Legend of the Seven Swords Prologue
Number of the Beast
By Ybrik Metaknight
Rofel Wodring wandered around Murond Death City as he had for hours. He was injured, hungry, tired, and altogether unhappy. He had lost the protection of the Virgo stone that he had held, as Vormav had taken it from him. Oh well, at least now he was in complete control of his actions. No more mind-controlling demons for him, thank you very much. But he would still have to find some way to heal his wounds and get out of Murond. He was so lost in thought that he nearly tripped over a person lying on the ground, much more seriously injured than he was.
Kletian?!? Rofel exclaimed, recognizing his longtime comrade. What the hell happened to you?
Ramza, the sorcerer began. Ramza and his team of fighters has killed most of our allies, and his ninja gave me this injury, which will surely kill me.
Dont talk like that, Rofel said, tears welling up in his eyes.
It its true, and you know it, Kletian said. And know it Rofel did, for Kletian Drowas side was gushing blood like the Bervenia Volcano gushed molten rock during an eruption. But I can still save you, old friend. The only way out of Murond, at least that I know of, is through a doorway on the other side of that closest building to the east. Rofel turned his head to see the building Kletian was talking about, then back to the doomed magician. I am unsure of where the doorway leads, but anywhere must be better than here. I can use the last of my strength to heal you, but only if you promise me one thing.
Anything you ask, Rofel told his best friend of twenty years.
If you can, take revenge on Ramza and his little legion for doing this to me. And also, if he isnt already dead, take revenge on Vormav for getting us involved in this whole mess. If not for him, we would still be living out our quiet lives in Lionel. Then, pausing to gather his magical strength, Kletian said, Healing winds, refresh with your full might! Cure 5!
As the warm green glow of Kletians spell washed over him, Rofel felt all of his wounds closing up. Then he felt like he had enough energy to find Ramza and Vormav and beat them both to a bloody pulp with his bare hands. Then, looking down at Kletian, he strained to hear his friends final words.
Thank you, Rofel, for always being such a good friend, Kletian said meekly. And be sure to get revenge on those who did this to us.
Then, the only true friend Rofel had ever had was dead.
Ill avenge you, old friend, Rofel said as he draped Kletians cape over his corpse. Then, standing up, he heard a sound. Walking over to a nearby cliff, he saw what had been called the Lost Sacred Precinct. Here he saw Ramzas engineering buddy, Mustadio, shoot the finishing blow on Balk Fenzol, the Shrine Knights own engineer. Hmmp, serves him right, Rofel thought. Balk was never anything more than Vormavs lap dog. After seeing this, Rofel walked over to the building Kletian had pointed out, found the door, and examined it.
666? Rofel read questioningly. Isnt that the number of the beast? Doesnt that mean that this could lead to Lucavi himself? Ah, the hell with it. And with that, Rofel opened the door and calmly walked through.
Don Corneo chuckled to himself, as he always had whenever his schemes showed any hope of working. This, of course, annoyed the hell out of his hired hands, the Turks.
Hey, Don, Reno said, trying to get his new bosss attention. What are you laughing about now? Hellooooo?
Seeing that his partner got no response, Rude decided to give it a try. Hey, boss, did you just hear Reno? Or are you ignoring all of us? Once again, the Don gave no response, so Rude got right in his face. Hey, asshole! Answer us or you lose our service! This only warranted a fat foot landing on top of Rudes own smaller foot. Ow! Shit! That really hurt, you bastard! he exclaimed, hopping away from the plump pimp.
Oh Don, baby, Elena said, hoping to succeed where her obviously incompetent partners had failed, why wont you tell us whats going on here? As she finished talking, she bent over next to her boss so as to give him a lovely glimpse down her blouse.
Well, Elena, the Don said, Im laughing because I just received word that Clouds friends are going to be looking for him.
So? Reno asked. Exactly what does that have to do with us?
Well, you stupid twit, Corneo began, I have made arrangements to make the other members of Avalanche disappear as well. This caught the attention of all three Turks. Once they disappear, the four of us will follow them to wherever the hell it is that they are going to and take our revenge. Now Reno and Rude were both grinning as widely as the Don.
One question, boss, Elena started. How exactly are we gonna make them disappear?
With THIS! Don Corneo exclaimed, opening the door to a storage space he had just outside his home via remote control. Inside the garage-like area rested a very sophisticated-looking machine.
Damn, boss, Reno said, thats really cool-looking. But, um, what is it?
Well, its a device I got from a certain associate, Corneo said. It causes certain frequencies emitted from certain weapons to expand out in time/space-altering waves and disrupt the molecular structure of the Don paused, confusing himself and, apparently, the Turks (going by the looks on their faces), with his repetition of his benefactors cryptic explanation of the mysterious contraption. After scrunching his face up in frustration, he finally finished, It teleports stuff to another world.
Ah, I see, Rude responded after a few seconds of absorption. Then, turning to his companions, he added, Were working for a nut job. Reno and Elena nodded in agreement with their bald associate.
Ignoring their condescending attitudes, Don Corneo continued, Well, think what you will, but Cloud was already transported to another world, by an accident on that other world. And this will cause his Ultima Weapon and anyone and everyone around it to teleport to yet another dimension I think. Then we can have our revenge.
Whatever, baby, Elena said, pouring on the feminine charm so heavily that Reno and Rude nearly gagged. Well do whatever you tell us to do, as long as youre paying us.
One question though, boss, Reno began. Who gave you this?
I dont really know, but he lives, or at least used to live, at 666 Brimstone avenue in downtown Junon, Corneo explained before turning back to his present, giggling with glee.
Oh, God, what have we gotten ourselves into? Rude asked rhetorically, as he looked nervously at his two partners.
As Rofel meandered through the doorway marked 666, he experienced an unnerving sensation similar to that which he felt going through the gate to Murond, knocking him unconscious for a short time. When he came to, Rofel found himself surrounded by a number of odd people in a very large room. As he looked to his left, he saw a small purple octopus with a strange grin on his face sitting aside a gigantic ephemeral pink thing with a stupid expression on its face, which seemed to cover its entire front side. Looking to his right, Rofel found himself face-to-face with a man with a red glass lens over one eye. The man was cloaked in brown cloth, and sat next to a large metallic golem, which had a look on its face identical to the expression of utter stupidity found on the pink things face. To the right of the golem, two old hags, one bluish-colored and one reddish-colored, hovered in midair on top of their brooms. To the left of the large pink thing sat two jesters. These were like the witches, one red and one blue. And, looking in front of him, Rofel saw an old man dressed in exquisite brick-red clothes with a beautiful dark brown cape. This man looked faintly similar to Richard Gariland, the first king of Ivalice and namesake of Magic City Gariland. Behind this old, yet strong-looking, man was a woman dressed in very odd clothing. Her dress showed much more cleavage than Rofel had ever seen on a woman not in the privacy of her own home, and her headpiece had two large horns that had probably come from some kind of cattle. Also, she seemed to be some kind of sorceress, from the various rings and pendants which adorned her. Next to her, a blue-tinted man sat on a throne. This was obviously the leader of this odd assemblage of characters, and somehow seemed to be both very old and very young at the same time, a paradox that immediately told Rofel that magic was somehow at work here. The room itself resembled something of a cross between a throne room, a library, and an office. As Rofel finished soaking in his surroundings, the man on the throne spoke.
Ah, our newest arrival has awoken, the seemingly ageless man said in a charismatic baritone to the allies he had brought together. Does anyone know anything about him?
I dont know anything, the blue jester said.
What know I? Not a thing, the red jester echoed.
Never seen him before in my life, the brown-cloaked man said.
Me neither, but he looks pretty tasty, the octopus said, as the pink cloud monster simply grinned stupidly.
Yes, agreed the red witch. Maybe we can cook him and season him.
Or we can freeze him and save him for later, suggested the blue witch. Oh, so many options! Both hags cackled with joy and anticipation at this, and the octopus licked his lips.
Youll do nothing of the sort, the regal-looking older man said. He seems to have come from Altimas dimension. Perhaps that knight can identify him. Summon Wiegraf!
When Rofel heard that name, he wondered if it was the same Wiegraf that had been allied with the Shrine knights until his death at Ramzas hand. Mere seconds later, he was a bit surprised to see the very same Wiegraf Folles he had fought alongside teleport in right beside him.
Yes, my liege? Wiegraf said as soon as he materialized. What do you wish of me?
Do you recognize this man? the leader asked, pointing to Rofel. Wiegraf glanced at Rofel, gave him a simple nod, and turned back to his boss.
Yes, his name is Rofel Wodring. He comes from the same world as I, and we have fought together many a time before. He could be of some help, Wiegraf added.
Thank you, Wiegraf, that will be all, the ominous figure responded. Our plan shall begin quite soon. I will call for you and Gafgarion when I need you.
As you wish, my Lord, Wiegraf added, bowing at the blue man as he was teleported away.
Now, Rofel, the leader began, how would you like to take your revenge on this Ramza you have been fighting, perhaps even gain some power for yourself?
Rofel rubbed his chin, warily pontificating the opportunities offered by this chance. He no longer desired the mad ecstasy of power, but he did desire revenge against Ramza for killing Kletian, among others. Deciding to find out about this course of vengeance, rather than simply pass it up, he asked, I am intrigued by your offer, but could you tell me a bit more?
Certainly, the undisputed ruler of this piece of the underworld replied with a sinister grin. But first, allow me to introduce myself and my allies. He proceeded to point to the various beings (creatures?) seated about the room as he named them, although Rofel didnt really pay attention until the leader got to the older man that had been reporting to him when Rofel arrived. This is my military leader, Garland. He has great experience and limited success in his world, Terra, and the world were trying to capture, Gaia. Then, turning to the strangely-clad woman, he said, And this is my wife and chief advisor, the sorceress Ultimecia. Rofel nodded to these two important people and returned his face back to the leaders azure visage.
Finally, I am the leader here in this corner of the multidimensional underworld. My name is Culex, the leader finished, stepping forward to shake Rofels hand.
Ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?
--The Joker (Jack Nicholson), in Batman (the 1989 movie)