Prologue Part One - Guise of Disaster:
Kevin Lighthearter groaned, pushing himself somewhat upright on his right hand. He saw around him the others, all trying vainly to rise. Prince Asona of the elven kingdom of Ethara, his arcane sword Antomore resting on the cobblestones, steam pouring from it. Lady Agente, half-sister of King Mitenov of Jinon and the last Oracle – one of the incredibly powerful sorceresses that had been extinct on Haven for thousands of years – reaching for the Ring of Iphre, perhaps hoping to unleash its incredible power. If she could figure out how to access it in the heat of battle, that is.
Clementine, one of the young Greater Dragons and a stalwart ally of Lighthearter and his “Crusaders” lay gasping only thirty feet away, the massive dent in the stone wall she’d been thrown into evidence of her pain. Ishhrggen, the renegade Zelkonian snakeman who refused to fight for the slave trade, hissing as he pushed the large wooden beam off his chest from where he lay near Clementine. Assuming he did that, he’d still have the one across his four legs to contend with.
But most terrifying to Lighthearter was Laiin. The twin sister of the King, the Lady Asmeelta – the most deadly assassin in the world – a powerful mage, a fellow student of the great wizard Keneven lay on the pavement, completely unconscious. Lighthearter was torn between fear and rage as he saw the woman he loved breathing steadily with a trickle of blood running down her face.
Lighthearter himself was a Gyrean Ranger, one of the guardians of the wilds and the innocent peoples of the North. His and Laiin’s first meeting had been when she, blackmailed by the slaving Syndicate Lighthearter fought with her half-sister’s life – the very one who now tried to marshal her Oracular powers – tried to kill him. Of course, she had failed, and the Syndicate (who actually didn’t have Agente, as Lighthearter had rescued her from a group of slavers that took her from the Syndicate’s clutches by accident) responded by trying to murder her.
She had survived and sought him out, and after a – misunderstanding where he knocked her unconscious and almost killed her, they had worked together to try and end the Syndicate. That had led to Fukouka, the Dark Lord, trying to kill them both at the holy mountain of the Moon God, Cennet. He almost succeeded. He would have, too, if not for Moonfire.
Lighthearter once again thought of the emerald-bladed magic hand-and-a-half sword that the Progenitor, master god of Haven, had given him. It could cut through stone, kill arcane/divine beings, and would never chip. But that was just the start. Preserved inside the blade was the soul and mind of a warrior of a long-dead world and race. Allahnrah, champion of the world of Gasaia, had been the single greatest hero in the history of reality – from the memories Lighthearter had seen. Unfortunately, he had been forced to watch his world be destroyed and his species rendered extinct one battle at a time, with damn all he could do to stop it.
He wasn’t just a mentor though. Allahnrah could – and had demonstrated in the past that he would – take over Lighthearter’s body if he saw the need. When he seized control Lighthearter would see himself do impossible things – like jump from thousands of feet in the air but land perfectly unharmed and ready to fight – because Allahnrah’s body had been able to. Allahnrah had simply explained that his mind made Lighthearter’s body that strong – like some sort of ultimate version of the Oracular maxim – “A strong mind perceives its own reality”.
Lighthearter remembered the sword taking control of him in those desperate few minutes after Fukouka battered him into a pulp. Healing his broken arm even as the building burned around him, and then easily lifting the stone pillar off Laiin’s broken legs and effortlessly carrying her out of the flames before healing her.
And that wasn’t even counting that Fukouka would have killed her directly later if Lighthearter hadn’t rammed the sword into his heart. Unfortunately, a man they’d counted out seemed to be a lot more important then they’d thought at the time.
Lighthearter, Agente and Laiin had all had their run-ins with a woman named Esther, who they assumed was a servant of Fukouka for her constant references to her service to the Dark Lord. She had invaded all of their minds several times, trying to break them.
And no one had wondered about the Syndicate henchman named Athers who had fought all of them individually to a standstill, always seemed to be there when Syndicate forces made a significant move, and hung around Esther. A lot.
Lighthearter snarled as he looked up at Athers. The man was standing almost casually in the middle of the circle of devastated heroes, a cloak billowing behind him in the city wind, having just written I am darkness in fire on an apartment building. Esther stood next to him, a look of almost sickening adoration on her – admittedly beautiful – face. She suddenly jumped at Athers, her jet-black hair cascading behind her. She threw her arms about him.
“I knew you were far more then them!” She cried, trying to kiss him. “Wonderful!”
Athers raised one hand – maybe one finger – and pushed her a good three feet back casually. “Later.” He said in that sickeningly superior-yet-normal explaining-things-to-a-child voice that no one equated with pure evil. He grinned, looking at the Crusaders. Or, to be more accurate, Lighthearter thought grimly, what’s left of us after he fought. He can’t be mortal!
Lighthearter gripped the hilt of the sword and snarled. He shoved himself upright – barely making it in one push – and swung the blade back, not bothering to yell a war cry. Athers turned. Lighthearter swung downwards. Athers caught the blade on the back of his palm – earning a shocked expression from Lighthearter – and then slammed a fist into the ranger’s gut, sending him flying a good twenty feet before hitting the ground.
Athers laughed, a red light appearing in his palm. “Pathetic. I expected a challenge from you people, you know.” He raised his fist, then paused. He grinned and pointed his hand at Laiin. Lighthearter felt time slow down as the colored orb exploded into crackling lightning and flame, then jumped – so slowly, it seemed, from Athers’ hand and towards Laiin.
The next thing he knew, he was on his back between her and Laiin, and Moonfire was glowing a dull red. Everything in his body ached even more then it had, and he felt the fiery tendrils of Allahnrah’s control slipping away.
Unfortunately, Moonfire spat the red orb at Esther an instant later. Even more unfortunately, Esther tried to catch it with another one.
“Stop, you idiot!” Athers cried. Later Lighthearter would realize he spoke before Esther had even started casting. Regardless, he was too late.
The explosion of light blinded Lighthearter, and he felt himself falling backwards, rolling in the air, while brilliant light came from all sides. As suddenly as it began it stopped, and he slammed onto his back. He groaned again, climbing upright –
And he stopped dead.
Ahead lay the skyline of a city he’d never seen before.
“Wonderful.” He whispered.
Just what we need. He heard Allahnrah’s voice.
What is this place? He asked.
How should I know? I barely know the places you’re around often!
Lighthearter reflected that this was going to be a fun adventure.
Athers stood silent. Esther shrank back further then she would if he had been screaming at her. The man’s cloak was on fire, too. Another result of my stupid decision! He’s not going to let me off easy this time! Esther cringed – inside and out – at that thought.
But then “Athers”, master being of everything dark and twisted, the physical incarnation of sheer evil, smiled. He even laughed. Esther somehow realized that “Athers” was gone. Now his true self was speaking. Evil grabbed his cloak and extinguished it in a single squeeze of his fist.
“Perhaps not such a disaster after all.” He said with that maniacal grin as he looked at the Reichstag ahead. He looked over his shoulder at his apprentice, who waiting in terror for him to punish her for her failure. He reached out his hand – and pulled her up beside him.
“Now then, m’dear.” Evil said happily. “Let’s go wreck this world.”
Hello all, I'm LH(as you can probably guess)! This is my latest venture into the world of HOI AARing, and I'd like to share a few pointers about this before we go any further.
- Theme Song
- All the characters you've seen so far are straight from my book. I'm going to be blunt here - I'm using this AAR to build their characters and fight my writer's block. Soon enough some will appear that aren't in the book though.
- This is something of a crossover story - it has a lot of elements from The Last Prophecy(the book), but takes a lead from my old LMCP AAR in another character who'll appear and he's in turn based off of Merlin Athrawes in David Weber's Safehold books.
- If you have any thoughts, please don't hesitate to voice them!
I'll try to keep this one going, but I'll make no promises. I don't have a wonderful track record with AARs, but I'll shoot for at least this summer. Which at this rate will be about when I finish the first draft of TLP anyway
Anyway, comment as you will! More will follow over the weekend explaining my start a bit!
Prologue - Of Heroes and Villains
Part One: Guise of Catastrophe(above)
Part Two: More Then it Seems
Part Three: Three Worlds Collide
Part Four: In for the Long Haul
Chapter One - Hammerfist
Part One: Blitzkrieg
Part Two: Paris Burning
Part Three: The Last Oracle
Part Four: June In France
Part Five: The Strength To Carry On
Chapter Two - Desert Rats
Part One: Blood and Guts
Part Two: The Problem with Dreams
Part Three: The Russians are Coming!(Coming soon!)
Part Four: Behold the Camelry(Coming soon!)
Part Five: The Desert Fox(Coming soon!)
Part Six: The Worst is Not Yet(Coming soon!)