This is book 2 of The Rebirth Algorithm. If you have yet to do so, I suggest checking out book 1 which I have posted here in several parts. Book 2 is really dark, in my opinion its too dark for this site, so I will instead be giving a summary of book 2. If you want to check out book 2 for yourself to gain all details then I suggest checking it out on wattpad or webnovel where I have posted all but two chapters of it. Now onto the story.
When we left off, Grall, chieftain of none had just given his life to protect Adrian and hopefully defeat Azartor, the God of death, keep in mind that in book 1 I changed many of the NPCs names because they were all hard to remember. After his death, Grall had a vision of his wife, Leah who had been killed prior to the start of this campaign. Leah had convinced Grall that he had one more thing he needed to do before he was able to rest, and so Grall, as one of the shadows from the Shadow World, came back.
Grodak, Gralls older brother and current chieftain of the orc tribes, had managed to enter the death Gods domain and found Gralls body along with Adrian. Grodak could hear Azartors laughter and mocking but could not see him, much less attack him. Grodak cried out in anger and began to swing his sword at the empty air, trying to attack the God.
As Grodak fell into despair Grall appeared beside him. "Leave this to us, brother." Was all Grall said as the rest of the Shadow Worlds inhabitants charged into battle. Grall slowly approached the God who screamed in rage and agony and killed him.
With what he had thought to be his final act, Grall looked upon Grodak and smiled as the shadowy form he had taken began to melt away into nothingness. This was it. The end of Grall. The end to all the pain and suffering he had endured. The end to his broken heart.
But dear reader, I tell you now, this was far from his end. As the light faded from his eyes and darkness replaced it, he began to hear sounds. It started small, as if in the distance, then began to grow louder and louder until it was all he heard.
What is that damn sound? Grall asked himself as he sat up. He tapped into his powers of true sight, for his sight was taken from him in the Shadow World, and found himself staring into Grodaks eyes.
"Grall." Grodak said with a smile, relieved his brother was alive.
Relief? Grall thought as he pushed himself onto his feet. Since when did my brother care if I was alive or dead?
He would have voiced his concern but Grall bit back the words, some thing was wrong. He had always had an odd connection with death however, it had always been a connection with orc deaths. As Grall looked upon the battlefield, he could see not only the souls of the orcs that fell in battle, but the elves as will. A change had came over him and Grall could only think of one reason to explain it.
Grall walked over to speak with Tyril, the previous king of Whitewater before its people were killed by the necromancers. After asking to speak with Tyril in private, Tyril took Grall to a secluded area by way of magic. Grall explained everything that had happened and told Tyril what his conclusion to all of it was. "I have become the God of death."
Tyril seemed to ponder this for a moment, he appeared to be questioning if it was even possible. Then, after a moment of silence, Tyril nodded his head and, after Grall had asked, agreed to keep silent on the matter. Grall handed Tyril the God orb he had used to fight Azartor, asking Tyril to use it against him if he ever put the world at risk. Tyril took the orb and agreed to what Grall had asked.
With that done, Grall entered the Shadow World and began to train under the guidance of Wreag. It had taken a long time for Grall, time in the Shadow World moves at a different pace from the material world, but he eventually managed to take control over a portion of his God like powers.
In the material world, a few days had past and Grodak had set out to honor the dead. As Grodak and the surviving soldiers began to build a pier and move the dead, Grodak began to notice strange flowers popping up, especially where the dead were being placed. When Grodak examined the flowers, he could hear whispers coming from them, as if something, or maybe even the flowers theirselves were trying to talk.
This unnerved Grodak, so after finishing with the preparations, Grodak ordered for the dead to be burned. As the dead were being burned, he made sure the strange flowers that now lay scattered outside the castle walls and growing at an exponential rate were burned with the body. As the flowers burned, the kingdom could feel a strange sensation. One that caused them to fall to their knees as a loud piercing screech tore through the still air.
As the last of the flowers withered and burned in the fires, the screech died out, but the sensation remained. Grodak had an odd feeling, as if death itself gripped his heart. He didn't know what to do, all of his instincts shouted for him to run, run far away. Grodak stood his ground and did not allow the fear he felt show on his face, that, however, did not last.
A voice cried out as an orc soldier fell to his knees trembling with such fear that you would believe Talengar himself stood in front of him. The soldiers eyes stared into the sky as a single black feather fluttered to the ground. Grodak followed the soldiers gaze and found himself bitting back his own screams of fear.
Before him, hanging in the sky's, wings and hair as black as night, skin as pale as a nightstalker, and eyes the color of hazel, an Altain hung in the air before him, her sword drawn and ready for blood shed. The Altain race is the most feared race, even more feared the Gods first creation, the Casarn. No one knew who created the Altain race, but everyone knew one thing for sure. They were meant to be a weapon against the Casarn and, unlike the Casarn, they served the Gods without question.
The Altain flew down and landed before Grodak. Its feathers brushing against his skin as the wings folded on her back. She demanded to know where her brother, Tyril, was. This news shocked Grodak, he had not heard that Tyril had a sister.
Bitting back his fear, Grodak asked the single question that was on his mind. "Why are you here?"
The angelic, or maybe demonic described her better, creature laughed. "I came to seek out my brother. Is that a problem orc?" She held the tip of her blade to Grodaks neck, ready to shove it through.
"No," Grodak said, panic and fear setting in his voice without his notice, "of course not, but…." Grodak hesitated for a moment, the tip of the altains blade dug deeper into his skin causing the warrior to wince in pain. "Tyril isn't here."
"Then where is he?" The Altain demanded, her voice taking on a new level of anger.
"I-I don't know." Grodak shouted, he had never felt this kind of fear before and worried it might make him appear weak to his soldiers. Glancing around, Grodak found none of the soldiers paying him any attention. His soldiers had either passed out from fear or staring at the the altain unable to move. Only one person seemed to be without fear, Xierma, who had been the one to lead the elves to Grodaks aid, stood next to Grodak with a stone face.
"Last we saw him," Xierma said in a calm cool voice, "he had disappeared with another orc."
The Altain scoffed then flew off after sheathing her sword. As soon as the Altain was out of sight, Grodak fell to the ground, his body shaking uncontrollably. Xierma dropped her stoney facade and the fear she felt finally touched her face.
Moments later, Tyril appeared next to Grodak. After talking to Grodak and informing him that that was indeed his sister and her name is Cassandra, Tyril asked Grodak to meet him elsewhere and to bring Grall with him.
When Grodak finally managed to bring his fear under control, he opened a pathway to the Shadow World and spoke with Grall. After a short argument, one Grall felt was needed to clear up the air, Grall created a pathway to Tyril who was fighting off several plant like monsters. Grall and Grodak wasted no time and jumped into the fray, fighting and killing the monsters. In the middle of the fight, Grodak succumbed to a strange illness.
Grall, who had read about the Casarn and their abilities, knew what this was. Grodak had came down with the Casarn sickness, something that could prove fatal to him. After a few agonizing moments, Grodak passed out from the pain. A scream could be heard as Grodak hit the ground.
Grall turned to find a young girl standing not to far away from the group. The young girl had a strange apparatus wrapped around her mouth and nose, olive brown skin, almond eyes, and green hair. Grall thought he saw gills on her neck but when he looked again, they were gone.
Deciding to take both Grodak and the young girl back to Whitewater, Tyril placed his hands on them, instantly vanishing. Grall used the Shadow World to do the same. He was banished from Whitewater but he knew the council would run the kingdom into the ground if he did not pick someone who cared for it to rule while Grodak was sick.
Grall had decided to put Xierma on the throne until Grodak got better, this did not set well with the council. They wanted Grall to be the one to take up the throne for they did not believe an elf, a woman, could rule over the kingdom of Whitewater. Grall turned the offer down, he needed to focus on his training and ruling in his brothers stead would just piss Grodak off.
The council finally conceded to the idea of Xierma taking the throne in Grodaks absence, but only if she could take a feather from the wing of an Altain. This enraged Grall, he had spoken with Fluffles upon arriving in Whitewater and knew the once extinct race still lived on in a single half breed. Half breeds are much more violent then full bloods, something that many believed was because they needed to kill their own parent to live. After arguing for a moment, Grall concedes to the council and asked Tyril to bring Cassandra to the gates so that a duel may take place.
A day later, Xierma fought the Altain, almost being killed in the process. The Altain, Cassandra, halted the duel before killing Xierma, it was out of petty for Tyril had told her of the situation. However, Xierma had managed to get her hands on one of Cassandra's feathers by cutting it from her wing.
This infuriated Cassandra and just before she could take Xiermas life, the young green haired girl, who was named Sakurako, stopped her. Cassandra didn't stop because she was forced to, she stopped because of the young girls bravery. Cassandra felt a strange twinge in her gut as she looked upon the young girl.
After presenting the feather to the council, they begrudgingly allowed Xierma to rule in Grodaks stead. Grall knew there might be attempted assassinations on Xierma so he assigned Fluffles to guard her and to do as she wanted. While this was going on, Grodak, who had been laying in his bed since they returned from Whitewater, had disappeared.
There wasn't time to process this, however, as Tyril once again needed Gralls help. Tyril reached out and contacted not only Grall but Imp, Adrian, Cassandra, and Sakurako to help him put a stop to the flower monsters. This meant they had to go to hell to do so.
When they entered hell, they passed through a portal that had stood in a barren wasteland covered in ice, they approached a demon lord. The demon lord at first appeared to be fearful of Grall but after realizing he had yet to gain any real power, he cast them into another layer of hell.
The party, all but Tyril and Cassandra for they were missing, began to explore the layer they found their selves in, finding Grodak, who now had the powers of a Casarn, along the way. As they explored the layer, they found Cassandra fighting off demons. She appeared to be winning, until Cassandra got distracted by the party.
It was a small distraction, but enough of one for the demons to take advantage of. The demons pinned Cassandra to a tree, sacrificing their lives to nail her to it. As the last demon approached her, readying to take her to another location, the party intervened.
The demon, angered by the interruption, attacked the party. Grall and Grodak took the full force of the demon, forcing it to concentrate its attacks on them. It took the both of them to hold the demon in check long enough for the rest to grab Cassandra and leave through a portal Imp sacrificed an arm to create. Grall yelled at Grodak to leave and, begrudgingly, he did so, leaving Grall alone in hell with the demon.
He had no more need to hold the demon in place, which prior he had such trouble doing so, and let the demon go. As soon as Gralls let the demon go, it rammed its horn into Gralls gut, bringing a scream to his lips. Out of desperation, Grall used his new abilities and summoned the strongest being in existence, Marik.
Marik is the cause of the second war of races, the only war in history where all races joined hands to fight. They didn't fight for selfishness, greed, or lost of power. They fought to survive. Marik was the one who the races fought and many were killed as a result.
Marik made quick work of the demon before turning his sword on Grall, demanding to know who he was and why he had summoned him.
Grall hurried to answer Mariks questions, hoping he would not end up the same as the demon that now lay slain at his feet. "I am Grall, the banished one, chieftain of none, and God of death. I summoned you out of desperation to end the demon who was about to attack me."
Marik grunted and glared at Grall with obvious distrust. "God of death." It wasn't a question but a statement. "I do not see how you could become such. Azartor would never give up his Godhood willingly so I ask again. Who are you?"
Grall quickly explained his encounter with Azartor and how he had killed him. He went on to tell him how when he awoke he found that he had new abilities and being a God was the only explanation he could think of.
"So," Marik grunted in annoyance, "Azartor tried to end the cycle. Who does he think he is, The Reaper?" Marik chuckled a bit at the thought.
"I do not know what his thought process was, but," Grall spoke slowly at first before hastening his speech, there was much he needed to get done before the portal closed and he hadn't any idea how long it would stay open. "It doesn't matter now. He's dead and I need you to find someone for me. His name is Tyril and he's-"
"What does my son have to do with any of this?" Marik shouted in anger.
A passage from Gralls youth came to mind about the second war of races. "As the sons sword slayed the father, tears spread from the wife's eyes. Both are now dead, blood pooled around them. The young and old will never rise again."
"Tyril is the son who killed you." Grall said with sudden realization.
"Yes," Marik seemed sadden by the thought, "for good reasons to. As I grew in power, so did my ego. I thought to control the world and become the source of all…. But, I only fell to the very same thing I had spent so long building up."
Grall watched Marik in a strange sense of amusement. This was the first time history had literally told their story's to him.
"Enough." Marik shouted as he noticed Gralls intense gaze. "What is it you need with my son?"
Grall explained how they landed in hell and how they found Cassandra. The pain and anger on Mariks face seemed to grow with every detail about Cassandra's defeat and the help the party provided. Grall then told him of why he sought out Tyril, which was to free him from hell before he became trapped there, and asked for him to be retrieved.
"Yes," Marik said slowly, "I can retrieve my son, alive, but he must not know I was here."
"Then knock him out from behind." Grall said in annoyance as the portal started to shrink. "We don't have time for you two to fight or for his memories to be wiped."
Marik glared at Grall before vanishing and reappearing with Tyril over his shoulders. Grall took Tyril, sending Marik back to wherever he came from, and went through the portal.
As he walked through, he handed Tyril to Grodak and left to train. Grodak took Tyril to Whitewater where he discovered four years had past while he was in hell. Imp returned to his tower deciding it was time to find the other towers and set off to take their challenges. Adrian just ran around with his tamed animals, enjoying the freedom he now had. Sakurako sat beside an unconscious Cassandra, waiting for her to awaken.
The party attended to their needs and wants. When Cassandra was finally awake, Grall summoned Marik to train her and after an argument that nearly ended with Grall losing his head to Marik, Marik agreed. Grall returned to his training, he felt that he was close to mastering his abilities and wanted to continue to push himself.
A few days in the material realm past, nothing happened, no demons, no undead, no threats of war. For the first time since the beginning, the entire party was able to rest. However, that rest would soon be interrupted as a blade pierces Cassandra's back, killing her instantly.
Only three people saw what had happened, Sakurako, a spy that was meant to protect Cassandra named Ariane, and Grall. Grall had looked through the viel that seperated the Shadow World from the material realm and watched in wide eyed wonder as the blade pierced her skin.
Grall leapt through the viel, having created a passageway, and helped Ariane kill the person who took Cassandra from this world. This wasnt the how it was supposed to be.
Why wasn't the Shadow World able to slow it down? What does this mean for Xeno-Movia? What do we do now? These thoughts ran through Gralls head as Ariane carried Cassandra's lifeless body away.
"Time was never meant to mare my mothers beautiful face." Ariane said as she stared down at Cassandra. Hearing this, Grall got an idea and began to look around, finding a large archway with runes carved into its surface.
Leading Sakurako, Grall opened the portal that stood before him. They stepped through to find a young boy and after a few questions, found out he was a young Marik. Using this to his advantage, Grall gave the young boy an object that Cassandra had gaven to Sakurako, asking the boy to pass it on to a girl by the name of Cassandra.
"Make sure to tell her these words," Grall said staring at the ground, "Love is an existence that can even over come death."
Marik nodded his head but appeared to be confused. Of course hes confused, Grall thought, we just asked him to take care of a problem that wont arise for over one thousand years.
As Grall and Sakurako left, they found theirselves back in the present. A dark shadow loomed over them and in the sky, flying towards them, was Cassandra, but something was wrong.
Just as Grall started to think about this, Cassandra raised her hand and energy shot out, hitting the ground and starting a tidal wave of dirt, trees, and rock, killing everything in its way.