Elibe. 1100 years ago dragon fought man in a war called the Scouring...
Mankind vanquished the dragons thanks to the efforts of eight heroes. These eight mighty generals brought peace to Elibe. The continent was divided into nations, and the people have enjoyed an easy prosperity.
The hero Hartmut settled in the east and founded Bern, famed for its military might.
St. Elimine moved west, and her sacred name flourished among the artisans of Etruria.
The horseman Hanon's legacy lived on with the nomads of her beloved plains of Sacae.
The birthplace of the knight Barigan is now home to the renowned Knights of Ilia.
The berserker Durban's final glory was to create a warrior's clan in the Western Isles.
The archsage Athos is said to have retired to the barren wasteland of Nabata.
The heirs of the champion Roland themselves became the lords of the Lycian League.
100 years ago the king of Bern, Zephiel, broke the seal on the Demon Dragon. His goal was to return Elibe to the dragons and exterminate humanity. Thankfully his efforts were stopped by Roy, a young lord of Lycia, and peace has returned to the land.
However there was one other champion that few know anything about…
Valor, the Dread Isle. It is here that Bramimond, the enigma, meditated and invited all the darkness into itself in order to gain the power to best dragons and in doing so wiped it’s being clean of personality and emotion, becoming nothing more than a mirror of those who faced it until its death.
Twelve decades ago Valor was the site of a great battle. A man consumed by dark magic attempted to open the sealed dragon’s gate and invite dragons back into the world and created and army with which to accomplish his goal. He was stopped by three young lords of Lycia and their closest allies led by a young tactician, whose strategic skills saved the world. History itself seems to have conspired to keep this war unknown to mankind, but despite the best efforts rumors and whispers have reached the ears of a young tactician named Luke.
Wishing to study the tactics of a man who saved the world from darkness and dragons, Luke has set out for Valor with his friends Patrick and Quana. He believes that by studying the land unchanged since the great battle 120 years ago he will learn how a single man’s tactics changed history…
Chapter 4: The Mystery of the Dread Isle
The dread isle, Valor.
It was considered dangerous and foolhardy to travel here, but the place had lost some of its reputation a long time ago when a group of powerful warriors came here several times and returned without a single person missing all due to a great, powerful tactician, or so the legend went. Luke grinned to himself as he and his two comrades traveled through a thick forest. "You know, this place doesn't seem so bad." the dark-skinned youth commented. "With a name like ‘Dread Isle,’ you'd think the place would be covered in skulls and dead bodies."
"According to the old stories, the Dread Isle only earned its name because it was being used as the base of operations for a deranged madman to carry out horrible arcane experiments. But the same group of warriors that you're trying to learn from was said to have destroyed him and his creations," the sole girl of the group explained. Quana rolled her eyes a bit. "By itself, it's not very scary at all. Maybe a little foggy near the shoreline, but that's about it."
"There's no denying that a lot of people died on this island, though," the last member of their group spoke up, a cautious tone in his voice. He looked around carefully with his steel grey eyes. "Some say that the spirits of the dead still linger here, waiting for their torment to finally end."
"Ah, you worry too much, Patrick." Luke replied with a chuckle. "Don't tell me you believe in ghosts of all things?" The armored youth frowned indignantly at him.
"H-Hey, there's plenty of logical reasoning to believe in ghosts! You, a magic user, should understand that there's a spiritual side to things!" he protested.
"Yeah, but I don't believe in those kinds of silly ghost stories." the young tactician replied, giving a cheeky grin. "Now maybe if it was some sort of elemental spirit, I'd be more worried."
"Honestly, Luke, do you even know where we're going? We're looking for that old temple where that battle took place, aren't we?" Quana inquired of him. Sometimes she didn't know why she let him do these stupid things. Someone had to keep him from getting himself killed.
"Don't worry, I can handle it," Luke countered. "There's not too many intact structures on this island so our best bet is just to keep walking until we find one. I'm sure we'll come across it eventually. The Dragon's Gate...I wonder what it looks like!" He couldn't help but be excited.
As the three visitors ventured through the forest a pair of eyes watched them from a nearby tree. "So those are humans?" she whispered to herself. "Why are they here now?" Curious the figure carefully followed after them.
Quana couldn't help the feeling that there was something in the trees around them. Of course it was probably just a bird or something, but she'd have to keep her senses sharp. She didn't want to risk anyone getting hurt. "Alright, so how do you figure you'll know which one of these old ruins is the Dragon's Gate?" she asked her childhood friend.
"Well I imagine there's some connection to dragons, like statues or markings or something along those lines. On top of that the Dragon's Gate should have a strong connection with magic. If we can establish where the area with the highest concentration of raw magic is, then we'll probably have found it," Luke explained. Quana blinked in surprise at that.
"That's...actually rather reasonable. Heh, here I was thinking you were just charging in without a plan again," she admitted.
"Hey, I'm not completely impulsive!" Luke protested. The archer girl simply rolled her eyes. "Besides, we should be reaching the halfway point soon. There's another site here that was where a battle took place. We'll be passing through it on the way to the Dragon's Gate."
"Another battle? I wonder just how many fights happened on this isle," Patrick mused to himself. It seemed that there were a lot of historical battles that happened here, at least in regards to Eliwood and his band of fighters.
"This is where the Black Fang tried to send a sage after Eliwood and his group, but a magic seal made things difficult for him," Luke explained. "But that being isn't around anymore, so it's a moot point to worry about it."
"Maybe we shouldn't worry about that, but I think we're being watched," Quana said as she drew her bow. "Whoever you are, show yourself!" With that, she whipped around and fired an arrow towards the trees.
There was a cry of distress and a pink and blue blur flew up out of the tree as the arrow flew past it. The creature came in to land a short distance away from the three friends. As it straightened up, Luke, Quana and Patrick saw what was likely the strangest creature on Elibe.
It was a humanoid creature that was about five feet and four inches tall with blue eyes, a short snout in the middle of her face, what looked like horse's ears on the top of her head and pink fur that they could only assume covered her entire body. The horse-like creature was wearing loose blue mage robes that covered everything except her hands and the bottom of her legs; they could see that she had hooves instead of feet. Her hands had thick black nails on the tips and clutched in them was what Luke recognized as a tome of thunder magic. However, the most striking feature of the creature was a pair of pink feathered wings that sprouted out of her back, each of which nearly the size of her body.
"W-What the hell?! Some kind of...horse girl with wings?" Patrick stuttered, completely baffled. He had never seen nor heard of such a creature and, judging from her appearance, she was definitely sentient especially since she held a magic tome in her hands.
"Who and what are you?" Luke asked, caution clear in his voice. While on the one hand he was wary of her because she appeared to be stalking them, he couldn't help but be fascinated by this foreign creature. No one had ever seen them before, not according to recorded history.
<This isn't good. What should I do?> the creature spoke in a voice that marked it as female but in a language they couldn't understand.
"I can't understand anything she's saying," Quana remarked with a small frown. How were they supposed to communicate with a creature that couldn't speak their language?
The pegasus girl regarded them for a moment and looked like she was about to speak when she suddenly whipped her head around. <What's that?!> She was suddenly tense and alert.
"Geez, she's jumpy," Patrick remarked. Suddenly, without so much as a warning, a magic light flashed brightly, catching everyone off guard. When the light faded, several people were standing around them, all armed to the teeth.
"What the hell!?" Quana immediately had her bow drawn, aimed at the throat of one of the new assailants.
"Intruders....must be killed...." one of them muttered in a dull, lifeless tone.
Luke gritted his teeth in frustration. "This is really freaky," he muttered.
The pegasus girl held up her thunder tome, <Power of storms, strike them down!> Luke recognized the incantation as a bolt of lightning flew out and struck one of the sword wielding creatures in the chest, immediately followed by a second strike the reduced the creature to dust.
"That's thunder magic. So she's a mage," Luke commented. At least it seemed she was an ally in this fight. "Alright everyone, let's focus on taking...whatever these things are out now!" It was a bit unnerving to be fighting what seemed like zombies...but they could handle it.
"Right!" Quana didn't need to be told twice. She immediately fired an arrow at a nearby lancer, nailing it in the chest. Patrick had his lance out and merely focused on defending the archer girl, who had no means of close combat.
"Red rage, flash!" Luke called, sending out a fireball from his hand and incinerating the lancer Quana had hit earlier.
<Too many of them!> The pegasus girl was forced to take flight as a lancer charged at her and she sent a retaliatory bolt of lightning back at it.
Quana was forced to dodge a myrmidon's sword, letting out a shriek of surprise as she barely avoided the blade. Patrick was quick to defend her, stabbing through the creature with his lance. The archer girl swiftly added her own attack in, piercing the head with a single arrow. "Tch, there's an awful lot of them," she muttered.
"Just don't give up yet," the young knight replied. At least he would be able to repel most of the attacks that came their way. Fortunately it didn't look like any of their enemies were mages, so that helped a lot.
The pink pegasus girl landed next to Luke and added her lightning to one of his fire bolts, frying one of the creatures that was wearing heavy armor.
Luke couldn't help but grin at the combination attack. "Now -that- was pretty cool," he remarked. "We'll have to do that again sometime."
The pegasus seemed to blush but turned around and fired off lightning at a charging myrmidon, which sadly missed.
The tactician was quick to follow up with a fireball to attack the swordsman. When the flames hit, Patrick took charge and impaled the creature on his lance. Quana feathered another fighter, taking a deep breath. "For the love of Elimine, just how many are there!?" she cursed.
"Looks like about ten more," Patrick said.
A nearby lancer threw a javelin at the pegasus girl, which struck her in the side. She winced but pulled the weapon out of her side and fired off a lightning bolt in retaliation.
Quana followed up with an arrow of her own, taking out the lancer for good. However, she failed to notice a swordsman getting close to her until a sharp pain rose through her side. Letting out a cry of pain, she took a few steps back away from the enemy who had stabbed her. The human-like creature was about to finish the job, but Luke quickly parried with his own sword before stabbing the creature in the chest, reducing it to ashes.
<Almost finished,> the pegasus said. She flew up to get a better view of her next target. As she cast her next spell a glyph appeared in front of her which her next bolt of lightning traveled through, vaporising one of the creatures in one strike.
"We should be thankful they've only been frontline fighters. If they had archers or mages, it'd be a lot more difficult than it needed to be." Luke remarked as he incinerated another creature with a fire spell.
"But just what -are- they?" Patrick wondered. He had never seen anything like them before and they turned to dust when they were killed. He was no scientist but even he knew that wasn't natural.
Finally the battle ended. The Pegasus girl pulled out an herb and applied it to her injury as she landed near the three friends.
Quana was already mending her own wound with some vulnerary, applying the salve to her side. It burned a bit and she hissed in discomfort, but it was to be expected. "Phew! Is everyone alright?" she asked, looking to the others.
"Yes, I believe so but goodness, I wasn't expecting anything like that!" Luke admitted.
"Thank you for helping me to destroy those things," the pegasus girl said with a smile.
"So you -can- speak our language." Luke remarked with a small chuckle. "Well perhaps we should be thanking you in that regard. Whatever they were, they wanted all four of us dead for some reason."
"Though now that they're gone, that begs the question; just who and what are you?" Quana asked, glancing to the strange girl with a curious gaze.
"Well..." The girl hesitated. "My name is Yuko Terada and I'm a... Zunanma."
"A what? I can't say I've ever heard of that before..." Patrick admitted. He wasn't even sure if she looked human or not. Her facial features were strange almost as if her face had a snout or something.
"We're not from this world," Yuko replied. She clutched her thunder tome close to her flat chest and pulled her wings in close to her body. "Why did you come to Valor?" she asked.
"We came here looking for the Dragon's Gate. A great battle was said to happen there over a hundred years ago and I was hopeful I could perhaps learn from history by visiting the battlefield," Luke explained. "We weren't expecting the undead to attack us."
"They weren't undead, they were morphs," Yuko replied.
"-Those- were morphs? Like the creatures from the stories?" the tactician mused. They were easier to dispatch than he thought they'd be, but just what were they doing here? "I had thought that there were none of them left."
"They're remains have rested here since those battles you spoke of. Something must have resurrected them. Their remains aren't as powerful as they were when they were first created." Yuko searched around, "I can still feel an aura of darkness around here. You should back to my home for now," she offered.
"Your home? So you live here on Valor? I didn't think anyone did," Quana admitted.
"All the same, we appreciate your offer. Thank you,” Luke replied with a smile.
Yuko blushed slightly, "Oh well, you're welcome. Follow me." Yuko flapped her wings and flew up to get her bearings before she landed and motioned for the other three to follow her.