Chapter 64 = The Dark Gods
Disclaimer: Although all characters here are of my own invention, the original idea of Yoshies, Birdos, etcetera, are copyright of Nintendo, and I make no money from writing this.
When Darkmark awoke, wherever he was definitely was not pleasant and was also not the roof of what had been Foryo’s castle. He was lying on his back something very cold, and he suspected for a moment that he was meeting with the gods again until he opened his eyes to complete darkness. Shaking his head to clear it, he sat up and was about to try and cast a light enchantment when a he saw a pair of red eyes staring at him out of the darkness.
“I see you have regained consciousness…” said a voice from the direction of the eyes. It had the same evil, sneering tone that Klashkna’s did, only without the sudden rise in pitch at the end of each sentence and without the rolling ‘s’ sounds.
“Do you know where you are?” the voice asked, and Darkmark shook his head. “Wouldn’t you care to hazard a guess?”
“The afterlife?” Darkmark suggested, and the voice chuckled.
“No, not quite… I’m sure you would be greeted by angels if that were the case…”
“The Underworld?” Darkmark guessed, prompting a cackle from the voice.
“Yes, yes! You are in Klashkna’s lair, but this is a structure within that domain… I doubt you know of such a place, but…”
There was a sudden blaze of blinding light, and Darkmark squinted as his eyes became adjusted to the sudden change in brightness. When they regained focus, he took the shock of his life; he was lying upon a blood-stained sacrificial altar, surrounded by six other Yoshies with blazing red pupils, and the one talking to him was a black-skinned feral with a nasty smile, and Darkmark could feel something coming from him. Upon the walls to his right were sets of shackles fixed to walls splashed with blood, and running along the length of the building were many torches, aided in the lighting by several chandeliers above. All of these were also stained with blood, as was the floor and the large, empty area separating him from a set of double-doors at the far end.
Although the stench of death and blood nauseated Darkmark, he did his best not to show it as the black Yoshi in front of him chuckled again. They all were wearing hooded cloaks, although the Yoshi in front of him had his down, and those behind him stepped back as the black Yoshi began to speak once more.
“Welcome to the one and only remaining Church of Death, dedicated to the Lord of Darkness! We, his followers, used to be many, but the other Octotheists shunned us out of Octotheism and removed all their records… although it would have been too… human…” the black Yoshi paused to spit, then continued, “…to kill us outright, they practically exiled us and forced us here, the only place we are safe… though we six are immortal, we are all that remain of what was once a sizable sect of the Yoshian religion… we have only a few other followers out there in the Underworld.”
“I can see why.” Darkmark muttered, trying to ignore the spine-tingling, disturbing chill he was getting from the bloody altar.
“Listen to me… Klashkna once made you an offer, did he not? Join him, and one day you would become a god, along with his other followers…” the black Yoshi smirked. “We are those other followers, we six, and with you we can hopefully make it a complete seven… with Klashkna, we form a special alliance, that of the eight Dark Gods… the seven others are the Light Gods, and with Sévar it would have been eight… except that he failed in his bid to become a god…”
Darkmark remained silent, not entirely sure what to say as the black Yoshi looked over and examined the mark on his right arm, the pentagram that Klashkna had branded him with. “You carry the Mark of Darkness, I see, so I can only assume you accepted his offer and joined us…”
“I did accept, yes.” Darkmark said, finally finding the strength to speak.
The black feral Yoshi smirked again. “Good, good… you would not be the first of my kind to join forces with the darkness…”
Darkmark blinked, realising suddenly what the strange energy was that he could feel coming from the Yoshi. “You’re a psychic?”
“Yes, but that’s not I was referring to… there is one other psychic behind you. I was referring to the saviours, Darkmark…”
The black Yoshi held open the right side of his cloak, to show Darkmark a complete Octagram pinned to the inside of it, the red gem shining brighter than the rest. “That would be my sword you are carrying, Darkmark, but I will let you keep it… it is no longer of any use to me…”
“Yes, that is my name… after I assassinated the Koopa’s leader and returned to my home, I received a vision from Klashkna… he had existed long, long ago, about the time of Eirsir or maybe Karshina… and he was waiting all those years for the perfect time to strike, and take over. When he did, Sévar thwarted him, but he has chosen now to make his next move… and you…” Karlo-Shin said, pointing a finger at Darkmark, “…play an integral role in this plan. He persuaded me to join him, and told me to seal my sword away, as I would not need it any more, though one of his minions might later be able to retrieve it and use it themselves… which has come to pass. I entered the underworld and obtained immortality, and have remained here forever more, waiting for the day when the seal is undone and a new reign begins…”
Karlo-Shin looked down and stared at Darkmark with his glowing red eyes. “You are only here in spirit, Darkmark, as much as it may feel otherwise. If we can bring you here in person, we’ll make it worth your while…”
“How so?” Darkmark asked. “What could you offer me to bring me into this fiery pit of despair?”
“An apt description, but nonetheless… Darkmark, the powers you possess are but a fraction of what you can truly do. We psychics are the descendants of Karshina, able to use the powers she could. However, we are all unable to use magic, and as such we were shunned from magic-using societies, and took to the wilderness, using our powers to help us survive in our harsh new homes. Thus began the lineage of the ‘wild’ feral Yoshies… and the world passed us by, leaving us with the language that is now called Old Yoshi…
“Psionics manipulates the same kind of invisible, ethereal force that magic does, only by different means. Psychics, as you know, first convert ether to a much more volatile and unstable psychic energy, which we are then able to use as we so wish. Psionic spells take no casting time at all for skilled psychics, and even newer ones, such as yourself, need only a small casting time. Intricate hand movements are only required for the most complex psychic spells, or ‘psionic enchantments’, as they should really be referred to, and can sometimes be even more deadly or powerful than their magical counterpart… true masters of psionics, such as myself, can undergo a transformation of sorts to a more powerful form, which is much more vulnerable to magic, but significantly increases the power of our psionics, and allows us to effectively nullify any magic spells cast in our direction… would you like me to show you?”
Without waiting for an answer, Karlo-Shin closed his eyes and stepped back, holding his arms out to his sides and taking a deep breath. When he opened his eyes again, the whites had gone completely black, though the red pupils remained as they had been before. With a roar, Karlo-Shin brought his arms up as psionic energy enveloped him, jumping to and from points all across his skin as little bolts of purple electricity. Some of it sparked off into large purple auras around his hands, and a larger, black aura around his body, and the intensity of the energy washed across Darkmark with the effect of making him feel almost as powerful, and gave him a burning desire to have access to such power, and to use it…
With a grunt, Karlo-Shin dispelled the transformation, and the auras dissipated as the psionic energy returned to ether. Darkmark recalled a similar vision that Sorsoy had shown him, long ago, at the start of his journey…
Darkmark stood straight and closed his eyes. When he opened them again, the whites were pure, bottomless black, save for the glowing red pupils that came from the inky darkness. He then brought his open hands behind his shoulders, and brought them down again with a roar, holding them level, with the fingers curved up, as though they were holding something.
A black aura erupted around Darkmark, purple auras of fire burst into existence around each of Darkmark’s hands, and what looked like purple electricity flowed from them, up his hands, and across his body. The crackling sound of electricity filled the air as the purple energy continued to spark across Darkmark’s body, and he spread a pair of large, leathery wings and began to stride forwards…
“Wait a moment.” Darkmark muttered. “That’s not right…”
“What is?” Karlo-Shin asked as the brown Yoshi flexed his wings.
“One of the goddesses showed me a vision… in it, I had no wings, but I was able to summon them up like the ones I have… only these, I think, have been fused to my back by one of the spells that Foryo used against me…”
Karlo-Shin gave another chuckle. “Do you know what has happened, then? A vision of the future does not match up with the present. Do you know?”
Darkmark swallowed before answering. “Then the future… has changed?”
“Yes, that’s right. Somewhere, something has changed, something that was supposed to happen didn’t, or vice versa. The future has been changed, Darkmark, and whatever future the deities were planning on is no longer going to come to pass. Now, tell me… would you like to learn how to do what I just did?”
“Of course!” Darkmark answered, without hesitation.
“Then this is what you must do…” Karlo-Shin started, handing Darkmark a bright, red gem. “You will have this when you wake up… it will allow you to speak to us, at any time, and also allow me to talk to you when I so wish. You must bring it into the Kaftata Mountain Range, in the southwest of the inhabited lands of Chyrus. Keep going into them and you will find the underworld entrance… next to it, you will find an ancient ruin, the psychics’ holy temple. The humans…” The brown Yoshi paused to spit in distaste once more. “…destroyed it and burned it to the ground long ago, but it is there within those ruins that we can temporarily bring you here, and it is only here that we can bestow upon you that power I just demonstrated… the power to become one of the strongest psychics ever… a Neoríasár psychic, or just ‘Neo’ psychic… ”
“All I have to do is get to those ruins?”
“That’s right… we’ll bring you here, give you the power, and send you back… and you can help make the world burn with your wrath, as you wish it to do, no?”
Darkmark nodded, and Karlo-Shin chuckled again. “Good, good… now, it’s time you were on your way… it’s quite a distance to travel, but I’m sure you’ll manage. Until we meet again, fellow saviour…”
He placed a hand upon Darkmark’s chest and pushed him back, but instead of hitting the altar, he continued to spin and fall into seemingly infinite darkness…
To be continued…