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 Fragments From a Darkened World

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PostSubject: Fragments From a Darkened World   Fragments From a Darkened World Icon_minitimeFri Jun 17, 2016 9:54 pm

Prologue: Twinkling Stars


Under a bright red moon's glow, a girl wanders into a big forest. She was used to running around in the woods, so the possibility of running into unknown creatures in there didn't really occur to her. She was just wandering aimlessly, not knowing where to go or what to do. She's been like this for a few hours now; she was all alone, but she wasn't a few hours ago. A few hours ago, she had a mom and a dad, and the most adorable, most precious, most cherished girlfriend... Her closest friend since childhood, the one she opened her heart to even more than usual. The girl's normally perked up ears and tail were now drooped, much like her lover's constantly were. Would she never play with her mother again? Would she never tussle with her dad again? Would she... Never see the small, lazy smile that she'd come to value above all else ever again...?

No! she thought. I can't think like that! They're all still alive! I know they are! And I'm gonna get them back! You'll see! she thought to no one in particular. The girl's tattered, torn, dirty, yet still usable clothes at least still did a decent job protecting her from the cold rain still. However, she didn't seem to notice where she was going, and almost tripped over a small eyeball-like creature, which immediately stared long and intensely at her. Before she realized what it was, she was already caught in its gaze. Her mind started to fail her as she fell under the creature's power...

Suddenly, a large bolt of lightning struck the creature, snapping her out of it as the creature completely disintegrated. "Wha...?" She turned around to see the source of the bolt, a young man covered in a cloak. "...You should be more careful. Damned things are everywhere." Is all he says before turning around and beginning to walk away.

"Hey, wait!" The girl calls out, and he stops. "Uh... Thanks for saving me. But I can't just let you leave! I owe you big for that one!"

"It's not necessary to repay..."

"My Daddy always taught me that favors should be repaid with another favor in return! Please, I insist!" Despite her statement, there seems to be another reason she wants to stay with him, and after a brief pause, he nods. "Fine. But only after your favor is done. You're a kitsune, right? Can you hunt?"

"Heck yeah I can! Just the other day I caught this big, fat hog that I shared with Ve..." The girl pauses, her enthusiasm quickly draining from her face.

"Sorry if I brought back anything painful. It seems the number of people that haven't been taken gets smaller and smaller every day."

"......" The girl stares intensely at a large tree off to the side, trying to ignore the sharp stinging feeling in her heart right now.

"If it helps any, I'm likely in the same boat as you. Everyone I ever cared about is long gone..." He takes a small flask of something attached to his cloak and takes a drink as he says this, followed by a long pause afterwards from both parties.

"But... They can be brought back, can't they?" The girl eventually asks, after a long pause.

"If they can, I don't know of a way myself. I haven't even seen them since the big attack happened, much less figure out a way to get them back."

"Damn... So what are we supposed to do, just sit around and let everyone in the world get grabbed by the ghoulies?"

"Fuck the world. Fuck any world that would let this happen..." The young man turns and starts walking away again.

"Ah... H-Hey, wait!" The young girl follows anxiously, seeking to repay the favor... And not wanting to be all alone again.

So begins the tale of a world on the verge of being consumed by darkness...


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PostSubject: Re: Fragments From a Darkened World   Fragments From a Darkened World Icon_minitimeSat Jun 18, 2016 3:46 am

Part 1: Out of the Frying Pan

In another place, atop a large hill...


"N-No... Please... Please don't do this... Onee-san, I know you're still in there..." A young girl pleads to an unflinching darkly glowing figure atop an equally dark Pegasus. The figure was advancing rapidly on her, spear in hand. The poor girl, too paralyzed with fear and sadness to properly aim her bow, tears up and closes her eyes as she awaits death, the figure raising her arm, ready to strike... But death does not come. Instead, the sound of something blocking the attack fills her ears. She opens her eyes to find another figure standing in front of her. Two of them, in fact. Both were white-haired young men, one with slightly darker skin wearing a red coat and what looked like a glowing spear, and the other was dressed in what appeared to be the traditional garb of a ninja, a garb that the girl recognized easily. "Looks like we made it on time. Keep her distracted while I get our friend out of here." The ninja instructs the other man, who nods and thrusts his spear forward, apparently having been the one who blocked the attack. "B-But... Big sister... And my bro..." The ninja smiles reassuringly, yet somberly, at the girl. "I know. But there's nothing you can do about it by yourself, and staying here will only get you killed. C'mon, we've got a hiding spot." And within seconds, both the ninja and the girl have vanished from the scene, while the other man manages to deflect the assailant's spear and send it flying out from her hand. He takes the opportunity while she's distracted to flee, joining his ally.

Thankfully for them, their fleeing led them through a small forest of large, thick trees, too close together for the Pegasus to fly through and too big to be scouted from above. They charge through for what seems like an hour until they finally arrive at a big, empty cave.


"T-Thank you both... For s-saving me..." The girl stutters, too flustered by the whole situation to speak properly. Although one gets the feeling she's just normally this shy.

"It was no trouble... At least we could save one soul in this hellscape." the darker skinned man notes melancholically.

"Don't sweat it. You're the shrine maiden at the Jinya Shrine, aren't you? Sakura?" the ninja asks, to which Sakura nods. "My sister and I visited a few times a while back... You probably don't remember, but we're part Jipangese ourselves, so we were talking and..."

"Oh, yes, I remember! You're... Yamato, yes?"

"Yup. And my sister's name is Oboro. She seemed to get along well with your brother last time we visited."

"S-So... Where is she, then...?"

He doesn't respond, staring down at the ground.

"I-I see... S-Sorry, I didn't mean..."

"Nah, it's ok. I could see back there that you're going through the same thing. Probably times three. Being killed by your own sister woulda been rough, though."

"Y-Yeah..." Is her only response, not wanting to think about it.

"Don't worry. We'll figure out some way to fix all this. I'd been researching ways to do it for years now, and I think I may have found a solution."


"Yes. A particular member of those vile creatures appears to be controlling the bodies of our loved ones. If we are to save them, we will need to take that particular member out, which hopefully should reverse the effects. However..."

"We have no clue where that guy is, and even if we did, the two of us alone probably couldn't handle an army of controlled people, normal Shades, AND him all at once."

"O-Oh. That IS a big problem..."

"Yes, that's the gist of it, unfortunately. Our only hope would be to gather as many folks who are unaffected as possible. So Yamato and I have been searching for other survivors... I'm afraid you're the only one we've found so far. I know of 4 others, but they are also being controlled. ... By an unrelated party, I mean."

"S-So... What should we do, then?"

"Right now our plan is to keep looking for others to help until we can take out that second party and get even more help, and we'll work from there."

"It's a bit of a long shot, but at this point we have no other options. We may very well be the last hope this world has."

"W-Well... I can't fight very well with anything but my bow, but I can at least serve as a healer if you need me..."

"Hey, better than nothing. And having a healer will help make sure we won't lose any help we can find. We need whatever we can get at this point."

"If you're sure, then you're welcome to join us. If this insane plan does work, we may be able to save everyone... Even your sister and brothers."

She doesn't respond verbally, but gives him a confident sort of smile and a nod, which he returns.

"Very well. Let's rest up for now, and later we continue looking."

"Right. B-By the way, may I ask for YOUR name?"

"... I have no name of any importance, I'm afraid. But you may call me Rasa."

The trio look out into the night. Even with the blood red moon shining on ominously, at least the stars still came out, as beautiful as ever.


Some distance away, a man clad in green steps out from a boat, sword and shield in hand and a large number of other equipment carried on his person. An old friend of his had told him to go to this country, the source of the invading darkness in all regions of the world, as he had the potential to help put an end to it all. But he couldn't do it without his old sword and, steeling himself for the worst regarding its current owner, he takes a deep breath and steps out from the beach to the place the voice told him to go to.


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PostSubject: Re: Fragments From a Darkened World   Fragments From a Darkened World Icon_minitimeSat Jun 18, 2016 3:17 pm

Part 2: Sin City

In yet another place, in a large city, a woman runs desperately through the streets, with a bundle in her arms, trying to make it to her home as she is chased by a small army of dark creatures. However, she seems to be tiring out, and the creatures slowly encroach upon her, when suddenly...


"You fiends! You shall not claim more souls as long as I'm around!" Cries out the voice of a man from seemingly nowhere. Within moments, a caped crusader appears in between the woman and the creatures, striking a pose and ready to fend them off. "Don't worry, ma'am, I shall fend these dastardly creatures off! You just keep running!" The woman nods with a response "T-Thank you, Redcrest! Please stay safe out here!" Before running away, clutching the bundle as tightly as she can. Drake stops the creatures' advance as she does, throwing a punch at the nearest, a large Shadow with antennae long enough to droop towards its back and longer, more muscular clawed arms. A punch alone sends it flying back through the air, although it sinks into the ground as it impacts and begins slithering back towards him. He throws a small explosive at the overall group, forcing them to scatter, and begins taking them on one by one. Although his efforts were valiant, he was simply too outnumbered to effectively deal with them all at once, and the battle started turning against him. "Curses... If only my teammates were still here..." He laments to himself, noting he was at least able to save another life before his demise...

"Don't count yourself out yet, my friend!" An unfamiliar voice calls out to him, as the approaching creatures were suddenly caught in a violent mini-tornado that sent them flying off in all directions. "What in the...?"

Another man leaps into the air from off a building and stomps on two of the flying Neoshadows, slamming them down onto the ground and causing them to disintegrate.

Drake catches another one in his arms and swings it against the nearby wall. "Hahaha! A fellow friend of justice? Thanks for your assistance! I'm afraid I would have been a goner without your help... Er, what's your name?"

"I am Rashid of the Turbulent Wind. Remember the name!" The other man responds with a grin, pushing back one of the recovered Neoshadows that attempted to attack him from behind with a powerful blast of wind that sends it against the side of another building.

"Indeed I shall, Rashid! Let's make sure these creatures won't bother anyone else again!"

However as he says this, a powerful bolt of lightning nearly hits him from the side. "Whoa! So many surprise additions to this battle..." He comments as he turns to see three figures definitely unlike the ones that they were just fighting. The one who attacked him appeared to be a samurai of some kind, holding a fancy-looking sword in his hands. The second, an almost feral looking wolflike humanoid of a lanky frame. And the third was a full-blown dragon, who was not quite huge but not exactly tiny either. All three had dark auras enveloping them with glowing yellow eyes. Surely not a good sign.

"Seems like this won't be as easy as we thought. But we won't back down, will we?"

"Hardly! At least not without a fight!"


"Mom? Mom? Please tell me you're there..." Selkie speaks to a small hand mirror in her hands, her ears drooping lower and lower with each failed response. Drayce stands next to her, not speaking himself. At least, not until he hears loud noises coming from the outskirts of the nearby city. He begins to step closer, and as Selkie notices this, she puts the mirror away and follows.


Just outside the city, a large pigman was squaring off against a knight of some sort with completely black armor and a horned helmet with some holes at the front, all of which were glowing a deep yellow, as though this being had no face to speak of. ""Give up already, you fool. You're only making things worse by resisting."

"SHUT YOUR FACE! I'll make you pay for what you did to Sunny!"

"The girl? Ah, yes. You are of the same family, correct? Once I have finished my goal, I shall-"

"Like hell you're finishing anything with all that you've done! *snort* I WON'T STOP UNTIL I'VE CUT YOU DOWN AND BROUGHT EVERYONE BACK!"

"Well, I can't fault you for not being determined..."

"Hey! What's going on here?" Selkie calls out as she and Drayce approach the duo. The armored man simply shakes his head. "I've wasted enough time here. I must get what I came for..." As he turns to leave, he's stopped by a bolt of lightning blocking the way, and he steps back. "You're not leaving until you tell us who you are and what you're doing here. The way that armor is glowing tells me you're with the Shades."

"..... In a manner of speaking, yes. I am known as Dim. But there are likely more important things you should be concerned about right now."

Selkie suddenly catches a familiar scent. Without a word, she begins running straight into the city. "What... Selkie! Get back here, damnit!" Drayce calls out as he turns to look at her. However, once he turns back to Dim, he appears to have vanished. "Crap, he got away!" The pigman exclaims angrily. Drayce shakes his head and runs to get Selkie, and the Pigman follows, sensing trouble.


On the other end of the city's outskirts, near an abandoned church...

"I-Is this where we're supposed to be going?"

"Yes, I sense a large amount of Shade activity in Sparalong. A large number of them concentrated in one area typically means there are people around for them to harass."

"So what're we waiting for? Let's go help them!"

The pink haired healer and her two white haired companions nod to each other and step towards the city.

... Little do they know, a fourth party is following along closely behind...


The green-clad man reaches the capital city of the land, a rather quick feat thanks to the horse he found wandering by itself a few hours into his travel. Just one town south and he would reach the forest where his sword should be waiting. As he sets off into the simple dirt path leading to the small town south of the capital, A masked figure watches from atop the roof of a smithy's building. with four figures just behind him. "How interesting..." He muses to himself, as he looks up to a familiar glowing ball beginning to form.

Not far from this, a blade in the hands of a man consumed by darkness begins to shine brightly, much to his confusion....


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PostSubject: Re: Fragments From a Darkened World   Fragments From a Darkened World Icon_minitimeSat Jun 18, 2016 10:28 pm

Part 3: Flash of Remembrance

Some time later, in the city illuminated by a glowing red moon, our heroes look to be in dire straits. Despite having the advantage in numbers, the group found themselves in a losing battle. It wasn't even simply because of the fact that some of the combatants were having troubles facing their loved ones, but their opponents seemed to just plain be stronger than expected, as though the moon's glow was empowering them...

"It looks like we're all at a bit of a stalemate here... But they can keep going longer than we can." Drayce notes, in his transformed dragon state, trying not to focus too hard on the dragon he's fighting.

"As much as I hate to admit it, you're right... We'll be done for if we keep going here! But how can we leave without having them track us down?" Drake punches down another Neoshadow as another one comes out to replace it. Rashid and Rasa were dealing with the swordsman, whom had Sakura in tears as she kept her eye on any wounds that needed to be healed, although it was clear she was getting exhausted using so much power so consecutively.

"Come on, Velouria, quit being a big dumdum! It's me, Selkie, remember? You remember me, don't you?" The kitsune, currently in her transformed fox state, runs circles around the wolf creature, hesitant to harm her. Even though it was hard to tell for anyone else anyway, Selkie couldn't mistake her friend's transformed state, or her scent. As she tries to lead her away from the others, she leaps at her, but the wily fox slips out of her grasp, unfortunately not without injury. Her side gets slashed from her claws, and the basket that Selkie had strapped onto her other side tore open. As the beast approaches the stunned kitsune pup, she suddenly catches wind of a familiar scent and stops cold. Something flashes in her mind, as though a recollection of something...

"Hey! Hey, Velouria! Look, I found all this stuff down in that cave while you were napping! Do you think they make nice treasures~?"

She blinks, and blinks again, shakes her head, and the yellow glow of her eyes begins to fade. "S.... Selkie...?"

Her eyes widen. "Velouria?!"

"Aw, crap!" Yamato's voice interrupts them, as they see the approach of a red-eyed giant flying towards them. After a loud growl and another shake of her head, Velouria's eyes once again turn a bright yellow, viciousness returning to them. However, she, along with the other dark creatures, have stopped their assault for some reason.

"Not this bastard, too!" Drayce's voice adds, as they see this giant was not alone.

Dim had brought out Nocturnus to play.

"Shitshitshitshit! We are in BIG trouble!"

"The invincible beast... Damn, they really thought to bring him out already...?" Rasa muses, before focusing his attention on the armored man next to Nocturnus. "Wait... That one next to him... That's the one controlling the taken... He must be a general of some kind."

"General? I suppose so, yes. And you are correct in your other statement as well. Very observant of you."

"So it's your fault that Velouria and Mom and Daddy are... Grrrrr!" Selkie looks quite enraged.

"It was not my intent to cause this much grief with my powers... I merely wished to seek out what was rightfully ours. Once I find it, I shall return them all as they were..." Dim turns his head to the side.

"BULLPLOP! What could you possibly need to enslave so many people for?! *snort*" Lars exclaims in response.

"I'm afraid my exact reasoning is none of your concern. But to put it simply, I need as many people as possible out of the way of my search. Including you all. You have put forth a valiant effort so far, but I'm afraid I cannot risk placing you at harm."

"So... You're putting people out of harm by making them into mindless soldiers to fight for you? Do you realize how little sense that makes?"

"I suppose. But as I said, my reasons are not your concern." He raises his hand with a dark glow, and the dragon, wolf, and samurai, along with all the normal Shades, vanish. "Ah! Velouria!" "O-Onii-san!" "..."

"They will be fine. And Nocturnus will ensure that you will join them very soon." And with nothing else to say, Dim vanishes.

"You know... Normally I would say that we are now at more of an advantage with only one foe, but..." Rashid notes, as their opponent begins approaching slowly.

"S-So what do we do? I've heard that this creature doesn't ever stop chasing its targets once it has them in its sights..." Sakura backs up, shaking a little.

"And we can't fight him, either... But it looks like we have no choice." Yamato takes a brave stance. Rasa, next to him, closes his eyes for a moment and steps forward.

"Maybe we can."

"Say what?"

"I've never tried this with an opponent like this before, but perhaps if I were to match him in power..."

"H-Huh? Match?" Sakura looks inquisitively.

"Yes. I possess a curious ability to match any opponent in power. Maybe if I were to use it on Nocturnus, I might even take on his invincibility... Or at the very least, enough strength to distract him while the rest of you leave from his sight."

"What? You mean to stand your ground on your own against Nocturnus so we can escape?!"

"It's the best shot we've got, frankly. As long as I can keep him distracted long enough, you all can get away and find Dim again. Not only is he the key to restoring those that were taken, he may very well be the key to stopping the Shades entirely."

"B-But what if you-"

Rasa rushes forward, his entire body glowing as he blocks a swing from Nocturnus' arm. "Don't worry about me. You all focus on finding Dim! Now go!" He exclaims. After another moment of hesitation, the group begin to run off towards the city's exit...

"Wait! Let me help!" Drake jumps in next to him, striking a pose.

"Have you not been listening, fool? You won't even lay a scratch on Nocturnus!" Rasa responds as he swings back at the beast, pushing it back slightly.

"Yes, I may not be able to harm him physically... But there'd be a better chance to keep him distracted with more than one of us, no? Besides, this is my city, it's my duty to defend it!"

"... Very well. I won't stop you if you choose to stay here. But be careful. The rest of you, keep going. You should be fine." He seems quite calm, even as he's locked into a fistfight with a creature nearly 5 times his size.

Drayce grips onto something in his hands tightly before motioning for everyone to follow him. Selkie makes sure nothing is missing from her basket before following, and everyone else follows along shortly after. Where exactly they were headed still seemed unclear, but anywhere was better than here right now.


The greenclad man wanders even deeper into the forest, fending off random Shades that jump him along the way. Eventually, he finds what he's looking for. A blade planted in the ground, shining brightly despite being abandoned at the moment. He approaches it, unaware of the presence slowly approaching him...

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PostSubject: Re: Fragments From a Darkened World   Fragments From a Darkened World Icon_minitimeThu Jul 21, 2016 4:45 am

Part 4: Glimmering Light

The greenclad man approaches the sword on the ground, and swiftly lifts it up from the place it was planted. In moments, a spirit appears before him.

"Master! I am glad you arrived safely. We... We have trouble." She states, perhaps a bit of an understatement.


"Mistress Mia... I am so sorry, Master. She fought bravely and proudly, but we were separated some time ago. I have not seen her, Carmine, or Hiko in about a week. There is a high probability that... Sorry." She looks to him apologetically, realizing this was no time to be spouting percentages.

The man lowers his head for a few minutes, completely silent. Eventually, he lifts it again.


"Yes, we had heard on our travels about a cave where the creatures originated from. Are you thinking that if we can find this cave, we could...?"

However, her question is interrupted by loud snarling and hissing sounds. It seems they were surrounded by a small group of Shades while talking. The Shades leap towards them... And within moments find themselves blown away with a spinning sword strike. The man raises the sword proudly in the air, a light shining brightly enough it could be seen throughout most of the dark forest.


"I daresay, this is almost like the old days, is it not, Master?" Somehow, he could sense the spirit was smiling, even in her sword form. This feeling quickly fades, however, as she becomes serious again. "I sense a large amount of dark activity in the capital. If you feel confident enough, perhaps we should go there first? Anything we might be able to learn would be of immense help." The man nods, barely acknowledging the recovering Shades that are now primed for a battle. But then, so was he.

A figure approaches, ever faster, with another blade of light in hand...


A man in armor and a man in a mask stand amidst a garden full of statues (and a few Shades), staring up at the red moon.


"You know as well as I do, we convert them into our ranks once they're there so they won't become victims of the beast."

"But why must we do that to ALL of them? Surely we are at the point where we can just find what we're looking for and return things as they were."

"... I'm afraid it's not as simple as that, my friend. It has been a long search, and we must ensure as much cooperation from the denizens as possible to ensure we find it. We MUST find it. Otherwise, we all will perish."


"I understand how you feel. You were once a resident of this world, were you not?"

"..." The armored man turns to the side. "I could see the despair growing in their eyes. Demoralized by seeing their loved ones in their current state. I wish to end their suffering as soon as possible, whether it be by force or just by leaving them alone once we have met our goal. And one of them is..."

"Yes, you told me already. But I'm afraid this is just the way we have to do this. They rejected our messages multiple times before, so we simply have to do this by force. The easiest way to do this was by taking as many of them as possible. When they drew blood on us, we retaliated. You know I have tried to minimize the casualties in this war by doing this, Dim."

"Yes, I understand that. I just wish things could be different... I even saw HER, for a few moments..."

"Ah, yes. The girl you had a fling with before, right? We're not that far from her home anyway, are we? From YOUR home?"

"..." The other man doesn't respond.

"My apologies. I didn't mean to bring up a sensitive issue for you... Shall we head back in?"

The man nods silently, and without another word, the two leave the gardens.


"T-There. That should do it." The young woman lowers her staff, having healed the scratch on her kitsune companion's body once the group was at a safe enough distance away from the town, and hopefully of any chances of Nocturnus finding them.

"Haha, awesome! It doesn't even hurt anymore! You're a great healer!"

"W-Well, I'm not sure about "great", but thank you..."

"Uh... I hate to interrupt this lovely bonding moment, but it looks like we've got company again."

"Is it that big meanie again? Is it that guy in the armor??"

"Thankfully, it's neither. But..."

Sakura gasps as she sees the new intrusions. "Oh no..." She whispers quietly to herself, almost looking like she's about to tear up.

From the sky, a shadowy Pegasus and its rider slowly descend. On the ground are an equally darkened archer with an evil-looking bow and a spiky-haired samurai holding a sword imbued with lightning.
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