ACT I - THE BEGINNING
PROLOGUE: CHAOS AND ORDER
Over 1000 years ago... Fresh blood slid down the polished length of the greatsword hanging loosely in Ryou's hand. It dragged through the charred earth along with his feet as he staggered through the burning woods with fatigue. Only a few minutes ago had he ended the war, dealing the finishing strike through the twisted heart of the Lord of the Hellspawn, Sanguinix; but he did not care. Exhausted, he collapsed to the ground, muttering the names of his deceased friends before he sank into the dark depths of unconsciousness:
"Baqer... Seren... I'm sorry..."
When Ryou awoke, night had fallen, and the skies sobbed with a heavy downpour. Yet he did not care enough to stand.
As quick as it had begun to rain, as quick as the finishing strike that ended the war; time seemed to stop for Ryou. A grey wave of energy plastered the land, and, in it's wake, stopped all motion around him. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye Ryou found himself with an otherworldly, orange cloaked figure standing before him. He barely lifted his head to spare the figure a glance before lowering it back to the ground once more. "Do what you will," he said quietly.
"Hm... So the Chaos has ended, I presume," answered the orange-cloaked figure, "And you were the slayer of Sanguinix; it's quite fortunate that it ended, the fighting was growing on my nerves."
"That doesn't matter... nothing matters anymore," muttered Ryou, cringing slightly.
"Why not? You ended something that was worthless and pointless. Fighting is pointless." said Order, under bated breath, "and you did it; you should be proud, dear Terral."
Upon the mention of his race, Ryou cringed again. "Dead... they're all dead," he groaned. "My race, all those dear to me... there's nothing left for me here among the elves of Aegis... what good does heroic glory and pride do me?"
"Are they... all dead?" The being paused in silence. "But there is always a chance at life, especially a new one. Do you wish for something like that?"
"A... new life?" asked Ryou, thinking aloud. "If only it were that easy," he said, with a note of longing in his voice.
"But it can be," it replied, "It can be that easy. With me at least. And you shall see why, if you desire change..."
"Who are you?" asked Ryou, as the faintest glimmer of hope entered his golden eyes.
"No one of importance." Two energies surrounded the being- one yellow, one orange- spiraling around it like a vortex. "And this new life of yours... begins now." With that, the two energies shot themselves into Ryou like spears.
Ryou's back arced and he cried out in pain as new energy began to flood into him, flowing through his bones from his very core to the tips of his fingers. He could feel his ebbing strength return to him like a blow from a warhammer. He curled up on all fours, digging his curled fingers into the ground, instinctually trying to grip something as both strength and agony burned through him like fire.
And suddenly, it stopped. Ryou collapsed onto the ground once more, breathing heavily and sweating profusely. He suddenly became aware of a greater sphere of sense, far beyond what his own body could detect; it was as if he could feel the space around him and the motions in the cosmos itself.
"You will question yourself for a while. I hope that you find my gift, somewhat... Invigorating." Time began to abruptly start once more. As rain landed upon Ryou once more, the cloaked being suddenly took to the skies, flying without use of anything and vanishing in the distance.
Ryou stood, shakily to his feet, confused. Just as he was questioning what exactly had happened, he became aware of two invisible energies that flowed through the very air, into the ground, and all around him, branching out like a giant web of currents. One of which was calm, flowing peacefully. A word came to his mind:
The second energy was dark, shifting constantly like a mass of tendrils, and crackling like bolts of electricity. Something within the energy terrified him.
He wished for the Chaos to leave him. No more violence. No more war. No more pain. He could see the peaceful current of energy flowing into him, and his sadness left him like a fleeting dream. His mind was overcome with a new purpose, a purpose of Order. He would end war, and the chaos it wrought; He would judge mortals with his newfound power- strength the likes of gods would only dream of. He would be their judge, their executioner.
He was no longer Ryou. That was his old life, his life filled with pain, violence, and sadness.
"I am Arbiter," he said.
CHAPTER I: THE SUMMONING
Rune sat in the grass in a lush valley. She had just finished fighting off some of Omega's more mischievous monsters, and was now relaxing on the former battlefield. It was a pleasant day, with a clear blue sky, and a gentle breeze. She sighed with content.
A burst of green energy suddenly illuminated the sky as the image of a man descended towards the horizon like a falling star. Rune sat up straight, observing the anomaly. "What is that?" she thought. She stood up, summoned her fire sword, and began to walk towards the area.
The man touched down upon the earth gently, as a swan lands upon a clear pond. His long, emerald green hair framed his shoulders and swung in the breeze. A massive blade hung from his clenched fist, a sword longer than he was tall, and nearly as wide as the width of his shoulders. His intense, golden eyes stared off into the sky, distantly, taking no notice of the approaching Rune.
"Hello?" Rune asked, approaching him.
The man spun his head towards her, overlooking her with his piercing, golden eyes, as if trying to analyze her mind and read her like the pages of a book. Then without another word, he set off, turning his back to her.
"Hey, wait a minute!" Rune called after him. "Who are you?"
"Your end," he said, before taking off into the air and flying into the horizon like an arrow.
Before Rune could react, a flash of soothing, golden light burst before her, revealing the ethereal figure of a tall woman in a vivid, navy blue dress. Her eyes were pitch black orbs that rested in their sockets. Her expression was soft, and calming.
"Do not fear, Rune," said the woman. "I have seen that you are pure and noble of heart, and I have chosen you to bear a great responsibility."
"A... great responsibility?" Rune asked with trepidation.
The woman nodded. Time seemed to slow down around herself and Rune, and the surrounding world became drained of it's color. "I am Fortuna, the goddess of Balance," the woman continued. The man you have seen before you was a man who has traveled across the stars, leaving only destruction in his wake. Scores of innocent lives have met their end at his hands, and billions more will follow if he is not stopped."
Rune's eyes widened. "Billions of innocent lives? But....why?"
"He is a destroyer of worlds born from an age in the past," Fortuna explained. "His name is Arbiter. If you choose to accept this calling, you will learn more of this adversary."
Rune took a deep breath, contemplating the situation. Then, she nodded and said, "Alright. I accept."
Fortuna nodded. "You are very trusting. Be wary... the path ahead is filled with danger. I shall guide you on this mission as you gather your allies." With those last words, Fortuna disappeared in a burst of light. Color returned to the surrounding area as the flow of time returned to normal.
Rune looked around, confused. She knew she had to go after the man, but didn't know how to pursue him.
"Your first ally approaches," the voice of Fortuna spoke from thin air. A male youth with auburn hair and green eyes materialized as if out of nowhere. He looked around, stunned, and exclaimed "Wait, where the hell am I?" He looked at Rune, "Who are you?"
Rune looks at him shyly. "Uhm....my name's Rune. Who're you?" The boy answered, "I'm Todd. Where am I?"
Rune crossed her arms. "Are you....from Belladore?"
"No...I'm from Earth. Where the hell is Belladore?"
Rune half-smiled, not sure how to explain it. "Belladore....is sort of far from Earth....it's a planet inhabited mainly by quipps..."
Todd raised an eye brown and asked, "Quipps? What are Quipps?"
A small spark of light appeared before Rune and Todd, and Fortuna's voice echoed forth from it. "Todd. It is no accident that you are here. This is the whim of fate. Your powers will be of great importance in this quest."
The spark of light moved over towards Todd, circling him for a moment. "You've been prepared for this quest just as I have explained it to Rune..."
Todd then asked the voice, "Who are you?"
"The very same entity who brought you here," said Fortuna. "I am Fortuna, and I will guide you. Todd, if you will, take Rune with you, and Walk to our first destination."
Before Todd could ask about said destination, an image appeared in his mind, undoubtedly procured by Fortuna, showing him where in the Universe he needed to go.
"Where are we going?" Rune asked. Todd just extended his hand, "Just grab my hand and I'll bring us to the Universe we have to go."
Rune took hold of his hand, and braced herself for the dangerous journey that awaited.
CHAPTER II: FOREST FIGHT
As they stepped forward, it was as if they had stepped from one room to the next- it did not feel as if they had jumped a cosmic distance, yet there they were, on an entirely different world. Where grasslands once stretched to the horizon, trees stood, clustered around them on all sides. It was midday, and the sunlight was obscured by the distant canopy of tree branches.
Todd sighed and said to Rune, "Well here we are."
Rune looked around. "Where are we exactly?"
Todd completely blew off the question and said, "We have to find allies here to fight Arbiter....or to find him directly."
"He wants to destroy entire planets. If he was here....we would know, wouldn't we?"
Todd shrugged, "I would assume. Primarily since there's still a planet, and that it isn't going, BOOOOOOM!, right now."
Rune laughed a little, despite her anxiety over the quest. Todd then asked, "So do you see any form of civilization?", before floating up in the air to get a better view of the world.
Rune did the same, levitating up into the sky, looking around. "No....nothing that seems very close, anyway...."
Todd then asked, "Er, Rune, have you ever been here before? Because from what I can see, I don't think there is civilization..."
"Yeah.....what kind of planet is this?" Rune responded. Todd looked up at the sky and said, "Well this planet is able to be home to life. But I haven't seen any animals. Have you?"
As if in response to Todd's question, a bestial screech split the air, echoing through the woods.
Todd then said, "Er, I'd like to retract my previous statement. Should we investigate Rune?"
"I guess so," Rune replied. She looked around, trying to locate the source of the screech.
The screech resounded once more, sounding farther away than before. Todd then quickly said, "Let's go!" before zipping towards the sound of the animal's screech.
Rune followed, flying as fast as she could. Yet after several minutes of running through trees and thicket, Rune and Todd entered an empty clearing.
Rune looked around. "What the....?" Todd took Rune's hand and landed, "Well," he began, "Let's get to looking around."
A short man with crimson hair, a blue coat, and a scythe hanging loosely in his hand suddenly appeared in the clearing; upon taking notice of Rune and Todd, he turned and silently went the other way without another word.
Rune reached towards him. "Hey, wait!" she called. Todd stamped his foot; a wall of earth rose before the man, stopping him in his tracks.
The man was still for a moment. He glanced at Rune and Todd over his shoulder. The scythe that was hanging loosely in his hand suddenly stiffened as he gripped it tighter.
"Uhm..." Rune began. "We're sorry to bother you, but could you tell us where we are?" Todd then joked, directing his attention to Rune, "Are we fighting the Grim Reaper?"
The youth turned around and stared at them- despite his notably young face, his emerald eyes were world-weary, and his scythe was larger than him. He did not say a word.
"Are....you alright?" Rune inquired.
Todd lowered the wall of rock and asked, "Who are you?"
The youth was silent for a moment longer, before suddenly taking off, disappearing before Rune and Todd could react.
"Hey!" Rune yelled, running after him. Todd followed and called out, "Wait!"
He was abnormally fast, like a bird in flight, sprinting and carrying his weapon with surprising strength for someone of his smaller stature. Rune and Todd could barely keep up, and would have lost sight of him had he not scrambled quickly up the trunk of a thick tree like a squirrel, perching on a branch and watching his pursuers, as if daring them to follow.
"We just wanna' know where we are!" Rune shouted. "Do you live around here?"
Todd looked up and teleported onto a branch above the man and said, "Will you just answer us?"
Before the trio could do anything, a loud tremor shook the ground, followed by the sound of crashing trees and startled flocks of birds. And then the earth trembled with a second tremor. And a third. Growing louder, and closer.
Todd fell from the tree and landed on his back, all the wind forced out of him. "Damn! What the hell was that?"
A giant, green-skinned creature rose above the treetops, dragging behind it a blunt, wooden club. While humanoid in shape, it's face was pig-like, and it was dressed in a brown loincloth. In it's clenched fist was an unconscious figure, a girl that shimmered like a pink mirage.
"More little people," shouted the ogre-like creature, taking notice of the three. It's voice was grating and unpleasant. "Today is lucky!"
The crimson-haired youth narrowed his eyes, as if in thought. Todd interlaced his fingers and cracked them saying, "I disagree...you stand a snowball's chance in Hell."
Rune glared at the giant monster, and pointed her fire sword at it.
The ogre, roaring, stomped forwards and swung it's club towards Todd, intent on crushing him. Todd leapt to the side and threw a fire ball at the monster's eye.
The ogre stooped forth; the fireball sailed harmlessly past it's head as it swung it's club in a horizontal arc, intending on crushing the three of them at once.
Rune raised a fire barrier around them all, hoping it would hold up. Todd then created a shield of energy underneath that, hoping to renforce their protection.
Only the stranger dodged the weapon, leaping impossibly high into the air with superhuman strength. The ogre's club decimated several thick trees before smashing into Rune and Todd's barrier with the force of a speeding train. While the barriers absorbed much of the force, they didn't hold up; Rune and Todd were thrown several meters from the force of the attack.
Todd coughed a little, dust getting in his throat, before asking, "You OK Rune?"
Rune got to her feet as quickly as she could. "Yeah, I'm alright," she said, lying a bit.
Todd snapped his arm back into place and questioned, "Should we keep fighting this guy?"
Rune summoned her fire sword, and looked to the ogre angrily. "Absolutely."
The stranger had already charged forth recklessly, driving his scythe into the ogre's ankle. It must've felt like a bee sting, but the creature was still enraged. It lifted it's foot up, the weapon still stuck inside, and tried to stomp the stranger as if he were an insect. Todd created a sheild around the person, while throwing a fireball at the ogre.
Rune swung her sword, unleashing a massive fire wave at the ogre.
The beast staggered back, dropping the pink figure it held in it's fist. The stranger dropped his scythe and dove forward, catching her before she hit the ground. She was surprisingly light.
"Damned... little..." the ogre grunted.
Todd smirked over the ogre's distraction. "Eat it!" Todd said tossing a plasma ball at the giant monster.
The ogre took the full force of the hit; the ball exploded, searing his green skin. Cursing profusely, the creature staggered back and collapsed, crushing a cluster of trees. He pulled himself up and began to flee.
"Let it go," said the stranger to Rune and Todd, speaking for the first time.
"What is this place?" Rune asked, hoping that the stranger's silence was officially broken.
Todd followed up the question with, "Who are you?"
"A vagabond. I am Ruichi." He set the girl down gently onto the grass, before beginning to walk away. "Take her someplace safe, far from here."
Todd did a double take at Rune before saying, "Uh...Ruichi, you said that's you're name right?, I think she can take care of herself...and I can definitly can take care of myself."
"Something has caused the ogres to leave their home in the mountains," said Ruichi. "Not even a dragon could have done that. Whatever it is, it must be unfathomably powerful. Take her, and yourselves, and go."
Todd shurgged off the warning, "I face demons on a regular basis."
"Ogres wouldn't run from demons," said Ruichi. "But if you want to die, don't let me stop you." Todd smirked, "I've been to Hell and back...literally. And she...what do you do Rune?"
"I protect Belladore from a young man who wants to enslave the people there," Rune responded. He gestuered to her and said, "See, she's a big girl."
"I don't know what you two are babbling about," Ruichi said, "but stay away. Take that girl to safety." He then took off, disappearing into the woods. Todd helped Rune up and asked cheekily, "You ready to completely disobey that guy's demands?" He then looked down at the girl Ruichi put down, unintentionally not paying her mind. "What about you?"
"He wants us to take her somewhere safe. Although, I have no idea where that would be..." Rune replied with dismay.
"A light shines from within this girl," said the voice of Fortuna, in Rune and Todd's minds. "She is your next ally."
As if on cue, the pink girl suddenly sprung awake with seemingly boundless energy.
"Omigosh-where-am-I-what-happened-who-are-you-two?" Her voice sputtered with the speed of machine gun fire.
Rune's eyes widened, hearing the speed of the girl's voice. "Uhm...I'm Rune."
"Rune?" asked the girl. "That's a funny name. Hi Rune!" She turned to Todd, and tilted her head in thought. "Hm... what's your name? Wait- lemme guess! Is it Steve? Aran? Michaelangelo Sebastian Markus the Eighteenth? Rune, doesn't he look like a Michaelangelo?"
Todd replied, "Uh, no. My name is Todd. And who are you?"
"I'm Nebula Celeste! But you can call me Neb! Wait- no, don't do that. Nebula's fine. Hi! I'm Nebula!"
Todd, noticing the pink skin color, asked, "Uh, if you don't mind my asking, Nebula, what are you?"
Nebula tilted her head in confusion. "That's an odd question... I'm a girl, aren't I?"
Todd cleared his throat and corrected himself, "No, I mean, like, I'm a human, and you are..."
"Oh. Right!" exclaimed Nebula, facepalming. "Silly of me- I'm a wisp! Wait- you're a human? You guys are humans? I've never seen one of you up close before... wait a minute, you mean there are humans in other places too? Oh, this is so exciting! I didn't know they had humans here!"
She narrowed her eyes, examining them both as she drifted around them in circles, floating like a ghost. "Hm... you're kinda like us, but you're not all... glowy. Are you defective?"
Todd then answered, "Uh, no. We're just not born, uh, "glowy." So, what are you and you're...friend? Boyfriend?...that other person, doing here?"
"Huh? What are you talking about?" she asked, confused. "I'm pretty sure I came here alone...what are you doing here?"
Todd answered, albiet a little late, trying to make the following sentence make sense, "Rune and I were summoned by a goddess to take down a guy who has the power to blow up planets and sent Rune and I to this location...well I actually physically brought us here, but that's not relevant."
"You talk alot," said Nebula. She turned to speak with Rune but instead found herself facing the spectral image of Fortuna instead, who manifested from thin air like a ghost.
"As strange as his words may seem, the boy speaks the truth," said Fortuna. "I sense your strengths will be needed on this journey."
"Oh! A journey? Where are we going?" asked Nebula, excitedly.
Fortuna smiled gently at the young girl. "It is more of a quest, little one," she said. "A quest to save your worlds."
"How many more allies will we need?" Rune inquired earnestly.
"You must go to where the light guides you, and confront Arbiter when you are ready," said Fortuna. "I cannot say."
At that moment, a horrible cracking sound split the air, and the ground trembled violently, throwing Rune and Todd off of their feet. Nebula hovered over them, while Fortuna remained undisturbed.
"Omigosh, what was that? That was crazy loud!" said Nebula.
"I suggest heading to the source of the tremor," said Fortuna, moving slowly ahead of them, drifting like a spectre. "Allow me to guide you."
"Quest time!" shouted Nebula, excitedly jumping in place. "This is gonna be so much fun!"
CHAPTER III: VERDICT
"This is bo-o-oring!" whined Nebula. "We've been walking for like, a bazillion years! Are we there yet?"
Todd faced the pink girl and replied, "I would assume not, since we haven't found the man who can blow up this planet by breathing." He sighed, "God what I'd do for some water right...oh right." Todd created a water bottle and took a sip. "So, where are you from Nebula?"
"A kingdom, not quite here nor there," she said. "I dunno how else to describe it."
Todd really was interested in these Wisps, "So, what are the Wisps like, hospitable, hostile, what?"
"Say what now?" asked Nebula, tilting her head in confusion. "Are those even words?"
Rune raised an eyebrow at Nebula, not sure what to say.
Todd answered Nebula, "Yes, hospitable, to be welcoming, friendly and hostile means to be mean, and shoot-first-ask-questions-later-if ever."
"Eh," said Nebula dismissively. She then leapt into the air, clambering onto Todd's shoulders. "Carry me. I'm tired of flying."
Todd sighed, muttering, "Alright," not looking forward to the extra weight. He was rather surprised about how light she was. "So, any sign of him guys?"
Looking around, Rune answered, "No..."
Finally, the heroes, led by Fortuna, exited the forest, coming across rocky ground that sloped upwards.
"The source of the tremor is only a little further ahead," said Fortuna. Her image faded away like a memory. "I shall be watching. Good luck. May fortune smile upon you."
Todd muttered under his breath, "Well considering you're name is Fortuna, I'd hope so." He decided to see if he'd be able to float up the rest of the way with the girls.
As they reached the top of the first ledge, they were confronted by a bizarre sight: a yawning hole was cut into the ground, unfathomably wide. It's bottom dissolved into pitch black. Around it's perimeter were the jagged remains of mountains that appeared to have been cut through with no effort.
"Jeez...." Rune declared, eyes wide with amazement. "What happened here?"
"Whoa," said Nebula, leaping off of Todd's shoulders and flying over the hole. "I can't even see the bottom of this thing!"
Todd shouted, "Hey! You can't just jump into holes that you can't see the bottom to!" Despite his own warning, Todd followed the girl to make sure she doesn't hurt herself.
"Have you...followed me here?" asked a new voice. As if appearing from nowhere, the man Rune had met earlier in the field appeared a short distance away on the ledge. A massive greatsword rested in the ground beside him.
Rune gasped in great shock upon seeing the figure. Then, she summoned her fire sword to her hand and pointed it at the man, glaring angrily. "You!" she yelled. "Todd, Nebula! That's him!!"
"Huh?!" Todd mangaged to mutter, before jetting back up towards the ground to face the man. "You! Who are you and how are you blowing up planets?"
The man stared at them for a moment, one by one. His eyes lingered the longest on Rune. Then he said, "You ask who I am? I am the judge, and executioner. I purge this universe of it's sin. I am Arbiter."
Todd replied, "Methinks someone has a God complex...and judging by the sword, is compensating for something..."
"I sense your will to fight," said Arbiter. Not a trace of emotion flickered over his face. "You cannot hope to win. Mortal- I am a god."
Nebula shrunk away from Arbiter, trembling visibly. "He...he doesn't...feel right..."
Todd felt a shiver up his spine, 'His magic's too low, how is he doing all of this?' He then said, "So you call yourself a god do you?"
"I speak only the truth, mortal," said Arbiter, unmoving, unflinching.
Todd decided to do what he did best...piss off the insanely powerful, if not nearly omnipotent being, "Well it's just that when I think of a god, I imagine a being who's very appearence would dissolve me into salt...or a humanoid with silly robes."
Todd interlaced his finger and cracked them, "And you appear to be neither of those things."
Arbiter regarded Todd for a moment; his face was impassive. Not even a flicker of rage.
"He doesn't feel," whispered a terrified Nebula, backing behind Todd.
Todd nodded, "Yeah... makes me wonder how he's a judge, you kinda needs emotions for that. Must really suck at his job..."
Rune took a step towards Arbiter, her orange eyes lighting up a bit with anger. "What gives you the right to judge anyone?!"
"Does a mortal justify his action to the insect he steps upon? Likewise, I need not justify my actions to you. I have every right, girl."
"Judge not, that ye be not Judged," Todd quoted, hoping to (at least limitedly) undermine Arbiter's statement,
"Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling!" Todd choose this quote with the sole hope to anger Arbiter, due to his experiences with gods, since a nice sum of them (but not all) are rather vain and some are even offended mentioning any god outside of their pantheon (let alone the Judeo-Christian God).
"Enough of your words," said Arbiter. "The tongue is like an instrument of lead- I sense your will to fight, so draw your weapons, and let your actions speak for you."
"If you say so," Todd snickered, trying to keep his bravado up, unleashing an enormous wall of fire, which could still be dodged.
Arbiter held out his hand; the fire wall disappated, swirling into a small ball of flame that floated above his palm. He clenched his fist, and the flame was extinguished.
Without hesitating, Rune swung her sword, unleashing a wave of fire at Arbiter.
"OK, now I'm scared." Todd muttered, shooting off his ice bullets for Arbiter's sword hand, crouching low to the ground to avoid possible attacks.
Arbiter swung his greatsword in a giant arc; from the blade was unleashed a massive wall of pure force that deflected their attacks and threw them all back.
"Take this!" shouted Nebula; she clasped her hands and a spear of lightning shot outward from her towards Arbiter; he held out his blade, absorbing the energy and sending it back at her. She barely ducked in time.
"We're no match," she said fearfully to Rune and Todd. "He's toying with us..."
"Well if he wants to play, he should of said so..." Todd muttered, smirking as he vanished from sight, about to try his teleporting attacks style.
Giving Nebula a solemn look, Rune declared, "We can't give up." Then, she turned her attention back to Arbiter, and her fire sword disappeared. She pressed her hands together, and soon, a volcano emerged from the ground underneath Arbiter, shooting lava straight up at him.
Arbiter flew into the air, and with a wave of his hand, shattered the volcano in a blast of stone and lava.
"Hang on!" shouted Nebula, raising a magical, pink barrier between herself and Rune, and the oncoming avalance.
Of course due to bad luck, Todd appeared, about to attempt to roundhouse kick Arbiter's head. "Oh crap!" he snapped, creating a shield, canceling his attack on Arbiter, and now hoping he shield will hold against the avalance
"Enough," said Arbiter, eyes flashing with bright light. The world around them seemed to slow down until coming to a standstill, drained of all it's color. "I will have order."
Todd closed his force field and looked around the drained world around him. "Well, never saw this trick before." he said, looking towards the girls. Todd continued, "So, I take it you're an overly ordered deity and not like say, an indifferent one?"
Arbiter narrowed his eyes at the trio, analyzing. "You are judged to be corrupt. Prepare for your end, flawed ones." Before they could respond, an invisible force bound them in place, while a circle of glowing energy formed at their feet, forming inscribed shapes and runic symbols within. They immediately felt a tug on their strength as the circle began to drain their energy.
Todd groaned, losing more and more of his energy, "OK, let's do a headcount here shall we?" He points to Rune, "She protects a planet's civilzation from enslavement," then to himseld, "I kill demons and evil gods," and finally to Nebula, "And she...well alright, she never informed me what she does, in fact she so hyperactive I can barely understand what she's saying half the time..."
Todd then pointed, rather weakly to Arbiter, "And you... are a man...or god... who plays...both...judge...and...executioner..." before falling down and finishing, "And ending worlds...there's my headcount..."
Breathing heavily, Rune looked up at Arbiter. "No being is perfect. All things are flawed. Does that really justify genocide?"
"A naive and archaic method of thinking, child," said Arbiter. "You are in no position to lecture me."
"You... you JERK!" shouted Nebula suddenly, lashing out with her magic. A bright-pink explosion of energy caught Arbiter off-guard; the invisible energy binding them and the circles under their feet dissipated. Time seemed to snap abruptly back to normal.
"Clever girl," said Arbiter. "Perhaps I must break your minds before I sentence you."
Todd looked up and thought, his energy, slowly, returning to him, 'Why does it not surprise me that she wasn't affected by the energy drain?' He stood up and snapped jokingly, "Mind breaking, eh? Trust me I've done the same with some people I meet...not because of my power, mostly due to stupidity."
ACT II - GRIEF
CHAPTER IV: FALSE PARADISE
(Where Rune and her allies happen upon a mysterious town with a pleasant air- yet something ominous lurks in the shadows)
CHAPTER V: RIGHTEOUS FURY
(Where Rune and her allies find a world where a man is falsely accused of mass murder)
CHAPTER VI: A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
Where Rune and her allies discover a world on the brink of collapse, and must choose whether to continue their quest or help these desperate strangers)
CHAPTER VII: HEART OF ICE
(Where Rune and her allies come across a lone stranger who has lost everything)
CHAPTER VIII: MEMENTO MORI
(Where Rune and her allies confer with souls of the dead)
ACT III - SLIVER OF HOPE
CHAPTER IX: TRIAL BY FIRE
(Where Rune must take up the weapon that she is destined to wield)
CHAPTER X: TO FIGHT A GOD
(Where the heroes must pit their collective might against their ultimate foe)
CHAPTER XI: ???
CHAPTER XII: EPILOGUE