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archive:stories:4moons
                     Four Moons of Death
      DING DONG! The melancholy tintinabulation of the iron bells echoed

in the golden town of Arno. The shuffling of feet filing out of a granite cathedral and the murmuring voices of paupers dominated all the sound. Residing peacefully at it's zenith in it's aquamarine abode was the ocher sun.

      A slight breeze whipped up some dead leaves from the tan soil

revealing some rustling. Slender and have brown hair, a man dressed in a white robe with some golden lace entered Al's Pub.

      As he entered the bar, tattooed, bearded, deep-voiced men sat at

tables, discussing about their adventures and their treasures while slurping various alcoholic beverages.

      Greetings came from every person as the Arch Bishop sauntered

towards an empty table. He received all sorts of messages like : "Good afternoon Fleric. How are thee today? I absolutely believe in all thy sermons."

      Al paced up to the waxed oak table as Fleric stood his wooden

cudgel next to his worn-out stool.

      "What will it be Fleric?"
      "I shalt have some boar meat and a cup of thy finest wine"
      "Very good selection. Thy cost will be 5000 copper pieces, Fleric"
      Willfully, Fleric placed 5 platinum coins engraved with the quote

"In Annisette We Trust" on the polished table. Al gratefully grinned as he scooped up the money and briskly walked-off jingling them in his enclosed hands.

      Fleric slipped a small, ancient tome from his robe's long sleeve.

He flipped the yellow pages to the chapter on the 4 moons. Fleric's eyes caught something that made his gray matter go to work.

      The inscription on the crinkled paper read: "When the 4 moons are

full, it shall raise the deceased. If thou even look at any grave during that period, thou shalt meet thy untimely demise." His almost hollow jaw drooped. "Tonight is the night when all 4 moons ARE full." Fleric thought. " I must warn everyone." His thin arm motioned at a brown haired woman who held a mahogany lute. Her cotton clothes seemed oversized and a red silk hat topped her scalp.

      "Why hello Fleric. What do thou want with a wandering minstreal

like me? Surely thou must have better things to do than talking to a peasent like me."

      "Warn everyone that tonight all 4 moons are full. That is all I

want from thee, madame." Suddenly, time stood still as all the gossiping and shouting terminated. Surprised eyes fixed themselves at Fleric. Without hesitating, all the customers fled the vicinity whispering to each other.

      "I do not think that will be necessary Fleric. Everyone else should

know it by now." the woman replies. With that, she walks up to Al and started strumming on her lute a song of praise to the goddess Annisette.

      Heaving a great sigh, Fleric continued to peruse the tiny book :

"For thou to understand more, thou must understand how the moons behave. Flit, Pop and Lag go from east to west, but Instanity flies across the sky the other way. Flit is fast and Lag is slow in it's orbit. Pop is the strangest of all the moons. It can appear any time and anywhere at night. Because of these behaviors, the gravity of the moons mix itself with the radiation from the sun, creating a dark rainbow. This unseen matter stimulates evil and will raise the dead."

      Al's stout and jolly body loomed over Fleric as some food was

situated beside the Arch Bishop. Fleric's lunch smelled good. The odor grabbed Fleric's bony hand and dragged it towards the cup of Brandy. Still staring at the book, Fleric drew the wine closer to him. His hazel eyes lifted from the book and rolled back as he gulped down the drink. When he quenched his thirst, he put the bronze goblet back on the table and slammed the book shut.

      A warrior embodied by plate armour sat on the flimsy stool on the

opposite side of the 4-legged wooden platform. SNAP! The stool crumpled into countless splinters. THUD! The fighter collapsed on to the dirt floor.

      "Help me up Fleric" pleaded the myrmidon. His outstretched arm

beckoned Fleric (who was starting to nibble on his boar meat) to lift him up. The Arch Bishop threw down the slab of meat and yanked the man off of the floor with greasy hands.

      "Thank you Fleric"
      "Do not mention it Boris."
      "Guess what."
      "What?"
      "We have a mission to fulfill."
      "WE?!?!?"
      "Yes, we must rescue 5 children who wandered off towards the Graves

of the Ones Beyond! The Duke is willing to give us 5,000,000 copper pieces. Look Fleric, we will split it 50/50. Okay?"

      "Fine" yawned Fleric.
      "Do not be so blase about it. Besides, I am looking to buy some

armour. Particularly, a set of mythril armour. I could use some light weight armour and it does cost 25,000 gold, which means I will be spending all of my reward money. After all, I want the armour to match the color of my sword, X-Calibur!". Boris drew a blue bladed double edged sword from it's sheath. The saber glowed with an ultramarine aura.

      "I will be back. Get ready though." Fleric bolted out of the bar

without even getting a tooth mark on the rest of his lunch."

      "What about thy lunch?"
      "I am not very hungry. You eat it!" called Fleric.
      Dashing towards his lodge far from the slums, Fleric knew he must

hurry, for the sun is about halfway covered by the horizon. As he ran into the house, he hung his white robe on a steel rack by the foyer. The Arch Bishop rushed into the Armoury. After flipping through his suits, cloaks, capes and various pieces of chain mail, he grabbed a set of extremely over-sized Dragonhide Armour. The cleric then fumbled with attaching his burnt-sienna leather pouch on his zinc belt on the armour. With 2 hands, Fleric snapped a mythril plate on his left gauntlet. His right thumb and index finger grasped a crystal shillelagh. With everything all set, Fleric tried to promenade as swiftly as possible back to the pub.

      The aureate hemisphere lingered over the naked swarm of maple and

redwood trees.

      His footsteps became farther apart as Flit, one of the moons became

palpable to the eyesight.

      At the bar, Boris jingled a sac full of exotic elixers, while

gazing out the window. His eyes almost were shut and his chin rested safely on his hand. Boris's eyelids popped open when his auditory nerves received the words "I'm ready now".

      "Aaaaah. You visited the apothecary, Boris." stated Fleric.

The fighter's head nodded and with the cleric, they treaded over the leaf infested ground toward the Graves of the Ones Beyond.

      The pair of warriors weaved pass the myriad of marble tombstones as

shrills of child laughter echoed from the direction of Garlock's charnel house. Instinctively, they tracked the noise with their weapons drawn.

      Then Fleric and Boris saw it. All five children were sitting

Indian-style on the granite roof of the crypt. Their tiny fingers flicked strange color disks into clay bowls on the other side of the stone slab.

      "Hey, it is F-Fleric!" stammered the smallest girl with rosy cheeks

and blonde curls.

      "Good af-I mean evening children. What are thou doing way out here?"
      "This is the best place for tiddlywinks! Right Tricia?" exclaimed

the overweight boy.

      "Yes it is Bubba. Where else can we find a flat surface as smooth

as this???" replied the older girl.

      "Come on children, we need to go home now." commanded Boris.
      "NO! I WILL NOT GO!" exclaimed the youngest boy with red hair.
      "Yes thou are." Boris flexed his huge biceps and lifted the boy off

the marble roof with his left hand. With the other hand he tapped Fleric's shoulder with the hilt of X-Calibur. The Arch Bishop turned around to see the ebony blade pointing at 3 of moons. Flit, Lag and Insanity glared with bright light as though they were stars. Fleric nodded and led the parade of children towards Arno.

      HOOOOOOOWLLLLLLLL! The howl of a distant wolf can be heard through

out the planet as Pop, the 4th moon appeared out of oblivion creating the dark rainbow. Little did any know that the soil softly broke apart in a nearby grave ahead of the party. A skeleton's crimson hand poked out from the earth and grappled Fleric's leg as they walked by. THUMP! Fleric plunged to the ground, full of shock as to what had hit him.

      Fleric recovered from the fall and dusted off his soiled armour.

The whole grisly skeleton began ascending from it's grave revealing half of its cranium sliced off.

      "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!" cried all 5 children in unison, who huddled behind

Boris.

      Fleric's steel boots smacked the skeleton's ribs as it attempted to

strangle the cleric. The half rotted body disintegrated.

      More corpses began climbing out of their resting places as zombies,

ghouls, skeletons and wights without a sound attacked the heroes. Even ghosts, specters and banshees rose out of their graves. Even inorganic material began creeping towards the party.

      Every swish from Boris's X-Calibur decapitated at least one of the

undead, cutting down their numbers. Fleric's diamond shillelagh granulated every atom of each spirit.

      Flapping it's hairy wings, a small mammal hovered around Nicky,

the red-haired boy. An emerald mist was dispensed from the animal, transforming it into a dark being with a jet-black cape. The pearly white fangs approahed Nicky's throat. Closer and nearer it came. Nicky tried to scream for assistence, yet the shock petrified every muscle in the little boy's body.

      This event was observed by Fleric just as a gargoyle threw a

buffet right into the Arch Bishop's intestines. Wincing in extreme pain, Fleric reeled back and toppled onto the grass. At this point in the battle, he saw this gruesome assault and dealt the neck-biter with a white bulb. Used as a projectile, this seasoning landed right into the mouth of the creature. With a puff of blue-green smoke, the attacker decimated leaving a very terrified Nicky behind.

      Severed wrinkled, scarred body parts flew everywhere as more

monsters silently climbed out of their coffins.

      The marble gargoyle that struck Fleric earlier slashed it's

corundum claws at Boris's wooden shield. The small plate easily crumpled under the relentless attacks from the living statue. X-Calibur suddenly radiated with an azure blue light as Boris channeled his anger into the mystical sword. With this sudden power, the myrmidon butchered the stone giant.

      The number one appeared in Fleric's mind. He knew it was a cue sent

by the Goddess Annisette who heard their pleas for help. Death was certainly a reality if he goes through this plan. He must help his friends.

      "REESHCENO!" the cleric chanted. The magical incantation summoned a

jiga-volt trail of electricity from the cosmos. The bolt fanned out, vaporizing all the undead in a instant.

      The strain of this spell was way too much for any mere mortal's

endurance to withstand. Heaving the greatest sigh in his entire existence as a sentient on this planet caused Fleric to crumple on a grassy hillock.

      Every bit of undead organic debris slowly faded away until this

cemetary looked as if nothing ever occurred.

      All the children hovered over the limp body of Fleric, they slapped

him, screamed and even dumped water on his face. His body still mimicked a corpse.

      Bruno took 2 blistered fingers and felt the Arch Bishop's neck.

"His pulse is still, there. The pulse somewhat slowed down dramatically." he thought.

      A cool, steady gust of wind ceased to blow the red, orange, yellow

and brown leaves around. For awhile it was a DEAD silence.

      KABOOOOM! A celestial lump of rock plummeted through the atmosphere

smashing in the planet. The force of such a jolt shattered the granite roof of Garlock's mausoleum.

      "HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!" chuckled a mysterious voice. The chill of such

voice sent shivers down everyone's spines.

      An iron guantlet pulverized the bolted steel door.
      "It can not be!" Boris muttered.
      The younger girl stammered "It is G-Garlock!"
      A half decomposed wool cloak engulfed the metal covered body as it

stepped out of it's charnel house.

      "YES! I AM ALIVE ONCE AGAIN!" bellowed the dark warrior.
      "Thou are not going to be much longer, as long as I am here!" Boris

answered.

      "Thou are such a fool! Surely thou must know that I am omnipotent!

Nothing can stop me! Weapons can never penetrate my eclipse armour!" At Garlock's words Boris thrusted the ebony sowrd into his adversary. The dark warrior wasn't even slightly incapacitated.

      "HA!HA! Even X-Calibur cannot damage someone who can become

intangible at will! Thanks to my armour!"

      "If we had the right potion, maybe we can awake Fleric" thought

Jeff, the biggest boy. "BRUNO! WE NEED A HEAL FLASK!" The fighter nodded while nimbly dodging bone-shattering jabs and uppercuts. As his hand reached into his bag, his hand completely smothered an elixer covered with a rough surface.

      Jeff boldy ran up to Boris to receive the flask. He tossed it to

Bubba who quickly dumped the purple liquid into Fleric's mouth…

      Garlock raised his gloved hand and a lump of soil popped up,

slipping Boris. The fingers of Garlock locked together as he pounded at Boris. The myrmidon rolled awat as the dark warrior's fist missed and penetrated 4 feet of rocky soil.

      "Thou are such a feisty little fool! I shalt personally end thy

pathetic existence!"

      Bruno managed to stand up. His plate armour, gashed, dented,

scraped and cracked crumpled, leaving a studded leather suit.

      ZAP! Two projections of electrically charged photons flew at Boris.

Whack! Whack! Like a baseball player (the game does not exist yet), Boris swung X-Calibur at the blasts. They dissapated at the contact with the ebony blade.

      Fleric's eyes flashed open as he saw Boris reeling back and

crashing into a marble statue of a headless angel (actually it wasn't headless before).

      "He's awake!" cried the 2 girls.
      Garlock's featureless titanium mask faced the cleric. Two crimson

glows on the mask glared.

      "Fleric, so......the Arch Bishop is here. Even your powers cannot

stop me! The 4 moons give me power beyond your comprehension. Taste the fury of fire!" A gigantic ball of flames rushed towards Fleric. Lifting his mythril shield, the blaze rebounded back at the dark warrior! This was such a surprise Garlock never decreased the density of his molecules.

      "Aaaaaarh! You shall pay for this outrage!" cursed Garlock, who

right now was torched.

      "Your the one who is going to visit Apollyn forever!"
      "I will return...you can count on it. I WILL BE BA-"
      Boris's consciousness flowed back into his brain as his sweaty

biceps glistened in the moonlight.

      "Where's Garlock?"
      "Cremated"
      "Really?"
      "Yes"
      Annisette, goddess and well revered intentionally smashed 2 moons,

Flit and Insanity. The vacuum of space muffled all trace of the collision. Now, all scholars and astronomers wondered what fate did the two moons face?

      The party marched back to Arno, as the sad ringing and the chiming

of the iron bells reverberated in the darkness of the world.



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