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Author's Note: This is the last installment, the story begins at Chapter 1. The link is posted futher down this thread or can be found in the main forum page.
His eyes closed, the first thing that caught Calim by surprise was the quiet sound of running water. It sounded like a small brook during the spring melt. A warm breeze enfolded him, greeting him with smells of spring flowers and soft earth. He breathed deeply. He opened his eyes and saw a long hallway before him. The others were already walking toward a large room, in which he could see two figures sitting at a large table.
The floor appeared to be marble, the walls and ceiling a silvery metal. He stepped over to a window, edges gilded with gold and precious stones. The scene before him took his breath. Silver towers rose endlessly into the distance. The sky was clear and the sun shone with a radiant glory.
Calim looked down and was again surprised to find the dirt and dust he had been caked with was slowly vanishing. His clothing and armor appeared as newly cleaned and his hammer shone as the day it was forged. He heard honest laughter in the room at the end of the hall, so he jogged to catch up to the others.
“Imperius! My brother! You live!” another angel exclaimed. He was dark skinned, with a bald scalp. He was dressed in the same armor as Auriel and Imperius. At his belt was a golden sword.
He rushed up to Imperius and lifted him off the ground in a mighty bear hug. He quickly did the same to Auriel. “It is good to see you alive, brother.” Auriel said breathlessly.
“Yes, Tyrael. I live. I owe everything to our brother and sister. And these brave few.” Imperius said, gesturing back to Calim, Baenor and Rakanoth.
“Speaking of, where is old mister End-of-the-World Malthael, anyway?” asked Rakanoth as he attempted to wedge a large gemstone out of the wall with a dagger.
Tyrael looked downcast. He shook his head and said, “He speaks to Ithereal at the Crystal Arch. Ithereal asked me to bring you all there when you arrived. It is time we all learned the truth.”
Imperius nodded. “This reunion was not destined to be a happy one.” he said. “But tell me first, brother. Who is this?” He pointed to the other occupant for the room. She was dressed in a simple white robe, a lock of curly red hair poking out from underneath.
“Her name was Leah.” Tyrael said. “She was Diablo’s daughter and the vessel for the Prime Evil.”
“How did she come to be here?” Auriel asked.
“I asked Ithereal the same question, but he would not answer. She has not said a word since he brought her here.” Tyrael looked sympathetic as he laid a gauntleted hand over hers.
Leah simply looked up at the angels and smiled.
“Then shall we be off then?” Rakanoth said, placing the large gemstone in his pocket.
“Yes.” said Baenor. “It is time to know the truth of this.”
“Then touch my hand.” Tyrael said.
Auriel, Imperius, Baenor, Calim and Rakanoth all took his outstretched arm. He kept his other hand on Leah. Baenor felt a slight drop in his stomach and suddenly the room was no longer there.
The six stood upon the highest floor of the Silver Spire. Baenor felt the warm sun shining down upon his face. He looked out and saw nothing but clouds and blue sky.
Edited by Melancholy#1609 on 6/19/2012 2:50 PM PDT
He turned and strode forward with the others. The platform was built around an enormous crystal, the pinnacle shaped in two parts like an angel’s wing. Malthael stood speaking to another angel, who hovered above the platform. Baenor could see the crystal pulsing with energy and out of the corner of his eye he could see small glowing shapes streaking into the crystalline mass.
“It is too late, my brother. There can be no other way.” Ithereal said.
Malthael nodded and he knelt before Ithereal. A breeze began to blow. Slowly, Malthael’s cloak began to vanish. His wings stretched out, then began to dissipate in the breeze. His armor changed, from runic plate to golden chainmail. His boots became hardened leather and the scythes on his back became visible. Finally, his face and head were visible. He was young and wiry, had short black hair and wore a trimmed black beard.
“Why?” asked Imperius as he walked up to Ithereal. “Why was there no other way?”
“Because Tathamet lives again.” Malthael replied as he stood. “Because the two halves must be made whole.”
“I must become Anu.” Ithereal said, his voice soft and distant. “Then I must rejoin with Tathamet, to become a single being.”
“And how did Tathamet become one? The Prime was destroyed.” Tyreal said.
“No. The Prime was betrayed. Diablo was given just enough essence to bring the foundations of Heaven to its knees.” Ithereal replied.
Tyrael took a step back, his face in shock. “That would mean that Adria was…”
“My daughter.” Ithereal interrupted. “She sacrificed her daughter that the Heavens would rise against Hell. She sacrificed herself so that we might save a small part of our world.”
“How?” asked Auriel.
“She took the Black Soulstone to the Hellforge. There she unleashed the power of the Seven within herself. With the all power of Hell waiting, she shattered the crystal and Tathamet was reborn.”
“What part? What part can you save?” asked Baenor.
“Sanctuary.” Malthael nodded solemnly.
“Reuniting Anu and Tathamet will destroy both the High Heavens and the Burning Hells. But Sanctuary was created outside of both. It can be saved.” answered Ithereal.
Imperius looked thoughtful for a moment, then grimaced. “You were the one. You switched Inarius and me so that I took his punishment.” He tightened his fist around Solarion.
“Yes. Your thread of fate and his were closely intertwined. Your sentence was unjust. It drove me to use my power to interfere for the first time.” Ithereal said.
Edited by Melancholy#1609 on 6/19/2012 12:04 PM PDT
The crystals on either side of him grew brighter. The energy pulsed like a thing alive, moving within the confines of the Arch. Bolts of white lightning began to dance across its surface. Calim could feel the hairs stand on the back of his neck.
“Tathamet lays waste to the Host.” Imperius said. “Their souls fill the Crystal Arch. Soon there will be no more angels.” he looked down at the platform and shut his eyes.
Rakanoth strolled over and looked up at Ithereal. “So you took mister high and mighty over here and switched him with mister wanna-be high and mighty. You cursed your own brother to eternal torment. Because of you Heaven was almost wiped out, I know because I helped do it… and now you get to be a god? Wow! I thought I was conceited, but you! You take the cake, buddy!”
“I do not expect you to understand the threads of fate. None of you save Malthael have even come close. Every thread but one led to eternal war. Every thread was filled with pain, death and sorrow. Every thread led to the destruction of Sanctuary. This was the one choice I could make that would save our children.” Ithereal’s voice was becoming more and more faint.
Baenor noticed the light from the crystals beginning to flow into Ithereal. He began to glow softly.
“Inarius had to be the most despicable tyrant ever to get as many citizens of Heaven as possible to become Fallen.” reasoned Calim. “The Prime was allowed to come within a breath of destroying Heaven, to drive its armies to destroy all of Hell. The Prime Evils had to be out of the way, so that the demons would have free will to be able to become Risen and escape the Host.”
Ithereal nodded. “Without my interference Diablo would have been able to access the full power of the Prime. All of creation would be his now. I saved as many as I could. My regret is that I could not save more.”
“So what happens next?” asked Baenor.
“You must subdue Tathamet. Only then can I combine our two powers and be whole again. If I were to engage her, it would destroy creation.” Ithereal said, growing ever fainter.
“Wait a minute!” cried Rakanoth. “You want us to just walk in, slap around the most terrible evil in creation, then let you come in and pick up the pieces? You’re insane!”
“Behind you stand four of the Archangels of Heaven. Beside them are two of the most powerful Nephalem in all of Sanctuary. Will you so embarrass your kind by your cowardice?” Ithereal asked.
“Hey buddy, self-preservation is one of the most endearing demonic traits.” replied Rakanoth. “What you’re asking us to do cannot be done.”
“I will go.” said Baenor.
“As will I.” said Calim.
Malthael walked up between the men and put a hand on each shoulder. “I will go.”
Auriel walked up beside Baenor and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I will go.”
Tyrael nodded. “I will go.”
Edited by Melancholy#1609 on 7/3/2012 9:21 AM PDT
Imperius stared at the ground. “My brother left me to torture and living death. He usurped my position so that he could murder my people and claim absolute power for himself.” He looked up and pointed Solarion at Ithereal with his right hand. “He threatens us with death and annihilation, and then he demands our aid? What promise can you make to me that I can believe?”
Leah walked over and placed a hand over Imperius’ hand. She looked him in the eye and smiled. He lowered the weapon and lowered his head again.
“My mother’s final condition to become Tathamet was that I was brought back.” Leah said. “She sacrificed her power and her people to become mortal. She sacrificed her body, so she could have me. She sacrificed her only child and her soul, so that we can have peace.”
“I do not doubt Adria’s conviction, Leah.” Imperius replied. “But she follows a madman.”
“When I was on the other side…” Leah drifted off, a thoughtful look in her eyes. She snapped back. “When I was on the other side, I learned many things. Everything… you might say... What Ithereal and Malthael say is the truth. Over time Heaven would have fallen. It was inevitable, just a matter of time. You could have held out for a few more years or a few more centuries, but you would have lost.”
“I don’t believe that.” Imperius shook his head. “If we would have worked together, we could have beaten them back. Held them to a standstill.”
“No, brother.” Auriel walked over and placed her hand over Imperius’. “They are right. You would have never been happy with a truce. With peace. You were the Archangel of Valor. What valor can you find in peace?”
Imperius raised his head and looked at Auriel. “Was I truly such a warmonger? Is there no place for me in all of creation?”
“One more battle, my brother. One final chance to show your valor, then put Solarion to rest.” Auriel smiled broadly. “A chance to live and die in a new world. A last chance for hope.”
Imperius smiled. “I thought you had all abandoned me.”
Auriel shook her head. “I told you that I never abandoned you.”
Malthael and Tyrael walked up to Imperius and each placed a hand on his chest plate.
“Come brother, let us fight for justice and honor once more.” Tyrael said.
“Come brother, just like old times.” Malthael grinned.
Imperius dropped his head and sighed. “I will go.” he said.
Six sets of eyes turned to Rakanoth.
“Boy, that was touching…” he said. “I think I’m tearing up a little.” He sniffled for effect.
“Will you join us Rakanoth?” Auriel outstretched a hand.
“On one condition.” he said with a sly smirk.
“Name it.” Auriel said.
“You give me the first dance when all this is over.” he winked at Auriel.
She nodded her assent. “Done.”
His smile was from ear to ear. “Then let’s do this.”
The seven turned to face Ithereal. “My brothers and sister. Brave friends.” Ithereal’s voice almost faded to silence. “The hope of all Sanctuary goes with you. And I thank you.”
The light from the crystals became brighter. The seven could feel vibrations building in the air around them. The light brightened to a crescendo, then darkness.
Edited by Melancholy#1609 on 6/19/2012 12:06 PM PDT
Melancholy, do you mind if I add you to my friend list to discuss the Diablo story and universe and where we think it might be going, or where we want it too? I'd love to play along side someone who shares the same appreciation for the story and lore as myself.
That sounds interesting. Another thing I'd like to ask, something that's on the tip of my brain, but I can't remember. I remember hearing a place in Sanctuary that was known for knowledge and a great Library, or what said Library was called. Can anyone help me out here?
It concerns an idea for my story I want to write.
That sounds interesting. Another thing I'd like to ask, something that's on the tip of my brain, but I can't remember. I remember hearing a place in Sanctuary that was known for knowledge and a great Library, or what said Library was called. Can anyone help me out here?The Great Library of Caldeum (afraid not much known about that place so far) or the Yshari Sanctum (also located in Caldeum), the mage facility that survived centuries after the Mage Clan Wars and the rise of Zakarum?
Well, other than hitting you with a gigantic wall of text, I broke the story into 4 parts and posted the pieces in this forum. Numbered them in sequence and included the links to the other sections as well.
Unfortunately as people bump the ending, the beginning sections get pushed further down the list.
The answer to your question would be in part 2.
Edited by Melancholy#1609 on 6/19/2012 9:32 AM PDT
Holy Crap! Melancholy, honestly, I do not remember the last time I was so caught up in a story. Its like I lived the whole thing! Great job man!
Also, please let this be the expansion act V! Story sounds awesome with a few epic battles in the way as well!
P.S: are you a professional writer, or is this just something of a hobby for you? 'Cause you've got the talent...
I really am speechless. I read through all four parts in the last hour and a half... I just don't know what to say. Amazing would be an insult. If you're not already a professional author, write a book! :P The way you write, it's like a movie in my head. Grade A writing for sure! I've been trying to write a novel for a couple years now, and I've gotten nothing even close to this. I applaud you. :)
Holy Crap! Melancholy, honestly, I do not remember the last time I was so caught up in a story. Its like I lived the whole thing! Great job man!
Nah. I'm an engineer by trade. After reading pages and pages of gripes about all the plot holes, I had this great idea on (1) how to finish the series, (2) have some crazy awesome battle at the end and (3) explain all the discrepancies in the story line.
Plus I got to throw out some ideas for two new character classes, to bring back my Paladin and my Necromancer. But I posted them over in Story.
Edited by Melancholy#1609 on 6/20/2012 1:29 PM PDT
In my opinion there's not much difference, if any, between a professional writer and one who writes for a hobby. Most people wouldn't do writing jobs if they didn't like it. Also, don't sell yourself short in writing because you may be an engineer. I'm not sure if you've read any Glen Cook - I recommend you do - but for a long time he wrote his books will working for GM.
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