|Rise of Mortalitas
Author: Computerfan PM
A boy's own-made fantasy world, Otellus, soon becomes reality as events he writes about soon comes true. When a portal opens, linking the world of Otellus with Earth, Josh and his friends are thrown into the dangerous world of corruption, known for strange, magical animals called Praestia.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 17 - Words: 54,303 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 03-12-13 - Published: 06-24-12 - id: 3035467
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Eight years previously...
Estellia drew her sword back forcefully, a fountain of red erupting from the throat of the young man in front of her. She discarded the now corpse immediately, moving on to her next opponent. Who the man she had just slain was mattered little... perhaps it was only bad luck that he worked for her enemy, Xagraver. Perhaps he was forced to join; perhaps he'd lived in Voxilitis all his life and knew no better. Or maybe he was pure evil, just like his lord. That was the thing of war, everyone killed people who had families, who perhaps didn't want to fight, who only had to do so to save their own skin.
The Queen cared not for such foolish morals. These men stood in her way of victory, and guilty or not, each one must die to weaken Xagraver's army that little bit more. Nine thousand warriors remained standing, a mixture of both Capulus and Vegrasus. Estellia's force of sixteen thousand had first arrived in Etrilkim, and six thousand of them had been slain already. The queen was shocked to discover that only just over two thousand of Vegrasus' warriors remained standing after Xagraver's onslaught, so seven eighths of the entire army were only there thanks to her. It made her feel like quite a hero.
That moment didn't last long, for a report from a messenger arrived to say that Xagraver himself had a daunting number of twenty-five thousand warriors at his disposal. They lay siege to the city, and eleven hours later, the battle still continued. Estellia had lost count of the number she had slain. She had no idea who was winning, how many were dead... Until now, she had been a tactician, a watchful leader. But now, she graced her enemies with her fierce presence, which seemed to boost the morale of her troops as well. Perhaps victory was possible. Of course, she wasn't fighting among simple archers or peasants, but among her thirty-man squad of highly trained warriors, each one a Praedux. Her own such weapons had still not been called upon, for she didn't want to risk any of them dying...
She would die too. And that was the one thing she feared.
There was a brief break in the fighting as she tore a raven down from the sky with a slice of her sword. A nearby enemy cried out in pain, collapsing to the ground. This time she did sympathise... although she'd killed several Praestia indirectly, each time she killed one of the animals themselves... It hurt. It was not the animals' fault that they were fighting, they were just defending their masters nobly. Estellia understood the bond between Praestia and Praedux, and respected it...
Such foolish thoughts. "Enough..." She thought. There was a brief pause in the fighting, and her twenty-eight remaining bodyguards closed around her again, allowing their leader to rest. She glanced up to the sky, and at the setting sun. Five in the evening... 6am... it seemed like a lifetime away, when this had begun. But no... Here she was, eleven hours into the battle, alive and practically unharmed. Of course she was, she was queen and leader of the Praedux masters for a reason. But still, as her keen eyes examined the battles around her, she couldn't help but feel the doubt settle in her heart. Although she was superior to each of them in power, she could not win alone. This army of hers needed to survive, or she would be defeated through sheer numbers.
And that was a cowardly way to die.
Against a spell caster, against Xagraver himself... That was a heroic death. But being outnumbered by a load of pathetic ground-soldiers? Never would she suffer such an embarrassing fate. And the battle continued... Estellia let out a cry of rage, lunging forward into the fray once more, red hair all over the place. But then, suddenly... "A horn! The horn of Silvatrum!" Estellia looked up to the wall, where one of her strongest units were still managing to hold off the countless ladders constantly forced against the walls. She gave a brief nod to her head bodyguard, and they slowly made their way up to join them. Her defenders immediately spread out amongst the exhausted unit, lending their swords and Praestia to assist.
And there... to the north-east, a great mass of soldiers and animals marched closer. Estellia's eyes widened. Eighteen thousand strong, at least. A smile crossed her lips as she looked at the enemy army still on the ground start to lose courage. Some tried to run, only to be stopped by those who actually had guts. They immediately moved out to prepare to face this new threat. Her eyes swivelled directly east, to the top of the hill where the enemy had set up camp. She could almost make out the dark figure of Xagraver, barking orders to messengers as he regarded this new threat.
The real battle had only just begun...
The ground tasted funny.
This was perhaps the first thought that crossed Laura's mind as she awoke. The second coherent thought was, obviously, why she tasted ground. She wiggled a bit, before realizing that she couldn't move. As reality began to sink in, a spell of panic passed through the girl. She tried to say something, but no words escaped her lips. She then realized it wasn't the actual ground she tasted, but rather a rough piece of material gagging her. She gave a strangled cry, squirming against the bonds with all her strength, but to no luck.
"Stop struggling." A quiet, cold voice interrupted her fit of fear, and she managed to force her head to face the direction of the voice. All she could make out of the boy near her was black shoes, and that didn't help much. She tried asking who he was, but it only came out as some weird squeaky noise. That didn't help much, either. Fear flooded through her entire body, and she immediately began thrashing about despite her captor's order. But suddenly, a strong foot landed on her back, keeping her pinned to the ground. And whoever the man was crouched down close to her ear, saying in a hiss, "I said... stop struggling." Petrified, Laura simply squeaked again, remaining still. "Now... listen closely... do you know where you are?"
When no answer came, the boy cursed quietly, before removing her gag. "HELP! HELP! HE-" Shadow silenced the girl with a hard kick to the nose, causing a crunch.
"Do that again, and I will kill you." He said simply, forcing the girl up into a sitting position. He then sat cross-legged opposite her, examining her rather deer-in-headlights expression. He felt guilt in the pit of his stomach, but eh, it was necessary. Blood was pouring from her obviously broken nose, and Shadow made a note of fixing that later on. Later on. Preferably when she was sleeping and unable to kill him. "...I am not your enemy, unless you make me one." He continued, fiddling around with the sleeve of his cloak as the girl listened silently, "I apologise for your current... predicament, but understand it is necessary. Now tell me, does the name Otellus mean anything to you?"
Laura's eyes narrowed, because she obviously recognised the name. Although she'd never brought herself to read it, she was well aware that Otellus was the name of that stupid world Josh had created. Was this some kind of sick joke?
"I can tell by your expression, that the answer is a yes." Laura paid attention to the cloaked boy ahead of her once more, still saying nothing even though it was now possible for her to. Now she wasn't quite so startled, she examined... what was possible to examine. The boy was dressed in a pitch black cloak that covered his eyes, and only his nose, lips and pale skin were visible. It was quite creepy. She also took the opportunity to look around her, to see that they were currently in some kind of forest. A squirrel scuttled past nearby, and Laura watched it curiously. When suddenly... it turned to her rather menacingly and burst into flames. Laura let out a cry of shock. But then the flames faded, the squirrel tilted its head, deciding that Laura was no threat to him... And then proceeded to scurry up a tree.
"...W-What the hell was that?" Laura asked with a quivering voice, eyes un-naturally wide. "That... that squirrel just burst into flames..."
Shadow raised an invisible eyebrow, "Yes. I could see that. He was just testing whether you were friend or foe."
"But... but... squirrels don't catch on fire..." Laura continued, not moving her eyes from the spot where the squirrel had been, "They... scuttle around and eat... acorns... and stuff..."
A sigh escaped Shadow's lips, drawing Laura's attention once more, "Very well, it's obvious you are not from Otellus. Allow me to enlighten you..." He climbed to his feet and began to pace around the clearing, not looking at his companion, "The majority of this world's creatures... are called Praestia. I will not go into how they were made, for there is no certainty of it... only theories. But each individual Praestia has the ability to use various powers... fire, water, air... Less common ones such as illusion, time, mind control..." He paused in his pacing, before all of a sudden, a rather beautiful osprey appeared in front of him. "Only... gifted people have the ability to bond with this creatures. They are called the Praedux... Rather obviously, I am one of those." He fell into silence, simply admiring the bird, before suddenly looking to Laura irritably, "...Say something, damn it."
Several questions jumped to Laura's mind, and eventually she managed to blurt out, "Where am I?"
"...Are you deaf?"
"What? N-No... but... what?"
"You just witnessed a squirrel burst into flames yet you doubt me?" Shadow scowled, and Laura gulped. Shadow shook his head with a sigh, "...What's your name?"
Laura hesitated, before replying meekly, "...Laura..."
"...So... this is real?"
Ethaniel gave a nod, looking to the teenage boy in front of him. "Indeed, it is... Welcome to Otellus, I suppose. Though I think you know it more than myself..." Josh gave a frown of confusion, trying to work this out in his mind. The two were sat in the cafe of Puteulus, sipping warm coffee amongst the various other residents. It was a very old fashioned restaurant; there wasn't a single electronic item in the establishment. Though that wasn't exactly unusual for Pacaris... The walls were wooden, and it looked more like some forest cabin than a building in a town. Though it was homely, and warm, fitting the gentle feel of Puteulus. Ethaniel took a sip of the coffee in front of him, sighing gently, "Yes... This is the world you created, exactly as you imagined it."
Josh gave a shake of his head, "Right... and this is nearly the exact conversation I was going to put in the story, as well. Why am I here if I already know everything that's going to happen? Why am I here at all? I wrote the story so that the main character ended up in the world... and now the writer of this writer ends up in it himself... what, am I going to meet the character version of me now?"
The old man looked at Josh with some bemusement, "No, that would just be un-necessarily confusing. Your mind is special, Josh..."
"That sounds like an insult."
"Will you stop with the comments for a moment?" Ethaniel suddenly snapped, glaring at him with his tired eyes, "Let me explain this. This... is happening because of your imagination, and mind. So... in some senses, no, this is not real. However, it is not a dream... for example, if you die here, you're dead. And... As you know, a load of your friends appeared too, in the same situation... They are also real. They have not woken yet, however, which is why they remain asleep..." Josh opened his mouth to make a comment, before Ethaniel cut him off, "As you know... you are part of a prophecy-"
"Wait, what?" Josh managed to get out before the master could continue, "Prophecy? What Prophecy?"
Ethaniel frowned, "That eight children from another world will arrive in Otellus and create the doom of Mortalitas. Or, if Mortalitas fulfil certain conditions, they will defeat you and rule Otellus."
Josh blinked a couple of times, staring at him with his eyebrows raised, "...I dunno what story you're talking about, but that's certainly not part of mine. There is no prophecy... the story was just going to be us ending up in the world, getting Praestia and eventually defeating Xagraver in an epic battle. Kinda cliché, but... yeah... Anyway, eight? There were meant to be six of us... Me, Lolly, Laura, Tom, Molly and Ryan... and then Shadow, from this world. That's all there is to it."
Ethaniel looked up in recognition at the mention of Shadow, "...That clears a lot up."
"But... that's what confuses me." Josh continued uncertainly, "One... where is Laura? And two... who the hell is the girl with sunglasses? I've never even seen her before." Ethaniel didn't seem to hear a word of that as he sipped his coffee, deep in thought.
Eight years previously...
"Get back out there and fight!" Xagraver roared, giving the officer in front of him a rough shove backwards. The forces of Silvatrum had crashed into the army of Voxilitis, and caused instant effect. It took only half an hour before his forces broke, and he'd lost half his army... Things weren't going to plan. As he glared to the people of the forest pursuing his men, his eyes narrowed. He grabbed the shoulder of the officer tightly, looking into his eyes, "This battle isn't over, you fool... Force Silvatrum into the city... you know what lies beneath it. Go now, and die an honourable death... kill as many as possible."
The officer's eyes widened in fear, before gulping and giving a quick nod, "...Y-Yes, Lord Xagraver... as you command." The officer hurried off, beginning to rally the retreating forces. Xagraver watched as the army regrouped. There, now side by side with Boralei at the head of the enemy army, was Estellia... the blasted 'queen' of Otellus, and Xagraver's greatest foe. The army was mostly outside the city now, facing the army of Voxilitis with surprising confidence. His own army, however... sensed defeat, and were shifting around like cowards. The forced organisation of the beginning of this battle was long gone, broken as soon as that horn sounded. But now... now, Xagraver would get his revenge.
The armies clashed forces once more, and Xagraver turned his eyes to the south of the city, where that same officer was leading a small band of cavalry into the city. There was ten minutes of little interest, before... everything went wrong.
The noise was deafening as the city burst into flames... bodies flew through the air, screams of terror... smoke filled the sky...
Xagraver may have lost the battle for Vegrasus... but now, there was nothing left to battle for... Vegrasus lay in ruins.