Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Magi Nation Fan Run Storyline Tournament - Story One



 Fan Fiction story written by VoyagerOrchid, TheRealQwade, and TheDirtyShame.

The Moonlands are in an uproar. Former friends and allies have turned against one another, and animite rings all over have begun lighting up, releasing the Dream Creatures within for what may soon be all-out war among the regions.

Reports to Jaela in the city of the clouds have been pouring in:
  • Kybarites are blaming Underlings for rock slides that increased in the last few days, and the elders are worried about the stability around Kybar’s Fang, which has also been oddly silent! 
  • Underlings are blaming Kybarites for cave-ins.   Many new tunnels have collapsed, and in the wreckage grow a strange purple mushroom. 
  • A huge patch of grass from the Weave has been ripped from its roots and has managed to take hold in the unyielding sands of d’Resh.  
  • The ongoing war between Bograthians and Paradans has escalated to uncharted levels. Bograthians have taken to building rafts to cross the bay to launch a surprise attack against their rivals, but the poor craftsmanship of the rafts is causing them to sink.  Now the foul magi and their creatures are polluting the once clean waters of Orothe.
  • Several of the great trees of Vash Naroom have been felled by what appears to be a concussive fire blast. Despite being on opposite sides of the continent, Naroom is convinced this is an act of aggression from Cald. The Calders plead ignorance and claim that this was not their doing.
  • An enormous chunk of the Naran glacier has broken off and floated away, and nobody is quite sure why, nor why it’s a distinctly darker shade of blue than a normal glacier iceberg. 


Thanks to their convenient locale, the Arderian landscape is largely unaffected. However, they find themselves being pulled in all directions as each Region calls on their assistance to right all these mysterious wrongs.  Jaela has sent emissaries to Naroom, Underneath, Kybar’s Teeth, and d’Resh to investigate these doings. 

But there is something else going on - something much more subtle and sinister. An ancient evil has awoken in the Core and is pulling all the strings to the carnage. The old master, Agram, has ordered as many of these attacks as can be orchestrated to drive the denizens of the Moonlands into chaos, ignoring the true threat to them, at the five core nodes.  All these petty squabbles are keeping the surface dwellers busy while the Shadow magi can carry out phase two of their master’s plan. There is but one Magi in the Moonlands who knows the secrets of the Core’s plan and how to drive them back.  Hopefully he can hold off the Core’s advance and unite the Moonlands in time...

***

Yaki awoke in the forest, his eyes a dull purple from his recent dream.  He had seen Agram, still locked in the Core.  The outsider, that Tony kid, had managed to do what no one else could, and lock Agram back in there, hopefully for good.  But the Twins were still missing, and all the other shadow magi had run amok.  He would burn them.  Crush their rings.  Eat their drea… No.  Yaki’s thoughts pulled away from that hatred that still burned in his mind since his fight with the Twins in Vash Naroom.  He was camped far outside the city, to avoid the fearful looks the other Naroomi survivors would give him when he checked in with them, and knew his dream hadn’t been illusion. 

In his sleep, Yaki had seen Agram speaking to all the shadow magi. 
“Go, magi of shadows,” Agram had whispered.  “Wherever you are, whatever you’re capable of: cause chaos in the Moonlands.  Destroy.  Ransack.  Burn.  Crumble everything the magi hold as safe.  Once, the shadows on the surface bloomed and erupted.  That is where we will strike again.  For now, let our enemies fight their own fears, their own dream battles.  Let dreams turn to nightmares, and animite shatter with energy lost.  You are my most important lieutenants.  Especially you, Yaki…”

There Yaki had woken with a start.  He was not a shadow magi!  He couldn’t be, could he?  “Brother, that’s a bad sign,” he muttered to himself.  

***

Yaki packed his bag, and headed off to the edge of the forest to the south.  It had taken him several days, but he was moving through the jungles, heading toward areas where Bograth and Paradwyn skirmishes still occurred.  He had left behind the hunting party for the Dark Twins, with a note to Pru.  They should continue to chase the shadow magi toward the Teeth, and be cautious - as the last Warlum from the Sky Watch had told them of the full escape of the captured Shadow magi from the Battle of Naroom.   He would track those escaped magi down.  Only he had that power.  He was sad to leave his friends, but the stakes were higher.  He couldn’t face Pruitt, not after that dream.  He couldn’t, no, mustn’t betray her to Agram …

*Squelch* went his boots in the muddy underbrush, as the trees slowly began to die off more and more, until the wetlands claimed this section of the Moonlands.   After several hours of walking, he found a relatively dry spot on a marshy hill, and took out a small blue animate crystal; a signal stone, to inform the tracker network. He placed it on the end of his staff, and lit it with a spell.  As the purple sky darkened, he sat on a log and waited, chewing on some Rudwot jerky, and hoping to get information from the Sky Watch soon. 

Yaki waited some time.  His jerky supplies were getting rather slim, and the dark purple above had only the faintest light on the horizon still.  He yawned, stretching his arms to the air, and listened to the bog creatures appearing from the dream realm in the evening air.  *Squelch, squelch… *squelch squelch*, a noise was hesitantly coming up the hill, as someone trudged through the muck toward him.  The footsteps stopped, and Yaki peered into the gloom to see who the new arrival was, preparing a ring.  A greasy-haired, squat magi slowly trundled up the hill.  She had dimly glowing green eyes, and her clothes were covered in muck, much like other Bograth magi that Yaki had seen before. 
“Ooh, pretty…” she muttered as she approached, eyes locked on the signal stone.  “Eryss… Eryss likes… hates… loves that light!” 
“Who are you, brother?” Yaki called at her, standing between the stone and the new magi.  “You can’t have this stone!”
“Eryss… Eryss is a Paradan!  Yes, from ugly green muck-free arbor!  Eryss saw a stone in her dreams, a pretty blue stone.  And came here.  The dream told her.  ‘We must…’ No.   ‘We must give the slime fangs to the blue stone!’” 
Yaki could tell this magus was out of her mind.   She seemed like a Bograthian in her manners, but something about her reminded him of Paradwyn also, of the green-skinned jungle folk.  She stumbled forward, holding out a muck covered sack, toward him. 
“Eryss gives this to the great blue stone!” she chanted as she stepped forward, and Yaki was concerned he would have to fight her.  His eyes flared green, and he called a dark creature he had met in his time fighting the twins, a Gla… Nothing happened. 
“What…? I don’t… dig it...”  


Eryss waved her hands in a nonsensical pattern, still holding the dirty bag.  Something inside knocked together with an audible click.  She smiled. “Eryss can’t have discordia here… Tracker… Tracker with the blue stone.  I see you now.  Save the jungles, tracker.  Save the green.  Take it.”  And she placed the bag in his confused hands.  She stumbled away, tripping, into the muck, walking unsteadily.  Yaki opened the bag cautiously.  Insiide was a necklace of yellow teeth, and a very dirty, slime covered stone. 
“Have fun, lightstalker!” Eryss cackled over her shoulder, shuffling down the hill now.  “You can dig it now!  The slime stone and fangs are your party!”
“Hello, Tracker.”  A new voice, behind him.  Yaki reeled around.  An Arderial Sky Watch member floated behind him, wings flapping slowly, hood drawn. 
“Hey, brother.  Got any news from the air?” 
“Lady Jaela sends her regards, Tracker.  And some good news.  Our captain has issued these masks of sight to help our network find shadow and Core magic. Here.” He handed a blue mask to Yaki.  “They amplify tracking magic, and they’ve been tuned specifically for the magic coming from the Core.” 
Yaki put on the mask.  A blue shimmer of light surrounded the Sky Watch.  He looked at his own hands.  There was a slow pulse glow from his hands, a light green of the forests, and as he remarked sadly, a few strands of purple sparking in between the hue. 
“Thanks, brother!  If this works, this will help with the plan your Warlum told me so we can find the escaped shadow magi and calm all the regions!”
“The network is all looking for them, since the Defender saw their escape in the Eye of the Storm.  Thank you for joining the hunt, in these swamps.  But are you sure your friends will be alright without you?”
“Orwin and the others are rebuilding Naroom, brother!  They’ll be fine as long as we can stop these disruptions, oh yeah! And the hunting party will wait for me near the Moga foothills.  We’ll get back to chasing the Warrada soon enough.” 
“I hope you’re right.  Happy Hunting, Tracker.  I’ll be nearby; if you need help, just light your stone.”  With a flap of his guard wings, the Arderian flew off into the night.  The blue stone on his staff still glowed, so Yaki took it down.  Still wearing the mask, Yaki unrolled his sleeping gear, and curled up for the night.  He would start his hunt in the morning.   

***

Yaki dreamed.  He saw a Hinko falling off a tree into a hole in the ground.  A giant foot had made the hole, but now rocks were tumbling down toward it.  He saw matches, falling one by one after being lit; falling into a stream and flowing into a drain in the river.  He saw a magi lighting matches, cutting branches, laughing on her way toward a gigantic banana.  The banana peeled, and turned brown as it did so.  It fell over, and sank into the river, clogging the drain. 

Yaki awoke from the dream, confused by what it might mean. Bananas clogging drains? Falling Hinkos? From his bed, he noticed a faint pulsating glow from his pack. The Slime Stone! Ever since Korg showed up, Bograth had been known to be working with the forces of the Core. He eagerly packed his camp up and ventured back toward the soggy delta to see if he could uncover any sinister plots.  Maybe his dream would guide him to the shadow magi.

As he ventured toward the coastline, he could hear a voice in the distance. “Good! Lash these together and get some more.  We’ll need some better wood like this if our ships will make it across the bay this time! The master doesn’t appreciate failure, so now that I’m in charge, we won’t let him down.” Through the darkness and the overgrowth, Yaki could barely make out what appeared to be a Magi and not just a stack of rags on a tree stump, surrounded by other dirty lumps working on tying bundles of wood together.

Without hesitation, Yaki leaped from cover and shouted at the group of magi working there. “I’m gonna stop you right there, brother. Whatever you’re doing here ends now! Any glory and power you were promised was all a lie!”

“Glory? Power? What do you think we are here?” the mass laughed back at him.  Yaki began to recognize this shriveled mass as Golthub.  “Yog! Take care of this intruder.”
From the corner of his eye, Yaki noticed movement coming from above him. He quickly dodged out of the way of an enormous maul that would have knocked him senseless as Brog had swung a branch he was holding at him.  He instinctively reached into his bag, grabbing a ring, and summoned a … Fog Hyren?  There must have been a ring somewhere in the satchel Eryss had given him. Invigorated by the fog, Yaki had come up with a plan. 

Yog and Golthub quickly summoned a swarm of minions in typical Bograth fashion. Several of the other Bograthians scattered into the trees.  Also familiar to Bograth, Golthub dreamed up a Mist Hyren. Yaki quickly stomped it into submission with his Giant Carillion, and was able to make quick work of the rest of the small creatures using the powers the slime stone allowed him.  He was quickly entering ‘rampage mode,’ and his Carillion ended up leveling three more trees close to the river’s edge, making new ponds of murky water in its wake.

The swarm of creatures, usually so menacing, was in disarray.  A few of the smaller ones winked out
of existence and Golthub undreamed the last few to save his energy in defeat.
Yaki commanded them, “You’re going to stop what you’re doing here.  No more boats!  Also, destroy all of the rafts you have built.” 

Golthub cowered in submission. “Yes! Of course!  Right away, great Tracker! Yog, take care of that while I try to fix the delta!  The Carillion made the water flow too fast!” There was no response. “Yog?” During the fracas, Yog had managed to flee after the other Bograthians without either Yaki or Golthub taking notice.

Bemused, Yaki had his Carillion stomp on the piles of gathered wood, shattering it to splinters.  He turned without another word.  These weren’t shadow magi, but their invasion across the bay had been stopped, finally. 

***

With the Bograthian menace settled, and taking no time to consider just why the Bograthians were helping the Core, Yaki couldn’t help but think of the falling Hinko of his dream.  Hinkos weren’t native to Bograth... He decided to visit the nearby peaks of Kybar’s Teeth to see if any of their Elders could interpret his premonition.

As he climbed the mountains, he came across T’Lok who seemed to be in the middle of important work with a stone lever on the side of a hill.  Yaki called out, “Yo! I’m looking for Groll! Any idea where I can find him?”
T’Lok slowly and carefully responded, “Why, yes. I think he’s right over there...” He pointed toward his left.  Yaki scanned the horizon, knowing that the closest Kybarite settlement was the other way, and considered why Groll might be so far from his comrades.  Before he could think too long, a mass of several enormous boulders began to crash down right at him.  Yaki deftly dodged most of them with a bounding roll, but ended up smashing his shoulder on the last one.  Behind the boulders, he saw T’Lok with his fists clenched.
“What’s your deal, bro?” Yaki called. “I’m not your enemy!”

T’Lok gave a sinister smile. “Oh, but you are.” T’Lok summoned a Baldar, and Yaki quickly responded by summoning his Giant Carillion again. The Carillion did what it did best, and stomped on the Baldar.  This time, however, the stomp was perhaps a little too hard. The stone beneath their feet cracked, then shattered, causing a large cave-in to the tunnels below, and Yaki and T’Lok found themselves tumbling down into an Underneath tunnel.  Purple spores floated up everywhere.  Recovering faster than Yaki from the fall, T’Lok jumped and quickly ascended the rock wall, bolstering his climbing skills with a spell.  As he clambered out of the hole, he looked back and laughed.  “Hah! Guess you did my work for me then! Means I can go find our mistress, eh, Shadow-tracker?  Maybe back among some trees…” Yaki knew that could only mean one thing, and realized that T’lok was aiding Warrada all along.  This had to stop.  He managed to pull himself from the debris and growing spore cloud and climb out of the hole the old fashioned way, by which time, T’lok was nowhere to be found.  Yaki could smell his stench though, and it headed toward the forest.  Yaki put on the mask given to him by the Sky Watch, and immediately saw a trail leading toward Vash Naroom.  He sprinted off, trying to sniff out the traitor. As he neared the forest edge, the corruption appeared to be all around him, but seemed stronger directly in front.  He charged onward. 

As Yaki ran through the trees, he failed to notice a pair of shadows hiding nearby. It was T’Lok and Sperri, who had apparently managed to fool Yaki.  T’Lok turned to Sperri. “Thanks for the assist in hiding from that fool.  That was easier than I thought it would be.”
The fiend of Furoks smiled. “Well, we had some help... I’ve left him a surprise up ahead also.  He won’t realize until it’s too late.”

Yaki, full-on ‘rage mode’ now, charged after T’lok, down the short hills, into the forest.  Familiar ground.  Bad luck for him, oh yeah!
Following corrupted moss where the shadow magi had run, Yaki pulled four, no- eight, no- twelve rings from his bag, and jammed them carelessly on his fingers.  He rushes through familiar trees, seeing corruption slowly crossing their leaves and branches.  He ran past another grove of trees wilting in purple light, and spotted a dark magi-shape in the branches above him, busily working on what looked like a nest of dark brambles.  He grinned; he had that traitor T’lok now- he would stop this sabotage of his forest.  Sending a Leaf Hyren slithering up the branches to knock the shape from behind, Yaki heard a loud smack, and the magi fell from the tree with a yelp.  He started summoning carelessly, purple light streaking at his vision behind the mask.  He magined out two lesser of his Furoks, a Glabit, and a Vrill.  Some of his summoning was coming out wrong; when had he acquired a Vrill? He couldn’t remember.  If he could capture T’lok here, his greatest moment, his chance to stop this new shadow magi once and for all, he would have his revenge on the twins, he would be the greatest tracker of all...

He looked down at his hands.  They were burning up with heat; but in his palms, clutched graspingly, desperately, were the slime stone and the necklace of fangs. When did he take those out?
The shadow magi attacked.  Two furry blurs, quick as lightning, attacked his Furoks, and all the creatures dissipated in a shower of energy and a tinkling of animite. 
His hesitation vanished.  Yaki let loose, using both relics in his hands and his creatures, powering his Vrill and Glabit and Oroks (When did they become Oroks? he wondered).
The magi screamed, his creatures being torn asunder as the battle raged on.  T’lok was fast, leaping from ground to branches and dreaming furry creatures out faster than Yaki could keep track of with his vision behind the mask. 

As more creatures were sent back to the dream plane, suddenly, Yaki realized he recognized the furry creatures.  They were Wasperines.  And that magi was too nimble to be T’lok.  No… He startled back
as a rabid-looking Wasperine smashed his Vrill to oblivion.  Yaki tried to call off his creatures, but they were rushing forward, rich with energy and crackling at the edges with violet light. 

It wasn’t T’lok; he was attacking Woot! It had to be him!  This was a terrible mistake.  Yaki began calling to his creatures to stop, when suddenly a blast of air hit the battlefield, and every creature on both sides vanished in ripples of energy.  Both Yaki and Woot tumbled over in cataclysmic gusts.  

The Sky Watch magi slowly flapped down, exhausted after casting his spell to hold Yaki back. 
“What are you doing, Tracker?” he shouted.  The magi pulled off his helmet, revealing the features of a magi Yaki recognized as Sorreah.   “The shadow magi escaped through a gate closer to the edge of the forest, and you’re attacking your own kin?”
“Sorreah!” Yaki gasped, glad to see a familiar face.  “I didn’t mean it… I thought he was T’lok, who I saw join the shadows!” 

Woot, having spent the last of his energy, lay at Yaki’s feet, unconscious.  Yaki ripped off the mask, and tossed it toward the Sky Watch.  “What’s with this thing … I couldn’t control myself.  I couldn’t stop!”
Sorreah reached down to pick up the mask and examine it.  He shook his head. “I’m sorry Yaki.  I think some of your misdeeds fall on my shoulders.  When I saw you lose control in the Kybar foothills, I suspected something was wrong with the mask.  It was given to me by my captain, who, I’m guessing also has turned to the shadows.  This mask is corrupted with Core magic.”
Yaki let his head fall, his shoulders slumped.  He would summon a Weebo to help heal Woot, but too many ‘gifts’ this day had made him lose control.  Sorreah watched as Yaki used some more unfamiliar magic; he shattered both bagala fangs and stone, which he had still been holding tightly. 

Sorreah looked at Yaki.  “Perhaps you should return to your friends near the Moga foothills, Yaki.  I’m sure they’ve been worried about you.  I know we thought we could capture some of the shadow magi ourselves, but this … This was too much.  Send a report to the tracker network when you’ve rejoined your group, but don’t do anything else stupid.”

Yaki was ashamed that he had let these new relics and goals distract him; he had gone out of control.  Ooh brother, not going to be doing that again.  And what would he tell Pru…
He summoned the Weebo, and had it start healing the unconscious Woot.  He gathered the scattered animite around him to prepare for his journey back to his friends. 

But the shadow magi had only gotten started…

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