A-Arya...?! W-W-Wake up! I don't think we're in Numa anymore!
Uuurgh... just five more minutes... I haven't finished digesting all the pie I ate last night at the Feast of Rebirth...
He said "w-w-wake up," fool! We're in real trouble here -- we can save the digesting for later!
(Oh, the human is not dead? That's a little disappointing.)
(Nonsense! I know these little humans -- they'll be much more entertaining alive, for now.)
(Come, let's gift them a customary ghoul gourd, and treat them to a customary battle!)
(Yes! Glom is good! Glom is great!)
Did that dragon just say "Gloamis is great"? If we're in Gloamis right now, I would very much like an explanation...
(Glom's power has turned this pile of human-made rags into a living, breathing dragon! Praise Glom!)
(Is this my new body, then? It's a little burlap-y, but it will do.)
No... this place is much too creepy, even for Gloamis. In fact, it's much too creepy for ME. How do we get OUT of here?
Not so fast, you two. I know an opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime battle when I see one, and something tells me this Scarecrow Dragon is VERY unique!
Doesn't this place remind you of a Witch's Illusion world, Ned? I wonder if your dad took the liberty of seasoning our food with one of his potions...
*sigh* That's what I thought, too. But I helped my dad with all the Feast of Rebirth preparations, and I didn't notice him doing anything weirder than usual!
So, this isn't just an awful dream...? That's for the best. I'd be awfully embarrassed to dream about YOU two.
(This place is not a dream, nor an illusion. So you two witches must make sure your human guest is on its best behavior...)
(Or I'll take it down into the deepest caverns below the Spirit Citadel!)
Huh? Ned, Eliza, why are you guys looking at each other like that? Let's battle this weird-looking dragon already!
ARRGH! I can't TAKE this place!!! It's all my worst fears rolled into one awful, cold, dark NIGHTMARE!
Hmm. Maybe having somebody around who's more afraid than I am, is making me LESS afraid...
(There's no need for a witch to fear the Spirit Citadel! Cold darkness is the norm around here, and we like it just fine.)
(... Or don't you know where you are? I figured you two were witches, since we seem to understand one another.)
(The golden-maned one is a mystery to me, however. She looks a bit too lively to be Shade Folk.)
(My interest is piqued! Let me battle you!)
So the dragons here think I'm one of the Shade Folk who live beneath Gloamis? But... this can't be Gloamis, can it? I know we haven't been there in a while...
Unless... Oh boy, maybe we're in ANCIENT Gloamis!
Arya... I don't mean to alarm you, but your shadow just moved without you.
(Forgive me -- I was merely curious. I wanted a final look at some human beings before Myrkur's Void swallows you all up.)
Myrkur's WHAT? This just keeps getting BETTER and BETTER, doesn't it?!
(I agree! Us beings of shadow will be very comfortable, I think. But please, first indulge my curiosity...!)
Well HEL-lo, Hel Dragon! Fancy seeing you here!
Ugh. Please forgive her. We're a little lost, Hel Dragon -- perhaps you can help out your allies...?
(Allies? Unless you are souls in my domain, I know not who you are.)
That proves it -- we MUST be back in time again. Maybe ACTUALLY in ancient Gloamis!
(Glom is...? Well, I'm sure Glom must be battling the void, but I, for one, believe a bit of nothingness would make a fine addition to my Underworld.)
(Maybe not so "fine" for humans... and yet, I have a funny feeling about you three. Won't you show me how you'd alter destiny?)
Let me see if I've got this straight... "Myrkur's Void" is threatening to take over this awful place. And meanwhile, "Glom" is... what, exactly?
Yes, we're in Gloamis! Ancient Gloamis! Oh, wait, we still don't know who Glom... is.
(Glom is our savior. Glom brought our world back from the brink of destruction...)
(Really, Glom brought life back from death. When the sun disappeared, and the plants died...)
(... Glom made sure we could bloom again. Now, dragons like me are able to enjoy battling once more!)
I can't believe it... At some point, the SUN disappeared? Just what in Chronos' claw happened after we left the Ancient Earth Dragons?
One has to wonder if our meddling had anything to do with it...
No way. Each time we've gone to the past, we've brought dragons and people together -- we helped stop awful things from happening!
I guess not even WE could stop the sun from shining... Right?
(Who needs the sun? We love the shadows -- and we don't need that big fire in the sky to grow and play!)
(We even have plenty of your kind running around. Darkness is life, so won't you play in the shadows with us?)
Check out the Pumpkin Dragon! Maybe it can tell us why there are so many adorable little pumpkins popping out of the ground...?
Or why there's a freezing miasma of ectoplasm seemingly struggling to crack this whole Citadel open?
*sigh* The dragon says... the pumpkins look like that because they're... l-literally haunted b-b-by the gh-ghosts of d-d-dead plants--
Eliza! Oh, Ned... she fainted. She totally HATES ghosts, but don't tell her I told you that!
... I can still hear you, numbskull!!!
Wow! I wonder if this explains why we grow pumpkins and make effigies of Pumpkin Dragons for the Feast of Rebirth...!
Ned? What's wrong...? You look like you've seen a-- WHOA! P-Professor Hogwin...?!
Hogwin...? I'm afraid you've mistaken me for someone else. My name is Felos. Felos Hogvanhog. I am a witch, a researcher, and liaison to the Ancient Shadow Tribe.
Nedders? He's still unresponsive... ANYWAY, maybe you can tell us a bit about where we are, WITHOUT the customary dragon vagueness.
Of course! As you surely know, the sun disappeared when the Lunar Rock was unearthed from the caverns of the Ancient Earth Tribe...
There was... well, there was quite a lot of destruction. Luckily, my Ancient friend Hausk here was able to channel the souls of dead plants back to our world.
(Indeed. Now humans and dragons can survive the dark... but judging from your dumbstruck faces, I see you three may need a wake-up call.)
I've been slapping Ned's cheeks nonstop since we met Felos, but I can't get that blank expression off his face...
Th-The Ancient Shadow Tribe can literally bring dead things back to life... Do you guys realize what that means? All the implications...?
Honestly, Ned... I think it's something we'd better leave in the past. We should focus on getting to the bottom of this Myrkur stuff.
Oho. A disagreement between you two? I never thought I'd see the day...!
(The yellow-maned human has a point. There's a reason most of us don't have dealings with what our Shadow Tribe already has a handle on...)
(Our world is held in a precarious balance. I'll respectfully ask you to leave it alone!)
I just can't stop thinking about it. We could bring people back from the dead! Maybe even my mom...!
I'll admit, the amount of power such an ability would grant--
No! Stop it, you two -- can't you see this place is already in trouble? How long can you keep bringing stuff back from the dead?
Wow. Arya, I didn't expect that reaction--
That's easy for YOU to say, Arya! Your mom's not dead! If you knew what it was like--
HATE to interrupt, but we appear to be getting chased by some denizens of the Spirit Citadel...!
Ugh... Look, I'm a terrible mediator. Can't you two just talk to each other? You LOVE to talk!
... I just think we shouldn't mess with the forces of nature.
You don't know what you're talking about! You can't even understand what these dragons have to say about it!
HEY! I understand plenty, Ned! That's low...
Nightmare Dragon, have you seen any HUMAN ghosts around? Has Hausk or... Glom ever tried to channel a human spirit? It should be possible, right?
(H-Human ghosts? I'm s-s-scared of human ghosts! Please leave me alone!)
There you are! I hear you three have been poking around the Spirit Citadel, asking questions. I applaud that sort of curiosity. In fact...
I have been studying the possibility of channeling human spirits, myself. But... I caution against it. After many years, I may have to stop my research.
B-But you can't! If there's even a tiny possibility...!
These dragons don't owe us a debt as big as that. In any case, things are getting somewhat more dire than usual around here... Oh, Darkfire Dragon!
I'd like you to take these children to Reisk, for protection. What's that? You'd like to battle them, too? Well, I can hardly turn down a request from a friend...
(You'll be safe with me, hatchlings. At least, until I am called to action to stop the spread of Myrkur's Void.)
(I know you have many questions and desires. In truth, Glom's efforts are only temporary. Simply restoring plant life has rendered the Spirit Citadel unstable.)
(With the channeling of dragon souls, our world has begun to crack at the seams, as you can see. The void, the "underworld," threatens to break through.)
(At great risk, we Shadow Ancients have tampered with a natural cycle. It could never go on forever. I ask for your understanding.)
It isn't fair. We humans have died, too. We want to see our loved ones again, too...
(As a descendant of the great Lysk, I understand your pain. But know this: Your grief is what makes you strong. Please, show me your strength.)
(Look at it! The sea of souls threatens to bubble over! And Myrkur is hastening it along...)
(Perhaps, once it does, we will all be merely souls, or nothing at all. Or perhaps we will NEVER stop existing!)
This dragon's rambling is making my head hurt. On the plus side, I think this "immersion therapy" has cured me of my ghost phobia.
(Well, after tumbling into all that ectoplasm, I surely doubt I'll ever experience a real death. Isn't it curious, humans?)
*SHUDDER* Never mind, I'm still creeped out. PLEASE go away, Undying Dragon!
Look -- that dragon appears to be on a warpath... Hello? I know you two aren't speaking, but I CAN'T be the only one commenting on things!
(Glom has enlisted me to find Myrkur and stop it. I will go, since Glom has taken such good care of us creatures of shadow.)
Y-You're going to see Myrkur? Um... will you let us tag along?
That's right -- we have to stop whatever Myrkur's doing!
OR figure out what it has planned for this "underworld" or "sea of souls" or... whatever!
(Erm... I suppose I could let you follow me. But I'll have to see if you scrawny scaleless are up to the challenge.)
M-Myrkur...? Is that--?
It's a Cultist Dragon... but it seems like it's REALLY interested in us, judging by that... uh... silent, penetrating stare...
(You desire the purest darkness known to life. The sweet nothing amidst which unknowables move in silence.)
(Down, down, down, where no eyes can see -- there at last, we shall be free.)
(Very well. I will take you to Myrkur. A simple battle is the only fee I ask. You humans are so fond of fees, are you not?)
H-Hey, you two, I... I could really use s-s-some HELP right about n-now...!
A-Arya? ... ARYA?!
I... I... I'm... SCARED!!!
(...? You scared? Why? The void is nice. It quiet. Peace, at last.)
(I only want to help. Everyone go to sleep -- no fight, no fear.)
(I show you. Not because I hate you. Because I love you!)
(Are you humans all right? It seems Myrkur's Void is receding. Many of us ghostly dragons will have to return to the Underworld with Hel and Muerte.)
S-So it's over...? No more ghosts? No chance of...
Easy, now. I think we accomplished what Chronos sent us here to do, or witness. Arya, are you okay?
I... uh... I think so. Myrkur just freaked me out a little, that's all... I-I think that idea of "nothing" really scared me...
(Silly human. Even the dead don't cease to exist. Here, I'll prove it by battling you right now!)
(I was wondering when you would find me. I've been hiding in your shadows for a while now. Thank you -- I had a nice nap.)
This dragon seems so TIRED... but the power surrounding it is making a-all my hair stand on end! Who, or what, IS this?!
(I am Glom. Glom is me. The stress of sustaining this world is immense, but with sweet young Myrkur taught a lesson, I can focus on restoring balance.)
Then... there's really no chance that you'll bring humans back from the dead? Felos failed, and so did I...?
(Hehe... Silly young human -- ghosts have been all around you this whole time. I made sure of that. I cannot give them all bodies, but rest assured, they "visit.")
(I leave you with this parting eulogy: Nothing that is dead is ever really gone. That creeping feeling can be a comfort. Now, how about a final scare?)