Chapter 6: The Injured and Separated

Chapter 6: The Injured and Separated

Anthony DeLapi, Staff Writer

Rise and Fall Chapter 6: The Injured and Separated 

When the fires of Mortem struck the cities of the world, there was undefined chaos. People ran wildly, and they left their loved ones, only to be consumed by the fires. The people who did make it ran to the plains and mountains, where they could hide from Mortem’s wrath. But Mortem would soon find them, and in so punish them in horrible ways of mutation and transformation into beasts of torture. Those who remained in the city, and faced their punishment, were allowed to live from Mortem when the fires died down. These people left the cities, but decided to separate from another, distrusting the old ways, and only going by the ones they cared for the most. It would be these people who would meet at the city of Bakea, and with Mortem’s help, make the texts of holy power.

-The Tablets of Ram.

A Quote from the Tablets: In the end, what makes a good leader isn’t in its power physically or mentally, but by the understanding what is important to the whole people, and how to earn those goals to support all.

As the fires from the destruction of the ruined city continued, Argon and Zinc took Radon to see the Overlevas; an ancient cult that arisen during the first decade of Mortem’s wrath. No one knows who or what this Cult is besides from one thing, that the Archers somehow made a connection with them. Zinc doesn’t like to think about it much, but not because he was afraid, but just more disturbed. The mannerism and actions of this Group even gave the most courageous warriors an uneasy feeling. Zinc didn’t share their origins not for his own fear, but for the decency of a whole room that would have to listen.  

 “The Overlevas aren’t mutants, but they aren’t man. They are twisted beings, with twisted goals, some of which would threaten our own existence,” Zinc said once, “The only thing keeping them back is their lacking arms and their understanding of the world.” When the three left, they ordered the army to regroup at the City of Bakea, where the Archers of the Last Khan agreed to meet after getting the Texts. No one knows where exactly the Zakaz rode off to, but wherever it was, it was going to be dark and gloomy.  

Meanwhile, Mozak, Xenon, and the Rider stopped to set up camp. They made a far distance from the fighting, and they set up camp by the edge of the Desert. In a small chest, they put the Forbidden Texts inside, locked all three locks with three different keys, and hid it while they rested. They weren’t going to lose the Texts now. Xenon was still bleeding from his wound, but he got it wrapped up in the camp. He was sweating uncontrollably, but he finally passed out from the stress. He had no idea what was going on with him, but he was acting very stranger recently. As if his emotions were on an elevation and couldn’t be controlled. He made some of the dumbest choices the past few days, and they were ruining everything. He started to think about his purpose after all of this conflict with the Texts, and he believed he should probably rest in order to regain his sanity. He knew that if he didn’t fix this, he would fall into insanity.  

Meanwhile, Mozak and the Purple Rider were sitting by the fire. Even though they faced some of the hottest weather in the Wastelands, it felt cold that night. But not freezing cold, but more like a calm breeze, that soothed the humid air. Mozak was just looking into the fire, his eyes magnetized to the flames. He also has been feeling strange lately, but he just started to notice it when the chaos died down a bit. He was feeling frustrated yet hopeful at the same time. All of this anger was centered on Xenon because of his actions, but this hopeful feeling spread out everywhere. Hope for the safety of the world, hope for the text’s safety, hope for lives’ safety, but for some reason not his safety. This odd mix of anger and hope caused a divided feeling in Mozak, and he didn’t know what to do next. 

The Purple Rider was also feeling something strange, but it did know how to react. The Rider has been feeling these feelings ever since it took this task. The task to bring the true peace to the world, but even better than the Shamans. The Rider never truly liked the Shamans, but it didn’t allow its own feelings get in the way of what important. The Purple Rider hoped that its friend, the Orange Rider, was ok, but the life up in White Mountains must be difficult. No armies dare to go up those icy slopes, for the conditions on the top are impossible to survive in. Only the Orange Rider had a chance of surviving up there, due to its skills, but it was still dangerous. The Purple Rider has been feelings for years now something dark, something depressing. The Rider has been feeling an empty hole inside it, and it has been growing inside the Rider for years now. The hole leaves nothing but sadness and guilt, and it was eating the Rider from the inside. The Rider felt completely lost and hopeless at times, but what pushed the Rider through was its inner purpose in life; to protect the world under the influence of Bakea. The Purple Rider knew it was old, because the Rider had memories of the arrival of Mortem. The Purple Rider knew it had a previous life, because the Rider had flashbacks of living in a comfortable and peaceful place , even before the arrival of Mortem. The Rider didn’t know why exactly, but it knew that it must have a strong purpose in life if the Rider was allowed to live for this long. But the empty hole has been growing inside the Rider greater the past few months. First the Rider and its friend were ordered by the last trusted king to hide the holy texts, then they had to split up (something they haven’t done before) in order to hide the texts, but somehow the Archers were already on them. The Rider knew that there were people in the world who would talk to the aggressors, but the reason why still questioned the Rider.  

“Have we really lost all hope, that we trust our future lives with aggressors?”, the Rider questioned to itself in its mind.  

The Rider didn’t know what to do anymore. It was lost, as if all hope and esteem was slowly decaying in its mind. The Rider then realized what it must do, they must split up. When Mozak told it by the fire about the Overlevas, the Rider knew it wasn’t a good thing.  

The Overlevas were as dangerous as the Archers, but the worst part was their ability to see the future. It was said that Mortem gave the Cult the power to see into the future, so future leaders could be warned, but now this abdominal group has fallen into twisted functions. The Rider knew the alliance between the Archers and the Cult would spell utter-doom for everyone, and so many things need to be accomplished. They still need to find the Tablets of Ram, return to the City of Bakea, but somehow fight back against the nearly-unstoppable army of the Zakaz. The Rider then realized who they can go ask for help, the Velus. 

The Velus were large, yet gentle (at times) mutated-mammals, that lived far up North, left-sided of the White Mountains, and a couple of miles up from the City of Bakea. They came in all shapes and sizes, but mostly took the forms of bears, wolves, lions, and tigers. They adopted a more comfortable and peaceful lifestyle, due to the aggression of the Zakaz. But now as the Zakaz seek world domination, the Velus have started to change their feelings on being isolated. The Rider knew it would soon before the Velus would join the fight, and it wanted them on their side. The Rider heard of their leader, the Emperor of the Velus, Cassius, was an old but wise leader. Cassius would most likely extend an hand to help the Rider, but that was not only what the Rider needed.  

The Purple Rider needed to bring peace to the world, and that is why it needed to make an alliance with the Zakaz and Velus in order to overthrow the Archers. That is why the Rider wanted Mozak to go speak with Cassius, with of course the Rider’s good word. The Rider would also send Xenon to find out more about the Overlevas, and see what they’re up to with the Archers. While that is going on, the Rider will go out and find its lost friend in the White Mountains to finally be together again. It has been a long time since it has seen the Orange Rider’s face. After all of that, they will all re-group at the City of Bakea, where they will prevent the Zakaz from taking over the world.  

The fire continued to creak and crackle , and the ashes flew into the dark night, and joined the stars. The Purple Rider slowly got up, and walked toward Mozak very slowly, like a shadow moving. Xenon got up, recognizing a conversation beginning, and went to them. 

“I have a plan,” the Rider said. “We need to split up if we are going to beat the Archers. I will go find the Tablets with the Orange Rider in the White Mountains. I need to help my friend, before the Archers arrive. Xenon, I need you to go investigate the Overlevas, and see what they’re up to with the Archers. Follow Zinc and the others on the trails, but do not engage. Mozak, I need you to go up North to find the Velus. Find their leader Cassius, and tell them you know me, and the time to fight is now,” the Purple Rider finished saying. 

All of that was a lot to take in, and Mozak was confused. What he going to be one his own for now? How could he encourage creatures to join him if he doesn’t even know? Will he even survive? It was in this moment, and with the experience for the past few weeks, that Mozak realized that his fear has been slowly dying down. He was less fearful of dying, and more concerned about what was going to happen. Mozak realized the importance of the situation, and wanted to get it done. He was finally understanding the true importance of this mission. 

Xenon on the other hand was completely lost. Why was he going to the Overlevas, it was his mission to find the Texts? How can this Rider tell him what to do? Xenon was battling a war in his own mind. A mind of fear, irrational fear. It has been growing inside him for many weeks now, and it was consuming him. All of his actions, all of his thoughts, were because of this spreading fear. It was as if something or someone was slowly intensifying Xenon’s fear, no matter what techniques or meditations he did to calm himself down. Xenon was loosing it, and he knew it. He just hoped it wouldn’t kill him in the long run.  

But Mozak and Xenon agreed to this plan, and the next morning the three set off. Xenon rode out West, to catch the trail of the Archers to the Cult. The Purple Rider went East to the White Mountains. And Mozak went up North to see Cassius. The quest was now changing, with new plans and events. The original plan to find the two ancient scrolls has been altered, and now involves a traumatic shift in history. A great change would be coming, and whoever has the Texts, will be able to oversee these changes. The Rider knew this, and that is why the changes to an already changing world, was necessary. 

After two days, Xenon finally found the Archer’s trail. He has to avoid an advancing army of Zakaz that was heading toward East. Xenon realized that what the Purple Rider said about the armies coming to meet was true, and that a major battle would soon be arriving if the Velus get involved. But now, Xenon was focused on finding the Archers. On top of a Desert Dune, Xenon saw the Archers riding across the Desert on horseback. The suns rays blurred his vision, but Xenon recognized them. Argon was leading them, while Zinc rode on the other horse, with Radon hanging on, looking woozy and in pain. Xenon then realized something: Radon was hurt. If he could’ve killed Radon at that moment, that would weaken the Archers permanently. But then if Radon died, then there was a chance Xenon would die, and the mission to find the Overlevas would be over. And that is why Xenon didn’t kill Radon at that moment, and that decision would impact him forever, even though the idea was bad.   

The Archer’s rode out West of the Desert, and entered into a very quiet yet dark land. The land they entered, was covered in a mountainous terrain, and rotten trees filled up the hills. The Archers made their way back an old dirt path down a slope, rode through the trails in the forest. There was no sign of life, and it was so silent, you couldn’t even hear the breeze. The horses were breathing loudly in the quiet atmosphere, their hooves clamping down on the decaying ground giving off the only sound in the world at that moment. 

Xenon followed them, but without any-idea of where he was. He didn’t know that there was life west of the Desert. Many of the Shamans told them it was very unlikely, and whatever remained there must’ve been small. But seeing this large empty landscape before Xenon made him think of the possibilities. Could this be a new place to take refuge from attacks? Why has it been remained so hidden? It then struck Xenon that the reason why this place is so desolated, was probably because of the Overlevas. Xenon didn’t know what tricks the dark cult had, but whatever they were, it gave him shudders with the mere thought of it. As if thinking about them awoken some dormant fear inside him that has been sleeping all of his life. 

The Archers stopped at a large rock wall, a side of a ginormous mountain cliff. The wall seemed to go up for miles and miles, and it was jagged with sharp rocks pointing out. The Archers approached the wall, stopped for a moment, and then started to move around quickly. They were looking for something. They looked all over the place, trying to find something they needed. And then, they found it. Argon found beside the wall, a small stone that had ancient carvings on it. He pushed down on the top of the stone, and a strong thunderous sound came from the wall. Then, a piece of rock started to slowly move to the side of the wall, revealing a black doorway. The Archers showed some sign of relief, as they carried their friend Radon into the dark entrance.  

Xenon saw all of this playing out, and he rushed down to join them. He stopped right at the entrance of the door. He could feel a cold, yet tingly, breeze coming out of the door. There were no sounds and no sight through that doorway. Xenon felt and saw nothing, but he needed to get inside. And so, he entered the doorway, but as he entered the door, the rock once again covered up the doorway, cutting out the light from the outside world, and leaving Xenon alone in the darkness. Xenon would just keep walking forward from there, seeing if there was some sort of life in this lifeless underworld.