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A shared story


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11/05/2019, 22:55

The battle ended, Batista retained his soul, the Big Bad was defeated and Terulium was saved forever and ever. Happy Ending, The End. Or that's what we would like, but all battles leave scars behind, and this one was no different.

The echoes of the presence of that dark entity sent waves across every world, awakening things that had been asleep since a long time ago. And the death of the old Old One, shortly after the end of the battle, meant that the barriers to protect Terulium were temporarily weakened. Someone had to protect the world, the worlds, and there wasn’t anybody else. Months and years passed until the task of repairing the damage was complete.

Topor resumed his travels through the dimensions, and where he went, he scouted for dangers for the existence of the multiverse, and taught those that he thought had the talent about the beings lurking in the darkness waiting to destroy their world and how to protect their people from that danger. With time, legends about him started to be told. About the strange man that walked all paths and brought wisdom and knowledge before a menace appeared. And some of his pupils, and some who he had never met but still wanted to learn with him, sought him and he took them to Telurium, and with the help of his companions, trained them and showed them the way of the traveller of many paths, and about how to guard against the threats that have been awakened. He ceased to travel, and instead, from the axis of all worlds that was Telurium, watched over his pupils, the guardians of the reality of all worlds.

Through the power of Terulium and his own natural gifts Esteban could see everything and everyone in the Universe and alert of any breach in the reality before it was too late. The first weeks and months were exhausting, until the many beings who were trying to prey in the reality noticed that although the Old One was now dead, Terulium was still guarded and the attacks relented a bit. And when Topor started to organize a force of guardians, Esteban could trust his mission guarding Terulium and reality in this new people and resume his life in his own home. He travelled for a bit, not through dimensions and time, like Topor but by boat and land. He wrote a book about his experience, that everybody thought was an interesting fantasy novel. He met the love of his life, multiple times. And when it was necessary, he came back to Terulium, to defeat the new menace that needed defeated and then back to his business as medium, helping find lost objects, and lost people and guiding people who had lost themselves to find their way.

Celeste spent a lot of time learning about Terulium and about herself, about what her position meant. Not at first, at first fighting against the forces of destruction that menaced that placed consumed too much of her time. But in time, she started to help Chä when he worked, and learnt about the structure of that place, and chatted with the memories of the guardians of Terulium that came before her and were contained in the Tree of the Universe, that connected all worlds to Terulium. She also travelled with Topor for a while, learning about the people and places that existed outside her home. She even lived some adventures alone, when Chä restaured some of the doors to other worlds, sealed since a long time ago. The mysterious woman behind the Chained Shadows of Atala incident? It was Celeste. And when she decided that she had learned enough, she put her knowledge to use, by restoring Terulium to its real purpose. Terulium was not meant to be a weapon. It was meant to be a crossroad for people from different worlds, a place of meeting, and it was time to make that a reality again. With the help of Topor, Chä and Esteban, Celeste reached to people from every place, every reality, not only the five worlds originally connected to Terulium. Cautiously, they invited some chosen people to serve as emissaries for their worlds. And then, some others came, and met people who didn’t even dreamed existed, and talked with them, and worked together to create new things. Terulium still needed guardians, people who make sure its power would not be abused again. But that didn’t mean forbidding people from using it for good.

The mission of Chä was not easy. Repairing a dimension is not an easy task, much less one that was as fluid as the dreams of those who stepped in it. But he had the blueprints for repairing some parts, and those completely destroyed, he created them again, based in his companions, in the memories of the places where he had lived, in the stories and mementos from other places that Topor brought with him from every travel, in the visions from Esteban, who would explain to him what was beyond surface appearance. Batista’s code of honour served as the foundation to the new Telurium, bringing order to chaos. And then he created whatever it was needed. Places familiar and strange. Paths that only brought to their destination those who really needed to reach it, and paths for those who just needed to travel. Havens for those who needed shelter and places for those who sought knowledge. He was not just reconstructing Telurium, he was renewing it for the people who would use it, and for the people who would need it. People would come and go, some even would stay for a long time, and he learned from all of them, and even taught some of them, and what he learned, he used it to construct a Telurium for the people of every world and for their future.

And Batista…Well, Batista was a cop. His job was solving murders and robberies, not being a paladin or some kind interdimensional diplomatic. He came back to his job, had the satisfaction of causing a lot of problems for the major and his collaborators by accusing them of making archaeological excavation without permits and then he took some days off. Not that he could enjoy them much when every time he closed his eyes the memory of Re’lar trapping him, drowning him in its darkness and using his body and his voice to hurt his partners was fresh in his mind. But he could bear it, he would survive, and maybe with time, he would forget. Still, Esteban had said that he would talk with his ex-wife himself, and this time, that charlatan who called himself a medium was right. He apologized. She forgave him. They didn’t come together again, because some wounds are too deep to ever be forgotten, but they both started to heal, a little. He would have other partners, although Jack would be still the best. He married and divorced two other times. Had a child. Solved crimes. Retired. He lived. And sometimes he didn’t dream of a darkness engulfing him, or the last case, or a shark with pants and a hat, he dreamed of Terulium. He walked in it and talked with the people there. And sometimes he wasn’t sure if it really was a dream. A part of him, after all, was part of the foundation of that world. Well, it was all right. It didn’t interfere with his real job, after all. He could dream of walking with them again.