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Story [Ongoing/WIP] Falling Stars: A Terraria Story

J-50N

Terrarian
Author's Note:
This story is largely based on @Daimera 's headcanons and fan characters, which you should totally read. Her art and headcanon stuff are both amazing, and have been the driving force behind this. All of the characters in this chapter are hers. The story should be comprehensible without the background information, but seriously check it out.

I hope to incorporate other fan suggestions and reader submissions into this story, but I make no promises. I hope to have this done by the end of November, but will not sacrifice good writing in favor of speed. Rest assured that it will be completed, barring extreme and unforeseen issues. Constructive criticism is welcomed and encouraged.


Chapter 1: Revelations
"Are you sure this will work, Keeper?"

"I'm not sure of anything this close to the Conjunction, Quentin. But I do believe it is our best hope. Now, please be quiet while I summon the Powers."

Fog swirled faster around the two of them. The Keeper's web of mirrors reached out across space, finding its targets and drawing them into the room.

There was a flash of red light and the Aberrant stumbled forward. A seven-foot-tall tower of flesh and teeth cloaked in layers of tattered clothes. A colorful scarf concealed a jaw so huge as to be useless. It carried a blackboard and chalk as a surrogate voice.

Another flash, pink this time, and the Anomaly appeared. A mop of red hair perched incongruously on a body of pink flame clad in an impeccable two-piece suit. Eyes like points of burning magnesium flicked around the room.

A third flash of dull purple. The Abomination, emissary of the Corruption, stepped forward delicately on mandibled feet; a horror of oily grey flesh and bulging eyes, with a mouth that split its torso in half.

Aberrant tried to get his bearings. The room was filled with fog, the walls indistinct but likely of stone. There were two beings standing in front of him. The first wore a suit of hallowed armor with the visor down, and leaned casually on a massive hammer. The second was only an indistinct shape swathed in silky fabric, with an ovoid mirror where its face should be.

<What are you, and why have you brought me here?> The voice of Abomination filled everyone's minds, sinuous and menacing. The mirror-faced thing spoke slowly, choosing their words with care. "I am the Keeper, curator of the worlds. The three of you, the representatives of the three Powers, are here because your help is required. In just two weeks, there will be a Conjunction of Worlds. It is a time when bindings weaken and anyone can die. Permanently."

A hush fell over the room. The planet's magic made death nothing more than an inconvenient trauma. To live here was to die, repeatedly. One got used to it. Permanent death, true death, was unthinkable. The Keeper continued. "And during this Conjunction, a certain very important binding is going to break. You know what I mean: The Moon Lord. Despite my efforts, the bindings cannot be reapplied or reinforced. In just two short weeks, the most dangerous being in the world will be free to kill us all, and there will be no resurrections."

"You are here because you represent the three Powers of our world. If there is to be any hope of containing, or rebinding, or perhaps even killing the Moon Lord, you three will be indispensable to that effort. But, more importantly, we need allies. There are Other Powers which reside on the moons. They must be recruited and summoned to our aid. That is why you are here."

Abomination gnashed its teeth. <You are a fool, and I am not an errand boy. The Other Powers would never risk their necks for this foolishness. To fight the Moon Lord is to court death. And this Conjunction of yours will ensure it is a true death, if what you say is true. I will have no part in this.>

Anomaly spoke with their stolen voice. "If you were… to look up, you'd see the moon is… red. If you want to survive, you will need… to create weapons and shelter?"

Quentin replied. "Yes, Anomaly, we will have other allies, and time to prepare. But we need the assistance of the Other Powers to even stand a chance."

Anomaly didn't respond, but stepped forward to stand beside the Keeper.

Aberrant stood, trying to think. He didn't know who these people were. He didn't know why he had been chosen for this. What chance did he stand against the Moon Lord, the monster of so many myths? This mission would likely end with his death. Perhaps the Abomination had the right idea. He could run, hide, survive. Leave the heroics to more powerful, more selfless people.

But then he imagined the Moon Lord tearing apart the village that had -- reluctantly -- welcomed him in. People would die if he didn't help. Faces flashed before his eyes: the old man who knitted his scarves, the girl who invited everyone -- even him -- to her parties, the boy who loved to fish. Aberrant wrote on his board [I will go], and stepped forward.

Abomination glared with all of its eyes, even the ones on its kneecaps. <You are all fools. I will not have any part in this.>

Quentin spoke casually. "You know, if the Moon Lord destroys the five worlds, you won't be able to plunge them into eternal darkness. Ever. And don't think you'll escape death. If the Moon Lord doesn't kill you…" He hefted his hammer. "I won't hesitate to hunt you down like the worm you are."

There was silence for a moment. Abomination's jaws worked as if it had a stone stuck in its teeth. <You make a compelling hammer. I mean, argument. I suppose a bit of heroism would break up the monotony of evil.> It paused, then hissed. <Fine. I'll do it.>

The Keeper clapped their hands. "Excellent. Now, you must depart at once. There is no time to waste. Please follow me, I have a mirror ready for you."

Aberrant followed a bit behind the others. The walls of the fog-shrouded corridor were lined with mirrors in every shape and size imaginable. He didn't like this place. Nothing felt solid. It was a corridor of alien dreams, sterile and reflective. Quentin slowed down to walk beside Aberrant. "So, Anomaly serves to prove the Hallow worthy. Abomination is in it for power, and out of fear. You have no love for the Corpse, and no lust for power. Why are you doing this?"

Aberrant considered his response. [I will not stand idle as the world burns and everyone around me dies. I will not run or hide or return to the Corpse. I will fight to protect those I care for, even if it is certain death.]

"An altruist Face Monster, never thought I'd--" Aberrant growled. "Right, sorry. For what it's worth, I hope you don't die. The Abomination and the Anomaly, the world could do without. You… you seem like a good person. "

The Keeper stopped in a circular chamber, where a huge mirror stood upright, framed with gold scrollwork. "This will take you to the Third Moon, where the three Other Powers reside. Convince them to join our efforts and give them these." The Keeper handed Anomaly three cloth-wrapped packages. "When the Conjunction is about to begin I will summon you to the Fourth Moon to prepare. That is where the Moon Lord is sealed, and where it will rise. You have two weeks."

Anomaly was first to go, passing through the mirror as though it were quicksilver. Abomination followed with a final irritated hiss. As Aberrant was about to step through, Quentin laid a hand on his shoulder. "Good luck out there." Aberrant wrote out [Thank you], and took one last step forward into the mirror.
 
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Daimera

Terrarian
This is amazing and I never expected to see my weird children involved in something like this! It's well-written, and I'm curious to see where it goes; especially with the hints dropped during stream!

Though I do wonder, if anything will change to the plans when Fell is finally completed... suffice to say, there are a few important revelations to be had in it...

Oh, and also; did you want me to go ahead and link to this over at Slush? As part of my response to the Ask you sent letting me know it was up?
 

J-50N

Terrarian
This is amazing and I never expected to see my weird children involved in something like this! It's well-written, and I'm curious to see where it goes; especially with the hints dropped during stream!

Though I do wonder, if anything will change to the plans when Fell is finally completed... suffice to say, there are a few important revelations to be had in it...

Oh, and also; did you want me to go ahead and link to this over at Slush? As part of my response to the Ask you sent letting me know it was up?
Glad you like it! You have no idea how hyped I am for this. I have so many plans. So many brilliant, horrible, wonderful plans. I have a tragic backstory for a joke weapon.

Regarding Fell, I might incorporate new revelations, but probably not. I think I have a fairly solid plan with not a lot of space for big changes. But I'll definitely keep any revelations in mind.

Yes, a link would be wonderful. And it would keep the stream folks in the loop better than me going around sending a bunch of asks.
 

J-50N

Terrarian
Interlude 1 is here! An insight into the Keeper's plan and a chance to get your very own characters into the story!


Interlude 1: Because the Time is Near
After Aberrant's massive form had disappeared through the mirror, Quentin turned to the Keeper. "The Other Powers should be easily convinced. The Conjunction will affect them as well, and they are rational. But why not send me? Why send the Powers of our world?"

The Keeper replied with the patience of someone who had eternity on their side. "You have your own task, Starvault. You must convince the Visitors to help. They will be just as important as the Powers, and they are more numerous. As for why I chose to send the Powers, that was a demonstration to the Others that we are all of one accord. The Hallow, the Corruption and the Crimson, side-by-side. What could better show our unity?"

"Yes, I suppose that is wise. As for the Visitors, they are a motley group. Some might be strong enough to help, but many would be mere fodder before the awakened Moon Lord."

"Recruit the strongest first. Cannon fodder can wait."

"As you say." Quentin pulled a mirror from a non-existent pocket in his armor and vanished.

It was silent. Fog swirled around the edges of the Keeper's demesne. The silence stretched on, and the Keeper was alone with their thoughts.

Everything for the last thousand years had been leading up to this, ever since the first Conjunction when the Moon Lord was sealed away. The mirrors had been seeded to bring the Visitors. The Powers had been shepherded and bullied and whittled away. Everything was coming together beautifully, like the shards of a mirror snapping back together into a perfect whole.

This Conjunction would wipe away all the failures and mistakes. The Moon Lord would be gone, forever this time. No more imperfect wards and half-summonings. The Corruption could finally be put to rest, with its champion dead. The same could finally be done with all of the blights on their precious world: the Hallow, the Crimson and all the others. With their Powers dead, the blights would shrivel away. Balance would be restored in the simplest, cleanest way: the knife, the pain, the cure.

All would be set right.


The Visitors
You may have realized that the Visitors are in fact the player characters. I am taking reader submissions for Visitor characters, and will include the top three to five in the final battle, depending on the number and quality of submissions. If you want to enter, just post a one or two paragraph summary of what they look like, what equipment they have and a bit about their backstory in this thread. Please put it under a spoiler for convenience.

Some important things to keep in mind:
> Visitors arrive in Terraria by looking into strange mirrors. These could be delivered to their doorstep, found along the side of the road or appear in any other circumstance you deem appropriate. When the mirror has transported someone to Terraria, it moves on to continue looking for more targets.
> Visitors can come from any point in spacetime or from alternate dimensions, and need not even be human.
> Visitors should have integrated into Terraria at least partially. The focus shouldn't be entirely on their home dimension.
> Visitors should span a wide section of Terraria progression, anywhere from late pre-Hardmode to late Hardmode. To be more specific, about from the Eater of Worlds up to the Pillars.
> Bear in mind that these characters are likely to be killed off. I will work with the chosen ones to hammer out a good story for them, but death is very likely.
> I will not be announcing winners until the Interlude when the characters appear. I will contact winners/runners up via PM to consult with them more about their character.
> Basically just have fun with this, I don't want to or plan on being a stickler about everything. Just make cool characters.
 
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J-50N

Terrarian
Chapter two is here! Featuring a special appearance of the Cyber by @Zoomo ! Also character development and a cameo. Also a warning: there's probably going to be quite a bit of violence and no small amount of gore and death from here on out in the story. Just so you all know.



Chapter 2: Alpha and Omega
For an instant Aberrant felt the coils of the mirrors, smooth and cold and aloof, like a glass serpent swallowing him. Then his vision returned and he felt ground beneath his feet and saw the sun. He was on the Third Moon.

Though it looked to be almost midday, fog hung heavy in the crisp, cool air. Off in the distance, elegant metal spires rose gracefully into the sky. The grass beneath his feet crunched as though it was covered in frost, but it was not frost. A thin layer of silvery metal coated every single blade of grass. The angular trees shone with electronic lights. Everywhere around him, things were whirring and pulsing and clanking. Every part of the world felt active, and utterly alien to him.

The lights glared coldly. The metal was frigid and judgmental. The spires in the distance seemed to mock him with their perfection. Look at you. You are flesh, weak and imprecise. We are metal. Eternal, unchanging, and infinitely stronger than you. What are you doing here, you miserable clot of matter?

Aberrant shivered. This was not a place for him, that much was clear. It was contrary to him on every level. Anomaly sparkled with impatience, drawing his attention. Abomination stood near them with its arms crossed. <Come on, runt. We're on a schedule, remember?>

[My memory's as good as yours. If you're so impatient, why don't you lead the way?]

Abomination hissed. <You've got some backbone, runt. Let's find these Other Powers then.> It stalked off towards the largest spire, as good a place as any to start searching. The other two followed at a distance. Anomaly whispered to Aberrant, "To interact with… the Corruption… use a hammer."

Aberrant laughed, a harsh, unnatural sound. [You're not wrong.] The three of them passed the next few minutes in silence, until Anomaly spoke a warning. "It is very dangerous… to be wandering around." They gestured with a hand of pink flame towards a tiny shape in the distance. Their sword appeared in a flash of light, a length of delicate, shimmering, needle-sharp metal.

Abomination grinned with anticipation and filled its maws with roiling green flames. Aberrant squinted, trying to make out the thing coming towards them. It was a small drone of some kind. It didn't look very threatening, but he couldn't shake the sense of dread that had settled on him ever since he'd arrived. He reached into nothingness and withdrew a lamppost longer than he was tall.

The drone came closer, zipping between trees and over rocks. When it got within a few feet it stopped, seemingly taken aback by their presence. Then a red light flicked on, and a hideous, ear-piercing siren began to sound. The lights on the trees turned from blue to red, the landscape itself becoming even more hostile. The drone flew swiftly away, dodging the cursed flames that Abomination spat after it. The siren continued unabated.

Hatches opened in the ground and things leaped out of them: tall, roughly cylindrical robots with blue markings, which hovered menacingly towards the three trespassers, quickly surrounding them. They began amassing in greater numbers, but didn't attack or advance any further. Aberrant hefted his lamppost nervously. The standoff lasted for a few tense seconds.

Abomination spun, spitting cursed fireballs from both hands. Four enforcer-bots fell. Anomaly flickered in and out of the mob, stabbing and slashing with their sword. Aberrant snarled and swung, taking out wide swathes of robots. Before long, all of the robots were broken on the ground, some half-molten and flickering with green flames, which quickly died away.

***​

Night had nearly fallen by the time they reached the spire. There'd been several more attacks, though they were more prepared now. Aberrant had gotten a bad burn from a larger drone's laser, and Abomination had a gash where Anomaly's sword swing had gone a bit too far. Anomaly had apologized profusely but, Aberrant suspected, insincerely.

The spire towered over them. Hopefully this was the domain of one of the Other Powers. A door slid open as they approached, letting out cold, sterile light. Something about the spire felt deeply wrong to Aberrant. The feeling of dread had grown ever stronger as they'd approached. It felt like walking into a headwind that hated him. [This has to be trap. We should camp now, and try to find another way in the morning.]

<We've made it this far, runt. The door wouldn't be open if they didn't want us to enter.> Abomination stepped through the doorway. <See. Nothing to be afraid of here. Except for me of course.>

Anomaly followed, sword held at the ready. Aberrant stowed his lamppost in the nothingness, and followed reluctantly. The interior was lit by stern white light. Racks of monolithic servers flickered inscrutably. An elevator at the back was open, and seemingly waiting to ascend to the top of the tower. The feeling was almost overpowering now. The elevator seemed to radiate loathing. Aberrant could take a hint. This was a sledgehammer to the brain.

The others walked into the elevator with only the briefest of hesitations. Didn't they feel it? Aberrant forced himself to walk inside, every step harder than the last. This was worse than blood moons. With the blood moons he was subsumed, eaten alive, his mind a slave to a power that was somehow part of him, yet cared nothing for him. This was something so foreign, so antithetical to his very nature, that it made him sick with horror and visceral repulsion.

The elevator beeped, and took them up. The acceleration was gentle and the ride took only a few moments, but it felt to Aberrant like an eternity. The smooth silver metal felt as cold as ice beneath his feet. The elevator stopped elevating, and the doors opened.

The repulsion and dread lessened to almost bearable levels. This room was the eye of the storm. Aberrant hadn't realized he was huddled in the corner. He stood, and the three walked out into the room. It was much like the one below, the same racks of servers, the same harsh light. But it was filled with a presence, a spider-web aurora of green and blue lights that was tethered to the servers, yet somehow beyond them. Another kind of real.

Aberrant almost didn't notice the robot in the center of the room. This one was humanoid and, but for its silver skin, could have passed for a very solemn, bald, faceless man. The lights converged above its head, which turned toward them. "Hello. Who are you?"

Abomination stepped forward. <I am the Abomination.> It wore the name with pride. <We are here to enlist you in a matter of vital importance. But before we get to that, who are you?>

The robot also stepped forwards, its blank face was just high enough to look down on Abomination, precisely as tall as Anomaly. "I am android VC-343. I am a mouthpiece for The Android, who is represented above us by these lines of light. And these are my compatriots." The robot gestured to the back of the room. Two more androids approached, one tall and one short. They matched the heights of Aberrant and Abomination exactly. An eerie detail.

"VC-77, at your service," the tall one said.

"VC-108, at your service," the short one said.

"What was this 'matter of vital importance?'" They said in unison, their faceless faces facing Abomination.

***​

When Abomination had finished describing the situation to the androids, they stood for a moment in silence. "I am just crunching some numbers. I will be back with you in a moment," they said, as they lowered their heads.

Aberrant took the opportunity to examine the lights in the air. It was a complex web of nodes and lines, pulsing as information flowed through it. It was beautiful, like constellations of data. It was also very clearly the source of the dread that even now threatened to overwhelm him. A voice sounded in his mind. You're an inquisitive little gobbet of flesh, aren't you? Aberrant tried to send back something unobtrusive. Sorry, just looking.

Suddenly, for just an instant, Aberrant felt an intense scrutiny, as though a million eyes were flensing him apart and examining every fiber of his being, breaking him down to his most elementary particles and judging each of those on their own merits. An utterly cold analysis, like a frog being vivisected. He snapped back to reality, feeling shaken and suddenly very small and very vulnerable. Sorry, just looking, the voice said. Aberrant gritted his teeth with anger and shame. He hated this Android already.

The androids' heads snapped up and they spoke in unison. "Statistical analysis complete. And yes, these odds certainly don't look good for you without my help. Or even with it. But I must take even a 1% chance of survival over a 100% chance of death. I will aid you."

Abomination grinned. <I knew you'd see the dark. We are not so different, you and I.>

The androids ignored him. Anomaly produced one of the cloth-wrapped mirrors the Keeper had given them and offered it to VC-343 as they began hashing out the details of the arrangement. Aberrant felt useless. What had he brought to this negotiation? Even the sullen, arrogant Abomination had accomplished something. And that sense of dread mingled with hate was still there, mixed in with something new. A horrible, horrible feeling that every piece of this encounter was engineered just for them. Everything felt too simple, too perfect. He could sense that he was being manipulated, but to what end?

A flicker of color caught his eye, something different from the silver and blue and green of this room. He looked closer, and saw a vibrantly colored snake or worm-like thing, barely a foot long. It came closer to him, seemingly oblivious to the logistical discussions elsewhere in the room. The thing nuzzled his leg affectionately. It was warm and rubbery, like a gummy worm that had been brought to life. One of the androids glanced over and said, "We found that little thing interfering with the server racks a while ago. If you want it, take it with you. It was due to be incinerated later today."

Aberrant would have smiled. [Thank you], he wrote, and turned his attention back to the friendly little thing. He carefully picked it up in hands built for violence, and it coiled around his arms.

Abomination clacked its mandibles impatiently from the elevator with Anomaly, the negotiations having apparently concluded while Aberrant was occupied. Aberrant shuffled over to the elevator and they left the room. The androids watched them leave, emotionlessly.

***​

Later that night, as they made camp, Abomination noticed Aberrant's new pet for the first time. <What is that?> Abomination asked, its voice full of distaste.

[That is my new friend. Her name is Sweetie.]

Abomination's face twisted. <That is the most sickeningly saccharine thing I have heard all day. I would be vomiting in my mouth, were it possible. You disgust me.>
 

J-50N

Terrarian
Chapter three as promised, this time featuring the Covert by @Tovlyn !

Also a heads up, the intermission with the Visitors will be in about two weeks or so. If you want to participate, starting now is advisable.


Chapter 3: It Will Be Sweet as Honey

Aberrant thrashed in his sleep, caught in the grip of nightmares. Running from something enormous and all-consuming. Being naked before eyes that gleamed with hateful light. Being ripped apart and put back together wrong. His own guttural roars woke him, and he bolted upright.

The night was cold and calm and unspeakably malevolent. The campfire had burnt out. A light on the horizon was slowly building. Aberrant stood and stretched, feeling every crack and pop as his monstrous bones snapped back into order. Sweetie, the little colorful worm-thing, coiled around his leg comfortingly.

He wound his scarf back around his jaw and pulled his ragged hat low over his head. He wore these clothes not just for others' sakes, but also for his own. They distanced him from his feral brethren, and were a constant reminder of what he was, and what he wasn't.

He picked up Sweetie and let her crawl around his hands for a moment, than set her on his hat and looked around the campsite. There wasn't anything to pack up; they hadn't been given supplies save for the mirrors they were supposed to deliver. He debated waking the others and decided against it. Instead he picked up his blackboard and chalk, sat down, and set to drawing the faces of those closest to him. Edgar, Trixy, Simon. His drawings never came out right. The faces were all wrong, but they were all he had here. It felt like it had been years he'd been away, thought it was only the day before that he'd seen them. He stared at the drawings for a long time. This was why he had come. To protect them.

A sly voice wormed its way into his head. <Friends of yours, runt? I wouldn't have guessed you had any.>

Aberrant paused, then reluctantly wiped away the faces. [Shut up and let's get moving. We still have two more Powers to convince.]

<You're awfully defensive about these 'friends.' And how about your new pet?> Abomination picked Sweetie off of Aberrant's hat with one mandibled hand. Sweetie writhed in its sharp grip. <It looks rather delicious, I must say.> It dangled Sweetie over its maw.

Aberrant stood, grabbed Abomination's arm, and stared silently into its bulging eyes.

<All right, all right. I didn't mean anything by it.>

Aberrant let go of Abomination's arm and let it set Sweetie back on the ground. [We don't have time for your shenanigans. We're still on a schedule.]

<Ah, come on. We convinced this Power in one day. We have plenty of time. Why not take some time to stop and crush the roses?>

Aberrant recalled Anomaly's advice. Use a hammer. [When Anomaly wakes we're leaving. With or without you. I doubt the guy with the hammer would take kindly to you dragging your heels.]

***​

The sun was high in the sky. No more machines had attacked. Every step away from the spire had been a relief, a weight lifted from Aberrant's back. And now, finally, they stood on the edge of the metal infection. In front of them, the silver grass gave way to autumnal orange. A wall of trees marked the edge of a forest. The domain of another Power. They forged onwards.

The light grew dim. Trees towered over them, and the orange leaves blocked out the sun. Only the occasional stick-thin shaft of light slipped through. Daylight became twilight. The trees were enormous, larger by far than any Aberrant had ever seen. They were clearly ancient, and they bore the weight of hundreds of years with dignity. The air was still and stagnant, and filled with the smells of dust and wood and sap. The silence felt hostile, as though they had interrupted the trees' plans for the day. Sweetie chirped nervously and hid in Aberrant's sleeve.

At times the forest was so thick they had to squeeze between tree-trunks, other times it thinned out into somber clearings. The light remained steady as the day wore on into night, a perpetual dusk with nothing to show the passage of time. Forest sprites watched them from behind thick bushes or weather-beaten standing stones, but nothing approached until well after night had fallen. The silence was solemn and oppressive.

As they sat around their campfire that evening, crashing sounds shattered the interminable stillness. Something large was approaching quickly and violently, tearing through underbrush and leaping over stones as it approached the clearing where they had made camp. The three stood and readied their respective weapons, some with more relish than others.

The firelight revealed only fragments. Antlers, broad and sharp and proud. Eyes wide with terror. Arrows piercing its side. The elk charged through the encampment, heedless of the fire or the raised weapons. Aberrant stumbled awkwardly aside. Anomaly vanished in a flash, reappearing at a safe distance. The only one left in the elk's path was Abomination, brazenly facing the oncoming beast. Just as the elk's antlers were about to impale it, Abomination smoothly sidestepped, turned, and spat a ball of cursed flames, striking it in the flank. The fire stuck and burned.

The elk kept running. Its eyes rolled with pain and fear as it set the forest afire. Abomination chuckled horribly, its eager eyes reflecting the flames. [Reckless idiot!] Aberrant's writing was angry and jagged. [We are here as ambassadors, not arsonists!]

Abomination spread its arms wide. <Can you not hear the wood screaming, or sense the terror of the tiny creatures helpless in their nests? Is it not beautiful?> The fire crackled and screeched unnaturally, reaching ever higher. Forest sprites fled, shrieking, on burning wings. The whole forest would soon be ablaze.

Aberrant couldn't contain himself, not even enough to write to write the words. A hideous snarl escaped him, only vaguely resembling the words 'put it out.' The sound was awful even to his own ears. Abomination just grinned its jagged grin as the flames spread further and further. Aberrant readied his lamppost, wishing he could end the Abomination right then and there. Anomaly flared and flashed with anger, silently but no less intensely.

Their standoff was broken by the sound of horns, coming from the same direction the elk had been fleeing from. Abomination's eyes filled with something like fear. He turned towards the unnatural fire and called on the Corruption to extinguish it. Nothing happened. It tried again, more desperately, but the cursed flames ignored it.

Violent swearing erupted in everyone's minds as the Abomination realized its mistake. It could not draw on the Corruption here. The fire was beyond its control. The horns grew closer. There was nothing the three could do but wait.

A hunting party emerged from the trees, a dozen tall, lithe figures mounted on elks. They screamed as they saw the fire, as though they were the ones burning. Swiftly, they rode forward to encircle it, and a high, unearthly song rose from their mouths. The cursed fire shivered as it felt the power of the singing. The flames curled in on themselves and died down to nothing. The ashes grew cold as the song reached a crescendo and faded away.

As soon as the fire was dealt with, the riders surrounded the three travelers. Abomination swore again.

***​

"Three stars, far from home. Do you not know the punishment for fire is death?" The voice of the second Power was like a hundred trees speaking together, or a baritone earthquake.

The three travelers looked up at it. A massive standing stone made up of hundreds of entwined and petrified roots, twenty feet high and emanating menace, surrounded by a ring of lesser stones marked with arcane script.

Aberrant began writing [You have my sincerest apologies. We were set upon by one of your forest creatures and acted in haste.], but Abomination broke in.

<We come bearing an important message. In mere weeks, the worlds will align in a grand Conjunction. The Moon Lord will break free, and resurrection will no longer save us from death. We need your help to-->

"No. The Ancient Enemy is invincible. I cannot help you. And you must die for burning the forest." The ground rumbled. Stone roots encircled the three and began to close in.

<But your forest will be destroyed if the Moon Lord rises, as will you. Our only hope is to stand together.>

"I will not stand with you. It would give the Worm just the opening it has been searching for all these years. I must protect the forest. The punishment for fire is death." The roots gripped the three in an unbreakable grasp and began to constrict. Aberrant felt ribs cracking, and Sweetie wriggled against his pinned arm. Anomaly flashed crimson with pain.

Abomination writhed as it was crushed. Its voice was high and desperate. <What if we convince the Worm? Would you side with us then?>

The roots stopped. "Perhaps then I would consider it, yes. Go and talk to the Worm, if you will. Now, you must die."

The roots closed in. There were three horrible crunches.
 

Daimera

Terrarian
Well, rip. A bit of a broad punishment as the other two had no part in it and couldn't have stopped it. Unfortunate.
 

J-50N

Terrarian
Well, rip. A bit of a broad punishment as the other two had no part in it and couldn't have stopped it. Unfortunate.
The Megalith doesn't really do subtlety or nuance or things like that, as you may have guessed.
 

mr e

The Destroyer
One word... super cool :p You're probably the most talented writer on the forums.

Not a single typo!
 
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