A/N: This is it. The end. The final installation. It's over… its finally over. I actually did it! YEE HAW! Okay, I'd love to ramble on, but I'll save everything I want to say for the end. For now, I'll let you complete the saga that was begun so long ago, and finally completed only now.
Disclaimer: Throughout this fic, I have made a point of not taking this disclaimer seriously. I have deliberately been putting very stupid and occasionally amusing replacements for disclaimers in this spot instead. When I even bothered at all. Seeing as this is the very last update for the fic, then, it seems some how appropriate that I finally take it seriously. For once. It seems to be to me that I should go ahead and actually say the standard disclaimer for Golden Sun properly this one time.
But, as you can see, I am not going to do that.
A NEW QUEST
A day after the lighting of Venus Lighthouse beacon, the Adepts prepared to set out from Lalivero once more. The dawning sun shone brightly upon the town as residents began setting out to begin their daily chores. The new day revealed the damage done by the earthquake.
All around the old sandstone walls were cracked and crumbling. In many places, it had collapsed. Here and there, buildings were breaking apart, but most were made sturdy enough that only a very few had suffered any major damage.
Nobody had suffered anything worse than minor injuries, fortunately, though Isaac saw many people out side on the sandy streets cleaning up the mess and taking out bits of broken possessions from their homes.
What a mess it all made, he thought, watching. Still, at least its all over now, we don't have to worry about it anymore.
Giving a relieved sigh – it felt so good to have the weight of the quest of his mind – he turned from the window to look at the others. Beside him, on one side of the large dining table, sat Garet, Ivan and Mia. On the opposite side, sat Iodem and Faran. A serving maid collected their empty breakfast dishes.
After the harrowing experience atop Venus Lighthouse, they'd returned straight to Lalivero where Faran had kindly let them stay and rest at his house. They'd kept their eyes open for Jenna and the others, but found no sign. Squads of Tolbi soldiers had been out searching for them, but reported no success.
"It is such a shame that we cold not find your friends, wherever they are," Iodem said, leaning back in his wooden chair. "We've searched everywhere. Everywhere, except, of course, Idejima Peninsula. I can still scarcely believe what happened to that."
"We're just as surprised," Isaac replied, thinking back on the memory of actually seeing it ripped off the mainland and cast off to float at sea. "I can't believe that there was so much energy in the Venus Star that was unleashed like that, changing the very face of the earth. I hear Babi Lighthouse was destroyed, even."
"Indeed," Iodem nodded. "A shame, that, but then it might prove to be for the better. Who knows?"
"I say good riddance," Faran said, leaning forward with his elbows on the table. "I never approved much of that thing, and building it on those ancient ruins was asking for trouble from the start."
Iodem raised his hands defensively. "That was Lord Babi's request, not mine. I was just following orders."
"So you've told me. At any rate, I'm more worried about Sheba. She's like the daughter I never had."
"Faran, I know you care about her," Garet started hesitantly, "but, well… we saw her fall, and…"
"I know what you think you saw," Faran smiled. "But there's something different, something special, about the Child of the Gods. She's survived many other situations before. She has powers, being one of these… Adepts, you called them?" Garet nodded. "Adepts. It was nothing short of a miracle that the tidal wave washed up against the Lighthouse as she fell."
Oddly, Isaac couldn't remember the event well enough to be sure of the exact timing. Had it hit after they would have hit the bottom, or did it come just a little bit sooner? Either way, there was no way they could have survived. That wave would have washed them miles out to sea. Even if they were lucky enough to pick the right direction to swim, swimming in heavy clothes and armour…
"Well, I suppose it's theoretically possible…" Isaac conceded. "But realistically..." But realistically, there was no logical way the odds would support such a possibility.
Faran smiled. "Well, I don't believe she's gone just yet… I have a feeling…" He trailed off with a smile and a shrug.
"But enough of that," Iodem said, leaning forward once more. "You said that you intended to go out and search for you best friends?"
"Yes, Jenna and Kraden are still out there, somewhere," Isaac answered.
"And Alex is with them," Mia added. "I'm sure of it."
"We intend to find them," he finished.
"That's good," Iodem replied. "I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours. If I may ask, where do you plan to look?"
"Well, they aren't anywhere here in Gondowan," Ivan answered. "I think it's possible that they may have been at Idejima Peninsula when it was… removed."
"Yes, I seem to recall scouts reporting a ship of some kind mysteriously anchored of the peninsula," Iodem said. "Perhaps they later intended to sail to the next Lighthouse?"
"Possibly," Isaac shrugged. "But we'll never know, now. For now, we're all ready to go, and time is of the essence, so we really must be off."
"I understand," Iodem replied, smiling. The four of them stood up, shouldered their packs, said their farewells, and then left Faran's house. Isaac stood in the street a moment, enjoying the feel of the morning sun on his skin and feeling more relaxed than ever since the entire quest began, what seemed like a very long time ago.
There was no longer any chase, nothing that had to be done. If he wanted, he could go on back home to Vale. He'd like to, certainly. He missed his mother, and likely Garet missed his family, too. And the Elders of Vale would probably want to know how things were turning out. Only, that would have to wait a little bit longer yet.
"Isaac, not to interrupt your day dreaming or anything," Garet started, "but we're supposed to be moving."
"Yes, I know. I was just thinking. About the quest. It's still hard to believe that it's all over."
"Yeah, I know what you mean," the Fire Adept replied, "And yet, none of these people even know. We just saved the world… there should be a speech or something. Maybe a parade or an award ceremony. The Wise One didn't even appear to say congratulations on saving the world or anything."
Isaac laughed. Well, fame and fortune weren't for him, he didn't need any big award ceremony or whatever, he was happy with just having saved the world. "Well, let's get going anyway," he said.
"Where to?" Ivan asked. The Earth Adept was just trying to think of an answer, when he heard a door close behind him, and turned to see Iodem exiting Faran's house.
"Ah, Isaac. I was wondering if I might have a word with you?" he asked. Isaac nodded. "It's about Lemuria."
"The island of the ancients," he murmured. "The only remaining fragment of the peoples of the Lost Age… and I always thought that it was just a myth. What did you want to say about it?"
"You promised Lord Babi that you would search for it on his behalf," Iodem reminded him. "To acquire more Lemurian Draught to prolong his life."
"I remember…" Isaac sighed. "It's just that, even though the quest is over, our friends are still out there, and we need to find them. I know I made a promise, but it's going to be hard enough finding a way to follow after wherever they are without making detours."
"And besides," Garet added. "Lemuria is in the middle of this Sea of Time place; somewhere out in the middle of the ocean. It will be a bit difficult to walk across all those miles of water."
Iodem put a hand in his pocket. "Then I may have a way that will provide the means for both, I pray, without seriously inconveniencing you, I hope." He took a deep breath and continued. "Lord Babi would like to give you, both as a reward and a tool, his own personal Lemurian ship, crafted during the Lost Age."
They all gasped, gob smacked, while he produced a fist-sized black orb from his pocket, which they didn't notice. A Lemurian ship? And he was just giving it to them? Such an artefact must be priceless beyond imagination, not to mention far beyond their understanding.
"A Lemurian ship?" Ivan finally said. "And Babi is giving it to us?"
"After all that you have done," Iodem said with a wry smile, "I dare say you've earned it. But you also need it. If you're friends are stuck floating on Idejima in the sea, as I suspect, you will need to sail to find them. And along the way, you can search for Lemuria. Now wouldn't that be a sight to see, a city from the Lost Age?" He went on. "And it is a hardy, able vessel. It si powered by this Psynergy, I understand, so it an move faster than any normal ship, able to brave seas and storms that would sink any other, or so Lord Babi tells it. It will be a valuable asset for you and your party, Isaac."
"I… I don't know what to say," the Earth Adept replied. "Thank you, I guess." The others echoed him. Iodem proffered the black orb he held in his hand.
"Take it, Isaac. This is yours."
"What is it?" he asked, gingerly taking it in his hands.
"Think of it as they key to the ship. It will not operate without it. The two are somehow linked in some way that I do not know, but you use it to power the ship with your Psynergy."
"How would we do that?" he asked.
"Lord Babi did not say. But I am sure that smart young kids such as yourselves would be able to figure it out. Now, I am afraid that I have business to conduct in Lalivero before leaving for Tolbi, so I must wish you best of luck and farewell!"
They said their goodbyes as Iodem explained where to find the ship, shook hands, then he disappeared back into Faran's house. Isaac was about to begin walking up the street, when he noticed Ivan, looking up at the sky, though his purple eyes were lost deep in thought.
"What's up, Ivan?" he asked. "You seem a little distant." Come to think of it, Ivan had been pretty quiet all morning.
"Me? Oh, nothing," the Wind Adept replied. "Well, actually, I was thinking. About Hammet. And how he's still trapped in Lunpa."
"Ivan," Isaac started. "If you want to go back, you can. I won't stop you. And there isn't any quest to follow anymore, so you don't have to stay with us if you don't want to."
"But that's the thing," he answered. "I do want to stay. Do you remember when I first joined up with you just outside Goma Mountain Range?" Isaac nodded. That was just after he'd visited Lunpa in his failed attempt to rescue Hammet, when he'd asked to join the quest. "I joined you because it felt like it was the right thing to do, like it was my destiny, you know? And Master Hama in Lama temple told me how Jupiter Adepts are more sensitive to the future and fate and those sorts of things. My point is that I still feel like my place is here, with you. I want to rescue him, sure, I'm a lot more powerful now that I was then, but… the time isn't right yet. I feel there's still more I have to do with you, first."
"I understand," Isaac replied. "If that's what you want. But I'll promise you this, Ivan. Once we've found Jenna and Kraden, I'll help you rescue your master. Does that sound all right?"
Ivan's positively glowed with appreciation. "Yes. Thank you, Isaac."
"And I'll be right there with you!" Garet added, clapping the smaller boy on the back. "Do you think I'd abandon a friend in need?"
"Me, too," Mia said. "I'll help you, Ivan. It's the least we could do."
"Thank you," the Wind Adept said appreciatively, though it came out barely more than a whisper. He cleared his throat, and continued, at a normal volume this time, "Now, let's get going. The sooner we find your friends, the sooner we can rescue Hammet and can put all this behind us."
Following Iodem's directions, the party walked through the streets of Lalivero until they reached a large, square building, connected directly to the town harbour. An enclosed, indoor dock.
The Tolbi guard at the door gave them a look and opened the door with a curt, "I was told to let you kids in by Iodem." As soon as they were in, he shut it behind them.
Inside, it was completely empty, the narrow walkways around the water dusty. The their left, the huge gate had been raised, letting in sunlight and water, but no boat floated inside in the space allocated for it.
"I don't get it," Garet said. "Iodem said it would be in here, so where is it?"
"Look," said Mia, pointing. "There! Below the water." Sure enough, Isaac saw, a huge wooden vessel was completely submerged on the bottom of the dock.
Garet frowned and muttered, "I could've sworn he said it was sea worthy."
"I don't know…" Mia mused. "I don't think it's sunk… Isaac, hand me the black orb Iodem gave you." He handed it over. "Let's see…" She began channelling Psynergy into the orb, and it seemed to glow dully. Isaac felt it somehow link with the submerged ship, which then began to rise. It broke the surface and began floating normally again.
It was a magnificent vessel, finely carved with a dragon's head at the prow. A beautiful, graceful design; it made the ship they'd sailed across the Karagol on seem like a poorly built raft.
"You see?" she chirped. "Just like a key. You can't get in without it." She threw it back to him. They lowered a boarding ramp, and prepared to set foot for the first time on the Lemurian ship. Their Lemurian ship.
"Captain Isaac, permission to come aboard," Garet said jokingly.
Isaac grinned and replied, "Permission granted." He stepped onto the wooden deck. The wood was smoothly polished and surprisingly already dry.
"If this is our ship, then I suppose Isaac should be Captain, right?" Garet continued. "And we're his crew… I call the position of First Mate, or Second Mate or whatever it is that you call the second-in-command on a boat."
"Never mind crew positions," Ivan stated as he joined them. "Let's just get moving. Besides, don't we need a name for the boat?"
"We can name it later," Mia declared as she climbed aboard. "For now, let's just worry about finding Jenna and the others."
"It's crazy, isn't it?" Garet observed. "We finish one quest, only to begin another! Well, at least this one won't involve the whole fate of the world."
"A new quest?" Ivan repeated. "I suppose it is at that. That's what I'm here for, a new quest."
Isaac stood at the wheel, resting the orb on the pedestal for it; channelling his Psynergy into it. The boat set into motion smoothly. "To sea!"
It's funny, he thought. Even though we're leaving our old quest – and even our lives and lands – behind us, it still feels incomplete. It's like Garet said, we're beginning a whole new quest. He smiled at the thought. A new quest. I'm coming for you, Jenna.
The ship sailed out into the glowing dawn of the new day's golden sun.
Jenna lay sprawled on her back on the grass of the Idejima peninsula. As the island – as it now was – floated along, surrounded by miles of ocean, she gazed up at the clear blue sky as the sun began slowly creeping across. Her first ever view of the fabled ocean and she was too angry and worried to appreciate it. Somehow, she'd imagined being a bit more awe-struck.
Just lots of water, what's the big deal about it? She though. Maybe it was just the fact she was a Fire Adept, but she'd decided she didn't much like it. Or maybe it was the fact it surrounded them on a desert island with no food, water or hope of escape. Stupid thing to be thinking about.
She was much more worried about her brother. And Sheba. He'd gone back to save her and hadn't returned. I hope he's safe. Sheba, too. She'd only known her a short time, and had already come to like the Laliveran girl a lot. I miss Isaac, too. I hope he's okay.
She sighed. After all of the excitement of escaping the Lighthouse, then witnessing the peninsula tear off with them on it, this seemed boring. There was nothing to do. Beside her, she heard Kraden sigh softly from where he lay.
"Well, it seems they managed to light the Lighthouse," the Alchemy Sage mused.
"Oh, really!" Jenna snapped. "What, with the shining lights from the aerie, the big earthquake – oh, and let's not forget the whole peninsula ripping off and floating away – I hadn't noticed!"
"Gee, you're irritable today."
"Sorry, Kraden. But you have to admit, it has been a bit… stressful lately."
She sighed again. "I hope their okay, Felix, Sheba… even Isaac. I miss him." It was a shame he and her brother had to be enemies, but there was nothing she could do. Kraden sat up and looked around.
"Hmm… I wonder how long this island will continued to drift for? And to where? I wish I'd brought my atlas with me…" The sound of approaching footsteps caused Jenna to sit up and look back over her shoulder. Alex stopped a few feet away, relaxed and expression blank.
"Come. There is something I would show you," he said in a voice of complete calm.
"What?" Jenna asked. The Imilian Water Adept made no reply, simply turned and walked towards the shore of the island. She looked to Kraden, who simply shrugged, and got up to follow. As she approached the beach, she stopped in shock gasped as she laid eyes upon what had washed up on the sand. Who, rather.
Impossible! It couldn't be! A young man in green armour and long brown hair. A young girl in ornate robes and shorter blonde hair. A Venus and Jupiter Adept. Both unconscious.
"Felix!" she cried, tears filling her eyes as she fell to her knees beside her brother.
"Sheba!" Kraden exclaimed as he knelt beside the Laliveran.
"Alex, what is the meaning of this?" the Alchemy Sage asked, turning to face the Mercury Adept. "How did they get there? What happened?"
And as Jenna checked Felix, she noticed he had in his possession the Rod of Hesperia and the Jupiter Star.
And so, with four Adepts of the four elements, as the world headed closer to doom, a new quest for the Golden Sun had begun.
So, that's it. The end of a saga, the end of an era, to use old clichés. And the perfect ending to the game, precisely how it ends, on exactly the same note. I felt it was somehow… appropriate. Now, after all of this is written and finished, and put behind me, I feel the need to write a few words. Hence this, the after word.
As I sit here, typing this, so many thoughts go through my mind of things I want to say, and I wonder just what exactly to put down. I don't want to make this too long, and I'm sure you don't want to read overly long ramble. So I'll try to keep this short and to the point. Still, considering how long this fic actually is in total (218,000 words according to my word document, minus author notes); I'm sure you'll forgive me for wanting to say just a few words. Of course, none of what I'm about to say is actually very important in terms of the fic. If you aren't interested in hearing a young author's nonsense, feel free to skip this. It's nothing important. Don't worry, I won't reveal the meaning of life while you are gone. If you would like to hear what I have to say, then read on in my self-indulgent ramble.
First, a few reflections on what I've learned writing this. It's been great, no doubt about it and a huge learning experience in more ways than I can put down and do any justice for. I'm made friends, critics, associates and, fortunately, no enemies.
When I first started this, I had no idea what I was in for. I assumed writing a novel would be easy (HA!) and not take too long (again, HA!). Ah, the naivety of the newbies. Still, we all must learn and begin somewhere, right? Why did I choose to write a novelisation? Why bother? I suppose I can't completely answer that question satisfactorily. Why does any author choose to write what they do?
When I played the games, I loved them, just in case you couldn't tell. And when I was done, I longed to tell that story to others, only I could never do so with any justice. I wanted to READ those adventures of our favourite Adepts, to tell it to others through novel format. I guess it was my destiny, what I was meant to do, I just felt like I had to do it. I wanted to novelise the game. I can't say why, I just did. But why does not matter, I suppose; it was done, right?
Well, there are some reasons I can give you. First, I was beginning to realise that writing was what I wanted to do. Big, epic, fantasy stories like Golden Sun, Zelda and, eventually, original fantasies were what I wanted, I was beginning to realise. And, of course, I would need practice, a learning curve. A practice novel, if you will. The Golden Sun tale seemed to be the right choice, I felt.
It was originally chosen to test my skills, to experiment in writing a full length novel as I would any other. I approached it as I would with approaching a wholly new concept, trying to convey it in words to readers that had never known anything about this universe, to tell them the story. I feel that I must have done at least an all right job at this, or else you would not have bothered to read this far. I stared out with the intention of doing both games, something I felt would be easy to accomplish. HA!
It was challenging, yes. It was a learning experience, make not mistake. But it was damned fun also, a great adventure of my own. A most satisfying undertaking, oh yes. I don't regret a moment of it. If I did, well, I should give up on this right now and look for a career elsewhere. But I don't.
Oh sure, there are always areas that I always worry weren't as good as they could have been, or I could improve upon. I suppose no author worth their salt ever entirely feels like its perfect, that they have to find ALL the little errors, but its all part of the craft, all part of the experience. In the end, though, it was all the best that I could do at the time, all good enough for me, and while some parts I worry over more than others, there's nothing that I really regret writing, oh no sirree.
Still, I shall continue writing, and learning. I think you can see how I have slowly improved and learned as I've gone through, in my opinion the fic has only gotten better as it's gone on. I've been working on this a long time, but I never slacked off. There were times when I felt like it, but I refused to entertain such thoughts for long. Writing takes passion, but it also takes hard work and dedication. Having finally completed this tale to the end, I feel that I've got what it takes to make myself a serious author.
Of course, this isn't all about me, never think it. What about the readers? The reviewers? I thank them all for their input and support many times over. Even those who gave constructive criticisms were appreciated. Hey, at least I got no flamers! You gave me encouragement to go on and continue my passion and desire, and taught how to go about it better, and I can't thank you enough for that. Without the fans, there wouldn't be no show, and if that was really so, then that would really blow. Without satisfactory readership, writing cannot survive. It's a symbiotic relationship, we give, you take, but you also give, and we take. We are grateful for each others input (and sometimes not!) and require one another to continue the most important thing off all: the book, the story!
So to each and every one of you, thank you. Most especially those of you who keep coming back (you all know who you are!) and even to those who only ever reviewed once. Thank you.
Okay then, that said, there are going to be questions about the future, of course. What do I write next? Golden Sun: Book Two? Do I continue the tale? Or do I write something else? Many have asked me to go on, which is nice (at least they aren't saying 'give up now while you still can'!) I've often promised to begin work on my Zelda novel, which if partially written, but the more I think about it, the more I might just keep that one on the backburner. Maybe someday I will come back to it, but for now, I'm leaving it.
So, will I go on to write Book Two? The answer… is no. Sorry. But before you say "please?", let me explain myself. It's not that I don't want to. I'd like to, and I may even someday come back to it anyhow. But not now. For now, I'm putting most major fanfiction projects aside (although work is still steadily creeping forward on "End Game" and will continue to do so).
The reasoning is mostly personal. Let me explain. You see, while I love writing (do you get that impression yet?) it does take a lot out of me. It takes a large amount of time in my day to do 'just a little bit more of that next chapter', and it takes a lot of emotional energy on my part, in terms of dedication and commitment. I spent a long while on Book One. Even though the publish date was late 2004, I actually had already written several chapters before hand (I was usually a half a chapter or so ahead of what was published) and as such, my adventure began EARLY 2004, when I first stumbled upon this site.
My first thoughts of this site were "GOLD MINE! I've hit the jackpot in finding great literature!" My second was, "Man, you have to go through a lot of crap on here to find the good stuff!" It's true, there is a lot of rubbishy fics on the site, and we've all seen it.
I read quite a bit of GS fanfics, learning what I could, and feeling a bit like part of the community while I worked on my unpublished novel. Eventually, I completed my schooling, and began publishing what I had written, slowly making a name for myself. I was a newbie, a learner, still trying to find my feet as an author, but I seemed to be good enough for people to keep coming back for more. Time went on; chapters got written… you all know this part of the story.
And finally, all my hard work came to a close; my efforts came to fruition on the second day of August, 2006. I'm not sure of the exact day I began writing, but it was January sometime on 2004. I've been working on this for some two and a half years. If you don't mind my saying so, I reckon that's some pretty good 'stick-to-it-iveness'.
But that's also a lot of effort and energy. Do I want to continue on for another 2 and a half years on the next book? Actually, it would probably be longer, given that the Lost Age was a longer game. I'd like to, I'd love to tell the adventures of Felix and the gang. Even Isaac's side of the story there. But that's a long time. And I want to rest after this novel a bit, recover that energy. And meanwhile, life goes on.
I'd like to work on different projects, put this one behind me for now. I'll still be popping into the fandom, occasionally writing any one-shots that come to mind, (and "End Game" still) but I won't be writing any more long novels for a time. And there's more to the story yet.
You see, I'm twenty years old now. I'm moving on in life. I may be (nothings decided yet) moving out of home soon. I'll be getting a new job soon, trying to support myself in life. Life is in a state of flux for me at the moment. I won't be able to focus too much on writing for while. May not have too much time even.
And at any rate, as much as I love what I've done here, I want to move on and begin work on my own stuff, that stuff that I really want to do, the ideas that have been kicking around for a while and begging to come out, the real good stories. Golden Sun was great, yes, but it's just a warm up to want I shall someday do, at least in my mind. And so, when that time does come, I shall leave the fandom behind with fond memories, but as we must all someday leave our childhoods behind and grow up, so too must I someday leave fanfiction behind me to continue to grow as an aspiring author.
But that day isn't quite here yet, I think. And I'm not leaving just yet, I'll still be around. But life goes on, and people go with it, alas. So there, I'd love to write Book Two, I started out with the intention of doing so, but it's just not on the cards any more. Still, someday… you never know. (wink)
So then, having said that, what's next? Who knows, the future is unknown, and even the most enlightened of seers can never say for sure. But I look forward to it with eager anticipation.
I will say this. I loved living in Weyard for a time. I hope you all did too. I could go on quite a bit about this, but it would be mostly self-indulgent ramble (more so that this already is) and probably not all that interesting to any of you. And this is already getting quite long enough without me making it into a tome of its own, right? I won't recount my every thought, or my entire history here. I'll just say, it's been fun, I thank you all, and I hope for the best in my future. Maybe I'll make it, maybe not. Who knows? I don't do this for the money, and no decent author worth reading does, I think. Success isn't judged by cash earnings, but by how well loved a story is.
So let me just say I bid you all a fond farewell from this leg of the great journey of life, I'll miss hearing your reviews and opinions, I thank you all for your support and I depart towards the golden sunset with hope hopes and aspirations and maybe someday I shall see you all again. Until then, let me just say;
May the Light of the Golden Sun Illumine You All.