Crystal Forge Lore

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   Back to Main           Prologue                  Chapter 1

   Chapter 2                 Chapter 3                 Chapter 4

   Chapter 5                 Chapter 6                 Epilogue

Chapter 4

          Shouts of joy and reinvigorated battle cries echoed through the forest at the sight of Treeforge’s leader approaching. The body fest near the gnarled Treefolk backed away to make an opening, praying that he’d brought them some kind of relief. If Oliver knew his opponent, as he now thought he did, then he’d have little time to act. As the last wave of ally Treefolk and Mushfolk sank into the soil or returned to stardust, instinctively, he knew the monster saw him. 
          In the blink of an eye, Oliver conjured up a massive thorn from the ground and pierced his enemy. The Treefolk briefly looked down, already prying itself free from the literal thorn in its side. But that was all the time he needed; Oliver Rose was upon it, grabbing the creature’s throat with his Helver, not to choke it but to tilt its head up so he could face it eye-to-eye. That’s when it struck him, more so than the subtle signs he’d seen before he went unconscious; the haunting presence behind those glowing blue eyes—the presence of someone with no regard for human life. The presence of someone Oliver once knew; the presence of someone who died. 
          Carcery!” Oliver said in a loud whisper.
          The rose blooming from Oli’s neck grew larger and sent a fresh surge of power through him, something that only happened while he was near a piece of the Twisted Tree. Oliver was fast, but the Treefolk was somehow faster. In a blinding explosion of energy and blue light, Oliver was sent soaring backward into the crowd. People fell like bowling pins, but they caught Oliver and helped him to his feet. 
          “You’re badly burned!”
          “Somebody get a medic!”
          “Oli, don’t go back out there!”
          “You don’t have to fight it alone!” 
          “Guys,” said Oliver groggily. Most of his body had gone numb. The Treefolk was thrashing wildly, once again heading for him while leaking energy from its exposed heart. “That’s no creature—that’s Carcery Vale and someone led him to Eeventide.” With that, Oliver drew a card that erupted in a fury of greenish white light that sent everyone back tens of feet. Even the Treefolk called Carcery squinted at the summon. 
          “Vanquish!” shouted Oliver Rose. “Impale this monster!”

Vanquish, Reverser of Time

          The newly summoned treehouse-sized creature reached down and plunged its glowing clock-spear directly through Carcery. A warm orange light rained down from its gaping face as Carcery gazed up at his new obstacle. A range of onlookers gasped in awe at the friendly Treefolk they’d never seen before, amazed that their leader had been hiding something so extravagant until a time like this.
          “Luminescent Chance…” muttered Oli. If time was what he needed, he would create more of it. 
          Vanquish’s spear turned once inside Carcery’s chest and time slowed, but only slightly. Carcery looked down and grabbed hold of the spear in an attempt to wrench himself free, his leaking energy already burning holes through it. But then Oliver did something no one expected: he drifted above Carcery, the blue ribbons from his robes suddenly unfastened and weaved through the air around him. The glowing yellow symbols from the ribbons danced wildly overhead, creating a lightshow that seemed to mesmerize even the impaled Treefolk. Oli motioned forward and the ribbons swirled madly around Carcery, binding him in a way that even caused his madly beating heart to slow. Vanquish turned its spear once more, bringing Carcery to his knees. Oliver mumbled something and the symbols leaped off the ribbons entirely. They blinded the forest in another furious flash of light, followed by a loud CRACK

          As the air cleared, the forest’s inhabitants erupted with deafening cheers as Treeforge’s leader stood with a card in his hand and the enemy Carcery nowhere to be seen. An army of Drifters rushed forward to congratulate and lift up their leader even as Vanquish slowly vanished and showered the city in glittering stardust.
          “Ol-i-ver! Ol-i-ver! Ol-i-ver!” shouted the Treeforge Guild in unison, parading around their young leader. 
          Oliver fought the feeling of wanting to pass out, the shouts of his supporters growing strangely dim in his mind. He turned the card over in his hand, its eerie blue light reflecting on his face as he read the card’s name: Carcery the Chemical Oddity.