(Originally posted by Xeranad on Tue Aug 04, 2009)
Escartes Town - Castle Gates
Aria sat down, waiting for the others to get ready to go. Which reminded her of something...
"Where has Click gone off to? I haven't seen him since yesterday afternoon... I do hope nothing bad happened to him."
Aria sighed. "What am I saying? 'I hope nothing bad happened to him'? He's an effin' hero, for God's sake! Why should I worry about his safety? It's obvious he can take care of himself... just everyone else can... and that's all that matters."
Aria grabbed her knees. "Still... it'd be nice if he told us what he was going to be doing... I don't like feeling unsure of what's going on... makes me feel... insignificant."
Spire of Kandrakar - Stygian Chamber
Xeranad walked in to the chamber. To his discomfort, the court mage, Katalina de Firenze, was there... but then again, where else would she be other than that gaudy funhouse she created in the ruins of the Titan's Capital? The one with all the voodoo dolls and the mirrors... usually pitch black... it was enough to make even the Stygians want to run away.
Speaking of which, it was that precise moment tha Kojiro entered the room. "My lord." Kojiro bowed before his master.
Xeranad waved his hand dismissively. "Please, Kojiro. How long have we known each other? Just call me by my name. You can stop with this, 'My lord', crap. It actually makes me a little nervous."
Kojiro nodded. "As you wish, my lo- I mean, Xeranad."
Xeranad smiled. "That's better. Now, how did the attack on the elven outpost go?"
Kojiro stood up. "It went as well as you had hoped. The outpost has been taken from the elves, and many of them have returned to the earth." Kojiro looked around, as he had never been in here before. "Xeranad, may I ask you a question?"
Xeranad turned to Kojiro. "You may."
Kojiro scratched his head. "I don't know exactly how to put this, but... where exactly are we? And what is the purpose of this place?"
Xeranad laughed. "I never told you? Well, it is here that our Stygians are made. This is also where we raise them before they are turned into their Stygian selves."
Kojiro was confused. "What does that mean?"
Xeranad raised his hand and did a 'come this way' motion. "Perhaps it is best if I show you what I mean." He directed Kojiro toward the edge of the balchony.
What Kojiro saw horrified him. "Are those... human children?"
Xeranad nodded. "All of them orphans or children of abusive families. I took them into my care, and gave them each a new life... a life as one of my children. They learn to fight, to strategize, to prioritize... I teach them everything that makes a soldier. Then, I add my own personal touch of magic."
Kojiro shook his head in disbelief. "How is this even possible?"
Xeranad put his hand on Kojiro's shoulder. "Do you know how the orcs came into existence? They were once elves, tainted by the dark powers, tortured into a hideous form. I merely took that same principle and applied it to humans... but for some reason, it doesn't work on adults. If I did the same process to them, all that would happen is a charred smudge. Not something useful at all. I know this may seem like a lot to swallow, but this is a necessary evil if we are to accomplish our goals."
Kojiro sighed. "Forgive me, Xeranad. I doubted your character just now. I hope you can forgive me. If anything, I realize you are doing these poor children a favor... you're giving them hope, a life, and a purpose. I'm sorry again for doubting you."
Xeranad smiled. "You are forgiven, Kojiro. I would have probably done the same." With that, they walked out, leaving Kata in the room.
Kata smiled. "I wonder if I should go down and play with the children... after all, nothing is more fun than to have a clown laugh in your face..." Kata laughed maniacally as she finished her sentence.
Hyperion waited for Conrad to show up. When Conrad came through the door, he smiled.
"Great. Now off we go!" Hyperion stated. Conrad raised an eyebrow in confusion.
"What exactly are you say-" Conrad began, but just then a bright flash of light appeared and blinded Conrad. When the light vanished, he saw that they were no longer in Hadafang, but right at the front steps of an old, decrepit mansion.
Hyperion smiled. "After you. There's someone inside I bet you'll recognize."