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 Cygnus Falls – A Tale of Chaos

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PostSubject: Cygnus Falls – A Tale of Chaos   Sat 25 Jun 2011, 10:13 am

Albin walked slowly into the large conference room that sat at the center of Edelstein City Hall. The large oak table was long gone, replaced by the ashes of a dead bonfire.

“M… m… master?” Albin whispered, tiptoeing into the room. Being summoned to City Hall was always a dicey proposition for a Black Wing. Sometimes they came out gifted with riches, new powers, and new responsibilities. Sometimes they didn’t come out at all.

"Albin…” The voice slithered into her mind. It was soft and silky, yet filled with a sinister power. Something twisted in a dark corner of the room – a shadow with too many angles, too many dimensions... too many teeth. Then it was gone and a pleasant-faced man in a black robe stood there. He was smiling at her.

Could this be…? She started thinking. The man in the robe shook his head.

“No, Albin. I am not him.” The man’s smile grew broader. “Call me his harbinger if you wish. I have come to ask you to volunteer for a mission.”

Volunteer? Albin thought. Black Wings didn’t volunteer. They did as they were told or suffered severe punishment. She gulped nervously and nodded her head. The man’s eyes twinkled and he clapped his hands together. Everything went black.

She stood in an enormous marbled hall. The man in the black robe was in front of her, crouching over the body of a young woman. He was placing a scrap of fabric on her chest.

“The murder of Queen Ifnia,” he said. “Tonight El Nath will be invaded by a contingent of ‘heroes’ drunk on their own dreams of glory. They will look into the abyss and when the abyss looks back they will shrink away and hide from their own failures. Indeed, they will hide it so well that most of those who fight under their banner shall not even know that this shame exists.”

Suddenly they were standing in the midst of a beautiful garden. A mighty warrior and a young girl stood in front of a broken white gazebo. The man’s face was suffused with rage and the girl’s eyes brimmed with tears.

“It’s a trick!” the man was screaming. “After all this time searching for the Tree of Life, you just happen to come upon the key to finding it right when the Mage’s forces make their move? This coincidence defies belief, your Majesty!”


“Can we afford to ignore it, Neinhart?” the girl said. “The Alliance is fragile and we need all the power we can muster against the Black Wings! My Knights cannot match the abilities of the Explorers or the Resistance. We have never been able to produce a hero like Aran or Evan. If we march with the Alliance now, we will be nothing but a liability. The power of the Tree of Life will make us the equal of any in Maple World!” There was an unhealthy gleam in the girl’s eyes. “The alternative is to admit that the Cygnus Knights are a failure.”

“We are a failure, Your Majesty!" the warrior yelled. The devestation on the girl's face was enormous.

The man’s voice dropped and his next words were heavy with regret. “Forgive me, your Majesty. No one loves you or the Knights more than I, but we must admit the truth. The Knights were flawed from conception. We were created in pride. Most of our number fought for the power and glory that defeating the Black Mage would bring us. Saving Maple World was secondary at best. If we want to match our allies, don’t do it by stealing away a power source that doesn’t belong to us. Do it by matching their nobility of spirit. I beg you, your Majesty. Disband the Knights and reform them along better lines!”

The girl’s face was dark with rage. “Never, Neinhart! To do so would take years! We will never abandon the fight against the Black Mage that way! I will find the Tree of Life, I will take its power and the Cygnus Knights will fulfill their destiny – even if we must do it alone!”

“A wise man, that Neinhart,” the harbinger said. “We shall have to deal with him.”

In the vision the warrior was storming out of the garden. In a flash, Albin saw a brief image of the city of Henesys in flames. A much older Neinhart, his face a mask of anguish, battled rampaging monsters. In the distance a figure floated, a young woman with dark pits where her eyes should be -- the Empress…


Another flash and they were once again standing in Edelstein City Hall.

“Do you understand?” the harbinger asked.

Albin nodded. “I believe so, my Lord. What can I do to help?”

The man in the black robe grinned at her. “Excellent!” he said. “The assault on the Temple of Time begins in two days. You are going to lead it. Fail and you’ll find me… much less pleasant.”






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