Elzia was a massive world, largely unused, and rich with history. It was such a pity that the Elzians never made a point to embrace their pasts. Abandoned buildings, rooms, and cities were never destroyed; they are simply left to ruin and it isn’t long before they are forgotten.
Broderick wandered through the halls of a long abandoned section of the grand palace. Walking with practiced ease, turned down the winding paths and reached a door that seemed like all the rest, dust ridden and neglected. He brought his gloved hand and touched the door gently, wiping it off and revealing four symbols: a winged lion, a hawk, a wolf, and a dragon. Just as carefully as he had touched it, Broderick pushed the door open, amazed at how smoothly the hinges moved after so many years of inactivity.
Nostalgia struck Broderick as he entered what was once the Alliance’s meeting room. He ran a rough hand across the smooth willow wood table, which had been skillfully crafted by Gaian artisans. A chandelier provided eternal light, courtesy of Polaran mage smiths. It was a room made to keep the Alliance strong, but it was also what led to its demise. The stale air still rang with the Alliance’s final argument. Memories of the negotiations following the proposal to leave Polaris behind echoed through Broderick’s mind. He could still remember the moment he made the fatal decision.
Trying in vain to shake of the ghosts of the past, Broderick walked to a faded painting, so worn with age that its image was no longer recognizable. He wrinkled his brow, somewhat uneasy that he could not recall what was once on the canvas. After deeming the memory insignificant, he carefully removed the ancient painting and pushed against the seamless marble wall. Slowly, a section of the wall slid away soundlessly. He had finally reached his destination, dreading it as much as he deemed in necessary.
He inhaled sharply at what he found. The place had not changed at all. A clear pool sat in the middle of the room and a strange mist sat above the water. Classic Elzian marble lined the floor, only enhancing the hypnotic trickle of the pool. It was the only marble pool known to exist, and few souls knew of it.
For the past two days, Broderick had been revisiting abandoned areas of Elzia and, in doing so, revisited his past. However, he had ignored this area until now, knowing he couldn’t run anymore. The ghosts of his past had been dancing through his mind since the very beginning of his visit to Elzia. Their whispers were echoing throughout his mind, tearing down his walls and making him feel completely vulnerable.
There was only one ghost left to face, and this one was waiting for him.
A shadow formed over the mist hovering atop the clear marble spring. As it stepped forward, its features became apparent. A man, standing only a foot tall, and dressed in glorious battle armor stood on the water’s surface. Dark grey hair sat atop the apparition’s head and a thick beard lined his square jaw. A white streak ran vertically down the beard, betraying his age. However, he was far from frail. He was the most iconic figure of an age of glory and turmoil, and deemed to be one of the greatest leaders to have ever existed.
Broderick’s silver streaked eyes met the deep brown eyes of the long-dead King Emrick.
“It has been a while,” the king said. “I’m glad to see you again, brother.”