Phoenix Down: The Temple of Glory


123rd of Ashan 720

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Phoenix Down: The Temple of Glory

123rd of Ashan 720

Since returning from the ill-conceived expedition from Faldrass, something in the back of Kalortah's mind had been troubling him. A most peculiar emotion or sensation. He didn't entirely understand it. It felt like, the opposite of his usual mode of being. But then, what did you get when you turned Pride upside down and inside out? Kalortah supposed you'd feel like a slave... Shame, that was the word. He felt, ashamed.

So as he drifted off to sleep, his dreams were influenced in part by that sense of shame, failure, and inadequacy. He laid his head on his pillow, his glorious red wings splayed out above him as he rested, and fell to sleep.

And before long, he was back in the Temple of Glory. This time, it was different. There were humans among them. Oh, the guardrel were still there, and prepared to impale Kalortah as he descended upon the upper landing of the Temple, before the throne of the Aeolian. Their spears glinted in the Saun daylight, thirsty for traitorous blood.

Languidly, seeming heedless of the intrusion, the Aeolian stretched, and then rose from her throne. She started sauntering over toward Kalortah. Her colorful and brilliant wing span splayed out behind her, decorated by jeweled valance, of golds, platinum, and other rare and precious metals set with innumerable gems. She spoke to him before long.

"So, you've returned? What did you think to find here?"

Kalortah frowned, and then reluctantly knelt before the Aeolian. He dipped his head a moment, before turning it up to look at her face. She was smiling, as if she'd relish what would happen next. It was then that Kalortah knew his mistake.

There would be no lengthy tirade or monologue this time. No warning or petitions. There would be blood on the wind. Kalortah's blood. He'd betrayed his home city and his Aeolian by helping weak avriel to escape the city, and spread rumors of the Glorious city's weakness. His lot was to die here.

Kalortah flinched, gasped, as the spears found his heart, his lungs, and hte other found the artery behind his abdomen. Somehow, another guardrel had sneaked behind him with a large two-handed saber, and brought it down to sever his wings at the shoulders. Kalortah screamed as he was kicked back from the landing of the Temple of Glory. There, he fell, he was already dead by the time he dissolved into ashes, his life spent.

The mortalborn didn't know exactly what to expect of experience after death. Would it be a dark abyss? A light at the end of that darkness, a gallery of dark clouds leading him to the other world? But no, he was in what appeared to be a dream-like courthouse. Far more austere and subdued than the Aeolian's palace. Showing off was not on the agenda for whatever spirit or Immortal commanded the formation of this domain.

Pier and Pre were there, and the one who could only be Vri. Then there was Delroth, who looked rather bored and distracted. Finally, there was yet another, pale haired and ruddy of complexion. He looked like one of the sailors of the Windshear brotherhood. Although what a random marine from Athart would be doing in his afterlife, he had no idea.

The Immortals of judgment went on to pronounce his many crimes, his merits, his flaws, and his virtues. On balance, they judged that he had died, and Vri offered with an outstretched and gentle hand to take him to the other world. Kalortah felt their words more than heard them. They gave him a strange sense of deja vu, as if he'd had this experience before. But he dismissed that as the oddity of having been dashed against the ground, his ashes scattered to Athart soil.

"I will not go." Kalortah pronounced, "You aren't worthy to stand in judgment of me. I defy you."

Vri stood for a moment, not shocked by the look on his face, but seemingly disappointed. He withdrew his hand, and disappeared from that scene. The Twins turned toward Delroth and the Windshear Marine. For a while they searched their faces, and then nodded. Delroth flew off, distracted by a ray of light that had suddenly burst through the clouds, thus leaving Kalortah, the Marine, and the Twins to themselves. "Very well. You will be consigned to the Beneath, until such time as you are ready to accept judgment."


But then, the Marine interrupted, "But wait, it's a waste to send him down there, knowing what he is, who he is?"

"Do you then claim him, U'frek?" The Twins asked the marine, giving away his identity.

U'frek, the creator of Apefish?

"We're not acquainted, and he is rather unknown to me. But he is my son. I would ask that a special task be given to him, instead of the consignment to the Beneath."

"What would you have us do with him then?"

"Send him down to the Beneath, yes. But with a purpose. If he can retrieve a thousand lost souls for you, will you return him to life?"

Pier and Pre seemed to consider this, while Kalortah stood silent. They talked for a good few bits, before turning toward U'frek. "We are rather busy to be overseeing him in this endeavor. We will only accept if you become his liaison in this quest."

U'frek flashed a roguish yet serene smile, and nodded.

He turned to Kalortah, but before he could speak to his 'son', Kalortah was being blown away by ashes and fire. When he awoke, he was in the midst of a hellish inferno, raging all about him.

Whether the inferno be a dream, or the disaster at Faldrass had followed him to his tower. He had no time to ponder it. He felt his wings on fire, and his body was as the color and texture of ash. He fumbled for the passage that would take him from his personal quarters, down to the Room of Reflection. Of course, he had to know if he was ugly now. When he found it, and emerged at the other end of the Mirror Room, he was horrified at what he saw. The face of a revenant, ashen skin and made of ash, with wings of ugly flames trailing out behind him. Kalortah snarled at this vision, how dare his dreams insult him so!

Without knowing what he was doing, he summoned a blade of flames from the hellfire that wreathed about his shoulders, and swung at the mirror, shattering it.

Of course, that did little but multiply his reflection. The gesture was entirely in vain, just as Kalortah's existence had been an exercise in vanity and frivolity.

Before Kalortah could take a step back, he felt himself being drawn into one of the shards of mirror. As if it had a gravitational pull, or was the entrance to another place, he was siphoned into it, his body falling away into a cloud of ash, and the flames trailing behind that ash.

There, at the other side of the mirror's reflection, he discovered a strange locale that he'd not encountered before. A large pit/arena, in a darkened cavernous expanse, lit only by glowing lichen clinging like mold to the moisture that condensed on its stones. Kalortah could still feel his body, a burned husk wreathed in wings of flame. So this was his new state of being? Was he some kind of tool to Faldrun now? Or did the Immortal of Water have a twisted idea of servitude? No, Kalortah didn't think U'frek, from what he'd seen, capable of such duplicity. From what he knew, U'frek was a guiding figure, not one to throw curve balls and curse his cherished mortals.

Not that Kalortah knew whether he was truly mortal or mortal born...

At any rate, the avriel had less time to think about it, as a hulking creature emerged into the arena he found himself in. It's skin was gray, wearing the hides and bones of its many kills. Chitinous plate covered its soft tissues and joints, protecting it from mundane weaponry.

A voice called above the din, in a language that Kalortah did not recognize. Once it's voice halted, after a brief cresendo that seemed to suggest something was about to happen, the hulking beast began forward, toward Kalortah.

Kal's wings trailed fire as he darted away from the beast. As his wings moved, jets of fire shot out in his wake, giving the beast pause before pursuing. Once Kalortah had ground, he summoned once more that blade that he'd conjured in the Room of Reflection.

Thus armed, he faced the beast, and readied himself for the inevitable combat.

"Shay!!" was the only word the beast seemed to know, and thus it charged.

Kalortah spun to the side, in a flip and then a quick burst into the air with his fiery wings. He cut under the beast's arm with his blade, searing the flesh and causing gouts of foul smelling steam to pour out of the wound.

The melee continued for some bits, with the ogre-like creature never landing a hit on the avriel, but Kalortah was wearing him down with a combination of attrition and avoidance. It looked as if the avriel would win out, until the beast caught him on his latest fly-by, and grabbed him by the leg. The beast chuckled at its perceived cleverness and strength, and brought Kalortah face to face with itself.

Kalortah inhaled sharply as his face got closer to the creature's mouth. In a final moment of desperation, Kalortah unleashed a screaming vocal blast. But instead of merely stunning or confusing the beast, it shot out as a jet of flame, engulfing his opponent. The flame consumed both of their beings, until all that was left of either one of them, was a small pile of ashes.

The crowd in the viewing galleries roared, and then gasped when the ashes reconstituted, bringing back Kalortah to stand at his full height as this Phoenix revenant. Slowly, he lifted the fiery sword into the air, and pumped it toward the crowd.

Then, he really did awake into the bedroom of his tower. Kalortah sighed, and yawned, "What a strange dream..."
Last edited by Kalortah on Wed May 27, 2020 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1752
~ Image ~ Image
Kalortah is always under the effect of the Tarouz ability,

Eldyn Morose
Larza Impre
Flavius Erythrian
Milian Le Moigne
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Re: Phoenix Down: The Temple of Glory


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Skill Review: Non-lucid dream. Your actual skill levels don't matter!
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Comments: I was rather surprised to find out that Kalortah felt ashamed after his return from Faldrass. I wonder what exactly the Temple of Glory is. Is it simply a place that Kalortah regularly dreams of?

Kalortah’s “death” and what came after it were well-written and quite entertaining. I know that this a non-lucid dream, but I think that this was the first thread about someone being judged that I’ve read.

I was rather amused by the fact that Kalortah recognized U’frek as the creator of Apefish rather than as any of the other things that the Immortal is known for, and I liked the scene with the mirror and the fight.

There was one sentence that confused me though:

[…]how dare his dreams insult him so!

That’s a strange thing to think in a non-lucid dream!

I wonder if Kalortah remembered that U’frek called him his son when he woke up – and if he’ll ever be told in the waking world …

Enjoy your rewards!

word count: 196





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