[This story is based on the game Brigadine. It has major spoilers,
especially if you have
not played the Iscalio scenario out to it’s conclusion. Public C&C is welcome]
As Halley walked in the gathering dusk, she
reflected that the lengthening shadows
matched her mood well.. With every step she took, her feeling of impending doom grew
more and more certain. She knew that one way or the other, something bad was going to
happen tonight, but she just could not see anything else she could do.
She mused on just how things had come to this
state. Recently, underneath the
catacombs of Castle Dolorousgard, she had found out that the recent war for Forsena had
been nothing more than a bald grab for power. Of course, everyone had always known
that was the case, but no one really understood who the true actors were on the stage of
conquest. It was not Zemekis, in his attempt to create the “Esarges Empire”. Instead, it
was the mage, Bulnoil. Unlike the others who looked for power in their swords, he had a
much deeper and darker plan. He had created this destructive war for his own ends.
Halley had been shocked to learn that the mana power that she and other knights used in
summoning monsters was the same power that kept the fabled “Serpent of Chaos” sealed
away. It was Bulnoil’s goal to weaken that seal enough to release the fabled Serpent, and
bring Chaos to all of Forsena.
With a wry smile that was rarely seen on her face, that
she reflected that Forsena owed
it’s salvation to Mad King Dryst of all people. He had won the war before the Serpent
was able to be released. Even more incredibly, one of his knights, Iria “the Killer Doll”
turned out to be one of Bulnoil’s victims, a woman who had been turned into an
unemotional killing machine, before being discarded by Bulnoil as a failure. Somehow,
Dryst found Iria and in some way, the Mad King was able to love Iria enough that
Bulnoil’s programming failed at the crucial moment. Love? Dryst? As odd as it sounded,
that was the only word that fit. Indeed, Iria was the key to the final defeat of Bulnoil, as
she had confronted Bulnoil, and his faithful servant, the Death Knight Cador. Halley had
come into the middle of that fight, and was shocked to learn that Cador was actually her
beloved fiancee, who Bulnoil had killed years before, but brought back as Cador using his
dark magic. In the end, the love between Halley and her beloved was enough to break
Cador’s programming, and he used his great axe to fell Bulnoil.
However, although Dryst had saved Forsena, it now seemed
that he was ready to
destroy it. In his madness, he decided that a raging continent wide war was actually fun.
Now that he had conquered all of Forsena, he decided to split it up between himself and
his chief Knights and start the war all over again. Aside from all the suffering and pain
that yet more war would create, Halley wondered if another great war, and more and
more legions of monsters being summoned would be enough to free the Serpent of Chaos.
She wasn’t sure, as only Bulnoil had that knowledge in all its details, but she knew that
she could not afford to take that chance. That was why she was on the road tonight.
Over the course of the months since the defeat of Bulnoil, she had gotten to be friends
with Iria. In some ways, friends was too mild a word. They had both suffered terribly at
the hands of Bulnoil, and somehow that drew them together. In many ways, Iria was the
closest thing she had to a sister. She had watched over the months as Iria had slowly
broken out from her shell and become more and more, well, human. Iria had a sensitive
soul that would surprise anyone who knew her as the “Killer Doll”. Tonight though,
Halley was not going to see Iria on a social call, but instead on a mission of the utmost
Several hours later, Halley arrived at Castle
Brociliende, where Dryst was going to
hold a great feast for his knights, before they went off to start their new war. She crept up
to the room that Iria was staying in.
“Halley. It’s good to see you again.
Are you sure you should be here though? You
know that Dryst isn’t very fond of you.” Iria said in greeting.
“I know that, but we really need to talk Iria.”
“Oh, about what?’ Iria said in that short, flat
way that she had not totally gotten away
“You have got to talk to Dryst, Iria! You have
got to stop him from starting his war!
You know what could happen! Bulnoil nearly called the Serpent last time! If there is
another war, maybe the Serpent can break through on its own! We can’t take that
“Halley, you know I am loyal to my Lord. If he orders us to fight, then we will fight.”
“Iria! No! Talk to him, you are our only hope!
We can’t risk the world just because
Dryst wants to play general some more! You know, in some ways, your master’s victory
was a disaster. Any of the others would have been better! Foolish and Naive Lance!
Sweet but weak Lyonesse! Wise Cai! Proud Vaynard! Even Zemeckis! Because once
they won, they would have been done with war and fighting! But Dryst, no, he wants to
start it all over again. The pain, the suffering! To him it’s all just a game.” Halley
“Halley...” Iria said in a flat tone of voice, but you could see she was shocked.
“Iria! I know how you feel about him! But think
about it, he named you after his dog!
His DOG!” Halley said, starting to lose control of herself.
“Hey! I liked that dog! It was an honor for
me to name Iria after it!” Dryst announced,
as he managed to pop into the conversation without anyone noticing he was there before.
“And why are you worried about some snake anyway? If that snake shows up, I’ll just
skin and make a pair of boots out of it”.
“He, he he, Yeah, I think the great “Shooting Star”
Halley, has lost her nerve” chipped
in Bagdemagus, who was behind Dryst. “Look around, we have the great King Dryst, the
Killer Doll, me, oh, and Camden is hiding somewhere around here. I don’t think that any
little snake is a threat to us.”
“Don’t any of you understand? The Serpent of Chaos
is a magical creature! None of
you have the strength to fight it, no one in Forsena does! If it gets loose, than all will be
Chaos and destruction!” Halley raged.
“Well, I think we’ve had enough of your worrywart
talk Halley, you are worse than
Ulster. Don’t you see if I want to fight, we should all fight, regardless of what happens.
It is more important that I, the King be happy than anyone or everyone else. You tire me
Halley. Iria, kill her!” Dryst ordered.
At that order, Iria’s face stiffened.
She was caught between the only two people she
truly cared about. On the one hand, Dryst who had saved her all those years before, and
on the other, Halley, the only person who seemed to understand what she was going
through. In a look of agony, she picked up her spear, and began to point it at Halley, but
then with an agonized cry, she reversed it and drove it into her own heart. “No! You two
are tearing me apart!” she cried as she fell to the ground.
“Iria! No!” Dryst and Halley cried out in unison.
Dryst rushed and cradled Iria’s head
in his arms, and Halley was surprised to see a tear forming in the corner of the mad King’s
eye. Then he looked up with a look of bloody murder and ordered Bagdemagus to kill
Halley barely managed to slip out of the window and
escape over the wall as the castle
garrison was roused by Dryst and his Knights. As she walked away into the night, she
wondered why she was fated to carry such sorrow. By her own hand, her beloved was
destroyed, and now she was the cause of death of Iria. She was tempted to drive her own
spear into her breast, but she realized that she could not do that. Somehow, some way,
she had to protect Forsena, from the Mad King, and from the Snake.