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The Coming Of The Young One - Fictional Novel

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Very cool! Man, all my stories like that always end up really cheesy... gyeh! I'm trying to figure out where to start for the fic I'm writing based on the FF RPG... it'll probably come out really crappy, like mostfics based on RPGs tend to. Blah. Too many character viewpoints!!! (I'll probably end up using Cloud as sort of the 'main character'...)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very true. :p Sador is the only one so far who has defied all attempts to insult him! There are no insults strong enough for him... unless... *whips out the Shakespearean Insult Generator* Hehehe, Shakespearean insults are always hilarious. BWAHAHAHAHA!!!


Anyhoo... Kokeshi, please do continue, if you can!!! :D

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Chapter Eleven


The storm clouds above hung low as if weighed down by some great, unbearable burden. Lightning flashed and thunder sang with all its might. Alys trudged steadily on, drawing closer and closer to her destination: Tamar's Point. It was only a few miles to the Point itself, and on an ordinary night, Alys could have made the trip in all of an hour. But such had not been the case tonight.


The heat was oppressive, and Alys felt smothered. She stopped often to rest. Her leg muscles ached with the strain and her feet throbbed, but she kept going doggedly on. Soon she reached the tollgates; Tamar's Point was a tourist attraction and people flocked to see it year round. She skirted the gates with ease and was on her way again. The Point itself was just ahead.


Without warning a branch of lightning flashed close by, catching one of the mighty old oaks on fire. Alys froze. This year had been particularly dry and the other trees would catch fire easily. After a moment's hesitation, she moved to the tree and placed a hand on its rough trunk. In that instant a soundless scream ripped through her mind, full of pain and agony. Alys jerked her hand back in surprise, and the awful scream was suddenly silenced. She cocked her head and touched her fingertips lightly to the trunk again. It was as if the fire tore through her and with a flash of realization, she knew she was feeling the tree's pain. She pushed her palm flat against the scratchy bark, and brought her other hand up next to it. She felt a surge of white-hot agony, and she clenched her teeth hard against it, pushing it back with all of her will power. She gazed above her and silently willed the licking flames to die.


Go out, fire, her mind cried silently, and she stared upwards, the brightness hurting her eyes. Go OUT!


In one blinding flash the flames burned higher, crackling furiously, and Alys was aware of the scream that tore out of her throat, voicing the tree's pain. Then suddenly the flames were gone, and with them the intense burning agony. Alys stood still, her hands pressed against the tree's trunk, her heart pounding wildly. She was amazed by what had happened. She stood silently for a moment, feeling the tree's life pulse through her. It was weak at first, but steadily grew stronger as the noments passed. Thank you, it seemed to say with each new surge. Thank you. Thank you.


Alys lingered a moment longer, then slowly took her hands from the tree. She felt it shiver as she withdrew her support, and found that she was shaking as well. She gazed wistfully up at the charred branches.


"I wish I could do more for you," she whispered softly.


"You have done all you can," a voice said from behind her. Alys whirled about, startled, and found the strange young man from the cafe' gazing at her calmly.


"What did you say?" she asked. The boy nodded, indicating the old tree behind her.


"I said, 'You have done all you can.' You saved the tree's life; it can heal itself now. You did well."


"I don't even know what I did. That's never happened before," Alys said, shaking her dark head slowly. The boy's silver eyes found hers.


"'She will converse with the peoples of the trees.' It is in the prophecy. Many things of that nature will continue to happen, but you must not be frightened by it. It is a wonderful gift, which only you possess, because you are the Young One," he said quietly. Alys blinked at him, then looked away towards the tree, uncomfortable under his intense gaze.


"Who are you?" she asked, still facing the tree. She felt and heard him move up behind her.


"I am Toren Hadwyn," he said softly.


"Are you to help me, then?" she asked tentatively, her voice dropping to a whisper.




They were both silent for a moment, and then Toren touched her lightly on the shoulder. She turned to face him.


"Come," he said, and took her hand in his strong one. "It is time now to go to the Portal."


* * * * *


Gregor fingered his cloak nervously as he eyed the ominous thunderheads through the observatory window. The fear had started small: a cold feeling in the pit of his stomach. Then it had grown and spread until it weighed him down, and his hands were numb. He was surrounded by the other Mages and Apprentice Mages, all looking at him expectantly. He coughed once and shuffled his feet, but he could not find his voice. Marlyn, the Head Mage, cleared his throat and asked in a quiet voice if Gregor was ready. Gregor swallowed hard and nodded once, the numbing fear tugging at him, pleading with him to refuse. With difficulty, he squashed the growing feeling of dread and made his way towards the main entrance of the fortress. The other Mages surrounded him; some reached out to touch him lightly on the shoulders and back, others just stared at him with wide, frightened eyes. They all knew what the Twelve had asked him to do. He finally reached the twin oak doors and stood still for a moment. Then, with a trembling hand, he triggered the latch and the doors swung ponderously open. Outside, the wind and the Banshees howled, buffeting the trees and sending dirt and debris everywhere. A sudden sense of urgency flooded his mind, and he stepped quickly through. The guards shut the door just as quickly, wanting no part of Gregor's task. With a muffled boom, barely audible over the shrieking of the Banshee's, the doors closed. Gregor was still close enough to hear the massive brass locks click into place. Now that he was truly alone, the Chaos began to close in.


((I'll have to finish posting the rest later, I'm dead tired...))

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erm...due to sudden complications...I'm going to have to put this on indefinite hiatus. cry I'm moving to Boise, ID by the end of this month and I don't know when I'll have internet access again. So...I leave it to Gin to decide what she'd like done with this thread.

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As ex-moderator I'd recommend to Gin to keep your story up :) . After all, I moved to Virginia from Hawaii last August-September and A Very Weird Kinda Story and Somewhere In Between didn't fall to the hellish depths of the underworld of Deleteness. I'd copy it onto a disk, though, as backup in case nightly goes on one of its I'm-going-to-shut-down-for-a-month-and-inconvience-everyone-by-deleteing-every-forum swings and your hard drive is simotaniously smashed by some stupid mover who leaves it in the middle of the road and drives the moving truck over it (don't laugh, that happened to a friend of mine!). I like this story, I just never reply to it...might you have time to add a little more before you move?

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It's very good. thumbs_u It's got a real anime style to the narration. Are you a fan?


I'm a big fan of anime myself and wish that I could find an artist who would be interested in taking stories such as these and sketching them out. I'm a very visual writer and reader and can definately envision this story, especially in an anime/manga format. I really like this style.


Definately need more. :D

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It's very good. thumbs_u It's got a real anime style to the narration. Are you a fan?

Does it really? I'm actually...not...a fan...which would be why I don't see how it's anime-style. *laugh* But whatever. Obviously the adding of new chapters didn't happen (my parents kyped the cord that plugs the computer in...the one that I need to turn the thing ON...) and so...yeah. I promise to get to it whenever I can. Probably I'll have more luck posting when I get back up to school in January.
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

(I stopped in the middle of Chapter Eleven, so let's pick it up there....)


Deep within the bowels of the Wulfsbanne, an expectant silence flooded the myriad of tunnels and chambers. The cries and shouts of before were gone, and the quiet pressed down.


In the elliptical chamber, something strange was happening. The man, whom all the Chaotic beings called Master, had descended from his lofty marble ledge high above the bonfire and the drums, and now walked amongst the wraiths, nightjumpers, satyrs, demons and wyverns. All of them cowered beneath his icy blue gaze, averting their own eyes for fear he might freeze them where they stood. They knew what he was searching for. They knew he was looking for the demon whose heart he would take for the Rebirth. Several times he stopped, eyeing some shivering, groveling creature for a time before moving on to continue his search. There was a single were-beast he left alone; he served a much more useful purpose.


His gaze was drawn to a large and powerful figure figure standing in the midst of a group of satyrs. His eyes widened slightly in mild surprise. It was certainly the largest satyr he had ever seen. It stood nearly a head taller than him, massively muscled and forbidding. His goat half was covered with masses of shaggy black fur, and his man half was nearly as hairy. The large satyr's tail lashed when he saw he'd caught the Master's gaze. He grinned rakishly and nudged his fellow satyrs.


A slow, evil grin split the Master's face as he moved toward the towering satyr. The creatures in front of him parted like the waters before Moses, and then closed again after him. He reached the tall goat-man and stopped, eyeing him with his cold eyes.


"What is your name, demon?"


The satyr moved his head slightly, his long, black horns glinting wickedly in the eerie green light of the ever-burning Helfyre. His lips curled back over pointed, rotting teeth. When he spoke, his voice was deep and gravelly.


"My name? I have no name. I am simply known as the Specter."


The Master cocked an eyebrow.


"The Specter, eh? Why?" he asked, his curiosity piqued. The large satyr grinned in a most unpleasant way. He began to slowly circle the Dark Lord.


"Because, my Lord, I stalk. Anything and everything that catches my fancy. And they never hear me coming until it's too late. The satyr was quiet as a cat on his cloven hooves, and he moved with a fluid grace that belied his size. The Dark Lord watched him intently until he was once more standing in front of him.


"Impressive. Do you know, then, who I am?" the Dark Lord asked. The satyr laughed sharply.


"Who doesn't? You are Jagganath Maelstrom, Dark Lord of the Chaos, and, most importantly, my Master." The big satyr's voice was mocking, and he spread his strong arms wide as he bowed low. Lord Jagganath regarded him coolly for a moment then laughed suddenly, catching the satyr off-guard.


"I like you. I really do," Lord Jagganath said, and the satyr grinned confidently. He didn't notice that his master's aw was clenched tightly and his eyes glittered with a deadly light. The other satyrs surrounding the Master and the Specter saw it though, and they shrank away, chittering nervously.


"You have something I want. I want it very badly. And what I want, I always get, satyr. As I said before, I like you. That is why I have chosen you for my Rebirth."


The silence that followed was all-encompassing. The satyr's inhumanly handsome face, which before had been brightly flushed with pride, was now pale and ashen, a mask of disbelief. His jaw sagged open and his red eyes were wide with shock. While the poor beast stood there, incredulous, the Dark Lord snapped his fingers and called out in a harsh, gutteral language. The bent, gnarled forms of two Ogres stepped forward and, each taking one of the satyr's arms, bound them tightly behind his back. His tall, strong form sagged with defeat and the two Ogres carted him off without a struggle. Dark Lord Jagganath's eyes fairly glowed with anticipation. He stared after the three retreating figures for a moment, an unpleasant leer fixed on his scarred countenance. Then he turned and clapped his hands twice; all creatures' eyes were once again riveted on him.


"Prepare the pyre and bring the satyr called the Specter forth. Prepare every needful thing for my Rebirth. I go to prepare myself, and upon my return the ceremony will take place. Go."


In seconds all the creatures had scattered, fanning outwards as ripples do on the surface of a suddenly disturbed pool. Lord Jagganath himself strode out of the huge, elliptical cavern and made his way to his personal meditation chamber. The final hour was swiftly approaching, and he would be there to meet it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Chapter Twelve


Toren pulled Alys along gently, showing her various signs that marked the path as they went. Alys tucked each one safely away in her memory, knowing instinctively that she would need them again in the future. She knew they were headed in the general direction of the Point, but she still paid careful attention to each and every clue that Toren pointed out. Suddenly, Toren stopped short, listening. Alys started to ask what was wrong, but before she even opened her mouth, Toren’s hand came up gently against her lips. He put a warning finger up to his own lips, then indicated he’d heard something and wanted to check it out. Alys nodded her understanding and watched him melt into the shadows. She seated herself quietly underneath a nearby tree and leaned back, resting her head against the trunk. She closed her eyes and felt the gentle pulse of the tree behind her. It was comforting, in a strange way, and it reminded Alys of home.


Home. Alys snorted softly. She didn’t even know where ‘home’ was. She hoped it was wherever this young man, Toren, was taking her. Suddenly she heard something. She opened her eyes again and looked warily about. Then she heard it again: a soft scraping sound, like the sound of cloth being dragged over bare dirt. A feeling of foreboding began to worm its way into her thoughts, expanding as it worked itself in. Off to her left she heard the snap of several twigs and a muffled thud as something landed.


"Toren?" Alys called, her voice a tentative half-whisper. Silence. The soft scraping came closer, and there was a crackling of branches being pushed aside to make way for something large. Alys pressed her back against the tree, her hands searching for something with which to defend herself. Briefly, she thought she heard a laugh so evil and malignant it turned her spine to ice. She could sense them, all around her, closing in, tightening the noose. A sudden wild fear overcame her and she looked around frantically. She could not see what stalked her, but they were there, she knew it. Something clammy and unpleasant brushed, feather-light, against her cheek and she scrambled away from it, stumbling backwards and falling as she tried to stand. She landed hard and twisted her ankle. Then the things were all about her, touching her, stroking her. She brushed them away, recoiling from their touch. They merely came again, touching her face and her arms and her hands. To her horror, she felt a little of herself taken each time they brushed up against her. Terror welled up in her throat, choking her.


"TOREN!" She screamed his name over and over, tears streaming unheeded down her cheeks. She clawed at the terrible things that surrounded her, but there was nothing tangible to drive away. They were winning. She could feel herself slip away. In an odd, disconnected way, she was aware of a searing, white heat against her leg, burning...but she could not comprehend what it was. She was falling, falling, with no one to catch her and nothing to break her fall. Then a blinding light shone in her eyes and the horrible shadows around her were driven away. She cried out as they abruptly released their iron grip on her mind and left her head throbbing painfully. She vaguely heard Toren’s furious yell and the blood-chilling cries of things not of her world. She tried to pick herself up, but stumbled and fell again, cutting her palms on sharp rocks. Then strong arms encircled her waist, supporting her, and she was able to stand. Toren’s anxious face hovered before her, and she was seeing two and three of him at times. Warm hands were placed on the sides of her face, fingers gently pressing at her temples. The warmth in them flowed down through her mind, trickling into the dark parts where the shadows had gained control. The warmth slowly spread throughout her whole body, and her fingers tingled as the blood rushed into them. Then she snapped awake, her eyes wide and frightened. Relief flooded Toren’s face, and their eyes locked.


"Are you all right?" he asked, his voice full of concern. She managed to nod weakly, then held her head as her world began to spin.


"Here, sit. Ach! I am a fool! They deceived me and drew me away from you so they could get to you." He pressed the heel of his hand to his forehead for a moment, then looked back up at her. She was pale and drawn, but he had done what he could. Once they were through the Portal and safely inside Ryu Fortress, the old Healer could care for her properly. He could tell she was still somewhat dazed, but they could not lose a moment more. He had to get her to the Portal.


Alys shook her head as if to clear it. "What happened? Who are ‘they’?" she asked. Toren’s face was grim. He uttered a single, chilling word.




Alys blinked at him in confusion and he shook his dark head. "I will explain later. Right now we must go through the Portal. You must make it to Ryu Fortress by dawn. Come," he said, and put her arm around his neck, pulling her to her feet. His arm came up around his slim waist, strong and reassuring.


"Can you walk?" he asked. She nodded, and he began to walk slowly forward, holding her up. Her legs were weak, but as they went along, they grew steadily stronger until she was able to walk on her own. She limped slightly from her twisted ankle, but nevertheless matched Toren stride for stride. He took his arm from around her waist and took her hand instead. Alys was comforted by the strength in his grip.


Finally, they broke through the wall of trees and came out on the Point itself. Alys caught her breath. Beneath the Point, Tamar’s Gorge yawned, its depths black and seemingly endless. Massive storm clouds writhed and twisted in an unsettling manner, as if they claimed a life of their own. Lightning lanced downward, illuminating the Point and the Gorge below. Thunder rumbled constantly, and the air crackled with so great a tension that even the animals sensed it. The whole sight was awe-inspiring, and Alys felt suddenly alive. She turned to Toren, her face shining.


"Isn’t it beautiful?" she asked, and Toren had to smile at her enthusiasm. He nodded silently, but she didn’t see him. Her attention was riveted on the storm. Then she noticed something odd. Just above the Point itself, there was a space in the clouds where she could see the stars. It was as if someone had punched a hole in the clouds to allow the stars to shine through, and Alys felt a surge of excitement as she remembered the crone’s words.


"Where the stars are the brightest," she murmured. Toren glanced at her and she shrugged, smiling a little.


"The old one came to you, then?" he asked quietly. Alys cocked her head at him.


"If you mean that loony old lady from two nights ago, then yes, she did," Alys said, watching the young man next to her. Toren smiled slightly and nodded, watching the storm.


"Yes, she always did seem a little on the strange side. She was, however, our strongest spellworker, next to Marlyn himself." He turned to her and caught her watching him.


"Did she give you anything?" he asked. Alys blinked, then nodded. She reached into her pocket and pulled out the marble. Toren’s silver eyes lit up when she held it out to him on her open palm.


"May I?" he whispered softly, and Alys gave him a strange look.


"Sure, I guess. Why?"


Toren looked up at her, his face a mixture of delight, wonder, and disbelief. "Did she not tell you what this is, then?" he asked, and Alys shook her dark curly, head.


"She said only to be careful with it, so that it did not fall into the wrong hands." She held out her hand and he gave it reverently back to her. She tucked it back into her pocket.


"What is it, then? It looks like a plain marble to me. It sure doesn’t act like one, but I thought that was all it was," she said, and Toren looked sharply at her.


"What do you mean, ‘it doesn’t act like one’?" he asked, his voice suddenly dark. Alys felt flustered and she shrugged, uncomfortable.


"How should I know? It was glowing and it burned me. See?" she said, and held out her hand to show him where her palm and fingertips had begun to blister. Toren’s eyes went wide and his voice was full of urgency.


"When did this happen, and how? Tell me, quickly!" His whisper was so urgent that he sounded harsh. Alys blinked at him, confused and a little frightened.


"I – I don’t know!" she said, faltering. "I woke up and there was this...this big ugly dog thing in my room and it attacked me and then I picked up the marble. I almost dropped it because it was burning me, but then I held it up and the dog thing just...disappeared. Just like that. And then the marble quit glowing and burning me." She paused, remembering suddenly the burning against her leg in the woods. "And it happened just now, when the...the Shadowspithre attacked." Alys felt extremely uncomfortable under Toren’s intense gaze, and she was frightened by the sudden change in his demeanor. Toren could see he’d frightened her, and he took her by the shoulders and looked her right in the eyes.


"Listen to me. This will sound a little strange, but…did the creature speak to you?" he asked. Alys started to shake her head no, then seemed to remember something, and reluctantly nodded, grimacing.


"What did it say to you?" he said, and Alys bit her bottom lip, her eyes wide.


"It...it said I couldn’t hide from...from the Chaos," she said, stammering a little. Toren had a sinking feeling. He released her shoulders and stepped back. Alys peered at him worriedly.


"Is something wrong? Have I said or done something? What is it, Toren?" she asked. Toren closed his eyes and shook his head.


"No, my Lady, it was nothing you did."


Alys felt a shiver up her spine. My Lady? Toren had turned away before she could ask. He watched the storm for a few moments, then turned back to her. He took both of her hands in his and gazed at her intently.


"What the old one gave you is very precious, and very powerful. It is called the Lightstone. You have already seen some of what it can do, and believe me, that was just a fraction of its true power. In time, you will learn to handle it properly. For now, let what you have seen suffice," he said, and Alys nodded.

"The thing that attacked you in your room is called a nightjumper. They are Jagganath Maelstrom’s servants; he controls them. I cannot say what might have happened to you had you not had the Lightstone, but it would not have been pleasant. However, by using the Lightstone, you sent out a signal, loud and clear, to all those who serve Jagganath and the Chaos. They know where you are, my Lady, and they will not give up until you are in their clutches. That is how the Shadowspithre knew to draw me away and trap you. Unfortunately, every time you use the Lightstone, it pinpoints your location and those of the Chaos come that much closer to finding you. Do you understand?" he said. Alys nodded silently, although she didn’t really. Toren nodded once and squeezed her hands before releasing them.


"Good," he said. "Then follow me. Time is running short, and dawn is not far away." He led her to the very edge of the Point, then told her to stand behind him. She did as she was told, then watched as Toren closed his eyes and concentrated. He brought up his hands and pressed them together, palm to palm, in front of his chest. Alys heard him murmur a few words in a strange yet familiar language, then watched as he slowly raised his hands, bringing them up above his head. To Alys’s complete amazement, the air in front of him first shimmered, then split. A thin rip in the air became visible, then seemed to peel back as Toren, still muttering to himself, brought his hands apart and lowered his arms slowly to his sides. He stood still for a moment longer, then opened his eyes and turned to Alys. He smiled faintly as she first gaped at him and then at the opening in the air behind him.


"The Portal," he said softly. He then took her hand and they moved directly in front of it. It shimmered an incandescent blue, rippling and flowing as water did. Alys reached out a tentative hand to touch it, and the touch of her finger caused the Portal to part a little. Alys jerked her hand back, then gave a small laugh of delight. The two looked at each other, and Toren smiled reassuringly at her. With one stride they were through, and the air sealed up behind them with a silent thunderclap, plunging the area around it into its former shadow. For a moment, everything was deathly still...then the storm grew in frenzy, and the hole in the clouds above the Point quickly closed. Now that the Young One was gone, the Chaos came out to play.

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Chapter Thirteen


The bowels of the Wulfsbanne were eerily silent, the greenish glow of the Helfyre now brighter than ever. The thousands of creatures that served the Chaos had all gathered again to witness their Master’s Rebirth. The Dark Lord himself had swept silently in, robes the color of the night billowing behind him. In the middle of the cavern burned the Helfyre, in which stood a massive obsidian slab, lying horizontally across wide wooden beams. Next to the fire stood the two Ogres with their large captive, the satyr who called himself the Specter. His strangely handsome face was lined with fear and a hint of twisted anticipation at the horrific event about to take place. The Chaotic Lord approached and leered up at him.


"Greetings, Specter," he mocked, bowing low before the satyr. The goat-man began to tremble. When Lord Jagganath straightened, he brought his face close to the satyr’s, scrutinizing him with ice-blue eyes.


"How do you feel, demon?" he asked softly. "Do you feel the fear that starts deep in the belly and spreads throughout your whole body until you are numb with it? I hope so, satyr, for your sake." His voice was like ice and the trembling satyr closed his eyes and swallowed hard.


"Look at me."


Reluctantly the large satyr reopened his eyes and found himself face to face with his Dark Lord and Master.


"Look at me." The Dark Lord’s voice was there merest whisper and the satyr and his Master locked gazes. The satyr felt the Master’s eyes burn into him, and watched in amazement as they began to change color. The Dark Lord’s pupils dilated until there was just a thin ring of color around them and the ice blue slowly darkened until it was black. The satyr watched in horrified fascination as his Master pulled his lips back over his teeth. His eyeteeth had lengthened and sharpened, and he ran his tongue over the points lightly. A thin line of red appeared where his tongue had met with his teeth. He spoke, his voice grating and sibilant.


"I am ready, satyr. Are you?" Lord Jagganath blinked, two separate lids coming down over each strange eye. He cocked his head and leered unnervingly. The satyr felt a shudder of revulsion run through him. Lord Jagganath hissed, and then abruptly he spun away, striding toward the bonfire. He snapped his fingers and the Ogres jerked the crushed satyr to his feet and dragged him after the Dark Lord, their massive muscles bulging as they supported him. Ahead, Lord Jagganath stopped in front of the Helfyre, turning to face his minions. He raised his arms, commanding attention.


"Bring forth the satyr," he said, his voice ringing through the cavern. The Ogres brought him before the Dark Lord, shoving him roughly down on his shaggy knees. Lord Jagganath clasped strong hands behind his back and walked in a slow circle around the trembling satyr, contemplating him.


"This fool though to defy me," the Dark Lord hissed, and the satyr shook his horned head in desperation.


"Please, Lord Jagganath! I never meant it, really. I was only jesting."


"Were you, now? Oh, it’s a pity it didn’t seem so at the time, isn’t it?" the Dark Lord asked, his voice mocking, a feigned frown fixed on his terrible scarred face. The satyr tried to protest, rising a little from his kneeling position on the marble floor. The Ogres moved to shove him back down, but Lord Jagganath waved them back. He stood still for a moment, then in one swift movement caught the pleading satyr across the face with the back of one hand. The satyr went down hard, and before he had a chance to recover, Lord Jagganath caught him by the horns and jerked him upright again. The satyr cried out in pain as the Dark Lord struck him again, viciously, across the face; this time he drew blood. Lord Jagganath smiled unpleasantly and reached out, dabbing some of the blood onto his finger and tasting it experimentally. The evil grin grew and he raised his hand as if to strike again. The satyr cringed visibly beneath the impending blow, and Lord Jagganath threw back his head and laughed. There was another flash of movement and a long, jagged dagger appeared in his hand. The Dark Lord bared his canines in a feral smile.


"I crave more of your blood, demon. Whether you want me to have it or not, I will have it. Your heart and soul will be mine, and then I shall be Specter Lord of the Chaos!" Lord Jagganath cried, his black eyes blazing. He signaled the two Ogres forward, instructing them in their guttural tones to lay the satyr upon the obsidian slab. The Ogres jerked the shivering satyr to his feet and pulled him roughly into the Helfyre, where they laid him on the great slab of rock and bound his hands and feet. By now the satyr was frightened beyond sanity, and he mumbled to himself incoherently, jerking and convulsing in his bonds. Lord Jagganath stepped into the Helfyre and felt the coldness of it burn around him. He gazed at the satyr, stretched full-length on the slab of rock, and, for a moment, almost pitied him. The satyr caught sight of the Dark Lord standing over him and his crazed red eyes went first wide with fear, then upon recognition filled with hatred. His chest heaved violently and his face was contorted.


"You!" he spat. "You will pay for this!"


The Dark Lord laughed. "Will I now? We’ll just see how well you do, friend. But first, I’m going to join us..."


The Dark Lord of the Chaos bent close to the satyr, his eyes flicking up and down. His lips curled back over his sharp canines. He brought up a hand and gently traced a line down the satyr’s bare chest, nodding to himself, his morbid delight growing.


"Yes," he whispered to himself. "Right there..." Without warning, the jagged blade reappeared in his hand and he plunged it into the satyr’s chest, ripping downward alone the line his finger had traced. The satyr’s red eyes went wide with shock and agony. He tried to scream, but instead choked on the blood that welled up and spilled out of his mouth. Lord Jagganath sneered down at him.


"I will take your heart first, satyr. Then I will take your soul. And after that, I will toss your worthless carcass to the nightjumpers. It’s not often that they get fresh meat."


The satyr saw his Master extend a hand and felt it fasten about his heart, then went rigid as his Master drew his bloody hand out again, holding the still-beating life source. Lord Jagganath observed the satyr’s heart, pulsing strongly in his blood-coated hand. Then he took the jagged blade and speared it, thrusting it into the cold flames of the Helfyre. The blood ignited and flared brightly for an instant, then died. The heart was left hard, black, and glittering in the greenish cast of the Helfyre. It was still beating, and was shot through with tendrils of red that glowed brightly with each pulse. Lord Jagganath too the knife from the heart and drove its blade into his own chest, ripping downward as he had done before on the satyr. He grunted as the pain tore through him, his breath catching in his throat. He took the now blackened, hardened heart and thrust it into the bloody cavity left by the knife. Exhilaration came in a sudden rush, and the Dark Lord cried out as he felt the Helfyre course through him, giving him new life, mixing his tainted blood with the satyr’s. New life beat strongly within him. The jagged rip in his chest sealed, leaving nothing to show that he had even been cut. He strode back to the obsidian table where the satyr lay, his insides beginning to push through the gash that Lord Jagganath had inflicted. The Dark Lord saw that the satyr’s eyes had begun to glaze over; he was quickly losing the battle for life. He bent close to the satyr, listening to the shallow, labored breathing.


"Are you ready to give me your soul now, fool?" the Dark Lord asked, and grinned cruelly as the satyr gasped, trying to say something. Lord Jagganath brought up his hands and placed them on either side of the satyr’s head; soon a black, pulsing glow came from them. It spread slowly downward, and the satyr’s skin turned ashen and stretched tightly over the bones of his body in its wake. His form grew thin and wasted, until it was little more than a shadow of what it had been. A skeletal, grotesque creature was left lying helpless in a dark pool of its own gore. The light in the satyr’s eyes dimmed and went out while Lord Jagganath watched. Eyes wide, mouth slack and bloody, his once muscular chest was laid open to the bone and his ribs glistened in the Helfyre’s green light, wet with dark blood. Lord Jagganath clucked his tongue at the grisly scene, then spat contemptuously on the carcass.


"Not even worth throwing to the nightjumpers," he said softly, shaking his head and gazing at the decimated corpse. Then a feral grin broke over his face and he turned, stepping out of the Helfyre. Immediately, the cold green flames were extinguished, plunging the elliptical cave into utter blackness. But Lord Jagganath and his minions did not need the light; their eyes were better suited to the dark. The Dark Lord gazed out over the sea of red, yellow, and green eyes, each pair belonging to one of his servants. He heard the collective gasp as he steppe from the Helfyre, for he now bore the visage of the satyr, whose heart and soul he had stolen. His eyes were his own, however, and they still glittered a chilling, depthless black. He slowly turned his newly horned head, his gaze sweeping across the cavern. All bowed down before him, fearing his strength and his power. He spoke, his voice little more than a hissing whisper.


"Now we go forth to meet the Young One."

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