Prelude: Just a Nightmare?

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Prelude: Just a Nightmare?

Post by Nanaba on Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:51 pm

Scene: Bjornholm, Imperial Capital of Franconia, year 116

Anastasia, the newly-appointed court mage, fell into slumber after a night of celebration for the birth of her two closest friends' daughter. Delia, Delia, Delia, she thought, just before falling asleep. I'll enjoy seeing her grow into a fine, upstanding princess!

What she saw next shattered her euphoria.

Emperor Karl, recently-crowned Emperor of Franconia, pale and coughing blood on his deathbed.
The mountains ringing the River Tanais in Arcadia shooting toward the sky.
Dirk, her close friend and colleague, discovered dead in one of Bjornholm's canals.
Franconian troops disembarking from a warship to seize a leveled Delphi, Imperial Capital of Trebizond.
A haggard Empress Michaela, flanked by people in dark robes, facing a firing squad in a dimly-lit prison.
The soothing, peaceful winds of Alamein growing violent and destructive, wreaking havoc across its Valley of the Monasteries.
The lush forests of Tabaristan, in northern Cyrenaica, ablaze.
Volcanoes swallowing people, towns, and farms in Yuchi, the large peninsula to the north of Sui.
A massive tsunami battering Sui, the capital of Taira.
A sinister, mighty stranger wearing Franconia's military insignia cackling.
An unknown army marching on Bjornholm.
Finally, Walpurgisnacht, the Dark Dragon of old, rising from his slumber at the peak of Mount Gott.

Anastasia's eyes bolted open, and she clutched her chest. …A nightmare. A really bad one, at that. But was it just a nightmare?

She had to talk with Zacharias about this.

Scene: Delphi, Imperial Capital of Trebizond, year 116

Emperor Karl had granted Anastasia a short period of leave before his campaign of military expansion to the northeast of Gerau was to begin. Now in Delphi, where she spent her youth studying at the city's world-renowned Imperial Academy and developing her signature Zeus tome, she searched for her old headmaster, Zacharias, now retired and living in a modest house within the city.

After what seemed like hours perusing the narrow, maze-like streets of Delphi, she knocked on a door. This has to be the place! Moments later, she was pleased to see a beaming Zacharias. "Come on in, Anastasia!"

Over a pot of coffee in the living room, the two discussed her nightmare. "So what do you think it means, Headmaster?"

Zacharias furrowed his eyes. "Your dream…seems to be a prophesy. A war between Trebizond and Franconia…spreading across the continent…and natural disasters ravaging the other nations on the continent…and finally, the return of the Dark Dragon…Anastasia, I believe the dragon Forseti was warning you of what will happen in the future."

Anastasia nodded pensively. "I suspected as much. In that case, Headmaster, I would like to get to my second question: what shall we do? Can this bereaved future be averted?"

Zacharias smiled sadly. "I'm afraid I do not have the answer. All I can do is advise you to inform your emperor and your fellow High Commanders of what will transpire. …I won't be of this world for much longer, as I'm sure you're aware. I will not see the catastrophes you foresaw, but you certainly will. ...You are exceptionally gifted. Not only to graduate from the Academy at such a young age, but to harness the power of Mount Delphi! Your generation is a capable one, Anastasia, and I have no doubt that your generation's children will be similarly capable. When the Dark Dragon returns…you'll find a way to banish him back beneath the depths of Gerau."

Anastasia nodded and thanked him for his time. Moments later, she was back in Bjornholm, exhausted by the toll the Warp Powder had taken on her body. That night, she told her closest friends of the prophesy. Everything will work out in the end…with Emperor Karl, Empress Michaela, Dirk and Charlotte at my side, we can save Franconia—nay, Gerau—from the impending disaster.


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