Have you ever heard the tales of the lower planes?

The stories always rang in my head as a child. Tales that were meant to frighten me, and scare me into being a good child.

However they did nothing more than intrigue me. Tales of great monsters rising from the depths, to reign punishment, to show their power, and to punish the sinners. These are the stories that i grew on, Never showing my true thoughts.

I lived a fairly normal life. I became a quick study of the arcane arts, And soon became know as an apprentice to the masters of the Elven libraries. Our Forest Sanctuary was one of the greatest Sanctuaries of knowledge left standing in our world. I was held in very high esteem for my interest, and my Ideas about new ways to use magic. I quickly became one of the most prized apprentice’s that the library had ever know. However the Recognition that i got would never be enough after the things that i had been learning.

My passion for the Cursed realms of this universe never ceased.

Many people thought me to be a Dark or Twisted person, Due to my interest in the lower realms, However i could never see it that way. For the stories that i grew up on, Showed the Demons as creatures of Slaughter, Whom were there to punish those whom were damned for what they’ve done. Avengers, Clad in Fire and Brimstone, Ridding the world of the Sinners that litter our world.

I was young, And naive, I knew not the nature or mind of the demon. Not like i do now.

The library was a vast place, Many of it’s halls and cloisters were not available to the public, But were reserved for arcanists and researchers. These were homes to some of the most ancient spell-books and rituals that existed, Many spells that no one left alive have seen, let alone heard of. But the lower halls were worse.

The Library was built into the oldest tree to exist in elven lands, carrying off far into the bough and branches, which were thick enough to carry entire wings of the library, The inside lived and crafted itself around the books, and around ourselves. It seemed as though the Tree itself took the knowledge that is housed here, and moved it into it’s own life force. However the older the tree, the deeper the roots.

Deep underneath the surface of our citadel were the Roots were we kept all dark Magics. Few knew this place Existed, and of the few that did know of it. I was the only one whom would dare to cross the threshold. Many people said that even being in the halls beneath was enough to drive them mad, the Dimly lit halls, Most say they can even hear the whispers of those whom never left the Deep musty halls.

Most of my Waking hours were spent in this place, many forgot my place at the library, i was seen so scarcely. It was here that i learned more about my obsession than even i wished to know. I read the tomes carefully, Knowing which ones not to touch before even handling the leathers of their binding. Many times could i have lost my life by stroking the spine of the incorrect book. However one day even through all the maps that I’ve seen of this place, i found a room that was Unmarked. There was no notes of this place in any diagram or map of the library. This room was not supposed to be found.

When the Cases at the far end of the hall were cleaned off, I noticed something then, Carved into the great wooden bookcase. Dusting the Polished wood revealed a very old carving, The language was old. Older than most care to remember in our world. But i could make them out. “Daimonas Sarka.” Demon Flesh.

When i spoke the word aloud, The root began, Twist beneath my feet. The Room shaped itself around me, The Book cases Shifting to create a room of their own, and Soon, I was there. The room before me was unlike anything i had ever seen before. A great room full of various test Subjects, i could see creatures that had been stuffed, different body parts in Jars. This room was well used for whatever it was used for.

The size of the room didn’t make sense, however with magic things rarely did. Peering through the gap made by the book cases, I saw a scene far more gruesome than those I’d read about.

A small set of stairs declined slightly into the pool. The floor had a small pool of blood, not even enough to cover my feet, but enough to make the floor a solid pool of crimson.In the middle of the pool, Sat the altar, The flickering light of candles surrounded the pool, revealing the large tome on the pedestal. It seemed like a normal book, Until getting closer, When looking, the fine cover and binding of the book had a very strange leather.

It was Human.

The Binding was stitched.

It seemed as though someone had created the book through the same methods that one would stuff an animal.But the runes around the edges told me otherwise. The dull brown they were written in was unmistakeably blood. Dried and left for many a century. The chills running down my spine almost rendered me unable to walk, unable to speak. However that level of paralysis didn’t come until i stepped into the pool of blood.

What do you offer?”

The voice resounded in my mind. I looked around the room, trying to discern if there was an echo to what i heard. Unfortunately there was not. The voice was calling from within my own mind.

“What do you take?”

Those were the gravest words I’ve ever spoken.

I heard the laughter resounding in my head. Not just one. But many.

“You’re a brave one. We like that. We don’t repeat ourselves very often.What do you offer?”

The Sweat began to pour down my face, I was trembling, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t think. All i could do was Answer.

“I will give whatever it takes.”

The book slowly began opening. The cover fell hard with a thud on the altar.

“You will give us that and so much more.”

The Laugh began again, echoing in my head, As i stood, terrified of what I’ve just done. I’ve never managed to experience the mirth of demons first hand until this moment. At this moment i understood the True ruthlessness that demons are capable of. Two great arms slowly reached out of the book. These hulking arms reached their way towards me, I felt them wrapping around my body. Lifting me into the air. Then another pair began to emerge, these ones however weren’t like the book, They were made of Shadows. The darkest void in created form. I had no idea what was about to happen to me. The shadow arms slowly slid my shirt to my neck. I still couldn’t move, I could only watch in horror as i became the plaything of this book.

“The Libram of Flesh will use you well.”

The Voice rang out again. The hands reached back down to the book, Flipping through the pages. The arms began to pull a page from the book.

“I believe a fiend skin should work fine for your first.”

The hands held a red patch of flesh, It was a dark red, much like the pool i walked into. The arms moved Closer, Seemingly fitting it to my Chest. After placing it in the shape of a Diamond going from the bottom of my neck, to the bottom of my ribs.

I heard that horrific cackling again.

Then i saw what they were doing.

The Arms clapped their hands, and when they came apart from each other i knew what was going to happen.

The hands seemed to pull a needle and thread from themselves. They got closer, Bobbing and weaving, Then i felt it, The Injection, In and out, They began Stitching the patch of Flesh to me. It was agonizing.

I almost fell into a state of shock. But these needles, They were something completely different, The pain seared my whole body every time the needle entered and left.Then the pain stopped. Underneath the patch of demon flesh, all i could feel was the my own skin burning, almost as though it was melding itself to me. I knew i would no longer be the same.The arms went back into the book slowly. Setting me down in the pool of blood.

I managed to move again, To stand, And i felt Invigorated. I felt Different, My blood felt like it was Boiling, i felt as though there was nothing that could stand in my way. I quickly took the book from the altar, And threw it in my satchel. I needed to leave this place. The library was no longer a place that i could call home. Walking out of the pool. I found the room re-arranging itself back to the hallway that i had originally entered.

As this place would not be Easy to escape if anyone were to know what has been removed from here. Taking a few tomes of old magic, And a couple little magic trinkets that i can find. It seems that this Large library was not large enough to keep me entertained.

Leaving the city i looked back from the trees outside my former home. I never saw myself leaving this place. I never saw myself becoming branded like i did. I never saw the true evil that demons were possessed of. But now i understood. Running my hand under my shirt over the red patch of skin that was grafted to my chest.

I could hear the whispers from the book, As the strands of shadows slowly began to emerge from my Satchel, Taking a form Different from the arms that had extended previously, These streaks of pure void rose from my pack slowly leaning down over my shoulder.

The Globes of Darkness slowly opened, Revealing a mouth of twisted jagged teeth, They spoke with a Chilling tone, Almost childlike.

“You will make the perfect vassal for us, The Libram thanks you greatly for your offer, Hellgrafter.”

I could tell this was only the beginning.

That was something the laughing voices would never let me forget.

They call me Hellgrafter. After hearing it so many times, I’m starting to have a hard time remembering my real name.

Maybe now i can achieve the true power that I’ve heard of since i was a child.

dark-fantasy_00360573

I grew up in a city that could be considered a nightmare on the mortal plane. 

A dark and terrible place, That most Murderers wouldn’t call home. 

Most mortal races haven’t heard of this place, nor would they ever care to. 

My home was the place that children were told of so they would behave. 

Every corner of the city is lined with monsters. They hide in the shadows, They show themselves only when it’s too late. The god’s of the lower planes smile upon this place. The “Mortals” That are still left alive here almost all worship them, And they’re rewarded well, for their Insanity, their instability, their chaos. 

 In some of the higher towers and deeper dungeons of this forsaken place, Creatures of hellfire and deception are torn from the place they call home, to serve the privileged, and the faithful of these so called gods. 

These are the true embodiment of the foul and perverse, These are the things that are supposed to incite fear in peoples minds, The thought of the torture that will happen when they step out of line. The stories of demons tormenting peoples souls eternally when we pass on. 

I do not fear these things. For I have seen true fear. 

line-divider-Invert

The city streets were dark in Verlaten. Even during the day, thickness of night always seemed to cling to this place. However with everything that has happened here, it seems there is probably reason to believe why the darkness stays here.

For centuries, this had been the city of the non-believers, It’s name even being an ancient word for Forsaken. Here Mortal races would live without morals, without any civilized culture. This was the city where someone would live the way that they wanted.

Many gods however thrived on this, Feeding off of the chaotic energy, the murder, and fear.

The town was the perfect place to hatch the plans of the Old Dark Ones, A particularly nasty group of elder gods.

Verlaten was a town that had many flaws, and nothing to really stay for. The practitioners of dark arts around the city have corrupted the very essence of the earth around this city. Leaving a heavy clinging darkness that envelopes the city, Days are lit by the street lamps, Lit with a sickly green light, Byproduct of Chemical Magic. The sun attempts to break the darkness every day, however it does nothing more than bring a light grey to the streets.

My family never had much, My parents had forsaken the gods, much as they had felt. My mother was a Drunk, She treated my father as though he belonged on the streets. She Drank, She would beat him with whatever was Handy. He would take his money, And gamble it in the back alley, Trying to earn his way from this horrid place.

And then they were gone. My father had wound up dead. Gambling debts forced him to fight for a living, He was quickly killed, found down river in the rocks. After my father died, My mother took her own life.

And as quickly as that, A young boy of thirteen years old, Is put on the streets by himself.

Luckily, I was Resourceful. I could steal, And I Could manipulate, Despite hating the city. It still managed to mold me in it’s Image.

I lived in a warehouse near the Docks. It wasn’t too big, but it had a few large loading bays. This was where they used to Unload Foreign goods. When Foreigners would still come here. It was just big enough to make it mine. The doors were Boarded, So were most of the windows. There was a window near the top of the building, perfectly lined up with the roof of the neighboring building. I remember the first time jumping from that roof through the window. I had found my own little piece of a home in this cesspool around me

I lived in that warehouse for quite a few years. I lived from the streets, pilfering, raiding, and even rarely killing if it meant that i could live another day. This city had raised me in it’s image.

When i was sixteen, I still lived in the Warehouse, I had a loft that was built on the top floor, Overlooking the bay of the warehouse floor. It was pretty bare down there now, only a few shelves with some old goods that i left to make it look the part. But i’ll never forget what happened on the last night i spent in that warehouse.

line-divider-Invert

It was late. Dark enough that i couldn’t see outside. But that didn’t count for much in Verlaten. Every once and a while, I’d get the odd Drunk or a Street worker stumbling into the builder from time to time, But the sounds that woke me this time were different.

I could hear chains, Dragging on the cold stone floor.

I could hear a chant, But this wasn’t any language i had ever heard.

It was Guttural, Sounded almost like gurgling.

And then i heard the scream that got me out of bed.

The shrill sound raced through the building. It struck me to the core and echoed in my bones. But i felt that i needed to see what was going on. Taking a look over the railing, I saw who was making the noise.

In the middle of my home, Stood a ring of people. It wasn’t just the usual Drunk stumbling in. They were wearing strange clothe. Robes weren’t strange around here, Mages were commonplace, But theirs were different. They were moving. As if something were underneath of them.

I didn’t dare to Interrupt what they were doing. Especially after seeing which one of them the scream came from.

In the center of the ring, I man was on his knees. He wasn’t like them, He wore no Robes.He barely wore clothes at all. He had no shirt on, Which revealed the man to be heavily muscled. He was Screaming in agony, Something wasn’t right. But i couldn’t tell if they were using magic, or if he’d been poisoned, But he was most definitely not making out of here.

His skin was Clammy, He was sweating, And heaving. It looked like the mans eyes were about to pop out of his skull, Bulging out beyond points i thought regular people could. My young mind couldn’t comprehend what this man was experiencing.

He was held by chains at the wrists, ankles and neck. The Chanting grew louder, As did the mans suffering, and his eyes. He couldn’t scream at this point, He could only suffer, The chains seemed to constrict tighter as they chanted.

But suddenly there was silence, They stopped, He stopped, And it was still.

The calm was quickly broken, The sound of boots on the floor, As the circle parted another practitioner entered the show.

It was not very intelligent of you to come here, Paladin of the Holy Order.” His face was half covered by his hood, But i could see the Grinning smirk that crossed this mans face, I’ve seen the look before in the streets, The look of perversion in enjoying someones suffering.

The tall man was on his knees, Chained, Barely breathing, There was something about him though, Despite the pain, and torture that he’s going through now, He’s not giving up, The determination in his eyes is nearly unstoppable. But he’s drained, and all the fight he has left, Won’t be enough.

You can finish me here if you want. But you know that i won’t be the last of my order to hunt you down. We will find you, and your twisted mockery of a deity will be destroyed by the light.” His words were laboured, His chest causing visible pains.

Those gathered around the man began to chuckle, giggle and laugh. The tentacle man reached back down to grab the tall man by the face. That crooked grin grew even wider as he looked into his eyes, The mans chest heaved again. A great cracking noise echoed through the building.

Soon enough, You’ll be the thing that your beloved order hunt’s down.” The look of joy on his face grew with every second.

The kneeling man began retching, A sickening goo dripping from his mouth as he heaved.

 “Oh it looks like it’s almost time.” The crazed mans laugh quickly grew, almost becoming a squeal of delight.

My how you’re glowing.” He reached down, Tangling the tentacles through the paladin’s hair. “How does it feel to be carrying the child of the mad one?”  The man Kneeling on the floor suddenly changed, The sound of another rib snapping, snapped me out of my daze. The once proud, Fighting hero that was kneeling before this cult was broken.

line-divider-Invert

 The group calmed down as realization soon fell across the man. His stomach began bulging, The image looking like a squid was trying to release itself from his insides. The images of wriggling tentacles writhing under his skin, Pushing harder.

Tears rolled down the mans face, he began to sob. That was the first time that i heard the voice…

It slithered into the back of my mind, like a snake crawling through the grass for it’s prey.

A man that’s spent his entire life in the service of a greater power. Is now to lose his life to give existence to the progeny of his most mortal of enemies.

I looked around. There was no one standing around me. Could I have somehow thought that?

The suffering isn’t the part that they enjoy.

My heart started beating quickly, I felt the presence behind me, as though someone were standing there, Whispering in my ear.

It’s the poetic justice.

I froze again, I felt helpless, If i were to move, Whatever is behind me would know my fear.

I know that you’re scared Ingram.

My eyes widened. No one on the streets knew my name.

The last time I’d been called by name was when my parents were alive.

The man you are watching right now has been judged. He’s the cause of most of the children of madness’ demise.

The voice of madness…” I whispered to myself quietly. Now the strange cult didn’t seem so foreign. They were the Children of Madness. They worshiped some great god that was said his very voice could cause madness in the most devout of men.

And in return. He will give birth to the greatest of my children.

The feeling of shock intensified as I now understood the voice that was crawling in my head.

The King of Madness is speaking to me.

After a few moments of silence. The scene below took a very quick turn for the worse.

The writhing under his skin now extended to his arms and legs. The man was crying, His god couldn’t save him at this point. I couldn’t turn away. I watched every suffering moment of his demise. He started getting sick, By now whatever it was began writhing up his neck, stopping him from turning his mouth to the side. Covered in vomit, I could see the tip starting to pop out the back of his throat, Finally escaping through his mouth. His fingers were each bursting, the tentacles trying to burst from under his fingernails. His eyes began bulging. He couldn’t even scream, or pray.

From then on it was quick, The beast quickly ripped the man apart. Escaping from every orifice that it could find it’s way out. The spray of blood exploded, Covering the cultists as they joined in a great cheer. The sickening green creature was nothing but an amalgam of tentacles, all different, colours, shapes, even the skin on each of them was different. Covered in a disgusting slime, My mind couldn’t handle what i had just witnessed. The voice in my head, and what suffering that man went through, I can feel it.

The great creature began to rise. lifting itself on different arms. The tentacles began to part. The center of the great beast was a single humongous eye. The cultists were quick to silence. The pupil quickly darted around the room. Observing everything. All was still.

After a few moments of staring each other down, The leader of the group of cultists walked forward.

“Welcome great child of madness. There is much we have to do brother.” He spoke to it as though it were the same as he. Stepping forward to the great creature, he reached his serpentine hand towards the monstrosity. It began reaching for the mans hand, As though it were using antennae to sense what was in front of it. For a moment it seemed this was the Cultists goal. Until the Leader began to scream. His arm was very quickly severed from his body, The creature holding it as it’s eye closed, it blinked once, twice, three times, Suddenly the great bloodshot eye was no longer there when opening the third time. A great maw of teeth circled the inside of it’s mouth, resembling a great cyclone of teeth. The Scream that it produced was the sharpest sound one could imagine, Shattering the windows in the building.

The creature lowered the mans arm into it’s mouth. A great ripping and shredding noise filled the air as half of the meat, bone and blood flew back out of it’s mouth. It’s feelers shot out from it’s body, Latching each of the cultists, Raising them into the air. It continued Screaming, The scream was unlike anything I’d ever heard. The raised cultists were wrapped by the beast tightly, Some of them had their bones broken, Arms pulled out of their sockets, All when this monster hoisted them into the air. Their leader seemed to have the most unfortunate as it wrapped around his neck, His face was turning blue, Suffocation.

The creature began lowering each of them into it’s great tornado of teeth. Shredding, Ripping, Screaming. The sounds I heard now would never leave me. Upon getting to the last cultist the monster began moving like it hadn’t before. Creating a body made of tentacles it stood on 4 legs, like a great dinosaur created of nightmares. It’s head was nothing but the shadowy movements and the great mouth. It began to look around, until it spotted me standing in my loft.

The leader of the cultists dangled by his neck, still struggling, getting little bits of air. The monster stared at me, As it dropped the last one in it’s mouth.

He Screamed, A lot.

He asked for mercy. From the gods, From anyone.

He held to the side of the creatures mouth with his one intact arm. Hoping that someone or something would stop this. But there was only The Beast, Him and Me.

He eventually fell in, The same Ripping and tearing sound the others made came from it’s mouth, But there was a difference. a Gurgling. As the blood and bone flew from it’s mouth it flew at me, covering me in what was left of the man whom had broken into my home this night.

I know that you’re scared Ingram.

I couldn’t move, I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t even remember if i existed at this moment.

But don’t worry. I’ll be here for you until the day you die.

line-divider-Invert

I watched the man struggle in his sleep. I could hear him talk as he watched the nightmare unfold. He tossed and turned, Muttering, Then loudly talking in his sleep, trying to find an escape.

I stood above his bed, My black leathers pulled my Emaciated, worn out body together. My Long Tattered Cloak-ends reached towards the man, like great shadowy tendrils.

My grey hair giving a stark contrast. I weaved the magic above him, Bending his sleep to my will.

The Shadows danced with Glee at the mans nightmare.

You’ve done well tonight Ingram.

I quickly ended my casting, Knowing that my spell would soon hit it’s crescendo. I walked to the window, Closing it as I leave. From the window, The sound quickly filled each neighboring street. The sound of a very panicked scream left the room shortly after myself. The ranting quickly followed.

The Warehouse! Quick, We must save him! The Blood! The Bones! The Screaming!”

Very well done Ingram. Another member of the holy order, that will live with their fallacy for the rest of his life. I believe you deserve a rest.

I quickly left the roof, Now much older and much more knowledgeable about the world I quickly walked to my home.

Jumping from the roof of a nearby building, I did the same tuck and roll through the window of my own little paradise. Now much more cluttered no one could ever think this was someones home. I walked to the back, parting a curtain that was fashioned of bone, I threw myself down onto the bed that sat in the corner. Curling myself to the corner I looked back at the curtain, Easily seeing the railing of the loft where I stood that night more than 10 years ago.

I haven’t slept since that night.

Rolling over to the wall, I slide the knife from my belt, scratching another nick into the wall.

Maybe tonight will be the night…” I told myself before looking up to the thousands of other tick marks where I told myself the same thing.

  Dread_Warlock_by_daarken

Life inside the Island Continents were much different than most places, My home especially, Crestlia was a nation of many things. We’re home to the aquatic races of Artoria. There are Kingdoms that expand every day underneath the sea. We’re the home to many different styles of Fighting, Warriors and monks that learn to fight with the fluidity of water, but to come crashing in like the waves of a tsunami. We’re also home to one of the greatest mysteries of Artoria.

The Animus Ocean.

There are a series of islands located in the center of our country that are called the Animus Islands. The ocean around them in said to be so thick with fog that no one has ever navigated them. At least not coming back out to tell the tale. Many ships have gone in, Many adventurers stating that they’ll find the source of the fog. But to this day, No one knows what is located at the center. Only that the mist surrounding that place, will forever change the way that ones mind works.

 line-divider-Invert

I was born among the Noble class of my people in the magic capitol. We resided on the Outside of the Animus ocean, We had a great castle by the sea, That had been standing with it’s towers in the oceans since the gods lived here. My family was always held in high regard, they were some of the greatest Arcanist’s to ever grace the Seaborne Citadel. It’s even said that our father was the only man to have ever entered the Animus Mist and came back out Unchanged.

 When you have arcane powers, the things that you can do with your life are limitless. Many become powerful Magi, Changing the world for everyone, Creating their own spells even.

Some become one with the arcane, trying to further the views of the queen of Magic.

My family was Royalty, They ruled the Bastion, We were known as the High Arcane.

After my Parents passed, it was between my sister and i Whom would take over the Command of the Bastion.

She was the Ruler type, I was not. We both told our parents the decision before any thing would ever happen to them.

When we finally turned the age of Adulthood at 20 years of age, Our parents allowed us to pick our own paths. My sister stayed in the Bastion. She would train every day, Learn many things about the ways of magic, and the politics that came with being the ruler of an Arcane country.

I decided on that day, that my life would be as an Adventurer. One of the Inner cloisters of the Bastion belonged to the halls of the Mage Guild. The guild master was an old friend of my father’s It’s said that he was one of those on the ship he took to the center of the Animus Isles.

I was Instantly taken in to the guild, I was treated as one of them, However these people weren’t the same as the Wizards and Witches i had grown up around, These people could feel the magic that they used, They Felt the magic around them when casting, Felt it Inside of them, Instead of having a book tell them how the magic felt.

I was in heaven.

They were me.

Or at least the closest that i had ever seen to how i felt about magic.

I was home.

line-divider-Invert

This was where i became the Mage that i was known for being. We were Mercenaries more or less. We took jobs for money, Ones that only mages could handle. Even within the guild, there were teams, Magi who worked better with others than by themselves. I teamed myself up with a few different wizards during my time there.

I soon earned many nicknames. But the one that seemed to stick was the Rose of the Arcane Veil. It felt good to be able to walk into different places, Only to hear the whispers behind my back.

She’s the beauty of the Arcane Veil!” They would whisper in Hushed Tones.

Her graceful steps were matched by the fluidity of her movements, Her smile, so delicate that it seemed the slightest move may cause it to crack. Her hair was the finest blonde, so bright one would almost consider it white. Her great emerald eyes lit up her pale porcelain face. Her and her sister were spitting images of each other, However that is where the similarities between the two stop.

My mother passed away, And my father gave up his Rule in the bastion, Leaving to live in the Animus Mist. It was then, that i saw the true difference between the two of us.

I had joined a war effort with a few others from the mages guild. We had traveled through the use of the Mage gate located in our Cloister. We left for an ancient monolith in the Country of Veil Nagath. It seemed that this was the home to a Particularly nasty Lich, Whom had the training of a priest in life.

We traveled through the Capitol of Night, And found the Monolith where this mockery of priesthood resided. Quickly managing to dispose of his undead play-things. We made for the top of the monolith. After Destroying him, And consecrating his body, We took Tally of his belongings, And we took our leave for home. Despite having been a mockery of life, The use of his Magic items and tomes will provide us a great help in the mages guild.

We decided to spend the night in a Local Village before leaving to the Seaborne Citadel.

The night Slowly passed, Everyone that had come slept easily, with another creature abusing magic put to death. But She rarely slept, Even more so now with her parents not defending the bastion. The records that we’re returning home with are amazing finds of magic.

“I’m sure that my sister will be pleased, More magical toys for the toy-box”.

She scoffed at her own comment, She despised her sisters outlook on magic, Using it as nothing but a tool to further her own self. Magic is something so much more, Something that lives around us. Putting everything back in the bags carefully, a book stood out to her.

Removing it from the bags that held all the other magical artifacts, she stroked her hand over the cover, Reading the title in her head.

Sanguinem Magicae

The words stood out in my mind.

Blood Magic?” 

My mind went blank, Thinking about the implications that could be in this book.

Her hands began shaking as the book opened, the letters were written in a red ink, the same crimson colour of the book. The letters were carefully written, in an old language, One of arcane kings from long before our time. Taking the book over to the nearby table of the room, She sat, With an Entranced look, Reading every page, Mesmerized.

Blood, Being an essential part of life itself, Holds immense magic properties. Given the power to run the mortal races, it can be used to heighten most Magic. In this book you will find some Experiments that have been conducted using certain magics, However this is a very controversial study, And as such should be read with extreme precaution and only be used in Situations where absolutely needed. 

The book held her eyes open Until the sun cracked the window. Even in the kingdom of darkness, the sun rises once a day.

However the sunbeam filtering into her eye didn’t seem to bother her in the slightest, She read more and more, even as the others stirred, and awoke from their sleep. Her eyes bored into every page, Every word, Every letter.

“Celene! Are you going to be coming home with us?!” One of the other Magi began yelling at her, Suddenly closing the book in front of her. Her head snapped up looking at the others in the room.

“What are you all doing, you need to rest for our Trip home tomorrow.” She stated, not quite grasping the sunrise that was coming up over the horizon.

The others in the room stopped what they were doing looking over to her. She still could not understand what was going on.

Were you up the whole bleedin night?” One of them stated walking over to the table. He picked up the glass near her, raising it to his nose. ” Well she hasn’t been into the sauce.” They all took to a round of laughing, As Celene sat there, Dumbfounded.

“Well you can’t spend all day just sitting there, We’ve gotta get outta this swamp, I wanna get back to the sea.” The only other female Magi there piped up to her.

Celene slowly nodded her head and agreed that she needed to pack her things, Before long, They were back to the Gate, ready to head home.

line-divider-Invert

The entrance to the gate seemed Normal, There was nothing out of the ordinary, But when we entered, I could tell there was something wrong. 

The world took the usual form of nothingness turning into a blur that contained the entire world. And then the sudden shock when the world snapped back too. Normally when done traveling, We’re greeted by the Sigil of the mages guild on the wall outside of our gate, However something was different.

There was no Sigil, Nor were there any torches to light the room around me. Something was wrong. A Shield of magic quickly Surrounded Celene’s Body. This revealed more of what was going on.

The room around her was a chamber not much different than the gate chamber in the mages guild. The room was shaped the same, the gate was the same, except for the great green colour that poured from it, Where ours was blue. The Companions that had accompanied her on the journey lie on the floor, their bodies barely able to be recognized. The Room seemed to come alive when the light revealed those around her.

The four men stepped out of nowhere and grabbed her.

She was held down to the floor, She began screaming.

“Let go of me!” She kicked and screamed trying to get them off of her, But her talents weren’t in her physical strength.

“You’re assaulting a Member of the Royal Family of Crestlia!” She managed to kick one of them square in the jaw, getting him off of her. Then she heard the laughing.

The sound of hard heeled boots walking towards them got louder, As did the laughing. And then the worst thing that could come into her vision did.

“Si…sister?” She was barely able to say the words, As her sister strode over and pulled the hair out of her face.

“It’s been a long time Celene.” She laughed as she pulled some of the hair out that she was holding onto.

The tears began welling up into her face. “What do you think you’re doing to me?” She cried to her sister, The only person she had left in her Family, And now she was doing this to her. What was the purpose.

“With you still here, There is someone who can Challenge me for power. And i can’t let that happen.” She laughed again. Looking down at her, She kicked her in the stomach with the hard heeled boots.

The group that was holding her down began to laugh. Blood dripping out of her mouth, Tears rolling down her Cheeks.

I felt the needle enter the back of my neck. Soon i knew why.

My body began to fall limp, Unable to fight back.

The poison ran through my veins, I started to grow cold.

I saw their faces as i began to fade from this world. It seems that the Arcane Rose’s Story ends here.

But I didn’t want it to.

I was so scared, I had lost my life, And i had lost everything else that i had ever held, even my friends, those that trusted me enough to follow me to Veil Nagath, Now lie on the ground in their own blood. And here i am,

Some High Arcana you turned out to be.

She could hear the voice in the back of her head. The same voice that she had heard the night before, reading the book to her. Remember what i told you last night? 

She began to think. Her body Paralyzed by the toxin coursing through her veins.

Blood, Being an essential part of life itself, Holds immense magic properties. Given the power to run the mortal races, it can be used to heighten most Magic. In this book you will find some Experiments that have been conducted using certain magics, However this is a very controversial study, And as such should be read with extreme precaution and only be used in Situations where absolutely needed. 

The room suddenly lit up some more. The men that were slowly killing the woman stood up, her blood covering their Armour. They laughed at the carnage that was around their feet. Looking over at the woman that incited them to do this. Her face slowly began to waver and the mist that was masking her slowly lifted, A Spell, to Manipulate her face, Portraying Nadia, the Queen of Crestlia, Celene’s Sister.

The face that was revealed is a new face that hasn’t been seen. Her stark Raven hair is the exact opposite of the Maxia Twins. Her dress was very similar in style to their dress, The same sleek design from neckline to mid calf, However again the contrast was complete, having a black dress compared to their white dressings.

So what do we do with them now?” One of the men Snarled, They’re armour and clothing over played how sane they really were.

“They were part of the deal were they not? What you do with them now is up to you.” She laughed and began to walk away.

The savages began to loot the bodies, taking anything of interest they could find. Saving the Intact one for last.

“Heh, What do you think we should do with this one boys? Think she’s still good for anything.” He laughed as he drug the tip of his sword up her dress, ripping the shirt open to bear her bosom to the others.

The one sitting at the back of the room stood up with a very crooked, very twisted looking smile.

“Well i’m sure if none of you can find a use for her, I can.” His smile grew until it was just short of a psychotic grin.

He began to walk over to her, Lifting her body into the air. If it weren’t for the screams behind him, He never would have put her down.

One of the savages in the back of the Cavern began screaming in horrible pain. His arms, And his face showing the effects first. He screamed louder and louder. His voice echoing through the caves. The others stood there in horror, Watching as their companion withered away. His skin quickly becoming wrinkled and pale. Soon, he couldn’t even scream, His voice barely passing his Lips. As he stumbled over to the others, His body began to change even more, the withered dying skin turning to dust.

They looked on, Their faces frozen in Terror at the sight that they just witnessed. Another off to the side, Began to do the same thing, And the other, Until only the one that had picked up her body remained.

He fell to his Knees, Clamoring to the Corner, Screaming the Entire time. As the lifeless husks that were his friends, and that remained of the Magi they just killed, Began to lifelessly walk towards him, The tears of fear streamed down his face.

The Blood from their wounds all seemed to flow back to one source, The one wizard that was left intact. The young Celene.

Her finger tips had strings of blood reaching to her finger tips she moved the bodies, As though they were nothing more than puppets.

But the p,p,poison, How did you get back up?” The last man Clamored for his Sword, only to have one of the Blood Ghasts step in front of him, She laughed from across the room.

Blood, Being an essential part of life itself, Holds immense magic properties. Given the power to run the mortal races, it can be used to heighten most Magic. In this book you will find some Experiments that have been conducted using certain magics, However this is a very controversial study, And as such should be read with extreme precaution and only be used in Situations where absolutely needed. “

She smiled at him, As the ghouls walked closer.

“I’ll give you one chance. Where did my sister go?” She asked very Curtly, Standing and even with a slight bow.

The man knew not what to do, Short of Panic, He Stood and tried to run.

“That was the wrong answer.” She stated, As the mans run began to slow, His legs slowly becoming mummified as his allies were. He screamed for mercy, For death even. But he would never see it.

As Celene lowered herself to the ground she smiled, the blood from all of the Ghasts and her allies seeped into her body, through the fingertips where the strings had extended.

It seems that i’ll need some more allies,” She smirked and walked off, Her mind broken as she stepped the boundary to the other world, She’s now known as the blood witch, And no one will ever forget her.

I remember when my father had called us all to court. My uncle had just returned from a diplomatic mission,

He had traveled to all the great kingdoms, And it seems that his caravan was far worse for the wear.

The rumors quickly spread about what had happened, less than half of his men returned from that journey.

There were rumors, People speak. Most of those whom did return, didn’t return the same.

Most didn’t say a word. Other drank themselves to death the night they came back.

My uncle only spoke in hushed tones among very few ears.

But that didn’t stop the rumors from escaping the castle walls.

line-divider-Invert

You’ve not seen their armies brother.” I could hear my uncles voice ringing out from the hall where my father and him were speaking.

“If they’re left unchecked, we’ll never survive them.” His voice was loud, but it wasn’t anger that made his voice rise. It was fear.

Since when have the royal family of Dresiliad been scared of anyone?” 

My father’s deep voice made the question sound more of a joke than anything.

We rule the capital of refuge, we’ve defended more people world round than any other kingdom…” 

Peeking through the doorway I saw father move from the fireplace and sit down in his great high back chair

What makes you think that after these generations, we won’t be able to defend our home?” 

In that last statement, His voice changed, It bit into the very soul, As he almost spat the words from his mouth, the thought itself leaving a sour taste in his mouth.

When was the last time that you fought a dragon, Drestyn ?” His brother stung back,

Very few armies can make it through our defenses, let alone harm our people. including armies backed by most acts of magic. But dragons are another story completely. How will we defend ourselves against raining fire, crushing our homes, searing our people, removing us from this world.”

My father sat very still in his chair, I saw him lift his pipe from the nearby table.

We’ve survived far worse in the history of our country. We will survive again.” 

My uncle stood by the fireplace, he was still dressed in his robes, revealing him as a man of study or a man of prayer, or in this case both. He too shared in the pipe with my Father.

How can a ruler be so calm, Knowing that an untimely end is on it’s way towards his kingdom.”

He exhaled a great breath of smoke, waving his hands around in the cloud changing it’s form.

“We still have many ways to defend ourselves, even against monstrosities such as the scaled death.”

He reached over to take the pipe from his brother whom was still forming the smoke using his magic.

” I hope our ability to defend our people matches your bravado brother.” 

He stated in a very low tone, as the cloud finally took the Form of a dragon and flew off into the fireplace.

What of Anders?”  

Hearing my name i moved slightly closer to hear what was going to be said.

What of him? He’s been assigned to lead the Mounted cavalry.” 

Father was so proud when i won the grand combat and secured my title, I truly made him proud, However now he doesn’t sound so sure.

And you’re going to let your boy ride first into combat against a dragon? On his first campaign none the less.”  

I could see my uncles hand shaking.

” Had i known what was going to be out there…”

But you didn’t, And you cant blame yourself over what has happened.” 

Drestyn stood from his chair walking over to the robed man, I could hear him sobbing from the door.

But he was my boy. I should have protected him…” 

He sobbed as he slid to his knees onto the Floor.

” Instead thanks to me he’s been fed to a dragon! foul bloody flying lizard!” 

He was hollering now. I could understand.

It seems that my cousin Braden, My uncles oldest son, and his most precious apprentice, Is now sitting in the stomach of a dragon.

Anders will not be leaving for the front-lines by himself. You and I will be joining him.” 

He began to try and pull his brother from the floor, He slowly climbed up the side of the fireplace.

You knew nothing of what your journey would entail, But you still went, For your kingdom.”  

Drying his eyes on the sleeves of his robes he looked over to Drestyn.

He was staring into the fire, the determination in his eyes showed that he saw more than coals and embers dancing in the fireplace.

When they come. Your nephew will take the front-lines of  war with me. As your son did with you. You now know what is coming. Help me save my son, And yours will not die in Vain.” 

He finally looked up, reaching over to his brother he embraced him, Clasping their arms together.

We will not let our legacy die here.”

Clack, Clack, Clack. The knuckle of my gauntlet rang as it knocked on the Door. They slowly moved back to their drinks before calling.

Who’s There?”

Their voices sounding at the same time, came together, like a single being talking of two voices.

Opening the door i strode in, standing at attention in front of them.

Commander of the Mounted Cavalry of the Dresiliad Defense Force, Anders Frost.”

I took a kneel to the floor until i was addressed, I was trained with our military since i was a child, however unlike most whom are raised in it. I loved it.

Stand and speak your mind.”
The kings voice was one of power, however not commanding.

Father, Surely you know the Rumors that have been flooding the castle. I know what’s happened to Uncles men. Who is coming to attack us?” 

Anders point was stated very clearly. However the two men were unsure of how to answer.

They don’t seem to have an affiliation to the six great kingdoms, uncle Drake, What did you see when you came back?” 

He went white in the face at the mention of them not being under the six great kingdoms.

Anders… When we go into battle, We may be facing more than you expected.” 

He looked over to the table, Reaching for the drink that he’s had poured on his desk since he began speaking with Drake.

Father. I fought to earn my place and my title. Not once have i ever asked for you to assist me due to your rank. I ask you now. Treat me as the commander of your cavalry and answer my question.”

 Never has anyone spoken with any kind of force to the king.

You’re too much like me you know that.” 

The king smiled at Anders, For the first time in a while, the smirk that used to stand out on Drestyn’s face returned.

We’re going to have a War Council about this. We will Discuss our actions, and the measures that we will put into place.” 

Drestyn Walked over to his Son, Passing him the Pipe.

Sometimes a man needs some help to think clearly.” 

This was the first time that Anders had ever been acknowledged as a man by his father, he stood dumbfounded, Wondering this council would entail.

Tales of legend are not only forged by the hands of myths and fables, They’re crafted through the tools that they wield. While some heroes are known only for the power that they held within themselves, or the great deeds that they’ve accomplished. Some only grew to the heights they reached through the partnership with great artifacts of power.

This Ancient hall has kept record for many a century. Of Both the great and the horrible, Magical and Divine, Items that hold enough power to change the balance of the world on their own.

While this hall has existed since before anyone can remember. It seems to never grow closer to an end, Passages for hours seem to grow to hold place for each new tale of an artifact to unfold.

Walking to the Doors before the Halls of Antiquity they seem to be locked and chained shut, it seems these stories must wait for a later time.