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PostPosted: Mon Aug 2, '10, 9:14 pm
This is a text I wrote for my players during the course of my EOTA campaign. therefore if you are not yet acquainted with the EOTA setting, you will be completely confused by this "other" Phantasy Star.

To fully appreciate this story, it is best to read articles on General Adam Freeman and Governor Nathaniel Seth, both easily found in the link I just posted there.

This, in my opinion, is the very best I have ever written, and I wrote a lot in these last 20 years. Enjoy.

Part 1 - The Esper Mansion

The Esper Mansion is divided into many courts. Some of them are for meditation, others are used by young acolytes to practice their combat training. There are courts used to rest, toil, endure and learn. But in a place, far and deep into the mountain, at the heart of the mansion, there is one court that contains a quiet chamber. That chamber has only one purpose, to keep secrets locked where they should remain, deep under the earth, forgotten by all but very few chosen lore masters. Most of the Espers don't even know what's hidden there. All they know is that somewhere, several yards further than the inner sanctum, via a hidden hallway that starts somewhere beyond the great library, there is a forbidden place. They say that the great Lutz ordered to leave that place alone. That only a few chosen will enter it, in a time unknown. The knowledge hidden there was not meant for normal men and his creations, it belongs to a race long dead and until ultimately needed, forgotten it should remain.

That is what warmaster Tyrus was told all his life by the elders. Though his title endowed him with the authority to command his kinsmen should battle come to the espers, his solemn duty remained different: he was to guard this door against any unwanted intrusion and allow only those worthy of knowing the truth. In his veins flowed Palman and Dezolisian blood. Though it was well known that any two races in Algo could procreate, the offspring was always pureblood of one side or the other. There were, however, tales of half-breed children born in the cold confines of Dezo, once every few decades. Tyrus was such a half-breed and he cultivated that difference with pride. His ability to fight with techniques was unparalleled, his faith was unwavering and his resolve was absolute. His peers had nothing but the deepest respect for him. That is why he was guardian of this most sacred place.

The fourth month of the year 1285 was in its first few days. The Esper Mansion felt extremely cold; the weather had been particularly harsh lately. The hour was late at night, Tyrus could not sleep. He felt his territory was disturbed, there was someone coming for the door. For days, he felt Lutz's spirit had been in unrest, disturbed by visions of strife and chaos. Tyrus knew he would soon have to defend the forbidden knowledge.

All that was left to discover was the intruder’s identity.

Late at night, while raged an ice storm unlike anything felt in years, his unwanted guest finally arrived

He looked at the man facing him. The fact that someone foreign to the espers could freely come this far in the mansion was an insult to him. Some of the oldest masters were not even permitted to come close to this place but yet, this man was allowed to do so. The guardian raised his eyes and looked at the military uniform and sneered. His unwanted visitor did not wear a cape or a mantle but seemed to take pride in his tasteless attire. It reminded Tyrus only how far from the esper race his visitor was.

The guardian of the door broke the uneasy silence.

"Why have you come to me on this cold night, general? What do you seek in this forbidden place?" His words were solemn, slow and weighted terrible meaning. His focus was on his visitor, a supposed ally, but still a very dangerous man. "I seek knowledge." answered his visitor in a dry, neutral voice. Tyrus let a few seconds pass before answering. "That is a noble goal and it is also the unending task of the esper, but though you have once studied within our walls, you are not one of us. I cannot let you pass this door. The knowledge here is not for you. Leave, now."

His visitor did not move. He waited, in silence. After a few seconds, he decided to speak again. "I wish to acquire the exact location of Ryucross." To that name, Tyrus's eyes widened in surprise. "Ryucross is a legend." the guardian slowly uttered. "You are wasting your time, and mine. Leave this place! "His visitor challenged him again with a slow and calculated voice. "Ryucross exists, somewhere in Algo. I have the means to reach it. I must learn its exact location, for my need of it is great as it means the survival of the esper race, and all of Algo."

Tyrus took a few seconds to ponder his unwanted guest. Most people, he knew he could chase away with a mere few words, but this one was no fool. He knew of Ryucross but he would not be allowed to learn its secrets. "Ryucross is a place where no one has gone to in millennia, General Freeman. Its temples and towers hold knowledge and power destined to the protectors of Algo, which you are not." Tyrus’ voice was still calm, hoping his words would be sufficient to convince the general. "Lutz has foreseen that, in a millennia, it would unveil its secrets, but only to the protectors. General, you are not one of the protectors foretold by the legend; the temples are not for you."

Freeman remained quiet a while, pondering how to handle the situation next. "I have no intention of visiting the temples." he answered with an equally serious voice. "I do not want to learn from the sages." Tyrus raised an eyebrow. "Then what it is that you wish from Ryucross?" A few uneasy seconds passed before his guest answered. "If you must know, I seek enlightenment from the teachings of Re-Faze, the destroyer." The name echoed in the room and for a second, light dimmed and it felt colder. Tyrus felt his heart accelerate and blood rush into his fists. "What?? Fool!"

Without further discussion, Tyrus pointed a hand towards Freeman and blasted him with a powerful gravity field. Freeman kneeled under the weight, fighting simply to breathe. Tyrus spoke with a voice filled with menace. "One does not speak that name here, impudent! Your name, your rank and your reputation have no meanings in these walls! You cannot aspire to that knowledge; it would surely destroy you, and us all!"

Keen on not letting a mere gravity field ruin his day, Freeman called upon his Foi technique to answer with a concentrated wave of fire at Tyrus, which the guardian dodged with ease. Impressed by his opponent's resolve, Tyrus allowed Freeman to breathe by releasing his gravity field. Freeman got on his feet and spoke to his opponent. "I am sorry warmaster, but I cannot yield. I will get to this knowledge, no matter the cost." Such words did not impress Tyrus. "You will die if you do not yield. You have no chance of beating me, outsider! Surely your life is more important than this?" Even before his sentence was finished, Tyrus blasted Freeman with a powerful bolt of electricity. The general leapt on his left side to dodge but Tyrus instinctively anticipated the general's response and corrected his aim to hit his opponent in the chest.

Freeman fell flat on his back, smashing a heavy wooden table as he fell. Tyrus slowly approached his fallen opponent to check that he was still conscious, knowing that it had not been enough to kill such a man. Faking unconsciousness Freeman suddenly raised both his hands and hurled a bright beam of light at the esper. Faster than a mere thought, Tyrus strafed to the right, thoroughly avoiding the danger of Freeman's Tsu beam. Freeman gave his foe a look of disbelief. Tyrus smirked and answered the silent question. "I have been trained by Lutz himself. You cannot harm me in my own sanctum, I will guess each and every of your actions and react faster than you can imagine."

Freeman slowly got up and spoke. "You're being the fool, Tyrus. Why will you not let me fulfill my potential and see what I could become? I can end this madness! I can destroy Dark Force!" Tyrus measured the will of his opponent. He felt that the general was honest. A fool swayed by unrealistic ambitions, but still honest to his cause. "General, you would not survive Ryucross. Why would you waste your life? Sacrificing your existence is futile if you cannot be sure to achieve success!" Saying this, Tyrus struck Freeman with another gravity field, violently pushing his opponent against the farthest wall. Freeman's head hit the stone wall; he felt dizzy and had a hard time staying conscious. How could he strike an opponent that could anticipate his every move? What could one do when an opponent's thoughts were even faster than your own..?

"It would kill you general. This is nothing compared to what Ryucross holds for you. Your men need you, lead them into battle, but remember that you are not a protector, Ryucross is not for you. Now leave, you cannot defeat me." Freeman hesitated. He looked at Tyrus and muttered to himself. "Kill me… sacrifice…" Tyrus answered. "Yes. Only a fool accepts to sacrifice himself." Freeman's eyes opened widely. Tyrus raised his hands, anticipating another attack but did not understand what happened next. Using his own body as a focal point, Freeman centered a Gra technique and blasted the whole room with a powerful gravity field. Tyrus was taken off guard and his body ended up being violently thrown against the opposite wall.

Although he was still very much alive, barely wounded, his words sounded painful. "You're a fool, I say it again… using your own body… why?" Freeman slowly raised his head, still recovering from his very own attack. He coughed up some blood before being able to speak. "Because you did not expect a sacrifice. The very thought of losing your life, wasting it to help your kin completely revolts you. Therefore, you did not think anyone foolish enough to do just that. You were taken completely by surprise. That is the difference between you and me. You are wise and powerful, but you have never seen war, you are unable to understand that to win, you must first learn how to lose."

Tyrus's face was a scowl. "You courage will not save you. This knowledge you would receive from the destroyer, do you even understand what it is?" For a second, Freeman's eyes were filled with eternal sadness. "Yes. But for Algo to survive, it is necessary. Warmaster, let me pass. You would not survive Ryucross either, but unlike you, I would be ready to risk my life for my faith." Tyrus's voice was low and filled with sorrow. "There is no purpose in killing you, and you will never abandon. You may enter, general. Be warned. I do not think you fully understand how the knowledge which you will learn from the destroyer will simply make you the same as what you're trying to destroy."

As he walked towards the door, Freeman answered with a low voice.

"And how would that be different from any other day…?"
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