Nowe and Urick make it to the District of Shining Life, but will they make it in time to rescue Manah and will the price be too high to topple the Dais of Life?
An Order of Execution
The last time we met, Manah had once again been captured by the Knights of the Seal and after pursuing her and her captors, Nowe and Urick found their way to the Grand Shrine. A temple used to train the Knights and the homebase of the infamous General Gismore.
After an intense battle with Gismore, and his ultimate defeat, Nowe quickly learned that it wasn’t quite over yet. Gismore had one last trick up his sleeve and ordered Manah to be executed! Now our heroes must act quickly before it’s too late!
The Executioner’s Bell
Signifying the count down to Manah’s death, Nowe hears a bell toll, knowing that when it strikes for the 10th time, Manah will meet her demise. Nowe charges through the Shrine with little heed for the soldiers and their opposition. Already a labyrinth of halls, the congestion caused by the Knights was infuriating and made the search for Manah that much more difficult! Luckily, upon reaching the main hall, Nowe and Urick overhear a group of soldiers commanding that they must prevent the intruders from reaching the girl underground. A clue!
Urick surmised that Manah must be being held in the underground holding cells. With this new information, our heroes charge forward and make their way to the lower floors of the Shrine. Upon reaching the holding cells, Nowe and Urick are met with a series of doors, but knowing that they could only open one with the key they retrieved from the guards they defeated earlier, they needed to choose wisely.
Frustratingly, it didn’t seem to matter which door they chose, it always ended up being the wrong one and because of that, an ambush waited for them when they entered. Fortunately, with each new group of enemies defeated a new key was acquired. Meaning they could try yet another door. Giving into the fact that they needed to meticulously check each door, one after the other, our heroes eventually make it to the correct one. The cell where Manah is being held!
Wanting to believe that the blood and tears Manah sheds are truly to save the world, Nowe welcomes her back into the party. The only stipulation is that she must prove herself and her intentions. Now it’s time to head to the District of Shining Life, the one district currently without a Guardian.
The Thirst for Life
Jumping on to the back of Legna, our heroes head to the District of Shining Life. It’s airways are more heavily guarded than they expected, but Nowe has vowed to complete his mission and to let no more harm come to Manah. So, they press on. Regardless, it isn’t an easy journey as the District is guarded not only by the Knight’s flying machines, but also deadly spectral forms!
Nothing a little quick thinking and dragon magic can’t solve though and after punching a hole through the defenses, our party finally makes it to the District of Shining Life! But in order to find the Life Dais and its sacred key, the Holy Flowers, Nowe, Urick and Manah must overcome the trials on the Shining Life Cave.
Within the cave there are three rooms and within each of those rooms a life must be sacrificed in order to open the way to the Dais. This is because the Holy Flowers crave life and only those willing to perform each task, would be considered worthy to enter their antechamber. Our heroes quickly learn that the lives of their enemies won’t be enough, as each room changes the required form of life. In fact, one would require them to sacrifice some of their own life force and the final needed the souls of the undead. Finally after conquering all three of the trials, Nowe, Urick and Manah are granted access to the Life Dais but as they cross the threshold, they are greeted once again, by the one-eyed man, Caim!
A Bitter Victory
As it turns out, he was lying in wait for Urick – the missing guardian to the Life Dais and its Holy Flowers! The reason being that years ago, Caim had the same goal – to destroy the Life Dais. Upon attempting to do so, he met with General Oror and Urick’s opposition. From there a fierce battle ensued. Caim was even victorious, striking down both Oror and Urick, but before Urick drew his last breath, thus triggering the destruction of the Dais, Urick formed a pact with one of the reapers from the surrounding lands granting him eternal life.
Explaining that the Dais could only be destroyed if he were to die, but when that happens the reaper would enter his body and resurrect him. However, the key would be to strike him down once again as the reaper attempts to bring Urick back to life, negating the magic and ending his life permanently.
Knowing that he could never do such a thing, Nowe refuses to kill a friend just to destroy the dais. But Caim has other plans and charges headlong with murderous intent. Nowe stands in his way and attempts to stop Caim in his tracks before he can reach Urick. It’s an intense battle as Caim is highly skilled, but Nowe is ultimately victorious. Landing his final blow doesn’t kill Caim though and he springs forward ready to end Nowe’s life. Before he can do so, Urick sacrifices himself and takes the brunt of the attack. Caim’s strike is fatal and steals the lifeforce from Urick’s body.
Just as predicted, Urick’s pact partner, the reaper, enters his body to revive him, but before that can happen, Caim strikes again and again knowing that it is his only opportunity to vanquish the Guardian of Shining Life. With one final thrust the reaper’s power of eternal life is overcome and Urick is defeated. As Urick draws his last breath, he is grateful to Nowe and Manah for giving him the opportunity to finally taste true death. Connected to his life force, the Holy Flowers begin to wither in a blaze of blue flame. The Life Dais has been destroyed.
Knowing they must continue their journey despite the loss of their companion, Nowe and Manah leave the shrine, but finding the next district won’t be easy as neither of our heroes know where it is located or the key to its destruction. Fortunately as they reach Legna’s side and relay the news that the District of Shining Life’s Dais has been destroyed, he receives a mysterious message divulging the name and location of their next target. The District of Heavenly Time.