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.
Ciraph, The Midnight Dragon and Scourge of Worlds soared through the freezing mountaintop air, a captive held tightly within his talons. He had tailed the warriors of light as they fled Twilight Town, following them to a large, bright, and loud city supposedly called San Fransokyo. Why they had left the ruined world he did not know, but if it was because their keyblade wielders had managed to find the keyhole then he had to know. He had better things to do than waste his time on a pointless search for the heart of world that he couldn't take. He also did not want to make false assumptions. To that end, he had spent the better part of a week in invisibility, waiting for his chance to grab one of them from the crowded streets of the city. Finally, his opportunity had come when the armored and feathered one had wandered off on his own. The great black dragon had swooped down and in one smooth motion had snatched the strange creature from the ground and flown straight through a corridor of darkness.
They had emerged on the other end high in the air amidst a raging snowstorm, overlooking a mountain which towered over a city far below. Without hesitation Ciraph wheeled in the air, aiming for the peak of the mountain, taking advantage of the snowstorm and darkness to conceal him instead of his invisibility. Before landing, he made a pass over the top of the mountain to drop his quarry, a small intimidation technique he'd learned to use against those much smaller than himself. He then came to a gentle landing on top of the mountain, each beat of his large and leathery wings sending snow swirling around himself and the feathery one as he craned his long neck to look the creature in the eyes.
"Hello, little one," He said, his voice a deep growl as he drew out of the last word, "You really should learn not to wander alone in strange cities. It could prove to be....dangerous."
Ciraph snorted a small plume of fire from his nose to accentuate the last word before he chuckled, encircling his quarry with his long body and tail.
"Now...what should I do with you?" he asked as he settled in on the ground...
The gusts of cold air that forced their way through Marmadue's helmet made it almost impossible to breathe – the irony of too much air making it difficult to breathe not something that was on his mind at the moment. It was dark and the forceful winds carried with them snow that both hindered his vision and pelleted his skin with icy shrapnel. It was freezing, and a strong grasp held him in place – something that he was thankful, once he realized exactly how high up he must have been.
He had squirmed and screamed at first, of course. A peaceful stroll deep in thought on the streets of San Fransokyo had come to a sudden end as something grabbed him. All he had heard was the wind suddenly picking up, and before he had realized it, he was moving into a completely different direction. Off the ground, at great speeds, into darkness that was both blinding a deafening after the lights and… Screams, he realized. A darkness that had squeezed his chest and forced his fighting to stop, his lungs unable to gasp for air. Once the darkness had turned into cold and snow, it hadn't gotten much better. The Yuke was still confused, still struggling to breathe, but catching a glimpse of the ground far below them had made him quite cooperative for now.
But far from feeling at ease.
The grasp eventually lessened, dropping Marmadue down with a yelp, luckily coming to contact with ground soon enough. His fall wasn't graceful, but it was stopped with enough snow for it to not hurt – or perhaps he just was unable to feel it at the moment with his panicked mind. His heart was beating so fast he was afraid it would burst out of his chest, his hand shooting up to try to hold it in. His breathing was frantic, visible as erratic and short spurts coming out from the holes in his helmet in the freezing cold. It was not the cold that made the Yuke's feathers stand up, however, even though he was not dressed for such a climate. His blood ran both freezing from the fear and burning from the adrenaline currently coursing through his veins. The temperature was not enough to register in his mind at the moment.
He glanced into every direction, able to sense the air currents around him, but the wind's howl and the darkness and the blizzard all made it actually very difficult to see where the being that had brought him in was. Marmadue's knees were unable to support him as he scooted backwards in the snow, never actually able to get away from the threat. He could hear the great wing beats, forced to shield himself from the wind currents it generated, blowing snow into his eyes. His arm trembled as he lowered it, coming face to face with…
The Yuke's heart skipped a beat, but soon resumed its beating, faster than ever. His breathing had stopped, and one didn't have to see his widened eyes to know that he was completely frozen from fear. His body trembled and he just… Stared, unable to form a coherent word, much less make even a small peep come out of his mouth. A dragon. There had been a dragon in Twilight Town, one that had attacked Avari – but they had taken care of it, right? Whatever Xion and Axel had done should have kept them safe, right? It couldn't be the same one, it couldn't have survived!
But as he stared into those glowing yellow eyes, all he could see was a Heartless – even though it spoke. Heartless couldn't speak, right…?
The sudden flames made Marmadue flinch and pull his arms up again, as if to protect himself – as if that would have saved him. What was immediately clear was that he was very much in trouble, alone, with a dragon that could kill him in an instant, in the middle of somewhere he did not recognize. Help couldn't come fast enough. He heard the question, but he didn't want to answer. He couldn't, even if he wanted to. Not for a long time. Or, what at the very least seemed like a long time in his head. "I-I-I-I… P-P-Please do not… Hurt me…"
Ciraph could smell this pathetic creature's fear as the Midnight Dragon settled in around him, not that he needed to in order to tell it was afraid. He could see the poor thing shaking plain as day, despite what it's armored appearance might otherwise suggest. The mere presence of it sent a grin of glee across the dragon's maw, rows of razor sharp teeth exposed as the small creature he'd abducted stammered and begged for him not to hurt it.
"Oh, not to worry," Ciraph said, bringing his head down to stare at the feathered creature with one large, yellow eye, "I have other plans for you.
"Now, I want you to listen to me carefully," the dragon continued as the slit of his eye focused in on the creature's helmet, "I'm going to ask you some questions. If I don't like the answers..."
To accentuate the point, he gave a small puff of flame out of his nose again, the flames sending shadows spraying across the two of them. He needed to do this right to get the information he wanted. If he didn't, all this effort would be wasted. Luckily for him, Ciraph had learned that the cowardly tended to be more loose-lipped than their more courageous comrades.
"Why did your group leave Twilight Town," Ciraph began, his gaze fixed unwavering on the small creature's helmet...
Marmadue was still cowering behind his arms that would not offer him any real protection, but it was the best he could do now. He couldn't control the trembling of his arms, but he could still at least move them, lowering them once the dragon told him not to worry. Oh, he was still worrying alright, his breathing as rapid as his frantically beating heart, but perhaps a part of him wanted to believe that the dragon wouldn't hurt him. But once his gaze locked with that large glowing eye that was brought closer, a shiver ran down his spine.
He wasn't safe.
Again the Yuke flinched as the flames appeared, instinctively jerking back now that the dragon's face was much too close for comfort. But despite his best efforts, he couldn't peel his eyes away, forced to come face to face with the beast. The question he asked was… Very strange, however. Perhaps shocking enough to even snap Marmadue out of his fear as he took on a more questioning pose, his head tilting slightly – though a shudder, now from cold as the blizzard had started to cake his feathers in frozen snow, broke that moment of almost relaxation.
"A-Ah, t-that is," he didn't even quite know how to answer, but knew that a lack of an answer was not an option. Wasn't the dragon there? Clearly, it knew about him and the rest, asking this question. It must have been the same one. So why wouldn't it know? "T-Th-The world ah… W-We attempted to save- save it, but… T-There was great darkness th-that would have destroyed us all. A keyblade wielder helped us escape," the Yuke stammered a brief explanation to the best of his ability, his tongue tied and jaw trembling from both fear and the cold. Honestly, he probably wasn't the best person to be asked these questions…
he feathered one stammered out a response to him, his wildly chattering teeth causing him to stammer and stumble through the words. His point, though, was perfectly clear. They had fled twilight town out of fear and necessity, not out of some grand strategic move. That a wielder had led them away from the doomed world troubled him, though. There seemed to be an ever increasing number of them these days, which would mean the midnight dragon would have to be careful.
“And what of the wielder? Who is this person, little one, and what are they capable of?” The dragon asked, eye still fixed on his prey’s helmeted face as a low soft growl sounded from deeper within his throat…
"I-I-I-I do not know," Marmadue stammered a response for the question about the keyblade wielder – though he immediately seemed to recoil and try to protect himself with his arms, almost as if he realized that the answer might not have been to the dragon's liking and was not expecting a retaliation. "Sh-Sh-She was n-new! I, I-I didn't- didn't know her w-w-well, s-stayed to her-herself u-until… Until the shadows… S-She could h-hold her own against them, I-I saw that. The key… It-it vanquished the monsters with ease b-but there, th-there were too many, and… A-And there was something else. So-Something big. Sh-She could open us a path," the Yuke tried to force anything he could think of out of his mouth, still cowering behind his arms, but speaking was getting difficult. Thinking was getting difficult, everything in his very being screaming at him to run and escape, but he knew that would do nothing. The dragon could catch him easily, and his legs were feeling numb. From the fear, or the freezing cold? He didn't know, but perhaps both.
Ciraph’s eyes narrowed at the little one before him as he babbled out as much information as he could. The fear was beginning to dull this coward’s mind as he tried to spit out everything he could think of that might be of interest to the Midnight Dragon. Most of it was incoherent babble, but there were some interesting bits of information, such as this “something else” that had forced the Twilight Town refugees to flee despite assistance from a keyblade wielder.
“Calm yourself, little one,” the dragon said in a much more calming voice, his demeanor becoming much more reminiscent of what it was before his transformation to a heartless, “Now, this key-wielder: what did she look like? Did she have a name?”
Calm down. Now that was easier said that done! Marmadue's head was still buried behind his arms as he did his best to hide and shield himself, not daring to look up now that he had found the strength to peel his eyes away from the dragon. Even if the dragon seemed to try to sound less threatening, it was difficult to ignore everything that had happened until now that kept his heart beating faster than it had ever before. His arms were shivering and his feathers had puffed up to try to keep the cold away, to no avail. "S-S-S-Son-YY-Ye-Yeon, I-I-I-I think. H-Her, her name. She was… S-She was one of t-those, humans. Light. L-L-Light hair."
Son Yeon? Ciraph thought soundlessly. The name was not familiar to him, but if she was a key wielder he could only assume they would have an encounter eventually. He would have to be careful until he could learn enough about her to tip the scales in his favor when they finally did come face to face.
“Now what about this something….big?” Ciraph asked, lazily stretching one wing, “What was it?”
"I-I-I-I d-don't know," Marmadue whimpered, barely audible over the howl of the wind. The blizzard was still going strong, coating the Yuke with a layer of frost that clung to his feathers. Any warmth that could have kept melting the snow was long gone. "A-A-A, A Heartless… M-Maybe. I-I-I don't know. The, th-the Heart… Heartless left. Th-They were defeated, yet… Y-Yet something c-c-c-came," he followed up after a moment of trying to come up with something. He didn't have answers and his jaw was at the same time extremely weak yet constantly on the move with the way it was chattering from the cold. It was too cold. Much, much too cold. He was going to freeze. He was pretty sure he couldn't even feel his fingers anymore. "Th… F-F-Freezing…"