Chronicles of the Imperium I
Rated PG 13
Many thousand years before Pikmin: Ultimate Doom...
XIOS – RED PIKMIN TRIBUNE, INITIATE
KARSAAN – YELLOW PIKMIN ZEALOT, UNIT COMMANDER
DIAMOR – BLUE PIKMIN ACOLYTE, LT HEALER
FARONZO – WHITE PIKMIN BATTLEMAGE, 2nd OFFICER
ZUESAI – RED PIKMIN TRIBUNE, 1st OFFICER
KAI – RED PIKMIN TRIBUNE, 3rd OFFICER (DECEASED)
“Pick up the pace, recruit! Diamor, make sure you have enough energy to heal us! We are in for an unfair fight if the sentry is correct.” Unit Commander barked his orders around as the unit moved through the night. Formerly a unit of six, a pack of ravenous Bullbugs killed Kai, the unit's 3rd officer. Now, the unit was only five. Karsaan, the Unit Commander was waiting patiently to give Kai his justice by following out the unit's orders: investigate the north sentry attacks in the Oakenvale province.
“Shush! I can sense life forms behind those ruined watchtowers. Our plan, Karsaan?”, quietly Zuesai, the 1st Officer said. They all ducked behind a forest clearing as the Unit Commander got out a piece of papyrus.
“I want you, 1st, to take the left side. Take out any outer Imps.” Zuesai nodded as the Commander continued. “Initiate Xios! You will aid him in his initial attack. 2nd Officer Faronzo! I want you with Diamor and I. You can create a magic display while I charge in to attack the front Imps, while Diamor uses his Acolyte powers to heal me. If we time this right, I won't get hurt at all. As soon as my first attack hits, I want my 2nd to use his Battlemage abilities to fire from a distance. Once you two Reds have dispatched of the left side, re connect with our group and we all fight together. These claims of a 'Bone Chieftain' will not impede our ability to strike as a team. Understood everyone?”
The squad all readied up and they split into two groups. The two Red Pikmin, Xios and Zuesai, took the left wall of the watchtower. The rest waited for Faronzo to start his distraction.
“Hand me that bandage, initiate. We are going to need more protection than just our minds. When our minds are calm, we can rationally make strategy. When our bodies are calm, we can rationally fight and live on. I will heed to both mind and body, and so should you. Remember that, recruit.”, said Zuesai as they sneaked around the left wall.
Xios was eager to complete his first mission. He wanted to make a good living so that he could feed his new sproutling. He and his wife barely stayed nourished, and he felt that living as a servant to the military could provide for them. He preferred this life over a life of stealing and looting. He wanted to make an honest living, and learn how to improve his life along the way. So far, since his training he has learned to be earnest of all things and how to be at peace. Although he knew how to be at peace, actively staying that way was a much harder task.
“On my mark. You take the left one, I'll handle the right. This is it.” Zuesai looked over his opponents in disgust, sensing the beasts' bloodlust. He was reminded by his training not to judge people by his intuition, but by what they do. And all he could sense is destruction and war. Good enough for him. He flicked his bud forward and quietly charged the right Imp.
The Imp is described as a nasty abomination that resembled a disfigured humanoid. Their noses were rounded and bulbous in a varying array of shapes and sizes, and their eyes were glued shut with skin and noxious fibers. They croaked and wheezed, seemingly unable to breathe at times. Most showed a keen ability to destroy and ransack. They were consequently very greedy creatures, with no remorse for Pikminkind. With a short and stocky build, these creatures slaughtered Pikmin to no end. They seemed to have only one purpose, to kill and destroy the Imperium.
Xios charged the left Imp, accidentally stepping on a branch and alerting the Imps to their advance. Zuesai chanted a cryptic phrase and fire entangled the right imp, singeing the beast to a crisp. It flailed and roared, dying quickly and loud. Xios shouted a different phrase and the remaining Imp's patchy hair caught on fire. It roared and charged at Xios. The two met, with the imp's club parrying Xios's fists. Xios chanted another phrase and his arms glared orange, burning the imp's club to ashes. The imp rounded Xios and attempted to disable him using a right hook. Xios dodged the attack and retaliated with a fiery slug to the face, incapacitating the imp. Xios wiped his leaf and met back up with the 1st Officer.
Just before Zuesai initiated his attack, Faronzo stepped closer to the main party of imps. He widened his arms and his flower swayed with the wind, as powder came out of his one of his belt pouches. His battlemage robes flapped in the wind as a cloud of tan powder floated over closer to the imps. It fell to the ground, where a massive tree grew out of the ground. Faronzo wiped sweat off of his face as he struck the tree with arcane magic from his staff, giving it the appearance of intelligence. It now had glowing purple eyes and a purple glowing mouth, and a deep shuddering roar that sent quakes around the area. The imps put out their fire and rushed over to the monstrous tree. They smashed it with clubs and maces, attempting to take it down.
Karsaan lead a charge around the tree and surprised the imps with his longblade. He sliced and shattered many imps, standing his ground with vigor. His rune armor deflected attacks and sent imps flying. His particular rune configuration was KOS – Deflection. This meant that those with a weaker will than Karsaan would be deflected away from him if they attacked him. He had all confidence that he'd be victorious, not expecting any kind of danger, especially since he had a Blue Pikmin healer with him.
Faronzo was launching bolts of ice at the imps with his battlemage staff. The base of the staff was where alchemy converted his ingredients into magical powers and spells. At this moment he had frost dust in his staff, converting into ice bolts when he used his ranged attack spell. He preferred using his golden ashes to shoot rays of molten magma but they didn't want to attract more imps from the wilds. He continued his efforts in picking off the imps until it seemed every last one was dead.
The squad regrouped in the middle of the imp firepits, discussing tactical information.
“Good work everybody. We need to set up a perimeter. Our orders are to hold out until we receive word from the Legion. But the night is not over yet. That pack of Bullbugs may have been killed, but dead bullbugs can attract much more vile things in this region of Oakenvale. 2nd Officer Faronzo! I want you to set up traps to deter any wild animals and alert us of imp blood. I want my 1st Officer and my Initiate Tribunes to both start a watch along the outer area, both of you at parallel positions at opposite sides of the area. And Lt. Healer Diamor! You will try to make a shield surrounding the area. I want anyone with imp blood not getting in so easy. Make it so, everyone! I will set up base in the center watchtower. Dismissed.”
Faronzo, pleased to be using up his blowhog spikes for once, set up an array of spike traps. The more alchemical magic he used, the more potent his magic became. The only problem was that he had no frost dust left, and could only use the golden ash, which was much to revealing to use in combat. He'd have to search around for herbs and ingredients to power his offensive magic. He wasn't familiar with the Oakenvale province's plantlife, having grown up in Galeshire, nested near the capital city of the Imperium, which all were in the Terrol province, far to the west. He started his search after he carefully placed all of his spike traps. He included imp hair with the blowhog spikes to only trigger when imps touched the traps.
A crow squawked as it hit a floating pool of energized water. Diamor was attempting to channel his spiritual purity into a watery barrier that would only reject imps. He called upon the light to aid him as he wrangled wild floating water. Finally he managed to tame the water and it settled into a floating barrier of vapor that would slow down imps and let off an alert noise.
Xios and Zuesai were both patrolling the low-laying areas surrounding the sentry site. They used mental flickers of power to communicate their relative locations so they wouldn't cross patrol paths at the same time. While they were partially concentrated, they scanned the area for enemy activity. A tribune's abilities included the ability to sense sentient life forms within a certain proximity. One's personal sensing abilities were limited to his experience and time training and meditating on the power. Zuesai had much better sensing capabilities than Xios, able to sense life forms within a half of a mile. Xios could only sense life from ten feet away, barely better than actually using eyesight, but in thick forest in the middle of the night, his ability was essential to being on patrol.
Zuesai detected a life form, approaching at high speeds. The only problem with the power was that a tribune had no way of telling if the person he detects is friendly or not. Zuesai alerted Xios and he looked up to find a pink blur quickly descend on the area. Zuesai sighed and called off Xios, continuing to his duty.
Karsaan heard a noise outside and stepped into the ruined courtyard. A message carrier slowly met the ground and glided over to him. It was a Winged Pikmin messenger, with orders from the Legion camps. Karsaan thanked the messenger, received a salute, and went back into the watchtower. His armor clinked as the old doors creaked open. Opening the message revealed that his orders were to find and take down the Imp known as the 'Bone Chieftain', and to return to the camps to the south after the orders were carried out. He imagined how difficult the search for one Imp would be until he heard a loud hissing sound followed by a couple muted roars. He rushed out to the courtyard to find a small Imp struggling with a spike trap.
Xios rushed back to where he was a minute ago after hearing the roar. Apparently the beast sneaked around behind him just outside of his senses. He saw the imp, and looking further he saw the Unit Commander Karsaan. Xios blasted forwards after shouting an ancient word, smoke streaking behind him. He bounded towards the imp and clashed with its club. Xios preformed a roundhouse kick that broke the imp's left leg, and it screamed, toppling over on another spike trap that impaled its chest. Xios inquired to Zuesai about his situation and received a short 'help'. He signaled for Karsaan to follow and they rushed over to the 1st Officer's location.
Faronzo was a mile due west when he was ambushed by a large mob of Pikmin-like monsters. They were purple, much more pale than Purple Pikmin, but had no pupils. And they had mushrooms atop their stems. He was caught off guard, and struck one with his staff. He broke the zombified Pikmin's stem, but it kept pursuing him. He was fascinated yet frightened, and realized he needed to terminate them using alchemical magic. He quickly concocted a mixture of golden ashes and some local lily pads, hoping their alchemical makeup would dull the bright lava beam that golden ashes produced. He locked his staff up and sent a shockwave spell out, pleased to find that a shockwave of quiet lava was produced. Half of the mob of zombie Pikmin were burned to ashes until Faronzo ran out of the ingredients for magma spells. He was nearly cornered until he unleashed his last resort. He cut off a patch of his skin and added bits of dirt to it, placing it in his staff. He zapped a zombie Pikmin with a blast of poisonous mud. His arm bled and he howled out in pain, knowing that he needed to return to the sentry camp soon or his entire bloodstream would be corrupted by the toxic air. He fought his way out of the crowd of undead Pikmin and stumbled to the ground just a quarter of a mile from the camp. He could even see the watchtower, its presence teasing him to get up. His muscles felt megatons heavier, and he couldn't muster enough strength to move. He coughed poisonous gas and his vision blurred. He then remembered the feeling of falling before losing consciousness.
Zuesai was blocking a fury of attacks from a strange looking imp. It was purple and had mushrooms growing on its head. It had white growth around its closed eyes, and its already grotesque appearance was further disgusting with all of its extra filth. It seemed to be much more enraged, flailing its body to crush the Red Pikmin. While its already-poor coordination was lowered to nothing, it had a tenacity the 1st Officer had never seen before. Zuesai crushed the imp's arm with the force of a rocket punch, but the imp continued to swing its decaying, broken arm around. The 1st Officer cringed as the bones of the imp creaked and crunched, until the imp was motionless. Zuesai was satisfied and about to report all clear when the imp grabbed him in a choke hold. He began to panic as he felt no life presence near him. He tried signaling for help, but was too distracted to reach out for them. When Xios sent out an inquiry burst of power, the struggling Zuesai was able to respond with 'help'. He now hoped he would receive it.
Diamor felt fatigued as a crowd of imps bashed at his vapor barrier. He couldn't find any of his comrades, so he ran over to the group of intruders. He called upon the light to rid the world of those imps, and a flash of light smited them out of existence. Diamor fell to the ground, exhausted. As a healer, he had never attempted to erase imps from reality. He knew why there were so few Acolyte warriors. He felt the heart of a dying soul crying out for mercy nearby. All Acolytes could 'feel' the presence of dying allies, one of the abilities of the way of light followers. He felt empowered by the light and seemed to glide over to the dying Pikmin. When he approached and realized that it was Faronzo, he was shocked. He called for the light to touch his healing hands, as he commanded the water in his jug to approach and heal Faronzo. He regenerated the deep tear in Faronzo's skin, and then the light lifted Faronzo in the air, purifying his mind and body of any ailments. While Faronzo was receiving the grace of health, Diamor was concentrating intently, until the healing stopped abruptly. Diamor let out a scream of pain as a spike was removed from his waist. Diamor fell to the cold ground, motionless. The imp showed himself as Faronzo fell to the ground, slamming his face into the dirt. This imp was taller than most, with darker skin. He wore bones as armor and underneath the pelts of animals. He wielded a cane made of bones with a razor sharp spike at the end, lathered in the blood of a healer. He laughed and roared into the night, lusting for more prey.
The undead imp with Zuesai in a near vice grip stumbled around, moaning. He tried applying more pressure on to the Red Pikmin but didn't have much of his muscles left. When Xios and the Unit Commander arrived Zuesai was almost out of air. Xios launched over to them with a fiery blast and said an ancient word, touching the foul imp. A shockwave of controlled flame turned the imp into ashes as the coughing Zuesai stumbled to the ground. Karsaan propped his 1st officer up as they heard a deathly scream. Karsaan nodded to Xios in adamant motion and they dashed towards the source of the noise, already shaken by the idea of another unit member dying.
A broken, guttural “Get up!” could be heard as the bone-clad imp slammed his foot into Faronzo's unconscious body. The imp roared and almost smashed his bonespear into the motionless battlemage, until he was hit by a ball of flames. He reared back and spun around to find two Pikmin on the offensive. Xios and Karsaan charged the brute as Zuesai lobbed fireballs from afar. Xios yelled, “See-than!” and he sprayed a fiery mist at the imp. Karsaan thrust his longblade at the imp and parried with his bone spear. The imp reared back and smashed his spear into the Yellow Pikmin's armor. He was not deflected by the rune configuration, and continued to bash his knuckles into Karsaan. He was terrified, not prepared for an enemy to actually be able to pierce his armor. Xios, equally mortified, hastily yelled an ancient sentence, stuttering, and an explosion of fire blasted him to the ground. The beast rounded up and tackled Karsaan to the ground before he could dodge. An explosion of fire set off near the imp, but his bone armor seemed to shield him from the blast. Zuesai grunted and moved closer to attempt to disable the imp. “Foolish tiny min. You think you can best me? I am the Bone Chieftain! I will destroy you all with my Dark Magic!”, his deep, hollow voice echoed into the night.
The Bone Chieftain thrust his spear into the air and it shook with magical discharge. He sent pulses of shadow energy to the ground, raising several Pikmin in sentry armor from the dead. He laughed as he continually sapped energy from each living Pikmin, especially the unconscious Faronzo. Zuesai spoke a sentence that shook the ground and made his eyes appear on fire. He roared a battle cry of honor as he sprinted past the unmoving initiate Xios and the injured Unit Commander Karsaan, smashing his fists into each risen Pikmin and incapacitating every undead minion. Zuesai rushed to the Bone Chieftain and breathed a thick field of fire from his mouth, using all the energy his mind could muster. The Bone Chieftain absorbed all of the fire as his shadow grew in size. He laughed as he resurrected Diamor from his hollow body, using the Blue Pikmin's abilities in calling the light for his own use. He made Diamor launch water at Zuesai, dowsing him until he calmed down and lost most of his mind energy. 1st Officer Zuesai whimpered as he fell to the ground, unable to muster any physical strength.
“Demon, I shall slay you. No matter how strong you are in Dark Magic, I remain with immense willpower. And it must take a considerable amount of will to absorb an entire flamethrower and resurrect a powerful healer Pikmin, let alone the others you raised.” Karsaan looked into the Chieftain's eyes with a vigorous desire for justice.
“What are you talking about? This is over. I win. And you should have the honor of my name, since you will die here. I am Qe!” The Bone Chieftain ran over to Karsaan, raising his bone spear and charging up his dark magic, his face emerged in shadows. He continued his charge with Karsaan just staring him down. The imp felt his win so close until he was launched back into a watchtower right after his spear met the Yellow Pikmin's armor. He smashed against the watchtower as it crumbled over him. He screamed in anger as the tower toppled over his freshly dead body, burying him under his own weak will.
“Those of honor will never be defeated by any mere imp. Diamor, I have your justice. Kai, I also have yours.” Karsaan looked vacantly into the distance before rushing over to Faronzo. He saw that the battlemage was getting up and offered him a hand. They walked over to the two Red Pikmin and they all assessed their damages. Karsaan felt dimly of the situation until the 3rd Battalion arrived, with eight healers on hand. Karsaan met with Battalion Captain Sa, a stocky Purple Pikmin, and he received his first Honor Seed. For protecting his unit and serving them even after they were dead. He earnestly looked out over the grassy plains of northern Oakenvale as the sun's warm embrace just began to meet him.