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Ankama Trackers

Shadow of the God-King

By GrimackReapum#1574 - MEMBER - September 16, 2015, 18:04:14

“What have I done?” This thought kept echoing in Adamai’s head as he followed the mysterious Lady Echo silently down a dark tunnel. It seemed as they had been walking for hours, but to Adamai it could have been days or mere minutes: he was hardly watching his surroundings.

Not that there was much to see though. Even in the dim light of their torches it was plain to see that this was one of the many barren, empty caverns of the World of Twelve. They always have been a dime a dozen and with Ogrest’s flood receding, there were emerging more of them every day. The speleologist guilds of Bonta were hard pressed to keep their ‘Exhaustive list of every cave, cavern, crevice, grotto and large hole in the ground in the World of Twelve’ up to date.

But this was not what was plaguing Adamai. He was still trying to wrap his head around the events since his first meeting with Echo and his subsequent falling-out with Yugo. He still stood by his beliefs from that day and thought that what Yugo did was wrong, but why in the Goddess’s name did he walk out on his friends? After all they’d been through together.

Especially his brother: he meant everything to him. They had been bound throughout the history of the Krosmoz and were meant to lead and protect their people together. And still, there was something about this woman, this creature that felt so familiar to him. Trusting and following her seemed so natural that he didn’t even think about it back in the Sadida Kingdom.

But in these dark corridors, his thoughts wandered back to Zinit and Qilby’s betrayal. Was he walking into the same trap again? Had he once more been too trusting and was he played like a puppet? Maybe he’d better prepare for the worst and… “We’re here,” Echo spoke into the silence. Adamai looked in disbelief as they stood before a plain stone wall: The tunnel just ended, with no markings, no doors, nothing.

“What’s the big idea? There is nothing here. What is this place?” Slowly the horned woman turned towards him and smiled slightly: “One of the darker places of the world, away from prying eyes, divine meddling or interferance.” Adamai looked at her in disbelief: “We walked out into the open, in fields and towns, without worry and now we have to hide in a hole? Are you serious?”

Echo kept her calm and spoke almost maternally : “Yes. Because what I’m about to show you is far more fragile and breakable than the two of us. It cannot be known by the world at large.” The little dragon raised his eyebrow as she turned back towards the wall and made a few hand gestures.

At first nothing happened, but when she started to incant in an unknown language, symbols lit up in a circle-like pattern on the wall. After a while, lines lit up between the symbols, creating a large circle on the wall. “A Zaap?” Adamai whispered, “All the way down here?” “Something like that,” Echo smiled mysteriously as the portal opened.

She reached out her hand towards the young dragon: “Now Adamai, do you trust me?” Inside his head a bunch voices were screaming out: “Back away! Flee to safety! Attack her!” but all he could do was put his claw in her hand. “I knew you would,” and slowly they walked through the blue doorway. Adamai braced himself for what he would witness on the other end, but what he did see there surpassed even his wildest imaginations.

The zaap had teleported them to the edge of an entire city beneath the ground. The entire scene had an ancient feel to it with most buildings being pyramidal in shape, adorned with large pillars, statues of cloaked men and stone braziers. Yet there was something alien about it too, as all of them were filled with familiar lines and symbols, giving off a soft blue glow throughout the city.

Adamai could sense that they were definitely underground, but the sheer size of the cave gave the impression of an endless dark abyss above the city, almost like the night sky. This imagery was only enforced by the soft twinkling of small crystals in the ceiling of the cave reflecting the lights below.

“Welcome to our home, Adamai,” said Lady Echo as they started to descend towards the city, “Let me introduce you to our people.” “Our people?” the dragon mumbled, “what in Grougaloragran’s name could we have in common?” But his travel companion didn’t need to answer that question as a few moments later he got a first glance at the citizens of this mysterious place.

“It… It can’t be,” he stammered in disbelief, “Those hats… those outfits…” His eyes welled up with tears as he saw a group of people dressed as Eliatropes walking through the city streets. He flew up immediately and rushed the closest group. “How can this be?” he asked out loud as he reached one of the Eliatropes. “How did you survive? Are you part of Balthazar’s group? Did he…”

But his voice got caught in his throat as the young man turned around. That was not the face of an Eliatrope: snow white skin, grey hairs, dark blue lines around the mouth and the eyes. And the eyes… deep blue eyeballs…. Just like Qilby’s! Adamai recoiled in horror, only to bump into Echo that had caught up with him.

“What are these… these things?” he almost screamed at Echo, pointing at the now scared youth. “Calm down, all of you.” The sight of the horned woman actually seemed to calm the white-skinned boy and even attracted the attention of other people nearby:“Lady Echo!” “So glad you’ve returned to us, my Lady!” “Where have you been?” “We were so worried.”

She raised one hand and smiled: “Thank you, my friends. I will come back to you as soon as possible, but first I have to explain a few things to our little dragon friend here.” The crowd turned its attention towards Adamai: “A dragon?” “A real live dragon?” “Let me see.” “Amazing” “He’s so small” “He looks like my Friendrake.”

Adamai was still in shock from this latest revelation and stood transfixed as the crowd closed in on him. But one look from Lady Echo was enough to halt them in their tracks and move away quietly, leaving Echo and Adamai to themselves. “I am sorry, that didn’t quite go as I expected,” she said as she softly ushered the young dragon away from the city, where by now the news of her return with a dragon was spreading like wildfire.

Adamai’s racing thoughts finally reached his lips and erupted in a flurry of questions :“What have you done? What are those abominations? What am I doing here? Who… WHO are you?!” Echo pointed at a stone bench nearby: “Please, sit down and I will tell you all you need to know.” For a moment Adamai wanted to stand his ground, but then realised that would be utterly pointless at this point, seeing how he knew even less than he did before he followed Echo down here.

“Thank you,” Echo thanked him as he sat down beside her. “Now, let me start by shedding some light on the current situation and how we got here. As you may have guessed by now, the people living down here are not the Eliatropes as you know them, but rather a shadow of them, or more specific, one of them, created by the activation of the 6 Eliatrope Dofus.” Adamai’s eyes widened: “Yugo? He did this? But how? It just happened a few weeks ago… how did they manage to build this entire city?”

“That is were you are mistaken, Adamai. That was not the first time the 6 Dofus were used together by Yugo and it won’t be the last.” She paused to let her last statement sink in, but before Adamai could pose a question, she continued: “Let me be more specific: it is the first time Yugo did so in this timeline, but by doing so, he projected parts of himself through time, both in the past as in the future, thus creating new Eliotropes all over time. And that he has done in many timelines before this one.”

“But… such a thing must have completely destroyed the timeline, messing with history like that?” “The first time it almost did. Back then Xelor barely managed to preserve it and it took a great deal of effort from him -and the other gods, after some convincing- to restore it. Even the God of Time had not been able to prevent this, so imagine his anger at the Eliatrope King for causing such catastrophy.

“But you don’t become the God of Time by acting too rashly: he knew that the very existence of the little Eliatrope was woven tightly with the future and past of the World of Twelve, thus eliminating him was out of the question. His ‘abominations’ scattered all over time on the other hand held no such privilege. His first act was to sever them from the flow of time, minimizing their effect on the timestream.”

“How do you disconnect someone from time?” “By making it so that they leave no imprint on the world or its history. An Eliotrope that dies is instantly forgotten and all his works or other achievements are disconnected from his name or being. The Eliotropes today don’t know who built their city or their technology, who wrote their books. They even forget their parents, friends and loved ones the moment they pass.”

Echo looked truly sad at this point: “It is a fate worse than death, a meaningless life.” Adamai looked back at the city, at the kids playing with portals and couldn’t help a shiver running down his back. “But that was but the first step of Xelor’s plan: after isolating the problem, he sent out all his available agents and guardians to wipe out these temporal anomalies.” She clenched her fist and the feathers of her ‘cape’ started to ruffle.

“Devoid of a future, no knowledge of a past and hunted down in the present: a truly miserable way of being, constantly fleeing, in fear. And no matter how good you survive, forgotten in the end. The first Eliotropes were dead before they hardly knew they were alive. In time a few learned how to survive and helped new arrivals to endure. It has been a struggle for survival, for a very existence since then.”

Adamai, still looking at the playing children, pondered this: “Yet these … eliotropes seem rather at peace, unlike the hounded refugees you described.” “Because I deceided to intervene.” “You? You have the power to go against the gods? What are you?” “I am what the first Eliotropes started to believe in when they came to this world. I am who they prayed to when they were hunted down by the agents of Xelor.”

“You are… a god?” Adamai stammered. She smiled thinly: “Not one of the major gods, but I was created by the Eliotropes in search for something to hold on to in their time of need. In their collective memory were vague images of you and Yugo and the other Eliatropes and their subconscious distilled those images into… well, me.”

Adamai had a hard time believing he was sitting next to a goddess, but then again, there was something unmistakably mystical about her. And not just her otherwordly looks. “So you took on Xelor and the other gods to protect your people?” Echo almost let out a laugh: “Hardly. I’m still no match for the entire pantheon of the World of Twelve, but I have learned a lot during the eternal cycle of rebirth.”

“Rebirth?” “When your brother unleashed the Dofus, he created a time loop in which I and the other Eliotropes exist. Every loop gives a slightly different reality, but in every cycle you two still manage to retrieve the 6 eggs and at some point use them to defeat a great evil, thus restarting the loop. And everytime I was recreated by the young Eliotropes, I brought with me the knowledge of the past.” “

After a while I had learned that in the end, neither fighting the gods out in the open or hiding underground were solutions that kept my people safe. They would always find us and they would always defeat us. So I had to find another way to beat them at their own game. And then it hit me: I had to make myself and our people as intertwined with history as our creators. Then Xelor wouldn’t dare to erase us.”

“But for this I would need allies and networks beneath the surface, unseen by the gods. In my many years I had learned of creatures who existed ‘outside‘ the watchful eyes of the gods, like their illegitimate children, the demigods. Together with those of them that were malcontent with the ways of their parents, I created the Forgotten Brotherhood, an organization aimed at ending the divine rule of our world.”

“But without the gods that created this world, there would be chaos, anarchy,” Adamai argumented. “I don’t know if that would be the best course of action. Maybe you should reconsider…” Now Echo grinned, almost maliciously: “Oh, but it’s far too late to turn back now, dear Adamai. Things have already been set in motion as far back as the time of the Dofus and on this day we are closer to our goal then ever.”

“The gods are powerless since they have sacrificied their powers and memories to preserve their very existence. The threat of their counterpart, Ogrest, is also nullified thanks to Yugo, so there are no more obstacles to proceed to the final step.” “The final step?” Adamai echoed worriedly. It became terrifyingly clear that Lady Echo had been planning all of this meticulously for a very long time and had forseen every possible bump in the road.

“Yes, that is where you come in, my friend.” She rose up from the bench and put her hand on the trembling shoulder of the dragon. “You and your brother are unwittingly at the core of this wave of change crashing through the reality of time and space. Now it is time for you both to take up your responsibility.” Adamai pulled away and flew up a few meters: “What are you talking about, you mad woman? Yugo never meant for all this to happen!”

“Maybe so, but he continued with his plan, even after we warned him several times. He even ignored your advice, so you can hardly say that he is without blame.” Adamai hesitated for a moment. Why was she doing this? It made no sense. Why did she try to stop Yugo from using the Dofus while she knew that was the cataclyst she needed for her Eliotropes. As Echo remained almost stoic during his defiance, he had the feeling she knew what he was going to decide even before he knew.

“What are you expecting from us?” he said eventually. “Very simple,” she smiled, “For you two to take up your rightful place as the only god in the World of Twelve.” “WHAT?!” “You created your own race, you saved the world from both the tiranny of the gods and the Ogre, you are the true defenders of our world. You are true gods. Thus you should sit on its throne and govern it with compassion and righteousness. Just as you did for your people, the Eliatropes, so long ago.”

Adamai slowly descended as he was at a loss for words. “This… this is insane. I mean… How… We are no gods. We are two youngsters still needing to learn so much. What you ask for is impossible!” “Don’t worry, we of the Brotherhood will be there to guide you and council you where needed. But we need a strong hand and a pure heart. No other but you two would be deserving of the title of God-King.”

Adamai stammered: “I… I need to talk to Yugo.” “Of course you do. And you will, at the right time. For the moment your brother is still too defiant and too confused for us to reach. But with your help, I’m sure we’ll help him see that godhood is the only way to restore this world to its former self. Now come, let me show you the proud people you created,” and with a gentle push, Echo guided the little dragon back towards the city of Eliotropes.

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Score : 51

Not bad at all!!
Not sure about the Eliotropes worshiping Echo but the whole city part... I love it!

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Score : 4691

Although there are significant differences, it is funny to see some elements of this tale return in season 3 :-)

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