This story is by no means canon, but it’s had positive reviews so far. I’ve expanded on it a bit since last time to incorporate more elements of the story, since I know a bit more of what goes on after beating the game again today. Names and such are just for clarification, since it was confusing last time when I used only titles, apparently.
In a fictional land, in the year 896, a stone was discovered lying buried under a thin layer of mud in a dried up riverbed by a bard. This stone, many times the size of even the largest man and many times his weight, gleamed with an everlasting shine that nearly blinded men who looked upon it. Many attempts were made to bring the stone up out of the dirt, but to no avail. At long last, when it seemed that the stone was fated to remain buried for eternity, two young, handsome men approached atop horses displaying a purple and yellow banner.
The bard knew immediately that these two men were nobles. They were none other than the two princes of the kingdom that presided over the area that the stone had been discovered in. The older prince, Menaro Boverhi, a proper, respectable, law-upholding servant of his father, examined the stone and was inexplicably drawn to it. He felt that he must have it, but he would not do anything rash or reckless to obtain it. It was the rightful property of the kingdom, as it had been discovered on their land, but the pious prince allowed the bard to make a decision as to its fate. When the bard said that he wished to keep it, the younger prince, Kaitan, was infuriated. He slew the bard and planted his bloodied sword into the ground.
"Dear brother, this peasant has no need of a jewel as magnificent as this one. His delusions of grandeur forced me to save him from his ambitions of wealth and wonder with my sword."
The older prince contested this argument, claiming that it was wrong to kill a defenseless man in cold blood as had just happened, but Kaitan shrugged him off. He began to look at the stone and, finding nothing of interest to him, left it to his older brother.
"Go on, take it. It has no use to me; I am as wealthy as I would ever need to be."
"And if it were to have more than just monetary worth? Suppose it's a magical artifact? What say you then?"
"You are the only man I fear, brother. I should say I'd fear you more if this silly rock were to augment your natural talents any more."
And so, the younger prince rode away, leaving his older brother with the stone. Menaro stroked its surface gently and it immediately began to glow. The light from within reached into the prince's body and he stepped back, accidentally tripping over the disemboweled bard. When he did so, his hand fell upon the bard's dead flesh, and immediately the light flowed from Menaro's hand into the bard's body. His eyes blinked open and he gasped for air, rolling over as his wounds sealed, as though they had never been there in the first place.
"What is this magic?" he asked, frightened, "What is this that has brought a dead man's soul back from the veil, and restored his body so effortlessly...?"
Menaro could not answer his question. In the distance, the younger prince witnessed this miracle, and knew that he had to have the stone.
As he rode back to the castle, brooding upon this new situation, the bard stepped forward to embrace his savior, and a wand dropped from his cloak, crackling silently with black sparks.
Time passed, and the older prince became more and more enthralled by this magic stone, which he now kept in the castle, in his room. He never left, but the bard whom he had resurrected was a frequent visitor to his private quarters. Though Kaitan could not enter, he spent much of his time eavesdropping. The stone's magnificent powers were so much more than just that of a mere resurrection. The stone gave its user the powers of gods, if mastered. The younger prince knew that the throne was at stake. He became rash and irritable, even more so than usual, and the populace noticed.
When the king fell ill, the people cried out for Menaro, wise and chivalrous, to take the crown. Kaitan was very angry, for even though he knew that one day his brother would be ruler, he could not stand to hear Menaro’s name praised so by the people.
King Emelmaw, on his deathbed, called the older prince from his room and to his side. There, the benevolent ruler of so many years passed on his philosophies to his heir. Through his rapidly worsening eyes, the king could see sadness in his son's face, but also healthy ambition and joy. His pale skin and blond hair shone brightly, wonderfully contrasting the black metal of his armor.
Kaitan broke into his older brother's room while he was saying goodbye to his dear father, where he found a man in a dark hooded cloak, standing over the stone, a magic circle open beneath his feet. The man was slightly hunched and his eyes glowed red, an obvious indication that his presence was dangerous. The prince drew his sword and the hooded man, obviously a very powerful dark wizard, brandished a wand, and they dueled in the room. The prince, no stranger to basic magics, was able to conjure up a weak fire spell that, to the shock of both fighters, landed on the darkened face of the hooded man, blowing his hood off and revealing that it was the bard from so long ago.
"You'll not have the pleasure of killing me again, young prince," the Dark Wizard hissed, sending a wave of dark energy at Kaitan, but he dodged in time to retaliate quickly. His swordplay, the best in the land other than his older brother's, allowed him to inflict a grave wound upon the bard, in nearly the same spot as the fatal one that had affected him so long before. As his power faded and he collapsed, the young prince grabbed the wand that the Dark Wizard had used and clasped it tightly in his armored hand. It glowed wonderfully, the same purple and yellow as the family colors.
"You'll not manipulate or harm my brother with your black magic any longer, foul demon! Begone!" he cried, waving the wand and ending the life, once more, of the bard-turned-Dark Wizard.
Meanwhile, Menaro had just accepted the crown and was making his way toward his private quarters, where he would begin preparations to announce himself successor to the throne. He entered his bedroom and found his brother standing over the dead body of the bard.
"Brother, I have slain the evil who wanted to taint this sacred stone so. Its powers will only be used for the good of the land, now. Forgive me if you were a friend of this evil man, but this had to be done to ensure-"
"I understand, my brother,” Menaro said, his gaze fixed on the body, his voice distant, “This stone's powers were not to be tampered with, not by men as evil as he. He wanted something I did not. He wanted power. I foolishly gave it to him. I thank you for stopping him."
"It was my pleasure, my brother."
It was then that Kaitan saw the king's crown upon his brother's head, and instantly he was overwhelmed with jealousy. The stone began to glow red, matching a new red glow in the prince's eyes. He pointed the wand at the new king and the end of it crackled, expelling a huge purple blast of raw magic. The black armor of the king's suit repelled much of it, and the new king Menaro had enough time to draw his sword before the prince let off another blast of magic, aimed for his brother’s head. He flew backward into the wall and his neck snapped, his body slumping to the ground and the crown falling to the floor.
Leaving the bodies, Prince Kaitan took the crown and placed it upon his head. The stone glowed deeper and deeper red as the prince was filled with more desire and jealousy at his brother's previous good fortune. That man, that filthy overachiever oaf of a prince had everything that Kaitan had had before, but also so much more. He had the support of the people. He had the swordsmanship. He had the chivalry. Kaitan's eyes turned so dark red that they appeared to glow black.
That day, four men rode into the castle to reach the king they had served for so long on a whim, to be knighted officially and accepted as kin. However, it was too late when they arrived. They dismounted their horses and entered the castle as Kaitan, wearing the crown, was about to exit.
One of the four knights, with red armor, stammered.
"M-m-milord! We are too late! The king has passed on his crown!"
Kaitan resisted the urge to smile sinisterly at the sound of his first subordinate referring to him by his new title. He attempted to still the knight with his words.
"Calm down, man. He is at peace, passed away in the warm grasp of pleasant dreams. I am your king now."
"Milord, today we were to be knighted. We hoped to serve the king in all of his remaining days, but it seems we have missed our chance."
"Nothing is stopping you from swearing allegiance to your king now, men, for I am your king, and I am in need of loyal men like yourselves to do my royal bidding."
The four knights, prodigies in their respected fields of magic and unparalleled with a blade, glanced at one another uneasily before kneeling, one by one, as the new king knighted them.
The famed knights of Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Venom became the king's most trusted servants.
Meanwhile, in the room of the late King Menaro, a body stirred within its black armor casing. The rightful heir was not dead. Using what little will he had remaining, he channeled energy from the magic stone into the bard's dead body once more, hoping that the almighty Dark Wizard would be able to save him. As the Wizard awoke and found his trusted friend dying against the wall, he did what he could to heal him. When Kaitan returned to the room to dispose of the bodies, he found none. He wasn’t sure where they had gone, but without a body, he couldn’t prove to himself that they were dead. If they were alive, he knew that one day they would return for the stone. He had the Dark Wizard's wand fixed within his royal scepter, and slowly began to work on ruling his land, albeit brutally. His announcement came with mixed reactions and muttered arguments, but there was nothing the peasants could do to fix things. As far as they knew, the rightful king, Menaro, had killed himself out of sadness when his father passed away and Kaitan was next in line.
Kaitan found himself distraught when he realized that he was not fit for the job. He cursed his brother’s name every time something happened that he knew that Menaro would have been able to handle. In his jealous rage, he had stopped the man who may have been the best ruler the land had ever seen before he ever had a chance to bring the land to peace. Neighboring kingdoms began to show distrust for the degrading Boverhi kingdom and small raids began to happen on the outskirts of their land. They did not go ignored by King Kaitan, who had everyone responsible for deaths in his land executed. When the people began to laud him for his swift and reputable actions, he started to use execution as his main method of punishment for almost every crime under the sun. Adultery was punishable by death. Theft was punishable by death. Trespassing? Death. Harsh words? Death. He believed his brother would be proud, not realizing that he completely lacked the understanding of human nature that his brother had possessed.
Fortunately for Kaitan, he had one method of relieving tension. As it turned out, the previous king had picked out a beautiful woman to be Menaro’s queen, and she ended up marrying Kaitan. The two had a daughter before she committed adultery. Kaitan had her executed and sought out more queens. He had three more children within a few years of each other before he finally decided that it wasn’t worth the pursuit of a queen, because they kept committing crimes and he was legally forced to behead them.
His fourth child was a bit of an enigma. Many people did not even know of his existence, because Kaitan covered it up. His final queen was a gorgeous purple-haired woman who didn’t talk much. After she became pregnant, Kaitan noticed her peculiarities. She liked to talk to inanimate objects, and swore they spoke back. She hung herself upside down from the canopy of the royal bed, by her ankles, and screamed as though free-falling. She spoke of flying discs in the sky and little yellow men and spewed word salad at inopportune times. When the child was born, a son, Kaitan had the woman executed out of fear. The child grew up just as crazy as his mother. He liked to wear her makeup and dress like his sisters. Because of his strange nature, he was hidden away.
Some years later, as the children were growing, a mysterious blond-haired man in a hooded cloak stumbled into the graveyard at the castle. He looked upon one of the larger gravestones, which had the name of the first of Kaitan’s queens emblazoned in golden letters across the white rock. His fists clenched and he turned away, disappearing as unnoticed as he had entered.
A long time passed. The four young knights became battle-hardened warriors, and the king had grown old. He had also grown comfortable. Too comfortable for a man who had murdered his king.
Far beyond the horizon, two men sat at a table. One was shrouded in darkness, hidden beneath his hood, and the other’s expression was unreadable behind a metal helmet.
“You’ve yet to discuss with me how you’ll convince the other kings to join you in this. King Kaitan may not be entirely liked with the Industrial King or the Ice King, or any other king, but that land has been under Boverhi rule for as long as it has existed and it has always held strong. The king’s men are many; ours are few. What motivation do they have to assist a ragged band like ours?”
The hooded man smiled, but it could not be seen in the shadows.
“The king’s four daughters will make excellent presents to those who join us in our crusade.”
“The king has three daughters, not four.”
“I’ve heard he keeps one hidden away, always with her face behind a veil. She’s said to be so beautiful that the king does not want unworthy eyes to fall upon her face. Her existence is well known by nobility. One nameless individual has come forward already and offered his assistance in exchange for this daughter.”
“You’re a devious man.”
“I’ve been told.”
“My skills are at your disposal. If any troops fall in battle, I intend to bring them back in exchange for their allegiance to me. If they refuse to be brought back, I strip them of their self until the mission is complete, at which point they will wake up with no memory of the event.”
“As always, you are a man of the people. Fair enough. I will retrieve the stone, and you will make sure this war is forgotten by those who you feel did not deserve death.”
“I will serve you always, my friend.”
“Indeed, you will,” the hooded man replied, his eyes brimming with anticipation. Little did his colleague know, the hooded man had no intent of sparing lives or doing anything of the sort. The armored man would be disposed of after the stone was procured. Menaro was too good-natured for the life that the Wizard sought, but his body would make an excellent vessel for a soul with no self. One that would obey the Dark Wizard’s every whim and wish.
The assault happened out of nowhere. Where Industrialists fought alongside Boverhian knights and the Periwinkles assisted Kaitan’s ambitions, soldiers betrayed the once-mighty kingdom and began systematically slaughtering the gray-armored knights. Tribes of barbarians and bands of thieves joined in the assault for wealth and the wish to kill, maim, ravage, etc. The people rushed to the castle to seek shelter with their fearless king, but watched him cower with fright at the sight of a winged, malevolent presence in the form of a black knight standing in the doorway as the obvious leader of the assault stepped forward, waving a brand new wand. The stone, which had been moved to a spot behind the throne, came flying out and the Wizard boarded it, flying out through the door. When the winged knight vanished, Kaitan regained his senses, but could not ignore the stares of the incredulous citizens. All of the good he had done for the kingdom was forgotten for his cowardice. Angry, he called for his four knights: Reinaird, Therristan, Athyer, and Kebanen. They came immediately and followed his orders to pursue the stone, as they witnessed the four princesses being carried away.
That's my take on the backstory. I was bored, obviously.