirked up at her observers, “hope you don't mind me dropping by for a visit.”

“Lady Megaera, this is a surprise,” Clonius spoke, a little bewildered by the appearance of the goddess. It was not very often that a god or goddess bothered spending time with humans, but Megaera was a special case. She watched over every human and never focused on one particular being. Except for Arianna. Megaera seemed to like the princess and gave her much more attention than any other human she watched over.

“You were talking about Arianna,” Megaera pointed out, folding her arms over her chest. She never took her eyes or her smile off of Arianna. “Why do you not let her walk her own path, Clonius? You are frightened that she would come to harm? That is but mere nonsense. I have seen what fate has to offer for Arianna, and it is far from bleak. Send Sigma and two other warriors with the girl, and no harm will be inflicted upon her.”

“I cannot forget what you have told me, Lady Megaera,” Clonius' face turned down to a scowl. “I know all too well about Arianna's fate, and I will not give any chances for it to happen.” At this Megaera laughed, which surprised the king a little. Arianna and Sigma looked back and forth from the king to the goddess, both of them confused by what they were hearing.

“Sigma, let's go back,” Arianna whispered as Clonius and Megaera began to argue. Sigma nodded and placed his hand on her bare shoulder, guiding her away from the two. Clonius was so enamored by Megaera, he hardly noticed them leaving. It wasn't long before the two children were out of earshot, in the main hall. They didn't stop there though, the two continued on to the West Wing, where Sigma escorted Arianna to her room.

The West Wing was very similar to the East Wing. King Clonius was very picky about having a perfectly symmetrical castle, but held no problems with the paintings on the walls being different. The East Wing paintings were of the royal family, of descendents and previous kings and queens. The West Wing, however, held paintings drawn by Arianna. Talented as she was, she adorned the wall with her artwork, nearly covering the same amount of space as the paintings of the East Wing. Although Arianna never once stepped foot outside the Capital City, she could paint structures and monoliths that were scattered about the land of Ermith, relying on the pictures in the storybooks she read as a child, as well as the dreams that she dreamed of the outside world.

Just above Arianna's single-door room hung a vertically large painting of a glorious, blue tower. The cylindrical tower reached up towards the sky, piercing the clouds and continuing upward. The strange stone walls of the tower radiated with a dazzling blue light. On the bottom side of the picture frame, a name could be seen engraved into a golden plate. It read: “Heaven's Tower.” This was the Temple of Light, a tower that reached up to where the gods and the goddesses presided. It's walls radiated a purifying light that reached all across the lands of Ermith. This tower was resurrected by the Sage of Light, otherwise known as the Sage of Dreams. Ancient stories told of the feats of the sage and how he banished the Shadow to a different realm. The Temple of Light acts as a lock and key that keeps the Shadow Realm sealed away. Before that time, the Shadow Realm and the Light Realm were not at peace. Each realm interacted with each other, causing war and strife between the nations that existed in those realms. The Sage of Light is hailed as a hero even to this day for banishing the Shadow Realm, preventing it from influencing the Light Realm and the Light Realm from influencing the Shadow.

Before Arianna entered her room, she turned around to Sigma with an expectant look. After a moment's hesitation, Sigma nodded his head and spoke, “Don't worry too much about it Arianna. I'll convince father to let us go travel. Maybe if I find two other warriors, like Megaera suggested, I can convince him that it will be safe for us.”

“Thank you, Sigma,” Arianna smiled. She rushed forward to catch Sigma off guard and embraced him tightly. Arianna quickly parted from him right afterward and entered her room, making sure to close it before Sigma could say anything more. He hated being too close or embracing other people, even if it was Arianna. So if she attacked him quickly, Arianna could get in a much-needed hug. It was a selfish action, but Arianna didn't mind.

Hearing a sigh from the other side of the door, Arianna covered her mouth and bit her tongue to prevent herself from giggling. In a way, Sigma's personality humored her. His reactions to hugging were adorable. To Arianna at least. It was sure to frustrate Sigma, though Arianna would never apologize for such a thing.

Arianna turned around and rested her back on the door, looking around her room, quickly recognizing her surroundings. The room was much too large for her, but Arianna set up the room so that there seemed to be less space. A large bed, big enough for two, sat up against the center of the furthest wall, so that the foot of the bed pointed towards the door. Arianna chose for the linen cloth to be colored blue, as well as the drapes. Underneath the heavy covers were white sheets, and the pillowcases were also white.

On the left side of the bed, the side Arianna typically rolled off of in the morning, stood a nightstand. A small book and a lit candle rested on the top of the stand. Against the left wall stood a large dresser that held all of her casual clothes. The dresser and the wardrobe next to it, which stored her dresses and other formal attire, were both a light tan color, which blended in with the tan walls. Any part of the wall that was not covered by the dresser or the wardrobe held paintings that Arianna drea. The paintings did not seem to follow any one theme or idea. One was a picture of the Forgotten Lake, a large body of water outside Jesu City. Another was a painting of Sigma and their father talking to each other. Both of them were smiling.

Yet another picture portrayed Arianna and how she envisioned herself. This painting was by far the most unique, as it had two versions of her. Arianna drew the first by looking at herself in a mirror. For the second version, Arianna was inspired by a dream that she had. Instead of bushy, brown hair, Arianna drew herself with straight black hair and piercing red eyes. She wore a black dress with three golden rings that hung down below her breasts. The sleeves of the dress came down loosely until they reached the hem. Both of her hands rested on a raised knee, and this other Arianna seemed very sad, very lonely, but also very strong and cold. Although it scared her, Arianna felt a connection with this other girl.

Arianna forced herself to look away from the painting, to the other side of the room, where a line of bookshelves leaned against the wall. In addition to painting and drawing, Arianna loved to read books. Especially if the book held a legend of Ermith or some other country. Although there must have been at least a hundred books, Arianna already read them all three or four times each. That was the price she paid in return for being unable to go outside often, one of the primary reasons of her pale white skin. Another look back at the picture of her and her doppelganger told Arianna that, if this other girl existed, she was getting a lot more sun, and for that, Arianna felt envious.

Arianna closed the distance between her and her picture. She resisted the urge to touch the painting, for fear of smearing it, even though the pain dried months ago. Arianna merely frowned at it, her eyes almost pleading to know the answer to a question that burned in her mind. Who...are you?

~~~~

I hope you enjoyed reading the first (official) chapter of The Beads of Light! I had a lot of fun writing this. There are no mistakes in the story line to my knowledge (there is a lot of planned stuff that I have that isn't written down, so some might get mixed up). I handled most grammatical fixes myself, but there may be a few things that I overlooked. If you find something, don't hesitate to tell me, I'll fix it as soon as I can.

With this, the second chapter is officially on the way. In the second chapter, we will most likely explore the possible warriors that Sigma spoke of recruiting. He will be guided by Megaera, against his own knowledge. What could that goddess possibly be thinking? Until next time!

Zerifachias
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Re: Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light (Commentary Included)

Post by Zerifachias on Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:24 pm

Chapter Two:
The Princess' Dream


A dark palace, covered in an eternal shadow, loomed high above, with two stone towers penetrating the sky's barrier on either side. These towers were distorted in such a way, that they appeared to corkscrew into the sky, which could make one dizzy just by looking up at them. The ground was a cold, gravelly surface with no signs of plant or animal life. In truth, there were no signs of any life at all, besides the occasional flicker of candlelight from behind one of the palace's many windows.

Two suits of heavy armor guarded the main entrance to the palace, with other immobile suits stationed around, as if preventing wanderers or thieves from entering an undesirable place. And this palace was very undesirable, for the suits of armor would sometimes shift or animate, and at some times a cloud of black smog would escape the black and red helms and at other points of the armor.

The sky above was painted a deathly black, with no stars or light shining down from above. Everything was a pitch-black darkness that seemed to fall down upon the ground and suffocate the very essence of life from the planet. A red mist began to rise from the ground, and with it a putrid stench of rotting flesh. The Blood Moon rises this night, and the lust for death would claim many lives, with the mist stealing away the weaker, more feeble survivors.

A swift onset of darkness, and the scene changes to a bedroom, painted black and red to match the style of the palace. A red carpet encircled a large bed in the center of the room, the rest of the carpet a black color. Upon the walls hung instruments of death and torture. Maces, swords, claws, axes, and an assortment of picks and embalming tools littered the room. On top of the bed lay a strange, feminine figure.

The woman wore a stunning dress, as black and empty as the sky, with three golden rings hanging just below her bosom. The dress flowed down in waves to her knees, where black leather boots covered the rest of her bare skin. Bushy black hair lay against the woman's neck, her piercing red eyes examining every inch of the room.

“Scarlet, oh Scarlet, what have you gotten yourself in to this time?” said the woman to herself. A sigh escaped Scarlet's lips, “you know how father feels about you leaving the palace, and your good-for-nothing brother does nothing but bitch and moan about how he never gets what he wants. You know you can't take much more of this.”

Scarlet shifted her body, bringing her knees up to her chest so she could wrap her arms around them and rest her head, her left cheek pressing against her bony knees. This movement revealed parts of her skin, which was a pale white. If the candles were not lit in this room, it would surely still be bright enough to see just by Scarlet's white skin. Scarlet's eyes betrayed her sorrow and her frustration. These were the eyes of a girl who could no longer stand the torment of an unjust life.

“One of these days, Scarlet,” the woman spoke to herself, and only herself, for who else was there to listen? Who else held the compassion and kindness to listen to a lonely soul that longed so desperately for a connection with something, anything? “One of these days you're going to leave this place, and nothing but a burning hellfire will remain in your wake.”


Arianna woke with a jolt, screaming fire, for she had just witnessed the bright orange flames racing through her vision just before she woke. Almost instantaneously, the two guards that were stationed in the Wing during the night hours rushed into her room, asking Arianna what was going on. They had to ask several times before Arianna could answer them.

“There was fire, it was chasing me, I couldn't...” Arianna coughed for a second, feeling something catch in her throat. She beat back a tear in her eye and took a few deep breaths. “I'm sorry, I...it was just a nightmare. A dream. I think.” But this dream was unlike any other Arianna had had before. The vividness of the colors were too realistic, and she has seen that same palace before, in her dreams.

“I'm okay now,” Arianna told the guards, who were still trying to figure out what was going on. They were rather dense, when it came to Arianna and her dreams. Sigma knew better, of course.

After reassuring the guards multiple times that she would be fine, Arianna finally managed to convince them to go back to their duties and forget everything that occurred. Once they left, Arianna slid out of her bed silently, leaving the covers only half-on the bed. Her dreams were only getting worse the more she slept. It was as if the universe was trying to punish her, but for what? Arianna was not an evil soul. Quite the contrary. Her actions reflected the purity of her soul far greater than the clergymen, who became corrupted long ago during the war with Sar'tu, when they realized the importance of healers in the army. Becoming healers to serve the army meant getting paid by Ermith, and money is just one thing that captures the souls of humans and refuses to let go.

Arianna cast these thoughts away, thinking them to be unbecoming of a pure soul. From her dresser she retrieved a number of ink bottles, a quill, and a tiny brush. She would only draw a sketch, then go back to bed. Arianna took the wooden post settled against her bookshelf and positioned it in the part of the room with the most room. The stool was already there, ready to be sat upon, but before she did Arianna set up a large, canvass paper for her to paint on.

When all the preparations were complete, Arianna painted. She painted the outline of the woman, Scarlet, first, focusing on only the body and shape of the head, which Arianna had seen so many times before. She let her memory do the work, and in a short amount of time, she gave the painting a form, Scarlet lying down on the bed with her head in her hands, her expression rough from the sketching but clearly pictured as anxious. Arianna gave her painting a once-over and allowed herself a small smile and a yawn. That was enough work for now, she would finish the painting in the morning.

A short glance outside showed that the moon already began it's descent into the void beyond. The night was growing old, and morning would approach soon. Arianna decided to leave her sketch up for the rest of the night. The ink would dry quickly and posed no threat to her carpet as it was. Quickly, Arianna retreated to her bedside and ducked under her covers, ready to face whatever nightmares the world prepared for her.

The next morning, Arianna was greeted by two travelers in the King's Hall, which was essentially the throne room, where the citizens would place requests in with the king. However, the king was surprised to hear that Arianna was being requested by two men, both of whom claimed they were sent by Megaera.

To greet them, Arianna dressed in a ceremonial dress, red with gold trim. The sleeves of the dress were tight around Arianna's skinny arms and the shoulders puffed up. She wore her hair back into a low ponytail so that it rested against her bare back. Her dress swished back and forth as she walked down the hall of the West Wing. Many things raced through her mind as she walked. Who were the traveling warriors that asked for her? Why were they asking for her? And why was Megaera visiting so often? Normally the goddess wouldn't visit more than once every fortnight.

Arianna stepped into the lobby pondering these things, not even seeing that she was walking right past the two warriors who were visiting, primarily for her, or so the rumor was. She only saw them out of the corner of her eyes, and that was enough. Her head snapped back to look at them. The two warriors were watching her, but one of their faces was covered by a white and black mask, with only his electric blue eyes and blood red lips visible. He wore a billowing black and white cloak that was fastened to his body with a chain that attached to his waist and wrists. A purple glyph was printed on the backs of both of his hands.

The other warrior was a tall woman with light brown eyes and hair that fell in waves down her back. She wore plated steel armor on her shoulders and plated steel gloves and boots. A longsword rested in an elegant sheath made of steel plates in the shape of eagle wings, similar to her armor. She had a dazzling appearance and an aura of authority. She was holding onto the end of the chain that was attached to the man beside her, as if he were some sort of dangerous pet she kept. Their appearance startled Arianna, she wasn't quite sure what to do. She definitely felt out of place and very inferior, but she relaxed when the woman took notice of her and made a deep, sweeping bow in her direction. The masked man beside her also bowed low to the ground, his chains clinking with every movement.

“Princess Arianna, I presume?” the woman inquired, her voice like a soft, northern breeze. “It is an honor and pleasure to meet one of the royal family like this. I take it Prince Sigma has not told you our names?” Arianna shook her head, unable to speak after hearing the woman's beautiful and gentle voice. The woman smiled at her, “My name is Imidia, and this here is Samuel.” The woman gestured to herself as she spoke her name, then to the masked man next to her.

Samuel's chains clinked together. A light vapor came out from his lips as he opened them to speak. “The light here is exceptionally strong,” he rasped, his deep, smoky voice sending shivers down Arianna's spine. It wasn't a scary voice, Arianna could sense a great kindness from his tones. This was slightly disconcerting to her, she never once met a man like this before. Imidia sensed Arianna's discomfort and her smile grew.

“Don't you worry about Samuel,” Imidia said, “he has a good heart. His powers are very unusual and cause him to be hurt by bright lights, but he is very trustworthy and loyal to me.”

“I am loyal to your father,” Samuel inserted, his electric eyes swiveling over to look at Imidia. She dismissed his remark.

Despite Imidia's reassurance, Arianna still felt Samuel's presence to be foreign and uncomfortable. For one thing, she knew only their names. Arianna had no idea why these warriors were here, and what they wanted with her. There was no need to ask either, as Imidia just began explaining their purpose in the Capital City.

“We were sent here on a three part mission. The first is to come to the Capital City and retrieve you, Princess Arianna. You are needed by your people, as you are the heir to a great name,” Imidia stopped, looking over at Samuel who had started coughing and gasping for breath in a violent spasm. Arianna couldn't help but take a step back, terrified by Samuel's strange behavior.

“Is...is he okay?” Arianna stuttered, looking horrified.

“The light is very strong with this one,” Samuel rasped, still coughing. A sudden seizure brought his hand over his mouth as he let out a final, hacking cough. After the coughing fit, Samuel rubbed his hand on his cloak, smearing what appeared to be blood on it.

“I would certainly hope so,” Imidia responded finally, her eyebrows raised. She sounded as if this wasn't anything to worry about, but Arianna was seriously worried. “If she is the heir to the Sage of Light, then she'd better have what we are looking for.”

“Um,” Arianna started, her mind running in circles now, “what are you looking for?”

Imidia started laughing, “I'm sorry, we must be confusing you. You see, a fortnight ago, we traveled to see the Temple of Light. You have heard of it, right?....I thought so. Well, when we arrived, the Temple no longer emitted the bright light that it is famous for. Right now it is only giving off a faint, blue glow. Which means, someone, or something, stole its flame. That's why we were looking for the heir to the Sage of Light. At the time, we didn't know who it was, but Lady Megaera directed us towards you, Arianna.”

Long ago, the land of Ermith used to be connected to a different, yet similar, realm. To make it easy for both of the realms, one was called the Realm of Light, and the other the Realm of Darkness. Both dimensions served the purpose of balancing the universe, for Ermith was a land of strong magic. There existed no being who was not proficient in the use of magic in those days, when both worlds were tied together. However, the Darkness began to grow greedy, and started devouring the other realm, against the wishes of most denizens of Darkness. The Sage of Darkness became corrupt, and this is how the Civil War of Ermith began.

To make a long story short, the Sage of Light was the person who sealed away the Realm of Darkness and the Sage that presided within the realm. This was accomplished with the assistance of Celestria, the Goddess of Day or Light, who transformed herself into the Beads of Light for the Sage of Light to use. After sealing away the realms, Ermith's connections with magic weakened significantly, and have nearly vanished entirely since then. Few traces of magic still remain, mostly within the royal families around Ermith. Arianna had a talent for healing magic, though she rarely ever saw the need to use it, being the pampered princess that she was.

“We know that the Beads of Light are still in existence somewhere,” Imidia continued, smiling at Arianna. Arianna knew the Beads of Light were still in existence. They were in her dresser, locked away in a case with the royal emblem printed on it. At least, she thought these were the right beads. The original Beads of Light in the legends were mentioned as a powerful tool of magic, with a fierce white glow that could completely banish the shadows of those touched by this light.

But not Arianna's beads. Hers were a gloomy, dark purple color. They were arranged in a ring of 21 golf-ball sized beads, the same number that was recorded in the books that recounted the legend of the Sage of Light. But Arianna believed that these were the actual Beads of Light, in a slumbering form.

Arianna couldn't lie to these warriors. She was never a fan of lying anyway. Arianna nodded towards Imidia and said, “Follow me, I'll show them to you.”

~~~~

Hi.

It's so nice to see you again. Thanks for reading~<3

...

To those of you who didn't read because it was too long...you didn't deserve to read it anyway. 3=<

XD Anyway, this only took so long because of schoolwork and my job and my friends and a whole bunch of other stress-inducing drama that didn't really put me in the right mindset to write this out. But I got it done, and I'm about halfway through the third chapter as of today. That might take a bit longer to get out though, but not as much as it did this one. Holy cow this was a long grace period.

Sorry for the wait, and I hope you enjoyed!
~Z

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Re: Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light (Commentary Included)

Post by Zerifachias on Tue May 22, 2012 11:15 am

Chapter 3
The Beads of Light


Arianna's room was a little cleaner since she left it, some of the servants must have come in and cleaned up. Her most recent painting was still where she left it, on its stand. Arianna allowed Imidia and Samuel in, but only Imidia entered the room. “The light is much too strong for me,” Samuel said, excusing himself back to the main lobby, saying he would wait for their return. Imidia gave him her gauntlets, revealing her pale, delicate fingers. If she were wearing a dress instead of armor, she would have a beauty matched by no one, or so Arianna thought.

“These paintings are beautiful, Princess Arianna,” Imidia spoke, awestruck by the many paintings that lined the wall. Her eyes slowly looked over every painting, absorbing every detail, until she saw the painting behind her, just above the wall. “Hey, that's you, isn't it?” Imidia asked, looking back to Arianna for a split second before returning her attention to the painting.

“Yeah, well, sort of,” Arianna shrugged, “I painted that a few years ago after a strange dream that I had. Most of these paintings come from a dream that I've had.”

“That's amazing,” Imidia said softly, enraptured. She pointed to Arianna's doppelganger in the picture, “Who's she? She looks a lot like you, but she isn't, is she?”

“I only learned her name last night, after a dream,” Arianna admitted, a little embarrassed. “Her name is Scarlet.”

“That's a beautiful name,” Imidia finally turned away from the painting, smiling at Arianna. “So, where are these beads of yours? Let's see them.” Imidia was ready to see them, and that was the point where Arianna began to doubt herself. What if these weren't the Beads of Light? They certainly didn't look or feel like them. How would she confirm that this was the real thing?

Throwing away all her doubts, Arianna pulled out the small case with the royal emblem and opened it, revealing the ring of 21 purple beads. Arianna carefully removed the glass beads and held them out in her open palms. Imidia looked down at the beads, a frown slowly crossing over her visage. She was also doubtful, it seemed, but she never said confirmed her doubts.

“Okay,” Imidia hesitated, then smiled, “We'll take these to Samuel. Let's see what he thinks of them.”

The two went back to the lobby, where Samuel was, just in time to see him conversing with Arianna's older brother, Sigma. Arianna wasn't surprised to see Sigma, but didn't expect him to appear so welcoming towards someone like Samuel, whose very presence seemed to make the air thick with tension and anxiety. Sigma welcomed Imidia as well, when they arrived, and greeted Arianna briefly before asking about the beads in Arianna's hands.

“Arianna, what are you doing with those?” Sigma asked, folding his arms over his chest. Samuel didn't give Arianna a chance to answer.

“Those are the Beads of Light, aren't they?” Samuel asked, almost accusingly as he took a few careful steps away from Arianna and the others. “I can sense power in those beads, little Arianna, a very strong light, stronger than yours.”

“Well, that settles it!” Imidia clapped her hands together, beaming at Arianna, “Those are the Beads of Light,” she concluded. “But just one question, why are they not giving off any light?”

The castle became silent, all except for the few servants still cleaning the main lobby, the swish, swish, of the brooms the only sound. Arianna felt the tension fall upon her, as if she had the answer to the question Imidia asked. Which she didn't. She was just as lost as any of them. The only person who could explain the situation to them was probably Lady Megaera, but Arianna didn't keep her hopes up for that goddess to appear. Megaera was a fickle goddess, and often enjoyed watching the mortals succumb to the results of their failures. As the Goddess of Vengeance, that was practically her job. Arianna knew her story, but didn't want to think about it.

“Well,” Arianna started, “My best guess is just that the beads are sleeping.” The tension seemed to lift a little as Imidia and Sigma's faces relaxed.

“So will you be going with these two, Arianna?” Sigma asked, changing the subject and causing Arianna more stress. She loved her older brother, but sometimes he just made things worse for her from time to time.

Arianna honestly didn't know what she was going to do. Her want to leave the castle and explore the world could be granted right here and now, but these two warriors were people that she did not know. It would be dangerous to go with them with no reassurance that she would ever return. Not only that, but from the sounds of it, if she did go with these warriors, she would be in the midst of danger. Lighting the fire of the Temple of Light would be very dangerous, as the Stairway to Heaven, as the Temple is sometimes called, was literally a spiral staircase inside the temple that reached up to the highest point in the sky.

Imidia noticed Arianna's hesitation and smiled, “You don't have to decide now,” she said kindly. “We may appear to be in a hurry, but the fires of the other Temples are still lit at this point, so there is plenty of time.” The Temple of Light wasn't the only magical tower in Ermith. Actually, the Sage of Light erected seven towers that corresponded to a certain element in order to hold the Realm of Darkness in check. These were Water, Fire, Earth, Lightning, Wind, Ice, and Light Temples. Each Temple presided over a certain area of Ermith and controlled both realms. Some legends state that, where the Temple of Light is, there is a Temple of Darkness in the other realm, also called the Stairway to Hell and is said to hold a portal to the realm of the God of Death, Ulysses.

“You just take your time and make a decision.” Imidia took hold of the chains attached to Samuel and started pulling him away. “We don't want you to make a rushed decision and later regret it, because there is a chance you may never come back here again.”

---------

After Imidia and Samuel left, Arianna retired to her bedroom. She lay down on her bed with her face buried in her pillow. The Beads of Light rested in her clenched fist, the beads almost too large to fit in her tiny hand. Her thoughts raced through the past event again and again, trying to make a sound decision, like Imidia suggested. There were goods things and bad things about accepting and declining. Imidia said that the Temple of Light's flame is no longer burning for some reason, and that meant this realm is in danger of being thrust into an era of darkness. The only tool that could revive the Temples was in her hands, and the only person that could use this tool was the heir to the Sage of Light, which was apparently her.

Some people might be excited and wholly willing to embark on the quest of reviving the Temples, but Arianna knew better. Ermith was a dangerous place to be wandering around. Not only bandits and brigands roamed around the lands, but hostile beasts and other abominations of nature dotted the landscape. And if the flame from the Temple of Light was gone, there was the possibility of running into the Remnants, a race of shadow creatures that populated the Realm of Darkness. They were created by the Sage of Darkness, and when he was sealed away, these creatures lost most of their powers and became known as the Remnants of Darkness. They had another, proper name before, but none of the books Arianna read recorded it.

Even to save this realm from being swallowed by darkness, Arianna still hesitated. Her life would constantly be in danger, and even with Imidia and Samuel, who both looked like strong warriors, there would have to be a constant watch for the Remnants and bandits and beasts. Samuel appeared to have a strong connection with magic, which meant that he must have ties to the royal families of Ermith of some kind. Arianna knew for a fact that she could use magic, though she never practiced any spell casting besides the basic healing magic her mother taught her.

A knock on her door roused Arianna, and she rose to a sitting position on her bed. “Come in,” Arianna said wearily, rubbing her eyes. She didn't realize how tired she was from laying in that position. She might have fallen asleep if Sigma didn't come through the door to see her.

“Hey,” Sigma said, lifting a hand in Arianna's direction. He didn't say anything else, which made Arianna smile. She knew he was forcing himself not to ask about her decision. He sometimes knew when not to ask questions, and Arianna was certainly glad he didn't this time. “I've got something for you,” Sigma continued finally, after Arianna raised her own hand. From his back he brought out a beautiful, sapphire bow with a green string tied around the tips. The bow was fairly short, only about two feet in length, and the bow was literally made from sapphire gems, welded together. The surface was well polished, Arianna noticed when Sigma gave it to her to hold, and was smooth all along the length. The gem reflected the light, giving it an iridescent blue glow about it.

It was a fairly strange type of weapon, Arianna previously thought that the material that a bow was made from had to be flexible. This bow was not, by any stretch of the imagination, flexible. It was made from a sturdy, yet fragile, gem. But when Arianna touched the emerald green string, she knew why. This wasn't a bow used for projectiles, it was a bow used for magic. This was a family heirloom that Arianna had never laid eyes on before.

“That is actual sapphire,” Sigma confirmed, pointing to the bow, “The grip is made from black leather and the string is a type of springy wax. I don't know the details, but the bow is infused with magic so it doesn't break easily, and the string is practically made from magic. This thing was made before our father's time, so it's really old.”

Arianna giggled, their father was in his 57th year, which is pretty impressive considering the average lifespan of the citizens in the Capitol. “It's beautiful, why have I never seen this before?” Arianna asked, hungry to know the answer. There was a place in the castle that she didn't know about? It must be found!

“While you hide the Beads of Light in your room, the Enchanted Bow hides in mine,” Sigma replied happily, looking a bit too victorious for Arianna's liking. She never entered Sigma's room, he never wanted her to. It was usually Sigma that came to see Arianna in her room, which was perfectly fine with her.

“'Enchanted Bow?'” Arianna raised her eyebrows, that wasn't exactly a proper name for a family heirloom. Sigma scratched the back of his head and shrugged.

“It doesn't actually have a name,” Sigma admitted, a little sheepish.

“Why haven't you asked father about it? I'm sure he might have some sort of clue as to what its name is,” Arianna offered, putting the bow down on her lap.

Sigma threw up his hands, “I tried to ask him, but he said he didn't know.” Sigma was riled up about it too, more than Arianna was, at least. The bow had been in his possession longer, so the curiosity to know what its name was had to be brutal, after seeing it every day before he goes to sleep and each time when he wakes up. The children of the king worried the most about such things as these.

At least until Arianna had to make a decision that would change her life dramatically. And Fate was not a patient being.

---END OF CHAPTER 3---

...

Yes, the Beads of Light are sleeping. This has already been decided from the beginning of the role play "Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light." The second one, not the first. LOL. It is, by far, my best story to date. At least I think so. You people are weird, so you might have a different opinion.

But that's not important. What is important is that the third chapter is now up. I take pride in how the story is progressing. Arianna will have to make a decision that could...or rather, WILL change her life permanently, so she must decide for both herself and for the world. Not something I'd want to have resting on MY shoulders. Arianna isn't a selfless person, as I made her out to be in the role play as Hikari. In truth, Hikari and Arianna are the same person, only I'm allowed to move much more slowly in the actual novelization than the role play. You'd be surprised how much of the story we're skipping.

Anyway, I hope y'all enjoyed and look forward to chapter four, where Arianna makes her final decision. I think y'all know what it's going to be.

~Z

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Re: Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light (Commentary Included)

Post by Zerifachias on Thu May 31, 2012 6:53 am

Chapter Four
The Doomed World


The night fell and hastily passed to morning. Much too quick for Arianna's liking. By the time the sun had risen up off the edge of the world, Arianna still had not made a decision. Imidia and Samuel would surely return in the evening to see what Arianna decided. Arianna began to fret, not knowing if she would have made a decision by that point, and what she would say to them. She couldn't ponder on the decision forever. Even if this was a life-changing decision, the fate of the world now rested on her shoulders. A burden Arianna did not know if she wanted to bear or not.

A sudden calm washed over Arianna, making her turn still, unmoving. The Beads of Light lay next to her, as she had fallen asleep holding them. A faint glow came from the purple glass orbs, hardly noticeable in the sunlight that came in through her bedside window. Arianna reached over and picked up the bead necklace, staring at it in wonder. These were truly the Beads of Light, as Samuel said they were. Arianna didn't doubt him, but now that she was seeing them glow for her own eyes, there was no mistaking it.

There was still the issue of her life-changing decision.

Arianna stood up carefully, stretching her arms and back as she rose from her bed. She looked at the newest painting on the wall, the one from her dream the other night. Scarlet was a very beautiful girl, it was such a shame for her to have such a lonely expression. Arianna wondered, if they ever met, if they could be friends. She smiled, she would be more than happy to give Scarlet a friend.

“Lady Arianna,” a voice called out from the hall. It was one of the guards. “You have a visitor by name of Imidia Sacropha. Will you allow her entry?”

Imidia was here already? Arianna began to panic, but the same wave of calm from before washed over her again, a strange sensation to feel happen a second time. Arianna looked down at the beads in her hand. They were still glowing faintly. “Yes, please allow her in,” Arianna finally answered the guard, and her door opened to reveal the warrior woman.

Imidia was wearing a bright smile on her face as she entered, her armor clinking lightly from the movement. She took a quick look around the room, seeing where everything was with a single look-over, then returned her smile to Arianna, who could only give a half-hearted smile back.

“Lady Arianna,” Imidia said, stepping closer to the girl and reaching out with a gloved hand. Imidia brushed some hair away from Arianna's face, earning Arianna's undivided attention. “You're troubled, I can see. But do not worry, I am not here to gather your decision. This is not something that can be decided so easily. You will tell me in your own time, am I right?” Imida smile widened as Arianna nodded her head once.

“Then why are you here? I don't mean to sound rude, but I wasn't expecting you to come by so early in the morning,” Arianna asked kindly, relieved by Imidia's words. Imidia pulled her hand away and back to her own side.

“I never intended to come here, but Samuel insisted that I give you company,” Imidia explained, her voice a little quieter.

“Really?” Arianna was surprised again, she didn't know Samuel very well, and he shouldn't know her very well either, they had only met the other day. “Why would that be?”

“He has a message for you,” Imidia said, “and he wished for me to deliver it. He would not be safe near you. Samuel says that your light has grown strong enough to cause him sickness.”

“Oh, I'm sorry to hear that,” Arianna said awkwardly, not entirely sure how she should react to that. Samuel was a very strange man. Imidia said that he had the heart of someone from the Light Realm, but he often showed discomfort in areas with a high level of light, whether it was an illuminating light or the light of a spirit. Arianna's spirit apparently glowed like the undying fire atop the Temple of Light, or so Imidia said.

The fires on the Elemental Temples were the essence of power that coursed through the continent, and provided the source of magical power to those who earned that right. The fire atop the Temple of Light was supposedly the brightest and the most powerful of them all, so it was no small thing to say that Arianna's spirit glowed like that particular fire. Even Arianna, who now knew that she was supposed to be the heir to the Sage of Light, was surprised to hear Imidia, and by extension Samuel, say such a thing.

“But if I am the true heir, then how am I supposed to refuse to go with you?” Arianna asked, fear rising to overtake her. “How am I supposed to refuse relighting the fire to the Temple of Light?” Imidia held out her hand to stop Arianna before she bombarded her with too many questions. That same hand rested on Arianna's shoulder gently, to comfort the young woman.

“Because it is your life,” Imidia replied simply, smiling. “I won't force you, and neither will the rest of the world. You're still young, you deserve to live your life. It is only Fate that drives you to make a choice no other child has to worry going through. Whatever you decide, I won't allow anyone to take it against you.” Imidia kept her gloved hand on Arianna's shoulder, and Arianna didn't want her to move it away, either.

Arianna looked down at her feet, her racing thoughts slowing down as Imidia's words calmed her. Her mind was made up now, Imidia made it clear to her. If she didn't accept this burden, no one would, and the continent would be doomed. But if she accepted, the continent would still be doomed. Nothing would stop the destruction of all worlds at the end of time, so what did a shortened lifespan matter?

Everything.

Arianna liked this world. She liked the people who lived on it. And sure, there were some evildoers out there, but they were merely another factor of life that made it worth living. All people could choose how they wanted to live in this land, and only they would face the consequences of their actions.

It would be a right shame to deprive people of their lives. Of their choices. Sure, the people of Ermith lived under a monarchy, but even that was better than no life at all, wasn't it? If Arianna accepted this task and completed it successfully, then there would be no harm done to the world. If she failed, then at least someone tried, right?

Arianna looked back up at Imidia and smiled confidently, nodding her head only once. She made up her mind, and it was about time too. Imidia's lips curved up into a grin, she understood.

“Take me to the Celestial Tower.”

~CHAPTER 4 END~

Well.

I admit, this one was a little hard to complete and I'm not very satisfied with it, but I had to get in Arianna's decision before moving on to the next chapter, which is already completed at this point. That being said, I'm not going to put it up for a little while to give you guys who read this thing a breather. I really like how the fifth chapter turned out. Very satisfied. You guys will see that coming tomorrow or Saturday, and I'll start working on chapter six if I can.

Hope you enjoyed,
~Z

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Re: Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light (Commentary Included)

Post by Zerifachias on Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:17 am

Chapter Five
The Flame of Shadow


Bare feet padded the pavement, racing as if fleeing a crime scene. A dark cloak covered a thin frame of a girl, flapping at her ankles as she ran. Her jet black hair, curly and beautiful, was tucked under the hood of the cloak, but poked out periodically, allowing spectators a glimpse of their beauty. Dark red eyes burned with passion, wide with fear that she might be caught.

Scarlet, oh Scarlet you fool, now you've done it. The girl thought to herself, where no one else could hear her. Not only do you enrage your father and your brother, but now this? Only one hand held onto the dark cloak, seemingly with all her strength, while the other held onto a black bead that she could barely keep from view in her fist. Tendrils of darkness leaked out from the gaps in her fingers, threatening to give her away.

The Temple of Darkness was a legend to the people in the Realm of Light. But here, in the Realm of Shadow, it was too true to deny, though deny they try. The pure evil that radiates from that palace of darkness allows demons to roam freely in this realm, killing and devouring the souls of the inhabitants without discrimination. The flame of the temple, which Scarlet holds in her hand, must never come into contact with the temple. The flame must never be lit, lest they wish to unleash a legion of demons from the underworld to devour the world. More than what live in this realm now. Many more.

Careful not to trip over her cloak, Scarlet ran. She ran even when her legs screamed in protest. She ran even after the tendons in her ankles burned and ripped apart from the strain. Empowered by adrenaline and fear, Scarlet ran till she could run no more. Passing through small villages that dotted the Realm of Shadow instead of going around them, risking being seen by the inhabitants. But no, no one has lived safely in the Realm of Shadow since before the division of the Realms. No one chased her. No one even saw Scarlet. No one suspected anything. People often ran when a demon was chasing them, even if the demon could not be seen by any but the runner. No one could possibly know that Scarlet held onto the very thing that was the source of magic in this world. If she knew how to use it, the most powerful tool of magic would be at her disposal.

But she didn't. Only two could use it. The Shadow King was one of them. The other was the Sage of Light. While she resembled the heir to the Sage of Light, Scarlet was not her. She was a doppelganger. A mere clone, created by the Shadow King in hopes that she would inherit the powers of the Sage instead of the other. Scarlet was useless to the Shadow King. Merely a nuisance. An example of the Shadow Realm's futile struggle for power.

Scarlet hated this world. Those who killed for personal gain. Those who counted those kills as just a number instead of a human with a name and a life. This was not the place for a spirit of light. Scarlet didn't belong in this realm. She didn't belong in the other realm either. She was a copy. A fake. A homunculus.

Arianna, I hope you don't hate me, Scarlet thought desperately, her eyes much too dry for the tears that burned with the desire to be released. It is this corrupt realm I live in. My father who created me to be like you. Please do not be disgusted by me, by who I am. I have tried to keep you from the truth, but it all ends to be futile. Destiny never meant for me to exist. You were destined to save the world. We couldn't be more different.

Scarlet jumped over a root that stuck out of the ground. A nearby tree had suddenly moved to attempt to trip her before she reached the dense forest ahead. As Scarlet's feet hit the ground, she gasped as a shock of pain rocketed her whole body from her feet. She had been running for far too long, but she couldn't stop now. She gritted her teeth and pushed herself to run again.

Don't trust Samuel, Arianna, Scarlet pleaded with her thoughts, her red eyes still burning. He is of this realm, not yours. You mustn't trust anyone who shies away from light. They will lead you into darkness, their territory, and devour you. He is a demon! Imidia does not know, but he is set to destroy you and her. Don't give him that chance, Arianna!

Scarlet suddenly tripped and flattened her face on the unforgiving dirt floor. She could feel a tree root wrapping around her ankles, sending waves of pain that immobilized her where she lay, crying out in pain as the tree began to crush her limbs. Mustering up as much strength as she could, Scarlet twisted her head around to face the tree that caught her, her cheeks puffed up, as if filled with air, and blew.

A straight line of fire erupted from Scarlet's mouth, enveloping the mad tree and burning it to cinders. A shriek pierced the air as the tree fell to ash. Now every demon in the vicinity would be searching for her. There wasn't much time left. Scarlet was afraid for her life, but there was nothing else she could do.

Scarlet tried to lift herself up off the ground, but found her legs unresponsive. The tree must have done more damage than Scarlet thought. Or, she had run far past what any ordinary human could, and now her legs would not respond until they've healed. Panicking, Scarlet pulled her hand out from under her, and with it the bead of darkness. Desperate, Scarlet put the bead between her teeth, biting down as hard as she could to break the bead.

Waves of agony wracked her jaw as her molars cracked from the pressure, the hard bead showing no signs of breaking. Determined and desperate, Scarlet clamped down harder on the bead until her teeth shattered in her mouth. Coughing and spitting out chunks of teeth, Scarlet braced herself and moved the bead to the other side of her mouth, where her teeth were still intact. Again she clamped down, doing the only thing she could think of to break the flame, futile though it was.

Just as her teeth began to crack, Scarlet heard the demons begin to approach her. Her own blood was filling her mouth, threatening to choke her. When the first demon stepped out of the darkness and found Scarlet, her teeth shattered again and she was forced to cough out the remains of her broken teeth and the bead that held the flame. It was covered in her blood, which she continued to spit out, but it wasn't enough, no demon would mistake it for anything else but what it was. Just as the demon noticed the bead and began to approach, Scarlet's coughing fit finally stopped.

Scarlet whipped her head around and growled threateningly at the demon, stopping it in its tracks. Her hood was down now, revealing who she was to the demon, and to the rest of the demons that began to appear one by one. The homunculus, whom they were forbidden from harming in any way.

The demons were hideous. They had bodies and faces of humans, but they were so twisted and malformed and rotten that they couldn't be any more different. Sometimes humans turned into demons, most of the time against their own wills, and Scarlet feared that punishment more than anything. A few of the older demons grew horns, and sometimes an especially powerful demon grew wings.

These were lesser demons, only one had horns, but they all held as much power as one of those mad trees that Scarlet burned down. But there was no point in fighting demons, only more would arrive to replace those lost. Scarlet had no magic power left either, though little she used on the tree. She figured that the bead stole her power when she tried to destroy it with her teeth. It was a magical item, after all. It wouldn't surprise her if it stole her magic.

Arianna, my sister, forgive me, for I am a fool. Scarlet could only glare at the demons now, and they soon realized she had no power left to fight them, so they snatched her up and carried her away. I cannot be your friend, for I was created to replace you, to steal your power away. If not for this purpose, I would not exist, and I long for such a thing to be true. I do not want to be a part of this world any longer.

The demons carried her far, very far. Out of the forest, back through the villages, and back to the Temple of Shadow. Probably to return the bead to where it was before. But no, Scarlet could see that they were well past that point. They continued to travel down into the earth, deeper and deeper into the black tower until they were at the very bottom. In the center of the room stood a pedestal with a small, half-sphere indentation in the center. No doubt where the flame would be placed. Next to the pedestal stood the shadowy figure that was the Shadow King. No one has ever seen his face, or even the true form of his body. He is but a shadow.

“Ah, Scarlet, so kind of you to bring me the Bead of Darkness here,” her father, the Shadow King said, once the demons dropped her painfully on the floor. She still couldn't move, only hold on desperately to the bead in her hands. The Shadow King drifted over to where she lay, one of his many tendrils of dark magic wrapping around her legs, her waist, her stomach, her chest, and her neck, tightening and pulling her up to float in the air, suspended by the magic. Scarlet's arms were now pinned to her body, her grip on the bead weakening.

Though the magic wire was very thin, Scarlet could feel her entire body being crushed by the magic, loose enough for her to breath, but not even utter a single gasp of pain or wail of fear. Scarlet's stomach tied itself into knots, the way it always did when the Shadow King was near her. Slowly, her hands opened, and the Shadow King took away the bead.

“Now you will witness the arrival of Ulysses' army of the dead,” the Shadow King whispered with glee, slowly placing the bead on the pedestal and backing away to let the magic work.

For a few seconds, nothing happened. The tower did not tremor, nor did it shake. The bead did not emit its fearsome glow and its dark tendrils of magic. The pedestal did not sink into the floor, as it was supposed to, and lock away the flame. Then, in an instant, all of these things happened, and more. The already-black walls of the tower turned to true darkness, covering all within its walls in a veil of shadow. Slowly at first, then quickly, demons began to appear. These were not lesser demons. These were not demons that walked on the ground with only horns. These were demons with wings and tails. Fearsome beasts with enormous black winds that would blot out the sun and moon from the sky if such things existed in this realm. Only one demon, who had no horns, no wings, and no tail, came out of the portal.

And it was the most fearsome of them all.

This was no human-shaped demon. No, this demon was covered in black shadows and stood at a colossal height. A white spider insignia was planted on this demon's chest, and a gaping maw that showed the inside of the demon's body filled Scarlet with fear.

There was no other sight Scarlet wished she could forget more. The Colossus of Shadow was here, and with it, a legion of Remnants, shadow creatures. These tiny beasts were cloaked in shadow, just as the Shadow King was, but their features were clear enough. They had no eyes, no mouth, no nose. Long claws at the end of their hands and feet were sharp enough to cut iron, and their thin, wiry bodies allowed them to slip through even the smallest of cracks.

Arianna, this is what you are up against.

~END OF CHAPTER FIVE~

I have no words.

-Z

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Re: Tales of a Dreamer: The Beads of Light (Commentary Included)

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