I floated back down towards Buccaneer's Den, guilt weighing heavy upon
my shoulders. I hadst acted in Hatred, and the entire Multiverse wouldst
suffer for it.
Gorn, Mortegro, and Inlor-Om awaited me. They stared in awe as I stood in the regalia of Ether.
"The Guardian?" Inlor-Om finally broke the silence.
"Dead." I replied. "Dead forever."
A moan issued above us. From the sky, a figure fell down. We rushed over to the aged man. It was Lord British, ruler of all Britannia. His captivity among the Guardian had deteriorated him. The monarch appeared thin and wasted away, his beard was but a frail mustache.
"My lord…" I whispered.
Concentrating through the Ether, I pressed my hands upon the lord's forehead. The color began to come back to his face. The wrinkles disappeared and the monarch grew younger and younger.
I now stood in front of a young man barely into his twenties. I recognized Lord British, however, more than ever before now. I saw in him something that shocked me as much as any realization in my travels.
Lord British stared at me in confusion. Then his expression changed. He
We both knew.
I felt through the Ether once more. Two silver Time Gates appeared in front of us.
"Walk through the left gate, milord." I spoke to Lord British.
"It leads to ancient Sosaria, doth it not, Avatar?"
"Aye, milord. There, thou shalt be a simple woodsman and ranger for years named Shamino Salle Decil. You shall fall in love with the daughter of the King of the White Dragon and--"
I stopped. There was no need. We both knew.
"And the other Time Gate, Avatar?"
"I shalt throw Draxinusom's Orb of the Moons through it. It shall land upon Earth in the year 1979. A young man named Garriott shall find it and travel to Sosaria, never to return to Earth. You, Shamino, shall give him the name British!"
"Yes!" The lord cried. "I knew this all, somehow! And I shall live for centuries more, quest alongside you, Avatar, and finally die at Minoc, sacrificing myself for Sir Sentri!"
The monarch walked through the Time Gate. I cast the Orb through the other gate. Both silver Time Gates closed, leaving us alone upon the isle once more.
It had stopped raining as soon as the Guardian died. Now it was nearly
dawn. The sun began to rise in the east.
"Avatar!" A voice called.
From across the Great Sea, a powerful mage approached us. It was Sutek.
"Master!" Gorn cried.
"Avatar," The Archmage appeared solemn, "So it is as I have predicted. Thou hast killed Tir-Mordreth and doomed the entire Multiverse."
"Aye, I wish it were no so."
"Enough! This must have happened! But it is not the end, Avatar!"
"Don't you see? There must be a new Guardian, so that the Multiverse can continue!"
"Yes, Avatar, and it shall be one of us! I, the Shadowlord of Doom, or you, slayer of the Guardian of Falsehood! We must fight to the death, so as to save the Multiverse!"
"No, Avatar, we must not let the worlds die and this victory run bitter! Defend thyself!!!!"
"No, master!" Gorn cried, leaping at Sutek.
"Away with thee!" From Sutek's open hand, a Time Gate appeared. It engulfed Gorn and fell to the ground.
"Gorn! Where didst thou send him, Sutek?"
"Away. Fear not, Avatar, your companion faces no harm. Mayhaps you'll even meet him again someday."
With that, I raised the Staff of Ether and sent bolts towards the Archmage. Sutek calmly deflected the attacks.
"But… even the Guardian fell before my powers!"
"Tir-Mordreth was but the Guardian of Falsehood, Avatar! I am the Shadowlord of Doom, and I shall become to the Guardian of Doom by destroying thee!"
We floated through the air, shooting blasts of pure magical energy upon one another. Mortegro and Inlor-Om watched from below. A skiff pulled up below at the shore. From it emerged Captain Johne.
"Inlor-Om! What happens here??"
"Johne!" The Gargoyle cried. "To wonder how you got here!"
"Naxatilor told me to head for Buccaneer's Den immediately nearly a month ago!" The good captain replied, panting. "What is going on above?"
The Captain needed only look towards the heavens and see my battle with the Shadowlord of Doom.
"You know the Archmage?" Mortegro inquired.
"Know him? Why, I consider him one of my best friends! We first met on the Ararat's last voyage. He was one of the survivors as it fell into the Underword, along with myself and three others. My other companions were possesed by the Shadowlords because of me, and I remained behind when Sutek found a path back to the surface. We hath not spoken since. Still, tis hard to believe that he wast also a Shadowlord…"
"How didst thou know?"
"Naxatilor told me of Sutek's past, and that I wouldst find him here. It makes sense now, though. He came to spy on the other three Shadowlords, the Guardian's servants. Why shouldn't he have been present at their birth unto the realm?"
All of this below barely passed through my mind. I concentrated upon my battle. I felt the force field about me weakening. Sutek wast strong. Stronger than Tir-Mordreth, prehaps.
But I couldn't let him win! If he became the Guardian of Doom, all the Multiverse wouldst be in peril once more!
But if he does not become the Guardian, then the Universes wouldst all fall apart and die! What was the right decision? What shouldst I do!
"Enough tarrying, Avatar, thou shalt die now!!!!!!!!"
I felt bolts of unholy darkness soaring around me. I felt Sutek's incredible power piercing through my shield.
No! I must not fail!!!!!
Ether! I must triumph! For all the Multiverse! I know not what shalt happen, but I must not allow Sutek to triumph!
I grew weaker and weaker. I felt the dark magic engulfing me. Soon I wouldst fall to the Archmage.
Never!!!! By the Ether, I must not fail!!!!!!!
"REL XEN IN ORT VAS ORT YLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"What??!?!?!?" Sutek cried.
I felt the dark magic drain from the Archmage and seep into me. The Shadowlord of Doom had lost. The blasts he'd directed upon me wert now mine to control. It was over.
Golden energy errupted from me, forming around the Archamge. Sutek moaned in agony, and fell down to the surface once more.
"I have failed… no matter… now YOU shall become the Guardian of Doom, Avatar, so that the Multiverse may continue…"
The powers of the Cross seeped into me. I was engulfed in blackness, but it did not harm me. Rather, it sided with me, strengthened me!
Why should I not follow the Cross? What is wrong with the Cross? For centuries Earth has followed it's path!
No! I am the Avatar of Virtue! How canst I give in to Falsehood, Hatred, and Cowardice?
Yes! The powers will be mine! I shall crush the Time Lord and rule over the Multiverse, providing peace to all the worlds!
I cannot let myself fall unto this path!!!!!!!! I must stop it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But how?? So tempting… I am more than the Guardian or Sutek or even the Time Lord could ever be…
"Not yet, Avatar."
"The Time Lord is yet your superior! You cannot face him alone!"
What canst I do?? Revoke the power??? But how, without destroying the Multiverse!!!!
"Remember what Mondain told you, Avatar!!!! Do not forget Balance!!!!!!!!!!!"
Why the Cross or the Ankh???? Why shouldst not the two remain equals????
What of Doom or Infinity when both cancel each other out??? Why not contain both with the other?!!
"But you are becoming both the Cross and the Ankh, Avatar!!! To contain them, you wouldst have to contain yourself, thus entrapping you within a timeless prison forever!!!!"
So be it then!!!!!!!!!!!! If I must face a fate worse than death for all, I shall do it!!!!!!!!!!
"VAS FLAM FRIO UUS DES YLEM GRAV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Doom!!!!! Infinity!!!!! All become as one!!!!!
I felt darkness surround me, but it did not concern me. I had more power than any being imaginable, but I couldst never use it, or even leave this prision I had created.
The voice who talked to me in these last minutes: Who? I knew. I knew all that there was to know. But the time to confront this figure was not yet at hand. So be it: he and I shall meet shortly.
Mortegro, Inlor-Om, and Johne watched as Sutek fell to the ground.
"Sutek!!!!!!" The good captain raced up to the Archmage.
"Why, old friend? Why didst thou serve the four Guardians and have to die like this?"
"Twas destiny, Johne…"
" 'A wise man accepts his destiny, but a wiser one seeks to change it.' Those were your last words to me, Sutek."
The Archmage smiled. "You have grown wise, Johne… wiser than I…"
The Archmage raised his hand and pointed to the ground. A red Moongate appeared.
"Where doth this lead to, Sutek?" Johne asked.
"The Serpent Isle…"
"Yes…" Mortegro spoke. "At last, I shall return home! Thank thee, wise mage! Your last acts have been of Compassion!" Without another word, Mortegro entered the Moongate. It closed behind him. Sutek choked.
"Johne… Let me thank you with my last words… you taught me of the Ankh and Britannian Virtues, of life beyond Falsehood, Hatred, and Cowardice. For that I thank thee…"
"May thou be reunited with thy love Faulina in the netherworld, my friend! Goodbye, Johne…"
The Archmage was no more. A wind blew across Buccaneer's Den, but it was not a cold wind of death as before. It was of warmth, of hope.
"Inlor-Om, it seems we are the last ones left upon this isle." Johne turned to the Gargoyle. "Let us return to the other side of the world."
"What of the surface of Britannia, Johne?"
"It shall be populated once more, someday. From Bordermarch, New Magincia, Deceit, humans shall return and find the legacy the Avatar has left to us. How long, I know not. But it shall happen, someday…"
All the powers of the Cross and Ankh, but one thing remains to be done...
"You were the one who spoke to me as I merged with Doom."
"And you were never bound to me after I released you on Serpent Isle, were you? It was all a lie."
"Loyalty, Compassion, Honor, if thou wilt. I suppose you doubt that a Daemon could feel these traits."
"How did you come to be like this, Arcadion?"
"When we first met upon Pagan, I felt something within me. I knew my destiny, to become the Daemon to understand both the Cross and the Ankh. I strived for centuries, and at last I succeeded! But I needed a counterpart, a human who also knew of the Cross and Ankh."
"Yes, (AV)! I let myself become bound to Erethian all for the purpose of meeting you again! I raised the Isle of Fire from the depths when you returned to Britannia! I manipulated both you and Tir-Mordreth so that you would achieve this destiny!"
"And that is why you were the only Daemon not bound to Tir-Mordreth. Did he know?"
"He suspected, but ignored me. He concentrated on gaining both the Cross and the Ankh, but failed, for he could not comprehend Balance."
"Why did I become the Avatar in the first place?"
"Balance, (AV). You knew of both the Cross and the Ankh. Balance."
"But I could not be complete without a Daemon of equal knowledge."
"Correct. And so we have found each other, and become trapped within here. But so be it, it is our destiny!"
"And now that we merge, what shall we become?"
From Truth and Falsehood stem
From Love and Hatred stem
From Courage and Cowardice stem
And From Infinity and Doom
Stem That Which Continues Forever
Yet is Always Destroyed
The Product of Infinity and Doom
The Axiom of Belief, Emotion, and Reaction
"Yes, Arcadion! Life! That is what we will become!"
"Stronger than the Time Lord himself."
"But what of the Time Lord?"
"What of him? He is dying. He knew this would happen since the beginning of the Multiverse. He created us for the sole purpose of achieving this."
"Then we replace the Time Lord, become, prehaps, a new Time Lord?"
I felt myself become one with the Daemon. I felt the Cross and Ankh merge!
"We are one, (AV)!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"We are life."
You know, I'd hoped to write I really good ending, but I think I outdid
myself. This is how the legacy of the Avatar should end.
Now that I've finished the title that I've been working on since the start of this page, I'll take a rest for a while. I'll post my "Future Projects" list pretty soon.
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