The title is really just a working title, but I thought I would post up parts of my story slowly but surely and get comments. Please tell me what you think. PS: It is still a bit of a rough draft, so try to be easy on the grammar please. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Therra is a wondrous place, filled with magic, creatures of mystery and danger, many different races that work together and against one another, conflict and peace, and many different religions to the different gods of our world. Yes, it is indeed a very special place to live and we are lucky to find ourselves amidst this wonder.” Chapter 1: The Shadows of Dawn There was a place where mistakes were pushed away and forgotten. It was a dark place and hidden place in the multi-verse, off limits to everyone and everything, escape was impossible for the prisoner of this dimensional cage and entrance was almost improbable. The light was faint, shining in a low dim way, lighting up the perpetual fog in a dull grayish, blackish, shifting wall that hid horrors of all kinds that lurked just out of sight. Occasionally you could hear the skittering and see quick flickers of movement, ominous hints of something in the mist. In this dark foreboding place, there was a creature standing in full view that was in stark contrast to the dark setting around it. Instead of hiding just beyond reach, it stood in full view and looked completely out of place. Unlike the shadows that moved about unseen, this creature floated just off the ground, purposefully and singularly, intent on a single goal and not deviating from an invisible path. It was made almost entirely of yellow glowing energy and wore the armor of a warrior. Its head and arms were made from glowing crackling orbs of energy, while its body was a single metal chest piece and continued on down into a warrior’s kilt that extended downwards to the ground. Its head was like a golden sun, suspended over the neckline of the breastplate. There was an insignia on its chest, double headed vertical golden war hammer. It seemed as if the entire realm gave it a wide birth, because the creatures that stalked it, did not impede it and the very mist that pervaded the realm was abscent from a large breadth around the strange Spartan. Finally, after floating for many minutes, the Spartan stopped and spoke in a deep, resounding and echoing voice, like it was speaking through a cave. “I have come for Kestrel.” There was a flurry of movement and multiple hands and claws scratched at the outlining aura around the Spartan, but stopped immediately after. A path in the mist appeared before the Spartan, leading it towards a red figure, suspended in the distance. It began to float slowly down the path. Moments past and the Spartan finally made it its destination. Hanging just off the ground, held in place by yellow chains made out of pure energy, that seemed to be attached to nothing, instead continuing on forever upwards into the mist and extending into the ground and they were branded with a familiar golden war hammer. It was almost humanoid with reverse jointed legs and what was originally two wings, but one had been removed somehow, in its place was a bleeding stump on its back. Its frame was squat, sinewy, and was laced with long powerful muscles. Its skin was red and scaled with patches of feathers that dotted its skin intermittently. His legs were long, likened to a frog, powerful muscled machines built for springing, and landing. Its legs were stretched almost straight by its chains, causing discomfort. The creature’s face was large and expressive, and it had smooth scales that curved upwards along a horn rimmed face. Two large expressive round eyes, as big as a man’s fist, stared at its visitor the Spartan. The creature’s mouth was large, with a mouth that stretched from cheekbone to cheekbone, exposing long angular yellow teeth that poked sadistically down its lower lip. Large curling horns floated just off its head remaining in orbit perpetually; they were also in motion, much like a garish spiked crown of bone. From its back, poked out a single red wing that drooped from disuse, the muscles that once powered this majestic appendage were atrophied and holes dotted the membrane of the wing and made the once regal wing look sad and decrepit. It was a lost glory with a crown of thorns. On the other side of the creatures back, exactly opposite of the atrophied wing is a curious sight to behold, a bleeding stump where an appendage is missing. Garish, jagged, claw marks rake across stump garishly like rivulets, marking it as a sight of a repeated wound, it still bleeds even now, the wound not healed, even though it looks like the damage is old. The imp spoke in a gravely malicious voice, with a slight hint of insanity, “Why are you here servant of Dol’aron?” The Spartan responded in the same its hollow sounding voice, “We require your service, Kestrel.” Kestrel snarled from his perch, “How dare you ask a favor from me!” The golden orb of the servant of Dol’aron’s head did not move or speak for a while, as if weighing what is was about to say next, “Do you desire freedom?” Kestrel struggling against the chains that bound him in a titanic effort that shook the realm itself, he roared in anger and his mouth opened wider than it should have, unhinging and causing his mouth to open almost completely vertical, to reveal rows upon rows of jagged teeth, with large evil looking canines at the front to release his primal scream, “After uncounted millennia of imprisonment for a crime that you committed, you are willing to let me loose? Do you comprehend the hell I will bring with my brothers and sisters? Your world will be wiped clean, everything that makes it unique will be erased, and I will return it to the original fabric from which it was made?!” after letting loose his promise, he collapsed back into the hold of his chains. The Spartan nodded, its yellow orb bending down slightly, “I only have the power to free you, but in order to free the rest of your kindred, you will have to travel to Chapel city.” Kestrel smiled evilly, “You are serious. This is not a cosmic joke is it? Hmmm, do you have a vessel ready for me?” The Spartan nodded, “He is our speaker, Diametries.” Kestrel raised a red scaled eyebrow, “Expensive digs, does he meet my requirements? Is he a fallen hero of god?” The Spartan nodded one final time, “He forsakes his god, our god Dol’aron.” “Sweet irony, the very god he hates, is the one pulling his strings.” Kestrel yanked at one of the chains on his arm. The Spartan raised an orb of energy of an arm towards Kestrel’s direction, the golden war hammers on stamped on the chains glowed brightly and then with a crash, they shattered, sprinkling the ashen ground with glowing particles, moments later they disappeared. Kestrel fell to the ground, landing with catlike grace, prowling forward, he stopped next to the Spartan, his footsteps burned the ground with a smoldering black fire, “I can kill you now.” The Spartan was unmoving. Kestrel laughed slightly, “Send me to Chapel.” One of the orbs of energy from the Spartan’s arms floated out, still connected to its body, then began to expand into a flat plain, till it was a perfect flat circle, then it began to swirl in on itself and slowly revealed on the other side, it was suspended high up in the sky, looking down on a long rolling forest with healthy looking trees, that came up to a large white mountain, and far in the distance, a city could be seen peeking out into the distance. Kestrel smiled with barely contained enthusiasm in his large alien like eyes, he sprang forward towards the open portal, but stopped himself halfway through, holding the edges with one of his claws and stepping lightly on one edge, both claws were burning away at the portal, making it wider at the points that he was in contact with it, as if it was paper. Kestrel spoke to the Spartan, “I know what I get out of this, but what do you get out of this?” The Spartan remained silent. Kestrel smiled to himself, “Fine, be that way.” And he jumped through the portal and flew into the sky. When he was fully through the portal, he transformed into a large black shadow, and the only evidence of his passing was the shadow he left over the clouds below him. After Kestrel left, the Spartan broke contact with the portal, and grew back a new orb for a hand out of nothing. The Spartan spoke to the mist, “Take me to the other leaders of the Vaedziur.” The mist parted to reveal a new path and the Spartan moved down it in a slow and purposeful fashion. The portal remained open, slowly closing as the Spartan left, when it appeared that there was no one to see, a new figure floated out of the darkness. It was also a strange contrast to its surroundings, a monk in long flowing robes that glittered like the stars. Its hood was pulled down in such a way that nothing could be seen inside except for piercing forest green eyes. A black mist flowed from within one of the folds of its robes and stopped in front of it, appearing to be the vague outline of a body. The kneeled in respect, then raced into the closing portal. The monk bowed its head and disappeared back into the mist from where it came.