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Soul Stone - Part Eighteen

Author: 
Freddie Freeman
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
283

"Come, spectres!" Kalamaar taunted, hussling down to the base of the stairs and readying his axe.

"Why do you intrude upon our lair?" a disembodied voice bellowed.

"...it's the golden rule; dwarves gotta kill any spectres, ogres, dragons, and/or any other foul minions of evil they come across," Kalamaar reasoned.

"Do you know who I am?" the spectre called, "Xenphor Xyphoral, legendary dark knight... though I am without my body."

This took Kalamaar back.

"What happened?" the dwarf asked.

"I was betrayed by the knight who slayed me," Xenphor responded.

"What do you mean?" Kalamaar asked.

"The legends, the childrens' tales... lies," the spectre resounded, "it was Xlaren Fairlight, the 'noble' paladin, who was the evil one."

"You expect me to believe you?" Kalamaar scoffed.

"I care not," the voice bellowed, "all I want is your asistance."

"...aren't you supposed to be trapped in some kind of stone or whatnot?" the dwarf asked, thinking he had found a loophole in the charade.

"I was never put in the soulstone. All these years it has been a ruse, a farce to keep the populace from the truth. I have been imprisoned here in this forsaken plane of existence," Xenphor sighed.

"...why?" Kalamaar asked.

"Because I bore the greatest gift of all; knowledge. Xlaren feared and lusted for my knowledge, and slew me when I would not reveal it to him," Xenphor explained.

"What kind of knowledge?" Kalamaar asked.

"I gave my life defending it. You think I would tell you?" the voice chuckled.

"If you want my assistance, you're gonna tell me," Kalamaar said stubbornly.

There was no response for several minutes.

"Very well," Xenphor conceded, "I shall reveal to you what you need to know, nothing more."

"Now we're getting somewhere," Kalamaar smiled.

The voice stopped for another several minutes.

"Xlaren wanted my secret, my secret of Evermana. It is an ancient art that grants its user absolute power... immortality!" Xenphor breathed.

"Apparently it didn't work for you, eh?" Kalamaar grinned.

"Silence!" Xenphor commanded.

"Of course... continue," the dwarf said.

"It can only be mastered to its fullest by one who is pure of heart," Xenphor said.

"And you weren't?"

"No."

"I see," Kalamaar sighed, "so what do you want from me?"

"Your body," Xenphor said.

This took Kalamaar back.

"What?" the dwarf exclaimed.

"As you can gather, I am incorporeal. I must right this ancient wrong. I must slay Xlaren Fairlight," Xenphor said.

"What good will that do?" Kalamaar wondered.

"When he slew me, part of my essence went into his being. That part was the one he desired; the knowledge of Evermana. Now I'm afraid he hopes to use that knowledge to bring about the Red Tide," Xenphor revealed.

"I see," Kalamaar sighed.

"Will you assist me?" Xenphor said, his voice demanding.

"Do I have any other choice?" Kalamaar asked.

"Not if you care anything for the people of your plane, no," Xenphor put, quite simply.

Kalamaar didn't respond.

"Alright, even if you don't care anyhting for the people of your plane, at least save yourself by aiding me!" the spectre pleaded.

"Myself? Now you're talking. Alright, do what you gotta do," Kalamaar said.

"This won't hurt -- too much, that is," Xenphor cackled.

"Wait a second, you didn't say anything about pain--" Kalamaar's hasted speech was brought to a high scream as Xenphor invaded his being.

"Yes... the power!" Xenphor exclaimed, his voice mixing with the dwarf's, creating quite an odd-sounding speech.

In an instant, it was over.

"Foolish dwarf," Xenphor cackled, inspecting his new host, "Xlaren; Evermana will be mine!"

Footsteps behind him made Xenphor turn an about-face.

"Kalamaar? What was all that screaming going on?" Edele demanded, "We ran down those cursed flights of stairs to check on you!"

"This had better be something good," Ruien threatened.

"Erm... nothing... nothing at all," Xenphor smiled, trying to emulate Kalamaar's carefree demeanor.

"We found the looking glass, Kalamaar. We can return to the hermit and have him send us home," Edele said.

"Good," Xenphor nodded, not knowing exactly what was going on.

The trio trekked for many hours back to the hermit's abode. Nothing much was said along the way, except for pointless banter in elvish between Ruien and Edele.

At one point, Xenphor cut in on a discussion of weaponry... his dark-elven mind was fluent in the langauge of the surface elves. When Ruien and Edele asked how whom they thought to be Kalamaar understood their speech, he merely replied he'd picked up a few lines from hearing them talk. They didn't buy it, but were preoccupied with getting home.

"Ah, you have it!" the hermit exclaimed, quickly snatching the glass away from Ruien, "Now Evermana is mine!"

"Excuse me?" Edele asked.

"Xlaren!" Xenphor roared, "It is I! Xenphor Xyphoral! I've escaped your black palace!"

"What's going on?" Ruien demanded, "Kalaamar, this is no time for your drunken charades!"

"This is no charade," Xlaren sighed, "he's come to slay me, the foul being!"

"...you're the evil one," Xenphor retorted.

"Excuse me, but what is going on here?" Edele asked.

"Stay out of this, female!" Xenphor commanded.

"This is Xenphor Xyphoral, legendary dark knight. I defeated him aeons ago in an attempt to keep secret his knowledge of Evermana. In slaying him I transferred the knowledge into my own being and banished both of us to this plane," Xlaren explained.

"No! You lusted for my knowledge and stole it from me! You're the evil one, fool!" Xenphor exclaimed.

"Look, all we want to do is go home. You two can fight it out after we leave!" Edele exclaimed, stomping her foot.

Suddenly, Kalamaar's consciousness stepped forth and for a moment, took control.

"You... can't... leave me here!" he groaned, before slipping back under the control of Xenphor.

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