TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  JohnnyFarrar on Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:47 pm

I'm the joker. If my entire team dies and then I'm daykilled, I win the game for Avalanchia.

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Eisenbeißer on Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:22 am

Pineapple wrote:Eisen, I'd say he was joking Razz

Do you know about a role like Johnny had written?

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Ansem on Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:29 am

vote: johnny

cause, you know, winning?


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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Doctor Shulk on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:21 pm

Eisenbeißer wrote:
Pineapple wrote:Eisen, I'd say he was joking Razz

Do you know about a role like Johnny had written?

Eisen, he's claimed Avalanchian. He's the last roadblock in the way to our town victory. He's trying these desperate claims to fool you in to not voting for him. Don't be fooled!

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Eisenbeißer on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:51 pm

Pineapple wrote:
Eisenbeißer wrote:
Pineapple wrote:Eisen, I'd say he was joking Razz

Do you know about a role like Johnny had written?

Eisen, he's claimed Avalanchian. He's the last roadblock in the way to our town victory. He's trying these desperate claims to fool you in to not voting for him. Don't be fooled!

Therefore I have asked you! Smile

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Quaetam on Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:05 pm

The dayphase is over!

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  JohnnyFarrar on Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:21 pm

Aww, it's over? I almost had them!

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  SnakeInABox on Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:15 pm

Johnny I appreciate you.

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  JohnnyFarrar on Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:31 pm

SnakeInABox wrote:Johnny I appreciate you.

Surprised Shocked Embarassed

(Can't tell if sarcasm)

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Part 1-Full Circle

Post  Quaetam on Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:56 pm

Daylight rose on a Kingdom in silence, a Kingdom that was set aflame with a blaze of hope.

That hope was now resurgent, the Kingdom awakening.

The sun slowly crossed the azimuth, peaking the horizon and bathing the Kingdom in a magnificent array of colors as night left the Kingdom. The darkness that had long enshrouded the heavens was cast aside, burned away by the radiant salvation of the dawn. The black skies were painted a lustrous golden, as the light seemed to celebrate its reign.

Throughout the Kingdom, the scattered citizens, survivors of the Tempest, of the revolution that had ended the Coalition, the war kicked off by the Hierophant’s sacrifice, by the Arbiter’s fall, gazed at the sunrise. They looked to the dawn, surprised it had seen them unharmed, amazed they had lived to witness it. The Kingdom around them lay in ruins, on the verge of oblivion, but alive, the final string dangling all above total darkness holding strong.

Footsteps resounded through the dawn, through the rising light of the morn. In the advent of the day, their purpose clear, their resolve unbreakable, two men walked along through the growing light, an army at their heels. And as they moved through the ruins, the sun, incipient amongst the glowing skies, rose upon the city, its rays gracing the ruined Kingdom, heralding images of a time long past.

Daylight rose upon the shattered houses, the broken buildings; homes, having once housed families, once been sanctuaries against the darkness, stood shattered and broken. Their insides were collapsed, uninhabitable, often scorched. Their exteriors, where they stood, were mere skeletons, ruined forever in the ravages of warfare, of the great reckoning that was the storm.

Light touched Ascendancy Square. The once great clearing had been broken, shattered by the storm, its power lost, perhaps forever. The buildings that encircled it were in shreds, having been broken by the Avalanchians’ attack, eviscerated by the demon’s wrath. The golden throne stood against the ruins, a sole remaining symbol of the might of the gods.

Dawn rose upon the Bastion, the great fortress of the Coalition, itself a paradigm of power, the epitome of splendor, of extravagance, now a stronghold of the people. It had stood strong against the storm, against the ravages of the night.

And they too stood strong, they too marched onward; an army of the people, two heroes at its head. Still they forged forward through the wasteland that was their world, their purpose undaunted.

Daylight rose onto the old theater, itself a relic from the Rising War, once more a place of death, of sacrifice. Here the second martyr had met his final end. The building stood damaged, all-but forgotten in the darkness of the recent days, largely untouched by the fires of the revolution, the merciless fury of the Tempest.

The light graced the Shattered Tower, the quintessential bastion of manipulation, the paradigm of the one who had given his all to ensure a brighter future. The windows of the ruined tower were shattered, and its skeleton stood stark against the rising sun. The martyr had fallen; his dream gone. But perhaps his end was not without meaning.

For the glorious sunrise fell upon the ruins of the Cathedral, the smoldering remains of the great symbol of faith, the great symbol of oppression. Its beauty, its grace, its radiance had been damaged by the very storm that had loosened the fallen angels’ hold on the world, and lost forever in the bonfire that had driven away the darkness.

The city lay in ruin. The symbols of hope, the martyr’s dream, were gone, yes, but so was the corruption that had marred their world. So was the Coalition. This was no longer a nation ruled by angels, but a Kingdom led by men.

Two heroes, a hundred citizens at their heels, walked through the silence of the Kingdom’s streets amidst the advent of the light. Their purpose was undaunted, their determination undeniable, as they progressed onward into the dwindling darkness. They progressed, unremitting, and the eyes of the frightened, the anxious, and the lost grew alive with hope as they passed.

Link continued onward, determined, vigilant, and at his side, fighting through rage and despair, through the bitterness at his brother’s peril, strode Mario, sledgehammer in hand. He was a figure of power, of authority, the one who had driven away the Usurper, the one who had led the rebellion against the Avalanchians, stopping the Mad King’s reign before it truly began. He, like the sun overhead, had led them out of the darkness, just as he had led himself out of despair. And he was here to end it, at last.

The Kingdom, on the surface desolate, sterile, became alive once more as the heroes passed, and the scum of the streets, those without a claim to anything in the world, stood. Trepidation fled from their minds, their hearts, as they took to their feet and joined the army of the people.

Onward they walked, onward they marched, through the ruined streets, and as they proceeded the people came to life around them, their voices free once more. The Coalition’s stranglehold on their hopes was broken, faded alongside the darkness of the night. Yet few walked through the dawn, and all eyes were turned towards the heroes, toward the army that followed them, as they forged onwards to some yet unknown destination.

They walked through the rising of the dawn, just as three men had marched through the dusk those many months ago, ready at last to seize control of their destiny. But where those three had championed desperation, where their mission had ended in darkness, Mario and Link championed hope, they strode through the rising of the light. Where those three had seen the dying breaths of freedom, these two saw that freedom resurgent; where those three had watched the world fade to black, these two had seen the light purge it. Those three, alone, had watched the dusk of freedom. Now, the people at their heels, two heroes saw its dawn.

They paid no heed to the receding darkness; they paid no heed to the blackest pitch where it festered at the ends of the alleyways, within the darkness of the ruins. They walked midst a rubble-strewn street, passing by craters, by massive cement boulders, over a pavement strewn with cracks and potholes, with shattered glass and tattered fliers.

The city was in ruins, but they knew no despair, for they would be the ones to champion its rebuilding. The Mushroom Kingdom would rise once more, and they would be the ones to lead it.

The Avalanchians’ arrival had destabilized the mafia stalemate all those months ago, and the death of Princess Peach had been the trigger for the brutality of the Rising War. From that revolution, from that chaos, the Coalition had brought stability and control. But their world was one of decay, not of promise, and just as they had overthrown the corrupt gods of old, so had the people rose against them, following the very King they had forsaken, the promise of peace long lost on their ears. The champions of the people, the rising angels, had fallen from grace, and so it was that the times long past had been remembered, the age long forgotten had been heralded once more.

The valiant had become the malign. The harbingers of justice, of the new dawn, had become yet another evil upon themselves, another obstacle in the way of true freedom. The dusk, the dying of the light, the black into which the Kingdom had faded, an oblivion masked by the dawn of a false era, was at last ending as that era unraveled and that oblivion itself was cast away by newfound hope. The Coalition, having come into power promising change, promising a new age, an end to corruption, had fallen to the Avalanchian regime they once decried, and now the Avalanchians themselves had been cast aside.

The dusk into which those three had walked six months ago was now, at long last, overcome by the rising of the dawn, and the Kingdom was falling once more to the ones who truly deserved it.

This city belonged once more to its people. It had all come full circle.

But it wasn’t over, not yet. Both heroes, and every soul that followed them, knew this to be true, knew that there was no rest to be found, for one task still remained. One man who had stood against them in the Rising War, who had, like a willing servant, followed the pocket monster until his error had brought about their downfall, was still out there.

He was alive, and while he still walked, while one Avalanchian remained, ready to exact his vengeance, the world would never be safe, the Kingdom would never truly be theirs. To ever heal, the cancer that had spread must be destroyed. To look towards the future, the skeleton of the past must be demolished. The old age must be brought down before the new could take its place; the dying era must be blotted out before it could be rebuilt.

Those people, those righteous champions of the Kingdom, stepped through the dawn, as the sun at last crossed fully into the sky, and the dew-filled ruins basked in its radiance, knowing they had fought for their future, together, and they would not repeat the mistakes of the past. They walked onward through the streets, their minds unburdened by trepidation, their thoughts focused solely on the task ahead.

Their trek carried them on through the early hours, into the morning… The army, hoisting everything from rifles to crowbars, from swords and axes to bricks and shovels, walked in silence, but with an air of bristling energy, following the heroes at their head. And those heroes, those two champions of the people, walked with weapons in hand, Link’s Master Sword drawn, Mario cradling a massive hammer. They were here to finish the job, and bring an end to this sordid war.

At last the two leaders stopped, their army coming to a halt behind them. The path before them was blocked; slabs of cement piled ahead, barring their way. To either side, the intersecting road was similarly barricaded. Mario looked around, as did Link, their gaze scanning the nearby buildings. They had come to a part of the city that stood largely intact, relatively untouched by the ravages of the storm, by the violence of the revolution. The buildings were damaged, but still standing; their faces pockmarked, strewn with rubble, but still intact.

Ahead, behind the forward barricade, the road turned, veering off to the right. And visible atop a large structure, past the barricade of debris that had been erected before them, visible clear above the surroundings, stood the one they’d all been looking for, the final man to stand in the way of their freedom.

The Avalanchian’s robes were green, inset metal on the shoulder-pieces reflecting the light of the dawn. His eyes were confident, but enraged. A scabbard hung at his side, masking an emerald blade. He grinned, a savage, feral smile stretching across his face, and Mario tensed, gripping his hammer; Link drew his bow, holding it aloft.

So you’ve come, just as I wanted,” said the minister, “All the Kingdom’s finest, gathered together in one last hurrah, ready to fight for their pathetic, twisted image of righteousness.

He raised his arms wide,

You have already rejected me, you have already destroyed all I hold dear, so by all means, come for me!” he cried, then paused, lowering his hands, and smiling. He reached into his pocket, took out a small device, inset with a red button, and held it high as he grinned, preaching to the gathering below.

Yessss, come for me! Come claim your Kingdom, claim your freedom.

He reached his other hand to the device he carried, and pressed the button.

"You will never reach me..."

There was a roar, an explosive force, as from behind the heroes, behind the gathered citizens below, two buildings erupted into green flames; their sides bursting outwards, raining down behind the army. The ground shook beneath them, dust was cast into the air, and they fell to the ground, coughing.

The shaking stopped, the dust cleared, and they stood, looking around. Behind them, the road had been blocked off by the explosion. They were trapped.

And they were not alone. All around, atop the barricades, atop the surrounding buildings, weapons raised, stood dozens of the minister’s clones, armed to the teeth.

The minister laughed, a hearty, vicious mirth rising through the enclosure, as the clones began to mechanically climb over the barricades, dropping to the street on superhuman legs, surrounding the army.

I want to thank you for delivering yourselves so readily into my hands. You will all die here, and the Kingdom will crumble around you!


Last edited by Quaetam on Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Part 2-Courage

Post  Quaetam on Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:21 am

The minister looked over the city that had abandoned him, vengeance in his heart.

The Avalanchian stood alone, isolated, atop a building in a ruined city, overlooking his gathered foe. His eyes were alight with malice, his face split by a malignant grin, for this was the moment of his triumph, this was the moment he had been denied for almost seven months… He had joined Mewtwo, seeing in the Don the chance to reshape the world by his own desires. He saw, in the mafia, a chance, through force, to end the corruption that had plagued the world, but by a tragic accident, a sinister joke, their mission had ended in disaster. An attempt to assassinate their greatest foe was shattered by the mockery of fortune, as his partner took a blast meant for a Queen, as he himself nearly perished.

For six months he subsided, for half a year he had waited, recovering, slowly, from the wounds dealt at his own hands. The mafia had fallen, and he had been lost, alone, forced into hiding as the Coalition slowly overtook the world, as he watched the Kingdom descend, its people falling once more into an oppressed, consuming stupor. The Usurper seized the world in an iron grip, and under his lie of a new age, under his false promise of utopia, his efforts had decayed before his very eyes.

Then the Avalanchians had returned; the Tempest had split the worlds and brought them here, to the Mushroom Kingdom, King Avalanche at their head. And they had, through their determination, granted him renewed purpose, resplendent hope, vigor. He had seen, in the forsaken King, genuine passion, desire for change. So he had joined him, and together they had plotted the Coalition’s demise, together, they had plotted the end of the Usurper’s corrupted, imperfect, flawed vision. It had not been easy, but slowly, step by step, the people had been awakened, and the balance of power had been shifted. By his hand, the Hierophant had become a martyr; the Arbiter had been slain. By his hand Ascendancy Square had been destroyed, the people reinvigorated, and their dream had been so close at hand.

But in their hour of triumph, the King had fallen, his nobility, his grace, his determination, lost in the purging fires of the Coalition’s wrath. Even as they succeeded, even as they had seized control of their destiny, their leader had fallen. The Mad King who had taken Avalanche’s place was a lunatic, a crazy, and beneath him their reign had collapsed before it even began. They had been rejected, he had been rejected, and cast aside, their vision shattered before the storm, before the judgment of those who would call themselves heroes.

Now, down below, those very heroes were trapped, encaged in steel, in the inescapable prison he had left for them, one that, by his will, would be their tomb. For here, they had come to face him, to mock him even further; here, they had come to die. He would avenge his lost comrades; now in this final hour… the noble late King’s work would at last be completed, by his hand.

He turned and walked away from the roof’s edge, moving towards a stairwell near its center, and as he descended, he began to laugh.

For they were trapped; they were at his mercy.

They were the ones who had shattered his dream, and he held them no remorse.

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The minister’s vengeful mirth rose about the clearing as he once more began to laugh, his raucous glee surrounding the heroes. The freedom fighters rose to their feet, shaken by the blast, and took stock of their immediacy as the dust from the explosion cleared. The people bristled with energy, a raw nerve ready to burst, raising their assortment of weapons, gazing about in the diminishing haze. All around, dropping from buildings, from the four barricades of cement and stone, were dozens of clones, identical, silent soldiers. The Avalanchians wielded swords, hammers, guns… weapons just as widely arrayed as the army they faced. And the clones gathered together, slowly, inexorably, advancing upon their prey, surrounding them on all sides.

The army backed up, slowly condensing into a large crowd at the center of the clearing, as the clones mechanically, inevitably advanced. Weapons were raised, aimed, but none were fired, none brought down, not yet. Mario, Luigi’s cap atop his head, standing at the front of the gathered citizens, gripping his heavy mallet, looked from side to side, anger in his eyes, determined, as Link, beside him, twirled his sword, mouth curled in a concentrated frown.

How many do you think there are?” the Hylian scowled, raising his sword slightly, “How many will we have to kill?

Just a-one,” Mario growled.

All around them the clones approached, weapons borne; swords held high, guns raised, and Mario stepped forward, hammer held tightly.

There ain’t-a no man that-a matters but the one up-a there!” Mario declared, hammer raised, gesturing towards the building from which the Avalanchian had mocked them, “And we’ll-a fight through every man in this a-fucking Kingdom to-a get to him!

With a loud cry Mario ran forward, into the advancing throng, swinging his heavy mallet and knocking aside a trio of clones beneath its heavy weight. Link paused, then followed, Master Sword effortlessly cutting through a pair of axe-wielders. And behind the two heroes, swinging their weapons, firing their guns and bows, the people charged against their final foes… Led by two heroes seeking redemption, the war-weary Kingdom stood one final time against the blight that would herald its demise. The ragtag, assorted force struck, fearless, against the mindless horde that pressed into them from all sides.

They slung bricks towards their attackers, lashed out with whatever weapons they had managed to pick from the ruins of their city. The two heroes fought ahead through the crowd, attempting to reach one of the barricades, Link’s skill and Mario’s ferocity too much for their opponents. The army pressed forward into the attacking mass; clones fell by the dozens, but for every one slain, another two dropped over the barricades to land in the clearing. And the Avalanchian’s minions struck back without mercy. Those with guns opened fire, golden glowing spurts of light blazing through the crowd, incinerating any unlucky enough to get in their way, as those with swords and axes sliced past the guards of lesser men, their mechanical accuracy and precision slowly overtaking the determination and resolve of the Kingdom’s champions.

Mario fought endlessly forward through the crowd, hammer swinging with unnatural speed and strength, his determination and rage showing as clearly in the ferocity of his mallet swings as in his visage. Each step brought him further and further into the crowd, each step forcing his way, deep, into the advancing throngs. And the clones could not touch him; his sheer violence and speed too much for them, his strength unmatched. One wielding an axe got a lucky strike at his side, leaving a scratch below his arm, tearing his clothes, his cape. Another, carrying a pistol, struck him on the shoulder, sizzling away the fabric, burning at his skin. Yet he cared not for danger, he paid his wounds no heed. For his woman was dead; his brother lay, dead or dying, in the Bastion. And he would not rest until they were both avenged, and the Kingdom they had loved made safe.

Link raised his shield to block a hammering blow, turning it aside, then lunged forward with his sword, dispatching the attacking soldier. He looked back, forth, to see one clone closing in on each side, and raised his sword, closing his eyes for a moment, before he spun, his blade arcing around him in a blinding circular path, eviscerating his four foes. Yet as he finished, he caught motion out of the corner of his eye, and was forced to lift his shield to block a radiant burst of light as a clone fired a charged shot his direction. The glowing, yellow blast struck the Hylian Shield, and dissipated with an explosion of force, knocking Link back into the crowd. The Hero of Time landed, rolling to his feet, unwilling to collapse. He had lost his home, those years ago. He had lost the land he had fought for across time; it had all been for nothing. And here, in the Mushroom Kingdom, people had died, when he could have saved them. He would not fail again.

A clone rushed in with a hammer, and Link raised the Hylian Shield to block; the strike reverberated through the clearing with the force of a gong, and Link pulled a bomb from his pocket, threw it ahead into the crowd. There was a minor explosion, and three clones were sent sprawling; the hammer-wielder was knocked off his feet. Link turned, bashing a soldier with his shield, rolling, and slashing him from behind in a powerful diagonal strike, before drawing his bow, notching an arrow, and backing up, waiting for another foe to advance.

He retreated, step by step, scanning the crowd into a wall of solid muscle. Mario, swinging his mallet as he backed up to avoid an attack, and Link, bow notched, ready to release, found themselves back to back amidst the chaos.

Have you found a way out?” asked Link, firing off an arrow, drawing another from his quiver, as Mario bludgeoned another clone aside.

Yes. We go through a-them,” Mario growled simply, dispatching another soldier with a swing of his sledgehammer. Link took aim at one clone that had raised its own weapon, and released his arrow, catching the soldier between the eyes, knocking him back, dead on impact.

How many of them do you think there are?” Link asked, as he threw his boomerang aside, knocking one of his foes off balance, following up with a shot from his sacred bow. Dropping his hammer, Mario pulled his right hand back, allowing fire to grow within his palm.

A nearby clone stabbed for his throat with a sword, but he reached his hand up and caught the thrust. The clone made to pull his blade back, to slash his enemy’s hand, but Mario wrenched the sword skyward. The soldier struggled to grasp it, and the hero pulled back his other hand, allowing flames to come to life in his palm; a latent maelstrom, ready to erupt.

Not enough-a,” Mario growled, savagely, and thrust his hand forward, releasing the blaze within. The fireball exploded against his opponent, flames licking outward, burning at several nearby clones, as Link grinned, calmly setting and firing three more arrows, each shot felling one of his foes. Mario picked up his hammer, gripping it again in both hands. Several clones had turned towards them, attention drawn by the heat, the noise and force of the explosion, and now leveled their assorted weapons inward, surrounding the heroes from all sides.

Reckless of always…” said Link, turning around, looking back, forth, sword and shield leveled once more. Mario nodded behind him. “Let’s see what we can make of them!

The heroes burst apart, Mario swinging his hammer once more, vengeance in his eyes, Link, ever-determined, jumping into the fray, sword leveled.

The people of the Kingdom fought with ferocity, with unyielding strength and determination, hacking at the Avalanchian’s soldiers. Bodies lined the floor, corpses of clones far outnumbering those of the freedom fighters as they maintained their circle, trying to avoid being separated and cut down mercilessly, fighting against an innumerable foe. The Kingdomites stood, wielding their makeshift, haphazard weapons against a superior host, one armed to the teeth with blasters, with swords and axes, with tools designed to kill, to exact their Minister’s revenge. They charged, with their bricks, their shovels, their pieces of metal, against a foe that fought back with swords, axes, and rifles. The two heroes at their heads led their defense, relics of an age long past, inspired at long last to fight again.

Yet even as their ferocity and vigor lent them strength, their numbers began to slag, and their enemies’ ranks were unrelenting. The minions dropped into the clearing in droves, and slowly the revolutionaries, the soldiers of hope, began to tire.

One by one, they started to fall, and were pushed back, even in their steadfast determination. Slowly the forces of the Kingdom were forced to retreat… but they had nowhere to run! They were trapped, as their enemy seemed to be limitless, their foes’ advance unremitting. The circle of Kingdomites began to dwindle, and the two heroes found themselves once more standing together, cornered by dozens of their enemy, forced against one of the barricades that had hemmed them into the square. The clones’ weapons bristled as they closed in, slowly surrounding the two leaders.

Mario gripped his hammer, looking side to side, visage marred by anger, countenance stricken by rage, as beside him, Link held his shield high, his sword back.

This was it.

This was their last stand, their last fight in defense of the Kingdom, trapped here, surrounded by a mindless horde. The Kingdom they had fought for would live or die here, its heroes would triumph, or be overwhelmed by sheer force of numbers, drowned beneath the bodies of their innumerable foe. Mario clenched his fists, grit his teeth, thoughts of Peach, of Luigi consuming his mind. Link tensed, holding his sword higher, ready to fight to his last breath, unwilling to see the death of another Kingdom he had sworn to protect. They would not fall here, not now. But however many they killed, countless others would rise to take their place.

There could be no end to this madness, only to their lives.

A roar erupted through the clearing; a fireball searing through the air, towards where the two leaders stood against the barricade. Mario and Link turned, throwing themselves to the ground, as the blaze passed overhead, colliding with the barrier beyond. The fire blast clashed against the rocks; a massive explosion rocked the clearing, peppering them with shrapnel and dust. With a resounding crash the barricade collapsed upon itself, slabs of concrete falling to either side, crushing several of the clone soldiers beneath them.

The dust cleared, the fighting, for a brief moment stopped, as all heads turned towards the source of the blast.

There, standing atop the far barricade, Arcanine by her side, stood Camilla, silencer of the Coalition.

She leapt onto the beast’s back, and together they jumped down into the fray, fire spraying around them, bathing the Avalanchians’ minions in a molten glow. The fighters of the Kingdom cheered, raising their weapons high, before charging once more, clashing with the clones, the tide of the brawl turned by the Arcanine’s flames as the great dog leapt about, teeth and claws felling those his fire did not. Mario picked himself up off the ground, grabbing his hammer, felling three clones in one heavy swing, before turning toward the shattered barrier. The center of the wall had been blown open by the attack, leaving a wide, easily traversable gap in its place. The hero made to run through, but Link, lobbing a bomb into the fray, turned and grabbed his arm, stopping him.

What are you-a doing?” Mario growled, yanking his arm free, turning to face Link. The two stood, ignored by the clones for a moment as battle continued to rage in the enclosure behind them, as gunshots, as the roar of the flames, reverberated through the area.

We don’t know what he’s got waiting out there,” said the Hylian, his gaze stern, “We have to stay here, finish this battle, engage him in force.

If we stay a-here, he’ll get away!” Mario shouted, pointing towards the building from which the Avalanchian had taunted them, before turning back to Link and snarling, “I’m-a going after him. Follow me, unless you’re too much of a coward.

Mario snarled and spat on the last word, before turning, and dashing through the gap in the barricade, into the rubble-strewn street beyond.

Link stood gazing at Mario as he ran off into the distance, then turned to examine the conflict behind him. The battle continued, unrelenting, as clones continued to pour into the clearing, as the freedom fighters and the great beast of flame continued to fend them off. Bursts of fire incinerated the Avalanchian soldiers, as Arcanine leapt among them, flames sizzling from his gaping maw, forming a ring of heat around the survivors of the initial clash, themselves weakened, but still fighting. It was a won battle; the fire was too much for the horde, and the people were filled with renewed energy, alive once more, ready to fight. Link, however, stayed fast, held back by some unseen hesitation, and once more turned to gaze at the gap in the wall of concrete, the stone and steel barrier that no longer cut them off from their quarry.

The Hero of Time stood, torn between the people he sought to defend, and the hero who sought to bring them peace. He shook his head… no, that wasn’t right. He stood, torn between sure safety alongside his army, and uncertain violence; conflict alongside Mario, in a bid to end the war. For Mario was right; the only way to win was to press on now, despite the danger. Caution would earn them nothing. So what was it that held him back, what was it that kept him from following through?

His thoughts turned to Hyrule, to the land of prophecy, to the task he had been charged with by fate. He had been destined to save that world, destined to save that nation. And he had failed. The great Kingdom of Hyrule had fallen… not to the curse of the demon king, not to the man who called himself the Shadow Don, but to the corruption of men, to economic decay. He had failed to hold to the promise he had given Zelda, the promise he had given the goddesses. And his mission had been at an end. Here, he had lost his resolve, lost his faith in righteousness. He had stayed silent, remained quiet as the Coalition seized control, despite knowing their decadence, their malign self-interest.

His eyes fell to his right hand, upon which a radiant sigil was set… It was the Triforce; the symbol of power, of wisdom… the symbol of courage. The lower-right segment triangle with a holy light, glowed upon his hand. Yes… this was the Triforce of Courage; the gift of Farore, one of the golden goddesses, and he was the one who had been blessed with it. He had been judged a worthy champion by the deity of courage.

Follow me, unless you’re too much of a coward.

Was he worthy of such a blessing anymore? Was he worthy of the sacred power he’d been granted? The goddess had judged him worthy of becoming the hero of legend, but what had he accomplished? Allowing one Kingdom to fall to the corruption of its own men, another to decay while he stood by and watched… He could have stood for justice, in Hyrule; he had enough influence to make a difference back then. Here, in the Kingdom, he could have resisted the Coalition. He could have stood for his people, stood for the rights of the common man, and tried to make a difference, rather than simply subside. He could have followed Farore’s will, and fought for a brighter future.

Instead, he failed. He subsided, allowed Hyrule to collapse, bemoaning its bitter fate rather than trying to resist it. And in the Mushroom Kingdom, he had sat back, submissive, following the will of the Usurper, the will of the King who had taken his place. Only at Luigi’s death, at the fall of an innocent hero before the end of all things, had he realized the worth in fighting. But it had been too late for the land he loved. He had failed in his role as protector… He was no hero, but a coward.

Now, man who was once a legend, the shadow of the Hero of Time, stood torn between fighting where he wasn’t needed, his survival guaranteed, and forging onward, doing what was right, even if at risk to his life. Once more he was faced with that great decision.

Link glanced at his sword. The blade shone with a radiant light, its’ sacred length undamaged, untouched. The hilt was beautifully carved, set with a radiant jewel, the crossguard spread outward like a pair of violet wings. Above, carved into the steel, was an image of the golden power itself. This was the Master Sword, the bane of evil. It was the blade that had sealed the Demon King, before laying dormant in the Temple of Time until he, Link, had drawn it. It was a judgment of the goddesses, a decree of highest authority, one he, and he alone had been given.

The Kingdom of Hyrule had fallen, yes. He had failed to protect it. But his mission, to champion the light, to vanquish evil, still remained, be Hyrule alive or dead. The blade he carried shone with power, a token of that great duty. And the Triforce of Courage remained within him, glowing from his hand. His Kingdom had been lost, but his goal remained, his purpose was not void.

He clenched his hand around the hilt of the Master Sword, and rose to his full height. The symbol on his hand shone with an unusual light as he turned away from the conflict behind him, and faced the empty ruins ahead. Whether he had failed in the past held no import. All that mattered now was redemption, vindication of the cause he had once believed in. All that mattered now was protecting what he had left, bringing an end to this pointless violence, this harrowing war.

He was the chosen bearer of the Master Sword, of the Triforce of Courage. He had failed in the past, but no more. This time, he would right the wrongs his cowardice had created. No more would he shy away from his mission. He was the Hero of Time. And he would save this Kingdom.

Link ran forward, into the ruins, without looking back.


Last edited by Quaetam on Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

Quaetam
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Part 3-For Your Sins

Post  Quaetam on Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:13 pm

Mario ascended from the Kingdom, and into darkness.

The room he had entered was quiet, black as pitch. All sound from the battle outside was masked by the thickness of the walls, no power flowed through the overhead lights … The interior was musky, quiet, and dark, a perfect imitation of night. The windows were shaded, covered in dust, blinds drawn shut, allowing only a faint trickle of sunlight to enter, too little to properly brighten its proximity. Hammer in hand, Mario stepped slowly forward, into the darkness, abandoning the faint patch of solidity granted by the stairwell, itself lit by sunlight from above.

Step by step, he walked further into the room, allowing the shroud to envelop him… He clenched his hammer close, on edge, expecting at any moment to be attacked, to be pounced, jumped by the Minister or his lackeys. Mario knew what it meant to face a madman in the darkness. He had done so once, and had no intention of repeating it. There was no time for games, no time for play with shadows, for pretentious trickery. Peach was dead, his brother soon to follow. He would make their sacrifice worthwhile.

One hole, one crack in the ceiling admitted the sun’s passage, a single, radiant shaft splitting the shaded interior. The ray of sunlight streamed down into the room, illuminating flitting specks of dust as they floated through the air, dissolving before it touched the ground. Instinctively, Mario stepped into the luminance, allowing the distant sun to wash over him. He looked above; visible above was naught but sky, its glow choked by a pile of discordant rubble.

When he lowered his head again, a candle had been lit in the darkness, a solitary, flickering green flame, burning against the heavy shroud that permeated the interior.

It was but a pinprick in the in the illusory night that had taken hold of the building’s interior. But, set against its glow, illuminated within the soft warmth, stood a man.

His hand was held outward, clutching a small plate, upon which the candle was set. The dark figure had bowed its head in silence, brooding. The light was weak; unable to reveal more than his silhouette… a glowing outline granted shape to his black form, granting him a sense of menace, of trepidation.

So even now you come for me, even now you mock me…

Anger dominating his being, the Avalanchian turned toward Mario, allowing the candle’s green glow to wash over his features, revealing the deep snarl that had spread across his face, painting him with dancing shadows.

You come here to strike me down,” sneered the minister, his voice calm, soft, but dripping with malice, “here, in my Kingdom...

Mario gripped his hammer tightly as the Avalanchian began to walk slowly towards him through the blackness. The candlelight grew inevitably in the darkness with each slow, purposeful step through the abyss, revealing more of the minister’s features as he approached. His gaze, alight with the flame he held, bored holes into Mario, the light of the miniature flame dancing in them with an incipient ferocity, an unyielding anger and strength, a vehemence that was returned in full by his prey. Both men stood with vengeance in their hearts, bitterness at the cruelty of a world they knew too well.

This… is not-a your Kingdom,” Mario growled, “You have-a no hold here anymore.

The Avalanchian laughed, and then continued, “And you do? You claim to have authority here, where all that exists beyond these walls is snuffed out, disconnected from reality as if part of a different world?

The minister came to a stop.

The laws of the outside have no bearing in a place like this, smothered by perpetual gloom and obscurity. Your courage fails before its unnatural, unknown, uncontrollable beauty. My master knew this, he embraced it, used it on his path to conquest… the Pocket Monster lived in the darkness, and so did we, so did his followers. This place is our domain, our Kingdom, not yours.

Mario’s eyes widened despite himself, before rage flashed across his countenance, and he took a step forward, out of the beam of sunlight, into the darkness, towards the green glow of the candlelight.

Yes… Mewtwo was always fond of the night,” the Avalanchian grinned, “He relished it, cherished it, saw it as his weapon. He thrived in the darkness. I, however…

He extended his arm, moving the small plate away from his body, and turned it, allowing the candle to slip off, falling down towards the floor.

I’ve never been one for such theatrics.

The candle fell to the ground, immediately igniting upon a patch of oil. The fire spread in a circle, following the path the Minister had so carefully laid out, surrounding them in a wall of green flames that licked at the ceiling, that began to fill the air with smoke. Mario faced the final Avalanchian in a cage of fire, an arena aflame, painted an eerie green by dancing death.

I follow Mewtwo no more…” the Minister cried, looking skyward, his full features illuminated now by the blaze that surrounded the two combatants, “Nay, I follow our true masters, our true deities; I follow the great… green… GODS!!

He reached into his pockets and drew from within two small small jewels, one in each hand, slowly bringing them up to shoulder height. As he did so, rivulets of energy began to form around his hands, swirling bands of green light arcing across the gap between the two gems they carried. Slowly, he brought the two together, and as he did so, the force between them intensified, and they began to shake. The two gems touched, and the energy exploded, bursting out until Viero held them just under a meter apart. The light formed a bridge between them, condensing around them until the Minister, between his two hands, carried a long, crystalline staff.

I tried to help you,” said the Minister, taking a step forward, “Don’t you understand? I wanted the best for this world, I wanted the best for these people. I wanted to lead them in following the true faith… But you and your kind time and time again rose from nothing and took everything from me!

He raised his staff, shook his head, anger in his eyes.

You will pay for what you have done,” he said, “You will die for your sins!!

And the Avalanchian attacked, his strike little more than a blur, a wave of motion.

Mario raised his hammer to block, but was too slow. The minister struck, the staff’s blunt end smashing him across the shoulder, over Mario’s raised hammer. The hero was knocked sideways by the blow, maintaining his grip on the sledgehammer. As the minister stepped forward, swinging the staff diagonally and downwards, bringing around its other end, Mario brought up the hammer with a yell, aiming for a horizontal, smashing blow. The enemy quickly stepped backwards, keeping calm, avoiding the deadly strike, bringing the staff overhead to hack at Mario. Yet Mario used the hammer’s momentum to throw himself forward, releasing his left hand’s grip on the shaft, ramming his meaty fist directly into his foe’s stomach.

The minister reeled backwards briefly, and Mario laid into him, throwing a fist towards his jaw, followed by another to the gut. The Avalanchian blocked the first with his staff, forcing Mario’s fist aside with a swift, hard sweep, before twirling it around and stopping the second strike. The hero struck again, again, but the minister swept the staff around with expert precision, turning aside each strike. Frustration built in Super Mario as his hands grew sore, until finally he stepped back and ran forward, reckless, throwing himself at the Minister, his entire bulk committed to his attack. The Avalanchian gripped the staff tightly, near its center, and shoved Mario hard as he leapt forward.

The plumber, alongside the renegade he faced, were forced backwards, each focusing to maintain their balance. Mario looked to the ground at his feet, where his hammer lay, and reached down to lift it…

…no sooner had he done so than the minister had attacked again, bringing the staff down in a smashing blow. Mario ducked aside, lifting the mallet to block, but was knocked off balance by the force of his foe’s blow, and the minister brought the other staff end around, catching Mario in the side. Yet he shrugged off the blow, buckling beneath the force of the attack but refusing to cave. Even as his adversary, surprised at Mario’s resilience, pulled back the staff, preparing to strike again, Mario gathered fire in his palm. The Avalanchian began to swing, and Mario thrust his palm forward, expelling a massive burst of heat and energy.

His foe ducked, allowing the flames to sear through the room above him, and stayed on the floor for a brief moment as they passed overhead. The darkness, already partially lit by the towering green inferno that surrounded them, was burned away by the fireball. The interior of the room was illuminated; it stood decrepit, decayed, filled with dust and debris, a harmless ruin blanketed only briefly by an illusion of night.

The Minister rose, sweeping with the staff at Mario’s knees. Mario, hammer once more back in hand, jumped over the swing.

As he landed, Mario again took a two handed stance with the hammer, raising it over his head, again bringing it down towards his adversary with a guttural yell. The Avalanchian sidestepped, allowing the hammer to slam into the ground, shaking the floor beneath its weight. The Minister spun, feinted, jabbing behind him with one of the staff’s blunt ends, before bringing the other around in a whirling strike. Mario blocked the thrust, raising the hammer’s shaft just enough to turn it aside, before releasing his grip on his weapon. As the staff arced towards him, he reached out with both hands and caught the blow.

With a cry, with tremendous effort, Mario twisted, gripping the end of the crystalline staff. He pivoted on the spot, swinging the staff around, allowing the momentum of the minister’s strike to carry him by. The Avalanchian was sent sprawling, the staff wrenched from Mario’s grip, crashing against the ground in the patch of light at the center of the burning arena. Mario grabbed his weapon as his opponent hit the floor, and lunged forward. He swung, flexing his arms, and brought the mallet’s massive head down towards his opponent’s chest, focusing all his strength into a killing blow. He let out a massive bellow, channeling every fiber of his being in this one attack!

The Minister snarled, his countenance aflame with rage, and drew his hands apart, allowing the staff to dissolve. It split along its length, fracturing into the energy that had created it, as its wielder raised one hand before him, drew another back. That light arced around the Minister’s left arm, around the hand that clutched one of the two gems, spreading around it and outward, forming a solid, crystalline shield, which he thrust outward. The hammer collided with its thick shell and bounced; shockwaves reverberated outward, resonating through the air with the sound of a struck gong.

Mario was knocked back, stumbling, forced to try to preserve his balance as the full weight of his strike was reflected. He staggered, leaning back, regained his footing…

…And the minister lunged forward with the crystal sword his other hand now carried, barely missing Mario’s chest, cutting a clean gash into his side.

Mario growled, his anger boiling past his pain, as he once again brought the hammer down, allowing it to simply drop towards his foe. But his strike was clumsy, made in great haste, without any thought but blind, oblivious anger, and the Avalanchian saw this, exploited it. The minister stepped forward, past the Native’s guard, and swung hard with his shield, catching the hammer between its head and Mario’s hands, ripping it clean out of Mario’s grip.

It fell to the ground, landing to the side with a heavy, floor-shaking thunk, and the Minister immediately slashed at Mario from below, his blade raking skyward in a lethal arc. Mario took one step back, another… He threw more fire towards his foe, only to have the Avalanchian raise his shield, allowing the fireball to dissipate off it. The minister stopped for a moment, dissolved his shield, allowing a second sword to form in his left hand for a more ferocious assault, but Mario threw himself forward, again with a guttural cry, tackling his enemy before he could react. The two hit the ground and rolled; Mario attempted to pin the minister, but his foe would have none of it, and, mid-roll, reached out and kneed the plumber in the gut.

Mario lost his grip, and the Avalanchian came do his feet, getting his bearings, bringing both swords across in a sweeping diagonal slice towards his opponent, still struggling to rise off the ground. Mario reached beside him, grabbing his hammer where it lay, and holding it tightly in both hands shoved the attack away. He fully rose, cringing as he did, but maintained his grip on his sledgehammer despite the pain wracking his side, where the Avalanchian had cut him. For a moment the minister stepped back, himself winded by Mario’s physical strikes, allowing the weapons in his hands to reform.

This fire, burning itself out amidst the great abyss… when I’m through with your Kingdom, this is all that will be left!” cried the Avalanchian, shaking with carnal fury, “I will sacrifice it all, in the name of the great green gods!

There was a rushing sound, as an arrow cut through the darkness, colliding with the ceiling above the Minister, and an explosion as the bomb in its tip ignited, collapsing the roof above it.

The Minister jumped back, Mario himself staggering, as a cavalcade of cement and steel fell free, the weakened roof breaking apart. Cracks ran along the ceiling, sections of roof collapsing as their structure gave way, and the two combatants leapt aside, attempting to avoid the avalanche, Mario ducking to avoid the rubble, the Avalanchian dissolving his weapons, forming a large bubble of energy around him, off which the rubble bounced to either side. The flames, the smoke, and the dust at last cleared, and Mario stood; the Minister released his shield.

Another arrow sliced through the air, tipped with steel, catching the Avalanchian in the shoulder. The Minister cringed in pain, and looked about for his attacker. They stood in little more than a crater of the top floor now, sunlight streaming down upon them, all illusions of nighttime gone, the circle of flames buried beneath the debris. Smoke rose in the distance, the sounds of the continued clash below carried through the air to where the two faced off atop the ruined building. To either side, and behind the Minister, the roof had collapsed… between him and Mario the ground was covered in rubble.

And there, approaching from behind Mario, notching another arrow to his bow, was Link.

The Avalanchian sneered, raising his hands, ignoring the shaft in his shoulder as if it was nothing. Around each jewel, the light formed a solid, flat, razor-thin circle, cutting the air, cackling with energy. Link released the shaft in his bow, and the Avalanchian casually knocked it aside before making a quick, flicking, whipping motion with his wrist, spinning the gem within his hand. The circle of light cut free from the gem, rotating like a sawblade, a spiraling disk of ferocious light that arced through the air towards the Hylian.

Link barely had time to react. Drawing the Master Sword, he slashed, turning aside the blaze of energy. The sinister, spinning circle collided with some of the fallen rubble, collapsing it in a small blast. Link spun his sword, stepped forward, but the Avalanchian had created another, already he had slung both arms forward, arcing both towards Link, two disks of burning light searing through the air towards their prey. Link blocked one with his shield, swung backhand with his sword, deflecting the other towards his adversary. The Minister channeled his focus, forming a blade of light within his left hand, even as he flicked his right, allowing the circle of light to pulse outward from the gem once more, reforming fully. With his sword he cut at the magic, again reflecting the disk back towards Link, throwing another from his right hand. Again Link blocked one with his shield, turning the other back on the Minister with his blade, stepping forward once more.

The Minister snarled, frusturated, deflecting a second time with a powerful stroke, accelerating the disk, and Link lunged forward, sword arcing outward, slashing the circle of light for a third time.

The Avalanchian, surprised by Link’s sudden advance, had no time to react; the disk slashed past his guard, cutting a vertical swath through his arrow-stricken shoulder. His cry of pain dissolved swiftly into a snarling, spitting scream of madness, and as Link pressed his advantage, lunging in with the Master Sword, he threw himself forward, turning aside the Hylian’s stab, before attacking wildly, frenzied. Each blow was made on instinct, each parry requiring all of Link’s focus to muster. The Hero of Time was caught off guard, forced on the retreat, blocking strike after insane strike, ducking as the Avalanchian slung the occasional disk of light Link’s way. Slowly they moved across the clearing, towards one of the walls of rubble

Seeing an opening, he bashed forward with his shield, staggering his opponent, and spun, lashing out with the Master Sword.

His enemy was forced to retreat behind the disk he still held in his right hand to block, and Link immediately pivoted, spinning on the spot, striking the Minister’s left hand and shattering the gem it contained.

The crystal sword vanished, shattering into the light that had formed it and dissipating into nothing, but even as it did so, even as the Minister’s hand stung from the cut, he cut out with his razor disk, stinging at Link’s hand, nearly severing his fingers as he ripped the Hylian Shield from the hero’s grasp. Link jumped backwards, still focused on his opponent, flinching briefly from the pain of the cut, and gripped the Master Sword with both hands, as the Avalanchian also brought his two hands together, around the final gem, allowing it to form together and grow into a large, dual-handed blade.

The two faced off, locking eyes, swords raised, at the ready… …and Mario’s hammer blow soared around his opponent’s guard, under the crystal sword, smashing, hard into the Avalanchian’s gut.

The heavy, massive bulk of the hammerhead collided with his abdomen with a sickening crunch, and the Minister crumpled, collapsing in on himself, vomiting blood as, after a brief moment suspended in midair, he fell backwards. His sword dropped from his grip, dissolving into nothing as it left his hand; the gem shattered against the ground, leaving its wielder defenseless, broken. The Avalanchian came to a rest against a large concrete slab, bumping his head briefly as it arrested his tumble, bringing him to a complete, violent stop.

There he leaned, clutching at his crippled abdomen, coughing up blood. His green robes were in tatters, his hair a mess, his eyes swimming, their rage masked, glazed over as he gazed at his two foes from where he lay, unable to fight the pain wracking his body as his insides were crushed, unable to even struggle to rise. And the heroes of the Kingdom looked at each other, Link nodding as Mario walked forward, hammer hoisted over his unharmed shoulder, facing the Avalanchian, his expression murderous.

You think… this is it?” the Minister panted, barely squeezing out his feeble words as he lay, his insides broken, crushed, but his spirit filled with a rage only stymied by the pain that encapsulated his entire being, “You think… that you’ve… won?

Cringing with pain at every inch, he moved his arm slowly up from where it lay, reaching into his pocket, drawing a small device, inset with a large button. The Avalanchian smiled, as Link’s eyes widened in shock.

I… will fulfill… my masters’… ambition. This… is the will of the green ones! This… is the end… of the Mushroom Kingdom…” he said, closing his eyes and pressing the button before the heroes could react.

There was a rushing sound, an outcry of light, of heat, as the charges placed throughout the building, throughout the city, detonated, and the world went black.

Spoiler:
Johnny Farrar was lynched! He was Viero, the Minister of Green! Alignment: Avalanchia

The New Kingdom of Avalanchia has been eliminated!


To be concluded…

Quaetam
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Finale-A Kingdom Worth Living For

Post  Quaetam on Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:57 am

Mario opened his eyes.

Overhead shone a brilliant white light, nearly blinding in its intensity. He could hear a sort of distant murmur… a low, droning sound that permeated his surroundings, smothering him as his ears struggled to comprehend it. His body seemed to tingle, numb, unfeeling, as if floating.

Mario frowned beneath the glow; his memories still remained a haze, even as the shell of unconsciousness cracked around him. He blinked several times, disoriented, and raised a hand to mask his eyes as they struggled to adjust to the sudden radiance. As he lifted his arm, his shoulder screamed with pain. He let it drop, gritting his teeth, instead turning his head away from the glow. His neck was sore, but manageable, its scream of pain more of a groan, and a tolerable one at that. Turning, he felt something soft beneath his head, and found that he lay on a soft, cushioning surface, a cloth bed. Gradually the light faded, as Mario’s eyes adjusted to reality, and he looked away from its source.

As his eyesight returned, he could make out a table to his right, set with several sharp instruments. The light reflected off their blades, searing into Mario’s still-hampered vision, made any comprehension of his immediacy impossible… He turned his head once more, trying to get his bearings, his surroundings still unrecognizable as he struggled to comprehend them. To his left towered a wall, against which a heavy object leaned. It was a massive hammer, a mallet, its flat end drenched in a crimson stain—Mario quickly recognized it as a thick, congealed coating, a layer of blood.

It was the blood of the Avalanchian Minister, still soaked into the edge of the weapon that had struck the crippling blow.

His thoughts, lost in the haze of his slumber, at last came together. Piece by piece the images of the past day stitched themselves together: Wave after wave of clones falling into the clearing, lit by the rising sun… The Minister, his eyes wild, angered, thinking of naught but his final vengeance, spinning, striking with his blunt staff… Link, slashing at each wave of energy thrown his way as the smoke of the ongoing battle rose in the distance… Mario’s hammer, at last crushing into the Minister’s abdomen, his insides collapsing with a sickening squelch… And the explosion consuming them all.

He had survived… He was alive. And the Avalanchians were ended.

At last he could recognize his surroundings, his vision fully reasserted, his eyes adjusted. Mario sat in the Bastion-turned hospital, in a small side room, lain upon a stretcher. A breathing tube had been placed in his right nostril; a wire connected his wrist to a heart monitor. The light, suspended above him, set into the ceiling, illuminated a side-table covered in tiny scalpels, small hooks, miniscule mirrors. They had been kept immaculately clean; their blades glistened with the overhead light. Across from his bed was an open door, beyond which medical officials rushed about; doctors, surgeons, white mages, continued past, tending to an unknown number of wounded outside.

Mario, pushing past the pain, lifted his head slightly, and allowed his eyes to travel up his body. One by one he examined his injuries. His stomach had been wrapped in bandages, as had his right knee; he could see several visible burn marks on his left leg… His right side ached with abysmal pain, as did both shoulders. The explosion had clearly taken quite its toll.

I see you made it,” came a voice, haughty, almost a laugh. Mario looked up, towards the entrance to his private chamber. There, leaning against the doorframe, arms crossed, smile on his face, stood the Hero of Time. Link’s cap was missing, but he appeared otherwise unharmed.

I’m impressed… Had I not had one of these, I’d have died… You of all people should know to carry an extra life,” said Link, smiling, echoing Mario’s words from a week ago as he held up one hand, jingling a bottle, within which a small mote of light flitted, “Luck, it seemed, was kind to you today.

Mario smirked, straining with the effort of contorting his facial muscles as he faced the Hylian.

Is he a-dead?” Mario asked, “Did the explosion a-kill him?

Link nodded, straightening his posture as he stepped off the wall and into the room, arms crossed once more, bottle stowed away at his side.

I think so, yes,” the Hylian responded, “He was at the epicenter of the blast, and already dying from your hammer blow. There’s nothing that could have saved him. We couldn’t find the body, but there’s no chance he escaped.

Link stopped at Mario’s bed, reaching into his cloak, and pulling something out, tossing it gently onto Mario’s bed.

We did, however, recover this. I must admit I didn’t think you’d make it, but kept this for you just in case.

Mario looked downward, straining his neck to examine the cap that had been tossed onto his lap. Its green fabric, having withstood the test of time, had been partially burned through by the flames. The embroidered L on the front flopped forward, the white circle upon which it was set scorched around the edges, hanging loose from the rest of the cap.

It was his hat. Luigi’s hat.

Instantly, Mario’s eyes widened. He grasped the hat in his left hand, holding it tight, as his thoughts returned to Luigi, shot, bleeding out onto the tiles, rushed to the hospital, where he remained in critical condition. His brother had lain here, dying, as he had embarked upon his final crusade.

My a-bro,” whispered Mario, his voice still ragged as he clutched the hat tight in hand, looking up towards the Hero of Time, who had turned to walk away. Link stopped, paused for a moment, and turned back, meeting Mario’s gaze. His expression was unreadable; his eyes filled with cold emotion behind his troubled face.

a-Luigi,” Mario said, weakly, before coughing, and then repeating himself, more strength in his voice, more focus in his demeanor, even as his throat burned with pain at each syllable, “Luigi?!?

Link closed his eyes, shook his head, and Mario could see his answer written across his face.

No…” he whispered, his voice wavering.

It was impossible… They had been through too much together, the Super Mario Brothers, for this to happen. Not now, when they had just won… not now, when there at last was a world worth rebuilding… This was the Kingdom they had fought for; this was the Kingdom they had risked their lives for. Luigi could not be dead, not now, not after all they had triumphed over. It could not be…

Noo!

His eyes glistened, on the brim, ready to spill over at last as he sobbed. But even as his shoulders cried out with a searing pain, as his burnt leg throbbed with each inch he dragged it across the soft fabric, Mario moved achingly to a sitting position. His arm had a brief spasm, shaking as he put his weight on it. His mouth twitched with effort, as, drops of sadness still falling, pain still blazing through his being, he edged himself off the bed and rose, landing softly, gently on his feet.

His legs screamed in protest, threatening to buckle beneath him. The hero grit his teeth, focused, and took one step… then two… then a third. Gradually, he became accustomed to the pain, and fought through it. Reaching the wall, he picked up his hammer from where it had lain, and set off at a slow, lumbering walk, denying his body its reprieve.

Link made to protest but Mario silenced him.

A-where is he?” Mario wailed, his voice wavering, eyes leaded with tears, a torrent of despair, “Take-a me to him…

And Link obliged.

Following the Hero of Time, he sauntered through the doorway, into the corridors beyond. Medical officials, rushing past, paused to stare at Mario, surprised, ecstatic at his survival. Several patted him on the shoulder, gave him cheers, words of congratulations before hurriedly resuming their work, but he paid them no heed; his thoughts granted them no purchase. Link emerged into the great hall, walked amongst the wounded as they lay upon whatever tables, bed, stretchers, and chairs the people had been able to scavenge from the rubble. And Mario followed him, crossing the expanse, his mind tortured beneath an utter cavalcade of anguish.

All around, the people, mourners, supporters, or medics, stopped whatever they were doing despite themselves as they saw Mario walking through their midst. Many tipped their hats, paying their liberator the utmost respect as he limped past. But Mario continued, almost unbidden, oblivious to the people around him, all thoughts not with the living, with the wounded freedom fighters and the medics who cared for them, but with the dead, with Luigi…

The Hylian took him through another door, and out of the main hall. The room they entered was of decent size, brightly lit, but silent. For the floor was lined, wall to wall, with white body bags; its inhabitants were not the wounded, but the dead. They had entered a morgue.

Link turned to Mario, who had frozen in place, and beckoned for him to follow. They walked partway along the row of bodies, until Link stopped by one such bag, unzipping the white covering, revealing Luigi, his eyes closed, his face locked in the somber embrace of death. Mario, tears still flowing, let his hammer drop to the ground, and knelt by his brother’s body, grabbing Luigi’s hand in his.

That was it, then.

The Kingdom was saved, but his brother, the one who had truly held them together, the one who had kept him alive all these months, who had taken a bullet for him, was vanished, gone forever. Just as he would never again see his love, so he would nevermore speak to his brother, nevermore rely on him, nevermore stand beside him. Luigi was dead, in the moment of their triumph. He who had fought, who had done all he could, he who had never wavered from the path of heroism, who had never ceased to dedicate to their liberty, their salvation, had given too much. He who had saved the Kingdom would never see the freedom he had earned.

Luigi had always been there; even when Mario had not… he had always done the right thing, even as Mario had failed to. And he had stood by his brother all this time… Even when Mario had left him, had given up on the Kingdom, Luigi had believed in him, supported him. The Super Mario Brothers had always been together, even through the darkest of times. Now he was gone, just as Peach had been gone before him. Everyone Mario cared about, everyone he had ever loved was lost, forever.

Link stepped forward and grasped his free hand, in a gesture of camaraderie, of support, standing by the hero’s bedside. And the tears flowed, the hero broke. For a while he was still, sobbing, eyes closed, mouth aquiver, all vestiges of heroic resolve completely vanished, as Link, head bowed in solemn respect, in mourning, stood beside him.

Mario gently released both grips, and grabbed his brother’s body in his arms, cradling him like a child, ignoring the pain as his scorched muscles screamed in protest. He looked upon Luigi’s silent face, sobbing, shaking him briefly, as if expecting the fallen brother to open his eyes. But it was not to be; Luigi was gone from this world. He knelt in the center of the Bastion, beside the Hero of Time, miraculously alive, only surviving on a stroke of luck… He was surrounded by the people he had fought for, the people he had saved, those who idolized him… And he had never been so alone.

Gradually, painfully, tears wracking his frame, Mario stood, carrying his brother’s body. And, turning back towards the great hall, he began to walk. Link, grabbing Mario’s hammer, lifting it with extreme effort, followed, silent, his head bowed slightly.

The two heroes, third in arms, ambled through the makeshift hospital once more. And once more the people stopped to stare, this time in sorrow, as their hero walked through their midst, bowing their heads in silence, in respect, in sympathy. And Mario, despite the weight in his hands, the weight in his heart, walked onward, pressing forward through the open Bastion doors, out into the square.

Outside, the sky was cloudy; the sun masked from the world. Calm, soothing wind blew through the buildings. The mass of Kingdom citizens, picking through the rubble of the city, entering and exiting the Bastion, going about their daily business, turned towards Mario, at first rejoicing, before they saw the corpse he carried. The grim procession walked, step by step, through their midst, past the golden throne of the Usurper, the platform of the Coalition, and down the aisle so many had once walked on the path to their demise, at last exiting the square, departing into the ruins.

A gap in the clouds allowed the sun’s rays to grace the city below, highlighting the destruction, the sprawling buildings that lay in ruins. People wandered the streets, their heads bowed, carrying whatever remains they had been able to scavenge from their shattered homes, whatever trinkets, tokens of their old lives they had managed to maintain, in mourning of a time now lost. They meandered in rags, impoverished, quickly realizing the task ahead of them, faced with the prospect of living with nothing, living for nothing.

And the words of the Cannibal, the prophecy of the Butcher, echoed through Mario’s mind.

It will all be in vain...

After all they had fought for, after all their struggles, this was all that was left… a fallen city, a dying land. The Coalition was gone. The Cannibal, but a ghost. The Demon, vanished. And the Avalanchians, defeated at last. But the world had been dealt a fatal blow, the Kingdom had been ruined, beyond all redemption, beyond all salvation. The peoples’ spirits, while alive, would fall, would break, as the cruelty of life inevitably caught up with them, and they were torn apart, just as he was… For Peach was lost, Luigi was lost, just as thousands lay dead, countless more lost forever amidst the Tempest, as the city, and the reality that harbored it, had been nearly torn apart.

At last Mario came to a stop by the ruins of the old Cathedral, where many had gathered once more, cremating their dead upon a dozen pyres. As the heroes walked forward, as Mario slowly lowered Luigi’s body to the wood at his feet, he caught glimpses of despair, of bereavement; families watching as loved ones were carried away from their dismal lives, lofted to a better place by the purging fires. Two brothers knelt, in sorrow, beside the mother who was nothing more than ashes. One woman sat against a wall, weeping silently before an empty pyre, as her daughter cried into her arms, mourning the loss of the father they would never find.

This was all that had become of their struggles. A world decimated by warfare, by strife, forever trapped within the agony of mourning.

No, there could be no rebuilding; he saw it clearly now. All that remained was ruin, desolation. The Mushroom Kingdom was dying, and he had lost the will to stop it… they all had. They had fought to save their world, and in the greatest of ironies been left with nothing worth saving, just as Mario now had nothing. The woman he had fought for countless times was long dead, the brother whom he had owed so much was gone. Never would Mario be able to repay Luigi for all the good he had done.

Mario raised his left hand, allowed a fireball, small but bright, to coalesce within. Several of the nearby mourners stopped, turned, watching as he looked upon his brother one final time, and let the fire drop from his hands, igniting the pile of wooden planks, bathing Luigi in its radiance.

Mario turned, walking away from the pyre.

Link placed a hand on his shoulder. Mario glanced back at his companion, tears in his eyes, sobs still wracking his being.

Stay with us, Mario,” said the Hylian, extending his hand, “The people need you.

Mario, choking away his sobs for a moment, glanced down at the object Link held.

There, in the hands of the Hero of Time, Chief of Police, was a four-pointed golden circlet, cracked along one side, inset with four shattered jewels. It was a relic, long thought lost since the days of the Rising War. The crown of the Princess. The crown of the Kingdom.

The people need their leader; they need their hero.

Mario looked to Link, smiled slightly, the same smile he had given Luigi seven days ago, and shook his head, turning to walk away. There was nothing left to rule, nobody left to champion. The work of the Princess, of the Admin, of the Usurper even, the work of the heroes of the Kingdom, had all come unto nothing. All that this crown had ever meant was gone now, made irrelevant by the death of its realm. Its purpose was stymied, its greatness sullied, lost forever. There was nothing worth protecting.

There was nothing left worth living for.

Yet even as he turned away from Link, turned away from the Kingdom, he heard something that made him stop.

To his left, by the empty, lit pyre, the mother’s sobs had turned into tears of joy, as she beheld a new entry to the final resting place of the dead. Hair disheveled, chin dotted with stubble, eyes weary but calm, complacent, clothes torn, stood her husband, having traveled here for the same purpose as they, to mourn the loss of the ones he thought gone from this world. His mouth grew into a grin, and he held his hands wide.

As the mother stood, dumbfounded, overcome by happiness, by untold relief, her daughter threw herself, laughing, into his arms. And the words that had inspired him, the words that had inspired thousands, shone through the fog of his misery like a beacon of hope.

As long as we can hear the laughter of one child, we are never past redemption.

Peach had always said that. The Princess had always believed that the worth of this land lay in its youth, for it was they who epitomized the greatest hope for a better future. She had always felt that, no matter how deep the darkness into which they had sunk, no matter how far the world had fallen, one soul, one hope, was enough to keep them going. And as long as she lived, she would stand by that mantra. She had stood strong, a shining star, even in the darkest of hours. Even as the Kingdom had descended into corruption, even as the Cannibal had ravaged the land, she had remained, steadfast, within the light. She had never wavered; she had never given up.

Now, Peach was dead. For six months, that strength, that belief in justice, that beauty… it had been gone, forever. Now the world had burned, and lay crippled, smothered in its own ashes, but that star was long gone. There was no beacon to follow. No great Princess to fight for, to look up to, no… valiance to aspire to.

What would she do, if she was here now?

Peach would remain, a spot of light, of soft serenity, amidst a towering inferno, to protect a single soul. She would remain against the rising of the tides, to save one little girl from drowning. If one person still felt hope, she would stand by them through anything. Yes, were she alive, she would have fought for what she believed in, fought to rebuild their world. She would stay strong even if the Kingdom were to burn around her. She would be their anchor, their lifeline. This Mario knew, beyond all doubt.

But she wasn’t alive. And without her, they had no anchor, they had no lifeline. Without her, who could pull the Kingdom together? There was nobody who could match her strength, nobody who could match her dedication.

You-a bring the people together like-a nobody else can. You give-a them hope. You give-a them strength. The Kingdom-a needs you.

The eyes of the mourners followed Mario as, deliberately, he turned around, towards his companion. He locked eyes with the Hero of Time, and nodded, beckoning. Tears held back, anguish masked beneath a layer of solemn acceptance, as he took the crown from Link’s hand. Mario turned away from the mourning grounds, royal headpiece held tight in hand, and walked steadily forward, away from the funeral pyres, down into the ruins below. Link, after a moment’s hesitation, followed, solemn.

They passed through the shattered causeways, through the ruined buildings, back the way he had come, as the scattered people, going about their business turned to watch. The Kingdom was little more than debris. The once great city stood desolate, in ashes. The citizens huddled together, their battle won, but their land, their old lives lost. They sought sanctuary in the solace of the last great structure, the final place in this world where order still remained. All they had built across the many years, all they had reconstructed across the past several months, it was gone, lost… vanished in futility.

They had fallen far… so very far.

But the children were laughing. The future had not abandoned them yet.

One by one, standing from where they rested, the people of the Kingdom rose, gathering behind Mario as he walked through the streets, golden diadem still in hand. His slow limp gradually improved, until he was walking upright… until he stood strong. And one by one, the people silently dropped what they carried, letting their burdens rest as they proceeded to shoulder his.

Still he walked forward through the ruins, forward through the cloudy, dismal afternoon. Still he struggled to continue, encapsulated by his bereavement, swallowed by his sadness. Against his anguish, something held strong. Within a sea of writhing despair, he refused to drown. He knew not how he could lead them. He knew not what he could do to bring the people together. But he had to try, lest Peach’s death be for nothing, lest Luigi’s sacrifice be meaningless.

One way or another, they had to live on. One way or another, they had to survive.

Yet the Coalition had tried to rebuild; they had sought a rising era, had struggled to attain a better world, and this had been the outcome. Onward they marched now, beneath a cloudy sky, a silent mass following a hero in mourning, he who would be their ruler, up a road paved with the ghosts of hundreds. Onward they walked, in this place stained by the blood of their families, of their friends, tainted by the sacrifices of those who had lost their lives for the sake of a new age that would never come.

But now, this place echoed now with the footsteps of the ones for whom it had been conquered. This street, this ghostly boulevard, this graveyard of hopes and dreams, stood as a silent reminder of the price of their triumph, of those who had given them hope. Now, the Coalition was gone… the Kingdom was free.

At last Mario rounded the crest of the hill, coming to a halt at the end of the aisle in Ascendancy Square.

No more did the crowd wait in anticipation of an execution; those who gathered here now did so out of comfort, of sanctuary, not of fear, of oppression. No more did the great cyan banner fly from the Bastion; the fallen angels had long left this realm. No more did great viewscreens paint the clearing with images of despair, of death; never again would the people be forced to submit, to watch as their friends were Purged from the world. No more did the Preacher stand atop the platform that still stood, largely intact, at the other end of the square; her lies would infect them no longer. And the Usurper was gone; no more would he place himself in the seat of a deity.

No more did a tyrant sit atop the golden throne.

Mario stepped forward. Slowly, with purpose, with unhindered intent, undeniable purpose, he walked ahead, up the aisle, down the path so many had followed to their doom. His gaze was fixed now, his eyes darkened by the shadows of his tears, but strong, staring ahead, unwavering. He walked onward, head held high, fists clenched, crown of the Kingdom held tight in hand, the feel of its cold steel against his skin reinforcing what he already knew: The Mushroom Kingdom at last had fallen back into the hands of its people. The Coalition was gone, and this was their world now.

Pace by pace, the hero walked forward, step by tenuous step, Mario crossed the clearing, the decimated, ruined Square.

All around, the friends and families that had gathered out in the ruined Square gazed upon him as he proceeded gradually forward, as the crowd behind him filled into the clearing, Link at their head. From all sides, dozens of eyes turned his way. All other thoughts were cast aside, as the people of the Kingdom looked to their hero—a crowd of hundreds stood in silence to watch as their liberator, bane of the Usurper, walked up the square, towards the throne of the one he had slain, the seat of the oppressor he had cast aside.

And, at last, he reached the end of the aisle, and stepped up onto the raised platform.

Every person, every living being that was gathered in Ascendancy Square waited, with bated breath. Every eye was turned towards the platform, towards the symbol of power, towards the golden throne, and towards Mario, the savior who stood before it.

For there he was, finally, atop the pinnacle of the world, a man who had lost it all, who now held the world in his hands. And there it remained, in silence; the great seat of the Usurper at last was vacant. No longer was it in the hands of a man who would deem himself a god; at long last the throne of the Kingdom was theirs to behold, just as the nation itself was theirs to rebuild, theirs to do with what they would…

…theirs to rule as they please…

Mario walked forward, coming to a stop before the great throne. For months he had seen it from a distance, but now, here before it… he was overwhelmed by its majesty, by its brilliant, fervent glory. The seat was built of pure gold, carved with intricate patterns, its beauty nearing arcane perfection. And it remained untouched, an object of unnatural radiance. It remained undamaged, despite the war that had been fought over it, the duel that had been concluded atop it. It was a thing of beauty, of splendor, amidst a destroyed square… its presence was almost otherworldly.

The throne of the gods, they had called it… the seat of Heaven.

Yes… Mario looked skyward, into the cloudy expanse above. This was the chair from which the god of the new age looked down upon his subjects. Mario stood upon the very platform from which the world had been shaped. They had declared themselves angels, had sought to rule over the holy realm. They had fought to shape their golden era as nothing less than deities, nothing short of gods.

As Mario stepped towards it, the full weight of its significance struck him. This seat stood for that mission. He who sat here would had the power to control the future. He who seized this empty throne would be the one to lead them into a resurgent dawn. He who sat atop this great chair would dominate heaven itself.

But this land, that which lay before him, within his reach… could it really be called heaven?

He looked out over the shattered city, over the desolation, and down at the diadem in his hands. Slowly, he ran his fingers over the cold steel, around its solid, arcing length, as he looked silently upon its glistening form. His fingers caressed the four golden spikes, where they radiated from the top, eased over the rough edges where the great jewels had been smashed, felt along the crack in its side… This was the crown of the Kingdom, the symbol of its strength. He held in his hand the culmination of all they had fought for, the very thing countless had given their lives for. This was the thing they had struggled to protect.

It was broken, just like the Kingdom it stood for. This was not heaven, but a wounded land. It was a world in need of saving, a realm in need of change.

Perhaps you can be the one to bring about the new age we both seek.

And Mario’s gaze rose back towards the throne, understanding dawning on him.

If Mario were to take this seat he could by his own strength build a better era. He could rebuild this Kingdom, lead them into a golden era, one shaped by righteousness, freed from corruption, freed from avarice… His thoughts flashed to Peach, to Wario… to Luigi. Had this Kingdom been in better hands, they might have lived. It was too late to save them, yes. It was too late to bring back those lost. But maybe he could save the Kingdom itself. Perhaps he could rid the realm of corruption, rid the land of degradation, and bring back the Kingdom that once was…

…Yes. He could be the leader they needed. He could become the force of change in their world. He could seize the throne of heaven for his own, and lead the world into a new age.

Mario turned, looked out over the crowd, at the people gathered below, at they who would be his subjects. Hundreds more had joined the initial crowd, from the side streets as they went about their daily business, from the Bastion, having seen or heard him outside. All looked up to him, all gazed at him, as he stood above them, as he looked down upon them.

For he stood above them now, utterly and completely. He was no longer a man to them but something more, something greater.

Mario looked into their eyes, and saw reverence. He saw in the faces of the people adoration of their hero, of their savior. But something else crossed their countenance, something unbidden, something unexpected. The people gazed upon him with not merely loyalty, but a sort of formal respect.

No… not merely respect, but a touch of fear.

And suddenly, he remembered a time, mere days ago, where he was among them, looking up at another man who stood here, just as Mario did now.

He recalled a day when another had placed himself above them, his mind enraptured with notions of heaven, of a better era. He remembered when he had stood there, among the crowd, among the people, and watched with trepidation as Fedaykin took that power for his own.

The throne of heaven belongs to me, and from atop its perch, I will save this dying world.

Had those not been his words? Had that not been his ideal?

Mario turned to the throne once more.

Was this how Fedaykin had felt, as he stood atop this platform those months ago, as he struck down his opposition and brought the masses into his grasp? Had he not always preached an ideal of perfection, one of Utopia, one of a better world? That had been the Coalition’s mission, that had been their aim from the beginning. They too had sought to rid the realm of corruption, become the forces of change, the forces of purpose, and now the Kingdom was dying because of it. And had that not been Avalanche’s aim; to rid the world of the corrupted moderators, to burn away the fallen angels, and return to a better time, a better place? The Fallen King’s quest had, too, ended in futility, delivering the world into the hands of a lunatic.

Then it dawned on him, and Mario stepped back.

Slowly, he turned toward the crowd once more, gazed upon their faces. Already he had been elevated above them. Already he stood apart from them. And already there was fear in their eyes, fear given strength by the memories of those who had oppressed them, those who had torn away their families, those who had brought this Kingdom to the brink of destruction. He thought himself the peoples’ savior, but were he to take that seat, he would be no better than the despots he had faced. He would be just another Mad King. Were he to seize the throne that stood before him, he would be just another tyrant, just another Usurper.

Mario raised his arm, eyes glancing out over the mass that had gathered silently below, and let the crown of the Kingdom fall gently from his grasp.

And step by step, the eyes of hundreds upon him, Mario walked away from the throne, back towards the stairs, towards the edge of the platform, towards Link.

His thoughts turned to the Fedaykin, to their final moment in the darkness. To their final words, their final exchange. He had fought for his freedom, for his Kingdom, but had come up short. Yet the Coalitionist had spared him, the fallen angel had granted him mercy. And Fedaykin had surrendered. He had abandoned his throne, his vision. Perhaps the mod had seen the answer, had recognized what Mario knew now. Perhaps he had understood the truth behind it all. That history must not be allowed to repeat itself. They must not come full circle.

The Usurper had left the throne, but he had not left it for him, not for Mario.

He came to a stop before the Hero of Time, and held out his hands. Link paused, confusion etched across his face, and the two heroes stared silently at each other. Then comprehension dawned on the Hylian’s face. Link held out the hammer he carried, and Mario closed his hands around it, turning back towards the platform, towards the golden chair.

Yes, Fedaykin had not left it for him. He had not abandoned his godly seat just for another to take his place. For they could not afford another tyrant right now; they could not afford another dictator. The Mushroom Kingdom could not withstand another Coalition. The Usurper had realized that he could never achieve what he’d hoped for, that were he to hold onto his throne, hold onto his power, the world would never recover. His path would never be the path to salvation, for the world did not belong to a man with a golden crown, a man upon a shining chair.

The world belongs to those who challenge fate.

Mario ascended the stairs, one step at a time, until once more he stood atop the lofted platform… once more he stood above the people of the Kingdom.

Overhead, the clouds seemed to part, allowing thin shafts of light to pierce the sky, and shine upon the square below, as Mario stepped up to the throne, and turned to face the crowd once more.

And in their eyes, he saw not fear, not suspense, but inspiration. Just as light graced the square, as the clouds overhead began to part, so did hope at last touch upon the people gathered below. For they didn’t need a king, they didn’t need a god.

They needed a hero.

Slowly, deliberately, Mario turned to face the golden throne, the seat of the Usurper, and raised his hammer aloft. The clouds continued to part, beginning to bask the platform, and the hero who stood upon it, with light.

The world belongs to those who challenge fate. The world belongs to those who fight for it. It was they who had stood, who had risen without end. It was they who had fought for their future, they who had strived for freedom, for justice, for a better world. It was they who would be the ones to rebuild. It was not he, but they who would bring about a golden era. The people of the Mushroom Kingdom would champion the dawn of the new age.

They were the ones worth fighting for. They would build a Kingdom worth living for.

As the people looked on, as the sun broke through the clouds in earnest, as the Kingdom saw a resurgence of light, the hammer was brought down, and the bonds of fate shattered with a resonating clash.

Spoiler:
The town wins, led by the Evil League of Evil!

Rankings:
1st: The Town +The Evil League of Evil
2nd: The New Kingdom of Avalanchia
3rd: The Coalition of Moderators
4th: The Ascendant Demon
5th: The Hierophant
6th: The Serial Killer

Thus concludes Mafia Game 20!


Last edited by Quaetam on Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:25 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Quaetam on Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:03 am

Thank you all for playing in game 20, it's been a lot of fun. You guys are great, and being able to host this monster of a game for you was great. I want to thank you also for bearing with me and the delays I had towards the end: real life started to get the best of me.

I will be getting role PMs and the (rather awesome this game) mechanics/storysummary post up asap, it should take me a few days, but no longer than that. If you guys are okay with holding off a bit on g21 signups I'd appreciate it...

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Warchamp7 on Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:59 am

Owned.

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  SnakeInABox on Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:11 am

Fucking Owned.

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  nn8n on Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:41 am

Not that it matters much but my reasoning for wanting to defend Dark Falco was to try and absorb her 'God' ability. Wouldn't have mattered I probably would have been blocked or something anyways. I messed up by acting arrogant...sorry for that everyone...

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  DRTJR on Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:49 am

One of the more interesting game mechanics we've seen on the mafia games.

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  TD260 on Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:00 am

Just saying, I was right.

That said, beautiful game, amazing end. Q, you've really outdone yourself this time.

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  SpoonMan Abrams X on Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:21 pm

'Bout time, Q! Laughing <3

Even with as much "learning" as I had to do to understand some of the stuff (mostly theme wise), it was a lot of fun. This game was entertaining and very well done, made for a great moderator and story teller! A+

Makes me look forward to the next game here Wink

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  SurgePox on Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:52 pm

Good game everyone, especially to my partner in crime, johnny, the only avalanchian who didn't go afk this game. My other teammates were great but I just wish you guys would have been around a little more. Congrats to Snake and Warchamp for the come-from-behind, esp after warchamps flop it looked like he was completely out but a smart move by him let his force sit back while the other factions went down.

Also always and as I'll repeat over steam forever, thanks to our impeccable host Q for another great game, probably the best yet.

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Minby_Aran on Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:15 pm

You guys all suck, screw you.



JK, great game everyone. A decent amount of lols were had when I found everything out and got to watch from outside. Greatly set up, Q. Just wanna make sure you know that at least some of us appreciate all the work you put into it.

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  DarkFalco on Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:56 pm

*sigh* i wish i had been a townie still :/ everyone thought i was mafia, so getting recruited by the mb didn't help me any...him either for that matter lol

so yeah, i was everything that i claimed to be

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Doctor Shulk on Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:14 am

I spent that entire game thinking the town was screwed, then once I came back to life we seemed to have it. Heh.

Brilliant post as ever Q, your talents are wasted here, I'm telling you Razz

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

Post  Relmitos on Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:57 pm

I wouldn't call it wasted. We enjoy playing the games and he enjoys hosting them. I have told him a few times that he should write books or something though.

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Re: TWBB Mafia Game 20: Those who Challenge Fate-ENDGAME-A Kingdom Worth Living For (Thread 2)

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