Trammel and Felucca sat full in the sky. Around us lay the eight stones
forming the moongate once associated with Sacrifice. Now the stones remained
untouched, permanently disabled by the Guardian's Sphere Generator.
Or were they? The Guardian used Blackrock to redirect the Ether, but why doth I need the substance? My powers grow still greater, canst I shift the very Ether itself at my will?
So easy… almost relaxing… I feel my mind leaving my body… I feel myself floating through the Void… All it takes is a small touch… a small modification…
"Avatar!" Trevor's cry brought me back to my mortal shell. From the centre of the circle, a blue Moongate rose, lighting the horizons.
I looked around. It wast still raining heavily, as it had been since the death of Virtuebane. With each passing moment, the Guardian grew stronger. No matter, for so did I.
I breathed in the fresh Britannian air, knowing that this may be the last time I stood on the soil of Lord British's kingdom. Slowly, I led my companions through the Moongate…
Book the Fourteenth:
We stood in the Shrine of Spirituality. The vast darkness of the Ethereal
Void engulfed us. Upon the central pedestal sat the Mystic Helm, a simple
chain coif. Yet a gold band held an ankh upon the forehead, and a golden
aura surrounded the object.
I placed this holy relic upon my head and felt emmense power coarse through me. Now I wore a full suit of the Mystic Arms. Now I wast ready to combat the Guardian.
I knew how to reach the Guardian. I knew the ritual to preform. I took the eight Virtue Stones from my belt. I placed each at one of the stones surrounding the central pedestal of the shrine. My companions all stood inside this circle.
Raising Draxinusom's Orb of the Moons, I stood before the Shrine of Spirituality. I felt Virtue and Ether absorb me, becoming one with myself.
One by one, the Virtue Stones faded away, becoming part of the shrine. A mystical wind blew around the shrine, blinding us, taking us towards the final battle…
Once again we stood upon Buccaneer's Den, wherein our foes await. Black
clouds filled the air, the wind wailed and shrieked, lightning struck at
a spot near the center of the isle, which we slowly made our way towards.
Another bolt of lightning passed through the sky. In front of us stood the Seven.
"What hast thou to say to me?"
"You seek to disrupt the Balance between the Cross and the Ankh, Avatar. We hath no choice but to kill thee!"
"Why me? The Guardian defiles your Balance as much as I do? Why is it I whom you attack?"
"Tir-Mordreth is indispensible to the functioning of the Multiverse. You are not."
"Know thou not why his race are called Guardians? The four of them are the very essence of the Cross! If they are destroyed, the Balance will cease forever and destroy all the Multiverse! The Time Lord created them deliberately, he knew they were essential to guard the Mutliverse from the ultimate, final Imbalance. You, Avatar, are merely a representation of the Ankh. You are expendable, and we shall kill you if we must in order to protect the Multiverse. Turn back or we will destroy you!"
"Never! I must stop the Guardian!"
The Seven charged upon me, wielding the other Mystic Swords. I deflected their blows, knowing this fight was useless. These creatures couldst only delay me, but not destroy me. I wore the final suit of Mystic Arms, they were but hollow shells. Without wearers, they couldst never match me.
I felt my blade crash through the breastplate of one. It fell to the ground, nothing more than a suit of broken armour. Another fell. Then another. Adrenaline raced through me. So be it! I shall end the Guardian's evil!!!!
The last of the Seven fell to the ground. I recognized it as the suit Shamino had worn centuries ago. I raised the Mystic Sword--
"Wait, Avatar! Slay me if you must, but remember Balance! Do not let the Multiverse be destroyed because of Britannia!"
My sword came down upon the final foe. The suit crumbled away before me.
I know not what possesed me then. I raced across the isle towards the very center, wherein the lightning continued to strike. Standing in the very spot was the Bal Lem, holding forth the Sword of Chaos. The gem in it's hilt appeared full, finally reunited for the first time since the death of Mondain.
The Bal Lem stared at me with the cold blankness I remembered since our first meeting. I drew the Mystic Sword.
"Before we fight, Bal Lem, I want to ask you something."
I received no answer. The darkness continued to stare at me.
"What is so significant about Britannia? Why must the Guardian enter it personally? Do not tell me of the Shattered Legacy. Tir-Mordreth needs only reach out his hand and grab dozens of worlds equally plentiful."
"It is not Britannia the Guardian wants." The ghostly figure replied. "It is you."
"I? I am nothing but a thorn in the Guardian's side! What doth he want with me?"
"What is the Void, (AV)?"
The question caught me off guard. I didst not expect this.
"Space… the darkness surrounding the individual universes…"
"No, you are wrong, (AV). The Void is all, the entire Multiverse. There is nothing that is not part of the Void."
"Answer my questions, foul creature!"
"Where did you banish the Codex, (AV)?!"
Suddenly it all became clear to me. I knew why I the Guardian would sacrifice so much to face me.
"True. The knowledge from the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom was banished into thy mind, (AV)! The Codex, written by the Gargoyles, the ONLY way to stop any of the four Guardians! That is why Tir-Mordreth seeks to face you personally!"
"Then why did the Guardian never kill me, even when he held me in his grasp
as I reunited the Balance Serpent?"
"You do not understand. The Multiverse is powered by the struggle between the Cross and the Ankh. The Time Lord created the four Guardians to represent the Cross. He led the Gargoyles to leave Rhiannon and come to Sosaria. He taught them of the Human Virtues, and helped In-Vas-Wis-Kodeks to write the Codex with the power of the Ankh. Were either all the four Guardians or the Codex destroyed, the Multiverse would fall apart. Tir-Mordreth cannot kill you while you contain the Codex."
"Then what hast the purpose of all this been? The Fellowship? The Blackrock Sphere? The Imbalance? Now this invasion?"
"A test. All of it was a test. Only with the Codex could you survive any of it. As you slowly gained more and more power, it would become easier for your final goal to be reached."
"And that goal is?"
"Enough! Your trials are not yet over, (AV)! Each of the lieutenants wert sent to Britannia for the sole purpose of fighting and dying at your hand, though only I knew it. But now comes the final challenge! Before you canst meet Tir-Mordreth and Ascend to your final destiny, you must face me! Only then can you prove yourself worthy!"
"And if I fail, then the Multiverse will be destroyed, your master with it!"
"No, (AV)! You do not understand the power of Mondain's Gem! When I slay you with this sword, the knowledge of the Codex will seep through it into myself and then I shall transfer it to the Guardian! With power over both the Cross and the Ankh, my master shall destroy the Time Lord and rule over all the Multiverse! He shall become the Savior!"
"I shall not let that happen, Bal Lem! Then this is the final battle, that which shalt decide all!"
"Yes, (AV)! All rests upon this!!!!!!!!"
Another bolt of lightning hit the ground. Neither I nor the Bal Lem reacted.
We drew our swords and paced about each other. My companions raced up to
"Stay back," I warned, "This fight is mine to win!"
Our blades met, and the battle began. I felt a strange sense of déjà vu as we dodged and parried one another's blows. Suddenly, it occurred to me. I'd fought this fight before. Upon the Shrine of Sacrifice, in my dream. The Bal Lem and I had exchanged the exact same blows. If this wouldst be like that confrontation, then I wouldst lose, the Bal Lem wouldst win.
The Bal Lem lowered his blade. The cold darkness stared into my eyes.
"We hath faced one another with these same blows before, haven't we? It shall go the same way, shan't it?"
"You knew this from the beginning, did you not? You knew you'd win..."
I lowered my eyes away from the darkness. It was no use.
"So be it then..." I whispered.
The Bal Lem lunged at me with his blade. I blocked his strikes, but it was no use. The Mystic Sword fell from my hands, I fell to the ground.
"This is how it ends?" I spoke to the Bal Lem.
"This is how it ends." The dark figure raised the Sword of Chaos.
Euphoria began to sweep through me. I began to chuckle, then laugh. It was so obvious! The fools! Did you really think I'd be defeated this easily, Tir-Mordreth??!!
The Bal Lem's blade raced down towards me. I reached forward and calmly grabbed it with my hands. For the first time, the Bal Lem seemed shocked.
I smiled. So this is Tir-Mordreth's right hand man. This is his most powerful servant.
"You made a mistake, Bal Lem. I am not the man you faced upon the Shrine of Sacrifice, for I have grown stronger. I wield not the Black Sword this time, but the blade of Virtue, the Mystic Sword!"
"You shall still die!"
The Shadowknight pulled his sword from my grasp. Concentrating through the Mystic Gauntlets, the Sword of Valor flew back into my hands.
Our blades met in a mighty flash of light. Lightning and thunder struck around us. The storm grew more and more furious. My vision faded away, replaced by a blinding light.
And then it faded away. The Bal Lem and I stood in the same places. Then the Sword of Chaos fell to the dirt. The Bal Lem kneeled over, at last facing death which he hadst inflicted upon Sentri, Jaana, and all of Minoc and Stonegate.
"So be it… I die for my lord, Tir-Mordreth… Go, (AV)! Achieve your destiny! Ascend!!!!!"
A Daemonic laughter began to echo from the Sword of Chaos. The Bal Lem's
ritual was complete. The Guardian had been summoned to Britannia.
The Sword of Chaos rose into the air, Mondain's Gem radiating light. My companions shielded their eyes. We were engulfed…
"Welcome, Avatar. It seems we meet again."
We stood in a dark room. In front of us sat the Guardian upon a massive throne, the Sword of Chaos in his hands. He wore a loincloth and a single sleeveless white robe, untied so as to bare his red chest.
"Tir-Mordreth, I shalt destroy thee!"
"Do not threaten me, Avatar, you are still far too weak to ever hope to challenge me. Come, my friend, we hath more important things to discuss."
"I shalt not be taken in by thine silken words, Daemon!"
I charged towards my greatest enemy of all the centuries. The Guardian smiled wearily and ignored me.
"Please, Avatar, I grow weary of your games."
Suddenly, the ground beneath us shook. Tir-Mordreth and his throne faded away, replaced by the dark one's laughter. A red column rose from where the throne had been. Behind my companions, four more columns rose. The floor turned a dark red, etched with lines and creases.
As I looked around, a horrifying realization struck me. The Guardian's laughter grew still louder.
"All is not as it seems, eh, Avatar?"
We stood in the Guardian's hand. The columns writhed and twisted, for they were but the Red Titan's fingers. The evil one's gigantic face stared at us with glee.
The Guardian was more powerful than I'd ever imagined. More powerful than even the Time Lord.
Still the maniacal laughter filled us. Slowly, the Guardian turned his
hand over. We fell down into the Void, peering up as the Red Titan stared
down at us. His laughter grew yet louder. We became engulfed in darkness…
I landed on hard stone, yet felt no injuries. Looking around, I saw that I was in the same room where we'd been moments before, yet my companions were gone. The Guardian rose from his throne and walked towards me.
"Now then, Avatar, have you finished your foolish display? We hath more to discuss."
I looked down at the Mystic Sword. At least the Red Titan had not disarmed me. So be it. I wouldst let the Daemon speak.
"Say what thou wilt, my nemesis."
"Is that all it is to you, my friend? Art we naught but enemies?"
"Thou hast raped and pilliaged Britannia, Daemon! I shalt not let thou do so to another world!"
"But I shall never have to with your help, Avatar! Do you understand? We could overpower the Time Lord together, and rule over the Multiverse!"
"I wouldst not serve thee!"
"Don't you see, my friend? If the Cross and Ankh unite, what evil will there be? Peace, Avatar, peace from unity of all the worlds!"
"Under thine iron grip, Daemon?"
"What is there after conquest, Avatar? What else is there? What evils could be commited when the world was at unity?"
"Strive for Unity then, Guardian?"
"Mayhaps, my friend. What makes the Fellowship's principles unvirtuous? They provide the people with ease and a lack of stress. Our Virtues are outdated, Avatar. What canst the Cross or Ankh offer compared to this salvation?"
"Why, Tir-Mordreth?!!!!" I shouted. "Why try to turn me now??!!!"
The Guardian looked at me with pity. "Did you think I ever truly wanted you dead, Avatar?
"Avatar, ever since you absorbed the Codex, ever since you held the power of the Ankh, I knew we'd join together. The Multiverse cannot survive forever by conflict between the Cross and the Ankh. They must become one, a single being!
"I used Batlin and the Black Gate so that I could meet you, but you stopped me at the last moment. I created the Blackrock dome so that Mors Gothma could convince you, but you slew her.
"The Imbalance, Pagan, the Seven, the Bal Lem, all was to make you realise the futility of both our Virtues, to know that we must merge to save the worlds!"
"But what of the Cross and Ankh? Shall we abandon them so casually?"
"Of course not. Remember what Mors Gothma said; we are superior to the common folk. It is our lot to serve the Cross and Ankh, to follow paths of suffering. But they deserve better, my friend. Do not think that the mortals will lose their own reason, for their lives shall be more prosperous than ever before. They will not need anything, when we rule over them, when we provide them with salvation from all suffering…"
"And all this… simply from joining you?"
"Yes, it is the only way… Take my hand and we shall become as one, (AV)…"
It was for the good of the Multiverse. It was inevitable. I reached out my hand towards the Guardian--
"Don't let yourself be tricked, Avatar!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
A lightning bolt flashed by as I heard Trevor's voice cry out. The Guardian and I stood on Buccaneer's Den, exactly where I'd killed the Bal Lem. The rain still poured overhead.
"Fool!" The Guardian shouted. "How darest thou interrupt me!"
From the Guardian's hand, a black arrow shot out. It pierced through Trevor's throat. The young fighter fell to the ground. Mortegro and I rushed over to him. Mortegro felt his forehead and looked up at me, tears in his eyes.
"He is dead, Avatar."
"Resurrect him, then!!!!!"
"I cannot, Avatar."
"Do it!!!!!!!!!!" I shouted, grabbing the Necromage.
"I cannot, Avatar. His soul has not passed on to the Netherworld. It has been destroyed utterly. The young Trevor might never have existed."
Tseramed's last words flashed in my mind. My talk with Trevor upon the Shrine of Sacrifice, my realization that the young fighter would die upon this quest. I closed Trevor's lifeless eyes. Slowly, I turned towards the Guardian.
"Tir-Mordreth, the path of Virtue is one of suffering, one of loss. Now this young warrior has died upon that path." Tears welled up in my eyes, but I ignored them. My fury grew.
"To follow that path, to suffer and die upon it, is greater than to ever for an instant bow down to thy promises and live like dogs without souls!!!!!!!!!!!!
"TIR-MORDRETH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNOW MY DESTINY NOW!!!!!!!!!! I SHALL DESTROY YOU, IF IT MEANS THE DEATH OF ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"I see." The Guardian frowned. "A pity, I almost had you. It was true,
Avatar, I would have prefered to turn you than to destroy you. But no matter.
My powers have grown greater with the unification of Mondain's gem. I canst
absorb the Codex from thee when I kill you!!!!!!"
"No, Tir-Mordreth. You under-estimate me. I am the Titan of Ether!"
"Fool!!! You are no deity!!! I stripped most of your power away from you when you returned to Britannia!!!!"
"Never, Tir-Mordreth, never. If it takes the last essence of my abilities, I shalt cause thine death!!!!!"
I drew the Mystic Sword, concentrating all my energy upon the Ether. I felt more powerful than ever before. A golden aura surrounded me, molding around me. I felt my armour and sword shift and change. I felt myself becoming Ether.
"I AM ETHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Where once I wore armour, now I wast garbed in white robes. An ankh was formed upon my chest and legs. I wore a golden helm with a Spartan crest. In my hands was a long staff, pointed at the end with a tiny ankh.
"Impressive, much more than I expected…" The Guardian muttered.
"YOUR EVIL SHALL END HERE, TIR-MORDRETH!!!!!!!!"
"NEVER!!!!!!!! YOU STILL CANNOT STOP ME!!!!!!!!!!!"
I rose through the air, feeling the Ether bound to me. The Guardian began to grow in size and power.
I floated far above in space. The Guardian grew still more, larger than the world itself.
"YOU CANNOT STOP ME, AVATAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Lifting the two moons in his hands, the Guardian began to absorb them into his being, his power growing by the second.
"DIE, TITAN OF ETHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LET US FINISH THIS CONFLICT!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Massive blasts of energy and flame engulfed me. I felt the raw power devastating enough to wipe out half of Britannia.
But it is too late for you, Tir-Mordreth. I remain untouched. Your powers are to naught against me.
"Incredible…" Tir-Mordreth stared at me, awed enough to ignore his impending demise. "I never realized how powerful you truly had become…"
Raising the Staff of Ether, I sent forth golden blasts upon the Guardian. My powers were yet stronger than the Red Titan's, I saw the Dark Lord writhe in pain.
"NO!!!!!!!!!! YOU CANNOT DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU CANNOT GIVE IN TO YOUR HATRED AND KILL ME!!!!!!!!! THE ENTIRE MULTIVERSE WOULD BE DESTROYED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"Then so be it!!!!!! Even death would be preferable to thine rule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"WHAT OF THY VIRTUES, AVATAR????????!!!!!!!!!"
"Julia was right. She sacrificed her own Virtue for the good of Britannia. Now I shall do the same!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I felt my powers engulf the Guardian. The foul Titan clutched his head and moaned. He grew smaller and weaker.
"DAMN YOU AVATAR, DAMN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT CANNOT END LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I SHALL RETURN SOMEHOW!!!!!!!!!!!! I MUST!!!!!!!!!! IT CAN'T END LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
A mighty explosion shook the entire Multiverse. Tir-Mordreth, the Guardian of Falsehood, was no more. I felt myself returning to Britannia, still garbed in the Ethereal regalia. I knew what had happened. The Multiverse would slowly fall apart. How soon would it cease? I knew not. I directed what may be my last thoughts towards she most dear to me in all my travels.
Forgive me for the death of your world…
When I finished Book Six, essentially the midpoint in the series, I said
that if everything went right, the only word in your mind at the end should
be "Wow." Now, at the end of Book Fourteen, which is basically the end,
my words are just as appropriate.
But this is NOT the end. I decided to make Book Fourteen into two books, and only have the first have here. Book Fifteen is more of an Epilogue, resolving the things with Lord British, Sutek, and Arcadion. A lot will be revealed, however, and I truly shall say that you're missing at least 50% of the plot if you don't read Book Fifteen when it comes out.
Onward to the Next Book
Back to Book Thirteen
Back to the Library