Secret of Mana
The Lost Story
by Brendan McGrath

This is a story that I have created that is about Thanatos and how he came to be evil. It is set eons before the game, and just before the Mana Fortress was created.

From the diary of Persperine:

I am so happy! Thanatos has asked me to be his bride! Imagine me, the wife of the youngest of King Odin's seven viziers. King Odin rules Babel, the capital of the world, where Thanatos and I live. I am twenty years of age, and Thanatos is twenty-one.

Today is the day that Thanatos will debate the usage of Mana with Methuselah, the eldest vizier.

The Mana Seeds are currently encased in a crystal, so that we can extract energy from the Mana Tree, through the seeds. Mana's energy provides Babel with power for its technology. Methuselah says that since the Mana Tree and Mana Seeds are isolated from each other, the tree cannot reproduce Mana. Thanatos says this is nonsense.

From the diary of Persperine, after the debate:

I sat in the balcony of the hall of the viziers. King Odin was listening to the debate to make a decision on whose advice to take.

"We must restrict the use of Mana energy!" argued Methuselah.

"What utter nonsense!" rebutted Thanatos.

"We're using it up!" declared Methuselah.

"Ha! You can't use up Mana!"

"Ah! You don't understand!" cried Methuselah. He then proceeded to present to the council and Odin several scrolls he'd found in Babel's library. They proved Methuselah's point, and Odin agreed to temporarily cut back on Mana usage.

Thanatos was angry, of course. He didn't like to be proven wrong. I've seen him angry at other viziers before. But somehow it's different this time... I sense a strong feeling emanating from Thanatos... hate...

From the diary of Methuselah:

I'm worried about Thanatos. We had our debate today, and like I thought, King Odin took my advice. Thanatos is always mad at me because of our differences, but I sense a strong hatred burning within Thanatos... I hope he is not the one who the stars speak of...

From the diary of Thanatos:

Curse the old bat, Methuselah! What does he know? Cutting back Mana usage! Mana is what makes Babel strong! Nothing else matters but our power... my power!

I will never let Methuselah win! He can find scrolls, and so can I! I will go over to Babel's library this moment!

From the thoughts of Thanatos:

I have been in the library for the past six hours. It is the middle of the night, but I am able to work by the light from an energized emerald, one of Babel's great inventions.

I have not been able to find anything that will prove my point. All the ancient scrolls support Methuselah's opinions!

He's right, you know...

A voice speaks, as if within my head. "Who speaks?" I ask aloud, looking up sharply.

I have no name... Methuselah is right... Mana will die if Babel's methods of technology continue... If Mana dies, so will all life that depends on it... But if one had another power of life...

I look around, and see two red eyes glowing in the darkness. Only eyes, narrowing in a formidable gaze. "What do you mean?"

It is Mana that limits you... that is why the gods first planted the Mana Tree; to control life. But if you banish Mana from your heart, your soul, your power will have no limits! You can hold Mana's power in the palm of your hand! All people will bend to your will for fear of what will happen to their power of life! You can use Mana to create weapons powerful enough to threaten the gods! Forget Babel and its petty King Odin! You could become Emperor of this world, and the world below... the Underworld!

"How can I banish Mana from my heart?" I ask.

Unite with me... I am your new power of life... evil! You will live eternally! See the pendant on your neck? I will seal your Mana power inside. Then throw the pendant to another universe! Leave no trace of the disability the gods gave you! You need only be willing!

I am unsure. This is such great power! But yet, what will my heart be like without Mana, gift of the gods? The gods... they are my enemy! "I am willing!" Instantly, the fiery eyes swarm through the air towards me, and implant their glow in my eyes. A fire burns within me, and enters my heart. From my chest emerges a green energy... Mana. It is drawn into my pendant, which begins to glow. Then, moments later, I feel a great pain, like an electric shock course through my veins. I feel immense power in me.

When all is over, I return to my chamber. I now have power, and that is what matters. Neither Mana, nor its virtues of love, joy, wisdom, none will stand in the way of my will. Nothing!

From the diary of Persperine:

One month has passes since the day that Thanatos had the debate with Methuselah. Since then, I've seen less and less of him. This evening I saw him, just as the sun was setting. He invited me to come to his chamber, he said that he had a surprise. To me, it was more of a shocking horror.

Inside his chamber in Babel Palace, I saw a glowing orb that rested on a small pedestal. It looked like a decorative item, just like many of the crystal orbs in Babel houses. But this was no ordinary orb.

I was taken aback when Thanatos raised his hands, and energy bolts emanated from them, and struck the orb. The beams refracted when they hit the orb, and formed a portal! Thanatos took my hand. His hand was like ice. He guided me into the portal. Was it my vision that blurred, or the matter surrounding me? Instead of the arches and jeweled walls of Babel Palace, I saw a deep, dark cavern around me. Thanatos walked me to a cliff nearby, and we looked down. I saw what looked like the interior of a factory and lab!

Thanatos and I descended a set of steps carved out of rock. He showed me the factory, and I stared in pure fear and confusion. I saw demons, in stasis pods. Thanatos had created them, had breathed evil into their veins. I witnessed terrible weapons of destruction.

But the worst was yet to be revealed...

Thanatos gestured at a rocky wall, and it rose like a curtain to reveal what looked like a half finished iron globe. Inside, I could see chambers and corridors, and pipe lines for the transfer of power throughout the globe.

"My ultimate weapon... the Mana Fortress!" Thanatos had said.

"The Mana Fortress?" I whispered in question.

"It warps the power of Mana into Evil! That fuels the Mana Fortress, and breathes Evil over the world! Mana will be replaced by a new energy... Darkness!"

"Why, Thanatos?!" I asked.

"Mana limits us!" screamed Thanatos, "Controls our minds! I will now control Mana! I'll rule not only Babel, but the world! And I'll also rule this world which we are in now... the Underworld! I am its Emperor! And you will be my queen!"

I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Thanatos had become evil! But how? I will never be the queen of his Underworld.

What will happen when he unleashes the power of the Mana Fortress? I must stop him! I have made up my mind. I am going to Methuselah.

From the diary of Methuselah:

Persperine came to me today and told me that Thanatos had become evil. It is as the stars foretold. Thanatos has sold his heart to the Underworld.

I suspected that Thanatos would build an evil weapon. But I didn't expect something as hideous as what Persperine tells me is the Mana Fortress. But I have been planning as well. In my study, I have forged a sword of many ancient elements. I will call it the Mana Sword. It will be one with Mana, and be a protector of the Mana Tree, and it will receive power from it as well. (Author's Note: See my Reference Section for notes on Mana that will clear much of this up)

I will also found the Tribe of Mana, from which Mana Knights will emerge, one from each generation. The Mana Knights will be the ones to wield the Mana Sword.

I unveiled the Mana Sword to Persperine. Together, we will travel to the land of the Mana Tree, the Pureland, and ask the tree to breathe Mana's power into the sword. We must also use the sword to smash the crystal which imprisons the Mana Seeds.

Persperine and I will carry out these plans tonight, and flee Babel.

Persperine is very brave to have come to me. She has been through much. Her eyes have seen what no mortal has ever seen: the depths of the Underworld, hell, and she has been tempted by Thanatos, the master of the Underworld. She still has so much to do in her life. This journey to the Pureland is only the beginning of her journey... but perhaps the end of mine...

From the diary of Persperine:

Methuselah and I escaped from Babel today. We are climbing down the mountains which it is in, the Lofty Mountains.

We are now officially fugitives. We destroyed the crystal (which imprisoned the Mana Seeds) with the Mana Sword. Methuselah took us out by a secret passage that led under Babel castle.

I think of Thanatos, and how he has changed. He is now pure evil, the master of the Underworld. The one I loved is no more. This is a new Thanatos. I will always love the Thanatos that once was, and despise the Thanatos that is.

Soon, Thanatos will complete the Mana Fortress, and take over Babel. I hope we are in time. Can a simple sword truly destroy a mighty and immense fortress? I shall see.

From the diary of Persperine:

Methuselah and I have reached the sea. We built a canoe, which will take us to the Pureland. With us, wrapped in a burlap bag and sheathed, is the Mana Sword, waiting to be united with the Mana Tree.

Methuselah tells me that the Pureland is a great forest of waterfalls and lush vegetation, inside a volcano that has been inactive for centuries. Therefore, the soil is rich and fertile, and the plants bloom as if it were spring all year round.

A cold wind whips at my face, and the salty air tickles my hair. We still have a long way to go.

From the diary of Thanatos:

The time draws near when the Mana Fortress will be completed. With it, I will rule Babel, and the world!

I've discovered immense powers. What boundaries Mana sets! What limits! Feelings of love and mercy only bound me, like a lion, his strength wasted by a web of chains in which he is imprisoned.

Persperine was to be my bride. I offered her the crown of the Underworld; she would have been my queen! But she fled from me, in tears. Now she and Methuselah are mysteriously missing, and the crystal imprisoning the Mana Seeds has been shattered. I suspect that they have gone to the Mana Tree. And it was undoubtedly the two of them who destroyed the crystal.

But the Mana Tree cannot help them now. Nothing can stop me!

From the diary of Methuselah:

Persperine and I are close to the Mana Tree. We've found the Pureland, and it is beautiful. Waterfalls cascade into ponds rich with life. Trees of all kinds blossom everywhere.

Soon I must leave this mortal plane. I must become part of the Mana Sword.

Before I go, I will pass on to Persperine what she must do. We will be the first of the Mana Tree.

The Mana Tribe will be a group of dedicated people devoted to keeping the balance of Mana. Our people will build eight palaces all over the world, each one for a seed. The seed's power will seal off the palace from evil, and the seeds will seal the Mana Tree's balance. The Mana Sword will draw power from the seeds, which draw power from the tree. (Author's Note: Again, see the reference section to clear this up) And the sword's power will be used against evil, and to put the seal on the seeds, which seal the tree.

Mana will be respected, and held in reverence. Peace will calm this troubled world.

From the diary of Persperine:

I am at the foot of the Mana Tree. Methuselah is gone. After the power of the Mana Tree blessed the Sword of Mana, he embodied the Mana Sword, "completing the cycle" he said.

I loved Methuselah, he was a grandfather to me. The precious moments in the Pureland with him seemed like they would last forever. But now, I am alone.

Before Methuselah vanished, he said that I will form the Mana Tribe. The women will become part of the Mana Tree, becoming the mind which decides between good and evil, and using Mana to keep the balance. The men will wield the sword, and at the end of their life, they will become part of the sword, like Methuselah.

I know I must go on. I have chosen to establish peace, and save our world from turmoil. I...

As she writes the diary, the Mana Tree begins to speak into her mind!

The sacred words of the Tree of Mana to Persperine:

Persperine, it is I, the Mana Tree! Mana's power is waning. Thanatos is draining my power through the Mana Fortress. Persperine, you hold the Mana Sword in your hands. It contains more power than anyone could imagine. You will know how to use it. I will send you to Babel. You must stop Thanatos, the fate of the world depends on it!

From the thoughts of all three:

Persperine: Mana engulfs me, and I find myself in Methuselah's secret room, where he forged the Mana Sword, which I now hold in my hands. The ground shakes. I run through the palace halls, and find a door. The door opens onto an old drawbridge at the back of the palace, leading to the mountains behind it.

In the sky, the massive Mana Fortress looms above Babel. I can see the power beam charging, the Mana Fortress's ultimate attack weapon. Thanatos is going to destroy Babel!

I keep running frantically along the mountain paths, coming ever closer to the summit, where I can face the Fortress... face the Fortress? How can a sword destroy something the size of a palace?

Thanatos: The power beam is ready. Echoing in the mountains below, I hear a voice...

Persperine: "Thanatos! No! Don't!!!" I cry.

Thanatos: "Persperine! Join me!" I raise my hand, and the mountain she stands on rises into the air. With a mere stroke of my finger, I can end her life, yet there is no fear in her eyes.

Persperine: "NO! I can't! I loved you, but you have changed."

Thanatos: "URRGGHH!" Anger fills me! I send piercing bolts of lightning at her.

Persperine: No!

Methuselah: "Persperine!" I telepathically communicate from the sword, "Use the sword to defend!"

Persperine: With a swift arc of the sword, the lightning is shot back at Thanatos. It merely fizzles and dies on his flashing form, overflowing with power.

Thanatos: "I've already murdered Odin! Now I will smash the city! I will release the Mana Fortress's power beam. Nothing can oppose the power of pure evil!"

Persperine: It has finally come to this...

Persperine and Methuselah: Together, we unleash the Light of Mana. It is like lightning, surroundign the Fortress and the evil that it is.

Thanatos: No! This isn't possible!

Persperine: The Mana Fortress falls to the sea, miles away, as it streaks across the sky. The Mana Beasts, sent by the gods, seal it deep within the earth with Mana's power.

From the diary of Persperine:

There are a few survivors. Thanatos destroyed the cities of Titania and Aquarius before Babel. They held scrolls and writings about our technology that can never be replaced. The gods gave them to us at the dawn of time. It will take eons to discover the knowledge again.

Most of the survivors, including me, are living in huts in the lush forest of the Pureland. About thirty people survived. Thirty, out of a world of millions.

We have become the Mana Tribe. The Mana Tree is guiding us with the eight palaces for the seeds. It will take time.

From the thoughts of Persperine:

I lie in bed. A vision of Thanatos appears to me. He speaks: "If you will not be my queen, you will be my eternal prisoner!"

I scream, as he pulls my very being into the dark underworld.

Here I am for eons. But I will never love Thanatos. He has changed. The man I once knew and loved no longer exists. A demon has taken his soul.

At least the world will know peace.

And so the ages passed, and peace did reign. The world was rebuilt from the ashes by the Mana Tribe.

But time flows like a river... and history repeats...

The End...?

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