Yo. What's up? New story (obviously). First Mar story. (cue the applause). No no you're too kind. o-o

Anyways, the story will be the thrid war games and the possibility of amrs going bye bye for good. Read and Review alright. I find I work faster if I'm rushed.

Disclaimer- not mine unless the author wants to sell it

It seemed like déjà vu. Just a few years ago, the people of Marchen have experienced the horrors of war. They have defeated the Chess Pieces in the War Games with the help of the Otherworlder Ginta. Now it seemed like the peace they have earned was about to end.

"People of Mar heaven. Please listen to me. I don't have much time. Caldia has declared war. You must gather your forces and prepare for the attack!" a familiar voice said.

The voice belonged to one of the most well-known people in Mar heaven. Her trademark black witch's robe, her braided blonde hair, and her confidence identified her. The image the people of Mar heaven saw on the moon, courtesy of the dark reflector ἅrm, was different from what they expected. Her robes tattered, her hair a mess, and her voice weak, she seemed so different from what they remembered. Yet they knew better than to ignore the warning.

Within hours, the most powerful fighters gathered in anticipation for the coming attack. Among them were war legends. In the Cross Guard army, Alan, Gaira, and Alviss stood by the sides of their king and princess. The princess Snow herself was a veteran of the war. Though dressed in a long blue dress, she would not be participating in the fighting. In stark contrast to her, the three veterans were dressed in white armor and battle ready. Right now though, these people were gathered in the king's throne room, formulating a plan.

"Alviss. What do you make of Dorothy's warning?" Gaira asked the young soldier.

Alviss shook his head, "I wish it wasn't true but she would not lie about this."

"It could have been a fake aiming to throw Mar heaven into chaos once more. Saying that the birthplace of ἅrms would declare war on us would serve that purpose well," Gaira offered.

"No. The Dark Reflector is a very rare ἅrm only Peta of the Chess used. Dorothy said the only other copy rested in Caldia. And with Phantom teleporting the body to who knows where, we have to assume the message was real," Alan dismissed the idea.

Alviss looked deep in thought, "Still though, for Caldia to raise an army against us is too fantastic of an idea. They were our allies in the last War Games."

"Maybe they want something and if we give them what they want, they'll leave," the king threw in.

The others nodded their heads. Snow added, "That is the most logical conclusion. For Caldia to want war though, what could be so important?"

"Arms. They want all the ἅrms to be returned to Caldia," a voice said from behind.

Everyone turned and gasped. In front of them was Dorothy, tattered, bloody, and about ready to faint. She took one step forward and almost fell forward. Alviss rushed forth and caught her right before she fell.

She glanced up and smiled, "Sorry Al."

Then she looked at the king and heavily said, "Caldia no longer trusts the people of the lower world to keep ἅrms in their possession. If you do not return all the ἅrms, then they will attack with their full might."

The lower world was a term Caldians used to refer to the land below their floating home. For some this was a derogatory term for the inhabitants of the rest of Mἅr. When Dorothy used it though, they knew she said it with no malice or ill will.

"But why?" the king mumbled.

"Because your careless use of these powerful treasures have forced Caldia to act," a new voice said from behind them.

He too was a familiar face. After all, the man was the Great Elder of Caldia, the one who helped them win the last War Games with the gift of new guardian ἅrms. Dressed in a long black robe with a warlock's hat to match, his pupil-less eyes and emotionless face was still a disturbing sight to the people present.

The king stumbled for words, "Wh-why now?"

"It's been a long time coming. It was only because of my and one other member of the high court that we didn't take action sooner. Now even he has turned against you," the Great Elder sighed.

"The high court of Caldia is comprised of three members. There is one woman and two men. To pass any decision, there must be a two thirds vote before it can be taken for a popular vote. If all three agree though, then the decision becomes law," Dorothy explained before a coughing fit took her.

When it was over, she continued, "Don't act like it was their fault. There was no popular vote so you must have agreed as well."

All eyes turned to the Great Elder. He took in his audience's eyes and said unrepentant, "That is of little importance. Caldia offers you a choice. Will there be war or will you return the ἅrms back to their homeland?"

Now the attention was at the king and he did not yield, "My people have been in the presence of ἅrms for their entire lives. I will not make this choice for them. If Caldia wants war, then let war show you all the dedication of the world's people."

There was a sense of approval from everyone in the room towards the king. Even the Great Elder was nodding his head in approval. He walked forward towards the king and produced an hourglass.

"I respect your choice so I will offer you this. Neither Caldia nor the Lower World wishes for unnecessary bloodshed. So I propose a third and final War Games. We will enter on opposing sides and our forces do battle. In the end, whichever side wins will choose the fate of the realm," the Great Elder said.

"Interesting but what do you mean by sides?" the king scratched his chin.

"The battle will not be limited to Cross Guard and Caldia. Individuals may enter. Only the strongest will win," the Great Elder said.

Alan stepped in and angrily stated, "This will turn into a massacre."

"No. One may surrender as in the previous games," the Elder rebutted.

"Still, if a great evil should win then both lands would be plunged into chaos," Alviss interjected.

The Elder looked undisturbed, "If that should happen, then so be it."

Snow gasped. Her gasp turned everyone's attention to her and she quickly said, "That's horrible. How can you be so unfazed at the thought of your people being slaughtered?"

"Their lives are their own. Unless they act against Caldia, what they do is of no concern of mine. For that reason, Dorothy must be punished for her betrayal," the Elder pointed a bony finger at Dorothy who was by now on the brink of consciousness.

"You can't have her, "Alviss brought out the Thirteen Totem Pole Rod version in hand and held it up. Snow followed suit with the Ice Sword. Alan and Gaira both took sides between the Elder.

"Very well. It matters little at this junction. Do you agree to my terms?" the Elder dismissed Dorothy and turned to the king.

"I suppose we have no choice," the king slunk his shoulders in exasperation.

The Elder held up the forgotten hourglass and spoke softly, "Then it is done. In one month's time, the third War Games will begin. When this hourglass is finished, it will signal the coming of the beginning of the end."

With that, he vanished with Andata. Everyone was at a loss for words. No one was able to do or say anything. Snow finally regained her wits and told Alviss to get Dorothy to the healers. Alviss gave a slight bow of respect and carried the now unconscious Dorothy bridal style out of the room.

Alan started smoking a cigar, "If this should happen, chances are another Otherworlder will be called. And this time, we do not have the means to call another one."

The king spoke up, "No. We have one. I kept it a secret so no one would steal it but now is the time."

He reached behind the throne and pulled out a music box. He wound it three times and it opened up. Music filled the room. Near the end of the song, a small click was heard. The king reached in and pulled out an ἅrm, the Gatekeeper Clown.

"How?" Gaira asked incredulously.

"The music box was a gift from Snow's mother. The ἅrm was given to me one day by my father, the previous king. Now I suppose the gift must be used," the king had a wistful look on his face.

"My lord, if you are not sure then-," Alan protested.

But the king cut him off, "What king looks after himself before his people? Now go call forth another warrior."

"By your command," Alan and Gaira both bowed and left leaving Snow and her father.

"For all our sakes, let's hope this warrior will be a friend," the king solemnly said.