A/N: This is Shining Force II in novel form. I did this because Shining Force II is my favorite game in the series and I thought it'd be enjoyable for me to kind of personify the characters as I see them, as well as their thoughts on the situations confronted during the game. I'm not particularly fond of other fics that turn the game into novels, as it tends to lack creativity. You're basically rewriting the game. But it seems to have helped me develop my writing skills more in terms of giving characters personality, especially since the game doesn't go too deep in that aspect. It is also prepping me in many ways to continue my Oddeye fanfic. If you wish to review this, please do, but when it comes to the storyline itself, know that I'm really not in control of that. There's only so much I can do, as the story is already set. Please take that into consideration when reading. Also, my characterizations may differ from the views of others. Its just the way I see them. If you have qualms with that, you can note it, but I'm not likely to change the way they act. Still, any reviews are appreciated, as they'll help me with future works. I plan to finish this, and hopefully alternate updating this and my Oddeye fanfic every chapter to keep my ideas fresh and help me improve. Happy reading =]
"Shut up!" A small hunched figure whispered loudly through the darkness of the shrine. "Just shut your mouths and keep up with me, will you!?" The two figures in tow instantly became silent, their bulky shadows seeming to shrink at the hissing voice of their comrade. The shrine was dank and smelled strongly of mold, and the three of them were surrounded by warm, stagnant air.
"Wait here." the figure hissed. "And try to be quiet." The little hunched figure scurried quickly around a pillar and out of sight, returning only moments later in the same fashion. It made absolutely no sound as it moved.
"Dead end." It whispered to the other two figures. "I think the passage is on the other side. Follow me this time. I don't need you two wandering off."
"We wouldn't…" A deep voice echoed loudly through the darkness of the shrine.
"Shut your mouth, you dolt!" the little figure hissed again. "You're the worst companions ever, the both of you! This place is sacred and heavily patrolled at night! If anyone hears us, we're in deep shit!"
"Sorry." the large figure whispered in a tiny voice. To their surprise, the shrine was suddenly illuminated by a great, bright light from outside. The two large men turned to the doorway, rather startled, and for a single moment, the small figure's rat like ears cast a shadow upon one of the pillars behind him. A moment later, a thunderclap echoed through the small chamber.
"Thunderstorm." The little rat-man cursed, sniffing the air. "I hate the rain. Forget it. Let's keep going." The scaven scurried ahead, going along a different path this time. The two large men followed slowly and quietly behind him.
"Here we are." the scaven whispered. "This is the main chamber." A small chest stood directly in front of them, but the rest of the chamber was completely overwhelmed by the darkness. None of them could possibly see, but the scaven moved ahead without hesitation.
"It's dark." one of the large men observed, turning his head in all directions rather frantically.
"Of course it is." the scaven whispered from somewhere within the darkness before them. "For you."
"You can see?" The other man whispered.
"Yes." The scaven's voice seemed farther away now. "Just come to my voice. I'll pick the lock on the chest and we'll be done with this place." Both men moved forward cautiously, their arms outstretched to the walls to help them move steadily toward their comrade. There was a subtle sound of shuffling ahead of them, and then a small click.
"Got it." with a small creak, the lid of the chest opened. For a moment the two men stopped, and the shuffling silenced.
"This isn't what I'm looking for…" the scaven growled. "Some old elixir. Damnit! Where are those jewels!?" Thunder cracked outside once more, sending a rumbling echo throughout the chamber. The two men turned again with a start.
"Over here!" The scaven's voice echoed from somewhere deeper in the chamber. "Here! There's a light. Come on you idiots!" Trying their best not to stumble over some unseen rubble or loose stone tiles, both men cautiously moved in the direction the scaven's voice had come from. As they moved closer, the chamber became more visible around them, a purple glow somewhere in the distance leading them ahead.
"Look!" the scaven stood in the center of an open room, ahead of him, two dimly glowing jewels were fitted tightly into two separate sockets in the wall. They looked very new in comparison to their surroundings. Even the sockets in which they were fitted seemed to be almost crumbling around them.
"That's them." one of the two men said, his eyes wide. "They're huge! We'll be rich!"
"Keep your voice down!" the scaven hissed, his eyes narrowing. "Now, both of you, grab one and let's get the hell out of here." The two men silently obeyed without hesitation. In the dim glow of the jewels, their huge arms and chests where more apparent. They were both very similar men, wearing green bandanas about the heads, and faded olive robes that were cut from the waist up to reveal their broad, built torsos. They may even have been mistaken for twins at first glance.
They each reached for a separate jewel, tugging first on them rather softly. The jewels refused to budge, though the stone around the sockets seemed to crumble slightly. Slowly, as they both realized the jewels were more tightly fitted into their sockets, they began to tug harder, and harder still. Eventually, both men were straining, both hands gripped tightly around whatever part of the jewel they could grab.
"Gah!" one of the men stumbled backward, having lost his grip on the shining stone and slicing his palm on one of the bluish jewel's sharp edges.
"Idiot!" the scaven gasped after the man had screamed. "Idiot, idiot! I gave you both gold to help me, and this is what I get!? You're both loud and clumsy, move your asses!" The second man backed away from the red jewel he had so fervently been trying to pry from the wall, panting heavily. The first looked at his hand dumbly as blood slowly oozed from the shallow gash in his open palm.
"…but Slade…" the second man panted. "They're impossible. They must be fitted with magic."
"I'll do it. You're hands are too big. I should have realized you'd both be useless." Slade hissed angrily. "I should ask for my gold back." Both men shrunk at that. Slade moved toward the jewels, and, to his comrades' surprise, he grabbed one jewel in each hand. With a tremendous amount of effort, he began to pull on the jewels, both of which glowed brilliantly as he dug his fingers into the frail stone around them. Thunder cracked once again, rumbling through the shrine. Slade pulled ever harder, growling with frustration. Finally, he let go, and backed away, panting heavily.
"No…" he gasped. "That didn't work."
"I told you." the man with the bloodied palm had risen. Thunder cracked again outside.
"Please, why are you still speaking…?" Slade whined, annoyed but too tired to scold his comrade. "Just stand and watch me." Slade grabbed both jewels again, digging his nimble fingers once more underneath the jewels and struggling to tear them from their sockets. As he pulled, though, he also twisted his hands. The jewels seems to respond, glowing ever brighter, and twisting subtly in their sockets with Slade's hands.
"Coooome oooooon." Slade growled between clenched teeth. Thunder burst somewhere directly above the shrine, crackling heavily just as the jewels were torn from their eternal places of rest.
"The candles…" the king looked slowly around from his comfortable spot on his throne. "There's a draft somewhere, I guess." The candles at either side of the throne had gone out, leaving only curling wisps of smoke whirling slowly from their wicks. A green robed man stood before the throne, also looking slowly around the darkened room, trying to adjust his eyes to the new blackness that had enveloped the both of them.
"I'll summon someone to relight them…" the robed man moved forward slowly, trying his best not to stumble in the darkness. Lightning flashed throughout the great throne room, illuminating it for moment, followed quickly by a rumbling thunderclap. Another blinding bolt of lighting crashed somewhere outside, shaking the castle even before the thunder had followed a second later. The green robed man turned quickly to the large windows that stood behind the throne, his mouth agape as the rumbling continued even after the thunder had subsided.
"The tower!" the man gasped. "The lightning struck the tower!" Just outside, several large chunks of rubble toppled from the ancient tower just behind the castle, falling infinitely down over the cliffs behind it. The crash as each large chunk of stone met with the cliff side echoed and rumbled.
"It doesn't look too badly damaged…" the king observed in a rather reserved voice. "Just part of the battlement. Minister, please relight these candles." The minister looked at the king, almost puzzled. The king was always very calm and reserved, even in tense times. It's what made him a decent ruler.
"At once." the minister said after a moment, turning again from the throne and moving slowly toward the stairwell to summon a soldier. Before he could go very far, though, a soldier appeared at the top of the stairs, bearing a torch.
"Minister!" the soldier called as he stumbled down the stairs.. "The tower!"
"I know. I saw it. It's not that big a deal." the minister grimaced. "That old tower is surprisingly strong."
"Yes, but…" the soldier was panting at this point. "The door. The door to the tower has opened!"
"What!?" the minister's eyes widened, and the lines on his aged face became apparent in the glow of the torchlight. "The ancient door has been closed since Granseal was built. That's impossible."
"Come see for yourself." The soldier panted.
"Your majesty?" The minister half turned back to his king.
"Go take a look." The king said from his throne. "I'll wait here." Without a word, the minister and the soldier were gone up the stairway, and the king remained alone in the darkness of the throne room. Lighting flashed again, and thunder rumbled somewhere overhead. The king shuddered as a draft passed over him, and lightning flashed repeatedly outside, illuminating a shadow just above one of the large windows at the king's back. The draft passed again, but after it had gone, a strange whistling sound remained. It was almost as if a strong wind were blowing through the large hall, but there was none.
"What is that…?" The king said aloud, slowly turning to look back over his shoulder. Hovering quite still in front of a window was a shadowy figure, cloaked in darkness, only the dim natural light of the outside lighting it's silhouette. For a moment, the king thought it may have been a banner fallen loose from it's place higher above on the wall. It was not. The lightning flashed and thunder cracked, lighting the room, and, for an instant, revealing a grotesque lime face on the figure hovering just behind the throne. It began to move.
"Who are you!?" The king choked as he realized that this creature was approaching him, it's green skin becoming more apparent in the darkness as it grew closer. It made no reply, only hissed an incantation, and the king was enveloped in a strange pillar of air, throwing him to the tile floor with a heavy thud, and knocking him out completely. The lightning flashed, the thunder crackled and boomed, and the thing was gone.