CoT Part 18: Things Fall Apart

Lavos Beckons (12,000 B.C.)

Crono, Lucca, and Marleappear at the entrance of the Ocean Palace and immediately run into Mune. Mune tells the group that they feel a dark energy in the palace and fears that something truly frightening stirs before they disappear. The scene then cuts to the Mammon Machine’s chamber where Queen Zeal is pressing Schala to increase the Machine’s output. Schala hesitates but capitulates and does as commanded. The chamber begins to glow with the energy that the Mammon Machine and Schala are generating which pleases the queen immensely. As the queen is admiring the immense power of the Mammon Machine she’s oblivious as Schala collapses behind her being physically weakened by her effort. The Prophet is the only person in the room who seems to be concerned with Schala’s condition as the scene cuts back to the group as they head deeper into the palace.

The group is met with heavy resistance as it makes its way through the Ocean Palace. The opulent facility is riddled with an many guards and strange creatures as it is ornate statues of Queen Zeal…and strange creatures. Despite the heavy opposition, Crono, Lucca, and Marle continue to make their way further and further into the facility going deeper and deeper into the ocean floor. The numerous fights with the adversaries in the palace prove to be quite fruitful as during the skirmishes Crono finally learns his ultimate ability, Luminare. At this point, Crono essentially becomes a god of death, wiping out all enemies that come before him as long has his magical power holds out.  As they begin to near the Mammon Machine’s chamber, the group also runs into Masa, who gives them a brief history of Dreamstone, pointing out that both the Mammon Machine, Shcala/Marle’s pendant, and Melchior’s Ruby Knife are all made using the mysterious substance. Masa then explains to the group that they and Mune are the embodiment of Melchior’s hope sealed within the Ruby Knife and urges group to hurry to the Mammon Machine’s chamber and put a stop to it before disaster strikes.

Once again the scene cuts to the Queen Zeal is still enjoying the power emanating from the Mammon Machine. The energy however is having the opposite effect on Schala who is still physically weakened which seems to be alarming the Prophet quite a bit. One of the queen’s aides then tries to tell her that the power is getting out of hand and it is getting too dangerous to continue like this. They are struck down where they stand for their effort by the queen now mad with power. The queen then urges Schala to push the Machine even further for the sake of eternal life and the glory of Zeal.

As the team nears the entrance to the Mammon Machine’s chamber, they once again run into Dalton keeping watch outside. Rather than do his own dirty work however, he summons the Golem Twins apparently under the assumption that since the group had so much trouble with one Golem, two would surely do them in. However, Crono, Lucca, and Marle are wise to the Golems’ tricks this time around and both of the Twins are defeated in short order. Dalton then prepares to make his next move when a strange energy starts to fill the room. Dalton quickly comes to the conclusion that the energy is coming from Lavos itself and escapes into the inner chamber worried that his chance for eternal life might pass him by leaving the way open for the group to follow.

The group finally enters the Mammon Machine’s chamber deep in the Ocean Palace. On the walkway Crono tries to talk to a Nu but it beats feet out of the chamber before everything goes to hell. The group then makes their way to the center of the chamber to confront Queen Zeal. Marle announces that they are there to rescue Schala from this cruel treatment and Lucca makes clear her intention to shut the Mammon Machine down once and for all. The Mammon Machine then reacts and this puts Schala in a great amount of distress as if the machine itself is attacking her. The Prophet moves to aid her as it becomes clear that the power is becoming too much for ever her to control. Crono then draws the Ruby Knife and prepares to use it in the Mammon Machine. Masa and Mune both speak from within as Crono throws the knife at the Machine and the blade buries itself deep in the device. The immense power of the machine then flows into the Ruby Knife and transforms it into a sword. The power of the newly formed Masamune is not enough to completely stop the Mammon Machine, however the team has much more pressing issues because Lavos then emerges.

Crono, Lucca, and Marle try to prepare to do battle with the world devouring monster but they are quickly defeated by its destruction from the heavens. With the group at Lavos’ mercy, the Prophet appears and casts off his robe revealing himself to be Magus. He states that he has waited a long time for this chance to take revenge against…Lavos? So not only did Magus not create Lavos, he’s actually been on a decades-long quest to destroy the beast. Wow, we really misjudged him. Well that’s some good news that the already beat-up group doesn’t have to deal with both Lavos and Magus. The queen then takes her place at Lavos’ side and taunts Magus saying that his power is nothing compared to Lavos. Schala begs the queen to stop, telling her that Lavos’s power can only lead to ruin. However, the queen instead swears to destroy any who oppose her and proceeds to taunt the “prophet of lies” again. Before Magus can make his move, Lavos attacks him and begins to drain his power but Magus manages to fight off the attack. He then draws some kind of weapon of his own and moves in for the kill. The attack doesn’t seem to have any effect on the beast and Magus too is swatted away. Queen Zeal can’t help but gloat over the all of the defeated adversaries and offers them eternal life as part of Lavos, which honestly doesn’t sound much different than just killing them.

Despite the dire situation (or perhaps because of it) Crono decides that he isn’t quite ready to give up quite yet and rises to his feet to face Lavos on his own. The queen of course can’t help but taunt him but Crono ignores her and begins to gather his strength. Crono appears to put up a rigorous power struggle against Lavos but ultimately it is not enough as Crono is eventually overwhelmed and his body is completely destroyed as Lucca, Magus, and Marle look on. Satisfied with her handiwork Queen Zeal and Lavos depart leaving Lucca quite rattled and Marle inconsolable.

Before the two can spare a moment to grieve for their fallen friend, Schala gathers everyone together to send them to (relative) safety with the last of her pendant’s power. She pleads with the group not to hate her mother or Zeal for what they have done before she sends them off and then takes a moment to grieve for Crono herself.

Just when things can’t seem to get any worse, Lavos breaks through the surface on the mainland and unleashes a massive attack into the sky striking the Kingdom of Zeal itself. The floating island that make up the kingdom are severely damaged and they break apart as the entire landmass begins to fall into the ocean which causes a massive tidal wave.

An unknown amount of time later, Lucca and Marle awaken in a small hut. Moments after waking up the Elder from the Earthbound One’s villages enters glad to see that they are both now awake. Marle immediately asks about Crono but the Elder tells them that they are the only two that were recovered and they are now in a small makeshift village which is now the only refuge from the destruction. Lucca asks the Elder about Melchior and he tells her that before the tidal wave hit, a portal had appeared and nearly swallowed Janus. Melchior tried to protect Janus from from the portal but he ended up getting drawn into the portal along with Janus and as of now no one knows what became of either of them. Lucca quickly comes to the conclusion that the portal must have been a gate and then asks if anyone know what became of Schala but no one know what has become of her either.

For a bit of good news, the Elder reports that the Epoch has washed up nearby and seems to be intact almost as if it was trying to follow them. Unfortunately, this comes a small consolation to Marle who can only think about Crono at the moment. Lucca does her best to cheer Marle up by pointing out the if the Epoch is OK, the it’s entirely possible that Crono is also. The Elder takes this opportunity to return Marle’s pendant to her, which up until this point Crono can been holding for safekeeping. He tells her that it was with her when they found her as if it was trying to protect her. The Elder then decides to take his leave and tells the two to take as long as they need to rest up and he’ll await them at the common area.

 

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