Tale – Towards Kairos’s Keep

Arkay and Volt stepped carefully as they navigated the maze of paths towards the Whenvern’s castle. Neither of them had any idea where Kinisis had gone, she’d given them magically altered copies of their signature weapons then disappeared in her usual cloud of tentacle-y smoke.

“You know…” Arkay muttered as they edged past a spike pit. “For a being that constantly goes on about moving forward, you’d think his home would be more… straight forward, I guess.”

If Volt found his claim amusing or not, Arkay didn’t know. What he did know was that Volt was a really, really weird being. He’d seen a lot of different beings, millions, possibly billions of beings, going up the rivers of Kinigi, but not once had he seen anything that looked like Volt. Despite their perilous surroundings, Arkay really wanted to ask him.

“It’s complicated,” Volt abruptly replied, before swiftly apologising. “I am so sorry. I… I talk via Transferance… or whatever remains of it. I didn’t mean to briefly see your thoughts!”

“You mean telepathy?” Arkay sighed. “It’s fine. I’ve accidentally done that before, being a telepath myself.”

“I’m not sure if telepathy and Transferance are the same, actually,” Volt shrugged.

Something ahead of them moved. It was some sort of large, stone dragon, idly plodding by. It didn’t notice the two beings and stomped off down a side path.

Straight ahead, finally, was Kairos’s Keep. A gigantic stone castle with cobbled walls, marked with arrow-shaped windows up each of its three towers. In the top of the tallest one, which also happened to be in the middle, something could be seen tied to a large pole.

“Is that our target?” Volt asked, as Arkay peered through the cope of his rifle.

“I’m not sure. It has antlers, but it doesn’t look like Stasis. Unless he has a weakened form the same way Death and the Whenvern have… Speaking of which…”

Out of nowhere, Kairos soared on his large, white and blue wings. He circled around the three towers before landing somewhat awkwardly on the middle one, surrounding the chained up being.

“Oh, that’s definitely Stasis, has to be,” Arkay tutted.

“Can you get a clear shot or something or do we have to go up there?” Volt asked. Arkay glanced at the weird Thrope thing, unsure whether he was serious or not.

“Um, we have to go up there. While I trust this rifle to take out a Deitic, I’m pretty sure it won’t even dent the personification of Time. How we get up there though, I’ve got no idea.”

Volt’s head twisted to one side. “That should not be too hard. We can just run up the wall.”

Before Arkay could say anything or question how stupid Volt’s statement sounded, Volt activated some sort of… thing that made him zoom off at high speed. Several of the stone dragons guarding the castle spotted him, but were immediately stunned by sudden shocks of lightning arcing off his body.

Just as Volt said, he was running up the wall. Well, not so much running, but clearly defying the local area’s laws of gravity and sort of jumping up it. Just as Arkay was beginning to make sense of it, he realised that Volt was in trouble. The Whenvern had heard the fuss Volt was making and had taken off from his perch. Worse, the stone dragons had done the same, somehow flying up towards Volt’s location.

“I could use some assistance!” Volt shouted as he leaped off the main tower and started bouncing up a tower to his side. Arkay swiftly complied by firing several shots, injuring or otherwise scaring off the stone dragons. But those that had fallen were swiftly replaced with more hulking monsters.

Down on the ground, several other stone dragons had worked out where those weird, Veth-based, dragon-hurting bullets came from and had come for Arkay. The Rethan drew his blade and started cutting his way through the brutes. He then climbed onto one of their backs, holding the blade around its throat.

“Fly, bitch,” Arkay growled as the stone dragon took off, up towards the tallest tower.

Suddenly, something latched onto them, slowing them down. Arkay glanced over to see that it was Volt, who had somehow leaped a good fifty metres and grabbed onto the dragon’s tail.

“Thanks, Arkay!” Volt beamed.

“It was unintentional, actually,” Arkay admitted, as he pulled on the dragon’s neck, fully expecting the Whenvern to snatch them out of the sky at any moment.

But that moment never came. Below them, something had erupted in a series of explosions, distracting the Lord of Time and his minions. Hundreds of beings charged through the cobbled maze paths, tearing through the many draconic minions that had landed to fend them off.

“I thought Kinisis said to fetch four Veth?” Volt asked as they landed on the top of the tower. Arkay though didn’t answer and instead leaped off the dragon, running over to where the antlered being was chained up, releasing it from its chains. It WAS Stasis, but weakened and mutated – clearly Kairos had stolen some of his power.

Stasis’s eyes blinked open, just as Kairos landed behind them, and Kinisis popped up out of the ground in front of them.

“Volt, Arkay, you’ve done your job, let me take over,” Kinisis smiled as she pushed the two beings off the top of the tower, down into the battle below.