I've had plans to do this for ages, but forgot about them and then recently rediscovered them. So now, I treat you all with the fruits of my labor. This is the tale of a world where the practice of black magic is prohibited by the Church of Albedous, the books having been burned and the masters of the art executed. It was believed that all of them had been destroyed... until a young machinist named Crystal finds one frozen in an ice coffin and awakens him from his slumber...
Of all the fiends to come across out in the wilds... why did they have to meet a behemoth? Among the most powerful of the fiends, they could easily crush an inexperienced knight and a young machinist without effort. So why did their caravan have to come across one?!
Crystal Highwind stared at her protector, Sara Garland, with a frantic look spread across her face. "Sara! You're a knight! The route was planned ahead of time! Why is it that we came across a behemoth on the trail... a fiend that we obviously cannot defeat?! Is the Church trying to get us killed?!"
Sara looked at Crystal, and muttered. "Oh, sure... blame the knight in training! Just because my father is the Commander of Mateus' warriors doesn't mean that I should be as good as he is! I'm just as upset as you are!"
The behemoth roared, tearing apart another chocobo with its fangs and claws, while the poor rider's bird screeched in pain. Crystal and Sara had survived this long because the chocobos had more meat on them... but once it was done with them, it would surely kill the machinist and knight just like it did their rides and the caravan they were guarding.
Crystal, no longer able to stand the onslaught around her, made a mad dash into a nearby outcropping in the cliffs, in an attempt to at least survive the monster's brutal attack. Sara, charged with the task of protecting her, followed, and hoped the behemoth didn't notice their retreat.
Sara squeezed her way through the small opening in the rock face, and cursed under her breath. "When I get a hold of the scouts for this one... I swear, I'm gonna-"
She stopped her sentence the moment she looked up. Crystal was standing upright, staring at something in front of her. Sara walked over to her charge and waved her hand in front of her face. "Hello? Earth to Crystal Highwind? Snap out of it!" Then she turned to see what Crystal was staring at... and her jaw dropped open.
There, within the small cavern, was a large column of ice that glistened with the light of gemstones. It was as beautiful as it was impossible... how could ice form down here and not melt? Crystal took a few steps forward and touched it with her hands.
"There's someone in there..." she said, and Sara walked over to see for herself. There was, indeed, a person within the coffin of ice, but he was dressed in a manner that Sara had not seen before in her life. He wore a blue robe with a white scarf across his mouth. He had leather pouches hanging from the sash that held the robe around him. He wore a dark blue cape upon his shoulders and carried a gnarled staff in his right hand. He wore a yellow hat that concealed most of his face along with the scarf... save for his eyes, which shined out from the shadowed face a bright yellow color like twin stars in the night sky. The two of them stood in awe of the elaborateness of the man's resting place... wondering how such a feat could have been accomplished...
Suddenly, the behemoth roared, and began to claw at the small opening that the two of them had entered through. Before either of them could react, the behemoth managed to tear apart enough of the rock face so that it could slink into the cave. Its mouth was dripping with blood and yellow feathers hung from his maw.
Sara stepped forward, sword in hand, hoping to at least give Crystal time to escape, but that was pointless: the behemoth blocked the only way out. They were trapped... and they would die.
Crystal, frightened like a child, backed into the ice pillar, and suddenly she felt a consciousness in her mind... Who has woken me from my slumber?
Crystal turned and saw the man in the frozen prison glow and seemed to breathe. He wasn't dead at all... and he was coming out!
The frozen structure shattered with the force of a small explosion, and there stood the man within the ice, his yellow eyes flashing with power. All eyes were squarely on him, and the man looked at his surroundings, as if the situation he was in wasn't in the least bit uncomfortable.
The behemoth, assessing the situation, roared loudly, smacking Sara aside with its massive claw and charged at the man in blue robes. The man stared at it, making no effort to dodge, and just as the monster's fangs were about to come down upon him, he spoke.
"FLARE!!!" The behemoth stopped, and started to writhe around in pain. It flailed about violently, as boils began to form upon its skin from intense heat... but Sara and Crystal felt nothing at all, and watched as the fiend suddenly imploded, flames bursting from its eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. It fell to the ground with a loud thud, and the two women stared at their rescuer...
He was a Black Mage...