Paladin Decen (Samuel Mason)
"One life ago, I was strangled to death by your very hand. As Paladin Decen of Acadia. You hunted my Guardian and disfigured my familiar's face. Then years after, my Remnants tried to stop your tyranny, only for you to slaughter them too. This is for R1. Warchild. Fury. Brickhouse. Jonna. Everybody." - Samuel Mason to a defeated Mogul
"This is real life. All that matters is strength. Everything else is extra." - Paladin Decen to Merrow on his views of love
"By the Paladin Code of Acadia, you have been eliminated. Contract Complete. Loser." - Paladin Decen
Paladin Decen of Acadia was the titular Paladin of War, an extremely powerful warrior to the country of Acadia, and was created by Prime Aspect Deimos and the Acadians to serve as one of the most powerful mercenaries in existence. According to the Paladin Code, Decen was classified a S-Tier Paladin after absorbing S-Tier Paladin Icarus, and started off as a C-Tier Paladin.
During his time in the Paladin Collective, Decen took on an uncountable number of contracts spanning different realms and universes, making him widely known as one of the strongest mortals. Several beings Decen had defeated included the likes of Diablos, the Demon King, Ares, the God of War, Lesia, the First Paladin of War, Typhon, Father of Monsters The Five Kingdoms of Edom, and a large number of deities as well as monsters that Decen was contracted to eliminate. Power hungry, strength seeking, and battle loving, Decen rose the ranks to become one of the higher ranked Paladins, his power only rivalled and surpassed by Icarus, the Paladin of Light, and Azazel, the Paladin of Battle.
Decen was assisted by his Guardian, Merrow Rivenlight, and eventually took in Connor "The Dark Masamune" Shel, after defeating him in a contract, who was repurposed and renamed as Sentry.
At some point, Decen was killed off by Prime Aspect Mogul, his powers stolen, and ended up spreading his consciousness into multiple fragments, which would grow into Remnants. Eventually, Decen reincarnated as Samuel "The Blackflame" Mason, who would grow up to become the very being to defeat Mogul and Deimos. As Samuel Mason, the reincarnated Paladin would reconcile with Merrow and Sentry, and would also obtain Celestia, who served as the Guardian to the late Jonna, the Paladin of The Sands.
After defeating Deimos by obtaining all Five Energies of Quinta, Sam utilized the last of the Unity to restore the lives of the Boreans and those slain by The Aspects, killing him. Sam's sacrifice immortalized him into legends to come, fulfilling his wish to become great, and the strongest Paladin.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities (As Decen)
- 4 Powers and Abilities (Reincarnated)
- 5 Background and Origin
- 5.1 Pre-Apocalypse
- 5.2 Jason's Arrival
- 5.3 Inheriting Sentry and Formation of Team Darkstar
- 5.4 Street Cleanup
- 5.5 The First Tear
- 5.6 The Twin Tears
- 5.7 Amana Cross joins Darkstar
- 5.8 Supply Run
- 5.9 Sentient Infernal
- 5.10 The Last Tear
- 5.11 Darkstar vs The Avatar
- 5.12 Samuel Mason vs The Avatar
- 5.13 Blackflame vs The Avatar
- 5.14 The Avatar Unmasked, and The Return to Croft
- 6 Main Story
- 6.1 Acquiring a Base
- 6.2 Sam and Tob vs. The Hood
- 6.3 Jason is captured
- 6.4 Springing Jason
- 6.5 Darkstar Training Arc
- 6.6 Jason's Universe
- 6.7 Automaton Elimination Op
- 6.8 Journey to Edmonton
- 6.9 Corinth
- 6.10 Junon Rescue Arc
- 6.11 Multifaria Resistance
- 6.12 The Shadow Endbringer vs. The Black Jason
- 6.13 Croft Solstice Festival
- 6.14 Merrow Rivenlight's Diary
- 6.15 Subsequent Arcs
As Paladin Decen
In this life, Sam was described by himself to be nerdy, and very scrawny. Weighing in at around 120lb and standing at 5 foot 8, Decen had a lean and skinny build, relying on his powers as a way to compensate for his lack of physical attributes. Decen was described to have very long, chin length black hair, strands of hair covering his face and eyes, and was streaked with magenta at the ends, giving him the "emo look". Decen wore a long navy blue coat over an oversized open black hoodie, baggy graphic t-shirt, and baggy black track pants. Around his neck hung his amulet, which had magical properties that made him resilient to regeneration dampening effects. Decen was of asian appearance, his large eyes possessing magenta coloured pupils.
When utilizing his powers, Decen possessed a red swirling aura, akin to conduits of the Restoration Force.
Due to training with Ferris and Jason, this incarnation of Decen, Samuel Mason, possessed a significantly more muscular and built physique, weighing in at 165 lb at a taller height. Broad shoulders and wide back, and toned muscles which became stronger and more defined as Sam continued fighting with Doma Martial Arts.
Sam's brown hair was clipped short, opposed to the long black hair Decen possessed. After merging with Decen, Sam retained his physique, but his face became slightly more asian in appearance, his silver eyes specced with magenta, and his hair becoming black. Over time, his hair grew out, to resemble more of a fade.
In contrast to his past self, Sam's face was described to be less aggressive, but slightly worn out, like a "tragic warrior tired of battle". Sam's body possessed many scars from countless battles, and along the side of his face, Sam had a scar from when his eye was ripped out at the hands of Calliope.
Sam's attire changed drastically compared to Decen's, wearing a minimalistic black nano-weave jacket over a grey tank top that exposed his musculature. The jacket possesses two modes: sleeveless and sleeved. Sam also sports a pair of jeans that are cladded with black padding for additional protection. Around his neck, is a pair of goggles to aid in his Hunter's Eye, and when strapped on, Sam's appearance is described to be similar to a movie character "Riddick". Sam also wears a pair of black fitness gloves, which are fingerless, for hand to hand combat.
Later in the story, Sam sports a parka, which is reminiscent to his days as Decen, although the coat isn't as baggy. After Merrow's death, Sam begins to wield her spear occasionally in combat, typically for his finishers or special attacks.
Near his final fight against Deimos, Sam's original appearance in the Chronicles of Croft returns, alongside his silver eyes, nanoweave jacket, and cladded jeans.
Due to living essentially two lives, Sam undergoes many personality changes throughout the series.
As Paladin Decen
Decen's personality was extremely confrontational. Merrow described Decen's negative views of friends and love to be similar to that of an "incel". Preferring to become number one on his own terms and own strength, Decen kept himself to his small friend circle. Decen had trust issues and would only see his peers as competition.
At whatever the cost, Decen would pursue his goal to become the strongest Paladin no matter what it took. This led to Decen eventually betraying his friends for power. Believing himself to be cursed whenever his hard work did not pay off, or whenever his friends and fellow Paladins would pull ahead of him, Decen sought for ways to become better, often resorting to questionable methods.
Despite his views on love, Decen struggled with loneliness. However, due to his pride and ego, he forced himself to believe that he did not need to be loved, and thus created his iconic phrase: "All that matters is strength. Everything else is extra." When he was assigned a Guardian, The Orb recognized Decen's loneliness, and chose Merrow Rivenlight to complete him in the place that he had lacked, emotional strength. Initially in denial, Decen slowly warmed up to his Guardian, and eventually, Decen began to soften up, slowly gaining more of a warrior's honour mentality and recruiting Connor Shel as his familiar.
As Samuel Mason (Memory Wiped)
When Decen reincarnated as Samuel Mason, he subconsciously created a new life, and new family, as well as a new personality. However, despite creating this new personality, Decen's old habits of negative and pessimistic views remained. Instead of blaming others, Decen subconsciously believed he was cursed, and blamed all his shortcomings on himself. This way of thinking caused Sam to possess a self hatred complex. Despite this, Sam still possessed his diligence and desire to become a great figure, but instead of being the strongest Paladin, he desired to become a hero.
As Blackflame (Darkstar)
After Sam unlocked Sentry's powers through Darkfire, Sam obtained the moniker and identity as Blackflame. Similar to his hero persona, this version of Sam finally had his dreams come true, to become a hero and have people look after him. Sam himself admits this version of Blackflame was his happiest, as he had everything he had lacked as Decen. A family, powers, and people to protect.
This "Blackflame-Sam" persona was described to be goofy, aloof, and clueless, similar to Jason (his remnant)'s initial persona at the beginning of the Chronicles of Croft. Awkward yet striving to become great, Sam's innocent personality was molded into everybody's "little brother" figure. Unbeknownst to Sam, this personality was merely a front to subconsciously cover up his past.
As Blackflame (After One Year of Torture)
During the Battle for Croft, in which all the refugees of Croft were evacuating to Corinth, Sam was captured by Calliope, and was believed to be dead. Held prisoner at the Capita, Sam was tortured both physically and mentally by a Corrupted Calliope Ariandal, causing his psychological issues to leak out and his past to emerge, conflicting and tearing his mind apart.
During his torture, Sam became extremely pessimistic, full of hate, and believing his family had abandoned him. When he was possessed by the Corruption, Sam became extremely cold and menacing.
Decen-Samuel Mason Merge
Merging with his past self, Sam began to accept his past as Decen, and his personality slowly began to mature, seeing the horrors of his actions and learning to move forward. Despite this, Sam lost his goofiness and aloofness, in exchange for a more serious personality. This led to uneasiness to his allies in Darkstar.
While initially still seeing Decen as a separate self, Sam continued to fight the Aspects, and slowly, the two personalities began to converge, near the end of The Legend of Samuel Mason series, Sam and Decen became one.
Despite being more serious and less innocent, the horrors of Decen's past and sins caught up to him, leading to massive guilt. The death of his Guardian put Sam into a downwards spiral in sanity, leading him to suffer immense psychological problems, depression, and self hatred. Becoming increasingly unstable, Sam became more dependent on his friends and family for support, something he had never done as Decen.
Unlike his other personalities, this version of Decen/Sam was ironically the most heroic. As at this point in the story, Sam stopped seeking greatness and heroism for his own personal gain, but to protect others.
Despite their differences, all incarnations of Paladin Decen have been considered by many of his peers as a "crybaby", frequently shedding tears and rarely keeping composure. This may have been a characteristic trait that had remained even after Decen's reincarnation. This trait is also shared amongst his Remnants.
After his death, Sam was immortalized as Blackflame, but many saw him for this version of Sam. A heroic and stoic figure, pure and selfless.
Powers and Abilities (As Decen)
Absorption: According to Decen, this was the power he was born with. The ability to absorb the very essence of a being, whether human or not, and acquiring their powers, memories, and even parts of their personality. Depending on the scale of the Absorption, Decen can gain access to their powers, but higher levels of the ability will render the victim braindead or even erasing their existence completely, in exchange for their memories and traits.
Quasi-Organic Body: Frequently referred to as "transformation", Decen's body was considered quasi organic. A mass of organic tissue combined with magic and viral material, Decen possessed the ability to shape shift his body into numerous tools, blades, chains, spikes, tendrils, and claws. As a result of his body not being "human", Decen possessed what appeared to be superhuman regeneration. Additionally, Decen does not feel pain, but rather signals to his "brain" that indicate damage. This was evidently so when Decen had a giant beam impale right through his chest, but showed no visible signs of pain.
Hunt: Decen is capable of amplifying his senses by optimizing the relevant organs in his body. Hunt is capable of tracking down enemies at a distance, utilizing multiple senses at once like a predator. Decen frequently used this ability during his contracts.
After being granted the title Paladin of War, Decen was bestowed upon him several additional powers that further enhanced his abilities and combat prowess. Having already been considered a warrior, due to his training to receive such a title, Decen's abilities were boosted drastically to the point where he became a threat to deities of other universes. Namely, the Greek God Zeus, who believed Decen's presence in his universe was a sign of the end of the Pantheon.
Restoration Force: Decen took part in the Quinta Energy Realm Binding Ceremony, in which he received access to the Restoration Force. The Restoration Force amplified his healing abilities, making him borderline immortal and unkillable. This substantial boost in survivability was what allowed Decen to fight and win nearly every battle of attrition. Unable to be put down, being a Conduit of Quinta made Decen such a formidable fighter that his contracts became more and more dangerous, while Decen himself saw no threat to his wellbeing due to his immortality.
Immense Physical Prowess: The very notion of being a Conduit to the Restoration Force meant Decen's body had nearly infinite regeneration. As a result, normal muscle tears or failure that occur from lifting or moving a certain rate no longer applied to the Paladin. This provided Decen with a boost in strength, speed, and durability. Capable of picking up an entire building with one arm, Decen's strength was said to surpass even the likes of Heracles and a Maximum Solar Powered Ultraman.
Quasi-Organic Synthesis: The Restoration Force gave Decen the ability to not just regenerate his tissue, but also create an excess of it, operating in conjunction with his Quasi-Organic powers, this allowed Decen to extend the size of his limbs to astronomical sizes. An example of this heightened ability was his Spike Formation, where Decen was able to completely overwhelm the armies of the Five Kingdoms of Edom with a single wave of spikes.
Apex Hunt: Decen's ascension to Paladin status greatly enhanced his Hunt ability, allowing him to extend its range to not just distances, but also through interplanetary spaces. Apex Hunt replaced his Hunt ability, allowing Decen to take on even more contracts that spanned the entire galaxy.
Power of the Paladins: Decen splits his soul into multiple fragments that disperse in space and time. Such a power was only understood through the scribes written by Paladin Rolah, and was largely only studied through a theoretical stance, never once performed due to the nature of Paladins lacking a pure heart from their occupation. Decen became able to utilize this power by forsaking who he was moments before death at the hands of Prime Aspect Mogul, choosing to value his beloved Guardian and Familiar instead.
The bulk of Decen's powers were obtained by Absorbing an uncountable number of foes during his contracts. Decen describes each battle as a "loss until the enemy is [his]". Many of these abilities were passed on to his Remnants, but due to the sheer number of abilities, there was a large fraction that was never passed down.
Evolution: During a contract to eliminate the meta human Darwin, Decen discovered that his claws and superior strength were unable to cut through Darwin's adaptive evo. While Decen was unable to defeat Darwin, Darwin's evolution ability allowed him to temporarily generate negative-matter, which severely damaged the Paladin. Resorting to Absorption, Decen was able to absorb Darwin's powers, leaving him evo'less. Receiving this power allowed Decen's abilities to evolve with every fight, and became his most used passive power during his service to Acadia. Decen killed Darwin shortly after due to the meta human "mocking [his] pride".
Gravity: During a joint contract to eliminate a young prince in a distant kingdom, Decen was intercepted by Marcela Davinctus, who possessed the power to alter gravity. Marcela overwhelmed Decen by making him immobile, but eventually lost the fight due to Decen's infinite stamina. Worn out, Marcela struggled to fight Decen on her last legs, but ultimately was overwhelmed. Decen absorbed her powers but left her alive due to Marcela being on the verge of tears, begging the Paladin to spare her young lord. Due to partially absorbing the meta human, Decen was only able to use Gravity to passively enhance the power of his attacks and strikes. Decen has also used this power to slow down enemies.
Electrokinesis: Decen obtained this power from Paladin Fulmin, after Fulmin attempted to violate a defeated Marcela. Fulmin and Decen fought, but Fulmin was defeated by Decen's new gravity powers, and both his essence and soul were absorbed by the Paladin of War. Decen uses Fulmin's abilities to enhance his speed, giving him a red electrical discharge upon use.
Combat Intuition: An ability that Decen obtained from a meta human known as Kitara, Decen is capable of quickly assessing his opponent and generating a comprehensive understanding of their style, producing a useful and effective counter. This power was gained from a contract to defeat Kitara, in which Decen's combat tactics proved ineffective. Resorting to a battle of attrition, Decen eventually wore Kitara down and consumed her for her abilities and to complete the contract. Due to having his pride broken from being on the verge of defeat, Decen decided to fully absorb the meta human, gaining her memories and traits as well, causing his hair to grow out to chin length and creating the "emo-look". This power was passed down to Remnant 1.
Soul Link: On his way to a contract in Croft, Decen became a target for a mage thief, who attempting to steal his amulet. Decen severely injured the thief and consumed him partially, leading to him to enter a braindead state, which Decen showed to the main plaza for the thief's humiliation. The Soul Link enabled Decen to link his soul to another being, typically a monster or a creature, and share their power. However, Decen never used this ability as he believed relying on another's power was considered "weak". This power was passed down to Remnant 15.
Radiation Resistance: Obtained upon a request to assassinate the heroic figure Ultraman, Decen battled and overwhelmed the superhero, killing him and taking his abilities. However, before fully consuming Ultraman, the hero's protege, Ultraboy, intervened and stopped the consumption process, forcing Decen to only obtain part of Ultraman's invulnerability powers. Decen defeated Ultraboy as well, but discovered that Ultraboy was incapable of any powers, and that his abilities were from a mechanical suit. Realizing that Ultraman had combusted his body and left himself unconsumable, Decen was enraged and broke forty seven of Ultraboy's bones before leaving the universe.
Ultimate Sense: Decen obtained this ability by killing and consuming Feral, a meta human with heightened senses. Feral believed his powers were superior to Decen's, much to his annoyance, and challenged the Paladin to a fight. Decen defeated Feral, but refused his plea for mercy, telling him that he made the decision to die the moment he chose to question a Paladin's power. Decen killed Feral and took his powers along with his traits. This caused Decen to possess a heightened temper as well as a berserk mode, which was passed down to Remnant 9.
Umbralkinesis: Upon completing a contract involving the elimination of Tsukuyomi, the God of Night, Decen absorbed the deity and obtained his powers to manipulate shadows. However, shortly before his death, Tsukuyomi placed a divine seal within himself such that Decen was unable to use his full power. This forced Decen to only be able to use 5% of Tsukuyomi's powers to see in darkness. When this ability was passed onto Remnant 4, the seal was unable to differentiate the Remnant from the Paladin, but was aware that the two were different, causing Sammy to be able to use up to 75% of Tsukuyomi's power.
Fear: Decen gained the ability to emit a frightening aura, which petrifies opponents within a range. Fear was obtained when Decen took down an extremely high ranking metahuman in New Richmond known as Phoenix, as requested by the government in that state. Due to Phoenix's powers being too uncontrollable, Decen was hired to kill her. However, upon realizing that Decen gained her powers through his Absorption ability, the government attempted to assassinate the Paladin, but the fight was extremely one sided. After Decen's leave, the government began to create the Metahuman Tier System to better deal with meta humans.
Upchuck: During one of Decen's travels to a contract, the Paladin was ambushed by a monster capable of both absorbing and emitting energy. By utilizing Upchuck continuously during fights, Decen is able to absorb energy based attacks and store it up to either power up himself, or release it in a destruction blast of power. This power was passed down to Remnant 13.
Superior Life Manipulation and Prime Mana Manipulation: During a contract to eliminate the chapel housing Father Eridani, Decen was intercepted by his daughter, Sister Frieda, who possessed extreme regeneration powers which were divine and celestial in nature. However, Frieda was incapable of regenerating from the Absorption effect, and was thus trapped forever in Decen's consciousness. Fully absorbing Frieda caused Decen to temporarily suffer from split personalities due to Frieda resisting assimilation in Decen's body. It was only until Decen absorbed Father Eridani did the two decide to rest in peace together within Decen's consciousness, allowing him to fully access her powers. Superior Regeneration was a direct upgrade from his regeneration powers at the time, allowing him to instantly regenerate from any wound, almost as if he had never taken damage in the first place. Prime Restoration was obtained from Father Eridani, which gave him the ability to fully restore his stamina. However, due to Decen's limitless stamina, this power was useless.
Strength of a Trillion Men: During Decen's assassination of the Edom Rulers, the armies had time to prepare for Decen's arrival, to no avail, when the Paladin overwhelmed all trillion soldiers with a single wave of spikes. These spikes absorbed each and every single soldier in the five armies serving the kingdoms, feeding into Decen's memories and giving him incredible battle experience through their tribulations. Following this contract, Decen's fighting skill and combat intelligence increased exponentially, allowing him to drastically improve and fight among the likes of Paladin Azazel for a brief time.
Charm (Intimidation): At some point, Decen was contracted by the god Hephaestus to kill his wife Aphrodite after discovering her affair with the god of war Ares. Taking a time-displacement drive, the Paladin went back in time to the realm of the ancient gods, and challenged Ares to a duel, in which the victor would have Aphrodite. Ares, enraged that a mere mortal would challenge him to a fight, declined the duel, until Decen reasoned that because he was a mortal, he would act as a temporary "hero" to Hephaestus, and by the blacksmith god's will, he would send a hero to challenge the god of war. Ares, still offended by this, fights Decen with only a fraction of his power, but quickly realized that the Paladin was not one to be taken lightly. After severing Ares' arm, Ares became enraged, and attempted to use his divine will to disintegrate Decen, who at that time, had fully matured his power over the Restoration Force, allowing his body to completely negate the disintegration effect. Aphrodite offered to step in, but Ares, embarrassed that his girlfriend would see him weak, shot her down, and fought Decen with all of his might, but it was too late, the Paladin revealing that he was a mercenary to Acadia, and was created to kill any opponent that he was contracted to eliminate, mortal or god. Decen would kill Ares, declaring himself the superior being to represent War, then proceed to attack Aphrodite. Aphrodite attempted to use her Charm on the Paladin of War, but the effect was negated by Decen's overwhelming desire to be the strongest entity to exist. Aphrodite was then killed and consumed by the Paladin, allowing him to obtain her power of Charm, though the power was later corroded due to Decen's War-like nature, turning it from a power that would make others lust for him, instead, be fearful of him, greatly reducing their will to fight. Decen has used this corrupted version of Charm as a passive during fights to widen the gap or close the gap between fights.
Nanopower Generating Cells: This power was obtained when Decen was contracted by a desperate guild to kill the Demon Lord Council in a faraway land. The Council consisted of eight Demon Lords, their power so great that monsters and demons alike served them as subordinates. Decen crashed their meeting, and killed two of the Demon Lords while they were surprised, then proceeded to consume the Demon Lord Ryall, who had the power to emit energy. Upon killing Ryall and consuming his cells, the cells exploded and the energy infused themselves into Decen's essence, allowing any of the cells he synthesized to be capable of secreting Ryall's Nanopower through complex proteins. Decen used Nanopower to enhance his attacks, supercharging his limbs to deal extra damage. This power was passed down to Remnant 2. When Decen used this power, the power was red in appearance. When Ben uses this power, the power was cyan in appearance. There does not appear to be a correlation to the power potential to the color it emits. Following the death of Ryall, Decen attempted to fight the remaining five Demon Lords, but was outmatched, and forced to abandon the mission. This was one of the few contracts that Decen could not complete, which prompted Acadia to send in Paladin Icarus of Light, who killed the remaining five Demon Lords easily.
Hydrokinesis: Decen obtained Hydrokinesis after killing King Novak of Atlantia and initiating a coup as per his instructions of the contract, leading to a sea-wide war. Decen became able to propel himself underwater efficiently, allowing him to move at normal speeds as if he were in land. Additionally, he was capable of manipulating the water around him to make constructs, but the power was not very strong nor effective. This power was also extremely inferior to Merrow's Hydropower, and instead relied on Merrow's Hydropower over his own Hydrokinesis to fight.
Kinetic Siphon: Decen siphons the kinetic energy of objects or people, slowing them down and adding onto his speed. This power was obtained from killing Velo, who was the brother of Lady Kinetik of the Anti-Champions Universe during a contract to assassinate an alter version of James Harmon (The Arbiter)
Life and Energy Manipulation: Decen is capable of stealing or emitting life energy. Decen gained these powers from consuming Hygeia, the Goddess of Health, following his first defeat to Paladin Azazel, as he believed Azazel's constitution was higher than his. Ultimately, the power was not enough to defeat the Paladin of Battle, and enraged, Decen swore to never use this power again. The power was passed down to Remnant 6.
Smoke: A power that allows the user to emit smoke from the palm of their hands. Decen gained this power when he let loose a volley of spikes at a group of enemies. One of the enemies happened to possess the metahuman power of Smoke, adding onto the Paladin's arsenal. Decen does not use this power as he believed Smoke was a coward's way of fighting.
Powers and Abilities (Reincarnated)
Soul Link - Connor Shel of Decen: Sam is soul linked to Sentry, after Jason passes on the creature in hopes of grooming him into his successor. Sam was initially only able to manifest Sentry's superhuman strength and reflexes, but over time, he manifested Sentry's technique, and later his Dark Energy in the form of fire. Sam later absorbs all of Sentry's essence, essentially killing the creature, and is able to access 100% of Sentry's power. Since recovering from the Corruption, Sentry is revived, and Sam is able to utilize 100% of Connor's power without harming him.
Soul Link - Celestia of Jonna: Sam soul links with Celestia during his return to his home universe following Mogul's defeat in preparation for the Cleansing. Celestia is capable of incredible spatial magic and storm powers.
Soul Link - Bridget: Sam is also soul linked to Bridget, a deceased young girl who befriends Sam during the Croft Festival. It turned out that Bridget was actually a Subject of Quinta, a conduit to The Unity, making her the most powerful conduit in existence. This soul link allowed Sam to wield the power of the Unity, wielding and merging all the other energy realms in an amplified force.
Initially, Sam was able to use the Unity in a suppressed state, by subconsciously placing limiters as a defence mechanism. Because Sam was not a true conduit to the realms, the combined use of the Five Energy Realms damaged his body, disintegrating it. At full power, in his final fight against Deimos, Sam was near the brink of death. Upon using the full power of the Unity, True Magic/Reality Bending, the final burst was enough to prove fatal, destroying Sam's body and killing him in the process.
Reincarnation of Decen: Sam, being a reincarnation of Decen, is directly connected to his Paladin past. As a result, Sam is capable of soul linking with multiple creatures, and has access to his Paladin self's essence, giving him a tremendous boost in power.
Conduit of Quinta - Restoration Force: As a reincarnation, Sam's cells become conduits to the Restoration Force. As a result, Sam has access to massive regeneration potential similar to the Paladin.
Conduit of Quinta - Motion Force: As a reincarnation, Sam's cells also become conduits to the Motion Force. Upon awakening, Sam is able to tap into unbelievable sources of power, allowing him to move at incomprehensible speeds. In his point of view, everything appears slowed down, as Sam is able to move much faster despite the environment. Sam was able to evacuate an entire city in a fraction of a second, including the inhabitants of several high rises, before the shockwave levelled the buildings. Sam's body glows green, with several stars floating to the top of his head when utilizing the Motion Force.
Conduit of Quinta - Achilles Force: Obtained from consuming Ulthreal, the Aspect of Scorn, Sam gains access to the Achilles Force. So far, Sam has been able to create cyan constructs similar to Junon Gareth.
Conduit of Quinta - Power Force: Obtained from his psychic link with Janna Kull, Sam became capable of wielding the Power Force, giving him an immense boost in physical strength comparable to Janna and Aaron Sterling.
Absorption: At some point in the series, Sam also begins to tap into more of his past as Decen, and become capable of Absorption. Sam can take the life essence of someone, adding their power to his own, giving him a tremendous boost in power. If Sam uses more of Absorption, he will be able to fragments of their memory which he can recall at any time, but doing so will put the victim into a braindead state. Using more of Absorption will cause Sam to take their powers as well, but at the cost of fully absorbing their essence, essentially killing them. Due to Sam's moral compass, he rarely uses this ability.
Superhuman Traits: Sam manifests Sentry's superhuman strength, speed, and agility. Paired with Sentry's Martial Arts, Sam was considered equal to a Kaiju Boost x20, able to fend off Infernals and Soul Beasts unarmed. These abilities continue to develop as he trains with Ferris and Jason in strength, and with Amana and Kyrael in technique.
Doma Martial Arts: Sam gains the memories and techniques from Sentry, who was taught the ways of the Doma from his mother, Nessa Akatsume. The Doma Clan specialized in efficient, fluid technique, valuing grace and the samurai way. Since Sam prefers empty handed combat, he utilizes the empty handed combat, through a series of chops in place of sword strikes. The technique was so effective that Sam was able to fight the likes of Giantkiller in Form 4, which was estimated to be physically weaker than Aaron wielding the Power Force.
Hunter's Eye: Sam is able to manifest one of Sentry's Hunter Eyes, through a Kaiju Boost. This allows Sam to pinpoint weak points, and to see through illusions. While Sam is unable to use Hunter's Eye to the same potential as Jason or Sentry, the technique is still effective in combat, and Sam manages to reduce the stamina drain through Wheeler's Goggles.
Blink: After being soul-linked with Celestia, Sam is able to access her incredible spatial magic powers in small bursts, allowing him to teleport from one place to another once he sees or focuses on a clear marker.
Grace of Celestia: Celestia boosts Sam's abilities. How many of his abilities boosted at the same time will dictate how much the ability drains her. The boost itself provides Sam with a parameter increase comparable to a x10 Kaiju Boost.
Achilles Constructs: Sam is able to call upon the power of the Achilles Force to create cyan constructs similar to Junon.
Sam is capable of limiting his destructive Darkfire through several transformations, that cap his power either subconsciously, or intentionally. The forms go up in power.
Darkfire Form 1
Sam's Darkfire Form 1 involves Sam shrouding his body in his blue and black Darkfire energy. The form gives him a blue glow shrouded with black flames, giving him a darkened aura. In this form, Sam's silver eyes become the only source of light, giving him a demonic appearance. Fully charging the Form manifests Sentry's samurai armour on his left arm.
In terms of power, Form 1 was highly destructive and powerful enough to easily defeat a high ranking Avatar, as well as the Automaton Core, which was thought to be incredibly powerful being the "prime automaton". Form 1 grants Sam with incredible strength, speed, reflexes, and durability. The flames become hotter and stronger, allowing Sam to use them for propulsion in manoeuvring his opponents as well as pulling off more advanced moves.
Darkfire Form 2 - Silver Sage
Silver Sage (Form 2), is a direct upgrade in all of Sam's abilities from Form 2. Form 2 grants Sam with hotter and more powerful flames, to the point where they no longer glow blue, but white. Sam's hair stands up on end, growing out and becoming spiky and white as snow. Junon describes Sam's Form 2 as "angelic", but at the same time "demonic" due to the black flames.
Form 2 was strong enough to easily melt and disintegrate Plyth the Serpent King, who was thought to be resistant to fighters with a fire affinity.
Darkfire Form 3 - Sage of War
Form 3 initially granted Sam with the appearance of Decen, but having merged with the Paladin, the form only changes the appearance of his flames, giving them a black and red glow rather than the black and silver.
Sam's spiky hair becomes longer, growing out to the shoulders and reverts to their black form with magenta highlights. The flame was strong enough to absolutely annihilate the hide of the Formation monster, who had completely outmatched both a Form 2 Sam and Black Jason. Form 3 was also strong enough to outmatch and pressure Calliope Ariandal, until she decided to use more than 500% of her soul link.
Darkfire Form 4 - Fallen Sage
During his torture at Calliope, Sam's limiters were subconsciously broken from bloodlust and prolonged rage. This allowed Sam to use 100% of Sentry's power, as well as 70% of Decen's regeneration. The form was stronger than all of Darkstar combined, and completely annihilated Maven's forces.
The firepower of Form 4 was immense to the point where Sam was capable of single handedly defeating the entire Camp Jupiter Legion forces. However, the form was also under the influence of The Corruption. The sheer strength of the form overpowered Camp Jupiter's Praetor, who descended from the Argonauts. Form 4's base strength very likely surpassed the Praetor's transformations themselves.
The form glows black and red similar to Form 3, but also grants him with Sentry's samurai armour similar to Forms 1 and 2. Sam's skin becomes black as night, his eyes glow a murderous red, and his body crackling with red electricity. Sam's hair is similar to Form 3.
There is no stamina drain to Form 4, making it the most effective Form Sam uses to date for a full power fight of attrition. Unfortunately, the immense destructive capability keeps Sam from using the Form often.
Darkfire Form 5 - Kingslayer Sage
The ultimate form, Sam utilizes 100% of Sentry's power and 100% of Decen's power. The form was strong enough to fight toe to toe for a brief time with Mogul, the Aspect of Sin, who had killed Decen and all of the Paladins. The form, in its early inception, was capable of fighting toe to toe with Junon after she had received her Achilles Energy, and once Sam had learned to tap into more of its potential, Sam managed to overpower her. The Form was also capable of fighting toe to toe with Lapheth, the Aspect of Fury, until he slowly lost the advantage.
Form 5 is highly destructive, and the flames even hotter than all of his previous forms, gaining a magenta and black appearance. Sam's black and magenta hair from Form 4 becomes Snow White like Form 2.
Despite the incredible power, Sam is only able to draw it out twice a day due to its massive stamina drain, making the Form not ideal in prolonged fights.
Kingslayer Sage - Limit Breaker
Upon calling more of Celestia's boost, Sam evolves his Form 5, to gain even stronger firepower. A single blast annihilated Ulthreal, the Aspect of Scorn, disintegrating his body from the pure power and heat. Under the Grace of Celestia, Sam's flames become a fierce purple, and the highlights on his hair disappear completely.
Darkfire Form 6 - Unified Sage
While not official, Sam utilizes Form 5, alongside Celestia's boost, and the Unity allowed Sam to unlock a completely new level of power that was enough to defeat multiple Aspects, and fight toe to toe with the Prime Aspect of Fate, Deimos.
However, using the Form and the Unity caused irreparable damage to his body. The more he used his powers in this form, the more his body began to disintegrate and crumble.
Background and Origin
"The year is 2021, and mankind faces a trial straight out of a movie. Everyone is advised to evacuate and seek shelter IMMEDIATELY. Do NOT approach the sky beasts. Do NOT look back!"
- Anonymous Reporter
Samuel Mason was a college student studying engineering along with his roommate Toby Rufus. Although an average student, Sam is unable to secure a job position due to his curse, and must rely on Rufus to pay the rent to their basement suite. Aspiring to join the army, Sam decides to start training his body, though slow progress demotivates him.
On his way to the gym, Sam notices the sky opening up to multiple portals, and thousands of strange creatures flood the streets. Sam hides behind the forest and witnesses the creatures killing and injuring civilians left and right. Grabbing a tree trunk, Mason attempts to fend off the creatures from a trapped family, but is swatted away by an infernal, where he lands in a bush. Barely conscious, Sam sees a mysterious man fall an impossible distance from the sky and lands several feet away. Heavily injured and somehow alive, the man seeks refuge, and Sam takes him to his basement suite, which is in ruins. Toby freaks out believing Sam brought a homeless man to their shelter.
The next morning, Toby informs Sam that the creatures have caused damage on a global scale, and that the college has been entirely decimated. News reports reveal only 15% of the population has survived, and military forces were wiped out, outmatched in firepower against the beasts. Sam wishes to see his family to check up on them, but John advises against it, as charging into the now infernal run wasteland would be suicide. Toby is now unemployed as he states his manager was devoured by a creature with horns and weird green flames. The man tells him that the creature is an infernal, and only he is able to defeat them. The man introduces himself as John Crypt and reveals to be a mage tasked to battle the infernals from another dimension. John demonstrates Sentry's power to the boys but nearly collapses. It is revealed that Crypt is terminally ill from an infection known as the Corruption; a mysterious entity that had infected all of his friends and family in the Champions Universe. Due to the protective nature of being a Paladin remnant, the two conflicting forces caused discord in his body, and the aftereffects are slowly killing him.
The following night, John regains consciousness, and tells Sam and Tob about his adventures in Croft, along with Trinity, Wheeler, and his time in the Mage Academy, as well as its downfall. After hearing John's story, Sam is greatly engrossed and pleads John to bring him along in his final fight against Calliope. Sam tells John that he wanted a purpose in life, and that he was willing to do anything to prepare for the battle. In the condition John was, he would be in no shape to save Croft. John, reminded of how he lost his friends and allies, angrily dismisses the idea, telling him to be realistic and that a normal human without a soul link creature would not stand a chance against the New Militia. This was something he had to deal with alone. A frustrated Sam leaves the dining room and heads to his room while John leaves the hideout to patch up the city as much as he can.
Inheriting Sentry and Formation of Team Darkstar
Sam rescues John after a cleanup mission goes awry. After being asked again why he was so adamant to helping John fight the New Militia, Sam reveals his ancestral curse. Claiming he would go to any lengths to achieve greatness in his life, he fought through all the barricades his curse threw at him. Eventually convincing John to let him help, Sam inherits Sentry, and soul links with the familiar. John, despite losing his soul link, is still able to access residual dark energy from Sentry, though severely underpowered, only able to access a fraction of the power he had before.
John begins training Sam in combat, strength and conditioning. Despite excelling in combat due to his dilligence, Sam struggles in strength and conditioning due to asthma and poor genetics. Despite able to soul link, Sam is unable to draw out any of Sentry's dark energy. However, the soul link provides Sam with the iconic silver eyes, and heightened physical parameters.
During a training session, Sam struggles with marksmanship and swordplay. Tob walks in on the two and demonstrates an aptitude in the two weapons. John decides to train Tob in wielding handguns and swordplay. Jealous of Tob's progress, Sam and Tob get in an argument which escalates into a fight. Despite Tob wielding two weapons, Sam's reflexes awaken, allowing him to tap into Sentry's memories in empty-handed combat and martial arts.
During the next few months, John trains Sam in Sentry's martial arts using his Paladin's memories, and Tob in marksmanship and swordplay using his own memories.
Four months later, Sam has demonstrated an aptitude in martial arts and has begun to manifest Sentry's superhuman physical abilities equivalent to a x20 Kaiju Boost. Tob's weapon mastery improves to the point where John decides to let Sam and Tob participate in his missions to clear up the street of infernals.
Sam suggests the name "Darkstar", due to the nature of his and John's powers. Upon being asked by Toby the "Star" part of the team name, Sam replies that it sounded cool. John calls the boys dorks for suggesting such a ridiculous name, but the majority overrules his opinion.
Team Darkstar head out to the streets to defeat the infernals and soul beasts. Although manifesting Sentry's superhuman abilities and combat technique, Sam is still unable to summon Sentry's dark energy necessary to destroy the monsters. Sam is tasked to destroy the weaker monster spawn while John eliminates the monsters. John imbues a firearm from a deceased officer and hands it to Tob to lay out suppressing fire.
While cleaning up the streets, Sam separates from the group upon hearing whimpers from a building. Confident of his new abilities to escape if needed, Sam goes to investigate alone. The whimpers turn out to be from a manipulator type infernal, who attacks Sam. While able to evade the Manipulator Infernal with Sentry's reflexes, Sam is unable to deal meaningful damage. Sam is saved by Tob while John exterminates the infernal.
The First Tear
With the streets cleaned of monsters, Darkstar head to the location of a Dimensional Tear located near Sam and Tob's college campus. During the drive, Sam contemplates his usefulness in the team. Despite receiving Sentry, Sam was still dependent on his teammates. Disgusted and angry at himself, Sam considers talking to Jason to return Sentry and give up on his dream to become a hero. Sam suddenly experiences a vision of Sentry's Paladin. The Paladin went by the name of Decen, the Paladin of War. Sam watches as Decen and an unknown female accomplice battle a towering opponent. As they fight, they are overwhelmed by the opponent's strength when Decen summons Sentry to fight on his behalf. Sentry unsheathes two katanas, igniting it with a black flame, and engages the opponent. The fight is short but enough for Sam to witness Sentry displaying his incredible technique. With the opponent retreating, Sentry turns to Sam and looks him in the eye. Its white orbs for eyes grow brighter until Sam wakes up from the vision. Sam decides to keep the vision to himself as he is unaware of what it could mean.
As Darkstar approaches the tear, infernals and soul beasts swarm the campus. John commands the boys to assist him as he clears the area. Due to his condition, John is unable to seal the tear himself. John channels all of his energy into Tob's firearm, and with one powerful blast, Tob destroys the perimeter of the tear, sealing it. John collapses and Darkstar is forced to stop and recover.
Bothered by what he saw during the ride, Sam is unable to resist any longer and tells John about his vision. John is deeply troubled by Sam's development as he had never experienced visions from Decen's past, especially that particular memory. John tells Sam to record what he sees should a vision happen again.
The Twin Tears
Darkstar approaches their next two tears, a conjoined tear leading to a large influx of soul beasts. John and Tob attempt to fight off the beasts but due to John's illness, Tob is forced to single handedly hold off the monsters. Sam attempts to intervene but is unsure what to do. Tob is bit by an infection type soul beast, but is rescued by John.
Sam, panicking, scared, and angry at his powerlessness experiences another vision. Unlike his previous vision, Sam appears in a dark world, covered in black flames. Towering over him is the spirit of Sentry, who looms over the boy. Sentry asks Sam if he wants the power to stop the beasts from hurting his friends, which Sam agrees. Sentry responds that the secret to unleashing his power for the first time is dependent on the person. How to unleash the power depends on the user, in John's case, it was through calamity and a focused mind. This was because the sudden change in emotion led to a huge psychological shift, allowing his body to subconsciously call upon the power a a defense mechanism. Sam must find his own way, and by doing so, his fighting style and use of Sentry's power would diverge from the way John used the power.
Sam awakens in a medical bed in a shelter, with Tob looking below with a concerned look. Tob fills Sam in on the details. Apparently Sam had a blackout, and collapsed. Just as John was about to give one last stand against the monsters, they were rescued by a young woman named Amana Cross. John and Amana went to another room to talk while Sam and Tob were placed in a room to recover. Sam overhears Amana scolding John for putting two kids in danger's path, while John shoots back that she is not one to talk due to the nature of her powers. Sam loses consciousness.
Amana Cross joins Darkstar
Upon regaining consciousness, Sam is tended by Amana. Tob is taken aback by Amana's attractiveness but allows her to provide treatment to his bite wound. Amana introduces herself as a survivor of the apocalypse, who wields the power of an infernal after it tried to take her life. Amana tells Sam and Tob that John is in no condition to lead a cleanup party, and that she would take command. John suddenly appears in the room and argues with Amana, telling her she just met the boys and is in no position to make demands. The two argue and eventually agree to be co-partners. Amana's familiarity with the city and versatile infernal powers prove useful to the team, and Amana seeks revenge on the creatures that had slain her family over the months of apocalypse. Amana gives herself the codename "Fox" and assists Darkstar out of the city to deal with the Twin Tears properly.
The team return to the site of the tears, now overrun with even more monsters. Amana orders Tob to provide suppressing fire, and Sam to distract the melee types. John and Amana work together to seal the portal. John infuses Kronus with Sentry's energy residue, and hands it to Amana, who grabs it with a flaming red fox tail. Amana swipes at the tears, sealing it with incredible force. The duo return to the battle site and clear the remaining monsters. Amana compliments John for his combat prowess despite being a "cripple". John grunts at the remark.
Amana checks on Tob's wound, causing him to blush. Darkstar return to their Sam's hideout, with Amana now part of their ranks.
Two months pass, and Darkstar is low on food supplies. Amana and Sam volunteer to go on a supply run to restock. Tob and John remain in the hideout for patrol. While on their way to a potential supply bandit hideout, Amana asks Sam if he and John are related. Sam responds that he isn't, but sees John as an older brother and mentor figure. Amused, Amana offers to be his older sister figure and mentor figure, causing Sam's ears to go red.
Sam distracts the bandits while Amana carries the supplies to the van. Amana is impressed by Sam's reflexes and combat technique, remarking that his chops bear similarity to a samurai. Upon hearing the word, Sam experiences another vision. Sentry appears before him, with two katanas unsheathed, and Sam gets a good look of Sentry's body. Spikes line Sentry's arms, demonic in appearance, but what appears to be samurai plating along his shoulders, hips, and knees. Just as Sentry is about to turn to Sam to show his face, Sam exits the vision to a very concerned looking Amana. Sam confesses to Amana that he is soul linked to some samurai monster, and that his abilities belong to Sentry. Amana reassures Sam not to worry about anything, as she herself is also connected to a monster.
The duo return to the hideout with a van full of supplies. John plans to raid an infernal base to seal the last tear. Amana assists him.
During a cleanup mission, Darkstar find themselves rescuing survivors from a group of infernals. Sam and Toby escort the survivors to a getaway van, while John and Amana eliminate the group. However, one of the infernals appears different from the rest, and outmatches both fighters. The infernal mocks John for being a disgrace to the mages, and reveals that John's long time friend, Calliope Ariandal, had become converted into an Avatar, a half mage half infernal hybrid. Enraged, John ignores his Corruption poisoning and tries to charge the infernal, but is restrained by Amana. The Sentient Infernal tells John that the war with the mage survivors will end soon, and that the Age of Ash is inevitable. Upon seeing Amana, the infernal offers her a position among his ranks, which she turns down. The infernal engages Amana in combat.
Sam and Toby attempt to intervene, but Amana keeps them back with a wall of red flames. Amana declares that she will never join the monsters who slaughtered her family, and charges the infernal head on. The infernal outmatches Amana in combat. Just as the infernal is about to deal its finishing blow, John jumps in and rescues her. John tells the infernal that to get to her he would need to get through him first. John goes beyond his limits and charges a Kaiju Boost x1000, and eliminates the infernal with a single Citybreaker Slash with Kronus.
The force of the Citybreaker slash causes the entire environment to collapse, and Darkstar must evacuate the area. John picks up Amana and orders the boys to the van. Amana asks John why he is so protective of someone he barely knows. John responds that everybody deserves a second chance. John failed Calliope that day because he let his bitterness take over and didn't even try to understand her heartbreak before engaging in battle. If it hadn't been for his closed mind, he could have prevented all of this. Amana tells John that the only way to recover is to move forward and not give up just because of his past, and that she is willing to move forward with him if he would like. John and Amana's relationship become strengthened.
Sam looks at the remains of the Sentient Infernal as Darkstar drives off to seal the final tear.
The Last Tear
Darkstar prepares to take on the final tear. During preparations, Sam thinks about what Sentry told him, that to activate his power for the first time, he would have to find his own way. Unable to think about how, the tear becomes brighter. Suddenly, a bright light appears from the tear, and a monstrous being, with magma like features and wings lands on the ground. The monster brandishes its great sword and yells for The Black Jason to come out. John grimly tells the team to take care of the soul beasts and infernals, while he engages the monster. Amana pleads John to accompany him, as John is no match for something that powerful the way he is right now. Sam and Tob also argue that they need to take on the monster together. Amana gives John the pleading look, and John's expression softens, allowing the rest of Darkstar to support him in the fight.
Sam and Tob clears the tear of enemies, while John and Amana distract the monster. John and Amana imbue Tob's firearm with energy, the combined Sentry and Infernal energy allow Tob to seal the final tear. Upon regrouping, Darkstar faces the monster, ready for a head on fight.
The monster measures up the members of Darkstar, and laughs at John, mocking him for losing his soul-link. The monster declares himself to be superior, and reveals that he is an Avatar.
Darkstar vs The Avatar
Tob fires off several blasts of energy at The Avatar, which glances off its skin. John and Amana engage the monster head on, but are unable to deal any damage. Sam tries to distract and tire the monster out, but the monster retaliates with overwhelming speed, too fast for Sam to react, and sends the boy flying with a devastating punch to the gut.
John attempts to surpass his limits again, and unleashes a x1000 Citybreaker Slash on The Avatar's head, only to have it glance off with no effect. The Avatar swings its broadsword in John's direction, but is deflected by Amana's Fox Tail, shattering it and sending the two tumbling down the remains of the surrounding buildings.
Tob is the remaining member of Darkstar, and The Avatar approaches the boy slowly, ready to kill. Sam tries to get up but is unable to. More visions start to appear and disappear in seconds as Sam struggles to reach Tob. Sam pleads with Sentry to give him power. Even if it means forgetting his desire to become great, be a hero, he just wants his friend to be safe. Suddenly, the visions stop and Sam is sprawled on the ground. Next to him is Tob. Sam looks around and realizes he is on the other side of the building complex, opposite of The Avatar. Sam looks at himself and realizes his clothes are smoking, embers of his shirt glow a dark blue with black flames. The Avatar leaps a huge bound and appears next to the boys. Sam attempts to use the same power that allowed the two to escape but is unable to resummon it. The Avatar smashes Sam's face into the pavement, and begins stomping his head in. As Sam starts losing consciousness he begins seeing another vision.
Sam finds himself in a room with three people. A boy, aged 20, a girl with green flowing hair, slightly taller, also in her 20's and a tall towering figure, built like a tank but with samurai plating, and a mask similar to John's but with glowing white orbs for eyes, which Sam recognizes as Sentry. The boy is the first to approach Sam. Scrawny in appearance, the boy had long hair which covered an eye, streaked with pink. He looked like an average delinquent but emits a dangerous aura. Without saying anything, Sam recognizes him as Decen, the Paladin. Decen looks him up and down, then remarks on Sam's innocent and harmless appearance. The girl then approaches, and Sam is engrossed by her blue eyes. Though he never met her, Sam somehow knows her name: Merrow. She observes quietly, before returning to her original spot. Then the Sentry approaches Sam. Sam asks the Sentry if the last burst was his power, which the Sentry affirms. Sam asks Sentry how to resummon the power, and Sentry tells Sam he already knows how. By changing his mindset to a more selfless perspective, rather than being someone great for the virtue of being great, Sam chose to abandon it to save those in need. By changing his mindset, his body subconsciously called his power. Sam becomes doubtful of his strength, believing he will never live up to John's strength and legacy, but Sentry reassures him that it doesn't matter what the outcome is.
Fight to the end, no matter what. That is the samurai way. Putting a hand on Sam's shoulder, Sentry tells him that he is the first being that he has ever encountered that had the most humanity. Unlike John, Sam was sensitive and vulnerable. He didn't have the strength right away, and was humbled because of his background. He was born cursed, but in a way by being cursed, that would be his ultimate blessing. This was why Sentry decided to approach Sam through these visions, and not with John. Sentry tells Sam to give it his all, and to give the bastard Avatar hell, his own way.
The Avatar is about to finish Sam off with his great sword when suddenly a burst of black fire is emitted from Sam's body. Sam is propelled forward and away from the monster, his eyes glowing and flashing with blue and black flame. The Avatar laughs and acknowledges Sam for finally unlocking Sentry's power. Fire slithers around Sam's arms and legs as he powers up even further.
The Avatar approaches Sam with a huge slash of his blade, only to have it caught by Sam's hands, melting it to a pool of black lava. Sam opens his left hand firing a massive torrent of flame, sending the Avatar reeling back with severe burns. The Avatar flies into the air, and Sam, opening his palms, releasing a jet of black and blue fire from his hands and feet, propelling himself upward. John and Amana, incapacitated by John's Citybreaker Slash watch as an evolved Samuel Mason flies to face The Avatar in a titanic battle.
Samuel Mason vs The Avatar
Sam and The Avatar clash, flame against sword, their battle spanning across the buildings, to landmasses, to mountains, and forests. Using the propulsion of Sentry's energy in the form of black fire, Sam is able to evade The Avatar's incredible speed by moving like a jet engine. Combined with Sentry's reflexes and combat sense, the motions become fluid and second nature. However, The Avatar still has the upper hand, and slams Sam back onto the ground. The Avatar lands and asks if that's the extent of Sam's soul link. Sam manages to get up and tells The Avatar that as long as he is breathing, he will not lay a hand on the people of this world. Sam reaches deep within his memories, deep within Sentry's memories, and sees a vision of Sentry. His monstrous claw outstretched. Sam takes it and undergoes a transformation.
Blackflame vs The Avatar
The flames around Sam grow more intense, and soon his body is encompassed by the incredible heat. Sam's eyes glow and is the only source of light, his body shrouded in dark flames. On his left arm, samurai plating is manifested. Suddenly Sam assumes a fighting stance. A stance similar to a samurai. There is no katana in sight, but this isn't the first time Sam has run into a barricade. Sam lifts his hand, and performs an Iai Chop. The flames and heated air pressure send The Avatar flying through several buildings. The Avatar charges the evolved Sam in a fight, but Sam holds his own, using his chops in places of katana slashes, Sam overwhelms The Avatar with fluid and superior technique. As Sam pummels the Avatar with chop after chop, fluidly dodging The Avatar's swipes, Sam is reminded of his vision of Decen summoning Sentry to fight the towering opponent. Realizing that was what Sentry meant by showing him the vision, Sam manifests Sentry's martial arts to its max potential, and unleashes all of his power into a powerful open handed strike, causing a massive black explosion.
The Avatar falls onto the ground, defeated and depleted of its power, revealing the fallen mage.
The Avatar Unmasked, and The Return to Croft
Sam is reunited with John, Amana, and Tob. John recognizes the mage as a former classmate in the academy, turned Avatar: Trill Cohen of Team Overcast. Over the years, Trill was tortured by the Infernals for refusing to join the New Militia. Upon being captured by Calliope Ariandal, Trill was given the worst punishment: forceful merging with an Infernal. Calliope forced Trill to slaughter his teammates in Team Overcast, and the trauma drove him to insanity, finalizing his merge with the infernal into a fully fledged Avatar. Trill tells John that he doesn't expect forgiveness for the things he has caused to his life, but Calliope's tyrannical rule over Croft must be stopped. To Trill and Amana's surprise, John forgives Trill. Trill, still suffering from guilt, offers to repay John by offering his services to Darkstar. As an Avatar, Trill offers to bring Darkstar to The Champions Universe through a dimensional portal. John and Trill shake hands.
Sam approaches Trill in private and asks about his past with John. Trill tells Sam that this should be something he should ask John, as he is in no position to say. Trill also remarks that Sam's soul link powers are unlike anything he ever saw with John, however they are insufficient to defeating Calliope. He will need to continue training and getting stronger to stand a chance.
That evening while Darkstar is recovering, Sam and John look over the sunset of a recovering world. John once again asks Sam if he is sure he wants to join him in his battle against Ariandal. Sam tells John that he doesn't have much a choice considering he gave his powers over to him. John laughs, and tells Sam he is right. The fight against his old friend will be the toughest fight they will ever face, and warns Sam that the training he will undergo to further develop his powers will literally be hell. Sam tells John that he is ready. John agrees, and to prove that, gives Sam his codename: Blackflame. John himself, after getting over his fear of losing his friends and allies with the help of Amana, dons his iconic combat mask, and names himself back to The Black Jason.
The following morning, Darkstar departs. Trill creates a portal to Croft, and Team Darkstar, now containing The Black Jason, Blackflame, Fox, Tob, and Coldarrow (Trill) enters the portal. Sam is the last to enter the portal and looks back at his world. Ready to take part in something great, Sam smiles at the sunset, before stepping into the portal, to begin his battle against Calliope Ariandal and the New Militia.
Acquiring a Base
Sam awakens in an alleyway alongside the rest of Darkstar. Sam is taken aback by the new environment; magic and technology intermingling, but a hint of poverty and lack of social order. Making his way to the rest of the group, Jason recognizes Wheeler's gym. The building is raided and vandalized by corrupted enforcement officers, which Jason recognizes as members of the New Militia. Enraged, Jason engages the officers, with Team Darkstar in tow. Jason defeats four of the five officers, but the remaining officer, being a high rank mage with soul link abilities outmatches him. Amana saves Jason and devises a strategy to defeat the officer by using his bone magic on himself, which succeeds. Amana knocks the remaining officers unconscious and induce their minds with infernal energy, causing partial amnesia.
Jason rescues the occupant in the building who reveals himself as Ferris Wheeler, Jason's first trainer. In gratitude, Ferris allows the members of Darkstar to stay at his gym in his secret basement hideout. Ferris explains that since the New Militia began its influence on Croft, many citizens and mages who were deemed combat worthy were forced to join the ranks. People who did not make the cut were deemed failures and cast out, leading to nation-wide poverty. Although possessing the physical capability to join the Militia, Wheeler lacked the magical offensive power, and was deemed unworthy. Wheeler tells Darkstar that the slums have become a home for those unfit for battle.
The officers that had harassed him were members of the New Militia who occasionally come to the slums to bully the inhabitants, and take their belongings. Wheeler got away with minimized losses due to storing most of his belongings in his secret bunker.
Trill collapses from opening the portal to Croft, and the team recovers at Wheeler's gym. While waiting, Wheeler suggests the team take some time to explore Croft. During this time is when most of the Militia are off partying or in the Royal Capita, meaning inhabitants of the slums are free to enjoy the rest of the night. Wheeler promises to take care of Trill while the others are out. Jason wishes to visit the District, an old fashioned strip containing several bars and entertainment. Amana joins Jason while Sam and Tob decide to explore other places of Croft. Wheeler warns the boys to stay away from the borders, as it is home to a dangerous mage vigilante known as "Hood".
Sam and Toby decide to visit the borders against Wheeler's advice. On the way, they notice several militia officers dragging a girl to the border. Tob instantly rushes to save her, and Sam decides to join in. The two pursue the party until they reach the border, where the girl is ordered to stand back against the wall while a officer charges their weapon with magic. The boys realize that the party is an execution squad. Before Sam can formulate a plan, Tob recklessly engages the officers, leading to a gunfight. Sam rushes to grab the girl and escape but is stopped by an officer. The officer launches several attacks Sam's way, which he dodges and blocks. Sam slips past the officer's attacks and strikes the officer with a powerful open handed attack, unleashing a giant black explosion sending the officer flying. The officers focus fire on Sam and the girl. Sam launches a massive burst of flame to disintegrate the magic projectiles, but one catches the girl in the leg. Sam attempts to shield the girl but Tob jumps in and attempts to shield her first. The two argue with Sam asking Tob if it was a good time to get hormonal, until the officers are pinned down by several glowing green blades. The blades lift the officers in the air, and launches them into the ocean. The blades disintegrate in green ethereal flame, and the owner confronts the boys. Sam matches the man's description to the one Wheeler described to him, and recognizes the man to be "Hood".
Sam and Tob vs. The Hood
Sam thanks Hood for saving them, but Hood summons a large flaming green lance and levels it to his head. Hood asks Sam why he is soul linked to Sentry, and asks what he did to Jason. Sam tries to reason that Jason passed his soul-link creature to him, but stumbles on his words. Sam grumbles and complains about his curse, and Hood interprets Sam's explanation to be a trick. Sam and Hood engage in a fight.
Hood launches several projectiles that Sam dodges. Sam launches a powerful Iai chop which sends Hood flying into a nearby building. Hood wreaths himself in green flames and flies upwards, but Sam reaches there faster, and sends Hood into another building with a flaming axe kick. Landing on the ground, Sam launches several blasts of black flame in Hood's direction. Hood, now weakened from the flames is sent airborne by Tob, who fires a shot of dark energy at his chest. Hood, enraged by the fact that Tob also possessed Sentry's power, powers up, gaining a flaming green and yellow aura. Summoning hundreds of swords, Hood attempts to kill the trio before the girl screams. The sonic wave knocks Hood unconscious, and the three retreat to Wheeler's gym.
Sam looks back and sees Hood's wounds glowing with the same green ethereal flame, closing fast. Tob insists to carry the girl, and introduces themselves to her. The girl introduces herself as Reya, 20 years of age. She was arrested for resisting the Militia officers and refusing to hand over her younger brother to the Militia. Upon realizing her brother didn't have the soul link, the officers killed him in cold blood for wasting their time. An enraged Reya attempted to attack the officers, but was subdued and sentenced to death for attempted assault on New Militia personnel.
Jason is captured
Sam and Tob return to Wheeler's Gym with Reya. Tob explains to the rest of Darkstar that Reya was sentenced to death and decided to bring her here. She did not have a family and needed a place to stay. Jason is against this, but Amana welcomes Reya in and tends to her wounds. Jason confronts Sam and Tob for their behaviour but Tob retaliates that it would have been better than letting a girl die. Jason asks more about Hood and suspects that he may be Lazarus in disguise. Jason decides to go to the border and seek out Hood. Amana, understanding Jason's predicament offers to watch over the team while he is away.
Sam trains in Wheeler's gym and catches the eye of the old mentor. Ferris critiques Sam's form and asks if Jason trained him, which Sam confirms. Ferris decides to train Sam himself. After the workout, Ferris talks to Sam about Jason back when he was around the same physical build. Sam is surprised at Jason's old, simple and lighthearted personality. Upon asking about Ferris' powers, Ferris explains that he is capable of Earth magic, the security around the gym is reinforced by stone golems and seekers. Sam asks Ferris if he ever though about joining the resistance, but Ferris is distracted by a client.
Returning to the hideout, Sam catches Tob attempting to make awkward conversation with Reya.
As the sun goes down, Amana begins to worry about Jason. She decides to go to the border to look for him, and commands Trill to look over the team. Sam volunteers to look for Jason alongside Amana, and the two head out to the border.
Sam and Amana reach the border but Jason is nowhere to be found. A few militia guards populate the region, and Amana attempts to disguise herself as a member of the militia using her infernal abilities. Amana convinces the guards that she is a militia soldier and manages to extract information on Jason's whereabouts. Sam and Amana learn that Jason and Hood had a fight, which was detected by several militia officers on patrol. The two were taken into custody in the Royal Capita.
On the way back to the hideout, Amana devises a plan to rescue Jason from the Capita.
Sam, Amana, Tob, and Trill sneak into the Capita to rescue Jason. Realizing that the fortress was heavily guarded, Amana tasks Tob and Trill to distract the enemies, and has Ferris send in modified stone golems to cause a diversion.
Sam and Amana sneak into the Capita's fortress and bypasses the security to the cells. A prisoner informs Amana that the one she seeks is in the Capita throne room. Jason was apparently summoned by Calliope Ariandal herself, and was one of the two prisoners who were escorted.
The two reach the throne room. Sam witnesses a barely conscious and heavily injured Jason on the ground pinned down by a beautiful woman of around the same age. Sam recognizes her as Calliope from Jason's stories. Sam also sees the Hood unmasked, who is also injured and pleading for Calliope to stop. Amana hopes the diversion by Tob and Trill is enough to distract Calliope, but she is too engrossed with Jason and Hood. Calliope threatens to kill Amana and Darkstar, causing Jason to power up to his max. To Sam's shock and horror, Calliope matches his mentor's strikes blow for blow with minimal effort, and continues to pummel the former mage. Hood attempts to shake off his restraints, but is electrocuted by one of the guards.
Unable to stand it, Sam breaks cover and fires a huge blast of flame in Calliope's direction. Everyone in the throne room is shocked, and Amana uses this chance to grab Jason, Sam and Hood with her tail. The blast Sam caused created a massive crater in the wall, allowing the three to escape the room. Sam forms a black wall of fire to gain distance from the guards, but Calliope, unharmed by Sam's attack, instantly disintegrates it with a flick of her hand.
The team regroups with the rest of Darkstar at the Capita courtyard, pursued by officers of the Capita when they suddenly stop. Confused, Amana orders the team to continue their escape but are suddenly interfered by Calliope herself. Taking an interest in Sam's power, Calliope deduces that he is the new holder of Sentry. Calliope tells Sam that his soul creature is powerful due to its origins, confusing Sam, and tells him to join her in her mission to take over the neighbouring countries. Sam calls her delusional for thinking he would join her after what he did to his mentor, which Calliope responds that his consent was not a factor, as the Corruption will force his allegiance. Sam jumps from the van, against Amana's protests and faces Calliope. Telling her he will join her over his dead body, Calliope tells him that such an arrangement can easily be made. Sam recklessly engages Calliope.
Sam powers up to his max, manifesting Sentry's armor on his left arm and shrouds his body in black flame. Calliope laughs and beckons the boy forward. Sam shoots forward with unbelievable speed past Calliope and unleashes an Iai chop. The attack causes mass destruction. As the black inferno recedes, Sam realizes he missed. Calliope appears behind him, which Sam retaliates with a powerful open handed strike. The torrent of black flame disintegrates a portion of the prison. Calliope easily dodges Sam's attack again, Amana is shocked at her reflexes and speed, realizing that despite using the flames for propulsion and Sentry's technique, Sam is completely outmatched in technique and speed. Amana, Trill and Tob join in the fight, unleashing their attacks alongside Sam. However, Calliope dodges all of them, revealing she hasn't been using her powers at all. Calliope manifests a glowing wing, and swipes at Sam. The resulting wind pressure smashes Sam into the side of a building, unable to continue fighting. Calliope lets Darkstar go, to Amana's surprise, telling the team that their power is too insignificant for her to worry about. Ariandal calls Jason a disappointment, and tells Hood and Sam that when they gotten strong enough, she will force them to join her ranks.
Hood reveals himself as Lazarus and puts the van under a stealth spell. Ferris' golem drives the van back to the hideout as Sam loses consciousness.
Darkstar Training Arc
Sam regains consciousness and joins Darkstar in a team meeting where Lazarus fills in Jason on his situation. After his expulsion, Lazarus travelled to Millennium City, America, a foreign country from Croft to search for a way to draw out more of his soul creature's power. There, he managed to enrol in Ravenswood Academy, and became a hero there, working alongside Millennium City's Champions to protect the nation. Lazarus worked in Millennium City, occasionally using their technology to teleport to Croft and visit a comatose Calliope. However, on his way to visit Calliope, he was ambushed by her father, Marcus Ariandal. Upon reawakening, Calliope had been corrupted by the Corruption, and took over the Militia alongside her father and his followers. Lazarus attempted to escape but not before being caught by Calliope. Since then, Millennium City was consistently being invaded by Calliope's minions in an attempt to take it over.
After a few years, Lazarus became strong enough to return to Croft and worked under the alias "Hood" as a vigilante.
Lazarus tells the members of Darkstar that they are nowhere near strong enough to be a threat to Calliope. Lazarus explains that the New Militia is currently not at its full potential, as the leader, Marcus Ariandal, has yet to return from his journeys. Darkstar will have a year to become strong enough to reattempt their raid. Jason, Sam and Amana decide to travel to Decen's universe to discover more about the Paladin's past, in hopes of giving Jason a compensation for his lost power, as well as possibly understanding Sentry a bit more. Trill, Tob, Ferris, and Reya decide to stay in Croft, and continue their stealth missions to increase the effect of the resistance and spread the word. Lazarus decides to join Jason's team, but Jason tells Lazarus to look after Tob and the others, making him second in command and temporary leader of Darkstar.
Trill creates a dimensional portal using his Avatar powers and Sam's team enter through to Decen's world.
Sam, Amana, and Jason emerge into Jason's universe in his home city, New Richmond. Sam describes the world as apocalyptic cyberpunk in appearance, which Jason explains that in this world, technological advances and supernatural abilities ruled society. One day, a government project was leaked, into the poor sectors. The homeless and gangsters gained powers, and with these abilities, they took control over law enforcement. Over time, the world became anarchy, ruled by crime.
The three take lodging in Jason's apartment. Amana cringes at the dirty and poorly maintained living space, causing Jason to laugh.
The team head out the following morning to a location that Jason believes contains information on Decen's past. However, on the way, they encounter a group being attacked by three gangsters. Jason rescues the group while Sam and Amana dispose of the gangsters. Jason recognizes one of the members. One of the group members introduces herself as Ally, and the last member, a skinny man with long hair, introduces himself as John Crypt.
Sam and Amana look at the real John, but he silences the two. Jason approaches "John" and the girl he recognized. Jason's face is still concealed by his mask, alongside his musculature, causing him to be unrecognizable to the group member he knew. Jason asks the trio what they are doing in such a dangerous part of town. "John" tells the team that they were seeking refuge due to their college being attacked by the Automatons, a race of machines who managed to invade their world. John reveals that he was captured by the Automatons and experimented on, turning him into a cyborg. He was rescued by Junon, the person Jason knew, and they had been on the run ever since.
Skeptical, Jason asks John if he knows anything about Decen, which John reaffirms, stating he was a remnant of the Paladin, surprising the team by his accuracy. Before Jason can ask any more questions, they are suddenly ambushed by an automaton. Amana destroys the machine. Amazed at her power, John, Junon, and Ally ask Amana if she could help rescue Junon's friends, who are held prisoner at the Automaton core. Jason strikes a deal with John, stating that they will help them in exchange for helping them investigate Decen's past.
The squad heads out to Kyoto, where the core resides, and settles in a makeshift camp. Amana falls asleep on Jason's shoulder, and Junon falls asleep on John's. Seeing Jason's troubled expression upon seeing this, Sam asks his mentor what Junon was to him.
Jason tells Sam that Junon was a classmate of his, while he was still a college student. A stellar and upbeat student, Jason had a crush on her, but due to his serious attitude, skinny build, and anger issues, she found him uncomfortable. Junon was an athlete in the college, which inspired Jason to work out and become strong. Junon had ghosted Jason, believing him to be a creep, and even blocked him.
Jason became determined to grow big and strong and return to her, a changed man. However, after all these years, Jason finally reached his goal, but is unable to see her face to face despite being right in front of her. Junon was in love with this version of John Crypt, not the real one, who had changed, not just physically, but also mentally. Sam is unsure what to say. Jason tells Sam to address him as his codename "Jason" for the rest of the operation for Junon's sake, which Sam obliges.
The following morning, Jason and the trio formally introduce each other. Jason introduces himself as Jason of Croft, and introduces Sam as Blackflame of Croft. Junon asks if Jason and Sam are fighters, which Amana responds that Jason is a much more experienced fighter than her, and Sam is the most powerful of the team. Junon, impressed, tells the team that John had been fending off the automatons, being part machine, but his power was insufficient in dealing with the sheer numbers of automatons at the core.
Automaton Elimination Op
The group reach the core, where Junon begins to explain the intricacies of the base. Amana, Jason, and John infiltrate the base and rescue the hostages without being caught. Junon, Ally, and Sam are left waiting outside. Sam awkwardly fidgets as the two girls engage in casual conversation.
Upon rescuing the hostages, Junon and Amana begin to devise a plan on destroying the core. Junon tells the team that the core is essentially one giant automaton, like a mothership, and commands all automatons. Due to its role, the core is extremely powerful, the most powerful automaton in existence. Junon stresses that the team must be careful upon engaging. However, before she can finish her sentence, Sam recklessly engages the core, destroying it in a single blast of black fire. Junon, Ally, and John stare at Sam, who had singlehandedly destroyed the main source of their doomsday in one blow. Jason and Amana are unsurprised, and tells Sam to finish off the automaton. However, the automaton escapes and Sam is comically unable to track it down.
Jason locates the runaway automaton, heavily damaged from Sam's previous attack. John attempts to engage the damaged core, but is still completely outmatched. The core sends John flying sustaining heavy damage. About to finish off the cyborg, Jason powers up to x200 and intervenes, and smashing the core into bits with a single downward punch. Junon, Ally, and John are shocked at the sheer power of the team.
The following afternoon, Junon and Ally attempts to repair John to the best of her ability. Junon tells Jason that this is common as John acts as the guardian of the trio, but constantly injures himself in doing so. Amana jokes that Jason does the same thing, much to his annoyance.
The squad make their way back to Jason/John's apartment, where they stay for the night. Sam compares John to Jason, unable to believe that the scrawny boy was the same person as his mentor. Junon goes to the kitchen to prepare something for the "guests", and Jason volunteers to help.
John asks Sam and Amana how they got so powerful, which Sam is unable to answer. Amana tells John that they are from another universe, and are on a confidential mission so many details cannot be disclosed. John asks Sam why he's always looking at him, and Sam apologizes, stating that he reminded him of someone he knew. Ally offers to give Amana some fashion tips, but Amana politely refuses to change out of her aviator jacket as it was a gift from Jason.
The following morning, John tells Jason that the best way to learn more about Decen is to see his Guardian: Merrow. Sam's vision suddenly blurs, remembering the green haired girl in his fight against Trill. Sam asks John where they can find her, but John does not know. John recommends Darkstar see Decen's old friend: Kyrael of the Inquisition, who was located in Corinth, a neighbouring country. Amana asks John if there is a way to reach the country, but John replies that it is impossible, that to be able to reach Corinth, they will need to get past its magical illusion. Sam asks John if Sentry's Hunter Eye is enough, which John confirms. John asks how Sam knows about Sentry, and Sam reveals that he is soul linked to the creature, to John's surprise. John asks Sam how he knows Decen's familiar, but Amana changes the subject. John asks if Sam is able to manifest the eye, but Sam says he is unable to. Jason has an idea, and asks if they can find another one of Decen's mage friend: Connor Hark, The Paladin of Sorcery. John asks how Jason knows about Hark. Jason replies that he knew who he was as he was a resident in this universe for some time before switching universes. John warns that Hark has since retired from magic and is located in Edmonton. The crime rate in Edmonton is absurd, much worse than New Richmond, but still contains law enforcement. Amana, Sam, and Jason decide to head to Edmonton. John, Ally, and Junon volunteer to go, as gratitude for their help with the Automatons.
Journey to Edmonton
While on their travels, the group is attacked by several bandits. John tells the group he will deal with the attackers, but quickly realizes that the attackers are meta in nature. John is damaged after being hit by an energy blast from one of the bandits, and Junon is kidnapped. John, Jason, and Sam pursue the attackers, while Amana protects Ally from the rest of the bandits.
John fights off the bandits in a close fight, while Jason completely overpowers his enemies. Junon is saved by Sam. Sam goes to engage the energy-type meta but a sudden episode causes him to lose focus and is incapacitated. John attempts to shield Junon but the energy blasts damage him even further. John desperately attempts to absorb all the attacks from the meta, when suddenly the meta is shot down by Jason's handgun. Jason continuously blasts the meta with dark energy until he falls to his knees. Junon tells Jason that the meta stole one of her belongings, and had it passed to another bandit who is currently fleeing. Jason grabs the meta and unleashes Sentry's residual power to interrogate him with hallucinations of Sentry's demonic form, which succeeds, but causes the same visions as well as Jason's memories to leak out through waves of darkness, hitting both Sam and John. John sees Jason's memories and his expression becomes shocked. Sam realizes that John has discovered Jason's identity as the real John Crypt.
Jason tells Sam to wait with Junon and John while he pursues the bandit. John tells Sam that he knows Jason is the real John Crypt. Sam asks John why he stole his mentor's identity, but the fake John says that the memories he possesses as John Crypt are genuine. The fake John however, also states that his memories are somewhat fragmented, and occasionally contradict each other. Sam tells John to keep this a secret from Junon as she still sees him as the real John Crypt. Jason returns Junon's belongings and she thanks him, but is taken aback when Jason accidentally calls her June.
The group reunites and continue their journey. They still at a motel for the night, where Sam overhears Junon talking to John about Jason. She tells John that Jason somehow knows about her nickname, June, which she only shared to her cohort in college, but later dropped following the Automaton invasion due to the trauma of seeing her classmates slaughtered. John tells Junon not to worry about it, but Junon is troubled and tells John that Jason scares her due to his threatening build, demonic power, and brutal way of defeating his opponents, she does not know what to think about the man. Sam decides not to tell Jason about the conversation.
The group arrives to Edmonton, where John leads the group to a bar where Hark works. While waiting for Hark to appear, the group waits at a table. Upon seeing Hark, John asks if he could take some time in helping them out with something. Hark tells the group to wait outside until he is finished his shift.
The group meets with Hark in an alleyway, and John asks Hark if he is willing to help them reach Corinth. Hark tells John that he is retired and refuses. John continues to insist, stating that he is Decen's remnant, but Hark angrily dismisses John, telling him he wants no part of Decen. Jason asks Hark what he has against the Paladin, which angers Hark, who accuses Decen for being a traitor to the Paladins. Sensing an escalation, Amana tells Jason to cool down before a fight breaks out. Hark suddenly casts a magic negation spell, immobilizing all but John. Hark declares that he will eliminate anybody affiliated with The Paladin of War. John engages Hark while the others attempt to fight off the restraints.
John is immune to Hark's spells being half machine, and gains the upper hand. However, Hark begins to use more physical spells and begins to overpower the cyborg. A stray blast from one of Hark's spells pierces through Junon's restraints, and she attempts to intervene and stop the fight. Junon is knocked down by Hark, enraging Jason, who uses a Kaiju Boost to break his restraints with brute force. Jason brutalizes Hark with pure melee. Amana and Sam struggle against the restraints, Amana yelling at Jason to stop. Jason tackles Hark through a wall, pressuring him so he is unable to cast a spell. Hark finds himself completely outmatched in physical strength and retreats, swearing to destroy Jason and his friends. Jason checks on Junon, but she is terrified by Jason's violent outburst and runs to John. Jason looks at the couple. Amana puts her arms around Jason to comfort him, while Sam is left confused and perplexed as to what Decen could have done that had marked him as a traitor.
Jason decides its time to start training Sam in his soul link abilities, particularly in manifesting the Hunter's Eye. The group returns to New Richmond.
During a training session, Amana's necklace glows a familiar ethereal green. The necklace creates a hologram of Lazarus, who managed to find a way to communicate with the team with a communication spell mixed with Trill's Avatar dimensional magic. Jason and Lazarus exchange notes.
Lazarus updates the team with Darkstar's situation. Ferris and Trill decided to team up and continue their stealth operations on the New Militia in an attempt to spread the word of the resistance to the people. Lazarus, Tob, and Reya returned to Millenium City, to allow Tob and Reya to develop their abilities. Lazarus discovered that Reya was a meta, her abilities mainly sound and force based, so training would have to be done differently. Lazarus decided to bring her to Sapphire for training due to her powers being similar. Tob followed the tutelage of Robert Caliburn to better incorporate the dark magic Jason gave his gun with his marksmanship. After a few weeks, the team were called to help Griz from Multifaria, following Harmon's request. There they met Multifarian Dennis Wagner, who has been helping them out ever since. Wagner suddenly sticks his head into the call, fanboying over Jason and Amana. Wagner begins going on about how it was a privilege to meet Darkstar's leader couple, and continues to talk about the members of the team, revealing that he had been flirting with Reya. Wagner suddenly disappears from the call and argues with Tob in the background as Lazarus returns to the hologram. Lazarus tells Jason that Dennis is good of heart, and his powerful force abilities have helped Reya improve, and will be a great addition to Darkstar. Sam jokingly tells Lazarus that Tob probably doesn't feel the same. Right on queue, Tob and Dennis engage in a fight, with Reya trying to stop the two. A homeless man appears in the background and appears to freestyle while a giant robot emerges. Amana laughs and asks if Lazarus is having a fun time. Lazarus sighs and tells the team that he will check in once in a while and wishes the team the best in their journey to getting stronger. The call ends with the homeless man offering Lazarus a cigarette.
Sam continues to train with Jason and Amana. Junon begins to start suspecting Jason's identity as she observes John acting strangely around Jason.
A week later, Sam begins to start manifesting a small scale version of Sentry's Hunter Eye, capable of seeing past magical illusions. Amana suggests waiting a little longer for Sam to continue developing his new ability, but Jason tells the team that there is no time.
The group travels to Corinth, where Sam activates his Hunter Eye, and clears the illusion. Sam is amazed at the beautiful and nature filled environment. Sam notices some of the inhabitants of the country to have weird facial features. John explains that the people in Corinth are of various races, from elven, to human to dwarf, to orc. The leader of the inquisition, Kyrael Prima, a powerful military base tasked to watch over the land and keep peace, is also of elven descent; and was a long time close friend to Decen.
John introduces himself to the officers of the inquisition, requesting a conference with Kyrael. The inquisition identifies the group as foreign and takes everyone into custody. Jason hand itches to his gun, but Amana stops him, telling him to cool down and go with it.
While locked up, Jason becomes impatient and considers breaking out. Amana once again calms Jason down. Sam asks Jason if he remembers Kyrael, but Jason explains that the Corruption in his body caused a portion of Decen's memories to be wiped out. Amana hears this and asks Jason what he means by the Corruption. Jason confesses that his body had been infected by the Corruption, but due to being a remnant, the two forces were constantly in conflict, slowly killing him. Amana, in disbelief that Jason had kept this knowledge from her, is devastated, asking why Jason didn't tell her sooner. Jason tells her that he didn't want to burden her with the knowledge. Amana briefly becomes angry at Jason, but forgives him, promising him she will do everything in her power to find a cure. Jason appreciates the gesture but is doubtful. He nonetheless apologizes to Amana for keeping something so important from her, and the two make up.
Their moment is interrupted when several guards enter the cell, waking up John, Junon, and Ally. Kyrael herself enters the cell too and profusely apologizes for treating a remnant of Decen with such disrespect. To Junon and Ally's surprise, Kyrael was referring to Jason. Sam remarks on the awkwardness of the situation, but quickly stops himself upon seeing Amana's glare.
Kyrael takes the group around the Fortress. She explains to Ally and Junon that the Fortress is the headquarters for the inquisition, as well as home for many of the residents of Corinth, in a sort of village. Junon tells Kyrael that John is a remnant of Decen, but Kyrael tells her that she is false, as she is able to recognize a remnant of her late friend. John is not a remnant of Decen. Jason is. Junon and Ally are confused, so Kyrael takes the group to Rollo, the inquisition seer, to clear the whole thing up.
Rollo confirms that Jason is the real remnant of Decen, and John is not. Rollo also reveals Jason's identity as the real John Crypt, causing Jason to swear under his breath, and the John Crypt that stands before them is actually a human named Adam Blair. Rollo discovers that Blair had his memory wiped, most likely due to the experiments from the Automaton, and the memories of John Crypt were implanted into Blair during the procedure. Contradictions that Blair experienced were due to the remnants of Adam's memory conflicting with John's memory. Junon stares at Jason, who is at a loss for words, and runs out of the room in tears. Ally glares at Adam, and goes to find Junon. Adam asks Rollo if it's possible to restore his old memories, but Rollo tells him that it is beyond his power. The group leaves, and Kyrael thanks Rollo for his time. Kyrael asks if he can have a moment with Jason alone. Amana, Sam and Adam are left to explore the Fortress.
Adam breaks down and becomes depressed. Amana reassures him that it isn't his fault for being forced into this, but Adam blames himself for unintentionally manipulating Junon's feelings. Sam is unable to deal with the drama and decides to check out the barracks. Amana tells Sam to return to the library by sunset.
Sam meets the special dragon slaying taskforce, led by Steel, a powerfully built Orc mercenary and friend of Kyrael. Sam offers to be Steel's sparring partner, impressing the Orc with his technique. Steel asks Sam if he's new around here, which Sam replies he is. Sam asks Steel if it's weird being a friend of a leader. Steel tells Sam that Kyrael became leader not because of strength, but because she was family to everyone here. Sam joins Steel and his taskforce at the bar. Steel tells Sam he is always welcome to join them on a dragon bounty any time.
Sam returns to the library and meets up with the group and Kyrael. Ally tells the group that Junon had run away from the Fortress and is nowhere to be found. Kyrael tells Ally that out there Junon would be killed by the hostile environment of Corinth, from its darkspawn to its bandits, to the creatures. Kyrael orders a searching party to locate Junon. Jason tells Sam to use Hunter's Eye to locate her, but Sam can't manifest it enough to search for a person. Kyrael offers Sam advice from something Decen once told her: the power works best when he focuses on a memory he has with the target. Sam is unable to conjure up any memories of Junon, so he thinks back on the time he awkwardly stood on a hill while Junon and Ally talked about boys for half an hour. Sam locates Junon being pursued by several creatures and a dragon. Kyrael sends a search party out. It's revealed that due to the dragon, Steel has also been recruited into the party. Steel gives Sam a high five, causing Kyrael to raise an eyebrow. The party heads out.
Junon Rescue Arc
As the search party travels around the outskirts of Corinth, Sam exhausts his ability to use Hunter's Eye. Predicting this would happen, Kyrael tasks her search team to take over. The search leads to a cave complex overrun by monsters. Steel's team, Sam, and Amana engage the group, but as more monsters are eliminated, more take their place. Steel discovers that Junon had run into the lair of Plyth, the Serpent King. Jason, Amana, and Sam enter the cave, Kyrael and Steel's team attempt to hold off Plyth's spawn.
Sam, Amana, and Jason traverse the cave but the endless loop becomes unbearable. Jason suddenly collapses in pain. His infection began acting up again. Amana tends to Jason, and tells Sam to find Junon for them. During the search, Sam had replenished enough stamina to use Hunter's Eye again, and flies to Junon's location as fast as he can before Hunter's Eye deactivates.
Sam finds Junon curled up behind a rock formation, clearly still distraught from the reveal. Junon sees a silhouette of Sam, thinking it is Jason, tells him to leave her to die. Sam tells Junon to return to the Fortress, and that even if Adam is not the man she thought he was, he was still the man she fell in love with. Sam tells Junon that Adam is worried sick and is fighting off the horde as they speak. Junon slowly emerges but is grabbed by a creature and pulled into the darkness. Sam grabs Junon and pulls her out of the creature's grasp, but is smacked by its tail. The two land on the ground. Junon is petrified as the two come face to face with Plyth himself.
Plyth examines his prey and attempts to eat the two. Sam launches a powerful blast of flame but realizes that Plyth is covered in fire-proof dragon scales. Sam continues to fight the monster, evading its attacks but realizes that his powers are not posing much threat to the beast. A lucky shot from Plyth sends Sam flying into a wall. Bloodied and injured, Sam puts himself between Junon and the monster, declaring that he won't fall. Junon tells Sam to leave her and asks why he is risking his life for some one he barely knows. Sam tells Junon that she is right, he doesn't know her, but it doesn't change the fact that she has a man who loves her waiting for her to return safe and sound. Sam tells Junon that Jason didn't want to tell her about his identity because he saw that she was already in love. He didn't want to break her heart by telling her. In the end, Jason cared for Junon just as much as Adam did. Sam tells Junon to run as he gives his all against Plyth.
Sam shoots into the air, outmaneuvering the monster's tail swipes and firing blasts of flame, and striking the monster with powerful punches, strikes, and chops, all of which is ineffective. Plyth tells Sam that his efforts are futile, revealing that his power affinity: melee and fire, are useless against his defences, even if they are abyssal in nature.
Sam eventually tires out and is beaten to the ground. Unable to get up, Sam's fiery aura dissipates. Plyth announces that he will eat him first, then the girl. Junon suddenly appears behind the monster and strikes it with a piece of rock. Sam yells as Plyth swipes his tail and sends Junon into a stone formation, where she is impaled by a sharp rock. Something in Sam snaps, and his stamina, strength, and power are replenished. Sam shoots forward with faster speed than before and rescues Junon, who is bleeding out fast. Junon stares at Sam and asks if he is an angel. Sam asks if Junon is going crazy, but she tells him to look at his reflection. Sam realizes he has evolved. His usual brown hair, grown out, spiky, and white as snow. Sam's normal black and blue flame is replaced with a stronger, black and white flame, sparking with white electricity. Plyth launches forward with blinding speed, but Sam's reflexes take over. Sam launches a burst of white and black flame, which disintegrates half of Plyth's body, to his disbelief. Sam launches forward with overwhelming speed. Plyth, unable to keep up with Sam's new speed, unleashes a barrage of tail swipes. Sam evades them all and launches a powerful chop at Plyth's neck, severing it.
Sam returns to Junon and tells her he is going to get out of here. Junon is in critical condition and is losing consciousness. However, Plyth gets back up, regenerating his head and his body. Sam did not finish the fight and Plyth attempts to kill the both of them. Sam tries summoning the white form again but collapses, realizing the form used up all his power. Before Plyth can make a move, he is shot down by several blasts of dark energy. Jason suddenly appears behind Plyth and cuts the monster in two with Kronus. The monster is launched in the air with familiar green blades and is disintegrated by a combined powerful shockwave and force cascade. Sam turns around and sees all of Darkstar, even Reya, minus Ferris and Trill. Jason tells Sam he did a good job, and takes over. Lazarus puts his hand on Junon, and begins healing her. Sam welcomes Reya to Darkstar, who smiles. Tob calls Sam a dumbass for getting beat up over some dumb snake.
Jason takes on Plyth, putting up a better fight. Plyth realizing that he is not immune to Jason's dark powers, is overwhelmed. Plyth, running out of options, grabs Ally and Adam, and threatens to kill them if Jason makes a move. Jason puts Kronus and his gun down, and tells everyone to drop their weapons. Adam tells Junon he is sorry for everything. Plyth smiles, and kills his hostages before escaping. Everyone is shocked, until Tob fires his new spell from his weapon, a beam that he had been charging in secret while everybody was disarmed, and lobotomizes Plyth.
Junon runs to a dying Adam, who tells her to be strong. Junon forgives Adam for everything, and Adam dies smiling. Jason embraces Junon as she breaks down in his arms. After the party leaves, Jason decides to care for Junon for the time being.
Sam asks Lazarus how they managed to get to Corinth. It is revealed that Amana sent a distress signal to Lazarus's team through her necklace. Lazarus' team teleported to their universe, pinpointing the signal. Lazarus tells Jason that he has a few days but must return to Multifaria soon to help the resistance.
The next day, Jason volunteers to join Lazarus's team in defeating Harmon. Wagner fanboys over Sam and Amana. Junon is asked by Jason if she wishes to stay with Kyrael, Junon asks Jason why he is still helping her after everything she did to him. Jason tells her that he forgives Junon and that if no one was given a second chance, they wouldn't be here in the first place. Junon shivers and Jason puts his jacket over her shoulders, causing her to blush. Junon insists on joining Jason on his mission. Jason eventually agrees, but tells Junon to stay close to him to be safe, promising to protect her from harm. Kyrael gives Sam and Jason a book, telling them that she finally found it after days of searching. Jason recognizes the book to be Merrow's diary. Kyrael tells the two that she had known Decen for years, and by extension, his guardian. Kyrael apologizes for not being much help, but is thanked by the team. Kyrael bids Darkstar farewell, and tells Jason and Amana that the inquisition will stand by their side when the time comes.
Sam is satisfied with his training results, having unlocked Sentry's Hunter Eye, improved his technique, and unlocked a new form. Sam joined Lazarus, Tob, Reya, Dennis, Amana, Jason, and Junon at the portal, and enters Multifaria.
Lazarus emerges from the portal, alongside Sam, Jason, Amana, Tob, Reya, Dennis, and Junon. Lazarus introduces the members to Griz, the commander of the resistance. Wright explains the situation to the team. Having already completed most of the objectives, their current mission is to rescue the "Old Man". Sam and the team go undercover into the Multifarian prison. The team splits into several groups to incite riots. Due to most of the members of Darkstar reunited, the team completes the objectives quickly.
Lazarus and Darkstar then face Arcana, the prison Warden. Lazarus recognizes Arcana as the Multifarian equivalent of Witchcraft. Arcana recognizes Lazarus and Jason as fellow mages. Arcana offers to spare the two in return for their allegiance. Jason steps forward with gun in hand but Wright stops him. Lazarus attempts to reason with Arcana, mage to mage, to let them go and stop the Shadow Destroyer. Arcana refuses, telling them that she is loyal to the Shadow Destroyer, and releasing the Old Man is not an option.
Sam and Tob snickers in the background. Junon tells the boys to shut up and asks what's so funny. Sam describes Arcana as a poor man's version of Calliope Ariandal, unable to soul link, but crazy as a bat for asking the likes of Lazarus and Jason to join her ranks. Junon stares at Jason, who whispers back that when Sam and Tob are together, they are impossible to shut up. Dennis asks Reya if she is down to check out Multifaria's burger joint, but Reya blows him off. Amana tells everybody to be quiet but it is too late. Arcana overhears the conversation and becomes furious at Darkstar for taking the situation lightly. Charging an Eldritch Blast, Arcana prepares to fight the team but is stopped by Lazarus. Lazarus fights Arcana one on one, and orders the rest of Darkstar to work on freeing the Old Man.
Junon and Jason attempt to free the Old Man from the confinement with the team providing her cover. They are suddenly attacked by Arcana's Horrors, but Reya and Amana easily eliminate the threat. Lazarus activates more of Goatman's power and forces Arcana out of her rift. The two continue their fight.
Junon figures out the confines and deduces out how to deactivate the containment field. Right on queue, Arcana falls to the floor and is defeated by Lazarus. The team frees the Old Man, who dons his armor and is revealed to be Albert Zerstoiten, a.k.a. Doctor Destroyer. Destroyer confronts Lazarus, telling him that he has no choice but to accept his help and defeat Citizen Harmon. Sam asks Destroyer if his name is really Albert, and Tob coins the nickname Al the Destroyer. The two laugh like idiots, causing Junon and Amana to roll their eyes. Destroyer ignores the boys and destroys a hole in the prison. Lazarus and Destroyer hold a temporary truce and emerge from the prison.
Destroyer faces Harmon, while the reprogrammed Destroids battle Harmon's police force. The team attempt to board the Mega Destroids when Jason suddenly collapses from his infection. The Corruption becomes worse, and emits black lightning from Jason, destroying the Mega Destroids. Amana tries to calm Jason down, but the Corruption causes Jason to roar in pain. Harmon hears this and subdues the mage, using his Corruption to amplify the Dimensional Anchors. Four Shadow Colossus emerge at the same time. Lazarus deduces that to weaken Harmon, they must destroy the Dimensional Anchors.
The team takes on the Anchors. Sam fights the Shadow Colossus while the ranged fighters work to destroy the Anchor. Lazarus assists Destroyer in distracting Harmon. Amana fights the police forces and holds them off while the team works to take out the Anchor. Junon is petrified and is unsure of what to do, being the only unpowered member of the group, but a weakened Jason tells her to be strong. Jason gives Junon Kronus, and imbues the dagger with his dark energy residue. Junon tells Jason that she is scared. Jason, despite being weakened, manages to get on his feet and tells her there is nothing to worry about because he will protect her. The two join Amana in holding off the police forces.
Sam zips around in his darkfire state, landing several punishing blasts of black fire on the Colossus. Destroyer, impressed by Sam's power asks Lazarus how he knows him. Lazarus responds that he fought Sam in a neighboring country and lost. The team manages to destroy all the anchors, and Sam finishes off the remaining Colossus with a powerful Kesi Giri style chop.
With the anchors gone, Harmon draws upon more power from his portal. Powering up even further, Harmon begins to overpower Lazarus and Destroyer. Darkstar joins in and manages to turn the tide, until Harmon summons the Qlipothic Endbringer. Sam takes on the Endbringer while the team focuses on Harmon. Defeating the Endbringer, Sam joins the team in stopping Harmon. Suddenly, Harmon gestures Jason, who's body becomes surged with the same Corruption lightning. Harmon absorbs the Corruption, curing Jason, but merges with the Endbringer, blowing away Destroyer and Darkstar.
The newly formed "Shadow Endbringer" declares to be the ultimate being. The sheer power of the Endbringer, amplified by the Corruption, possessing the sentience and intellect of Shadow Destroyer. The Shadow Endbringer suddenly closes in with blinding speed, faster than even Sam can register, and punches Destroyer out of the city. The monster then turns to Darkstar. The members all power up, ready to face the monster. Sam charges the monster but is outclassed in power and speed. The monster outclasses every member of Darkstar but is unable to put any of them down due to Lazarus' healing. The two factions make distance and face off. Amana realizes that the monster has become so strong that it's too powerful for Sam to handle. Suddenly, the monster grabs Lazarus by the face, and flies him high into the sky. Sam flies to meet the monster but the Endbringer knocks the boy back onto the ground. The Shadow Endbringer drags Lazarus by the face through several buildings, and throws his unconscious body into the ground, incapacitating him. Harmon launches a wave of Qlipothic energy. Amana shields Tob and Sam, while Jason shields Junon but the shock knocks her unconscious. All the members of Darkstar, save Sam and Tob, are defeated. Harmon beckons the boys forward, telling them they face the ultimate lifeform.
Sam asks Tob if he is ready to go all out, no holding back and no reserving any more power. Tob reveals his new abilities during his time training with Caliburn and enchants his boots and weapons, giving him a orange glow with runes. Sam reaches deep inside himself and powers up to his new form, which he dubs the "Silver Sage". An enchanted Tob and Silver Sage Sam charge the Shadow Endbringer.
While still outclassed and unable to deal significant damage, the two manage to evade Harmon's attacks and knock the monster around with a coordinated series of melee strikes, bursts of fire, and shots of dark enchanted energy. The three battle into the air, traversing the entire Shadow Nexus and Multifaria. The two eventually are overwhelmed and sent back into the ground. Amana and Jason regain consciousness, and Amana has an idea. She tells the boys to continue distracting Harmon, telling Jason to come with her to the destroyed Destroids.
Sam and Tob continue their assault on Harmon, but Sam's Silver Sage form begins to fade. Harmon grabs Sam by the neck and begins strangling him until he is blown away by Destroyer. Destroyer joins Sam and Tob as they hold off Harmon, but the three are defeated by Harmon, who evolves even further. Suddenly, Harmon is flattened by a familiar red flaming fox tail. An amplified Amana takes the three back to the rest of the team, revealing that she used the core of the Destroids to power up her and Jason. Jason used his remaining dark energy to Kaiju Boost the core powers, causing a feedback reaction temporarily restoring his original power. Harmon shoots forward with the same blinding speed, but Jason catches Harmon's punch, to everyone's shock. Jason gives Sam a smile and tells him this is how to properly use Sentry's powers. Jason powers up to a Kaiju Boost x9000 and thanks Harmon for taking care of his team. Jason delivers a devastating Citybreaker Smash, sending Harmon through several buildings. Harmon shoots back but Amana swipes with an amplified fox tail, sending Harmon flying again. Jason activates a Kaiju Boost x25000, manifesting Sentry's armor, claws, and fangs. Sam stares at his mentor in amazement. Jason nods at Amana.
The Shadow Endbringer vs. The Black Jason
Amana grabs Jason with her tail and launches him at Harmon. Jason overwhelms Harmon and smashes him into a building. Harmon attempts to retaliate but is bombarded by a Citybreaker Full Gatling, destroying a portion of the Shadow Nexus. Sam asks Tob if he's able to do that, who tells Sam to shut up. Amana runs into the smoke and lands an uncountable number of blows before retreating. Jason charges up another punch, and sends several Shadow Specter Clones at Harmon, who is overwhelmed by a flurry of punches and kicks. Tob asks Sam if he can do that, and Sam tells him he didn't know that was even possible. Harmon manages to defeat the clones, but witnesses Jason charging his ultimate. Harmon tries to stop Jason but is interfered by Amana, who continues to evade and pummel the monster. Amana grabs Harmon and launches him at the portal. Harmon calls Amana a fool for allowing him to power up even more, but Amana tells Harmon to power up all he wants; no amount of power will prepare him for what is coming next. Jason suddenly appears in front of Harmon. Harmon is petrified by Jason's demonic aura, noting that this power is not Qlipothic in nature, but far worse. Jason delivers his ultimate: Kaiju Boost x 1 million Dimension breaker Smash. The sheer force of the punch disintegrates Harmon and completely cancels out the portal, nullifying it.
Destroyer and the others regroup with Sam Tob Amana and Jason. Destroyer mocks Harmon for his failures. Lazarus is brought back to the group, supported by Reya. Destroyer gives Lazarus a nod, and leaves Multifaria through a portal. The power of the core that amplified Amana and Jason depletes, and the two return to normal. Wagner goes up to the two and freaks out, telling them they were amazing. Sam and Tob asks Jason they will work even harder to reach his level, but Jason tells the boys to become strong their own way and not use his style as shackles. Jason complements on Reya and Tob for stepping up. Reya tells Jason he should thank Lazarus instead for restoring her confidence. Junon runs up to Jason and hugs him. Jason gives Amana a nervous smile. Clyde suddenly appears out of nowhere and calls the group badass, asking if he could stay at their place. Lazarus tells Jason and Amana he let Clyde come along for the time being until he finds a place. The people of Multifaria cheer on the resistance, and Griz appears, telling Lazarus that the people of Multifaria will remember the name of Darkstar.
Lazarus opens a portal to Wheeler's Gym, and the gang returns home.
Croft Solstice Festival
Ferris invites the team to the Croft Solstice Festival. Lazarus and Jason are surprised and asks how that's even possible given the influence of the New Militia. Ferris replies that during this day, Militia influence is relaxed as they celebrate the festival internally. As a result, members of the slums are free to host their own. Wagner jokes that maybe the Militia isn't so bad. Reya is hesitant to go, but Lazarus persuades her to come along.
Team Darkstar leaves to go to the festival. Sam comments how this is the first time he's gone to a festival, which Tob replies that is the saddest thing he ever heard. The two argue the entire way to the festival location. Ferris laughs at tells Jason he's got quite the group. Jason tells Ferris that this all wouldn't be possible if he hadn't helped him get into the Mage Academy. Sam notices Junon looking at Jason and Amana holding hands, disappointed. Sam, Trill, and Tob offers to help Junon find a date for the festival, which angers her, telling the boys to go away.
Wagner asks Ferris what the festival is about, and Ferris explains that the festival is a celebration of the day Croft became established. Created by an ancient mage and Paladin, Koloth, the Paladin of Prosperity and Health, the country flourished, leading to the Golden Age. Koloth's remnant, Koseka, became heir after his passing, and his children became heirs after that, leading to the Age of Light. The royal chain ended when Marcus Ariandal took control and killed Kreath, the Queen at the time, and ended the Age of Light, bringing in the current Age of Ash. Despite this, Marcus and The New Militia still respected Koloth, and hence why the festival still takes place.
Darkstar reaches the festival, and Sam is in awe at the decorations and fireworks. Trill tells Sam that it isn't uncommon that festivals occur at this scale, as some mages are tasked with organizing these special events; not all mages were bound to serve the Militia at the time.
The team decides to split up and enjoy the various places of the festival. Junon tries to follow Jason, but he locks arms with Amana and decides to see the decorations with her. Tob and Wagner have a wager to see who can win the most carnival games to win over Reya's approval. Dennis argues that they must have the same technique to make the competition fair, so Tob drags Ferris along, to serve as referee. A disappointed Junon decides to go to the bar, and Trill offers to come along. Clyde and Lazarus decide to check out the "Dart Joint", a party house that reeked of weed and cigarette smoke. Sam decides to steer clear from the two.
Sam walks around the event and notices a little girl crying in the corner. He approaches the girl but suddenly stumbles on a loose brick and falls face first in front of her. The girl lets out a small giggle but is still crying. Sam asks the girl what's wrong, and she replies that her family never comes to visit her ever since she died. Sam stares at the ghost. The girl introduces herself as Bridget and explains that she was cursed to die at a young age. Her family abandoned her, and since then whenever she met someone new, they would find her uncomfortable, either by the fact that she was a ghost, or the fact that she was cursed. Sam replies that he is also cursed, an ancestral curse of bad fortune. The girl asks if he could be her friend, which Sam asks how that is going to work as she is a ghost. Suddenly, a drunk mage appears from the bar. The mage grabs the girl with ethereal magic and tells her she would be worth enough money in a bid for more alcohol. Sam intervenes and knocks the drunk unconscious. Bridget notices Sam's jacket is unconventional to the Croft norm, and asks if he is from outside the country. Sam replies that he is new. Bridget giggles and offers to give Sam a tour of the Festival. Sam follows.
The tour eventually reaches the Carnival, and Bridget asks Sam if he could play the games for her, as she is unable to being a ghost. Sam wins a few of the events using Sentry's reflexes, causing Bridget to laugh. Bridget asks Sam if he is one of the "bad people in the Capita", which Sam replies he is not. Upon asking who Sam is, he replies that he hopes to be a hero to the people, someone great. Bridget takes Sam to another game, the High Striker, where they run into Dennis, Tob, Reya, and Ferris. Ferris greets Sam but is unable to see Bridget. Ferris replies that he is forced to watch the two morons win over Reya. Dennis strikes the plate, and gets to Level 12/15. Tob takes over and gets to Level 13/15, but Dennis complains that Tob didn't do it with "correct form". Bridget asks Sam to play and win her the teddy bear prize. Sam asks Ferris how to win the prize, and Ferris replies that he must get Level 15/15, which no one has achieved in the festival yet. The boys are attempting to win the bear for Reya. Sam looks behind his leg and sees Bridget looking at his face. Sam decides to take part. Using Sentry's superhuman strength, Sam strikes the plate, which causes more force than intended, breaking the bell. Sam wins four bears. He gives one bear to Reya, and keeps the other three, planning on giving two away. Sam leaves Dennis and Tob dumbfounded. Ferris smiles at the boy and tells him he's just like Jason.
Bridget, still unable to hold onto the bear, takes Sam to the fireworks, where Sam sees Jason and Amana. Sam gives one of the bears to Jason, and tells him to give it to Amana as a gift. Jason thanks Sam. Bridget asks Sam if Jason is his big brother, and Sam replies that he kind of his. Bridget is disappointed that she is unable to touch the bear, and Sam has an idea. He asks Bridget if she knows about the Soul Link, and Bridget confirms. Sam decides to soul link with Bridget, and shares some of his mortality with the ghost, allowing her to manifest a physical form. Bridget is overjoyed over being able to have a body again, and hugs Sam's leg. Sam gives the girl a bear, which she hugs. Bridget suddenly dissipates. Sam panics, but Bridget tells Sam that since she is soul linked with him, she is now part of a portion of his consciousness reserved for soul-linked creatures, able to reappear in a body if she wants. Bridget also comments that the "big man with swords" is very friendly. Apparently Sentry likes children.
Sam finds Trill and Junon at the bar. Sam is suddenly uneasy, and asks Bridget if it's possible for her to look away. Bridget responds that Sentry is covering her eyes. Sam mutters how that's even possible, and continues to the bar. Trill had gotten drunk, and an annoyed Junon was attempting to hold him back from flirting with every mage he saw. Sam approaches Junon and asks how she is feeling. Junon replies that she is heartbroken that Jason does not notice her, understanding that he loves Amana. Junon apologizes for her behaviour earlier, as she was in a dark place. Sam asks Junon if she wants a bear. Junon takes the stuffed animal and thanks Sam. Sam heads out. Bridget comments on the cute love story, causing Sam to choke on his drink. Bridget tells Sam to calm down, telling him she may be little but she's old enough to understand what love is.
Sam returns to the alley where he first met Bridget. The girl manifests and sits on a cardboard box, still hugging the bear. Sam tells her that he will return to the Darkstar hideout, there she will be able to sleep on a real bed. Bridget eyes perk and asks Sam if it's a secret hideout. Sam explains that he is part of Darkstar, a vigilante group intended to stop the bad guys in the Capita. Bridget asks why, which Sam replies that that's what a hero does, stops the bad guys. Suddenly, Lazarus and Clyde appear. Clyde sees Bridget and falls unconscious, blaming the weed. Lazarus asks Sam who the girl is. Sam asks Lazarus how he can see Bridget, as he comments that Ferris and the others were not able to. Lazarus explains that his magic affinity is ethereal. He is able to see spirits and channel their power. The Goatman, his soul creature is also a ghostly entity. Bridget tells Lazarus that she is soul linked to Sam, causing Lazarus to be very surprised. Lazarus asks Sam how he managed to soul link with two beings, which Sam is unable to explain. Lazarus tells Sam that mages with a soul link are rare enough, but mages able to soul link with more than one creature are considered almost unheard of. Sam asks Lazarus if he knew anyone capable of doing it, and Lazarus tells him the only person he has ever heard able to soul link with multiple creatures was King Erion, a reincarnation of Koloth. He was able to soul link with four creatures, and his power was quadrupled because of it. Lazarus considers telling Jason and Amana, but Sam convinces him not to, as he is unsure what this could mean. Bridget tells Sam it's bad to lie, and Lazarus laughs.
Merrow Rivenlight's Diary
Jason opens Merrow's diary and begins to read the contents to the members of Darkstar. Inside the diary is a firsthand account of Merrow Rivenlight, and the origins of Decen.
Decen was a Paladin, a race of powerful warriors that once served the Acadians, ancients that were around even before Croft's inception in the now barren country Acadia. Every Paladin represented something special, and Decen represented War due to his ability of Absorption, the power to consume the traits, and powers of any enemy he faces. Every Paladin possessed a Guardian. A Guardian was assigned to a Paladin to fill in any aspects that a Paladin lacked, usually combat based. Decen was friends with Icarus, the Paladin of Light. Icarus' Guardian was the Serpent Polyth, which later turned into Plyth, the Serpent King following Icarus' death. Sam shudders, remembering his encounter with the Serpent.
When it was Decen's turn, he was hoping for a powerful beast to assist him in battle, but instead was assigned a mermaid named Merrow Rivenlight. Merrow and Decen did not get along at first, as Merrow was everything Decen did not like, popular girl type. But over time, the two became close, with Merrow acting like an older sister to Decen revealing the missing aspect that he lacked: a family. The two would fight many battles together, becoming an unstoppable duo. At some point, Decen was contracted by Defender to eliminate a Champion named Connor Shel. Connor was the son of Arcel Shel, a hellspawn, and Nessa, a human samurai warrior who fell in love with Arcel. Connor became the first human hellspawn hybrid, and was trained to be a warrior by his mother, and taught to channel his power by his father. At some point, Connor's hybrid genetics surpassed Arcel, and he was thus cast out of the clan, and disowned by his family. Overwhelmed by emotion, Connor's hellspawn powers overtook his body, transforming him into a monster. Connor slayed his entire clan out of a frenzy, and upon realizing his unredeemable mistake, decided to turn to villainy. Connor was defeated by Decen and Merrow, begging for death. Decen sympathizes Connor, and asks why he wishes to die, which Connor responds that he has become a monster, and no longer has a purpose to live. Decen gives Connor a chance to become his familiar, telling him to be his bodyguard, and gives him the moniker "Sentry". From then on, he will protect his master in battle.
Sam is unable to make of the news. Sentry is quiet, and Sam realizes that he wants Sam to continue listening.
Jason continues reading. Decen and Merrow would continue fighting their enemies, with Sentry acting as his familiar. The Paladin meets Kyrael, prior to the inception of the Inquisition, and helps her save Corinth from the Darkspawn. Decen trains Kyrael in the art of swordplay, having accumulated the memories and skills of numerous warriors during his battles. Sam realizes that Decen was responsible for the formation of Kyrael's inquisition, with Kyrael being the leader. Eventually, Decen leaves the inquisition, entrusting Kyrael with handling Corinth.
When Decen returns to Acadia, he discovers that most of the Paladins have been assassinated by an extremely powerful orc named Mogul. Mogul utilized the power of Corruption to enhance himself, and became the first warrior to wield the Corruption in history. Decen battles Mogul but is nearly killed. Merrow tries to protect Decen but is blown away. Decen summons Sentry, who manages to fend off Mogul due to being immune to the Corruption. Sentry takes Decen and Merrow to an abandoned city to recover, but Decen reveals that he has lost his powers, deducing that Mogul is capable of Absorption as well. The three try to run from Mogul, but Mogul corners them. Mogul defeats Merrow and horribly disfigures Sentry's face. Decen attempts to summon the power of the Paladins, but due to his impure heart from years of manslaughter, is killed by Mogul before Sentry and Merrow can intervene. Sentry dissipates and enters Decen's amulet. Mogul leaves, his duty fulfilled, and continues to hunt down the rest of the Paladins. A traumatized Merrow, witnessing her best friend slain, flees the country, swearing to never become affiliated with battle again.
At some point in the future, Merrow returns to the place where Decen died, to create a grave, but discovers that Decen's body had disintegrated. Years later, it is revealed that Decen had succeeded in using the Power of the Paladins, when Decen's soul left his body, it fragmented into many pieces, cast into different worlds and dimensions. Each fragment grew into a remnant, possessing a portion of Decen's power, representing an aspect of Decen, and possessing a part of his memories, in an attempt to defeat Mogul by passing his power down to the next generation. Merrow teams up with remnants of Decen to defeat Mogul, who since developed his own army, The Shadow Legion. With each remnant that challenged Mogul, Mogul slaughtered him. Mogul slaughters all but one remnant. Merrow gives the last surviving remnant Decen's amulet, and using her powers, merging Sentry to the remnant. The merge causes the remnant to lose most of his memories, except for a portion of Decen's memories, and Merrow sends the remnant to another universe. Jason's universe.
Everybody in Darkstar look at Jason, who realizes that this remnant is none other than himself. Jason continues reading.
At some point, Merrow managed to escape Mogul and take refuge in Corinth, where she trains with Kyrael, who cares for her while she properly mourns Decen's death. Merrow left Corinth years later, to undergo training on her own. Merrow gave Kyrael her diary, telling her that when the time is right, Decen's Remnant and Sentry will return to her to defeat Mogul. Attached to the diary is a lock of Merrow's hair.
Amana asks Jason what he's going to do. Jason takes the hair and gives it to Sam. Jason tells Sam to use Hunter's Eye on the hair to locate Merrow. Sam sees a vision of an aged Merrow at the top of some secluded mountains, who turns around and smiles at Sam. Sam closes his eyes and tells Jason he knows exactly where to find her. Lazarus and Amana volunteer to help the two, but Jason tells them to continue their efforts in weakening the Militia. This is a quest that he and Sam must take part in, as he is the Remnant of Decen Merrow seeks, and Sam is the host of Sentry.
After the meeting, Sam hears Sentry's voice. Sentry tells Sam that Mogul is unlike any enemy he has faced before, and facing the monster as he is now, even with Merrow's help is suicide. Sam asks Sentry how it's possible that Mogul is so powerful yet nobody in Croft has heard of him. Sentry tells Sam that his last encounter against the monster was a long time ago, and the monster has evolved since then. He tells Sam that Mogul's forces, the Shadow Legion are also the reason for the fall of the Age of Light. Sentry suspects that Mogul may be the true mastermind behind the New Militia. Sentry tells Sam that he is looking forward to seeing Merrow again after these many years, and tells Sam that he should bring Merrow to Darkstar, and continue growing their team. Suddenly Bridget's voice appears, clearly very excited to see "her first mermaid", but is confused why she has legs. Sentry explains that mermaids like Merrow are able to manifest legs when on land. Sam facepalms, and Jason asks what's wrong. Sam brushes the question off. Sam asks Jason when they will leave, and Jason replies that he is going to take a few days off to collect supplies for the journey.
Sam appears in the following arcs, in chronological order. Merrow Rivenlight Arc