Alcavana, Year 12003: An Impossible Task
Note: I just wanted to address some plot holes here, I tried doing it in the story but it was just so clunky I had to get rid of it. Okay so: The reason they don't let the king get all the crystals and then steal them all at once is because they're too heavy, and they don't recruit more people because there's enough competition for the crystals already.
Welcome to the world of Alcavana. Let me explain how this place works. The surface is flat and is the only source of life. The sun, the three moons and the stars revolve around it. When one dies they pass through the sun which is a portal to the next world. In the next world they are divided into different regions depending on their personality. It isn't a bad place but it isn't a good place. It just is. In the centre is paradise, it is reserved for the kings and queens, for the important artists and the legendary warriors.
In the very centre of paradise lives the gods. There is the one true god who blesses every one of his people, below him is a god who shapes the way the world works and below him is the god of every element. The elemental gods are in a constant battle for supremacy, working through their people of that element, but there is never a true victor, the contest is eternal.
God's blessings pass through the sun in order to be absorbed on the surface. Every night the sun dies and the blessings do not get through, and every morning the sun is reborn. As god blesses indiscriminately, it is the job of the sun to decide who is worthy of the blessings and who is not.
Inside the world of the Sun everything is a shade of orange, black and white. There's a desk where the sun, who manifests in this plane as human, sits, and behind him is miles of bookshelves containing the life story of everyone who lives or has ever lived. When a person dies they sit across from the desk as they are given their life story and it is decided where in the afterlife they are to be sent.
The sun lives a lonely life.
I am the one they call the sun, and I have many stories for you...
A man named Jark lives in the small mining town of Arlia and his team has just unearthed a strange crystal. It is rainbow in appearance.
The king of the region, often considered a mad king, has come to personally investigate the crystal. Jark is told to keep quiet for the life of his family. This mad king is hated by his people and the rest of the world is very threatened by him. The king tells the world he wants nothing but world peace but everybody knows he means world peace, everybody under him.
King Javan summons the most beautiful peasants to his chamber wherever he goes. In Arlia he summons Jark's wife and daughter. They feel blessed but Jark can't stand it and vows revenge on the king even if he has to sacrifice himself.
Jark is a man of the earth element and today his earth god comes to him in a dream. "There is a way to get revenge on the king without sacrificing yourself. For the good of your family don't sacrifice yourself. The supreme God is angry I am talking to you, as angry as he can get he's pretty soft. You'll find it, though, just travel the world and pay attention to world events."
Jark awakens and tells his family he's going to travel. His son wants to go with him but Jark tells him he needs to take care of his mother and sister.
"I will return one day both rich of experience and more literally rich. We will live in luxury.
He travels to the town over, Mariana and gets a room at the lodge.
In his sleep he is visited once again. This time by all of the gods.
Supreme God sits in the back and observes. Fire says "This man is not worthy. Wouldn't Earth love his boy to be the chosen one but he just isn't." Earth says "I believe in this man and you'll be surprised." "I will not." "If he isn't the chosen one why did he wander into the next town the moment before they discover another crystal?"
Jark wakes up to the sound of people raving about a mysterious crystal.
He goes to investigate and the king is already there. He takes the crystal. Main realizes his revenge will have something to do with these crystals, but he's going to have to beat the king to them. They're too heavy to just carry out of the castle as he is but one man.
The king speaks to Jark. "Oh, the miner from Arlia, what are you doing here?" "I've decided to travel." "...Why?" "I want to see the world." "You want to see my world?" "Yes sir." "Don't get in my way." "I have no idea what you're talking about." "Your wife and daughter are whores and your son is a coward." "I'm sorry." "Don't get in my way." "I have no desire to." "If I see you around the next time a crystal is discovered I will kill you." "I'm sorry, I won't be."
Another villager, Arvan, overhears the conversation. "I see you're also looking for the crystals." "What if I am?" "We could team up, I'd hate to see that piece of shit the king become a god." "A god?" "You don't even know what the crystals do?" "No, a god came to me in a dream and told me they would be the only way I can get revenge on the king." "Well it would certainly do that. Folklore has it... The man who gathers the crystals is given the opportunity to battle the god one step under the supreme god, the man who controls how the world works and what it looks like. If he defeats the god, he becomes the god, and the world changes to reflect his soul." "I see... I'm not sure I'm worthy of such a power." "Then you probably aren't, but neither is the king." "Are you?" "I don't know... But, like you, if I can do it, then I deserve it, If I cannot, then I do not." "I guess that's true." "We can go together, the two of us must beat the king." "And when only one of us can become a god?" "That is when our partnership ends, one of us kills the other." "It's a deal."
Arvan says "I want to introduce you to some people, let's go to Helvencia next.
After a long hike they come to Helvencia and Arvan takes Jark to a dilapidated old building. "This is an underground society of those who know and worship the crystals and the people the crystals have chosen. We worship the previous person to collect the crystals, the world we live in is shaped by his heart and soul. He is the twelfth person to collect the crystals and not a lot of people know we are in the twelfth era, because we are only in the fourth era of the written word and the previous eight are kind of jumbled together in people's heads and there aren't a lot of surviving stories."
"They worship me as the next person to find the crystals, but it may not be me, it may be you, or it may god forbid be the king."
Once again the gods come to him in a dream.
"This man is not the chosen one, he is just an obstacle in your path." "I may need him going forward."
The other gods show up. "He's not chosen, you're not chosen, the damn king is not chosen, none of you are worthy of the crystals. Go ahead and work together you're all going to fail." He turns to look at Jark and says "Are they just saying that for the sake of giving me a hard time or do they really believe none of us are worthy?" I say "Hmph."
The next day they drink at the local tavern to celebrate their new agreement.
Arvan says "If I were god I'd plunge us all into eternal winter. It will make the people tougher and it's just so cozy inside with a fire." "I think I'd go the opposite way, I'd make it eternal summer. I think the people would like that better." "Fuck that. My world has no kings, only a collective of local lords." "My world would just have queens, and they'd have to be mothers, a lot of the world's problems are caused by testosterone." "Women can't lead! We need the testosterone."
"Let's just agree that both our worlds will be better than King Javan." "Agreed."
They get to the next town. In the local tavern they meet a mercenary. Arvan says "You're Alcan, you're legendary." "In the flesh." "We're in need of a highly skilled warrior and I think it's fate that we come across the best man for the job." "I'm interested." "We can't pay you now but at the end of our journey you can expect to be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams." "Still interested." "I have to warn you you'll be going against the kingdom itself but all we need to do is survive them until the very end and then it will no longer be a problem." "I'll slit the king's throat myself for some wine, a good meal and a fuck."
Alcan says "Let me tell you a little secret about this town, the underground market is the best in the country. Swords and bows can only get you so far, here you can purchase a magical item that will wipe out a whole battalion." Jark and Arvan agree they need a few of those. "Well you can only have one and once you buy one you can never buy another, the proprietor doesn't want somebody to be able to wipe out the planet, even a king cannot be trusted."
"It's called 'The Scourge of Alcavana.'"
They hear word that in a town over a mysterious crystal has been discovered, but when they get there the town is surrounded by soldiers. "I can't let them see me or I'm a dead man, the king said so himself." "Should we use the device?" "I don't think we need to yet, we may end up in a situation harrier than this in the future. Eventually we're going to have to go to the castle and get the other two."
Alcan says "There's a back way into town through a cave system and this cave is most likely where the crystal was discovered." They get there and it's guarded. "Welp, there's only one thing to do." They kill the guards. Jark has a lot of trouble with it as it's the first time he's killed. Arvan says "Get over it, this won't be the last time." "Have you ever killed anybody?" "Hmph a story for another drunken evening.
They meet another guy in the caves. He says "Are you hunting for the crystals too?" "Yes." "The king is digging in the wrong spot, you can get it and get out before anybody knows what happened." "How do you know this?" "I'm a miner and I've heard the rock formations surrounding the crystals are softer than the other rock. And I know where it's soft." "Why are you helping us?" "The king can't have the crystal. Think of me when you're a god."
They go to the spot and find the crystal. Arvan says "Thanks new friend, care to come get drunk with us in Helvencia after we store the crystal?" "I suppose, couldn't hurt to become friendly with a god."
"We'll bring the crystal to the society. The king doesn't know about us, nobody knows about us."
They lug the crystal back to the society and head for the tavern to celebrate.
The miner talks about how much he hates the king and the last thing he would want is for the king to be a god. Arvan says "I haven't met a single poor man who likes the king." Jark says "He raped my family." New guy says "He raped my neighbour's family but called my wife too old and ugly. Arvan says "Given the opportunity, I would kill the king, but I can't do it now it's more of an end of life thing."
Arvan says "You know, if we were to start a rebellion, an uprising, it may make our job easier." "We could storm the castle with hundreds of revolutionaries and the crystals would be ripe for the picking. "So we would tell these people what we care about is the overthrow of the government, but all we care about is the crystals." "Yeah pretty much."
So they travelled the country yelling on street corners.
"The mad king will be the end of us all! His pursuits and ambitions put us all in danger! The poor man hates him and he hates the poor man! He wishes them to suffer! He calls you scum of the land! He eats four course meals while you starve! And then he comes to your home and rapes your women! We need new blood! We need fresh, young blood! We need you! The next king could be you!"
They develop quite a massive following amongst the poor. They get everybody to meet outside of the society, over 200 people come, and they march through the wilderness to the capitol.
Once they get to the capitol they march through the streets yelling their propaganda and even more join them. The king watches nervously from his balcony and tells every palace guard to keep them from getting through the gate.
"Should we use Scourge of Alcavana?" "No, we got this, save it for an emergency." "Somebody else sets one off. "Oh, see, we didn't need to use our's."
Many guards die, many revolutionaries die, a few guards retreat to the king's chamber. The king decides to flee out the back into the wilderness with his surviving guards.
They get the crystals from the now unguarded vault that they kept a guard alive for so he could open it.
"So the king is no longer in charge. Who is?" "I guess we're in anarchy. The gods will find a new ruler.
They travel back to the society with the two crystals.
They are awakened the next morning by a messenger. "Sir! Arlia is burning!" "...My family!"
They travel to Arlia and find it in ashes. There are two survivors. "Did my family make it out!?" "I'm afraid not, it's just us." "Was it the king!?" "It was the king and a small band of soldiers." "...I did this." Arvan says "The king did this." "I provoked him." He falls to his knees and screams and cries. He vows to murder the king himself.
Back at the society, Arvan is addressing the crowd about the current situation. Jark isn't paying attention, he's just staring off into the distance, words muddled.
In his sleep he is once again in the presence of the gods.
"This needed to happen. You need the darkness. You need the darkness to do the things you need to do. Arvan, you don't need him, he's just going to get in the way." "Can I talk to my family?" "Your son wanted to talk to you." His son appears. "Father, I'm sorry, I couldn't... I fought but I couldn't beat them, there were just too many. I know you left the family in my hands and their death is my failure, not yours." "It was my failure. This is all because I was driven to revenge. If I had just let the king be this never would have happened." "Don't put this all on yourself." "I love you, son." "I love you father."
Earth says "Remember. Act now."
He wakes up and stands over Arvan's bed, he takes out his sword and holds it over his chest. But then he drops the sword to the ground and starts crying. "I don't want this. I just wanted revenge I don't know anything about being a god." Arvan wakes up and looks at him. Jark picks up his sword and goes back to bed.
The next morning Arvan is looking at Jark funny all day. Alcan senses the vibes and appears confused and curious. They start walking to the next crystal, nobody says a word until they get to the border of Larscanile.
The border guard says "We're not taking any more refugees from your state." "You've had a lot of refugees?" "People are afraid to live without a king." "Well, we're not refugees, we've got confidential business in your nation." "Sounds interesting. No." "We'll pay you." "Oh, then okay." "All I have left is 15 gold coins." "That's all you need."
"Well, we can only cross that border once, it's too expensive, we'll have to find a way to bring the remaining crystals home." Alcan says "Well we'll have to steal a carriage. And a horse or two."
They walk into town to find chaos. Dead bodies on the street, fires... Arvan asks somebody "What happened here?" "Somebody came looking for some crystal and the mayor didn't want to give it up so they torched the place." "The king!" "Wasn't no king, no, I'd have recognized him. It was a man dressed all in black, as were his followers." "The Blackened Alcavana party." Jark says "You know of them?" "They're an ancient society who wants to obtain the crystals in order to scorch the land and start over from the beginning, they've been searching for the crystals since the first era of Alcavana but the gods have never permitted. They've always been based out of Larscanile and that's as far as they've made it, nobody has ever let them cross a border." "Well, we can do like we did before, let them collect everything in this region and then steal it from them." "Works for me." "There should be three in this country, then the three from our country, all that's left after that is the one in Varentherm, which will probably be the trickiest.
Apparently some of the society is staying at the inn in the next town over. They break into their room, kill them and take their uniforms.
They walk in the front door of the The Blacked Alcavana Party. They get to the front of the crowd, get on stage and hold a sword to the leader's neck. "Give us the crystals or your leader gets it." "You fool, the crystals are worth more than my life." "You'll never be a god with that attitude." "And you think you can be a god? You're just some schmuck I've never even heard of you." Jark says "This isn't going to work let's use the Scourge of Alcavana." "No not yet we'll face harrier situations than this."
A man in the audience starts stabbing people and people start screaming. "There's an internal struggle, they've just been waiting for their cue." In the chaos the three escape with the three crystals. As they leave the guy who started stabbing says "We'll meet again! Gather all the crystals and be a useful schmuck!"
Arvan says "See? We are chosen. That situation would have gone much worse to somebody who hasn't been chosen."
They bring the crystals back to the society.
In his sleep Jark is once again greeted by the gods. "You need to act now. Kill Arvan before he kills you."
He gets up and once again grabs his sword, stands over his friend, and this time plunges the sword into his heart. He starts to cry.
He leaves in the night and heads for Varnetherm border alone.
Chapter Twenty One
When he gets to the border he sees a dead border guard and a man in black standing over him. He says "There's no need to obey the rules of man when you're so close to becoming a god." He draws his sword and points it at Jark. Then suddenly an arrow comes and goes right through his skull.
Alcan comes and says "You're not leaving without me." "Even after you know what I did?" "I need to help you so the prize doesn't go to the king or any of those black wearing bastards, I don't even want to know what living in a world where they're god would be like.
There's a long path ahead of them with dilapidated old stairs going up and up all over the mountain ranges. On the way to the top they see many of the black suits and palace guards dead along the path. "Looks like we're late."
After walking for several hours they get to a cave at the end and see a light from inside.
Chapter Twenty Two
They go inside and find the king and two surviving guards and the Blackened Alcavana new leader all sword fighting.
Alcan yells "Stop!" and they all stop and look at him. The black leader says "Oh, these pathetic fools again." "We're pathetic, yeah, that's why we have all the crystals but this one." "...All... All of them?" "All of them." The king says "I will burn down every town in Alcavana to get those crystals, they don't belong to you." "You will not because we all die here today." "Hah!" "None of you, even Jark, even me, are worthy of these crystals! This is the end!"
He takes out Scourge of Alcavana and kills them all.
Chapter Twenty Three
Jark stands before me, in front of my desk. I say "Boy, you were in over your head from the very beginning weren't you? Well, you get to spend eternity with your family now, you get to go mad at the prospect of eternity with your family. Goodbye."