The Curse of the Dark Sun - A Nocturne short
So this is a one-shot short story I wrote based on the Challange set by Deimus144 (the one who doesn't get enough comments on his writing)
It's not very long, and I didn't take a lot of effort into it, so read at your own risk. Like it or don't like it. Here it is.
"Oh come on my precious!" - said Singed and poured some higly toxic acid into Nocturne's cell through the bars - "Have something to drink, it's party after all!"
Everyone laughed, Jax Singed, Leona, Mundo, they all laughed. As they were having a party in the lower cellar of the Institude, they never got bored on throwing all kinds of junk into Nocturne's cell, as "gifts" for the party. Mundo kept throwing cleavers at him while Jax lighted his lamppost and placed into the cell to "illuminate the darkness". Altough Nocturne's ethereal body could not be harmed, he was still kept leashed by the summoner's magic.
"The noon is beautiful!" - said Leona - "We should get more windows looking at Nocturne's cell. He could use some more light in that dark corner. I'll tell the summoners Noc wants more windows."
"You hear that noc?" - Jax laughed - "You're getting windows with LOTS of light. Aren't you happy?"
Nocturne did not answer. However he did notice that the light coming through the window was somehow seemed to be multiplying. In just a few seconds the light became so strong that it blinded everyone, literally nothing could be seen just white. Leona, who was standing just in front of the window, took it to the face. Her metal armor literally melted in the incredibly intensive light and heat, her hair caught fire, her eyes and skin immediately burned to ash. Even the glass of the window melted, and the stone bricks of the wall started to smoke.The others hid in the darkest corner, if there was any darkness yet, and managed to survive with burns and boils on their skin. Nocturne's cell had no windows so it only got indirect light and that spared the Nightmare from most of the heat too.
"Gaaah.... what the... fuuck!" - screamed Jax.
After about half a minute the burning light subsided and slowly turned dark, leaving the place in total darkness. Nocturne felt power seeping into himself. He experienced eclipses before, but this was nothing like that. There wasn't even a single light ray around, while normal eclipses still had some light. His senses switched from vision to something better, something that sensed the objects around him directly, not throught light. He felt his physical body fading and soon the summoner's magic failed to hold him back.
He flew through the bars of his cell, and sensed the remaining champions around him, blinded and wounded. In this darkness, no eyes were capable of working. Without a chance to protect themselves, Nocturne mercilessly sliced up all three of them in a few seconds then flew through the walls of the Institude. The darkness didn't last longer than the light, after half a minute, the sun shined up again, this time with it's normal intensity of light and heat. By that time, Nocturne was far away from the League.
Nocturne stopped by a devastated village, every house not made of brick with tiled roofs have burned to the ground. Most of the plants died along with many corpses that burned to ash. Whne Nocturne arrived there it was already night.
"What could have gave me such power..." - he wondered - "What caused such an eclipse to happen. I want to know if it can be repeated."
To get to know more about teh burning light followed by the eclipse, he entered one of the houses that survived. He found people inside, sleeping, some of them with heavy burned injuries. Nocturne picked the most wounded one and entered his mind.
Through his eyes, Nocturne could witness the phenomenon. The man he entered, was at the main square of the village when the sun lit up with incredible strength. He looked into it, but it burned his eyes, and he rather ran into the closest building as the sun boiled his skin. Then after a few seconds, the sun went dark, and the person had almost no recollection of the eclipse.
Nocturne exited the mind of the victim and left the house. He noticed a hooded figure approaching him. When she got close enough, Lux threw off her cloak and aimed her wand at Nocturne.
"There's a reward on your head, mister." - she said - "You're coming with me to the Institude. You'll asnwer for murder!"
Nocturne realized that, altough his powers were greater than in prison, his body returned into it's physical state ever since the eclipse ended. He prepared to fight Lux.
"I suppose you're responsible for that light, light mage? Why was it followed by the eclipse?" - he asked with his cold, metallic voice.
"Hah, I'm not evil, I had nothing to do with that light." - Lux answered resentfully - "But I will show you some light if you're not coming with me."
"I see" - Nocturne answered - "The outburst was beyond your power, besides there would have been no eclipse."
"Enough! Die monster!" - Lux screamed.
She aimed her wand at Nocturne and shot a huge burst of light at the Nightmare. Nocturne covered himself with the Shroud of Darkness. He expected the shield to dispose of the effect then disappear, but instead it stayed on him, and absorbed all the light Lux shot at him. Noc felt his shield stores the light, and the heat around him was rising.
"How?!" - Lux yelled - "My light should have pierced that shield by now!"
After a few seconds the shield charged up and exploded, releasing all the absorbed light in an instant. The burst of light blinded Lux and burned her skin. Nocturne took the chance and sliced her up.
"It was ... just like ... back at the Institude..." - muttered Nocturne to himself - "As if my shield produced the same effect. So the eclipse is, in some way, related to me."
Nocturne wanted to know more. The only source of knowledge he knew was the library if the Institude.
Back at the Institude, Nocturne easily found and entered the library unnoticed in the darkness of the night. It was only lit by dim moonlight entering throught the clored, ornamented windows.He started looking through the books about natural phenomenons but found nothing. He kept looking and finally found a book called "The Day of Seven Suns" under the "Curses and Dark Magic" section at the far end of the library. He opened it and began reading.
"The day of Seven Suns, also known as the Curse of the Dark Sun is a phenomenon of intenese light follwed by an eclipse. The first section is called the Blaze, when increased amount of light is emitted from the sun burning the entire surface of the land. The second section begins a second and a half after the first ends. It is called the Eclipse, however there are no objects covering the sun. Instead the sun itself goes completely dark for a duration that matches the duration of the Blaze."
"Interesting..." - thought Nocturne - "So the Blaze and the Eclipse are always exactly the same as long. It means, that for my own sake I shouldn't create an eclipse longer than a few seconds, even if I would know how to do it."
"There are five documented occurences of the Curse of the Dark Sun. The first one however was weak, no victims were blinded and it was not followed by an eclipse. The second occured 83 years later, to be the first one with light intensive enough to burn a man, and to be the first one followed by a full eclipse. 142 years later the third Curse took place. It's intensity was weaker than it's predecessor's, and altough it was followed by an eclipse, it was a natural lunar eclipse with the moon covering the sun. The duration didn't match the duration of the Blaze, instead it was longer, lasting for the lenght of a normal lunar eclipse. The fourth followed 97 years later and was identical to the seond, as was the fifth Curse 175 years later. For the last 489 years there was no recorded case of the Curse of the Dark Sun."
"So only three out of five Curses had an Eclipse like that after it." - Nocturne summarized. - "And it hasn't happened for nearly five hundred years. Something must have caused it to reoccur and I know it is in some connection to me. Could I have unknowingly created it?" - Nocturne paused for a few seconds - "I have no memories relating to anything before than a century. I don't thnik I'm older than a hundred years. It's midnight, there's still time to investigate. Maybe the summoners know more."
Nocturne found the chambers of a high ranking summoner, and entered the room while the man was sleeping. He prepared himself and breached the summoner's mind, setting up a vision, a nightmare.
In the nightmare, he placed the summoner into the library. He put it into his mind, that the Curse will occur in five minutes and the summoner must find out how to stop it. Altough the man wasn't five hundred years old, he still knew the Curse from just yesterday. He was sweating and was scared to death.
"my god... my god... please help me out... wich book is it... I don't want to die burning..." - he muttered.
He looked over all the shelves but Nocturne guided the vision so that he doesn't find anything useful. He was curious of the summoner's own knowledge, what would he come up with.
"Dammit! THERE ARE NO BOOKS ABOUT THIS THING!"" - he screamed in horror - "Someone help me please! Someone who knows about thins thing."
Nocturne took the opportunity, and appeared in his vision as a cloaked men, face hidden under a hood. He approached the summoner and spoke.
"I know a lot about the Curse of the Dark Sun. Do you seek help?"
"PLEASE! It will happen!!! We'll burn!! How to stop it, you MUST TELL ME how to stop it!! - the summoner begged.
"First I must know I can trust you." - Nocturne said as the hooded man - "Tell me who I am."
This was meant to get a name out of the summoner, a name of someone the summoner suspects to know a lot about the Curse. Someone Nocturne will find later.
"You must be ... if you really know a lot about it ... Master Alpheus of Ionia! Please, HOW TO stop it!?!?"
Master Alpheus of Ionai, ey? So Nocturne had a destination. He finished the vision by speaking as the hooded man: "Sorry, I'm not Master Alpheus." Then the nightmare ended with the Curse occuring and burning the summoner, who then awoke with a scream. But Nocturne was already on his way to Ionia by then.
Journeys didn't take long for him, he was flying at the speed of thought. As he passed through an Ionian forest he found a camp with only one person. There was a huge book near the fireplace, that beared the title "Everything to Know about the Curse of the Dark Sun". Nocturne stopped for a moment, but then the person in the camp immediately turned to face him. Blades flew into ther hands as Nocturne recognised her as Irelia.
"The summoner was right." - said Irelia with a voice filled with contempt - "You really ARE looking for information about the Curse. He had a nightmare about it, and he knew it must have been you. You're going to Alpheus aren't you He remembered saying that name in the nightmare."
"Clever summoner, yet he knew nothing beside that name. I should have killed him."
"You had your chance and you blew it. The Institude doesn't want you anymore. You'll die now. But before you fall, know that you were tricked by an empty book filled with blank pages."
"You'll never even get close to kill me." - Nocturne answered - "I know your fears. Your blades won't obey..." - he whispered.
Just as they were about to start fighting, the sun shined up. The light grew stronger and the forest caught fire. Nocturne immediately covered himself with the Shroud of Darkness as Irelia burned to death by the piercing heat of the sunlight. The shield stayed on him this time too, storing the incredible energy channeled by the Blaze as well as protecting Nocturne from it. As the Blaze ended, Nocturne's shield became supercharged and exploded, releasing all the energy in an instant, that was channeled for tens of seconds by the Blaze. For a brief second the flash of light released by the Shroud illuminated the Eclipse that followed the outburst. He found himself floating above a crater with the depth of ten meters. It formed just around him as the Shroud vented the stored energy. Nocturne knew he still had a few more seconds of darkness as he felt himself empowered again.
With his advanced senses that kicked in during the Eclipse, he located a mind that recognised itself as Master Alpheus. His travelling speed became lightning fast and he reached the location just before the Eclipse ended.
It was a small house in the middle of a burned down forest, with mirrors on it's roof and above the garden. This garden had the only living plants around. And old gray bearded man came out of the house as Nocturne arrived.
"If I'm not mistaken, you are Nocturne."
"I am." - Nocturne answered coldly - "And you are Master Alpheus. Expert on the Curse."
"Indeed I am." - answered the old man - "I have spent my entire life researching the Curse of the Dark Sun. Ever since I've heard of your existence I knew, that one day you'll come and seek my knowledge. Now that the Curse has occured again, I knew you'll come and find me."
"You better tell me all you know, otherwise your research will come to a tragic ending."
"You don't have to threaten me." - the old man laughed - "I will tell you everything. Even those you might not want to know. But first, tell me, how much do you know about the Curse?"
"Aside from the last two, there are five documented cases of the occurence of the Curse, but only three was followed by an eclipse. There first one consisted only of a weaker Blaze while the third one had a natural eclipse just after it."
"That is correct. The Curse seemed to have appeared once per century so far, there was no example of two Curses appearing so close to each other."
"I seem to have some kind of connection to it." - said Nocturne.
"That is obvious. I even have a theory. Could you show me your shield?"
Nocturne nodded and covered himself with the Shroud. The shield stayed on him again and started absorbing sunlight. However it did not charge, even after minutes.
"It usually releases the energy after a few seconds" - said Nocturne - "I don't know what's with it."
"I believe it simply did not absorb enough energy yet. What other situations have you used it in?"
"Against a light mage and during the latest Curse" - Nocturne answered.
"That makes sense. With such intense energy the shield charges in seconds, then releases a wave of amplified energy."
"It didn't work like this before I escaped." - Nocturne noted.
"It is probably because of the summoner's magic. They limited your abilities and your shield, though absorbed some effect, could not charge. Did you experience a change in your other abilities?"
"Well" - Nocturne took inventory of the changes - "The Duskbringer's a fake, it was only given to me by the summoners because I was stripped of all abilites. As if a Nightmare was throwing around blades. The Shroud charges, and I can create stable visions that I can control instead of just fearing."
"What about your so called Ultimate Ability?" - asked Master Alpheus.
Instead of answering Nocturne started casting what was knows as Paranoia back in the league. But instead of darkness, the sun became even brighter, starting to radiate light and heat with increased intensity. Nocturne however quickly stopped the channel and the sun returend to it's original strenght.
"Amazing!" - said Master Alpheus, looking at the surprised Nocturne - "I knew I was right. You are connected to the Dark Sun, but because of the summoner's constraints on you, you could not create the entire Curse, just a weak simulation of the Eclipse. During that time you regained some of your abilites, like moving through objects, and moving with incredible speed.
"So I casted the latest Curses too?" - asked Nocturne.
"I wouldn't say that" - the Master answered - "But I think you are also able to cast it, while it would occur on it's own too. I believe your shield is the reason of your existence."
"What makes you say that?" - asked Nocturne
"See, I think you were meant to amplify the effect of the Curse, by storing it's energy and supercharging it. You were correct about the fact that only three Curses had an Eclipse, but what you did not say is that the fourth and the fifth actually had a center of focus. In both cases an entire city with the size of Demacia or Noxus was completely destroyed. Both cases a large human settlement was the center. I think you were there during the occurance of these Curses and you used your shield to create an even more devastating effect."
"I don't remember. Those Curses occured more than five hundred years ago."
"You could have lost your memory when you came in contact with the Nexus of the Summoners. But everything you are, suggests that you were there. You know there is a mage called Morgan Borga. He was much like you, he wore a hood that casted a full shadow on his face even in broad daylight, and everyone around him feared him. He lived for centuries, maybe he wasn't even a human. But in you, Nocturne, I recognize his handiwork."
"So you mean this Morgan Borga created me ... to amplify the effect of the Dark Sun with my shield?"
"Exactly. The first Curse was weak, probably an experiment, the second was a full succes, but then came the third. It was weak, but it had an eclipse, though a natural one. This is when you were born. From the power of the Curse, Morgan created you and that's why you are connected to it. He carefully picked the time for the Curse to occur when an eclipse would come naturally as well, so the lack of a full Eclipse will not be noticed. The next two Curses had a center of attention, human settlements in both cases. Then for some reason, you and Morgan stopped for half a century. I believe the reappearence of the Dark Sun was meant to help you out."
"What about the Curse itself?" - asked Nocturne - "Did Morgan cast that too?"
"I don't think so. It is a lot older than Morgan's first documented appearance in any mage school. I think he just used the Curse, or rather created you to use it. The Curse itself appears to be a simple mechanism, a time warp around the sun, that releases light in forward. That is the Blaze, lasting for 17 seconds, using the energy of the next 17 seconds ahead of it. It is followed by 17 seoconds of the Eclipse, where the sun "cathes up" with itself, as it released light in forward. That is why the duation of the Blaze always equals the duration of the Eclipse. Who casted the Curse and why remains unknown to this day."
"All right, thanks for the information. I have one last question. Where is Morgan Borga?"
"He was never accused for using the Dark Sun. He's free, and he's probably in the Shadow Isles."
Nocturne travelled to the Shadow Isles. Once there, his senses pointed him to the right direction. He knew he was meant to find Morgan, and Morgan wanted to find him. After a few hours of searching, he found the mage in his tower. Morgan Borga wore a cloak and a hood on his head, his face fully covered in shadow. As Nocturne flew into his room through the window, the mage stood up from his desk to greet him.
"Nocturne...my child. I almost gave up hope for seeing you again."
"Unfortunately, I don't remember you. And I'm not about to trust you yet." - asnwered Nocturne.
"Then it is true..." - sighed the mage - "The Nexus took your memory. So that is why it took so long for you to come to me. You had to find me first."
"Tell me everything. I finally want to know what happened."
"So be it. A thousand years ago humans started using magic. That was the time when the Curse of the Dark Sun was casted. I don't know who casted it or why, it might have been the toll for taking magic, or just the work of a madman. It raged for a hundred years and then subsided. Four hundred years later I was born, and I saw how corrupt humanity was. They waged wars and kept killing each other. I decided to end their conflict by destroying the opposing armies along with their evil cities. I researched the Curse and managed to cast it. For the second try I mastered it, but I saw it was not enough to destroy an entire city. Too many survives.
Unable to improve the curse itself I created you to amplify it's effect locally. That was during the third Curse. You can store and charge the energy chanelled by the Dark Sun. We succeeded, and two citys fell into ruins. I always used magic to try to restore the damaged forests and other plants after I used a Curse. Luckily tow was enough. The wars ended and there were no longer need for us, so we departed to the Shadow Isles. For five hundred years we though peace was maintained, but two new citys arose, Noxus, and Demacia. Both had to be destroyed, and you set off again. But during the time, this League was formed, and it's magic somehow caught you. I knew you were in trouble when you didn't return and casted the Curse because I knew, if anytime, during it you have a chance to escape."
"I ... remeber I think" - Nocturne said as memories came back to his mind - "But why create me, a being, isntead of an object. Why is my fondness for Fear and Darkness?"
"An object can be captured by the wrong people." - answered the mage - "You couldn't be defeated. You had to be intelligent. Tell me, have you ever felt sorry for anyone, ever felt hopeless, insulted, or scared?"
"It is because you are intelligent, nothing less, nothing worse. Just intelligent. You also had to be at home in the dark. Every Curse is followed by the Eclipse. If you can't handle such darkness, you're lost. You had to be able to control the situation in an Eclipse. Also you are feared. It is for people to avoid you. This way you could approach your targets more easily. Even if someone saw you, they would rather want to forget you. And soldiers don't report that they were scared. That is a loss of honor. They rather leave you out of their report."
"I understand" - Nocturne said - "I remember everything now."
"That's good. The spell worked. You see I did cast a spell on you, one that restores memory when the past is revealed to the subject. I'm glad it worked on you too."
"I am ready. We can continue our work."
"Good, my child. Good."
I don't like to be negative. However, while I respect you for trying to tackle a difficult character to write like Nocturne, your writing needs work. Its a bit clunky and disjointed. There's no real flow to it. There's a lot of "This happened, then this happened, then he saw this, and she said this..."
Its very difficult to read. Keep practicing but try to keep flow in mind when you write things in the future.
If you want to see some decent work from me, then by all means, rather read my Shen's Journey. It's a lot slower and better worked than this. I'm anyway planning on posting a new chapter there soon.
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