by Frodo

My life changed the day I died. I will not say if it was for better or for worse. It is not for me to judge. It is for God. I know I'm damned as a heathen, but sometimes I feel that Pentagram is wrong, and that God will forgive me. I just don't know.

I'm rambling again. I've got to stop that. It's funny. I never used to do that. But since I've realized that I'm going to die, and by my daughter's hand, most likely, I have suddenly started rambling. But, that's not the point of this writing. The reason I'm writing this is as a warning for those who pursue the forbidden Originals.

As I've already said, my life changed the day I died. How can that, be, you will most likely ask. I myself am not entirely sure why I am here writing this, since I'm technically dead. However, I know the real reason that I'm my life is now a living hell. It's because the Original Kartia of Life was used.

I was escorting the Original Kartia of Life and Death back to Pentagram. It was my duty as an Inquirer. Of course, I should have known that thieves would attack. I was lax, and I allowed my companions to let their guard down. We were taken completely by surprise, and I was killed.

However, that's ancient history. It seems almost a millennia has passed since I lost Shell, but I know it's only been a few years. My life has changed so much since then...

I don't think Aile ever thought that I would be a heathen. Shell had shocked him when she used the Original, but I think the shock that I was a heathen was worse. That I had dabbled in the black powers the Originals offered was unthinkable.

My parting words shocked him more, though. That he was to take Lacryma in as his own daughter and to have a false burial for myself, it was almost too much for him. I suppose that's why he was simply a Bishop and not an Inquirer. I shouldn't judge though. It is not I who should do that, but God.

After I left him, I was consumed by loneliness. It was the first time in many years that I had gone without the companionship of my wife, Shell. I dreamed of one day being with her. It was possible, I learned, if one used the Original Human Kartia.

To say I was obsessed with finding the Original was a gross understatement. From that point on, the only reason for my living was to find it, or create it, whichever I had to do.

Shortly after I left Aile, I met Raguruzet. In the past, we had been enemies, but now, we met under different circumstances. We were both Heathens, condemned to die by the law. However, neither of us planned to do that.

The place our paths crossed, and Akueldo began, was in a seedy tavern somewhere in Idorus. The name of the town escapes my memory. He had heard of my death, as had most in Rebus, but unlike most, he recognized my face.

"Damn you, Inquirer," he hissed. "Even in death you pursue me! What is it with your kind? Can your souls only rest after your mission is finished."

I smiled, pulling a chair out from the table he was seated at. "All my missions have been terminated indefinitely. As you well know, the church thinks me dead," I explained while I sat down.

He stared at me, as if expecting to suddenly through my body. Shaking his head, he murmured, "You're alive Kainas. That much is certain. What you want with me, however, is not."

"I want your help."

"I'm a heathen. An Inquirer like yourself should not ask me for help."

"I'm not an Inquirer. I'm a heathen who wants the Original Human Kartia."

At this he laughed. I didn't expect anything more of him.

"Is this one of your jokes? Or is it a trap to catch me? I don't know where the Human Kartia is. I don't know the text to make one! You won't catch me that easily, Inquirer."

"Kainas," I murmured. "I'm no longer an Inquirer. I'm dead."

Raguruzet's eyes nearly bugged out of his head in shock. "I knew it," he whispered. "I knew you were a ghost."

"I'm not a ghost," I replied quietly. "The Kartia of Life was used on me."

"Then you are a heathen, aren't you? You're like me. Who would have thought that Kainas Christi would end up a heathen?"

I glanced around the place, hoping no one had heard my name. "Don't say it so loud," I hissed. "I don't want them to know that I'm alive. The church has lost some very important items, and they wouldn't be too happy if I was alive and them not delivered."

He laughed again. "Very well then. I'll call you Vandor, if you like that any better."

"I don't care what you call me. Just keep the use of my name to a minimum."

"Earlier you wanted me to call you that. However, I should be glad of your help. It will make my search... easier."

"You want to create Eden, don't you?" I asked. "The church has feared that you would try it for the longest time."

"Ever since the Eastern Heathen War?" he asked. "Don't worry. I will have no repeat of Illuria. It's quiet simple, when you learn the proper way for the summoning. You just have to use a Heaven and Earth Kartia at the same time."

"But the Earth Kartia disappeared when Eden fell..."

"A new one can be made from the bones and blood of an Elf. That's the material used for Originals."

"But where are we to find an Elf? There just legends..."

"Legends have a way of coming true. Time will tell if we can ever find one."

"The church has the Heaven Kartia, anyway. Cardinal Beltshumeltz will not allow you to use it."

Raguruzet grinned. "We shall see," he said.

I shifted in my seat. "I didn't come here to help you with creating Eden. I need an Original Human Kartia."

"You help me create Eden and I'll help you get the materials and text you need for the Kartia. Deal?"

I grasped his outstretched hand in my own and shook it. "Deal."

That was the beginning of Akueldo. We gradually gained the help of Idorus and Nordia. I adopted the surviving members of the Rogue family, Misty and Asty, to take Lacryma's place.

In the beginning, things went well. Then, this year, they began to fall apart.

To start off, Misty lost Mona and then defected to join Vigilance. The members of that accursed organization, one which I can scarcely believe I founded, soon launched a campaign against our thieves with the Cross Land Knights.

From there, everything went downhill. San Saradiart thought we betrayed him when Ragurezet amputated the arm from his dead body. However, whoever killed him had used the Death Kartia from the Nordia Encrypter school, the fake one I had sent there, to kill San. The effects didn't last.

San created Eden over Nordia by himself. Then Lacryma, who had escaped from one of our fortresses, came leading her companions across Eden...

It's over. It's all over. Our plans have failed. I can't lie to myself any longer. Beltshumeltz won't give us the Heaven Kartia. I can hear Lacryma's footsteps out in the hallway.

For better or for worse, Akueldo is over. With it go my hopes of reviving Shell and my life. I rise as her hand opens the door. I am prepared to die and meet God, before him to be condemned as the heathen I am...

Kainas Christi

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