Scorpio: The Thirteenth 13th!
Guardian Scorpio was sitting at home in his mansion cozily located in the heart of DoomWood. He was staring out the window gazing at the ever present moon when he heard a frantic knocking at his door. Walking over to the door, he swung it open to find a scared townsman covered in sweat leaned up against his doorframe.
"Well, what is it?", asked the Guardian.
"The Undead! They're everywhere!", screamed the panicking peasant.
"Of course they are! This is DoomWood! If you didn't expect Undead you must have been deaf to the talk about these parts.", said Scorpio, considerably annoyed by the obvious statement. He was about to slam the door when the man spoke up.
"Not like these! The normal ones don't bother, the Necromancers don't either, but these are different! They all have masks and strange elves in cloaks have been following them around! There have been whispers, some kind of cult and something about a masked man.", as he said these last words he was so nervous he could barely finish the sentence.
"Masks you say? I'll see about them, along with these cloaked elves. You just... hmm... I can't just let you walk back to town alone right now. Wait, I know!", the Guardian screamed these last words as he rushed over to his mechanical gryphon. He pressed its left eye and then turned its head to the right, causing a loud sound of moving gears and falling dirt, but no visible changes.
"What... what did you just do?", asked the confused towsnsman.
"Could you just walk over to the Togstone that isn't glowing, and stomp your foot?", requested Guardian Scorpio.
The man did just that, and dirt slipped away to reveal a set of stairs leading to an area beneath the mansion. Both peasant and Guardian stood and stared at the passage.
"Quite a piece of work, isn't it?", remarked Scorpio, "I got it installed after a trip to Popsprocket, you know before the whole Rose thing, those Gnomes did a great job of blending it in."
"Why, why do you have this?", inquired the man.
"Well, sometimes I go down there when I hear that a Rose patrol is coming, though if they're really unlucky I don't quite get down there in time and have to use... other ways of getting rid of them.", said the Guardian, "Before that was necessary, and even now, it's L Draco's den."
"L Draco? Are you sure?", the townsman was understandably anxious about sharing a room with a dragon.
"Yes, I'm sure. Now get down there before somethings finds you!" Scorpio was irritated at the man for wasting time.
Scared by the sudden change in tone, the peasant rushed down the stairs, and no sooner had he reached the bottom than the passage concealed itself again and the gryphon head turned back. Guardian Scorpio went back inside to survey his weapon rack.
Hmm, thought Scorpio, against the Elves the axe would probably work better, but the scythe would give me better results against the Undead... Decisions, decisions...
The Battle Begins
Having settled on both, Scorpio walked towards Falconreach. Having found no more resistance than usual, he was about to chalk up the peasant's suspicions to paranoia and ghost stories. However, as he entered the gate, Ash rushed up to him.
"Guardian Scorpio! You've arrived! Good, there's a major problem!", Ash practically screamed with joy and relief.
"Let me guess, masked Undead and Elven cultists?", inquired the guardian, already knowing the answer.
"Hmm... Some farmer or other must have gone to you rather than the guards or me.", Ash seemed a bit jealous as he said this.
"You know, technically I am a Guardian. I'd say he did tell a guard.", Scorpio was used to this kind of sentiment, having garnered such a massive amount of fame in such a short period before disappearing.
"You got your armour, painted it like the extinct Amityvale section, and moved out to DoomWood. You're hardly a guard, but that's not the point. why are these Undead showing up?", Ash was obviously confused by the event.
"Well, the masks are a trademark of sorts, but Friday the 13th isn't until next week. I guess they got impatient. As for the cultists, I'm clueless.", the dark Guardian was not used to being confused by matters of this nature.
As they contemplated the situation, a masked zombie slowly limped up to right behind Scorpio. Everyone stood and stared as it approached at a snail's pace, until it got within striking distance.
"Behi-", Ash wasn't even able to finish the word before, in a blur of motion, the zombie was a mere pile on the ground and Scorpio preferred weapon of choice, a scythe as elegant as it was deadly, was firmly gripped in the Guardian's hand.
"So then, where were we?", asked Scorpio, just barely acknowledging the dead creature at his heels, "Bothersome beasts, the whole lot. Maybe Artix has the right idea."
"I find that an odd statement coming from someone with your talents", remarked Ash, pondering the anti-Undead statement made by the Dark Guardian.
"My undead have class, elegance, and know how to get the job done. Just because they can't speak doesn't mean they have to be made into imbeciles.", said Scorpio, looking back in disgust at the pile of flesh that was once his attacker.
"Well, you better get real fast with that scythe, look!", Ash screamed the last word as he pointed off to the east.
Scorpio looked in the direction Ash pointed, seeing a sight which shocked even him. A massive legion of skeletons, zombies, and slimes. But beyond the masked legion was a group which interested him more than it frightened him, elves in red, sinister-looking hooded cloaks.
As the army advanced, Scorpio could get a closer look at the cloaked figures. Judging by what little he could see, not all were Elves, like the peasant had thought. Some were clearly human and others he presumed to be Undead. He was contemplating the mashup of races when he noticed that he wouldn't be able to stand there any longer. A battalion of Undead had surged past the defenders and were coming straight at him.
Scorpio leaped out of the way of the charging marauders and tossed his scythe at the group. Half the skeletons had been dismantled, and some of the zombies got cut, but no major damage to the group. running directly in front of the now weakened squad, he held out his hand as if to stop them. When the Undead continued charging, as he knew they would, he shot out a series of electric waves, shocking the remaining skeletons. With the only threat now being a handful of zombies, the Dark Guardian stood his ground, spinning and swinging his scythe masterfully. Within thirty seconds the zombies were cut up corpses on the ground. As he was admiring his handiwork, Guardian Scorpio was interrupted by a sharp and cynical voice.
"It took you that long to dispatch them?", mocked the voice, "Perhaps you aren't the one I thought you were. You are Scorpio aren't you? The 'Dark Guardian'?"
Scorpio was annoyed by the disrespectful tone of the voice, "Show yourself, coward! I am the Guardian Scorpio, but above all I'm a man of honour. One more hiddden insult and I'll blast the whole area until I find you."
No sooner had the words left his mouth than Scorpio was confronted by a man wearing an evil-looking robe with a hood that concealed his face. From this close perspective the Guardian percieved he was part of some cult, no doubt a sinister one.
"Fine, I wouldn't want to ruin the fun.", the Cultist admitted, "I prefer honour myself, though I hardly see it as a necessity. But, in fair sport I'll give you time to prepare."
Scorpio wondered what he meant by those last words. The tone in the Cultist's voice clearly indicated he didn't want Scorpio to prepare for a treaty.
"Prepare for wha-", the Guardian couldn't even complete his question before a pillar of rock smashed into his jaw, knocking him down. Using his scythe for leverage he pulled himself back up with a jump. Scorpio held his scythe in a defensive position, wanting to be ready for a follow-up attack.
"Ah yes, a scythe, what a coincidence you brought one. I fancied this more of an axeman's battle, or maybe a swordmaster.", as the man said these words, darkness formed around his hand, coalescing into a vicious looking scythe, "Let's see who is better with the most elegant bladeever made to kill."
With that the Cultist lunged forwards at Scorpio. The Dark Guardian barely had time to dodge, and even so he still got hhis armour nicked. Scorpio had not expected such a challenge. He shot a rlaming dragon-head from his palm, hoping to knock the Cultist off his feet. With a smirk, the robed man easily jumped over the attack. The Guardian needed to formulate some kind of strategy.
Think, thought Scorpio, he's aligned with Darkness clearly, so use light!
Realizing this, he pointed his sythe at the Cultist. a bright beam of light shot out of it, hitting the man with full force. The Cultist was knocked down, but quickly recovered.
"After all my training, Light is but a mere annoyance.", said the hooded Cultist, "Not one of the Undead on this battlefield are as attuned to Darkness as my brothers and I. You're 'honour' can not protect you against the unfiltered power of Darkness!"
As the Cultist said the last sentence, something clicked in Scorpio's head. If he wasn't as weak to Light, he wouldn't be as well protected by Darkness! Scorpio figured it was time to teach the Cultist a lesson in insulting a man's honour.
"Do you know why they call me the 'Dark Guardian'?:, asked Scorpio, "It isn't because of myliving situation, or my personality, it's because of this.", as he said the last word, his scythe melted down into a standard longsword. The Cultist was about to laugh when the longsword shifted shape, twisting and bending until it became an axe. As the axe filled out in colour and design the Cultist stared in horror.
"No, it can't be!", screamed the Cultist, alarmed at the sight of the weapon.
Scorpio smirked as looked down at his hand. His regal scythe had transformed into a weapon that all fear, except for those who are truly attuned to Darkness. In the Dark Guardian's hand was none other than the ShadowReaper of Doom. Aside from Sepulchure's own blade, no weapon on Lore could match its dark powers.
"But, how?", asked the nervous Cultist, "Doom Weapons drive their owners insane! The Darkness spirits inside take control of their minds! Nobody has ever managed to control one!"
"That's the beauty, we've worked out an agreement.", Scorpio removed a small, purple gem from inside the handle of the axe, "He gets let out every once in a while, and I get to keep my sanity. Scorpio tossed the gem into the air, causing it to glow and then disappear. In its place stood a ten-foot tall Reaper. The Reaper drove its spear down into the heart of the Cultist, knocking it down. Scorpio looked upon the cultist with disgust.
"For the honour of all the Guardians who have fallen before me, I will eradicate you and your cult!", as he said this, the Dark Guardian pointed his axe at the downed Cultist. At this gesture, a ghostly battalion of Guardians charged at the Cultist, finishing him off.
"Well, that's one down.", remarked Scorpio, "Far too many left though..."
Scorpio continued cutting and blasting his way through the army of undead. His scythe made quick work of any footsoldiers that crossed his path. He was about to return to the war camp when a hulking mass blocked his path. It appeared to have some stone-like, sinister armour. It was as if the Cultist's robes had been magnified and hardened. It carried no weapon, but appeared to have large curved arms that would do the job better than any blade or club. The Dark Guardian could sense it was Undead, a fact that startled him. He wondered what foul necromancer could have created such a monstrosity.
The Brute stomped its way over to Scorpio. swinging its massive arm upwards when it got near. The force of the impact launched Scorpio into the air and flung him several feet back wards. Having planned on resting, he was unprepared and now quite furious. He faced the beast and started slashing wildy with his scythe. As hit after hit landed, the Dark Guardian felt a peculiar sensation. It was an elemental feeling he was quite familiar with, not always in a good way. Somehow, in his rage, his attacks had become imbued with the power of Light. The empowered strikes burned the Brute as they cut him. After a handful of swings, the creature fell upon the ground, dead.
With the threat taken care of, Scorpio quickly got to the camp. When he arrived he saw Ash standing there with a grim look on his face. He had been serious before, but now he was downright determined. As Ash looked at the returning Guardian, Scorpio knew something had happened while he was away battling.
"Well,", he asked, "what is it?"
"We... we recieved reports...", Ash was distracted and could barely finish the phrase.
"What kind of reports? More undead beasts, bigger too? Or reinforcements, more vicious and crazy than these?", Scorpio was worried what kind of report had so worried Ash.
"No, nothing like that...", Ash tried to regain his composure, "Scouts have reported seeing the Cultists snooping around old fortresses."
"So,", asked the Dark Guardian, "Big deal, they can steal all the dirt and rusty old daggers they want."
"No, the fortresses, they...", Ash had trouble explaining the dire situation, "They belonged to... them! Sepulchure, Xan, Aisha! all the worst villains you've fought. They've taken armour, plushies, icicles, and who knows what else! Nobody knows where they'll go next or what they'll take! And most importantly, nobody knows what they're even doing!"
Ash hadn't meant to start screaming, but once he started talking he couldn't hold back. He was too angry about the whole situation. The Cultists showing up with an army of undead a week before the 13th, the monstrosities that accompanied them, the terror they inspired in the townspeople, everything.
"Oh, and one more thing.", Ash was now calm, too calm in fact, "The one leading them on these expeditions, he was the one you told me about, the one with the scythe."
"How is that possible?", Scorpio was startled by the idea that the Cultist could have survived the final ghostly onslaught, "I fought him, I saw him die as the Guardians killed him. I used my scythe, my spells, I even used my axe on him!"
"I don't know...", Ash seemed to be lost in thought, "to survive not only the ShadowReaper of Doom, but the spirit within. As well as the attack by the fallen Guardians... apparently death is diffrent with him."
"Well, whatever's the case, we should focus on the army that's here, before we worry about the Cultists in distant areas of Lore. Defend the home front, I'll see what I can find out.", with that Scorpio went to his makeshift bed he put together at the campsite. It would be a long day tomorrow, this he did not doubt.
Scorpio awoke the next morning in a good mood. This lasted for five seconds, after which he remembered why he was sleeping where he was, what was happening outside, and what events had occured in faraway lands. He quickly started a training match with an Undead viking he had summoned to hone his skills before the day's combat.
As he effortlessly blocked and countered every swing of his summon's axe, Ash came up to him. The Guardian reverted his creation into a pile of bones and metal, Ash began to speak.
"We have news, some relatively good, some bad.", Ash, though he had slept more soundly than any other that night, already sounded fatigued.
"Give me the good, then the bad. I could use something on the upside to start my day.", Scorpio was doubtful of how good the news could possibly be.
"Well, we know something about the cultists. Scouts have heard them speaking of some kind of ritual involving the stolen items.", Ash was not cheerful, but had perked up from gloomy to dark, "we just don't know the purpose of the ritual. It could be some kind of villainous magic picnic, more symbolic than practical or-", Ash was cut off by Scorpio.
"Or, it could be some kind of necro-demonic summoning, right? So then, what's the bad news?", Considering what the good news was, Scorpio was worried about what the bad news was.
"They struck again. They were reported to have stolen an arm and a broken purple crystal from a graveyard.", Ash didn't realize it, but that news was far worse for his companion than it was for the rest of the Guardians.
"Wait, a purple crystal, and broken too? That's Vayle's! I remember the day it shattered like yesterday. Then the arm must belong to her brother! They took Edgar's arm! Wait a minute, a graveyard, Vayle's crystal... They, they-", Scorpio was cut off by Ash, who was puzzled by the confusion and rage that was as evident as it was uncharacteristic in the scythe-wielding fighter.
"They what? Took them, we know. What's the big deal?", Ash wondered what was causing Scorpio to get so upset.
"They took it from the graveyard in DoomWood! They were on my homeland, and I was away! If they had found my house... If I had been there, I could have stopped them! I could have ended this war once and for all! As it is we've barely killed half of them!", The Dark Guardian was distraught at the thought of those cultists so close to his home.
"Just calm down, there's nothing you can do now until we find them. Even if you were there, who's to ay you could have stopped them, we already know that your first try didn't work.", Ash tried reasoning with the infuriated hero.
"I guess you're right... I'll be fighting if you need me.", with that, Scorpio walked out side, scythe in hand.
It wasn't until the next day that Ash and Scorpio talked again. The Dark Guardian was staring off at the distance, lost in thought.
"Scorpio, we have reports of more thefts,", Ash was uneasy about breaking the news to his friend, who had reacted so angrily before, "Sek-Duat, Yalla, who knows why. You have to won-", Scorpio cut him off with a blunt question.
"Do you know what today is?", asked the Guardian.
"Yes, it is Friday, and the seventh day of the war.", Ash was confused by the obvious question.
"You're correct, but it's also the 13th, and yet there have been no signs of anything unusual. Gives me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, like wen I saw that fallen teacup of Celestia's...", Scorpio was lost in thought as he made this statement.
"Sir!", a Guardian ran up to him, "We've heard reports of aritual in DoomWood, something about an all-powerful Baron. We sent a scout to investigate, but he hasn't returned."
"Hmm,", Scorpio was puzled by what it could mean, "I only know of one all-powerful Baron, but something tells me that he isn't the one they were talking about. Besides, he's more of a Mogloween guy."
"Well, we have good news,", said the Guardian, slightly nervous about being near his dark counterpart, "The monster waves have pulled back!"
"It's not over yet...", ash felt a creeping sensation spread across his spine, "Can you feel it, Scorpio?"
"Something is coming...", Scorpio looked up at the moon, "I..."
He was cut off by the presence of a looming figure flying in front of the moon. Scorpio could just make out his half-masked face.
This must be the masked man, thought Scorpio, the one the pesant had heard about.
As he finished this thought, the masked man landed. He shot a wave of pure evil at Scorpio the second he touched the ground. From the amazing power, Scorpio concluded this must be the Baron the Guardian mentioned.
"You there,", said the Dark Guardian, "what's your name, and what business do you have here?"
"I am the Baron Jaysun Valtrith," his demeanor was one of pure confidence, "My business here is to destroy you and everything you've worked for. You may think you've fought villains before, but none have had half my power!"
With that, the Baron unleashed a series of dark bolts at Scorpio. As each one made contact, Scorpio felt the burning pain of a thousand slow deaths. Despite the agony, he would not be discouraged. Scorpio shot a flaming dragon spirit-head out of his palm.
"Is that really your best?", mocked Baron Valtrith, shrugging off the attack.
Enraged, Scorpio slashed wildly with his scythe, only to be further annoyed by the fact that each time he thought he had struck, all he had hit was a wall of shadow. He slashed at the ground with his scythe, piercing the earth and causing a trio of Undead Guardians to spring up. As they charged at the Baron with their rusted blades, they made minor incisions but, much to Scorpio's chagrin, inflicted no major damage.
From that point it was a desperate struggle for Scorpio. He managed to block most of Valtrith's sword attacks, but the shadow-like creatures that were attached to his body made for a challenging fight. Just as he blocked one head, the other would attack. Too often he'd been rendered immobile by the venom the snake-head contained. As he struggled, a thoguht came to him.
"Enough!", screamed the Guardian, "Your not the only one with extra creatures!"
With that, a large green and yellow dragon appeared behind Scorpio. It had a smile on its face, after al it hadn't been summoned in some time.
"Ready to meet the reaper?", asked the Guardian Dragon as it unleashed its powerful breath on Baron Valtrith.
After the smoke cleared, the Baron stood there, smiling. He was obviously unharmed and was rather amused by the attempt. Scorpio stood and wondered at what kind of power the Baron had to be able to withstand such a blast without so much as a scratch. The Baron noticed the distracted Guardian but did not strike.
"How amusing that you thought that would work.", remarked the masked Baron, "You had no chance of succeeding, but still, it was rather fun to watch you try. A worthy opponent. I shall enjoy breaking you and all you protect."
As he said those words, he teleported away. Scorpio was regretting not finding out more about him. All he had was a name, and barely that.
"What... Who was that?", asked the perplexed Guardian.
"I... have no idea,", answered Ash, "but it's definitely not the last we've seen of him. You should go home, get some rest. For the moment we're safe."
Scorpio took Ash's advice and headed home. As he approached his front door he activated the secret passage. When the stairs appeared, the townsman rushed up excitedly.
"Are they gone, am I safe?", asked the worried man.
"Yes, they're gone, for now. You can find your way back home, right?", inquired Scorpio. For some reason, he always got a weird feeling near this guy. Familiar, but weird.
"Yes, I'l do fine. Thanks for the housing while the war went on. Your dragon, he's a rather kind fellow.", said the man, "By the way, my name's Chomper, if you're ever in Moonridge and find yourself needing some "special supplies", I'll tell my guy. He knows what you need.", the man obviously knew about Scorpio's necromantic hobby, but something wasn't right.
As the man walked off, his form changed to reveal a skeleton wearing a simple, black robe. Now Scorpio realized why he got that weird feeling. It's not everyday you house a disguised Undead in our dragon-lair.
Hmmm, thought the Dark Guardian, I may need to take Chomper up on his offer.
With that, he went to his bed. Tomorrow he'd have some shopping ot do, anything to take his mind off Valtrith...
< Message edited by UnderSoul -- 9/30/2013 17:35:34 >