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SHINOU AND THE ALNAPHAR RAINBOW
“The earth parts, the sun flares, the ocean rears back, the shadows flee, and the absolutes tremble. When the hero comes, silence follows, and all will know who he is.”
My house is quiet. Well, it is fairly quiet. I have numerous nasty pets that keep a tight watch so it will remain that way. If my reputation doesn’t make enemies shy away once they see my name on the mailbox, my pets will. I doubt they can really be called pets, because I certainly can’t get anywhere near them for fear they will use any means necessary to cause uncomfortable levels of pain on me. I’m fairly confident I could fight through the lot of them, but I don’t dare bother myself with that. I am Shinou the Grim Koorima, and I don’t really like to waste time.
I am a medium man, with cold blue eyes that will freeze any sane man dead in his tracks with thoughts of what truly awful things I could do to him. My hair is the same shade of blue. It raises up in impossible directions all the while shining as if it were shards of ice crystallizing in impossible and dangerous angles. It isn’t really ice though. It happened on a trip to try and squeeze information out of a terrible warlock named Warlic. He has a big mouth that uses big enchanted words. He also has big sleeves with even bigger tricks hidden up them. I’ve never taken a liking to the magic sorts, and it was no trouble for me to tell him so. Not until he blew up a concoction in my face causing it to turn black and raising my hair into a mess of black spikes. I stayed that way for some time until my potion bearer made a solution. The draw back was that the salve hardened forever. My hair has stayed frazzled ever since.
My house is in the city of Deren. It’s a scholarly city filled with intellectual, civilized, well mannered, and pretty much everyone with characteristics that aren’t any of mine. I really wouldn’t live here if some of the elements I was aligned with didn’t disapprove of low income living. I do enjoy ruining the neighborhood, though. All the nobles turned their noses inside out when I moved in out of sheer disgust. Now it is very hard to look down on anyone with noses like that.
The house has an entrance worth more gold than I care to spend, complete with pillars, a winding marble staircase, a chandelier of gold, and a table where my potion bearer puts her days work. It wasn’t easy getting her to work for me; I am an exceptionally ugly fellow, with no idea of the definition of social boundaries, or diplomacy. When people ask me what I do for a living I usually reply, “I kill things that bother me, especially things that ask extremely annoying questions.” They almost always look the other way after that. With this kind of habit of interaction with other and mostly more intelligent beings, it is very hard to get good help. Somehow though, I did get my potion bearer, and she makes a massive supply of potions for me on a daily basis.
She also brings rumors. This evening rumors were about a sighted end of a rainbow. The rainbow very inconveniently located under the Tree of Alnaphar. I could most likely avoid the tree, but the armor located there could align you with the element of light. An element I’m not really on good terms with yet. I have a great heaving maul of which is light aligned, but it is really cramping my style. I like to use spears, katanas, and axes. Trading in the overly gargantuan maul for an overly gargantuan axe would brighten up my day significantly, and not just because its light aligned. Unfortunately, the golden axe is guarded by a host of mean spirited leprechauns that are far too eager to smack anyone who so much as thinks of taking a piece of their treasure for themselves.
I was in this entry way of my house thinking about this very treasure, when a child’s sized hand pops out of nowhere seemingly attached to nothing, and attempts to palm the back of my head. The hand meets the hardened and jagged points of my hair and then recoils before disappearing back from where ever it came from. I couldn’t see the face that hand belonged to, but I could imagine it didn’t have a happy expression tagged to it. This was all the confirmation I needed to embark on my quest. I really wanted that golden axe.
I have many powers. I need many powers to remain as one of the feared residents of Lore. I have powers that draw upon my very spirit to create wondrous effects. I have one power, a healing spell I learned, that draws from a Mana pool that resides somewhere inside of me. It is the only spell I ever bothered to learn. Realistically, it’s probably the only spell I can learn. I’m not really the sharpest weapon in the arsenal, but I can definitely do a terrible amount of damage to things I don’t like. There is another kind of power I possess though, one of my birth right. I can do many things with my birth right, but at the moment only one was useful. When I pull out a map, I can travel to any destination I wish at the blink of an eye just by pointing at it with my finger. It wasn’t a difficult task to get to Alnaphar.
I had been to Alnaphar once before as an initiation to the Igknighted. The Igknighted are a special force of fighters for the Igneus clan. We are a clan of warriors with burning tempers, and erupting wraths, who really just create a lot of chaos to fuel our passion of creating chaos. We aligned ourselves with the fire element, and are led by a fox with a predictably hot head. I went to Alnaphar to retrieve the King’s armor, and truly align myself with the absolute fire. I was successful, and in doing so became the leader of a special group of surprise soldiers. I am the only one of it, and I suspect it is because my favorite weapon is an elite Ice Katana with the ability to freeze my foes. I have many other ways to win a fight, but this is what I am known for, and this how I got my name.
I wasn’t here to traverse back through that maze, though. I was here to go to the rainbow. As I walked towards the rainbow, a really annoying and bubbly voice tears through my ears. These ears are covered in skin, and some call them cauliflower ears from too many beatings, but they could hear this piercing voice of female joviality just fine. It was a woman named Halifax. She wore a chest plate with the markings of fire, and underneath that was a dark flowing robe that hid her completely. She has bright blonde hair that is cut short, which is newly fashionable, and her blue eyes brought it out brilliantly. On her back was strapped a mighty sword with similar if not exact markings to her chest plate, and in her right hand she held a half-staff that began as a reptilian skull which had a black hand guard just under it. The guard stretched out as a blade that curled around her hand. She looked almost intimidating, if she wasn’t so terrifyingly adorable.
She began to give me the same sale’s pitch she gave me on my last visit. Halifax lectured on the hazards of the trials ahead, and how I could only choose one elemental set of uniquely powered items. I tried to stop her many times, and gave her my best bored expression but to no avail. She prattled until she gave me the choice of which item to quest for.
“I’m not here for those items. I’d really just like to get to the end of that rainbow, and I’d really like it more if you would leave me alone.” I pointed out past a mountain with entirely too high overhanging cliffs, and treacherous rock valleys to what was clearly the end of a rainbow. Pointing at it started up my birth right, and instantly I was in green field near the rainbow. I was also surrounded by battling leprechauns, and hordes of the undead.
Leprechauns leaped up to get face height with the skeletons, and raised their chubby arms to blast light magic at the undead, while the bones swung swords down attempting to cut the luck hoarders out of this world. It wasn’t that much of a battle and the two sides parted for me, as I walked casually through. I guess they didn’t see me as much of a threat. A bigger patch of the war was ahead, and rather than try my luck again I decided to sneak through the darker part of the woods. I’ve had past training as an assassin, and a ninja, not mentioning other dexterous occupations and so sneaking is like breathing to me. It wasn’t difficult at all to get by. Once I had gotten deep enough through the woods though, there was a particularly dense skirmish. I knew I would have to fight here.
I rushed into battle and my first opponent was a Cyberchaun. He is a typical leprechaun with a red beard, green suit, and a tacky green hat adorned with a gold buckle. He did have one feature that set him apart from the other small men punching out undead villains. This feature was his robotic arms. The arms shot bright with electric current, and look positively deadly. There were no wires showing from beneath the cold steel arms, they were just true and hard destroying mechanisms with no obvious weakness. It was time for me to use another birthright.
Among my birth right powers these two are my favorite. The first birthright is to look upon a beings elemental alignment, and the second is to see that beings weakness. This guy was electrically aligned and wind or darkness would put him to a serious disadvantage. The third birthright I can use allows me to change equipment and weapons in the snap of my fingers by accessing my birthright invisible pack that can hold a limitless amount of weight. It might have a limit, but I haven’t found it yet. I used this birth right to change form into my Asgardian Current Vigor armor. I glow brightly with a golden and white sheen to my sleek armor. I have large pauldrons to flare out from atop my shoulders and the gold light spreads from underneath them and fades into a blinding white brilliance. The armor also comes with a glowing horned helm, but I cast that aside as it won’t fit right on my hair. It’s truly a nuisance. My weapon is drawn forth and it is the Tente Razor a formidable wind aligned weapon that best of all is a stunningly balanced katana.
Fully equipped I charge into the horde of leprechauns thinking I’m about to have a battle I’d really rather not. Strangely the leprechaun goes down, without much effort on my part. He basically ran into my sword. An undead elf took the spot where he was standing and attempted to put an arrow in my face, but he went down just as easy. I didn’t even bother to use my birthright. I cut through the waves, leaving a path of bones, and bodies as I felt almost disappointed at the lack of resistance. I had really hoped this would be a good rumble, but for all the leprechauns talk of fisticuffs, and dancing on my corpse they did very little to back up their threats. The undead were much more silent about their violent acts, but not any more deadly. They all fell before me in a quick show of power, and I shrugged it off as I continued down the path to the treasure.
The forest wasn’t thick with underbrush, and when I thought about it, it wasn’t much of a forest. A few scattered lines of trees marked the horizon where the lush green grass continued up and on over a hill. The clouds were sparse and calm. There wasn’t much sound from critters, creatures, birds, or insects. I found myself drawing deeper into my mind, which wasn’t much of a place. I mostly attempted to remember the best fights of my past, but couldn’t do much of that. You tend become hard with a life style like mine, and that means not letting things in. This includes memories, because they can come back to hurt, whether that be emotionally, or physically if they are brought to life by some powerful magic slinger. I shuddered at the thought, but I really didn’t have time to be bothered by that. I couldn’t even be bothered to be bothered.
Just then I bumped into a something half my size. Neither of us took a step back from the impact. I simply to a look down, and spied a leprechaun dressed in garishly bright gold armor. He shown like the sun, and was twice as hard to look at. I grabbed onto his shoulders and pushed him back to arm’s length. “You’re Sham! The leprechaun! What are you doing with that Equipment?”
He replied with something about bones chasing him, and then mentioned another thing about gold. “Look, just hand it over and I won’t have to cut you into an even smaller size.” I said.
He cackled madly at me and then said a few things about being powerful. After he finished rambling he came at me with a beautifully worked golden axe. I marveled at its intricate detailed carvings and the sharpness of its edge. I marveled a little too long, because he got close enough to swing the weapon at me and it struck with some little power at my glowing chest plate. I raised an eyebrow at him, and he swung again, but the effect was the same. I used my birthright to shift my weapon to the corrupted battle axe. It is dark aligned, and has very attractive deep purple scars running down its blades. The blades mirror each other, even their jagged and aged edges are symmetrical and it is one of my favorite weapons to use. I struck out at him and one hit sent him flying through the air. He crashed into a large tree trunk splintering it with a loud crackle. The tree shook from the mighty blow, and the large pot of gold its branches were holding came tumbling down to land on top of sham.
I was upset that I didn’t get the technical finishing blow, but I walked over to him triumphantly nevertheless. As I reached him I heard him mumble a few disturbing phrases and a rainbow shot out from nowhere and effectively transported him to a place that was not within my vision. “Burn me.” I cursed and looked on as further down the way another battle was starting. “I’ll have to sneak past those too.” A glare at the warring factions didn’t do much to help the situation, but it did make feel a bit better.
I decided to attempt to sneak past, but even with expert training if there isn’t a place to hide, you can’t remain hidden. A set of Cyberchauns found me crouching in the middle of the field, and came rushing with clenched fists to try and end any advance I was hoping to gain. It wasn’t very hard to show them how bad of an idea that was. They were put of the bad idea business for good after a couple of swift dodges, and some well-placed axe thrusts. After that an undead Zard came up from the ground snapping at me with his reptilian jaws. A Zard is a massive creature that stands upright on frog legs, and has a small body with a rather large reptilian head. This one was just an animated skeletal structure of a normal Zard, but that didn’t make it any less of a danger. There were no muscles to move his jaws, but that didn’t matter to me. Not with the speed at which they were snapping at my face. I pulled my arm out of its reach, and brought it to my side then up over my head in a wide arc. It was the hand now holding my great heavy light aligned maul, and I was bringing it down with all my force. The bone’s shot out in all directions sticking into the ground and even taking a few of the surrounding forces by surprise. I saw this as a good tactic, and began shattering all the sharp boned enemies I could find. Their skeletons made for excellent and deadly projectiles as they sped through the air and pierced defenseless leprechauns.
When I got to the end of the mass body of violence, it was quelled down to a few skeletons, and a couple leprechauns looking at me with astonishment, and no small amount of fear. I growled out them with an impressively menacing voice, and they scurried off into the forest. I turned to march on, but someone shouted for me to halt. I was never good at following directions, so I just kept on.
An undead paladin jumped out from behind some underbrush that seemed to be a little too small for his average stature, and his bulky heavy paladin’s armor. The armor is mostly steel, or perhaps silver, and is your run of the mill full plate male most knights use, except the gold outlines that mark them as a paladins. Knights for the good of all, they were knights with no king. He stood proudly before me, and his jaw chattered, clanging up against the bare teeth of his skull. I’m sure he meant to say something, but with no vocal chords found himself at a loss of words. I attempted to step by him, but he side stepped back in front me and raised his golden axe. I see his weakness was wind, and equipped myself for the battle. My armor was switched out for the Mighty Ultra Guardian Plate, which is basically some heavy duty black plate mail, with dark blue trimming. It also has large spikes that protrude from the key aesthetic points like the elbows, shoulders, heels, and shin guards. I don’t know if skeletons have feelings, but I thought I saw this one hesitate, and almost turn away.
I took advantage of the slight moment of confusion, and slashed down on him with my katana, but he stepped away, so that my downward thrust missed him and the momentum threw me off balance. He countered by suddenly growing twice as large as he was before, and his armor even resized with him. His axe did as well, and then I wasn’t sure if aggravating this guy was the best idea I ever had. His giant’s axe came powerfully down, and the wind rushed away from it with the sound of a felled tree. I was able to summersault prettily and safely behind him, and knew just what to do. I brought my katana in one devastating swing to the back of his knee. It was enough for him bend and topple, the weight from his newly enlarged armor was too much for any bunch of bones to bear, and he came down hard. The crash was deafening, but after a few winces it was all over. The paladin was just a skull surrounded by a pile of bones and metal. I looked at his the skull which was still chattering away, and decided he wasn’t worth my time after all. I moved on letting him talk it out with himself.
I walked on towards the rainbow, and started to doubt that the end would ever come. Just as any normal rainbow behaved, it traveled any equal distance away from me when I took steps in its direction. Just as I was getting past the point of explosive aggravation, and my teeth were creaking a final plea to get my jaw to stop clenching, the end of the rainbow was suddenly before me. It looked more like a cave than a rainbow, but I was pretty sure it was the right way, and my certainty had absolutely nothing to do with the sign that read Portal to Leprechaun….. I never could read that last word, I guess my intelligence was just a bit lacking.
As I was attempting to read the sign a bright ball of fur came flashing out of the adjacent bushes. It slammed into me, and then shot away. The force caused me to stagger back, and I never saw its second attack coming. As fast as light it came with an almost impressive force to collide with my back. I was made to give a few steps, and only fell to my knees because of a really inconveniently placed rock. If I ever met the ancient rock placer, I would have to give him a good beating for all the times his rock placing has put me into a situation I’d rather not be in.
I turned quickly to see a beam of pure light energy attached to a blonde fur ball with a dangling tongue come barreling at me. It had frightening speed, and I knew there wasn’t going to be a dodge, or a way to hit this thing, so I ran. I ran back towards the skeleton paladin, and all the way there the furry creature attached to a beam of light chased me down. He could easily catch up to me, and blasted into my cuirass from front and back causing my progression to become depressingly slow. I was weakening too. The attacks were hurting a bit now, and tossing me further than they initially were.
I wasn’t going to give in now, though. I decided to run in a zigzag formation, and the shooting beam managed to become a lot less accurate. My progress still wasn’t as fast as I’d like, but eventually I made it back to duck behind a large rock. The paladin had mostly reassembled himself, and now looked to be a skull sitting atop massively heavy armor. I got up used my birthright to pull out my Corrupted Axe, and slammed it into him. The armor must not have been situated correctly yet, because he flew into hundreds of pieces of bone, and armor. The beam of light chasing me flew through the air beside me, and caught one of the bones.
The furry creature came to a halt, and lay down on its belly. It was a small dog, and like other dogs, it couldn’t resist being thrown a bone. It chomped down and grinded on the paladins only means of having a workable structure, and it did so with glee. I was also glad, but mostly because that was getting a bit too scary for my taste, and it was time now to journey through the rainbow.
The door to the rainbow looked like one of the intricate puzzles I see the wizards arguing over. They snap at each other for hours, while nothing gets solved, until finally, they throw magic at it. Usually, this has no effect on the puzzles. I know how to solve puzzles, and no amount of logic, science, technology, or magic will do. Mostly, puzzles just need brute strength. I found smashing most puzzles causes my headache to vanish instantly, and I do like that result. I decided to test my puzzle skills on the door. My fingers slid underneath it easily, and I stood up from my crouched position as if I were dead lifting some heavy weights back home. The door grunted in defiance, but eventually squealed like a little girl and flew itself up to allow me passage. There isn’t much that doesn’t squeal like that when I start flexing.
The inside of the rainbow was a mesmerizing stream of color. ROY G BIV swirled in my head and all sense of direction was thrown in the same waste pile as gravity. I began floating through the color, and my stomach turned as often as I did. Nausea came to me, and I knew puking was next on the amusement activity schedule and I wouldn’t have a choice as to whether or not I was going to participate. As I was curled into a fetal position with my arms tightly clenched around my legs, I felt something grasp me. It grasped me by my right bicep and tore it away from my shins. I spun my head around to face the very mean thing, and saw it was a giant mechanical arm attached to a medium sized leprechaun.
“Are you really still a leprechaun if you are that tall?” I managed to ask between swallows of stomach bile.
“Eh, laddy. Think yer a smert en?” The leprechaun said and reared his free mechanical arm back to gain momentum for a strike. I flinched back freeing my other arm, and giving up the defensive curl I had put myself in. I reared my own arm back attempting to match blow for blow, but when my arm went back another cold firm grasp took ahold of me. Both my arms were held back and another leprechaun joined the fight as we tossed about in iridescent waves giving nasty looks back and forth.
“You two should let go of me now, or things might just get a bit electric.” I said and gave them both my coldest grin.
“Naw me thinkin’ ye deserve a beatin’.” One of the Mech arms said.
“ The kind were ya donna get up afta werds.” The other said.
“Or iff’n yah do. Yer got one nasty sort O head ache.” The first added.
“The kind we done gave ta McNealy.” The second concluded and pointed below us, not that the direction meant much to me.
I decided to humor him, though, and saw another medium sized Leprechaun floating in the distance both his eyes obscured by two black and blue lumps, that looked more like creatures than they did extensions of his face.
I shrugged and decided to show them I knew exactly what they meant. I used my birthright to shift into my Asgardian armor. The light from my armor was dulled by the overwhelming colors surrounding me. I wasn’t too concerned, though. I had a trick up my sleeve. This armor has a specialty of discharging a large amount of electricity, and these two had really conductive arms. I let the energy loose. The two giant leprechauns went stiff as the electricity shot through their bodies. They had spasms and convulsed for a few seconds, and their grips went weak. I tore my hands from them and used my birthright again, this time I put my wind aligned Katana into both hands, and did a double handed over head slash that effectively removed all threats around me. At least, I thought it did. A disco ball came swinging down from a place that didn’t appear to exist, and was heading straight for me.
I struggled about, flailing my arms, and trying to get any amount of room between me and the oversized dancing accessory. I had no luck. The ball careened into my side and propelled me further down the rainbow. I was flying uncontrollably down the colored path, and didn’t have a single clue what to do, but that wasn’t anything new. Usually, I just had to hang on, and eventually I would arrive where I needed to be, but it didn’t look like there was anything to hang on to, and the disco ball was coming back for another piece of me. I had to get out fast so I did the only sensible thing.
I used my birthright again and pointed in the direction that I believed to be the opposite of where I had entered. Immediately, I was teleported to a room filled with large sacks of gold. There was hardly room to wander about. Just sacks of gold, money, and Sham. The terrible leprechaun that wore the armor that I needed so desperately stood before me with a mocking disgust lining the features of his face.
“I’m impressed you made it this far, Shinou” Sham croaked. “You will never get any of my gold! I am the lord of gold! I am a golden god!”
I watched him yell this from atop a large pile of gold that didn’t look to be very stable or give a good place to move your weight. I was tired of fighting at this point and decided to end this quickly. I allowed the power of my birthright to equip me with my corrupted battle axe and pointed the top of it at sham. I held it in two hands as if it were one of the guns I saw from the future, and shouted the power words. Lances of dark energy shot from the axe and splashed into the coins. They moved like waves in a glimmering gold ocean and tossed sham about, swallowing him with their combined weight.
The coins flooded down through the room and came to engulf me as well, but I had planned for that. I pointed at sham and was suddenly beside him. I took him by his small shoulders and head-butted him in the nose. I could hear the cartilage crack, and I could feel the structure of it give beneath my blow. When I pulled him back and away from me I saw his eyes roll up to take a peek into the top of his skull. I hope there was a more pleasant sight there than what I was looking at. Shams face took a turn for the worse, and I hadn’t thought that possible. I dropped him at my feet and took a look around. The walls that were hid behind the gold coin hill were lined with light aligned armor.
The knees and shoulders of the armor were carved to resemble a roaring lion, and the shine of the plate was not something of little importance. This was armor of a true warrior. I took some time to find a set that fit me perfectly and brought out my map. From there home was just a point away.
“Shinou! I know you are aware of what rude behavior is!” A voice so high pitched rang out at me that I was certain all the glass in the house would burst. “Your behavior was certainly that!”
I had to think back to any events where I might have offended someone with a voice that terrifying, which was an extremely difficult task. Luckily, I didn’t need to think long. Halifax came floating at a furious pace from outside my house. She didn’t seem to care about manners herself, for she didn’t knock. For flame’s sake she didn’t even open the door. I guess I found that fair treatment. I had grown tired of the maze in Alnaphar and started breaking my way through walls.
“You will pay me the attention and respect I deserve!” She cried out.
A little shocked I was uncertain what to say. “Hali, do you think we could talk this over with a nice drink? I have a couple horses in the stable. What about we ride over to Lolosia?”
She looked a bit apprehensive at first, but after my warmest smile, she gave a sigh of resignation, and headed towards the horses. I started that way, but at a slower pace. When she had turned the corner I whipped out my trusty world map, and pointed toward Granemor. Halifax never stayed cool for long, unless it was the coolness of death.
“It was gold that last shined grace on his rise, while the dead, and the short living go to war, only the hero rises to ease their folly.”
< Message edited by vamplycan -- 2/8/2014 17:14:47 >