Originally, this was my entry for the Fall of Xephos contest being run by DordtChild on deviantart. Unfortunately, the contest has been canceled and FoX has been put on hold indefinitely because she needs to sort her life out (I'm not sure when she will come back if she ever does. I will miss her work and I wish her the best). So I figured I would go ahead and post my entry here.

The contest had two categories: art and story. Dordt had previously given a little background for Skylord_Vitali and Skylord_Amber. They were due to be married before the murdering of the skylords began. She tried to reason with him and of course it didn't work. When she died, he regained his memory, lost it almost immediately and became one of Israphel's minions forever. This is my take on what happened between Vitali and Amber.

I hope you enjoy the story. Please leave me feedback even though the contest is gone.

Credit for Shadow of Israphel goes to the Yogscast. Credit for Fall of Xephos goes to DordtChild.

xxxxx

Reasoning with the Devil

"No! Please, listen to me! You don't have to go through with this."

"On the contrary, Skylord_Amber. I must do this. And I have no problem killing you, just as I had no problems killing the other skylords."

Amber backed away from her fiancé. Out of all the people in the world, out of all the skylords, why did it have to be Vitali? Up until today she had been certain she could have handled this sort of thing happening to anyone. Now she knew she was wrong. Why did Israphel have to go after Vitali? Skylord_Amber kept her hand on the hilt of her sword, not taking her eyes off of Vitali. She would defend her life if she had to, but she knew fully well that she could never bring herself to kill her lover.

Giving her a menacing smile, Vitali advanced on her as he slowly drew his sword from its scabbard. "The skylords are finished, Amber."

"That's not true! Lysander and Jasper are still out there somewhere and when they find out about what you've done-"

Vitali chuckled coldly before speaking. "Oh I assure you. They will never get the opportunity to find out. I will have killed them first. The skylords are indeed finished," Vitali repeated. He began walking towards Amber at a more rapid pace. "Master Israphel will defeat the Templars. And once having done so, he will take his rightful place as the ruler of all of Minecraftia. It's going to be glorious!"

With a growl, the skylord turned vampire lunged at Amber. Their swords met with a resounding clash as the first rays of dawn lit up the pale sky. Amber pushed Vitali away with all her strength. She had to get through to Vitali and make him see reason so this madness would end.

"Glorious?!" she gasped. "No, Israphel is a monster. You and I both know the stories that surround him. He's a demon, a plague upon Minecraftia. You know of the horrible things he's done. He's a murderer! And that's something you are not!"

Vitali began circling her, like a wolf closing in on its prey. "That was before Master Israphel found me. I was weak, just like you."

Skylord_Amber couldn't believe what she was hearing. What had Israphel done to him? This was not the man she had grown to love. "Vitali, snap out of it! Listen to what you're saying. Israphel has corrupted your mind. This isn't you! You are not a killer nor are you a cultist! You are the man I fell in love with, a brave and noble skylord!"

"What a shame. There will only be two skylords left after today. And their days are numbered," Vitali hissed as he swung his sword at Amber. Luckily, his aim had been slightly off and Amber was able to safely dodge the assault.

Tears began to flood her eyes. She could see the hatred and thirst for blood burning in his eyes. "I don't understand," she said, her voice barely above a whisper. "Why, Vitali? Why would you join that horrible man? Why would you kill your friends, your family, and all the skylords? How could you?"

To Amber's horror, Vitali simply smiled, his abnormally long canines shining in the morning sun. "Power. I did this all for the sake of power. Once I have killed you, Lysander and Jasper, the power of Skyhold will be mine. Master Israphel has given me more power than I could have dreamed of. He says that only those who are strong and loyal to him will triumph. All those who oppose him will be put out of their misery. As for the heroes…well, I look forward to draining them dry."

"N-no! No, I know you don't really think that!" Amber cried out. The tears she had been holding back now streamed down her face.

"Then you don't know me at all."

And with those words, Vitali rushed forward, crashing into her with inhuman strength. Both mortal and vampire toppled to the ground. The force of the fall had slackened Amber's hold on her sword and the weapon fell beside them. Vitali kicked away the fallen sword so it was just out of Skylord_Amber's reach and, with an animal-like snarl, plunged his fangs into her neck. Amber began laying punch after punch onto her attacker until one made contact with Vitali's jaw. Seizing the opportunity, she leapt to her feet only to have Vitali grab her by the hair and yank her back towards him and down to the ground. Horrible pain erupted in her throat and it took her only a moment to comprehend what was happening: her throat was being torn out by Vitali's fangs and wing claws. She threw her head back and screamed, but the sound quickly became a mess of gargling and gasping as blood filled her windpipe.

Skylord_Amber looked up at Vitali. The hatred that had been burning in his eyes only moments before was now gone. A look of sheer horror spread across his face.

"NO! Amber! What have I done?!" Vitali was kneeling beside her. His wings cradled her close to him. Her head was being supported by one of his wing claws. She glanced down to see Vitali's hands trying to stop the blood that just kept coming but she knew in her heat that his efforts were in vain. Her fate had been sealed the moment the claws had pierced her flesh. Death was swiftly coming for her. She knew it. Her rapidly drooping eyes found Vitali.

"No! I'm sorry! I didn't mean for this to happen! Israphel! He made me do this! I…I…"

Amber reached up and brought her hand to Vitali's cheek. There wasn't much time left. She had to get one last message across to him even though she had a dark suspicion that this side of Vitali might be lost forever after her death. Her voice rattled as she spoke.

"Vi…Vit…Vitali. I…I…l-love…you." Skylord_Amber's body shuddered once and the light died from her eyes. Her limp arm thudded to the ground.

"No…no, no, no! Skylord_Amber, please don't do this." His bloodied fingers searched for a pulse but there was none. He turned his gaze back to Amber's face, her lifeless eyes staring back at him.

"Amber!" Vitali cried. "No! Don't go! Please don't leave! I'm begging you! Come on! Please wake up! Wake up!" He screamed in her face, pleading with her. But of course she wouldn't answer him. She would never answer him again. He had killed her.

An anguished wail rang throughout Skyhold. Not a single skylord was around to hear him. They were all dead or dying, as was the case with one elderly skylord. Minutes passed by before the mournful cries came to halt. A growl of disgust filled Vitali and he threw Skylord_Amber's corpse to the ground. The burning hatred was back in his eyes.

Vitali rose to his feet and kicked the body away from him. How pathetic! Here he was, mourning over the body of a dead skylord. And for what reason? This one had gotten exactly what had been coming to her. Master Israphel would be pleased. He had done his job well. The skylords were defeated. All that was left was to track down Skylord_Jasper and Skylord_Lysander and kill them. And if he met those two so called heroes along the way, he would end their pathetic existence as well.

The power of Skyhold belonged to the Cult of Israphel now. Minecraftia would soon belong to Master Israphel and no one was going to stand in the way of that.

xxxxx

So what does everyone think? I tried my best to keep Vitali in character. Dordt gave him bat-like wings on his back so I tried to incorporate them into the story.

If anyone is curious about Fall of Xephos, I still highly recommend Dordt's comic even though not much of the series was finished. The title pretty much says what happens to Xephos. He's forced to turn to the dark side. I loved the idea. Her style is amazing and I really hope she returns one day to finish it.