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Tyght gripped his chest as he felt his strength being drawn away from him. Inside his head he heard the voice of the figure say, “Release me, let me manifest myself through the staff. I am not like you, he will not be able to harm me, but I can stop him.”

“No,” thought Tyght, “I can’t let you go. You would bring yet more war to the world – a needless, pointless war! Your way is wrong! We have to find another way!”

“Whether you think my way is correct or not, if you do not release me the world is finished. You heard what the Emperor said, he wants to destroy all life on the planet. You have a choice, Tyght. You can choose the Emperor, or you can choose me. If you choose me, you may not agree with my ways, but there will still be life on this planet.”

Tyght thought about what the figure was saying. There was a way to stop the Emperor destroying life on the planet, but it was not an attractive option. However, he felt that he had little choice – he had to choose the lesser of two evils. He went into his mind, and released the figure.

He felt the figure leave his mind, and then channel himself through the staff. He then saw the figure appear before them, facing the Emperor.

The figure said, “I will not allow you to destroy life on this planet. This planet shall be saved by me, and I shall rule it!” He pointed his arms at the Emperor, instantly breaking his hold on the party. They quickly found their strength returning to them, and they were able to stand up.

The Emperor looked at the figure in disgust and said, “And who might you be?”

“I come from another place. I have been assisting this party in their quest. I will lead a mighty army to wipe out the undesirable elements of this world, and then rebuild it in such as way that all shall live in peace under my name! They shall all work for me!”

Tyght was surprised to hear this, these did not sound like the teachings of Leven. His teachings, if followed correctly, would not allow one man to rule over all others.

The Emperor responded with, “I don’t know who you are, but you will be no match for the Dark Crystal!” He pointed his hands at the figure, and two beams of energy shot out towards him. The figure responded by pointing his hands at the Emperor, and two beams of energy shot out from them to meet the Emperor’s. They froze together in mid-air, both unable to proceed any further.

The figure said, “You should surrender, Calistan, surrender to me! Join me in my world and I will give you the peace that you desire!”

“No! There can be no peace whilst there is still life!”

“We will fight for peace!”

“Then you will be fighting forever! You will be forever causing pain and suffering!”

“You will also be bringing pain and suffering to the world! At least with my way there will be a peace that we can enjoy at the end of it!”

“How can you guarantee that? There can be no guarantees! Don’t you see? No matter how hard people try, there will always be other greedy, hurtful people who bring about suffering in their wake. Only by wiping out the infestation of life can there ever truly be a lasting peace! The suffering can not go on, the pain is too much for the world to bear! It must be ended at any cost, even if the cost is the lives of all people on the planet! We can not fight another war!”

“It would appear that we are at an impasse. But there is something here that can tip the balance – the Warriors of Light. Whoever can take their power can do what they wish with the world!” The figure broke off his attack of the Emperor and turned to the party. “Give me your power, and I will destroy the Emperor and then lead this world to a brighter future! Join with me, Warriors! Join with me willingly or I will take your powers by force!”

Tyght turned to the party and said, “Don’t do it! He can’t be trusted! He claims to have been sent by Leven, but he is not practising his teachings! Leven would not allow one man to rule all! I don’t know who he is or where he is from, but he is an impostor!”

Sianna asked, “Tyght, how do you know all of this?”

“I don’t have time to explain fully now, but we were joined together and it was from him that I gained my power. I thought he wanted to save the world and rebuild it in Leven’s image, but now I know that he just wants to rule it! We must fight against him!”

The figure said, “Then you will lose! Give me your power!” He raised his arms towards the party, but before he could do anything to the party he was thrown across the room.

The Emperor now had his hands pointing to him again, and he said, “Only I will take their power!” He kept the figure pinned to the ground. The figure was apparently unable to muster up any of his power to fight back.

The Emperor turned to face the party, “Unlike this creature, you have lived in this world. Tell me, why do you wish to cling onto life when you know of the suffering that it will bring you?”

Gaian said, “Because life is what you make of it. Yes, there may be times when you have to suffer, but you have to learn from those experiences. If there wasn't any suffering, then we wouldn’t grow. Life is worth living, so that we can grow and experience it and gain what pleasures we can from it.”

Bevern said, “We rarely get everything that we want. Sometimes, no matter how much we long for something, we may not be able to have it. And whilst that may be hard to bear, if we can cherish what we do have, then life can be rich and fulfilling.”

Sianna said, “Life may be hard, and there may be struggles, but those struggles are worth fighting through. There may be things that scare you, but if you can confront those fears and conquer them, then life can be rewarding.”

Tyght said, “People may not always do things the way you’d like them to do them, but if you learn to appreciate their positive qualities, are able to see the good that they can do, you can learn to accept them, and to work together with them to help bring about a better world. There may be disagreements, but the outcome of working through those disagreements can help to make the world a better place.”

The Emperor clearly wasn't impressed, “This is sickening... You sound like chapters from a self-help booklet! Prepare yourselves! It is time that I call upon the ultimate destructive power! GEEVAN!!! I SUMMON YOU!!!”

They heard a clap of thunder, and from somewhere behind the Emperor appeared a creature. It consisted of a giant human-like head, apparently in a perpetual grin. There was no body that they could see. Long silver hair flowed from this head. It flew through the air, and as it did so they could hear it make a piercing, cackling, laugh.

Geevan flew down close over the party, forcing them to duck. As Geevan went overhead the party all felt a sense of fear and sorrow, an emotional pain that was so intense that they wanted to be rid of it by any means. But, just as quickly as Geevan passed by, so did this feeling of dread.

The Emperor said, “Geevan, destroy them! Destroy them so that we may take the power of the Crystals and bring your gift of death to the world!”

Geevan turned to face the party, and started to fly right at them. The party readied their weapons, even though they all knew that fighting it would be all but useless.

But, just before Geevan got close enough for them to feel the feeling of dread once again, it stopped. Everything stopped, as though frozen in time. The figure was still frozen on the floor, the Emperor was frozen, with a look of triumph on his face, and Geevan was frozen in mid air, along with every strand of its hair.

The party looked around, and saw that none of them had been frozen in time. “What’s going on?” asked Bevern.

“I have no idea,” asked Gaian, “Tyght, you seem to know more about what’s happening here, do you have any ideas?”

Tyght shook his head, “I do not. I am sorry for what has happened. I thought that figure truly wanted to help the world, but I now know that he was using Leven’s name in vain. But as to what we should do now, I do not know.”

They then heard footsteps walk up from behind them. They turned round and saw an old man, plainly dressed, walking towards them. He said to them, in a kindly voice, “Warriors of Light, you have travelled far and have experienced much. You will now have one final decision to make, one that will ultimately decide the fate of this world. But before you can make that decision, first you must learn the truth of this world.”

The party were speechless as he walked over towards the Dark Crystal. “Do not be afraid,” he continued, “Come, look into the Crystal. Look out upon what the world sees...”

The party found themselves being drawn to the Crystal. As they stared into it, they found themselves losing consciousness. But as they faded out, they all felt as though their souls were being transported to a window where they could look out onto another world, the world of another being.

And they saw, and they heard, and they felt:

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