It can speak!
We have to unchain him.
If it’s a corrupted, we can’t
But we can’t leave him like this.
Karras, get out of my way.
It could attack.
Oh oh oh, I won’t attack. Please.
You can understand us?
You’re not hallucinations, right?
But my hallucinations don’t fight.
You’re, you’re real, right?
Yes. We’re real.
It’s been so long. Where’s Emilian?
I’m sorry, he passed away.
There was no sign of violence.
So he wasn’t murdered? Good. Oh
Goodgoodgoodgoodgoodgood. A natural
death. Just bad luck. Just damn bad
You promise this isn’t all in my
For better or worse, this is
I know this may be overwhelming,
but we have some questions for you.
Questions. Fine. That’s fine.
How did you survive? Emilian’s been
dead for a long time, you should
Why do you have wings and a tail?
Why are you being held captive?
Ah, manners, manners. I forgot my
I’m Galen. And...I’m a Guardian.
But I thought they all...?
Kevin, what’s a Guardian...?
They ask what a Guardian is, can
you believe It? Can you? What is a
It can’t be.
Magic users who helped people.
They, uhm...well, according to
legend, they’d maintain useful
wards, like the forest protected
the road. They could stop famines
and plagues. They killed monsters.
They Kept order. But they all
abandoned us... Right, Elizabeth?
I...I don’t know. It’s been so
long. I do know many were driven
They were hero...
Heroes! Yes, that’s right! Heroes!
Then why are you chained up, hero?
Chains. Chains. Yes, Chains. Can
you please remove them? I haven’t
been able to leave here for months.
Years? Decades? Or... Oh, should I
leave? I probably shouldn’t, but I
do want the chains gone. Yes,
please remove them.
How could he have survived being
here without food or water? Has
someone been feeding him?
A Guardian does not need what we
need. It would be easy to borrow
magic to keep oneself alive.
Then why hasn’t he escaped?
Also magic. See those symbols on
the metal? It suppresses personal
magic. There are also elements all
over the house that would do
Well there you go. Magic: the cause
of, and solution to, all of life's
How do you know so much about the
Because I sold them to Emilian. I
had no idea he’d use them for this.
So you’ll remove these chains for
me, right? Right? They’re so heavy
and I haven’t been able to scratch
an itch on my neck for eons.
It’s enough to drive one mad!
How’s this? If you answer all our
questions, we’ll free you.
Karras, I know you don’t like this,
but we need answers.
What are you talking about? If
you’re going to kill me can you
scratch an itch for me first? All
the other hallucinations tried, but
they never could.
Fine. But if It attacks, I attack.
Galen, why do you have wings and a
Oh, my wings? You noticed them...I
was hoping you would not.
How would we not notice them?
They have scared people in the
past. It’s why I had to hide...did
I tell you I was a Guardian?
How did you get them?
There were two physical types of
Guardians. Those who physically
resembled humans. And those who
evolved in to...something else.
My original wings grew when I was a
child, although they were much
smaller and easy to hide. Sometimes
a child has even more obvious...
deformities. That’s what they are
called now. People are scared of
them. I was, I was, I was a lucky
one...but anyway, that’s how they
Oh, no, no, no. This was long
before those hunters.
But you want to know about how I
got my big, ugly wings and then my
the tail? I went down too far.
What do you mean?
In my pool. I went down too far.
But can you explain what that
I went down-
Explain It as though someone didn’t
know anything about magic.
Didn’t know...? Huh. Well...So,
magic is a force that lets you
remake the world how you want, like
a, like... oh making a flower bloom
in a snowstorm. Those who had It
were trained to be Guardians! Did I
tell you I was one? Luckily, it’s
not from a bloodline or anything.
Both parents can be normal and give
birth to a kid with power and
magical parents don’t mean a
magical baby. No one knows why
someone has It. Good thing, too, or
else we’d be breeding for magic
like we breed for hunting dogs.
Do you have food? I haven’t had
food in so long. Or water? Or a
pillow? Ooooh...can you sing?
Here. Have an apple.
Oh....It’s so shiny and green. It’s
almost too perfect to eat.
Do you have a never ending supply
of those things?
Now that you have something to eat,
can you explain more about what
going too far means?
Those with magic have what we call
a “well of magic” - a deep
reservoir full of power inside you
that ,that you can draw from.
Everyone has different depths. Some
can, some can barely cast a simple
spell, others can level a village
with how deep theirs goes. As long
as you cast within the capacity of
your well, you’re fine. Sure, It
can dry up if you use It too much,
but rest and time makes everything
dandy again. But, but... But if you
go too far that means you cast a
spell that goes past that magic
reserve, beyond your limits. You’re
dropping a bucket in the well and
not just getting water, you’re
getting mud with It, and there’s
always a price. Always a price.
That’s how I got my tail!
I was lucky It was only that.
So what you’re saying is that magic
users have limits and if you go
past those limits your body can
Exactly! Though sometimes the cost
isn’t physical, but It usually is.
I mean...hu... I think I only
changed my body.
Can this happen when you use your
power on instinct? Like, you used
magic and you didn’t realize It.
Huu... probably not. Someone
untrained would only use up all
their magic for awhile, your body
doesn’t really want to hurt you.
You have to know what you’re doing
to get past that mental block of
wanting something more than your
life. And lots of us claim we care
for things more than ourselves,
but... but do you really, really,
mean that in the most selfish part
of your heart?
So, how would one learn such stuff?
How did you go too deep?
The same way you know how to read!
Well, most people don’t know that.
My mother taught me.
Well, most magic people wouldn’t
know anything unless they were
taught, too! Once you were shown to
have magic, or wings in my case,
you were taken away and taught all
the amazing things you could do.
And taught how to help people.
Taught magic ethics. Oh...and how
to cook the best cakes!
So, you were...kidnapped?
Oh, no! Not at all. We were
trained. You needed to be trained
or else you could do some really
bad things by accident.
Well...I...I can understand that...
So if instinctive magic won’t harm
you, why use other magic?
‘Cause they’re great? Think about
It, instinctive magic is chaos,
only coming out when a person is
super emotional. For example, as a
non-magic person, sometimes you
can’t control your own body. You
can twitch, or if you get very
upset, you might do things you
don’t normally do. Same with
instinctive magic. But when you
learn It, it’s.. It’s like flexing
a muscle. You can do anything,
regardless of how you feel, if you
train your body. And proper magic
uses less of your pool. Of course
there are spells that can take
longer and the gestures are
annoying to remember, and with the
higher level magic there are
rituals which are even harder to
remember and sometimes relics you
have to use...then again,
instinctive magic can’t turn your
hair to a beautiful green color,
but I could if I wanted to.
Who’ed want to turn their hair
Simple magic is like flexing a
muscle. Gestures for other magic?
Chants and such more for high
level? This is a lot to take in.
It’s a little difficult to sum up
how one can remake reality in a few
minutes. Oh, though magic users all
have some specialties that are
easier to call on. Like fire! Fire
takes very little magic for me to
call up compared to others. It’s
like for non-magic people, some
people can wiggle their ears and
Don’t try to push past your limits
and you’ll be fine.
Your bodies change if you go too
Could you completely become an
Of course. Though usually not an
animal, but many in one body.
And what about your mind?
The mind turns, too. Not always,
but it’s hard to keep human
thoughts in a beast’s brain.
The Lusus Naturae.
That... that... that can’t be.
The Corrupted are magic users who
went too deep and turned into
Wha..di.di.di. We’re not supposed
to talk about It. So don’t spread
It around. It’s an open secret. As
long as we keep the Lusus Naturae
contained, they don’t mind. Many of
them sacrificed much for the rest
That’s...I can’t believe It.
Oh my doesn’t begin to....
It’s okay, it’s okay. At least, I
think it’s okay. We take care of
them. Only had one escape in all my
years. Ok fine, more than one at
the end there, but I’m sure not too
They’re everywhere now. Everywhere.
This is...this is...oh my...
Soooo... Was that all you wanted to
know? Not the secret to my raisin
pudding? Oh, well, in that case,
can you unlock me? I promise I
won’t go far, just, just stay in
the cabin and scratch my neck. Yes
please scratch my neck! Yes, yes,
staying here is best. They haven’t
found me here. But without removing
the chains I can’t get that itch.
Who are they?
Who are they? Who are they?! Who
Who have not found you?
Everyone...well except you right
No! Who did you say have not found
Oh yes, I remember. But I can’t
say. I really can’t.
We won’t free you unless you answer
all of our questions.
But I don’t like this question.
Please. We need to know.
The Dark Ones. Bad Guardians who
want to kill the few remaining good
Guardians they haven’t already
Galen, I think you need to tell us
Long before I came here, I was a
Guardian. The title said It all, we
used our magic to guard humanity
against evil. And, and if you had
magic, you had to become a
Guardian, that way, that way people
couldn’t use magic for bad things.
We were respected and, and, and we
were loved. Well, we were mostly
loved. I thought everyone was happy
like me until the Feast of Naming
when I was twenty-two? Twenty-four?
Twenty-something-years-old. I had
taken ill. Despite how everyone
came from everywhere for the
celebration, I, I, I was barely
able to sit at a table let alone
partake in the festivities.
Naturally, I could have used a
spell to cure myself, but we were
taught not to use our powers for
ourselves unless really necessary.
The Masters said the illness would
help me understand normal humans,
and besides my friends promised
we’d, we’d find the leftover food
when I got better. I had really
Galen, you lucky sack of pig shit,
how did you manage to get out of
every chore today yet still come to
Lucky? Imagine smelling and seeing
all this food and knowing that if
you take a single bite you’ll be
stuck in the privy again for hours?
Well, sucks to be you.
This is damned delicious.
Rania, you’re killing me.
Look at Master Silver over there.
Is he... dancing?
I’ve never even seen him smile
Most have finally been assigned to
the Starlake Valley. I know he’s
been angling to get there for
I wonder when we’ll have to leave
for an assignment.
Don’t remind me. I’d rather stay
Bored every day?
Safe every day. That anti-magic
talk in the cities hasn’t been
dying down. I heard a mob killed
Master Traheart when he used his
power to stop a house fire. Claimed
he started the flames.
That’s only a rumor.
Then where’s Master Traheart? I
don’t see him here, do you?
But we’re safe here. Carcerem is so
well defended that I doubt even the
strongest army could make a dent in
our walls. Between the ancient
defenses and the bell tower, I’m
perfectly happy to be assigned here
Fine, Hardmod. You stay bored here
while I explore the world.
Thank you all for coming. The Feast
of Naming is such an important time
for us. It’s a night to reflect on
We should drink every time Mistress
Astor talks about how great the
blowhard ancients were.
I don’t want to get too drunk.
I know in the past few years there
have been false rumors of us, but
now more than ever It is important
to remember our mission to protect
Our founders had the wisdom and
strength to carve out –
Artin... Artie... are you okay?
They had the wisdom and strength to
Artin! ARTIN, ARE YOU OKAY?!
Whats going on over there?
HE’S NOT MOVING...
PEOPLE IN CROWD
You don’t have a seizure from food
Everyone, Everyone please stay
calm. A simple healing spell will
Repair and remake our mortal
bodies. Remove illness and
sickness. With each breath, may we
Galen, feel better?
That’s odd. Let me try again.
Repair and remake our mortal
bodies. Remove illness and
sickness. With each breath, may we
Why isn’t this working?
What have you done?!
Oh, don’t worry...she’s not dead,
none of them are. It’s just a
Artin! Oh thank that light.
What do you think???
Tarris! Tarris! Are you Better now?
Are you alright? You had me so
Oh, well...you should continued to
be worried, because It gets much
worse from here.
We have to get out of here.
My Magic...Why would Danika stab
There’s fighting in front of every
The side doors by the band are
closed, but unguarded. But how do
we get there without dying?
Why are people stabbing people?!
Under the tables!
You have no idea how hard It was to
wait! You see, we had to confirm
the poison and spells were in
affect before the fun started. But
sitting quiet was so tough! Hu!
RANDOME FEAST GOER
And for those fools trying to use
magic still, when are you going to
get It? Tonight’s meal was spiced
with a spell to dull power. Oh yes!
It took years to do and at such a
Or so I’m told! But worth It. Not
to mention those few chosen who got
an extra helping of moonseed,
nightshade, arsenic, hemlock, and
other goodies we threw in. But
don’t take It personally, I needed
a few friends to start the fun!
Everyone thought It was so hard to
kill us Guardians, but It really
doesn’t seem like It.
Did you really think we were going
to be slaves forever?
We’re not slaves...we’re defenders.
Where were you when those darling
humans we’ve sworn to protect
tortured me for having the audacity
to be born more powerful than them?
Oh, and this was after you had
kidnapped me from my family and
forced me to join you.
They were scared!
I was scared.
Why do I even bother with you? How
many Guardians did you abandon? Oh!
That reminds me.
Friends! Remember, try to keep some
alive. Our power can be boosted
with a Guardian’s life blood.
I know, I know, but don’t worry,
you can still have fun.
You have no soul.
We’ll kill you last, that way we
can play longer.
You...you are a necromancer?! Your
pool will not last, the cost will
be too great for you.
“I” am nothing. Ha! But your
concern for me is cute. I wonder
where that was all these years? But
don’t you worry, our magic pool is
deeper than you will ever know.
Plus, I did not raise the dead.
My talents come from a different
place. I’m not alone, and we have
made It so we’ll never be alone
You will destroy the whole world!
That’s the plan....
Hardmod! Watch out!!
Stop them! Those three are
It’s locked... magically sealed.
My power’s too weakened to open It.
I got It!
Locks unlocked. Seals unsealed.
What is closed must be revealed.
No eating for me tonight.
I’m sorry, but the hallway is
See you soon, friend.
We have to go!
Do you really think you can outrun
us? Release the Lusus Naturae!
You killed Hardmod! We abandoned
He was dead. If we stay, we’ll be
dead too. He saved us.
The eastern gate is the fastest way
out of Carcerem.
If we leave, they’ll control
Carcerem. They’ll have access to
the vaults and the relics. All that
There’s nothing we can do.
There’s the Ward Bell Tower.
I don’t know how to use It!
How did you get...?
I said SURRENDER!!!!
No fair! No fair!! You were
supposed to eat!!
If we get to the bell tower we can
activate the spell to seal out
anyone who would harm a Guardian.
But they’re Guardians, too!
They’ve spilled Guardian blood. The
magic will realize they’re the
Hurry! We’re almost there!
Why are you trying to escape? It’s
no use. Even after using our magic
to catch up to you, I have sooooo
So do I!
Really?! We just took out all the
Guardians...you think a puny
fireball will stop me?
This bell will seal those who mean
harm out and keep the rest of us
in. All we have to do is ring It
and pour our magic into the metal
to activate the ward.
How much magic?
I have to admit, that was a good
chase.The Lusus Naturae didn’t even
catch you, though most were
distracted by chasing the Guardians
who decided to abandon Carcerem.
You let the Lusus Naturae out?
We’re supposed to care for our
I am! Why do you think we’re doing
all of this?
Because you’re heartless monsters.
If we have no hearts it’s because
THEY TOOK THEM FROM US!!!!
Why? We didn’t do anything! We just
wanted to protect...
That is a very nice and young
sentiment you have there. Where are
your parents now, hmm?!
Don’t think I don’t see you there,
Oh, I know where we are. This has
the sealing spell. Ha, you were so
close yet so far. (Laughs)
Careful Galen, you’re going to lose
too much blood if you keep
attacking me. I think my dagger may
have nicked an artery.
I don’t need to fight for long.
Just long enough.
To run away? Abandoning a friend,
just like a Guardian.
Want to try another fireball?
Don’t mind if I do.
OOOOH! That is loud!! But you
missed me completely!
Did he? Shouldn’t have turned your
back to me, traitor.
You don’t have enough magic.
Let’s find out.
You are turning already, you’ve
exhausted your pool! You’ll be dead
before you get me out of here!
We’ll see about that!!
What?! It can’t...NOOOOOOOOO!!
GALEN AND RANIA
The spell worked. Any enemy to a
Guardian was magically transported
outside the walls. I was kicked
out, too. I don’t know if my attack
on Ivan and Danika counted as
fighting a Guardian. Perhaps anyone
who drew blood was kicked out,
friend or foe.
All I know is I woke up outside the
walls and I had these new, massive
wings that were far too large to
try and hide any longer. My power
was completely depleted and I saw
Ivan unconscious a few yards from
me. I fled and looked for Emilian’s
father since he often stopped by
the city to buy magical items and
had pointed out his home on a map.
I thought I’d find safety here.
What happened to the Guardians
still in Carcerem? Why haven’t they
left and helped us?
I don’t know. Maybe...maybe they
never fully recovered their powers.
Maybe the spell went wrong and it’s
forcing them to stay. I don’t even
know if Rania is alive or not.
But surely some Guardians fled.
I suppose so. Yes. A few must have
escaped, but I’ve got no idea how
many. After that night, Dark Ones
surrounded Carcerem with their
“friends” and they killed anyone
who tried to open the gate. If you
used magic, they would detect It
and come after you.
What was Danika talking about with
A forbidden spell. Well, used to be
forbidden. It only works on magic
users, can’t get magic from a
normal person, but if you prepare
for a long time and kill a Guardian
in a certain way, supposedly the
murderer’s well deepens, just a
little. It was all rumors but
apparently someone figured It out.
Then these “Dark Guardians” are
even more dangerous than a normal
Probably. I don’t know what’s going
on now since I’ve been chained to a
wall...with this itch!!
How do we know he’s telling the
We can’t know for sure. I think he
I think he’s telling the truth,
You know I can hear you, right?
I have another question. Why
wouldn’t the Guardians who escaped
team up to fight the Dark
I don’t imagine many got out...at
least, I don’t think so...and it’s
not like, its not like we all knew
each other. After all that, humans
turned on us very quickly. The Dark
Ones spread rumors that magic and
the Guardians were responsible for
everything going wrong. So, how do
you find each other without casting
a strong spell that would sic the
Dark Ones on you? Or, for those
like me, how do I even walk around
without being attacked by people?
Easier to stay hidden and quiet
regardless. You, you, you may even
have crossed paths with one, but
don’t know It. I am one you know.
Oh no I am....
No I mean....
How would we break the seal and
release all the Guardians from
I don’t know. I had never rung the
bell before. It can’t be too simple
or the Dark Ones would probably
have done It already.
Wouldn’t want things to be too
None of this explains why you’re
I hid here for years with Emilian’s
father and mother, I was.. I was
there when Emilian was born, his
mother died during birth. I
practically raise Emilian myself. I
couldn’t help with money much
because I had to stay hidden due to
my wings and most of my magic was
tied up in maintaining a spell
around the house to keep the Dark
Ones from finding me, but I could
do tiny spells on items that
Emilian sold. Everything was fine
for years and years...and then...
and then Emilian’s father passed
away. Riddled with grief, Emilian
asked me to cast a spell, a big
spell. He asked me to help him to
speak with the dead, with his
parents. I thought...well, maybe I
owed him this. Just once. I went
deep again, conjured the book, and
lost my legs, gaining this-this
snake tail in their place.
Thankfully, the spell around the
house kept us hidden for the
but I knew It wouldn’t last much
longer. He was really happy, of
course, but got mad when I told him
I would never do anything like that
again. Emilian said I was selfish
and one more spell like that could
bring us a fortune. But I refused.
Then one day I woke and he had
chained me up here. Said he’d
release me if I agreed to cast one
more big spell. Promised me. I said
no. He kept coming back and asking
me. Brought me some food and
such... until he left and didn’t
return. And I thought maybe he was
punishing me for a long time. So
long. So very long. And now you’re
Alright. Galen, I’m going to
release you now. Please don’t make
me regret this.
Actually, does anyone know how to
Elizabeth? I have a whole new
respect for you.
Oh!!! OH YES!!! Oh...Thank you!
Thank you! I can’t believe you’re
really here and you really did
I don’t completely understand the
war we’ve stumbled into, but I’m
glad a true Guardian isn’t kept
locked up anymore.
All I want to do is go outside and
feel the wind on my face. That’s
all I want. Oh, uh... and a
Ooo ooo ooo yeah, right there lower
lower lower, oh its been years and
years and years.
Galen, I have one last question for
you. I didn’t want to ask you when
you were chained or for you to feel
like you’re being forced to do
this, but it’s important. We need
to help the Guardians. Could you
take us to Carcerem?
To Carcerem! Ooooooooh, to return
there? Oh, my. Oh my. My my my my!
No... No definitely not.
END OF EPISODE 25