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In Progress Final Fantasy: Tales of the Crystals (Book 1: Darkness Crystal Before Dawn)


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(Rated E10+ for fantasy violence)

Final Fantasy: Tales of the Crystals

Book 1: Darkness Crystal Before Dawn


Long ago, when the high angel Ladora created the world, she created with it the four Crystals of earth, fire, wind, and water. These four Crystals were called the Guardian Crystals; for they were to watch over and protect the world. Next, she created a second set of Crystals for the remaining elementals in the world: ice, lightning, darkness and light. The second set she named the Mystic Crystals; since they oversaw the mystical elements of the world. Her labors completed, Ladora was proud of the beautiful world she had made, and sought to guide the world's beings from the heavens. Deep down, she was very acutely aware of the possibility of evil trying to claim the Crystals. If that were to come to pass, she would command four young warriors to defend the Guardian Crystals--for without the forces of earth, fire, wind and water; her world would cease to exist. If the Mystical Crystals were lost or broken, the Guardian Crystals would at least absorb their energies and prevent her worldthread from weakening. In fact, the energies of the Mystic Crystals would make the Guardian Crystals stronger and better able to resist an attack.

A time of evil did come when the evil Chaos rose from the underworld. Jealous of his rival Ladora's world, he flew across it, wreaking much grief and despair. He even created monsters to terrorize the beings of the world. Finally, in a show of defiance to Ladora's pleas to stop his malice, Chaos scattered the four Mystical Crystals across the world. To his surprise, the Mystical Crystals lent their energies to the Guardian Crystals, making them stronger against his assault. In his rage, Chaos tried to drain the Guardian Crystal's energies in hopes they would shatter, but only weakened them considerably. The people cried to the heavens, desprate to have Chaos defeated.

Ladora heard her people's cries, and sent four young warriors to drive back Chaos' forces and restore the Guardian Crystals' light. The four warriors succeeded on their quest, defeating Chaos, and earning them the name of the Light Warriors. The four Guardian Crystals, now shining twice as bright with the added energies of the Mystic Crystals, were restored.

Time passed, and the Light Warriors faded into legend. The four Mystic Crystals came to be called the Lost Crystals. It was said that if Chaos rose again, a new generation of Light Warriors would have to travel across the land, find all eight crystals, including the Lost Crystals, and unite their powers to create the ultimate blade: the Rainbow Blade. Only the Light Warrior Ladora chose could wield it, the minstrels said, and it would contain enough power to banish Chaos for a long time, if not for eternity.

Before long, the time foretold in many legends came to pass--Chaos returned from the underworld, and is once again wreaking havoc and despair.

Our story focuses on a young red mage and her friends as they seek to forge the Rainbow Blade with the power of the eight Crystals--can they defeat Chaos and become the Light Warriors for a new generation?

Episode 1: The Legend of the Lost Crystals

She'd heard the story plenty of times.

Whether it was her own mother telling it to her as the two of them sat by the fire, or a traveling minstrel telling it to the crowds of people during the Crystal Fair in the summertime; the tale was the same. In her eighteen years of hearing it told or telling it to the younger apprentices, she never got tired of telling it. Why she enjoyed the tale, she didn't know, but the familiar words of "Long ago, the world had not four crystals..." made her emerald eyes light up with anticipation and excitement. Her slender yet muscular body would tense up, as if she were one of the Light Warriors of old preparing to fight the evil Chaos. She would also close her eyes and imagine herself before the Crystals; watching their holy light play over her auburn hair.

Depending on the teller, what kinds of adventurers the Light Warriors were would change. Some said they were all physical fighters, others all mages, and still others had their own theories as to what classes they were. It was not like anyone knew exactly, as any written accounts of the quest were either lost or had yet to be found. Only Her Grace knew for sure.

Deep down, she cherished the first time she heard the tale of the Lost Crystals and the Rainbow Blade. It was a snowy winter night, and her father was out in the woods nearby the town of Pravoka gathering wood for the fire. When the weather was warm he would be sailing around the world, trading his furs, wood, and glasswares. He would sometimes get a glass ornament in return, such as the suncatcher that hung by the window. Her mother was slicing some carrots in the kitchen in preparation for cooking when the wood arrived. She would help the best way she knew how, but to a then-five year old girl, there wasn't much that she could do to help.

She would try to make the most of the wait by watching the swirling snow outside and studying the suncatcher. The design piqued her--eight Crystals surrounding a beautiful sword shining with rainbow light. What did it mean, if anything? Her parents would most likely know; and would be quite happy to tell her what it meant.

"Mama?" she had asked, getting the attention of the black haired woman that was now tending to some onions.

"What is it, Mallory?" the woman asked as she finished slicing an onion and reached for another.

"Our suncatcher...does the design mean something?"

The woman smiled--her little girl was most likely old enough to hear the story behind the suncatcher, she thought. "It tells a story of the Crystals--the mystical gems that form our world." she began as she set the onion aside and joined the black haired girl by the window. "Long ago, the world had not four Crystals, but eight--one for each element in the world. Her Grace, the high angel Ladora created them and used their power to create the world. While the four essential forces of earth, fire, wind, and water formed the worldthread, the other four Crystals--ice, lightning, darkness and light--helped to strengthen the worldthread."

At this point in the story, she remembered asking "Mama, if everyone says darkness is bad, then why did Ladora make a Crystal of Darkness?"

"Not all darkness is bad, Mallory." her mother would say, usually ruffling the deep brown hair of the girl before her playfully. "The Crystal of Darkness Ladora created held the good powers of darkness--the kind that night was born from and keeps our food cool."

"Oh, okay..." she would reply to show she understood.

"Ladora knew that the incarnation of the bad side of darkness, Chaos, would likely enter the world and try to shatter the Crystals. If the Crystals were broken, the worldthread would be in danger."


"Without a worldthread, our world would cease to exist." her mother would reply before continuing. "To prevent the worldthread from being damaged, Ladora commanded that the Mystic Crystals strengthen the Guardian Crystals with their power if they were ever attacked. Some time after this, Chaos did rise up from his dwelling from the underworld and attempted to shatter any of the Crystals he could find, creating the first monsters. The Mystic Crystals were not shattered, but instead scattered to places throughout the world..."

"Where exactly are they now?" she had asked.

"No one is sure where the four Mystic Crystals are, hon." her mother would reply. "That's why they're called the Lost Crystals now." She would pause to make herself comfortable in a chair before going on. "Before they fled Chaos, the Mystic Crystals lent their energies to the Guardian Crystals of earth, fire, wind, and water. This increased their strength to a level so strong, they would hold up to any of Chaos' dark magic. Yet Chaos was not easily deterred--he tried for days on end to shatter the Guardian Crystals, with no luck. His frustration was felt throught the world as monsters became plentiful and began to terrorize the people in the world.

The people cried to Her Grace for help to defeat Chaos. Ladora heard her people's pleas and sent four Warriors of Light; who proceeded to restore what light Chaos had taken from the Crystals and banished him back to the underworld. As the years went by, their names were forgotten, and the Mystic Crystals came to be called the Lost Crystals."

"But what does that have to do with the suncatcher's design?" By now, she remembered getting impatient and wishing her mother would just answer her question.

"Patience, Mallory; I'm getting to that." her mother assured her before continuing "The people were afraid that Chaos would return and try again to shatter the Crystals. Lukahn, the same sage that foretold the Light Warrior's coming, also prophesied that should Chaos return, he would be stronger than before. But, he would be driven back a second time by four new Light Warriors. One of them would wield a Rainbow Blade containing the power of all eight Crystals....and that is what the design of the suncatcher portrays."

"But how would the Blade be made, Mama?" she had asked.

Her mother got up from the chair and strolled back to the waiting onions on the counter. "The new Warriors would travel across the land and gather the power of all the Crystals..."

The power of all the Crystals... She reflected on this as she looked out the window of her room onto the hill overlooking the town of Pravoka. In the thirteen years that had passed between that time, she had become a red mage apprentice and began training in both the ways of the blade and of magic. When she had turned thirteen, she became what the red mages called a Rising Mage--a red mage no longer an apprentice, but had yet to go on the quest to prove herself a full red mage.

Hearing the Legend of the Rainbow Blade for the first time seemed like a distant memory now, but a lot had happened in thirteen years. Monsters had been multiplying again, and adventurers of all kinds had attempted the journey to Ladora's Shrine to the west. None that she knew of had returned alive. Furthermore, she had turned eighteen several days before, meaning that she had to leave the lodge of the Order of Red Mages and prove herself as a red mage sooner or later.

She was about to reflect on her impending quest when she heard a voice call "Lady Mallory Foxheart?"

"Yes?" She sat up on her bed to see the familiar red swirled cloak of a messenger billowing into the room.

"The High Mage wishes to see you--about your Red Journey."

"Tell him I will be there as soon as I pack my things." Mallory replied. The messenger nodded to accept her reply, and disappeared down the hall. Mallory, meanwhile, began making preparations for her likely long journey. She started by slipping a shirt of bronze chain inbetween the white undershirt and her red tunic, followed by changing into a pair of black leggings from the white ones she had been wearing earlier. After depositing those leggings into the laundry pile lying in a corner by the entryway, she pulled on her favorite pair of boots and slipped some red gauntlets over her hands.

She darted over to the vanity by her bed and tied some of her auburn hair into two braids, then tied the braids in such a way that they appeared to circle around her head, allowing the rest of the auburn tresses to hang down. The younger apprentices often called her "Queen Foxy" because of the braid's resemblance to a crown. She would then gently remind the apprentices that the fabric used in the traditional red mage's hat made her skin itch; and the style was the solution she had devised to prevent this in battle. Despite her slight allergy to its materials, she was proud of the wide brimmed red hat with the yellow feather in the brim, and putting it on made her feel brave and strong. The feather inside would always alert passersby that she was a Rising Mage on her journey, and the feather would turn white when she completed whatever the High Mage had called her to do.

Now that she was completely dressed, she set the shoes she had been wearing earlier by the foot of the bed, then slipped a silver butterfly pendant around her neck. There...all ready. After admiring herself in the mirror for a moment, she retrieved a large leather bag sitting by the closet and began packing items she would need on her journey. Potions and ethers went in one pocket, recovery items went in another, and offensive items went in a third. The biggest pocket was reserved for larger items, so she stashed her gold bag inside, making some gold coins spill out. After placing the stray coins back in the smaller bag, she set a flute case on top of it before closing the pack up and slinging it onto her back. She wasn't sure why she had packed the flute to begin with, but it would make for a little entertainment at night.
After looking over her room one last time, she set her sword by her left leg and trotted down the hall towards the High Mage's chamber.


"Master Jamui?" Mallory called into the large chamber near the foyer. "You wished to see me?"

The High Mage, a quiet yet dutiful man in his early thirties, looked up from the book had been reading and smiled. "Yes, Lady Foxheart, please come in." Mallory tensely stepped inside the room that served as the High Mage's quarters and study--when he wasn't speaking to new apprentices or meeting with dignataries, he was reading something. Part of her wanted to know what lay within the millions of books that lined the shelves, but she also knew that Jamui was very protective of his books, including the one he was now putting back on the shelf. She sat up a little as he began. "For several nights, Her Grace has come to me in a dream, asking me to send 'the one with the cunning and loyal heart of the fox' to her shrine in the west. I have spoken with our White, Black, and Blue comrades, and they have confirmed my suspicions that you might be the one she wishes to see."

"But Master...why would Her Grace, an angel...call me, a mere mortal?" Mallory stammered. Her mind was racing--if Her Grace Ladora was indeed calling her, her quest would carry even more weight than it did for a typical mage. Questions began swirling in her mind: "Why me? What if she wants me to save the world alone? What does she really want me to do?

"Ladora calls people just like us to accomplish Her will." the High Mage assured Mallory, but this did nothing to calm the nervous shaking that rippled through her body. "Perhaps if you pray at the temple before setting out...She will answer your questions and give you strength for your journey. For now, your Red Journey is to travel to the town of Jodra to the west and visit Ladora's Shrine."

Mallory shakily stood up. "I'll go, with my blade in my hand and the magic in my heart." This was what every Rising Mage responded with when they left on their journey, but it now had a different air for Mallory--this journey could mean that the fate of everyone that she loved, from her family to the apprentices that called her "Queen Foxy", was in her hands.

She departed the chamber, rounded the corner to the lodge's entrance, and stepped out into the warm spring sunshine. After looking back at the lodge she had called home for so long one last time, she started down the hill towards the town of Pravoka, unaware that she was setting out on a far longer--and far graver--quest than anyone realized...

To Be Continued...