An ethics-oriented weblog celebrating effective altruism, philosophy, and other beliefs Eric holds. Also: a place to post random thoughts.
03 July, 1995
The Beginning of the End
As copied from a collection of old manuscripts dated around this time.
“What’s that?” Sabin was the first to comment on the strange statues.
“Dear God almighty…” Raistlin’s jaw dropped.
“They’re so life-like –“
“They are lifelike. They’re beings of magic – pure magic – more powerful than even Espers. These three have been in this position for longer than time remembers. They were ancient in ancient times… If you look closely, you can see their colors of magic: Red, White, Black, - ”
“You know too much, wizard.”
The entire party turned around.
“Now you die!” Ragnorak swung his sword at Setzer, slicing his left hand off. “Die!” His fist flew toward Celes, hitting her square in the stomach. She flew to the ground ten meters away.
Shadow was quick to respond. He drew his dagger and threw it at Ragnorak’s helmet before he ran to Cyan’s scabbard for a katana.
Cyan was next. He dropped his scabbard to the ground while pulling out his blade. He jumped to Ragnorak’s side, slashing his steel toward his enemy’s legs. Ragnorak’s reaction was faster than Cyan could handle. Ragnorak jumped away from both the blow and Shadow’s dagger, and landed next to Edgar.
Edgar had pulled out his crossbow, but had not yet loaded it. Of course, Edgar wasn’t stupid, so he swung his crossbow as hard as he could toward Ragnorak’s head. But his hands were too slow and he was hit on the side of his head with Ragnorak’s left elbow. Edgar dropped to the ground, unconscious from the blow.
Ragnorak turned to see Exodus running at him with his sword. Deftly, Ragnorak dodged Exodus’ attack and kicked his helmet with such ferocity that the force knocked him out.
Ragnorak looked at those that remained. Cyan and Shadow were back, ready to fight, and now Sabin stood with them. Celes had gotten up from Ragnorak’s blow and was tending to Setzer. Raistlin stood in the back, watching the carnage. Mog had started one of his dances.
Ragnorak lifted his left hand, and a bolt of lightning emerged from it. The lightning split twice and Mog, Cyan, Shadow, and Sabin were hit. Mog fell to the ground with immense pain, but the other three stood.
Sabin called out to Ragnorak. “Do you refuse to fight me?”
“Do not think that you are any more powerful than anyone else here. On the contrary, dear Sabin, you are the weakest of all.”
“What?! I’m going to beat you down so bad…”
“Come and get me, muscle boy.”
Sabin ran for Ragnorak. Ragnorak sidestepped and backhanded Sabin on the chest. Sabin took the brunt of the blow and dropped to one knee, noticeably in pain.
Cyan nodded to Shadow. Immediately, they ran past Sabin and cut at Ragnorak. Ragnorak used his sword to block Shadow’s quick slash and he used his left hand to defend against Cyan’s blow. But he underestimated the limit of Cyan’s might, and Cyan’s sword cut through the palm of his left hand.
“You will DIE for that!!” Ragnorak’s eyes started to glow red and his hands started to burn with fire from the depths of hell.
Raistlin yelled out to Celes, “Forget Setzer; use your runic blade!”
Celes looked up and saw the fierceness in Ragnorak’s eyes. She drew her sword and uttered a few incantations.
Raistlin reached into his bag and pulled out a rock of magicite. As he held it in his hand, he looked at Ragnorak and whispered something incomprehensible.
Suddenly the ground opened up a small hole just big enough for a man to squeeze through. Out of it came a gray vapor that materialized on the ground just behind Cyan. It was Titan. “I live!” he screamed mightily.
Shadow grabbed Cyan and pulled him away from Ragnorak. Celes screamed back to Raistlin, “My Runic doesn’t work here!”
Raistlin was concentrating on telling Titan what to do, though. “Attack Ragnorak!” Raistlin yelled with all his might.
Titan drew back his fist just as Ragnorak’s hands turned a deep red. The flare violently erupted from his hands and hit Titan square in the chest. Titan’s body burst into flames and the goliath fell to one knee, shivering in the immense pain.
Ragnorak turned to look at Raistlin. “You have magicite? YOU WILL DIE!!!” Ragnorak ran toward the wizard with extreme ferocity.
Raistlin’s eyes grew wide with fear.
Sabin jumped to Raistlin, and pushed him out of the way. Ragnorak rammed himself into the mighty Sabin. Sabin fell to the ground, convulsing from the violent pains. By this point, Titan had recovered from the hellfire that he had gone through. He punched Ragnorak with all his might, and Ragnorak reared from the blow.
“I realize you fight not of your own free will, Brother Titan, but still I cannot allow you to hurt me; and so now, I must kill you.”
With that, he drew his sword and swiftly chopped off Titan’s head.
Titan’s decapitated body fell to the ground and disintegrated.
Ragnorak turned to face the humans. A tear fell from his face. “YOU SHALL DIE!!!”
Sabin, Cyan, and Shadow stood their ground. Celes went back to Setzer. Raistlin stayed back and started another spell. Ragnorak attempted to dispatch Cyan with one swift hit, but Cyan retorted with a blow to Ragnorak’s already damaged hand. Ragnorak screamed and used his left foot to sweep Cyan from the ground. Cyan went down hard.
Sabin’s hand came up next, hitting Ragnorak in the side. Ragnorak fell to one knee and hit Sabin in the temple with the broadside of his blade. Sabin went down.
Shadow brought his dagger to Ragnorak’s throat. Ragnorak froze. “You lost this time, Ragnorak,” Shadow whispered. Shadow brought the sharp blade closer to Ragnorak’s skin. “Now you will pay for what you’ve done.” With that, Shadow sliced through Ragnorak’s neck.
Blood flowed through and out of Ragnorak’s throat. At first, all that could be seen in his face was immeasurable pain. But then, another emotion was apparent. Shadow stepped back. Cyan, who had just gotten up, looked genuinely scared. For of all the things to be seen in Ragnorak’s face, none had even imagined a smile.
“I, Ragnorak, am the most powerful of all Espers. I will not be killed by mere mortals!”
Raistlin yelled out to the enemy, “Then die by my hand!” A powerful bolt of lightning flew from Raistlin’s hands and hit Ragnorak with incredible force. Ragnorak fell, stunned from the blow. Cyan took advantage of the opportunity, slicing at Ragnorak’s neck. Ragnorak’s speed, however, showed its superiority when Ragnorak brought his hand up to block the blow.
Unfortunately for Ragnorak, Cyan’s sword cut through Ragnorak’s left wrist.
Shadow used his own speed to further his advantage over Ragnorak’s torn body. Dozens of small needles were thrown at Ragnorak’s body. Almost three-quarters pierced his skin.
“Cut his head off! It’s the only way to kill him!” Raistlin, confident of his colleagues, retired his magic and made sure the others were okay.
Ragnorak slung his foot, snapping his boot right off. The boot flew through the air, hitting Celes in the head. She was knocked out immediately.
Shadow watched this, just as Ragnorak had anticipated, and while Shadow was distracted, Ragnorak threw his sword at him with all his might, and hit Shadow in the face. Shadow went down for the count.
Ragnorak looked back at Cyan just in time to see Cyan’s sword coming towards him at breakneck speed. Ragnorak brought hiss handless arm up to deflect the blow, but instead Cyan’s sword stuck deep into Ragnorak’s arm. Before Cyan could pull out his sword, Ragnorak kicked him. Cyan fell to the ground. Ragnorak quickly ran to Cyan and punched him in the stomach with his good arm. Cyan was knocked out.
Ragnorak turned to see who was left standing. Only the strange wizard was there to meet his gaze.
Raistlin hurriedly started a spell while Ragnorak was rushing towards him.
Ragnorak was barely two meters away when Raistlin’s burning hands was finally cast.
Ragnorak hit Raistlin with his left shoulder at ramming speed. Raistlin fell, but did not lose consciousness.
Raistlin looked up at Ragnorak. Ragnorak’s body had long since lost all his blood. His left hand was severed at the wrist; Cyan’s sword was lodged in what was left of that arm. Ragnorak’s throat was cut wide open, exposing the inside of his neck for all to see. In addition to all of this, his body was covered with tiny pins stuck all over his body. Needless to say, he was a gruesome sight.
Raistlin closed his eyes and started to pray. His thoughts flew back to the beginning of this stupid adventure. He remembered back when he first met Exodus. It had been such a long and tiresome journey since then. It was almost too hard to believe that it was all about to end. Slowly, he opened his eyes.
Ragnorak stood smiling in front of him. “You have lost, wizard.”
Raistlin raised an eyebrow. “You think I have lost? Ha.” Raistlin scoffed at Ragnorak, and promptly stood, trying his best not to show any pain, though he felt it from every bone in his body.
“You do not fool me, wizard. I can feel your cowardice. Succumb to me, and I might let you live yet.”
Raistlin calmly popped his wrists and pulled out his elven pouch. “You said earlier that you would kill me because I possessed magicite. How do you think I came upon this impressive collection?” Raistlin sneered, as he emptied the bag onto the ground. Magicite shards fell and scattered. Raistlin held the lone remaining piece of magicite in his hand.
Ragnorak appeared momentarily confused. “You do not fool me, wizard. Beg for mercy.”
Raistlin felt balls of sweat falling from his brow. Nonchalantly, he patted his cloak on his forehead. Raistlin turned his eyes to Ragnorak, staring him straight in the face. “Leave now or die.”
“Do I?” Raistlin smiled as he tossed the lone magicite shard from hand to hand. “You have until the count of three.”
Ragnorak staggered, unsure of himself. He surveyed the battlefield. Bodies lay unmoving in every direction. Only one person was still conscious, and that one had a severed limb, just like him.
Ragnorak looked up and down. He saw no threats.
Ragnorak took a step back, but then paused. “I will not run from you. You are nothing but a petty wizard.” Ragnorak looked sure of himself and stepped forward again.
“Three. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Raistlin threw the magicite shard high into the air and a cloud of billowing smoke permeated his hands.
Ragnorak watched the smoke rise from his hands, warily. Just then, Raistlin tried to ram himself into Ragnorak, and a blinding light flashed from Raistlin’s body. Ragnorak deftly dodged, but the light so blinded him that he could not see. Hurriedly, he ran back to the three statues and tried to put up a hasty force field.
Meanwhile, Raistlin’s light show was over, and Raistlin was going over his options. He had to leave, and quick, but he might have a better chance of survival if he awoke one of his friends first. Raistlin ran to Sabin’s side and speedily shot off an incantation to give Sabin his strength back. Sabin awoke, as groggily as ever, and Raistlin grabbed him and shook him till Sabin could comprehend English.
“We have to go – and now! Ragnorak will be back any second now!”
“Okay, okay – I’ll carry everybody and you lead the way.”
“No, Sabin, we have to –”
“Argh!” Ragnorak’s screams interrupted Raistlin’s speech. “I’ve been made a fool! You will not fool me again, puny wizard!”
Raistlin grabbed Sabin and pulled, but Sabin was already running at Ragnorak. Raistlin cursed himself for his stupidity and started to run away from the scene. But before he could get more than ten meters away, he felt the ground shake. Abruptly, he stopped in his tracks.
Sabin, too, stopped in his tracks when he saw Ragnorak’s eyes grow wide with fear. Sabin watched as the statue that Ragnorak had bumped into started glowing an eerie black glow. Ragnorak ran in the opposite direction, and Sabin started to follow, but Raistlin stopped him. “Sabin, we have to get out of here! We have to get to someplace safe!” Raistlin neglected to mention that no place was safe now. There was almost no point to doing any of this now. “Quickly, wake Celes – I’ll heal Cyan and Shadow!” Raistlin ran to Cyan’s side and started his magic words. It’s too bad, Raistlin thought, that it all has to end now.
Posted by Eric Herboso at Monday, July 03, 1995
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