"'The chosen one of the great blood shall rise up with allies to oppose the evil that threat
is sent to protect. The Children of Nature, sent to protect the chosen one, shall rise from the
ground of earth, erupting from the tranquil forests, the shivering snow, the stream of life, the
inferno of fire, and the daunting clouds. The demi-god sent to destroy those that damage
Nature will be sent to will be sent to destroy the person closest to the chosen one under the
SRGPI then resumed his journey, and descended into the Crater. There, he met another Very Important Person Whom Only Appears Once: Aenien, Lord of Thoughts and the Mind. He told our hero this:
"The demi-god, who has been corrupted by the dark one, will target those who will try to
the dark one. The children of earth will forge a blade to destroy the demi-god. This blade will
called the Angelic Alliance."
Next stop was the Volcanic Island, Bucca. He hired a ship at Icicle Inn [Ed: how is there a viable port in the middle of a frozen wasteland?] and set off for the island. Bob the Cat, Krono, and Milidi joined him along the way, the latter bearing a curious five-cent coin. At the volcano, Fiur, Lord of Fire and Heat, gave SRGPI the next bit of the prophecy:
"The Angelic Alliance, after being used by Mother Nature to destroy another greedy
intent on destroying This Planet, it was broken into 2 pieces: the blade and the hilt." [Ed:
modified for grammatical purposes]
Within the volcano, SRGPI faced several tests to determine his fitness to wield the Angelic Alliance. The test of wisdom confronted him with two images, one of the Angelic Alliance and one of an imperiled girl. By saving the girl, he passed the test and earned the Alliance's hilt. Bob the Cat stuck a spoon in the electric mixer of Fate by simply giving SRGPI the Alliance's blade; he'd found it in space. And so, another mighty test was overcome.
SRGPI then sought Erdamon of Storm Elementals, the only being able to re-forge the Angelic Alliance, at Knights Island. After conversation with Monien, Lord of Rock and Stone, he received the last piece of the prophecy:
"After the Angelic Alliance is made, another sword shall appear, one for the demi-god.
sword, shall be known to the world as Armageddon's Blade, forged of The Sword of Hellfire,
Shield of the Damned, and the Armor of Brimstone."
Monien sprung yet another test on our favorite musician, the test of courage. Asked to choose whom among his allies he would sacrifice to have the sword forged, he chose himself. Tah dah, A+, here's you're gold star. Monien informed SRGPI Erdamon could be reached at Gaia's Peak, gave him a gift of holy armor, and wished his nephew (!) luck. Now SRGPI had a new quest, to intercept the ingredients of Armageddon's Blade. This, and the remainder of the Angelic Alliance quest, will be discussed in the next section.
We now return to the stranger.
The stranger faced his final challenge, the Masks, at North Crater. Merging with Aosloidion, he entered the hidden realm of his people. The stranger struggled to maintain his sense of identity, resisting the urge to join his people's group consciousness, eventually acclimatizing to this urge. He then faced the Masks. The Mask of Sincerity [Ed: name conjectured] asked for one pure of heart; Milidi's cuteness shattered it. The Mask of Heroism desired a brawl; the stranger's honorable tactics confounded it. The Mask of Stoicism would let only a stoic pass; the stranger separated from Aosloidion, and this somehow met the requirements.
In the final chamber, the stranger learned his true identity. Unfortunately, it was so convoluted and improbable no mortal mind could possibly comprehend it, and he collapsed in agony. In desperation, he held the shard of Soulstone before him, and it somehow saved his life [Ed: the nature of this identity will be discussed in the next section. This gives you all time to get some painkillers.]
A herd of Rodir Beasts, en-route to North Crater, mauled several Meyuir messenger birds, deposited underground a month previous by someone. There were four survivors, three damaged. One delivered a message to Excal [alternate]; the message was nearly incomprehensible, but he did pick out the words "Icicle Inn." Another gave a message to Tallpanzer (still in the BDRPG) so degraded all that remained was a vague sense of irritation. A third went to Daryl, forgot its message, and decided to hang with her until it remembered again. The fourth was to Leo-X; it delivered a message regarding his brother (see The Moogle War). The Beasts waited on the surface of North Crater for the last surviving Meyuir to resurface.
Finally, the stranger and Aosloidion surfaced at the North Crater, and the stranger revealed his true name: Eidolon X. *dramatic music*
3b. The Race for the Swords and The Fragmentation of This Planet
[Ed: taken those painkillers yet?]
The heroes converged on North Crater to assist Eidolon X in his battle with the Beasts of Rodir. SRGPI returned his ship to Icicle Inn. He sensed the great battle, and with his Ocarina dispatched the Lords he had met to assist Eidolon X. Excal [alternate] hitched a ride on the Salonian airship Invincible, and had it provide air support. Krono and his Time Wraith companion, Gray, assailed the Beasts with arcane magic and Krono's great blade, Oblivion's Edge. Bob the Cat sprinted to the scene and, er, hit things. And the Beasts did fall. Huzzah.
Excal [alternate] and SRGPI sensed a disturbance at Gaia's Ridge, and went to investigate. As he searched there for the Altar of Air to contact Erdamon, SRGPI was ambushed by an undead army lead by a Lich (lead by a Revenant, lead by a Death Knight). This army had been sent to retrieve the Shield of the Damned, and to kill the Ocarina holder if he showed. Excal [alternate] and Bob the Cat arrived in the Invincible, Milidi and Aosloidion teleporting in via SRGPI's nickel, and smote 'dem undead good. Gray and Krono lent a hand. Daryl also lent a hand, but soon had problems of her own (see Second Bardic War). Unnoticed, the Death Knight escaped with the Shield of the Damned
. SRGPI approached the Altar of Air to forge the Angelic Alliance. Erdamon arrived, made it, and handed it over. Huzzah.
Then, a new evil appeared. Eidolon X, convalescing from battle, was engulfed by a fluid similar to that of his body, but evil. This was Epsilon, a bad evil twin. Epsilon seized control of Eidolon X and demonstrated his evil nature by downing the Invincible, killing its crew. Section Yea Eighth was the first to discover this, as the craft crashed next to him. Bob the Cat, SRGPI, Excal [alternate], Milidi, Aosloidion, and Gray arrived soon after. Gray (the future version of Krono) expressed concerns on the timestream being altered, as Valen and the destruction of the Invincible weren't part of the "normal" timeline. He destroyed the wreckage before anyone (such as a roaming Canuck Knight patrol) discovered it and further damaged the timeline.
Elsewhere, the Death Knight (an agent of Epsilon) searched for the two remaining evil artifacts. The Armor of Brimstone was found on the shore of Volcanic Island Bucca. The Sword of Hellfire was supposed to be deep in the flaming core of the volcano, but it had actually been hidden in a snow globe SRGPI received from his mother.
Our seven heroes traveled to Canuck Knight Headquarters nearby in hopes they would have information on where they should go next. Note that our heroes traveled in Bob's "magical Armored Personnel Carrier." To their horror, they found the HQ, and the entire town of Salonia, covered in evil blue goo. Section Yea Eighth remembered most of the citizens likely would have evacuated to the HQ's underground shelters, and might still live. With aid from Eighth's Blowtorch of Cutting +12, Excal [alternate] and Gray penetrated the goo and reached the headquarters.
Excal [alternate] left to seek the last two evil artifacts, Section Yea Eighth following. They first stopped at the New Moncton Canuck Knight Headquarters for information, and were directed to Volcanic Island Bucca. Excal [alternate] landed on the isle and investigated a cave, only to discover the Death Knight had prepared a trap for him. Ultros and a legion of skeletons sprang from hiding and attempted to seal him in, but were thwarted by their own incompetence and Section Yea Eighth. Excal [alternate] quickly evacuated with his battered companion, narrowly avoiding incineration as the volcano erupted.
Freshly escaped from the BDRPG, Tallpanzer intercepted them in his Super-Dimensional-Battle-Fortress-Neo-X and offered his assistance. Excal [alternate] was not inclined to trust him and hid.
And then the world was shattered. Epsilon infiltrated Tallpanzer's flying fortress and sunk the it to the planet's core. As the fortress was nigh-indestructible, it easily plowed into the core, where it detonated. The planet's crust shattered, and would have been flung into space if the Lords did not tether them to the core's remains with their powers. Epsilon created a fortress, a bizarre amalgamation of everything the blue slime had touched, in the middle of space. Tallpanzer attempted to heal the planet by locating the Spirit of the Earth. Epsilon tricked the demi-god, kidnapped the Spirit, and upended an urn of whoop-@$$ on his head. SRGPI had survived the explosion as he was inside Bob's APC, and currently floated near the city of Tyrsis.
Krono teleported Tallpanzer, Bob the Cat, Milidi, Aosloidion, Section Yea Eighth, and Excal [alternate] to the End of Time (to the irritation of Gaspar). Krono informed them the destruction of This Planet created a massive temporal distortion, attracting the attention of Time Agents. These Agents would converge on This Planet and kill anyone responsible for this disruption (namely the heroes and Epsilon). Upon the advice of Gaspar, the heroes split into 5 groups. Excal [alternate] and Bob the Cat would head to Tyrsis (capital of New Canada), both to prevent the armies of the Death Knight from killing everyone there and to rendezvous with SRGPI, already there. Milidi and Aosloidion would travel back in time to prevent Epsilon from possessing Eidolon X. Tallpanzer would travel back and attempt to stop himself from attacking the Council of Mages. Krono would zip back and blow up Tallpanzer's fortress before it reached the planet's core. Section Yea Eighth would travel to Epsilon's fortress to scout. As he was the most notorious disrupter of time in all time, he would attract the attention of all the Temporal Agents. They would encircle the fortress, wanting to kill Eighth but not wanting to touch the evil place.
SRGPI entered the siege of Tyrsis, and soon went off on a little sub-quest. Hopelessly outnumbered, line after line of Canuck defense fell to the Death Knight's marauders. The young warrior quickly turned the APC's copious firepower on the attackers, to great effect. Time Agents arrived and blasted him out of the stars. Crash-landing on a fragment, he meets Rask, a visitor from a nearby planet, Choco. Rask gave him a ride to the City of Ancients, where SRGPI retrieved the Sword of Hellfire. An attached note revealed his father, Daren, hid the parts of Armageddon's Edge long ago, but became the Death Knight before he could hide this last piece. He instructs his son to throw the blade into a pool of holy water nearby so Epsilon's minions (himself included) could not retrieve it. He attempts this, but a Ninja minion grabs the sword in mid-flight and escapes as our hero duels with the Death Knight. Reluctantly, SRGPI slays his father with the Angelic Alliance, and teleports to the End of Time. He rendezvous with Rask, and the pair head to Epsilon's fortress.
Tallpanzer warped back in time and argued with himself. Eventually, it came down to a high-stakes game of Dance Dance Revolution. Both Tallpanzers won, and warped to the End of Time. Mysteriously, the timeline remained unchanged. Suddenly, the past Tallpanzer revealed himself to be a construct of Epsilon. Tallpanzer had been tricked! The construct, however, was mortally exhausted from dancing, and disintegrated. Tallpanzer returned to the future. With his Spark of Life, he revived the fallen Canuck Knights at Tyrsis and scared the burial wrappings off the undead army, tipping the odds in favor of its inhabitants. At this point he apparently vanished from all existence.
Milidi and Aosloidion were successful. Upon returning to the End of Time, they found Gaspar had been stabbed. An evil Bob the Cat arrived and kidnapped them. Evil Bob then leapt to Epsilon's fortress.
Krono was bushwhacked by an evil clone of himself made by Epsilon, and prevented from reaching his destination. He atomizes the irritation as Gray (already in the past on an alternate version of the Invincible) blew up the fortress. He then returned to the End of Time, met with Bob, and traveled to Epsilon's fortress.
Excal [alternate] and Bob the Cat arrived at the besieged city. Excal [alternate] met with Lord Balinore, commander of the defense forces. He informed him SRGPI had not been sighted, but he was welcome to remain and help in the defense. He also gave Excal [alternate] the Canadian Shield, a Canuck Artifact. Bob the Cat encountered his sister, Myrna, as he journeyed to the city. They talked, fought, and swore to kill each other at a later date. He then returned to the End of Time, discovered Milidi and Aosloidion had been kidnapped, and rushed to rescue them. He met up with SRGPI and Rask at Epsilon's fortress. Excal [alternate] arrived shortly thereafter.
These actions in time altered history so This Planet became whole again temporarily. Epsilon's fortress was protected with powerful magic, and was unaffected. Not even the mighty ships of the Time Agents could damage the fortress; it had to be destroyed from within. Nuts. Epsilon tortured the captive Spirit of the Earth and re-fragmented everything. Nuts again. Armageddon's Blade was then created. Well, spoony.
3c. The Assault on Epsilon's Fortress
Epsilon's fortress was stormed by three parties: the first composed of Rask, Krono, SRGPI, Bob the Cat, and Reako (recently arrived from another dimension); and the other two composed of Section Yea Eighth and Excal [alternate] [Ed: ouch].
With aid of a dimensional warp from Reako, the first party teleported deep into Epsilon's fortress and worked through its defenses. Myrna and her duplicate (the Ninja) confronted the party. Bob realized Myrna held the Uni-Soulstone, and she attacked. Bob utilized highly dangerous Void magic to vanquish the Ninja and repel his sister. Moandor, commander of the undead army in the Death Knight's absence, tormented the party with innumerable traps. The party escaped each one and killed Moandor several times. They soon ran into Geno, currently in the form of a miniature Bahamut. He was a level 255 Time Agent, commander of the forces assailing the fortress. He and several Time Wraiths had stormed the fortress, but all his allies had perished in the process. He joined the party *celebratory music*. They eventually rescued Milidi and Aosloidion *celebratory music*, and then faced their final challenge in the throne room
Meanwhile, Section Yea Eighth scrambled through the most impossible puzzle/boss rooms ever known. A giant dragon, an evil Nickle Knight, 15 000 Killer Horror Death Fiends, Zoldborg (Mechanism of Despair), and a Big Evil Statue challenged him. Against such impossible odds, his skill level soared. He passed through 3 tests [Ed: read them yourself!], each time barely escaping alive. One of them stripped his equipment away, so he scavenged a generic Multifunctional Battle Pistol with Bayonet from a guard. Eighth was then kidnapped by a party of Nickle Knights lead by one Lady Kashi ("SILENCE!"), who escorted him to the Nickel Monastery. Initially confused over why this haven of goodness existed inside the evil fortress, Eighth found his answer when he noticed their "Great Coin" was actually the crest of Epsilon X. All the "monks" were elements of Eidolon X's sense of heroism, which had someone escaped Epsilon's control and fought back. The monks assaulted Epsilon's throne room, and all but Section Yea Eighth and Lady Kashi perish [Ed: yes! Die NPCs die!]. Eighth dragged her to the fortress's power room to try and deactivate the fortress's shield so the Time Agents can destroy Epsilon, but was stopped by Excal [alternate].
Excal [alternate] had found a secret entrance and entered the fortress with ease [Ed: figures]. He met up with Eighth and Kashi in time to stop them from killing everyone by lowering the shield (the Time Agents planned to destroy the whole fortress to get at Epsilon). He rewired the main power crystal to direct all its energies to the fortress shield, deactivating all the traps in the process. He then joined the first party in the main throne room.
Meanwhile, Eidolon X, released from Epsilon's control, began a furious battle with his counterpart in the very center of the fortress. Guided by Lady Kashi, Eighth was dragged down an ultra-secret passage to the center of the fortress. A nightmarish dimension of floating platforms, giant Pac-Men, and lots of fire and tortured souls and death. After violating a few laws of physics, the pair reach the very center, passing through a black hole. Eidolon X, weakened as his heroism was secreted inside Kashi, collapsed. Eighth distracted Epsilon long enough for Kashi and Eidolon X to escape, but was killed in the process.
Excal [alternate] and the first party took the "normal" path to the fortress center: the Tower of Gratuitous Combat. Each of its eight levels was guarded by a great power [Ed: some recognized them as the final bosses from each Final Fantasy].
On distant Choco, the Queen decided to help Epsilon destroy the Time Agents, as he was obviously going to win. Their fleets battled that of the Time Agents. The Choco ships had the upper hand at first, but with some well timed reinforcements (including Reaper, a sadistic Time Wraith) the Time Agents won out, and pursued the retreating Chocos to their home system. Several Time Wraiths (notably the sadistic Reaper) ravaged some planets. Rask's father rebelled against his queen, and rescued the imprisoned Princess Tira. The Time Agents captured them both, but they escaped and joined the heroes near the top of the Tower of Gratuitous Combat.
At this point, explanations were in order, and Eidolon provided them. A quick liqui-port, and Milidi, Aosloidion, Kashi, SRGPI, and Eidolon X arrived in a hidden chamber. There, Eidolon told a long-winded, convoluted story. [Ed: changes have been made here for simplicity's sake. Read the original at Brave ly, against overwhelming odds, the party beat up imps.]
After the events described in section 1b, Eidolon's "bad" side separated from him to form Epsilon. In ~998 BC Epsilon created the Meyuri as a tool of world domination, but Eidolon messed with their development so they became sentient and less evil.
The two fight cautiously until ~499 BC, where Epsilon creates the Beasts of Rodir. From 499 299 BC the Beasts hunt the Meyuir almost to extinction. The surviving Meyuir seal themselves away in North Crater, and the Beasts go into hibernation.
Deprived of their minions, Epsilon and Eidolon wandered at random until 15 BC, where they ran into each other at an old Meyuri settlement. They decide to seal themselves away until the Bardic War for no apparent reason. Eidolon, however, splits his self into two clones instead, and Epsilon is tricked. Epsilon also cheated, sending off a portion of himself to form the people of Choco.
The warrior, Daren, and a nature spirit (possibly a dryad, but not Mother Nature herself) raised the first clone. Epsilon was unaware of this clone, thinking it destroyed. This would become SRGPI, Eidolon's "good" side. Daren learned he was destined to become the Death Knight and set off to hide the components of Armageddon's Blade.
The second was deposited in a Nickel Monastery and trained in the way of the Nickel. This was Eidolon X, Eidolon's "neutral" side. Not knowing his full heritage, this clone thought his name was "Epsilon X." In the year 0 he would join the Bardic War on the side of Daryl, and at its conclusion was thrown back in time by a Mysterious Force to 10 BC. The time jump drained him of most of his personality. He creates Milidi to hold his remaining emotions, and Aosloidion to beat up stuff.
In 2 AC, Eidolon X receives a vision from Epsilon to endure certain trials; the evil one hoped to lure the clone into a trap. Eidolon X sets out for the trials, sending Milidi and Aosloidion out to scout. Milidi ran into the Council of Mages and convinced them to set up some trials for Eidolon X (for unknown reasons. Boredom, maybe?). Aosloidion fell into a time portal, emerged in 7 AC, got beaten by Excal [alternate], and re-spawned back in 2 AC.
[Ed: for this story to be true, it must be assumed Eidolon lived on as some sort of ancestral memory in each of his clones, secretly guiding each of them]
Eidolon said Epsilon had been drained by his battle with Eidolon X and Section Yea Eighth, but would soon return. He releases the Spirit of the Earth from her prison and tells them all to prepare for their final confrontation. Although not shown, he presumably reintegrates Kashi into Eidolon X.
Everyone assembles in the center of the fortress. It was soon determined that the fortress's shields were failing just as the Time Agents had renewed their attack. Krono evacuated everyone but SRGPI and Eidolon X to the end of time. Excal [alternate] and Reako, devoid of anything to do, left for other times, as did Krono and Geno. Eidolon X, hearing the planet Choco was actually a repository of Eidolon's "good" side, restored it to life. He then joined SRGPI and together they battled the nefarious Epsilon. After a surprisingly anticlimactic battle, Epsilon fell, his sword shattered. The planet restored itself, as did the timestream. Eidolon X headed to the Valley of the Bards (see Second Bardic War, section 4a), waved good-bye, and left this plane. SRGPI went to the City of the Ancients and slept, not to awake until the Wingley War (see section 5a).
One loose end remained. The archmage Rashidi, one of Epsilon's few minions that wasn't a clone, had captured the souls of Choco in the appropriately named Soul Amulet, so Eidolon's good side was not yet complete. Section Yea Eighth located his impregnable fortress and [somehow] retrieved the amulet; he would return it to SRGPI in the Wingley War (see section 5a).
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