Elden Ring : Ascension

He unfolded it with trembling fingers, the parchment slick with a sickening warmth. Blood. Words scrawled in burning crimson screamed across the page: "Though the path be broken and uncertain, claim your place as Elden Lord!"

Lucien_Morningstar · Video Games
Not enough ratings
6 Chs


A twisted grin split Ansel's face, his eyes blazing with power. With practiced nonchalance, he swung his staff aside,muttering a single, chilling word: "Found you." Purple light engulfed him completely, swallowing his form whole.

In the blink of an eye, a towering pillar of violet energy erupted from the spot where Ansel stood, consuming the burning blades in its suffocating grip. The pillar ripped towards the forest, its target a majestic figure clad in golden armour astride a magnificent, radiant horse - the Tree Sentinel.

The Ancient Knight didn't flinch, seemingly prepared for Ansel's trick. He swiftly raised his golden shield, ablaze with its own light, just as the violet pillar slammed into him with full force.

Ansel, however, showed no hint of panic. Even as the golden shield pulsed with a light promising retaliation, a predatory gleam remained in his eyes. After all, what happens when a force capable of creating a miniature earthquake focuses on a single point, a single objective? The sheer vibrations meant to wrack and overturn the earth, now unleashed on a singular target... what do you think could happen?

The Knight's shield pulsed with the holy light that screamed agony. The frequency of vibrations would turn any man into a crimson paste, yet the Knight held. A valiant stand, yes, but Ansel saw the tremor in the metal, the faintest hint of buckling. This Knight held immense power, enough to break most spells through sheer physical power. But not this one.

Not under the inferno of his will, his desire for utter destruction.

A sound ripped through the air, a primal scream that clawed at the ears of approaching soldiers and silenced their horns. CRACK! It echoed like a sky splitting open, leaving everyone reeling, hands instinctively flying to cover ringing ears.

Then, the explosion. An explosion of holy light, a detonation of defiance that tore through the forest canopy. The very air crackled with raw power, the aftershock a physical blow that sent everyone nearby sprawling.

The Golden Shield wasn't just broken. It was a million shimmering shards raining down, a eulogy for a shattered defense. The Tree Knight tired to rise, more a shudder than a movement, from the crater that had swallowed the forest floor. His once-proud armour, once resilient as Dragons he emulated, was now a cracked, smouldering husk. Embers wept molten tears into the ash-choked air. A single gauntlet dangled uselessly, the hand that held the shield a wisp of ash scattered on the wind. His helmet tumbled away, revealing a face etched with grief. No longer a warrior, the knight looked like a fossil, forever marked by the char of ages.

His eyes, once proud grey, were dull with despair. But a spark flickered within them as Ansel emerged, barely a scratch on him, his clothes singed at the edges. His staff pulsed with potent magic, a shimmering shield against the golden rain around them. Yet there was no triumph in his eyes, just deep exhaustion. He was on his last legs too. That explosion. Far more powerful than he'd anticipated. Every ounce of magic channeled into defense, barely enough to ward off the fiery holy retribution. Else he'd be like the Tree Sentinel – broken, shattered.

"Tarnished," the Ancient Knight rasped, his voice rough with disuse. He lurched towards Ansel, halberd wavering. He tried to mutter the Great Heal incantation, but the movement itself seemed to tear him further apart. Tears, like molten gold, fell freely as the Ancient Knight crumpled to his knees before the Tarnished, a gesture of both surrender and… something more.

A flicker of recognition crossed Ansel's face. "What is your name, honoured knight?" A golden sword, its surface etched with intricate Edrtree motifs, materialised in his grasp.

Surprise, rather than acceptance of his fate, flickered in the Tree Sentinel's violet eyes. "Astrid," he rasped, his head held high in a final act of defiance, in a final act of honour.

"Astrid of the Order of Tree Sentinels," Ansel proclaimed, his voice heavy. "You have fought valiantly. You have served enough." He raised the golden sword, the weight of the decision settling on his shoulders. "Find solace now, rest in the Erdtree's embrace."

The golden blade fell in a swift arc. A clean, merciful stroke that severed the head. A stark contrast to the devastation surrounding them. But a pang of doubt echoed in Ansel's chest. Would he be afforded the same mercy if their positions were reversed? He doubted, but as Ranni said, all the same, wasn't it? God…

The rain of finally golden devastation stopped. Ansel tossed back the last drops from a flask of Crimson Tears, the other Cerulean Tears already spent. Scars and exhaustion began to vanish as he turned to the lip of the crater, gazing ahead at the rising Godrick's Soldiers.

Those already standing flattered at the sight at the sight of crater, and him standing victorious above the fallen Tree Sentinel. And it was all the hesitation Ansel needed.

His sharp eyes swept over the soldiers. Mostly, a dull echo met him. Life, yes, but a hollow flicker – bitter, empty shells. Puppets on strings, all but one. The leader. The Knight. Him, Ansel needed alive.

The rest? A flick of his fingers, a silent command woven into the earth. No flashy spell, just raw will. The ground obeyed. Sharp spikes erupted, a macabre forest impaling the soldiers with deadly precision. All except the leader, marked by a vibrant spark of life, left bound but breathing through the agonising thorns that pinned his limbs.

The Bound Knight watched on in mute horror, streams of gold, like auric silks, shimmering with runes of abundance, erupting from the dead scattered across the ruins. It all swirled towards the monstrosity that approached – bathed in the Erdtree's glorious light, his vivid purple eyes flickering with a hint of maddening, royal gold. So wrong, yet strangely...right. A silent plea escaped his lips, "Oh, Marika..."

Ansel was upon the bound Knight in an instant. A flicker of latent recognition – wasn't this the one patrolling the Gatefront Ruins? The Knight remained kneeling, head bowed, prayers of terror and reverence mixing in his ragged breaths.

Did I break him? Ansel gently removed the helmet of the Knight, who showed no signs of struggle still. There was a stillness to him, like a fallen statue. He lifted the chin to look upon the visage that had killed him so many times in the game. Young, like really young. Not like his own body and others around. This was just a boy who never faced death, it was clear as day in those blue eyes filled with vitality. Unmarred by countless deaths.

"Who sent you?" Ansel finally asked. It was mostly a reductant question, but still needed to be asked, considering the involvement of a Tree Sentinel.

The Knight didn't answer, his life-filled eyes staring distantly beyond Ansel, at the Golden Tree. And Ansel's hand glowed with an ominous purple light, the thorns tightening, digging into his flesh all the more. "I asked you a question!"

The Knight finally screamed, a primal howl against the restraints. A spark flickered in his eyes – a terrifying cocktail of horror, fury, and a despair so utter it chilled Ansel to the bone. But Ansel was relentless. "Who sent you?" he pressed, each word tightening the magical bonds.

The Bound Knight crumpled, a crimson mist rising from his form. "Marika, please! Stop it! Anything! I'll tell you everything!" The thrones ceased their macabre dance, but offered no release. The Knight gasped, blinking back tears that threatened to spill.

"Speak," Ansel commanded.

"Godrick," the Knight rasped. "Lord Godrick sent us."

"Who were you hunting?" Ansel questioned.

The Knight's gaze darted up, a silent accusation screaming of "You!" But fear choked the truth back. "A Tarnished," he mumbled, eyes flickering down. "A mage... who slew a Grafted Scion. Lord Godrick was furious. We were sent to drag you from your hiding hole for judgment."

Ansel's questions were rapid-fire, leaving no room for deception. "Did you know the Tree Sentinel was with you?"

The Knight shook his head, his fear deepening. "No! We had no idea."

A sliver of relief pierced Ansel's tension. Not in cahoots with the capital, then. A small mercy, but a mercy nonetheless.

"Final question," Ansel said, his voice cold. "Did you have a description? Anything to identify me?"

The Knight recoiled, a desperate thrash against his restraints, a silent scream for a life now hanging by a thread. And Ansel knew the answer. His grip tightened on his sword hilt – a subtle movement, but the Knight saw. When struggle proved futile, pleas erupted, morphing into desperate betrayal.

"Wait! Wait!" the Knight rasped. "I can serve you! Be your eyes, your ears in Stormveil!"

A flash of gold. A sickening thud. Silence crashed down, heavy and final. Ansel stood amidst the carnage, his racing heart a slow retreat against the chilling stillness. He took in the scene – the lifeless boy, the fallen soldiers, the towering, defeated knight. A tableau of slaughter painted with his own blood. He stood frozen, a silent "God..." escaping his lips.

The haunting silence was broken by Melina's arrival. His maiden stood beside him, her gaze drawn to the boy's headless corpse. "You did what you had to do," she said, her voice firm but laced with a soothing undercurrent.

Ansel's voice, raw with anger, rose in protest. "No! I could have let him live, sent him back to Stormveil to scream my name! Being known...isn't that the Tarnished fate? But I was..." his voice trailed off, a whisper revealing a truth both terrifying and pathetic, "afraid."

Melina tilted her head skyward. "Don't carry this guilt. They wouldn't have hesitated in your shoes. And for what comfort it's worth, the knight's fate was sealed regardless."

Ansel scoffed, a hollow sound. "I know, but still..." He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to quell the roiling nausea. "Right. What's done is done. No point dwelling on it."

Melina's touch was a warm counterpoint to the chill that had settled over him. Her golden eyes held his gaze. "Fear is natural, Ansel. But don't let it become your master. Remember that."

Ansel, voice hoarse, managed a shaky nod. "We should bury them. Send them to the Erdtree." With a heavy step, he crossed the crater's centre. Grabbing his staff, he willed the Tree Sentinel's broken form to float. The crimson never fully marred the golden ornamental sword as he placed it back into his pouch.

Staff slamming against the ground, Ansel summoned forth graves for each fallen warrior. Melina aided him, her blue—spiritual?—power lifting the bodies with an ease like his magic.

Silence reigned, a heavy cloak muffling the somber process. Finally, Astrid, the Tree Sentinel, found his rest in the largest grave, his immense stature demanding such a final embrace. Beside him lay his faithful Golden Halberd. As Ansel reached for it, a jolt repelled him – the weapon still pulsed with Astrid's lingering power, a loyalty beyond death. Ansel knew faith wasn't his strongest suit. This didn't come as a surprise at all.

Melina, with ever-silent understanding and generous heart, retrieved the Halberd and placed it within his pouch. Then, the earth claimed the fallen.

Melina performed the usual rites, but this time, a profound shift filled the air. Was it the sheer number of burials? Or something deeper, something more profound? A veil of golden light descended, pure and glorious, like a mother's embrace for her fallen children. Serenity, a profound sense of repose, washed over the land. It soothed even Ansel's own turmoil, pushing his anxieties into embers of peace. A peace that whispered promises – freedom, liberation, a respite from the world's crushing darkness.

He looked up at the Erdtree in the distance, its golden light magnificent against the sky. The same promise of peace shimmered within its branches. Perhaps, Ansel thought, he could glimpse the source of their reverence now. Just a glimpse.


"Leave Limgrave, old man," Ansel said, tightening the saddle on Torrent. "Things are about to get messy."

Kale's voice remained steady despite the chaos. "No argument there, boy. But I can handle myself. Don't you two fret."

Melina offered a silent acknowledgement. Ansel, however, scratched his neck, a sigh escaping his lips. "Goodbyes aren't my forte. Just... take care, old man. Don't go dying on me."

"Likewise," Kale replied with a toothy grin.

Ansel started to apologise again, muttering, "About your business..."

Kale cut him off with a scoff. "I said it's fine. This was just a stop on my travels, time to move on." He paused, a grimace twisting his features. "Same fate for all of us, it seems."

With a curt goodbye, they parted ways under the harsh midday sun. Uncertain paths stretched before them, a silent, unanswered question hanging in the air: would they ever cross again?

Ansel, atop Torrent, followed the long road ahead, Melina's instructions guiding him. Their destination lay beyond Stormveil Castle, in the lands perpetually shrouded in tears. As the ruined church dwindled into a distant speck, Ansel cast a lingering glance back, a heavy silence settling around him.

"You still grieve," Melina's voice, faint but undeniably there, resonated within him. It felt like a spectral presence, a whisper brushing his soul.

"Indeed," Ansel turned, a wry smile twisting his lips. "But not for them." His jaw clenched, a flicker of raw pain crossing his features. "It's my past I mourn."