Author: Hector of Ostia
Let me tell you the tale of Maxim, the Dual Blade, and the four Sinistrals. Ages ago, it was a time when the sword and sorcery ruled. The people lived their lives in peace until the coming of the Sinistrals. The Sinistrals were foul and wicked beings who tried to seize control of the entire world from Doom Island amongst the clouds.
The Sinistrals were beings of Destruction, Chaos, Terror, and Death.
In man's darkest hour, the great hero Maxim rose up and stood against the Sinistrals. Wielding the Dual Blade he and his companions destroyed the evil ones thus saving the world.
However, in the aftermath following the final battle, Maxim was left alone on the nightmarish island as it plummeted to the sea below. He, the island, and the Dual Blade were forever lost. Mankind recovered from the devastation and flourished once more. Many centuries have passed since those dark days….
Lufia: Dawn of Fate
Chapter One: A New Beginning
Dawn came almost too quickly in the town of Ephras. As the sun gave off its golden glow and rose above the horizon, the streets slowly came to life. It was just another day of work for the unsuspecting townsfolk of Ephras. However, for one fiery red haired youth, destiny would come to fruition on this day; a destiny that would shape the future of the entire world.
The Town of Ephras
"Roland! Wake up!" A voice said.
"Aww… Jake, I told you not to wake me this early…," said the red haired youth, slowly rising from his bed.
Turning his gaze to the bedside window, his eyes met the familiar face of young Jacob Shaia, the son of the famed inventor and engineer, Adam Shaia.
"Besides, advanced students don't have training today," said Roland taking a quick glimpse at his calendar.
"Don't you think I know that? Master Tristan sent me to wake you because there was something he wanted to say to you personally," he replied.
"Well, if that's the case, I'd better get going," Roland murmured as he slipped out of bed and went to the restroom. Moments later, he emerged and began getting dressed for the day.
Donning his usual iron mail armor, he grabbed trusty his sword, put on his boots, and was out the door where his longtime friend was waiting for him.
"Did Master Tristan say what it was he wanted from me?" Asked Roland as the two walked towards the local training grounds.
"He didn't say anything to me besides that he needed to see you. But, judging by the tone of his voice, it sounded pretty important."
"Yeah, it probably is." Roland casually remarked. "And Jake, what were you doing by the training grounds? You don't a thing about swords."
"Oh, I just wanted to see what you guys do over there. And after watching I was really confused about it."
"Confused about what?"
"How you guys are still using such primitive weapons when we have guns," said Jake.
"Because in the hands of the right wielder, swords or any direct melee weapon for that matter can out match guns," said Roland. "Don't get me wrong, Jake. Guns are fine and all, but in some fights, there isn't a better thing to have at your side than a good, old-fashioned sword."
"Could you name such a fight?" Jake replied doubting his friend's testimony.
"Well, uh… You've seen the monsters around town haven't you?"
"Yes, what about them?"
"I've noticed it takes the local guards quite a few shots to just to bring one of them down, but I've seen Master Tristan take them out in just one blow."
"That's probably because he knows where to strike the enemy," Jake countered.
"I think it goes a lot deeper than that," said Roland.
"What do you mean?"
"Master Tristan always said that the fighting spirit of a warrior can be projected through a variety of ways, a direct melee weapon being one of them." Roland answered.
"He said that guns were too impersonal to accomplish such a feat."
"Ah… That doesn't make any sense," Jake refuted.
The two came to the gates of the training ground.
"Well, this is my stop. See you later, Jake."
"You too, Roland," he replied before leaving.
Alone, Roland stood before the giant wooden gates in silence. It was strange. He'd come to and entered the gates so many times before yet this one occasion felt different. Old memories came to mind; the very first time he laid his hands upon its surface; the very first time he held a sword in his hands. It was then he realized how much he'd grown. He was a man now.
Placing both hands upon them once more, he pushed the gates open and passed through.
Inside, he watched as younger swordsmen-in-training were busy practicing their slashes and thrusts. At the head of the rows and rows of trainees was a tall, lean figured man with long, graying, black hair. This man was Master Tristan, the head of the training grounds. Upon seeing Roland, he paused for a moment and then resumed his instructing.
After the lesson, Tristan retired to the second floor of the training grounds and was followed by Roland shortly after.
"You called for me, Master?"
"Yes, I need to speak with you," he replied. "Roland, have a seat."
Roland reclined on one of the cushions that were strewn all about the room.
"Roland, there's something you must know."
"What is it, Master?"
"I've never told you this before, Roland, but you are the finest student I have ever apprenticed. From the moment I saw you wield a sword for the first time I knew that you were born with a gift."
"Roland, from now on I can no longer teach you."
"What! But there's still so much more for me to—"
"In further teaching you my own methods, I am hampering your true potential. In order for those such as yourself to truly become a master of the sword, they must progress on their own, and let their experiences become the basis of their form. You have great potential, Roland; potential to far surpass me in the way of the sword."
The red haired youth was speechless.
"I understand this is a lot for you to take, Roland, and I'm sorry there was no easier way for me to convey this."
"I… I will respect your decision, Master. I know that your every action is in my best interest, including this one," Roland spoke. "And it's been that way ever since—"
A local security officer burst into the room, his expression telling a tale of urgency.
"Master Tristan! Your presence in the field is needed at once! The monsters are going berserk!" Said the officer, still catching his breath. "They're completely unaffected by any of our weapons!"
"Are you certain?"
"Yes, sir," the officer replied.
"We last counted nearly a dozen of them."
"Have there been any injuries?"
"No sir, our men are keeping as much distance as possible, but there's this girl who the monsters appear to be going after."
"Describe the girl to me," Tristan inquired.
"She's about the same age as your student here and has blue hair. She's using magic to keep the monsters at bay but I don't think that she can hold out much longer. Every time we move in to get her out, the monsters block us almost as though they know we're trying to rescue her," the officer responded.
"Very well then. I'll see what I can do," said Tristan, grabbing his sheathed katana. "Students, class is dismissed for the rest of today."
As Tristan headed downstairs he spoke to Roland with his back turned.
"Roland, you're coming with me. I believe this will be a good opportunity for you to show me what you've learned so far and how much you still have left to go on your own. "
"Right away, Master."
With that, the two exited and began their journey to the gates of the town. As they neared them they heard a familiar voice coming from behind.
"Wait! Wait for me!" The voice of Jake cried out.
The two turned to see Jake running after them.
"Jacob Shaia, return home! It's too dangerous outside!" Tristan scolded.
"I know what it is you're up against and I want to help!" Exclaimed Jacob.
"Sorry, Jake, but I very much doubt there's much you can do," said Roland.
"We're ready to go, open the gates," said Tristan to the operator.
Correspondingly, the operator hit a switch on the control panel at his post that caused the massive steel doors to slide open for the two to pass through. On the other side, Tristan signaled for the operator to close the door, in spite of Jake's protests.
"Hey! I can help! You're making a huge mistake!" He cried as the doors slammed shut.
It was a common sight for the people of Ephras to see the lush, rolling plains beyond the fortified walls of the town. This time however, chaos was running rampant.
Things had apparently deteriorated since the officer's report on the situation; the security force was being driven back by a pack of ravenous wolves while the mentioned girl was surrounded by a bevy of vile fiends.
As Roland became lost in surveying the scale of the carnage that was occurring, a security enforcer was tackled to the ground by a wolf and was forced to place his arms it's fanged vice-grip that yearned, instead, for this throat.
Tristan moved like a blur and was soon upon the beast. In the blink of an eye, the feral animal and it's counterparts were dead on the ground without even the slightest indication of ever being attacked.
"Take the rest of your men and flee to safety, my student and I will take care of things here."
With that, Tristan took off again, this time towards the larger crowd.
"Flash!" The blue haired girl cried out as a bolt of lightning shot down from the skies. The electric surge struck and disintegrated the red jelly that charged at her. After felling the foe, she collapsed to her knees before succumbing to the floor.
"Too much… magic…" She murmured before losing consciousness.
The remainder of her attackers: three lizardmen and a goblin, crowed in triumph.
It was short lived as they spun around to see two aggressors charging at them.
Brandishing their short swords, the lizardmen dashed to meet their new opponents, and their demises.
Tristan appeared to dash clean through the first one, the lizardman falling lifelessly to the ground following his departure.
Roland clashed swords with the second, slid his blade off the lizardman's, slashed at it's unarmored shins, and followed up with a sweep across it's throat.
Clutching its crimson spouting neck, the lizardman fell upon it's back and convulsed momentarily.
The third and final lizardman took a huge downwards swing at Roland, only to miss, and catch the length of his blade through it's back as he sped by to join his mentor.
Tristan had the attention of the trident wielding goblin but hesitated to attack. Roland understood his wordless message and charged towards the goblin, sword raised high.
The forked head of the monster's weapon caught Roland's sword by the hilt and wrenched it out of his hands. Seemingly defenseless, the goblin jabbed at the unarmed swordsman.
Roland sidestepped, grabbed the trident by the pole and threw the lightweight goblin over his shoulder. His foe dazed from the impact, he quickly retrieved his weapon and finished it off.
Wiping their blades clean, Roland and Tristan approached the girl's motionless form. The officer spoke true of her: she was young, with hair that was cerulean blue. A beautiful face devoid of blemishes was but one of the fine details the guards were unable to note.
"Roland," said Tristan.
"Take the girl to the inn, tell the keeper it's a request from me."
"Alright, but what will you do out here?"
"I'm going to check around the place. Perhaps I'll find something that will help explain this."
With intent to obey Tristan to the word, Roland knelt down beside the girl, lifted her light frame up into his arms, and began heading back.