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  1. Onicius prologue part 1: The village raid part 2: A merchant's knowledge part 3: Meeting a wizard part 4: 'Sand man' part 5: Making a move Part 6: Battle at Carakath Onicius sat in the back of the carriage, looking down at the endless stream of cobbles passing under them. He was pondering about the nightmare he had had and the blank chapter. They both hinted towards the existence of a fourth basic type of magic. What could it be? It felt like he had been close to the answer several times. Alchemy – structure, composition, shape; material magic. Energy magic – motion, state of matter. Crypto magic – guides the flow of magic; immaterial magic. The material and the immaterial, matter and energy, there is nothing more to this world. What am I overseeing? Rambar “You’ve been looking down for quite a while, I started wondering if you lost your soul somewhere along the way! Is something bothering you, Onicius?” The soul, the spiritual world, of course! All the pieces of the puzzle suddenly came together. Messing around with souls… that’s probably what Elia and the man from his dream meant by “demonic”. He glanced up from the road. Up there were the icy peeks of mountains they had traversed, shining in the afternoon sun. He turned his head to Rambar. It wouldn’t be very wise to speak his mind. Onicius “I was just thinking about what awaits us in that arena. Who do we need to fight, how do we strike?" Nerocarsus “In all honesty, there is no plan. Our mission is saving the children, that is what we know for certain. As soon as we know more about the situation, we will begin developing our plan.” Buras “That won’t take much longer (calling out from the bench up front of the wagon), Carakath is down at that valley, I can see it from here.” About halfway down, Buras stopped the carriage. It was very pleasant to stretch the legs after the long and tight journey. The mood improved immediately. Rambar went to the city to gather some intel about what the arena was about and where the children were held. Just before nightfall, he returned. Rambar “Tomorrow around noon, a festival will kick off at the arena, lasting three days. When I was in the Carakath, carts were parading through the streets, showing children and beasts, caged. The announcer promised spectacular duels, ferocious beasts, free beer and meat for everyone.” Muremo “He clearly knows how to whet the crowd’s appetite, the arena will probably choke full of people tomorrow.” Rambar "Yeah, I thought it sounded pretty sweet, so I bought us front row places for the coming three days!" All Rambar "What? … Okay, just kidding. I did check the admission cost on a flyer, three silver coins per person! Not really my notion of ‘free beer and meat’." That evening, the attack strategy was determined. Onicius fell asleep somewhere along the way. When he woke up the next morning, preparations were in full swing. Eventually, everyone was geared up and ready to go into battle. Onicius looked for Nerocarsus, then he saw him… Onicius "Nerocarsus, is that you, what has happened to you!" Nerocarsus "I shaved myself, Onicius. It had to be done, to be less recognizable." Onicius "Wait, what are you going to fight with, you are not going empty-handed, right?" Nerocarsus "Hahah, no… *Poof* This is my weapon! It is an enchanted, dragon forged spear, my most valuable item I ever acquired. I can’t possibly use it to its full potential, but I have practiced with it secretly from time to time; I know how to handle it." Onicius "Wh… H… How did you do that!?" Nerocarsus "Ever heard of item compression magic? It enables the spear to shrink, making it dagger-sized so that it fits under my robes. It is very important for our plan, remember? I will install myself among the spectators and then strike with it when the sign is given." Onicius "Oh, eh… right." They took went to the arena, which was located a quarter of a mile from Carakath. Nerocarsus took place on the tribune. First there was the opening ceremony, which was followed by a beast fight and a gladiator duel. Thereafter, the self-proclaimed ‘Khaliphlinian Junior Tournament’ was announced. Two ‘candidates’ were brought into the arena: some little boy from the village and Onicius’ sister, Alicia. Nerocarsus witnessed the wild cheering with disgust. The only thing he could do was witness the fight, since the others were still sneaking to their positions and waiting for the right moment to strike. At first, both the boy and Alicia were unwilling to fight. But soon, the crowd pressured them to fight. Alicia's fight instincts awoke and she advanced into battle. In the meantime, Elia and Onicius had made their way around the arena and taken out a couple of guards and a the salesman at the “peepers & cheaters' hatch”, where they were climbing up the back of the tribune. Alicia showed the boy all corners of the battlefield. He got pinned on the spiked wall. She charged and mercilessly dealt the final blow. The public roared from excitement. The body of the boy was dragged out of the arena. Alicia, who had burst out in tears, was presented as a winner and was awarded with a break for the next three matches. Away from the sight of the public, Buras, Rambar and Muremo killed the man that guarded Onicius’ sister. Then, they entered the arena to draw all attention, while Elia and Onicius had just managed to join Nerocarsus. Muremo “Acting high and mighty, while forcing children to fight each other? Pathetic pigs! Who do you think you are!? Fight us instead, we will take you on! Right here, right now!” Several men jumped into the arena. That was the thing they had anticipated on, that was the sign. Nerocarsus drew out his spear, which expanded to full size, aimed and pierced the chest of the heavily armored person next to him. Elia and Onicius backed up their comrades on the battlefield by firing a thunderstorm spell across the arena. Through the element of surprise, they had gained the upper hand. But suddenly, right in front of Onicius’ eyes, a dark figure with a dagger flashed past him, leaving a trail of fire. He stabbed Elia, who fell off the tribune as a consequence. Instinctively, Onicius cast a spell. Cinders, dead bodies and the fire of torches were drawn to the center of the arena. Then, he dragged Elia’s soul out and forced it into the blazing creature that he had created, meaning to save him. It consumed nearly all of his energy and he lost control, he thought... The truth was, he had transferred the control. The creature was alive! Its eye gazed upon its creator. Everything in the arena became static and silent. It roared, the roar turned into laughter, wicked laughter. It spoke. Monster Elia “My my, Onicius, such a loyal deed. That spell could have killed you, putting your life on the line to save me… You are a true hero. I had just received my punishment from my old friend, who I betrayed in the past. I earnestly thank you for your foolish naivety! You clearly didn’t have any suspicion when I, an alien man, offered you help out of nowhere on such a dangerous mission. Then, I happened to know a lot more about the invaders, yet you had no suspicion whatsoever, just like your pathetic comrades. Thanks to that lovely dark magic of yours, I am alive, I feel more powerful than ever! In the blink of an eye, his bladed arm sliced through his former friend. He turned around and crushed some of the remaining spectators, with his shield. Then, he quickly separated the landlord’s head from his body and turned back to Onicius. Monster Elia “So, who of your comrades shall I kill first? Come on, make your choice!” Onicius “You can’t do this!” Monster Elia “Oh, yes I can! I can do everything that I want now!” He stared at Nerocarsus, paused and then swung his blade with great force towards him. A finger length before impact, the blade stopped. The whole body dissolved in one giant flame while letting out a shrill scream that filled the air. Onicius realized that this was the disembodiment of the soul, just like what happened to the golem in his nightmare. The battle was over, they were victorious. Alicia came running up the stairs, crying. Onicius “Alicia! are you okay?” Alicia “Yes, but…” Onicius “Where are the others, the other children? Are they safe?” Alicia “Yes, they are, but… Brother… the lieutenant banished us from Khaliphlin! He told me to stay in Nocturnus, together with you. He told me that from now on, you are seen as a great threat, as… a monster! And he ordered Nerocarsus to come with them right now.” Onicius “No! Please… don’t leave us!” Nerocarsus “Listen Onicius, I am your friend. I will always be there for you! Do you think I would abandon you and your sister? Don’t be sad, don’t cry Alicia. We will build ourselves a good life here in Nocturnus, I promise!” Onicius “Thank you, Nerocarsus.” Nerocarsus “And now I’m going to tell that I refuse to obey that ridiculous order, that he may have my business, walk to hell… and greet your mother for you!" Present day, about 40 years later... Nerocarsus “We’ve come a long way, didn’t we, Onicius?” Onicius “Yes, we did. This is where it all started, Exetrius (…)” Many adventures followed and Onicius kept growing stronger ever since. The Darklands always posed new challenges, what didn't kill him made him stronger. Over the years, his soul magic has reached a legendary level. Yet, the dark art of moving the spirits has barely become more common, since it's secrets are only entrusted to a select group of users. This is the end of the Onicius Prologue, yet the story goes on, with the Exetrius Saga. Follow the adventures of Exetrius and his father, starting in the next part of the story: Fallen leaf I hope you enjoyed this finale, I've had my hands full with the build and the story! Due to bad lighting/camera, the pictures didn't come out as good as I had hoped for. The whole process got delayed several times, but well, here we are. Thanks for viewing, C&C very much appreciated!
  2. Onicius prologue part 1: The village raid part 2: A merchant's knowledge part 3: Meeting a wizard part 4: 'Sand man' Part 5: Making a move Onicius ran like never before. Over his shoulder he saw the golem that was persuading. It reached out with it's big, spiked hand of stone to crush him. He thought he was done for, but suddenly it froze. The glow in it's eyes disappeared and it's body returned to a pile of cobbles. From behind the pile rose a dark figure. Under his hood was a faceless dark mass, he carried a staff on which a skull rested, his thin arms and legs barely visible in the mist that shrouded him. He spoke: "Looks like I need a new soul for my little golem, ahah, I see a volunteer! Don't be afraid, let me show you my skills of the Fourth magic type, beware, it's only a little... erm... Demonic, mwhahahah!" Everything in front of him started spinning. In a flash, he saw his own body lying on the ground. Then he sat straight up in his bed, sweating and breathing heavily. It had been a dream! Apparently, it was (still) evening. To his surprise, Elia and Nerocarsus and his mother came into the room. The two had informed his mother about his talents for wizardry. Eventually they convinced her to allow him to join them, and a few others, on a rescue mission. Nerocarsus spoke: "We need you, Onicius. There is no time to explain everything here, we have to make our move!" Onicius quickly grabbed his staff and combat clothes, kissed his mother goodbye and opened the front door. On the street before him stood a big cargo carriage. The coachman gestured them to board, they departed silently through the village gates, into the nightly desert. Five people sat in the back of the carriage: Nerocarsus, Onicius, Elia and two other man. In the middle stood a chest, on which a map and a burning candle rested. Elia began his briefing. Elia "Yesterday, your village was raided. The guards on duty had been wiped out, children were taken away. As a wizard and an acquaintance of Nerocarsus, I think it is my duty to help you. Though I saw the invaders from a distance, I was able to recognize one of their mages. The group we are dealing with has raided several Khaliphlinian villages before.They kidnap children, which, according to stories that I have heard, are forced to fight each other to death to entertain a rich Nocturnian landlord. The battles are held in an arena, located near a village somewhere in this mountain range (points at the map) close to the Khaliphlinian border. That is where we are going right now." Nerocarsus "If everything goes as planned, we will arrive at the edge of those mountains in the afternoon. The road is long and not very comfortable, but try to get some rest. Oh, almost forgot! Onicius, these three man, including our coachman, are the village's strongest warriors." Rambar "My name is Rambar, it's a pleasure meeting you!" Muremo "I am Lieutenant Muremo of the Eastern Khaliphlinian army. My superior gave me permission to be in my home town for a few days after we heard what happened. Sadly, the army ignores these 'small incidents', "civilians should deal with those" is what they said. So that is exactly what we are going to do!" It was early in the morning. Onicius, still a little drowsy, made his way to the front of the carriage. He pushed some load aside and was greeted with a spectacular view. "Aren't they beautiful, the South Nocturnian Rakath Mountains?" said a familiar voice. The coachman turned out to be the blacksmith, Buras. Buras "Please take a seat next to me, Onicius." Onicius "Thank you sir Buras." Wow... I didn't know Nocturnus was so beautiful, I... I could live here! Buras "If it weren't so dangerous, yes indeed, me too!" To be continued.... in the final part: Battle at Carakath Bonus shots: Thanks for viewing, C&C appreciated