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Maior

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Spoiler Warning!!!: Plot and/or ending details of a Fighting Fantasy publication follow. Please DO NOT read this article if you do not want foreknowledge of this publication. Although the article below is based on canon, some of its content is considered extrapolation because it assumes a certain course of events through an adventure that has many possible routes. Finally, the use of "Hero" and other male- gender expressions pertaining to the subject in the article and/or title of the article is not intended to exclude the possibility that the hero was female.

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BackgroundEdit

Maior is one of the two sons of Bezenvial, the most infamous tyrant of the Isles of the Dawn, and the twin of Feior. During the attack on his father's fortress by Credas and the other two great wizards of the Triurge, when he was only a child, he was subjected to a magical ritual which put him to sleep for many years. He is the protagonist in the forty-second Fighting Fantasy gamebook, Black Vein Prophecy; and makes an appearance in the forty-seventh book, The Crimson Tide.[1]

Black Vein ProphecyEdit

RebirthEdit

Escape from TakioEdit

When Maior awoke in his crypt, he possessed nothing save an instinct to survive - even memory had been wiped from him - and a vague sense of understanding more than he knew. Escaping his crypt was not as difficult as it had been, for the grave-robber Thandile, accompanied by his pet Silverine, had already broken the physical seals, but it required immense willpower to break through the magical ones and move through each chamber as the entire crypt collapsed. In one of these chambers, he was struck by a drop of magical liquid which left a number of multi-coloured scales on his left shoulder.

He found himself in the ruins of a city, the only gateway out blocked by magical flames. Other than himself, the only living thing was a bizarre mutant, a Horse and rider whose flesh merged, with speech emerging from the mouth of the Horse! Maior instinctively understood that this had happened to due to fire boundary, which would destroy him utterly if he didn't pass through it with another being, and the power of Biantai (rendered "变态", or literally, "change of state") was revealed to him.

The Polybleb and IzkhaoEdit

In the end, Maior used a catapult to hurl himself over the cliffs and into the ocean, where a small vessel crewed by Velkos, Thandile's companion, was waiting for his return. Velkos rescued him from the waves and put him to work so that they could get back to inhabited land. During that journey, he learned much about Velkos and decided to accompany her on her travels. At one point, they fled from slave traders who were not particular about their victims, be they Human or Cressent, and ran directly into the path of a Polybleb, presumably released by the traders as they sought for the Cressent young in a cave.

Velkos and the slavers fled, but Maior sought to confront the terrible being and it released a blast of pure energy at him, which had already vaporised a great many of the slavers. Luckily, his instinctive magical abilities took over and reversed the blast, annihilating the Polybleb: he had acquired the power of Baopo (rendered "爆破", literally, "to cause to violently explode")! As he searched for Velkos, he discovered a brooch among his robes - when he opened it, the unruly entity called Izkhao burst out and was bound to Maior's service.

Call of DestinyEdit

Merzei and CredasEdit

Shortly afterwards, Maior caught up with Velkos as she was being interrogated by a bandit leader, apparently because she had journeyed to Takio and thus broken a law. She demanded the "right of satisfaction" - a duel which ended in her death - when Maior refused to corroborate her lies, and he avoided further trouble with the bandits by informing them of his sorcerous powers, frightening them off. He soon came across two peasants who were trapped in water - when he came closer, the magical residue of the spell that had locked the water caused his scaled shoulder to tingle and give him the power of Shangsuo (rendered "上锁", literally "to lock up"). Though attacked by a Shael-Beast only moments later, he triumphed over it and continued his journey.

Maior soon came across a small town and visited the public baths, hoping to find someone to talk to, but was disgusted by the people he encountered there. As a result, when Merzei burst in demanding justice for the people, Maior joined him and used his magic to defend himself against the outraged bathers. The new allies parted ways to meet up again later, and only minutes later, he was mistaken for his twin brother by one of Feior's lieutenants. Although he didn't realise this at first, Maior managed to keep up the deception long enough to steal a number of battleplans from the man and escape.

Soon after, Maior came across the bandits again - but this time, they had been spellbound by the wise Credas. Maior had came across his cave, the birds that dwelt there awakening the power of Tiaohe (rendered "调和", literally "adjusting to a state of balance") within him, and agreed to return an object called The Sitting Prophet to Credas in exchange for his help. Foreseeing its need, Credas gave Maior a small jar of ointment to use if things became desperate.

The Sitting ProphetEdit

Maior journeyed into the jungles in search for this artefact, finding it guarded by hundreds of Kreehuls: a life-size golden idol of a man in peaceful meditation. Knowing his magic would not suffice to hold off the swarms of Kreehul even if he was able to carry the idol, he opened the jar of ointment. The sweet smell drew dozens of Giant Dragonflies which hovered nearby and began to salivate, resulting in long sticky trails of saliva dangling from their mouthparts. Ever resourceful, Maior tied these to the Sitting Prophet and waited for the Giant Dragonflies to fly away from the advancing Kreehul horde, carrying both him and the idol with them!

He was carried away from the jungle, ending up by a road in the middle of nowhere. That night, he overheard two deserters from the King's Army discussing the catastrophic defeats inflicted on them thus far by a sorcerer and his legions. The next morning, he acquired use of a cart to transport the Sitting Prophet back to Credas when a farmer and his wife passed him by. When Credas saw the Sitting Prophet and heard what the deserters had said, he realised that because of his unique resurrection, Maior had been purged of the Evil that tainted his very blood.

Credas explained that Maior and Feior were brothers and heirs of Bezenvial, who had prophesied that one of his children would rule the Isles of the Dawn. The Sitting Prophet was a potent magical artefact that would kill an Evil being if they got too close, but by bringing it to him, Maior had proved that he had overcome the evil of his heritage. At Credas' request, Maior used his magical powers to fuse the old wizard and the idol together, so that Credas could rally the Kreehuls who worshipped it and lead them against Feior. With this task accomplished, Maior set out to search for the King's Army.

Meeting King Poo Ta and the battleEdit

After some searching, Maior came across King Poo Ta and, realising that the boy-king was an incompetent leader of men who believed himself literally invincible, volunteered his services as an officer and the battleplans of his Evil twin, which were gratefully accepted by the other generals. Soon after, Merzei arrived with a large number of peasants, who had rallied to his words and promises of freedom from tyranny; and Credas at the head of the greatest number of Kreehul ever seen out of their jungle home. But compared to the vastness of Feior's legions, there seemed to be little hope for the allied forces.

The turning point came when the peasants successfully captured and defended the town that lay in the heart of the battlefield, and Credas sacrificed his own life to draw a dread Sturramak away from his allies, who were defenceless against the monstrous beast. Maior himself clashed with the monster and somehow triumphed, driving it away entirely. Seeing the battle turn against him, Feior fled and was pursued by his brother all the way to the top of a mountain. Facing off against each other, the twins began to summon ever stronger magics to destroy each other, but Maior's endurance was the greater, and eventually summoned Izkhao to render his brother unconscious.

Remembrance and VictoryEdit

But when Maior defeated his brother, he was faced with a far more terrible foe: the spirit of his father Bezenvial. Faced with the grim spectre of his evil ancestry, the doors of his mind opened and his lost memories flooded back. He recalled the terror and confusion of the palace servants as their world crumbled around them, the magical annihilation of the city by three nebulous figures in the air ... and a strange crystal orb which showed a man on a mountain, with a terrible winged beast hurtling towards his unsuspecting back. He remembered crying a warning, then being put into his magical sleep by the High Priest with his ears still ringing from his cry.

When his father challenged him, bringing him back to the present, he became aware of a strange sound in the air - the voice of a screaming child. Looking around him, he saw that the wounded Sturramak had approached him from behind and was flying at full speed towards him, and he leapt out of the way, avoiding death at the last instant. Unable to halt, the Sturramak collided with the shape of Bezenvial and exploded, the magic of the two cancelling each other out.

Victorious now, Maior returned to the battlefield and learned that King Poo Ta had died, having led the final charge against Feior's defeated troops and scattered them. With Feior rendered powerless and no other of true nobility still alive, Maior was proclaimed the new King of the Isles of the Dawn, and his first action was to appoint Merzei as his Grand Councillor. The years that followed were ones of great prosperity and peace in all the isles, but eventually that began to change.

The Crimson TideEdit

The Suppliant and the SerpentEdit

Maior would spend several years rebuilding the Isles into lands worth living in, aided by his faithful ally Merzei and by the advisor Pantu (whose name, "叛徒", literally means "traitor"). At some point during this process however, Merzei fell from favour after suggesting that Maior was relying too heavily on his advisors rather than on his own instincts.

Some time later, a young peasant came to the palace to beg for the King's aid in hunting down a mercenary band which had ravaged several villages, and whose leader had killed his father and sold his mother into slavery. Merzei, hoping to show the truth of his earlier words, led the peasant to Maior and begged him to help convince the king of this.

Maior, still desiring justice and goodness to inhabit his realm, agreed to help the peasant and offered him the Sacred Sword of Tsui - which the peasant had acquired from Master Yao during his quest for vengeance - as a genuine token of the King's blessing, with Pantu as a witness. However, as soon as he gripped the blade, the peasant struck out at Pantu and decapitated him.

The magical blade had warned him of the treacherous official, who had, only seconds before losing his head, resumed his true form - that of a gigantic Serpent with the arms and head of a Human, but venomous fangs instead of teeth. Maior now understood that Merzei had been telling the truth.

Forgiveness and RewardsEdit

Using his own magical powers, Maior located the peasant's enslaved mother and declared her to be free, leaving her in the care of a magistrate until such time as he and her son returned. Barely a week later, he had also located the mercenaries and stood before their leader to mete out punishment, ensuring their safety by binding him using the power of Shangsuo.

By this time, the peasant had been cleansed of his desire for vengeance and asked that the mercenary leader be spared. Pleased by this display of humanity and justice, Maior destroyed the cursed facemask that had bound the mercenary to the path of Evil and released him from his unknowing torment.

Upon returning to the capitol, Maior reinstated Merzei and gave him full powers over the Dragon Guards, the elite palace warriors who had been responsible for keeping the peace, but who had begun to turn into the very agents of oppression that Maior and Merzei had fought to keep from staying in power. In addition, he bestowed the honorary title of "Eyes and Ears of the God-King" to the peasant, with the Sacred Sword of Tsui and a golden gauntlet with which to wield it as symbols of this position, and imposed on him the task of ensuring that justice always prevailed over corruption in the Isles.

Because of Pantu's deceptions and treachery, a trade mission led by Ambassador Keiko of Hachiman had failed to meet with Maior when it originally arrived in the Isles, but was now introduced to him by the former peasant. Both Maior and Keiko were soon spending a great deal of time in discussions, though it is as yet unknown as to whether or not more than a mere trading agreement will bind their two nations together.

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Black Vein Prophecy - ???; The Crimson Tide - ???

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