Bound to Honor (Solo Quest)

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Bound to Honor (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/30/2012, 2:10 pm

Pendulum Room

Hard Quest

Requirement: Must have completed Guardian's Trial.

Reward: 1,500 zeni and +1,400 bonus XP.

After completing his trial, Kami takes you to the Pendulum Room. It takes you back in time to face a an ancient villain, more powerful than yourself. You must survive this encounter to reap the rewards of Kami's special training.

Dread wrote:John’s latest nightmare began with a green flash that cast him out from the Pendulum Room and flung him back into the past. He had agreed to the experience only after it had been explained, in detail to him, by Kami. The guardian assured him the experience would benefit him greatly and that nothing should go wrong. He had long since tired of being rushed into painful situations without any prior explanation. “Coach”, Korin, and Mr. Popo all had one thing in common. They seemed to take great pleasure out of issuing John a series of unpleasant surprises.

The journey took no time at all, but the destination severely disoriented him. He found himself lying flat on his back on a smooth marble floor that looked as though it had been recently waxed. He looked around and noticed pillars standing tall several feet from him to his left and to his right. They and the walls appeared plated in gold, which helped magnify the light provided by sconces whose fires burned brilliantly. Gold candelabras hung high above him, providing some additional light with their many candles.

He stood up and looked forward; in the distance, he spotted a low set of stairs that had been carved from marble just as the floor leading toward them had. A stone block the height of a child and the length of a full grown adult resided at the top of the stairs. Closer inspection revealed that it had been cleanly cut into equally measured quarters. He saw that its edges had been ground down to smoothness so that they dipped down somewhat.

John stepped forward merely out of curiosity; he ascended the steps and examined the block. What looked like an empty wading pool, made from the same substance as the block, surrounded it. John peered down into it and immediately identified the rust-colored stains that ringed its edges and splotched it in other areas.

The realization of what he was looking at and where he was suddenly struck him. The block was an altar used for sacrifices; given the surrounding beauty, he could only surmise that he stood within a temple dedicated to some god unknown to him. He walked away from the altar, hoping that only animals had been slaughtered to honor something that existed only in name.

He neared one of the walls, drawn to it by its beauty. He needed something to distract him from the bloodied pool. He noticed engravings along the wall, but the meanings behind them eluded him. Were they stories, scriptures, warnings, laws, or something else?

A pair of massive doors creaked loudly within the temple at the end opposite to its altar. John knew that he was meant to encounter a being whose power surpassed his own because Kami had generously briefed him on the particulars of his trial. He instinctively hid behind the pillar closest to him and kept his power level to an absolute minimum in case those who approached could sense energy.

He cautiously peered around the corner of the temple to keep his eyes on the temple’s visitors. He considered the option of a sneak attack to be over and done with the whole affair, but he could not risk exposing himself in the likely even he targeted the wrong individual. He only needed to survive, after all; neither Kami nor Mr. Popo said anything about an assassination.

John noticed two burly men wearing what appeared to be leather armor. They each featured short red capes and a small sword sheathed at their left hip. John observed that they had been responsible for opening the doors to admit a party of three additional figures entrance into the temple.

The armed men must have been guards, John realized. That also meant that he was trespassing unintentionally. How sacred did the locals consider the temple? John could easily imagine that guards were needed to protect the gold contained within from thieves, but was that the only reason for their employment? Had he defiled the temple in some way, according to local custom, with his presence? He had to assume the worst and that he currently risked a death sentence if he was discovered and captured.

The people admitted inside stood side-by-side; the figure on either side of the one in the middle wore red cloaks and robes that concealed most of their features. The robes threatened to trip them up, which was probably why they walked so slowly. Either that or they stepped cautiously in severe reverence to the deity represented by the temple. Their sleeves hung down all the way to their thighs, hiding their hands along with whatever they might be carrying.

They wore cloth bags of the same color as their clothing over their heads instead of hoods as though it was a sin for mortal eyes to peer inside the temple. John looked back at the guards and noticed, for the first time, they concentrated their attention on the ground before them. If that was the case then how was it that people managed to light the torches and all the chandeliers?

The person in between the red robed figures appeared in contrast to her escorts. She featured blond hair that visibly glittered, suggesting someone had treated it with gold shavings. She wore absolutely nothing except for the sandals on her feet; John immediately blushed at viewing the girl as exposed as she was. He looked away for an instant when a thought occurred to him. Perhaps it was not the temple that the guards and robed figures refused to look at. What also took John by surprise was her age; she could not have been a day over thirteen years of age!


Last edited by John Dark on 8/31/2012, 2:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Bound to Honor (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/30/2012, 3:46 pm

Dread wrote:The red robed figures and the girl walked forward; the girl stared directly ahead of her, but there was only one noticeable feature in that direction. They were headed straight for the altar! John tried to calm down; perhaps things were not as bad as they appeared. Perhaps he was jumping to conclusions. He needed to remain hidden and he needed to survive at all costs! John waited and watched. The three ascended the steps; the girl, of her own volition and to John’s surprise, climbed onto the altar and rested her body flat against its segmented surface. This prices is too much, I can’t hide and do nothing! John stayed put despite that thought; fear, he had hoped he had conquered by then, made him hesitate.

The two robed figures took positions on either side of the girl and just at the edges of the empty pool before them; it would not remain empty for long if things continued as they seemed. The figure nearest the girl’s head placed their robed arms over her shoulders; probably to keep her in place in case she remembered to be afraid of these creeps. The other one circled around the altar; whoever it was, they raised their right arm. The adjoining sleeve of their robe slipped down to their shoulder and revealed a dagger, gold like all else within the temple, clutched in the figure’s hand. “NO!” John screamed as he abandoned his hiding place.

He pointed either of his index fingers, like barrels of a pair of guns, at the robed figures. He issued two simultaneous beams from his fingertips and struck both of his targets in their heads. Narrow streams of blackness went through the front of their hoods and quickly emerged from the backs. Having had their brains fried, both figures crumpled lifelessly to the floor. The girl sat up and screamed, which proved to be the absolutely worst thing she could have done at that moment.

The guards’ heads snapped toward her; they observed the two robed figures in their present unhealthy state. Both then set their sights on John. They shouted something unintelligible to John then both ran toward him. They quickly drew their swords, clearly intent on doing him harm. “Please don’t make me kill you,” John said, exasperated by their behavior.

The guards ignored him, did not understand English, or both possibilities applied to the situation. John shrugged then jumped over them; they continued forward as he drifted through the air. He may not have been fast, but John proved several times speedier than any normal man. He landed directly behind them just as they stopped, finally noticing his disappearance. He seized both men by their sword arms then began to spin. After a few rotations, he released the guards and allowed them both to crash into pillars parallel to one another. Neither of them stood back up and John hoped he had only knocked them unconscious; he hated unnecessary deaths.

He walked toward the girl; she stood up from the altar and back away from him. She babbled in a language no human had heard in many millennia. John stopped in front of one of the dead robed figures and set about stripping the corpse of its robe. When he finished, he revealed the robed figure to be an old, bearded, and bald man. Had he and his partner been priests? This just keeps getting better and better. John thought sarcastically to himself.

The girl was obviously unwilling to go anywhere with him and he did not blame her. He had intruded upon some kind of holy establishment, killed what probably amounted to two sacred priests, and incapacitated the guards who had been commissioned with the duty to protect all those things. And now it appeared he meant to steal away some virgin who had been intended as a sacrifice and she had probably been brainwashed to believe it the highest of all honors.

John ran toward her, she tried fleeing from him, but he caught her quickly enough and forced the robe onto her. She screamed again and tried fighting off the article as though it contained poison. John resorted to wrapping it around her torso and legs then tying it wherever he could into knots he thought secure; he had never been to any kind of scout meeting to learn tying knots.

He might have been willing to break well over a dozen local laws, but he would not carry around a naked girl. He would carry her even if she kicked and screamed, but not without something to cover her. “Time to go,” He told her as he slung her over his shoulder; he then flew off toward the entrance that remained open thanks to the temple guards.


Last edited by John Dark on 8/30/2012, 6:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Bound to Honor (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/30/2012, 6:06 pm

Dread wrote:What am I going to do with the girl? He asked himself as he neared the temple doors. This was not part of the plan! I was just supposed to fight someone stronger than myself and live. John found some comfort in the fact that the girl had stopped squirming. Wait, when had that happened?

He thought back and realized she had ended her struggles as soon as they left the ground. She had never flown before. Given his current surroundings and the few locals he had encountered so far, John realized that he had been sent back to a time period in which people still considered flying impossible if the thought of flight even ever crossed their minds.

Was she frightened? That was a stupid question to ask! He recalled a time when he had been carried through the air against his own will and without any explanation. It had been when “Coach” had his assistants transport him to his training grounds; John had nearly died that very same night. “I know how you feel,” He told her even though she would not understand him. “I am sorry for scaring you, but I couldn’t let you die like that.” He said just as they passed through the temple entrance.

John encountered a sunlit land on the outside. He observed several stone buildings in the distance. He also saw thatched cottages beyond that which he assumed was the business district of the city. Many of the hovels appeared lopsided as though built by unskilled hands or subjected to too many harsh storms. Grassy fields and thick forests lay beyond the residences of the impoverished citizens. None of these things shocked John, however, especially after all he had seen of the place already.

A covered litter (a wheel-less mode of transportation used in ancient times for royalty and nobility) rested just beyond the temple doors. It must have been carried by the priests, whom John had killed, to transport the girl, ensuring no one would see her. He flew over it and then stopped just above the enormous stone staircase that led from the bowels of the city and up to the temple.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people had gathered in what looked like a dirt-covered town square. Had they all come on account of the human sacrifice? Countless dirty faces stared up at him in awe for only a few moments. They all then began to bow at him. He gaped at their reaction in clear surprise. Why were they kneeling? He scratched his head, confused. Some seconds passed until he finally grasped the obvious answer.

Most, if not all, of the ancient city’s population had just witnessed a man fly out from a temple; something that served as a sacred sanctuary for a deity. The flying man continued hovering high above them, which served as a miracle in their eyes and an affirmation of their perishable beliefs. The concept of flying was many millennia ahead of these people’s time. They viewed John as a god and presently revered him as such.

He landed at the top of the steps and gently set the girl down. She averted her gaze from him and immediately attempted to bow as soon as he had given her the chance. The robe fastened tightly around her restricted her movements; she easily overbalanced and nearly toppled over. John caught her in his arms and stared at her in silence, but she would stare only at the ground while in his presence. This is wrong. He thought to himself. My being here is wrong. This whole situation is just plain wrong!

Nothing about his circumstances was what he had expected to encounter from the Pendulum Room’s magic. He did not want the attention of an entire city. How was he to hide from whatever threat it was that he needed to survive? He tried to formulate a solution, but he came up empty.

He eventually settled on attempting to do the right thing in accordance with his way of thinking. He untied the robe that kept the girl bound then took her chin in his hand and lifted her head so that their eyes met. She made no resistance against his will. He smiled at her because he knew of no other way to make himself understood to her. If she and all her friends wanted to think him a god, he would at least let her think she had earned a god’s favor so that she would not make any future attempts at suicide.
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Re: Bound to Honor (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/30/2012, 7:21 pm

Dread wrote:John’s worries manifested into the very reality he had hoped to avoid; he sensed an immense power source that far exceeded his own. He thought it impossible, but the power he detected eclipsed that of “Coach”, his teacher of all people! He looked to the sky, forgetting the girl for a moment; he found himself capable of focusing only on one thing and that was survival. He frantically looked around for a place in which to hide away. He immediately settled on hurrying into the city. People might follow him at first, but he could easily lose them.

He ran down the first steps, abandoning the girl, but he had attempted his escape too late. The being he had sensed not long ago landed almost directly in front of him. John found himself facing a man of immense muscular proportions. He towered over John by some feet in height; they saw eye to eye during that moment only because John stood some steps above the stranger. In appearance alone, he was almost as intimidating as the power John felt issuing out from him.

He wore a massive fur coat, but it was unlike any article of clothing John had ever seen. Someone had skinned several wolves then sewn all their pelts together to create a coat large enough to fit the man. John saw lifeless eyes, petrified teeth, empty paws, and motionless tails that must have belonged to the members of several packs. Among the endless wolf features was that of an enormous bear; the man wore its toothless head over his own scalp as though to declare his supremacy over the wild. John did not doubt his power.

The man sported neither weapons nor armor; he did not even wear sandals! He took the final few steps up toward John with his bare feet. A closer look revealed he had deeply bronzed skin as though he had spent much of his life in the desert. Had he trained in the wilderness as John had to obtain his power? Had he personally hunted down the animals needed to make his coat? John attempted to back away from him, but the giant seized him and held him still by grabbing his head with one massive hand. The base of his palm covered John’s eyes and his fingertips reached the back of the teen’s head.

The giant’s hand rapidly heated until it began to scorch John’s skin and cause his hair to smoke. John issued a scream, but no one came to his aid. Clearly his newly acquired status as a god paled in comparison to the rank of the giant. It seemed pitiful to think anyone could help free him from the scalding hand that tormented him. At long last, the giant released him; John fell to his knees and pressed his hands against the step in front of him to keep himself from tumbling; he trembled violently from his most recent torment.

“It pleases me to see you have found your rightful place,” The giant said, “At the feet of the God King Eremis!”

John gazed up into Eremis’ eyes in surprise. “You can speak English? How?” He asked.

“I have made your knowledge my own, John Dark of South City,” Eremis replied. “You come from the distant future to test your strength against mine. You hope besting me will grant you the power to kill your master. You honestly believe that his death will mark the end of your life of oppression and make all your precious dreams of family and home come true." He paused to observe John's expression of absolute disbelief. "You have a weak heart and that makes you a weak man. You’re challenge is laughable. Make no mistake, John Dark; not even your pitiful guardian, Kami, can save you now!” He laughed at the expression of horror that swamped John’s features.

This is wrong! How can he possibly know these things? This was just supposed to be a test. He’s not supposed to know who I am or where I’m from, or how I got here! John frantically thought to himself. “Would you like to have me spill your blood here?” Eremis softly asked.

“You can’t, these people believe I’m a god. What would they think if you just killed me?” John replied.

“These people can do nothing against me; it matters not what they think. But if you really wish to know then I will tell you,” He paused and continued to smile as though he had a secret he could not wait to share. “They would think that their God King Eremis laid a false god to waste.” He burst into more laughter after he had delivered that horrifying revelation unto John.

“But, we aren’t gods, neither of us.” John pointed out as he stood up; he made a mistake in doing just that.

Eremis punched John in the gut, emptying his lungs. Winded, John wheezed and dropped back down onto his knees. “You must never forget to bow in my presence,” Eremis scolded, but he grinned as though enjoying a children’s game. “You entertain me; you are not like the cattle that have bored me as of late.” He gestured toward the girl at the top of the stairs.

“Cattle? You mean the people, right?” John whispered, incapable of speaking any louder.

“People? Cattle? What is the difference between the two?” Eremis enquired. “Both are insignificant and are meant only to serve gods like me and maybe even you.”

“Are you the one behind what goes on in that temple?” John asked.

“Of course!” Eremis replied. “It is the law of the God King for his subjects to offer up the blood of a young virgin. They strengthen their belief in me by choosing to spill the blood of their own. It also keeps them stupid and watching them kill one another in my name always makes for a good laugh.” He issued more of his cruel laughter as though to make his point; John’s anger was clearly visible to him and it cut his laughter short.

“Do not think you can defeat me. You know my power better than any of the fools who worship me. Instead of trying to fight me, you should accept my offer.” He spoke seriously.

John wanted to believe that his knowledge of Eremis’ power made him the most qualified to kill him. The way he treated people and spoke about them infused him with an icy rage that he could hardly contain. Instead of lashing out at the supposed God King, he restrained himself as he slowly asked, “What offer?”

"I offer you the chance of becoming a god," Eremis replied with a knowing grin.


Last edited by John Dark on 8/31/2012, 4:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Bound to Honor (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/31/2012, 12:53 pm

Dread wrote:John begrudgingly accepted his proposal; refusal would have cost him his life. The God King Eremis immediately set about assigning him tasks of a humiliating and public nature. Afterward, the people continued to consider John a god, but their king had made him their god of amusement.

John certainly failed to understand their language and whenever he tried communicating with the people, they simply laughed at him as though he deliberately spoke gibberish. He understood only two things that ever came out of the mouths of the people. Those words were Eremis, the name of their supreme ruler, and Praxxer, the name of a god that Eremis had bestowed upon him.

John’s first assignment was to spend an entire day wallowing in the mud among pigs owned by a local farmer. He also had to dress in a pig costume provided by a tailor who specialized in providing wear for local entertainers. Many people visited the pen after an announcement had been made by one of Eremis’ men of where to find their new god.

A crowd quickly formed and burst with people eager to gawk at Praxxer, the god of amusement. John tried his best to ignore the spectators and spent his time lying on his back, staring into the sky and watching the sun's progression. People tossed dirt clods at him rather than rotten food; he supposed some people were too desperate for nourishment to throw anything out even long after expiring.

He did not react. The people who taunted him were innocent; he reserved most of his resentment for Eremis. Come see the freak. John thought to himself. Come one and all to see the crazy god. He’s certain to make for a good distraction from all your suffering under Eremis’ rule.

John ground his teeth, especially as people laughed at him and shouted in their nonsensical language. Ignoring them proved far more difficult than he had anticipated. He wondered why he even bothered to endure such mistreatment. Had he not tired of serving oppressors like Eremis? The answer was simple; his fear persisted and he would rather not perish many centuries before his time. “This sucks,” John sighed; locals who heard him speak immediately made exclamations and jeered.

Eremis later forced John to sleep beneath a tree just outside the walls that surrounded the God King's extravagant stone palace. He wanted to keep him close to ensure John continued to serve him, but he also wanted to make his invented god a constant spectacle for the people. Citizens quickly assumed that unlike their other gods, Praxxer had no wrath. They took advantage of John’s patience with them. Children tossed rocks at him and prodded him with sticks; John later proved to the people that even his temper had a limit.

A man punched John with his full strength some minutes after he had fallen asleep beneath his tree. John’s eyes snapped open and glowed violent green as he growled at his attacker. His black aura enveloped him as he stood; the local immediately backed away in terror. “I am sure you have children who depend on you,” John told him. “That is the only reason why I have decided not to break every bone in your body. Piss off before I change my mind.”

Even though the stranger did not understand him, he clearly received the message. Praxxer was pissed and was best left alone. He fled the scene and John calmed; his eyes returned to normal and the darkness surrounding him disappeared.

The morning arrived and a dark storm accompanied it, casting the entire city in shadow as it drifted and settled over it. John woke sometime after sunrise and decided to have something to eat and drink before Eremis issued him another assignment. He hoped he could stomach the local cuisine.

He walked through the streets and ignored those who stopped and stared at him. He continued wearing the pig costume from the day before; it was covered in mud and dust and drilled full of holes by the children’s sticks. To his disgust, a visible amount of fleas had already taken residence within the exposed wool.

Just as it started to rain, he walked into a tavern or what he assumed was a tavern. The bland interior was basically a space filled with chairs and tables that looked to have been arranged simply for convenience. Few of them were occupied, but that came as no surprise because it was still early in the day. An unlit fireplace resided along one wall to John's left. A counter separated workers from customers and the plain door behind it led into the kitchen or so he assumed. Most of the patrons within were busily guzzling ale from pint-sized mugs carved from wood. John noticed few people there actually enjoying food.

The air inside was putrid; it smelled of all things rotten including the rancid breath of men who would never know of tooth brushes and oral hygiene. John pinched his nose and gagged. His appetite somehow remained intact.

He took a seat at an empty table; the chair creaked horribly. “This place is a shit hole,” John remarked aloud; he didn’t care if anyone heard him. Only Eremis understood English and he was probably enjoying a massive breakfast in his castle while the common folk tried to survive off the poison and rot contained within their larders.
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Re: Bound to Honor (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/31/2012, 2:20 pm

Dread wrote:A brown-haired girl who appeared no older than the girl John had rescued from the temple approached his table. She looked dreadfully thin and wore drab rags for clothing and a dusty apron over them. The skirt she featured was exceedingly short for someone her age. Was she meant to excite men out of their money? John frowned, “I wish there was something I could do for you. Damn your God King! Damn him to hell!” He shouted; the girl backed away in fright.

John relaxed and smiled at her, which served as his only tactic to calm those he scared. She gazed at him in confusion then giggled as though he had finished telling a joke. She said something that John could not understand, but her tone suggested that she had asked him a question. He assumed she was taking his order and thought of a way to answer her so that she would understand him.

“I have an idea,” He said; she gazed at him questioningly. “How about we play a game of charades? I’ll act out what I want to eat and we’ll see if you can get it right.”

Whatever she served him, John adamantly decided to enjoy it. Having lived a low life himself, he could only begin to imagine how much worse life was for her under Eremis’ rule. She could do with a little happiness. “Alright, you sick bastard,” John began as he stood up, referring to Eremis. “You want a god of comedy? Fine, watch me make this girl laugh!”

John got on all fours in front of her; she observed him and many others began to watch as well. He started to crawl slothfully around the floor; he sniffed about and concentrated hard not to gag or vomit at the odors that plagued the wretched hole within which he found himself. He grunted, snorted, and squealed as a pig would and even knocked an empty chair over deliberately as an aimless animal might. The girl broke out into laughter, many others joined her, but her smile was all that mattered to John in that moment.

He continued the act for a little while longer. He walked over to a random man and let the hood of his costume fall over his head so that its black painted eyes stared expressionlessly at him. John waggled his head so that the hood wobbled comically to the delight of his audience. He then plopped his entire upped body onto a different table and sniffed at a platter piled with bacon and sausage.

The customer, a fat man who appeared better dressed than most, clapped his hands joyously then offered the little piggy a slice of bacon. John swallowed a rising amount of bile when the stranger offered to feed him out of his greasy hand then bit off the untouched end of the slice and swallowed. Seeing Praxxer eat pig meat whilst acting out a pig’s role proved almost too much for the captive audience.

John teetered listlessly for a couple seconds, shaking the table that kept him propped up. He then rolled off its edge and collapsed onto his side. He waved his arms and kicked his feet at nothing for a moment as though entirely helpless. He gazed expectantly at the serving girl who had doubled over from her own laughter. He grinned at her and motioned for her to walk over to him. As soon as she obeyed, he leaped to his feet and bowed before her.

He looked to the patrons and stared expectantly at them. They stared back after their laughter had subsided. They all looked confused; John drove his point across to them by jerking his head toward the girl. They appeared shocked; they were probably wondering if this was part of Praxxer’s latest antic.

His serious expression informed them that he was no longer playing. Realization slowly dawned on them as they left their seats one at a time. Who were they to deny a god’s wishes? They all then bowed at the girl, one who had been honored by Praxxer. “I know you have suffered long,” John said quietly so that only she heard him; he cared not if she understood him. “But you now have the respect you deserve.”


Last edited by John Dark on 8/31/2012, 4:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Bound to Honor (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/31/2012, 2:53 pm

Dread wrote:Someone entered the tavern, but left as quickly as they had gone inside; John did not even catch a glimpse of whoever it was because he and everyone else around him was busy bowing to the serving girl. John stood up straight at long last and the others who had also bowed followed suit. None of them returned to their drinks or food. A haunting and lasting silence filled the establishment; the girl gazed at John with wide brown eyes. He observed that the other patrons stared at him with identical expressions.

The silence ended as soon as the tavern door exploded off its hinges and sailed in a straight line toward the girl. John grabbed her and twisted around in time to shield her. The wood shattered over his back with enough force to make him kneel. His body ached from the impact and he knew of only one man in the entire horrid city capable of inflicting harm upon him. It looks to me like you have forgotten your place in my kingdom, John Dark. Eremis’ voice filtered directly into John’s head.

The God King stepped forward; his heavy footfalls caused the floorboards to tremble. His immense figure soon hovered over John; he pushed the girl away from him. Afraid I will hurt her? Fancy her do you? Eremis asked him; John turned toward him and cast a hateful gaze at him. You know you can’t hurt me. Why bother trying something that will only get you killed? Eremis walked past John to his surprise.

He moved towards the girl; instead of running for her life, she prostrated herself before him. Everyone else in the tavern kneeled before the God King as well and without a moment’s hesitation. Eremis said something to the girl that John did not understand, but she quietly accompanied him toward the exit with her head low. “What are you going to do with her?” John demanded.

Eremis chuckled. I really should have you killed, but then my fun would come to a tragic end. I will answer your question, John Dark. As Praxxer, god of amusement, you have bestowed your blessings upon a young girl. You thought you were being compassionate, but all you did was condemn her to die.

“You can’t mean-“ John began.

Her blood belongs to the gods now. She will die upon the altar today. Eremis confirmed. Never forget that this was your doing; always remember that this is how weak hearts are rewarded.

John trembled with both fury and fear as Eremis made his exit; the city’s latest sacrifice willingly followed him. What could John possibly do against such a monster? What kind of maddening test was this? In order to prevail, he had to survive Eremis, but what price would he have to pay in order to ensure his success? A girl was going to die because of him! What made him think he could improve anything for the city and its people?

It was clear Eremis intended to keep his citizens miserable. He looked at them as toys and treated them as such, but all toys have a breaking point. That explained why he had employed a god of amusement. The character, Praxxer, was meant to distract people from the horrors of their collective existence. That did not mean, however, he needed John. John was as much a toy to the God King as all the other citizens and that made him just as expendable as a virgin sacrifice.

John shakily took a seat within the tavern. He tried to calm himself. He attempted to think of a way to solve his problems and those of the serving girl. He then felt the weight of the problems of everyone else who lived in the damned city pile on top of his conscious. It was too much responsibility for him to handle; besides, he lacked the power and ability to fix anything! He tried once and someone was going to die because of it!

He considered confronting Eremis to settle things once and for all, but John knew he would not survive the experience. What would his death prove? The citizens did not take him seriously enough to consider him a martyr. Even if they did; no one could possibly challenge the God King.

“Come on! Think of a way out of this mess! There has to be something I can do to save the girl and everyone else from that tyrant!” He made no attempt to keep his thoughts to himself.

“Why should I have to worry about any of these people? They only suffer because they refuse to get strong enough to fight back. Maybe he’s right; maybe humans are just cattle content to die for the strong.” He knew he could never believe those words and he regretted saying them as soon as they slipped from his mouth.

He stood up and solemnly walked toward the broken tavern entrance. He did not so much as look at anyone as he passed them by just in case additional interaction with the locals brought Eremis’ wrath down upon them. He stopped just in front of the threshold and stared out at the sheet of rain just ahead of him. “I’m sorry,” He whispered with his back turned toward the people meant to receive his apology. "There is nothing I can do for any of you." Just as he intended, the torrential shower made his words inaudible even for his ears.
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John Dark
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Re: Bound to Honor (Solo Quest)

Post by John Dark on 8/31/2012, 4:18 pm

Dread wrote:As soon as John exited the building, a flash tore through the sky and forced him to shut his eyes. He assumed the light had been a streak of lightning, but since when did it come in the green variety? He expected rain to pelt him, but not a drop splashed onto him or his ridiculous costume. Even as he thought about the pig outfit, he noticed the absence of the ensemble’s abrasive texture. He opened his eyes a moment later to try and make sense of things, but encountered only darkness.

He nearly panicked when the possibility occurred to him that he had been blinded. A familiar ticking that echoed throughout his lightless surroundings quickly calmed him. He knew where he was and was happy to be back in the Pendulum Room many centuries after the rule of the God King Eremis. He felt himself for his clothes; all his gear had made the return trip with him and in their proper positions. He had to wonder, however, if he had succeeded in his task.

He joined Kami and Mr. Popo outside, who stood next to each other in the hallway. “Congratulation, John, you have succeeded.” Kami informed him at once.

John bowed his head in shame. What exactly had he done that was worthy of praise? He had submitted to the enemy! He allowed himself to be compromised! Worst of all, a girl died because he tried to make things better! “You’re wrong,” John told him. “I failed; I am sorry, but there was nothing I could do to pass the test.”

“You are the one who is mistaken, John. I watched your experience from start to finish,” Kami informed him. “You did all you could do and you admitted to yourself the extent of your abilities.”

“What does that have to do with anything? I thought I was supposed to win! Not give up like a coward while people die!” John shouted.

“Perhaps now you understand a little of what I experience.” Kami told him. “You watched in absolute helplessness as people suffered the tyranny of an evil you could not defeat. You wanted more than anything to save them, but things only worsened for them whenever you made the attempt.”

“Was that what I was supposed to learn from going in there?” John demanded. “That I’m weak and helpless?”

“No, you are neither of those things, John.” Kami told him. “You have power to help people, but you must always remember that you are only one man and that your power is constantly limited. I have told you just as much before. You must also know when to retreat or surrender; you are no good to anyone dead.”

John bit back a retort then asked, “How is it that I am here? Eremis said that not even you could help me.”

Kami and Mr. Popo chuckled; they knew something he did not and John growled in frustration. “What you experienced was an illusion; it may have been a realistic illusion, but it was an illusion nonetheless.” Kami replied.

“What about Eremis? He seemed so real,” John asked.

“Eremis lived a long time ago, but no records have been found that support his existence. I know little about him and most of that knowledge came from watching you. I believe he died of poison and that his tiny nation fractured into tribes as a result of the many sons he had. None of his children inherited his massive power.” Kami explained. “Is your curiosity, at long last, satisfied?” He enquired.

John felt overwhelming relief at the fact that what he had experienced had not actually happened. He also found satisfaction in the knowledge that someone had managed to best the tyrant who claimed to be king. “Yes, yes it is,” John said with a silly grin.

“Then let us begin your training,” Kami said.

John immediately asked, “Wait, what?”
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