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It was near the end of the year and this winter was very cold.
Jorina sat near the open fire in the common room of the
"Blue Dragon Inn", the sole inn in this small mountain village.
The room was filled tonight and stories of wild animals where told.
In the last few days the sheep of the nearby farmers had been
attacked by some strange creature. Some said it was a wolf twice
the size of a bear.
As Jorina couldn't leave a challenge unmet, she decided to
investigate, paid the innkeeper for her nights visit, and the
loads of beer she drank, and left with her weapon, tightly
attached to her back, incase of trouble.
After two days of camping in the wild, looking for the beast, she
noticed a shepherd, walking past her camping spot. Knowing that he was
not exactly what he seemed, by some strange feeling, she kept still, and
the shepherd did not notice her. Then, as he walked by, he looked at
in the eyes, and smiled. It wasn't his looks that made her
shiver, he was actually quite handsome. It were his eyes that
made her so afraid, his red, glinstering eyes, that seemed
too look straight at her soul. Then, he turned his face and
left just as quickly as he had appeared.
Not wanting to stay another night, she packed her small ammount of gear,
and started walking back to the inn, to tell
this strange story. On her way back, she heard some strange
noises behind a hill. Curious about what it could be, she dropped her
stuff, and ran to the bushes that were located on
top of the hill. In the distance she saw a huge wolf, with claws that
were so sharp that the glinstered in the sunlight,
and a jaw that was to big, that she and three more people
could put their heads in with ease. The beast was ripping apart sheep as
if they were made only of Silk, and with every
claw and bite, Jorina noticed he grew a little bit stronger.
At the back of the Beast, a shepherd was trying to protect his herd from
the beast, striking his staff at the seemingly
only weak spot the beast had, his left back leg, that had a
huge gaping hole in it, with blood soaking out of it. Then
the beast turned around, screamed a horrible scream, and
threw his front paws right into the body of the shepherd who
fell down,and started to scream.
At this sight, Jorina got her sword from her back, and recited a few
small words. With that, the sword started glowing a faint glinster,
which nobody would have noticed.
But, as if the sword had made the noise of a Rampaging Dragon, the wolf
startled, looked back, looking Jorina straight in the eyes, and yet
again she saw those terrifying eyes, that made her shiver earlier that
day. Then the wolf turned and ran. Jorina tried to follow, but she
nearly as fast, so she stopped where the shepherd had fallen.
Looking at the Shepherd she noticed there was nothing she could do. With
his last coughs he said: 'Don't..... resist...... he's.... too.....
str.....ong..... only.... the... can.... ' Then he died. 'WHAT?!',
Jorina screamed, ' WHAT CAN I DO!?'. Then she walked away, looking
backwards once, seeing the mess the monster had left, and immediatly
turning her head in disgust.
Now what to do ?
Could she return to the village and ask the help of those farmes ?
Jorina then remembered the mage Martis, he would know what to do.
If she was lucky he would still live in the mountains of Farigor
and that is only a few days ride from there.
Riding Henji her grey mare she didn't stop till dawn, took a break
and tried to sleep near the smal fire she had lit.
Her dreams where filled of the images of creatures smelling od evil,
after a few hours she awoke beaded in sweat and only thought of
going on with no look behind her. "Farigor will help, I'm sure
of it !".
Another day of hard riding, and Jorani rained in her now sweat soaked
exhausted mare, to stare directly at the vast expansive mountain range
known as Farigor. By now the sun was just setting in the clear multi
coloured sky, pepperd here and there with little puffs of cloud that
almost seemed to be haning around to grasp those last few lingering rays of
sunshine, and then it hit her. The snow covered jagged peaks were bathed
in an array of orange and reds, reminding her of that horrific scene
she had witnessed only a day ago, the mountain tops looking just like
those savage claws that had rendered that poor shepheard and his inocent
sheep liveless, and then suffering that feeling of guilt as she
realised she had left them all where they had lain only to become nothing
more than carrion food.
With a sudden start, she jerked herself from that momentarry daydream
realising that she was loosing daylight. She nudged Henji into a slow walk
and scanned the area for a suitable place to make camp for the evening,
before finally departing on that final days journey to to mountains of
Martis looked up from his studies. He had been writing a treatise on the growth
of kalle peppers in Farigor, and he was surprised to find that he actually enjoyed
it. It was a stark contrast from his usual diversions of practicing spells to
make killing more effective, but Martis supposed anything would become tiring
after so long. The cause of this interruption was very clear. A young woman,
perhaps 25, walked timidly in th door to the study. "Ah..Are you Martis?" she
asked hopefully. Martis sighed and stood up. "Yes, I suppose I am. What do
you want? If you're from the order of the sun here to collect more of my money,
I've told you people before that I resigned five years ago and wish I hadn't signed
up in the first place. I'm a young man, but I'm not stupid enough to keep paying
an organization-" "My name is Jorani," she said firmly, showing backbone uncommon
among many men far older than Martis himself. "I'm here to ask for your help.
A monster has been terrorizing the townsfolk around the town of Halm. Please, help
me defeat it! I'm sure with a great wizard like you to help me, it'll take no
time at all."
Martis sighed again. She was so earnest it pained his heart. He started to become
weak in the knees and sat down. It would be a good chance to leave this tower,
he thought, and it sure wouldn't hurt to accomplish some heroics while I'm at it.
Martis stood and nodded decisively to the girl. "Wait here. I'll be right back.
Don't expect me to go run off to help you without bringing my books.
I'll have to get at least some work done while I'm away." As Martis left the
study, he was almost sure he could hear Jorani laughing triumphantly.
With Martis' company, the journey back seemed shorter and, perhaps
not surprisingly, the weight on her heart; lighter.
The journey over the snow-capped mountains of Farigor was almost
pleasant and Jorani realised that this mage she had taken up with,
was like no other she had met. Of course, she had had men in her time,
who hadn't? Many warriors who's valor was unquestionable and who's bravery
and strength could vanquish the mightiest of foes had she seen the
dawn with, laying in their embrace in the flickering firelight. But
never before had she sensed such tenderness, such innocence within
one who was reputedly so powerful. She found herself staring at him
often, trying to see beyond those deep, cobalt eyes into his soul.
Martis was a private person, his life had been spent training in the
magical arts by his mentor, an old but not wise nor particularly
powerful mage, by the name of Arimi. Arimi had been too caught up
with the thoughts of power and wealth that his magic would bring,
he had not realised that it was these thoughts that made him weaker
and less able to wield the powers he so longed for. Martis had been
only ten when he had entered his apprenticeship. His parents having
given their sickly-looking child to the first person who seemed
willing to accept him for a few silver coins. Through the lonely
years of his training, Martis had seen his
'master' at work and seen what miracles this kind of power could
cause to be, he had a passion for reading and a startlingly quick
mind - but Arimi had not noticed this, he simply made the boy clean
his tower and see to it that he was fed and clothed.
When Arimi had died, Martis had not been sad, he had simply buried
the body in the forest at the foot of the Farigor mountains and
returned to what was now, his, tower to continue studying.
Of course, by neccesity he had made various visits to neighbouring
towns and cities for food or books or rare artefacts to aid him in
his arts, these infrequent trips had caused the rumours to begin.
In the surrounding area he was known as the "Vampyre lord"
due to his pallid complextion and jet-dark hair, it was said he could
change his shape to that of a bat, and often did so to spy on the
common folks who lived thereabouts. Well, actually Martis probably
could have performed this feat of minor magic, but for what purpose?
Rumours of his power and his deep knowledge of the black arts had
spread to the major cities within the realms, but few had come to seek
him out. Except for the bright young fanatics who named themselves,
"The order of the sun" a ridiculous cult who believed that the sun was
a living being and would become angered and darken it's rays should
the peoples of the realms not fall down and worship it at every sunrise
and sunset - midday of course was one of their holiest times, they
held feasts and dances around fires even on the warmest of summer days
in honour of their all-powerful sun-god, only the gullible noblemen
and women who had more money than sense would join, seeing the
trickery of mirrors and hidden wires as true magic.
A group of these worshippers had sought him out, begging him to join
in their ceremonies, telling him they had rare and mysterious scrolls
of power from the eastern lands that they would permit him to read if
he were to come along to their ceremonies and perform ritual magick
for them - in honour of the sun.
He'd done as they asked but after five years of finding nothing really
useful in the scrolls they brought him at every midsummers eve, he had
decided to sever the connection and return to his tower. This had been
a few months past, and now here he was again on the road with a
strange young woman on his way to defeat a mysterious beast which may
or may not be real, he stopped for a moment to consider that.
What if this woman was simply insane?
What if this story of a 'giant wolf' were simply the depraved rantings
of the mentally unstable?
Why hadn't he thought of this before?
Life, he decided with a deep sigh, wasn't always a bed of roses...
The second day after the inclusion of Martis was overcast and dreary.
Rain sprinkled intermittently, and the wind was uncomfortably strong.
Jorina found that the gloom was alleviated somewhat if she stayed near
Martis while riding; his presence seemed to calm her, to an extent.
"Where exactly is this giant wolf of yours?" he asked casually.
"I first saw it in a certain pasture around the town I started in,"
she reported, glad to be able to take her mind off the indescribable
effect Martis had on her. "I saw a shepherd with glowing red eyes,
and I think he turned into a wolf, somehow."
"A shepherd? With glowing red eyes?" Martis asked sharply.
"Yes," Jorina said, surprised at his intensity.
"Galev," Martis muttered under his breath.
"What?" Jorina asked.
"Galev," Martis said angrily. "Galev was the sole other
student of Arimi, my master. Well, my former master. At any
rate, Galev was expelled from the tutelage of Arimi because of
his tendency toward using his magic to exploit those around him."
"What do you mean?" asked Jorina.
"A common myth among many people is that mages are untouchable
figures, with inscrutable motives and desires. Nothing could be
further from the truth. Galev's desires were every bit as base and
mundane as the lowest peasant's are. He wanted money, nothing more
and nothing less. He used his magic to steal from anyone who he
could, and if that didn't work, he simply killed them with his magic
and took their money once they were dead. Arimi temporarily
revoked his magical ability once he found out about this, but then
Galev adopted another method of thievery: Swordsmanship. Galev
hired a swordmaster to teach him. After Galev had become relatively skilled,
himself, he killed his teacher and stole his one valuable possession,
an enchanted sword called Suldeam. He then went back to Arimi
and swore to repent. Arimi, the poor trusting fool, gave him his magic
back, but then Galev ran away from the tower. I have not seen him since.
I always assumed he tried to rob the wrong person and got his head
blown off by a less forgiving wizard or his spine slashed in half by a
more skillful swordsman. I see now that I should have killed him when
I had the chance."
"I see," Jorina said. "Tell me more about the sword Suldeam." Only
dead adventurers could not assimilate knowledge quickly.
"Suldeam was forged a blacksmith in the third century."
His voice effected a lecturing tone. "It was bought by a mage who practiced
the arts of death exclusively, and it was enchanted in such a way that
even a scratch with its black blade would kill an enemy instantly."
"It sounds very deadly."
"It is. The solution, however, is what we should be worrying about now.
"One person I know who could help us is Septar, a swordsman. He is
actually a retired officer in the Royal Army. I think he lives to the
"Let's go then." Jorina turned her horse and prepared to find Septar.
Far away in the country of Ansha where the sun is heating the air
the greatest part of the year, Adamani was sitting in his highly
ornated throne. It was the fourth time the priest of the nine moons
had asked for an audience, and he agreed to see this old fool.
Adamani was young for a king, his father had died in the war against
the Selmans, thoses evil beeing west across the sea. His hair was still
raven black but his eyes where wise and deep.
Merti the high priest of the nine moons came in holding himself on a
a long staff. He was old, very old. And the time had worn him but
his voice was still to be heard by everyone in the great throne room.
"Behold King of the Ansha, The evil that hath slain your father
is not yet gone. You won a battle but not the war. We feel
the surge of evil coming from the west again. But this time they
will have help from some other lands."
Adamani thought of what a fool the old man was. It was now well over
nine years that the monsters had been eradicated. They had lost a lot
of their army but with the aid of the wizards had finaly won.
"Tell me my priest, does your knowledge come from any proven source,
or is it merely a voice that comes from nowhere that has warned
The king said with a grin telling of what a fool he thought the priest was.
Merti raised his kin and in a booming voice said,
"You have been warned. Not taking actions will bring your kingdom
to his doom !"
With a small bow he flipped around and went out his head high thinking
of how he could convice the people to react with this King not even
thinking of the possible truth of what he said. Some gossips said that
in the north already some evil beeing had gained the ability to transform
themselves in Selmans, half man half demon.
As Jorina and Martis travelled west, they did not know that the beast-like
animal had followed them. Hiding in the woodlands, he waited.
The mage was becoming tired after travelling for two days, he decided it was
time that they stop for lunch. Jorani found a clearing near the edge of a
stream, they dismounted and Jorani started to catch some fish.
A low growl in the bushes alerted the mage first, "Jorani, did you hear that?"
Jorani looked up, "What was that?" "A noise in the bushes" Martis said
"It was probably a bird or something!" she said, turning once again to the stream.
Martis stood up, looking around uneasily, the red eyes glared back.
The mage jumped back and brought out his staff. " Jorina, look out!" he cried
as the beast moved in to the clearing. Jorani immediately took out her sword
and stood ready to fight.
The wizard started to chant a very old spell, which he desperately hoped
would work. "Ilanthu, Ismascu, Indalith" he said, over and over. The staff
rose filling the air around the wizard and the warrior. He brought down his
arms and directed them toward the beast who was only steps away, it was
twice the size of the largest wolf in the kingdom, it's teeth gleamed and
blood dripped from it's jaw from a recent kill. The eyes were a firey red,
the likes Jorani had never seen.
As the flash from the lightning bolt struck the wolf, it was momentarily stunned.
It leaped forward in the air and tried once again to attack, Martis chanting
all the time, threw another lightning bolt at the beast, it hit it fully on the
face. The beast howled and jumped back, not sure about what to do next, looking
at them warily. Martis took all of his strength turning it into energy and with
one last final bolt he fired at the wolf, it struck it sideways and flipped it
high into the air,landing with a thunp on the ground nearby.
Jorani took her chance and jumped at the wolf and drove her sword through it's
heart finally killing it. She turned to the wizard who had slumped on the
ground, unable to move. "Are you alright?" she asked Martis.
"I have so very little energy left, that spell drained all my powers" Martis said
"but I know one thing, that beast is not alone there is more."
Jorani looked at the wizard "More?, are you sure?"
"Yes, I had heard of the beast attacking farms and small villages in the
north and as we don't know where it came from, although I assume it came
from the darkside, there will be more than one."
"Then we must hurry" Jorani said. She helped the wizard upon his horse and
they continued on quickly to reach the next town.
Adamani flexed his swordarm and prepared for the third pass. His
opponent, the most skilled castle guard he could find, did the same. They were
alone in the courtyard, practicing.
The guard had been hired to provide a challenge for his majesty, and so far,
Adamani was disappointed. He assumed that in a true combat situation, the guard
would fight with more ferocity, but he was holding back for fear of damaging his king.
His weak, frail king. Adamani smiled. They had all said that, when his father died.
None of them were laughing now.
Adamani pulled his focus back to the center of his consciousness. He prepared
for the dashing strike that characterized Ansha swordsmanship when he saw the guard
topple ponderously over with a long knife sticking out of his back.
A tall, cloaked figure stood above the guard's body. The figure was lightly built,
with long, almost simian arms and a hooded face. The specter also carried a sword.
He threw off his cloak and revealed a suit of delicate mail under it. He wore
a leather swordbelt at his waist. His face was young, but cruel.
"Greetings, king of Ansha. Do you know who I am?" his tone was mocking,
much the way Adamani's enemies in court had sounded.
"No, I do not. But I do know that you have killed one of my royal
guards, which is a crime punishable by execution in Ansha. Would you
care to have your sentence carried out now?"
"Try, if you desire. But you will get no further than all the other
challengers I have had."
Without another word, Adamani ran forth and slashed at the interloper's
unguarded neck. The man blocked quickly with one motion and followed through to
slice at Adamani's arm He missed, but only slightly.
"Who was your teacher?" Adamani asked grudgingly.
"I, Karul, am apprenticed to Galev en Ashral, the most skilled swordsman in the
north country. Who taught you?"
"Sang'an, the most skilled swordsman in the world."
Karul leaped at Adamani, sword raised.
Adamani was too slow, and in a swift stroke of his huge sword, Karul
had sliced Adamani's head off. Karul raised his sword above his head
and yelled out his victory. His cry was bitten off as he heard a
chilling voice say his name.
"Karul. You little fool." He looked down and screamed as he saw
Adamani's head grinning up at him.
"What....what...." Karul stammered. Adamani laughed.
"I am not who you thought I was. I am the Great Barlalor, Master of
the Eastern Underworld. Prepare to spend eternity in mortal pain!"
With laughter echoing around them, Adamani groped around on the
ground and found his head, and pulled it onto his blood-soaked lap.
His hands then found his sword, which he raised above the bloody stump
of his neck. Karul was ready, and standing. He swung his sword and
smiled as it bit into the flesh of Adamani's arm, severing it at the
elbow. Adamani's head screamed, and looked down at the twitching arm,
holding the sword. Karul's laughter turned manic, and Adamani realised
that the game was over.
"Die, you vile villian of the vicious Underworld! We must fight to
rid this world of scum and turd like you! DIE!" Karul screamed, and
froth was flying out of his mouth. Adamani raised his remaining hand,
and held it palm outwards to karul. He muttered several words under
his breath and laughed as Karul burst into flame, his screams of
agony echoing through the sky.
Although Adamani had managed to slay Karul through the use of magic, another being lay
between him and time to rest. A man wearing a suit of glistening plate mail overtop
a green velvet material strolled out of the forest a few yards from the flaming
corpse of Karul. Seeing what the vile underling had done, the man drew his immense
two handed bastard sword from its sheath across his vast muscular back. " It is
monsters like you that make me angry Adamani, I thought peace would once again rule
this world.....I suppose I was wrong! " said the man. " Ah Drazule you old swab,
why must you pester me in my most troubling hours? " asked the dark underling.
Sighing, Drazule leaned against a tree off to the side of the underling and said
"I've spent nearly two decades making sure people can live safely from bastards
like you ". " I've spent my whole life beating back death only to realize that
death is infinite! " he said. " So, why don't you give up warrior? " the underling
asked raising the one hand. " I cannot rest, it was the last wish of my king to
undo the harm of evil to this world " Drazule said as he shifted position. The
midday sun was beaming down upon them, the smell of burnt flesh nauseating. " I have
to kill you Adamani, you and I both know it! " said the battleworn swordsman as he
struggled to his feet. " So be it then, let the duel begin! " replied the underling
as a vast cloud of black magic began to surround him. The warrior took a position
aside the decaying corpse with his sword raised above his head in a ready position.
The cloud of magic pulsed and quaked with ribs of blue lightning. Adamani swelled
with a blue aura, his eyes brilliantly glowing an eerie radiance. A flock of birds
flew from their nests at the sight of this awesome display. Raising the bloody
stump and the good hand to the sky, Adamani called upon the force of the undead
to help him. The ground shook violently as the first wave of earth tremors hit.
Area's of the battleground split open, the bodies of long dead fighters flung up.
Rotted bone, molten rock and corroded metal blades appeared where flowers and
grasses had once been. Adamani ordered the corpses to arise and attack the enemy.
Karul, burnt and decaying also rose and raised his sword to the enemy. Dodging one
blow narrowly, Drazule sent his blade hacking through the crimson stained body of
Karul without hesitation. Bone and skin parted, the body cleaved in half. Stepping
heavily on the head, the body let out a wail and silenced. While he was doing this,
the corroded blade of one of the other zombies sunk into the plated armor of his
back with a deafening roar. Blue sparks sprayed forth, Drazule whirled around and
knocked a mailed fist into the pitted skull of another zombie. Whail after whail
echoed throughout the battleground and zombie after zombie was sent back to its
final resting place. After nearly an hour of fighting, Drazule was stained with
oozing puss, his own blood and pieces of sharded bone. Adamani stood on one of the
remaining pieces of grassy earth laughing his maniacal laugh. Grunting, Drazule
lunged forth with his spattered sword. Adamani laughed and dodged the blow easily.
" Growing blinded with rage eh Drazule! " screamed the underling. Then the warrior
stopped his raging and set the tip of his sword into the earth, standing there
panting. " I will defeat you Adamani, if it takes me another two decades.......you
will die! " he said gritting his teeth. Picking up his sword yet again, Drazule
found in him an eerie spine tingling calmness that overwelmed him with a great sense
of joy. His second wind.
Adamani and Drazule stood facing each other for what seemed an
eternity. The sweat and blood stinged his eyes, and the sun gleaming
off the crimson stained blade nearly blinding the battered warrior. "
Like I said Adamani! " said Drazule as he struggled for breath " I will
kill you before the day ends for me! ". Adamani threw back his
bloody head and sang out a chorus of maniacal laughter that
shook the battered warrior to the bone. The eyes of the demon
grew darker with evil intent as the flames of the 9th hell took
possession. Electrical fields of blue energy zapped and cracked about
him, the voice booming with thunder " Destroy me? Ha! ". Drazule
summoned the remainder of his depleted strength and swung his
sword, knowing that in that moment he would either win or loose. The
blade glanced off the underling's neck with a bone crunching sound,
Adamani screamed in utter agony and his body slumped to the
ground unmoving. To make sure, Adamani was finally dead, the
warrior rolled him over and faced the corpse.......blade in hand.
The glassy stare of the body eminated a sort of evil energy that held
the warrior in place by possession. A voice deep within the recesses
of Drazule's mind told subliminal message to eat his sword appeared
and seemed the right thing to do. The warrior placed the sword to his
chest, laughed out loud and sunk the blade in. Instantly the spell was
released, blood gurgled from his mouth and he fell to his knees.
The blade protruded from his armored back covered in pulpy
blood, his skin sinking into the hand of death. Drazule felt the
coldness of death surround him as his vision collapsed and he fell into
oblivion. The body burst into a holy light and vanished from the
material plane with a flash of brilliant light. Once again Adamani was
left among the corpses to feel proud of his magical skill of necromancy.
Septar looked around him and realized that he was alone in his wilderness
heaven. He admitted to himself that he had let himself sink into
a life of excess, but he could only justify it by claiming that he had
earned it all. And he had. Thirty years of service in the Royal Military,
ten years commanding the First Royal Knights, twenty spent rising from a
lowly footman. His enchanted armored golden robes, his Whitemagic sword, his
mansion in the mountains... none of it would have come about without hard
A motion at the left edge of his vision attracted his attention. He leapt behind a
nearby tree and drew his sword, muting its white glow with a thought.
"Long time no see," he heard a voice call from the trail. A figure in a travel
cloak and one in leather armor came into view. He looked hard at one of them
until he recognized the robed one.
"Martis! Why didn't you tell me you were coming? I could've had the
cooks fix you something!"
"We were in a hurry," Martis apologized, grasping his friend's hand in
a warm gesture. "This is Jorina, a young warrior." Septar bent and kissed her
hand softly. She blushed.
"To what do I owe this visit?" Septar asked.
"It's along story," Martis sighed. "Perhaps we should go inside."
In the tranquil twilight of the winter solace, Prince Dalath looked out
across his castle grounds feeling a terrible sense of gilt grip his
stomach. The winter storms were getting worse and the peasents
were getting worried. Snow gently layered the window ledge nearest
Dalath, and a peaceful wisp of wind struck the northern side of the
castle. There came a knock at the door and the prince went to
investigate. Three of his father's guard waited patiently for the prince
to dress, then escorted him down to the council room.
Prince Dalath seated himself alongside Princess Alera and Einon, his
prince brother. An image of ravashing beauty the queen was, as she
sat on the left side of King Alerik. Several armed guards patroled the
doors and room space, hands on ivory carved hilts. " I have called
this important meeting of the family, because of the fierce winter
storms we've been subject to! " said the king " In a few days time,
I set off on a journey to end this madness accompanied by a troup
of specially chosen men plus the army ". " I leave Einon in charge
in my absence, and Alera.....I want you to look out for Dalath " said
the sadened king. " Father, I can fend for myself! " said Dalath as
calmly as he could though his father had spoken lowly of him.
A commotion arose below the council room, and a pair of guards ran
up to the door. " Pardon our rude interuption my liege but Adamani
has crossed the boarder with his army of mage warriors " said the
guard " Headed this way sire ".
Reverend Marilyn Manson
The horde of Adamani waded out into the cold climate of the lands
of King Alerik slaying all that stood in opposiition. Blood, children and
rotten corpses littered the roads and the stench of burning rubble filled
the air. A small child ran out infront of Adamani, who called his
heathen to a hail. He drew his magical longsword, heaved it above
his balled head and shouted magical words to enchant the blade.
The child stared into the heart of the metal as it cut into his tiny
skull, spattering it across the landscape.
The cold winter air brushed past Jensen, blowing a lock of his dark brown hair
across his face. With cat-like fluidity he brushed the bothersome hair behind an
ear and bent to the ground. Fingers brushed symbols into the dirt with practiced
ease. When the pattern was complete he stepped back and began to chant. The
figure on the ground began to emit a soft yellow light that pulsed not unlike a
heartbeat. Jensen chanted and slowed his heart rate to match that of the pulsing
"What?!" a grumpy little voice rang out as a tiny body began to materialize within
"I need your help Kara," Jensen relaxed his concentration as his Calling had
served its purpose. "Something strange is happening to the south, I can sense it,
I need to know whats going on."
"Oh, really? Just how do you know something is going on, mabey its only
heartburn your sensing," Kara's body completed its solidification and she stepped
out of the Calling marks. She pointed a slender pointed finger at Jensen,
"Did you ever think of THAT before you went and called me from a game of dice...
I was winning you know. You know how long it's been since ive had a winning streak?"
Jensen stood and turned to the south in one fluid motion. He stood there a while,
ignoring Kara's continued grumbling. "My sister is involved."
"Oh," Kara went silent. Jensen and Jorina were seperated at birth, Jensen left
for dead because of a supposed birth defect. He had been raised by a family of
pixies, Kara's family. Jensen knew of his sister and had watched out for her many
times, always in the shadows. Kara had grown up with Jensen and felt as much a
sister to him as Jensen felt like a brother to Jorina. She knew that this must be
something bad if he were this troubled. "I'll go get Kife, he'll know what to do."
Jensen just stood there, facing south, his back to Kara. His silence spoke volumes.
Normally lighthearted, he only became this way when someone he was close to was in
trouble...or about to die.
Adamani stood within the circle of protection.
His long black robes flowing in the chill wind.
The air around him began to glow with a deep
red intensity. "Bahamut! I, Adamani, call you,
come and do my bidding!" The sky crackled with
energy. Red lightning slashed through the sky
as if the very air were being wounded by a sword
stroke. The ground began to tremble as the wind
picked up to whip about Adamani. Leaves and dirt
circled around him in a whirlwind, yet he stood
ever still, confident in his warding. Slowly the wind
died and the earth ceased its grumbling.
"What is it you wish oh great Adamani?" The
words were like acid burning away at the ears. Hot
breath smelling of rotten flesh wafted past Adamani's
"Go unto my enemy Bahamut," Adamani looked
toward the castle not to far off, "You alone off all my
demon horde i trust for this mission."
"What is it you wish oh master?" The demons breath
began to wilt nearby plants and even seemed to scorch the
"You will take on the form of my enemy. Live with
them, gain their trust. Do not let even me know who
you are in truth. Battle me at times if you must to gain
thier trust, but at the last crucial moment. When there
are none left save my enemy and myself. That is when
you shall play your ultimate part." Adamani raised a
gloved finger and pointed to the castle. "Now go, and
be wise in your role, lest others discover what you are."
"Yes, my lord. With pleasure." Bahamut gave a
wide toothy grin and looked off toward the castle. A bright
burst of hellfire masked his departure. Little did Adamani
know that Bahamut had waited for a moment like this
for decades, when the time came, it would be Bahamut
that had the winning stance. Soon, very soon HE would
Prince Dalath would have no more of his father's orders and rules.
He was going to accomplish something himself, without Einon or his father.
Dalath armored himself in that thought as he gathered his possessions and strode
out the door. He took with him no more than he knew he would need:
Light armor, a stout cape, and his finely crafted sword, along with some
food and a flask of water. He passed the guards to his room without a word; when
they called to him to ask him what was going on, he ignored them. They were
wise enough to trust Dalath in not getting hurt. He walked down the spiral staircase,
through a side alcove, and out the back door before anyone knew what had occurred.
As he started out into the countryside, he looked behind him at the castle. His life
of seclusion, finery, and excess was over now, and he gave a second in
mourning before steeling himself and following the path to one he knew could help him:
Septar, the greatest general the kingdom had ever known.
Galev stood in his tower and addressed a tapestry on the wall.
"Master, Adamani is becoming too powerful. The Master gave him abilities that
the Master said were reserved for me."
The tapestry shifted somewhat at hearing these words, and a mouth somehow
formed on its surface.
"I will bestow my favors to those whom I choose. Adamani vanquished Drazule,
the greatest obstacle I have faced yet, and he also disposed of your apprentice."
The voice took on a chiding tone. "I do not appreciate it when my family fights
"I apoloogize, Master," Galev said in the humblest tone he could produce.
"I... It was my thought to test his strength, so that you would not have to trouble
yourself by doing so." It was a poor excuse.
"You leave those duties to me, my son. For now, there is a far greater problem that
must be dealt with."
"Tell me, Master, and I will accomplish it."
"A young maiden, Jorina, and Martis, a wizard who I'm sure you are familiar with,
have contacted Septar, Drazule's equal in skill and knowledge. Prince Dalath has
also left home looking for Septar, while his father fights Adamani and his dragon
Bahamut. Moreover, Jorina's brother Jensen is also present as a potential threat...
or an ally.
Your mission is to seek out and destroy Martis, Jorina, Septar, and, if at all
possible, convince Jensen to join our family."
"Yes, Master. It shall be done."
"Thank you, my son."
Galev walked to the lower levels of his tower, looking for his other apprentice,
Verel. After all, Galev could not be expected to do all of this himself.
As Verel entered the sixth day of his meditation, he began to realize that
true deadliness lay in nature alone. He had spent the previous five days
in an empty room, alone, without food or water, watching the motions of a raven
whose wings Verel had clipped. The raven's gestures, his idiosyncrasies, had become
second nature to Verel, and the young man believed that before long
he would become the greatest warrior of them all.
A week of study and then two days of practice, with no sleep to break it up, was what
Kasjian had told him before the wizened old assassin had died. Verel was learning
the style of raven, with a sword, a method of combat long forgotten but still
incredibly dangerous. He may even be a match for Galev himself; he certainly
was far better than Karul. Verel looked up in agaitation at the opening door.
He had locked it last week, but with a simple spell Galev could have it open.
"I have work for you to do."
"Yes?" Verel tried to somther his disappointment at having his concentration ruined.
"I need you to ambush Prince Dalath on the road from Alerik's castle to
Septar's mansion. You may take three Fiends with you if you wish."
"Yes, sir. I'll leave right away." Verel's tone held an arrogance that
rivaled that of Galev himself.
"See that you do. If you and three fiends cannot defeat one lowly prince,
do not bother to come back." Galev thought that should put him in his place.
Verel was gone before he finished talking.
"Come in old boy. Let's have a mug of beer wile you recount me the events",
Martis and Jorina followed the stone build man inside the house. While Martis
was telling the story the eyes of Septar began to shine, the glint of anticipation
of a good adventure. When Martis arrived at the end of the story the old soldier was
already giving orders for his travel gear top be brought to him.
"What are we waiting, it's been too long that I sit here. I'm missing the good old days,
let's get a good dinner andsome sleep and we start tomorow first light."
After a good meal and some fine vine Martis and Jorina where brought to their rooms.
The mornig was fresh and the light only a small line at the horizont
when Jorina was helped by Septar to climb on Henji's back.
The party headed south-east hoping to find the track of the other beasts.
Prince Dalath walked warily down the forest path, looking for any sign
of danger or even peculiarity. He wished he had brought more food and a good
horse, and vowed to himslef that if he ever ran away again he would prepare
better than he had this time. He stood still for a moment in the woods
and looked around. It was fall, and the trees were afire with color.
He understood the threat of Adamani, but, deep inside, he couldn't
believe that this woodland beauty could ever be destroyed.
He noticed a flicker of red at the corner of his eye. This red wasn't the
lovely auburn of the leaves, but an angry, hateful crimson that stung his eyes.
He ducked quickly behind a boulder and silently drew his sword. Three shapes
spun into the path, looking like fiery whirlwinds. Gradually, they slowed down
and resolved into tall, muscular humanoid shapes with bestial heads. They
each had several pairs of horns, and their long, cruel claws glistened
in the cold autumn sun. They seemed to be perpetually on fire, but they
showed no sign of pain.
Soon, they were joined by another, a human. He was a young man, about
Dalath's age, and he carried a wickedly curved sword. He wore a fine suit
of light armor, over which was a dark cloak. The man gestured to the sides of
the path with his swords, and the three red monsters took up positions there.
They then crouched down and wrapped their arms around their knees. In this position,
they lookied like nothing more than large, bulky stones.
The four waited for several minutes, and then the man led the red things
down the path toward Dalath.
The prince panicked. He had been trained with the sword, but the deadly
grace with which this warrior bore his weapon was far beyond Dalath's skill.
Dalath reached into his pocket, hoping to find something that could possibly
be of use, and his hand closed upon a small stone, no bigger than a marble.
He had found it in an old store room when he had explored his father's
castle many years ago, and he had kept it with him since, for luck.
Luck would do him no harm now, he thought, as he cast the stone into the center of the path.
A cloud of blue mist poured from the stone, and in the mist a figure
began to take shape. It appeared to be Dalath himself, as though a mold
of Dalath's body had been filled with this blue cloud. The foggy double
stepped to the side and another double began to form. The first stepped
forth and attacked one of the red beasts, who began to claw fiercely at the
misty warrior. Then the next mist Dalath attacked another beast, and what would
apparently be the last double attacked the third fiend. That left only the
man for Dalath to deal with.
Dalath steeled himself and stepped forth, sword raised.
Fighting. Jensen was sure of it. The sound of swordplay and the smell
of magic drifted in the air. He had not been traveling long in this
forest before some trouble came about. It always seemed to be that way.
He was always getting somebody out of trouble. Most of the time it ended
up being himself.
Kira flew up to his shoulder and pointed to the west. "Its coming from
over there." She knew Jensen well enough to guess at his intentions. She
had been on the recieving end of his heroism many times when they were
both children. She just hoped he didnt get himself into something he
couldnt handle. Jensen hurried his pace and followed the path to the west
that had somehow appeared. At least he's never dull, Kira thought to herself
and with a sigh she flew off after him.
Jensen stayed in the foliage while observing the battle, best to know what
was going on before getting too involved. He remembered the time he had
stepped between two brothers having a fight and ended up having to defend
himself against both. This on the other hand seemed quiet diffrent. There
were two men, young, not much younger than Jensen. One had on a dark cloak
with the glint of armor beneath. The other had only traveling clothes for
defense. They were both skilled with the sword, as he could see but the
cloaked man was decidedly better and slowly gaining in the fight. The
unarmored man was putting up a valiant effort but was outmatched. Seeing
that Jensen stepped out and into the clearing.
"I dont suppose you'd rather try your skill on someone else for a time."
Jensen drew his sword and leaned on it, yawning. "Give the lad a chance to
rest and all." The armored man looked at Jensen, yet not letting up on his
"Stay out of this stranger. Dalath is mine!"
Dalath, that sounded familiar to Jensen. Where had he heard it before.
No matter, it was clear who he should side with. He just hoped Kira didnt
get in the way. With a sly grimace Jensen lifted his sword and stepped
between the two combatants, blocking a blow that would have surely scored
on Dalath. The battle sight filled Jensen now that he was fully engaged.
Each step, each swing of the blade, dodge of a blow, was part of an intricate
dance. His enemy seemed to slow and a song filled his head, kept in beat by
the pulsing of his heart. Steady, rythmic, beautiful. Jensens enemy was skilled
but did not know the steps to the song, he faultered. Three quick slashes
and the opponents wrists and neck were sliced. Blood poured out of the wounds
yet this did not stop him.
"You are skilled stranger," The armored man coughed. It was amazing he could
still converse with his throat cut like it was. Slowly he fell to his knees
the loss of blood great. "With my dying breath i give you a gift, from my master."
The armored man raised his sword to the sky and a great flame shot forth.
It engulfed him, searing his skin. Jensen backed away as the heat was unbearable.
The burning flesh within the pillar of flame began to convulse when suddenly it
burst apart. Standing there, where the charred remains should be was a muscular
fire demon. Its eyes glowing coals of hate. Steam issued out from its nostrils
and as it spoke waves of heat blasted Jensen in the face. "Prepare to meet your
demise!" Jensen was in shock, what had he gotten himself into?
Adamani stood on a circle of dark dust in a room with no walls and a dark,
cloudy sky for a ceiling. Each point on a triangle inscribed in the circle
was occupied by a semitransparent shade. Two were young, one with a flowing
dark cloak and the other with fine armor and a cruel visage. Both carried swords,
one curved, the other straight. The third point was occupied by Adamani.
"You are mine now," he said, without preamble. "Your former master will soon join you.
I now own your spirits. You fight for Adamani of Ansha, future king of the
underworld. I have left Galev an Ashral for the wizard, the soldier, and the
girl to take care of. I trust in their ability to dispose of him.
But he is no loger any concern of yours. Your mission now is to stop
Jensen, the mage, and Dalath from reaching Martis, Septar, and Jorina. The
five of them could be troublesome. You have your orders. Go!"
The spirits vanished into the blackness around them to pursue their
The three took shelter in an old watchtower for the night. Martis
partitioned a section of the tower for Jorina's privacy, and Septar
and Martis shared a chamber. Martis ignited a firepit with a finger
of flame, and he and Septar looked over what the servants had provided them
with. Septar handed a sword to Martis, who buckled it on his belt,
and took his own Whitemagic blade out of the pack.
Martis took a moment to examine Septar. He couldn't be any older than
40; one of the main reasons for his fame was that he had accomplished so
much at such a young age. He had fair hair that was kept short in a military
crew cut, and he was slender, yet somewhat muscular. He had exchanged his
robes for more serviceable journey clothes, and he now looked like
nothing more than a typical traveler. Except, that is, for his sword.
That weapon was a marvel of holy magic with a degree of power that Martis
could only imagine.
Septar was using his time to look at Martis. The old rascal hadn't changed
much. He was turning gray at the temples, but it was only evident if you
looked for it. He had the same wiry frame as when they had met fifteen years ago.
He wore clothes very similar to the ones Septar had on, and he carried the sword
Septar gave him.
Suddenly, he heard a sound from behind the curtain. He whirled around,
sword drawn, and motioned for Martis to follow him. They heard a scream, then an
unearthly hum. Septar tore down the curtain with his sword.
A ghastly scene awaited him. Jorina was huddled in a corner, and a specter
with a long sword was poised to strike her in the head. The ghost turned and looked at
Martis and Septar. He grasped the sword in both hands, turned to face the men,
and raised the sword above his head. His eyes closed and a ball of black nothingness
flew from the tip to hit Septar full in the chest, knocking him back to the opposite wall.
"Karul." Martis whispered. The ghost raised his sword again, pretending not to hear,
but faltered and dropped the weapon.
"Karul. Do you know what you have done? You have betrayed your master like
you betrayed me. I taught you magic, as did he, but you repayed us both by
joining Adamani. I am disappointed in you. Even in your death you cannot
focus!" Martis thrust his hand forth and a strand of white light pierced the
shade in the chest, shattering it into a thousand shards of darkness.
"Wha... What was that?" Jorina asked, frightened.
"Get up," Martis said harshly. "Help Septar."
Martis sat down and contemplated the destruction of his son.
He had to remind himself that Karul was no longer the child Martis knew years
ago, but an evil warrior and, ultimately, a spirit of death.
But that didn't make it any easier.
Kira lept in front of Jensen. "Get out of here, ill take care of this."
"Are you kidding, im not going to let you brag about saving me to
your brother." Jensen grabbed kira by an arm and jumped into a bunch
of bushes near the edge of the path. The demons blast of flame singed
the ground he had just been standing on, Kira would have been an
extra crispy pixie. "Go get Dalath away from here, I dont want to have
saved him just to let him die." Kira reluctantly obeyed and flew over
toward where Dalath stood.
"Your coming with me bucko," She took a handful of his collar,
which wasnt much since she had tiny hands, and began to drag him out
of the woods. "Jensen can take care of himself," She said more to
herself than to Dalath.
The blood in Jensen's veins began to pump with a rythmic beat. He
had already entered the Blood Dance once today, in fact only moments
ago, he didnt know how long he could keep it up a second time. The
battle sight filled his vision, his heart kept steady beat in tune
with the song that began to fill his head. The demon was not as slow
as his human counterpart but it still did not know this particular
dance. There were many songs and a Blood Dance for each. Every dance
had its counter dance. This beast obviously didnt know it. To Jensens
knowledge, no one knew ANY of the dances, save himself. He couldnt
remember when he had learned them or who had taught him but he did
know he was taught...he had a teacher, but who?
The demon lunged forward, attempting to gut Jensen and feast on his
entrails. Jensen sidestepped, turned and bowed to the beast. It roared
in fustration and tried to backhand him. Jensen came up from the bow
with a slice of the sword. The demons arm fell limp to the ground. It
spat a colum of flame toward Jensen but he spun and swept the demon
off its feet, literaly. With one fluid motion Jensen stood from the
sweep, turned to his fallen opponent and delivered a killing blow.
The demons body shuddered then burst into green flame. Soon there was
nothing but ashes left.
The battle sight slowly left Jensen as his pulse returned to normal.
He hadnt needed to use magic in the fight, thank the creator. Magic
hurt when doing a Dance, hurt bad. Most times he either Danced or used
the magic, but he tried not to do both. He remembered who had taught
him magic, Martis. He wondered if there were a reason the magic hurt
when he used it during a Dance because of how he was taught. Diffrent
teachers taught the gift in diffrent ways. It was almost like a
flavor they left. You could almost always tell a students mentor by
taste of his magic. This eventually changed and you developed your
own style or flavor but there was always a hint of your teacher in
there...somewhere. Jensen smiled at the memory of Martis, the man
had his quirks but was kind at heart. He had never told Martis that
Jorina was his sister and was glad now that she had went to him for
help. The thought of his sister caused him to remember Kira. She was
out in the woods somewhere with Dalath. She was probably annoyed at
him for ordering her around like that and more than likely would
take Dalath somewhere in the woods that would take Jensen forever to
find. With a sigh he thought, at least hes safe. Then he corrected
himself. At least hes not in danger from monsters.
Throughout the lands, the earth trembled. In the deepest forests where
the faeries danced, their silvery laughter shimmering in the air -
something dark brooded. A darkness that pierced the firmament with
tendrils of icy hatred and filled the skies with obsidian clouds. The
earth herself was awakening after her ages rest - awakening to find
her children bickering and her family being destroyed by their own
offspring. She was not happy and all of nature resounded in tremulous
chorus with her dissaticfaction!
In all the lands, ringing from the higest mountains to the deepest
seas a great call went out. Silent and tenuous yet compelling non the
less, this subtle urging could be felt by one and all. In the lands
inhabited by the masive gargant race - a roar went up as they heard
their mother. The elvenkind, dwelling gaily in the mists of the
fae realms heard also, their high-pitched voices raised in answer and
sounding like the greatest chiming the world had ever known. In the
chilly climes of the north the humans who thought themselves above
the worries of the world, living in isolation and scavenging what
little they needed sensed this strange occurance and for
the first time in untold centuries - came forth into the world and
took their place within the thronging multitude.
Every race, creed and culture on the face of the
planet heard the mighty summoning and felt its irresistable urging
each responding in its own fashion.
One child, out of the multidtude, stood against the calling.
A single phrase, a single thought, coursing through her young
mind. She stepped before her elders, boldly defying customs
centuries old to proclaim, "Are you down with chowder?"
One child, out of the multidtude, stood against the calling.
A single phrase, a single thought, coursing through her young
mind. She stepped before her elders, boldly defying customs
centuries old to proclaim, "Are you down with chowder?"
"Down with chowder?" A buzz went through the assembled elders.
They clearly did not understand the meaning of the phrase. One of the elders,
an old elf with white hair, stood and ordered the child to be subdued.
A squad of elven guards rushed forth and began to beat the child senseless.
As she lay there, bruised and bloody, in the middle of the audience chamber,
the old elf said contemptuously, "We most certainly are NOT down with chowder."
From the ranks of assembled notables - a dark robed priest stepped forth, his very presence
causing a hush to fill the chamber.
"This one," He hissed, indicating the child, "This one shall be mine..."
"Those that are not down with Chowder, shall forever be defeated..."
The child stated. Murmurs arose throughout the crowd, "Who are you, to choose our fate?" one of the elders asked.
A piercing wail startled all who attended, as the dark robed priest fell to teh ground.
"It is I, I who alone hold the entire world in my hand." Suddenly a flash of light with a peal of
thunder threw the crowd back. Before, where the child had stood, now stood a grown man, glistening
with raw Magic.
Galev spun and drew his long-handled, slender axe. It beheaded the first
row of assembled elders. Icicles flew from the axe's head and struck many elders.
The guards backed up as Galev became a whirling cyclone of ice and
blade. He dashed through the crowd, killing indiscriminately and with
what seemed to be insanity. To the trained eye, however, Galev was perfectly
integrating combat magic and physical violence. He stopped when the room was
empty but for littered corpses. Looking around in satisfaction, he chuckled to himself.
"If you want something done right, do it yourself."
Adamani walked out of the commander's tent.They had reached a conclusion. The army would be separated in half
and they would march in different directions, keeping close to the path that led King Alerik's kingdom,
Alkarok. As soon as they were withing sight,the first army would lay siege to it, while the second army,
made up mostly of flying daemons, would sneak around the back and attack in the dark of midnight.
Adamani walked into the surrounding forest. Deeper into the forest he went,seeking it's peace from the
rowdy daemons. Suddenly,a glowing sphere appeared in front of him. It glowed black. Black that was blacker
then anything ever imaginable. It burst open to reveal a flame that was even darker then the sphere.
It was the DarkFlame. Adamani flinched back in terror.The Darkflame was the source of black magic and
necromancy itself! It spoke, voice louder then thunder and the biggest Tsunami combined.
ADAMANI!YOUR USE OF BLACK MAGIC AND NECROMANCY AS IF IT WERE LUMBER HAS ANGERED ME! I WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!
FROM NOW ON, I WILL CONTROL YOUR ARMY. WITH THE ARMY I SHALL FINALLY BE ABLE TO DEFEAT THE MOTHER OF THE EARTH.
HAVE YOU NOT FELT HER AWAKENING? WE WILL BATTLE AND I WILL WIN AGAINST THE POWERS OF MOTHER NATURE.
AGAINST HER SELECTED RACE,THE ELVES, AND ALL THAT TRY TO STOP ME! I AM IN COMMAND! SOON,THE EARTH ITSELF
WILL BE A GREAT BIG BALL OF DARKFLAME AND I WILL RULE ALL!
Adamani turned to run but he could never outrun the powerful DarkFlame. He screamed into the night as the
DarkFlame began to chase his soul away from the body. When it was over, Adamani toppled lifelessly to the
ground. The DarkFlame then took over.
Jensen scrambled through the thick foliage. Where the heck was
Kira? He looked about and saw a red glint amoung the greenery. A low
growl emerged from the shadows that enfolded the red glint. Slowly,
the red eyes emerged out of the darkness and Jensen gasped. The beast
that had emerged was a wolf,twice the size of any he had ever seen.The
growl came again and the beast lunged at him.Jensen just mangaed to
parry with a move of his sword.Blood came from the beast's side,where
the blade had struck,but the beast continued to attack.Jensen was too
weary to continue fighting the beast and he turned on his heels to run.He
stopped after taking two steps.A second of the beasts emerged from
foliage and Jensen had no choice but to fight.His sword moved to hack
the second beast,but the beast jumped onto him first.The beast began
to bite at his arm and yelled in agony.The first beast came to join in
feasting.He lunged at Jensen's face but was suddenly engulfed in a
bright flame.The second beast watched in suprise and soon it's head
fell off as a healthy Dalath sliced and diced with his sabre.Jensen stood
up but was made to go down with the reassuring hand of Kira.
"You are fine now.Do not be afraid."
Jensen opened his eyes to look at his saviour.He almost died of shock!
Kira was not the plump pixie he had thought he was but a beautiful and
slender Elf! Kira laid her hand on the wound on his arm and Jensen felt
the pain lessen. Kira was not only and Elf but capable of magic as well!
"Sleep now" came her reassuring voice again and Jensen went into
The possessed corpse of Adamani rose from the ground and glared accusingly
at the captain, who had emerged from his tent at the sound of his dying
screams. "Do you dare to look upon me, powerless one?" he snarled.
"Umm.. sorry..." mumbled the captain, confused. "I thought..."
"Did you." The former voice of Adamani dripped with sarcasm. "Why don't
you stick to strategy, hmm? Thinking is for me."
"What?" The captain, usually able to deal with the odd ways of Adamani,
was thrown off by this gibberish. However, pointing out that it didn't
make any sense didn't seem like the appropriate course.
"Never mind." Adamani swept off, looking much better than he had a few
minutes ago. Though he was still one-handed, his stump looked almost
respectable, and he had finally managed to attach his head properly.
Over his shoulder, he said, "Why don't you go attack somebody? Isn't that
what soldiers are for?"
When the captain did not move, what had once been Adamani turned and watched,
unimpressed, as the man suddenly crumbled to dust. "I don't need you idiots
"So," said Jorina, attempting to compose herself, "What are we supposed
to do now? And while we're at it, is there any possibility you'll want
to tell me exactly who that was and what's going on and Martis what are
you DOING if you don't mind?"
It was Septar that answered her. "That's a trance. I think he's either
trying to figure out what to do or else he just can't deal with it any
"Deal with what? Who was that?"
"Well, I do know a little...."
"And???" Jorina leaned forward, ready for the story.
"That man you just saw was Martis's son."
Jorina was immediately skeptical. "It couldn't be." The mysterious
figure was almost as old as Martis himself.
"It isn't, exactly," Septar amended. "When he was very young, eight or
ten, I suppose, he was abducted in his sleep. Presumably through some
magical means, Martis's soul was duplicated and corrupted, forming
the man you just saw." Jorina was taken aback. She looked back at
Martis, who still sat silently.
"He knows that that monster he destroyed is no more his son than you or I,
but he feels guilty anyway." Septar sighed. "Best to just leave him alone
Jorina looked at Martis one last time, then went to her corner, pulled
the curtain, and fell asleep.
Galev decided that Adamani must die. The rest of the master's business
could be delayed until that end was met. It was obvious to Galev, however,
that it would be necessary to recruit some assistance first. Both his
apprentices had been killed off and were probably now in the service of
Adamani himself. They had been more trouble than they were worth sometimes,
but they would certainly come in handy now. He thought for a moment about
possible options, and one of the Master's suggestions came to mind.
There was a wizard, one Jensen, who was somehow related to this Jorina.
The Master had even mentioned that he would be a good choice for a servant.
Galev strapped on his axe and girded on his armor, preparing to pay this Jensen a visit.
Far to the South lay the forest of Beltine, rich with plants and trees and laced with rivers
and streams. A man was walking, an old man. His hair was long and gray, his body limp, and he supported
himself with a single walking stick. Birds chirped in the trees above, deer were seen in the clearings,
the sun shined in brilliant rays to warm the ground. This was the place that would not be touched by
natures awakening fury, a solitude to the world. There he saw her, the one he sought. "Mother," he called
out, She raised her head to him, eyes a brilliant green, long black hair that shimmered green in the sunlight.
She held her hand to a deer and sent it on it`s way.
"What is it?" she asked.
"There is war in the North. Great beasts appearing and distroying villages. Adamani has risen."
She remained calm through out this.
"Thankyou." The old man disappered into the woods through which he came. The woman with the long black
hair and green eyes looked into a pond formed by the small river. A shiver went through her spine,
she could feel it, even if the rest of the wood couldn`t. This would be the only safe place in the entire
world, soon. Nature was awakening, war was brewing, the beginning was soon to come. "It is the beginning,"
she wispered, "it is begun."
The winter sky was clear and stingingly crisp. All soldiers were resting from the days torment with a
cracked eye to the east and an ear to the ground. There are only a few hours until the sun rises and
there will be hell to pay for what took place on this mangled day.
It wasn't until I watched my best friend die in my arms that I knew it was too late to turn back.
There was no longer hesitation in my heart, only vengence and pain.
"For now, I must rest. I must regain my strength for there is a great battle ahead, and I must help win
this battle." So he lay in the dark forest. It was only a matter of minutes before he slipped off into
a deep sleep. He was unsure of what to come but ready for what would come his way.
"Is anyone there?" The old man creaked, his lantern danced around,
in the stark darkness, lighting up, his old, emaciated figure.
In the cold black night a single spark of light shines out. In the light a form begains to grow, the old one
of long ago will enter into the world to start anew. Now to finish the battles at hand, to undo all that went
wrong in time. To raise the children that fell to the evil one. Time it will be for one and all to see.I call
all to shine forth in this world to see and beleive. We will live in peace, joy and understanding of one and
another. Now and for every. The Old One will begain to start the new spell. What a new light?? A voice calls
out. Son go back to bed,It's still my time....
Back at the Forest of Beltine the young woman, Cassandra, stopped and
looked around at her forest. The world would soon crumble if nothing
was done. But what can be done? Man is Man. Man distroys, and Man
creates. Man kills, and Man gives birth. Why does Man have to be so
distructful. Cassandra pondered in her mind. The wind rustled in the
trees above and the sun cast shadows upon the ground made from the
trees. The sun never set here, it was a rare place on earth, only the
four men knew of it. They had stumbled upon here once, partly she was
glad to have company and not have to reside in isolation anymore. But
they were still men, son of Man. Cassandra would have to leave this
place soon, but to leave is to die. Cassandra needed this forest, it
was her home and it was what kept her alive. The war in the north
called to here, she needed to do something. Cassandra couldn't just
stay here while the rest of the world went to battle. This world was
her's too, just as it belonged to the mother preparing dinner in the
kitchen on a cold Mid-winter night, just as it was to the child
playing with his friends in the sun and fields, just as it was to the
new born babe wrapped in his swaddling cloths, just as it was to the
farmer who tilled the fields to feed his family. This world was her's
just as it was to the animals who roamed the forests and plains, just
as it was to the plants and trees that fed off the warmth of the sun.
This world was her's, and she was going to protect it, even if it
meant certain death.