Book the Fifth:


            Kal Ort Por!

            The words echo across space and time…

            Kal Ort Por!

            I stand here on Verity Isle with my companions: Dupre, Trevor, Tseramed, Mortegro, and the Wisp.

            Kal Ort Por!

            The air begins to close in around us. We are crushed by the wait of all infinity pushing against us.

            Kal Ort Por!

            And then we are wrenched out of existance. At the very same instant, we are wrenched back into it at a different point.

            Kal Ort Por!

            For a moment, we do not even stop to comprehend where we are. We simply thank Fate that the Recall spell was successful.

            Kal Ort Por!

            The air drifts away from us, subsiding until we feel normal.

            Kal Ort Por!

            Onward with our quest.


            "We've arrived at the Shrine of Honesty, (AV)!" Dupre exclaimed.
            "Indeed." I replied. "The Stones naturally bring one to their respective shrine if they haven't been Marked with another location." I paused. "Yet I'd thought this Stone wouldst be inscribed with some other, more important, location. Why else would Mariah direct us here?"
            "Tis a mystery for another time, Avatar." Tseramed replied. "Right now we must find our way off Dagger Isle, shouldst it hold no solutions to our quest."
            "Avatar, look!" Trevor yelled. "Several large figures are approaching from the southeast!"
            "Damnit! Arm thyselves!" I cried, reaching for my broadsword. Yet no sword was at my belt. Shit, I thought. The sword had been destroyed during my battle with Aram-Dol.
            Eight figures approached, each nearly twice as tall as a human. While I couldst not see their faces, the build implied Cyclops's.
            "Can't miss at this range!" Tseramed called, drawing back his magic bow.
            "Wait!" I warned. "Canst thou not see they wield no weapons?"
            "What hast the Wisp to say, (AV)?" Dupre asked.
            "Wisp! Tell us of the creatures that approach!"
            " 'Xorinia' detects several projections of entity 'Britannia' referred to as 'Cyclops.' 'Xorinia' further notes that these 'creatures' are not actively hostile against projection 'Avatar' or any 'companions' of said projection."
            By now the Cyclops' were only a few yards away. As they approached, we felt the shaking of the ground at their massive footsteps.
            "Britannian Avatar! " The lead Cyclops called. "We greet you in the name of the Lord Iskander! His asks that you and your companions be brought to his city!"


            "Iskander??" I called to the Cyclops. "Dost thou mean Iskander Ironheart?"
            "Aye. He is the savior of our race. He has found our holy land where we shall reign in peace. For this we have made him our king."
            Indeed. When last I met the Cyclops Iskander, he was on a sacred journey to find a haven for his people.
            "Where is this holy land?"
            "We cannot say. We were ordered to take thee and thy comrades there."
            "How didst thou know we wert here?"
            "Lord Iskander had a vision in which you appeared here. In it he brought you to our city and then sent you away to another place."
            "What other place?"
            "We cannot say."
            "Avatar, dost thou think we canst trust them?" Durpe asked.
            "I believe so, old friend. As it stands, we have no other paths to travel."
            "I must admit, Avatar," Mortegro put in, "that they seem genuine, despite the prejudices towards other races which I grew up with upon the Serpent Isle. None of them carry any concealed weapons."
            "They couldst be meaning to kill us wherever they may take us." Trevor remarked.
            "Avatar!" The lead Cyclops called back to me. "We wish no harm to you, for we know of Lord Iskander's life debt to thee. Decades ago, upon this very island, you saved him from two humans. For that, our entire kingdom is grateful to you."
            "Whether or not those Cyclops' are, Iskander impressed me as just and honorable. Even if they despise us, mayhaps fear of him will keep them in check. What sayest the rest of you?"
            "Thou'rt the one who's saved Britannia countless times. We shall do as thou doth ask." Dupre replied.
            "Thank thee, old friend. And what of the rest of thee?"
            "We shall do as thy command, Avatar." Mortegro responded.
            "Tis settled, then. We shall take our chances with these creatures."
            I turned back towards the Cyclops'. "Cyclops! We shall trust thee and thy race! Please take us to your Lord Iskander!"
            "We thank thee for your trust in our race, Avatar! Come with us!"


            The Cyclops' led us back the way they came until we reached the coast. A fairly large skiff rested there; probably the size for two dozen or so humans. It was clearly of foreign design, lacking the engravments of the bow which often decorated vessels of Britannia.
            "A ship??" I queried.
            "Didst thou think other races hadst not mastered the seas as well, Avatar?" The Cyclops replied. "Lord Iskander most certainly didst not swim to Dagger Isle!"
            "Indeed, thou'rt right. But couldst this boat hold my both my companions and thine?"
            "Barely. The unbalanced size of humans makes them much more inconvient riders of the waves. How thou didst invent these devices remains a mystery."
            Trevor was about to speak, but I motioned him for silence. "Indeed," I agreed with the Cyclops, "all races hath their own views. We often felt thy people too large for journies away from the lands."
            "Too large??" The mighty Cyclops laughed jovially. "Not only hast thou a noble spirit, Avatar, but a sharp wit as well!"
            From that day forward, the Cyclops' attitude shifted from reluctant respect to enthusiastic friendship. For nearly two weeks, the ship lurched uneventfully north through the proud waters. At dawn one day, I saw an all too familiar land approaching in the distance.
            "Durpe! Tseramed! Get up here!" I called. Within moments, my two companions gazed out at the same land.
            I rushed across the boat to the lead Cyclops and asked him the inevitable question.
            "Is that where we're going??"
            "Of course. Welcome to Ambrosia, Avatar."


            Onward the ship sailed towards the Lost Continent. Within a few hours, we passed by the stone heads into the central gulf.
            "Truly, thou didst come to live here?" I asked the Cyclops.
            "Lord Iskander found this place. It is our holy land. Since the day he set foot here, he knew this wouldst be the Cyclops' place of refuge."
            "Why wouldst thou need refuge?" Dupre remarked.
            "While strong in body, our people are few. Constantly we are made fewer by humans, who wield superior arms."
            "Indeed. Often as children we art told that thy people are unintelligent; prey for the skilled hunter."
            "A cruel lie your people tell, then. They created us and now hate us."
            Suddenly, Mortegro fell to his knees and choked.
            "So weak…"
            "What hast happened to him?" I asked the Cyclops.
            "Thy friend is a mage, is he not? Around Ambrosia is a Negate Magic field. Thine companion must be a powerful mage to be affected to such an extent by it."
            "Incredible…" Mortegro murmurred, regaining his voice. "Such things existed not upon the Serpent Isle."
            We were now well into the central gulf. Before us we saw the tiny island with a single tower. It clearly remained untouched since last I traveled here.
            I noticed that I felt no effects of the Negate Magic field. Prehaps I had slowly gained an immunity to it's physical effects. These had been around in Britania for centuries, and I'd been exposed to them. Yet somehow I knew this hypothesis was false. On a whim, I muttered the words "Bet Lor." A small glimer of light sprang up in my hand. Most unusual. I shall have to remember another of my new powers.
            Finally the ship anchored at the shore next to several large wooden buildings. Crowds bustled out towards the ship in a mass of excitment and praise. At the head of the mob, a large, regal Cyclops walked towards us elatedly with arms outstretched.
            "Avatar! It is good to see you again, my friend! I welcome thee to Ambrosia!"


            After our initial greeting, my companions and I were escorted to a banquet hall, where we dinned with Iskander.
            "I must apoligize for our frenzied welcome, Avatar. My people see me as their savior, and I never wouldst have found Ambrosia if you hadn't saved my life decades ago."
            "How didst thou come to this island, Iskander? Britannia knows quite little of it since the destruction of Exodus."
            "Twas not far from Dagger Isle. Not knowing the paths of the seas, I stumbled upon it by pure accident."
            "Tis gratifying to see such a large, civilized community on Britannia, even if it's not one of humans. The realm has truly been ravaged by the Guardian."
            "Guardian?? Is that what they now call the Red Titan I've heard of? What power he must wield to have conquered the humans over less than a decade."
            "Art thy race safe from him, Iskander?"
            "Since thy people fell, Avatar, the Daemon seems to have stopped his attack. If it comes to war, we hath fashioned suits of armour from a rock of this land."
            "Caddellite? It is truly the strongest metal I know of."
            "Indeed. We hath found supplies of it nowhere else. I wouldst offer all of thee suits, but we none art forged for beings of thy size."
            "I understand, Iskander. But doth thou have any weapons, at least? Mine sword wast broken in battle shortly before I met the ship."
            "Do not worry, Avatar. I shall see that thou art eqquiped before you leave this isle."
            Small footsteps echoed across the hall. I looked and saw a small, ape-like creature.
            "Trellek!" I called, recognizing the Emp.
            "Avatar! It is an honor to meet thee again!" The Emp sat down opposite Iskander at the table.
            "How didst thou come to this isle, Trellek?"
            "Alas, many of my people died during the Imbalance. More died when the dark armies burned down all the Silverleaf trees. I am now the only surviving Emp upon this world."
            "As you know, Avatar," Iskander put in, "my people once lived in a cluster of caves midway between the Deep Forest and Spiritwood. Several of my subjects met Trellek shortly before leaving for Ambrosia and extended our invitation to him."
            "I asked this of thee once before. Wouldst thou care to join my quest, Trellek? Mayhaps we canst avenge thy people!"
            "Nay, Avatar. I am no fighter. Now I only wish to live out my life in peace."
            I turned back to Iskander. "I still know not how thou knew I wouldst be upon Dagger Isle."
            "The past night I had a vision in which thou didst appear there. I brought thee here, and then sent thee to an island in the northwest aboard a ship."
            "What island, Iskander?"
            "I know not, Avatar. I hath poor knoweledge of the seas."
            "And when shalt we depart on this journey?"
            "Thou mayest stay as long as thou like, Avatar."
            "Tomorrow morning, then. While the Guardian might not hath found thee, he hunts for my life. I canst not allow thine people to suffer for me."
            "Understood, friend. You shall always be welcome upon Ambrosia."


            Again we sailed through the waves upon the Cyclops ship. As the days passed, I pondered our unknown destination.
            The Isle of the Avatar? No, that wouldst be directly north. Besides, judging from the position of the sun, we wert sailing west more then north.
            At last we saw land sprouting in the distance. A decaying dock sat near the center of the southern coast. We disembarked from the boat, waiting for the Cyclops' to follow.
            "We shall not travel with thee, Avatar. We wert instructed by Lord Iskander to take thee here and then return to Ambrosia. We trust that you shalt find much of use here."
            "Blackguards!" Dupre cursed as the ship sped away. "They wert probably planning to abandon us here all along!"
            "Nay, friend." I replied. "I trust that Iskander wouldst send trustworthy subjects of his, and he wouldst not betray us."
            "It does not matter, all the same. If thou art up to it, (AV), we couldst Recall to another location at any time."
            "Where art we, anyhow?" Trevor asked.
            I looked out towards the center of the isle. A single street stretched out in front of us, perfectly alligned with the longitudes. Several perpendicular streets branched out around it. In the distance, massive hills were toped with a short castle. The buildings about us lay desolate. From their inhuman architecture, I recognized the city of Gargoyles.
            "We're on Terfin, or what is left of it. There don't seem to be any signs of life."
            "Terfin?" Tseramed echoed. "I heard that the city was abandoned; the Gargoyles just disappeared during the war."
            "Indeed. Prehaps the ominous castle built atop those mountains hast a hand in this disappearance."
            We proceeded up the street towards the castle. Before leaving Ambrosia, Iskander had given me a powerful mace. I placed my hand over it, ready to draw the weapon shouldst I need it.
            At the foot of the mountains was a huge double door. It appeared the only way into the complex.
            "What sayest thou, Avatar?" Mortegro queried. "I detect no traps. Shall we enter?"
            "Aye. It appears our only path."
            But before I could move, the doors swung open. Behind them stood a filthy barbarian.
            "Jah! Zis goot to zee meh old friend, ze Avatar!" Gorn cried.


            "Gorn! A pleasure to see thee, truly a pleasure!" I cried. The warrior of Balema appeared to have aged very little, being that he is a world traveler.
            "Avatar, forgiff me for inzulting thee whence lazt ve met. Zince den, I haff zeen vhat Brom haz done to Britannia."
            "Thank thee, Gorn. It was painful to hear an old companion renouncing our friendship." With a pang I remembered Julia, and how she now served the Guardian.
            "Ziz good to hear. In deeze years, I haff traveled bock to ziz island to avait a vay to veturn to Balema, zo that I can help my vorld."
            "What happened to the last inhabitants of Terfin, Gorn? And what is that castle?"
            "I know not avout de people vo vived in dese vuildings. Dey vere long gone vhen I came here. And da castle iz home to my master."
            "Your master??" Did he mean the Guardian? No, he'd said he revoked belief in Brom. Then what…
            "Jah. Vo met him before. Vives up dere. I take you to heem, jah?"
            "Certainly, Gorn."
            "Canst we trust him, Avatar?" Trevor asked.
            "Of course. I've known Gorn for years. While a bit simple-minded, he is loyal and well-meaning."
            We follow Gorn through the doors. I stopped with a start.
            "Wait! Where's the Wisp?"
            We all looked around. The Wisp was not to be seen.
            " 'Xorinia' is glad to have traded information with projection 'Avatar.' " A voice spoke from somewhere. "But 'Xorinia' detects that 'Avatar' distrusts 'Xorinia' and 'its' motives. 'Xorinia' is also aware that a projection which has refused contact with 'Xorinia' resides within a small radius. 'Xorinia' has less consuming methods of seeking information and currently requires more 'Wisps.' In the fashion of 'Britannia,' 'Xorinia' bids 'farewell' to projection 'Avatar' and said projection's 'companions.' "
            "Well, it appears I am one companion less now. Show the way, Gorn. I take it your master is the 'projection which refused contact with Xorinia.' "


            The passage led to a narrow stairwell. Upwards we climbed until we reached the top. A trapdoor opened into a single, huge room which spanned this entire castle.
            For a moment, I was reminded of Erstam's hut upon Serpent Isle. Various strange contraptions lay about in pieces over the floor and several wooden tables. Massive windows spanned the walls. An old, blue-robed mage stood before us.
            "Sutek!" I cried in astonishment. "But thou must have died ages ago!"
            The mage smiled. "I didst not, Avatar. I simply went into hiding once the Gargoyles arrived here. Now that they are gone, I've rebuilt this castle and can continue my experiments in peace."
            "When last we met, thou wert insane."
            "It was but a mask to drive away explorers. I saw no reason to confide this to you at our last meeting."
            "Couldst thou, perhaps, help me in my quest, then? When first we met, thou didst tell me of the origins of the Shadowlords."
            "My helping thee is essential, Avatar. I brought thee here for a reason."
            "Eh??" My companions expressed similar alarm.
            "I gave that Cyclops Lord his visions so that thou wouldst come here, Avatar. Understand, the entire Multiverse is at stake, not just Britannia!"
            "How so?"
            "Avatar, you have spent enough centuries in ignorance of what you truly are. Now, it is time for all to be explained."


            Countless Aeons ago, when the worlds and universes wert first created, they were fraught with evil and villiany. The Time Lord, seeking to remedy this, transformed the most evil of all the worlds into Daemons, and cast them into the lava and firey world of Rhiannon.
            As the worlds matured, the Daemons interbred and mutated. The more powerful eventually became Balrons. Finally, four of the most powerful mastered the use of Blackrock, and became known as the Guardians of Rhiannon, or simply the Guardians. They based themselves upon the three principles of Daemon Virtues: Falsehood, Hatred, and Cowardice. The most powerful of them emboidied Doom; the axiom of these principles. Each also called a servant to be their right hand man. These were the four Shadowlords.
            Through Blackrock, the Guardians soon began to conquer other worlds, and began to fight amongst themselves. Their ultimate goal was to wrest control of the entire Multiverse from the Time Lord, world by world. Upon one world, known as Sosaria, the Guardian of Falsehood, Tir-Mordreth, spoke to a young wizard named Mondain. Mondain killed his father, Wolfgang, and stole the Gem of Immortality, possibly the most powerful artifact of the entire Multiverse.
            Yet Mondain grew power-hungry. He sought to overthrow Tir-Mordeth with the Gem's powers. Mordreth, however, summoned a human with unusually strong magic potential to Earth, where he slew Mondain and destroyed the Gem.
            Do not interupt, Avatar. It is true, Tir-Mordeth is the Guardian who now ravages thy Britannia. He first summoned you here. But I must continue.
            With Mondain's death, Sosaria was split into four different worlds. More importantly, however, the numerous shards of Mondain's Gem each held an exact recreation of Britannia, the continent on which Mondain died. If a Guardian united the Gem and gained control of the true Britannia, he couldst control each of these alternate worlds as well.
            Rahl-Shaka, the Guardian of Hatred, found an ally in Minax, Mondain's apprentice. He planned to distribute small amounts of Blackrock across Britannia to form Time Gates, from which he could enter the realm through the World of Legends, a small part of Rhiannon drifting through the void.
            Tir-Mordreth, fearing his fellow Guardian, again summoned you, Avatar, to Britannia. You killed Minax, thus destroying both the World of Legends and Shadowguard, Rahl Shaka's castle. In the multidimensional wars that followed, Tir-Mordeth would destroy Rahl-Shaka and gain control of Hatred.
            Meanwhile, Mondain and Minax had created the Dark Core, a device which could assimilate life forms for its own power, which would then be transferred to the two mages.
            Carh-Endel, the Guardian of Cowardice, tried to take control of the Dark Core. But it had been enchanted by the Gem of Immortality, and proved too much for Endel. He was sucked into the Dark Core, but retained conscious life. He began to mold the Dark Core in his image, until he became the Dark Core. Calling himself Exodus, he waged war upon Britannia. Tir-Mordreth, preoccupied with his war against Rahl-Shaka, took no notice of this. But the Time Lord, fearing for what was becoming one of the most powerful worlds, brought thee to Britannia a third time, where you destroyed Exodus, forever sealing your destiny.
            Please, Avatar, let me finish. All shall be explained in good haste. Lord British came to rule Britannia, and the Time Lord granted him magical powers so that he couldst summon you to Britannia. British discovered ancient tomes telling of Eight Virtues, created as opposites of the Daemonic Virtues. Calling you to Britannia, Avatar, you mastered the Eight Virtues, making you the complete opposite of the Guardians. What's more, you found and read the Codex of Infinite Wisdom, a tome created solely for the purpose of one day defeating the Guardians.
            Seeing the threat you posed, Tir-Mordreth decided to destroy thee. Having gained control of the forces of Rahl-Shaka and Carh-Endel, he now held power over three Shadowlords: Faulinei, Astaroth, and Nosfentor.
            When one Captain Johne discovered the three largest shards of Mondain's Gem, Tir-Mordreth used them to summon the Shadowlords into Britannia, each of whom possesed one of Johne's crewmates.
            Tir-Mordreth then tricked your companions Shamino and Iolo into bringing you to Britannia once more. Here, he planned to either convert you or destroy you. Three Daemon servants of his forged the Sword of Chaos, which only you wouldst be able to wield. Shouldst you be converted, Mordeth would use you to gather the shards of Mondain's Gem together and place them in the hilt of the sword, which would give him power over the entire Shattered Legacy of Britannia.
            Yet you foiled Mordeth's plans. The three Shadowlords under his command were destroyed, and one of his Daemon servants killed. The other two, Sin'Vraal amd Arcadion, wouldst leave his service soon after.
            Aye, I know Sin-Vraal hast become a Gargoyle, Avatar. But he wast a Daemon in the days when he still served Tir-Mordreth and the Shadowlords. They mutated him as revenge for his betrayal. Let me continue, Avatar.
            The Shadowlords had failed; Tir-Mordreth knew he would have to lead the final attack on Britannia himself. Through a huge quantity of Blackrock and an astronomical alignment occuring every 800 years, Mordreth planned to enter Britannia and personally destroy or conquer it.
            By this time, he had gained enough power to imprison the Time Lord himself. Yet the Time Lord was able to summon you to Britannia, where you destroyed the Black Gate moments before Tir-Mordreth could enter Britannia.
            Mordreth had several backup plans, however. Batlin, who had organized the construction of the Black Gate, had found the three largest shards of Mondain's Gem, which had been used to bring each Shadowlord into Britannia.
            With the Sword of Chaos, Mordreth tried to convert you into the Shadowlord of Doom. But he had not assembled all the shards, nor had he mastered the powers of Doom. Through the combined efforts of the Guardian of Doom and the Time Lord, Mordreth's plan again failed.
            Tir-Mordreth's next attempt at Britannia was through a Blackrock sphere surrounding Castle Britannia. The real purpose of the sphere, however, was as a portal to bring soldier's from a world already under Mordeth's control to Britannia. They were led by Mors Gothma, one of Mordeth's many lieutenants. You, once again, slew Mors Gothma and destroyed the sphere, foiling the Daemon's plans.
            Batlin, meanwhile, was planning to overthrow Tir-Mordreth, just as Mondain had planned centuries ago. Mordeth tricked him into causing the Imbalance Storms and releasing the Banes of Chaos, an act which would end Batlin's life. The Imbalance Storms affected all four of the original Sosarian continents, each of which was a separate world now. Avatar, again it was you who stopped the Chaos Banes and became the Great Hierophant of Balance, ending the Imbalance Storms.
            But you were now isolated in the void, in the reach of Tir-Mordreth. From here, Mordreth banished you to the world of Pagan, which he had long since conquered. While you were trapped here, he led armies of Daemons and undead through Britannia, ravaging the world and destroying all. Mordreth's power grew; he was now simply the Guardian. With his new powers, the Guardian destroyed the Guardian of Doom and finaly controled all of the Daemonic Virtues.
            You, on the other hand, gained the powers of Ether, from which you couldst modify Blackrock just like the Guardian. Now, at last, you are both perfect equals in abilites. The stage is set for your final battle. If you lose, Avatar, the entire Multiverse shall fall to Tir-Mordreth. If you win, you shall ascend beyond the Time Lord himself.


            "And how dost thou know all this?" I asked Sutek.
            "Because I am the fourth and final Shadowlord, the true Shadowlord of Doom, the last noble servant of the Guardian of Doom."
            "What??!!" I cried, drawing my mace.
            "Put away thy weapon, Avatar. I never meant thee harm. My master sent me here to tell you the secret of destroying Shadowlords so that you couldst triumph over Tir-Mordeth. I have remained here all these years so that I couldst one day tell thee of thy destiny."
            "Well then, now what?"
            "I shall remain here, Avatar, shouldst ever we meet again, which I indeed suspect we shall. My assistant, Gorn, shall also be all too glad to join you on your quest. And when you are ready, I shall blink you to the Isle of the Avatar."
            "So that you canst seek out the Gargoyles! Do not think I told you everything, Avatar. You know the basics, but still have much to learn of your true fate."
            We were still silent after Sutek's incredible tale. At last I broke the silence.
            "Do what thou wilt, mage."


            Gorn joined my party, and we divided up our supplies with him. He wore swamp boots, plate armour, leggings, and arm guards, gauntlets, and a spiked helm. He was armed with a broadsword and a spiked shield.
            At last we stood ready upon the shore. Arcane words spouted from Sutek's mouth. Light seemed to explode around us.
            And then we were gone. We stood upon the Isle of the Avatar. In front of us were the statues of the Guardians. Guardians? Couldst there be some connection?
            Maniacal laughter echoed about us, stemming from the very air. Tir-Mordreth. Now I know thy name, Guardian.
            Still the laughter continues. This land reeks of his presence. Here I shall combat him! Here, prehaps, I shall end his evil, once and for all!

Achieve thy Destiny!

-Sutek, Mage of Terfin

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