In a cataclysm known as the Nightfall, the worlds were almost completely destroyed by a harrowing surge of darkness.
In the shadows of the ensuing chaos a new group has taken shape. Led by an Aegyl named Kalos, the 11th Hour touts an esoteric knowledge of how to combat the darkness and restore the worlds. They might be the worlds’ best chance at survival; but nobody really knows enough about them to confirm or deny their claims.
On the brink of collapse, the universe holds its breath in anticipation. Of restoration? Of destruction? It is up to individuals like yourself to decide.
A special thank you to ChasingArtwork of Deviantart, who allowed us to use this stellar banner image.
There aren't enough praises in the world I'd like to give to wonderful coders for the Proboards community. The following have contributed to World Destiny in some way: W3 Schools for countless how-tos and countless of other souls who have helped get WD up to where it is.
Suddenly, from amidst the chaos and destruction of the battle, a black-cloaked figure emerged, covered in soot and stumbling, holding one arm. In the other, a Keyblade of white crystal shimmered, but its structure was cracking. As the figure stumbled forward, she dropped to her knees, coughing up black gunk, and there was an audible crack as the shining crystal on her Keychain broke. The Kingdom Key, now back to its original shape, clattered to the ground, and she caught herself with her hands, panting.
It had served its purpose, and so had she. But she was still here.
She spit up more ash, before wiping her mouth and standing up. Her eyes wavered, unfocused, before training in on the motley crew gathered nearby, and she began walking towards them, leaving her weapon behind as it faded back into light. They had helped fight for the world's heart, held off the beast Chaos had spawned, until they were able to save her from an eternal slumber. They were truly the brave, but one in particular stood out to her, one standing tall, blue-haired. She was addressing the party, talking to a bird-headed figure, and then suddenly...
She seemed familiar. There it was, one of those lost memories from Sora. She held her head as quick flashes of memory flickered through her mind, but the more she saw, the less she knew. They weren't Sora's, but instead somebody who looked strangely like... Roxas? Why did she have those? It made no sense, but she had a name.
It took another handful of steps before she was among the party, and as she looked once again at the other wielder, the name came from her lips, unintentionally, as her eyes met Aqua's. Master Aqua. The title held no current significance to her, but it seemed to be something important in those fragmented memories she had. She shook it off, clearing her throat, and looked to the others, giving them a slow nod.
"Thanks. For the help, that is. Sorry I was late, I take it nobody was killed? I... I came as fast as I could."
Another look around, and a sigh.
"I think this world is safe now, but there's a bigger issue that we're not seeing entirely here. Other worlds are blinking out, and only this one and the Realm of Darkness stand. I have a theory as to where to go to find answers, but I'm having trouble finding it."
She looked to the other wielder, hand twitching, and she realized that she was afraid of her for some reason. Of course she would be. She was just a replica, a dark imitation of the real thing. Right?
"If you're here, it means our destinies are probably intertwined. What do you know of Castle Oblivion?"
And now Max is gone, nothing Oswald could really do about it now. I mean it was unexpected and the Phoenix Charm falling out was more unexpected than Oswald thought about. However Aqua did say that she needed a guide and since Marmadue literally just told him the way to his house Oswald was obviously the correct guide for this trip. The Heartless probably wouldn't bother them for awhile, maybe, probably, hopefully.
"Eh, uh, well I'd be happy to take you, kinda why I offered, I do want to ask you some questions too, so we can discuss on the way." Afterwards Oswald started to walk towards the exit and towards the house, however the other girl came up to Aqua and started asking questions, apparently bringing theories of the darkness.
Turning towards Marmadue, Oswald focused on the crystal blinding the blinded even more with a significantly smaller flash of light. Suddenly however the 6 legged cat came forth yet again ready to heal the sick and launch fire at the darkness. Still needed a name for it though, but that would come later. "Uh, cat, go help Marmadue heal the others." Oswald said while pointing towards the helmeted healer who had not yet answered Oswald's question but the cat would probably help anyway.
They had a plan. They'd split up for a moment, dedicate their strengths to making sure everyone around them was still alright and everything would turn out just fine! Oswald would be in charge of leading the rest to his house, but that wasn't all. He was also offering the help of his… Cat, as a secondary healer. Marmadue had seen the strange catlike creature in the past, still finding it difficult to call the thing a cat, exactly… But before he had the chance to respond…
Maxwell's voice became raised. As the Yuke turned to look at the man to see what was wrong, he was only greeted by a blinding flash that caused him to stumble backwards, shielding his eyes in vain. The deed was done, and for a moment, all he could see was white. His eyes stung, no matter how much he tried to rub them through the slit in his helmet! While it perhaps wasn't such a long time in reality, his blinded state felt like such an eternity when he was so full of adrenaline! The fact that his eyes had gotten quite used to the dim lights of Twilight Town certainly did not help matters. Though his vision returned, it was still full of white spots… But despite that, Marmadue was able to notice one thing – or more like, the lack of one thing: Maxwell.
Where the man had been a moment ago was now empty. Well, almost. A little charred pendant remained, but there was no sight of Maxwell. All of a sudden things had went from bad to worse. In his current state, Maxwell might have very well gotten himself hurt! "M-Mister Maxwell!" The Yuke called out, making a short dash closer to the last spot where he had seen the man in question as if he hoped there would be some kind of an answer or a clue to where he might have gone. Despite his hopes, nothing immediate made itself to his attention. Just the pendant remained.
The shifting of the crumbled remains of the battle immediately made Marmadue perk up, most likely hoping that it would be their disappeared Maxwell. But no. Instead, out came a girl – a familiar girl, with the short black hair and a very large key in her hand… Xion. Indeed, she should have been there, shouldn't she? It was where she had dashed off. He hadn't seen the girl, but that certainly explained why. But in that case… How many others could still be stuck underneath the rubble, unable to get out?
Even though Xion seemed to be quite calm despite everything and despite being hurt, the Yuke couldn't quite channel that same peaceful state of mind. So many things were happening! So much had happened, there was so much to do! Too many things, not enough time! His heart had once again started to beat faster, his gaze turned into anxious glances. His feet didn't even know which direction they should be going, but there was one thing he could do. Taking quick steps towards the lithe girl, he was ready to heal her wounds.
"M-Miss Xion," Marmadue started, his helmet changing where it was pointed between the two young women as he shifted his gaze. He didn't understand the topic at hand… But he didn't know if this really was the time to be talking about it! "I-I, ah, you are injured. I ah, can offer my assistance," he continued, though he did wait for permission before actually going in and using his magic.
"A-Ah! This, this is not a good time for a leisurely talk, miss! There… There could be others in need of aid around the battle site! A-And Mister Maxwell! He could… He could run into the Heartless on his own!"
Post by Mikhail Rutherford on Feb 27, 2018 1:15:24 GMT -4
The sudden flash of light caught him off guard.
Mikhail’s body jerked in recoil as he went blind for a few moments. It was bloody painful, possibly more painful for him than for any of the others present in the decaying Sandlot. He fought to save and protect the light (or so he told himself), but such was the case for those sharing his elemental affinities; dancing with darkness came at a price. He instinctively raised a hand in a futile attempt to block the light’s path. Fortunately for him, it didn’t last nearly long enough to inflict any real damage.
One by one, all of the people in the immediate area recovered from what seemed to have been a light-based Blind spell. Rutherford was among the last to do so. White spots obstructed his visual field, making it hard to figure out shapes and tell faces apart. The realization, however, was almost immediate.
Max was… gone.
The man’s first instincts urged him to run after the hydromancer, to not leave him on his own while he was in that state of confusion. He could get lost within the underground tunnels, or fall prey to the Heartless for the second time that day. Yet Mikhail knew deep down that finding Max after blatantly losing track of him like that would be an extremely challenging task, if not an impossible one. His comrade was a trained soldier; he knew how to scurry around and move undetected. If he didn’t want to be found (which he probably didn’t), he most likely wouldn’t be. At least not until he was ready to talk about… whatever was going on with him.
Plus, amnesia aside, Tendas didn’t seem to be completely defenseless. That flash of light… Mikhail didn’t know where that had come from, but if his friend could do that again against any assailant he’d be just fine.
So he’d wait, at least for the time being. The knight could hear voices in the background, mostly discussing their next course of action as a group.
That was a rather curious concept. In the heat of the battle, Mikhail had scarcely minded the fact that this was the first time he’d fought with a party in a very long time. A rather disorganized party at that, but a party nonetheless. He couldn’t help feeling a bit conflicted regarding that. In the end, no one seemed to have permanently fallen in combat, but they hadn’t emerged unscathed. The orange-haired male had taken the worst of the damage, still alive but only thanks to Aqua’s and Marmadue’s efforts. And who knew how the people in the surrounding areas had fared? He’d tried to direct as many people as he could away from the immediate danger zone before joining the fray, but he wasn’t sure if he’d managed to get to everyone.
And then the black-haired keybearer, this Xion, emerged from the rubble. She approached Aqua with a sense of urgency, words leaving her mouth with haste and the faintest hint of desperation. Mikhail listened, hoping to obtain any valuable intel that would let him continue his work to save Twilight Town and what other worlds remained.
But the information shared was in most part all too familiar to him.
It angered him in a way. How long had she been sleeping, exactly? Had she missed the Nightfall’s arrival? And how dare she claim they didn’t see the “bigger issue”? He surely did, and he was sure most if not all of those present did as well.
“We defeated an immediate danger, but Twilight Town is far from safe,” he corrected, approaching the pair. Their lack of action for the past months continued to irritate him, but Mikhail was aware that the world needed at least one keyblade wielder to be truly saved. “The keyhole remains unsealed and nowhere to be found. The heart of this world will continue to be vulnerable to the darkness unless one of you locks it.”
“Max…” he hesitated, worry for his friend’s wellbeing flooding his mind for a brief instance. But he couldn’t afford to lose himself in such thoughts. Not now when his attention was clearly being needed elsewhere. “Max, some of the others and I have been searching for it, but we haven’t had any luck so far. I can join you to optimize our efforts on that end.”
“And Marmadue’s right,” Mikhail turned to the rest of the group, taking a mental note of those who were still there. “There may be injured civilians in the vicinity of the Sandlot. Some of you should stay here and look, and provide assistance if needed. The rest can go look for survivors near Market Street. Gather volunteers to join the search party and help Marmadue take care of the wounded.”
This bloody Castle Oblivion could wait. First, they needed to make sure Twilight Town and its people wouldn’t go through something like that again.
Post by Aku Summers on Mar 4, 2018 16:26:47 GMT -4
He honestly wasn't expecting to be punched for doing a good deed. Or punched at all today honestly. He reeled back as the fist left his face, letting go of the man as he went on with his madness and rubbed his bruised nose to make sure that nothing about it was broken. It wasn't nor was it bleeding so that was a good sign to say the least.
As he looked after himself the woman with the bright blue hair answered some of his questions from earlier. A battle was it? That certainly explained all the noise and injured. And these Heartless she spoke of, if he connected the dots she was probably talking about the black creatures that he once saw in his world and many a times in this own as they hid within the shadows. All in all he understood the gist of it.
"So a powerful boss was here wasn't there... This level of collateral however...not that good of a sign." He mumbled to himself as he watched the once dead man suddenly approached by what he could only assume was a friend based on their words of choice. However his reaction wasn't something he'd expect from a friend, after all why would you run away from them if they were indeed your friend. "That man...what happened to him. I only saw him come here in a burst of light but I assume that this Heartless did something to him yes?" he asked aloud and not really aimed for anyone, his thoughts were clouded by a train of thought of piecing this all together. He didn't even realize himself disappearing into the crowds and leaving the area.
All that was on his mind was a possibility of creating something that could fight off these Heartless in a single stroke.
When the small rabbit had mentioned bringing a cat to the battlefield to help heal the injured, Aqua was a little confused. To this day, she'd never met a cat that could cast magic spells. Were there really still such strange things out in the world?
That was when the Dream Eater erupted from Oswald's crystal shard. If she hadn't been supporting Jin, Aqua would have taken a step back in reflex to her shock. Whatever this thing was, it wasn't a Heartless or an Unversed. It also seemed to be on their side, which was a relief. If what Oswald had said was true and it really could heal the injured, it did a good deal of help in assuaging her doubts about tending to Jin back at Marmadue's house.
Of course, that was when Maxwell had flung a hand forward and released a brilliant flash of light. With no real way of blocking her eyes because of the semi-limp form in her arms - Jin's uninjured arm slung behind her neck and supported by one arm while the other grasped at his side - she took the brunt of the light with little more than her eyelids to protect her. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to be much help.
The light burned, and Aqua cringed and tilted her head down and away from the source of the flash. She heard what sounded like footsteps slamming against the pavement of the sandlot. Was Max running away? Had whatever brought him back from the dead done something to alter him on some deeper level? Whatever it was, there was no way she could deal with all of this on her own. Jin's fragile state, Marmadue's panicked concern to tending to the uninjured and, as far as they knew, unhelpable, and now Max running off. What was next?
The sound of shifting rubble and shaky footsteps triggered something that sent Aqua's senses into overdrive. It was as if that one trigger was all it took to trigger some deeper instinct, screaming out to her that whoever had come out of the debris was someone deeply, truly important.
"Ven," Aqua gasped, her voice silently shattering as the blonde-haired, blue-eyed figure of her young friend pulled himself out of the remains of what used to be one of the few buildings that still surrounded the Sandlot. How was he here? Why was he here? Was that even possible?
The world faded away, and if she hadn't been stronger of will she may have dropped Jin then and there to run over to the boy in front of her and tend to him. Strong will, and knowledge that what she was seeing before her was absolutely impossible.
Ven's Heart had shattered; ruptured into pieces beyond repair. The only one who could have woken him up would be someone with an uncanny talent for mending ruined Hearts - an individual far more skilled than just a keyblade wielder. Even if Xion, Riku, and Sora were all active, she doubted any of them could haven woken Ven back up.
Moreover, Ven hadn't been buried under that rubble. Xion had. No matter what Aqua's eyes saw or what her Heart felt, her mind couldn't allow her to believe that Xion had swapped herself for Ven. The only possibility was that this was some sort of illusion, a trick the Darkness was playing on her eyes.
She clenched them shut, shaking her head and trying to focus on the world around her; Jin's weight on her shoulders, the sound of Mikhail speaking, Xion's presence near her and Aku's own questions, and the Darkness the clung to the very air around them in this slowly dying world.
Aqua took a breath, deep and slow. Opening her eyes, Xion's figure came back into view. Now wasn't the time to dwell on the past. These people needed her now.
But still...what was a keyhole? Personally, it was something she'd never heard of. Some sort of portal that allowed the Heartless into this world? And maybe her? If that was the case, could it have been wherever she'd come to this world from?
But if that was the case, and Xion was looking for Castle Oblivion, then...
Ever so slightly, Jin's fingers squeezed against her shoulders. And with them, a torrent of images, voices, and emotions came flooding into her mind. The descriptions he'd heard of keyholes, the reason this massive Heartless had appeared in the first place, context for everything. Aqua had seen similar behavior from Ven when he first entered his coma and wished to go home, but it was still surprising seeing it from someone else. Whoever this Jin was, he certainly had a strong Heart. Or, she thought with a wayward gaze down to his destroyed and crackling arm, whatever it was that made up his being.
"I'm sorry, but we can't close the keyhole," Aqua said, looking towards Mikhail. "Not if we want to be able to reach Castle Oblivion."
It was a name she had only heard once from the late Master, but it was one she knew well. What she'd done to her old home; the labyrinth she'd built to keep Ven safe, that was what Xion was looking for. And it seemed that Aqua was one of the few people that was able to navigate them to it.
"The Keyhole would block off what are called The Lanes Between. These are portals between the worlds that were opened years ago by Master Eraqus, the Keyblade Master before me. Of course, I won't force the choice on you all, but we've reached a fork in the road."
Looking to all the people still standing, then to Jin at her side, Aqua took another breath and let it out in a focused sigh.
"For now, we should make sure there were no civilians present and then regroup at Marmadue's home. We can make our decision then."
Ven, great, another person to worry about, even if they are't here. They've already got to much on their plate as is, so this "Ven" person will have to wait. With the Cat running about moving rocks and stones out of the way and dragging victims out of the rubble the street, everything seemed fine but then Xion came up wanting to know about some random place called Castle Oblivion, probably the world she came from, or not the way she was asking was awfully strange.
In any case Aqua seemed to know about it, at least enough to know where it is, and how to get there, so an awful lot considering everyone else in her general vicinity. Apparently we can't close he keyhole, again whatever that meant, without blocking of access to the Castle. However it all came back to regrouping and figuring out what to do with a exploded square, at least three active Keyblade users, and a fork in the road, you know, an absolutely normal kind of day.
"Aqua, I think the got it covered here, and Jin on your back may need some rest and relaxation due to losing an entire arm, so I'd honestly recommend regrouping at Marmadue's." As the Rabbit said this he motioned with his arm to come on as if he was rather impatient, mostly due to him being rather impatient. He wasn't the only one going and he was the one randomly chosen to lead the party so he waited for the others, tapping his foot on the ground arms crossed and all.
Avari was one of the last to arrive in the aftermath, despite having been with Marmadue to help wake Xion up. As they had been running after Xion to help out in the battle, the ground shook and Avari froze as she saw a massive beam of energy shooting straight through the sky. As optimistic of a girl she was, she had never seen a danger of such a scale, and she had been unable to move for a great deal of time as Xion and Marmadue continued towards the scene.
When she finally managed to get her feet moving again, she stepped out into what used to be the Sandlot, but was now practically a crater with several buildings collapsed. She hadn't even seen the creature the others fought, but she had certainly heard it; she was still trying to stop the slight tremor in her hands. Many of her friends seemed hurt, but alive, though a fearful look crossed her face as she watched the others carrying an unconscious Jin, and discussing their next move. There were plenty of familiar and unfamiliar faces among the aftermath of the battle, but Avari's gaze drifted to Marmadue, who was helping the way he knew best.
As she began to notice one face missing from the crowd, she approached her feathered friend and though she seemed about to say something, she paused, feeling as though he was occupied with important matters, or perhaps she was afraid of what he would say if she did ask. For another few moments, she glanced around at everyone around her before finally working up the courage to call out to anyone who would answer, "Has anyone seen Max?"
"Locking the Keyhole does us no good in the long run."
Her Keyblade faded to light as she dismissed it, listening to the conversations going on between the others. She held her arm, rubbing a part on her arm that was sore. She had never been the best at leading, always playing the part of somebody who others used for a means to an end. Aqua was intimidating, familiar yet of much more authority to her. Mikhail was making plans, giving orders. It all made her nervous, but she knew she had to speak up.
"This world would be safe, but no one can say for how long. The Heartless would find a way through again, and we would do this another time, then another. The best bastion against the darkness is to find the fragments of other worlds, and save them as well. I've seen what these monsters can do to world hearts, I've seen what kind of people they attract. I was created by one of them, and I have no desire to see the whims of those seeking power come to fruition."
She met Mikhail's eyes, taking a deep breath to settle her steady heart - if that's what it really was - and continued.
"Something tells me that you've seen your fair share of hardships in this world. I'll go with you and do what you need me to, but take my words to heart. The Organization has useful data in Castle Oblivion, and I have a bad feeling that locking the Keyhole is just what somebody wants us to do. And if Keyblade wielders like Aqua and I are around, then I can't help but wonder if there's any that might reverse that work. So, make your decision. The injured first, our quest next. Pick your path wisely."
Marmadue looked at the man with dark hair, speaking of the keyhole… While that was a term he had heard earlier, he couldn't actually say what that actually meant and how it would have helped – just that Maxwell had brought it up as a way to save them. Not that they could really start talking about it now. A weight was lifted from the Yuke's shoulders as this unknown man backed up his worry about taking care of the injured first and then worrying about the keyholes and the Castle Oblivions and the, the Lanes Between! Whatever those were. Curiosity did not even dare to make itself present in this situation.
But there was something that caught his attention, something he couldn't just ignore and dash off. Avari. The girl had finally made it to the battle site – luckily not a moment before, when all was even more chaotic than it was now. And Maxwell… Marmadue's eyes met hers, and he started to approach her just like she seemed to be approaching him, a question apparent on her face. A very important question, at that. "He's–" he started, thought that voice lost its strength to hesitation. What could one even say? Still, the break could not be allowed to be too long, lest the girl assumed the worst. "Alive. Physically undamaged as far as I could see. Just… Seemed to be in a confused state and took off," the Yuke glanced down. Would she want to go look for Maxwell? He could get himself in some sort of trouble, after all. But would he also… Attack, if cornered? Maxwell's previous actions hadn't exactly convinced Marmadue that he was the safest to be around, either…
He couldn't go looking for the man himself, not right now. He couldn't split into two. He stayed for a moment longer, looking at the group that had gathered, listening with a heavy heart full of uncertainty about pretty much everything. Sides that had so much new information, viewpoints that opposed each other. Who was right, who was wrong? A thing that had to be pushed for later. The Yuke took a deep breath. "…Regrouping, yes. I ah, would very much appreciate anyone's assistance once Mister Jin's state is ah, stable. Mister Maxwell should also be looked for lest he runs into danger. I-I shall… Start with our surroundings, so you know where to find me if my presence is required. Do take anyone injured but not in critical condition with you to my current lodgings, if you see any. Someone gravely hurt, ah… Please come inform me," Marmadue tried to keep his voice and breathing steady, work his mind into a state that could deal with the worst of the worst. Hopefully. Panicking more had to wait.
The Yuke scurried off, looking through the rubble nearby and calling out to anyone who might be stuck or hidden.
Post by Mikhail Rutherford on Jun 7, 2018 5:41:55 GMT -4
"I… understand your hesitation," Mikhail began, a soft sigh escaping his lips as he soothed the flames roaring within him. The man didn’t like it, but he could see how Twilight Town’s local troubles would seem minor compared to this Castle Oblivion lead Aqua and Xion sought to pursue. They’d just arrived in this world, after all. One had to find themselves immersed in chaos in order to truly understand it.
Even so, part of him knew their points were valid ones. The best chance to learn more about the threat they faced was visiting Castle Oblivion. Only then would they be able to think of long term solutions for protecting Twilight Town and whatever other worlds remained standing.
"I’ve seen other worlds fall, and failed to do enough to save them. Mainly due to the sparsity of keys." Mikhail’s eyes lingered on Xion’s hand for a moment, still visualizing the blade she’d dismissed earlier. "We can discuss our next course of action later, but… I think Twilight Town’s people have suffered enough at the expense of agents of darkness. Temporary solution or not, if it’ll give them a chance to breathe and rebuild, it’s a thought worth considering."
Offering both keybearers a nod, Mikhail turned to begin his search for the wounded…
But a voice uttering Tendas’s name brought his attention to another part of the crowd.
A brown maned girl stood before Marmadue, a hint of fear in her expression as the healer filled her in on the situation. She appeared to be rather young, probably no older than eighteen. Her hands were shaking, albeit slightly but it was enough for the Elonian to notice; Mikhail wondered if she and Max were close. It wouldn’t be unlike him to take someone under his wing. Now that he thought about it, the soldier had mentioned a girl helping him in his search for the keyhole… Aveline, was it?
"I’ll go through the street blocks north from here, and keep an eye out for Max or any injured." Mikhail turned to the girl before continuing. "He’s a tough guy, that one. He’ll… be fine, once the confusion runs its course."
Mikhail headed toward the northern exit (was that there before?) of the Sandlot, proceeding to begin his search.
// EXIT THREAD (unless something major worthy of Mikhail's attention happens) //
And, just as soon as she had made her point, others were leaving. With a sigh, she shook her head and began walking away, but not without stopping beside Aqua. Fragments of memories, from a long dormant heart from the time before, came to her, and she put a hand on Aqua's shoulder, almost reflexively. Sora's memories had been alongside Ventus' as their hearts slumbered, and she knew certain members of the Organization saw her as the boy. But those times were past, and she had to focus on the now, as hard as it was. Still, she felt Aqua deserved a little solace.
"When I was with the Organization, I had memories. Mostly Sora, but another of a boy, one by... Ven. I know you from those, only a little, but... I want you to know he's safe. I know he's in Castle Oblivion, and I know we'll save him. It almost feels like we have to, but... I thought you might like to know nothing has hurt him."
The hand fell, and she looked up to the elder wielder.
"I have a hunch where the keyhole is. While I look, can you rally the others to make a decision what to do? I'll offer what curing I can, but I'm finding a way for us to get out of Twilight Town as soon as possible. I'll come when I'm needed, but for now, I have to do this. For Ventus, for Sora, for the worlds... For answers. We've all lost something, and findng them again is right in reach, I think Let's hope we're right.
And with that, she walked away.
[[And with that, After the Battle is now completed and closed! Further discussion will take place in a subsequent thread discussing the future of Twilight Town and beyond among the warriors of Light. Stay tuned for that!]]