The Guardian: Ascension

(Note: Also found here at Goldenflame Dragon's website)

    by Goldenflame Dragon

Voices, in the darkness.

"You have taken many worlds."

Softly, perhaps proudly. "I have, my Lord."

"Your methods are unorthodox."


"Well? Have you nothing to say?"

"They work, Master."

"Yes. Yes, so far they have."

"I am confident."

"That is your weakness."


"You have perhaps gone too far this time."

"The world is mine now."

 "You took a direct part in its falling. You are not content to work behind the scenes."


"You entered the world before it was a part of you. And for what? To play act with some not quite gods? When you take part in that way you are vulnerable. You risk more than mere defeat."

"The rewards are great. Pagan is now mine."

"You rise faster than any in recent memory. This is true."

"My power nearly matches yours."

A deadly tone. "Do you really think so, Tir-Mordreth?"


"I have the power over your name. Never forget it."

Slowly, with remembered pain. "Of course. Master."

"You have destroyed your brother, Rahl-Shaka. And now you have learned the lesson that we all learn the hard way- that this does not make his worlds yours. If we tried to teach this it would not be believed.
"But you have also learned the deeper lesson- that swift action can yield unto you many of those vulnerable worlds. I congratulate you, Tir-Mordreth."

"Thank you, Master."

"But did you gain enough worlds, good worlds, to make up for the ones that now float, dead and lifeless, their energy spent to fuel your battle?"

"Nearly, Lord."

"You did not."

"No, Lord."

"That is the final lesson, which you have resisted learning again and again. The price must be worth the gain."

"What I risk and what I pay are different things."

"Someday, the bill will become due."

"So now you turn your attention to one of the brightest untaken worlds."

"I do."

"Others have tried before you."

"My methods are different."

"You believe them to be better."


"The mortals of that world were not even aware of the attempts. It is an old world, and well guarded."

"I am not unprepared."

"Attend. The best attempt thus far was Carh-Endel's. He created a bridge using a being called Exodus. Its core was linked to his psyche. When that link was severed by an otherworlder, Carh-Endel was maimed in the backlash. Other attempts were turned aside by the Time Lord alone."

"I am ready."

"I am afraid I beg to differ. I forbid this."

Tightly. "My master."

"You disobeyed me."

"I did, my master."

"What's more, you failed. Not only to take the world. You failed even to accomplish the first step in your plan. What's more, your plan involved personally entering the world. You risk much."

"I almost won. I bound the Time Lord, enslaved a part of the population. It was all the work of that damned Avatar."

"Thwarted by a mortal."

"I am not the first to be."


"I will destroy him."

"A vendetta? Against a mortal? How unusual."

"Britannia will be mine."

"I withdraw my forbidding. Be thankful I do not strengthen it with the power over your name. You understand that you will be punished for your earlier transgression."

"...of course, master."

    A scream.

"Ah, yes! This is a much more worthy attempt. An indirect strike. A dangerous gambit- it threatens many worlds. But nothing truly valuable is at risk. Very good."

"Thank you, master."

"There is more to your plan, is there not?"

"The Avatar will be sent to New Sosaria to investigate."

"So even if you fail..."

"...I win. Yes, my master."

"Very good. You are dangerous."


"Your silence is eloquent. But now I have my own task for you. Take the world Gaern for me."

"My Lord..."

"You will not argue with me, Tir-Mordreth."


"So, you failed."

"No, Lord."

"Balance is restored."

"Yes. But I delivered Gaern up to you. And the Avatar languishes, imprisoned in Pagan. Britannia's fall proceeds apace."

"And so, it falls."

Proudly. "Yes, my master."

"You are dangerous."

"Yes, master."

"Has it finally come to this, then?"

"It has."

"So be it." A pause. A marshalling of energies. "Tir-Mordreth. By your name I hold and bind you. Your will is mine."

Slowly, as though from a great distance. "I am not longer Tir-Mordreth. Only the Guardian."

Softly, but firmly. "So too did your predessesor think he shed his name. He rots with his worlds."

"I am free."

"You are bound, Tir-Mordreth. By your name, by my will. Tir-Mordreth."

"Tir-Mordreth is no more."

"Ah, I congratulate you. You have indeed learned the final trick."

Energy rioted through the darkness. Worlds died. On Britannia, volcanoes ushered up lava, trees withered, mothers' milk soured.

In the aftermath: "You are one of the best among us. We never dreamed..."

"You taught me well."

"Thank you, son. Tell me, what do you do now?"

"The Avatar prepares to return."

"Ah. Never have one of us lost a world we have taken to a mortal. But then... he is no longer mortal. You have erred after all."

"I will destroy him. For now, I toy, for my pleasure."

"You do me honor. Guardian."

"Thank you, master. Goodbye."

With his dying breath: "Today, you are a master."

A final burst of energy.

And so the Guardian sent his master's soul to the void, and turned to await the coming of the Avatar.

Back to The Dragon Press