Rights for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance belongs to Jim Henson and Netflix.
An exclusive Fanfiction original.
Another world. Another time. Thra, a world beyond a human's imagination. The Age of Wonder. This is a time of wisdom. Of bravery. Of rebellion. But this rebellion did not form overnight, for the dispute of order caused many alliances to be shattered. The peaceful lives of the seven clans of Gelfling have been turned upside down by the arrival of war. Friend turned against friend. Brother against brother. Maudra against Maudra.
It began with the revelation of tyranny. A Stonewood Gelfling named Rian, son of Captain Ordon, learned the true colors of the lords that they served. The SkekSes. Cruel, malformed creatures of unknown origin, who had taken control of Thra's source of life: The Crystal of Truth. Using their knowledge of this relics power, the SkekSes turned its light against the Gelfling it was sworn to protect and used it to drain them of their living essence to secure their eternal rule.
The natural order was broken by the SkekSes malicious acts. The Gelfling they had drained were forever lost, erased from the cycle of life that encircled the world of Thra.
Shaken by the true nature of his lords, Rian fled his home and became an outcast by his unbelieving Stonewood comrades. None believed their lords would do such a thing, and accused Rian of being ill. Even his own father fell victim to these rumors. It was only by the act of Dreamfasting, sharing of memories, did Rian get the message across. Slowly but surely, Rian brought together a grand army of Gelfling. The Seven clans now one.
They stood against the cruelty of the SkekSes, and turned their powers of the Crystal against them. The SkekSes fled at the sight of their defeat, and feared for their lives. Victorious, the Gelfling celebrated their freedom. But as they would soon find, their victory against their oppressors would come at a price.
In the Castle of the Crystal, the SkekSes were not forsaken. They were not willing to give up on their existences. For now, they had their own Army. An unstoppable force capable of being unfathomably loyal to their masters. Darkened creatures, of hardened shells and soulless minds, formed by the remnants of animals slain by the SkekSes cruelty.
The march would soon begin. The march of the Garthim.
~In the Castle~
A line of the brutish arthropods stood in the chamber of the Crystal. The shadowy relic glowed in an ever-purple light. Corrupted by the malice the cruel actions shown by the invasive monsters from the stars above. And now, its power was used to create such horrid, insect-like monsters. Cloned and perfected by the magic of the Crystal, they never spoke. They never laughed. Never once emitting anything more than their sickening clicks and chatters.
They were the perfect tools for the new war that would inevitably happen. The Gelfling may have now grown in numbers and strength, but they would soon face the awesome wrath of the Garthim. And now that they had mastered their sentience, they would work for their selfish gain for eternal life in ways they would never believe.
The high-pitched whimper echoed through the room as footsteps followed it. It sounded as if there was more than one of them approaching as well. The putrid faces of the SkekSes arrived in the chambers. Their eyes filled with the light that came from the Crystal. There were at least four Garthim gathered before the source of their life and their lords. They stood at attention as the crooked lizards murmured among themselves as they watched their soldiers.
Fascinated by the sight of their new warrior, the SkekSes watched in amazement as they stood motionless. Their eyes were not shown to be glowing their blue light. It was clear that they were asleep or something of that ilk. The first to step forward and speak was the hideous yet formal shape of SkekZok, high priest of the SkekSes. "These past few months of work have been very long for all of us." His voice was smooth and disciplined, persuasive to a fault.
"But it has been fortuitous at best." SkekZok continued. "The Gelfling have not sought us out, and have not shown any sign of searching for us. Now, our time is upon us. The time to act. Stone-In-The-Wood was merely the beginning. Soon, their rebellion will be no more. Now, we have an Army of our own!"
"But will it be enough to combat their control over the darkening?" It was an unsettling subject when recalling this matter. When a certain Grottan Gelfling had bested their Emperor at his control over the darkening, one of the SkekSes had paid for it. SkekLach the Collector was completely obliterated by the explosion released by her.
"To answer, SkekOk," SkekZok continued. "We have our own powers that the Gelfling are completely unaware of. They have no idea that there are more of us out in the distant lands of old. We have issued a calling for our fellow SkekSes brothers to return to the castle and expand our empire."
Some of the SkekSes nodded while some were rather skeptical. They seemed rather on edge at the thought of a certain one of the SkekSes returning to them.
"To begin with this matter, with the loss of our fallen general, SkekVar, we will need a new general. This job will also require complete control of the Garthim. But first, we will need to test their loyalty. To test their prowess in battle. For as we all know, a war is not won by amateur peons, craving for a purpose. They are won only by the best. And as our Emperor, who has other matters to tend to, has put it, 'We require only the best to train our Garthim for war against the Gelfling.' And it is the best we have found."
That specific sound was one that was normally heard amongst the self-proclaimed lords of the Crystal. There was only one SkekSes capable of making such a whimper. They all knew it had to have been made by the most underhanded of their kind. This individual was known to be perhaps the most calculating and mysterious of their circle, and was also the one who had suggested the idea of draining Gelfling in the first place. He was, perhaps, even more dangerous than the experiment before him and his brethren.
The Chamberlain, SkekSil, stepped forward slowly, his fellow SkekSes giving him suspicious glares. The tail that hung from the whimpering reptilian scribe was like the movement of a Green Anaconda slithering through the Amazon jungle. With another "Hhhmm...", the whimpering worm spoke.
"These Garthim are something to observe, yes. But can we be sure that our efforts can control such a force? The scientist may be useful for few things, as he has supplied us with the draining machine. But never has he made a form of life."
"And what do you know of such matters?" The scratchy, abused voice of the scientist spoke up. His artificial eye gleamed in the light of the Crystal as he glared defiantly at the reason for him having one good eye. "I am the one trusted with creating these creatures. I am the reason for the Garthim's existence. I am their master!"
The SkekSes next to the scientist, the Ornamentalist, let out a high-pitched cackle. "You? Ha! These monstrosities are more than a match for any of us. You most of all, a pathetic weakling who spends his days with creatures of minor worth."
"The Ornamentalist speaks the truth." The overweight Gourmand chuckled as he stood beside his close friend. "What we truly need is a SkekSis who's brute strength is matched only by these monsters you, SkekTek, have created."
"Silence!" SkekZok raised his voice. "Our great Emperor has already decided on a trainer for the Garthim. We have sent for him just last night, and we anxiously await his arrival."
"Excuse me, his?" The Gourmand questioned.
SkekZok narrowed his eyes at SkekAyuk. "The Emperor has chosen only the best for this job. A SkekSis so strong, so powerful, that even he has been shown to fear him. Upon arrival, you will all bow and revere him."
As the SkekSes listened to the Ritual Master's commands, little did they know of the movement down the halls that led to the main entrance of the castle. A shadow lumbered through the dense light and clanged against the floor, making a sound like chains being rattled.
The other SkekSes took notice of this and watched as the shape slowly walked through the darkness. The shadow was engulfed by more of the darkness after the light from the entrance was too far now. Raspy breathing could be heard as the creature approached them. The gathered lizards murmured further as they watched whatever it was getting closer to the chambers.
Finally, the creature showed itself. It was definitely a SkekSis, clad in a dark Grey robe and bearing a head of white, shriveled hair. Around his neck, he wore what looked like a locket that hung there empty. Clearly one of the brawniest of the SkekSes, this creature scowled as he emerged from the shadows. His large eyes glared at his fellow brethren as he showed his 8-foot tall body.
The Skekses felt both relieved and terrified at the sight of this specific SkekSis. Perhaps they recognized this large member of their kind, and were joyous in the time he was gone. And now had gone pale white at his return. Even SkekZok was a little unsettled at the sight of this SkekSis.
"Why was he called back?"
"Has he heard about SkekVar?"
SkekUng approached SkekZok with his cold, brutish expression still intact. "SkekZok." Came his deep, gargled voice. "It has been many a trine since I have been graced by the Crystal's light."
"Welcome, SkekUng." SkekZok greeted his fellow SkekSis. "You could not have returned to us at a better time. I am sure you have learned of the current situation regarding our rule?"
"Indeed." SkekUng growled. "SkekVar was a brute indeed, but he should never have been bested by the hand of a Gelfling. A Stonewood warrior should have known better than to come against his lords. And this new plan formulated by our mighty Emperor is to combat these treacherous wretches?"
"Correct." SkekZok turned to the seeping Garthim. "Behold, general SkekUng. The Garthim. These new monsters have the potential to become our best chance against the Gelfling. However, they have proven to be too strong for us to tame. You, however, should see no problem in succeeding where we have failed."
"You assume the correct amount of me, priest." SkekUng nodded as he observed the Garthim. "Hmm, interesting. And the scientist has created these monstrosities?"
"He was supposed to create them to be totally loyal." SkekOk turned to SkekTek with a glare. "However, not everyone is blessed with true knowledge."
SkekUng scowled at SkekTek and mumbled something that sounded like "Fraud." He then turned back to the Garthim, observing their strange exterior. He then raised his fist and let out a mighty bellow. He then brought it down on one of their heads. The creature woke up and began to emit its haunting, intimidating clicking. The three beside it also began to wake, starting an orchestra of clicks and snarls.
They thrashed their claws threateningly at the new SkekSis before them. Their blue orb-like eyes blankly staring at him as they clattered and growled at him. SkekUng, however, was not sacred of their advances. His sneer was kept on his shriveled face. It looked like he expected the Garthim to react to him this way.
And with a small grin, he reached into his robe and pulled something out. And this something was unlike anything the SkekSes had seen before. The object was a small, round orb that was glowing a vibrant yellow. He held the orb in his hand and placed it in his empty locket. The chain holding the necklace on his neck then glowed the same kind of orange as the orb.
SkekUng let out a loud yell as he raised his fist into the air, throwing back his head. The monsters surrounding him soon began to slow their advances. Their hostility soon began to subside as they lowered their claws and hands. Their clicking was quieter and calmer as they stared at him with those blank eyes.
The SkekSes stood there in awe at the sight of the Garthim being tamed by one of their own. SkekZok was the first to step forward and inspect his work. His eyes fell on the glowing object in SkekUng's necklace. "Where- where did you find that?"
"The Crystal Desert." SkekUng brandished his necklace with pride. "The gem of Everis Star. When used in the right hands, it can tame even the wildest of minds to the wielder's bidding." He then turned to his fellow SkekSes.
"As you can all see, I am very much in control of your Garthim. We are SkekSes, lords of the Crystal! We control the living things of the surrounding lands. And now that we have our army, we have the chance to control the rest. With this fallen star before us, we have the power of Thra at our disposal! Together, we shall launch the last war against our Gelfling oppressors. A war to end all others in Thra. A war… of Garthim!"
With this loud proclamation, the other SkekSes cheered at the sound of their possible victory over the Gelfling who had wronged them before. The only one not cheering was SkekSil. The whimpering Chamberlain's gaze fell upon the new SkekSes hero. His eyes narrowed ominously.
He could very well remember how he had dealt with someone who threatened his standing with the emperor. Even though SkekSo was indisposed at the moment, SkekSil knew that with this new angle against the Gelfling, SkekUng would most likely be placed in the Emperor's favor.
He grinned maliciously as his SkekSes brothers took no notice of his suspicious behavior. Soon, very soon, he would stifle this potential threat to his power over the other SkekSes. Soon, he would have control over even SkekUng. He just hoped that his seat wouldn't be taken this time.
And now, with this new power in the SkekSes' palm, Thra is placed back into a state of peril. An expanding blight, war will begin again. Creatures against creatures. Heroes against the vile. The Gelfling warriors have no idea that their mortal enemies now work to trigger a devastating blow against them. Their fears have yet to come to light.
The SkekSes send their first four Garthim out into Thra to cast the first stone of war. It will begin. The Age of Wonder may soon end, but the age of torment has yet to begin. The lords await the results of their wicked deeds. Their power will rise again. Their power stems from their most valuable possession. Their prize. Their tool.
The Dark Crystal.