Ether-knight of DF Q&A/EDBalance
He could not help but ruminate on a couple of names. Maple. Tachyon. Names she called out, as she trembled from fear. The former he could at best guess was a friend she truly enjoyed having, akin to his friendship with Varn. Tachyon however, with the piercing scream, its association oozed despair. What was this Tachyon? A demon that took everything she cared for? Tyrfing’s stated end of life was due to revived demons, but at the same time, there are many truly horrific beings out there in the world.
As he paused in thought, the woman, down on the ground, reached out to him. In turn, he grabbed her hand and pulled her back up, where in turn he leaned down, taking her blade by the ricasso, and handed it back. “So, may I have the pleasure in knowing your name?” As he asked, he peered from beyond to check on the other competitors, making sure they do not interrupt, considering how many intrusions happened throughout the fight. He then touched upon the woman’s shoulder, to make sure he was a threat no more.
The woman stood there for a brief moment, hesitating to respond to his query. “. . . Autumn. And you, sir?”
“I am Michalis Odin, paladin of the god of war and ill-fate, Tyrfing. I am also known as the Spiritful. What illusions you see was Tyrfing’s doing, in order for me to reach out to you and make sure you can face the future with dignity.” Unlike the previous vigorous nature of his songs, he carried a relaxed, contemplative, and secured tone. A tone that knew what pain was like, losing who you loved but also that one must move on, in order to not disappoint the long gone spirits of old.
Autumn nodded, albeit in such a fashion that while she was satisfied with his response, she was perhaps confused about the illusions being from Tyrfing. “I see . . . Does that mean-”
He shook his head, knowing the question was if he saw her own fears. “Nay, while I know not what you see exactly, the best I can assume was an event you want to run away from. That normally doesn’t solve the issue. You need to remember it, while aiming to grow past it. If something about it still affects you to this day, look into solving it, with a calm mind and making sure to remember the bonds you made throughout the years. No one can solve such issues alone. It is why friendship exists, be it normal friends, brotherhood or sisterhood, or the concept of sworn siblings.”
As she looked away, a subtle sorrow came to being, having been forced to see the memories once more. “I suppose one could say that it is my friends that I’m running away from, the memory of them. I can remember each and every voice, their names and faces, what they liked and couldn’t stand. I could see the hope in their eyes, hope for the future they never have.”
Once she looked back into Michalis’ eyes however, scorn was imprinted on her face, an inner fury of the past. “But it’s more than that. I mourned for their lost, but I have made my peace with that. What I feel is anger, indignation towards the ones who forsaken them. Justice. . . what justice is there in letting people die? I couldn’t stand it, and when I spoke up against it. . .”
As she mentioned justice, she began to tear up, where Michalis spoke up once more. “Now now, there is indeed no justice in letting people die. Indeed, the concept of justice is to set things right. No need to continue, I truly understand.” The way he carried himself was practically identical to how he spoke to his long gone son. “In a way, you remind me of both my son and daughter. Must say, it makes me happy to have met an individual like yourself.”
He took a deep breath, as the echoes of his son cried out to him in the dark nightmare he too stood within. “Why must you ignore my suffering? My sister was far too inhumane to follow in your footsteps.” Until after you died, as she then learned the consequence of mortality. Since then, she learned how to have her drive protect others, unlike you. I loved you my son, but I also must accept that you refused to learn after a certain point. I shall not cling to the past. Not now. Not ever. Only the future awaits me.
Emperor Nicholas simply sat in his throne, almost displeased that he still could not force the man known as the Spiritful to kneel down and submit. The title, of course, was only reserved for those who fit the very qualities of Tyrfing. One filled with humanity, spirit, and the ability to rise above fate. Indeed, Michalis’ was content with the result he received. He done what he set out for, at least once. If he moves onto the finals, he shall go on to do it once more, for it is his duty to combat despair at any corner.
The groomed man kneeled down within the lit mist. Around him, the dark mist began to show signs of lifting, their presence still foreboding but ever so fading. Now, the mist gradually returned to that of neutrality, as the laws of recollections bid it to be. The mist were beckoned to form the last few recollections, the first being that of the living man at the familiar room from before. Only this time, the woman sat there, misty tears occasionally dripping as the room was torn asunder. The living man was speechless, as he reached out to her, where she could not respond. He then burst out of the room, to hear a couple featureless figures merely say the dreaded words, “the empire has declared Michalis Odin dead, now being the Spiritless. His body is to be made a monster, a sign to never rebel against the empire.”
The living man took tentative steps back, hand clutched against his chest. He was still alive. He was there. He stumbled back to the room, sat down in the same chair that he told stories to the child, and lowered his head, hands sweating. Was justice more than simply making things right? Is justice more about the whim of the state, where fool’s errands lead to more suffering?
Then, there was the counter to his newly formed doubt. Justice always needed some form of rules and regulations. If anyone can decide what justice is, what truly is justice? The concept he used relied less on himself, but others. Hence why making things right seem to fit the idea of it the more he thought about it. It relied on others being happy with their lives. He then stood up from his chair, where he tightly embraced the woman he dearly loved, letting the time of sorrow to come to past.
The groomed man watched on, a tear shedding on his face. “Even I am moved that you did not back down, and still kept the bonds such as family and friendship even after all this time.” The groomed man snapped his fingers. As the mist were asked to allow more recollections, familiar recent events began to from before his eyes. The living man’s performance in Bren as the Mangled Hawk, his entrance into Cellar, his confrontation against the angelic woman and clinical reptile, all of these formed and deformed into existence. There was a pause once Waneful Beginning has been sung, where the groomed man hovered his hand swiftly over the blade to bestow its light. Yet still it was quick recollection.
Until now. The mist have settled at the moment when the living man finished The End Brings Despair. There, the groomed man rose and went to the living man’s side and unleashed another burst of light into the sword. Then, he called forth the depictions of everyone’s worst aspects, all of which he knew, illusions so malleable they appear to be real.
Which brought a curiosity.
When he focused specifically on his illusion for the angelic woman, it became strangely more powerful than normal. When he warped the image of the angelic being she feared, it almost behaved on its own accord. “That is an anomaly.” It almost moved like it was still there, with a desire to then force itself into reality. “So the liar still lingers near her soul. This is a particular problem I should perhaps address.”
As he concentrated in doing the illusions overall, the living man reached out to the angelic woman. From there, the groomed man strode up to the living man, as he held the angelic woman’s shoulder.
“To think that I saw him grow so much,” the groomed man commented, as he created an orb of misty light within his hand. This mere aura covered the arena to his eyes, where time began to slow to a crawl but for him and the angelic woman. “Also, greetings, Autumn. I am Tyrfing, the Spiritful. Not sure if your senses enable you to hear me, but it has been a joy to see your growth just now.” The woman subtly nodded her head, indicating that she could indeed detect his presence.
The groomed man, Tyrfing, smiled softly as he bowed. To think, the first time in centuries he is able to talk to a mortal once more, despite the laws of recollection. The laws did not care for names much, but he was able to mention what his name was to someone living. “So you can; if I may be transparent, what Michalis said about me was true. Now, I have the power to know what people’s past and secrets are. A ruler of recollections, if you will.”
As the woman named Autumn nodded, it looked like she began to understand what was told to her. “In the land known as Vascole, I was a man said to be cursed with an ill-fate, where I was the weakest god of them all. Of course, when you bestow yourself with mortality, I suppose that is to be fair. Yet, what is strength for gods when they have nothing to use it for? Indeed, I should know… I created the foundations of Vascole, where it is an elven word for ‘perpetual glory’, fitting for a place on the perpetual continent.”
Tyrfing raised his hand, where upon a small tome made from solid mist appeared titled Behind Vascole, the perpetual empire. When he opened it, the entire current land holdings of Vascole showed, land that indeed almost consumed an entire continent, all made from mist. The territory went all the way from the north of the world, where it then enveloped various countries, with only a few more bordering the coastline of the south.
“During my day, I fought on the behalf of everyone. I fought against my brother, Hlod, for who would rule, where his bloodthirsty army threatened the townsfolk. That was my first great evil curse. I then had to fight the demons of Yggdrasil, those who sought to destroy life itself. That was my second great evil curse. Then, I had to fight them once more, as they sought revenge and put the world into endless despair. That was my third great evil curse.” As he turned a page, a new image formed, where it instead showed a large gnarled tree, being devoured by serpentine creatures. In front of them all also stood a distorted and bloodied man holding a hastily made chipped sword.
“These are the images of the evil I fought before. Over the centuries, I seen heroes risen, fall, villains defeated and succeeded. Michalis is one such figure in the making, designation figure of fate. Even if I was able to be transparent and let him know what knowledge I have, he, as the man he is, simply does not want to know what I have to tell him. Why? He wants to forge his own destiny, and not forcefully change the laws of mortality and time.” Another page was flipped, causing a small pocket watch to wisp around Tyrfing, signifying his status of ruler of recollections.
“After all, in actuality, I am merely a record-keeper of not only the world, but dimensions themselves. I am worshipped as something that I simply am not, but I allow it since outside of the fact it is not my duty to reveal it, it gives people hope, where I can truly relax in peace. Michalis knows the truth though. Soon, the truth will be revealed, and I will be happier to know that it will allow people even further aspirations in life. Even if his time grows short, it has been a blessing to see his actions to the end.” Tyrfing grimaced however for a brief moment, before becoming rather stoic.
“It makes the memories all more precious, even if they are bittersweet. I suppose one could ask for nothing more.”
“Indeed. Destiny is how the best stories are told. The chronicles of history have told the most humane and inhumane stories of all time. It will continue to do so, as long as I am ruler of recollections.” Tyrfing set the pocket watch against the tome, pressing it lightly.
“That said, if I may ask for your permission, I would like to be by your side for a small amount of time. This Tachyon. . . those who dare say they can alter fate merely are liars. If it was your fate to not drown, that was your fate. There was no change, only the true result that could’ve happened. Indeed, the only lie was the angel. Everything, from what I saw, was true. Lies hold power only in the absence of truth; the angel should not persist. From my interpretation, he threatens the laws of recollections. Even if he is unable to change the very fabrics of time, he must be eliminated with great prejudice. Of course, it is still in my best interest to allow you to do all the work. If need be however, I will assist.” He opened the pocket watch, as it was about to strike the thirteenth hour, a falsehood he then whisked away, showing the clock once more with the proper twelve hours.
As Tyrfing spoke to her, Autumn’s eyes flashed with a small bit of her own humanity. “Hopefully, that won’t be necessary; but who am I to refuse your kindness? It would seem improper given all this talk of friendship. Really, I am in your debt.”
“It would be an honour. I am happy to rid of a being who imposes his sense of direction for time over all other mortals. See, my true power stems from humanity and truth. The song Michalis performed in here? They are that of the truth. Except for the last verse. The verse ‘Peace’ is an utter falsehood, where it cancels out my power. He knows this, as well as the knowledge of the true end to the song. That is what the removal of the thirteenth hour would signify. Once it strikes there, the clock will return to normal at last. Same with the being Tachyon, where he too has his own pocket watch dedicated for such an event. ” The clock then faded away from existence, the fate for any anomaly of the multi-verse.
“With that out of the way, it was definitely in your right to indeed go out of your way to save your friends. It was your choice. It was your destiny to do so, the destiny that you carved for yourself. Even if most of them died in your journey, please remember, take failure as a means to keep going with your aspirations. Meet despair head-on, as you continue to carve destiny out as you wish.”
“I will. . . It hurts to think of them, but in a way, I cherish that. Pain tells us when something is wrong, when something isn’t right. It’s something we all share, something none of us really want, but we can understand each other though it. In a sense, pain gives happiness meaning. When I couldn’t feel pain, I wasn’t myself, I wasn’t alive. Only after the fact could I understand.”
“No greater truth can be said,” Tyrfing chuckled a tad, as he tilt his head to the side. “Is there anything I can tell you, such as the truth of your existence? Anything at all in general?”
“No; I think you have done more than enough for me.”
“As I thought,” he smiled warmly, knowing that Autumn truly understood taking charge of her own destiny. “I have faith in you that you can keep Noelle safe, where in turn she will keep you safe.” Tyrfing simply softly smiled once more, as the warrior spirit within grew. Tyrfing held up the orb of light to the air, where it then burst into a bright light. Time then began to flow once more, as Autumn shifted to where her original position was. She looked around, to see the misty individual Tyrfing to be gone for now.
From his original position within the mists of recollection, Tyrfing kept a careful eye as the events of the future unfolded. As ruler of recollections, it was his duty to see things through, for that is how history is truly told.
Tyrfing, the Spiritful, the long lost hero of old, the benevolent king. Just a mere mortal of old, where he now kept watch of time so it goes accordingly, while still giving mortals the ability to choose where time should be directed. That was destiny. It was caused by those who directed a course to a particular end, not some fabricated will of divine gods. Gods do not know the future; no one does. Such is the way things should be. And with that, Tyrfing is truly content with his current role in the multi-verse, a role that by sheer force of will he has truly ascended to.