The night had fallen on Kyloria.
Jantus stood on the deck of the flagship of the fleet, the Glitterscales. The shadows were ink of the gods, stirred into the water by the pounding of the huge storm that had roared from the heavens. Tongues of lightning shot from the sky, careening madly across the surf.
Night had fallen.
Jantus' cloak fluttered in the wind, and he shivered in his armor as the sky split open with winds of death. He knew Kylorin was dead, deep in his heart, and that meant Kyloria was doomed. So was he. The demons had slain the mightiest and noblest warrior he knew. Jantus had lived long, and seen many things, but he was the last hero of Kyloria the fallen, doomed among doom. Green Island, the last city of Kyloria, remained, with a shipload of refugees coming towards it.
Kyloria had fallen.
The welcoming yellow light of the lighthouse shone into the night, and the ship swung towards it. The fleet glowed with eerie blue fire as it docked in the harbor. Armored men, small children, and frightened women poured out on the docks, stumbling to places to stay with their families, huddled for warmth against the booming sky.
Honor had fallen.
Jantus roared over the storm, "There are dry rooms and food for you all in the fortress. We have been making them comfortable for you. Please go there, save the Knights of Kylorin."
Most of the masses on the docks slowly shuffled along the crowded timbers, as lightning staggered and reeled in the sky overhead. A small force, armored but cloaked to keep the rain off, stood awaiting orders.
Justice had fallen.
Jantus ordered them to ready positions along the coast. They were the elite soldiers of Kyloria, and they would be alert whenever the enemies came. Jantus knew better than to hope they would be stopped by the water. He set off down the windings of the huge city to the palace-fortress of the Six of Kyloria; Kylorin, his queen Alenta, the witch Hexila, the paladin Kalah, Aline the cleric, and him. Now he alone ruled the forces of Kyloria. He alone could save them or destroy them. His fingers hefted his axe's handle as he walked to the army in front of the fortress.
Bravery had fallen.
"Men of Kyloria, I come to you today to state one thing. We are strong.
The demons are strong, and intelligent, and deadly. We are mere men. They are menace incarnate. What have we they have not?
We are brave, and they are not. Let us shield ourselves with bravery. We have love. Let our love power us into defending our country and loved ones. We have honor. Our honor will be a cleansing flame to their wooden lies. We shall set their straw trickery alight, and we will be a beacon of glory and goodness."
Light had fallen.
He walked among them to thundering applause. No thunder of earth, though, could drown the heavens' mad howl of death and darkness. He began ordering groups to different sections of the city walls, putting only a small elite guard in the fortress, which was in the very center of the city. He walked into the central bastion, into the bedroom prepared for him. His armor clinked as he fell into bed in it, too tired to take it off, too depressed to bother, too worried to think of it. The guards spread out through the palace, taking care not to wake the last hero of Kyloria.
Twilight had fallen.
Long after, a quiet hiss echoed through the palace as a glowing swirl appeared in the air in the back of Jantus' room. The demon general Kalarah, with a troop of demon warriors, slowly marched through the portal.
Jantus' eyes opened as one dropped a shield, clattering among the floor's stones. He sprung out of bed and roared in shock, swinging his now-glowing axe at a demon soldier, cleaving through dark leather and demonic flesh. The soldier screamed and clawed at his mail coat, entangling its claws. It hissed frustratedly as he poleaxed it to the ground, knocking it out of his way. The demon general smiled, pulling out a long, barbed whip that glowed with abyssal fire. Cracking it, he sent his troops out to combat the elite guard in the fortress.
The sun had fallen.
Jantus swiped at the demon with the axe, but Kalarah coated it in fire, reducing the metal blade to bubbling puddles on the floor and the handle to a charred stick. Jantus managed to whack the demon on the side with the handle, creating a spray of blood that dripped down the demon's cloak, but Kalarah leapt at the human, his hands burning with dark flames. They burned into his chest, melting metal and setting cloth on fire.
The hero stumbled back, melting metal baking his chest, two burning handprints in his skin. Black spots danced before his eyes, and he didn't move as Kalarah slowly charged a fire in the palm of his hand.
He kicked out with an armored boot, smashing the demon's already-bruised side. Kalarah howled and clutched his side in pain. In a flash the human was at the demon's throat, gripping hard enough for Kalarah to see red.
A whip curled around his hands, burning them deep with fire. He leapt back, his hands dead, his chest burned with demon fire and with melted steel welded to it.
The demon cracked it across his shoulder, then realized his mistake as the human used the momentum to trap the burning whip in the crook of his shoulder and ripped it from his hands. The human savagely kicked the off-balance demon in the same spot. He sank to the floor, doubled over. The human raised his iron boot to kick in Kalarah's face.
"Fool. Look where your honor is now."
"Honor? You lost yours millennia ago."
"You deserve better, Jantus. I see fate for you. Death is at your door."
The last hero of Kyloria kicked with savage derision, cracking the grinning face below him. The body dissapeared in a blast of hellfire.
He sank to the floor, burning with pain and loss. Honor gone, life gone. He had nothing to live for. He had killed without honor, had been mocked by a demon righteously. His heart slowly ceased to beat, and a dull nothingness spread over him.
The last hero had fallen.
The elite guard had defeated the last of the demon warriors infiltrating the palace. They went to report to the chief general, out ton the ramparts of the greater fortress.
They saw they were too late. The last of their soldiers were fighting desperately with the hugely reduced demon horde.
Their leader knelt, tears in his eyes. "The rest of you, go and fight for your country. I have something to do."
They obeyed wordlessly, understanding his grief and rage. With a swirl of his cloak, the leader ascended the stairs to Jantus' room.
The lone warrior knelt before the dead hero. Jantus had been their last hope. He had destroyed the second-in-command of the demon army, though. No hero could hope for much more.
He focused, and stepped into a swirl in the air.
Night had fallen on Kyloria.