B007.b Darkly Dreaming Ember (Donation Bonus)

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A year and four months after the Berlin Attack, three months before Ember’s Exile

Ember opened his eyes, torn from a deep sleep by a profound feeling of unease, only to stare into six glowing red orbs.


Before he’d even finished that though, he’d already leapt to his feet atop his bed (he didn’t really need bedsheets anymore) and punched (rather clumsily, all things considered) the shadow in its face – I’m a giant, with a fist made of diamond – preparing to connect to his world and negate whatever protection his power offered… only for his punch to be stopped dead in its tracks by the shadows surrounding it, which rose in the shape of a human arm – maybe even his real arm, only shrouded in darkness – to casually slap it aside.

He didn’t manage to get even a passing glimpse of his world, beyond what his power was already giving him all the time – he could not even sense him the same way he sensed other people within his projection range.

Now now, calm your ho-

Remember what Macian taught you. Punch straight, aim for the head or throat, put all your weight behind it.

He punched him with his other hand – a rocket on my elbow, and diamond-gloves – but the enemy raised a hand and simply caught his hand in his palm with no visible effort.

“Uff.” He’d been stopped dead in his tracks, again. The long, black fingers wrapped around his hand, holding him like a vise.

He could feel his world, but not see it, as if it was locked off.

Relax, son. You-

“I’m not your son! I’m no one’s son but my mom’s!” Henry shouted as he used the leverage provided to jump up and kick him with both feet in the face.

This time, he put all his concentration behind the kick, and for a fraction of a second, he actually felt a connection establish itself, as his kick threw the Dark back against the wall.

Not bad, he said in that freaky voice-of-the-legion of his.

Ember jumped off the bed and towards him – he had no illusions about his ability to flee from him, but one good punch might take him down.

Enough now. He moved faster than the boy could follow. One strike to his legs made him tumble through the air, another got him in the gut and threw him back onto the bed.

“Ow!” he shouted as the air was forced out of his lungs. He rose to a sitting position on the bed, holding his belly. “That hurt! How did you hurt me!?” No one had managed it since he’d manifested.

A dark chuckle emanated from the figure as it approached him, until he stood in front of the bed, looming over Ember.

Every power has a flaw, my dear boy. And I’ve figured out yours. It’s rather basic, really.

“What do you mean? I don’t know about anything like that!”, replied Ember hotly. That punch had really hurt. He’d already healed the pain, but still.

It’s simple, really. The bigger the power, the bigger the blind spot. If you figure it out, you can generally shut it down.

“But what is it? What’s my weakness?” He’d been trying to find it, based on Macian’s insistence that he know all the aspects of his power, but he hadn’t been able to determine any real weakness apart from needing to touch his targets (which, according to Macian, was not much of a weakness considering how fast he could move if he wanted).

Again, that maddening chuckle. Ah, now, telling you would be spoiling, wouldn’t it? No, I’d rather keep it to myself. But don’t worry. Very few should be capable of figuring it out, and even if I told others, few are likely to be capable of exploiting it – though anyone capable of figuring it out by themselves would normally be capable of exploiting it.

He thought that sentence over. “That tells me… exactly nothing, except that it’s not something obvious… which I already knew.”

It’s an art form. Now hush, I need to think this over.

“Think what over? Why are you even here?” Ember asked, suddenly more worried. What did the King of Supervillains want from him? “Do you want me to bring someone back for you? No, you wouldn’t be knocking me around for that.”

I’d like to mention that you attacked me first, dear boy. But no, I don’t want you to bring anyone back, the villain said. To be precise, I came here to kill you.

“What!? Why!?“, he shouted. “What did I do to you?”

The Dark shook his head, though it was barely perceptible, save for the movement of the eyes. It’s not what you’ve done, but what you are. You’re too powerful. Too dangerous to the… the status quo, so to speak. Raising the dead? That’s too big a power for this world. He raised one shrouded hand, and it shifted into a wicked-looking blade. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure it doesn’t hurt.

“NO! I don’t want to die!” Ember screamed at him. He reached into the bed beneath him, starting to warp it- but a blow to the head knocked him aside, breaking his concentration.

Ember, calm down. You don’t want to wake your poor mother, don’t you? I’d rather she doesn’t see this.

Taking quick, ragged breaths, Ember calmed himself down. What had Macian said? Be calm. Be efficient. Analyze. Adapt. Advance. “Mama… mama can’t sleep well… takes… takes pills.” He rose up again as he regained control. “No chance she’ll wake up from a little screaming. Why do you think I’m bad for the world? I just help people!”

The Dark halted, looking down at him. It’s a sad truth, son, but sometimes, the best intentions only lead to… suffering. He seemed sad, saying that. Ember wasn’t sure, it’d been a while since he hadn’t been able to simply feel what others felt.

Though it was refreshing, in a way, to be able to talk to someone who wasn’t an open book. If only he didn’t want to kill him…

“Are you… are you talking about me, or yourself? And her?”

The Dark flinched.


Maybe I am… but it’s not important. The fact of the matter is, unless someone stops you, you’ll break the balance I’ve spent decades building up… there’ll be another world war, and this time, there won’t be a single unified front against a clear villain. Only… chaos. And chaos ain’t good for the game, my dear boy. Not at all.

“So you’re gonna kill me in cold blood to keep the world stable?”

Cold blood? Maybe you could call it that. I certainly neither enjoy it, nor do it easily. Child murder… is not something I enjoy. At all.

Ember got a sick feeling in his gut. “You… you’ve killed children, before?”

The tall man nodded. When it was necessary, yes. Sometimes, there’s not a clean solution. Sometimes, even innocent children get powers… that should not be. A girl who absorbed people into a hive mind, and every victim absorbed others, too. A boy turning people into vampires which turned others. Another girl who thought she could heal people, but was killing them and replacing them with monsters. But her power would not let her see that. And others who were… even worse. Far worse.

“But I’m not like that! My power really does help people… doesn’t it?”

Ah, but you are worse. War is prevented because people don’t want to die. Plain and simple. Despite all the powers in the world, Death is still the great equalizer. The great end. And only the insane are willing to die for their cause. But you… you remove that. With you, death is no longer final. Any war for the sake of capturing you is justified, as you could nullify all their losses. So I’ll… remove you from the equation.

That’s… that’s horrible! What does Lady Light think of that!?”

Another chuckle. She hates it. Hates me for doing it. But she always forgives me, in the end. That’s Gwen, she’s… she’s too good for this world. She shouldn’t have to make this kind of decision, so I’m making it for her.

“That’s not good. You can’t decide on other peoples’ behalf! And you can’t just choose who gets to live and die!”

Like the way you do?

That stopped him in his tracks. “I… I can’t bring anyone back if they don’t want back. I don’t choose who lives, I just give them the choice!”

But you choose who to use that power on. He stopped, shaking his head. Why am I even talking to you about this? This is only making it harder for both of us. Just close your eyes, and it’ll be over in a flash. He raised his hand.

“No! No, I can still fix it! We can save the world, make it better!”

I don’t think so. This world’s not worth it, anyway. None could be. So n- wait, what do you mean with we? He lowered his hand.

Ember was breathing heavily now. He couldn’t fight him, obviously. He couldn’t escape. He had to convince him to let him go. Or stall him and hope that, somehow, Lady Light would show up. “Me and… a friend.” He didn’t want to mention Macian by name. Not in front of him.

The boy you were seen with during the Berlin and London attacks?

“Y-you know about him!?”

The villain shrugged. I am the leader of the largest intelligence and villain management organization in the world, son. And you two weren’t exactly subtle.

“Oh. Yeah. Him. He and I are gonna save the world, just wait and see!”

Hahaha! Oh, that sounds great. But I fear it’s not that simple. He turned around, taking a few steps away from the bed. Not that Ember thought he could use that to his advantage. I don’t know what you two’ve cooked up, but it’s not gonna work, anyway. I… God, I’m talking too much tonight.

He suddenly turned and rushed forward. Ember scrambled back against the wall, until there was no room to move and all he could see were two glowing red orbs.

Alright, I’ll play. Let’s say I let you live. You and that friend of yours try to save the world – but you fail. And you will. What then?

Ember swallowed deeply. “W-we don’t stop. We look at what went wrong. We figure it out, we make sure it won’t be a problem when we try again. Analyze. Advance. Adapt. That’s what he always says.”

Does he? Sounds like a real hero, that boy. But what do you say?

“I… I say that… that it’s no use not doing it. No use looking back – you’ll only get lost. There’s no holding back, no surrender. Never surrender. You just keep on going, even if the world tries to stop you. Otherwise, why bother at a- Why are you laughing?

The massive shadow had pulled back and was shaking on the spot, tendrils of darkness lashing out in all directions as his monstrous laughter filled the room… and beneath it, somewhere, someone else was laughing, a man.

Oh, oh, now I understand! That’s why I hesitated! He stopped shaking and looked him straight in the eyes. His orbs had changed for the first time, as if he was squinting. You reminded me of someone.


An idiot I knew, a long, long time ago. He talked like that. About saving the world. About advancing it, making it better.

“What became of him?” Ember asked, curiously. If there were more people who thought like he and Ember did…

He died. And it was his own fault. Now only a shadow is left.

Only a shadow… “He… my friend… he said… he said that you were a hero, once. One most heroes would do well to learn from,” he said, slowly. There was a clue there. “That… that whatever happened during Point Zero… it turned you into a villain. And it’s the same thing that makes Lady Light a hero. The hero.”

The Dark shrugged. So I was. So she is. But Gwen was always a hero, even if she was always a little too ruthless to really fit the stereotype… if I think about it, most people would have expected her to become the villain, and me the hero. She was always willing to make the hard decisions… the cruel decisions… so others wouldn’t have to. Like throwing a grenade into a ditch full of already wounded enemies.

Like Macian.

“What killed you?”


“You’re talking about yourself. What killed you? What did you do, back then? That turned you into a villain?”

“You… I can guess some… I’ve been looking for stuff, travelling in my world… you found the door, didn’t you?”

You know about the door? For the first time, he seemed truly stunned.

“I’ve seen it… but I can’t open it. But you did, didn’t you? You and her… and you looked into it, I guess… what did you see?”

We saw… a friend. But then… I committed the gravest crime a hero can commit.

“What was it?”

I hesitated.

“To do what? Who was that friend?”

He shook his head. That’s not important. None of the particularls are. I hesitated, and that’s something no hero should ever do. A hero must always press onward… otherwise, only villainy remains.

Leaning forward, the shadows spread around the figure. I wonder… you are so much like me. And your friend, Macian – yes, I’ve heard his name – he sounds so much like Gwen used to be… like she still is, in may ways. I wonder, when the time comes, will you too hesitate? Will you fail? I wonder.

“You won’t ever know if you kill me.”

Heh. Touche. Maybe… maybe it’s worth the risk. Yes, I think I’ll risk it… I’ll let you live, for now. Show me, Ember. Show me if you’ll remain a hero… or if you’ll hesitate, and fall. Fall into the Abyss.

“I… We won’t fail. And even if we fall, we’ll rise again and go on, until it works.”

He started laughing. Then he stopped, suddenly. We’ll see… I’ll see. I’ll be watching you…

And with those words, he faded into nothingness, leaving Ember alone.

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52 thoughts on “B007.b Darkly Dreaming Ember (Donation Bonus)

  1. Thought I’d fill one donation slot. Hope you like this little moment in time.

    Votes are very appreciated: http://topwebfiction.com/?for=brennus

    NO, Ember is NOT the son of the Dark. Just making that clear. Word of God here. Don’t even think about that.

    Next chapter will be up on sunday or monday, depending on how my real life appointments go. Busy busy busy.

  2. Yeah, yeah Mr. Dark. Ever consider the fact that you might just be a delusional asshole who murders children? Lady Light is looking much less like a hero if she never killed him regardless of his effect on reigning in villain anarchy. Things went to hell when Pablo Escobar died, but the guy was still an evil asshole who murdered families and no one regretted killing him.

      • Then it speaks to her being naive or ignorant, again not great qualities for the top hero. Especially if he has done this multiple times over the last few decades. So the official reason seems to be he kills kids that have game breaking abilities that will destroy the “balance”. I get sort of understand that in some cases. Its on the Worm Fridge Horror with the five year old’s triggering. Imagining an elementary school kid with some of the nastier powers in your story or worm’s is just bad news for society. But Mr. D here doesn’t get to decide that on his own, and the fact that Lady Light knows of things similar and “always forgives” him in the end speaks very badly of her as a person or a hero. Granted we still don’t know the whole story so I can’t completely condemn her. Cauldron’s atrocities in worm were more belieivable when we found out just what was at stake, so perhaps Lady Light’s/The Dark’s sins have a purpose. But Lady Light doesn’t seem that great to me.
        1. You have a child that goes on to basically became a human Endbringer who kills millions?, and makes the world a much shittier place to be. You’d expect a rational, good hero to decide to never have children again for the good of the world. Adopt, get her tubes tied, at least not have another with the Dark who admits to having problems controlling his power at times. Instead she decides to have another child with the same man. Doesn’t seem that smart and a bit selfish to me.
        2. The Dark admits to being a true villain with murderers, cannibals, rapists, drug dealers, and who knows what else answering to him. Greater good whatever this is still true. You’d expect a hero to say goodbye, despite loving him he crossed a line. She decides to have a child with him, DESPITE knowing this as she had to have known some of the shit that he has been part of including killing children for “the greater good”. Again not seeming that great of a hero here.
        3. The Dark outright admits to wanting her twelve year old, class-S daughter to join said gang of murderers, rapists, cannibals, drug dealers, and thiefs. You’d expect a good mother and hero to tell him to never dare show his face around her again. Then the daughter tells a story of catching her parents having sex, so she STILL was in a relationship with him recently despite knowing this.
        Does Lady Light really seem like a great hero to you?

      • Hold on. Ant. I think you’re being a little harsh. It’s not even the Hitler child time travel question. It’s asking if you would kill Scion, even if Scion looked like a little kid. And as for the Dark’s team… This story doesn’t have plain good and evil. Basil’s sister is both a loving, dedicated, caring sister… and “evil.” There are no perfect heroes, and no perfect villains. Except for DiL, who’s the mindless incarnation of destruction. Almost a manufactured enemy. There’s probably a trope for enemies that perfect. As opposed to someone who creates an indestructible, exponential hive mind, which is just a zombie apocalypse but way worse.

      • they don’t FIGHT her, they simply keep disturbing her powers so she’ll keep changing them and doesn’t build up to anything big.

        few still try to attack her directly (like Memento or LL), most have given up on that

      • you can always argue, that’s the fun thing about being intelligent 😉

        but yeah, at least in my notes, DiL was not made as an enemy – she’s an obstacle, a riddle to be solved.

        If I ever solve the DiL-problem through brute force, you may shoot me dead on the spot

      • I have to disagree on the good and evil part as I think most people have a moral line that they will not cross and would probably turn in family members if they do it. If you discovered that a family member was a pedophile who actively targeted kids, or a serial killer society would place blame on you if you didn’t come forward. If Basil knows everything about his sister and pretends that nothing is wrong, then we might add moral myopia to the tropes page. Basil’s sister is very kind, dedicated, and loving to him. But she is also a rapist of innocent people, and she turned a hero into her sex slave via brainwashing. I can cut Basil some slack since he is still rather young, and does love his sister. But it is a little weird to me when he goes out and proclaims moral superiority to the Snow Queen about her drug dealing after the spiteborn fight and then makes breakfast for a self-admitted rapist the next morning and sees nothing wrong with it. He gives her a pass because she is his sister, which does not seem that different to Lady Light. Yes, most people are morally gray but I think we can all agree on certain acts that are truly evil with rape being one.

        DIL is just mindless destruction as you say, so let’s just call her uncontrolled nuclear weapon instead. Lady light created a uncontrolled nuclear weapon with the Dark by accident when she had a child with him who then destroyed a large part of the world. She then decides to have another child, who cares that she could create another uncontrolled nuclear weapon and kill thousands more. Honestly I’m surprised there aren’t more people who were pissed at her for that as it comes off as very risky, and selfish.

        The child killing I might have come across a little harsh but I actually do sort of see where the Dark is coming from if you read my post agin. Hastur, Nilbog, etc. have powers that are just going to cause death/destruction and giving that power to a elementary school kid is just asking for trouble. Still I’d like to think that we as a society would not just kill children without a second thought. We might isolate them, give them extensive psychological therapy/counseling, or at least TRY to teach them not to use their power. We would only kill them if we absolutely had no other choice, or if imprisoning them wouldn’t work. The Dark just kills them. At the very least he has no more right to decide that then anyone else.

        The Hitler child time travel, I wouldn’t kill him unless I had no choice. Since he is just an innocent child at the time. I’d try to educate him a bit more about peace and tolerance, make sure he got into art school, kidnap him and send him to another country, etc. first. Can we at least agree that we should not kill a kid unless there is no choice?

      • I fully agree with the hitler part.

        As for Basil’s stance regarding his sister, well. Not everything’s quite right in his head to begin with. I’m surprised people haven’t picked up on the Moral Miyopia yet.

        Regarding DiL and Gloomy, well… there IS a good reason for what they did… but I’m gonna let you guess that yourselves (or wait until it comes up in-story)

      • In that case, crimes against innocent children are wrong, rape is wrong, and a few other things. I honestly think that I’d let my friends get away with most of anything else. I have mixed feelings on the hitler crime. I’d say no, but mostly because I am a product of a culture shaped by the holocaust, and it would be a different life.

      • that’s the most interesting part about morals – or the second-most, I think. They change so drastically, over time…

        they stayed basically the same for centuries, even millenia, and then, all within less than a century, it was all turned topsy-turvy. And the change is not nearly done

      • I think I understand a little of where the Dark is coming from. Though he doesn’t seem to view it as a game, per se , he appears to believe in a balance of sorts, or finely maintained conflict. Those he kills would upset that balance, leading to a lot mroe death.

      • On the point of Lady light and the dark having another child; gloom glimmer and DiL are not the only ones. I seem to remember another child dying fighting DiL, so we know that it isn’t just guaranteed insanity and mass murder. She can’t know what the child will be like, so she takes the chance. Women wanting children is not selfish, just a natural and justified desire.
        Her not having another child being logical is like forcing the parents of serial killers not to have more children because they could be serial killers too. In the brennus verse, there is no proven case of inheriting powers, according to the lecture on metahuman studies we witnessed

    • also, just to clarify: he means children a la hastur. i.e. the kind of S-Class threat that’s a lost cause.

      reason why he hesitated, at first, with ember was because he WASN’T a lost cause – his power’s positive, even if it’s catastrophic for the world he envisions

      • Lady Light – yeah, from what we’ve heard she has some real issues with her relationship with the Dark. And I’m sure a lot of people are ticked at her for that. But there is a reason that they use the word ‘derangement’ to describe the consequences of a metahuman’s short-circuiting. These sound like the kind of things you CANNOT ignore – telling someone to “(wo)man up and get past it” is thoroughly pointless. That’s accepted knowledge to the point that it buys her tolerance for her flaws.

        Besides, save a dozen cities, and you’re forgiven quite a bit. I’d theorize she tries to stop the Dark whenever she actually catches him doing anything – we’ve been told they have fought on several occasions. Beyond that, eh, make-up sex.

        Taking the chance and giving birth to GG – I’m surprised that we haven’t heard herd more about the public’s reaction to that. Quite a few people must be horrified.

  3. I kinda get the impression that The Dark has seen something so horrible that it must be stopped and because he didn’t do something in the past came to see himself as a villain. Wich turned into a self-furfilling prophecy. He hates himself for it.

  4. Interesting conversation. I wonder if Ember can affect DiL. If the Dark can stand up to him, even potentially defeat him, then DiL should be able to as well – but we don’t know if DiL has the same resistance to Ember’s world as the Dark does. If not, Ember might be able to depower her if he can get close enough and survive.

    • ah word of god which may or may not be reliable, typically refers to DiL as like a natural disaster, the Dark said that very few could work out Embers weakness, I’m not sure she does that much think or strategising, and mostly relies on brute force and instinct. So maybe Ember is safe from her. At least as safe as you can be from a black hole, transcendent teir, high level power spread, adaptive power, as I think she’d be classed in the RPG brennus game.

  5. I can *kind of* see the thing with lady light and the dark. Both of them are trying to accomplish the same thing (saving the world), but they go about it in very different ways. The kids the Dark admits to killing could very easily have destroyed the world if not stopped. If that is your choice, kill a child or watch the world burn, it’s a choice that many people would make. Make enough of them, and you start seeing the “hard choices” as the only options. That’s what makes the difference between an anti-hero and a true hero. Also remember that a) Lady Light and the Dark were very much in love before the whole Point Zero thing, b) they were united in a major experience that no one else on earth can understand, and c) they are apparently immortal, and thus the only ones they can really relate to through the years. All these things would serve to either pull them together despite a vastly differing moral set, or push them till they were consumed with hatred for each other. My guess is they’ve gone between the two extremes over the years.
    The one I’m wondering about is what will happen when Brennus learns more about what his sister has done. Yes, he knows she’s a villain and loves her anyway, but what will be his reaction if he learns she is truly homicidal? That she raped and destroyed dozens of young women as she slaked her lust on an entire sorority, many of them probably just barely beyond the protection of “minor” status, or possibly still underage (I was 17 in college). That she would most likely gladly kill his friends if she felt they were (in her psychotic reasoning) a threat to him? It’s one thing to conceptually accept that someone generically “evil”, but coming face to face with the reality of her more vicious crimes should be a real shock to someone as young and un-calloused as our 14 year old super hero.

    • Or has Brennus found out, and the reason he has inconsistent feelings for his sister is because she has been ‘fixing’ their relationship whenever it breaks. Supers are crazy (for good reason) in this setting.

  6. My expectations for the big fight are very, very high at this point with how long it’s taking you to write it.

    Please, if you’re just moving commas around, post the thing. I expect most of us will love it anyway.

  7. Eh, I stay away for a couple of months and of course catch up during a breather episode…

    So I’ll rant about very minor points I do not like. As usual I guess…
    (disclaimer: while you could blame any weirdness in the following posts on painkillers and alcohol not mixing up that well, you should instead blame it on me being me)

    Prisca triggering (is this the correct term in-universe?) was both way more interesting and way more ham-fisted that I thought. The “genesis catch” is quite apropos for the girl, and it smells like foreshadowing, still… for a moment I really hoped she would just die there, just for the sake of meta-ness.
    As a personal note: were I Basil, I would feel kissing her projection like cheating my girfriend with herself. I’m not sure that makes sense, and I’m not exactly a 18 year old lass anymore, so it’s likely a very selective interpretation. Still, it could come in useful for TeenDrama© I guess?

    The foreshadowing was seven kinds of awesome however. GG dosing her sister with her awe aura so… umh, I mean… GG unknowingly mindfucking polymnia so she does not notice how alien she is was a nice touch.
    She’s a very nice character, I like those awkward moments she has because her power decides stuff for her. Makes her more human, and she desperately needs all the being human she can get.

    The worldbuilding, at least power-wise, was slightly less so, but I can understand you not wanting to do big reveals right now if yo have 3 books planned. Still you could throw us a bone now and then, so far we’re firmly still in the “everything is possible” stage 😛

    Oh, and just to underline how no one can write anything original (and just not because we cannot, but because someone somewhere WILL find a parallel to something else, no matter how harebrained the connection), with this interlude I now fear we had more or less the same idea for where powers come from.
    Meh, at least I’m just trying to flesh out a world for an rpg campaign. I’ll still hate you when you’re famous and everyone who looks at my homebrew will say “oh, you ripped off Brennus’ setting”, but for now I’ll enjoy the story and try to come up with some other theory for who’s behind star-granting powers.

    Bunnies! It must be bunnies! [1]

  8. I asked on the ICQ. Apparently he’s alive. Family issues and school are eating his time. Also, he’s finding this chapter difficult to write – ‘a drag’ is the phrase the guy I talked to passed on

    Here’s hoping for the best on his family issues, and for a new chapter soon for the rest of us.

  9. Brennus is at best an anti-hero, he does want he wants and fights who he wants based on a very flexible moral code. He reminds me of the Boondock Saints in that way. They fought mobsters and criminals because they felt it was something that needed doing, but their buddy Rocco got a free pass despite being a mobster just cause he was their friend.

    Personally I’m not a fan of Kingdom Hearts, I just couldn’t take it seriously when Goofy and Donald Duck were in my party.

    That said your talk of keyblades reminded me of something you all might want to look at. There’s a series of videos made by an amateur but extremely talented CGI artist. They’re called Dead Fantasy, and they’re a running battle between a bunch of video game girls, mostly Final Fantasy and Dead or Alive (hence the title), in the second video Kairi shows up dual-wielding keyblades. Just search for Dead Fantasy or Monty Oum (the artist’s name) on youtube or google.

  10. Yes, but wars are also only fought because people CAN die. Remove death, or diminish its power enough, and the utility of war as a means to control the world disappears. the Dark, like most evil men, is good at rationalizing— but not at logic.

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