Weltinator hated dragons. He had hated them for as long as he could remember. Every time he had looked up as a child, and seen that winged form fly over, he had been terrified, because he knew it meant Mother was back. And later, when he had first run away, he had been attacked by a hydra, and would have died if Bent hadn't stepped in. So of course, the first thing they had gotten themselves into on their quest: a battle with a dragon. Weltinator was violently shaken out of his thoughts as a stream of fire shot past him. "Hey!" shouted Lucas. "You going to help, or not?" Weltinator quickly pulled an arrow from his quiver and fired it at the dragon. It hit it directly in the eye. The dragon roared in anger. Weltinator's elation at his success was short lived. The dragon swung its tail around, directly into him. He went flying into the wall of the cavern. He groaned as he fell to the floor. Ugh. He should have known Blake would manage to get them into a mess like this.
The quest had started out fine. Weltinator had been looking for an Oracle to tell him about his destiny. The server that had become his home, Steamothic, had an Oracle, but she had gone missing. So the admins of the server, Blake and Hannah, who were personal friends of the Oracle, Anna, had ordered a quest to rescue her. They had chosen Sir Lucas, a knight and renowned redstone expert, Bent, a magician warrior hermit, and Weltinator, a hunter who was known throughout was known throughout the server for his ability to wield a pick, sword, and bow with equal skill, as well as for his affinity with magic items. The five had set out at dawn to go to the last place Anna had been seen: the Shrine of the Emerald. They had marched through the days, camped at night, and fought off any monsters that came their way. They had rid a village of a plague of zombies, and rescued another from constant bandit attacks. After a battle with a giant, they had been running low on weaponry and armor. Then Blake had spotted something: a dragon's cave.
They had snuck inside, hoping that there would be treasure, and the dragon would be asleep. There was treasure alright, but sleeping dragon...not so much. They'd started fighting, sniping it from behind stalagmites, firing spells at it, throwing damage potions. None of it was doing much. However, it distracted the dragon long enough for Lucas to set up a small TNT trap on the ceiling. Enough to pin the dragon down, but not enough to bury the questers and the treasure. Hopefully. Lucas lit it, it went off, and sure enough, the dragon was pinned down by the rubble. Bent ran in and swiftly sliced through its spine, killing it instantly. They then dug through a thin layer of rubble to find the treasure. And there was plenty of it.
Lapis, emeralds, and gold! But those weren't what they were looking for. There were plenty of iron ingots and diamonds to make new armor and weapons, plus some old ones from failed attacks by players on the dragon's lair. There was also a shiny ingot Weltinator didn't recognize. He reached for it, and as he touched it- agh! It felt like it had burned him. He decided to leave it alone. They packed up and exited the cave. They walked for a while, and as night settled in, they made camp. They set up a small forge to make some new equipment. By morning, they were all fully armed and armored. And they continued on their quest.
Several days later, the quest was not looking good. They had almost no food or medical supplies, they were completely out of arrows, and Bent and Weltinator had used up nearly all their mana. Not to mention they were being pursued by a pack of werewolves. "Do we have any torches left?" yelled Bent as they ran.
"Yeah," Blake responded, "but only four."
"I don't think that'll be enough!" yelled Hannah.
"Have we got any silver?" Bent shouted.
"What's that?" asked Weltinator.
"It's a shiny grayish metal!" he yelled back.
"I do!" shouted Lucas. "There was some in the dragon's cave!"
"Make it into a sword, and fast!"
The group quickly formed themselves into a circle, each of them holding a torch, except Lucas, who held the silver sword. One of the werewolves, having caught up, leaped at them, but scrambled away after being smacked across the muzzle with a torch. The rest warily prowled around the circle, occasionally snapping at them. Suddenly, the biggest wolf leaped at Blake, but Lucas quickly swung the sword in front of him, catching the wolf on the chest and slicing it into powder. Three more attacked in turn, but he parried their claws and let the silver turn them to dust. Bent found some garlic powder in his herb pouch, scattered it around, then lit it. Several of the werewolves recoiled at the smell, and another two went down to blasts of fire from Weltinator, having regenerated his mana. The few wolves that remained ran off into the night. By this time it was nearly dawn, but the questers set up camp anyway. When everyone had gotten enough sleep, they split up to gather some supplies. Bent picked some herbs for medicine and potions, while Blake, Hannah, and Weltinator went hunting. Lucas scouted around for any villages or caves to trade or mine for materials.
Blake, Hannah, and Weltinator returned with plenty of meat, plus some leather and feathers. Bent was brewing up some potions, and Lucas reported that he'd found a cave. He and Weltinator descended into it, mining some iron to repair their armor and weapons, and collecting some flint for arrows. They found a spider spawner, and quickly subdued it. There was some normal loot: iron, gunpowder, string. There was also an old book titled "The End: A Field Guide". When Weltinator read the title, he gasped, and Lucas asked what was wrong. "Nothing." he replied. "Nothing at all". He grabbed the book before Lucas could see it, and hid it under his jacket. When they got back to camp, they patched up their armor, made some arrows, and settled in for the night.
The next day, after having walked for a while, the players stumbled upon the ruins of an abandoned village. They explored it, hoping to find treasure or information about what had happened. It soon became clear what had happened. The Mark of Israphel had been painted in red everywhere. "We should go." said Blake. "There might still be cultists here."
"Too late." said Weltinator. Zombies and skeletons had already begun stumbling out of every building. In the middle of the village, Weltinator saw a purple glow. "A necromancer." he said. "If we can take out the necromancer, they'll be nothing but skin and bone, literally!"
They began cutting their way to the center of the village. The monsters became more dangerous as they got closer. Most had weapons, and some had armor. Weltinator blasted a skeletal knight out of his way, while a zombie archer took one of Hannah's axes in the face. They finally broke through to the village square, where the necromancer stood chanting in an eerily, so that it sounded like a dozen people chanting at once. He snapped his fingers, and three skeletons dressed identically to himself rose from the ground. "Liches!" Bent shouted over the necromancer's chanting. "Undead necromancers!" Hannah, Blake, and Lucas each took one of the liches, while Bent and Weltinator charged at the necromancer. The necromancer shot a bolt of purple lightning at Bent, then threw a ball of ghostly energy at his feet. The ball erupted in a glare of light, and out of the glare came a dozen ghostly warriors. "They're just ghosts." said Weltinator. "They can't hurt us- right?"
"That's like saying fire can't burn you- it's only light."
The ghostly warriors advanced on them. One of them passed through a golden sword that had become impaled in the ground. It shrieked, and then disappeared into a burst of smoke. "No!" cried the necromancer. Weltinator quickly grabbed the sword and swung it through the first line of ghosts, destroying all of them. The liches had all been defeated, and as Blake saw what had happened, he drew a gold sword out of his pack. Hannah had a golden knife. They went to work slashing through the ghosts, and soon, all of them were gone. "NOOO!" screamed the necromancer. That was all he got out before the flat of Blake's blade slammed against the side of his head, knocking him unconscious.
They'd tied the necromancer up and taken his staff, robes, and an amulet- all of which were highly magical and dangerous. Then they'd decided they should end the threat of the Cult of Israphel once and for all, so they entered the catacombs beneath the ruined fort. It was freaking scary. Instead of normal torches, there were redstone torches which cast an eerie, dim red glow on everything. There were several traps on the staircase which the adventurers narrowly avoided. One activated dispensers which fired arrows and poison everywhere. Another opened up a deep pit which descended into darkness. Weltinator couldn't see what was at the bottom, but he heard groans and shrieks echoing up, and he decided he'd rather not know. They all might have died several times if Lucas hadn't been so good at spotting traps. When they reached the bottom, instead of some huge cavern full of cultists, which they'd been expecting, there was- guess what? More tunnels. They decided to split up into two groups: Lucas, Blake, and Hannah went one way, while Bent and Weltinator went the other.
So of course, right after they decided to split up, Bent and Weltinator found the cultists. Thankfully, the cultists were too busy performing some ritual to notice. As one of the cultists moved, Weltinator saw what they were preparing: a sacrifice of two players! He pulled one of his specially modified arrows from his quiver: a smoke arrow. He fired it into the ring of cultists, then charged in with Bent to take them down while they were disoriented. After defeating the last of the cultists, they untied the two would-be sacrifices. The first said his name was Chickaber, and his friend was known simply as Hunter. They thanked Weltinator and Bent for the rescue, then grabbed their weapons from the downed cultists and prepared for their escape.
They fled down the corridor they'd used to enter. A lone cultist wandered in from a side passage, but Hunter took him down before he could sound the alarm. The tunnel suddenly veered to the left, and Weltinator realized they had come the wrong way. "Stop!" he shouted as they ran into a wide chamber. "Too late." said Chickaber as they surveyed the semicircle of cultists. They heard pounding footsteps from behind them; that way was no longer an option. The cultists in front of them were blocking a passage with a stairwell: the way out! Weltinator decided there was only one thing for it. "Everybody hold hands." he said.
"I know we're going to die and everything, but is that really necessary?"
"We're not going to die." He cleared his mind and took a deep breath. He had promised himself he would never do it again. But it was the only way.
There was a flash of purple sparks, a sickening lurch forward, and suddenly the four of them were standing on the stairwell behind the cultists. "What? How..." began Bent.
"No time. Run!" gasped Weltinator. "Ugh...been a while since I've done that..."
"Done what? Did you just use Ender magic?" asked Bent as they climbed. They could hear the cultists shouting and stomping below them.
"Anybody want to explain what just happened?" said Hunter.
"Weltinator just teleported us. That's a skill only accessible through Ender magic. There are other forms of instant transportation, but-"
"Oh look! We've escaped! You can stop talking!" announced Chickaber.
They had reached the surface. They were free. But where were Blake, Hannah, and Lucas?
"We have to go back?" groaned Chickaber. "But we just barely escaped!"
"You don't have to come." said Weltinator. "You and Hunter can go on with your journey."
"Alright, maybe we will-"
"Perhaps you will. But I owe these people a debt." said Hunter calmly.
"Oh- alright. But if we die, I'm blaming you!"
They plunged back into the maze.
They were surprised to find almost no cultists in any of the chambers. They caught one returning from the bathroom, and two more lugging a barrel full of a mysterious powder. "Runic dust." Bent informed them after examining it. "They're attempting a summoning."
They continued on, until they began to hear faint chanting. As they moved toward the sound, they saw dancing torchlight from an archway. They snuck up to it and peered into the chamber. There were a least fifty cultists, all dressed for war in full iron armor with swords in scabbards and bows slung over backs, surrounding an intricate set of runes daubed on the floor in redstone, runic dust, and a shiny red liquid that Weltinator preferred not to think about. In the very center was a beacon surrounded by flaming netherrack and obsidian, with the mark of Israphel painted on several surfaces. And hanging above it all, gagged and bound upside down, were Blake, Hannah, and Lucas. "I'm getting seriously sick of these guys." muttered Bent.
"It's obviously a summons." Weltinator muttered. "And whatever they're summoning, it can't be good."
"We have to stop it and rescue the others." said Bent.
"So, how are we gonna do this?" whispered Weltinator. "They outnumber us more than ten to one, and they've got full armor and weapons."
"Um...let's see. Resources..." muttered Bent. "We've got some basic weaponry- swords, axes, daggers, a staff, a couple bows...Ah! Your arrows, Weltinator!"
"What about them?"
"They're all specially modified, right? Some explode, some catch fire, some split into multiple arrows?"
"All those materials in the center are extremely volatile. The wrong kind of magic, or an explosion, could set them off easily. But we have to make sure it goes out, not up, or it could injure Blake, Hannah, or Lucas."
Obsidian is famous for being explosion proof. It's not Weltinator-proof. Bent was right- the runic dust went up like a zombie in sunlight- and exploded. Shards of obsidian, flaming netherrack, and sparking redstone showered down on the cultists. Thankfully most of it went out not up- and the other heroes were pretty high up. Many if the cultists went down immediately from pieces of obsidian that pierced their armor. The redstone caused smaller explosions wherever it landed, taking more out of action. At least twenty were down, and nearly as many were injured or confused. But a good dozen were still in fighting shape. It was time to move in. Half went down to Weltinator and Hunter's arrows in the first few seconds, and Chickaber rushed in with Bent to cut down two more. Weltinator whacked one over the head with his bow, then tossed a dagger to Hunter and told him to slice the others down. By the time Hunter had cut down Lucas, the remaining thee cultists were down, but the previously disoriented cultists were recovering. Weltinator fired an arrow, cutting Blake's rope, while Hunter quickly sawed through Hannah's bonds. "Time to go!" shouted Bent. They rushed for the exit once more, Chickaber, Bent, and Hunter supporting Blake, Hannah, and Lucas, while Weltinator laid down cover fire (literally- he was summoning balls of flame and tossing them at the pursues).
Several hours later, they had escaped the remaining cultists, set up camp, and Blake, Hannah, and Lucas had been revived and introduced to Chickaber and Hunter. They were settling into some mushroom stew when Bent raised the topic Weltinator had been dreading- "How did you teleport back there?"
Weltinator sighed, and did something he hadn't done in a long time- he began to remove his mask. It was more of a scarf, really, he thought as he unwound it from his lower face. Then he removed the visored helmet that covered the top half of his face. And everyone gasped.
His eyes- were purple. The exact same shade as an Enderman's. His skin was extremely pale, which was no surprise- he hadn't taken the mask fully off in the light for years.
"You're- an Enderborn?" said Blake, half shrieking.
A Note On: The Enderborn
Everyone knew the tales of the Dragonborn. Those heroes born to slay dragons, able to absorb their souls once defeating them. The Enderborn were similar, but not exactly. Long ago, in the primordial days when Minecraft was still being coded from bedrock up, there had been many powers struggles between Notch and Steve against their brother, Herobrine. These had caused the creation of the Nether, Creepers, and all manner of horrible things. Everyone had heard the stories growing up. It kept them afraid of the dark. The Enderborn were created when Herbrine had attempted to enlist the powers of the End to battle Notch. The Ender Dragon refused, despite being good friends with Herobrine. So Herobrine had taken the Children of the Ender Dragon, the Endermen, and the children of Steve, the players, and combined them through the use of horrible dark magic. He had called these creatures the Enderborn, and sent them to destroy the Ender Dragon. But while they had been trained to hate and fight, they were just children, and no child can truly hold hate for anything that has done nothing to it. So the Ender Dragon took them in and hid them from Herobrine's wrath until his struggle with Notch ended with his imprisonment in the Void. But by that time, Notch had become distrustful of the Ender Dragon, as he knew she had been friends with Herobrine, and he cut the End off from the rest of the world, shattering it into pieces, and imprisoning its inhabitants. The Ender Dragon's heart had grown cold from this treatment, and it only grew colder when ignorant players, believing her a monster, attacked her. Sometimes she destroyed them, and sometimes they slew her. Because of the cracks in reality that filled the dimension and made it so unstable, she always rose again, but it still hurt. Oh, it hurt. So she imprisoned the Enderborn she had once protected, blaming them unjustly for all that had happened to her. And as her heart grew cold, so did theirs. In time, they would all attempt to escape. Some would be caught and returned to their prison by their cousins, the Endermen; some would reach he Overworld and go into hiding, always running from their cousins and misguided players who meant them harm; and some would flourish. If I told you names, you would recognize them. Rythian, Mithion, Xeno, Soaryn. But they are always misunderstood, always hunted, and always running from their family, their past, and their destiny- to ultimately destroy the creature that had both loved and hated them, freed them and imprisoned them. Their Mother, the Ender Dragon.
Weltinator smiled sadly. "Yeah."
"That does explain how you teleported. And why the silver burned you." said Bent knowledgeably.
"It does?" asked Weltinator confusedly.
"Yep. Silver is a known magical inhibitor. It's especially effective against Endermen, and Werewolves as you know."
"It also explains why you hid that book about the End from me." said Lucas.
"You noticed that?" said Weltinator, slightly embarrassed.
"Of course. I didn't get to be a knight by being unobservant. That's a good way to get killed."
"Anyway. I suppose now that you all know, I'll be leaving." sighed Weltinator.
"What?!?", Blake shouted, "Why?"
"Well, I'm an Enderborn. You can't trust me anymore knowing that."
"Dude, of course we can." said Bent. "I've seen you fight- you're smart, you're quick, you're brave- what more could we want from a friend?"
"You don't care that I'm part Enderman? Or that I was created by Herobrine?"
"No!" everybody except Chickaber shouted. Hannah and Hunter, on either side of him, turned simultaneously to glare.
"Oh, um, of course not." he muttered nervously.
Soon after breaking camp, they reached the edge of a desert. "Ah! This is great!" cried Blake. "Right on the other side of this desert is the jungle where the Shrine of the Emerald is!"
"Of course, getting through it will be a problem." Hannah observed drily.
"Well, let's get started."
They trekked through sand and dunes for days, with occasional cacti and tumbleweeds to break the monotony. At night, they left one guard on duty at a time, to protect against the nocturnal dangers; they'd already fought off giant scorpions and packs of coyotes, and they'd heard stories of worse creatures near the middle of the desert.
One day, after nearly a week in the desert, they stumbled upon an unconscious boy in golden armor at the bottom of a sandpit. They pulled him out, gave him some water to drink, and eventually got him to talk.
"I'm Velocentric. I'm a member of the Sky Army. A troop of us was marching through the desert on our way to the Shrine of the Emerald-"
"Wait, you're going there, too?" Blake interrupted.
"Yeah. Haven't you heard about the war?"
"The Cult of Israphel is rising. Rumor has it that they've joined forces with Herobrine, and all the forces of Mincraftia have gone to stop them."
"What happened to you and your troop, Velocentric?" asked Bent.
"There was a sandstorm. I got separated. I have no idea what happened to the rest of my troop."
"We'll, were going to the Shrine of the Emerald anyway, so we'll take you with us." offered Weltinator.
"Oh, great. Another stray." Lucas muttered.
"Watch out for the- WHUMP!- tail..."
A few days later, they'd found out what had happened to the rest of Velocentric's troop. They'd stumbled upon a huge burrow- and the entrance was filled with bones and scraps of golden armor. Of course, the snake chose that moment to come out. They'd spread out and begun attacking, but they'd learned the hard way that its fangs weren't its only weapon. Hunter was down, victim of a tail-whip by the huge serpent. Velocentric had a broken fang- hopefully nonvenemous- buried in his arm, and the snake had smashed Bent into a newly formed crater in the sand using its head. It had several arrows and a knife- courtesy of Hannah- buried in chinks in its armor, and was shaking off the effects of a confusion spell Bent had manged to cast before he went down, when Blake struck. He sprinted up the serpent's back, and as it twisted, trying to dislodge him, he plunged his sword in between its eyes. The snake shuddered once and collapsed, unmoving.
"Are we there yet?" asked Chickaber, grimacing.
When Hunter, Velocentric, and Bent had all recovered, they continued on their journey and made it out of the desert a few days later. The jungle wasn't much safer- hacking through vines, fending off creepers and giant spiders- but at least they were nearing the end of their quest.
Finally, Lucas spotted it. "The Shrine of the Emerald- you can see the glow from here!"
They approached carefully, wary of Velocentric's warning- and sure enough, the Shrine was surrounded. Hundreds of armed cultists stood in ordered ranks, with zombies and skeletons mixed in, protected from the sun by the thick jungle. Off to the right, there was also a group of seven Endermen. On the front lines, the cultists were preparing to lay siege to the Shrine. Catapults were set up, harnessed creepers were being primed to charge, and magicians were conjuring fireballs. Weltinator knew that there was a squad of guards pledged to defend the Shrine, along with the Emerald Keeper and his apprentices. But try wouldn't be nearly enough to defend against the force about to attack. Weltinator also knew they had to do something. But what?
Before Weltinator could even begin to think of a strategy, Chickaber shouted, "For Minecraft!" and charged the cultists. He had the element of surprise, and managed to take down five cultists before they reacted, but he was soon overwhelmed and a sword through the chest finished him. But he had alerted the cultists to the rest of the group's prescence, and they charged toward their hiding place, screaming war cries. The adventurers drew weapons and prepared to fight, but it wasn't enough. Perhaps a dozen cultists were taken down before another hero fell: Velocentric, with an arrow in his neck. Then Lucas, with a spear in his side. They fought valiantly, taking twenty cultists for every member of the group that fell, but soon it was just Bent and Weltinator standing back to back as the cultists closed in. "Can we teleport?" asked Bent.
"No time. I have to be able to focus for that trick."
"Oh. Well, I suppose this is the end, then."
"It's not my only trick though."
Weltinator's form rippled, a sheen of purple coming over it. Wings grew from his back, and his hands became claws. In seconds, he was a human sized dragon. He roared, flexed his claws and send two cultists flying. The rest panicked, and began to back away. But he was too fast, and too enraged. He wasn't fully aware of what he was doing, and certainly wasn't in control. His claws flashed, his wings flapped, and he left a trail of purple fire everywhere he flew. In a matter of minutes, he had decimated over half the cultists' forces. And then a blade flashed up out of he melee, held by an Enderman and shining silver. It stabbed through Weltinator's chest, and his eyes flashed silver. His wings shrank back into his body, and his skin went from black and scaly to silver and metallic. He collapsed on the ground, the silver spreading to cover him, then slowly stood up. A horrible grin spread across his face. "I am Argentum. And my master is Herobrine."
Then he turned, took a knife from his belt that had been turned to solid silver by the transformation, and threw it at Bent, killing him instantly.
Argentum turned, drew his sword, now silver, and began to slowly but deliberately march towards the Shrine. The cultists formed ranks behind him, and they began to ascend the stairs to the Shrine- a huge pyramid made of stone bricks and decorated with clay stained green. As Argentum and his troops neared the summit, several figures stepped out from a chamber one floor below the top. One conjured a ball of sizzling energy and launched it at Argentum. As it struck him, frost began to cover him. Within seconds, he was frozen. The other figures- eight in number- drew their swords and charged forward to prevent the cultists from reaching Argentum. The figure who had fired the ice orb lifted the frozen statue that was Argentum and dragged it back to the chamber they had come from. His defenders slowly backed toward the chamber, and as soon as the last had entered, a stone door fell silently and sealed the cultists out. Several cried out in rage, but calmed as they saw a squad of their comrades come up the pyramid, lugging a cube covered in red and green runes. Many resembled the faces of creepers. They set it down next to where the door had been, now indistinguishable from the rest of the wall, and prepared to place a redstone torch next to it.
And then the Sky Army arrived.
They attacked with the ferocity and unpredictability of a herd of centaurs. They wielded the oddest collection of weapons from the weirdest mods imaginable. From Squid Reapers to Dubstep Cannons, Paintball Guns to Mario Hammers, they were all armed to the teeth, but they all wore the same golden armor. The cultists didn't stand a chance.
Inside the Shrine, nine faces looked down on Argentum's frozen form. First, the captain of the guards assigned to guard the temple, Shadowfire, suggested that they destroy him while he was frozen. His surviving men, Davis and Trey, agreed. One of the Emerald Keeper's apprentices, Stick of Magic, suggested they try to revive and purge the silver from him using the power of the Emerald, but two other apprentices, her brother EAMAFAD and Maggie, said that it was too dangerous. The fourth apprentice, Duncan, remained silent. Finally, the visiting Oracle, Anna, said that her vision was clouded by the cultists enchantments.
"What do you suggest we do, Emerald Keeper?"
"The Emerald is certainly a dangerous artifact." he said grimly. "It should never be used lightly. But this is what it was made for."
He threw off his hood, revealing a grinning face with an eyepatch and one glowing purple eye.
The battle was over. The Endermen had teleported away, and the Sky Army had defeated the cultists, though many of their own men lay unmoving on the ground. The mud was green with experience.
Inside the temple, the Emerald Keeper and his apprentices were preparing to use the Emerald.
"The ritual is simple," the Keeper explained. "Just throw a diamond and an ender pearl on top, and allow lightning to strike it."
"Do we have time to wait for that?" asked Duncan. "It can only revive the fallen if they've been dead for less than a day."
"No. We'll have to summon lightning."
He snapped his fingers, and everyone present looked through the hole in the roof at the swirling storm cloud that had formed suddenly in the sky above them.
"Why didn't you just summon a single lightning bolt?" asked Magic.
"It has to be true lightning. Also, the storm's way cooler."
They waited for a while, recasting the ice spell on Argentum occasionally, when suddenly, lightning struck the huge Emerald in the center of the room, vaporizing the diamond and ender pearl and releasing a huge wave of energy. The energy expanded in a circle, going straight through every wall without shattering the stone. As it touched Argentum, the ice and silver shattered and fell away from him, revealing the player underneath. It continued out, into the clearing surrounding the Shrine and into the jungle that surround the clearing. Every hero and Sky Warrior that had fallen was restored to full health, and all sat up groggily.
"And if I remember correctly, they all lived happily ever after." the Emerald Keeper said to himself. He laughed out loud.
"Told you he's crazy." Maggie muttered to Duncan. He nodded in agreement.
The Sky Army had returned home, after helping clean up the bodies of the cultists. The heroes had ascended the pyramid and were reunited with Weltinator and Anna in the Shrine of the Emerald.
[Note: There were many "we-thought-you-were-dead"s and "it's-good-to-see-you-alive"s, but let's skip to the part you actually care about. The ending. This may take a couple chapters.]
The Emerald Keeper gathered his apprentices- Stick of Magic, EAMAFAD, Maggie, and Duncan- and Anna and spoke to them. "Anna, what do you see in their futures?"
She closed her eyes and focused for a minute. "A long time from now, I see Magic and EAMAFAD in a kingdom, a kingdom built on magic. They are surrounded by friends, and Magic rules with a just mind."
"Much nearer in the future, I see Duncan going with these heroes, becoming great friends with Blake and Bent. They will have many adventures together."
"This last vision is troubling. I see Maggie running from the Shrine in the night, clutching a piece of the Emerald as the pyramid burns and crumbles behind her. But one day, she will help the captain of an airship, and when that happens, she will rebuild the Emerald and restore peace to Minecraftia."
"Aww!" moaned EAMAFAD. "Why does Maggie get the awesome prophecy?"
Maggie and Magic simultaneously punched his arms.
The heroes approached the Emerald Keeper and his apprentices.
"Thanks for everything." said Blake.
"No, thank you." said the Keeper, smiling.
"It's funny, I feel like I know you from somewhere." said Weltinator.
"Huh. No idea why." said the Keeper, grinning even more widely.
"Will you be coming back with us, Anna?" asked Hannah.
"Of course." she replied.
"Can I come with you guys?" asked Duncan.
"Um, sure. May I ask why?" said Blake.
He shrugged. "I just don't think being the Emerald Keeper is what I'm meant do."
"Well, Hannah, Lucas, Bent, Weltinator, and I are going back to our server. Don't know about the others, though."
"Me and Hunter are going to take Velocentric and go find a server to call home." said Chickaber.
"Actually," cut in Weltinator. "I don't think I'll be going with you guys."
"What? Why not?" asked Blake.
"I just think I need to get out and find my own way in the world."
"Well, alright. I suppose this is goodbye then."
"Nah. I'll see you guys again one day."
And so everyone went their separate ways. The guards, the Emerald Keeper, and his apprentices, except for Duncan, remained at the Shrine. Blake, Hannah, Lucas, Bent, Anna, and Duncan returned to Steamothic. Chickaber, Hunter, and Velocentric chose a direction and went off to see where they ended up. Weltinator chose a different direction and did the same.
"Will they be all right?" wondered Magic. "I know Anna predicted out futures, but she didn't predict theirs."
"Oh, they'll be fine. Believe me. I have a long memory." said the Emerald Keeper.
"Never mind. Just know that they'll all be fine."
Weltinator stepped onto the airship wharf. He was looking for Captain Arceus's ship. He had seen an advertisement for a position on a ship, and he wanted to see if it was still open. Hopefully he'd get the be the gunner, or the helmsman. As long as he wasn't the cook.
A few hours later, he was part of the crew. They hadn't decided what his position would be yet, but he was in. So far, the crew was just Arceus, himself, and a cheerful player named Zachabo, but Arceus assured him that that was enough to sail an airship. "So where are we sailing to, Captain?" Weltinator asked.
"A server called...EAMAFAD."