[Canon][RP Episode] Blinded by Greed


#1

“Hey boss, we’ve found something. We’ve discovered a hidden cave beyond the walls of shaft B. Can you come take a look at it?”

“Why the hell not? Nothing ever goes on in these caves anymore, besides the occasional cave-ins and explosions…” The chief of Lexindon’s central mining operation rises from his seat and follows the worker.

Entering the mysterious cave, the chief marvels at what’s before him.
“Holy- we’ve hit the jackpot!” The cave’s walls are covered in gleaming emeralds and shining veins of gold.
This- this is incredible! I haven’t seen anything like this in the sixty years that I’ve been working here! What are you all waiting for? Get digging!" The impatient miners eagerly dug away at the precious ores and gems they’d stumbled upon.
“Hey,” a worker yells out, “Look at this, lads. These dark rocks here are hard as bedrock.”
“Let me see,” Upon examining the strange, durable material, he said confidently, “Well, there ain’t nothing a sturdy hit from a pick pick won’t fix!” He swung at the rock with all his strength. The explosion that followed killed nearly all the workers in the cave.


King Alexander’s eyes regained focus, and he noticed his advisor was speaking.
“Your majesty,” King Alexander III’s head advisor inquired, “Are you sure you want to our miners to keep digging in that horrible cave? Our psychics say that they’re picking evil auras from the recently-opened portal.”
“Oh, sorry, I wasn’t listening before that. Can you back up a bit?” The king said with mild interest.
The advisor sighed. “After the tragic explosion in the mine, our workers noticed a strange, misty purple fog appearing inside of the portal-shaped… thing. When one stands inside of it, they immediately begin to disintegrate. The portal itself isn’t aggressive, so as long as they don’t touch it, they seem to be able to safely extract the rare materials surrounding it.”

“Why not? Sounds good to me.” Alexander replied, interested in the idea of expanding his kingdom’s coffers.
“But here’s the thing. Our miners say they smell a strong odor of blood coming from the portal, yet the corpses from the accident have been cleaned up. What’s more, the more the miners dig, the thicker and deadlier the fog becomes. It’s as if the portal is… opening. Are you sure it’s best to not simply close off the entrance to that cave and forget about the entire ordeal?”

“No, listen.” The king started, “Half our kingdom is owned by the Merchants’ Guild. The palace is falling apart, and our economy’s not doing too well, after our Keldugnirian allies’ defeat. That cave is the answer to our problems! To hell with the portal!”

“Are you sure, your majesty? After all, we wouldn’t want to be putting our miners’ lives at risk. Besides, we could always ask the Northern Kingdom for a loan.”

“No. Our miners will keep digging, and that is final.” The king declared in a firm tone.

Very well, your majesty. I’ll send word to the new head-miner."

Little did the king know, that this decision would ultimately lead to his kingdom’s demise.


Two weeks later…

“Your majesty!!” A royal messenger barges in during the King’s fine lunch.
“What?” The king says, annoyed at the messenger for barging in so suddenly.
"There’s been a string of disasters! First, there was another, larger explosion in the mines. Some claim to have seen hellish blood creatures exiting the mines. It got worse- we’ve had reports of mass-suicides in the area. It’s spreading from the mines to the rest of the city, and we’re not sure what’s causing this suicidal epidemic. Even law enforcement and the Royal Guard can’t do anything- all of them are affected by this. We’ve got to do something!"
Baffled, the king said, “I’ve got to see this for myself.” He paced towards the large window in his throne room. Just as he was about to pull away the blinds, a look of realization crossed his head-advisor’s face. The advisor leaped towards the king, knocking him over.
“The hell’s wrong with you? You’re this to losing your job right now.”

"Your Majesty, it’s our eyes! When people set their eyes upon them, they kill themselves! I just saved you, for Crimatax’s sake!’

The king slowly got up, shocked at the thought. “So… What do we do now? Do we stay here, with all the blinds closed and the gates sealed?”

“For now, we’ll have to, yes.” His advisor said, his voice quivering slightly.


#2

3 weeks later

The city stood completely still. Alexandria’s streets were covered in corpses, looks of terror were plastered on their faces; some of the dead had impaled themselves, others had jumped underneath horse wagons.

Lexindon’s general, Sir Justin, was standing in the center of the throne room, talking to the large group of people in front of him. The gathering was composed of the king, his servants, his royal guards, and others who’d remained in the castle.

“Alright. I’ll repeat this one more time. Me, the king and the advisors know the path by heart; just don’t let go of whoever’s hand you’re holding. We’ll open the city gates and hope that there’s a boat left in the port. And no matter what you do; Do NOT take off your blindfolds. Got it?”

Everyone nodded, some more hesitantly than others. After putting on their blindfolds, the royal guards slowly opened the gates. To everyone’s relief and slight unsettlement, the city was completely quiet.


“Jonathan? Is that you?” One of the guards cried out.
“Mother?!” A servant asked, their voice wavering.
“I- I think I just felt something brush up against my leg…” Alexander said, terrified.
“HEY! Ignore the whispering everyone! It’s the creatures!” The general yelled.
Thankfully, nobody was fooled by by the creatures’ attempts.


The king’s head advisor, Sir Acure, spoke. “I’ve been keeping track of our movements - we should be by the gate by now.”
“Yep! We’re here, lads!” The general said.
As the royal guards began opening the gates under the direction of the general, Alexander heard a rustling behind him.
“Hello, friends.” A low, hoarse male voice spoke. More noises could be heard behind the man.
“Ah! More survivors!” The king said, relieved. “It’s me, Alexander III! Come with us. We’re going to find a boat in portex.”
"Why don’t you, friends, take off your blindfolds? There’s nothing to worry about."
Sir Acure, confused, replied, “What do you mean? These things are dangerous. We can’t do that.”**
“Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay.” A feminine voice said from somewhere to left of the king.
Suddenly, one of the servants cried out, and hit the ground. "NO! Not the blindfold! HELP! Oh… Sarah?"
A guard was heard yelling out from somewhere to Alex’s right. “Argh! No! Surrender! NOT MY- oh… Oh no! That is most foul!” (A slashing noise was heard, most likely the guard impaling himself).
Suddenly, the scene erupted into chaos. Screams could be heard, and guards did their best swinging at their attackers. But the guards couldn’t see; their adversaries could.

The king heard movement in front of him. He moved away just in time as a blade cut the edge of his neck.
“Have at thee!” The general shot his crossbow into the dark. King Alexander could feel the splash of blood, and moments later, his attacker fell to his feet. “Lucky shot.” He muttered.
“Your majesty! We’ve opened the gates! It’s time to go.”
“Let’s move!!!” The king yelled. The crowd ran out the gate. As Alexander was about to follow suit, he heard his head-advisor’s scream. “Please! No!” Not thinking ahead, Alexander unsheathed his sword and turned toward his advisor’s yells. He swung blindly at the darkness. He could feel his blade cutting into something, and a scream could be heard. He helped Sir Acure up.
"I’ve known you all your life, and this is the first time you’ve done anything selfless. I’m proud of you, Alexander."
The two finally ran outside the city. They could hear yells from behind. “Hey! Wait up, friends!”
“Close the gates!” The king said. The royal guards pushed with all their strength, closing the gates just in time. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.


“Alright, it’s safe to take off your blindfolds, everyone.” The general declared, closing the boat warehouse’s door behind him. Only one boat was left; Alexander’s favourite royal schooner, securely chained up. Everyone cheered, knowing they’d found their salvation.
“Alright. Let’s get her into the water!” The General exclaimed.


“We’ve got to be far enough now. They can’t have followed us all the way out here.” Alexander said impatiently. They’d been in the ocean for five hours now.
“I’ll check, your majesty.” A royal guard bravely volunteered. He took off his blindfold. Suddenly, everyone could feel something on the back of necks - a cool gust of wind.
“I don’t see them! We’re safe at last” The guard yelled. Everybody took off their blindfolds, relieved that the nightmare was finally over.
“Where to now?” The general asked the king.
“Let’s head to the Northern Kingdom.” The king decided. “We’ll inform them of what happened, and perhaps one day we’ll return to Lexindon to cleanse it of those demons.”

“Say, Your Majesty, didn’t something similar happen to Roklavia? I heard they were attacked by demon hounds. Could these two incidents be related? And what would happen if the creatures spread across the southern continent? Nations would be destroyed! The Northern Alliance, the Concord, they’re all doomed!”

“Acure, everyone’s been through a lot these past few weeks. Why don’t you have some sleep? We’ll discuss it once we’re in the comfort of some castle in the Northern Kingdom.”

Troubled, the king’s royal advisor closed his eyes, drifting off to sleep moments later.