Final Fantasy Story Chapter 12
A Power Beyond All Others
By Nathan Jones
Mogs lungs felt as if they were being crushed. Not once had the golem that held him captive even done so much as to loosen his grip on the poor moogle. He looked around at the cave walls around him. The cave was getting darker, and Mog could see that he, along with the golem, were descending deeper and deeper into the cave.
I wonder when Ill be able to get out of this damn place. Mog thought to himself, If I dont find Relm soon, it might be too late. Who knows what shes gotten herself into.
After a little while, Mog heard a ruble in the golems throat, and it began to speak. Here. He said as he pointed to a stone wall, Master in there.
Mog looked curiously at the granite wall in front of him. What was the creature talking about? All that lay before them was ordinary stone. Suddenly, the golem placed his free hand on the stone, and began to push. To Mogs utter amazement, the wall shifted forwards!. Three feet, Four feet, it didnt stop! Mog could hardly believe his eyes. It was if the cave itself was being expanded all at the hands of a single golem! He closed his gaping mouth, and proceeded to ask the golem where exactly this master was.
Master not far. The creature replied.
With that, he continued his trek through the dark caverns, and before long, the two came upon a large room similar to the cavern Mog had unfortunately met the golem in.
There. The creature pointed, Sit there.
He released his grip on Mog, and the moogle was tempted by his every thought to run. He knew however, he wouldnt make it very far. He didnt know his way around these caves, and it wouldnt be long before he was captured again. Plus, there was no telling how much patience the golem had. He could have easily turned Mog into a pile of mush at their first encounter. He had chosen instead, to let Mog live a little longer to speak with this master fellow. Mog decided it best to just sit and wait. So, shaking and trembling with doubt, he sat on the cavern floor and began to wait. He didnt know how long he would be waiting. All he knew, was that he was stuck in that god forsaken cavern for a good while. He might as well make the best of it.
Mortheius sat Edgar down in an old rocking chair right by a rather large fireplace. The heat from the fire was soothing, and it felt good to be sitting for a change. He made himself comfortable as best he could, and waited for the old man to speak. Mortheius cleared his throat and in a raspy voice, began to speak.
Long ago, eons before any of us were even born, there lived a priest by the name of Balthassar. He was very powerful, and very well respected among the citizens of the ancient world. His role consisted of two primary objectives. The first was to safely guard a magical stone called the Crystal of Light. The other was to destroy it if it ever came into the power of someone who would use it in the name of evil. For a time, the land which civilization lived in was at peace. That peace however, did not last long. One fateful day, a great shadow fell over the world. This darkness swept over the land, and consumed all light. It was decided by the king of Harmonia, the kingdom which guarded the crystal, to use the crystals power to rid the world of this great darkness. This plan would have worked, if not for a terrible incident which happened that same day. Sometime during the night, a gang of mercenaries under the guidance of their master Lord Valitora snuck into the castle and stole the Crystal of Light. Among that band of mercenaries, was a man by the name of Fosoya. Using his powers of darkness, along with Valitoras, the two defeated Balthassar as he tried to protect the crystal. They would have killed him, however Balthassar used his powers to send Valitora into a separate dimension, thus ridding the world of his evil power. He failed however, to notice Fosoya, who quickly grabbed the crystal and made his way back to the tops of the Mountain of Garaglas. There, he used the crystal to conjure demons of all sorts from hundreds of dimensions and with his army of demons, wreaked havoc on world itself. The king of Harmonia, fearing the worlds destruction, gathered up the armies of all the kingdoms of the world and embarked on a crusade to rid the world of this great evil once and for all. After many battles that lasted many years, the king of Harmonia, along with Balthassar, succeeded in defeating Fosoya and bringing an end to what was later called the War of The Magi. After defeating Fosoya, they quickly destroyed the Crystal of Light and scattered its pieces all around the world. In doing so, the sealed the destructive force known as magic away forever. Their hope was that no one would be able to put the crystal back together, and thus the world remain at peace. Sadly, this was not so. As you know, Kefka managed to find all the pieces, and used them, along with the three Goddess statues, to bring magic back into the world. You and the warriors of Light defeated him at his tower, however you failed to notice one critical detail. Kefka had his possession one last remnant of the crystal. The Stone of Destiny. After being granted his request to return to life, Kefka used this stone to resurrect the emperor Geshtal from the dead.
But why would he bring Geshtal back to life? Edgar questioned, He was the one who killed him all those years ago and proclaimed himself Lord of Evil.
Im getting to that. Mortheius replied, Now shut up and let me finish. Hmmm where was I? Oh yes I remember. As I was saying, he resurrected the emperor back to life. However, he was forced to serve Geshtal for eternity in exchange for his own life being returned to him. Sensing the stones power, Fosoya, who had shifted to another dimension after his defeat at Mount Garaglas, returned to this world and sought Kefka out. He found Kefka, and explained to him that if he helped Fosoya to gather the pieces of the crystal together once more, that he could become more powerful than any man and even the gods themselves. As we speak, the two men have nearly finished in the collection of all the pieces, and are preparing to use them to destroy the world itself. There is only one who can stop them. The young girl you know as Relm, is actually a descendent of the mage Balthassar. Within her, lies the power to stop Fosoya and Kefka and rid the world of evil once and for all. In order to resurrect that power within her, she has to travel to the Temple of The Gods beyond the dark woods. There, she will overcome many trials to prove her identity and awaken the power needed to stop this great evil. In doing so however, it is very possible that the task will take her life. I explained all of this to her, and told her that if she wished to embrace the destiny set before her, that she should make her way to the Temple of The Gods. That is where she is headed young king. If you wish to intercept her, I suggest you get a start towards the temple at once. I know this tale is a lot for you to bear, yet you know as well as I do that if Fosoya and Kefka are not stopped, the world will suffer immensely.
Edgar could hardly believe his ears. He had always thought that Relm was nothing more than a stubborn child of a mage. Never had he thought in his wildest dreams that she could hold so much power. He had to stop her! If he didnt, then she would surely die. He quickly rose from his seat, and made his way to the door. He turned to Mortheius on his way out, and with a look of sadness, nodded his head. Morthieus looked on the face of the king and realized that there was no stopping him.
Go. He said, There may yet be another way.
Edgar didnt need to hear the words twice. He quickly stepped out the door and before long, was well on his way towards the Dark Woods. There was no way he could let Relm take on a task this big on her own. He was going to stop her. He was going to save his friend.
Back at Figaro Castle, the rest of the warriors were preparing for their trip to Vector. It had only been a short time since the meeting in the great hall, yet the anxiety was growing at a rate so fast; hardly any of the warriors could stand it any longer. Inside the training room, Locke was sharpening the dirk Celes had given to him not long after they met. It was his most trusted weapon. Whenever he was in a bind, this weapon had always been the solution. Gau noticed Locke in the corner, and quietly walked over and sat beside him.
Never leave home without it eh? he said as he pointed to Lockes dirk.
Very true old friend. Locke replied, You wanna hear something funny?
Sure. Gau replied, I love stories. Especially the ones I keep hearing about you haha.
Locke gave him a cold stare. Well, he said, A long time ago, I was sitting beneath a tree counting the loot I had stolen from a cave not too far from here. When all of a sudden, I feel around my pockets and notice that my dirk, this one right here, wasnt there. I panicked, and quickly searched the grass around me to see if it had somehow fallen out of its sheath. Still unable to find it, I retraced my steps throughout the cave until I found it lying in the very spot where I had found the treasure. I couldnt believe I had made such a stupid mistake. Anyway, I picked it up and started to walk out of the cave for the second time. I hadnt gone very far when the largest Behemoth I had ever seen charged at me from out of the shadows. I defeated him of course, but had I not found my dirk at that second I would have been dead for sure. Anyway, after that I vowed to never leave any place without feeling to make sure it was in its sheath first.
Maybe you should get a sword or something Locke. Gau said, I mean a knife can only get you so far.
Oh I have one. Locke retorted, But I only use it when I absolutely have to. Besides, he said as he twisted the blade around to and fro, A knife is much more versatile.
Locke continued to play with his knife as Shadow entered the room. He was wearing his trademark black ninja suit as usual, and as usual, he was carrying the wicked Ninja blade which he had used since the warriors had met him for the first time. He stepped out into the middle of the floor, and with swiftness like none any of the warriors had ever seen, began to dart back and forth slicing his way through the wooden dummies that everyone used for fencing. He was a blur as the warriors watched in awe. As if out of nowhere, he appeared on the other side of the room and slowly clipped his ninja sword back into it sheath. At that exact moment, each and every one of the wooden dummies fell into pieces on the floor. Locke sat in the corner still twirling his knife, mouth gaping.
Wow Celes whispered as she too stood in complete amazement.
Underneath his mask, Shadow smiled. With that, he walked out of the room and each of the warriors was silent as ever. Never had they seen Shadow like that in action.
In the dining hall across the hall, Sabin was hungrily eating a leg off of a turkey he had killed the previous day. He had been saving the meat for a special occasion, and, since it wasnt long till he and the other warriors departed for Vector, he decided now was the best time to consume the turkey he had worked so hard to catch. He gobbled the last bit of the meat as Strago entered the room. The old man looked like a bag of bones walking on thin legs. Strago didnt even pay attention as he bumped into a chair looking for something to eat. Sabin watched as the old man tried desperately to reach a pot of vegetables and when all seemed lost, gave up and sat in a small chair not too far from the cupboard.
Ill get that for you. Sabin said kindly, and he reached up and grabbed the pot with his free hand while the other still held the bone of the turkey leg.
He placed the bowl on the table in front of Strago and watched as Strago tried desperately to eat the food. Suddenly Strago burst into tears. Sabin put his arm around his friend.
You miss her dont you. He said softly. Strago looked into Sabins eyes and Sabin understood completely. Well find her Strago, I promise. Sabin said, Well find her if its the last thing we do.
Mog tried to fight the urge to fall asleep as he sat there in that dank cavern. It wasnt long before he heard a rumble towards his left. He looked over and saw that the cave itself seemed to shift like before. The rock wall took on a strange shape, and what appeared to be a door slowly opened before Mogs eyes. From the darkness stepped out a hooded figure cloaked in darkness. He seemed to radiate a sort of magical aura, yet Mog could not figure out whether the aura was good or bad.
Who are you? Mog shouted at the figure, And why have you brought me here? I was I am in search of a dear friend of mine, and I simply stopped to take a rest in this cave. The next thing I know, this creature over here knocks me senseless and drags me to the bowels of this cave. I demand to know why I am being held here against my will.
The mystery guest simply stared at Mog through dark unseen eyes. You will learn of my identity at a later time dear Mog. You will also have to be patient in finding your friend Relm. It is best you simply listen.
Wait a second. Mog burst in, How do you know who I am? And how do you know of Relm? If you know anything you better tell me!
I know a great many things. The strange figure replied, I am more than a simple cave dweller I assure you. However, there are more important matters that need to be discussed. Come. He said as he pointed to a pathway a little ways to the left, there is much I need to show you.
Mog sat there thinking about what this mystery person was telling him. Should he follow him? What lay in store for the moogle within the darkness? Only time would tell. So, with courage in his heart, he followed the strange creature into the darkness.
Kefka sat on his throne within his new lair. As planned, upon his arrival back at Vector, he and Fosoya had carried out their plans to turn the once peaceful city into a breeding ground for all sorts of hideous demons. They had started with a massive sacrifice to the gods of darkness using many of Vectors citizens as catalysts. The purging of the villages around the world had been only a small step to Kefkas ultimate goal of reviving the Dark God Zeromus. With his power, he would be able control the world once again, and become the new Lord of Destruction. Relm was also part of this plan. As Fosoya had explained to him earlier, she held the key to Kefkas other desire.
Immortal life. Kefka said to himself, She is the key. She is the ultimate catalyst.
Through his spies around the world, Kefka had learned that Relm had set out for the Temple of the Gods.
She has already made it past the Dark Woods. He said out loud, It is only a matter of time before she reaches the temple. If I am to capture her and bring her back here, then it is imperative that I think of a clever way to do so.
He pondered on the idea for quite some time before an idea suddenly struck his mind.
Fosoya! he shouted throughout the room, Where are you? I need your assistance immediately.
Fosoya appeared only a few feet from Kefka, and with a sinister smile asked, Yes what is it mlord?
I need your creature Melkiah to do me a favor. Kefka replied.
And what would that be Lord Kefka? Fosoya asked. I need him to go and fetch Relm from the temple. Kefka explained, He must disguise himself as one of her companions, and persuade her to come to me. If she does not wish to do so, then he must use any means necessary to get her here. I want her alive Fosoya. She is of no use to us dead.
As you wish mlord. Fosoya complied, I will send for him at once.
With that, Fosoya was gone in the blink of an eye, and Kefka was left staring out one of the large windows of his tower. Soon Relm. He said to himself, Soon you will be part of a greater good.
Edgar trudged the slopes of the mountain growing more and more lethargic with each step. His mind raced with all sorts of thoughts. How could Relm hold so much power? Edgar remembered when he had first met the young girl. It had been six years ago. On their way to the Sealed Cave, the place where Espers used to dwell all those years ago, the warriors of light had stopped in the small village of Thamasa. Upon their arrival, they met Strago, and his granddaughter Relm. She was only ten then, and Edgar quickly realized why Strago had made such as fuss about how hard it had been to take care of her. Her father, whos identity to this very day had remained unknown, had abandoned her on the steps to Stragos house. Strago, who didnt have the heart to turn the child away, took it upon himself to raise the young girl.
She was quite the stubborn one. Strago would always say, There wasnt a day tat went by that she didnt get herself into trouble.
Edgar laughed when he thought about how Relm had acted toward him especially. She had always had sort of a crush on Edgar, and had even said that one day she would marry the young king. A smile began to form on Edgars lips.
Oh how good it will be to have her back. He said to himself, I owe it at least to Strago to find her. If I had paid more attention to where she was, then none of this would have happened.
Edgars conscience kicked in at that point. Dont blame yourself Edgar. His heart told him, There was nothing you could have done to stop her.
Edgar wished that was so, and as he reached the top of a new hill, he scanned the horizon for the correct path leading to the Dark Woods. Towards the northeast, he spotted a lone path leading into a ravine not too far from his location.
Must be it. He told himself, Id better hurry.
So, with that, Edgar set forth for the Dark Woods. He knew not how long it might take him to reach the young girl, yet he knew it must be soon.
Ill find her soon. He told himself, May the gods give me speed.
By this time, Relm had finally made her way out of the Dark Woods. Looking back over her shoulder, she couldnt help but wonder what would come out of this journey. As she pushed the last branch out of her way, she spotted the temple just beyond a small hill. Beautiful and magnificent, the temple itself radiated an aura like none she had ever felt. She walked slowly down the path, and at last she came to a massive gate that seemed to be the temples front door. Inscribed in its walls was a message. It read:
Ye, who hath come in search of power, throw down your fears and come forth. If ye are truly worthy, then pass through these gates. Your destiny awaits you.
Relm took a gulp and pushed on one of the doors with her right hand. Just then, the temple itself seemed to rumble, and with a mighty blast, the doors of the temple flew open. Relm took another deep breath and stepped inside to find the temple already lit by torches all around her. Just then a booming voice was heard throughout the temple.
Who has come here to this sacred place? the voice asked.
It is I. Relm answered, My name is Relm.
What business do you have inside the Temple of the Gods child? the voice asked.
I have come to take on the trials. Relm replied.
There was a slight silence, and before long Relm heard a reply. Very well. The voice said, Step forth child. If it is the trials you seek, then you have come to the right place.
Relm did as she was told, and the doors of the temple slammed shut behind her.
Mog and the strange creature continued to walk down the long, dark tunnel within the bowels of the cavern. As Mog surveyed the area, he could see strange markings along the walls. They looked ancient, and Mog could see that most of them had been corroded by the conditions of the cave throughout the years. Before long, the pair entered a large room that Mog would not have thought to exist within suck a cave. There, along the walls, was a massive mural with all sorts of pictures and writing underneath. Mog stared in amazement.
Is that- he blurted out.
Yes. The hooded figure replied, The War of The Magi. Do you know the story?
Well yes. Mog said, The elders of my village told me of a time long ago when the world was at war with demons. Among the heroes was a mage by the name of Balthassar. He led the citizens of the world against Fosoya in an attempt to regain the Crystal of Light which had been stolen from the kingdom of Harmonia.
You know much young moogle. The hooded one said, Yet there is one ting you do not know.
Mog turned to face the mystery guest and listened closely.
Your friend Relm, the ghost began, is a direct descendant of the mage Balthassar.
Mog could hardly believe his ears. You have to be joking! he shouted, Shes just a normal teenager.
You are wrong lad. The cloaked one replied, She is no ordinary teenager. Yes it is true that she seems just a typical girl. However, within her lies a power beyond all others. It has lain dormant for all these years until the time of judgment. That time is now. As we speak, your enemy Kefka has turned the Imperial City of Vector into a wasteland of demons. He has erected a new tower in its center, and plans to use his powers of darkness to revive the dark god Odin. That is why he sent for Fosoya. The two have collected the last remnants of the Crystal of Light, which were scattered all those years ago. With the crystal, he will become more powerful than even the gods themselves. Your friend Relm, although young, knew of a power within her. She sought out the sage Mortheius and he told her the exact same thing. That is why she has traveled beyond the Dark Woods. Beyond those woods lies the Temple of the Gods. There, she will overcome many trials to prove her identity. If she overcomes those trials, the power within her will be released and she will hold the key to victory over Kefka. It is a definite fact however, that the power which she seeks will ultimately claim her life. Your friend Edgar has gone in search of her as well, and as time goes by, there is less and less of a chance that he will reach her in time.
How do you know all of this? Mog asked a little confused.
Because, the hooded figure said as he removed the cloak, like I told you, I am more than an ordinary cave dweller.
Mog stared in utter amazement. Its you! he cried as he pointed at the ghost that now stood before him, Youre the ghost that has been following us this entire journey!
Yes I am. The ghost replied, Yet I do have a name.
What is it? Mog asked.
The ghost shifted its body towards the mural and stood directly underneath a small ray of light. My name, he whispered, is Balthassar.
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