Worlds collide in a place beyond reason or law where only the strong survive.
|Hmm? Who are you? Nobody ever comes here but me. |
Oh... well... I guess that makes sense. I can't hold it against you, I'm not entirely sure how I come to this place either.
Nobody who ever comes here ever knows how they got here, or why. We just sort of... wake up or get thrown in. I've been here long enough to have seen every which way a person can be tossed into this maze.
Nobody knows that either, as far as I've met at least. The place just... named itself. The Eternity Maze is what we call it, and not a single soul knows why. You already knew the name, right? You didn't know how, but you did.
I guess you could call me a resident. I've been here so long... I know the dangers, certain areas to avoid, and what newcomers to help and which ones to leave be. It's all about how to do things around here. Making the right choice in allies makes the biggest difference for sure.
I live in the castle maze, it's a lot safer than other areas. You can thank some friends of mine for that; they also claim it as home. The Polts as they're called. Guess it's short for poltergeist, not sure why about that either. Probably because of the way they talk... it takes getting used to I'll tell you that. Heh, now that I think about it... I don't know so much as I thought.
This place? This is and isn't... if that means anything. It's a maze within a maze, like the letters in a word on a page inside a book. Layers... all things in layers. I come here, sometimes when sleeping other times when awake. I just... it's where I come to think.
The Polts? My best friend is one of them, a Sylph named Kika.
What is a Sylph? It is kind of like a big faerie with sharp wings and lightning storm powers. And I mean sharp doubly over, carves through steel like it's warm butter. She's the one who has helped me for the longest, and our mutual arrangements eventually blossomed into a deep friendship to the point where she hasn't left my side in what I can only imagine as years.
Oh yeah... that. Time doesn't flow the same way here as it does in the place I came from, or anywhere for that matter. You don't age... at all. Night and day are all screwed up, which is annoying. It's like this place halts all progression in a body too. Granted, you can still be hurt, or killed just like you would in the world you hail from, but age itself simply has no meaning.
Did I pique your interest? Remember, you are the one who came to me. I can only answer so many questions, prying will get you nothing. I cannot divulge that which I do not know.
The worlds... hmm, I've thought a lot about what this place is and I can only come to one conclusion. I only understand this place as a world in between worlds, in the layman's of course. Like the margin in between two sides of the same page. Infinitesimally small, but also infinite in its own right. In that way: beings, entities, people, or creatures from any number of parallel realities are “free” per say to be trapped within this realm.
Huh, I haven't even heard of this world you call "Earth." Where I live... lived, that's an old word meaning dirt. I come from a place called Veru, one world among hundreds. Got its name from the comet that led people to find it.
Uh... well... Like me, there have been many others from many other worlds. I've met a reptilian creature who seemed more focused on counting the number of steps he takes than any danger. Another from a world called Deglibra, a violent fellow he was... and he met his end all too quickly like any fool does here. I even met the most interesting woman only about a month or so back. She had very long, pointed ears, wore a strange mixture of green and brown, and was armed to the teeth! We couldn't understand each other, but got along well enough for what time we spent. I'm sure she's doing alright, considering she found herself a Polt counterpart as well.
Oh yes, the dangers are quite real. Shades, Reapers, and a whole lot of other hostile creatures slither, crawl, or stalk in every shadow or crack in the wall. Whatever you are afraid of, whatever bad memories, dark thoughts... they can make it into form. Shades are fear, shadows are scarred memories... and all this learned the hard way, I have the scars to prove that.
Reapers... ah... they are, well they're just different. Dark thoughts, I guess that's what they are attributed to. I fought one... once. Barely made it alive... All they care about is killing. Doesn't matter what it is, as long as it dies. It's why they're called Reapers in the first place. The very embodiment of death.
Heh, this place isn't ALL bad. The Fae, the Sylphs, the Sprites, and the Nymphs all fight against the dark. They do their best to protect the unlucky ones who can't fend for themselves so well. It's either that or being swallowed up by this confounded abyss. Actually, that's the very reason I'm waiting in this particular spot speaking to someone through a dream.. or at least I think I'm dreaming. Kika said it would arrive here, and thus here I be.
Because newcomers attract shades; they can smell new meat I guess. Many newcomers have little to no ability to defend themselves against a Shade, not without help. So, what few allies the Polts have wait and protect them. I imagine you could call it a purpose, for me it's just a living.
Yeah, I feel it too. The doorway must be opening.
Unfortunately, no. Those doorways are one way roads. They are only for entering, not for exiting. Sometimes I think there is no exit... ah, uh... sorry. Didn't mean to sound depressing.
I can see somebody coming. A figure... can't make out much more. I better wake up now, but I have a feeling we'll meet again.
My name? Well, the Polts call me Calavol. It's one of their words, but it suits me. So, until next time.
The shining door closed behind a tall, armored figure. Calavol looked up from where he was napping and cocked his head to the side, tossing his unkempt gray hair like a mop. The armored one was definitely a woman, and a pair of huge glossy, amber colored wings were furled behind her. On her back was a staff with a small sword blade at the end, and she wore a pair of swords at her sides. "Must be rabbit season,” Calavol mumbled as he rose to his feet.
"Much like the elf from some time past, she is well armed indeed. From the world of Serr, I think she may be." A chipper, high-pitched echo of a voice squeaked from over his head.
"Serr, hmm? Not heard of that place either. Are they all part bird?"
"No, she is of a mountain people who transcended the boundaries of their world. A people mine know of fairly well from our place of rising. Speak to her, her usefulness she may yet offer."
"Yeah, yeah. I know. But, what I wouldn't give for a simple laser pistol right now. I don't like the look of those spiked knuckles her armor so lavishly portrays. Feeling a little inadequate here," Calavol added the last bit under his breah as he waved. "Hello there!" The winged woman turned to look at her caller as Kika flitted to sit on his shoulder. Her foot tall body making her appear almost like a tiny child if it were not for her mature, womanly appearance.
The helmet that covered the woman's head broke apart and collapsed down into her shoulder pieces. From this a flood of messy, spiky orange hair flowed over her face till it sat as it wished, which was simply everywhere. It was odder that amongst the hair were also feathers, not fitted but growing as naturally as the locks themselves. Her bright, fire-like eyes burned from behind a shield of the hair and feather mix, which she removed with a brush of her hand. She looked around for only a moment before her eyes fell on Calavol and Kika.
"Spleya, kunia? Atarro meh ceya shu vas morier."
"Awesome, another one I can't understand. This is starting to wear the mind, Kika, it truly is,” his grumbles seemed to fall on deaf ears for an awkward moment. Apparently Kika had stopped listening to him.
"I wasn't speaking to you, human. I was speaking to the Sylph."
"This "Sylph" has a name, mountain glider! Kika as I am known. You would do well to use it."
"So, you speak basic too? Kind of odd” Calavol muttered as he crossed his arms, looking at this newcomer with more than a hint of scrutiny.
"I speak Terran as well as Thildris, human." Calavol just cocked an eyebrow as he looked over at Kika, the Sylph was noticeably scowling. She did not like this newcomer.
"You know enough Fae-speak to offend my partner. She's very sensitive I'll have you know.”
"That is not my problem. Where is Nevan?" Her demanding voice was already setting off a foul mood.
"I don't know who that is, but I'm Calavol."
"I have come here seeking one named Nevan. I am not interesed in you."
"Wait... what?! You came of your own free will? I didn't think such a thing possible. But, time for talk later. I can smell Shades coming. Bad ones too by the scent."
"Bad things, evil spirits per say, whatever you want to call them. They hunt and kill those who enter this place to make themselves stronger. If we're very, very lucky, they won't attract any Reapers. Come on, follow me!"
Grabbing the newcomer's arm, Calavol dashed for the nearest door and down a staircase. He hoped the shades would lose the scent quickly, but knew it was unlikely. That, and the silence was already making him uncomfortable. "Got a name?"
"Why do you want to know?" Her tone was harsh; she sounded annoyed.
“I was just asking, don't have to bite my head off."
"I am called Avra of the Phoenix Mark! Who are you?!" Calavol suddenly slowed as he just stared blankly for a moment, the name lighting something in him. His mouth was open, eyes empty as if consumed within his own mind. This shock lasted only a split second before he raced on, now taking up rear as Kika pulled point.
“I already told, got ears right? Call me Calavol, that's what Kika does! Kinda had to get used to it, goofy fairy people naming everything.”
“Is that not your true name?”
“Not my birth name, no.”
“I see.” Avra stayed focused to where she was running, but Calavol could see in her eyes she brimmed with something... curiosity perhaps, but he couldn't be certain. He just sighed as he looked at her with a tiny smirk.
“My real name's Fawkes Ryer. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”
This time, Avra ground to a very sudden halt. Her eyes were wide, teeth exposed and gritted against one another. Both Kika and Fawkes just looked at one another, and then back to her. “We really don't have time to just-”
“You...” her voice was more of a hiss than words.
“Um... yeah, me...”
Her eyes narrowed to squints as Avra closed her hands into tight fists, still hissing under her breath as she spat the words, “you... world-killer.”
Fawkes simply set his jaw, then took a step back. “Oh... great.”